Friday, December 31, 2004

De rigeur last post of 2004:

*I am so into Marilynne Robinson. First I read Housekeeping -- twice. Today I finished her latest, Gilead, for the second time, underlining and making marginal notes all the way through. I cannot wait to get started on reviewing it, I just hope I don't screw it up. Also bought a new copy for my mom; tomorrow's her birthday. This evening I started Robinson's collection of essays: The Death of Adam. Excellent so far. it's much easier to read a book than write about it. I have taken more notes than I'll ever be able to use for the pitiful amount of space I receive at the Free Times but, as I sometimes do, maybe I'll be able to post all my raving thoughts here.

Other best novels I read this year: Russel Banks' The Darling and David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.

*Other stuff to be reviewed in the immediate weeks ahead: Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Copland, With by Donald Harrington, Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, One Matchless Time: A Biography of William Faulkner by Jay Parini.

*Kate is absolutely kicking ass at school. I was so happy with her grades I bought her the Anchorman DVD.

*Best music collection or CD or anything I received over the past year: the Rhino box set No Thanks!: The `70s Punk Rebellion, which I remixed and reburned and reheard a bazillion times over the past 12 months and I still, STILL discover fresh things from it. A perfectly limitless source of delight and inspiration.

Song I played the most over the past year: "Where Were You?" by the Mekons. 67 plays on the computer alone, according to iTunes, but it was much, much more than that.

*Music collection most likely to pull off the same feat in the Year of Our Lord 2005: Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the `80s Underground. So far, so brilliant. More on this later.

*Song from the above I CANNOT QUIT PLAYING: "Still in Hollywood" by Concrete blonde. A masterpiece.

*Speaking of the 1980s ... I got the classic -- I think it's a classic anyway -- DVD of Valley Girl at Circuit City for $10. A terrific picture of the time, and unjustly unappreciated. That's how I remember it anyway.

*What was the best movie I saw over the past year? It wasn't Closer, that's for sure. And it wasn't The Aviator, although that did have a kick-ass closing act; it's the rare Scorsese film that inspires indifference most of the way through. Was it The Incredibles? Or I Heart Huckabees? I could definitely sit through both again, I'll say that. Two others I loved that come to mind: the French film Intimate Strangers and End of the Century, the Ramones documentary.

*Minor goal for the year ahead: Blog more often and more intelligently.

OK. Enough silliness. Time to go watch Regis.

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