1. What did you do in 2013 that you’ve never done before?
I’m thinking really hard, but 2013 was a pretty down year, in terms of new experiences of the sort that you share with the general public. Not that I have a whole wealth of secret new experiences that I’m not sharing. I can’t even really think of any of those, either. But off the top of my head, those things like, I don’t know, bungee jumping and public speaking and whatever kinds of achievements and firsts and stuff that you announce, no. None of those happened in 2013. Nothing. I can’t think of a thing. No secrets, either, really, so I guess I didn’t have to really make the distinction between the two. Well, maybe some secrets. Not top secrets. Just personal stuff. Not worrying personal stuff. Look, forget I said the word secrets. Go back to the beginning of this paragraph. Read until the word “experiences.” Stop there. Move on to question 2.
Penny & Phil at the zoo in January.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I already know I don’t plan to make any plans for 2014, because I already know that 2014 is going to be a total shitshow. So no. I will not make any for next year. I’ll need to roll back the tape to see if I actually made any last year. Wait right here.
As usual, I didn’t really make any resolutions for 2012, aside from the usual stereotypical vague ideas of starting new and fresh and generally doing better at everything, you know, housework and diet and exercise and marriage and parenting and all of that. Phil went away for three weeks right at the start of the year, so it all went to hell pretty fast.
Apparently, I didn’t even answer that part of the question. Seeing as how it’s December 31st and I’m not crumbled in defeat or dancing around in triumph, I’m going to assume I didn’t make any later on, either. So. Made none, kept none, continuing on with that.
Zoo all to herself in January.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
People I know gave birth, but no one close enough for me to visit them in the hospital. That’s going to be my new definition of “close” for these surveys going forward. Would I have visited in the hospital? That is someone close to me. None of those people gave birth in 2013. You should also know I would only visit someone in the hospital after she gave birth if explicitly invited. Just so you know. If you give birth and you’re expecting me to just show up because we’re close and you didn’t call me beforehand and say, hey, once the baby arrives, come on over, I won’t show up. Actually, not to put too much on you after you’ve just given birth, but you should probably let me know after, as well. Because maybe you told me beforehand, but then you had the baby, and I decide to stay home anyway because you never know beforehand how you’re going to feel after and I just think, better safe than sorry, and look, your baby isn’t bread and he isn’t going to go moldy, he’s going to be just as fresh when I come and see him later, you know? It’s nothing against you, it’s for you. It’s that I have a hard time imagining why you’d really want me there, probably the same way some people have a hard time imagining why other women might want no one around, you know? So maybe just have your husband send a confirmation text. Actually, I’m going to send a card or something, okay? I’m just not coming. I’m not. The answer to this question is just going to be perpetually no, because I’m never going to see anyone’s fresh baby in the hospital, thus by my own definition, no one close to me will ever give birth. So. That’s… a no.
February in Arizona. Sorry, North East, never coming back.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
That’s another no, but let’s spare the agonizing explanation this time.
Out of frame: me hopping up and down with delight.
5. What other countries did you visit?
I’m stealing last year’s answer about stealing the answer from the year before about stealing the answer from the year before, following which I will post the original stolen answer:
Stealing last year’s answer, which I stole from the year before, as I intend to do for the foreseeable future. And by foreseeable future, I basically mean forever. And look, I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m done feeling guilty or ashamed about the fact that I don’t care to travel. I don’t. Not everyone does. There’s nothing wrong with a person who has no desire to travel. There isn’t.
None. You can also retroactively write that down as my year end wrap up answer for every year since 1981, though it isn’t really fair to count 1981, since I was born in December of that year and didn’t even have my birth certificate issued until early 1982, let alone a passport.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
In 2012, I said we’d like more space in 2013, and that we were hoping to move to a bigger place. And we did! In 2014, I’d like our more space to have more space in it, in that I’d actually like less in the way of clutter and junk that we just end up moving from place to place. It just ends up expanding to fill whatever space we have, so having more space just ends up feeling like the same amount of space in the end. So, I’d like to go back to having the more space we had when we first got this more space in the early part of the year.
I’d also like to sleep during PJs.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched on your memory, and why?
If none are springing to mind, I guess that means none, then, eh? I mean, events, sure. PJs was great. But I’d have to look up the dates. We did fun things with Pen, sure. She had a birthday this year, I remember that date. I remember the date Phil came home after being away for six weeks, that was a good one. But really, nothing especially notable this year, I don’t think, not in the way that when the day rolls around again next year, I’ll think, “Oh, this day again.”
Phil and Penny in March.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably PJs, but it really doesn’t feel like much. It’s really not much, in the end.
