Monday, 6 January 2014

My Big List of Lists!

Hello again to my mom, my newly crowned fiancee, and my other 3 loyal readers.  I have been pretty negligent with my writing and for that I make a few excuses.  I have been busier this year it seems than I ever have before.  Between my family, my hobbies and my 2 jobs (yes, poker consumes my time)  I have had little time to sit and write.  I have lots of time for sitting but that time is devoted to other sitting related hobbies (thanks Sheila for introducing Candy Crush into my life!).  I had a great Christmas where I got to watch my children get spoiled and be appreciative of said spoiling.  The fun didn't end there as I proposed to my lady of 8 years on Boxing Day after we had both recovered from an unfortunately timed Christmas Day illness.  Seeing her eyes well up as I fumbled in my pocket is an image that I will never lose.  On that note, I present my big list of list for 2013.  Let's start it all off with a fun one.

My Favourite Personal Accomplishments of 2013

1)  Improved my health and fitness, at age 30 I am in the best shape of my life by a country mile.

2)  Coached Jasmine's soccer team for the seventh time.  I got to watch Jasmine become the best goaltender on the team while also leading the team in scoring.   My proudest moment came when she played all game in net, stifling the other team with numerous saves.  With 2 minutes left and the score at 1-0 against us, she waved frantically to me, and I replaced her in net with one of our other goalkeepers.  Jasmine proceeded to play the ball into the net with her knee just as the referee blew his final whistle.  The team got a chance to celebrate one of our few ties on the season to go with only a couple of wins.

3)  Read 23 books in 2013 including discovering a few life-impacting authors.  Armed with my new kindle I will pledge to top this in 2014.

4)  Completed the 10 km YMCA Road Race in June placing 14th out of 122 runners.  I will look to beat my time of 46 minutes in 2014.

5)  Established myself as a contributing member of my hockey team, currently ranked 2nd of 8 teams.

6)  Played competitive soccer for the first time since high school.  While our team struggled in the second half and failed to make the finals, I managed to hold my own.  I scored the best goal of my life, smashing a shot into the top corner from 20 yards out.  The strike surprised everyone, my team and myself included.

My Favourite 2013 Movie Releases

10)  "42" -- director Brian Helgeland

9)  "2 Guns" -- director Baltasar Kormakur

8)  "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2" -- director Cody Cameron

7)  "Despicable Me 2" -- director Pierre Coffin

6)  "The Heat" -- director Paul Feig

5)  "Prisoners" -- director Denis Villeneuve

4)  "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" -- director Francis Lawrence

3)  "The Conjuring" -- director James Wan

2)  "Mud" -- director Jeff Nichols

1)  "Captain Phillips" -- director Paul Greengrass

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:  The Croods, Gravity, Warm Bodies, Monsters University, The Great Gatsby, This Is The End

NOTE: I saw all of these movies in the theatre except for "Mud".  A few of these flicks got a higher rating due to the company I had at the theatre.  "2 Guns" was viewed with Sheila on our one and only movie date of the year.  #7 and #8 were watched with Jasmine who's thorough enjoyment does nothing but enhance the movie watching experience.  Interestingly, my favourite movie genre is typically comedy but it was a lean year for new releases.  I caught a few comedy flicks that were simply mediocre and didn't make the cut.  I would say the top 6 on this list are "must see" type of movies that you don't want to miss.

My Favourite Books That I Read in 2013

10)  To Kill a Mockingbird -- author Harper Lee (1961)

9)  Time Must Have a Stop -- author Aldous Huxley (1944)

8)  The Life of Pi -- author Yann Martel (2001)

7)  Fighting In Spain -- author George Orwell (1938)

6)  The Way of The Dog -- author Sam Savage (2013)

5)  What's Eating Gilbert Grape -- author Peter Hedges (1991)

4) The Plague -- author Albert Camus (1947)

3)  Native Son -- author Richard Wright (1940)

2)  The Stranger -- author Albert Camus (1942)

1)  One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest -- author Ken Kesey (1962)

NOTE:  While my reading pace slacked off a bit in 2013 I was able to discover a few great authors that had a profound impact on me.  Albert Camus who I discovered by chance in the library this summer seems to have struck gold with every piece he published.  George Orwell solidified his place as one of my favourites with his humourous account of his time in the Spanish War.  This has led me to an idea for another list.

