Written by Lotus on Saturday, 19 of December , 2015 at 10:24 am
It’s been a crazy year, but a lot of cool stuff happened. Here’s a list of my favorite things, discoveries and moments of 2015.
“Charlie Work” episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 10)
This episode showcased the genius of Charlie Day and the other actors and writers of It’s Always Sunny. To be honest, all the episodes this year were good, but since this one is centered around Charlie it has to be my favorite. The 11th season of the show premieres on January 6, 2016.
Political Punks Podcast
Artist Brett Smith and I started a podcast! We’ve had some great guests, including Greg Gutfeld, Chuck Dixon, Terry Schappert and Thaddeus McCotter. We also have more fun interviews lined up for 2016. Check out past episodes at www.politicalpunks.com and be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. My February column explains the political punks philosophy and graphic. You can buy the shirt and other gear here.
Disturbed covers Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”
I only discovered this song a week or two ago and I swear I’ve already listened to it 100 times.
Books by Friends
I featured many of them in my column on books to give for Christmas. Check them out here.
I recently discovered the Whole 30 movement. I haven’t done my 30 day detox yet, but I’ve been slowly preparing for it by eating more whole (get it?) foods and cutting out sugar. What I like about this way of eating is that you don’t have to worry about measuring anything… and you can have bacon and homemade mayo. What I don’t like (and why I haven’t started the detox yet) is that I will probably have to cut out my morning Diet Coke. I’ve been following #Whole30 on Twitter to see other people’s experiences and recipes. The program’s book also has some great recipes.
Gooey Butter Cake
The greatest thing to come out of St. Louis. The Ann and Allen Baking Company delivers this moist, buttery concoction directly to you. They have several amazing flavors, but traditional and Amaretto are my favorite. Order here. Let me know if you need my address.
Be Brilliant Bags
I love using this bag when I travel. It has pockets for all your tech stuff (laptop, iPad, phone), as well as room for your purse contents. It also has a compartment on the bottom for an extra pair of shoes. My tip: You can also fit an umbrella in there. My favorite color is rose gold. Remember, metallics are neutrals! Buy it here.
Bruce Campbell is So Hot Right Now
In my mind he’s always hot, but in 2015 he was everywhere. His iconic character returned in the Starz show, Ash vs. Evil Dead. He played Ronald Reagan on FX’s Fargo. One person described that episode as Bruce Campbell fanfic written by me. If only I was that clever. He also continued to make the conference circuit. Fingers crossed I can finally meet him in 2016.
Peg Leg Vintage Goods
I discovered this store right as Mad Men was ending. Looking at the photos has been the methadone I needed to get through the withdrawal. (Side note: The perfect final episode of Mad Men also helped.) Peg Leg has great vintage furniture, but some of the best finds are the knick knacks and smaller items. Also, if you see a pair of chairs you like, buy them. Pairs don’t last long. The owners are really nice and willing to make deals. Check them out here.
This year I managed to get in two trips to Palm Beach, two to Rehoboth Beach, one to Los Angeles, and a couple to Arizona. Here are recommendations from each place.
Four Seasons Palm Beach. If you can’t stay there the entire trip, at least buy a one-day beach pass (under $200). It includes a one-hour massage at their spa and cabana service at their pool or beachfront.
Tate’s Comics, Boynton Beach. I’m not into comics, but the art gallery upstairs was really cool.
Buccan. Try the pork belly empanadas and watermelon cocktail.
Second-hand stores. What other city has Louboutins at their Goodwill???
Kilwin’s. Try the drinking chocolate served in a small espresso-type cup. Richer than hot chocolate and the perfect way to end the day.
The Avenue Spa and Apothecary. The spa services are great. They also have a hotel above. It’s a little noisy for me in-season since it’s on the main drag, but perfect for a winter or fall trip.
Drive down Sunset Blvd. You get the feel of being in LA without having to navigate through the crowds.
Canter’s Deli. It’s been featured in Mad Men and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but none of that matters. The food (and bakery) is awesome.
Fly into Burbank, not LAX.
Any art festival in Tucson.
Culver’s. I realize this is a chain, but the only time I get to go there is when I’m in Arizona.
Drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix. You’ll see snow-capped mountains, lush forests and the desert in three hours or less.
Old Town Scottsdale. Go to Twice to shop for high-end accessories, The Sugar Bowl for ice cream, and any of the souvenir stores for classic southwest kitsch.
There are a couple days left, so I may add a few more things I forgot or some other cool stuff that happens!
Hat tip to Kevin Glass for the idea of a “Best of” list.
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 28 of December , 2014 at 9:00 pm
I decided to shamelessly steal from Kevin Glass, my editor at Townhall.com. He’s been posting #BestThingsof2014. It’s a nice break from all the negative news of 2014. So, here’s my list of best things of 2014.
