I'm not done with looking back. In reviewing the thoroughly awesome music of the decade, I neglected to wrap up the year that just ended, a year that could be described in one or more of the following ways:
A. An IV drip of pain, discomfort, misfortune, and comical predicaments, delivered with laser precision by a team of invisible nurses, each armed with an illustrated annotated catalog of Ali's Trigger Points and a carefully formulated Schedule of Inconvenience.
B. A dull year in which nothing much of interest happened.
C. A delicate balance morphing into a prickly imbalance morphing into a doddering pile of laundry.
By the way, that IV drip is delivered directly into my psyche, with acute residual specks peppering my big caring heart and Clooney-like hair.
I should begin my review of 2009 by apologizing to each and every one of you. I will use my patented LIST/APOLOGIZE/FORESEE method, also known as the LAF Cycle:
1. First... allow me to LIST my transgressions, dusting the pile of reasonable excuses with the occasional inexcusable behavior:
The explanations I have given for being late to lunches, for not making an effort to connect, for appearing aloof, and for not reciprocating particular gestures were, for the most part, honest ones. There really was construction-related traffic on the 710 that one day. The check for that part-time consulting gig really did take 8 mailing days to arrive from Pittsburgh. The phone charger really did inexplicably work in the car but not in the wall (and vice-versa the next day). That email really did end up in the junk folder. And there really was construction-related traffic on the 710 later that same day. And if I ever told anyone a lie, it could easily have been perceived by me as the truth.
2. Next, I will sincerely APOLOGIZE while simultaneously magnifying and minimizing the "sin" for which the apology was proffered.
Still, my unreliability was too consistent to be dismissed with such excuses. My detachment was too ever-present to not be a symptom of something larger. Now, I just need to identify that larger something. I don't like to disappoint others. I am sorry.
3. Finally, I complete the LAF Cycle by FORESEEing better times ahead, employing the time-tested strategy of predicting warmer, truer connections in the immediate future (this weekend) AND in the distant future (this summer) but concluding with a "qualified" intention that is intended to lower your expectations of me without you knowing it had I not just told you what would have happened. There will also be wordplay.
I will change. I will change for the better. I will change for the better on a permanent basis. I will not be late to lunch this weekend. I will not change my flight time or originating airport this summer. I may not successfully identify the bigger, more incessant problem(s) that periodically perplex and plague me but I will try.
And now, the Best of 2009, as interpreted by me:
Best Film of 2009: An easy one. Inglorious Basterds
Best Meal of 2009: Breakfast, El Buon Gusto, Atwater Village, Los Angeles, July
Best Blog Entry of 2009 (Me): On February 6, I wrote this spry detailed interesting blog entry about an "extended family" vacation in 2002. Heart problems, William Shakespeare, and scoutmasters play a role in the true story I tell. I show restraint when necessary. I don't get all fatalistic. I minimize my woe-is-me Sedarisesque schtick. Good photos too.
Best Blog Entry of 2009 (Others): The Heart is an Organ that Pump Blood on cats, condo boards, mothers, and fathers
Best TV Series of 2009: Parks and Recreation
Best TV Episode of 2009: Yes it was super sappy but... the Community episode where Winger engineers a salsa-dancing-to-Greene-Daye reunion between Senor Chang and his estranged wife
Best Drink of 2009: The second one at The Fling, Santa Ana, August
Best Coffee Drink of 2009: Regular coffee, with cream and lots of vanilla powder, that one Friday morning in April at the then-new on-campus Coffee Bean at USC
Best Night of Sleep of 2009: December 21-22, my first night of pure dead-to-world deep-as-dirt sleep in my new place in Long Beach
Best Book of 2009: Lifter Puller vs. The End Of
Best Article of Clothing (Casual) of 2009: My Oakland Oaks T-shirt from Retro Sport
Best Article of Clothing (Not Casual, Not Formal): My Mustard Incident jacket from Penguin
Best Article of Clothing (Formal, for me): Gray/black patterned dress shirt, Target
The Ruminant Band - Fruit Bats
Album - Girls
I'm Going Away - Fiery Furnaces
Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
The Ecstatic - Mos Def
Eskimo Snow - Why?
The Satanic Satanist - Portugal the Man
Klamath - Mark Eitzel
Best Website (Words): A.V. Club
Best Website (Visuals): In a Dream House
Best Music Reissue: Lifter Puller reissue their entire catalog
Best Gummi Bear: Trolli (last minute comeback vs. Harbro)
Best Fruit: Streetfruit (mango, melon, pineapple, watermelon), Glendale Blvd., L.A.
Best Poem (Me): Couldn't Call It Unexpected #6
Best Poem Verse (Me): Final verse of Honor in a Misnomer
Best Cereal: Archer Farms (Target) Hearty Grains and Fruit Muesli
Most Difficult Experience: Saying goodbye to Seymour (he's the big one) after 16 years: