Here are 5 things that I thoroughly enjoyed this past year. This is replacing my old year-end feature of The Best in Pop Culture, mostly because too many of the categories seemed forced now that I’m not on the fringe of pop culture.
1. Doña Sauce from Tacodeli.
Various restaurants in town serve some variation of this green salsa/hot sauce condiment. But I got seriously hooked on Doña Sauce in 2015 after Lauren brought home a couple sample tubs from work. It is so spicy but so delicious and creamy at the same time, a very intriguing combination. It can cause some discomfort after the fact, but still worth it. I dip a lot of things in it, from the obvious tortilla chips to potato wedges to my index finger. So, so delicious.
2. “Review”, the TV show on Comedy Central.
I accidentally discovered the show Review when a recording of Key & Peele went over by a few minutes. I was so tantalized by the 3 minutes I saw of Review that I made a point to watch a full episode later, and I laughed out loud like never before. Review is a show-within-a-show, a fake reality show where host Forrest MacNeil is given real life scenarios to live out and review. He puts the show above his own life and ends up going through with viewer requests, wondering what it’s like to get divorced, experience road rage, or get addicted. Do yourself a favor and find this show online and watch the first 2 seasons. It might be the single funniest show I’ve ever seen.
3. Odell Runoff Red IPA
I discovered a wonderful beer in April at a Whole Foods beer tasting, a springtime seasonal IPA from the amazing Oregon brewery Odell. Like I’ve said before, I’m very bad at putting flavors and overall beverage experiences into words, but I’ll say this: it’s good. Apparently everyone else thought so too, as Whole Foods Domain struggled to keep it on the shelves. An online search led me to a random gas station that carried the beer so I could buy another 6-pack.
4. Miguel Sano
For the first time since Harmon Killebrew, the Minnesota Twins have a true slugger in the lineup. The rookie third baseman out of the Dominican Republic arrived in Minnesota mid-season and every time he stepped to the plate he posed a threat of launching a blistering home run. This chart from aarongleeman.com shows the highest OPS by a right-handed 22-year old in MLB history. The top 3 guys are Hall-of-Famers. Pretty impressive, and about time the Twins employ a hitter like this! (I know, they had David Ortiz, but Ortiz would later say the Twins tried to get him to use the whole field and hit the ball the other way. The fools!)
YEAR OPS Joe DiMaggio 1937 1.085 Jimmie Foxx 1930 1.066 Frank Thomas 1990 .983 MIGUEL SANO 2015 .979
5. Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Track T-Shirt
A shirt making the cut for any “best of” list seems like a stretch, but I finally found the perfect t-shirt. In fact, I bought 6 of these recently, even at $22 apiece, because they are such a good fit. I wore a different one to work each day this week! It is shockingly difficult to find a high-quality, lightweight shirt that is long enough to cover my waistline. That said, I am careful not to let these bad boys go through the dryer for fear of shrinkage. So here’s to you, American Apparel, and your fine craftsmanship!
Other Good Things In 2015 Worth Mentioning
Nathan For You, TV Show
Google Plus automatic Android photo backup
The Bar at Whole Foods Domain
Brouwerji de Brabandere Petrus Aged Red
Better Call Saul