A year in books, food, movies, and music.

Here are some great things that I loved in 2010, but weren't necessarily birthed in 2010:

Books that captivated me this year:
Everything is Illuminated: Jonathan Safran Foer
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Jonathan Safran Foer
The Lies of Locke Lamora: Scott Lynch
Red Seas Under Red Skies: Scott Lynch
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larsson
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: Douglas Adams
Pygmy: Chuck Palahniuk
No Country for Old Men: Cormac McCarthy
1984: George Orwell
Towers of Midnight: Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan
The Road: Cormac McCarthy
Eating Animals: Jonathan Safran Foer
The Way of Shadows: Brent Weeks
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy: Tim Burton
Gardens of the Moon: Steven Erikson

Music that moved me this year:
Sufjan Stevens: Age of Adz
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Blow: Paper Television
Bob Dylan: Biograph
Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles
Decendents: Milo Goes to College
Discovery: LP
Hot Chip: Made in the Dark
Jurassic 5: Quality Control
Justice: Cross
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening
M.I.A.: Arular
Mates of State: Re-Arrange Us
MSTRKRFT: Fist of God
NOFX: Coaster, The Longest EP
Passion Pit: Manners
Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Ratatat: LP4
Starf*cker: Jupiter
Vampire Weekend: Contra
Royksopp: The Understanding

Places that fed me:
Brugges Liege Waffles
The Park Cafe
Mazza Mediterranean
Sage Cafe
Vertical Diner
Desert Edge Pub
Red Iguana
Bay Leaf

Movies that blew me (mind):
True Grit
There Will be Blood
The Town
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
127 Hours
Shutter Island
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Waiting for Superman
Black Swan
The Cove

2k10, a miracle for every man, woman, and young(wo)man

For those of you who have pissed away an (but not limited to) entire year of your life reading this blog, you may recall that I dubbed 2k10 as the year of the miracle, due largely to a laundromat coin machine accidentally giving me 14 quarters instead of the customary 8 one would receive in exchange for 2 George Washingtons.

Since the end of the year is but a day away, I feel like an update as to the miraculous state of 2k10 is necessary. In reality, only one miracle I was expecting actually came to pass.

The first miracle I expected, was the acquisition of a grown up job. Not only do I not have a grown up job, but I was actually fired from the job that I had, thanks to a little fbook mishap. Turns out, after this guy
was "transfered" in lieu of a deserved firing, posting this:
was a poor life decision. Facebook privacy; too little too late. (A comment asking "what about Frank?" Frank, being the above photographed shitthead, is missing. This photo, taken from his craigslist female companionship solicitation, no less.)

So, rather than receiving the expected grown up job miracle, I took it upon myself to create my own miracle, by returning to school for a masters degree. Now I am hoping that 2k11 will be the year of the grown up job miracle.

The next miracle was that of acquiring a wife. This did not happen. I think I'm just going to go ahead an broaden my expectations for that miracle to occur sometime between 30-40. I mean, it has to. Right?

I expected that during 2k10, someone would acquire the internet nearby, and that I'd be able to steal it from them, instead of having to rely upon the laundromat, and the Salt Lake City Library Homeless Shelter for interweb browsing. I patiently waited at least 3 months for 2k10 to provide me with said miracle, but finally had to give in and pay qwest. The only bright point, is that I got to name my network "Interwebmachine3000," which is certainly the envy of all area networks.

The one miracle that actually did occur, was that 2k10 was a golden year for Javier. Nothing broke, no expensive parts failed, he only ran into the back of 1 Mercedes Benz, and killed fewer than 2 animals. I might wash him in 2k11.

I was hoping that during 2k10 the cat lady would either give up smoking or die. In that order. Neither miracle occurred, but lately she seems about as close to death as one can be, and still live alone eating enormous pizzas and drinking a 24 pack of Natty light weekly. All things are hastening her demise.

She did, however, lose Smokey the cat (to lung cancer, I suspect) a few months back. So now I only occasionally hear her yelling for 2 cats to get back in the house, instead of 3. And no more dead mice in the entry way, as apparently that was Smokey's specialty.

Even though many of the miracles I expected didn't come to pass, 2k10 was still a pretty good year. Here are some reasons:

Macbook pro
Jonathan Safran Foer
Sufjan Stevens in concert
Vancouver backpacking
2-3 times weekly summer mt. biking
10 lbs lost
10 lbs regained
Bosch mixer
The Walking Dead
Cooking skills
Summer birthday ropeswing picnic friend adventure
New nephew
New friends
A niece that loves me and can kind of say my name
3.9 in masters college
Bread baking skills
I like people I didn't used to like
Great books
Don't ask don't tell repealed
Brugges liege waffles
Park Cafe
The plant I mostly forget to water lives and thrives

So, even though every miracle I hoped for didn't come to pass, one thing is again certain; I love a lot more people this year than I did the year before. Which, I think, is the best measure of a good year.



