Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 Year in Review (2)

40 questions about my year (Part Two, 21-40):

21. How did you spend Christmas?
Mostly alone.  LOL.  My Owner went to a dinner I wasn’t invited to, and I stayed home and watched James Bond movies.  But it’s not as bad as that – because a few days later we had our Treehouse Yule celebration which was awesome!  We had Ma’am’s parents, a couple of my packmates, Ma’am’s girlfriend and boyfriend, some other wonderful friends of ours, and my old buddy Randolph flew in from Japan for a visit.  Then, Sunday a bunch of us went to the Biltmore Estate (and neither Ma’am nor Sir killed anyone out of frustration).

22. Did you fall in love?
I fall more and more in love w/ my fantastic Owner every year!!!  *licks*

23. Have any one-night stands?
I had a few “stands” but they’ve all been more on-going than one night.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
My favorite TV I watched this year was the first two seasons of Teen Wolf.  I also mostly enjoyed the first season of Game of Thrones and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  On DVD, Ma’am and I have been re-watching my all-time favorite show: Northern Exposure.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
There’s a couple of assholes in Virginia Beach I wouldn’t mind backing over w/ my car once or twice.  Is that hate?

26. What was the best book you read?
I never pick one.  Lonesome Rangers by John Leonard, Arguably by Chris Hitchens, The Trial of Socrates by I.F. Stone, and In Defense of Sanity by GK Chesterton, to name a few.

27. What was your favorite new music of 2013?
Mumford & Sons, Lindsey Sterling, Imagine Dragons, Atoms for Peace…

28. Best podcast?
This is a new question I added this year to recognize the damnable march of soul-crushing technology.  I received an iPad this year and stared following several podcasts.  Favorites right now are The Partially Examined Life, Pop Culture Happy Hour, James Bonding, and No Safe Word.

29.  What did you want and get?
A working hot tub (thank you, Max!), a sexy new motorcycle sportbike jacket, and a sexy PVC body suit (which unfortunately, although I custom ordered the size, its still too short in the arms… but it fits better than my last one which I donated to Dominion’s Lost N Found Youth fundraiser).

30. What did you want and not get?
A rubber puppy hood and rubber pup suit.  It would have to be custom tailored given my Wolfhound stature (6’3”, 160 lbs., and long limbs).  One day…

31. What was your favorite film of this year?
Best A-list film:  It’s either The Hollow Crown series (Richard II, Henry IV 1 & 2, and Henry V) or Saving Mr. Banks (overtly sentimental, but very enjoyable) or Before Midnight (not my favorite of the trilogy, but still great dialogue and fantastic acting).  No, wait.  My favorite was the Joss Whedon Much Ado About Nothing.
Best B-movie:  Ender’s Game.

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
There’s a progression here…
2011:  “Thirty-six.  Went to Frolicon, and I got a great pup tail for my birthday!!!  Then I got beat by Loki.”
2012: Thirty-seven.  Went to Frolicon and got a great leather puppy hood, and then got accepted into Loki’s pack!!!
2013: Thirty-eight.  Went to Frolicon and was gifted a fantastic leather-pup vest from Sir and Ma’am!!!

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I will not say “immeasurably” more satisfying, but… the book project Max and I are working on is about 4 or 5 months behind schedule; that’s a bit dissatisfying.  Oh, and more sexy fun time w/ the Kitten would always be more satisfying!  *Makes puppy dog eyes at Shdwkitten*

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year?
I found a website that has dozens of different Irish wolfhound t-shirts.  Slowly, I’ve been collecting them.  :)

35. What kept you sane?
 My Owner.  Every so often she would say something like: “I know I haven’t always made this an easy year for you, so thank you for being so awesome,” and that little bit of acknowledgement & encouragement means absolutely the world to me.  *wags*

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Oh, watching Miley Cyrus twerk really does it for me.  *maintains a straight face*

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
What Raleigh has done to public education in NC: massive budget cuts, more and more teacher lay-offs, pay-cuts, eliminating tenure and benefits, eliminating bonus pay for teachers w/ a Master’s degree, and shifting money into for-profit schools to line the pockets of Wall Street investors and big technology companies – generally at the expense of the poorest school districts.  *Growls*

38. Who did you miss?
Well I reconnected w/ my old friend Jay.  My ex-girlfriend and her husband came down for a weekend visit.  Randolph flew-in from Japan to spend Christmas w/ us.  We even briefly saw Cheryl… and Hunter moved back to Atlanta.  It was actually a very good year for re-connecting w/ folks.

39. Who was the best new person you got to know?
Got to better know a few great people this year: notably Gareth and new pack-mates Hunter, Gwynn, and Bishop.  All cool people I hope to spend more time w/ in 2014.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:
Well… I’m 38 and a half.  Assuming I make it to the expected 77 (the average in North Carolina – the top state is Hawaii at 81 and the bottom is Mississippi at 71, by the way) then exactly half my life is already gone.  I don’t feel bad about that – but ambivalent, I guess.  We just finished watching Before Midnight, and one of the themes of that film (which is about a couple in mid-life crises) is the transitory nature of everything.  The setting sun is a dominant image in that movie, and there’s one bit of dialogue I wish I could just quote at length here.  This older lady talking about her late husband observes the paradox that someone can be the center of the universe for another person, they can be so important, and yet in the march of time and history they are totally forgotten and irrelevant.  Meaning (if you find it) comes mostly from being important to other individuals.  Friends and family.  I’m 38 and have a list of things I haven’t (yet) done or places I haven’t seen, but…  Happiness isn’t found in having things or accomplishing things but mostly in being a part of things.  But another side of this impermanence is the idea that how we relate to people changes.  In an interview, Richard Linklater, the director of Before Midnight, says that this is still a romance movie, but love and romance at age 41 after living w/ someone for 9 years isn’t the same as what love and romance was at 32 or 23 (the ages of the characters in the previous two films in the trilogy).  But maybe the point is that at a certain stage of life (mid-life), love becomes about stability w/in impermanence, love becomes ‘I’m not going anywhere.’  There’s an odd paradox in that which I can’t fully tease out just now…  But it’s something worth thinking about…

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