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What I’ve Been Doing 9 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 9th, 2012 by Dan

Pitch Perfect -0

I love a capella so there was zero chance I wouldn’t see this (Photo courtesy lissamabcd)

Thanks to the long weekend this is posting a little later than usual. I also jammed a ton of TV in this week thanks to all that extra time.

Movies

The Guard – Irish movie about an Irish policeman who is one of those curmudgeonly old man types. Funny, but ultimately not that substantive. Worth seeing if you’ve got a free afternoon.

Pitch Perfect – I loved most of the music in this movie and I always enjoy Anna Kendrick on the silver screen. Mostly I found myself impressed by how well she inhabited her role. The other two movies I saw her in, Up in the Air and 50/50, had her in a much more professional, trying to be respected role. Here she’s aged back to 18 and everything about her performance reflects that. Good, fun stuff. Go see it.

TV

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – Kind of unnecessary. Barely any politics either.

Up All Night – Not digging the new setup. The new brother character is just not that interesting. I did laugh at the trapeze part in the most recent episode.

Glee – Knocking Tremé is not cool. “Celebrity Skin” not that good. The election episode was so boring. The breakup episode, on the other hand, had a lot more emotion and a lot more going for it. Dug it a lot more.

NTSF::SD:SUV: – The time slide episode was so good that everything afterwards has been a bit disappointing. The SDCC episode was meh as was the Dragon Shumway redux.

Childrens Hospital – Ladies Night! Man, Lake Bell is hot. This show is consistently hilarious/awesome.

Homeland – Danes seemed off early in the episode, but that’s probably intentional since her character is supposed to be off her rocker. Loved the way that Damian Lewis is playing this. As for the plot, this season is shaping up to be very cool. Liked the way they pulled Danes back in and I liked the father/daughter bonding over Islam.

Tremé – The included murder mystery doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the show, but everything else is going well. Nice and slow-paced.

Sherlock – That Reichenbach Falls episode was SO GOOD! I wonder if Moriarty is actually dead (Sherlock isn’t!). Hard to see where the next series goes from here, but that was astounding. It didn’t have the same pounding pressure as Moriarty’s time-limits from last series, but it was still quite tense and fun. Loved the part where Moriarty was pretending to be an actor.

Key & Peele – Not as good as the season premiere, but I really enjoyed that dubstep sketch. Also dug the Luther sketch and the concept of the guy who had to follow MLK’s speech was funny, but it wasn’t executed particularly well.

The Mindy Project – You know what? This show is a lot funnier than some critics are giving it credit. Mindy Kaling has a really sneaky sense of appalling humor that really works. I think this is my favorite new show I’ve seen (so far).

Four Weddings – Sometimes your girlfriend watches stuff that you don’t want to.

Giuliana and Bill – See above…The worst part here is that she thinks this show is dumb too! There just wasn’t anything else on worth watching.

Halloween Wars – Another Food network thing. This has got the Cupcake Wars crew, but they’re carving pumpkins and making Halloween scenes. It’s ok.

How I Met Your Mother – Caught the first two episodes of the season. I’m still kind of bummed that Victoria isn’t the mother. She was the original plan if the show had been canceled. I like her.

30 for 30 – “Broke” wasn’t as good as the other documentary I saw, but I still dug it. This series is worth checking out.

The Daily Show – I’m glad that Stewart went and eviscerated Obama for his debate performance because it was shameful. Not a bad week of episodes.

Parks & Recreation – Two words: Lucy Lawless. Please and thank you.

Saturday Night Live – A lot of bad sketches in this episode, but I did like the lesser known Bond girls one. Daniel Craig can do better? Was it the material?

Music

The Pokemon Reorchestrated project is coming out with fully licensed reorchestrations of Pokemon game music. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.

Books

After the Quake – Murakami really likes writing about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I really enjoyed “All God’s Children Can Dance”

Video Games

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – I was wrong. There are way more hidden worlds than I realized and they’re pretty fun. Liking this game even more.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – I technically “beat” the game, but there’s tons more content to enjoy.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter – This series reminds me of Detective Conan. One of the puzzles really stumped me. I’m dumber than I thought I was, haha.

Pokemon White – Wanted to catch the last few legendaries I was dilly-dallying on. Got that done before 2 arrived.

