If you actually want to put yourself through it ...
1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
Took in a cat, the first pet I’ve had for which I am solely responsible – in other words, the first pet I’ve had since I was a kid.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I did keep the “intentions” I had last new years; I’m still smoking and I haven’t written very much.
No “resolutions” this year, but more intentions, this time publically announced, in hope the possibility of being laughed at will encourage me to fulfill them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope. Millions upon millions not close to me did, however.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not really. One of my aunts, but since I never liked her (though I felt a sort of grudging respect) I can’t say she was “close” to me.
5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed pretty close to home; travelling has never been a passion of mine.
6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked?
Someone with whom to share a little physical intimacy would be nice.
7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’m not much good with dates – when was the “Great Black-Out”? I remembered how much I like Toronto over that couple of days.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Writing a (fairly good) short story in 6 days.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Pretty much only writing a short-story. (Letters to the Globe and Mail, newsgroup and lj postings don’t count as Writing.)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I threw my back out and had a hell of a time dealing with a broken heart. Otherwise, I’m fine – my doctor seemed astounded by the state of my blood pressure, cholesterol and other bodily fluids.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hockey stick and skate blade. (Awright, awright, the computer comes a close second.)
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Personally, me – for turning down a job that would have tripled my income; nationally, Jean Chretien, for having the good sense and the balls to keep Canada out of George II’s imbecilic imperial venture.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
This is a hard one – there were so many.
Me, for not getting over Siya faster; the self-destructive behaviour of the “leadership” in Israel and Palestine; the self-destructive imperialism of George II; the millions of men, women and children dying horrible deaths – of poverty, in essence – throughout the 3rd world, but especially in Africa.
All right, that’s enough. This is just a stupid survey, not an essay.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, smokes, booze, computer. And, er, miscellaneous.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Sadly, nothing. Closest was probably a 4-way tie between playing hockey again, having my neice over for a movie-night/sleep-over, actually finishing a short-story and brazenly smoking a joint on the patio at Future Bakery and Café on Bloor Street, during that lovely interregnum when there was no enforced law against Possession.
16. What song will always remind you of 2003? '
“Skaterboi”? Hmm … I haven’t been listening to a lot of new music, have I?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier – barely;
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner – barely;
iii. richer or poorer? Richer – barely.
Kind of “D+” year, when you look at it like that.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I’d say “sex” but you have to have done some to do more, don’t you?
More writing, more socializing, more participation in the world beyond my personal concerns – I keep pondering the idea of volunteering for the NDP.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Surfing dating sites, drinking alone, mulling over disappointments like some neurotic chewing old gum.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Wondering whether my friend’s decision to discuss his son’s new-found interest in internet porn while he (my friend) was in his cups after Christmas dinner was really a good idea.
21. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Nope. Came this close to a serious crush, but managed to save myself from it.
23. How many one-night stands?
None, but I did have 1 close call.
24. What was your favourite TV program?
The Simpsons. Do people get any hipper than I am?
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate’s an awfully strong word. I don’t think I hate anyone, certainly not anyone I know personally (though there are quite a few I am happy not to spend time with).
26. What was the best book you read?
I can’t remember what it was called – a book on pre-historic North and South American peoples.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Can’t think of one.
28. What did you want and get?
A too-brief sojourn in the wilds of Northern Ontario.
29. What did you want and not get?
Love, sex … all that personal, touchy-feely stuff.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Royal Tennenbaums.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don’t remember; I turned 38 (god help me).
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer wars would have been a good start.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?
Leather dog-collars are fun.
34. What kept you sane?
My innate down-to-earthness.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Sarah Polley, of course – brains, beauty, sense of social responsibility. ‘Course, she’s gone off and gotten married now; thus dies another pointless fantasy.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Toronto’s municipal election – David Miller inspired me like no politician has in a very long time.
37. Who did you miss?
Siya, though I’d rather not admit to it.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
That would have to be Nikki, wouldn’t it?
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003:
I’ve learned it before, but it seems I keep forgetting it: “Don’t take yourself so fucking seriously!”
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
When someone makes a move
Of which we don't approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first send the Marines!
We'll send them all we've got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,
What do we do? We send the Marines!
For might makes right,
And till they've seen the light,
They've got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
'Till somebody we like can be elected.
Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war,
They'd rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
O we hate that expression.
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!
(Tom Lehrer, from the album That Was the Year that Was)