Good Things: 2007 edition

December 19, 2007

All it took was a Moonshine Martini post to get me in the mood to list. It’s that time of year when everybody’s putting in their two cents about what was most world-rocking in Aught Seven, so I’m going to give it a whirl. This is actually more for myself than anything else, because yesterday as I was trying to come up with answers to Reading for Writers query about the best books I had read this year, I realized 1) I don’t keep enough records of what I’ve actually done and 2) that most of the lists I could come up with were actually lists of the best books I had started but never finished. (And the other night, when D got me sucked into a half-hour infomercial for Firebrand.com, a web channel where you can watch all the world’s “best” commercials, I think I figured out why.) It’s true–I started a lot more than I finished this year, which is an issue I hope to deal with in in the coming year, but it’s too late now, so for the time being, I’m just going with it. Because you know what they say about good things: they come in threes. Also, things on this list aren’t necessarily new, but they were new to me.

Top 3 Novels I Finished This Year

  1. Tripmaster Monkey (Maxine Hong Kingston)
  2. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card, not like a literary masterpiece or anything, but I read it at the same time I started reading Jane McGonigal’s disseration on ubiquitous gaming and it hit a nerve)
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (You know I’d be lying if it wasn’t on this list)

Top 3 Memoirs/ Creative Nonfiction

  1. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (Nick Flynn)
  2. A Good War is Hard to Find (David Griffiths)
  3. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Anne Fadiman)

Close call: Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert–I feel that this book is more than a little annoying due to the sell-out factor plus the spoiled rotten factor, but I laughed my ass off right at a time when I really needed to because of this book)

Top 3 Movies I Watched All the Way Through This Year

  1. After the Wedding
  2. Black Christmas
  3. Deja Vu (this made the list b/c of the strength of its surprise factor–I feel that it was much better than any trailer let on and I won’t say anything more than that for fear of giving something away, plus it got bonus points for being set in New Orleans (American city of the decade), and having a version of my top joke of the year (more cowbell!)).

Close calls: Stranger Than Fiction, HP5, 28 Days Later, The Lives of Others, Tony Takitani

Top 3 Documentaries (I watched so many, they deserve a category)

  1. The Heart of the Game
  2. Blue Planet
  3. Jonestown

Top 3 Television Shows

  1. Friday Night Lights
  2. The Wire
  3. Lost

Close calls: The Countdown, Weeds, Veronica Mars, Freaks and Geeks, the Nova documentary on training for the Boston Marathon

Top 3 Books of Poetry

  1. Curves to the Apple (Rosmarie Waldrop)
  2. case sensitive (Kate Greenstreet)
  3. Leaves of Grass, 1855 Edition (Walter Whitman, via the Whitman Archive, like wow)

Close calls: almost every other book of poetry I’ve read this year and one that I plan to: The Middle Room (Jennifer Moxley)

Top 3 Biggest Wastes of Space on my Netflix Queue

  1. Flightplan
  2. Rumor Has It
  3. The Break-Up

I swear I have nothing against Jennifer Aniston.

Top 3 Movies I Am Shocked I Haven’t Seen Yet

  1. The Bourne Ultimatum
  2. No Country for Old Men
  3. Away From Her

Top 3 Songs I Never Tuned Away From While Driving (ie, Top 40 songs)

  1. What I’ve Done (Linkin Park)
  2. Shut Up and Drive (Rihanna, b/c Umbrella is just too predictable)
  3. Apologize (One Republic feat. Timbaland, okay fine, I’m predictable)

Top 3 Songs It is Somewhat More Respectable to Admit to Liking (By Women)

  1.  Fidelity (Regina Spektor, I know, I’m behind)
  2. Mushaboom (Feist)
  3. Central Reservation (Beth Orton, it took me forever to figure out the name of this song)

Top 3 Songs It is Somewhat More Respectable to Admit to Liking (By Men)

  1.  Black Cab (Jens Lekman)
  2. That Was the Worst Christmas Ever (Sufjan Stevens)
  3. Oh What a World (Rufus Wainwright)

Top 3 Beers (keep in mind, I like wimpy beer)

