#IV January in My Personal Life

This month wasn’t my best but it wasn’t my worst! Let’s talk about everything.

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Emotionally, last month was a bit hard. I think I was really struggling to handle some personal life stuff in a healthy way and really come to terms with some things from Christmas break.

I’m taking a more relaxed course schedule for my second semester, with only four academic classes: two English electives, Shakespeare & Adolescence Reimagined, and then my AB Calc class and Post-AP Latin class from last year.

I had a sleepover with my friend Isabella and spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends Kate and Gretchen. I pulled a bit away from some of my other school friends partially because of being a little emotional.

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  1. Get the Spectrum Anonymous Network going✅ (training is in process!!)
  2. Do one Super Cool Thing with friends.✅ (this is, again, a part of my semester goals post) (I don’t think this actually counts, but I had a really fun sleepover with my friend Isabella, so that was fun.)
  3. Get my current writing outline to three full opening chapters.❌ (I DID ONE but it was a lot longer. so god I came close I guess?)
  4. Figure out what I’m doing with my homework schedule, as last month got a little unwieldy.✅ (bullet journaling actually did happen!)

Weirdly enough, though, the rest of this is actually on a week-by-week basis for now. I’m going to be figuring out some way of tracking my goal accomplishment on a weekly basis sometime this month: check back next post!

  1. Read at least four books.❌ (not quite)
  2. Go to lunch three times.❌ (nope !!!!!!!!)
  3. Spend extended time with friends three times.✅ (yeah I actually did this weekly!!)
  4. Keep up with new episodes of The Good Place (my favorite tv show of all time), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (my other favorite tv show), and The Bachelorette (which I watch for the memes).✅ (yes wow I actually did this)
  5. Practice therapist-appointed meditation exercises at least three times.❌ (uh… no. this stopped being a thing)

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  1. Write a full, actually good resume.✅
  2. Do a sleepover with my friends!!❌ (I’ve been trying to get this to happen)
  3. Find a writing mentorship for my senior project, hopefully.❌
  4. Watch the 2018 highlight pictures I missed, especially A Star Is Born, Vice (these both in Oscars anticipation), If Beale Street Could Talk, First Reformed, and Cold War.❌
  5. Get my current writing outline to four full opening chapters.❌
  6. Catch up with my reading goal❌ (I really want this to be a thing)
  7. Make some progress on the entire guitar thing.❌

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I’ve been keeping up with season six. Um, it’s still A+, but anyone else want to talk about the current Rosa storyline being….. mmm?

The more human I become, the less things make sense. But that’s part of the fun. If there were an answer i could give you to how the universe works, it wouldn’t be special. it would just be machinery fullfilling its cosmic design. It would just be a big dumb food processor. Since nothing seems to make sense, when you find something, or someone, that does, it’s euphoria. In all this random, in all this pandemonium, you and Chidi found each other. Isn’t that remarkable?  

It is so strange that a comedy like this can be such a love letter to the world and to people, as awful and fucked up as we are. This show makes me laugh so hard but also makes me… genuinely happy?

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  • Unreal, seasons one & two | ★★★☆☆

You really are a hateful, conniving bitch.
Thank you.

Here’s the bad news: This show at times struggles to have real staying power due to the sheer unlikeability of almost every character. Here’s the good news: There is something undeniably powerful about watching two evil, awful women duke it out for power, without the narrative trying to reason out their behavior. Between the overall watchability and the brilliance of this show’s Bachelor parody, it’s impossible not to appreciate this show on some base level.

watchlist
close to completion: Unreal (seasons 2-4), Sense8 (season 2), Queer Eye (Netflix) (season 2), A Series of Unfortunate Events (season 2-3)
want to start soon: Killing Eve (Hulu) (season 1), Tidying Up With Marie Kondo (Netflix) (season 1)
ongoing television: Black Sails (seasons 1-5)
will happen sometime: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (seasons 1-3), Person of Interest (seasons 1-5), Community (seasons 1-7)

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First of all, I now have a Spotify account! Things you can find on this recommendations playlist include a very long shrine to Golden Hour (2018) and everything Hozier has ever done! (This also means all the songs below carry Spotify links You’re welcome.) But in terms of some new music of the month:

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Monster off Human EP (2019) dodie
If Looks Could Kill (2019) Lauren Aquilina
Movement off Wasteland Baby (2019) Hozier
I’m Yours off Know It All (2015) Alessia Cara

Dodie’s new EP is good, but the best song off it is absolutely Monster, which is edgy and just as lyrically clever as her best. The way she delivers “get out of my room” is so powerful, and the lyric “we won’t eat our words, cause they don’t taste good” is so amazing. Lauren Aquilina’s If Looks Could Kill is not quite as amazing as her earlier Psycho, but still a total bop, and I’m so glad she’s dropping music again. Hozier has recently dropped two songs, Movement and Almost (Sweet Music), but Movement is one of my new favorite songs by him; it’s in his eerie vibe place. And the line “you are a call to motion / there, all of you a verb in perfect view / like Jonah on the ocean” is so so powerful. I’m so glad he invented the bisexuals. Alessia Cara’s I’m Yours is yet another entry into the category of songs that are about love but are also about lack of trust. “Nobody asked you to get me attached to you / in fact you tricked me” is an amazing lyric.

Also, I technically discovered this only in February, but it’s worth a shoutout: I Go Crazy by Orla Gartland is so far my favorite discovery from my friend Kate’s playlist.

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Come Back, Be Here off Red Deluxe (2012) Taylor Swift
State of Grace, acoustic off Red Deluxe (2012) Taylor Swift
Break My Heart off From the Outside (2017) Hey Violet
Rainbow off Golden Hour (2018) Kacey Musgraves
Cool for the Summer off Confident (2015) Demi Lovato

Taylor Swift’s Red is my second favorite album of all time, and yet I never really listened to the deluxe versions. Bonus track Come Back Be Here is so aching and beautiful and hopeful; the lyric “I don’t want to need you this way” remains so gorgeous. Also, the acoustic version of State of Grace is so beautiful and so different, but also a new fave.

Hey Violet’s Break My Heart has long been a song I liked, but for some reason, I just got really into this during the month. The idea of desperately wanting rejection just to feel it is so painful and real. Any of you who follow me on Twitter or like, know me at all know that I consider Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour the pinnacle of music as we know it, and I’ve rotated my #1 fave for the third time: I think Rainbow is my current favorite song! Ending a Grammy-nominated album on the lyric “it’ll all be alright” is the fastest way to my heart. Go listen to the pinnacle of music here.

Meanwhile, Cool for the Summer is like… the chaotic good version of I Kissed a Girl. The piano keys! The chorus beat drop! By the way, this so easily could turn into a flat going-nowhere chorus after the phrase “we’re cool for the summer” but instead, Demi, like a legend, goes into the iconic “take me down” section.

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[Letterboxd Film Diary]
new movies: 5 // rewatches: 2

This is one of my favorite television shows overall but this was a more middling episode for me. Even the middling episodes, though, always offer something interesting, and the premise of this is undeniably fantastic. I have noticed that a lot of these episodes go by almost exactly the same formula — the main character begins use of technology, technology goes too far or violates basic human rights, main character’s relationships are destroyed, the ending is vaguely depressing and implies that lead characters will now live without technology. Cue moral questions! I did, however, enjoy this as a slow-motion trainwreck.

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This was the best viewing experience of my whole life. I do not like superhero movies, usually, but this, for some reason, resonated. The idea that anyone can be a superman really worked for me; after growing up watching white men be the superheroes, over and over again, it was incredible to see a black Spiderman and a Spidergirl and see that anyone can be the star of this story. And the animation of this movie was, truly, absolutely incredible.

a part of me really wants to pretend I didn’t enjoy watching this — it’s half-directed by a pedophile and the way it handles Freddie Mercury’s sexuality is uh. mixed. but two things: 1) watching Rami Malek absolutely kill it up there was a truly religious experience, and 2) while the movie strays really, really far from this message quite a bit, and lacks overarching plot — as many biopics do — there is something undeniably powerful about the idea that Queen, primarily, wrote music for outsiders. I cried when Bohemian Rhapsody started playing at LiveAid, and that’s worth something.

  • Roma (2018) dir. Alfonso Cuaron | ★★★★☆

This is definitely not my Type of movie at all, but I still think it has a lot of value. Throughout the movie, Cuaron’s cinematography and imagery is a standout, with scenes such as the scene at the villa taking its place as some of the best of the year. Yalitza Aparicio is glorious as Cleo, with Marina de Tavira as Sofia standing out as well. I was not sure how to feel about the movie’s deep romanticization of a family that does not really care for Cleo at all. But I can’t deny that I cried like a baby at the final scene on the beach. The power of women is so strong.