My Favourite Authors EVER

8)  William Faulkner

7)  Kurt Vonnegut

6)  John Steinbeck

5)  J.D. Salinger

4)  Aldous Huxley

3)  George Orwell

2)  Albert Camus

1)  Truman Capote

Favourite TV Shows of 2013

10)  Saturday Night Live

9)  Mike and Molly

8)  Modern Family

7)  Brooklyn Nine Nine

6)  The Big Bang Theory

5)  Bob's Burgers

4)  Low Winter Sun

3)  The Goldbergs

2)  Parks and Recreation

1)  Breaking Bad

My Favourite Asherisms of 2013

1)  "I Wuvva Wu Daddy" 

2)  "Uh oh!  My ands is all gicky!"  (hilarious because I thought he was talking about his hockey stick, but was actually referring to his messy hands that I forgot to wipe for him)

3)  "Daddy!  Where is my gick that wu cut off for me to make little?"  (heard nearly daily before he goes searching for his hockey stick)

4)  "Tabby ho!"  (said before belly flopping onto whatever family member is in the way)

5)  "Daddy!  Take a pitcha me!"  (said while posing on the weight bench with his dumbbells)

My Favourite Sports Teams of 2013

5)  New York Islanders

4)  Vancouver Whitecaps

3)  Celtic FC

2)  Pittsburgh Pirates

1)  Prince George Spruce Kings

My Favourite Weight Lifting Exercises of 2013

5)  Bent Over Reverse Flys

4)  Dumbbell Flys

3)  Bench Press

2)  Concentration Curl Supersets

1)  One Legged Squats

My Favourite Female Comediennes of 2013

5)  Mary Padian -- I know, she isn't a "comedienne" but she is usually good for a laugh

4)  Kristin Wiig -- Not very busy in 2013 but her "Sound of Music" skit on SNL recently was great

3)  Cecily Strong -- My favourite of the current SNL cast

2)  Melissa McCarthy -- Continues to carry a really good sitcom on her back, she also starred in my favourite comedy film of 2013

1)  Amy Poehler -- Leslie Knope, that is all

My Favourite Albums of 2013

NOTE:  This one was the most difficult list to compile.  I have probably listened to close to 100 albums from 2013.  I wrote a shorter list of about 40 albums that I enjoyed, then I had to decide which ones I really fell in love with.  I obsessively listened to many other albums, but they were earlier releases that I recently discovered.  As I realized while making this list, my tastes have gravitated towards electronica and away from hip hop this year.  There is still some diversity to this list as you will see.

20)  Julia Holter -- "Loud City Song"

19)  One Direction -- "Midnight Memories" 

18)  Okkervil River -- "The Silver Gymnasium"

17)  Lindsey Stirling -- "Lindsey Stirling"

16)  The Mavericks -- "In Time" 

15)  Majical Clouds -- "Impersonator"

14)  Chvrches -- "The Bones of What You Believe"

13)  M.I.A. -- "Matangi"

12)  A$AP Rocky -- "Long Live A$AP"

11)  Icono Pop -- "This Is Icono Pop"

10)  A$AP Ferg -- "Trap Lord"

9)  DJ Koze -- "Amygdala"

8)  Daft Punk -- "Random Access Memories"

7)  Tegan and Sara -- "Heartthrob"

6)  RP Boo -- "Legacy"

5)  The Steeldrivers -- "Hammer Down"

4)  Laura Marling -- "Once I Was An Eagle"

3)  CoCo Rosie -- "Tales of a Grass Widow"

2)  Aoife O'Donovan -- "Fossils"

1)  Jagwar Ma -- "Howlin'"