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What I’ve Been Doing 4 Nov 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Nov 4th, 2013 by Dan

Great For Tweezing

Who doesn’t love novelty tweezers?

I’ve gotten really bad at doing these in a timely fashion. Gotta get back up on that horse…

Movies

Under African Skies – Katie’s favorite album is Graceland and we happened upon a track on the 25th anniversary album where Paul Simon explained how the song was constructed. It really got us in the mood to look for some kind of documentary about the album and, lo and behold, this movie exists and it was on Hulu+. The documentary is fascinating, both politically and musically, and definitely well worth seeing.

TV

New Girl – The whole Keaton concept was actually a really funny premise. It’s also a pretty clever way to get Schmidt out of the loft for a few episodes so Damon Wayans, Jr. can return as Coach for a bit. I’m so excited for that storyline, mostly because I miss the superior hangout show, Happy Endings. It’s gonna go one of two ways: Winston will be hilarious and we’ll all love him more for being on this show OR it’s gonna further highlight how little they had for Winston to do all this time and how loose a grasp they have on his character.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Pretty good Halloween episode. After a few “Lone Wolf” Peralta episodes, the show has really been focusing on its (excellent) ensemble. I’ve been really enjoying the way that everyone gels and how the adversarial relationhip they set up in the pilot between Holt and Peralta has mostly turned into a jovial, accepting one.

The Mindy Project – The nude photo exhibit episode was just…hilarious. Having all those photos in the background of the final scenes was hilarious. The MMA episode…less fun. I’m still enjoying Adam Pally on the show, but, man does this show feel stuffed!

How I Met Your Mother – Where’s the mother?! I was kind of hoping she’d appear in more episodes than she has.

Homeland – Did Homeland cheat a little with its plotting this season for the twist? No. I don’t think so. It’s actually reasonablby tight in retrospect. The real question is whether or not that crazy twist is worth leaving us all kind of spinning in the wind for a few episodes or not. Why not let us know that this is the plan from the getgo and let the tension arise from worrying about the plan messing up or the strain that Carrie is actually suffering under?

The Amazing Race – Real bummer to see the beards go. They were an interesting team. I also wish the earlier teams used the U-Turns. Also: don’t switch Detours!

Parenthood – The mayor plotline still feels a little bit like a reach, but I don’t think we’re supposed to think that closely about Parenthood episodes, right?

Archer – Space episodes. Both super funny.

Music

I’m in a Paul Simon mood. Here’s “I Know What I Know”

Books

Hmm…I really gotta get back on this train.

Video Games

Pokemon Y – The Nuzlocke is going well. I’m in the Frost Caverns, but I lost a bunch of dudes, including Katie and Chen.

Civilization V – I might finally get to capture a pirate in the Mesa Bros. game and in the game with David I’m battling for territory with Persia and Rome. I might try and pit Persia against Rome to take a bite out of Roman power…

Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies – I’ve played through the first case and I’m partway through the second. The new mood matrix is a little more interesting to me than the way that they approached Apollo’s power of spotting tics in AA4. Athena’s a pretty cool character and it’s good to have Phoenix back. So far it’s been a lot of fun, but I haven’t met the new prosecutor yet nor have I done extensive investigations. It feels like they hold your hand a little more in the investigation phase, but maybe that’s not a bad thing…

Candy Box 2 – Everything interesting about Candy Box has been turned up to 11 in this game. I’ve been having a blast with how weird and fun it is. Great to just spend a few minutes to maximize my lollipop production.

Hometown Story – This game just feels cheaply and poorly done. It lacks some polish, but I’ve also only really given it a half hour. Maybe it’ll get better with more time, but in a single day’s worth of gameplay Recettear seemed a lot more cohesive and with it.

Plants vs. Zombies 2 – Like the first one, only more advanced and with microtransactions. Would I prefer to play this on my pc? Absolutely. Is it acceptable on the phone? Sure.

What I’ve Been Doing 22 July 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Dan

Shin Megami Tensei IV Limited Edition

The Limited Edition (read: first printing) comes with so much cool stuff! (Photo by SwatWolf)

SMT IV is pretty good, you guys. It’s hard as hell, but it’s funny about it.

Movies

Not this week.

TV

The Bridge – I’m really tired of the “woman with mental disorder” (or man) trope in tv right now. I’d be more interested in Sonya if she wasn’t on the spectrum. Marco is way more interesting to me.

The Newsroom – Nope. Aaron Sorkin is still not for me. Between all the mansplaining and the self-righteous lectures I can only tolerate this show, even thought it has sharp, sometimes funny writing in lots of places.

