a silly little year
remember last month when everything felt good?
Hello from the fleeting moments of that wonderful stretch of liminal space between the morning of December 26 and the evening of the evening of December 31—the one time a year no one expects anything from anyone. (Least of all this godforsaken newsletter.) What a shame to follow it with New Year’s Eve, where everyone expects you to have a good time—and, really, there’s nothing less fun than forced socialization—and then New Year’s Day, which is always a drag because everyone expects to magically become a new, better person at midnight but really it’s just another day and you’re still the same person you were the night before, except hungover. Good thing both are canceled again this year, as they should be every year!!!
This is part a best of 2021 / part, as current events may have it, things to, um, boost your mood now that shit is getting bad again / part distraction because I ate candy and a Red Bull to have energy to write but I played myself and consumed too much because now I’m just too wired to actually write. I hate it here!
Okay this is the point in the email where I think……what the fuck is sparking joy for me lately? Can I even remember who I was a mere three weeks ago? Three weeks ago I had serotonin! Within 72 hours that was all replaced with pure cortisol, baby, and I’ve been running on it since! So maybe this newsletter is more for me than it is for you! That said, some desperate grasps at what’s left of joy in this cruel world are below. :)
some things to boost your mood in the face of a global pandemic, vol. iv
The first two episodes of Easy AM 66 (and, if you haven’t caught them, Network 77) from Programme 4 are the most delightful and soothing easy listening ‘60s radio spoofs you could ask for.
I cannot begin to tell you how special this 10 minute long 11foot8 bridge crash compilation video is. Transfixing, hilarious, calming; the sound of trucks having their roofs ripped off by a low overhang bridge is kind of like the sound of waves crashing, if you think about it.
Helena Fitzgerald’s Griefbacon came back this year and each and every one of her essays is just so very good and makes me go “well, fuck.” at least once.
A lot of West Side Story this and Licorice Pizza that (A few brief words: I found much of WSS to be pandering to rich white neolibs who need to be spoonfed “this is about gentrification! racism is bad!” and genuinely don’t know that the Lincoln Project is a psyop created by GOP operatives—Ariana Debose is great tho—and LP is transcendent and warm and wonderful and full of life and I will not be saying anything more because the discourse is bad!) Anyway! None of that matters because the truly fine motion pictures of this year are those from Sylvanian Drama
Former Real Housewife of New York/Andy Cohen enemy/journalist/member of the Kennedy family by marriage who will not let you forget it/my new inexplicable Instagram follower Carole Radziwill recorded a Cameo for a stroke survivor from the floor of a vitamin aisle at CVS. It’s perfect.
Here’s Joy Behar making lasagna.
Deeply obsessed with YouTube compilations of Elmo losing his shit over Zoe’s pet rock. (YES, this is a Sesame Street reference. YES, all my sanity has left the building.)
On that note: 10 hours of “an oatmeal container, a wooden bowl, a plastic water bottle, and a paper towel roll” is something that can be so personal
and some highlights from the year in me :)
At C*ndé N*st, I moved over to Pitchfork, where I helped launch a new video series that let me goof on Zooms with Elton John and Brandi Carlile.
Robert Plant serenading me with “Carey” by Joni Mitchell was not an anticipated part of my job but it happened anyway.
For Bright Wall/Dark Room, I wrote about Klute, Jane Fonda, and the precarious act of performing a version of yourself.
For Flood Magazine, I had the most wonderful conversation with Liz Phair about a lot of things, including her truly wonderful album Soberish, one of my favorites of the year. One of those interviews I walked away from feeling truly fed, and for that I thank her!!!
and on this silly little substack
I wrote about using Nora Ephron’s audiobook wisdom to get through the trauma of best friend betrayal.
I worked through some complicated thoughts about Lindsey Buckingham.
I went long on Aimee Mann, her stunning new album Queens of the Summer Hotel, and what we talk about when we talk about “sad songs.” My favorite thing I’ve written this year, maybe!?
2021 started with a “holy shit wait what really” moment (I sold a book about Elaine May!) and continued with some “holy shit wait what really” realizations (I have to write it). Obviously I didn’t do much this year because I spent most of it doing the fun but fucking hard work of researching and writing said book (on top of a full time job……I really did not think this through), so anything outside of it that I gave time to was a true passion project that was important to me. Thanks for spending any time with it.
So! I’m proud of all of us (okay, fine, most of us) for getting through another shit year (it’s not the year’s fault) and surviving. No one tell me your new year’s resolutions because I do not believe in them and I do not want you to feel bad about yourself for telling so many people—myself included—your resolutions when you give up on them by January 19. (It’s not you and it’s not me being a pessimist. It’s science.) Now let's all log off and go enjoy New Year’s Eve the way it should always be enjoyed: by staying inside by ourselves!!!!!!!
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okay that's it that's the end thanks bye