So, I’ve been seeing a lot of these best of the decade lists going around. I don’t want to proclaim what the “best” is, but there have been quite a few things that pop culture has let me snarf up these last 10 years that I’m quite thankful for. Here are a few:
- Joss Whedon & all that he’s done for me, including BTVS, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Serenity, Dollhouse, Fray, & comic variations thereof. And thank you for Buffy season 8!
- Wikipedia. It is one-stop shopping to getting a solid answer about most anything. It is also in trouble, so please donate to keep it free.
- The ability to record & pause television. The DVR is one of my favorite inventions ever.
- Truly awkward, quirky & hilarious comedy bursting from the television. Some of my biggest, tear-inducing laughs - the kind where you can’t catch your breath & miss the next four lines. Shows like, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, The Office, Family Guy, Black Books, The Venture Bros., Aqua Teen Hunger Force & Flight of the Conchords.
- The return of the musical as being cool. The before mentioned Flight of the Conchords & Dr. Horrible were joined by the likes of The Mighty Boosh, Glee, Wicked, etc. to get singing in public cool again.
- The explosion of MP3s & the ability to download songs from the internet. I love my Zune & it hurts my brain to think of how many CDs that translates into.
- Falling in love with rap again. Rap & I had a thing back in the 80’s. It was wild & sexy, but then we kind of fell out. This decade brought rap back to me, more beautiful & better than it ever was before. Some gems include Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Eminem, Common & Gorillaz.
- Other amazing music from: Radiohead, She Wants Revenge, Elvis Perkins, Eels, Regina Spektor, Lily Allen, Franz Ferdinand, Andrew Bird, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers, Frightened Rabbit, Portishead, Beirut, Nick Cave, Gogol Bordello, Air, Flogging Molly, Magnetic Fields, Mindy Smith, Nellie McKay, Sarah Mclachlan & Death Cab for Cutie.
- Steampunk & Cyberpunk going more mainstream
- Fantastically delightful blogs that make me feel like less of a freak & feed my soul: Coilhouse, io9, Pink Tentacle, Everything is Terrible, Warren Ellis, Regretsy, Rationally Speaking & Mutate.
- The rising, rushing swell of beautiful, beloved sci-fi: The American Astronaut, District 9, Avatar, Wall E, Star Trek, Robot Stories, 28 Days Later, Primer, Moon, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Lost, War of the Worlds, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Doctor Who, Battlestar Gallactica, Torchwood, (Joss Whedon’s), Sunshine, Timecrimes, AI, Equilibrium, Eureka, & A Scanner Darkly
- Wonderfully fun and intense monster movies such as The Host, Cloverfield, Let the Right One In, Slither, Godzilla Final Wars, The Descent, Planet Terror, Buba Ho-Tep, Shaun of the Dead, Night Watch & Dog Soldiers
- Dystopian goodies such as Children of Men, Jericho, & Southland Tales (shut-up, it was fun).
- Superhero/Comic stardom across all forms of media with Heroes, Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Sin City, Spiderman, Watchmen, X2, Hellboy, The Incredibles, & Unbreakable.
- Fables. I’ve been purchasing these in trades & have been head-over-heels in love. This is the sort of comic that brings the media to a high art. From the intricate storylines, to the the crushingly beautiful artwork, I just can’t thank DC & Bill Willingham enough for these.
- The iPhone. I adore my iPhone. I adore my applications. I adore not having to carry around a phone AND a PDA. I didn’t get on the bandwagon right away (mine is 3G not the original), but this little phone has been magical. Mine even has a name- Bowie.
- Social networking online (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I dumped my Myspace account a while ago, but I do so enjoy various other sites. I loathe talking on the phone, and these sites go a long way to keeping me from having to. It is also fun to have voyeuristic little jaunts on people’s profiles.
- The return of DIY & handmade. I love crafts & drawing. It’s lovely to have something you made be considered a cool & thoughtful gift again. THE best site for this is Etsy.
- Comedians & on-line funnies that have split my gut, like The Perry Bible Fellowship, Garfield Minus Garfield, David Chappelle, Patton Oswalt, John Stewart, Colbert & Mitch Hedberg.
- phenomenal television series such as Oz, The Shield, The Wire, Weeds, Mad Men, Dexter, The Tudors, Rome, Six Feet Under, Deadwood
- Other great shows I’ve loved watching & are favorites like: Supernatural, True Blood, Project Runway, ANTM, Californication, Nip/Tuck, House, Big Love, Pushing Daisies, Parks & Recreation, Entourage, Slings & Arrows & Extras
- The abundant supply of quality vintage. I love me some vintage. Never has it been so easy to get my hands on quality merchandise. Etsy & E-Bay aside, there are a plethora of awesome on-line retailers now, as well as shops that cater to vintage-inspired pieces too. Check out Barton & Barton as well as Modcloth.
- The Wii. We got one for the kids, and my partner recently commented that I actually play with it more. I loved Wii Fit, but have moved on & enjoy the download-able retro games, as well as EA Sports Active, Puzzle Quest, and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Wii Sports Resort.
