[BACKPOST] - 2011: The Best Of...

So 2011. It was a year of routine, hard work, and changes. I definitely had my share of struggles in 2011, but overall it was a good year for me. This is going to be a really hard post to write though, because this information is all almost a year old now. Oh, I'm such a bad blogger!

Best Trip of 2011:

You're probably thinking I'm going to pick Cedar Point since it was my favorite trip in 2010, and we did have our first Family Reunion (just my family, no extendeds) there this summer. But I'm going to have to pick a different one, to be fair.

The winner? Pittsburgh.

Because it was my first time to this City, and it happens to be home to two of my favorite people. Love ya ladies! We had a blast on this trip exploring and riding boat/cars, visiting the sights, spending time, good eats, it was just an amazing trip (so great that I went again this year!)

Best Restaurant of 2011:

What can I say? Old habits die hard. I'm cheating, I know. But I'm picking the same place twice. Just because this place is such a part of me now.

Good ol' Faustina.

I mean, I've had birthdays here, parties here, it's a loved spot of my besties and I. I just have way too much history here to let it go. It has to win again. I don't eat anywhere else near as much as here.

Best Article of 2011:

Yeah! Way to keep a list for this one! Which makes it impossible to pick just one. Too bad my list for 2012 is only about 25% as good as this one.

I'm going to pick 3, in no particular order:
1. Male Rookie of the Year: Jared Hulet - because it's about my brother. And Ultimate. And both of those things deserve to be celebrated.

2. 11 Things to Know at 25(ish) - because this article is rife with good information, and good advice, and everyone should (have) read it.

3. I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay - because this is one of the most important articles I read all year. It was informative, provocative, and really resonated with me. It's a love thing.

Best Book of 2011:

So I read somewhere between 25 or 30 books in 2010. 2011 was clearly not a year of reading for me, it was a year of working. ALOT. With repeated, nigh-constant overtime. So I only managed to read 17 books.

And many of those were re-reads. So the choice for best book of 2011 is easy: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.

My review: Grade: A+. This book is a product of GENIUS. I spent more than a month reading this book because early on I realized how awesome it was and I wanted to savor its brilliance. The story is formatted in a way that I have never come across before, with story as nested dolls. So the first section starts out in the 1500s or somewhere around there and goes about 39 pages and then just ENDS. Like middle of the sentence ends and just goes to the next section. When I got there I was super weirded out. I was like, wait, I'm missing pages, or there's a misprint, or something got formatted wrong! Nope. Totally intentional. The next section is about a chateau where a boy is learning to be a composer, and he's stealing books from the library and he finds this book that only has 39 pages and then just ends! Genius. The second section is written in the form of 9 letters, then the third section is about a guy who is trying to not get assassinated and in his pocket he has these 9 letters. I mean, it was mind-blowing. So the story progresses and you go deeper and deeper into the nested stories until you're at a post-apocalyptic one and then the story turns around and heads back the way it came, tying up all the loose ends. The very last section of the book picks up mid-sentence where the first left off and resolves itself completely. I freaking loved reading this book.

Best Movie of 2011:

In 2010 I saw 30 movies and thought I did pretty good (that's over 2 a month!). In 2011, I saw 38! Even better! All my work hours couldn't keep me out of the movie theater (netflix helped too)! I saw alot of really great movies in 2011! It's so hard to pick.

I'm going to have to go with:

Here's my review of this brilliant movie: Grade: A. I was SO excited to see this movie! The trailers looked AMAZESAUCE. And it proved to be true. Went to the midnight showing and so glad I did. This movie was everything it promised in the names of Spielberg and J.J.Abrams. Definitely one to see if you haven't.

If I remember correctly, I went back and saw it again in theaters. And we all know how I feel about seeing movies more than once. Seriously. This movie is awesome. And I'm pretty sure it's on netflix too.

Runner-up: Definitely Sucker-Punch.

Best Night Out of 2011:

Again, a very difficult decision for me. I think I have to go with the Equality Utah Allies Dinner though. It was a fantastic night, surrounded by great people, all brought together for one thing: Equality for all people. My highlight of the night (other than having my favorite Professor from the Y there with me), was this video being played on the big screen:

Best Blog of 2011:

I sort of dropped the ball on readings blogs in 2011 (and 2012). They just kind of stopped being a thing I do. Probably because I would go away for a few days and then come home and have 100s (1000+) of new ones to read thanks to failblog and winfail and powm, etc. So there's that. I think I will give the award to the one webcomic I semi-religiously read.

That counts as a blog, because 1) I say it does. 2) What I say, goes. It's MY blog! 3) I am RSS'ed so it comes to me like blogs do.

Best Conference of 2011:

Yup. 0. I am a conference-free soul. I think I'm okay with that. I don't know if this one will make the cut into next year.

Best Challenge of 2011:

I really think that if you know me at all, this will be self-explanatory. We finally, after 3 years, got to the deciding moments, which were agony, aggravation, and all-around HELL. So, so glad it's over.

Best Moment of Peace 2011:

Why is this one always so hard for me? I think I'm going to have to pick the first night of my Bear Lake trip. Everyone else that came up was inside laughing, joking, playing games, and having a good time. My heart was somewhere else. I was content to sit out on the porch and hear their happiness and stare at the stars. A friend came outside and we started talking. Deep, connective talking. The kind where you trade souls for a minute and you stare into each others' eyes and nothing is lost to you. We connected on the level beyond friends hanging out, and those moments are the ones where I really feel like I'm alive. We spent probably 3 or 4 hours under the stars just talking about ourselves and our lives and it was heaven.

Best Album of 2011:

I think I'm going to have to go with Angels & Airwaves: Love I & II for this award.

I got this double album (and movie) near the end of 2011 and have loved it every minute since. The movie wasn't awful either.

Best Rush of 2011:

I am going to have to go with Cedar Point on this one. :) My brothers got me to ride some of the super tall, drop you, scream my guts out, SCARY rides I don't usually ride. And I screamed like a little girl. But I did it. And it WAS a rush, so it wins this one.

Best Change I Made to the Place I Live in 2011:

Couch! I got a couch! And artwork! I'm still working on the artwork... I don't think the place is totally done, but it's much more home-y than before.

Best New Food of 2011:

So last year I picked chips. I think this year I am again picking chips (wahhttt?!):

I always, without fail, eat the whole bag in one sitting. They are just so tasty-licious! Let the nom nom nom continue uninterrupted.

Best Place of 2011:

This one is going to sound sentimental, but I have to pick it. I'm choosing my house on Thanksgiving. I hadn't had a Thanksgiving home in years and years. So I decided to fly in and surprise everyone. Getting my sister lost on the way home from the airport (after assuring her I knew the way) did not help the situation, and the surprise collapsed before it was a success. But on the way there, I was elated beyond words. And being with my family always brings me more joy and happiness than anything else. I love them so much.

Best Tea of 2011:

I didn't really drink much tea in 2011. It was a thing for a minute, then I sort of moved away from it again. Habits are harder to make for me I guess.

Word or Phrase of 2011:

Mmmmmm. I don't even remember what words or phrases I was using in 2011 that were incessantly annoying my co-workers or harassing my friends. Sounds like a cop-out, but I honestly don't think I can answer this one. I have some ideas for my 2012 words, but it's not over yet!

One more backpost of 2011, and then on into the details of this year!


Paul Pratt said…
I agree with you about the 'Cloud Atlas'. Really good book!! I almost want to read it again just to piece together more of the subdleties. It really came together for me in the last couple pages, and it's really a beautiful story. I really hope the movie doesn't screw it up.

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