In dissertation-land, I don’t even have enough free time or brain power to blog regularly, much less remember all of 2011 enough to make this list truly comprehensive. So what you’re getting here is my favorite in each of five random girl/pop culture related categories. It’s a bit of “me on a plate,” if you will. Enjoy!
I love a strong female vocalist, and Florence Welch is no exception. The soaring vocals and the addictive rhythms of this album give me chills and make me want to sing, even though I don’t know all the words yet. This is music for a road trip, for a dance party, for a steamy encounter, for a manic writing session. It pounds, it thrills, it aches, and I move in and out of wanting to cry at the beauty of Florence’s rich, deep voice and raspy throaty warblings. Also, Florence herself is (in my opinion) numbingly beautiful and has a really interesting fashion sense (she has appeared as both a fug and a fab on gofugyourself.com. But okay, to be honest, mostly as a fug).
This series has received a lot of hype this year, but I must admit I think most of it is well deserved. Collins has a wonderful, disturbing, dark and brilliant imagination, and her character Katniss is like my sister, my daughter, my best friend, and that wonder-girl I want to hate but just can’t. She is admirable, she is clever, she is selfish, she is frustrating, she is glorious. She’s a real person but marks the reasonable physical limits of what human beings can endure. While I found the whole series entertaining, the first book is my favorite. I sucked this book down with a desperation I couldn’t believe. The book began with my husband reading a chapter aloud each night before bed. That worked for approximately a week. Then I couldn’t stand it anymore: reading aloud meant reading slowly enough for the mouth to pronounce the words. My brain needed it faster. I swiped the book away like a naughty child and chewed through the rest of it in the space of an hour or two. From me, that’s a high recommendation.
About once a week, I open up this website and my mouth fills up with saliva. Deb is an amazing writer, an amazing photographer, and an amazingly creative cook (she also has an amazingly cute child, who appears through cunningly subtle words or phrases that hyperlink to her flicker page and a photo of him). She does sweet, she does savory, she updates other cooks’ recipes she’s tried and tinkered with, and she shares the recipes she has created and developed herself. And they are incredible. Roasted cauliflower with pomegranate seeds topped with yogurt and feta? Yes please! Baked pumpkin and sour cream puddings? Drool! Plus her very first cookbook is in press right now. And I want it. If anyone’s taking notes…
4.) Best movie: ummmm…..
This is a hard one. I don’t watch many movies, I don’t like movie theaters (strange people potentially touching you in the dark? Blech!), and I tend to be fond of things I’m familiar with, which means new movies are not my thing. So, the one is admittedly a bit of a cop-out on my part. Given the rest of my list, what should I see? What would I love? What fits the GLG bill? This one is open for input, I think.
I know, there is a lot to choose from in this category. But watching the “Brunch” episode of My Drunk Kitchen made me snort. And then hiccup. And then guffaw. There’s just something about the way she says “Mimosa!” that fills me with delight. And in the outtakes when she gets pancake batter on her glasses? Delightful.
6.) Okay, just one more. Best nerdy music/literature/history-related thing: History Teachers youtube channel
They take popular songs and rewrite the lyrics to explain historical events or people. What’s not to love about that? Not a single thing, says this nerd. I think my favorite is “French Revolution” to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” La-la-liberte, E-e-galite, Fra-fra-ternite, French Revolution. I think I may actually have found out about this collective of awesome in 2010, but it has brought me joy this year, so I’m declaring that it still counts. In my world.
Happy holidays, if holidays apply to you, and see you in 2012!