My Favorite Things

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I’m stealing an idea from my favorite pop culture blog on USA Today (Pop Candy), and sharing a list of my favorite things of the past week (or two).

Best TV Show I saw: I’ve got to give it to Friday Night Lights. Is anyone else watching this show? Because it’s fantastic. I love that it actually respects its characters, teenagers included. These are people that I knew growing up. Or wanted to know, in the case of Tim Riggins.

Looking Forward to: The season premeire of LOST on Thursday. Finally!!!

Best Movie I Saw: Atonement. Reviews were mixed, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. As it turns out, it would have exceeded even high expectations. The story explores the consequences of a false accusation through the eyes of the accuser, the accused, and the accused’s lover. The movie poster calls it a tale of “sex, lies, and carnal fury.” That’s a pretty good summation.

Looking Forward to: No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood

Best Thing I Heard: No contest. The acoustic version of Everlong at the Foo Fighters concert on Friday night.

Best Thing I Read: Other than Obama’s speech that JU posted earlier? Honestly, it was probably reading Ellen Page’s name in the list of Oscar nominations. Go Juno!

Looking Forward to: Atonement. I loved the movie so much, I’m now itching to read the book.

What are your recent favorite things?

43 Responses to “My Favorite Things”

  1. urbino Says:

    Was there somebody in Memphis who wasn’t at that Foo Fighters concert? Besides me, I mean.

    Atonement is my favorite novel of all time, btw. I’m kind of afraid to see the movie.

  2. alsturgeon Says:

    Best TV Show I Saw: I don’t really watch tv much at all, other than catching parts of what Jody is watching, and I don’t think any of the “what not to wear” or “miss america reality-style” episodes really qualify. So I’ll have to pass on this one.

    Best Movie I Saw: This is an easy one. Jody actually rented The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. The first one was a classic, and the second one sucked – so The Apple Dumpling Gang.

    Best Thing I Heard: Not much music in my life right now I guess… Let me at it this way… I “heard from ” the University of Florida’s law school, and they accepted my application for admission. That was cool.

    Best Thing I Read: I’m not done yet, but I’m reading John Grisham’s “An Innocent Man” right now, and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s his only nonfiction book, and it reads like an extended episode of Dateline NBC or something like that. I like Dateline NBC.

  3. mrspeacock Says:

    Urbino: I had actually planned to watch the British Advertising Awards on Friday night (because I’m super cool that way) before I had a moment of clarity and realized how much happier I would be listening to the Foo. I bought tickets at the box office half an hour before the show began. It was perhaps my best decision of the week.

    Al: “An Innocent Man” scared the phooey out of me. I just can’t believe that’s how our justice system works. Way to become a lawyer and change all that. 🙂 Congrats on FL! I hope your other schools make the same brilliant decision.

  4. urbino Says:

    I’m surprised you could get tickets that late. It seemed like everybody I knew was going, so I figured it must have been mondo sold out.

    Best TV Show: Hmmmm. Dunno. The “American Experience” (PBS) about Sargent Shriver, probably.

    Best Movie: Gosford Park, on dvd. I’m not a big Robert Altman fan, but this was terrific.

    Best Thing I Heard: That I don’t have glaucoma, and past tests that suggested I might were due to faulty tests.

    Best Thing I Read: Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke, which I’m still reading.

  5. Whitney Says:

    Al,
    You should read “Dreams of Ada” when you’re done with the Grisham. It’s about the same set of corrupt police & OSBI officials. Interesting stuff.
    Congrats on Florida. Any other news yet?

  6. Whitney Says:

    OK, I’ll play:

    Best TV Show I saw: I watched Project Runway and something on Discovery. Neither rocked my world, but I do love Project Runway.

    Looking Forward to: New episodes of “The Office” if they ever happen.

    Best Movie I Saw: It’s at this point I must admit that I saw “Casablanca” for the first time this weekend at the prodding of my husband. Yeah. Loved it.

    Looking Forward to: All the other classic movies Netflix online has to offer!

    Best Thing I Heard: Kenny Chesney playing on my iPod, screaming over the shrillness of the dentist drill in my mouth. It could’ve been really-dirty rap music, and I still would love it because it drowned out the sound of something I truly fear & loathe.

