Another month that quickly went down the pipe. Too fast, 2017, too fast. I don’t even have much to say about this month…I sort of blinked and it was over. That being said, let’s get right into things:
Books Read: 3 Finally wrapped up a couple of books I started last month–one about writing and two others I’d like to mention: Superfandom is a book about fandom culture and the psychology behind it. Great, fun read. The third book I read was Designing Your Life, which was written by two Stanford professors after their class of the same name proved to be so successful. I’m still a book behind according to my GoodReads, but that’s ok.
Blog Posts Written: 4 including this one. None on AniCom again. It’s so hard for me to figure out how I want to split up material for that site–what should be a blog post/article, what should be a video, or podcast, or some combination. I also definitely am over-thinking this too. I managed to squeeze two out today, one being this end-of-month recap (which makes sense), but the other was a response to a Facebook thread I decided to opt out of, about privilege.
Videos/Projects: 0/5 No new videos this month, but I either got started on or made significant progress on a number of different projects. I spent around 10 hours this past weekend at the library with the wifi down, sooooo I got a lot done. ; )
At the Movies: 6 Fuck I saw the worst film this month in a while. And some good ones. Alien: Covenant was definitely just utter trash. If you’re really so inclined, you can hear me rant about it over on my friend Ric’s Action Film Autopsy podcast. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was enjoyable. Last night I saw the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, much to my dismay. I loved the first one, and could appreciate the second despite it mostly poking fun at itself and the first, and the third for wrapping up the character’s arcs nicely. The fourth was fine, but quite forgettable, and at this point Johnny Depp is a character actor that basically plays a caricature of himself. That and the recent allegations against him have me a bit sour, to be quite honest. It even has me questioning seeing the remaining for Fantastic Beasts films (well, that and the fact that they feel so greedy as to warrant five when the first was quite bland). This fifth Pirates had some nice moments, and definitely made a younger, Orlando Bloom-obsessed me quite satisfied. But it also had a lot of dumb moments and dialogue, and I find Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow more irritating than charming these days. But the audience I was with laughed at all the right places. Three recent films I finally saw were all wonderful: Captain Fantastic, The Founder, and A Man Called Ove. Would recommend any one of them for a quieter night in.
Watch at Home: A-hoooo! I decided to add in a new category so that I can highlight some non-film things I’ve been watching/enjoying. This was mostly an excuse to mention how much I loved (and how quickly I sped through) all three seasons of an anime called Haikyuu!!, a series about a high school volleyball team. While sports anime isn’t a thing I actively seek out (that being said I have seen quite a few), I loved this one. All 3 seasons are available on CrunchyRoll. I’m all caught up, but the manga (graphic novel) has blown past the show. I’d like to read it as a season 4 has not been announced, but frankly the art is soooo
bad different that it’s a bit jarring for me. When people complain about character designers adapting manga art for animation this will forever by my example. (This and Attack on Titan. woof.)
Master of None season two (on Netflix) has been masterful. The bf and I have been going through it much slower than the first season, just to really savor it. Lastly, YouTube. I mentioned this video in a previous blog post, but my girl Ahsante made a killer video over on Internet fave New Age Creators’s channel. Enjoy some topical goodness:
Lowlights: Just that this month moved soooo fast. I have been working on a script for a new AniCom video, but I’m struggling deciding where to cut details. I’m tempted to make the current topic I want to cover a multi-part series. I’ve been trying to go more granular, but I don’t want to compromise details or not paint a fully formed picture. I know that this workflow will only improve with each video.
Going back to NJ this month was a highlight, but it also made me a bit sad too, as detailed in my previous post. It’s hard not to think about school without a whole mess of swirling emotions–nostalgia, wistfulness, regret, anger, anxiety, comfort, love; it’s all quite contradicting.
Highlights: Going back to NJ. I spend some time with my mom and dad back in Jersey before heading to one of my college friend’s new apartments. I’m very jealous of her adorable loft, and makes me want a place of my own again (along with the bf). We also spent some time at our alma mater, TCNJ, which definitely prompted my previous post. In general though, it was nice to hang out with them without anything really planned. We threw some burgers and hotdogs on the grill, talked a lot, and then naturally ended up watching Tony Awards performances and Internet fave Community Channel.
The long weekend gave me some much needed laptop club. I dragged the bf to the library not once but twice this weekend, and I know I definitely made the most of it. I finally began sorting through all of my harddrives, trying to consolidate them and really manage where and how I organize what information. While doing that I was able to uncover a lot of old ideas–stories in various stages of development–that helped spark new ideas and revive old ones. I’ve felt that I haven’t been very creative these last couple years, that SVA, despite it being an art school, really diminished a lot of confidence in myself as an artist and ‘creative,’ so it was comforting to find some old writing, drawings, scripts, from a younger, less cynical Jen. Some of it (looking at you, poetry) was exactly the kind of melodrama you’d expect, but I nevertheless fondly look back on the writing meetups my friends and I would have at TCNJ.
Another highlight was the weekend before NJ, where some friends and I–despite a rainy day–went to a cherry blossom festival. Prior to that, we attended a sushi-making class which was so much fun! Next time the bf and I go to HMart we’ll have to look at the salmon sashimi cuts available because I’d love to make our own. Though I’ll have to look into the proper way to make sushi rice and what kind of rice is best. It usually has a vinegar-taste, short grained, I assume?
Next Month’s Focus: I know I said this last month. But hot dam I really need an editorial calendar. This month I gave myself a pass because
I am weak I didn’t really have any specific goals in mind. But that’s WHY you make a calendar like this, to some extent: to force you into constantly creating. But I’m not quite ready for that. One of my favorite YouTubers, a graphic designer named Charli, shared a talk she gave at a design conference in Texas a few months back that has me a bit more confident that I was. It was good inspiration for me. In it she talks about the dilemma that creators of online content often face–the idea that you have to consistently produce work while not sacrifice the quality too much. That, once again, is something I will get better at in time. I need to build up an instinct and, frankly, I need to reacquaint myself with the creative side of me. I’m glad that in some backwards way a look through all of the harddrives I’ve ever owned–each one it’s own strange little time capsule–allowed me to reconnect with past versions of myself. They offered guidance.