Writer Tamago’s Top 10 Movies for 2015

And…not exactly movies. ANYTHING I watched in 2015 is a go. And…not exactly things that were made in 2015. They could have been made at any time. I just watched them this year. TV shows get listed, sometimes by season, sometimes by entire run. Okay? If you’ve been reading for a while, you know the rules.

Yes, I know The Force Awakens is not out yet. I’m 97 percent certain that while I enjoy the experience, it’s not going to make the list. OR it will make the list through the judicious power of editing!

In no particular order, here they are.

1. Agent Carter Season One. Vintage clothes! Women in the spy place! Tough as nails and bittersweet, and so much better executed than some other Marvel shows. Season Two, soon, could make next year’s list. If you like your adventure stories with a soupcon of wit, and Hayley Atwell’s British accent does it for you, this is the place to be. Also, many scenes take place in an automat.

2. Daredevil. I promise you, these aren’t going to be all about teh Marvel. Netflix did a fine job producing The Foggy Nelson Show this tale about a superhero that isn’t necessarily likeable, but for the most part, tries to do the right thing. Kingpin and his bad guys were extremely interesting, as were Foggy and Karen. It’s a dark show, figuratively and literally. Recently, I’ve been joking that the difference between Daredevil and Jessica Jones is that they left the lights on in Hell’s Kitchen.

3. House of Cards Season One. Having said that, I may not watch season 4. The first two seasons are fantastic, and borrow heavily from their British source material. The third season wends soap operatically. BUT the ruthlessness of the Underwoods in Season One parallels that of Lord and Lady Macbeth, and I would suggest that if you stop watching after Season Two, you’re in for a ride.

4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Well done, BBC. A faithful adaption of the book for this fan, and I thought a moody, terrific tone and a fine cast. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

5. Krampus. It looks like it’s going to take you to cliche land, but it avoids that fork in the road. Not too scary, but scary enough and it deals with the folklore of this little known shadow of Santa very well.

6. Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. I got nothin’. I’m a sentimental old lady. Sue me. It’s the sweetest movie, especially when Stitch knows something is wrong, and he’s trying to be good. The ending is terrible, but you have to keep in mind that it’s for five-year-olds and roll with it.

7. Mad Men. Not as awful as House of Cards, but still watching a train wreck. Draper alternately fascinates and repels, as do all the characters. And again, a sucker for the vintage.

8. The Man from UNCLE. Yes, the Guy Ritchie version. It re-invented and paid homage, all at the same time. I was very impressed with the acting, the period portrayal, the plot. But not enough people were, so chances are I won’t get more of this, which makes me sad. Still, might be one of the most underrated films of the year, so I hope if you didn’t see it, you catch it on DVD.

9. Master Keaton. A smart person’s anime, with an insurance investigator/archaeologist who gets into all sorts of adventures. A very memorable support cast as well. Worth your time, if you can find it now.

10. What We Do in Shadows. Obviously, I’m not too proud. This reality film/documentary of the life of vampire housemates is hilarious and offbeat. The originality of the formula works.

Out There, Willowby, There’s a World Outside of Yonkers

Have I been self-absorbed!

Last week we managed to pack 3 weeks into one week. It was/is prep for finals week, and I went to Florida, and we had company over the weekend. No, I don’t know about the job yet. I do know that there are 2 other people being interviewed. I also know what the magical number the new college would have to meet salary-wise so I could move to Florida. And I’ve talked to the current boss who gave me all sorts of ideas regarding her own transition to Kirkwood that would help me out, should I accept a new job in Florida and have to be there, oh, say, immediately after Christmas.

A cute exchange as UCF was working on my expenses. It’s cold here today, about 50. I replied, it’s warm here today, about 40. The vagaries of relativity.

We finished making our decision on our new teacher at Kirkwood as well, so that’s an excellent thing. We had a fantastic pool of applicants this time, so it was a very difficult call.

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I sincerely hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit. We look pretty festive around here. I’ve got one package to put in the mail, another small secret Santa gift to buy, candy for the husband’s stocking on the docket for next weekend, and getting some of our one time a year social arrangements set up for Christmas. Still need to plan out the menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Also, I did finish the extraordinarily rough draft of Pawn for NaNoWriMo, as promised.

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In other news, some friends and I are exploring the wonderful world of podcasting. Yes, for fun.

My first writing time for about a week is tomorrow afternoon. I will begin to dig through the old Troll novel, and see what I can make of it, before returning to Pawn. Right now, that’s cooling off like a meteor that just hit.

How are you? What’s new in your life?