As is my custom since I’ve maintained this blog, I like to do a year-end round-up of sorts, focusing on my favourite things from the past year. The categories evolve a bit each consecutive year; *here’s* the one from last year if anyone is so inclined to compare the past and present. 2012 brought lots of changes for me–most all of them for the better–and though I’m looking forward to 2013, I’ll remember this year fondly for what I’m taking from it. Without further ado, it’s off to the races…
Favourite film : Believe it or not, I’ve seen no new films this year. I know, I can’t believe it myself. There were a couple I wanted to see, but it just never happened. But I read a slew of smashing autobiographies: Jane Fonda’s, George Hamilton’s, Diane Keaton’s, and Jane Lynch’s come to mind. (In case any readers are new here, I wrote a book report-esque blog on each of the above books; just search the blog with the celeb names to find them.) A quote from Jane Fonda’s stands out most to me: “To do life right, you have to feel like you’re growing up until the day you die.” I’ve put that quote to good use this year, believe me.
Favourite song: “Endlessly” by The Cab. I started hearing this song on the radio in October, and I finally
downloaded had my friend download Shazam on my phone in November so I could catch the song, as I’d had no luck Googling the lyrics online. Turns out I was mishearing the words–par for the course–but the song is really cool and has a melody that doesn’t get old quickly. You can listen to it *here*. I must admit that Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” got me through some really tough times, but I just couldn’t name a Katy Perry song as my favourite song of the entire year (and “Endlessly” really does have more staying power, though anything Max Martin touches, i.e. “Part of Me,” is catchy).
Favourite television show: Girls. I’ll preface my unending praise of this Sex & the City for Hipsters by saying that I’ve also immensely enjoyed the TNT reboot of Dallas. It’s a fine line to please old and new fans, and Cynthia Cidre and her creative team deserve kudos from the true blue Dallas fans for doing justice to the original, as do the original cast members who came back to reprise the roles that made them famous. Larry Hagman will be profusely missed when season 2 starts next month, though I understand he filmed scenes for a few new episodes before he passed. I’m crossing my fingers that he’ll either get a Best Supporting Actor Emmy or an honourary Emmy next year, as he hands-down made both the original and the reboot, and he never snagged an Emmy for originating the role of conniving J.R. Ewing back in the day.
Girls, from the creative mind of writer/producer/director/actress/supergirl Lena Dunham, is just absolutely so spot-on with the dialogue, plot, and acting that I’d be remiss not to name it my favourite show of the year. The relationship ups and downs between the girls and their guys and the group as a whole are portrayed so well that one feels an inextricable bond with the cast by the end of season one. Season two of Girls also starts up next month, and I cannot wait. It skews a bit on the R-rated sexual side, but don’t be afraid to check it out if you have HBO or access to a bootleg Internet feed of it. (Not saying I can provide said bootleg link
but yes I can and will gladly do so.)
Finally, a couple of honourable mentions: Nashville and my old favourite, Peep Show. (Okay, maybe I spent so much time watching TV shows this year that I forgot about getting to the movies. Oh well.) I’d written off Nashville when I saw the trailer for it during pilot season, and then I ate my words about it, “fulfilling all the stereotypes of Music City” once it premiered and I got drawn into the soapy aspects of it. Two words: Connie Britton. This is the first TV show I’ve seen the accomplished actress in, and she owns every single scene she’s in. She’s one of those actors who has the gift of saying just as much with her facial expressions as she does with her lines. Peep Show, meanwhile, just wrapped up its eighth series after a two-year hiatus, and it truly was like seeing an old, hysterical, British friend again. So I had to include both of these in my favourites; Nashville returns for the second half of its inaugural season next month.
Favourite website: After all these years, dlisted.com still makes me laugh every. single. day. No joke, Michael K. keeps it real and I love him for it. That being said, I might retire this category next year because the answer will always be dlisted.
Favourite new website: Tumblr. I stumbled down this rabbit hole when I was searching for a vintage photo and have yet to find my way out of it. Tumblr is the anti-Facebook, as it’s much less about social networking and much more about emoting, confessing, and posting side-splittingly funny memes and GIFs. 9.9 outta 10 Tumblrites prefer to remain anonymous, which is why I follow the crowd and don’t link to my page on there. Rest assured I repost the best memes and GIFs right here, including the now requisite Salem the Robot Cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Favourite comeback: More on this in a bit, but becoming re-sober and working on breaching my destructive habits (literally, breaking ties with them) has been the most constructive comeback of the year. I had a long way to come back from (or to?), and I’m still a work in progress.
Favourite catchphrase:Hmmm, this category might also be due for a retire next year. The only one that comes to mind–and I’ve curbed saying it significantly after all the weird looks I garnered–is “Totes.” As in “Totally,” as in twenty-something girl talk that I picked up from Girls.
Favourite memories:What’s the old saying about accentuating the positive? I have splendidly fond memories of packing up my room in Kennesaw (with much help from my sister Susanne) and driving 2000 miles across the country in February to start a new lease on life. I have great memories of old and new friendships both here in Las Vegas and back in Georgia and the East Coast in general. I have a treasure trove of special family memories from the past year: Granny saying, “Son, you’ve always been able to take care of yourself” when I told her I was moving so far away (I was afraid of getting scolded); going home to visit for July 4th and Thanksgiving; my dad helping me move my stored stuff from Kennesaw to Valdosta; my sister Alison having dinner with me during her business trip to Vegas over the summer; showing my parents around when they visited me here just a few weeks ago. Those are all memories that I hold near and dear to me.
Then there’s the memories that haunt me, and which I’m not going to dwell on because no one is being served by my doing so. My e-mail subscribers were unfortunate enough to get my last, aborted blog entry in their inbox the other day; I yanked it down for the exact reason that I covered in the last sentence, though I had good intentions in posting it when I did. Suffice to say I spent Christmas alone with a bottle, completely by my own choice. I had kind phone calls and e-mails from friends and family, and could’ve hung out with my friends who live less than a mile away. But I chose to get drunk and be alone, and I clearly regret that now. Unlike this time last year, when I lied through my teeth in my year-end blog about maintaining my sobriety, it never occurred to me this time around to lie about it. It’s just not worth it, and at this point I’m obviously not trying to impress anyone. I try to think about how I’d perceive myself if I weren’t me, and in many of the instances I do that, I realize I’m difficult, moody, anti-social, and a downright nightmare to deal with at times. That being said, I know I’m also kind and good-hearted; I need to dwell on these traits instead of the negative ones. The two things I’ve done right this year, if nothing else, are to join my new church and seize volunteer opportunities therein, and to hold out for a great therapist who’s helping me to realistically stay on track. I knew I was slipping when I saw her last week; she and I both knew it and discussed it in depth. But it’s all about getting back on the horse (or the wagon, whatever) and not beating yourself up when you stumble. Life happens, we all make poor decisions, we learn from them, rinse and repeat.
So yeah, here I am at the end of another year, typing a variation of pretty much the same thing I type at the end of every year. I share my favourite song and TV shows, plug some websites, and then emote about what a “roller coaster of a year” it’s been, and how I couldn’t have made it without the support of God and my friends and family. Which is all true; very true indeed. But I myself also have to be strong-willed, take responsibility for my own actions and mistakes, and challenge myself to rely on my strengths and improve my weaknesses (or at least not let them weigh me down while I improve myself). It’s worth repeating, and so I’ll repeat it one last time this year:
“To do life right, you have to feel like you’re growing up until the day you die.”–Jane Fonda
I love you all and thanks for not giving up on me. Now more than ever is when I can’t give up on myself. Cue 2013 and all the joy it will bring…