I think someone is grilling cheeseburgers outside my window. Apparently I live next door to a former methadone clinic (How do I know these things? Well, 2007 has been a very educational year, perhaps I'll be Reviewing it soon!), maybe they have cookouts now instead of methadone, 'cause I feel like it often smells like cheeseburgers around here. Good cheeseburgers though, not like, crap ones. Maybe only Sundays, maybe it's got something to do with Church and therefore with Jesus, I should join the Church. I just need a colorful hat like the black ladies wear.
So anyhow, today's Sunday Top Ten begins my long look back at '07, otherwise known as "The Worst Year EVER," which means looking back is a lot like poking a spork into my eyeballs. JK, obvs I love re-living trauma, it's my hobby basically. I'm not even kidding, CLEARLY IT IS, hello, I have a blog. Anyhow, it wasn't the worst year ever, I've grown and changed so much this year, I love everyone and everything. There are so many more of you than there were then: this can not be dismissed, this is not everything but it is a lot of things.
So, December is a time for you to ask: Riese, what's on YOUR mind? What are YOU thinking? Let's talk about YOU. You know? Except I'm saying it to myself so it's like: meememememememe. That's the secret code word I use to let you know that I'm aware I talk about myself all the time. Like, I've already talked about myself once, so why don't I talk about myself talking about myself, that's like, post-hipster-blogstar-metatastic.
Last year I did this: The Top 10 Best of 2006 (general), Top 10 Best Quotes of 2006, The Out-Loud Spoken Kind, Top 10 Best Quotes of 2006: Some Highlights from the Written Quotes, and the Top 10 Best Books of 2006: Some of Which I Have Actually Read.
Let's address that last one right now. I said it then, and I'll say it again because I want to: I read a lot, but hardcovers are expensive and heavy, therefore I rarely read them and thus rarely have an opinion on the Best Books of the Year though people expect me to. I never read new releases. If I'm gonna read a new book, it's gotta be either in first-edition paperback or acquired for free (publisher's proofs, etc.) or at a used bookstore. Therefore I'm remarkably unqualified to rank and order books. Like; last year my list included two books I'd actually read, the rest just looked good.
So I thought, well, I'll just expand the category to include all forms of entertainment released this year (except music, I'll leave that to the experts, besides, y'all know it's Tegan & Sara, obvs. And Uh Huh Her), unfortunately, I haven't been to a single movie in all of 2007 and I rarely watch teevee. Seriously, every time I watch teevee, I write about it. It's a 1:1 ratio. If I've watched a show, you've been the first to know.
It's been pointed out to me that my life this year has been a bit cinematic. I mean, who needs movies or a hardcover when you've got your own live-action film playing out right before your eyes? That's right: you don't. So I present what was supposed to be the Top Ten Entertainments of 2007 and ended up being a list of pretty much every single item of actual "entertainment" I've engaged in all year.
IN THE NEW RELEASES OF THE YEAR OF 2007,
THE ONLY 10 ENTERTAINMENTS OF 2007
WHICH WERE ALSO PUBLISHED/RELEASED IN 2007
10.The Atlantic Monthly's 150th Anniversary Issue: Not only did this inspire me to give up multitasking for about a minute -- seriously, multitasking as I speak -- but its little blurbs about "The American Idea" warmed me all the way through my thick skin and straight to my gut. I transcribed my favorite in Auto-Universe.
9. Almost every single issue of New York Magazine, Esquire, Radar, Bust, Bitch, Women's Health & Fitness, Missbehave, Nylon, Good, The Advocate, Paper, Elle, Curve, Teen Vogue HOLLA, Poets & Writers, Jane (til it went under) and Glamour. Also obvs there was this really good article in the August issue of Marie Claire written by MEEEEE about my sweating disorder. Okay, I'm not gonna lie, I buy that magazine every month.
8. Hey! Speaking of magazines. A;ex and I went to the GO-NYC Magazine 5th Anniversary Party (their photos here), which was essentially a series of lines: to get in, to check your coat, to get a drink, to get another drink, to get another drink (eventually obvs just got a double), to get your coat back (that was the worst line of all the lines). The Lesbian to Bartender ratio was about 500:1. I told Stef it was a good thing she didn't go, as her rockstar-event-coordination experience would've likely led to a head explosion at this particular party, and she noted that "lesbians can't organize themselves a glass of WATER," quickly followed by "i just wanted an excuse to use that expression."
