And here we are; a year gone by just. like. that.
In 2016, I kept a private journal and endeavored to recount every single day of the year. Some days were five uninspired bullet points, others were paragraphs and passages of thoughts, reflections, memories, and introspection. Every entry ended with the Good Thing(s) of the Day—something during those 24 hours that made me happy—so I would remember that goodness comes in many forms.
This year I took a step back. Keeping a daily journal was exhausting though extremely helpful for learning more about myself. I might do it again someday, but I don’t think 2018 will be the year to bring it back. Regardless, I needed some sort of consistent record of my life in 2017. That’s where bullet journaling and the Monthly Favorites came in, the former being an amazing productivity/organizational tool and the latter a chill, fun way to share and remember the cool things I like. (I swear I’ll write about bullet journaling at some point in the future.)
Now that I’m at month 12, I feel like I should really make that master list of favorites I mentioned before. Maybe I’ll make a post of 2017 favorites and continue with yearly lists to keep things organized. That sounds fun.
And since these monthly posts have sort of turned into life updates, here are the things that have happened since my November post!
- Died during finals week because I was juggling a ton of work study shifts, my internship, job interviews in Burbank and West LA, projects, studying, and exams
- Graduated from USC (a semester early if you were curious about timing)
- Accepted a job offer from an amazing marketing agency in LA #employed
- Watched a ton of movies and TV
- Got some moola for Christmas
- Failed at making avocado brownies
- Played a crap ton of board games
Alright, enough of that. Here are the favorites. XD
music (˳˘ ɜ˘)˳ ♬♪♫
Ivan // Von Sell ~ It’s been stuck in my head, and I’ve been playing it on repeat. The beat is just so weird and groovy and the artist’s voice is strangely compelling. I always find myself nodding my head, tapping my foot, and grooving out to the song, so I hope you do too. It’s available on Spotify and on Wave of Good Noise’s YouTube channel, but here is a live performance from Sofar Sounds in New York City.
World Gone Mad // Bastille ~ Dan Smith has the voice of an angel.
My 2017 Wrapped // Spotify ~ I was really disappointed last year when Spotify didn’t do Your Year in Music like it had in 2015, so I’m glad they brought back a similar recap in 2017. My top genre surprised me a little since indie usually dominates my list, but the rest were expected. Gorillaz and The Shins forever, man.
movies ˚✧₊⁎( ˘ω˘ )⁎⁺˳✧༚
I watched a lot of movies this month!
Lady Bird ~ Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh this film was amazing! I can’t properly put into words how much I loved it because so much of the movie resonated with me that literally everything was perfect. It was just so real, so authentic. Saoirse Ronan was magical. Prior to seeing the film, a few female friends said that they identified strongly with Lady Bird; many of the scenes from the movie happened in their lives. “I am Lady Bird,” is what they thought while watching the film. All I could think before finally seeing it was, “I want to be Lady Bird too,” and though many aspects of the film did not directly relate to my own experiences as a young woman, I felt a kinship and empathy for the main character and her mother. The scene by the kitchen sink killed me. Killed me. P.S. Timothée Chalamet’s character Kyle cracked me up so much. So much cynicism, so much angst.
Call Me By Your Name ~ Excluding Lady Bird, this was the film I wanted to see most. Those hazy Italian summers, dreamy glances, and earnest smiles from the trailer were just so damn captivating. Something about that panning shot of Elio riding his bike through the fields with Oliver cruising behind with no hands as “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens plays in the background, man. It’s just so beautiful. And the movie was so beautiful! My friend asked me to describe the film in one word after we walked out of the theater. I said “sad.” He said “painful.” How fitting.
