SIDEBAR
»
S
I
D
E
B
A
R
«
What I’ve Been Doing 28 Jan 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jan 28th, 2013 by Dan

Hairspray

Doesn’t really fall in this post’s jurisdiction, but the BSO’s semi-staged rendition of Hairspray was AMAZING! (Photo by NathLussier)

Life is awesome. I saw a fantastic rendition of Hairspray at the BSO and I had a fun weekend. Things don’t get much better.

Movies

Hairspray – Put this on while I was falling asleep. Fun movie.

TV

Justified – Y’all who think this is a hick show or haven’t given this show a chance because it takes place in Kentucky have no idea how awesome it is. Truly fun if you like gunplay and cop work.

Archer – Defnitely liked the second episode a lot more. The employee reviews are a great conceit.

Parks and Recreation – This show makes me smile. I can’t not love it because of that. Aubrey Plaza, guys! She’s the best.

Girls – A much better third episode has another great fight between Marnie and Hannah. Allison Williams is so charming!

The Mindy Project – Middling, but Allison Williams was there!

Music

Django Unchained music, guys. It’s good.

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces – I’m right on the cusp of seeing the final convergeance of the farce. Much funnier and better than I thought it would be at the start. I’ve got a real appreciation for this book’s tightly plotted narrative.

Video Games

The Cave – It’s not knee-slapping hilarious, but it’s witty and I totally dug it. Still got four more characters to take through the cave…

Sim City – Don’t think I can talk about this, but I got in the closed beta.

What I’ve Been Doing 19 Nov 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Nov 19th, 2012 by Dan

K.O.

GPOY (I’m Patel today)

It’s been a tough week.

Movies

Safety Not Guaranteed – A neat little piece about loss and regret. Could have probably developed Aubrey Plaza’s character a little more, but I also understand her arc. Good to see range from her too.

TV

Happy Endings – Holy crap this episode (Boys 2 Menorah) made me laugh. These writers do funny really well. A little slapstick-y with the Dave/Alex plot resolution, but I liked it.

Key & Peele – I’m not sure that anything really blew me away in this episode, but they do have some good ideas that developed ok. Just not quite enough to push it over the edge into greatness.

Parks and Recreation – Ben’s job offers and the accounting firm were funny as was the continued development of April. How dry can I be talking about humor? There were many parts that made me express joy in the form of laughter. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The League – A little bit of gross out humor never seems to elude the show. Enjoyable enough, but not blowing me away.

New Girl – Not the most progressive handling of PMS, but the scenes with Nick getting a water massage were pretty great.

Music

Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick came out with a new Christmas album. The Weeknd’s first label release came out. I dunno, listen to something.

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces – The high degree of interconnectedness of its cast reminds me a little of how sharply integrated the Arrested Development writing used to be.

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – More episodes recorded, but I haven’t played a whole bunch. Min beat it! Yay!

Hotline Miami – So much weirder and creepier the more I get into it. Fell behind on recording episodes, so I need to get back on that this week.

FTL – Had a miserable stalemate with the Mantis ship during a landmark episode.

TNNS – Pretty great co-op play and sharp single player too. Wish I had an iPad to mess around with it in a better form (I tried it on Min’s and it was nice), but my phone will suffice.

The Walking Dead – Episode 4 was pretty brutal. I was not expecting it to be quite so harsh, but my mind is blown for, I guess, tomorrow.

What I’ve Been Doing 24 Sept 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 24th, 2012 by Dan

Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation Lino Block Print

Ron Swanson and friends are back! (Photo by andyrama)

Not everything’s back yet, but TV! It’s back!

Movies

Cabin in the Woods – Watched about 20 mins while Scarlett was napping. I wonder what Danielle’s gonna end up thinking of the movie. I’m a huge fan. Love Fran Kranz

TV

The Daily Show – The Romney gaffe-fest made for some interesting commentary this week. Love the bit about how being Latino would make everything easier. Yeah, try being a minority for real Romney…

Fashion Police – Thought it would be milder because it was being filmed in front of a live audience in NYC, but they didn’t hold back as much as I thought. Still happy to not have to see Giuliana Rancic. She’s a weak link on this show.

