Archive for the ‘The Telly’ Category

Iceland, Part 6.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Sorry, the earth caught on fire and I had to go deal with that for a little while. I’ll post about that shortly. In the meantime, moss! SO MUCH MOSS, GUYS.

But first, not moss.

Look at this panoramic pic I took of a corner of the gigantor glacier that takes up a fifth of Iceland.

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And while there are like four trees total in Iceland, that does not mean they are completely bereft of plants. Look at the beautiful colors of this random ground cover.

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We stayed at a sheep farm for two nights. It was wonderful as long as you’re okay with the intense smell of sheep poop. I’m fine with it so it didn’t bother me.

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Right out our front door was an enormous field and then the glacier. Helluva view, I tell ya.

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Our first night there I could not wait to meet the sheep so I snuck out by myself and went to the barn area. I was using a flashlight and totally forgot that retinas reflect back so I was startled by a barn full of demon sheepies.

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DEMON SHEEPIES!!!

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Not really. They were pretty chill. Small and stocky and rather disinterested in me and my delight at meeting them. Except for one, the alpha male. He was sitting on a cube of hay directly in front of me and was not behind any blockade of any kind.

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All was going well until he decided he had had enough of my company and stood up in a threatening way and I realized he could bolt directly at me if he wanted to and I was like heeeeeeey would you look at the time I gotta go.

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Big fan of the two broads on the left. We chatted briefly before I made my hasty exit. Well, I chatted and they looked at me. Still counts.

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So, the moss. As you already know, Iceland is made out of lava and some of that lava is in chunks, like this:

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Very jagged. Well, this feathery moss (it’s really a lichen but everyone calls it moss so we’ll go with that) found that it clung really well to these chunks and covered them completely so now the chunks look squishy and soft and round. These moss fields go on for miles and miles. It’s all you can see in any direct. With the mist it makes it extra-otherworldly. I adored it. Team Iceland Moss 4 Eva.

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Remember when I said I was going to share about twenty pictures of moss and everyone was thought no way? Look at all that there moss, y’all. I culled it down too. There was a solid hundred pics. Seriously, I really liked the moss. Has anyone watched The OA on Netflix? There’s a shot of the lead character visiting heaven or purgatory of some other plane of existence and they used the moss fields for that shot. I was so psyched to see it in the show, I might have yelled, “Oh, hello Iceland moss!” alone in my apartment when that came up on the screen.

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Apparently you can make an awful-sounding soup from the moss where you have to add a massive amount of sugar to make it palatable but hey, you got to get your chlorophyll from somewhere and there isn’t a lot of choices. (I almost wrote “chloroform.” Glad I caught that.)

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Let’s finish talking about the countryside while we’re here and then in the next post we can move onto Reykjavik. In the first place we stayed, a massive village of about fifty inhabitants, we went out for a walk in the morning by the seaside. Note, it is before 11:00am so the sun is not out yet.

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And while we were walking by the sea a sweet small friendly cat D christened Socks decided to join us. I loved Socks.

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He let me pick him up and sing to him! He wasn’t enthused but he tolerated it. Great cat. I wanted to stuff him in my luggage and take him with me but I was outvoted. Boo.

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Since almost all of Iceland runs on geothermal energy we also visited a power plant. I recommend going. It’s only about an hour outside of Reykjavik. Easy to get to.

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We took the tour and the lady was very informative. Here’s what she basically said: There is insanely hot poisonous water that they pump up from under the surface. A pipe filled with clean water is put in a bigger pipe filled with this hot demon water and that heats up the clean water. The giant pipes go to Reykjavik and only lose two degrees on the journey so the water is still crazy hot when it gets there.

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The poisonous death water is put back into the earth so there’s no collapse and it reheats and the circle begins anew.

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The hot water is also used to power massive turbines which in turn make electricity. It’s a pretty self-sufficient facility. There are 40 employees on weekdays and two on weekends. Two.

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The turbines come from Mitsubishi and the company thanked Iceland for buying their products with two very beautiful authentic Japanese crafts.

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This was my favorite chart on the wall explaining the lava under the city.

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They also had a display of all the indigenous rocks. I loved that the most to the surprise of nobody.

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Alright, onto the city.

