issue 15 - fresher than fresh
the holiday season rush, new DJ mixes, moo-vements in the neighborhood, Daredevil's past, present and future, work and productivity versus play and rest
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ give your sore shoulders a roll, and give your back a nice stretch before we dig in today.
a very warm welcome to our new subscribers - please make yourselves at home, we’re thrilled to have you as part of the FRESH family!
the FRESH five
short lists of five things, to kick the issue off
5 memorable takeaways from this year’s holiday season rush:
the long-awaited axing of LeaveHomeSafe, Hong Kong’s mandatory contact tracing and movement-logging app that has been in force since mid-pandemic. tis the season for LeaveHomeFreely!
the extra gust of winter winds blowing through the city this week - just in time to have a reason to whip out the winter coats and feel extra festive.
winning an adorable yellow unicorn plushie from a claw machine, with my very final token!
a lovely shop lady, who insisted i leave with extra free stickers in my bag along with my Christmas shopping.
hand-feeding horses and mountain goats on a farm. not bad for a city girl!
our Christmas playlist is still the main thing playing at all times of day in the house this month - though i’m excited to listen to this new mix from London artist-producer Lawrence Guy, when the festivities wear off. (he’s not to be mixed up with Guy Lawrence, half of the Disclosure duo!) I peep quite a few of my favorite songs by Guy in there, and doesn’t he just have the greatest song names?
FRESH: events and happenings
Time to Moo-ve
we have an update on our resident cows from issue 05! they’ve been MIA ever since our local patch of grassland was finally reclaimed, bulldozed over and construction on new apartment buildings started. there’s something very poignant about witnessing man destroy nature in front of your eyes, but i’m sure even more so for our cows.
it was a relief to see them pop up again recently, albeit in a slightly different place. for spatial context: the area at the top of the picture is where the construction is happening and where the grassland used to be. somehow, they crossed multiple highway lanes to find that small pizza-slice of grass - hopefully they can at least graze and rest there for now, until they find somewhere better.
for further cow reading and context, click through below:
Notes on a Daredevil Rewatch
(spoilers ahead for Daredevil Season 1 and 2, as well as Daredevil: Born Again rumors - highly recommend skipping this section if you haven’t watched them yet and plan to at some point, or wish to stay completely spoiler free until 2024!)
Daredevil instantly became one of my favorite Marvel page-to-screen adaptations way back in 2015 with its first season, and double-whammy solidified my love for New York City in the process. i continue to have an affinity for both show and city to this day, for good reason.
i’ve been missing both extra lately, especially in anticipation of Matt Murdock’s rebranded reboot into the MCU as Daredevil: Born Again in early 2024. it seems the return of Matt’s honorary left and right-hand men, Foggy and Karen, are still TBD - despite the confirmed return of his arch-nemesis Kingpin, and multiple new casting rumors. slightly concerning, but let’s keep our fingers crossed, shall we?
i’ve made it to mid-Season 2 so far on my rewatch, here are some mental notes i made along the way:
RIP to Netflix-era Marvel. yes, the series definitely was a tally count in the ~dark and gritty~ era of superhero film and TV - but arguably, that component is crucial to an effective and truthful portrayal of Matt’s story, which is by nature of content, actually dark and gritty. Daredevil having a home on Netflix allowed for the show to unapologetically dive deep into its complicated and morally ambiguous themes, and not hold back on showing plot-necessary violence and gore on screen. whether the same can be said about its new home in the polished, family-friendly attitude of the MCU is uncertain at best.
The Corridor Scene, seven years later, still holds up as the gold standard of superhero fight scene sequences on screen. still as wildly satisfying to watch, both execution-wise as a standalone fight scene, and narratively as a critical plot point in the story arc. (bonus reading: the comments section on that linked video, top-notch commentary and analysis from everyone there - i’d screenshot all of them here if i had infinite email length limit to send you all.)
Matt’s open plan kitchen is to die for. please let one of the episodes in Born Again have a full Architectural Digest tour of his apartment, with an explanation from Matt of how he affords prime Manhattan real estate on a pro-bono lawyer’s salary. (the answer is probably Elektra, but he’d never tell.)
every once in a while, my brain supplies me with the audio memory of Matt’s phone ringtone when Foggy calls. it’s strangely endearing to me.
Matt and Karen give me hope for finding love in a seemingly loveless and cruel world.
FRESH: gaming + self
Marvel: Future Fight
i’m not usually much of a gamer anymore these days, but my Daredevil rewatch has got me very nostalgic for my peak Marvel phase. it was around that time that i first played Future Fight - i redownloaded the app on a whim recently, and have been spending much more time on it than i care to admit.
Future Fight is a mobile game app, where you collect your favorite Marvel characters (a la collecting Pokemon cards), gather trinkets to boost their stats, and send them off in teams of three on missions to fight the big baddies of the Marvel universe.
one of the highlights of the game is a daily five-question trivia quiz, which you can answer for extra energy and experience points. (it’s also one way they get you hooked and coming back for more every day, but i digress.) a good number of questions are about specific technicalities of the game itself, though on a good day, you’ll be faced with hilarious questions like this one:
novelty aside of mixing and matching your favorite characters together, i’ve found an unexpected takeaway from investing my hours into this little game. the element of mindless (role)play, carefully constructed in a gameplay system that rewards the player for continued and consistent effort, hits a sweet spot of needs for me.
i often feel guilty for taking breaks to rest or play, thanks to capitalism’s toxic standards of productivity, but absolutely need that rest time to avoid burnout and total un-motivation. this is where Future Fight comes in - i can completely take my mind off whatever i’m working on and get invested in a little fictional universe, but in that universe, i can still feel like i’m ‘being productive’ by hitting all my little to-do tasks for the day in-game, like leveling up Groot to Level 30 with XP chips or defeating Extreme-mode Thanos in World Boss challenge.
it’s enough of a paradox to satisfy and quiet that voice in my head, that otherwise gets very loud every time i try to rest without some semblance of productive purpose. sure, it’s ironic and maybe just a bit sad that i’m partly playing to work, instead of playing to simply play - but it’s working wonders for me in getting my real-life productivity and motivation levels back up. thanks to this little game, i’m now getting the self-judgement-free rest i’ve needed, that i’ve been unable to figure out how to recurringly attain until now.
and if rest and motivation weren’t enough for real-life rewards, i also get an extra bonus prize of having my impulse-buying urges sated. all that hustling in-game amounts to substantial amounts of Gold and Crystals (Future Fight’s main in-game currencies), that i very readily spend on Gear Upgrades and Mystery Chests, the game’s version of lucky bags. all in all, enough reason for me to keep playing for now - though if you decide to join me, do be warned that you’ll get very attached to your characters, very fast!
and just like that, we’re in the final stretch towards Christmas. almost there! safe travels back home if you’re travelling, stay warm - maybe we’ll have a present or two under the tree for you next Sunday!
love with a side of mistletoe,
alright, over to you now - hit up the comments section, or reply to this email with your thoughts! if you enjoy a little prompting:
how are you coping with the seasonal holiday rush? have you ticked off all your Christmas shopping lists?
what was the last thing you saw or experienced that made you rethink our relationship to nature?
what shows or films have you rewatched recently? what was it like viewing them with a new set of eyes?
do you find it hard to allow yourself to rest? what ways are you developing to allow yourself to do so?