Bookshelf: Luster by Raven Leilani

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Between this novel and Kiley Reid's Such a Fun Age, this really is the time for 23-25 year-old protagonists finding themselves in various forms of unhealthy relationships, then end up finding whatever piece of themselves they needed to find. And as someone smack dab in the middle of the age range, I hope I can find that piece, too, but without the unhealthy relationships.

Most women I see reflected in pop culture in that age group are people who have at least their professional life together. So to see two complicated women who don't know what they want to do with their lives at this age is refreshing. We're pressured younger and younger to know exactly what we want to do with our lives and it's exhausting.

Supernatural Has Ended and I Have Feelings About It, and The Fate of Dean Winchester

Friday, November 20, 2020

 So Supernatural has come to end after 15 years. And I have thoughts. This is about to get super long.

Clips That Bring Me Joy Vol. III

Monday, November 9, 2020

 Now that the orange monster is voted out, I've been feeling so much joy and finding videos that express it.

Earworm: "World Turning" by Fleetwood Mac

Monday, November 2, 2020
This song seems pretty applicable to the time we are currently living. Also it grooves.

And it's one of Christine McVie's songs, and the more I learn about Fleetwood Mac and who wrote what songs, the more she's becoming my favorite member. And her voice is one of my favorites in rock.

New York Sports Fan In Search of New Teams

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

It is so hard being a New York sports fan. The Knicks haven't been good since the 99, when I was three. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, do the Nets stand a chance once they've recovered from all of their injuries? Who's to say? I can't root for the Yankees on principle because I was raised a Mets fan. But the Mets are, the Mets. Except for 2015 when they made it to the World Series and haven't had much, if any, post season success since. Oh New York Giants, what went wrong. And I care so little about hockey that I thought the New York Islanders were really called the Long Islanders until a year ago. Also, no idea where the Islanders and Rangers stand in the league right now. 

So I'm in the market for new teams to root for. Suggestions welcome.

I will say that I think I'm becoming a Dodgers fan. The first baseball game I watched live and in full in years was Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, aka the longest game in series history. What a way to get back into baseball. I probably should root for the Rays, given that I lived in Tampa for most of my life. (Born on Long Island, hence the New York sports dilemma and the Islanders mixup.) A part of me will always root for them because they are actually my hometown team and the underdog nature of the team, but they haven't had much success in the postseason either. And after the Astros were revealed to be dirty cheaters, that made me want to root for the Dodgers even more.

Basketball, I usually follow whatever team has the best storyline that year. This season for me it was the Miami Heat. They were obviously not gonna win the Finals, but they fought every team and kicked ass all playoffs long, and I may have to check on them next season. And the narrative redemption of Jimmy Butler as a teammate and player was interesting to watch play out. Also, Florida team, so I don't feel like I'm completely selling out my two home states. 

Hockey is easy now that the Tampa Bay Lighting are Stanley Cup Champions. Usually when it comes to hockey, I just wait for the Stanley Cup final and pick a team just to have a dog in the fight. So it's nice to have a champion from a home state. And it's funny that Tampa's most successful sports franchise is a hockey team. Go figure. And sorry Bucs, I have never rooted for you. You've been bad since my family moved to Tampa and now that you have Tom Brady on your team, I really can't root for you.

I'm always gonna root for my New York teams, but it's nice to have to teams I genuinely care about and don't make me sad year in and year out. I forgot what that feels like.

My 24 Year Streak Without a Bee Sting Has Come to an End

Friday, October 9, 2020

 I was just chilling on my bed under my cozy zebra-print blanket, listening to some classic rock when all of sudden I felt a pain in my left foot. At first I thought it was a mini charley horse, but then a new spot started started to hurt behind my knee on my right leg. So I moved my blanket to investigate, and wouldn't ya know it, it's a bee crawling around stinging me. Thankfully, it was just those two spots and I managed to get rid of the bee before it could do more damage. 

They stings didn't hurt as much as I thought they would, but I wasn't putting any pressure on them. So I thought it'd be fine and I could just go to my medicine cabinet and get some hydrocortisone cream and chill. 

Except I didn't have any cream. 

I had to walk twenty minutes to the nearest CVS on a foot that was stung. It wasn't that bad, it just took longer than normal because at some points I would start walking on the opposite side of the sting on my foot to not have as much pressure on it. So a forty minute round trip and a total of ten flights of stairs to get one four dollar bottle of hydrocortisone cream. 

And now the pain is steady and I will be reapplying the cream every hour on the hour until it is not.

On the bright side I learned I don't have a bee allergy. 

Earworm: "Finally" by CeCe Peniston

I just discovered this song in the last couple of months. It's just a blast of a disco inspired 90s jam, which is a combo I love.

I first head of the song in a Little Mix interview for a radio station in the UK. They were playing a song game or something and this came, and all four of them burst out into the chorus and I was like, "I need to find that song". And I did, and it's been in heavy rotation since.

Spooky Season is Growing on Me

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I'm not the biggest Halloween person. My family's not and, while I like horror movies, they are not my go to selection for movie night. So spooky season was never really my thing. That is fast changing and I don't know why. 

Maybe my interest in all things spooky and creepy has increased. I've always had a fascination with witches, I was a witch for Halloween three years in a row. And in the last couple decades there's been a reclaiming of the witch and her power. From Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Craft, and Hermione Granger, witches are the heroines and anti-heroines, not the villains. 

It could be that we actually have a name for Halloween season now, and spooky season is probably the best name for it. There's some serious scares but it's all in good fun. 

Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums is Not The End All Be All

Friday, September 25, 2020
Rolling Stone updated their Top 500 Best Albums of all time list and that means the fighting over what is the best album of all time is happening again.

First off, we don't, as a culture, listen to albums the same way anymore. I am known to play an album straight through, no skips, but most of the time I listen to music, it's a playlist I put on shuffle.

And since we are in the age of the single being the most important for an artist, when considering an album's quality you have to think about all of the tracks and not just the ones that were deemed good enough for promotion and radio play.

Now for the actual list. Of course you're not gonna like everything that made it and where it was placed. I'm excited for the gains made in the top of the list by female artists, since art made by women has historically not been considered with the same merit as men. There is no way that every person has listened to every album on that list and know the proper qualitative order that they should appear in. Art is subjective and there is art that speaks to us more than others. I can tell you that as someone who has not listened to a lot of rap, I would not know where to begin to place those albums.

It's important to know that this list was compiled in a big ranked ballot system, so it's not like one person sat there ranking them. This was the result of a lot of people doing their own ranking and seeing what had the most votes. The next time this list is made, it'll look different. There will be new albums released that blow your mind, the classics get evaluated again, and maybe some older albums are rediscovered and gain a new burst of appreciation.

What I like to do whenever these massive best of lists are published is make my own list. My favorite albums of all time and ask those I know to do their own list and compare those. I also like to use this as a big rec list to find something that is new to me that I may enjoy.

There will never be a definitive "best album of all time". But it's fun to see what shakes out every time we try to find it.

