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Protected: 2013 Resolutions: I Can Only Do So Much

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Protected: 2013 Resolutions: Health

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New Year’s Goals

I don’t know why I bother with these things, but screw it: here we go again! I’ll post quarterly updates on my progress!

1. Get down to first goal weight in time for engagement photos
2. Get down to second goal weight in time for wedding
3. Approach Sheena’s/similar places about running a group help session on volunteer basis for self-injurers.
4. Find job in my field this Spring after graduation
5. Change name legally, or choose not to and keep it informal – decide by wedding
6. Renew G1
7. Reduce number of email accounts as much as possible, because 7 is ridic.
8. Honour/celebrate each Wiccan holiday possible.
9. Learn more meditation skills.
10.  Pay down some debt – any debt!
11.  Get married OMFG
12. Reduce overall credit limits by $500+
13. Continue to reduce negativity and negative thinking in my life.
14. Stay in touch better with friends and family
15. Finish as much as I can of the 2011 Pop Culture Challenge (ie, rollover what’s left from 2011)
16. Blog at least weekly
17.  Delete my Facebook account.  Sounds weird, but it has to happen. the Timeline is just… I can’t anymore.
18.  Do something for New Year’s Eve.  It’s time.

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2011 Pop Culture Challenge: Status Update

Back in November, 2010, spurred by my decision to read the most banned books in the States (as listed for Banned Books Week), I challenged myself to finally get off my lazy ass and ‘catch up’ on all of the pop culture and reading I always ‘meant to’ finish.  This is the first major status update.

So, four months into a thirteen-month series of challenges, I figured it was time to reflect on my progress, and also, on the recently enjoyed items on my lists.  For those interested in the full extent of the challenge, list items and the original posts, click the 2011 Pop Culture Challenge tab in the header.

We’ll take this by categories, for simplicity.

Literature
Progress:  2 new items crossed off on American list, 1 on Canadian

For all of the reading I’ve done as of late, I confess much of it was pleasure reading done without the list as a guide.  That said, one item I’ve crossed off both lists was really 7 books, so I deserve some credit.

I’ve polished off Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, which was not remotely a book that should be banned.  It wasn’t graphic, and it was appropriate for YA readers.  I personally found it a bit dull, truth be told, but a worthwhile read.

My other checklist completion was finally reading the Harry Potter books, and, with a few exceptions, they were really well done.  I don’t know that I would endlessly reread them or anything, but I enjoyed the journey, for the most part, and liked the end (even if it felt a little too easily achieved).  My favourite of the series was Goblet of Fire, followed closely by Chamber of Secrets.  I’m glad I got off my ass and gave them a go, and much thanks to my little brother, who never lends anyone his books… but lent me the first four.

Television
Progress:  1 new series tried; 2 caught up; others in progress

This is where I’ve made most of my headway; it’s easiest for me to find time and the attention span to watch an episode or two and then scurry off.  TV shows are also easier to find to watch than 150 movies, know what I mean?

Fiance and I finally tried out The Walking Dead and being zombie nuts, we loved it.  We knew we would, but we were so lazy about watching it.  Not having cable is a massive hindrance.  I was a little mixed about the ending of the season, but overall very satisfied and ready for the next.  This show really needs to be seen, because it is about more than zombies; it`s about humanity itself, in any crisis.  It`s what I wished 28 Days Later had been (the ending’s always irked me, because I wanted to know what happened!).

We also finally caught up on Dexter (three seasons plus!) and I have loved them, with the exception of season 3, which just pissed me off.  I think season 2 is the best overall, followed closely by 4.  I wish the Trinity Killer had been used to greater potential; I feel the reveal was way too soon, and we needed more suspense.  I loved Lithgow, though.  The Lumen story in 5 was patchy and hit or miss, but overall good.  Such a fucking good show.

I also finally watched all of South Park… This show really has aged well, far better than I even predicted.  LOVE.  It sometimes misses, but given how many episodes there are, whatever.

