2013 in Film

It’s time for my annual round-up of films that were released this year that I saw. (2012 here) It was a lot fewer than I usually see. The fall-winter season saw a marked decrease in theater visits, aside from my holiday between Christmas and the new year, where I saw 3 movies at the theater in one single week.

Without denotation = seen in theaters
* = seen on Netflix/some other service (e.g. Redbox, Amazon)
** = seen on a plane/ship

These are listed in order of the release dates as provided by Wikipedia.
However, it is not the order in which I watched them. I did not enjoy all of these films, but oh well!

  • The Grandmaster
  • Movie 43*
  • 21 and Over*
  • Jack the Giant Slayer**
  • Oz the Great and Powerful**
  • Olympus Has Fallen
  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Now You See Me
  • The Internship
  • This is the End*
  • The Heat
  • Coffee Town
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Total = 19.

2013 movies

Which 2013 releases do you think I should still try to see?

If you would like to know whether I’d recommend any of the movies I watched, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll try to keep it brief with a yes or a no. 🙂

2013 Year-End Survey

  1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? – I mentioned this in my reflection post. To add to that since publishing: I visited Costco, ate a churro, and went inside a Wawa. Weird firsts to add, right?
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? – I kept a few of them, and I am publishing my resolutions post very soon.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth? – No.
  4. Did anyone close to you die? – No.
  5. What countries did you visit? – As mentioned: England, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and France
  6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? – Discipline. Much more discipline. Most of my unhappiness stems from a lack of discipline.
  7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? – I’m not sure if any specific dates from this past year will be etched into my memory forever. I’ve never been one to remember many dates. I can barely remember my graduation date. I do remember that my vacation was 26 July to 12 August, but I doubt I’ll remember that a year from now.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? – Graduating college? Although it didn’t feel like a very big accomplishment in the moment.
  9. What was your biggest failure? – Trying to defend my lack of life direction while I watched my friends start out on their journeys to achieve their dreams.
  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? – Not really. I bruised my butt skiing last week, but otherwise nothing big. I had my wisdom teeth removed? Does that count?
  11. What was the best thing you bought? – The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition was one of the purchases that made me happiest this year, to list one off the top of my head.
  12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? – Many of my friends, who have gone on to do such amazing things, truly
  13. Whose behaviour made you appalled? – My own? My roommate? The administrative coordinator at work?
  14. Where did most of your money go? – My new computer (RIP old computer), gifts, new clothes, and food
  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? – Visiting Europe, The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition, red pants, getting a local Yelp job
  16. What song will always remind you of 2013? – As far as if I hear it I’ll remember that it came out in 2013?
  17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? – (a) Neutral, I don’t think I’m happier or sadder than I was at this time last year, I’m about the same; (b) Fatter; (c) Richer by a bit, since I worked almost all year this year
  18. What do you wish you’d done more of? – Dancing, karaoke-ing, smiling
  19. What do you wish you’d done less of? – Crying, yelling, punishing myself and others
  20. How did you spend Christmas? – Eating food with my family and watching The Wolf of Wall Street, then back to the house for some more food and more movie-watching
  21. Did you fall in love in 2013? – With a person, no. With a thing or a movie or a character or a place or a moment or a song or…? Yes
  22. What was your favourite TV program? – Once Upon a Time was easily my favorite show this past year, although I did get quite into Doctor Who as well
  23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?– Hatred, hatred. Hate is such an intense emotion that I don’t know who would matter enough to warrant it. I’ve spent quite some time wondering if I truly hate anyone.
  24. What was the best book you read? –  Oof I didn’t do a lot of reading this past year. I read a handful of mediocre books and stopped reading another handful. Dommage.
  25. What was your greatest musical discovery? – I think I added some new stations to Pandora: Always on Time (by Ja Rule), Ludacris, House music, Video Game music; these are more like rediscoveries?
  26. What did you want and get? – To visit Europe, to graduate, Funko POP! vinyl toys, tickets to see The Nutcracker
  27. What did you want and not get? – A sense of purpose in my life
  28. What was your favourite film of this year? – That came out this year, the movies that I enjoyed most were Thor: The Dark World and Saving Mr. Banks
  29. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying? – Not being a student anymore, even though I do miss it, is a huge relief to me. The weight of my virtual unemployment has obviously not quite set in yet 😛
  30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?– Not bad when I tried, I finally got to incorporate more blazers & cardigans, I let myself bare my legs, but when I didn’t try well…
  31. What kept you sane? – My boyfriend, this blog, strangers talking to me through Youtube
  32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? – Hahahahahahaha. Well, I went through a pretty big Tom Hiddleston and Chris Evans phase, as well as some major adoration for Josh Dallas & Robbie Kay
  33. What political issue stirred you the most? – Gay marriage, as per always, but I did get myself into a few debates about things like healthcare
  34. Who did you miss? – I think I missed people less this year, but there are some friends to whom I still cling to the frayed threads of our relationships. I also quite miss my family, but I know that missing my family and wanting to see them don’t go hand-in-hand 100% of the time
  35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. – If you want to do something, you have to clear that path to do it. If the obstacles are external to yourself, avoid them or annihilate them. If the obstacles are part of who you are, you must try extra hard to work through them. Talking is not the same as action.
  36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. – I’m pretty rubbish at song lyrics, sorry!

