Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Listing: Round It Up, Take Three

(A yearly must: Christmas in downtown Seattle)

We have all officially rang in 2013, and while I am excited to celebrate all of the new, I still want to spend one more moment on 2012 before we completely move on to the year in front of us.

Without further ado, a few more gems from 2012:


The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Even though I just saw this film over the weekend, it has many moments I can't stop thinking about, so I felt it needed to be included  in a year end, best of blitz. It also made me ugly cry, and you never forget the things that make you ugly cry.

First of all, it has a killer soundtrack. Naturally, the characters are all obsessed with music, which is often the requirement for breeding said brilliant soundtrack. I do love when people in movies just sit around talking about music, but for this story it has a purpose, as it weaves into the characters and even becomes the key to some of their secrets.

All that alone would fit my bill for a great flick, but, even through the intense nature in much of the story, I found every character to be entirely delightful and got quickly wrapped up in each of their lives. The two male leads (Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller) are particularly impactful

The fact that the author of the book (Stephen Chbosky) wrote the screenplay and directed the movie is rare, and something I also really admire. It's quite fantastic to give an author a way to tell the same story, but in a different way. I can just see Chbosky imagining filming those beautiful tunnel sequences as he was writing the novel.


The movie above and a certain TV show have several things in common; "Bland", of course, and for queuing the waterworks.

Although, there can be only one source of entertainment that tops the
"Ugly Cry Hall of Fame". Any fans of Parenthood know that during any episode of this show, without notice, tears will be falling from your face, so keeping a dry sleeve or a box of tissues handy is always necessary.

It's not just about the sadness though. This show is really fantastic in how it balances the extreme emotional hardships impacting the Bravermans (Iraq Vet Boyfriend, failed adoptions, cancer) with all of the great things that happen too (exciting business ventures, family dinners, marriages).

We all go through ups and downs, and no other show intertwines these better, all while still creating interesting stories that keep fans coming back for more.

Langhorne Slim - The Way We Move

This year may have been when every band had a banjo, but artists like Langhorne Slim have been rockin' that sound for awhile now. I still haven't stopped listening to his 2012 release, The Way We Move, and was lucky enough to see him in concert over the summer.

Man, this guy is great. Those simple words are all that come to mind once that vibrant and soulful tone starts going.

Jiro Dreams Of Sushi

Sushi is in the title and Jiro has dedicated his life to making it, but this gorgeously filmed documentary following his life isn't just for chefs, it can be an inspiration to anyone

The most hard working 85-year-old I have ever laid eyes on became a master sushi chef, his 10 seat restaurant has three Michelin stars, and he continues to work everyday, with the exception of begrudingly taking off holidays. He did what he loved and that was that.

Jiro chose a profession and continually worked at perfecting his craft. I think we could all be better in 2013 by looking at his example. I know I will. 

30 Rock

Liz Lemon got married in a Princess Leia costume. Nothing for a TV character has been more perfect.

We still have a few more new episodes in 2013 to hold on to, and I will grasp at every moment we still have of Liz, crazy Jenna, Dr. Spaceman, Tracy, Kenneth Ellen Parcell, and Jack. I will miss all of those kooks tremendously.

They actually named a character Criss Cross for crying out loud! Completely Brilliant.

The Lumineers - "Stubborn Love"

One of the new bands that burst onto the scene with banjo in hand were The Lumineers.

Their first release had me (and millions of others) at "Ho Hey", but turns out the rest of the album delivers much of the same sweet sounding melodies.

I appreciate any band that integrates a string section, so because of  some glorious back up violin and a catchy chorus, "Stubborn Love" is the song I can't stop listening to.

I think I will look back on 2012 with fond memories. It's an exciting (and somewhat scary) feeling to begin a new year, but it's always welcome. I never have really been big on "New Year's Resolutions", but there are things I'm thinking about changing.

For anyone giving something new a try this year, best of luck and on we go!

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