In summary.

Saturday, December 12th 09 at 2:17 pm 2 comments

So the year is coming to an end and we are about to embark on a new decade. I always like to take some time around this point in the year to reflect on the last twelve months. I’ve always taken great pleasure in doing so and it started with a big end of the year survey. More recently, I would simply write out a long list of my top ten favourite movies, albums and songs of the year. But that was so basic, that I decided this time, I’d stick with the ten best things about 2009. An all encompassing compilation of the people and things that made it enjoyable for me to be alive about the last three-sixty-five. So, without further ado:

01. Kristi:
Kristi and I had a very difficult time in our relationship from as early as October 2008 all the way through to June of this year. In fact, it’s lucky that we’ve even been able to make it work again in such a great way that we have. By all rights, we probably should have been finished back in February. But we’ve managed to pull ourselves back together and are happier together now than we have been since, probably, the beginning. The truth is I think we both forgot how to love each other for a while. I’m afraid that there always comes a point in a long relationship where things fall out of focus and you start to live around each other instead of living with each other. We both made some grievous mistakes and decisions in our first three years together – but at the end of the month, we will be celebrating our four year anniversary and it feels like we’re really on the verge on new and big things together. I can’t wait for the day when we will be called parents and for the day we buy our first home together. I’m optimistic about the future and I’m looking forward to it with bright, shining eyes.

02. The Beatles:
John, Paul, George and Ringo had such a big impact and effect on my 2009 that they are the only other part of this list, aside from Kristi, that has a specific placement. I have always been a casual fan – in fact I remember checking out the Anthology from the library when I was 14 and racking up three weeks worth of late fees (never paid) because I couldn’t stop listening to it. However, I rediscovered them in an entirely new way this year and have never been more musically, emotionally and spiritually satisfied with something than when I realised I couldn’t listen to anything else. It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling or what sort of mood I’m in, because there is a Beatles song, or even an entire album, that encapsulates it perfectly and makes it a little bit easier to take down. The Rock Band game made me fall in love with them in a new and special way because in some way, it was connecting with them on a slightly different level. I have played many, many video games and that was the only one that made me feel happy and good inside. I have fallen utterly in love with George because of how sweet and tender his voice always was; John touches me on a whole other plain because of how pure and beautiful he was; and Paul’s voice goes straight to the core of me because of how charming and full of ache he can sound. (No hard feelings Ringo, Yellow Submarine just doesn’t do it for me.) In short, the Beatles were a perfect band and the chemistry and flawlessness that they produced will never be recreated.

03. Music:
It was a good year for music, especially this fall. Most of my favourites released new material and there were several blissful weeks where I didn’t have to stare blankly at the cd shelf wondering what I was going to listen to. AFI’s new album, Crash Love, continues to reveal why they are my favourite band and Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood truly did anything but disappoint. Skillet also came out with a new one that’s pretty good and enjoyable enough. I don’t think I’d be able to like Skillet at all if I was only just now introduced to them, but the memories and relationships that I forged with and because of them created a permanent link within me, and no matter how commercial or cheesy they may get, I’ll probably buy every album they continue to make. Let us also not forget the brilliance and awe inspiring awesomeness that is The Fame Monster. There were also new and incredible albums from Brand New, Paramore, John Mayer, Imogen Heap and The Swell Season. Well done, and thanks, musicians.

04. Movies:
After new music, my favourite thing is new movies. Of which there were a great deal of good ones. Favourites included (all the obvious): Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Zombieland, Paranormal Activity, Where the Wild Things Are, Funny People and (even though it still has me messed up) Antichrist.
Honourable mentions for the as yet unseen but sure to be great: Sherlock Holmes, The Road, The Lovely Bones, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus , A Single Man and Nine.

05. Lady GaGa:
Whenever I’ve felt a little down, or a little bit like dancing, or a little bit like being a gay man – I’d put GaGa on. Boys Boys Boys and Beautiful, Dirty, Rich have been my number one jams for the better part of nine months. Ever since we went out of town with a friend who played The Fame for, literally, five hours straight, it’s been in heavy rotation for me. But then when Bad Romance debuted, I became a full fledged fanatic (read: previous entry). It’s because Bad Romance is the best song she’s done yet, it’s hands down the greatest video I have ever seen, and she has the ability and talent to make it sound like a new song every time she performs it. I love her for the stand that she takes for LGBT people (screaming “Are you listening?!” to the Obama administration. [I don’t think that he is.]); for the fact that she is a legitimate artist; and was able to make Imagine an even prettier song that it is. In my quiet times, I seek GaGalupe, I thank her for the rain…. Okay, just kidding.

06. Family:
I don’t really have the closest relationship with my family anymore. That’s largely in part to the fact that I moved 600 miles away from them the first chance that I could. My mom and I talk regularly, but the bond that was formed with my Poppa when my Gramma died, has become very thin. We simply don’t talk enough anymore. But I digress. Kristi’s entire family has taken me in with the most open arms I’ve ever felt and I couldn’t be more thankful to have them in my life. I really love her dad and step-mom – when we’re with them, I never feel like the creepy lesbian who corrupted their daughter; I feel like an important part of the family that is valued and cared for. I hope that someday I’ll find a way to tell them how much I love them.

