Favorite Things of 2008

In no particular order…

Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man.

Iron Man – Some people will go with The Dark Knight, but I’m sticking with Tony.  Iron Man is the most enjoyable film of 2008 and the most fun movie I’ve seen in awhile.  Films like this are why I love movies;  it’s packed with insane action, honest humanity, sharp dialogue, and Favreau makes it all feel effortless.  Throw in Downey’s hilarious and transformative performance, and you’ve got something pretty amazing.

Gizmo, Dragon and Pippin.

Kittens – Jenn and I adopted three New Jersey alley kittens back in September.  Hungry and scared, covered in fleas with ears full of mites, we didn’t know if Gizmo, Dragon and Pippin would make it to the next morning.  It didn’t take long for them to settle into their new home, and their shaky legs soon grew into furry springboards.  Now they’re a tiny wrecking crew that destroys anything in its path.  The curtains live in fear, but we adore our kittens anyway.  They’re awesome.

Menomena – I guess Friend and Foe came out in 2007, but it’s been stuck in my CD player for most of 2008.  Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes festive, always interesting, it’s a phenomenal album that Modest Mouse and The Shins fans will dig.  “Evil Bee” haunts me, and “Wet and Rusting” might be my new favorite song.  I can’t get enough of these guys, and you need to check them out.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park – When Jenn and I drove cross country from Santa Monica to Milford, we made a few stops along the way.  The highlight had to be the alien landscape known as Arches National Park.  Dehydration headache aside, we had a really great time exploring and taking pictures.  There might still be hope for Utah.

Sleepwalk with Me – I first saw Mike Birbiglia open for Nick Swardson and Jamie Kennedy many years ago.  He put them both to shame back then, and he just keeps getting better.  All of his comedy albums are worth your dollar, and his Comedy Central specials much be watched.  His Off-Broadway one-man-show Sleepwalk With Me is the best thing he’s done, and that’s saying a lot.  In addition to being a fascinating exploration of his life and struggles with his sleep disorder, it’s completely hysterical.  The show is currently running at Bleecker Street Theatre in NYC through March 2009.  Not to be missed.

Barack Obama – In just a few days, we get a new president.  I don’t need to go on about what an historic election it was, but I haven’t cried like that since I don’t know when.  Watching our officials fleece our country and pillage the world these past eight years, it’s been tough to feel good about being an American.  Obama has turned that around.  He’s taken us from frustration and despair to something else: hope. Hope for our country, hope for our future, hope for peace.  It’s a lot, but I really believe he can deliver.