hey! for the past few weeks, little else than movies has been on my mind. it was sundance in utah, one of the best times of year imo. and this year was my biggest movie-watching year yet! i saw five films (mistress america, operation artic, shaun the sheep, don verdean, and the wolfpack). all good things.
movie season continues as the academy awards are just two weeks away. which brings me to another year of the best movies / my favorites / movies to see / my top ten movies of 2014:
10. the babadook
number ten was the hardest spot to fill. 2014 was a great year for movies.*** but i think the babadook won me over cause HORROR! i love this genre and, when done right, it's perfect entertainment. the story, which explores the horror of loss, is just SPOT ON. there are few horror movies these days that can tell such a meaningful and approachable story, while still being able to pack a punch in the scare department. really, this is a rare gem.
9. into the woods
i've just recently been hearing that people didn't like this movie. and i don't really understand why. sondheim is weird, i'll give you that. but i feel like it was a welcomed departure from the classic fairy tale. good lessons there! it had a GREAT cast. probably the best musical cast in recent years (russell crowe singing "stars" #neverforget #can'tforget #hauntsmydreams), it stuck to the original story, yet removed the bits that maybe we didn't even WANT to see. the costumes! meryl! what more could you want?!
8. magic in the moonlight
there could never be a year that woody allen isn't featured on this list (save 2012, to rome with love). this movie was sadly, very underrated. i saw it opening weekend, friday night, and my companions and i were the only ones in the theater! sad. emma stone is enchanting as always. woody always knows the way to my heart.
ok who's with me that jake gyllenhaal is one of the great actors of our time?! with prisoners last year and nightcrawler this year, he is really making quite the name for himself. this movie was a slow burner? i don't know if that's the right word. SUBTLE. that's it. subtle, but when it comes down to it, TERRIFYING.
6. the lego movie
my interest was first piqued when i read this article on kottke, "the wikipedia page notes the lego movie video game will be released in conjunction with the movie. which, if you're following along, is a video game based on a movie based on stacking toys & figures containing characters based on other movies that are based on comic books. i can't wait for the lego movie videogame comic book movie that comes out in 2019." HA! it was SO much better than i expected it to be. i can't say it better than edgar wright, "what could have been such a shameless, corporate, brand-heavy, cash-grab of a movie becomes a truly inspired comic adventure about individualism, imagination, and the creative spirit. " YES!
5. edge of tomorrow or i guess live, die, repeat: edge of tomorrow??
i'm not sure and that was the biggest (and only?) problem with this movie. it was marketed completely wrong. the trailer was the WORST and the title, completely forgettable. i even still forget it and it was one of my favorite movies last year. so unexpected, so not-the-normal tom cruise, funny, action oriented, and probably best of all, emily blunt doing that wicked awesome yoga move, which apparently was all her, not a stunt woman. WHATTTT.
oh boyhood. the opus of richard linklator. i'd seen the before sunrise / sunset / midnight trilogy, and was quite excited upon the idea of boyhood. can you imagine filming something over a twelve year period? huh! just that feat is worth number four on the list.
i saw whiplash january 2014 at sundance. it won "best of fest" for the audience favorite. and it darn well deserved it. oh gosh, this film. i was on the edge of my seat the ENTIRE one hundred and seven minutes. from that opening scene of him drumming, to the closing scene of him drumming. and when the end was near, i just remember thinking he was going to drop dead, at any moment. mind you, this movie is about a college jazz band ... yeah. gripping really. and jk simmons. this movie is SO good.
emily and i saw this mostly blind. well at least on my end. i had seen a couple trailers, but didn't really know what it was about. it turned out to be one of my favorite theater experiences in recent history. loved the cinematography, LOVED the music (or lack-of in some parts), and this is one of very few movies in which i enjoy anne hathaway, so that means something.
