For newer readers, I always point back to December 2001 and ask you to read my New Years entry from way back in the day. Go read. Now. Then come back here. Okay, you're back. Here's this year's entry. The entire universe knows that I am an opinionated pop culture whore. But it seems that 2005 wasn't the year for me to soak up the media culture surrounding me like the metaphorical sponge I have been known in the past to be. I was in the office recently and they were talking about "the rap song with the part in it where the chicken tastes like wood" and I launched into a total oral interpretation (a la Princemere Readers for you Gordonoids out there) of Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" word for word. Not the whole thing from the beginning, just the part where the friend invites the rapper over to eat and the food is horrible and it ends with "that's okay baby bubba we're still friends."
Everyone in the office was in stitches, so I went to the computer and googled the lyrics and brought them back to lunch and read my other favorite part of the song ("I said I am the Master Gee and I'd like to say hello...") which had everyone screaming in the aisles once again.
It then dawned on me, that I'm really good at the I love the 80s and 90s kinds of trivial pop culture pursuits, but the first half of this decade has not been that interesting to me, thus I have no really good Year End wrap ups for you. I will look back on a few things that happened in pop culture and in my personal life. Most
I only saw a handful of movies this year, so I don't have a top 10 list. I saw Harry Potter. I enjoyed it. It was sad that more than half the story was missing but the movie was still too incredibly long. I still haven't seen Narnia, but I will next weekend for Geoff's birthday. I saw Wallace and Gromit Curse of the Wererabbit, and because I am an Aardman fan I liked it, but I could see why so many people wanted to throw rotten tomatoes at it. I'm sorry. It was a film made for me, and my kids, and it was funny. And that's all that mattered. I watched both of the King Kong Movies, from 1933 and 1978 or whenever
As far as music goes, you all know I continue my love for BNL, and won that guitar from that radio station and then proceeded a few months later to have it signed by the rest of the band members just about a month ago. They are working on a new album, which hopefully will be as amazing as their past work and will make me love them even more.
But do I like any other bands as of late?
Yes I do. Yes indeedie I do.
Death Cab For Cutie is the one gem out of the caucophony of sounds that are flung at us from around the planet, over the airwaves, on TV Shows (like the OC, where they have been featured) and in TV commercials. This Seattle based band released their sixth studio album this past year, Plans, and it is simply beautiful and astonishing and stunning.
They remind me of Barenaked Ladies in a way, because the songs are gorgeously layered and immensely sad. BNL puts out a lot of songs that are simply heartbreakingly sad, deal with mental illness, and hide behind happy pop-tunes and silliness. Once you get past "One Week" and delve deeply into the BNL catalog, you see that they are incredibly smart, thoughtful, sad and profound songwriters. Death Cab For Cutie does the same thing to me, and featuring keyboard as strongly as BNL does with their star Kevin Hearn, I find myself deeply thankful to have found them and that they're breaking through with this album. I look forward to going back through their catalog and find gems that I can attach to my heart.
I have an ongoing love for the Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan's band. Their album released this past year "Rebel, Sweetheart" contained one of the most beautiful songs ever "God says nothing back," which blew me away the first moment I heard it.
For books, I didn't read anything Oprah Book Clubbish or popular. I'm steering clear of the whole DaVinci Code madness that is masquerading as spirituality and profound thought these days. I refuse to read the book, see the movie, read the counter arguments against Dan Brown's novel. I'm just not going there. I read a lot of history this year, and a little bit of comedy. I read Laurie Notaro's books, they were like reading a blog, only I could fall asleep and drop the book on my husband's head. I read an interesting study of what is left of the chunks of rock strewn about the planet that are still labeled the British Empire. It is called "Outposts" and it is by Simon Winchester. It is a good book. And I learned a lot more about the Falkland Islands than I ever knew before.
And I read the first two of the three (third one not yet released) Eragon books while camping this summer. They are beautifully written and while it is totally nerdy of me to be a 39 year old woman reading about Dragons and crap like that, I greatly enjoyed the stories. And I am so painfully worried that the movie, which will be coming out in 2006, is going to suck and blow at the same time.
I also read the Artemis Fowl books, again...
I think that grown up (allegedly grown up) fiction in my opinion is Oprah book club shove down the throat crap, poorly written or written on a fourth grade reading level. So I stay away from a lot of that and am enjoying sharing the literature that my daughter enjoys. Truth be told, it's better than most of what's on the NY Times bestseller list for grownups.
On the whole though, I read a lot of blogs. But you knew that.
Teacher, Mother, Secret Lover. Yes, TV is still my good friend. We enjoyed our DirectTV football package (and are still enjoying it this weekend, which is the last weekend of the season) to enjoy our favorite sport ever. We also watched a lot of Mythbusters, which is by far our favorite show. Simpsons reruns not withstanding, I greatly enjoyed watching My Name Is Earl and The Office back to back this fall, and have grown completely addicted to Earl and hate going a week without him. I need to see the BBC version of The Office, but truth be told, I'm completely crushing on the guy who plays Jim on The Office. Sssh. Don't tell anyone.
We watch a lot of kid TV here, and the stand out is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Jessica is so into it that she writes fan fiction and nerds it up with other A:TLA fans online.
And I think the Real World Austin finally broke me of my Real World addiction. It sucked so bad, and I hated all the kids, and I didn't get sucked into the marathon the way I do every time it comes on. That speaks volumes.
The rest of life
We didn't geocache nearly as much as we have in years past. We were on pace to find our 450th but October was so rainy and horrible that we got monkeywrenched. I also gained back the weight I lost last year... so I'll be trying hard to drop the pounds again and not look like the pregnant one in my circle of friends. Of course, doing it right and healthy and with plenty of hiking is the way to do it. I only hope mother nature cooperates with my plans.
As you know, we lost our dog Kinger this year. Geocaching hasn't been as fun without him.
Aaron moved out west, he and Michelle split up. Tonight, it being New Years Eve, I'm missing them the most. Funny how three or four years ago I never would have imagined spending New Years without them.
I secured full time employment after 2 years of underemployment / unemployment, and am incredibly happy with where I landed. I love my coworkers, I love my boss, I love what it is that I'm doing. I'm immensely happy. I just wish it wasn't such a long commute with lots of dingbats in front of me. That's the only thing I truly dislike. I may kvetch or complain or whinge about a little thing here or there, but on the whole, I'm in a good, happy place work wise. The kids are good. I love Doug. And that's all there need be.
I got a new camera, and got addicted to flickr.com, where I live daily and have met some really cool people through there.
And on that note, there isn't much else to say. The fondue is ready, and Doug made me a scorpion or a zombie or something. And I'm going to go join my family in having fun. Pictured here is this entry with my drink for my New Years Eve toast. Here's to you in 2006 friends. Be well and happy and safe. Much love.