Sherlock – Watched “A Study in Pink” with Katie. So much fun. I think she was really into it too since she didn’t fall asleep like she thought she would.

Archer – Watched the train episode again. It’s funny, but I still think “Skytanic” is way better.

Music

How about “Adios” by Natalia Clavier

Books

Not this week, but probably next.

Video Games

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Beau beat me in the bug-off. WTF! Also added a second floor to my house. No big deal, guys. Took a bath on turnips this week too…

Donkey Kong ’94 – Still loads of fun.

Shin Megami Tensei IV – I wish I had more time to play this (probably this week), but it’s just as hard as you’ve heard. I was getting dominated in the first dungeon until I realized that I could flee the dungeon and heal as I level grind. Tough, but awesome.

What I’ve Been Doing 15 April 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 15th, 2013 by Dan

Thethieves

If you’re thinking this movie looks to be overstuffed…it most definitely is. (Photo by Han Cinema)

I actually had a really busy week considering how little media I consumed Mon-Wed. So much baseball too…

Movies

The Thieves – I enjoyed The Thieves, but it had a fundamental issue of elevating every single subplot to maximum import. It was just a little too overcrowded and it wanted to have its cake and eat it too. Still a pretty fun movie. I’m also a big fan of how Korean movies just blend in multiple languages seamlessly. There was Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and English all represented in the movie.

TV

The Amazing Race – Burned through the rest of S3 and, damn, Flo was edited to be really shrill. I’m still glad that she won over Terri and Ian, but Ken and Gerard would have been super fun.

New Girl – Gotta say that they’re doing everything they can to really make Nick and Jess awkward. It’s funny, but tough to watch sometimes. Their characterization of Winston and Schmidt is a little inconsistent though…

Archer – The Sea Tunt episodes lacked some of the oomph of the space station ones from last year, but it was still a fairly hilarious hour of television. The wait for new Archer always feels so long!

Community – The puppets all sounded muffled, but I enjoyed that episode a little more than the dance one. Well…except for the Brie Larson part. I love that girl. She was adorable in the episode.

Music

I don’t have anything really new, so how about my favorite song by The Clash?

Books

Nope. Sorry!

Video Games

Poker Night at the Inventory – Those Four of a Kind and Straight Flush achievements are, well, luck-based. So frustrating! Pumped for the sequel!

Digital: A Love Story – A quick little quasi-visual novel. It’s best quality is how well it emulates the old BBS internet and net behavior in general.

don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story – More conventional as a visual novel. Mostly interesting for how accurately it captures high school drama, high school social media behavior, and as a parable about privacy and sharing in the modern world.

Tomb Raider – The shooty bits are coming a bit more frequently. Good thing I’m so great at them, right? …Right?

DmC Devil May Cry – Spending time away from character action games makes them tough to play. I forgot how much I enjoyed that game. Gonna have to go back to it. It’s also great since I don’t film it and I don’t have to worry about casting at the same time or editing.

PS:

What I’ve Been Doing 1 April 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 1st, 2013 by Dan

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins 29 Sept 2012

Everyone loves to mock it, but it’s home.

It’s that time of year again, everyone. Baseball season has begun anew!

Movies

Ruby Sparks – Way darker than I expected it to be, but, then again, I always expected it to be skewering the manic pixie dream girl trope. Well acted and quick. I dug it more than 500 Days

TV

30 Clubs in 30 Days – Watched the Orioles breakdown with Katie. Pretty fun. I think the team will exceed expectations this year too.

The Amazing Race – Oh man did I mainline episodes of this show. Finished watching S2 this week and loved Danny and Oswald and hated Wil and Tara like everyone else. Also saw the Botswana episode of the current season and rather enjoyed it as well.

Happy Endings – They came back hitting the wordplay jokes (seemingly) harder than ever. Good, if not quite as strong episodes.

Archer – The Vatican City episode was ridiculously good, guys. Pam getting stuck by the heroin needle was pretty funny. They’re just making everyone field agents now, huh? I doubt we’ll ever see Cheryl in the field, but with all of this going on now, who knows?

The Daily Show – I really dug the strong indictment of the President on veteran issues. It’s not common for Stewart to be so hard on Obama, so it’s good to see it happen every once in a while.

New Girl – I’m not sure that the Nick Kroll stuff (or any of the family stuff, really) worked, but it was a decent episode.

Music

This isn’t the first time I’ve put a Disasterpiece track on here. Enjoy it!

Books

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Still making progress on this guy and still loving it. Truly epic. I’m at the part where the fruit company is there and I’m wondering what’s gonna come of that.

