183 – The First Half of 2014

Ahh July 2nd – the day that cuts the year perfectly in twain (except for leap years. Ugh. Leap years are so pretentious). People talk a lot about how quickly time moves as you get older. Most of you have probably been guilty of such a fallacy, but I don’t blame you. We are all susceptible to the idea that discrete units of time, such as minutes or hours, begin to feel relatively shorter as the total amount of time we personally experience gets longer. My endeavor to write something every day has helped keep the actual length of 365 days (or 183 days at this point) in perspective. Looking back on them, these last 183 days feel like 183 days, and I don’t think you can ask for more than that from the abstract concept that we call “time.”

And that’s what I’m going to do today: look back. You may call that a cop-out for the day’s review (and you would be right), but I don’t really care. It’s hard to do this every day. Hopefully this blog has functioned as something like a journal for the last several months, and I can look back on it fondly, or not so fondly.

We kicked off the year in January, as the human race has done almost annually for as long as I can remember. January seems to be my most experimental month. I was trying out all kinds of things, probably because I didn’t really know what to write about yet. There are reviews of movies of course (only 5), TV shows (11!), a couple of plays, a couple of awards shows, a few restaurants, and some odds and ends that aren’t worth bringing up again. I was very adventurous in January, doing things I really never would have done otherwise, like watching something called SVENNESS or listening to a Daft Punk album after deciding years ago that I was no longer a fan. I even published the post that still holds the record for most views on my blog. Peaked early.

Then we abruptly move to our shortest month (and presumably the only month that actually cares about stupid leap years) – February. Already we begin to see the shift toward more widespread coverage of film with nine movie-related reviews. We also get our first post about a vague concept – always indicative of a last-minute realization that I haven’t written anything yet that day. One cool thing that I’m noticing is that even if I didn’t write about a specific life event, the reviews that I did write evoke the memories of those events, such as the inevitable letting go of a close roommate or a memorable date.

February ends and March begins with the same event: the 2014 CARS+ conference! which was my first attempt at multi-day coverage of an event (but which will not be my last). After a hefty drop-off in page views in February, things return to normal – just as our calendar returns to normal-length months. March saw even more film reviews (uhh… 20), but that is partly because March is the month during which I began my foray into classic cinema, as guided by Roger Ebert and his essays about The Great Movies. Prominent memories that the March reviews call to mind include the arrival of a new roommate and the beginning of one of the best theater experiences I have had in my many, long years.

April. What is there to say? April was a tough month to crack. I was deep in the rehearsal process for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, so time was at a premium. There are more comic reviews than ever before (and more than there probably ever will be ever again) because those suckers are 22 pages long and mostly pictures. It don’t get easier than that, my friends. Amidst all of the hectic goings-on I still managed to see four extremely good movies, including my favorite of the year so far. I’m secure enough to admit that I may have phoned in a lot of my reviews in April; how can you argue with a declaration like that when you see posts called “challenging yourself” and “taxes.” Hey, at least I was stretching myself creatively, if not culturally.

And finally we get to May, which is probably what I was thinking in real time as well, since I was just itching to get to opening night of The Bee. But before I knew it, the bee was over, and it was time to say goodbye. Between those two extremes however I seemingly almost had a mental and physical breakdown. Luckily I got through May realtively unscathed, and I really only remember the good things now.

In the end there was June. There was always going to be June. There are really no other options when you’re talking about the first half of the year, unless you’re talking about the “school year,” in which case June is really the end-end, but really why would you measure your life in school-years? That sounds so sad. I work at a school and I don’t even do that. Anyway, I can’t believe I’m about to nostalgize a month that ended two days ago. It feels gross, like when VH1 did I Love the New Millennium in 2008 because they couldn’t think of any other content to put on television (don’t worry, they finally covered the rest of the decade when they aired I Love the 2000’s last month – damn, I should have reviewed that!). The big set-piece that dominated June was the Los Angeles Film Festival, and I don’t want to bore you all with those weird theme-pieces again (though if you’re interested…). June also saw a review that is similar to this one, but we won’t dwell too much about that. Besides, it’s July now. At this point June 2014 is so two thousand and late.

That’s the last six months in a nutshell. Kind of a “greatest hits,” if you will. (God knows I will). If this walk through my online memory palace has taught me anything it is that I ought to bring a little more diversity back to the blog. Trying new things was kind of the point of doing this whole thing, and while watching a movie I have never seen before is certainly a new experience, it probably doesn’t need to dominate most of the month. Maybe the real reason the last 183 days have felt like 183 days is because I’ve spent a combined 16+ of those days (401.7 hours, to be exact) watching movies. (That’s real data). I mean, when I put it that way, I’m pretty proud of all the non-movie stuff I’ve managed to get done. I’m having a pretty good year so far. Go me.

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