my monkied brain (katekat1010) wrote,
my monkied brain

End of the year meme 1 - the personal review

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

* made all the arrangements and stayed at a guest house in Japan (as opposed to school housing)
* took Art history courses and got to study in the research centers of two museums
* saw a bunch of museums and art shows, and even found a new place of architecture around the corner of my house
* went to a summer festival and bought actual Japanese street food
* did a zazen meditation
* assembled professors for a dissertation committee
* drafted dissertation prospectus
* created a tumblr
* took five classes at one time as a graduate student
* TAed for a film class at my (new) school

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Apparently I didn't really make any NY's resolutions last year - surprise surprise! I think in part because I knew I was resolved to do pretty much what I was doing - learning what its like to make a life for myself. I knew I wanted to keep my eye on the ball academically, but also make sure the people who are important to me know that. I knew I was going to want to date, but I didn't want to push myself by setting a time limit on that. I wanted to stay within my budget, and while I didn't always achieve that, I feel comfortable with where I am and how I'm doing most of the time.

I did, however, want a stronger sense of emotional security (according to last year's meme) and I think I achieved that!

As for this year, yeah, sure, I'll make some resolutions:
- continue as I have this fall by keeping within my budget and possibly even contributing to my own savings.
- try to eat healthier/make healthier choices (i eat fast food once a week and i'd like to get that down to once a month at the most)
- work towards Japan in some way or another, or at least have that figure out
- pass my comprehensive exams

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, though sadly my stepmom's mom died, and she was close to her, so I tried to support her the best I could.

5. What countries did you visit? Japan :D

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Financial security. Sadly, that probably isn't going to happen - security to me implies something that just isn't in the grad school cards. Hmm, maybe I should put out there that I'd like to possibly have a dating life.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

This year wasn't necessarily about big giant banner events (thank goodness). I mostly lived a quiet life, even in the manic crazy that was summer in Japan. One of my favorite days there was the one where I went up to Roppongi to have lunch with my old advisor at a green vegetarian sushi restaurant with other students, then tried to meet a couple of friends at Shibuya station. They actually didn't make it, and after a while I decided they weren't coming, so went to Jimbocho and wandered around the bookstores until I found the sci-fi bookshop that I ended up spending so munch money at this summer. I ended the day taking the train back home, trying to read my japanese books without a dictionary, and honestly ... it was just a kind of lovely day. Plans got satisfied and then mucked up but it didn't really matter - I enjoyed myself. I remember standing on the Jimbocho train platform waiting for the Yamanote line to take me back to Shinjuku so I could go home, looking at the dust covering my feet (since I was in sandals), people watching with bags of books in my hands. There is nothing wrong with a day that ends in that, and even the hike up the hill that day to get to the guest house I was staying at wasn't too bad since I took it at my own pace.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Putting together my dissertation committee. I was scared stiff to do it, and it somehow felt like such a big deal to get these professors to agree to work with me (well, and the fact that I lost an advisor and had to beg to get an adjunct professor on my committee) that it felt like a true achievement to have it done.

9. What was your biggest failure? Missing the deadlines for applying for Japan programs fro next year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major.

11. What were the best things you bought? I bought this lovely red sweater for my birthday that I adore. Oh, and all the books from Japan that I *still* have yet to do more than peruse.

12. Where did most of your money go? Daily living. and Japan.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Going to Jimbocho - the book district! And getting to host thanksgiving at my house with elizabuffy and Amber and my mom.

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? about the same - i lost weight in summer but gained it back in fall
iii. richer or poorer? about the same

15. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Hanging out with friends - I'd been going out in the earlier part of the year but in fall just had less energy and less time with all the class work, and I felt the difference.

16. What do you wish you'd done less of? Needing to take quiet weekends because I was doing too much.

17. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family! My dad & stepmom do a Christmas-before-Christmas every year so our whole family can actually get together, so I was at their house for a week after that, then went to my mom's for Christmas eve & day. Good food, good family, good cooking.

