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1:25 p.m. - Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2003
Obligatory New Year's Eve Entry
I usually do a summing-up at the end of the year, but this year has been so uneventful (unlike LAST year, when I could write things like, "I bought a brand-new car for the first time in my life," "I started keeping a diary on-line," and "I bought my very first computer") that I think I will have to take a page from awittykitty and let the survey prod me, even though of course I will be giving sarcastic answers when the survey starts asking me questions that are too personal.

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?


2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't make New Year's resolutions. The things I can change, I don't want to be bothered with, and the things I really want to change, I can't.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No. Niece got pregnant with first child, though.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Only my dog, Andy.

5. What countries did you visit?

Listen, I never strayed outside the trajectory between Chicago, Illinois and H*bart, Indiana, so shut the fuck up.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?


7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 5, I suppose. The day Andy died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

This virtual therapy that I've been undergoing by means of writing in my diaries and interacting with other diarists and in forums. It's put me through some changes, but finally it has made me more stable emotionally. I've also improved my French.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Every one of my failures this year was too trivial to merit mention.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a sore throat this summer severe enough to make me see a doctor, something that hadn't occurred since 1993, if you don't count my shrink (and I certainly don't).

11. What was the best thing you bought?

No, no, no. The best thing I did this year was start to conquer my spendthrift habits. Oh, I bought a new lawnmower that kicks ass, but I had to buy it, really.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Howard Dean's.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

George Bush's.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Car payments.

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

Absolutely nothing.

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?

I don't listen to popular music anymore, that comes and goes and hence can be associated in my mind with a particular year. All the music I listen nowadays is timeless.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? Happier

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, I think.

iii. richer or poorer? Richer.

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

Sleeping and writing.

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

Eating and getting annoyed with people.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Much eating and watching of television at my niece's new house.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?


23. How many one-night stands?

None. If I told you how long it's been since I've had carnal knowledge of anyone besides myself, you wouldn't believe it.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

America's Funniest Home Videos, and yes, I'm embarrassed about that.

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

No. Everybody I hate now I hated then.

26. What was the best book you read?

There was The Birth and Death of Meaning by Ernest Becker, and I re-read The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James. Can't think what else I read this year!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I can't say that I've discovered any new music this year. Well, in a sense I have, since I've listened to Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni, several times in its entirety, becoming more familiar with it than I ever had been before. Other than that, I've just been delighting in my old favorites, Ein deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Laudate dominum (Mozart), Spem in alium (Tallis), et al.

28. What did you want and get?

A new lawnmower.

29. What did you want and not get?

A million dollars.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I'm afraid I'm rather indifferent toward films. I wait until they come out on video and even then I can barely be bothered to watch them.

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

Went with my father to Old Country Buffet for breakfast (bacon!) and that's none of your goddamn business.

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

A million dollars.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?

Retro. To last year, the year before, and the year before that.

34. What kept you sane?

My dogs, my on-line diaries and the people who come with them.

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


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The attack on Iraq and the issue of gay marriage.

37. Who did you miss?

My grandfathers.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

That's not a nice question.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003?

It helps when you get a bunch of people to help you plant your tomatoes. That's not a metaphor.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Ich habe eine kleine Zeit Mühe und Arbeit gehabt" ("A little while I have had tribulation and labor," Ecclesiasticus 51:35, quoted in the fifth movement of Ein deutsches Requiem [note that I OMIT the part about having found great comfort!]).


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