Other than that, I'm a third year Education Student at the University of Lethbridge, majoring in Social Studies. Because let's face it, politics and history are pretty awesome.
It’s time for another list of the top something of the decade, and this time I’ve chosen books. But not just any books. You see, even getting to this point was a struggle. All the top selling lists were clogged with Harry Potter and Twilight. Ick, I know. But any list put together by “experts” are books that I hadn’t read. I was at an impasse. So I looked over my bookshelf, and found inspiration. This is my list of the book’s of the 2000s that I read in the 2000s. That are currently on my bookshelf. I do read more than 8 books a decade.
1. Steven Galloway – The Cellist of Sarajevo
Love. Love. Love. While I was reading this, I was writing a history paper about Slobodan Milosevic, i.e. exactly the time period this book was written about. I loved that this book gave me a more humanistic perspective on all my academic facts. Unfortunately, the real Cellist of Sarajevo is not nearly as pleased with this book.
2. Audrey Niffennegger - The Time Traveller’s Wife
Again, hearts all around. I read this book when I was in Holland with parents, so perhaps I associate it with positive feelings of traveling. Also, when I got sick of all my relatives speaking Dutch, I could pick up this book and they would stop talking to me. I’m so social.
The movie wasn’t near as good as the book (isn’t that just the story of life?) What made it worse is that there were 12-ish year old girls behind me and they kept gigging and making stupid comments throughout. So do yourself a favor: read the book and avoid annoying pre-teens.
3. Dan Brown - Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol
Dear Dan Brown, I heart you and your super smart books that in turn, increase my knowledge about a subject, if not make me a little paranoid about the Illuminati. I discovered in The Lost Symbol that Robert Langdon and I drink the same type of coffee (Sumatra). I’m not really sure how that relates to the actual books, but it makes me feel smarter as I drink my morning coffee. And look for ambigrams.
4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Love in the Time of Cholera
BOOO. This book is all hype and no payoff. One of the greatest love stories my foot! I’ve tried to read this book 4 times, and each time give up around page 50. I think I need to learn Italian and read it in the original. I’ve trudged through Martha Nussbaum, and can’t get trough this.
5. Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
I’m lukewarm about this book. On the one hand, it was really cute and a good story, but I don’t feel like I gained anything from it, unfortunately. It was a mediocre.
Well, there you have it. What are your favorite books from the 2000s? Or even just your favorite book of all time?
So I know my theme is the top [insert topic] here of the 2000s as suggested by some sort of “expert.” But now I’m changing this to MY top of the 2000s (cheers, Andrew Keen!) And this is the top sports plays of the 2000s. Which is a little bit of a misnomer, because quite honestly, I didn’t start watching sports until 2003. (I’m from a Dutch immigrant family…my North American sporting roots do not run deep.) So anyway, the my top 3 plays of the decade:
PGA - Tiger Woods, 2005 Masters
“In your LIFE have you seen anything like that?” I know, it’s cool to hate on Tiger right now, and as scummy as what he did is, I still like him. If you really hate Tiger, you’ll love this. (And P.S. I know golf is terribly, terribly boring. But my boyfriend loves it and I’ve started to come around.)
NFL - David Tyree, Superbowl 42
Let’s set the stage here. There’s me, wearing my Eli Manning jersey with pride, watching the Superbowl with a room full of Patriot fans who up until this point, have trashed me and my team to no end. Eli threw the ball, and silence fell over the room. Tyree caught it, and silence remained. Until I realized what JUST HAPPENED and jumped up, yelling loudly. And then the Giants WON and I threw it in the face of every Patriot fan I could find.
NHL - Alexander Ovechkin, “Holy jumpin,’ you gotta be kidding me!”
You know you’re an impressive hockey player when you make Wayne Gretzky take pause. I watched this game, and I think every single person watching did the quintessential “OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!!!!” that comes when you see something like this. Alexander Ovechkin, you are a powerful and attractive man.
So I gave in and attempted chatroulette. It was trending on twitter and I was bored. I decided I would just hope and pray I wouldn’t see any sketchy stuff. I was on it for about 2 minutes, and I still don’t understand the appeal. I sat and drank coffee and watched the Flames game and went on.
I went through 4 guys, all around 20-ish I would say. All fairly attractive, which surprised me. However, 3 of the 4 asked me to remove some articles of clothing after a few seconds of polite conversation.
I don’t like those odds. I like our social norms and niceties. That’s enough chatroulette for me. My curiosity is satisfied.
