So I’m 30 Now

On September 27 2021, I turned 30 years old.

I didn’t do anything big or fancy to mark it. One of my friends bought me brunch. I got a cupcake with my name on it at work. I got birthday messages from friends and family. It was all very nice.

But it just felt utterly inconceivable that I could be thirty years old. Shouldn’t I have it more together right now? Shouldn’t I know what I’m doing by now? Shouldn’t I feel more like a real grown up and not just a kind of sort of grown up mostly defined that way by absolutely not feeling like a teenager?

I would say I didn’t expect to be where I am now at thirty, but I’m not sure WHERE I expected to be. I’ve never been any good at hypotheticals. Being asked to say where I want to be in five years or ten years has always been very difficult for me. Hell, I was asked about something related to where I would be in a YEAR yesterday and I felt like I couldn’t properly know the answer to that question. How could I know before I lived more of the year??

I live about 20 minutes away from the home I’ve lived in all my life right now and this is the first time I’ve ever lived away from my family. I never did during my university years–I went to a school that was in the city and never ended up doing an exchange–so now, at 30, it’s the first time I’m doing so. It’s still in the same city, and I’m living away from home in an environment that’s very safe and easy to adjust to. Meanwhile, I see people my age getting married, or having kids on purpose, or travelling the world, or having had stable careers for years.

I’m not saying I want to be married or to have kids at this point in my life, I don’t. I certainly would like to travel more in some capacity. I’m hoping that the next year of the contracted job I’m currently in (which I’m enjoying by the way!) will give me an idea of what I want to do long term. But I still can’t help but wonder, shouldn’t I have it more together by now?

I guess the comforting thing about being thirty is realizing that even when you feel like you should have it more together than you do, there are other people who feel the same way that you do (Like in this post from my friend Paul, who is three weeks older than me and was far more eloquent and interesting in his post than I’m being right now). For every person I see who is getting married or buying a house, there’s someone else posting about living at home, or going back to school, or having a first date, or trying to take care of a pet fish. And deep down I know that everyone, no matter what stage of life they’re in at thirty, or whether or not they post it on social media, has days where they have no idea what they’re doing, or if they’re where they should be, or where they wonder “shouldn’t I have it more together by now?”

So I don’t know where my year of being thirty will take me. All I can hope is that a year from now I’m still here and still standing and can say maybe I have it a tiny bit more together than last year. Even just 1% more.

So, hi again

In my last post, I gave a little life update, and said I would be trying to post more often.

That was over a month ago.

I didn’t mean to go this long without posting, I really didn’t! But between preparing for my new job, moving for my new job, and then the job itself, I’ve either not made time, been too tired, or not known what to say. I won’t give away too many details of my job for Reasons, but I have been working with teenagers and it’s been a lot of long days, tiring days, and just busy days.

So what do I talk about without giving work details?

Well first of all, this is the very first time, in my life, that I am living with people who aren’t family members. The four other girls I’m living with are great! I get along with them all really well. There hasn’t been any major issues as of yet–but maybe we have just all been too busy for anything to come up. Shared spaces have been kept neat the majority of the time, we took turns taking out garbage, no one is overly noisy at weird hours of the day, etc.

It is a change though. The bathroom has three shower stalls, so getting used to showering when someone else can come into the bathroom is a new one (they can’t see me, there’s a curtain as well as some glass and dividers, but it’s still always a bit alarming). Buying food for myself individually can be a bit weird to get used to, I’m not used to not assuming someone else will eat it or use it or finish it if I don’t.

It’s also interesting getting used to new people’s habits and rhythms. Figuring out someone likes early morning runs, for example, or recognizing who is playing what music in their room midday, or accurately guessing who left all their mugs out on the sink. It’s been nothing crazy so far–there are no wild stories, or massive complaints. It’s just the experience of living with new people, and figuring them out.