My 2020 Emmys Ballot

Sunday, September 20, 2020
This is a weird year. I don't think we'll really feel the effects of the coronavirus on television production for maybe another year so this year's nominations are still normal.

Some picks are my hopes, and some are because I know certain shows and people are going to win, so I want to highlight some other work that was excellent in the last year that is no less deserving of awards recognition.

What is Fashion in the Age of Corona?

Friday, September 11, 2020
My wardrobe has consisted of sweats, cotton shorts, and basic tees and tanks. The occasional skirt and my one pair of denim shorts. I haven't worn jeans since I fled to Florida. The rest of my wardrobe I don't even remember.

Given that when we leave our homes or wherever we landed to bunker down, there's very few safe places to actually go. Why would we get moderately dressed up to go grocery shopping?

Very few times I had gotten properly dressed, and it wasn't until months into quarantine when outdoor dining started to be a thing we could safely do. And it was weird. I actually put thought into what I looked like.

Because of that, I'm starting to look at my wardrobe that I would not put in my "comfy" section, and I remembered, "oh yeah, I have style".

And I think by moving past the urge to wear only clothes that we could comfortably sleep in, it could at least help in our quest to move through this seemingly never ending pandemic.

Can Disney Stop With the Live Action Remakes Now?

Monday, September 7, 2020
So, Mulan is finally out in the world, and it is not the last of the live action remakes that have been taking over Disney's production slate, unfortunately.

Earworm: "Ungodly Hour" by Chloe x Halle

Sunday, September 6, 2020
So, Chloe x Halle have become queens of the quarantine music performance. From the BET Awards, the Global Citizen concert, the GLAAD awards, and the US Open, whenever they are booked to perform on television, it is a treat.

But the queen of all of their performances is the one they gave of "Ungodly Hour" at the VMA Pre-Show.

It's been a week, and I'm still struggling to understand why they weren't in the main show. They were up for a few awards, one of them being "Best Quarantine Performance", and with the list I opened with, you'd think you want that caliber of performance in the part of the night people care about. But it was still one of the most talked about performances of the night, and a lot of people sharing that same thought, too. 

Can't wait to see what tricks they pull out next.

Holey Moley is Perfect Television

Thursday, August 20, 2020
Holey Moley is perfect television. Mini golf, but massive? Love it. Simultaneously in on the joke and self-aware? Comedy genius. Genuine moments of classic sports tension? Yes.

I mean, yes, this is ridiculous. But we need ridiculous television. Most competition shows these days are either too mired in alliances and deceits, or are too earnest in their emotions where I cringe every time a video package starts rolling. And there's none of that here. The competition between the players is all in good fun.

Our hosts are spectactular. Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore have great chemistry and pull off those vintage ABC sportscaster jackets. They thread the needle of the show's tone of being in on the joke and totally aware that what they are commentating is ridiculous. And again, those jackets.

But the best thing about this show, the contestants don't come off as fools. They know the joke of the show are up to the task. They build their own characters and personas, and are having a blast. My personal favorite is Mr. Applesauce.

I Miss My Morning Walks

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
I am someone who is affected by heat very easily. When my family goes to theme parks, we always have drinks in our hands after an experience at Animal Kingdom when I was 12. It was 2 in the afternoon, and I hit a wall and just said "I'm done".

One of the best things I did for myself in quarantine was to start exercising, and I mainly did that by going on early morning walks. It was so cool and the sun would barely be out so I wouldn't have to lug a huge water bottle with me or apply sunscreen. I would just make sure I had something to drink before and after, and I'd be perfectly hydrated. The only reason I would sweat was out of hard work and just from being outside.

But then it got too hot. The humidity at 6:30 in the morning was over 90%. That's too hot to even sit out on the porch in the shade. And the wet heat made me feel so gross and would just glom onto me.

I haven't gone on a walk in weeks but for someone reason I only started missing it in the last few days. Maybe now that summertime is coming to a close I can start doing it again.

Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. II

Saturday, August 15, 2020
These put a smile on my face, and I hope they put a smile on yours.

Earworm: "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Thursday, August 13, 2020
I don't know why this popped up in my head. I wasn't even listening to a lot of 80s pop when it did. But it has not left my head in a week. It's just pulsing. And the instrumental can easily be used to score a cool action setpiece, which I want to see happen now.

Halt and Catch Fire, The Best Show No One Watched

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
The critically acclaimed and criminally under-watched drama Halt and Catch Fire, and frequently called the best show that no one watched.

It debuted in 2014 during the decline of the antihero "difficult man" shows, between the finales of their fellow AMC mates Breaking Bad and Mad Men. The reviews for the first episode of the series were pretty much all about that decline and fatigue in dramas. But those who opted out after the first few episodes missed a trick. The early going followed some of the familiar antihero rhythms, but by the midway point, they started to deconstruct it. And by doing that deconstruction, they embarked on one of the greatest retools a show has ever accomplished.

I don't believe too much in the spoiler warning culture for the little details, but with the big events, I do. Because so much happens at such a fast pace, I don't want to go into plot details. You are just going to have to trust me. It is unlike any other drama I've seen.

I Think I Had the Easiest Wisdom Teeth Removal Ever

Monday, July 27, 2020
So last Wednesday, I got all four of my wisdom teeth removed. As it's now been five days, I feel like I can talk about my progress without jinxing anything. 

I'm doing amazing.

Coming out of the anesthesia, I was loopy but still kind of with it. However, you would not know that just by communicating with me, because I sounded like a purring kitten. A lot of "rows" and "ows".

And once that wore off, I was never in huge amounts of pain. Was there discomfort? Oh definitely. But nothing the prescription strength ibuprofen couldn't handle. No oxycontin necessary for me. Also, the swelling didn't really last the first day. I looked pretty normal that night.

This was not what I was expecting because the last two people in my family to get their wisdom teeth out had miserable experiences, and one of them was my sister. She had such a miserable time I prepared for the worst, and really my only issues is that it's still uncomfortable to chew so I'm still on soft foods. If that's my only issue, that I can only comfortably eat pasta and ice cream, then I'll take it.

Getting My Wisdom Teeth Pulled Tomorrow

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Woo-hoo. The joys of wisdom teeth removal.

This is actually going to be my first major medical procedure. I have been to the emergency room twice in my life, and both times nothing was done because there was nothing to be done.

When I was four, I had a nose bleed that lasted for over half an hour and my parents were concerned about that. I'm just a nosebleed kid. That was a fun Christmas Eve. On my 12th birthday at softball practice, I caught a fly ball with my face. My mom thought I broke my nose so we went to the ER, nope. Just a fat lip for three days. Happy Birthday to me!

Mainly this means it'll be my first time experience anesthesia and heavy duty pain meds. When my sister got her wisdoms out two years ago, she filmed herself swaying to that angels song by Sarah McClachlan. So hopefully I'll do something funny, too.

Not looking forward to the week of not feeling like a human. That does not look like a fun time.

