1/01/2008

2007 Year in Review

I have to admit, I'm a little surprised. (Then again, maybe I shouldn't be, considering the copious quantities of champagne I've consumed tonight....)

I encountered people tonight who actually cried, so thankful were they that this year had come to a close; people who were longing for better days in the new year.

On the other hand, there were others who were so thankful for what the past year had brought them that they showed inordinate amounts of kindness to friends who were suddently stuck in the midst of travel, work, or other obligations---they opened their homes and lives without a second thought and set tableaux that would have brought a tear to Norman Rockwell's eye.

I've been a part of so many of these moments in the past months that I don't quite know where to begin. Of course, it has me thinking about my own 2007 recap. There are many events in the latter part of this year that I've kept mum about, but even still, here's my take on the past year:

It has been an absolutely bizarre year, and that has coloured my take on a lot of things, especially in the past few months. At the same time, I am so thankful for the friendships that have burgeoned and evolved over the past year.

So many new, energetic, and interesting people have come into my life this year....and thank goodness. It's been far too easy in the last few years to just write people off. This year, I remembered how much I really enjoy people--enjoying having them surprise me, enjoying their quirks, having such a good time unearthing who they really are. And these reminders have come from the most unexpected corners of my life.

As I learned to appreciate new people again, the more I appreciated the people who were already in my life. I don't get to really 'touch' the people that I love with any kind of regularity, but I think of them nearly everyday, and I am so thankful for the people I love, and god help them, who love me.

People surprised me this year....

This blog was certainly an element of that. I never could have imagined when, at the beginning of the year on Super Bowl Sunday, I decided to create a blog, that I would meet, chat with, and get to know, such an extraordinary collection of people across the globe.

Yes, I'm still shite at maintaining email contact. And for that I sincerely apologize. But I have so enjoyed our conversations over the past year, and hope that continues.

And while I've taken a decidedly hands-off approach to politics in the past few years, despite some fairly juicy offers to re-enter the arena, I'm cautiously excited that Americans seem to be re-engaged as well.

The most recent example in my mind was when I met with a good friend of the family a few days ago. He's an old-money, old-school, for all intents and purposes, good ol' boy. He told me about sitting in a coffee shop and chatting up the old guy next to him about who they would vote in as President...my friend said that, if he had to vote today, it would be Obama. The other old guy looked at him like he was crazy and said, well, for me it would be Hillary.

As he was relaying this story to me, our family friend was tickled pink, as they say. Here's the quote: "Oh my Gawd, Aspeth! I just couldn't get over how far we'd come in my lifetime!!! Here I was the old southern white man who would punch my ticket for a black President, and the old black man next to me wants to vote in the white woman!!!"

Personally, I've got a different favorite, but I'm not going to discuss that right now, and I'm not opening the floor to political diatribes. I just think it's a really interesting state of what I'm seeing around me.

Art and culture seem to be following suit. There have been some intriguing movies in the past year. Khaled Hosseini's amazing novel The Kite Runner was translated to film. If you haven't read this book, please do. It's a heartbreaking, yet very real look into Afghanistan. Many of us are finally remembering that nation, which was the bridge between 9/11 and Iraq, and this film is evidence of that.

Okay, truth be told, I have the attention span of a gnat. So I rarely sit through movies. I'll read a book for weeks on end, but I can't sit still for two hours to watch something on a screen. So when I do watch a flick, I want something that either moves me to heights I didn't know I had within my soul, or I just want to be fucking entertained.

YouTube is more my style, as I can flit around and find anything that suits me in any given moment. I look for a lot of music....a line gets stuck in my head and YouTube is often the fastest and easiest way to hear a song that's been driving me crazy for days on end, or one that just came to me as I'm sitting in traffic.

So one of my favorite things of 2007 has been this link, which I'm dropping in below. For some reason, this song keeps coming to me as I'm in the shower, and I find myself performing karaoke as I wash my hair. The lines "Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord, Count your blessings. Ignore the lower fear, Ugh, this means war. It's been a bad day. Please don't take a picture..." consumes me as I'm scrubbing my head with suds, and I break out into a fairly hearty concert version of the song.

Then I found the YouTube link, and I'm frankly fascinated with the band's accurate re-enactment of shitty Nancy Grace-esque 24-7 news reporting. It's a witty, scary, brow-archingly thoughtful, "Over to you, Ted" take on modern American media. And I like it. And I just have to call it the video of the year.




So what I'm really trying to say here, in my usual verbose manner, is that I hope you enjoyed the past year, are thankful to put it to bed, and optimistic about the events that may unfold in your life in the new year.

The champagne is kicking my ass -- no, more like a mule kicking me in the head -- and I have to go drop into bed now. Happy New Year to you all!

Best wishes,

~Aspeth

9 comments:

Akubi said...

Happy New Year!
Have you decided to return to blogging in the new year?

Schnapps said...

Hey Aspeth, happy new year! So glad to hear from you!

Aspeth said...

Oh fuck me, that song is so tremendously fitting today.

Happy International Hangover Day, everyone.

Akubi said...

It's funny because I've also been going down REM memory lane recently, but generally prefer the older stuff.
BTW, Aspeth, I know you would prefer to avoid politics, but I hope you're not another Ron Paul nut who doesn't believe in evolution ;).

Ogg the Caveman said...

Happy new year!

BelowTheCrowd said...

I had a feeling you might show up for New Years!

Like many of your friends I'm glad to put it to bed. The past few months have been somewhat of a social re-emergence for me as well, along with the inevitable painful moments that come along with this.

Glad to hear all is well with you, wherever you may be.

-btc

BelowTheCrowd said...

And, I thought I'd share this bit of wisdom that I found:

http://www.belowthecrowd.com/archive/2008/01/quote_of_the_da_2.html

-btc

Lucidiocy said...

A~

Happy New Year!

~T

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