[11/28] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

I finished Southland, by Nina Revoyr (from last week) and it was excellent.

The Moment it Clicks, by Joe McNally – Reread this as a refresher, paying more attention to the lighting techniques that he peppers throughout (that I glossed over the first time).


Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e10. One of the better episodes of the season though, still just waiting for this arc to end. Visually, everything is still really stellar. It’s just that I don’t have any stake in any of the characters and the story feels simultaneously disjointed and cliché.

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e7. Tilly is a great character and all, and the crew has been through a lot, but I don’t find it realistic that she would be chosen to be the ship’s 2nd in command. As an Ensign. With little to no command training.  

The Mandalorian – currently at s2 e6. Yeah, that was good. Really good.


Listened

This week’s rotation included David Bowie, AKMU, Tokimonsta, BoA, and Led Zeppelin.

[Single] “Blackstar” by David Bowie – I’ve been listening to his album a lot, this year. Every track is good as a stand-alone but, if there’s any contemporary album that needs to be listened to as an entire album, it’s this one.

[Podcast] The Walk-In, Episode 16: “The sky was the limit” with Toni Tipton-Martin – Elle Simone Scott is a great podcast host and each episode has taught me something very new. This was a great conversation between her and Toni Tipton-Martin.

[11/21] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

The Sentinel: A Jack Reacher Novel, By Lee Child and Andrew Child – I started reading this around 9 pm on Thursday night and ended up finishing the book (reading all the way through). It was a good overall story; well-paced which made it really easy for me to just keep reading. There really wasn’t a “stopping point”.

Southland, by Nina Revoyr – I’m about 80% through this but I’m counting it towards this week. The story jumps through different eras of the 20th century, across different parts of Los Angeles and makes me miss being around LA. The main plot, and characters, is intriguing. I love it so far.


Recently Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e8. *taps fingers waiting for this story to end*

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e5. The season is slowly getting better. Michael Burnham and Philippa Georgiou make a great pairing when they’re off on their own adventure.

The Mandalorian – currently at s2 e4. I enjoyed another Paul Sun-Hyung Lee appearance. I can’t decide if I want more stand-alone plots or if I want more overarching plots (in tv series) but this series does a good job doing both.

The Queen’s Gambit – completed season 1. Ok, so we were hooked and watched all the way through. It was overall a good season. There’s a… lot to unpack around the orphanage and adoption story arc but, that will be for another time. Thomas Brodie-Sangster will always look like a little kid (circa his “Love Actually” role) to me.

Ted Lasso – completed season 1. I liked it! Just a fun and light-hearted series that had some really good emotional moments in it.


Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Crimson Apple, Flor De Toloache, Peggy Gou, Blackpink, and Megadeth.

[Single] “Discopop!” by Hong Kong Wigs – A pretty good, upbeat track. My first listen I skipped it after the first 10 seconds but came back to it and it has grown on me since.

[Podcast] Death, Sex & Money: I Killed Someone. Now I Study Police Violence – I cannot imagine being in his position. 

[11/14] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

Nada to report here. At this point it’s just embarrassing.


Recently Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e8. Some speeches, some violence, some weirdness. Still no connection to any character or really any character arcs. At this point, I’m watching just to see it end. Like I’ve said before, season 2 was my favorite. I distiinctly remember being invested in a few character arcs, and not wanting the season to end because it was all so captivating. 

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e5. The USS Nog! The USS Voyager “J”! Tig Notaro asking for (and getting) a snack from her interrogator!  And, as usual, Michael Burnham has to be right smack in the middle of every single thing that doesn’t really make sense for her to be in the middle of. Nhan, we hardly knew you! I really wish this series would allow the other characters to shine (without her). Also a bonus: watching Michelle Yeoh and David Cronenberg verbally sparing during their scenes. 

The Mandalorian – currently at s2 e3. I liked this episode. Pirates! Though, the episode seemed to be over too quickly for me. It was fast-paced which isn’t a bad thing; I suppose I just wanted more of Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan Kryze, and the Nite Owls. 

