Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 100 Coolest Things of 2010... #70 to 61

The Coolest Things of 2010, 100 to 91
The Coolest Things of 2010, 90 to 81
The Coolest Things of 2010, 80 to 71

70... Facebook DeFriended
Sometimes, you just want to be narcissistic.  Sometimes you get on Facebook and you notice that you have 2 less friends than you had yesterday.  And then, another day later, you gain a friend.  Could it be that people have dropped you?  Could it be that people deleted their account, then recovered their accounts?  If you delete your account, can you recover that account again? 

Either way, Facebook Defriended will take care of your narcissistic needs.  Buy the app for a buck, and you can hook it up to your account.  Then go into Facebook Defriended, and it will tell you your friend list activity over the last few days... who dropped you, who added you and so on. 

Why do I need this?  I don't.  Its a ridiculous app meant to only feed my ego and fuel my wonder of why someone would drop someone as awesome as I am (I say that with a smile and a wink), but still, I check it a couple of times per week.  Because I'm me. 

69... "Love the Way You Lie"
Overall, I'm not a fan of Eminem.  I respect what he does, and his mastery of wordplay and how he sings/raps, because if you just listen to how he does what he does, he's amazing.  What he actually says, however, is quite alarming and discouraging, because he has a ton of pent up anger and aggression in his lyrics, many times towards his own ex-wife.

Sometimes, though, he does get one out there that really makes me smile, one that I really enjoy.  "Without Me" was one a decade ago, while "Lose Yourself" is one that everyone likes.  And in 2010, a collaboration with Rhianna led to "Love the Way You Lie", which has this infectious, memorable opening riff--"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn... that's alright... I like the way it hurts..."

And the video, starring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from LOST), is just awesome.

Note... Eminem is not a clean guy, so please don't take this as an endorsement of his music.  As in, if you go and download this song, at least the explicit version, and are offended by the language, then don't blame me.  Listen at your own risk.  The album version of this song is not Emmy Turnbow Safe. 

68... Danno Gets a Reboot
I was never a fan of "Hawaii Five-O" in its original inception, not because it wasn't a good show, but because when it when it came on in 1968, I was a few years away from life.  When it ended in 1980, I was five.  When I saw re-runs in syndication, I barely remembered it.

So, when CBS decided to reboot the television show for the 2010-2011 television season, I had low expectations for the show.  Truth in advertising, I have low expectations for many shows when they premiere, because networks now rarely give most shows a chance to catch on... both Seinfeld and Cheers were low rated when they first appeared, but after catching on, they were awarded further seasons, and both went on to become television classics. 

The Lovely Steph Leann and I chose three shows to watch this time around, trying to watch them week by week via DVR, and those would be "No Ordinary Family", "The Event" and "Hawaii Five-O".  All three shows were good, but to me, "Hawaii Five-O" was exceptional.  It was funny, it was well written, and the cast is well placed.  Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan lead, with Daniel Dae Kim (Jin from LOST, and its hard to see him as anything beyond that) and Grace Park, and it also stars, of course, the Hawaiian coast line, the volcanoes and the culture.

Well, we stopped watching all three show on DVR, just because we got too far behind... and I'm quite alright with that for now, because "The Event" and "No Ordinary Family" are gone.  The former is in EW's "Danger Zone" and the latter is just scrubbed (which is sad, because it was also a good show).  However, "Hawaii Five-O" made the cut... and we'll put it in a category with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Grey's Anatomy"... watch it on DVD and get through a season in a few days.

67... The Fury Goes Crazy
Anyone who reads this blog for longer than a few days will know I'm a big Stephen King fan.  And in the early 80s, there was a "Quad-fecta" of novels that I really, really enjoy.  "Firestarter", "Cujo", "Pet Semetary" and "Christine", about a car, a '58 Plymouth Fury with a mind of its own, and evil side, one that cannot be stopped and is raging with jealousy and anger.

Arnie Cunningham is a loser in high school, best friends with Dennis, who happens to be kinda cool, and important enough at school to keep Arnie from getting beat up daily.  This, however, begins to change when Arnie "meets" Christine, a rusty old 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury sitting in a junk yard.  The car has many secrets, a horrible, evil past and slowly begins to change Arnie's life--for the worse, especially when Leigh Cabot, this beautiful chick who moves into town, goes out with him... enraging the car.  Yep, I said that and meant it. 

The book is a quick read, its well written and though not overly frightening, has its creepy moments.  I do remember when I was a kid, having just seen the movie when it premiered on network television, walking home from a football game (we lived two blocks from the high school) and being creeped out at 10 at night because some old truck was sitting on the side of the road, staring at me.  I kept waiting for the headlights to pop on. 

Good book.

66... We Figure Out The Tip
I've got over 140 apps on my iPhone, with games and weather and news and email and interweb capabilities and so on, but one of my favorites, one of most useful apps I have ever purchased is one called "The Tipulator".

Its quite simple.  You type in the amount of your bill, say $32.89.  It will automatically tell you your tip amount, then give you a total.  If you have good service, and want to leave 15%, then it will tell you that you should leave $4.93, and you should pay $37.82.   They give really good service?  You can adjust your percentage from 15% all the way up to 50% (which must be incredible service).  If you wanted to leave 18%, then The Handy Dandy Tipulator will tell you your tip is $5.92.  Poor service, but you still want to leave a tip?  You can knock it down to 13%, which is $4.60.  Or 1%, which is 33 cents.

Other settings include the ability to round your tip up or down to the nearest dollar, or your total amount to the nearest dollar, you can split the check from 2 people to 50.   I have mine set to round the total amount to the nearest dollar, with the tip set at 15% or more.   The price is a mere 99 cents, and I would definitely recommend it if you ever eat out. 

