Monday, January 4, 2010

This 'N That

Leave Taking: Rose leaves today for Chicago. She planned a two week visit so she could go back and work at the job she so recently acquired. *sigh* The only good thing about this is that it is making her rethink her decision to only come home during the summer for a two-week visit, also planned around working.

Playing Around: We got a couple of games over the holidays that turned out to be tons of fun. Both keyed around how well one knew one's opponents. Loaded Questions has you read a question from a card (what wrestling name would you take? what two books would you want on a deserted island?). Everyone else writes their answers, which are read to you. You move a corresponding number of spaces to the number of people you correctly match with their answers. You'd think this would be pretty easy. Not so. Although the game says it takes an hour, we never finished it in less than 4. And we played it twice. With breaks. However, we clearly liked it (and laughed a lot) as we kept coming back for more.

GiftTRAP has you selecting gifts for the other players from a selection presented on cards (all in the same price range). Then you rank how desirable you find the gift yourself. Everyone else is doing likewise. Depending on how accurate their gift giving is for you and yours for them, everyone moves toward ... well, I can't remember what the game calls it but I call it winning. This was also well liked and had a lot of laughing involved.

Finished Reading: Free-Range Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. An assortment of alternately interesting, insightful essays with goofy ones. I wound being largely unamused by the pieces clearly intended to amuse such as letters to a sweater and I was generally uninterested in the pieces about McPhee's children which analyzed them as knitters and took that into musings on their personalities in general (or vice versa). However, those are admittedly personal preferences as there are many who probably would like those essays.

Watched: It Might Get Loud - documentary chronicling the motivations and meeting of three virtuoso guitarists: Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. Most interesting to those who know or care about those artists or about their take on creativity as expressed through guitar playing. Mildly interesting to those who don't. I went in and out of being interested which is probably appropriate as that is how one reacts to extended bouts of story telling, which is what a lot of this was comprised of. (And, as I seem to stand alone in my disinterest, I'll mention here that I don't care about U2 one way or the other so that hook didn't necessarily grab me. They bore me.) 3 out of 5 stars.

The Cutting Edge - documentary about film editing, which despite being fairly interesting, had sloppy transitions (according to Rose, the film editing student) and seemed as if it could have been better edited (according to me). Worthwhile if you care about the subject and anyone who watches movies much probably does. 3 out of 5 stars.

The Guild, season 1 - a web video series about a "guild" of online role playing gamers whose obsession leaves them very small interaction with real life. I received the dvd with the first two seasons for Christmas. Each episode is extremely brief and the first season lasted only about an hour. It was hilarious. Hilarious. At least to those who have ever been obsessed with a computer game of any sort. Baldur's Gate (Shadows of Amn) anyone? It also has plenty of language and content issues which will be problematic for the sensitive viewer. Not being one such, I found it brilliant. Hannah has yet to watch it although her boyfriend saw it with us. She knows she must watch it so that she gets the context when he hugs her tenderly and murmurs, "Shut up. Just shut up." in her ear.

The Flight of the Conchords, season 1 - Hannah owns this and luckily brought it home. We wound up watching most of season 1 so far. We'd heard it praised by several friends but not having cable we hadn't come across it or bothered to find the dvd yet. For the few who don't know The Flight of the Conchords is the story of a couple of New Zealanders who bring their rock duo to New York City to try to achieve success. They are largely clueless but sweet and surrounded by other clueless characters as well. Each episode features a music video as well which is worked into the context of the show and has equally clueless songs (diabolically clever in their cluelessness). How they do it, I don't know. But this is a seemingly aimless series that grows on you and is really funny.


  1. SO glad you've discovered The Guild! Felicia Day is quite a talented woman--writing, creating, and starring in a web series that managed to become incredibly popular with no studio involvement!

    If you haven't seen their music video, "Do You Want to Date My Avatar," you should see it right away! It's here:

  2. Tante Leonie1/4/10, 1:29 PM

    I feel the same way about U2. I find them pretentious and over-rated.

    The most interesting thing they ever did was to have Brian Eno produce one of their albums.

  3. little john1/4/10, 2:46 PM

    It was nice to see H and R over the holidays. Jack White and Jimmy Page are really talented but the Edge...I don't get it. Flight of the Conchords...I never got it. I mean after Spinal Tap what's left in terms of rock satire.

  4. Please! The Conchords are folk satire! :)

    And alas, they are done for, I hear. Season 2 (not nearly as good as season one IMHO) is the final one.

    I love the Conchords, love Murray, even love slightly psycho fan Mel. But mostly I love the wordplay and lyrics of their songs.

    Hip-hopipotamus and the Rhymenocerous? C'mon!!!

  5. I know what you mean about having the kids come home over the holidays--it always seems such a short time! OTOH, I can now catch my breath. :)

    BTW, my latest reviews are up (a four-fer) at The Mad Tea Party & Catholic Media Reviews. Watching movies seems to be a family affair around here. :)

  6. There's a radio version on BBC7 of Flight of the Conchords. (This sort of thing often happens with BBC shows.)

  7. little john1/5/10, 4:13 PM

    Ahhh...folk satire. Don't tell Pete Seeger. What was the name of the folk satire movie....???

  8. Hmmmm ... must be Nashville! :-D

    Not that I ever saw A Mighty Wind. Hey, it's nice to have you dropping by ...

  9. little john1/6/10, 10:20 AM

    A Mighty Wind...that's it. It was hilarious. Nashville, wow that's a blast from the past. I used to love that Keith Carridine song. I need to check iTunes for that one.