October 2015



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2012 in review

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Explored the Alhambra with Eskimos. Watched Lipizzans train at the Spanish Riding School, marvelled at the golden Klimts and drank Melange in Vienna. Saw ghosts from another time in the dead mirrors of the Spiegelhaal. Said goodbye to Tacheles. *sniffle* Rode the Ebbelwei Express through Frankfurt and walked over the Eiserner Steg while humming Philipp Poisel. Lusted after art nouveau houses in Darmstadt. Bawled my eyes out over Billy Elliot. Started a business and built a website. Slept in a yurt and swam in 5 lakes in one day. Watched acrobats from Montréal Complètement Cirque contort themselves in dangerous ways on a rooftop. Finalised a novel. Saw an Aboriginal production of King Lear. Poked around fancy embassies and a Cold War bunker during Doors Open Ottawa. Visited the Museum of Civilisation. Read 81 books.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions from 2012, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t keep last year’s, so I’d better avoid making any this year. :p

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
The mosquito buzzing in my ear just did. He was very close. And very annoying.

5. What countries did you visit?
Let’s see, I started the year in Spain, then made whistle stops in Germany, Austria, and London. Went to the United States for a few days once I got home. Also visited Quebec, that counts, yes?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I hate to sound so materialistic, but for the sake of my sanity I need a reliable source of money and, more importantly, work that makes me feel useful.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 29, when I came back from London, mainly because it’s stamped in my passport with a “you are no longer welcome” note from UKBA!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Wow, I really don’t know. This year has been a very difficult one in a lot of ways, because my biggest achievements – starting a business and finalising a novel – came to nothing in the end. At this point, I have to say surviving the year is probably my biggest achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Knowing what I needed to do in order to market myself and my business, but being too lethargic and unmotivated to make it happen.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a bit of skin cancer removed recently. Apart from that, just some weird aches and pains that worried me enough to see my doctor, but she said I was just getting old. Thanks for that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The Ex has gone above and beyond recently, being an absolute star about ferrying me to doctor’s appointments and making sure I’m okay. It’s really helped my outlook lately.

13. What made you appalled and depressed?
The amount of money spent in the US presidential campaign. Everything I read about Palestine.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. How sad is that?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having [info]momogermany and [info]amyriadfthings visit!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Oh goodness, I don’t know. I’ve been listening to lots of Icelandic music of late, Of Monsters and Men and Ásgeir Trausti. Here’s the song I couldn’t get out of my head for ages.

And I was listening to this on loop while reading the Tawny Man series.

And let’s not forget my obsession with Elisabeth (and my very bad singing to this song in particular).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? About the same, at this point
ii. thinner or fatter? Several sizes fatter 
iii. richer or poorer? Definitely poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Taken care of myself. Pampering myself and feeling deserving of it.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying, eating bad food and moping.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I was at Howie’s, so I was awoken way too early by hungry, happy dogs. Made Howie open his presents, then went back to sleep. Woke up hours later and we took a drive through snow-covered countryside. Came home, called dad, then made fajitas for dinner, and watched Joyeux Noel.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?
With many, many fictional characters, yes.

23. How many one-night stands?
None. I don’t read that fast.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Probably Teen Wolf, but The L.A. Complex was a close contender. And despite its Mary-Sue lead, I really loved Dance Academy. Doctor Who also had some amazing episodes. The Bletchley Circle sparked an obsession, those are always good. I also am really enjoying Elementary and what I’ve seen of Fringe. And then there was that brief fling with Battlestar Galactica

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Proponents of vaginal ultrasounds, legitimate rape, or pro-life in Ireland. Beyond that, no, there are just a number of annoyances.

26. What was the best book you read?
There were four outstanding ones and I can’t possibly choose one. I loved Robin Hobb’s Farseer series, I can’t get enough of her worlds and I’m dying for a reread to catch all the details I missed as I was gulping down the plot. Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In the Castle was a book that I’ve wanted to read for ages, and it definitely lived up to the hype; I loved Merrykat so much, she was so unreliable and screwed up. Mike Carey’s Lucifer is the standard by which all heavenly/supernatural stories will now be judged. And A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel – who took this place last year with Wolf Hall – blew me away by making the French Revolution accessible, sympathetic and utterly fascinating.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I fell in love with Of Monsters and Men.

Also really loved Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. This is the song they did for the Marriage Equality campaign in Washington.

28. What did you want and get?
An orange kitten. (And the black one that came along with it.) Also a mobile phone, which I’m not sure I wanted, but I do feel like I’m part of the 21st century now.

