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Monday, December 23, 2002

I'm not sure what the most important thing I did yesterday was. It could have been the long walk over by the coastal house. That's big. It could have been getting all my Christmas presents wrapped. That's huge. It probably was making a list of things I had to get done today. That's momentous, because tomorrow is Christmas Eve and then there's Christmas, so this is a really truncated week as far as work is concerned.

It doesn't really matter what's more important, one part of my day or another. Prioritizing is a good idea in general, though. So much is going on, and I don't seem to be able to get a handle on it unless I can figure out how to do one thing at a time. So often I'm doing something, and I get interrupted, and something else becomes more immediately important, and I get interrupted again, and nothing gets done well or completely.

Many things should be prioritized, whether we do so or not. But there are some things we prioritize just for fun, hence the proliferation of top ten lists at this time of the year. Thanks to Netflix, I've seen many more movies this year than at any time in my life. Many more. And more recent ones, too.

My top ten Netflix rentals include a few current movies and some that I simply missed along the way over the years. I don't know what the list tells about me. Maybe you can figure it out. I probably didn't put enough thought into it for it to mean anything. It's what I thought at one frozen moment in time.

The links are to my comments about these films, if I wrote about them at all.

  1. I Am Sam (I bought it after I rented it, the only one on this list I can say that about.)
  2. Spring Forward
  3. The Usual Suspects
  4. Romeo + Juliet
  5. Bread and Tulips
  6. K-Pax (I didn't mention it in the journal, but I guess it's only my second-favorite Spacey movie that I saw for the first time this year on a rented DVD.)
  7. The Shipping News
  8. Ice Age (I don't know why I didn't write about this. It's a great story with terrific performances by Ray Romano as a woolly mammoth, John Leguizamo as a sloth, and Denis Leary as a saber-toothed cat.)
  9. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  10. Monsoon Wedding

So there you go, a totally pointless list. Movies I saw for the first time this year by renting them from Netflix. A subset of a subset, but all labels and categories are to some degree artificial anyway.

There were many other movies I liked almost as much as these, and a few I hated (more or less), like Orange County, 40 Days and 40 Nights, and Tarzan and Jane. I'm as eclectic in my dislikes as I am in my likes.

sculptured garden

The grounds at Kendall-Jackson.

Making a to-do list doesn't necessarily guarantee that anything will get done. It's not at all unusual for me to look at the list on a cold December morning and decide there's nothing on it that can't wait until, say, January.

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Latest recommendation:

Jon Carroll's column for December 23, Sure you're jittery; everyone's jittery

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Derailed
"You don't want to be around me when I'm like that. I don't want to be around me, either. "

Two years ago: Still Afloat
"I run a loose ship here, and every so often we drift onto the rocks. We haven't sunk yet, though."

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You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear
Voices singing, "Let's be jolly. Deck the halls with boughs of holly."