Strange Sunday Diversions

Stress at work ramped up a bit the last week or so, resulting in my neglecting my sourdough, my reading and my blog. I’m two sessions behind in my notes for the recently completed Mythgard Academy class on Out of the Silent Planet. I was the only member of my local library book club who did not finish the book, yet I was supposed to be leading the discussion. My husband risked his life on Friday, exposing his compromised immune system to God only knows what viruses to buy me flowers and a card for Valentine’s Day, yet all I brought home was myself and my stress.

Because I got home later than normal on Friday evening, and properly baked potatoes take a minimum of ninety minutes, we opted for take out from our local Applebee’s for dinner. We also squeezed in a game of Pandemic, which we won again. We decided the next time we play, we’ll increase the number of epidemics to increase the difficulty level.

Saturday I woke early to perform an update that was long over due. As usual, I overprepped and the update applied without issues. I spent the rest of the morning running errands and shopping. I even squeezed in a visit to my dad before heading back home and prepping the Valentine’s Day dinner of a porterhouse steak (bought fresh from a butcher in KCKS during a snow storm last week), roasted brussel sprouts and baked potatoes.

Continue reading “Strange Sunday Diversions”

Watching the Hugo Finalists for 2017

Similar to my previous post, I’ll be updating this one as I get a chance to watch the finalist in both of these categories.  Long Form is going to be my most difficult ranking of any of the Hugo finalists.  I currently have a three-way tie in my mind between Arrival, Rogue One and Stranger Things.  And I have yet to actually watch Hidden Figures!

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)
1733 ballots cast for 206 nominees.
Votes for finalists ranged from 240 to 1030.

  • Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films) – Watched opening weekend and purchased the movie; loved it
  • Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The Donners’ Company/TSG Entertainment) – Watched via Dish Network free weekend for one of the premium movie channels; liked it
  • Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company) – Watched via Starz streaming app through my subscription; liked it
  • Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures/Chernin Entertainment/Levantine Films/TSG Entertainment) – Watched 5/17/2017; loved it
  • Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm/Allison Shearmur Productions/Black Hangar Studios/Stereo D/Walt Disney Pictures) – Watched opening weekend and again after I purchased the movie; loved it
  • Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre) – Watched via Netflix streaming; loved it

Continue reading “Watching the Hugo Finalists for 2017”

Late Fall Cord Cutting Viewer Update

I’m ever so close to cutting that cord to my satellite provider.  I watched only two shows this fall via my DVR rather than through an app or service.

Television Series:

  • Arrow (first season via Netflix) — 3.5 stars
  • The Crown (first season via Netflix) — 4.5 stars
  • The Fall (first season via Netflix) — 4 stars
  • Limitless (first and only season via Netflix) — 3.5-4 stars
  • Missing (first and only season via Netflix DVD) — 4 stars
  • Star Wars Rebels (via Disney channel) — popcorn for my mind
  • Timeless (first half of first season via NBC) — 3.5-4 stars
  • WestWorld (first season via HBO) — 4.5 stars

Continuing to watch:

  • Arrow (second season via Netflix)
  • Flash (first season via Netflix)
  • The Fall (second season via Netflix)
  • Mars (Nat Geo channel)
  • Timeless (via NBC)
  • Black Sails (final season via Starz streaming app)

Movies:

Continue reading “Late Fall Cord Cutting Viewer Update”

Thoughts on the Eye in the Sky

I watched Eye in the Sky several weeks ago and made sure my dad also watched it.  We (my ad and I) had to wait to discuss the movie with my uncle, a retired Air Force Colonel, until had a chance to watch the movie.  If you have not watched this movie, I highly recommend it.

My questions to him included the micromanagement of the civilian government(s) during the operation; the incredible moral dilemma placed upon the drone pilot; the portrayal of the American government as being the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ sort; and of course the excellent closing remarks made by the now deceased Alan Rickman to his civilian government overseer.

“Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.”

Movie Review: Eye in the Sky, directed by Gavin Hood Four Stars “Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.” Alan Rickman’s last movie investigates waging war in the twenty-first century. The movie centers on the complexity and mortal dilemmas surrounding using drones as remote killing weapons. Helen Mirren stars, […]

via Movie Review: Eye in the Sky, directed by Gavin Hood (Four Stars) — As a Matter of Fancy

Watching the Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form Hugo Nominees 2016

Last night I finally sat down and watched the last nominee in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form for the 2016 Hugo Awards.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (2904 nominating ballots)

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron written and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • Ex Machina written and directed by Alex Garland (Film4; DNA Films; Universal Pictures)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris, directed by George Miller (Village Roadshow Pictures; Kennedy Miller Mitchell; RatPac-Dune Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • The Martian screenplay by Drew Goddard, directed by Ridley Scott (Scott Free Productions; Kinberg Genre; TSG Entertainment; 20th Century Fox)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, directed by J.J. Abrams (Lucasfilm Ltd.; Bad Robot Productions; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

What was the final holdout that I took so long to get to?  Continue reading “Watching the Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form Hugo Nominees 2016”

Movie Review: Before We Go (2015) 4 Stars

Before We Go

Release (U.S.) September 2015

Watched (via Netflix streaming) April 2016

Rating: 3.5-4 stars

After a sunset walk along Angel Falls Trail with Terry, Lexy and Porthos, we whipped up some baked hot wings and sat down to find a movie to watch.  First stop Starz On Demand.  We looked at every movie offered and discounting the ones we had already seen, found not a single movie worth watching.  I asked Terry, “We’re paying how much per month for Starz?” Yeah, they got cancelled this morning, despite Dish trying to entice me with a $5/month for 6 months ‘deal.’  I switched to HBO for a special price this morning to see if we’ll get any better movies with the oldest and biggest premium channel in the business.

Next we both checked our Netflix streaming queues.  I also checked movies I’d bought on sale at Google Play and suggested we re-watch the re-make of True Grit.  We held that in reserve until we could find something we hadn’t seen.  Terry found some strange high school comedy/drama from the mid-80s called Lucas that we attempted to watch for 15 minutes but gave up.  I lived through the 80s once.  Once was enough.  I also checked Hoopla (streaming video from local libraries) and my PBS app but came up with nothing promising.  I went back to Netflix and reviewed the drama recommendations.  I don’t normally do dramas because they can be a downer and I really didn’t want to start my weekend off on a sad note.  But the reviews on Netflix for Before We Go were higher than the normal so I decided to take a chance once we ditched Lucas.

I’m glad I did NOT read any of the ‘critics’ reviews of this film as I quite enjoyed it.  Charming and sweet and not bad for the directorial debut of Chris Evans.  A very different view of New York from the eyes of two strangers not on a train.  I liked it because it was different and hopeful.

 

The Case of the Vanishing January

Today is the 22nd of January and of 2016.  I woke up this morning to a bitter cold Friday, to the prospect of working through most of the weekend.  Not the best way to start your day.  A huge project I’ve been involved with for many many moons is finally rolling out.  So while I’m stressed beyond belief, I’m excited to finally be able to put this project in the completed bin come Monday morning.  Then it’s on to the next “Big Thing,” er, project.

Stressful work-life aside, January wasn’t a complete loss for leisure.  I’ve read a space opera that I liked, listened to an audiobook for a book club that was interesting, read my first graphic novel for another book club and read an ebook novella (click here to see what I’ve read so far this year).  Continue reading “The Case of the Vanishing January”

Year 51 Day 1

Yep. It’ my birthday.

I have a busy weekend planned and took Monday off to recover.

***

Today (Friday) I’m off over lunch to my First Friday book club at the Westport Branch of the Kansas City Public Library.  This past month Between the Lines read The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  I’m listening to it (still) and probably won’t finish it until later next week.  But it has been a funny read thus far.  I’m looking forward to hearing what the other members of the book group thought of this interesting centenarian’s adventure.

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Saturday night is my final night of the year as a member of the ASKC Team Two volunteers who help visitors during our Powell Observatory public night.  Come on down for some fantastic star gazing after sunset Saturday night.

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Sunday afternoon my hubby’s taking me to see the movie The Martian.  I read that book over a year ago a and thought it very good read.  I’m looking forward to the movie.

Hugo Awards Voting Adventure: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) aka Movies

After books, movies are my next ‘go to’ source for hours of uninterrupted entertainment.  If I’m not happy with the book I’m currently reading, I will take an afternoon or evening off from reading to enjoy a good movie.  New or old … it doesn’t matter.  If the story is good, and the acting convincing, and the directing sublime … all else is irrelevant.  Special effects may be indistinguishable from reality today, but if you don’t have a great story, you’re just a flash in a pan that fizzled, smoked and went boom.
Continue reading “Hugo Awards Voting Adventure: Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) aka Movies”