2021 in Earworms…?

On a whim, back in January, I started keeping track of songs that just popped into my head and wouldn’t go quietly. Now, 12 months later, I have 12 playlists of songs that I couldn’t quite get out of my head.

I tried not to post repeats of songs that were stuck in my head for multiple months but in general what you see is what we had, with maybe one or two exceptions for songs that weren’t on Spotify. Another arbitrary rule I set for myself was that the song couldn’t be something I heard somewhere or was specifically triggered by something, with the exception being if I kept hearing it in my head long after that moment. So for example, if I was watching a movie that had a song, it wouldn’t go on the playlist, but if I was still humming it days later, it would.

My plan was to end a monthly blog post with these but I couldn’t even get 12 blog posts out so, in reverse chronological order… here are the songs that were stuck in my head by month:

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2021 Media Log

Inspired by my friend Ben Hong (no longer media-logging), who got the idea from Jen Myers, I am continuing the practice of tracking my media consumption this year.

Past media logs: 2020 | 2019

Key: (B) = book | (F) = film | (T) = television series (completed season) | (L) = live performance (theater, music, comedy, etc.) | (A) = album (music) | (G) = video game | (C) = stand-up comedy special | [R] = reread/rewatch

Logged during the month I completed the unit. For example, I logged a full season of a TV show after watching the last episode of the season, whether I began the season that day or years earlier, I logged a game or album when I completed the entire thing, etc.

J A N U A R Y

  • Wonder Woman 1984 (F)
  • Ratatouille: The Musical (F?)
  • Ratatouille (F)[R]
  • King of Scars (B)
  • Promising Young Woman (F)
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 (G)
  • Bridgerton (T)
  • Homegoing (B)
  • Bend It Like Beckham (F)[R]
  • Pride and Prejudice (2005) (F)[R]

F E B R U A R Y

  • Enter the Dragon (F)
  • The Mummy (F)[R]
  • The Mummy Returns (F)[R]
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (F)[R]
  • To All the Boys: Always and Forever (F)
  • Desperados (F)
  • History of Swear Words (T)
  • You’ve Got Mail (F)[R]
  • Coming to America (F)
  • Love Wedding Repeat (F)
  • Underworld (F)
  • Underworld: Evolution (F)

M A R C H

  • Je ne suis pas un homme facile (F)
  • WandaVision (T)
  • Moxie (F)
  • Two Weeks Notice (F)[R]
  • Raya and the Last Dragon (F)
  • Coming 2 America (F)
  • Blood of Elves (B)
  • Serendipity (F)[R]

A P R I L

  • Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex (B)
  • While You Were Sleeping (F)[R]
  • Warrior S1 (T)
  • Warrior S2 (T)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (F)[R]
  • The Big Boss (F)
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (T)
  • Castle Crashers (G)
  • Shadow and Bone S1 (T)
  • Life in Color with David Attenborough (T)

M A Y

  • When Harry Met Sally (F)
  • Loathe at First Sight (B)
  • Mortal Kombat (2021) (F)
  • David Attenborough’s The Great Barrier Reef (T)
  • Kingdom Hearts 2 (G)
  • Stardust (F)
  • Song of Achilles (B)

J U N E

  • Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet (F)
  • Inside (F? C?)
  • Black Lady Sketch Show S2 (T)
  • In the Heights (F)
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal part 1 (F)
  • Exhalation (B)
  • Ted Lasso S1 (T)

J U L Y

  • Ted Lasso S1 (T)[R]
  • The Time of Contempt (B)
  • Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth (F)
  • Black Widow (F)
  • Loki (T)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy (F)
  • Never Have I Ever S1 (T)[R]
  • Rule of Wolves (B)
  • Never Have I Ever S2 (T)
  • Project Hail Mary (B)
  • Crying in H-Mart (B)
  • Red, White, and Royal Blue (B)

A U G U S T

  • Demon Slayer S1 (T)
  • The Year Earth Changed (F)
  • Transcendent Kingdom (B)
  • In the Moon for Love (F)
  • Solutions and Other Problems (B)
  • The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf (F)
  • The Ingenuity of the Househusband (T)
  • God of War (G)
  • Invincible S1 (T)

S E P T E M B E R

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (F)
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (F)
  • The Way of the Househusband S1 (T)
  • Over the Moon (F)[R]
  • Brittany Runs a Marathon (F)