Video Games

Mass Effect 3 – Got through all the required missions and did the Javik one as well because having him come along makes the game infinitely better.

Bioshock Infinite – Has a lot of the same issues as Bioshock. Really pretty and I’m interested in seeing where it goes, but I’m not impressed yet.

Dead Space 3 – Co-op time with David. Man do I love playing co-op games with him. It’s so much better than randos and we’re able to get some fantastic jokes in.

What I’ve Been Doing 25 March 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 25th, 2013 by Dan

Dr. White must be cold...

It really should be a snow day today, but circumstances conspire against me… (Photo by Hobbes vs Boyle)

It’s cold and snowy and I hate it, but this should (hopefully) be winter’s last hurrah before spring and baseball season.

Movies

Silver Linings Playbook – You know? I actually enjoyed this movie a lot more on second viewing. The acting is all quite good. Definitely one you should see if you have yet to catch it.

TV

The Americans – Mole spotting and infidelity ahoy these past two episodes. Still rather intriguing. Definitely not the best show on tv, but definitely fun and worth watching.

Archer – Haven’t managed to watch the most recent episode yet, but the tower one and the coyote one were both superb. Just super funny stuff.

Girls – This year’s finale was messy and kind of rushed feeling. I like that they’re all back where they were (under different circumstances) from last year, but I also didn’t love how much it felt like a happy ending when, based on what we know about these people, it really shouldn’t be.

The Amazing Race – The Vietnam leg was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. That pro-Socialism song is something I want in my music library, seriously. The Botswana leg was cool too. I have no idea why anyone would opt to do a task where you have to make fire with sticks. Too. Hard.

Happy Endings – Watched the kickball episode to prep Katie for kickball last week. Still super funny. Yippie Ki Yay Mother Failure!

Community – Really not enjoying the new show. :sigh:. This is like the eighth time that Jeff and Pierce have a moment. Also the show is way sappier this year.

New Girl – Do not like the Jess and Nick storyline at all. I was really hoping that she wouldn’t date any of her roommates. It’d be better if they weren’t stretching it out so much too. Oh well…

Glee – Slowly pushing through my backlog. Boring ballads between Jake and Marley are boring. Really…At least the show has a few good numbers tucked in there.

Music

PHOX – Fairly typical indie rock stuff, but that’s not all that bad.

Books

One Hundred Years of Solitude – There are these details in this book that are so random, but so perfect in conveying the magical tone of this work. It’s just absolutely brilliant and I love it. Feels like an epic tale.

Video Games

Mass Effect 2 – Cruised through my corrected Paragon playthrough to prepare for ME3 and the Citadel DLC. That game…still not as good as the others. I don’t know if it’s the way that it tries too hard to be “cool” and “mature” or something, but it gets on my nerves.

Spelunky – Played some multiplayer with Min. Good times. Look forward to the episode next week.

New Super Mario Bros. U – Min and I pushed through another world. Things are getting complicated, but we’re making our way to Bowser without playing too poorly.

Professional Baseball Spirits 2013 – The new edition is here! Can’t wait to get all the translation stuff in order and get my Carp season underway

Mass Effect 3 – Got to where you can save and exit, but really excited to get this paragon game in. I do wish my paragon Shepard was female because Hale is so much better than anything else, but I’ll make do.

What I’ve Been Doing 18 March 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 18th, 2013 by Dan

the sound of my voice

The goofiest secret handshake ever (Photo courtesy: machu picchu)

I did it, guys. I finally went and watched my netflix movie. It was…decidedly less awesome than I thought it would be.

Movies

Sound of My Voice – It’s not that Sound of My Voice is a bad movie. That’s not it at all…it’s more that I was expecting something a little creepier and a little headier than what I got in this. At least it was quick.

TV

The Amazing Race – It’s a rare thing to see a leg run as poorly as John and Jessica just did. First team ever to be eliminated while holding an express pass. Just…wow. So funny.

Archer – The coyote episode was great. “Coyote” is also Spanish for coyote. I found the next episode with the hotel a little less funny mostly because the Pam sex with a sandwich joke went on a touch too long.

Community – Still not doing it for me. Not really digging the new direction.

Parks and Recreation – Man do I love how cheekily Parks is able to mock real life politics. It’s not exactly subtle, but it’s still awesome.

Justified – Kind of an off season this year, no? Definitely digging the return of Limehouse.

Glee – Finally watched the episode where they stole Jonathan Coulton’s arrangement of “Baby Got Back”. Not only did they steal it: they sucked at it too. Was way more into the “Tell Him” number, although I would have preferred it with less aggressive choreography.

The Americans – Not sure if beating the hell out of your handler is ok. What was up with the creeper hitchhiking C plot?

