2015 Look-back

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.

2015 Look-back

Arnold Nose Best

That scene in TOTAL RECALL where Arnold Schwarzenegger jams the extractor device up his nose, and slowly, painfully removes that huge metal tracker?  You know, this one?

As someone who has been plagued with sinus issues most of my life, and, for all intents and purposes, haven’t been able to breathe out of my left nostril in years — I’ve always empathized with that scene, wishing upon a star, Cthulhu, whatever, that I could do what Arnold did.  Pull some big-ass metal ball from my nose and fix my breathing problems forever…

Arnold Nose Best

KRAMPUS’d

So KRAMPUS was an odd movie.  It was directed by Michael Dougherty, the same fellow who made TRICK ‘R TREAT, which I only saw a couple of months ago for the first time.  It was weird, funny, had some genuinely entertaining plot twists, and overall was quite good, so my hope was that KRAMPUS would be in a similar vein.  Going in, the PG-13 rating put me off a little, since clearly horror movies should always by rated R, as God intended.  The plot was a little bit CHRISTMAS VACATION, with a dash of HOME ALONE and GREMLINS thrown in, and of didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Around the end of the first act, which was mostly establishing “this extended family is so nutty and dysfunctional!,” the tone made a sharp one-eighty when the family began getting picked off one-by-one.  On the positive side, the casting was spot-on, and the monsters, which were creepy takes on traditional Christmas tropes, looked great.  The movie also had a lot of funny scenes, which shouldn’t have surprised me because TRICK ‘R TREAT also did.  The ending, though, felt forced, made no sense, and can eat a dick.

KRAMPUS wasn’t bad by any means, and had several clever moments, but it felt like the filmmakers weren’t sure who their target audience was or what tone to strike, and as a result the film suffered for it.  In the end, though, I’m not mad I saw it.

After the movie: dinner at Salar, a somewhat swank Peruvian restaurant, followed by a drink at Century bar, and then back to my place to get a little drunk and watch GINGER SNAPS, another horror classic.

KRAMPUS’d

First Day of Winter?

firstdayofwinter2015

Today is the first day of Winter, but with highs around 60 and lows around 50, it feels more like Spring.  The leaves on the ground are the only physical evidence that it is not.  I went to the gym, then ran a few errands, in shorts and a hoodie.  By the time I was driving home, I had shed the hoodie and turned the car’s AC to low.  If only the rest of Winter would take its cue from today.

This is my first day of a six-day holiday.  When I do return to work next week, it will likely be uneventful for the remainder of the year.  A friend is in town, and presently we will be seeing KRAMPUS, and then who knows what.

It’s a pretty good start to Winter.  Happy belated Solstice.

First Day of Winter?