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Here is my list of the best films of 2012:

1. Orange Is The New Black

OSTNBOITNB is one of the most original and exciting series I have seen in a very long time. Each character is memorable and it’s been so fun getting to know the women of Litchfield Prison. I can’t wait for season two.

 

 

 

2. Breaking Bad

BreakingBadBreaking Bad delivered an ending that meet expectations. The back half of the final season was great story telling and had varying degrees of redemption and hope. Kudos to an amazing series.

 

 

 

3. Masters of Sex

MastersofSex

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are great in this freshmen drama. Showtime pushes the envelope without doing it gratuitously. The fact it is also based on real events make the show even more compelling.

 

 

 

4. House of Cards

HouseofCards

Netflix’s darling drama changed the way television is viewed and made. Though they had a couple other shows that followed, House of Cards was the true test of whether or not the business model would work and how it would be embraced by the public. And to their credit, it fully delivered. Lead by an all-star cast of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, the acting is top notch.

 

 

5. Hannibal

Hannibal

I am not quite sure why this show hasn’t received the credit its due, but I love it. I love the writing, the acting and the directing. I suppose it’s easy to compare it to the previous films and the captivating Anthony Hopkins, but it’s a really great show. Check it out if you haven’t.

 

 

 

6. Arrested Development

ArrestedDevelopmentI am not sure if anyone was more excited about the return of AD than me, but I was so glad it came back for a fourth season. Told in a more vignette style, it still was a great season. Very fun and entertaining.

 

 

 

7. Girls

Girls

I struggle with this show, because unlike other shows I watch this is the only one that makes me feel old. But, it’s such a great show. Lena Dunham is the voice of a generation.

 

 

 

 

8. Walking Dead

WalkingDead

Though there is still the back half of the season yet to air, season four of this zombie drama has been so good. That last episode where things came to a head was probably one of the best episodes of any TV show in very recent memory.

 

 

 

9. Sleepy Hollow

SleepyHollow

Between Sleepy Hollow and The Following, Fox is airing some great suspenseful television series. The thing I also like about Sleepy Hollow is it doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t mind putting in a little comedy to break the tension.

 

 

 

10. Homeland

Homland

Season three started off a little rough, took some strange turns but ended beautifully.

 

 

 

 

Honorable mentions

  • AHS: Coven
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Happy Endings (sad it’s been cancelled)

Here is my list of the best films of 2012:

1. 12 Years a Slave

12YearsaSlaveProbably the most important film to have ever been made.

 

 

 

 

2. American Hustle

AmericanHustleAn all-star cast, a Robert DeNiro cameo, ultra stylized comedy caper all under the direction of David O. Russell — you can’t go wrong. There’s a scene between Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence that rivals any one screen duo — ever. I really, really liked this movie.

 

 

 

3. Gravity

Gravity

I have been an Alfonso Curon fan since his first film, A Little Princess. Gravity takes filmmaking to a whole new level. Immersed in a reality that has been argued as improbable, the film still holds your attention and at times has you white-knuckled as Sandra Bullock floats from disaster to disaster. Excellent filmmaking.

 

 

 

4. Only God Forgives

OnlyGodForgives

When I saw this movie and reviewed it on Flixster I warned you that this film is not for everyone. It is super stylized, moody and ultra violent. But in my opinion still a very good movie. Ryan Gossling owns the screen, even if he has very little dialogue. Nicolas Winding Refn is a force to be reckon with.

 

 

 

5. Blackfish

Blackfish

I always try to make sure I add a documentary in my ‘Best of’ list. This time, it wasn’t with any hesitation. Blackfish is an incredible story. It’s available on most onDemand services and sometimes runs on CNN. You need to check it out.

 

 

 

6. The Conjuring

TheConjuring

As horror films go The Conjuring is a fresh, much needed addition to the genre. Not only does it make my list of ‘Best of,’ but I think it will go down as a classic like The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby.

