That was so 2010

I did a LOT in 2010. When I start to think back about what I accomplished last year compared to the year before, I’m actually quite proud of where I ended up.

In 2009 I racked up 68,000 frequent flyer miles with Star Alliance (United and Continental) and about another 32,000 with Delta/Alaska for about 100k in a year. It was miserable. There isn’t time for much in life when 80% of it’s spent waiting to board a plane, flying on a plane, or travelling from an airport to a hotel.

In 2010 I traveled to Chicago, Columbus, Minneapolis, Chicago, Bentonville (for the better part of 6 weeks on three subsequent round-trips), Dallas, San Francisco/Oakland, Huston…and then no more. In June we moved from Portland to Atlanta and I traveled exactly once since we got here, the first week we were here, for that final trip to Huston. For the last six months I have worked from my home office, and it has been wonderful.

At one point in March I was flying through a connection (in Huston) and realized halfway down a concourse that I had no idea where I was. Not just “where in the airport” but actually “where in the country” based on my unfamiliarity with the layout. It was a shock. Riding down an escalator I found myself asking a fellow business traveler what airport we were in. A dozen people around us laughed the uncomfortable laugh of people who travel too much and barely remember their homes. I do not want to go back to that again. I like waking up at home. I like working from home. The road is great, and travel was a perk for years, but I’m ready to travel less.

While a lot has happened in the last year, this will always be the year that we “moved to the south” in our minds. We left our very beloved farm among the vineyards, sold our chickens and re-homed our goats. That same day in Huston, when I realized I had no idea where I was, was the day my boss’s boss called my cell phone as I sat waiting to board my connecting flight and asked if I’d consider a relocation to Atlanta. Three months later, we were in a Ryder truck moving across the country. Despite some hiccups, it’s been a good thing. There are many things about being here we want to “fix” but overall, I feel very good about Atlanta and Georgia and being on this side of the country.

And flying less. I feel very good about flying less.

So now, in the spirit of other bloggers I follow, here is a recap of what I did in 2010 (all ratings are on a ten point scale):

Books I Read:

  • Russell T Davies – Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapters
  • Lars Brownworth – Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
  • Robert Strassler – The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories
  • Gordon Dahlquist – The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters, Book 1
  • John M Ford – The Apocalypse Door
  • Johnathan Barnes – The Somnambulist
  • Johnathan Barnes – Domino Men
  • Jane Austen – Persuasion
  • Neil Gaiman – Fragile Things
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs – The Land that Time Forgot
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs – The People that Time Forgot
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs – Out of Time’s Abyss
  • Charles Dickens – The Pickwick Papers
  • Charles Dickens – Sketches by Boz
  • Charles Dickens – Edwin Drood
  • Dan Simmons – Drood: A Novel
  • Vitruvius – The Ten Books on Architecture [Granger Latin/English Interlinear Edition]
  • Moses Maimonides – The Guide for the Perplexed
  • William Prescott – History of the Conquest of Mexico c.1843, B&N Library of Essential Reading; 2008 Paperback Edition
  • Samuel R Delany – Dhalgren
  • M. John Harrison – Virconium
  • Gail Carriger – Soulless
  • Gail Carriger – Changeless
  • Ekaterina Sedia – Alchemy of Stone
  • Dante Alighieri – The Inferno, Translation by Robert and Jean Hollander

Movies I Saw – How I Saw It – Rating:

  • Sherlock Holmes – Blu-Ray – 8
  • Easy Virtue – In-Flight Movie – 9
  • Alice in Wonderland – Theater – 7
  • When in Rome – Theater – 8
  • Kick-Ass – Theater – 8
  • (500) Days of Summer – Blu-Ray – 5
  • Food Inc. – Dish Network – 8
  • The Boys are Back – In-Flight Movie – 8
  • Dear John – Redbox – 6
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife – Redbox – 7
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Theater – 7
  • How To Train Your Dragon – Theater – 9
  • Iron Man 2 -Theater – 8
  • Despicable Me – Theater – 8
  • Killers – Redbox – Blu-Ray – 5
  • Leap Year – Redbox – 10
  • The Bounty Hunter – Redbox – 8
  • Letters to Juliette – Redbox – 9
  • Clash of the Titans – Redbox Blu-Ray – 6
  • Temple Grandin – Redbox – 10
  • The Back-Up Plan – Netflix – 5
  • Hamlet (BBC w/David Tennant) – Netflix – 10
  • Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) – Netflix – 9
  • Changeling – Netflix – 8
  • Fanny Hill (BBC Miniseries) – Netflix – 10
  • August Rush – Netflix – 8
  • Did You Hear About the Morgans? – Netflix – 7
  • The Blind Side – Netflix – 8
  • New In Town – Netflix – 7
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Netflix – 8
  • Young Sherlock Holmes – Netflix – 10
  • Firefox – Netflix – 10
  • The Phantom of the Opera – Netflix – 6
  • Chicago – Netflix – 9
  • Nine – Netflix – 5
  • The Governess – Netflix – 9
  • The Duchess – Netflix – 7
  • X-Men – Netflix – 8
  • Mama Mia! – Netflix – 8
  • In the Name of the Rose – Netflix – 10
  • Prince of Persia – Redbox Blu-Ray – 10
  • The Last Airbender – Redbox Blu-Ray – 6
  • X-2 – DVD – 8
  • Sweeny Todd – Netflix – 6
  • A Shot in the Dark – Netflix – 7
  • 84 Charring Cross Road – Netflix – 11

Games I Played – Platform – Rating:

  • Mass Effect 2 – Xbox 360 – 10
  • Crystal Defenders – iPhone – 8
  • Brutal Legend – Xbox 360 – 6
  • Dragon Age: Awakening – Xbox 360 – 8
  • Bioshock 2 – Xbox 360 – 9
  • Limbo – Xbox 360 Live – 9
  • Braid – Xbox 360 Live – 8
  • Dragon Warrior VIII – DS – 8
  • Fighting Fantasy – DS – 5
  • Angry Birds – iPhone – 10
  • Cut the Rope – iPhone – 9
  • Halo: Reach – Xbox 360 – 10
  • Halo 3: ODST – Xbox 360 – 9
  • The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition – iPhone – 8
  • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge Special Edition – iPhone – 8
  • Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition – Xbox 360 – 10
  • Minecraft – PC – 20
  • Infinity Blade – iPhone – 8
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 – iPhone – 8
  • Robot Unicorn Attack! – iPhone – LOL

Goals for 2011:

One year from now, you will wish you had started today.

Elenore’s Trousers Twitter Re-Tweet

I know that resolutions don’t tend to work out for me.  I make them with the mental equivalent of crossing my fingers because I know that sixty days from now life will be so different from life today that resolving to do something is essentially an unpredictable crap-shoot.  So I will not “resolve” to do things, I will simply put out to the universe the following desires and hope that the Law of Attraction (which I don’t “really” believe in as anything more powerful than the placebo effect) will convince me that some of these things might be improved over last year.

Write More
Yeah, yeah; this is a bit of an old saw for me at this point. I get that. But I’d like to get better about this now that my time on the road is greatly diminished. Blog more, write more fiction, comment more on the blogs I read, etc.

Draw More
I realized late last year that I had stopped drawing out of fear. I was more afraid that I would discover how bad things had become than I was of the actual limitations I face. That’s just stupid. The other day I saw Don Kenn’s Post-it-Note gallery, and I was in awe. I love this SO MUCH it hurts. The guy just draws on what he has when he has almost nothing at hand to work with. I have about $5k in professional art supplies sitting in a corner of my office that I haven’t actually used in half a decade. I just schlep it from place to place, house to house, pretending that someday I’ll magically be better and use it again.

This year I want to use it, limitations and all, and let the results fall where they may. Create for creation’s sake, and not refuse to try because perfection isn’t guaranteed. I forgot that art isn’t about making it perfect, it’s about making the mistakes beautiful. I just want to make a tiny bit of beauty again.

Photograph More
I have a camera that I love, some nice glass, and a bag to carry it in. I have reasonable Photoshop skills and I know how to get the most out of my photos when I try.

Again, I just haven’t bothered. Some of this was depression after leaving Oregon, but for the most part it’s just sitting beside a bookshelf waiting to be used. I want to have a collection of photos at the end of the year that I can actually look back on and pick from. I’ll blog a few of the best as time goes by. I won’t turn this into a photoblog by any means, but pictures always make a blog post better.

