This year has been so much. A lot has happened. I turned thirty-five, which I have determined to be my mid-life. Statistically speaking, if I live to be seventy that will be a big fucking deal. So, here I am—middle aged and finally ready to find my own path. It took me so long to get here. You have no idea.
Sure, there’s been thirty-four years before this one. And they’ve all offered up different revelations and adventures, lessons and stories. All those years were necessary for this most recent year to exist. But this one, 2010, has been of full of things I love so much, and has been darker than a lot of my adult years, and also has been so goddamn important to me.
When the year began I was still living near Seattle. I flew back to California in January (it had been a year since I last set foot in California before this) and spent a week. It was lovely getting to see my friends; I even took my mom and step dad out to lunch. And it was a nice break from the cold. Two things occurred to me during this trip…I really missed my friends and I didn’t really want to live in Riverside. Yes, this is the town I grew up in, and yes I felt a certain longing for the familiarity of it. It’s like when I was a kid and I lived in an abusive home. Well, my aunt took me in. But it was uncomfortable. And one night I ran away. Back to my mom’s house, back to the place where I was being abused. Is it too drastic to compare Riverside to that? Eh. I don’t think I even understood it at the time. I think I get it now. Regardless, seeing my mom made me feel sorry, sad, obligated. But I needed to think about it more. So I headed home to think.
In March I headed to Colorado. One of my friends met up with me there from California, and we met up with another friend who lived in Denver. We drove up to Boulder, then past into the mountains for Frozen Dead Guy Days. We ate at some big German restaurant while we were there. Then we watched people get drunk and fall in the snow. The whole trip didn’t go exactly as planned. There’s no need to dwell on that. I did get a waffle at the Waffle House with mushrooms in it. Random.
Then, in June I headed back to California, back to Riverside. Except this time I drove with friends and with my doggie in tow. We stayed a night in Eugene, Oregon. Then, we stayed another night in some mid California city I cannot recall the name of. I was the only one who drove. Of course I’ve made this drive a bunch of times in my life, and I made the drive up when I moved as the only driver as well. Actually when I moved up I didn’t have my dog yet and we slept in the car when I got tired. The only reason we slept in hotels on the way back to California was the dog. Sleeping in a small car with four people and a dog sounded pretty crazy, even for me.
And then there I was, back home. And here I am. As much as I’ve complained, kicked, screamed, and whined about being here—I know I needed to come back. There were way too many loose ends. So much unfinished. And I spent two months after my head-first no time to feel how fucking cold the water is dive back into my mom’s house. I pretty much fucking lost it, and earlier than I expected. I have a hard time with chaos. I’m getting better. I’m guessing if anyone in the infinite internet void is reading this perhaps I should explain more. I grew up in a very messy/gross/dirty house after my mom got remarried. There were no rules. And my brother had this cat that would pee on this burner and our house would often smell, I mean reek—of burnt cat piss. If you weren’t there I probably wouldn’t discuss this with you. There was so much. My mom and step dad used to always say it was my brother and I that made the house messy. I know you’re thinking, why the fuck didn’t you just clean the goddamn house. But, but…I DID! It was impossible. And it never changed. I don’t know properly how to explain how defeating it was there. And so, here I was—now—again. No, it wasn’t the same as when I was a kid. But, these are the sort of people that have nothing organized. Like a screwdriver in with the silverware. But like everything is dirty. You can’t use the dishes without washing them first, any of them. There’s cigarette ash in the microwave, in the fridge. Sometimes there’s weirder things than that in the fridge. So, chaos. I didn’t have them move in with me in Washington because it seemed like moving two people with medical problems and their pets would be a much bigger deal. Yes, they said they would not smoke in the house once I got there, which never happened. I had bronchitis within weeks of arriving and was sick almost the whole time I lived there. The reality is that I failed. I should have not attempted to help when I was incapable. I should have thought things through. A lot of bad happened in those two months. A lot of mean. And also, a lot of understanding and self resolution. This was important. Without this experience I would never get to the place I am sitting right now as I type this. And being here, in this chair, right now, is pretty fucking important in the scheme of my life.
In August. Yes, it seems like there’s always big shifts in my life in August. So I moved into my own place downtown. It’s too small, but it’s not expensive & it’s really the first time Deirdre and I have lived entirely alone since three months in Buena Park a couple years back.
In November I headed to Louisiana. I’m not even going to write about New Orleans. At least not now. It was too amazing. Too good to share. I just want to keep it to myself a little longer.
So this year I also wrote a novel. Like a whole full length novel. Which I edited and edited and thought I finished. But them a big change came to me and I’m rearranging the whole thing, which I’m hoping to finish by the end of January (wish me luck).
I have to talk about music and books. And connecting. And what we mean to one another. Hold on. Let me share some of the amazing things I saw/did in 2010.
Before I left Seattle I saw Evelyn Evelyn, Jason Webley, Amanda Palmer & Sxip Shirey at the Showbox (at the market). We got there early, had some beers at the bar and got incredibly good seats. Like amazing in the first row seats. I fucking love Jason Webley. I’m telling you I would have his accordion playing babies. I would also have Amanda Palmer’s babies if that was at all humanly possible. Although I think the two of us could do without any babies, but you know what I mean. Awesomeness. These three together made for a fucking brilliant evening. Thank you universe. Seriously.
This is Evelyn Evelyn from that night, just to give you an idea:
Here’s Sxip Shirey from that night. This man is all kinds of amazing:
Then I saw Jason Webley again in New Orleans at the Allways Lounge (seriously amazing place ran by seriously amazing people). Amanda Palmer was there with Neil Gaiman. And I was exposed to two new (to me) musicians. Lonesome Leash opened. This guy is fucking amazing. It’s the singer from Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship. He plays the accordion. Well, he’s someone to be seen. I also saw Hera, who sang this song that evening:
Then a night later we saw The Dresden Dolls play at Tipitina’s. Jason Webley & Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship were the openers.
This is Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship:
This is Jason Webley covering Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘In the Aeroplane Over The Sea’ at Tipitina’s that night in New Orleans:
& this is The Dresden Dolls doing Coin Operated Boy from that night:
Another thing I did this year (that I’m oh so fucking amazed by and glad for) is on Halloween I went and saw a reading of Mark Z Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword. Oh man. You can see the first part here, and youtube the rest. This was amazing and I was right up front.
Oh. And I was able to see The Legendary Pink Dots play in Newport Beach, which was pretty brilliant. Oddly, I’ve never seen Mr. Ka-spell live before so this was really a treat.
Then on December 19th I caught Monsters of Accordion at the Troubadour. This was a fucking incredible show as well.
Oddest 2010 moment: Going to church with Nathan, Manuel and Bizz. Especially when Nathan says ‘I’m not standing during this part…’
I think I’m tired of writing about my year now. Off the top of my head I think my favorite two movies of the year were Inception and Black Swan.
And I think I only read one book last year that actually came out last year. Cheers! Here’s too 2011 & (hopefully) a lot less dark days & a lot more life!