Flickr hosted all my photo-needs for 11 long years from 2005-2017. But because of its sharp decline and poor usability, I decided to leave Flick last year and move all my images over to SmugMug. A year later: my Flickr Pro account has now expired, all 10,300+ photos have been moved to SmugMug, and re-categorized by year! To celebrate, here are 14 photos, selected purely because of cold, hard facts from Flickr.
I saw exactly 100 films during 2016. That’s double my self-imposed limit of 4 per month (oops), way more than my mother (“I don’t think I saw 4 movies this entire YEAR!”), and way less than my film-critic boyfriend (who watched more than 300). While I certainly have personal favorites from those— including the usual “Best Films of 2016” list — here are 15 of the most memorable times I had going to the movies, this year.
A lot of reviews (from critics or otherwise) like to talk about whether or not a movie “held a child’s attention.” I completely understand the idea, but there are also SO MANY factors involved: parenting, pacing, other in-theater distractions, what they just ate, what they’re in the mood for, what other movies they’ve seen, how that kid in particular responds to sitting still for two hours, and on and on and on. It’s hard enough for a film critic to put aside whatever else is going on with them and force themselves to be a blank slate, so I can’t imagine what sort of surface-level, constant emotions are bouncing around (internally) at every second to distract kids.
Adam & I see a lot of movies either very late at night or stupid-early in the morning, often by ourselves (or nearly). So it’s the rare occurrence, nowadays, that we’re in a theater packed with KIDS. We both like kids, we try to be respectful of them and their parents (going to the movies is costly! and dark! and chaotic!), and we know they’re going to chatter and kick the seats. But it can also be a lot of fun (for us) to watch a film in an audience filled with kids, when it’s clearly made FOR kids.
Case(s) in point: As soon as the lights went down for our preview screening of “Pete’s Dragon” and the Disney fireworks began to pop (3D!) a kid in front yelled “WOW!” Characters on screen called for “Grace! Grace?!” at one point, a boy in the audience loudly chimed in to help, and a girl in the back responded “Yes?” The theatre erupted in laughter (parents and kids alike) when a character fell down, and the small children in front of us (surprisingly) bopped in time to the folk music. Good times.
A Tex-Mex appetizer dip, closer to pico de gallo than salsa. It’s lactose-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, requires zero cooking, and makes a giant bowlful in less than 20 minutes. Since it’s a dip, it’s forgiving and adaptable to whatever you have on hand (I have canned corn, not frozen corn!) and your taste (don’t want cilantro? use parsley! want to add black olives? go for it, crazy!). Feeds a party, fast. What’s not to like?
Lessons learned from this one: (1) Gnocchi can be pan-fried, instead of boiled, and (2) field greens can stand in for baby spinach, in a pinch, but aren’t quite as good. Anything advertised as a “30-minute meal” always takes me longer, so I’ve listed this as a “45-minute meal” — your results may vary, depending on your chopping speed. In any case: gnocchi, ground turkey, beans, tomato, basil + spinach — with a beat of heat from some red pepper flakes — made for a fast and very satisfying one-pan meal that was even better for lunch the next day.
Adam’s a big fan of potpies, so during my cookbook-buying spree in the early 2000s I picked up Potpies: Yumminess in a Dish by Elinor Klivans. Trained in France, and known primarily for her pastry recipes (she’s got entire books dedicated solely to chocolate chips and donuts) Klivans has had a long and varied career as a chef and writer. Which explains two aspects of her potpie book: (1) everything we’ve made from it has been delicious and (2) her personal anecdotes that begin each recipe sound like she’s amassed the recipes over the course of several years, from traveling all over the world. Between the cookies, the potpie, and the travel: the woman seems to know her comfort food.
