2021 in Review

Personally, I had a pretty great year this year. My boyfriend moved in with my fiancx & I, I got to see my other partners… not as much as I’d like, but a non-zero amount, I got meds for my ADHD which helped me get back into reading as a hobby (hence the list of favorite first reads included here), and I made even more progress with my transition!

Obviously the ongoing pandemic and rapidly deteriorating political situation in my capitalist hellscape of a country was a dark specter hanging over everything, but I still have a lot to be thankful for this year, and I’m going to keep holding on to the things and people I love. I will never stop fighting for them.

Movies

1. The Matrix Resurrections (S-Rank)

2. My Little Pony: A New Generation (S-Rank)

3. Aquaman (A-Rank)

4. Muppets Haunted Mansion (A-Rank)

5. Halloweentown (A-Rank)

6. No Time to Die (A-Rank)

7. Dune (2021) (A-Rank)

8. Candyman (2021)

This is incredible. I’m genuinely kind of at a loss for what to even say about it. It has one of the best endings of any horror movie ever. It’s so fucking cathartic.

(A-Rank)

9. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) (A-Rank)

10. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (A-Rank)

Books

1. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Oh my Goddess.

Tamora Pierce has always been one of those authors who whenever her name came up I felt a vague tugging like I was missing out on something that would be a Really, Really Big Deal to me, so to have that confirmed in such an immediate, overpowering way upon reading my first book by her is stirring feelings I don’t quite have words for.

I have always wanted more fantasy (especially magic-focused fantasy) in my library, but the few times I’ve tried to get into fantasy I’ve been recommended epics with thick plots and paper-thin characters, and like… there’s a REASON I think Lord of the Rings makes much better movies than it does books, y’all! So to have something THIS exactly what I’m looking for fall into my lap is really something else.

The way this book approaches magic is perfect, both in terms of how it mechanically works/feels AND in the way the ethics around it are presented. I would not be even slightly surprised if Pierce were a practicing Witch or some other kind of magic-user. Daine is a wonderful protagonist who is realistically struggling with some trauma and who isn’t always perfect, but is surrounded by people who grow very quickly to care very much about her and very much want her to be okay and will go to great effort to help make sure she’s in a space where that can happen, while ALSO recognizing her own value and not patronizing her, letting HER help THEM when she’s able to, and it’s just… it’s just…! It’s just SO. GOOD. It’s just everything I want to see in the world in the form of a really good story and I love it so much.

(… shameful personal aside: I was definitely a lot more horny for Zhaneh Bitterclaws than I was supposed to be. I’m sorry! Her taunts are just so choice, and so dommy.)

So, yeah. This is something of a beginning for me because I just KNOW I’m going to devour the rest of her bibliography and love every second of it, and instead of being irritated that I missed the boat for so long I’ll instead choose to be excited that A) I HAVE SO MUCH OF HER STUFF TO READ I’m like never gonna run out, and B) I have someone to gush about it to along the way!!

(S-Rank)

2. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

Nbd, just a thoroughly delightful fantasy in a unique setting AND a story of a girl overcoming abusive parents (realistically, with help) to start making a life for herself.

(S-Rank)

3. The Showroom: Relationships and Robotics by Alexis Long (S-Rank)

4. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (S-Rank)

5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I have seen so many adaptations of this that it kinda felt like I had already read it, but it’s pretty obvious why there are so many adaptations now. And hey, look! I like one (1) Charles Dickens book!

(S-Rank)

6. Cells at Work: Platelets! Vol. 1 by Yuko Kakihara

Cells at Work is my favorite anime and the Platelets are my favorite characters and I was so excited when I heard they were getting a spinoff and I can’t believe it lived up to my hype for it I’m so happy!!

(S-Rank)

7. Cells at Work, Vol. 1 by Akane Shimizu (S-Rank)

8.  Casting a Queer Circle: Non-Binary Witchcraft by Thista Minai

This is exactly what I needed. The heavy emphasis on a binary view of gender I’ve consistently seen in introductory texts on Wicca was beginning to wear very thin. I know one of the great things about the Craft is that you get to decide what parts work for you and what parts don’t, but even knowing that, seeing how some people are approaching these issues really helped. Even if I end up doing something completely different, this helped. A lot. And I think I needed something like this to help keep my enthusiasm up. Really glad I read this.

(S-Rank)

9. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This was sold to me as Harry Potter but written by someone who isn’t a transphobe, and featuring characters who actually act like people. Oh yeah and the main characters are gay. And it delivered on all of that. So uh, yeah! That’ll work!

The idea of making magic out of memes is extremely clever. Doesn’t really fit how I see magic at all, but to be fair the only reason I even think of that as a thing that can happen is because I recently read Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce, so yeah. I do think the book could’ve put more feeling into its descriptions of magic in general, especially since the conclusion really relies on you having strong feelings about Simon’s relationship with magic, but not the end of the world.

But yeah. I really, really liked this!

(S-Rank)

10. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch

I genuinely kinda wish everyone would read this, but it’s not something I can really be pushy about because telling people what to do, re: their relationship with food is a major, major no-no. But yeah.

(S-Rank)

Television

1. The Owl House, seasons 1 & 2

If it weren’t for this She-Ra would probably be my favorite show of all time, and although it’s being unfairly cut short because Disney is freaking stupid, The Owl House just feels so much like it was made for me specifically that I cannot possibly say it isn’t very likely my favorite television series of all time.

2. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

IT’S SO GOOD AND IT’S EXPLICITLY GAY AND IT’S SO GOOD, LIKE, IT’S SO GOOD YOU GUYS! AAAAAAAAA. It would be a contender for my favorite television show of all time if Owl House hadn’t blown it out of the water by being unfair.

3. Star Trek: Lower Decks, season 2

I still cannot believe how good this show is.

4. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Okay, well, hi somehow the best interpretation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever!!! And a very warm hello to all of the good guy human characters being black.

It took me a minute to adjust to this approach but now whenever I watch a different version of my turtle boys, I kind of miss this one! Wild, right?

5. Gurren Lagann

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