1. What did you do in 2004 that you had never done before?
Decided not to renew a Ph.D. student as a research assistant.
Got a major NSF grant (not one, but two).
Wrote recommendation letters for a Ph.D. alum's tenure-track job applications.
Ate dim sum 4 times in 36 hours.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Kindasorta: I still did not submit as many proposals and papers as I'd planned to, but I got as many in as I hoped and needed to.
My resolution is to be bolder, more courageous, and more resolute. That means saying yes and no more. (No, not becoming Elvish; separately "yes" and "no".)
ETA: A secondary resolution is to be more amenable to travel and spending time abroad.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one I've met, but a few online friends gave birth, including havocthecat.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thank God.
5. What countries did you visit?
Canada, the weekend before Thanksgiving.
6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
Three months of summer salary.
Some peace and quiet on the <directional> front.
A TEUNCmoot in Kansas.
7. What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
10 Nov 2004 - The day I learned I had been unanimously recommended for tenure by the CIS faculty.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Working up enough courage to say some things that really needed saying, such as my graduate school rant.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not helping students and friends enough in their CS studies; being a mediocre programming tutor to a friend. *facepalm* Could I have a do-over, maybe?
Lacking the courage to say yet more that needed saying.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Things I don't have yet: A SanDisk Cruzer 1Gb USB flash drive key, on 06 Dec 2004. It won't ship until mid-January of 2005, though!
Things I have already received: A COMPAQ Presario SR1010NX (Intel Celeron 2.8GHz, 256Mb RAM) with an HP All-in-One color inkjet printer/scanner/copier, and monitor, for $550 after rebate from NetMarket.com. I also snagged a 512Mb RAM upgrade from Crucial at the beginning of August. Yes, I am saying my best PC purchase was a COMPAQ. Please quit looking at me like that!
Things I used up: A book of stamps, to send Christmas cards to my friends.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Too many to name, but there are a few TEUNCs who stand out. jereeza, narvi, yodge, hempknight. From CRG, I would also add miajesbar, deire, and masteralida. hpguo, for sure. Last but not least: zengeneral and masaga.
The writers and cast of Enterprise; J. J. Abrams and the cast of Lost.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Too many to name as well, for reasons I will not go into.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Savings, as usual.
Spendings: Computers! I got two new (factory-serviced) desktops and one like-new (refurbished) notebook this year.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
May: Going to an SF con (Media West) for the first time (possibly the only time for that one, at least for quite a few years).
July: Overseeing the release of BNJ v3 by the dev team headed by zengeneral.
August: istari_ala moving to America to come to K-State.
August: Giving my first conference paper presentation in five years! I've let students do all the presentations except for my own workshops, and it's high time I started giving talks again.
September: Watching my first episode of Cowboy Bebop.
November: Getting recommended unanimously for tenure.
November: yodge coming to visit America, maybe.
November: Finishing my first NaNoWriMo.
16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
Songs released in past years:
"Gravity", Vienna Teng (thanks, angelfate)
"Forever", Regine Velasquez and Martin Nievera (thanks, angelfate)
"Call Me Call Me", Steve Conte, Cowboy Bebop (courtesy of several CRGers)
"Days Go By", Dirty Vegas
Songs released recently:
"Homecoming" [ MP3 ], Vienna Teng
"Parker Street", Josh Dodes (gee, thanks, yodge)
"Fallen", Sarah McLachlan
"Stupid", Sarah McLachlan
"World on Fire", Sarah McLachlan
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? About the same, all things told.
thinner or fatter? About the same (no more than half a kilo heavier).
richer or poorer? About the same (I got a raise, as usual, but I skipped a month of summer salary).
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Not much, really. Maybe written more papers.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spent time idling and chatting online.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
At a winter retreat in Kansas City.
21. Did you fall in love in 2004?
22. How many one-night stands?
I lost count, really.
Gah, you tell me...
23. What was your favourite TV programme?
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
It is as zerovector wrote:
When I'm inclined to hate someone, I just find reasons to feel sorry for them. There are usually many.