Pokemon White Version 2 – The package here has gotten so much sharper from year to year, but the nearly identical mechanics keeps a lot of people away. I’m playing with a Nuzlocke Challenge: Defeated pokemon must be permanently retired, you can only catch the first pokemon you see in an area, and, one of my rules, you must use pots to heal. Only one pokemon center visit per town. So far I’ve lost a Patrat permanently in my gym battle with Roxie. Tragic stuff.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Just started it this morning. Played two missions. Loving it! Look for a Dan Plays series to start soon.

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

Dead Redshirt

The kind of result your can expect if you join my crew (Photo by hyperion327)

It was a really video game-y week with (nearly) finishing Mark of the Ninja and the Friday launch of FTL: Faster Than Light and I don’t think it’ll get any less video game-y with Borderlands 2 coming out tomorrow. I’m actually glad FTL didn’t come out until Friday because I would have gotten nothing done otherwise…

Movies

The Words – The movie tries to be poignant and interesting as it examines the consequences of decisions that none of the characters suffer very much for making. In fact, the framing device is clumsy and not nearly explored enough so no one cares that Quaid was really Cooper. No one understands why Olivia Wilde is so obsessed with Quaid either. Additionally, it suffers from that problem where this book, The Words, is supposedly an excellent piece of fiction, but the narration which is presumably prose coming straight out of the book is stunted, weak, and unimpressive.

TV

Glee – Tiffany and I both agree that the new cast was just what this show needed to reinvigorate it. The new Puckerman is a really stupid conceit…I mean, I turned to Tiffany and said, “This guy is totally Puckerman” and then…SPOILER ALERT! He’s his half brother. They don’t reject any ideas in the Glee writer’s room, do they? Oh, the lunch lady stuff was dumb too.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians – I don’t want to talk about it…

Misc. HGTV Shows – Neat houses on display, but the renovations seem to cost way too much for any of them to be feasible.

Cupcake Wars – MLS Trophy thing. The green tea cupcake looked neat.

Music

Ben Prunty’s soundtrack for FTL is pretty good. Check it out if you like synth-y, sci-fi space music.

Books

Heathen yet again…

Video Games

Mark of the Ninja – Almost done S-Ranking this game. Just need to finish it on NG+, but FTL is so much fun and Borderlands 2 comes out Tuesday…Maybe I’ll finish it while a Dan Plays episode is rendering.

FTL: Faster Than Light – A game with the perfect structure for recording and playing. I’m really loving the whole LP thing and this game is solid. Go get it at their site for DRM-free versions on every platform.

What I’ve Been Doing 10 Sept 2012 {FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 10th, 2012 by Dan

2456259-psy-ladies-gangnam-style-617-409

오빤 강남 스타일! (Photo courtesy Music Star22)

This week was ridiculous, guys. I mean, so much K-Pop and so much Jazz! It’s like highs and lows here. Add in some fantastic TV shows and ninjas and you’ve got my media week.

Movies

Sleepwalk With Me – Mike Birbiglia and Ira Glass’ first joint movie project was a resounding success. It’s pretty much an adaptation of his stage show, but, as Min pointed out, we’ve seen this performed two or three times and it still feels really fresh. An excellent freshman effort. Catch it if it hasn’t left your city.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Looking for something to watch that she hadn’t seen, we settled on this. Man, I’d forgotten how fun this movie is. Just brisk and exciting. Ends one time too many, but otherwise great.

The Incredibles – Had this on the tube and it caught Tiffany’s imagination. Pulled out the blu-ray and watched it for maybe the third time ever. Guys, this movie is pretty awesome, even if it has weird message issues. I mean, being special is good, right? I get that, but why make a villain out of the guy who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps to make something out of himself? Buddy is misunderstood (and evil).

TV

Breaking Bad – HOLY COW! I’ve been forcing myself to slow down my consumption of these episodes because it’s just been SO GREAT. Season 3 really brought it together and taught me why everyone thinks this show is awesome. So masterful!

Kids on the Slope – What a charming, touching, musically amazing show that was. It’s only 12 episodes long, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome and it’s interesting the whole way through. You should check this anime out. It’s on CrunchyRoll right now for free.

The Daily Show – DNC time! The segments weren’t as biting (and the acceptance one was a remixed version of the RNC platform one), but they still had some good zingers for the DNC, such as the platform change vote.

