Sunday, 4 January 2009

'How 2008 was for me' Meme

Have been ignoring this self-absorbed meme till now but wtf, bored... 40 questions about your year to prompt a review of the one just gone as another one starts. Questions as answered by several online friends.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
--Locked myself out of my own house and had to get help from the police to get back in. Emergency locksmith cost £400. Did a good job though.
--Attended a Buddhist funeral. It did the job and I hope all the Buddhists I know live forever so I never have to attend another one. As funerals go, it was a good one.
--Danced on stage, dressed in Cardinal's robes and hat, to defy Benedict XVI's proclamation that the gays are killing the planet. It wasn't me, Gov! It was my partner, Queer Royale, wot killed the rainforest and Warmed the Globe, honest.
--Had an eight course meal in the best restaurant in Prague, on Valentine's Day.
--Went with my entire family, three generations, shopping for a gold cocktail frock for their fifty two year old son to wear to a drag ball.
--Visited Blackpool, and Liverpool too.
--Ate gin pie!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and did you make more for 2009?
I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you.
Actually, there's one thing I've been procrastinating over for years and I have promised myself I'll take care of it this month. I need to contact a lawyer to help me with it so I'll wait till nearer payday because of the likely expense.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Baby brother for my godson and namesake. How his dad, an old friend who looks like a potato, manages to have such lovely babies defies the laws of Genetics.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my much beloved aunt died suddenly just into the new year. Then one of my very best friends died very suddenly just before Christmas. The Grim Reaper is a bastard.

5. What countries did you visit?
Czech Republic, Germany, The Azores, Scotland.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I can't think of any important thing that I need.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
--St Valentine's Day in Prague: a perfect day!
--Celebrating thirteenth anniversary with my partner by doing some very fine dining at Bacchus in Hoxton and returning there to celebrate our civil partnership anniversary in delightful company, a couple of months later, just before Nuno Mendes closed for good to move on up, to Mayfair.
--5th of November! Waking up to confirmation that Obama had won! Hooray, someone with a brain and a conscience will be running the US for the next four years!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Going to the gym daily for the past six months. Losing almost 20kg of unwanted flab.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failing to seduce Brandon Flowers.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing worse than toothaches. And there was the heartache over Brandon Flowers of course...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
New iPod, shiny silver and altogether better than the old one. Six times as many songs and hours more battery power.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My dad's tenacity and cheerfulness in the face of rapidly declining mental and physical health.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Benedict XVI. Eurovision audience who voted for Russia. Julie Bindel. Jeremy Clarkson. Prince. Robert Mugabe. Sarah Palin.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paid in bonuses to useless bloody bankers.

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

16. What songs will always remind you of 2008?
--Grace Jones' La Vie En Rose (saw her at Meltdown and she was breathtakingly good):

--M.I.A.'s Paper Planes (Readers Wifes' favourite at Duckie)

--Fettes Brot's Emanuela (I first heard it in Berlin in June but it's three years old)

--And, of course, The Killers' Human (Brandon, lovely Brandon...)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier. I'm alive and healthy. In defiance of Armistead Maupin's dictum that you can't have a good man, flat and job all at the same time, I am happy with my lovely partner, our house in the middle of this great city, and a fulfilling job that doesn't stress me too much (currently...)
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, much! Yay me! Weight loss programme went into reverse over Christmas / New Year though but I only beefed up by about 4kg in a month. I'll soon exercise that off!
iii. richer or poorer?
Poorer, like everybody in the Western world, but I'm not selling the Big Issue so I'm not going to whinge.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Random acts of kindness. Staying in five star hotels. Eating in swanky restaurants. Spending time with my friend who died just before Christmas.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Hissing at people on the tube. Judging other people harshly. Worrying (about the day that never came). Raiding the fridge late at night.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Wandering through empty London to eat gay turkey in a gay restaurant with Queer Royale. Lovely. Then home for Doctor Who (an OK one but not a great one). I had a mild toothache but was too drunk to care.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes, with Brandon Flowers. I may be suffering from erotomania... He's not really my type but I melt whenever I hear him sing I'm on my knees, looking fir the answer.

22. How many one-night stands?
Don't be silly. I'm 52. I grew out of that decades ago. Best I would manage is a quick fumble in a dark room... Unless that's Brandon on the phone.

23. What were your favourite TV programs?
Battlestar Galactica. Boy A. Doctor Who. The IT Crowd. Mad Men. MasterChef. The Restaurant. Survivors. The Tudors. Wallander. The Wire. Lots of good tv in 2008, and thank Miss God for iPlayer! Lost went off the boil and Heroes was just irksome rubbish this time around.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nobody whom I have actually met. Have taken an intense and instant dislike to Matt Smith. And Milo Ventimiglia but I hated him in 2007 too.

25. What were the best books you read?
Top Three:
--1. What was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn.
--2. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.
--3. No Blade of Grass by John Christopher.
I have read far too few books this year and they had to be good to keep me interested! Read so-o-o-o many books on the philosophy and practice of education for my course though...

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
German rappers Fettes Brot. They are probably very unhip over there now (on Wikipedia they're called hip hop dinosaurs but then I'm also a dinosaur). I first heard Emanuela when I was visiting Berlin and I've listened to it more or less non-stop on my gym playlist since, and have sampled much of their back catalogue too.

27. What did you want and get?
Everything I needed. Plus trips abroad. And my niece found and bought for me a pair of black opera gloves that were the answer to my prayers when putting together an outfit for the drag ball. I love her.

28. What did you want and not get?
The face I had when I was 25. Brandon Flowers' taut butt.

29. What was your favourite film of this year?
In ascending order:
-10. No Country for Old Men.
--9. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
--8. Wall-E.
--7. Sweeney Todd.
--6. Cloverfield.
--5. The Dark Knight.
--4. Son of Rambow.
--3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Le Scaphandre et le Papillon).
--2. In Bruges.
--1. Mamma Mia.
The Winner Takes It All!

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Two long flights and a long sit in an airport. I am now a Silver Fox, apparently. I'd rather be a Silverback. They're sexier than foxes.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
That nobody would have died, nor have started to rust.
That Paterson Joseph would have been the new Doctor Who.
That Azerbaijan would have won the Eurovision Song Contest:

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Uncle Fester in jeans.

33. What kept you sane?
Duckie. Daily gym. Lots of sleep. My good buddies. Plymouth gin. Lots of spinach.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Brandon Flowers.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The sudden fulfilment of all those forgotten prophecies of the death of international capitalism.
The London Mayoral Election (which was won by a poorly house-trained Labrador).

36. Whom did you miss?
See answer to Question 4.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
--Little sister's new partner. A big improvement on the utter shit she's divorcing.
--Garethwyn, fellow denizen of the RVT Activity Island. Cymru am byth!
--My new boss turned out to be fine and dandy too.
--As did the course leader for my Masters programme. She's a sweetie. Of course, I might change my mind about that when the last assignment is marked and returned.

38. Did you enjoy this year?
Absolutely and, as a good friend said elsewhere: And the bad parts made me appreciate the great parts all the more.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?
Enjoy it while it lasts. As my dad is wont to say: Ye're a lang time deid...

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
We love this exaltation
We want the new temptations
It's like a revelation
We live on fascination.

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