Sunday, January 28, 2007

Top 15 Radio Singles of 2006

Okay, so my last two entertainment-related posts were models of ridiculous long-windedness. Indeed, I fear that if brevity truly is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I may be the least witty and most outwardly flourishing human being ever. Er, anyway, this time around I have decided to forgo unnecessary commentary in favor of a simple list. The following are my personal choices for the top 15 radio singles of the year. Feel free to tell me I'm a moron for my inclusions or omissions:

  • A.F.I., Love Like Winter
  • Army of Anyone, Goodbye
  • Breaking Benjamin, The Diary of Jane
  • Disturbed, Land of Confusion
  • Flyleaf, Fully Alive
  • Godsmack, Shine Down
  • Incubus, Anna Molly
  • The Killers, When You Were Young
  • Pearl Jam, Worldwide Suicide
  • Plain White T's, Hate (I Really Don't Like You)
  • The Raconteurs, Steady, As She Goes
  • Rock Kills Kid, Paralyzed
  • Shinedown, I Dare You
  • Shiny Toy Guns, Le Disco
  • Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars

(Singles were chosen based on a combination of meaningfulness, sheer fun, and tendency to get stuck in my head. Note that being more recent, and thus not having suffered from overplay, was a definite plus.)

Song lyric of the day:
"It's like I'm perched on the handle bars
Of a blind man's bike
No straws to grab, just the rushing wind
On the rolling mind"
- the Shins, Split Needles

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best Movies of 2006

As I reflect on 2006, I'm struck with how weak a year it seems to have been for movies (Zhubin's Top Ten List drives that point home wonderfully). Of course, there are still a lot of films I have yet to see, due either to the fact that no theater in the area ever played them (This Film is Not Yet Rated, The Last King of Scotland), or the fact that I have been working my ass off and travelling a lot the last two months and missed them while they were in theaters (Stranger Than Fiction, Babel), or the fact that I just plain haven't gotten around to seeing them (Children of Men). But even if those films I've missed prove to be great, it still hasn't exactly been a stellar year filmwise. As I look on my list, I note that many of these would not have even shown up on the radar in a year like 1999. Oh well.

Anyway, without further ado, here is the list, in no particular order and of no particular number (I took a cue from Ben on this one. Also, our picks often overlap.)

  • Thank You For Smoking
    Hilarious. The over-hyped Borat has nothing on this movie. I loved it both for its satirical wit and its surprising heart. Aaron Eckhart deserves an Oscar nomination for somehow getting the audience to sympathize with, and in fact root for, a guy who is, for all intents and purposes, a scumbag.

  • The Departed
    Best picture of the year, in my humble opinion, which is always right. From top to bottom, there's nary a miss in the acting category. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are both brilliant in their roles, and Jack Nicholson embodies his character. If this movie doesn't win best ensemble at the SAG awards, something is seriously wrong. Beyond the acting, the story is compelling and the direction is absolutely top-notch. It may have a few too many twists, but by the end we've been so engrossed by the awesomeness of the filmmaking we don't care. If Martin Scorsese doesn't finally win that elusive Best Director Oscar, the Academy is in need of serious derectalization (an awesome word I borrowed from Jeff).

  • Cars
    Even though it's Pixar, I was wary of this film initially, but Cars lives up to its predecessors. I'm still not sure why most critics put it at a slightly lower tier. There's a lot of humor for adults - at times, Yaz and I were the only two laughing in the theater ("Freebird!") - and the ending actually made me tear up a little bit. Pixar still hasn't missed yet.

  • V for Vendetta
    Some of you will write this off as "oh, that's just Mike still being in love with Natalie Portman". While that is a valid point, I counter by pointing out that Natalie spends a decent chunk of this movie in no small amount of pain, which for my tender heart was just brutal to behold. But nay, this movie rises above that to be both a solid political thriller and a good action movie. Along the way, it raises some interesting philosophical questions about the divide between terrorist and revolutionary.

  • Snakes on a Plane
    Yes, I'm completely serious. Good movies don't always have to be life-changing. They don't even have to be good. Sometimes they're best when enjoyed with good friends after a few drinks. It was a welcome change to see an eagerly anticipated movie live up to expectations. I spent most of this movie laughing at its sheer badness. See my earlier review for more.

