1 Year Review (And Facts About Me)

325 posts and more words than I care to count

I’ve been on Medium for one year now.

This is a “one-year” post that’s not addressed to Medium, but rather regarding evurrrything else.

John Gorman and I both, totally fucking coincidentally, started on Medium within five days of each other, and over that time, we’ve had a small, also coincidental, history of posting very similar shit on the same day. So here I am posting what I intended as a 1-year review (roughly mirroring my six-month review) that reads a lot like his recent “Anthology,” which is beautiful as always, because #gorman (and, incidentally, comes recommended by yours truly.)

The post is 3 parts:

  1. Rapid-fire random shit about me. Why? For fuckin funsies, man! And because I like reading other people’s and everyone likes writing their own. So, here it is. Read it or scroll past; whatever.
  2. Favorite posts, readers, comments and other summaries from the year.
  3. Super quick note for what’s next.

8 Random Things About Me

In January, at Tim Cigelske’s suggestion, I published “ten things you don’t know about me.”(Number 5? I can’t make popcorn.) But just for funsies (and because I adore Gorman’s list so much) here are 8 more, loosely but shamelessly lifted from his piece:

1.) My favorite possession is my motorcycle

I don’t work on it beyond oil changes, I don’t do long rides (esp. ever since I rode from Chicago to North Carolina a year ago), and I don’t even talk about it a ton. But I ride almost every day and I’ll be damned if he’s not my fave. I’d sooner go without a cell than go without the bike (and I have, for months at a time.) My laptop is the only real contender for top slot. Even that’s debatable.

He doesn’t have a name, but he does have a personality, best exemplified by an adorable, excited duck. (Unless it’s cold.)

Bike FAQ.

NOT my actual bike (or me!) but you get the idea (source)

2.) My passion is “people”

Specifically, the intangibles of “peoplehood” — love, happiness, values, decision-making, irrationality, etc.

People are so adorably simple. People are also intoxicatingly “hard.” Those two things together make people fascinating.

My favorite person is my partner.

3.) Eating

Favorites: vegetables. I could live on salads alone. (My childhood fave was “broccoli,” partly because “it looked like a tree” and I’ve always mothafuckin loved trees.) The exception is potato and corn, because those two sad fucks can diaf.

Favorite international food: Ethiopian — they have beautiful customs, they’re delightfully simple and consistent in their dishes, and they have common vegetarian dishes eaten while “fasting.” (I dig misir wat and gomen.) I have written lengthy love-notes about how much I like Ethiopian, and traveled to Ethiopia in the way people trek to Italy: pretty much explicitly for the food, and secondarily to see what kind of beautiful culture eats like this.

I’m vegetarian but never mention it unless asked. (I once lived with a boyfriend without him figuring it out — it was his roommate who realized six months in.) If it comes up, I quickly shut it down, because I absolutely loathe talking about it. People always have a way of making me “reassure them of their choices while also defend my own,” like that’s what I want to do over this nice family dinner, Susan!

Also: all eggs, good cheese, nuts, seeds, most fruit, sourdough bread, dark heavy bread.

Favorite dessert: legit chocolate chip cookies (textured, not processed, not oily), most any vegan dessert (I’m not, but they’re delicious), pumpkin pie.

Least favorite foods are: iceberg, frisée lettuce, American cheese, other processed foods, garbage being passed off as “cookies” (Chips A’Hoy, Oreos, Girl Scout, and those white-styrofoam, pink-plastic abominations sold by the dozen in grocery store bakeries) jelly-filled anything, cream-filled anything, prissy shit like macarons, cake, any pie except pumpkin, anything you have to gnaw on like a dog (e.g., corn on the cob, fried chicken), most fried food (except fries bc lol), Fritos, most mayonnaise, pasta / noodles, donuts, soda, candy, sugar, caramel, icing, syrup, fine dining and “contrived” food.

