Thursday, December 06, 2007

best of 2007

The categories are: movies, music, books, tv and miscellaneous. I ranked my top 3 in each category, with some Honorable Mentions. One side note...I'm pretty slow when it comes to jumping on most bandwagons, so despite the fact that I have just discovered them this year, some of these might be old news to you. Sorry about that.

Okay, on to the list...

1)Reign Over Me

2007, in my opinion, an extremely disappointing year for movies. Honestly, I can't remember a worse year. With that said, these three were diamonds in the rough. Reign Over Me is one of my favorite movies of all time. Adam Sandler really ought to be recognized for his outstanding performance and receive an Oscar nod. I know that won't happen. But it should. He was truly incredible. I rarely cry at movies...but I've shed tears every time I've watched this. Honorable Mention: Bridge to Terabithia.

Side note: Knocked-Up, which also came out this year, is the worst movie I have ever seen. I mean that. It was neither funny nor entertaining in any way. I know, I know...what did I expect? Well, Betsy is a big Grey's Anatomy fan (Katherine Heigl stars in both) and I thought the trailers made it look half-way funny. Well, I was wrong. It wasn't half-way funny. It was all-the-way horrible.

1)"I Can't Make You Love Me" - Bonnie Ryatt
2)"Falling Slowly" - Once Original Soundtrack
3)"No One's Gonna Love You" - Band of Horses

I had obviously heard "I Can't Make You Love Me" before. But not until I was sitting in the Copper Cellar enjoying a plate of Calamari with Betsy...did I stop and listen and truly appreciate this song. I think it is absolutely perfect; from the melody to the production to Bruce Hornsby performance on piano. What can I say...this song's my jam.

1)The Forgotten Ways - Alan Hirsch
2)Son of Laughter - Frederick Buechner
3)The Chosen - Chaim Potok

This was, by far, my hardest list to compile. I have read so many good books this year. The Forgotten Ways, while reading a lot like a text book, is fresh and challenging. I have read plenty of books that diagnose what is wrong with the church. This is the first I've come across that actually addresses those problems and works towards practical and healthy solutions. And...I think I have a bit of a man-crush on Alan Hirsch.

The Son of Laughter and The Chosen are two exceptional pieces of fiction written by two exceptional authors.

I am pretty sure that Honorable Mention lists are not supposed to be longer than the actual list, but...

Christ the Lord - Anne Rice
The Confessions - St. Augustine
Reflection on the Psalms - C.S. Lewis
Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterston
No Man is an Island - Thomas Merton

1) Pushing Daisies
2) NFC & AFC Championship Games
3) 30 Rock

Pushing Daisies is, hands-down, my favorite show on TV right now. It is quirky, smart and unlike anything else.

The two Championship games? Well, in one the Bears won in the cold and the snow at Soldier Field. In the other, Peyton and the Colts came from behind to finally beat the...the...well, I can't remember the name of that silly team they beat, but it was awesome.

30 Rock, I actually started watching last year. But it has just recently passed The Office, as far as I'm concerned, as the funniest show on TV.

1)Trappist Ale
2)the morning

Trappist Ale is...well, ale brewed by Trappist monks. There is a whole lot more to it than that, but that's the gist. There are only seven monasteries in the world that are certified by the ITA (International Trappist Association) to brew Trappist Ale. I have tasted ale from all but two. I've begun collecting the bottles, glasses, etc. Its an odd hobby, but it is my hobby.

Before March, I had heard of this thing called "the morning"...but rarely experienced it. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed the evolution from night-owl to early-bird.

Lastly, something called Crossings happened this year. It's pretty cool.

Well, there you have Best of 2007 list. So, what did I forget?


Dustin said...

dude, you could have drug this out to like 8 or 10 days worth of stuff!

Which Trappist Ale's have you had? I have only had two as well. Rochefort and something I don't remember. Interested to hear what you have tried.

