Ten things I will remember about 2010
1. I started off the year calling it 20-zen. That – and my daily yoga regimen – lasted until the first major news story hit, on January 12. The long weeks that followed I’ll never forget. An earthquake hit Haiti, and suddenly all the many thousands of people who knew people in Haiti needed to get in touch, but couldn’t. So instead they started posting messages on places like CNN iReport: My mother is missing. She is 74. Last seen near Rue St-Honore. Help. Please. Together with a ramshackle group of 100 or so unstoppably kind colleagues, friends and family, we turned all those pleas for help into a database. We shared it with Google and the Red Cross, put it on TV, and reconnected some families and helped give others peace. That is why we go to work every day.
2. Snowshoe-ing with Brennan to peer into the glacial void at Mt. Rainier, then cozying up with his sweet parents and cocoa at the still-original 1916 lodge. Sidenote: I wish my government were still interested in building such beautiful places.
3. Dude, I was totally on a panel with Pete Cashmore. My Twitter friends recognize why this is awesome. My Facebook friends mostly do not.
4. For at least a few months (the warm but not hot months), I rode my bike back and forth to work.
5. My beautiful and badass sister got married to an equally badass (if not quite as beautiful because, hey, she’s my sister) fella, and all the people who love them danced by the sea all night long.
6. I survived a very heated public debate on the value of user-generated content in the news. IN FRENCH.
7. Thanksgiving in London, where they love Christmas lights even more than Americans do.
8. I made a photo booth in my house (for the annual holiday party) and the pictures sparkled, if I do say so myself.
9. My little brother’s house burned down. Mercifully he’s OK, and his dog Peach, too.
10. More than anything, I’ll remember tiny, wonderful moments with friends all year long. Smoky eyes, art scheming, crowded front-porch suppers, and on and on and on.
The books I read
1 – Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
2 – And Then There’s This, by Bill Wasik
3 – The Manual of Detection, by Jedidiah Berry
4 – The Ask, by Sam Lipsyte
5 – Citrus County, by John Brandon (read this! now! Flannery O’Connor mixed with Judy Blume.)
6 – Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen
7 – Where Good Ideas Come From, by Steven Johnson
8 – The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
9 – The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
10 – [UPDATE!] All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, by Lan Samantha Chang
10 – [UPDATE!] Cognitive Surplus, by Clay Shirky (not worth it, dear friends)
There were many others I started but did not finish, including the newish Jonathan Lethem book, Chronic City, whose characters are just awful. I also tried a little Tao Lin (too too clever) and enjoyed quite a few of the stories in Doug Dorst’s The Surf Guru, even though short stories tend not to fill me up.
P.S. Where are the women writers?!? Note to self: Fix this in 2011.
What I listened to
The lovely thing about Last.fm is it tallies up all the music I listen to deliberately (that is, the stuff I queue up on my own, on my own computer or iPod) and gives it back to me in tidy little charts. Soooo … my most-listened artists of 2010 were:
1 – Paul Simon. When Vampire Weekend’s second album disappointed, I went back to the source and found what I wanted.
2 – Local Natives. Ah-maze-ing live show.
3 – Fruit Bats. Really? I hardly remember listening to this band this year. Must’ve been the old favorites (and maybe the memory spurred by ‘Youth in Revolt’?) and not the new record, which is entirely forgettable.
4 - Big Star. RIP Alex Chilton.
5 – Coconut Records. For the first cup of coffee.
Homemade dinners I remember liking the best
2010, you were a good one.