Monthy Wrap Up: January 2013
Holy shit, a month has passed! January is over and done with. A lot has happened during the past month. Heck, more positive things have happened for me just this month than most of last year. No kidding, it’s been a good month for me.
Since the internet is always bursting at the seams with negativity, I thought it might be a good idea to do a monthly post to talk about all the cool things that have kept me busy. Not just detailing the negativity, but really to put on spotlight on some of the better things the month has brought. Not an entirely original idea, since I’m literally just copying NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour’s “What’s making us happy” segment. Although that’s not a bad thing, considering that’s the best part of that podcast. It’s also the main reason I keep listening to it.
So, here’s what’s been keeping me busy this month:
This month, I have read the following books:
Lewis – Through the Looking Glass, Wells – The Invisible Man, Vonnegut – 2BR02B, Poe – The Raven, Wendig – Mockingbird, Heart of Darkness, Vonnegut – The Big Trip Yonder, Bossypants – Tina Fey, Royal Exile – Fiona McIntosh, Hyrule Historia
It was my goal to have read 100 books this year. Technically, I’m going for 120 books, since I’m hoping to achieve this by reading at least 10 books each month. This month, I only barely reached that limit, despite the headstart of being at 5 books within the first 5 days. Although that IS a good sign in terms of my ability to reach the bigger goal.
My favorite book this month was The Invisible Man. I’ve had a few experiences with H.G. Wells before, and each time I felt let down by the experience. Somehow, I was expecting more out of each story, something that it didn’t deliver. The Invisible Man however, was just perfect. It wasn’t even a case of lowering or altering my expectations in any way, it was exactly as I hoped his other books would have been.
Everything about The Invisible Man just worked. The delivery was solid, thankfully straying away from the narrator telling his tale in hindsight style that I’m used to reading from Wells, but instead going for a much more direct style. It drew created this extra tension that was missing before. No matter how imaginative and strongly presented a story is when delivered through the accounting of someone who heard the tale from the actual protagonist (for instance, The Time Machine), it just doesn’t do it for me.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Warrior’s Way, Black Death, Cowboys and Aliens, Devil, Iron Sky, Rurouni Kenshin, Looper, Sex Drive, Trigun: Badlands Rumble, Horrible Bosses, Brave, I Saw The Devil.
With just this selection of movies, I’ve already seen more movies that were new to me than during all of 2012. Yeah, that’s terrible, I know. I’m still trying to catch up on the movies of both 2011 and 2012 I haven’t seen yet. And no, I still have not seen The Avengers.
It’s incredibly hard to choose just one favorite here. Rurouni Kenshin far exceeded my expectations, and although it’s probably not the strongest movie in this list, it’s still one of my favorite movie surprises this month. But that’s just because I’m a massive RuroKen Geek. I know, shut up. If I have to choose through the eyes of the gigantic cinematic snob in me, then it’s either between the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or the Korean movie I Saw The Devil. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo drew me in that extra bit more though. No, I haven’t seen the original, so I can’t compare. And no, I don’t have a thing against foreign language films either. I just happened to have a chance to see this version and not the other. Had it been the original version instead of the remake, I’d just as happily would have watched it.
I’ll make up for it by reading the books.
Revolution season 1, Go On season 1, Community seasons 1/2/3, Arrow season 1, Burn Notice seasons 1/2, The Walking Dead season 1, Breaking Bad season 5
Do I have to say anything? Really?
Okay, I’ve watched a lot of television shows. Quite a few jumped forward and got some attention. I’m sure I’ll pick up another season of Revolution, Go On, Arrow and – if the next season really is happening, Community.
But we all know what show gets my pick for favorite series this month, right?
Season 5 was just… wow. And as much as I want to geek out and rant for hours about how absolutely incredibly everything about season 5 was, I also don’t want to say too much in case I spoil anything for people who haven’t seen it yet. All I can say is… Well… Season 5 was better than all the previous seasons. And the previous seasons were already enough to make Breaking Bad one of my absolute favorite TV shows.
One more season, then we’ll see if it forces Farscape to settle for second place.
Archery, Printing a mini-zine-thing
I did two special things that I’ve never done before this month. I held a longbow in my hand and fired a few arrows. I also printed out a small magazine type thing with a collection of a few of my posts from here on this blog, simlpy because I could.
I really got a good feel for archery, and I want to go and do it again. The only thing stopping me from doing it again is money. This doesn’t mean that I really cannot afford it or anything, I just want to try out a few other things before I really throw myself into archery. Next week I’m going to see how things go when I join an improv workshop upstairs from my favorite book shop. After that, I’ll decide if I want to focus on archery or on improv. If I do improv, chances are I’ll also do archery at a later date when I can afford to do both.
Since I don’t have any pictures of myself with a longbow, have some pictures of the printed version of a few of my posts, with links to the original places you can read them.
Mega Man Battle Network 3, Bonesaw: The Game, Unreal Tournament, Terraria
It’s terrible. I’m a gamer. Somewhat of a hardcore gamer if you wish to throw around titles like that. I should be liveblogging Mega Man Battle Network and Bonesaw for Tumblr. But I really haven’t had the time to really delve into games properly all that much.
The only game I did dive into deeply was Terraria. And only because it was relaxing to play while catching up on a MASSIVE backlog of podcasts. I haven’t listened to most of the podcasts I like for over half a year. There was well over 24 hours worth of podcasts lined up that had my interest. From the KGBcast, to NPR, to The Nerdist… There was just way too much. So while I listened to all those podcasts, I built a gigantic floating sky fortress, built a meteorite axe, defended my base against a goblin invasion, fought off the Eye of Cthullu and other bosses.
Then, after I had enough of Terraria for a while, I continued my dive into podcasts while playing the original Unreal Tournament. Now I’m out of podcasts and can beat the second-highest AI using nothing but that teleporter weapon as a manually detonated TF2 Loch-N-Load. Playing much more demanding modern online multiplayer FPS titles like Tribes: Ascend and Planetside 2 really performed miracles to my skill level when it comes to shooters on the PC.
Now I really want to see if I can learn to play RTS games. It’s something I’ve always been terrible at.
Okay. Maybe I should have called this section COMIC instead of COMICS. Or heck, maybe even MANGA would have fit better. I’ve only read Berserk this month. An insane amount of Berserk. Not all the Berserk, but I did go through a bunch of story arcs.
In case you’ve never read Berserk, if you enjoy comics but steered away from it because it’s Japanese, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. Berserk is one of the better manga out there and does a good job of avoiding most of the cliches that manga love to cling on. It’s also incredibly brutal and has more rape and murder than you could shake a stick at.
If you’re into shaking sticks at rape and murder. I’m not sure why you would do that. What’s wrong with you? Just take my reccommendation and read some Berserk.
So that’s it. I still don’t know how I crammed this all into one month, but I somehow read/watched/played/listened to/did all this and more. Even planned some more stuff for the coming month, so hopefully I can keep to this momentum thing I’ve got going right now.
What’s the most fun/awesome/cool news you guys have to share this month?