What I’ve Been Doing 16 Dec 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 16th, 2013 by Dan


Brilliant game. (Photo by Eddie Shannon)

Thanks to a snowstorm Katie, Min, Lee, and I got to play some Left 4 Dead. I’d forgotten how sharp that game’s design was!




The Amazing Race – I was spot on with my predictions last week. Super fun episode and, surprisingly, Tim and Marie ended up my favorite racers by the end.

The Daily Show – Watched a few eps here and there, but the white/black Santa bit was…HILARIOUS. Definitely watch the opening 10 mins or so of the Evangeline Lilly episode. So hilarious.

Plays of the Month: April – We had to start somewhere. I was hoping for more Marlins/Orioles highlights, but it was still loads of fun. Under 60 days to pitchers and catchers!

Community – Saw a season 5 trailer and decided that I should actually watch the last two episodes of season 4. I didn’t really enjoy the retcon of the way the characters were all related, but at least it was funny enough. The finale was a little silly (it’s all a dream, seriously?), but I like where it sets up the show to go in S5. Plus darkest timeline Annie…wow…

Homeland – I’m baffled by how much critics seem to love the finale of S3. I thought it was kind of safe and convenient and every happy outcome that you’d expect happened. It felt too happy. Plus Carrie is a terrible employee of the CIA and shouldn’t be a station chief. I also would have liked to see the rest of the Brodys and how they reacted to Nick being on tv as a propaganda tool and his execution. Anyway, I found the season to be vastly inferior to the first and normally inferior to the second.

Project Runway: All-Stars – It feels weird that I recognize so many of these designers. As I’ve said before, still a decent show. Plus it teaches me a little more about fashion.


I like Straight No Chaser’s version of the “12 Days of Christmas”


Well Played 1.0: Video Games, Value, and Meaning – I finished the Super Mario Bros. section, but I found it to be a little to simplistic. It was covering stuff that I already knew too well. The Advance Wars section is more interesting and I’m appreciating some of the game design stuff I’m learning, but I’m hoping things get more in depth, a la David Sirlin’s writing about game systems.

Video Games

Super Mario 3D World – Just a few mins of this. Really excited to get down with it in Florida.

Rayman Legends – A few levels of this too. I liked the more complicated Murphy wheels.

Left 4 Dead – Kate got her first games in and she loved it. Makes me really happy because I’d talked up how good it was before. I hope she continues to love it and digs part 2 as well.

XCOM: Enemy Within – New game seems to be going better, but I’m losing some good men. I’m hoping for better luck on the council missions, because they’re really tough.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I beat case 3, right? Well case 4 involves…ASTRONAUTS! So cool. I wish I hadn’t seen a spoiler about the culprit, but it’s still been an interesting case so far and I’m a long way from that spoiler.

Rock Band 3 – Busted out this bad boy once again to play with Katie and Min. She dug drumming and I started to recover my strumming abilities. Just gotta start singing too next time. Our new band is awesome

Spelunky – I got cocky about beating David’s score and then…I died. Goddammit…

What I’ve Been Doing 18 Nov – 04 Dec 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Nov 19th, 2013 by Dan

Stay Hungry With Adam Jones

Hashtag Stay Hungry

Remember that charity thing a million years ago? Here’s the picture we took with Adam Jones. Pretty cool.


30 for 30: The Band That Wouldn’t Die – I don’t remember if I classified the last 30 for 30 I watched as a movie or not, but for the sake of filling out this section, why not, right? As for the documentary itself, what a neat portrait of football in MD. I would never have realized the depths to which the city loved that old team and how heartbroken they were. Made me really excited to see the band at that Ravens/Jets game I went to.


The Amazing Race – Between current episodes, lunch break episodes, and episodes with Katie, I’ve seen about 20 to 25 episodes of the race between posts. Not regretting a single episode. It really is an addictive bit of television and the only reality competition I can (more than) comfortably stomach.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Best new show of the year, by far. “Terry needs nutrients!” “Where’s the buckle, Santiago?”. Brilliant stuff. Very funny. Why aren’t you watching this? The fireman/police rivalry reminds me of the parks/libraries rivalry in Parks & Recreation

New Girl – “Hey Jason Street” made me laugh so much. If you don’t get it then you haven’t watched enough Friday Night Lights. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I don’t find the inclusion of Coach to be as well handled as Adam Pally’s integration into The Mindy Project. Having both Coach and Winston just makes me feel like the writers don’t know what to do with either of them.

