Everyone’s doing their Top 10 lists – not only for the year but for the entire decade of the aughts. While I’m firmly in the Americans-are-too-obsessive-about-stupid-lists camp, I’m only too happy to add to the noise. We may even have some best-of-decade lists coming soon to a blog near you (I at least want to do movies).
And now, in no particular order, and with the loosest of criteria, the Top 10 for 2009:
- Beemsville relocates to new worldwide headquarters.
A year or two earlier than we might have done; the real estate market and other factors (schools) put us in the market, and we’re happy to be in our new place. They say moving is stressful, and they’re right, but we had a lot of good help and little in the way of drama.
- First day of school for my little girl. A big day for all of us. I liked school so much, I ended up going for like 20 years. So far we’re really enjoying our Butler Elementary experience.
- Movies: Trek, Holmes, and Watchmen. My favorite three films from the year were all spawned from other media and/or established properties. Watchmen had some flaws but I really enjoyed the movie version of this, the first among graphic novels. With Star Trek, we get fresh life for beloved characters that makes the most of both old Trekisms and a new storline. Sherlock Holmes is as slick and cool as you like, with the detective-prime of fiction rising again (this time with kung-fu!) to provide high-grade Victorian entertainment.
- Blago impeached, booted, although he still managed to do the Democrats one last solid and install Roland ‘the Magic Man’ Burris in the U.S. Senate before his removal (said Magic Man represents a decisive vote in such matters as the recent Healthcare Thingie). Blago did more for men’s hair products than anyone. He also inadvertently exposed the dysfunctional corrupt state of Illinois government in such a way that we may finally be able to do something about it. Our state could be in worse shape (see California, New Jersey) but not much. Maybe next year’s elections will point us in the right direction.
- TV: The Wire. Sure, the series was over long before 2009, but with no HBO we actually sat down and watched all of it this summer. The Wire will top many critics lists for the decade, and with good reason. Essential viewing for anyone who likes crime/drama and quality television.
- Coaching the kids, not once but twice, with the kindergarten/preschool soccer leagues (five aside) in spring and fall. The Bandits and the Sidekicks may not have won many games, but yakity-schmakity, blah-blah, teamwork, have fun. Due to the vagaries of ‘kindergarten and under’ age guidelines, I had my three-and-a-half and five-year old on the same team this fall. That probably won’t happen again, but it was cool.
- World Cup Qualification, which for us included trips to Columbus for the Mexico game and to Chicago for the Honduras game, culminated with a clutch road win in San Pedro Sula. The final day of qualification was marred by Charlie Davies’ terrible car wreck and Oguchi Onyewu injuring his knee. Still, with the favorable and highly watchable draw we received for next summer, the U.S. should be focused on moving past the groups stage and making some noise in South Africa (assuming no one named Landon Donovan gets injured between now and then).
- Books: The Night Angel Trilogy, by Brent Weeks. It’s a little like Colt 45 – not all that good for you yet hard to resist and a lot of fun. I had issues with the first book, The Way of Shadows, and some of the sophomoric romance undertones of Shadow’s Edge, made me angry. Yet I’m nearly done with the third book, Beyond the Shadows, and I almost never read series/trilogies in a non-spread out fashion. These books don’t break much new ground, and yet they’re sword & sorcery with heart and (mostly) approachable characters.
- Work Stuff: not a lot of details I’ll go into here; suffice to say that my career became more interesting and rewarding this past year, and I continue to appreciate my co-workers, the work environment, and the mission. We did good work this year.
- Three Wolf Moon is more than just a kick-ass t-shirt, it’s a way of life. And much like Colt 45, it works every time. Like the return of the Marty McFly puffy vest to men’s fashion, like the return of the mustache, Three Wolf Moon, is proof positive that the red-blooded American’s time in the sun has not yet passed…
And so concludes our ad-hoc Top 10 for the year. Here’s hoping 2010 turns out well for you and yours. Happy New Year!