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Well well well.  If there is one thing that can shake me out of my blogging snooze, maybe it is the tried and true End of the Year meme.  I am inspired enough to continue the tradition so – Hello!  Sorry for the prolonged absence.  Let’s see if 2011 allows for a little more blogging time. 

 

Without further ado:

 

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Is it too early in the meme to mention buying a house?  I bought a house.

 

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I once made a New Year’s resolution to not worry about New Year’s resolutions.  Yeah.  I kept that one. 

 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes.

 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Define “close.”  Close enough to go to his funeral?  Yes.  Drat.  I came very close to having ONE year with no funerals. 

 

5. What countries did you visit?

U.S.A.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A very warm pair of slippers.  I got a pair for Christmas but they need to be exchanged for a larger size.  California is COLD!

 

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t do numbers.  Numbers do not etch themselves upon my memory.

 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think getting three different job offers was fairly reassuring. 

 

9. What was your biggest failure?

No big failures.  Just some disappointments.  Like my crappy poker stats at the end of the year.  *sigh* I would like to be in the top 25% out of almost 2 million players.  Which is still dismal compared to my 96% rating out of over one million players a couple of years ago.  But oh well.  72% this year.  Nothing I can do about it now. Stupid full-time job getting in the way of my poker playing.  *grumble*

 

Also, I and the medical establishment in Maui failed completely to alleviate any of my chronic issues this year.  Medical establishment – you suck (except maybe for that rather handsome ENT doc who actually figured one thing out).

 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No major illness, but yes indeedy – more body parts broke down again this year.  Arthritis diagnosed.  Inflamed larynx (I have pictures!).  Undiagnosed hip issue. Potentially uncooperative reproductive system.   It’s the joy of aging, folks.

 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

That would be the aforementioned HOUSE.

 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I gotta give a shout-out to my former co-workers this year.  I spent almost six months at my old workplace this year before I left again for another job.  The office has been a sinking ship and it’s been a weekly drama of people leaving, both voluntarily and involuntarily.  It’s been stressful, sad, frustrating, and just downright wrong to see a once very-highly-regarded office of professionals fade away.  But through it all, most of these folks have been supportive of each other while maintaining a (sometimes gallows-like) sense of humor. 

 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Some people at the old company who do not warrant celebration.   

 

14. Where did most of your money go?

See #s 1 & 11.

 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving back to California.  Hello family and friends.  We’re baaaack!!!!

 

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Hmmm….need to think about that a bit.

 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. Happier or sadder?  About the same, I think. 

 

2. Thinner or fatter?  Congrats to me.  This is one year I can say, without a doubt – fatter. 

Wait. 

No congrats to me.  Frak.

3. Richer or poorer?  About a hundred times poorer.  In cash. 

 

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Surfing.

 

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

Working. 

 

20. How will you be spending Christmas/Hanukkah?

Sweetie and I spent it with family in the various places that our families are located.

 

21. How many one-night stands?

None.  We sold most of our furniture in Maui. 

 

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Leverage

AND – I rediscovered The Young Riders!  Yup.  That’s right – 1980s television goodness right there.

 

 

 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No hate in the 808 (or 916) brah. 

 

24. What was the best book you read?

Hmmm……the latest releases of the Fables trade paperbacks.  And, I have to say – I’m almost done with Atlas Shrugged and I’m glad I (almost) read it.  That’s probably a whole other blog.  

Fables.png

 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can I just change this to musical moments?  This year, I said good-bye to two of my all-time favorite bands, as both declared they are retiring. Sweetie just got me A-ha’s final album.  And Big Sis and I saw Scorpions live in concert.  Farewell, dear dudes.  That’s a lotta music between them (yes, A-ha produced more than one song in the 1980s….sheesh).

 

26. What did you want and get?

More time with family and friends.  A job with health insurance.  A house.

 

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Toy Story 3

 

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

I was, and still am today, 39.  Spent it with family and my former roomie and her family at mom’s house where she/we hosted a Chinese-fondue/hot pot dinner of awesomeness and yum.

 

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Winning a few more poker games to bring my stats up.

 

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Oh-my-lord-I-do-not-have-a-proper-wardrobe-for-cold-weather-ACKKKKKKK!

 

31. What kept you sane?

Who you callin’ “sane” Willis?

 

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I do not.

