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Faves: 2011

Song Lyric of the Day:

You go down, down, down / I fall out of love with you / Come back round, round, round / You son of a gun

Oh Land / “Son of a Gun

It’s four days into 2012 and I’m just now getting around to talking about some of my favorite pop culture things from 2011. For me, that’s not too bad.


Seeing as how I didn’t read nearly as many books as I would’ve liked, I won’t bother discussing those. Except to say that I had to quit reading An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England halfway through — I hated the protagonist SO MUCH I couldn’t finish the book. But, lord, how I tried. I really did. I do, however, hope to read a lot more this year.


I saw a handful of new movies in the theater (oooh), among them Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Paranormal Activity 3, Horrible Bosses, The Muppets, and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, all of which I really enjoyed. I even managed to catch up on some other, older movies thanks to Netflix, including The Hurt Locker (very intense); Insidious (scared. the. shit. out. of. me.); Cronos (not what I expected); Red (a hoot); Up in the Air (ultimately disappointing); Paranormal Activity 2 (bad idea to watch with a newborn sleeping nearby); Get Him to the Greek (one of the funniest comedies of the last few years); and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (a crushing disappointment — I had such high expectations).


If you read my post from yesterday, you already know how little time I have to stay up on my beloved TV shows these days. I just finished an almost two-week marathon catching up on Leverage, which I love. (And which makes me want to embark on a thrill-a-minute life as a con artist/thief/grifter. But I digress.) About the only shows I managed to stay up to date on were Happy Endings (uneven but very funny); American Horror Story (a train wreck I couldn’t ignore); Modern Family (still cracks me up); The Middle (relatable and hilarious); Desperate Housewives (yeah, yeah, I know); Ringer (entertaining soap opera); Fringe (praying Fox doesn’t kill it); and Community, which is literally the high point of my TV-watching each week. I think it’s the smartest, most hilarious show on the air right now. Which is why if NBC pulls a Britta and cancels it, I will cut a bitch.

I tried watching Up All Night, which I found cute, occasionally funny, and a bit disappointing; I can take it or leave it. I wanted to like New Girl, I really did, but it was so painfully unfunny, I cut my losses after 1 1/2 episodes. What I’ve caught of Suburgatory has been funny and interesting; I’ll have to catch up on that one online.

Now I just need to find the time to catch up on Raising Hope (LOVE), Supernatural, Justified, Burn Notice, and The Closer.


Music is the one thing I was kind of able to stay current on thanks to the Sirius XM subscription that came with my Elantra. Thanks to the magic of satellite radio, I discovered bands and artists I never would’ve heard on our local stations. Here in no particular order are some of my favorite songs of the year.

Oh Land, “Son of a Gun”*

Deadmau5, “Raise Your Weapon”

Afrojack featuring Eva Simons, “Take Over Control”

Lloyd, “Dedication to My Ex” (the CLEAN version)

Young the Giant, “My Body”

The Cab, “Bad”

Foster the People, “Pumped Up Kicks”

Iffy the Badman, “Do You” (which I blogged about a while back)

Of Monsters and Men, “Little Talks”

Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”

The Airborne Toxic Event, “All I Ever Wanted”**

*Released in late 2010, but it was new to me in 2011!

**Rich and I FINALLY got to see The Airborne Toxic Event in concert back in November. After 22 months of waiting to see them, it was essentially a religious experience for me (I’ll explain at another time). If you’re a fan, go — go see them now!

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Natural Blues

Song Lyric of the Day:Feeling unknown / And you’re all alone / Flesh and bone / By the telephone / Lift up the Receiver / I’ll make you a believer

Depeche Mode / “Personal Jesus”

