This year is officially drawing to a close and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. Not much has changed for me, which is slightly disappointing - But for what I did, I learnt some valuable lessons.
1 - It’s ok to fall too hard and not automatically get over someone. It takes time to heal and through this you learn the type of person you are and how strong you can actually be.
2 - Money doesn’t grow on trees and although loans seem good at the time, the interest and weekly pay outs get the worst of you. Saving is great! It’s much better to stay in and save, then to go out and be broke. It’s fine to say no every now and again.
3 - Exploration is healthy. Whether you’re watching a documentary, reading into different religions or venturing into your sex life, it’s healthy to explore your options.
4 - Friends come and go. It’s safer to depend on them less and sometimes it’s better to let them need you, more than you need them. This of course is debatable, but if you’re like me, detaching yourself and placing the shoe on the other foot can help you understand them better.
5 - It’s OK! to be single! We all want love, but we need to remember it will happen when it happens. Stop spending your life searching for the one and enjoy the life you’re given. Also let go of all the unrealistic expectations and work on bettering yourself. As a wise drag queen once said “If you can;t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else”.
6 - American Drag Queens kick Australian Drag Queen BUTT!
7 - It is ok to push initial dreams aside to work on more realistic goals. Your dreams are always there to work on, but sometimes life comes first and it sometimes seems more rewarding to focus on what you have than what you want.
8 - Study is sometimes one of the best things that can happen to you, it’s also sometimes one of the worst, choose your study options wisely and if you enjoy it, stick through it - it will be worth it!
9 - It’s better to laugh, than it is to cry. Meditation is amazing for stress, but sometimes talking soothes the sou to a whole new level. It can also help to deepen friendships, if you’ve got something on your mind talk to someone, let them understand you and most of all let them help you! Don’t shut yourself off. If you’re feeling down, think of all the times you’ve felt happy, make a list and if you’re like me the happy times overwrite the sad times.
10 - Exercise and healthy eating are hard work. Set goals for yourself and actually reach them. Shut your mouth about what you’re going to do and get up and do them! You will be proud, you will be sure, but most importantly you will be a happier, healthier you! And there’s nothing better than being you! Well that last line could be debatable, depending on the person.
And there you have it, ten things I’ve learnt from 2013 that I will take on to 2014.
Have a safe new year, be merry and don’t just make goals for the new year. Begin them the next day and continue them.
[SOME OF MY FAVORITE MEDIA I CAN REMEMBER ENCOUNTERING IN 2013 (MOSTLY RELEASED BUT NOT NECESSARILY RELEASED IN 2013)]
Timmy Reed’s Tell God I Don’t Exist - Like several writers I read today, Timmy Reed appeared to me through Facebook. His writing includes bizarre otherworldy situations taking place on earth; apocalyptic atmospheres where subtle tenderness exists; our new technology juxtaposed against things more primitive; surreal images in mundane costumes. His terse sentences hauntingly make you laugh.
Tao Lin’s Taipei - The sentences in this book are intricately woven, the figurative language keen & crystallized, the emotional risk seemingly larger than in his previous work, the quotable passages ubiquitous.
Scott McClanahan’s Crapalachia & Hill William - Scott continues to write material that doesn’t give a damn about shattering our precious tunnels through which we look at the world. He’s courageous, honest, & fearless toward making emotive stories that entertain, challenge, & scare us.
Marshall McLuhan - Having died in 1980, a ~decade before the Internet started pervading our culture at large, McLuhan had been studying media for over 20 years & contributed several insightful ideas about it, like ‘The Global Village’, 'The Medium is the Message,’ & 'Hot’ & 'Cool’ media. With the advent of the electronic world, he imagined us (re)entering into a ~tribal, 'acoustic’ atmosphere where the 'audience’ is now 'content’/active participant. He paid keen attention to the shift from 'print’ to digital culture, & his notions make even more sense when applied to the Internet when applied to the media he explicitly discussed! He didn’t even get a chance to see the Internet.
Rachel (Pattycake) Bell’s The Islamic Takeover of 2013 - This is one of my favorite ebooks. It’s unique, vulnerable, well put together, presenting an artful & emotional documentation of a romantic relationship founded on the Internet.
Victor (Kool AD) Vazquez’s The Joke Book - Kool AD’s one of my favorite writers, so I was doubly excited to hear he’s enthusiastic about some of my favorite writers & had linked up with Sorry House to release a (chap)book. The book, like his raps, is smart, hilarious, hip, & deceptively political.
Sam Pink’s Rontel - I get excited to read any Sam Pink book. This one takes place mainly in the narrator’s head as he wanders around Chicago. However, being in Sam Pink’s head is never boring & always brutally honest.
