2004 In Review
In Review: A Questionnaire
~ By Secra ~
- What did you
2004 that you'd
never done before?
I'd never fallen
off a platform bus seat and
broken my ribs
before. (I'm not likely to REPEAT the experience,
either, if I can possibly help it.)
I also visited
The Lawrence Hall of Science, bought a
camcorder, became a registered seller on eBay, became
hopelessly addicted to a stoopid video game and
learned to make tabouleh salad, all for the
first time in 2004. So it wasn't all
and ugly hospital gowns.
- Did you keep your
New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
main New Year's
resolution for 2004
was to lose a big bunch of weight on The South Beach Diet. And technically, yes, I kept my
resolution. Then I broke my stoopid ribs and gained
most of the weight back.
(But that's another story for another day.)
As for new resolutions, I believe I've answered
this one already.
countries did you visit?
Except for two quick jaunts
to TicTac (one in June, one in
December), plus a day-trip to Santa
Cruz and a couple of Saturday mall runs, I
didn't do a lot of travelling in '04. And none of it involved
dates from 2004 will remain
etched upon your memory, and why?
2004 will forever be split
into two parts in my memory: "BBR" (Before
Broken Ribs, pre-7/23) and "ABR" (After Broken Ribs,
post-7/23). BBR, I was all about good
carbs and glycemic counters and
blowing off the elevator in favor of the stairs. ABR, I was
all about figuring out how to breathe without
was your biggest achievement of
were no "big" achievements that I can think of, which is OK. Sometimes a handful of
small achievements -- organizing all of
my passwords, bringing Daughter #1 down for an extra visit in
the fall, watching my youngest Tot graduate from high
school, lunch with a former high school nemesis, deciding not
to sue AC Transit for a bazillion dollars -- is
just as satisfying as one "big" achievement. You can't be Miss Fire Prevention EVERY year.
was your biggest failure?
I blew my
performance review at work, BIG time. My Dirt Company co-workers
reported that I was "prickly and unapproachable," a claim I was
utterly unable to refute. Plus I took an inordinate
amount of time off, I refused to clean up the break room and
I cried at my desk for 72 hours out of
every month. In terms of personal
achievement, this was sort of the adult equivalent of that "F"
in eighth grade Algebra. It soured me
on my job (and my co-workers) for a lot of
I was also disappointed that we weren't able to
bring either Daughter
#2 or Son #Only down for a visit in '04. Kacie had job
conflicts: Kyle is elbow-deep in computer college.
Plus I gave up on "Once & Again" after the first DVD,
I posted an underwhelming 29 *FootNotes* entries for
the entire year, and I never did get the hang of cooking wild
you suffer illness or injury?
Um. No. I
was healthy as a horse (she says, lying
through her teeth ... not wanting to bring
up the fudking BROKEN RIBS for the 43,897,621st
was the best thing you bought?
I acquired a
new toys in '04 -- cameras, headphones, MP3 players,
another laptop, a webcam, a pen
that automatically converts handwriting into digital
text, a tiny portable fan that plugs into the USB port on my laptop and
blows useless micro-gusts of hot air into my face while I'm
typing -- but the purchase that had the
significant impact on our lives, I think, was finally
having cable installed. David and I
had been resisting the idea for
can't afford it, we don't need it, we watch too much TV as it is, next
thing you know we'll be sitting around watching "Fifty Hottest
Blondes of the 20th Century."
My *epiphany moment* occured one night when I was sitting in
bed with the fancy-pants new laptop, moving my little Sims people
around their big empty virtual house. All
of a sudden it occurred to me that if we had cable
Internet, I could go online and download groovy new
Sims furniture ... whilst laying bed.
WHILE DAVID WAS ONLINE
IN THE NEXT ROOM.
I called and placed the order the very next
day, going for the cable TV/high speed
Internet combo platter. It was installed within the
month. Now, frankly, we don't know how we ever lived
without it. Not only can David and I i.m.
each other from twenty feet away -- Did you eat the last of that Sage
Havarti? -- but
now Matt Lauer comes in crystal clear on our previously-fuzzy
NBC affiliate. (He's growing his hair back a little,
isn't he?? When did THAT happen?)