  1. Lamar Street Pale Ale (I think this has a lot of B Vitamins in it, I always feel stronger after I drink it)
  2. Sam Adams (never had a taste for it before I made some good Boston memories to associate with it)
  3. Stella & Guinness going halfsies

Top 3 Wines (you can tell I’m a slacker b/c I didn’t keep track of the vintage, just the name on the pretty label)

  1. Cono Sur 20 Barrel Pinot Noir (limited availability, alas)
  2. Vieille Ferme Red (can’t beat the price or the drinkability, my credit card bill won’t lie–we’ve bought more of this than anything else this year)
  3. Conclass Verdejo (most likely to be gifted by us this year)

Close calls: Anything Portuguese, Bitch (not just a pretty name!), cabernet sauvignon in general

Top 3 30 Minute Meals

  1. Good Fennels Pasta
  2. Creamy Artichoke Saffron Pasta
  3. Roasted Portabella Mushroom Burgers with Red Peppers

Top 3 Ways to Get My Nerd On

  1. A Poetics of Women’s Autobiography (Sidonie Smith)
  2.  Ties that bind : the story of an Afro-Cherokee family in slavery and freedom (Tiya Miles)
  3. PMLA Genre Issue

Top 3 Lessons Learned

  1. Never give your prospective landlord cash before you see a lease AND a roof w/o holes in it (this lesson learned vicariously, courtesy of my sister and her beau and their move to Miami)
  2. Tequila shots: no. (this lesson not learned vicariously)
  3. Don’t give up on your faith, fool, love comes to those who believe it. Keep everlastingly at it and don’t let yourself off the hook with a cheap out, please the in-law’s, I need to settle down and have kids excuse. Try before you decide you’ve failed.

Close call: Don’t waste summer reading time on summer books. I think I went seriously astray there, spending weeks reading fluff like The Ruins when I could have been reading Faulkner.

Top 3 Punctuation Marks

  1. colon
  2. comma
  3. dash

Top 3 Cities I Fantasized About Moving To

  1. Washington, DC
  2. New York, NY
  3. Columbus, OH

Top 3 Things Totally Worth the Extra Money

  1. DVR
  2. a night in a bed & breakfast instead of a motel
  3. new running shoes

Top 3 Publix Premium Ice Cream Flavors

  1. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  2. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  3. Buckeye

Top 3 Babies (in alphabetical order, you know I can’t rank babies)

  • Charlotte
  • Luc-Luis
  • Nathaniel

Okay, that’s as silly as I can get right now, and if I think of any more between now and December 31st, I’ll post.

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5 Responses to “Good Things: 2007 edition”

  1. SOS Says:

    There are so much interesting tidbits to comment on, but I can’t get away from the fact that you daydreamed about moving to Columbus, Ohio. Now, I like Columbus and all, but I’m surprised to see it up there with DC and NY. And you are much more up on the current music scene than I am…I didn’t even recognize some of those bands. I’m out of the loop.

    I’ll be following up your list with my own list once I get a moment to do so. 🙂

  2. SJ Says:

    Two of my bestest buds (Fragolina of Moonshine Martini and AH of Atelier 81) moved to Columbus this year, and they were bragging on their cheap rent and easy access to bars, so that put Columbus over the top for me.

    I am looking forward to your list!

    And I just got a Christmas card from a famous person yay!

  3. Fragolina Says:

    “Umbrella” may be too predictable, but you know what else it is? Too AWESOME. Really, SJ, you’re part of my entity for infinity. And, as per my lawyer, my entity shall never be dissolved, save in the unfortunate event of my untimely death. And let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. (Knock wood.)

    You know what else would be on my guilty pleasures list (if I believed in guilty pleasures, that is)? Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Love it.

  4. SJ Says:

    Omg, you don’t KNOW how many times I have tried to restrain myself from blogging about my love for Big Girls Don’t Cry, or how many times I typed it and then backspaced it on the third slot of the best of women list! Many times. We must be an entity.

    I love that you don’t believe in guilty pleasures.

  5. Richard Nash Says:

    Hey,thanks for liking A Good War…How did you hear about it? (I’m the publisher…)


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