29. What did you want and not get?
To publish Perfect Combination.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Based on the number of times I saw it at the theatre, my answer would be The Hunger Games,with The Hobbit coming a close second.

But most of the really good stuff, I saw in the comfort of my own home. I already raved about Another Earth, but I think I neglected to mention Caramel, which had a similar realistic beauty to it in the lives of these women.

I also recently enjoyed Beasts of the Southern Wild, and meant to post a review of it, but have been horribly lax. So enjoy the trailer instead.

And, of course, there was Elisabeth!

31. What did you do on your birthday?
Had a bunch of people over, we ordered tons of Indian food and watched movies.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If social media did not exist.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Sweats, anything with an elastic waist. o_O

34. What kept you sane?
My crazy cats!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Let’s see… Geoffrey Tennant Paul Gross, Der Tod Máté Kamarás, Mr. Thornton Richard Armitage, Robert Dudley/Heathcliff Tom Hardy, and Natalie Morales for being her awesome self

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Women’s rights worldwide, Apartheid in Israel and gun control in the U.S.

37. Who did you miss?
All the people I met last year in London.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I guess it’s kind of cheating to say [info]alsha, since technically I met her last year, but even though I lived in her office for three months, she wasn’t around. But when she stayed with me this year in Ottawa, I felt like I got to properly meet her. And even though it was only a few days, she’s the kind of person who is really good at connecting with people on a very deep level and asking genuine questions, and by the time she left, I felt like I not only knew her, but knew a little more about myself.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
That some people will try to pull you into dissension and discontent, and it’s awfully easy to let them, but in the long run it’s easier still to let them go their own way and out of your life.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
No. If I try to do that, I’ll never get this posted. Read about the wombat’s cube-shaped poop instead.


Your answers to the first question are divine! I love it. It's like reading prose poetry and it makes me feel wordly and cultivated and intrepid just reading them.

And I have also recently discovered Of Monsters and Men and coincidentally was just raving to Aldi about it yesterday. I already knew you have good taste *g*

And there's an answer that features... me?! You are lovely beyond words and I am feeling self-consciously buzzed that you would say that about me. I had such a great time with you in Ottawa. It was one of my favourite stops on that trip, and I'm not just saying that. Sitting and talking with you - in sushi bars with Samurai cocktails, or over a veggie/hummus platter in your living room, or in pyjamas while walking down the street to my car - was one of the highlights of my friendship with you. And I do consider you a friend. It was a real pleasure.


Here's to 2013 being infinitely superior in all the ways you need *hugs*
Aw, thank you! It was a good exercise to write everything down like that, it reminded me that this year really wasn't a complete write off, even if it didn't turn out exactly like I had hoped.

Of Monsters and Men are SO GOOD! I think I must've seen every clip of them up on Youtube now. They'd be amazing to see live, I bet!

And yes, you were definitely one of the highlights of my year, and I'm so glad that it worked out so you could stay here with me a little longer. It was such fun to show you around my town and talk about everything. And you know that you've always got a place to stay whenever you're in Canada! *hugs*
Oh wow, you've had a busy year! I hope 2013 is awesome for you. :)
It's funny, it never seemed busy, yet the year flew by.

And thanks so much! *hugs* I hope 2013 is just as fantastic for you!
Thanks, now that I've seen a video about wombat poop, my life is... surely richer in some way *will never get synthetic jelly!poop out of brain* But well done skirting that ridic song lyrics question!

Hahahahahah OLLIE. How does he even! Every single body part is completely cattywampus! (Also, omg they've grown so huge! Didn't you just get them? Weren't they just tiny tiny kittens? #whatistime)

I know in general it's been a sucky year for you, but wow, those lists of accomplishments and countries travelled looks so cool! I am impress. And there were quite a few fun obsessions too. Job/money worries suck so very hard tho. WHERE IS MYSTERY INHERITANCE.

Hahahah, I love your "CHARACTER!! er-I-mean-actor" pattern for crushes. That's totes how I go about it too. (mhmmm, Geoffrey Tennant!)

*paws and lusts all your books and movies* I have Caramel, but I've still not got round to watching it, eep. Beasts of the Southern Wild looks amazing too!

If social media did not exist. Ugh, so true. We can haz exemption for Twitter tho, Y/Y?

*continued retroactive cuddles for the skin cancer thing* :\ SCARY.

I hope 2013 will be a much, much sparklier year for you *hugs lots* and I think you've already taken some great steps to make it so. The suck had better be THE PAST.
Jelly!poop! It's the newest party treat! Guests can't get enough of it! (Seriously tho, that woman, I bet her housemates hate it when she heads to the kitchen.)

