Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year End Meme

I got this meme from Michelle, at Bleeding Espresso, who first saw it at Sundry Mourning, who originally copied it from Gwen’s Petty, Judgmental, Evil Thoughts back in 2004.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?

I became a "professional" food blogger and learned that it's not something I enjoy doing.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I make goals, rather than resolutions. I'm getting close to meeting some of them and haven't touched some of the others.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Gorgeous Aiden Van Erik Tyler was born!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, sadly.

5. What countries did you visit?

Bermuda, Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A quiet year with no major family traumas.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 20th - the Inauguration - what a day!
March 26th - the day my mother moved to Michigan.
May 26th - the day my mother moved to her new home in Michigan.
July 5th - the day Aiden was born.
September 22nd/23rd - the days Sarah and Amy turned 25, respectively. YIKES.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Starting a yoga practice, as odd as that might sound.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm trying not to put things in these terms.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Ugh - let's not even go there.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Three books by four friends: Luisa Perkins's Comfortably Yum, Karen E. Olson's The Missing Ink, and Charity Tahmaseb's and Darcy Vance's The Geek Girls Guide to Cheerleading.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
many ordinary people with their heart in the right place (I'm using Goofball's answer here, because I like it!)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Intolerant people. Those who claim to be one thing, but behave in ways that show they don't stand for what they say they stand for.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The basics.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The local food/artisan food movement in Michigan!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

"At Last" sung by Beyonce to the new First Couple.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
happier, same, same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
reading books (ditto Goofball again - it's true!)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Food blogging

20. How will you be spending New Year?

with family at home

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Um... well, continued to be in love?

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?


24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't think hate is a useful emotion.

25. What was the best book you read?
Really hard to say - I loved many.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Again, hard to say. I like Owl City at the moment, but only in small doses.

27. What did you want and get?

Some more free time or permission to myself to take it.

28. What did you want and not get?

Enough of that time. Health and life for loved ones of friends who died.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

I can't pin this down, either. Maybe Julie and Julia, just for Meryl Streep/Stanley Tucchi.

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

For the big 5-0 I sat in a small ship's cabin waiting for maintenance to do something about the black bilge water coming up through our bathroom pipes. Then we had a nice French dinner in the evening. It wasn't my favorite birthday, despite the French dinner.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer crises for family and friends. More political change in the U.S. than what has actually happened. I'm worried our system is irreparably broken.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Health care.

33. Who did you miss?

Not seeing enough of my exchange daughters/son.

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

"Eat rhubarb wet from the rain
Beautiful fruits all the same
Pears, oranges, and grapes from the vine
Children it is the earth's time." From "Children Play with Earth" by Arrested Development

35. I wish you all a happy satisfying healthy loving 2010. Have a good celebration and a fun start of the new year. All best wishes to you all!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Just Have to Write About How Awesome My Husband Is

We're not so big on presents at the Haines house. I think all three of us feel that there's too much emphasis on "things" in general in this country, and that most holidays should be celebrated for their spirit, rather than for getting things.

One thing we share with various family members, for example, is sending donations and/or homemade gifts, rather than more traditional presents.

SOMEthing from your spouse, however, is always nice. And this is an area in which Dave has had some problems.

In any marriage, there are things you find just amazing about your spouse, and there are probably some things you wished were just a little bit different.

One things I wish were a little bit different about Dave is that he tries so hard at finding just the "right" present or card that often I've ended up with nothing at all. And yeah, that's created some doghouse moments.

This Christmas, when Dave asked what I wanted, I said, "anything simple, but I want a couple of things to open on Christmas morning - I don't really care what - just see what you think will work and don't spend more than $30 altogether."

I hoped I was making it easy, but maybe that was too directive. You can weigh in on that.

I expected that maybe I'd end up with a couple of paperbacks, and maybe some candy or something.

What I got instead was total awesomeness. Dave showed up and then some. The man is OUT of that doghouse!

First off, for those that know me, know there are few things I love more (well, other than family and friends) than coffee and my guinea pigs. So what does Dave do? He combines them:

Can I just say how much I love my new coffee carrier? I can't imagine anything better. And since Dave is a talented photographer, the pictures he chose are simply wonderful. Unfortunately, I am a horrid photographer, so you'll just have to imagine how great this mug looks.

My second item was Fellini's Amarcord. This is a favorite of mine from way back. And he remembered. As I said, awesome.

The last and maybe best was something he made for both Connor and me, but each was personal. Dave is always coming up with "million dollar ideas". It's a family joke, and every time Dave says he's got another one, Con and I kind of roll our eyes. Most of these ideas are real stinkers. If they were truly million dollar ideas, well, our lives might be different. (Or not).

Anyway, each of us received a booklet by a Dr. Silas Pepperpotdottson of our "unique and personal assortment of $1,000,000 ideas." Connor's were ideas for video games, and mine were ideas for restaurants. They were absolutely hysterical.

Here was my favorite:

Motto: The localist food in the universe
Image: A spoon containing grass, ants, leaves and a cute mouse
Target niche: People who really care

Local is in. Microvor is taking the Locavore revolution to its logical end. This "restaurant service" brings you a meal made entirely from food that's found no more than 100 feet from where you live. Make a reservation and the Microvor chefs will arrive at your doorstep with their aprons, attitudes, and nets. They spread out to make creative and unique meals just for you from the food found in your yard, your home, your basement, your attic, your bedsheets. Anything edible is fair game for their knives and their acute and creative minds. No one will ever eat a meal like yours again!

These people are in it for the love of it. If you have a house you get the super-fresh ingredients (grass, spiders, mice, moss) of whatever you have living in or outside of your house. If you live in a leaky, 4th floor walk-up, they'll love the challenge of creating a unique meal from your native flora and fauna before the food inspectors catch up to them.

Microvor is pricey but unique. It's so unique that each franchise comes with a film crew, a slot on the Food Network, and a whole set of liability waivers fully tested in court."

Now, is that a million dollar idea or what?

I'm telling you, my husband is made of awesome.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happiness and Love and...

Peace for the New Year.

December has been a challenging month. I miss everyone and am sorry I haven't been around reading or writing. I hope to rectify that in early 2010.

To all those who celebrate - a very Merry Christmas.

Belatedly, Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrated.

Happy New Year to ALL.

And for those who might have expected cards... I still hope they're coming.

I'm so. far. behind.

Again, peace, love and happiness to all readers here and for all the Earth's children everywhere.