Five things that 2006 taught me:
1. How much I value my family, especially my brother Jeremy and my girlfriend and best friend of four years, Sara, who I consider my family at this point.
2. That I am capable of forgiving the shortcomings of my friends beyond all of my expected limits, even when doing so may or may not be the wisest thing.
3. That I am still a Hippo.
4. That geographic separation isn't really separation at all. If anything, it seems to create a raging love in me. I guess it's just "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." But maybe revised, to read: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder, until it swells to the size of the sun."
5. Asian cinema is where it's fucking AT.
Five personally significant events of 2006:
1. Sara moving to Denver - WHAT UP TO THE PAUL'S VALLEY, KA ACTION FIGURE MUSEUM - I WILL VISIT YOU ONE DAY, YOU BADASS! But seriously, that was probably the one defining moment of 2006.
2. Catching bass on an overcast day, in the middle of Lake Erling with Bill and Jeremy. That day fixed so much that was wrong.
3. The Robinson Film Center failing to open.
4. December with Sara - I know, I'm corny, but man...that was nice.
5. Spending the day with Sara at the Denver Art Museum. Contender for best day of the year.
Five things I want to do in 2007:
1. Open the Robinson Film Center. Please.
2. Release "Get Killed or Die Trying," a record I've been working on for a while.
3. Release "My Cloven Feet," a collection of short stories.
4. Go to the horse races with my grandfather.
Five people I'd like to know better in 2007:
2. My grandfather
3. My brother Jeremy
What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
Completed an internet meme.
Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any promises to myself last year, but I have this year. And honestly, I don't have any choice but to keep them.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Edna Harrell, formerly "Deanie," my first friend at LSMSA, gave birth to a beautiful little girl. My cousin Tamra, who I still think of as a baby, gave birth to her first son, Eli. Good looking out on the name, in my opinion.
Did anyone close to you die?
Not to me personally, but someone close to me lost someone very important to her. The greatest hip-hop producer of all time died.
What countries/States did you visit?
CO, TX, AR, KS...Jesus, did I pass through any other states on the way to Denver? They were all just cornfields, roadside attraction snakefarms, and McDonald's restaurants full of cult members, if I did. I didn't notice, I was pretty busy sulking.
What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
Motivation. Gratitude. Awareness and thankfulness for all that I have.
What date(s) from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory?
August 9, when Sara moved. Strangely, Saturday December 30th was a weird day that meant a great, great deal to me. I did some things I have been meaning to do, I pushed some roadblocks aside.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Helping Sara reach her goals, really. I felt pretty bad-assed for that.
What was your biggest failure?
See "Five Things to do in 2007"...maybe the biggest failure was allowing myself some pretty self-indulgent, excessive despair in the last quarter of the year. That shit will not do it in '07.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
God, on January 1, 2006, I nearly friggin died and had to go the emergency room because my fever was 105 degrees. That pretty much set the whole tone for the year. Good riddance, ya bastard.
What was the best thing you bought?
Christmas presents for sweet little girls, all of us learning to do Christmas together.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sara has been pretty fucking brave and inspiring for about six solid months.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I think when you allow other people to depress you, that's pretty appalling...that being said, GEORGE MOTHERFUCKING BUSH. Gosh, I just feel so much safer now that Sadam Hussein is dead. I don't even lock the doors at night anymore...
Where did most of your money go?
Bills, car repairs, thin air
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Lady Vengeance, Colonel Blimp, art in general, The Host, a new song I made in one day, finally finding an ending to "It All Adds Up," booking Half Nelson, laying tile for a friend in need, catching bass, seeing Damien Hirst artwork in person, snuggling, remembering how to make out
What song will always remind you of 2006?
The Soft Boys - "I Wanna Destroy You"
Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. Happier or sadder?
ii. Thinner or fatter?
Phatter. But I am newly motivated to lose ten pounds.
iii. Richer or poorer?
I have more in savings, but less in my pocket than like, EVAR.
What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading in bed with someone I love.
What do you wish you'd done less of?
Hand-wringing about my job. What will be will be.
How did you spend Christmas?
Next to Sara, being reminded of the value of family. That reminder turned out to be the best gift I got this year.
How did you spend New Year?
Ha ha ha. So, me and Daddy Vidrine were standing out on the rickety wooden porch of the Blue Monkey Tavern, and Daddy tells me his ideal Christmas gift would have been a gigantic, unwieldy firearm with "Momma" stenciled down the barrel. I laughed and tried to call Sara, but couldn't get through. I spent $15 I didn't have on three Jager bombs. The Vidrines played the best show I've seen them play to an absolutely riotous crowd. I filmed the whole thing.
Did you fall in love in 2006?
Oh yes, indeed. I feel like I am always meeting her.
How many one-night stands?
Uh-huh, right. Jesus, internet, grow the fuck up.
What was your favorite TV program?
DALLAS MAVERICKS VS. MIAMI HEAT, Game 7. Talk about a fucking game.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I might, but I'm not actually sure if I hate anyone at all in this world, period. People have their reasons for being awful. Everything has a context. I hate a lot of those contexts, I hate that they exist.
What was the best book you read?
"The Road," Cormac McCarthy
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Such a hard question. I love this one-man band called This Song is a Mess but So Am I, I love Professor Murder for a party soundtrack. I have also been knocking some motherfucking Max Richter at deafening levels, and I love this one song called "Hospital Beds" on the new Cold War Kids album...that shit should have been like "Float On" big as far as indie rock crossovers, but you know, the music industry is shitty. "GER-MANNN HOSPITALS, THE JOOOOYYYY OF MIZZZ-ERRRRR-Y."
Oh, also, one rapper you may not know about who you definitely should is Killer Mike. Political crunk = goodness.
What did you want and get?
Days off. Kisses. A good recipe for lemoncello.
What did you want and not get?
Christmas presents from my family, but that's a 26 year-old wanting that I probably need to get the fuck over already.
What was your favorite film of this year?
"Sympathy for Lady Vengeance"
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I have no idea what I did. I was 26.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Recording those new songs I was supposed to record with Dan in Colorado Springs, but he got the flu.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
"Too broke to buy clothes." Not shabby chic, just shabby.
What kept you sane?
Love, music, and Schlitz Malt Liquor: The Chris Jay story.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
"Fancy"? Is Park Chan Wook a celebrity? I thought Michael J. Fox nutted up like a player to do that stem cell research ad, and handled being attacked for it very well. I thought Stephen Colbert also displayed cajones the size of Hope, Arkansas watermelons.
What political issue stirred you the most?
Shreveport elected its first black mayor. I voted for him, despite my reneck neighbors stealing my campaign signs.
Who did you miss?
Sara, Dan, Paul, Jesse, Mark, Brad Demarest, President Clinton, Andrea Theriot, Paul Khuene, LSMSA, my grandparents, Les Savy Fav, Sara.
Who was the best new person you met?
Honestly, getting to know Alec has been a blast. I'm gay for him, his movie collection, and his guitar-killing madness. Such a little man, such a huge racket.
A valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
Hang on to the ones you hold dearest. Pick a moment when you are close to them, physically, and just really take it all in. Take nothing for granted.