2008 End of the Year Meme

It’s time for the end of the year meme!

I first saw this Year End meme at Sundry Mourning, who originally copied it from Gwen’s Petty, Judgmental, Evil Thoughts back in 2004. I filled it out in 2006 and 2007, and now here is this year’s version:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Read several books in Italian, knitted with a loom, wrote 50,000 words in a month, visited Palermo, Messina, Savoca and Tindari (including the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna), ate spleen, wrote a weekly column, went to an Italian dentist.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t really do resolutions, but I did make a list of goals, and I did pretty well with them. I’ll do it again for next year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Quite a few expat bloggers had babies, but no one in my immediate family or circle of friends, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die? My neighbor from back home passed away recently, but no one else, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit? Only Italy.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? An all-expense paid trip to the States.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November 4–Gobama!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? The expansion of my writing career and writing 50,000 words during November.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not completing a novel (yes, I have 50,000 words written, but there were others I could have worked on before November’s NaNo).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Another nasty stomach virus this year. Seems to be a tradition according to last year’s answer.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I would love to say these boots, but they haven’t arrived yet. Damn you Poste Italiane! These are my Christmas and birthday presents to myself! The items I got from Saponissimo are pretty darn amazing as well…who knew you could love soap this much?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My mom! She came to visit me!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Could it possibly be the Bush administration for the third straight year? Yes, I believe it is.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills and groceries. Boo.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My mom coming to visit, going to Sicily with Cherrye, and going to see the Sex and the City movie with the girls.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? TI’s Whatever You Like, because of this stunning performance by the students of Ron Clark Academy: You Can Vote However You Like. H/t Paul.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? I’m pretty happy, probably about the same as last year, a bit thinner (see #10), and richer for sure. Woohoo!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Worked on my novel.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Huh. I don’t know. Let conservative people annoy me?

20. How did you spend Christmas? As I’m posting this before Christmas, I’ll just have to say with P. That’s a given.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Yeah with the usual suspects, P and my girls.

22. What was your favorite TV program? House, Sex and the City (yes I’m a bit behind the times).

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Takes too much energy to hate so I avoid doing it.

24. What was the best book you read? The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I’m changing this to literary because I don’t think I made a musical discovery…Paulo Coelho.

26. What did you want and get? More writing work.

27. What did you want and not get? A visit from my whole family.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Well it’s not the best film but I sure had the most fun watching it–Sex and the City.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 32, and we had a fabulous dinner of grilled tuna and homemade french fries. Yum!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Same answer for the past two years: if someone in my family or close circle of friends from home would have visited or if I would’ve been able to go home.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Long live the track suit!

32. What kept you sane? My pooches and the magical world of books.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I’ll be honest here. Hugh Laurie is really growing on me.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? What political issue *didn’t* stir me this year? Hmm….

35. Who did you miss? Other than the usual suspects, this year I really missed one friend from college in particular. I’ve thought about our 8-hour car rides to and from school quite a bit, and I wish we had just *one* more Christmas break to go back to school from.

36. Who was the best new person you met? All the girls in Calabria and Sicily.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Relaxing is good.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. The Beatles’ classic, Let it Be. Did you know that “Mother Mary” is acutally Paul’s mother, who passed away when he was young and then appeared to him a dream? And did you know my mom’s name is Mary? I love this song, but it’s especially applicable this year:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

Let me know if you do the year end meme!

33 Beans of Wisdom to “2008 End of the Year Meme”
  1. Gil

    Sounds like you were one busy young lady in 2008! Here’s to your dreams for 2009 coming true!

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    Busy and quite lucky too 🙂 Thanks Gil, and best wishes to you and yours as well!

  2. 12.23.2008

    Will definitely be doing this meme.
    It seems like you had a very good year, missy! Sometimes “in times of trouble”, it helps to put things down in writing to actually see what you’ve accomplished and where you’re going. LOVE the Beatles quote at the end! They make everything alright.
    And welcome to the Hugh Laurie Appreciation Society! He’s one sexy beast!!

    Milanese Masala’s last blog post..Small town par-tay!

