Sunday, January 18, 2009

The 100 Coolest Things of 2008... 60 thru 51

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Are you new to the blog? Click here to find out what the heck this is all about.

And we'll continue our annual list of the Top 100 Coolest Things of 2008...
The Introduction and Recap
The 100th thru 91st Coolest Things of 2008
The 90th thru 81st Coolest Things of 2008
The 80th thru 71st Coolest Things of 2008
The 70th thru 61st Coolest Things of 2008

WARNING... There are three videos that I would rate as PG-13 on today's blog. You can probably find uncensored versions of them on YouTube, but the ones you'll see here aired on network tv at one time or another--including the "F" word being bleeped about, oh, four dozen times. So, Emmy Turnbow, it might be good to not click on the videos involving Matt Damon & Ben Affleck...

60. Melissa Robillard
She's the WalkAbout mom of the year (last year's honor went to Paula Maddox, one of The Coolest Things of 2007). Anyway, she rocks. I (heart) this chick.

59. "Carrie" by Stephen King
Having been an avid reader of Stephen King since I was in junior high school, I've read just about all of his early works--"Firestarter", "Pet Semetary", "Christine", "Night Shift" and more--but somehow "Carrie" evaded me. Strange, because its one of his thinnest novels, and really, took about two days, mostly because I read 30 minutes here, 20 minutes there and so on.

Carrie is a strange little book. Its almost pieced together like a scrapbook, and were it made into a movie other than the John Travolta/Sissy Spacek classic, it might have been a docu/mockumentary of some sort. Filled with fictional documents, it uses "interviews", "book excerpts", "transcripts" and "newspaper clippings" that give the background of the "tragic events of Chamberlain, Maine", all to tell the story of Carrie White, a lonely 17 year old girl who has special telekentic powers that she is only beginning to understand.

She's tormented by her classmates and even worse, tortured by her crazy mother. Anyway, it progresses on and on, until a prank goes awry and gets carried away at prom, and Carrie decides "enough is enough".

I also said this on November 19th... I dare say despite all of King's bad guys in all of his books, Chris Hargensen may be the most rotten villian overall... she's not possessed, she's not risen from a grave, she's not a zombie... she's just really, really mean.

If you like horror novels, give it a read.

58. Investigation Discovery
The Discovery Channel has lots and lots of offshoot channels on expanded cable, like Discovery Health, Discovery Science, Discovery Kids, Discovery Food, Discovery Global Warming, Discovery Britney Spears and more... but my favorite? Investigation Discovery.

Anyone who has read this blog for very long will know my love for forensic shows and crime documentary stuff... this channel is chock full of them. Twenty four hours a day of shows like "Solved", "Most Evil", "Justice Files", "The New Detectives" and even better, repeats of "48 Hours" (they have relabeled them "48 Hours: Hard Evidence) and of course "Dateline NBC".

The Lovely Steph Leann and I have about 877 channels on DirecTV right now, and a year later, I have yet to learn most of the numbers. I know ESPN is 206. I know USA is 242. I know The Travel Channel is 277. I know the movie channels start with HBO on 501. And I know that Investigation Discovery is on 285. I know this because I watch it often.

57. "The Green Mile" by Stephen King
I know, I know, we've already had a King novel on this same post, and yes, I'll admit, I have read this before (this issue will pop up again later), but here's what I wrote on November 19th:

After I finished "Carrie", for some reason, I immediately went to "The Green Mile". This was a novel that came out in the mid-90s, in a style that was a throwback to the way many books were published... a few chapters at a time.

The first book, "Two Dead Girls", was only about 100 pages and I remember buying it in Troy's Wal-Mart in March of 1996. I was intrigued because it was so small, and figured I could read it pretty quickly--which I did. The next book, "The Mouse on the Mile" came out at the end of April, and so on monthly, until the final volume, Part 6, "Coffey on the Mile" was released in August of 96.

I remember liking the story a whole lot back then, and was excited to pick it up again. And it was amazing. Seriously... I don't remember much of what I re-read, perhaps having seen the movie so many times. By the way, the movie is just incredible too, a Dave100 pick, so I highly recommend it.

But the novel goes into so much more detail, as novels tend to do as they've got a length advantage over movies. You get more backstory, you care more about the characters, and though I still could see Tom Hanks and David Morse in the part of Edgecombe and Brutal, the best... worst... part was Percy Whitmore. He perhaps rivals Chris Hargensen as the meanest King villian, even worse that Wild Bill in the story.

56. Leading FPU Again
I love Financial Peace University. In 2008, The Lovely Steph Leann and I became debt free, and part of it was due to what we had learned from Dave Ramsey's ministry, including what we went through in Financial Peace University, ie, FPU.

Over several years now, we've been able to not only put people through it, but help to lead it in small group settings as well. It seems like each week gets better than the previous, each year gets better than the last. And this year, I was lucky/blessed enough to not only share my testimony, but help guide my friends Croyle & Britlicious. KT and J Rob, Paulie Walnuts & Sammi, but I also got to lead a group that include more friends, including Little Sister Ashley.

The bonus was the new people I met, including sister of Amy Mac, that being Jenn Smith, and her husband Michael. I was able to get Jenn a job later at The Happiest Place in the Mall a few months later, and a friendship was cemented.

Wanna know how the Financial Peace Plan works? Ask. I'd love to see you be debt free too.

55. "Grey's Anatomy"
The Lovely Steph Leann and I have a DVD tradition with a few shows, as in, we don't watch them on network tv, we wait until the season comes in, then watch the whole season over the course of a few weeks, as in the case of CSI... or in a few days, as in the case of "Grey's Anatomy".

