Maybe that sounds pessimistic, but seeing each new year as some new chapter or book entirely doesn't seem to fit anymore. It's just a long perspective of waves and valleys -- circumstances, attempted solutions, and consequences -- lather, rinse, and repeat.
That being said, I am glad to be writing again, and there are some things that I'm looking forward to in this next circuit of waves and valleys that I sort of lost track of during the last 12. First and foremost the fact that I'm writing (blogging) again, which I'm really happy about. But what would a return to blogging be without the hot sheet?
So before things get crazy again and I do one of those "sorry I haven't been posting" posts -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.
The State of the Union So, how are things with me? Eh, they're getting there. Money is an issue, which is more my fault than anyone's -- but finding a solution to it has proven really, really frustrating (hello acid reflux, didn't think you were coming back). But I've met some really awesome people in the past few months, and despite dark clouds here and there -- there are some very cool things I'm hoping to get to in the next few months. I'm registered to be in the River Run again for the first time in several years, and as my writing gets more active, I'm hoping to spread it around a little more and possibly try to make a few shekels with it too. Nothing written in stone yet, but lets see what develops.
Mohr Stories Like a lot of you out there these days, I spend a good part of my weekly headphone time with podcasts as well as music. One that I've started to really dig into and enjoy the most this week has been Jay Mohr's Mohr Stories. I've always been wishy-washy about Mohr, because I've always liked his comedy -- but then he does a guest host slot on Jim Rome's show and I start to think he's sort of an douche. But his podcast lives somewhere between those two poles, as he interviews comedians and friends about the industry -- and frequently veers off on tangents filled with movie quotes and impressions.
His wife, actress and super crush object Nikki Cox [pictured] is usually around too, and although I hate him for marrying her away from me (even if she didn't know it) there's something in the way they banter off each other that I really like. It's like having dinner with a couple that really loves each other and coming away from it not wanting to utterly puke your guts out because all they could do was make goo-goo eyes at each other. The other thing about Mohr that I enjoy (especially in podcast form) is how he genuinely enjoys laughing at even the smallest, silliest things -- which a lot of comedians don't always do. If you like comedy-based podcasts, but maybe need a different flavor than Marc Maron's self-depreciation, I'd highly suggest giving this one a try (hint: start with the Patrice O'Neal episode -- great stuff).
The Iowa Caucuses, etc. There's a point of saturation with political crap, especially in this world of 24-hour news cycles and re-tweeted opinions. Frankly I was sort of sick of all the republican hopefuls and their seeming lack of focused ideology by the zillionth debate in a row, but as we get closer and closer to the real thing, it's hard to look away. It's no secret people are fed up with the way the economy is and that most of them place their blame with Obama, but do they really think any of these candidates are going to be the ones to knock him off? The issues seem muddled, like no one really knows what to say or how hard to commit to anything too far lest it become a rope to hang themselves with (*koff* *koff* Herman Cain *koff*). Honestly, standing on the other side of the fence as I mostly am -- none of these people seem like the real bad guy in this movie plot. Like they're the henchmen, and Cobra Commander is going to show up in the 3rd act and say "Vote for me!"
The good part about that I suppose is that my guy (at least for now) seems like he has a clear shot at re-election. But like Don Cheadle said in tweeted response to criticism he got for wishing Obama was more "gangsta" as a president -- I think a lot of people felt let down by Obama's seeming lack of definitive policy moves. And to be honest -- my worry is that if he gets in a cakewalk election against a Ron Paul or a Rick Perry, where is Barack going to feel the motivation to do anything different? Politicians (and Obama certainly is one) rarely change their course without sufficient cause, and I think a lot of us are hoping that Obama has to fight like hell for re-election, and in doing so will get the fire back in his belly that we were hoping he'd have from the start.
Sevendust One of my absolute favorite bands, the Atlanta rockers played a packed house concert the night before New Years Eve in Jacksonville (for almost the last decade they've hosted a NYE concert in Orlando at the House of Blues), and it was incredible. Some bands just understand how to bring it live, even when the bigger show is right around the corner or there's other things going on in their lives (one of their crew members had committed suicide a few days before the show -- they dedicated a song to him, but never let up their intensity despite that tragic news). I hadn't been in a mosh pit in a while, hadn't been in a superloud concert in a while -- and the combination of the two had me giddy in a way that reminded me that good times happen when you get out and go to them. Too much of the past year has been spent in the same places waiting for the excitement to show up there, and surprise surprise -- it rarely if ever happened.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I saw this during Christmas break, and it's sort of old news now -- but I haven't had much chance to talk about it. Unfortunately, most of my criticism of the film is too spoiler-y to share here without ruining it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I was surprised at how much the movie didn't make me forget the original Swedish film. The Fincher version has a fantastic look, and if you haven't seen the Swedish version or you know nothing about the series definitely see it, but what I came away with most was a feeling that I'd already seen all of this before (like almost too exactly close to the other version) for me to feel any differently about it. The real difference of course was the actress playing the titular Lisbeth Salander character, and while I thought Rooney Mara did a fantastic job, she played the character as eventually more vulnerable than Noomi Rapace did, which made some of the key moments seem less.. powerful than they did the first time I saw it done. Still a good movie, but not in any way the game changer they tried to make it out to be.
Shit [insert name of group here] Say One of the things that made me originally stray away from doing the Hot Sheet (full confession time here) was that it was hard to find cool things during the week that everyone hadn't already seen by Friday. Sometimes it's unavoidable, especially with how fast the web moves -- but I like for the things I write about to at least have a little fresh snap to them (hence the blog post I did about Kim Kardashian earlier this week). With that in mind it seemed like a bad idea to post any of the "Shit Girls Say" "Shit Black Guys Say" "Shit Gay Guys Say" "Shit White Girls Say (to Black Girls)" [which might be the best one yet, btw] -- since they went viral over the past week or two. If you haven't seen them, definitely Google them now -- but then come back here, because I've got the best one yet riiiiight here.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
[Listening to: The Nuns – "Do You Want Me On My Knees?" ]