December 2011


I have the usual resolutions: gain 10 lbs, spend more money.  In addition, I have thought of a few other things I’d like to be sure to do in the next twelve months.

Become good at humming.

I have a terrible singing voice, but I still sing constantly.  I don’t care.  It feels good and I want to do it.  Having a baby has made life a musical.  There is a song in anything, and sometimes a dance, and it’s probably because she’s not old enough to tell me to shut up yet.  Lately someone I spend a lot of time with has been humming constantly, and I realized how comforting it is.  It’s like the audio version of having your hair washed and combed by someone else.  It’s so relaxing and pretty.  My grandmother hums a lot, too.  She has a nice voice.  If recordings I’ve heard of myself are accurate, I sound like a shrill baby, so I hope that I can train myself to produce a nice, calming hum.  I think it’ll be useful when I have a punchy, shouty toddler.

Spatchcock a chicken.

If you read thekitchn daily, as I do, you’ll notice that the same recipes/posts reappear, and although the linking to links to links gets irritating, I always will stop and look at Spatchcocked Ricotta Chicken.

It looks delicious and it sounds awesome.  However, working with a whole chicken grosses me out, plus I’m going veg for a little while.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on a TV series to sell to Mystery! on PBS called “Spatchcock.”

Edward Spatchcock is a detective based in London in the 1930s.  He’s a bumbling, small man who tries to keep his detectivery in business after the death of his father.  He always gets to the bottom of things, either because of his bumbleness (is that a word?  It sounds British) or because of Poppy, the young secretary who was secretly working as an apprentice to the late Spatchcock (women would not openly be allowed to be detectives for some time, although they could wear trousers on Fridays) and was, the younger Spatchcock thought, just coincidentally useful.  I will get him to play Spatchcock:

I guess I will be Poppy.

See “the Hunger Games” in the theater.

I only went to the movies twice in 2011.  We talk about going to one occasionally (I would never had taken the baby with us, and those days are long over, anyway), but it’s also one of those things that I don’t miss.  Since I’m used to watching things after their initial runs, there is no immediate need to see movies when they’re released.

Except for “the Hunger Games,” which looks awesome.  I think I’m more excited to be excited about a thing that people are excited about for once.  I don’t have high hopes that the movie will be that good.

Make good on a promise to host a party, see a friend, have someone over for dinner.

Scratch that, I’m going to get better at letting my friends know that they have to be the ones to initiate a hangout.  We will often get pumped about the idea of having people over, but then we never follow through.  I think the best way to get us to do something is invite us that day.  It seems to work the best.

JUST SAYING.  The number of times I have half-made plans to see people other than running into them have all failed, and it’s depressing.  Also, if I had told you in the last two months that I was having a Christmas party, and you wondered why I didn’t invite you, please know that I didn’t have a party.  Instead I spent time with more than one baby and realized that our house was so far from being ready to be safe for children other than the one who by nature I will look after.

That’s it.  I do everything else perfectly.  Happy 2012, everyone!

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I have had a busy year (by “busy,” I mean that I have a child now, and although she spends half of the day sleeping, I can still use that as an excuse for not getting anything done).  Because of this, my “best of” lists are not so much rankings of the quality of the numerous films, albums, and books I have enjoyed, but just a listing of the books and movies I did read/see, in order of when it happened (that is how “MacGruber” makes a list, although I also really liked it).  I think I caught up on last year’s Oscar films by summertime, though, so I’m not that far behind.

Here are things that happened this year that I did happen to catch:

Movie: Super 8 — I liked it.  You have to set a movie like this in the 80s, because with cell phones everything is less dramatic.  “WHAT WAS THAT?”  “HOLD ON, LET ME TAKE AND PIC AND THEN TWEET IT FOR AN ANSWER.  AN ALIEN.”

Book: Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” — Also really liked it.  We listened to the audiobook during a very long car trip, which was probably more fun than reading it since the SNL skits were played in their entirety.   I really appreciated her theory that she stopped lactating because she ran out of episodes of “Entourage” to watch while pumping.

I have been reading Don Delillo’s “White Noise” for an embarrassingly long time (like, I think I started to read it before he finished writing it).  I don’t know why.  I really enjoy it, and would underline half of the lines if it were my book, but when it’s reading time I would much rather refresh my Twitter feed than read a book.  I’m a dum dum.  I did read through the Hunger Games series as quickly as possible, though, so I can finish books.  Also I read “the Help” and loved it, but I think the movie looks bad.  I enjoyed reading all of the criticism about it, though.

Music: Bombay Bicycle Club, “A Different Kind of Fix”: I actually bought two albums this year, the other was Mumford & Sons, which I wasn’t super into.  Beady Eye was bought for me, and I liked it.  But I heard this song on WNRN and loved it, and bought it immediately, and even if I bought a bunch of other CDs this would still be my favorite.  It reminds me of the first Stone Roses’ album at times, and a bunch of other things that I like.

