Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Top 10 in 2007 Cinema

For those curious, here is a special added bonus. That's right! My Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2007.

Drumroll, please...

  1. Zodiac
  2. Juno
  3. No Country for Old Men
  4. Superbad
  5. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  6. Knocked Up
  7. Stardust
  8. Once
  9. Across the Universe
  10. Michael Clayton

So, okay. I still haven't seen "There Will Be Blood" from Paul Thomas Anderson, one of my all-time favorite directors (um, "Magnolia," anyone?!?!), or Sean Penn's "Into the Wild," so I may have to make some adjustments to The List in the coming weeks, but for now, it's pretty damn solid.

This was a fine year for cinema, if I must say.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ooh Child

Jessie paint your pictures 'bout how it's gonna be.
By now I should know better, your dreams are never free.
"Jesse" by Joshua Kadison (1993)

The other night, I didn't include a someone in my list of friends. I'm here now to turn the spotlight on her.

Jess, I know that this is going to be a very, very difficult year for you, but you have so many people out there who love you, so many people out there who want you to be happy--truly happy, not just content. Sometimes, before you can achieve true happiness, you have to make difficult, shitty life-changing choices. And I know it would be so much easier to stick with the status quo and go with the flow. But you deserve more than just "the flow."

You deserve the world.

I remember this movie I watched, "The Weather Man" with Nicolas Cage and The Great Michael Caine (rent it--it's amazing!), had this wonderful bit of dialogue:
"Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. 'Easy' doesn't enter into grown-up life."

You can do this. I know it. Everyone knows it. And we are all here for you and we love you--especially me. And we're here to catch you when you fall.

You will weather this storm, babe.

Jess. You can do anything.

I know it and I know you know it, too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Long December

It was the best of times and the worst of times.

Indeed, 2007 started off with a bang.

When the clock struck midnight and the new year began, there was this...potential. I couldn't help smiling and crying tears of joy to myself because I was so happy. I was overwhelmed. I finally had someone to share a year with.

And then, after two months, it was ripped away. You know what it felt like? It's like that time in the morning when you're in bed, wrapped up in your warm blanket(s), so content--nothing could possibly be wrong or sad or depressing in that moment. The clock is out of view and you have no concept of time. You just hope that whatever you're feeling--the warmth, the serenity--lasts forever.

And then it happens....


And then you're back to square one again--naked, cold, vulnerable and disoriented. And you have to wait what will feel like an eon until you get to experience that bliss again.

And I don't want people to get the wrong idea. No matter how things went down, I'll forever be grateful for the time I got with The Girl, Liz. And I hope one day, when I finally get all my shit together, I'll get another opportunity to be with someone special again. And maybe--just maybe--this one will stick.

Oh, and did I mention one of my best friends died, as well as my "grandpa?"

Alright, alright, alright. Enough is enough. This shit is depressing me and the only reason I'm bitching and moaning about it, after all this time, is because New Years Eve was last week and
what used to be my favorite "holiday" has officially become my most dreaded and hated of all.

But let's move on to the good stuff, the best stuff. Because there's plenty of it, rather, them. Just to make things fair, I'll go with order of appearance.

Ya know, babe, technically, if I'm writing this blog about 2007, it really should be Courtney first on this list, since I became friends with her before you and I became best friends and eventual Co-Chairs of S.U.L.A.P. But <sigh> you insisted on being first. Who am I to deny you that? Especially when it's the truth. You. Are. First. I don't know what I'd do without you. We are so much alike and yet, we really are different. We are our own people with our own personalities. And the thing is, I think that's what leaves me so breathless and excited about our friendship. I love that each new day that goes by, I learn more and more about you. You have such a wonderful spirit. And you are just...good. I love you with all my heart. I couldn't have made it this year without you. And I want--I need--you to know that I will always, always, always be there for you. Through the good--because there is good in this world, no matter how cynical we can be--and the bad--because there will always be hurt and pain and sorrow. And as long as you're around, I know that nothing so horrible can ever beat the bright, shining faith and belief I have in you and me. I fucking hate you, douchette. ;o)~ (Inside joke, people...and yes, that is the one and only time I'll ever use an emoticon--pinky swear...with a kiss).

You are special. I mean that in only one way--the best way. I know we don't talk all that much, but you are one of the best people I know. You're true to yourself and there's not one insincere, dishonest bone in your body. I know I can be a little strange and dorky at times--special, in the other sense of the word--but there's not a day that goes by that I don't thank G-d that you're in my life and for giving me such a fiercely loving and protective friend like yourself. And you're one helluva terrific, genuinely talented scribe. Thanks again for Lillie. It took a little time, but she's the light of my life. I love you.

I lucked into you, brother. I really did. You're such an amazing guy and a great friend. I just wish you knew that in your bones as much as I. I love reading your songs/poetry, your blog. You're so much better than you give yourself credit for. It's like you have this psychic link into what I'm thinking and/or feeling with those darn things. You have a giant heart and are amazing at bringing the funny wherever you go and cheering me up. In other words, you're my favorite half-Jew. As far as I'm concerned, you're Jewish as fuckin' Tevye!! Period.

It was such a Spur of the Moment thing, man. Justin and I needed to get a drink to drown our sorrows, way back in March, just a couple of days before my birthday. We were going to go to The Red Eye Tavern for a quick drink, possibly the Mai Tai. But on a whim, I said, "hey, let's go to this little bar I used to go to called The Eclipse. Little did I know, but I was about to run into my weakness. And you were the magic man to provide me with it. That's right: I've become a karaoke addict. I go where the music takes me. And it's all because of you, good sir. No, dude. I am forever grateful that I came by because I found a great friend in you. You're one of the smartest, sweetest guys I know. The fact that we can go head-to-head when it comes to vague pop culture references ("YOU'RE SO COOL, BREWSTER, AHAHAHAHA!!!!!") truly makes you the Burton "Gus" Guster to my Shawn Spencer. PSYCH!

Yes, I have more friends than the ones listed. These are just new faces that helped brighten my year.

Justin and Matteo, you guys are always on this list because there's not a day that goes by where my love for you as friends and as brothers never wanes.

Crystal, like my Partners in Crime mentioned directly above, you, too, are sort of grandfathered onto my list of friends, my little chickadee. it's been an adventure, this year, hasn't it? I know we went through a lot of shit, this year. I know that I may not always treat you as well as I should, but know that I always, always, always love you.


Where I go from here is anybody's guess--including mine. Truth is, at this point, I feel a little bit like Edward Norton's no-name character (or, "Jack," for those who feel a debate on the topic is necessary) at the end of "Fight Club," where he stands in shocked silence, watching the world outside his fortress of glass and concrete explode into chaos before his very eyes, not knowing what the future holds. Except, instead of a haggard, skanky misanthrope (in the form of the deliciously haggard, skanky Helena Bonham-Carter) at my side, I get a group of the best friends a guy like me could ever be blessed with. And the truth remains: You met me at a very strange time in my life.

Well, that and sometimes, I just need a little help from my friends.

Happy 2008. May it bring all of you happiness, love, laughter and the power to forgive and forget.

And, oh yeah...raincoats.

Because when it rains, it pours.