Otherwise, you can definitely say I’ve been a bit wrapped up in my work. I think between moving and getting a new job, I’ve mainly spent the last few weeks adjusting to everything. I have only in the last few days, started figuring out how to bring my everyday life into this life, if that makes sense. I’ve found paths in the area to go on walks down, found the right spot in a living room for my yoga mat, plugged my computer into the TV screen to watch some shows. I’ve thought about going to the movie theatre and the mall when I have the time. I have some days off this week, and I’m hoping to see more friends and family if not now, then soon.

When I say I want to post more regularly, I really mean it this time!! At the very least, I won’t be letting myself go another month and a half without posting. My birthday is exactly one week from now, so I’m sure I will have something to post about next week. Until then, so long.

A tiny life update

I’ve really been slacking on posting lately. I genuinely wanted to have a posting schedule, and be more active, but have found myself COMPLETELY devoid of inspiration and dedication. I’m working on it, I really am. But for now, here’s a little look into what I’ve been up to.

First of all, I FINALLY WENT TO A THEATRE AGAIN. As a lover of movies, this counts as a life update for me. I haven’t been in a movie theatre since January 2020, when I went to watch Frozen 2 with my cousins. I had been planning a trip to the movies right when COVID hit, and cinemas have been closed here (for the most part) ever since. Theatres opened again under limited capacity a few weeks ago, and last weekend, I finally took the plunge and went to the nearby movie theatre to watch Black Widow.

I booked the tickets Saturday morning for that same afternoon. The theatre I went to has those massive plush armchair seats, with armrests and a foot stool, where you can adjust the angle of your seat. It felt like the perfect theatre to mark my return back to theatres. When you book the tickets, they automatically block out the seats beside you, so no one can sit directly next to you in the theatre. Masks were also required in the theatre at all points when not seated and if not eating. I kept mine on, choosing to forego snacks for safety reasons.

In the best of ways, watching a movie in the theatre again was an almost overwhelming experience. The draw of the massive screen, the moment where the lights go down before the movie starts, the sheer VOLUME of the music and the action. I got emotional at a trailer I had already seen. I got emotional at various parts throughout the movie. Partially, of course, because I found the movie itself emotionally affecting (quick review: I loved it, I’d die for Yelena Belova, fuck the patriarchy), but I couldn’t help but think that part of it was just the feeling of being in a movie theatre itself.

That’s not to say there were no negatives to the experience. It’s a bit awkward to wear a mask in the theatre, and there were some kids running around the theatre during the credits who were allowed to run amok wayyyy longer than they should have been. But none of that was enough to be a damper on the experience. I missed theatres, I’ve missed them the whole time, and they’ll never be obsolete to me.

Second, probably more major life update: I got a new job! I won’t go into details about what it is, but it will require me to move downtown–within only a few weeks. I’m being provided with a place to live and most amenities, but there’s still a lot to get done in that time period! On top of filling out the required forms and papers that always come with getting a new job, I’ve been making lists of things I’ll need to buy, doing some early research, reading reviews, and thinking about my budget. I’ll have to go through all of my clothes and see what I need to to bring (not an easy feat with the amount of clothes and shoes I own), what I need to buy more of, and what I can leave at home (close enough to get picked up on a free day if I really need it). I’ll have to figure out what luggage and bags I’ll be bringing, do some cleaning, pick up new toiletries. I also have yet to get a full list of requirements and scheduling and information from said new job, so I have to take that into account while doing all of this work and planning. It’s exciting to have a new job, but I almost feel like I won’t even truly take it in until I have all of this done.

I’m going to do my best to post more within all of the planning. Not for anyone else’s sake, but for my own.

this is a post about simone biles

I’m sure anyone who has been paying any attention to the Olympics knows this story by now. Celebrated gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the team competition just as it began, and has since withdrawn from the all around individual competition as well. At first it was assumed to be an injury, but Simone and her team later confirmed it was for mental health reasons. She explained that while attempting to perform her vault, she got “lost in the air” while flipping, and didn’t trust herself to go forward after that. She thought it was best for her team and for herself to withdraw.

