Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best and Worst of 2011

I love lists!  I'm a little late with this one, but I'm having trouble getting going so far in 2012.  Something about all that creativity and vacationing from my problems in December of 2011.  I should go back and look closer, but I won't.  This is mostly off the top of my head.

Best TV - Maybe it's because the second season starts on Sunday (PBS) and I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm going to give it to Downton Abbey.  I thought I was just getting into another "bonnet" movie, but it was so different and interesting and thought-provoking.  And beautiful!  It's created by Julian Fellows, the same man who did "Remains of the Day."  There are so many brilliant performances, but all you really need to know is Maggie Smith is in it.  Also, the first season takes place just before World War I.  The first scenes are the family's reaction to the Titanic sinking.  Amazing how just changing the time period to something we're not used to seeing made the whole story fresh.

Worst TV - This is tough.  I don't watch a show more than once if it's The Worst.  We got rid of a bunch of channels early in the year, so I didn't have the option of getting caught up in a Real Housewives of Crazytown marathon or any of the Kardashian nonsense.  (Man!  That family is THE WORST.  I so do not care about anything they do or say.  They should go away.)  I set my DVR to record the premiere of "Ringer" - a show that looked kind of promising.  It ended up being unintentionally hilarious and I quickly took it off the DVR schedule.  The tipping point for me was Sarah Michelle Gellar in a boat with herself, obviously filmed in a big water tank in a studio somewhere, going top speed with her hair not moving a muscle.  Then she took a nap (?) and when she woke up, on the boat, her "sister" was gone!  GONE!  And for some reason it was the funniest scene ever.  Missed again, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Best Book I Read in 2011 - I usually read a lot.  (I plan to do more in 2012 because Brian gave me a Kindle Fire for my birthday.  Weee!)  I did not read a lot in 2011.  I did, however, read Bill Bryson's book "At Home" and LOVED it.  He details the history of each room in a typical home and how it has evolved over the last thousand or so years.  It was so much fun to learn where phrases like "room and board" came from.  (The host used to offer a room and an actual board to put on your lap so you could eat your dinner off it.)  The book also let me off the hook from making homemade bread if I don't feel like it.  Speaking of wheat, Bryson writes, "Somebody must first separate out the grain and grind it into meal, then convert the meal into flour, then mix that with other components like yeast and salt to make dough.  Then the dough must be kneaded to a particular consistency, and finally the resulting lump must be baked with precision and care.  The scope for failure in the last step alone is so great that in every society in which bread has featured, baking has been turned over to professionals from the earliest stages."  I love it!  Bryson tickles my funny bone.

Worst Thing I Read in 2011 - This is ongoing, actually.  Most of the flyers that come home from kindergarten with Bridget contain spelling errors.  Her teacher is doing a fantastic job and I love it and Bridget loves school.  If only someone spell checked these things!  They're not even real words - surely the computer underlined them.  Sigh. 

Best Wisdom from Bridget - She blows my mind almost every day, but one of my favorite things Bridget said last year was about one of her classmates who never gets "green tickets."  (When the kids do something good, they get a green ticket to go in a drawing for a dollar store prize at the end of the week.)  Being cheeky, I said this little girl must be naughty if she never gets a green ticket.  Bridget responded, "She's not naughty, she just makes bad choices."  Whoa.

Worst Diaper Blow Out - This is quite an accomplishment.  There were so many incidences to choose from and both Emil and Colin really made an effort in this category.  We can only have one winner, though, and that was Emil B.  I was parked in front of the house where Bridget takes swimming lessons and there was poop all over Emil's car seat, his clothes, his body...  I used an entire to-go package of wipes.  Once he was all cleaned up and I had them in the stroller to see the last five minutes of Bridget's lesson, I had to put him back in a poopy car seat that I couldn't quite get completely clean with no wet wipes.  The final insult was me driving away without my precious stroller that I cannot live without.  (Brian picked it up later in the day because I called him with an hysterical tone in my voice.  It was the straw that broke this camel's back, I tell you!)  So, Emil is the winner even though Colin had an epic blow out in the middle of the night and he had to take a bath, also in the middle of the night.  He should have known - public blow out beats blow out within walking distance of a tub every time.

