Albums released: 1. Coldplay – Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends 2. Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us 3. Low – Drums & Guns 4. Beck – Modern Guilt 5. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes 6. Death Cab for Cutie – Narrow Stairs 7. Rosie Thomas – A Very Rosie Christmas 8. Kevin Max – Crashing Gates 9. She & Him – Volume 1 10. Ben Folds – Way to Normal 11. Keane – Perfect Symmetry 12. The Submarines – Honeysuckle Weeks 13. Lucy Wainwright Roche – 8 More 14. Coldplay – Prospekt’s March 15. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Heavily-rotated albums: 16. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha 17. Stars – Set Yourself on Fire 18. Beck – Sea Change 19. Ben Folds – Songs for Silverman 20. The Decemberists – Castaways and Cutouts 21. The Blow – Paper Television 22. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 23. The Submarines – Declare a New State! 24. Lucy Wainwright Roche – 8 Songs 25. Low – Long Division 26. Rosie Thomas – If Songs Could Be Held 27. The Most Serene Republic – Population 28. Spoon – GaGaGaGaGa 29. The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema 30. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
Shows attended: 31. SubPop Anniversary at Marymoor Park 32. The Decemberists at Moore Theater 33. Bumbershoot 34. Stars at Western VU 35. The Blow at Western VU 36. Rosie Thomas at Town Hall 37. Dana Little at Lettered Streets (x3) 38. Christine Bron at various coffeehouses (x plenty) 39. Corban Watkins at Common Ground Coffeehouse
Movies released 40. The Happening 41. Burn After Reading 42. Batman: The Dark Knight 43. Smart People 44. Be Kind Rewind
Books read: 45. Walking on Water – Madeleine l’Engle 46. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine l’Engle 47. Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris 48. When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris 49. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris 50. A Wolf at the Table – Augusten Burroughs 51. Dry – Augusten Burroughs 52. Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs 53. Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck 54. Take This Bread – Sara Miles 55. Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott 56. Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott 57. Plan B – Anne Lamott 58. Choke - Chuck Palahniuk 59. Snuff – Chuck Palahniuk 60. Bonk – Mary Roach 61. The Fidelity of Betrayal – Peter Rollins 62. I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Sloane Crosley 63. Bee Season – Myla Goldberg 64. You Can’t Go Home Again – Thomas Wolfe 65. Girl Meets God – Lauren F. Winner 66. Mudhouse Sabbath – Lauren F. Winner 67. Bowl of Cherries – Millard Kaufman 68. Lamb – Christopher Moore 69. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Writing samples published (in Jeopardy Magazine) 70. “Nicodemus” – poem 71. “The Line Starts Here” – poem 72. “I have nothing memorized” – poem 73. “Because I speak on my feet” – poem 74. “Waiting for the Feast” – poem
Assorted events: 75. Graduated college 76. Celebrated 22nd birthday 77. Caught up in computer-gate scandal (I’d rather not discuss it) 78. Attended Peter Rollins’s lecture at Mars Hill Grad School w/ Seth Thomas, Sarah Johnson, Stead Halstead, and Ty Chang 79. Resigned from WWU Writing Center 80. Began working at Village Books in Fairhaven 81. Did yard work for Erv on Lake Whatcom 82. Stained Roberta’s fence in Ferndale 83. Counseled for one week at Camp Lutherwood on Lake Samish 84. Began leading an INN music team 85. Opened for Christine Bron at 3 Trees Coffeehouse 86. Headlined an Open-Mic at 3 Trees w/ band formerly known as We Walk Through Fire 87. Joined Amateur Prose for CD release show at Wild Buffalo 88. Performed w/ DJ Morgan and Hailey Mitsui at the INN Open-Mic Fundraiser 89. Performed w/ Christine Bron, DJ Morgan, Dana Little, and John Furtado at INN Welcome Back Carnival in Red Square 90. Traveled w/ the INN for a mission trip to Vancouver 91. Participated in Salt on the Street 92. Started first attempt at a full-length novel 93. Voted in first election (presidential or otherwise) 94. Traveled to Portland w/ Jake Summers, Sarah Condreay, and Lisa Schwank 95. Recorded one (1) song demo 96. Began Smart-Tripping regularly 97. Watched all available seasons of LOST w/ Megans Taft and Goodwin and others 98. Watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at Fairhaven Outdoor Cinema 99. Experienced coffee tasting (first of many, hopefully) 100. Competed in the running leg of Ski-to-Sea (first of many, hopefully)
I've been expecting trumpets, a jubilee trimmed in joy and triumph, heralds and heralds. I have come to expect Emmanuel and Incarnation, but Advent— Advent, where we wait, when we watch the days grow darker, and, my, how they have darkened.
And the dark only knows how to oppress, constrict. Bound with cords of worry and frustration, we are lashing out at everyone we bump into as we fumble about. And we find we can no longer stand it, hearing news of light and joy and rest. Elsewhere, as mere gossip.
I am most familiar with the darkness, the wait. Almost. Delay, again. I admit to having kindled furnaces from jealousy, applying pressure like bellows, just to keep warm. The fire scalds as harshly as the cold.
They say the birth of Christ was most likely in June—obviously, so light and comfortable, Incarnation as solstice.
But I understand why tradition dictates Advent for the coldest, darkest days. Because it reminds us that the days get brighter ahead. Because another, kinder thread has stitched us together with Hope. Because our binding Hope is His arrival, with Heaven in hand and a gift: Peace. A clean and gentle heat— opulent—that does not scorch.
So we wait together, as Israel waited, gravely hopeful. Thus we bid: Emmanuel, come.
is the author of Contingency Plans: Poems (TS Poetry) and the album There There. His work has been featured in The Morning News, The Gay & Lesbian Review, The High Calling, Burnside Writers Collective, as well as The Pacific Northwest Reader, an anthology from Harper/Delphinium.