NTSF:SD:SUV – Only my second episode of this madness, but the Time Angels stuff was hilarious. Sharp writing on this episode for the fake backdoor pilot.

Childrens Hospital – I love the “behind the scenes” episodes of this show. Too bad I missed the first half, but I’m sure I’ll catch it on reruns soon.

Pretty Little Liars – GUYS…this show is bonkers. It’s insane. Thank god I have Jacob Clifton’s recaps to read and laugh about. The show’s not bad, but man is it trashy and hilarious in all the right ways.

Fashion Police – Joan Rivers makes vagina jokes! No real complaints here. I can deal with this by now.

Cupcake Wars – So many strained Star Wars references. So many weird ingredients.

Music

“Gangnam Style” is AMAZING. How did I miss this when it came out?!

Super catchy and super ridiculous/bizarre/awesome. Psy is incredible in this video.

Like I said above, I spent a lot of this week listening to Jazz too. Here’s the best segment from Kids on the Slope:

That medley is just fantastic. Such a brilliant scene.

Books

I promise I’ll get back to reading soon!

Video Games

Driver: San Francisco – Evading the cops sucks. Couldn’t get it quite right, but I dug some of the driving. I’ll have to give it a little more time.

Spelunky – Started trying to speedrun for the 8 minute achievement after I got the Casanova one. Made it to the caves once, but it’s hard to just blow through these levels.

Mark of the Ninja – The Giant Bomb guys talked this game up like it was awesome. It is lots of fun. I like how clear all the stealth stuff is, but I wish it were a little easier to stun/not kill some of the guards. I feel like some puzzles very early in the game require you to kill or set off an alarm and that’s a bummer.

I’ve Had Enough for a Lifetime – What I’ve Been Doing 2 July 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jul 2nd, 2012 by Dan

I wish I could make up the fact that I’ve seen two episodes of this show. (Photo courtesy Screened.com)

As you may have figured out from the picture, weekends with Tiffany are a little different for my media experience. I like to think of it as a way to broaden my tastes and attitudes, but it’s also kind of tough to deal with some of these shows without laughing at how terrible they are.

Movies

Snow White and the Huntsman – Speaking of stuff I wouldn’t normally go to see…Look, this movie isn’t terrible, per se, it’s just…overlong. Like really long. It’s technically only 127 minutes, but it’s a long 127 minutes of watching K-Stew kind of pull it off. At least Chris Hemsworth has plenty of charisma. There were lots of lingering shots or just plain odd directorial choices, but I’m glad they trimmed it to what it was already. Also kind of weird that all of the dwarves were played by non-dwarves digitally put onto dwarven bodies. At least that allowed us to get Nick Frost smarming about, but I bet the dwarven union wasn’t happy.

TV

Futurama – Nothing says biting, relevant social commentary like an Ally McBeal parody, right? Right?! At least the criticisms lobbed at TV were less dated. Did enjoy the visual homage to Star Wars though. Beyond that, the Slurm episode was tremendously good. The show’s definitely on the uptick for me.

Louie – Season 2 hit Netflix, which is awesome. Didn’t get to finish the first episode because the power went out, but I’m glad it’s there and I’ll be checking it out for sure.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – Best thing on the show: the stuffed porkchops. They took porkchops and, get this, they stuffed them with sausage. So much pig! So delicious looking.

Fashion Police – I think I’m starting to get the hang of this. Joan Rivers makes an inappropriate joke and everyone laughs at the wicked barb. Then they talk about a starlet’s dress. It could be worse, I guess.

The Client List – Not one, but two Lifetime shows this week. In this one Jennifer Love Hewitt lives in Texas and her husband abandoned her and her two kids. What’s a mom to do?! Work in a massage parlor called “The Rub” (not lying, that’s the name) and just do her best. Except her deadbeat husband showed up out of the blue and the cops are on to her…This show is just so melodramatic it’s hilarious. The deadbeat husband, he suggests they put peanut butter on the sandwiches his daughter made and it’s like he shot one of the kids. Why? She’s allergic to peanut butter. The way the music and their expressions changed…THAT made the whole thing worth it.

The Next Food Network Star – This is just like The Voice, but with cooking. Not terribly interesting to me because they were focusing more on being on-air personalities than on food this episode.