1. birdman birdman was another movie i went in to knowing nothing about (catching the theme here?), so it too was an unexpected gem for me. i sometimes judge movies on how much i'm thinking about them afterwards. i was thinking and talking about birdman for weeks after i saw it. i loved the story, the acting and actors (emma stone and edward norton had SERIOUS chemistry here and zach galifianakis was the best i've seen him). i loved the commentary on what audiences want. on top of it all, i loved the one-take editing and the music. i liked it all. i liked it a lot.
i hope i wasn't premature in making this list. i still need to see foxcatcher, two days one night, and a most violent year.
find my favorites of 2013 here and favorites of 2012 here.
peace and happiness to you this february. and loves!
***runners-up: the skeleton twins, the theory of everything, and x-men: days of future past. not on my top ten, but always in my heart.
1. watched the following movies: the killers a place beyond the pines annie begin again the one i love gone girl the babadook big eyes into the woods the imitation game princess diaries the trip to italy miss pettigrew lives for a day left behind
2. played the following games:
ticket to ride
karaoke, via comcast on demand
3. ate the following food:
just kidding there is no way i could list everything i ate.
4. attended my second ever basketball game.
5. wore the same clothes for at least half of the time.
6. gel nailed.
8. listened to all of serial and thereby became obsessed with podcasts (here's a goodie on babysitting).
i don't know why didn't think of doing a list like this earlier in my listing career, but it came to me last night: A TOP TEN SONGS OF 2014 LIST!
1. a tie between two alt-j songs. every other freckle and hunger of the pine.
**parental advisory warning: there's a bare bum in this video, and some other stufffff.**
it was just too hard to choose. my first experience with alt-j was listening to taro back in 2013. once their new album dropped they had me hooked. the cherry on top of this love affair was seeing them live in november. hands down one of the best concerts i've ever been to. so ethereal, "in a way that seems too perfect for this world".
should i feel bad that a cover is in my top 10? i don't. lauren mayberry has the cutest, softest, most fragile, weightless voice. the perfect touch for arctic monkeys' tune. i probably listened to this song like, over a hundred times this year. find it on soundcloud.
4. st. vincent, digital witness.
i can't help but bounce and sing along to this tune. i was really into st. vincent this year. mostly though, i just have hair envy.
5. phantogram, fall in love.
i've always been a fan of phantogram and their album this year really set in stone my fandom. well, actually, what set it in stone was her hair flips at in the venue in march.
6. disclosure, latch AND flume, you & me.
**parental advisory warning: there's lots of kissing here, and sometimes between same-sex couples**
i don't really know how to properly site this song. it's a disclosure song, with eliza doolittle, that flume remixed. i've talked about flume before. wanna get pumped? have a dance off? look no further than flume. i love that aussie.
numbers eight and nine on the list are throw backs and they definitely hold their own against all this new stuff. there's a reason they are classics. in my tenth grade health class, i did a "report" in which i created a mixed-tape of songs about mental illness and/or drug use. white rabbit was on the tape. so i've been keen on this tune since then, but i re-discovered it when an arabic version was featured in american hustle. i feel myself transported back to the 60s, headbanging at woodstock during the last few lines of the song.
9. the beatles, tomorrow never knows.
it's no secret that i've been a mad men fiend this year. and although i consider myself extremely well-versed in the beatles discography, i hadn't heard this song until it was played on "lady lazarus" in the fifth season of mad men. it's a gem, as all beatles songs are.
10. snoop lion, here comes the king.
i just couldn't resist adding this. have i let myself go? putting a snoop LION song on my TOPS list? whatever. i thought snoop's latest album was a good turn of events for the rapper. really, it's a fun song to sing to, and werk it out to. is it the worst thing that i identify as a rastafarian on occasion?
listen to the full set on spotify (with some exceptions).
ralph waldo emerson really knew what life was about. the more i read from him, the more i love him. and love this card from the indigo bunting for paperless post. both great things you should know about.
first, a short list of things i'm grateful for this thanksgiving, and always:
1. jesus christ, his gospel, and his atonement.
2. my job and the events that led me here.
3. my dad and the way he loves me.
4. my mom and her charity.