    Best Thing I Read: The only thing I read was my Bible at church on Sunday; oh, and some cheesy article in Glamour waiting for the dentist.

    Looking Forward to: May. When I have a week set aside to do nothing in Kauai. Then I can read all the books piling up on my list.

  7. alsturgeon Says:

    Our youth court judge told me about “Dreams” – and Grisham refers to it in the book. Sounds interesting…

    I’ve been accepted at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida. No word yet from Pepperdine, St. Louis, Virginia, and Missouri.

    Currently, leaning toward Florida, with Missouri a close second. But the wind blows every couple of days and things seem to change…

  8. urbino Says:

    It’s an SEC rout!

    Another good movie seen recently: The Bourne Ultimatum, also on dvd.

    Oh, and looking forward to the same movies as Mrs. P, though I’ll probably wait for the dvds.

    And tv show-wise, if you haven’t seen HBO’s “The Wire,” do yourself a favor and watch it. The first 4 seasons are out on dvd. Definitely worth Netflixing, Whitney.

  9. urbino Says:

    I rescind my earlier Best TV selection. The best tv show I’ve seen recently was a “Nova” episode about absolute zero. Matter does some wild ‘n’ wacky things when it’s cold, cold, cold.

  10. DeJon Says:

    Finally, a conversation to which I can my meager offering…

    Best TV Show I Saw: Jim Wallis on A Daily Show…. Saw it live. Later saw it again on Larry James blog. Refreshing to hear a respected human articulate things that (almost) restore my faith in humanity.

    Best Movie I Saw: Its still early in my (last) semester of grad school so I had time to catch a few. Juno is great. There Will Be Blood is a must-see, but I had some concerns with it. But my vote goes to a movie I watched on a lark. The Lives of Others. Most rewarding movie experience I’ve had in ages.

    I was really looking forward to the new Batman, “Dark Night,” before the death of Heath Ledger. Now there’s an unfortunate cloud hanging over the whole thing. But make no mistake. I’m still gonna go see it.

    Best Thing I’ve Read: Just finished a dense, scholarly piece by Bartholomew Sparrow called “Uncertain Guardians” about how our national media have failed to fill their role as the fourth estate since the early eighties. This book was good. But not the best thing I’ve read this week. That award goes to this blog entry… Royals leading Santana Race? Will baseball season never get here?!

  11. mrspeacock Says:

    I do love Project Runway.
    Aaah, a kindred spirit. I most love the challenges where they have to make clothes out of corn husks or candy wrappers or something equally random.

    I was really looking forward to the new Batman, “Dark Night,” before the death of Heath Ledger.
    I have honestly never been more excited to see a movie as I was “Batman Begins.” Something about the combination of Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and Batman himself made me antsy for weeks. I’ve been just as excited about “The Dark Knight,” and still am, but it will definitely be strange.

  12. Whitney Says:

    I love to see the ego on some of those designers, too! The one guy, Christian, just cracks me up. The Hershey’s episode was my favorite so far, but I haven’t seen last week’s yet. It is one of those shows I DVR up a bunch and wait for my hubby to be at sea…because he really doesn’t want to watch it with me. 🙂

    Hey Al, wasn’t Erica going into fashion design? Or did she change that? I’d LOVE to see her on that show. She’d be the sweetest designer ever.

    Well, thanks y’all, now I have to go buy “Atonement” to read on my vacation if two of you love it. I don’t want to see the movie yet, though. Book first. Any other recommendations? Something light to counteract something not-so light?

    Hey, where’s Mikey been? (MIKEY! You’re noticeably absent from this conversation!)

  13. alsturgeon Says:

    Yeah, where is Mikey? I got a letter from Pepperdine today, telling me I could go to school there if I want….

    Erica WAS going into the fashion industry Whitney, but she did switch plans and has ended up in Child Development. She’s shooting for the SuperNanny show instead. 🙂

  14. captmidknight Says:

    I’d have to think a little about “Favorite Things.” Right now, I’m learning some nursing skills. My wife had knee replacement last Wednesday and came home on Saturday, so I’m a house husband for a while.
    ______

    “Looking Forward to: “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood”
    ______

    I read “No Country For Old Men” a couple of months ago and was interested to see how closely the movie followed the book.
    The movie, like the book, is gritty and violent, and is very faithful to the book. I’m a fan of Tommy Lee Jones, and the West Texas County Sheriff part is perfect for him. If you haven’t read the book, the ending will leave you a little flat, but the movie is very well done. If you’re a McCarthy fan, you’ll like it.