Iceland, Part 5.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

I was so super-excited to go to swim between two tectonic plates. Remember? Remember that? How could I have known how depressingly south it would go for me?

Before delving into that sadness, let’s look at some other things.

“Coconut” is “Kokosnoot” in Norwegian. I vote we all move there solely based on this.

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Can anyone identify this meat? I’m guessing reindeer but I have no idea, really.

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The city closest to the basalt columns was Vik. I should have posted a picture of Vik earlier but I’m doing it now.

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You’ll note the church on the hill. Just about every single church in Iceland looked like that. Plain white building, one steeple, red roof. Here’s someone else’s picture showing a) how freakin’ small the town of Vik is, and b) how close it is to the beach with the amazing structures and the homicidal ocean.

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000aGd276FisUA/fit=1000×750/Vik-church-beach-Iceland-1975.jpg

And look! The volcano that ruined air travel back in 2010! Notice the big divot in the top.

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Alright, let’s tell the sad tale of how Jessica almost drowned in a truly sad manner. I was beyond psyched to go to where the plates came together. The video looked so enticing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd1mv-wH5Pc

We arrived pretty early in the day and met up with the truck in the parking lot that had our dry suits. What’s a dry suit, you ask? It’s a suit designed for swimming in cold water. First, you strip down to your long underwear. Then you put on a pair of overalls made from sleeping bag material, so it’s puffy and warm. Everything was fine for me until the next step. You put on the dry suit. The dry suit is made out of a pretty rigid thicc-as-hell waterproof buoyant material so it is profoundly difficult to move your arms and legs. It’s also very heavy, so it’s like wearing a restrictive suit of armor. Mine was a tad too small so I could not exhale fully. In addition to being heavy and movement-resistant, there are TIGHT rubber gasket-like things around the wrists and neck to prevent water from leaking into the suit. The wrist ones were fine but the neck one made it hard to breathe. Like, to inhale. On top of that, mine was apparently a little too loose so the guy in charge put a RUBBER BELT around my neck to make it TIGHTER. I’m not making any of this up.

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At this point I’m beginning to panic very slightly and I think rightfully so because it was hard to breathe between the NECK BELT and the slightly-too-small suit. I had to consciously think about my breathing. We had to toddle over to the metal staircase into the water and it took me forever because I would immediately become out of breath. They put masks on us and flippers and we got into the water. The element most people were worried about was their exposed faces freezing from the 35-degree water but it was no problem, your face went numb after about thirty seconds. I floated pleasantly face down in the water and then I realized I was lagging behind the rest of the group so I attempted to catch up. This is the moment that changed everything. My snorkel got some water in it but because the suit was so rigid and buoyant I couldn’t flip myself upright to empty my snorkel and the guide said don’t touch the rock walls because they were covered with algae and touching them would dislodge the algae and cloud up the view. So I’m gurgling and trying to thrash (but I can’t) and I can’t take deep breaths and the neck belt is strangling me and that was my experience for the twenty minutes. I missed looking at everything because I was trying not to die. I finally had to be towed to shore by our guide because I was too pathetic to continue. If you’re wondering what I looked like this is a very accurate representation. I am the crocodile in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsRKYN8TeUg

And these are other pictures from the experience. I vaguely remember seeing this as the blackness took over my vision.

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The scenery was absolutely stunning. I loved how the rock still showed the folds of the lava.

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However, the whole day was not disappointment for me. I got to go to a indoor tomato farm! That was super cool. We went there for lunch.

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The menu is very limited and contains only tomato products but everything we had was absolutely delicious. Since electricity is pretty much free due to the volcano juice they can run those crazy grow lights twenty hours a day. This particular tomato farm supplies 18% of Iceland’s tomato needs.

Each table had a basil plant (also grown there) with a wee pair of scissors and a vessel of cold water that had two cherry tomatoes in the bottom.

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To start I got the “Mary Christmas” (all the drinks had the word Mary in them, based off of the Bloody Mary) which was a very sweet breed of tomato mixed with wine and mulling spices and served warm. It tasted almost exactly like spiced cider with a little alcohol. It was delicious and wintery.

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Then we all got the never-ending soup bowl with bread which was a brilliant decision because YUM.