3rd Rock From the Sun – completed the series rewatch.  This was really enjoyable. I think I laughed out loud at least once every episode. Much needed during 2020. There was a lot I remembered (from watching when it first aired) and a lot that I had forgotten about. This was a talented group of cast and crew; the combination of writing and acting made it so, so good. 


Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Rage Against the Machine, AKMU, Ana Tijoux, Japanese Breakfast, and David Bowie.

[Single] “Birds” by The Churchhill Garden – When this first played I thought it was The Cranberries. Very similar, soothing sounding track.

[Podcast] This is Love: Episode 28 The Clearwater Monster – Practical jokers had the whole town fooled. I can see this still being possible today.

[11/7] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

This was a week when I *should* have escaped into a book but simply could not.


Recently Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e7. Ugh, it’s getting tedious for me. This season is far more drawn out than it needs to be. I don’t think we 1) learned anything new, and 2) progressed the story forward in this last episode. 

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e4. This episode had shades of ABC’s TGIF sitcoms in that everything was tied up really nicely at the end with just a few heart to heart talks. I don’t mean that as a negative but, it did feel too convenient and unrealistic. Also, I don’t think it made sense for Burnham to be in the Trill pool with Adira, witnessing all that.

The Mandalorian – currently at s2 e2. Seeing Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as an X-wing pilot was a nice surprise. Baby Yoda’s love for eggs mirrors my own.

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s6 e3. Jan Hooks is still amazing. Just so, so funny all around. Jane Curtin, too. The absurdity of this show is what makes it so funny. I need this juxtaposition against our current reality.


Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against the Machine, Blackpink, Peggy Gou, and David Bowie.

[Single] “Ohms” by Deftones – Featured on the latest podcast episode of Song Exploder, I didn’t know that the Deftones originated from Sacramento.

[Podcast] Extra Spicy: Food photography is a meritocracy – This is a great conversation with Oriana Koren. I really like her work and have even more respect for it after learning how much research and preparation she puts into it. 

[10/31] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

I hate when I don’t have anything to report here. I read, constantly, but I didn’t get around to reading anything recreationally (i.e. fiction, novels, etc) this week. Grr.


Recently Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e7. Really hope the slow build starts showing us something soon…

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e3. This episode took a lot of “emotional leaps” and played into that instead of focusing more on the story/plot. Michael’s perspective: she has been waiting for her crew for a year and that year has “changed her so much”. The Disco crew’s perspective: it’s only been a couple of days being separated from Michael but the “reunion” was played up like it had been decades. And they skipped past a lot of things they could have gone into for visiting Earth 900 years into the future. Also, Philippa Georgiou’s diplomacy is my kind of diplomacy.

The Mandalorian – currently at s2 e1. A fun ride/episode all around but felt a little more drawn out than it needed to be. The production value is definitely feature film quality, which makes it really fun to watch. I love an Amy Sedaris appearance. And a Timothy Olyphant appearance. That better be Boba Fett.  

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s4 e12. When Jan Hooks shows up is when the show is at its best. It’s so ridiculously silly that it’s sometimes too easy to miss the very clever commentary.  


Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Peggy Gou, Depeche Mode, David Bowie, and Yatte.

[Single] “Spirit Calls”, by Yatte. The 80s are back! Yatte’s music is fun and worth exploring.

[Podcast] Getting Through it: Real Science vs. Alternative Facts – It’s refreshing to listen to a scientist who is not only grounded but practical and realistic in relaying facts and how we might act on them. I’m a fan of Dr. Lucy Jones, as most in Southern California might be.

[10/24] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

Hellacious California: Tales of Rascality, Revelry, Dissipation, and Depravity, and the Birth of the Golden State, by Gary Noy – I’m sure every state’s history holds stories similar to this. And if not already, I think someone should compile those stories for them because this was a very fun, very interesting read.


Watched

Fargo – currently at s4, e5. I said it before, I really like the look (cinematography), setting, and production value of this series. But this season’s story and characters aren’t resonating with me. It’s not bad but it doesn’t stand out as anything “memorable”.

Star Trek: Discovery – currently at s3 e2. So, so, so much better now that they’re no longer a prequel! So much better!