Discovering Charlie Day
As you’ll see, this list is specific to me. I’m sure all of the people much smarter than me discovered Charlie Day (and Charlie Kelly) much sooner. After watching “Horrible Bosses” I thought Charlie Day’s appeal was elevated because of Jennifer Aniston’s character being obsessed with his. Then I watched all nine seasons of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FREE on Amazon Prime, btw) in about two weeks and realized the Charlie Day appeal is real. He gives great comedy, great interviews, and great commencement speeches. Rock, Flag and Eagle!
Finding Mr. Righteous Selling Out at CPAC
Obviously it was pretty cool that my first book, Finding Mr. Righteous, was published in February of 2014. However, one of my favorite moments in 2014 was selling out at CPAC. I returned to CPAC after, ahem, leaving in 2011. My life has had some ups and downs since then and I was nervous about returning. I was fortunate to be invited to do a book signing and grateful to my friends and everyone else who came to the signing. After all the drama surrounding me and CPAC for the last couple years, it meant a lot to finally leave on a high note.
Fundraising Goes Viral
For all the headaches caused by social media, it’s wonderful to see how much good it can do to raise money for worthy causes. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was certainly one of the most successful ones. Another was the Liberty in North Korea fundraising effort after Sony temporarily pulling “The Interview.” Rather than get frustrated at why this cause or that cause deserves as much attention and money, take comfort in knowing that we all have use of powerful social media tools.
Every Simpsons Ever
Christmas came early when the FXX network had a 12-day marathon of every episode of “The Simpsons.” That’s 552 episodes.
Chris Pratt Becomes a Huge Movie Star
Everything I’ve heard about Chris Pratt this year makes me glad that he’s become a famous movie star. He seems like the kind of guy who deserves it and truly enjoys it. Here are just a few reasons.
I Got to Be on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld!!!!!!!!
Ok, this should really be at the top of the list but I didn’t want to seem too full of myself. I’m a Red Eye superfan. To be honest, it’s the only Fox News show (ok, any “news” show) that I watch from beginning to end. I’ll be making my fifth appearance on February 12/3 a.m. on February 13.
All About That Bass
Many have already proclaimed 2014 to be the Year of the Booty. Whether you’re pro-booty or anti-booty, we can all agree that Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is pretty catchy.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little bit more time in Arizona. Growing up in Florida I’ve heard about the mythical “dry heat.” I’m a little weird when it comes to temperature. I like it hot. For example, I don’t turn on the A/C in the car when it’s 90 degrees outside because I spent the day being cold in an office. I immediately turn up the temperature in every hotel room. I monitor the temperature in Palm Beach during the winter just because it helps me get through winter knowing that it’s warm somewhere. So, me and Arizona? We got along just fine. Well, except one little bump in the road. The people of Arizona are also pretty cool. They just elected Republican Doug Ducey, former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, as governor. I heard a couple Republicans won in other states, too.
My Name on a Diet Coke Bottle
This one I’m definitely stealing from Kevin Glass. It was a fantastic marketing campaign. I found my name three times. I intended to save one, but drank them all.
Salted Caramel Everything
Some may say 2014 was the year of the booty, but I say it was the year of salted caramel everything. I’m not complaining. It’s everywhere. It makes something like Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate seem exotic. It makes you not feel guilty about buying a $10 Vosges chocolate bar. It elevates everything it touches.
James Spader is amazing as ‘Red’ Reddington. I’m usually a late-bloomer (see “It’s Always Sunny…”) when it comes to TV shows. If it’s on a premium channel, I haven’t seen it. To this day I’ve only seen the last 15 minutes of the “Breaking Bad” series finale. I seem to be the only person in DC who hasn’t seen “House of Cards.” So, I’m pretty proud of myself for getting on the Blacklist bandwagon early.
Dinner at Flip Burger in Atlanta
Probably the best meal I had this year was at Richard Blais’s Atlanta restaurant, Flip Burger. I started with a Nutella and Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. Then my date and I split the pimento cheese wontons. For my entree I had the Southern burger — a country-fried burger patty topped with pimento cheese and Coca-Cola ketchup. I prefer to skip the bun because it just gets in the way. When I went back to Atlanta for my birthday, I stopped by again just for the milkshake. Good stuff.
My friend Liz had an amazing Pinterest-inspired wedding that, I have to say, was totally overshadowed by the beautiful bride. There are some rom-coms that give me the warm fuzzies, but seeing Liz and her new husband and their commitment to one another really makes me believe that happy endings are possible.
So, that’s the best of 2014. Since there are still a few days left, I’ll probably add a few more.