Wish I’d had this list to hand out back when I was a journalist…and when I was dating…5 things you should know before dating a journalist.
Category Archives: life
Quote of the Day: “We drank a toast to innocence/We drank a toast to now…” — “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg
Every so often I do a “Reasons to be Cheerful” list, in which I detail all the things that are making me happy, even when there’s a variety of things to complain, bitch or kvetch about it. I choose not to; I choose instead to celebrate. Herewith the final Reasons to be Cheerful aka The Things I Loved about 2008. Maybe you’ ll agree; maybe you won’t. I just like to share.
• “Single Ladies”—The. Best. Video. Of. The. Year. No other way to put it. The new “Thriller”; everyone was doing it—at parties, on the Main Green at Brown University, on subway platforms in New York City, on Youtube. The kind of music video that (almost) makes you not care that most of the pop music on the commercial landscape feels like it was negotiated into existence rather than recorded. Beyonce is the best, right now.
• The Shield: The finale got it right. Hell isn’t other people; it is a suit, a desk job, no family or living friends around you. Vic had it coming; but so did we. We got the brilliant ending we deserved. And will someone please nominate Walter Goggins for an Emmy next year?
• The one-two punch of “Viva la Vida” and “Cemeteries of London”, tracks 3 and 4 on Coldplay’s latest CD—the first a grandly elegant tour of this band’s best elements: stadium-sized intimacy, explosive elegance, and a tactile sense of drama; the second, a haunting, heartbeat of a song, a weird, wily waltz, punctuated by the best rhythm work this band has ever done. Whoever hooked them up with Brian Eno knew exactly what they were doing.
• That moment, about an hour into The Dark Knight, when I thought, Oh yeh, that’s Heath Ledger playing The Joker. The kind of performance upon which legends are made became a final moment of young, raging reaching reeediculous (to quote my boy MillaTime) brilliance…
• Being able to read for pleasure again, book after book after book. Loved Mark Harris’s smart, funny, touching Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. If you love movie history and the 60s you’ll love the way Harris intertwines the making-of stories behind 1967’s Best Picture nominees Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Doctor Doolittle, In the Heat of the Night, and The Gradate, with cogent analysis of race, Sidney Poitier, celebrity, and the inevitable shifts that post-mid-century American pop culture endured to make way for the future.
• Junot Diaz winning the Pulitzer, y’all. Right around the same time I was re-reading the wondrous work of art that is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for a class I heard the announcement that homeboy had taken the prize. It’s hard to read through tears, I’ll tell you. Yeh, I’m a complete sentimentalist, kids. But it was just great to hear not only that a friend had won, but had done it with such a special, relevant, hilarious, heartbreaking and utterly contemporary book.
• Catching the pre-preview trailer for Watchmen while waiting for The Dark Knight to start.
• Discovering that Providence Place Mall has a Clarks’ Store. Three pairs of Wallabees, two pairs of Desert Boots, two belts, and a big credit bard bill later, I was in heaven, sheer heaven.
• The tight, rocking hotness of REM’s Accelerate, their best CD in years, full of the energy and drive that made them one of the best rock bands of my generation.
• Patti Lupone as Mama Rose. In Gypsy. Ethel, Angela, Tyne, Bette, and Bernadette who? (In all honesty, Bernadette’s Rose IS my second favorite Rose…)
• “Miles Away”—the one bright spot on Madonna’s otherwise unlistenable, dated, turgid, nasty, crackheaded Hard Candy disaster. Thank God for iPods. This from the man who thinks Madonna made some of the best pop albums of the last 20 years.
• Tricia Rose’s book, The Hip Hop Wars. The best discussion/debate about hiphop you’ll have this year or any other.
• Driving to New York with Molly and Andy, Molly and I introducing Andy to the greatness that is Billy Joel’s The Stranger CD. Sometimes you just have to pass it on, you know?
• Bettye Levette, on the Kennedy Center Honors, turning out The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” bringing out even more of the songs torrid, bluesy balladry of longing and pain.
• Beyonce serenading La Streisand on the same show with “The Way We Were”, hair done up in a Barbra-style bouffant circa ’68—and ending it with a sweet coda of honor and thanks to be singing a legend’s song to said legend. I. Love. Her. LuvHuh. Luvthemboth.
• Movie Day 1 with Jimmy and Mike V. and Grant and all the other boys who made Brown 2.0 the fun crazy adventurous loving time that it was.
• Movie Day 2 with Mike D and Greg and Alex and all the other kids who made Summer 2008 so much crazy Frisbee and beer-filled fun.
• Re-reading Judy Blume’s Then Again, Maybe I Won’t.
• The look on (Ugly) Betty’s face at the end of the “Bad Amanda” episode when Amanda—who basically left them broke and rent-less after some skanky behavior out on the town—took some responsibility for the haps: “It was a little bit your fault but it was mostly my fault…I don’t know. I’d say it more like 70-40, me.”
• “The Scott & Ivan Dinner and Discussion Tour”…Coming soon to a town near you!
• Some people only get to watch Paul Newman as Texas Dude Hud. I get to have a real one in my life. And The Hud in my life is coming back to Camp Bruno.
• The Sex and the City flick wasn’t really that good. But damn if it wasn’t fun to chill with the girls for a coupla hours.
• The sheer pop grandeur of The Killers Day & Age. So good.
• The black dude won.
Quote of the Day “Oh Donna/Oh Oh Donna/Oh oh oh, Looking for my Donna…” — from HAIR