07. TV Torrents:
Kristi is gonna be mad at me when she reads this, she’ll say “You watch way too much tv.” But look, I really like tv and I can’t help it and I’m not ashamed. I probably shouldn’t talk about how much I download, Big Brother is probably watching after all, but whatever. Since I learned how to download torrents, my work hours have been full of everything I’ve ever wanted to watch but never did. I’ve done great full series marathons of Queer as Folk, Lost, Six Feet Under, Big Love, Doctor Who and am currently watching Supernatural. Okay, maybe I do watch too much tv – but there’s a lot of good television out there and why would I want to miss out on it if I don’t have to? I’ve enjoyed all of these shows immensely, but my favourite and number one feeling was immediately and permanently.. Doctor Who. I don’t care how cheesy it is or how big a nerd I am for recording every single episode that shows up on BBC America even though I’ve already seen most of them twice. Whatever, it makes me happy.

08. Autostraddle & Paperback Swap:
Autostraddle and PaperbackSwap have been the best websites I’ve discovered in a long time. Autostraddle caters to my gay; it’s kind of like After Ellen only cooler because it’s run by a bunch of funny ladies all around my age (give or take five years). The site is packed with features including roundtables where they compile all their thoughts on a topic, TV/Movie/Music /Concert reviews, news and information, lists (I LOVE lists), and my new favourite – TechnoStraddle. Which is all about the things that geeks like myself revel in. Autostraddle never fails to be funny, smart, clever and interesting and I love to sit and read every word and click every link.
Paperback Swap is literally the best thing in the world for a book worm. Since joining, I have unloaded a ton of books I don’t want anymore, and have received upwards of twenty that I did want. I think I’ve read more this year than I have any other time. There is little else I love as much as curling up in a chair with a cup of coffee and disappearing to another world for six hundred pages. Kristi has asked me several times if I’d want a Kindle, but every time my answer is no. As much as I love gadgets and new technology, books are one thing I could never give up. I love the feel of a heavy book in my hands, flipping the pages – feeling the paper of the cover – the smell of the paper, ink and age between the covers. Sometimes, I’ll sit on the floor in front of our book case and just look at my book collection. They make me that happy.

09. Growing up:
I’m not quite sure what spurred it in me, but in the last nine months, I feel like I’ve really matured  and have begun acting like someone my age should act. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to give up video games. But it’s like all of the sudden, my “biological clock” (which I didn’t even think I had?) started ticking. No, not ticking. Racing. All of the sudden I’m just… ready. Really, I simply cannot wait. For anything. Along with this parenting desire, comes the urge to scrapbook and shit. But that’s another story completely – one I definitely don’t understand. If you asked Kristi, she’d say I’ve definitely grown up, as well. She’d tell you that I’m “good” now. However, I think her notion of “good” begins and ends with “does whatever I say and doesn’t argue.” Which is good either way, I guess. I don’t really know how to explain it. I just feel like I’ve matured. I think about things differently, I think about things I didn’t use to think about. I think about things that I don’t even need to think about yet. I’m really paranoid about the corners on our tables and tiny baby heads that will fall into them. Kristi laughs at me… but I think deep down, it makes her happy.

10. All the miscellaneous:
These are a few of my favourite things: Fill in puzzles. Hanes Premium boxer briefs. Yellow Tail red wine. Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly shampoo and conditioner. FrozenFire. Aero Press coffee maker. Togon_n_soru. Starbucks lemonade. Helzberg jewelry store. The Real Housewives of Late Night. Lemon curd and clotted cream on scones. Parks and Recreation. Finding Bigelow mint chap stick again. Avocados. Doctor Who. Twitter. Movie soundtracks. Glee.

I suppose that about covers it. I’m looking forward to a new year – a new decade – and all the wonderful things that will come along with it. I’m really counting on equality, a baby and a new job coming our way soon. Happy holidays, friends. I hope you’re able to reflect back on 2009 with as much peace as I was able to and are looking into the future with bright optimism.


Entry filed under: Memories. Tags: , , .

Special Comment: Bad Romance. Saturn has a ring around you.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  Tuesday, December 15th 09 at 5:52 am

    hi! i just checked out your play-by-play of the beatles rock band, and i totally want to play it now. unfortunately i am absolutely terrible at the game, but i really want to check out the settings & animations with the trippier songs, like “i am the walrus.” also, i’m glad you like technostraddle! hopefully it will be growing a lot soon, so feel free to let me know if there are specific things you think people would like to see!

    • 2. Rachel Bruce  |  Tuesday, December 15th 09 at 7:51 am

      Hey Taylor, thanks for your comment! I know that post was lengthy and insane so I appreciate that you actually read it. The game is really amazing and I definitely recommend you give it a shot. The songs are fairly easy so even if you’re not a seasoned plastic guitar veteran like myself, you should have no problem. 😉

      As far as TechnoStraddle (which has been really wonderful so far, by the way), I’d just really love to see video game stuff. I’m not one to get really geeked out over gadgets, but a good game gets me all excited. If you ever need any help with anything, I’d be more than thrilled to lend a hand.


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