Friday, December 31, 2021

Ralphies 2021

A year where things happened. The appalling 6th of January.  The rise and fall and rise of the pestilence. Things change, and they don't.

I was on sabbatical, and finished a book.  I was supposed to go to Israel, but that didn't happen. I was supposed to go to California, and that did happen. I returned to the classroom in the fall, but I'm betting I'll be back teaching via Zoom next month. 

Yeah. Well. 

Shall I give Ralphies? I shall.

TV: We're still in the golden age of TV, which has shifted to streaming. In the spring, I finished watching every episode of Deep Space Nine, and by the end I felt like all those people were my friends. In the fall I started The Expanse, with The Mandalorian in between.  But the Ralphie goes to a Netflix show with a title not safe for a family blog.  Also a Lifetime Achievement Ralphie to the Beatles for the compulsively watchable Get Back.

MOVIES: We didn't go to a theater this year, but there were (was?) an abundance of movies on (once again) streaming channels.  I'll give the Ralphie to an obvious but well-deserving winner: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RIngs, with a special mention of Morris, who reminds me of our visitation of rabbits. 

BOOKS: For fiction, I read for the first time Little Women, because I needed a novel and it was in the house.  I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, so a special Lifetime Achievement Ralphie to Louisa May Alcott.  But the best novel award goes to Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore. Couldn't put it down.  For non-fiction, no award; I read a lot of articles, but few (no?) complete books. I wrote one, though. 

SPORTS: A year best forgotten.

MUSIC: There was music, a lot of good stuff.  I'll give big thumbs up to "Serotonin," by Girl in Red; "Bunny is a Rider," by Caroline Polachek; "Be Sweet," by Japanese Breakfast.  But I became a real fan of Big Thief, the band headed by Adrianne Lenker.  Right now, everything else by comparison seems cheesy and shallow.  I could link so many of their songs, but I'll give the Ralphie to "Little Things" and a second-place Ralphie to "Change." I was also lucky enough to see live music for the first time since the advent of COVID, a solo show by Adrianne. Can't resist another link to the song she did as an encore, "Anything."

Is that it? That's it. Thanks for reading, you guys are swell!