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And I insisted on getting all three desserts because they all had tomato in them and I needed to understand how they worked. And they were all served in flower pots! There was apple and tomato cobbler with corresponding whipped cream pot, ice cream with candied green tomato and two kinds of tomato syrup, and cheesecake with green tomato jam.

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I took this picture of the ice cream so you could see the candied green tomato embedded in there.

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It all tasted wonderful. Tomato is very versatile.

After I had gorged on all the tomato wonderfulness I walked around the facility. Since tomatoes are not native to Iceland, these are from the Netherlands. And in order to pollinate the plants there are imported Dutch bumblebees! They live in filing boxes with their queen.

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It was so nice to see how to make food without putting too much stress on the earth. And this was the definition of farm to table. The tables were in the farm. I highly recommend the Iceland Tomato Experience.

 

Things I have noticed. All SUUUPER very important.*

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

1. Y’all need to see this amazing sculpture being made. Whoo, skills. So many skills.

https://vimeo.com/131811521

 

2. I use WeTransfer for work and sometimes they have ads. I saw this ad and I was like, “Where do I know that old guy from?”

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I could not for the life of me figure it out. Finally, FINALLY, I got it. He’s a perfect doppelganger for the librarian in Monsters University.

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Glad that’s all sorted out.

 

3. I happened to turn on Nickelodeon today and I found my life theme song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI-44FAvv5c

 

4. While perusing Tumblr I learned what angels are supposed to look like. I am fond of the first one which appears to be a spinning gyroscope covered in eyes with a black hole of a fetus in the middle shooting tribal tattoos in all directions. I don’t know about you but if that popped up in my backyard in 1153 AD and all I’d ever seen was corn fields and maybe a creek I would not have held it together with grace and decorum.

http://pyrrhiccomedy.tumblr.com/post/142646579807/what-do-angels-actually-look-like-per-the-bible

 

5. I was looking at kawaii softie patterns on Pinterest for work (that is true, my job is awesome) and one in particular caught my eye. They were all very sweet but some real extra-sweet ones were this:

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or this:

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or this:

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All so cuddly. And then in the middle of that was this:

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It’s not bad, far from it, it’s just… what’s the word? Off-putting. I think it’s how far the eyes are, those intense dark circles, the angle of the head and the Mona Lisa smile. I would not be comfortable as a small child sleeping in a room with that there stuffed animal. I’m not comfortable looking at a picture of it on my computer in a well-lit room right now.

 

*Totally not really at all even in the slightest.

OITNB, GOT and Stranger Things.

Monday, August 15th, 2016

As you may know I looooooove me some television. I watch an absurd amount of it, especially while crafting my crafts and working on my work. Recently I watched the latest season of Orange is the New Black (season 4) and Game of Thrones (season 6). First, GOT. Good season, great season. You know how all the previous seasons it was, I don’t know, a bit rape-heavy? Like, all the time with the rape? Well, this season, almost no rape! Lots of political chit-chat. Oh, and women having power and getting stuff done! Loads of women empowerment.

An example: Daenerys, the blonde lady with the dragons, gets captured by a giant Dothraki horde. In previous seasons we learned she’s immune to fire. All the men meet in a big ole wooden building filled with torches to discuss what they should do with Daeny. Of course, they want to violate her in a gazillion ways. She’s like, “Nope,” pushes over the torches and burns the place to the ground, killing all the Dothraki leaders and then walks out naked (cuz her clothes done burned off) like “WHAT NOW, MOTHER-EFFERS? SOMEBODY GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?? DIDN’T THINK SO.”

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In addition to that one tough broad’s story, we follow the story of Cercei, Marjory, Marjory’s awesome sassy grandma played by Diane Rigg, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark (who has turned into quite the badass), and Yara Greyjoy (who is an out lesbian and commands an entire army; The scenes with her and Danerys where they have sexytime glances across the room are delicious). There’s also the Dorne women, Brienne of Tarth and a new girl, Lyanna, she’s ten and she commands a whole freakin’ house, House Mormont. And she does a good job too. Lotta ladies bringing the goodness.

