It's that time of year again, time to dig deep into ye olde memory sack and recognize the best moments of 2005. Rather than have some formal award categories I'm just going to bust some crazy freestyle shit on ya. Time to get crack-a-lackin'.
One would think that the trip we took to get our daughter would be best trip, but that trip was an excersise in pure fucking misery. Yes, the end result was great, but the trip itself was shit. No, this year, the Best Trip award goes to the trip that we took to Atlanta to buy our house. That trip had it's share of misery in it as well, but we did manage to have some good dinners out, we got to spend more time in Atlanta to be sure that we wanted to live here, and we ended up being in the right place at the right time to get our house, at about $40k less than what it should have been priced at. We also got to spend 2 days with a realtor who was spawned in the pits of Hell, which gave us plenty to talk about for months and months.
Best Movie I Saw In the Theater
It's rare for the missus and I to actually go to the movies, due to the fact that we have kids, and we have a theater in our basement that neither a) charges 20 bucks for movies, b) smells like popcorn and cat piss and c) has unruly teenagers who can barely control their hormonal responses. However there are a few movies that we will make the trek out to take in. This year, I distinctly remember "Star Wars Episode 3", "Fantastic Four" (I had a free ticket), "Batman Begins", "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and this year's hands down winner, "Serenity". Along with being just a kick-ass movie, Serenity was the extension of one of our most favorite TV shows ever, so the level of excitement was very high. Add to that the fact that it actually delivered, and I ditched work to see it, and you have a very hard film to beat. I know that some of you (Bones, I'm looking at you) will be shocked and dismayed to not see Batman Begins take this prize, but allow me to explain. There's a scene in "Saving Private Ryan", where Tom Hanks is talking about his wife working in the rose garden, and when he's prompted to talk more about it, he says something like "No. That one's for me." That's what Batman is. I have a great deal of emotion invested in that character to the point where no movie could ever live up to what I have in my head, nor would I want it to. To paraphrase, that one's for me.
Best Magazine That Makes Me Feel Like An Idiot
That would be The Economist. I started reading The Economist to get a more worldly view of things, as well as get a view of the US from outside of the States. The Economist fits the bill for both things nicely. Plus, it covers pretty much the entire planet, so it's guaranteed that every week I'll learn something new. For example, did you know that in Quebec, margarine has to be white? Yep. The dairy council doesn't want the citizens of Quebec to confuse margarine with butter so in order to sell margarine in Quebec, it has to be white. Never mind the fact that "Margarine" and "Butter" only share two letters, and that they aren't packaged in clear boxes and that my margerine comes in a big brown tub and my butter comes in a box with an indian on it. I guess when all of your country's citizens have health care and all consenting adults can be in legally recognized committed unions, all you have left is to worry about dairy. Ha! Actually Canada is in the midst of some fucked up shit, fucked up shit I learned about by reading The Economist. One word of warning, a lot happens in the world in one week, so if you do decide to subscribe, don't plan on being able to take an issue into the toilet and finish it up over your morning constitution, unless said constitution spans several days.
This one was pretty much locked up until this past weekend. There's a chain of delis here (Jason's Deli) that has a sandwich called the New York Yankee. It's about 3 pounds of corned beef, three pounds of pastrami and some swiss cheese all on rye bread. No condiments, no vegetables, just paper thin brisket mingling in spicy harmony. Combine it with their potato salad and you'd be hard pressed to beat it. Or so I thought. Enter Bobby G's a Chicago style eatery here in Alpharetta. They have a sandwich called The Superior Avenue Super Combo that is the Divine come to Earth and made sandwich. Imagine a hoagie roll, sliced open and filled with either hot or mild sausage. Now place tasty, simmered meatballs every place that there isn't sausage and lovingly drape Italian Beef over the whole thing. Cover all the meat with mozzerella and provelone and toast the sandiwich to melt the cheese and crisp up the bun. It is fucking amazing. And at 7 bucks a pop, you'll be in the ICU in no time.
Best Potato Chip
What's a sandwich without chips? Target sells these Archer Farms Parmesan Garlic potato chips that are like little crack snack chips. The fact that I'm at Target every week buying some movie or cd means that I can get my fix weekly. Alas, this will have to end with the new year as I'm starting to gain back all the weight I lost in Russia. I'm lovingly staring at a bag now, trying to figure out how to tell it that our illicit union can't continue.
Best Despoiled Starlet
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Some may think it's Britney Spears, but she was never unspoiled in my opinion. No, this year's award has to go to Katie Holmes. I got nothing against Tom Cruise. He's a good actor. I count many of his films as some of my favorites, but I think he's somewhat crazy. The fact that he's now pulled Katie Holmes into his web of lunacy and used her to sire his heir, kind or irritates me. Not that I ever had a chance with Ms. Holmes, but up until now, she was my go to actress in the event I had to pick someone from Hollywood to think of in naughty ways. No more. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Obviously more so for me than for her.
Hottest Woman on TV
Man, was this a tough one. This year has just been overflowing with attractive women on tv. First we have the return of Alyson Hannigan on "How I Met Your Mother". She's always been a favorite of mine, but between being a lesbian, and channeling massive amounts of dark power on Buffy, I felt Willow to be a tad inaccessible. Her new character, Lily, is a cute, hard partying kindergarten teacher. The character plays well to Hannigan's strengths and is extremely well acted with the right touch of Willow innocence and American Pie lustiness. Then you have Cobie Smulders, who plays Robin on the same show. Wow. She reminds me very much of Jennifer Connelly which is like being reminded of sunshine and apple pie. The show itself is really funny, and the fact that there are two very attractive women on it don't hurt. We also have the return of Paula Marshall to tv, on "Out of Practice" also a very good sit-com on CBS. Charlize Theron was on "Arrested Development" for 5 episodes, Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledell look better every year on "Gilmore Girls" and Emily Deschanel elevates the tank top to high art on "Bones". Hot, hot, hot, hot and hot. However, one woman, rose above all the others to take the award for this year. That would be Kristen Bell, who plays Veronica Mars on the series of the same name. A fantastic actress on a great show and she just happens to be drop-your-laundry, amazingly hot. Check her out in the movie "Spartan" or in the first season of "Deadwood" as half of a conniving brother-sister team. The only thing better than snarky Kristen Bell is angry, profanity spewing Kristen Bell.
Best Use of Carla Gugino's Assets
"Sin City". Wow. I mean, just, wow.
Best Slogan I Saw On A Church Messageboard
"Worry is the thief of joy." I liked this one because it wasn't preachy, it didn't rely on puns, but mostly because it was 100% correct. This was a big year of worries for us. We were worried about the move, then worried about me being unemployed, then worried about the adoption. All of it turned out ok, and in retrospect, our worries were unfounded. Granted, hindsight is 20/20, but hopefully a year of worries that ended up being nothing will teach me that worrying does nothing but make you miss out on the life you're currently living.
Wow. That is one fucking ugly chicken.