#10. Jamie Foxx & Kanye West at the MTV VMAs.
Before the lyrics "I ain't saying she a golddigga... but she aint messin' with no broke (broke)" became part of everyday lingo, there was the beginning. And during the 2005 Video Music Awards on MTV in late summer, out of the stage rose Jamie Foxx and Kanye West. The beat kicked in, they began to sing, and to me, it goes down as one of the coolest live performances I've ever seen. They were both perfect on beat, their moves were solid and the song was gold. Or golddiggin, I should say. Yes, yes, Kanye West is an idiot. And Jamie Foxx made "Stealth". But this night, they were perfect for about four minutes.
#9. Tyler Campbell.
He's the Sexy Beast. The inventor of the Depth Chart, the reason that Jamie is so conflicted within herself, the self proclaimed Sexy Beast... I am proud to say I'm related to him, at least through legal marriage lines anyway. Tyler... you're one of the top ten coolest things about 2005.
#8. Times Square at Night.
I've seen it twice before this year, first in 1998, then in 2002, but this year, it just seemed special. Time Square in New York City at night is one of the coolest places that exists in the world. The lights, the people, the taxi cabs, the sounds, the restaurants, the crappy pizza from Sbarros, the theater neons... its worth a trip just to see it once. I look forward to my fourth visit soon enough.
#7. Re-reading Harry Potter.
I love to read. I just dont have time to. But for three weeks this summer, I made time. I read all five of the previous Harry Potter books back to back to back to back to back, then immediately picked up the sixth one, The Half Blood Prince, and read it in two days. This in addition to all my other duties--namely two jobs, a dinner theater and a wife to tend to. Catching things I didnt remember, it was a joy to see it all over again... though the letdown after the sixth one was harsh... when suddenly I realized, there was nothing else to read. I am going to try to make this an event that happens at least every two years, if not every year.
#6. Kelly Clarkson.
I love this chick. At first, it was kind of a guilty pleasure... I mean, you aren't supposed to like her, as a guy anyway, right? And "A Moment Like This" and even "Breakaway" didn't help me like her. But "Miss Independent" from a few years ago struck a chord with me... and the trifecta of "Since U Been Gone", "Because of You" and of course, "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (ranked at #25 for the year) made me just love the original American Idol ever so much. And it helps that she's incredibly cute in a non-buleumic-pencilthin sort of way.
#5. The Sports Guy
He writes on ESPN.com, and has just released a book that I'm reading called "Now I Can Die In Peace." His name is Bill Simmons, and he's a diehard Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fan (yes, he's from Boston) and he's hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Many sports writers are funny, but he loves to use pop culture references, including a whole obit for Pat Morita, who played Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid movies. Simmons holds several theories (The Ewing Theory--when a team loses its star player due to trade or retirement, then goes on to win a championship, ie, the Volunteers winning a National Championship after Peyton Manning leaves) and wrote out the Vengeance Scale... Alanis Morrissette's Jagged Little Pill would have ranked higher but the rumor is that "You Oughta Know" was written about Uncle Joey from Full House. Kills me.
#4. Our Sunday School Class
Steph and I were looking for a class to go to, and in January 2005, God gave us one. We were introduced to Tebe and Tiffiany, James & Jessica, Willis & Meredith, Brett & Lindsay and even more. We were all strangers pretty much to begin with, but a year later we all have solid friendships and relationships, bible studies, accountability and of course, double date partners. Love these guys. And they are cool.
Oh mercy. Ne'r more have I been so riveted by a show as I have been with Lost. Never have I laid awake at night thinking about a show after I've watched it. The premise is simple... Oceanic Flight 815 goes down over a small island. Among the many characters is Jack, a doctor; Sawyer, a tough guy; Kate, a chick running from something; Charlie, the lead singer in the band Driveshaft--and a drug addict; John Locke, a strange guy who thinks of fate and destiny; Hurley, the big dude who says "dude" alot and has just had the best--and worst thing--happen to him; Jin & Sun, the Korean couple... and more. The island isnt what it seems, however, as they learn over Season One, and especially in Season Two. If you haven't watched this show, dont try it right now. You need to rent the dvds and catch up.
#2. Star Wars Celebration
For four days in April, myself, Mikey Nipp, Steph $, Steph R, Matt R, Tommy Mc and Ken Nipp immersed ourselves in all things Star Wars. That would be the National Star Wars convention in Indianapolis, Indiana's RCA Dome. There were costume contests, there were celebrities, there was lots of stuff to buy, there were shows, there was 10 minutes of sneak peek footage... I met Ray Park (Darth Maul) and the hot chick who plays Aayla Secura, and weird guy who played Kit Fisto and even more... spent way too much money. Even played in Attacktix tourney. It rocked. It was the 2nd most Cool Thing in 2005... right behind...
#1. The Coney Island Cyclone
Let me tell you the story... when I went to New York City in 2002, we did missions on the boardwalk of Coney Island. The coaster loomed in horizon of every thing we did, pretty much. I saw it. I wanted it. I wanted to ride it. We went to Astroland, the small amusement park that is adjacent to the Cyclone, and I had every intention to riding the coaster... and I ended up giving up the chance in order to ride some rides with a teenager we had met, in order to share Christ. Yes, it was worth it, but still... the coaster haunted me.
So in 2005, when the group from Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) went, I was going to ride it. I even had secret plans to sneak away on one of our free nights and go by myself if I had too--fortunately, I didnt have to.
On the Thursday night of our trip, myself, Natalie Valentine, Paula Mackey, Josh & Brandon Blackburn and Annalynn Harrington took a trip to Coney Island, had dinner at Coney Island, walked the boardwalk and through Astroland a bit... and then we went to the coaster. And I rode it. First in the 2nd row, then in the first row, then in the back. And it was rickety... compared to this, the Georgia Cyclone is an air glider. When you ride it for $5, your second trip is $4, then your third is $2. I would have ridden it again and again... except I had loaned Natalie some money, so I was out. But it was so worth it. And that is why the Coney Island Cyclone goes down as the Coolest Thing in 2005.