    The rest of my “Favorite Things” would probably be too old fashoned for you young folks.

    Al,
    Congrats on so many acceptances. Must be a nice problem picking from so many good schools.

  15. mrspeacock Says:

    Project Runway
    I’m so hoping Christian doesn’t get kicked off for the sheer entertainment factor. And I want that Hershey’s dress that Raimi made.

    The rest of my “Favorite Things” would probably be too old fashoned for you young folks.
    I dunno. JU’s favorite show of the week was “Nova.” Heh…

  16. alsturgeon Says:

    Thanks, Cap’n.

  17. urbino Says:

    JU’s favorite show of the week was “Nova.”

    Yeah, but that’s not so much a generational thing as a dorkiness thing. I was just as dorky when I was your age.

    Congrats, Al! PU was one of your preferred options, right?

    Any other recommendations? Something light to counteract something not-so light?

    Hmmm. Most anything by David Sedaris is a hoot.

    Hey, where’s Mikey been?

    I think real life has had Mikey’s attention of late. Maybe he’ll have time for us again before too long.

    If you’re a McCarthy fan, you’ll like it.

    I haven’t read most of his stuff, but Blood Meridian is in the top 5 or so of my favorite novels list. I gave The Road a look when it came out, but couldn’t get into it. Seemed like he wasn’t doing anything he hadn’t done better in Blood Meridian.

  18. alsturgeon Says:

    Yup, JU. Lots of deep discussions ’round our house right now…

  19. urbino Says:

    I bet.

    Here’s, if not a favorite thing, at least a fun thing:

    http://www.sleeveface.com/

  20. mrspeacock Says:

    Any other recommendations? Something light to counteract something not-so light?
    I wholeheartedly agree with the David Sedaris recommendation. Also, I love “Straight Man” by Richard Russo. The foreward is maybe the best part of the entire book. And, of course, there’s always “Bridget Jones.”

    Urbino: Any chance you saw Sedaris at the Canon Center a while back? I regret that I didn’t go. I did see “The Santaland Diaries,” and it was pretty great.

    Al: any chance you’ll be at the PU lectureships this year? I’m supposed to sing there (fa la la).

  21. urbino Says:

    I didn’t. A mutual acquaintance did, though, a couple years ago when Sedaris came to the Orpheum.

  22. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    I haven’t read most of his stuff, but Blood Meridian is in the top 5 or so of my favorite novels list. I gave The Road a look when it came out, but couldn’t get into it. Seemed like he wasn’t doing anything he hadn’t done better in Blood Meridian.
    _________
    Haven’t read Blood Meridian. In fact I think “No Country …” is my first McCarthy book. I’ve passed by “The Road” probably a hundred times in book stores, but ,so far, have resisted the temptation.

    Hillary and McCain in Florida. An indication of what’s to come in the Fall?
    I think it still remains to be seen if McCain can hold on till the convention. Not withstanding Obama’s recent performance, I think the smart money is still on Hillary on the Dems side. If so, I think the Obama supporters are more likely to support her than some of the conservatives are to support McCain. IMHO, the idealists on the Right are more likely to figuratively “fall on their swords” by failing to support the candidate if he differs with them on some critical issues. The Left seems, to me, more willing to rise above principal when power is at stake.

    I still think the odds favor Hillary in November. The Kennedys may have to wait a little for the second coming of Camelot.

    Just my opinion. I could be wrong.

  23. captmidknight Says:

    Mrspeacock said:
    Al: any chance you’ll be at the PU lectureships this year? I’m supposed to sing there (fa la la).
    ________
    With a group from Mempho?

    My son and daughter-in-law are going to sing there with a group from Sycamore View.

    Smal world.

  24. mrspeacock Says:

    With a group from Mempho? My son and daughter-in-law are going to sing there with a group from Sycamore View. Smal world.
    I’m singing with the group from Sycamore View, in fact. Very small world.

