Hi, lovelies! Here’s the new year questionnaire, perfect to update you on ALL THE THINGS that did not get blogged about in 2019 due to hosting issues. (And neglect.) Henceforth, however, I reserve the right to back-post things I worked on while my account was suspended. Stay tuned! You NEVER KNOW when something will pop up. Unless you are subscribed, in which case I’m pretty sure you will know.
1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
Me: Went to My Sister’s Wedding: Step A (Step B, the big party, is in 2020), thus visiting Seattle, including Pike Place Market where we saw the looooong line of people at the original Starbucks, and went elsewhere for sustenance. SO MANY DELICIOUS THINGS at the market. And beautiful art, quirky walls covered in things – there’s a post-it graffiti wall and a chewed-gum wall – and fish flying through the air and so on.
Also, The Seuss Experience was really fun (even – or especially – for a group of grown women with no kids in tow!).
Sean: Sang “Shallows” as a duet with a 12-year-old mini-diva for Talent Night at Family Camp – simply because she asked – and wowed the crowd.
E: Had my first friend sleepover – on my birthday! (And my second, and my third…)
AB: Took my first ballet class and loved it, lost my top front teeth, got a pixie cut and OWNED IT.
E, AB: Got our own pet rats: Spinkle and Beatrix!
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions?
Me: I apparently forgot that I was going to spend more time in meditative quiet. So, like, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. But I do compel my 5/6 class to give me a Golden Moment of silence at the end of every day before we leave, and they ARE capable, even though there are 28 of them and 3/4 are boys.
Sean: Weight goal still stands in pristine condition, untouched; I passed my Anthropology course with excellent marks but did not opt to do more courses at the moment; kept a neat and tidy house… intermittently. (If I lived alone, my house would be as OCD-perfect as my table at work.)
E: Did not beat the Ender Dragon or eat thirty pounds of Life cereal, but might have decided on other priorities, in the end. I did make a giant pink jelly castle in Minecraft, so that’s something. Also a giant compound that I blew up with ridiculous amounts of TNT.
A: Was a very good dancer at the big show (although I was upset about making a mistake) and was a great student (although my Grade 2 teacher has noticed my tendency to dawdle, and for some reason my parents were not surprised to hear this).
3. What is your resolution this year?
Me, Sean: To eat healing food all year long, to purge clutter, to appreciate and care for our loved ones and our beautiful suffering planet.
Me, specifically: NOT TO USE ANY DISPOSABLE COFFEE CUPS. IF I FORGOT MY TRAVEL MUG, THEN TOO BAD.
E: To make progress on my latest novel, The Death Gauntlet, about mythical creatures of my own invention.
A: To figure out how to rewind time. I’ve been trying to implement this since before I turned two. It’s simply not fair that time only goes one direction.
4. Did anyone important to you die?
All: Our sweet, silly cat, Nico. His blood sugar was simply too wild and independent to be fettered by (even crazy doses of) insulin. He leaves a hole in our lives. He is survived by his sister Ramona, who does not seem to miss him that much.
5. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
Me: A consistent, happy relationship with my blog (and our new host, hostupon!).
Sean: Less stuff.
E: All the knowledge contained in my new Minecraft manuals.
A: The fuzziest, softest blanket in the world, which I got for Christmas!
6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Me: Winning a local TriWizard Tournament with my Harry Potter comrades, Skye and Katie! (Scavenger hunt, Quidditch, Escape Room… nailed it all.) Also, I was pretty proud of this purse I made, under the tutelage (and with the literal guide-lines) of the great Naomi Smith. Took me a LOT of hours.
Sean: Convincing Joe (one of my machine-shop co-workers) to switch to plant-based eating – with a little help from a film called The Game-Changers.
E, A: Taking climbing lessons and conquering the bouldering wall; suddenly being able to jump into the deep end of the pool with no life jackets!
7. What was your biggest failure?
Me: Backing out of Dance for Kindness. I had done a lot of the registration and preparation process – I was all excited – and then I found out that our school had too many fundraisers on the go… And I also finally admitted to myself that I was going to be too busy to teach everything I would need to teach. Sigh.
Sean: Not being as loyal to my diabetes-kicking plant-based diet as I should have been.
E: Failure to take joy in schoolwork (or homework, or any other kind of work).
A: Failure to make cooperation a consistent part of my life, especially in the mornings. That Reponsibility Button I found last year has been malfunctioning a lot.
8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Me, E, A: Got the flu over Christmas break… it seemed to last forever. The final coughs are still hanging on.
Sean: Put my back out over the summer, injuring my sense of imperviousness when it comes to my brute strength.
9. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Me: Trump’s; Doug Ford’s; and ALWAYS Nestlé’s. (How quaint that these have not changed in a year.) Also Jair Bolsonaro’s, Boris Johnson’s, the New Zealand live-streaming terrorist’s, and that of so many others who like to pretend humanity can still afford to prioritize stuff like profits and differences between humans.
Sean: That of the Hong Kong police. And those nincompoops above.
E: Mine, that time I accidentally caught Spinkle’s paw in the cage door. Also, my Grade 5 teacher’s for giving us SO MUCH WORK all the time. When am I supposed to live my life??
A: Mummy’s, when she doesn’t let us snuggle for as long as I want in the mornings. (Come on, time-rewinder!)
10. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Me: Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, Helen Gualinga, Fionn Ferreira.
