Saturday, April 24, 2021

Mind Candy

I just finished Collective on Hulu, and it was amazing and devastating. It starts with a fire at a nightclub in Romania in which dozens of people die. A local sports reporter begins to investigate why so many people died in the hospital AFTER the fire, and starts to uncover a massive web of corruption. The unfettered access the documentarians had to the reporters and the minister of health seemed almost unprecedented. But be warned: this is a hard film to watch, with one shot that will stay with you for a long time.

David Sedaris mentioned in his master class how excited he got when a new Ann Patchett novel dropped, so I decided to give one a try. I read The Dutch House and I kind of fell in love. I have since read Bel Canto and Commonwealth, and I will most definitely read everything she has written. Her writing makes even small characters seem alive, to the point where it's sometimes hard to tell who the protagonist is. The worlds feel as big as real life. 

I watched Another Round on Hulu. I don't see what all the fuss is about. The characters were thinly drawn, the plot was silly, and I didn't really like it.

Nomadland, on the other hand, was amazing. So beautiful, so self assured. Just a great movie that I'm eager to watch again.

I've been watching all the Paul Thomas Anderson movies in order to discuss with a group of friends, and I was reminded how great There Will Be Blood is. I know, it's like saying, "air is good to breathe," but damn, that movie is almost perfect, though Daniel Day-Lewis's acting in the final scene was a little silly. Then I watched The Master, which I had loved when I saw it in the theater. I'm not sure what I loved about it the first time, but this time I found it disjointed and oddly purposeless. I didn't find either main character very interesting. I don't need them to be likable, just interesting.

Last Chance U: Basketball was just as good as its predecessors. What a great series.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Mind Candy - February 20

I finished Caca Dolce by Spokane author Chelsea Martin, and it was amazing. It was funny and honest and I was blown away. I was so excited by it that I asked her to be on our radio show. You can hear the interview here or anywhere you get your podcasts. 

Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom on Netflix was a hard documentary to watch, with all the blood and violence. I kept wondering how in the heck these documentarians got the footage without getting injured or killed. It's an amazing piece of reportage. And it made me wonder: is this in our future. God, I hope not.

We just finished the four-part HBO documentary The Lady and the Dale. Most multi-part doc series feel at least an episode too long, but not this one. What a fascinating story. To summarize it would give away too much. Just watch it.

Don't click this link to the illusion of the year unless you have some time to kill and are willing to have your mind blown.

I accidentally combined raw and hardboiled eggs in a carton, and wasn't sure how to tell the difference. This short video showed me how. 

Divided We Stand by Mark W. Moffett: This article's title is misleading. It theorizes patriots  and nationalists are different, but that both are necessary to the health and protection of a nation. It's a short article that I'll remember for a long time.

Monday, August 19, 2019

London Trip

The Tower of London

The residential quarters

The White Tower inside the fortification for the original city of Londinium.

A Beefeater and a beefy eater

The prison room where Anne Boleyn awaited her execution

Tower Bridge

Yes, I took that, and yes, that is a real glint of sun off the top.

View from Tower Bridge

The Shard

73 floors up!

Thames River Cruise

I caught this at JUST the right time.

Westminster Abbey

When we walked in, I found I was standing on Charles Darwin's grave, right next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton and the cremains of Stephen Hawking. 

St. Paul's Cathedral

 The view from the top of the dome, 532 steps up!

Looking at the cathedral from the Millenium Bridge

View from the dome

There's me below the dome. The videos below show how far up the dome is, and how far down it looks from the top.

Royal Albert Hall

 While we were touring, there was a rehearsal for that evening's Bach concert. 

The view of the Prince Albert memorial from Royal Albert Hall

Abbey Road

Abbey Road Studios. Something big was going on that night, but we couldn't tell what. Little did we know that the night we walked across the road was the 50th anniversary of the day that iconic photo was taken.

Kensington Palace

Sunken Garden with the Palace in the background

Night of the Iguana @ Noel Coward Theatre

With Clive Owen and Anna Gunn (Skyler from Breaking Bad)

The Globe Theater

Monument to the Great Fire of London

Only 300+ steps on this one

View from the top

Buckingham Palace

The coronation carriage

British Museum

Wanna see all the things the empire stole (like the Parthenon friezes above)? Go to the British Museum. It is HUGE and busy. Coolest thing: the Rosetta Stone. Weirdest thing(s): all the actual mummies on display.

London Mithraeum

A 2000-year-old Roman temple devoted to the god Mithras found underneath the banking district. It's free, and you go down about 20 feet to the old ground level to go in. 

National Gallery/Trafalgar Square

Spent a few hours in this free art museum on Trafalgar Square 

British Library

I feel dumb that this is the only photo I took there. An original Gutenberg Bible. The Magna Carta. But all I did was take a picture of the exhibit with the handwritten lyrics to "Yesterday," "Here, There and Everywhere," and "Strawberry Fields Forever."

Regent's Park/Primrose Hill

Lots of cricket

View of London from Primrose Hill

Churchill War Rooms

We didn't get good pictures here, but these were the underground bunkers where Churchill led England's plan for WWII. When the war ended, they just shut off the lights and left it exactly how it was in 1945. Very cool museum. 

Come from Away @ the Phoenix Theater

Little Venice/Paddington

 This was a cafe on a barge in a canal in Little Venice

Houses of Parliament and 10 Downing Street

Didn't get to tour Houses of Parliament. And Big Ben was covered in scaffolding. Next time.

This is the gate where everyone was scrambling for a look at Boris Johnson.

Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Design Museum

Had original props, scripts, notes, and designs from all Kubrick movies. Yes, that's Private Joker's actual helmet. Yes, that's Dave Bowman's actual spacesuit. Yes, those are the twins' and Danny's actual outfits. Yes, that's the actual Starchild prop with the 2001 furniture in the reflection. So cool.

West Kensington

Our favorite restaurant, Best Mangal, near our hotel in West Kensington

Carnaby Street

Where Sir Paul proposed to Linda. 

Amazing things that we DIDN'T take pictures of
Tate Gallery
Borough Market (like Pike Street Market)
Harrod's (insanely swanky department store with a ridiculously lavish food court)
National Portrait Gallery and the Cindy Sherman exhibit