goodbye 2012: some leftover love for the past year

Year-Ender

I love blogging because it compensates for my horrible memory. My mother remembers precise details – she knows when she bought the pink curtains, what month each of her children started work – and I’ve always been amazed by that. I’m not good with dates. Thank God for Facebook reminding me about friends’ birthdays.

So! The year that was. I am glad I still found the time to read books. Here’s my Top Ten reads for 2012, as told to Flipside.

I am also grateful to find the time to write, and to find people willing to publish (and read!) my work. Year 2012 saw the publication of three of my books, most recently my short story collection. Plus six poems and six short stories, with several reprints, and various pieces forthcoming.

Highlights:

Leftover Reviews from 2012

The Hobbit

the-hobbit_2409864k

You can feel Peter Jackson’s hands taking both ends of some scenes and just stretching them to justify turning a single relatively slim fantasy book into a trilogy, but Martin Freeman seems born for this role, and the lightheartedness of the adventure is a great foil to Frodo’s Fellowship. That scene where Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) first meets Gollum (Andy Serkis) is chilling and pitch-perfect.

Magic Mike – My brother watched this alone, and he kept wondering, Why did I even watch this alone? It’s entertaining, but I wished the other dancers (aside from Magic Mike and The Kid) are more three-dimensional, and I thought that last kiss was forced.

The Adventures of Tintin – I should have watched this on the big screen. Amazing animation.

John Carter – It could have been a memorable fantasy film, but the filmmakers made the mistake of hiring Tim Riggins. Taylor Kitsch seems perpetually bored, and the moments that are supposed to be comedic fall flat. I was frustrated the whole time I was watching it. Argh.

The Raid: Redemption – (The Indonesian title is The Deadly Raid, or The Raid) An Indonesian action film with brutal, well-choreographed fight scenes. It’s what you get if you jettison most of the dialogue from your favorite action flick. I would have asked for more character depth, but the film knows what it is and what it can give. Take it or leave it.

Night of Hunters

tori-amos-night-of-hunters

I am a fan of Tori Amos. I discovered her in high school when I saw a video of “1000 Oceans”, and I’ve looked for her music ever since. I remember walking home in college, listening for the first time to her debut album Little Earthquakes, and falling in love with “Silent All These Years”. She is inventive, she is a great piano player, and her lyrics are poetry. Night of Hunters contains songs that are variations on pieces by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, but the album also tells a story of a lost love in the time of ancient gods and magic. Her daughter sings as the child guide Annabelle and her niece plays the Fire Muse. The musical interlude in “Star Whisperer” (Variation on Schubert’s Andantino from Piano Sonata in A major, D 959) is heaven, and the anger and fear in “Shattering Sea” (Variation on Alkan’s Song of the Madwoman on the Sea-Shore, Prelude Op. 31, No. 8) is flawless.

I would very much love to see her play live.

Promise

Good health and a healthy weight for 2013. Diet starts now.

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