For the fourth year in a row (and just under the wire), I’m trying to put together a best-of review. I’ll confess up front, I don’t remember reading one actual book this year, so that category is out. [Edit - 1/7] According to my Goodreads list, I did read two books in 2012: Patton Oswalt’s Zombie Spaceship Wasteland and a book written by a guy GG knows about his experience with IBS. Neither was super impressive, so the category is still out. [/Edit] I’m planning to get a Kindle soon (!), so hopefully I’ll have lots to choose from for 2013. 2012 seemed to come and go so quickly, I don’t even know if I remember what all I did/saw in these categories, but I’ll try.
Movie: The Cabin in the Woods
I have to just say, this was a really tough choice for me, as I saw some amazing movies this year: Cloud Atlas, Les Miserables, The Master… However, Cabin in the Woods was one of the most original movies I’ve ever seen. It really turned the horror movie genre upside down and inside out, and I have been recommending it to everyone since we saw it.
Runner Up: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Ok, maybe I’m going sort of lowbrow with my choices here, but I reward originality! Yes, this was based on a book, but the story was so original and really wove the vampire thing into actual history in a clever way. The special effects were also great, and I think this movie deserved more attention than it got. (Also, I guess Benjamin Walker is just doomed to play badass versions of former presidents.)
TV Show: The Office and 30 Rock
Both of these shows are in their final season and they’re tied for my top pick. The Office, I felt, was going downhill for a while but they’re really turned things around in this last season and the story is getting pretty good. Also, I love that they’re throwing in little meta comments – like a couple episodes ago, some of the characters were trying to find a private place to have a conversation, and one of them goes, “Well, a documentary camera crew has been filming our every move for the past nine years, but I think we’re safe here.” 30 Rock is consistently hilarous and has the funniest lines to quote, so I’m really sad to see it go, but you can tell all the actors probably want to move on to bigger things anyway. I just hope they reveal what the deal is with Kenneth!
Runner Up: Fringe – Also in its final season, but not by choice, so the story has to be quickly wrapped up, and it feels like it’s moving way too fast. I wish they’d let this show go on longer, because it’s awesome.
Album: Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid
Amazing, amazing, amazing. I would love to see her perform live (she was actually in Philly this year, but we had other plans). Definitely watch Janelle Monae, she is going places.
Runner Up: The Lonely Island, Turtleneck & Chain – Does this get an honorable mention because it was pretty much the only other album I bought this year? Perhaps. I think I like it less than Incredibad because there is more cursing, so it’s harder for me to sing along with, but musically it’s a step forward for them.
Restaurant: Poogan’s Porch
It’s hard to choose from among all the amazing places we ate this year, let alone on our Charleston trip, but this place wins for their amazing smoked gouda mac and cheese. Seriously, fly to Charleston right now and order a bowl, you can thank me later.
Runner Up: Amada – Second time on the list for this Garces Group restaurant, but it’s amazing and we ate here twice this year: once at the Revel Casino location when we were in Atlantic City, and once in December as GG’s Christmas gift to me (and, ok, for himself too).
GG and I took our first real vacation in several years, and GG told me on our last night there that it was the best vacation we’ve ever taken. We’re still talking about when we can get back. This trip had everything we like: food, historical stuff, food, sightseeing, museums, food, shopping, and food. Did I mention the excellent food?
Runner Up: Washington, DC – My only other overnight trip that was not work-related, but even this was work-related since I met up with some coworkers there. But we had fun doing the museums, and the weater turned out to be beautiful. I also had dinner with an old friend from elementary school who I hadn’t seen for years, so that was nice.