One of my favorite non denominational holiday songs is "What A Year For A New Year", by Dan Wilson. The first time I heard it was on a 2002 holiday music compilation CD called "Maybe, this Christmas" that was distributed by KCRW, LA's NPR station. Still to this day, 18 years later, it's the only Christmas-ey album I actually like.
We need it like we needed life, I guess.
Something about those words hit differently this time around, after a year that knocked the collective crap out of pretty much everyone. We need this like we need life. What a year for a new year. Oklahoma City, my home for the next two days, woke up blanketed in a foot of snow. A fresh start. It's time for a common recalibration and a sense of getting back on track. It's time for Springtime.
Last night, I hosted an intimate private jazz concert at my house. We had a sax-keys-drums jazz combo come by early in the day, around 4:30, and play til' 7. I was filled with joy over the fact that six out of the nine masked friends in my living room were strangers even a few months ago. We all drank champagne and danced in utter amazement and fascination at the level of beautiful musical skill we were witnessing. Timo brought his saxophone and played with Spunk, the leader of the trio. When they played together, it was like eavesdropping on a conversation in a foreign language that you only sort of understand, but most definitely feel on a cellular level. I'm overcome with pride when I think about the friends I've made this year (of all years to make lifelong friends!) and I have a bittersweet twang in my heart when I think about how these next few days are going to go.
What a night for a sunrise.Here's how these next few days are going to go:
I'm moving to LA. I've been living by myself in a three bedroom house all year. I haven't had roommates since 2015. I love it because it's just me and Memphis, my lab-husky, but this year is going to see change to that. I had an opportunity for a life change present itself, and I took it. In a couple of days, I'm packing up my trusty, rickety old 2001 Honda CR-V along with a few boxes, a few bags, and the dog to make the drive west across I-40 as far as it'll go, until we wind up at our new home, a lovely apartment in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. I'll have two incredible roommates who I can't wait to get to know better, and I'll be centrally located in the city I grew up in. It will be a grand homecoming.
As of two days ago, I'm officially unemployed. After a year and a half building Fringe with Sophia Janz, my amazing cofounder, I've handed over the reigns and resigned my shares of our partnership. I'm thrilled for what she's going to continue to build, and I'll still be involved on projects here and there. I'm confident that Fringe's best days still lie ahead, and I'm cheering everyone on every step of the way.As for me, I'm thinking a lot about how design can work at scale. I don't want to say a whole lot right now, but after a brief break (we all know I can't stay quiet TOO long) I'll have more news about my next projects. It's called Circusfish!, and that new path is already looking to be a long and exciting one.
A few notes from the year: I started 2020 with a goal to write a song. In December, I wrote two songs. Thanks, Justin. During early quarantine, I rediscovered a new love for cooking and realized I'm actually a very very talented chef. When this pandemic nonsense is over, I think I'd like to stage in a kitchen somewhere. I like the idea of chopping onions and getting yelled at for hours on end. A more personal goal I had was to broaden my group of friends, especially friends that truly uplift and inspire me. For a while I've thought that I would always have a large group of acquaintances and very few real friends— and this year I proved that wrong. I love my friends, all over the world but especially my OKC putes. Y'all know who you are.I didn't get to travel as much as I'd hoped, but I still had chances to get a few quick trips in. Key West with Brody was the perfect 24th birthday, and Fraser with The Ampersand Crew couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks to everyone who was a part of that. I fell in love and experienced gutting heartbreak, which I'm grateful for, too.
And now? I'm hunkered down with a Sazerac, listening to French Rap, and writing stories— because some things will simply never change. However, I'd like to end this little note with a story about personal growth.
I used to operate under the assumption that everyone, if given total creative control, has a perfectly ideal idiosyncratic breakfast. Mine, for example, was scrambled eggs, slightly cheesy, with crispy hash browns and burnt bacon. I'd always stress to whoever was taking my order that I wanted them to be personally embarrassed at the state of the bacon as it came out. Burnt, burnt. I'd crack the bacon into tiny bits and mix it in the eggs, and eventually mix the eggs into the hash browns. "Breakfast is meant to be a textural experience", I'd say. Recently, I've started ordering my breakfast differently, which for me is huge. Now I get eggs over easy with sausage links and hash browns. I'll plop an egg over half of the hash browns and let the yolk mix with the potatoes. There's no moral or resolution to this story, I just wanted to share it. Maybe I'm just really passionate about brunch. Make of it what you will.
Happy 2021, friends.