Sunday, January 02, 2005

Reviewing 2004

This comes courtesy of Chris.

1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?

Left the country (and returned), discovered LaBatt's Blue, played in a Texas Hold' Em tournament, had a vasectomy, joined an NBA fantasy basketball league, watched my oldest daughter, K, get four teeth pulled, voted early for the November election, flew out of state for a job interview...that's about all I can think of.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?

My big goal was to lose a bunch of weight. I ended up losing about 35 pounds at one point and am closer to the 25 pound mark right now. And yes, my goal is very much the same for this year...primarily to be able to honestly put a lower weight on my new driver's license in February than the one that's on there now. That means I need to lose about 10 pounds by mid-February. If I try real hard, I think I can do it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, my wife gave birth to our fourth child this year, our third daughter, M. Also, our good friends and neighbor down the street had their fourth child, their third son. My friends in Phoenix delivered their second child a week after M was born. And my good friend, Dan, had his first child this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Sadly, yes. My grandmother on my dad's side passed away in September. She was my last living grandparent and I'm very sad to lose her...especially sad for my dad and his sisters. They are a very close group.

5. What countries did you visit?

I ventured out of the country for the first time when I crossed the border into Niagara Falls, Canada. It's actually a cool place. I hope to add Mexico to the list this year since my new employer is only an hour away from the Mexico border.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

A kick-ass year at work, which should result in a lot more money.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

September 23...M was born. November 2...quite an election.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Obviously, becoming a father is number one. I'm also proud of myself for getting this new sales job. I'm also glad I actually stuck with this blog thing for the whole year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not completing the novel I started for National Novel Writing Month. And really...I can even live with that. 2004 really was a great year for me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, no. I've been pretty healthy all year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A 32-inch TV (no, it's not high-def) and noise-cancelling headphones for flying.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My wife for enduring a difficult pregnancy and an equally tough (and ongoing) post-partum recovery. Nowhere near as personal, but still have to recognize the Boston Red Sox for their amazing comeback in the ALCS and subsequent World Series victory.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Ron Artest and President Bush (and that's about as detailed as I'll get with my politics).

14. Where did most of your money go?

Restaurants...we eat out WAYYYY too much.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The birth of M. (Are you noticing a trend here?) On a more materialistic note, when I got my 126 MB flash memory drive with built-in MP3 player...awesome for travelling. (Unfortunately, I had to give it back when I left my last job.)

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?

I listen to so much music, I can't really name just one. Although "Yeah!" by Usher, Ludacris and Lil Jon and "Vertigo" by U2 certainly are up there...simply for the sheer volume of airplay that they received.

17. Compared to this time last year,are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner
c) richer or poorer? poorer (took a pay cut, hence the job search and resulting new job which should make me much richer in 2005)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Spent more quality time with the kids and writing

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Gambling...I love gambling a little TOO much.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Spent it with my family...good times.

21. Did you fall in love in 2004?

I was already in love with K when the year started and still am here at the end. And, of course, I fell in love with little M the moment she was born...actually as soon as we knew we were pregnant.

22. How many one-night stands?

None. (I can't even think of a funny way to answer that one.)

23. What was your favorite TV program?

The Amazing Race, but Celebrity Poker Showdown is a close second.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Nope...I don't think I've ever hated anyone. At least, no one I've known personally.

25. What was the best book you read?

Didn't read near as much as I would've liked to this year. But being the dedicated Brad Meltzer fan that I am, I'll say "The Millionaires." (Least favorite book was Grisham's football novel, "Bleachers."

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

You'd think that with as much as I love music, this would be easy. I wish I could tell you some unsigned artist that I really like, but I'll have to go with Los Lonely Boys. I don't speak Spanish, but I love listening to some of their Spanish songs on their CD.

27. What did you want and get?

A new baby and a new job.

28. What did you want and not get?

A high-def television, TiVo, satellite radio and an iPod or similar MP3 player.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

The one that jumps to mind is the most recent one...National Treasure. I have to add that The Incredibles is a very close second.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

That was 10 months ago...I don't remember! I'm sure I hung out with the wife and kids. I turned 33 in 2004.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I had a pretty damned good year. Winning the lottery would've helped, I suppose.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

At the beginning of the year, it was very casual. As the year went on and I lost the weight, I really tried to upgrade my wardrobe to more business casual at least. I'm trying to wear more button-up shirts and non-denim pants.

33. What kept you sane?

My family and friends and, to somed egree, this blog.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

For the foreseeable future, it's got to be Salma Hayek.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

The whole gay marriage thing. How on earth can the opponents of gay marriage say that this is one of the most important issues facing our country today? I'd say things like health insurance, the deficit, Social Security, the war in Iraq, education...oh, about a billion other things have an impact on all Americans' every day lives than whether or not two consenting adults have the right to marry! God forbid two people should be able to do what makes them happy...especially when it doesn't physically hurt anyone else!

Stepping off soapbox now.

36. Who did you miss?

I miss my Grandma. And every time I travel on the road, I miss my family. I already miss my co-workers from my last job, even though it's been less than a month since I left.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I have to say the founder of my new company. If I hadn't have met him, I'd never have got this job. And, though I've never "met" any bloggers in person (other than Dan who I knew before), it's been fun getting to know all of you through your blogs. And so far, all of my new co-workers are pretty cool.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.

As nice as material things are, it's the people in your life that make it worth living. Focus on your health, your friends and your family and you'll find yourself immeasurably happier at the end of the day. We only have so much time with those we love...make the most of it. And laugh a never hurts to laugh.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Kind of along the lines of my previous answer, I'll go with Sheryl Crow from "Soak Up the Sun."

It's not getting what you want.
It's wanting what you've got.

On that note, send me a note if you decide to do the same.

Have a good one everyone!