I’m not usually one to spend a lot of time gazing backward but I think it’s a good idea to make some mental notes at the threshold of a new year so that I don’t forget the lovely things that came my way in the old year. So as 2012 comes to a close here’s a recap of my stand-out favorites, in no particular order.
Favorite book: This is always an impossibly hard choice to make. I read some wonderful books over the past twelve months. Of my top three for the year, which include The Secret Keeper, The Language of Flowers, and Age of Miracles, I have to say, Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper wins the day. The funny thing is, this story took me a few hundred pages to get lost in, but once I was completely under the spell, I couldn’t wait to get back to those pages. The book I read the quickest because it was so compelling was the the dystopic and mesmerizing Age of Miracles. Made me fall in love with gravity and the perfect way our sun shines on our planet. No joke. And The Language of Flowers just made me glad I had parents who love me.
Favorite movie: Despite my earlier blog post on the same flick, I love Les Miserables. I did. I have made peace with the disappointments that made me wince in my theater seat the night I saw it. I still can’t quite forgive Hugh’s treatment of “Bring Him Home” and Russell’s unremarkable and distasteful plunge into the river of his self-loathing, but those nitnoid annoyances aside, I can’t wait to see it again. A close second is Life of Pi. Film adaptations of wholly original storylines don’t always come across well. This one, however, was the story I saw in my head when I read the book several years ago. Well done.
Favorite meal: Would you believe a pork loin dish at the Cafe Orleans in Disneyland made my list? Surprised the heck out of me, too. It was delish, served on a lovely bed of mascarpone polenta with grilled sweet potatoes and andouille sausage. The only thing missing was a buttery Chardonnay. And it wasn’t just the festive atmosphere, or that I was celebrating my wedding anniversary with my soulmate at the happiest place on earth. It was surprisingly amazing. Oh, and the pumpkin creme brulee was TDF.
Favorite song: Are you sick of Philip Phillips’ HOME? I hope not. 2012 is probably the last season of American Idol I will watch. My new fave singing show is The Voice. But I loved seeing this talented singer/songwriter win the title, the recording contract, and the fame. And I love the song he won with. Here it is:
Favorite TV show: You might think I am off my rocker, but my son Eric talked me into watching AMC’s The Walking Dead in 2012. “It’s really not about the zombies,” he told me when he suggested I watch it and I made a series of yucky faces. “It’s about the characters and the choices they have to make.” And hey, that’s story, folks. He was right. The setting for these characters is certainly beyond gruesome. I looked away a lot. But take away the gore, the sound effects, the chasing, the nightmarish setting, and the plot stands as the perfect framework for a study on what we value most and do we still value it when everything that made life beautiful seems to be gone? Not for the squeamish. Hope you still like me…
Favorite theater production: I saw some fabulous stagings this year. Anything produced by good friend Sean Murray at San Diego’s Cygnet is always great, and I can see Wicked every time it comes to San Diego and not get tired of it, but my favorite live stage production was A CHRISTMAS STORY on Broadway. I don’t even like the cult classic movie on which this musical is based. I always thought the TV movie kind of depressing. But the Broadway musical? It was completely fabulous, funny, and made me smile all over. I loved it. Perhaps the fact that I saw it in NYC has something to do with it, and it was a recent memory, too (obviously), but not as much as you might think. It was fab.
Favorite quote: Hard to pick just one; but this one inspired me when I read it this year, and it inspires me right now as I write it here for you:
“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.” – Ernest Hemingway
Good one, isn’t it?
How about you, sweet reader? Have any favorite things from 2012 to share? Let’s hear them . . .