I did not like this movie. Actually, I thought it was a really bad movie with very little plot, and I disliked every character. The only scene in the movie I really found moving was a scene in which Natalie Wood’s character is trying to be close to her father and is slapped across the face for her efforts. She then, understandably, runs out, attempting valiantly not to cry, as her father says something to the tune of “kids these days”. 

I also just wanted to bring up a few points on the three lead characters. James Dean is quite good in this movie. Natalie Wood is honestly… not. Sal Mineo acts his role very well, which is sad because his character is inarguably the most confusing. He seems like a total angel for the whole movie and in the beginning? He literally killed a bunch of puppies. He is also heavily implied to be gay. Jim and Judy are saved by their great heterosexual love (that’s the narrative, yall) so guess who dies at the end? I really hate this ending and I think it’s fucked up. Yeah. Anyway. 

How were your months? Any tv shows or movies on here you’ve seen? Any music you love? Any goals you achieved? Let me know in the comments!

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12 thoughts on “#IV January in My Personal Life

  1. Tucker Almengor says:

    YESSS!! The good place is my favorite show ever! Also, wow your goals are amazing. Right now my goals are: get through the day without making it worse ❌

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (shri) sunandchai says:

    This is a wonderful reflection!! I got so many great music recs out of this, which is fantastic becasue I really needed some new stuff to listen to. Also, loved your thoughts on these movies! I’ve been meaning to watch a lot of the Oscar nominated ones, but have yet to find the motivation. Reading this, I’ll definitely make sure I AT LEAST try out Roma. And also!! Thank goodness I wasn’t the only one who hated A Rebel Without a Cause, that movie drove me insane. Like, what was I even watching why is this a cultural icon. Good look on all your February goals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elise @thebookishactress says:

      aaaaah Shri sorry for taking so long to reply to this i somehow got?? really behind on comments recently??

      I HOPE YOU ENJOY SOME OF THE MUSIC RECS let me know how you feel. good luck with some of the other oscar nominees if you watch them!! honestly everything this year is p good except for green book, a demon from hell. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE IS SUCH A COMPLETE SHITPOST OF A MOVIE HOW THE HELL IS IT ICONIC?? so many questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. emmareadstoomuch says:

    ahhh def one of the best things about returning from Unplanned Blog Hiatus #862 is reading your posts again??? missed that

    sorry you had tough moments emotionally this month gf 😦 my kik inbox is always open (as are my million other inboxes) if u ever ever ever wanna talk. but also…..i am Extremely impressed with how much you managed to do while having a bad time??? your favs could never

    also this really really really super super motivates me to finally catch up on B99 and The Good Place. what can i say…..i’m a millennial. i like to binge watch™

    also also (and in conclusion) have i mentioned to you how i am more attracted to Rami Malek than any other single person in the whole universe? Bohemian Rhapsody, while objectively not that good of a movie, was a religious experience for me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elise @thebookishactress says:

      i love you a lot also thank you so much, this comment (what you said about me doing a lot in a bad time) genuinely meant a lot and I’m going to put this in my reminders folder.

      CATCH UP ON B99 AND TGP

      Rami Malek is actually an objectively attractive man i think you’re valid

      Like

  4. novellisteer says:

    Sorry you had tough emotional moments this month hope February treat you as kind and lovely.
    The only Hollywood movie I had watch is Glass which is mine absolutely favorite.
    I did not read any books in January which an quite comfortable with.
    Although my January was more spend organizing my life and removing irrelevant stuff and adding relevant stuff, reflecting on who I am and putting a good plan in place on how to tackle my drama watch session.
    Start my blog this month after months of putting it off.
    Sending sunshine to your 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marta says:

    I’m sorry to hear January wasn’t such a good month! It wasn’t for me either, and so far February is the same, unfortunately. Let’s hope for better times! I also need to organize myself better.
    These past days, I’ve caught up with Outlander, but I still need to catch up with B99 and ODAAT (I really want to know what’s going on haha). I really wanna watch Spiderman into the spiderverse, but I can’t find the time for it )):
    Taylor’s “Red” is a favourite of mine, too haha
    I hope this month you manage to get more goals done ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. May @ Forever and Everly says:

    HELL YEAH TO MOVEMENT BY HOZIER (2018) the song itself is so good and then the music video makes it even better and it’s just a god tier song I love it so much. also Into the Spiderverse is so good I want to watch it again already

    I’m so sorry you had rough emotional moments in January and I hope it’s better this month!!! I’m glad you could hang out with friends, though, and also start your more relaxed sem courses since I know you were stressed about last sem!!

    anyways I love you did you know I love you

    Liked by 1 person

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