Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 - the year that was... (A meme)

Happy 2012. I got this meme from Katherine, who, she tells us, is always walking into things, well into bookstores anyway.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Published an article in a science journal.


2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
To be honest, I don't remember if I made any. I'm lucky that I can remember the ones I made yesterday, which will, no doubt, be forgotten tomorrow. Did I want to drink more water?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not immediate family but a friend and former student.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
An old friend's father.

5. What countries did you visit?
England and France.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
More perseverance, more courage, more opportunities to play.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 27 - the day I got married.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Tangibly, I passed my oral comprehensive exams and advanced in my doctoral program.

9. What was your biggest failure?
The number of explanations I made was greater than the number of questions I asked.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not in any significant way, though I took a splendid fall last Spring, but several family members were not as fortunate as I in this department.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Books, theatre tickets, and a great bottle of red wine at dinner on the first night of our honeymoon.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
New York's Governor Cuomo's.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Where shall I begin? Actually, I'll wait until I've achieved perfection before doling out demerits.

14. Where did most of your money go?
My honeymoon trip and repairs on the brickwork and roof of my home.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Returning to France.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
See number 38.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Engaged, seen friends, been more accepting of myself.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Get anxious.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
On the road, then at the in-laws making dinner and opening presents with the kiddies.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Every day.

22. How many one-night stands?
None, thanks for asking.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Madmen, although we don't actual have television, we watch on Netflix,

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Actually, yes, and it was an achievement. I finally blamed someone I had avoided holding responsible for something for years. Credit where credit is due.

25. What was the best book you read?
See this for fiction and this for non-fiction.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Glyndebourne's new production of Die Meistersinger was pretty damn good.

27. What did you want and get?
Legal gay marriage in New York State.

28. What did you want and not get?
The same 1,000+ benefits that the federal government ties to that non-religious state contract and that straight people receive.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I saw few recent films but favorites I viewed last year were:
Pina (2011)
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009)
Tie Me Up Tie Me Down (1990)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2009 - Swedish Version)
Please Give (2010)
The Best of Youth (2003)

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I worked - didn't celebrate until the weekend, then we went to the theatre and dinner. 49.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Equal treatment under the law.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
You're assuming I had one. I manage to get dressed every day, but I'm not sure I would call that a fashion concept.

33. What kept you sane?
Did something keep me sane?

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The opposition toward a step toward healthcare reform supported by those who imagine that their ideology is more important than reform of a very basic service more and more of us need at some time in our lives.

35. Whom did you miss?
My dad. My grandparents.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Although most of my friends and work acquaintances remained steady, I met a couple of patients who were absolutely remarkable people.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
It's barely over, I doubt I've mined all the wisdom that can be gained from 2011 in the last 11 hours, especially considering the party we hosted until 3:45 am.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
(or last night at any rate, courtesy of Noel Coward)

Quite for no reason
I'm here for the Season
And high as a kite,
Living in error
With Maud at Cap Ferrat
Which couldn't be right.
Everyone's here and frightfully gay,
Nobody cares what people say,
Though the Riviera
Seems really much queerer
Than Rome at it's height,
Yesterday night-

I went to a marvelous party
With Nounou and Nada and Nell,
It was in the fresh air
And we went as we were
And we stayed as we were
Which was Hell.
Poor Grace started singing at midnight
And didn't stop singing till four;
We knew the excitement was bound to begin
When Laura got blind on Dubonnet and gin
And scratched her veneer with a Cartier pin,
I couldn't have liked it more.

I went to a marvelous party,
I must say the fun was intense,
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Would be doing a hundred years hence.
Dear Cecil arrived wearing armour,
Some shells and a black feather boa,
Poor Millicent wore a surrealist comb
Made of bits of mosaic from St. Peter's in Rome,
But the weight was so great that she had to go home,
I couldn't have liked it more.

People's behaviour
Away from Belgravia
Would make you aghast,
So much variety
Watching society
Scampering past,
If you have any mind at all
Gibbon's divine Decline and Fall
Seems pretty flimsy,
No more than a whimsy,
By way of contrast
On Saturday last-

I went to a marvelous party,
We didn't start dinner till ten
And young Bobbie Carr
Did a stunt at the bar
With a lot of extraordinary men;
Dear Baba arrived with a turtle
Which shattered us all to the core,
The Grand Duke was dancing a foxtrot with me
When suddenly Cyril screamed "Fiddledidee"
And ripped off his trousers and jumped in the sea,
I couldn't have liked it more.

I went to a marvelous party,
Elise made an entrance with May
You'd never have guessed
From her fisherman's vest
That her bust had been whittled away.
Poor Lulu got fried on Chianti
And talked about esprit de corps.
Maurice made a couple of passes at Gus
And Freddie, who hates any kind of a fuss,
Did half the Big Apple and twisted his truss,
I couldn't have liked it more.

I went to a marvellous party.
We played the most wonderful game,
Maureen disappeared
And came back in a beard
And we all had to guess at her name!
We talked about growing old gracefully
And Elsie who's seventy-four
Said, "A, it's a question of being sincere,
And B, if you're supple you've nothing to fear."
Then she swung upside down from a glass chandelier,
I couldn't have liked it more.

39. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
I think that song about sums it up. 2011 was not without its challenges, but it was a fortunate year for me, although I know that was not true for everyone.

2 comments:

Katherine said...

Nice answers! Good to see you play along, although I can't claim credit for making up these questions!

C.B. James said...

Happy new year to you. Overall, looks like you had a very good year. :-)