well, here we are. the last day of 2016. in my final post of 2015, i said 2015 was garbage. if i was correct, and 2015 was garbage, then in 2016 we lit 2015 on fire, and we had a fucking garbage fire. the first few days of 2016 were quiet and i was blessed enough to spend them with loved ones. my best friend and i were having drinks on david bowie's birthday and i was talking about how much i loved him as the dj spun "modern love" and "china girl" back to back while wearing a labyrinth tee. i told him that black star was a brilliant album, but it was very dark and moody. david bowie was dead two days later. sharing something beautiful to be followed up by something painful basically describes the year i've had; the year i think most of us have had. the death of so many luminous artists. flint. aleppo. philando castille. standing rock. brexit. trump. but, there were babies born and weddings. laughter and joy. live music and good movies and new restaurants and great books. there was a lot of good and bad. i started the year in a very dark place. i wasn't working and that affected my mental health deeply; i'm still clearing some of the cobwebs and rebuilding my life financially. however, i'm ending the year happier than i've been in a very long time, and in awe of how much can change in twelve months. i found work i love, i fell in love again (it didn't work out), i went to shows, i made new friends, i made new bonds with old ones. it was an interesting year, and one i'm not likely to forget soon.
THE BIG 2016 LIST [ALL IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER]
-THINGS I LOVED ABOUT 2016
i was able to spend a lot of time with my mom this year. i went to more shows that i can remember. i took a few road trips. i reconnected with my big sis. i watched my friends' children grow. i started a job i love. i lost weight, and then gained it, and then lost it again. there was so many good albums released this year. i grew. that's what i'm most proud of this year. i grew by leaps and bounds. things i had learned about myself over the past few years i put into application and i became a better person. i was able to end regular treatment with my therapist; we both agreed that my mental health was the best it had been since i started seeing her, and i was applying the things i'd learned. i hate to be cliche, but i've really begun to live my best life.
-THINGS I HATED ABOUT 2016
where do i even fucking begin? everything felt brutal and raw this year, like poking an open wound. and on one hand, it made the good times feel that much better, but on the other hand, the rest of the year felt like having an anxiety attack while being hung over. the world lost a lot of heroes; to paraphrase my friend richard, "people who have influenced us, who played characters that we only dreamt of being, that we pretended to be when we were young (or even now), who's music got us through hard times (breakups, deaths, and more), who shaped who we are with their music, their characters, or just their lives". hatred and bigotry were normalized and applauded. innocent people were murdered by their governments, and it was broadcast for our consumption. there was so much ugliness, and i'm afraid it's only going to get worse.
-THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2016
this year was a ridiculously good year for music, and there are still a bunch of albums i haven't been able to listen to yet.
david bowie; black star // panic! at the disco; death of a bachelor // the hamilton soundtrack // rihanna; anti // sia; this is acting // ra ra riot; need your light // the 1975; i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it // hands like houses; dissonants // macklemore & ryan lewis; this unruly mess i've made // gwen stefani; this is what the truth feels like // zayn; mind of mine // baby metal; metal resistance // the lumineers; cleopatra // the deftones; gore // sleeping with sirens; live and unplugged // the used; live and acoustic at the palace // blaqk audio; material // beyonce; lemonade // pierce the veil; misadventures // issues; headspace // tiger army; v // beartooth; agressive // band of horses; why are you okay // nick jonas; last year was complicated // bat for lashes; the bride // blink-182; california // emarosa; 131 // good charlotte; youth authority // billy talent; afraid of heights // crystal castles; amnesty // frank ocean; endless and blonde // lindsey starling; brave enough // britney spears; glory // carly rae jepson; emotion: side b // a day to remember; bad vibrations // travis scott; birds in the trap sing mcknight // of mice & men; cold world // skylar grey; natural causes // every time i die; low teens // banks; the alter // solange; a seat at the table // phantogram; three // set it off; upside down // lady gaga; joanne // avenged sevenfold; the stage // waterparks; double dare // sleigh bells; jessica rabbit // miranda lambert; the weight of these wings // the weeknd; starboy // childish gambino; awaken, my love!
look below for my 2016 most listened to on spotify playlist*.
