I have to say that Colby and I are perfectly matched in tons of ways, which is why you’ll find so much overlap in our favorite things. Movies, music, food…we think so alike that it borders on weird, but it’s why we fell so fast and hard in love! 2010 was a year of massive change in our lives–engagement, moving across the country, leaving and starting jobs, which, as 26-year-olds, is admittedly a little scary. Here’s a nod to one heck of a year.
Movie: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I don’t love thrillers, but Stieg Larsson does something with story, suspense, and a viewer’s faith in humanity that compels what begins as simply another page turn, and evolves into sequel upon sequel. Have you seen the Millennium Trilogy at the bookstores? A little inflated, to be sure, but there’s no denying how famously the set draws you in. Though I’ve not read the book, the film Dragon Tattoo is layered with scenes unimaginably brutal. The undertones of intolerance for “men who hate women,” which was in fact the novel’s original title, peck away at the story’s intermittent hopelessness. And the movie’s lead, Noomi Rapace? Amazing.
Runners Up: Here I’ll list a ton of movies that came out late in the year and that would’ve been contenders, had I more time and money: Rabbit Hole, Never Let Me Go, Somewhere, Another Year, Black Swan
Song: “Rococo,” Arcade Fire
I have so many favorite songs from 2010, but Arcade Fire’s “Rococo” tops all. How it starts with those echoing strings as they’re coupled with soft, rolling images of Rococo art and the pretentious smug of suburban kids…it’s a little clichéd, I’ll grant you, but I love the net effect–florid and baroque. Colby and I had been awaiting album three since we started dating; that’s a wait that could have left anyone disappointed, but this album delivered with variety, beauty, and all-out superiority. Ahh, just listen…
Runners Up: Phantogram’s “When I’m Small“; Mumford & Sons’ “The Cave“; Beach Fossils’ “Twelve Roses“; Best Coast’s “Our Deal“; Josh Ritter’s “Change of Time“; Tennis’ “Marathon” … this could get long, so I’ll just move on to the next category.
Album: Beach Fossils, Beach Fossils
Aside from their super creative album art, Beach Fossils’ self-titled debut kept my mind at the surf all year long, and for that I am grateful. Low-fuss riffs; basic, beachy beats; vocals that hum and drift like a California sunset. Take me there, Beach Fossils, will you please? The lo-fi fuzz, the reverb, and the easy feel of the lyrics all brings this album above mere chillwave. However land-locked in Colorado, Beach Fossils gave me a personal boardwalk with “Sometimes,” “Twelve Roses,” and “Golden Age.” Next on the list…an actual beach.
Runners Up: The New Pornographers, Together; Wild Nothing, Gemini; Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
Concert: The New Pornographers at the Ogden, July 2010
Anyone who spends a day with me will, sooner rather than later, learn that I love Neko Case. This means I love all of her collaborative projects, too. The New Pornographers are amazing in their own right, with vocals and talents-o-plenty from both Neko and A.C. Newman. I saw dozens of kick ass concerts this year, I traveled from Chicago to Telluride to Washington D.C. to see them, but Neko always does it for me. I also have to thank lyrics from “Crash Years” for letting me get away with calling Colby “honey child”… Windows are closed for the crash years / Honey child you aren’t safe here. It’s a stretch, but you know, Colby likes it.
Runners Up: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Avette Brothers, Sleigh Bells, Band of Horses
Book: Has to be Little Bee, by Chris Cleave. I read several this year that I enjoyed, but to truly stick to the category of books that came out in 2010, it’d be no other than Little Bee. I refuse to spoil the story, but know that it’s hauntingly beautiful. You’ll be done in a day if you give yourself the time.
Food: It’s sort of cheating to pick a dish I made in the final weeks of 2010, but rigatoni with proscuitto in béchemel sauce was divine. I mastered the skills for béchemel just in time for our Christmas guest to arrive. It was a good thing too, because back up dinner was shells and store-bought sauce. Ick. Luckily my sauce turned out creamy and perfectly light in color, the fontina melted with grace, and what seemed an immoderate amount of proscuitto proved to be just the right touch. A casserole of rich cheese, salty ham, silky béchemel, and abundant rigatoni? Um, yes.
Trip: San Francisco, February 2010
I pick this at the risk of saying our proposal was not my favorite moment of 2010 (per Colby’s rules, fave moment cannot stem from fave trip). This of course is not true, but our trip to San Francisco was so incredible (did you know that I had no idea it was coming in spite of the fact that some 50 people were in on the plan? Did you know my parents and Colby’s parents were there at dinner to surprise me after the proposal, as if I hadn’t been elated enough by the proposal of the most amazing man ever? Talk about incredible!). I had been longing to see San Fran (see my tattoo), so this sojourn would have been a highlight on its own. Add the life-changing element of becoming engaged? Now that’s a trip I don’t know how we’ll top. Except I do…it’s already being planned and it’s called a honeymoon.
Moment: Of course the engagement is numero uno, but because Colby’s rules are so stringent, I’m going to go with another top moment of 2010: the day we were cleared for our move to D.C. This move has been a change we’ve both been waiting for, professionally and personally. It’s a chance for us to test ourselves as a couple and to firmly establish ourselves as a little, Washingtonian family. (Plus, we found out right before our Halloween party, so I was dressed as Princess Leia and Colby as Han Solo. We looked ridiculous but we were so happy!) Yes, we wish to one day return to Denver, but for now, we are loving it. And when you’re as happy in love as we are, a move to a city such as this can only be considered the maiden atop the rotunda.