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

Vickie Tunes

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

Radiohead – Amnesiac
Arrogant Worms
a tango complilation

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,, Gallery,,, The Daily Show, Scam School, SMBC Theater,, etc etc etc etc etc!!!


Slings and Arrows

Maura told me I should see the TV Show Slings and Arrows a while back. I just got to it after seeing the end of Breaking Bad Season 4 and Walter White graduating to actual evil (hope I didn’t spoil it for you) I needed a different kind of stimulation. Slings and Arrows is passionate and terrific. Join me!

Megan, I just finished watching season 1 and I could watch it again with you. And then there’s season 2 & 3!

I want love to roll me over slowly, stick a knife inside me and twist it all around

I feel like this more often than I let on

local version:

Jack White: Love Interruption

I want love to roll me over slowly
Stick a knife inside me and twist it all around
I want love to, grab my fingers gently
Slam them in the doorway, put my face into the ground
I want love to, murder my own mother
and take her off to somewhere, like hell or up above
And I want love to, change my friends to enemies, change my friends to enemies
Show me how it’s all my fault

No I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me
I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me
Yeah I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

I want love to walk right up and bite me
Grab a hold of me and fight me, leave me dying on the ground
And I want love to split my mouth wide open, and cover up my ears and never let me hear a sound
I want love to forget that you offended me
Or how you had defended me when everybody tore me down
Yeah I want love to change my friends to enemies, change my friends to enemies
Show me how it’s all my fault

Yeah I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me
I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me
I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me

Breaking Bad

I just finished watching season 3, episode 12, of Breaking Bad, titled “Half Measure” (don’t skip to it; you’ve got to watch from the beginning). The show is a tight and twisted moral drama.

Wow. That is amazing television.


This was originally a “page” on my blog that I updated from time to time. But I like using the chronological format of a blog better now. Be sure to check out the Reading, Watching, Listening category of this blog!


1-18-12: I know I haven’t updated this list in a long time. But I just found a show worthy of adding. Just this moment in fact. I just finished watching season 3, episode 12, of Breaking Bad, titled “Half Measure”. (don’t skip to it; you’ve got to watch from the beginning) The show is a tight and twisted moral drama. The moment when Walt hears about the executed kid and knows exactly what is happening hit me like a freight train. A moment of certainty of morality and action like that is rare and powerful.

11-21-08: Stargate Atlantis (I’ve seen most episodes so far. It’ll be sad when the show ends at the end of this season), Heros 1st and 2nd season makes good television.

6-18-06 Justice League Unlimited, 24, Nip/Tuck.

1-29-06 update: Since I’ve moved to California, I haven’t had a television set. That hasn’t stopped me from watching the television programs I enjoy. TV is starting to go through the same upheaval that music has been experiencing for the last 10 years from peer-to-peer file sharing revolution.

I use TorrentSpy, Azureus  and its RSSFeed Scanner plugin to get just about all the broadcast programming I want.

Since I’ve been busy living the Vida Cali, I watch less TV.. but here’s my list of favorites:
– The Colbert Report
– The Daily Show
– Scrubs
– 24
– Nip/Tuck
– Mythbusters
– Malcolm in the Middle

I was happy to be able to catch up on
– Dead Like Me
– Greatest American Hero – The show is much worse than I remembered :-( But I’m glad I got to see it. Especially the pilot episode. (which still sucked, but I’m still glad I saw the “creation story”)

The only shows I haven’t been able to catch are
60 minutes – I can’t find a torrent for it on Torrentspy :-(
Bullshit – I can’t find a tor…. wait. I just found a torrent with season 1-3. [Click] I should have it in a week.

Recently, the cable TV cartel has been fighting legislation requiring that they unbundle their programming. It’s just been unbundled for them. Clearly, a new business model for television must emerge.

3-1-02 update: Tivo hasn’t changed the way I watch television, it has fundamentally changed what television is. Dare I use the phrase “paradigm shift”? I dare.



2-12-02: I got Netflix for xmas. I just started up my subscription. I don’t know how much I’ll use it between Tivo, school and work.

Current Favorite shows:

Joe Millionaire– I’m completely hooked. It’s just so real. I can so project myself into Evan’s shoes. It’s wonderful watching and learning about human psychology with this fishbowl. And I am so angry that Evan got rid of Melissa! How can he hope to live happily ever after with either Zora or Sara?!?!

Rough Science– Still. This show is so much fun and so stimulating!

Nova: Hitler’s Lost Sub – It brought the history of this sub to the present. Three divers lost their lives in the late 1990’s during a personal quest to find out the history of this sub. The sub sank off the coast of NJ in 1942. It was a very intense program.