 

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

The on-going legal sideshow surrounding Prop 8 here in California.  Never should have passed in the first place, and this whole debacle is embarrassing.  The midterm elections were also kind of amusing for the amount of people who honestly think anyone seeking higher office in this country is capable of steering Congress in some productive direction.  Oh, and Christine O’Donnell, for comedic relief. 

 

34. Who did you miss?

 A-ha.  I missed seeing them in concert.  Never did get to see them.  Boo hoo. 

 

35. Who was the best new person you met?

Well, it was significant that I met the five principals of the firm that I am now working for.  Good group of folks.

 

36. Did you fall in love in 2010?

All the time.

 

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

There’s always a better house somewhere down the road. 

 

37.  Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

 

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……or so I think.

Warning:  For anyone interested in the series finale of Lost who has not seen it yet – you may not want to read my old theory. Or this blog.  But for those of you who have – or who don’t give a crap one way or the other – I’ll just babble on for a bit.

I’ll point you over to the blog I wrote back in April 2007 where I sort of included my own pet theory of what was going on on that little island in “Lost.”  As I said in my blog, I like to point out how little details in the show support my theory.  And I continue to do that up until the very end. 

Do I think my idea is/was closer to the shows conclusion than others?  YES!!  Was it completely accurate?  No  – because, well – that was THREE years and countless plot twists ago.  But I don’t think I was that far off.  Maybe insert Jacob for The Others.  Or not.  The writers didn’t really explain that tonight at all.  For the record:

https://stonegirl.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/my-lost-theory/

But here’s the thing —— about this time last night, I was thinking back through about all the questions I’ve had, all the questions left unanswered.  I was thinking how pissed I would be if the writers just ignored them and left me hanging.  I was ready to sit in front of the TV tonight with a score card.  A big fat score card.  (this is some sort of analogy to life, I know)

And then………today……..sometime……….I let it go.  I thought about why I liked the show to begin with.  I certainly was not impressed with the premise of the show.  I thought it was dumb and I had no intention of watching.  Then, I realized that one of my new favorite actors was going to be on the show.  And boom – my ass was in front of the first episode.  And from there – I didn’t need any other excuse than the one the writers gave me  – the character development. Being a writer, I am a big fan of character development.  And being a fan of Twilight Zone and other shows that have tried to somewhat emulate Twilight Zone through the years (X-Files much), I am a big fan of taking stereotypes and sticking them upside down on their ears.  The first few episodes did that for me, in triplicate.  And I was hooked.  I never looked back.

I SHOULD PROBABLY INSERT A SPOILER ALERT HERE

I realized today that what I most wanted tonight was for the characters to be true to themselves.  I resigned myself to the fact that not all the questions would be answered.  Could Walt make things appear out of nowhere?  What did the numbers mean?  What happens if Claire doesn’t raise Aaron?  What’s the magic box Ben uses?  Why was Libby in the same mental hospital as Hurley?  What was Jacob’s original lists of passengers all about?? And on and on you could go. 

But when the time came for me to sit down and watch tonight, I relaxed.  And thought – ok – let’s just finish it.  And that will probably mean that my own brain will still need to fill in the gaps.  And for people who watch most TV shows, that may be really irritating. 

But think how many times that happens in literature.  In a really good movie.  In life.  Are we always going to get the answers we want?  No.  Does the exact same answer mean the same thing to two different people with different thought processes and experiences?  No.  Does that make life frustrating?  Yes.  Is someone going to come through our lives and tie things up in a pretty bow for us?  Uh……not any day soon, no.

Did the writers answer everything?  No, but if you think about it long and hard enough, they may have answered more than we thought.  Before the show started tonight, my sister asked me “Why can’t babies be born on the island?”  And I said something along the lines of  “Because life can’t be created in the place where life is over.”  Of course, even that doesn’t explain it all.  Charlotte was born on the island, supposedly.  Was she?  Does that mean Jin and Sun’s baby was never even born?  Who knows. 

I’m not saying the answers don’t matter.  They do.  But did I need answers tonight to say goodbye to the show?  No.  I needed the story.  And the people.  I needed to have a small little cry (I’ll tell you when I cried if you tell me when you did).  And I needed to keep thinking about things tomorrow.  Because that’s what we do.  We keep going in the face of uncertainty, the absence of logic, and without having all the answers.  Hell, half the time we don’t even KNOW THE QUESTION.  (42 anyone?)  Do we hate it sometimes?  Sure.  But if we are lucky, we don’t go through it alone (thanks Sis!).  And we can be comforted (and aggravated) by the fact that tomorrow may bring 14 new questions.  As my husband sometimes says to me (grrrrrr): “Deal with it.”

