Reflecting On 2013 (Pop Culturally)

At the end of last year I made myself a list of pop culture and shallow goals to strive for in 2013, this is that list as well as my commentary on how I did.

Listen to more jazz – I had just started getting into the genre with albums by Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Charles Mingus and I definitely grew more interested in it throughout the year. I can easily rattle off names such as John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, etc… and I can even recognize songs that the hired jazz band is playing at events. This was definitely a success and one that expanded my knowledge and taste.

Listen to more of these albums: – One of the definitive lists of the best music ever, Best Ever Albums is a great place to start to discover the classics and I definitely did, but also got distracted by all the year’s new music. I got around to listening to Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, “Blonde on Blonde”, and more Radiohead.

Finish The Wire and Battlestar Galactica – Two shows that I had started in 2012, but hadn’t finished. Well this remains true of today. Though, I am over halfway done with season 4 of The Wire, 2014 will definitely see my completion of it! As for Battlestar… I, uh, got the board game; that’s got to count for something right?

Start watching Mad Men – Definitely started this, definitely. In fact I have almost finished season 2! I do love the show though. From the very opening scene I fell in love with it. I just don’t know how all you people have time to binge-watch things. To me, binge-watching is watching 5 episodes in a week! My goal now is to catch up to the show by the time it finishes which I believe is set to be summer 2015.

Write more serious stuff – Check out the tag Serious Stuff, there was definitely an increase in my writing productivity this year. Points for me.

Write more non-serious stuff – Had a couple of pieces where I tried to be funny: here and here, as well as some list-like material.

Watch as many as these films as possible: – I saw The Seventh Seal, The Three Colors Trilogy, Magnolia, Wild Strawberries, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Spirited Away thanks almost entirely to the DVD section of my school’s library which I am pretty sure %1 of the student body takes advantage of.

Read more novels – Well…

Read MORE – I read a lot of school books!

Read a new John Steinbeck novel – See above two.

Eat more bread and cheese – Nailed it, gouda, brie, romana, you were all mine!

Try new vegetables – Not sure actually.

Learn about new ethnic cuisines – Working with refugees this summer was fantastic for this. Tried various Persian and Pakistani foods, ohhh yeah. For a foodie who studies culture this was amazing.

Go to at least one play – I’m a terrible connoisseur of the arts.

Go to at least one art show – See above.

Listen to more comedy – Didn’t do this in the form of albums or anything, but got into more comedy podcasts as well as some stand-up specials. Even went to a stand-up open mic night at a local coffee shop.

Appreciate other art forms more (such as photography, paintings, architecture, sculptures, etc…) – I definitely appreciated these types, in my heart. Actually I find paintings and photography to be more moving than I ever have before, so I think I’m on the right track. I tend to be drawn toward storytelling forms of art, but I think my scape is being widened.

Go hiking more – Ohhh boy.

Spend more time outside – Still working on this. Maybe 2014 will see a giant breakthrough. I did go birdwatching once. And they were beautiful.

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