A Pretty Good Year: A list, of sorts

julia-child-web.jpgSARAH MEEHAN SIRK

As far as bests go, this one is pretty good:

 ...but it's not from 2010 and I guess it's not really a list. Unless you consider it a list of totally awesome moves.

I'll be honest - I couldn't find a best-of list that really resonated with me, so I thought I'd make my own.



Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.
Even if I did have to wait standing up in general admission for two hours after a lame opening act. Even if they performed in a crap venue. Even if, while waiting, sweating, getting elbowed, and shifting my weight from one foot to the other a millions times, I kept saying "I'm getting way TOO OLD for this!" over and over.
They're worth it. There is no one who can put on a show like Sharon Jones. And I'm a sucker for a horn section.
If you don't yet own any Daptone Gold, go and get some. Go ahead, I'll wait.
BEST THING I MADE (In my Kitchen) 
Julia Child's French Onion Soup 
french onion soup.jpgIt's all in the onions. You can't rush them. It can take an hour until they've reached the right tenderness and the perfect shade of deep golden brown.  
You can see the recipe here, but really, nothing beats flipping through an old butter-stained copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking -- or better yet, pick up your own.
P.S. Rumour has it that Julia's final meal was Soupe a L'Oignon before she passed away in 2004. What else do you need to know?
I think I read more books in 2010 than in the past few years combined, thanks, in part, to rediscovering the joys of public transit. (I'm being serious. I actually love the subway.) Here are some of my favourites...
light lifting.jpgLight Lifting by Alexander MacLeod
I've been a huge fan of Alistair MacLeod (Alexander's father) for a long time and, years ago, when I finally started making enough money to travel on my own, I ventured to Cape Breton Island to find his writing cabin by the sea. Call it a pilgrimage, of sorts. Turns out the apple doesn't fall far from the tree -- though the content and style differ substantially from MacLeod senior's, the characters in Alexander's short stories continue to haunt me in a way only his father's had before.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
It's not the same book you read in high school. If you haven't picked it up in decades, I urge you to pull the dusty copy off the shelf that's stamped with "Property of (Your High School Here)" and start reading. You'll see what I mean.
Room by Emma Donaghue
What's left to be said about this Booker-shortlister? It'll open your eyes to a brand new world.
Other notables:
By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham, Dubliners by James Joyce, Runaway by Alice Munro, Freedom by Jonathon Franzen, Point Omega by Don DeLillo.
Things That Made me Laugh Hard in 2010



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