happy 2006. / by laurel

2006 will be the Year of Failure. I am tossing this prediction out right now with hopes that this is one resolution I'll stick to. Unfortunately, it's likely the first resolution I've ever made, as I'm not really a fan of the whole New Year, New You poltergeist that haunts the early months of every calendar year. Nevertheless, I've titled it, I've named it, and I've cloaked myself in "Failure is cool if I embrace it" pretense.
We'll see how that one pans out.

However, this is LA and I'm 22 and the whole Father Time/sweet-cheeked newborn analogy is a little too Old Lang Syne for me. Here in the Tangerine Playground, it just wouldn't be the new year without those ubiquitous Lists. And I wouldn't live up to my full 20-something, messy-haired potential if I didn't wholeheartedly affirm lists.

Which I do.

Bloggers rejoice! The slump that usually flops itself between the end-of-summer romanticizing and early-spring lovesick whining is momentarily given a breath of new life in the form of End-of-the-year Lists.

Hipster rejoice! The likes of Spin, Pitchfork, Pajiba, et al have released their year-end musings regarding music, film, and whatever else they deem important.

Californians rejoice! Hollywood steps up its game through the influx of end-of-the-year Gotta-slip-it-in-before-all-those-darned-overinflated-fashion-parades--I mean, awards-shows of cinematic choices. So on that note, Hollywood is transformed for the time being into the center of the universe as we endure the People's Choice, Golden Globes, SAGs, and ultimately, the Big Brother that governs them all, Oscar. These are the ultimate lists, if you will. Best of this, Best of that. And so on.

I could go on, but I digress. Cusak and the Good Times Gang (from that movie we all forget to love until someone brings it up and everyone else chimes in with, "Oh, I love that movie!") had it right. Lists. What a glorious way of compartmentalizing! Why not take the year at a glance and condense it into pill-sized poppers that we down with a swig of Aquafina?

So here it is. I throw my hands in the air and offer up my soul to the Conformity Gods with this, my 2005 List.

In no particular order, here are 10 things. 10 Things in 2005. I refuse to classify even further, so compartmentalize at your own risk, my fellow feel-good pill-poppers.

10. French. I'm trying to learn it, I really am. Those audio French lessons have taught me a wealth of phrases (which I can't write down because of the aforementioned aural nature of the lessons). But I work at the Pink Wonderland, and a majority of my coworkers triumph French as their native language. I dare anyone to listen to Brigitte Bardot romp through Tu veux ou tu veux pas and not want to convert.

9. And while I'm on the subject of music, let's all take a moment to affirm the abundance of feel-good shimmy-shimmy-dance songs out there. At the top of the heap is the Harlem Shakes A Night. I have head-bobbed my way through 67 listens of this infectiously poppy anthem, and I just can't get enough. Following close at its heels, The Guillemots' lead singer flutters his falsetto all over the equally infectious Who Left the Lights Off, Baby? This song is so sunny and bright it may as well have its own UV index. Last, but not least, who can honestly say they haven't closed their eyes and sang along, fists pumping, to Nada Surf's Always Love at least once this year? C'mon. You know you want to. "Allllllllwayyyyys love..."

8, 7, and 6 (since this list is longwinded as it is...who am I? top 40 radio's 500 Best Songs of the 90's? No, darling). Gourmet chocolates (Picholine, 3360 West First Street, LA), bleu cheese fries (Pete's Cafe, 400 S Main St), and Pocky from the Japanese super market (Little Tokyo. Pick a place, any place). All three heart-attack inducing. All three a strict no-no to the sad "Lose Weight" mantra of so many staunch New Year's Resolution addicts. All three devilishly good and worth the trip. Just one lavender or cognac truffle from Picholine, and you, too, will be watching Chocolat with a newfound appreciation.

5. Arrested Development. Long live the Bluth's.

4. Traffic. The lilting my-life-is-a-nightmare stop and go hell of a twice daily commute. Oh, wait...I'm sorry. For a second there I thought I was contributing to a list of Things That Make Me Want To Eat My Own Hand and Sit Through A Week-Long Marathon of Dancing With The Stars Before Coming To And Realizing That Life Simply Isn't Worth Living If Brad and Jen Can't Make It So Why Don't We All Just Shoot Ourselves And End it All. My bad.
Now where was I?
Oh, yes.

3. Senior Portraits. I have already posted my bitter diatribe against the LA teen set. I think that's all I have to say.

2. Cacti. Oh, the Family. They have occupied more than their fair share of space on my white picket fence of cyberspace. In further news, Jezebel may be on its' (her? his?) last breath, but the Unnamed One is flourishing and growing preternatural arms reminiscent of a certain Boo Radley.

1. Antlers. I'll be moving soon, and when I do, I will put into effect Phase II of Laurel's Life as an Adult in the form of Interior Decoration. The theme this time around? Urban forest. Modern rustic. Log Cabin Chic. Daniel Boone is my boyfriend. And riding on the crest of the re-decoration maelstrom is a set of antlers shot, skinned, and given to me from a friend who appreciates the Cabin Life as much as I do.
So that's it, children. I promise to lay off the lists until at least April.