What I’ve Been Doing 31 Dec 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 31st, 2012 by Dan

Django Unchained - Affiche France

A French (I think) poster for Django Unchained (Photo courtesy Lyricis)

I had a really fun weekend hanging out with Eric’s family as they went to catch movies in shifts. Maybe when she gets a little older I’ll just babysit while you guys go catch the movies together.


This is 40 – During the movie I realized that Judd Apatow is making slice-of-life style movies. Sure, not a whole lot “happens”, but there’s tons of character work. Sure, some of it is just there to be funny, but the movie was the funny version of all those indie dramas about lost love and/or the maturation of relationships. Going into this think more Funny People than Knocked Up. Also Apatow’s kids do an alright job acting.

Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino did something tremendous with this film. It’s just brutal and intense and everyone is doing a fantastic job. Foxx and Waltz are stupendous in their roles. Samuel L. Jackson was particularly brilliant too. A lot of critics have been saying this movie drags, but I think it moves along quite well. Everyone should see this movie.


Portlandia – I guess this was an early start to the season. No real hilarious sketches, but funny enough.

The League – Finally caught up with the final four episodes of the season. The League is getting a little more ambitious with its serialization efforts, but it was an interesting season. I thought that Shiva would be revealed as Ted, but I guess we’ll find out about him next year?


I really dig Angel Haze’s flow

Jessie Ware is ill too


Not this week.

Video Games

Borderlands 2 – Finally got to play this with three others. Lee, Min, and Yin rounded out our single-syllable club (I’m only an honorary member because I go by Dan) and we made decent progress on the first section. I think it’s really slow to start (god I hate climbing that freighter…), but I’m hoping it gets to be more fun. It’s just fun to roam around with friends because the game itself appears to be fairly middling.

FTL: Faster Than Light – A little Engi B action that ended poorly. Nothing to get too excited about.

Sleeping Dogs – Getting open world fatigue already. I miss Saints Row’s silliness. Gonna burn through this.

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors – Got the True Ending this past weekend. Absolutely brilliantly done. Just fantastic the way it all ties together. If you like slightly interactive fiction I highly recommend this game. I mean, how often does a game actually integrate its mechanics into its story like this one does? Just brilliant.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Tried and failed the Slingshot DLC once. Time to try it again!

What I’ve Been Doing 27 Dec 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 27th, 2012 by Dan

Finalized Christmas Tree

Cabin pictures aren’t up on flickr yet, so here’s Eric’s home tree (Photo by DJOtaku)

The long drive from North Carolina is over and I had a lot of fun while I was with the family for Christmas. I hope all of you had a great holiday too.


The Dark Knight Rises – Watched it with my Dad over the holiday since he hadn’t seen it. I still think it’s a little bloated, but it was nice to see the same Nolan care for detail the second time through and know what was leading to what.

Juan de los muertos – Saw this with my old man too. I think he was unamused by the more crude bits of humor and the plot aimlessness, but I think he was entertained by the Cuban slang and the setting.


Happy Endings – The Jane-mas thing was hilarious, guys. I mean, Alex and her sexual present opening fetish? Max and his eggnog spraying everywhere? The final dance off?! This show is so brilliant.

Glee – Saw the pastiche episode that was trying to be like Love, Actually. I was pretty firmly unimpressed, but that’s not a surprise for me and Glee nowadays.


Eric gave me the Final Fantasy VI soundtrack for Christmas and it’s pretty boss. Here’s Terra’s Theme.


A Confederacy of Dunces – Ignatius has been fired from Levy Pants and is now in flux. I’m curious if that means we’ll be abandoning the Levy’s or not. I bet they’ll be involved later.

Video Games

The Old Republic – Started the HK questline. Boy it’s not that interesting at all. Just a fetch quest across planets so far. Bummer…

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors – Finished all but the True Ending. I’ve figured out a lot of details about Seven, Lotus, Snake, and Ace, but Clover, Santa, June, the Ninth Man remain enigmas. I’m really excited to see where this story goes because all the morphogenetics and information passing stuff seems crazy interesting.

Street Fighter x Mega Man – Beat Chun Li, but couldn’t manage the other levels quite yet. A pretty neat little game, but the lack of even a password system makes it a little tough to deal with.

Hotline Miami – The hospital escape and the police station assault levels were not fun and kind of freaky/weird to play. I think I’m getting close to the end, but I also need to go back and get the rest of the password glowy pixels.

Nintendo Land – Played so much of that with the family. Mario Chase is really fun with a lot of folks and I even managed to beat Donkey Kong. Love it.

Pac-Man CE DX – I’ve said so much about how amazing this game is. Do I need to say more? Man do I love eating those long ghost chains…

Spelunky – Played some with David. That was lots of fun as we quickly did tremendous damage to each other. Good times.

Is It Better to Walk or Run In the Rain? [ER]
Dec 20th, 2012 by Dan

I know this is true, but I still don’t run in the rain.

