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The Self-Appreciation Society

being one of those Stupid Weblog Things

January 5th, 2010

Traditional Year Round-Up Thing @ 04:57 pm

I nearly didn't do one of these this year (it's traditional!), just like Hitler didn't do them either.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
Went on a package holiday, which was a ski trip to Austria.  Started a podcast (and kept that sucker going, too).  Withdrew from the opportunity to represent my country in a world sports championship at my own expense.  Bought something at a gaming convention charity auction, a VIP ticket to Conpulsion in Edinburgh.  Organised a stag do.  GMed an ongoing LARP, the Irish Games Association's Dark Heresy one.  Attended a wedding while old enough to voluntarily attend, know what was going on, and have fun without throwing rocks in the church pond.  Ate a haggis, of the dirty big deep-fried variety.  Travelled abroad for a job interview.  Paintball, rubber-sword LARP, and airsoft (airsoft wins).  Tried to join the British Army, which fortunately was scuppered by my deaf ear.  Attended a ceilí, result of Colin's wedding.  Got poached from one job to another.  Travelled abroad for gaming events.  Had an article published in an internationally-distributed magazine (apparently).  Failed a driving test.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My new years' resolutions were: take game mastering more seriously, and go to the toilet before getting on the DART.  I did reasonably well with the second one, and even expanded it out to activities other than the DART.  The first one I didn't do as well as I'd have liked, but I sure didn't get mad drunk and wreck everything again.

This year is more of a vague intent to be less of a spa with money, but already it's looking dodge.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Certainly not.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My granny did.  She was old and in a nursing home and had been saying for years that she's ready to go, and lately she'd been losing the plot a bit.  Due to that last, visiting her wasn't enjoyable and became a chore, which sucks.  We weren't upset when she died because it was a good thing, but it got me wondering at what point in such a process it is one should be upset.

5. What countries did you visit?
Austria, Scotland, England at least five times.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
Life direction, and the discipline to follow it.  In order to move to England and pursue an ambulancing career I need to save money, and in order to save money I need to work a mediocre job, and in order to work a mediocre job I seem to need retail therapy.  A vicious circle isn't following a direction, but I sure have a big pile of cool stuff.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Some day in July that I'll need to find out, because Nice Lady has issued vague but unmistakable threats for if I don't.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I think establishing, running, hosting, producing, organising, paying for, promoting and continuing The Adventuring Party, a weekly gaming podcast.  The work is starting to outweigh the fun but hopefully with a little reshuffling of responsibility we can keep it going.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn't prepare properly for an interview with the London Ambulance Service and so didn't get the job.  Not a huge deal because the job was dispatch, in which I have limited interest, but still, I should have nailed that shit.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was assaulting an enemy-held building in an airsoft game in England, and was advancing in a hurry and had to cross a raised concrete walkway with lots of dead ferns on the other side.  Standing up on this profile-exposer in full view of a machine-gun position within range on the roof, I decided the risks of jumping blind into the ferns outweighed the risks of staying put and getting simu-plugged.  I jumped, and beneath the surface of ferns lay a bit pile of pointy rubble blocks; I stumbled on the uneven landing and fell forward, whereon I boursted my knee on a hard edge.  It's mostly better now a couple of months later, but seriously, screw that.  It provided me with an excuse to buy some terribly fancy knee-pads, but honestly everything that happens to me provides me with an excuse to buy a terribly fancy something.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Although I have many interesting airsoft-related goodies now, and Long Tall Sally (my entry-level Steyr AUG A3 replica) took a fair bit of work before being the reliable performer she is today, to the point where I'm intimate with her inside and out to a degree never shared with a human, she's my baby and we've been through many scrapes together and there are many more to come.  I dress her up nice and she goes easy on my 6mm balls.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Not for any particular reason, but my sister is excellent.  Nice Lady is nice above and beyond the call of duty.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Parents in the family court - boy, the drinking I had to do after witnessing that shite.  The makers of Quantum of Solace, you bastards.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Compulsive airsoft equipment acquisition.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Ski holiday!  Airsoft trip to The Mall!  Lots of other airsoft stuff!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
It wasn't a particularly songy year, but Don't Tread On Me by Metallica made a decent airsoft theme and airsoft played a significant part in my year.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
i. happier or sadder?  Probably a little happier - got an excellent lady.
ii. thinner or fatter?  Haven't been doing kendo in a while, so either fatter or just less fit.
iii. richer or poorer?  In the greater scheme of things, much the same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Saving money.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wondering why work on the bathroom and kitchen are taking so long.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Woke up mad early to see if Santa had been, and he hadn't, the bastard.  In my mum's house and then with my cousins.

