1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?
Rang in the new year during a pandemic. Wrote pieces for the Insider, Self, and GQ. Got featured on a SheVibe trading card. Watched an insurrection on live television. Watched the president get impeached on live television. Wore press-on nails. Got sent multiple PR packages from weed companies. Performed a story at Bawdy Storytelling. Celebrated my 9-year bloggiversary with a livestreamed concert. Recorded a musical theatre song with one of my podcast cohosts. Watched my partner fuck a sex doll. Wrote a book about sexuality and gender. Was interviewed extensively as a “sexpert” in a TV documentary for the CBC. Quarantined in a hotel as mandated by the government. Swabbed my own nose for a take-home COVID test. Got vaccinated for COVID-19 (thrice). Dramatically upgraded my workspace, including adding a monitor, a new SAD lamp, a new keyboard and trackpad, and new storage systems. Bought a cane. Quit my dayjob at a social media company and went fully self-employed. Bought a digital piano. Did the 250th episode of my podcast. Took a workshop on writing a book proposal. Received nitrous oxide during a dental procedure. Had a launch party for my first book. Got hypnotized in front of an audience. Got diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Celebrated my first wedding anniversary. Got figged. Toured apartments in Philadelphia. Went to the Met. Attended a suicide prevention benefit at a punk club. Saw Company and Hadestown on Broadway.
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year I resolved to “spend less time on social media and more time reading, writing, going on walks, and resting/relaxing.” I actually think I did pretty well on that. Stress reduction was one of my major projects this year, given how much stress triggers my fibro, and I did okay at it for the most part.
Next year I resolve to rediscover playfulness, intuition, experimentation and ecstatic flow state in my creative activities. The stress of this pandemic has made art feel like a mere grind at times, but these past couple weeks have afforded me enough time and energy to write songs, draw pictures, and write poetry; I want more of that in 2022!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Mia!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Just the USA (New York for the first four months of the year, and then again for an additional two and a half months toward the end of the year).
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
More time spent on relaxing and creative pursuits, more time actively listening to/absorbing music, more organizational discipline, more treating myself with compassion, more walks and other physically active outings.
7. What dates from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory?
Apr. 30 — arrived home from NYC and began quarantining in the Alt Hotel
Jun. 29 — deadline for my second book
Oct. 12 — 101 Kinky Things launch date
Oct. 13 — 101 Kinky Things launch party
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Professionally: Launched my first book and wrote/submitted my second one!
Personally: Advocated for myself in medical situations and was able to finally get a diagnosis for my fibromyalgia and some help from chronic pain experts in learning energy management strategies, etc.!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Look, man. I got through yet another pandemic year as a person with depression and chronic pain. There’s no need to dwell on my failures. (In fact, maybe dwelling on my failures was my primary failure this year.)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Same answer as last year and the year before: “Just the same old depression, anxiety, and chronic pain I’ve been dealing with for years now. I got through it.”
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I upgraded my entire workspace this year (tax write-offs, woo!), but have been most appreciative for my ViewSonic 24-inch monitor, Day-Light Sky seasonal depression lamp, and KnewKey mechanical keyboard.
Also treated myself to some AirPods Pro in an attempt to motivate myself to go on more walks, and it worked, so I guess it was a worthwhile purchase. Creativity-wise, the best thing I bought was definitely my digital piano.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Matt, Bex, Max, my parents, and everyone who came to my book launch or has otherwise supported my work this year.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Online trolls and harassers, Joe Manchin, Matt Gaetz, Elon, Bezos, etc.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Delivery/takeout meals, without a doubt.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
New writing projects, launching my book (and hearing about people reading/enjoying it), lots of alone time, working on my podcasts, getting a fibro diagnosis.
16. What song/album will always remind you of 2021?
Albums: I Held My Breath for a Really Long Time Once by Ben Hopkins, the June EP by Violents, Spaceman by Nick Jonas, and the soundtrack of Inside by Bo Burnham.