Project Runway – Designing for the Rockettes seems tough. Turns out I was right because everyone was really shitty at it. The pandering, “NY is Awesome!” design won because, duh, haven’t you ever seen this kind of thing before? How was Christopher the only one to think of that?

NTSF:SD:SUV – Robots! Bob Odenkirk! Decent ep.

Childrens Hospital – British episode! Absolutely brilliant. I’d watch that version every week too. Great writing.

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – It’s election season. Can’t pass up SNL mocking the election.

Up All Night – Lot of changes, wow. No more Ava show, new supporting character (Reagan’s kid brother), no more Missy (sad, but she belongs on the broader UAN from last year), new film stock or something (it looked really different), and a new direction for Chris. Talk about a massive retool. The show is, for all intents and purposes, a completely new animal. I’m not sure if this will benefit it…

Parks & Recreation – Loved all the DC stuff. Didn’t care so much for the Pawnee BBQ stuff. I could watch Aubrey Plaza be Aubrey Plaza all day long.

Glee – Is this season less bad than last year? I think it is so far. Will it remain so? Not sure…By the way, I bet Rachel hooks up with what’s-his-face next episode and Finn returns in E4.

SNL – Hypnotist sketch was hilarious! Liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s monologue too. The cold open and the Finer Things sketches left me a little cold.

Sherlock – When your series are only three episodes long, do you have to spend so much time reminding everyone of all the dynamics and situations? I love that these are little Sherlock movies since they’re 1.5 hrs long. If you took a shot every time Irene Adler said something along the lines of, “I know what they like,” you’d be dead by the midpoint…That character is just a little too much. Still, I found myself fascinated with the Holmes brother relationship and I rather enjoyed the first episode.

Music

New Oneups disc. The PvZ track is solid

Also this more experimental album by Sweet Valley is a rather fantastic/challenging listen:

Books

This week. For real. I’ve got a flight and everything.

Video Games

FTL: Faster Than Light – Filmed a nearly two-hour episode on Sunday. Look forward to it by the end of the week. Still love this game. Can’t wait to try some new ships.

Mark of the Ninja – Still working on that S-Rank. It’s just perfunctory playing now. So close, about two levels left.

Borderlands 2 – It’s like Borderlands, but more. I like it, but it’s lonely without Min and Lee.

Torchlight 2 – Ok, to be completely honest, I didn’t actually play this. I just tried to create an account for an hour while chatting with Min and his cousin. That was arguably more fun.

Devil Survivor 2 – TRPGs get bogged down when you get stuck on an encounter. DS2 has a rather conventional (for SMT games) anti-grinding mechanic, so I’m at an impasse. I’ll break through on the flight, I bet.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – Everything I wanted it to be (and more!). Play with headphones because the music is incredible. I’ve been putting off getting to FF VI because I love that music so much.

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Kirby Super Star) – One of the best SNES memories that I’ve got is playing Kirby Super Star with David. This game still holds up. Min and I beat Spring Breeze and Dynablade, but I’m going all the way, man. Gonna get to the Boss Rush.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Why does everyone hate on this game so much? It’s more Mario. That’s fun, guys. Remember what fun was like? It’s playing Super Mario Bros.

What I’ve Been Doing 30 April 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 30th, 2012 by Dan

Gomez

Gomez: The Hero of Fez (Picture courtesy Titolian)

I did a lot more with this week than I thought I would have time for considering how much I played The Old Republic and how late I was getting home for a lot of the week. Fez gets special mention at the top of this article for completely immersing me in its world. Everything from its ambient, minimalist soundtrack to the weird artifacts, perplexing language, and dense, unspoiled mystery has me super intrigued.

