So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are a few of my favourite things from twenty fifteen.
Les Mills BODYPUMP
My friend at work joined a gym at the beginning of the new year and convinced me to join as well. We ended up at different gyms, but the idea of holding each other accountable was nice. Anyway. Once I got back into the routine – and by routine, I mean wandering over to catch a class once or twice a week – of going to the gym, I found I actually quite enjoyed myself. This is because I was back attending the Les Mills Bodypump class, which is, to this day, the only exercise I can actually stick to with any sort of consistency. The class has a set routine, though the movements themselves vary, and working out in time to music with a room full of people doing the same helps stop me from giving up prematurely. Oh, and I’ve managed to go regularly for the entire year. Achievement unlocked.
Rediscovering my love for Diana Gabaldon’s writing
So, I accidentally read, or more specifically re-read, pretty much everything Gabaldon has ever published, this year. I’ve also mentioned this several times on the blog over the past 6 months, so I will try to keep this brief. There is nothing quite like revisiting your favourite characters, reliving all the amazing adventures, terrible incidents, and fantastic lines that make up your favourite book. Add another handful of books on top of that, and maybe you can imagine the brilliant time I had revelling in the thousands of my favourite fictional world.
Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons
I have wanted to play this ridiculous and amazing game for the longest time, but I never had the opportunity and I kind of forgot about it for the most part. But, and as we all know, the internet is a wonderous place and this year I was introduced to the world of online gaming streams – more specifically, streams of people playing Dungeons & Dragons. One thing lead to another and I became way too invested in the welfare of the characters these people were playing. I also found out I actually know a handful of people who also enjoy the game and now have very limited experience in playing the game for myself – and it’s great.
Listening to all the things
This year was the year of podcast discovery for me and I found some great ones to entertain me during my daily commute. I haven’t put together a list of my favourites – yet – but let me just say that I loved browsing for new things to listen to, and have ended up with a mish-mash of sex-positive talk shows, quizzes, history, gaming, and language learning podcasts. It’s great, never have the words ‘something for everyone’ been so apt. Highly recommend.
Electric Light Orchestra
Judge all you want, but ELO is awesome and I finally found that out for myself this year. I had a big moment with 70s and 80s music earlier in the year and for a while there, it was all ELO, all the time. I’ve never found a band that have so many songs that I love. Honestly, it would be easier to list the songs that I don’t like. Also, trust me to become enraptured by a band from almost fifty years ago.
Hamilton Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda
If ELO are representative of the beginning of the year, it’s Hamilton that represents the end of the year. I held off listening for a while because, although I love musicals, throwing the phrase ‘rap musical’ around is not a way to convince to to listen to something. Discovering it’s a rap musical set during the American Revolutionary War on the other hand, is. And I have never been more glad that I gave something a chance. Everything you have heard about this musical is true; I cannot stop listening to it, and am counting down the hypothetical days until I get to see it performed.
Lin Manuel Miranda
Originally, I was going to just throw the Hamilton cast recording in with the other things I have listened to this year and leave it at that, but then I could not stop listening to it. I listened to (Consumed? Devoured? Absorbed?) the cast recording of both Hamilton and In The Heights, and all this lead me to reading interviews with Miranda and on from there. Simply put, my favourite thing in the world is when people are passionate about something, and Miranda is definitely passionate about his work. I also have a lot of respect for people who can use language as he does. No, bugger it, I bloody love what he does with language. It not only blows my mind that people can write entire shows, but that there are people like Lin Manuel Miranda who can do it so well is crazy, and amazing, and I’m a fan.