Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Laundry List of What I Love Right Now

This is sort of like the laundry list of things or people that I'm thankful for as I start a new year. My family and health are stock answers, but the family keeps my head on straight (especially Darcie). The line from the Beach Boys song definitely applies: "God only knows what I'd be without you." My daughter reminds me of all of youth's possibilities and my son is like having a younger and much more wry version of me around. After seeing my folks and sister on Christmas Eve and my in-laws Christmas weekend, it really helps one take stock of what's important.

During these times, I'm glad I'm gainfully employed. Not just at any job, but I'm employed at Coyne Public Relations, one of the best places to work anywhere. My colleagues are creative, fun, smart and a pleasure to see every day. It's a virtuous cycle of good people creating good work that keeps clients happy and coming back for more. I hope the cycle continues into the new year despite a crappy economy.

Facebook and online media get a bad reputation for being time wasters. However, I've been able to reconnect with a lot of people I haven't seen since 1985. It's a blessing to at least talk online with people. It's not even one of those score keeping exercises that high school reunions can be (who got fat, bald, lost their looks, got rich, got their lives together after a shaky high school experience ... yada yada yada). Sometimes you build connections to people who knew you only peripherally through high school. I've had interesting chats about politics with some classmates and status updates are great conversation starters.

I'm a bit of a media and entertainment omnivore. The Apple TV has gotten a lot of use lately. My daughter and her friends are watching "The Shining" now.
Music I've been listening to lately: Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, and Prince. The embedded video is Yo La Tengo doing Cherry Chapstick -- a playful, noisy tune. Yo La Tengo is really the successor to the Velvet Underground. REM wanted to be the Velvet Underground in their early days and the Feelies came close, but I think Yo La Tengo captures the range and depth of the Velvet Underground's sound. They can sound extremely dissonant and another song can create a soothing aural landscape. I'm also happy with WRXP 101.9. The station really does a nice job of mixing new and old music. It captures a lot of the vibe of 106.3 when it was a good station.

I'm looking forward to taking my EMT state test so I could finish "Homocide: A Year on the Killing Streets" and then start Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers." (Thanks Linda!)

I've been evangelizing about The Wire's brilliance all year. It's sort of like "Pulp Fiction" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" rolled into a 60 episode series. I haven't been terribly excited about TV. "Mad Men" was extremely literate and well acted in its second season. My Name is Earl and 30 Rock continue to entertain me. I have really grown to care less and less about television. is a great site to catch up on shows that I used to enjoy.

Anyway Happy New Year! I have a lot to be thankful for.

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