  25. captmidknight Says:

    Mrspeacock said:
    I’m singing with the group from Sycamore View, in fact. Very small world.
    ______
    Say hello to the Kipster for me. My daughter-in-law, Jill, does a lot of the details to keep the Praise Team runing smooth. Some of the group usually stay at my house when they come to Nashville for the Zoe meeting in October.

  26. urbino Says:

    Hillary and McCain in Florida. An indication of what’s to come in the Fall?

    Maybe. I think McCain’s win is more meaningful than Hillary’s. Not just because FL has no delegates (for now) on the Dem side, but because it’s a state Hillary should win handily under these circumstances. (Those being: 1) nobody campaigned, so it reduces to a race extremely dependent on name recognition alone, and Hillary clearly has a big advantage there; 2) it’s a state whose demographics tilt heavily Hillary’s way.)

    I’m not convinced that Rudy’s prediction (“whoever wins FL wins the nomination”) is accurate, but McCain’s win was big for him, since it marks a new high water mark in his presidential campaigning; it gives him more legitimacy than he’s had before. I still think Romney will come out on top, though.

    Should be interesting on both sides.

  27. urbino Says:

    Very small world.

    As Lynn Anderson (I think) said, “Nah, it’s just a very small church.”

    When I moved to NYC, one of the first people I met at church was not only from my small AR town, but her father was an elder at the church I grew up in. When I moved to Charlottesville, VA, for the summer, one of the first people I met at church was also from my small AR town.

  28. Whitney Says:

    Re: the small world/church:
    It seems like everyone everywhere we’ve lived went to Harding.
    Except me and Joe, of course. Hethens that we are. We went to, gasp, state schools.

    So far as the reading:
    I’ve read “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and found it funny. I love “Marley & Me” and saw that guy came out with another, so I might try it. And I like Jennifer Weiner stuff, too. So I’m going to be all tan and well-read come June 1.

    Pepperdine! Al! Congratulations!!!
    It’s expensive. But it’s MALIBU. The only next best thing would be to come live with Joe and me in the land of Aloha. Tell me, what does Hillary have to say about it? My only huge issue with SoCal is that it is more looks/wealth/material obsessed than anywhere I’ve ever been…but it’s MALIBU!

  29. alsturgeon Says:

    Mrs. Peacock: I didn’t think we’d be at the lectureship this year, but now I don’t know. If we decide to go to school there, we may try to go just so Jody can see the place once before loading up the uhaul and driving there. Seeing as you’ll be singing there, that’d be an extra cool deal!

    Whitney: Thank you!!! Hey, I mentioned the University of Hawaii Law in all this, but I couldn’t convince Jody/Hillary of it! To answer your question, Hillary is so cool about all this – she is excited about all our options, but she really likes Pepperdine. I mean, she’d be going to Malibu Middle School – the next Hannah Montana! Your wealth-obsession observation is well-taken – I’ve thought lots about that… Course I’ve thought lots about lots of things over the past few months, and my thinker is getting tired. 🙂

  30. alsturgeon Says:

    Hey Whitney, go to my personal blog at http://alsturgeon.blogspot.com and see a current picture of the new Hillary – with her short hair and contact lenses – at yesterday’s spelling bee.

    And I just emailed my friend, Sandi, a long treatise on my law school search process. One thing I failed to mention yesterday is that Pepperdine offered me a wad of money to come there next year, renewable for years two and three. Which is what is causing a discussion ruckus around our house.

  31. alsturgeon Says:

    Hey Whitney, go to my personal blog at http://alsturgeon.blogspot.com and see a current picture of the new Hillary – with her short hair and contact lenses – at yesterday’s spelling bee.

    And I just emailed my friend, Sandi, a long treatise on my law school search process. One thing I failed to mention yesterday is that Pepperdine offered me a wad of money to come there next year, renewable for years two and three. Which is what is causing a discussion ruckus around our house.