65... Denzel Carries The Word
When movies come out in January, they are usually considered "throw away movies", that is, movies that are dumped into the post-holiday season when most people aren't going to the theaters because they spent too much money during the Christmas season.

But every now and then, they dump a movie into January that turns out to be darn good.  I give you "The Book of Eli".  Denzel is the title character, wandering on a mission through a post-apocalyptic United States carrying what, at that time, is a very valuable and rare artifact--a King James Bible.

This is part of my review on the film:

We see right away that Eli is not a guy to be messed with... he's got somewhere to be, and he's headed that way. And when people try to stop him, he stops them from trying to stop him in the most convincing "don't bother me" way possible. Trouble comes when he drifts through a town and its discovered by the town's "ruler", Carnagie (played by Gary Oldman, who excels in this type of role), that Eli is carrying with him last copy of the Bible.

The film is bleak in color, as many of the movies with this setting are, and language pervades throughout. The sexual moments are very few, with only a couple of allusions to it, mostly within the context of the town's danger. Violence is also heavy in this film, so expect lots of knives and gunshots and big armored vehicles. All that is to say that this movie is NOT for kids. I dare say its not Emmy Turnbow safe, but at the same time, I think Emmy Turnbow would like this movie--at least, an edited version that might come on the USA Network in June of 2012 or something.

Written on June 6th, you can read the full review here.

64... Norah Gets a Duet
Norah Jones is only for certain tastes, because the argument is that "all her stuff sounds alike"... and yeah, thats kinda true.  But if you like that sound, you'll love this album.  In her career, she's done several solo albums and has also done lots of work as a part of other bands like The Little Willies, or projects with other artists, like Ryan Adams or Willie Nelson. 

Released in November of 2010, "...Featuring" is a compilation CD of Norah Jones and.  Norah Jones and... the Foo Fighters.  Norah Jones and... Ray Charles.  Herbie Hancock.  Q-Tip from a Tribe Called ?uest.  And several, several others.

My favorite tracks on the CD are a cover of "More Than This" with Charlie Hunter, a cover of the 80s rock song, and a "Take Off Your Cool" with OutKast, as featured on the OutKast album "The Speakerboxxx/The Love Below". 

And if you think I wanted to mention OutKast's album "The Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" because I wanted to seem a slight bit cooler, then... you may be right.

63... Bruno Loves His Woman
Bruno Mars has had quiet a year... among many of the hits he's helped pen, Cee Lo's "Forget You" was a massive hit, as was Flo Rida's "Right Round", and had a couple of hits of his own, including "Grenade" and my 63rd Coolest Thing of 2010, "Just the Way You Are". 

Its a fun little song about loving a woman just... well, just like she is.  She's perfect.  He tells her that, "when I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change, cause you're amazing, just the way you are."

And in interviews, I liked the idea that he doesn't try to go too deep, he just simply says, "I'm a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker's 'You Are So Beautiful' and Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' - songs that go straight to the point. You know, there's no mind-boggling lyrics or twists in the story - they just come directly from the heart. And to me 'Just The Way You Are' is one of those songs. There's nothing mind-blowing about it. I'm just telling a woman she looks beautiful the way she IS - and, let's be honest, what woman doesn't wanna hear those lyrics?"

62... The Candlelight Processional
One of our several trips to Walt Disney World found us there in December, actually getting a chance to spend a little time with one of my best friends, Melanie, and her family, that being Chris Z (the hubs), and the kids, Special K, Jay Z and The Zach Attack.  And because it was Christmas time, The Lovely Steph Leann was very adamant that we see The Candlelight Processional.

What is it?  Well, at Epcot, its a special Christmas presentation featuring a choir, awesome Christmas music and a reading of the Christmas story--yes, the one from The Bible--by a celebrity.  The small amphitheater, near the American Pavilion, was decorated beautifully, with bright reds and greens all around, and at least a hundred poinsettias adorning the stage and spaces between choirs.

The choir itself consists of mostly Cast Members who auditioned, and
local talents, as well as the orchestra

The Lovely Steph Leann saw The Candlelight Processional in 2009, and just missed Steven Curtis Chapman and ended up witn Anika Noni Rose, voice of Tiana from "The Princess & the Frog"... and this year?  We still missed Steven Curtis Chapman.  He was reading later in the month, but our reader was none other than Ariel herself, Jodi Benson, who I believe is a Christ Follower.

After the choirs filed in, they sang a few Christmas hymns, then Jodi took the stage.  Over the next thirty minutes, music was interspersed with reading from Matthew, and at the end, she spoke briefly on the birth and eventual death of Christ.  And yes, this was all at Walt Disney World, a magical place, but still quiet secular.

Jodi Benson reads the Christmas Story.  We almost had Susan Lucci,
but they moved her around and gave us Jodi, and I was cool with that.

61... "Kick-A**"
Here's what I had to say in June of 2006:

Okay... so, for every reason I shouldn't, I thought this movie was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Its title that I feel very uncomfortable saying (and don’t, especially on a website that I like to keep PG), its got the same language you’d find in equally as funny movies like “Superbad”, its got comic-book style violence that still produces blood spatter like crazy, and it’s got a bunch of teenagers trying to get some. There is no redeeming quality to this movie.

Let's be clear here... this movie is NOT for children.  As a Christ-Follower, this movie is a prime example of the topic of "what do you place in front of your eyes?", which is another conversation for another day.  I've tried to give you the rundown on the film as best I can, so now its up to you as to whether to see it.  Cindy Jo is probably not going to see this film.  Hurricane Rhett might go out tonight and catch it.

Read the whole post, including the full review, by clicking here.

Coming up... A great indictment of the NCAA Postseason (what?)... keeping my head and hands warm... and later, hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife

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