Thursday, October 01, 2015

Monthly Update - September 2015


1. No cancer. Well, didn't make it. Small regrowth in the lung, getting surgery to take care of it in October. Could have been worse, but have not had a year cancer-free since 2012 when we found the damn thing. (Probably technically since 2010 or 2011 when it first grew, but I hadn't caught it yet.)

2. Read books. Started at 17 this month. Finished Gillian Flynn's "Dark Places" (in two days, I couldn't put it down) and The Showrunners book, bringing me to 19.

3. Buy no more than six videogames this year. So as of last month, if I cheat and don't consider DLC to be "buying" and count my two preorders of Star Wars Battlefront and Rock Band 4, I'm at... six.

4. 24 More Boardgames. Started at 30, played The Captain is Dead, a cooperative sci-fi game, as well as a few more rounds of DC Deck-Building, Machi Koro and its expansion. Also added Machi Koro Deluxe, Epic Card Game and Star Trek Five Year Mission to the game library.

5. Eat! - Tried out Shake Shack, which I liked pretty well. Two I want to revisit: Estancia Churrascaria, and Texas Chili Parlor (probably not until colder weather, so relatively soon). On my "need to try" list: Bullfight (Spanish tapas on Airport), Sawyer & Company, Porter Gastropub, and Southern's at PBK, Everything else new probably isn't opening until 2016.


Best Week of Comics This Month:
September 2nd (Daredevil, Future Imperfect, Lazarus, Mockingbird One-Shot, Plutona, Silk, Spider-Island, Squadron Sinister, Thors, We Stand on Guard)

