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What All Went Down in ’09

2009 photo
photo credit Môsieur J. (version 3.0b)

I thought a couple weeks into 2010 I’d do a little wrap-up of 2009. It was, after all, a fairly unusual year for me. Also, I’ve neglected my pal the bulleted list and I feel I owe him a big one.

(Wee note: I’ve gone and put a new theme on the blog, so poke your head in for a peek, hey? I hope you like it.)

  • My far-and-away favourite part of 2009 was making new friends. I set out to get more involved in the crafts community here in Vancouver, and I’ve met some lovely people who create amazing things. I also made some new online friends and even met some in person. And let’s not forget the Portland Craftgasm. Overall, I ended 2009 feeling like I was really a part of the crafts community both locally and internetly, and this gives me the happies.
  • I spent much of the year not making much of anything, though. I was burnt out on crochet, and on yarn in general. I tinkered with embroidery and had dreams of quilting, but really I just ended up spending a lot of time playing World of Warcraft. The game-playing tickled a different part of my brain, and I enjoyed it immensely. The live-social aspects of the game blew my mind until the relative blathering stupidity of much of it turned me off. Still, I want to game more.
  • By the end of the year I’d gotten my craft back. Now I’m crocheting and knitting again, and I’m again dreaming about sewing.
  • I’m also writing a lot more. I’m blogging more, and I’m very much enjoying my new gig at the Make and Meaning blog. I’ve neglected The Creative Life blog, but I plan to stop doing that. Both of those blogs are exactly the kinds of things I wanted to get involved with at the start of ’09, so go me with the goal-meeting.
  • Two interviews I did at the very end of 2008 set the stage for ’09 in fairly dramatic ways. Discussing creativity and the things that make me tick with Brenda Dayne on Cast-On kept me thinking about what I find most satisfying and kept me focused on providing myself with it. And talking crafty business with Sister Diane on Craftypod ended up being a gift that kept giving. I met so many people because of that interview. And let’s not forget that I got to know Sister Diane better, which is a gift all on its own.
  • You helped me raise over $1700 for pancreatic-cancer research. And I thank you again. This spring my father will decide if it’s time to prophylactically remove his pancreas. Whether he chooses that this is the right time or not, the study he’s participating in means his pancreas is examined routinely. That study is funded by the Lustgarten Foundation, and it will hopefully lead to better screening for people whose families are tormented by the disease like mine is, and for the vast majority of sufferers who just get pancreatic cancer at random.
  • My sixth book, Crocheted Gifts, came out in the fall. I really like this book, and other people seem to like it, too.
  • I turned 33 the day Handmade Nation screened here in Vancouver, and I had about the best crafty birthday ever.
  • Over the course of the year I started to read 23 books and finished 20 of them. I loved The Book of Negroes (beautifully told story, historically educational), The Name of the Wind (outstanding fantasy) and On Writing (best writing book I’ve come across and the only one I could get through). I couldn’t finish Made to Stick (it’s poorly written, the “science” annoyed me), The Echo Maker (I wrote about it) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (great idea, terrible horrible no-good very bad execution that’s launched a spate of monster-classics reboots that hopefully won’t suck as much) (oh, and I wrote more about it, too).
  • I did a podcast (with Jenny Ryan, who rocks my world). It was tremendous fun and I intended to do more but was sidelined by my second topic. Copyright can do that to a girl. Still, I learned quite a lot putting that podcast together, and I would very much like to tinker more with the medium.
  • It was a pretty epic year for television-on-DVD watching, that’s for damn sure. Freaks and Geeks struck me through the heart and brain and Styx will never be the same again. Deadwood injected a new vocabulary item into near-daily usage. 30 Rock challenges Arrested Development for funniest show ever. Tina Fey is fucking amazing and Jack Donaghy is, I think, the best sitcom character ever written. At least, that’s what I think today. We’re into the second season of Dr. Who, and I love it. (Also, we just named our new car the TARDIS, on account of the inside of a Honda Fit being bigger than the outside. We bought this car because the transmission in our ten-year-old Volkswagen Golf crapped out just before Christmas. Yay, end of 2009.) Television-on-television was pretty sucky, the only exceptions being Dollhouse and, inconsistently, Glee.
  • It took me till April to figure out how not to work – before then I barely noticed the compunction I felt to be productive. Which, of course, consisted of sitting in front of my computer “working”. Hiatus FAIL. But after my big epiphany about that, I stopped sitting in front of my computer so much.
  • Even while I enjoyed my time off, I did have a big over-arching goal to end up with great work at the end of the year, and I knew the best way to end up with it would be to talk to tons of people about what I wanted to do. I did such a good job with this particular part of my hiatus that I ended up starting to work full-time in September. Four months later, I’m still with LexPublica, and I’m enjoying it very much.

