My 2012 favorite things list:
Proudest moment: Our nine year old scoring a winning goal in Fall soccer. Never would I have expected that outcome.
Second prodest moment: Long story short - our nine year old saw another fourth grader picking on a first grader and went out of his way to stand up for the little girl. Needless to say, the bully wasn't very happy with our kid. We're so proud of Ryan for standing his ground and doing the right thing.
Best concert: Unless you live in the Washington, DC area you've never heard of her which is a shame since the woman is an amazing perfomer - Mary Anne Redmond at Jammin' Java Vienna, Virginia. Small, intimate setting and a mix of longtime fans and the singer's friends made for a wonderful time.
Second best concert: I'm surprised by this pick myself - Steve Miller Band at Wolftrap. Maybe because my expectations were low, I had a wonderful time and Miller sounded great on a mixture of hits (all of them from my high school and college days) and blues material. It was fantastic and I can't wait to see him again.
Biggest concert disappointment: Rush at Jiffy Lube Pavillion. They played a lot of stuff of the new album (Clockwork Angels) which I hadn't heard and didn't particularly like. In contrast, they were killer the last go around which was more of a hits collection.
Favorite family event: Walking up, down and all around Sugarloaf Mountain. Our nine year old outwalked Elissa and myself. - I was wondering if we'd make it back to the car Luckily we stumbled onto Sugarload Mountain Vineyard as we were driving home. The wine wasn't fantastic, but after spending all day hiking, it was cold and served as the perfect way to end the family outting (no, the nine year old didn't have any wine).
Favorite book: Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis It cam out in 2003, but I never thought a book about statistics and baseball would be so fascinating. Spellbinding read from start to finish.
Second favorite book: Confederates In the Attic by Tony Horowitz. Hardcore civil war reenactors and the impact of the War Between the States some 130 years later. Simultaneously educational and funny as all. One of the few books that I think I could read over and over again. I'd love to read a follow-on. What happened to the people Horowitz met.
Favorite movie: Moneyball. Yeah, it wasn't as good as the book, but I still enjoyed every minute of it (wife fell asleep watching it).
Favorite restaurant or meal: I can't think of a single killer meal I had at a restaurant over the past year and I'm not particualrly picky. As a result the best meal I had was Elissa's 100% crab cakes - literally nothing but crap and butter. To die for ...
Coolest thing I acquired this year: Northwestern Saturn Bubble Gum Machine and new gumballs to go in it. How early '60s can you get?
Second coolest thing I acquired this year: Piece of Rick Abrams artwork - Lifesavers
Favorite album of the year: Sandy Denny "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" - amazing 43 track retrospective covering all facets of her career.