Best of 2011: Everything (The List)
December 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
Rather than just doing music or books in a wrap-up this year, I’ve decided to cover everything — mostly because there wasn’t really one album or novel that I fell in love with. (This may have something to do with the lack of a new New Pornographers album in 2011, which should change in 2012. Which BETTER change in 2012.) Here goes.
Maybe one of the reasons I didn’t have a favorite album this year is because I listened to such a wide variety of music thanks to a premium Spotify membership. Ten bucks a month gets me unlimited access to any album, anywhere — I use Spotify for gym playlists, for driving, for work … everywhere. My iPod has mostly been rendered useless in favor of my iPhone and the Spotify app.
As far as albums I did love this year … The Black Keys (Duh), Jay-Z/Kanye’s Watch the Throne, The Streets (Computers and Blues), Katy B (On a Mission), Patrick Stump (Soul Punk, a guilty pleasure), and hands down — Cults. Maybe I’m forgetting something but overall not a great year for music, 2012 holds more excitement: Sleigh Bells, Heartless Bastards, Santogold, Cat Power, Air The Shins, The XX. The New Pornographers aren’t on that list but that must be an oversight.
It’s funny, in my 2010 wrap-up post, I wrote: And as far as resolutions go, I’m not going to kid myself: I won’t go to the gym, I won’t watch what I eat for longer than a few days, and I won’t be as frugal as I’d like.
Two of those three things ended up being false, starting in August. I met a new friend who referred me to this place called Equinox, which turned out to be a gym for snobs like me … ultra clean, modern, hip, filled with Kiehl’s products, and conveniently right down the street. After my knee injury, I spent about two years just being sedentary. I enjoyed it (I got to spend more time with Indy, after all), but when I joined Equinox, a lightbulb sort of went off, and I remembered that I have, historically, not been a lazy sloth, but actually fairly active and borderline athletic. I’ve tapped into that again in the back half of 2011 — I’m probably the fittest I’ve been, in life, and it’s thanks to Equinox for creating an environment where I want to be, where I want to get sweaty, and where I don’t just feel like I belong to a gym, but I feel like I belong. It sounds pretty corny, but I’m really pleased to be back on track with my health after an injury and an extended pity party.
If you had told me a year ago that I was going to experience a mid-sized earthquake in 2011, I would have thought, “Ugh, great, I guess I’m going to stupid L.A. sometime this year.” But that wasn’t how it worked out; on August 23 I was standing at work, on the 16th floor, in the corner office peering out the window, wondering if the floor always shook so much when a big truck went by but hey there aren’t any trucks OH SHIT THIS IS AN EARTHQUAKE. And then I briefly thought, oh, huh, is this how I’m going to die? That obviously didn’t happen, but the 30 seconds or so that the building rocked and the light fixtures swung back and forth was utterly surreal and humbling. The earthquake, combined with Disaster Commute in January, proved that I become somewhat hysterical at first in dangerous situations, but then quickly become resigned to my fate. Which is good to know.
I’m not going to get sick at all in the winter of 2011/2012. It’s partially because I got a flu shot but I will also give Lush South Beach credit for this as well. Scott and I took two trips to Miami this year, and during both we made several visits to this dive bar, which calls itself “Day Care for Drunks,” and is disgustingly, filthy dirty, yet we played endless games of beer pong. The amount of bacteria I introduced into my body — and subsequently defeated — has undoubtedly turned my immune system into a goddamn monster. (Also one night we were there I did pushups on the sidewalk outside with a former drug dealer, so yaaaay for making new friends!)
It’s been an up-and-down year, to say the least. I won’t go into the downs. But the other ups: I ran two 5Ks, I got to sit ON THE FIELD at RFK stadium for a D.C. United game, I ate at a ton of excellent restaurants (Graffiato, Volt, Kushi, Pubbelly), I fell in love with Lululemon, my best friend left Hawaii and now lives 10 minutes from me, I kidnapped a panda from a zoo and now I feed it bamboo all the time.