Movies

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I swear that I’m gonna stop tagging this someday soon. Tiffany hadn’t seen the US version and it was in Redbox, so we picked it up. I was struggling to stay awake at the end (it was one of those weeks), but it’s still a pretty solid movie. That stuff after Martin dies has always been way too long.

Shame – You know you’ve messed up if your movie about a sex addict living in NY is boring. It just wasn’t the daring, risque movie that I thought it would be. I did rather enjoy Carey Mulligan’s haunting “New York, New York”, but it was a little long. Watch it if you’ve got nothing to do/you can find it for cheap/free.

Like Crazy – Watching the trailer for this made me think I would hate the leads and I definitely did. They’ve got this youthful, lovey-dovey, can’t be separated from each other for five minutes thing that drives me crazy. Doesn’t help the plot that it all hinges on one stupid decision that anyone could have prevented. I also had a real tough time understanding why Anton Yelchin would rather be with Felicity Jones over Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, come on…JENNIFER LAWRENCE.

TV

Mad Men – Last week’s episode was very interesting and very artistic and I came away from the Ginsberg/Peggy scene just in love with the show all over again. Can’t wait to watch last night’s offering.

Veep – Guys, this show is hilarious. Best comedy pilot I’ve seen in a while. Just clever and subtle and sharp. They really capture the office/government job vibe.

Girls – The entire internet has an opinion about Girls so I felt like I needed to watch it. The first episode frustrated me with Hannah’s spoiled dependence on her parents, but had enough wickedly funny moments that I was on board. The second had lots of hilariously bad sex. I mean, the line about why doggie style isn’t always degrading, “What if I want to feel like I’ve got udders?” was pretty brilliant delivered. Mike Birbiglia’s job interview scene was great too. The whole thing with the non-PC conversations and the complete 180 on the offer was so good. I’m on board for now.

Kids on the Slope – Shinichirō Watanabe and Yoko Kanno’s latest collaboration is not quite as stylized as Cowboy Bebop, but it’s got the same strong Jazz roots. Worth watching for the music alone, as are most of Watanabe’s shows. I want to find that title track. It starts with this slow marching beat and then it just turns into this great piece. Love it.

Parks and Recreation – Getting tired of the election storyline, but the show is still selling it. Chris Pratt’s live action movies were hilarious and Aubrey Plaza continues to be a delight.

Community – Pitch perfect Law & Order spoof. The back half of this season continues to impress.

New Girl – I want to love this show a lot more than I do. It’s just so mediocre when it’s not funny. Happy Endings has deeper swings (funnier and more terrible) and I just dig that show way more than New Girl…

Music

“Sakamichi no Melody” by YUKI:

It’s not gonna blow you away, but I love the way it flows and changes. When it picks up in that middle section…how can you resist not tapping your toes?

Books

Moe Berg: Athlete, Scholar, Spy – Only a couple pages into this story about a baseball player who was also a spy. We’ll see how it is.

Video Games

The Old Republic – Min and I got our alts going now. My Trooper story has been interesting and I’m glad I’m playing it instead of a Consular.

Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP – Finished the first movement/section/track. Have yet to go back in and start putting serious time. Very stylish and cool.

The Walking Dead – Captures the spirit of the comic and zombie apocalypse WAY better than the tv show does. Love it.

Saints Row: The Third – Played a little co-op with Lee. This game is so hilarious. I’m thinking of switching my character to zombie voice.

Fez – Really fantastic game. I can’t stress enough how immersive it is in its sparseness. I can’t wait until I start to understand the puzzles and mysteries more. Gonna try to limit my exposure to the internet since they’ve mostly solved everything. I know I’ll need their help eventually, but for now I’m on my own.

What I’ve Been Doing 23 April 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 23rd, 2012 by Dan

Landscape

Unrelated shot of the beautiful Red Rock Canyon

It was a nice, lazy, fun weekend full of baseball, movies, and video games. Who could complain?

