I am writing this post on my brand new 24″ widescreen external monitor — it’s a TV, doubling as a GIANT computer screen, and it’s awesome. Last night I watched the Oscars on it, in all their boring glory–when did they stop being fun? (Answer: when Hugh Jackman was not hosting them every year after 2009.)
I’m amused to say it was my absolute worst showing ever, though: 9/24! I did make all my picks as the opening theme was starting, though, and I saw a grand total of two nominated films this year — The Help and Moneyball. The former had its problems, of course, but I cannot deny Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis’ amazing performances (although that standing ovation for Spencer seemed … slightly misplaced?). But nothing for Moneyball? Nothing? That hurts. I know, a sports film, a business film even–but Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the crazy passion and anger and dreams, that rugged determination–I thought he was fantastic. At least he was nominated.
If you have yet to see the film and you have any interest in baseball, read the book first. Michael Lewis is a master of making boring events into teeth-grinding page-turning ones (including the MLB draft, which is basically just a bunch of GMs phoning each other into the wee hours; not exactly made for novelization). And then watch the film, and revel in Chris Pratt’s adorable portrayal of Scott Hatteberg. I’d like to have coffee with the real Hatty, I think, if I could.
On a different note: today the brilliant Maria Popova posted a great little list of insights called How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love. It sounds a little self-helpy, I know, but trust me: interesting, candid, and worth it. Among my favourite affirmations are the following two:
First, from Robert Krulwich’s commencement address (full text):
If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams.
And from The Holstee Manifesto, which you’ve probably seen a hundred times before:
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them.
Emphasis is often made on going out and finding your inspiration and focusing on you and allowing yourself to do what you need to do–but I think there needs to be more of a reminder that it’s the people you surround yourself with that have the most effect. Since I started at my current job five months ago (!) all I’ve been thinking about is how much everyone around me knows, and how interesting the stories they have must be. I’d almost just like to take everybody out to lunch individually, one by one, and let them talk. (Maybe I will!)
Surround yourself with interesting people. It’s a surefire way to make you do more, all the time.