4.) I Drink

  • Beer—especially “boring” beer —because it feels like your favorite pair of jeans.
  • But lately I’ve been low-carb so I’m on red wine (pinot; cab) — and like, 1 glass. And sometimes even then I just pour a splash and top that shit off with club soda, sippin on spritzer like the crass old bitty that I am.
  • For liquor, whisky (specifically, Islay Scotch; specifically, Laphroaig.) Shots are rare, but it’s tequila (dudes, have you tried Casamigos? Legit.)
  • Water and herbal hot tea (anything licorice is the shit.)
  • Least favorites: vodka (I used to, like any self-respecting early-20s white chick, but now it gives me the worst “emotional hang-over” known to man), cocktails (the only time I order one is when I’m in a prissy-ass hipster joint with a prissy-ass butcher-aproned bartender and I’m in such a prissy-ass mood that instead of ordering their $9 prissy-ass beer-in-a-flute, I order something like: “whiskey based. not sweet. herby is okay.”) No sugary drinks (pretty much without exception, because #gross) including all soda and most juice.

5.) Travel

I like travel, I been a lotta places, and I’m a great (read: incredibly light and nonplussed) traveler, but I’m a point where travel feels like consumerism and quickly becomes kinda boring. I find it hard to enjoy a trip unless there’s some explicit point for being there besides “escape” or “relaxation,” and my idea of a good time is “getting down and dirty with the locals.” I do not “tourism” if I can help it.

  • Favorites: Detroit, LA, SF, Colorado, The South, Ethiopia, “nowhere” Central America, Iceland, Havana, Istanbul, the first day on the Greek islands
  • Least favorites: Vegas, Chicago, Cancun, the Caribbean, London, anything after the first day on the Greek islands

6.) Music

tbh I’m not like “A Huge, Serious Music Fan,” but I like music (and really enjoy live music; I’ll see most anyone live) and I am a a total sucker for:

a.) acoustic guitar
b.) “down-tempo electro”
c.) male vocals
(And all three together? Oh, it is a done deal darling.)

Favorites: I totally have “a sound” (see above) and the shit I get hooked on is all the same: Whilk & Misky, Milky Chance, Tep No, Until The Ribbon Breaks, Citizen Cope, Bob Moses, Yeasayer, Glass Animals (esp their cover of “Love Lockdown”! ❤) and other shit like this . I can also get down on Active Child, ODESZA, The Dead South, and old-school 3Oh!3, when they were gutty.

Once I like something, that’s all I listen to, e.g., only Whilk & Misky’s Pandora station in 2015. Lately I’ve been on the 1-hour loop of Tep No Toluca Lake.

Other shit I like: top 40 (shamelessly), 90s country, esp Garth (ditto), 2000s country (still dgaf!), acapella (Pitch Perfect fangirl and legit teared up when HIMYM Barney and Ted serenaded “For The Longest Time”), Tracy Chapman “Fast Car,” Donnie and Joe Emerson “Baby,” Darius Rucker “Wagon Wheel”, The Band “The Weight”, Tom Petty “Breakdown”, and acoustic covers of literally anything.

Songs that remind me of past partners:

Music for writing: I’m with Ryan Holiday — I listen to the same song on repeat for hours, too. (Sometimes the above, sometimes something more delicate and down-tempo, e.g., Angus And Julia Stone, Oh Wonder, chill ambient.) But most often, silence.

Music for my funeral: funerals are for the living, so if I die young my mother can play whatever she damn well pleases. If she wants ideas, though, I might suggest a downtempo cover of Faith Hill “Wild One.” Followed by “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” to really bring down the house. Then dump my cremated remains into the South Platte River, pls.

7.) Random things I love

Grittiness (both meanings), black coffee, cheap coffee, driving (anywhere, even in traffic, especially with the windows down and the radio up), riding a motorcycle, being outside (any weather), being warm, humidity, good textiles, open air markets of any kind, leather, knee high boots, wedge heels, movement, the first sip of beer, a really good book, cuddling, crowds, industrial areas (especially abandoned ones), trees, critical thought, good sportsmanship, people who do things with their hands and hearts and heads, going to bed early, waking up 5 minutes before my alarm, waking up early without one, the tactile experience of putting a good pen to a pad of paper, protea flowers (especially mink), medium-sized short-haired dogs, horses, the sound of mourning doves and traffic, the color black, the color orange, quick messy sketches with a heavy line, full brows, Lysol® Mold & Mildew Blaster (the purple one. I ain’t playin — that shit is the shit.)

