Que Sera Sera

Wrapping it up: 2007

Guess what I got for Christmas? A knife sharpener and bronchitis! I have been fighting what I thought was a cold for the entire month of December, and it got worse every time I got on an airplane, which was six times, but it wasn’t until my mother made me go to the Green Country Urgent Care Center in my pajamas that I realized maybe a cold doesn’t make your lungs bleed. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all the babies I held while I was home for Christmas. You all seemed like really nice, upstanding babies, and let’s try to think of this as a gift I gave your upstanding little immune systems.

Anyway, I’m all codeined up and listening to a Ma$e song from 1997 I just downloaded and ready to recap this mother. 2007, you were totally surreal and pretty great, as years go. 2007 was the year I quit my job and finished the book and finally left the continent. I traveled more in 2007 than I have any other year of my life—three countries and eleven states, most in the same month—and with the book coming out next year, that’s something I’m excited to see continue. I was really lucky to spend most of those travels with awesome friends, although I have to admit, some part of me wished I had an awesome more-than-friend to share all of that with. Just thought I’d throw that out there, universe, although I’m very aware that’s not really how you work.

This was sort of a strange year, because my whole life changed, and that was weird getting used to. But I’m figuring it out as I go, and I’m very thankful to be able to say that I like my life. That hasn’t always been the case. This year was better than the year I got my braces off, better than the year I lost my virginity, better than the year I graduated from college, and definitely better than the year I dated the broken robot. This was the year I left the country for the first time, and the year I saw Led Zeppelin. This was the year I went on my first blind date, and the year I did not get murdered on my first blind date. This was the year that no one broke my heart, at least not romantically. This was the year my brother turned his entire life around, definitely for the better, and I’m so happy and proud of him for that. This was the year I got to spend at least a part of with almost every single person I love, and that makes me happier than anything.

I realize this is all pretty schmaltzy, but I feel really fortunate. One thing I learned this year is that people want to hear good news, but not too much good news. You can only tell the big stuff to your really close friends and family without starting to sound like a dick, so I’m not gushing here, but I am happy, and I’m grateful for that.

Here’s a little Best Of list for the year:

Best movie I saw i 2007: Control

Best TV show I watched in 2007: (tie) 30 Rock; The Mighty Boosh; Rock of Love

Best book I read in 2007: Blankets, by Craig Thompson; Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?: The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American Music, by Mark Zwonitzer

Favorite song released in 2007: (tie) "The Underdog," Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga; "Dark Matter," Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha; "Collarbone," Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things

Best new to me band: Reigning Sound/Compulsive Gamblers

Top 5 best shows:

1. Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena
2. Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price, Radio City Music Hall
3. Andrew Bird, Bowery Ballroom
4. Van Halen, Madison Square Garden
5. Double dutch tournament, Apollo Theater

Best game: Whirlyball

Best meal: (tie) everything Bryant cooked in Tahoe; this one falafel I had in Paris

Best hangover meal: Potatoes with everything at Boogaloos with Maggie in San Francisco

Best cheese: bread cheese

Best puking experience: on 7 am flight to Newark when the steward named Ariel had a cool towel on the base of my neck before the puke even hit the airsick bag and then he brought me a blanket and a drink and crackers and wrote me a note with a smiley face on a napkin and I wish he would come and live with me.

Best lady: the Worm Lady

Best fings: shakey-shakey fings

Best friends: my friends

Happy New Year’s, all. And I’m sorry if I breathed on you.

Vol. 5

You know what I hate? That I’m jetlagged as eff and the coffee maker broke this morning.

(Previously: 1, 2, 3 & 4)

BBC radio, TV

A couple of BBC radio stations will be featuring Cringe on their breakfast shows Wednesday morning. I’ll be on the BBC London 94.9 Jo Anne Good Breakfast Show with a couple of readers, and also on Radio 5 Live. And right before Cringe that evening, BBC London TV News will be filming live from Bardens Boudoir at 6:30 pm.

I’m basically putting this here for my mom. I like doing radio interviews and hate doing television ones, but I’m really happy for all the excitement about Cringe.

You can listen to the radio show live online here, starting 7:20 am GMT (That’s 1:20 am CST, Mom.)

P.S. Led Zeppelin details to come later. That part’s for Tony, not Mom.

London Cringe details

Wednesday, 12 December, 7 pm
Bardens Boudoir, 38-44 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ


The nearest overground is Dalston-Kingsland (two stops from Highbury & Islington tube), Bardens is then a five minute walk up Kingsland Road.

Buses 67, 76, 149 and 243 stop on our doorstep. Buses 149, 243 and 76 operate all night.

Buses 242, 30, 38, 56 all go to Dalston Junction which is a five minute walk up to Bardens. Buses 38 and 242 operate all night.

It’s also a 5/10 minute walk from Stoke Newington station or Rectory Road station which in on the Overground from Liverpool Street Station (towards Enfield Town or Cheshunt). (10 minutes by train.)

Please come up and introduce yourself! At the last London Cringe, so many people did that and it truly made my day. See you Wednesday!

Heebie Jeebies

Four lady friends at a bar:

“Ew, he left the wet food on the table after clearing the plate. Gross.”

“Wet food?”

“You know, like the food left in the strainer in the sink drain? It gives me the heebie jeebies. I don’t know why.”

“Everyone has a thing like that, right? A thing that skeeves them out for no reason? Mine is dustaches.”

“Mine is when people chew on the wet popsicle stick after the popsicle is gone. God!”

“The thing that I can’t stand is seeing a footprint in the snow of someone wearing shoes with a waffle print on the bottom. I can feel it here, in the back of my throat.”

“You know what really freaks Albee out? She can’t stand claymation. She said she hates it more than anything on the planet.”

“Claymation? Like the Rudolph special? What about Gumby? The California Raisins. No one can hate the California Raisins.”

“I can’t stand seeing someone take a first bite out of a giant hot dog or hamburger.”

“Okay, that’s just weird.”

“I hate bar soap.”

“You mean soap in a bar, or a bar of soap?”

“Just a bar of soap. When they get all cracked? Oh man!”

“You know what really bugs me? Children under three with their hands in their pockets. They’re born casual! They don’t need to do that!”

“What about you? You don’t have anything that creeps you out?”

“I guess… mine is Andie MacDowell.”

New York Cringe

Cringe is this Wednesday, December 5. And if for some reason you can’t make that one, there’s another one the following Wednesday, December 12. Only that one’s in London. It’s like a tiny buffet. With the same dish, twice. Your call.

If anyone makes it to both, all your drinks are on me.

Funny people reading from their old diaries, letters, songs, poems, and other general representations of the crushing misery of their humiliating adolescence, but it’s okay because they’re totally cool and well-adjusted and super attractive now:

Cringe Reading Night
Wednesday, December 5, 8:30 pm
Freddy’s Bar & Backroom
Dean & 6th Ave.
2/3 to Bergen, any train to Atlantic/Pacific
More directions
Cost: as always, free dollars

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