The Mindy Project – It’s quietly one of the funnier shows on television, but it seems that it’s going on hiatus in January. It’s a bummer because of how funny everyone on it is, but the show is kind of all over the place right now and some time off could help. Just don’t get rid of Adam Pally!

How I Met Your Mother – The oddness of separating the cast and squeezing the whole season into a single weekend has produced some ridiculously funny moments, but also some clunky, uninspired episodes. I think it’s ultimately successful, but it’s still been a weird decision.

Parks and Recreation – I like that Leslie got recalled and success isn’t guaranteed for everyone, but it’s been an oddly paced season because NBC keeps releasing episodes in bursts (and then Parks is also headed for hiatus, I think).

Homeland – This season…It’s been a clusterfuck. Just poorly paced and unnecessarily confusing. The twists are sometimes satisfying, but I find it less and less believable that Carrie could possibly work for the CIA. I also find the show’s dedication to the Carrie/Brody romance to be…ill-advised.


How about some silliness? Here’s Dan Deacon’s 50% reduction of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Katie gifted me a Kindle and I immediately picked this up for my first read. I first heard of Junot Diaz when he guest DJ-ed on Alt.Latino and I found him so intriguing that I wanted to read Oscar Wao. Turns out it was a fantastic idea. I may not be Dominican, but the book so beautifully captures life in the diaspora. It felt a lot like parts of my life felt and it was perfectly written. I would recommend it to anyone.

Assassination Vacation – This one was read on the bus rides to and from New York Thanksgiving weekend. I wish that the sections on not-Lincoln were better developed, but the book was a fascinating look at aspects of American politics, presidents, and assassinations that I’d never come across before. Very interesting.

ell Played 1.0: Video Games, Value and Meaning – Read the intro and a few pages of the chapter on Ico, but this appears to be a collection of scholarly essays about video games. It was free and it looks like it’ll be interesting enough to read.

Video Games

Pac-Man CE DX + – I blew through the achievements while waiting for Katie. Still the best Pac-Man game ever made.

Spelunky – I got in a daily challenge like, weeks ago. I. Am. Rusty.

Organ Trail – This is pretty much exactly Oregon Trail, but a zombie mod. Decent, but also…slow

Samurai Showdown – I play this a few minutes here and there to kill time while on my phone. It’s a decent RTS, but the lack of control and bad AI makes it unnecessarily difficult sometimes.

Rayman Legends – Brilliant 2D platforming, as you might expect, with fantastic music to boot. I was pleasantly surprised how much fun Katie, Min, and I had playing this for a bit.

XCOM: Enemy Within – Haven’t really passed the opening few months, but I’m loving the MEC troopers. Loads of fun to use. The game is also paced very differently (much harder!). I should turn off some of the Second Wave options I’ve turned on…

Plants vs. Zombies 2 – Do not like playing this on my phone at all. Would rather play on my desktop.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – Unbelievably perfect music combines with impressive graphics and framerate. I need to put more than an hour in before I can render a judgement, but it will be favorable.

Super Mario 3D World – Perfection. This game is the Mario game you’ve been craving. Tons of fun with multiple people. I can’t wait to try it with Katie. We’ve just got to find the time…

New Super Luigi Bros. – Played this on the gamepad while people were sleeping (Wii U is so cool!). These levels are devious, but actually really good.

Pokemon Y – I saved the world from Yvestal, but now I’ve still got to beat the 8th gym and the Elite Four. Interest is on the rise, but I also realize that I’m not as close to done as I think I am.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – I’m on day 2 of case 3, but there have been enough fun twists and turns that I’ve been really captivated by the case. Can’t wait to see how it ends. I bet Professor Means was the murderer…

What I’ve Been Doing 9 and 16 Sept 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 16th, 2013 by Dan

First Ravens and NFL Game!

M&T is almost oppressively purple and it’s kind of awesome. So glad that Katie brought me to this game.

Went to my first professional football game with Katie this past Sunday and it was awesome. I wish the Ravens would have dominated by more, but it was really fun to see them


Star Trek: Into Darkness – Watched this with Katie and Min last week. I won’t lie to you guys, we were a little tipsy when we were watching, but everything about this movie felt rushed and unearned. It’s almost like they were trying to get away with a lot via nostalgia shorthand. All flash and no powder, but Benedict Cumberbatch was loads of fun in the movie.