Music

Lotta music this week.

First off: Hiatus Kaiyote “Nakamarra”

Who doesn’t love a little blue-eyed soul? These guys seem cool, but I haven’t listened to the rest of their album.

Mashing up Chrono Trigger and Jay-Z is a great idea. 2 Mello’s effort does not disappoint:

aivi & surrashu’s piano mixed with video game music is delightful:

You may remember Eirik Suhrke from his work on Spelunky. His Ridiculous Fishing soundtrack pulls from the same influences, but has a slightly different feel. Good stuff

Books

One Hundred Years of Solitude – I still feel like I’m missing something fundamental about this book with the whole translation thing, but I’m really enjoying this. It’s a beautiful piece of literature.

Video Games

SimCity – My time with it was shorter this week, but just long enough to be swamped with criminals from David’s friends towns.

Mass Effect 2 – Trying to bring my paragon up to ME3 so that I can play the new DLC with him too. I’m recruiting the second wave of guys and doing loyalty missions now.

Spelunky – I got to the City of Gold last week when I wasn’t recording. This week I’m gonna do it on camera.

What I’ve Been Doing 4 Mar 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 6th, 2013 by Dan

The Piñata

Yeah, guys. I got a piñata. (Photo by DJOtaku)

Whoa, this is a little late. Whoops. Sorry guys.

Movies

Not this week.

TV

Archer – Both watching new episodes and catching up with Katie. I liked the weird homage to The Natural

Community – Really not the same show. It’s missing its soul and that kind of stinks. Hopefully they find their stride because I do like watching these actors at the very least.

New Girl – I was initially skeptical about how they’d handle Nick/Jess, but it’s made a surprisingly large amount of sense. Didn’t love the “Tinfinity” episode though.

The Amazing Race – I love this show for some perverse reason. It’s just got everything that makes reality tv awesome without a lot of the stupidity.

Music

Such a catchy song.

Books

Tokyo Vice – Things have gotten pretty real in the book. It’s no longer just fun and games.

Video Games

Fire Emblem – Min got his hands on this too and we’ve both been playing it. He’s been a lot more hardcore with his acceptance of death, but it’s been lots of fun.

Jetpack Joyride – Supper addictive. Microtransactioned to hell too, but not in such a way that makes me feel dirty for playing.

What I’ve Been Doing 25 Feb 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 25th, 2013 by Dan

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins 29 Sept 2012

Baseball’s finally back. Sure, it’s in spring training, but it’s BACK!

Whoops! Sorry about the week off there! Back to the grind.

It’s also baseball season (still spring training) again! YAY!

Movies

Skyfall – I didn’t have a seamless, uninterrupted viewing thanks to Chinese food and plumbers and plumbing catastrophes, but this was definitely a beautiful movie. I’d like to watch it again to let it all sink in.

TV

How I Met Your Mother – Can’t even remember which random episode I saw, but I dug it.

Archer – Saw the one with Barry and Katjaa. It was pretty darn funny. Solid season so far.

Veep – Rewatched the first season with Katie. I can’t wait for the April return of the show.

Community – The cracks of Harmon-less Community are starting to show. I’m definitely not used to watching the show without that creative rudder, so I suppose I’ve got to start thinking of it as a new show with the same cast and premise. Like a writer change on a comic book.

Parks and Recreation – The wedding episode was so great! Best show on television right now?

The Daily Show – A few random episodes. Good stuff, but I’m way…WAY behind on current episodes.

Justified – A stretch of weaker episodes isn’t gonna turn me off of my favorite southern crime drama. No way. That Jackie Nevada girl was good looking too. Hope she keeps coming back.

New Girl – I’m impressed that the show handled Nick/Jess so well. Hopefully that’s no longer an issue for the show for the next few episodes, but I was glad to see it handled so deftly even if it means losing Doctor Sam.

The Oscars – Seth MacFarlane was kind of a sexist jerk, but you can’t expect too much, I suppose. The show was otherwise not too bad.

Music

Man, I heard this song for the first time in ages on Saturday:

Bask in City High.

Books

Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan – Jake Adelstein’s tales about organized crime in Japan are fascinating and super fun to read. I almost can’t put this book down every time I start to read it.

Video Games

Fire Emblem: Awakening – I’ve stalled on playing this due to social obligations, but I’m about set to hit it hard again.

FTL: Faster Than Light – Finally unlocked the stealth ship! Now I’ve got to get type B and go for the crystal ship.

Spelunky – New skins means watching more new avatars get killed by the cave’s traps and perils. Lots of fun! Hope you’re watching my LPs.

