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The content here is only necessary psychologically: I like a blog on a site, and I like, maybe need, a platform to publish why I think Laurie Metcalf is important. I should write more than once a year, but this seems to be a real by me/for me situation.

What I loved in 2018

David Michael McFarlane

It’s that time of new year again, where I populate this site with some content.

Was 2018 better for anyone else, or was it just that I didn’t get divorced, have to move four times, and endure the shock of our president? Few things have disturbed me as much as Kavanaugh or family separations (and all the continued Satanic acts against brown people), so it wasn’t a good year, but at least the good side won the House, and some monsters got fired. Some great art happened too, some of which I saw/read/listened to.

Favorite films (released)

  1. Roma

  2. The Favourite

  3. Shoplifters

  4. Eighth Grade

  5. Let the Sunshine In

  6. Mandy

  7. Halloween

  8. Border

  9. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

  10. Suspiria

Ladies, the implosion of MoviePass really hurt me. How’s a guy supposed to pay $18 for every movie A.O. Scott tells him to see? I could buy the BluRay for less — and I will!

I didn’t have to suffer through anything as awful as The Shape of Water, but a first pass through the award-buzz flicks was dispiriting. Crazy Rich Asians made me cry three times. I walked out of First Reformed. And I need to know what single moment wasn’t flawless about the Suspiria remake. Do you all remember how frightless Argento’s was?

Anyway, I also dug BlackKklansman, Annihilation, A Quiet Place, Searching, the first act of Hereditary, and, yes, The Meg.

Favorite books (read)

  1. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

  2. Out of Africa, Karen Blixen

  3. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, J.D. Salinger

  4. Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith

  5. My Struggle, Book 5, Karl Ove Knausgaard

  6. The Aspern Papers, Henry James

  7. Autumn, Karl Ove Knausgaard

  8. The Sign of the Cross, Colm Tóibín

  9. My House, Nikki Giovanni

  10. Abide with Me, Elizabeth Strout

After 13 years of failed resolutions, I did it! Read a book a week: 52! And started another 11! Were there some audiobooks in there? (I never said I was perfect.) And books of poetry? (In fact seven!) What about that absurdist 40-page story by George Saunders with huge fonts and illustrations? (It was bound!)

Knausgaard reclaimed his spot as my favorite writer, followed closely by Henry James and Thomas Merton — not listed, sorry, Tom. Her memoir just missed the cut, but Parker Posey made me bark with laughter so much I nearly read it twice. Woolf knocked my pants off, Strout made me weep, and Salinger wrote all nine of my nine favorite short stories. Most important: Smith is a poet laureate we don’t deserve, but I’m so grateful and astounded we have.

Favorite albums (discovered)

  1. Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves

  2. Sweetener, Ariana Grande

  3. Ventriloquism, Meshell Ndegeocello

  4. Traveling Alone, Tift Merritt

  5. Be the Cowboy, Mitksi

  6. Songs of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen

  7. Steady On, Shawn Colvin

  8. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams

  9. boygenius EP, boygenius

  10. Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, Emmylou Harris

Barely a y-chromosome to be seen, just how I like it. If you’re interested in my favorite tracks, they’re pretty fun and all here. And my honorables:

  • Chris, Christine & the Queens

  • Broken English, Marianne Faithfull

  • Honey, Robyn

  • Tambourine, Tift Merritt

  • Sweet Unknown, Erika Wennerstrom

  • Hunter, Anna Colvi

  • The Dustbowl Symphony, Nanci Griffith

  • Goodnight City, Martha Wainwright

  • Ephorize, cupcakKe

  • About U, MUNA

Favorite performances (witnessed)

Look, I could say the whole fuckin cast of Angels in America on Broadway, except Lee Pace sabotaged every scene with what my high school community theater director would’ve called “just loud talking.” What was perfect en masse was the full guest cast of At Home with Amy Sedaris. She’s a national treasure and signed a book for my boyfriend simply, “Loser!”

  1. Lauren Bacall in her High Point commercials

  2. Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women on Broadway

  3. Amy Sedaris, At Home with Amy Sedaris

  4. Mayhem Miller at Micky’s Showgirls in WeHo

  5. Laurie Metcalf, Getting On

  6. Kim Viera in pants, the Como music video

  7. Julie Christie, McCabe and Mrs. Miller

  8. Aida Turturro as Janice Soprano

  9. Liza Minelli on HSN

  10. Erin Gibson miming a gynecological exam at the Condo Sweet Condo Throwing Shade Live tour (buy her book, henny)