notable stuff: I was shortlisted for CBC's Canada Writes, I celebrated turning 40 by watching Hubby smash the hell out of a cake, I got sucked into Twitter, I got a lot of food out of the garden, and we safely navigated the H1N1 scare.
web finds: This year, I fell out of love with Go Fug Yourself after several site redesigns and a new ad partner meant the site itself was fugly and annoying. However, I still like snark and for that, I now go to Regretsy which skewers some of the quirkier things listed on Etsy and Cakewrecks which does the same for "professionally designed cakes." The primary difference between the two is that Regretsy content frequently skirts an NC17 rating whereas Cakewrecks barely rates a PG so I can share the posts with Kiddo.
While I dearly miss At the Movies (and its follow up, which I refer to as the Ebert and Assclown years), I continue to get Ebert's reviews via a weekly email newsletter from the Chicago Sun-Times. I don't know why I hadn't noticed it before but Ebert also has a blog -- and it is full of awesome that is sometimes but not always related to movies. Speaking of awesome (and occasionally NSFW) the comic/info stuff at the Oatmeal often makes me laugh. I finally added it to my Google Reader yesterday after reading this post.
new toys: In the spring, I got a bike but I am a weather sissy and will not ride when it is overly hot, overly cold or overly wet so I have used it less than would be ideal. In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for category, I won an OTTO coffee machine. While it is very pretty, it's a pain to use. For Christmas I got two new toys: a Flip UltraHD Camcorder and a serger both of which come with learning curves. As a family, we also got a PS3 (which I love), a Macbook (for app development), and a Wii Balance Board with Wii Fit, which promptly told me I was fat and should exercise more. (Well, duh.)
escapes: Early in the year we went to Vegas. Bad idea; that city is not our kind of place. As a family, we like elbow room and clean air, two things that are at a premium in Vegas. We cleansed our palate with a weekend at Beach Acres, a few trips to Vancouver, a family weekend in Nanoose Bay, and a much-needed anniversary retreat to Sooke Harbour House. We also spent Christmas at Beach Acres, though that trip was probably more ambitious than the season called for.
play time: Over the year, I spent a lot of time caring for my Moshi Monster and, inside Facebook, playing a trio of addictive games: Lexulous, PackRat, and Bejeweled Blitz. While I have a bunch of games on my iPod, my faves are still the PopCap games -- Bejeweled, Bookworm and, of course, Chuzzle -- I highly recommend all three for any platform (and Zuma, too, which we bought for the PS3.)
I read a fair number of books, though there are still many unfinished tomes beside my bed. I found that Charlie Huston's crime novels are great fun to chew through, as was a novel based on characters from the TV series Bones (which I've never watched) -- I found it among the books at the Beach Acres cabin. I also read a number of books by local author Karen Rivers. Her blog and twitter feed regularly make me laugh (and snort) but her books... well, I won't likely pick up any more; they're well written but not to my taste.
I've been struggling to recall which movies I saw in the theatre this year. I know we saw plenty; here's what I remember (after searching the web for 2009 releases!): Race to Witch Mountain, Watchmen, Coraline, Up, Julie and Julia, Monsters vs. Aliens, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Public Enemies, Inglorious Basterds, 9, Star Trek 11, Zombieland, A Christmas Carol, and 2012. You can probably guess which ones we saw with Kiddo.
Happy New Year!