Things of the Year: All Our Favorite Stuff from 2012

Some of the Reasons Why 2012 Was Good as Gold (by Liz)

I made this playlist of the songs that meant the most to me in 2012. Here's my partial explanation of why "2012 was good as gold":

1. I took a writing class with one of my favorite writers. Actually, I took four writing classes with her, and I'm taking another one that starts Friday. Signing up for that first class was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life and I'm so happy I did it. I'm writing a novel and last night on my flight from Boston to L.A. I wrote a cool part about Neil Young and elephant funerals and coloring in coloring books with little kids while being stoned on Thanksgiving night.

2. Speaking of my book, in August Storychord published a story that's kinda like backstory to my book. The story's called "Long Hot Winter." I don't know what my book is called yet.

3. Also writing-related, in January I did my first reading, at my buddy Sarah Tomlinson's bday party at Bar Covell. I read an excerpt from my Like Dreamers Do Beatles zine and I killed it. I have the most intense stage fright and up until the moment I stepped up to read I was basically like "This is not actually happening, of course it's not happening," but somehow everything was great and awesome. I loved that night a lot.

4. I went to Buenos Aires! It was my first time leaving the country! How crazy is that? My brother and I went to visit our little sister, who was studying abroad. We were there for a week in February and stayed at a swank hotel right near Evita's grave and Buenos Aires is beautiful and very Italian (I love everything Italian). Here are some of the best things I ate:

It's dulce de leche pancakes ("panqueques") and a glass of wine (aka my last meal in Argentina), some amazing pasta I had at this wonderful restaurant called Il Ballo Del Mattone, a "Campari Naranja" from the same restaurant, and a giant piece of apple pie that was my breakfast appetizer at some chain restaurant we ate at our second day in town. That's my sister, enjoying a Coke and being cute. It's so chill how Argentines drink their Coke out of wine glasses.

I also drank the most adorable cocktail, called Apple Bubbles -- it was big hunks of green apples and club soda and maybe rum? I also listened to "Porpoise Song" by the Monkees while flying over a lightning storm in Bolivia. Oh my god. 

5. I saw Bruce Springsteen, I saw Patti Smith, I saw Neil Young. That all happened within a three-month span and was really fortifying.

6. And here's just a bunch of other favorite things from 2012:

-the day Laura Fisher and I were walking through Boston Common and a flower blossom blew off a tree and into my mouth
-the day I swung on a swing while drinking pink wine at a cool person's gorgeous house in Laurel Canyon
-the day LJ and I went to the Inn of the Seventh Ray (she talks about it in her part of this post) and we ate the Potato Egg Jar and the waiter made sure LJ realized that the vegan duck she'd ordered was a vegan version of duck meat and not "a duck that was vegan when it was still alive"
-Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (especially the Larry David and Alec Baldwin ones; they make me so happy); the part in Moonrise Kingdom where Sam pours out his milk into Bruce Willis's ashtray and then pours his beer into his milk glass; Argo & Magic Mike, Mike D's thing at MOCA and the two times I got to stand next to Mike D at MOCA, this weird place Anthony Bourdain loves in Koreatown, David Lynch on Louie, other things I'm forgetting
-my wonderful new house that I love, it's so much better than my old house, I'm so much happier there, I got a trampoline for Christmas!
-In March Sarah Tomlinson and I drove up to San Luis Obispo and did hot-springs tubbing and in my tub I drank a can of Sofia Coppola pink champagne and listened to Ram by Paul McCartney and decided my whole life should be pink and then we went to the Madonna Inn and I got a piece of beautiful pink cake and they let me take a giant pink cake box and I love my pink cake box so much

7. STRAWBERRY FIELDS WHATEVER. I love it, I love us. To me Strawberry Fields Whatever is about all the ways you use music to get by and make life good and extraordinary and fizzy and dazzling instead of fucking boring and stupid and lame and flat. I can write about that forever, I think. THANK YOU FOR COMING ALONG WITH US ON THIS MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

Jen's Top 20 of 2012 (by Jen)

(film still from Celine and Julie go Boating)

1. I got through the weird neck hair grow out phase post pixie.
2. Paris, France. I went there. Also I watched Paris, TX and liked that too.
3. How Should a Person Be? By Sheila Heti
4. Becoming a witch in Salem.
5. Transcendental Meditation
6. Finding my kindred spirit, David Lynch
7. Twin Peaks Day
8. This blog
9. Reading that John Waters said he loves Justin Bieber because he " just makes him laugh so much" on Rookie
10. Bagels and caps on Saturday Mornings with LC & TC.
11. Every Goldblum night with a special shout out to meeting Jeff.
12. I saw Celine and Julie go Boating at Film Forum and LOVED it.
13. One time Muncho the stray cat that lived on my block walked next to me the entire way down the block.
14. Cape Cod Chip Factory
15. I popped popcorn in coconut oil and gave it to Michael Ian Black at his book reading. He ate it and said he liked it.
16. Therapy!!
17. I moved out of my shitty apartment hell and into a better space.
18. Talking at Champs & drinking coffee.
19. I'm glad the Abe movie happened but I think he should have been more depressed in it.
20. Sanja Ivekovic's show at MoMA. 

2012: The Year of George Harrison (by LJ)

In 2012, I got George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist. 

And now my arm looks like this:

I love my George/Paul arm so much. It's such a great arm. 

Four days after getting George Harrison's name tattooed on my wrist, I quit smoking. What a game-changer of a week! I wanted to make myself a t-shirt that says "CIGARETTES KILLED GEORGE HARRISON," but I never got around to it. But life is long. It'll happen one day. And in 2012 I did get this really sick other George Harrison t-shirt, which more than compensates:

A lot of very amazing and equally excellent things happened to me in 2012, but quitting smoking is my favorite part of the story because it's not a thing that happened to me, it's a thing that I made happen. Since quitting smoking I've become a very wealthy man. I save all the money I would have spent on cigarettes and put it in a chipped brown and beige cup that says "Irish Coffee" on it. That cup is my "moving to London" cup. I don't want to say how much money I've saved because I don't want any robbers who are reading this to come and rob my cup. And I have a lot less insomnia about dying than I used to. I sort of still like being around cigarette smoke, it's cozy, but I pity smokers and feel very distanced from all romantic associations I once had with smoking cigarettes. At best it's the worst possible vice, at worst it's trashy as fuck and kills you. 

In the middle of October I visited New York and lived a very cool night where Jen May and I read each other's Tarot cards and I figured out my entire life. The picture on the left is me with Jen's cat Sadie, who curled up next to me while I slept and it was so sweet. I love girl animals. They really get it. The picture on the right is the Celtic Cross of me. That was the night I figured out I am going to work very hard and save up all my money and move to London. I figure 2013's going to be a pretty boring year in my life. I'm just going to work very hard and save a ton of money. Eyes on the prize, babydoll. 

The day Jen and I ate Thai food and read each other's Tarot cards was the second-best day of my year. I also ate these crazy pancakes with Lexy:

I love Lexy. Holler at Lexy. Those pancakes are from Le Barricou, my #1 favorite restaurant with the best vibes ever. If there is a heaven one day I will wake up dead drinking a Bloody Mary out of a Mason jar at Le Barricou and death will be so chill forever. 

The best day of my year happened at the beginning of March, when I was in Los Angeles visiting Liz. That trip was when we decided that Strawberry Fields Whatever was going to be a thing. It's insane to think how there was no Strawberry Fields Whatever a mere year ago! Ew. What a gross, dirty world that must have been. Good riddance, that world. 

On the best day of my year I hung out with my friend Andi for the first time. We were Internet friends when we were teenagers and stuck Internet-together for TEN years before finally meeting in person. It was so lovely and easy. I thought I lost my passport, but then Liz found it for me, which was really John and Paul of us (John Lennon goes to visit Paul McCartney and John Lennon loses his passport. Then John Lennon goes and hangs out with his friend while Paul McCartney looks for John Lennon's passport and then finds it in John Lennon's makeup bag.) I bought Sandinista! by the Clash and Wild Tales by Graham Nash at Amoeba Records, Andi and I ate Babycakes, and while we were driving home I was like "Look! A zebra!" and then we pulled over and hung out with the zebra for a bit. It was the closest I've ever been to a zebra. 

I don't really know why it was the best day of my year, but it was. It just was. Another thing that happened while I was in LA was Liz and I played Beatles Trivial Pursuit against each other. It was the most evenly-matched game of Beatles Trivial Pursuit of all time. That was maybe the fourth-best day of my year. I was crazy losing at the beginning, but then I found my strength and hella came up from behind. Which was so John Lennon of me! 

