Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back at 2014

I was travelling through Christmas, so I didn't have as much time to write or reflect on the year as I wanted to, but I still wanted to make my year end post...these are my favorite posts!

2014 was the year of being a sports fan for me. I liked some books and some TV shows, but I loved following the Cardinals and figure skating (while admittedly also being frustrated a lot of the time!)

Being a Cardinals fan was sort of frustrating all throughout the season and then suddenly totally heartbreaking. So much so that I had to take a break from baseball at the end of the season...I stopped reading my daily baseball news and I haven't tuned into the MLB network at all since the season ended. The team was good on paper but suffered a series of injuries (Molina, Wacha, Garcia, etc) Wainwright was great but will never be Clayton Kershaw. Mike Matheny made questionable decisions. The offense never seemed to really take off the way it felt like it should. But somehow they still mustered enough post-season magic for an amazing series against the Dodgers. It all fell apart against the Giants--in a series of games that felt like they could have been won. And then the death of Oscar Taveras, the young bright prospect was completely shattering. I'm looking forward to a new season in 2015, but it has taken some time. In any case, baseball remains the best sport ever. :)

Figure skating is's a judged sport and also a slightly corrupt sport. This makes it fun and frustrating and heartbreaking. I just got back from holidays and was catching up on the news and saw that my favorite Russian lady--last year's World's Silver Medalist--was 9th at Russian Nationals. Sort of want to throw in the towel on the sesason,lol. But this is sports--it's a totally masochistic hobby and figure skating in particular is because of injury, mental fortitude the skaters must have, and judges favoritism, etc. Plus it is an artistic sport and an individual sport (even pairs and dance--my favorites--are not like team sports) so you really give your heart to your favorites. On a lighter note, here's a fun gifset I made of all the falls in ice dance this season thus far.

Speaking of giffing, that's something I learned how to do this year, this is my most popular gifset. It was also one of the easiest to make, lol. Just goes to show--you never know!

I didn't watch very many movies in 2014 to be honest. But there were a few I watched on DVD I wish I had had more time to write about.

At Middleton--a surprisingly charming movie about a day in the life and what if, etc. I really loved this? It stars two of my faves--Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia and is just sweet, funny, and surprisingly. I made one gifset of the film here and still have hopes of another on my endless list of things I'd like to make, lol.

Oculus and The Purge II were the two horror movies I liked this year. I guess if I'm being really honest, part of why I liked Oculus is Karen Gillian but it's not because I'm a Doctor Who fan this was actually the first thing I saw her in! But I thought the movie was interesting and smart in some ways while being predictable and cliched in others. I loved the way she tried to face her biggest fear and respect the thing, but also defeat it. And I thought it had some interesting commentary on the greatest thing we have to fear is the monster inside ourselves. I had a lot of more thoughts but too much distance from watching the movie I guess! And The Purge II was just a way more fascinating exploration of the very interesting premise in the first film!

I liked both The Fault in our Stars and Divergent, too! Can't wait until I can watch The Maze Runner and assess if this was just a really good year for YA adaptations, because I think my favorite movie of the year was If I Stay. I just loved it. It's been a few years since I've read the book which is part of the formula for success in liking book adaptations. I just...everything felt so right. The casting was A+++ give the casting director an award tbh. I believed this family and these people, and this young love story and I got totally swept up in it and I cried a lot, and I just...yes. Loved it.


This was kind of a meh year for TV for me, a lot of it having to do with being swept up in the REAL LIFE SPORTS DRAMAZ. :) No but all my old standbys remained...The Walking Dead gave me really good Michonne, Rick, and Richonne in the back half of last season, but this season thus far not so much. Still my favorite, though. I've enjoyed everything, Bates Motel, The Fosters, etc. all the shows I loved before. The new show that really took my heart was Chasing Life.

It's funny because I didn't love the show at first, but then I fell hard. No other show has such amazing heart in my opinion. Completely charming characters who are all in different ways facing this terrible thing. The different ways in which they deal with it and their relationships is the heart of this show. I just really love it. Plus I love how you have so many different kinds of relationships portrayed. You know that's my sweet spot.

My other favorite was Happy Valley. This show is six episodes long and on Netflix and you can sit down and watch it all at once but it's very emotional and bleak. Still, you will want to because it's completely addictive. Just...really fabulous, the cream of the crop of bleak British crime dramas in my opinion.

I also watched and enjoyed The Strain, Bitten, and Z Nation which--is a zombie show with a very low budget and mediocre acting at best, but it has its moments. I like it more than I thought I would.

On a side note, I'm really looking forward to Friends coming to Netflix!


Lowest reading year in ages!!! But still some gems:

The Fever by Megan Abbott was fantastic. Blew through it in one sitting and immediately stockpiled her backlist. I loved how she captured the intensity and complexity of girl friendship.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell--laaaate to the party of course, but another one sitting fantastic read! Hopefully, I'll have a chance to write a proper review!

Life Drawing by Robin Black was stunningly beautiful! Just fantastic.

The Second Mark by Joy Goodwin is one of the best sports books I've ever's just so good and so interesting and captures all of the reasons figure skating is fabulous...I wish more people would read it!

Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman was another excellent, fascinating read.

I have GOALS for 2015 but I hope to write more about those tomorrow! It's been a year, y'all! A good year in many ways, a disappointing year in many ways, a year. :)

And then shock of all shocks, after being in the mountains of Georgia and Tennessee for a good deal of my Christmas holiday, where we grilled out on Christmas Eve, I came home to Southern California and snow! We just DON'T get snow like this you guys. So many trees have died :( but it's still quite pretty to look at. My car:

Tell me your favorites! Book, sports moment, movie, tv show, song...I'd love to hear it all!


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