Friday, January 1, 2021

Year-End Survey 2020

 Here's my year-end survey for 2020!

1. What did you do in 2020 that you'd never done before?
  • Ran a funeral fundraiser.
  • Filed my taxes through a professional tax preparer.
  • Took ownership of some place settings of my mother's china.
  • Got invited to play-test a card game for Steven Universe.
  • Went on an actual specific diet.
  • Joined a postcard-writing campaign for a political candidate.
  • Donated to a political candidate.
  • Had a work-from-home job.
  • Spent Halloween alone (dressed up, though!).
  • Began participating in a group online game night.
  • Made a four-tier cake and worked with fondant.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, these were my resolutions, and whether I kept them:
  • Finish a book and start editing it. [Did NOT.]
  • Complete my photos page on the new domain. [Did NOT.]
  • Make healthier choices with my eating, including taking vitamins and not eating just because I'm bored, therefore being able to fit into some of the clothes I'm a little too chunky for right now. [ACHIEVED!]
  • Get some kind of consistency to responding to e-mail and comments. [Did NOT.]
  • Use Lyft to go to work less often--try to ride the bus more. [ACHIEVED, but it was only because of plague.]
  • Get some kind of pattern to do better on social media besides Facebook. I want to be more active on Twitter and Instagram. [Did NOT.]
  • Submit more short stories. Can't really control if I get picked, but I hope to! [ACHIEVED!]
  • Finish all the Steven Universe recipe replicas on my list! [ACHIEVED!]
  • Complete my Steven Universe variant comic books collection! [Did NOT. Still missing ONE!]
  • Drink more water, dang it. [Only marginally.]

My resolutions this year:
  • E-mail. Get caught up and STAY CAUGHT UP. I have always struggled with this.
  • Learn to put myself to bed. No more falling asleep on the floor or with my contacts in. Get a bedtime routine and go to BED!
  • Complete my photos page on the new domain.
  • Maintain my healthy choices and my weight that I finally managed to hit this year.
  • Make time for writing projects. Finish at least one book in progress.
  • Continue to submit short stories.
  • Complete my Steven Universe variant comic books collection!
  • Actually follow through on drinking more water.
  • Less scrolling on Tumblr and Facebook; more working on projects. Set a timer and stick to it.
  • Help my mom with some important stuff and touch base with her more often.
  • Draw more fun projects.
  • Get a literary agent for my fiction projects.
  • Become more adventurous with my home cooking.
  • Improve on ukulele.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Ammy gave birth to little Zoë.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Brendon. He just died on Christmas.

I was so incredibly fortunate not to lose anyone else close to me this year during the pandemic.

5. What countries did you visit?

I did not leave the US. For much of the year, I was not allowed to.

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
  • The Covid vaccine.
  • As always, a book deal.
  • A copy of the SU comic I'm missing!
  • Friends and family in my house.
  • Stability for friends and family whose lives are upended or uncertain.
  • Conventions.
  • A trip to New York City.

7. What dates from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • January 17–19: Meghan visited for our birthdays.

  • March 16: Began working from home because of Covid-19.
  • March 27: My favorite show Steven Universe ended its run.
  • May 20: Celebrated 15 years of running my webcomic Negative One.
  • July 6: Joined an app-based diet program to try to lose some weight.
  • July 28: Started playing weekly online games with Meghan and some friends.
  • October 27: Did a three-hour livestream on YouTube for Ace Week.
  • October 31: Gave out candy alone from my garage for Halloween because of plague.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • I sold a short story.
  • I lost 18 pounds and regularly walk 10,000 steps a day. (I never intended to show the comparison pics they have me take but I was surprised to see you can see the difference so I guess here. I'm so short that that's a pretty big change.)
July to December
  • I navigated the difficulties of working from home.
  • I stayed isolated since March except for weekly trips to the grocery store with Jeaux (who is also working from home and isolated) and occasionally seeing my equally isolated mother.
  • Began my Ace Interviews series and it is very well received.
  • Despite many challenges, I still managed to post a new video (just about) every month, keep up with a weekly and a monthly webcomic, write up and review all the new Steven Universe comics, books, and podcasts, and maintain an active social and online life.
  • Began the search for a literary agent to represent a science fiction book. (My existing literary agent reps my nonfiction.)
  • Got featured posts 11 times on Steven Universe Amino.
  • Won Best of Crafts on Steven Universe Amino.