Bookshelf: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

Sunday, July 19, 2020
Everyone has had that fantasy of sleeping for a year and waking up a new person; totally motivated and able to deal with life and be the person you've always wanted to be. This book puts that into practice. What would it take to actually pull off being asleep for a year? And what would it actually be like while you're in it?

This is pretty much like the quarantine book for the ages. For those whose lives were put on indefinite hold thanks to the incompetency of the cheeto-in-chief, it really has felt a bit like hibernation. A state of stasis, hopefully without the self-medicating.

This book is definitely not like anything else I've read. Our narrator is one of the messiest people who has been the focus of a novel. But through her drug-induced state, you do come to realize why this period of sleep was a rational decision for her and that you want her to get what she wanted out of it.

With The Theatrical Experience in Flux, I'm Concerned About the Smaller Movies

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
With movie theater openings being pushed back because of the pandemic, the concern has mostly been about the biggest tentpoles, namely Tenet and Mulan because those are supposed to be the first out of the gate. There are a lot talk about what it means for the theatrical experience, but it's the uncertainty of the smaller movies that is scaring me more.

Earworm: Hamilton Cast Album

Friday, July 3, 2020
The Hamilton cast album has been in steady rotation since it came into my life in the fall of 2015. I was trying to hold off on listening to it because I had the pipe dream of being able to see the show. That line of thinking did not last long. So by Christmas of 2015, I had listened to the cast album, realistically, a hundred times over. But, my parents being theater loving people and good deal hunters, managed to find reasonably priced tickets to see the original cast on Broadway. Best Christmas/early birthday present ever. March 10, 2016. Best night ever.

And even though the general hype for the show died down and my own love was starting to fade, a good chunk of the cast album was still in rotation, especially when I listened to my show tunes playlist on spotify. I don't really listen to the sadder songs that much, mainly because I need to be in a certain "I need a good, big cry" mood. The songs that I still listen to pretty regularly are (in chronological order) "You'll Be Back", "Satisfied", "Wait For It", "What'd I Miss", "The Room Where It Happens", and "Washington On Your Side".

I think those songs are the highlights of the show. The character pieces of "You'll Be Back", "Satisfied", "Wait For It", and "What'd I Miss". The jazzy political intrigue of "The Room Where It Happens", and "Washington On Your Side".  It all fits to tell some of the stories of the characters in the show and expose how they think and how they operate, all while being great earworms.

It is some of the best of musical theater and what it can do, and why theater is one of the greatest forms of art that there is.

I Don't Think Nick and Jess Should've Ended Up Together on New Girl

Friday, June 26, 2020
So I just finished binging all of New Girl. I blasted through the first five and half seasons quick, non stop binge. But then I realized where there endgame was going in the second half of season six (probably because they didn't know there'd be a season seven) and I stopped for a while. It took me about a month to go back to it, and I had to finish because I invested too much time and the series as a whole was too good not to.

I don't think Nick and Jess work as a romantic pair.

Clips That Bring Me Joy

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
We all need little bits of joy to brighten up our days from the hell times we are currently existing through. These are the videos that make me laugh and bring a smile to my face.

My Favorite Tony Award Performances

Sunday, June 7, 2020
Due to the coronavirus shutting down Broadway and large gatherings, the Tony Awards will not go on this year. The smart thing to do would be for CBS to replace the Tony Awards would be to highlight Broadway and find great performances and bits of Tonys past and package them into a clip show. They have in-house theater loving hosts in Stephen Colbert and James Corden, they could share duties throughout the program and do intros and share some of their favorite moments.

But instead CBS is showing a sing-a-long of Grease. So I'm doing a best of Tony list myself.

Here are the clips I could find of my favorite show opens, bits, and a bunch of musicals.

I Prefer Reality Shows Where Participants Actually Do Stuff

Friday, June 5, 2020
I don't watch the Housewives of any city, the Kardashians, or any other C-list or lower's show. And even thought The Bachelor franchise is technically a competition, nobody does anything really, and my dislike for the franchise is well documented. I don't want to see people sit around in styled outfits and professionally applied makeup, pretend that they do it themselves, and then sit around and talk trash about everybody. Because a lot of beefs on reality shows you just want to scream at them "LET IT GO".

Earworm: "Walkin' After Midnight" by Patsy Cline

Saturday, May 30, 2020
For some reason, since I started doing my morning walks, this song has been stuck in my head.

I mean, "walkin'" is in the title, so that tracks. But walking at seven or eight in the morning is too far after midnight to qualify for the sentiment. And my walks are purely for exercise, so that doesn't track either.

But it's a classic song with a great little groove to it. If this pops up on shuffle, you can do a nice little strut to spice up your walk.

Earworm: "Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy

Thursday, May 28, 2020
More classical music should be remixed into jams, especially disco jams. It's in the public domain so it's not gonna be expensive. This is just a really groovy song to have fun to. I want more!

It was also the theme song to Mrs. America on Hulu, which is a great miniseries if you want something to binge and learn about the women's movement and the fight to pass the ERA in the 70s.

I Do Not Understand The Hype About Friends

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Apparently Friends is a big deal. People lost their shit when it left Netflix the first time so they spent $100 million to keep the rights for a year, and when that year was up they were in mourning the second time. But it found a new home in HBO Max so people can watch it to their hearts content again.

The only thing I don't understand about all of the panic is that Friends is not that great. I get that there are certain shows that are comforting, and you can just play on a bad day and feel relaxed. But there are better shows about friends hanging out and having shenanigans. New Girl. Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The Good Place. Parks and RecreationCommunity. Living Single (aka The One That Friends Ripped Off).

It's fine. It's not revolutionary. There were no boundaries broken. Any edge was smoothed out. It was perfectly fine. The only thing I have found genuinely hilarious and made me laugh out loud was the trivia game that decided who got Monica and Rachel's apartment. The jokes were quick, and even though we were learning new information about these people we'd seen for, at that point, four seasons, none of it was out of left field.

Also, I don't care about Ross and Rachel. The constant will-they won't-they wasn't interesting to me, mainly because I don't think they were a good couple. Why were we as a people interested in them? What made them this special couple? I'm seriously asking because I don't know the answers to those questions. I do not understand the fascination with two people whose relationship was toxic and could never stick to it long-term. 

My big issue with Friends and the hype surrounding it is that it's treated as one of the best comedies of all time. It isn't. Popular does not always equal best.

Finally Recovered From a Ridiculous Stomach Bug

Wednesday, May 20, 2020
I just had the longest lasting stomach bug of my life. I've been fine the last couple days, so I think I'm in the clear and don't feel like I'm jinxing it by writing about it.

It started on Friday, May 8, thru Sunday, May 17. That is 10 days. 10 days of nausea, upset stomach, and not being able to eat a thing. The majority of the time in that stretch I couldn't do solid food. It was hell. Every single time I moved it was like a wave was rolling in.

I was actually starting to get better on Thursday, May 14. I had gone to urgent care the day before and got some meds. Then the next day a brush fire started in Starkey Park and the smoke was awful. On top of the potential of having to evacuate the house and it potentially burn to the ground, my stomach bug was also at square one.

