Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Monthly Update - June 2015


1. Read books. After a brief pause, this month I read Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell and Leviathan Wakes, so I've hit my 12 book goal. More on the way.

2. Watch all the TV & movies I have saved. No time this month, and Netflix dropped Orange is the New Black and Sense8, plus Amazon dropped Catastrophe, Star Wars Rebels started up again and there's the new Deutchsland '83 and three new HBO shows, so... not yet.

3. Buy no more than six videogames this year. No videogames this month... still haven't played Evolve. Did preorder Rock Band 4. So that's... four? And Star Wars Battlefront is definitely on my radar. Also... I bought Walking Dead, X-Com Enemy Unknown and Need for Speed Most Wanted for PS3 and Witcher 3 for PS4... but I did it with trade-in credit from getting rid of my XBox 360 and all the games, so... does that count? I'm gonna say no. Because I'm a cheater.

4. 24 More Boardgames. No new games this month, so I'm still at 21, but I've got a couple game nights in July.

5. Get below 190 lbs. Last month was between 203 lbs. and this month, I walked around Disney a lot but also ate a lot and drank a bunch of soda. End result? 208 lbs. Fuck. I'm gonna need to get serious about dieting and exercising.

6. Travel - Disney! That was a big trip. And I think, while fun, it has sated any need I have to travel for the rest of this year. Maybe next. I think next year's resolution will be "Stay-Cation."

7. Eat! - During ATX Festival, I tried out Second Bar + Kitchen. Three I want to revisit: Perry's Steakhouse, Estancia Churrascaria, and Texas Chili Parlor (probably not until colder weather). There are four new ones: Sawyer & Company, Porter Gastropub, Shake Shack in The Domain (whenever that opens), Voodoo Donuts on 6th (whenever it opens, probably won't be in June)

8. Cook! - Mostly grilling this month, although I cooked up a few now-standards like chicken with mushrooms and macaroni and cheese.


Best Week of Comics This Month:
June 3rd (Airboy, Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows, Darth Vader, Future Imperfect, Princess Leia, Secret Wars, Spider-Woman, Star Wars, Superior Iron Man, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, X-Tinction Agenda, Years of Future Past #1)

Top Five Favorite Comics This Month:
  1. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6
  2. Spider-Woman #8
  3. Thors #1
  4. Ms. Marvel #16
  5. Howard the Duck #4
                                                    Comics I Read This Month:
                                                    • Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1
                                                    • Airboy #1
                                                    • Alex + Ada #15
                                                    • Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #1
                                                    • Ant-Man Larger Than Life #1
                                                    • Batgirl #41
                                                    • Big Man Plans #3
                                                    • Birthright #8
                                                    • Broken World #1
                                                    • Daredevil #16
                                                    • Darth Vader #6
                                                    • Descender #4
                                                    • E is for Extinction #1
                                                    • Empty Zone #1
                                                    • Fight Club 2 #2
                                                    • Future Imperfect #1
                                                    • Ghost Racers #1
                                                    • Grayson #9
                                                    • Harrow County #2
                                                    • Howard the Duck #4
                                                    • Infinity Gauntlet #2
                                                    • Kanan - The Last Padawan #3
                                                    • Kaptara #3
                                                    • Korvac Saga #1
                                                    • Legacy of Luther Strode #2
                                                    • Marvel Zombies #1
                                                    • Midnighter #1
                                                    • MODOK Assassin #2
                                                    • Ms. Marvel #16
                                                    • Planet Hulk #2
                                                    • Princess Leia #4
                                                    • Punisher #19
                                                    • Runaways #1
                                                    • Saga #29
                                                    • Secret Wars #3
                                                    • Secret Wars 2099 #2
                                                    • Secret Wars Battleworld #2
                                                    • Secret Wars Journal #2
                                                    • SHIELD #7
                                                    • Silk #5
                                                    • Southern Cross #4
                                                    • Spider-Gwen #5
                                                    • Spider-Verse #2
                                                    • Spider-Woman #8
                                                    • Squadron Sinister #1
                                                    • Star Wars #6
                                                    • Starve #1
                                                    • Superior Iron Man #9
                                                    • The Empty #4
                                                    • The Fade Out #7
                                                    • Thors #1
                                                    • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6
                                                    • Usagi Yojimbo #146
                                                    • Wayward #9
                                                    • We Are Robin #1
                                                    • X-Men 92 #1
                                                    • X-Tinction Agenda #1
                                                    • Years of Future Past #1
                                                    Graphic Novels I Read This Month
                                                    • Green Arrow: Trial of Oliver Queen TP
                                                    • Grayson Vol 1 HC
                                                    • Usagi Yojimbo Vol 29 TP
                                                    • Captain America Epic Collection: Streets of Poison TP

