I will zip through my December updates and tell you how my goals worked out for the year.
See 12 concerts
Goal status: PASS – 10 events over 15 nights; saw 40 bands
Rom and I bought tickets for 10 concerts, but 3 of them were multi-day festivals. His favourites were Architects (hardcore) and This Sound Will Save You (synth pop); mine were Janelle Monae (jazz/r&b) and Of Montreal (art rock).
We didn’t go to any concerts in December, but we have tickets for a metal show in March – it’s In Flames!
Watch 52 movies/DVDs
Goal Status: FAIL – only saw 31
In December, I saw two movies. Link was home for a couple of weeks, and the three of us went to see The Hobbit. At 2 hours and 46 minutes, it was probably not the best movie for me to sit through after a long day at work! But I’m glad I saw it.
A few months ago, I read the book The Elegance of the Hedgehog. This month I watched the DVD based on the book, Le Hérisson (The Hedgehog). I was pleasantly surprised. If you thought the book was too bogged down in philosophy, the movie will hit the spot.
I didn’t succeed in my goal of seeing 52 movies – not even close – the total was 31. We saw 6 movies in the theatre, 1 screening with a director chat, 1 at the Atlantic Film Festival, and the rest on DVD/Netflix.
Some other things I watched were Big Bang Theory, Adventure Time and Homestuck!
Read 52 books
Goal Status: PASS – read 55
In December, I read 5 books. They were:
Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots – Nicole S. Young (photos/how-to)
I had a look at this book but didn’t have time to practice the techniques! I might need to buy my own copy.
The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers –Josh Kilmer-Purcell (rural living memoir)
I didn’t know until the end of the book that the author and his partner had been featured in a reality TV series, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, and they also won The Amazing Race this year!
The Casual Vacancy – J. K. Rowling
I was not expecting anything like Harry Potter, but I was still taken aback by this book. The author’s world view is bleak. In the town of Pagford, teens hate their parents, parents hate their kids, and neighbours hate neighbours. It’s so extreme, you realize it has to be social satire. Ms. Rowling throws in every social ill known to humankind. I found it unrelentingly grim, but I wanted to know how it was resolved. I would not recommend it to most people I know. I will be interested to see how it plays on TV next year, though!
Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia – Hannah Dolan (photos/toys)
This cheered me up after reading The Casual Vacancy.
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science – Richard Holmes (science biography)
This lovely book spins tales of sailing to tropical islands, discovering a new planet, taking the first hot air balloon ride, and other wonders of the 18th century. Science captured the public imagination and became the inspiration for novelists and poets. Highly recommended!
Of the 55 books I read this year:
- 18 were novels
- 3 were Young Adult novels
- 3 were graphic novels
- 8 were photo-based books (nonfiction)
- the remaining 23 were nonfiction.
There were a few themes:
- 3 apocalyptic fiction, a genre I’m finding irresistible: Ready Player One, The Flame Alphabet and The Age of Miracles. On my to-read list: Feed and The Blondes
- 3 cooking memoirs by bloggers: Kitchen Counter Cooking School, A Homemade Life, and Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. On my to-read list: Trail of Crumbs.
- 2 parenting memoirs: Bringing Up Bebe and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
- 2 historical fantasy “steampunk “ novels: The Night Circus and Angelmaker
I also bought 3 books this year I haven’t read yet, and adopted 3 additional “like new” books I haven’t read yet, so they will all be carried over to 2013.
Goal Status: PASS at least up to October
In 2012 I wanted to continue menu planning, eating Real Food, and tracking what I ate on DietPower (a software program). These all took place. I had managed to avoid all products with HFCS in them for most of the year, but I fell off the wagon at year-end because of holiday candy. For new goals, I wanted to try baking bread and buying local meat. I started baking bread in January and made it through to October before running short on time, but I am ready to knead once again! I have an old bread maker which I tried out twice; the loaves were just OK, but I may try a couple more times before giving it up. The local meat plan didn’t happen. From January to May, we deliberately used up all the meat in the freezer, and then we switched to vegetarian for the rest of the year.
Going into January, I will just be reversing the holiday slide and getting back to “normal,” with meal planning, vegetarian recipes and bread baking.
My restaurant goal changed over the year. I had noted 4 good local spots I wanted to visit, but because they all had very few vegetarian options, Rom and I decided not to go after all. We wanted to identify some good vegetarian dining-out options, and were very happy with Curry Village, Heartwood, the Italian Market and Blue Olive Taverna. I am especially pleased that we ate vegetarian meals on our trips to Toronto and London (UK). I am still waiting for a Fine Dining vegetarian experience, though – I will need to include this as part of our future travel plans. We had planned to go to Vanilla Black in London, but didn’t make it.
Personal Finance Goals
Goal Status – PASS – happy with this one
In 2012, I needed to set aside money for new glasses for myself and Link, travel to Toronto and the UK, and gifts for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. All of those happened without incurring any debt.
I had intended to pay for Link’s university degree, but since Link left school, I have been reorganizing my savings goals. I have continued saving the same amount – it will be used for future home repairs and retirement funds.
So of my 5 major goals, I give myself a pass on 4.
My other goals for 2012 are much easier to summarize.
- Attend Atlantic Film Festival – yes, one movie – PASS
- Play Magic the Gathering with Rom monthly – no, I didn’t – once this year, I think – FAIL
- Make a Things-to-Buy list and stick to the list – no, will try again in 2013! – FAIL
- Give away items on Freecycle – no, donated elsewhere instead, so good enough! – PASS
- Attend PFLAG group – no, doesn’t exist any more locally, so goal was dropped
- Improve driving – yes, I have aimed to increase Rom’s confidence in my driving skills. Several recent bouts of winter storm driving have upped my rating! – PASS
- De-cluttering – completed one project, started the other two (50 and 80% complete) – IN PROGRESS
- Inventory and improve wardrobe – yes, ongoing – PASS
I will give myself 4.5 out of 8!
I liked having specific goals this year because they kept me focused and accountable, especially by publishing them. And it was great having your support!
Onwards to 2013 goals!