Archive for the ‘Reading, Watching, Listening’ Category.

Amélie, A New Musical

Megan and I escaped to the theatre yesterday! We saw Amélie, a musical at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It was a joy!

Audiobook Review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

I got this out of the library on a whim. I put it back on the shelf far more deliberately.

I listened to the first CD of the unabridged 10 CD audiobook and I can most definitely say, “It’s a book!”
OMG, they just keep saying the same damn thing over and over! They practically replayed the same scene 5 times with no different intention than the first. It’s like they had to make filler material for the book. I had to stop. If the book gets better after the first 1/10, someone tell me because I’m done with this pulp.

Why I hated it:

They’ve got no sense of practicality. The story says someone posted plans for this “simple” electronic box online that kids all over the world were all putting together with ease. It had relays and coils and switches and a bunch of other simple electronics. Unless they are all living in a Bill Nye the Science Guy inspired universe, there is no effing way these kids could put together these “simple” electronics. OMG, a police woman finds a 1/2 finished box and finishes it on a whim. “Winding the coil was oddly enjoyable” (or something). Have YOU ever wound a coil? Stripped the varnish insulation off? soldered the ends to … anything? The vast majority of you have not.

Most of the characters are obviously throwaways. :-(

The writing doesn’t have a sense of space and time. In the scene where Joshua is stepping with all the other kids for the first time, there is a description of him trying to walk 20 yards to meet up with a girl in the dark. He’s got a flashlight and it’s working but it’s not working and he’s stumbling for way too long. And he can’t figure out how to get around this tree because… well it’s a tree and you know how that can be. And WTF is with every kid on the block building this device and turning it on within like 30 minutes of one another? I imagine this insane forshadowing rush at the local Radio Shack earlier in the day… But Joshua was like “I did it right, I varnished my box and all kinds of shit. I took my time with it.” So how did he finish his box in the same amount of time as the kids who slapped theirs together???

And the vingette on the insane devaluation of gold was touched on for like 30 seconds. What a cop out. And what could the motivation of the people hanging out at Sutters Mill 5 possibly be?? Were they seriously just hanging out to insult any passers by? It smacks of “I’ll bite your kneecaps off (Python, Monty)” wacky hilarity. All the character motivations were off!

People don’t look at one another in this book. It’s weird, I just get this sense that the characters don’t SEE one another.

Why does the book jump around in time? Just to keep us from falling asleep while we figure out where we are again?

In a scene Joshua tells someone that he doesn’t like it when people keep calling his name like they are wearing it out. And then like 30 seconds later someone asks what’s up with him and he’s like, “Hey I’m just Joshua.”

In another scene, Joshua is offered a soda and he says, “I lost my taste for soda years ago.” And no one bats an eye at that pretty weird statement coming from a 14 year old. That statement wouldn’t need explaining from a 30 year old but he’s 14.

Those are just some of the blaring issues. I could go on but I won’t. It’s not worth spending one more second on it.

Music Cleanup

Here’s some music I just took off my computer for various reasons. Mostly because of some variant of “it had it’s day”

Avril Lavigne
Alanis Morrissette
Cowboy Junkies
Extra Action Marching Band – Live on the Stubnitz
Fiona Apple
George Clinton – Hey Man Smell My Finger
John McCusker
Moxy Fruvous
Rage Against The Machine
Ramones

Vickie Tunes

Freakonomics
Omnivore’s Dilema
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Gladwell – Blink, The Tipping Point, Outliers
Kurt Vonnegut – Cat’s Cradle

Hair
Radiohead – Amnesiac
Arrogant Worms
a tango complilation

Lulacruza
Front 242 Angels vs Animals
Cary Brothers

Dr Who With David Tennant

I’ve been watching Dr Who with David Tennant… season 4 from 2008. I just watched episode 12 “Turn Left” where history changes just a tiny bit and the Doctor doesn’t exist to stop all the bad things that might have happened.
Wow that’s surprisingly good TV!

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith is a Good Movie

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith is a good movie… as long as you watch it with the RiffTrax soundtrack! (Otherwise, it is an awful, awful travesty)

Went over to Andrea’s apartment last night, potlucked, chatted about the state of teledildonics, and watched Star Wars III with Rifftrax. My sides hurt.

The Sopranos and Other TV

I haven’t written in a long time about what I’ve been watching on TV and such.

I finally saw the last several episodes of The Sopranos. I had been dreading it because I heard that it ended very noncommittally. What were all those critics talking about?! There was blood (a lot of blood), tension, permanent change, temporary change, forshadowing, and certainly a sense of completion for the writers. Heck, in the second to last episode there was a TV show playing in the background talking all about writing for television; the authors didn’t let that play in the background for so long for nothin’! I found the last episodes quite fulfilling. Thank you.

Slings and Arrows. I’ve been swept off my feet with this show. I’m about 1/2 way through the 3 season run. I’m afraid to see it end because I’m such in love with it. (And I still haven’t gotten Megan hooked on it… I want her to catch up and have us watch it together)

Dr Who from 2008 has some very enjoyable episodes, and some sappy ones.

The IT Crowd. I watched every episode and loved it! A nerdy treasure!

The Dick Van Dyke Show. Yes, the show from 1961 with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Darn good shows. Entertaining and fun, and not nearly as dated as it could be.

House of Cards. Netflix’s entrance into television production. Watching the show is a fascinatingly sadistic experience.

30 Rock. I’ve watched my fare share. I like it. It’s just crazy enough for me.

Eureka is pretty fun.

Modern Family is pretty good television

Burn Notice. I watched a bunch of episodes. It feels like spy edu-tainment :-)

Breaking Bad. Intense. Intense. Intense.

 

Honorable mentions

How It’s Made. They show  how the coolest stuff in the world is made with awesome factory processes with narration that makes me want to put an ice pick through my ears. Maybe I should just turn the volume down and enjoy.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is a fun one trick pony.

Mad Men. I don’t know, it just doesn’t interest me

I am not watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Don’t like it. It’s honestly mean spirited.

 

The Youtube needs to sneak it’s way onto this list at some point. Epic Rap Battles of History, Cracked.com, Imgur.com Gallery, BestofYoutube.com, 5SecondFilms.com, The Daily Show, Scam School, SMBC Theater, Instructables.com, etc etc etc etc etc!!!