The World’s End – I’ve been waiting for this movie ever since I heard that Pegg, Frost, and Wright were reuniting to end the Cornetto trilogy. I was worried it would be more of a horror movie, but it was actually kind of delightful and not that scary. Very cleverly written with an interesting take on the “growing up and maturing” thing that we see in a lot of American comedies nowadays. Worth seeing.


Sherlock – I loved watching this with Katie, but I’m bummed that we’re now fully caught up. Series 3 will come soon enough!

House of Cards – I’m not sure how the Frank and Zoe plot is going to progress, but I will say that I’m not really down with it yet. Other than that, I’m interested in seeing how bad things are gonna get for Russo after he compromised his values to appease Frank.


This one comes courtesy of Katie who played a cover version (followed by the much better actual version) of T-Pain, Wiz Khalifa, and Lily Allen’s “5 O’clock”. Good stuff.


Don’t think I read in these two weeks, much to my dismay.

Video Games

Shin Megami Tensei IV – Finally finished up at Shinjuku for now. I wish there was a better way to get around the world map to make things easier to get to.

Civilization V – Made some really dumb moves in the game with David, but I think I’ve mostly recovered from the setback. The game with Eric is moving fairly slowly, but we’re coming along.

Spelunky – Only a few mins of this. Always a pleasure.

What I’ve Been Doing 3 Sept 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 3rd, 2013 by Dan

New Yankee Stadium

The picture’s from the opening year, but I was definitely there this weekend.


No, but this week, probably!


Sherlock – The Chinese banker episode is so bad, comparatively speaking…

Breaking Bad – Only watched a few mins in the morning while waiting for Katie.

House of Cards – I’m not a fan of the “narration” at all, but a political revenge thriller does sound kind of awesome.


Camila Moreno has this voice that’s smoky and nice. This song is apparently far from her usual political message, but it’s very good nonetheless.


World War Z – Getting close to done on this re-reading. Good times. The book is so good.

Video Games

SMT IV – Had to use a FAQ to figure out where to go, but I finally figured it out.

Civilization V – The Mesa game is moving along, but I haven’t had a real chance to play over the holiday weekend.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – In really quick to have townspeople ask what happened to me. Just not much time to play.

Rogue Legacy – Moving through the forest now that I’ve conquered the first boss. Still loads of fun for me.

Spelunky – I can’t remember if it was this week, but I came so close to beating Yama. Next time!

What I’ve Been Doing 26 Aug 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Aug 26th, 2013 by Dan


Everyone’s favorite, most important book.

Not a lot of new stuff going on this week. I kind of hung out, made LP footage, and hung out with Katie at ballgames. Good week.


For Richer or Poorer – Katie and Kara chose to watch this 1997 Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley. It’s as terrible as you’d think it is.


Orange is the New Black – Finished the season. This show was super good. Well worth checking out on Netflix. Well realized, well acted. Very good show. Can’t wait for the next season.

The Bridge – Still don’t really care for the Sonya Cross character. Ah well. Still interesting.

Veep – Season 2 ended on a much higher note. Still funny. Wondering where it’s gonna go next year. Feels weird for such success in an Iannucci show.


“Pobre Corazon” by Esteman! It’s a little ska-y, but good.


World War Z – A classic. Not much more to say. Just a great read.

Video Games

Civilization V – The Mesa games are both progressing. I founded a Pantheon in one. Gotta keep the faith points growing so I can found a religion.

Spelunky – Had my best run ever end on a stupid mistake. So mad about that.

Counterstrike: Global Offensive – A seriously fun game. Had a lot of fun, but I haven’t had any of the new gun drops yet.

Rogue Legacy – First boss is dead and I’m enjoying pushing through the forest. Lots of fun and I like the magic spells a bunch.

SMT IV – Didn’t make a whole lot of progress here and I’m a little lost, but I’m still making good progress. Feels old school because of how not directed it is.

Sims 3 – Katie made a family and I kind of played/helped. Not much more than that.

What I’ve Been Doing 21 Aug 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Aug 21st, 2013 by Dan


I spend every day horrified at the knowledge that this book exists.

Whoa, whoops! I’m late again!




Breaking Bad – The cold war between Walter and Skyler is tough to watch. I haven’t had much time to really progress, but I’m intrigued by the way this season is gonna end.