Cinema 2012 [FB/ER]
Dec 20th, 2012 by Dan

My favorite part of the year has returned! Yes, Kees van Dijkuizen’s year-end megacut of the year’s movies has debuted once again. Enjoy!

Jane Lui Covers “Rainbow Connection” [F/ER]
Dec 19th, 2012 by Dan

Guys, “Rainbow Connection” is one of the greatest songs in movie history. Deal with it.

Obama’s Newtown Speech [SB]
Dec 17th, 2012 by Dan

My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the survivors who experienced this terrible tragedy. I wholeheartedly agree with the president; we cannot retain the status quo.

Full text from

Thank you, Governor. To all the families, first responders, to the community of Newtown, clergy, guests — Scripture tells us: “…do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

We gather here in memory of twenty beautiful children and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school that could have been any school; in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in America.

Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world too has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight. And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown — you are not alone.

As these difficult days have unfolded, you’ve also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice. We know that when danger arrived in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school’s staff did not flinch, they did not hesitate. Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, Vicki Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy — they responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances — with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care.

We know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms, and kept steady through it all, and reassured their students by saying “wait for the good guys, they’re coming”; “show me your smile.”

And we know that good guys came. The first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm’s way to safety, and comfort those in need, holding at bay their own shock and trauma because they had a job to do, and others needed them more.

And then there were the scenes of the schoolchildren, helping one another, holding each other, dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do; one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, “I know karate. So it’s okay. I’ll lead the way out.” (Laughter.)

As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other, and you’ve cared for one another, and you’ve loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered. And with time, and God’s grace, that love will see you through.

But we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around. With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves — our child — is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice. And every parent knows there is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet, we also know that with that child’s very first step, and each step after that, they are separating from us; that we won’t — that we can’t always be there for them. They’ll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments. And we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear.

And we know we can’t do this by ourselves. It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself. That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children.

This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose — much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

All the world’s religions — so many of them represented here today — start with a simple question: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that no matter how good our intentions, we will all stumble sometimes, in some way. We will make mistakes, we will experience hardships. And even when we’re trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.

There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have — for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace — that is true. The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger — we know that’s what matters. We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that.

That’s what we can be sure of. And that’s what you, the people of Newtown, have reminded us. That’s how you’ve inspired us. You remind us what matters. And that’s what should drive us forward in everything we do, for as long as God sees fit to keep us on this Earth.

“Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, “and do not hinder them — for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. And may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America.

What I’ve Been Doing 17 Dec 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 17th, 2012 by Dan

French cinema, everyone! (Photo courtesy

Went on a date with an art student so I thought it would be most fitting to see a weird, French art flick. It…did not disappoint.


Holy Motors – There is no real way to summarize every weird thing that happens in this movie, but it’s about a man who gets in a limousine every day and shows up in makeup and costumes in various places, acts out a scene, and then leaves. You got a little bit of everything, but my favorite was the scene where he killed a man, started to make the man look like him, and then that dead man killed him and assumed his role. That’s the kind of movie this was. It was…odd.


Breaking Bad – How great is this show’s table setting? Chekhov’s Ricin, check. Putting Mike out of commission, check. Setting up the Tio meetings, check. Ted Beneke and his trip-prone rug, check. I didn’t even notice until later that the pistol ended up pointing at the lily of the valley in the penultimate episode. Brilliant stuff. Now I need to watch the first half of season 5 somehow.

The Amazing Race – Definitely did not expect the Beekmans to win. So hooked on this show. Can’t wait for the next race in Jan/Feb or whenever it returns.

New Girl – I thought the cranberry in the ear bit was hilarious! Not sure that I’m digging the character that they’ve got Olivia Munn playing, but…it’s Olivia Munn. I can forgive it.

The Mindy Project – I love when Mindy gets people like Ellie Kemper to show up and really play against type. She was really funny in this episode.


Let’s see…I listened to Channel Orange probably every night last week, but maybe you’re all getting sick of Frank Ocean (I don’t know how) so I’m gonna go with Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” off of good kid, m.A.A.d city

Man, I love that opening (also the chorus)

“I am a sinner who’s probably gonna sin again
Lord forgive me, Lord forgive me
Things I don’t understand
Sometimes I need to be alone”

It’s also got a nice, old school type backing track.


A Confederacy of Dunces – Ignatius’ treatise on the factory workers bordered on offensive, but I think that’s supposed to be the point. Still not quite sure where the book is going, but I’m also not that deep into it, I guess. It’s interesting.

The Revolution Was Televised – Pushed through the last few chapters until around 0200 on Saturday. Loved it. If you have any interest in tv and how it’s hit its golden age, this is a great, relatively breezy read.

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Still kind of sore about having to start a new game, but I always dig this game. Gotta record a bunch of episodes this week to cover Christmas.

FTL – Actually got fairly far with the Mantis ship. I’m rather proud of myself for that.

