Allison Plean's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I lost my cell phone this week. I'm now officially ready for this year to end.
Although New Year's Eve is the most anticipated/disappointing evening of the year, we have a lot of things to look back on in '06 and be proud of.
We all survived the hippie invasion and exorbitant gas prices. We were given the second season of the wonderfully awful TV show "Wonder Showzen," and we learned some new quotable phrases from the movies "Borat" and "Talladega Nights."
We persevered through long lines on voting day and millions of rumors of the sale of the ski area. Some of us even permanently scarred ourselves tubing down the Yampa River.
But the craziest thing that happened to me this year was becoming a newspaper reporter.
Crazy, I know. I've never taken a journalism class in my life.
I used to envy Autumn Phillips' job. (She was the arts & entertainment reporter prior to me.) And I never thought I could even qualify for this position.
I guess my nice blue interview shirt and knowledge from reading the "The Associated Press Guide to News Writing" the night before my interview helped. And Mr. Dictionary, Mr. Spell Check and Mr. AP Stylebook have become my best friends - second only to coffee, that is.
I learned that people really do read the newspaper, but only when you make mistakes. And I learned that you can catch a high just from interviewing passionate people like Gary Burman (uilleann piper for Old School), Gavin Graham (owner of Tropical Rockies), John Sant'Ambrogio (cellist for Steamboat Strings Quartet and Steamboat Springs Orchestra) and Keri Rusthoi (artistic director and opera singer for Emerald City Opera).
They are just a few of the countless people who truly embody the passion and love for what they do in this town. They are an inspiration to all of us. Getting to know these people is the best part of my job. Keeping up with writing down every word they say during an interview is the hardest part.
Because of my job, I went to my first Strings in the Mountains concert, my first Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp performance, my first Steamboat Springs Orchestra concert and even learned how to square dance.
I've interviewed people with pesto in my teeth, and a co-worker finally taught me how to put on mascara. (I hope I can remember all the steps.)
I've discovered that interviewing artists is addicting.
I left every interview wanting to buy a kiln, canvas or trapeze.
Of course, it was a big year for the community, too.
We got a movie theater with stadium seating, a large office supply store and an art museum and an art co-op. The Steamboat Mountain Theater opened, Chelsea's moved into town, and the face of Lincoln Avenue changed forever with the destruction of the Nite's Rest and the Harbor Hotel.
We may have lost Brewfest, but we got a new Sunshine lift, a Hilltop bus route and the great Halloween costume of the "Dumpster diver."
Nationally, we survived the bird flu scare (also a great Halloween costume), Mel Gibson's arrest and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston getting divorced. No one woman should be able to bogart the two-time sexiest man alive.
The greatest music discovery I made this year was Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst has the most perfectly matched sad voice to the most perfectly written lyrics. I can listen to songs like "First Day of my Life," "Poison Oak" and "Lover I Don't Have to Love" a gazillion times. And I have.
I also learned this year how destructive puppies can be. So did some of my roommates. And apparently when two dogs get together and chew through the sewage pump cord, things can get pretty stinky.
So when you are looking for someone to kiss at midnight - don't think of all your broken hearts and unfulfilled crushes. Start planning your next Halloween costume, make sure your cell phone is in your pocket and send in suggestions on how I can continue to improve your 4 Points experience.