It was the worst.

Earworm: "Small Talk" by Niall Horan

Thursday, May 7, 2020
When I start my morning walks, I like to pick a song you can strut to. Like "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees or "(You Drive Me) Crazy" by Britney Spears or "Crazy in Love" by Beyonce. It's a good groove, up beat but not at a super fast tempo. Well, you can add Niall's "Small Talk" to that list. I could also add his single "Nice To Meet Ya" to this growing list of strut songs, but I want to focus on "Small Talk" because it's an album track and not a single.

When you listen to an album all the way through for the first time, you never know which track is gonna stick with you first. This is the song that stuck with me. It grooves.

More songs need to groove.

Should I Read Normal People Before I Watch The Show?

Saturday, May 2, 2020
Earlier this week, the miniseries adaptation of the book Normal People dropped on Hulu. Now, I am in a bit of a pickle because I have copy of the book, but it's in my apartment in New York while I'm quarantining at home in Florida.

Here are my options:

  1. Watch the show and not read the book.
  2. Wait until I can get back to New York to read the book and then watch the show, who knows when that will happen.
  3. Get another copy of the book and I'm out an extra $20 I don't have to be, and I'm a notorious cheapskate. 

Usually, it's a coin toss as to whether I read the book beforehand. It really depends on how interested in the story I am, and there's a lot if interest around the adaptation. I read Little Women before the Greta Gerwig movie came out, but I didn't read Little Fires Everywhere before the miniseries started on Hulu. At some point I'll circle back to the original novel, because it'd be interesting to see what changes were made. 

I also really liked Sally Rooney's first novel, Conversations With Friends, and Normal People, was her big breakout here in the states. There's a reason why Normal People was adapted first. I want to read the book more than I want to watch the show. But I don't have the book with me and I need things to occupy my brain.

We'll see. I may find other shows to watch before I even get around to starting this one, so hopefully I can distract myself with other television that I'm not wanting for it as much and I can hold out.

It's a battle of wills now.

Bookshelf: Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Sunday, April 26, 2020
This is the second book that is in my B&N Collectible Edition of Agatha Christie stories, so now I'm two-thirds the way through it. This book is very much like Clue, except we know the weapon. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out, along with the lead character, who the true murderer was. I did not see the true identity coming. I was detecting right alongside the lead character, and all of my theories were wrong. And that's the fun of a whodunnit. It should surprise you and come out of left field, but not so far out that you can't buy it. You can buy the identity of this murderer and why they did it.

It's hard to talk about a book where the mystery is a whodunnit because you don't want to reveal who did it if you want other people to read it. So, if you like playing Clue or watching the movie Clue, or liked Knives Out, you'll like this.

Working Out Has Been a Start-and-Stop Endeavor

Thursday, April 23, 2020
In the beginning when I decided to try to be an active person during this isolation period, I was on it. I walked in the morning for forty minutes mostly every day for a week. Then I fell under the weather for a bit, so I couldn't walk for a week. Just the average cold so it made mornings hard and by the time I was conscious enough to function it was too hot for my Irish skin to be in the sun for long. So once I got better I was walking again and that lasted about three days. And I haven't really walked since. Some of that was legitimately bad weather preventing any outside activity. Then the habit was officially dead.

Into the YouTube Wormhole with Dancing With the Stars

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Everyone experiences the phenomenon of clicking on a video, and clicking more just like it, and then the only thing you end up watching for a day. And now that most people are stuck at home, this is probably happening to them more than usual. However, I have been stuck in one for the last three weeks. Obviously it's not the only thing I've watched, but seeing as it has been almost a month and it's still pretty constant, I'd say I'm still in it.

Earworm: "In Too Deep" by Sum 41

Saturday, April 18, 2020
I think this song is the national mood regarding the crisis we are living through. It also happens to be one of my all time favorites and is one of the best songs to play in a high school movie or tv show.

100th Post Retrospective Extravaganza!

Monday, April 13, 2020
100th post! Woohoo!

I started this blog January 17, 2019 on a whim. I don't talk much in real life. In fact, I am the ultimate champion of the quiet game in my family, no one can beat me. But I figured this was a way for me to be able to express myself since I don't speak much, and maybe help me get comfortable with stating my thoughts on whatever is going on. It's been fun. I feel like I get to show a bit of my personality and how my brain works when it comes to processing events in my life and the art I consume.

Some of my favorite pieces have been why Rise of Skywalker sucked, my thought's on Carole King's Tapestry, my quest for ice cream one afternoon, that time my car died on I-4how Gossip Girl ended and why it was bad, and why I shouldn't ride bikes.

Here's to the next 100!

Grey's Anatomy Needs a Revitalization Desperately

Saturday, April 11, 2020
What is going on with Grey's Anatomy? The season just felt like a long, too complicated for its own good, journey to get to the end of this season that ended up being shortened. It would be wrong to say thank god about a shorter season because it was due to a global pandemic, but also not.

At Night In At The Theatre with One Man, Two Guvnors

Sunday, April 5, 2020
So in this time of self-isolation, London's National Theatre is making some of the tapings of their productions available for free on their YouTube channel for a week. The first production they are doing this with is One Man, Two Guvnors from 2011, starring James Corden. Now, unlike every single other production the National Theatre has done, this is the only show I've seen in an actual theater. My sister and I got to see the 2012 Broadway run starring Corden not long after he won the Tony for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play.

It wasn't until I saw The Play The Goes Wrong last year that I had laughed that hard at a play. It's a classic British farce, and it breaks the fourth wall, and it's hilarious. It's available for purchase somewhere, let me know because I'd like this for my personal collection, it's that funny. I was nervous as to what our parents would think of it because we have pretty much waxed poetic about this show since we saw it. And they think it's funny, too.

What this extended period will to do to theater scares me, so I hope this strategy of releasing shows to the public will help people get invested in theater, and seek it out once we can enjoy the outside world again beyond our screens.

I Went for a Walk Today

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Its week three of this self-isolation time, and that means realizing this is a long haul kind of thing and not a short staycation. So this week my parents were suggesting different activities to get us out of the house. Bike riding was a failure. But yesterday, it wasn't hot like it usually is, so I checked the weather when I woke up today and it was gonna be in the 70s for a few days so I decided to go on a walk.

It was really nice. When I was out, it was 63 degrees and breezy, right in my range of acceptable weather to be outside. I played some great music, Niall Horan, Backstreet Boys, Stevie Wonder, Little Mix, Carole King, Adele, Fleetwood Mac. The best.

I was living in New York so I had to walk everywhere and I liked it. I learned I like walking places and not driving. But now since I'm stuck in the Florida suburbs for the foreseeable future, the only place I can reasonably walk is around the neighborhood. Both for social distancing reasons and there's nowhere to walk to for miles. It was nice getting back to that.

