1. good riddance
It’s the last month of the year, thank god. 2020 has felt very slow and very fast all at once, but as the saying goes – the only way out is through. So I’m glad we’re at least through. In December I zoomed through the last bit of fall quarter (ha ha ha pun unintended but much appreciated) and stumbled into winter break. This month has felt like this year in a microcosm for me. A lot of work to try and distract from absolute tragedy and chaos, a lot of breakdowns, a lot of being grateful that I’m somehow still kicking, a lot of mess and trying to find pockets of OK-ness and laughter within. I had some wins this month – I did yoga for 17 out of 31 days this month, which is the most regular I’ve been in a bit. I started reading a book for fun over winter break, and that’s a nice thing to do. I decided I want to move out on my own sooner rather than later, and it feels good seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t an incoming train.
2. 2 things that distracted me well + 1 thing that did not
Fullmetal Alchemist: My brother and my boyfriend are very into anime, and I agreed to watch this one even though I didn’t think too highly of the genre. (I think I just thought it wasn’t for me, but there likely is some internalized racism in there vis-a-vis Asian artforms.) I very much enjoyed it to an unexpected degree, both the 2003 series and the 2009 Brotherhood one. The story is almost equal parts sad and funny and stupid and dark and warm – it’s about a world where alchemy is the highest form of science, and it’s used to transform things. The greatest taboo is using alchemy on humans, like to try and bring back the dead, so our protagonists try to do that and hijinks ensue. There’s political intrigue, military conspiracies, so much tragic PTSD backstory, and some good old commentary on ~the human condition~ and all our sins. It’s the kind of show where I was sad when it ended, and the kind of show I couldn’t stop thinking about between watching episodes – so I made us start the 2009 series as soon as we finished the 2003 one. I had to be cajoled into starting it, and clearly I have no idea how to describe it well without spoilers, but if I had to talk to my past self about this all I can really say is trust me on this one. It gets better and better. You’re gonna have a crush on, like, 80% of the characters.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Can Matthew McConaughey please go back to doing romantic comedies? This is a perfect bad rom-com. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner are just so good at rom-coms. Emma Stone is in it! The plot makes no sense, but in the good way where you go “sure, that’s happening now!” and not “what’s happening now?” There’s tragic backstory, inner neuroses and turmoil and insecurity, and the supporting characters get a happy ending as well. It’s from 2009, so there are definitely some parts where you’re like hm, that aged poorly, but not as much as you might think. All in all, a great ride. Charles Dickens is weeping in his grave with joy that his work was adapted into this gem.
Love Wedding Repeat: So, clearly I like bad romantic comedies. That’s not the problem here. This movie is a bad bad rom com, not a good bad rom com. They made Sam Claflin look less attractive? All of the supporting characters are nightmares at worse and a bit annoying at best? His sister wants him to roofie someone?? His sister wants him to roofie someone??? That last one is the crux of the entire plot – our protagonist’s sister wants him to roofie someone, but haha kids mess up the table settings, the wrong person is drugged, hijinks ensue. Except it’s not funny because he drugs random people???? Of all the plot points the writers came up with, they settled on this?
3. good reads
- It Took Divorce to Make My Marriage Equal by Lyz Lenz for Glamour
- Why Do Such Elderly People Run America? by Derek Thompson for The Atlantic
- “Happiest Season” Shows Queers Joy Is Sometimes Elusive By Rachel Charlene Lewis for Bitch Media
- Controversial Supreme Court decisions change public opinion — in part because the media mostly report on them uncritically by Katerina Linos and Kimberly Twist for The Washington Post
- ‘It might work too well’: the dark art of political advertising online by Julia Carrie Wong for The Guardian
- Which Anonymous Sources Are Worth Paying Attention To? by Perry Bacon Jr. for FiveThirtyEight
- A deep dive into the news media’s role in the rise of Donald J. Trump by John Sides for The Washington Post
- Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Natasha Singer, Michael Keller, and Aaron Krolik for the New York Times
- Our System Is So Broken, Almost No Patented Discoveries Ever Get Used by Jay Walker for Wired
- The U.S. Patent System Is Broken, Says The Inventor Of The Hoverboard by Wade Shepard for Forbes
- Bloomberg Businessweek 2020 Jealousy List
4. no need to track my internet history, i offer it up for free right here
Organization and stationery are all very exciting for me, so this was a fun watch. This is her spreadsheet for tracking your wardrobe, and I’m thinking I’d like to try it out for myself too.
This video incensed me. People are so rude! My gosh! I learned my lesson and stopped watching the videos where they decide who gets $1000.
Sohla is so funny and I enjoy watching her so much, oh my god.
5. choice camera roll excerpts
OK, bye December!! I won’t miss you, but thank you for pushing us through.