Happy WhateverIt's my birthday today. Come tea-time (I put Mother into labor right before Christmas dinner and made her wait forty-eight hours), I'll be another year older. I'm not feeling particularly excited about it. I wasn't real thrilled with Christmas, either. I am really just not excited about anything right now. I'm simply tired, on some very deep level where my physical, spiritual, and emotional selves intersect.
But birthdays are a good time to look forward and look backward and sort of take stock. Since my birthday and New Years come so close together, I tend to spend the last week of the year thinking about the Year in Review. And then earlier this week I found a survey at Webguerrillas (who got it from Small Hands who got it from The Living End who got it from Traci Jean) that got me thinking, so I fill it out here for you.
1. What did you do in 2003 that you’d never done before?
2003 in 40
Sang in public. Solo, even. Onstage. It was very liberating, though I have to admit I wasn't very good.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, and no.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My half-sister had a daughter, named her Payton Veigh for reasons that escape me, but then I can't claim that we're particularly close.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank heavens.
5. What countries did you visit?
I haven't even been out of the state this year. In fact, I don't think I've been any more than eighty miles away from home all this year.
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?
October 31... winning the Hallowqueen Pageant. I'll not soon forget the sensation of being wildly applauded by five hundred people.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing twenty pounds.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not completing my four remaining formal Steps as I intended. I got stalled on eight and stalled myself on nine, and am not in the mood to make any formal tenth yet.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I've had a couple of colds and a flu, broken some nails, but nothing serious.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new car (Miss Jane, a 2002 Ford Focus, liquid grey).
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Caroline's. She's made much progress, done a lot of growing, and achieved a great deal this year.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
eBay vendors and Ford Credit.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I don't think I've been really, really, really excited this year.
16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
"I Never Do Anything Twice," with which I wowed them at the Hallowqueen pageant.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Sadder. I've been depressed a lot this year, but this holiday season has seen me pretty down, where I remember being much more imbued with Christmas Cheer last time.
- thinner or fatter? Thinner. Twenty pounds thinner. I hadn't seen my cheekbones since I quit smoking five and a half years ago.
- richer or poorer? Poorer... the same income as last year, but way more expenses.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending time with friends. I didn't make enough time for it, and then my friends are so busy too.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting money on things bought over the internet that did not meet expectations and which I don't need and which I probably won't ever use.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it here at home with family and tradition, being bored and tired and overworked.
21. Did you fall in love in 2003?
No. I wish I had.
22. How many one-night stands?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I haven't had sex with anybody in seven and a half years.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I know it's a cliche response, but that show has given me hours of enjoyment.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate people. No, wait, I hate lots of people, I HATE STUPID PEOPLE WHO GET IN MY WAY, but I have always hated them and will always hate them, and I don't hate them individually.
25. What was the best book you read?
I guess Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I read so many books, and I can't quite remember which ones I read this year or last year or some other time. And then I re-read them. I've re-read several favorite books this year, like Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford), Gaudy Night (Dorothy L. Sayers), Around the World with Auntie Mame (Patrick Dennis), and Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris).
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ute Lemper. I just love her voice... not beautiful in the traditional sense, but weirdly satisfying. And the wonderfully obscure Noiresque by Sandra Lawrence, which I bought for the cover-art and enjoyed immensely. I even got an email from Ms. Lawrence, who found my website because I'd written a post about her album. Apparently we have identical grandmothers. I never wrote back to Ms. Lawrence, the email came at a time when I was terrifically busy. I wish I had written.
27. What did you want and get?
More stuff. I just love my stuff.
28. What did you want and not get?
A really nice black fox boa with heads and tails and feet and all. I really had my heart set on it, and I couldn't find one (though I wasted a lot of money on near-misses).
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Have I even seen any good films this year? I think I've only seen three or four movies, it was kind of a dry year. X-Men 2 was, I guess, the best 2003 movie I saw in the theater.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I'll be thirty-six at four-fifteen this afternoon. I'm going shopping at the Jessica McClintock outlet, my traditional birthday treat. I'm also getting my nails done, and there's this pair of earrings at a local jeweler's that call out my name, and then I'm hitting the Great Mall.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I knew, I would have done/got/tried it already.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
Wearing inch-long acrylic nails and dazzling cubic zirconium bracelets from the Suzanne Somers collection and still managing somehow to appear straight in my überbland Gapwear.
33. What kept you sane?
Sane? Am I still sane? God knows how I managed it... or rather, I know that God managed it.
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I've had a total bone for Travis Fimmel all year. Honorable Mention chubbies to Orlando Bloom, Tom Welling, and Colin Farrell.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The whole Gay Marriage thing. It's been interesting to watch.
36. Who did you miss?
Oh, lots of people. I miss Mary Jane (I haven't seen her in so long, we haven't hung out since we saw X-Men 2), and Dalton (even though I see him often, I haven't been able to spend much quality time with him), and I missed Kevin (though I got back in touch with him), and all the other people in my life that I just didn't get to spend as much time with as I wanted to.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Oh, it's so hard to choose... but I'll pick Eric, whom I met in the Living Sober Musical and who made me feel good about myself a lot.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003
People are always more willing to help than I dare to hope.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is, my friends,
Then let's keep dancing!
Let's break out the
And have a ball,
If that's all
("Is That All There Is," Peggy Lee, 1969... little known fact: the song was based on a short story by Thomas Mann)
40. What about 2003 will you never forget?
I have a feeling that someday I will forget everything I ever knew. And a lot of this year will be a blessing to lose. But I know that, no matter how riddled my brain becomes with Alzheimer's and senile dementia, I will never ever manage to forget my one little line in the musical: I know some drag queens who are into it.
So that's me. I reserve the right to re-edit the above as many times as I want in the next twenty-four hours. But now I am going to go to bed so I can get some sleep. Gotta be fresh for my Birthday Shopping Spree. Kisses!
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