Actors have acceptance speeches, authors have dedications, musicians have liner notes—or at least, used to. For this month’s Crowdsource, we asked our readers and staff to tell us who, what, and where they would thank in their 2010 acknowledgments.
2010 was a tough year for me, and I couldn’t have gotten through it without a lot of kindness and patience from a lot of people. Specifically, I’d like to thank everybody who played Settlers of Catan with me while I was stuck in Brooklyn Hospital Center, everybody who put up with me whenever I got too drunk and started making weird Kraken sounds at their parties, the Maine campground manager who wrapped my finger in gauze after I tried to slice cheese with the wrong side of a retractable blade, the Pennsylvania innkeeper who didn’t sue me after I destroyed his low-clearance lighting fixture with a U-Haul truck, that group of elderly people who I nearly ran over in front of the Trader Joe’s in Madison, Wis., and especially my girlfriend Julia, who endured all of this crap, even the Catan, and is the kindest, most patient person I know.
I’d just like to say goodbye to Bear, who passed away in February after being with my wife and I for 10 years. I got Bear, who was already eight years old at the time, from the shelter after my future wife saw his picture on the shelter website. We’d just started dating and I used to lure her over to my apartment with promises of seeing Bear, knowing he was far more of an attraction than me. I know, people will say it’s just a damn cat but Bear had class, he was from the Old World, and when he passed some of our Old World went with him.
Victoria L.H. Thompson
To my husband, Brian, for being brave enough for both of us to follow his dream down to Atlanta to make our future and the environment’s future a better place. For that, I love you. Maybe it’s mushy—but last December, my hubby packed it up and moved (full-time) down to Atlanta to work for the E.P.A. on Superfund sites in the southern region. I had to stay up in New Jersey to work at my job. It’s been a tough year—but well worth it.
You know what I’m thankful for? Email. The news keeps trying to tell us that email is going extinct in the face of Facebook pokes or texting or Twitter or whatever, but I didn’t get my job by @replying my current employer, did I? Just like I didn’t get a tiny but lovely apartment by posting my landlord reference to my real estate broker’s Facebook wall, didn’t get away with turning in the last of my senior-year papers just days before graduating by texting them to my professors, and didn’t get to publish things I personally wrote out of my own brain on various internet publications by snail-mailing them to their editors. It’s like, you write words into a computer-box and then the other person responds, usually promptly and favorably! So a big shout-out for email communication in 2010. And also for a job, a home, a college degree, and the start of being a writer. Thanks.
It took a lot to fill this year with maximum fun and minimum anxiety, and I thankfully give credit to the following: Interstate 5, for bringing me home when I needed it most; my intrauterine device, for one more year of planned infertility; the tomatoes in my backyard, for reminding me how much I love the ecosystems of the Bay Area; the worker cooperative movement, for helping me get rid of my boss; Futureman the dog, the most respected and beloved member of my community, who died this year at the age of 15; and my true love, my best friend, the reason I get out of bed each day—coffee.
After spending the better part of 19 years “being my own person” and thus mostly shunning my parents, I finally admit that I couldn’t have made it through these past months without them. They welcomed their somewhat-prodigal daughter with open arms when I crawled back, after working 80-hour weeks and really, really needing help with those Chinese assignments. (Though, as I mentioned tactfully, if they came from a country with an easier writing system, the real problem would be solved.) They dealt with frantic phone calls and inquiries about whether the purported danger of microwaving metal cans is overexaggereated. They gave me advice when I asked for it, for the first time in my life. And they didn’t even say, “I told you so.”
Then there’s Simone Electra and all my newspaper staff seniors, who taught me before they graduated that karaoke is beautiful, fans are dangerous, and 6 a.m. dance parties in the desert are incomparable. (Not to mention Hayley Gray, whose farmyard joke I secretly love and whose dedication I will always be grateful for.)
2010 is dedicated to my appendix, which had the providence to announce its inflated status on a Friday morning.Finally, there’s something to be said for appreciating the tools of the trade. In my case, three things deserve shout-outs: Skittles (my stimulant of choice), every Tangerine Dream album (because, inexplicably, they make academic work seem more interesting), and the internet, (for helping with more 11th-hour term papers than ever before and, of course, bringing me to TMN).
