I Didn’t Watch Enough Oscar Contenders So Here Are My 2018 Movie Awards

Hello friends!!

Every year Lyn throws this epic Oscar party, where we compete by choosing the winners and then seeing who gets the most right. It’s super fun, but I always suck at this for two reasons: I usually haven’t seen enough of the films to make an informed decision, and I tend to vote with my heart and not the odds. I really love movies, though, it’s just that while my head thinks I would really enjoy a lot of critically acclaimed films, the truth is that when it comes down to spending time or money on a viewing, I tend to pick something that falls more in the “fun” category. If that makes me low-brow, I’m totes ok with it. So while I am unqualified to accurately predict what the Academy will choose, I am super qualified to tell you which films of last year fit into MY award categories. Ready? Here we go!

FAVORITE OF THE YEAR: Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse

I have loved superheroes my whole life. When I was a kid, instead of having imaginary friends, I was hanging out with the Justice League.

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Me and Spidey, early 80’s style

Obviously Wonder Woman and Batgirl were my favorites, but Spiderman and I were always cool, too, since he was a regular kid, not an alien or a billionaire or whatever. Despite this love, I am suffering from serious “superhero fatigue”. I haven’t kept up with the Spiderman movies, but I did hop back in for the MCU Tom Holland one, which was pretty great. So then this animated feature pops up out of nowhere, and we were like…. what? Why?? What is this?? Well, stop asking questions and just go see this movie- it is PERFECT. Great casting, the animation is outstanding, the soundtrack is spot on, the story feels fresh (and turns the whole boring “origin story” trope on it’s head a bit) and, to be corny, I love the message that “anyone can wear the mask”. This movie was a delight through and through- I can’t wait to see it again.

(Superhero honorable mentions: Black Panther for Best Villain, and Avengers: Infinity War for Best Took 18 Years To Get Here Payoff)


You all have that one friend, right, who tells you that something is good and you don’t even ask questions because you know she’s right? Yeah, so when Sarah told me to go see this movie immediately, I thought “wait, the one with Blake Lively??” but Sarah has never wronged me, so we just went, mostly not knowing anything about it. And guess what- she continues her streak! This movie was absolutely nothing we expected (right down to the Paul Feig director credit), and was a super fun ride.


Fact: Jurassic Park is a perfect film. Fact: Jurassic World was a shitshow. Maybe, someday, I’ll tell you all about why I feel this way, but for now, just know that I love seeing dinosaurs on the big screen so, no matter what, I am going to show up for any Jurassic Park adjacent anything, because DINOSAURS. And I like popcorn.

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It seems like someone, somehow, realizing how stiff and bad the first of the reboots was, slapped the writing team and said “look!! We are making a movie about DINOSAURS starring CHRIS PRATT. LOOSEN!! UP!!”. All of the returning characters seemed to have had major life makeovers, or at least watched some uplifting Ted Talks, because they weren’t the same stuffy, trope-y bores they were in 2015. Even the dinosaurs got more jokes!! There were good side characters with actual motives!! I even cried!! It was over the top and full of plot holes (why doesn’t the elevator have buttons to the lower level of the secret underground lab even though there are clearly elevator doors down there?!!? Who is this secret partner all of a sudden??), but it was totally a fun time.


Ok ok- so, I don’t know if A Quiet Place will hold up over time, or if I even liked it all that much, but I will say that it was the most fun I’ve had watching a movie in a packed theater. For one, nobody really knew what this movie was actually about, so we were all gripped by the story unfolding. For two, there is almost no dialogue in this movie. There is almost no sound in this movie. So very quickly, everyone in the audience had the realization that their snacks were super crunchy, candy wrappers were crinkly, and basically any sniffle or cough would sound 1000 times louder than it was. HILARIOUS. And it added to the tension, so it made the movie way more enjoyable- I’m not sure you’d get that same feeling watching it at home.


I knew, going in, that there would be tears shed in this movie. And yeah, there were a few here and there. I did not realize that I would be full on sobbing, snot coming out of my face, for a full 15 minutes at the end though. LORD!!! It’s worth noting that when I got my concessions, the napkin dispenser was almost empty, so I only had one buttery/salty napkin and my hoodie sleeves to save me.


This movie is currently 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It was technically only in theaters for one day, then went straight to video, but it kept popping up in my various feeds, so my interest was piqued. I love a good campy horror movie, and reviewers were praising Nicholas Cages’s performance. We watched the trailer and it seemed like fun, so we rented it, and…. it took us two days to watch it.

Ok ok- I have to admit, it did some interesting things. For one, we were able to easily split it into two viewings because the movie has a very distinct break in the middle, almost as if you have to flip the album (or laserdisc!) over. The first half set up relationships and the big tragedy, the second was a cocaine and demon juice (??) fueled revenge fantasy. The cinematography and use of lighting and color was very beautiful and interesting. It had 80’s flavor, cults, and demons. Nicholas Cage really did deliver quite the performance! The only problem was…. watching it was painful. Slow. WTF-y. Two hours we wished we had back.


WHY. Why is this a movie?? Here is the plot: Oh hey! Let’s get a bunch of beautiful famous ladies to be in a heist movie where everything pretty much goes according to plan and they get away with it! Because LADIES!! This movie was so boring that, months later, my husband was absolutely convinced that we had never seen it. We had. Oh, we had. If you want a good heist movie, check out Ant-Man and The Wasp, which was tons of fun and features a giant Paul Rudd.


