These questions have been making the rounds. I'm getting them from Liz Lawley at mamamusings, but I've seen them at plenty of other people's blogs.
1. What did you do in 2004 that you’d never done before?
Not completely in order: Started a major career shift. Discovered that I really like fiddling with and thinking about electronic text markup. Applied for, was awarded, and began the fellowship I'm on (the big event of 2004). Learned how to wrangle SGML and XML. Conducted informational interviews. Moved to another state with enough stuff to warrant hiring movers. Attended the University of Virginia's Rare Book School. Oh, and I saw Cecilia Bartoli perform live!
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Let's see: asked for what I wanted (successfully in some cases, hoorah); managed not to brood too much and not to do the merely expected, most of the time; didn't write enough; flossed slightly more, though not really enough to qualify as any great improvement.
Resolutions for 2005: make more time to write (the annual resolution); be less of a wallflower; make the effort to cook real food more often; figure out how to be more civically engaged; actually e-mail people instead of just saying I'm going to e-mail them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank goodness.
5. What countries did you visit?
Only this one. (I know, boring.)
6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
More sleep, a good coffee table, a love life, longer-term employment.
7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
I failed at becoming a better teacher during what turned out to be my last semester, but I see that as more a nudge from fate than anything else. More discouragingly, I failed to keep in touch with the people I promised to keep in touch with. I'm slowly remedying that.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, unless you count persistent seasonal allergies.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new couch, which looks exactly like this except it's olive green.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
All the completely fabulous people in the library world who were willing to take me and my fellow postdocs under their collective wing. The legions of people who worked to get out the vote on election day. My friends and family generally.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The entire Bush administration; everyone who voted for anti-gay-marriage amendments to state constitutions; Gerald "Book Burier" Allen.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
See #1. Also, the Google text-digitization initiative.
16. What song/album will always remind you of 2004?
William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. I was at the concert during which the recording was made, back in April, and I just got the recording as a Christmas present.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? happier
thinner or fatter? a little bit fatter
richer or poorer? about the same, but I feel richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Socializing and writing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Wasting time on the internets.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent it in Baltimore with my family, opening presents, eating roast chicken with rice stuffing a la Nigella Lawson, and playing lots of Scrabble, including one extended round of team Super Scrabble in which my cousin and I roundly defeated the rest of the family.
21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
My friend R.
22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
23. How many one night stands in this last year?
None. I'm not a one-night-stand sort of person, really.
24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Does Firefly on DVD count?
No? Then I'd have to say The Amazing Race. [Edit: I've changed my mind. Between the outcome of the goulash-eating contest and Jonathan's ongoing, unbelievable assholeishness, this week's episode left me thinking "I don't like this show anymore" and feeling distinctly ill.]
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. (Unless you count book-burying wingnuts.)
26. What was the best book(s) you read?
I haven't finished it yet, but I'm thoroughly enjoying Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. In poetry, Cole Swensen's Goest and Susan Stewart's Columbarium rocked my socks.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
28. What did you want and get?
See #1 and #16.
29. What did you want and not get?
John Kerry for president.
30. What were your favourite films of this year?
Triplets of Belleville (swingin' Belleville rendezVOUS! something something whoop-de-doo!); The Company; Before Sunset.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29, and I went out for drinks with friends.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I don't know...I wish I'd gotten to New York to see the Met's Rodelinda? 2004 was head and shoulders above its immediate predecessors in the personal satisfaction department, so it's hard to say. (Though, on the larger-than-personal level, not having to face four more years of the Bush administration would have been quite satisfying.)
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Transitional: thrift-shop-couture-wearing ex-grad student to fledgling young professional. Sort of. Really, I just bought a few more nice shirts and trousers.
34. What kept you sane?
Determination and the support of people close to me.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still think Fiona Shaw is just dreamy.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Censorship, the erosion of reproductive rights, and those gay marriage amendments.
37. Who did you miss?
All the friends I left behind when I moved here.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
There's an embarrassment of riches here, actually. Way too many to list.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004.
I learned that (for me, at least) melancholy and inertia have a lot to do with the environment I'm in, and that positive effort to change my circumstances really does make a difference in my outlook on life. (Though sunlight also helps.)
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
You grow up and experience this
A total metaporphosis
It's all about change, it's a metamorphosis
(The Pet Shop Boys, "Metamorphosis")