I considered this a very logicial decision, and a brave one. The Olympics only happen every four years, and with the limited time span of a gymnast’s career, it could possibly be Simone’s last. She put that aside because she was worried about her safety and because she didn’t want to fail her team, and in doing so, she serves as an example to other gymnasts and athletes who are often told to push through even when it could be dangerous for you. She’s a fantastic gymnast, and I’m sure she will continue to have an amazing career. I think she made the right decision.

Some people really didn’t agree. And it’s been making me FURIOUS.

There are hundreds and thousands of appalling comments on social media–most of them, frankly, from people who probably couldn’t even do a cartwheel. While fortunately the vast majority of people and ALL other gymnasts have been supportive of Simone, the nature of social media means the nasty comments feel inescapable.

“She’s a QUITTER”–this sounds like an insult a child would use. There’s nothing wrong or shameful about stepping down from something that isn’t right for you. And there certainly is nothing wrong or shameful from stepping down when you know there’s risks involved. I’m not even remotely close to Simone’s level tumbling wise, but I have experienced the feeling of losing yourself “in the air” or in space while performing a trick or dance move. It’s disorienting, it’s terrifying, and it’s dangerous. Gymnastics is a dangerous sport, and the amount of both physical and mental strength and focus required to perform on the level that Simone and the other Olympic gymnasts do is IMMENSE. She could have seriously injured herself on the vault she did do, and could face even more risk performing something like her floor routine.

“She let down her team/her country!”–every single member of Simone’s team supported her publicly, because as gymnasts, they understand what she is going through. The team went on to get silver, which is PHENOMENAL at an Olympic level. To see anyone act like it isn’t is just ridiculous. Most people couldn’t even compete at the Olympic level in any activity, never mind be talented enough to get a place on the podium. Beyond that, no one owes random American fans watching the Olympics anything, frankly.

“This generation is weak! As an Olympian you should be able to handle the pressure!”–There is no shame in suffering from mental health issues. There is no shame in struggling. This is not weakness. It is not weak to admit when you need help. Elite athletes are under a lot of pressure when competing as is, I can’t imagine what it feels like to compete as an Olympian. I hope there are psychologists on call. People saying things like this cite stories like that of Kerri Strug, an Olympic gymnast who vaulted on a broken ankle at the 1996 Olympics, as an inspiration, as an example of how you shouldn’t give up. When the truth of the matter is, it’s horrific that she was made to do that vault on a broken foot. Her coach failed her. The judges failed her. It should have never happened.

“Gymnastics isn’t even a real sport/I could have gotten gold easily!”–So do it. Go on. Show me your Olympic level gymnastics skills, random commenter on the Internet! Can you even do a back roll? I couldn’t help but notice that most of the people making comments like this have been men. These are men who have no respect for gymnastics because they associate it with women and femininity, because it is often considered a female-dominated sport. They immediately dismiss anything women excel in as inferior. They are also probably the kind of guys who say things like “women’s soccer doesn’t get as much funding because they just aren’t as good as men.”

There have also, of course, been some racist comments so disgusting I can’t even repeat them here. Obviously unacceptable.

I have the utmost respect for Simone Biles. I have the utmost respect for her whole artistic gymnastics team, and for every single Olympian out in Tokyo right now. She should not be shamed for making a decision that prioritized her health and safety, and it shouldn’t take having experienced being “lost in the air” to understand that.

Movies I watched in 2021 (Part 4)

At it again! Here is the last part if you missed it.

The Woman In The Window: This Netflix film is based on a novel of the same name, which I have not read. It stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic woman who spends her time spying on her new neighbours until she witnesses a crime in their apartment. Things start getting strange when denials from the police and her neighbours cause her to question not only what she saw but her reality and her sanity. This movie got some mixed reviews, but I like a mystery and there’s a lot of great actors in the cast (Amy Adams, Wyatt Russell, Anthony Mackie, Gary Oldman) so I gave it a shot. And it was fine! I guessed at least one of the twists, but I don’t think that makes it a bad movie. I wouldn’t rush to watch it again, but I watched the whole thing and the performances were very good. It wasn’t a stand-out of this genre, but a fine watch if bored and it’s a genre you’re already into.

