Today marks the beginning of one of the most self-indulgent exercises of all time -- a recap of the past year of my life on this blog, but with insider extras, like "The ET Insider," my laundromat's favorite teevee program. This post is so memememe, it's like MEMEMEMEMEME. But also: if you're reading this, there's a significant (I'd say 70%) chance you weren't reading this in January, or if you were (and those of you that were: I love you a little bit more than I love the other children, you get extra dessert), you may've forgotten January now on account of drinking all that Drano in July, or maybe -- and yes, i'm talking to YOU now, you unknown people-of-the-future (Hellooo Marty McFly! Helloooo Cheerleader from Heroes!) -- this will be the Auto-Win Cliffs Notes for any latecomers to the game. Like today at the gym, I looked at the teevee and saw that fresh-faced kid that both the girls used to like on The Hills before it was called that and I saw that it was a Hills retrospective, catching the viewer up on where we've been before its most recent incredibly engaging season. I hate The Hills. Maybe you already know this. Maybe you don't. See: that's what I'm talking about.
OK SO: I'm going to start updating this thing and go through the whole year, I'll do the first three months in this post and then start a new post and so on and so forth. Yes, I'm asking more refreshment of you than Bud Light, Lozo's favorite beer.
There's other ways to figure out where we've been and where we're going, e.g., the archives, but maybe you clicked to the January archives, fell asleep on your keyboard, drooled all over it, and broke your computer, well, now you have your computer back if it's a Mac, and here I am to catch you up. Also, it's good for me, because I'm going through this partially to create the Year in Review and partially to outline a few chapters of my book and figure out what stories to tell in it.
People always tell me I have a lot of stories. This is true. I've always believed that we all have a lot of stories, we just don't all talk about ourselves as much as I talk about myself. But now I think: there's probs situations I've been in that other people would've gotten out of earlier, no matter what the cost to their hearts or minds, that I've managed to stick out thinking "well, at least it's interesting." That's probs why I've been close to so many weirdos, because at that point when other people can block their hearts and turn the other way, I have one more reason not to. Does that make sense? It might sound like a judgment, but it's not ... there's a reason that I'm a totes randomized weirdo and you are just a weirdo (actually, some of you are also totes randomized weirdos), and I envy all of you who've already achieved a level of stability that in 2008 is my number one goal. Seriously. I'd just like to coast for a little while. I'd like things to calm down, be stable. I've got a lot of shit from 2007 to work through, and that's fine, but I'd prefer to not have any new events to add to the must-work-through backlog. I already decided when the last day of my book is. I mean, it's passed. I knew it: that day, I knew it, I wrote in my journal: this is the last day of your book. And it was.
I'm listening to Heavenly. Do you know them? I loved them when I was 15. There's something super duper sweet about Heavenly. Have a listen. Someone from this band died and then they stopped making records. That happens. People die.
I have this idea that I should be as alive as possible at all times, which sometimes means being terribly alive, but at least it's alive. I used to confuse that with being self-destructive. I learned the difference a few years ago. AK just commented on my last post and said this: "Being in the act of writing a book can redeem one's sins for the better part of a life. " I agree. I'd like to expand "sins" to include "irresponsibility" and "unwise choices" or, rather, "unwise non-actions." Although it's good for Lindsay, my therapist, it's like manna from therapy heaven, me. Plus I make jokes, I can't imagine, I want to be her favorite client, that's what this is all really about.
But also, I've been without a doubt illusive about the hard facts of what's happened this year, especially in the beginning when I just did topical stuff with as minimal revelation as possible. That had its benefits, and that remains. But I'll fill in some gaps, totes ET Insider.
So the year in review, to the best of my current abilities will: provide an outline, fill in some holes, track the arrival of certain VIPs and phraseology and as I progress with it I'll be updating something I wanted to start earlier this year, which is The Glossary (more on this later) ... so this'll be a timeline, if you will.
I love timelines. Crystal wrote me the best one ever a few months ago, I even printed it out. I wish everyone could submit a timeline when applying for my friendship, so I could avoid getting their ex-boyfriends mixed up or remembering which school they transferred to or who was the BFF they had a crush on, which parent scarred them for life, who was the second marriage, what sports they played and etc etc. It's just a good reference tool. I actually write them out when I'm gathering information on people I'm getting to know in my journal, for myself. I take notes. I take notes on everything.
