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New Year's Meme 2012-2013 [Jan. 1st, 2013|06:22 pm]
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It has been my tradition since the beginningless past, circa 2006, to complete the same New Years' meme each year, and so record my growth as a person or lack thereof as the case may be (1, 2, 3, 4). And without traditions, what do we have left, other than vast wealth, amazing knowledge of the inner workings of the universe, and miraculously stable institutions?

1)Was 2012 a good year for you?

2) What was your favourite moment of the year?
Hiking across southern Ireland in June. I continue to believe any time in Dingle is time well spent.

3) What was your least favourite moment of the year?
Learning that I did not get a residency job in March banished my limbic system to Hell for about a week, even though it may have ended out a blessing in disguise.

4) Where were you when 2012 began? Who were you with?
I was in thezvi's apartment in New York with alicorn24

5) Where were you when 2012 ended? Who were you with?
I was alone in my apartment in Berkeley, feeling like there really should have been some kind of New Years' party going on nearby but unable to find it.

6) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2012?
Due to my failure to complete this Tradition in 2011, I can't remember what my resolution was.

7) Do you have a new years resolution for 2013?
Yes, a very complicated binding about how I'm going to spend my time, which includes sections on reading more, exploring the area more, running more, and a bunch of other things.

8) Did you make any new friends in 2012?
Soooo many new friends! So many people I met in Berkeley! If I have to choose one, it would be dudley_doright who is a great housemate and generally a good person to have around.

9) Did you travel outside of the US in 2012?
I think I just finished things up in Ireland but otherwise stayed in the country.

10) How many different states did you travel to in 2012?
California, Utah, Alabama, Ohio, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachussetts, Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia and Virginia. So fourteen, unless I forgot some.

11) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2012?
I managed to avoid this.

12) What was your favorite book you read in 2012?
As for fiction, Name of the Wind was a guilty pleasure but an intense one, and SM Stirling's Emberverse books continue to be meticulously brilliant. As for non-fiction, I still need to write up a review of Good Calories; Bad Calories. And it may be that Romance of the Three Kingdoms fails to make this list only because I haven't quite finished it yet.

13) What was your favourite movie that you saw in 2012?
The Avengers was pretty good, by which I mean it's literally the only movie I can remember seeing this year.

14) What was your favourite TV show that you saw in 2012?
Well this one is easy. Avatar: The Last Airbender.

15) What was your favorite music that you heard in 2012?
I think I first heard The King Is Dead sometime in 2012, and I really liked several songs off there like Down By The Water and January Hymn. I also think I somehow got to this year before ever hearing ABBA, which has been...rectified. And as silly as it is, I am still humming some of the songs from Raemon's Solstice Ritual, especially The Sun Is A Mass... and Still Alive.

16) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2012?
Probably about 5 - 10 units total (yes, I am a geek who measures alcohol in units). About half of that was in the brief interval between learning that alcohol significantly increases life expectancy and remembering that it didn't really work for my demographic.

17) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2012?
Somehow I have lived in Berkeley almost four whole months without doing any drugs! Clearly this city has lost its touch.

18) How many people did you date in 2012?
Somehow I have been in a polyamorous community for almost four whole months and still only dated one person (actually, I went out with someone in NYC that was one of those may-or-may-not-be-a-date-hard-to-tell situations). I am deeply unsatisfied with this and I blame demons. There's a neat girl on OKCupid who has been messaging me for a while and we've been trying to arrange dates, but enough things have been going wrong that I think she may be trolling me in some highly elaborate way. On the plus side, I have had more cuddling partners this year than ever before.

19) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I continue to massively and passive-aggressively react to moderate criticism. I feel bad about near-constantly harassing Personalized Medicine to give me my contest winnings when it turned out they had much bigger problems on their plate during that period (all of which are thankfully now solved).

20) What was the biggest lie you told in 2012?
I continue to downplay my polyamorous relationship with Hannah to my non-immediate family, especially my grandparents. I think this is less of a lie than a "they haven't really asked and I didn't feel like telling them, and what they really want to know is whether I've met the person I'm going to marry and the answer continues to be no, and so everyone will be happier and less confused if I just don't bring it up". They probably read my blog anyway and haven't called me out on it, so I feel like I made the right choice.

21) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2012?
Pass. I don't want to rub the person's nose in it any more than I already have.

22) Did you treat somebody badly in 2012?
I had previously absorbed a sense from other people that michaelvassar was so crazy as to be not worth listening to. After talking to him, I am forced to accept that he may be just crazy enough as to be very worth listening to.

23) Did somebody treat you badly in 2012?
I worked with a psychiatrist in June who was sort of a jerk to me.

24) How much money did you spend in 2012?
Ridiculous, unbearable amounts. It cost me $2000 or so to buy a medical elective in Cincinnati, my hiking trip through Ireland must have cost at least $1000, and then traveling across the country for job interviews probably took care of another $4000. And Berkeley is not cheap. I am glad I have savings and glad that Panacea and other nice people like them are paying me so much money.

25) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2012?
On my Surgery Final Exam, I got a man with a very heavy accent who had just had a stroke, which means two strikes against me understanding his speech. I spent the entire examination desperately trying to make out something, anything he was saying, failed miserably, and basically made up my history presentation to the surgeon. It was mortifyingly bad enough that I had to retake the exam (although the second time I passed it just fine).

