We have now arrived at the time of year when we all make lists of the Best of 2014. I will be spending the next three days expounding on the year in perfume. Just as I have for the rest of the year Sunday is for non-perfume things and I have some non-perfume things I’d like to mention which helped me enjoy this year.
Favorite Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy– Movie going is supposed to be fun. The most fun I had in a movie theatre this year was watching director James Gunn bring to life a group of Marvel Comics D-List characters and turn them into stars. Prior to its release if you had said “I am Groot.” You would have received a blank stare in return. Now you’ll get a knowing smile. This movie provided lots of those for me.
Favorite Album: The War on Drugs “Lost in the Dream”- Now this probably should have been “Too Bright” by Perfume Genius; which also got a lot of play in my headphones. “Lost in the Dream” could have also been called Lost in the 80’s because it unabashedly co-opts many of that decade’s tropes and riffs. Adam Granduciel somehow makes them not seem dated. There were many flavors of the month throughout 2014 but I kept coming back to this after those faded away.
Favorite Single: “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers– The best singles lodge themselves in your head and refuse to leave. I spent a large part of the summer singing in the car at the top of my lungs, “Hey, I wanna get better!”
Favorite Television Show: The Good Wife– I am a sucker for lawyer shows. This particular lawyer show is elevating the genre. The pay cable shows with more buzz have a freedom of not being so tied to ratings that they can take many more risks. Co-writers Robert and Michelle King take all the same risks on a broadcast network offering. Almost every action these characters makes has consequences and when it is so easy to just hit a reset button and start over next week this show rarely does that.
Favorite Book: The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison– In the conclusion to her popular The Hollows urban fantasy series Ms. Harrison not only sticks the landing she scores a perfect 10 from the fans. All of the varied characters have endings which felt earned from all that had come previously. As many authors have found out finishing is not as easy as beginning. Ms. Harrison made it look easy
Favorite New Spirit: Barr Hill Honey Infused Gin– I found out about this early in the year and even now at the end of the year I am still finding new ways to take advantage of this completely unique take on gin.
Favorite New Bargain Wine Region: Chile’s Colchagua Valley– This region in Chile is becoming an incredibly reliable producer of Cabernet Sauvignons which are ready to drink right away. The 2011 vintage was one of the best in the region and these stunning red wines go for less than $20 and more often for right around $15.
Favorite New Flavor: Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic– I picked this up totally on a whim during a weekly shopping run. It turned into something which found its way onto many of the things that I cooked on the grill. According to the side of the can there are a dozen ingredients all of which were better balanced than 95% of the perfumes I tried this year. This made everything I put it on better. I think I put it on almost everything.
All of these things put a smile on my face for 2014.
Disclosure: I purchased all of the products mentioned