In regards to New Year resolutions

I made a New Year resolution in 2013.  I failed to fulfill it.  The bar was set pretty low, too.

Going into 2014, I will not absolve or swear off making any resolutions, quite contrary, I think I’m going to repeat my 2013 resolution and try again; but with the bar set even lower.  The lowest it can possibly go.

If I fail to fulfil my resolution in 2014, then I am clearly not working, and changes will have to be made.

The obligatory reflecting on the year post

Favorite musical discovery: Postmodern Jukebox

I know that we as people like to encapsulate chunks of time into nice round denominations, like years, but I have to say that with each passing year, I feel like time just seems to fly by, and it’s harder to encapsulate everything as easily as it once may have seemed.  However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not really going to try.

Perhaps the difficulty is in the fact that at least in my case, 2013 was a pretty ordinary year.  By no means does that automatically imply that 2013 was a bad year by any stretch of the imagination, it just wasn’t one that particularly stands out in my opinion.  Otherwise, I think I’d be in the situation of where I couldn’t wait to reflect on the year as a whole, so it would be a convenient excuse for me to get to relive and revisit thing(s) that were exceptionally good.

It’s a good and a bad thing that I’m such a dedicated and consistent brogger when it comes to being able to look back in time.  It’s particularly good when I’m capable of finding anything that was particularly good that happened in a year’s time, because I’m a fairly open person, and I’m definitely sure to write about anything that’s made me happy or put me in a good mood.  Contrarily, it works both ways, because I’m just as apt to write about the things that upset me or make me unhappy, to varying degrees of clarity and vagueness.

But back to the point of looking back at the year as a whole, and it wasn’t particularly bad, and it wasn’t particularly great.  For anything that was good, there was something not so good, and vice versa.  I’ll be frank, my parents’ impending divorce is difficult for me, as I’ve stated before, I don’t think there’s ever an age where this isn’t bothersome in some capacity.  Looking back at some of my posts and photo entries throughout the year, and it turns out that I’ve done a good deal of cool things, but all it really took was one bad phone call to throw a wet blanket around my mood and state of being for a good bit of time.  I know it seems silly to put so much weight on my parents’ issues, but it’s safe to say that it’s possibly one of the worst things to happen to me and my family in quite a long time.

Let’s not dwell on the negative however, because when the day is over, I still want my brog to be a place of a somewhat positive nature, even if I post occasional bullshit from time to time.

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Best American Horror Story season yet?

All throughout the year, my DVR box accumulates shows I want to ultimately watch, but don’t really often do.  Part of it has to do with the fact that there aren’t really that many opportunities in which both Jen and myself are free at the same time to where we can watch an episode here and there, but then there’s also a lot of time that I spend playing LoL that I really could be using to catch on television shows.  But for all intents and purposes, it’s safe to say that I’m pretty much always behind when it comes to television programming.

So over the holidays, I was able to catch up with all nine-aired episodes of the third season of American Horror Story, the Coven arc.  I have been thus far pleased with it, and I can easily say that visually, it is my favorite season yet.  The filmography is stimulating, and the creative use of filters and fisheye perspectives really help accentuate the bright and sterile-looking settings that the show takes place in, contrasting to the dark and sinister atmosphere of the show’s actual story.

Upon further thinking about it, I would venture as far as to say that I think Coven has been the best season out of the three, outright.  The first season was an amusing and entertaining revolving door of interesting characters, but it more or less turned into this repetitive bloodbath of ironic killings that really didn’t go anywhere.  Asylum was good as well, but it honestly got a little too Shyamalan-ish in terms of the story, and it was a bit quick to pull the trigger on particular characters, while putting excessive emphasis on others, in my opinion.

But I think with Coven, the show’s managed to keep a happy compromise between the macabre standard that has been set and expected of the program’s nature, as well as kept a smaller, tighter cast of characters, instead of constantly introducing a flavor of the week.  Amidst it all, there’s a mystery plot that has yet to be revealed, even with supposedly three episodes left in the season after the winter hiatus – who is the next supreme??

The mystery aspect is an excellent addition in my opinion, and a good component that truly makes each preceding episode indispensable.  I’ve got my suspects to whom it could be, and there are clues sprinkled about to help the viewers at least make educated deductions on whom it might not be, but regardless of whom it turns out to be, I’m finding that it’s an entertaining chase to the finish, and I look forward to when the hiatus passes, and the rest of the season plays out.

It also goes without saying that I love the casting of this season, too.  I enjoy how the series recycles a lot of its original cast members and recreates them into varying roles, as well the impeccably good addition of new cast members; Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are both striking characters that I can’t believe a lot of the shit they say in the show comes from their mouths.  I’m also now sort of smitten with Emma Roberts, as her role as the spoiled, bitchy, man-eating starlet witch is a stark contrast of when she portrayed Nancy Drew a while ago.

But when the day is over, the story revolves around Jessica Lange, the uncrowned queen of American Horror.  She is still the best, most entertaining, venomous tongued, center of attention character in Coven, much less the other seasons, and as long as she’s on screen, there’s zero chance of me walking away, lest I miss what vitriol spews from her forked tongue next.  I may lust after the Emma Roberts and Alexandra Breckenridges, but if the show ceases to have Jessica Lange, there’s really no point in watching at all.

Where will the chain-hating madness end??

I was reading this article about how the Red Lobster brand is being considered to be sold off of or restructured into a bastardized spin-off of its former shell by parent company Darden, and I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy over the notion that Red Lobster in one way shape or form, is dying.  One, I love lobsters, two, Red Lobster’s periodic endless shrimp offer is among the best things in the world, and three, it should be nothing new for my six readers that I’m a nostalgic kind of person who sure, understands the necessity of change, but at the same time isn’t always the most readily accepting of it.

But the point of me writing this post is questioning the modern defiant trend of people who try their hardest to avoid eating at chain restaurants, like a Red Lobster, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday or Olive Garden.  Even the article alludes to this notion:

It seems that consumers are turning their noses up at hoity-toity sit-down places like Red Lobster and Olive Garden these days in favor of cheaper chains like Chipotle.

I can’t say that I agree completely, because comparing Chipotles to sit-down establishments is like comparing motorcycles to automobiles; both are means of transportation, but they’re both also vastly different classes of doing such.  If I were the one writing the article, I’d probably replace “in favor of cheaper chains like Chipotle” with “in favor of trendy local independent gastro/micro-pubs,” because I think that’s a more accurate assessment to what I witness on a regular basis in the city I live in and the cities I’ve been to.

Most everyone I know is kind of like this now.  I’m kind of like this now in the sense that I’ve mentally got my list of preferred places to dine out at, and few of them are actually chain joints, but the difference is that I won’t scoff my nose up in the air if one of them is suggested, and it sounds like a good idea at the time.  Red Lobster’s endless shrimp often times sounds like a better idea than dealing with a 60-minute wait at the pub with good beer and fish & chips but a quarter of the seating and metered parking any day of the week.

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Merry Christmas!

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about the occasion, so I’ll let the picture do most of the talking for me.

It was nice to sleep in for two weekdays, and naturally they have felt way too short, but I can say that it was a pleasant and relaxing Christmas for me.  I have probably eaten too much over the last few days, and will probably eat more than I should in the coming week or two, but that’s kind of what the holidays are all about, in some capacity.

And it was nice to finally catch up with a lot of the shows accumulating on the ol’ DVR, like American Horror Story: Coven and the fourth season of The Walking Dead.