January 1st, 2007

Amak Axver

Happy New Year, everybody.

Well, hello 2007. I'm glad to see you've finally made it.

At the start of 2006, I hoped the year would pass me by quickly, and it rather thankfully has. 2006 was largely an unspectacular year and I don't really much about it sticking strongly in my memory. In some ways, it was rather unenjoyable mentally and emotionally, but those who it concerns probably know what I mean and they're the only ones who really need to know anything, so I don't see the purpose of going into detail. In other manners, the year was pretty good - my university results certainly thrilled me to pieces, though the intellectual stimulation I craved did not come as much as I expected it would. After how much people told me I would enjoy university, I found it to be a bit over-rated. This year obviously had its political ups and downs, with Kevin Rudd's ascendancy to leader of the Labour Party the highlight. Sport went about as well as I could hope, with the All Blacks continuing their stellar form and the Wellington Hurricanes reaching a Super 12/14 grand final for the first time. I also had a great time in November, travelling around and visiting cities and seeing U2 live. It was especially great to hear Bad and rarities such as The First Time and the mighty One Tree Hill. Speaking of music, I made many, many incredible discoveries this year and vastly expanded my musical horizons while becoming increasingly obsessed with music in general rather than specific bands. Nonetheless, I'm still a picky bastard and my "top albums of 2006" reflects this, with only three current entries:

1. Pure Reason Revolution's The Dark Third
2. Agalloch's Ashes Against The Grain
3. Wolverine's Still

However, I am eagerly anticipating 2007 and I hope it doesn't fly past me as quickly as 2006 did, as it should be a year to savour. The music front looks bright, with albums due to come from Blackfield, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, Orphaned Land, Anathema, Symphony X, Circus Maximus, and I'm sure other bands I rather like too. Blackfield's album has already leaked online, and let me just say that it has kicked 2007 off to a sensational start. The sporting front looks even better. Well, the cricket part may not for us New Zealand Black Caps fans given how dismal our team currently is, but the Cricket World Cup should still be exciting. I eagerly await the America's Cup - Black Magic has beaten Alinghi in pre-tournament races already, so maybe we can take the Cup back home! And of course, the most exciting sporting event of every four year period looms large on my horizon, inspiring excitement in me nine months before it is even due to begin: the Rugby World Cup! I've gone into the last two World Cups nervous and skeptical of whether the All Blacks could win, but I feel more confident this time.

Even more exciting is my move to Melbourne, even though my failure to secure anywhere to live thus far is causing me considerable stress. I'm confident that will be resolved soon - I damn well hope so, in any case. I can't wait to depart Queensland and move to such a lovely city. And of course, Melbourne means more than just a change of lifestyle that I have craved for the last few years; it also brings the most exciting aspect of 2007, the fact that I can finally see Kate again after so bloody long. Words cannot quite adequately convey my excitement.

As for the new year's celebrations itself, for the first time in a very, very long time, I was able to achieve my dream of a quiet New Year's Eve! Previous years for as far back as I can remember have been thwarted by loud music, noisy gatherings of friends and family, irritating drunks, and trips to watch fireworks. Though the fireworks part isn't actually bad. Last night, I retired to bed just after making my entry and had a very pleasant and sound night's sleep. I woke up happy and content, which makes a good change from the norm of New Year's Days. I have never understood why people put such significance in New Year's Eve. We could start the new year at any other time we like if we felt like it. Nothing tangibly changes and it just strikes me as a convenient excuse for people to get drunk and have meaningless social gatherings. Ah well, at least fireworks are nice.

In any case, I'd like to sign off by wishing everybody a happy new year. Have a good one, folks!