Movies

The Cabin in the Woods – If you think for a second you want to see this movie, you probably shouldn’t read anything about it. Those of you who don’t, well I thought it was an interesting deconstruction of the horror genre that was expertly written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, but perhaps a little too elbow nudge-y, wink wink to be taken completely seriously. Still worth seeing. Lots of fun.

TV

The Voice – You have to make sacrifices sometimes when you have a girlfriend. This is one of the watchable ones. Some of the eliminations continue to baffle me, but at least RaeLynn is gone. Yay!

Glee – The Quinn in the wheelchair episode was absolutely terrible. The disco one, on the other hand, is a return to form. Diana Agron mysteriously disappeared for long stretches of the episode (perhaps her wheelchair dancing is not to par). I wish they’d use Mercedes more…she’s tragically underused and has the best voice on the show.

New Girl – “I might as well call you ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ because you make kids cry” New Girl…what do I think of you? Most improved show of the year? Perhaps. It’s gotten to be quite good, but it’s still not perfect and I still think Happy Endings does the young 20-30 somethings hanging out thing better. Glad the show is improving, but I could do without all the sappy moments.

Justified – Great great GREAT finale. Gonna miss watching Raylan Givens solve crimes every week. See you next year, Justified!

Mad Men – I remain a week behind on this, per usual, but the boxing match between Lane and Pete was hilariously awesome. Fantastic episode.

Community – It was one of those weeks where they really go all out in the emotional, barely funny route. It worked before and it works again, mostly because Alison Brie is a joy to watch.

Dollhouse – The guy who plays Topher (Fran Kranz) was in The Cabin in the Woods, so I felt like trying to watch some of S2. The show definitely has problems (lots of them), but it’s improving and I am interested in seeing how it all ended.

Bob’s Burgers – Food truck episode…way to be timely? They’re still a thing, but it’s just not that funny in 2012. At least the cast makes it work…mostly.

Baseball – Two Marlins games, two Marlins losses. To the Nationals! WTF!

Parks and Recreation – Bradley Whitford’s part was too small, but that’s ok. Aubrey Plaza continues to show range and grow. I find Aziz Ansari to be increasingly irrelevant in Parks…

Music

All of the Coachella news has put one song permanently in my head last week:

If you know someone who doesn’t like “Changes”, you know a monster. A MONSTER!

Books

Sadly none.

Video Games

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – Only got like 15 mins in so I didn’t get a chance to get a serious impression. I like the style and the sneaky interactive elements. Music seems cool so far too.

The Old Republic – Started up a Trooper so that Min and I could have the full compliment of buffs as we leveled. Love hearing Jennifer Hale’s voice again. Great game and the Trooper and Smuggler have neat stories.

Devil Survivor 2 – Made it to Wednesday, I think. Fighting the first boss that appears at like 0830. Love this style of game, but I’ve got a long ways to go still.

“Safety Not Guaranteed” Trailer [FB]
Mar 29th, 2012 by Dan

If there’s one breakout actor from Parks and Recreation for me it’s Aubrey Plaza. Take a silly premise and what looks like a quirky indie film about the funniest wanted ad ever and I’m game.

What I’ve Been Doing 16 Jan 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jan 17th, 2012 by Dan

Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation Lino Block Print

Ron Effing Swanson (Picture courtesy andyrama)

Parks and Recreation is back, everyone! Ron Swanson approves.

Movies

Paul – I’d heard very conflicting things about this movie. My feelings on it remain conflicted. I like Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Kristen Wiig, but this movie, while good, was not the best showcase of their various talents. I don’t regret watching it, but I’d say it’s pretty middling.

TV

Parks and Recreation – I love this show and I’m so glad it’s back! It’s bittersweet to get Parks back, but not Community, but I’ll take what I can get. I love the running gags about calzones and every scene with Aubrey Plaza. So great. This show is amazing. Skip season 1 and start watching it!

