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The 2011 Year That Was, Personal Edition

This is the time of year when, as per usual, I do an overview and summary of what happened to me in 2011, and how I feel about the year that has just passed. So below, I present the personal survey of my life for 2011.

So without further ado, I present,

1. Where did you begin 2011?
Living in Ottawa. As per usual. I decided this year that I wasn't going to party or go out or anything, just stay at home and be a bit introspective. Have a relatively quiet time and all that. I was actually in bed by the time the clock struck midnight, but didn't close the lights and go to sleep 'til around 12:30 am or so.

2. Was 2011 a good year for you?
I think the year was a year that was middling for the most part. While the early part of the year had a few health scares (notably about the prostate) and one really bad moment (see below), the second half of the year had the major back injury, GenCon Indy, and a few other both good and bad things. Sure, there were the good things that happened this year as well, but they were just...outweighed by some of the bad stuff.

3. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, to start with, my diabetes didn't improve significantly but it didn't get any worse. The biggest achievement for me, however, was first, taking the Geology class this fall, and second, managing to get to both CanGames and GenCon with the bulging disc and all the back problems that brought.

4. What was your biggest failure?
Pretty much the same as it was the year before. Not being able to stay healthy this past year, and losing control of the lifestyle I wanted to lead this year.

5. What was your status by Valentines Day?

6. Compared to this time last year are you:
a) Fatter or thinner? I've gained about 3 lbs. this year. A somewhat major health problem that prevented me from exercising, and the lack of lots of exercise, but also some poor food choices when I get down, all contributed to that.
b) Happier or sadder? Somewhat sadder, methinks.
c) Richer or poorer? Somewhat poorer. While I've recovered for the most part from the disastrous sewage flood of 2009, going to GenCon drained the finances a bit, as did the purchase of the new tv. That, and I bought a few roleplaying games and some other items that will never see use. Waste of time again.

7. Were you in school anytime this year?
As a matter of fact, yes. I started taking a Geology 101 class this year in September.

8. Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes, several times. Primarily for hospital appointments at the Diabetes Clinic and for appointments with a prostate specialist (and some rather not-so-pleasant tests), as well as an MRI test, but also some visits to the hospital to visit sick friends. And one night in the hospital that I wish I could forget.

9. Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope, thank Goddess.

10. Where did you go on vacation?
I went to GenCon Indy this year, but I don't know whether that counts as a vacation. If I had gone on vacation somewhere, it would have been to some place warm this winter, where I could stretch myself and just ease some of the tensions.

11. What did you purchase that was over $100?
I bought myself the new, 46-inch television and the new blu-ray player, both of which cost me well over $100. And I spent way too much money at GenCon, as well as too much on some roleplaying games, a few things for the house, and too many Doctor Who DVDs. The usual.

12. Did you know anybody who got married?

13. Did you know anybody who passed away?
Several people that I know died this year, but the closest and biggest loss to me was that of Steve Bauer, one of my closest friends, in March of this past year. In some ways, I'm not over the shock of his death, and to be honest, my life has been somewhat diminished by his death. In addition, while I didn't know them personally, I was pretty sad to hear of the deaths of Nicholas Courtney, Diana Wynne Jones, Elisabeth Sladen, Clarence Clemons, and Jack Layton this year as well.

14. Did you move anywhere?
Nope, I continue to live in the condo townhouse that I am in and have been for the last 15 years.

15. What sporting events did you attend?
Didn't go to any sporting events this past year.

16. What concerts/shows did you go to?
I managed to get to the Ottawa Bluesfest several times, and caught Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and MonkeyJunk, primarily.

17. Describe your birthday.
Rather than describe my birthday here, I refer you to the Birthday Report and Birthday Report 2 blog posts. You can also see some birthday photos here. Pretty decent birthday, actually. :)

18. What is the ONE thing you thought you would not do, but did, in 2011?
*sigh* Where to start? I guess the biggest one is that I didn't expect to injure my back to the extent that I did this year with the bulging disc (which as of this writing has still not fixed itself or healed significantly). On a lighter note, I didn't expect to spend and waste as much money as I did on roleplaying games that I will never run.

19. What have been your favourite moments?
The time I ran the early draft of the Primeval RPG on my Friday gaming group to start the campaign, back in February (though the game wasn't out yet and I was running based on a rough draft). It was the last time that I would game with Steve Bauer, though I didn't know it at the time. I treasure it now. The first moment after visiting the chiropractor in May when I realised that just for a bit, the back pain had eased off and ceased. Several others come to mind, but that's all I recall right now.

20. What was your favorite moment of the year?
I don't think I actually have one this year. The closest I can come to this would possibly be...ah, never mind.

21. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Two of these. The day that I heard from Kathy that SteveB had died. The night I spent in the hospital in May when my back pain (later diagnosed as a bulging disc) had me screaming from the sheer agony of it.

22. Any new additions to your family?

23. What was your best month?
Probably August, but that's not saying much.

24. What date in 2011 will remain etched in your memory?
March 11th. The day I heard that one of my best friends, Steve Bauer, died.

25. Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Nobody. I don't don't drink alcohol these days. Well, other than the Bailey's Irish Cream that I had on my birthday. :)

26. Made new friends?
Oddly enough, I made a couple of new friends this year. One or two folks that I've met through Twitter. A couple of other people that I know from LiveJournal and elsewhere. And two very good people that I met through the roleplaying game industry.