Read More
I read quite a bit in 2010, but I’d like to be more consistant. A lot of my reading went in chunks depending on my travel schedule. The one good thing about all that travel was all the reading I did. The last half of the year slowed down considerably, and I want to reverse that trend as this year starts. I’m leading off with “The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo” as it was a Christmas gift, and I already have a large queue to work through, which makes me very happy.

Eat Better and Exercise more
Last year I wanted to lose a ton of weight and run a triathlon. Which might have been doable if we hadn’t uprooted our lives. My goals this year are a bit simpler. I want to exercise more (running is my prefered exercise, but just more of anything would be a good start) and I want to eat better.

Eating better is actually more nebulous for us. I’ve started to feel pretty strongly about moving away from a preservative filled, over processed, globally produced diet and more towards a natural semi-locovore diet. I’m not exactly on a high road here, I still eat danish butter cookies and drink coffee from columbia; but my coffee is fair trade and preservative free and when I cook I try to use the entire animal and get it local. I am trying to move towards more natural ingredients and experimenting with more types of food.

Oregon Sunshine and I have decided to start a blog specific to our culinary adventures. It’s up, but we have almost no content on it yet. We’ll be posting recipies, photos, and our reviews of how it tastes and how cost effective it is to eat more local and less processed.

Wear My Contacts More
I can actually hear the collective “what???” from the five of you that read this…so let me explain. I have slightly different perscriptions for my glasses and my contacts. I notice that I have fewer headaches when I wear my contact, and I feel better about my appearance. I have nothing against my glasses, they make me look professorial and bookish and whatnot, but I like the look of my face without them on just a little bit better. Not wearing my contacts is essentially pure laziness. It’s just “that thing” that I never bother to do. I’d like to get better about putting in my eyes instead of just putting them on.

The more things change the more…no, that’s not it…

The more things stay the same, the more likely it is that a major change is about to sneak up and whack you in the back of the head.

-Me, and you can quote me on it.

What amazes me about life, is that I know that I have NO IDEA what will happen in the next twelve months. I might want to accomplish or change a lot of things, but I know that the only thing I’m resolved to do is roll with what life throws at us. It’s what we did last year, because change is the one thing that never seems to go away.

[Word Count: 1900]

15 thoughts on “That was so 2010

  1. Brilliantly ended. This is a great post. I can sympathize with the Draw More bit. I need to draw more as well. Anyway, I loved all of this. Roll on!

    Thanks! I appreciated reading yours so much that between you and Allison I was inspired to write one up as well.

  2. You missed some movies. Fanny Hill, the first X-Men, Chicago, Nine, The Bounty Hunter, Dear John, The Time Traveler’s Wife, In the Name of the Rose, and Phantom of the Opera all come to mind readily. Also, I’m surprised you liked Temple Grandin as much as you did! I know that movie was my pick and much more my thing.

    I added all of those (except X-Men which I did actually remember and have on the list)…wow did I forget a TON, including Mama Mia! which you may have blocked out.

    I’m sure there are more movies we watched since 2010 seemed to be our “year of the movie”. I just can’t remember what right now.

    I used the Redbox reciepts that I had, and the Netflix history and STILL managed to forget a BUNCH of them.

  3. Well, I WAS trying to comment while singing along with School House Rock. All of them, I might add! I didn’t forget Mama Mia, but since you saw it on a plane in 2008 for the first time, so I thought it might not count.

    Nah, I watched it “entirely” again. I’d seen Young Shirlock Holmes, Firefox, The Governess, In the Name of the Rose, and A Shot in the Dark before as well…but I watched them entirely again…so I counted them and rated them. I’m sure we saw movies on DVR/Sat that I’m not counting because I simply can’t remember.

    Let’s see how great you can remember, comment and sing along to “3 is the magic number” at the same time! 😛

    No chance…I’d start singing “Nine had the crappiest numbers” and that would just not be educational in the way we want. :-)

    Add in Food, Inc, btw.

    Thanks, got it.

  4. “Figure eight as double four,
    Figure four as half of eight.
    If you skate, you would be great
    If you could make a figure eight.
    That’s a circle that turns ’round upon itself.”

    I want to create a cute and pithy set of lyrics about the musicals we watched…”Nine had the crappiest [musical] numbers” to the tune of 3 is a Magic Number, and so on and so on…but it’s not working. School House Rock rules all imitators.

