Friday, January 03, 2014

Crunchy Numbers: Dispatches from My 2013 Journal

Over the last few years I've developed the habit to keeping a small journal around me to take notes and write down random ideas and observations. If you spent any significant amount of time around me you may have noticed that small black leather bound notebook (it's actually a Piccadilly plain small essential notebook. They look exactly like the famous Moleskine notebooks but cost about half. Unfortunately it's become a lot harder to find them since Borders shutdown) I often have on me. Content-wise I'd say it's like an extremely casual version of the sort of daily notebooks former Senator Bob Graham keeps, Most of it is really just a jotting down of the mental kipple that my life generates. I keep certain running lists like movies I've seen and books I've read but I make actual entries on average maybe every three or four days (I noticed there are a lot of Thursday entries). 

So I figured with 2013 firmly in the rear view mirror I'd share with everyone to a quick look back at some of the stats and entries:

Overall I've completed 37 books in 2013. This might be a personal record of mine as an adult. I probably read more as a kid but it's hard to compare; you can go through like four Choose Your Own Adventure Books a day. This number would have been impossible without the aid of audio books which where a mainstay of my commutes (and sometimes slow days at the office). Of the 37 books I've read 23 of them were audio books (I know some purists would say I didn't technically "read" them, but whatever). 10 of the books I read where physical books while I polished off 4 e-books or whatever the kids are calling them these days on my Nexus 10. The first book I completed this year was an audio reading of Paper Towns by John Green (1/9) and the last book was David Mitchell's autobiography Back Story (12/31) read by Mitchell himself, which I think makes for a superior experience over reading print.

Counting movies I saw in their entirety; I'm talking sit down, watching at least 95% of the thing, not just catching the last half of "Anchorman" on Cinemax, I saw 53 films in 2013. Of that number I only saw 9 of them in theaters (and really like half of those were Rifftrax Live events). In terms of physical media I saw 4 movies on DVD and 1 movie on VHS (1931's "Private Lives" for esoteric rom com research). The other 39 films were streamed online (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc.), the future is now. First movie I saw "Ruby Sparks" (1/2) which I got from a Redbox machine (one of the 4 DVDs I saw that year) and the last film was "Delirious" (12/21) which I streamed online. I also want to note that I finished my years long goal of seeing all 100 movies listed in Billy Mernit's "Writing the Romantic Comedy" (also I finished my first draft of my own rom com) the personal rankings of which I may eventually publish on this blog.

I didn't keep some kind of thorough list of everything I ate or places I ate but I have verified that I ate at least 12 times at a New Jersey dinner (though it certainly felt like more). Also, I don't know how to explain it but somehow I ate at California Pizza Kitchen at least 5 times, all outside of California. I also made 3 confirmed trips to Fuddruckers which is not nearly enough in my opinion.

Haircuts and Grades
  • 3/24 - B+ "Decent, short, really took care of the sideburns"
  • 6/8 - B- "Slightly longer on top, sideburns undercut"
  • 8/25 - A- "Even cut, I liked it, best I can probably hope for"
  • 11/16 - B "OK cut, slightly longer, mostly focused on side and back"
I should probably find a place that doesn't average a B but they're close, friendly, cheap, and we've come to the point where I don't have to really explain to them how I want my haircut.

Karaoke Songs
With the friends I run with, it's always important to have a steady list of songs you want to sing mapped out so you don't waste valuable time at the karaoke place pouring over sticky songbooks looking for something to pick.  3 songs I got around to doing for the first time this year were:
  • George Jones - "White Lightning" (RIP George Jones. Super fun song to sing. Though it's a 50s country song about brewing moonshine, the lyrics could easily be about cooking meth)
  • Robert Palmer - "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" (The sexiest song about telling someone you don't want to sleep with them.)
  • Dinah Shore - "Buttons and Bows" (I had recently seen that classic "Frazier" episode where he does an embarrassingly inept rendition of the song on TV and I just had to get it out of my head) 
Five Random Excerpts
  • 1/31 - Thurs. - "Last episode of '30 Rock' aired tonight; I didn't know that it was airing until this morning. Fantastic final season. I'm really going to miss that crazy show. My Thursday night line up is crumbling."
  • 4/4 - Thurs. "It would appear that my Casio watch died after midnight around 12:03. Sad. It might be too cheap to replace the battery."
  • 6/14 - Fri. "Technically it's past midnight so it's the 15th but who's counting?"
  • 9/7 - Sat. "Now: The house is currently out of seltzer. I must take my leave to the Shoprite."
  • 12/9 - Mon. "Icy mess this morning, fell on my ass twice while heading to the bus. Surprisingly not as much damage as I expected. It's one way to get the morning started."
I never said I was Anne Frank.

Five Really Random Things I Just Jotted Down And Now I'm Not Entirely Sure What They're In Reference To
  • "Distaff = Female"
  • "Men's Werehouse, for fashionable Werewolves"
  • "William Melater aka Bill"
  • "One hit wonder or magnum opus?"
  • "Dialog: Remember the time we met Willy Wonka but it turned out to be a bum in a factory?"

2013 in a nutshell everyone!

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