In the end, Liz let me win because she was tired and wanted to go to bed. Which was so Paul McCartney of her. 

A very beautiful thing that happened to me in the second half of 2012 is that I started loving Paul McCartney more than I've ever loved Paul McCartney. Sometimes people ask me "What's up?" and all I can think to say is "I love Paul McCartney!" 2012 was my George Harrison year because in 2012 I chilled the fuck out, and 2013 is going to be my Paul McCartney year because in 2013 I'm going to be a pragmatic and positive active doer. In 2013, I'm only going to make life choices that Paul McCartney would be able to stand behind. In 2014 I'll maybe go back to having a John Lennon year again. Before 2012 John Lennon years were the only type of year I'd ever known. They're definitely my safe space. 

Another very beautiful thing that happened to me in the second half of 2012 is that I started working in a restaurant and realized that I want to work in restaurants forever. Paul McCartney and eating a good meal are the only 2 things I can think of that in no way suck. Even puppies sometimes suck. They have diarrhea all over your belongings, and eat your shoes. Paul McCartney never does that. A meal can make you sick, but if a meal makes you sick, it's not a good meal. So that doesn't count. 

Last but not least, here is my tribute to all the best foods I ate in 2012. The pancakes shown above are most definitely included in this list. 

This is POTATO EGG JAR. Liz Barker and I ate POTATO EGG JAR at The Inn of the Seventh Ray in March. I've thought about it every day since. It's truffle potato foam, toasted bread crumbs, and a "63 degree egg." 63 degree egg, like I know what the fuck degrees mean in relation to eggs. Are you kidding me

On the first really cold day of the year I was wandering around running errands and I was starving. I had a stupid peanut butter Dipps and baggie of yogurt raisins in my bag and I was like "Just eat your snacks, Laura. Don't spend money on food. Eat your snacks and then eat some free food once you get to work. You can do this" but I was like "NO. I CAN'T. MY GRANOLA BAR AND YOGURT RAISINS SUCK TOO MUCH AND I DESERVE BETTER." I literally threw them in the garbage. Maybe that was overdramatic of me but whatever. It happened. I went to Feel Good Guru, which I thought was irritatingly-named until I ate there and left feeling tons more "good" than I did when I arrived, and bought a thing of 1/2 Make Kale Not War (irritating name) and 1/2 Bangkok Doc (less irritating but still lame). I ordered it as "half  kale, half Pad Thai" because I am incapable of saying embarrassing names of things. The Pad Thai is off the chain gorgeous. It is so much better than the ketchupy mush which is actual Pad Thai. It's kelp & zucchini noodles with sunflower sprouts, garlic chives, coriander, and "creamy zesty almond lime sauce." It was an intense and intensely beautiful flavor explosion. $14 well spent except hey guys maybe can it with the cutesy pun names. 

2012 was the year I discovered brunch. I'm really into brunch now. That's how you can tell I'm growing up. 

The thing on the left is Eggs Maradona at Bristol Yard. It's fried bread with a piece of thin steak, two poached eggs, and crazy chimichurri sauce on top. I can't even. This changed my world. Bristol Yard is British food in Toronto and there's even a picture of George Harrison on the wall! Plus the coffee is REALLY good and I never notice whether coffee is good or not. 

The albacore tuna sandwich at The Whippoorwill is my favorite new food of 2012. I haven't stopped talking about it since I first ate it two weeks ago. Every single person in my life knows that I ate the albacore tuna sandwich at the Whippoorwill and loved it. I am going back to the Whippoorwill tomorrow to eat it again and I plan on eating it minimum 12 times in 2013. Once per month. Done. If the Whippoorwill closes down in 2013 I'm going to die. Please everyone go to the Whippoorwill constantly so it can stay open forever and I don't have to die. This is very important to me. 

Anyway, that sandwich is a sort of weird and boring way of ending my 2012 wrap-up; I'm not so cool with it. So here's a picture of George and Ringo and a little dog. 

Peace, friends. 


  1. Anonymous31.12.12

    This post made me tear up with joy. You have inspired me to listen to Ram and Sandinista!, to celebrate Twin Peaks Day with some doughnut pancakes, and to be much, much more sparkle-infused.

    1. that's so wonderful to hear! happy new year, pal

  2. I'm so honoured that two of those delicious things were consumed with me, LJ.