21. What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2008?
The magazine article I wrote, the editor sent me the draft layout so I could see how it was looking with the pictures and all, and I replied with instructions to make it absolutely perfect - needs an apostrophe here, that should be a capital letter, try making that two sentences.  Then at some point between him sending it to the printers and it hitting the shelves, most of it got run through a murderous spell-checker.  TacOps became Teacups.  BattleSim because Botulism.  It was pretty much ruined, nonsense, with my name on it.  Fuck.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Technically no, in that I read falling in love to be the head-over-heels, irrational, sudden thing which pursuant to its most recent occurrence that was a classic be-careful-what-you-wish-for scenario holds only limited interest for me.  But I am seeing a great lady who I love in the other sense.

23. How many one-night stands?
I have never had a one-night stand.  Are they good?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
My television programming comes from DVDs only, and even that is very limited.  That one about a spaceship.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
Although I'm still not finished it, I'm really enjoying a non-fiction book called Redcoats (about the lives and times of redcoats).  It takes me ages to read stuff.  Twilight: 2013 is a role-playing game that I was skeptical about at first because of having played and liked its ancestor Twilight: 2000, but slowly came around to it and loved the feel I got from it, which I haven't got from an RPG since maybe Deadlands - the good, clever, consistent rules for lots of thematically-appropriate situations.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That despite having invented portable music, Sony can't make an mp3 player worth the box it comes in (at least not when they were making my new telephone they couldn't).

28. What did you want and get?
Ski holiday!  Lots of gaming conventions!  Nice lady!  Fun outdoor hobby!

29. What did you want and not get?
Job I only sort of wanted in London.  Driver's licence.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Nothing jumps out, but the Star Trek movie was good and didn't wreck Star Trek, which was a pleasant surprise.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 31 and had a house gaming convention to celebrate.  There was a Sharpe drinking game leading to drunk vomity hairy no-trousers man hooting and passing out in the kitchen, which I'd take as an indicator of success.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
For all its pros and cons, London.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
15 quid 3-piece suit for work because I have to.

34. What kept you sane?
Keeping busy with lots of hobbies.  And aforementioned retail therapy of course, although maybe that's more of a symptom of lack of sanity.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Posters of The Baroness from the Action Force movie.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I almost registered to vote for Lisbon but am useless.  Turns out I wasn't needed anyway.

37. Who did you miss?
Lee from the States would have made that snowboarding trip much more fun than being on my own.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Nice Lady.  Holy cow, that was a pretty good new person.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
That I have poor impulse control.  Also, that your personal equipment should always be ready for you to be shaken upside-down by the ankles.  I miss you, iPhone.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Sure it'd take me a year to come up with that, and I wouldn't know what was going to happen yet.
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Date:January 5th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
"I dress her up nice and she goes easy on my 6mm balls"

I bet that's not the first time in your life you've used that phrase.
Date:February 9th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Well, I suppose I can't FB stalk you (as you've liberated yourself from it) but I wanted to say I'm glad you're doing well! Seems like 2010 is your year! Best of luck Shane! - K
Date:April 9th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
Plain and simple! I like your work!

Date:April 14th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
What a great resource!