Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Best of 2009

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery and the worst of this fairly wretched year; I not only quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, I seldom bring them up in the first place. A partial, prejudiced and completely random list . . .

Best Trip: June 2009 -- St. Lou and Chi-Town to see Flicka and Dad

Best New Restaurant: A Terrible Beauty (Irish) in Renton, WA

Best Roger Kimball Read: The Rape of the Masters . . . wait . . . Tenured Radicals . . . wait . . . The Lives of the Mind . . . yikes! They're all good!

Best Sunday School Lesson: The Good Samaritan (I don't think the kids ever were as enraptured during Bible story time as when I gave my dramatic interpretation of this parable)

Best New Kitchen Discovery: King Arthur Flour (Thanks, Vermont! I owe you for this and vermonster)

Best New Album: Love Was Here First by Carolyn Arends (with Make Yourself Known by The Clumsy Lovers coming in a close second)

Best New Christmas Album: Christmastide by Bob Bennett

Best Online Store From Which to Buy Great Music and Books: Feed the Lake

Best Airline: Alaska Airlines (funny how that keeps its #1 spot year after year . . .)

Best Completely Addictive Mid-Afternoon Snack: New York Style Focaccia Sticks

Best Blogger & Friend Returning from Nearly Two Years of Silence to the World Wide Web: Flicka Spumoni

Best Newly Discovered Political Blog: Conservatives 4 Palin

Best Children's Book Series: Ivy and Bean Books by Annie Barrows (Chronicle Books)

Best Quote I Heard this Year: When the Father laughs at the Son and the Son laughs back at the Father, that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure gives joy, that joy gives love, and that love is the Holy Spirit. -- Meister Eckhart (read in Tony Hendra's Father Joe)

Best Chesterton-Oriented Happening: Seattle's hosting the American Chesterton Society's annual conference (though, my being asked to write a review of Orthodoxy comes pretty close, as well)

Best Three Year Old: Rylee

Best Six-and-a-Half Year Old: Sadie

Best Beer: Harp

Best Wine: Chateau St. Michelle's Riesling

Best Bread: Mantovana

Best Big Purchase: My purple bike!

Best Little Purchase: Love Was Here First by Carolyn Arends

Best Play: Around the World in 80 Days (Taproot Theatre)

Best Thing I Saw Sadie Do: Learn to ride horses this summer

Best Thing I Heard Rylee Do: Sing her ABC's

Best Movie I Saw in the Theater: Up!

Best Movie I Saw on Video: Ghost Town

Best New Acquaintance of 2009: Flicka's Mom (everything she writes there is right, you know)

Best New (to me) Read About Jane: A Fine Brush on Ivory by Richard Jenkyns

Best New Joke About Justine for Family and Friends to Re-Visit Year After Year for the Rest of Her Life: My tragi-comedic inability to comprehend the workings of a candy thermometer.

Best New (to me) Author Who is Luckily Outrageously Prolific Thereby Giving Me the Delightful Anticipation of Many Happy Reading Hours: P.G. Wodehouse (Thanks, Roger Kimball!) (from Jason -- with sarcasm: Thanks, Roger Kimball.)

Best Hopes for 2010: The love of Jesus changing every heart and manifesting itself in every life across this planet (most important); continued health and safety of family and friends (almost as important); a new Congress (least important, but, unfortunately, still important).


Bob Bennett said...

Thanks so much for the kind mention. Very nice to find! Happy Christmastide and New Year, Bob Bennett.

Vermonster said...

Love the list Justine! I must concur with a few of your bests: Love Was Here First was certainly a long awaited release and was well worth the wait. The only Christmas album I purchased this year: Christmastide. The song "Christmas for Cynics" is fun (and I know one or two people that fit the description) and I love "Come Thou Not Expected Bossa", so groovy!
Of course, gotta send the shout out to local product-King Arthur Flour..only the best.
Finally, I add one more "best" to the list: Adorable Trivialities makes my list for "best blog that I can't wait to read!" :) CHEERS!

Joelle said...

Love your list. :)

My son really got into the dramatic version of the Good Samaritan he saw at VBS this past summer. His eyes were so big! It was really cute.

And an Irish pub! I'm jealous!

**raises pint of Harp**
Here's to good friends like Justine and wishing everyone a wonderful 2010!

Arielle said...

May God continue to bless you and yours, Justine. Truly your blog adheres to the advice given in Philipians:

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

Thank you, I do appreciate coming here and being rewarded with beauty.