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s3 e10. Because silly, slapstick, absurd comedy is just what is needed. 


Listened

This week’s rotation included Flor De Toloache, The Black Crowes, Radiohead, and Led Zeppelin

[Single] “Back to Earth”, by Jackie Venson – Just a really great song by a really great artist.

[Podcast] Criminal: 76th and Yates – The logic of some laws make sense but, how they practically apply to those involved, sometimes doesn’t.

[10/17] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

Still behind on my recreational reading. I spent the week doing a lot of research (and writing) for work. I did watch Alta’s California Book Club live stream with C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills is Gold (which I loved). It was a great all-around conversation about what goes into crafting a novel like that.


Watched

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet – If there’s anyone who can give us a first-hand account of the impact we have made on Earth, it’s David Attenborough. Through his “Witness Statement” we get a very intimate illustration and plea to better educate and more responsibly act.

Fargo – currently at s4, e4. Still on episode 4 because we’re opting to wait for a few more episodes to queue up. The pacing is slow enough as is so, waiting a week between each episode is a little irritating. It definitely works better if we can bing a few at a time.

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s2 e16. Our weekly escape to silliness and laughter.


Listened

This week’s rotation included Flor De Toloache, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Peggy Gou, and Van Halen (R.I.P. EVH).

[Single] “Build a Fire”, by Patty Smyth – classic Patty Smyth and a perfect road trip track. 

[Podcast] The Dave Chang Show: Good Tortillas and California Politics: The Gustavo Arellano Experience – I like Dave Chang and Gustavo Arellano’s individual perspectives on food culture so, listening to them talk to each other about a range of topics was fascinating.

[10/10] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Read

I was too sidetracked this week to get into any recreational reading. But there is plenty on the list so, hoping to make up for it this coming week.


Watched

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s2 e10. Jan Hooks is amazing. Tommy falling for his teacher and justifying it because he feels he is really older than his body looks is classic. Sally’s constant pushback against the roles others push on her “because she is the woman” gets better and better.

Star Trek: Lower Decks – pure fun with plenty of callbacks to all of the other franchises. The season finale was very entertaining. 

Fargo – currently at s4, e4 – This definitely has the same look/feel, pacing, and great acting associated with the show. I love the visuals, from the framing to the colors; it’s beautiful photography. Season 2 was amazing and still is my favorite season. This one is entertaining but, just not as good. At least so far. 


Listened

This week’s rotation included Smokey Brights, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Caro Emerald, and Janelle Monáe.

[Single] “La Incondicional” by La Dame Blanche – I love the guitar juxtaposition against the beat. 

[Single] “Turntables” by Janelle Monáe – I have no excuse for always forgetting how good her music is. 

[Podcast] Death, Sex, and Money: Getting Real About Getting Older – A really good conversation to have, and more so as we realize what is really important to us while having to physically and socially distance ourselves.

[10/3] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

Monstress, vol 5: Warchild, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – Wow, intense build up throughout this one. There are a few spreads where I considered finding a way to enlarge and hang on my wall (they were stunningly gorgeous).

The Best American Short Stories, edited by Roxane Gay – A really good and diverse (in character, genre, and writer) collection.

Uncommon Type, by Tom Hanks – Another good collection of short stories. I like the common thread running throughout.


Recently Watched

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s2 e2. More silliness because, well… that’s what is needed right now.

Taco Chronicles – vol. 2. I appreciated the treatment they gave to the “American Taco” episode, addressing head-on whether it is a “real taco or not” (which I think is a ridiculous argument). And while I watch this series mainly for the food porn and the fun personalities highlighted, I do really love learning about the history behind the specific taco types. I liked “Burrito” and “Pescado” episodes a lot.

The Foreigner (2017) – Who doesn’t like an old fashioned “old ex-special forces guy seeks revenge when his daughter is innocently killed by the IRA” movie every now and then?


Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Yo-Yo Ma, The Ahn Trio, and Yusuf Cat Stevens.

[Single] “Impossible Weight (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)”, by Deep Sea Diver – I like the guitars riffs and overall rhythm in this one. Was a good pick me up for the week.

