MORE: the year ahead, and cataloging reviews

If self-improvement is a journey rather than a goal, why reset the starting line every year? Last year was pretty good for me. I would like to be better at various things. I would like to want to be better at various other things. I would like not to be discouraged by examining what I haven’t yet achieved. Nothing does that faster than staring at a list of things of desires and seeing how few can be crossed off.

Last year I kept challenging myself to push through a fear of failure. Like Shonda Rhimes! A year of YES! Because I am vulgar, it was more of a year of FUCK IT LET’S GO.

I vacationed with some of the beautiful friends made in a wonderful fandom for a terrible show. I submitted a lot of stories I loved and added a lot of response to the !!REJECTED!! tag in Gmail. (This is the best tag ever. This time of year I imagine Yukon Cornelius swinging his pickaxe through my inbox, tasting the residue, and exclaiming !!REJECTED!!. As a bonus it is not possible to impale yourself through the eyeball on a Gmail tag, as I always imagined happening when reading about Stephen King’s rejection spike.) I reached out to strangers to join conversations and to compliment them on things they did that were good or great or sublime. I drove for a full day down the west coast because I’d never done it before. I wrote another trunk novel and didn’t tell anyone about it. I argued with myself about feeling awkward or ashamed or sorry for using I/me/my/mine so much or for talking myself up. (Still fighting on that one. I’ve deleted about three “sorry”s from this paragraph alone.) I tried not to apologize for things that weren’t actually my fault, but that’s an even harder road.

Last year was so good for me, even the failures, that my resolution for this year is MORE. That boils down into a couple of concrete ideas: write more; read more; say “I like this thing you did/made/like” more; submit more; give more; talk to new people more; say “I like this thing I did/made/like” more; unplug more; leave home more. (If you hear Leslie Odom Jr singing any part of this list: YOU’RE WELCOME.)

For years I’ve been trying to catalog all the media I consumed. Every year, the attempt fizzles into hardly remembering how to log in to Letterboxd or the like. Goodreads remains the only archive that gets updated regularly, probably because it sits right next to the Kindle app on all my various devices.

Anyway. Maybe the cataloging will go better here! Reviews of all kinds: movies, books, music, … other things, to be added at random, all under this tag: 2016 reviews. Pithy!

To start:

HOT PURSUIT (2015, movie, Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara)
This was a funny and dumb buddy movie, with a vibe somewhere between Midnight Run and Due Date. Notable mostly for the fact that the women don’t need rescuing except by each other, and the eye candy love interest is a dude who barely got a single line in the final wrap-up scene. I’d watch it again. (In fact, I did already!) ★★★☆☆

THE BROWNS (2015, “sports” “team”)
Ahahahhaahahha what. Why. Someone please help. (Help keep Gary Barnidge for another season because he seems lovely? Okay.) ★☆☆☆☆

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