Thursday, January 24, 2008

The 100 Coolest Things of 2007... 30 to 21

30. "Mythbusters"
This show is very, very addicting. I mean, very addicting. I think I've seen just about every episode at one time or another, and sometimes I even watch them over when there's nothing on.
For those of you not familiar, "Mythbusters" is a science reality show hosted by special effects and stunt experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, and assisted by Tory Belleci, Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, who is on the short list of "Hottest Chicks In the World Not Named Steph Leann or Ashley Judd."

Bottom line is, they prove or disprove common everyday myths, Hollywood myths and urban legends, such as proving that despite what you see in the movies, you can't kill someone in the head by shooting through a sniper lens, and you can't shoot a hole around your feet and fall through the wooden floor, but you can in fact fold paper more than seven times... if its big enough. Great show, Wednesday nights, Discovery Channel.

Interestingly enough, Mythbusters was the 95th coolest thing about 2005. Its really grown on me over the years.

29. "Ratatouille"
I didn't know what to expect when this film came out, but I knew it was coming from Disney and Pixar, so I thought it might be good... even though it was about a rat who liked to cook in France. But seriously, how good can a movie be, when its about a French cooking rat? As good as toys coming alive, as good as bugs who talk, as good as a lost fish, as good as monsters who scare kids in closets and as good as cars with eyes in their windshield.


Remy is a rat who gets seperated from his rat colony, after being discovered while he watched a cooking show in an old lady's house. He ends up befriending a young man, Alfredo Linguini, with no cooking talent, and takes it upon himself to live the cooking dream through Linguini. Of course, there's a conflict involving the restaurant, Remy, Linguini, the restaurant's chef, and a chick that Linguini has taken a liking to, Colette (voiced by Janeane Garofalo, in a role finally befitting the fantasy she spews on Air America).

I walked out smiling, happy and excited I had gone to see this movie... even more so, I was so pleased at how much I liked this flick, when I didn't know anything about it. Check it out, enjoy it, and if you dig the Pixar, you'll dig this one too.

28. Jason & Katie Roberts
You know, there are just some people you connect with... as in, just some people you just naturally get along with. We discovered this in our Sunday Sch... er, Life Connection, when we became good friends with James & Jessica Hawbaker (the #22 coolest thing about 2006), among others. We miss our Hawbakers, 'cause they began attending another church, and we just don't get to see them enough.

Enter Jason & Katie Roberts, who also joined our Sunday, Life Connection class at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship), and somehow, we just connected. As you're supposed to do in life. Life Connection. Right, you get it, I know.

Anyway, JR and KT don't replace James & Jess by any means... its not as if they are the Hawbakers 2.0 or anything, they are just two great people that we really get along with, that we really enjoy being with and I think we find alot in common with. He's into Dave Ramsey, she digs Scrubs, and they are both going with us to Stamford, CT, in March for a mission trip.

What I love about them is that they are so real, and they know they aren't perfect, and they are okay with that. They are good folk... in face, two of the coolest people of 2007.

27. "Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix"
The most anticipated movie of 2007, as I stated in January. Its my favorite of the books, with my favorite all time scene of any of the Harry Potter, which is the Battle at the Ministry. The book is feeee-nominal, and the movie is good. Great even, but not as great as I wanted it to be.

Its not as great, but I don't know how it could have been... the book is forever long, so a movie closer to the book would have been, like, nine hours long (not that I would have had a problem with that), but I know that's not feasible. It does cut out much of the book, but the movie is still well worth the effort... in no small part due to Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood. Very few characters and voices I like better in the movie than I do in Jim Dale's brilliant audiobook series, but I loved Evanna Lynch in this film.

evanna lynch
Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood, looking at thestrals

I will say, though, that I hope that Bonnie Wright looks older in the new flick, "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince", because when she and Harry kiss, I don't want it be all creepy and stuff, 'cause Harry looks old.

26. Dinner at Archibald's
Here's what I said on November 9th:

If you're in Tuscaloosa and you want some BBQ, don't go to Dreamland. Go to Archibalds. I was helping train new Starbuckians for the new store in T'town last week, and decided to visit my brother-in-law Tyler on campus, and his roomdawgs, Trey, Jonathan and Stephen.

After killing time and watching two or three episodes of "Family Guy", we were hungry. I suggested Archibalds. I don't know where I'd heard it, but I had heard it was really, really good. It was later I realized that I had seen it on ESPN's College GameDay, where Todd Blackledge has a weekly segment where he visits local restaurants and such.

Anyway, after Tyler drove us around in circles for 30 minutes, we found it. It's this hole in the wall restaurant, where Archibald, this large, old black man, serves BBQ out of the pit that's actually in the wall. The building itself is really not bigger than a regular trailer.Stephen, Jonathan, Trey, Archibald, myself and Tyler. Oh, Archibald is the big black man in the middle. But the food was cheap.


