Lists, Lists, Lists

Reading List 2019

  • I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson (autobiographical)
  • Calypso by David Sedaris (autobiographical: reread)
  • Barrel Fever by David Sedaris (autobiographical: reread)
  • The Tao of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards (biographical)
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (fun fiction read)
  • You’re on an Airplane by Parker Posey (autobiographical)
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (creative-inspirational: friend recommendation)
  • Please Stop the Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey (silly fun read)
  • Squeaky Poems by Jack Handey (silly fun read)
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker (autobiographical)
  • Post Office by Charles Bukowski (autobiographical: reread)
  • Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski (autobiographical)
  • Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch (creative-inspirational: friend recommendation)

I think I read more this year than last year, and would like to read even more in 2020 (I’ll probably start with Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism to inspire me to invest in less screen-oriented ‘activity’ in the new year). Autobiographies were the thing in 2019, and that makes sense to the subconscious me, on my own voyage of self-rediscovery after losing said self before we moved from NJ and our crazy art business there.

Some titles I’d like to read in the start of the new decade:

  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport (psych/self-help)
  • The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin (psych/self-help: friend recommendation)
  • 52 Lists for Calm by Moorea Seal (psych/self-help)
  • The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan (psych/self-help: friend recommendation)
  • This Book Will Change Your Life: 365 Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living by Benrik (creative-inspirational)
  • Everything that Can Happen in a Day by David Horvitz (creative-inspirational)
  • The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. (non-fiction/psych/self-help)
  • I’m Just Here for the Drinks by Sother Teague (history/recipe: gift from a friend)
  • Mockingbird Wish Me Luck by Charles Bukowski (poetry/autobiographical)
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (fiction: gift from a friend)
  • David Sedaris Diaries: A Visual Compendium edited by Jeffrey Jenkins (creative-inspirational/autobiographical: signed copy!)

I’d like to finish the following:

  • The Nine Rooms of Happiness by Lucy Danziger and Catherine Birndorf, M.D. (psych/self-help)
  • Just When You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin, it Starts to Sag by Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth (psych/self-help)
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (non-fiction)
  • Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper (history/non-fiction: signed {by now-friend} copy!)
  • A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol by David Dalton with photographs by David McCabe (biographical: gift from a friend)

Worth a re-read:

  • Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton (autobiographical)
  • The World According to Mr. Rogers by Fred Rogers (autobiographical/inspirational: gift from a friend)
  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson (psych/self-help)
  • 14,000 Things to be Happy About. by Barbara Ann Kipfer (creative-inspirational; still-highlighted copy from middle school)

A bit ambitious, but I’ll revisit this list in a year to see what I got through…undoubtedly there will be others making their way into my hands along the way.

Lists, Lists, Lists

The Year in Music

I really got into music again this year–it is my poetry of choice for catharsis. It’s typically been daydreamy/shoegaze-y sounds evoking feelings of desire, despair, joy, love, romance, and sadness (and usually some heart-wrenching combo of those) that have always drawn me in. I don’t even have to know the words or have them make complete sense (ie, Grimes or Blonde Redhead/Kazu) for me to get lost in them because the emotions are so well-conveyed by the artists. This is my year of feelings in music:

  • Beach House (esp. 7, B-Sides and Rarities, Depression Cherry, Bloom)
  • Bjork (anything–a new love)
  • Blonde Redhead (Barragan, Penny Sparkle, 23, Misery is a Butterfly)
  • Cemetaries (Barrow, The Wilderness–so in new love)
  • Chromatics (everything)
  • Cigarettes after Sex (everything–new love)
  • Depeche Mode (particularly Ultra)
  • Grimes (anything, and especially Visions)
  • Kazu Makino (Adult Baby, so good!)
  • Lana del Rey (NFR! and all else)
  • Morrissey (always)
  • Porcelain Raft (anything)
  • Still Corners (anything)
  • Twin Peaks Soundtrack station on Pandora (that Lykke Li)
Lists, Lists, Lists

Found Friday: List Love

Some of my favorite found lists. This crazy one was found by our friend Jenifer in Philadelphia, outside of her art gallery:

