‘Tis the season of year-end lists.  And boy do I love a good list. (I’m currently making my way through Blue Ridge Outdoors’ “Essential 2012 Albums from the South”).  I got super excited about making my own list . . . movies and books and albums and restaurants – oh, my!  Except  I couldn’t think of more than a handful of movies I had seen or books I had read.  Somehow The 5 Movies I Saw This Year just doesn’t have the same ring as The Year’s Most Fabulous Movies Ever.  I was momentarily discouraged, feeling the dream of year-end list making slipping through my fingers.  But then, in a flicker of inspiration I realized there didn’t need to be such a standard theme.  There are lots of people, (probably more expert than I) counting down the best of the words written, songs sung and dishes prepared; so instead I give you my 2012 superlatives (in no particular order):

Album Played on Repeat for the Most Consecutive Days: a tie between I and Love and You, The Avett Brothers; and  The Lumineers, self-titled. (And yes I know The Avett Brothers have a new album this year – but this was the one I couldn’t get enough of.  That’s the beauty of this being my very own list!)

Best Place to Pick up that Skirt/Dress/Shirt  that will Make You Smile Every Time You Wear It: Ashby

Best Concert of the Year: Aquanett (Talk about smiling!  If you don’t leave this  show hoarse from singing along – you probably weren’t alive in the 80’s).

Best Random Yelp Recommendation: – The Pony Bar 

Most Unusual Beer I Drank: Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout (just click the link, you know you want to know)

The Saddest Restaurant/Bar Closure: the deck at Mulligan’s (it’s the end of an era, folks)

Most Awesome Place to Celebrate a Birthday: Brooklyn Bowl (40 or 4, they’ve got you covered)

Coolest “Found” Object: my parent’s 1970 KLH turntable (now resting comfortably in our living room, so lovely)

The Best Way to Eat Your Veggies: Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen 

The Far-Away Bar I Wish was in My Neighborhood: Euclid Hall (and not just because of the awesome poutine) (*poutine defined*)

All the best to you in 2013, my friends!

The Escobar Music Project

So Pandora may have the Music Genome Project, but around my house we’ve got a subscription to Rhapsody and some wicked free association.*  Every now and then my husband and I will be listening to a song that reminds one of us of  another song, that then leads us to another, and so on and so on until we’ve built a large and beautifully random playlist.

This is never a planned activity.  We don’t ever finish up dinner and say to one another, “Let’s pick a song and then listen to whatever it makes us think of next. . . that would be fun, right?”  We don’t pencil in Music Night on our calendar.  It just happens, on a random Tuesday over a nice post-dinner beer.  Two people who love music with thousands and thousands of songs at their finger tips.  Just a little modern-day music magic.

Here’s our most recent creation:

Battle of Who Could Care Less – Ben Folds Five

Got My Own Thing Now – Squirrel Nut Zippers

Hell – Squirrel Nut Zippers

Jet City Woman – Queensryche

Silent Lucidity – Queensryche

Against All Odds – Phil Collins

Separate Lives – Phil Collins

The Next Time I Fall – Peter Cetera & Amy Grant

Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is – Chicago

Saturday in the Park – Chicago

25 Or 6 to 4 – Chicago

Fire – Jimi Hendrix

Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

The Bear – Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

4th of July – Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

Gravity – Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers

Defying Gravity – Indina Menzel/Kristin Chenoweth (from Wicked)

Happy random listening and loving, folks!

*Make no mistake, I am in no way disparaging Pandora.  I’m a huge fan and those genomes have led me to some fabulous artists.