Raya and The Last Dragon: I love a good Disney movie, and would have watched this one sooner if theatres were open here. Alas, it was $30 extra on Disney Plus, and I didn’t feel like paying that, so I had to wait until it was available for free on the platform. I’m really glad I watched! The story follows Raya, a warrior princess who sets out to seek the legendary last dragon, hoping to restore the kingdom. I thought this movie was a TON of fun. I loved the main character, Raya. She was tough and stubborn and made mistakes, but she was also a cool and confident princess who wanted to do the best for her kingdom. I also deeply appreciated that they didn’t throw in an unnecessary love interest for her, she had enough going on. The animation in this movie was BEAUTIFUL. I especially loved the designs of the dragons (and that there were dragons in general! I just really love dragons) but in general it was absolutely beautiful to look at. I could see kids being obsessed with this movie, but even as an adult, I really enjoyed watching it.

In The Heights: You know what else I love? A MUSICAL. I’d been looking forward to this movie since it was first announced. I’d never seen this show onstage, sadly, but had heard some of the songs and knew it would be a good time. The movie tells the story of a pre-dominantly latino neighbourhood of Washington Heights in New York City, following a few days around a blackout. Among many others it stars Anthony Ramos, who I knew from his role as John Laurens in Hamilton (which is written by Lin Manuel Miranda, who also wrote In The Heights). Reader, I loved it. I love a movie musical that isn’t afraid to be a musical, that isn’t afraid of spectacle and tricks with camera work and perspective and scene changes and elaborate dance numbers. I loved the music–every single person on the cast is EXCEEDINGLY talented and deserves all the applause, and the energy in the music is so much fun to watch in general. One number brought me to tears. Other numbers had me laughing. If you love musicals, or dance numbers, watch In The Heights.

Luca: We are back to Disney, this time with the latest Disney/Pixar release! For some reason the Pixar releases aren’t being released with the extra price on Disney Plus, which both annoys me on behalf of the creative teams, and pleases me because it means I can watch them the day they are released. Luca is set on the Italian riviera–already a win for me, who comes from an Italian background–and follows a young fish person? humanoid aquatic creature? who longs to explore on the surface. He discovers that he turns into a human when on land, and so befriends Alberto, another sea creature living as a human on land. The two of them run off to the nearby human town, where they meet a young human girl named Giulia, and team up with her to race to try and win a vespa. This movie is adorable and funny and joyous and heartwarming. It just made me feel good inside when I watched it. I loved the setting (there’s some extra comedy if you understand Italian), I thought all of the characters felt well fleshed-out and fully rendered, I enjoyed the message of the story, and the friendships between the characters. Again, the animation was beautiful, in a much different way than Raya and The Last Dragon‘s animation was beautiful. I would definitely watch it again and recommend it.

Crimson Peak: And now for something completely different. This movie was released in 2015, and I’ve meant to watch it for a while. I love the work of the director, Guillermo Del Toro, and I love a period piece. What was deterring me, for years, was that it’s a creepy ghost story. I’m not inherently against ghost stories, but I can get really freaked out sometimes. I ended up having a work-related excuse to watch it, and so powered through while in my bed alone–with my phone to block the view when necessary. The movie follows a young woman named Edith (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring writer and heiress in 1901 who falls in love with an English Baronet, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). When she moves to his dilapidated mansion in England with him and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain, who I did not recognize right away), she soon discovers that the siblings, and the house itself, hold dark secrets. The movie also stars Charlie Hunnam, which I mention because I love him. This movie was very good. That may sound strange to say considering I had to watch through my fingers at certain parts, but I don’t think that ultimately took away from the quality of the movie for me. It’s less of a ghost story, and more of a story where there are ghosts (both literal and figurative). The performances were all excellent, and the costumes and aesthetic were AMAZING. I would never expect less from this director, who puts so much thought and detail into each and every one of his films. Frankly I think the trailer is kind of misleading, and I think it’s less of a horror and more of a classic gothic tale. If those appeal to you, I’d give it a watch.

