Possibly the thing I hate most about my (or the following, I think I’m just inbetween where that paradigm shifted) generation. This behaviour regularly makes me not want to make plans (or for that matter, interact) with people at all. I love having Internet access anywhere I go, but today’s constant availability and the ever-increasing immediateness of communication does not always have a positive effect on (close) relations, I’m afraid.
So the mother has finally been met. I think the finale could have been much worse and I’m not nearly as mad about it as the rest of the internet seems to be right now, but that probably is because I gave up and emotionally separated myself from that show years ago. Now this abomination is over at last, and I can happily remember the first three and a half seasons of HIMYM as the great TV show it once was. It is beyond me how people could still enjoy it during the past few years. The first thing that comes to my mind about how soon it jumped the shark is when at the end of season four, Ted actually hired an assisstant to work in the apartment. That’s not funny, it’s fucking dense and made Ted nothing but a sad caricature of himself. The same kind of unoriginal humor for drunks and other dimwits that plagued The Simpsons’ later seasons.
Having fallen in love with the people and the show too much too quickly, I never managed to stop watching despite how much worse it still got after that. But I didn’t expect anything anymore from the finale after this insult of a season — seriously, we get a whole bunch of episodes of Marshall road-tripping with an ultimately meaningless and annoyingly loud stereotype because Jason Segel was busy filming a movie despite having a contractual commitment to the season? Who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to produce a complete season with nothing but filler episodes after having already stretched the show for a few seasons too long and then try to give a concluding and meaningful ending to that mess within roughly 20 minutes?
So in my book Friends remains unchallenged as the most consistently good sitcom. Compared to the (not entirely bad, unexpected or non-fitting but too rushed and forced) ending of HIMYM their last episode was a masterpiece. Without a doubt Scrubs (S08, the spin-off does not count) still defines the sitcom finale gold standard. One of the best endings to a TV show ever, actually – I’m not sure I’d rate anything except The Sopranos higher.
Now that I’ve been doing it for three years this trend is finally getting the attention it deserves: The Oxford Dictionary named “selfie” as word of the year, the pope as well as other people are doing it, and just recently Apple introduced a special “Sharing Selfies” section in the App Store.
But of course “selfie” has a broader meaning. I’m still talking about what I did in year one and two: One picture of myself every evening at the same time and in the same exact angle/distance, so that an awesome video of my hair and beard (re-)growing can be created out of them. ;)
With a total of 1055 pictures, that video now has a runtime of more than 70 seconds at 15 frames per second. Here it is: me, from March 26th 2011 to March 26th 2014.
I know I’m a bit late to the whole “Best of 2013” game, but I’ve been reconsidering that concept lately anyway, after taking a closer look at my best rated movies of the last years and the time when I rated/watched them. In 2012 I had watched 34 movies which came out that year, in 2011 I even managed to catch 67. However, I’ve also watched a lot of movies from both years later on, and as of today only half of my ten highest rated movies of each year are ones that I watched “in time”.
So it’s a safe bet that even though I’ve seen 40 newly released movies in 2013, about half of a top ten compiled now wouldn’t actually deserve the honor. Therefore, and as there were only nine that got a rating of 7/10 or better, I’ll just present a top five (of which I’ve seen 3(!) in 2014).
I’d still like to come up with a better solution but so far nothing seemed satisfactory and I didn’t want to pass on it completely. My ideas so far: Either shift the whole thing by one year, i.e. publish top ten of 2013 at the end of 2014, or don’t focus on release year at all, just make the top ten of 2013 about all movies I’ve seen in 2013. Please let me know if you have another idea.
My top five favorite movies of 2013 – so far
(Some spoilers ahead.)
With this freshness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity.
Pope Francis — Evangelii Gaudium
It seems just to be an experiment, so you might not have the feature yet: Facebook now allows you to enter an action that your status update is about. So instead of just writing “OMG Dragons!!1!1” you could specify that you are writing this statement in regard to “watching Game of Thrones”.
Here’s how it looks like:
One thing about that list struck me immediately. When I was notified about being among the chosen people to use the new feature I was about to post a link to the blog of my university, where I had written an elaborate (german) comment. However, I realized there was no way to indicate the action of “writing”. In fact the categories shown in the picture above seem to be a definite list and I think they have something in common.
With the exception of feeling, everything on this list is about consumption. Watch TV, read some news, listen to music, drink coffee, eat fast food, play freemium games. There is no writing, no painting, no singing, no dancing, no jumping. No thinking.
So there you have it, the default state Facebook expects you to be in: like a vegetable.
Panem et circenses, more obvious than ever.
I’m feeling uneasy. I have been for more than a few weeks now. The reason is rather simple – the end of my studies and my term as speaker of the student government is nearing and thus my life is about to change. It is inevitable, although the exact timeframe and the extent are not clear yet. Which is the very reason I’m feeling uneasy. I’ve been in this place before, after the end of my previous course of studies. Back in late 2008 I did not have a clue what to do. I had a rough idea of my interests, but no direction, no aim, no goal. It was ugly, one of the worst periods of my life. Not knowing what to do is horribly uncomfortable after a while. And it starts to feel that way again, the indecisiveness is creeping back into my life. In an attempt to learn from my past I want to take some time and sort my thoughts to properly come to a decision.
This will also serve me as a basis for seeking advice from friends and colleagues without having to tell everyone the same stuff over and over again. Yes, I am that lazy. Sorry, time is money.
Time flies… another year of taking a photo of myself every day has passed. You can read more about the process in last year’s article. This year I managed to take 344 pictures. I lost everything between June 30th and July 15th due to technical snafu. Accounting for those 16 photos I would have come out at 360, a solid ten more photos than last year. It still saddens me to have lost those photos as some of them were rather extraordinary ones. I completely changed my approach to storing and backing up the photos after Everyday had failed me so horribly once again.
However, before I delve into all that: me, from March 26th 2011 to March 26th 2013.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time recently. Time is many things. Time is of the essence. “Time” is a wonderful piece of music and a great match for Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator. You should take the time to listen to it, if you haven’t yet done so. I listen to it once in a while and most of the time it almost moves me to tears.
I’m constantly thinking that I do not have enough time. To an extent where I sometimes waste time just due to being blocked by that thought. But it is not true. I do have a lot of time, in which I accomplish a lot of things. Nevertheless I’m struggling, mainly because of two reasons:
- I’d like to accomplish even more.
- (I think) I’m not always accomplishing something.
As of today I have taken a photo of myself each day for exactly one year. I missed 15 days, so it’s 350 pictures altogether. Of those 52 weeks there wasn’t a single one in which I didn’t have to explain what the heck I’m doing – as I was using the front-facing camera of my iPhone to take the photo, people usually assumed I was taking their picture instead. I chose 7:30pm to take the photo, or the closest possible point in time afterwards – if you happen to know me, you’re aware of the fact that often I’m going to sleep between 2pm and 6pm, so on those occasions taking the photo was the first thing I did after getting up at something like 10pm. You’ll surely be able to spot a few of those instances in the video below.