Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Wrap-up.

'Lo all.

I'll get the cliches out of the way first. What a year, such fun was had, learnt a lot, bring on the next one, etc etc.

No, but in all seriousness, this year was huge. That whole moving out of home thing and all (even though I'm currently typing this back in Sale...), starting uni, pretending to be a respectable and independent member of society, all that jazz.

I think the whole experience went pretty well, to be honest. I'm not dead yet, and to be honest the city's kickarse. There's actual things to do that don't involve ending up in Ringers every weekend! Amazing!

The novelty will wear off, I'm sure, but in the mean time, it's awesome. Still haven't done everything I'd like to yet either.

And of course there were all sorts of other adventures, some of which I won't go into here, but jesus. Excrement hitting the air conditioning device indeed. But again, still alive.

I fear I'm becoming more of a hipster since I moved to the city, this is a genuine concern. You meet a hell of a lot of new people, and the majority of city kids are hipsters, which is much better than the bogans in Sale. But most of the people I got to know this year were pretty cool, here's to more drinks in Prudence, Nevs or Puggs.

That's probably the other thing, again, it's nice not being in Ringers week after week, and instead exploring the buttload of other bars (and becoming something of a beer connoisseur with Aiden). Did enjoy the James Squire Brewhouse, Biero's, the Little Creatures Beerhall, and the Public Bar (RIP). Plus all the tiny pubs and bandrooms we found, will be returning to the Espy an awful lot, and Brunswick st definitely needs more exploration.

I think uni is good. There, I said it. It's way, way better than high school because all of those annoying people you never want to hang out with? You only have to put up with them for two hours a week in most cases. Brilliant. Plus they don't care if you arrange all your classes for the afternoon or skip the odd lecture as long as you keep up. I'm liking my course so far; may have been a bit reluctant about philosophy but it ended up being alright. Wish I could say the same for critical thinking. Journalism and the media units were good fun though. Not sure about next year, but I get to do cinema studies, that'll be fun, right?

Musicwise, holy crap. I can't believe I've seen so many of my favourite bands this year, some of them twice (!). The National, Iggy and the Stooges, Grinderman, Tame Impala, Death From Above 1979, Portishead, The Flaming Lips, Vasco Era and Children Collide about five times each... There is a very, very long list that I won't put here, but suffice to say I reckon it'd make some people jelly. I hit too many festivals, which wasn't particularly good for my wallet, but so, so totally worth it. I would like to live at Meredith when I grow old, and take my children to the festivals there. Such a beautiful place, awesome vibe, and incredible lineups. Can't wait to head back in March. Looking forward to Battles and Justice in the new year as well (and maybe Radiohead). Still pissed I missed out on Queens of the Stone Age, Spiritualized, Flying Lotus, Modest Mouse, The Drones, and Regurgitator playing Unit... Best gigs would have to be Portishead and being on the barrier for Mudhoney and roaring along to Fix Me, and maybe the Flips for the sheer "oh god what the hell is going on" factor.

Surprisingly crap year for music and movies that got released though, maybe it just wasn't my sort of thing. I did enjoy the Black Keys' new album, even though it did not sound like a Black Keys album, same with The Strokes. Cameras finally released an LP, which I want to pick up on vinyl soon, same with the Middle East, who put out the best Australian album this year, I reckon. Justice's new album was a bit of a disappointment though, and I'm already sick of The Jezabels and Gotye. Pumped for Sleigh Bells's new album, among others.

Discovered a buttload of stuff this year though, like Spiritualized, Liars, Autolux, Mogwai, Bass Drum of Death... lots and lots.

Watched too many movies (see previous post), but did not see Transformers or Breaking Dawn, and don't plan to. Really enjoyed The Proposition (especially since I wrote an essay on it and got a HD!), Four Lions, Human Traffic, Dr Strangelove, and He Died With a Felafel in His Hand (cheers Bec). Bring on Batman and Prometheus next year. We discovered the Astor as well, which I've visited about half a dozen times and am planning to visit a billion times next year. The Back to the Future marathon was pretty awesome, since there was a Delorean out the front.

Oh yeah, and I played a lot of pinball on my fancy new phone and read a lot of books and enjoyed the hell out of Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. That's everything covered.

In other news. Oh god living in the city ten minutes from the MCG is awesome, especially when Carlton's playing pretty well for once. Must have hit a dozen games, finally justifying my MCC membership. And Collingwood lost the grand final, life is good.

The family seems to be doing well, I know I don't visit home often enough but everyone's still kicking. The girls are on the threshold of becoming a living hell for poor old Beardman, but in the mean time they're wearing White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age shirts (ha), and in the living room right now they're trying to play Bohemian Rhapsody on Guitar Hero. Yeah, I bet your eleven year old sisters never did that. Fraser needs a bit of sense beaten into him, but he's better than last year. Beardman is alive and well, he's now a bro, and I think we'll be taking him to trivia a bit more.

Sale, on the other hand, seems to have imploded somewhat, socially at least. There only seems to be drama when the horde's all in town, so enough of that rubbish. More kids should move to the city, you'll love it. My roommates were all fantastic people, for all the returning-home-at-4am-and-playing-Kanye-West-really-loudly nights, there were also kickarse nights out rampaging through Nevs. Best of luck to all three of you next year, specially the J Woosh in England.

Speaking of world affairs, holy crap a lot of evil dudes died this year, didn't they. Heaps of crazy natural disasters, seemed to be a new one every week for a while (spoiled a breakfast or two). I still disagree with the Occupy movement in Australia, and I'm looking forward to the presidential run next year because I am a boring geek. And, you know, there's still the threat of a nice nuclear war, as always.

Right, better stop rambling. Some things I learnt this year, among others: really isn’t that difficult being in the city; just because a bar is popular doesn’t mean it’s very good; women have a tendency to be surprisingly selfish creatures (well duh, says every male reader); travel broadens the mind wonderfully; it is entirely possible to do a one day music festival by yourself; it is entirely possible to lose track of the days of the week and recover; never miss an opportunity to head out and catch up with people or abuse free wifi privileges; keep an eye on one’s phone bill to the point of neuroticism; and never pretend for a second that if Woosh and Angus both need to use the bathroom at the same time that they’ll close the doors (Battleshits? Electric Avenue? Jesus...).

Most importantly, I think, for all the good things this year, I stand by something I picked up in philosophy class, in like March or something. I believe it was Sartre who said, “hell is other people”. Looking forward to moving into a one bedroom apartment next month, as I am an antisocial bastard.

What else will happen next year, I wonder. There's a few bits of unfinished business which will need to be finished, whether for good or for ill remains to be seen. Other than that, since Pat and Jake are on my campus next year, I foresee more pub crawls and the usual shenanigans. If we survive tonight. We'll see.

Happy new year to everyone.

Um. Crossposted, I guess. Should I chuck this on facebook and be an attention whore? Meh.


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