Sunday, January 20, 2008

KT's Best of 2007

It's that time again! What better way to pass the time at way-too-late-o'clock than mulling over the highlights and lowlights of 2007? Particularly since I woke up at 11:15 this morning, haven't expended an ounce of energy all day, and my tummy is full of today's bread experiments - which means I have miles hours to go before I sleep. But I digress.

Categories liberally adapted from last year's Best Of.

Lifetime Firsts: Attending a speech by a presidential candidate, becoming the Vice Chair of a convention, visiting a country not in North America or Europe, taking a karate class, riding the NYC-Boston Chinatown bus, gathering chicken eggs, going Christmas caroling

Milestone Of The Year: Getting engaged (You knew I had to include it somewhere.)

Best Concert: Confusingly, this category had NO winners. Honorable mentions, I suppose, to Winterpills' set at the Sig Sounds showcase during SXSW, Amos Lee at ACL Fest, and any of the times we saw Brennen.

Scariest Name Of Someone Performing Surgery On Me: Dr. Slaughter

Best Surgery-Related Side Effects: A two-way tie betwen getting all my high notes back and not being congested once since August!

Best Places Visited: The Angel Orensanz Foundation Center, Israel

Best Culinary Discovery: Cast-iron

Most Enjoyable Shape-Note-Related Accommodations: The Legendary White Eagle Rock & Roll Hotel in Portland (Have you ever been awakened late at night by a tour guide standing outside your door, telling his enthralled listeners about all the people who died where they are standing? I thought not.)

Best Movies: "The Bourne Ultimatum" (Holy crap, really??? Good movie or not, that is SO sad. Needless to say I did not make it to a lot of films this year.)

Number Of Jobs I Quit: One

Musical Discovery Of The Year: Rufus Wainwright (I know, I know... what is this, 2003?)

First Politician Who Ever Made Me Giddy When I Saw Him In Person: Barack Obama

[And now for the books. Rebecca, as the only one who will actually follow most of them, I'm counting on you to tell me if any of these links don't work.]

Favorite Books: Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, What You Owe Me by Bebe Moore Campbell, At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid, A Home At the End of the World by Michael Cunningham, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, Freedom Song by Amit Chaudhuri

Honorable Mentions: On the Road with the Archangel by Frederick Buechner, Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

Famous Books I Finally Got Around To Reading In 2007: The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges, Gigi by Colette

Biggest Disappointment: Wifey by Judy Blume (A raunchy novel about an unfulfilled housewife written by my favorite young adult author? It seemed so promising! Alas, it was oh so bad. Clearly, there is a reason why she's known for her other books.)

And so concludes 2007. It was the best of years, it was the worst of years. Actually, it was a fairly quiet year, all things considered. But enough of that - onward and upward to 2008!




  1. Best Concert: You should go to more concerts with me. Tin hat @ the freight & salvage was my favourite (this was unfortunately just before rebecca moved west so it was the first of my two trips to the bay area last year)

    Best Places Visited: Definitely NOT Arkansas.

    Best Culinary Discovery: I respectfully disagree: Heavy Whipping Cream (unless that counts as 2008)

    Most Enjoyable Shape-Note-Related Accommodations: And it's a brewpub! (why don't more businesses try this? I bet people would be a lot more willing to go to the dentist if beer was brewed on the premises). White Eagle takes this one easily, although its only competition in this category is the clarion inn in college station.

    Best Movies: You forgot No Country! We saw that on christmas so it still counts as 2007.

    Number Of Jobs I Quit: 2007 pales in comparison to the banner year of 2006 when we quit a combined 4 jobs.

    Musical Discovery Of The Year: how about the long lost cassette adapter in our glove box?

    First Politician Who Ever Made Me Giddy When I Saw Him In Person: agreed, although he didn't move me to tears like the first time I watched his speech at the 2004 dnc:
    part 1
    part 2

    And since katie neglected to include a music section, here are my ten favouite 2007 releases so far:

    1. Erik Friedlander - Volac: Book of Angels, Vol. 8
    Who thought a solo-cello album would end up being my favourite album of the year? (and it's not even close) Stunning pizzicato virtuosity, heart wrenching vibrato, double-stops that would make bach proud, and avant-classical flourishes all mixed together with the eastern european and jazz improv stylings of zorn's 2nd masada songbook. Moving, inspired, etc....

    and the rest in rough order:
    2. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
    3. Gultskra Artikler - Kasha Iz Topora
    4. The Book of Knots - Traineater
    5. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    6. Tin Hat - The Sad Machinery of Spring
    7. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
    8. Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
    9. Amon Tobin - Foley Room
    10. Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release

    Honorable Mentions (all from wesleyan alums or somehow wesleyan-related):

    Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet - The Middle Picture
    ->my favourite trumpet/cornet player around
    Battles - Mirrored
    ->kicks ass(tyondai braxton = anthony's son)
    People - Misbegotten Man
    ->mary halvorson = guitar goddess
    Anthony Braxton 12+1tet - 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006
    Alexis Gideon - Flight of the Liophant

  2. "becoming the Vice Chair of a convention"

    LIES. i seem to remember a certain new england convention you were vice chair of- wait, i mean, of which you were vice chair.

    also, rich, deerhoof? really? you may aspire to hippiedom, but i think deep down you're just a hipster in smartwool socks.

  3. Best lists to wake up to ever. Richard, I think you have even ME beat for longest blog comment. Would you just be a guest author on the blog already? Then you could smarch it up anytime.

    (I haven't clicked your book links yet KT because first I have to
    a) fix all your helpful suggestions on my job app and b) visit with lauren and ruth!
    Rest assured that I will fix this oversight as soon as possible.)

  4. Au contraire, Ms. Mahoney! I happen to own a sticker which reads: "28th Annual NESHC Official Person-in-the-know (maybe) Katie Mahoney". A quick look at indicates that on October 4, 2003, Vice Chair Katie Mahoney opened the day of singing with one of the pieces from page 32. It should not be satisfying to take one of your 2007 accomplishments from you, and yet it is, because I'm a nerd and feel I've established order. <3<3b

  5. oops. i was too lazy to read the comments. guess jenna beat me to pointing that out.

  6. Ha, but you backed it up with hard evidence, you scientist you! Props to both you and Jenna for remembering that when I didn't. (Though now it's all coming back... best nametags ever. Did anyone reading this go to the New England in 2007? Wasn't it in Mtown again?)

  7. Oh man, I stand SO corrected. Let me rephrase: becoming the Vice Chair of a southern convention. Or: becoming the Vice Chair of a convention via an official nominating and election process. Or: becoming the Vice Chair of a convention at which I will actually be present both days. Or: becoming the Vice Chair of a convention at which I will actually need to do things besides lead the second song.

  8. I cannot find the post I was looking for where you mentioned a Sufjan Stevens I recall that (and superlatives,) or am I making it up? Your wondering Jew mom.

  9. i remember the new england in question because i won a quarter. it was a momentous weekend.

  10. Dear wondering jew: Might it be this post?

    Sincerely, your blog historian.

  11. Thanks, Rebecca....only a year off! Pretty good for me. N

  12. Racking my brain to recall the Jenna's quarter story... was it a wager? Was it my quarter? OH WAIT - it was for giving someone who shall remain nameless a hug, wasn't it??????? HA!