Times Past: alexdg1's Look Back at 2004Feb 7, 2005 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line A brief summary of 2004, from a hopeless romantic's point of view.
This is my entry into dbcint's 2004 in retrospect write-off: http://www.epinions.com/content_4227309700
#1: Name one person who you met throughout the year that has made a lasting impression on you. Tell us about him/her.
If I had to name the one person I met in 2004 that's made a "lasting impression" in 2004, I'd have to say it's the woman I'm in love with. Even though I haven't met her in person, I know I've been captivated by her beauty, kindness, openness, and intelligence ever since I e-mailed her regarding a non-romantic topic sometime last fall. I really wasn't expecting anything beyond a casual friendship online; I was still coping with being "unattached" after a four-year- long and sometimes difficult long-distance relationship which I'd ended one day before Valentine's Day (and four days before the fourth anniversary of my first time). As our conversations became more frequent and thus more personal, I began to be drawn toward her like an iron filling to a strong magnet. I tried to resist the attraction -- I didn't want to complicate her life, for one thing, and at times I feel that I'm just a dweeby wannabe writer -- but that was like trying to stop the wind from blowing or the Earth from spinning.
#2: Was there a TV show you saw for the first time in 2004 perhaps 2004 was its first season -- that you now absolutely love?
As far as regularly scheduled series, I can't say that I made any discoveries in 2004. I tend to watch very little TV except for shows that I regularly watch (The Simpsons, 24, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Star Trek: Enterprise, and JAG) and the news. Other than catching an occasional movie on basic cable, I basically use my TV to watch my DVD collection.
That having been said, I finally got to watch Band of Brothers, first when the History Channel got the go-ahead from HBO to air it on basic cable, then quite a few times when my main pet-sitting client went off to work on the new Queen Mary 2 and allowed me to borrow his very expensive 6-DVD set.
#3: Tell us about the best movie you saw last year. It doesn't have to be one that was released last year, just as long as you saw it for the first time in 2004. If possible, include a link to your review of it.
The best movies I saw in 2004 (besides the new re-edited Star Wars Trilogy DVDs, which in my view contain enough alterations to qualify for "first viewed in 2004" status) were: The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Spider-Man 2, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
#4: How about the worst movie you saw last year? Is there one that sticks out a mile & perhaps you wrote a scathing review on it?
Because my income level is pathetically low, I am very selective about the movies I watch. So, there are none to list.
#5: Was there an event that you wish people would just shut up about already?
Reality shows, which are cheaper to produce than traditional sitcoms or dramas, get on my nerves. American Idol also gets on my nerves, as did the 2004 Presidential race.
#6: Was there a worldwide event that left you wondering what the world is coming to?
As a history buff, I don't find anything about the world situation terribly surprising. The only emotion that I feel about the war in Iraq and the parallel war on terror is a sense of "Boy, we Americans sure are dullards or wishful thinkers!" As stunned as I was on September 11, 2001, I wasn't surprised that Islamic terrorists had executed such a devastating blow upon our country. Indeed, having kept an eye on the rise of terrorism since the 1970s, I am extremely angry that the government, the media, and -- ultimately -- we the people couldn't see how our foreign policy affects others. Sure, our intentions are often good, but our nation's relationships with the rest of the world sometimes anger others, even to the point that in some people's eyes we are worse than the Devil.
#7: Similarly, was there a worldwide event that made you happy?.
A world-wide event? No.
#8: What were the best and worst albums you heard last year?
The best albums I heard in 2004 were, as it often happens with me, something new and something old but in a new package.
The new, at least to me, was the soundtrack album from the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. Michael Kamen's non-bombastic and elegaic approach was the proper approach to underscore the 10-part adaptation of Stephen E. Ambrose's awesome book about a company of paratroopers in the 101st Airborne Division during the 1944-45 campaign in northwest Europe.
The something old in a new package was the Sony Classical re-issue of the three 2-CD soundtrack albums from the Star Wars Trilogy. Essentially the 1997 Special Edition albums but without the informative liner notes, the only new wrinkle is that the packaging matches that of the new DVD set, with the same design for the boxed set's slip cover and the artwork from the DVD packages replicated on the album covers.
Again, because I have a limited budget for "frills," I only buy albums I know I like. Call me Mr. Dull or Mr. Play-It-Safe, your pick, but if I am going to blow $15 or more on CDs, I might as well stick to what I know and like.
#9: Which musician / band disappointed you?
#10: Are there any writers who were newbies in 2004 that you highly recommend we read?
Far too many. Just look at my trust list.
#11: What was the most significant event of the year? It could be local, international, or simply personal.
Breaking up with my ex-girlfriend and the unintended consequences of my decision. My ex was and still is a very loving person, but our relationship started for the wrong reasons and in the aftermath of my first real adult love affair. I can't and won't get into details of that situation; suffice it to say that while my ex was trying desperately to earn my love and devotion, I was still carrying a torch for my first lover. As a result, we both made mistakes and there was mutual distrust that never really vanished. I'm sure she has a list of Alex-related grievances a mile long, and I in turn have a few gripes of my own....and in such an atmosphere of "you-did-this, you-did-that" recriminations love can't flourish.
I did, of course, get up and dusted myself off to try another relationship, only to trip up and fall again, this time being the dumpee rather than the dumper. Meanwhile, the torch I was still holding slowly but steadily burned out as my first love and I communicated less and less. I still miss her a lot, but when I met my sweetie online I had to choose between living on the fumes of memories and lost hopes or, at the very least, look away to the future and try finding a new hope, a new love.
#12: Do you think your life is on the right track for where you want to end up? How did 2004 affect this?
Not sure if I know how to answer that, really. Certainly I am not where I wanted to be 20 years ago; a learning disability practically derailed my ambitions to become a journalist, and with my circle of off-line friends shrinking as people move away, find new friends and/or lovers, and even die, I don't go out as much as I used to.
On the other hand, writing online -- whether it's here or at Amazon -- has somehow bucked up my self-confidence, and the promise of a new relationship (as ephemeral as it may be) is giving me a badly-needed shove forward.
#13: Was there anything else significant about 2004 you'd like to add?
I'd like to just thank all the Epinions members, advisors, and category leads who took the time to read my first reviews and supported me through their ratings. Had I not had your encouragement and "loyalty," chances are that I'd have stopped after my 15th review and given up. Now (for the moment, anyway) I am a Top Reviewer in two categories and have written over 400 submissions. So, if you are among the many people who have added me to their WOTs and kept up with my progress, please take a bow and accept my heartfelt gratitude.
I couldn't have done it without you.
|Read all comments (2)|Write your own comment|