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2012 meme

it's been a while since i've done a meme and a while since i've done this one, but xtingu did this, so i thought, "sure, why not." self-reflection is good, yes?

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

got my first real paying commission for an original composition (as opposed to a marching band arrangement). received prescription drugs for high blood pressure. visited Chicago. had so much physical pain in my body that i couldn't stand up for more than a minute without being in absolute agony for a period of a few days. wrote a choir piece and had it performed in Los Angeles. stayed in town during a hurricane. bought a watch that cost over $100. considered (but ultimately rejected) getting a smartphone for my personal phone plan. visited Graceland. did a google hangout with Angie and some of her friends who are amazing people.

1a. What other interesting things did you do in 2012 that aren't mentioned elsewhere in this journal post?

well how the hell am i supposed to know that until i finish the rest of the meme? what am i, a time machine?

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I'm a pretty non-believer of new year's resolutions. in fact, to make a new year's resolution would break one of the only new year's resolutions i've ever made over a decade ago which was to never make a new year's resolution. The primary reason why is explained in this livejournal entry.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

a lot of acquaintances and good friends, but not anyone who is super close. this will change next year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

not that i know of.

5. What countries did you visit?

no international travel for me for a long time now. I want to change that, but it's tough to prioritize that over traveling to see all of my close friends who happen to live in the US.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

romance, maybe? for various reasons it's been a long time since i've had a serious girlfriend or considered pursuing one with any sort of forwardness. we'll see what happens in the new year.

7. What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

hard dates never etch themselves in my memory. my memory doesn't really work like that.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

there are a few answers to this.

writing my wind ensemble piece beauty...beholder felt like a big accomplishment. Partially because it's part of question 1 - it was my first professional paid commission by a collegiate ensemble for an original piece of music. Partially because it's the first original large ensemble piece i've written since roughly 2002, and the only original large ensemble piece that is getting performed outside of the context of a class. And partially because while i think the piece could use some tweaking and revision musically, i'm very happy with it overall and feel very strongly about the piece's message and political stance which i think has relevance to the entire classical music industry as a whole, and that stance has already earned enough resonance that i'm going to be traveling to the University of Hawaii to give a talk about it.

My poker skill increased dramatically at the end of the summer. In the second half of 2012 i won 5x as much as i won in the first half of 2012 even though i played about 1/3 of the hours. More than the actual math, in the second half of the year i felt much more in control of the tables, particularly in New Orleans but also in other places i went. I still made my share of mistakes, but I learned how to minimize those mistakes and maximize my long term expectation. I attribute some of this skill jump with the fact that my summer was so busy that I had to take a break from the tables to focus on my musical endeavors, and that break got me out of a particular rut of playing that i was trapped in. When i came back with a fresh perspective, my approach to playing changed enough based on principles that i understood but could never implement fully that really solidified my play. It's my hope that in 2013 I'll be able to keep that up, continue to dominate the tables but also continue to hone my skill and not settle into a particular routine like i had in the beginning of the year.

More than both of those things, i think that in 2012 i really accelerated my general professional progress and am in a fast stride regarding my motivations, my ambitions, and how those ambitions are realized. In 2013 I'm already taking two trips that are purely professional and i may be able to add one or two more, I have a commission that's going to be world premiered at PASIC which feels like a big deal, and I have an appetite to write some more original stuff for Tulane, continue to write more music for my nienteForte concert series, and push more technology boundaries when i get my new laptop, my Leap Motion device, and a bunch of software for it. I have a long-term goal of ensuring that I have at least one composition project a year, and at the rate that i'm going, i may have to up that goal to two a year to establish a new bar - and there's no reason right now not to do that, to push myself both creatively and administratively to further my musical ambitions.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I spent a few months trying to find a place to move to, something i wanted to achieve over the summer or soon after. I'm going to try that again this year, although where exactly depends on a few different factors that are not completely mine.

This didn't start in 2012, but it continued that i've taken a couple of steps backward in my issues regarding intimacy, trust, and relationships.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

eh. nothing except an extruded disc that knocked me out for about two weeks. no biggie. ;)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Poker Tracker Pro, an iPhone app that helped me keep track of my poker data in a very easy way.

Super Hexagon.

A fairly expensive pair of dress shoes are that are the most comfortable dress shoes that i've worn in my life. They seriously feel as comfortable as bathroom slippers.

My dual monitor stand so that i can set up my two monitors vertically instead of horizontally.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

These questions feel like they're written to be opposite of each other, like "who did good things//who did bad things?" But my answer doesn't have the ability to have that sort of straightforwardness. Anyone i associate with and care about does things that warrants celebration. I love and care about so many people and am constantly in awe of how amazing they are even when they do things that other people might see as ordinary - even they themselves. I don't see my friends' lives in that way. Nothing that they do should not be celebrated. Nothing they do would make me depressed.