27. Favourite night out?
None, really.

28. Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
At work, doctors' offices unfortunately, the chiropractor's, and Geology class. Spent some time over at Kathy and SteveB's as well.

29. What songs will always remind you of 2011?
Two songs stand out for this year. First off, Abney Park's "Airship Pirate". Second, the wonderful song by the Asteroids Galaxy Tour from the Heineken commercial of 2011. And here's the full song by the band:

30. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I had lost some weight.

31. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I wish I had never hurt/tweaked my back, resulting in the bulging disc, this year; stressed out somewhat less; and bought less rpg and board game material that I'll never run or play.

32. Have you lost any friends this year?
Yes. Steve Bauer died on March 11th. Damn it! :(

33. Change your hairstyle?
Nope. Still balding, and getting balder. Adding more grey to my hair (such as I have left!). Did shave off the goatee for a while at the end of the year, just leaving the moustache.

34. Have any car accidents?

35. How old did you turn this year?

36. Do you have a New Years resolution?
Oh, yes, definitely. I have a couple that I have made for this coming year. Hopefully I can keep them.

37. What countries did you visit?
Just visited the United States this year, when I went to GenCon Indy in August.

38. Do anything embarrassing?
Other than being prone to stupid accidents this year? Nah... And if there were, I wouldn't even mention them here! :)

39. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Too many to mention here. Largely, nations that made asses of themselves.

40. Where did most of your money go?
Bought the new television, which was the biggest expenditure of the year. The rest of the money went to buying music CDs, Doctor Who DVDs, rpgs, a couple of board games, diabetes medication, and a few other things.

41. Buy anything from eBay?
Not a thing.

42. Get married or divorced?
Not that I know of. :)

43. Get hit on?
Yes, three times. However, I'm not going to share any more details on this stuff.

44. Been snowboarding?

45. Did you get sick this year?
Several major colds and a case of the flu. Then there was the usual diabetes stuff, the problems with the prostate, and of course, my injured back and the bulging disc.

46. Are you happy to see 2011 go?
Damn right I am. The back problems made this past year absolute hell to some extent. I'm also looking forward to a new year and a clean slate, so to speak.

47. Been naughty or nice?
Yes ;)

48. How will you be spending Christmas?
Next Christmas? No idea. Probably on my own, and then dinner with friends. But who knows what the year will bring, so can't predict the end of the year.

49. Which LJ users did you meet for the first time?
Don't remember if I actually met any that I didn't know before, though I did meet some at CanGames and GenCon that I had known and met before. Look forward to meeting a few more in 2012.

50. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Sadly, no.

51. How many one night stands?
Definitely not. Not really me.

52. What was your favorite TV show?
Enjoyed Primeval Series 4 and 5. Like Terra Nova for the most part, but am really enjoying Once Upon A Time. Still enjoying Body of Proof and Castle, but the latter's wearing a bit thin.

53. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try not to hate people, as that's a very negative emotion, although there are a few people I dislike or who drive me crazy. Takes too much energy to hate someone, and not worth the time and effort.

54. What was/were the best books you read?
Several books that I read this past year were pretty good, but I enjoy pretty much most of the books that I read. Rather liked Son of a Witch by Gregory MaGuire, From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine's Journey Through Myth and Legend by Valerie Estelle Frankel, Land of the Headless by Adam Roberts, The Hotel Under the Sand and The Women of Nell Gwynne's, both by Kage Baker, The Steampunk Bible by Jeff VanderMeer with S.J. Chambers, Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, and Chindi by Jack McDevitt.

55. What was your greatest musical discovery?
More like re-discovery. Abney Park.

56. What was your favourite film this year?
I rather enjoyed Green Lantern, but my favourite film this year was definitely La Fille de d'Artagnan from 1994 (which was sold in English speaking countries as Revenge of the Musketeers.

57. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Business suits for work, t-shirts and slacks for home.

58. What kept you sane?
Sometimes I wonder if I was sane this past year. :) But... my friends; the music of Thea Gilmore, Jethro Tull, and Abney Park; my goddaughter; reading books; and several good games of Dominant Species.

59. Which celebrity did you fancy the most?
Hmm, tough one... Nothing really happened here for me this year.

60. Which political issue stirred you the most?
The British riots.

61. Did you treat somebody badly in 2011?
I hope not, but there are times when I'm not a nice person.

62. Did somebody treat you badly in 2011?
Not gonna answer this one.

63. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year.
Be careful about karma. It has a way of coming around.

64. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Nothing comes to mind here.

65. What are your plans for 2012?
Trying to eat healthy, lose some weight, and keep my diabetes under control. Deal with the back problems I'm facing. Do a bit more fiction writing. Cut down on roleplaying game and board game purchases, and run only 2 (maybe 3) roleplaying games during the course of the year. Not stress out so much.

66. What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
Nothing comes to mind, other than new Primeval RPG Core Rulebook.

As you can see, that was quite a long set of questions and answers. But a good indication of the basics of how 2011 was. Looking forward to 2012, for sure! :)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2012 01:25 am (UTC)
Mighty addictive song that...
Jan. 2nd, 2012 04:25 am (UTC)
Highly addictive, that's one of the reasons it's stuck with me since I first heard the song, and then saw the Heinken commercial.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


John Kahane

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