[Single] “Guanaco”, by Terror/Cactus – A chill, instrumental track that I played In the background while doing some work.

[Podcast] Extra Spicy: Barbecue That’s Worth the Wait – Other than stoking a strong craving for barbecue from Horn BBQ, this was a very heartwarming story about finding and following your passion.

[9/26] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently read

AG23 Issue 1: Elements – I love this photo “zine” so much that I purchased the print version of it. It’s beautiful and inspiring. 

How Much of These Hills is Gold, by C Pam Zhang – I always wondered why more stories weren’t told about Chinese (and other Asians) during the Gold Rush, railroad expansion, and Wild West eras. This novel dives right into it, following the dreams of a family of prospectors and their having to navigate around being treated as “other”. 

Next to Last Stand, by Craig Johnson –  The latest in one of my favorite (book) series. I loved the humor throughout, especially during the story’s climax.

Recently watched

Star Trek: Short Treks – rewatched the original three and caught up on the remaining seven episodes. They’re light, short, and fun… enough to whet the whistle between seasons. 

Challenger: The Final Flight (2020) – I wrote about this here.

3rd Rock From the Sun – currently at s1 e11. Just started a series re-watch. We needed something fun and silly to get away from everything not fun nor silly (i.e. real life). Jane Curtain is too good in this.

Recently listened

This week’s rotation included Sublime, Incubus, Tool, and Led Zeppelin.

[Single] “In Heaven”, by Pelvis Wrestley – a unique sound, almost as strange as the group’s name. 

[Podcast] Every Little Thing – I have grown to love this fun podcast where they answer people’s random questions with a (usually) fun twist. Both educational and funny. And Flora’s puns are, well… she likes puns. The Stamps episode was particularly fun.  

[9/19] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

The Disaster Tourist, by Yun Ko-Eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler – a quick but very good, entertaining, read.

Recently Watched

Away (2020) – This falls apart (for me) in the first episode, when you quickly realize that there is a lot of drama for the sake of having a lot of drama. The conflicts are jammed in there, not coming naturally. I want it to be good because I like the actors but…. it’s a struggle to get through the episodes. 

Parasite (2019) – There isn’t anything I don’t like about this. The writing, cinematography, acting, editing… everything is perfect. 

Recently Listened

This week’s rotation included Japanese Breakfast, Rainer Maria, Rage Against the Machine, Megadeth, and Incubus.

[Single]  “South Gotta Change” by Adia Victoria – I like the rhythm and beat but like the lyrics even more.

[Podcast] Criminal: Kids on the Case – This whole episode gives me hope for youth in general, and for who these kids (in the episode) will become.

[9/12] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened

Recently Read

  • On Being a Photographer, by David Hurn – reread this. I needed a good reminder.
  • The Cold Vanish, by Jon Billman – the author writes with a lot of heart and genuine care about the missing and their families. This book has forever changed the way I see missing person stories.
  • Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier – Well-written and well-researched. I haven’t made any concrete decisions but I do know that I want to reduce my presence, and time spent, on social media in the near future.

Recently Watched

  • Star Trek: Enterprise – completed the series rewatch after a long few months. This is my least favorite of the franchise spinoffs. It wasn’t all bad; there were a few good moments and episodes. Season 4 was, as most say, definitely better than the previous three. 
  • Yellowstone – caught up on all three seasons. I like a modern western so, generally, I liked this.
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) – Nostalgia can only go so far. It cannot replace plot and character arcs.
  • Black Panther (2018) – RIP Mr. Boseman.
  • The Social Dilemma (2020) – I think it’s important that we become more aware, and that social media companies become more transparent, in what these platforms do and how.

Recently Listened

  • This week’s rotation included Crimson Apple, Caro Emerald, Japanese Breakfast, and Ana Tijoux.
  • [Single] “NO news on TV” by Noga Erez – sheltering at home? This is a good track for that.
  • [Podcast] Frontyard Politics – I love listening to the stories around urban farming and their juxtapositions (as both metaphors and actuals) with our culture and society.