December 2009

Man, I do not like to read anymore.  And by read I mean read novels, because it’s still hard to count graphic novels, essay collections, and the back of the Cetaphil face wash bottle as quality literature.  I have a stack of just-cracked novels on my bedstand and I just don’t have the energy to read anything very complicated (not to say that graphic novels can’t be complicated — they’re glorious and I love them)(and Cetaphil is made is Canada, which is neat).  You would think that someone with two writing degrees would have some interest in reading stories.  You’re wrong, stupid.  I don’t, and I don’t know why.  I’m not sorry about it.  Nonfiction forever.

That being said, my new favorite book is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”  It’s one of those books that makes you want to take a week off from work just to have the extra 40 hours to highlight your favorite parts and then an extra week to execute the recipes.  I fell asleep reading it in bed last night.

For the remainder of the week I will only be speaking in lyrics from “Funky, Funky Xmas” by New Kids on the Block.  This will probably impair my ability to work, but funky dope jams top on your Christmas list.  And nothing can be done about it.

Westover Hills is super creepy from 6:15 am to 6:45 am. Your brightly-lit Christmas wonderland with Santa looking on from a porch swing might be charming to view when you get home from work at night, but early in the morning it looks like Mickey Rooney is watching your yard catch fire. All of this feeds into my fear that I will be murdered at some point while I walk my dog.

Instead of a general year-end recap, I have decided to make note of the lessons learned through dog ownership, plus my favorite things from 2009.

– Do not leave anything on the counter unless you want a dog to eat it

– Best albums were by: Phoenix, the Arctic Monkeys, Camera Obscura, plus the records that Richard has brought home from Deep Grove.  Tranquility has been my favorite of that batch, or of the artists I had never heard of before anyway.

-Do not leave anything on the coffee table unless you want a dog to chew it.

-Do not leave your coffee unattended unless you want a dog to drink it.

-Best movies were: Inglourius Basterds, Drag Me to Hell, The Julia parts of Julie and Julia, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Where the Wild Things Are, and probably Away We Go, since I watched that twice and I thought it was darling both times.

Chuck Klosterman’s review of the reissued albums of the Beatles, “a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes.”

-My conquering of various baked goods: pizzas, buttermilk biscuits, wheat bread.

-Do not leave unbaked goods on the counter unless you want a dog to walk around with a ball of pizza dough in her mouth.

-Making better use of my years-old iPod Nano by listening to Podcasts all the time.  My favorites are The Splendid Table and Planet Money.  I still can’t be bothered to read books, and only want to listen to Podcasts and read magazines.

-I did manage to read a few books, my favorite being the Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.  It was overwhelming to read it so quickly and go through two decades of the characters’ lives, but I loved it.  And miss it, I hope it continues at some point.

-Eating more BBQ sandwiches this year than at any point in my life.  A&R BBQ is probably why Richard and I want to return to Memphis.  Also, Tennessee in general.  America is great.

-Dogs have internal clocks.  It’s really annoying that at 6 a.m. Bunk goes from asleep to on the prowl for anything that she can swipe off a counter or table top and chew on until I wake up.  It’s annoying but also nice that she’s so predictable.

-Dogs have also taught me that cats are stupid.  You can’t correct their behavior, and instead of competing for affection they just become terrible and destructive. But it is fun when the dog stops the couch scratching.  She’s my hero.

-HOLY SHIT, A SQUIRREL.  GUYS, LOOK. THERE IT IS.  OH GOD. OH GOD.  Is what I assume our dog is saying.

Ugh, that’s all.  2009 has been awesome.  So awesome that I hope that some of it spills over into next year.  Year-end recaps!  Now we just have a few more weeks left, during which I will balance my checkbook and frown and wait patiently for two babies to be born (not mine).

UPDATE: Someone mentioned that the wedding didn’t make the list. Uh, best thing of the decade?  Also, I wanted to keep sentimental stuff off the list in case coworkers find my bjournal and learn that I have a heart.

It just occurred to me that this is the end of a decade (the AV Club articles that I’ve been reading had not reminded me, I just thought they liked to prematurely make lists).  So keeping with the spirit, I’ve decided to itemize my top 1000 things of 2000.  Then I decided to not do that and instead show a photo of all of my damn animals together.


Everything I love (plus two cats) is in this picture.  Everything except a giant bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Of all the words written, speeches spoken, songs sung, and sermons delivered, I think my favorite is “Jingle Bells, Batman smells.”  Someone wrote that!