2012: A Look Back

It’s easy to have the knee-jerk reaction that 2012 was a let down of a year, but despite moving back in with my parents and having more unsuccessful interviews than I’d care to admit, it wasn’t all bad. From having discussions about writing with Mark Baumgartner, Jonathan Zwickel and Mike Seely and running into Calvin Johnson at K Records to having Judd Apatow give me a shout-out on Twitter and celebrating my third anniversary with Ann, the year wasn’t all that bad.

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Sometimes boring, sometimes stagnant, but all-in-all, not that bad.

Not only did I start writing for The Examiner and KOMO News, I started my own website, The Washed-Up Amateur, to showcase my work as a writer and to provide a new, more serious avenue for my writing. 

So what were my favorite memories of 2012? 

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Jon and Katie’s winery wedding in California, reading and napping in McKinley Park, having my first In n’ Out Burger, seeing Rusty Willoughby perform on the beach, exploring and sunbathing at Point Defiance Park, relaxing in Santa Cruz, Kristin and David’s haunted castle wedding, Father John Misty’s album release concert, Erik Blood at Volunteer Park, Folklife Festival, sight-seeing in San Jose, getting lost in Oregon, catching a fly ball at the Mariners game, working at Nordstrom, Christmas presents with Ann, book and record shopping in Tacoma, discovering Peep Show and The In-Betweeners, watching the Summer Olympics on TV, reading lots of Aldous Huxley, watching Obama win the election, drinks and burgers in Fremont, having my first Indian food, Nirvana and Paul McCartney playing together, sorting out college credits/confusion and “officially” graduating (diploma and everything!), all the great coffee in Tacoma (Bluebeard, Valhalla, Satellite), meeting with Tim Garrigan (curator of the Seattle Goodwill Games), dancing to DJ Ron Jeremy at the Log Cabin, Sarah and Luke’s wedding, drinks in Bellevue, and of course, making new friends!

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And oh yeah, Kim Kardashian getting pregnant with Kanye West’s baby.

See. 2012 really wasn’t so awful after all.

“Offending people is not a heinous crime. People are idiots; their sacred tenets are usually lies. The easily offended are assholes.”

—John Roderick, via Twitter

Romney & Obama tell moderator Jim Lehrer to ‘shut up’ 

ALMOST FAMOUS

While celebrating my birthday in Olympia, I managed to run into Calvin Johnson, founder of K Records, lead singer of Beat Happening, and producer to some of my favorite modern-day bands/albums —Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Beck…the list goes on. The dude’s even recorded songs with Kurt Cobain.

I was already feeling a tad overwhelmed shuffling through shelves and boxes full of K Records-related vinyl, zines, and merchandise, but to turn around and see the big man himself was pretty exciting. He put out his hand to shake and said, deeply, “I’m Calvin.” I felt like saying, with the utmost respect mind you, “no shit.”

Happy birthday to me.

27

Well, it’s finally happened. I’m 27. The age Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Amy Winehouse, and many talented others never lived past. But alas, I don’t plan on going out any time soon. I’ve got plenty more books to read, countless people to meet, unlimited words to write, many more naps to sleep, and plenty of more thoughts to think.

2012 has been a weird year, but I’ve been moving in the “right” direction these past few months. I think. I’ve been taking the time to sit down with people I look up to —writers, publicists— just shooting the shit, looking for advice, hearing their stories, and then ultimately trying to take steps in the right direction(s) based off their collective advice. Just creating my own William Miller/Lester Bangs (à la Almost Famous) moments.

Although they’ve been some amazing people giving me some wonderful, enlightening advice, I’ve so far shied away from talking about/reflecting on each conversation in detail; the conversations and advice should remain within the context of that moment rather than taken as a general, quotable view of each individual. Not that these people are A-list actors or presidential candidates, but I just think pulling moments and paraphrased ideas out of context takes away both the intimacy and meaning of the situation.

When I started this blog, I didn’t think I’d still be in this process of “starting over” nearly two years later. But life doesn’t seem to be as easy or as streamlined or as pieced together as I assumed it might be. A house, a car, a career. They’ll come when they’ll come. As long as I keep surrounding myself with people that inspire me, push me, love me, and support me, I’ll be okay. In an unconventional sense, at least.

“Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As President of our country and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with. We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.”

Pres. Barack Obama, remarks to the UN General Assembly

CONGRATULATIONS

…to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for winning the Emmy for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.” I’ve recently fallen head-over-heals in love with her latest efforts, the HBO-aired Veep, which follows the trials and tribulations of Louis-Dreyfus as the nation’s Vice President. The writing is sharp, snarky, and unapologetic and the acting drives in that humor hard. As perfect as she was as Elaine Benes —or maybe even as “Old Christine” Campbell— the HBO/potty mouth format seems to be producing some of Julia’s most brilliant moments as a creative comedic actress. It’s not every day you get to hear the phrase, “I’m the Vice President of the United States, you stupid little fuckers!”

HERO

I’ve been an admirer of Nate Silver's since the historic 2008 president election, when he first started his presidential and political statistical projections on FiveThirtyEight. With complex equations and strategy surrounding these projections, Silver was able to correctly project 49 of 50 presidential state outcomes, as well as every single senate winner in the 2008 election. The site —once an element of The Daily Kos— is now an extension of the New York Times, winning a 2012 Webby Award for “Best Political Blog” from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

ANTICIPATION

Season 4 of The League, premieres Oct 11 on FX

Cat Power “Cherokee”

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