Monday, January 4, 2010

Thus begins 2010

1) I got the new album by Muse, “The Resistance” and have been listening to it on repeat most of the week. Muse is fast becoming one of my favorite bands. This summer when I was riding my bike to work a couple times a week I would listen to “Black Holes and Revelations” without fail on the ride south. It was upbeat and a good length, I would measure how long the ride was taking by where I was on the trail when certain songs came on.
Anyway, “The Resistance” is awesome, here’s the review that convinced me to buy it (along with hearing “Uprising,” my favorite track on the album). It’s dead on. I am lover of excess. In one song the singer goes on a 2:15 minute parenthetical tangent while in the middle of a word. How could I not love it? There are a couple moments in the album where the band seems to be stealing something (a chord, a beat) directly from Queen. Not really a problem, if anything I’d like to hear more bands attempting to emulate one of the greatest bands of all time, we could all use some more bombast.

2) On Tuesday Bert and I went over to Paul and Stephanie’s for dinner with them and Dana, who’s in town for about a week. We had Thai Curry and played this castle building game that’s simple and a lot of fun. Bert won the second time (color me proud). Mostly we just chatted and laughed and had a good time.

3) I guess there was a work week in there? I was doing a lot of unpacking & organizing while listening to Muse on repeat, so it barely even registered.

4) Then Bert and I spent two great days together. On New Year’s Eve he drove down to Hyde Park and picked me up at work. We went to Calypso for lunch (delicious!) then we went to my apartment and took a nap so I would stand a chance of staying awake to midnight. Then we met Bert’s best friend Christopher at DuChamp, a fancy restaurant in Buck Town. We had a four-course meal. The first two were good, I got some lobster mushroom pizza and then steak and a tiny quiche. The third course was a cheese plate that barely registered and the last course was a small array of desserts that ranged from poorly executed to meh. So the food was a bit underwhelming (especially considering the price of the meal), but the company was nice. I don’t think I’d go again.
Then we took a cab (it was really cold) to Clark/Division/thereabouts for the New Year’s Eve cocktail party we’d been invited to by Ben who I know from the LGBT Alumni Committee. It was pretty cramped (about 40 people in a studio apartment) and we almost left at 11:30 because I was feeling sleepy, but we met a couple new people and generally had a good time. And I was glad we decided to stick around when we all went up to the rooftop to ring in 2010. It was super cold and windy, but it was a great view of the skyline and hopefully the pictures will show that. It was a fun 10 minutes. It was nice to have someone to celebrate with. Here we all all dressed up:

5) We slept in on New Year’s (which is the whole point of the holiday IMO. Then we went to see Sherlock Holmes, which was entertaining, if not exactly what I wanted. It’s definitely an action film with a Sherlock Holmes veneer, I was hoping the trailer was misleading and had packed all the action in to those 3 minutes ala V for Vendetta. Alas this is not the case. Still, RDJ is in top form and the few moments where he is really Sherlocking it up are superb. We gave it a B-
Then we went to Target because Bert has a car and can just decide to go to Target on a whim like that (something I’m still not used to). Among other things we both got new toothbrushes so we don’t have to lug them back and forth all the time. Then we got Thai food for dinner near his place, had our first argument (which ironically was about me not being optimistic), and then talked through it. Back at his place we watched Drop Dead Gorgeous (cute an funny, Loretta is my favorite) and then I started playing through God of War on his PS2. There’s nothing quite like lying around with your boyfriend while playing through a new videogame. :)

6) January 2nd – We went and got breakfast at a place near him, “Pauline's” I think. The orange juice and French toast I got were amazing. The potatoes were okay. Then he drove me home and thus ended our amazing 2 days together. We didn’t get on each other’s nerves so I think that bodes well.

7) JJ came over that afternoon and we watched “Adventures in Babysitting” for the first time. It was gloriously campy. I think the moment the movie really came together for me is when the babysitter and her charges are on the run from a couple of generic mobsters and stumble into a Blues club and end up singing about their adventure thus far. Though the scene with Thor the auto mechanic was great too. Also when Brenda is berated by the man who lives in the telephone booth.

8) Throughout the day I watched the last disc of Angel season 4 (the last episode got me really excited for season 5) and worked on building an animation puppet for a music video I am working on in my sparest time. I copied the style from David Pagano’s Playback video. You can see a drawn version of the character in this video. The song I’m working on is Go Kartin’ from the album 93.

I spent most of the time on the head and I think my work really paid off.

9) Once I had exhausted Angel I started watching through the top ten animations of 2009 from the Animation Blog. Which is a misleading, since there are many more than 10 and they were produced in a variety of years, but just reviewed by that blog in 2009. Anyway of those, here were the ones I liked the best.
Stay in my Memory – I don’t like the song, but I love the pop-up book effect.
The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9 - Monsters are awesome.
The Year of the Dear – I’d already seen several pieces by Georges Schwizgebel, my favorite of which is still The Man without a Shadow, I think his work is best when grounded in a narrative, but I find all his stuff mesmerizing.
Lovesick – A cute little stop animated piece.
Jam Session – The clay work in this is fantastic.
Bolero (Part 1/Part 2) – An awesome video in the vein of Fantasia that’s vaguely about evolution.
Watching these filled me with all sorts of ideas for future projects (as if I didn’t have enough of those already) I did this last year too. It’s my favorite New Year’s tradition.

10) I spent a good amount of Sunday cleaning the apartment. I did the dishes, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom (even the shower/tub) and also organized some things like my cds/dvds and lego instructions. Feels good to start off the year clean. Then I did a little animating, the end result of which you will see very soon.

FYI, I was listening to “The Resistance” the entire time I composed this post (which I now do during my commute).

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