Top 10, 2009
JonRoig.com | Posted: 2009-12-20 03:56:03 | 12941 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode
Geez... 2010. By now I thought we'd be cruising around our bubble cities with jetpacks on our backs, but instead, all we're doing is tap-tap-tapping away at our fancy phones. It's pretty cool... but I can't help but feel a little let down.
As always, the best things, really, this year were my friends, family and pets. You guys all pretty much rule, but it'd be pretty lame to put you on my top 10 list.
This is America. These lists are for for stuff one can consume, dammit!
In no particular order...
Crank 2. How friggin' awesome was this movie? The first one... a tough act to follow. We were all skeptical. It delivered. Big time. Crank 2 is total mayhem built on the most ridiculous plot ever: after a huge gang fight at a hotel, Chelios is killed falling out of a helicopter at the end of the first flick. But wait! Just moments after hitting the pavement, his body is snatched by a group of Asian gangsters who want to keep him alive to harvest his legendary organs. Chelios wakes up with an artificial heart and the pursuit to reclaim his lost organ begins, all set to a soundtrack composed by Mike Patton from Faith no More. With that kind of setup, how could it not be incredible? This might be the best movie ever made. If it wasn't for...
Up. How adorable was this? Superb story telling. Also great: The Hangover, Hurt Locker, Men who Stare at Goats, Bruno, 2012. Didn't have a chance to see Inglorious Bastards yet...
TheAwl.com. When Ron Paul kicks the Spendocrats out of office and we can finally experience true freedom, I will take this website as my bride. Launched a couple months ago by a bunch of underemployed journalists, theAwl has quickly become my main news source for crazy Jewish conspiracy theories, hip hop music interpretation, Berlosconi updates, celebrity tomato attacks, the decoding of twitter trends, etc... Basically, everything that's relevant to my life as it is now. Also fascinating, the news feed from TheMorningNews.org. I think those two sites might be in league somehow, but I'm not sure.
New Balance MT100's. The most important thing about selecting an athletic shoe is the athlete associated with it. I'm, like, so over Scott Jurek and his clunky Cascadias. I'm into Anton Krupicka now.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Three years ago, when I was doing my first real trail race up in the Mazatzals, I found myself cruising along, talking to some big bald dude. "I'm doing a book about ultramarathoning," Chris McDougall told me. "Whatever, jerk," I replied. "I can't believe you're about to beat me." Then the book came out. It's fantastic... probably the best book ever written about ultramarathons. At once both a compelling narrative as well as a treatise of the virtues of minimalist running, Born to Run is way more engaging than I thought it would be. I stayed up all night reading it. In fact, it's probably the best way to explain...
100 mile trail races. The brutality is unparalled, but this year I did both the Vermont 100 and Javelina Jundred. Although I only finished the latter, both were amazing, just incredible experiences. I am super lucky that I get to do these things... can't wait to do Western States 2010.
Nirvana, "Live at Reading"... grunge will never die! Sure, I never thought I'd see 2010 when I was 16, but I'm sure the past me would approve of my current lifestyle: still wearing the sandals, cargo shorts, and flannel shirts, still walking a big slobbery dog around the suburbs, rockin' out to Nirvana. "Live at Reading" sounds as vital today as "Unplugged" sounded back in the day. They must've been a heck of a live band, because there's an urgency, a rawness that's missing from most stuff that I've heard for awhile. Honorable mention: Lanhorne Slim, "Be Set Free"... it would be criminal not to mention Jay-Z and "The Blueprint 3." I also really dug Kid Kudi's "Man On The Moon: The End Of Day," Lil' Wayne's "No Ceilings" mixtape, Owl City "Ocean Eyes," Raekwon's "Only Built for Cuban Linx II," Phoenix "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." The Lonely Island cannot be denied. Best live show had to be Deer Tick at the Rhythm Room... although finally seeing Gwar was probably a close second. Daytrotter continues to deliver tons of excellent live music, totally free.
Orange Blossom Beer at Papago Brewery. Smooth and creamy... like drinking a creamsicle. In a good way. Probably the best summertime post-swim workout recovery beer of all time. While we're talking about food 'n' drink, gotta give props to the Rokerij. That place... so perfect. So is The Lost Leaf. Parlour is a little too hip for its own good, but pretty tasty nonetheless -- good drinks -- and the waitress at Trader Vic's always seems to remember that I want a mohito, despite that I only go there once in awhile. Kinda weird...
Podcasts. Jordan, Jesse Go / The Sound of Young America / Wiretap / Savage Love / The Bugle / NPR Planet Money / You Look Nice Today /
This American Life / Comedy Death-Ray radio / The Onion Radio News. Yes... I'm a nerd. I love podcasts. If we're going to include video in that, you've gotta give it up for the Onion News Network, which really came into its own this year. I think this is the funniest video I saw all year.
Twitter. I know... right? How super dorky is that? The thing is... I kind of love twitter. It's so... simple. It's hard to believe it hasn't always existed, yet the engineering behind doing it at the scale they're doing it kind of boggles the mind. Facebook, now that pretty much everyone is on it, is super practical now... and the proliferation of single subject tumblr blogs is kinda rad, too. My absolute favorite stupid site of the year had to be kanyelicio.us. Classic retarded genius.
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