This is the recipe we make most-frequently from her book: a tasty pot of this chicken-and-gravy, herb-y stew with drop-dumpling corn muffins. Over the years we’ve tweaked the recipe to our liking (it’s a bit saucier this way, and makes more: leftovers!) and now the version here is our default. We cook this in a wok with the lid from a large saucepan; the tapered, wider top works well for adding the dumplings in the finals steps. While I’d stick with a wider pan rather than a taller pan (because of the aforementioned dumplings), really any pot large enough to hold all the ingredients will work.
We’ve also removed a couple of the fancier, more time-consuming elements of the original recipe as well: pre-cooking your own whole chicken while making your own homemade broth (amazing! but time-consuming), cooking the sauce a day ahead of time (fine, but not necessary), and also using different herbs for the sauce and dumplings (we found that one bunch of chives was the perfect size for both parts). Both photos are from times I’ve cooked this, six years apart, and it continues to be an easy, warm and tasty dish for the thick of Winter.
After 10 years with Flickr, I’m finally jumping ship and moving my online photo archives over to SmugMug. It’s going to be a challenge over the next year (when my Flickr Pro expires), but I think SmugMug will suit me better, and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of its cool features (GIFs-support! Custom gallery layouts!). To start off, I’ve uploaded everything I shot in 2015, from both my iPhone and my DSLR. Below are 60 of those images from the last 12 months, a really fast flip through an incredibly packed year.
No one updates anymore, so I’m retiring the blogroll widget and archiving the links (that still work) here, for posterity.
Simon & Ivan – The leading blog run by dashing hedgehogs
Life Without a Lenscap – Todd’s LiveJournal
The Amazing Adventures of Adam – Adam’s blog
Captain Anndor’s Adventures – Anna’s LiveJournal
Process + Color – Kara’s blog
It’s that time again! Check out this year’s Oscar Nominees in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories with my annual mix! I’ve selected roughly 11 minutes from each of the scores, so that in less than an hour you can get a taste of all five nominees, and also check out all five song nominees, as well.
We’ve got the droning atmospherics of “Sicario”, the thematic and well-known hummability of “Star Wars,” multi-national patriotic flourishes mixed into Newman’s traditional style in “Bridge of Spies,” the minimal and delicate “Carol,” and the dark-Western Italian-mentality of “The Hateful Eight.” It’s a solid (but not shocking or *crazy*) group of nominees this year.
Whether or not you agree with the Oscars (I often don’t) or think these are the five best scores of the year (I definitely don’t), it’s always interesting to see what’s nominated, hear some scores you might not’ve otherwise, and, if nothing else, you’ll be personally knowledgeable about these two categories if you watch this year’s broadcast!
Adam’s “Best Movies of the Year” list is in this week’s CITY Newspaper. He saw SO MUCH stuff this year (seriously: over 300 films) and he gave this TONS and TONS of late-night, compare-and-contrast thought. Read it at: http://goo.gl/qN70XK
As a lover of movies in all genres, he tries very hard to leave baggage at the door, see films for what they are, what their intent was, and how they compare with other similar works. In short: every film is given the chance to tell a story, find its voice, and be a work of either great entertainment, great art, or, in the best scenarios, do both; whether it’s a soft-focus European art film or a guns-a-blazin’ popcorn action flick. He’s fantastic at getting inside the filmmakers’ intent and giving every film a fair chance, hopefully letting them surprise him in the best possible way.
Critics get a bad rap, but Adam works super hard to be fair, give credit where credit it due, but also state disappointments… not because he wants to tear anyone down, or because he purposely sees films he knows he won’t like, but because he wants to see everyone get better and make great work. It’s admirable, difficult to live up to, and I’m immensely proud of him (I’ve posted a copy of his Top 15 list on the outside of my City Hall cube, as seen in the above photo, and it’s already inspired some discussion).
Pick up a copy of the paper and give it a read. Or click the link, give it a Facebook “like” on the article, and post a comment! You don’t have to agree (everyone’s “Best of the Year” list SHOULD be different, since we all have different interests!) but hopefully it’ll encourage you to check out a film you may have missed, or give a second-chance to something you purposely passed on.