Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Goodbye Juvenile 20s, Hello Equally Silly 30s

Reflections On An Age Milestone

As you might have surmised from my sidebar, I am no longer the sprightly, bounce up-and-downy twentysomething who started this blog. The very stroke of midnight that turned December 12 into December 13 saw me instantly transform from a gilded youth with a never-say-die spark glittering in his visage into "One-Eyed Willy" from The Goonies. Like magic and with skin just as pretty.

I may be exaggerating a smidgen. But it did bring into focus the fact that I had started this serious quiz-lark when I was a mere stripling of 16. Almost 14 years of this relentless trivia train seems like a bloody long time, but still, 'tis nothing compared to the decades put in by the likes of Donald Yule.

I made a strange vow that I'd be retired from this quiz by the age of 26 or 28 (by which time I would have found my true calling in the world, though, er, I have probably already found it and would never admit to doing so), but of course idiotic promises that I make to myself and which even I don't believe - like my single New Year's resolution of finishing every book I had begun turning into a right old crap heap: my completed book tally of 2008 being a princely ONE (and maybe a half) from a possible 37 - are broken, nay snapped remorsely within mere moments of their being made. As if this whole quizzing thing was just a part of the 'young me' I would inevitably leave behind like tricycle bike-supports and was something I would let go and give a fond, tear-swelled farewell. But then reality sets in and bores into your psyche and it gets all Godfather Part III with the pulling-back-in motion and I feel too weak to resist, even more so when it becomes more and more of a living and a life. So it goes.

Talking about maturity, two of my friends gave me a £25 voucher to spend on Amazon (brilliant present) and I managed to spend it on guess what? Yeah, comic books and graphic novels with pretty pictures and gun and gore action (but I assure you, allied with highly cogent and insightful allegory and commentary on the world we live in, oh yes). I also managed to regress to a state of teenage binge drinkedness on my actual birthday (as did several of my eventually vomitous mates), so it seems that I can't let go of this lovely, perpetual adolescence I appear to have clung onto since forever. Albeit one that involved quiz question material and increasingly poncey vehicles of intoxication: Talisker whisky, a Romeo Y Julieta Cuban cigar, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 2002 Vintage champagne and well, it did go on. At least you can say that I have made progress from a mid-teen taste for White Lightning. The morning after was a squalid, desperate and dark scene; my mind and body corrupted and so sickened that I watched The Dark Knight, The Bourne Supremacy, Hancock and six episodes of The Wire season 4 before I felt well enough to crawl out of bed.

Maybe, I'll just forget about being 30 and simply deny all knowledge of this chronological landmark. Wait a minute, I think I already have. Nothing has changed, as you might have expected and probably already know. Though I am thinking about investing in cryogenic chamber research.

Year-end enthusiasm that has overcome me during the last few days
Hey, I'm still down with the cool kids. The year's end and reading associated list-mania and music overviews mean that the new new sounds that were once my cultural raison d'etre and drove me to write maniacal 2000-word-plus love-ins of Belle and Sebastian and Rosie Thomas come back to me in a rather obsessive fashion. One such new act is Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown , beautifully crafted and souped-up 80s - with a huge emphasis on the 80s, thanks no doubt due to her self-professed love of 'dad music' - indie pop from an Asperger's stricken, gadget-addicted New Zealander that makes you believe that synths are highly underrated and should be shoved in every song from here to Dunedin (home to the steepest street in the world ... apparently). You see? The old music hackery returns so easily. I would do it again, like a prodigal sheep coming back to the critical fold, if I didn't think it would drive me sick in the head with the pointless flummery of chasing the next big thing and then having to compare them to at least half a dozen musicians/groups that came before. But I have to say, her song 'Another Runaway' has been aurally branded in my brain in such a way that it has been played on my iTunes 36 times in 3 days. Like I said: rather obsessive.

And yes, she is named after that nonsensical 1985 fantasy film with not just Matthew Broderick, not just Michelle Pfeiffer (all the posters maker her look as if she has such a huge cheekbone-crazy Mount Rushmore face, it's plain old funny), but also ... RUTGER HAUER!

I'm also thinking that 'Skinny Love' by Bon Iver is my favourite song of the year. Which has nothing to do with my first hearing it at the end of an episode of Chuck. (I'm lying. That's where it all started. Josh Schwartz knows what he's doing; even if The O.C. turned into complete wankdoodle sometime during the second season and tried to make the band Rooney cool: the poor deluded sod of a television creator wunderkind.)


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