A Year of Tears, Fears, and Icelandic Men We Didn't Bang
Seattle Writers, Artists, Curators, Performers, Designers, and Comedians on Their 2012 Regrets
Ryan Boudinot by Jennifer beard / all other photos by Kelly O
I regret reading the online comments (ever).
—Keri Healey, playwright
I regret the resentments that I didn't deal with openly and honestly, because those are the ones I can't move past. Also, I regret not tweeting more.
—Megan Griffiths, filmmaker, Eden
I regret not having thrown a pajama party at Town Hall while I still had the key to the place. Maybe it was because I don't own any PJs.
—Lesley Hazleton, Town Hall's inaugural scholar-in-residence
Frankly, 2012 has been a real pain in my ass, and I regret being awake for all of it but (1) the moment of and 74 seconds following the reelection of President Obama (and if it's possible, I "super-regret" every other moment of the election), (2) the moment of and 58 seconds after I saw the cover of my upcoming book, and (3) any of the time I spent talking to my mom and dad on the phone. The rest of 2012 can go straight to hell. I regret that I didn't spend it poisoned to sleep by a wicked queen's apple, on an Ambien drip, or at least in some kind of dissociative fugue. Also, next year I'm going to "super-regret" not trademarking "super-regret."
—Matthew Simmons, author, A Jello Horse
I regret that I had to become a shaved-head guy this year because a decade ago, when my hair started thinning, I foolishly decided that it'd be too much of a hassle to spritz my scalp with Rogaine once a day.
—Peter Mountford, author, A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism
I regret the energy spent feeling insecure and defeated, worrying that I wasn't part of the "real" art world if the work wasn't being shown in art fairs last year. You just think the part you're not part of MUST be THE insider-cool, über-sophisticated, everyone's-so-brilliant-and-witty-and-stunningly-gorgeous, it-girlz-n-guyz, blindingly confident part. But things are not as narrow and small as one's perspective, and I'm reminded of this when I see the teenagers I work with devastated by one bad test or one rejection. You want to say, "It's okay! This is not the end of things!" But you're also reminded that this IS their world, and how can they really know something is better without experiencing it? We just have to hope the world is bigger and more complex.
—Susie Lee, artist
I regret purchasing The Very Best of Tears for Fears at Everyday Music. Even though I've become something of a slut for the scuff bin there, this purchase, setting me back $2, was a mistake. I also regret the embarrassment I caused my girlfriend when I showed it to her at work, in front of her colleagues, saying, "Hey look, I got you this Tears for Fears CD! You like Tears for Fears, right?"
—Ryan Boudinot, author, Blueprints of the Afterlife
There is a terrible type of hangover that you can only get from a wake, and I have become too familiar with it. If you are someone special who does special things, please make sure that the people who will miss you and/or want to know who you were can find a record of those unique things you did on this planet. I will promise to do the same if you do.
—Emmett Montgomery, artist and performer
I regret that I didn't send enough fan mail. So many of you makers, lovers, writers, thinkers, and persuaders about art have inspired me, seduced me, impressed me, rocked my thoughts, and/or pissed me off this year. I should have told you that your work is working. 2013: Watch your inbox.
—Molly Mac Fedyk, artist
I regret not really getting to know Andrea Allen when I had the chance. I figured it would just happen someday, and now it won't. I did some things this year that hurt people I love. But I can't regret it because now I'm here, and it seems pretty important to be here, and I wouldn't be here if that stuff hadn't happened. I do, however, regret hearing "Can you cry on cue?" asked of me on a film set. I regret that very much.
—Alycia Delmore, actor, Gayby, Humpday, The Off Hours
I regret that antidepressants and other prescription mood enhancers don't work for me and I am forced to feel everything and experience everything in full. Including but not limited to: the pigeon with no feet, the crying urinating man on the bus, and the awful small child licking the coffee-shop pastry case. While the rest of you float past on jolly medicated clouds, I feel it all. I regret that. I also regret that, once again, my wife has denied me a tiny dog that I would dress in tiny outfits that are exact duplicates of my less tiny outfits.
—Kelleen Conway Blanchard, playwright
We went outside in our backyard to watch a fire in our fire pit and forgot about the rice cooking in our enameled Le Creuset cast-iron pan, effectively blackening the rice and etching it into the bottom of the pan. We regret this every time we use the pan. Which is every day.
—Shannon Eakins and Marc Dombrosky, artists
I regret not getting "Send my neighbor's yippy dog into space" on the ballot this year. The voter momentum was totally there.
