1) American Vampire, written by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Stephen King.*
|I think Skinner Sweet was modeled after Sawyer from Lost. I am totally OK with that.|
I read this today while holed up in the local Barnes and Noble. WOW. I was completely giddy for hours afterward. I mean, come on. A comic with epic, murderous vampires and a dual Western/1920's Hollywood setting? Cowboys, flappers, mysterious Eurocracy and gruesome monster violence? It's like they downloaded a list of things I love. Reading Amvamp was the kind of comic book experience you dream of--the experience of feeling completely connected to the story, eagerly flipping ahead, breathless to see the next panels because you just can't wait to find out what in the world will happen next. Scott Snyder has been a hero of mine since Batman: The Black Mirror made me want to write comic books, and this definitely kept up that tradition. Sometimes my favorite art pieces are the ones that set me on fire, that make me want to go out and write and create. After finishing this, I just wanted to sit and write for hours. What a sensation.
2) Jiro Dreams of Sushi
|I watched this while eating my delicious homemade mac n' cheese. As if I could feel worse about the amount of dairy I was ingesting. Thanks for rubbing it in, Jiro.|
Jiro is 85 and is works every day in his 3-star Michelin-rated restaurant. I can't even imagine being alive at 85, let alone still working. But Jiro's not content to just work, he is continuously pushing himself to raise the quality of his sushi. This documentary follows him around his restaurant and interviews his sons, local food critics, and Jiro himself to get at the heart of his incredible talent. It's a gorgeous film to watch. Slow-paced, sustained and smooth, Jiro complements the simplicity of the food it's discussing. I personally loved the classical music used in the film, the concertos and etudes and Philip Glass works that highlight the ancient art of food preparation.
But what really struck me was the work ethic. Jiro has worked with sushi for the past 75 years. Seventy-five. Yeah. I haven't even been working as a teacher for one full year, and I'm already looking to expand my career repertoire with more new and exciting job options. Why? Why can't I just sit, breath, and focus on honing a craft? It's said if you do anything for 10,000 hours you become a master at it. I'm sure seventy-five years would do the same. Is it possible to have that dedication? I get so frustrated with the easily distracted nature of our society. Admittedly, I am the worst offender on that point. I have this sick need to be constantly entertained. But what good does that do for me? Do I really need to 'multi-task' so badly? No. There is dignity, respect in working hard and concentrating on a task. And I'm ready to commit to slowing down, breathing, and focusing. To working on that constant growth.
*This is a very, very mature comic. Not for teens or the faint of heart.