You guys, also, Dani is defo not currently involved with Tila Tequila. Howevs, I still think she might win on Tuesday. I still heart everyone and we had a good time. Goooooo GO! Oh also, "It's a Small World" Story Number 500; A;ex ran into some friends of hers who were there with their friend who is a commenter on my blog/now person-I-know-through-my-blog. Crazy, yeah? We all hung out, go GO! Oh, I said that already. Moving on.
7. Wanna know something brill? I figured I could think of a good DVD at least, something I got on demand ... but 2007 was Totes THE YEAR OF NO MOVIES ANYWHERE -- no movies in the theater, and no movies at home either! I have no clue how this happened, I probs have watched an average of 50-100 movies a year in every single year but this one. I used to watch at least a movie a day. Seriously. I guess I was sort of living my own version of Girl, Interrupted/A Beautiful Mind/Man of La Mancha for a good chunk of the summer, so whatevs. Fuck! What a weird-ass year, seriously, the only narrative films I saw this year were Art School Confidential ('cause Shane was in it) and this 9-11 movie that was on teevee when I was sick with food poisoning. I did watch a few docs: An Inconvenient Truth, Jesus Camp, The Devil's Playground, Gay Republicans, This Film is Not Yet Rated, When the Levees Broke.
Sicko looked good, I'd recommend it, I should see it. Thanks for the recommendation, Riese. Um, what movies came out this year? That movie about the girl from Grey's Anatomy getting preggers? Any gay movies? Are you my mother? Where's your head at? I wonder what it's like in there, that big cavernous theater. Movie magic. Hoo-ha. If you're just turning in, here's an update: the last movie I saw was Dreamgirls, it was the best movie ever so I knew I never had to go back to the movies again.
7a. HOWEVER I've been to the theater, more than once even! I saw Spring Awakening (twice)! And Les Miserobvs ('cause Hav was doing Fantine)! Also Heather conned me into Naked Boys Singing!, which made Natalie and Annie and me drink heavily and giggle uncontrollably. The same thing happened at Les Mis actually. I saw some bad plays too. Won't go into that.
That photo is Haviland in her Factory Girl costume. Hard core, totes.
The World Wide Webbernet:
6. Regularly Updated (at least 2-3 times/week most of the year) Blogs That Made me LOL consistently: Why Don't We Get Drunk and Blog? and FourFour
It's rare that writing (aside from my friends' emails) makes me literally LOL. Like every time it happens I note it to myself: "Riese, you just LOL'ed!" So yeah, one gay and one straight man inspired me to think, over and over again, consistently, all year long with triweekly posts are more and think "holy shit, that is hilarious, and I never would've thought of that": Lozo and FourFour. And for that I am grateful. Mazel Tov. (Sidenote: Totes aware there's plenty of funny blogs I'd probs LMAO or even ROFL to, but I've only got so much time, already maxed out, thus the short number on this list. Sometimes I'm scared like I can't find another good blog, I've got so much reading to do already!)
5. The following websites have endeared themselves to me over the course of this year, in which I became 75% human, 25% cyborg: Arts & Letters Daily, bartleby, Google Reader OBVS, facebook, poets.org, new pages, bookslut, mediabistro, feministing, and the endlessly fascinating Sitemeter. All the items I've ever tried to make you read on Google Reader are here: My Shared Items Blog. Then also there's the Auto-Universe Archive of all the things I've tried to force you to read via link. I think I spend way more time reading stuff on the internet than I realised until just this moment. I guess it's that there's still so much left I haven't read. It never ends, like, your perfect blog could be out there still.
Google Reader offers trends. They've just offered me supreme wisdom, and this is it: I'm apparently super-good at reading my friends' blogs, and I read way more blogs on Tuesdays and Fridays than any other day of the week.
4. Sugar Rush: It took me about four months to take up the suggestion that I watch Sugar Rush, and I've still only seen about half the episodes, and by "episodes" I mean the lesbian storyline, perfectly edited for my viewing pleasure by this girl on YouTube who's account is now suspended, dammit. At this pace, I'll be checking out Quarterlife by March '08, never fear Elizabeth. Watch Sugar Rush (WARNING: that link goes to a later episode, I just can't find any links now that the girl's lost her account, but that'll give you an idea I guess), you just may want to pinch Kim's cute little cheeks. She's a total critter. And it doesn't take itself too seriously, I think. Plus, Sugar goes to prison, because apparently that's what women do in the UK, maybe it is illegal to be a lesbian there.