                                                    TV I Watched This Month:
                                                    This is mostly for me so I can keep better track of favorite moments, best and worst episodes and do a little less homework in prepping for my "Best of the Year" list next year.
                                                    • iZombie "Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat" (The cheerleader personality was fun, as was the personality switch when she ate different brains, and Major's anti-zombie vigilante campaign is dark and interesting... also... Schrodinger's grenade! The Peyton reveal was great, and not a fakeout like the one with Major... and almost certain to cause Liv no end of trouble. Then there's that closing montage... can't wait for the season finale.) "Blaine's World" (Major's Taxi Driver rampage was the high point, but I'm also really interested in where the Max Rager story is going next season.)
                                                    • Wayward Pines "Don't Discuss Your Life Before" (The second episode hooked me. Not just for the surprising death, but for the creepy atmosphere and the terrific performances.) "Our Town, Our Law" (I was worried the mysteries might keep spooling with no development, but his family coming to town and the end of the sheriff and weird monsters in the walls? Plenty of developments going on.) "One of Our Senior Realtors Has Decided to Retire" (Melissa Leo is playing the creepiest bad guy here, and it's awesome. I also liked Burke as sheriff, the creepy vibe at the school and Hope Davis as the teacher in more of a headmistress type role.) "The Truth" (Saw this at ATX Fest, and that was pretty much the perfect way to see it. Turns the whole story on its head, and if they can follow through on the twist, I'll be pretty impressed.) "Choices" (The backstory is making a lot of sense, the insurgency now looks tragically misguided and the emotional shellshock for the first generation is brewing nicely. Every episode, I love this show more and more.)
                                                    • Inside Amy Schumer "Fight Like A Girl" (Fashion criticism is my least favorite thing, so the first couple didn't resonate with me, the Ambien sketch was random and hilarious, and fight like a girl was the title of the episode for a reason, because it was amazing. Her interviews, this time with a couple in an open relationship, have been great this year.)
                                                    • Hannibal "Antipasto" (Beautiful, especially any scene with Gillian Anderson about Europe. Terrifying, especially in the way any scene with Hannibal could turn to violence at any minute. Surprising to focus entirely on Bedelia and Hannibal in the first episode, but in no way disappointing.) "Primavera" (Will Graham in Europe, an old foe of Hannibal and ghost Abigail made for another creepy, intriguing episode) "Secondo" (When we first met Will Graham in Manhunter, he was truly messed up - I like seeing how he became that way, having to become Hannibal in order to catch him. Chiyoh and Lithuania were another stark, beautiful compelling chapter in the hunt,)
                                                    • Game of Thrones "Dance With Dragons" (Wow wow wow. The stuff in Dorne is still boring, but everything else was great. Stannis did what he was always going to do in a horrifying and really compelling way that's going to have major repercussions, Arya has lined up a target that is also going to have interesting repercussions and that final battle with the Sons of the Harpy and Drogon was as intense as the White Walker sequence the week before.) "Mother's Mercy" (So many "I didn't see that coming" moments. That finale with Jon Snow. Brienne and Stannis. Reek and Sansa. The walk of shame. Arya's vengeance. The impending Midnight Run in Mereen, with Tyrion and Varys running things. Such a great finale.)
                                                    • Silicon Valley "Binding Arbitration" (The arbitration story was really interesting, and their lawyer (not attorney) hilarious. But the Schrodinger's runner, complete with dark-as-hell ending, was the star of the show.) "Two Days of the Condor" (The flip-flop on the court decision, the delete/don't delete tension and of course, the Seinfeld-ian approach to that poor guy on their livestream.)
                                                    • Veep "Testimony" (If only for the flood of Jonah Ryan nicknames, this would have been fun. As is, it was a great episode in so many ways.) "Election Night" (Jonah flailing on stage, Amy's return to the campaign, the bashing of their Nate Silver stand-in and of course Selina's amazing rant made this a great finale.)
                                                    • Orange is the New Black "Mother's Day" (Lots of great flashbacks, and I thought the Boo/Pennsatucky scene was great.) "Bed Bugs and Beyond" (I'm actually interested in seeing prison guard Ben's Iraq days, I like where the Alex/Piper relationship is at and Litchfield's woes has fascinating arc potential.) "Empathy is a Boner Killer" (Healy/Red is not something I saw coming... and I like Caputo having to run to the previous warden) "Finger in the Dyke" (Boo is one of my favorite characters, so I like seeing her backstory. Always good to see Mike Birbiglia too.)
                                                    • Deutchsland '83 "Quantum Jump" (Good performances from its young star and older cast members alike, jumps right into the espionage of the thing, and what great music)
                                                    • Star Wars Rebels "Siege of Lothal" (Introducing Vader and Ahsoka could have unbalanced things, but instead it's a great transition as the characters move from a single Rebel cell to part of a growing army. Vader is scary and powerful, like he should be, the action sequences and space battles are fantastic. Can't wait for more.)
                                                    • True Detective "The Western Book of the Dead" (Different setting, more characters, more of an LA noir tale... still pretty much everything I love about True Detective. Colin Farrel in particular is fantastic.)
                                                    • The Brink "Pilot" (Lots of smarm in this one, not sure if it'll pay off, but I really like what Tim Robbins is doing as the most arrogant and also most right guy in the room, and Pablo Schrieber is, as always, terrific.)
                                                    • Ballers "Pilot" (Not the dude-bro show I expected it to be, at least so far. I mean, yeah, it's NFL wish fulfillment, but it's also about the downside of all that, and seems to have something to say... not as funny as I might have expected, but interesting.)
                                                    • Another Period "Pilot" (Another hit for Comedy Central, with an amazing cast and guest stars.)
                                                    • Catastrophes "All Six Episodes" (Like the lovechild of You're The Worst and Coupling, I adored this show and laughed throughout... I'm not 100% sold on the ending, which turned very dark and ugly and counter to everything we'd seen before, but the rest of it was great.)
                                                    Top Five Shows This Month:
                                                    1. Game of Thrones
                                                    2. Hannibal
                                                    3. iZombie
                                                    4. Catastrophes
                                                    5. Wayward Pines
                                                          Favorite Last Week with John Oliver Segments This Month:
                                                          Movies I Watched This Month:
                                                          • Inside Out
                                                          Places I Ate This Month:
                                                          • Hopdoddy's
                                                          • Frank
                                                          • Smashburger (x2)
                                                          • Second Bar + Kitchen
                                                          • Gus's Fried Chicken
                                                          • Twisted Root Burgers
                                                          • BJ's Brewhouse
                                                          • Alamo Drafthouse
                                                          • Torchy's Tacos (x2)
                                                          • Michi Ramen
                                                          • Tarka
                                                          • Terry Black's BBQ

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