5. my paige and her hilarity.
second, a songthat i'm grateful i can listen to now that it's thanksgiving. i'm grateful for sufjan. i'm soso grateful for him.
third, an article from the ny times titled "the united states of thanksgiving" where they catalog thanksgiving recipes that "evoke each of the 50 states".
first off, i'm sorry. i know i've been absent for the last ... 2 MONTHS! i do, however, have a fairly valid excuse. i got a new job! no more bore! just FUN! because of all the fun i'm having, i have less time to blog.
the NEW JOB i speak of is still with the lds church, and still on the temporal/physical facilities side. i now work in real estate, dealing with transactions on church property. this new gig includes my obtaining a real estate license. so many terms, so little a brain.
to catch you up on yours truly, i thought it most efficient to tell you what i'm
- post-it notes
- the uni-ball signo dx, .28 point.
- mcdonald's diet coke. i've always loved this but just recently i re-recognized that it's the best of the best because the mcdonald's on my way to work just reopened after a remodel.
- top knots and not washing my hair.
- in the same vein (the hair vein), the wet brush, moroccan oil, and coconut oil.
- baked potatoes from great steak for lunch.
- brooklyn 99 (new season, just as funny).
- ankle boots.
i'll be spending this weekend at the temple with my family. we are hitting the newly remodeled ogden temple, and brigham city. temples are great, but i'm most looking forward to eating at my favorite thing that has ever come out of ogden: SONORA GRILL.
guys! i finally did my triathlon! the goal first crossed my mind while watching my 80 year old grandpa compete in the st. george senior games. it was so inspiring to watch him, in his frail state, swim, bike, and then finally cross the finish line running. AT 80!!!
... that was in 2007.
HA! so yes, this has been on my to-do list for 7 years. and on labour day, i finally finished. 350 yards swimming, 12.5 miles biking, and a 5k. woo!
we're all so happy to be posing in our swim-wear.
here i am, waiting to start. i was mainly thinking, will everyone laugh at me if i plug my nose when i jump in?
then at the end of the bike and run. if you think i look extraordinarily happy it's cause I WAS! i felt so happy and accomplished. you know sometimes, in special moments, when you feel like you're really living life to the fullest, getting the most out of what heavenly father has given you? this was one of those moments. i'm so grateful for my healthy body, and for my recent desires to be active. for this time of my life where i've had the chance to cultivate new hobbies and talents. i'm grateful to have the opportunity to compete in these kinds of races and to live in a place that offers them, that i was born into a family of adventures/lovers of life, for good weather, for swimming pools, my blue bike, for music that pumps me up. i'm grateful for it all and i know to whom i should offer my thanks.
i did the race with a bunch of extended family, and my dad and sister. it was a blessing training and racing with them. my family has always been my biggest cheerleaders. part of my joy upon finishing was brought by seeing my dad and sister finish.
and here's the whole tri crowd. from left to right, my uncle, me, cousin kenzie (whose influence helped me to sign up, train, and actually DO the race, thanks kenz), sister paige, dad (or roy orbison?) cousin davis, and cousin maddy.
some other things i've been checking off:
- conquering a headstand
- getting a NEW JOB!!! (more information forthcoming)
1. read the new testament.
2. take an art class.
3. do more things by myself.
4. go to a barre class.
5. yoga once/week.
6. visit versailles.
7. eat gelato in italy.
8. meet moses.
9. cross at least one hike off my hiking list.
10. do time magazine's 20-minute rule.
11. discover the best candy to popcorn combination.
12. learn how to golf and/or play tennis.
13. go camping 3 times.
14. get a passport.
15. do something i don't want to do.
16. brunch more.
17. cook all the things on this list, and cook them well.
18. find the best burger utah has to offer.
19. throw a party.
20. watch all the oscar best picture winners.
21. make chocolate croissants.
22. swim in a natural body of water.
23. go to three movies in one day.
24. stay at a dude ranch, do dude ranch things.
25. take a trip via train.
26. solve a mystery.
