Sunday, December 24, 2000

The latest word on my car: it is going to a garage on the 26th. There is something wrong with it, but my dad has not been able to figure out what it is. With any luck, it will be finished by the 04th.

np: nothing.
Every year Dan puts together "Hippopatami", his (huge) list of significant things that have happened to him over the course of a year, and this year I thought that I would try my hand at something similar.

the first year of the new millennium is about to wind down and become another page in our history textbooks. this year was riddled with new high and low points, as well as an entire book of firsts for me. i spent this year exploring the country, my backyard, friends, family, and myself. i've learned so much, and this year has been good, but i have a feeling that 2001 will be even better and i will learn so much more. i can't go a day without learning something new.

i want to take the time to thank all of those that have made this year special for me, and all of the events and landmarks that will allow me to look back at the year 2k with a smile.

*[the roadtrip 05.16-06.02]
i was never supposed to go out on the road with dan, but my summer plans changed, and i thought i would have enough money to spend three weeks on the road with him. even if i didn't, it was an experience i will remember forever. i saw so many many things i will never see again, and met many amazing people. the list of thanks is too long: amanda who shared her room with us for two nights in lake forest (and helped me to start seriously considering chicago as a place to finish my undergrad.), my wonderful friend jenny in madison who took us around in the torrential rain on my 21st birthday, kat and scott in san fran, will and heidi in biloxi, my uncle marshall in san jose, and all of the other amazing people dan and i met in the wide open spaces of western u.s. and beyond.

*[ms. trAcie AmirAnte]
after knowing her for nearly a year through e-mail and such, i was finally able to meet her in the halls of chicago's o'hare international airport on september 27th 2000, early in the morning. she and her sister arrived late, but it was well worth the wait--i have spent a lot of wonderful time with her since then, and i can only see this increasing in the future. she has helped me to see all of the little things that make a day more magical than the last, plus she is one of the finest writers i have ever had the pleasure of reading.

her friends and family are a superb, diverse group of individuals, and her sister is a talented visual artist.

*[my family]
my family has always been there, in the smooth and the rough, and this year has been no different. each and every person has helped me greatly and furthered my journey as an adult. i know that sometimes i have trouble transmitting my thoughts and feelings vocally, but i do love each and every one of you, and wish you only the greatest of new years.

*[border's #175 in reading, pa]
i've been working for border's for two and half years, and i have always showed a bit of favoritism towards my first borders, #10 in rockville, md. there is itai who has become one of my best friends, jen who has become a big sister to me who opened my eyes to the world of hip hop, and kerry who introduced me to the world of jazz and wednesday nights at lautrec (sp?).

the time i've spent at border's reading has lasted much longer, though, and i've forged some very solid relationships with a very kindhearted and deep group of individuals (individuals in the truest sense of the word): sulyn, dan g., dan r., jes, raina, joel, andy, holly, and the others i am only getting to know now. they are as diverse as antarctica and africa, and have opened my eyes and ears to many new things.

plus, there are the managers that not only remind me to work, but are becoming fast friends, like stephen and jennifer.

*[jenny ng]
my best friend that i had never met. until may 18th of this year. as she drove us in and around madison, the rains poured ever so harder, coating her car in a thick, foamy wash that interrupted our field of vision, yet never dampened our fun. we visited record and book stores, ate a fine asian cuisine, and tasted all that could be in the confines of one day.

*[pitchfork and my other writing adventures in the windy city]
for those of you who may not know, pitchfork is the most widely read indie rock magazine on the web. it is filled with stories and reviews written in an innovative, tongue-in-cheek fashion, and with the finest unpaid writers on the web.

my first real job writing on the web was as a columnist for rocket-fuel in 1998, and after three months there, i quit because i was unhappy with my editor, the infamous, brent dicrescenzio (sp?). during a lazy summer day this past july, the web-zine i had read faithfully for three years, pitchfork, was searching for reviewers, and who wouldn't jump at the chance to wrote for one of their favorite magazines? i did just that, submitting a review of "domestica" by cursive. page editor ryan liked it, but they were inundated by submissions, so they sent me to news department. since then, the journalistic side of me as a writer has grown by leaps and bounds, and i have found a way to incorporate creativity into music journalism. and love brent!

the windy city seems to be where it's at with me as a writer. i've done a heap of writing for hyper pr, and i still have a lot more to send them (it will be there soon, atsu!), as well as some other ventures in the area. look for me as a student there this fall.