Steve Roggenbuck’s If You Don’t Love the Moon Your An Asshole - Steve has accumulated more haters this year, it seems, & several of those haters seem to somewhat ignore his poetry. Sure, he doesn’t follow traditional/expected models, but he doesn’t want to! That’s what makes his poetry exciting. In this, like much of his other work, he blends absurd humor, overt optimism, autobiographical minimalism, & visually-stimulating aesthetics.
The Puffy Chair (A Duplass Brothers Film) - Ever seen any 'Mumblecore’ films? If not, this is a good place to start. If so & haven’t seen this one, get it! It’s funny, irreverent, & tender.
Carl Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections - Jung was an amazingly weird dude. His ideas are original & inspiring, & although he’s very 'spiritual,’ he’s not afraid to get dark. Most of his books contain ~scientific/psychological language, but this one is more straight-up autobiography. He wrote it pretty much on his deathbed.
John Berger’s Ways of Seeing - A lucid study of culturally conditioned ways of seeing, including an intriguing study of the presentation of women’s nudes throughout the history of western art.
The Century of the Self (Documentary) - This doc taught me that Freud had an American nephew (Edward Bernays) who ~stole Freud’s ideas for the purpose of manipulative advertising. Advertising as we know it would not be the same without him - as it tries to convince us that what we want is what we need.
Religious Girls - My friend Nathan Springer introduced me to these dudes, on the night they were to play at an art gallery in Oakland (with Mount Eerie!). Their music’s manic energy will break your head open.
Lizzy Yzzil’s Poems Vol. 1 - Lizzy sent me a pdf of her book & I wrote a review for it that says this: “some dude told me a long time ago that when he’s reading something he wants to feel like the writer/speaker/narrator is a ‘captain’ he trusts & wants to follow / seems kind of cheesy but i see what he means & if we use that ‘lens’ here i feel like lizzy is a good captn / the way she breaks her lines & allows some lines to run longer, making each stanza kind of snaky & it seems (i don’t know if this is intentional but it feels intentional) like she uses the linebreaks/silence/empty space to establish the ‘breath’, which works quite well i feel. Her poems, though sophisticated, are very relatable.
LIT ON LIT VOLUMES 2 & 3 - Nathan Springer curates these mixtapes that you can access for free on soundcloud & whose cassettes you can order for 5 bucks. They involve writers sending Nathan audio of them reading & Nathan often puts sounds/music behind the recordings.
What Would I Say - This website creates mashup sentences based on your previous Facebook postings. Genius.
Heiko Julien’s I Am Ready to Die a Violent Death - Despite his sometimes problematic statements, Heiko is one of my favorite writers. I foresee myself reading this book at least once a year for many years to come.
Martin Buber’s I and Thou - I’ve had this book on my shelf for years but didn’t read it till this year. Sometimes I read esoteric books, & this I’d say is very esoteric. It’s fantastic though! Seems like one of its main theses, or the one that stayed with me, is the significance/necessity of interaction/interdependence/other people.
Joseph Campbell’s The Way of Myth - This too has been on my shelf for years. I’ve read some of his other books but had not read this one. This is my favorite. I’ve read it at least twice this year. It makes me feel fired up about living. It makes me want to identify with the force that makes grass grow back when we cut it.
Edward Mullany’s Figures For An Apocalypse - Like his last book, although this one does include some longer pieces, primarily consists of very brief, lean poems in which each line questions itself. His poems make me think 'somber humor’.
Kelly Schirmann’s image-poems - Check out her tumblr, you freaks! She’s one of the most interesting artist poets out right now.
Spring Breakers Soundtrack - The songs that Cliff Martinez & Skrillex have collaboratively designed are beautiful.
Blue Hawaii’s Untogether (album) - This album reminds me of deep blue water. I turn it up on my colossal speakers in my living room & let the thick bassy slow dancy ambience fill up my whole body.
Drake’s Nothing Was the Same - No matter how ridiculous Drake’s lyrics get, I always love 40’s beats & Drake’s delivery & wordplay.
Kurt Vile’s Walkin on a Pretty Daze - His nonchalantly-delivered vocals & hazy aesthetic never fail to hook me. I’ve been listening to this album regularly since its release in April.
Baths’ Obsidian - Baths is one of my favorite contemporary artists, although I don’t enjoy this album quite as much as his first one. I especially like he bridges the gap between futuristic beat music & experimental pop vocals. If you like him & are not aware of these, check out his side project Geotic & his previous moniker [Post-foetus].
Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic - Their throwback sound & playful lyrics strike me as bold & refreshing, & I look forward to watching them grow in the future.
Father John Misty’s Fear Fun - "Oh pour me another drink / And punch me in the face / You can call me Nancy.”
Birdtapes - Check them out on Soundcloud!
Different Sleep - I’ve listened to this guy’s music maybe more than any other person’s music this year.
