While in grad school, my casual reading did not exist. Through the manipulative power of gamification, Goodreads has allowed me to change that. The first year I signed up, I read 41 books, which was 40 books more than usual. My goal this year is smaller than when I started out, and I am thinking that it will be smaller in 2018 to make room for some larger text books. That being said, here are the 21 books I read in 2017, in no particular order:
One of the things I most appreciate about the Harry Potter series (and by extension, JK Rowling’s writing style) is the equal attention paid to the sacred and the profane, the big questions and the mundane. Harry Potter was the first book I read that had me questioning ideas like mortality, morality, and tolerance, but boy she did not skimp on the details when describing a dinner at the Great Hall, or how squishy and wonderful the armchairs in the Gryffindor common room must be. She didn’t miss opportunities for small character moments, whether it was Neville being attacked by a plant in the background, or enormous arcs like Neville’s defeat of a Horcrux.
It’s amazing how a story so, so universal has affected so many so personally (which of course is the massive achievement of the series). It’s your classic Hero’s Journey straight out of Campbell’s playbook, but it’s so much more, it’s so full and alive and thriving.
Maybe thriving a little too much, says the bitter 20-something-year-old.
The start of my month was one of quiet excitement After managing to get through the audio book quickly, the bf and I attended a concert performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at Radio City Music Hall. I hadn’t been there in years! Not since I used to go to the Christmas show every year in grammar school. I had a twinge of guilt thinking that I’d have graduated with a Masters degree in that gorgeous theater if things had worked out with SVA, but I quickly stopped caring when the pre-roll videos featuring John Williams began playing. What a man. This is the second time I’ve attended a film screening featuring a live orchestra accompaniment; the first one I attended was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, featuring the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Center, which I detailed in a past blog post. This was my second time seeing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The NY Philharmonic are hosting a slew of Star Wars performances in September that I’m interested in seeing too!
Radio City is hosting performances of the second Harry Potter film this fall, but I think the only other one I’d attend would be the third film–not for lack of interest so much as lack of cash. Some of the later films’s scores are less familiar to me, but I know that’s because I didn’t obsessively listen to them like I did the earlier films. I’m also seeing an orchestra performance of songs from the Kingdom Hearts video game series this summer as well. All of the childhood feels.
Books Read: 0 Still just chugging away at a number of titles. I’ve been reading more self-help books than I usually do, and actually going through them and doing a lot of the end-of-chapter questionnaires and activities. So it’s a slow burn. But when I can update my Goodreads account, I’ll quickly be right on schedule…not that I’m keeping a schedule per se.
Blog Posts Written: 3 Just three, including this one, all on this site. Nothing for AniCom, which is a huge disappointment, as I am struggling to achieve the quality I want.
Videos/Projects: 0 Still just editing away. But I’m going to give myself a phantom point for the online classes I’ve been keeping up with this month that will allow me to do some of the non-video projects I have in mind. 😉
At the Movies: 3+ The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell were two of the movies that I saw in theaters this past month, and only one of them was worth it. Boss Baby was an unexpected delight, while GitS was the crapfest I always feared it would be. Shoutouts also go to some other new-ish films I saw this month, outside the theater setting: Nova Seed, Your Name, Digimon Adventure Tri Chapters 2-4, a second viewing of La La Land, and Loving. I saw a few more, and I usually don’t post about every movie I saw, but I actually managed to see quite a few this month due to traveling home for Easter. There’s always good movies playing on cable–thanks, Mom and Dad! The third movie is one that I am hopefully seeing in about an hour: Their Finest by Danish director Lone Scherfig, who made two other films I really loved (An Education and One Day). A film about a woman filmmaker actually made by a woman filmmaker? Sign me the fuck up.
Lowlights: An unexpected trip to the ER cut one of my workdays short, and I’ve felt a little off since then. It doesn’t seem to be anything major, but unfortunately my follow-up appointment isn’t until the start of June.
Highlights: I already mentioned Harry Potter in concert, so the other biggies were Easter and a trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Easter was standard fair, as it’s hosted at my parents’ house every year. It’s nice when I go home and can actually spend time at home and in my hometown. Easter’s always got good food (read: no ham) and desserts (especially Jello eggs and Gertrude Hawk peanut butter chocolates). My mom always goes above and beyond with Easter. We’ve only got one young kid in the family, so we hide the eggs a few times for him. I always accidentally make it a little too hard for him though, and everyone ends up having to help him. So maybe I get points for making it a family affair. : P
There’s been an ongoing exhibit at the Normal Rockwell Museum on Hanna-Barbera, the animation studio most famous for Saturday morning staples like The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby-do. It’s a studio I’ve never paid much attention to, to be honest, as I sort of always wrote it off as cheap production to push cereal to kids. In my defense, I wasn’t wrong, but that wasn’t a reason to ignore it either. So I was quite keen to head up there. The exhibit was fantastic. It was pretty small, but they stuffed it full of things. I’ll finally have something to post about on AnimationComplex, so stay tuned for that article. In the meantime, here’s a super cute classic museum trailer:
Yesterday morning, I successfully got tickets to New York Comic Con 2017. Every year I debate going back at all, but I always end up deciding to go for a day. Especially since I haven’t managed to go to any smaller comic-cons this year. I decided to only go on Friday, as it seems like more of the educational panels are being pushed to Thursday and Friday. Like the last 2 years, I managed to get my tickets within 30 minutes of the virtual queue being launched, so I am definitely happier with this new verification system than when I first started attending, where you’d be waiting to get to the order page only to see see tickets already populating scalping sites with huge markups. NYCC is the same week that I am seeing Hamilton too, so the start of October will be amazing! In general yesterday was very nice. We are lucky to live in an area where the beach is a 7-minute drive away, so after running some errands we parked there and read for a few hours. The water was freezing, but as an East Coaster, this was nothing new. He, being from Cali, was not amused.
Next Month’s Focus: Editorial calendar. More doing. More animation stuff, yo.