25. What was the best book you read?
Nonfiction, professional textbook: Concrete Mathematics by Graham, Knuth, and Patashnik. I rather liked User-Centered Website Development by McCracken and Wolfe, but I only skimmed it, and even though I recommend it and the target audience is broad, I can't say it's a textbook every CS or IT person should read.
Nonfiction, monograph: I didn't read enough of these. Probably Semantics for Grid Databases: Proceedings of the First International IFIP Conference On Semantics Of A Networked World (ICNSW-2004, Springer LNCS 3226).
Nonfiction, non-professional textbook: Genetics: Analysis of Genes and Genomes, Sixth Edition by Hartl and Jones was good, though I am less than 10% of the way through it, so it shouldn't really count. Pencil Sketching, Second Edition by Thomas C. Wang is a book I've been reading very slowly since September.
Nonfiction, pop culture: Utopian Entrepreneur, which megruder lent me, was a fun read.
Fiction, novel: I am ashamed as frell to say that the only work of fiction I read this year was Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. I didn't even get to A Wizard of Earthsea, trask it. I bought over 30 new novels in April and my list grew by at least 15 books, 30 if you count non-professional nonfiction.
Fiction, anthology: I'm going to see whether I can get through Night Shift by Stephen King before the end of the year. I'll let you know how it goes.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Vienna Teng (thanks, angelfate). Josh Dodes (thanks, yodge). Umm... lemme think.
27. What did you want and get?
January: Friends I could talk about Firefly with!
May: Hugs and handshakes from my new friends in CRG.
June: A notebook (Earrame, a Pentium III-800, 384Mb RAM, Windows 2000) to replace my dead older one (Vingilot, a ThinkPad 600E, Pentium II-366, 288Mb RAM, very stable WinXP Pro upgrade from Windows 2000).
June: A Linux box (Telperion, one of the two COMPAQ Presario SR1010NXs).
September: A WinXP box for my dad that can double as a BitTorrent/Azureus box and Hotline server (Laurelin, the other).
October: Six of my favorite new CDs (BMG subscription).
November-December: Cards from some of my LJ and TEUNC friends.
December: New glasses!
28. What did you want and not get?
A paper in UAI.
About a quijillion CDs.
About a quijillion TV show seasons on DVD.
An NSF CCLI grant.
Enough free time to take up a martial art.
28b. What did you get and not want?
Nothing. Well, a few craptacular craploads of crap, to use the expression miajesbar coined.
29. What was your favourite film(s) of this year?
Like zerovector, I don't think I saw a single movie all year, at least in a theatre.
I saw House of Flying Daggers on VCD and thought it was all right, but I certainly wouldn't call it my favorite anything.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 on 01 Oct 2004. I had my classes and research group meeting, went to a quiet dinner with family, then came home and chatted with friends online.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Robot army takeover! Oh, wait, that's zengeneral's.
Polar icecap flooding! Oh, wait, that's his too.
Having one of my wishes in #28 fulfilled - the NSF CCLI grant in particular! Grrrr!
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
I don't know. Sleeker, younger, less dorky? (*psaaaaag* sacrilege!)
I'll let my LJ friends say it:
"Cute without the mustache" -deire
"You dork!" -yodge
"Spiffy metrosexual" -ellie_desu (LOL)
"About 15 years younger [than with my old glasses]" -figgylicious
33. What kept you sane?
Talking to friends. In the morning, in the evening, in the middle of the night.
I sure chatted up a storm (no, I mean I spent a long time conversing online, not that I hit on Halle Berry's X-Men character).
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy? Nyeh, not so much. Well, OK, who was hot:
Rat-girlKristin Kreuk has gotten sexier on Smallville, but less cute. (I did not say "rat-girl"! You were hearing the voice of hempknight! It's his fault!)
- Similarly with Amy Acker as Illyria on Angel, which just goes to show that it has always been about the librarienne-ness for me.
- I haven't seen Catwoman, so I can't answer how I think Halle Berry has evolved.
