Life Vs Film in 2019

It’s fair to say 2018 wasn’t a banner year for Life Vs Film, but that’s OK. This time last year I said I was skipping the whole New Year’s Resolutions thing, in the hope of it resulting in a more relaxed year and, to a point, that was true. It also allowed me to do more things with the LAMB site and podcast, which I’m continuing to enjoy and have further plans for this year. So whilst 2018 was more relaxed than the previous year (not having a wedding to plan may have had something to do with it), I’m disappointed with how little happened on this site. In total I only reviewed 11 films, which is exactly how many were added to the 1001 list last year, so I made no ground whatsoever. As such I’m reinstating some resolutions this year, but I’m not going to beat myself up over them.
Here are my plans for 2019, both life- and film-wise:

Try and review one List film a week. In 2018 I watched a bunch of films from the List but never got around to reviewing many of them. I still have notes for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Coens), Ready Player One (Spielberg), It’s A Wonderful Life and The Nightmare Before Christmas, all of which I watched recently enough that I hope to still be able to write-up coherently, but we’ll see. One a week doesn’t seem too big of a challenge, and if I miss a week here or there then so be it.

Watch one non-List blind spot DVD a month. I’ve got a bunch of DVDs I’ve never seen before, and if they’re not on the List they tend to get forgotten about, so I’m aiming to work some of them into the rotation this year. I won’t be reviewing them, in fact I’m scrapping even trying to write my weekly posts as they just don’t happen, but if I have some thoughts I want to jot down I’ll add them to my Letterboxd ratings. The 12 I’m thinking of are:

Blue Ruin
The Visitor
Way of the Gun
Killer Joe
The Skin I Live In
Three O’Clock High
Fermat’s Room
Rare Exports

Finish watching The Wire (seasons 4 and 5 to go). I’m visiting Baltimore to see some friends in April, I’d like to have finished the show by then.

Start watching Deadwood and Twin Peaks. I’ve heard good things about both, and have them both on DVD. I’d even planned to write a post on Twin Peaks one episode at a time over on French Toast Sunday, but we’ll see.

Read a book a month. I used to be a voracious reader, but the pace has slackened lately and I want to get into it more again. The problem may be that I’ve been struggling through Moby Dick for about 8 months now, and I’m barely halfway through. I’m giving myself until the end of January to finish it, and if I haven’t then I’m just going to move onto the next one. You could say that finishing it is my white whale, but that’s an obvious metaphor even for me, so let’s not.

Update my sites. I’ve got some improvements and changes I want to make to both Life Vs Film and the LAMB, and I’m taking a similar approach to the blind-spots and books, in that I’ll try and hit one a month. That spaces them out and alleviates the pressure. Here are some things I’d like to do:
New logo on LVF (I’ve sketched this out MANY times, never finished it)
Move the LAMB site to a new host
New Lambcast trailer
Optimise the LAMB site for mobile devices
Full list of LAMB members/sites
Update Lambcast spreadsheet
Lamb Podcasting Network trailer schedule
There are a few other more behind-the-scenes things I’m working on too.

Outside of the sites, I’ve gotten really bad at making improvements to my home and life in general, things just kind of languish in the “waiting to get to them” pile of my mind, so I’m trying to do the same again, one a month, with these kinds of things:
Back-up and scrap CD collection (kids, you used to be able to buy these big flat coasters with music on them, weird right?)
Digitise and scrap DVDs I don’t outright love (most of them are in my attic anyway, just taking up space)
Sort my hard drives (portable and laptop)
Sort my email inboxes (seriously, they are way out of hand)
Put new, good shelving in the shed
Repaint my bar
Tidy the attic – reducing the CDs and DVDs will dramatically help this
Go to a damn car boot sale or eBay all my hoarded junk
This list could go on for a while so I’m going to stop it there before it just gets sad.

Most importantly, I think, is that I’m going to prioritise my health this year. I’ve never been the healthiest of individuals, but 2018 saw me get into running a bit more, mainly thanks to my mother, who runs regularly, and much faster than me, despite turning 60 last year. I’ve run a few 5k races this past year and didn’t do too badly for someone who is medically obese, and I’m hoping to improve that this year. The first goal is to get out of the “Obese” bracket and into the “Overweight” bracket – I know, my goal is to just be considered overweight – but that’s a start, and it’s very achievable as I’d just need to lose around a stone (6.5kg). I’ve been running with my dog fairly regularly and mostly against his wishes, but we’re getting more in sync, and I think aiming to run every other day, even if it’s just a few kilometres, is a good aim. I’m also going to try and eat at least one fruit or vegetable a week. No, that’s not a typo, I said week. At present I don’t really eat any, aside from a small glass of orange juice every morning, the occasional carrot with a roast dinner and the even less frequent handful of grapes. It truly is a wonder I don’t have scurvy. I haven’t got any plans in motion just yet, but I’m going to look into how I can introduce more healthier foods into my diet. The main hurdle is I don’t really like any of them and have a pretty strong gag reflex, but hey, I’ll give anything a shot.

Oh and sleep. I want to sleep more, apparently it’s unhealthy to get an average of 4-5 hours a night, so if I don’t meet any of the above blogging goals then please assume that I’m having a lie-in after an exhausting run the day before. Speaking of which, it’s getting late and I’ve got work tomorrow, and a run planned before work, so that’s me done for the day.

What are your plans for 2019? Any advice for me and mine? Whatever you’re doing, let’s make it a great year!

6 thoughts on “Life Vs Film in 2019

  1. Good luck with your plans Jay. I’ve made the health thing a resolution for me as well, but I’m doing it through swimming rather than running. Hope you enjoy Baltimore as well, I’m going there in April as well.

    • Thanks Tony, good luck to you too. I’ve never really gotten into swimming – running is so much cheaper! But best of luck to you, whatever works for you!

      And yeah, I’d heard you were hitting Baltimore a couple of weeks before me, bad timing I guess!

  2. Sounds like some great, achievable goals! Not sure that The Wire is going to help prep you for your trip to Baltimore though haha.

    Rob and I have high hopes to get back into running this year. For a time we were doing great, running 3-4 days a week and so into it, but ever since we lost that rhythm it’s been more like once every 3-4 months. We go for a lot of walks, but they don’t have nearly the same impact. And especially with it being cold/dark now – doing a workout indoors is so much more appealing. Running has given us the best effect though, so we’re hoping to get on a better schedule this year. Good luck with your efforts on that!

    • Thanks, Jess! So far I’ve run every other day (including an unintentionally long 8 mile run on Sunday that I’m paying for now) and am cutting back food-wise. I find keeping a log of my food intake helps me establish whether I’m actually hungry or just bored. I didn’t think The Wire would be good prep, I just want to finish it as there’ just 2 seasons left to go and I’ve heard at least one of them is good!

      Good luck to you and Rob with your running too!

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