Songs: “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic, and anything by Jefferson Bergey.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Same answer as last year — “Happier, I guess? idk, it can be very hard to gauge one’s own emotional tenor when the world overall is so chaotic.”
thinner or fatter? Also same answer as last year — “Oh, who cares.”
richer or poorer? About the same.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Making music, staying off my phone, writing fiction/fanfiction.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Social media, reading obsessively about things that depress me, tweeting while tipsy.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it in Toronto with my family, doing all the traditions we didn’t get to do last year when I had to stay in New York for the holidays.
21. Who did you spend the most time talking to?
Matt, Bex, and my therapist.
22. Did you fall in love in 2021?
Not newly, but I feel like my love for my spouse deepens every day.
23. How many one night stands in this last year?
24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Really enjoyed Succession, Sex/Life, Sexy Beasts, The Morning Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and (oddly) Sex, Love, & Goop.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Same answer as last year: “Probably. Not really worth dwelling on, IMO.”
26. What was the best book you read?
As of this writing, I’ve read 48 books so far this year; this is hard but I’ll try to limit myself to 3 per category. Favorite nonfiction books: Hurts So Good by Leigh Cowart, Don’t Call it a Cult by Sarah Berman, and Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks (notably, all books which examine oddities of human psychology). Favorite fiction books: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, Colorful by Eto Mori, and The Humans by Matt Haig (notably, all books about someone who enters an alternate reality/life through supernatural means and learns some important lessons in the process).
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ben Hopkins, Silk Sonic, and Sarah Vaughan (yes, the mid-century jazz singer — yes, I have been sleeping on Sarah!!).
28. What did you want and get?
To get through the year relatively unscathed. A fibro diagnosis. A great book launch. Time with my love, and time on my own.
29. What did you want and not get?
Same answer as last year: “A normal-ass year where we could go out and do stuff without risking our own death or the deaths of people we care about.” Also, more money would always be nice, but what can ya do.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I loved Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Luca, but I think my favorite was Bo Burnham’s Inside.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29. Matt took me to stay at a fancy hotel and we got sushi at this cute little New York restaurant where each party was isolated in a small individual “train car.”
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Better handling of the pandemic by our public officials, and ideally the downfall of capitalism and the cisheteropatriarchy. Hey, a girl can dream.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Comfy, cozy, and a little bit crazy. (I do indeed mean that in the sense of “literally mentally ill” in addition to the colloquial sense, and I can say that because I am. Calm down.)
34. What kept you sane?
Well, as mentioned, I’m not sane, but… Friends, family, and my spouse; weed; Pokémon games; movies, TV, music, theatre, and improv; art and creativity; my wonderful therapist.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
God, pondering this question really made me reflect on how dead my soul has felt this year. I guess Bo Burnham? Mae Martin? James Acaster? (Unsurprisingly, all gangly comedians with an interesting relationship to gender norms…)
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Transphobia, racism, police violence, healthcare, income inequality… a lot of stuff. *sigh*
37. Who did you miss?
Same as last year: “Like, basically everyone, all the time.”
38. Who was the best new person you met?
I can think of very few people I met this year, for obvious reasons, but Ben, Caitlin, Andre, and Tara are pretty cool.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021.
Managing my stress level is the #1 most important thing I need to do in order to control my fibro symptoms.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I don’t know how a normal person relaxes/ How to brush my teeth or how to pay my taxes/ How to plan ahead or arrive on time/ Or how to not smoke weed or how to dry my delicates” -Ben Hopkins, “IDK”
“Wake up at 11:30, feeling like a bag of shit/ All my clothes are dirty so I’m smelling like a bag of shit/ Go to pour my coffee and I miss my cup/ OMG, that is just my luck/ Look in the mirror, say, ‘What’s up, you useless fuck?’” -Bo Burnham, “Shit”
“They put the internet in the sky/ Now I’ll stare at it til I die” -Ben Hopkins, “Internet Song”