Now that we’re more than a full day into 2008, I suppose it might be a great time to take a look back at 2007. Here are some personal thoughts that sort of some up the year (NB: I stole this idea a bit from Jon Hicks of hicksdesign).
By far, the most important musical release for me this year was Wilco‘s Sky Blue Sky. I had listened to Wilco a little off-and-on in college, but for some reason it hadn’t really floated my boat. My friend, Paul, purchased Sky Blue Sky shortly after it was released. Because he was moving to Greece, he just kinda gave me the disc.
Sky Blue Sky offered a more hopeful alternative to some of Wilco’s (and Jeff Tweedy’s) other offerings—a hopeful side that really allowed me to enjoy the more depressive stuff that Tweedy and crew were exploring on previous records such as Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born. The Wilco vibe and sound became a part of the Hebert house. From May through December at least 6 of the 7 slots in our car’s disc changer have been devoted to Wilco.
Two movies, both of which were released later in the year, really got me going. The most recent was Juno which had some really great dialoge and imagery (which I blogged about recently). I won’t belabor it here.
The other movie was No Country for Old Man. I whole-heartedly admit that I am a total Cohen Brothers fan boy, so it’s not surprising that this movie would top my 2007 list. Allow me to list just a few things that I really loved about it:
- Interesting plot that kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
- Great characters with wonderful little quirks. Good writing, acting, and directing.
- No soundtrack. Yet it works! Odd that this would matter to me, sense I have a little collection of Cohen Brothers’ soundtracks here.
I’ve reached the point now where websites and blogs have become such a critical part of my daily schedule. I do everything from the web: read, shop, keep track of stuff, bank, etc.
This year, I’d say that two sites have most affected me:
- 365 Portraits – Bill Wadman’s year-long photo project has now come to an end, but I still find myself flipping through its pages of portraits. If you’re a photographer, or know one (like my lady), then 365 Portraits will be of particular interest.
- Petopia – OK, I guess I’m über-geeky, but I have been known to play a Hunter in World of Warcraft. Petopia, though not the prettiest website in the world, has the lowdown on every possible tamable creature in the game. Getting honorable mention in this category would be wowhead.
Non-blog/non-website computer-y stuff that rocked my boxers in 2007:
- Textpattern – It might be strange to draw attention to Textpattern on a recently created WordPress blog, but I’m doing it. More than anything Textpattern (and my emerging knowledge of Ruby on Rails) changed the way I thought about web design. While I don’t necessarily intend for web design to be my career, the extra cash is worth it. Textpattern made the advantages of separating content and design quite concrete for me. I have used it on several web projects (Acadian Imaging, Unique Fit, et al.), and will continue to do so in the future.
- TextMate – There is nothing to be said about TextMate that hasn’t already been said. Google it. Download it. Buy it. It’s awesome.
- Scrivener – Developed by a writer for writers. I’m actually working on a little review of this program, so I’ll say nothing more.
History can be seen as a series of events. It doesn’t have to be seen that way, but it can. Here’s ta sample:
- Natalie and I went with Bay Area Young Life to Frontier Ranch. So many highlights from this trip. A good, exhausting time. (June)
- Natalie and I went with Bay Area Young Life to Wilderness Ranch. Nat blogged about it: “Wilderness 2007”. (July)
- We moved into our new digs in Friendswood, Texas. (August)
- Natalie and I attended Wilco in Dallas. Rocked. Definitely glad we went there instead of the Austin City Limits show. I’m sure ACL was good, but I want a full 2+ hrs of Wilco. (September)
- Not a moment exactly, but watching Nat’s photography skills and style evolve over the course of the year.
- Reaffirming my love/need to write.
- Finally moving out of the in-laws’ place. Unemployment had forced us there. Employment saved the day. (Thanks for the shelter…but we’re gone!)
In The End…
Looking back on it, 2007 was a pretty topsy-turvy year. Adjusting to LAGS (life after grad school) has not been the easiest thing in the world for me. 2007 showcased the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Things To Look Forward To In 2008
Let’s just wrap this up by looking ahead:
- Wilco in Houston March 7. See you there.
- Nat officially begins shooting weddings this year.
- Working hard on my writing.
- New town?