As for the general populace, i don't let myself get too hung up on people that could make me appalled or depressed because if they know me then they don't care about my opinion so my hung-upedness is only a detriment to myself.

14. Where did most of your money go?

rent, but i guess i'm not supposed to count that. i'm not sure what the second answer is, maybe travel since in 2012 i traveled to Eugene, Estes Park, Chicago, Portland, and Philadelphia. I also went to Graceland, but that was part of a TUMB trip.

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

i was excited to go to Graceland since i'm a pretty big Elvis fan. I was pretty excited about my summer trip to Eugene/Estes Park/Chicago. I was excited to get the commission for the wind ensemble piece. And very very grateful.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

i'm horrible with dates, remember? maybe beauty...beholder just because of the landmark it is in my career.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? - happier
ii. thinner or fatter? - thinner
iii. richer or poorer? - richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

um, i dunno. cocaine? what a strangely worded question. i suppose domestic things? I dunno.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

i have no idea how to answer this. i really tried to think of how to answer this for about three minutes and have come up with nothing.

20. How did you spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve?

Thanksgiving i got a lot of music writing done and i played a lot of poker. I also watched over Mark's animals.

Christmas i went to Portland and met up with a lot of friends, then went to Philly to cook a pot roast and play a lot of board games. I just wrote about that.

New Year's Eve i was on a plane back to new orleans. Because i had played cards until about 4am the night before, i went to bed early pretty much as soon as i got in my apartment from the airport, around 22:30.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

it's probably a tie between Kim and Kate.

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

alas, no.

23. How many one-night stands?

one half. don't ask.

24. What's your favorite TV program?

I assume this is referring to "in the year 2012". I dunno, i'm pretty selective with my telly. The Mentalist is pretty good, the last season of Leverage didn't turn out as bad as i initially thought it was going to be, and the Green Lantern Animated Series is pretty wonderful.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

There's only one person that is consistently on my hate list. It's not nearly as active a hate as it was fifteen years ago, but any time his name gets brought up i still have an instinct to do very creative and manipulative things to his psyche. It's more of a game than anything else, i need to have that outlet somewhere, right?

26. What was the best book you read in 2012?

I was very impressed with Brust's Tiassa.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Clark's album Iradelphic is pretty phenomenal. I listen to that and Totem's Flare pretty obsessively these days.

28. What did you want and get?

I don't have a good recollection of what i wanted in 2012. I don't think i ever want much. I guess a successful poker year? I didn't have a good rate per hour, but i did manage to win about $5000.

29. What did you want and not get?

this one is a bit too personal to answer when i want to make this entry public.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Probably The Avengers

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I had my nienteForte concert on my birthday this past year and that was a lot of fun despite some of the stress. I turned 37.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

now this is an intriguing question.

*ponders*

i dunno, i think this goes back to the whole reason why i don't do wishes. How satisfying my life is is a state of mind more than anything else. Sure, it's not perfect, there are things that i could have done better, but i push forward and do the best to make my life what i want it to be and adapt to situations that might not be ideal.

i can always find faults if i want to. i wish i made more poker money, i wish i had more sex, i wish i had found a new place to live, i wish i found romance, i wish i didn't fuck up my back, i wish i could visit alaska i wish i wish i wish. But there's no reason to harp on those sort of negatives when there is so much about my life that is awesome. i have great friends, i have a great job, i've made a lot of strides. i'm very happy and satisfied with my life and how i continue to push and strive to excel and further my personal and professional ambitions and my sense of contentedness.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

myself.

34. What kept you sane?

Kim, Kate, Kim, Katie, Angie, Felix, Mark, Megan.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? i'm generally not attracted to celebrities. The one exception to this is Jewel Staite, and i guess i can say that i fancied her again in 2012 since i rewatched Firefly this past year.

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36. What political issue stirred you the most?

anything to do with Romney. What a sleazeball.

37. Who did you miss?

bre, of course. that will never change. i miss the closeness that i had with Rachel sometimes, and i always wonder what Rebec' is up to. i always miss friends i haven't seen in person in a while.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

All of the people involved in the Spruce and Dante neighborhood film shoot were really interesting people. I owe a few of them drinks, something which i hope to address soon once the semester gets rolling a bit.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

a lot of my successes and failure boils down to persistence and willpower and 2012 reinforced that.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

ugh. i don't listen to songs with lyrics and when i do i don't really pay attention to them. i've spent too long on this meme already to search for anything too meaningful, so we'll just go with this.

2013. time to get to work.

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