Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Current media - 1-19-16

Current reading material:
Audiobook - The Confidence Gap
E-book  - The Man in the High Castle
Physical book - Books of Blood Vol 1 -3

Marvel Comics Series:
Current issue date: Jan - Mar 2003
X-treme X-men
X-treme X-men Mechanix
Soldier X
Uncanny X-men

Current TV Shows I'm watching:
The Muppets (on winter hiatus)
The Grinder
Lupin III Series 3
Key & Peele
American Horror Story (will start S4 soon)
Phineas & Ferb

Podcasts I'm listening to fairly regularly:
Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast
Penn's Sunday School
Jay & Miles X-plain the X-men

Video Games I'm playing:
Disney Tsum Tsum
Rock Band 4 (They finally let me import RB1 songs this week, still waiting on RB2 and Green Day)
Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Stuff I finished since last time:

Final Fantasy 14 - More accurately I gave up trying to play it.  It may be a nice game but I'm just not interested in paying a monthly fee for an MMO.

American Horror Story season 3 - Jessica Lange is a good actress, but I'm not as interested in her sex life or desire to stay young and beautiful as the writers of this show are.  But I liked all the younger witches in the season and the flip flop nature of their loyalties and who is betraying whom. 

Serial season 1 - Similar to Making a Murderer, it's an interesting look into our criminal justice system and the mistakes that can be made.  It also really rang home for me that "a jury of your peers" is basically impossible to find, particularly since most of us really, really hate jury duty.  This one does not take a side as strongly as Making a Murderer did, which just helps to highlight how difficult it can be to truly know the truth in these situations.

The Introvert Advantage - A good book for people on either side of the introvert/extrovert spectrum who want to know more about introverted nature and what it does and doesn't mean.  Also contains a lot of good coping tips for us introverts who are forced to do more extroverted things at our jobs or social occasions.  It's certainly not one size fits all, but I found some good stuff in there.

Fit in 50 Days - I would only recommend this book if you are doing no fitness work at all, and if you have enough money to introduce a gym membership or lots of home equipment into your budget.  As someone who already tracks what I eat (at least semi-regularly, I'll admit I slip sometimes) and exercises regularly, what I mostly gained from this is that it's also important to stretch and maintain your balance on top of cardio and strength training, to help prevent those times when you go reaching for something on a high shelf or bend over to get something and you pull something and end up in pain for a week.  Not that you'll never ever have those instances again, but well roundedness will help prevent it.  He tries to remain vague on exactly what fitness routines to do as he knows they cannot possibly be one size fits all, but he still seems to expect you to have a whole lot of free time and money to do all these things. He's also super judgmental of overweight people or people enjoying a good snack. 

The Wonder Years - I watched this show regularly growing up, and I was happy to see that most of it holds up really well.  It was also really cute to see so many younger stars make an appearance on the show before they went on to bigger things.  The show manages to touch on some really universal things about growing up while also providing some nostalgia for the then adults when it aired.  The fact that my dad was only slightly younger than Kevin Arnold would have been back then, and that he and my brother are also Kevins, and that Fred Savage looks almost exactly like my brother, do add up to a certain fondness for this show that others may not have.  But I noticed this time that the parents in this remind me a lot of Jak's parents as well, so something tells me that anyone watching this could probably find some kind of parallels, they just did a good job of making them an every-family in any-town.  The show loses some momentum when Kevin goes from junior high to high school, losing all the teachers that came before and changing some of the dynamic.  When he begins to act like more and more of an idiot when he turns 14, I started to nod and smile, realizing that most boys are in fact little shits around that time.  The show is also pretty aware of how asinine he's being, with the narration adding in a level of comedy that highlights his obliviousness.  But three seasons of him being a jerk get a little tiring, and the Kevin/Winnie romance dwindles into nothing more than the two of them sitting in a car at lookout point and him grumbling that she won't put out.  It's no big surprise that the show didn't get renewed after the bland sixth season.  That said, there's no denying this show was influential to what came after, particularly in other nostalgia based shows like That 70's Show and Freaks and Geeks.  Definitely recommended for those who want to revisit it or even those who have never seen it before.

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