Yes: I do this all the time. I organise my life in lists and graphs. I've made probs 500 lists of "my friends" organised by level of closeness and various personality traits and connections to me and other friends ... you should see my journal. Actually you shouldn't, I probs say bad things about you in it. I'm reading my journal as I go through my blog and it's hilarious, really, the discrepency between what I talk about and what I write about. Especially in January and February, my blog was basically just like: "wheee!!! New York City subways, wtf?!"
[I'm still figuring out how I want to do this, so January is kinda a crapshot, as it was sort of a lame month blog-wise anyhow, I'll change it when I get into my groove]
post including these photos addressed our bizarre appropriations of the English language, also a forebearer of things to come.
(this graphic was created for a myspace comment I left for Heather. This comment,
along with many others, was deleted during the Great MySpace Deletion of 2007)
January 7th: The L Word premiered, and in anticipation of this event I posted an essay I'd written for my nerve.com application: "My So-Called Lesbian Lover: Why Shane is the New Jordan Catalano." We went to the premiere party at Copacabana in red & black outfits to be in photos, it totally worked, except we left early 'cause Haviland got bored with the show.
January 8th: January was crazy because I was finishing my book proposal. I know! Finishing my book proposal? How weird, considering I talk often of how I've yet to finish it, well I'll get to that. So, 'cause I was so so busy, I started soliciting guest bloggers. Natalie, my BFF from University of Michigan, explained Why New York City is better than London.
January 12th: Gawker picked up "I'll Send my Winter to You," described as "You know it's winter when hipsters start whining about their Seasonal Affective Disorder." I was kidding about the SAD -- I get SAD in the summer, not the winter, anyone who's ever listened to me talk knows that -- obvs they didn't read it, which's fine, they're very busy over there with the snark and stuff, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
January 13th: Heather, Haviland and I became somewhat delusional and went to Nation on a Saturday Night, which reminded me of why I don't go to lesbian night. I have no recollection why I decided to do this, probs 'cause of SAD.
January 18th: Gawker linked to this post, "New York Magazine knows why you're miserable, horny, happy and materialistic. Just never at the same time." -- this link is, in fact, the link that interested Tara, who later became my girlfriend. Isn't life funny like that? Also funny: this magazine would end up playing a major role in many future events, like my life, and our life, and our relationship. Obvs NY Mag is a lesbian, probs 'cause of Ariel Levy.
Also on this day, The L Word Online asked me if I wanted to join their homosexy team, and obvs I was like, "obvs." I mean: "obvs!"
January 22nd: Lewis Bernard, my little brother, stepped in as a guest blogger and gave Life Lessons.
January 30th: Then, just in time for Valentine's Day, I decided: time to get a girlfriend. Many doubted my ability to pen a book about bisexuality if I'd never had a serious relationship with a woman. But I felt like I'd had enough drama with women I was sleeping with to write ten books, I just hadn't wanted a relationship with anyone. As I stated in that Top 10: "I don't do relationships." Nice, Shane, really. I started changing my tune, because Haviland got a girlfriend, it was cold outside, and I was tired of all the drama.
Anyhow I posted that date-solicitation post on January 30th, so I can't talk about what happened next 'til February. Oh, what's funny is the comments -- though they weren't posted til February anyhow but whatevs -- K-Lily's comment promised to "ravage me with a fierceness and passion [I] will never see on Season 4 of The L Word" and Tara's, which is deleted, obvs, but tellingly followed by my hanging reply, and then followed with her first recorded comment: "Now sober, totally horrified, etc. But so as not to leave your reply hanging, here's my placeholder, as in ... lastnightIgotdrunkandleftadoucheycomment." Oh, the way we were, cue music ... drifting on a sea of forgotten teardrops ... Seriously, all this stuff is totes LOL-worthy now.
-The Word "Critter": "When I see my lover in a hoodie I want to curl up next to them and stay there, possibly forever, or at least until March. I want to laugh while I stick my head underneath the billowy stomach of it and then push it off. I want to see you in a hoodie and then I want to take it off."
-I Did All These Things: "I don't do: relationships, sleepovers, brunch, 'talking on the phone,' feelings."