I’m currently in progress with Heroes (loved season 3, mixed on season 4 so far) and Robot Chicken (pure genius!).  Now that we have Netflix, this is even easier for me.  Whee!

Films
Progress:  7 new films seen

I’ve begun attacking the films list more thoroughly lately, being as it is so long and I have so many other obligations.  Part of the issue lies in tracking all of them down, of course, particularly older or more obscure films.  That aside, of the films I’ve seen, I’ve been quite happy about doing so.

The most recent one, M, is fantastic, and I never woud have even heard of this 80 or so year-old film without taking this challenge on.  It’s in German with subtitles, which I know aggravates some people, but it’s an insightful look at serial killers and how their crimes affect the public, society on the whole, and the killer himself.  Slumdog Millionaire was a long overdue viewing, as was The Wrestler; both should be seen by film afficionados.  The JJ Abrams reboot of Star Trek was pretty bad-ass, and unlike my Trekkie fiance, I rather enjoy Zachary Quinto as Spock.  Kick-Ass?  I’ve already REWATCHED that one.  The Departed?  It’s what Lock, Stock… wishes it was, even if the ending irked me.

But The Social Network is my big one, thus far, because it, by all rights, shouldn’t work on paper.  And yet, the casting, the score (fuck yeah, Trent!), the way it’s shot and paced…  I love it.  It’s truly one of the best films I’ve seen in years because, in so many ways, it’s subtle to pitch-perfection, and in your face in others.  Jesse Eisenberg’s performance makes it, and it was totally robbed for the Oscar.

I know that ahead lies a bunch of movies I have zero interest in (wtf, IMDB voters, with all the mobster and sci-fi action shit?), but for now, it’s been a blast.

See you in a few months… and hopefully, with a much more diligent progress report…

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New Year’s Resolutions

Everyone else is doing it, right?  Seriously though, without committing to things in writing, I never get them done.

1.  Get down to low weight by Halloween (don’t ask the number; it’s impolite ;)
2.  Mail out the holiday goodies I owe peeps.
3.  Meditate regularly.
4.  Go back to school!
5.  Complete the 2011 Pop Culture Challenge I designed.

Regarding that last one, I gave myself a head start at the end of 2010.  As of the start of this year, here’s my progress!

Movies seen: Blade Runner, The Social Network
TV Show Progress: Caught up on South Park; Seen all of The Walking Dead; Am now at 4X08 of Dexter (2 seasons’ gain approx).
Books: Read Books1-4 of Harry Potter series.

I’ll post updates bimonthly on my progress, just to make my sorry ass more accountable.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden    Joanne Greenberg
Invisible Monsters    Chuck Palahniuk
The Final Warning    James Patterson
Max    James Patterson
The Last Vampire    Christopher Pike
The Immortal    Christopher Pike
Sharp Objects    Gillian Flynn
Whisper of Death    Christopher Pike
The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl    Brooke Magnanti
Thirteen Reasons Why    Jay Asher
Twisted    Laurie Halse Anderson
Weekend    Christopher Pike
LV2: Black Blood    Christopher Pike
LV3: Red Dice    Christopher Pike
LV4: Phantom    Christopher Pike
LV5: Evil Thirst    Christopher Pike
LV6: Creatures of Forever    Christopher Pike
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Goals For 2011: Television

I haven’t ever had cable since moving out on my own, meaning I easily miss TV shows and fail to follow them.  It usually takes a friend, usually my media studies degree touting buddy Suze, to get my ass motivated to check out a new series.

That said, there’s this endless list of shows in a memo in my Blackberry that I never get around to, so I’ve decided that while I’m throwing down on books and movies, I may as well throw down on TV.  Ladies and gentlemen:  a list of TV series I am determined to either catch up on or actually try out by the end of 2011!

