Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Top 10 Lists for This Decade

When this roaring decade started I was 17 years old. If you would have told me it was going to unfold the way that it has I would have said, "huh..." sounding kind of quizzical and reflective. Now, 12 years later, at the age of 29, I find that I've been irreparably shaped by the events and happenings that were present in the 00's.

I feel that it's necessary to take a survey of this decade, to sift through the bits and pieces and figure out just what made it tick.

One of the best ways to sum up your feelings about a decade is to arrange a series of top 10 lists.

One of the most important considerations you will make in composing top 10 lists is whether or not the numbers will represent rank. In my case, I have chosen that the numbers will not represent rank (i.e. I'm not saying that #2 is better than #7, and vice versa). To do that would represent a whole other layer of thinking that I'm not ready to commit to.

Top 10 Movies of the Decade:

1. In Bruges
2. The Departed
3. Adaptation
4. High Fidelity
5. The Dark Knight
6. The Royal Tenenbaums
7. Anything Else
8. Snatch
9. Napoleon Dynamite
10. 300
Honorable mentions: There Will Be Blood, Synecdoche, NY, Gladiator,

Top 10 Movies that silly people will tell you should be on the top 10, but they are wrong:

1. Pan's Labyrinth
2. Little Miss Sunshine (good but not great)
3. Inglorious Basterds (short on action, dialogue flat, though at times very enjoyable)
4. Traffic
5. Elephant (probably one of the worst movies ever—Gus Van Sant has done nothing since Good Will Hunting)
6. Memento (interesting? sure. A gimmick movie? you got it.)
7. No Country For Old Men (it kills me to say this, I LOVE the Coen brothers, but I don't understand why this movie is "amazing." It qualifies as "moderately interesting" at best.)
8. Lost in Translation (also one of the worst movies ever, a real stink bomb)
9. Good night, and Good Luck (snooze, oh my god did i snooze)
10. Mulholland Drive (I don't care what anyone tells you, David Lynch is a dweeb.)
11. Atonement (blah)

Top 10 Words or Phrases that Went Over-used by Myself This Decade:

1. Dudical
2. Slam-bang
3. The
4. Water sprite
5. Absolutely
6. I love Jim and Pam
7. Low five
8. Disingenuous
9. Gimme that, NOW
10. Silken

More to come, including top 10 songs and more!!

CORRECTION: It appears that I've been the victim of some bad math. For some reason I was thinking that a decade was 12 years, instead of the intractable 10, and that's why I said I was 29. But when I thought about it I remembered that I'm actually 27, and it all started to fall into place from there.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Creature Chronicles: The Rise of Mother Bear

Week 29:

Two things have become evident as of late and have been admitted by the principal: Jessica's brain is melting, and Jessica's patience is in short supply. I'm not going to get in trouble for saying this, because on the whole it is quite amusing to watch my otherwise angelic, wide-eyed and good-natured wife devolve into a stressed, slightly unstable though all-too-cute mad hatter. It's especially dangerous for me because one of my favorite pastimes is joking, the kind of which Jessica is not so much amused by these days. She hasn't the time or tolerance for me to pretend like I didn't hear her, for me to pretend like I'm going to drive when she wants me to stop, and for me to give little children a hard time. Jessica does not suffer me gladly: eyes are rolled and sighs are issued if a task isn't completed with technical precision. It's not uncommon for me to be criticized for driving like a grandma—and driving like a crazy person—inside of 30 seconds. If you could Google search our conversations for the most frequently used words, "idiot" would be near the top of the list.

On her melting brain:

The other day Jessica almost leveled Bartell's with her fury. She had done an online order to have our Christmas card pictures printed at their Burien store. When she showed up, surprise surprise, they were nowhere to be found. She tore customer service apart, reduced them to befuddled, sniveling whelps, and then she went to work on the store manager. She forced the woman into her office, made her open up Jessica's email so she could prove that she had placed the order to their store and it was to be ready in an hour. They just had no answer, they were extremely sorry that her order was inexplicably nowhere to be found, and they would have it ready by the next day. She was trying to calm her nerves with a Starbuck a half an hour later when she received a call to let her know they had located the pictures: My wife of three plus years had opened the account under her maiden name, which is why the pictures weren't under D for DesLongchamp.

Jessica is transitioning out of her position at our mutual place of work, and she is lucky enough to have me taking over the account she was responsible for. Our job requires a lot of calling insurance companies, and every call must be noted in the system. A common note looks something like this:

TT Jim @ Regence and he said no clm on file, need to rebill.

In reviewing Jessica's notes from about August onward, it is not surprising to find something like this:

Steve @ Premera, 66679
Doesn't know where to put it.


I don't think you need to be in the biz to understand that no sense can be drawn from that note.

Jessica's marked change in temperment coincided almost to the hour with the advent of her third trimester. No more screwing around, I have to have my game face ready and my emotional and physical pads fastened tight: game on.

Addendum: Jessica requested that I include that she is very repentant for her sour attitude; and while it is fun to laugh about her hormonal frenzy, it is not behavior she is proud of. Honey, you don't need to apologize, though I accept it. You're the cutest ball of fury I've ever met.