Meme – My reflections on 2008

I’m falling in line and participating in an internet meme. Go figure.

I’ve copied the questions from Danjiel Orsolic’s entry.

Q: What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
A: Accidentally CC’ed a pro-gun “hurray” to a mailing list full of people who are mostly European and socialist leaning. There were some harsh backlashes from that, and I managed to root a few gun lovers from that list!

Q: Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for the next year?
A: I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. One thing about my personal philosophy is that I don’t want to be a slave to time. New Years is an excuse to party and get drunk, but realistically, it’s no different than any other day. I try to learn something new every day, stretch myself a little bit more, and that’s good enough. I make New Day’s resolutions and sometimes I meet them!

Q: Did anyone close to you give birth?
A: Nope.

Q: Did anyone close to you die?
A: Nope.

Q: What countries/states did you visit?
A: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire.

Q: What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A: Freedom. Too vague? I’d like to think of time a lot less. Essentially, right now I think in terms of days and “morning”, “afternoon” and “late”. I’m also aware of “weekday”, “payday” and “weekend”. I’d say also “understanding of my wife”. This might be unfair, since it gets deeper everyday and that has been true of 2008 too, but it will be deeper than it was in 2008, I’m sure. These two things together will hopefully come to a head in 2009 as we ditch our current lifestyle and fall into something that suits us much better. 🙂

Q: What was your biggest failure of the year ?
A: I can’t think of anything specifically. I think perhaps I really have internalized that while “Learn from your mistakes” thing. I’ve had some really difficult times with my wife in 2008, and in some points felt really angry, inadequate and resentful. Yet at the same time, the foundation of our relationship let us move from this and we’re stronger now than we were when we began. I can’t call that a failure but I might have if you asked me at the time.

Q: What was your biggest achievement ?
A: I committed to move to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. I managed to convince my wife to. And Danjiel, when 20K other do. And Edison Franklin. I sat at a table for two days talking about the FSP and my ideology and felt GREAT doing it. Realistically, I think that got very few people “turned on” to liberty, but it was an extension of feeling confident in my ideology and it was VERY empowering.

Q: Did you suffer illness or injury?
A: No. I’m bulletproof and immune to pathogens. Didn’t you know?

Q: What was the best thing you bought?
A: My Honda Element, Bluebeard.

Q: Whose behavior merited celebration?
A: Lauren Canario. Ian Freeman. Denis Goddard. Mark Edge. Russell Kanning. Kira Kanning. Kat Kanning. Jim Johnson. Dale Everett. A handful of people I know only by a single name, like AnarchoJesse and Puke. There’s probably dozens more in New Hampshire spreading the ideas of freedom and non-aggression through non-cooperative means. Those people, I celebrate.

Of course, that’s not to say they’re the only people making waves and growing freedom, they’re just the most visible ones to me.

Q: Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A: Hans Reiser. Oddly, less because he killed his wife. I actually sent him a letter prior to him revealing the location of Nina’s body. The letter was fine but the tone conveyed a sense of arrogance and… I’m not sure how to phrase that exactly. People hurt people, even gruesomely sometimes. I understand that. But there was a sense of refusal to accept responsibility for his actions and the impact of his actions on his children. I dunno, it was disturbing.

Q: Where did most of your money go?
A: To maintaining. Meh. I hate it. It’ll stop soon enough. The lifestyle I live now isn’t what I want and I’m finally going to break from that.

Q: What did you get really, really, really excited about?
A: The Free State Project. This was the main impetus of 2008 for me. A sub-moment was when my wife finally began getting excited about the move and community. Finally, we’re going to begin a mobile lifestyle as full-time RVers, at least for a while. This and the implications of that have me very excited.

Q: What song will always remind you of 2008?
A: Aimee Allen’s “Ron Paul Revolution”. Much less that it was Ron Paul but there’s so very little pro-liberty music. Most music is dominated by liberal fluff and there’s some music that’s counter-liberal. Seeing a well produced, catchy video with an attractive female in it… It made me feel that liberty might be going mainstream and that’s a damn memorable thing.