 

 

 

7. World War Z

WorldWarZ

Look, World War Z isn’t 12 Years a Slave or like last year’s Zero Dark Thirty – but it makes my list because it was exciting, fun and most of all entertaining. I really enjoyed it, despite veering very far from the source material. And really I enjoy anything Mereille Enos is in.

 

 

 

8. Prisoners

Prisoners

A captivating, no pun intended, hard to watch at times revenge thriller. Set against a blue collar community two girls go missing and two fathers go to extremes to find them. Paul Dano is excellent and Hugh Jackman gives an amazing performance.

 

 

 

9. This Is The End

ThisIsTheEnd

Comedy gold.

 

 

 

 

10. Despicable Me 2

DespicableMe2

Sometimes I feel like I see more kids movies and shows than anything else. Luckily there are fun and entertaining ones like Despicable Me 2. It’s fun enough for adults and something the boys enjoy. It had to make its way on the list.

 

 

 

There are a few movies I didn’t get to see that may have changed the list and I look forward to seeing them on DVD or in a theater soon. They include:

  • The Hobbit: Desolution of Smug
  • Dallas Buyer’s Club
  • Her
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Inside Llwyen Davis

This year I think I have discovered and enjoyed some of my favorite bands. Some are new, some are not. Here is my top ten.

1. Beyonce – Beyonce

beyonce

Beyonce owned 2013. From the SuperBowl to her super secret album that dropped on 12/13 she redefined music. 14 new songs, 17 new videos — all hail Queen B.

 

 

 

2. Jay Z – Magna Carta

jayz

While Beyonce ruled 2013, her husband Jay Z was not far behind. A somewhat phoned in album is full of fresh hooks and versus matched by no other.

 

 

 

3. Justin Timberlake – 20/20 Experience Vol 1 & 2

JT

Two albums in one year, you’d think would take the top spot, but alas JT has to settle for 3rd. Though both albums equally good, a little trimming and a little editing would make for one terrific album.

 

 

 

4. Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion

Avett

Folk rock doesn’t get much better than this. An album full of catchy melodies and impressive hooks thanks to producer Rick Rubin proves that you don’t have to be household name to commend the attention of music lovers alike.

 

 

 

5. Imagine Dragons  – Night Visions

imagineDragons

Technically this album came out last year, but I only really gave it a chance in 2013. It’s a great album with catchy songs and is something you can listen to over and over and not get bored.

 

 

 

6. Rudimental – Home

rudimental

This electro-pop group from England is exciting and fresh. With a supporting cast of John Newman, there are many stand out singles that move vocally as well as musically.

 

 

 

7. John Newman – Love Me Again (ep)

JohnNewman

Speaking of John Newman – his vocal styling and range is unmatchable. Sure you could compare to soul sounds of the 1960’s but that is a disservice to him and those artists. He is truly unique with an incredible range of emotion and vocality.

 

 

 

8. Lorde – The Love Club (ep) & Pure Heroine

lorde

It would be easy to dismiss this 17 year old one hit wonder from New Zealand based on ‘Royals’ but if you listened to all her music you would see and hear there is a breadth of emotion and talent way beyond her years. As one of the producers of her full length album, there is hope for pop rock in the very near future.

 

 

 

9. The Head and The Heart – Let’s Be Still

HeadandtheHeart

Ballard natives, The Head and The Heart, follow up their freshman album with a second that is equally fun, entertaining and moving as the first. These hipsters are more than their rolled up pants and funky shirts, they have real talent that I hope many start to appreciate them.

 

 

 

10. The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars

CivilWars

Nothing makes me more sad right now than knowing these guys are on a ‘break’. Their music is so moving, eclectic and entertaining, you don’t get this very often. Their melodies are as transcendence as the music itself. You would do yourself a favor by buying this album.