Series To Catch Up On/Finish

Dexter Finished Season 2
CSI Mid-Season 2, Plus Misc Further Episodes
The Big Bang Theory Mid-Season 2
South Park End of Season 13
Angel Mid-Season 2
Dollhouse Early Season 1
Heroes Near End Of Season 3
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Finished Season 2
The Venture Brothers Finished Season 2
Robot Chicken Finished Season 2

Series To Watch/Try

Battlestar Galactica (I’ll try it again; I only got 45 minutes into the minseries and wanted to commit suicide of boredom, but Suze and the fiance are very mad at me for this)
House
Nurse Jackie
True Blood
Bones
Flashpoint
United States of Tara
Weeds
The Mentalist
Fringe
Supernatural
The Walking Dead
Criminal Minds

Before anyone says it:  I KNOW.  Like I said, no cable and broke to boot.  I don’t have the cash to rent/buy DVDs and I’m lazy about downloading.  AND NO SPOILERS!!!

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Goals For 2011: Literature

I posted over on my fanfiction blog about Banned Books Week and the list released of the 100 most challenged books in the United States in schools etc.  I decided, out of spite, to try and read as many of them as possible for fun.  Transferring that list here to keep my goals tidy, may I present the list of most challenged books of the last decade.

Books I’ve read are in bold.

The Top 100 Banned Books of 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry

76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

This list and its progress will also be tracked via a page on the upper header of the blog.  Join me, if you’re so inclined!  Fuck censorship!

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Goals For 2011: Cinema

I often find myself in a rut with the films I watch, never mind books and TV shows.  I simply spend more time writing and reading articles online than anything else.  However, I really want to catch up on various forms of media, aside from my music obsession, and thus, I’m laying down a few goals to be completed before the end of next year.

First Goal:  Watch Quentin Tarantino’s Top Twenty List

Quentin Tarantino, one of the best directors ever to be gifted to our world, made a list recently of the top twenty films released since he became a film maker.  Granted, this excludes the last year, which brought Inception, a film that strikes me as a Tarantino taste, but it’s pretty epic.  I’ve bolded the ones I’ve already seen.  I also reserve the right to stop watching any of these part-way through if I hate them.

Battle Royale
Anything Else
Audition
Blade
Boogie Nights
Dazed & Confused
Dogville
Fight Club
Fridays
The Host
The Insider
Joint Security Area
Lost In Translation
The Matrix
Memories of Murder
Police Story 3
Shaun of the Dead
Speed
Team America
Unbreakable

Total Seen At Start:  9/20

Already, you can see some flicks on here that probably seem to be glaring omissions for someone with discerning tastes (Lost In Translation).  I have to confess:  I hate Scarlett Johansson and thus, have avoided that movie like the plague.  But I’ve made a nice dent in these, and look forward to the Japanese and Korean goodies.

Second Goal:  Attempt To Watch As Many Of IMDB’s Top 250 List As Possible

This will be a tedious chore, namely because I am already screaming bloody murder at how poor most people’s tastes are (Avatar over Donnie Darko?  ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!) and how if a tiny group all rate a film high, it gets to coast up the list.  But a friend of an ex did this once when unemployed (he stuck to the top 100) and found it enlightening and challenging, so I figure it’ll be fun.  I don’t expect to see them all, due to age/availability/sheer number, but let’s see what I can do.

Movies in bold are ones I have seen and can at least tell you the gist of them; movies in red are movies I know I saw as a kid (you can tell what my dad liked by these) but barely remember them.  I plan to eventually rewatch those, but they’re low priority.

The Shawshank Redemption
The Godfather
The Godfather Part II
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Inception
Pulp Fiction
Schindler’s List
12 Angry Men
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
The Dark Knight
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
Seven Samurai
Star Wars: A New Hope
Goodfellas
Casablanca
Fight Club
City of God
The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
Rear Window
Toy Story 3
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Once Upon A Time In the West
Psycho
The Usual Suspects
The Matrix
The Silence of the Lambs
Se7en
Memento
It’s A Wonderful Life
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
Sunset Blvd
Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Forrest Gump
Leon: The Professional
Citizen Kane
Apocalypse Now
North By Northwest
American Beauty *due to strong objections to a plot point, I will not watch this film*
American History X
Taxi Driver
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Vertigo
Saving Private Ryan
Amelie
Alien
WALL-E
Lawrence of Arabia
The Shining
Spirited Away
Paths of Glory

