My Best/Worst of ’08

Posted: January 6, 2009 in life, Random
Tags: , , , , , , ,

bestMy brother Jon gave his best of list this past week, and I guess it would only make sense for me to again steal someone else’s idea and give my best of list. As is usual for me though, I will also give my worst of list in the hopes of possibly disuading you from wasting any of your time or money. Hopefully I don’t forget anything, as it would suck to disagree with your own best of list. So without further adieu, here it is:

VIDEO GAMES:
Best –Rock Band 2
This is easily the most fun I’ve ever had playing a video game. I’m really looking forward to forming a band with Jon and Kim. If you’d like to audition for the band just leave me a comment here and we’ll see if we can work out the details.

Worst –
I don’t really have much time to play video games anyways, so I really only have time for playing my favorites. If I had to vote on a worst it would likely be something involving a game made for a Disney Movie of some sort.

ALBUMS:
Best – Elect the Dead by Serj Tankian
Unlike Jon who inexplicably only purchased one album this year, my rough count brings me to the number of at least fourteen albums I acquired this past year.  Strangely enough, not a single one of the albums was released in the year 2008.  This album though, after much contemplation, likely comes out on top despite the fact it’s the one I purchased most recently.  Every song is great, and strangely enough Serj actually has a lot of insights to offer.

Worst – anything by T-Pain, Timbaland, or Nickelback
Classics like “Can I buy you a Drank”, “I’m in Love With a Stripper” and “The Way I Are” are quickly robbing western music and society of any credibility or value while simultaneously destroying the english language.  I enjoyed a lot of pop music from 2008 (I still can’t get Womanizer out of my head), but this stuff was just absolute dreck.

MOVIES:
Best – SICKO
I was going to nominate “The Dark Night” here because it was the most fun I had watching a movie all year, but SICKO was definitely the best movie I saw this year.  Whether you like Michael Moore or not, you can’t argue with the fact that the poor and needy are badly neglected in western society and this show pointed a giant finger at the problems we ignore that stare us right in the face all generally brought about by our pursuit of greed.  The most damning thing of all was the question he didn’t ask: “Where is the church in all this?”

Worst – Quantum of Solace
I’m told that if I had seen Casino Royale that this show may have made more sense to me.  The problem I have is that it made total sense, it was just more boring and predictable that a “See Dick Run” story.  None of the characters were particularly interesting, the people who were going to do were obvious, and there never really was the big dangerous end of the world type weapon or the cheesy humor that used to make Bond movies at least tolerable.  Don’t waste your two hours on this one, just watch the Wiggles instead.  It has more entertainment value, suspense, character development and plot in half an hour than Quantum did in two.

BOOKS:
Best – Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne
This one was a really tight race because I actually did quite a bit of reading this year and read a number of good books.  In the end this one I think was the best one of the year for me because it affected my thinking more than anything I’ve read in recent memory.  In the end I don’t buy the most extreme ends of what he endorses, but all in all I think this book helped me become more Christlike in my worldview and actions.

Worst – Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden
I guess it wasn’t that terrible a book if you haven’t read anything from Bell before, or if you had previously thought that everything the Western Church endorses is awesome.  To me though this book was a major disappointment because I have read his previous stuff and I already know the church has problems.  I was hoping for some offering of suggestions as to what the church should look like, maybe some risky suggestions or admissions that we are deeply flawed, but instead I got a bunch of recycled ideas and gutless suggestions of possible problems.  Rather than offering some vision of where to get to he just pointed out a few vague possibilities of problems and smugly left it at that.  I was really hoping for more.

NEW (TO ME) AUTHORS:
Best – Donald Miller
I know he’s been around for quite some time, but I had never read anything of his before this year.  I picked up his Greatest Hits (a 3 book collection), in the local bookstore for $20 and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of each book.  His writing style was very comfortable to read in a recliner with a cup of coffee in a darkened room.  His memories and stories of friends reminded me what it was like to have friends close to me onnce upon a time and really inspired me to think about writing myself.

Worst – N.T. Wright
Now, I know some of you my friends will want to burn me in effigy for this, but I’m just being honest.  I read a couple of his theological works this year and they were really dry reptitions of things that I had heard a hundred times before.  I didn’t really find anything new of challenging in any of his books.  All in all I think he’s probably a great man of God but he’s not a great writer.

NEW (TO ME) WEBSITE:
Best – Footballguys.com
I’ve been a pretty involved fantasy football player for about six years now and this is the most revolutionary thing that has happened in the game for me since I discovered VBD about 5 years ago.  Between the constant flow of information, the interesting articles, and the helpful applications, I spent more time on this site than any other over the past 5 months.

Worst – Faithful Word Baptist Church
I’ve posted all about this guy earlier in the year so I won’t rehash it all over again, but the hate, venom, and outright craziness espoused by the pastor of this church still astounds me.  His sermon about the man who pisseth against the wall is still one of the funniest of the things of the year though.  If only he meant it to be comedy.

SOFTWARE:
Best – Footballguys.com Draft Dominator
The number of calculations and sheer amount of data that this little application allows you to process almost instantly in a fantasy football draft is outstanding.  I will never feel comfortable in another draft without it.  Sure it was my worst season in fantasy football history but it’s not the fault of this little gem.

Worst – Internet Explorer 7
Wow.  Bill, I’ve really tried to be a team player here.  I’ve been a PC guy my entire adult life.  I’ve had a Windows 98 pc, Windows XP pc, a Windows Vista laptop, and even bought into Windows Mobile 6 with my new Motorola Q9C smartphone.  I’ve run your Microsoft Office platform for everything and even resisted iTunes in favor of Windows Media Player up until about a year ago, but this year you really broke my heart.  I naively kept on the Internet Explorer bandwagon for years now but after hearing about a new security flaw in IE7 seemingly weekly on the news I finally switched over to Firefox about a month ago.  Bill, your web browser sucks.

NEW (TO ME) TV SHOW:
Best – 30 Rock
It’s funny, really funny, I don’t even have to feel guilty about talking about it with church people.  I love the characters and the ways they interact in fake real life situations.  It’s completely unrealistic set in a real place.  I always heard good things about it and now I’m the one recommeding it to you.  The Office/30 Rock combo has been one of the few things that have brought me through a lot of otherwise miserable weeks.

Worst – Four Square
Now that I’m a dad and Payton is starting to be conscious enough of his surrounding that he enjoys some shows, I have been dragged down into the seemy underbelly of children’s programming.  Some shows like Rollie Pollie Ollie (sp?) and Winnie the Pooh are tolerable, but Four Square is such mindless, irritating, shmeg that I get angry even just thinking about it.  Grown adults in spandex aren’t allowed to serve alcohol in Regina and there’s no way they should have a children’s show either.  Silly actions and commands like “hup, hup” do not entertainment or education make.

GADGETS:
Best – Motorola Q9C smartphone
This was probably the toughest category for me to pick as a gadget guy because between my PS3, PSP, stereo bluetooth headset, and smartphone I had a lot of wonderful gadgets come my way this year.  Because of the sheer number of things this new phone has allowed me to do though (email, browsing, fantasy football, podcasts, ebooks, gps, scheduling, blogging, etc) I have to give the nod to my digital assistant.

Worst – None
Really since I discovered the wonderful electronics reviews on cnet.com I haven’t acquired any garbage gadgets in quite some time.  And I guess in my books it would take a lot for a gadget to be bad in my books.

Well, there you go . . . my best and worst of ’08. Praise and hate mail may be left accordingly.

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