How I Met Your Mother – Finished season 6! Netflix is awesome. I wish they did more/better things with Cobie Smulders, but the season was decent, overall. The show did some interesting things with the season, but nothing as standout as in the first two or so. I didn’t hate Zoey as much as other people seemed to, but that’s just me. Now I need to catch up on this year’s season!

Samurai Champloo – Caught a few more episodes. I’m all set up for the last four. Been a good run so far. Not as good as Bebop, but still enjoyable.

Music

While working on Fukubukuro posts I discovered that Five Iron Frenzy got back together! If you like the band, they’ve got a new song on their site.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Slow and steady…

Video Games

The Old Republic – Got into the big raid instance. Lots of fun taking on the boss and figuring out strategies. There was supposed to be a new flashpoint today, but the patch was delayed. Excited to start leveling up alts now!

What I’ve Been Doing 14 Nov 2011 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Nov 14th, 2011 by Dan

Watched all of the 7 Minutes in Heaven clips that were out there. So funny! So awkward! So great!

Movies

Sorry, guys. No movies this week.

TV

The Walking Dead – Glenn remains the best thing about this show. Getting the rope around the fat zombie, hooking up with Maggie, and overall being funny and awesome. That part where he tries to be all cool in front of Maggie was hilarious and understated.

Homeland - Terrorists attempting to kill terrorists! It’s exciting. Alcohol makes for very bad decisions. I really hate using polygraphs as a plot point. Don’t we already know that they’re unreliable. Man, this show is so good, though

Up All Night – Line of the week (I watched like three episodes this week): “It’s like hair coming out of hair!” (referring to the birth process. It’s as gross and awesome as you’d think). When Up All Night makes a masturbation joke I laugh. When 2 Broke Girls does it I cringe and feel grossed out. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said about which show is better/funnier.

2 Broke Girls – “What you need is a good nine inches” WTF? When this show tries to be edgy and funny I just get grossed out. I’m not bummed out about the fact that my DVR often doesn’t record this.

Fringe – Best line of the week: Referring to an experiment that will blow up a papaya named Mr. Papaya: “This is unpleasant because he is the friendliest of fruits”. Fringe is so schlocky and bad and awesome that I love it. I really dig having something X-Files-y in my life and they’re just now starting to hint about the multiverses. Can’t wait to see the alternate realities!

Glee - Meh. Ok episode, but I don’t really know West Side Story so a lot of the songs didn’t really appeal to me. Better quality than anything in S2 though.

New Girl – Kind of funny how poorly they all hit on Cece, but I really hope the “will they, won’t they” stays firmly in the “won’t they” phase (w.r.t. Nick and Jess).

Community – Great episode. They’ve gotten back to their stride. This was a totally awesome, non-gimmick episode. Good on you, Community.

Parks and Recreation – Model UN stuff was really funny. I could watch Aubrey Plaza in this role all day. April’s role has really grown and I love it

Prime Suspect – Great episode this week with the abusive mom. Chilling! This show is pretty good. I’m liking it a lot for a cop procedural.

Persona 4: The Animation – The Social Link episode was AWESOME. They’ve done a fantastic job of converting the game into the show. A lot of the interface stuff carries over and I’m a real sucker for that.

7 Minutes In Heaven – The clip above is of this show. They’re these brief interviews that are super hilarious and awkward. It’s hard to explain without watching them, but I love it.

Music

Listened to a lot of my old Fall Out Boy tracks. Not the greatest band in the world, but their tunes are so catchy!

Books

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Been learning a lot about how Mindy Kaling came to The Office and how her career path has gone. Pretty funny and still a good read.

Video Games

Dungeon Defenders – Beat the game! Min, Jason, and Lee all helped me do it. Lots of fun.