The Shape of Water ~ Beautifully shot, beautifully directed, and beautifully written. Guillermo del Toro did an amazing job of combining suspense and tenderness, romance and science fiction, political commentary and comedy in this captivating tale of love. That the film’s merry band of heroes are a mute cleaning lady, her black co-worker/friend, her gay next-door neighbor, a Jewish scientist, and a fish-human creature from the Amazon is an inspiration and beautiful representation of the “others.” Elisa, the main character, doesn’t connect with the fish-man simply out of curiosity, she identifies with him. Because she is mute, people see her as “incomplete” and less human, something they have in common. Their romance ends up being believable, inevitable, and absolutely gorgeous because of it.
Atonement ~ I read the book in senior year of high school but didn’t end up appreciating it until many years later when I thought back on how beautifully it was written and how devastating the realities of a single mistake can be. The movie was just as wonderful. Again, Saoirse Ronan was splendid, this time as precocious young Briony. The cinematography was gorgeous, and the sound design was impeccable. The recurring typewriter motif was genius.
Columbus ~ Another gorgeously shot film with the added beauty of Columbus, Ohio’s magnificent architecture. Though slower and more muted than the other movies I mentioned, it was nevertheless emotional, evocative, and wonderful. A friend said that the architecture was its own character in the film, and I couldn’t agree more.
The Good Place ~ One of the best forking shows I’ve ever watched. Mike Shur does it again with another funny, smart, and wholesome comedy that critiques life’s ugliness while still managing to crack a smile on our faces. Every tongue-in-cheek joke hits a home run, each character is beautifully flawed and hilarious, and the plot – oh the plot – takes many a twist and turn. I can’t wait until Season 2 returns!
Stranger Things~ I finally understand why this is in the zeitgeist. I’m just dying to start Season 2 and finally witness Mom!Steve.
books ୧[ ˵ ͡ᵔ ͜ʟ ͡ᵔ ˵ ]୨
Stardust ~ Magical, adorable, and charming. Neil Gaiman is truly a wizard of words.
Crazy Rich Asians ~ Since this wasn’t the type of book I’d normally enjoy, I didn’t have high expectations. To be honest, I was only intrigued because of the upcoming movie. However, I thought it was a fun, engaging read despite the disappointingly simple prose and overwhelming cast of characters. I’m not sure if I’ll continue since romantic dramas aren’t up my wheelhouse, but we’ll see. Rachel, the main character, felt underdeveloped since the book was very plot-driven, and as a reader more interested in character and thematic development, I felt the novel was lacking. It did read like a movie though, so I’m still excited for the film next year.
Barista Society // LA ~ During my commutes to Nickelodeon, I’ll sometimes stop by the coffee shop in Union Square station to grab a deliciously nutty soy latte. Oftentimes, I’ll chat about books with the barista. I’m going to miss these little morning rituals.
Alfred Coffee // West Hollywood ~ Sometimes things are a little too aesthetic, but the coffee was good so I’ll let it slide.
Coffee For 2 // Huntington Beach ~ Lots of seating at booth tables, counters lining the walls, squishy couches, and small tables on the patio mean plenty of options for chilling with a good cup of coffee or studying. They’ve got decent wifi, a good selection of outlets, and a range of specialty drinks including various combinations of lavender or matcha.
Common Room Roasters // Newport Beach ~ The open space provides a lot of seating options and a refreshing airiness that contrasts with the dark, sleek metal that makes up the furnishings and decor. Bicycles adorn one of the walls and groovy indie music, including a lot my personal favorites, play overhead. I loved the flat white I ordered and would come here all the time if it wasn’t so far from my house. It seemed like an ideal place to study or work too!
other ໒( ﹒ ͜ر ﹒ )७
New in Town and The Comeback Kid // John Mulaney ~ He’s probably my favorite comedian, and once you watch his stand-up you’ll understand why. Just look at these gifs! You can watch both shows on Netflix.
Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai // Costa Mesa ~ Delicious and just the right amount of spicy.
Google Pop Up // West Hollywood ~ Lily and I went for the Stranger Things set but ended up having a lot of fun playing with the light-up button wall and checking out the Google products. I have never wanted a Pixel 2 more. Ugh, marketing ploys.