Q: Compared to last year, are you:
* happier or sadder ? Happier, mostly. In general, I’m more of everything, but I’m usually happy.

* thinner or fatter ? Fatter.

* richer or poorer ? Richer. I’ve even made some more money.

Q: What do you wish you’d done more of ?
A: Goal setting. I know where I want to go sometimes but setting goals that I can reach to show me I’m getting there sometimes evokes positive feelings.

Q: What do you wish you’d done less of ?
A: Spending money on useless stuff.

Q: How did you spend Christmas ?
A: Watching TV.

Q: Did you fall in love in 2008?
A: Yep!

Q: How many one-night stands?
A: None.

Q: What was your favorite TV program ?
A: I watched the entire series “Firefly” on DVD. It’s not new, but that ranks pretty high. I also watched all of “Dexter” and “Weeds” and both are awesome. I’m still in love with “House”. I watched “Heroes” again this year. It makes me miss “The 4400” and that makes me mad.

Q: Did you make a friend with anyone that you didn’t know this time last year?
A: Yes, several.

Q: What was the best book you read?
A: “The Market for Liberty” by Morris and Linda Tannehill was the most personally impacting. “Elantris” by Brandon Sanderson was also very enjoyable to read and I think I have recommended “Healing Our World” by Dr. Mary Ruwart more than any other.

Q: What was your greatest musical discovery?
A: I’m starting to really dig Weezer. I’ve heard some trance that I actually purchased because I liked it so much.

Q: What did you want and get?
A: Most everything.

Q: What did you want and not get?
A: A working phone, powered by Free Software. Openmoko was a spectacular failure in my opinion. Those wounds still sting.

Q: What was your favorite film of this year?
A: Serenity. It’s not new, but I saw it for the first time this year.

Q: What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
A: Nothing special at all. In fact, this was the first year I went the ENTIRE day without hearing “Happy Birthday” at all. I enjoyed that very much. I get a day older every day, and I dislike the pretense. I’m 24… I think. I really do forget sometime.

Q: What one thing would have made you year immeasurably more satisfying?
A: The abolishment of coercive force that people today call “Government”. I don’t take kindly to being threatened and made to feel afraid.

Q: How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
A: Expanding. I don’t care about what other people think in terms of fashion, but I made some changes to my personal appearance. I discovered that I like the color green in clothing, so a lot of my shirts have included green. I also finally took the plunge and shaved my head bald and it’s absolutely amazing!

Q: What kept you sane?
A: Knowing it will keep getting better. That is, of course, assuming I was sane to start.

Q: Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
A: Summer Glau. She’s hot and was plastered all over the TV with the Terminator series.

Q: What political issue stirred you the most?
A: All of them? I don’t separate “politics” from day to day life. I think that kind of separation is used by aggressors to justify what they do (i.e. One man taking another man’s money is “theft” unless you’re “being political” in which case it’s “taxes”.) My particular issues at this point are an end to the Drug War. That’s the biggest for me right now. Secondly would probably be an expansion of property ownership rights (i.e. anybody owning any property is acceptable including felons owning guns) and property protection rights (i.e. “Castle Laws”). Breaking down socio-sexual taboo is always on the list.

Q: Who did you miss?
A: Seton Williams, a friend who was killed a few years ago in a car accident. And my wife of course, but I know she’ll keep coming home from work. 😛

Q: Who was the best new person you met?
A: Pete Eyre probably tops the list. He’s a pro-liberty, agorist and voluntaryist activism rockstar who has me in awe. I met Ian Freeman and Mark Edge, Lauren Canario and Russell Kanning earlier this year and they’re awesome too.

Q: Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
A: Every human being owns him- or herself. The initiation of force or fraud against other people is wrong. That’s it.

It’s a simple concept, but the life lesson I really take from that is how many “buts” and “though” and “what ifs” people have to pollute that simple concept. It’s hard to put that into words though. This “there is nothing else” is so final and absolute and right.

Q: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
A: “Who needs stupid books. They are for petty crooks. And I will learn by studying the lessons in my dreams.”

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