—John Osebold, actor, musician, and writer
I regret the existence of the poet whose terrible reading I didn't clap for because I just couldn't lend any support to bad poetry considered by too many in the Seattle writing community to be good poetry. I regret not telling the staff of Seattle Arts & Lectures how impressed I was with their lineup this year. I regret that more people don't know who Ed Skoog is. I regret admitting to a group of women writers that I read Tucker Max. I regret ever using the phrase "balls deep" to describe my approach to programming at Hugo House in 2013. I do not regret showing slides of shit, come, bukkake, an uncircumcised penis, and an uncircumcised penis Photoshopped over the trunk of a baby elephant as part of my one-man show Fat Fuck, though I do regret that multiple people in multiple venues walked out in the middle of the performance.
—Brian McGuigan, program director at Richard Hugo House
I regret compulsively checking the Twitter and Facebook accounts of an 18-year-old DJ all summer when I should have been out trying to bang hot Icelandic dudes!
—Evangeline Spracklin, artist
I regret not asking for help when I needed it the most.
—Soyoung Shin, artist
I regret that sunny day a month ago that I decided to skip tap-dance class and go for a walk around Green Lake. I slipped on a tiny muddy patch of grass and landed on my butt and amazingly landed exactly wrong so that I fractured a vertebra (!) and will be in a back brace until February. I am drugged and bored and restless, but not a paraplegic or worse. But do I regret the choice to take a walk in the sun? Or not?
—Ellen Ziegler, artist
Dear Seattle artist, I regret missing your show and the conversation it might have started.
—Jim Demetre, writer
My biggest regrets are what I should have said... as I grow older, I find that my discourse becomes shorter and more direct but I suspect fewer people listen or care.
—John Braseth, Woodside/Braseth Gallery
I regret the monumental amount of time and attention I've given to embarrassingly uneducated politicians, hate groups, and stupid citizens of this country.
—Rafael Soldi, artist
I regret not having shaved off my eyebrows sooner. Now doing my makeup takes 20 minutes less time and looks twice as good.
—Jerick Hoffer, aka drag queen Jinkx Monsoon
I regret [OFr. re, intensive, again, backward + greter, to weep] weeping backward and again each time I hear Bonnie Raitt sing "Angel from Montgomery" and that G major turns to F oh my!
—Thomas Walton, editor of PageBoy magazine
I regret all the time I think about Seattle when I'm in New York and all the time I think about New York when I'm in Seattle.
—Tommy Smith, playwright
I regret the way that Capitol Hill continues to be whittled away bit by bit... In the last year, I have watched my favorite places go away and cease to exist. From the Faire Gallery cafe, the Living Room bar, the impending move of Bauhaus—it just seems as if my home is intent on becoming something quite different than the amazing petri dish for creativity, the odd and the amazing, and is losing the grunge that has made it such a wonderful place to be. And, while I know that change is inevitable, I hope if this continues, that moves are made to ensure that Seattle protects the venues of weirdness and creativity that are attempting to endure against all odds. I hope no one ever decides to do away with the Mercury or Neighbours and the tons of little theaters, working spaces, bars, and restaurants that bring life and joy to the area. So I guess while 2012 saw the closure of some of my favorite places on "the hill," at least after this I won't have to regret never having said anything about it.
—Xavier Lopez Jr., artist and writer
I regret having moved five times in one year.
—Whitney Ford-Terry, curator
I regret not carpe diem–ing consistently enough. Too much anxiety, too much depression, not enough productive work being done, art and otherwise. That being said, I'm on a modest upward trajectory now, so it's all for the best.
—Jimmy Zhang, artist
I regret missing episodes of The Voice because I had to perform in a show—and I regret that I regret that. I also regret that night in Costa Rica when I left my passport, $500 cash, and my brand-new iPhone locked in a safe that wasn't bolted to the ground.
—Hana Lass, actor
Je ne regrette rien, 2012. I turned 50, my work is challenging and exciting on the daily, I have an awe-inspiring spouse, I live in a pagoda, and I'm my own boss. It would be unseemly to be unhappy about much of anything.
—Mark Mitchell, artist
My regrets start as early as midnight New Year's Eve. I regret my overall degenerate behavior on that night, whiskey consumption, and conduct toward one of my dearest friends, DK Pan. I regret not playing enough chess with DRCM, DK, and Baso. I also regret not purchasing flowers for my girlfriend from the sweet old man who frequents Vermillion. Lastly, I regret not telling my friends and family I love them as periodically as I should.
—No Touching Ground, artist
We regret spending way too much time on Facebook. Our company changed this year from Dumb Eyes to Civilization, and Facebook wouldn't let us update our fan page. Thanks, Facebook. Here's hoping everyone will be on Tumblr in 2013.
—Civilization, art/design group
I regret Jerry Sandusky and bath salts.
