inside my own heart

hey, so, the title of this blog is Bess in MPLS, and you might have noticed, I’m living in Chicago now? but I’m not changing the name of the blog, bc my HEART is in Minneapolis, and always will be. SORRY if that’s confusing, but not really. I’m suffering more by not being in my city than you’re suffering being moderately confused by the name of this blog.


watch more movies

last year I didn’t go into the year with any media goals. I wound up reading almost 100 books, and while I would have liked to get the last six, eh. I got very close, and am going to be happy with that.

This year I am going to be more intentional! My new years resolution is to watch more movies! Which is a kind of sad goal, on some level, but oh well. This will be good for me. I like film, and I like talking about it, and thinking and writing about it, and I want to make it a larger part of my life.

“Watch more movies” is incredibly vague, and as such should be easy to satisfy, but also offers little guidance. So I’ve come up with some things to aim for:

  • I have a list of movies I want to watch. Right now there are 138 things on it. I would like to cross 1o0 things off that list, and to have it under 100 by 2018.
  • I’m going to try to see all of the films nominated for best picture before the Oscars happen, unless something I really really don’t want to see gets nominated.
  • When I was younger and video rental stores was a thing we used to pick an actor and watch everything available in a row. I miss this. So I picked one actor, and one actress, and I’m going to try to watch everything they’re in that looks interesting that I haven’t already seen. I feel silly telling you who, like I’m confiding super obvious crushes on famous talented people, which I am, but feeling silly is good. Also, they’re both beautiful and I love them? It’s Julianne Moore and Adam Driver, and I’m super excited for Todd Hanyes movies I haven’t seen yet, and Paterson.
  • Go see more stuff, because going to the movies is fun, especially at the Trylon or the Walker, because they have cool weird stuff.

We’ll see how this goes? Wish me luck.

writing about film

When I started this blog last summer the goal was to write at least 100 words about every book I read and every movie I watch. This is not a hard task at all, it’s something I am completely capable of doing. I’m constantly behind, but whatever, that’s to be expected. Lately my problem has been that writing about books has been way easier than writing about movies.

I love film, I love reading and writing and being nerdy about it, but writing down simple 100 word bubbles about a movie doesn’t come as easy. This shouldn’t be surprising. I’ve had to do significantly more writing about literature than film. I’ve been writing about books forever, that’s second nature. Writing about movies is harder? Or at least it’s felt harder lately?

Or maybe not harder, but like, less inspiring. I’ve been less interested in writing about movies. When this happens with books it’s a sign that I should be reading more interesting books, but I’ve really enjoyed the movies I’ve seen lately. I’ve gone to the theater three times in the last two weeks, and enjoyed all three films. I have thoughts to share! But putting them down into a blog post feels challenging.

This is just me complaining. I’m going to keep on going the way I have been. If things stay the same maybe I’ll re-evaluate how I’m writing about movies, I don’t know. I need to remember this blog is an adventure, not a chore. Ignore me.

pep talk

I haven’t been blogging at all. I feel like a failure. That isn’t what I want to get out of having a blog. I write things on the internet for validation — look, other people liked the words I put together, they gave it a star. This is also why I tweet. This is why the hockey blog isn’t very satisfying. I should blog more, and then people would have an opportunity to love me. That’s a horrible motivation.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I feel good about that. Sometimes the ratios get thrown off, the amount of energy I spend writing compared to the energy spent reading or working a human being. I feel good about my ratios right now, it’s just that none of the writing has been blogging, it has all been nonsense. I’m proud of that nonsense, but I need to do this too.

I keep track of all the books I read. I used to use Shelfari, but that’s dying, and the export to goodreads was a useless joke.Now I have a spreadsheet with almost everything I’ve read in it. It’s reliable data going back to January 2010, with a lot of what I read before then filled in. It’s pretty impressive. I’ve read thirty-something books already this year, which is nothing to sneeze at. There are ten I haven’t blogged about.

A bunch of movies too, and some albums I think I’d like to write about, and pictures from May Day I kind of want to post. I have all sorts of things to say. But I keep coming back to the books. There are books on that spreadsheet that I have no memory reading. There’s a date read, and a number between 1-5 of how much I liked it, but I don’t actually remember anything about the book. A lot of these cases are comics, which is okay, I read a ton of mediocore comic books in high school, whatever the library had. I’m okay with forgetting some of this. But some of the titles are just? I’d have to google to see what was going on, and maybe I’d find something cool, but it’s sort of sad. I’m too young for these sorts of holes.