Here are my picks for the major categories in this year’s Oscar race:

 

Best Picture:

Amour
**Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director:

Michael Haneke (Amour)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
**Steven Speilberg (Lincoln)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Animated Feature:

**Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Actor:

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
**Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)

 

Best Actress:

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
**Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Documentary Feature

5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
**Searching for Sugar Man

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin (Argo)
Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Philip Seymour-Hoffman (The Master)
**Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams (The Master)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
**Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Foreign Language Film

**Amour (Austria)
Kon-tiki (Norway)
No (Chile)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
War Witch (Canada)

It will only be the fourth time in all of the Academy’s history to bestow a best picture award to a movie where the director was not nominated, it really is ‘Argo’s contest to loose. ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ are giving it their all, but ultimately the award will go to the right film — the best film of 2012. Though I doubt the acting awards will deviate from most of the other contests leading up to the Oscars, the writing category could go a couple different ways. Tarantino is the likely for best original and Kushner for adapted; but David O. Russell adapted ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ perfectly and Mark Boal created an original masterpiece with ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.

I am most excited to see the music acts the Academy is planning, and of course Adele tackling her song from ‘Skyfall’.

You can see my full picks here.

As a father, husband and citizen of the United States of America I hold strong in the belief that we are indeed bound to alienable rights; including the ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ and this right should not be at the hands of a person standing on the other side of a trigger.

A month after the devastating events at Sandyhook Elementary, days after the the inauguration of the second term of the 44th President of the United States of America I decided I would publish my argument for a call to action to gun ownership laws. In doing so I think the first place to start is a small, nonexclusive, look at the Constitution and how over the years it has been treated as a living document, one that can be amended based on societal changes.

Major Amendments and articles ratified and adopted

13th Amendment – ratified on January 31, 1865:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

18th Amendment – ratified on January 16, 1919: 

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

But guess what? A year later the 21st Amendment came out, repealing the 18th Amendment.

21st Amendment – ratified on January 17, 1920:

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

And then, there is how basic voting rights have changed in the Constitution throughout the years:

15th Amendment ratified in February 3, 1870:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

19th Amendment – ratified in August 18, 1920:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

26th Amendment – adopted July 1, 1971:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

There are many more examples of these kinds of ratified and adopted amendments. My point is simply this; the Constitution, while the cornerstone of how we are to rule this great nation, is a flawed document. Over the 236 years since it’s original signing our society has greatly changed. We no longer enslave, refuse women the right to vote, prohibit the sale of alcohol, allow Presidents to serve more than two terms, etc.

When the second amendment (which reads: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’) was written it was preceded by European immigrants fleeing their lands to come to, and build, a new nation founded on the principles of the right to freedom.

For example, at that time in England the King could govern without the consent of Parliament, even overthrow its government to establish one of it’s own liking as was done with the ‘Glorious Revolution’. Also, this new nation while establishing formal governance had called upon it’s people to organize a militia system; participate in law enforcement (including deterring tyrannical government); as well as, suppressing insurrection, as it did to enslaved African-Americans and Native Americans.

But now, in 2013, we are nation protected by an all volunteer military system (including the National Guard) and by federal, state and local law enforcement; thus no longer calling upon its people to individually take these on these roles unofficially. We have an all elected legislative branch with checks and balances in placed to keep any one person from having the ability and right to overthrow any branch of government for his or her liking.

There is no reason why an intelligent, thoughtful, and lawful examination of the second amendment can not be achieved. Our nation, our society, has greatly changed over the years. The human condition, technology, a globalized economy and infrastructure have forced us to look at how we as a nation act, react and become the global leader in democracy and freedom. So when we say we as a national uphold and protect the fundamental right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ — doesn’t that include the 6 year old in her first grade class, the police officer getting a cup of coffee in the morning,  the small business owner of the the convenience store on the conner, the Batman fan at a night-time screening of ‘The Dark Knight’, the shopper who grabs a bite to eat at the mall’s food court, and the countless other Americans who have fallen victim to the senseless acts of violence at the hands of guns and criminals; and yes, does this also not apply to the sports hunter who uses his or her fire arm responsibly for the sport of, and traditional hunting of food? I think so. I think there is a place for reasonable control on the type of fire arms any one person can own, ammunition rounds, amount of ownership, how and where fire arms can be bought, and a SIMPLE AND ALL INCLUSIVE UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECK of a person who currently, and in the future, owns a fire arm.