Penny’s first egg hunt.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Parenting and marriage related stuff, definitely. I don’t know specifics, a year is a long time. I’m sure all areas suffered equally when you lay it all out. You know how it goes, every night you go to bed saying you’re going to do better, and it’s not even 9am the next day before it’s all gone to shit. Honestly, kids and husbands, ruining good intentions since… this morning. And yesterday morning. Whatever. Some days one pair of us is working together and the other one is determined to bring the organization down from the inside for no reason other than to watch the world burn. Sometimes everyone is happy and I just want to kick them all in the face for it. You know. Normal good family stuff. I’m talking about the entirety of a year, here, so don’t go flexing your fingers of concern to talk about my inevitable downfall and how you’re going to fix it in one comment. A whole year. There’s nothing for anyone to be stressed about. I’m just saying, if we’re talking about my personal biggest failure over the span of a calendar year, it would fall into the category of familial relationships, and if yours didn’t, good for you, but I’ve only been married for three years and my kid is going to be three in a little bit, so do the math there. It’s not surprising, you know? AND I HAVEN’T PROVIDED A SCALE. So for all you know, my BIGGEST failure is actually QUITE wee. So. Think about that. Maybe your tiniest failure is actually ENORMOUS compared to my very biggest. TAKE THAT LOG OF OF YOUR EYE, EH? EH?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Penny’s 2nd birthday at Brooke’s house.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Penny is really enjoying the bed we got her for Christmas. No transition issues at all, she really likes it. I got Phil all practical things for Christmas that he really needed and will use every single day, so that was all a good investment. I got a lot of new makeup stuff this year, but I’m struggling to think of a single item as the one best thing I bought this year. I really expanded my brush collection this year, probably bazillioned it, if bazillion is a multiplier, and though my actual application skill has increased zero percent, there’s been a notable improvement in the way my makeup looks and how much I enjoy putting it on, and if you own as much makeup as I do and leave the house as infrequently as I do, you probably own it for the fun of putting it on, so that’s no small factor right there. So. Makeup brushes are up there. When we cut cable, we got subscriptions to all the streaming services, and that has been delightful as well.
12. Whose behavior has merited celebration?
Some people have been really great in a way that is not generic, but instead, specifically tailored to the type of person I am. Not in a “We see you like makeup, so we put some makeup on your makeup so you can wear your makeup while you do your makeup” kind of way, but in a more whole person kind of way, but not in the “you’re weird so I’m catering to you being weird and noting it for you so that you have to acknowledge it and feel uncomfortable about the whole thing when clearly the intent was to make you feel comfortable but actually the real intent was for me to get credit for being so sensitive to your weirdness.” Like when you’re leaving someplace and someone says to you, “And I know you don’t like hugs so I won’t hug you,” and then smiles at you all huge and waits for you to acknowledge their gesture, drawing attention to the whole thing. Look, I don’t like to be touched. I’m not going to shriek and run away and make a scene if you touch me. I don’t care for it, but it’s not going to kill me. Drawing attention to me is weird. If you want me to notice you catering to my aversion to hugs, hug everyone except me. I’ll know you’re not hugging me by the fact that you don’t hug me. The lack of hug will be the clue. Anyway, in a non-literal sense, a bunch of people of not hugged me recently, so that’s been nice.
Penny and Phil in May.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I’ve been really disappointed in the behavior of a couple of people this year, but more aggravated by the fact that I get so angry about it. I get so stressed, you know the whole, “you can’t just DO that! You can’t just get AWAY with that!” impotent variety of flailing anger. Except, yes, people can just do things and they do just get away with things and for the most part, there’s usually nothing you can do or say and you just have to sit on it and there’s been a few of those this year, online and off, and it’s the worst.
My makeup bag in May. It’s different now.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, housing (renters 4 evaaaa), the usual boring adult responsibilities. Thankfully no major unexpected purchases or disasters came up this year. “Major” being thousands – of course we had our unexpected blips, like Brinkley’s Christmas Day emergency vet visit, but it’s amazing how LITTLE “hundreds” sounds like when you’re prepared to max out your credit card for ALL THE THOUSANDS (we were sure his leg was broken, it was sticking out all jaggedy, he made this awful sound — ugh, I can’t even. I CANNOT EVEN.)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- Doctor Who
- Penny waking up on Christmas morning
Probably also some other things here and there, but off the top of my head, I remember losing my mind for those things this year.
Heading to her first movie in June.
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Penny learned to sing her first song this year, Twinkle Twinkle. Also, she dubbed her first song as “hers,” and that was Blurred Lines. We listened to that a lot, but then, so did probably everyone else.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Circumstances are different.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? About the same
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Taking Penny places I wanted to take her instead of just hoping to take her those places and then not actually making it.
Reading to the dogs in June.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Yelling at Penny. Laying in bed. Procrastinating work.
