Sunday, January 02, 2005

I'm baa-aaack. Hope everyone had a Merry Holiday Season, as I did, and that you didn't miss me too much while I was busy slacking on my posts. I get kinda bummed when the holidays are over, because there is absolutely NOTHING else to look forward to until springtime, (which begins in March in Indiana, but here in Minnesota it could be April or May until we see any kind of greenery).

I've decided to make some lists, because I don't feel like thinking too much today and lists are something I can do without much thought or effort. So here goes nothing....

My lists for 2004--a retrospective.

Best shopping discovery (stores):
Cliche, located in Uptown (the Minneapolis equivalent of the Mass Ave. area in downtown Indianapolis, for my fellow Hoosiers). Cliche is AWESOME. It has cool T-shirts ("babydoll/girl-fitted" T-shirts in wearable sizes, which I love), as well as incredibly hip dresses, skirts, pants, shorts, coats, etc. etc. etc. I found the store on my own one day in September, I wandered in because of the Summer Clearance sign in the window and fell in love. I scored an awesome dark olive green courderoy mini-skirt that I am still wearing even in the ass-clenching cold because it looks cool with the every color of tights that I have (I'm on a tights kick--they're hip, they keep your legs warm, and they last much longer than pantyhose). This dark olive green courderoy mini-skirt also manages to go with every T-shirt, sweater, top, etc. that I own, and it only cost me $8. I also found a cute black babydoll T-shirt with a Sanrio-like character on the front for $6, and a jaw-droppingly awesome red satin Asian dress (with the high Oriental collar, short sleeves, etc.) that was exactly my size and on clearance for $18! When I was out Christmas shopping last month with my friend Linda we took a detour to Cliche and she found a vintage floral dress for under $30 and I found a fitted pink fuzzy retro argyle sweater for $15. THIS STORE RULES.

Also, I love Heavenly Soles--also located in Uptown. It has incredibly cool, funky shoes (most of them expensive, but you can usually find some good bargains). That's only half the store, though. The other half, for some reason, is filled with cool toys--the fun adult novelty kind (not that kind of adult stuff!) It's more like sock monkey keychains and smart-ass bumper stickers and candy cigarettes (kids--stay away!) and Bettie Paige coasters and cute purses. Whenever I go, I usually spend about two hours in there, and it's a relatively small store. Heavenly Soles also rules.

Third but not least is Dabble--not located in Uptown but in a smaller yet equally cool neighborhood--northeast Minneapolis, as close as you can get to St. Paul without being in St. Paul. Dabble is basically like Heavenly Soles without the shoes--just cool toys, purses and cards but it's much more girly than HS. It's an extremely tiny store but I can also easily kill about two hours in there, because it rules.

Best restaurant I discovered this year: Ecopolitan. Without a doubt. This is the one I went to on my birthday--the one in Uptown that's completely vegan and completely raw. The one that Anna hated and that I loved. I stand by my choice, and that's not just because I like the concept because I'm a big old hippie. Really, it's not.

Worst restaurant I discovered this year: Paisano's Pizzaria. I went to it because it's in my neighborhood and the pizza was recommended to me by someone at work as "the closest you can get to New York pizza in the Twin Cities." If that's true, then New York pizza sucks. The worst thing about this place is actually the service, which manages to be both non-existent and terrible at the same time, and they bring the food out to you on paper plates. Now, I'm not a snob by any stretch of the imagination, but I know paper plates, and the ones they use are the cheapest, flimsiest, shittiest ones--we're talking the Yorktown brand at the bottom of the shelf at the grocery store. On top of that, the pizza is way overpriced. Overpriced pizza on paper plates topped off by crappy service. That about sums up Paisano's.

Best coffee shop I discovered this year: Nina's, because it's right across from my apartment building, it's clean, it's classy, it's hip and while the coffee isn't the best in the city it has good mint tea and Garrison Keillor hangs out there. I haven't seen him there yet, but he mentions it twice in his latest book.

Best concert I saw in 2004:
Holy shit, it has to be the Finn Brothers. The whole experience; the show itself, seeing Neil Finn in person, talking to Neil Finn, touching Neil Finn, getting an autograph from Neil Finn, taking a photo with Neil Finn, and not making a dork out of myself while in being in close proximity to Neil Finn. Tim Finn was cool, too--didn't mean to leave him out, but for me it's all about Neil.

Best book I read this year: The Anxiety of Everyday Objects
by Auralie Sheehan. It disproves all the shit people (including me) say about "chick-lit," (which is something of a derogatory term in itself). A Girl Becomes A Comma Like That by Lisa Glatt is also quite worthy, and also qualifies as great chick-lit (which is not an oxymoron--and never was--as I was reminded this year).

Best album of 2004:
I'm bestowing this honor on Duran Duran, by default. I've heard their new CD, (I own it, natch) but it's not their best, nor was I expecting it to be. Duran Duran will never sound the same as they did in 1984, (or even 1987, when they were still awesome even with just three of them). But the fact that all five original members are back together warms the cockles of my cold, jaded 31-year-old heart, and also, I've never gotten over my love for John Taylor. It's not a crush, it's not an obsession, it's not infatuation, people. Crushes, obsessions, infatuations, etc. don't last for twenty years. This is true love.

Best movie of 2004: Can't really choose a best one, because nothing stands out. I think the ones I liked the most (off the top of my head) were Fehrenheit 9/11 and Team America. I guess they're both in similar veins, although F9/11 was serious and Team America was a parody, although Michael Moore made an appearance in both. But there was puppet sex in Team America. Yes, puppet sex. See it.

There were other movies that I liked, but ya know, they didn't change my life or anything (and they definitely didn't feature puppet sex). I liked Alfie and Closer, because Jude Law was in both. I liked Spider Man 2. I liked um, crap, what else did I see? I know there's more, but I guess they weren't all that memorable. I have a feeling that if I would have actually gotten around to seeing Napolean Dynamite, Garden State, I Heart Huckabee's, Sideways and Ray, I'd be able probably name at least one of them as a favorite, but I didn't. Most of them are already out on DVD or will be soon, so I'll have to settle for that.

I can tell you, without a doubt, the WORST movie that I saw this year, however. It was The Stepford Wives, and it sucked. So unfunny, so lame, so badly acted, so badly written, and so boring on top of it all. Nicole Kidman, you fucking owe me for this one, along with Eyes Wide Shut from way back in 1999. Those two piece of shit movies comprise 5 1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back, and I'm holding you personally responsible, because I'm beginning to think that the fact that you starred in both is not just a coincidence. And furthermore, out of all the 5,000 movies you've made, the only good ones are To Die For and Moulin Rouge. The only good ones! And I want you to know that I didn't see Cold Mountain, even though Jude Law is in it. Hear that? And I still won't, even though Jude Law is in it. That's saying something, girlfriend.

So that's my list for 2004. Hope it was everything you thought it would be, whatever that was.

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