What I’ve Been Doing 11 Feb 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 12th, 2013 by Dan

Dan's Birthday Party At Bandito's

Birthday happy hour last week (Photo by Eric)

Another year, another birthday. I continue to get older and, oddly enough, wiser.

Movies

In the Loop – I’m a big fan of Iannucci’s work and this movie doesn’t disappoint. Well, except for the fact that its ending is depressing and mostly based on real life. That part’s a huge bummer.

TV

The Thick of It – Oh man, the part where Hugh used Glen’s developmentally challenged son in a story to get out of trouble…wow…

Mythbusters – It sure takes a long, roundabout way to get to a point, but the baseball myths were all super cool to see proved/disproved. Can’t believe they left the humidity one only at plausible. I thought that was fairly definitive.

30 Rock – Not a bad finale, actually. I loved the way they wrapped everything up with Jack and Liz. Good show. I should watch the intermediate seasons that I missed.

Parks and Recreation – The in-show calzone joke thing is perhaps the most amazing thing to ever be put into a sitcom.

Justified – No one on tv is cooler than Raylan Givens. I really liked the one where he had to deal with Lindsay’s husband. This show kind of makes me want to live in Kentucky.

Community – I don’t think the show is as strong without Harmon…at least not so long as they’re gonna keep trying to ape his style. Community Babies was a particularly strained attempt to hit his level of meta.

The Mindy Project – Mindy is still pretty much the same person as my roommate. I find this show a lot funnier than the critical consensus.

New Girl – Speaking of funny shows and shows I haven’t praised nearly enough, New Girl has finally made me realize how incredible it is. It’s just been firing on every cylinder this year. Totally loved the awkward backwards moonwalk. I need to work that into my repetoire.

Archer – Still don’t really care for Ron Cadillac at all. Funny episode nonetheless.

Grammys – I’m sorry, but Frank Ocean >> Mumford & Sons.

Music

I’m not kidding…Listen to Frank Ocean

Books

Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball – I really love the Steve Bartman chapter. My favorite part of the book each year that I read it.

Video Games

Spelunky – I actually had me some good runs go horribly bad. Allowing the scepter of Anubis to kill you was a real jerk move, Derek Yu.

Fire Emblem: Awakening – I wasn’t expecting to get this until everyone was talking about how great it was. Know what? It’s fantastic. Addictive and fun and tough to stomach losing units, but still worth playing. Didn’t know you’d be able to customize your main character, but I love that about this game too.

What I’ve Been Doing 4 Feb 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 4th, 2013 by Dan

2013-02-02_00093

Maybe it’s ripping off They Live a bit, but I really dig the way that the city seems to hate Dante.

Not a lot of things going on last week because it was busy! There was a Super Bowl that the Ravens were winning! So much fun being out in Baltimore last night.

Movies

Next week, I promise!

TV

The Thick of It – This show is so mean (like Veep!) and I love Tucker’s “bollocking face”.

Happy Endings – I think the sight gag of Marlon Wayans, Jr. giving a reluctant lapdance to Jane because he was covered in stripper glitter was the biggest laugh of 2013 so far.

New Girl – I wish they’d kept it “won’t they,” but I strangely trust New Girl in S2 to handle this Jess/Nick thing fairly well. They’ve been firing on all cylinders and this season has been a real Nick highlight.

Archer – Best Archer episode of this young season so far. Full of callbacks (almost too full) and brilliant humor. Hilarious episode.

Girls – There was so much brilliaant drama in this episode I don’t know where to start. Ray and Shoshana were the clear highlights, but Jessa and Thomas John’s fight was brilliantly acted out. This show is really clicking right now and I hope it stays strong.

Music

Beyoncé runs the world right now.

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces – Finally finished the book. The convergence of all the plots was so funny and tight and perfect. It’s definitely a book that rewards reading it all the way through. Everyone has a neat/proper ending and Ignatius’ fate felt strangely right.

Are We Winning?: Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball – An annual prepping for baseball season read. I love Will Leitch’s insights and his love for his Cardinals. I don’t know of a baseball book that I enjoy reading more.

Video Games

Spelunky – Thanks to a new Elgato capture card courtesy my mom for my birthday, I’m now able to capture console footage and use it to show the world how bad I am at Spelunky. So much fun, you guys!

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Man, those Second Wave switches are almost way too hard to deal with. Gonna lose this game and start a new one.

DmC Devil May Cry – Who knew that this game would be so fun/awesome? I’m digging the combat system and all of Ninja Theory’s great character work. This game is stupid in all the right ways too. Loved that intro with the bat and junk food in front of Dante’s junk.

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