Patrick Dempsey, a charter member of The Colin Firth Club, keeps The Lovely Steph Leann paying attention, while I can never decide between Christina, Meredith or Izzie... actually, I don't know who is hotter, or if any one of them are even attractive--its The McGriddle Effect in full effect, really...

The McGriddle Effect garners its name from my first time eating a McDonald's McGriddle breakfast sandwich. Its the weirdest thing, because you can taste the syrup filled pancake that makes the sandwich, and you can taste the sausage, and you can even taste the egg, and seemingly all at the same time. And I can't decide if its absolutely amazingly good... or one of the worst things I've ever eaten. There is no in between. Its not "eh" or "alright" or "so-so"... its either delicious or disgusting, and I am just not sure which one it is.

Such it is with Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompeo. Personally, Kate Walsh, a one time Ashley Judd Club finalist, beats them all, but she was siphoned off to another show, "Private Practice" that I have tried to watch, but just don't care enough about.

Its the ending to Season 4, which we watched in pretty quick time

54. I'm... Matt Damon/I'm... Ben Affleck
So, in 2007, comedianne Sarah Silverman came on the Jimmy Kimmel Live late night show... she and Kimmel were dating at the time (I think they broke up) and she reveals that she... well, she and Matt Damon were together at one time. And another. And another.

Anyway, the language--lots of it--is bleeped out, which is why I'm okay posting it here... and maybe its bad that I think its hysterical (most things are, really), but wow, its hysterical.

So then, Jimmy Kimmel fires back. And he fires back bigtime... with Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz and an entire group that resembles USA for Africa during "We Are the World"... and Ben Affleck.

wondering where it is? well, when i post a video, i always make sure i check the quality of the clip on the site before i finish... and so i watched both videos, laughed again, and then noticed after the videos, the description of the video was right there, complete with the F-bomb and everything. i just felt funny leaving that there, so i pulled the videos down... however, if you go to YouTube and search "matt damon sarah silverman" and "jimmy kimmel ben affleck", you'll find it. just remember it is NOT SAFE FOR WORK or Emily Turnbow.

53. "Quantum of Solace"
For the record, I've never been a huge James Bond fan. I guess the early movies with Connery and Roger Moore were decent enough, but I thought Timothy Dalton was a terrible choice. Pierce Brosnan was pretty good, I guess, but it took Daniel Craig to actually turn me into a Bond fan.

"Casino Royale" was excellent. And "Quantum" was just as good, possibly better. Lots of action, very little of the silliness that makes Bond movies sometimes, like the goofy gadgets, the improbable cars and such... and perhaps the hottest Bond girl ever, Strawberry Fields.

Earlier today, I was coming downstairs to DVR the Baltimore/Pittsburgh game only to find The Lovely Steph Leann already setting up the DVR to record some show on Ovation called "Lost in Austen". I thought of Austin, TX, at first, though it didn't look right... then it hit me... Jane Austen. She said it looked like a good show. Imagine my surprise tonight when, while retrieving links for this blog post, I found that Strawberry Fields herself was Elisabeth Bennet in two episodes of "Lost In Austen". Perhaps this is a show we'll watch together.

52. "Bedtime Stories"
I was actually looking forward to this flick, and when it was released on Christmas Day, we made it one of our two part movie double feature (the other was Benjamin Button). I knew it would be silly, and I knew with the premise of the movie--Adam Sandler tells bedtime stories, and they come to life--the plot would be silly, borderline stupid.

You know what? I was pretty much right. And it was a great flick anyway. Its a fun film to watch while shoving popcorn in your mouth, slurping down overpriced Coke and munching on Twizzlers, my candy of choice at the movies.

Its clean, too. No bad situations, no bad language, heck, even Felicity manages to look cute, something she has a hard time doing in my opinion.

51. Ambre Lake on Rock of Love 2
So, I'm surfing through MySpace, and I hit upon the page of my friend Wendi Deckermiller, and her blog is discussing Ambre Lake, my friend from college and according to Wendi, new reality star.

I know what you are thinking... and no, I didn't "indirectly" kiss Bret Michaels. Or did I? Ha!

I flip to her website, and yes, its true... Ambre Lake is going to try and win the heart of Bret Michaels from Poison. Watching the episodes, I came away with three things...
1) I am not sure she initially wanted to win. Perhaps that changed later, but I think she just wanted some exposure.
2) She was actually respectable. That's a big difference from all the other girls on the show, who mostly acted like ho'bags and tramp vamps. Even my friends, the ones who knew and the ones who didn't, liked her the best.
3) Define surreal: Watching someone who you danced with to "You Were Meant For Me" at a fraternity formal over 10 years ago appear on a Vh1 reality show she's trying to win the affections of a rock star that was famous 20 years ago. That's surreal.

And she won.

Coming soon... Doctor Earl becomes an Angel, My favorite song of the year, and someone else gets a Pruitt Award.


  1. I think that this group of 10 is among the strangest grouping so far: from King to Ramsey and the rock of love chick to the f-bomb riddled videos mixed in. Wow - it's a little overwhelming. But I'm still reading, so take it for what it's worth...
    BTW, do you have a timeline for when you'll be through the top 100?

  2. last year (and even the year before) i ended up not having time for a timely finish... so last year i ended up finishing the first week in march, the year before in february. this year, i plan on being done by months end. the problem is that there are things i still have to blog about in between all my Top 100-ness. Like Idol!

  3. The Sarah Silverman/Matt Damon video and then the follow up by Jimmy and Ben is RIDICULOUSLY HILARIOUS!!! I'm glad you agree.

  4. Oh, and we didn't see Benjamin Button that day. It was Four Christmases. Remember? It was too much for Mom.


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