This is going to sound totally insane, but I really like going into my office. After a brief, comfy, and thoroughly unsustainable stretch of unemployment last year, I landed a job at a small educational publishing vendor. It’s not the work, so much, that has made the past year one of my better professional experiences, though I’m not above admitting that I love being an editor. It’s that the people I work with are incredible, and I have a work-crush on almost every single one of them. We actually hang out outside of work! I’ve delighted in the Pho Phridays, the house parties, the snowy jaunts through Central Park, the weekend trips, the Pavement reunions, the embarrassing drunkenness, and especially my impromptu birthday party, where the karaoke room was literally set on fire. So to Jeff, Allie, Kedre, Wiley, Mariel, Kate, Nick, Curtis, Jaime, John, Marissa, Susanna, Bradley, Matthew, and Taryn I say thank you. Thank you for making this year so much more than bearable. Now can we please do something about the bathroom situation?
Most people clutch statuettes to their chest and thank God; I’d like to thank Todd. Todd Rundgren: soundtrack to my 2010, the man who reminded me what it felt like to be teenager-giddy over an artist again. If I hadn’t discovered Todd, my vinyl collection would be an unhealthy 10 to 15 pounds lighter, my knowledge of the ’70s music scene (Edward James Olmos was a backup singer?) disappointingly meager. To Todd I say: Thank you for writing the only songs I apparently needed to hear this year. (And to my dearest husband, who put up with it all: Thank you for flipping the record to side B.)
I’d like to shout-out to all the people that made me cry this year. If you were my favorite person in the office and departed during a surprisingly intense week of jet lag; if you caused the jet lag (thanks, Ireland and Spain); if you’re too tall to actually let me cry on your shoulder, but the sentiment is there; if you can wear a wedding dress like nobody’s business; if you were the first of two funerals in two weeks; if you fought bravely leading up to the second; if you were in my extended family, who were all so incredible and funny and supportive in a year that ended with two funerals; and if you’re Frank Capra, because I watched It’s a Wonderful Life last night.
Jessica Francis Kane
This year is dedicated to everyone and everything that helped me get my first novel launched into the world: the grandparents who came to stay with the children while I went on book tour, the publishing friend who threw the most wonderful book party ever, the childhood and college friends who put me up in cities near and far and came to hear me read, the two elderly ladies in Berkeley who decided on a whim one night to attend a book reading—their first ever—and chose mine (“Someone has to support these books,” they said), the beautiful independent bookstores, the booksellers on Twitter who have astonished me with their enthusiasm and their verbs, my brother who came for a surprise visit, which turned out to be just what I needed, the hard-working wolves in Minneapolis, the manufacturers of Advil, a number of vineyards in Italy and France, and Mitchell, my greatest love and ally, who makes everything, no matter how unlikely, seem possible and always has.
Thank you David Forlan, for letting us watch your glorious play. You showed that moments are meant to be owned and inspired us to believe that no stage is too grand to take. This year is therefore dedicated to you, and your stylish heroics.
Jay (Joseph) Casey made my year. In a year filled with isolation, illness, virtual homelessness, torment, and death he was always there. He listened to me complain and complain and complain and finally said at just the right time that my complaints were—he alone dared to say it—boring. From that moment, I began to snap out of it and move forward with things. But most of all, he helped me move my stuff four times in eight months while I lurched around New York City like a dying refugee. What more can I say about this guy? I’m lucky to be his friend.
2010 is dedicated to my appendix, which had the providence to announce its inflated status on a Friday morning, when the ER was largely empty. It had the foresight to act efficiently, showing up bright and clear on the MRI. No sense in being coy! And, most importantly, the prescience to burst during surgery, when I was too morphined-up to feel it and saving the hospital from having to explain that they don’t just hand out organs in jars like in the movies. Miss you, little guy.
Liz Entman Harper
Thank you, Mumford & Sons, for reminding me how much better life is with banjos. Richard Ford, for making me get back to work late every single day I was reading The Sportswriter on my lunch break. The St. Louis Cardinals, for being awesome when it didn’t seem like we would ever have anything to be happy about again. Hospice volunteers. My sister, for having my back. My husband, for having my heart. Global warming, for a glorious late-October sunburn. And finally: the magnolia in our yard, for blooming after three days completely submerged during a 500-year flood. I think that’s pretty much the kind of year it was.
I’d like to thank the two million motile sperm that made it from my testes to the petri dish. You guys made 2010 the most incredible year ever! Also, heartfelt thanks to my wife for allowing two nurses, a lab tech, and a doctor to inject my zooids directly into to her uterus while everyone watched it live on the ultrasound screen and she lay there half naked with multiple instruments and digits in her vagina. I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures, but after paying for hundreds of doctor appointments, you tend to forget the small things. Speaking of small things, I can’t say enough good things about her eggs, except that there might have been a few too many. And for that, I thank the expensive hormones that made her temporarily crazy, and, now, me permanently mad.
Thank you, Daily Mail, for being so bitingly mean. Thank you, Vanity Fair, for understanding. Thank you, Henry, for the book on first ladies.