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1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?

Went to Japan, which has been something on my bucket list for 20 years. I also learned a fair bit of the basics of Korean cooking, which has been amazing.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My two resolutions last year were: eat more vegetables and find a place for everything in my house. The first was a resounding success. I learned a lot about how to make vegetables I actually like. For some, it was instantly awesome (kimchi, seasoned spinach salad, seasoned bean sprout salad, daikon pickles, Korean shittake mushrooms), some I'm still working on making well and enjoying (various lotus root and perilla leaf treatments). This year, I want to figure out a few more banchan, and also eat 1-2 more vegetables a day (so 4-5 per day).

The second resolution was a limited success, more because it was such a big task than anything else. Our house was in complete disarray this time last year. Now we still have a way to go, but it's a vast improvement over last year. The kitchen is much much better than it was, the entry-way is 2 or so steps from being about right, the living room-dining room is a lot better than it was, and the storage space (hah) went from morbidly terrible to not quite as terrible. So I feel good about that.

This year, I plan to continue to improve the house, and get some serious landscaping done. I am also plannign on losing around 20 pounds and able to run 3 miles. I got a bit fat in the last 1-2 years from depression and circumstances, so it's time to get it off before it becomes too permanent.

Also, I want to take Linus to China in 2015, and I want to get Asa in the Charter School in 2015.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My BFF had her baby around this time last year. A few cousins and friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My other BFF's father, in a horrible way (from cancer and hospital/doctor ineptitude. I didn't know him well, but I spend a lot of time with the BFF, so I was along for the ride, so to speak. I think the two suicides were in 2013, but I haven't been able to shake them.

5. What countries did you visit?

There was a lot less travel this year, but I did make it to Japan, which was a big deal. I did a lot less there than I'd have liked due to Jason's illness and my depression, but even considering that, it was beautiful and inspiring. We were grateful even to be able to see as much as we did, considering that we both thought he'd never really travel again, and more recent trips for him (domestic) have proved that he has a long way to go before he can reasonably go most places.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014.

A nearby close friend. A nearby place to go see shows. Better health for Jason.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My birthday. I did nothing for my 40th birthday. It was only six months or so after Jason got sick so he wasn't able to do anything, and I've been so far for so long from the people who used to be close to me, that my relationships with people I care about has become dormant. My gift was being by myself, but ... it was sort of the crest of loneliness. I feel like happiness is over. I feel really empty, and being alone to turn 40 reminded me of turning 30 among strangers from law school. I feel like it's been an entire decade lost.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting through it without harming myself.

Having Asa finally hit his stride, turning from a screaming angry toddler into a pretty delightful if occasionally still emotional little kid. Getting through his raging toddlerhood without hurting him in any deep way.

Helping Linus achieve some physical stuff that he needed to get (general physical improvement in strength and grace, bike riding, swimming, etc.)

9. What was your biggest failure?

It wasn't a failure so much as a nothing. I need to get a bit better about financial stuff.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I didn't but I suffered Jason's illness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Dishwasher and new dishes. The car is now paid off, though it wasn't new even when we bought it a few years ago. I'm pretty pleased at how little I bought this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My brother. It's not new, but it's gotten more obvious. I finally unfriended him on FB because of some fucked up things he said about my mom in a public forum, among lots of people who know both of them. I'm a WASP, it's bad enough to be shitty, it's even worse to air that stuff out everywhere.

14. Where did most of your money go?

We switched from a 40 year mortgage to a 15 year mortgage. And we paid probably 40k in school fees for the kids. Hopefully next year will be half that.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Happier or sadder? Slightly happier, though still overall in teh minus column.

b) Fatter or Thinner? Slightly thinner, but hopefully that will be impoving soon.

c) Richer or poorer? About the same. $ in increased, but so did $ out. Again, probably will improve this year, especially if we get Asa into the charter school.

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

Exercise. Go to shows. Travel to visit friends.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Eat sweets. Drink. Watch television. This year I needed escape in a big bad way, but it's time to crawl out a little bit.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Lovely Christmas with my parents. Jason can't take a real tree and has some qualms about too much Christmas (because of being Jewish, although he's been really great about trying), so it was nice to go to their house and have the full-on Christmas experience. They live in a beautiful Victorian brownstone, so it heightens the effect.

The kids had a great time too. It was really infectuous to have them be so excited for everything. They didn't get a lot of toys because we're trying to lean away from having a lot of stuff, but they're still not in a place where there's a lot of comparison among kids.

Mom made a fantastic dinner and had a few friends over. It was very nice.

21. How many one-night stands?

Lots of imaginary ones, and toyed with the idea while watching one of the few shows I did go to this year, but I didn't have much libido this year.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

With Asa. He was pretty hard to love for his first few years, but he really came into his own this year.

23. What was your favourite TV programme?

Misaeng was amazing, best television of the last few years. I also enjoyed the Joseon Three Musketeers and Liar Game.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sadly, no new music for me this year.

28. What did you want and get?

A trip to Japan.

29. What did you want and not get?

A local friend.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I did not see many movies this year. I did just watch The Rabbi's Cat, which had kind of weird timing, but was otherwise lovely.

31. What did you do on your birthday?

Nothing.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A local friend.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

......

34. What kept you sane?

Escapism. Linus and Asa.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Song Jae Rim and Seo in Guk

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Ferguson.

37. Who did you miss?

Everyone!

Who was the best new person you met?

I made a couple of hassidic friend this year. They're both really fun, and it's been interesting getting an inside view.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Enjoy freedom while you have it. Appreciate what you have.

Not new lessons, but deeply felt this year.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin’ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

April 2017

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