Have you guys tried it?
Per Adam’s request, here is a list of my top tv shows/ tv shows I’m watching right now. Admittedly past the first few, they’re in no particular order. So here they are:
My boyfriend Joel, loves the Office. He almost lives and dies by this show. In fact, when we started dating, he more or less told me that I HAD to start watching. Last week he asked if I watched the baby episode, and I was really busy so I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. His response? “Jacquelyn, I’m worried that you’re not taking your role as my girlfriend very seriously.”
My favourite part of this show is the pranks Jim plays on Dwight. Enjoy:
The Amazing Race
Formulaic, I know, but still wildly entertaining. I’ve taken to saying “Oh my gravy” in honor of my favorite team, Jet and Cord, the cowboys.
Who doesn’t love Dr. Gregory House? As of late, it’s gotten a little bit bland. It seems like the writers have written themselves into a corner.
Over the summer, I watched House from beginning to end, and have determined that the funniest parts of House occur during clinic duty. Youtube won’t let me embed the video, but you can watch it if you click here.
How I Met Your Mother
I love this show, really. But it needs to end. It’s circling the drain at this point. Just meet the mother, and we can all have fond memories.
The Big Bang Theory
If you do not watch this show, you need to start. Right now. Right right now. I cannot stress this enough. It should be a lot higher up on my list. Anyway, forgive all the embedding, but y’all have to watch this - its my favorite scene to date. Sheldon is an eccentric genius and is learning to drive.
One Tree Hill
I never said I had discriminating taste. Actually, OTH was great until this season. I loved the high school drama intermingled with the basketball. Now it’s getting lame. Oddly enough, it was renewed for an 8th season. This show might be falling off of this list by then.
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villians
I watched the first 4-ish seasons of Survivor, and then decided it was lame. But when this came and on and COLBY DONALDSON, my first reality TV love was on it, i was hooked. And I love him as much now as did then. After class every week, I race home to watch it. This is what my life has become.
That 70s Show
I just downloaded this and started watching it again. I vaguely rememeber it from high school when my friends watched it. Goodness knows what I was doing that I didn’t. Oh well, better late than never. I’m only 7 episodes in, so I can’t update yet.
Dancing with the Stars
I’m only watching this because Kate Gosselin is going to be on it. And Kate and I have a long history. You see, I used to love Kate. “Multiple Blessings” spoke to my heart. I defended her to people and everything. But now….well, she’s gone too far. And I need to watch it out of some bizarre habit, or just to see where this train wreck is going next. It starts next week Monday, so mark your calenders.
The Celebrity Apprentice
Sorry to all you Lauper lovers, but has she lost her marbles? The best example of this was when Don Jr. told her she wasn’t in the top 4 of money makers, and she whispers in awe, “how do you know?” and Don Jr says, “I know everything.”
And P.S. ROB BLAGOJEVICH, whaaaatt? I can’t say I like him, but I hope he stays for a long time because he’s so entertaining. I need to start making a drinking game of how many times an episode that he claims innocence. That man is all politician all the time.
And Sinbad! Sinbad is STILL funny. I forgot about him. I’m pleased to see he hasn’t let me down.
However, my favorite to this point: Curtis Stone. And I like the men’s team. None of the women have endeared themselves to me yet.
I watch too much TV. There, I said it. I’m ok with that. As I’m writing this, I’m continuing my week-long marathon of Boy Meets World. I’m almost done the series, and then I’ll inevitbly pick up something else. Anyway, I’ve long been looking for a “top tv shows of the decade” list that I agree with. Arrested Development always comes out on top, and frankly, that’s not ok with me. I’ve watched all of 3 epsiodes, or perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about. And so I took a different route. In an ironic salute to Andrew Keen, I went for the most popular tv shows. Woo for the masses! So here we go.
10. Spin City.
This show ended in 2002. I was 13. I never watched it. *shurgs*
9. Everybody Loves Raymond
Again, a show I only vaguely watched. My siblings all loved it, so I caught episodes here and there, and it was a good show. Clearly, I have nothing of substance to say about this (do I ever?) but once when I was watching it, my 8 year old neice aksed me what the “Ice Age Guy” was doing.
Again, didn’t watch it. I promise this list is going to get more exciting.
7. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
I love this show. (Sidenote: only when Regis was host). I think at least half of my random facts knowledge comes from watching (The other half comes from Planet Earth). There is an oh so satisfying smug feeling that my teenaged self got from knowing the correct answer to a question when that (of course!) stupid person on the tv couldn’t. I also loved it when people got their first question wrong. If you’re ever down and need an academic confidence boost, youtube “Millionaire first question wrong.”
