Saturday, December 31, 2005

Obligatory Year-End Post

Okay, so 2005 is almost done. Hard to believe, right? I mean remember when everyone thought the world would blow-up in 2000? Well, the apocalypse is now over six years late. Also, the robots didn't take over yet. Though really, given the state of political leadership, particularly here and in the USA, maybe we should just let the machines run things anyway. But enough, I'm not much for preambles anyway. Here are my my favourite things of 2005. The categories are completely random and so are the selections I made in each of them.

Coolest Store:
That would be City Lights, a bookstore in San Francisco. Now I know that indie bookstores are usually cool anyway, but this one had stuff I had never seen anywhere. A two-volume set of Dostoevsky's diaries? Who has that? Tolstoy's Sebastopol Sketches? Brilliant. Add the cachet that this store was frequented by Jack Kerouac in his day and yeah, City Lights was the coolest store that I went to this year.

Best New Album:
Twin Cinema by the New Pornographers I'd say. There were a lot of great albums that came out this year. But nothing has me turning up the volume as much both at home and in the car. The first two New Pornographers albums never did all that much for me, but this one I'm loving. If you want to download a taste, my favourite tracks are: Twin Cinema, Bleeding Heart Show, and Sing Me Spanish Techno.

Best Old Album (That I Picked Up):
Sandinista! by The Clash of course. You need this album, I cannot emphasize this point enough. On London Calling The Clash were branching out from punk, but here they seem completely unimpeded by the dictates of genre. Is it long? Yes. Is there a few tracks that are arguably filler? Yes. But still, you need to hear this album. The Clash carried the spirit of punk into new territories here, they refused to stay in a three-chord ghetto. For the all the attitude and the scary outfits, punks seem to be profoundly conservative with their genre.

Quote of the Year:
Ziggy: "People stare at me at the swimming pool. I think it's 'cause I got a hairy back. So I'm going to shave a middle finger into it."

or perhaps,

Neil: "I don't have my wallet, and I'm wearing your underwear."

Kazakhstani of the Year:

Accomplishment of the Year (by Me):

Getting into teachers college? Pssssh, that wasn't too hard. Completing my fretless bass project by refinishing and modding it. Yeah! That's an accomplishment!

Surprise of the Year:
I can still paint, and not too badly either it seems. (Kie better hope this is true.)

Person of the Year:
Ziggy (aka: Tzvetan Dragnev). I don't even know where to begin. I think at first I was a bit unnerved working with this crazy Bulgarian. But now I miss the guy, everything from the crude jokes and stereotypes to the insightful discussions on literature. Unfortunately Ziggy's back in Bulgaria now, taking care of his folks, or smuggling arms maybe, I don't know. Either way I'm sure he's drinking vodka and cheering for Levski. Make your movie someday, Ziggy, we all want to see it.

Read of the Year:
Probably the last two books of the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders.

Okay. That's all I have for now. Maybe I'll add more later. Be safe tonight people.