2013 In Review
Some years I wind up listening to “This Year” by the Mountain Goats a lot; this year was not one of them. It was quite lovely, and not at all hard to get through.
- Will and I got engaged in January and moved in together in May. It has been absolutely lovely.
- I did not do much in the way of freelance writing. What I wrote, however, wound up on a year-end listicle. It’s about local women’s choirs, and I’m pretty proud of it. Getting published on the main page of the Walker website is not too shabby.
- I wrote some things that I did not publish. I will continue working on them next year.
- I became a good cook. I am an intermediate cook and doubt I will ever be particularly advanced, but I can cook and spice things and fix them when they go wrong.
- I visited the Bay Area twice, once for work and once for pleasure. I went to Philadelphia twice, once for work and once for a brief trip around the holidays. I visited my sister’s new house. I went back to Las Vegas for work. I went to the National Restaurant Show in Chicago for the second and last time. I visited New York for one day.
- In September, I changed jobs rather abruptly. I quit the job with the toxic work environment and moved to an agency job, where I’m quite happy. I get to work on digital strategy all day, and my coworkers are bright, hardworking, and kind. I’m very pleased with this situation, and I’m able to sleep at night.
- Because of the new job, I learned to work in a new medium: the powerpoint presentation. I know.
- I read some books; the ones I liked most were Arcadia, Minnesota in the 70s, and Sons & Lovers.
- I used some extra frequent flyer miles to subscribe to a bunch of print magazines. My favorites are still Real Simple and Fast Company.
- Around Christmas, I saw a college acquaintance profiled in Inc. magazine. Within 48 hours, I heard that another acquaintance had committed suicide. I thought a lot about where I am and felt happy for the former and felt a deep pit in my stomach for the latter, and his family.
- A few weeks after I finished The Sopranos, James Gandolfini passed away. I got numerous texts and emails from friends who said “they thought of me,” mostly because I had been talking about The Sopranos for six months straight. “It’s like your uncle died,” Will said. I was sad, but sadder for his family.
- I listened to the same songs that the rest of the year enders did, and somehow my favorite became “Instant Crush” by Daft Punk and Julian Casablancas. “Diane Young” still makes me happy, too.
- Frances Ha and In a World were my favorite movies, but I really didn’t see that many this year.
- I had two very good dance nights.
- I thought long and hard about how I treat people. I am working on treating people with kindness more often.I thought about ten years ago a lot, and how I was a constant rocket of intense feelings, and how I could have slept with Julian Casablancas if I had really tried. At the time, I never saw myself settled, enjoying the fact that it is below zero outside, I can be in a house with a yard, looking out on the snow, not getting dressed up at all for New Year’s Eve.
- I spray-painted a lot of vases white.
Some Great Things I Discovered and Loved in 2013 That Other People Already Knew About
- Creamed corn
- Harry Nilsson
- Sons and Lovers
- The glory of wrangling web content so people can use it
- The Sopranos finale
- Bok choy
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma
- The overwhelming benefits of a positive work culture
- Sharp knives
- John Grant’s Queen of Denmark
- Graham Greene
- Marianne Faithfull
- Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
A Hypothesis on Comfort and Art Consumption
Will and I were talking about how he sold more comics at Chicago shows — CAKE and Zinefest — than he did at the big MPLS comic/art extravaganza this year, Autoptic. It was a great show, we both agreed, but, he says, “There are the local people who go to every show, and they’re very supportive. But casual attendees in Minneapolis look and don’t buy anything.”
Hypothesis: Having a cramped, expensive urban living space correlates positively with strong support of a more experimental, transient arts scene, i.e., zine/punk/counterculture that is not rooted in more mainstream glossy publications.
Corollary: The nicer apartment we live in, the fewer punks we know. Also, we know fewer and fewer people with that peripheral experience of counterculture.
Secondary corollary: I can’t stay up late for punk shows anymore, so I go on the internet.
Tertiary corollary: I am rarely surprised by what I find on the internet anymore, so I should buy more art, even if it’s weird and ephemeral.
Obtuse Lyrics of Christmas Pop Songs
- "Christmas comes this time each year."
- "There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime."
- "War is over if you want it."
- "From now on our troubles will be miles away."
- "Tonight thank god it’s them instead of you."