Saturday, January 2, 2010

One Last Look Back on 2009

I figured before I go on to posting about relevant things that have happened in 2010, I should look back and see how I did this last year, and what I can improve on in the year to come. So let's have a look, first, at my old resolutions:

1) Continue to work on getting healthier -- cutting out junk food, working out, running, drinking mostly water, etc.

*I did pretty good with the first half of the year. The problem was going home. Where I'm away from the school's carefully portioned meals and healthy ingredients. I gained a bit of weight over the summer...and then I met Darling Dearest, who's greatest passion is Taco Bell. And then I had the wreck, which caused a month of inactivity, and going to and from the hospital means a lot of eating out, which means I've gained somewhere between 15 and 30 pounds. Gotta do better in the year to come.*

2) Manage my money better. I was way to loose with it last semester, so my resolution is to budget it out better so that I don't blow through it with thoughts like "'s only $5..."

*This was a complete and utter failure. Just trust me.*

3) Try to get out more and meet more people. This is one that will be really hard, as I'm usually content just hanging in my room when there's nothing going on. The biggest problem will be that I don't know how to meet new people.

*This was actually a major success. I've met tons of people. Switching to a new dorm helped a lot--I met lots of nice people--and I started dating Darling Dearest, who introduced me to all of her friends. So I've met lots of people. Go me.*

4) Try to write more. What I'm thinking about right now is 2000 words a week, and a short story a month.

*Another dramatic failure.*

5) Work on doing my homework early rather than procrastinating.

*Semi-success. I'm gonna say I got a little better, but didn't improve as much as I wanted to.*

Besides that, what else happened? Why, I was taking part in the 50 Books Challenge of 2009. Did I succeed?


I only read 23 books in 2009. That's seven less than in 2008, and three less than in 2007. Not quite half of the books I was supposed to have read. But I did succeed in part of the challenge--to broaden your reading scope. In that regard, I was a success. Just because it might be interesting here's a list of the books I read during 2009.

1. The Smoke Thief - Shana Abe
2. Blaze - Richard Bachman
3. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
4. Go Down, Moses - William Faulkner
5. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
6. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas - Gertrude Stein
7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Hawkspar - Holly Lisle
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
10. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
11. The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
12. Create a Plot Clinic - Holly Lisle
13. Women and the Family in Chinese History - Patricia Ebrey
14. Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century - Susan Mann
15. Cinderella's Sisters : A Revisionist History of Footbinding - Dorothy Ko
16. Beowulf - Seamus Heaney
17. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
18. The Subtle Knife - Philip Pulman
19. An Abundance of Katherines - John Green (which is, ironically, a very fitting number on the list)
20. Create a Character Clinic - Holly Lisle
21. Paper Towns - John Green
22. The Emerald Tablet - P.J. Hoover
23. The Secret Lives of Great Authors - Robert Schnakenberg

So what did I learn from this list? I really like Toni Morrison. I would like to read more books by her. A lot of the books were for classes (like the Chinese history books). Actually, though, they really got me interested in Chinese culture. In addition, I've learned that I really like John Green's books. I haven't, until now, read them, though I've been a fan of his YouTube show for a year or more.

Also, I finally read The Emerald Tablet, which I really enjoyed. It has a Rowling-like prose style, but the world is totally original and interesting.

By far, the most interesting book on the list was Secret Lives of Great Authors by Robert Schnakenberg. I learned lots of very interesting things.

  • Louisa May Alcott was addicted to opium, but it was for medical purposes.
  • Emily Dickenson was so reclusive she had to have doctors examine her from behind closed doors. She also chose to wear nothing but white.
  • Ernest Hemingway spent a lot of time trying to affirm his masculinity because when he was little his parents dressed him up like a girl and called him Ernestine because they wanted a daughter so much.
  • T.S. Elliot loved practical jokes a lot, and idolized Groucho Marx so much he kept a portrait of him up in his house. The two actually had dinner once, and while Groucho expected them to talk about literature, Elliot just gushed about how much he loved his movies, and constantly quoted the comedian.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald went through several titles for his novel The Great Gatsby. He finally decided on Under the Red, White, and Blue, but it was too late the halt production, and so The Great Gatsby it is.
Interesting stuff, to say the least. There was a ton of stuff about authors from Shakespeare to Ayn Rand to J.D. Salinger. From Lord Byron to Mark Twain.

And last but not least, I have one more thing to post about. To ring in the New Year, I am proud to announce that I have purchased a replacement car (Not without a certain pain in my stomach, though. Too bad we couldn't afford full coverage on the old one.) I am the proud owner of a (slightly used) new 2007 Pontiac G6. Whoo hoo! *confetti flies* *horns blare* *"Auld Lang Syne" starts to play* I really am glad to have a new car. This one apparently has airbags on all sides, which I was quite happy to learn. I don't have a keyless fob though. Too bad, because I want a clicker, ha ha. I'll try to post a picture of it later, but just know I am pleased to be nearly fully mobile again.

I'm still coming up with resolutions, so that'll come later.

So, how did you do with 2009? Did you have any successes? Any...not-so-successes?

1 comment:

PJ Hoover said...

Hey! Thanks for the Emerald Tablet love! And I think 2010 will be a great year for you.

Totally still coming up with resolutions here, but I'm good with that!