1 Are there any things that you did for the first time last year?
a) It was my first full year living without my daughter.
b) Finished a memoir.
c) Learned how to make a cocktail from the ground up.
d) Traveled to Italy for the first time, Spoke Italian, Was Understood.
2 Did you have any New Year's resolution and did you act upon them?
I remember thinking, "I going to finish editing the memoir by March 1, and it's good, so no fake fretting or being coy about it."
Fill-your-shoes sort of thing.
3 Did someone close to you give birth to a child?
Marla gave birth to her first child in November. Her husband Ryan called us from the hospital at 4AM, when she was close to delivery. It was thrilling to go there before dawn with coffee for him and the nurses. I told him we felt like "Braxton-Hicks" grandparents.
4 Did someone close to you die?
Yeah, a few. Older mentors are checking out, and some of my peers are starting to go "poof."
A number of my elders in early erotic and independent movies passed away; often without notice. I want to write more about that in 2011.
5 Which countries did you travel to?
Canada, England, France, Italy, and crazy rich Monaco.
6 What do you wish for in 2011 that you missed this year?
"Do you wish you would die?"
"No. It's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these."
— The Road
7 What days of 2010 will you remember?
The moments I was alone, printing out the final manuscript of Big Sex Little Death, putting the manuscript in an envelope and posting it to publisher— content-ment.
Completing the Sex Journal. Celebrating the "4th Amendent Please--No Strip Searching Young Women for Advil" case win with the ACLU Drug Reform Project. Going to see Meryl from Tuneyards at the Crepe Place and dancing on top of the bar so I could see her.
Running with Kathy and friends on many many beautiful mornings, counting all the baby rabbits at Wilder Ranch. Holding my breath through Aretha's Shocking Tales from the California State University system.
Laughing my ass off as a sitting judge at the San Francisco Literary Death Match. Publishing 10 years of Audible audio show archives. Being in Europe with my grownup baby, seeing all our old friends from when she was a toddler, the toddlers now towering over us, transcending language. Hiking the Nietzsche Trail. He is said to have written his treatise on the nonexistence of God after he climbed this path from the mountains to the sea and back. Would Nietzsche have taken the bus? No!
Getting hit, knnecapped by a car and fleeing the "crime scene" to walk into my publisher's sales conference: "I have to give this talk, I don't care if I'm in a coma." Ask for an icebag and the proverbial mike. (Accidents provide great adrenaline for making speeches).
Taking guerilla photos with Jill and Becky and Jon at the Albany Bulb.
8 Your biggest success in 2010?
Witnessing Aretha's 20th year.
Holding the frame— in fact, post-driving the frame.
9 And your worst failure?
Panicking over shit I don't respect in the first place.
10 Any injuries or diseases?
Use it or lose it, protect it or lose it. Heredity and the nation's public health policies weighed in more than I would have liked.
11 What's the best thing you bought in 2010?
My iPad and the things that came along with it-- all the books I read, all the obscure movies I watched.
My wool fingerless gloves, my red Duofold union suit.
Chartreuse was very special, I'll remember that.
The plane tickets to faraway lands— how can I forget!
My handlebars for my bicycle which feel, like Goldilocks' delight, just right.
12 Any people that deserve special praise this year?
The many many people in my life who displayed True Grit.
13 Anyone whose actions shocked and frustrated you?
The end of "What We Think of As America" shouldn't shock me, but it does, because I was raised in its great soft mud.
14 What did you spend most of your money for?
The most pedestrian of bills. Health care. Health care insurance premiums. Getting rid of those certainly saved a lot of money.
15 What really pissed you off?
See my 2010 blog for details.
16 What song will always remind you of 2010?
Fire - Tuneyards
17 In contrast to January 2010 you're now....
Sadder or happier?
Given my mercury, I'd say I am simply more cautious.
Thicker or thinner?
Same, but with more gravity.
Richer or poorer?
In wisdom? Oh, much richer.
18 What would you've liked to do more often?
Singing and humming.
19 And less often?
Contemplating worst-case scenarios. I should've hummed a little instead.
20 Did you fall in love in 2010?
With poetry, yes.
21 How many one-night-stands?
Discretion is the only part of valor.
22 What was your favorite TV show?
Mad Men, Matthew Weiner's stories.
23 Do you despise anything that you didn't mind before?
Broken telephones, broken systems, broken everything. The lost art— and apparently the lost education— of making things and doing things that last. The legacy-lessness.
24 What was the best book you read?
I read lots of good authors this year; I have to make a list.
But this question has an oddball meaning for me. I've spent the last few months reading every book aloud that I've ever written, for an audiobook project. —Books I wrote when I was 23, or when I was pregnant, or when I was living as an ex-pat, and when I was making a new home, my most recent memoir.
It was wilder than The Giant Dipper.
25 What's the best music you discovered this year?
Peter Mulvey, Tuneyards, Pomplamousse, my missing cuts from the Harold and Maude soundtrack, my Tom Waits "Channel" on Pandora, rediscovering the Elvis Comeback Special. The Monterey Jazz Fest lineup, the Teleman String Concertos.
This list doesn't deliver all the music I listened to; but I was mostly listening to old favorites. Like Otis Redding on New Year's Eve. I don't know how to find new music I'd like, and I don't have enough new happy accidents.
26 What did you want and get?
27 What did you want but didn't get?
Respect. I can see this is going to be a theme.
28 What are your favorite movies this year?
"I do not entertain hypotheticals; I find the world as it is vexing enough."
29 What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn?
I turned 52 and in such a state, I do not fucking remember.
30 What would've made your year easier?
Cold hard cash and a perfect bill of health.
31 What would you call your style 2010?
Foxatronic, with a dash of bitters.
32 How did you manage to not lose your mind?
Sweating profusely on the trail.
33 Which artist did you admire the most?
Someday everyone's going to realize Ariel Gore is a genius.
34 What political subject caught your interest most?
The Fall of the Empire.
35 Who did you miss?
Little Miss Unwavering.
36 Who's the best new person you met in 2010?
37 Quote a song that sums up your year 2010.
Give my shoes to the dogs
Leave my hair to the wind
And only smoke in the clothes I was standing in
Give my eyes to your face
Send my birds up the pole
Leave my kisses in the dust by the side of the road
Take the little lines that gather there
At the corner of my eyes
Take the laughter floating up the stairs
Every word except goodbye
Give my love to the lost
Sell my worries in pairs
Hide my hopes in the dark underneath the stairs
Give my arms to your waist
Oh the luck of the toss
To bring this dance to the floor that you walk across
Say it with me now
Sell my memories for dimes
Break my pocketwatch and spill out my time
Take the last page in the secret book
All the telling all the lies
Take the chimney; you can take a longing look
Every word except goodbye
39 Are there any important lessons you learned 2010?
"If it's not one thing, it's two things."
I got this template of questions from the Obscure Guardian!
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN.
Post your link to your answers below in the comments so I can go read YOU.
Photo: Jill Posener.