Dustin said...

oh yeah, Chimay! Which is pretty good on tap.

bill said...

know, dustin. i thought about that as i was posting it. too late now.

as for the Trappist Ale...I've had Chimay (blue, red & the triple), Rochefort (6, 8 & 10), Westmalle (dubble & triple), Westvleteren (12) and Orval.

i haven't had any Achel or La Trappe.

Dustin said...

oh, you've tried all but two! wow. nice work.

I had Chimay in tap at a bar in NYC. I just saw it at a bar here too a few weeks back.

ragamuffinminister said...

This year was definitely a down year for movies. But couldn't Transformers make your list???? I'm about to post my favorites and it's definitely on mine and ALL the cool people's lists.

Trappist Ales...never had one. Me thinks I should change that.

bill said...

i didn't see transformers. betsy and i just weren't in the mood for CG when it came out. i should watch it, though. i've heard good things.

and yes. you should. if you like trappist monks (which i know you do)...and if you like ale (which i also know you do). i think you'll like trappist ale.

plus the proceeds go to charity. for real. its not like the monastaries are in it to make a profit.

The Anonymous Human said...

I have no idea what a trappist monk is, but I'm gonna take a guess that they aren't married, which would rule me out in becomming one. However, if I could find a way to brew beer for charity, I'm pretty sure I would quite my job. That sounds like the coolest occupation in the history of the world.

"Hey little kid, I'm sorry you have cancer. Let me brew some beer so I can buy you some treatment."


Where was this on the list when I met with my High School guidance counselor. All I remember is them offering me was "Janitor" and "Engine Cleanor Testor". I'm pretty sure I would've noticed if "Charity Brewmaster" was on the list.

Speaking of lists, I'm definately going to have to agree with you on the movies. This year was pretty bad. My friend Tyler said that movies have gotten worse and will continue to get worse because the state of our morality continues to decline. Because we no longer know what to base what is right and wrong on, movies are becoming increasingly bad. I think it's an interesting point. Especially after seeing "No Country for Old Men" yesterday.

Dustin said...

So No Country For Old Men is bad??? I've heard nothing but incredible things about it. Tell me more!

ragamuffinminister said...

It's very rough. Dont' take your wives. I made that terrible mistake. And it's not quite as enlightening as people said it was.

It's certainly questionable as to what you really gain from watching it. I heard so many good things about it and after I saw it I was less than impressed. I've certainly seen better and more enlightening films.

Betsy said...

i'm going to go ahead and recommend darjeeling limited and lars and the real girl in this moment of talking about movies. bill, you left out the top three songs!!

bill said...

i did?

Betsy said...

im dumb.

Michael Krahn said...


I just put up a series of posts about Merton that I think you'd enjoy at:

The Anonymous Human said...

I'm a little more on the fence about "no country". I think I get what they are trying to do (I think) with the whole morality thing and the fate vs. freewill thing. But, I found myself going...okay. I wasn't too terribly impressed, but I did enjoy the film. I agree with Jeph though that there have been many more films that have left a bit more of an impression on me.

Anonymous said...

You forgot top 3 board games of the year.

The Anonymous Human said...

That's easy...

1) Cities of Catan
2)Nights of Catan
3)Seafarers of Catan

(Yes, I know that I am a huge giant nerd)

bill said...


i played Settlers of Catan this summer. i didn't get hooked.

but that might be because i got slaughtered. i tend to not like games that i get killed at right away. hence, i never got into James Bond or Halo. its not fun being the guy that pads everyone else's stats.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking Gaseous Gus.

michaelCODY said...

ooOOoh Transformers! *faint* I totally hearted that movie and can't wait for the 2nd and 3rd installments! How can you not see a movie of characters from your childhood?? Next up.. the Mr. Belvodere movie!

The Anonymous Human said...

Well, sourpuss, be that way. But you're missing out on some great 'gaming' action.

Oh, and on best movies, how'd you leave out 300? The story was great (and mostly true), the acting was fantastic, and the filmaking was groundbreaking.

Plus, it has boobs...

(that last part is a joke for any of you who don't know me)