Making a list, checking it twice

My TIME mag came in the mail today even though there was a “winter storm”, meaning an average of 2 inches of snow blanketed the region. Hey, it’s the N-Dubs, and all we’re used to is rain, so snow is kind of a big deal. 

Lists, lists, and more lists were the main theme of this week’s TIME. While some of them were pretty lame (Top 10 Albums: how is Lil Wayne #1? I was expecting Coldplay or something but at least Santogold is on there), I did enjoy some of the quirkier and offbeat lists, like the Top 10 Breakups (from Maddona and Guy, Jerry Yang and Yahoo! shareholders, and Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes) and the Top 10 Lists (Schindler’s List to the 10 Commandments). 

Jess’s Top 10 of Everything 2008

  1. Twitter: Starting off my best list is the wonderful microblogging phenomenon that has swept through the world. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Twitter is this new application where you provide the answer to a simple question: what are you doing? The catch is that you can only use 140 characters, so make it short and sweet and less definitely is more. What’s great is that Twitter is awesome for mobile phones, which makes it good for breaking news (think Mumbai terrorist attacks and I heard of the riots in Athens from one of the people I follow on Twitter before seeing it on a news website). I didn’t start using Twitter regularly until ONA this September, but I’m glad I did. Good news is that it’s still free, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts charging (damn you #8). But as the next revolution in journalism? Maybe. Oh, and it’s fun too.
  2. Girls Who Sing and Play Piano (eg. Sara Bareilles and Marié Digby): I honestly hope any of these girls win some sort of award for their music. AH-MAZING. My friend loaned me Sara’s disc Little Voice (soo 2000s, I know) after her mom sent her Grey’s Anatomy themed package (amongst the scrubs and play doctor sets were CDs of artists who had music featured on Grey’s). It sat unplayed in my iTunes for a very long time until I started really listening to it this year and ended up loving it. Her one mainstream hit, “Love Song,” gets ehh after a while, but I love “Gravity” and my fave right now is probably “Between the Lines” (since the lyrics seem to describe to the teeth the story of my relationship life, tmi). Marié Digby’s “Spell” popped up on my Pandora one day and I have been hooked ever since. Beautiful piano + such sweet and thoughful lyrics = gorgeous song. 
  3. CSF (Cardigan, Skinnies, Flats): Best outfit ever. I started donning these threads after studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and inspired by the easy sophistication and chicness of Europeans. But everything started when I realized that my extremely handsome terrorism professor in Denmark dressed better than I did. One day in class he wore skinny jeans, a collared shirt, a tailored blazer and loafers or something. Brilliant! Not only did he inspire me to care about terrorism and its influence on the news media, he is kind of a style icon. Because of him, I wear skinny jeans and flats with a cardigan. And since that’s a pretty generic outfit foundation, the real place where you shine is the accessories (like a fun scarf, big earrings, etc).
    2008 uniform by jessminda
  4. Google Reader (and other Internet devices of the like): Amen. This year, I became a voracious reader of blogs. There are so many out there that are awesome and edifying, but instead of bookmarking each individual blog and clicking over daily (and being disappointed when there are no new posts), Google Reader has all the new posts lined up and ready for me to read. I almost switched over to Bloglovin‘, but Google Reader was already so conveniently nestled into my iGoogle homepage so I just stuck with it. 
  5. Election 2008 and Barack Obama’s subsequent victory: Yup. This is something I will tell my future children. I will tell them I was covering the election in my college town for my reporting class when Barack Obama became the president. It was around 11:30ish, my friend Christina and I had just returned from being out in the field (Dems and GOP party locations respectively) when CNN called it for Obama. People in the newsroom were freaking the hell out (also partly from overwork and lack of sleep). There was so much emotion and energy in the room (the joy and euphoria of Obama winning and the quiet veil silence and stoicism that settled on the McCain supporters). Definitely something to remember.
  6. Facebook: Seriously. It’s scary how much this website rules the world.  Nothing is ever official unless its on Facebook (especially engagements on “secret” Facebook pages). I can’t even begin to think of how many hours I have spent on this website looking at pointless pictures and stressing out while trying to make my Facebook status pithy and clever. Outrageous. 
  7. 10,000 Words:  Recent addition, late bloomer, etc, yet now an essential. This website might be the best thing I have stumbled upon so far this year. Mark Luckie essentially captures every facet of what I want to do in the future in journalism. Always a delightful and informative read. For a baby journalist like me, it’s like those gumballs that are really vitamins. Oh, and he sells awesome t-shirts. I really want this one for Christmas.
  8. The Economy: I remember hearing about the mortgage/foreclosure stuff back in the spring of this year. I also remember being like, WTF? when Bear Stearns collapsed. I also remember Fannie and Freddie effing up in the summer. And I was like eh to all of them. But it wasn’t until the huge crash in October until I actually started caring, mostly because it affects me (and probably everybody else) now. Everything is more expensive, my friends lost their entry-level jobs at Lehman Brothers, I can’t go to South Africa, normal people are making regular use of food banks and Goodwills, people are effing killing themselves. This sucks.
  9. Mineral Foundation: NGL, mineral foundation was the breakthrough this year. I didn’t start using it until this summer, and now I can’t leave the house without a quick dusting of it. Somehow it catches the light and leaves your skin looking healthier and more healthier. Sometimes I forget I’m wearing it. It’s just that good.
  10. Someecards.com: I was introduced to these wonderful e-cards by my friend Kerri, who I met while studying abroad in Copenhagen last year (and we liked it before it became all mainstream).  They are so delightfully sarcastic, yet bluntly honest at the same time. Loves it. Some of the greetings you wouldn’t really say to someone’s face, but you will send it to them in an e-card. I have sent countless e-cards to my friend B, mostly, and she normally sends me one that reads: “I want to trick a Jewish man into marrying me.” 

Oh, 2008.

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