Posted in i can't help but pull focus

best of 2012*: things that made me happy

* Not an exhaustive list.

What I spent a lot of time doing in 2012, aside from healing broken parts of bones in my left leg, was reading. I read a lot. I actually read a lot of YA, and I'm not ashamed to say that I've enjoyed reading YA more than I have adult fiction. I live with adult problems, after all, so why do I need to read about them? 

The first book that I read in 2012 was Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (so charming and wonderful and NYC at Christmas!). This led me to Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which got the whole John Green snowball rolling. I read everything with his name on it (including some obscure/neglected Kindle singles), and it turns out that I love Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars as much as everyone else seems to (maybe a little bit more?). And then I went back to the other author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson and read Boy Meets Boy (deconstructed fairytale-ish) and Every Day (AU) by David Levithan. Both were fantastic and took awhile to leave my imagination. 

I can't write about my favourite books of 2012 without mentioning Code Name Verity (finally, a grown-up book!), which probably was the most gripping novel that I read. I loved that the protagonists were awesome and intelligent women who were devoted friends instead of written to compete with each other, I loved that one of the characters was a pilot, I loved that it was set during WWII, I loved the epistolary element, and I loved the complicated and clever way that the author unfolded the mystery. 

And honorable mention to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I haven't seen the film, but the book was perfectly complicated and engaging. I liked the mulitiple narrators. 

Non-fiction-wise, I adored Mickey Rapkin's Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory  (which is nothing like the movie) and Bill Bryson's Shakespeare. I honestly think that one might be my favourite thing that Bill Bryson has written; the author basically starts off by explaining how history has left little factual information about William Shakespeare, but he still manages to write a few hundred pages 🙂

 My tv discovery of the year is a show that I wish I'd actually discovered a couple of years ago: Community. I do not understand why this show isn't the highest-rated show on tv instead of being on the verge of cancellation. The way that this show plays with genre is amazing and the fact that a character like Abed Nadir exists just makes me happy. Six seasons and a movie, please.

I also watched a lot of back-seasons of Project Runway with Madeline, and now I want to go to Mood and have Tim Gunn pop into my life at opportune moments to offer advice. But doesn't everyone?

Pop Culture Happy Hour is still my favourite podcast, and this year, I think that Trey Graham became my favourite co-host because he's the guy who talks about things in the theatre world.  I also listened to Manic Mommies (relevant, I guess, because this started out as a parenting blog) and some good stuff put out by my beloved Canadian Broadcasting Company: Under the Influence (about advertising and media, and it's always really interesting) and The Vinyl Cafe.  

Two movies that I am totally smitten with that I think that rest of the world should be: Moonrise Kingdom (a gorgeous quirky Wes Anderson film) and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (because Maggie Smith is flawless). 

I really enjoyed our summer holiday in the United States. I got to see a real space shuttle, after all! I also learned that selling fireworks must be lucrative, if all of the advertising on the interstate that we saw is any indication. 

All of the organic/free-range/way-better-than-in-Vietnam food that we ate on our Christmas vacation in the UK is making me happy. And wistful, now that we're home in Saigon and the four grocery places I've visiting in the last three days haven't had any broccoli. 

Pilates is one of the things that I started this year that I'm really happy with. That reformer is one versatile contraption. 

I took some awesome photographs this year. I didn't post them here, so you'll just have to trust me. 

We paid off the mortgage on the house in Calgary in October, nine years and two months after assuming it. We actually only lived in it for two years and a little bit. 

Lastly, I have to mention that my Air Cast is a pretty brilliant discovery of 2012. I would have loved to have had it when I broke a bone in my ankle back in February and it was totally worth the effort and expense of going to Bangkok to get it this past December when I fractured a metataral on the same foot. It's miles ahead of the casts I had put on at Family Medical here in Saigon in terms of mobility and muscle retension. Not to mention that I can clean the grime of Saigon off of it! 






3 thoughts on “best of 2012*: things that made me happy

  1. I honestly don’t enjoy reading very much, but I’ve made a note of “Code Name Verity” – sounds like I would love. esp. with the WWII theme.
    I love Tim Gunn!!!!!
    I definitely want to see both “Moonrise Kingdom” & “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”!


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