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Ah, it’s my favorite time in Tumblrville: time to announce Knoxville’s latest placement on a national list.

(In case you’ve somehow managed to miss our fixation on lists, you can browse past entries here. As it turns out Knoxville is the proud owner of many odd and varied titles.)

But this time Knoxville has been named one of the happiest cities in which to work. According to Forbes, Knoxville earned a score of 4.02 out of 5 total points in a list compiled by CareerBliss.

(Downtown Knoxville and Fort Loudoun Lake are seen Oct. 26, 2012. Photo by
Paul Efird/News Sentinel.)

This list — 10 happiest and 10 unhappiest cities — “is based on analysis of more than 36,000 independent employee reviews between Nov. 2011 and Nov. 2012.”

Employees all over the country were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work done does on a daily basis.

Rounding out the top 5 happiest cities:

  1. Dayton, Ohio
  2. Knoxville, Tenn.
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii
  4. Memphis, Tenn.
  5. Pittsburgh, Pa.

And the top unhappiest cities:

  1. Boulder, Colo.
  2. Reno, Nev.
  3. Wichita, Kansas
  4. Fresno, Calif.
  5. Little Rock, Ark.

To read the complete lists and for a breakdown of Knoxville’s score, check out the post on Forbes.com.

imageIf asked, some may peg me as more of a “Bah Humbug!” than a “Deck the Halls” type of gal. It’s true that organized religion and I had a falling out and may never reconcile, but the promise of the Christmas season has always filled me with a hope for humanity’s goodness that seems lacking the rest of the year. The music helps.

When I was a child attending Christmas mass with my family, the music director was a master at building emotion over the course of the service. As midnight approached, the lights would dim and the congregation would softly sing “Silent Night” by candle light. When the bells tolled for Christmas and “Joy to the World” was sung, that joy was tangible.

For me, traditional hymns will always rekindle the emotional response I felt each year while surrounded by family, love, ritual and magic. However, the fun, fantastical, puckish nature of the season is best portrayed through non-traditional music.

I’ve put together a list of my favorites here for you.

1. “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues. Louisiana, Dec. 1988. I was an angst-ridden teenager. Too young to have fun like the adults and too old to want to hang out with the younger kids. Enter my aunt’s best friend, Stuart Riordan, with one of the coolest gifts I’ve received: “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” by The Pogues.

2. “It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop” by Frightened Rabbit. This song captures the hope that we can all be better people — if only for one day.

3. “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt. Sure, this is a song about a woman flirting with Santa as she asks for expensive gifts. Yes, it’s rife with innuendo. But when Kitt sings, it’s not trashy. It’s sultry.

4. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby. One of the best Christmas songs of all time sung by one incredibly smooth man.

5. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Henry Rollins. Though not technically a song, Rollins takes the classic poem and turns it into a report from an urban war zone. Points for creativity.

And now, for the worst. The following songs should never be played under any circumstances. The videos are simply for illustrative purposes.

1. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. Worst. Song. Ever. I have threatened violence on people who think of singing it in my presence. I will not enter a store in which it is playing.

2. The Chipmunk Song. Shoot me. Or shoot the stereo. Just make it stop.

3. I discovered that Justin Bieber has a Christmas album.

4. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid. I think they’re too busy worrying about food, tribal warfare and disease to think about your Christian holiday. The sheer idiocy of this song aggravates me.

5. “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” by John Denver. When John Prine sings about Christmas in prison, it’s funny. When John Denver sings about his drunk father and sobbing mother, it’s just depressing.

Honorable Mentions

Among the best:
"Happy Christmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This Beatle got it right.
"Gabriel’s Message" by Sting. Every time I hear this, I wish it were longer.
"Christmas in Hollis" by Run-DMC. First, they sampled the horn section from Backdoor Santa by Clarence Carter and that’s just awesome. Then they throw together an oddball storyline and have fun in the delivery of it.

Among the worst:
"Christmas Conga" by Cyndi Lauper. The saving grace is that I think I’ve only heard this travesty twice in my life.
"Funky, Funky Christmas" by New Kids on the Block. I hope they got paid well for this. I couldn’t even listen to it all the way through.
"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy. Look, the rest of the world already has a bad enough view of Southerners. Our ignorant hick reputation doesn’t need any more help. 

Merry Christmas to you all. Whatever you listen to, I hope it brings you joy.

Here on #trending, we’re all about the lists. Well, I am, anyway. I love it when Knoxville lands placement on a list, whatever it might be, because it means we’re on the map.

In the past, at least on this blog, Knoxville (and sometimes East Tennessee) have been named as follows:

OK, so it’s not all good. But it certainly is interesting, and a pretty eclectic mix of things. The latest list, though? I’d say it’s a pretty good accolade for ol’ Knoxville.

Last week, The Atlantic wrote about a recent analysis by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. that placed Knoxville on a list of “Cities That Can Show Us How to Create Jobs.”

The study “provides a detailed assessment of the metros that have generated the most robust job growth based on ‘unique regional factors rather than national trends,’ ” The Atlantic explains.

Knoxville didn’t land in the top 10, but it did secure a spot at No. 13.

It’s that time, Knoxville. It really is.

