I knew that if I put all my effort into it, I would finish this list before the end of February! Don't forget, Facebookians, the numerous videos are not going to show up. Click on over to Clouds in My Coffee, then bookmark the page. Then check it daily. You never know what might pop up. Also, be a follower. I only have 7. I'm hypercompetitive. I want more.
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
The 60th thru 51st Coolest Things of 2008
The 50th thru 41st Coolest Things of 2008
The 40th thru 31st Coolest Things of 2008
The 30th thru 21st Coolest Things of 2008
The 20th thru 11st Coolest Things of 2008
The 10th Coolest Thing of 2008... Mom Votes
It just doesn't get any cooler than your mother voting for the first time in her life, and that's exactly what happened this past election.
Apparently, she was at the IGA (for you non-southern folk, the IGA is a local supermarket chain. Hometown proud, American IGA) with my sister, getting some groceries. Somehow, the topic of politics came up while she was in the grocery line, and someone asked my mother who she was thinking of voting for. When my mom informed them that in all of her then 75 years, she'd never voted, the good people at the IGA decided to fix that.
Barbara, who's been a cashier there for at least 20 years (in small towns like Samson, people stay in jobs such as this for decades, becoming town fixtures), went and got all the necessary paperwork and an absentee ballot, then visited my dear mom at home. Mother got signed up to vote, and then voted for the very first time. I'm proud to say she voted for John McCain, though I have to chuckle when she said, "Well, really, I didn't like either one of them, they were both terrible. But McCain was less terrible than Obama."
The 9th Coolest Thing of 2008... "Wall*E"
I cannot tell you how incredibly wonderful this movie is. From start to finish, its truly a masterpiece of animation... though I've discovered two camps when it comes to "Wall*E". You either really, really like it... or you really, really don't. There aren't a whole lot of in betweens.
We did a presale for this movie at The Happiest Place in the Mall this past October and November, and people who ordered it loved it. Really, really loved it. But many people who didn't order it didn't just say, "No thanks", they continued with "I was bored during that movie" or "I fell asleep" or "I thought that movie was ridiculous."
Poo on them, I say. In my book, Pixar can do no wrong, a lesson I learned after "Ratatouille", and here they hit a thousand home runs. There's no dialogue other than beeping and bleeping for 40 minutes, yet I was drawn in and enthralled the entire time, watching Wall*E's affection for Eve look and be more genuine than just about any other onscreen performance this past year. In the second act of the movie, granted, I think it does slip a little, but a slip from this movie still proves to be better than most.
How great is it that the best love story of all of 2008, besides Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, was between two robots?
And for the record, its "EVE" not "EVA". It drives me nuts to hear parents come in with their spawn at The Happiest Place in the Mall, pass by the Wall*E section, and say, "Look, Junior, its Eva!" No, stupid. It's EVE. Not Eva. Wall*E calls her Eva because he's a robot. You aren't a robot. It's EVE.
The 8th Coolest Thing of 2009... KT & J ROB
Our friends Katie Roberts and her boo Jason are awesome. We met her and her husband J Rob maybe a year and a half ago, in Jason and Emmy Turnbow's "Young Married" class, and instantly bonded with them. They are much like us, friendly, fun, goofy and social.
KT and I bonded too, becoming fast friends because we share alot of the same interests and commonalities--and because we think alike too. She is like me, saying whatever is on her mind (and also like me in sometimes not thinking about it before saying it). You know those friends that you can make uncomfortable observations to? Yeah, that's KT. Jason is on the same wavelength... he says things that I only think, and make me go, "Yeah! I believe that too!" And perhaps thats why KT and J Rob match up so well...
One of my favorite pics of The Lovely Steph Leann and KT... this was the infamous BBQ Sauce incident.
For the longest time, they lived right across Highway 280, but she and J Rob finally bought a house, moving down Highway 280 a bit... when I say "a bit", I mean about 9 or 10 miles, which makes it harder to visit. KT and I don't get to chat as much as we did, and J Rob and I don't get to goof nearly as much, and I truly miss that, but they are both forever my buddies. And she reads the blog, becoming a regular before many others were.
KT... You Rock. J Rob... You Rule.
The 7th Coolest Thing of 2008... DVR
Digital Video Recording has changed my life. Right now, as I sit and type this out, I am watching WWE: Raw, specifically Shawn Michaels, "The Heartbreak Kid" take on JBL, with the winner going up against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 in April. Earlier tonight, I watched "The Amazing Race" and "Solitary". While I watch WWE: Raw, there's a little orange light on, telling me that I'm recording a movie called "Taking Chance", starring Kevin Bacon.
Other selections? "Fool's Gold" and "Being Erica", a movie and a show that The Lovely Steph Leann recorded. Seven episodes of "Samantha Brown: Passport to Great Weekends". "Pan's Labyrinth", "Meet the Robinsons", "Elizabeth I", "Sweeney Todd", "The Good German", "Blood Diamond", "Becoming Jane", some Hallmark movie that The Lovely Steph Leann may or may not get to, some show called "Lost in Austen" that she already watched, an episode of ABC 33/40 midday news show that I and Ryan Sherman both were featured on... in our list of "to be recorded", you'll find Samantha Brown, "Survivor", "Solitary 3.0", "The Amazing Race", WWE: Raw, "American Idol" and that Erica show that The Lovely Steph Leann wanted.
In much the way the iPod has changed the way I listen to music, the DVR has changed the way I approach television. No more needing to be in front of the tv at a certain time, no more setting our VCRs, hoping that not only did it set right, but that the tapes were still okay to record on, no more mixing tapes up and accidentally recording over an Idol episode that The Lovely Steph Leann didn't get to see... nay nay... its all on digital. Its all on our DVR.
It's a beautiful, wonderful thing. For the record, HBK just gave the Sweet Chin Music kick to JBL, knocking him out. I'm thinking of getting WrestleMania 25 on pay-per-view. And recording it on my DVR.
The 6th Coolest Thing of 2008... The Stamford, CT, Mission Trip
It's not a secret that I love New York City, and have relished in the fact that I've been there four times for missions. My fifth time in New York City came this past March, though it wasn't exactly a NYC trip... it was to Stamford, CT, where we'd work with Encounter Church, pastored by Landon Reesor.
One of my favorite shots of the trip, here's The Lovely Steph Leann freezing in a parking lot.
Not only was I able to go with team leaders Philip and Jill Waters, but also able to get to meet Taylor and Cindy Smith, and their kids, and KT and J Rob. What was also wonderful about the trip was my first chance to do missions with The Lovely Steph Leann--doing missions with your wife is amazing.
For those who want to read up on the trip, here's the blog I kept:
Part One: Gettin' There is Half the Fun?
Part Two: A Parade of Prayers
Part Three: Adventures at the Mall
Part Four: Walking on Egg Shells
Part Five: It's Not Sexy, But It's Got Teeth
Part Six: The Deterioration of the Response to Fight or Flight
Part Seven: The Manhattan Finale
In particular, I'll point you to my favorite entry (and the one that most people told me that liked the best) which is Part Five: It's Not Sexy, But It's Got Teeth, featuring one of my favorite all time moments with KT.
Coming... The Five Coolest Things of 2008