1. Grow my business. My most proud accomplishment of 2006 was breaking out of my corporate job and starting my own business. In 2007 I want to grow my company's revenues and produce great work for our clients and strategic partners.
2. Return to Health. I quit smoking this year, which was a really big breakthrough. In 2007 I intend to get back on the bike regulary and to change my dietary habits for good.
3. Work Smarter. I want to improve my work efficiencies and need to put into practice a GTD approach to work and also need to improve my design workflow.
4. A New Car. Our mid-90's Honda is at the end of her lifecycle and it's definitely time for an upgrade. I'm thinking Subaru Forrester or a newer Honda.
Better late than never. Here's the list of my top films of the year. Only six were strong enough to be included this year, although I missed or haven't had the opportunity to see many films that I have a feeling would make this list.
1. When the Levees Broke - Spike Lee's moving and elegiac
documentary of the man-made disaster during and following Hurricane
Katrina is the most comprehensive narrative of that event to date.
Watching the premiere in the New Orleans Arena with 10,000 other New
Orleanians was one of the most important events of the year for me and
provided tremendous personal closure.
2. Marie Antoinette - This seemed to be the love it or hate it film
of the year and I totally and completely loved it. The cinematography,
the costumes, the art direction, and the soundtrack combined to produce a
candy coated historical reconfiguration that I found irresistible.
3. The Departed - Scorsese's best work since Goodfellas. I loved the complexity of the characters and the direction as always was outstanding. If Scorsese doesn't win Best Director this year the entire Academy should be shot.
4. An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore's return to the political stage was not only an important lesson in the grim future of climate change but it was also a very well executed little documentary.
5. Little Miss Sunshine - My sentimental pick featured an amazing family who were the cutest and most quirky ensemble of the year. I especially loved the grandpa. How can you deny the power of a heroin snorting retirement community lothario who teaches his granddaughther a stripper routine set to the tune of Rick James' "Superfreak"?
6. V for Vendetta - The slick direction and great acting overcomes the sometimes ham fisted anti-fascist narrative in this film version of Alan Moore's classic (and my favorite) graphic novel.
Films that will probably make this list that I missed or otherwise haven't seen yet: Volver, A Scanner Darkly, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth
Beginning January 4, 2007, Stephen G. Rhodes will present Recurrency, a solo exhibition of video, sculpture, photographs, and drawings. As is the case with much of Rhodes’ work, Recurrency plays on and with language: the title collapses the term “currency”—the hallucinatory circulation of capital—into a psychoanalytic understanding of trauma’s morbid, directionless and infinite repetitions—or recurrences.
The title also alludes to Ambrose Bierce’s 1891 short story about the hanging of a Confederate gentleman, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” and more importantly, the story’s eponymous 1962 adaptation as a short film. Rhodes encountered the film, repeatedly, in grammar school in Louisiana, where the film enjoyed a strange celebrity due to its perennial exhibition to students in the 1970s and 80s. Projected before classes at every grade level by teachers who made no effort to contextualize its Civil War setting, the film—as a species of recurrence—seemed to perform no labor other than to fill up 25 minutes of a class period before the ringing of the bell.
Central to Recurrency are three sculptural structures resembling various gallows platforms or stages, all strewn with shattered green screen detritus. From one structure two synchronized videos are projected onto the opposing walls of the gallery. The videos extend, loosely and wildly, the film version of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” in which a man is seen at the gallows awaiting his imminent death, only to enjoy the good fortune of the rope of his noose snapping. The man falls into the creek below, and the film follows his subsequent harried return to his plantation estate where he finds his wife. Upon embracing her, he grasps his neck in agony; a brusque jump cut intervenes to reveal the man hanging from the bridge. Recurrency liquidates the dream ploy, but cleaves to the mise-en-scéneof the noose and the escape through a rural southern landscape. The videos sustain a loop in which we witness the subject’s infinite flight from/return to the gallows.
1. I quit smoking in November, which I was only able to accomplish due to the fact that I contracted a case of asthmatic bronchitis, which has had me on the ropes for the past 6 weeks. Otherwise it wasn't a great health year for me. I'm cycling less, eating worse and generally exercising less than I was at this time last year. I intend to focus on this as my primary improvement area next year.
2. I definitely geeked out hard this year. I sharpened several of my web skills including page design and development, while launching my own business. I also seriously upgraded my gear when I set up my home office. The centerpiece being a super sweet 20" iMac that I love to pieces. Possibly my favorite Mac of all time.
3. I also traveled a good bit. Our springtime visit to Barcelona was among the best travel experiences of my life and our little road trip to Austin was a perfect summer escape. I would have liked to slot in a Fall and Winter trip as well but time/work constraints wouldn't allow either. I'm kicking off 2007 in good form with a January trip to NYC to see my friend Stephen Rhodes' solo debut at Guild & Greyschkul.
That was the longest break I've taken since I started this blog. I've been super busy setting up my new business, Annunciation Interactive and have had literally no time to post. I'm over the hump though and should be able to resume regular postings. So you can look forward to more rambling posts in the future from me.
Here's a quick list of things I probably would have talked about if I'd had the time:
The shoddiness of the Lost "Fall Season Finale", that show may be finished unless they come back extra strong in the spring
The sweet, sweet, Mid-Term Elections. Next year should really be fun.
The Civil War in Iraq, let's just start calling it that.
Drew Brees' amazing QB skills and the fact that somehow, even with 510 passing yards we got beat by the Steelers