I’m sure I missed whole swaths of important-at-the-time events and trends for the year, but I’m not so concerned about it. With 2010 starting despite my having failed to wrap-up ’09 until now, I’m more focused on the here-and-now, and on the high-level, informal goals I have for this year. I want to read more, make more, and write more both for fun and for pay. I have a vague goal to get paid to speak at events and the like (I like public speaking and I’m pretty good at it. You know, just in case you were thinking about hitting me up but thought I wouldn’t be interested. How’s that for just tossing that out there?).

So thus, two weeks late, endeth 2009.

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SisterDiane

Aw, shoot. I'm so glad 2009 gave us a chance to meet in person! It's really cool to read your rundown of the year's events, and see how much you managed to do with a year “off.” I know you'll create an amazing 2010.

Freaking awesome new theme, by the way!

Amy J.

Ha! TARDIS. We just started watching Doctor Who season 1 recently and, while it's no Battlestar Galactica (sniff), I'm enjoying it so far. Also, we just saw the first disc of Season 1 of 'Breaking Bad', and I must say that both of us are already hooked. It has all sorts of chemistry references (it's about a chem teacher with terminal cancer who gets into the meth business) that my chem geek husband loves, and much like Dexter, where I wasn't sure I'd like the subject matter, the material somewhat transcends the situations the main character gets himself into (if that makes any sense). Well it seems I only write about TV when I comment on your blog–I guess it was all those years of watching X-files, or Party of Five (!), or ER, or Friends, or etc. with you at Bingo!

Josh

Scrumptious year-end review, Kim. I feel you. Congratulations both for the pancreatic-cancer research assistance and the new blog theme. Both of them make me happy. And thank you for the bullet list – I can never get enough. Thoughts are just so much easier to relate when bulleted. 30 rock is fantastic, but I think you need to revisit AD to remind yourself of how unfrigginbelievable it really was. And when you say Dr Who Season 1, do you mean 1963, or 2005? I've never seen the show and think that I'd really like to but don't think I'd ever be able to work from the beginning. I'm worried that starting in the middle would leave me at a disadvantage when I finally get to speak to hard-core fans about the show. Good luck crafting and writing and friending in twenty ten!

GinkgoKnits

There really is no need to see any of the old Dr. Who if you don't want to. It's actually no longer possible to see every episode. Just like with the new series and the differences between season one and two, the quality really depends on how much you like the actor playing The Doctor. Tom Baker is widely considered the most popular Dr. Who and would be a good choice for seeing what the old series was all about. The style is radically different from today's — low tech, farcical, with an emphasis on letting the audience laugh at the zipper on the back of the alien costumes while the attractive female companion screams in terror. If you can find the fun in watching an old Godzilla film, you have a shot at enjoying it. Just don't expect anything like BSG.

Chelsey

So fun to see your yearly round up! I recently came to your blog via make and meaning and I'm loving both! I think we have similar philosophies and tastes in TV definitely. You've got a lot of great DT ahead of you (and if you like him in Who you should check out Blackpool). And though it's sad to see him go, the new show runner is the guy wrote the scariest episodes (zombie gasmask people!) so hopefully it will be good without him.

Also, I see you're looking to get into sewing. I did a post on my blog about getting started sewing, you should check it out. http://silverbugstudio.blogspot.com/2010/01/get

I've been wanting to learn how to crochet, so I'll be coming through your stuff for resources.

canvas art

I think you got there in the end – getting away from the computer is the ONLY way to have a real holiday!

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