Best of the Capital Region
For the third year in a row, I offer up my own “Best of” categories. Here they are in no particular order. We’ll start with entertainment.
Best show on TV—Grey’s Anatomy. If only they had spelled Grey with an ‘A’ then I could buy all their t-shirts and hats, wear them around town and really look like a geek.
Best actor on the planet—Philip Seymour Hoffman. Anyone who can play Dusty in “Twister”, kiss Mark Wahlberg in “Boogie Nights” and then become Truman Capote flawlessly deserves an Oscar.
Best place to see the “Shawshank Redemption”—On TNT every night following 22 straight hours of “Law and Order”. “Dum, Dum”. (My attempt to make that “Law and Order” sound.)
Best local band to raise a pint to—Hair of the Dog.
Best local band to dance to—The Burners.
Best local band that should be a national sensation —Sirsy.
Best thing about Chinese food—No matter where I get it or how much I order it’s always ready in 10 minutes.
Best thing about eating at Mr. Subb—The potato nuggets.
Best thing about eating at Subway—Smelling the fresh rolls when you walk in.
Best thing about eating at Applebee’s—Telling your server it’s your friend’s birthday (when it’s not), and then watching their face as the whole wait staff comes out clapping and singing. Priceless.
Best thing about having young children—At 43, you can act like an idiot and run around with a diaper on your head and no one bats an eye.
Best thing about having old children—At 83, you can act like an idiot and run around with a diaper on your head and no one bats an eye.
Best way to impress a child—Tell them you met the Wiggles and actually ate lunch next to them. (I did recently in Florida)
Best way to embarrass a child—When you drop them off at school beep the horn, stick your head out of the sunroof and yell, “I love you so much.”
Best way to make a child feel special even though they are humiliated—Same answer.
Best way to lose weight—Stop trying to lose weight. Just eat a little less, walk a little more and keep bad food out of the house. It’s hard to eat rocky road ice cream if it’s six miles away at the store.
Best way to get smarter—Turn off the TV. Pick up a book.
Best book I’ve ever read—To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Best book I’ve ever read to my children—Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse.
Best book I should pick up more often—The Bible.
Best job in the Capital Region you don’t want—Morning TV news anchor. Some of them go in to work at 1am, slave all night, and just when they are ready to collapse they have to smile and act chipper at 5am. No thanks.
Best place to see a morning anchor shaking uncontrollably while repeating over and over again: “It’s time again for traffic and weather on the 9’s”—The local Starbucks counter five minutes after his shift ends.
Best way to lose your job on morning TV—One morning, just for kicks, deliver the entire newscast doing your best Napoleon Dynamite impersonation. If you are over 40 and have no idea what I’m talking about, ask your kids to do it for you. It’s flippin’ hilarious. By the way, Vote for Pedro!
Best way to meet a stranger you find attractive— Stare at him or her for five seconds and when they return the glance, smile.
Best way to make a stranger take out a restraining order against you—Stare at him or her for five minutes and never stop smiling.
Best pick-up line for a guy —“Do you mind if I stand here and keep all the jerks from hitting on you.”
Best pick-up line for a girl—“Is it just me or is “Caddyshack” the funniest movie ever made?”
Best pick-up line from a movie—“You are my density,” from “Back to the Future”.
Best piece of career advice from a movie—“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son,” from “Animal House”.
Best time to rob your neighbor’s upstairs bedroom—Sunday night when the “Soprano’s” are on. Trust me, they are downstairs watching Tony.
Best place to run into an actual cast member from the “Soprano’s”—Siro’s restaurant in August. I saw the actor who plays Furio three times last year.
Best place to spend $300 on a hotel that normally costs $99—any hotel in Saratoga in August.
Best place to take the kids and make them smile on a rainy day—The mall pet store. If you ask nice they’ll let you play with a puppy.
Best place to feel terrible for a dog—The same pet store when they put the puppy back in the cage.
Best place to spend $2,000 more than you should on a puppy—Same pet store. Ten minutes later.
Best place to get a dog if you really want one—The Humane Society.
Best place to be made to feel as if you’re a thief—Any gas station that requires you to pre-pay for your gas at 10am in the morning.
Best place to see a thief steal $50 in gas—The same gas station an hour after they suspend the ‘pre-pay policy’ and start trusting people again.
Best way to get out of doing laundry if you’re a guy —Volunteer to do your wife/girlfriend’s laundry and throw a bright red shirt in with her whites. Trust me, it’s the last time you’ll ever have to touch the washing machine.
Best way to make babies cry—Put them on the lap of Santa or the Easter bunny at the mall and try to take a happy picture.
Best way to see parents cry—Watch them as they find out that little 4 x 6 picture with Santa Claus costs $14.95. Cheap frame not included.
Best thing you can do for a friend (if you’re a female)—Remind her on the 23rd of each month to do a self-breast exam.
Best thing you can do for a friend (if he’s a guy)— Remind him that just because the stuff on the menu only costs a buck does not mean he should eat fast food every night.
Best way to get into heaven—Do something really nice and don’t tell a soul. If you take credit from anyone it doesn’t count.
Best way to get into hell—Three words: tequila, salt, lime.
Best way to make a friend—Sit with someone who’s all alone.
Best way to lose a friend—Judge them.
Best way to meet an actual Judge— Tequila, salt, lime.
I’d like to close by telling you from the bottom of my heart that I truly love the Capital Region. I was born and raised here, and for me this will always be a special place that offers the “best” of everything. Including a special magazine that allows us to share a few moments together on this back page each month. Growing up I had so many friends who couldn’t wait to get out of here. All I ever thought about was getting home.
John Gray is a Fox23 News anchor and contributing writing at the Troy Record. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org