What a friggin year. Can I say friggin here? Because what I mean is motherfucking. A motherfucker of a year.
In the grand scheme of things, as they say, it wasn’t a bad one for the majority of the world. There were terrific events, like the power shift in Congress and the solving of Poincare’s Conjecture, and a happy lack of terrorist attacks and hurricanes. But in our little family, we’re still mourning the losses and cataloging the destruction of our own Hurricane Lymphoma, our own October 11th.
2006 is year that tried its best, but will ultimately be remembered as that darn motherfucker of a year which had too much change and too many goodbyes in it.
But you know all that, and I know all that. It bears repeating, I suppose, but not beating into the ground. After all, 2006 tried to give us whatever good it could. Gosh, now I feel sort of bad for badmouthing it so vehemently. I’m sorry 2006. Here, let me celebrate you a little.
Fairly Good Stuff From The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six:
In April, D left his job of 5+ years to strike out on his own. His firm has been doing super-good business since then, with work aplenty. Hats off to my adventurous Darling and his Partner.
I’ve kept on plugging away at DePaul and earned a 4.0 each quarter.
Lanty weathered losing his best pal and sparring buddy and lost none of his spunk of great affection for his people.
I saw some great films this year. Almost none actually came out in 2006, but each was a highlight of my year.
Bad Day At Black Rock (1955) – I chose this movie for a project in my film class and was so happy with my choice. It’s a dark story about xenophobia and McCarthyism, set in a dusty ghost town in California right after World War II. Spencer Tracy quietly rips the screen apart in the lead role. The director, John Sturges, would go on to direct The Magnificent Seven among other classics.
The Prestige (2006) – Incredibly perplexing, riveting, and unsettling, this was an unexpected gem of a film. We picked it at the theater based on little more than the fact that both Christian Bale and Michael Caine were in it. They are both fantastic, but Hugh Jackman really took my breath away.
Nacho Libre (2006) – This was another film we saw without knowing much about it, and it was a gift. A sweet movie, a campy movie, a movie about salad.
High Noon (1952) – I watched this film in my Western Films course. I had never seen it before, and found it so surprisingly intense. There is something about post-war westerns that I find very compelling.
Winter Passing (2005) – A devastating, yet quiet film, filled with great performances. Sweet, unusual, and bittersweet.
Walk The Line (2005) – No need to tell you who is in this, what it’s about, or what awards it won. I watched it during one of D’s trips to Europe and was taken by the love story. I watched it again in October, and was torn up by the story of addiction and redemption.
Brokeback Mountain (2005) – Again, you know what’s going on with this movie. But, damn, it was good. Heath Ledger was incredible, just incredible.
Curse of the Crying Woman (1963) – Atmospheric little thriller, imported from Mexico and badly dubbed, so therefore right up my alley. And Abel Salazar -yum.
Casino Royale (2006)- Ah, James Bond. I love Connery in the role – who doesn’t – I love Timothy Dalton, and even love Roger Moore (one of the few who does, I know). Bond films conjure up happy memories for me: my first real boyfriend introduced me to the character, starting with Bond 1 – Connery in Dr. No. We watched several of the Connery Bonds, all in order, in what was probably my first retro-film fest. Those of you who know my video and DVD habits know that I live for a good retro-film fest, and I think we have Nice Boyfriend to thank for that. Zoom forward a handful of years, and you’ll find me and Antz with the flu, and watching a Bond marathon on tv to console ourselves. I’m so happy to be an adult, married and living on my own, but memories of happy nights watching Bond movies with Antz while mom worked late at the rehab center make me pretty nostalgic for days long past.
So, with such a rich history of Bond goodness behind me, I just did not know what to expect of this new Bond, but I knew I had to make his acquaintance. And what a firecracker he is. This is a terrific film; intense and riveting, just like its leading man. Daniel Craig is a stellar Bond. He is his own man, reinventing a character which had been nearly drained of any innovation. One of my favorite new films of the year, and perhaps my favorite Bond film.
Though I don’t watch much broadcast television, I found myself engrossed in a series or two on DVD, and a couple actually on tv:
Sex and the City (DVD) – three years after it ended, and eight after the phenomenon began, I finally watched this show. And watched. And watched. It got me through August, when I thought my heart was breaking.
The Electric Company (DVD) – Thank you, thank you, thank you to Sesame Workshop and to Shout Factory for finally releasing this greatest of all shows to DVD. The Electric Company was a HUGE part of my life growing up and watching these select episodes again was like getting a chunk of happiness restored to me.
Feasting on Asphalt (Food Network) – Alton Brown, food poet on a motorcycle.
Dirty Jobs (Discovery)- when I happened to catch it, I really enjoyed it.
Robot Chicken (DVD) – MORE BUTTER! MORE BUTTER! Also, it’s so good to see The Smurfs on TV again.
Music has been so important to me this year. It got me through so bad times; it reminded me of what joy is. Here’s a quick list of what’s been in my Top 25 on my pink iPod.
One word: DEVO
Blood, Sweat & Tears
several Music For Sleep type things
A Charlie Brown Christmas
and The Monkees, of course.
Web and Podcast Stuff:
RetroCRUSH.com and RetroCRUSH The Podcast – Robert Berry’s silly site and incredibly enjoyable podcast reminds us of what was important to us in the 80s: cereal and video games. Also, lots of even older junk!
X-entertainment.com – similar deal here, with more 80s stuff. I love the past Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade retrospectives.
Youtube.com – No kidding, I had never heard of this site until someone sent me a link to that Evolution of the Dance guy, or something like that. Once I started poking around the place, I was amazed at the depth of stuff to be found. In fact, D & I spent one night watching 80s music videos until 5am. Where else can you see the Tom Tom Club? I’m afraid Youtube’s golden age may be passing, though, what with all of the creepy video blogs -vlogs? – lonelygirl15 things that people are posting. I mean, video LiveJournal, ick. Well, go look at Brady Variety Hour videos there while you still can.
Oh, and how could I forget – 2006 was the year of the Mac! Got a perfect little Mac Mini in August and kissed PCs goodbye forever. Want to gander at my mad video editing skillz? Bring your tissues.
So, 2006 wasn’t all bad. I’m grateful for all of the joys, all of the soul growth and difficult lessons. I truly am. But, can 2007 be full of fuzzy happy bunnies, puleeeeze?