  32. michaellasley Says:

    see…the problem is: it rained here last week. it threw my world into complete chaos. rain in malibu! hell may well be frozen right now.

    congrats, Al! wouldn’t you feel as though you were cheating on Pepperdine if you went anywhere else since, like, they were your first love and all? i know we’d feel like you were cheating on us. with those whores in the SEC. pam and i will likely have a good cry if you choose somewhere else.

    i haven’t been keeping up with politics too much. i think i decided on Obama a good while ago. so i haven’t been keeping up with the infighting.

    i haven’t read anything for fun in a couple of weeks. the last thing was….”Someday this Pain Will Be Useful To You.” by someoneican’tremember. it’s billed as teenage fiction, but i thought it was good. half-heartedly reading Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn “Please Worship Me” Rand. Mostly just so I can say I’ve read it. I simply canNOT believe this book has a cult following. Her philosophy aside, it’s just a poorly constructed book. I’ll give her some credit, though. i’ve read a book and a half of hers now (the fountainhead and maybe half of this one), which probably totals around 1100 pages, and she’s yet to create a character i was even remotely interested in. which is quite a feat, as i try to like everyone. i simply would not be disappointed if any her characters were to fall into a vat of acid. it might do ’em some good. and that’d make for a better story than the one she’s currently telling.

    ok…my first comment in a while and i rambled until i officially had no point.

  33. alsturgeon Says:

    Your point was you want me to come live with you in Malibu! Where it rained last week! And yes, NE Arkansas did freeze over. (HA!!! Just kidding… but I thought Juvenal would appreciate that one at least…) 🙂

    Your first love argument is compelling. And if I can get in married/family housing, I just might remain true after all.

    More talking at our house first, though…

  34. urbino Says:

    I’ve read “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and found it funny.

    The essay in there about insomnia remains the funniest thing I’ve ever read in my life.

    Mikey — More Ayn Rand? Seriously? Why don’t you just open a vein and let the pain out?

    And yes, NE Arkansas did freeze over.

    No comment.

  35. michaellasley Says:

    Well….I don’t like Rand’s stuff, but I do figure that since so many people do like it, I should at least have read the two most-read things of hers.

    The insomnia essay — is that the “thimble full of good marijuana” story?

    Oh….and I’m going to see Atonement this weekend. I’ven’t seen anything else in forevuh. I’m still itching to see No Country. I read the book last year. Good stuff. And to completely bring up a dead conversation thread for no reason….I still haven’t read Blood Meridian. Although I really want to.

  36. urbino Says:

    The insomnia essay — is that the “thimble full of good marijuana” story?

    The very one. The one that starts, “I’m thinking of knitting a dinner jacket for my alarm clock.”

    I still haven’t read Blood Meridian. Although I really want to.

    Woof. Have some liquor handy. It might not be the best thing to pick up right after Rand. She’s bleak enough.

  37. urbino Says:

    A couple of interesting thoughts from around the internets, regarding the outcome of the GOP race in FL. One favoring Romney, the other McCain.

    Pro-Romney: Although McCain won FL, he did it, yet again, without winning among Republicans. It’s hard to see how he could win the nomination if that continues to be the case, as the vast majority of the remaining GOP primaries are closed to independents.

    Pro-McCain: Rudy dropped out and endorsed McCain. Meanwhile, Huckabee is staying in. Presumably, he and Romney will continue to split the GOP base’s values voters, while McCain consolidates the foreign policy hawks. Could be enough to push things McCain’s way.

  38. captmidknight Says:

    To reach back to the beginning of the post,:
    Ms. Peacock said:
    “Looking Forward to: Atonement. I loved the movie so much, I’m now itching to read the book.”
    _______
    I’m just the opposite. I’v already read the book. Will I like the movie just as much? I’m assuming that it follows the book closely.

  39. mrspeacock Says:

    I’ve heard mixed reviews from people who read the book before they saw the movie. I can’t see how the movie ending would work in a novel, so they might have tinkered with that a bit. But I honestly don’t know.

  40. mrspeacock Says:

    Oh, and it’s good to have you back, Mikey! I hope you lurve Atonement.

  41. urbino Says:

    The novel ends by springing a postmodern trap on the reader. I’m not sure if they followed it in the movie. I sort of doubt it. It’s not the sort of thing Hollywood tends to like to do to its audiences.

    But maybe they did.

  42. mrspeacock Says:

    Actually, that sounds like the movie ending. Maybe they “did right” by the book after all.

  43. Darwin said it best: “Nature is a trip, vato.” « Hungry Hungry Hippos Says:

    […] said it best: “Nature is a trip, vato.” Okay, so I’m the dork who said a PBS program was the best tv show he’d seen recently. But riddle me this, cool […]

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