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Top 10

Emily Flake

By Vincent Williams | Posted 12/12/2007

I was listening to Merry Christmas, the Supremes' Christmas album, and got to thinking how funny it was that "My Favorite Things" became a Christmas song. I mean, the movie that everyone associates it with, The Sound of Music, came out in March, and, lyrically, there's no reference to the holiday, but lots of artists include it on their Christmas albums. There's just something about the end of the year that makes you want to look back and list your favorite things.

Little things like the Altoids Smalls. I love these because, as a coffee drinker, I always have a mint or something nearby, but sometimes you don't want to commit to a whole Altoid, because those things are "cover up an alcohol smell" strong and who needs that at 9 in the morning? But Altoids Smalls are something I can commit to.

You know what else made my mornings that much more pleasant in 2007? DamnInteresting.com. Pretty much every day, the editors at the site focus on some, well, damn interesting phenomenon. Whether it's 1977's "Wow!" signal, where SETI thought it grabbed contact from aliens, or Hiroshi Ishiguro's chillingly lifelike robots, the site always offers something neat to chew on during the day--y'know, besides those Altoids.

Speaking of the ol' internet, I would throw eMusic on the list. For years, I've been one of the Luddites holding on to CDs, but 2007 is the first year I bought more music online than in brick-and-mortar stores, and eMusic is the reason. You can't get Jay-Z or any big corporate acts, but the site offers stuff from what seems like every small label in the world and has done wonders for filling in the crevices of my collection. In fact, the only thing I really got from the store this year has been DVDs.

Which brings us to Justice League Unlimited. After four years of brilliant superhero action, Bruce Timm and his team delivered a season that warmed the cockles of my aging Gen-X heart, because it was devoted to the Legion of Doom. As someone whose memory of that skull-shaped headquarters rising out of the swamp is as clear as if it happened yesterday, this box set is one of the best things I got, not just this year, but ever.

And on the other side of the DVD spectrum is I Think I Love My Wife, a film that speaks to the inner, uh, adult in me. I would have liked this thing just because of the fact that it features black folks who aren't 1) criminals or 2) acting like they're in a gospel stage play, but this joint cut so close to home it was a little eerie. Kerry Washington has never tried to seduce me, but there's a scene where Chris Rock and his wife talk about the head count of black--excuse me, b-l-a-c-k--children at a kids' party and whether or not she should get involved with Mocha Moms that is verbatim to conversations that happen in my house at least once a week.

The sad thing is that we had to see I Think I Love My Wife on DVD. We have a kid, so TV is where it's at. My favorite new show of what's looking like an increasingly short season is Journeyman. Since Quantum Leap, I'm a time-travel show whore anyway, but Journeyman is smart, well-written, and filled with twists that make it look like the creators actually have a plan, unlike some other shows I could name--such as Heroes.

And I hesitate to talk about my other favorite new show of the year, Yo Gabba Gabba!, because, y'know, you shouldn't celebrate your kid watching television. But any show that is hosted by DJ Lance Rock--a Gazelle-wearing, boom-box-carrying, '80s B-boy--introduces the children to the music of the Aquabats and the cartoons of Evan Dorkin, and features a regular segment called "Beat of the Day" with Biz Markie is alright with me.

Oh! You know what just bogarted itself onto this list just this morning while I was writing it? The Speed Racer trailer! The bright candy-coated colors, the outlandish character designs, the friggin' Car Acrobatic Team--either this thing is going to be The Greatest Film Ever Made or a disaster of Waterworld proportions, but you can't say the Wachowski Brothers didn't go all out.

And on a not-for-kids-of-any-age note, my next favorite thing is the Sen. Larry Craig show. Man, there's nothing better than schadenfreude at the expense of some hypocritical, right-wing, conservative asshole, and, boy oh boy, Larry "I hate gays/ I'm a self-loathing homosexual/ I'm quitting/ I'm not quitting" Craig has been more entertaining than the last season of Lost.

Finally, to get back into the mood of the season, my absolute favorite thing this year is Christmas. This is the year my not-quite-3-year-old daughter is getting the Christmas thing for the first time. And if there's something better on Earth than sitting next to your child drinking hot cocoa and eating cupcakes as she watches A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time or listening to her proclaim that John Legend's version of "O Holy Night" is her favorite song, I don't know what it is--brown paper packages tied up with strings, maybe. H

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