And So It Ends

2014. Done. Over. I’d ask you where the time went and all that jazz, but then I would sound infinitely older than I really am. I can’t afford that…no, but really where did the time go?

I won’t bore you with some sort of year-end wrap up. Well, not in the traditional sense anyway, the news programs and awards shows will do a much better job than I could. I will say the one good-bye that still sits oddly with me is Robin Williams. If losing him taught us anything it is to maybe talk to that person with the far away look in their eye, even if it is only to say “hi” or to reach out to someone you have spoken to in a while.

Be kind to people.
It matters.

So, how was 2014 for the K-Man? Not too shabby, I must say.

Some highlights included:

  • Partnering with the Rising Sun Theater who did a reading of my play Results in June and produced the 24 hour play festival which had my play Where The Dead Things Are.
  • Getting a new job.
  • Re-discovering freeing the mind and the cleaning of the third eye.
  • Writing more than I previously have and discovering that maybe, just maybe, I might have something worth saying in this pea brain of mine.
  • Finding out I am almost as popular in France and Germany as I am here in the United States, according to my year-end blog stats (I also had a pretty good show in the U.K. and Canada). I realize most of you don’t give a shit about that, but these are my highlights dammit.
  • Watching this. Finally, someone speaks the truth about New Years Eve.
  • The Replacements got back together…sorta.
  • Completing a spec treatment for a television show called Two Steps. (spec = speculation)
  • The re-emergence of LTG Productions.

Some books I read in 2014..and some I tried to read…and some I am still reading:

  • My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgaard – My struggle? Trying to muscle through 100 pages of this shite. This is, apparently, “essential literature“. For whom exactly? I don’t know how many of these literary turds he plans on dumping on us, but there are currently three volumes. Anyone who claims to have read one or any of these My Struggle books is:
    1. A Liar.
    2. A hipster.
    3. A poser.
    4. A scholar.
    5. Norwegian.
    6. Someone who purchased it to look good on the bookshelf (shuddup, I will eventually read Immanuel Kant).
  • In The Woods by Tana French – Nice mystery that takes place in Ireland. A little verbose at times, but a pretty interesting mystery. Discovering Tana French was hot didn’t hurt either.
  • I Must Say: My Life As A Comedy Legend by Martin Short – Surprisingly well written and powerful. Not your average autobiography where a star blathers on about the shit they have done (or people they have done…or drugs they have done). The book serves as a love letter to his departed wife, whom he so clearly loved. We often forget exactly how talented he is and that he was only on SNL for one season, but that one season launched an awful lot of funny business. This is pure genius.
  • Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol – How on earth is this man still alive? Decent read and he is much more intelligent than that sneer may suggest.
  • The Shallows by Nicholas Carr – What are we doing with our brains?
  • A Book of Hours by Thomas Merton – Not your average monk. Not too heavy in the God department and just enough in the thinking department. Discovering he bears more than a passing resemblance to Christopher Guest didn’t hurt.
  • Stoner, Butchers Crossing and Augustus by John Williams – These are three separate books and I blew through them very quickly. Stoner is by far my favorite (and no, it’s not about weed). Butchers Crossing paints a different picture of what the West was like when it was being formed. And Augustus, his most well-known book, was my least favorite. If you give a shit about American Literature at all, you need to read Stoner.
  • Darkness Visible by William Styron – A book about depression. A well written book about depression by a gifted writer who suffered from it.
  • Night Work by Steve Hamilton – Always nice to discover a new mystery writer. I dug this book.
  • The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin – A good creative reference and motivational tool. Kind of an odd cat, but some good things to be had there.
  • Hella Nation by Evan Wright – This guy is just a really talented writer. He’s now doing some film and television producing. Nice.
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein – Admittedly, I am still reading this because it is simply too infuriating.

Some television shows I enjoyed in 2014:

  • True Detective – HBO – This is honestly one of the best shows I have ever seen. It unfolds like a good mystery book would so there is a literary quality to it I enjoyed. Sure the ending seemed rushed and left some shit unanswered, but any good mystery does. Everything about this show is top-notch.
  • The Missing – A Starz original (along with the BBC) and recently nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. This show deserves to be seen.
  • The Bridge – FX – Continues to be good.
  • Peaky Blinders – Netflix (and BBC). Imagine The Sopranos meets Downton Abbey with a touch of Snatch thrown in…then you would have this show. Cillian Murphy is AMAZING and carries the show brilliantly with a great assist from Sam Neil. The second series (they call them series in the UK, deal with it) has Tom Hardy and those episodes are simply electrifying. You’re dumb if you don’t watch this show.
  • The Returned – Downloaded from iTunes A supernatural thriller from France, so it has subtitles. If you don’t like subtitles or the supernatural, you might wanna avoid this one. However, if you like that stuff, this is a good one.
  • Sons of Anarchy – FX – Nice final season to a really great show. Season three remains my favorite.
  • 30for30 – ESPN – I’m not a big sports fan but I love a good story and a love a good documentary. 30for30 are sports documentaries made by some really great filmmakers telling some really great stories. I have yet to see a bad one.
  • The Killing – Netflix – Final few episodes of this brilliant show ended up on Netflix. Fine by me. It’s a shame this show didn’t capture the viewers it deserved.
  • Black Mirror – BBC (Now on Netflix) -If you like dark drama/satire, you won’t find it done any better. You’re dumb if you don’t watch this show.
  • Homeland – Showtime – Started with a bang and went out with a bang. This was Peter Quinn’s (Rupert Friend) season and he crushed it. I’m not so sure this show will ever, or could ever, be as good as it was this season.

I can’t recall how many movies I have seen, so I’ll pass on that list, but I did really enjoy Filmage and The Skelton Twins.

While this stuff is hardly reflective of everything I have read or seen this year, they are some of my personal notables.

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading. Know that I am wishing you the best that the Holiday season has to offer you and your loved ones.

“May you be blessed with the spirit of the season, which is peace,

The gladness of the season, which is hope,

And the heart of the season, which is love.”