Today’s high was 94 degrees (34 in most of the world). My work is air conditioned but now that I’m home, I’m literally laying in front of a fan with chunks of ice tucked inside my clothing and my brain cells are still telling me to fuck off.

Might be an evening of very trashy video games (wheee Fallout Shelter) and laying still.

I saw two movies in the theater over the weekend.

The Spy Who Dumped Me – A fucking delight. Funny and the action was good.

Momma Mia: Here We Go Again – Even schmaltzier than the first one.  I cried a lot. Like the giant port-wine cheese appetizer that I am.

In home viewing I have watched a bunch of X-Men: The Animated Series, which I watched when it was airing back in the early nineties and which was the thing that turned me on to superhero comics in the first place.

It also made me fall in love with Beast. I still don’t know if I want to marry him or be him, to be honest. Since he’s fictional and I am aggressively not, it’s moot, of course.

I’ve also watched:

Room – I have no idea why I’ve gone in for crying things lately. I may have to watch a few eps of This Is Us before the mood passes. This film felt pretty true to a very ugly situation, to me.

Iliza Schlesinger: Elder Millennial – The roomie and I agreed that we’ve enjoyed her more recent specials less than her first two. There will still laughs though.

The Break With Michelle Wolf – I was a fan of Wolf on The Daily Show and Late Night With Seth Meyers and I’m jazzed she has her own show. I’m not sure it’s hit its stride, yet, but there have been plenty of very funny bits and I’m into continuing to watch.

It is, by the way, safe to assume that I’m constantly watching a stream of political comedy. I stan John Oliver pretty hardcore.

But yeah. In tumultuous times (and when are they not?) satire keeps me sane. More or less.

I’ve also re-watched some of the early Mission Impossible movies and the beginning of Chuck. Instead of, y’know, catching up on the latest seasons of anything I previously watched or starting something new.

I am PSYCHED also, because Netflix has Ex Machina, which means maybe I’ll finally follow through with my goal of watching it again now that buying it is no longer a hurdle.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m off to let my brain continue its melting process and to have ice and cucumber for dinner.

Happy Birthday to me

I wanted to write something profound and well thought-out today, but I got a headache before I left work that will not die.

So I say: Hurrah for another year. Hurrah for surviving a brain that’s trying to eat itself. Hurrah for weathering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Forty-one is a stupid, random age to be, but making it here is definitely preferable to the alternative.

Stay tuned for thoughts about Deadpool 2The Bay, trailers as art form, and some movies I love that you can’t get in any streaming places. Along with, of course, whatever the fuck else I come up with.

My current level of inability to cope with my life is represented by the 113 unread emails in my personal inbox. Not helped by the fact that I’m working this weekend because it’s finals.

Don’t let anyone kid you, college students — everyone hates finals. It’s not just you. Staff, profs, teaching assistants….anyone who has to deal with them.

In spite of extra work, I am going to try to get to see The Shape Of Water this weekend, and possibly also Darkest Hour.

Here’s some recommendations for folks who actually have time this weekend!


First, I would like to note that Netflix has several big-time franchise movies right now, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (super fun) and Rogue One (super not-fun but quite good).

It also has one of my favorite cheesy action flicks, XXX.

The first time I saw this movie, when I got to the end of an early scene where our hero is jumping a motorcycle off a building that was in the process of exploding, I was like, “This is the best fucking movie I’ve ever seen.”

It isn’t, actually, but the action scenes are a lot of fun. I kind of love the whole franchise, tbh. The films are not an intellectual challenge or anything, but they’re playing into being exactly what they are – badass stunts and explosions aplenty.

In fact, let’s take a moment to consider the stunt persons. They are epic. I appreciate what they do.

I am also totally psyched for the new season of One Day At A Time that will be coming out in January. If you haven’t watched it, try season 1. It’s fun, thoughtful, kid-safe and charming.


Hulu has Gifted, which I’ve watched some of and is quite good and Runaways, which is one of my favorite freaking Marvel comics runs of all time. The trailer made it look amazing, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.

They also have the adorable and under-rated Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

It’s a dancing movie about friendships among girls and the usual teenaged stuff. It has a great soundtrack and is quite a feel-good watch.

It also has a surprisingly great cast – Shannon Doherty, Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt are all in it. Also, watch for a random appearance from one of my faves, Robert Downey, Jr.

Prime Streaming

I got a delightful surprise this week when I came home one night to find out that Amazon’s streaming video is now accessible from my AppleTV (which is my household’s main source of stuff to go on the ticky-talky box). That’s probably neither here nor there to most of you, but I wanted to mention it, in case it was.

Prime has The Big Sick, a film I’ve mentioned favorably, before. It’s a warm and moving movie probably even if you’re not already on the Kumail Nanjiani bandwagon, which I certainly was as a huge fan of his stand-up.

An aside, I finally started listening to Nanjiani’s X Files podcast and it is a freaking delight.

They also have Mr. Robot, a tense techno-thriller show with some really interesting character stuff.

If you’re looking for something lighter, consider the action comedy Rush Hour 2. For some reason the first one isn’t on streaming, but the sequel is and I don’t think it’ll hurt from the lack of the first, if you haven’t seen it.


In term of movies for little observers, Amazon is weak on movie options, but they seem to have all the Christmas specials ever made right now. Hulu still has all the freaking Disney. A good one to try might be the kid-aimed sports movie The Mighty Ducks.

On Netflix, check out Zootopia, if you haven’t. It’s an animal-as-people movie that’s better and more thoughtful than I imagined it could be. They also have a metric tonne of Christmas stuff if that is your jam.

GOOD LUCK and see y’all next week.


Believe it or not, I have trouble finishing movies by myself.

