I can't say I had any big events in 2008. No new job, no new house, no new relationships. That's actually a good thing, as I'm busy enough as it is without life altering events. I did turn 50, however.
I read 147 books. This is a lot less than usual, but I read less when I travel. Again, roughly 3/4 were rereads. Michael Innes was a particular disappointment to reread, as I found the Inspector Appleby mysteries to be horribly overwritten. William X. Kienzle, Jane Langton, Kathleen Taylor and Marissa Piesman provided mysteries that were far more enjoyable to reread. My favorite reread was Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, with hysterically funny descriptions of his travels to see endangered species and make fun of them. Of books I read for the first time, notable ones include The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, Client by Parnell Hall, My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman, The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith, and Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. The worst book I read was 4 Blondes by Candace Bushnell, after which I had to shower about 20 times to get the stench of its awfulness away from me.
I got rid of 114 books. I have about another 30 ready to go. I also acquired lots of books, alas. But I am reasonably sure fewer came in than went out, so the net result is positive. I also used freecycle to get rid of more household odds and ends I wasn't using. There is still plenty of decluttering to go, however.
I did 14 Volksmarch events. That included finishing special event programs - U.S. Presidents, College Campuses, American Revolution, and American Authors & Literary Landmarks. I added 3 more state capitals (Dover, DE, Denver, CO, and Richmond, VA) and two states (Colorado and West Virginia). The special event programs I am working on and my progress towards them are 50 States (26/50), 51 Capitals (17/51), Walking the USA A-Z (25/26 since I still haven't done a "Z" walk), Walking Europe in the United States (15/20), Spirit of Walking / Cemetery Stroll (15/40), Railroad Heritage (23/25) and Riverwalk America (15/20). I've also gotten the record books for 4 new programs - Museum Walk America, America's Historic Churches, Walking America's Artistic Heritage, and Celebrate America's Gardens: Public Flower Gardens and Flower Festivals.
I traveled a lot. The big trips were to Fiji to volunteer on an archaeological dig in January, Madagascar in August, and Cambodia (plus a few days in Bangkok) in December. Business travel was limited to a couple of trips to Los Angeles and one to Colorado Springs. Domestic travel included St. Petersburg, Florida and Houston (for baseball games), Denver (for GeoStock), and a lot of weekends in the mid-Atlantic region, e.g. West Virginia for a Volksmarch weekend and New York for theatre going.
The storytelling year included performing at the Mid-Winter Festival and the Washington Folk Festival. I also went to the Virginia Storytelling Alliance gathering, the Williamsburg Storytelling Festival, and the Lower Brandywine Valley Storytelling Festival, as well as a lot of story swaps. I even made it to Long Beach Storytellers when I was in L.A. for a conference in early April.
As far as being entertained, the highlight of the theatre going year was the Kander & Ebb celebration at Signature Theatre (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Happy Time and The Visit). I made it to Broadway to see Curtains, as well as taking my mother to see Young Frankenstein. Other theatre going included several D.C. Fringe Festival shows, Citizen Josh at Arena Stage, MacHomer at Wooly Mammoth, and Grey Gardens at Studio Theatre, as well as a couple of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and a Cirque du Soleil show (Kooza). I went to the symphony (well, two NSO Pops shows and one serious concert). My single favorite performance of the entire year was Eric Idle's Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) at Wolf Trap.
I saw 20 movies in theatres (including several at various film festivals) and 11 on airplanes. Highlights included In Bruges, The Visitor, Young at Heart, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Linguists, and Slumdog Millionaire.
I completed 4 life list items - taking a volunteer vacation, learning entrelac, seeing Angkor Wat, and eating a durian. I added 2 Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, 3 major league ballparks (but only a net gain of 1, due to the New York ballpark closures), 1 more book from the Haycroft-Queen mystery list, and a little more of the Bible.
As far as other things go, I've learned a couple of new crafts (hairpin lace and nalbinding). And I've really been enjoying the Music and the Brain lectures at the Library of Congress. It's nice to find new ways of thinking about subjects I've been interested in for ages. I'm looking forward to the remaining lectures over the next year and a half.
Goals for 2009 are:
- spend more time with Robert
- finish the Volksmarch A-Z program
- finish reading the Old Testament
- get caught up on writing travelogues
- knit a sweater a month
- exercise at least twice a week
- learn a new story every month
- try a new recipe every month
- organize my postcard collection
- go to the remaining American League ballparks I haven't been to (Seattle and the new Heart of Darkness)
- go to at least one dance performance
Note that a couple of these are recycled from things I didn't quite finish last year. Good thing I like being busy.