Yes it's the most wonderful time of the year when Santa Baby Jones shows up to play with Holiday wrapping paper and dog's leash and keys... shiny, shiny keys...
Ahem. Anyhoos here's the things Mr. J loved the most this year....
1)Wife And New Son- natch! What a great way to be constantly reminded that it's not your world, it's not Sinatras's world, it's the family's world and you just live in it. If I hadn't been blessed with Future Jones, it might have taken me a lot longer to realize how much *$'s was not for me. Somehow, knowing I would be coming home to my son and having to explain why his father was soooo miserable all the time, revved the "get out of wrong job" engine (runs on broken dream fuel) and engaged the "find something closer to your passion" drive (avoiding "compromise wormholes"). Thanx family!
Also for the joy I didn't think possible. Thanks for that too.
2)Barnes and Nobles. If you have to work retail, it might as well be for a place where you're selling stuff that you love. I've only been there a few months and I already have stories of getting people to try Dave Eggers, Amy Sedaris, Jon Stewart, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, "The Last Of Sheila" and Tom Waits! Speaking of which...
Favorite Pop Culture Of 2006!
1) "Casino Royale"- Possibly the most important film of the year, this docudrama film series of how one member of British intelligence is all that stands between the free world and domination by power mad multibillionaires everywhere, hits a new high with this entry. Bond (or "Blond" as the kids- okay me- call him) stops the most evil accountant/gambling addict in the world. Best last line in any Bond film, ever.
2) "Heroes"- The only thing this television show is missing is William Shatner. That's how great it is. When the serial killer was revealed to look just like the guy who played Superman in "Superman Returns", the show reached new levels of meta- that's right I said "new levels of meta". See? I do work at a bookstore. With people who use words like "meta".
3) "Orphans:Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards"- This 3 CD collection from Tom Waits is a big ol' chunka Tom. The title says it all, as you get new and rare songs from the different facets of the Waits diamond. I think some of my favorite stuff right now is his political material- "Road To Peace" is amazing and this coolection includes his somber "Fall Of Troy" from the "Dead Man Walking" soundtrack- in which his lyrics are the most straight-forward of his career. But the music doesn't suffer and in fact Waits actually enunciates during these songs.
As much as he can anyways.
4)"Preston Sturges Filmmaker Collection"- Even though it's a typical Universal dvd collection (Special Features? Commentary? It's a miracle there are some trailers on this thing!), the fact that there is now a Sturges collection of any kind is a miracle. Although not a "Miracle At Morgan's Creek"; that is the only classic Sturges not in this set. And both "The Lady Eve" and "Sullivan's Travels" have been done better as dvd's by the mighty Criterion Collection (to which Universal should turn over their whole catalog, not just the few they already have. Uni has only done their classic horror series up in a way that shows they get it.)
Still, one of Mr. J's top ten favorite films "Hail The Conquering Hero" is included, so it makes this a must-have in our home.
5) "Dr. Who"- The current series with David Tennant as The Doctor and the previous one with Christopher Eccleston (soon to be seen in "Heroes") is an amazing amount of character-oriented sci-fi and has made me cry more than once.
Oh, just shut up.
6) "Sweeney Todd-Original Broadway Revival Cast"- Using Brechtian techniques to revive this warhorse, made this one-creation-of-Sondheim's-I-don't-care-for become a crucial cd for me this year. I hope Tim Burton plays this over and over before embarking on his film version.
I'm sure I could think of more, but I think this will suffice for me.