For just over 8 bucks, I got a big plate with four ribs and a BBQ pork sandwich, and a 20 ounce Mountain Dew. None of us, not me, nor Stephen, nor Jonathan, nor Tyler, nor Trey said much as we chomped our food. Seems the place has been around for at least 47 years, when he took over for his daddy. He laughed heartily, and seemed to enjoy the fact we were a bunch of young bucks--even me--eating in his restaurant. A good time was had by all. And I was full. And it was nice.

25. Chris Hansen & "To Catch a Predator"
Its a series of reports on Dateline NBC, they do a show called "To Catch a Predator", where they have guys come in to a kitchen, expecting to find a little girl or boy to... well, to get freaky deaky with.

Working with law enforcement in the area, plus Perverted Justice, what happens is someone pretending to be 12 to 14 years old goes into a chatroom... never do they approach anyone, but usually they are inundated with chat requests from older guys. Once in a chat, they never bring up sex, but usually it leads to that, from whoever the old guy is. The "child" agrees to meet the older guy, with the intention of gettin' it on, and when the guy shows up in the home, Chris Hansen walks out, simply saying, "Hi, why don't you have a seat right there?"

Very seldom do they run... they usually sit down, to which Hansen replies, "Wanna tell me what you are doing here?" which is met with something like, "Oh, I'm here to meet a friend", or "Um, I'm here looking for work" or "I wanted to come warn them about the dangers of the internet!"... yes, I've heard all of those.

Then Hansen says, "Do you know how old she is?"
"Um... 18, I think..." or "Oh, she didn't say" or "She said 14, but I knew she was lying..."

Then, Chris Hansen pulls out the transcript. One thing leads to another, Hansen talks to them for a while, usually they end up begging to be let off the hook, sometimes they say they've never done this before, or will never do it again, or how they weren't going to do anything, and this is wrong what's happening...

You know, I hear sometimes that what Dateline and Perverted Justice does is wrong, perhaps borderline illegal, how they "trap" these guys, or how they "lure" these guys in... seriously, though... these are guys who going into chat rooms for the expressed purpose of having sex with a girl--or boy--13 or 14 year olds old, then they agree to come to the home of this said child to meet them and do just that very thing. There is no "trap" or "lure". These guys are sick. And its enjoyable as heck to watch them get nailed.

It can be disturbing, though... there was one guy who brought his own three year old son on a rendezvous with who he thought was a teenage boy, and another older guy who was a rich, successful doctor, calling his wife to say, "Honey... I've been arrested. Call the lawyer. No, I'll explain it to you later."

25A. "To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids From Online Enemies Already in Your Home" by Chris Hansen (the book)
This is the companion book to the Dateline NBC series, written by Chris Hansen from his own experiences as host of these reports.

The book goes a little more in-depth, from the early shows when they weren't working with law enforcement to the later shows, when men were getting arrested left and right. It addresses controversy from the critics, and tells more of the stories of the men (and using all the language, so be warned).

What gets me, though, is the story of police sergeant Rick Woody, who thought he was doing everything right with his kids... only to find out that his daughter Kacie had been talking online to a 17 year old named Dave from California... who was actually a 49 year old who stalked, kidnapped from her own bedroom and killed Kacie. Its a painful story to hear...

The book is very eye opening, with lots of stats and such, and considering its from the DNC-TV, that being NBC, its pretty good news.

24. "The Holiday"
I loved this movie. I really did. The more I watch it, the more I like it. It's kind of a silly premise, really, where two women--Kate Winslet at her most beautifully natural and Cameron Diaz, whom I've never been enthralled with but still looks charming here all the same--on different sides of the world both get racked by love.

Meeting on the internet on some swap-houses kind of deal, they agree to swap homes... Iris (Winslet) flies to Los Angeles to stay at Amanda's (Diaz) home, and Amanda flies to Surrey stay in Iris' little cottage. And of course, both find romantic interests, Amanda with Graham, played by an utterly charming Jude Law, and Iris with Miles, who is played by Jack Black.

Yes, that Jack Black... whats great about Jack Black here is that he's not so serious that we can't take him seriously, but he's just serious enough that we aren't laughing at him the whole time... in other words, he's perfect.

kate and jack
Somehow, the words "Jack Black" and "Romantic love interest" don't seem to fit... but here, they do

Anyway, the movie is funny and cute and sweet and all of the things you need to keep your chick happy, but filled with enough fun stuff to keep the guy happy too. Yes, its a Christmas movie, but really, "The Holiday" can be enjoyed anytime. Plus, its got Kate Winslet, and I luvs me some Winslet. I mean, had God worked it out differently where The Lovely Steph Leann would have gone out with Colin Firth, then I probably would have dated Kate Winslet.

