let’s not make a big deal about the new year, 2012 edition.

Here’s some lists for 2012!

Social lessons I learned in 2011:

1. You know, I don’t think men like it when you are very blunt and autistic about sexual things. Like, say you’re hanging out and it seems as though things are moving towards pants coming off… I used to think they would find it very refreshing if you made an abrupt announcement like, “It’s about time for the pants to come off,” but now I think maybe they don’t like that! I think it has something to do with romance or something.

2. Regarding the art of small talk: Now, I find that people are very boring and are always saying boring things to me, and yet, when I try to reciprocate with more boring, the other person looks bored! I will start talking about how I saw a series of books from my childhood at a Salvation Army. I will tell them how it reminded me of being young and that I considered buying some of the books, but the plot thickens when the books turn out to be pretty expensive, like two dollars a book or something, at the Salvation Army! And the person’s eyes glaze over and they start interrupting you or talking to someone else in the area. The lesson is that even though other people are boring all the time, you still have to not be boring. It doesn’t seem fair but we learned a long time ago that life wasn’t fair, right?

3. People don’t like self deprecating humor as much as I thought they did. It makes them uncomfortable. Jokes should be situational, or maybe based on manipulating language or exposing basic truths in new and pleasant ways. Turns out nobody wants to hear how fat I think I am.

4. This list is silly. I learned a lot of other more important things but I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Books I read at the MacDowell Colony from Nov-Dec of 2011:

1. Smashing Laptops, by Josh Wagner
2. Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
3. Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot
4. Preston Falls, by David Gates
5. The Heart Beneath the Heart, (long essay) by Rick Bass
6. Ray, by Barry Hannah
7. The Devil All the Time, by Donald Ray Pollock

Books I started but didn’t finish:

8. In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders
9. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
10. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
11. The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolano

Movies I saw in theaters in 2011, listed here without comment or Ceremony:

Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Another Earth, Take Shelter, What’s Your Number?, Conan the Barbarian, The Muppet Movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 50/50

There might be more, but that’s all I can remember.

My top 3 Favorite Blog Posts from 2011, written for me, about me, and chosen by me.

1. Whatever, about depression and the animal kingdom.

2. Sorry For Being Weird, a post about being sorry for being weird. (Honorable mention, its followup: Sorry for Being Sorry about Being Weird.)

3. how I spent my writer’s vacation, authored drunk alone in a cabin in the woods.

2012, yo. Let’s do something cooler!

Happy Time Music Playlist for 2012, affectionately titled: Bring Me a Higher Love. These songs are handpicked to bring me a higher love in both romantic and divine realms of existence.

1. “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood

2. “Something” by the Beatles

3. “You Are the Sunshine of my life” by Stevie Wonder

Talking Book is a concept album that begins with idealized love, goes on a detour into the black man’s experience, dabbles in the loss of idealized love and heartbreak and then finally ends on a note of “try, try again.”

4. “It’s Boring/You Can Live Anywhere you Want” by YACHT

5. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

Fry always sings this in the shower. It’s adorable every time.

6. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

7. “Roll Away Your Stone” by Mumford & Sons

Sigh No More is a concept album about rejecting romantic love for something more heavenly and divine, and that’s why it’s my favorite album of the last decade. In case you were wondering what I thought about it.

8. “Foxglove” by Murder By Death

9. “Everything’s Alright” by Jesus Christ Superstar

10. “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty

11. “Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads

12. “This is the Day” by The The

13. “The Greatest” by Cat Power

This song is probably about suicide or something, knowing Ms. Marshall. I haven’t bothered to listen closely to the lyrics. Let’s just say it’s about me being the greatest.

14. “I’m the Man Who Loves You” by Wilco

15. “Happy Man” by Sparklehorse

Yeah, I know he fucking killed himself. Whatever.

16. “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher” Jackie Wilson

6 thoughts on “let’s not make a big deal about the new year, 2012 edition.

  1. I’m ok with girls being upfront about pants loss… IN the words of Alyson Hannigan in American Pie…”I’m feeling kind of antsy, can we have sex now?

    Cuz I’m walking on Sunshine!

  2. Thoughts on “Freedom?” I really liked it but feel that is predictable based on my demographic.

    “Hi, I’m a mid-30′s white guy who leads a conventional life but still thinks he’s “hip” and “literary.” I like Wilco and Jonathan Franzen. Have you heard the new Bon Iver? It’s awesome!”

  3. I thought Freedom was long and boring. In an interview he said that it was the first novel he’d written without any irony or satire, and I think that’s boring. It was sort of like “here are the characters and here is exactly what happened to them and here is how you should feel about that.”

    I thought it was “well-written” (terrible phrase) in the sense that the writing was pretty invisible. I am into that. It was elegant. I liked the Patty section the best. I was really absorbed by the first half of the book, but by the end I was just… whoooo the fuuuck caaares about these people.

    At the same time, I was trying to write my own novel at MacDowell while I was reading it, and I can’t help but just be sympathetic at the amount of work and soul it takes to write any kind of novel, so I hope he doesn’t find out that in the end I was underwhelmed.

    Yeah, I’ve heard the new Bon Iver. It’s pretty but I’m sort of more on a Steve Winwood-RickRoll style shitty, peppy music kick ifyouknowhatImean.

  4. I was completely glued to Freedom cover to cover. Neglecting responsibilities to sneak off and continue reading. Just goes to show how different reactions can be.

  5. Best book I’ve read lately came along around the same time leaving mary jane did.
    It’s called Wild, by Jay Griffiths.
    Bluntness in women is something I find exceptional, It’s very powerful, but that power can be used against Against men by women, and with ruthless efficiency… “YOU?? HA Ha hahahah!!!”
    It it well worth having such people around, though. They tend to be good at doing away with nonsense in general. Such women are A Joy to plan and execute a road trip with.
    I Like not having to bullshit around feigning interest in someone’s life story just to get laid, but I’m not quite bold enough to walk up to a strange woman and say something like “hey baby, nice shoes. Wanna fuck?”
    I think anyone who can pull that off and truly not care all that much one way or the other, (Cause hey, you ain’t the only one with shoes) is someone I can deeply respect, even if they’re annoying, and even if I was accosted in such a way by a woman I had No intention of Ever doing anything with, even if i burst out laughing or suddenly felt the urge to vomit, I’d still be Delighted that it happened, not because I have trouble getting laid, I don’t, but because THAT just doesn’t happen every day. It’s like going through your laundry and finding enough money to pay rent- right after you paid it. Surprise!

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