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2015: Five Good Things

This year has been a bit of a blur for us because we’ve had almost no down time to take stock, reflect, question our career choices, and all that other fun stuff that can be quite the time suck if we allow it. I was wondering if we learned / found anything new at all this year and turns out we had. I can’t say this is a definitive list but off the top of my head here are a few things that made the blur that was 2015 alright.

Always have laughs at hand
We’ve been working almost non-stop this year and had many many really tough weeks. I remember one rainy weekend in June when it all came to a head and things felt very bleak. For no good reason, I decided to check out the stand-up comedy of a guest I’d heard on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron three years prior. That’s how Elvis and I discovered Nashville comedian Nate Bargatze’s excellent Comedy Central special Full Time Magic. We bought it off iTunes, listened to it in full and laughed harder than we had in months. Bargatze has a unique way of exploring the minutiae of everyday life that makes you laugh at what he’s saying and at the nature of humans in general. Since then we’ve listened to parts of the special several times and even adopted some of the lines as catch-phrases. “Again? Again with this?!” has became our go-to. You can see how life and people would offer up many opportunities to use that one.
The persona Bargatze adopts is that of a simple, regular guy, making his way through life, just happy “to have made it this far”. His comedy though is razor-sharp and pitch perfect – doesn’t matter whether he’s talking about his friends suggesting he fight his wife’s ex-boyfriend, people commenting on his family’s fat cat, finding himself locked outside a hotel room naked, his daughter’s crying-free doctor’s visit, leaving science, or the time he decided to get fit by following the Navy SEAL workout.

The non-superhero movies is where the fun lies
I’ll admit this is somewhat of a sweeping generalization but this year our most satisfying experiences with the movies have been when they were not big noisy affairs where masked men and women fight the bad guys. The Gift, Creed, Sicario, The Guest, Court, Boyhood, The Boy Next Door, La Haine, Dope and John Wick were all great to watch in their own unique ways. If you must insist on a blockbuster, have no fear – this year’s Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation delivered on everything that it promised.

Rewatch movies from your childhood
They mean completely different things now! It’s amazing to realize how much you missed the first time around. This year we re-watched The Breakfast Club and Cocktail. We’re in the process of checking out Face/Off again. How did we not get that it was so super weird the first time around? What is up with everyone in this movie!

Find some great channels on YouTube
Vimeo has been our platform of choice when seeking video on the web. This year is the first one we spent quality time watching things on YouTube. My personal favourite was The Viral Fever’s Pitchers. They told a really good story and they told it well.

The best non-fiction channel we discovered was The Slow Mo Guys. Everything does look better in slow motion but these guys take it up a 100 notches.

Podcasts make the daily grind easier to bear
Making breakfast, exercising, travelling to work, waiting in waiting rooms, spring cleaning – all made better with a great podcast in your ear. This year I’ve been listening to The Tim Ferriss Show (deconstructing super performers), WTF with Marc Maron (the best interviews), Song Exploder (artists deconstructing pieces of music written by them) and The Eddie Trunk Podcast (interviews with rock stars). A special shoutout to The Sound of Sport, an in-depth exploration of how the sound of sporting events is designed for broadcast.

See you in 2016!