Wednesday, November 11, 2009

best random stuff of 2009, part 2

(Please see my June 11th entry for part 1.)

Not all of these things first made their debut in 2009, but since that’s the first time I used/played/ate/smelled/watched them, they belong on this list. Also, as always, your mileage may vary.

I'm not a big fan of mint, but I reluctantly buy mint-flavored toothpaste because there's no other choice. Oh, sure, kids get strawberry and bubblegum and all that other shit, but I'm a grown woman with a grown woman's dental needs, so I gotta go with the stuff that whitens my choppers and prevents gingivitis and all that other irritating shit that adults have to deal with. Imagine my joy when I found a tube of Tom's of Maine's lemon-lime toothpaste at Whole Foods! It tastes awesome, and as a bonus, I haven't gotten a canker sore since I started using it. (Oddly enough, I couldn't find a picture of the lemon-lime flavor online, but it's the same type as shown above.)

In this awesome RPG, you play a teenage boy who's just moved to the small town of Inaba. It seems peaceful at first, but when bodies start popping up, you and your new friends decide to investigate. Full of moments both humorous and poignant, terrific voice acting, a great soundtrack, characters you wish you knew in real life, and an intriguing plot, Persona 4 was a wonderful surprise. I was listening to my iPod the other day, and when "Your Affection" (an upbeat J-pop song that plays frequently throughout) came on, I was filled with such longing, like I was missing an old friend. THAT is the mark of a great game.

Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke set out to find the Elysian Box, an artifact which supposedly kills anyone who opens it. In order to unravel the mystery, you have to solve puzzles ranging from easy to ones that will have you reaching for your blood pressure medication. G and I haven't finished this yet, so I can't give a full review, but so far it's on a par with its predecessor, Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The art and music are charming, and it's often wryly funny. And as much as I love killing zombies and all manner of creepy things, it's refreshing to play a game once in a while that actually makes me think.

When famous tattoo artist Kat Von D announced that she'd be releasing two fragrances, Sinner and Saint, I instantly wanted to give them a whiff. I knew she wasn't going to be mixing them herself or anything, but I figured that someone as unusual as she is wouldn't put her name on the same boring generic fruity florals that every other celebrity releases. I was right; these are fucking awesome. They actually smell fairly similar to me, but Sinner is spicier, whereas Saint has a thick caramel note that makes me want to chew my arm off every time I wear it. I'm awfully promiscuous when it comes to perfume, but I find myself reaching for these more often than any other perfume in my collection.

Hi-Chew is a line of Japanese candies that are kind of hard to describe; their texture is somewhere between Bubblicious and Starburst. When I read Candy Blog's rave review of the candied apple and cotton candy flavors, I made a mental note to look for them the next time I was in Little Tokyo. Sure enough, I found them, and trusting her judgment, I bought two packs of each. Turns out that wasn't enough. I didn't really think the apple tasted like candied apple; it was more of a fresh green apple flavor. But the cotton candy? Oh my god. It even has little sugar crunchies in it. Unfortunately, the Japanese snack market is highly fickle, so I may not be able to find these the next time I go to Little Tokyo. If I do, though, I'm buying every pack I can find.

Imagine High School Musical with a thick coating of snark, and you've got Glee. Someone online said it's the quintessential love it or hate it show, but I disagree; I certainly don't love it. But I do enjoy it, and the absolute best part of it is Jane Lynch as evil cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. Seriously, if scene stealing was a felony, she'd be locked up for life. Choice Sue Sylvester quotes: "I've never wanted kids. Don't have the time, don't have the uterus" and "I want it on my desk, warm from the laminator, at 5PM. And if it is one minute late, I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat, and then on some dark, cold night, I will steal away into your home and I will punch you in the face." God, she rules.

One day, a mysterious event causes everyone on Earth to lose consciousness for 137 seconds, and when they're out, they have a vision of their lives six months in the future. When everyone wakes up again, they find chaos: cars and planes have crashed, and of course everyone is freaking out. An FBI agent's flash forward seemed to show him working on the case as masked gunmen come through the building towards him, and he uses the clues from his vision to start the investigation. The perfect brain-buster to tide us Lost fanatics over until 2010.