Tuesday, December 22, 2009

not a list

Kiva.com - WonderTwin #2 turned me on to this organization far later than she should have; I somehow blame jealousy, or something. The lowdown is this: you're making micro loans that are paid back in full and you then redistribute the funds to another business or withdrawal them, as you choose. If you don't know about micro loans then take a bit of time to read about Muhammad Yunus and microfinancing. You'd be hard-pressed to find something so easy yet so rewarding. Easy peasy.

The Avett Brothers - I've posted about them a load this year and they're worth it. Their music is easily the best discovery of the year and their place in my huge-ish music collection is well assured. It's Americana, through-and-through, and it's simply amazing stuff. Their album, I and Love and You, was the best I bought all year.

One Day / Matisyahu - I'm a sucker for bombastic anthemic music and this is the best reggae/hadistic Jew bombastic song of the year. You write a hook like this and I'll be your friend forever. I can't embed the version I'd like to but here it is over at his youtube channel. If you dig around you can watch the even bigger, bombastic-ier original - great, great song.

Cate Blanchett - Well, I love me some Cate; always have, always will. Getting a chance to see her in A Streetcar Name Desire was a treat. Here's an interview (roll down and select your media) she gave to Diane Rehm while in-residence for the three-week run here in D.C. She's exactly what I thought she'd be if I could have drawn a picture. The combination of her acting and the fantastic show at the Kennedy Center was almost enough to make you give up theatre; you won't see better.

The Waco Brothers @ Iota - Easily my show of the year. A great band, a great bar, and a sunny Saturday afternoon. I'd been waiting years to see them and they didn't disappoint. They are pure cow/rock punk and led by the imcomparable Jon Langford.

January 20, 2009 - I'm not the impatient sort. What a fucking day. Here we are a year in and there are things I'd like to happen faster but Barack Obama is doing exactly what I expected from him as we walked the streets of NoVA campaigning for him last year. Eleven months and people are yelling and screaming - on both sides. Simmer the fuck down. Time. Time. Time. Beep, beep.

Ta-nehisi Coates - TnC writes (blogs) for the Atlantic and he's taken over as my favorite blogger (from his compatriot at the Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan). TnC doesn't process anything like the volume of entries or followers, but his framing of some great debates is stunning. I read his book about growing up in West Baltimore, A Beautiful Struggle, and it gave me pause on life and how I'm where I am and why others are where they are. Real deep, right? I love his stuff and his comments from readers show a real depth of honest discussion.

How American Health Care Killed My Father - Another Atlantic number here; this piece was written by David Goldhill and is the single, best take on healthcare that I've read. I gave it to a conservative I work with and he was surprised when I told him that this is exactly the way I want it to be. It makes so much sense - but it would take real dedication and time to implement - it's almost funny. Great, great stuff.

Christmas Shoes - We happened to be fortunate enough to be at Lisner when they recorded Patton Oswalt's latest (he's a native of NoVa), and he was great. This animation was created by some whackjob with too much time on his hands. Oswalt and Eddie Izzard have, for too many years, been my favorite comedians and now you can have a piece. It's a bit harsh, don't play it on speakers if any easily offended are around, but play it loud...

(Addendum: I want to add in Brian Regan here under 'comedy'. This guy can do the cleanest and more gut-wrenching comedy in the World. Trust me...dig around a bit and watch some of his skits from a few years ago at the Improv. I'm just going to give you a taste with his Pop Tarts piece - a good laugh over the Holiday is crucial.)

My family - We aren't the call every day sort of family - well, I'm not the call every day sort of person - and time wanders away sometimes. It doesn't mean I don't think about them often and know that there's a part of all of them that carries me through my days. I guess I have to trust that they know that. To bring it full circle; as the Avetts say:

"Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
like the love that let us share our name."

My dearest - I won't get too mushy here but I think I might have the coolest chick in the World. Another year has slipped by, I feel like I'm getting old, and here I have the most amazing, beautiful, loveliest, smartest, funniest, (sexiest) and dopiest girl you could possibly imagine. I love her, deeply.

Oh, shut up.

love peace.

As Bill Walton says, "Your life, your lunch, your choice."


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