This Year

Happy Holidays readers! Yesterday, there was a blizzard in Oklahoma City that shut down all the interstates and there are still drifts of snow as high as five feet around the city. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I was celebrating Christmas with my friend Sophie’s family in France, yet when I think of everything that’s happened this year it’s hard to believe it could all fit in 12 months. I thought I would go back through the months and list some of the things I did, and add a song that I associate with that month.


Celebrated New Year’s Eve on a bridge in Paris.
Heard Gregorian Chants in Notre-Dame de Paris.
Experienced Jeff Koons’ sculptures at Versailles.
Snowboarded in the French Alps.
Snowshoed through a Narnia-like forest.
Walked in the steps of the Avignon popes.
Hiked past icy waterfalls.
Participated in a French work strike.
Rocked to Of Montreal at their Paris concert.

Song: Can – Vitamin C
A dancy 1970s track from experimental West German group Can to start my year off right.
From the album Ege Bamyasi

Bicycled to art museums in Paris.
Observed the city lights from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Accidentally got locked in Cimetière du Père Lachaise in the snow.
Recoiled from medical curiosities at the Musée Dupuytren.
Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar multiple times to French children.
Traveled the furthest east I’ve ever been in Europe, to Berlin.
Watched the Handsome Furs perform in a club under the S-Bahn.
Attended the Berlinale Film Festival.
Discovered East German street art.
Stayed up until I saw the sun rise on my last night in Berlin.

Song: Zookeeper – Snow in Berlin
Although I didn’t see it snow in Berlin, I did see rain turn to ice on my gloves.
From the album Becoming All Things

More alpine snowboarding, this time with less falling.
Visited Van Gogh subjects in Arles.
Celebrated Carnival in Romans.
Toasted to St. Patrick’s Day with a Guinness at a French Irish pub.
Explored the 13th century ruins of the Château de Crussol.
Saw all things provençal in Aix-en-Provence.
Discovered traces of the Roman Empire in Vienne.
Survived the freezing rain in Marseille.
Heard some Lithuanian punk music at a venue in Valence.

Song: Slowdive – 40 Days
The melancholy beauty of this song fits with the feeling I had in March that my time in France was running out too fast.
From the album Souvlaki


Greeted my parents at the train station in Nice.
Walked along the French Riviera beaches.
Admired the luxuries of Monaco.
Picnicked on olives and cheese by a castle overlooking Valence.
Hiked up through the vineyards at Tain l’Hermitage.
Danced on the Pont d’Avignon.
Walked up to the basilica in Lyon.
Celebrated my 24th birthday.
Scaled “slug mountain” with intrepid friends in Voiron.
Saw some mirror werewolf sculptures in Grenoble.
Visited charming Nîmes in Provence.

Song: Matt & Kim – Daylight
The lyric in this song, “in the daylight anywhere feels like home,” defines my 2009 nomad state.
From the album Grand


Explored Paris from a concert in the bottom of an Oberkampf club to the top of the Parc de Belleville.
Traveled to Rome for my first Italian adventure.
Tossed a coin over my shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.
Ate too much gelato in front while sitting in front of the Pantheon.
Climbed to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
Said goodbye to Valence, my home in France.
Spent my last night in Europe walking along the Seine.
Flew back to Oklahoma City.
Attended a friend’s wedding in Dallas.

Song: Jeffrey Lewis – Moving
This song about packing all your things and starting a new home somewhere else could be my theme for the past six years.
From the album City & Eastern Songs

Watched biplanes fly over Bartlesville.
Visited friends in Norman.
Worked at the arts institute at Quartz Mountain.
Enjoyed photography, painting, poetry, dance, music, and acting from the Quartz students.
Saw lightning streak over a pitch black Oklahoma sky.
Listened to a reading by a former poet laureate.
Remembered why I missed Oklahoma.

Song: Sigur Rós – Gobbledigook
This song was used in the Quartz Mountain yearbook, and I think it has the summer wonder of the month of June.
From the album Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

Spent time in my hometown, Bartlesville
Watched fireworks for the Fourth of July.
Attended the Dfest music festival in Tulsa.
Relaxed after many months of moving.
Enjoyed staying in one place for a little while .

Song: Gogol Bordello – Mishto
We saw many great acts at Dfest, but for me Gogol Bordello put on the most energetic and memorable performance.
From the album Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike

Visited friends in Dallas.
Moved to an apartment in New York City.
Adopted Brooklyn as my new home.
Endured the summer heat through frequent trips to Central Park.
Watched US Open tennis players play in Bryant Park.
Tried to assimilate into Williamsburg, the center of hipsterdom.

Song: Destroyer – Certain Things You Ought To Know
This song came up on my iPod before I boarded the plane to New York, its its tone capturing the uncertainty I felt starting my life over again in yet another place.
From the album Your Blues

Saw Greek theatre in Central Park.
Walked from Battery Park to Union Square.
Had a Labor Day picnic with new friends.
Heard choir and organ music in Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Remembered Allen Ginsberg at the Howl Festival.
Helped with an art installation in Brooklyn.
Volunteered at an arts festival.
Consumed free food and drink at Fashion’s Night Out.
Discovered that it’s not uncommon to run into people you know from anywhere in the world in New York.

Song: The Velvet Underground – Run Run Run
The longer I live in New York, the more I realize many songs I love refer to New York.
From the album The Velvet Underground & Nico

Celebrated Halloween in Greenwich Village.
Participated in performance art in Union Square.
Visited Governors Island.
Temped at the Empire State Building.
Attended a screening of The BQE with Sufjan Stevens.
Published a music review in Bust.
Became a permanent volunteer with an arts organization.
Started running.

Song: Sufjan Stevens – Movement III: Linear Tableau With Intersecting Surprise
A selection from Sufjan Stevens’ tribute to The BQE, the highway I lived next to in Williamsburg and now live by in Park Slope.
From the album The BQE

Watched the New York Marathon.
Attended a MoMa PopRally.
Started yoga.
Ran my first mile.
Saw a Dan Flavin light exhibit.
Celebrated Thanksgiving in San Antonio.
Saw Les Contes d’Hoffman at the Metropolitan Opera.

Song: Washed Out – Feel It All Around
The dreamy beats of this song reflect how I was slowly starting to relax to life in New York City.
From the album Life of Leisure

Moved into a new apartment in Park Slope.
Saw Final Fantasy and the Mountain Goats perform in New York.
Temped at a film production company.
Organized and helped run a holiday arts market.
Witnessed blizzards of snow in New York and Oklahoma.
Celebrated Christmas in Oklahoma.
Will end the year with a New Year’s Eve Flaming Lips concert.

Song: Final Fantasy – The Butcher
After the concert with the Mountain Goats, I couldn’t stop listening to this song.
From the album Spectrum, 14th Century

2 thoughts on “This Year

  1. Kat says:

    Great way to showcase the year with pics and songs. They both bring back so many memories. Daylight by Matt and Kim is definitely one of my songs too…only for July, listening to it on the way home from Ventoux.

  2. Allie says:

    This was a pretty busy year, although I guess they all are. I’ll probably be posting more music soon as I always like to list my favorite 2009 albums.

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