Theatres open here in a limited capacity on July 16th, and I am bursting at the seams to get into one (wearing a mask and being safe). Hopefully next time I write one of these, I will have seen Black Widow in theatres.

Doing a Quiz, Part 3

I can never resist answering questions in quiz form apparently, so here is Part 3 of my friend Paul’s “Captains Quiz.” Here is a link to Part 2, which has a link to Part 1!

I haven’t won yet, but it’s the journey that’s important isn’t it?

THE 10 QUESTIONS

1. You and a stranger are stuck in an elevator for three hours. After how many minutes would you tell them your name?

Approximately ten minutes after it’s confirmed we are stuck in an elevator together, once we know it’s going to be a while. Might as well know the name of the person you’re stuck with.

2. You’re the first person to enter the movie theatre. Which seat do you choose and why?

In a row a few rows above the middle of the room, in a seat in the dead centre of the row if possible.

3. If you were to navigate a giant maze with one celebrity, who would it be and why do you think you’d work well together?

I’m going to say Jason Momoa because he seems nice and also he is large so if there was an emergency I know he could carry to me to safety.

4. Eggs can be cooked in many different ways. Pick one and build a meal around it. What is included in that meal?

Scrambling eggs and putting them in rice along with mushrooms, peas, baby corn, and some chicken, with teriyaki sauce on top!

5. Select the task you’d be able to complete the fastest and explain why:
A) Blow up (with your mouth) and tie 3 balloons
or
B) Pop 150 balloons with a thumbtack

Absolutely B. I have never, in my life, successfully blown up a balloon.

6. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a talk show hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. Using the same format for the title (Ex. Poodles on Patios Getting Crumbs), what would be the name of your talk show?

Dancers on Decks Getting Deep.

7. Arthur is an animated educational television series for children. What are 5 television shows you watched as a child?

Magic School Bus, Bill Nye The Science Guy, Popular Mechanics for Kids, Incredible Story Studios, Country Mouse and City Mouse.

8. Pillows provide support and help keep our upper body aligned during sleep. What is the strangest place you’ve ever fallen asleep? Tell the story, if there is one.

Honestly the weirdest place is probably just a plane, which isn’t even that weird. I find it really difficult to fall asleep anywhere that isn’t a bed, I often even struggle on couches. I remember flying overnight to England (as a grown adult) with my parents to visit my brother and falling asleep with my head on my dad’s shoulder and my legs on my mom’s lap. They were displeased.

9. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a song by the band, Tears for Fears. If you could be in charge of anything, what would it be?

I was going to say the internet, but that seems like too much responsibility. Maybe just specifically what job I get and when.

10. Your closet is a portal to a new “location” (think: wardrobe to Narnia), where does it lead to? What do you see?

I think it would be fun to visit a magical fairytale fantasy land of some sort, as long as I could get back. I don’t have a specific one in mind (not Narnia, the time differential is too complicated) but maybe with fairies. And dragons from a safe distance.

BONUS QUESTION

1. Please enter the correct 6-digit passcode to successfully escape this quiz.

372273

Guess who’s double vaxxed

My original appointment date for my second vaccine was August 31. I was disappointed in how far away it was, but it was still closer than that of many other people I knew, so it was fine.

Luckily, my area recently allowed people to accelerate second vaccine appointments, and I was able to rebook my appointment for July 1. That’s a full two months earlier! It was the same location as the first vaccine, so I knew what to expect and was all set.

On the afternoon of July 1, I put on a cute top and my favourite pants–because I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to wear nice clothes in the past year–and was driven to the centre to get my second vaccine shot. It was very efficient. I felt like I flew threw the line. My first shot was Pfizer but the second was Moderna, and they asked me at every checkpoint if I was okay with this. I said I was. I had a nice chat with the nurse who did my shot while I got it done, waited the mandatory 15 minutes, got my sticker and receipt, posted some excited pictures to instagram, and headed home fully vaccinated.