The liberal in me also believes gun ownership should and could be a licensed right, one that would require renewal during its lifetime to allow for responsible gun ownership. For example, if a licensed gun is found on persons other than the licensed gun owner then some sort repercussions are needed. Firearms found on a person without proper licensing warrant banning of future licensing of fire arms for the individual. Firearms used in criminal activity carry stiffer penalties. Use of fire arms greater of a certain capacity, including ammunition capacity, carry stiff penalties including banning of licensing. These are not inclusive solutions, nor solutions that will prevent all crimes, but a step to change perception and behavior of responsible gun ownership. Why can’t we be the leader in responsible gun ownership; a nation that has the right to individual firm arm ownership, but a right that carries a thoughtful responsibility to it? I believe we can.

I know I probably won’t change any one’s mind on this topic because we are a nation entrenched in the idea that this is an ordained right brought upon us by founding fathers of this nation and therefore has no reasonable need for argument or change. But if this small examination can cause pause for thought, even argument then maybe it’s done its job.

Here is my list of the best films of 2012:

1. Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow really impressed with this harrowing tale of the hunt and assassination of Bin Laden. Her account of the events leading up to the inevitable conclusion was gripping, intense and surreal. I think what really struck me was how close these operatives where so close to loosing it all, loosing their lives and being at the epicenter of one of the greatest manhunts of our lives.

 

 

 

2. Lincoln

Lincoln

Speilberg + Day-Lewis + one of the greatest presidents in american history = an amazing film. Daniel Day-Lewis transcends in this re-account of the ratification of the 16th amendment to abolish slavery. Totally immersed in character study, Speilberg not only tales the tell of what the President and key congressional members went through in their efforts to end slavery, but also gives a voice to Mary Todd Lincoln brilliantly portrayed by Sally Field.

 

 

 

3. Skyfall

Skyfall

Skyfall not ony marks the return to great Bond films, but puts itself along side some of the best filmmaking of 2012. Sam Mendes take on the iconic British operative not only gives the audience the action and excitement one would expect from a Bond film, but also packs an emotional punch giving us a well rounded story of redemption, allegiance and relationships.

 

 

 

4. Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson continues to come up with unique ways of telling stories about relationships. Whether its family, lovers or friends Anderson has an ability to put a creative twist on some of our everyday fears and celebrations of the human condition. In this particular movie it’s told through the lenses of the unlikely relationship that develops between an eager young scout and a shielded beautiful popular girl. The events, while comical and exaggerated, play out like a bed time story.

 

 

 

5. How To Survive a Plague

How to Survive a Plague

This emotional documentary about the rise of public awareness of the AIDS crisis in the 80’s and 90’s is a no holds barred ecxamination of the fears and ignorance of the disease that has plagued our nation for over 30 years. In it’s beginning, you see how our own government ignored and dismissed this tragic killer disease. The tireless, tragic and impactful efforts of the individuals in this film is nothing less than harrowing.

 

 

 

6. The Impossible

The Impossible

A dramatization of real-life events is always a tricky subject to tackle. Then you add this family’s particular, harrowing and almost ‘impossible’ to believe story one might be concerned with how much is dramatized. But I say who cares? Even if only half is true, it’s enough for me to say this film is crazy good. Naomi Watts is brilliant, and while I know Jessica Chastain will most likely walk home with the Oscar for Best Actress, I think it really belongs to Watts. Her courage, emotional depth and willingness to tackle a true account is very brave.

 

 

7. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

This film has been hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘amazing’, ‘one of the best’ and my favorite, ‘visual poetry’. Beasts of the Sourthern Wild is visual poetry. It’s a compelling film to watch. From a first time director/writer, a vivacious 6 year old actress and a supporting cast of virtual unknowns, it’s a film that you really have to take a chance on — but in the end you will be glad you did.

