The Top Ten of 2006, Pt. I
Music, Movies, Incidents, and Reminders
Thursday, January 4, 2007
TOP 10 MUSICAL MOMENTS
By Dennis Murphy | Bass player, bandleader, year-after-year winner of the Best of Monterey County “Best Local Musician” award
10. Watching JazzMasters founder Bruce Forman do his magic (voluntarily) every Monday night at the Carmel Youth Center. This world-class cat facilitates, each year, a half-dozen or so kids’ placement into any music college program that they want. Parents, are you listening?! Every Monday night, free of charge!
9. My daughter Dayle surprising me by singing “Respect” for my birthday with my band. She tore it up, too, with the help of Rachel Marotta.
8. Recording my new blues album, tentatively titled Another Day of the Blues, with Dirk Etienne at the console.
7. Playing with Bobby Phillips and/or Kenny Stahl at Pacific Coast Church on Sunday mornings. This just doesn’t happen enough.
6. Performing my new Big Band CD live at my release party with an 18-piece band and 750 people. I’ve just got a hankerin’ lately to pretend that I’m Frank Sinatra.
5. Listening to Tom Ayres play guitar, any time, anywhere, any style. Splang!
4. The Pacheco Club Annual Christmas Party—side by side with Mike Marotta works for me every time.
3. Playing to the Embassy Suites family every Friday during happy hour. It always feels like I’ve come home.
2. Jamming with the JazzMasters Workshop kids at the Boys and Girls Club every week (and watching their faces light up).
1. Having my girlfriend Diana Govan fall asleep to me singing love songs by candlelight. As it should be, I save all the good stuff for her.
TOP 10 MOVIES
By David Gitin | Poet and MPC professor of creative writing and humanities
(Listed in chronological order.)
10. Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Directed by Jonathan Demme, with warm lighting and lots of closeups. Fine songs by Neil at the Ryman in Nashville (Emmylou Harris sings backups).
9. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Directed by Michel Gondry, this film has lots of verve, humor, and the reunion of The Fugees.
8. Don’t Come Knocking. Wim Wenders directed this one with Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard starring. Wenders’ rhythms (pace) and minimal dialogue make this unique.
7. The Proposition. Aussie Western with a Peckinpah-like fugue of violence at the end. Gripping film with fine actors.
6. Who Killed The Electric Car? Great indy documentary and a fascinating subject.
5. This Film Is Not Yet Rated. This is a documentary about the movie ratings system, where the filmmakers hired a detective to find out who it is that passes judgment and why.
4. The Science of Sleep. Another film by Michel Gondry, surreal and fresh.
3. The Departed. This one is the best Scorsese film in many years with a wonderful ensemble of actors and good writing.
2. Borat. I guess everyone knows that the Borat character discloses uncomfortable American attitudes and prejudices via his encounters with Americans he meets on his quest across the country to find…Pamela Anderson.
1. Stranger Than Fiction. It reminded me of Adaptation, but this one has more heart. All of the actors give fine performances.
TOP 10 INCIDENTS FROM CSUMB POLICE LOG
By Adam Joseph | Editor, Otter Realm
(As a regular reader of the University Police Department’s daily activities log, I’ve observed a couple things. Firstly, college students continue to spend their book money on marijuana. Secondly, the university police aren’t as funny in person as they are in their daily activities log.)
10. “Officer responds to a report of a deceased raccoon.” (There was never any follow-up as to whether funeral arrangements were made.)
9. “Officer contacted a person walking around a parking lot at 2am. He was a lost student.” (This student was seen taking shots of Jager and smoking a joint of White Widow at 1:30am.)
8. “Officer contacted a pedestrian that deliberately pulled out a bag of marijuana in front of him. The subject was cited.” (He later claimed he was doing homework for his Relational Ethics class.)
7. “Officer contacts a group sitting under a tank ramp after midnight and finds they are students ‘getting to know one another.’” (Couldn’t be more ambiguous.)
6. “Officers responded to a report that a male with a bat was asking for a place to sleep. A check of the area did not locate anyone matching the description.” (Maybe he dropped the bat and stopped asking for a place to sleep.)
5. “Officer responded to report of a snake in the roadway, but discovered that the snake had slithered away.” (In a related incident, that same officer responded to a report of a duck in a roadway, but discovered that the duck had waddled away.)
4. “Officer receives a call from an individual with questions regarding medicinal marijuana and growing it on campus, as he plans on attending CSUMB in the fall. Officer explains that growing or using marijuana anywhere on campus is prohibited.” (Two words of advice for this college-bound student: Humboldt State.)
3. “Officer responds to a report of juveniles trying to explode an object and finds they are with an adult doing experiments with dry ice.” (Lesson learned: You must be 18 or older to explode objects.)
2. “Officers investigated an anonymous report of suspicious people by an old church at 11:25pm. The officers found two men playing Frisbee.” (The men playing Frisbee were dressed in all-black clothes and wore black ski masks; this was left out of the report.)
1. “Officer responded to intrusion alarm activation at the Otter Realm Office.” (It’s hard to remember that code.)
TOP 10 REMINDERS OF HOW GREAT IT IS TO BE CHEF IN MONTEREY COUNTY
By Dory Ford | Executive Chef, Monterey Bay Aquarium
10. Taking the coast route home after work into Pebble Beach—especially September through the beginning of December, when there are fewer tourists—and the sun is out and the wind is up.
9. This year’s Tomatofest, Great Wine Escape, Meals on Wheels, Conference on the Future, MCAP Benefit Dinner at Pebble, Monterey County Wine Festival, SWS Open House, and TED Conference.
8. Lettuces from Happy Boy Farms, corn and heirloom tomatoes from Swank Farms, Tuesday Farmers Market, Robbie’s Ocean Fresh Seafood, sushi (and sake) from Kazu.
7. Afternoons of wine tasting in Carmel Valley, lunch at Bernardus, followed by a little bocci ball. (Personal thanks to Tim Wood, Cal Stamenov, and Cristophe.)
6. Really nice people who have become good friends—Andy and Diedre Leisner, David Haney, Dave Erickson, Jeff Jake (I miss the guy, but he still visits), Steve and Sona Dennis, Rod Ucagno, Jose Sanchez, Mario Malbalot, the staff and volunteers who I spent the days with at the Aquarium.
5. My lovely wife Cris getting a job teaching second grade at Stevenson School.
4. The 2006 Cooking For Solutions—everything about it was awesome.
4b. American Culinary Federation Golf Tourney (way to go Robbie).
3. Dinner at the new Cantinetta Luca—nice work, gentlemen.
3b. Golf at Spanish Bay in December.
2. Jeffery Walker, Estevan Jimenez, and Cheyenne Vandenbrook, my right hand, left hand and other left hand, respectively.
2b. Golf Day at Poppy Hills in November (see you next year, Patrick).
2c. Golf at MPCC (thanks, Jose).
1. Not living in LA anymore.