Sean: The people of Hong Kong.
E, A: The rats’, when we taught them to run up a ruler-ramp.
11. What did you get really excited about?
Me: Live theatre! I was so very fortunate in 2019 to see Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away in Toronto, plus The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, and Billy Elliot in Stratford, not to mention a fantastic local production of Mamma Mia!
Sean: Bernie Sanders and his rad ideas. Also, still have a celebrity crush on AOC.
E: Making Animal Cards. (They’re like Pokémon cards, but with real animals. I research the animals and base their powers on what they really do.)
A: The pierced ears! I waited so many months!
12. What events from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:
All: Please refer to question #24.
Me: Seattle wedding! Especially that time my new-brother-in-law surprised my sister on the day of their wedding by writing a beautiful contra dance just for that day called “Tie the Knot” – and the whole hall danced it together in celebration. <3 <3 <3
13. What political issue stirred you the most?
Me: It’s always stirring to be a teacher when it’s Government & Friends Attacking Teachers time.
Sean: Brexit, if I weren’t so freaking tired of hearing about it. And then there’s always Impeachment Fun.
E: I got really into Student Vote during the federal election. In our school board, the Green candidate won!
A: More elections?! Sigh.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sean: Eating healthfully, strumming the guitar. (I did practice… sometimes.)
E: Playing Bee Swarm Simulator. Even though I already do this as often as possible.
A: Reading in my bed. Even though I already do this as often as possible.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Me: Raising my voice.
Sean: Eating Twinkies at work.
E: Taking Grade 4 for granted… All my friends were in that class, and we had way less work.
A: Putting away my clothes. Even thought that’s how I find stuff that’s lost, it’s preposterous that I have to do it.
16. What decision are you glad you made?
Me, Sean: Getting our fireplace insert! It’s the BEST. So-cozy fires!!
E: To acquiesce to the purchase of the rats. I wanted guinea pigs, and my parents freaked out when they saw the footprint size of the cage. Plus my mom has a serious pro-rat bias. And… it turns out I love the rats more than I thought possible.
A: My short-short haircut. I knew I wanted it years ago, and my parents didn’t think I could be serious… but I was. Now I’ve developed a one-sided seven-barrette hairstyle that will eventually go viral.
17. How did you spend Christmas?
Me, E, A: Mostly sick. So we did a lot of sleeping and watching movies. But we did manage a few board games (Dixit and Letter Jam were new to us and really fun!) and some relatives time and we ate some yummy things.
Sean: Fending off the worst of the germs like a BOSS, and hanging out with family.
18. What song will always remind you of 2019?
Sean: Orange by Moscow Apartment.
E: Animal Poop songs by Matt Farley, aka The Singing Animal Lover, aka the Toilet Bowl Cleaners, aka The Odd Man Who Sings About Poop, Puke and Pee. (And doesn’t give a poop about the Oxford comma, apparently.)
A: Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. We always sing along.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
Me, Sean: The Good Place, GLOW.
E, A: Full House! We watch as a family and Michelle is so funny.
20. What was the best book you read?
Me: The MaddAdam trilogy by Margaret Atwood for spellbinding story, Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq for sheer mind-blowing imagery.
Sean: Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne.
E: Last Kids on Earth books by Max Brallier, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.
A: The Guardian Herd books by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez.
21. What was your favorite film of this year?
Me, Sean: Let’s see… In theatres, we basically saw kids’ movies and comic book movies, and not much else. How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World was very beautiful, Toy Story 4 was great (though not better than 3, in my opinion), Frozen II was a worthy successor to Frozen. Shazam was really fun (aside from the horror movie parts), Avengers Endgame was epic but I’m not overly attached, Spiderman: Homecoming was witty and adorable thanks to Tom Holland, and you know how I felt about Captain Marvel. (Actually, I also saw Hustlers with Skye and enjoyed it. But it did not blow my mind.)
E: How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World.
A: Frozen II, especially the songs.
22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Me: 41, spent lovely time with family at my favourite of the Royal Botanical Gardens, ate my favourite Indian food.
Sean: 42, relaxed with family, was treated to a plant-based burrito extravaganza.
E: 10!! Double digits! Had my first venue birthday party with my friends at Ctrl-V (VR studio).
A: 7, partied with my friends, got my EARS PIERCED!! And was extremely brave about it.
23. What new thing would you like to try in 2020?
Me: Fan veils.
Sean: Being a smaller person.
E: Maybe I’ll finish The Death Gauntlet and get it published…
A: Now that I’ve being trying hip-hop at school (through DancEd), I want to take ALL the dance classes!
24. Whom did you miss?
Wina, my sweet grandma, to whom we officially said goodbye in a beautiful clan ceremony on July 6th in North Carolina. Nico, every day. And always Sebastian.
25. Who was the best new person you met?
Me: The family and friends of Uncle Alex (some of whom I’d met long, long ago, but they were like new!).
All: Spinkle and Beatrix! They count as people – as anyone can tell who meets them.
26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019:
Me: Get the flu shot. You might just save Christmas.
Sean: That wagon is always there for you. But it benefits you more if you stop hopping off for stuff all the time.
E: Always check for rat poo.
A: A really sincere apology does actually work (especially on your mom).
27. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Continuing the story, humanity stumbles –
Gone is the glory, there’s a far distant rumble…”