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April 24th, 2015

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- For all you snooty art lovers out there, here's a quiz asking you to identify famous works based on small bits of the piece. I got 13 of 16 and if you can do better, then I doff my cap to you sir or madam.

- This week in late night musical performances: Matt & Kim prove that even if their new songs aren't my favorite, they're still the most fun live and Elvis Costello sweetly says goodbye to Letterman.

- I'm up to movie #104 in my 365 movies in 365 days challenge. A third of the way through, I'm starting to believe I can do it. I'm currently filling knowledge gaps and blind spots with the works of Terrence Malick and early Jack Nicholson films, but the real roadblock at this point feels like it'll be continuing to find things I'm interested in when I get to 200 or 250 - especially since my largest hole is in foreign films, and it requires a certain mindset to do subtitles. So anyone with ideas, please hit me up. Just remember that I've seen a lot of movies.

- Last night the BDGF and I were having a discussion about online correspondence etiquette and word usage and spelling and the like, you know, as people are wont to do. Neither of us are great spellers, and the BDGF admitted to often googling a word to check the spelling, and sometimes substituting one word for another out of convenience. I'm often doing the former, but am loathe to do the latter. I love words, and I will often google words to make sure they mean what I assume they do, much less to assure that I'm spelling them correctly. But once I have a word I want to use in my head, I'd rather spend 20 minutes finding the correct spelling and using than swap it out for something that ostensibly means the same thing. See if you can find the word I had to look up in the next paragraph!

- Finally, I got a check this week from my dad's estate. The money is nice, but the whole thing is... weird. I honestly can't think of a more appropriate word. Since it's the last bit of procedural foofaraw, I suppose it should be some sort of closure, but I doubt that ever comes when you're talking about a parent's death. All I can think to do is try and make something good out of the influx, because what else is there?

Posted 11:27am
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April 16th, 2015

The force will be with you. Always.

In 1998 I downloaded the first Star Wars Prequel trailer (on a 56k modem - it took awhile) and my roommate and I poured over the low-res video for hours, trying to ascertain what everything was and how cool it was going to be. Needless to say, we wrong about almost everything, including how great it was going to be.

Today this came out, and I'm honestly still a little light headed.


Truth be told, coming out of Episode I 16 years ago, I was still pretty pumped and excited. We had already purchased tickets to see it again 12 hours later, and even that second time I thought it was 'good'. But in hindsight, both fairly immediately and in the long view, what the entire trilogy was missing most (amongst many things) was Han Solo. Which is why seeing a gray and grizzled Harrison Ford here makes me swoon. Quite literally.

This movie could still blow harder than Jake Lloyd's delivery of "What a re midichlorians?" and like Harrison Ford, being a wiser, more grizzled version of myself, I suspect it will probably be fairly middling with a few great parts (hey, Darth Maul is still cool!) but holy fucking Jesus H. Christ on a bike, Han and Chewy? Punch it!

Posted 3:02pm
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April 7th, 2015

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- Mid-week watch list: Billy Eichner takes to the streets again, this time with David Letterman, Van Halen is back performing on TV, this time Diamond David Lee Roth says "Fuck it" and doesn't even pretend to sing, Death Cab plays Tiny Desk, this time Ben Gibbard is turning into Michael Stipe, and The Muppets perform 90's hip-hop classics, this time Gonzo crushes "The Humpty Dance".

- Fill out your alphabetic bracket before the AV Club tells you the best 00's indie rock bands that start with every letter in the alphabet.

- Archer is over for another year, but you can watch this supercut of Archer literary references AND go down the nerd rabbit hole with this easter egg hunt from last season. Like Tommy Shaw, someone has too much time on their hands.

- On the face of it, this would be sadness for anyone trying to open a distillery in Ann Arbor with dreams of claiming firsties. On the other hand, if you have no money and decide to see it as an impetus to proceed with a scaled back, more idiosyncratic version of your dream, well then you can also see it as freeing. There's also comfort in owning Just sayin'.

- Finally, I'm off to Portlandia tomorrow for a week amongst the bearded hipsters and beer making hippies. More importantly, I'll be touring Bridge Town's numerous distilleries and spending some quality time with one of my favorite people in the world. As we've often noted, having your best friends scatter across the country is wholly lamentable, with the only benefit being that you now have vacation destinations with kick ass tour guides. I look forward to availing myself of that solace as I trek to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. Cheers.

Posted 9:17am
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