Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of the year housecleaning

As usual the end of the year has arrived before I'm ready for it. I prefer to slow down during the transition between years, but with a trip home for Christmas and keeping stats for eight basketball games over two days, that plan went out the window this year. So be it.

The year-end crush has kept me from one of the things I enjoy a lot: scouring top ten/best of lists. It's a good way to find what I might have missed in music and books. (I think I have a good handle on the year in movies, although there are always some I've missed or haven't given year-end consideration.) There certainly isn't a shortage of these lists. I'd grouse about how now they pop up too early--any time before Christmas--but there's no use fighting it. I'll get my own lists up here early in January and make any necessary tweaks to the best in film list in preparation for our special edition of NOW PLAYING.

Anyway, this post is all about catching up with posting brief thoughts and links that I meant to post earlier and never got around to doing. Here goes...

I'm halfway through Zadie Smith's novel ON BEAUTY. So far, so good. I like to read but don't do it as often as I should, so it's gratifying to sink into a book as all-encompassing and absorbing as this. Serendipitously I came across an NPR interview with Smith while returning from my parents'. It's from The Diane Rehm Show. If you can get past the host's voice--she sounds like she's two hundred eighty years old, and it drives me crazy--it's worth a listen. Just ignore the caller non-questions, which are an inevitable part when the public is invited to ask writers, filmmakers, etc. questions.

I picked up Herman Melville's MOBY-DICK again this year. While I haven't been able to make it through all of it yet, I'm amazed how funny and entertaining the book is.

Santa didn't bring an iPod for yours truly this Christmas, not that I expected it, but my brother Philip gave me his lower capacity MP3 player since he has purchased one that stores more. I've been using it to listen to the podcasts with Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. Gervais and Merchant, the creative engines behind THE OFFICE and EXTRAS, are a hoot as they pick on British comedian Pilkington. Of course, you can listen to it on your computer. You don't need a portable device.

Back in my Kentucky blogging entry, I failed to include a link to Donna Bowman's blog. Oversight corrected.

I'll be posting my 2005 film list soon enough, although my failure to keep on top of it is going to have me doing a lot of work to remember what I saw. I'm capping my 2005 filmgoing with RUMOR HAS IT this afternoon. Rumor has it that it isn't very good.

OK, so there are photos and other things I'm not going to get up here before the year changes, but this hodgepodge has been rattling around my brain for awhile. Now I can start the new year not feeling like I have a backlog of clutter to bore you with. All boring entries will be fresh.

So, have a happy new year, and I'll see you again in 2006.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:44 PM

    Thanks for the link, Mark, and a very happy New Year to you and yours.