I hope everyone’s holidays were happy and that we’re all off to another great year. In the busiest of my life thus far, it wasn’t how fast it went by that got me this time, rather just trying to remember it all. But there were no keg-stands in Grad School, as I like to say. My year at SU was a very quiet and internal one… which is probably the least appropriate way to describe my four years at RIT. On my calendar, 2011 began last September when I woke up in a Rochester hospital on a Sunday morning after a late night with some of the ol’ undergrad buddies. Now don’t get me wrong, waking up in a hospital after a night like that and realizing you’re not paralyzed… you start to think “Hey, that must have been a pretty good time!” Then my Mom walked in, having clearly spent the last 10 hours worrying for my life… that hangover sank in awfully fast.
But I’m sure you’ve all heard some variation of that story already. The one hilariously ironic thing that came out of it all, at least in my mind, was that I could never get out to see Jackass 3D because I was still recovering in a wheelchair. I heard it was the best one, too. Bummer. Shortly after recovering from the eight broken bones, I herniated a disk in my back (L4/L5) and had dealt with a constantly worsening case of sciatica in my right leg. All because of that fall. Having a fight scene in the movie didn’t help.
The movie. Oh bother. Coincidentally, the afternoon preceding my above incident was the same day we officially began The Essentials. Almost 16 months later… almost finished. And as soon I’d returned home for the holidays, I had back surgery ready and waiting. Four weeks out, my laminectomy / microdiscectomy seems to have gone off without a hitch, I’m jogging again, and am about to kick it up another notch… just in time for a new year. So in reflection of the glory that was 2011:
Lesson of the Year – Don’t Procrastinate
I realize this blogpost is a few days late already, but if I’d put it off any longer, I likely wouldn’t have done it at all. As Samwise Gamgee’s old gaffer used to say, “It’s the job that’s never started as takes the longest to finish”. May this be a lesson for all of you as well… there’s never a wrong time to quote The Lord of the Rings.
Personal Discovery – V8 Fusion Acai Mixed Berry Juice
I cannot even begin to express how perfect this drink is. I swore by 2% Milk for 20+ years as the go-to drink in any time or circumstance, but no longer. This stuff is better than water. Besides the divine taste, it also has one full serving of fruits AND vegetables in a single 8oz glass. Believe me when I say you won’t stop there, either. As an added bonus, it’s just as good when mixed into a vanilla whey protein shake. You have no excuse not to drink this on a daily basis.
Favorite Movie of the Year – The Adventures of Tintin IMAX3D
While my only sensible answer should be The Essentials, we don’t have the poster made yet, and it would kill me if I couldn’t have put a nice little graphic alongside here so that everything in the article is nice and uniform. But after thinking about this for a solid few days, I really couldn’t make a decision. Haven’t seen a lot this year. My two favorites I’d finally seen this year were Pan’s Labyrinth and Amilie, but those have both been out a while. I was about to publish this article and simply leave it undecided, but there was one movie left that I absolutely could not wait any longer to see (especially with an IMAX about 10 minutes away from me). If ‘Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean in 3D’ sounds too good to even be possible… which it is… and should be… this is such. Tintin definitely fills our quota of one incredible IMAX3D release per year. I realize how cliche it would be to say “This is the kind of thing we go to the movies for”, but then again, that’s not the best way to say it. This is the kind of thing we go to the IMAX for. Bring on the sequel!
Favorite Game of the Year – Uncharted 3
Apparently Mass Effect 2 was released in 2010 on Xbox-360. But I have a good taste in games, so I naturally bought a PS3. Since then, the Microsoft blinders have been on pretty tight. And as much as the ME2-PS3 port IS the best game released in 2011, I suppose I must be timely, and must therefore pick a truly new title. Granted, there are a few big ones that are still waiting patiently for me back home (namely Skyrim and Skyward Sword), but the one I’d really hoped to play came just in time and has totally lived up to the hype, exceeding it’s predecessors in every respect. Uncharted 3 may be more of an experience than a game, but as that’s the direction the industry in generally going in, this isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact… it’s pretty impressive. Mass Effect 3 has a tall order to beat.
Favorite Album of the Year – The Division Bell
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I haven’t heard much new music this year either. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to some of you though, so I won’t even attempt to pretend to know what I’m talking about here; instead I felt compared to share with you my discovery of Pink Floyd’s last album. For those looking for something new, or perhaps different is apropos, these guys never released music in the conventional sense. With a new Toby Keith CD you get a dozen new country songs, Linkin Park some new rock, etc… but not here. New tracks serve more as checkpoints in the greater journey. This album is probably the most mainstream of them all, and appropriately so, but never to a fault. Listen to this one…. trust me, they’re even better than Creed 😉
Favorite Show of the Year – Modern Family
What an ensemble! South Park has Cartman, It’s Always Sunny has Charlie, HIMYM has Barney… but I can’t put my finger on the stand-out here. Can you? The Office has a pretty solid cast that’s hung onto it over the years, but the great thing about Modern Family has been their ability to grow… literally and creatively. With the first two seasons as great as they were, the Big Third Season has a tendency to make-or-break sitcoms in this position. The ten episodes that kicked this one off though have probably ensured us to see Lily through at least Middle School. Tosh.0 would have probably taken this in a heartbeat, but if they don’t select me as their new host at the end of the month I’ll never be able to watch the show again (audition tape coming soon to internets near you).
That’s all I can think of now. I’m actually procrastinating with this instead of doing some more important work. So a quick list of things I’m looking forward to in 2012:
- The Essentials premiering
- Moving to Los Angeles
- Mass Effect 3
- Student loan repayments
- The Hobbit
- December 22nd…
Scholars maintain it’s actually more like 2015 (the sixth century monk Dionysius Exiguus credited with the development of Anno Domini missed a few years), so all that 12/21/12 nonsense should have happened already. Take your time with those bucket lists.
Last, but certainly not least… it’s not too late to MAKE A RESOLUTION! You can go ahead and break it in a month if necessary, but at least you took a shot at making yourself better. Mine, finally, is to learn how to dance! Watch out, wedding season… I just had back surgery and I’ll be on the prowl.