Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...

It's that time of year again! Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards, which airs on February 27th. And thus today starts my challenge to watch as many of the nominated films as possible before the show.

I have had a bit of a head start though. After watching the Golden Globes I got some of an idea of what films and actors would make the nominations list. Some were no brainers, such as The King's Speech and Black Swan, but I also thought Anne Hathaway might be nominated for her role in Love and Other Drugs, especially since she is co-hosting the awards this year, but it didn't work out that way. I enjoyed the film though, so I'm not too upset that watching it didn't help widdle down my list.

The List
There are 56 films nominated this year, compared to 58 last year, and I have already watched 13: Alice in Wonderland, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Day & Night, Exit through the Gift Shop, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, Iron Man 2, The Kids Are Alright, The King's Speech, Salt, The Social Network, Toy Story 3.

Therefore, I have 43 films to watch in 34 days. All I can say is thank you Academy, thank you so very much for not nominating Burlesque for anything. I really didn't want to sit through it. THANK YOU!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Blue Monday

Are you depressed today? Today is known as Blue Monday, the 3rd Monday in January, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. It is "the combination of weather, holiday debt, and the inevitable failure of our New Year’s resolutions," and, I'm assuming, the fact that it's a Monday, that make for "a widespread, crushing case of the blues."

Tyson on a cold December eve.
Why point all of this out? Apparently calling attention to how much today sucks is a marketing strategy to sell trips to sunny destinations, which makes sense- and today is mighty cold so I'll bet it's working.

Personally, I don't work on Mondays, so they're not all that terrible for me. Friday is actually kind of my "Monday" because I usually work all weekend. I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, so therefore I didn't break any either! Looking out into the world, what's out there to depress me today? Well, like I mentioned, it's cold. The temperature apparently dropped down to -28 degrees celsius last night with the wind chill, and it's currently -8 but feels like -16, according to The Weather Network. However, I don't actually have to go outside, so who cares. Well, a 66 year old woman with dementia froze to death early this morning wandering around her neighbourhood. No one answered her calls for help, no one called the police, so this tragedy that could be avoided sadly was not. That's depressing.

I read about that on the Toronto Star's website, which listed the following as a couple of its "must read" articles earlier today: "Justin Beiber has a new haircut;" "Starbucks gets bigger U.S sizes." These topics were not only deemed newsworthy, but "must read" news. Wow. That's depressing.

However, I'm still not really depressed. That's because I've been productive, tackling over half the items on the "to do" list I made for myself last night. But that's just me; I'm at my lowest when I feel like I've wasted the day. Sure, I take lazy days, but they're pre-assigned as lazy days. I don't like when my days ear marked for productivity are drowned in a sea of procrastination or lethargy- which is kind of how my day went yesterday.

Sunday January 16th: I planned on going to the library from 1-5 (its open hours on Sundays), but had a slow start and got there at 1:30. Then I had a hard time focusing, and when I finally did focus on writing an essay I hit a roadblock that I couldn't motivate myself through. I wrote as much as I could without fighting my white wale, and then gave up.

So, feeling defeated, I went to work hoping to make at least $50. I already made enough over the weekend to finish my "pay off my Visa bill without dipping into my savings" fund, but I wanted to have some extra cash for this week. Unfortunately, it wasn't busy, I only had 2 tables, and went home with an extra $15 in my pocket. Great.

Thus, I wasn't entirely happy last night when I got home. How did I turn that around? Well, I watched some of the Golden Globes and decided to get a head start on my "2011 Oscar Nominated Film List" (yup, I'm doing it again!) before the nominations are out by making assumptions based on the Golden Globe nominations and wins. So, I watched Black Swan. I also watched The Social Network the night before, and though they're both not exactly feel good movies, it felt good to know that my "to watch" list is a little shorter (I will be very surprised if they don't get Oscar nods).

Then, still not feeling great, I made a to do list for Monday January 17th. The tasks were small, but being able to check off so many little things led to an overall productive feeling, and I'm much happier today than I was yesterday. Thanks, past Colleen!

I make to do lists all the time, but they usually consist of a bunch of really big time consuming tasks and a few small ones. I cross off the little guys and the big ones remain. Mocking, belittling, challenging the presence of the smaller tasks on their list. So then I make a new one: rewriting the big tasks, adding a couple new small tasks, and the cycle continues.

I didn't make any New Years Resolutions for 2011, but I think this should have been it. New plan, inspired by "Blue Monday" and the fact that I don't have any broken resolutions to be sad about: start making separate to do lists. Separate the big tasks from the small ones so that I can reap the feel good benefits of productivity on both a large and small scale. Also, I think this will help with motivation momentum, and keep me from getting overwhelmed by the big stuff and the white whales.

I'll leave you with "Blue Monday," by New Order. Enjoy, and happy Blue Monday to you all!