A Clockwork Orange
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Pianist
Double Indemnity
The Lives of Others
The Departed
M
Aliens
City Lights
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Requiem For A Dream
Das Boot
The Third Man
LA Confidential
Chinatown
Resevoir Dogs
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Modern Times
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life is Beautiful
Back To The Future
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Prestige
Raging Bull
Singin’ In The Rain
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Some Like It Hot
Rashomon
Amadeus
All About Eve
Once Upon A Time In America
2001: A Space Odyssey
Inglorious Bastards
The Green Mile
Full Metal Jacket
Braveheart
The Great Dictator
The Apartment
Bicycle Thieves
Downfall
Up
Gran Torino
Metropolis
The Maltese Falcon
The Sting
Gladiator
The Elephant Man
Sin City
Unforgiven
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
On the Waterfront
Oldboy
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Rebecca
The Great Escape
Die Hard
Batman Begins
Mononoke-Hime
Jaws
Slumdog Millionaire
Hotel Rwanda
The Seventh Seal
Blade Runner
Fargo
No Country For Old Men
Heat
Touch of Evil
The Wizard of Oz
The General
For A Few Dollars More
Ran
Yojinbo
District 9
The Social Network
The Sixth Sense
Avatar
Donnie Darko
Snatch
Annie Hall
The Deer Hunter
Cool Hand Luke
Strangers On A Train
Witness For The Prosecution
Smultronstallet
High Noon
The Big Lebowski
Kill Bill Vol 1
Hotaru no haka
It Happened One Night
Platoon
The Lion King
There Will Be Blood
Into The Wild
Notorious
Million Dollar Baby
Toy Story
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Gone With the Wind
The Wrestler
Ben-Hur
Trainspotting
The Big Sleep
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Scarface
The Graduate
Groundhog Day
Life of Brian
The Grapes of Wrath
The Bourne Ultimatum
Finding Nemo
Amores perros
The Gold Rush
The Terminator
Stand By Me
How To Train Your Dragon
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
The Thing
The Best Years of Our Lives
V For Vendetta
Casino
Twelve Monkeys
Dog Day Afternoon
Ratatouille
The Kid
The Secret in Their Eyes
Gandhi
Star Trek (2009)
The Wages of Fear
Les diaboliques
8 1/2
Ikiru
The Night of the Hunter
The Princess Bride
Judgment at Nuremberg
The Incredibles
The Hustler
Tonari no Totoro
The Killing
In Bruges
The Wild Bunch
Good Will Hunting
The Exorcist
Network
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
A Streetcar Named Desire
Children of Men
The 400 Blows
La strada
Stalag 17
Persona
Ed Wood
Dial M For Murder
The Battle of Algeria
Let The Right One In
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Big Fish
Magnolia
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Rocky
All Quiet on the Western Front
Mystic River
Kick-Ass
Rosemary’s Baby
Kill Bill Vol 2
Manhattan
Duck Soup
Barry Lyndon
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Patton
Fanny and Alexander
Letters From Iwo Jima
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Festen
Infernal Affairs
Mary and Max
The Truman Show
Roman Holiday
In the Mood for Love
Harvey
Nights of Cabiria
Crash (2004)
Howl’s Moving Castle
Sleuth
King Kong (1933)
His Girl Friday
Arsenic and Old Lace
The Philadelphia Story
Three Colours: Red
A Christmas Story
Rope
Monsters, Inc
Toy Story 2
Mulholland Dr
Shadow of a Doubt
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance

TOTAL SEEN AT START: 92/250
TOTAL SEE
N AND REMEMBERED AT START:  70/250

Like I said, I’m under no illusions I can finish all of these on top of other goals, but I’d like to take a shot.  American Beauty, for personal reasons, is a movie I cannot watch.  I’m not going to elaborate on why, but trust me, it’s a good reason.

Coming Shortly:  my reading list and TV show catch-up goals!  All of these lists will be linked to a page tab at the top of the blog, and updated with my progress.

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