Hopefully this mini cold front lasts for awhile so I can go on more walks and maybe attempt riding a bike again. Because then my exercise options would be limited unless I want to become a tomato and be permanently burned.

Apparently I'm Too Small For Bikes

Sunday, March 29, 2020
In an attempt to get some fresh air, my mom, sister and I decided to go on a bike ride. Our neighborhood doesn't have a lot of people who like to hang outside so we wouldn't be close to others. However, I am 4'10", and that means adult sized bikes are very big for me, so I had trouble getting on it. But riding was fine. Felt a nice breeze and it was good to be in fresh air.

But then, when it was time to call it quits, I fell off the bike. Because I'm small, I have to do the jump dismount. When I tried to do that, my right leg caught the top bar of the mountain bike and I fell down in my left side. It was also a slow fall, my sister said it could have been in slow motion. I managed to scrape up my left elbow and left palm pretty good, which is my dominant hand, which is why I am typing this and not writing it in my actual journal. Can't really hold a pen right now, because it hurts and I'm bandaged up real nice.

So no bike rides for me. I'll stick to plain old walking.

Adventures in Cross Stitch

Thursday, March 26, 2020
In this time of stay at home orders, I decided to pick up cross stitch after my sister had started her own, and I learned that my mom is starting to knit.

I Miss Rock Music

Sunday, March 22, 2020
The Strokes came out with a new single recently, and it got me thinking about rock music, and rock music today. I cannot think of a single current rock artist. I'm not counting a lot of alternative rock/pop punk bands, because they've been leaning more towards pop than punk over the last few years.

That's not to say there isn't good music being made today doesn't take inspiration from traditionally rock music elements. But a lot of what’s on the top 40 radio lacks substance, production wise. I miss it. I miss music where you can actually hear the guitars and the drums, not some production sound-alike. There is a fullness to that sound that I miss.

I think it's due for a comeback. I know we'll at least get a good soundtrack either this year or next thanks to the tv adaptation of Daisy Jones & the Six, a book about a fictional rock band in the 70s. With The Strokes being back and this project actually happening, maybe it'll spark a trend.

I grew up listening to classic rock, and I still do. I'm always looking for older artists that either weren't who my parents listened or lost to time altogether. I just wish current music would find the same love for it that I do, and bring it back.

Earworm: "Jason's Song (Gave It Away)" by Ariana Grande

Saturday, March 21, 2020
This style suits her voice so much better than the music that she's been making lately, purely for the fact that this utilizes her amazing range. It also happens to be a favorite style of mine, so that may color it a bit.

It was written by Broadway composer & lyricist Jason Robert Brown, the Jason of the title. The two of them have been working together since he gave her her Broadway debut in the musical 13. His work is amazing, and you should definitely check out The Last Five Years and The Bridges of Madison County.

But it really does suit her voice. Her voice has soul, and she hasn't been using it in her music lately.

I Want To Build Up My Movie Collection Again

Friday, March 20, 2020
One day I’m going to get myself a blu ray player and build my own movie collection. I love holding the case and taking the disc out, and pressing the play button. I miss going through stacks of movies deciding which of my favorites I want to rewatch that night.

Once DVDs were being phased out and blu rays were starting to become the next thing, my family never made that transition. Mainly because those early players were expensive and they couldn’t justify spending that much on it yet. But the biggest factor was buying movies digitally, both on demand and on iTunes, and steaming platforms. Physical media was dying. I get most of my music on Spotify, though I do still buy some music.

But I miss ownership. I have all my books, CDs, and old DVDs on my shelf, and I love seeing everything that I love right there within reach. I love seeing the art on the covers. I love seeing the variety in my tastes, as well as the similar themes that run through them. You can’t let a single piece of art define your whole being, but the collective of the art you love can help you define and find yourself.

That is my dream. To build my shelf again. To own the movies that have meant the most to me, so that no matter what happens in the streaming wars, I can still watch the films I love. And maybe a couple of tv seasons, too.

Insomnia the Dark Won’t Descend

Thursday, March 19, 2020
It's been like a week and I am still having trouble falling asleep. My sleeping has always been weird. I have a good internal clock when it comes to waking up for the day. Sometimes it gets out of hand like that very long period in high school when I was waking up at 5:30 every morning. That was tough, but I did a lot of homework and studying during that time so at least I was productive. But I was also going to sleep at a normal time. Now I get myself ready for bed at around 11:00 and am wide awake until 2 in the morning to sometimes after 5. Those were hard wake ups.

But nothing beats last night - technically this morning. I managed to fall asleep after 6:30 a.m. I was awake for almost twenty-four hours. There was no point where I felt tired, so I did what I could to keep my brain occupied to keep myself from feeling frustrated. I went on this YouTube wormhole of Dancing With the Stars performances. Specifically, the performances of Zendaya and Jordan Fisher. They were fantastic on the show and if you want to watch some good dancing, and maybe go further down the wormhole to celebrities trying to dance, that's a good one to fall down.

I'm so tired of having insomnia. I'm gonna try melatonin, even though the last time I tried it, it didn't help me fall asleep and it turned me into a zombie the next day. But, I have no plans to go outside for at least the next few days, so might as well.

Been Spending the Last Few Days Listening to Show Tunes and Worrying About Broadway

The last few days my master playlist of every show tune I love has been getting major rotation. It has 177 songs and you can really see how diverse my tastes in shows is.

For our birthday, my parents decided they would treat my sister and I to tickets to a show, within reason. So, no premium seats, and find the best deal that you can. We were originally planning on seeing Hadestown, but then decided to see Six, about the six wives of Henry VIII. But now, we don't know if that show will continue performances. Or any show for that matter. I also wanted to see Company starring Katrina Lenk, because it's a new take on a classic musical and I loved her in The Band's Visit. Also Patti LuPone! But now I don't know if those shows could stage once this quarantine/self-isolation/social distancing phase of the coronavirus comes to an end.

It'll be interesting to see what this stoppage means for the Broadway season and The Tony Awards, because as it stands now, I think Moulin Rouge is the only musical to qualify. I loved Moulin Rouge and I got to see Aaron Tveit up close and *sigh*. But it's not gonna be a fun show because it's not competitive, and very rarely is it fun to see a single piece of work sweep a show. The only time it was fun was the 2016 ceremony when Hamilton won a lot, because the other shows that season were also fantastic. It wasn't like a year of also-rans. It was a good year for theater.

This year was shaping up to be a good year of theater. I hope it still will be, but the whole country's in limbo and we all have to do what's best for everybody. Unfortunately that means some good art won't get their proper and deserved due.

Bookshelf: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
This was the first book I've read where the prose was written in how a person really thinks and comprehends others. It was like a real time breakdown of her interactions with and feelings about other people, and herself.

It's smart and messy. And I related to Frances, out protagonist, in some of the ways she processed her emotions and interactions with other people. Not her experiences. She doesn't her own feelings readily, and she overanalyzes and thinks through the different reasons why a person is acting the way that they are.