-THE BEST MOVIES OF 2016
not such a good year for movies though.
pride and prejudice and zombies, deadpool, zootopia, captain america: civil war, keanu, ghostbusters, star trek beyond, pete's dragon, blair witch, the girl on the train, doctor strange, loving, fantastic beasts and where to find them, moana, rogue one, fences, hidden figures
-THE BEST TV SHOWS OF 2016
i'm behind on some of the new shows that premiered this year; binge watching has ruined me and i never watch things as they air anymore. of what i saw; i have to call out stranger things and westworld, obviously. i'm also gonna give it up to this year's season finale of game of thrones, and the episode of scandal where OP had an abortion on screen.
-THE BEST BOOKS OF 2016
i think i read even fewer books this year than last year. that makes me really unhappy, however, there's a plan in the works to combat that and you'll know more about that soon. that said, there were a few standouts for me this year.
ready player one by earnest cline (i can't believe they're making this a movie. how?? how is this all going to fit into one movie?).
liar by justine larbalestier (i stayed up and read this is one night. in fact, i might read it again over my long weekend).
gray by pete wentz (this book made me feel nostalgic in a good way. the end gutted me).
more happy than not by adam silvera (i read it twice this year, both times in less than 24 hours).
moonshine by alaya dawn johnson (the vampire novel market is over saturated, but i genuinely enjoyed this).
love in the time of global warming/the island of excess love by francesca lia block (so much yes to both of these).
wood nymph meets centaur by francesca lia block (turns out i'm a banshee/vamp and should be dating centaurs instead of fuckboys. who knew?).
armada by ernest cline (i'm willing to bet earnest cline spends a lot of time on reddit talking about how cool he is).
harry potter and the cursed child (harry potter: the christmas special/also, don't fuck with time travel, a cautionary tale. i liked it tho).
-THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017
abundance in all areas of my life.
-HOW I DID ON MY 2016 GOALS
find fulfilling work--i definitely did this and i feel like the luckiest girl ever. i work for a company and brand that i've admired since i was a kid. i get to write about music and pop culture everyday. there's a civic component. i work with amazing people in a culturally rich environment. there are tons of benefits. i know i'm going to grow and further my personal goals here. it's just a really good fit, and it couldn't have come sooner or worked out better for me.
work/life balance--this evened out when i found my current job, but it was shit the first half of the year. i wasn't working steadily, so i felt guilty for trying to have a social life, because i shouldn't have been spending money like that. then, i was working at a start up in santa monica and spending 3.5 hours in traffic everyday and wanting to die, and i didn't even like the job. i am now in a job that i enjoy, my commute (while still being long) is shorter, and i make enough money to enjoy myself without being worried about the bills.
beautify my home life (my place kinda looks like leslie knope's)-- i sucked at this. if anything, i made things worse.
revamp my wardrobe-- this goal is a work in progress, but i am much closer to where i'd like to be in my overall personal style and my closet has grown dramatically this year. fashion is always evolving, anyway. i'm gonna call this a win.
eat better food-- i did a lot better at eating mindfully and varying what i ate, so i didn't end up in a food rut, but i was not as healthy as i wanted to be and my weight certainly fluctuated. i do want to trim a few pounds in the coming months.
purge unwanted and unnecessary junk-- if we're talking about people and relationships, then yes i did that. if we're talking about actual physical stuff, i failed.
spend more time outdoors-- if by outside, we mean under my covers with netflix, then yes, yes i did this.
make this blog a priority
do more creative work
spend more time actually outdoors
move (preferably to mid-city, silverlake/echo park, or long beach)
get more tattoos
take moxi skate classes
start circus training again
lastly, a bit of blog news. this site is going to be going purposefully dark for about six weeks or so. not that it would be surprising, considering i haven't adhered to a regular publishing schedule to begin with. like it says above, i'd like to make this blog and my creative pursuits a priority in 2017 and give this space my best; so i am taking some time "away", to revamp this space, organize and beautify it; and make a plan and schedule for 2017. when i come back, things are going to be better than ever. promise.