A good friend recently reminded me of a central truism of blogging the other day, and it has come home to roost this week. That truism is, no matter what you plan to write, life has a way of intervening. I’ve been struggling all weekend and am coming off two near all-nighters trying to wrestle my year-end piece into some sort of shape (yeah, you know, the piece everybody else seems to be able to post the last week of the previous year, or the first week of the new one?), but I am still at least five or six hours of actual work away from having it ready to publish. I self-imposed a deadline of Tuesday morning before the Oscar nominations were announced, but despite all the efforts of Mountain Dew and every other caffeinated option I could ingest, I only made it to about 2:00 a.m. last night before realizing that even if I stayed up till dawn it still wouldn’t be finished. So, as the march toward even further irrelevance continues vis-à-vis my year-end observations, I’m going to have to take a break tonight and finish things up for Wednesday, which now sounds like a reasonable option to deliver something that’s actually worth reading and not just the incoherent mutterings of a man who obviously needs his snore time. It’s been hard to concentrate on writing or anything else around here this week too, as life has indeed intervened and visited a whole lot of sadness and separation from several people my wife and I have known for years. No one has died or anything, and we still have jobs, but the sense of loss is no less disheartening for that as we try to get our heads around the reality of a new year which is already tumultuous and full of uncertainty and showing no signs of calmer waters.
Right now, I choose to channel whatever panic I may have over deadlines and other responsibilities into the top desk drawer of my mind, where Cowboy, Indian and Horse (Cheval!) are all waiting to play. If you're in Los Angeles and haven’t yet had a chance to see Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s hysterically funny A Town Called Panic, you still have three days before the movie moves out of the Nuart and down to San Diego. Yes, there’s always DVD and Blu-ray down the road, but I suggest you catch it on the Nuart’s gorgeous big screen (where they still open and shut the curtain!) if you can. The movie is nigh on indescribable (though I will attempt a smidgen of description when that year-end list finally touches down) and is best glimpsed through the movie’s trailer for that little taste that should have you wanting more:
A Town Called Panic tops off a banner year in the resurgence of old-school low-tech stop-motion animation, and it’s a giddy occasion for families who may have more unpleasant things to think about to spend 72 minutes or so laughing together and hoping for better times.