Well, it’s pretty late in 2006 to be writing about the start of the year, but despite it being the end of February it still feels as though the year is just beginning.
The year has already brought a lot of busy-ness. Tegan’s work has been absolutely flat out following a Ministerial reshuffle in late January and her work becoming massively busy supporting a new Minister and Tegan being the only member of her office to remain in the transition from the old Minister to the new. Not to mention that her work simply became busier anyway with the new Minister, since it meant a whole lot of extra administration, organising new briefings, etc.
My work has also been very busy – not as bad as it was in December, but relatively busy nonetheless. It has been good returning to subject matter that I studied at uni – in fact, it’s quite interesting since my current job has some connection with the subject matter of my honours thesis.
So – 2005 the year that was and has now passed. In reviewing last year, I could easily talk about work and other boring things like that, but I think that holidays, pop media and gadgets are far more interesting. So…
In fact, I can’t remember any real holidays other than those two, which makes for an easy to create top two list.
I really thought that Hong Kong was an amazing city, but it’s not somewhere you would go for your usual holiday – it was neither a particularly relaxing place nor a particularly tourist-y place. That said, I loved it (I’m really a big city person at heart) and I’d love to go back.
We also had a great road trip in June with the same bunch that we went to Hong Kong with – Richard, Kathryn and Cora – down to Northern Victoria in June. The trip was primarily to visit the Epicurean Centre at Brown Brothers winery in Milawa, as well as the Milawa Cheese factory and more wine tasting in the Rutherglen. The trip to that region has become something that we now do almost every year as we love it so much. Brown Brothers and, even moreso, All Saint and St Leonard’s wineries in the Rutherglen produce some of our absolute favourite wines. Yum yum yum.
Emiliana Torrini was by far our standout pick of the year in every way – best artist we’d never heard before, album of the year, concert of the year for us – in fact, I’d almost go so far to say that her conccert in November was the best I’ve ever been to.
Louis XIV are, as one of my friends put it, quite naughty – including lyrically. But they’re quite sexy and quite fun.
Tegan found the Kaiser Chiefs as her pick of the year, mainly because they’re just so much fun. She particularly liked the “Na na na na na” song. They’re a great fun band.
Since we love music so much, I’ll give a bit of a shout out to some of my other picks and finds including Tecoma (out of Alice Springs of all places), the new White Stripes album, the “She Will Have Her Way” album of Finn Bros covers, and (to a lesser extent) the Nine Inch Nails album. On the other hand, there were some real disappointments, like the new Franz Ferdinand, Black Eyed Peas and Gorilaz albums – all disappointing compared to previous offerings from those bands. On the other hand, I was initally down on the Wolfmother and Bernard Fanning albums, but am coming around.
Finally – the Big Day Out was great last year, particularly the Beastie Boys and the Polyphonic Spree.
Can’t really think of a top two for the year, but some standouts were “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, “American Gods” and “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman, “Uncommon Grounds” a history of coffee, “The Confusion” by Neal Stephenson, “A Scanner Darkly” by Philip K. Dick and the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde – none of them new books, but all good.
1. Kung Fu Hustle
2. Sin City
Kung Fu Hustle was abssolutely hilarious – one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen – I can’t even remember how many times I’ve already watched it already. Just a great film.
Sin City was true to the comics it was based on, which was great. I’ve never seen a movie based on any book that was so faithful – it was great. I can’t wait to see 300, which looks like it’s coming out maybe this year. 300 is my favourite comic of all time and is by the same author as Sin City – so I hope that movie will be as good.
I got into Eve Online in a big way at the end of the year. I’ve never played an MMORPG before, but this has got me quite interested. I don’t know that I’ll be into it forever, but it is quite interesting – I might write more about why this is another time.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, despite the controversy, it was excellent. One of the best single player games I’ve ever played.
Unfortunately, I also played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords – it was one of the most disappointing games I’ve ever played. The first one was so good – one of my favourite games of all time. However, it’s sequel was terrible – it had so mucch potential and just blew it. It was half-baked, felt incomplete and just fell flat. I really wanted to enjoy it, I really wanted it to be so good – but it just didn’t make it.
And on all these fronts, I’m looking forward to what 2006 has to offer.