Thursday, January 3, 2008

End of the year meme

It is a new year! I am a little late to welcome it from my little corner of the blogosphere, but better late than never, right? As it happens I have been inspired once again by Sognatrice and I am going to follow her lead and tag myself with this "end of the year meme". For all of my friends that read me and are new to the blogging lingo, a meme is a list of questions that you see on a blog which you decide to answer on your own blog. You can also be tagged by someone else to do it. Then someone else might see it and answer it, and so on. You can tag someone to do it as well. I liked this particular meme as it allows me to reflect on a great year. Here we go...

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? I moved to Italy, ran a half marathon with my husband, started a blog -in English, made apple pie, learned "some" Italian, read a self-improvement book, went on a girls trip with friends.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I do not make them, but I kind of get into the idea of bringing change into my everyday with some success.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, but my friend Claudia is pregnant (remember she had to miss Paris?). 01.13.08 Update! My "American sister Connie is pregnat too!!!

4. Did anyone close to you die? My husband's dear aunt Chila. She was the eldest of eleven, the mother figure to all surviving siblings. She was always happy and she knew how to take care of everybody. Her house was the heart of the family, you could always count on finding many people at her table, eating and laughing with her. She is dearly missed.

5. What countries did you visit? This is the best part about this year! I went to Colombia in the spring, and in the summer we moved from the States to Italy. We have visited a little of Spain, France, Switzerland, and of course Italy. La dolce vita!

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? My US citizenship, my Italian permesso de soggiorno, and a car -if it is not to much to ask!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? June 26, the day we left California for Italy.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I have become a better person , a positive one, a happier one.

9. What was your biggest failure? I expected to speak fluent Italian by now.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? It was a healthy year but for the little toothache that went to France.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My new camera. We have planned for so long to get a good camera. I just love the fact that I can play with it, changing lens, using it as a manual camera. We are just getting acquainted with each other, but I can tell that we are a good match.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My son Nicolas'. He did not want to move to Italy; he was so sad when we left California! You should see him today, a popular boy with an open mind. He goes on these long car trips with us, with no fast food, no playgrounds, no theme parks, no kid appeal, and he still loves it! He has matured so much, and we are very proud of him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I can't decide between president George W. Bush and president Hugo Chavez.

14. Where did most of your money go? Food... Moving? Packing? Eat out. Lodging? Eat out. New home? Unpacking? Eat out. New country? Italy? EAT OUT!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Our big move to Italy, ah... the possibilities! Traveling, learning a new language, eating great food, drinking really good wine, and changing pace. All of this with my Nicolas and hubby. Mocha too, of course.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Jarabe de Palo's "Mi piace come sei" This is one of my favorite Spanish groups singing in Italian for the first time. It was played on the radio all the time this past summer. It became my song, as I felt that even my favorite singers where making the transition with me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? HAPPIER, thinner and some would say poorer if we take into account the status of the dollar compared to the euro. I feel richer though.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Art.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Cleaning.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas eve with Nicolas and Fernando, having a Colombian meal and waiting until midnight to open one present. It was quiet but nice. Christmas day with new friends sharing an american meal of turkey, sweet potatoes, apple and pumpkin pie. Homesick!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? With Italy.

22. What was your favorite TV program? Monk when I was in the States, we don't watch much TV anymore.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.

24. What was the best book you read? "Bel Canto" by Anne Patchett.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Kiko Veneno. Thank you Chema!

26. What did you want and get? A new laptop, not just any laptop, but a Mac-book. I always wanted a Mac. Thank you mi amor.

27. What did you want and not get? A permesso de soggorno.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I wish I had seen more movies this year, but with all films being dubbed in Italian, I don't enjoy them as much. I have rented some good ones and I would say my favorite is The Namesake.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 41 and I had a week-long celebration that included dinner with my new girlfriends the weekend before my birthday, a nice dinner with my two loves on my birthday, and a weekend trip to Paris to meet with my childhood friends the weekend after. I can't wait to turn 42.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I could have my good friends from California with me.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? A learning curve from the informal sunny beaches of southern California to the fashion conscious winter of northern Italy. Not that you will see me wearing D&G any time soon.

32. What kept you sane? Running and writing my blog (it gives me perspective)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Al Gore and his Nobel peace prize.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The release/non release of hostages by the Colombian guerilla.

35. Who did you miss? My mom always, my American family, and all my great friends back in the States.

36. Who was the best new person you met? This is a difficult question since I have met so many great people. My friend Pien tops the list as she is generous, funny, inteligent and such a good friend. My neighbor and landlady Rossana is a close second as she is always helpful and takes good care of us all, not a bad Italian teacher either.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. We are like plants in a pot, we should carry our roots wherever we go. I did not think of this metaphor on my own, but it was told to me by my friend Cata's husband: German. Thanks!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Alberto Cortez' "A mis amigos" a great song about friendship. Thank you all my friends and have a great 2008.

A mis amigos les adeudo la ternura 
y las palabras de aliento y el abrazo 
el compartir con todos ellos la factura 
que nos presenta la vida paso a paso. 
A mis amigos les adeudo la paciencia 
de tolerarme las espinas más agudas 
los arrebatos del humor 
le negligencia, las vanidades 
los temores y las dudas. 

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