Several people I know are anxious to say “good riddance” to 2010, mostly because they had friends and close family members pass away. Whether it was a tough year or the best yet, after midnight tonight, it’s over. I’m not cynical about New Year’s Eve. I like the idea of looking back and then forward, of being nostalgic and then hopeful. Resolutions are okay as long as they’re reasonable. There’s nothing wrong with a desire to be better or simply healthier, to be kinder or more patient, to start learning a new skill or read more books, as long as we keep in mind that none of it happens magically. I say that to remind myself.
Favorite movies of 2010? I didn’t see nearly enough but I liked “Shutter Island”, “Toy Story 3″ and “The Kids Are All Right” an awful lot. Just saw “True Grit” and there’s little those Coen brothers can do that would disappoint me. Hailee Steinfeld is terrific as Maddie. I just hope she doesn’t go the way of Kim Darby after the original “True Grit”. In other words, what happened to Kim Darby? Have yet to see “The King’s Speech”, but I have a feeling I should keep my expectations in check so as not to be disappointed. I’m anxious to watch “Winter’s Bone” on DVD because it looks like my kind of movie, and I saw “The Social Network” but feel as if I love Facebook more than I loved the movie about its birth. What were your favorites?
I resolve, in 2011, to read more books. I’ll always make the same resolution because I will always want to read more books. It’s a matter of priorities and time management, both of which I hope to improve upon in the coming year. As for 2010, I read a couple of Richard Russo novels, Straight Man and That Old Cape Magic, and I’d love to hang with the guy. He has a wicked sense of humor and a great way with characters who are nothing if not flawed. Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day took much too long to read this summer but I regret none of it. Spending time in Boston during the beginnings of the labor movement was a pleasure. Sebastian Junger, Ursula Hegi, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Hempel, Lorrie Moore, and Carrie Fisher also spent time in my house this year and I thank them for their company, though I enjoyed some of them more than others. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein were my favorites, however, and yes, I know they’re not new offerings but I come to the book party late most months. Olive… had words that flowed so easily, simply getting from one paragraph to the next was a treat. It’s setting was so comfortable, I felt as if I were there. The Art of Racing… which I just finished a few days ago, was such a simple pleasure – hearing a story from a dog’s point of view – I’m almost embarrassed, but I cried at the end because, as I’ve said before, I love dogs more than people. To imagine what they’re actually thinking was ridiculously charming. I’m anxious to read Franzen’s Freedom and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad (we have the same last name – it must be good), though first I have to finish Water For Elephants, which I’m currently reading. (I told you I’m behind. I have the Girl – Dragon Tattoo/Fire/Hornet’s Nest trilogy begging to be read.) More than anything, I just want to read more. What did you love reading this past year?
I try and make time for some new television every season, but rarely get around to watching enough shows to resemble a well-rounded critic. I tried “Rubicon” on AMC but felt too confined, and “Justified” on FX, which pleased me every week. I’m anxious for its return on February 9th. “Terriers” on FX is in my DVR queue and I hear it’s worth keeping and watching, so I’ll get around to it eventually. Truthfully, I stuck faithfully to “Mad Men”, which had some of its best episodes yet, and “The Good Wife” on CBS, which has become my newish, favorite “must-see” tv. “Modern Family”, “30 Rock”, “Glee”, “Damages” and “Nurse Jackie” rounded out my viewing, and I’m not sure I can find time for much more. “The Daily Show” is as much a part of my day as coffee and Jon Stewart is influencing the conversation like he never has before. Yes, I know “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad” should be included, and maybe I’ll rent the DVDs. Tell me what you watched in 2010.
Music? Wish I had the chance. The husband wants one of our resolutions to be about putting music back into our lives on a regular basis. I loved Rihanna and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”. Far East Movement’s “Like a G-6″ was disturbingly addictive, and Mumford & Sons is my new favorite band. Most of what they covered on “Glee” this past season was what I was familiar with, and I’m trying to keep up but…there’s only so much time in the day. I’m still hoping Amy Winehouse doesn’t die so she can put out another CD.
There was a horrible earthquake, a tsunami, a volcanic eruption, trapped miners, an oil spill, election madness, snowmageddon, a winter Olympics, a health care bill, WikiLeaks, a new Supreme Court justice, a Giants World Series win, the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq, a royal engagement, and a surprisingly productive lame duck Congress, just to name some of the news from these past twelve months. It was a good year for some, a bad year for others, and for most of us, everything in between.
My resolutions? Believe it or not, I’d like to tweet more and eat less. I want to run faster. I’d like to work to see Daily Cup of Jo become a destination not just for some but for many. I want to clean out and organize under my sink in our bathroom. I want to train the dogs not to put their noses in people’s crotches when they walk in our front door. I want to be kinder to my children. For instance, instead of saying “Is that what you’re wearing?” when Goldie comes down the stairs on a Saturday afternoon, I want to say nothing. I want to listen more and talk less. I want to love more and hate less. I’d like to eat more bacon.
Happy New Year to each of you and thanks for supporting my endeavors here at DailyCupofJo. Resolve to tell your friends.
Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.