The very best in music, movies, books, TV, concerts and more of 2012

UPDATED: Dec. 28, 2012
A long time ago (or, actually, two years ago), I would make annual Best Of lists, usually for movies and music, and I loved doing it. I always wanted to include TV shows and books, but I often found myself unable to list 10, and since all good lists come in groups of 10, I would leave them off and be done with it.

Last year, though, I opted for an overarching list that included all things I loved about the year, so I’m now thinking that’s the way to go. Oddly enough, this year, I had a hard time narrowing my TV shows down to 10 – we really are in an amazing era of quality TV. Note: These aren’t necessarily listed in order of favorites or quality.

So, I give you The 2012 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
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The very best in music, movies, books, TV, concerts and more of 2011

UPDATED Jan. 4
In sitting down to pick my top movies/albums/etc. of the past year, I realized I would have a difficult time picking 10 in any particular category, which is kind of a key component in any top 10 list.

So, instead of the usual “best of” format, I’m going to borrow from Stephen King (who happens to be on this list) and include the things I loved in 2011. Other than being grouped by category with a No. 1 leading the way for each, they’ll be in no particular order.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you …

The 2011 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
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A blog by Art Vandelay, or How Seinfeld Made Something Out of Nothing and Shaped My Life

Toward the end of eighth-grade and into high school, I became hooked on stand-up comedy. I would watch A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour and any other collection of comedians I could possibly get, all while soaking up the styles, deliveries and word play.

I’m guessing, though I can’t be fully certain, that somewhere along the way I caught a glimpse of Jerry Seinfeld (now that I think about it – and yes I have honestly thought about it during the amount of time to write “ … cant be fully certain …” and this parenthetical aside – I probably saw him on The Tonight Show). The humor struck a note (or, if you prefer, my funny bone), so on evening of May 31, 1990, this then-high school freshman turned on NBC and watched what was at the time called The Seinfeld Chronicles.

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I hope DirecTV goes DirecToHell

There’s an extra bounce in my step today, perhaps a little extra change in my pocket (as to whether it goes jing-a-ling-a-ling, that’s for another story, perhaps one set in 1986). On this weekend of love and romance and Valentines, I’m celebrating a break-up that’s been a long time coming.

Today, I ended my two-year relationship with DirecTV.

I couldn’t be happier.
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