The First Draft of My Top Ten Billy Joel Songs, Written After Vulture Published a Ranking of Every Song in Billy Joel’s Catalog (Which I’m Not Linking Here Because I Trust You to Find It Yourself if You Really Care)
“Summer, Highland Falls”
“Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)”
“Only the Good Die Young”
“And So It Goes”
“Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel)”
“Everybody Loves You Now”
Questions I Might Have Asked Nick Hornby at His Book Signing, Given More Time
“Who inspired the character of Tucker in Juliet, Naked? Cameron Crowe identified the inspiration for Russell in Almost Famous so I want you to do that now, too, although that might ruin my current visual of Tucker—basically Neil Gaiman with glasses)—so never mind, don’t tell me. I love that book, by the way. It’s my favorite novel. I mean it.”
“Do you have any idea how funny that bit you wrote about The Road in one of your Believer essays was? So funny! The funniest! I read it out loud to Scott—that’s my husband—and had to read it in fits and starts because I’d start laughing or he’d laugh over my reading. Anyway, good job on that one.”
“Is it weird to you that there are people here wearing Arsenal gear, and that they call their jerseys ‘kits’? [The author realizes that’s what they’re called.] Is it wrong of me to judge them? What is judgment, anyway? Look, to be fair to me, when I got here, one of them was directly behind me, and an employee asked if we were together, and he said, ‘Not yet.’ That was gross. I read About a Boy when I was 12, by the way. That was probably too early. You’re great!”
The Question I Actually Asked Nick Hornby
“Have you read the sequel to Death and the Penguin?” (He hasn’t, and he asked me how it was, and I said that I was hoping he had so I wouldn’t have to. The first book, as I’ve mentioned, is so, so good, and I was ready for that story to be over, kind of like how I haven’t read anything Rowling has released post-Deathly Hallows. So it goes.)
Progress on New Year’s Resolutions
Listen to Judge John Hodgman: nailed it. I haven’t heard that many, but I find them absolutely delightful.
Whine less: could be better, could be worse. I’ll keep working on that one.
Exercise more: I rowed for the first time since October today, and it was so good. I didn’t do it for very long, or for much length, but it’s very reassuring to know that my body (my knee in particular) can handle it without any pain. So, yeah, I’m feeling decent about how frequently I’m exercising, and I have actual goals in mind regarding physical fitness, so this resolution? Pretty good.
Some Things I Keep Meaning to Read, and When I Assume I Will Actually Read Them
The first two books in the Fairyland series; the five days before they’re due back at the library (I did get through a substantial chunk of the first. It’s really good!)
The first two volumes of Preacher; about three days before the Oscars since one of the people I’m watching those with lent them to me
“Shouldn’t You Be in School?”, the latest book in Lemony Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions series; next time my NOOK is charged all the way and there are no other books in my line of sight
Funny Girl, the book Nick Hornby was signing; as soon as I take it off the shelf, which could be tonight or tomorrow but will probably be Tuesday
Some Things You Should Read