This yearly retrospective is taken from my 2013 dayplanner because on my own I don’t remember what month it is, much less what day it is or what happened therein.
It is not a best-of list, believe me.
I didn’t read much this year, but I did get into what I call the Married-to-a-Sociopath genre. I loved Gone Girl, followed by the other excellent books Gillian Flynn wrote, Dark Places and especially Sharp Objects. The Silent Wife. The Dinner, where two sets of parents meet for the eponymous dinner and realize their teenage sons have done something reprehensible together. I read it in one night and then immediately read it again.
In the winter my day-job work was writing about tires while trapped in a conference room with four twenty-somethings in what should have been a hideous reality show but instead ended up becoming a couple of very dear friendships. They introduced me to cheap acupuncture in Fremont and I took them to my apartment for a spontaneous birthday party for one of them that started at 3 a.m. and ended in hard-liquor hangovers that lasted until the following Monday.
I watched Rectify. It’s a quiet show about a man reentering life after prison that makes Mad Men look like something by Michael Bay. It’s riveting filigree. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen.
I wrote an essay about how Rob Lowe helped me heal from the most soul-shattering breakup of my life. I wrote my first screenplay, an ’80s horror TV pilot set at my family lake cabin in northern Minnesota (American Werewolf in Fargo?) and my second screenplay, another TV pilot about coming of age in L.A. that people seem to think actually has a shot at getting made. It’s the best thing I’ve written. It’s also the last thing I wrote this year, which is sad since it was completed last summer.
I watched and loved Carnivale. I joined and then dropped out of Weight Watchers.
I saw a Beatle. Never thought I would as long as I lived. Paul McCartney did a bunch of brilliant Fab Four stuff and then brought the remaining members of Nirvana up for the last half of Abbey Road and “Helter Skelter” and it was the best thing I’ve ever seen on any stage, anywhere. And I’ve seen a lot.
A few days later one of my high school friends from West St. Paul died. I’ve made it to middle age without ever having a friend die. It was a shock. She was out here in Washington on a motorcycle trip mid-state. She was with a married man who was a pillar-of-the-community type, so most of the obituaries focused on him. I stupidly kept seeking out stories about the crash. They gave new meaning to “don’t read the comments”: Her fight to live on her way to the hospital. The fire all around. The 25-year-old tweaker who killed her as she rushed to her dealer for more meth. Way too much information, God rest.
Two weeks later I had a second friend die. Breast cancer had taken over in the past few years. She was only 31. At the cliffside funeral, her husband and the other guys there were wearing Chucks. If I never have to see a mom talk at her daughter’s memorial again, that would probably be good. Her mandolin teacher played “Over the Rainbow” and it was devastating.
Amie found me a hairdresser who dyed my hair red like the color of the maid’s in American Horror Story season one. I watched and loved Orange is the New Black.
I went on a family vacation to Vancouver even though my family cancelled at the last minute. I had a Tim Horton’s maple bar and met a bunch of TV people who bought me champagne at an oyster bar and teared up when all the Canadians standing on the shore waved goodbye as the train went back to the U.S. like we were in a tourism commercial except it was real.
I worked at The Seattle Times writing ad copy. I’ve forever wondered what it would be like to be on staff there and now I know.
I finally met longtime twitter friends @rebowers and @soulsmithy for drinks and chatter and meals. Love them both even more now.
I bought two new packs of tarot cards to more effectively deliver my good and bad news. I slept a lot and ran a lot. I developed a mouth-watering, logic-crippling crush that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get over. But one can try. It’s a new year after all.