Metarambling

Mildly Enthusiastic Reviews of Things: Anniversary

It’s been a year of writing my Mildly Enthusiastic Reviews and I must say they have really revived my interest in blogging, which I had thought dead. Maybe I just like filling in questionnaires but this form allows me to look anew both at blogging in general and at writing about things I come across. And, most of all, it works as a kind of diary of the mostly fun things I enjoy in my spare time.

Speaking of things I enjoy, if you didn’t know before how much of a friendless nerd I am, here’s something that should make the picture clear: I love making infographics. I could blame it on my work but no, I loved drawing fun graphs before I ever thought of being a designer. I think it’s either a rare or a secret hobby: I’ve basically only know of me with my yearly book summaries and that other guy from high school who did graphs of how much money he spent but, guys, that’s just weird, right?

So, here’s a short, hand-drawn (why not) summary of the last year of reviewing.

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So far I’ve written 82 reviews even though I originally planned to only post once a week. But the list of unpublished reviews was growing too fast. Now, however, I’m back to the once-a-week schedule (mostly because of my not-quite-fully-myself condition).

er-merot-infographics3I’m not as huge a movie buff as this would suggest (quite the opposite) but movies just take the shortest to get to know in full. Also, just to make things clear, I don’t review everything I read. Just saying.

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I tend to write about things I like, mostly because not being a student and not getting money for any of this I am not forced to finish stuff that bothers me.

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I truly expected “vampire” to make it to the list and “Victorian” to end up higher but sometimes those things surprise you. That’s why infographics are so much fun.

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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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