My arm was pretty sore already, but I was mostly fine. I had no side effects after the first shot other than a day of a sore arm, so I didn’t anticipate any this time around. I thought I would just have to sleep on my right side for a night and otherwise it would be fine.

This was not the case.

About 2 am, my arm was so sore that I couldn’t sleep. I took some tylenol, brought up a bottle of water, and went back to bed. When I woke up properly several hours later, I had a massive headache and was shivering. It wasn’t a particularly chilly day, and I was under my duvet, but I was shivering. I went downstairs and had some water and some milk, already feeling a bit nauseous. I was still shivering, so I put on warmer clothes, dragged another blanket onto my bed, and then did the obvious: I texted my mom. She told me to check if I had a fever and to take another Tylenol and try and sleep. My temperature was 38.1, which is basically on the cusp of what’s considered a fever, so I decided to indeed take the tylenol.

Two minutes after I swallowed it, I was running to the bathroom where I threw up twice. Never a fun experience. Brushed my teeth, decided I was not going to risk trying to swallow another pill, and proceeded to bury myself under my blankets in the dark and try to nap.

After a while I dragged myself downstairs to continue drinking water and I managed to keep down a piece of bread, although still nauseous. I wrapped myself up in blankets on the couch and decided to watch some TV, needing a change of scenery from my bedroom. I watched one episode of the Netflix show Sweet Tooth, which I’m watching right now. I decided I needed something that required less focus once that was finished, so I watched two episodes of Bones on TV, a series that I’ve already seen in its entirety. For some reason I find watching a show about murder and forensic anthropology very relaxing.

The rest of the day was taken up by finally taking a tylenol, watching some youtube, napping further, and managing to keep down two oatmeal cookies. By the end of the day I still wasn’t feeling great, but it was an improvement compared to that morning. I had more energy, was no longer feverish, and could get to sleep soundly.

I felt much better this morning, although I still had a headache upon waking up. I suspect that was mostly to do with me not having eaten much yesterday (my body: “we need food to run!!” me: “well I gave some to you and you THREW IT OUT”). I had a small lunch and felt fine. I’m not shivering or feverish anymore, and my body feels a lot less sore overall.

Yes, I got the vaccine and felt sick and miserable the day afterwards. But it was ONE DAY of feeling sick and miserable. That’s nothing compared to what I could experience if I got COVID-19, or what a member of my family could experience if I got COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is important, it’s necessary, and it is absolutely worth a day of being sick in bed.

I don’t have any set plans for when the two weeks are up and I am considered fully vaccinated. My hair is ridiculously long right now, so I’ll be scheduling a trim. I’ll be waiting anxiously until movie theatres open here–I cannot express how excited I will be to watch a movie in theatres again. I want to see my friends, I’m already plotting out plans with one of them. I also desperately want to travel, but I’m not sure where and I’m not sure when I will feel 100% comfortable doing so. All I know is this feels like a step forward, and I’m so happy we are finally, slowly, getting there.

Re-reading childhood favourites: Jinx

This is stretching it a bit in terms of “childhood” favourites. But this is my series, so really, I can do what I want.

Jinx by Meg Cabot was released in 2007. I was in high school at the time, and around the same age as the characters are in the book. This makes this book technically a teenage favourite, but I’m counting it. I was very into Meg Cabot’s books at the time. I had them all–the whole Princess Diaries series, Avalon High, Airhead, All-American Girl, all her adult books. I read them all over and over, Jinx included. But it’s been a few years since I’ve gone back to Jinx, so why not do that now.

Jinx: Cabot, Meg: 9780060837662: Books - Amazon.ca

I remembered the basic concept of the book before starting my re-read. Jean or “Jinx” is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in New York City after an incident at her old school. She’s nicknamed “Jinx” because of the massive storm and power outage that occurred at the moment of her birth, and because of the string of clumsiness and accidents that seem to follow her around. I remembered random details–like a gazebo in the back garden of the house where action took place. I also remembered really loving her love interest in this book. I remembered him being chill and likeable and someone who I understood why she liked him and why I was meant to root for them together.

