SANTA has his list.
George Mitchell had a list too, of baseball players, but only the
Everyone on MySpace, the social networking site, has a list of their
favorites ya know, movies, songs, friends, recording artists,
Heck, buy something online at amazon.com and guess what? They have a
list of your favorite books and gifts.
The obsession with lists especially at Christmas time is as
widespread as the publics addiction to everything celebrity.
While Im still leery of giving out my list to those gazillionaires
in the Silicon Valley or Madison Avenue, Ill do it for you guys.
Just because I like you. Heres my criteria: The lists are things
that made a strong impact on my life, not necessarily the best work
of art or literature or sport. And Ill limit each to five for this
1. The Bible. Head and shoulders above any that follow.
2. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. Im still trying to catch
my kids from falling.
3. Ordinary People, by Judith Guest. One of those
family/psychological dramas I couldnt put down.
4. For Kings and Planets, or anything else by Ethan Canin, one of
the best contemporary writers no one knows about.
5. This Present Darkness, Frank E. Peretti. Talk about putting
flesh to the spirit world!
1. Annie Hall, directed by Woody Allen. I know the dialogue by
heart. Still hilarious, smart and the best movie on relationships and
New York (my hometown).
2. E.T., directed by Steven Spielberg. A masterpiece and a
tear-jerker no matter how often I watch it.
3. Its a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra. Ditto.
4. Rear Window, or anything by Alfred Hitchcock.
5. Au Revoir Les Enfants, Louis Malle. Most effective movie about
Nazi Germany; tells of the Holocaust through the eyes of children.
Music/recording artists (rock n roll)
1. Counting Crows. Adam Duritz songs speak to me.
2. U2. Just the best rock band since the Beatles.
3. R.E.M. Still playing on my MP3 player, their music and Michael
Stipes voice and lyrics never get old.
4. Switchfoot. New Christian/crossover rock band with lyrics that go
beneath the skin.
5. Wilco. Best American rock/country band today.
1. Van Morrison (especially his later stuff)
2. Billy Joel. My (piano) man from Long Island! Still rock n roll
3. Steven Curtis Chapman, musical variety and faith-based lyrics that
span the gamut.
4. Ryan Adams. Flat out talented. Period. Rock balladeer
5. Maria Callas, best soprano opera star in the modern era. No one
Live sports moments
1. Yankees victory over Kansas City Royals, ALCS, Oct. 14 1976. Chris
Chamblisss Shot Heard Round The World. Ended a long drought of
Yankee losses (12 years of my childhood of no playoff appearances)
with a pennant and entry into the World Series. I had to run through
Yankee Stadium, with my younger sister, Grace, and through the South
Bronx bedlam to escape fellow Yankee fans jubilation.
2. Mickey Mantle Day (there were several), Sept. 18, 1965. I got to
walk on the field of old Yankee Stadium and shake Mickey Mantles
hand. I was 7.
3. Seeing Wayne Gretzky play hockey at the old Los Angeles Forum.
Following his gold stick from the stands was like watching ballet on
4. California Angels loss to Boston Red Sox, Game 5, ALCS, Oct. 12,
1986, 7-6 (11 inn.) after coming within one out of a spot in the
World Series. The drive back to the San Gabriel Valley was the
longest, loneliest car ride of my life.
5. Anaheim Angels beating New York Yankees, Oct. 10, 2005, by a score
of 5-3, in the ALDS at Anaheim Stadium. Some redemption for me, a
converted Angels fan.
There you have it. Share this with friends and family (just not those
Silicon Valley guys).