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Now, don’t get me wrong – the show is still very violent. This season had an large amount of people getting eaten alive by large dogs. There’s a battle sequence with all manner of death and maiming. But… little to no rape, so that’s nice. This was probably my favorite season. Because there’s only two truncated seasons left the producers and writers realized they need to start wrapping up all the loose ends of plot rolling around like yarn balls so instead of there being seventeen story lines it’s all starting to come together into one cohesive end game. I have hopes and dreams about who gets to sit on the Iron Throne and rule all the kingdoms but I’m psyched to see what actually happens. Three things I can be sure of: It’s going to turn into The Hunger Games, everyone is going to die vying for the throne, and I can’t wait.

In addition to GOT I watched the whole season of Orange Is The New Black in, like, three days. I adored the first season of OITNB which took the viewers on a journey through the initial stages of prison: checking in, meeting other prisoners, establishing your place in the pre-existing pecking order, etc. Now after watching Season 4 I’m really struggling. It’s gotten very sitcom-y. There are conveniently-timed wacky antics which I think is unnecessary. Warning: I’m going to throw some spoilers out in the next paragraph but they all happen in the first two episodes so they’re relatively benign:

A new guard shows up, but surprise! He’s actually sent by the drug king that one of the characters ratted out in court and while the “guard” is trying to strangle that character the schizophrenic inmate helps kill him and then what do to? Well, obviously you chop up his body and bury him in the prison vegetable garden! At the same time, a woman modeled after Martha Stewart checks in to serve her time, what’ll happen there? A new CO is hired and he’s mean and scary and clearly has some kind of backstory! Since the prison is now for-profit, a gazillion new inmates show up, oh no, where will they sleep? One of the characters is Jewish and one of the new inmates is Muslim and they fight over floor space like they’re fighting over land in the Middle East! Get it? Wackiness!

See what I’m saying? And there are three other plot threads I haven’t even touched upon. It’s too much and too convenient. I would think the day-to-day situations in prison would be plenty enough material without all this extraneous plot fluffing. However, despite my reservations, Snorth said I really should check it out, so I did. It’s worth it for episode 11 (out of the 13). There’s usually one episode per season that rips your guts out. Last season it was the one with “compassionate release.” This season’s saddest episode dealt with mental health and how they are dealt with (or not dealt with) in the U.S. prison system. Brutal stuff. It’s no surprise that in the U.S.’s overcrowded prison people dealing with mental health issues are treated poorly and often tossed away. Again, head’s up, episode 11. Difficult.

And finally, Stranger Things. It’s a eight-episode series on Netflix. If I had to describe it, it’s a love letter to the Stephen Spielberg / Stephen King movies of the 80s. I did particularly like those movies (E.T., The Goonies, Stand by Me, etc.) so I did not anticipate to like this series very much. I think that helped because my expectations were very low. In the beginning it was a bunch of tweenage boys being annoying and bicycling around their neighborhoods which I had no interest in but then a weirdo bald girl shows up with limited conversation skills who clearly escaped from somewhere and stuff gets interesting. People are smitten with Stranger Things and I totally understand why. Winona Rider is in it, she plays a distraught mother. They didn’t really give her a lot to do, mainly she has to shriek and spazz out and have crazy eyes, I feel like they could have given her more depth. But the kids are great actors, especially the escapee girl. Look for that actress in future projects, she’s gonna be big. The monster (there’s a monster) made me laugh, though. It was supposed to be terrifying but it looked like the designers took a skinny muscular man, gave him one of those daisy headdresses they make little kids wear in school plays, covered it with teeth and said, “Great, good, done.” That, that’s not scary, people. Also when you’re finished with the series you are going to want to buy all the christmas lights in the world. In the major conflict scene I found myself wanting Indian food because the christmas lights. You know the Lexington Avenue Indian restaurants? If not, here’s what I’m referring to.

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See? LIGHTS.

Cartoons I be watchin’.

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Sometimes after a long day of attempting to make really dull charts look sexy and inviting I like to decompress by watching cartoons. I realize I am waaaaaaay older than the demographic that these programs are intended for but whatever. I like bright colors and zesty animation and I work HARD, okay? Sometimes a fifteen-minute cartoon is all my brain can absorb. Here are the three I watch regularly right now.

Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network. It’s about five teens with magical skills and talents who live together and fight evil. Standard show structure. But it’s drawn in a cool grafitti-style and the writers realize all kinds of people watch it so there are lots of references to 80s culture which delights me. Also sometimes for added effect they deviate from their drawing style and explore other styles which is super-cool to see. The stories aren’t particularly deep (one episode is entirely devoted to celebrating Beast Boy’s birthday so time doesn’t get destroyed) but it’s well-done and it’s like consuming candy corn but in eyeball form. Fun.

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Star vs. The Forces of Evil on DisneyXD. Star, a 14-year-old princess from another dimension, comes to Earth for some reason (I still haven’t seen the pilot episode so I’m not quite sure what it is, I think she was acting up in her world and was sent here to do some growing up). Star lives with a young man named Marco and his oddly accepting parents and goes to high school and attempts to fit in while having a magical wand and monsters that chase her constantly in an attempt to steal said wand. And her best friend is a floating unicorn head. And she has scissors that can cut through dimensional layers. But you know, high school. It’s a sweet show and it’s one of the only cartoon shows that is spearheaded by a woman so mad props there.

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Wander Over Yonder on Disney XD. I saved the best for last. This show was created by Craig McCracken who previously created Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, one of the most beautiful cartoon shows I had ever seen.

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When I found Mr. McCracken had made a new show AND was using one of my favorite voice talents, April Winchell (maker of the magnificent now defunct website Regretsy) I had to watch it. And I have not been disappointed.

Wander is a space-traveler voiced by Jack McBrayer and he’s sweet and kind and good-natured. He has a sidekick named Sylvia who is an abstract sort of horse and they happily bimble around the universe in large bubbles. Everything would be peachy except there are a myriad of evil-doers perpetually trying to conquer the entire universe and Wander and Sylvia get mired in the plots. One particular baddy they are constantly grappling with is Lord Hater, who Wander just wants to be friends with but, you know, Lord Hater is a villain and it’s not gonna happen. In addition to have really interesting plots the cartoon itself is beautifully rendered. Great show.

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I heart TV. Let’s talk about it.

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

I haven’t had a chance to really delve into the television I’ve been enjoying but there’s so much good TV out there and while working on the millions of projects I’ve had to tackle recently I had the opportunity to binge-watch some excellent brain-candy. It’s all different kinds of shows so perhaps you will find one in the pile that works for you.

Arrow. I went to middle and high school in Rye, New York. About five years ahead of me was a guy named Greg Berlanti. He was an amazing actor and he has gone on to be a super-successful producer for a big chunk of DC Comics’ ventures into television. Arrow is one of his projects, as is Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Also I follow John Barrowman on Facebook ever since I decided he was the greatest post-watching Torchwood. Now I don’t know nothin’ about comics but because Greg’s name is attached and John Barrowman is on it my interest was piqued. I loved it. It fills the soap-opera / romance / sci-fi deficit you might have. Everyone is crazy-attractive. The villains are villainy. Lots of intrigue. The leads are tormented. The fight scenes are engaging. Occasionally some of these gorgeous people hook up with other gorgeous people. Bond-like gadgets are created. So many secrets are kept. The only complaint I have about the show (and maybe this is because I crammed three seasons over two weeks) is the amount of times a character would say “Are you okay?” and wait for another character’s response in order to move the plot along. I counted four “Are you okay?”s in one episode. I would occasionally yell out “I’M FINE DAMMIT” at my screen in response. Other than that, great fun show. Big fan.

Flash. Same story. I started watching it because of the crossover Flash actors making appearances in Arrow. In Arrow no one has super-powers, they’re all just extremely talented and well-trained. In Flash there was a nuclear explosion and now people can run very fast or control the weather or shoot fire out of their eyes, so if that’s an issue for you then this is not your show. But it’s fun and it’s easy to consume and the actors are charming and engaging.

