It’s a new year and stuff…

So…2014 is here. It kind of snuck up on me. I knew it was coming, it’s just that the back half of 2013 just somehow flew by. And now suddenly January is halfway gone, and I have no idea how that even happened. It’s been somewhat disorienting.

Anyway, I headed north to spend a bit (seriously, it was like 24 hours) of time with my family at my brother’s place in the northeast. And then I spent a bit (seriously, it was like 30 hours) of time with some friends, one of whom lives in the area and the other of whom drove up from the state he lives in to participate in a whirlwind tour of being generally awesome.* It was really nice to see my family…we’re all spread out most of the year, so the fact that we were in the same place at the same time twice last year (in two different countries, no less) is pretty impressive. And, of course, it was good to see my friends. Because my friends are awesome.

So let’s just do a quick review of some of the things I’ve learned since my last post.

1. At the age of 34, Mendelssohn founded the Conservatory of Music** in Leipzig. Nothing makes me feel like more of a failure as a completely average human being than reading things like that. I can barely function, and Mendelssohn was founding an effing conservatory.

2. You would be forgiven for thinking that In Bruges would be Colin Farrell’s highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes. You’d be wrong, but you’d be forgiven. You’d also be forgiven thinking it’s all a baffling mistake because In Bruges is dark and hilarious and better than Seven Psychopaths (which, like In Bruges, is dark, hilarious, and written by Martin McDonough), which scored a point higher.

3. Somewhere around late October/early November, I was doing some late-night tinkering on my Netflix profile because it had been giving me terrible suggestions for what to watch. So I rated a bunch of movies to give it a better idea that what I want from its algorithm is to give me shades of dark ranging from dusk to middle of damn night, with an appropriate spritzing of things like The Princess Bride and Clueless.*** I rated ‘Gangs of New York’ and then it asked me “How often do you watch cool moustache movies?” I’m not even joking. I took a screengrab of it because…apparently cool moustaches is a film genre now?? Anyway, I bring this up because this article about the number of microgenres in Netflix’s repertoire is an excellent look into how to sell something in the digital age.

4. I became reacquainted with my stupidly good sense of direction when The Swede and I went looking for some information. And when my language memory failed me, my geographical memory did not.**** I was quite pleased with myself how little time it took.

5. Speaking of Sweden, somehow I never knew that the Swedish Empire was an actual thing that actually existed. Despite the fact that I knew the Swedes had steamrolled the Czechs in the mid-17th century.

6. Rugby football dates to the 1830s (which surprised both me and my chef friend, but actually makes perfect sense if you consider England before that point), when the Rugby School developed its own set of rules to a ball game apart from the elsewise observed Cambridge Rules that became association football (soccer). American football dates to the late 1860s.

So…fingers crossed I don’t lose track of the next two weeks and write up a proper post in the next couple days. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me, so I’ll try to get it up by Friday evening.

*Serio, we were very obviously having way more fun than everyone else in the room everywhere we went.

**Now called the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre.

***It doesn’t really make sense, but there are not words for how much I love Clueless.

****This is, incidentally, a skill that used to impress my best friend to no end and really impressed my friends when we were in Budapest. If only it were marketable.

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