23. Troy Whups Oklahoma State
Here's the highlights:

  • Troy is 2-0 versus the Big XII at home
  • We met Chi Omegas
  • We discovered Sweet Sweetback's BadA******** Song
  • We shouted "Boomer Sooner" to the OK St team

And here's the full blog, if you're interested

22. Ann Coulter vs. Elisabeth Edwards
So, on June 26th, I'm sitting in the room flipping channels and I come across DNC-TV, aka MSNBC. There sits Ann Coulter, and anytime I see Ann Coulter, I stop flipping and start paying attention. I love Ann Coulter. She says what we're all thinking.

She's on the show with Chris Matthews, and they are talking about the recent shot she took at John Edwards in calling him a "faggot". Actually, at a Conservative Political Action Conference she said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the world 'faggot' so I -- kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards." Kinda wrong. Funny but wrong.

Anyway, she's on Matthew's show, "Hardball", and she's talking about it, unapolagetically, when who calls in to argue? Well, John, of course, right? He's got to call and defend himself. No, no, its John's wife Elizabeth.

And it went something like this:
Liz Edwards: I'm calling you … in the south when we -- when someone does something that displeases us, we wanna ask them politely to stop doing it. Uh - I'd like to ask Ann Coulter -- if she wants to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- um but uh it's quite another matter for these personal attacks that the things she has said over the years not just about John but about other candidates -- it lowers our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. So I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely stop the personal attacks.
Ann Coulter: OK, so I made a joke -- let's see six months ago -- and as you point out they've been raising money off of it for six months since then.
Chris Matthews: This is yesterday morning, what you said about him.
Ann: I didn't say anything about him actually either time.
Liz: Ann, you know that's not true. And once more its been going on for sometime.
Ann: I don't mind you trying to raise money. I mean it's better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor.
Liz: I'm asking you
Ann: Just to use my name on the Web pages…
Liz: I'm asking you politely…
Ann: …but as for a debate with me, um yeah, sure. Yeah, we'll have a debate
Liz: I'm asking you politely to stop personal attacks.
Ann: How bout you stop raising money on the Web page then?

What she's getting at is simply how the Edwards went crazy over a joke, then proceeded to use Ann Coulter and her joke on every fundraiser letter and website they could, to raise money for the upcoming presidential race.

So, let's see... if you're a Democrat, you can call Rush Limbaugh listeners "legally retarded" (as posted on his Wikipedia page), you can call Justice Clarance Thomas a "handkerchief-head, chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom" (Spike Lee) or say that "Uncle Tom [Colin] Powell Stumps for Massah Bush" (The Daily Kos, a liberal news site), you can call Condi Rice "Brown Sugar" (liberal cartoonist Garry Trudeau), you can call our military murders, killers and rapists (John Murtha and John Kerry, who incidentally served in Vietnam) and you can call our president a nazi (George Soros, a liberal fundraiser and Clinton backer)...

However, as a Republican, if you call anyone on the left anything, be it joke, serious, or challenge their ideals, you are racist, you are bigoted, you are sexist, you are homophobic, you are taking money out of the pockets of the poor, you are giving money to the rich and you have stocks in Halliburton.

Oh, here I go again...

21. Tanya Stephens
Back when we were first looking for a house, we were deciding whether to go it alone or get a realtor. We figured it would be best to get a realtor, when we knew that there was so much we didn't know--heck, we didn't even know what we didn't know, especially as first time home buyers.

We bandied about names, got recommendations, and wondered whether it would be a good idea to go with a friend.. after all, if it went south, we would hurt a friendship, right? But on the other hand, we wanted someone we could trust completely, someone with our interests in mind, not just how much their commission check would be...

And so we called Tanya Stephens. We've known her for a long time, she's a single mom who works two jobs to make ends meet, and she has a passion for real estate... and when we asked her if she'd be our realtor, she enthusiastically said YES!

Tanya and I, outside of Moe's

Over the next few months, we would meet up, she would take us to houses, and she began to get a feel for what we were looking for in a home. We went out looking at homes several times, each one either Steph Leann liked, or I liked, or neither one liked, but none that we both just loved. So, when we found The Cabana, which is the new name for the house we're moving into, we were thrilled... and so was Tanya.

We've been able to call her whenever, ask questions, and she does her job--and her love for us helps her do her job better. Along the way, we've watched her grow in her own life, as she's engaged now, and truly, there are few people in the world that deserve as much as Tanya does to be happy.

We love you Tanya!!

Upcoming... Babies! Disney! The Fray! What a list! Mamma Mia!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! I'm excited to see "The Cabana" live and in person!! I'm so happy for you and Steph!!!


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