2/5/19 Dispatch from Minneapolis

Last week, here in Minneapolis, we experienced the polar vortex.

-26 degrees outside. -49 degrees with wind chill.

Then we got a reprieve. 30 degrees (positive this time!) with a little bit of rain.

It was delightful. It was something we could handle.

Then the temperatures plunged again down into the single digits the past two days so everything is covered in ice.

I’m watching movies, I’m reading comic books, I’m trying to be a creative person while also juggling friends, working out, hobbies, and being almost in my 4th decade of life.

What is a slog (boring): just reviewing movies willy-nilly. I really enjoy talking about movies with my friends when I do it, but there is a part of me that screams about it since I don’t want my life to be simply critiquing and commenting on others’ works.

There’s something so enjoyable, though, about saying: I’m going to watch ALL of the Oscar Nominees this year.

Even though the Oscars have plenty of things wrong with them. I almost never agree with who wins Best Picture. I think people are given awards for movies that we know are just for them being who they are. (Hey Denzel, we should have given you this Oscar for Malcom X, but instead here’s an Oscar for Training Day. [I love Training Day and Denzel, but that’s just one example.])

I appreciate those recap podcasts. Rewatchables, Lower Decks (For Star Trek Discovery), A Cast of Kings (podcast with Dave Chen for Game of Thrones), but I don’t think I could have the mechanical brain to sit there and map out each episode and talk about it in that length. It’s very satisfying to hear, but I don’t know that I would be good at it.

In no order, here are some movies I’ve watched recently:

-Blackkklansman

-Thor

-Roma

-Total Recall

It’s like I have to throw in some white guy bullshirt type of movie in between a good culturally relevant movie.

I’ve started keeping a little notebook of what I spend my cash on. I’m not terrible with money, but I think I often don’t realize how much per week I’m spending because I don’t look that often. Let’s see how that goes.

I would like to write more. Not just for the sake of writing, but create some fiction. I suppose a short story would be a good place to start.

 

I am probably starting in the wrong place. This shall go out into the internet as-is.

 

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1/25/19 End of shutdown, finally?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/government-shutdown-deal-reached-trump-speech-announcement-opens-government-shutdown-over-today-live-updates-2019-01-25/

Okay, so Trump decides to end a government shutdown after what is it, 35 days?

I think this management style is known as the abusive boyfriend / father / spouse / significant other. They take something away from you that was yours to begin with. They blame you for the problem. “Look what you made me do! This is all your fault, you’re forcing my hand to do this!” They make you agonize for over a month, and then act like they should be applauded when they end whatever doom they themselves were responsible for to begin with.

That said, I really do wish the professional politicians on the other side were able to finagle something before now. Compromise. Negotiate. That’s what you’re paid to do.

We’ll float along in this state of euphoria having navigated (weathered) this disaster on behalf of our political system until the next one rolls around. (Which will be soon, I’m sure.)

lowercase movie journal – american graffiti (1973)

(journal meets writing meets movie review)

 

9/22

 

american graffiti – 1973 – george lucas

 

lots of painful scenes

girls rejecting the guys, the guys pressing on regardless

 

were the 60s like that, george?

 

it’s in the 90s, temperature-wise here.

i feel cooped up in my small apartment.

 

i get it. the fondness of reminiscing on adolescence

and figuring women out.

 

but it’s a sinking gross kind of feeling, too.

 

you stare at your own picture enough

and you become a monster.

 

/

 

the ending with the epitaphs was weird.

women treated as objects throughout the whole thing

side characters who don’t warrant any sort of mention along

with the dudes.

 

lots of uncomfortable cat calling scenes

i disliked this movie much more this time around.

TV stuff: Marc Maron – Too Real (Netflix)

Rating: Worth your time. Watch it or listen to it while you’re doing something else and you’ll still get a lot out of it.

I think I liked this special more than any of Marc’s other specials. It felt, as the title suggests, pretty real. I’m sure he wrote this whole hour plus up and performed it based on what he wrote, but it felt like him just getting up there and saying things off the cuff, but in a good way.

He recorded this special right here at the Pantages in Minneapolis, but I didn’t get a chance to go see it. He kind of nailed the reason why I didn’t go- he joked about it in the midst of his set. I’m in my late 30s. I hate dealing with parking, and I figured I’d get as much or more enjoyment watching it at home on Netflix than paying $35 and sitting WAYYYY up in the rafters of the Pantages. (That’s what I did when I saw him the first time, here in Minneapolis.)