26) If you could go back in time and change one thing in 2012, what would it be?
I would harass all the hospitals I applied to last year about are they sure they don't need different certifications and do they definitely know that my licensing is in the works? I feel like I might have been rejected because they didn't understand that my licensing situation was actually already being taken care of and they just figured I had no license and so couldn't practice.

27) What are your plans for 2013?
The hope is to spend January in job interviews, get a job that starts in July, and spend the second half of the year working on becoming a psychiatrist. Until that happens I want to keep working for Panacea and SI. On a less grandiose scale, I want to write either an attack on or defense of reactionary politics depending on which way the evidence goes, a sequel to Biodeterminists' Guide focusing on educational interventions, a FAQ on how to discuss politics without being an idiot, a comprehensive and readable description of my fictional constructed culture, revamp my website to include those last three things, and maybe switch this blog to a more prestigious format than LiveJournal.

28) What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
I became a doctor. I guess that only happens once. I attended a church service. And...I don't know, there must be something else.

29)Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my medical school classmates. No one too close.

30)What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A primary relationship. A psychiatry residency. If I have to pick a material good, I'll go with a daylight lamp, because I've heard good things about those and it's mostly the price that's holding me back. And while we're on the subject of things that I want but am currently not getting because they're too expensive, I somehow still do not have a dead-tree copy of the Codex Seraphinianus.

31)What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Most of these are sort of covered in other questions.

32)What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I am now Dr. Scott Alexander, MB, BCh, BAO.

33)What was your biggest failure?
Gah, how many times do I have to mention that I didn't get a residency job? Way to rub it in, Traditional Meme!

34)What was the best thing you bought?
I really like having a smartphone. And I am grateful for what my brother calls my "comically oversized earphones"; they're the only thing that is of any help blocking out all the noise.

35)Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I continue to be impressed by everyone at Panacea I have worked with, especially celandine13, for putting together a really good company that is supporting me and teaching me new things. Raemon's great work on celebrations merits meta-celebration. And I am constantly impressed at the non-awfulness of most of the people who comment on this blog. Everyone else remained at about their background level of meritoriousness, which is many cases is very high.

36)Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Frickin' Alondor Adurellion. No explanations. They know who they are.

37)Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same?
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer, but not in a bad way.

38)What do you wish you'd done more of?
I think I've put "meditating" here every year since the beginningless past. To that I will add reading. I always enjoy all the books I read once I've got them, but I don't get enough books.

39)What do you wish you'd done less of?
I think I've put "INTERNET" here, in all capitals, every year since the beginningless past. But I also wish I had done less interning at hospitals that didn't really want me and didn't really have anything for me to do or learn. People strongly recommended I do it as a resume-builder, and I didn't want to get into the inevitable "You're ruining your life chances" arguments that would have ensued if I had said no, but my guess is that it didn't help and just wasted months when I could have been having the time of my life here in Berkeley.

40) How did you spend Christmas?
I was at Kevin's house for his Christmas party. It went well.

41) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28. I was on an all-day train ride from Detroit to Chicago. I desperately tried to schedule things so I would get my birthday at home, and the hospitals just refused to work with me on it. Not the best birthday ever.

42) What was your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Well, I no longer have hair. That's a pretty big deal. And thanks to people like Luke and oscredwin I actually started thinking about fashion this year. Now I actually have three entire pairs of pants that are not sweatpants, and a shiny leather jacket (did you know you can just buy leather jackets at the store? You don't have to prove you're a badass biker or anything!) And I've got to remember to buy non-white socks.

43) What kept you sane?
Blogging was actually pretty useful in that regard.

44) Which celebrity figure did you admire the most?
Elon Musk has gone from badassery to badassery consistantly enough to make him this year's winner.

45) What news story do you remember most from 2012?
I think Syria started in 2011, so maybe that doesn't count, but it still seems much more important than most other news stories that are going on now and I wish someone would do something. Other than that, I was glad people found the Higgs Boson.

46) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
A lot of my problems are caused by being too pseudo-ethical, where pseudo-ethical means I'm doing something to avoid even the tiniest probability that I could be viewed as overstepping my bounds, even when that is dumb. If people offer me something I want, I should take it even if I secretly worry I don't deserve it.

47)Quote a song lyric.
So raise a glass to turnings of the season,
and watch it as it arcs towards the sun,
and you must bear your neighbors' burden within reason,
and your labors will be borne when all is done.

- Don't Carry It All


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From: (Anonymous)
2013-01-02 05:45 am (UTC)
"What was your favourite moment of the year?"

My favorite was that thing you helped me out with. I'll keep it vague, since Scott doesn't seem to be the boastfull sort. Just everyone know he's a real stand up guy and he helped me out of a jam. Cheers, Scott! Happy New Year and thanks again.

-Greg Russell
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: squid314
2013-01-03 09:12 am (UTC)
You're welcome. Happy New Year!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mountainkiss
2013-01-02 03:02 pm (UTC)
I read Name of the Wind as Gone with the Wind, which did my head in like nobody's business.

Why doesn't alcohol work for your demographic? I did read your alcohol post but somehow managed to miss that inference. (I'm a non-drinker for reasons that aren't going to change, so am interested in the topic.)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: Roman Davis
2013-01-03 07:33 am (UTC)
Young people often participate in risky behavior while drunk, and most of the gains are from help with heart problems which don't kill nearly as many young people.
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