27. find a good luck charm.
instagram is my social media outlet of choice. i often find myself as a missionary for the church of instagram; will you follow the example of (insert person they admire) and get an instagram account?
anyway, i feel like a subject matter expert when it comes to this mobile photo-sharing service. because of that, i give you who to follow on instagram (sparked by my discovery of the @arthistorysnap account):
brought to you courtesy of amelia, gray (great name right?) is known for his aerial beach shots. but really everything he puts out is a DREAM. i imagine i'll find myself escaping through his images this winter.
dis guy! he's my favorite, a genius in my book. his feed is filled with ordinary objects transformed into quirky, clever, and often humorous art. one of my favorites: funeral for a week-old egg roll with the styrofoam box styled like a coffin, and the egg roll as the deceased. check him out on vine as well.
jen's feed is a winner for several reasons: 1) she's a photographer so everything she posts is pretty, 2) i think she may have the very best #throwbackthursdays the app has to offer, all with the greatest of captions, 3) lastly, and i think most importantly, she's a cat-lover and every so often she rescues kittens, which then leads to all posts revolving around wittle baby kitties.
i feel like i kind of relate with solange knowles. my sister runs the world (who run the world?PAIGE!), can get down, and has millions of admirers; while i just sing little ditties, wear cool shaped sunglasses, and take pictures in front of colored walls. i don't know.
i found katie through bri at designlovefest. her illustrations were so amusing that i decided to follow her on instagram. she has not disappointed. she has that real minimal, colorful, kate-spade-esque style i love, lives in brooklyn, and grams her french bulldog. what can i say? i love her!
first and foremost, tim introduced me to flume, which i will forever grateful for. other than that i go to tim for shots round the world, but what really gets me are photos of his family (see this sweet shot).
16 miles, 11,749 feet, second highest summit in the wasatch range, 10 hours. i did it! i finally did it! i hiked mount timpanogos!
this item has been on my to-do list for years. i first wanted to do it when i heard about hiking up to the top and sliding a glacier down to the bottom. sounds like a blast but actually it's really dangerous. instead we chose the fail-safe hike-on-foot method and came out (nearly) unscathed.
i say nearly because really i WAS SCATHED. i thought my knee caps would burst while hiking 5 hours down the mountain. then my feet! ouch. the day after, the calf, quad, hip, groin, and shin pain set in. i'm recovering, but my hot yoga class will be wholly welcomed this evening.
ok but guys, the scenery! oh man, i didn't even know! just the view from aspen grove is breath-taking. we did the aspen grove trail and went through pines, aspens, rock fields, and snow; passed a few waterfalls, fields of wild flowers, un-touched streams and lakes, then to beautiful emerald lake. we saw pheasants, mountain goats, and moose. it was all SO beautiful.
next time around i'd like to hike to emerald lake, camp, wake up the next morning and hike to the summit then back down. sounds like the dream backpacking trip to me!
all in all, SO glad i did it. big shout out to my hiking companions steven and tiffany. you guys are the best.
we started hiking when the sun was just coming up. this is the first waterfall you come to.
you see vast landscapes on the hike. there are areas that the snow never melts. and it's just so green!
i loved this little area that looks almost untouched by mankind.
emerald lake was one of my favorite parts. it's about 5 miles up, surrounded by fields of wild flowers and has some of the bluest water i've seen.
this is looking down on emerald lake from the top. you can see how blue it is from here. to the right you can see the glacier slide that you can ride down from the top.
on the way back we took a good rest on the banks of the lake. so serene.
steven taking in the view from the top.
it was SUPER crowded the day we went. i'd say anywhere from 100 to 150 people were hiking it with us. while doing some research after the hike i learned that prior to 1970, provo held an annual event called the "timp hike" that sent thousands of people up the mountain's slopes. it generally took place on the third or fourth weekend in july (we did it saturday the 26th, the fourth weekend). i take that to mean we chose the best, most historic weekend to hike.
the three of us at the top. look at that view!
and here's the finished product, us at the end of the hike. all i wanted to do at this point was take off my shoes and sleep for two days (which is pretty much what i did).