Happy New Year from Jayne Mansfield and I.
2015 was pretty good for me. About an eight. I wrote six books and survived. That was key. I also learned a lot about myself. Like…I’m not going to write six books in a year again. Pace is important.
Another 2015 observation of note was that I gained roughly fifteen pounds. The 15 in ’15. Yikes. Again, pace will be a personal target for me in 2016.
But you know how that goes: I promise myself I’ll write less and work out more and I will – for approximately two weeks. Then, it’s back to the bullshit. But I want to be different this year, positive in myself that I can keep these two promises. Thankfully, one of my 2015 favorites, which I use to kick off the list below, will assist in that endeavor…
FAVE Book of 2015: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Like most women (I hopefully assume), I am amazed by super-producer Shonda Rhimes. She owns a night of the week – OWNS, y’all. Thursday is all about TGIT and All Things Shondaland. When I saw she released a book, I preordered it and devoured it from the minute it hit my Kindle. You can click HERE for my GoodReads review but in short, I fell in love with the book. Fell in love – there are so many life lesson and laughs to be gained from reading Year Of Yes, a half-memoir/half self care debut from Rhimes. Weight loss, mommy wars, speaking your truth – everything is covered. I Kindle-highlighted 32 passages. My fave quote: “No is a complete sentence.”
FAVE Movie of 2015: Knock Knock
Keanu Reeves? Meh. I mean, I liked his movies from the 90s. I grew up on his movies but I’ve never been gaga over the guy. However, I kinda dug him in this flick. Now, I’ll warn you: there were several other movies that came out this year that were better in plot and quality than my selection. I’m positive of this, but I’m different. This film intrigued me at a purely uncouth level. It’s the story of a fortysomething man who, left alone in his house for the weekend, allows two twentysomething women in for hot sex and, oh, a side of torture and murder. Def a throwback to the Sharon Stone/Michael Douglas-esque sexual thrillers that were popular during which Keanu’s exclamation of “EXCELLENT!” summed up every movie he’s starred in during that cinematic era.
FAVE TV Show of 2015: The Affair (Showtime)
If I had made a favorites list last year, this would have been my pick then as well. The Showtime drama finished up its second season last week and it left me with my jaw on the floor. If you enjoy a little spice with your crime mystery, you should be inhaling this show. Between the multi-layered plot and the fantastic cast (hello, Joshua Jackson – he ain’t Pacey no more!), The Affair has a rich narrative that will keep your attention.
FAVE Album of 2015: D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Black Messiah
This was a tough decision, as anyone who had ears and good taste will contend that K. Dot’s To Pimp A Butterfly was the best album of the year. If it doesn’t get showered with Grammy noms and even a few trophies in February, it would be a crime. What nudged D’Angelo to the top spot for me is a mix of nostalgia and hunger for real R&B. Twelve tracks of mellow music excellence, that’s the best way to describe Black Messiah. D’Angelo, a veteran of soul music for my generation of late Gen Xers, reminds you from the first track as to why he is an indelible figure of R&B music. Our generation’s Bobby Womack (yeah, I wrote it), D’Angelo made me believe that real rhythm and blues was still around, bubbling under the surface of whatever it is that goes by as music these days.
FAVE Person I Don’t Know In Real Life of 2015: Taraji P. Henson
Taraji’s not new to me, of course. Her IMDB profile is long, in case one of your few experiences with her include just Empire. I think that what makes Taraji stand out for me this year (besides her awesomesauce portrayal of Cookie on the top-rated FOX series) is her complete unabashed embrace of 100% pure girl power. The woman celebrated herself and her peers effortlessly – from applauding her competitors in award nom announcements to The Hug between she and fellow uber-talented megawoman Viola Davis when the latter won Best Actress at the Emmys this year. She’s fierce, talented, and, uh…hello, gorgeous! Even if she didn’t get the Emmy, Taraji won in 2015 and I am looking forward to more from her next year.
Who were your 2015 faves?