Cupcake Wars – All of the house, Tiffany’s roommate and his boyfriend, included, watched an episode where they were making cupcakes for the USO. I love when the show feels the need to subtitle Florian’s French accent.

Drop Dead Diva – I guess this is a show about a model who died and reincarnated into a larger woman’s body, but you wouldn’t know it from this 4th season episode. I mean, this show seems like it left its premise behind years ago (or maybe this is just an isolated episode?). The episode was kind of lawyer show-lite. I mean, it was like your typical network law show, but less good.

Music

Eric started checking out his last.fm milestones and he reminded me that I used to listen to The Zutons a lot. They were my first listens on the service and I hadn’t listened to them in a while. Guys, they’re good. At least I think so.

Books

1Q84 – Continues to be wildly interesting. I mean, this is good reading. Lots of suspense as Aomame prepares to assassinate Leader while Tengo is hiding out with Fuka-Eri.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – Look, this isn’t a bad book by any means. It’s just not for me. I admit I went into it with a lot of prejudice, but it does suffer from being over-technical, which I attribute to its author being a technical writer. Doctorow is a little more enamored with the interfaces and technology than he is with the character and action of his story. It’s a story driven more by nostalgia and rejection of technology than character action. Maybe I’m being nitpicky…I dunno. It’s worth a read since it’s so short, but it’s not gonna win any literary awards.

Video Games

No More Heroes: Heroes’ Paradise – Didn’t get to play as much of this as I wanted to because I was so tired this week. Still enjoying it, just gotta put more time in.

Mass Effect 3 – Did you guys realize how well written this game is? I started playing again to get to the new endings, but man does the game put you a far way back. Not to mention that I’m not confident about my readiness level. Want to play more this week, but Spelunky’s coming, so we’ll see.

The Binding of Isaac – Beat another challenge. Love this game. Got like three challenges to go (and they’re toughies).

What I’ve Been Doing 9 April 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Apr 9th, 2012 by Dan

Hanley Ramirez - Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies 17 April 2010

Baseball is BACK! The (Miami) Marlins are headed to Philadelphia for their second/third series of the year.

Baseball. It signals the end of winter. Guess what, guys? Winter is GONE! The Marlins are off to a rocky start (1-3), but they’re still looking pretty good and, in the past two games, playing pretty well too. I really hope this season is better than the last, but, either way, at least baseball has returned.

Movies

The Muppets – It weirdly acknowledges that it’s a movie heightened reality world. What a real nostalgia-fest. Man, this movie moved me to tears once or twice. The Rolf story was awesome, but the actual “show” part of the movie was less fun.

TV

Mad Men – Last week’s episode was not as bombastic as the premiere, what with fat-suit Betty and all that, but this season is still looking promising. Dawn/Don jokes might get old someday, but I’m digging them now.

Happy Endings – Happy Endings has turned into a rapid-fire joke delivery system. I mean, JOKESJOKESJOKESJOKES! It’s pretty awesome. Sleeper hit of the 2011-2012 season for sure!

Community – Holy cow, what an awesome format for an episode! The PBS/Ken Burns style documentary seems like it couldn’t work for a comedy, but it was just perfectly executed. Loved it.

Cupcake Wars – What could be more rock and roll than cupcakes? EVERYTHING. Seriously. “Lightning bolts and flames are so rock and roll.” No…no they’re not.

Chopped – Seems like a short-form Iron Chef. I can see why people dig it over the juggernaut that is Iron Chef, but it’s not as good to me. At least you get more variety from round/course to round/course.

Iron Chef – Canned tuna is a weird ingredient for the competition. Didn’t see how it all turned out, but if there wasn’t tuna ice cream I’m disappointed.

BASEBALL! – So much baseball. Love it.

Music

Jasper Byrne’s Lone Survivor has a chilling and awesome soundtrack. Below is the embed for the album.

Books

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – FINALLY DONE! YES! It’s self-indulgent, wish-fulfilling fiction taken to its most boring extremes.

Video Games

Rayman: Origins – More speed trophies. Min and I have great teamwork even though we sometimes die very stupidly.

Pro Yakyu Spirits 2012 – Only got one match in, but it’s the same great game I love every year and I blanked the Dragons 2-0. Good times.

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