- Marguerite Moreau (Monica Young) on Life As We Know It - funny thing is that (a) I never had a crush on any of my teachers, even the really good-looking women; (b) I actually think the pairing of her with her 17-year old prize pupil is cute in the story, but it still squicks a bit; (c) she has gotten less cute on the show as she has gotten progressively skankier. The latter is not to say that sexual aggression can't be cute, just that pants-ripping in a janitor closet... uh, well, isn't so much.
- Evangeline Lilly (Kate) on Lost - now that is cute!
- Emilie de Ravin (Claire) on Lost was kindasorta cute until the repeated shrieking of "theeeeeey threeeatened my BAAAAAABYYYYY" shattered one too many of my eardrums. Word to the wise: nutzen == not so cute.
- I have to say that Emily Rossum as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera seems all manner of hot. (It's this thing I have about giant eyes.) I know, jereeza, I know: "die, Christine, die". mostlyacat also mentioned that she was a little wooden at times. Oh, well.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Lots of them.
Poverty and famine aid is always a big one for me, as are infant vaccinations.
Recently I've become interested in natural resource conservation again.
36. Who did you miss?
I missed a lot of my friends who went offline at various times for various reasons.
I missed Jessica Tandy, because she is Empress Yul-Ranavel of the Archniniei in tanelos.
Similarly, I missed Mark Lenard. I think he'd have made a good praetor in his youth, and moreover, I think Enterprise could have really done well with him in a cameo role.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Online: miajesbar, my long-Lost clone sister
In person: too many to pick just one or a few; practically all of CRG
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
Una vida vivida en miedo es una vida vivida a medias.
(A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.)
I believed it before, but I have had quite a bit of first-hand experience this year.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You're not alone in these stories' pages
The light has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I'll try to hold it in
Yeah, I'll try to hold it in
Date you joined? 2003-02-27 on LJ, 2004-02-26 on GJ
Number of journal entries? 652
Number of people on your friends list? 150 (some the same person)
Person who introduced you to LJ? mirabehn
Still friends with this person? Absolutely.
How many people have you introduced to LJ? To my knowledge, at least 21 (about half indirectly): arwen_lune, barahirion, borgseawolf, carida_46, chriszhong, dashamus, gondhir, hempknight, hpguo, istari_ala, jereeza, kewldeaf, masaga, mrowe, scottharmon, silpan, siocled, sui_degeneris, tamf, yodge, zengeneral
List everyone on your friends list who you have met in person. chriszhong, darana, darkdragoness93, deire, hermes_imagod, hpguo, istari_ala, ldymlissa, lonsolo, lordmathem, lurkinglaurie, masaga, masteralida, megruder, miajesbar, oxbastetxo, njagan, octaviakrysk, phawkwood, queenmidalah, rsmit212, scottharmon, sui_degeneris, zengeneral
Anyone on LJ you can't stand? Some - in general, you won't find them on my friends list.
Name one person on your friends list you would most like to meet. yodge
Ever ban someone from commenting in your journal? Two serial adder trolls.
Number of comments: Posted - 6,291, Received - 6,839
Biggest pet peeve about LJ? Accidentally hitting refresh or clicking on a URL, and overwriting a post I have been working on for 30-60 minutes
Do you feel close to most of the people on your friends list? Some. About half?
How many journals do you have? 3 in LJ including a projects journal, 5 LJ communities; 2 in GJ, 1 GJ community
Name a CD you own that no one else on your friends list does. Hrm... I would have said 10 Song Demo by Rosanne Cash, but... hee. The FreeRide CD.
Name a book you own that no one else on your friends list does. Uhh... Wet Mind by Kosslyn and Koenig
Name a place that you have visited that no one else on your friends list has. Sindian, Taiwan
OK, I'm off for a few days, with sporadic net access (if any)!
See you on the 25th.
Edit, 18:30 CST Sat 25 Dec 2004: I'm back!
Day 0 Report from the Christian Witness Center (CWC) Winter Conference
Tall tree in the Hyatt lobby
1260 people this year! That's over 150 more than last year.
Rachel grabbed my green laser pointer and promptly called out:
EVERYBODY LOOK AWAY!
6000 oranges! Worth every half orange. :-D
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
And Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah,