Ten of my Favorite Things for 2013

by - Friday, December 27, 2013

10. Food Trucks, Instagram, and other Things that were cool 3 years ago- So, we are more than a little behind the trends, but I think it is fine to enjoy things a little late in the game. Especially when those things are my sandwich. The instagram thing didn't seem like it would have much appeal, but at least for now I am basically obsessed.There has to be a phase in life between being up on what is new before they are cool to not even caring, and I think we have safely landed in that middle ground. I could resent myself for being a middlebrow follower, or I can eat my beloved Bao sandwich. I will do both.
9. Wendy Davis's Filibuster- Specifically, the roar of the crowd (and her fellow congresspeople) who supported her. I watched that moment live, and teared up as the crowd of women pushed her through the final hour of her battle, drowning out Republican nastiness. I know that the bill was eventually passed, but that day still made a huge difference. It gave a face and a voice to feminist thinking in a state that is usually overwhelmingly conservative. It also demonstrated the very best we can be as feminists (and as citizens), building each other up and literally making our voices heard. I would like to believe that so much of the utter nastiness we have seen this year, especially directed toward women, are the final desperate grasps at patriarchal power from a party that increasingly alienates the majority of the population by desperately and openly wishing everyone who isn't like them would have no power. This small percentage of privileged, nasty people have to come to terms with the fact that democracy doesn't work in their favor. Of course, there will be desperate grabs for power (like having a special (and unconstitutional) session to push the bill through), but I think the sea change is happening, and nights like that one gave me hope.

8. Clark's Desert Boots- If they come on, we will have an adventure. They are the perfect adventure shoes, and they match everything. The only downside is that if you wear them for sitting down (like on an airplane), your feet will go numb in a bad way. My boots demand that I get up and do something. They are magic shoes. They are the shoes for a year all about getting up and doing something.
from www.sfile2012.com
7. Taystee and Poussey- I love Orange is the New Black. My favorite TV show this year, new or otherwise. My favorite friendship on the show which has so many beautiful, hilarious, and deep friendships is the one between Taystee and Poussey. Unlike some of the others, we don't know that much about their pasts, but these characters start out having a light comic relief type role in the story, and by the end, they get some of the best, most vulnerable scenes in the series. They encompass so many of the major strengths of the show- the bonds betweeen women, the frank discussion of bodies, cultures, and race, the issue of class, but most of all, that their bond can be gut-busting and gut wrenching all at once.
6. Saturday Morning Silent Films and Knitting- If you are needing a new hobby, watching early films and learning to knit are a shockingly effective combination. Silent Films are a lot, because even if they are not really popping, you can't look away without forfeiting comprehension. Knitting is the perfect companion, because it keeps you busy without using your eyes. Also, Buster Keaton and the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari are better with yarn.

5. Imagine Dragons "I'm on top of the World"- If this year were an album, this would be the big single off of it. For a while, it would make me cry when I heard it, but it was a constant reminder that you have to stay bright and positive. There are good days ahead of us.
4. "She's mad but she's magic. There's no lie in her fire."- Charles Bukowski- Favorite. I like this as an inspiration, but even more so as a goal.

3. Leonard (suck it, Nilai!)- That kid is the best.

from www.religionfacts.com

2.Ganesha and Less Holy Elephants-  Ganesha is the Hindu god that was created to guard his mother Parvati's privacy, but Ganesha is best known as the god of knowledge. He is strong, powerful, and intelligent, but at the same time he is gentle and loving. This combination of knowledge and love is so important to me, and I became really attached to the idea of Ganesha before the Big Break. When we went on safari in Kenya, I was struck by how beautiful the African Elephants were. I love a good matriarchical society, and they do move with incredible grace and love. Plus, they spend the majority of the day eating, and you can't fight with that.

1. Kindergarteners- The huge enthusiasm of these very small people saved my life this year. Working at Camp Galileo then at the Cantor Arts Center and the deYoung gave me a renewed sense of purpose and mission, but hanging out with kids all year reminded me of how much freaking joy there is to be had when you make stuff and learn new things. Kids can get excited about almost anything. I learned the secret to making them totally riveted by mixing paint and cleaning up scraps. Kindergarteners can be happy about almost anything. Also, they are terrible spellers, spectacular pin pixies, and totally unaware of their own awesomeness (also, of the common boundaries of personal space). It was a weird year to be sure, but I think about what my life would have been without it, and I feel sad for that person, who would have laughed a lot less and spent much less time with paint all over her fingers.

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