2011: The Year I Read A Poem About Sex To A Room Full Of People. A Retrospective.

To this day I’m still not sure how it happened. For some reason, the two people I cannot say no to, my best friend, Sorcha and my personal hero/mentor/teacher/friend/spiritual writing guide/etc, Stina French, teamed up to convince me to get up on stage and read the most personal thing I’ve ever written to a room full of people.

A room full of people who, got it. Despite my shaking voice, which seemed intent on keeping up with my trembling hands,  they got it. They cheered when they realized what it was actually about, they laughed at all the right places and then they applauded in a way that I’ve never had people applaud to me (because, people are always applauding for me?).

2011 was more than sex poems, however (how’s that for a transition?).

This was the year of establishing new life long friendships, except, all the really close friendships I made in 2011 were actually people I met in 2010 (or earlier), a fact which might make this already overlong sentence’s inclusion in this post almost irrelevant. But it actually doesn’t, because they still matter, chronologically speaking, to this year, or rather last. It was also the year where I feel like I’m starting to lose touch with friends I always assumed would be life long. Whether my fault or not, I’m having an interesting time dealing with the transition. Part of me feels like I’m not being sad enough, or at the very least, sad. So far I’m coming up with indifferent.

This was the year where I literally had so much stuff to do, I actually had to turn down opportunities offered to me (one in particular I’m very very disappointed in myself about). But the opportunities I did take part in, I’m incredibly proud of. I’m incredibly proud and honored to be a part of Solecisms, seriously, the submissions we received were incredibly wonderful and powerful and emotional. I’m also proud to have been a part of  HaveaLolo, even if I should really be doing a lot more than I’m actually doing (or something, perhaps).

2011 was the year where I met my musical hero, Steven Page, at the Taste Of Fort Collins, where he put on an impromptu acoustic show due to the stage power blowing out. He actually took a picture with me, and was a generally nice guy, and put up with my incoherent babbling praise. It would’ve killed me if he turned out to be anything else. Most of his writing incredibly influential to my writing, in particular Page’s, “Indecision” is a very big deal to me personally. Very important.

In animation terms, 2011 was very… uneven, with no princes films (I’m contractually obligated to mention Princesses) and the only truly original animated films being a Steven Spielberg Motion Capture film (really?) and a movie with Johnny Depp as a lizard? The Disney offering Winnie The Pooh, while wonderfully charming and brilliantly cleaver and most importantly, traditionally animated, seemed to go unnoticed by everyone except for me and the four people I convinced to go see it. Pixar’s Cars 2, would have been the best different genre as a 1960’s spy movie of the year, except X-Men First Class did it better.

On that note, Lists, because it’s easier!

My favorite 2011 films: X-Men First Class, Tintin, Winnie-The-Pooh, Red State, Super 8. (But, I’ve still yet to see Brad Bird’s Mission Impossible or Jason Reitman’s Young Adult).

Favorite comics:

Daredevil by Mark Waid, Spider-Man by Dan Slott, Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis, Cassanova/Thor by Matt Fraction, Criminal by Ed Brubaker, Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello, Punisher by Greg Rucka (and I HATE the Punisher!), Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron (and I HATE Wolverine!), Action Comics and Batman Inc by Grant Morrison, Detective Comics/Batman/Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder, everything Jonathan Hickman wrote, Sergio Aragones’ Funnies, Snarked by Roger Langridge, and most importantly Tiny Titans by Art and Franco.

Favorite Music:

Real Music: Love Notes/Letter Bombs, by The Submarines, Codes and Keys by Death Cab, Rabbits on the Run by Vanessa Carlton, Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne, Join Us by They Might Be Giants, The Fall by The Gorillaz, Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine (last minute addition, literally). Born This Way by Gaga (it took me entirely too long to realize just how good it was).

Girl Pop: Demi > Selena.

Guilty Pleasure song: JoJo’s Disaster.

Movie Music: All four Giacchino Scores (Super 8, Mission Impossible, Cars 2, Monte Carlo), Both Henry Jackman Scores (Pooh/X-Men), both John Williams (War Horse/Tintin).

Concerts: Matt & Kim at the Ogden (seriously, the most fun concert I’ve ever seen), Steven Page at the Taste of Fort Collins, The Submarines at Larimer Lounge (hugely influential), Blind Brilliance/Most Likely at Moe’s (Maybe I’m biased because it’s my cousin’s band, but they KILLED it. I’m super proud of him).

Television: Community (the greatest show nobody is watching), Parks & Rec, 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny, so on and on.

Books: Brainstorm by my friend and Disney Legend Don Hahn. Supergods by Grand Morrision. The Fantagraphics Carl Barks Library.

Alright.. that’s more than enough nonsense.

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