Let’s start out 2016 with some goals, shall we?
This list won’t include the obvious goals:
- Be happy, healthy, and kind
- Be a good husband and father
- Read more, see more, learn more
- Write a short story.
- Complete a short film with the boys.
- Start making music again.
- Get caught up on photo editing.
- Complete quotation application.
That is, come up with an idea, write it down, finish it…and NOT throw it away.
Even if it’s five minutes long staring toilet paper tube puppets. Let’s do this thing.
Play guitar for at least 30 minutes a week. Start there. Get hooked. Get the boys hooked. Build a band. Even if we never finish a song.
I still have piles of shots from 2012 to get through. Gonna need a few sprints of laser-focus and strong drink.
Wow. So good. If you haven’t yet seen it, watch it!
As someone who followed the news story more closely than some – we have a family property up in Two Rivers – this documentary really resonated with me. What little faith I had in the criminal justice system (from the have-not’s perspective, especially) has been torn away and I’m left frustrated and, well, pissed off.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Here are my issues with the case against Avery:
- Ex-boyfriend/roommate. Shady. Hacking her phone? And where are the missing messages? Never suspected? No alibi asked of him?
- Mike Halbach “grief process”…
- Where’s Theresa’s blood? None in the garage? Really? On or about that pile of junk in there? Or in the trailer bedroom…where her throat was supposedly cut?
- No Avery prints in the Rav4, but blood?
- Why did they use her Rav4 to move the body from the garage to the burn pile right next door?
- Everyone’s changing stories: 3′ fire = 13′ fire.
- It’s agreed that the Fassbender/Wiegert confession can’t be used in Avery’s trial, but then it’s used to convict Dassey.
- Manitowoc County’s continued involvement in the case, even though they pretend otherwise.
- Why didn’t they crush the Rav4?
- Ken Kratz and Len Kachinsky and Gene Kusche. Yuck.
- Sheriff dept video in the trailer: Michaelyn Culligan comments – Avery wont be making the Wisconsin Law school luncheon before he’s even arrested; “We should take all those shoes in case we have any unsolved burglaries with foot impressions.”
- Mike O’Kelly’s Dassey “confession” and “one branch” email.
- Tampering of the Avery blood sample.
- People’s disbelief re: the DNA evidence and exoneration in the 1985 case. WTF is that all about!?
- The excused juror’s remarks about the 2-3 jurors with minds made up. The fact that going into deliberations there were seven who voted not guilty.
- No Halbach DNA on the key!??
- Kachinsky and O’Kelly working for the prosecution in the Avery case instead of FOR DASSEY.
- The analytical chemist testimony: “I’m an analytical chemist. I don’t guess what’s in bottles” – unlike the other one who did just that.
- The fact that the case was heard in Manitowoc County. Those are THEIR cops.
- James Lenk and Andrew Colborn are there for ALL of if. As is Kenneth Peterson. About to be deposed and then…whamo! Conflict of interest doesn’t begin to cover it. Never mind the magically-appearing key and bullet or Colborn’s radio to verify the plate number.
- And, again…where is the blood!?
- EDIT: Forgot about Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych.
“Reasonable doubt is for the innocent.” – Ken Kratz
Yes, this again. And why not? I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, much less what music or movies I dug last year. If I didn’t make these lists I’d have to live in – and maybe even occasionally enjoy – the present; a very foreign concept to an overly anxious hyper-focused pile such as myself.* Add to that a terrifyingly imminent and unknown future and what’s left? It’s hard to not just sit back and dig around in the archives of a safe and secure past. Put on a well-worn and familiar record and the highlight reel GLOWS.
Here’s to what we know and what we’ve seen and heard and loved.
Here’s to this past year.
The Best Albums
This is a hard list to compile every year as I always feel like I’ve been too focused on this or that artist and don’t branch out nearly enough. Why can’t I come up with a longer list? Why do I struggle to find five fuckin artists worth mentioning?
Why can’t I be more like Mike Brody???
Same story, different year, and here’s the best I could do. For what it’s worth, I loved EVERY track on the first two, and almost every track on the other three. This is big victory for the ears of someone with my sort of attention span.
- Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell – Hauntingly perfect. Better than Illinois. Beautiful.
- Daniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Daniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Just what I needed. Love this guy’s story, love this groups’s throwback vibe. Jake and Elwood would be proud.
- Tame Impala – Currents – Brilliantly released as tease after tease. In the end, I’d hoped for only slightly more when it was all laid before me.
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love – Not quite as good as its predecessor, but very fun with a few instant classic tracks.
- Leon Bridges – Coming Home – Speaking of throwback, we need more doo-wop. We need more Leon.
The Best Films
- Ex Machina – YES. So good. Perfect. Never have I had such feelings for a robot.
- It Follows – GREAT new horror. Loved the anxiety caused by an unrelenting and persistent threat. So modern.
- Mad Max: Fury Road – I sighed and laughed off the first few scenes as “silly” and “dumb” but I was left feeling awe and it was just – let’s face it – beautiful.
- Inside Out – great, tho not epic; apropos to my effort toward seeing into the the minds and behind the eyes of my children.
- The One I Love – Quirky, fun, mysterious, well-written and acted. What else can we ask for?
From 2014 (’cause I’m a parent and I never get out):
- Interstellar – SPACE! Black holes!
- Boyhood – Perfect.
- Gone Girl – Very well written and executed.
- Edge of Tomorrow – Time travel FTW.
- Big Hero 6 – LOVED.
Stuff I really dug:
- Ken Burns – The Roosevelts
The Martian (the book, have yet to see the flick)
- Halt & Catch Fire
- Justin Townes Earle
Worst shit I saw this year:
- Dream House
*FTR: I love my life, but bitch a lot for effect. I’m happy and lucky and surrounded by the most beautiful, awesome, funny, intelligent, adorable, loving, kickass people a guy could ever hope to run into, let alone spend any time with. I’m amazed every.single.day.