Drives me nuts but sometimes he is correct.

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And now for something a little more lighthearted……

…..how about TV commentary?

I have been known to tune into a television show for the sole purpose of watching one actor.

Take “Lost” for instance.  When ABC first started running promos of their new series about a bunch of plane-wrecked people stuck on an island, I thought “How stupid.”  I thought it was a lame premise.  I had no interest in watching the show. 

Then, one of the commercials showed this guy:

Dominic Monaghan

Dominic Monaghan.  At that point -most recently known as young hobbit Merry from The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.  I loved Dom in the movies and had been looking out for him in other movie roles.  And there he was – on my TV and about to show up in a new series.  Sign me up!  What channel!?  Where’s my beer and popcorn!?!  Who cares what the story is about – That’s DOM! 

The rest is mostly history.  Became entranced with the series.  Loved the incredible character development.  Got sick and tired of the millions of questions posed without any answers.  Stuck with it like a sap.  Still waiting for the show to redeem itself in this newest season.

Anyway.  That’s what happens.  Lost was a lucky discovery for me.

So, imagine me jumping off my couch over a year ago when Sweetie and I were channel surfing, the TV ended up on TNT, and a commercial for the new series “Leverage” popped up (http://www.tnt.tv/series/leverage/) , and I saw this guy:

“Hey hey hey!!”  I yelled.  “That’s Christian Kane!”

Indeed.  Probably not known to many people, I first “met” Christian Kane when he portrayed evil lawyer (is that a little redundant?) Lindsey McDonald in Angel – the spin-off series from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my all time favorite television series. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking – That Stone Girl.  She just likes the scruffy-looking pretty boys. 

No. 

Well,

ok maybe. 

But I didn’t go gaga for Christian Kane until the second season of Angel when, much to the surprise of the characters and the audience alike, we all discovered that lawyer Lindsey McDonald could SING:

 

*sigh* Color me besotted.  I like a nice voice.  I mean – come on….Jesse Martin? ……hot.  Jesse Martin singing??  Center-of-the-sun-burning-studly HOT.

After that Angel episode, I learned that, while not acting, Christian Kane was the front man for his own country western band – Kane.  I don’t know if they are still active and producing music but I managed to buy a couple of CDs and I love them.  My country music collection is pretty small – mostly Johnny Cash and Diamond Rio.  But I like Kane’s stuff and usually keep that CD in rotation in my CD changer (yes, I still use one). 

Anyhoo –

That quick snip of Christian Kane on the commercial was all I needed to tune into the first episode of Leverage last year.  Sweetie watched with me.  It’s about a bunch of thieves and an ex-insurance investigator who used to track down thieves.  They are now working together to —-hmmmm — basically swindle swindlers.  They take on cases from people wronged by big corporations or evil/greedy people and they set up cons to get back money or bring people down, etc. etc.  It’s a little bit of OCeans Eleven and maybe the A-Team.  But I’m not sure because I never watched the A-Team. 

Sweetie and I were pleasantly surprised by the series.  Some top-notch acting with the lead role played by Timothy Hutton.  Some interesting plots and twists.  Some good characters who have been developing little by little over the series.  And – it is damn funny!  It’s just funny.  The characters are quirky and their stereotypes are played to the hilt.  The geeky hacker is full of one-liners and catch phrases.  The grifter wanna-be-actress who can play any part in any con but can’t act on stage to save her life.  The anti-social thief daredevil who just loves money.  And Christian’s character – the bruiser type who loves the challenge of a good fight and is learning to act as part of a team. 

Much as Sweetie and I enjoyed the show – we kept forgetting to watch it last year.  So, we’ve Netflixed the first one and a half seasons and we are currently watching 2 to 3 episodes a night.  It’s just so enjoyable.  I suppose there are many others watching because I think it just got picked up for a third season.  Happy to hear it because I enjoy the show and I always like to see good Buffy/Angel alums getting steady work. 

Anyway, I don’t plug TV shows that often.  But if you’re sitting at home on……..uhhhh…..hmmm….I think they moved it to Wednesday nights……with nothing to do and a hankering for some quirky characters and a good con, check it out.

UPDATE

By the way, looks like Christian Kane’s music site is still around. Check it out at:

 www.kanemusic.com

UPDATE #2

Drat.  Looks like that site is down.  I’ll just have to refer you here:  http://www.christiankane.com/, where you can check out a whole lotta Christian Kane, including *yea!* his music.

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