L is for Lists

I used to make lists all the time. To-do lists, book lists, lists of writing topics, etc. I’ve gotten better in my old age, but I still do like a good list. And so, since today is L-day, here’s a post full of lists, starting with a list of reasons for posting lists.

5 Reasons for Posting a List of Lists
  1. It could be fun.
  2. It’s silly.
  3. It’s L-day and L is for Lists. Duh.
  4. Lists are supposed to be good for you.
  5. Because.

It might be helpful to make a list of things people might make lists of.

10 Things People Make Lists Of
  1. Favorite movies
  2. Favorite books
  3. Favorite bands
  4. Favorite TV shows
  5. Favorite other stuff
  6. Things to do
  7. Places to go
  8. Famous people it’s okay to sleep with even though you’re married
  9. Reasons for things
  10. Things people make lists of

Just because I listed something there doesn’t mean I’ll necessary include that here. My lists are not the boss of me. So:

10 Things You Can Do With a Stone
  1. Convoluted rockThrow it
  2. Skip it
  3. Rub it
  4. Contemplate it
  5. Balance it on another stone
  6. Use it to scratch something
  7. Weigh something down
  8. Break it
  9. Roll it
  10. Turn it into a pet

Well now, that’s just absurd. Let’s try something more philosophical.

10 Questions About Jim Croce’s lyric, “If I could save time in a bottle”
  1. Would the time in the bottle have an expiration date?
  2. Where would the time come from?
  3. What would the time look like?
  4. Could the time be used by anyone who opened the bottle?
  5. How much time can a typical bottle hold?
  6. Are there any special storage requirements for time?
  7. What would happen if some time leaked out?
  8. Would the saved time be “generic” time to be used as desired? (Or would it contain specific experiences?)
  9. What effect would the containing, storing, selling and buying of time have on the world economy?
  10. Why save time?

I think we can all agree that is a much more useful list. Of course, many lists showcase someone’s favorites. I’ve always found it hard to come up with favorites because any favorites I could name change over time (or even from day to day), and I am indecisive and answering would require, well, deciding. But, for the sake of L-day, I’ll make the effort to come up with a list of some favorites.

If nothing else, these might give you good reason to scoff at me.

Top-ish 20 Movies (in no particular order)
  1. Go movieGo
  2. House of Yes
  3. Hero
  4. Groundhog Day
  5. The Incredibles
  6. 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould
  7. Princess Bride
  8. Serial Mom
  9. Grosse Pointe Blank
  10. Inglourious Basterds
  11. That Thing You Do
  12. Pulp Fiction
  13. Raising Arizona
  14. The Red Violin
  15. Run Lola Run
  16. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  17. This is Spinal Tap
  18. Shrek
  19. The Man Who Knew Too Little
  20. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I almost feel a need to justify my choices. After all, a lot of those movies aren’t exactly highbrow. But all of these movies stuck with me either because they were fun (like “That Thing You Do”), clever (like “Go”), hilarious (like “Raising Arizona”), deliciously twisted (like “House of Yes”) or beautiful (like “Hero”).

Then again “favorite” lists are subjective. To each their own. Agree to disagree. Etcetera etcetera, etcetera. Maybe I should have included “The King and I.”

Top-ish 10 TV Shows


  1. Dexter
  2. Frasier
  3. Big Bang Theory
  4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  5. Arrested Development
  6. Twin Peaks
  7. Modern Family
  8. Parks and Recreation
  9. Scrubs
  10. Veronica Mars

Limiting the list to ten is hard. The trouble with TV shows is that many that are really entertaining aren’t necessarily that good but still sucked me in. (i.e. “Warehouse 13″ or “Fringe”) Others that were well done aren’t ones I’d necessarily watch over again. (i.e. “The United States of Tara”)

Top-ish 10 Fiction Books

Queen of the Damned

  1. Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
  2. Nine Princes in Amber (series) by Roger Zelazny
  3. Titan (trilogy) by John Varley
  4. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
  5. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
  6. A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
  7. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  8. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
  9. Harry Potter books by J.K. Rawling
  10. You Suck by Christopher Moore

Holy crap, that’s even harder to do! I know I could have done a list of twenty. Still. Maybe because books take longer to read, and because “favorites” are spread out over a longer span of time,  I had to rack my brains more for this list than any other. Even as I’m writing this, more books are popping into my head, like Lord of the Rings, Ringworld, etc.