 

 

 

8. The Dark Knight Rises

Dark Knight Rises

No trilogy before had this satisfying of an ending. After 7 years, 3 movies and a handful of today’s best actors Chris Nolan re-energized and re-imagined the comic/graphic novel turn movie landscape. Most new adaptations will be be forced into a comparison, but it’s doubtful they will rise to the occasion. Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy were great additions to the trilogy and I think brought a bit of freshness to what could have been a rehash of the previous two films.

 

 

 

9. The Master

The Master

So look, this may not be the crown achievement of Paul Thomas Anderson’s career, but it is good story telling. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman embody their characters in a way that hasn’t been seen since Christian Bale in ‘The Fighter’. Both actors took their parts and ran away with it.

 

 

 

 

10. Prometheus

Prometheus

My number 10 pick is tough because there are a number of films I haven’t yet seen, such as; ‘Argo’, ‘Amour’, ‘Rust and Bone’ and a few others. But I decided to put Prometheus here because I truly did enjoy it. That being said, the first time I saw it I was a little disappointed. There wasn’t enough ‘Alien’ DNA in it for me. But upon other viewings I found it to be a good Sci-Fi film on it’s on merits.

 

 

 

 

  1. My boys; what can I say? After bringing them into our lives in December of 2011 these two precious, amazing beings have made me a better person, father, friend and husband. I revel the chances I have to give these boys the best possible opportunities life has to offer. I love them with all my heart.
  2. After over eight years of dedication and commitment, Dave and I were finally able to marry. We became domestic partners in 2007, had those rights extended in 2010, and were finally able to be wedded in the eyes of our state, friends and family in 2012. 12-12-12 a good day.
  3. Health and happiness — Though there have been challenges, 2012 has been a pretty good year for my friends and family. Some have married, brought new loved ones into their lives, overcome disease, but most importantly have taken full advantage of the amazing lives they have ahead of them.
  4. Barack Obama elected to a second and important term. No more apologies for health care and equality for all, sensible and achievable gun control and a real opportunity to get stuff done.
  5. Stretching myself. Who would have thought I would ever be a coach, let alone a soccer coach? But the opportunity arose and I knew I had to do something. I enjoyed the amazing opportunity to coach and play with a fun and dedicated team of 12 5/6 year olds.

This year I think I have discovered and enjoyed some of my favorite bands. Some are new, some are not. Here is my top ten.

1. The Lumineers (The Lumineers)

The Lumineers

I think what I love best about this band from Colorado is how organic and natural the music and lyrics feel. The album is full of an honest vulnerability that anyone can relate to. The music, lyrics and harmonies come together in a way that is unmatched in a lot of music today. This is a happy find and I can’t wait to hear more from the band.

Nominated for two Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

2. Alabama Shakes (Boys and Girls)

Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls

WOW! This is an incredible album. When I first heard this band and song ‘Hold On’ over the summer it just felt right. I don’t know if it was the sun, the obvious southern roots of the band, the catchy melody or a combination of all things — but I couldn’t stop listening.

Nominated for three Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

3. Alex Clare (Lateness of the Hour)

Alex Clare - Lateness of the Hour

Ok, so I can’t even pretend that I didn’t first hear the song ‘Too Close’ on a Microsoft Bing commercial. But it did take a deeper look in to the artist and listening to the music and viewing some of his live stuff on You Tube to convince me that he was better than even that one song. I love the album, and even Konner can sing and appreciate a couple songs from the album. I am little bummed I will miss seeing him live this Spring, as the show is on Konner’s birthday. But I will definitely have to catch him next time he is in town.

 

 

 

4. Of Monsters and Men (My Head is an Animal)

Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal

I can’t recall how or when I first head this band. I think it was a fluke related link to a You Tube video. I do remember that at the time you could only purchase an EP in the US and it took a good five months before a full length album hit the US. Native to Iceland, this group has harmonies and music that is fun to listen to and easy to get into.