—Hannah Victoria Franklin, actor
I regret the hours I've had my ass in my chair in the newsroom instead of being out in the world. I regret how certain I am sometimes. I regret how little time there is to think about what I write and do. I regret taking a mental-health break after seeing the Cindy Sherman show at MoMA only to leave my beautiful Lumix camera on the bench. I regret, for that matter, that MoMA is one of the most attention-deficit-inducing places I've ever been. While I'll never regret going to Documenta in Kassel, Germany, since I had some of the most important art experiences of my life there, I do regret spending money I didn't have to get there and also not staying an extra day or two. I regret the ways I keep art tidy and discrete in my writing sometimes, never connecting it to life as it's lived, to sex, politics, bigotry, hatred, and love, among other things. And I always regret the art I didn't write about for lack of words or time. This is the regret that is perpetually present, a constant companion in my life.
—Mary Louise Schumacher, critic
My regret is mundane: I regret I have spent too much time working and not enough time playing this last year.
—Beth Sellars, curator
I regret the times when I did not make myself stand back and take another look, and then act accordingly. It's too easy to get swept up in the right-now and let oneself imagine that the right-now is the whole and only universe of possibilities.
—John Boylan, conversation-starter
I regret that I have not yet won the Powerball, because there are lots of good deeds I cannot yet afford to do. I do NOT regret giving our duck a hysterectomy. I regret all the weight I have not lost. I regret not buying tickets to Avenue Q before they sold out. I regret missing Liberty High School's production of Little Shop of Horrors, which I hear was amazing. I regret eating at that place where the food was lousy and the service was, too.
—Gary Tucker, Pacific Northwest Ballet
I regret not finishing construction on my submarine, which was to be my new work/live space at the bottom of Elliott Bay. I had so many of the small details squared away with the contractor, but I failed to anticipate the financial obstacles of building a working submarine. This regret will linger and gnaw away at me as the years pass by and I sit here, looking out wistfully on the waters of Elliott Bay.
—Drew Christie, animator, artist, and director
Not loving her enough.
—Dave Kennedy, artist
I regret not spending more time in nature. Seriously, having access to beautiful hikes in this area is a gift. I regret not saying, "Hello, you look great," even though that's all I wanted to say. I regret going back for thirds, because the meal didn't sit well afterward. Back home in South Carolina, you're just getting started on round three. I regret wasted time and energy directed toward wasted causes and distractions that mean less to me than the fact that I didn't go to my high school senior prom. I regret that I've allowed so many regrets to define me. I regret that we don't just hang out enough without talking about art. I regret that we didn't do that thing we almost did. I regret that I don't say "thank you" nearly enough. Thank you.
—Paul Rucker, artist and musician
I regret that my friends who died of AIDS in the early '90s, who fought so hard for gay rights, didn't live to see marriage equality pass.
—Tonya Lockyer, director of Velocity Dance Center
I regret not proposing to Rachel Maddow when she read at Town Hall. I do not regret avoiding Twinkies, even after Hostess crashed.
—Catherine Smyka, editor of T(OUR) Magazine
I regret not seeing more shows (I'm looking at you, On the Boards). I regret not getting to more exhibitions (how did I miss zoe|juniper at the Frye?). I regret not seeing Riz DJ more than twice (unacceptable). Also, I regret seeing more about my friends' lives on Facebook than in person. I will do better in 2013.
—Randy Engstrom, arts administrator
—Paul Mullin, playwright
I regret eating that chalupa before I saw HUMP! I regret that Nicholson Baker coined "Malcolm Gladwell" as a term for the penis before I did. I regret any time I have gotten all meaningful-core when talking to my wife's friends about theater.
—Noah Benezra, Washington Ensemble Theater
I regret, while having tea with a dear friend, agreeing to watch a computer at a neighboring table while the owner ran to her car. I believe I quipped: "Absolutely, we're trusty ladies!" I regret this because 10 minutes later, it had completely slipped my mind, my friend and I got up to leave, and we ran into the computer's owner reentering the tea shop. SHAME.
—Jennifer Zeyl, designer and director
I regret that I wasn't more offended by Dan Savage's Miracle! What does that say about me?
—Evan Tucker, production director of Intiman Theater
I regret that I am scared to make art every single day. Even the days I am actively making art, I am scared. So much fear! I keep trying to trick Isaac Layman into sharing the secret of his confidence, but it hasn't worked yet. I NEED TO JUSTIFY MY EXISTENCE RIGHT NOW, YOU GUYS.
—Jennifer Zwick, artist
I regret that I didn't start a regional art fair that emphasizes a more approachable approach for people who want to buy art but don't know where to start, featuring galleries and small purveyors that already sell art within reach in Seattle, Vancouver, BC, and Portland. I regret that Shaun Kardinal's killer design for the Space Needle didn't even make it to the final round. I regret that it took so long for people in our country to figure out that LGBT people aren't second-class citizens, but I'm glad we're starting to figure it out in Washington State. I regret not making time for sleep. Ever.
—Sharon Arnold, artist