Monday, December 20, 2010

Here's to 2011

High points of 2010, in no real order:

Trip to Texas and Arizona last January. Saw my family in TX, saw my friends in AZ. Lots of sunshine – great way to start the year.

Several close friends survived, and thrived, after serious illnesses. What could be better?

I learned that Susan Rogers’ book would be published. Yahoooooooo!

Landed the tenure-track position at SUNY Oswego. (Giant sigh of relief, still exhaling.)

And, although I said these were in no order, this one outranks everything: my brother came home from Iraq.


Fiction: Well, I didn’t read a LOT of fiction, but I really enjoyed a novel called The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by Reif Larsen, which I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who a) likes graphic novels; b) loves maps; c) likes intelligent and quirky narrators. I’m not sure it’s rightly called a graphic novel – it’s just a very creative and charming novel. So yeah – that’d be my favorite of the year, although like Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, below, I wouldn’t have expected to like it so much.

Poetry: My favorite poems this year were written by my students. What would have been my favorite book was Nox by Anne Carson. Unfortunately, my copy was lost in transit, so I’m deferring my utter enjoyment of this book until 2011.

Nonfiction: Generally I read a lot of good nonfiction, so in no particular order:

Zeitoun, Dave Eggers

Reality Hunger, David Shields

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

About a Mountain, John D’Agata

Vanishing Point, Ander Monson

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Amy Krouse

Best American Essays 2010 (special mention to Ryan Van Meter’s essay, “First”)

Movies: I don’t see a lot of first-run movies, but the one movie I adored this year, and recommend to all artists, is The Beaches of Agnes, a documentary by and about Agnes Varda, the French filmmaker, and so much more. Loved it from start to finish and can’t wait to view it again.

(On a related note: I felt a couple of widely-praised movies were really over-rated. 1) The Kids Are All Right; and 2) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Good performances, yes… but beyond that?? If anyone cares to explain, please do.)

TV I enjoyed: Men of a Certain Age, Damages, Friday Night Lights, and Modern Family. And although I usually fall asleep in the middle of it, and couldn’t explain the show if I had to, I’ve really come to like Fringe a lot.

Last but not least: High Points of Facebook: It’s actually hard to choose – I have a lot of writer friends and a lot of friends who don’t post about their endless fatigue, break-ups, hangovers, random whininess, etc., but here are some that stood out:

  • Susan Rogers’ posts from Tasmania and Wyoming;
  • All of Kimi Eisele’s blog posts and gratitude posts;
  • A short video featuring my nephews’ home-made game, the infamous “Sting Pong.” I rarely get a kick out of stupidity, but that one made me laugh.

If you have any year-end high points of your own, please feel free to comment here or on Facebook. And thank you, sincerely, to anyone who’s been reading these blog posts. I really appreciate it.


  1. My high points:

    1) My trip to NC with my best friend, Sunny. It was the road trip we always wanted to take and will be something I will remember forever.

    2)The Ducks becoming the parent club of the Syracuse Crunch. Huge moment in my hockey life and one I will forever be glad happened. Coincidentally, their decision to sign my favorite enforcer lands here, too.

    3) Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt. 1. Everything I could have asked for. Left me breathless.

    4) Becoming closer to my second cousins, AJ and Nattie. I wasn't around their older sister during her childhood because her parents live out of town, so to become so close to AJ and Nattie was just such a blessing. I love those kids, so much. Finding out today that their father doesn't have cancer is a highlight, too.

    5) Becoming an elder--and yes, that gets joked about a lot, seeing as I'm all of 25--in a church I'm actually proud to belong to. They're an amazingly accepting, patient, and great group of people.

    6) TV: Big Bang Theory. Hilarious! I actually think you'd really enjoy it.

    7) This one is kind of strange, but letting go of what had become a harmful relationship to both of us. It was time.

  2. 8) Interviewing my favorite Crunch player of all time, Dan Smith, for my hockey blog. Yes...That pretty much made my year. I miss #6.

  3. You are so lovely. The annual Indian food lunch is nice, but I really wish we lived in the same town and could go for walks and movies and talk about cool stuff. Thanks for your FB posts, as well. I almost always read what you post, when it comes up in my feed. Happy solstice! K