A Great Day at the Races

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Yesterday, the family went to witness the Millrose Games for the second time. But in order to get there, nor'easter!

I was meeting my sister so we could head over to The Armory together. But the nor'easter hit, the plows had come so I figured the bus would be the better option. It was not. So I ended up having to walk fifteen blocks in the snow. Not fun.

But then we got to the Millrose Games and it was so fun. Just being able to see sports in person again was great, especially after our last attempt at it was ruined by weather. So, being indoors was great. 

My family loves the Summer Olympics, especially track and field. So to see a track and field meet in person was glorious. It's a different vibe than any other sporting event I've been to, because unless you're rooting for an athlete in particular, you really just want to see a great competition. And we saw a great competition.

Then we had to leave The Armory and it was so cold, but at least it had stopped snowing. We went to dinner for a couple hours, had a great time, and I had to walk two avenue blocks to get to my train. My family's station was on the corner next to the restaurant. I had to walk two avenue blocks. So on my way home, I stopped at my corner deli and got a hot french vanilla to warm up after a very cold day. But a great day. 

More Places Should Serve a Hot French Vanilla

Friday, January 28, 2022

I've probably mentioned this before, but the hot french vanilla is one of the best beverages to have on a cold day. The richness and creaminess makes it feel decadent. But, it's not a heavy drink where it'll mess your stomach up after you drink it.

It's great if you don't want a coffee, and sweet, but not as rich as hot chocolate. It's delicious and the fact that it's more widely available makes me sad. No chains carry it, not even Starbucks, and their whole thing is hot drinks. 

It's just an unappreciated and probably less well known beverage. I wish it were more widely available so I can get it outside of New York deli.

Clips That Bring Me Joy, Vol. XI

Thursday, January 20, 2022

 We all could do with some joy right now.

I Think I'm Starting to Get Intellectual Property/Franchise Fatigue

Friday, January 14, 2022

Much has been made about franchise fatigue over the years. And I think I'm finally starting to feel it a bit. It's really just the average of how many of these movies are released in a year, and how many of them are bad, or even mediocre. Not mediocre in an "it was fine, I could watch it on cable on an afternoon" way, but in the "that was meh" kind of way. 

And we just keep getting more and more cause they are the movies that make money.

Now, consumers do inform these decisions, though. But when tickets and popcorn can add up to $30 for a single person, you're only gonna see a couple movies a year. So if you have to be picky, you're gonna choose to see the big special effects movie that looks better on a big screen and a crowd versus a smaller drama that you can wait to watch one it's available to stream. And that was before the pandemic made it even more of a decision to go to a movie, let alone a space with other people.

And it's not just choice that I'm getting tired of. It's the storytelling itself. Most of them follow the same formula with very few deviations. The only one I can think of that made different storytelling choices and switched it up was Birds of Prey, a movie I enjoyed quite a lot. 

All the fighting for the rights to intellectual property and older movies to be remade because it's a proven entity is taking all the risk of success or failure out of movies. It also turns fans of the old thing into righteous defenders so when a new take on a story or criticism of the original is an attack on the thing you love. And that's as far as I'm willing to go into the "Marvel movies are cinema" discourse.

I do like the Marvel movies, and this year was able to see Shang-Chi, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home in a theater safely with decent crowds. But I would have loved to see things like Passing and The Power of the Dog. Or even see people turn out for a different kind of blockbuster, a big musical like In the Heights or West Side Story

I just want more people to see the truly extraordinary films that are getting made, and the people who make them are able to make more and not have to join the superhero industrial complex in order to get a good paycheck and clout to greenlight their next smaller-budgeted project. A project those who live for superhero movies probably won't see.

Setting a More Attainable Reading Goal This Year

Saturday, January 8, 2022

In 2020, I set my reading goal at 20 books, and I read about 12. So, in 2021, I decided to set my reading goal at 10 books, which after the previous year seemed like a practical number. I read 3. And I couldn't understand why I wasn't reading so much, until my problem eventually seeped into my movie and television consumption. In December, I finally figured it out. The last couple years of the pandemic, I my brain just burned out and couldn't keep my attention on a story. But also in December, is when I started to turn a corner on this. I was actually able to sit through a movie. I even started a new book, The Mothers by Brit Bennett.

So, this year, I set my reading goal at 5 books. Perfectly attainable. If I reach it, I'd be pleased. If I pass it, I'll be jumping for joy. I've got The Mothers to keep chugging away at, and the new Taylor Jenkins Reid book, Malibu Rising, that I bought while in the midst of of my affliction. It has sat on my shelf untouched for the last few months, taunting me.

I have hope that I'll actually read it, and all the books I want this year. I just need to force myself back into it like I did with movies and tv. 

Sports Montages Make Me Cry

Thursday, January 6, 2022

 I don't know what it is about them. Edit it nicely, add a good score and I'm gone. Doesn't matter if it's an "emotional moments in sports" montage or Sportscenter's "Images of the Year". And now that another year has ended, that means more montages.

Is it the years spent watching sports movies, especially on tv day in school? (A day I am starting to miss more and more as an adult working in this world.)  Do I remember the emotion of the a lot of those moments? Or is it just the music they choose to score it?

Whatever it is, they get me every time. Maybe I should just stick to countdowns.

The Best TV I Watched in 2021

Monday, January 3, 2022

This was a great year for television, even the television I watched that I didn't fully enjoy and put on this list. I also had a problem where I could not process narrative, so that wasn't fun, so I ended up watching a lot of procedural tv to help me get through it, and it worked. But those shows did not make the list, and I chose them for that reason.

Here's the best television, whether it was new or new to me or a whole new season of a show I loved, that I watched this year. 

The Best Movies I Watched in 2021

Sunday, January 2, 2022

I did not watch a lot of movies this year, at least compared to years past. At least when it came to catching up on movies I had never seen before. But the pandemic messed with my brain a bit when it came to processing narrative, and I turned to television to help with that situation. 

So, here are the best movies I watched this year.

We're Never Gonna Get that Roaring Twenties Redux, Are We?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

At the beginning of 2020, everyone was hoping for another Roaring Twenties. And then the world changed two months into the decade. Now, in what will be year three of living in a pandemic, i don' think we're gonna get that Roaring Twenties Part Deux.

And in the summer of 2021, it felt like we were turning a corner. Especially with the vaccines available to all adults. Then the delta variant, just as I was getting used to being maskless outside. But we turned that corner and Broadway shows were coming back. And now with Omicron, all these shows being canceled feels like 2020 all over again.

I do have some informed hope that Omicron will be a short wave and not as deadly. Because, selfishly, I would like to see more Broadway shows, and my family has tickets for The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in April.

Hopefully, we get to a point when this is over and we can party. And there better be 20s themed parties that look like this.

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