2015 Review

2015 was a year of transition. There were a lot of major changes for me, starting with the end of my employment with the KC Star after 12-plus years. It was such a great run there for the majority of that time, except for the last four months which were not so great (due to the economic ill-health of the newspaper industry forcing cutbacks, etc), and at any rate it was time to go. Freelancing has been okay, and entirely limited by the amount of effort I’m putting into taking it as far as it can go. It’s something I need to step up for 2016 in order to have the success I want. I have a lot of ideas that I need to just follow through on, which has been tougher than I was expecting. Working from home is challenging, and as a friend told me the other week, the problem with working from home is putting things off because you fall into the trap of thinking you can always just do it “later”. I’m considering finding some shared co-op office space to join; doing the Starbucks/library circuit is okay, but I think having a dedicated space might be key. We’ll see. If anybody has any suggestions about co-op space, please let me know.

Then there was the health scare with MS that I was going through at the exact same time I left the Star, which a lot of people here are familiar with, and which ultimately was a false alarm. That was a tough six to eight weeks to go through, with all the tests and medical expenses that go with it (spinal tap, anyone?). I still get paranoid whenever I feel “off” or unwell, which I guess is normal, especially getting older. But I remember the people who have been dealing with a lot worse health issues and I’m actually pretty lucky.

And then there are the more benign changes, like moving to a new place after nine years at my old one, as well as leaving the photo studio after three years. That was something I didn’t really talk about at the time, but I have a new arrangement at another studio that’s working out pretty well, although I haven’t done much there (another thing I need to correct for 2016).

If it sounds like 2015 was pretty “meh” for me, I’m just trying to keep things on an even keel with this post. I don’t really go in for the “rah rah! It’s gonna be a great year!” kind of thing. Kind of like how I was with the Royals, lol. (And how about that? It’s still kind of surreal the Royals won the World Series…)


On not spoiling Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, cont…2

Who knew that my return to long FB rants would be because of Star Wars spoilers? Though somehow I think this might be a more volatile subject than muslims or gun control, heh. This is sort of an addendum to my post last night where I suggested people use the time until they finally get to see Episode VII as an opportunity to take a break from social media completely. I’m seeing a lot of people complaining about being exposed to spoilers on their newsfeed; I’ve seen others threaten to de-friend people who post anything revealing, as well as more patient requests not to be dick about it. And I get it. Although what I’m not getting is why it’s so vital that you absolutely HAVE to keep scrolling your newsfeed 24/7 in the meantime. I mean, you’re just kinda asking for it, you know?

It makes me think of those student protesters at Missouri last month who wanted their “safe space” on the quad where they didn’t want the media allowed. And I’m like, the quad is a PUBLIC space, and the media have a FIRST AMENDMENT right to do their jobs on that same quad. If you want a safe space and privacy, GO INSIDE. I tend to think that the FB newsfeed (and Twitter, etc) is a public space, too. People are going to post what they want to post. It would be completely different if somebody was messaging you directly with spoilers or posting spoilers on your wall. I mean, THAT would be dick move. But somebody posting on THEIR page, and it appearing on your newsfeed…I mean, I gotta say that’s kinda on YOU for not being able to lay off the social media for the day or two (or in some cases, yes, a week or more) until you can see it yourself. You won’t miss out on anything by taking a break from FB and Twitter. You simply won’t. Like I said in last night’s post, you have other ways to communicate with people if you need to connect. Or, in the absolute worst case scenario, just go straight to your personal page if you need to announce something and FB is the best way to do it; just stay off the newsfeed.

Ultimately, I’m just saying that having plot details of a movie spoiled is absolutely NOT worth getting pissed off about or ending friendships over. ESPECIALLY when ALL you need to do to avoid it is to simply: Stay. The. Fuck. Off. Social. Media. That’s all you need to do. Trust me…you WILL get by. You won’t miss out on a SINGLE THING. You won’t be loser because you’re not hanging out with all the cool kids on FB. Be strong.

On not spoiling Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, cont…

Anyway, my non-spoiler review: I’m still absorbing the movie and may need one or two more viewings this weekend to fully process it wink emoticon

My initial reaction is that it may be the best Star Wars movie…well, of ALL OF THEM. I mean, come on, forget the prequels; if anything the Force Awakens brutally reinforces just how out of touch George Lucas became by the time he made those movies (and as he was even starting to show as early as Return of the Jedi; Ewoks, anyone?). But we all kind of already knew that, but to see it in the hands of somebody like Abrams, who has a genuine feel for character and plot…well. We owe a lot of thanks to George Lucas for creating Star Wars in the first place, but it’s good that it’s in new hands now. 

(And I WAS a bit worried about how it was going to play out in Abrams hands, because I was sorely disappointed with his Star Trek reboots—especially that, ugh, reveal of “Khan” in the second one. “Too Enterprise, Too Furious” is right. But he did extremely well with Star Wars, and I’m sure continuing an already established story instead of doing a full-on reboot like he did of Trek helped keep him grounded.)

In tone and in spirit, I think this movie fits most closely with Empire Strikes Back. In plot and in call backs, it fits more closely with the original Star Wars. So kind of the best of two worlds. If it’s still post-worthy by then, I will possibly discuss spoilers after the new year. Surely THAT will be long enough for you people to have all finally seen it, ha!


On not spoiling Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens


Like I promised, I’m not going to spoil the movie out of respect for those who won’t get to see it right away…but I have something to say to everyone who is anxious and uptight about accidentally seeing spoilers on your newsfeed: Try staying off social media until you do see it. It really is pretty simple, and I can tell you from first hand experience, when I recently disengaged from FB for a full week, that you WILL NOT miss it (social media). It was quite refreshing and I didn’t feel like I was “missing out” on anything. 

So consider taking whatever delay you’ve got until you do see Star Wars as an opportunity to take a break from the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. If you need to stay connected, you still have email (remember that?), texting and—God forbid—TALKING on the phone. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is.

Just something to think about.