  5. Oh, you forgot to add that you hauled mass quantities of water to the horses, performed triage on me after the alien attack, had our pipes freeze, rode a horse for the first time in years, rolled massive bales of hay multiple times, tested a hot wire fence with your hand a few times, caught chickens, allowed a goat in the house, went to the zoo on one side of the country and an aquarium on the other, survived a tornado, escaped an ice storm and tried rabbit for the first (nor last) time. I’m sure you did lots of other things too, but these were some of the most important.

    Tried nothin’, I COOKED rabbit multiple times and LIKED IT.

    Some of those others I might not want to admit to…people will start to think I’ve gone soft on my “no livestock in the house” rule if they find out I carried a sick little goat inside and nursed it on our living-room floor. Once that gets out there, no one respects your livestock/living-area rules AT ALL.

    And I tend to block out the memory of catching chickens in the driving rain while crouching down in the mud and chicken-poop. I also block out dropping the flashlight and then putting it back in my mouth because I needed both hands.

    It’s hard to keep up an urbane and refined persona if people find out I’m a chicken-wrangling goat-nurser that does major tree pruning with a saw on a pole and takes care of farm animals like a lifetime country boy.

  6. Yeah, might not want to ruin your image. 😉

    [For everybody else reading this, you can tell I’m back to work when the comments section of our blogs become more like a chat stream than a comments area…this has been our longest conversation all day.]

  7. Oh, and we moved in 6 weeks from when the big boss called you at the airport. Just SIX weeks.

    That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t able to get the math together in my head.

    Looking at how much you traveled, I’m surprised you had time to do anything at the farm. Imagine, all that travel happened in the first 6 3/4 months of last year!

    LOL, I don’t have to imagine it, I REMEMBER it…

  8. I wore contact from age 16 to approximately 21 or 22 and since then I almost exclusively wear my glasses. And yet, like you, I prefer the way I look with contacts, but usually don’t get up early enough to take the extra 2 minutes to actually put my contacts because I’m very very lazy.

    Exactly my point. It’s not an issue of time, it’s an issue of a complete lack of effort on my part.

    Sounds like you had a good year!

    It was an interesting year. It had some un-good things and some real high points, and life is what you pack in between them.

  9. I think you’re being a little generous with a 7-star rating for ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’. I wanted to like it. I had read the book beforehand and thought it was okay, and was a big fan of Rachel McAdams (ever since ‘The Notebook’). I lasted all of 30 minutes at the theater. The scene that finally did me in was when the guy played by Ron Livingston (whom I’ve liked ever since ‘Band of Brothers’) witnessed the time traveler disappearing, and his reaction was a multi-tiered gasp.

    This is one of those RARE cases where I hadn’t read the book first…or at least I don’t remember the book. I had friends talk about the book, and it sounded familiar, like I had read it…but I couldn’t draw the details up as I was watching the movie so I essentially came to it as a tabula rasa. Not having a preconceived opinion let me enjoy it as a screenplay and a movie, and not compare it to an obviously superior book.

    I think that’s only the second time I’ve ever walked out of movie (not counting all the Disney cartoons my mom had to carry me out of because I was sobbing so badly…Dumbo [making fun of ears],Cinderella [step-sisters tore her pretty dress], The Fox and the Hound [for having nothing], Bambi [mother killed], Lady & The Tramp [Lady falsely accused]). The first movie I walked out of as an almost-adult was ‘Last Action Hero’.

    It’s funny, now that I’m older I realize that Last Action Hero was aweful…it was actually the only movie I’d ever walked out of until Battlefield Earth as an adult (for which we even got our money back). I will say that as a high-school boy, I had no issues with Last Action Hero (I sat through Stop or My Mom Will Shot (one of the worst films ever made) and Highlander: II (the single WORST sequel ever put on film) without batting an eye, so clearly my high school tastes were overly resilient), but my date was NOT amused and thus, leave we did.

    I have since walked out of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (so nonsensical and loud I gave up and sat in the car nursing a headache) and Basic Instinct 2 (bad but not bad enough to take the worst sequel crown from Highlander 2) and Swept Away (which was so bad it burned the eyes to watch).

    ‘Persuasion’. So glad things finally worked out for her.

    Wasn’t the first time I’d read it, but it might have been the most satisfying read through. I bought a paperback copy in the Denver airport after a flight was delayed and read it straight through. It Always makes me smile, and that trip REALLY needed a surplus smile.