This latter point remains true upon re-read. I do like the love interest! Maybe not as much as I did as a teen–which makes sense, since I’m no longer a teenager and he’s a 16 year old boy–and he’s idealized in some ways, but I still really like him and find his friendship and chemistry with Jean fun to read. I still get why they make sense as a couple, and that’s important to me.

In this book Jean, her cousin Tory, and her friends, all get involved at some point in witchcraft. Tory and Jean’s grandmother had told them both a story about how once of their ancestors was apparently a witch and said that they’d be the ones to inherit powers, thinking it a fun story. But Tory and Jean took it very seriously, unbeknownst to one another at first. I was surprised upon re-read how ambiguous the witchcraft was kept in the novel. I remembered the witchcraft being a lot more blatantly….magical. Whereas upon reading it, it feels like the author leaves it up to the audience whether to believe the witchcraft as they use it is real or not. Both explanations–real or not real–makes sense in the context of the book and even in the context of the characters.

It’s a short book, only about 260 pages, and it’s a fun and breezy read. It’s almost like reading the script for a teen movie. I feel like I would have wanted some of the side characters to be more fleshed out, or to sit in moments a bit longer, but at the same time, I can tell that isn’t what this book is trying to be. It’s a teen movie read.

I can still enjoy things, like this book, that I enjoyed as a teen. I don’t think that because I don’t enjoy it in the exact same way that I did as a teenager, it means I enjoy it less, or that it isn’t serving its purpose as a book. Jinx is cute and fun and a bit of a twist on a typical high school drama novel. Would still buy for any teenager in my life today.

Movies I Watched in 2021 (Part 3)

I meant to read another book and write about it, but didn’t end up having the time to do so because of work. I’ll get to that soon. But for now, here are the four VERY DIFFERENT movies I have watched for the first time since the last time I did this. All the trailers are linked!

Love and Monsters: This movie was released on Netflix and stars Dylan O’Brien as a young guy who has been stuck in a bunker for several years during the apocalypse with a group of other survivors. He decides one day to leave the bunker in search of his former girlfriend, who he hasn’t seen since the day of the apocalypse. I admittedly watched this movie largely for Dylan O’Brien, who I watched religiously in Teen Wolf and have been fond of ever since. But I ended up really enjoying it. I knew it would be fun, but it got a lot of genuine laughs from me, was genuinely heartwarming, and Dylan was very likeable, understandable, and charismatic as the protagonist. I also loved the concept for the apocalypse. Basically, an asteroid headed for Earth is destroyed, and that creates chemical fallout. This causes cold blooded animals to mutate into large monsters, many who are dangerous and kill off much of the population, while the rest hides from them. I’ve devoured a LOT of post-apocalyptic content, and can honestly say I’ve never seen an apocalypse quite like this before. It was really fun and definitely worth a watch.

Promising Young Woman: This is a surprisingly divisive movie. But I was interested in it from the first trailer, and after watching, think it was a brilliant film. But I get why it isn’t what some people wanted or expected. I also get why it can be hard for some people to watch. It’s hard to talk about. I think if you aren’t triggered by discussions of sexual assault, and it’s safe for you to watch, you should give it a try. The performances by the entire cast is amazing (and some of the casting choices are just brilliant….the use of actors who have played iconic “nice guys” is an amazing touch), the cinematography is beautiful, and so much is just a fucking gut punch. Things are morally grey, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

The Mitchells vs the Machines: And now swerving back to Netflix family fare about the apocalypse! This is an animated film about a family who finds themselves the only ones who can prevent the end of humanity when a furious AI takes control of technology. There’s so much to love about this movie. It’s funny, really funny in a way that’s silly and interesting and never punches down. It’s a story about technology and about finding yourself and about the importance of family even when it’s not perfect and also about robots. There are lots of robots! It’s also so interesting stylistically. I know not everyone loves stylized movies but it’s always appealed to me. I think the style and editing of this cartoon is really quirky and fun and suits the storyline and the main character. Absolutely recommend if you want a laugh and also robots.

