The New Year’s Eve retrospective post – 2011

Books, Music, Art, Movies, Life

This past year has kind of been uneventful, if I am comparing it to previous years. If there were a word to describe it I would have to choose “introspective.” I’ve done much thinking and observing and working on myself. I have faced things in myself that have needed to be faced for years. It has been a year of awakening. An awakening that I’m sure will continue on through this next year and further, if I am lucky.

Here are a couple of “notable” lists:

Notable Books of 2011:
I read a lot of really good books this year!

  1. Tinkers by Paul Harding. This book blew my mind.
  2. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. I ended up reading it in one sitting. I simply could not put it down.
  3. Strange Piece of Paradise. A true story about a woman who, when she was in her early twenties on a bike trip across American, was brutally attacked by a stranger in Oregon and lived to tell the tale.
  4. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I love anything by this author but this one was especially good. It was a One Book One Twitter read.
  5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I was introduced to Jamie Ford when we connected on Google+. The first post that I saw was this one with the comment, “it looks like we just murdered a clown.” I became an instant fan. I’d heard of his book because everyone who walked into the library asked for it but, for some reason I hadn’t picked it up. I finally did this year and am so glad! It was excellent!
  6. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it you must.
  7. Blankets by Craig Thompson. This graphic novel has been on my To-Read list for ages and I finally picked it up a few months ago. A most excellent coming of age story.
  8. Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy. If you like beautiful love stories this is your book. The writing was wonderful.
  9. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Fantastic book for kids who are dealing with grief. Superb illustrations, too.
  10. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. I find myself thinking about this book all the time.

I discovered some excellent music this year, too!!

Notable Albums of 2011: 
Lots of really great music this year! These are just the albums that I bought and really liked.

Settle Down by Kimbra. A very recent discovery and OMFG. Love her. I mean, seriously. Listen to this voice. She is the real deal.

Zonoscope by Cut Copy. My current running music. Great album.

Only in Dreams by Dum Dum Girls. Fun girl-band, poppy songs.

Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay. I’ve been listening to this album lots these past couple of months.

Codes and Keys by Death Cab For Cutie. Not my favorite album at first listen but it has grown on me.

Personal Life by The Thermals. One of my favorite albums of the year. LOVE IT.

Alright You Restless by Agesandages. I discovered this band when I saw them live at Live Wire. Loved them!

And, Finally, Here is my Year In Pictures for 2011. May 2012 be filled with peace and love! Happy New Year!!!

2011 in 12 Sentences


Big waves at Cape Disappointment Light
I have to look back at my blog because I, seriously, can’t remember what happened this past year. It’s all been a blur…

January: I bought Vibrams and joined Barefoot running/minimalist shoe revolution!

February: More running. Lots of it! yay running!

March: Ukulele Festival was great! Visiting Spokane and seeing my Flickr friends was fabulous! My mom almost dying of pneumonia? not so much.

April: I discovered Live Wire, where I met Scott Poole and took the author photo for his book of poetry. Also, my barefoot running days are over :(.

May: Bloomsday! I actually ran the entire thing (with the exception of Doomsday Hill) and I hiked Dog Mountain!

June: I bought a Chromebook and I visited the Chinese Gardens in Portland and had a fabulous time.

July: Google+ made me happy for awhile, my mom finally visits, I finally find an old graveyard where I have cousins buried, and I had to stop running because of an injury (story of my life).

August: I visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time!

September: Another Spokane visit! this time everyone was healthy.

October: I visited a Zen Center for my first time.

November: Depression, but had a really good Thanksgiving, regardless.

December: Fabulous Christmas at the beach.

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Feeling kind of blah and uninspired lately, and so haven’t been blogging. I miss this space, though. So I thought I’d slap a photo up there and start typing and see what comes out.

I bought a Holga a few weeks ago and am super excited about using it! I shot my first two rolls and dropped them off to be developed on Monday. The first roll I know will be hilariously crappy because I forgot to advance the film several times. So some of the frames have multiple exposures. It will be fun to see what they look like.

I also picked up some batteries for my old film camera! I’m excited about that, too. I plan to, very soon, buy a photo scanner that scans negatives so I can post these little film experiments.

As you’ve probably deduced, I’m really interested in film photography lately. Actually, I’m kind of interested in analog lately. That’s the word: analog. The word of 2012. Well, actually, there are two  “A” words that describe what I want to strive for next year: authenticity and analog.

I mentioned film photography as one way of expressing this need to express myself in this way. But writing is another. I think I will do lots of my writing in a notebook as opposed to typing things out on a computer. I think there is something to the tactile nature of writing things out long-hand that lends itself to creativity, that taps into that intuitive side of ourselves. So I’m going to try more of it next year and see what happens.

The authenticity is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. I want to be authentic in everything that I do. Meditating this past year has really caused me to awaken to who I really am and it has really helped to see the façade that I have built around myself. That person that I want others to see. It’s so easy to do on the internet, isn’t it? I look at Facebook as one big, giant façade. It is rare to see any kind of authenticity there. Which I suppose is o.k. It’s the way it is. It’s a mirror of reality. But I can’t go back to that way of living. It feels so good to just say fuckit and be myself. So I’m gonna do more of it.

My Winter Reading List

Books, Music, Art, Movies


Currently, I am reading The Financial Lives Of The Poets by Jess Walter and am really liking the writing. The subject is depressing me, though.

I have a ton of books that I bought that I am dying to read. Here are a few that are on my list:

Becoming Animal by David Abram.

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott

The Heart of the Revolution by Noah Levine

Writers Dreaming by Naomi Epel

Mystery And Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor

I’m sure there are more that I can’t remember. My problem is that I get distracted with recommendations from other people and put things on hold at the library. Then when the holds come in I feel like I have to read them first. That’s the case with my current Jess Walter read.

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