This past year was an intensely awkward one, for all of us. It was a challenging, troubling year from whichever point of view one chooses to examine it. However, I -being the eternally "half-full glasser" I am- believe that it was not an absolute and total loss, (ironically though, "loss" was -for many- a defining word for this year). Some aspects of it seemed to gleam "through the ashes"; some events of significant, life-altering gravity, in a positive light this time, did occur as well. So, what we should do is focus on some of the good things 2011 left us with.
On a personal/professional level, 2011 was life-changing for me. This past, turbulent, year set the foundations -in a challenging way- for things which felt that they were meant to happen. I was urged to make choices and take actions for which I am the only person to be held responsible for the outcome, whatever that may be.
I am not going to get all profound and mushy in this post, though I am prone to doing that lately; I will just focus on the "lighter" things which stood as some sort of "psychological support" -if you like- this past year. Below you will find a humbly assembled list of my personal "bests" and "favorites" of 2011.
I came across Oh Land randomly, one day, on youtube. "Sun Of A Gun" was an instant favorite. I became fascinated with her sound and I wanted to learn more about her and I was impressed to find out that she started as a traditionally trained dancer.
Well, 2011 was the year I was reintroduced to Sia. "Clap Your Hands" pretty much reflects how 2011 was for me, as far as the "me chasing my dreams" story evolves. So "I'm trying to fly in the good things. I'm finding this might be a good thing." is totally how I've been pleasantly coping this year. I know "CYH" was released in mid-2010 but I heard it so many many times and the emotion of it is so strong, that it had to be the "one".
So, in the aforementioned process of making choices and taking actions, I had to document a pile of emerging thoughts and popping flashes of inspiration. Day One has been really awesome at doing that. As I mentioned, those $12 I paid for the iPhone app and the Mac application were the most well-spent money on the app store so far.
This was, really, one of the best things I came across in the past year. It's totally unbelievable how perfect Natsumi's shots are! Call me crazy, but I feel they share the same eerie aesthetic as some of my favorite japanese horror movies.
Jessi Arrington's TED speech was an amazing splash of positive energy in a weird-weird summer. One thing she said though got stubbornly stuck in my head. Because, really, in a time when everyone is expected to be/act/behave/dress/conduct themselves in a certain manner and any choice deviating the predetermined rules and molds seems to be frowned upon; Arrington's speech felt all warm and fuzzy, if you know what I mean.
Oh Land, again. Her album titled "Oh Land" was one of the albums I was listening to non-stop while planning and plotting new projects. The album is pure "Perfection" as the first track is aptly titled. Then "Wolf & I" made me think that that's what I should be listening to during the American Roadtrip I'm dreaming of doing one day, and "Helicopter" has, perhaps, my second favorite lyrics of 2011.
Okay, Bridesmaids may have been dubbed as "the female version of hangover" and a "chick flick", but let me set something straight here: the existence of the barf/diarrhea scene in the film automatically disqualifies and removes Bridesmaids off the chick flick list. Period. I will not comment on the Hangover reference whatsoever. I was surprised by how genuinely funny Kristen Wiig was and I loved the attention to detail with Melissa McCarthy's character. (I mean, the french manicured fake fingernails, the wrist tendonitis brace and those pearls!!)
Though I only discovered M83 a few weeks ago, I love his work! Pop synths revisited, it's like past/present electro porn. (I am mesmerized by Black Hole off the soundtrack to Black Heaven). Also "Fall" off the Tron Legacy Reconfigured OST is one of my favorites on the album.
I'm not going to get into great detail on Medium because I am going to dedicate a full, extensive post on the whole series. I am going to say, however, that I hated the series' (rushed raped) finale. I watched all seven seasons of Medium starting last January; the same time I was going through my planning period and I guess that's why I am emotionally attached to the series and that's why I have a couple of things that I am planning to do referring to Medium in the next months.
Though Modern Family has been fascinating people for the last two years, I only started watching it this year. I love Gloria and her mispronunciation adventures! Every episode is a gem, so far.
It's a really big shame comedy -humor in general- fails to be translated to its full potential into other languages. So, any Italian-speakers out there, should check out the unbelievably, beyond-perception, talented and multifaceted Italian comedienne Virginia Raffaele. She created this super-witty character who goes by the name "Paula Gilberto Do Mar". Gilberto is a transgender poet from Brazil who supposedly improvises every week to create a "small masterpiece" of poetry on the live show "Quelli che il calcio". Virginia Raffaele is simply blessed with an ultra fast-pacing brain. Despite the fact that she does not improvise with her poetry, she improvises everything else, at times interacting with other random guests on the set (always against their will). I'm not sure how all this would come across to someone who doesn't speak Italian, but I can tell you, I did some serious brushing-up on my Italian so I won't miss a single word she utters. (FYI: Virginia Raffaele looks nothing like the picture above sans makeup and prosthetics)