I’ve been writing in a journal for over 15 years now. They’re brief entries, with little to no thoughts or feelings ascribed to them. I jot down the day’s events in bullet points and assign a number from 1 to 5 depending on how fulfilling the day was. There are the rare days I avoid rating altogether because they were especially heinous. These journals have been surprisingly useful in the past, helping me pinpoint specific dates. They’re tomes of concrete, viable information rather than simply being bound collections of nostalgia, and have become some of my most valued possessions.
There’s still space for two more years in my current journal, but I’ve decided to start a brand new one for 2019. It’s a symbolic gesture of the “new beginnings” variety, the kind that I’m usually highly averse to because of the completely arbitrary notion that life somehow changes on January 1st.
It’s just far too difficult to continue picking up this book that holds so many painful memories. A “fresh start” may or may not come in 2019, but pulling out the clean slate cliche may be good for my mental health. These past two years have been unbelievably awful in unique ways.
2017 was the year that broke me, but 2018 was the year that I burnt out.
One day several years ago I reviewed the Urban Eatery in the Toronto Eaton Centre. I walked there myself, and learned all about it. Now there is another eating area in the city, are you ready for it. It is at Union Station. After many years it has opened. It used to be a pit. Now it is opened to the public. I went down there by myself and I reviewed the food outlets there are in there. Here is my culinary review:
A difficult year filled with loss, injury, false hope and wasted time have caused my gratitude levels to surge approximately 5000% for the ever-decreasing amount of good things in my life. Trust me- there are few people who are more thankful for their family, job, and safety than I am this Thanksgiving.
I’ve had a spate of overnight shifts lately, and there’s little to do in the darkest hours of the morning other than think. A lot of this thinking has revolved around how I’ve gotten to the point I am in my life, for better and for worse. I’ve been examining my choices and decisions, as well as the external factors that have shaped me into who I am today. External factors like the media I’ve consumed over the course of my many years, in all its different forms.
It’s challenging to parse through the many avenues that pop culture has been delivered to me, and even more challenging trying to figure out what I enjoyed on a base level and what affected me to the core. Which narratives are indelibly embedded into my consciousness, and which ones were just good for two hours of fun? Which music actually mattered in the long run?
Typically when I write about and criticize media I approach it in the most objective way I can. Here it’s the exact opposite, literally. I didn’t consider these pieces of media in terms of how good they were, but simply how they fit into the larger context of my life and how important they were to me. If you’re looking for long thinkpieces about the cultural significance of the following, I’m sure the internet has many. I’m not trying to convince you that any of these are good. Here you will only find short stories of why these things are ensconced within my being. These are five pieces of media that I’m very grateful for.
Disclaimer: The following is a candid piece on a personal loss, written while in the midst of emotional turmoil. While I’ve tried to keep a level head, it is decidedly a very sad piece and veers hard into some tough subjects.
All the pundits be punding about Solo, the latest film in the Star Wars franchise, and they’re being willfully obtuse regarding its underwhelming performance at the box office. “How could this be!?”, they exclaim, speculating about all the different reasons it ONLY got $100 MILLION DOLLARS on the weekend.