Archive for the “Best Of” Category

I know it’s not really spring… yet. Still, it’s less than a week away and today is a typical early spring day, so I thought I’d celebrate early. Here are the top 5 ways to celebrate an early spring day…

Five: Leave the jacket at home. Throw on a hoodie and some shades and enjoy an unjacketed day.

Four: Sit on a bench in the sun. You haven’t been able to do this in months. Although it’s too cool in the shade, on a sunny day where the temperature is hovering around zero, you can sit comfortably in the sun… even with no jacket on. Number four can be made better with a coffee and a good book (I recommend something by Farley Mowat).

Three: Go for a walk. Don’t plan to go anywhere. Just start walking. Stick to the sunny side of the street and stop anywhere you feel like stopping. Avoid going inside stores or buildings, but feel free to window shop. On a day like today, stores will start moving wares outside, so you can shop without leaving the sunlight. For bonus points, try to talk to every person who passes you walking a dog.

Two: Pick up some trash. The snow is melting and no matter where you live, the trash is everywhere. Just take a few minutes and clean up a spot that you pass frequently. Maybe it’s a park you pass through on your way home, or a parking lot of a store you frequent. You’d be surprised how good it makes you feel.

One: Talk to a stranger you recognize. You know those people you see on your way to work from time to time? They’re the people you recognize, but know nothing about. Sometimes you smile at each other as you pass, but for the most part you just walk around each other. Say ‘Hello’. Point out how nice a day it is, in case they’ve been too preoccupied to notice. Mention that they should get a coffee and a book and go sit on a bench somewhere.

Yeah, all of this sounds pretty lame I guess… but I’m just dying to get out on the grass barefoot. I think I’ll wait for all the snow to melt first though.

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Radiohead really broke out in the late 90’s with their album ‘The Bends’. It’s the album with singles like ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, ‘High and Dry’, and ‘Just’. I’m sure you all know it quite well, and I’d imagine that just about anyone who reads this has a copy of their own… along with U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ and that copy of INXS’ ‘Kick’ that no one ever owns up to, but they listen to from time to time. I’m slipping off topic…

‘The Bends’ is a KILLER album that you can listen to at any time of day or night, winter or summer, good mood or bad. I think the word I would use for it is ‘inspired’.

My favourite memory of this album is the first time I saw the video for ‘Just’, where pedestrians stumble across a guy lying on the sidewalk. This video absolutely blew my mind… it was pure brilliance. I would go so far as to say that more than 60% of the movies I’ve seen in my life didn’t have a plot nearly as engaging as this 3 minute video.

Weird… I’m listening to ‘Just’ right now, and the pre-solo bridge always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I love it.

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Since I made a pretty bold claim in my last entry, I figured I should follow it up with some context. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a more ecclectic mix of favourite films, but here they are, in ranked order…

5. Garden State This one will creep up the list as time wears on, I’m sure. After all, I’ve only seen it once. No need for too much detail, since I just talked about why it’s so great. So, on to ….

4. The Sound of Music C’mon… Nuns, Nazis, and catchy tunes? What more could you ask for?!? Seriously though, this is a great story, more so because it’s based on truth. It’s a timeless film, and it’s very touching.

3. Dumb and Dumber As touching and thoughtful as The Sound of Music is, this one is all about the stupid laughs. I could watch this movie over and over and still laugh at almost every gag. Pure gold.

2. Dr.Strangelove (or ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb’) Peter Sellers was a genius. This film combines witty political satire with pratfalls and silly jokes to create the broadest based comedy EVER. I’ve never seen something that could be so damn smart and so damn stupid at the same time.

1. Entropy Good luck finding this film anywhere. Blockbuster used to carry it on VHS, but it’s all but disappeared, except from IMDB. I originally watched it because U2 are in it, and it was directed by the guy who made Rattle and Hum, but the story blew me away. It’s a movie for rough times, and we have enough of those in our lives, that it bears watching. If anyone is looking for a gift for me, finding this on DVD would make me eternally grateful.

So, there it is. Keep in mind that this list is always in flux, but some of these movies would be really hard to topple from the list. (Garden State toppled High Fidelity from it’s position as top 5… ironically). Feel free to tag on your own Top 5.

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Ah, my first categoried post. I’m so proud of me. This new category is for posting ‘Best of’ lists. I’m sure all of you value my opinion… to the point of treating it as fact, so I wanted to make these posts easier to find and sort.

The first post (and the idea for the category) struck me yesterday on my way home from work. I was rocking out to my iPod (quite literally. I almost fell down because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going), and Weezer’s “In the Garage” came on. I just couldn’t stop the rock. I was banging my head, and swaggering along in time to the music. I concluded that it was the best Weezer song, and started thinking about other best songs by artists.

Here then, is the first list in the category…
Weezer “In the Garage”
The Rolling Stones “Sympathy for the Devil”
Our Lady Peace “Are you Sad?” (as per earlier this week)
Simon and Garfunkel “Cecilia”
Led Zeppelin “D’yer Maker” (this was a hard decision. ‘The Immigrant Song’ was a real fighter)
Blur “Tender”
Third Eye Blind “Motorcycle Drive-by”
The Beach Boys “Wouldn’t it be Nice”
Bob Marley “Redemption Song”
The Eels “Bad News” (good luck finding this one!)
The Tragically Hip “Fireworks”

First, feel free to argue any of these, but just know that you’re wrong and I’m right… called it. Second, I WILL NOT choose a best U2 song. It’s like asking someone to choose their favourite kid… there probably is an answer, but no one wants to hear it.

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