The big ideas and things I've loved:

My ipod. I bought it to go to Europe and rocked out in the metro in Paris, on a transatlantic flight, at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and on a cheapie bus to Scotland. It is so damn cool! And much better than schlepping around a bunch of cds and batteries.

Liz Phair. Yeah, I know other people have been into her for years, but since I've got all her albums now, I really appreciate this lo-fi rocker's work. Clever, unapologetic, and too cool for school.

Clinique perfumes. There are three different ones that I wear, depending on my mood. I think this is what is called "a fragrance wardrobe". In any case, I like 'em, after many years of not wearing scent on a regular basis because of work.

Scissor Sisters. Glam. Fabulous. Fantastic. Whatever you want to call them, this NY based group is infectous, fun, and poised to be really big. I even recommended them to my dad! My friend Ave introduced me to their stuff when we were getting ready to go out to a hen party in Scotland. It's perfect makeup and hair music.

Newer Wave. If I'd been born earlier, I would've loved The Clash, but instead I listen to The Sounds, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sahara Hotnights, The Raveonettes, Franz Ferdinand (and yes, they are good enough to back up the pretentious name), Modest Mouse, and the White Stripes. Give me a good beat, guitar, and an edgy growl!

John Kerry. He didn't win, but for a brief time, he allowed me to believe that this country could be more than what it is.

Nellie McKay. Subversive, fun, young, talented jazz singer who was this year's musical it-girl is too hard to describe. She really needs an interpretive dance or maybe a top-shelf mixed drink named for her to really do her music justice. Trust me and buy the album.

Thievery Corporation. Amazon.com recommended their "Richest Man in Babylon" to me for months, but I resisted. Then I heard it. I listened to this album, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto's Chasm in three different art museums in Europe. Fantastic.
You can also find amazing selections by them on the Verve Remixed discs.

Europe. I know, it's obvious. I went there this autumn and now I can't wait to go back! I want to wear heavy eyeliner and smoke French cigarettes, teeter around in kitten heels, wear a smart raincoat and cheap wig, and party with my cousin. I want to go back to London and Paris, and I want to see Berlin and Spain and Normandy. But I'll have to wait until the exchange rate improves.

My cousin Stephen. He uses lots of exclamation marks and has a plummy British accent. I simply adore him. xx

Joni Mitchell. There were a couple of weeks that I listened to Ladies of the Canyon and Blue in pretty heavy rotation. She's good for a rainy day with a cup of tea, lying in bed with the blues, or lying in the grass on a sunny day. David Sedaris apparently went through a period of listening to Hejira all the time. I understand.

Did you know that they give you magazines in the lounges at European airports? Certainly makes it hard going back to the low/no budget airlines in the states! I flew one of them last week to Boston and was disheartened by my bag of pretzels and total lack of legroom. I need to cross my legs and have the space to read big glossy fashion magazines (that I brought myself)!

Color. Yes, color. I wear more of it now. Like blue eyeshadow, which used to be a big joke until Ashley the MAC pro explained it to me. Sheer color. I can wear that emerald green they're showing in Vogue too. It's like line weight in drafting. I think that this is called value or some other vaguely uncomfortable term in design; all I know is it's fabuuuulous!

Text messages. I didn't even have my phone configured to send them until September, but now I'm hooked! Sometimes, much cheaper than a phone call, more discreet, more expedient. And a lot more fun!

My Doc Marten mary janes. They're brown and they were popular when I was in high school. Still, I love em because they're versatile, foot shaped, and withstood many kilometres of hiking around. They're not exactly cutting edge, but I could probably run in them if I had to and they don't weigh a ton like my DM boots.

and a lot of other things as well!

Things that brought me down in 04:

The election. 'Nuff said.

Having to tell people that I'm Canadian while traveling. I don't want to listen to tirades about George Bush or the war in Iraq while I'm on vacation.

The war in Iraq. Clearly, this is not going to end well. One of my college friends saw this clearly in 2001, and I can still hear him say it when I watch the news.

The end of the yellow brick road.

The disappointing outcome of my R2 sweater. I had that yarn shipped from overseas! The sweater resists blocking, has an oddly triangular shape to it, and is unflattering. So much for edgy knitting.

Guilt trips and passive-aggressive behavior. But that's hardly exclusive of 2004!

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