Plus now my little virtual people could
open their own Sims IKEA store.
behavior merited celebration?
best friend Graham got married [finally]
in November. First marriage, age 48, lovely outdoor
wedding overlooking San Francisco Bay,
friends/family/food/fun ... it was a celebration in
every sense of the word. Even better: he met his
lady love online, which only further serves to
validate the whole "Meeting
your soulmate on the Internet"
behavior made you appalled and
The idiot waiter at The Tadich Grill in San Francisco, who
served me a Crown Royal & Cola instead of the Royal Crown Cola
I'd ordered with my dinner. I didn't realize
the error until I'd gulped down half the glass: the first alcohol to touch my lips since September 1998.
good news here is that I didn't fall off the wagon: I was pushed against my will.
Which means that technically it doesn't count.
did most of your money go?
airfare, long distance, co-pays, electronic toys, Tot support,
Maybelline, clothes, CDs, junky pop culture magazines,
forty-dollar bottles of shampoo on eBay.
All of the
essentials of life, in other words.
What did you
get really, really,
really excited about?
The Sims 2
was released in September! Now my little virtual
people come into the world as squalling infants, grow
up, learn to walk and talk, go to school, fight, flirt, flunk
out, party, puke, dress inappropriately, ruin their credit, make random
career choices based on opportunity rather than ability, and
choose completely unsuitable romantic
just like my children!
Compared to this time last
- More in
debt ... but less tied up in knots about it.
- More out
of shape ... but less likely to climb onto the bike
- More inspired
... but less motivated.
- More in
love with my husband than ever ... but less in need
of his constant attention and affirmation.
How did you spend Christmas?
boyfriends, eating Jeno's pizza rolls, watching "A Christmas Story,"
following people around
with the camcorder.
How many one-night stands?
One, if you count the one-night stand
that has been in progress since October 29, 1998.
(Golly! Next are you going to ask me how many 'frat
parties'? How many 'mosh pits'? How many 'drunken
middle-of-the-night phone calls to ex-boyfriends three time zones
What was your favorite TV program?
I could climb
aboard the "Desperate Housewives" bandwagon here, I
suppose -- until Lynette Scavo, I
thought *I* was the only person who ever dipped into the
Ritalin bottle when nobody was
looking -- but the truth is
that my favorite TV program of 2004, possibly my favorite TV
program ever, was "Sex & The City," which I
the first time through the magic of
you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try not to "hate" people (she says, with prissy karmic
propriety). Dislike intensely? Yes. Passionately loathe? Yes. Fervently pray that they
accidentally get run over by an AC Transit #51 Bus of the
But hate? Not if I can help it: there's too much of that kind
of shidt in the world already.
Scott Peterson, Osama Bin
Neighbor Guy, that creepy little boy
in the "Smart & Final" TV commercials.)
What was the best book you read?
"Set This House In Order: A
Romance of Souls" by Matt Ruff
... an odd, engaging, beautifully-written
novel about multiple personality disorder. I loved
it! No I
didn't. Yes I
did! No I
was your favorite film of this year?
I only saw one theater
2004, The Return of the King." But I
rented movies from Netflix like a maniac. I was probably Neflix's NUMBER ONE CUSTOMER in 2004, as a matter of
fact. (Do you think that if I put a little
Neflix icon on the front page of *FootNotes,* they'll give me a
lifetime free subscription?) The one Netflix film that stands out in my
memory -- the one that still
raises the hair on the back of my neck, every time I think about it -- is Catherine Hardwicke's "Thirteen,"
with Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter. Anyone who has ever raised a thirteen year old
daughter (or anyone who has ever BEEN a
thirteen year old daughter, for that
matter) will see something of themselves
in this movie.
And it'll probably scare them shidtless.
did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
An extra two hours of sleep that morning, courtesy of my nice lady
boss ... flowers delivered to my office in the afternoon,
courtesy of my oldest daughter ... fifty bucks in
cash from The Dirt Company CEO and a Hallmark card signed by all of my
co-workers ("You may be
prickly and unapproachable/But we hope you have a nice birthday anyway"
) ... phone calls from all three of The Tots, at
various points throughout the day ... Chicken Pad
Thai and diamond earrings at my favorite neighborhood
restaurant, after work ... coming home and opening
a pile of presents, including (my favorite) a set of Rudolph The
Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas tree ornaments.
All in all, not
a bad way to turn
Which celebrity/public figure did you
fancy the most?
Oh come on. I'm a little beyond the 'fancying public figures' stage of
my life, don't you think?
(Although Jeff Probst dangling from
a helicopter makes pretty
good stockpile fantasy material. And I
probably wouldn't object if The Sprint Guy wanted to
eat crackers in my bed ... as long as he left room
for Matt Lauer.)
& her Tots
want to throw a rock?