But that's what people do. They guess at what everyone else is feeling and try to navigate that as best they can, until they find out what's really going on with them. I think a lesson from this book is to have those deep conversations with your friends and everyone else in your life so you don't have to make assumptions about their behavior.

I'm looking forward to picking up Rooney's second novel Normal People, and hopefully finish it before the Hulu series airs.

Back to Florida to Hide Out for a Week During the Pandemic

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Yesterday my mom announced that she got me and my sister plane tickets to spend a week back home. Which is nice, and we’re gonna have some quality family time with movie nights and game nights. But I wish it weren’t happening because of a pandemic. She was obviously getting worried because we live in a big city and maybe spending time in a suburb would be better, at least for a week.

Hope everyone stays safe, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

EDIT: It has been longer than a week.

I Wish I Could Have Voted for Elizabeth Warren

Today is the day of the Florida Democratic Primary, where I am registered to vote. The candidate I believed to be the best for the job was Elizabeth Warren. But now I can't vote for her.

It's taken me awhile to sort out my feelings, and I know since that this is old news by the time I posted this, but since this was the day I was supposed to cast my vote for her, I wanted state my case for a huge mistake the electorate has made.

She's smart. Her plans were the stuff of dreams, but she was realistic and detailed, so they didn't feel pie in the sky. I do believe she would have been one of our very best presidents. I would have been proud to vote for her. I would have been proud that the first two people I ever voted for president was an accomplish, qualified, intelligent woman. And she was great when she popped up on SNL, and it’s always a huge bonus when a president has comedic timing and can get in on the joke.

But, for now, she can't.

Obviously I'm going to vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is. But I have issues with the final two candidates. Biden is a return to the status quo before the cheeto-in-chief, and I don't think he's aware of how progressive the party and the country actually is. Bernie rubs me the wrong way. I think his plans are not as detailed, and is very dismissive of some people who question him. And I don't think he's dealt with the sexism and misogyny in his campaign and among his supporters, which is obviously a problem, especially after the general public finally realized that was unacceptable. So I'll vote for them, but I don't think I'll feel satisfied in November.

I think we'll look back on this campaign as the campaign where a lot of the population dismissed the best person for the job. 2020 will be a year of thinking 'what could have been'. We'll look at how the media and political commentators covered this election, to how candidates themselves ran their campaigns, and how twitter played a role, so hopefully we can learn from this and not let the best person for the job slip through the cracks and disregarded like Warren was.

I look forward to see her carry out her mission in the Senate, and the next time I'm able to vote for her, I will.

How Gossip Girl Ended Is Still Bugging Me After All These Years

Sunday, March 15, 2020
It truly is. It's been over seven years and I'm still mad about it. And with the sequel series, reboot, whatever it is, getting green lit for HBO Max, I wanted to get my thoughts down on how the original should have ended.

A Journalism Series Should Become the Next Big Procedural

Friday, March 13, 2020
I went down a YouTube wormhole recently and ended up finding full episodes of Lou Grant, the Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff about Lou Grant becoming city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune. I love a good procedural and it's been a while since journalism was the focus of one.

A show about journalism in today's cultural climate would be intriguing. To see the struggle of subscriptions and clicks, the pieces that matter versus the ones you know will gain traction to make the publication money.

The format could be a story of the week, with the daily struggles of working in media being woven in with other reporters and staff dealing with other pieces or workplace issues. A long-wind investigation would make for a great multi-episode arc, not a full season arc because that could stretch the story too thin, and even though some pieces take more than a season of television to produce, we can let the fantasy world of television take over there. Or you could revisit stories in later episodes or seasons, and do it that way. A big story that ends up having major consequences for the reporter and the paper would be a great way to end a season and want us to see what happens next.

A great thing about a newspaper is the variety of stories there are that could be covered; pretty much anything. Corruption, coverups and other scandals in government, the police, colleges; breaking news like natural disasters or mass shootings; uncovering sexual misconduct; stories relating to health care and hospitals; the new scammer on the scene; human interest stories; celebrity profiles; whatever fluff piece corporate wants to run to get more ad revenue.

With the political stuff, like local, state, national elections, there can be an illustration of the struggle to assert the truth when the leader of the free world lies, and his administration, supporters, and whole party, lines up behind him. Don't make it like a parody of the Cheeto-in-charge, have it be a bit of a more competent person to make it a more interesting drama instead of a reflection of our waking nightmare.

Of course office politics will happen, and that could be another mini-arc, especially one that could wrap up a season as well. Especially as editorial decisions are questioned and the different people and organizations that are starting to buy newspapers could make for some great conflict of interest stories. You can get into the staff's relationships with one another and how their work affects those relationships, competitions for stories, promotions, and jobs when the budget cut storyline inevitably happens. There is also potential to highlight how this job affects the home life of some of the staff and the toll and repercussions, such as death threats, can take on their families.

I think with the news media, and how it operates, being paid more attention and under more scrutiny, a show about the people who own it, the editor-in-chief, reporters, copywriters, and everyone else could do with a spotlight on our televisions.

Earworm: "Totally Fucked" from Spring Awakening

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
A song from a musical about preteens in late 19th-century Germany, and yet it so perfectly describes society today. I can’t wait for the day this song is no longer relevant.

My Ultimate Girl Power Playlist

Sunday, March 8, 2020
Whenever I need a pick me up, I put on this selection of songs to make me feel a bit more powerful. These songs are inspirational, badass, telling people off, or any other aspect of life.

I Went on a Quest for Ben & Jerry's

Sunday, February 23, 2020
I had a lovely day with my sister, and I had been thinking about getting myself a pint of Ben & Jerry's as a treat to myself, so I decided to pick one up on my way home. And, since it was the first good weather day since I've moved to New York, I decided to get off one subway stop after mine and have a nice extra couple block walk because it wasn't bitingly cold out. 

I walked into a deli only a couple blocks from my place. They only had froyo flavors. I walked a bit further to another deli, no Ben & Jerry's at all. Went to a nearby Rite Aid, and they only had flavors I absolutely hate. So, I made the trek to a CVS that was three avenue blocks out of my way. I stopped in a deli that was on the way so maybe I wouldn't have to complete the trek. I had to complete the trek. But, they had Ben & Jerry's! 

This took me 45 minutes. 

But, this was the first time I was able to walk around the neighborhood since I moved here. It was like fifty degrees out, I didn't need my jacket zipped up, I was wearing knee hight socks and shorts comfortably. I only wish I had worn my leather jacket instead because it would have completed my cool girl look with my big headphones and my new clear framed glasses. Before I started getting frustrated with not being able to complete my quest, I felt cool, seeing what was around me and listening to some of my favorite music. I felt like a New Yorker.

My Favorite Rom Coms and Romances

Friday, February 14, 2020
Thanks to the rom com boom of the last couple of years, and my discovery of a wonderful column by Caroline Siede about the history of romantic comedies, I started thinking about my favorite rom coms and romances, so here they are.

My Favorite Songs About Love

Most music is a love song, in one way or another. Whether it's a straight up love song, a breakup song, to me, both count.

