It’s that time of year when everyone posts their ‘best of’ lists for the previous year . . . So you’ve seen a lot of those. Stephen King put up his top ten TV shows. Celebrity baby names recently hit the internet for ten best and ten worst (though honestly, I thought it was a ho-hum year for these poor kids.) Even reality TV is inviting back the ‘best of’ people to have a whole season of ‘best of’s (realize that this involves a very loose definition of ‘best’). The Academy has posted their own ‘best of’ list and will reveal all in a glitzy, too-many-hour show that isn’t as funny as it thinks it is. I won’t do that.
So here’s mine . . .
But wait – I’m not going to stick to ten things. I’m not even going to count. I’m won’t bore you by staying in the same genre. Everything is fair game! And by the end you will have learned a lot about you and me . . . and you may even become concerned. Rightly so!
Best Coffee Place:
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – hands down. Sorry Starbucks, I won’t even set foot in you. Because there is no Coffee Bean east of Phoenix (a tragedy if you ask me), I import this stuff. The beans are never burned. They post the recipes for all their drinks online and on the packaging. I’m drinking a Mocha Iced Blended right now. Mmmmmmm.
Sons of Anarchy (FX) – Though I love many shows (Archer, Justified (both FX), True Blood, Boardwalk Empire (both HBO), Dexter, (Showtime)), if I had to pick just one . . . argh! Tough! I’m going with Sons. It’s superbly acted. I often wonder if it was inspired by the Hell’s Angels gun-running bust of several years back. The writers added elements of Hamlet to it. (Hamlet? Motorcycle Clubs? You say. Yes!) The involvement doesn’t just stop at the story line either. Check out the costuming . . . The lead character is the only one who gets to wear any white (always his shoes, sometimes his t-shirt). His stepfather is always in dark, dark colors. And the other cast vary in shades of grays and blues (always in keeping with their roles in the current story arc.) Wardrobe people have never had such a good time. Just a great show all around.
Best Classic Book:
Lolita (Nabokov) – that you can feel for Humbert Humbert is a triumph of story-telling. But it’s the writing itself that makes it for me. Try this out: “She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”
Honorable Mention – Book to read:
Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold (Terry Brooks) – I know. Totally the other direction from Lolita. But I just love that what is obviously a fantasy novel starts out firmly rooted in reality. The twist? Our main character, Ben Holiday, buys a magic kingdom from a “Sky Mall” type catalogue!
Best Place to Shop:
Trader Joes – you can get everything you need there (except maybe bologna). They have better prices on most things than you’ll find anywhere else. And far more interesting food than you could ever hope for! Try the Scallop Bites. I’d offer you one, but I don’t share.
Best Movie This Year:
Inception – dark and twisty. All kinds of things happen, but it’s all tied up nicely. There’s motive where it’s needed (no random “I just did this because it moves the plot along!” scenarios.) I want to say more, but don’t want to give anything away . . .
Honorable Mention – older movie you should watch:
Lord of War – Though I love a lot of the dark twisties (Fight Club, The Usual Suspects, Frequency), there’s something about this one. I like layers, and Lord of War has them. Our gun runner, Yuri, has a wife, brother and parents who each play a role pertinent to society. Some have suspicions, but don’t care because they like their lives. Some are oblivious. One is aware and too caught up to let go, but unable to let go of his morals, either. I love that this movie starts with “That’s one gun for every twelve people in the world. The question is: how to we arm the other eleven?”
Best Thing To Do For The Hell Of It:
Bungee Jumping (AJ Hackett) – whooooooo. Yes, I have to say that AJs has a great name! : ) But they are really safety conscious and have a lot of locations.
Things I didn’t know before I jumped:
1) You will look like an idiot at least the first three times you do it. Swan dives will not happen. You may involuntarily curl into the fetal position. It’s still crazy fun.
2) You will come fully upright at the top of your first swing. I expected to stay upside down and was surprised by this even as my brain said stupid things like “well, the physics here makes sense, wonder why I didn’t plan for this.” You will be able to reach out and grab your cord. DO NOT DO THIS.
3) You can get a “Frequent Jumper Card”. Always make a point to ‘randomly’ show this card when asked for your Panera card or your Which Wich punch card.
Hope you enjoy this list and get to try some of the wonderful goodies here. Clearly, I missed things. But if I missed them, they couldn’t have been that important, right???