I‘m feeling a bit melancholy today. Feeling trapped in my job, like I’m never going to have a job again where I feel fulfilled, accomplished, and just plain happy. Not to sound like a broken record, but I know it’s possible since I had a great job for almost a year before having to transfer offices. Sure, it wasn’t one of my ideal dream jobs, say, like being a “news” (read: infotainment) reporter for E! or a writer for TV Guide Online‘s Watercooler column. I mean, get paid to watch TV and write about what I watched? Hello! TV Guide, call me! That said, I spent the weekend basically just catching up on sleep after getting home from my trip, so I’m finally starting to feel like I’m caught up on sleep.I’m trying to get motivated to watch some movies we rented through Netflix that I’ve left sitting on top of the DVD player for a couple of weeks now (sorry, honey). I think what’s been keeping me from watching them is that they are dramas, which is about all we’ve rented through Netflix. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the last one I watched, “21 Grams,” was a doozy. Definitely not a happy, feel-good movie. Although, I have to say, Naomi Watts is fast becoming an acting hero of mine. The woman is completely fearless and so able to become the character she’s playing that I find myself getting lost in her performances. That Oscar nomination for “21 Grams” was totally deserved. But now I need some comedy. I need to get these movies, including “Miller’s Crossing,” watched and sent back because “Starsky & Hutch” and “Dodgeball” are queued up next on our list. I’m especially looking forward to seeing “Dodgeball,” as I’ve heard how funny it is from several friends now. The commercial alone cracked me up, in particular the scenes of Justin Long getting bombarded with ball after ball. I wonder if ESPN2‘s viewership has increased for dodgeball tournaments. If they even broadcast that. Probably not.

I’ve also been cranky since reading yesterday that Tom Hanks is probably going to play Robert Langdon in the movie adaptation of The Davinci Code. Tom Hanks? I love him as an actor, I really do, but he is not Robert Langdon. Why not someone like David Duchovny? Or Cary Elwes? Or Dominic West? Those three actors better fit the book’s description, and my mental image, of course, of what the character is like. I think it’s a shame that director Ron Howard and his producing partner, Brian Grazer, feel like they need a big name to sell this movie to the public. The book has been on the hardcover bestseller lists for almost 90 weeks now. The story can sell itself without a big name attached. Ah, if only I were in charge of casting.

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Song Lyric of the Day:

I wanna stand up, I wanna let go / You know, you know – no you don’t, you don’t / I wanna shine on in the hearts of men / I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand

The Killers / “All These Things That I’ve Done”

Some random thoughts on movies.

  1. I wish more people had gotten the brilliance that was Wonder Boys.
  2. The ending of The Shawshank Redemption still makes me cry after countless viewings. Morgan Freeman was robbed of that Oscar.
  3. I will watch anything that Christopher Guest writes, directs, or stars in.
  4. Clue is one of my all-time favorite binky movies.
  5. Charlie’s Angels should have been left where it belonged – in the 70’s.
  6. After seven (to date) increasingly lackluster sequels (except H20), Michael Myers is still the boogeyman, and always will be. That mask scares me like nothing else.
  7. Seeing Carrie-Ann Moss in the original Matrix and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill made me want to learn how to beat people up and be able to look cool doing it.
  8. The Wachowski brothers should have left well enough alone and never made The Matrix into a trilogy.
  9. Brad Pitt is one of the most highly paid, high profile actors with one of the most lackluster movie resumes.
  10. Black Hawk Down made Saving Private Ryan feel like a cakewalk.
  11. Jennifer Lopez should never be allowed to act in a movie ever again. Or sing. Or get married.
  12. Disney royally screwed up that cushy Pixar deal.
  13. Basic Instinct 2? Et tu, Sharon?
  14. More directors need to rein Will Smith in and not let him be Will Smith in every one of his movies.
  15. I liked A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. I really did.
  16. Before I can call myself a true movie buff, I need to watch all the films on the AFI’s top 100 of all time list.
  17. The Taco Bell chihuahua’s talking mouth was better CGI than the Burly Brawl in The Matrix Reloaded.
  18. I hated Ocean’s 11. Enough with the “we’re such cool cats” setup already. Maybe Ocean’s 12 will find a plot.
  19. That giant breeze hitting us? That’s the collective sigh of relief that McG will not be allowed to touch the new Superman movie.
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean reminded me of why I wanted to marry Johnny Depp when I was younger. Before Winona Ryder came along and ruined everything.
  21. Clive Owen is too good to be the next James Bond.
  22. I will never get tired of Young Frankenstein.
  23. I can watch horror movies, good or bad, any time.
  24. People who cannot pronounce the names Sam Peckinpah, Martin Scorsese, Djimon Hounsou, or Keanu Reeves (among others) shouldn’t even try.
  25. After getting to see movies for free for 13 years, having to pay for them now sucks. Especially when the movie sucks, too.

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