So book reviews. I read a lot, and I remember books more if I write about them. There’s a meaning behind the method. A reason. I need to remind myself of that and get writing. Sure, the affirmation of strangers on the internet is fun, but I’m doing this for myself as well, for my own good. Hopefully this pep talk will work.

why I write book reviews

I was recently talking to a friend about the different things I’ve been writing, and I told her that I had been making myself write at least a hundred words about every book I read and every movie I watched. She asked, “Why? You know you’re not in school anymore.”

I do know that, and I think part of why I started doing this is because not being in school kind of freaks me out. I like school, and I’m good at it. I like thinking and writing about literature, which is why grad school is probably somewhere in my future. I like taking the time to think about what I’ve just read or seen, and trying to explain it to someone else. I’m a really fast reader, and having to write makes makes me slow down and process more thoroughly. 

Also, I was recently looking through my read books page on shelfari, and I have stronger memories of books that I’ve had to write about in some context. This shouldn’t be surprising, but books I’ve written papers on stick around stronger in my head. Writing a little bubble review for my pet blog isn’t the same thing at all, but still, having to put my impression into words makes the impression stick around longer. Also, if I do forget my reaction to a book I can come back and find what I wrote about at the time.

This is basically a public journal of my reading habits. Doing this writing, and having these reflections, would be valuable to me, even if no one else finds it interesting. Whether anyone else finds it interesting is well… If you’re reading this, maybe you do.

Reading my book reviews is probably more interesting than reading my thoughts about writing book reviews. I’m sorry about that.

Regular programing will resume shortly.

goals @ the start of summer

So, you might have noticed, but I’ve been posting a lot of tiny book and movie reviews. The goal is to write at least a hundred words about every book I read and every movie I see this summer. So far it’s going pretty well, enough so that I’m willing to publicly admit that’s the goal. Now you can all shame me if I stop doing it.

I love summer — so much time to read and watch movies. I’ve also been watching a lot of television, but I’m not sure how I want to write about that. We’ll just see if anything is inspiring.

I just started watching Twin Peaks, and god. It’s incredible. It’s so weird. I don’t know what I want to say about it yet, it’s just so weird and beautiful. I love it.

I don’t know how I want to write about music either. Maybe post something about one song every week? I love writing about music, but it isn’t something I’ve done much of lately.

I should write about food too. I want to cook more, and this would be a good excuse to try more interesting restaurants.

We’ve had a nice stretch of hot weather this week. I’ve left my windows open for like five days straight, it’s lovely. On Memorial Day my mother and I went for a walk down by Minnehaha falls and it was great, except for how I came home with a dozen mosquito bites that have been driving me crazy all week.

Starting Monday there might be slightly less lying around. It’s been two weeks since graduation, and my parents will be allowed to start nagging me about the future. I don’t feel too terrified though. I emailed the bookstore about volunteering. I know what Americorps program I want to apply for, and have a timeline for getting that done. I need to set up a time to take my driver’s test, but I don’t need my license until August. I’ve been driving a lot more, and feel pretty good about it.

Summer’s only just getting started. I haven’t gone swimming once yet. There will be plenty of time to worry later. For now I’m just going to hang out and read all of the things.

first post

  1. I graduate in four days. I am done with classes. I have one paper left to finish, but it’s something I enjoy writing. I am basically done with school. That’s terrifying.
  2. I write a lot. It’s a thing that I do, for my own well being. If I didn’t write I’d get bored and miserable. Also, I like to think that I have interesting things to say.
  3. Writing a thing and being happy with how it turns out and then not doing anything with it is really fucking sad.
  4. Blah blah blah, the narcissism, of my generation, fuckin mileminals, personal brand. Follow me on twitter @bessmpls for up to the minute account of how #fun my life is.
  5. I have a long personal history of being a terrible blogger. I have had blogs since I was in like, seventh grade, and have never updated regularly, or produced stunning #content, but who cares. Let’s try this anyway. It’s summer, it’s time for a new adventure.