Daredevil. This is a Marvel comic on Netflix. I seem to have gone on a comic-book kick but it just so happens that some of the most compelling stuff out there right now is comic-book based. I go where the good television leads me. It’s a Netflix series about a kid who loses his sense of sight from a chemical spill but in the process of going blind he realizes his other senses are heightened. He’s a lawyer by day, vigilante by night. This could very easily become extremely silly but it works. It’s very well-written and I was cautious but by the end I was on board. The only person I had a bit of a problem with was the bad guy played by Vincent D’Onofrio. He is my generation’s Christopher Walken. He has some weird speech tics that he has in every role he plays and each time I see him the only thing I think of is Edgar from Men in Black (D’Onofrio’s finest performance to date, IMO). Other than Vincent being a creepy cockroach in human form it’s a good series. I jumped in surprise at least two times.

Jessica Jones. Also a Marvel series, also on Netflix. I think it was greenlit due to the success of Daredevil. I absolutely loved it. First, the lead is a non-traditionally beautiful dark-haired woman, while her best friend (not the lead) is a traditionally beautiful blonde. Second, the lead falls in love with an African-American man and it’s not a huge deal. Third, the fact that several of the characters have superpowers isn’t the crux of the show, it’s about isolation and betrayal and loneliness. And finally, what I realized at the end is the love story isn’t between the lead and a man, it’s about her friendship with the blonde. The love story is about friendship between two women. AND the show was awesome. It was such a change from the usual stuff. I don’t have a problem with the usual Criminal Minds-type programming but I am delighted to see this departure and I hope it inspires more diversity on TV in the future.

The Knick. Wowsers. It’s like my love affair with New York and history hooked up with the best parts of the show House and had a baby. It’s great. The Knick is about a hospital called The Knickerbocker around 1912 in Manhattan. It’s a fictional hospital with fictional stories (although there was a hospital with that unofficial name in New York), but many aspects are based in reality. The sets and costumes and props are rigorously checked to be period-accurate and they are stunning. The main character is a brilliant drug-addicted doctor played by Clive Owen with an ego problem (there’s your House analogy) but it’s really an ensemble cast and they are all stellar. It delves into a lot of tough terrain – race, women’s roles, abortion, religion, addiction, mental illness, the advancement of medicine, etc. – so it’s not a “hey, I had a rough day at work and need to watch something to wind down” kind of show. Plus there is at least one gross medical procedure per episode. But I love it. Stephen Soderbergh directs and I believe also writed on The Knick and it better win a bunch of awards for everyone who works on it at some point in the near future.

Making a Murderer. Hoo boy. This one was tough. It’s a documentary series about Steven Avery. I mean, that’s true but it’s mainly about the tragic flaws in the American justice system, especially if you’re poor, not bright and ostracized by your community. I don’t want to get too into it, if you see it you should go in without bias. But there are some moments where you will feel compelled to throw a brick at the screen due to the complete and utter travesty of a police interrogation technique. Fight that urge. That television was expensive. You will regret smashing it. We all feel the same way.

TV I’ve been watching lately.

Monday, June 29th, 2015

As most people who have met me know I consume an excessive – nay, I would say upsetting – amount of television. I am often surprised that my bones and muscles still work and I haven’t atrophied into a dried-out husk with a functional mouth (for snacks ‘n’ chats). The truth is I make things a great deal and it’s nice to have something on in the background. I’ve recently seen a lot of fake-y old-y-time-y historical television, not out any particularly conscious choice but because that is how the good-television cookie crumbled. First show is Peaky Blinders. Have you seen Peaky Blinders? Oh, you should. You really should. I’m watching it again for the second time. The story is compelling, based on a real gang from Birmingham England in the 1920s. The gang is lead by three brothers, the Shelbys, and their gang is called the Peaky Blinders because they have sewn razors into the brims of their caps so if they’re fighting they can quickly slash their opponents across the face (which doesn’t happen often but it’s an effective deterrent to know it’s there). It’s been highly fictionalized but still so interesting. Heck, watch it with the sound off and look at the amazing set it’s filmed on, with the belching coal and the horses and the extras. Sadly, if you watch it with the sound off you’ll miss all of Aunt Polly’s lines. Aunt Pol is the three brothers’ aunt and she is so great. The actress is amazing. All the Emmys to Aunt Pol.

