Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Best of the Rest 2011

This past year has been tumultous and busy, but awesome. Lots of good gaming, the start of two new blogs and a burgeoning pinball obsession that has seen some great moments, from hanging out at John Dayhuff's house and his 70+ pins to a stop at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. This year should be even better with the biggest Chicagoland Winter Carnival turnout expected at a very special venue and more gaming than last - with hopefully a second loop in DDP and a first loop clear in Ketsui being top of my list.

Without further ado, here's my Best of the Rest of 2011

10) West Wing (DVD) TV series

For years, my whole family watched and loved this show and I never checked it out, assuming it was standard primetime garbage. That is, until I saw the first episode of the second season at the cigar shop I frequent and I got sucked in immediately. We bought the first season and plowed through it in like a week and a half and are almost done with the second season. For being a jaded TV watcher, I cannot help but love this show and root for every character. Linda loves it and as she can sometimes get too into Law And Order to the point of loudly verbally assulting the characters on the show, this always seems to chill her out and makes for good late night TV watching.

9) Gorilla Coffee

I love a good dark roast coffee and this is an amazing dark roast coffee. Gorilla is in Brooklyn, NY and is worth a look in if you are in the five buroughs or definietly worth ordering on their dope website. I have tried a number of different blends and keep coming back to the Blendimentosis. Super good stuff and strong.

8) Lemmy (DVD) 2010 Documentary

Motorhead has always been a band I have dug, from being a punk when I was younger, through my scooter boy days to the present day. This documentary show Lemmy in his day to day life and on the road, at the Rainbow and has stories and comments from so many respected people, like Dave Brock from Hawkwind and Scott Ian from Anthrax. The only weird part is the too-long segment with Lemmy and Billy Bob Thornton talking in a bar in LA. If you are at all a fan of the band or the man in even the slightest way, check it out. It's one of those documentarys that can be enjoyed even by people not into the subject matter - its that good. Lemmy is god.

7) Law And Order TV series

It's a very popular TV series and for god damn good reason. Lenny is the shit. Adam is old and acerbic. We have a 'Zinger Factor' rule from watching it so much: the level of funny that Lenny's opening zinger is, is directly proportional to the heaviness of the episode. No zinger = something awful, like baby murder. Really funny or multiple zingers = lighthearted episode. I watch more Law And Order than any other show.

6) Vans Collection

Like past years, I have a sneaker to add to the list, but this year, I have really only worn one brand of shoe, namely Vans. Vans are the shit - super comfy and casual, easy to find and tons of styles, everything from high end special sneaker drops like the John Cardiels I bought 4 pairs of to easy-to-find classics like the black-on-white slip on I rock nearly all the time, pictured here. I took em off at my desk when I wrote this to get the pic. An American classic with no peer.

5) Vampirella/Savage Sword of Conan/2000 AD

About ten years ago I started to collect some older comic magazines, namely Vampirella and Creepy and Eerie, all Warren Magazine imprints, amassing a good collection including a Vampi #1 - then I went back to college and sold everything that wasn't food or a textbook to get through school. Earlier this year, gunbird18 came up for the Chicago ComicCon and convinced me I should go and I did - and bought like $350 in comic books, jump starting my collection again. I have steadily been buying issues off eBay and a few from local shops, trying to amass a full run of all 112 issues of Vampirella. I love the comic art of the fantasy and horror books and the stories in Vampi and Conan. It makes for great reading in between episodes of Law and Order.

4) Zion's Gate/Kreation Records - Seattle, WA

On my last trip to Seattle, WA (my hometown and favorite city in the world) I stumbled across Zion's Gate on my way to breakfast with Linda and almost didn't go in - until I spied a bunch of heavy metal records against one wall and walked into what now may be my favorite record store in the US. It's got a TON of metal on vinyl and a lot of stuff you will probably never see again. I dropped a silly amount of money last time I was in town and I imagine I will do so everytime I go back to Sea-town.

3) The Pinball Archive - pinball.org

Fathom (Vertical Only) from PAPApinball on Vimeo.

There is probably no website I spend more time on about pinball than this, The Pinball Archive, home to awesome rule sheets for different games, but more inportantly, gameplay and tutorial videos done by PAPA (Professional and Amatuer Pinball Association) personel and other key players. It's a treasure trove of viewing for the pinball obsessed, especially those who are interested in how to score.

2) Seahwaks v Bears, 38-14, in Chicago, Dec. 18th 2011

I very rarely get a chance to see my Seahawks play on TV as I'm now living in the midwest, so when I learned that the Seahawks were going to play the Bears this year, I was stoked I was gonna get to see the game on TV. Then, a good friend of mine called up, said he got tickets to the game through his company and would I like to go with him - 9th row, 50-yard-line? I flipped out! This was not only one of the highlights of the year, but my entire sports life. The Seahawks took apart the Bears and I was there to see it, clothed in my Seahawks hoodie and 2010 Seahawks Division Champions hat, loud as all hell and just out of my mind happy.

1) Linda moves in

I know this is kinda cheesy - you were probably expecting some awesome new cab or game or pinball or car or something, but this really is the best of the best of the rest for me. Linda and I got engaged last November and we moved in together a few months back. We had been dating for six years before we got engaged and I know her and love her entirely. I got a lot of ball-busting from the guys at the cigar shop, mostly stuff like, "man, your life will never be the same" and "are we even gonna see you around here" kinda stuff. I kept saying, "hey, just cause your lives suck living with your wives, doesn't mean mine will." Alot of eye rolling ensues when I say that. But man, I have been so happy living with Linda, its hard to put into words. We are madly in love and she's the true love of my life and we get a long perfectly. I can't imagine being happier.


gunbird18 said...

Another awesome wrap-up, boom!

I get a kick out of these!

Chicago Comicon was awesome! My first, and the first time I have been within touching distance of several Hollywood Celebs. I will probably be attending this year!

West Wing was awesome! Sherry and I watched it religiously when it aired! Good stuff for sure!

drboom said...

Thanks man - I like doing these, kind of a good aside for the year. Looking forward to hanging at the meet this weekend!

Jerry Gene said...

Very dashing and attractive woody vases. Creativity is clearly showing. Nice work.

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