☺ | via Tumblr

Looking Back on 2013

I am currently writing my annual resolutions post. Often, resolutions blog posts make me feel really frustrated with what I haven’t yet accomplished. They’re rarely things like “Continue to be awesome!” or “Keep being perfect!”

Even though this was another admittedly difficult year, I am more than aware of how many wonderful things happened this year.

So, without further ado, a quick little rundown of the things I accomplished this year that made me happy and/or proud:

  • I took a voice class
  • I played intramural basketball
  • I had an A+ in a biology class, if only for a brief moment
  • I produced, directed, and starred in a short film for class
  • I graduated college
    Stone and I on graduation day
  • I watched my brother graduate high school
  • I quit being pre-med
  • I saw Saturn
  • I started getting help
  • I began blogging more regularly
    • I made new friends as a result
  • I had my wisdom teeth removed
  • I got a smartphone whoa
  • I became Yelp Elite
    Embedded image permalink
  • I went to Europe, where I was able to check off bucket list places like:
    • London
      • I took my first-ever bike tour

        Helmet = ready!
        Helmet = ready!
    • Paris
    • Berlin
    • St. Petersburg
      • I learned that I should not be THAT scared of vodka

        Coming soon in my St. Petersburg posts!
        Coming soon in my St. Petersburg posts!
    • Copenhagen
    • Helsinki
    • Stockholm
    • Tallinn
  • I experienced a cruise ship for the first time

    2013-08-03 20.09.32
    The views were unreal.
  • I sang karaoke in front of strangers
  • I attended the Maryland Crab & Beer Festival
    2013-08-17 17.50.59
  • I attended two free, very different, movie screenings and thoroughly enjoyed them both
  • I finally walked along the Brooklyn Bridge
    2013-09-28 16.01.40
  • I ran my first-ever 5K (and lived!)
    My first time wearing numbers pinned to my shirt?
  • I attended my first-ever real concert

  • I took a ballet class

    My ballet classmates, instructor, and myself on the right.
    My ballet classmates, instructor, and myself on the right.
  • I met Buzz Aldrin

    Getting a signed book (and a compliment!) from Buzz Aldrin
    Getting a signed book (and a compliment!) from Buzz Aldrin
  • I sort of met Ice Cube

    Yeah, I could've touched him, no big deal.
    Yeah, I could’ve touched him, no big deal.

I had my Snow White costume featured on the Disneybound blog

Thank you Brittany for this screenshot!
Thank you Brittany for this screenshot!
  • I visited the Wall Street bull for the first time


All in all, I was so incredibly fortunate to have all of these experiences and more this year. I’m happy to have been able to experience these wonderful things and that I was able to share almost all of them here with my small bunch of readers.

I think that 2013, with its extreme ups and extreme downs, has made me a better person than I was in 2012. I’ve become more of a person of action. Mind you, I still have a long ways to go with this, but I didn’t say no to as many opportunities that I wanted so badly to say yes to. Resume vocal training? No more talking about it, time to register for a class and sing. Take up ballet again? Oh, maybe I could… or maybe I’ll just register for a class and dance.

I tried to not just talk about doing things with the false air of being too busy to actually do them. In truth, I was, and often am, too embarrassed to do things, Singing in front of complete strangers without a spotlight blinding me to their presence? Biking around a city that I don’t know? Paying MONEY to RUN even though I am slow and have poor endurance?

What’s more is that many of these experiences are actually the result of my own agency. Yes, my dad booked us for the bike tour, but I’m the one who called it to his attention and suggested it. He bought my tickets to The Nutcracker but only because he knew how badly I wanted to see it. (So badly that I was actually vocal about it, instead of willing people with my non-existent psychic powers to know.)

I am proud of myself for many of the things I accomplished, but maybe I’m most proud that I acted on things I wanted to do. Instead of “Oh, I wish I could do this…” I actually got up and did. I feel empowered by my newfound sense of agency.