I actually heard a lot of new music this year, mainly because  my roommate is that person who still buys albums.  Mostly I spent my year listening to Paul Simon’s “Graceland,” the first Fleet Foxes’ album, and Belle & Sebastian’s “Write About Love” a thousand times each.  I have my fingers on the pulse of yesteryear.

TV —  Oh, “Friday Night Lights.” It’s one of those shows that I watched because I kept hearing how much everyone loved it, and since that’s how I watched “the Wire,” I figured that everyone wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction.  Good job, everyone!  We blew through it.  It had already ended by the time I watched it, but it can still count as this year since it ended this year.  I loved so many of the characters (the plots weren’t always that great).  I definitely am ready to handle a teenage daughter, thanks to Tami.  And Baby, if you’re reading this, I WILL slap you if you hang out with a lifeguard who is too old for you and also has a girlfriend.  Texas Forever.

I also watch Jason Katims’ other show “Parenthood,” and while I also like that, the storytelling isn’t that good and I feel like it’s a retelling of FNL storylines in a different reality.  Also I hate Sarah Braverman.  She is Tyra from FNL all grown up, making bad choices and waiting for someone else to fix it for her.

I watched the Emmy’s alone this year (as opposed to the other years when I had big Emmy-watching parties?), and I enjoyed it so much.  I cried when Kyle Chandler won for playing Coach Taylor on FNL, shot off guns when “Downton Abbey” won all its awards, and live-tweeted and Facebooked all my emotions (I did not send most of them) because I was so emotional about it.  So I realized then that I love TV.  I used to be into the Oscars, but unless Will Forte is up for something, I will have not seen any of those movies until next summer.  I keep up with TV in real time and it is my soul mate.

Which means that the top best thing to happen in 2011 (not related to real things in my life) is that “How I Met Your Mother” is on Netflix Instant (runner up is “Community” on HuluPlus, finally).  I love HIMYM so, so much.  It’s a show that rewards its audience.  While I get exhausted watching shows that have more than 13 episodes a seasonsand last longer than 3 years, the current season has been really good and I’ve also enjoyed rewatching last season, which I thought was the worst one yet.

While I’m on the subject of the things I’m usually on the subject of, I get riled up about things that make no sense or seem to be looked over on shows like HIMYM and FNL that are so good at developing characters.  My associate says that these things are done for story and they’re just TV shows, but I feel like they’re big holes in the reality of a fake world and someone on the show should have noticed.  What I mean to say is, what the hell happened to Riggins’ Rigs, and why would the entire gang fly to Ted’s hometown to go to the wedding of his high school best friend that they weren’t friends with?

Other: Who Charted is my favorite podcast.   Do yourself a favor and listen to Bob Odenkirk’s episode.  NOW.  I also like WTF a lot.  I don’t give myself a lot of podcast time, so I tend to just keep up with those.

Also, this:

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1372642

I still have a long “best of” post pending (hint: I watched a lot of TV in 2011), but here is the truly greatest thing that happened (happens) this year.

Sometimes, usually when I’m driving, my baby laughs at something.  And this makes me laugh.  And when I laugh that makes her laugh again.  We’re in a laughing loop that gets louder and it’s like we’re villains in a movie and we’ve come up with a great scheme.  It’s good baby/mom bonding time.

And, also, I am thinking of some schemes while this is happening.  Watch out.

Me (now): Kelly, it’s Kelly.
Me (then): Ugh, time travel.
MN: I know, right? It’s a thing. I won’t touch anything.
MT: What is the future like? That Spice Girls’ video about the future?
MN: I think that was supposed to be like “Blade Runner,”  but you don’t know that yet.  And, no. It’s like the same, but everything is done on tiny personal phones. Phones are computers. And “The Simpsons” is still on.
MT: So cool.
MN: I guess. But, hey. What if I told you that all of those VHS tapes of music videos and TV shows that you’ve been collecting and recording are useless? You know the Internet?
MT: Prodigy? Our dad is mad at us because we had 30 minutes free and accidentally went over our time by 14 hours.
MN: Jesus, you own a clock. He should still be mad at that.  Anyway, “The State,” which you loved so much and convinced your parents to get cable so that you could watch it only to see it go off the air, is on DVD AND you can watch it on your TV two ways through the Internet.
MT: WHAT?
MN: It’s right there. Also, you won’t watch it that much. And, you can watch Saturday Night Live on Sunday night, or whenever you want.
MT: Kick ass!  Should I stop taping everything?
MN: Don’t do anything different. You meet your husband at a VHS shooting range.
MT:  Do I publish a novel before I’m 25?
MN: Aww, that’s cute.  I forgot about that. No. And you don’t write for Rolling Stone.
MT: But “the State” thing sounds cool.  Do I live in New York City or London with the Internet TV?
MN:  You actually buy a house in the same zip code you lived in where you grew up. Emotionally, just put all your hoping eggs in the TV basket. Oh, and Jack Kelly from “Newsies” is a big star. And you have a super adorable baby. And don’t buy all that Star Wars crap when the prequel comes out. And Liam might be your favorite Gallagher brother.
MT: WHAT?
MN: Ok, I’m out.