Dec 30, 2010 10

100 Things I Learned in 2010, Part 2

caricature of the author by the artist Walt Taylor

The chin! The chin!

This year didn’t kick my ass so much as it snuck up behind me, whispered in my ear it would kill me if I made so much as a wrong move, and slipped off into the night before I could make out what the fuck it looked like. This year was easily the worst since I got sucker-punched by 2002.

Still. This year could have been SO much worse. I know this. I mean, I forgot this, but then I remembered, and so sometime a month or two ago, I started making another kind of list, of things I was really, really lucky to have. Stuff like friends and health (especially when I got it back) and relative solvency, of course, but also stuff like “sunshine!” or “rain!” or “electricity!” (Although electricity mixed with rain, not so much.)

My point is this: I write because I have to, but I also am never far from realizing I write because I get to. As in, “I am alive for now, and living people GET TO WRITE.”

So as this year draws to a close, I reiterate: I am alive for now. LIVING PEOPLE GET TO (fill in your Thing of Choice  here.) For my part, I am grateful for this year, and pledge to try my best not to slip out of gratitude for too long at any one point during the next.

Besides, sometimes the shittiest years bear the greatest fruits. Fertilizer, yadda yadda.

May you gently lay to rest your previous year, and rest your arms to open themselves widely to the next. Thank you, and I hope we’ll see each other in 2011!


  1. It’s hell in the hallway.
  2. Never judge a bra by his cover.
  3. My sign-painting obsession is not an anomaly.
  4. Hypnosis feels like cheating on your pain.
  5. But it hurts so good.
  6. There’s almost no mood that 100 miles of open road and a “singalong” playlist can’t fix.
  7. Keep that comfort television toward the top of the queue, too.
  8. Habits before tools.
  9. Fun has a high switching cost, but a stunning overall ROI.
  10. Compassionate understanding is more effective than strict punishment.
  11. Although neatly-drawn boundaries come in mighty handy.
  12. Halve the meat.
  13. Double the veggies.
  14. Deep-six the carbs.
  15. Anyone who says you can have it all, doesn’t.
  16. Everyone loves a good hack.
  17. And a peek at someone else’s setup.
  18. The answer to more things than not is “less.”
  19. (Underwear and socks, excepted.)
  20. Lemongrass is magic.
  21. Hippie “deodorant” is the toiletries equivalent of the “CLOSE DOOR” button on the elevator.
  22. When it comes to inboxes, “zero” is a journey, not a destination.
  23. Unloading beats acquiring, hands-down.
  24. Facebook is the best thing to happen to birthdays since cake.
  25. Coconut is the best thing to happen to Larabars since Larabars.
  26. Hotels are worth it.
  27. That goes double re: springing for the single.
  28. If you’re not paying for the service, you’re the product being sold.
  29. An open jar is an empty jar.
  30. Discovering bona fide Christians could almost restore one’s faith.
  31. I may never be immortalized in ink.
  32. Vinyl, however, is another story.
  33. With a rather bittersweet ending.
  34. There are angels all around you, if you know where to not look.
  35. Slow leaks cause steadily mounting anxiety.
  36. There’s no news like really fucking great news.
  37. Ask around all you want, but you already know what you need to do next.
  38. Sorry, not that.
  39. Yes, that.
  40. Don’t forget the Epsom salts.
  41. There’s no free qi.
  42. Misery (still) loves company.
  43. Muppets (still) rule.
  44. For good or for ill, you’re making a difference.
  45. Less video.
  46. More music.
  47. Crushes are better in individual serving sizes.
  48. Troubles are better shared.
  49. Fear is a yellow light, not a red one.
  50. When life lets up, you’re probably not living it anymore.

Yup. This 100-things thing is indeed an annual thing:








Magnificent drawing of yours truly, the clown, © Wally Torta, gentleman and scholar.

Posted in: The Personal Ones,The Silly Ones

Danny Hitt December 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

Hi Colleen.
This morning was the first time I actually opened the link to your blog. I don’t remember how, when or why I started receiving your blog but I know I’ve been receiving it for a few months now. Until this morning what I usually do is delete your notification email thinking it is just another unwanted and potentially malicious piece of spam mail.

Glad I was wrong about that this morning though. What a great blog you have! In a world where too many blogs are floating around like annoying viruses waiting to sicken and annoy it’s next victim, yours is surprisingly and refreshingly entertaining. So good job to you AND thank you!

Have a great 2011!!

the communicatrix December 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

That is quite possibly the greatest compliment I’ve received in my six-year history online.

Thanks, Danny. I’m glad you were wrong about that this morning, too!

Marilyn December 30, 2010 at 9:31 am

i always love your year-end lists and can personally attest to the healing powers of #6…especially if the playlist includes some Lucinda Williams.

the communicatrix December 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Thanks, Marilyn. Your cheerleading over the years has helped keep me in the habit of doing them.

And you know, it’s all Lo-o-o-o-nely Girls. Such a fun one to sing, even if the words are mighty sad.

Sunny December 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

These are wonderful — well-thought out and the perfect length! Thanks for offering up your life as a learning lab for the rest of us. I admire your candor and fortitude, and hope that 2011 gives the good stuff back to you in spades. :-)

the communicatrix December 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thank you, mme.! For the compliments and the well wishes. I can use ’em both, believe me. And a happy, healthy 2011 to you, too.

Mark December 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Your gratitude riff reminds me of this Louis CK bit: “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy”

the communicatrix December 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

One of the all-time greats. I am sure I was inspired by it. How can you not be?

Evelyn Rodriguez January 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Hey girl, Wonderful list. Ah, 2010–you too. Except for me 2010 ranks worse than 2001 (2002 was a great boomerang year for me). Yet, I started to be thankful for even the shitty things (even if fertilizer never materializes) about 20 days ago, and what a difference! Thanks so much for your list. Much joy & possibility to you in 2011.

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