O C T O B E R

  • Star Wars: Visions (T)
  • The Lightning Thief (B)
  • The Sea of Monsters (B)
  • The Titan’s Curse (B)
  • What If? S1 (T)
  • Ted Lasso S2 (T)
  • Star Wars: Visions (T)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (F)
  • Hocus Pocus (F)[R]
  • It Takes Two (G)
  • Casper (F)[R]

N O V E M B E R

  • Luca (F)
  • Coco (F)[R]
  • The Resistance (A)[R]
  • Eternals (F)
  • Closing Down the Pattern Department (A)[R]
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service (F)[R]
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (F)[R]
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Original Soundtrack (A)[R]
  • Paddington (F)
  • Arcane S1 (T)
  • Love Hard (F)
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (F)[R]
  • John Wick (F)

D E C E M B E R

  • John Wick: Chapter 2 (F)
  • The Art of Showing Up (B)
  • Wicked (L) (!!)
  • Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (B)
  • George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (L)
  • The Witcher S2 (T)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (F)
  • Hawkeye (T)
  • Die Hard (F)
  • Elf (F)[R]
  • Molly’s Game (F)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (F)[R]
  • Insecure S5 (T)
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales (G)

That’s everything I read, watched, listened to, and played — in their entirety — this year!

Of note is that this year is the first that I actually played these video games to completion on my own. In past years, I marked a game as “complete” via backseat gaming, as in little to no actual controller-in-hands time for me. But this year, my partner encouraged me to try to play them all the way through on my own, with minimal help on some of the difficult boss fights for God of War (it was supposed to be “just give me the story” mode…) and then refusing to help me beat any of Miles Morales so that I could fully own beating AND 100%-ing that game. I have a long way to go as a gamer but I feel less like the Fake Gamer Girl™ label that I have embraced for the past several years. Not sure I’ll be able to start streaming like my partner thinks I can, but at least I can hold my own on these easier difficulties of games. (Plus, God of War taught me so much about being a father… I’ll never forget it.)

You can follow along with my 2022 media logging at sipofstarrshine.com/media-log, which is kept up to date throughout the year!

2020 New Foods

I made a resolution to try at least one new recipe or restaurant every week of 2020. This was easier some weeks (e.g. travel weeks) than others (e.g. deep in burnout, months into quarantine weeks) so there were a handful of weeks where I either only ordered from restaurants I’ve eaten from before or only cooked familiar old recipes.

This was a good exercise for me, as keeping this goal in mind did push me to try to order from new restaurants, at the very least, and to find new recipes to cook. But it did feel like a lot of pressure to try new things when I really wanted the comfort of familiarity during this difficult year. (For example, I would have liked to support restaurants more regularly, even though I don’t regret supporting different restaurants week to week.)

Here’s how I did, by week number of the year:

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2020 Media Log

Inspired by my friend Ben Hong, who got the idea from Jen Myers, I am continuing the practice of tracking my media consumption this year. This will now be replaced with a 2021 media log, which I will update regularly on its dedicated page. Here are all the movies, shows, books, albums, games, and more that I logged this year.

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Spooky Season Movies for Scaredy-Cats

When the first chill of the year hits the air, the daylight hours get shorter, and for sure when October 1st hits, we officially enter the spooky season with a gusto. Halloween has gotten huge on social media as creatives post amazing costumes, baked treats, and home decor around the theme of black and orange and a little scary.

Pumpkin Dance GIFs | Tenor

I’ve never been big on the “a little scary” part. (I also kind of hate orange on myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was little, I accidentally watched slasher film classic Scream because someone had put the wrong tape in the box for Men in Black. (I was really suspicious when we hadn’t seen a single alien… or Will Smith…) I haven’t really come around to horror or gore since.

BUT I still love the festive feeling around Halloween. I have a long history of loving to dress up but then forgetting that many people go scary in lieu of sexy. (Once, I attended a Halloween event at the National Zoo and had the absolute bejeebus scared out of me by an admittedly impressive duo costume where one man was a menacing puppetmaster and the other was a terrifying zombie puppet attached to him by long rods. I screamed but the craftmanship was 👌)

spoopy | Dictionary.com
2 spoopy to live, 2 creppy to die

So here is an updated list of some of my favorite movies to watch to get into the spoopy season, and where it’s available to stream if you are interested in that. (If anyone wants to do a watch party, please let me know!) Since I have such a low tolerance for being scared, this list is a lot of children’s movies, since most children have a higher tolerance for being scared than I do… (Hence why I started my old list 6 years ago with several vintage Disney shorts.)

Note: If you would like to stream these, you can check Justwatch.com to see what platforms have it available. Not an ad, just a handy site I check when I get the hankering to watch something!

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