Orange is the New Black – This show remains really awesome. Just excellent acting and stories. Worth checking out.


“Young Fathers” by Typhoon. It’s pretty cool


World War Z – Still pretty good.

Video Games

Civilization V – Our Civ games are moving along rather nicely. I wish Eric had Brave New World too because the game we’re playing with him doesn’t have the fun tourism stuff.

Spelunky – Daily Challenges have reinvigorated my love for this game. I live to beat Lee’s score each day.

Rogue Legacy – Still haven’t beaten the first boss, but I’ve unlocked a lot of neat classes. Gotta upgrade some more, I think.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Lost a lot of steam on this game when they stopped selling Nintendo items to sell fireworks.

Pikmin 3 – Found Louie. I really want to see where this game goes. It’s so much fun.

Shin Megami Tensei IV – I wish I had more time to just sit down and play JRPGs. Hopefully I can make some progress and start moving toward the Law, Chaos, or Neutral paths.

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

One Piece Cosplay

This picture is from an old Otakon, but the cosplayers were out in full force this weekend yet again.

With Katie away for the weekend I took full advantage of my video game availability. Like, super full advantage.


Elysium – Katie didn’t really want to see this one, so Min and I went to see it solo. Her impressions from the trailer were right (and I should have realized that good blockbusters don’t come out in August). It’s just overloaded with “purpose”, but without the requisite seriousness. The movie is just not good enough for the gravity it’s seeking to have. Not enough robot explosions either. Can’t win them all, I guess. Should have watched Pacific Rim again instead


The Newsroom – A patronizingly simplistic episode about “Africa” (as if it were a country and not a continent) may mean I won’t have to watch this show any more. Phew…

Childrens Hospital – And just like that they handwave away the death of “Blake Downs”/”Cutter Spindell”. Hilariously done. I like that they’re in Japan now instead of Brazil, which is where their hospital definitely was.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: – Adding Karen Gillan to the show seems to have been an awesome choice. Other reviewers don’t agree with me, but her character’s hilarious sociopathy is…well…hilarious.

Breaking Bad – Just in time to miss the half-season premiere, I started watching the preceding half-season. Walt is terrifying, yo.

Futurama – Boy is this show’s brand of humor mild compared to modern animation. Good enough to fall asleep to, I guess.


Not feeling it this week


Didn’t happen this week

Video Games

Shin Megami Tensei IV – The Tokyo map is a little confusing to manage, but it’s also kind of par for the course for SMT games. The plot continues to deepen, but very slowly.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – I missed another fireworks festival!

Pikmin 3 – Almost didn’t get this one, but I’m so glad I did. Everything about it is so charming and fun. The localized writing is top notch and the game mechanics are a real joy to experience.

Spelunky – Daily challenges, man. That mode is great. Now that Lee’s got the game too I have someone to score attack against as well. Loving it on PC.

The Last of Us – Beat it. Saw the controversial ending. In the end I think the writing was top notch. About on par with a B+ movie. The mechanics were a little repetitive and not as fun as they could have been. Plus, will someone please let me stop moving ladders and transporting Ellie on pallets?

Rogue Legacy – Controls floatier and less precise/tight than I would have guessed, but addictive and fun. Every time I lose a guy I want to just barrel right back in. I only hate it when I don’t have enough money to actually buy any upgrades.

Papers, Please – Exploring the mundanity of bureaucracy one day at a time. It’s actually a very neat game that’s worth checking out. Got one of the twelve endings. It wasn’t a good one.

Cart Life – Couldn’t get into it within like 15 mins because it started me at 4AM and I couldn’t remember where I was supposed to go for a permit.

Analogue: A Hate Story – Finished the *Hyun-ae ending. Another well-written Christine Love joint.

Donkey Kong 94 – Just a few levels here and there.


Dead Space 3 – Dave and I finally beat this guy. Tune in like a year from now to see us complain about all the game’s failings during the ending credits, haha.

Civilization V – Started a multiplayer game with the brothers. Let’s see if we actually finish it.

What I’ve Been Doing 5 Aug 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Aug 5th, 2013 by Dan


The awesome cast of Orange is the New Black (Photo by missmegsblogcontent)

Lots of talk on the internets about how Orange is the New Black was a fantastic show not worth missing. After checking it out, I’ve got to say everyone’s really right.