Here are my favorites.

Oscars Recap: Yay Parasite! What The Hell Was That Ceremony?

Monday, February 10, 2020
So the Oscars were last night, and that ceremony was something. Last worked perfectly without a host, this year, they could not figure out a way to do transitions and introducing segments. The whole thing with having presenters presenting other presenters who are actually doing the presenting was completely unnecessary. But I liked Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig's bit, James Corden and Rebel Wilson digging on Cats' visual effects, and Oscar Isaac and Salma Hayek. Those worked. Everything else, they could've done a few more brainstorm sessions for how to put on the show. They needed a new showrunner or director or someday to say "stop this madness".

I did end up liking a lot of who won though. If you saw my dream Oscar ballot, it was pretty much all awarded to films directed by women, and Song Kang-ho for Parasite and Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems, because those were categories that were not represented in films directed by women that I saw. Since only Greta Gerwig ended up nominated for anything, I really wanted her to win for Adapted Screenplay. I've read Little Women and her adaptation was phenomenal. But I love Taika Waititi, and was happy that he was the one who won that award, and deservedly so. (Trivia: He is the first Indigenous person to win an Academy Award.)

I'm glad that award season is over so we can stop talking about Joker, which I do not like at all. So, moving on.

I didn't think Parasite would win anything besides Best International Feature, but it swept all the awards it was nominated for and I'm so happy. An actual good movie, and one of the most talked about movies of the year, actually won. Hopefully, this will spark more international films being taken seriously outside of its own category and be considered alongside the usual slate of American and British films. And when the producer's speech was cut off at the end, I've never seen an audience revolt and demand that the lights and sound be turned back on, which really showed the love people had for Parasite.

Bong Joon-ho after each win was iconic, and he's already become a popular gif after he won Original Screenplay and admiring his Oscar. And making two of them kiss, *chef's kiss*. And his translator, Sharon Choi, is a director herself, so I'm definitely looking forward to whatever she makes, because she was great during this awards season.

So, here's to next year, where hopefully the nominations will make me happier than this year, and as happy as I am about the winners.

My Dream 2020 Oscars Balllot

Sunday, February 9, 2020
So the biggiest night in Hollywood has finally arrived! Here are my dream winners for the categories I feel like I can decide a winner. So pretty much not a lot of the technical ones, mainly because I am not a trained professional in those areas, so I just prefer to salute all who work in the field and wish them luck. And I didn’t see a lot of documentaries this year, so I can't comment on that category either.

In this ballot, I'm going to ignore the Academy's choices and go with my own, because their choices were awful. And instead of picking just one, for some categories, there will be ties because these are my awards and I'm doing what I want.

First Full Week in My New Place

Saturday, February 8, 2020
First full week in new place, done. I don't feel fully settled yet, but that will probably come in the next couple of weeks. I've got my set up mostly figured out. My bed is made with all of my pillows and my tv is in a perfect viewing place/where the outlet was.

I do need to figure out how to cook, at least some basic meals so I can have a somewhat healthy diet. But my sixth floor walk up will really help me with exercising more.

On to week 2.

New York, New York

Sunday, February 2, 2020
I’ve officially moved into an apartment in New York City. It’s a tiny room, but I’m making it work and trying to find good storage.

I’m hoping this is the change I need to get started and move forward in my life. Here’s to New York!

I'm Starting to Watch TV As It Airs, and I Really Missed It

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Thanks to DVRs and streaming, no one really watches television live anymore. But, because I was watching Supergirl and The Good Place, both shows that thrive on twists and big events, I started watching them as they aired, so I wouldn't be spoiled by social media. No starting halfway into it so I can fast forward, the old fashioned way. And that's extended to other shows I have taken on, like Superstore, cause it was on before The Good Place and so I figured I might as well, and it's really good, and Dare Me, which more people should be watching.

The one downside are commercials, but the mute button exists for a reason. And I got the to feel the rush of making it back on time from the bathroom break. When my sister and I were little and one of us had to go to the bathroom that was down the hall from the tv room, we would call out after a couple minutes to ensure the other one would hurry up.

With the streaming wars coming in full force, with Netflix (thanks parents), Prime (thanks Sprint), Hulu (again, Sprint), Disney+ (thanks for grandfathering me in Verizon), AppleTV+ (new phone, free year, watch Dickinson). And HBO Max is coming, but my family has HBO so I don't have to pay for that one. Peacock is coming, and I am definitely getting that one, without ads, so I can marathon Law & Order to my heart's content. But it's been nice to watch television before all this happened, the way it was meant to be.

Seriously, maximize everything you can to get this stuff for free, or as little as possible. Split it between family and friends. Share accounts. Or watch tv live. It's still great that way, too.

Bookshelf: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Friday, January 24, 2020
This book is unlike any crime fiction you've ever read. The event that kicks of our year in the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka is the kidnapping of two girls, 11- and 8-year old sisters Alyona and Sophia. Each chapter is from the perspective of a different female character living on the peninsula, set in each successive month from August to June.

There isn't any depiction of the actual police investigation. There are a couple characters who were tangentially involved with the investigation are featured in several chapters. One woman is a witness to the kidnapping, another is an administrator at the local school who loves her weekly meetings with one of the lead cops on the case, and another is the wife of a police officer who worked the case.

It's interesting to see how the kidnapping affects the peninsula, and in the difference in the reaction to the disappearance of an indigenous eighteen year old a few years before the events of the book. And none of those tensions are stated obviously. There is direct discussion in the difference in treatment of white Russian people and the indigenous populations, but there it's not hamfisted. Every conversation about it is relevant to the characters having those thoughts or discussions, and weaves an important tapestry of the region as time goes on.

I think this is the first time I've read anything that could be considered crime fiction. It's just a genre that I've mainly delved into in movies and television, but never with my reading choices. Normally when I think of crime fiction, I think of a detective unraveling the details of the cast, dealing with twists and turns, and who's lying and who's telling the truth. But I think by not starting with the stereotypical crime fiction, I don't have a set view of what crime fiction should be.

Earworm: “Don’t Walk Away” by Jade

Saturday, January 18, 2020
I discovered this song recently thanks to a girl group’s audition on The Voice UK. They were great and were selected by a coach, so we’ll get to see some more performances from them and that’s exciting. This song is so up my alley musically, I don’t know how I never came across it before.

I had never heard of Jade before. They were active in the early 90s, had two pretty successful albums, a couple hit singles, including this song, and then faded. Which happens. Musical acts are successful for a time, and then, for a variety of reasons, are not.

But there are people that still know songs from artists that just faded, and people like me who like to dig into past decades for deep cuts. Song recommendations are pretty much the whole reason I check out the various singing competition shows' YouTube channels. Those artists on those shows, sometimes they are able to make interesting choices for songs to perform. That's how music stays alive, through the love others have for it, whether they cover it or they share it like I do.

Happy One Year Anniversary To My Blog!

Friday, January 17, 2020
It's been a year since I started doing this. Honestly, I thought I'd do two or three posts and then move on to something else. But I stuck with it.