6. Grey’s Anatomy
Confession time: I don’t watch this show. I hear its a crime against the sisterhood.
5. American Idol, Season 6
The premiere was the most watched episode. If you’re at all like me, you only watch the first 4 episodes. After all the funny auditions are over, what else is there?
My junior high self wanted to be a doctor because of this show. Then Dr. Greene died, and my aspirations died as well.
If only the writers would have keep him alive, I’d probably be on the fast track to medical school by now.
3. Joe Millionaire
Would you go on a reality show to date this man? His name is Evan and he’s a construction worker. Hmm. No?
Ok, what if we tell people he’s a multi-millionaire? Then they will! And at the end we’ll tell them the truth!
Welcome to Joe Millionaire. How great of a concept is this? If you never watched this show, you need to torrent it or something. Oh, and pretend its 2003, and your mind hasn’t been numbed by all those other reality tv shows.
2. Survivor: Palau
Ah, the first survivor. Back when reality television was new. Sigh. I miss it. I certainly don’t miss the winner though. Remember this guy?
And last but not least…..and I bet you’ll NEVER guess….The most popular TV show of the 2000s is
Well, there you have it. What was your favourite show of the 90s?
I know that after reading so much about architecture, we just don’t want to hear about it anymore. Rest assured, this will be mostly pictures. I’m not going to lie - this week is stupid busy, so my pretty pictures will have to sway you.
Here is the best of the decade in architecture, according to the Washington Post:
Tate Modern - London
I don’t know anything about architecture, so feel free to disregard my opinion, but I find this building to be straight up ugly. Apparently it’s one of the best though. Shows what I know.
Beijing National Stadium
Hey, remember when there were Olympics in other countries? I do….very very faintly though. This building was also called “The Birds Nest.” Clearly, when the Chinese government play architecture, they play for keeps.
Now this is cool, and more what I expected. Is it just me, or does this building blow that first one out of the water?
Seattle Central Library
You know how during the Olympics everyone became a 2 minute expert on any given sport? I doing that with architecture now. I’ve noticed a trend: glass and sharp angles. Anyway, this is more architectural bad-assedness.
And last but not least…
Alice Tully Hall
This building was originally built in 1969, and redesigned and renovated. It just re-opened a year ago. It’s part of Julliard, so that’s neat too.
Overall, I think Disney Hall is my favourite. What’s yours?
I love Canada. Rewind 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, it doesn’t matter, so don’t think I just got whipped into the Olympic spirit and aren’t thinking clearly. I love Canada. And now, it seems at long last as if the rest of Canada has jumped aboard. Usually, the Olympics represents a show of international unity, a putting aside of grievances, and joining together. This Olympics, I think that happened on a national level. It’s as if finally, Canadians stopped whining and complaining and being unhappy long enough to realize what we’ve got here, and that it’s awesome, and beats the pants off every other nation. I’m not suggesting that we start up a campaign of hypernationalism. I’m suggesting that we become unabashedly proud of our nation.
In 1867, John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, faced a daunting task of uniting a nation that had nothing to unite on. Most other nations could build on a common language, background, or religion. Canada was divided at every turn. There was the French Catholics vs the English Anglicans, with some Metis, First Nations, and Irish thrown in for good measure. Macdonald created the National Policy, which in hindsight has taken a lot of heat, but it did what it needed to do: it united a new nation.
143 years later, not much has changed since then. We’re still a nation divided on regional, ethnic, language, religion, and almost anything else we can think of. We talk a lot about Western Alienation, Quebec always has their beef, and a host of many other grievances. We needed something to unite us, and this time, we did it ourselves. Even new Canadians can say they were there when Alexandre Bilideau won the first gold medal on Canadian soil, or that they saw Sidney Crosby’s golden goal. We’ve given ourselves nationalism and patriotism. We’ve given ourselves something to build on as “Canadian,” and as the cliche goes, nothing can take that away from us. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it was always there, that we just needed to let it out.
At the gold medal hockey game, the men skated around with the Canadian flag as if it were the Stanley Cup; may we all be so proud.
So from my glowing heart, I hope yours is as well. And may we never lose the belief that Canada truly is fantastic. I hope this will still be there even when the world has left, when Canada Hockey Place has turned back in GM Place, and we restart our political disputes between each other. May our hearts always be glowing, and may we ever stand on guard.