What movies did you love this year? Which ones made you fall asleep? Which Oscar contenders are you waiting to stream? (I’m looking forward to finally catching Can You Ever Forgive Me but TBH I’ll probably skip Roma and Vice)


The Tale of Two Yoga Challenges

I’ve been planning to write this resolutions post since the beginning of the year. Today is February 15th. But the delay on this post kinda serves as the perfect set up to talk about resolutions and why they seem fated to fail.

Allow me to illustrate it with my original intention for this post: “The Tale of Two Yoga Challenges.”

My relationship with yoga is complicated at best. I hate doing things I’m not good at—and I’m not good at yoga. Yet yoga at its core touches on things I need to work on in my life. There are the physical issues like strength, flexibility, alignment and the mental aspects like shutting down negative noise in my head, learning patience, and celebrating small successes. And of course—the big ones like saying “no”, time management and being realistic about how long life things actually take.

But even with a rocky run at yoga, I’ve been consistently doing it inconsistently for a long time. Over ten years, at least. And for someone who isn’t particularly loyal to any exercise, that’s a long time.

Due to a confluence of weird health and personal issues, when The Studio announced a 30-day yoga challenge in October 2014, it felt like the perfect opportunity to align (see what I did there) all the random challenges into one organized “challenge.” 30 classes in 31 days. I was in.

Spoiler alert: I finished. It was a completely bonkers experience that at some points required me to do three classes a day—which was totally unsafe and definitely not recommended—and it didn’t accomplish what I had hoped. But I learned three key lessons that made it worthwhile.

  1. No one cares. You know what people don’t care about—your yoga challenge (insert all other workouts, diets, personal journeys.) Unless it impacts them directly, it’s not a thing anyone is thinking about but you. I’d say “I can’t—I have yoga” and supportive friend who loves me and wants me to do and be great says “Oh that’s right. I forgot you’re doing that.” Not because they aren’t supportive—your thing and whether you succeed or not—literally has no impact on their relationship with you. Your friends are your friends. With or without a completed punch card.
  2. Everyone needs help. One of the yoga things I learned doing the challenge was how important it is to use props. A bunch of instructors did the challenge, so I’d see them in class. They all used them. It was visual confirmation that even people I admire need assistance. Maybe knowing enough to use the tools available is the exact thing that helps make them successful.
  3. Everyone has issues. There’s nothing like a yoga class to make me feel super self-conscious. Certainly, everyone’s looking at me and judging. But it turns out no one cares (see number one) and everyone has their own issues. They legit have no time for you. The biggest takeaway from the challenge came in the locker room. It was after class and I followed a woman–who seemed to take every single class because I was coming at all kinds of random times and she was always there, too—into the locker room. I don’t have nudity issues. It’s not that I’m volunteering to walk around naked in public on the daily but changing in a locker room in front of people isn’t something I lose sleep over. Even with a healthy dose of body image issues like everyone else, I just change and go. But this woman—who could be on the cover of Yoga Journal—promptly went into a privacy stall. I had seen this woman do things in class that I could only dream of attempting and even with a lifestyle calibrated with the optimum balance of exercise and nutrition, I’m certain my body could never look like hers. And she went into the privacy stall. We were the only two people there. Everyone has issues. Whether we understand them or not—they’re there. No one is adding extra time to their day thinking about yours.

So overall, the challenge was a success. It made me feel like—yeah, I can do that. The next year I hiked in the Himalayas and reflected on how since I did the challenge, I could do this.  And so can you.

But should we? And what do we give up in succeeding? In that one month, I know I turned down time to hang with friends, something that’s important to me. I hear from my mom friends that taking an hour to do [insert “good for you” thing] is an hour not spent with family. And life already takes time away.

Yet even with the already precarious balancing act we find ourselves in, there’s something so alluring about adding more challenges and expectations. Setting resolutions.

In December 2018, I signed up for another yoga challenge. This time, it was a 21-day deal. I didn’t even read it before I registered. Had I read it—and looked at a calendar—I’d have known I had no shot.

Instead, I was determined to get it done. I had done it before, of course I could do it again. I posted about it—which is funny because again NO ONE CARES—and not one person ever brought it up.

Spoiler alert: I did not finish. On a pivotal day that I thought I needed to get to a class to have a chance, I was sick. And I was sick because I was rundown. How do I know? Because after one day of sleep and rest, I felt way better. That doesn’t happen if you have a proper cold or flu. But instead of just honoring my body—a very yoga concept—I created a storm of anxiety about how not going to class that day was going to force me to fail at this totally irrelevant thing I was doing. I laid on the couch and created a comprehensive list of all the things I’m failing at and how 2019 had to be the year I do better.

Because I failed at a yoga challenge.

I didn’t think about how doing the yoga challenge got me back on my mat more times that month than I would ever regularly do. Or how good I felt because of the classes I did make. Or that results, even small ones, came quickly. Or that I was finding a decent balance to get to class while still wrapping up end-of-the-year work responsibilities, time with friends and dealing with family things.

There’s something sadly gratifying about creating situations you are deemed to fail at. It’s a clever way to prove those negative voices in your head have been right all along. Because if no one cares, and everyone needs help and everyone has issues, the only one who is putting this pressure on you—is you.

The reason sticking to resolutions or making changes is hard is because life is hard. We don’t give ourselves credit for all the things we manage to successfully cram into our 24/7/365. Instead, we focus on all that is missing. All the ways we are failing. All the expectations we aren’t meeting. Set by no one.

So my resolution for 2019 is to celebrate the small successes. To be patient with myself. To turn the negative noise down, even if it’s just a little bit quieter. And to be happy I get to class whenever life allows me to be there.  Because life is hard enough. I don’t need to make it harder.