1.06.2009

experimental (arts): 2008

According to the Chinese, 2008 was the Year of the Rat. To me, it felt like the Year of the Owl because it was the year I mastered flight. Also, I learned a ton.

If you think owls carry an unfair stereotype as being the smartypants of the animal kingdom, just listen to this: the day we dissected owl pellets in high school bio, what did I find to my astonishment and delight but traces of Mensa puzzles, Economist articles, muddied m
รถbius bands, and a bit of Stuart Little's mangled right paw? I say they have earned their bragging rights as scholars and gentlemen.

And this was my year to follow in the flightpath of that old, grizzled Chinese Owl, learning all sorts of things like how to like, love, talk to/like adults, SEO, deal with credit cards companies, 401Ks, sew (sort of), cook (sort of), start a business, use the phrase "gild the lily" appropriately, get fat and happy and self-actualized and all that. On the other hand, my media consumption suffered considerably. Is this just what happens as you get older?


MUSIC

BEST
Finding the Beatles Christmas Records from '64-'69 in mp3 format! I had never heard these before. Best
unexpected Christmas gift, hands down. Cribble Mismas to me.

RUNNER UPPERS
I didn't listen to music very much this year but I did give these due consideration:

Jelly Roll Morton - Mister Jelly Lord
Fennesz - Black Sea
Department of Eagles - In Ear Park

Beck - Modern Guilt
Fleet Foxes
Mason Proper
Ivana XL

Instead, I mostly just listened to lots of old standards -(Pulp, Bob Dylan, Eno, Uncle Tupelo, Karl Blau, Songs Ohia, blah) and newbie Taylor Swift (who saw this one coming?).
This was my favorite song in '08.

I was also turned on to Awesome Tapes From Africa and that was a particularly pleasant find.

LET DOWNS
Scott Walker - The Drift. Um, terrifying. I also give a big fat "meh" to Vampire Weekend.



CONCERT

How is it possible that I didn't even go to one show this year?
(Or did I? Apparently if I did it wasn't so memorable.)


BOOK

BEST
The Road. Simple but packs a punch.


RUNNERS UP

The Sacred and Profane Love Machine
Welcome to the Monkey House

No Country For Old Men
Calvin and Hobbes (
various)
Jesus the Christ (still working my way through it but I feel confident enough)

LET DOWNS
Guy Davenport. I really, really like most of the challenging, layered stories in The Death of Picasso, but its
glorified and graphic pedophilic themes make me (ME!) uncomfortable. Also, it's a little too smug in its "experimental fiction"-ness for me.


TELEVISION

BEST
Flight of the Conchords. (Dedicated to you, '08 Owl).

RUNNERS UP
Are You Being Served?
My So Called Life
any 30 Rock scenes that include Tracy Morgan

LET DOWNS
ummmm. . . nearly getting addicted to The Hills, online, somehow.



FILM

BEST
Wall-E and Paris, Texas (tie)

RUNNERS UP
Getting to see a film print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dave lightspeeding through the supernova is insanely awesome on a big screen.

Rachel Getting Married
Mister Lonely
Green Porno
Scenes From a Marriage
Milky Way Liberation Front
Let the Right One In
My Winnapeg
Reprise

Husbands and Wives
Kramer vs Kramer
Synecdoche,
New York and Kung Fu Panda (read my thoughts on these last two).

LET DOWNS
Vicky, Christy, Barcelona
The Idiots
The Dark Knight
Nick and Norah's Ultimate Snoozefest
Theater of War
Gates of Heaven
Slumdog Millionaire


WEIRD AWARD
3 Women. Whaaaaaa?


FOOD

BEST

Pantrucas, hiding out in a stripmall a little north of the Provo Temple, makes the best sandwich ever - the Churasco Palta. The owner is also fascinating.

RUNNERS UP
Kitchenette Omelette, but made in my own kitchen for ten dollars less.
Whole Foods' goat cheese spinach salad with blueberries and soy nuts, made in my kitchen for 4 dollars more.
Hatch Family Chocolate's Dark Chocolate Caramel Krispy.

La Esquina.
India Palace.
Avocados.
English muffins.

Cheese (assorted).

LET DOWNS
Gandolfos - what has happened to you, downtown location? You used to make the best West Side Story and
now it's just a soggy, sad mess.

Gurus- when did all your entrees get so bland? If it weren't for your sweet potato fries I don't think I'd even visit you at all anymore.


Dinosaur BBQ. Please, I'm from KC, you're gonna have to do better than that.

Colby Jack. And you call yourself cheese.



THINGS

BEST






















RUNNERS UP
sitting around and making up absurd music with jared
sitting around and making up absurd dances with jared

sitting around with jared
concepting and writing my first real website

morningside heights dance parties

hunter's drum stool
dusting off my copa mundials after 5 years of shelf sitting
starting phylum kingdom
getting netflix. duh.
hieing to kolob - >
















corinne and ted getting engaged!

testimony. line upon line, precept upon precept.
my entire family getting together at thanksgiving.
leaving new york to start a creative writing program and then dropping out of the mfa


LET DOWNS
leaving new york to start a creative writing program and then dropping out of the mfa
my entire family getting together for thanksgiving and all getting the same awful illness.
the election. what an annoying time that was.


What I have learned:
I am very interested in science and nature, though still rotten at that Trivial Pursuit category
I am very blessed.
Provo is a cool town.
Things that smell like cinnamon are irresistible to me.
I would make an excellent contender on American Gladiators because
I AM INVINCIBLE!


Watch out 2009, you old Ox. You are mine.

7 comments :

dn said...

What do you want out of Colby Jack? It's like asking for something out of Charlie Sheen.

I'd say you're lucky to have only been ill during Thanksgiving, and not during your owl pellet dissection. It's an established salmonella risk. Read all about it.

Mic and Jazzy said...

I'm going to assume that the only reason why I didn't make your best food section is that I didn't make you rice krispy treats or lasagne this year.

cole said...

'08 was a beatles revival year for me, too. i want to go digging for those christmas recordings now…

casey elizabeth said...

best: adrienne aggen

let down: only see her a few times over the break

however...i hope to see that lady in chicago in 09!!!

also, i second the pffftt in the general direction of vampire weekend..lame

i think i only went to two concerts in 08. flight of the conchords and chris thile.edgar meyer...both excellent...yup

emily and logan said...

adrienne, you're funny.

Alex and Katie said...

DISH SOAP

Best: Dawn, antibacterial, apple smell

Runners up: using nothing

Worst: Joy, lemon

Kendra said...

I need you, my wise old owl, to help me be more adventurous. In return, I will help you be adventurous and teach you to snowboard your way into '09.

And Wall-E trumps Kung Fu? I'm intrigued. Time for me to see the robot movie.