The Binding of Isaac – I’m up to five mom kills, but the game has gotten much tougher (it specifically tells you it does after five kills). I’ll keep going because this is a fun little game to pop in and out of.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – Beat the game. Not as satisfying as U2 mostly because the Chloe/Elena subplot was better in 2, but still a fantastic game. A fine swan song for the series if this was the end. We’ll see what Naughty Dog does in the future.

Batman: Arkham City – Finished most of the sidequests. I suppose a second playthrough will earn me another trophy, but I’m not dying to do it.

Resident Evil 5 – Dave and I beat the Ouroboros boss of Chapter 5-1. We’re closing in on the endgame. I think he’ll like the ending. It’s still plenty of fun to play, except for that boss. I brought a rocket launcher to speed that up. He takes forever, but maybe I’m just doing it wrong, I dunno.

Ico – Got in about an hour of this. Absolutely beautiful game. The way Ico and Yorda interact is neat, if not a little awkwardly animated. The save points with the bench are so sweet and nice. I like this game a lot. It’s fantastic.

Metal Gear Solid 2 HD – Started the HD edition of this game. Dave is mad because I bought this and he got it for me for Christmas. My response: Why are you buying me Christmas presents already? It’s only November! Wait until December, dummy! Thanks for the thought, though. I would have really enjoyed it. I got three dog tags, but I don’t know if I’m gonna try to get the rest. It’s kind of tough and it would take forever.

What I’ve Been Doing 31 Oct 2011 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 31st, 2011 by Dan

Introducing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

It's Halloween! I really hate Halloween, but these costumes are awesome! (Courtesy DJOtaku)

Movies

Castaway on the Moon – I’m about halfway done with this movie about a man so despondent that he gives up on society when he is barely isolated from it and a woman doing the opposite. Very interesting.

Heartbreaker (L’arnacœur) – Finished watching my favorite French romantic comedy with Min. I think he dug it too. One of those movies where the guy who the woman leaves for the protagonist is perfectly fine (better, even), but the leading lady would be “bored” with him. Also interestingly sidesteps most of the part of the movie where they’d be all, “Oh, but you lied to me!”

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d’espions) – Such a ridiculous movie, but I thought I’d watch it again with Min since we were on a French comedy kick. So stupid, but so funny.

TV

How I Met Your Mother – Finished off season 6. Not a bad end to the season. I’m interested in seeing if S7 gets any better. If anything, at least I enjoy watching Cobie Smulders.

Community – Last week’s episode, “Remedial Chaos Theory” was aired a week late resulting in back-to-back seven perspective episodes. Last week’s was way darker, but this week’s was super funny. I’m really loving what they’re doing this season and Annie’s story was the craziest. She’s also really hot, you guys. Just sayin…

Parks and Recreation – Not my favorite episode (I don’t love Aziz Ansari’s character), but it had much more of Aubrey Plaza, which is awesome. The scene where she turned Jerry’s Potato Head smile upside down was classic!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I only watched about five minutes of the Incan mummy episode of season 2. So 90s! So contrived! So slow-paced compared to Community/Parks and Recreation!

Music

John Oliver – So it’s not really music, but Min and I went down to see John Oliver deliver a stand-up set. He really tore down the house with a joke about Obama delivering the state of the union as an inspirational coach. Should have closed with it, considering we were in DC. Gave a really long set, too. Loved it.

Books

The Last Best League – Getting close to the home stretch and loving that it looks like it won’t be a miracle season. I find the gushing over this New England sports league to be borderline intolerable, but I do love baseball, so…

1Q84 – Still haven’t even shifted reality yet, but I’m digging the weirdness of Murakami’s world.

Video Games

Dungeon Defenders – Way more addictive than I thought it would be! I’m having a lot of fun playing this with Min, Lee, and Min’s buddies from Utah.

Team Fortress 2 – Halloween Event is up! Got the achievements from this year and even picked up a few from last. Monoculus is an interesting boss, but it’s hard to get people to focus on killing him. Still lots of fun, but it also gets old playing the same map for hours at a time.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa