Celebrations, Personalness

Mildly Enthusiastic Review: New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year! May it be cheerful, joyful, peaceful and successful, basically chock-full of all the good stuff in life. Let’s talk

er-newyearseveNew Year’s Eve (parties)

Category: Events

Find it on: 31st December

What it is:
The celebration of the fact that another year has passed and the new one is bringing with it very new possibilities, usually accompanied with too much alcohol.

How I found it:
When I was first aware of the tradition of New Year’s Eve parties, I was a kid spending them with my grandparents and my brother and wishing I had an actual party to go to. In hindsight though, the ones with my grandparents were more lively and exciting than most parties I attended in later years.

Summary judgment:
If you follow the tradition, New Year’s Eve sucks. If you don’t, it’s pretty awesome.

Best things about it:
I’m a very conventional person in that I like conventional celebrations. But with New Year’s Eve the pressure is usually too high and you end up disappointed with whatever party you end up at. So quite a few years ago we turned the table completely and started spending each 31st December with our friends A&Z: we dress up, make good food and play games all night long, with a short break for midnight good wishes and champagne that nobody really likes. It’s always fun.

Worst things about it:
Whenever I went to a more conventional New Year’s Eve party I usually ended up displeased with one aspect of it or another. In fact, I can only think of a handful when I had any fun. I blame the high expectations.

Other pluses:
It’s a special day in a calendar. I like those almost without exceptions. While not an official holiday, it still makes you feel the excitement in the air.

Other minuses:
✤ Fireworks should be limited to an hour before and after midnight. Not a month.
✤ And don’t get me started on all the mess people leave on the streets, of which burnt out fireworks are perhaps the least annoying thing.

How it enriched my life:
We barely have time to play regular boardgames now so on New Year’s Eve we get to catch up on some new ones and some old favorites. I also get to wear shiny things which don’t make sense in more casual outfits (and I seem to have surprisingly many shiny things).

Fun fact:
I think currently our record of games played on one evening is five. I might be wrong though.

Follow-up:
Hopefully, next year’s party will be quite as relaxing as all the previous ones.

Recommended for:
Actual parties are recommended for whoever likes them. Our kind of parties only for those self-aware enough to realize that it’s precisely what they need.

Enjoyment:
At best up to  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆  if you go to a regular party.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★  if you choose something more specifically pleasing.

Next time: Bridget Jones’s Diary

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Celebrations, Personalness

Birthday!

Happy birthday to me.

I’m leaving for a short vacation next week but there will be one pre-scheduled post. And then I already have a whole queue of things to review and the vacation is sure to bring some more. So stay tuned and have a great weekend!

Also, since I never get to say it in the reviews, thank you for the likes and follows. Every one means a world to me. X!

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Celebrations

Have Yourselves a Yummy Christmas

redesign-xmas2015Here I am, not gone from blogging for ever but certainly for a while. I’ve got a better explanation than usual: since September I’m a mom and it leaves little time for writing (or even – gasp – reading) and so until I arrange things better I’m doing the bare minimum. At any rate, we baked ginger cookies (see above) and made the Christmas card (likewise) so maybe things are getting back on track. At any rate, have a wonderful Christmas time and I’ll be posting whenever I can.

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Personalness

Accomplishments

Books: I finished Tartt’s The Secret History but it was different to what I expected and I didn’t enjoy it all that much.

Music: Cathy Davey’s The Nameless.

Mood: With a very mixed sense of accomplishment.

As of yesterday I have a PhD, in graphic design of all things. It was a long and tortuous day, to finish the whole long and tortuous process of acquiring the title. At least it’s over now and I hope to have more time for other things, like blogging*, of course (* or watching TV).

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Personalness

The Best of 2014

So, the uneven 2014 is coming to an end, which is as good an occasion as any (or, actually, better) to talk about the things that impressed me in the last twelve months.

Book of the year: The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. Somehow I managed to never have read Campbell before and I can’t say I expected overmuch from this transcript of a TV program that this book is but it really blew my mind, dude. Part philosophical and religious treatise, part loose ramblings about life, it has a strange, strange power to make you question things and maybe see them a little more optimistically (or, at least, bravely), even though it doesn’t seem to try to do that.

TV show of the year: The Americans have returned with another impressive, impressive season and Orphan Black was so much fun again but they will have to share the spot with a baby show Mozart in the Jungle. Now that everyone and your aunt is making scripted TV, Amazon has joined the race and it produces a couple of pilots that it later kills or develops, depending on unclear criteria. Ever since I saw Mozart‘s pilot I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed (and that’s a long time to do that) so they would pick it up and they did, and made a whole season – so yay.

Musician of the year: I discovered Langhorne Slim and Zaz and they both climbed fast up through my listening charts, dominating them completely, but the title – both for statistical and honorary reasons – has to go to Bob Dylan (as it could almost every year, I guess?). This year I’ve (re)listened to all his albums in reverse chronological order, even the 80s, which I had always skipped almost entirely before, and I discovered some gems I didn’t even know (I also discovered some things which prove 80s might not have been music’s best decade, Dylan’s music included).

Board game of the year: This would be Legendary, a cooperative game (always my favorite kind of game) in which you fight as Marvel superheroes (my favorite kind of superheroes, no question) against one threat or another. It’s dynamic, fun and so, so geeky!

Comic of the year: If we’re talking geeky, I guess of all this year’s offerings I enjoyed most All New X-men, continuing the great tradition of Morrison and Whedon and probably some other X-men writers I don’t know. (I might know too much about X-men for the comfort of an average person but I’m far from an expert, you see.) It has young Jean Grey and this is surely a fun idea.

Video game of the year: Marvel Puzzle Quest (this ends Marvel’s domination in this list, I swear). It’s basically a match-three puzzle game, which is a pretty boring kind of game to be honest, but it’s combined with gaining and leveling superheroes (of course) and it’s so unnaturally addictive that I think it might be a part of Marvel’s plan to dominate the world. Hmph.

I’m sure there are a few exciting categories missing (food of the year? pastime of the year? eh, maybe not that exciting) but I actually have plans for the night so have a great 2015 everyone, myself included!

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