1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Roller Derby!!! AAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Also, first conference presentation ever and it had to be in Portugal. Long story short, the original plan was to go to Portugal in 2013 for Primavera Sound Fest, ended up going the next year (meaning the one that just ended) for completely different reasons.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t think I’ve resolved to do anything new since 2012’s resolution to start doing my own laundry. I think I should stop smoking but…what else am I supposed to do with my hands??! Maybe I should just start putting them in my pockets, thus, I resolve to only wear clothes with pockets. #2014

3. What do you wish you’d done more of?

…I don’t know, really. Maybe I should have eaten healthier because I don’t know what’s up with the pocket of walrus blubber collecting around my middle but I’ve made peace with it, more or less (although I would prefer less, I guess, of myself that is). Maybe if I stop smoking my metabolism will speed up?

4. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Imperial Topaz, although I wouldn’t really call them “great”. I just like them a lot and it led to a lot of rediscoveries from the period where I just hoarded music, stuff like Lightning Bolt and Avey Tare got better listens, thanks to a premium subscription to Spotify which has an option to take playlists offline. It really works out when you don’t have an internet connection at home.

Favorites for this year were Future Islands, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, The Purplechickens, Dean Wareham, The Antlers, Ava Luna, and Jenny Lewis.

5. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29. Had lunch with a guy I was seeing then accompanied my mom to the Palanca Awards.

6. People:

I met a lot of amazing women this year, beginning with the women behind the Museum of Ideas (Museo ng Kaalamang Katutubo or MusKKat) who took me on as a research assistant at the beginning of 2014, until I left for the states to visit my sister. That’s where I met Greta, who trains Assassination City Roller Derby’s Fresh Meat pool, and all the other lovely ladies I’ve had the opportunity to skate with. Before that, Mami Kataoka, who was an excellent mentor, along with Patrick Flores, for the Vargas Museum’s Curatorial Workshop last March. And of course, Eileen, who so graciously took on my thesis as an adviser and saw it through to the proposal defense just a month ago, and will keep holding my hand ’til May.

Year Zero

Advanced 2014 Round-up Super Special

Earlier today, I received the contact sheet from yesterday’s shoot for an exhibition catalog I’m working on with the curators of Forces at Work (ongoing at the Vargas Museum ’til January 20, 2015). After replying to the photographer (the lovely Sandra Dans) and forwarding it to the curators with her notes, I realized this is the project I’m ending the year with.

I was so sure I’d be unemployed upon returning from the post-burnout-Roller Derby junket I went on in the middle of the year. Having done the required reading on taking jobs in the arts as a measure of committing to a life of precarity and perpetually being broke, I think I got off easy by returning to a life where I always have something to work on–besides my thesis. It should be a sign of a good year when it begins and ends with work you actually enjoy or jobs you’re willing to commit to memory with people you admire. The letters we send each other in the process are no exception, with that last letter beginning with “Happy baby time!” or something like that, addressed to Mayumi Hirano, who’s headed back to Japan to give birth. Maira Kalman’s on The Great Discontent and, like many things in this life, more things than I’m willing to give it credit for, I love her!

I have no job, but I work, and this year, I worked on things I like, with people I like, and this has been a great year.

I tried to transcribe the comments my panel made at my thesis proposal defense, but I couldn’t hear most of what they were saying over all the giggling. There are a few clear points, bright spots amid the noise, but the best part came at the end where Patrick (Flores, former boss and former professor), was getting up to leave, saying “This isn’t the last thing you’re going to do in your academic career.”–which of course I interrupted with, “OR IS IT!” And giggling. There will always be giggling.