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.
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