1) Endy Chavez making like his Matador namesake and getting on some “You Must Be Stopped” shit in Game 7 against the Cardinals.
Beyond the obvious aesthetic pleasures of the leaping catch, there was — not to get too lyrical, here — the roar it brought out of the crowd, the yelps of surprise from the (not even baseball-intensive) bar I was in. My girlfriend was walking down a street in Manhattan when the catch was made, and she heard someone she didn’t know yell excitedly through an open first floor window, then rush to the window to tell her, and whoever was walking by, about it. A catch that good can take a city back a few generations in the way it deals with itself. Not a dream season for Mets fans, in the end, but with a few dreamlike moments, for sure.
2) Michael Ondaatje.
Nothing new this year from the Sri Lankan-Canadian master, but this year will forever be remembered by those who pay close attention to my reading habits as the year I read three of his books. There isn’t a better writer in the English language, for my money. If any of my CSTB contributions seem especially lyrical (ahem), he’s The Inspiration. Fuck Young Jeezy.
3) 2006 Mid-Term Elections.
The results were my favorite part. The totally unearned feeling of accomplishment and quasi-redemption pretty close behind.
4) The Endless Boogie live music concert experience.
Older, bolder, ice-colder and probably the closest thing anyone around my age is going to get to seeing the Stooges perform. This includes going to Stooges performances that are occurring at present, although I’m sure those aren’t so bad, either.
5) The Wire, Season 4.
Referenced obliquely on this site almost as often as our Bloggy Big Dog’s earnest hopes that the Knicks kick Zeke to the curb. It’s hard to sum up the show’s appeal, since those who haven’t seen it will have to deal with feeling disoriented and overwhelmed both by the flood of characters during the season’s earlier episodes and then disoriented and overwhelmed again at season’s end by what happens (quite fairly, and unlike other HBO shows, seemingly quite naturally) to those people (like friends or relatives after a few episodes) for whom the show has shown such harsh sympathy. For those who have been watching the series for years, even, this season was especially jarring, especially good, and especially complete in the way it dealt, in a just and offhandedly loving way, with the unjust and unlovely realities of Baltimore’s mean streets.
Because it has been proven, scientifically, to be America’s most trusted source for news on “sad toilets,” “buildings shaped like cocks,” specific reasons why other bloggers suck and, for me, all sporting news. Not to mention the only place you can read my wordy, goony ruminations on whatever, at least at this most wonderful time of the year.
For me, the big moments in 2006 start with Steve Bartman snatching that ball from Moises Alou and sending the Cubs into a spiral that kept us out of the World Series. I know this technically happened in 2003, but I’m just not over it. After that my favorite events would be BORAT breaking up Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock’s marriage, Ozzie Guillen calling Jay Mariotti a “fag,” George Bush getting blown out on election day, The Get Evens “Cut From the Cloth,” Tom Waits’ “Orphans,” Colbert’s beat down of the President at the White Press Correspondents Dinner, and that I went a year without seeing SNL. My best celebrity spots of the year include Rip Taylor at the Sunset Blvd Hamburger Hamlet, George Hamilton at JFK airport last week (flying Jet Blue no less), and meeting MAD magazine’s Al Jaffee at the Friar’s Club. Aaron Spelling died in 2006, but DYNASTY-like plotlines in the Cub clubhouse continue: Dusty’s firing, Lou getting hired, senior Cub fan Donald Rumsfeld going free agent with no takers, David Geffen after the LA TIMES, and the pump and dump scheme the Tribune Co. has initiated to bulk the Cubs up before they sell them. And as much as I ridicule the product Cubs GM Jim Hendry puts out, not to mention the man himself, his heart attack was a bummer, and I’m glad to hear he’s recovering. That said, it does proves what I always thought the Tribune’s attitude toward the Cubs has been for the last 25 years — the Cubs will get to the World Series over our dead bodies.
After that, it comes down to my son Archer being born on July 31 or Rowdy Roddy Piper’s reappearance with WWE. I’m siding with Archer for the moment, but not if Piper joins the new ECW.