Random things I don’t love: all things precious… dried flowers, fake flowers, most flowers, kitsche, pastel colors (especially purple and pink), women’s clothing, polka dots, ruffles, pearls, flip flops (the ground is gross, guys), kitten heels, French heels, being cold, plans, processes, putting duvet covers back on, massive spaces, obnoxious sneezers, baths, bathtubs, listening to podcasts, the sound of saxophone.

8.) “Rapid fire big blocks” (thx Gorman)

Politics: pass pls. Religion: raised Catholic, adolescent agnostic, Buddhism, (outside of the formality and templage you still find) since my early 20s, when I went looking for a religion / philosophy that had something good to say about our ego with regard to other beings. Born: Denver, CO. Ethnicity: mostly German; smidge Irish. Mountains or beach: mountains. Pancakes or waffles: neither tbh (but also either. but also waffles I guess.) Dog or cat: learned at 30 that I’m allergic to both; that aside: grew up with and prefer dogs, but don’t hate cats, and dating a cat-person partner whom I like enough that I would get one. Holiday: 4th of July.

My 5 Most Popular Pieces

By number of fans, in order:

My Own 3 Favorite Pieces

The first one is the same as the above, and I’m sure part of its popularity is due to the fact that I link to it all the damn time.

My Favorite Medium Writers

In alphabetical order:

Ari Eastman, Benjamin Sledge, Emma Lindsay, John Gorman, Luke Trayser, PopcornPolly.

And every time I read Dick Millet’s story about his wife it just guts me with the feels and makes me cry.

These people all really mothafukkin write. They actually share something. They say shit. They show up.

My Favorite Reader Comments

I really hesitated to write this section, because I really don’t want to overlook anyone — and I almost certainly will!

But I just have to high five a few folks. In alphabetical order (by first character):

Alex Buck, for leaving some of my favorite questions to date. Anne Zinn for consistently-hilarious real talk, referencing everything from Cher’s “snap out of it!” to “the Self Esteem For Dummies conference email list.” Benjamin Sledge for offering very well thought-out responses and alternative perspectives. Diji for sharing my fangirl love of improv. Ferman D Thornton for saying things like “tell us how you really feel.”

johnronand, who’s left me over 100 comments to date, some of which get over 100 claps themselves.

Of course John Gorman, for his fuckin top-notch dialogue.

mimi_bordeaux, who’s also left me over 100 darling, little notes (here, email, and Twitter) and loves sex.

no Way, who’s left me more than 90 comments to date and can always be counted on to give me shit with statements like, “This is the most unfunny Seinfeld dialogue I’ve ever read!” and “sigh, and I had such high hopes for you…” and inexplicably leave me the occasional old school movie clip, e.g., My Fair Lady.

Readers like riotrudi, who realize when I’m talking about MBTI without talking about MBTI. Sam Ursu, even though he’s totally a critic and I’m pretty sure he’s trolling me 99% of the time. And Where Angels Fear, for acting as my personal editor, peppering almost every post with private-note grammar corrections.

Beyond this, though: all of the comments sharing vulnerability, stories, and other opinions. Readers sharing their own anecdotes, their perspectives, and asking really fucking good questions about what I wrote. So much love.

Favorite thing about Medium

Answer: authenticity

Medium is a beautiful platform, and it fosters some really beautiful writing from people.

It encourages us to write with vulnerability and openness. To write about fear and anxiety and aspirations and frustration and heartbreak and love.

And it’s not just the writers — it’s the readers. It’s a community.

I have been blown away with the richness of responses — the vulnerability and sincerity in some of the things that we, as a close-knit unit, have shared. I came into Medium not knowing what to expect, but was braced for superficial and shallow. But I was — and continue to be — blown away with the quality of conversation and dialogue.

Everyone has their own journey; we’re all alike in our openness to receiving or sharing. Sometimes both. We’re here for connection, and it shows. That’s the most beautiful part — the biggest thing I learned and what I like most. The fact that we all show up with questions, and maybe some answers, and we all share a little bit of ourselves to get a lot more back.

What’s next and my goals for the next year

More personal essays. Ideally. :)

Anything else you wanna see? Come at me, broz. ❤ Hit me up in the comments.


Join my email list, fam!

Here’s to another year!