- Digital cameras for every-day use. I went kind of kicking & screaming into the switch from film to digital. I don’t know what was wrong with me. While I still greatly appreciate film, I do find these little buggers so convenient! I also love the on-line galleries you can share photos with too.
- Polyvore. While I don’t visit this site nearly as often as I used to- I met some great people & greatly expanded my fashion repertoire with this fun site. You get to be artistic, meet new people, hear new music, find new places to shop & grow in your fashion knowledge.
- Fun reads like the continuation of the Harry Potter series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, Death Note, Scott Pilgrim, The Areas of My Expertise (if this book doesn’t leave you gasping for air, I don’t know what will), Me Talk Pretty One Day (David Sedaris at his best) & also his Naked, Oryx and Crake, Batman & Robin, All Star Superman, Y The Last Man, Ex Machina (Brian K. Vaughan should probably get his own bullet point), Walking Dead, Ultimate Spiderman, Powers, Alias (Bendis should get his own bullet point too), Criminal, Sleeper, Fortune and Glory, Blankets, & Kabuki: The Alchemy.
- Movies that were simply brilliant (of course please include some of those mentioned above): O Brother Where Art Thou?, Memento, Moulin Rouge!, High Fidelity, Spirited Away, American Psycho, Kill Bill, History of Violence, Napoleon Dynamite, Ghost Dog, Pan’s Labyrinth, There Will Be Blood, Lost in Translation, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Almost Famous, Amelie, You Can Count On Me, Traffic, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Carribean, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Y tu mama tambien, The Matrix Reloaded, Yi Yi, Murderball, Thank You for Smoking, Juno, In Bruges.
- Open road tolls. OK, yes- tolls are a pain in the ass & yes, the rates have gone up, but I really like being able to just drive right through without stopping.
- Portable GPS devices for your car. I have a discontinued Garmin StreetPilot, and it has been very good to me. Yes, I do know how to read a map & a compass, but who wouldn’t rather have the map just talk to you & tell you where to turn?
- Podcasts. I listen to quite a few, ranging from various NPR offerings, science shows, skeptics, etc. Some favorites are TAL, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Sound Opinions, Skeptoid & Stuff You Missed in History Class.
- Nerd Power. Power that is so strong, it has not only blessed me with fabulous nerdy goodies for my eyes/ears/body, but it has gone as far as to give me the wondrous president, Barack Obama. He isn’t perfect, but THANK YOU!
The guy who sits by me at work has:
- Trypanophobia (fear of needles)
- Acrophobia (fear of heights)
- Hemophobia (fear of blood)
- Entomophobia / Insectophobia (fear of insects) - seriously; even butterflies
- Muriphobia (fear of mice)
I know he has these things, and because I am a bad person, I tease him for it. He can hold a job and live normally, so these fears are not debilitating. They are, however, downright banal to some other phobias. Here are some that really caught my attention:
Acerophobia- Fear of sourness.
Alektorophobia- Fear of chickens.
Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.
Ambulophobia- Fear of walking.
Anthrophobia or Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
Asymmetriphobia- Fear of asymmetrical things.
Aulophobia- Fear of flutes.
Aurophobia- Fear of gold.
Barophobia- Fear of gravity.
Bibliophobia- Fear of books
Caligynephobia- Fear of beautiful women.
Catoptrophobia- Fear of mirrors. (All vampires must have this)
Cherophobia- Fear of gaiety.
Chirophobia- Fear of hands.
Chromophobia or Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.
Cypridophobia or Cypriphobia or Cyprianophobia or Cyprinophobia - Fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.
Deipnophobia- Fear of dining or dinner conversations.
Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch.
Eosophobia- Fear of dawn or daylight. (again, vampires)
Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.
Ergophobia- Fear of work.
Geniophobia- Fear of chins. (CHINS?!)
Gymnophobia- Fear of nudity. (see: Arrested Development)
Hellenologophobia- Fear of Greek terms or complex scientific terminology.
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words. (Is it just me, or is this a really mean name for it?)
Ithyphallophobia- Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
Kathisophobia- Fear of sitting down.
Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.
Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8.
Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.
Ouranophobia or Uranophobia- Fear of heaven.
Paraskavedekatriaphobia- Fear of Friday the 13th.
Phagophobia- Fear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten.
Phobophobia- Fear of phobias.
Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.
Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween.
Scabiophobia- Fear of scabies.
Symbolophobia- Fear of symbolism.
Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons. (What the heck is a Walloon, you ask? Walloons are a French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia.)
OK, so this is but a snippet of all the phobias out there, so if you are looking for some really scary Halloween ideas, might I suggest decorating your house in hands? Dressing up like a beard being swallowed? Putting a picture of a beautiful woman standing on a stack of books on your porch?
Come now, I already said I was a terrible person. And just to even the playing field a bit, here are some things I personally have an aversion to:
- cotton balls
- touching dry towels with dry hands
- centipedes, millipedes & earwigs
- dirty teeth
Including characters from Downton Abbey, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Parks and Recreation, and more. Awesome.