Best Movie (Kid's Choice) - We discovered some fun stuff this year; "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", "Megamind", "Tuck Everlasting" (I had to "accidentally" delete that one after so many viewings), Shreks 1-4 (sigh).  I asked Bridget what her favorite was and she said "How to Train Your Dragon."  It would be something different if I asked five minutes from now, but we'll go with that.  I wish I liked the voice of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel).  It sounds like he's imitating Christian Slater, who sounds like he's imitating Jack Nicholson.  No. Just... no.

Worst Movie (Kid's Choice) - I'm not even going to ask Bridget, it had to be "Despicable Me."  We saw it at the dollar theater and then rented it and both times Bridget paid NO attention to it.  Because it was boring and not funny, that's why.  The only parts that you'd even smile at were in the trailer.  So it could have been a two and a half minute movie.  Booo. 
Best Movie - Like I said, we mostly saw movies on DVD and we did see "True Grit" at the dollar theater (shout out - again), which I enjoyed.  I'm going to say it was "The Adjustment Bureau" because I didn't expect it to be good and it was!  I often think about what my life would be like if I'd taken a different path.  I don't wish I had taken a different path - I just think it would be interesting to see what it would look like.  And I think I've said it before, I'll watch anything with Matt Damon in it.  (Although, what was up with Fat Matt Damon most of last year?  It was the haircut!  Never have big hair, Matt Damon.)

Worst Movie - Tron:Legacy.  There, I said it.  No amount of 1980s nostalgia makes this movie good.  The Dude didn't make this movie good.  It was stupid, it was long, the main character ("actor" Garrett Hedlund) could have been played by an orange on a stick.  But the worst part was taking that movie back to Blockbuster (yes, we're the last people on earth who still use Blockbuster) and it was on all the TVs there.  AH!  I made small talk (or so I thought) with the kid ringing me up and sympathized with him that they had to watch Tron:Legacy all day.  Mistake.  He thought it was awesome and proceeded to explain the first Tron and then give me the low down on Tron:Legacy.  It's too late!  I've already seen it!!  And now I hate it even more.

I guess I know now why I don't do review posts very often anymore.  Three days!  But it's my favorite (that and smiling, of course).  Thanks for indulging me.


Jess said...

My kids love "Despicable Me." Maybe it's because my brother is kind of like Gru... I know it sounds odd. :) I don't like Hiccup's voice either. That was unfortunate, because that was a great movie.

KQ said...

I've missed your funny reviews. I just figured with the twins around now you didn't have to time to read or watch tv/movies this year. :)

Jill said...

This was a great list, and I agree with most things on it, especially Downtown Abbey. I bought the first season for myself for Christmas. Can't wait for Sunday.

Plus, I'm like you, I would see anything with Matt Damon.

I order "At Home" already. Any recommendation from you I would like.

Sorry about the blow outs. Those are the worst!

Ashley said...

Blegh. Last year we went on a trip with some friends and had all our rooms connected. I was so excited to get kids in bed and play games all night. Somehow we ended up watching a movie instead. Tron! So it ruined what could have been a perfect game night AND it was Tron. I've never been so mad at a movie for wasting my time.

I'll have to check out this Downtown Abbey, I'm out of shows!

allyn said...

cracking me up! aron' has his phone alarm set so we don't miss downton abbey. lilja saw the picture of bridget and said "look at her bus driver!" hahaha. i had almost the EXACT experience at blockbuster when trying to make small talk with the cashier guy. also, i love matt damon and emily blunt. why don't i know this movie? it's on the que.

an orange on a stick. i will laugh for ever on that one.

Jen said...

"Look at the bus driver" Hahaha...he is an unusual looking bus driver. Madly in love with Downton Abbey, but I have to say I'm confused about Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon. My family had the opposite feelings toward both. Different stages, I guess!