Archive for January 2016

The Adventurers Club

January 21st, 2016 // Daylog // No Comments

Below is the impressive spread of food from a birthday party I attended last weekend for my friend Melanie. The evening’s theme was an Adventurers Club, which meant there was a lot of khaki. The “gold and jewels” in the glass bowl was actually dyed caramel popcorn. It was so good I nearly made myself sick from eating so much.

adventurers_club

My favorite decoration (that I of course forgot to take a picture of) was a not-even-pretending-to-be-real tiger rug. Melanie’s parties are usually themed, but this one might have been my favorite.

JOY-less

January 16th, 2016 // Moving Pictures // No Comments

Earlier in the week I saw JOY, and I’ve been thinking about it off-and-on since — but not in a good way.

JOY is the Jennifer Lawrence-starring film about a woman who invents a new type of mop, and despite her truly awful family, manages to sell it on QVC — the setting is the early 90’s — and eventually becomes a hugely successful entrepreneur.  The plot itself is compelling, and Lawrence is entertaining and believable in the title role, as she tends to be in almost all of her movies.

No, what makes this movie so frustrating to watch is the rest of the characters.  With the exception of Joy, her grandmother, ex-husband, and the bigwig at QVC who eventually lets her sell her product, I loathed the rest of the characters.  They — “they” largely consisting of her family — use and belittle her, treat her continuously like crap.  And she just takes it.  I understand that, for narrative purposes, there need to be obstacles in the way of her achieving her objectives.  But c’mon: must that require we hate 90% of the film’s characters in the process

About an hour into the movie, as Joy’s fortunes are starting to change for the better, I whispered to my sister, “I hope at the end she never talks to any of her goddamn family again.”  Honestly, Joy could snapped in the middle of the film, and spent the second half hunting down and killing her family off one by one, and I would have been cheering.

The ending is satisfying, but her family was still alive as the credits began to roll, so I won’t say it was a happy ending.

joy_poster

Good? Bad? I’m the guy with the gun.

Foreign Shores

January 10th, 2016 // Uncategorized // No Comments

passport

This arrived a couple of days ago, a Christmas gift to myself. Only took two years of talking about it for me to finally get around to going to the local county office and applying. Now that I have a passport I can legally inflict myself upon foreign lands.  It’s in the Constitution, or something.

Fancy passport holder courtesy of my sister.

2015 Look-back

January 5th, 2016 // Daylog // No Comments

As January marches along, and I have been back at work for two days now, it’s finally starting to feel as though 2015 is in the rearview mirror.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, and I am not really one — at least not any more — prone to public introspection. However, I do think it’s important to sit back from time-to-time, take stock, and think about where you’re at and where you’re going. And now seems as good a time as any.

2015 was a very good year for me, both professionally and personally. Work-wise, I received a nice promotion and became more comfortable/confident at doing my job (at least until the promotion happened, and then it’s right back to zero). I consider myself to be very fortunate to have a job I like and that affords me the time-off to be able to travel. Even when I get frustrated, or overwhelmed, I try to keep that in mind.

On a more personal level, the thing that made me the happiest about last year was the traveling I was able to do. The older I get, the more I’ve realized how important jaunting around the country is to me. Something about it is therapeutic, re-energizing. Like by arriving at a new, ideally warm destination, the possibilities and potential for adventure are just laid out in front of you — even if said destination is just a few scant hours away by car. Seeing far-flung friends and family also doesn’t hurt. This past year I went to Denver, San Diego (twice), Chicago, Washington D.C., and Put-in-Bay. In 2016, my plan is to travel as much, if not more, and to some new locales.

The other thing that made me very happy this year was that I continued going to the gym. It may not sound like much of an achievement, but for someone imbued with my remarkable level of laziness, it really is. I also continue to eat much better than I did a year ago, even if I’ve slacked off some the last couple months. But slowly, surely, I am becoming fit. It’s made me feel better, both physically and mentally.

Other good things happened this year, but some things are, I think, better kept to one’s self. Keeps a little mystery going.

If you’re still reading this: kudos to you. Apparently I haven’t bludgeoned you to death (YET) with boredom. Thanks for sticking around. Here’s to 2016.