100 Movies Bucket List

I mentioned how my 100 Books Bucket List poster is part of a trio decorating my office, including a similar scratch-off bucket list poster for movies. The methodology for choosing movies for this poster is as haphazard as with the books one, but there’s a smaller-enough canon of films—both those artistically revered and those that expressed their particular zeitgeist—that there’s a much closer overlap between the poster’s list of titles and the films I’ve actually seen.*

Since I started out way ahead in my movies tally, as compared to books and albums, I haven’t been paying all that much attention to this particular “bucket list.” Still, every month or two, I try to check the next new-to-me title out of the library in order to continue building my film knowledge. So, assuming that those titles will now-and-again bleed into me posting film reviews here on JALC, it seems worth capturing the list for posterity.

(I will admit in passing that this also works as a sneaky way for me to come up with another post during this stretch of time where I don’t seem to have much else worth writing about.)

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100 Books Bucket List

Somewhere in that series of posts setting the context for my 2019 reading challenges, I mentioned an extra twist I was using to “level up” the complexity of my reading plans: a crosswalk with my “Bucket List Poster” to see if I could check off a few of those boxes along the way.

The poster is actually one of a set of three posters I purchased last spring: one for books, one for movies, one for music albums. I’m not entirely sure about the methodology of choosing what made the list—okay, I don’t have any idea what the methodology was. Some mix of legit Anglo-American classics, with some other titles tossed in to represent different genres (e.g., non-fiction, fantasy epic, kids lit, murder mystery), international perspectives, and titles that represent their zeitgeist.

My guess is that the company making these posters is British, both because of some of the inclusions (Dodie Smith? Kenneth Grahame?) and, more importantly, because of the absolute erasure of African-American and post-colonial titles. All of which is to say I wouldn’t want this to be the only source of new titles for me to choose and read,  but I’m happy enough to include it as a piece of a broader landscape.

Besides, having these hanging above my desk at home is a decor choice that is just so me, and I can’t deny the fun of scratching off a new title once I’ve read/viewed/listened to it.

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

I do what I can to fill out my reading categories using books I already have, whether they’re on Kindle or physically on the bookshelves. But there’s always a few categories that don’t readily lend themselves to that approach. PopSugar’s call-out to ghost stories this year is definitely one of those outlier categories, so I did what I usually do to make a selection: crawl the challenge discussion boards on Goodreads to get some ideas.

Between the good reviews (both on the boards and in the press), the National Book Award, and the resonance with my ongoing desire to keep reading more books by African-American authors, this seemed a book well worth the choosing.

And indeed it was.

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Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

It is taking some real self-discipline to post a book review tonight. I skipped last night ‘cos I was binge-watching the end of Season 5 from Game of Thrones, and I’d be quite happy to cuddle in with my iPad to watch another few eps tonight.

But I need to get back on schedule for the reading challenge, so I’m limiting screen time today in order to read and report out on what’s been read.*

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Radical Candor by Kim Scott

This is another “bonus book” that I decided to swap into a category. When I was planning my lists, I chose Freakonomics for a PopSugar category about “inserting a phrase into the common lexicon,* a choice that will also allow me to scratch off one of the squares on my “Bucket List” poster. And, because Freakonomics was written by an economist, I slid it into the “business book” category—even though I knew I was reaching with that. After all, for all I know, Freakonomics is going to be less of a business book and more from a behavioral economics perspective.**

In the meantime, a coworker of mine recommended this book, so I put it on my “hold” list in Libby. A copy was released to me a couple weeks ago, so I set aside my other challenge titles to read this. (Yet another reason why I’m a bit behind schedule for February’s challenge categories.)

Turns out I needn’t have thrown of my schedule this way to accommodate the library timeline, because I liked this book enough to purchase it for my home library.

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Civic Ignorance or Civic Engagement?

I have things I should be doing tonight. Lots of things.

A staff presentation to finish for tomorrow, laundry to fold, T-shirts to deconstruct*. Pay a couple more bills, balance my checkbook, start looking at frames on Warby Parker to get those long-anticipated bifocals. And, of course, a post here on JALC—especially since I skipped last night.**

Instead, I’m sitting here at the computer, fidgeting and clicking around FB and other tabs on Chrome. One or two small things are productive actions (I did need to renew those library books today, for instance), but the vast majority of it is avoidance and procrastination. Cos underneath all the surface swirl is one internal question: “Do I watch tonight or not?

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Reflecting on Rent

 

(Contextual note: late night of conference sessions and networking. Will this post get finished and published before midnight? Enjoy the mystery and suspense. Tick-tock, tick-tick.)

I mentioned that one of the reasons I didn’t post Sunday night is that I got sucked into the telecast of Rent (intended to be) Live.

Those of you who follow news of the Broadway and musical theater variety probably know a lot of what happened, sir I won’t do too much of a detailed recap: actor Brennin Hunt, who was playing Roger, broke his foot about 3/4 of the way through Saturday’s dress rehearsal. The seriousness of the injury mandated that he legitimately could not “play through the pain” as has happened in other live musical telecasts. Instead, Fox went to their contingency plan. Instead of showing a live performance in the Sunday night time slot, they aired footage of Saturday’s rehearsal, which was taped precisely for this “in case of emergency” circumstance.

Vox is unflinching and unforgiving in its criticism of that choice and the suggestion of alternate courses of action the production might have taken instead, including an especially, finally letting go of the dependence on star power and name recognition to actually have understudies hired and prepared as part of the cast. And I can’t bring myself to argue with much (or any?) of Vox’s suggestions here. And yet…

I really kind of liked the show.

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