3. The L Word obvs! Best show ever, clearly. So dynamic, so well-written. The characters just crawl inside you and take up residence. No honestly; I think the online community's enhanced this show, for me and for everyone, and it has its moments, like the basketball scene and the episode where everyone fucked. I've never watched it alone since Season One, and I don't think I ever could: to me, it's inherently part of a larger narrative, the one about the way we actually live, which apparently, for me at least, involves meticulously tracking sexual encounters and making fun of deaf people. Also, South of Nowhere, great show. Spencer: such a critter.
2. Like With Most Entertainments, I do 95% of my teevee watching at the gym, where the best channels are MTV and Bravo, then there's basic network channels ... which means I see a lot of America's Next Top Model, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and The View before Rosie quit. At home, I've also enjoyed, from time to time, The Office, Degrassi: The Next Generation and the best show ever A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila. Actually, even Tila I've watched all of at the gym in re-runs the next day. Oh! And Carly lent me the entire series of Arrested Development on DVD, which is funny, two thumbs up. 2007 is almost over and I'm nearly done with Season Three.
I watched Gossip Girl with semi-obsessive interest until they introduced "Vanessa." I accepted many things about this show that bore no resemblance to the books I so dearly loved, but Vanessa was supposed to be a quasi-lesbian with Doc Martens and a shaved head. WTF?! This new Vanessa looks like a Saved by the Bell extra from 1992, and has none of the original Vanessa's quirkiness or overall cool. The real Vanessa is like the girl who dated Macauly Culkin in Saved! Sigh.
1. OK, so, Books I Did Read This Year, In Chronological Order: The Revolution Will Be Accessorized: BlackBook Presents Dispatches from the New Counterculture (various), 20Something Essays by Twentysomething Writers (various), The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold), Everything Else in the World (Stephen Dunn), Bitchfest (various), Name All The Animals (Ali Smith), Area Code 212 (Tama Janowitz), Indestructible (Cristy Road), The Book of Genesis, Exodus, John, Daniel, Revelations (by G-d or his minions or whatevs), Girlbomb (Janice Earlbaum), The Mistresses' Daughter (A.M. Homes), The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls), The Collected Poems of Rilke (Rilke, obvs), Naked on the Internet (Audacia Ray), The Bigger The Better the Tighter the Sweater (ed. by Samantha Schoech & Lisa Taggart), So Much to Tell You (John Marsden), Nobody Belongs Here More Than You (Miranda July), Lucky (Alice Sebold), The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath), I Love You More Than You Know (Jonathan Ames), Microthrills (Wendy Spiro), The Whole Story and Other Stories (Ali Smith), Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, (Grace Paley), Running With Scissors (Augusten Burroughs), Come to Me (Amy Bloom) and will probs finish The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories (ed. by Tobias Wolff) by the end of the year.
And also, formidable efforts were made into the following: Don Quijote (Miguel De Cervantes) (222/773), The Art of Love (Ovid) (117/206), Empire of the Senseless (Kathy Acker, library has it now) and 1984 (about 75%).
In that photo, I'm saying: "Reading is fun, y'all!"
Of those, the only ones that were released this year are the book I was in and the book I spoke on a panel about. I have come to the conclusion that the internet has provided me with the illusion that I'm fairly caught up on the happenings of the year when in fact the only thing I'm actually caught up on is what people talk about on the internet. I'm skipping life and going straight to commentary on it. This year has been hands down totes the weirdest thing ever. I can barely even believe it, and I've seen some shit.
Do you guys read books? I think most of you do. But I'm not sure, maybe when I talk about books, y'all are like snoooozeeee when's she gonna talk about Haviland naked again? Here, I'm going to find out, please take this poll, thank you:
I hope you like books. I'm writing a book, seriously. That's become my running gag, like the chicken dance on Arrested Development, except unlike G.O.B., I can actually write a book. I just like, haven't put it all together yet. But I totally could. And like, will. If you wanna know what books I think you should read, you can go to my a-store. There, no excuses! Also Lozo, still want you to read that Jonathan Ames book, I hope you got it. Hm. Guess what? I just burned a hole in my dresser. But I put out the fire, don't worry. Remember that saying "love is friendship set on fire" or something? I always thought that was sort of stupid. It seems like, whatever you want to feel, someone's got a quote to validate you. A proverb, or something. Anyone know how dpis and ppis work? Like, if a magazine wanted a 300 dpi photo from me, do they really mean ppi? I need to figure this out.