It’s difficult to force myself to sit through things that are at all emotionally difficult. Left to my own devices, I tend to watch stuff that is low-stakes or cheesy or that I’ve seen before — sometimes all three!

There are plenty of movies I’ve seen a ton of times, as a result of this tendency. I don’t get people who can only watch something once (or read, or hear or play something only once). I mean – it’s okay. I just don’t get it.

I will watch certain movies just to experience the moods inhabit, or to revisit the characters like old friends. Sometimes it’s just to scratch an undefinable itch in my brain. Like when you hear a snippet of a song you love and then you have to go listen to the whole thing.

Sometimes I re-watch a movie chasing whatever head-space it put me in the first time I ever saw it. I have at least one movie I am literally not allowed to watch more than once a year because if I did, I’d watch it constantly chasing the mental space it brings. I usually watch it even less, even though it’s one of my favorites of all time. I want it to retain the maximum possible impact.

Then there are other films I just watch whenever. I can’t even think of a through-line that these movies have other than they don’t jangle my anxiety. Some of them because they aren’t that kind of film, but more of them, I suspect, because I’ve seen them so many times they’ve been de-fanged.

Watching a new movie is something I need to be in the right mood for. It’s easier in the theater when I have no control over when the film starts or stops. It’s one of the reasons I keep on with seeing so many movies in the theater.

It’s easier for me to watch at home if someone else is with me, too. Particularly someone who hasn’t seen the film before. I am fortunate enough to have some friends who trust me when I invite them into unknown fiction, so I get to do this on a pretty regular basis.

And sometimes I can force myself to keep on through something difficult. I watched season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil in 10 minute increments with large pauses to calm down in between. I was also sick enough at the time to feel hazy and somewhat emotionally distant about the grimness and violence.

It’s funny. I know it is. Because I do love movies. And I do love fictions. And some of the ones I love are full of gore and awfulness. I am a huge fan of certain kinds of horror movies. I also love cheesy action and that can be full of violence, too. The thing that gets me is emotional connection to violence. I can’t really watch realistic war movies. I have trouble with torture scenes, particularly ones where someone’s head is being fucked with. On the same spectrum: I can’t watch embarrassment comedy. It really quickly overwhelms any emotional distance I have and makes me profoundly uncomfortable.

All this is apropos of nothing in particular. Just kind of a note to say – however you interact with stories, it’s fine. We’re all weird, somehow. This is just one way that I am. And raking myself over the coals (or being pushed by others) has never even come close to getting me past it.

I decided at some point to give myself a break and roll with it. It’s one of those arenas it’s much easier to change your environment and the way it interacts with you than it is to change yourself to fit the environment.

Life is already hard – don’t make it harder, if you can avoid it. Embrace the weirdness of your brain and find a way to work with it. Your story-times will be happier and so will you.

I have the day off from work, today and have gotten very little done.

I don’t have much in the way of either streaming recs or stuff I’m going to see. I’m seeing Thor for the second time this weekend, but there seems to be a kind of a lull before most of the Christmas movies and Oscar hopefuls hit.

I thought I’d take a bit of time to highlight some movies on streaming that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but which might tickle your fancy.

Chappie is a story about an AI’s awful childhood told by the director of District 9. It is extraordinarily gritty and violent and had a lot of elements that irritated me (particularly in conjunction with some other AI movies I saw around the same time, but that’s another post). It was interesting and well-done, with really well fleshed-out characters–just not at all my cup of tea.

If you’ve seen District 9, you’ll find it has some similar themes and flavors.

Chappie is streaming on Netflix.

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Bound is a 90s thriller containing lesbian themes that gave a bunch of wlw at my college the hots for Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly (especially Gershon). It is a difficult watch because (again) it’s full of violence, but it does have a hopeful ending for the lesbian couple.

Honestly, I haven’t watched it all the way through since it was in the theater, but I remember it being well done.

The film is much harsher than this trailer makes it look, as I recall. Bound is streaming on Hulu.

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What If is a movie about profoundly unhealthy relationships and profoundly bad boundaries. It has stupendous actors and great performances, but is billed as a romantic comedy. I think if I had gone into it expecting a movie about unhealthy relationships with bad boundaries and unlikeable characters, I would have enjoyed it a lot better. It was billed as a romcom. Viewed as a romcom, it is awful.

[CW for transphobic language towards the end of the trailer. As I said, unlikable characters.]

What If is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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And now, I am heading back to tempering some epic laziness with a tiny smattering of chores.

I am not feeling so hot. I’m kind of scared that I’m coming down with whatever’s been knocking my co-workers out of circulation for a week at a time (though I hope not). I had intended to write about Suburbicon or a chirpy little piece about video games, today but I am currently a bear of very little brain.

This is the kind of headspace that television was dreamt up for – just showing you one thing after another into infinity or till you fall asleep, whichever comes first. A very undemanding companion, television.

Unfortunately, I have neither cable nor a viable antenna tv at the moment, so I’m going with the next best thing: youtube.

It, too, undemandingly will keep showing you things into infinity if you let it.

Currently, I’m watching markiplier, a youtube let’s play-er (which is someone who plays video games as a spectator sport) with a voice made of chocolate and rainbows scream at Resident Evil 7. It’s cathartic and entertaining.

I may play a video game while I continue to watch it, till I fall asleep in approximately 15 minutes. Like eating while watching the food network, to paraphrase something Margaret Cho once said.

Happy Halloween, kids and kittens!

My local comic shop, Million Year Picnic, has trick and treat goodies to give out!

comics and candy at my local comic shop

Yours might too! Check it out!

Either way, enjoy your night of spooks and costumes, folks! See you in November.