*[books]
who cares about books? they are so twentieth century! well, i do, and every one should. i have read some amazing pieces of literature this year: from "life after god" by douglas coupland to "the stranger" by albert camus, my mind has been opened to pieces new and old, those that are classics and those that have only been seen by the select few. written expression is quite possibly the most amazing thing ever (besides spring) and i am glad that i have been given the gift of the communication in that form.

*[movies]
the year at the cinema has been quite dismal, but there have been a few diamonds in the rough. here is my short list:

-billy elliott.
a brilliant and human story about a boy who has a gift for ballet, taking place in a northern england coal-mining village that is marred by a strike. it takes an introspective look at class (a favorite of english cinema), family, and politics that has left me raving about this movie since eric and i viewed it a few weeks ago. my favorite movie since american beauty.

-the best in show.
a fine "mockumentary" about dog shows and their owners. from the creator of "waiting for guffman"

-liberty heights.
this came out last year, but i just saw it over thanksgiving. directed by barry levinson (homicide, diner, tin men, and avalon), it takes a look at jewish youth growing up in 1950's baltimore and the scorn they faced from their christian neighbors in a time that was still electrified by wwII and the holocaust.

-harold and maude.
a classic movie i first viewed this september. it illustrates the true meaning of being an individual and the true meaning of friendship.

[music]
music this year has not been as great as years past, but there were a few bands that made me light up.

-modest mouse.
perhaps the finest band around. they trail the fine line between art and destruction, and they do it beautifully. each and every line is quotable, and they have the knack for bringing out unimaginable sounds from the guitar. my faith in rock music has been restored by these guys.

-bright eyes.
by chance i heard conor and the rest of the band last year, by i didn't pay any mind to them until i heard "fevers and mirrors" this year. this is quite possibly the deepest and most emotional band playing today.

and the others: ida, elliott smith, coldplay, jj72, rainer maria, joan of arc, sleater-kinney, and jimmy eat world.

-jazz.
after kerry played john coltrane for me in '98, i became an instant fan. this year, i have consumed albums from thelonius monk, astrud gilberto, dexter gordon, miles davis, cecil taylor, the sorts, and many more.
...and the other music that was made before i was born: frank sinatra, sergio mendez, rosemary clooney, mel torme, aretha franklin, nick drake, bob dylan, and the supremes.

-hip hop.
not all of it is negative and profanity-littered. the ubiquitous de la soul, jurassic 5, and mos def are prime examples.

[kids]
kids are great. they have such an open-mind that is not yet molded by our society. they are naturally curious and always willing to try something new. i come into contact with many at work, and they are a delight to converse with.

[school]
as much as i hated high school and all of the ridicule i received, i have come to love college. it is a lot of work to earn those "A's" and "B's", but it is worth it in the end. i have met a lot of people in school, both classmates and professors (ron borkert, dr. jacobson, and derek arnold come to mind) and the opportunities i have are endless. i hope my experiences in chicago are just as fruitful.

this past semester was great. a prof asked to keep a paper i laboured hours and hours over because he thought it was that good and i was able to come into my own as a public speaker--something i thought would never happen. this coming semester looks to be even better. i am taking a few writing courses and i am getting published in the school literary magazine. plus, i am continuing into my third semester as a dj at wcur 91.7 in west chester. doug and i will be on the air from 4.30-7pm thursday nights.

[my webpage]
i've been neglecting it a lot lately, but in the almost three years that i have been labouring over it, i have met many wonderful people and have been able to express myself in ways unimaginable previously.

highlights include:
-interviews with karate and davey from the promise ring
-all of the creative writing that has been submitted for me to post. it is all wonderful in many unique ways.
-jess's photos, which will be posted soon.
-all of the people who have written me: thanks :)

[the jeffreylist]
the only mailing list that i am on where everyone gets along and freely trades ideas. i have met many oh so many wonderful people on that list (trAcie, jimmy, nicole, and on and on), and jeffrey is one of the coolest list masters ever.

is anyone else looking forward to the january mix tape trade?


i hope i didn't forget anything and anyone. i see 2001 as a good year--a new city to attend school, new classes, new people, new writings, and a book which i hope to complete soon.

i hope your holidays are good.

thanks and see everyone in the new year.

np: nothing.