Bo Burnham: Inside: This is the second project featuring Bo Burnham on this list, since he also stars in Promising Young Woman. This is his latest Netflix special, created by himself during the pandemic, and in a lot of ways, it’s about the pandemic, and about us during the pandemic, and about Bo during the pandemic. I don’t know if “comedy special” is the right descriptor for this film. Yes it’s definitely funny, in weird ways, and in silly ways, and in dark ways. But it also gets dark and meaningful and hard to watch in a way where you don’t want to stop watching. It’s the most creative “comedy special” I have ever seen. It’s poignant and funny and off-kilter and full of songs and it’s just so damn good.

I’m hoping to see a movie in theatres this summer, although I don’t think there’s even a possibility of that here until July. But fingers crossed!

Random recent TV show ramblings

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately–as I suppose happens when you’re in lockdown again, so I thought I would ramble about some of the television series I’ve finished watching recently, just for fun.

Before I do that: I got my first vaccine shot! It went fine, although my arm was very sore for at least a day afterwards. My next appointment is in August, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

On to the television:

Shadow and Bone: Like millions of other people, if the viewing numbers on Netflix are anything to go off of, I recently finished watching the first season of the fantasy YA adaptation Shadow and Bone. Shockingly, while I had heard of the books, I had never actually read them. That may have to change, because I loved the series. It’s set in a historical fantasy kingdom where an orphaned girl learns that she is a Grisha, a person who has a magical ability. And not just any Grisha, she is the Sun Summoner, who is essentially a figure of legend and prophecy, with people hoping she can destroy the fold, a swatch of darkness and shadow that splits the kingdom in half and is very dangerous to cross. This premise may sound typical of YA fantasy (the “chosen one” is a common trope), but it didnt feel derivative or boring to me at all. The characters were really interesting, the worldbuilding was fun if overwhelming at times, and the aesthetic of the show is beautiful. I loved it, and it made me both interested in a second season and interested in reading the books.

The Nevers: The mid season finale of the first season of this HBO show aired, so it’s yet to be even a full season, but I thought I would talk about it anyway. It’s set in Victorian era england a few years after a mysterious event caused people–mostly women–to suddenly develop powers. The series follows two women and their group of the “touched” as they fight those trying to oppress them and/or capture them, and figure out various mysteries along the way. This is another series I’ve been really enjoying. Without spoiling it, I’ve loved how its developed so far, and how it fits into many of my specific interests. I love the Victorian era clothes and I think the cast and the quirkiness is really great. I’m interested to see where it goes next.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: I don’t think I’ve talked about it enough, but I’ve devoured pretty much everything Marvel has put out over the past decade or so, and the Disney Plus shows are no different. I loved WandaVision, so TFATWS had big shoes to fill. WandaVision also had the advantage because I thought it had a more unique premise and did something different, so I was looking forward to it more when it premiered. However, TFATWS was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the action scenes, I loved the character exploration, I loved the overall arc, and I loved a lot of the themes that it chose to present. Like every show on this list, it isnt free of fault or of criticism, but overall I that it was a fantastic watch. I also just really missed Marvel content. I’m sorry, I love a superhero.

The Irregulars: Sadly, this Netflix show has been cancelled after this first season (I think it was a victim to Netflix choosing to promote Shadow and Bone, which premiered only about a month later, instead of it, which sucks), but I really enjoyed it so thought I would talk about it anyway. This was another Victorian-era set show, where a group of ragtag teenagers in London find themselves working for the strange Doctor Watson and his mysterious associate Sherlock Holmes as they investigate a series of supernatural crimes and events in the city. I have watched pretty much every Holmes adaptation there is, and I thought it was cool that this came at it from a different angle and included a supernatural component, so this is another show that fit right into my specific interests. I do think it wrapped up in a way that would make it satisfying to watch just the first season, but there was so much potential there and wish it could get a second season. It was really fun and creepy and enjoyable to watch.

I have, of course, watched a lot more TV this year. But this is what I’ve completed in the last month or so, so will leave it here for now.