    It is actually rather nice to do this at the end of the year…I reread previous years memes and I wouldn’t have remembered a lot of the stuff in there if I hadn’t written it down. And thanks for the support on our Hugh 🙂

  3. 12.23.2008

    Sounds like an excellent year — and a great meme! And I’m totally with you on Hugh Laurie!
    Wishing you wonderful holidays!

    anno’s last blog post..Sunday Scribblings: Late

    Hee hee…he’s such a cutie, isn’t he? With or without the American accent….

  4. 12.23.2008

    Hi Michelle! Just stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s been a while, I know, but I think of you often. I’ve just been busy, especially with the big move! *AHHHH*
    I really enjoyed reading your meme! I can relate when it comes to #30… I haven’t seen my oldest brother since I moved here! And it’s been just a little over two years that I haven’t seen my parents and my youngest brother. *sigh* But that comes with the decision of wanting to be an expat. I hope for you that the day comes sooner, rather than later, that you can be reunited with your family/friends again! It’s always harder around the holidays, I know. *hugs*
    Anyway, not trying to bum you out… my apologies if I did…just trying to say that *I know* and totally understand your sentiments.
    I’ll be checking in on ya from across the pond to see how Italian life has been treating you. I hope that it is always rich and rewarding! Best wishes to you, P, and the girls! 😉

    P.S. #33, OH YEAH… I’ve already told my husband that if I were ever to go crazy and cheat on him with an older man, it would be Hugh Laurie! LOL

    Giulia’s last blog post..New Jersey or BUST!

    Aw thanks Giulia; so great to see you around! Enjoy your first Christmas back in the States in too long 😉

  5. 12.23.2008

    Great meme. I think I’ll have to try it. It looks like you’ve had a year of great growth.

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday (early): A Jew Does the Cookie Thing

    Absolutely Jen; gotta love that! Hope you do the meme!

  6. 12.23.2008

    Nice Meme. Sounds like it was a good year for you.

    Buon Natale!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Travel Tip Tuesday – Twitteriffic Travel Tips

    Definitely was Robin, thanks, and same to you 🙂

  7. 12.23.2008

    Michelle, thank you for your great posts in 2008. Looking forward to many more next year over my morning espresso.

    Thanks Paul!

  8. Wow, this is the meme to end all memes… literally!

    Ti faccio i più sinceri e cari auguri di un sereno Natale e di un Felice Anno Nuovo.

    paul of the clue-by-four’s last blog post..Homemade

    I like closure e grazie…anche a te 🙂

  9. oh! I enjoyed this Michelle! A good end of the year post…

    erin :: the olive notes’s last blog post..giving gifts & giving back

    Glad you enjoyed Erin 🙂

  10. I love reading this. You had a great year!

    It’s fun to write too (hint hint) 😉

  11. 12.23.2008

    What a brilliant meme…You have had a great year,,look forward to reading you blog in the New Year.

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and P xox

    anne’s last blog post..Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

    Thanks Anne!

  12. I’ve been doing this meme since 2004! I’ll do it again this year but will post at the end of the month. 🙂

    Great year for you this year and Obama capped it beautifully, I think! I’ve never seen (read) you get so excited before.

    Hee hee…was a great year indeed Grace 🙂 Looking forward to your meme!

  13. Marc

    How about a 23 meme since it’s the 23rd? I just received a book from a friend on the Black Madonna and various esoterics associated with same. Buon Natale e di’ soltanto NO ai valori della familglia!

    Marc’s last blog post..Origami Tree

    Sounds interesting Marc…enjoy!

  14. 12.23.2008

    OOH, I am definitely doing this meme! I was looking for something to inspire me to blog, because I’m just so unmotivated! This is it!

    You had a very productive and positive year, for sure. Here’s to 2009 being even better! Merry Christmas!

    Karina’s last blog post..Seriously, I need to know

    I figured this would provide some people with the urge to blog…always tough to harness that desire this time of year, at least for me 😉 Thanks for your wishes; they’re coming right back at ya 😉

  15. 12.23.2008

    thanks, michelle…this was just the post idea i needed for next week (up on the 30th)…

    merry, merry christmas to you, P., & the pooches!!

    Looking forward to reading it 🙂

  16. 12.23.2008

    Great meme! I think I’m going to take your parting words to heart and “let it be” for a bit. I’ve been struggling with many annoyances recently. So now, I’m going to get off the computer, put away the files and phone and relax for a bit.