The Veteran’s Project – Since my Dad was here and he loves shows about WWII, we watched a lot of those shows. The format of this show is very simple. A veteran narrates a 1/2 hour slide show of his war experience. Most of the photos and video clips are of him, his buddies, or his group. The show is only on bi-weekly, 8-8:30am Sunday mornings on the History Channel.

11-14-02: Favorite TV programs: Rough Science, MST3K

6-28-02: More or less in order, here are the shows that I have in my Tivo’s Season Pass Manager:

Movie & Darkstar – TJIC recommended. Someday I hope it comes around on the tube
Babylon 5 & Strife – The very last episode I need to complete my set!
The Prisoner – After seeing about 10 episodes now, I can see the shows lacked consistently good writing. But some episodes, like “Many Happy Returns” blew my mind.
Angel – Shara is a bigger fan than I, but I don’t miss many episodes
Evolution – An excellent educational mini-series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer   – Shara is a bigger fan than I, but I don’t miss many episodes
Marx, Groucho – I hope I hope I hope “You Bet Your Life” comes around again!
Chaplin, Charlie
Penn & Teller’s Magic and Mystery Tour – I’ve been a fan of theirs for years. Smart guys. Real.
Enterprise – Ick. How did this schlock get here? Shara?
60 Minutes – I Tivo the boring articles, but there aren’t many
Jackass – I’m magnetically drawn to this! It’s far more consensual than America’s Funniest Ball-Busters
Scientific American Frontiers – Yup
Mystery Science Theater 3000 – It’s more fun watching and heckling along with friends. But I don’t have any to watch it with now :-(
Just Shoot Me – When I get around to watching sitcoms, which isn’t too often, this is one I like
60 Minutes II
BattleBots – Carnage without the meat.
Scrubs – I really like this show a lot. The Scrubs world spins off to the left while the solid ideas hold it right in place. My kind of show.
Nova – Sometimes great topics, sometimes fluff.
Ebert & Roper – Usually pretty good movie reviews. I’m a little partial to Ebert
Sex2K – Infoporn ahhh
Modern Marvels – A good history show
Crank Yankers – I dunno if I’ll keep this on the list. It’s kinda funny….
Harrison Ford – More Shara’s pick than mine
Humphry Bogart – More Shara’s pick than mine
Kenneth Branagh – More Shara’s pick than mine
Insomniac with Dave Atell – Good Everyman entertainment
Inside the Actors Studio – sometimes very insightful guests speak
Southpark – Southpark is always insightful
Star Trek: Voyager – slightly less offensive than Enterprise. Good “fall asleep fast” TV
Travel Sick – I dunno. The show has possibilities but I don’t like the omniscient narrator forcing our hapless hero to do gruesome tasks.
Lexx – The pinnacle of stupid sci-fi. I eat it up!
The Practice – I saw an episode or two and I’m trying to get interested in it
The Daily Show – This is honestly really good news! I get more news from these guys than most other sources!

I give Thumbs Up to a bunch of shows that I’m slightly interested in watching:

EGG: The Arts Show
The Man Show – Unrepentant, unabashed
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Mad TV
The Simpsons – Society’s mirror. I’m disappointed when they do random wacky things instead of insightful wacky things. But I guess they have a lot of shows to fill.
America’s Funniest Home Videos
Iron Chef – Oh, the spectacle of it all!
Victory Garden – I like the old host better. And I like Norm better than Bob Villa
The Osbournes – OK, so I watched a few. It’s only because my sister forced me to! Really!
Junkyard Wars

Phew! That’s a long list!

Babylon 5 – I watched it from the second season til the end. I appreciate it because it has so very few plot holes, has a contiguous universe, and nice storyline. One of my few concessions to obsession in my life is that I taped (and still have) -every- episode. Of course, I don’t do anything 1/2 way so I got an SVHS tape player for the task. So now I have 120 hours of B5 on 60 tapes… Now what do I do with them?


Xena: Warrior Princess – She can beat me up anytime
You Bet Your Life – with Groucho Marx. He was an absolute genius! Have you ever gotten to watch this show? He Ernie Kovacks – another genius, and a Hungarian to boot!
Mystery Science Theater 3000– Heckling a bad film is one of the purest joys there is in the world. These guys have raised it to a high art!
The Prisoner has a certain allure
Mr. Wizard. I watched Mr. Wizard a whole heck of a lot from middle school all the way through college.
Universe with Walter Cronkite. I looked back for this one and was really surprised to realize that it just ran for two summers. It really had an effect on me. Walter rocks.

Music videos

  • Sledgehammer- Peter Gabriel
  • Take on Me- a-ha   That’s not to say that I’m an a-ha fan, but there is this one moment of… oh heck, if you’ve seen the video, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.