The beginning of a new year brings with it the promise of a clean slate and the opportunity to start over; while it really is just another day on paper, there is something symbolic about New Year’s that makes this the time of year that people make resolutions and try to change. Granted, most of these promises fall flat, but we keep making them. I didn’t do particularly great with my pop culture resolutions last year – I only went to two new MLB stadiums instead of three and I was clearly a complete failure on the “go to fewer concerts” front – but that doesn’t mean I won’t try again this year and hope to do better. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well then, call me crazy because here are my pop culture resolutions for 2014:
- Finally watch Raiders of the Lost Ark – There is no real reason that this hasn’t happened yet other than my stubbornness. 2014 may be the year to finally see what all the fuss has been about.
- Stop buying so many DVDs – I think I may have a legitimate problem; even though I am very consciously trying to downsize and de-clutter my life and home, I seem to not be able to stop myself from buying DVDs. I’m definitely slowed down from my heyday, but I still have work to do. The sad thing is, I don’t even watch half the DVDs that I have. It’s like I buy them as a sign of approval, but then never get around to re-watching what I purchased. So in 2014 I hope to curb this impulse and only buy a few select DVDs. Friends and family – you may want to get your intervention plans underway.
- Go see a film at the Alamo Drafthouse – It may seem silly to go all the way to Yonkers to see a movie, but this is a theater that is made for cinema lovers. I have long been a fan of their strict no texting, talking or cell phone policy and the fact that I can reserve my seat AND have a cheeseburger and a beer while doing it sounds like heaven to me. Plus, going to Yonkers looks a lot more likely than making the trip to the mothership theaters in Austin, TX.
- Watch fewer mindless re-runs – I’ve noticed that I can plop down on the couch and put on old episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne or The Golden Girls and the next thing you know, three hours have passed. That’s time that could have more productively been spent doing other things. So in 2014, I’m going to try to cut down on watching things that I’ve seen 100x times before and make better use of my limited free time.
- Re-watch The Wire – It’s been a long time since I’ve sat through The Wire in its entirety and I’m curious whether I still consider it the greatest TV show in the history of the world now that Breaking Bad has ended its run. There may be a new sheriff in town. Either way, revisiting the show is a long overdue (and I’ll have the time to do it if I follow through on the resolution above).
- Finally see The Book of Mormon – I have been trying to see this Broadway show since it was in previews and have been foiled by the high ticket prices and the limited availability. A touring production is coming to my backyard in 2014, so fingers crossed I can finally cross this off the list.
- Check out more podcasts and webseries – I have a handful of both that I am a loyal consumer of, but there has been a proliferation of podcasts and webseries over the last few years. I’d like to branch out more and see what else I discover.
- Finish Deadwood – Yup, this made the list last year and I managed to get to about the same point in the series before I got waylaid by other things. I must have some mental block over the last half of this show. I have now seen the first few episodes of this series multiple times. Need to get over the hump and make a real effort to finish this show that I really enjoy.
- Visit the Anchorman exhibit at the Newseum in Washington DC – I may not have loved the sequel as much as some people, but I’m still an overall Anchorman fan. Hopefully I can pair this trip with a Nationals game and knock another stadium off my list.
- Visit at least 3 new MLB stadiums – I’m slowly creeping my way toward my ultimate goal of all 30; only 14 more to go!
- Go see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – I know I JUST went to see Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and I’m getting greedy, but I really want to go check out The Tonight Show when it returns to its rightful home in NYC.
- Go to the Film Columbia Festival – The last two years I have planned to check out this very good local(ish) film festival, but have gotten myself sidelined and never made it. This year I am determined to make this happen – 18 movies in 5 days sounds like my own personal heaven.
- Take more random pop culture road trips – I’d love to hit up some of the locations from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or just go on the road to see more big concerts or exhibits. I did a pretty good job with this this year, but I could always do more.
- Do a meet and greet with one of the New York Yankees – I’ve done celebrity meet and greets before with NKOTB and Steve Burton from General Hospital (that one’s a long story), but I’d love to be in the same room with Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte or Paul O’Neill and have my picture taken with one of them. I have a friend who is keeping me updated on the events with Steiner Sports in NYC, so it may happen sooner rather than later.
Honestly, it is tough to come up with ways to improve on my 2013, which was pretty spectacular on almost every front, but especially related to my pop culture consumption. I got to do some really cool things over the last year, so if that could just continue I’d consider myself very happy.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014! As always, thank you for your readership!!