WORST DAY: April 16, watching the Virginia Tech shooting unfold.
BEST/WORST DAYS: Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, moving from New York City to Chicago.
BEST NEWS STORY INVOLVING A CAT: Oscar the Cat lives in the hospice unit of a nursing home in Providence, R.I. Oscar has the uncanny ability to tell when a patient is about to die, and sits on the bed with the person until the moment of death.
BEST SONG: The one I’ll remember is “Golden State” by John Doe, with its echoing refrain of “walk away, walk away.”
BEST ALBUM: Wilco’s “Sky Blue Sky” is a meaningful, challenging record. Runners-up: Neil Young’s “Live at Massey Hall” (recorded in 1971) and Dolly Varden’s “The Panic Bell.”
BEST SHOW (THEATRE): Patty Griffin at the Beacon Theatre (April 19).
Bonus video: Patty Griffin playing "No Bad News" off the new record.
BEST SHOW (OTHER): The Hold Steady at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Aug. 6).
BEST ARTIST: Patty Griffin amazed me, with a warm and career-advancing record (“Children Running Through”), two magical shows (the Beacon and Sept. 20 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park) and a jukebox musical of her songs (“10 Million Miles,” Atlantic Theater Co.).
It was Patty's year.
BEST AD: Miller High Life’s truck driver who enforces the High Life.
"Eleven-fifty for a hamburger? Y'all must be crazy." Watch him in action here.
WORST AD: (tie) I don’t hate kids, but kids were responsible for these awful ads: the “it’s the meers” girl and the “Verizon Fios tech” boy.
SADDEST ADVERTISING DEVELOPMENT: Dunkin’ Donuts inexplicably used two malevolent forces in their ads this year: Rachael Ray and the New York Yankees.
BEST INSURANCE SPOKESTHING WORTHY OF ITS OWN ABC SITCOM: The Aflac duck. Runner up: the scruffy Allstate football fans.
Sorry ABC, this was a horrible idea.
BEST CAREER MOVE: Leaving ABC News in New York for Tribune Interactive in Chicago.
BEST MOVIE: “Knocked Up”
BEST MUSICAL: “Spring Awakening” (Feb. 14 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre)
BEST OPENING ACT: Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles (July 28, for Kelly Willis)
BEST RADIO STATION: WFUV-FM: it’s XRT without commercials.
BEST VENUE: Beacon Theatre, New York.
BEST DINING EXPERIENCE: Boma, an African restaurant at Walt Disney World (March 24).
PHRASE THAT EVERYONE MUST STOP USING NOW: “Blank is the new blank.” Black is still black, and everything else is still whatever it was before. (I'm not the only who noticed this: http://www.lssu.edu/whats_new/articles.php?articleid=1431)
BEST ND GAME: Only saw one, so by default it was the Air Force game (Nov. 10).
BEST BASEBALL GAME: In a matchup of conflicting rooting interests, the Cubs and Mets were tied in the ninth inning, when a Jose Reyes single and THREE STRAIGHT WALKS gave the home team a 5-4 victory (May 14 at Shea Stadium).
BEST NEWSPAPER WRITEUP OF OUR IMPENDING NUPTIALS: the New York Observer (Feb. 4).
BEST BUMPER STICKER SENTIMENT: “I never thought I’d miss Nixon.” Seen on a T-shirt of a older woman outside the Fareway (Upper West Side, Manhattan).
BEST QUOTE: "We always remember where we came from and that's made us earnest and honest. So many people move here (New York City) from Ohio or Iowa and immediately become Yankee fans, and that just sucks." –Tad Kubler, guitarist for the Hold Steady, Aug. 6 in amNY.
An excuse to run another Hold Steady picture. Kubler is on the far left.
BEST TV SHOW: “Grey’s Anatomy” has gotten whinier and less compelling, but it’s still better than 99% of the crap on TV.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT (SPORTS): Notre Dame football. Runners–up: the Mets collapse in the regular season, the Bears in the regular season, the Cubs in the postseason.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT (MUSIC): Son Volt live. The new lineup was flat, out of sync, and even less inspiring than regular Volt. Let’s hope Jay Farrar rediscovers the joy soon.
2007 was a year of change: new job, new apartment, new marital status, and old/new city. Best wishes and God Bless for a happy, healthy 2008!