I miss Christmas as a kid. I miss pouring over the humongous toy catalogue that came in the mail from Toys R Us every year, trying to find the perfect Medieval Lego set priced well under $100 dollars. I miss new Nintendo systems coming out, and begging for months to have one, and never really expecting one, but then actually getting one.

I miss the futility of attempting to sleep Christmas eve, and the pre-bed negotiations about the hour in which it would be legal to arise and acquire our stockings. I feel like my parents typically acquiesced to 5 am for the stocking retrieval, and then 6 am for present time.

I miss my parents saying, throughout the entire month of December, that times were tough this year, and Christmas probably wouldn't be as good as previous years. And then Christmas always being just as good, if not better than previous years.

I miss getting the absolute shittiest of presents that my siblings purchased from the Secret Santa Workshop at school. So shitty, in fact, that I can not recall a single one. But it sure made them feel like they were able to maintain an element of surprise in their gift giving, which is most of the fun.

I miss the year that I woke up about 4 am, and decided to pass the last hour watching cartoons. My room was directly adjacent to the TV area. I surreptitiously crept out of my room, sat on the Lazy-e-boy, and turned on the cartoons, keeping the sound above barely a whisper. Within moments, most of my siblings had sensed an animated presence in the house, and had themselves materialized upon the couches surrounding me. And then my mother, sensing the un welcomed AM cartoon invasion, and the premature arousal of her children, came downstairs and thwarted our efforts at arriving at legal Christmas wake up time via a quick, Nickelodeon diversion.

I miss having unmarried siblings with nowhere else to go.

I miss telling my best friend that I found out that Santa wasn't real. And then him telling his little sister that Santa wasn't real. Then his mom bitching to my mom about her telling me, me telling him, and he telling his sister, that Santa wasn't real.

I miss Santa being real.

I miss those 25 days till Christmas calendars with the little cardboard doors with the serrated edges that hide 25 dry, nasty chocolate treats within. I miss the tole painted elf with the little wooden squares that dictated how many days till Christmas, and taking turns with my siblings, changing the number each night.

I miss John Denver and the Muppets Christmas album being a Thanksgiving-December 25 staple.

I do not miss the year that my mother made us go see Voice Male.

I think I most miss really getting into the spirit of Christmas. It is difficult to do so, I think, when one lives alone. And when one is really busy with work and school, and living alone throughout most of December.

Merry Christmas, friends. Enjoy it with people you love.


A very epic maxim christmas bro!

There are few things on this planet that make me feel more simultaneously baffled and happy.

I can scarce contain my childlike wonder upon imagining the douchbaggery that will be present at this party beer bonging funnels of egg nog. Dude after dude, slamming redbull after redbull, minds abuzz with copious amounts of caffeine, ginseng, and taurine, clouding all judgement and landing them in the Bishops judgement seat on Sunday morning for excessive zipper sparking.

"Dress to impress from casual to glam but don't show ur assets at this Killer Maxim Theme Holiday Mansion party!!!" What? what does that even mean? And is "Killer" part of the title? Apparently "don't show ur assets" (it is somewhat painful to even quote "ur") is a hip way to say dress code. Which seems wholly unnecessary, since this isn't Halloween, which is the only certified BYU Mormon skank holiday.

I imagine the bro writing this was constantly pumping his fist in the air, after each "sentence." I'm pretty impressed that he used the correct "their," in reference to the female glory that would be in attendance. I am, however, concerned about "You into Boys? We got some crazy ones of them too!" Avant garde sentence structure aside, this question seems to be geared toward men, and therefore gay men. I think he should have been a little more clear and said, "Yo ladiez, you into boys..." This would help stem the tide of homosexuality that will probably mistakenly descend upon the party, drink all the fruit spritzers, realize no alcohol is involved, and storm out in a flamboyant rage, leaving with half the ladies who just wanted to dance and were sick of all the attempted bro crotch grinding.

I guess when I read these sorts of things, I am amazed that EVERYONE isn't having the same incredulous/embarrassed/hilarious reaction that I am. Incredulous, because how can this guy possibly be serious? Embarrassed, because...how can this guy possibly be serious? And hilarious, because...HOW CAN THIS GUY POSSIBLY BE SERIOUS??

I guess I fail to take into account the endless droves of dudes who purchase Ed Hardy shirts, whose main goals are at least 5:1 man to babe hot tub ratios (as opposed to the usually 20:1), finding the most epic killer top 40 grinding parties, and selling enough alarm system or Direct TV accounts to score sick H2's and beamers. And the true religion donning hollister babes that are like, so into that.