  • Lucky Number Slevin
    The trailer definitely misled me; I thought I was seeing a comedic crime film rather than what this movie is: a well-acted thriller with a solid cast and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Josh Hartnett is very good as the title character, who plays two crime bosses against each other to suit his own means. As always, Bruce Willis plays the part of the guy with the cold exterior but soft center to perfection. Speaking of which...

  • 16 Blocks
    Like Ben, I too fell prey to the buddy story. Bruce Willis plays a policeman who has to escort a criminal played by Mos Def 16 blocks to testify against some corrupt cops. Mos Def shows some serious acting chops by managing to turn his character from annoying to lovable. The action is low key, and the film relies much more on suspense, as well as the dynamic between both Willis and Def and Willis and David Morse.

  • Miami Vice
    Maybe it's nostalgia because it's the last movie I saw with Ben before he bit the dust (i.e. got married), but I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. Few particulars stand out other than the wonderfully executed Mexican standoff in the trailer and the heart-racing final shootout. Michael Mann has done better (Heat, Collateral) but this is pretty damn good too, and thankfully far removed from the kitschy 80s series.

  • Little Miss Sunshine
    This movie features the single most cathartic use of the word "fuck" I can possibly imagine. I'm not sure that will ever be topped. In spite of some morbid subject matter, Sunshine is a warm, fuzzy movie about family togetherness and being true to oneself, and it also makes you laugh your ass off a lot. Alan Arkin (not surprisingly) steals every scene he's in, while Steve Carell proves he can hold his own in a more serious role. Also, Greg Kinnear remains one of the best and yet most underappreciated actors of our time.

  • An Inconvenient Truth
    Though it was structured like an early campaign video for Al Gore, you have to give this movie credit for elucidating the problem of global warming. It brought at least one very skeptical, "how do we know it isn't merely cyclical and really how much data on temperatures 1000 years ago do we really have" person (me) over to the side of "well, does that even matter, because the steps needed to reverse it are so simple and intuitive anyway", so that counts for something. I still don't regret voting for the guy (still the only decent presidential candidate we've had since I became eligible to vote).

  • Flags of Our Fathers
    In most years, this would not be the best war movie of the year, but like I said, it's been a weak year for movies. Flags is compelling enough and tells a story I was unfamiliar with, a story that felt like it deserves to be told. Also, this is a particularly good year for a filmmaker to play to my love for the Marine Corps. The battle scenes aren't as harrowing as many other war movies, but then again this isn't a war movie so much as a movie about the political aspects of waging war in a democratic society. That may be more relevant these days anyway. (P.S. I still wanna see Letters From Iwo Jima too.)

  • Rocky Balboa
    A friend of mine who hadn't seen this movie argued that it probably only seemed good in comparison to the last few. I disagree. Personally, I think this final chapter in the Rocky series (and it is decidedly the final chapter, as the film itself establishes) is second only to the original. It reminds viewers of what they may have forgotten as the sequels continued to pour out, that deep down Rocky was just a simple guy with the will of a giant and a deep abiding love for Adrian. This film goes back to the basics of the original to tell a compelling story, with boxing as only the backdrop.

Some of the year's disappointments include A Scanner Darkly (not a bad film by any stretch, but I thought it would be better), The Science of Sleep (maybe I was missing something), Inside Man (there is a lot to like about this film, but ultimately I just can't buy the main premise), and The Black Dahlia (I expect much more from the director of The Untouchables and the writer of L.A. Confidential).

And finally, I feel I would be remiss if I did not give a shout-out to Date Movie, which is now officially numero uno on my list of worst movies of all time. Certainly, I was not expecting it to replace Gone With the Wind, but I expected to, I dunno, chuckle a few times. But nope, never happened. Never before have I so thoroughly wasted 80 minutes of my life. Ordinarily, no matter how awful a movie is, I manage to find some redeeming value. This was the extremely rare exception. To call it utter dog shit would be insulting to canines everywhere. So congratulations, Date Movie!

