Note: I have a piece coming up that details my reactions to the masterful performance of The Sound of Music we enjoyed this past weekend. I’m planning on publishing a note to a wide distribution list calling attention to that piece and to Andi’s accomplishments. As I may see some new readers, I thought I would repost this ‘Best Of’ to help aid people in navigating the site and seeking out some of the more interesting posts within.
By now, most of you should have received your annual Humphries Family Christmas Card and Rambling Manifesto – carefully choreogrpahed to provide each of our loved ones with a picture-perfect rose-colored view of the year in the life of Clan Humphries. It’s what we writers call a work of popular fiction.
If, per chance, you are reading this and did not receive a Christmas Card – know that it is only because you are dead to us!!! (I kid of course. C’mon, cut me some slack. I just licked and folded 90+ envelopes – I somehow contracted chronic carpal tunnel syndrome and the immunity to it – all in one fell swoop).
Anyway, as I detailed in the letter, 2007 was a big year for me.
I got a haircut.
The mind boggles as to what I’ll manage to accomplish in the New Year. Could ’08 be the year that brings on the bikini wax. Inquiring minds SHOULD NOT want to know.
In addition to my trip to the barbers, I also managed to continue my exploration of The Ed Zone. I’ve crested 200+ articles in less than two years and have 300 in my sites by the time we meet again next year. I offer up this promise. If I hit that magic number, I’ll don a toga and do my best King Leonidas impression which I’ll insure is captured by my trusted web master (and best comrade Sean) on video and placed on this site for the whole world to see.
Anyway, for those of you who are just dropping in for the first time in a long while, I offer up a primer to my favorite pieces written in 2007. There is more to the site than these pieces (scan the Archives and you’ll find portals to all of my material) but these 10 pieces are the ones I am most proud of. I have listed them below (with links embedded in the titles) to allow you to peruse some of my favorite posts. Just click on the title and away you go.
Anyway, on with the show.
The Top 10 Ed Zone Posts of 2007
10. Leaning Tower (originally posted February 14, 2007)
I chose this piece because it shows some ability to extend myself – to branch out into more disciplined, critical realms of writing. (Once upon a time, I had a job reviewing movies and writing features for the UMASS Amherst Daily Collegian, so the impetus is most likely there.) Anyway, this isn’t a critique of a particular novel; it is an editorial on the declining state of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower series. I started reading those books when I was 13 years old and my eyes were wide open and by the time I closed the book shut on King’s fantasy world, at the age of 35, I wished the journey had reach a more promising destination. Read my travelogue to see exactly where this trip went South.
9. Patriot Games (originally posted September 21, 2007)
This was my reaction to the overblown Patriots ‘Spygate’ issue. I wrote this after Game 2, Pats vs. Chargers, largely out of my incensed reaction to Chris Collinsworth’s dissection of the Pats and execution of Belicheck during that game’s Half-Time show. Looking back now, it seems like this whole event happened some other year in some alternate universe. That the New York Post still prints a (*Caught Cheating) is reason enough to rail against people who really should know better.
8. September 11, 2007 (originally posted September 11, 2007)
I started working for my present place of employment a few weeks shy of September 11, 2001. As I was struggling to get my bearings straight in my new gig at this financial services tech firm, this catastrophe punched me straight in the gutt. This piece is my tribute to that fateful day – a day where we all bore witness to mass murder – a day where our world changed forever… once again.
7. The Best Show You’re Not Watching – Friday Night Lights (originally posted October 12, 2007)
Title says it all. Read the piece. Watch the show.
6. The Streak (originally published August 29, 2007)
This is one volume in a continuing series of posts I published under the banner – The Adventures of Gutt and Pole. These posts have absolutely nothing to do with comic books other than the fact that I typically apply my mad Photoshop skillz (you know it’s serious when you employ the hip ‘z’) to mock up a comic for the piece. This is a true tale that I have funneled through my skewed vision in a bid to bring some semblance of mythic to a mundane slice of my life. In this edition, I chronicle my days as an amateur streaker at UMASS Amherst. Yup, in this one I let it all hang out.
5. Rocky Mountain High (originally published October 29, 2007)
Over the course of October, I wrote three pieces on Red Sox post-season action and one on the Pats woes. Geez, I should be a sports reporter. This was my 2007 World Series reaction – where I celebrate these ‘best of times’.
4. Top 5 Favorite Summer Movie Memories (originally posted May 30, 2007)
Another recurring entry on my site is the ‘My Favorite Things’ series of posts. I will often pick a theme (favorite scary movies, favorite film endings, etc) and then fill you in on why my fave five made the cut. In this post, I decided to go a bit off the beaten path and provide some back story to my Top 5 Favorite Summer Movie Memories – not favorite films, mind you, but the five movies that for some reason are tattooed upon my brain due to the surrounding real-life events or feelings that remain forever wed to these films. Some of the films don’t have much shelf life but the memories will never spoil. My Number 1 on this list is especially near and dear to my heart (once you get past the image I posted).
3. Along Came a Ryder (originally posted June 13, 2007)
Another in the Gutt & Pole series. In this installment, I chronicled my first forays into the great wide world, post-college – where I picked up two roomies, Sean and Joe. Those of you that know them will nod and grant me the ‘Amen’. Those that don’t are about to learn that something wicked my way came.
2. In Memoriam – Nana Pearl Humphries (originally posted August 28, 2007)
This summer, my beloved grandmother – my Nana Pearl – passed away. I was asked to write and deliver her eulogy. This post reprints that tribute and stands in honor of a beautiful person… a wonderful grandmother… a great protector.
1. Half Life (originally posted June 6, 2007)
This is the ‘Oh, Woe is Me’ piece. On the dawn of my 35th Birthday, at the epicenter of my half-life, I found myself taking stock of my station in life. By the way, that’s me above along with my two sisters and my Mom (the youngest sis is in the pic, she’s just hiding in the belly). As mentioned above, this list is not in any specific order although this is probably the best to serve as number one – as it really is the most personal.
That’s it. Time to close the books out on 2007. In the year ahead, I look forward to continuing to add pages to this virtual scrapbook and pledge that you return often. Leave me comments. Add to the tapestry. As always, I appreciate all of your support. Every last one of you.