-Wow: "[if you dare to date me], you will immediately become a part of The Automatic Win World. That means you will be photographed, quoted, described, and flattered, 2-3 times a week, right here on this blog. You will be expected to comment. On the up-side, if we stop seeing each other, I won't bitch about you or mention a breakup. I will continue to speak of you only when appropriate, e.g. a yearly quotes round-up, appropriate photograph, when describing your assault on my ears with your finger (see "[redacted]" in "10").
Monthly obsessions: My So-Called Life, Jeff Buckley, Regina Spektor, Ira Glass, The L Word obvs, "I love Jesus but I drink a little."
Monthly Irritants: Street hecklers, Duane Reade, Rite-Aid, The Manhattan Mall, New York Sports Club, Ilene Chaiken, previews for "The Tudors."
My Favorite Post of the Month: I'll Send my Winter to You
"Listening to Jeff Buckley is like flirting with Death, except that Death is fashion model with expensive skin and eyes like bullets and she is wearing a white t-shirt and Jeff Buckley's underwear. Listening to Jeff Buckley is the closest we can get to unbridled pain without having any unbridled pain in our own lives. "Everybody loves Jeff Buckley," a friend said to me yesterday. "Not people who want to be happy," I said. In grey freezing January, you have no choice about happiness. Crank it up. Cold and broken Hallelujah ..."
Sunday Top Tens:
-Why NYC is Better than London (by guest blogger Natalie)
-What We Were Missing By Not Going to Nation for Several Weeks, A.K.A. Central Casting for Girl Nation
-Life Lessons from the Lew-Man or "Things It Would've Been Nicer to Know When I Was Younger" (by guest blogger, my younger brother, Lewis Jacob Lyn Bernard Friend)
-Reasons Why You Should Totally Not Be My Valentine
WTF 2007 EVENT #1: Finding out after 4,000 hours of endless unpaid hard work that they were redesigning this magazine project and therefore wouldn't be needing me. This is how life is, especially publishing ... I realise that.
New VIPS: K-Lily, Tara
February 1st, I pen an epic rant to Ilene Chaiken regarding the lack of lesbian sexy moments thus far in Season Four entitled 'COME ON ILENE I'M BEGGING YOU PLEASE!' This will become one of several hundred such open letters to the love of my life, Ilene Chaiken, who continues to deny me. I think this particular rant was mostly inspired by This Film is Not Yet Rated, which got me really riled up w/r/t how homosexuality and female desire are curtailed from popular culture by our stupid media.
ILENE!!! ILENE!!!! Don't you see? I love you. I love you! I just want to sit with you for ten or fifteen minutes and talk at you. I just want one moment in the sunshine of your love. Obvs all this hatred is just because I care about you and know you can do better.
Why doesn't Ilene respond to my smoke signals, to my deep reverberating calls into the night? Probs 'cause I say stuff like this: "Come on, Ilene. For those of us who are not dating EZ Girl, sex is still something we enjoy having."
This is my ex-roommate Maggie, in her actual cleaning outfit.
She got dressed up for this photo shoot, it was rad.
We used to have a good time -- Maggie and I -- just embracing our total
agoraphobic starving artist chemically misguided selves.
I also realised, sadly, that I had no idea whatsoever how to write English -- 'cause I could already read and write when I started school, no-one ever bothered to teach me the basics. I mean, I used "its" and "it's" wrong ALL THE TIME until about six months ago. It was a combo of this experience and Tara that whipped me into shape, grammar-wise. And good ol' Strunk & White.
Feb. 8th: The First Time I Start My Blog By Talking Crazy on unrelated topics to the rest of the blog/my life:
"I just got an electric toothbrush and every time I use it, I wonder if my roommates hear the buzzing and think I'm like, rubbing one out in the bathroom? I wouldn't do that, because I'm not a perv, and who has that kind of time, and vibrators are expensive, and besides, like, Maggie is more or less deaf, so I'm sure she's not wondering if I got a new Dolphin, which of course, you know, I didn't, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just that I am saving myself. For Leonardo DiCaprio. What am I talking to? Who's that? Today I was so involved in my book that I took the subway two extra stops and then took the wrong train back. Actually that doesn't mean much for me, that's sort of normal. Guess how many hours I've slept this week. I am not even funny anymore, I'm out of jokes. Like the bottom of a barrel of pickles."Seriously though, that was one of the best posts ever, when I re-created my myspace profile from the age of 15. I later would mine this folder to see if I'd retained any traces of my old profile when I deleted my profile. Seriously myspace makes my head explode now, I can't deal, facebook is so much better.