 

 

 

 

5. Fiona Apple (The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do)

Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel is Wiser

I think the title says it all; eclectic, interesting and fun. Seven years is way too long for a Fiona Apple album, but luckily the album was well worth the wait.

Nominated for one Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

6. Fun. (Some Nights)

Fun - Some Nights

Sure, a little cliche’ but a very good album. Top 40 bands and songs aren’t usually something I gravitate to, but like the band’s name it’s Fun.! It’s music you can listen to while driving in your car, working out or even in the background while working.

Nominated for six Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

7. Mumford and Sons (Babel)

Mumford and Sons - Babel

At this point Mumford and Sons can do no wrong. This follow up to their debut album is as rich, compelling and awesome. Banjos, guitars, drums, and an eclectic mix of other instruments make this a fun and interesting album to listen to.

Nominated for six Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

8. Shovels and Rope (O’ Be Joyful)

Shovels and Rope - O Be Joyful

Like Alabama Shakes, this southern soul band captivated me over the summer. With a country twang and a soulful rhythm the band conjures up a nostalgia for all things simple. Good music, simple lyrics and unabashed approach to life. It’s fun music to listen to and even more fun to share with friends.

 

 

 

 

9. Amy Winehouse (Lioness: Hidden Treasures)

Amy Winehouse - Lioness Hidden Treasures

Full disclosure: I never really got into Amy Winehouse until after her untimely death. Sure I had heard the song ‘Rehab’ and her real life antics seemed to dominate a lot of headlines, but truth be told she was an amazing singer and artist. This collection of unreleased music is a great way to let her legacy live on.

 

 

 

 

10. Madonna (MDNA)

Madonna - MDNA

Ok, so this may not be ‘one of the best albums’ of 2012, but the combination of the music, her Superbowl performance and the concert I went and saw earlier this fall is enough to have me add it. At 54, this diva is still kicking, causing controversy, performing like  20 year old and making no apologies. I say, ‘You go girl.” hehe.

 

 

 

 

That’s a wrap on some of my favorite artists/albums of 2012.

There are still a few films I need to see before I can compile that list, but look forward to it soon.

If you think your government is working for you …

  • visit a Worksource (unemployment office) on an orientation day.
  • try getting a marriage license, if you are a committed, same sex couple.
  • be foster parents to kids who have been ‘in the system’ for almost two years.
  • travel down deteriorating infrastructure.
  • read the reports of the recent Senate block of releasing names of campaign donors to super pacs in excess of $5,000.

 

You have all now probably received your mail-in ballot for August 7th primary. You need to exercise your right to vote and to have a say of who is on your November ballot.

There are important races, initiatives and referendums to vote on in this year’s General Election. I don’t care how you vote, but hope you do. And if you aren’t registered to vote, Washington has made it even easier by offering registration via Facebook — just do so before October 8 for the General Election.

  1. a wild Saturday night in 1990 and 1991 was watching ‘The Golden Girls’ with your grandma.
  2. you pretended to be Christie Turlington in the George Michael ‘Freedom’ video.
  3. you took your ‘girlfriend’ to go see ‘Clueless’ – but enjoyed it more than her.
  4. only you and the girl who cut herself during lunch knew of and appreciated Tori Amos.
  5. you saw ‘The Crying Game’.
  6. you read ‘Interview With The Vampire’ and ‘A Cry to Heaven’.
  7. you wanted to help pick out your date’s dress to the formal.
  8. you drank Evian because you saw Madonna drinking cases of it in the documentary ‘Truth or Dare’.
  9. you saw ‘Truth or Dare’.
  10. you tried to convince your high school drama teacher to put on a production of ‘Angels in America’.
  11. you were in high school drama
  12. you were the only boy that had an International News sweatshirt on a Christmas list.
  13. you discovered foreign films and tried to get your friends to appreciate them.
  14. you bought a Fiona Apple CD in 1995 and 1999.

Being a closeted teenager in 1990’s wasn’t always easy; but I know those before me had it even more tough, and hopefully it’s a little bit easier for the youth of today.