Sunday, February 28, 2016

Favorite Movies of 2015

                     1. The Revenant
                     2. Mad Max: Fury Road
                     3. Room
                     4. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
                     5. Spotlight
                     6. Straight Outta Compton
                     7. Avengers: Age of Ultron
                     8. Inside Out
                     9. The Martian
                   10. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

[Movies I'd still like to see: Brooklyn, Creed, He Named Me Malala, I Smile Back, Joy, Sicario, Spy, Steve Jobs, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, The Wolfpack, Trumbo, Victoria.]

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Oscar Predictions



Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything


Julianne Moore, Still Alice

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Favorite Movies of 2014

the grand budapest hotel animated GIF
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Interstellar
3. Birdman
4. The Theory of Everything
5. Boyhood
6. Snowpiercer
7. Foxcatcher
8. The Skeleton Twins
9. Whiplash
10. Edge of Tomorrow

[Movies I'd still like to see: A Most Violent Year, Big Hero 6, Dumb and Dumber To, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Lucy, Mr. Turner, Nightcrawler, St. Vincent, The Interview.]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Revisiting 2014 Resolutions

1. Take a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building.
[Unfortunately, didn't take any trips to D.C. last year. Hoping to return soon with some friends who haven't been since childhood.]

2. Create and prepare an original food recipe.
[Still too apprehensive to deviate greatly from a recipe.]

3. Support someone's artistic expression.
[Considering every film watched or book read fulfills this resolution, sure. But also sought out the artistic works of amateur creators more than previous years, so definitely.]

4. Patronize a bed and breakfast on vacation.
[Airbnb is like the hyper-modern equivalent of a bed and breakfast, and we stayed at two Airbnb homes during our California adventure. Counting it.]

5. Grow a robust beard.
[Real talk: due to my genes, every beard I grow is robust. And I did grow one for a couple of weeks at the end of the year. But I'm still waiting to undertake a true beard journey.]

6Read a graphic novel for the first time.
[Decided to go with Y: The Last Man and enjoyed the heck out of it, especially since I read it over the course of numerous days lounging on the beach. Still largely prefer other media forms to the comic book format, but it was an enjoyable first experience.]

7. Learn to use advanced video editing software.
[Oh, how I yearn for the day I may escape the buggy clutches of the beast known only as the Windows Movie Maker.]

8. Successfully complete the 30 Day Plank Challenge.

9. Focus on long-term, big-picture perspectives.
[Another year of feeling bogged down by the here and now.]

10. Convince someone else to complete one resolution.
[Well, I didn't stay at those Airbnb homes by myself, so technically this was fulfilled.]

(Original Post: 'Resolutions for 2014')

Sunday, March 02, 2014

2014 Oscar Predictions

12 Years a Slave


Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club


Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Spike Jonze, Her

John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Favorite Movies of 2013

1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Philomena
3. Her
4. The Great Gatsby
5. Frances Ha
6. Blue Jasmine
7. Star Trek Into Darkness
8. Captain Philips
9. Saving Mr. Banks
10. World War Z

[Movies I'd still like to see: All is Lost, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Blackfish, Don Jon, Drinking Buddies, Frozen, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Prince Avalanche, Rush, Upstream Color.]

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Resolutions for 2014

1. Take a tour of the U.S. Capitol building.

2. Create and prepare an original food recipe.

3. Support someone's artistic expression.

4. Patronize a bed and breakfast on vacation.

5Grow a robust beard.

6. Read a graphic novel for the first time.

7. Learn to use advanced video editing software.

8. Successfully complete the 30 Day Plank Challenge.

9. Focus on long-term, big-picture perspectives.

10. Convince someone else to complete one resolution.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Revisiting 2013 Resolutions

1. Travel to a new state.
[Hoped to use our summer travel time to head to Austin, Seattle, or Portland - all of which would have qualified here - but a return visit with friends in Tampa was in order.]

2. Learn to cook a perfect homemade veggie burger.
[Disappointing, mostly because I simply let this slip my mind throughout the year. Ready the black beans and oats, I'm revisiting this one soon.]

3. Make faster decisions.
[Did I feel more decisive in 2013? Sure. But it took me, like, ten minutes to decide if I achieved this resolution, so...]

4. Visit the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.
[A perfect birthday present from my love. Also...DINOSAURS!]

5. Volunteer or donate to a new cause each month.
[This is the one resolution I changed midyear (see #10 below). I adapted the sentiment to focus on sorting through our excessive clothing collection and donating a significant portion to charity. Dozens of clothes-filled shopping bags later, resolution complete.]

6Purchase a musical instrument.
[Why didn't I just purchase this harmonica and call it a day?]

7. Mail a hand-written letter to President Obama.
[This was a cute idea when I thought of it last year, and then I remembered I have terrible handwriting. I'm sure the President was very disappointed.]

8. Take a photo from the top of a mountain.
[No hiking in 2013, unfortunately.]

9. See Mumford & Sons live in concert.
[Nope. And given the recent announcement that they're taking an indefinite break from touring, this one hurts.]

10. Change one resolution in the middle of the year.
[As #5 elaborates above, check.]

(Original Post: 'Resolutions for 2013')

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Oscar Predictions



Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln


Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Favorite Movies of 2012

1. Django Unchained
2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
3. Argo
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. Moonrise Kingdom
6. The Avengers
7. Looper
8. This is 40
9. Searching for Sugar Man
10. Brave

[Movies I didn't get a chance to see: Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Cloud Atlas, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, The Grey, Flight.]

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Resolutions for 2013

 1. Travel to a new state.

2. Learn to cook a perfect homemade veggie burger. 

 3. Make faster decisions.

4. Visit the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. 

 5. Volunteer or donate to a new cause each month.

6Purchase a musical instrument. 

 7. Mail a hand-written letter to President Obama.

8. Take a photo from the top of a mountain

 9. See Mumford & Sons live in concert.

10. Change one resolution in the middle of the year. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Revisiting 2012 Resolutions

1. Cease biting finger nails once and for all.

[Yep, I finally did it. The experience of trimming my fingernails for the first time in 29 years of existence was quite surreal.]

2. Visit a national park.
[Hoped to visit Ellis Island for the first time, but never made it. And now, due to damage from the hurricane, the island is closed indefinitely.]

3. Write twenty-five pages of anything.
[It seems the countless hours of "writing" I've done in my head while lying awake at night don't count, unfortunately.]

4. Be less frustrated by small issues.
[I really tried, honestly, but then somebody incorrectly uses the word 'infamous' in a Facebook post, and I'm left seething with rage.]

5. Adopt a dog.
[Our community association does not allow dog ownership. Our community association does allow cat ownership. This makes me very, very upset.]

6Help re-elect President Obama.
[A donation here, a campaign phone call there, and boom: four more years!]

7. Scan collection of childhood photos.
[No way my outdated scanner would have been up to the task. And to be honest, there's something special about having a bunch of old shoeboxes brimming with photos tucked away under the bed.

8. Watch all seasons of Mad Men and/or Breaking Bad.
[And Mad Men instantly moves to the top tier of my favorite television series of all time.]

9. Donate blood.
[Just hours prior to my scheduled appointment, I discovered I was ineligible to donate this year (and possibly beyond). A monetary donation to the American Red Cross would have to suffice.]

10. Complete half of these resolutions by June 30th.
[Not quite, but that's the beauty of making all these resolutions: underperforming still yields good results. Like ending a lifelong bad habit.]

(Original Post: 'Resolutions for 2012')