List-en Up



Credits to Betsy Weber on Flickr

Isn’t it weird how once we enter a new year the first thing we do is make a to-do list? That’s pretty much what new year’s resolutions are. A list of things that we hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. And if you think about it, our lives are driven by lists. From the to-do lists we make in our heads to the “Best of 2014” lists littering the internet.

Why are lists so important? They force us to categorize – to prioritize. With the idea of a list comes the idea that there is a set order to how things are supposed to be (with numbered lists anyway). A typical to-do list is made in chronological order and order of importance; a list of top-ten movies takes a lot of things into account, from how much they made at the box office to audience ratings.

We did an activity in English class where we had to make three top ten lists about anything we wanted. That’s when I realized how hard it was – choosing a topic was fine, but deciding which items made the cut was more challenging. So, doing what I always do in the face of adversity, I turned to food.


Top Ten Ice Cream Flavors
10. Strawberry

It’s considered one of the “classic” flavors, but it’s not really in the same class as chocolate and vanilla, unless of course, you’re talking about Neapolitan.  If you really want a fruit-based frozen dessert, I would recommend mango sorbet or frozen yogurt.
9. Rainbow Sorbet

Okay, so sorbet isn’t technically ice cream, but I firmly believe that if food can be made rainbow colored, it should be done.  Except meat.  Please do not do that with meat.
8. Cherry Garcia

So I have no memory of every eating Cherry Garcia, but it sounds really classy and refined and also Ben and Jerry’s makes it, so there has to be something good about it.
7. Neapolitan

The perfect ice cream for those who are indecisive.  Or maybe even the best of three worlds.
5. Chocolate

Chocolate is the obvious choice for those with an unsatisfied sweet tooth.  Chocolate will never disappoint you.  Probably.
4. Cookie Dough

Those funny little chunks aren’t real cookie dough, but they still taste so good mixed with that vanilla ice cream.  Come on, it’s like toppings built right in!
3. Vanilla

Everyone loves vanilla.  It’s really good soft-served or slow-churned.  And it’s the basic staple for any ice cream creation.
2. Cookies and Cream

This just tastes so good.  Cookies and ice cream?  Yes, please.  In the perfect ice cream to cookie ration no less.  And much easier that smashing your own Oreos and having to sprinkle them on top.  Although that sounds pretty good too.
1. Mint Chocolate Chip

This one is my completely biased, absolute favorite.  There’s something about the minty taste blended with the taste of semi-dark chocolate chips that I could eat forever.  And the color is so pretty.  Green ice cream, who knew?  Oh yeah, I forgot this one, but shout out to pistachio ice cream.  What even are you?

Another weird thing about lists is that they can be super general or painstakingly specific.  The one category that really gets me is “The Best ____ of All Time” because not only is it impossible to consider all the movies, books, whatever from the beginning of recorded history; saying “all time” kind of implies that you’re talking about the entire expanse of time – past, present, and future.  As in, you’re judging these things to be superior to everything that has previously existed and everything that will ever exist.  That’s a bit of a tall order.  On the other hand, making your list specific narrows your sample size and therefore makes ranking easier and with less deviation.  If you’re judging music from one year or even one month, it’s likely the songs will generally be in similar genres or produced by current musicians.  It’s a lot harder to compare the Beatles to One Direction because you’re not only dealing with two different styles of music, but two completely different intended audiences.

My Personal Favorite Movies of 2014

The Book of Life, Divergent, The Lego Movie, Captain America, The Fault in Our Stars, Maleficent, The Amazing Spider Man 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Big Hero 6

10. The Fault in Our Stars

This is more of an honorable mention because John Green is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of his books except The Fault in Our Stars (you know, because of saving it, and also because I have no time in my life right now to shut out the world and cry for days).  Disclaimer: I haven’t seen Mockingjay and The Theory of Everything, though they both look really good and I probably will see these eventually.  They probably would have made the list otherwise.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay, people are gonna hate me for this, but I didn’t really like Guardians of the Galaxy as much as I thought I would.  There were definitely funny moments, actually, there were constantly funny movements, but I felt I was too distracted by the humor to actually focus on the plot.

8.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I saw this earlier in the year and I don’t fully remember it all too clearly.  But Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.  Enough said.

7.  The Amazing Spider Man 2

I really liked the villain in this movie, and obviously, I really liked the hero in this movie.  And I also liked all the side characters.  I liked everyone, okay?

6.  The Book of Life

Maria is an absolutely perfect Latina, feminist, freakishly accomplished female protagonist.  The movie takes you from the Land of the Living, the Land of the Remembered, and the Land of the Forgotten, but I don’t think I’ll be forgetting it anytime soon.

5.  Maleficent

I always love when movies do the role-reversal from a different perspective thing.  And who could pull it off any better than Angelina Jolie?

4. Divergent

As the first installment in the Divergent trilogy movie adaptation, I have to say I’m excited.  The characters weren’t exactly how I pictured them and there were parts of the movie that deviated from the book, but I think the movie stayed true to the Divergent spirit.

3.  The Lego Movie

The character development and world-building (pun intended) in The Lego Movie was amazing.  And I have to say that Unicorn Kitty is my favorite.

2. How to Train Your Dragon 2

I’d have to say this is actually tied with Big Hero 6; it’s just that I saw Big Hero 6 more recently, so it’s fresher in my memory.  But I clearly remember how good How to Train Your Dragon 2 was.  It taught me the meaning of compassion and determination, and the animation was absolutely breathtaking.

1. Big Hero 6

How can you not love Big Hero 6?  How can you not cry during Big Hero 6?  It just takes all your emotions and puts them on a spin cycle, not the one meant for your delicates.  Oh well, you can pick up your feels at the end of the movie.

After making just two of these lists, I feel like I’ve really learned more about myself and also the role that lists play in our culture that is so determined to have everything fall into neat little categories.  Lists define our likes and interests.  They help us organize all the little parts of us swirling around in our heads.  And in the end, I think we all just need a place to store the madness so it makes a little bit more sense.

Just a little less mad,

the Mad Hatter


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