A new day, a new year - Welcome to 2022!
December flew by, in my opinion. I remember the first week of the month I was putting up Christmas decorations around the house and this weekend, all of a sudden, I'll be taking them down.
The Instagram card community has been really great this holiday season. A lot of folks have been posting and sharing stories and interacting with one-another (including with me!). It's been awesome to see so many people from around the world come together over common interests. I also recently joined a magic group or two on Facebook (Dani DaOrtiz secret group anyone?!). I haven't been a big Facebook user ever, and I still don't use it for anything other than checking out some of the posts in those groups, but wow DaOrtiz has some amazing stuff in there.
I wanted to give a little recap of my deck & book situation from the past year, then talk about my magic-related New Year's Resolution. And after you've given that a read, check out my Happy New Year reel I came up with. It's 10 back-to-back color changes in an uncut video -- super fun (^_^)
Decks & Books of 2021
Box after box arrived throughout the month with new decks and new books that I ordered in November and early December. So many in fact that the mailman definitely knows I have a problem addiction obsession passion with cards. I got so many new things in the past month, I honestly lost sight of all the great decks and books I had received throughout the rest of the year too.
On Instagram over the past few days, I've been seeing posts about "my favorite decks from 2021" and whatnot. I wanted to make my own related post but couldn't immediately think of my top-few, so I delayed. And I thought more and couldn't come up with them and so I delayed again. Today, I thought about it even more, and I really, honestly, very much cannot come up with my favorite decks of 2021. There are so many great decks that came out and I like a lot of them (and I dislike a few too)… but I think that I may have just overdone it with deck purchases this year. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, right?
I can easily think of my favorite decks, but they're from over the years and I've spent considerable time with each. This year it's been deck-after-deck and maybe a day or two with each, if I even opened it at all. The same with books. My pile of "new books that I haven't flipped through" is getting rather large and I'm getting concerns I may have crossed a threshold of too-many-books-and-not-enough-time. We'll see though... I'm normally a fast reader =]
Enter The Babbit's Grimoire. This site, as I've mentioned before, will not only help serve as an inventory tracker for me but I can also utilize it to record what I received and when. Also, since I'll be doing reviews I should be able to algorithmically determine what decks were my favorite! Anyone else excited for removing human opinion and letting the machines take over?! Kidding, of course =P ... I'll put some emotion into the A.I.
New Year's Resolution
It's about this time when we all kick back and make new resolutions going into the new year for things we'd love to change or improve about ourselves. I, for example, have done the cliché "need to lose weight" one annually for about 10 years now. But hey, maybe in 2022 I'll make it longer than last year!
The past year, or now that I think about it ever since the pandemic started, my focus in magic has shifted slightly. Not intentionally, just out of environmental factors and habit. It shifted from me practicing a routine until I nailed it to more focus on sleights, or fidget moves, or flourishes. Let's just say, I've practiced the classic pass at least 400 hours in the past year -- and that's not even intentionally practicing it. It's just become part of my fidget move routine. But hey, it's fast and clean! But hey, I also don't use it in any routine that I practice so yay.
Last year, I made a resolution to start photography with my camera (a Nikon). I charged it, took two or three pictures of nonsense just for fun, and haven't touched it since. Ugh. This year though, I have a few related resolutions that are more attainable.
First, I want to put more effort into my photography and videos. Yes, I only use my phone, but it does have a really great camera on it. I've noticed that with good lighting, the photos (and videos) are actually really high quality. With poor lighting, they look like crap. So, lighting. I've also been a "hey, here's a nice looking shot" and I take it and then post it. Or, I will think to myself "I haven't posted in a day or two let me grab a deck" and then 10 minutes later, a post's up. These are often the lower-quality posts I've put up and let's be frank -- content for content's sake just isn't good. For 2022, I'm going to put a higher level of effort into my work to show that I really do care.
Second, better video editing. Or, video edits? Or, video quality? So, I remember when I first started recording my tricks I'd do a crappy half-pass and flash seven times per 10 seconds of video. And I'd still post it. Nowadays, I might shoot 20 takes but if it flashes or the angle's not right, I won't post it until it looks clean. But it's still a video of a crappy half-pass. I don't do a lot of cardistry, but flourishing is fun. Color changes are pretty awesome. Multiple things can fit into a 60 second (or less) video and can do a lot more in terms of inspiration than a single "here's a card, let me find it, bam" type of trick. I want to do more of these, and maybe something with multiple angles and/or a moving camera. I'm excited just thinking about it!
And third, focusing on magic itself. I want my focus to shift back to routines. To dive into books to not just skim their secrets, but to learn them and appreciate them. To see beyond what's on the page and to explore the potential of a sleight or routine. The world's opening back up, I should be able to show more magic to more folks soon!
Hopefully I stick with these resolutions. If you're following along, you'll actually be able to see first hand so if I stray, feel free to reach out and yell at me!
But yeah, Happy New Year -- and I hope your 2022 is amazing (^_^)