Sunday, December 23, 2012

Top 10 favorite lists, 2012

I've done this "year in media" retrospective almost every year since I started this blog. (Just for fun, here are 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006.) 2011 and 2008 were notable exceptions, as I was going pretty crazy with work and my thesis, respectively, at the end of those years. It's not really a top 10 list for this year per se, as most of these weren't even released this year, just a record of my favorite things viewed, read and heard this year.

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Parts 1 and 2
The Hunger Games
The Way - best movie I've seen directed by Emilio Estevez
Perfect Sense
Another Earth - really interesting sci-fi movie
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Monsieur Lazhar - maybe the only French Canadian film I've ever seen?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee - surprisingly readable and not too sad
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner - my foray into chick lit
The First-Time Manager by Loren B. Belker and Gary S. Topchik - a lifesaver
You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt
Wild by Cheryl Strayed - thank you, Oprah, this was a good memoir
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

In Treatment, Season 3 - brilliant, per usual for this series
Mad Men, Season 6
Girls - uncomfortable viewing but in a good way
Chopped - obsessed with this show
Iron Chef Masters: Redemption
Project Runway

Charmer by Aimee Mann - try "Labrador," amazing duet "Living a Lie," and "Gumby"
"Take My Breath Away" by Tuck and Patti - how had I never heard of them before?
Bach by Anne-Marie McDermott
"So Long" by Melody Gardot - amazing
"Bartender" by The Royalty - so much fun
"All the Rowboats" by Regina Spektor
"City Love" by John Mayer
"All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift - lol

Fresh Air - Terry Gross is seriously my hero


So I was just thinking this week about how lucky I am not to have gotten sick (other than with allergy-related ills) this season, and how fortunate not to have a cold on Christmas as has happened many a year before. And then...ugh, it started with a sore throat on Saturday morning, which I attributed to not taking my allergy medicine the night before. But by Saturday night I had chills and well, given how I felt today, with the hacking cough and simultaneous nasal congestion and runny nose, I am officially sick. Yuck.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bootsie, recovered

My dog Bootsie had a tooth extraction this week that required her to be put under anesthesia. I was extremely nervous about this. A few years ago my aunt's Yorkie was put under anesthesia for a teeth cleaning and didn't wake up. My aunt's dog was not even as old as Bootsie, who is 11.

But there wasn't really an option not to do it, as the vet said the foul smell from Bootsie's mouth would continue and an infection might spread throughout her body if her tooth wasn't removed. I looked up the procedure on Google and it seemed safe, apart from a few horror stories.

I buried my nose in Bootsie's furry neck and kissed the top of her head the morning my mom took her to the vet. What would I do without Bootsie? The sight of Bootsie wagging her tail and her eyes lighting up when I get home from work makes me feel human again after a long day. There is no sight I'd rather see than Bootsie fetching her rope toy from her "toy chest" when she is excited, inviting you to play with her. In those moments I can believe there is such a thing as pure joy. When I have lied down on the carpet out of utter exhaustion it is Bootsie who comes to comfort me. Before I leave for work in the morning the last thing I do is run my hands through her black fur and look into her eyes. I love this dog. No, I don't think "love" is too strong a word. To think about losing her is just so hard to fathom.

I got home Thursday not having received a frantic call from my mother, and took this as a good sign she would be OK. I found her in her usual spot on the couch. Her eyes were scared and the fur around her face was all matted inside the white cone around her neck, but she was animated and above all alive. Oh, Bootsie, you are alive to see another day. Thank you, God.

This week I found myself asking, is it worth it to get so attached to an animal, only to see her decline and eventually die? What a tremendous grief it will be. On the other hand, thinking of all the good times I've had with Bootsie, every day we have with her is a gift. She has brought joy into our lives every day we have had her for 11 years. That's no way to live, to deny yourself an attachment simply because you fear losing it in the end. In the end we will have to let go, realizing she was never really ours to begin with, and her affection was something we never really deserved in the first place. But fortunately that day is not today, and there is time to enjoy every tail wag, every walk, every nap where Bootsie snuggles up next to you. I *heart* Bootsie.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Advice for 20-somethings

Some worthwhile advice from none other than Cheryl Strayed, author of Oprah Book Club 2.0 pick "Wild." Link via the ever-awesome Brain Pickings:

Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a s***?

Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue.
The useless days will add up to something. The s****y waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Definition of evanescence: the event of fading and gradually vanishing from sight; "the evanescence of the morning mist"

Saturday, December 01, 2012

So apparently there are still some good blogs on the Internet.

Allergy season

I'm allergic to something in the air and it is causing some major annoyance this week.
Anne..straight from the hip describes an amazing Peter Gabriel concert:

"Just before 'In Your Eyes,' which we all knew was coming because he was playing 'So' in the same order as the album, John Cusack walked on stage, holding a boombox, paying homage to the iconic scene in 'Say Anything.' Total. Epic. Moment."