Maybe this listing of “favorites” wasn’t a good idea. Okay, just one more.

Top-ish 10 Bands

Die So Fluid The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime

  1. Die So Fluid
  2. Animal Alpha
  3. Paatos
  4. The Crest
  5. This Ascension
  6. Riverside
  7. Concrete Blonde
  8. String Cheese Incident
  9. Fluttr (Fluttr Effect)
  10. 4 Non Blondes

This is one of the more volatile lists since I’m constantly finding new bands.  In fact, all the groups on this list are bands I didn’t come across until long after college. A lot of times when I hear people name their favorite music, they come up with an old band I suspect was their favorite back in their teens or twenties. If I were to list my old favorites, I’d have a list of music I can still appreciate or that is very nostalgic, but that I almost never listen to anymore. Is that sad?

Sorry this post is so long. Maybe I should make a list of reasons not to have such long blog posts…

Do you have any favorites? Do you wonder about any of mine? What do you like to make lists of?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge banner

My no-longer-non-award-winning blog

As I near the six-month anniversary of my first blog post, I have received my first blog award nominations. These come to me thanks to HoaiPhai, who has his own blog. (If you go check it out, you’ll find some cool photography and thoughtful posts. Plus, he spells ‘checks’ as ‘cheques’!)

The Versatile Blogger awardLiebster Blog award

Since I am easily confused, I’m not entirely sure what I am supposed to do to earn these awards. As far as I can tell, the combined requirements for these two awards look something like this:

  1. Thank the person nominating my blog.
  2. Link back to that person’s blog.
  3. Nominate five other blogs for the award. (I’ve also seen fifteen blogs for this number.)
  4. Notify the nominees.
  5. Tell the person nominating my blog seven things about myself.

I happily took care of the first two of these in the first paragraph. I’ll get to the fifth shortly. It’s the third and fourth steps I have an issue with. It’s not that I wouldn’t be willing to acknowledge five (or fifteen) blogs. It’s that I don’t want to “obligate” them to do the required steps. (For an eloquent discussion on this very subject, check out this post by Hippie Cahier.)

Call me a rebel if you will, but I’m going to skip the passing along of nominations. If that disqualifies me for the Liebster Blog and The Versatile Blogger awards, so be it. Instead, I’m going to (re)point you to my “blogroll” on the right for a list of some of my favorite blogs. Any and all of those would be on my award nomination list. I encourage you to go check them out.

I’m still going to list seven things about myself just for fun:

  1. At this moment I have 3 guitars, a piano, a keyboard and a conga drum in my house. Six musical instruments and I’m playing none of them.
  2. When I was in high school, my girlfriend and I drank two pints of blackberry brandy and got so sick that I have not been able to drink hard alcohol ever since.
  3. I was so shy as a little kid that any time someone rang the doorbell, I’d run and hide.
  4. I often torment my wife by singing the theme songs from “The Brady Bunch”, “Beverly Hillbillies” or “Gilligan’s Island.” (She complains that the songs get stuck in her head, though I don’t understand why that’s a problem.)
  5. In nearly every improv class I go to, I will at some point pull out a gun. (Fortunately, it rarely gets used.)
  6. Once (and only once) in my life I woke from a nightmare so intense I understood why a person might wake up screaming. (I didn’t actually scream, though.)
  7. I have an extensive collection of beach glass, as well as bottles of sand from beaches along the coast from Cannon Beach, OR to Carmel, CA.

I foresee a time when I create my own blog award to give out, but if I do, it will be something I award outright without any action required of the recipient.

What do you think? Am I just being a fuddy-duddy?