Top Five Favorite Comics This Month:
  1. Ms. Marvel #18
  2. Rat Queens #12
  3. Sex Criminals #12
  4. Daredevil #18
  5. Star Wars #9
                                                                      Comics I Read This Month:
                                                                      • Agent Carter One-Shot
                                                                      • Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #5
                                                                      • Archie #3
                                                                      • Beauty #2
                                                                      • Civil War #4
                                                                      • Daredevil #18
                                                                      • Darth Vader #9
                                                                      • Future Imperfect #5
                                                                      • Grayson Annual #2
                                                                      • Infinity Gauntlet #4
                                                                      • Journey to Star Wars Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #1
                                                                      • Lazarus #19
                                                                      • Mockingbird One-Shot
                                                                      • Ms. Marvel #18
                                                                      • Plutona #1
                                                                      • Rat Queens #12
                                                                      • SHIELD #10
                                                                      • Secret Wars 2099 #5
                                                                      • Sex Criminals #12
                                                                      • Shield: The Cavalry #1
                                                                      • Silk #7
                                                                      • Spider-Island #3
                                                                      • Spider-Island #4
                                                                      • Squadron Sinister #3
                                                                      • Star Trek Green Lantern #3
                                                                      • Star Wars #9
                                                                      • Starve #4
                                                                      • The Fade Out #9
                                                                      • Thors #3
                                                                      • Usagi Yojimbo #148
                                                                      • We Stand on Guard #3
                                                                      Graphic Novels I Read This Month
                                                                      • Suicide Squad Vol 1: Trial By Fire TP
                                                                      • Ms. Marvel Vol 1 HC
                                                                      • Master Keaton Vol 2
                                                                      • Bloodshot Reborn Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • The Valiant TP
                                                                      • Imperium Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • The Fade Out Vol 2 TP
                                                                      • Birthright Vol 2 TP
                                                                      • Descender Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • Chrononauts TP
                                                                      • Divinity TP
                                                                      • Mind Mgmt Vol 4 HC
                                                                      • Ivar, Timewalker Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • Archer & Armstrong Vol 2 TP
                                                                      • Harbinger Vol 1-2 TP
                                                                      • The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • Quantum & Woody Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • Rai Vol 1 TP
                                                                      • Armor Hunters TP
                                                                      • Eternal Warrior Vol 1 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.
                                                                      • Narcos "You Will Cry Tears of Blood" (The kidnappings and bombings made this an even darker show, and this was definitely an hour when the Narcos weren't winning, but they were doing a lot of damage. The Cali cartel using Gustavo's affair against him was good. Also liked the chase, and was kind of horrified that Escobar's men were so callous and willing to murder a baby.) "La Gran Mentira" (The death of Diana was a rough moment, Pablo building his own prison is dark comedy, Pacha and Ochoas moving against Pablo, Gustavo's capture and beating and murder. I feel like the show wants me to be more conflicted, though, and I'm wholly for the savage murder of Escobar and all his compatriots, even as we're shown their human side, given all that they've been responsible for.) "La Catedral" (The prison sequence reminds me of Goodfellas and prison as party, another nod. The traffic accident was the very definition of "escalated quickly." The pigeon hunting was a rare spot of humor, but also an interesting bit of history. Then there were the paranoia murders.) "Despegue" (The raid on the prison, the minister of justice at the prison, the Cali Cartel in bed with the DEA, and where it all leaves it... I was hoping for a tidier resolution in case they don't come back, but this was a solid finale.)
                                                                      • Mr. Robot "eps1.9_zer0-daY.avi" (The return of philandering Michael/Lenny and the Ashley Madison reference is frighteningly timely. And that meeting with Wellick's wife... holy shit, is Elliot actually Tyrell too? I don't think so, given how Tyrell's assistant reacts to him, but... what a great scene. The public suicide, a.k.a. reason the finale was delayed, was striking, as was the tense scene between Angela and the Evil Corp CEO. There's a great pre-apocalyptic vibe all through this episode. "I don't know who you think you're talking to... but I'll try the Pradas next." Wow, great line. I was hoping for more concrete answers, but this was a fantastic season, not series, finale.)
                                                                      • Key & Peele "The 420 Special" (Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the valets discuss Game of Thrones and the telemarketer hang-up strategy) "Meegan & Andre Break Up" (The Meegan/Andre and Young Business both escalated for funny, but never quite made me laugh. The Nazi sketch, though... kept getting funnier. ) "The End" (Those goddamn Ray Parker Jr. songs are gonna be stuck in my head. The 911 sketch had a great punchline. I want to see their theoretical black revolution alternate universe as a movie. Negrotown was an amazing sketch with a dark-as-fuck punch-in-the-gut ending. Good, if not great, finale to a great show.)
                                                                      • You're The Worst "The Sweater People" (Man, did I miss this show. The Lindsey/Gretchen scene about relationships, Edgar's crush on Lindsey, Lindsey and Paul, the mutual too-tired-but-can't-admit-it, "Sleepy bitches lose their right to use normal people phones." The exact wrong pitch for a family plan. They stole the Zoiddle street car! Oh, I love this show so much. And I love that Lindsay is a little psycho, it just makes me love her more.) "Crevasses" (Gretchen tormenting Jimmy with Trivial Pursuit, Lindsey abusing Edgar's affection and the resulting turnaround with the guys at the bar, Gretchen's shopping meltdown) "Born Dead" (It's OK not to have friends, "I've been busy... with my dick!", alcohol shopping with Jimmy and Edgar, the recumbent bike sad story, the party)
                                                                      • The League "That Other Draft" (Andre and Pete's ex. Taco enjoying his punishment, more NFL players who can't act - kind of a weak opener.) "The Draft of Innocence" (Ruxon being the worst... always funny. Pete bringing Raffi to the draft was great and of course he would kidnap a woman and bring her to the auction. Of course. Andre's alley fight was... unexpected. And awesome.) "The Blind Spot" (The titular blind spot is pretty funny. And I always love EBDB. Dick Chicken)
                                                                      • Rick and Morty "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" (TINY RICK! The opening kitchen table scene, Jerry and Beth's dysfunctional relationship given form, and Rick's constant cry for help in song and dance... good episode.) "Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate" (Weaker than the original)
                                                                      • Minority Report "Pilot" (The female lead is deadly dull, the technology and special effects look creaky and old and they're trying way too hard, putting every little bit of the movie into the pilot and not really doing much new with it. I'll give it a couple more episodes to improve, but mostly it makes me wish the much-better Almost Human FOX canceled two years ago.)
                                                                      • The Muppets "Pig Girls Don't Cry" (I didn't hate it... but I also didn't laugh much. Great seeing Jere Burns, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Elizabeth Banks, but... the show needs to be funny to keep me.) "Hostile Makeover" (Some jokes I laughed at in the episode, but it's still not quite grabbing me. Maybe I'm just not that big of a Muppets fan?)
                                                                      • Brooklyn Nine-Nine "New Captain" (Bill Hader's intro was fantastic. Jake and Amy's date awkwardness. Linetti's narcissistic pep talk. And bringing in the Vulture? Genius.)
                                                                      • Last Man on Earth "Is Anybody Out There?" (I decided to give this another shot, and while the first episode back was better, it was surprisingly dark and maudlin, and wasn't as fresh as it was the first time around. Like Sudeikis, like Schaal, like Forte but this just isn't the show for me.)
                                                                      • Scream Queens "Pilot" (Based on my interest in Ryan Murphy projects, expected to hate it. Instead it's my favorite pilot so far, which is still grading on a curve. Jamie Lee Curtis gets it a lot of leeway, but this also does remind me of what I liked about Scream. It's goofy and bloody and extreme, and I don't know if it'll hold my interest long-term, but I liked it more than I expected.) "Chainsaw" (Charisma Carpenter! Also, the toxic relationship between Chanel and Chad continues to be amusing. The Coney interlude was... weird. Neck brace in Chanel's closet and getting a makeover. I love the clueless frat guys and chainsaw duels. And the white noise machine.)
                                                                      • Grandfathered "Pilot" (Very likable cast, Paget Brewster alone makes it worth watching. It's not great, but it's a solidly put together comedy that could easily become better.)
                                                                      • Agents of SHIELD "Laws of Nature" (I was really hoping the new base would be an actual Helicarrier. The Bobbi/Joey scene was pretty good. Bobbi being a scientist makes me happy. I like Fitz on the edge.)
                                                                      Top Five Shows This Month:
                                                                      1. You're The Worst
                                                                      2. Mr. Robot
                                                                      3. Rick and Morty
                                                                      4. Key & Peele
                                                                      5. The League
                                                                        Movies I Watched This Month:
                                                                        • Gone Girl
                                                                        • Mad Max Fury Road
                                                                        • Time Lapse
                                                                        • Limitless
                                                                        • Shaun of the Dead
                                                                        • Hot Fuzz
                                                                        • Pitch Perfect
                                                                        • Pitch Perfect 2
                                                                        • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
                                                                        • Stripes
                                                                        • A Most Violent Year
                                                                        Places I Ate This Month:
                                                                        • Mambo House (x3)
                                                                        • Torchy's (x2)
                                                                        • Chuy's (x2)
                                                                        • Shake Shack
                                                                        • Popeye's (x2)
                                                                        • Saltgrass Steakhouse
                                                                        • Sushi Nini
                                                                        • Culver's (x2)
                                                                        • Fork + Taco
                                                                        • Hoodie's (x2)
                                                                        • Bush's Chicken
                                                                        • Jason's Deli
                                                                        • Noble Sandwich