Time, of course, that we tell you Knoxville has landed atop yet another list.

(We do, after all, have a penchant for blogging about our fair city’s various rankings on a variety of lists. In the past, we’ve written about Knoxville’s placement as a romantic city; an unhappy city; a city of old folks; and a city of happy marriages — just to name a few, of course.)

The latest? Knoxville is listed as the No. 2 sleepless city. According to the website sleepbetter.org, Knoxville residents have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, second only to Charleston, W.V.

The survey indicates Knoxvillians don’t get enough sleep an average of 10 days per month. And apparently 24.1% of residents don’t get enough sleep more than half the time.

The results, according to sleepbetter.org, were arrived at by analyzing “data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDCP) annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) to rank the nation’s most sleep-deprived cities.”

The Tri-Cities area in northeast Tennessee/southwest Virginia ranked No. 6. Here are the rest of the top 10:

  1. Charleston, W.V.
  2. Knoxville, Tenn.
  3. Paducah, Ken.
  4. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  5. Madison, Wis.
  6. Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.
  7. Columbus, Ohio
  8. Tulsa, Okla.
  9. Savannah, Ga.
  10. Springfield, Mo.

Read more about the top sleepless cities here.

… so says a new list.

It’s been a while since we found Knoxville in a list of “top 10” anything, so we were about due. (See past lists here)

Realage.com released a list of the "10 Best Cities for a Happy Marriage," and ranked Knoxville #3. If you don’t recall, Real Age also listed K-town residents as the "oldest" in the U.S., based on a lifestyle survey that calculated the body’s health age.

Knoxville and the following cities boast the best marriage:

  1. Greenville, South Carolina
  2. Knoxville
  3. Cincinnati, Ohio
  4. Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  6. Hartford, Connecticut
  7. Kansas City, Missouri
  8. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

So tell me, do you agree?

East Tennessee has a knack for making it on all kinds of lists as you may have noticed on past #trending posts.

Today, I stumbled upon this list made in February 2012 by Kiplinger, that includes Morristown and Kingsport, Tenn., in a list of 10 worst cities for singles.

Surprisingly Asheville, our neighbor across the mountain, made it on the list too.

Kiplinger determined its list using the following data:

To assemble our list of worst cities for singles, we started by screening for places where the percentage of unmarried households falls well below the national average of 49.4%. That indicates a lower share of single people in the overall population.

Maybe it’s time to move?

It’s been a little while since we’ve reported on Tennessee’s latest list-topping. But that ends now.

A Gallup poll released this week — the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, to be exact — names Tennessee as one of the top 10 unhappiest states.

The index takes into account these factors: emotional health, life evaluation, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and basic access. The Huffington Post does a nice job breaking down how each category was analyzed.

But let’s look on the bright side: Tennessee doesn’t fall in the top spot (or bottom spot?) this time. Here are the 10 states rounding out the unhappiest in the nation.

  1. West Virginia
  2. Kentucky
  3. Mississippi
  4. Delaware
  5. Ohio
  6. Alabama
  7. Arkansas
  8. Missouri
  9. Florida
  10. Tennessee

As for the happiest?

  1. Hawaii
  2. North Dakota
  3. Minnesota
  4. Utah
  5. Alaska
  6. Colorado
  7. Kansas
  8. Nebraska
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Montana

As we noted last week, Knoxville was recently ranked No. 1 on Amazon.com's list of most romantic cities.

The buzz around town — or at least on social media — was mixed. Some said they cold see it; others tweeted they doubted that was true. And some flat-out called into question Knoxville’s frequent list-topping and the validity of said lists.

But either way, there is new “evidence” to support this romantic theory. News Sentinel business reporter Josh Flory recently reported, via Twitter, that Gourmet.com named Cafe 4 one of the top 15 romantic restaurants in the nation.

Yeah, yeah. It’s just another list. But I don’t know … maybe this one has some merit to it.

What do you think?

… today we’re just old.

Knoxville’s made another list. This one says that no matter the young sounding monikers we natives like to give it (K-town, Knox-Vegas) Knoxville is made up of old folk.

And to think, just yesterday we were romantic.

A few weeks ago, The Advocate deemed Knoxville one of the gayest cities in America for 2012.

Last week, another list put Knoxville at the #1 spot for cities who age too fast.

And now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Amazon.com has ranked Knoxville the #1 most romantic city in America.

Also joining the list from Tennessee are Murfreesboro and Clarksville. If you recall, Knoxville came in second to Alexandria, Va. last year.

Here is the full list of romantic hotspots:

1. Knoxville, Tenn.
2. Alexandria, Va.
3. Springfield, Mo.
4. Orlando, Fla.
5. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Vancouver, Wash.
7. Miami, Fla.
8. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
9. Dayton, Ohio
10. Columbia, S.C.
11. Pittsburgh, Penn.
12. Clearwater, Fla.
13. St. Louis, Mo.
14. Erie, Pa.
15. Clarksville, Tenn.
16. Everett, Wash.
17. Gainesville, Fla.
18. Las Vegas, Nev.
19. Rochester, N.Y.
20. Tallahassee, Fla.

Read the full story from Knoxville.com.