1. In case you missed it, I wrote up some quick off-the-cuff thoughts about Star Wars: The Force Awakens last night. Now that I’ve slept on it, I can say with confidence that I still feel the same; it’s a very good Star Wars movie, and as far as rankings go I’d put it in my top 2 along with Empire. In fairness, that isn’t necessarily saying all that much; the prequels are garbage, and both New Hope and RotJ have moments that we’d all rather forget. Even if Episode 7 is simply a reboot of Episode 4, it’s really well done, and I feel like it’s OK to be excited for Episode 8 now.
2. My wife had attempted to buy me the Xbox One Elite Controller via Amazon, but even 3 weeks later there was no sign of it shipping any time soon. As it happens, though, I was running some errands over the weekend and happened to be in a Best Buy and – lo and behold – there were three (3) Elite Controllers just hanging out, ready to be bought. I bought one. I had a tough time justifying the expense, especially since the XB1 isn’t my primary console, but.. I mean.. goddamn, once you hold this thing in your hands it makes as strong a case for itself as you can imagine. It’s pleasantly heavy, the buttons and triggers have a remarkably more pleasing feel, and even if I never use the alternate buttons and back-panel triggers, I’m happy to know they’re there if I change my mind.
2a. On a related note, I now feel contractually obligated to get back into Halo 5.
3. I also bought Rock Band 4 for the XB1, and my old drumset and 1 of my 2 guitars still work, so there’s that. I’m happy to have Rock Band back in my life, but HOLY SHIT the game feels barely half-built at this point. How is it that in 2016, I can’t program my own setlist? And the process of re-downloading songs I already own is beyond tedious; thankfully, I only have to do it once.
4. I’ve read all the David Mitchell novels now, and so I’m back to re-reading Cloud Atlas, which was the first one of his that I’d read. I didn’t necessarily see what all the fuss was about the first time out; I could certainly recognize his talent as a writer, and I appreciated how each story tied into the next one, but I didn’t really understand the point. (I also felt similarly about Ghostwritten, his first novel, although the interconnected stories in that novel at least have a vague sort of butterfly-effect thing happening.) This second time through, however, I’m feeling much more at home with it – and I also recognize many more of the characters from other novels, so that stuff makes it a bit more interesting. All that aside, I feel like I need to read Bone Clocks again, and immediately. I know I’m one of the few people on Earth who prefers Bone Clocks to Cloud Atlas, but what can I say? That book affected me in a deeply profound way that few books ever have before.
5. I’d been meaning to put up a Music of 2015 post – I even have a draft here, but I’m not particularly happy about it, and in any event all the navel-gazing I was doing about it is probably less interesting than all the other navel-gazing I do here as it is. So, instead, I’ll cut to the chase and post two Spotify playlists:
- these are my favorite songs that came out in 2015: https://play.spotify.com/user/jervonyc/playlist/1bc5kCBp9ljhQgibf8jCm
- and these are my favorite songs from the Weekly Discovery playlist, which is a thing that I do very much want to write about, even if someone else already wrote about it: https://play.spotify.com/user/jervonyc/playlist/2YYrZRqITzZQeyCFeZKB0x