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Anyway, it’s streaming on Netflix. I believe it’s twelve one-hour episodes right now (the British tend to structure their stuff like miniseries more often than we Yankees). If you need more info, Buzzfeed had a good article on Peaky Blinders.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/danmartin/15-reasons-you-should-be-watching-peaky-blinders#.cf691Op3kZ

While I was making Nessa’s parasol for her wedding I got sucked into the first two seasons of Vikings. That is such a perfect crafting show. You needn’t pay all that much attention, just an occasional glance up every now and again. I don’t really have all that much to say about it because it’s a soap opera where everyone wears dead beastie furs and there’s a disproportionate amount of Aryans, but that’s no surprise. Good show. Gained some slight actual knowledge about Vikings (it’s on the History Channel, so I imagine they felt guilty and needed to throw some actual, you know. history in there).

Outlander! If you had asked me two months ago what this show is about I would have said the sweeping Scottish highlands and romance and beautiful people in plaid having crazy-hot sex and swashbuckling adventures but now I say it’s about RAPE. RAAAAAAAAAAAA =pause for breath= AAAAAAAAAAPE. They made a hard-right turn out of time-travel vaguely-historical drama directly into NightmareTown. In the final two hour-long episodes one of the lead characters gets violated. Repeatedly. And the rest of those episodes are the other characters dealing with the aforementioned atrocity. Including flashbacks. There’s no escaping it. I mean don’t get me wrong, there’s some gross unpleasantness that occurs in the earlier episodes (a flogging scene that I had to look away from comes to mind, blarf), but in the first fourteen episodes it’s predominantly about romance and smooching and secret-keeping and horse-riding and healing with herbs and really kick-butt knitted shawls. Seriously, look at the lead’s shawls. There are several Pinterest boards devoted only to the knitwear.

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Okay, lemme start over. I’m still hurtin’ from those final episodes and I’m not doing this show right. Outlander is cool show based on a romance/time-travel/historical series of novels by Diane Gabaldon and fourteen of the sixteen episodes are a jolly fun ride with the delightful characteristic of being really feminist which is great. Awesome. Awesome stuff. If you, armed with the knowledge I have just provided, choose to watch the last two episodes of Season 1, good for you but don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you like inhumanly attractive people with accents gettin’ it on in drafty stone castles then this is the show for you. It’s on Starz but maybe in the near future it will be streaming on Netflix.

In addition to the above shows I also watched the first season of Turn which is a show about spies during the Revolutionary War here in ‘Merka and that’s a good show, I’d recommend it. I’m also done with the fifth season of Game of Thrones but ain’t nuthin’ new on that show. Same old. I’ll let this video do all the work for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQyJny1A-_I

A melange of things.

Monday, April 13th, 2015

1. I love flowing lava footage. It’s gooey, it’s glowing, I never get tired of it. I remembered watching a program on Hawaii and they showed lava flowing into the ocean, the only thing in lava’s path that can stop it. Watching them fight it out made me want to go back to believing in the old Gods, Pele and Heimdallr and Neptune and all them guys. I recently saw a perfectly-looping animated gif of the lava / ocean battle and I watched it for far too long. It draws you in, I tell you.

http://i.imgur.com/1BliSYw.gif

 

2. Shoulder chickens. They’re apparently a thing right now. I approve.

http://catsbeaversandducks.tumblr.com/post/116155567796/shoulder-chickens-possibly-the-best-thing-on-the

 

3. Another animated gif, this time of kitties moving with the sunbeams. Awwww.

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4. This teacher bringing his A+ Halloween game.

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TV I’ve been watching lately.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Oh Television, my true and trusted friend. Sometimes you lead me astray, but more often than not you fill my days and nights with endless wonder. This TV renaissance is nothing but fantastic, so much so that I’ve now opted to pay eight bucks a month for Hulu Plus, a service that has the audacity to charge me money and then STILL show advertisements. I never had a compelling desire to watch a lot of prime time major channel soap opera-ness. That is, until now. Were you aware that 98% of people on prime time shows are insanely pretty? Like, inhuman levels of pretty? That is something I had forgotten watching Nat Geo and Investigation Discovery. Everyone on 2, 4, 5 and 7, regardless of your preference, are super-bangable. Fun fact. Another fun fact: I apparently like pseudo-intellectual dramas. All three of the shows I’m going to talk about have smartish undertones. How To Get Away With Murder is good. I mean, the way the show treats the legal system is laughable and their logo is beyond irritating to me, but it’s engrossing. Seriously, though, why couldn’t you kern the word “away”? Why is it so gap-y? I always read it as HOW TO GET A W A Y WITH MURDER.