What is going on?? You be the judge.
Lists, Lists, Lists

You know you’re in the South when…

  • young folk call you ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’
  • there aren’t enough ‘buggies’ to go around in the Goodwill
  • you take a left after Rodney’s Rockets to get to work
  • you see a guy walking along a main road, just carrying a big old flag
  • it’s okay to make a pile of stuff in your yard and just set it on fire
  • the square footage of the cars on your lawn > your actual living space
  • you have pit stains just going to get the mail (and it’s not even June)
  • removing bugs from the house is a daily occurrence
  • you see a spiky spider egg case by your front door and you hope it’s from the adorably punk-rock Spiny Orb-Weaver spider, but it’s not–it’s from a Brown Widow
  • you can drive 10 miles in any direction and find some crazy rural roadside art
  • you can’t buy beer on a Sunday, even though it’s for sale in the grocery store
  • the clerks at the post office don’t care for the modern art stamps you’re so excited about
  • buildings are stuccoed in oyster shells
  • road names are really creative
  • yard sales are year-round
  • you can’t find any good shopping lists because people don’t litter down here
Lists, Lists, Lists

List Love: Job City

I used to cringe when I thought about how many jobs I’ve had in my life, never really staying in one place for too long. Was my ADD that bad? Could I not commit? A lot of people have the same job for years–what was wrong with me? It wasn’t until I owned my first business that I realized the problem all along: I was meant and designed to work for myself. Some jobs I liked better than others, but I’ve never flourished in places that didn’t give me enough to do, that were micromanaged, that were challenging without being overwhelming, or that didn’t allow me to use my unique skill set to improve things, if I could. As a highly-sensitive person, the noises and smells (esp. perfumes/colognes) were too much. I always felt trapped, and eventually quit. Now I’m grateful for all of those skills and little backgrounds, and just as appreciative for learning how I didn’t want my work life and immediate environment to be. They have all led me to my current–and most confident–path. I almost thought it would never come.

‘List your past jobs’
Chronicle makes the best books!
Lists, Lists, Lists

Cookies (lots of them)

This is what my book title of found grocery and other lists will be when I publish it, and it’s inspired by an exact item from one of my all-time favorite list finds (Wal-Mart parking lot, Woodbury, NJ, 2018).

Discovering and picking up scraps of paper that strangers have discarded is fascinating to me, but it’s also kinda gross. I’m a bit of a germophobe and a nearly-compulsive hand washer, so I do my best to suspend any reservations I have about carrying around dirty found-on-the-ground lists until they’re safe at home in a sealed germy box and my hands are thoroughly disinfected. But I must do it. I must pick them up, because any tiny bit of info about humanity I could possibly garner is valuable stuff. It’s a universal thing to want to know about other humans and to figure out how we’re doing by comparison. I read the FOUND zines sometime back in 2015, over a dozen years after they were first published. I’d seen them online and thought they looked interesting, but didn’t read them til later for whatever reason. Turns out later was the right time, because FOUND: The Musical came to town at the end of 2016, and Davy Rothbart came to Temple University in March of 2017. If FOUND hadn’t been on my radar at that time, I probably would have missed both awesome events. We got to meet Davy and his brother Peter (a musician who makes songs out of some of the finds) and read some of our own finds for the podcast he recorded at Temple. Not sure if our reads ever made the cut, but if I find out they did, I’ll post it on here.

I had collected lost handwritten notes before finding FOUND, but after those experiences, I was a hard-core devoted Finder of Lost Lists, Notes, and Other Interesting Things. I post them regularly on #FoundStuffFridays from my Instagram account @themcclectic. It’s the one instance I don’t mind people littering. There are lots of us finders out there, and you’re probably one too–if you’re curious, vigilant, and willing to pick up stepped-on, driven-over crumpled-up papers for a chance of getting a peek into the human brain. We’re ALL quirky, every one of us. Some hide it better than others (not it), and I really enjoy seeing those quirks expressed in something as simple as a grocery list item like ‘cookies (lots of them).’