Sunday, August 7, 2016

And now for something not nearly as completely different as it was last time ...

Well, I have to bail on another post this week, unfortunately.  I just (as in hours ago) finished a long project for $work,* and there’s just no time to work in a proper post before the weekend is out.

So, let’s play another little game of “Last Two,” which I invented about two years ago when I also didn’t have time to do a proper post.

Last two movies I watched:  We (meaning the whole family) just watched The Little Prince on Netflix, which we all thought was pretty good.  Even our eldest, jaded teen that they are, managed to keep their earbuds out of their ears long enough to get to the end.  Higher praise I cannot imagine.  Before that ... I think it was The Last Witch Hunter, which is sort of brainless entertainment, except it had XXX, Frodo, and Ygritte, which is not a bad cast for brainless sword fighting and car chases and nonsensical explosions (considering it’s a movie about witches).  But I’m not particularly hard on movies.

Last two audiobooks I listened to:  Well, I just finished Bitten, which is the first in the Women of the Otherworld series.  I wanted to try it out because I’d heard good things about, but I found it distinctly “meh.”  I’ll try at least one more to see if it improves, but it was a little too Harlequin-romance-y for my tastes.  Not bad ... just not great.  Before that I blew through Around the World in 80 Days, as a palate cleanser after coming off of The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi (which is the one I would really recommend: it was a bit slow for the first 2 or 3 chapters, then it took off like a bat out of hell and was amazing straight through to the end, plus I’ve already talked about what an awesome reader Wil Wheaton is).  80 Days is one of the few Verne books I never read when I was younger, and I picked it up at one of those buy-1-get-1-free-but-only-certain-titles sales at Audiobook.  One is always a little surprised by the casual racism when one reads a book published in, say, 1873, but it was actually the casual classism that irked me more.  ‘Cause, you know, Phileas Fogg is an English gentleman, and Passepartout is just a servant.  And here’s a fun fact that you might not know if you haven’t read the book: Fogg hired Passepartout the day they left on the journey.  So they go off and have all these adventures and Passepartout trusts Fogg implicitly depsite barely knowing him ... because he’s a gentleman.  It’s sort of ... disturbing, really.  But a sort of fun book nonetheless.  Just a bit anachronistically jarring when you’re reading it 150 years later.

Last two real books I read:  Dude, I hardly ever read real books any more.  But, weirdly, I’m right in the middle of one right now: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.  I wasn’t going to even start it until next week, but I made the mistake of reading the first several pages to see if the play format was going to work for me, and I got sucked in.  It’s not as good as sometihng actually written by Rowling, but it’s her story, so it’s still interesting enough to make you not want to put it down.  Before that ... I honestly can’t remember.

Last two bands I discovered:  Well, I just (as in minutes ago) discovered Pomplamoose.  Not sure how I never heard of them before, as they’re apparently a bit of a big deal on the Internet.  Everyone else in my house had heard of them, apparently (The Mother is the one who pointed me at them, actually).  I’m just a bit slow, I guess.  Prior to that, I guess I would say Aurora, who I was bit taken with after her appearance on Colbert.  I don’t think it was the song she played on The Late Show, but “Conqueror” is pretty amazing.

Last two albums I bought:  All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend by Aurora, obviously, and before that I think Still Night, Still Light by Au Revoir Simone.  Whom I also discoverd thanks to Colbert, because one third of Au Revoir Simone is now one third of Nice as Fuck, who was on Colbert last week (or the week before, maybe ... I forget).

Last two restaurant meals I ate:  Does Jack in the Box count as a restaurant?  I tried their new portabello-mushroom burger thing.  They keep advertising it all over the TV there, and it looks so good on the commercial ... but don’t do it.  It’s a bad, bad idea.  Before that, no family meal since last week (Topper’s pizza last Sunday—and, may I say, if you happen to live in Southern California and haven’t yet eaten at Topper’s, put down your computer right this instant and order; you won’t be sorry).  I suppose I ate out with my coworkers on Tuesday (I was sick the latter part of the week), but damned if I can remember what we ate.  Japanese, maybe?

Last two real animals I saw (excluding family this time):  I rescued a widow spider out of my shower this morning.  It wasn’t a black widow, but I’m not 100% sure if it was a brown widow or a red widow or what.  But it definitely had the characteristic widow shape.  Before that ... hmmm ... yesterday, I think it was, I saw a bright red dragonfly that swooped in and landed on one of The Mother‘s planter hooks.  It was pretty cool.

Last two television shows I watched:  Hmmm ... not counting watching things like Sesame Street with the kids, I would probably say SCTV Network 90 and Whose Line Is It Anyway?.  Last two shows I watched with another adult ... probably the season finales of Preacher and Stranger Things.  You totally have to check out Stranger Things if you haven’t yet, by the way.  It’s insanely good.

Last two podcasts I listened to:  I don’t really listen to podcasts, per se.  Judge John Hodgman sometimes.  But I do listen to streaming versions of NPR shows, so if we can count that, I was just listening to Car Talk in the car today.  They’re on repeats now, of course, since Tom died.  But I still enjoy it.  Before that ... well, I just recently discovered Nerd HQ and I watched a shit-ton of Zachary Levi’s “Conversations for a Cause” panels, which they thoughtfully videoed and put up on YouTube.  Again, not really a podcast, and, again, not sure how I only became aware of this recently, but they’re pretty entertaining to watch (top pick from the 2016 set: Felicia Day), and I find Levi just as entertaining as Hardwick, and maybe even a bit more endearing, somehow.

And that’s about it.  Hopefully that’ll tide you over until next week.  And, honestly, this post is long enough that I don’t even really consider it “interstitial,” so, you know ... be happy.


* Technically speaking, the project is not done.  But it’s done enough to make my boss happy once again, and I think I can take the remainder of the project at a more reasonable pace.

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