Nope, but probably this week!


The Bridge – Demian Bichir is doing fine, fine work on this show, but the serial killer stuff seems fairly fantastical and he’s almost omnipotent in his power.

Orange is the New Black – Netflix seems to have finally found its killer show. Extremely high quality and an intriguing watch. Definitely check it out.


I’m not sure I actually like Regina Spektor’s new(ish) single (too much rock, not enough piano), but it’s worth hearing


Not this week.

Video Games

Shin Megami Tensei IV – Got a bunch more time in this weekend while rendering episodes for my channel. Getting better. The battles are, without a doubt, rather tough, and the story’s gotten intriguing as I’ve left the first area. Not sure if it’ll continue to be awesome, but we’ll see.

EarthBound – Finally booted up Shigesato Itoi’s SNES epic to play the intro while Min watched this weekend and it still totally holds up. Just super sharp dialogue and an endearing level of charm.

Rayman Legends – Super quick challenge levels this week. Min and I need to unlock Awesomeness lvl 2.

Spelunky – Played the XBLA version one last time before I signed off forever thanks to the release of the PC version. Didn’t get past the jungle due to some dumb play. It’s really easy to fall out of practice with Spelunky.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – I really thought I’d be able to bring fruit home with me from the dream suite. Kind of lame that you can’t.

The Last of Us – They try and pretend all the time that you can pick how you want to approach encounters. Stealth or fighting, etc. It sounds good in theory, but instead they have all these required confrontations. The latest one involved two bloaters, two clickers, and two runners and it was just a pain. Kind of disappointing…

Pikmin 3 – These games are so charming and SO fun. I love Pikmin games. Clever writing/localization and a fun combat mechanic makes for the first real reason to turn on my Wii U in a long time.

What I’ve Been Doing 29 May 2013 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
May 29th, 2013 by Dan

Slight Malfunction

I bet that’ll be fun to service later.

David was in town for the weekend! DAVID! He’s never in town. Stupid Iowa!


I tried so hard to get David and Min to watch Star Trek or Fast 6. Neither would agree. Stupid David and Min.


Arrested Development – Got about halfway through the Netflix season. I think it’s at least on par with the latter half of the third season. I’ve definitely had some gutbusting laughs and it hasn’t felt like a total mishap. I want to see how it all turns out with each of the character vignettes, but so far I’m pretty happy with how this turned out.

The Venture Bros. – To be fair I only watched 5 mins of the first episode (I didn’t remember any of it from the last time I watched it).

The Americans – Season 1 complete. I don’t think it’s as groundbreaking as some are saying it is, but it was an absolutely enjoyable season full of much better acting than I expected from the principals. I’m eager to see where they go from here, but it looks like I’ll have to wait a whole year!

Veep – Season 2! Finally cracked into it and I’m delighted to say that it’s also busted that gut of mine. Just some deliciously funny insults, lines, and situations. I feel like Catherine is going to be a larger part of the season, which is fine by me. I like seeing that side of Selina. Julia Louis-Dreyfus does a great job of showing a completely different aspect of her personality from her ass-kicking VP persona.


Vampire Weekend’s latest continues to be awesome. Here’s a fun track for people who like Biblical allusions and veiled Outkast references. The song is called “Ya Hey”


Sadly, no. Maybe this week.

Video Games

Rhythm Heaven Fever – The girlfriend litmus test was in full effect as I had Katie try out one of my favorite games ever. She kind of dug it. I kind of dig her.

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – Just more daily puzzles to kill time. Still fun.

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – Slowly moving the story along. I’d say I’m about halfway done.

Rayman Legends – More daily challenges, but this time with David! I think we got a silver on one day, which is pretty boss.

Castle Crashers – Man, I hadn’t played that game in forever, but Dave, Min, and I were looking for something co-op. Kind of slow and didn’t age well, if you ask me.

Spelunky – Speaking of co-op, I think Dave, Min, and I did more of this than anything else. Our quest to hell almost came true, but there were just too many obstacles, not to mention weird bugs resulting from playing multiplayer. Maybe next time that David’s in MD.

DmC Devil May Cry – I think I’m on the final level or at the final boss. Made serious progress Monday morning and I’ll probably finish this weekend while Katie’s biking. I’m interested in the conclusion, but also fairly confident that Vergil is going to double cross me.

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.


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.


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?


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


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.

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