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Why couldn’t you use your other title lockup? It was so nice, with the text and then the calligraphic swooshery. Y U no use, ABC? U make disappoint.

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Hulu has introduced me to Sleepy Hollow. I would have never pegged myself for a Sleepy Hollow-show-liker, but here we are. Coupla reasons: I love that they use my home area as reference points. The show is about the return of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and it tickles my fancy that all this wizardry would be going on down the street from me. The show writers make up names for places, like The Rockefeller Estate Park and the Westchester Hospital, but I know where they are. Another reason is I like the two lead actors. One is a slight delicate British man, and I gots me a weakness for slight delicate British men. His name on the show is Ichabod Crane but they do everything in their power to make him look like Jesus, so I of course call him Ichabod Christ. Ichabod, since returning from the dead (it’s been 250 years! He doesn’t understand how plastic works! It’s like Freaky Friday, but with demons!), has a sidekick, a strong African-American female police officer named Abby Mills. These two actors have some awful dialogue to say that would be bad coming out of the mouths of lesser performers, but they make it work. It’s evocative and engaging. I feel like it’s my Doctor Who (since I could never get into Doctor Who, much to my chagrin). It’s a time traveler with a companion fighting off ancient evils. Lotta parallels.

The last show I binge-watched was a show on WGN, a network I had never heard of before. The show is called Manh(a)ttan, and it’s a fictionalized account of the Manhattan Project. It’s similar in structure to the Showtime program Masters of Sex – based on actual events, but everyone’s very attractive and sleeping with each other. I loved it. It’s got thirteen hour-long episodes and they were great, populated by so many amazing character actors you will recognize. There’s the guy from City Slickers and the Jewish speech writer from The West Wing and the jerky blonde dragon prince from Game of Thrones and the prostitute from House of Cards and the weird brother from Orange is the New Black, etc. I just read that a season two is in the works and I am so excited. Make a point to check it out. It made me want to learn more about the real Manhattan Project. When Manh(a)ttan comes out on Netflix I’m going to watch it again. I’m sure there are things I missed the first time around.

Two important items.

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope it was a delicious and filled with good company. Two things came to my attention recently: first, there’s this special owl. He was found in the forest and now he lives on a stump in a wildlife center office. His eyes are filled with vitreous gloop (as all eyes are) but he lacks a cornea or retina, so he’s blind. And this owl has strings running through his eyeball goo. All of this leads to making this owl’s eyes look like galaxies. He’s a tiny magical owl. His name is Zeus and I am mildly obsessed with him.

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And, wonderfully, people are making art inspired by Zeus. Because, in case you didn’t catch it, he’s a tiny magical owl. Who can maybe see into the future. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who thinks Zeus is THE KEY TO THE UNIVERSE.

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The other thing I noticed recently was television’s inability to learn from mistakes. I’ll explain. There has been a glut of redneck reality programming in the last few years and almost every show has had a tragic flaw. There was “Duck Dynasty” where one of the members of the family said some hateful, small-minded things. There was that show on MTV with the teenagers in West Virginia, I think it was called “Buckwild”. One of the teens died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a truck. There’s “Gypsy Sisters” which also films in West Virginia and where one of the cast members was caught stealing almost $15,000 of merchandise from a Target store. And, of course, there’s the recent “Here Comes Honey BooBoo” situation which is deplorable. I would think at this moment the cable channels would look into another area of society to mine for reality shows, but I realized I was incorrect. I’m not exaggerating, when I first saw this I thought it was a parody or a joke of some sort.

http://youtu.be/TDr_AiVzOTc

I’m kind of disgusted with myself, but how badly do you want to see this show? I want to watch it mainly for that little kid. I hope nothing bad happens on this show due to poor judgement of the people portrayed. Between running a funeral home and wrasslin’ for funsies there’s so many ways for this to go horribly wrong and I would like it if they could somehow navigate this quagmire of potential catastrophes and come out okay on the other side. That would be just great.