Friday, January 02, 2009

Weekend Assignment #249: Looking Back at 2009

I've been struggling over the last 24 hours to come up with a New Year-themed Weekend Assignment that isn't too lame, and wasn't previously asked by John Scalzi, myself, or the culture at large. I didn't quite manage it, but here's an Assignment that has possibilities for a range of answers from profound to silly:

Weekend Assignment #249: Today is January 2, 2010. Tell us about the most interesting things that happened in 2009, in the world and also in your life in particular

Extra Credit:
How did you do on your 2009 resolutions, if any?

Here's mine.

Now that 2009 is over, I'm delighted to say it was a huge improvement over 2008. At the end of that year, George W. Bush was still in office, there was renewed fighting in the Middle East, the future of many businesses was in serious jeopardy, unemployment was rising and I personally had been unemployed for nearly four months. What a difference a year makes!

As knotty a problem as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been, not to mention the intermittent but deadly skirmishes between Israel and its neighbors, I don't think anyone expected much progress toward peace in less than a year. Secretary Clinton's dramatic "3 AM phone call" deal with Israel and Hamass in September changed all that, coupled with President Obama's roundtable discussions with the leaders of Iran and Irag back in April. The strategic redeployment of troops that President Obama promised seems to be working, various Ayatollahs and other leaders have said grudgingly nice things about the new American government, and people across the Middle East are starting to have opportunities to make a living again, resulting in fewer new terrorists. People are still fighting and dying every day, and we still hear of the occasional bombing, but overall things are much better. And we all got a laugh when Hillary threw that guy's shoes back at him.

Lee H. Brown Family Conservation Learning Center at the Reid Park Zoo.
Photo from

Here in the States, we still have two of the three major car makers, and it looks at though they will continue in business in the long term. I'm looking forward to buying a Ford Cloud someday. Meanwhile, I've passed all four parts of the CPA exam, and my job with Tucson GreenWorks keeps me busy, accounting for all those fixed assets Obama's economic stimulus packages helped to buy, and for the payroll of people now helping to deploy green technology across the country.

On my New Year's resolutions, obviously my biggest ones were to get a job and to pass the CPA exam. Mission accomplished! When it's not too hot, I'm getting a lot of walking in at lunch, and working out evenings, and gradually losing weight. And my new agent has high hopes of placing my novels now that I've actually finished Mages and the book market is picking up.

That was 2009 for me. How did it look to you? Write up your impressions of the year in your blog, with a link back to this entry, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week to post the results. Meanwhile...

For Weekend Assignment #248: What'dja Get?, I asked what you got for Christmas or Hanukkah. Here are excerpts from your responses:

Julie said...

The most interesting was certainly this tablet. I asked for a tablet to use with Photoshop. Paul picked up a really cool one, that does so much more....

Becky said in comments...

While not particularly interesting, these gifts were unexpected. I received two books from my MIL for Christmas. One Patricia Cornwall and one JK Rowling (the Beadle the Bard book). I'm not going to bother to check if I've spelled the authors' names correctly. But could it be possible that after more than 20 years together as a couple, my husband's mother has finally figured out my taste/true wants? THAT is the really unexpected part. ;)

Florinda said...

The most unexpected gift I received this Christmas was one that came in a green envelope that I opened at my mother-in-law's house on Christmas afternoon. My not having a "list" this year affected her too, since she would normally get some of the items on it passed on along to her by Tall Paul, and the two of them must have had some discussions about what she could do about my gift when I had no specific requests to grant.

(Click through to see what this unexpected gift actually was!)

Karen H. (Scobberlotcher) said in comments...

I think my biggest surprise gift was a camera from my hubby. It was one of those items we both said we needed and would get around to getting soon. It was nice that he remembered and took care of it. The best thing about my Christmas was seeing pure, unadulterated joy from my girls (ages 4 and 5) who are at the age where they still see the magic. My four year old kept going back to the hearth to show everyone that the cookies were eaten by Santa, the carrots for the reindeer were also gone and half of the milk in the glass was consumed. I don't think I'll ever forget that.

Mike said...

Well, one that kind of covers both was a game that Jenn gave me. Actually it's three games for the price of one! What a bargain! Yes, I'm doing that on purpose. Why? Well, just look here at the set of games; it kind of makes you talk like that.

(Again, click through to satisfy your curiosity!)

That's it for now! As you start in on those 2009 resolutions, I hope you'll take a little time to look back to the future with me for this Weekend Assignment.A reminder: I'm still running low on ideas here, so I still need your input. What would you like to see as a Weekend Assignment topic? Email me your suggestions (mavarin at If I use your topic you'll get full credit and my undying thanks.



barrettmanor said...

Here ya go:

Florinda said...

Sounds like 2009 was a pretty good year on your end. Here's what mine was like.

Mike said...

You had a god 2009. That's great! My review of 2009 is up. I had a little fun with it.