    I loved your summary and aspirations. And I especially enjoyed the liner notes included in the (very telling) comment section.

    “Liner Notes” is a wonderful way to put it. That pretty much covers the texture of my writing utterly and completely when I comment.

  10. Disclaimer: In all fairness, I can’t rate a movie I didn’t finish watching. Maybe I would have thought better of it, had I seen it through to the end.

    Sure you can, I didn’t finish watching “Get Him to the Greek” and I’d give it a 3 for what I saw, spiraling down to a 1 if I’d continued to sit through it.

  11. I agree. A “7” was generous. I really liked the book. For me, the book was a solid “8” on this scale. But the movie? I kept explaining to BP how it was different than the book the whole time. So, maybe “5.5” for me. Maybe. And that’s accepting it as a mostly different story than the book (which I usually do for book turned movie- since they never line up right).

    Whereas I had no issues of comparison; so, standing on it’s own, I gave it a 7. It’s not a strong seven, more like a 6.8 erring on the generous side because the little girl playing the daughter was cute. I give partial points for precociously cute children.

  12. I think the 7 for Time Traveler’s Wife is pretty good- I think the 8 for Sherlock Holmes and the 9 for Letters to Juliette are extremely generous. I’ve read the Time Traveler’s Wife twice and I thought the movie did a fairly good job of following the plot (it’s hard to follow any book completely when making a movie without boring the audience to death with an obnoxiously long film), but it failed to fully develop the characters the way the book did. I still cried at the end though, which means it’s above average for me.

    I liked it. I didn’t cry though, which is odd because I tear up at Hallmark commercials.

    Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. I thought the story hackneyed and over-hyped. Rachel McAdams could have been a lot more sultry and seductive and probably would have gotten more screentime if she had been.

    Over-Hyped? Of course. Hackneyed? Yeah, it’s a Hollywood production after all. As for screen time for the delightful Ms. McAdams, well…Irene Adler was a bit of a mystery, “there but not there” in the original story. If she’d been front and center from the start it would have felt off. She was actually a bit too active for me as it was.

    I deeply enjoyed Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson respectively, and while there are other performances that are truer to the descriptions in the stories, they both did excellent jobs. Robert Downey Jr’s Holmes was a bit of a buffoon at times, which was wildly out of character with the stories, but it worked within the world that the screenwriters created.

    I wanted to love it, being the fan of the stories and other Holmes material that I am…I wanted it to be an 11. Alas, it was good by not great, and a passable 8 sums up my opinion pretty nicely.

    And Letters to Juliet, while sweet and charming, was nearly ruined for me by the completely convenient ending where Amanda Seyfried disappears only to end up on a balcony so that the guy can confess his love for her in true Romeo fashion. Why the hell did she go into the house and reappear on the balcony???? Uber cheesy.

    Yay for the cheesy! I WANTED him to climb up to a balcony, I WANTED him to profess the love she deserved and he was lucky to recognize…illogical positioning is forgiven when love is on the line.

    Letters to Juliet was not a great movie. The writing was passable, the female lead always looks just a touch freaky to me. The male lead was too soft and likable; more Mr Bingley than Mr Darcy (and believe me, they were shooting for Darcy’s cold contempt in the beginning).

    Yet the core of the story, that writing aspirations and despairs to a fictional woman could somehow lead to answers…that the love recorded in the great literature could manifest in our everyday, jaded and cynical lives…that finding happiness isn’t about time or age or our past, but about looking ahead and holding out our hand and our hearts…that was what made that movie a 9.

    I WANTED her to be on a balcony. I WANTED him to climb it. Stories and Plays are cheesy things, because we don’t trust love with our modern eyes. Letters to Juliet was about love, cheesy and overwrought, and corny, and wonderful.

    Was it a 10? nah, it wasn’t even a very strong 9…but it was lovely for what it was, and it delivered the ending I wanted it to deliver. Marginal as a movie, but wonderful as a story. I rank story over delivery every time.

  13. I want a number value for the robot unicorn.

    Honestly…like a 5 or 6, but I’m a goofball. It has GREAT 80’s music and a simple and fun premise. Is it deep? NO.

    But, the execution is perfect and I giggle a little bit every time I play it. I think I spent .99 on it so its rate of return has been stellar.

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