Song lyric of the day:
"I should have come over
I couldn't break the shining chain
Of all the things that you wrote me
You wanted to be alone
And I don't want you to be alone"
- Robert Pollard, 7th Level Shutdown

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Best Albums of 2006

It's that time once again, by which I mean for the first time. 2006 has been a relatively solid year for music, particularly coming from unexpected areas, as will likely be obvious from my list. Still, as much as I love music, I admit I really don't get to devote as much time to it as I'd sometimes like, which of course lends itself to an incomplete list. For a better list that explores a larger variety of music, and demonstrates there are too many albums I've missed as usual, see Barzelay's list (also, hat tip to Barzelay for the idea of including a sample lyric from each album, though I like to think he got the idea from my patented Song Lyric of the Day). Also, keep an eye on Aaron's blog, from which I expect a list very soon.

Without further ado...

  • 10. TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
    My first thought is that this album lacks the immediacy of many albums in my collection, but that's misleading (after all, it's hard to claim "I Was A Lover" doesn't strike you right away). What I mean when I say that is, after all the accolades I had heard about this album, I expected to be blown away, and I wasn't. But then I kept listening to it, and each time new subtleties revealed themselves, and I began to notice that the songs were getting stuck in my head. Once songs like "Hours", "A Method", and the excellent "Wolf Like Me" (a strong contender for song of the year) grab hold, they don't let go.

    "It's a rough wild world, could you please chaperone?
    It's a mind field trip, oh leave it the fuck alone
    This is hardly the method you know"
    - TV on the Radio, A Method

  • 9. The Killers, Sam's Town
    Setting egos and claims of vast importance aside, this is a fun album. I enjoyed Hot Fuss, and I like this one about the same. "When You Were Young" may be the best single to hit alt-rock radio this year; overplay hasn't diminished its impact yet, which in itself is impressive. Songs like "Bling (Confessions of a King)" rise above their ridiculous titles to produce memorable numbers. The "I see London" bridge of "Sam's Town" seems a little silly, but can't override the relentless chorus. "Bones" is a pure catchy single, "Uncle Jonny" stands as a strong tale of a relative who couldn't lay off the rock, and highlight "Why Do I Keep Counting?" is a life-affirming song about the uncertainty we all face. Lead singer Brandon Flowers tries to hit notes not meant for his voice, and usually fails (consider "This River is Wild") but somehow that just makes the album more endearing. The Killers avoid the sophomore slump and manage to craft a second catchy, appealing album.

    "When I offer you survival,
    You say it's hard enough to live,
    It's not so bad, it's not so bad
    How do you know that you're right?"
    - the Killers, Bling (Confessions of a King)

  • 8. Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
    "The Funeral", a healthy candidate for track of the year, makes this album noteworthy all by itself, but the rest of it is pretty damn great too. There's the optimistic promise of certain failure in "Our Swords", the yearning of "The Great Salt Lake" (which also has a fantastic outro), and the sheer fun of "Weed Party". All these songs work to perfection. And then, of course, album highlight "The Funeral", an anthemic testament to the fragility of life that somehow avoids too much emoting. The lead singer's voice is remarkably appealing, and the guitars chime majestically.

    "Count on us all stepping on our own toes tonight
    Count on us all falling on our own swords tonight"
    - Band of Horses, Our Swords

  • 7. The Long Winters, Putting the Days to Bed
    John Roderick just writes great pop songs. It's that simple. "Pushover" is a rollicking two-and-a-half minute number that hooks into your head and doesn't let go, and "Hindsight" is unforgettable (in particular, the question "Was this new move just to keep moving?" resonates with me). The music isn't bad either, from the joyous trumpets in "Teaspoon" to the exuberant guitar fills of "Fire Island, AK". The electrified version of "Ultimatum", which originally appeared in acoustic form on last year's EP of the same name, works just as well as it's predecessor, even though it changes the dynamic. The quieter moments, such as the would-be-amusing-if-it-weren't-so-heartfelt "Honest" where Roderick plays the part of a mother warning her daughter away from singers such as Roderick, are amazing too. If this album never produces an anthem like "The Commander Thinks Aloud", it's still more consistent than the Ultimatum EP and its full length predecessor When I Pretend To Fall. I continue to expect great things from Roderick and crew.

