Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Year-End Round Up for 2019!

top 9 insta photos of 2019
My top 9 of 2019 are kinda creepy.

Happy New Year's! According to the Gregorian calendar, it's that time of year wherein we take stock of the past 12 months (or ten years? Let's not go back that far) and look ahead to the next 12. Welcome to the Year-End Round Up!

To be honest, I'm approaching 2020 with mixed emotions. As you may recall, at the end of 2019 I started a new job at a university that was very boring. I'd committed to giving it a year, however, and now that I'm at the 13 month mark I have more to do, but I'm still not super engaged with it.

Don't get me wrong, it's an okay job. I don't dread going into work and I like the people I work with, but it's definitely not something I want to be doing for an extended period of time.

To that end I applied for another job within the university that feels like a huge jump up. It's a supervisory position in another department. Is that something that I'm 100% confident I will be able to pull off? I'll be honest, no. But I was 100% confident I could do my current job, and now I'm bored, so perhaps a challenge is what I really need. Also, I've suffered from imposter syndrome for a long time, not realizing until recently that that was what was going on, and honestly I'm done with it.

Either way, I'm stressing out about the interview and the prospect of getting the job and the prospect of not getting the job all simultaneously, so I've basically been like this all break:

freaking out gif

My seasonal depression has also been really bad this year, which is probably another reason why I'm finding it difficult to put myself in the holiday frame of mind. It doesn't seem like I do a lot of what I used to enjoy anymore, like taking photographs, traveling, writing, visiting blogs, finding new cocktails to try, going through Insta, or reading.

Year in Reading

And speaking of, let's get off the personal track and move on to my year in books in 2019! This year I read just 31 books, compared to last year's number of 51. Not great! Here are some stand-outs:

the melting clock
Favorite Mystery: The Melting Clock by Stuart M Kaminsky

Wartime PI Toby Peters is hired by Salvador Dalí to find three missing paintings by the artist. This book is so much fun! I loved the surreal elements and Dalí was hilarious. If you're into Old Hollywood, the Toby Peters series is totally up your alley.

the earl i ruined
Favorite Romance: The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham

Technically my favorite romance of the year was a reread of The Chocolate Touch, but for new-to-me books, this was a highly enjoyable historical romp with a smart, vivacious heroine and a tortured hero. You know I loves me some tortured heroes. His Dark Secret was completely crazy pants, but for some reason that didn't bother me too much.

fluent forever
Favorite Non-Fiction Read: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

If you've ever wanted to, or tried to, learn a language, this book is for you! There is a ton of interesting information about learning and memory, and Wyner has an excellent set of tools to help people learn and remember language. I used his method this past semester for my Italian class, and I think it really helped. I started having dreams in Italian the second week! Plus I love what a word nerd Wyner is.

Year in Movies

I watched 43 movies this year (not counting Hallmark movies... haha), and I have some Definite Opinions about them.

once upon a time in hollywood
Favorite Movie: Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood

This should come as no surprise! I was walking on air for days after seeing this movie; I loved it. I want to live in it. I've listened to the soundtrack so many times I have the commercials memorized.

knives out
Favorite Movie, Runner Up: Knives Out

This twisty mystery is so much fun and you can just tell everyone on the film is having a blast. Will definitely be rewatching this one!

bisbee 17
Favorite Documentary: Bisbee '17

A surreal and super-relevant film about the Bisbee Deportation of 1917, this film proves that the more things change the more they still the same. I still want to go to Bisbee because of this movie.

always be my maybe
Favorite Cameo, possibly of all time: Always Be My Maybe

This romcom was already awesome, and then Keanu Reeves showed up and made it one of greatest things I've ever laid eyes on.

2019 by the Numbers

  • 31 books total
  • 74% of those books were by women
  • 41% were romance
  • 50% were audiobooks
  • Only 4 were authors of color :(

So clearly for 2020 I need to read more books, read more AOC, be more confident, and travel more so I can take more photos to share with y'all on Insta!

What were some of your favorite reads of the past year? Any New Year resolutions you want to share?

Discus this post with me on Twitter, FaceBook, Google+ or in the comments below.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Favorite Not-Holiday Movies 2019

bad times at the el royale fire scene

Hello everyone, and welcome to the third post of the year! Wow, it has been legit radio silent around here. Luckily I'm currently on winter break, so I have time to revive a Christmas tradition here at TBFB: Favorite not-holiday movies! In case you need a reminder, favorite not-holiday movies are movies I think of as "Christmas movies," even though they have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. You can find all of the previous not-holiday movies here. And if you can actually get Disqus to work, feel free to share your favorite holiday movies in the comments!

Without further ado, here are the movies that are giving me the holiday feels this year:

she loves me
She Loves Me, starring Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi

This is actually a musical rather than a movie, but the 2016 Broadway revival was recorded and aired on Great Performances. I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH. If you've ever seen You've Got Mail, it's basically the same plot (and based on the same play, Perfumerie) but set in a 1930s Budapest department store. It's so much fun and romantic, but also real with some heartbreaking moments, and the performances and spot-on. The look on Zachary Levi's face when he realizes his pen pal is his work nemesis is priceless. Plus, if I'm not mistaken it takes place during the holidays.

a very murray christmas
A Very Murray Christmas, starring Bill Murray

Okay, so sometimes a Christmas movie sneaks into my not-holiday movie list. This Christmas special goes a long way toward justifying Netflix's existence. It's delightful and heartwarming and Bill Murray is a national treasure. Also the scene with Chris Rock is HILARIOUS.

knives out
Knives Out, starring Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's just not Christmas without Daniel Craig. This movie is sure to be one of my favorites of the year. If you love Clue, you MUST see it. It's a little too long for its own good, but it's so much fun to watch and it's the type of movie that's so chock full of detail, visual puns, and in-jokes, you could watch it 20 times and still notice something new. So it's perfect for annual re-watching!

bad times at the el royale
Bad Times at the El Royale, starring Cynthia Erivo and Jeff Bridges

Groovy and atmospheric, this movie turned me into a die hard Cynthia Erivo fan. Her voice is AMAZING. I love how twisty turny this movie is and how no one is what they seem. Plus, there's a nice cozy fire at the end to put you in the holiday spirit!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!


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