I started this as a sort of therapy. I'm not the best at sharing my feelings or views on any most things. I was know as the shy person all my life. In eighth grade, my Language Arts teacher decided to give superlatives to every one of her students as a way to say goodbye. They were all very specific to the person and I was given "she doesn't speak much, but when she does it's important".

I figured since I didn't talk, I would write.

I picked Blogger because it was free, and I didn't think anything would come of it and wouldn't need anything fancy like WordPress of Squarespace. But, then I was starting to get frustrated with the limitations of Blogger's own templates. So I started looking around at the premium templates and found one that I loved and, more importantly, not forty bucks. I found one for nine dollars and I am totally with that decision. My blog finally looks the way I imagined by blog would look.

Here's to another year!

The Circle Demonstrates the Beginnings of an Influencer

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The Circle on Netflix is the US version of the hit UK reality competition show where the contestants only talk to each other through a social media platform called The Circle, and a popularity contest ensues to decide the winner.

This show depicts the beginnings of an influencer, and how they get others to follow them. Becoming an influencer just means that you’re a popular person. That’s it. It’s pretty much the modern day equivalent of a socialite. And it’s fascinating watching it happen because I have never followed someone who later became an influencer, I’d only seen them after they had reached that “status”. And it happens scarily fast that people trust you when you give your opinion on someone or something, especially because the whole conceit of the show is that you don’t really know who’s the real person behind the profile.

On this show, you can catfish. You don't have to play as yourself. If you catfish, you could be someone who just hides one part of their lives from the other players that they usually get judged for, consciously or unconsciously, on social media in real life. One contestant on the first UK series, who was a 20-something young woman, decided to be a 65-year old man. She was eliminated rather quickly after her entrance because beyond what could be found on a profile, she didn't have enough details to make it believable. The final catfish is between those two situations. You create a new person, usually a guy pretending to be a girl using their girlfriend's photos with permission, and try to accurately portray a young woman. The Circle UK's most successful catfish, Alex pretending to be Kate, won the show.

People ask you to trust them, and alliances form, in order to game the amount of good ratings you can get and get a better average or ranking. But, do you really know them?

Do you really know what they like, what they believe? Take the lessons you learn from The Circle, and apply it to social media in the real world.

So, No Female Directors Were Oscar Worthy This Year? I Beg to Differ.

Monday, January 13, 2020
Greta Gerwig. Lulu Wang. Lorene Scafaria. All three of them should've been nominated for Best Director. How were they not nominated? Honestly, I'm too mad to articulate my thoughts.

1917 is a gimmick film. Everything I read about Joker is that is was very surface level, and pretty much aped a lot from other movies. I know Hustlers had more of an uphill battle when it came to awards recognition, but Gerwig and Wang couldn't fill those spots?


Also, how was The Farewell not nominated for Best Picture, Lulu Wang not nominated for Original Screenplay for The Farewell. Jennifer Lopez wasn't nominated for Supporting Actress for Hustlers, and Awkwafina not nominated for Leading Actress for The Farewell? I knew the nominations were gonna make me mad, but I didn't know it would be this bad.

I think for 2020, we need to be proactive in supporting female filmmakers, so we don't start being loud about our feelings when awards voting starts. I wrote a community post on Buzzfeed about films by female filmmakers, writers and directors, to look forward to this year. It is by no means comprehensive, because every film being released this year hasn't been announced and the festival circuit hasn't started yet, but it's some to mark down in your calendars.

I Finally Saw The Rise of Skywalker and I Have So Many Thoughts

Thursday, January 9, 2020
So I finally managed to go see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the whole time I was watching it, I was thinking of what I would've done differently. So here it is, and it is long.

Bookshelf: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
This was the fist Agatha Christie, and the first murder mystery, I've ever read. That's an odd thing for me, because I love the genre. I happened to have a coupon, so I bought one of those fancy Barnes & Noble collectible editions. It also has Crooked House and Endless Night, so I’ll probably end up reading those two at some point.

I loved how integral the poem was to the story, because it’s featured right before the book starts because that’s where the inspiration for the title came from. But no, that’s how each person is killed. Follows it exactly. It was really interesting to see which characters would be one of the last to go. There wasn’t a situation where I couldn’t believe the decisions the characters were making, nothing that could be made fun of for being stupid in a parody mystery movie.

The killer was definitely not who I was expecting it to be. The character I thought was the killer was going to be Philip Lombard, the ultimate self-centered asshole. He was one of the final two characters, and he revealed himself to be the killer to Vera Claythorne, but he was lying just to keep himself alive and desperate to make it off Soldier Island. While he was serving in a war, he let men die and was pretty callous when talking about it.

The character I was rooting for most was Vera. She was clued into the puzzle from the beginning, and was the first person to put together that that is the way people were dying. I know that all of the characters are in this situation because they are responsible for someone else's death, with Vera being responsible for not stopping a boy in her charge from swimming in rough waters and being slow to save him in order for her lover to be in line for an inheritance, with the lover later leaving her because of it. She shows the most guilt for her actions, and by most, I mean only. So, while I was thrilled that she was the last survivor, I was a bit sad that she wasn't able to escape the island and succumbed to the killer's plan in a state of shock that accompanied her guilt.

Once I finished the book, I decided to look up if there were any film or tv adaptations I could watch, and I learned that in some, the ending was changed so that Vera and Philip survive. And since there was a successful Christie adaptation in 2017 with Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile coming in the fall, I would hope that other novels that don't feature Hercule Poirot to be made. I think And Then There Were None would be on the top of the pile, and maybe Vera could be the lone survivor and circumvent the fate of the 10 Little Soldiers poem that doomed her.

My Dream 2020 Golden Globes Ballot

Sunday, January 5, 2020
The 2020 Golden Globes are here, and I don't care about the majority of the film awards. None of the magnificent films directed by female directors were worthy of being nominated for best film, or the directors to be nominated for their work? Only two films directed by women were nominated in one of the best film categories, and they were both in the Foreign Language film category, which is also overlooked for the major best film categories. So, instead of a traditional ballot, I'm gonna do one in my ideal world.

Also, I don't know why the Golden Globes have any credibility, when the voting body is comprised of about 90 people, and they only care about which famous people will show up to get drunk so they can get good ratings for the telecast.

Movies I'm Looking Forward To In 2020

Friday, January 3, 2020
I love looking at the upcoming movie calendar so I can know what movies I really want to see so I can be strategic about spending points to help out with tickets and snacks. Obviously, most of these are big movies that have release dates announced at least a year in advance, so any smaller movies I will probably want to see later on in the year, I don't know anything about them yet.

I have been on the lookout for movies by female directors, and going by what's been announced so far, this is gonna be a good year.

Earworm: "Start Again" by Gabrielle Aplin

Wednesday, January 1, 2020
This song is softly hopeful about the future, and beginning a new chapter, a fresh start in your life. This is the mood I want to take with me into the next phase of my life.

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