I enjoyed this so much last year, I decided to do a consolidated top 10 list again this year for the things the world that struck me as being the best of the year.
1) Will! He had the top spot last year and he does this year too (and wouldn’t it be wrong if he didn’t). It’s crazy (in a very good way) to think that we’ll be together 15 years as of May 1, 2010. He supported me all over the place this year, including another bonkers summer at work, understood my need to expanded my volunteer time and that I still had the writing thing going on. Will is the best husband anyone could ever want… and I’m glad he’s all mine!
2) Getting Published! I got published twice by the end of this year. Dreamspinner Press published “Rivals” as a Nap-Size Dream e-book short story. That was an amazing experience as the staff of Dreamspinner are awesome. The story, at least to me, has done well. It debuted the week of Thanksgiving as the #5 Nap-Size Dream and for the past couple of weeks it has been bouncing between #2 and #3. Meanwhile, StarBooks has Nerdvana, with my story “The Adventures of Jake #1, available for Kindle but seemingly not quite out as a physical book yet. I need to give shout outs to people who’ve helped me get to this point: my Will (of course, as noted above), David in Texas, Will in North Carolina, Cheryl in Alabama and Brian in Minnesota have all provided valuable feedback and/or support with the writing efforts.
3) Next to Normal: There’s at least one show a year that absolutely blows me away and for 2010 it was Next to Normal. The show, about a family dealing with the weighty issues of love, loss and mental health, was stunning when we saw it back in May and has captivated me ever since. It was cool being part of their song writing efforts on Twitter and hearing about the creation of the show as well. Here’s a taste of the intense magic of the show for those who are not familiar (or just want to revisit it).
4) What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson and Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg: YA ruled in my reading this year with these two books. Wilson told a wonderful coming out story set at my very own high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Konigsberg set his story inside a football team with his main character going through so much you really wanted to jump into the book at help him. Both books are inspirational in my continued work on Neutral Zone
5) Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair and A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan: Here are two other books that make my “favorites” list for the year. The thing these have in common is they are both done by Dreamspinner Press. Admit One tells the story of a high school in Texas staging Rent and how that, along with other factors, force a very closeted and fearful teacher to come out. A Note in the Margin involves a book store owner slowly falling in love with a homeless man who frequents his store, a man he initially just wants to throw out. Both are fantastically written and deal in issues not often found in LGBT literature.
6) Glee: How happy does this show make me on a regular basis? Crazy happy! Yes, some of the plots are hard to believe (is Finn really dumb enough to believe he got Quinn pregnant? Really?). But at its heart this show is nothing short of amazing. The handling of Kurt coming out to his father was poignant. Artie coming to grips more with his wheel chair with the acoustic rendition of “Dancing with Myself” was fantastic. The Glee kids merging with a deaf show choir to sing and sign “Imagine” was one of the most touching things I saw on TV all year. I can’t wait to see the second part of the season in the spring.
7) So You Think You Can Dance: It was incredible having SYTYCD on twice this year with it’s regular summer run and then again in the fall. There is such awesome and inspiring dance on this show every week. It touches my soul more than any other TV program out there. I put together this video, featuring four of my most favorite dances of the year. From season six there’s Kayla & Kupono with “addiction” and Jason and Jeanine with “heart on a chain.” From season six there’s Legacy & Ellenore with “assassins” and Jakob & Mollee with a Viennese Waltz. This is seven minutes of dance bliss.
8) Farmville: Last Year I got into Facebook. This year it was about Farmville on Facebook. It started simply enough: Dawn asked me to become her neighbor because she needed neighbors to be able to expand her farm. I didn’t have to do anything else. Well… I did a lot of other things and Farmville has become an addiction. 15-30 minutes each morning is killed off doing chores on the farm, planting and harvesting crops, tending animals, taking care of my trees and, of course, being a good neighbor and helping out on other farms.
9) Every Little Step: The Journey of A Chorus Line: What a sublime movie this was. A Chorus Line is one of my all time favorite shows and this documentary looks at the creation of the original production as well as it’s recent acclaimed revival. The film provided a rare look at the inner works of a play, as well as a great time capsule on how a little idea grew into the huge success that ACL is. Hopefully this will go on to get some Oscar gold.
10) The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: What a magical find this was over the summer. It’s a Mister Softee truck, but with so much more gourmet yumminess, such as the dulce de leche / vanilla wafers cone, the Thanksgiving sundae and even the choinkwhich (I never tried the bacon and chocolate ice cream treat…maybe next year). Kudos to Doug for getting the truck out on the street. Summer is not usual my favorite season, but if it get’s BGICT out on the road, I’m all for it.
A couple of honorary mentions too:
1) I loved commuting to work on my bike this year. I’m looking forward to March when I think I can get consistent with that again.
2) Finally, after years of searching, I found a full performance video of Carrie: The Musical. I randomly found it while I was reading about the new reading of the musical that happened a couple months ago (hopefully this will turn into a full-blown revival). Now I’ve got it burned onto a DVD so I can relive that bit of kooky musical theater any time I want.