A quiet New Year's Eve for us at home, unusual only in that we were alone rather than with a couple friends. Split some dishes (all gnoshy stuff) with Ian and Kathy and ate, talked, and played Yahtzee over video chat.
Finished Le Guin's Lavinia last night. I enjoyed it well enough, but find I don't really have anything to say about it.
Just went through my 2020 year of entries to try to extract some kind of "favorites" list for the year. I didn't write about everything I read/watched over the year, but I did write about a lot of it. Still, some of these feel incomplete. None of these are in any particular order except some are chronological (because I was skimming my entries from the year).
- Greta Gershon's Little Women
- Celine Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire
- Olivier Assayas' The Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper
- Mati Diop's Atlantics
- Eliza Hittman's Never Rarely Sometimes Always
- Kelly Reichardt's First Cow
These are all first time watched (not necessarily new movies though), I didn 't include any rewatches else it'd have some other entries on it. Watched a lot of movies by women directors this year, and many of them were excellent.
- The Witcher (my enjoyment of this is probably enhanced by my liking for both the books and the games)
- The Expanse (Season 4 from early in the year and now Season 5 (ongoing) have both been steps up in the quality of this series)
- I Am Not Okay With This (sadly not coming back for season 2)
- The Last Kingdom (this series is a little hoaky at times, but I really enjoy watching it)
- Mad Man rewatch
- David Milch's John From Cincinnati and Deadwood (ongoing) rewatch
Included some rewatched shows on this, because of how good they are and how well they held up on rewatch. This list feels oddly off to me, I'm not sure I really wrote about all the series I saw. Maybe some Star Trek could get on this list... Maybe some comedies I didn't mention? Also watched a bunch of shows that were ok, but not great.
- Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire
- Gene Wolfe's Latro series (reread)
- Samuel Delany's Return to Neveryon series (reread)
- Wolfe's Book of the New Sun (reread) (still need to reread the Urth of the New Sun)
- Wolfe's The Wizard Knight
- Ursula Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore
Lots of rereads and fantasy here. I read a lot of fantasy this year (purposefully), but the ones I liked best were mostly rereads (and mostly Gene Wolfe it seems). I gave up on a lot of books this year (mostly library borrows), read some non-fiction, read some art books, read my regular magazines and blogs and sites.
- The Complete Crepax vol. 5 (every year until this series is over)
- Kozue Amano's Aria: The Masterpiece (reread, but in a new edition)
- Borja Gonzalez's A Gift for a Ghost
- Alexis Flower's I Roved Out in Search of Truth and Love, Vol. 2 (and in progress Vol. 3)
- Tsuge's The Man Without Talent (which I've read previously in the French edition)
- Peony Gent's minicomics (review forthcoming)
This list feels incomplete, I think I don't always write about comics in my journal until I've read them twice. Or maybe I just really didn't read a lot of comics I liked this year (possible). The unexpected (and lately discovered by me) new edition of Aria from Tokyopop (I had no idea they even still existed) was a really pleasant surprising, and that series utopian sci-fi was a perfect mood for this year.
- Breath of the Wild (Switch)
- The Last of Us Part 2 (PS4)
- Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (PS4)
- Witcher 3 (PS4) (replay)
Did not play a ton of video games during the year. These I all enjoyed for differing reasons, though I don't rank Breath of the Wild as high as many people do, for me the story was too thin.
- Control Top, Covert Contracts and "One Good Day"
- Patience, Dizzy Spells
- The Lawrence Arms, Skeleton Coast
- Bambu, Sharpest Tool in the Shed
- Dry Cleaning, singles and eps
- John K. Sampson, "Fantasy Baseball at the End of the World"
- Run the Jewels, RTJ4
A pretty odd mix here that pretty accurately shows my music taste. Most of these can be found and bought easily from Bandcamp. Control Top and Lawrence Arms are more upbeat more political punk, and Control Top's "One Good Day" single was probably my most listened to song of the year. Bambu and Run the Jewels are political hip hop (Bambu being a little more old school and more of my favorite). Patience is kind of 80s electronica. Dry Cleaning are angular British post-punk using collaged found lyrics (weird but really good). And John K Sampson's one folky, not quite a protest, song was perfect for this year.
- Fox kits in the yard and lots of other nature sightings around the block (hawks, heron, ducks, chipmunks, rabbits, deer, lots of smaller birds).
- New Liberty Distillery's Snug Harbor gin, delivered to my door, often 6 at a time, made into gimlets.
- Biweekly D&D sessions online (when our group used to meet monthly at best).
- Writing some short stories.