1. The Gryffindor Common Room
I go to sleep every night in the Gryffindor Common room. The original Pottermore sorting quiz placed me in Slytherin. The recently updated quiz sorted me into Ravenclaw. So I don't know why I'm hanging around with the goody-goodies in Gryffindor. But I am.
The sound of the crackling fire comforts me. The look of the room itself takes me back to my days at Universal Orlando, when I'd get out of dance rehearsal and ride Forbidden Journey four times in a row. Every day. Very happy times, indeed.
2. I Was There Too
Specifically, this episode featuring my favorite, your favorite, EVERYONE'S FAVORITE, Vasquez from Aliens, Jenette Goldstein. True story, the day after I started drafting this, I was flipping channels and found Star Trek: Generations. I paused to watch for a few minutes and guess who was on the bridge? Jenette Goldstein.
If you like smart podcasts, I highly recommend this and this. True story, I accidentally typed Malcom McDowell instead of Malcolm Galdwell while searching for a link (because Star Trek) and guess what? Malcolm McDowell has his own podcast.
3. Film Score, Film Score, and more Film Score (with a side of They Might Be Giants)
Film score is restful for the ears and the mind. These are my personal favorite playlists on Spotify.
WRITE by Yours TrulyCINEMATIC CHILLOUT by Spotify
ON STRENGTH also by me
I think Ludwig Goransson's Black Panther will likely be my favorite score of 2018. And TMBG is going to take song of the year with this one.
I've been making a playlist every year of my life since 2013. I officially close them out on Dec. 31st and they can never be altered after that day. Embarrassing or otherwise.
I can read these playlists the way mystics in movies decipher tea leaves or thrown bones. 2013 was a rager filled with nostalgia. It was walks around Lost Lake in Florida and new tattoos. 2014 was driving back and forth from TeachLive. It was hopeful and happy and filled with connective tissue. 2015 and 2016 were long walks in San Francisco. Work stress, plane flights, and political upheaval. 2017 was almost a lost year, aside from some great work in Washington D.C. I spent the rest of it locked away in an office writing one-off screenplays that I never revised.
This year? This year has been a grab bag. Chicago, New York, Indy, Orlando...as Johnny Cash would say, I've been everywhere, man. I'm almost certain I finally found my landing spot. Almost. I can't tell if I'm hiding or making a good move for the long term. Either way, 2018's playlist is long walks in Florida, thoughts of returning to dancing, trips to the hospital, and autumn in Indiana.
Not that anyone needs an intimate peek into my psyche, but just in case...
What will be your mental retreat in November and December? What strikes your fancy right now as relaxing, intelligent, or inspirational?