Fave eyewitnessed sports event: Ryan Howard’s HRs # 50, 51 & 52 vs Atlanta
and subsequent 9th inning rally walk-off win, Cole Hamels outdueling Roger Clemens and subsequent Chase Utley walk-off HR
local sports heroes: Ryan Howard (above), Brian Dawkins, Bernard Hopkins, Dawn Staley, Phil Sheridan (Phila Inquirer), Jody McDonald (WPEN) and the venerable Harry Kalas
Telly- The Wire, Colbert Report
Movie- Why We Fight
Politics- Pennsylvania voters repudiation of Rick Santorum
Sebastian Stirling :
The Buffalo Sabres are the rare team that embodies the potential salvation of its sport. The speed, youth, and character of the Sabres bode well for the post-lockout new NHL, establishing energy and fun as signposts for those fans still trying to find their way back from the clutch-and-grab paralysis of the neutral zone trap. Some might argue that it would be better for the NHL to have major markets in its finals than an exciting product to sell, but with any sense of marketing the NHL should be able to parlay the success of teams like the Sabres into attendance figures and television ratings. Their decimated blueline cost them in the Eastern Conference finals, but if the first half of the 2006“2007 season is any indication, the Buffalo Sabres should improve upon their result in the next playoffs.
George Mason™s trip to the Final Four was a rare œfeel good story that didn™t leave a saccharine residue. Why? Not only was it predicated upon the redemption of an ill-timed crotch punch, but George Mason exacted my personal vengeance on defending champions North Carolina, saved the nation from fraternity houses heralding the new dawn of the Shockers, and then ruined the brackets of those who banked on Connecticut™s underachieving athleticism. There was also something about a newfound level of parity in college hoops, but it seems unimportant now.
It™s difficult to think of Floyd Landis™s triumphant comeback in stage seventeen of the Tour de France without pondering some of his excuses for his positive doping result. When he first blamed his surgically implanted bat wings, I thought, œYou know? I believe you, buddy. That™s why the Frogs can™t participate. But then he continued naming culprits, blaming the nation™s methamphetamine epidemic, the role of Jews in Hollywood, and Randy Moss™s personal smoothie chain. That™s when I realized that maybe he did cheat after all.
Pinebender – Working Nine to Wolf
Tungsten74 – Binaurally Yours
BenoÃ®t Pioulard – PrÃ©cis
Jesu – Silver EP
Clark – Body Riddle
Hammock – Raising Your Voice¦ Trying to Stop an Echo
Isis – In the Absence of Truth
Nina Nastasia – On Leaving
Silkworm – Chokes!
Chin Up Chin Up – This Harness Can™t Ride Anything
Liz Clayton’s Best of 2006, in unweighted and unranked order:
The return of sparklers
Drive along South King’s Highway, South Carolina, April 2006
Mission of Burma at the Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, and Union Park, Chicago
The opening of Mercury Espresso Bar in Toronto
Yo La Tengo at Babylon, Ottawa, October 2006
Brooklyn, New York, August 2006
Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle
Yo La Tengo“ “Sometimes I Don’t Get You”
The Walkmen “ “Another One Goes By”
Shimura Curves “ “Noyfriend”
Peter Bjorn & John “ “Young Folks”
Nelly Furtado “ “Maneater”
Misson of Burma “ “2wice”
The Natural History “ “Dance Steps”
Marit Larsen “ “Don’t Save Me”
The Knife “ “We Share Our Mother’s Health”
Killer Mike “ “That’s Life”
Jennifer O’Connor “ “Today”
Hot Chip “ “Over and Over”
Fujiya & Miyagi “ “Collarbone”
The Fiery Furnaces “ “Police Sweater Blood Vow”
Camera Obscura “ “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken”
Beyonce “ “Suga Mama”
Destroyer “ Destroyer’s Rubies
Ghostface Killah “ Fishscale
Sloan “ Never Hear the End of It
Misson of Burma, Ghostface, Ebony Bones (separately)
Gerard Cosloy (your host)
Boris – Pink (Southern Lord)
Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped (Geffen)
Bottomless Pit – Tour CDR
Shearwater – Palo Santo (Misra)
Steffen Basho-Junghans – Last Days of The Dragon (Locust)
Jay Reatard – Blood Visions (In The Red)
David Bazan – Fewer Moving Parts (Jade Tree)
Mrs. John Soda – Notes & The Like (Morr Music)
The Distant Seconds – “Gertrude Stein” (demo)
The Futureheads – News & Tributes (Vagrant / Startime)
The Blood Brothers – Young Machetes (V2)
Tommy Keene – Crashing The Ether (1130)
TK Webb – Phantom Parade (The Social Registry)
The Dead C. – Vain, Erudite & Stupid (Badabing)
Mr. Lif – Mo’ Mega (Def Jux)
Jesu – Silver (Hydrahead)
Women Of The Year : Sally Crewe, Jennifer O’Connor, Anucha Browne Sanders, Cindy Sheehan
Non-Women Of The Year : Carlos D. (above),
Carlos B., Wizznutzz, Repoz, Tommy Saxondale (above, left)