18. Did you fall in love in 2011? Nope.

19. How many one-night stands? None. darnit

20. What was your favorite TV program? Suits! it's such CRACK.

Though I also ended up watching a metric TON of other TV this year according to my Netflix history: Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, White Collar, How I Met Your Mother, Stargate Atlantis, Scrubs, Arrested Development, Weeds, Sports Night, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Tudors, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No.

22. What was the best book you read?

The Linguistic Turn in Contemporary Japanese Literary Studies: Politics, Language, Textuality (Edited and with an Introduction by Michael K. Bourdaghs)

23. What did you want and get? Emotional stability. The ability to go to Japan for the summer. A committee and a good advisor.

24. What did you want and not get? A dating life. Sex. A thinner waistline. Getting published.

25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 36! Which is WEIRD. In that it is older than I imagined myself getting. And I had a great birthday party at my house - my first real party here, with just under a dozen people who I love dearly. I made Moscow Mules and White & Black Russian cupcakes that were gobbled up and had a fantastic time.

26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I dunno, it was a pretty satisfying year looking back on it.

27. What kept you sane? elizabuffy, gray_ghost, my parents and my flist and fanfic.

28. What was your greatest musical discovery? I didn't really discover anything musically this year.

29. What political issue stirred you the most? Internet censorship.

30. Who did you miss? The friends I didn't spent much time with the latter part of this year - but I did catch up to them for their holiday party.

31. Who was the best new person you met? Rachel, from my Visual Studies class. We both had some pretty emotional stuff happening right at the beginning of the semester, but she and i just had a sympathy for each other.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

That even though I was really afraid of what my life would be like if I wasn't part of a couple, that I am still myself, and I like myself and can *be* myself and have life.

33. Whose behavior merited celebration? Anybody affiliated with Occupy Wall Street. And on a slightly more personal note, the AO3 and Dreamwidth coders and maintainers. Even though there was a lot of stuff that came out during the elections, I still think the Organization for Transformative Works and all the stuff they do or attempt to do is awesome. And AO3 ran faster for me. And Dreamwidth just ... rocks the boat.

34. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? The Republican candidates vying for the Republican nomination. I turned on the radio and listened to 45 seconds of one of the debates before I found myself screaming in my car. 45 seconds. Also the LJ coder/owner of LJ Russia, who really doesn't give a fig about his userbase, and who has the design sense of a bad 80s haircut.

35. What songs will always remind you of 2011? Not many. I listen to talk radio and am a heathen, I know.

36. How did you spend New Year's? I was with gray_ghost and his girlfriend and a woman who was part of our group in college and her husband. It was a really good time - the couple live on a sort of ranch-in-the-city, and we built a fire in their fire pit and had burgers and drank good whisky until about 3 in the morning. And even Domino had a blast running around their yard trying to get to the horses and chickens behind fences.

37. What was your favorite film of this year? I am actually surprised at the number of movies I saw this year: Thor, XMen First Class, Captain America, Sucker Punch, No Strings Attached, The Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Red Riding Hood, The King's Speech, Water for Elephants, The Artist, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Favorite? XMen: First Class (not only YAY new fandom, but just all around good movie)

38. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Wear more colors because they are in my life!

39. Quote a song lyric quote that sums up your year.

From my own paper on Donna Haraway:

In Situated Knowledge Donna Haraway attempts to "reclaim the sensory system" of vision as one of her main strategies. Rather than allow the gaze to remain as the signifier of "man" and "white" and the power to "see and not be seen," to allow vision to be coupled with technology to allow sight into the body and outside the scope of human range, to perpetuate a notion of "all seeing", she suggests that if we insist "metaphorically on the particularity and embodiment of all vision (although not necessarily organic embodiment and including technological medication), and not giving in to the tempting myths of vision as a route to disembodiment and second-birthing allows us to construct a usable, but not an innocent, doctrine of objectivity."

also posted to dreamwidth | you can reply here or there | um, but don't worry, i'm still an lj girl
Tags: randomness and memage

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