11/2019

Friday, November 01, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Game Night (R):
This comedy features Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as an ultra-competitive couple whose game night gets derailed. It's shallow fun that doesn't try too hard to have a deeper meaning and gets great mileage out of having Jesse Plemons (fat Matt Damon) as a creepy neighbour who never gets invited.

Final Grade: B

My Name is Michael Holbrook by Mika:
Mika's most recent album has great songs but the arrangements feel phoned in. As I listen, I can hear the places where freshman or sophomore maturity Mika would have thrown in a few trumpets for no good reason to great effect. Now, the arrangements are so muted that it almost feels like they released the working copy rather than the final edit.

Final Grade: B

i'm sorry, Season Two:
Season Two is just as good as Season One. Nothing happens beyond the funny dialogue, but that is fine in this case. I also like that jokes walk the line of "cringe" territory without crossing the line into "it's only funny because it's uncomfortable". Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Pitch Perfect (PG-13):
This movie feels like an extended edition of an episode of Glee, but gets mileage out of its good-natured charm, fun cameos and supporting actors, and snarky a capella commentators that could be straight out of Best in Show.

Final Grade: B-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 2 comments

Monday, November 04, 2019

Vote BU 2019

In need of a write-in candidate for tomorrow's election? Look no further! Here are a few of the benefits you are GUARANTEED to claim if I am elected to any office anywhere in Loudoun County for any amount of time.

  1. A stimulus will be provided to local Safeway grocery stores to make them look less like Greyhound bus stations on the inside.

  2. All the new "me too!" streaming services must license their exclusive TV shows to Netflix after 6 months.

  3. New data centers must be built completely underground, with walkable commercial areas at ground level, and hipsters living one floor up (the cool suburban hipsters with scruffy beards that microbrew, not the whiny urban hipsters that haven't paid rent in a year and refuse to get a job to support their Bohemian lifestyle).

  4. Pandora will now pay you 3 cents every time it repeats an ad from its pitifully tiny selection of ads.

  5. Neighborhood names within Sterling will be eliminated in the name of inclusiveness, diversity, and cleaner maps.

  6. All craft breweries must provide timely, accurate food truck schedules in an easy-to-find location on their websites.

  7. Posting a review of an online recipe where you swapped out more than 3 ingredients will be a Class 3 Misdemeanor.

  8. No penalties for hitting a W&OD Trail bike warrior trying to cross a four-lane highway without signalling or stopping (plus, you get to keep the bike as spoils).

  9. You will get a $1 credit in your Amazon account every time Alexa fails to understand you.

  10. All drivers that stop in the merge lane while turning right onto Route 7 will lose 3 points on their licenses and be forced into remedial driving courses.

tagged as lists, politics | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Maia Battle Report: Year 2 Month 4

Maia is now 2 and 1/3 years old, somewhere around 33" tall, and about 24 pounds. Her favourite part of last month was the build-up to Halloween and her Sister Bear costume. We discovered that she had gained an instinctual fear to realistic decorations like creepy humanoids or giant spiders, as she wouldn't enter the Halloween costume store without being carried. This is also where she started giving us big, tight hugs -- sometimes now, she initiates big hugs unprovoked while lazing around the house.

Maia likes the new variety of clothes she can wear now that the weather is changing, and we spend a great deal more time outside. She's a climber at the playground, able to go up ladders without considering heights (like a cat chasing a squirrel up a tree). Her current game of the moment is to order me around -- "Daddy, come here", "Daddy, drag me across floor", "Daddy, roll!". In the woods this week, she "invented" the game of "Red Light, Green Light" based on her extensive experience sitting at traffic lights in northern Virginia. We spent a good portion of the nature walk standing still then running 3-4 steps ahead in little spurts.

Daylight Savings Time absolutely broke her brain. We put her to bed on Saturday with the common sense expectation that she would wake up on her normal cycle, now 1 clock hour earlier. Instead, she woke up 2 hours earlier, resulting in the longest Sunday ever. Napping went poorly and the night concluded with a huge meltdown. This repeated on Monday and it wasn't until Tuesday that we found some semblance of normalcy again.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, November 08, 2019

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Laughing and Crying by Just Jack:
This EP consists of 4 songs and 3 acoustic version which seems like a recipe for tedious repetition, but the acoustic versions are just different enough to succeed. This is a pleasant, muted set on becoming middle-aged, but I still prefer his early up-tempo stuff much more.

Final Grade: B-

Dolemite Is My Name (R):
I didn't realize that this was a biopic going in (I probably would have skipped it) but I thoroughly enjoyed this Eddie Murphy comeback vehicle. The story and style stay very true to the classic "crass and heartwarming" style of his movies from the 80s and 90s and gave me a nostalgic feeling of sitting in Jack's basement watching Blockbuster rentals on Friday nights. If you don't already have that sense of nostalgia, you might not enjoy it quite as much. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson:
This is a series of short, bizarre comedy sketches that feel a little like "SNL skits too cerebral for mainstream audiences". Like all sketch shows, it's hit-or-miss but there are some really funny gems sprinkled throughout. Our favourite scenes were the one about blaming the babysitter for being late, and the one where the country band tries to impress the record producer. I also like that each episode is only about 15 minutes long, and the scenes are allowed to end before they're no longer funny. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Late Night (R):
This movie is fine. It borders on being a little too preachy and has a little too much of Mindy Kaling's signature style, where something must obviously be hilarious because it references pop culture. Once momentum picks up around the halfway point, the movie becomes more engaging and ends on a cheery, inoffensive note.

Final Grade: B-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, November 11, 2019

List Day: Currently...

  • Currently listening to... My Name is Michael Holbrook by Mika.

  • Currently (re)reading... Ash and Silver by Carol Berg.

  • Currently playing... no games in progress.

  • Currently considering buying... this year's batch of Christmas presents for the family.

  • Currently coding... updates to Sparkour.

  • Currently planning... to plant a tree in the front yard and launch our screen porch effort in earnest.

  • Currently learning... more about machine learning.

  • Currently watching... End of the F***king World, Season Two and Living With Yourself, Season One.

  • Currently anticipating... a quiet, trip-free ending to 2019.

  • Currently exercising... about four hours per week.

  • Currently weighing... 136 pounds.

This update was sponsored in part by LiveJournal.

tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

6:53 AM: Showered and ready for work.
7:12 AM: Bagel for breakfast.
7:34 AM: Setting up in the home office.
8:14 AM: These stuffed animals seem to have had a tragic accident overnight.
9:23 AM: Off to school.
12:14 PM: Leftover hoagie from Fireworks Pizza for lunch.
1:24 PM: Exercising and rewatching Fargo.
2:44 PM: Working on a new Puzzle Boat puzzle.
3:58 PM: She woke up and immediately selected the next dress she wanted to wear from the closet she can reach.
5:44 PM: Sandwich and assorted fruits for dinner.
6:04 PM: Helping with the worst puzzle.
7:15 PM: Excited to be in the bath.

tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 0 comments

 

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