    "In hindsight you're gonna wish you were here
    You keep scratching at the old paint
    But the wood is still there"
    - the Long Winters, Hindsight

  • 6. Five Dollar Friend, XOXORx (Kisses, Hugs, and Prescription Drugs)
    Well, the Texas underground did it again. The same scene that brought (sadly now defunct) iSOLA's Loud Alarms last year has now whelped FDF's debut LP. The album is hit-or-miss, but when it hits (which is more often than not), it hits hard. The production is more spare than most people are used to, but the album yearns to be quieter anyway, as indicated by practically whispered lyrics like "I show up at your door, it's 3 am and I'm drunk again" (from closer "Bad Words and Warnings"). Other great moments are on album highlights "In Tune" and "Spilling the Blood of the Hipsters" when pianist Michelle Hudson's vocals drift in and mingle with lead vocalist Jacob Trevino's for truly beautiful moments.

    "Keep it simple when I lie
    Is there anyone here who's sober enough to drive?
    I'll get home, but I don't know how
    I'm obsessed with the memories I cannot change now"
    - Five Dollar Friend, Dancehall

  • 5. Blue October, Foiled
    It's a testament to the diversity and strength of this album that I originally thought it didn't really take off until track 4 ("What If We Could"), and now tracks 1 and 2 ("You Make Me Smile", "She's My Ride Home") are my favorites. "Hate Me" has suffered somewhat from radio overplay, and "Into the Ocean" is trying to catch up, but fortunately this album has a lot to offer besides its singles. Quieter songs like the sad "Let It Go" and the hopeful "Sound of Pulling Heaven Down" sit comfortably alongside more upbeat songs like the bouncy "Overweight" and the chaotic "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek" (the latter featuring the catchiest barking sound this side of the Baha Men). Also, I'm not sure I've heard a song that better captures the exuberance of new love better than album closer "18th Floor Balcony". All in all, Blue continues to craft quality albums of music and remains a great representative of my former home city.

    "Is that seat taken?
    Would you like to take a walk with me?"
    - Blue October, Congratulations

  • 4. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
    I originally told friends requesting an opinion on this album that it was good, but not as good as Picaresque. The more I listened to this album, I realized that I was mistaken. While it lacks any songs quite at the level of "Engine Driver", it's a more solid effort on the whole. The "Yankee Bayonet" duet and "O Valencia" are both tales of doomed love that makes you wonder if Colin Meloy is ever going to allow his characters to find romance and actually keep it (but that wouldn't be nearly as compelling, would it?). "Summersong" is a beautifully enchanting track and "Sons and Daughters" brings the album to a triumphant close. And most of all, the 12-minute "The Island" suite is absolutely entrancing from beginning to end, especially during the rollicking Celtic middle section ("The Landlord's Daughter"). The strangely-ordered title suite ("The Crane Wife Part 3" precedes "The Crane Wife Parts 1 and 2" by eight tracks) is also excellent. High marks for the Decemberists.

    "Oh Valencia
    With your blood still warm on the ground
    And I swear to the stars
    I’ll burn this whole city down"
    - the Decemberists, O Valencia!

  • 3. Built to Spill, You in Reverse
    To anybody who says guitar rock is on the way out, I offer the first minute of "Conventional Wisdom", which may be the greatest lead riff ever. This album returns largely to the epic song lengths of Perfect From Now On, but without as much rhythmic variation; that's both a positive and a negative, as songs feel more cohesive and less like multiple parts strung together, but this also makes the length more apparent. The dense layers of guitars are toned down somewhat, but the rawer approach doesn't diminish Doug Martsch's status as a guitar god. There are slow, pensive songs like "Liar" and "The Wait", as well as more upbeat rockers like "Wisdom", "Goin' Against Your Mind", and "Wherever You Go", all featuring Martsch's trademark clever lyrics. The vocals and instrumentation blend wonderfully to create a cohesive album filled with great songs.