This month is when I stopped sleeping. Between the online-mag project, book proposal, and my actual job, there was no time. I was talking to K-Lily often and she lives in Reno, which's three hours behind us. Maggie'd take long vaycays and I'd turn her room into my office, the lighting was just so, there was no time. Near the very end of the month I started actually talking to Tara. Constantly. Seriously: for hours upon hours. On g-chat, eventually on the phone.
And OH! I was up all night on Sundays --literally all night -- doing L Word recaps in my imaginary race with Scribegrrl, or up all night to get something to Conde Nast by morning, it was like college again. I was up all night because it was only eleven in Reno. Because Maggie was. Because Tara was. Because because. On Mondays I'd wake up after sunset, proofread, and publish, then go to the gym and receive texts about where I'd messed up and what parts I needed to fix.
I took a lot of photos in Maggie's room, like that one, there. I took that circa 2 A.M. one night.
February was heaps of drama, I think it was my last hurrah into being an asshole, or being impulsive when I should've been caring. You spend a lot of time indoors. You get cabin feeverish, there are candles and no overheard lights. Sometimes I'd draw pictures for Tara way past bedtime but Maggie was up, she always was up playing music, the same riff over and over while I drew pictures for Tara and drank red wine on my bed, and read poems on the internet that she told me to read. I felt very alive then, I felt too much, I felt am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
Feb 13th: I Think You're Crazy, Just Like Me: I divide the world into "Good Crazy and Bad Crazy." Oh, crazy. What a cute little word. I'm just glad I had a chance to talk about Perky & Punctual (good crazy!) and the Jesus Camp Weirdos.
Feb 18th: In How You Got Here, I shared some common search terms. I'd just like to know -- did any of my present readers get here by searching for "What is NSA hookup?" or looking for the number of calories in a cup of Tasti-D? I'm sure you've found a way to answer both of those questions this year on my blog. Actually, the first question hasn't been addressed so much this year. I heart Strings, apparently. Really lesbians aren't experts on the NSA thing.
February 22, I thought about the things you can't do in NYC that you can do other places, like put on deodorant or cry, because I was crying my way through The Lovely Bones on the subway. I had a lot of emotions in February. I made a lot of suggestions for drinking on the train that Mr. Redacted may've enjoyed had he read them, including confessing that I drank Mad Dog at intersections in my car on my way to The Macaroni Grill.
I also mention one of the staples of our lexicon, and also, coincidentally, Carly's:
Auto-Lexicon:Foreshadowing - All From the Fashion Blog:
THIS IS ME!: The most ridiculous thing to say when we get to your house or stop on the subway. Like, "this is me?" No it's not. This is where you live, this isn't you. You're YOU, and no-one can take that away from you, okay?
Future Convos w/r/t girls-in-boy-briefs, penis pocket, over-ass considerations and etc: "The problem with girl-styled boy briefs is that they don't always go all the way over your butt (I like to think I am not the only one with this problem), and the problem with boy-styled boy briefs is that they have a big sack for your wiener. I don't have a wiener. Also I like the style of boy-briefs."
The Drug Addiction Rumor w/r/t Mr. Redacted: "I got [my wrist cuff] for 5 dollah in the East Village and it has a little zipper compartment in it. This is where I keep my heroin. And my magic fairy dust. And probably a lot of germs. I have it on always, like Jesus."
Strip Club Field Trip w/Lozo: 'If you look at the photo in the upper right hand corner, that's when she was telling me that we should do a blog about going around the city doing all the things that everyone has done except me. For example she suggested: going to a strip club."
Favorite Post: Come on Ilene, obvs, but as that was an Auto-Straddle post really, okay, I just want to mention that myspace-at-15 blog again. I was really proud of myself for that, because I spent about two hours on Photoshop making it happen. So rather than sharing a quote, I'll share this graphic:
Monthly Irritants: Mass texts recieved on Major Holidays like Valentine's Day, Girl Drama, Working All the Time For Nothin'
Sunday Top Tens:
Sun. 4: Fashions
(Tuesday) 13: The Craziest of the Crazies, Both Good Crazy and Bad Crazy
2.18: Reasons Why You Might Be Here (Search Terms)
27: Dreams You Want to Hear About