9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Not finishing writing any books.
  • Falling off creating content for things that are important to me.
  • Spending too much time distracted.
  • Really doing a terrible job on my online communication. I feel like I disappointed a lot of people.
  • Routinely staying up too late.
  • Probably not doing enough to be there for people who could use check-ins from me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had food poisoning like three times. It was weird.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Books, face masks, delicious coffee, presents for others, and cartoon collectibles. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
  • Protesters and civil rights activists who made a statement so loudly, so clearly.
  • Parents who had to suddenly shift their entire world around when Covid hit and they had to become teachers.
  • My incredible, wonderful Meggie. I can't even express in words how shattering this year has been for her and I'm so grateful and awed that she is part of my world, somehow still standing.
  • Everyone who gave up personally meaningful gatherings, trips, and events to help keep others safe.
  • The vaccine task forces.
  • The nurses and medical practitioners of this world, and every other essential worker.
  • My boss who made his company safe to work for during a pandemic and accommodated my needs.
  • Three trans friends who began transition/came out this year.
  • My queer friends in general.
  • Poll workers, political activists, and fact-checkers who helped make the election more accessible, more informed, and fairer.
  • My friends who are parents, managing that delicate balance of dedicating themselves to their kids while engaging in some self care.
  • My friend Ronni who got a paperback deal.
  • My nephew Ash who made it through a strange time of distance learning and has continued to make cooler and cooler art.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
  • As usual, Donald Trump and his supporters.
  • People who spread lies and conspiracy theories (many of which have their roots in antisemitism).
  • Everyone who contributed to the coronavirus outbreak by refusing to listen to science and boycotting masks because inconveniencing themselves to literally save someone's life was too much of an imposition on their personal freedom.
  • People who are intentionally attending spreader events when they do not need to.
  • People who use tragedy to capitalize. 
  • Every single fatphobe.
  • People who blamed black people for their own oppression.
  • People who used the coronavirus to be anti-Asian bigots.
  • People who don't think it's a crisis that our country imprisoned people for seeking refuge here. And the people who made it possible to do that to them as if they're criminals for trying to survive. (But these are the same people who would handcuff someone for stealing baby formula from Walmart, so. How desperate do you think someone is if they're stealing food for their baby?)
  • People who refused to use their power and money to improve the lives of desperate people.
  • Racists, homophobes, and transphobes who have felt even more emboldened this year to be huge disgusting bigots.
  • People who expect me and others to clean up the messes they made.
  • People who think it's edgy to repeatedly engage in behaviors they have been asked to stop for the purpose of upsetting others and then minimizing their pain.
  • People who send me snotty, rude, offensive, and creepy messages online.
14. Where did most of your money go?

Besides rent, it was definitely Steven Universe merchandise and lending other people money/contributing to craptons of fundraisers.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The Steven Universe finale and final books, every step forward in queer representation and equality and happiness, oatmeal, talking nerdy stuff with friends, bringing my friend Steve into my circle of oldest friends to play games, podcasts with Daria, cosplaying, my nephew, a New York trip I planned but canceled, previewing and play-testing the SU card game, Angela Chen's book coming out (with my blurb!), finishing my SU recipes, my Pearl costume.

16. What song will always remind you of 2020?

Usually I'll pick some pop song I discovered during the year, but this year I will nominate "Ghen Cô Vy"--Vietnam's song teaching people how to wash their hands in the coronavirus pandemic. I unironically like it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?


ii. thinner or fatter?


iii. richer or poorer?


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Writing fiction, responding to mail, and working on my damn website.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Arguing with people who aren't listening, worrying about politics.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Well, largely in a weird sad haze because I woke up to the news that Brendon died and still haven't processed it all the way. 

But as far as Christmas CELEBRATION plans, I invited Mom, Victor, and Jeaux to my house for Christmas dinner. So many cookies!

21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

By myself drinking Sangria and drawing comics. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2020?

None of my relationships with other people could be described as "falling in love." I maintain that I have all the love I want in my life.

23. How many one-night stands?

I should probably just delete this question from the survey. But then I'd have to re-number and ew.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

No one who has spoken to me in the last five years doubts that my favorite TV program continues to be Steven Universe. I also got into Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, The Umbrella Academy, and the Animaniacs reboot though.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Nah, I hate all the same people.

26. What was the best book you read this year?

My five-star reads this year were Ace: What Asexuality Reveals about Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen; Steven Universe: End of an Era by Chris McDonnell; The Art of Steven Universe the Movie; and Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My talented friend Steve who has begun to share meditation compositions during the pandemic.

28. What did you want and get?

Followers, love, attention, lots of really cool merchandise, a complete collection of autographed trading cards, great coffee and scented stuff, a healthy year, a win for Democrats in the presidential election, incredible conversations, a resolution to some instability at work, a short story sale.

29. What did you want and not get?

Better time management, a trip to New York, the 2015 issue of the Greg Universe Special with cover by Fellipe Martins (the only one I'm missing DARN IT), visits with Meghan and Steve and my dad, holidays with family, friends to remain healthy (a bunch of my friends have caught and suffered from Covid), an agent for fiction (though I just started looking!), a Democratic presidential nominee more in line with my views (Biden was low on my list), justice and peace for oppressed people, basic relief for people in my life who can't make a living now.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I hardly saw any movies this year and a couple of the ones I did see I didn't like, so I guess (if it counts) I'll just pick the Hamilton broadcast?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 42. At work one co-worker got me tiny cupcakes and my boss bought me a cake! 

After work I went out to Japanese food with Meghan, who came for our birthday, and we had Jeaux over so he could give us birthday gifts. We ate some of the cake my boss gave me. I got to celebrate my birthday before Covid was happening in this country since it was in January.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If my country took Covid seriously and obviously if I didn't lose a dear friend to it. If we'd had a president and leadership that wasn't obsessed with image and willing to ignore science for his reputation and the economy. And as always, a book deal would have been cool.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?

Sweatpants and Steven Universe tee shirts. And when going out, stylish masks. Also being able to fit into some of my smaller clothes again, but that's not really a fashion concept.

34. What kept you sane?

Cartoons, long walks, Polos with my sister, Stephen Colbert, sympathetic friends, coffee, kind people, music, distractions, stress cleaning.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Oh, you silly survey.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Black Lives Matter and the entire shitshow that was the Presidential election.

37. Who did you miss?

I already miss Brendon and he's gone a week. And beyond that, I miss literally everyone I haven't been able to see, especially Steve and Meghan because they've both been through some terrible stuff and I want to hug them.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I haven't met anyone new this year "for real" but there's someone pretty cool I'm talking to on OKCupid (I haven't written about her here yet), and all of the people I interviewed for my Ace Interviews series were so cool!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.

We have to accept that we live in a world where some intensely selfish people will light the world on fire before they'll deign to grant you your fair share of it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"Things start and things end, and isn't it lovely in theory but...."

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