1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Two biennales! I wasn’t exactly involved in either of them. For the Whitney Biennale, I didn’t even get there in time to score tickets for Werner Herzog’s talk because bed…so…comfy…but I was more proactive the second time around when I joined the backyard camp for the Gwangju Biennale. First time sticking myself in an academic environment with I don’t know how many Koreans…a lot. A lot of Koreans. I promised myself I’d take my MA very seriously this year, and that includes the financial terms (i.e., “Have MA, will Travel”) of the whole ordeal (although ordeal isn’t exactly the word for it…), because I am only paying 60 bucks a semester for it, so this has been a very good year in terms of looking at modern and contemporary art. There was Ai Weiwei in Taipei, a Warhol retro in San Antonio, then Felix Gonzalez-Torres in Seoul and the whole of Gwangju. I think I sat through Fujiwara’s piece twice because serious daddy issues.
And I took the Greyhound from Austin to McAllen alone! Everyone I met was like, “make sure no one sticks a balloon full of coke up your ass.” BUT WHATEVER (I’m not saying “BUT WHATEVER!” because it happened, okay?)! And the random trip to Indonesia, that was lovely as well because observing how effortlessly sustainable Indonesian indie and punk rock looked only led to…
My first long-term writing project
which is a series of interviews with local artists who’ve been active in creating, performing, and producing music, which will later become the basis for a longer piece I haven’t completely threshed out yet.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2011: “I did not eat any meat…except that one time at Laneway.”
What the fuck. That’s not even a resolution.
For 2013, unless the building admin is a SUPER ASSHOLE and disregards my texts (WHICH HE REPLIED TO!), I’m beginning the year by putting a security deposit on my own place. That’s bound to spin itself into its own set of resolutions, specifically in terms of my relationship with my family. Oddly enough, I’m closer to both my siblings now that I rarely see them, but that comes with the territory in which you more easily cherish that which isn’t so readily available.
Either way, my own place! This means I have to start doing my own laundry!
3. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I’d had more patience with my dad. He’s getting old. On my end, it comes with maturity, and my temper is my own test of whether or not I’ve matured. Like cheese. That said, I still have a long way to go. I’m sorry, dad.
5. What was your greatest musical discovery?
TV Girl! TV Girl! TV Girl! Other than that, it’s been a lot of little rediscoveries here and there. Diego made me a megamix with The Go-Betweens, and that was magic right there. Johnny West sent me a lot of his CDs, which in all honesty I wouldn’t call my greatest musical discovery, but a great way to discover music.
6. What did you want and get?
Good fucking grades! Also I’m FINALLY getting the hang of teaching and dealing with students. After three years, I’m finally gaining some confidence and security with what I’m doing and the way I’m doing it.
I also saw a counselor for the first time and she said there’s nothing wrong with me: I just need to write more, so I guess that’s a good thing.
7. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27. I took my parents to see PETA’s stage adaptation of Lino Brocka’s Bona then we had dinner. My aunt also threw me a little surprise brunch with family; which was awesome, because I almost never celebrate with family. Come to think of it, this is the first time in more than a decade that I’ve celebrated my birthday with family. A day after that, I left for Seoul.
Best new people!
I met a lot of awesome people this year because of the aforementioned writing project and travelling around. I lost my grandmother on Christmas eve of this year, which was awful. My mom was asking if I had any black clothes she could borrow, but my lola never wore black. She liked color. Red, in particular. She once asked me to make her a lavender blouse and skirt ensemble. Lavender. And I remember her kind of bouncing around the living room in it.
But no new people are introducing themselves and no old relationships are being rekindled because of her death (at least not yet)). It’s quite the opposite, in fact, and that’s monumentally heartbreaking. But she was never bitter, she didn’t hold grudges, and she wasn’t mean, so the least I can do is to carry those good traits into the rest of my own life as a favor to her.
In other news, two of my nephews were born this year: Caleb and Nate. Caleb is my brother’s kid and Nate is my cousin Noel’s kid. I guess there’s a nice and meaty shred of truth in what Vonnegut said about it all coming down to family.