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors – Has kind of a Saw/survival horror vibe to it. So far the mysteries are coming in fast and hard and I think I made a questionable decision in abandoning Akane/June, but I think that I need to keep an eye on Snake and Seven and I wanted to check out the Ninth Man (although they didn’t really let me). Very intriguing story, but this is a visual novel, folks, so if you want to try it be prepared to read and only occasionally solve puzzles.

Sound Shapes [GO/ER]
Dec 14th, 2012 by Dan

I thought this was a Vita exclusive (another argument in favor (this and P4 Golden)), but it turns out that this is also available on the PSN(?) I really dig the way that they integrate the Beck songs into the platform action. This is ridiculously well done. I need to pick this up at some point soon…

Trailer Roundup: Street Fighter x Mega Man, The Last of Us, and Tomb Raider [GO/ER]
Dec 10th, 2012 by Dan

It’s the mash-up nobody knew they wanted until today! I mean, this is pure insanity, but it’s also super awesome. Rock vs. Ryu?! BRILLIANT! Can’t wait for that free download.

Uncharted 3 may have been lacking that je ne sais quoi that its predecessors have, but that’s probably because the big guns were working on this sucker. What a fine looking game it is too. Can’t wait to see how this pans out because it looks astounding.

File this one under, “Less intrigued than I used to be.” After seeing the insanely good The Last of Us trailer I thought that the acting in Tomb Raider seemed flat in comparison. There’s also that weird disconnect where Lara kills for the first time early in this game, but by the end (and from the looks of it), she gets comfortable with it real quick. Still, it looks interesting.

What I’ve Been Doing 10 Dec 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 10th, 2012 by Dan

Weeping Angel

Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. (Picture courtesy Rich Ford)

I got to share my favorite episode of Doctor Who with Min today. I’d forgotten how eerie and excellent that episode was. I mean, I literally shouted out loud in fear when one of the angels popped into view. Freaky stuff. Love that ep.


Not this week.


Breaking Bad – I don’t know why I had such a long gap before where I wasn’t watching this, but these past few episodes have been brilliant. Walter White is absolutely fascinating in his almost impotent villainy. I love how addicted he is to power and how much pride he has. Just brilliant stuff.

The Amazing Race – Up to the finale on the current season and that’s been pretty exciting. I’m glad the twins didn’t get eliminated as they’re the funniest. On the S1 DVDs things are getting interesting. Team Guido is hilariously evil. It’s awesome.

Parks and Recreation – Episodes revolving around Jerry are usually pretty awesome and this one did not disappoint. Tammy 2’s ridiculous brand of evil sluttiness was gross AND hilarious. Not an easy bar to hit.

The Mindy Project – It seems like every week I’m saying, “The net critics don’t like this, but I find it funny.” Copy-paste that here.

New Girl – Another one that all the internet hated, but I thought was hilarious. The bathtub crashing through the ceiling and the Remy three-way callbacks? Brilliant.

Doctor Who – Started Min off with “Blink”, but then I took him back to “Rose” to show a more typical episode. It’s still mostly introducing stuff, but I think his interest in piqued.

Happy Endings – Man did Rob Corddry get away with saying some filthy things on network tv. Also the Penny thing was fairly predictable from her. Alex continues to be hilarious as always.

Glee – A week where I didn’t want to just turn off the show for being aggressively stupid? Wow! That first Rachel number was stunningly good.

The League – Odd pacing and dropping of plot points make me think that there are big things afoot for the finale. Totally dug the lucha libre bit.

Childrens Hospital – Madonna episode: meh. Chief episode: better.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: – I don’t think they did enough with the found footage conceit, but Alphonse’s creepy Christmas song was amazing.

Saturday Night Live – I didn’t get past weekend update, but Jamie Foxx was doing his thing ok. He seemed less comfortable that I thought he’d be considering how good he is in other stuff. Maybe live isn’t his thing?


Just go listen to more Frank Ocean. Channel Orange is Awesome.


A Confederacy of Dunces – At around the 100 page mark. I feel like I’ve met all the principals and now it’s time to see where this farce is headed.

The Revolution was Televised – Finished the chapters on The Sopranos and The Wire and I’m working on Deadwood. This tv backstory stuff is fascinating and I’m really digging all the analysis.

Video Games

Sleeping Dogs – I like Wei Shen and I like the undercover cop conceit. It remains to be seen how deep the story gets and if it’ll allow for character depth or go the GTA IV route where, regardless of how serious the main guy claims to be, every one else is a cartoon.

The Old Republic – Just got Vette, but we sadly haven’t had much interaction at all. Seems like a dropped ball so far, but, then again, my character has only just gotten license to head to Dromund Kaas.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – A power issue (perhaps related to SLI-ing my cards) caused save file corruption on my main game. I might have to restart and that’s heartbreaking. We’ll see if the forums come through for me or not.

FTL – I’m getting much better at this game, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of Mantis B. Racking up wins with other ships though.

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