It's been one heck of a year.
I took a peek at my column from Jan. 1, 2009, wherein I resolved to wake up before 10 a.m. and actually make it to my 8 a.m. class, spend less money on Tim Hortons (my lifeblood), and to limit my chicken finger intake. For those keeping score, I did well on most fronts I did indeed make it to my 8 a.m. class and got up before 10 a.m. when necessary (begrudgingly), I switched from coffee to tea, and consumed significantly fewer chicken fingers. This year, I graduated from college, I got a full-time job. Starting tomorrow, I plan to work on building up my bank account.
I'm not even going to try to recount an entire decade, one that we still don't have a name for "The Aughts" and "The Naughties" are just icky; I vote for keeping it simple and just calling it "The 00s" (pronounced "Ohs"). It's already been done and it's just too much work to make sense of a 10-year time span that began with Britney as an innocent schoolgirl and ended with a bad weave, two kids and two divorces. Let's stick to 2009, shall we?
With the end of “The 00s,” these fun and functional New Year’s Eve glasses have sadly become obsolete.
A Year in Review
Most (temporarily) distressing development in local entertainment: Our movie theater is gone! It was a rough few months there without Movieplex 59, which I will hereafter refer to affectionately as "The Plex." It wasn't looking good when The Plex stopped bothering to even put the movie titles on the marquee, leading to some speculation was it laziness, a lack of letters or both? Then in September, I couldn't help but notice no new movies were opening for four weeks in a row. The Plex suddenly shut its doors in October and it seemed that for the foreseeable future, seeing new releases on the big screen meant at least a 40-minute drive. The theater was known to us local movie-lovers for the mishaps we might be in store for after paying admission - the occasional crackling speakers, out-of-focus picture, a projector allegedly burst into flames shortly into "Meet the Fockers" (we were given free passes); with 10 minutes left in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," the movie cut out abruptly and was eventually restarted 10 minutes later. Oh, Plex - the place where many of us earned first paychecks and went on first dates. However ramshackle, I found myself missing it.
The most promising development: Dunkirk Movieplex 8. It's back and it's about time that it's gotten better. Ticket prices have been slashed and owner Kevin Mullin promises progress. Hooray!
Biggest disappointment at the movies: "Public Enemies." Outstanding talent, beautiful people, fabulous vintage fashion and old fashioned bank robbing. Is it possible to make that boring? Surprisingly, yes. I wanted to see Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, guns a-blazing, but instead, I got more of an overlong snoozefest with way too many guys in gray suits chasing after each other. "Was that a good guy or a bad guy?" my sister and I kept asking each other. The reply: "I don't even care anymore. How much of this is left?"
Expectations exceeder: "Inglorious Basterds" looked pretty trite in the previews. It turns out, Quentin Taratino did it again. Bravo, sir.
Most delightful tearjerker: "Up." For those who have yet to see it, I won't spoil anything, but for those who have, you'll know what I'm talking about when I say "the montage." I bawled my eyes out.
Fiercest fashionistas: There are two ladies who dominated this year: Lady Gaga and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Worst career choice: Paula Abdul, whose demand for more dollars backfired. Sure, Ellen Degeneres doesn't have the musical background that Paula has but rarely did the former choreographer/pop star convert her experience into insight. Perhaps Ellen will bring some (intentional) humor to the panel and breathe new life into the reality TV juggernaut, which has been getting stale for awhile. Paula and Kris Allen will be watching the beginning of the next season, consoling each other and wondering where it all went wrong since the last one ended. Don't worry, Paula, you'll always be "forever my girl."
Entertainment trend that's becoming played out: Glittery vampires. Vampires like Eric Northman on "True Blood," with otherworldly abilities to scheme and slaughter, I'm in favor of. Brooding, melodramatic, angsty blood-suckers with too much product in their hair, like the ones from "Twilight" and "The Vampire Diaries," we need less of.
A new season of hopeless relationships begins Jan. 4 on ABC at 8 p.m. with season 14 (?!) of "The Bachelor."
Makeovers! The Style Network starts its new show "What I Hate About Me," on Saturday at 9 p.m. In each episode, a woman gives her top 10 complaints about herself pertaining to all aspects of her life and "experts" attempt to help her get it together. Seems appropriate for the new year.
Turner Classic Movies has a fun futuristic feature on New Year's Day that will lead viewers to wonder, why don't we have flying cars yet? It starts with "2010" (1984) at 8 p.m., followed by "Fahrenheit 451" (1966) and "Rollerball" (1974).
It's been a busy couple of weeks, so I'm ill-prepared with dish on New Year's Eve happenings. Check out the ads in today's paper to find out what drink specials are where. Here's just a couple for you:
41 West will have DJ Joe Gould from 9 p.m. to close no cover charge, happy hour prices, hats, noisemakers and champagne at midnight. On New Year's Day, 41 West will have live music by Trio from 8 to 11 p.m.
In Jamestown, Mojo's will have Intensify dance party.
April Diodato is an OBSERVER Staff Writer. Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org