One of my (many) grammatical pet peeves is when I see something advertised as the “1st Annual” event. That’s impossible. It can’t be annual until it’s happened more than once. You might plan on continuing it, but until that actually happens, the first time should be the inaugural event.
Last year at this time, I had my inaugural “best of” list for 2014. So it’s with great anticipation that I present to you the “2nd Annual Best of List” for this waffle-flipper!
Best movie of 2015: I don’t go to the theater often. When I do, it’s likely super heroes or sci-fi, so you won’t see any Academy Award winning entries on this list. There were some outstanding flicks I witnessed on the big screen. Ant-Man was a fun frolic into the lighter side of super heroes. I thought I would get annoyed at 90 minutes of Minions, but their foray into movie stardom was quite excellent and not overwhelming.
Still, and you probably figured this was coming, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the best movie I saw this year. I won’t give away any spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet (What are you waiting for?), but it was everything I hoped it would be. There were many nostalgic nods to the original trilogy while at the same time updating some elements for a more modern audience. People in the theater seemed to genuinely appreciate a movie that was so anticipated that it had to be really, really good to avoid being hammered by fans. Mission accomplished!
Best book of 2015: I read a lot of books this year. A lot.
A year ago, I read a book called Red Rising, the first in a trilogy about civilization on Mars. I thought it was good enough to look forward to the sequel.
That came this past year, a book called Golden Son. Many times, the second book in a trilogy will simply be a set-up for the final entry, but this book had so many twists and turns and changed the expected courses of so many characters that it has left me champing at the bit for the final book, Morning Star, to come out in 2016.
However, it was another second book in a trilogy that took top honors for me this year. Invasion of the Tearling did the same as Pierce Brown’s book mentioned above; it did more than just set up the upcoming last book. The Tearling trilogy finds a dystopian future where most of civilization has collapsed less than 100 years from now. What has survived in a far-off land more resembles medieval times, though with a bit of sorcery thrown in. You really begin to care about the characters and remain on the edge of your seat while reading. Hopefully the finale pays off with more surprises and continued character development.
Best TV show of 2015: I watch too much TV. Last year I gave this award to the new show The Flash. That super hero show continues to be amazing this year, but it doesn’t quite get the top nod.
A little bit of an asterisk before I give the award: I have the current season of Fargo all recorded on the DVR, and according to Duey Ferber I’ll be blown away when I get to it. Hopefully that’s in the cards soon!
The award this year goes to a show that many of you might not even be aware exists, The Goldbergs. This ABC comedy follows a family during the 1980s and is so in my wheelhouse that there are times I feel like I am the main character. That was my era, so references to Transformers, New Kids on the Block, and Karate Kid turn back the clock to the greatest decade. Part of that is the inclusion of music from that era, and we all know ‘80s music rules!
Best sporting event of 2015: I’ve seen plenty of sporting events this past year, but there was nothing I witnessed live that I can say was so amazing that it would match with winning state championships or All-Star baseball festivities like last year.
In the running was certainly my final season of coaching my daughter’s basketball team. Five years with that group has left plenty of good memories, and last season was no exception. It’s been even more fun watching from the sideline this year as they’ve thrived under their new coach.
The World Series was so much fun to see, even if it kept me up way past my bedtime. The Kansas City Royals played great team baseball and deserved to win the title, mainly because they played the game the right way.
With that in mind, I have to say that visiting Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City to watch those Royals play was my highlight. Even though the home team lost, that experience was amazing. It was very cool when we were standing in line for the concession stand as the National Anthem began, and everyone just stopped to pay their respects, even the employees. That, along with the great atmosphere in the stadium and the free tour of the Royals Hall of Fame, made for a great night.
I hope you had many great moments and things to enjoy in 2015. May your new year be happy and bright and bring even better memories for 2016!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is quoz, which means an odd person or thing, as in, “The reader thought the columnist quite the quoz with his choices for favorite items of 2015.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!