Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review

So...t'was New Year's Eve, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, now that Pawn Stars is over and my brother is putting his spawn to bed.  And here I sit on the computer updating my blog.  I've been home now for a couple of weeks, and I have one more day before I start the series of flights and layovers that will take me back to Mongolia.  I'll write more about what these two weeks have entailed when I DO get back, but for my last post of 2012 I thought I would reflect on what this year has brought (in one sentence or less per month)...
January - dumping the chump (more or less).
February - jobhunting.
March - a new job.
April - kicking the blog up a notch.
May - the insanity of putting together a school art exhibition and mopping up the yearbook simultaneously.
June - Evil's wedding which I missed because my non-Irish principal was a bitch.
July - South American Extravaganza!
August - moving to Mongolia.
September - making friends.
October - a new (inferior) quiz
November - X-Files revival
December - Babysister's baby.

This post was inspired by Five and Domestic Goddess' suggestion that I post my book list to my blog.  For the last three years I have kept track of the books I read over the year in a facebook note.  In 2011 I read a total of 70 books; just shy of 6 books a month.  I bettered my score by more than one book a month...and here are the books that helped me to make it to a grand total of 85 books (7 a month with one to spare!) in 2012:
1. Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher
2. Academ's Fury, by Jim Butcher
3. Cursor's Fury, by Jim Butcher
4. Captain's Fury, by Jim Butcher
5. Princep's Fury, by Jim Butcher
6. First Lord's Fury, by Jim Butcher
7. Mastiff,  by Tamora Pierce
8. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
9. The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan
10. Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare
11. Dragonsong, by Anne McCaffrey
12. Dragonsinger, by Anne McCaffrey
13. Dragondrums, by Anne McCaffrey
14. The Throne of Fire, by Rick Riordan
15. Alanna, by Tamora Pierce
16. In the Hand of the Goddess, by Tamora Pierce
17. The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, by Tamora Pierce
18. Lioness Rampant, by Tamora Pierce
19. The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett
20. A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett
21. Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett
22. Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortensen
23. Daughter of the Wind, by Suzanne Fisher Staples
24. The Death of Faith, by Donna Leon
25. Lost on Planet China, by J. Maarten Troost (I actually read it twice, but I'll only count it once, to be fair)
26. The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett
27. The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak
28. February Flowers, by Fan Wu
29. Communism: A Love Story, by Jeff Sparrow
30. Deadlocked, by Charlaine Harris
31. Dead Beat, by Jim Butcher
32. White Night, by Jim Butcher
33. The Shack, by William P. Young
34. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
35. Girls of Riyadh, by Rajaa Alsanea
36. Slumdog Millionaire, by Vikas Swarup
37. The Midnight Palace, by Carlos y Ruiz Zafon
38. The Nine Lives of Chloe King, by Liz Braswell
39. The Shadow of Night, by Deborah Harkness
40. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
41. The Serpent's Shadow, by Rick Riordan
42. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
43. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
44. The Shadow Plague, by Brandon Mull
45. Dragonquest, by Anne McCaffrey
46. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
47. Once Upon A Marigold, by Jean Ferris
48. The Last Guardian, by Eoin Colfer
49. Guide to Teaching English Abroad, by English Teacher X
50. Way to Be, by Gordon B. Hinckley
51. Daughter of Kura, by Debra Austin
52. And Another Thing, by Eoin Colfer
53. Ashes of Honor, by Seanan McGuire
54. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
55. Living Dead in Dallas, by Charlaine Harris
56. Club Dead, by Charlaine Harris
57. Dead to the World, by Charlaine Harris
58. Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris
59. Definitely Dead, by Charlaine Harris
60. All Together Dead, by Charlaine Harris
61. From Dead to Worse, by Charlaine Harris
62. Dead and Gone, by Charlaine Harris
63. Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris
64. Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Harris
65. Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
66. Last Breath, by Rachel Caine
67. Black Dawn, by Rachel Caine
68. A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
69. The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan
70. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
71. Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry
72. Messenger, by Lois Lowry
73. Divergent, by Veronica Roth
74. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
75. Hidden, by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
76. Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary, by Brandon Mull
77. Keys to the Demon Prison, by Brandon Mull
78. Cold Days, by Jim Butcher
79. Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
80. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, by Suzanne Collins
81. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins
82. Gregor and the Marks of Secret, by Suzanne Collins
83. Gregor and the Code of Claw, by Suzanne Collins
84. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
85. Notorious Nineteen, by Janet Evanovich

Next year's goal: I think I'll go with Five's suggestion and aim for 100 books read in 2013.  I'm going to try to read some of the "classics" but will, no doubt, have to heavily intersperse them with my preferred mix of fantasy and teen books to make it to my lofty goal.  Along those lines, I don't really do resolutions for New Year's - it's like a recipe for failure - but I have recently decided to build better body habits.  I spent a lot of 2011 trying to lose weight and a lot of 2012 teetering between trying to accept myself and being frustrated because I still wanted to be better.  Back around early November or so I realized that I should do both.  I have little doubt that my extra pounds help me stay warm in the mind-numbing cold of the steppe, and I've recently come up with some other reasons to be grateful for being fat, but although I'm in great health right now that can't last unless I take steps to preserve it.  So I started using the school's treadmills every morning to get a 30 minute walk in.  When I had done that for 21 days (the number of days it takes to establish a habit...it took a while since I give myself the weekends off and I missed at least a day each week), I started one-pop days.  I've racked those up much more quickly, although since I went on vacation I've had quite a few scratch days.  I need two more one-pop days, and I've decided that my next habit will be to have only one sweet (candy bar, cookie, cake, whatever) each day.  After that, I'm not sure what the next step will be, but I have about a month to figure out.  So there you have it.  I feel like I've grown up a lot this year, but paying off my student loans has freed me to be a little more spontaneous, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next twelve months take me.  And this, friends, is how you ring in the new year blogging.  Happy New Year, y'all.

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