Was his shirt weird? I kept getting distracted by his shirt.

The bit about the Stones was pretty great. And I totally agree with his assessment of Dave Matthews fans. You’ve got an uphill battle on your hands, friends. (I also made a Dave Matthews joke later in the day. Sorry man, didn’t mean to steal your joke when I was at Midtown Global Market getting burritos.)

Talking about a standup special is more difficult than talking about a piece of scripted TV, I think.

Marc’s one of my favorite comedians and personalities. I listen to his podcast a bit, so I feel like I’ve heard some of these jokes in different forms as he tries them out on his show, it seems.

Anyway. Great special. Go watch it. It’s worth your time.

Preacher – Season 3 Episode 10: Dirty Little Secret

Spoilers spoilers spoilers-

The introduction of the Jesus having sons storyline. The directors decided to forego making the historical part feel real and instead gave Jesus and all of the other characters a modern surfer-dude dialect. It felt different than the first season with the flashbacks for the Saint of Killers. The show, overall, is taking on more of a comedic vibe than a horror / intense vibe that the first season had.

Denis continues more down his evil vampire path. Tulip and the Grail lady are playing Rock Band and becoming better friends (meaning she’s manipulating Tulip). Herr Starr shows Jesse Humperdoo the Messiah. I’m not thrilled with that portion of the storyline. I mean I get showing the Messiah as the inbred son of 20 centuries of incest, but there was something that felt kind of like picking on the disabled for a laugh. It felt wrong not in a funny or shocking way, just in a cheap privileged kind of way.

Tulip finds the guns and the sword underneath the floorboard and the episode ends. Still not that thrilled with this season.

Oh but I do love the addition of Malcolm Barrett into the show. He was great on Better Off Ted. He doesn’t have much to do but that guy is just super charismatic, in my opinion.

Preacher – Season 2, Episode 9 : Puzzle Piece

(Spoilers ahead!)

This season had gotten bogged down so much that I stopped keeping up with it as the episodes were airing. This episode introduced a few more elements that kept it more interesting, though: The FPS – video game style scene was cool and fun. The mystery of who B.R.A.D. was was pretty good. (Although I kind of wish it was the big crazy ogre-looking dude.) Jesse’s power of The Word and using Genesis is getting very boring to me. A Deus Ex Machina is only good for like one or two uses at best. Jesse can tell Tulip to fall asleep, can tell cops to obey his orders, can have one of the crazy Grail officers kill his friends? I mean if he’s having the cops work for him in a protective capacity, why not just order all of the Grail guys to be on his side and help him find God? I’m trying to suspend my disbelief, but it’s wearing kinda thin on me.

I can’t stand New Orleans anyway. Can we move on from this city, please?

I loved the comic book series, but it’s been years since I’ve read it so I can’t remember how they kept things fresh. I do remember that it didn’t feel as stale as this does.

The Americans – End of Season 2 and S3 E1

(Spoilers ahead for Season 2 of The Americans, and S3 Episode 1 of The Americans.)

The Americans season 2:

This season was a bit confusing for me, but got a lot better at the finale. The idea about recruiting Paige into the Russian spy network made things really interesting. Best part in the last episode of Season 2 was when Philip says about Paige: “If she didn’t shut up about passive resistance, I was going to punch her in the face.” I replayed and listened to that line and guffawed out loud to myself each time.

The big reveal about the other spies’ killer being their son was chilling as hell. I didn’t see it coming at all. It kind of retroactively explains the weird acting job of that kid. I thought he was too cardboard-y in the previous episodes. A recap I read on Vulture said that the kid had a tough job of explaining everything that happened while bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the jugular. Very true.

The Americans Season 3, Episode 1:

They upped their game as far as interesting camera shots go. The opening scene was great, too. I had to replay it to make sure that it was indeed Agent Gad that Elizabeth punched in the face, and it sure was! The removal of Nina is proving to be a good ominous motivator for Oleg. Again, this series makes the killing of a character – this time Annalise – feel really impacting. I had the death of Annalise spoiled for me through a random internet search earlier in the week. I knew it was going to happen but I didn’t know HOW. And of course Philip will use the death to manipulate Yousaf.

I’m also happy to move on to season 3 because it looked like there were some quality recap podcasts to listen to once season 3 rolled around.