This is what assures me that I will be a better person in 2014.
This is why I am grateful for 2013.

2013 Resolutions

It’s time for my annual resolutions list! Every year it’s a lofty list but I’m going to aim for some more concrete resolutions that are (I hope) more achievable for me so that I don’t end 2013 looking at my list and shaking my head at another year of PHAIL.

1) Achieve a full split
This might seem weird, but I haven’t been able to do a full split in any direction in 10 years since I stopped taekwondo and ballet. Being able to do this again would be a fantastic physical achievement.

2) Get a 4.0 for my last undergraduate semester
Okay, so I’ve failed at getting 4.0s every past semester (and I’ve made it a resolution every year but gotten further from my goal…), but this is my last chance. I. Got. This. (… right?)

TIger Mom is Army of Win.

3) DANCE at least once a week.
I loooooove dancing (e.g. Zumba, random dance parties in my room) so this is a super practical fitness goal. Ideally, I would get to the gym about twice a week, but I know that things like weather and school and general grumpiness keep me from making that one mile trek much too often. Dancing around is great cardio, I am never sad doing it, it’s a great way to unwind with friends, and a great reason to get to a club and rub up against strangers. (… okay maybe that’s not as fun XD)

4) Try to do yoga once a week… or month…?
This one is tougher for me to do on my own since I don’t really ever do yoga, unless I buy a tape or video or do my Wii Fit stuff at home. But with my back issues getting a bit worse and also with how high-strung I am, there is no doubt that increasing the yoga in my fitness routine from none to some will be beneficial. Ommmmmmm.


5) Smile more: when I walk, talk to people, sit, stand, etc.
I have a tendency to look a bit down, especially when I’m walking, mostly because I’m thinking hard about how the day is going or how the day sucks… ^^; Smiling is good for you and good for me and I should do more of it. I can probably start by not scowling when I walk.

6) Laugh once a day.
I should really save up things I know make me laugh, like Youtube clips. Laughing hard can really make my day better.

Maybe drink more Shirley temples? Okay.

7) Keep my room clean.
The state of my room fell to complete disarray when I went to North Carolina for the summer and then came back, and it has been a source of constant stress. The haphazard packing and also unpacking was too much for my room to recover from without a day solely dedicated to cleaning. I will be going in sometime in the next few weeks just to clean and I hope to keep it that way!

8) SLEEP WOMAN. Maximum 2 nights up after 1 AM a week – including weekend nights.
This has been a bit tough because I care so much about the different relationships in my life, and most of my friends are quite nocturnal creatures. I am, too, but the fact remains that I have to wake up quite early for class and work, so I need to take a cue from my roommate, who has to be up for work at 6 and sleeps by 10 to make sure she is rested enough. My sleep problems have been so ridonkulous (post coming eventually) that this is just as important as exercise for me to better my health.


9) Fruits. Veggies. Minimum one full serving a day.
Preferably a fresh serving, it’d be nice if I could get a serving every meal of each, but realism is key to resolutions this year.


Also, along that vein, I’d like to significantly reduce my meat intake, but I haven’t settled on a practical goal there yet.

10) SPF in the morning, moisturize in the evening.
I need to really be taking care of my face! I’m now really in my 20s and good genes will only get me so far. SPF every day, moisturizer every day. No skipping and no skimping; this is something I should be investing in. I have the stuff to take care of my face, I just really need to stop being lazy about using it. (That means using my cleansers instead of just washing with a towel and calling it a night…)

11) Call my family twice a week.
Once my brother starts college, my family members will be scattered, so I’ll need to put more work into staying in touch with everyone. But I have the technology! Skype, cell phones, even snail mail if I have to.

12) Shut up and listen.
I still hear myself talking about me, myself, and I far too much during conversations. Even I’m getting really tired of it, so I will make a much more conscious effort to shut up and just listen.

13) Drink at least 2L of water a day.
I don’t think I drink enough water, so I’ll try to drink about the 8 cups, 2 liters amount a day. The constant sipping is tricky, but I’ll try my best. I think I’m drinking a lot more water these days than I was this time a few years ago.

14) Appreciate and try hard.
This one is vague but one of the most important resolutions I have this year. I really need to be able to appreciate everything and everyone in my life. And, according to many people, I need to also learn to appreciate myself. That will be super tricky, but I’ll have to try. Also, I have to stop being afraid to try really hard to achieve something. If I fail, at least I didn’t fail to try, right? (… right? That’s what people keep saying anyway…)

Here’s to 2013. Please be better than 2012, because man, I thought 2011 was bad.