A member of the tiara-craze that originated in Florida and swept the Internet in July.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Sick. As. Dogs. We still had a fairly nice day, aside from the whole Brinkley incident, which was horrible and terrible and other bles. Phil and I were too sick to wrap our gifts to each other after limping through getting Christmas set up for Penelope, including putting together a bed and having her wake up in it on Christmas morning. We exchanged cardboard boxes and mailing envelopes. We made basically none of the food we planned and are still getting through that. Christmas brunch is tomorrow!
No stranger to crazes, myself.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
This is a stupid question. I’ll delete it next year.
22. What was your favorite TV show?
A lot of the shows I watched this year aired before 2013, so I guess they might not count, but it’s not like there’s an overseer of this whole thing. Doctor Who is always a favorite. I probably enjoyed watching Heirs the most because after a long, hard campaign, I finally got a few people on board to watch with me. City Hunter was fantastic all around. I think probably among my top favorites this year were those, Secret Garden, and King 2 Hearts.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate at this time last year?
I’m probably disinterested in a few new people, but I’m not totally repelled by anyone new.
Up in the flying bathtub at the Phoenix Children’s Museum in August.
24. What was the best book you read?
I didn’t really read much in 2013, and I don’t think I enjoyed much of what I did read. I really hated the This Man series by Jodi Ellen Malpas. Those reviews got me some negative attention on Twitter early this year. Whatever, I did not like them at all. I think, this year, I liked Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, which was the companion book to Beautiful Disaster. I’m not recommending them to everyone or even holding them up as examples of great books. I’m just saying. Of the books I read this year, that’s the one I, personally, enjoyed the most. It’s the kind of book I like a lot.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Well, first, let’s get in our time machines of choice and go back to 2002, the last time I made a musical discovery.
Her final ultrasound before getting the all clear from her surgeon at Phoenix Children’s in September.
26. What did you want and get by year’s end?
No shit, a couple days before Christmas, I was looking all over for a towel small enough to wrap around my head without making me feel like I was going to topple over, because I have really long hair, and after a shower, I am NEVER DRY because my hair will continue to drip down me forever, soak whatever shirt I put on, make my back itchy, etc. I had given up on finding a Turbie Twist, because… I couldn’t find a Turbie Twist. Anyway, lame story still lame, my mom put a Turbie Twist in my stocking. So… I got a Turbie Twist.
Waiting for Daddy after 6 weeks apart.
27. What did you want and not get by year’s end?
As evidenced by my excited, “no shit” above, I did not get my language as cleaned up as one might hope.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Aside from the toddler summer movie series, I only saw two movies in the theater, both on press passes: Kings of Summer and The Spectacular Now. They were both my favorite.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I spent that Thursday night through Sunday morning in bed, because I was spectacularly unwell. Phil ordered us pizza. I was 32.
30. What was one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A little more control over various situations. Wouldn’t that be true for everyone? Just to step in somewhere and be like, “All right, I’ll be the decider on this one.”
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Jeans, t-shirt, cardigan. Jeans, tank top, cardigan. Jeans, something with stripes, cardigan – possibly one with stripes. Way too much makeup for the occasion.
I don’t know, probably something about her high score in Toca Panda Bird Something no I won’t help you, in November.
32. What kept you sane?
I keep my bedtime the same as Penny’s. Always have, since there was a Penny.
“CHUCKA CHEESE SAID HI A ME!”
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Eating popcorn even though the bad parent handout from the ER after the claimed to have eaten a thumbtack said no popcorn til 4 years old. I didn’t know popcorn was a more chokey thing than other small things, seriously, I did not, and by the time I found out, we were already deep into popcorn pro territory. I still cut her hotdogs pre-chewed small, I swear. I don’t feed her hotdogs, that would be awful. But if I did, they’d be really small.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I’ll also delete this one next year.
35. Who did you miss?
What, like when I threw something? Phil, usually.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
“What the shit happened here?” is what I imagine she would have said upon waking in a brand new bed on Christmas, had she fallen in line with “what the shit” being the only foul language phrase being grandfathered in under the new regime of cleaned up vocabulary. That is not what she said.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Eyes on your own paper.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I feel like I need a yearbook and a sharpie for this question. I don’t like it. I chose an instrumental first dance song for my wedding specifically so that no one could listen to the lyrics of a song I chose and try to decide if they had meaning to me and how they might apply to my life and somehow infer things about me or my relationship from them. That’s the kind of stuff I feel is personal. I don’t feel that you need to keep those things to yourself or that people in general need to keep those things to themselves. But those are the types of things that I, personally, feel are personal. If I could sum up my year in song lyrics – and you should understand, it’s not that I feel so deep and complicated as a person that I couldn’t possibly and anyone who can is surely very simple, it’s just that nothing comes to mind at the moment – I don’t even know what type of song it might be. Anyway. I’ll delete this question next year, too.