john allen

Top 10 Movies of 2009 (John Allen Edition)

(Ed’s Note: It’s time once again for my esteemed panel of friends to give you their favorite movies of 2009. Because we aren’t Hollywood bigwigs with copies of the movies sent to us on DVD like we’re Academy voters or movie reviewers, it’s harder for us to catch everything that comes down the pike. But we sure try.  We’ll start off this year with my buddy John Allen and his Top 10 movies of ’09. The rest of ours will be coming soon. Stop by often and see which of my Pop Culture-starved friends you’re most similar to when it comes to taste in film. Feel free to comment!)

JOHN ALLEN’S TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2009

  1. It Might Get Loud
  2. District 9
  3. Sherlock Holmes
  4. Law Abiding Citizen (still good even if Foxx does a Denzel impersonation for the whole movie)
  5. Inglourious Basterds
  6. State of Play
  7. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Steve!)
  8. The Men Who Stare at Goats
  9. Star Trek (and I’m not even a trekker, trekkie, whatever the heck it is)
  10. Harry Potter (yeah, so what?)
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Year in Review (2009)

2009 – YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s time again for my look back at the goings-on of the past year. Feel free to read, skim for your name, or just find the bold links and click on them in the hopes you’ll find a video featuring  a midget dressed up as Michael Jackson and dancing in the NYC subway system…you might just find what you’re looking for.
JANUARY
  • January 4 – I auditioned for The Foreigner at the Fulton Opera House. I didn’t get it or anything, but call me weird, I like auditioning. It’s just another excuse for me to get strangers to laugh. On purpose.
  • January 11 – My pal John Allen was in town for a conference. I know John from my days working at Gotee Records in Nashville when I was in the Radio Promotions department and he was in Sales. Sarah and I met up with John in Hershey, PA. It was really nice to re-connect and introduce him to my better/crazier half.
  • January 17 – I went hiking with my friend John Blowers in the Pennsylvania mountains. Somewhere. I actually don’t have any idea where we were, only about a half hour or so from Lancaster, so if he wanted to kill me and hide my body he very well could have. But he didn’t. I guess that means John’s my friend. :)
FEBRUARY
  • February 3 – Sarah and I watched the touring production of Avenue Q at the Hershey Theater. There’s nothing quite as fun as introducing your wife to the world of foul-mouthed puppets. And Gary Coleman.
  • February 22
  • February 27
MARCH

  • March 17-24
APRIL
  • April 19 – My pal Mitch McVicker came to town and performed a concert at our church. Even better than watching him perform again was getting to catch up with a good friend.
  • April 24 – Sarah and I went to a Capital Lights concert with our travel buddies Alyssa and Ashlea. Weeks later, the band announced they are breaking up. Coincidence?
MAY
  • May 15 – Sarah and I traveled to New York City for the weekend. I rejoined my friends at the National Comedy Theater and jumped in the Friday night shows for a great night of improv. I am happy to report that JT, Chris, Paul, Dan, Cohen, Kevin, and Jason have not lost the funny.
  • May 16 – Sarah and I hit some NYC tourist spots and that night we were in the live studio audience for the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It was everything we dreamed and more.
JUNE
  • June 23 – I broke a molar eating an ice cream sandwich.
JULY
  • July 8 – After two weeks of temporary crowns, my molar was finally completely repaired.
  • July 17 – Sarah and I attended a barbecue at Dustin and Janelle’s house. It was a great evening of friends and hangin’ out, capped off by an amazing Roman candle fight between Jeremy and Dustin.
  • July 24-26 – Sarah and I returned to New York City and this time we brought our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea with us. I performed at the National Comedy Theatre Friday and Saturday night and the rest of the time was spent giving them a whirlwind tour of the city.
AUGUST
  • August 8 – Sarah and I went to Nissley Vineyard (the place I proposed to her two years earlier) with friends to enjoy a nice evening in the countryside.
  • August 28 – Posted my 200th doodle.
SEPTEMBER
  • September 12 – Sarah and I saw Bill Cosby perform live at the American Music Theatre. Despite the fact that he looks older, he’s still the same old Cos.
  • September 18 – I had a voiceover audition at Max Films. Nothing has come of it (at least not yet) but again, it was something fun to do on a weekday afternoon.
OCTOBER
  • October 1 – I hung my doodles at a local coffee shop, Square One, as part of their monthly rotation of local artists. The theme for the month was Halloween, so I displayed my collection of doodles of movie villains
  • October 3 – Sarah and I went to the New Holland Fair and were shocked to find they imported everyone who attends the county fair back home in Indiana to attend this one, too. Either that, or everyone who goes to fairs looks the same.
  • October 7 – After months of hunting, Sarah and I picked up our new car, a Ford Focus from Keller Brothers. If you’re in the area, we highly recommend them!
  • October 26 – Married to Sarah for two years and she’s still my bestest friend.
  • October 31 – At our Murder Mystery Party, everyone got dressed up in fancy clothes and we pretended we’re a lot more civilized than we actually are.

DECEMBER
  • December 4 – We attended a surprise birthday party for our friend Alyssa. It was a successful covert surprise operation.
  • December 5 – My dear friend Nik (another Gotee Records survivor) is in town and Sarah and I get together with her for coffee. I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s so nice to re-unite with old friends and catch up!
  • December 12 – My pal John had a poker night (guys’ night out). We tried to keep it as manly as possible, considering the snacks consisted of deli meats, apple cider, and hummus.
  • December 24
  • December 26 – For the second year in a row, Sarah’s sister and her family (The Tatmans) visited us for a week . We played games, watched movies, and hung around the house. Basically everything you WISH you did on vacation.

There’s one highlight I didn’t post because it happens every week: Sarah and I have some good friends over on Tuesday nights to watch Lost. Our usual gang of misfits includes some of our closest friends in Pennsylvania (Alyssa, Ashlea, Dustin, Janelle, Monica, Tammy, and Tyler). Sure, we’re all fans of the show and enjoy the twists and turns, but most of all we love having an excuse to get together with good friends. In a time of virtual social networking, nothing compares with actually hanging out with others.

Thanks, everyone, for a great 2009. Preparing to enter 2010 is weird. 2010. It looks really super futuristic. If I don’t have a flying car by 2015, I’m going to be mad.

A Sad Day

My pal John Allen sent me this email update:

Golgotha Golf To Transmogrify Into Dinner Theater, Haunted Mine

One of the nation’s few Bible-themed miniature golf courses will soon be replaced by a pair of new attractions. Golgotha Golf, part of the Cave City cluster of attractions, had been suffering a slow devolution since it closed permanently in 2001 or so. New owner Ron Cushman said “It will no longer be a mini golf course. It is becoming a dinner theatre and a haunted mine attraction (in the old go cart concourse). The new name will be ‘The Grande Palace Music Hall and Clementine Mine.'” Ron hopes to have the business up and operating by June 2007. “The theatre and mine will be separate attractions and a separate ticket since dinner theatre and crashing elevators don’t go together.”

We asked if doomed spelunker Floyd Collins will be coaxed from his nearby grave site to wander the Haunted Mine. “The ghost of Floyd Collins?” said Cushman, “I wouldn’t dare give away our secrets, now would I?”

Haunted mines? Dinner theatre? I don’t know….I’m just glad my buddy Aaron Marrs and I got to document this hallowed mini-golf resort before this desecration.