    Anali’s last blog post..Christmas Biscotti

    I’ve been away from the computer quite a bit this week…’tis lovely indeed. Enjoy 🙂

  17. Kristin

    So, as always you made me cry a little. Especially with the Beatles and your Mom!

    Merry, merrry Christmas to you and P. And, here’s wishing you get some visitors next year!!

    Love you!!

    Aw thanks, Kristin; funny thing about my mom and the Beatles is that she kind of hates them. Oh well 😉

  18. Connie Costa

    You are soooo lucky – living in Italy -Wow!!! And you visited Sicily, that’s awesome. I grew-up in Sicily and my dream is to live there. Merry X-Mas to you, your family and bella Italia. Oh and
    as far as Paulo Coelho, I heard awesome things about him. You should also check out Alan Cohen, Louise Hay, Susan Jeffers, Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer (just to name a few).
    They are also awesome!

    Great to see you here Concetta, and thanks for the recommendations–always welcome!

  19. 12.24.2008

    Have a Merry Christmas Michelle. Great post. I was planning on doing the same one sometime before the end of the year.

    Can’t wait to read it Shan!

  20. 12.24.2008

    Hi Michelle! I really like this meme and will definitely be posting one on my site next week…I’ll let you know.

    I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas in Italy! And hey – I’ll gladly trade you a trip home to the States for a trip to your home in Italy!

    Best Wishes for the New Year!

    Lulu’s last blog post..Christmas Around the World

    Glad you enjoyed Lulu! Best wishes to you as well 🙂

  21. 12.24.2008

    So inspiring Michelle. You HAVE accomplished a lot. This is good motivation for me because as I read along, I know that my version would sound very lackluster — I wait too much for things to COME to me. Let’s see if I have the courage to work this up before the end of the year.

    Merry Christmas to you and P. I love the sentiments about your mom and the tale about Mary being Paul’s mother. I can totally see the song in a new light now and can see how special it must be to you. Lovely.

    That’s sweet Kim, but I bet if you really put thought into your meme, you’d come up with things that you’d forgotten about…that always happens to me 🙂

    And thank you, also, for your kind words about the song…it now always makes me cry!

  22. 12.24.2008

    What a great meme. Even if I don’t post it, it’s fun to look back and think about those things.

    Mrs. L’s last blog post..Mrs. L’s Eggnog

    It’s definitely a great way to sum up the year…and then to be able to refer back to it is just a plus 🙂

  23. 12.26.2008

    I did the end of year meme, it took me ages, but I really enjoyed it! Happy holidays Michelle. :))

    Anne’s last blog post..Happy Ending

    And what a meme it was! Enjoy your holiday as well Anne 🙂

  24. 12.28.2008


    I to you congratulate You by the survey has waked up great interest in the world

    later I will do questions


    and happy celebrations

    I have added it to my blog
    “friends of the world”
    we are connected

    my blog is on world-wide the economic crisis
    I have some documents in English

    Marco Antonio

    Marco Antonio’s last blog post..La distribución de la riqueza y su peligroso impacto en la crisis

    Thanks Marco Antonio! A pleasure to “meet” you 🙂

  25. 12.28.2008


    You I have linkeado to my blog
    that it is on Economy
    and the present problems of the world
    we are connected
    Jaque al Neoliberalismo

    I tell you that
    they invited to me to write in blog of Economy and Finances of Spain
    I publish articles must reed There..


    Marco Antonio’s last blog post..La distribución de la riqueza y su peligroso impacto en la crisis

    Thanks for the links!

  26. 12.30.2008

    I really love this meme. I have decided to do one myself for my blog as well. It’s a great way to reflect on the year! 🙂

    All the best in the New Year Michelle! Can’t wait to see what your blog has in store for 2009!!

    Love your meme! So happy you played along LuLu, and I look forward to getting to know you more next year…hopefully in Calabria 🙂

  27. 12.31.2008

    I’ve posted my answers on my blog. Thanks for the great idea.

    Grace’s last blog post..2008 End of Year Meme

    Awesome Grace! Thanks for letting me know, and happy new year!

  28. 12.31.2008

    Ok Michelle, I did the meme!

    Happy New Year’s Eve, hope y’all have a delightful evening . . .

    Kim B.’s last blog post..End of the Year Meme

    Awesome Kim! I love it 🙂

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Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake