Best of 2005

Yep, My name is Earl... Yep, I made VFLOAB's List... sort of ironic, eh?

VFLOAB had been working hard on our top 25 songs from this year, but we stupidly forgot to e-mail them from our work PC so there they sit… and since VFLOAB won’t be back at work until January 9, 2006 we’ll all just have to wait. Sorry.

It hasn’t been a good year: from the tsunami, to John Paul II’s death, to the attacks in London, Katrina and the mess she left, the earthquake in Pakistan, and the continuing mess in Iraq things have been much better here on Earth. So instead of reflecting on the bad, we here at VFLOAB will give you our nine, yes 9, favorite things from the past year. Some old and recently discovered, some things new from the year that was. Enjoy.

9) Albert Pujols’ Home Run in Game Five of the NLCS
I still can’t believe that ball was hit by a human being. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, the Cardinals are down 4-2 to the Astros in Game Five of the NLCS. The Astros are up in the series 3 games to 1 and the Cards are down to their final chance. Pujols takes a hanging slider and hits it about 925 feet. I’m not kidding, the ball just took off and kept going and going and going and kept getting higher, and higher… until it his the outer wall of the stadium. It was like watching the Naturals, only this time in real life and with out the light towers exploding. Unbelievable.

8) My Name is Earl
Is it wrong of me to have a crush on Earl Hickey? Is Earl Hickey the first great American of the 21st century? For the record, I don't really have a crush on Earl, but I'm not sure there's been a TV character as engaging as Earl in a long, long time. I think it's his name... Earl. It's funny just to say Earl. Just great TV.

7) Pitchfork
Now we usually don’t agree with most of pitchforks reviews and picks. But it’s still the best sight in terms of rock and indie and frankly all good music information and opinion. While we would love for Pitchfork to have a little less influence on the music industry and record sales (well at least according to a few articles that we’ve read here at VFLOAB), it’s still a quality place to read about new bands, old bands, you favorite band... and not have to put up with crap like Dave and so on and so fourth.

6) "Can I tell you something? Everybody has responsibilities. I put somebody on the dance floor. They have to dance. I have to make the judgments, and I'll make the judgments.” – Richard M. Daley
That’s VFLOAB quote of the year. While “This is a sad day for Joe Horn…” – Joe Horn was given consideration, this Daley gem takes the cake. And if you don’t get it… there’s still time to move here.

5) Hugo Chavez
I know that everyone on the right hates him, but come on, that’s partly because he is everything they hate… he’s a socialist who came to power through democratic means and instead of giving more money to the rich, Chavez uses the oil money that Venezuela has for social programs. The right’s worst nightmare: a legit leader who focuses on social issues and those who are the least well off and it’s hard for them to be critical of him because of this. While the right would love for us to only focus on the rich and privileged, Chavez has done the opposite thanks to high oil prices (thanks to the right!). Plus who doesn’t love foreign leaders who openly mock leaders of other countries (look its Chavez singing a childhood song to Vicente Fox! Will Chavez and Bush getting into a yelling match at the summit?) Hugo has given us plenty of laughs and a few smiles this year thanks in part to his willingness to speak out against George W. Bush (aka Nero, aka A friend of no one but Evil). We do have some concerns going into 2006 with Hugo, his power may becoming to great and is something to worry about (remember power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely) and the price of oil may drop therefore limiting what Chavez can do within Venezuela… Chavez was great in 2005. And hopefully this Hugo Chavez Era won’t end badly.

4) That Liverpool vs Milan game back in May for the Champions League
I took the day off of work for this game. I’m not kidding. So the roomie and I were hangin’ out all day on a beautiful spring day in Hyde Park just chillin’. The game started. We watched. And forty minutes into the game it was 3-0 Milan. Oh well, Liverpool had a nice run. At half time we both went our separate ways, he to his room, me to the computer to mess around, but the TV stayed on. When Liverpool made it 3-1, I sat down to watch. When Liverpool made it 3-2 the roomie came back. When Liverpool tied it up 3-3 we were going nuts. Liverpool some how hung on to send the game to penalties (who can forget Shevchenko’s shot that was some how saved by Dudek twice). And in the shootout Liverpool won the Champions League. Just an amazing game.

3) The Gilmore Girls
Hands down, best show on TV and I will not argue this. You’ve got two hot actresses. You’ve got humor. You’ve got small town America that is still sophisticated. You’ve got great writing, amazing sets, characters you can some how identify with, great plots, good story lines, great acting, witty pop culture references… I mean it’s got it all. Great TV.

2) The Facebook.com
I first heard of the facebook at my five year high school reunion. By the end of the week I was on it and haven’t looked back since. No the facebook isn’t very informative or necessary, but it’s fun and a great way to not only keep in touch with people and waste time at work. Just finding out if anyone else at CUA enjoys Wilco, the Karate Kid: Part III, or Small Wonder is worth it in our book. Plus it lets you know when someone’s birthday is coming up so you can drop them a line… and you never know maybe that girl you had a crush on in high school will be there and you two can become friends. In fact that happened to me and it still ranks extremely high on my list of “Best things that happened to me this year.” So thank you facebook people, you made this year a little more fun for all of us who still have our college e-mail address. Thank you.
1) The Chicago White Sox winning the World Series
Anyone who read or has taken the time to go though the archives here will know that I diligently kept tally of the 2005 playoffs and the 2005 season that was. The highlight of the year was easily the Sox winning it all. Not only has it put a hop in our step since we won, but it was such a great feeling when it happened. It’s silly to think about really, but the White Sox winning captivated me and gave me so much pleasure… well it’s just silly and we all know it. But it happened, we enjoyed it, and that’s all that matters. So thank you Joe Crede, AJ, Pods, Dye, MB, Garland, Jose, Ozzie, El Duque, Paulie, Kenny, Freddy, Cotts, Cliff, Jenks, Uribe, ‘Guch, Rowand, and everyone else on that team. I’ll never forget. From El Duque coming on in Boston in Game Three and some how shutting the door, the complete domination of the starters in the ALCS, and Konerko’s slam in game two of the World Series, something you dream about as a kid and a fan… just an amazing year and an even better run. Thanks guys.

1 comment:

In Otter Space said...

Earl is the kinda guy that looks good in his JC Penney flannel shirt watching NASCAR from the comfort of his lazy boy recliner. I can picture him there eating ham and biscuits, black-eyed peas, collard greens, grits and chugging down some of his meemaw's sweet tea.