• About 3 a.m. last year on January 1st in Fabrique nightclub the music, people dancing – time – froze, and I spoke to some kind of spiritual entity on the dance floor.
• The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Non Fiction: The End of Theory by Terry Eagleton.
• Grizzly Man, or Into the Wild.
• Any relentlessly insipid, creative vacuum talent shows on TV where life’s armchair idols exit the living room to do ‘heart-wrenching’ renditions of unbearable songs or alternatively act like lobotomised kids in need of attention on commercially viable TV…and Britain loves it…
• Not that impressed with any music, but one song by ‘The National’ called Bloodbuzz Ohio I think will stay with me for life.
• For the umpteenth year running the Thai government’s most pressing educational reforms are based solely on inculcating a student’s sense of ‘uniform’ politeness. I don’t just espouse sparse (for biological reasons), but I think some cobwebs need removing from the ancient halls of Thai academia.
• Quote on social gaming: “I’m ashamed to be part of an industry that manipulates people like rats in a Skinner box.”
• Sugar on meat, or in sandwiches, closely followed by the fact folk don’t read.
• Don’t worry. Everything is going to be just fine.
columnist ‘Life of Wine’
• Mae Sa Elephant Camp.
• Haven’t read a book for years. Can’t sit still long enough.
• Shawshank Redemption – watched it for the 10th time this year.
• Chiang Mai Customs.
• Pink Floyd (post Syd Barrett).
• Thai Visa – 22 Sep 2010 “The Government could be Destroyed by Corruption…”
• The Life of Wine – of course!
• Lack of parks and other government facilities.
• The country is not in debt to its eyeballs – yet.
columnist ‘City Vibes’
• April 10th, 2010 Thanon Disco, Bangkok
• The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell).
• Shutter Island.
• Lady Gaga.
• Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest.
• ‘Abhisit loses cufflinks on relief boat’ http://www.notthenation.com/pages/news/getnews.php?id=957.
• Calling Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam’s capital in June’s issue! [Ed. Thanks a lot Tom! Mea culpa.]
• 2010 is nearly over.
• Day: Anything involving big red motorbikes and mountain roads.
Night: Chang Chalaad, Moon Muang 9; Café del Sol, Charoen Prathet and anything involving big red drinks.
• Don Quixote. Should have read it a very long time ago.
• Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Machete’. Life seems more complete after you’ve heard Danny Trejo say: ‘Machete don’t text!’
• Governments’ scaring the shit out of the people they work for by banging on about how financially buggered everything is.
• Any of the thousands of covers of ‘Poker Face’. It seemed to be Songkran’s unofficial anthem this year, and I like being reminded of Songkran… and red drinks.
• A heartwarming story about a mischievous three-legged badger named Dermot.
• Citylife BBQs trying to drink enough beer and red drinks to make karaoke a good idea.
• That 99.879 per cent of the world’s population will never see it according to a report of a recent study of a survey.
• That ThaiVisa.com continues with its admirable attempts to keep the mentally baffled occupied and off the streets.
• One day when we experienced a snake farm, an orchid park, a water buffalo ride and stroking live scorpions! Or one night when we were dancing under starry skies on a rooftop in Chicago.
• Let The Right One In, by Swedish John Ajvide Lindqvist. An utterly disturbing but equally fascinating vampire tale.
• Definitely not ‘Piranha’.
• Rightwing, nazi-like party, the Sverigedemokraterna, voted into the Swedish parliament in September, followed by the republicans dominating the US House of Representatives elections in November.
• French Yelle’s Amour du Sol makes me happy every time.
• Tens of thousands demonstrating in the streets of Stockholm against the racist, rightwing party Sverigedemokraterna.
• The many fun and friendly people working there.
• The disastrous close-down of the CMU language programme. A case of corruption and cheating money out of a big group of foreign students coming to Chiang Mai.
• Bangkok was awarded the World’s Best City by Travel + Leisure’s 2010 World’s Best Awards. Chiang Mai was number two.
• My surprise birthday party that Mrs. D organised. I can only remember the bits at the beginning and the end but I am told it was great fun.
• ‘Unseen Academicals’, Terry Pratchett. Helps if you have read the rest of the ‘Discworld’ series but really enjoyed it.
• Grown Ups – although a bit silly, quite funny and almost like holding a mirror up to oneself.
• Intolerance – people still killing each other for their beliefs. Or Mrs. D’s continued experimenting with culinary ingredients that are not meant to go together.
• Still enjoying ‘The Resistance’ by Muse.
• Has to be the rescue of those miners in Chile.
• I find the Editor’s comments are wonderful and insightful. Yes – total, utter, blatant creeping. [Ed. Note to Tom Parker…this is a preferable answer!]
• For a city that’s rated 10th in Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Cities (in the world) for 2011, seeing all the empty hotels, bars and restaurants. Such a shame.
• For 2010, that’s a tough one. Civil unrest, the continued fighting in the South, floods and the strong baht haven’t helped anyone. Yet on the positive side, it is still one of the best places in the world to live with great people. So that has to be good.