James Ferraro - Lofi 'internet rapper’ who makes me laugh & makes me feel like I’m in an attic feeling emo.
All of Fanzine’s & Dazed Articles that involved 'Alt Lit’ - I especially like reading articles by Crispin Best & Janey Smith.
Ashley Obscura’s How to be a Rainbow - I love the minimal cosmic nature of Ashley’s macros.
John Mortara’s Cutty Spot Interview - I love all of the cutty spot video response interviews, but I find myself periodically watching John’s - it feels like a poem or something to me.
Nosaj Thing ft. Toro y Moi - TRY - Listen to this REALLY loud on some potent speakers, REPEATEDLY.
All of Stephen Michael McDowell’s & Chris Dankland’s Internet Activity! Chris Dankland hustles hard on keeping up with poetry/lit coming out of the internet culture(s). Stephen’s keen insight/articulation never fails to impress/engage me. Check out his MAMMAL project.
Austin Islam’s 'A Tumblr Note’ on Everyday Genius - All of the videos everyday genius put up during this time were great. For some reason Austin’s made me feel the most.
Pop Serial 4 - There are like 35 writers in this, some of whom are my favorite around. Plus one of Heiko’s ebooks serves as the final piece. I like how STDierks released each person’s work gradually day by day.
Carolyn DeCarlo & Jackson Nieuwland’s Twilight Zone - Jackson & Carolyn always take risks & are fresh & unique because of that. I love many of the poems in this ebook & enjoy the clever interaction it demands from the reader.
Everything from NAP - I enjoy all things Chad Redden.
The Advent of Narrator - The ambient & beautiful sounds from scott irvine, nicholas lowery & nathan springer.
All Things Hunter Payne - “We will still have people who continue to write manuscripts that are turned into printed books that will be sold in bookstores, but a new kind of writer or literary artist is going to emerge (and already has been emerging), and what this type of person produces will be interesting too. I see these people constructing themselves more as ‘personae’ than as ‘authors’, but I don’t mean ‘personae’ in an easy way, or in a pejorative sense. I mean it in the sense that the careers these people will construct for themselves will arrive through a kind of eccentric mastery of several different avenues of internet media.” - Edward Mullany
Diane Marie’s No Man’s Land is an Island - love this little ebook! especially how she plays with space on the page.
Caleb Hildenbrandt’s I Say These Things to You - These are definitely some of my favorite macros I encountered this year.
All things Michael Hessel-Mial - from his macros to his critical commentary to his curating of INTERNET POETRY, MHM’s work is always something I look forward to.
All things Bob Schofield! - Bob is by far one of my favorite living artist writers that I’ve met on the internet (& in general).
James Ganas’ & Penny Goring’s Work - two of my favorite, along with kelly schirmann, in the game of pairing visual w/ text.
Mia Wyatt’s Instagram - Mia is a friend of mine & her photos are fantastic. She also makes incredible paintings - I’m trying to convince her to make her own art website.
Anhvu Buchanan’s The Disordered - ‘it’s like music in that it creates a rhythm, patterns of repeated images / ideas, & the reader can tune into it & they pick up on it pretty quick i think […] & as you go i can start varying the pattern & plugging things in & switching things around […] on the one hand the reader’s expectations are met, but then on the other hand their expectations are confounded […] because I’m altering the pattern in this way that is surprising. they’re always a little off-footing, but they kind of know what is going on. that is ideal’ - these words from Bob Schofield serve as an apt description of Anhvu’s book to me.
Everything PLAIN WRAP - plain wrap press has built its pervading presence on the internet this year. Not only does it put out great books that look beautiful, it created an online lit mag this year, as well as a 'trailer park’ dedicated to showcasing interesting book trailers.
I Love You, Before Long I Die - As Boost House’s first physical book release, this book contains lines, fragments, stanzas, & whole poems selected by Steve Roggenbuck. For those of you who, like me, already love Whitman, this book packages some Whitman’s most exciting work conveniently into one location. For those of you who are not very familiar with Whitman, this book serves as an effective introduction.
Carrie Lorig’s NODS - Carrie’s poetry is excitingly playful. This book plays with form, surprising imagery/turns of phrase, & (ir)reverence. As Evan Bryson says about nods, “This fluctuation in scale, its insistence on rhyming physically and materially disparate forces, of objects, of states, cores out an ordinary-seeming enough romance of dissapointment and confusion, of miscommunication, into an aria of lacerative twangs, an epic of geologic rumbles.”
This year is coming to an end. And I just want to tell you: Happy New Year, and I wish to you all that in the new year in the first place you never lose your inspiration, and you drew more and bigger! 2014 will be even better than 2013! And we go further, the future is waiting for us, the future needs us! (too pathetic <:D) So, thank you ALL for your support and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
and guys, I promise to put more efforts in the next year! :) See you soon!