    "Some things never change
    Nothing's gonna change that
    Some things you can't explain
    Like why we're all embracing conventional wisdom in a world thats just so unconventional"
    - Built to Spill, Conventional Wisdom

  • 2. People in Planes, As Far as the Eye Can See
    How can you not be intrigued by a band whose first single is entitled "If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)"? The silliness of the intro to that song leads into one of the more impressive singles this year. Elsewhere, the album rocks with "Barracuda" and "Moth", but balances out with slower, atmospheric songs like "Falling by the Wayside". The call-response chorus of "Token Trapped Woman" and the meandering, shifting dynamics of album closer "Narcoleptic" (which flows by much quicker than its 7 minutes) are also highlights. All in all, a very impressive and appealing debut from PiP, and I look forward to hearing more.

    "If I came from outer space
    And you're the first thing that I see
    Then I'd be pleased"
    - People in Planes, Narcoleptic

  • 1. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
    October 3 saw the release of two albums I had been eagerly anticipating: the Decemberists' The Crane Wife and the Killers' Sam's Town. I still don't remember how, but the same day I heard a song called "Chips Ahoy!" from a group I'd never heard of called the Hold Steady. Upon my weekly Tuesday trip to Best Buy, and after grabbing the aforementioned albums, I noted a single copy of Boys and Girls in America lingering in the rack and figured what the hell? It's barely left my CD player since. Each song is about people whose lives didn't turn out how they expected. They have fun but underneath is a longing for that something more they used to believe in. They seek solace by dulling the senses with beer or drugs and engaging in meaningless physical contact, but ultimately remain unsatisfied. In other words, I'm not sure whether my ascetic or married friends will enjoy it, but most of my friends that don't fall into those two categories have loved it. (My buddy Bill Gates called me six tracks in to inform me that the last 2 minutes of "Party Pit" might be the greatest 2 minutes of music ever recorded.) The album launches with the immediacy of "Stuck Between Stations", whose lyrics such as "She likes the warm feeling but she's tired of all the dehydration" introduce the universal themes that will be addressed throughout the album (it's about drinking, and yet more than drinking). It continues through "Chips Ahoy!", with its impossible-not-to-sing-along chorus, and the raucous "Hot Soft Light". "Same Kooks" is the lone misfire, but it leads into the beautiful ballad "First Night", which tells the stories of characters we don't know yet can somehow picture (especially Holly) and culminates in an amazing coda. Later, if "You Can Make Him Like You" doesn't remind you of at least one girl you used to know in high school or college, you just didn't know enough girls. "Citrus" is the song I want to play for every other rock band that's felt compelled to do a token acoustic song and scream, "That is how you're supposed to do it!" The final songs are "Chillout Tent", an amusing song which features guest vocals from Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum fame, and "Southtown Girls", imbued with the desire to find permanence. I've rambled long enough, you can obviously tell I'm a huge fan of this album. I'm not sure if it will change any lives, but it's the most fun, accessible, and relatable album I heard this year.

    "On that first night, she was golden with barlight and beer
    On that first night, she slept like she'd never been scared
    And then last night, she said words alone never could save us"
    - the Hold Steady, First Night

Honorable mentions:

  • Guster, Ganging Up on the Sun - they're still pretty good, but they just don't sound like Guster anymore.
  • Portastatic, Be Still Please - it's really good, particularly "Getting Saved" and "You Blanks", but I haven't been able to listen to it enough to give it top ten status.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium - a good enough album, but a disappointment only because it doesn't come close to the utter awesomeness that was By the Way.
  • Swan Lake, Beast Moans - another one that just hasn't received enough listens yet. High marks in particular to "All Fires".

If you actually got this far, wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr.

Of the 2632 consecutive games Cal Ripken Jr. played in, I was fortunate enough to see about 40, give or take. The first was in Memorial Stadium in August 1991, a game played against the Texas Rangers. I was ten with minimal knowledge about baseball, but I was overcome fairly quickly by the magic of being at a major league stadium. Show me someone who doesn't like baseball, and I can show you someone who never visited a ballpark before the jadedness of adolescence and adulthood set in. I remember little of that first game beyond the feeling, but in many ways that's all any ballgame really is.