Ollie is a monster! He doesn't stop growing! I think he's actually going to be lion sized and still do his floppy/oozy thing. (Meanwhile Alfie is more serpent-like, he's just getting longer and longer and longer...)

WHERE IS MYSTERY INHERITANCE. This needs to happen now. I don't like money, and I don't like having to give it so much thought, and I really don't like not being able to see people I love. *curses NZ airfares* It will be better, though. And yes, despite all my grumbling, this year did have some really special things. I'm glad I did this meme, it helped me remember them and not just write the whole year off.

2013 will be so much better. THE SUCK IS THE PAST. GROSS!!
I'm clicking through your links and vids at the moment and really like the Blizzen Trapper song and video *plays again*.
It seems your year was a bit like mine, exciting at the beginning and then speeding kind-of-meh-like during the other months.
I still admire everything you've accomplished and the adventures you experienced. And your kitties are so grown up and pretty (Isn't that what aunts always say? I'm feeling like an aunt now. Hehe)!

Sorry that you didn't feel too well a lot of the times, but I'm glad you made it through the worst and yay to your Ex for his help and care!

Wishing you all the best for the rest of 2013!

P.S. Why am I suddenly craving caramel??? ;-)

*hugs* I am sorry that you had a meh year too. Sometimes those are the worst, I think - not so bad that you can get a lot of sympathy, just a continual, well, meh.

But it's over now, and 2013's begun, and we're going to have a better one, right? RIGHT?!

Thanks for the kitty love. You can definitely be their honorary auntie, they would love to crawl on a new person!!
Oh Lil! I find myself with such mixed feelings over this post. So much of it is love: the reminiscences of the start to the year, all the books and music and shows and obsessions - I think my favourite was the Elisabeth glut! I couldn't find your cat in that top picture at first - I scrolled right past him!

But I'm also sad not to have been around so much. I'm sorry to hear about the skin cancer and going to the doctors a lot and even the stuff with work and the beautiful book, I'm sorry not to have been more supportive when you've supported me so much this year even from afar.

*sigh* Oh I'm thinking back so fondly to last year's review where I was mentioned so much because we were together for so much of it!
Can I have September yet??
Oh my lovely one, don't worry at all about that. You've been doing amazing things this year and I'm so proud of you for it. SO PROUD. I really believe you're going to be able to turn these experiences into something good that goes way beyond yourself. I'm so glad that you did it!!*

Having said that, my year was disturbingly Anna-free. We must fix that in 2013!!

*(And as an aside, I got your card today! THANK YOU! I am chuffed that you sent it from Israel! And wondering if HBF ever got the card I sent...)

So sorry that you had to wade through so much shit this year. What was it that went wrong with 2012? So many people in my life, and that includes me, were not treated very kindly by the past 12 months.

On the upside, though, your post reminded me of the few but unforgettable highlights of 2012 and I am really happy that I could share quite a number of them with you and the one or the other Eskimo.

And haha,and I seldom cross the Main on the Eiserner Steg these days without humming P.P. in my head.

So, 2013, be aware that many people here have very high expectations of your performance, so don’t let us down. Please.

You made so many wonderful memories for me this year! I so loved being shown around Frankfurt (and even my introduction to your odd culinary traditions) and the Rhein (all the castles!!) and Vienna (boy, did we pack a lot in that day or what?), and it was so much fun to show you a bit of Ontario in return. I am so looking forward to our adventures in Miami!

So yeah, 2012 just needs to Go Away. It was Not Hot. *hugs* I'm sure that 2013 is going to be much better for both of us!
Oh honey! I didn't know about the skin cancer stuff! I hope that all done with now *infinite cuddles* Give the ex a thank-you-for-taking-care-of-our-Lil for me

And I'm sure business will pick up in 2013. Did you try spamming med student forums or smthg?

And I really enjoyed watching Caramel with you. Maybe we should make it into an Eskiviewing. I should have a vacation in early February

And LOL @ your answer to #23 <333333333333
Bah, it was just a little melanoma. I got in to see the dermatologist without too much wait time and she just took it off. Took all of 10 minutes. I didn't give it a second thought until she called with the biopsy results. I just have to watch for these in the future, since I was a very, very bad teenager in desperate search of a tan.

For work, I've approached my old boss and I'll be subcontracting for her again. In effect, it means I have a HUGE marketing budget, but more steady income. I did spam the med student forums and there were lots of people there who wanted free advice, but not a single sale. So I gave up on that. I also should have written blog posts and articles and more books but... *waves at the lethargy/depression* So I'm feeling okay about my decision, it will mean I can focus on the work, which is what I enjoy.

Oooh we have not had an Eskiviewing in ages. We should set something up!!