I frequented the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards over the next several years, attending eight or ten games a year. As my interest and knowledge of baseball grew, I came to respect and revere Ripken. In my mind, he was and always will be the quintessential ballplayer: he took the game seriously but never seemed to lose sight of the fact that it was a game. Every time I saw him in interviews on television, always modest, he had that look in his eye like the kid entering the ballpark for the first time. Like he still loved the game and what it stood for.

I watched from home on September 6, 1995, shortly after entering high school, as Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's unbreakable record, playing in his 2131st game. As I sat in the living room, dining on crab cakes and Coke, I watched Ripken do exactly what people everywhere are paid to do: he showed up for work. And he didn't disappoint, hitting a home run into the left field bleachers in the middle innings.

In 1996, when the Orioles played the Yankees in the ALCS, I was there for the final game 5, long after a young fan named Jeffrey Maier and a blown Rich Garcia call had deflated whatever momentum the O's might have had. Few likely remember that the final out in the game was recorded by Cal Ripken. On a grounder to shortstop, he ran as fast as he could to first base, almost beating out the throw from a young Derek Jeter. In my young mind, I still swear he did, but Garcia called him out. Still, that was Ripken, hustling even though the game was out of reach.

The final game I saw Ripken play in was 9 years after the first, at Edison International Field in Anaheim. Ironically, the only two games I saw the Orioles play that weren't at Camden Yards were the first and the last. It was long after the streak had ended. Ripken was obviously nearing retirement, and had made the transition from shortstop to third base. The Orioles hadn't been in the playoffs since 1997, and they were pretty much out of it by that day in August 2000. In an early inning, Ripken made an amazing stop and throw to catch a runner at first. The top half of the next inning, he hit a home run. And when he did, even as he watched the ball sail over the fence, he dropped his bat and began trotting around the bases. No Barry Bonds-style poses or struts. No steroids necessary to pole that ball.

Cal Ripken Jr., along with fellow inductee Tony Gwynn who I saw play once in San Diego, represent the last vestiges of the game I grew up loving. Two more deserving Hall of Famers you aren't likely to find. To them and many others, I remain eternally grateful. And even if some of the current players lack the integrity of Ripken and Gwynn, I am reminded always of the greatness I have seen, and of quite possibly the truest movie quote ever spoken:

"The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again."

(Washington Post article about Ripken's election.)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

You know what cracks me up?

Before President Bush entered office, not only did we have a balanced budget, we actually had a surplus (which may have gone a little way to, say, paying down the national debt). Now we have a deficit of record proportions because the geniuses in Washington think it's responsible to simultaneously cut taxes and raise spending.

And now, President Bush wants to balance the budget.

Um, okay Dubya. What do you want, a cookie? Shall we hail you as a hero because 6 years ago we had a balanced budget, and now you want to give us a balanced budget 6 years from now? Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of the goal, but maybe it wouldn't be a problem if you hadn't been so fiscally irresponsible in the first place.

So while I appreciate the effort, don't expect to win many people over by suddenly coming to your senses. Oh, and good luck balancing the budget and maintaining your tax cuts while we're embedded in costly military action overseas. That's a lot of earmarks to get rid of.

Song lyric of the day:
"You’re a white collar boy and you gave into the law
(Give in to the pressure, the cops are gonna getcha)
You were a thieving dog at work until they caught your little paw
(Your wage won’t stretch to picking up checks)"
- Belle & Sebastian, White Collar Boy

UPDATE: Based on this pleasant surprise, I feel compelled to post the...

Second song lyric of the day:
"Well it would have been
Could have been worse than you had ever known
The dashboard melted but we still have the radio"
- Modest Mouse, Dashboard

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! Mine started out great (as no pain was being felt at the time) and with an open mind, an optimistic heart, and a little luck, maybe it will continue that way. 2006 for the most part improved upon the ridiculous mass of shit that was 2005, and I have every reason to hope that 2007 will continue the upward swing.

Coming soon (hopefully), I will have several Top and Bottom lists for 2006, as everyone else seems to, and I've never been one to buck the trend. Plus, I know certain people who might actually care. Or maybe not. But either way, I've gotta entertain myself somehow.

Song lyric of the year:
"'Cause this is the year I write to me
The silly devil in me talking
Romantic company for walking
Over and out"
- Blue October, Conversation Via Radio (Do You Ever Wonder?)