tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-32169459109222915442021-05-14T01:30:51.106-07:00Above All: StoryChanning Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.comBlogger69125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-10347351216609976132020-10-27T22:20:00.004-07:002020-10-27T22:20:40.654-07:00What I've Been Reading: Oct 2020After being delighted with the Lovecraft Country series, (see my Oct watching post) which is based on a novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, I rushed online to look up the author. I considered grabbing the book, but I noticed Ruff had a new novel, recently released called 88 Names, and decided to try that instead.88 Names is not horror, but instead part cyberpunk, part mystery, and part spy Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-87036003981637231272020-10-27T22:01:00.010-07:002020-10-27T22:07:15.453-07:00More Watching: Oct 2020I thoroughly enjoyed 2018's The Haunting of Hill House. This October, just in time for Halloween, the same director, Mike Flanagan, returns with a new, loosely connected mini-series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Viewers will notice about half a dozen of the actors from Hill House have returned for Bly Manor, but all in different roles, in no way connected between storylines, much like the shufflingChanning Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-74237277155822174322020-10-27T21:31:00.004-07:002020-10-27T21:31:48.661-07:00What I've Been Watching: Oct 2020Lovecraft Country is one of few series I can think of, which I've followed through weekly releases in the last five or six years. Usually, in this on-demand age, I tend to dig in when a series is available to plow through a few episodes at a time. With Lovecraft Country, I'd been anticipating the series for a while, and with it slated to wrap up so close to Halloween, I didn't want to wait and Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-45351194256276127582020-09-15T15:44:00.005-07:002020-09-16T10:10:28.229-07:00What I've Been Reading: Sept 2020 Devolution - Max BrooksI'm a fan of World War Z. I thought the epistolary story structure was exciting and a refreshing take for the zombie subgenre. I also appreciated that it was more of a collection of social case studies rather than frantic horror. In Devolution, Max Brooks turns his eye to sasquatch or bigfoot. Still, the book has a similar structure as WWZ, telling the story through the Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-34478879927416344952020-09-15T15:38:00.000-07:002020-09-15T15:38:04.310-07:00More What I've Been Watching: Sept 2020I didn't know what to expect from the new Perry Mason series, only that it would involve some sort of mystery, investigation, and trial, and that with HBO producing, it wasn't likely to be as clean as the old black and white network show. I thought I'd give it a shot.I'm not a huge fan of reboots and remakes. I'd rather see something original that stands on its own. However, when one ventures Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-32590817725823174692020-09-15T15:33:00.003-07:002020-09-15T15:33:57.762-07:00What I've Been Watching: Sept 2020I've followed the Westworld series with interest through its first two seasons. The themes of AI, how it might become sentient, how people might control it and potentially abuse and subjugate it, and how it might react or fight back, are all fascinating, along with some excellent storytelling.  I eagerly awaited season three, in which the AI were set up to leave their captive world and start Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-82406511059963362052020-07-31T22:31:00.000-07:002020-08-12T22:36:59.207-07:00What I've Been Reading: July 2020 How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X. KendiThis book was challenging, enlightening, maddening, discouraging, inspiring, hopeful, and occasionally humorous all at the same time. If that sounds a little manic for your tastes, I'd argue that it is symptomatic of the topic and having a serious conversation about it. There are symptoms of racism which are horrible, but also advances that give hope and Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-87352720342835836132020-07-31T22:27:00.000-07:002020-08-12T22:31:52.168-07:00What I've Been Watching: July 2020Unbreakable Series (or the Eastrail 177 Trilogy)I saw Unbreakable, the first movie in what turned out to be a trilogy from M. Night Shyamalan back when it came out in 2000. I was still in high school, and I remember thinking the movie was cool, but that I wasn't particularly wowed. Shyamalan was riding high in popularity after The Sixth Sense 1999, but I don't think Unbreakable captured the magicChanning Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-84495233927560159722020-07-31T22:24:00.001-07:002020-08-12T22:27:18.815-07:00What I've Been Listening to: July 2020Everything just comes together so well on RTJ4 by Run the Jewels. I've been a Run the Jewels fan for quite a few years now. First, Killer Mike and EL-P are exceptional musicians. It's been true of the other Run the Jewels albums and of each's solo work. That said, I feel like RTJ is more than the sum of its parts. The rappers complement and play off one another to reach a higher level. One gets Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-79186097106271595682020-06-30T14:36:00.001-07:002020-06-30T14:36:25.752-07:00What I've Been Reading: June 2020To date, I had read all four novellas in Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries series. I mostly enjoyed them. They definitely have a unique protagonist in the form of a rogue AI, but not just any bot, a security behemoth. As sci-fi classically has taught us, if we have anything to fear from AI turning sentient, it's the Terminator-like killbots that will be our undoing. Yet Wells asks us to empathize Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-76099939803933309032020-06-30T14:34:00.000-07:002020-06-30T14:34:02.746-07:00What I've Been Watching: June 2020 I recently binged an unconventional series from amazon prime video called Hunters, and it was an odd delight. On the one hand, with a talent like Al Pacino, the series has respectability. But on the other, the series does bizarre things like breaking the narrative, and even the fourth wall to throw in a two-minute mock, antisemitic gameshow clip.The premise: a teen, working in a comic book store,Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-82861052552597876902020-06-30T14:32:00.000-07:002020-06-30T14:32:18.223-07:00What I've Been Listening to: June 2020I enjoy some hip-hop music, but I'm far from having my thumb on the pulse of the genre. I wasn't aware of Mac Miller until the news of his untimely death hit the headlines in 2018.  Still, I didn't encounter much of his music, at least that I knew of, and didn't go seek it out. But there I was taking an extra lap around the neighborhood in my car, with the SXM coffeehouse radio station on, hopingChanning Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-75506744115215062182020-05-14T22:49:00.000-07:002020-05-14T22:49:25.329-07:00What I've Been Reading: May 2020I finally finished The Stone Sky, book three of N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth series. When I say finally, I don't want it to sound like it was some chore to accomplish. The labor was in finding the time to read now that my six-year-old and two-year-old are at home 24-7.  So it took me a bit longer than it might otherwise have. That out of the way, I was pleased with the story.As with any solid Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-58468746723243598442020-05-14T22:46:00.001-07:002020-05-14T22:46:43.064-07:00What I've Been Watching: May 2020I started watching the Star Trek Picard series pretty much right when it came out and was keeping up week to week. I am a long time Star Trek fan. Sadly, I got sidetracked before watching the last couple of episodes, thanks to COVID and kids. But, I recently set out to remedy the situation.I have mixed feelings about this series. There are lots of things I like, and some not so much. However, in Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-9389641630903044682020-05-14T22:43:00.000-07:002020-05-14T22:43:00.672-07:00What I've Been Listening to: May 2020Reggae music. I used to live in Houston, and have one of those stop-and-go, 12-standstill-lanes sorts of commutes that took an hour to travel less than 15 miles. I often found myself pretty worked up and even downright angry during the drives. That's when I discovered that jamming to some reggae along the way helped ease my mood. Like a little mental teleport to a laid back beach somewhere. Who Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-34319204513380189852020-03-09T15:29:00.001-07:002020-03-09T15:29:20.472-07:00What I've Been Reading: February 2020Over the last year or so, I've read the first three installments in Martha Wells's Murderbot Diaries series. I've mentioned how the main character is fascinating, but that his sarcasm can get a little grating as everything is seen through his POV. Still, I like the concept and enjoy the world. I just can't read them back to back. It would be too much murderbot. But, as it's been a few months, I Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-67530563126503644652020-03-09T15:25:00.001-07:002020-03-09T15:25:52.453-07:00 What I've Been Watching: February 2020I read Stephen King's The Outsider about a year ago, which HBO adapted into a miniseries. The show began in January and recently aired its 10th and final episode (I'm assuming). Thus, I gave it a watch.Let me start with a look back on the book. I enjoyed quite a bit about it. The story had a lot of cool and fascinating, dark ideas. But there was something I didn't at the time quite put my finger Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-14484852209884965522020-03-09T15:19:00.000-07:002020-03-09T15:19:06.782-07:00What I've Been Listening to: February 2020I saw an article about a unique concept album from Harry Nilsson called The Point! which was turning 50 years old. It was released in 1970. I'd never heard of it, but its release preceded my arrival on the planet by more than ten years. Still, it sounded odd and interesting, so I found it on iTunes and gave it a listen or ten. I love it.It's sort of a mini-musical with both songs and narration, Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-21806339716323249042020-02-10T14:10:00.001-08:002020-02-10T14:10:37.438-08:00What I've Been Reading: Jan. 2020Andy Weir's The Martian has been on my radar for a long time. Most people who weren't aware of it eight years ago had it brought to light when Matt Damon starred in the 2015 movie adaptation. Well, I finally got around to it, and I loved it. Two notes, first, I did see the movie back when it came out. Also, full disclosure I audiobooked this one, narrated by Wil Wheaton. I'll touch on both.First Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-49362514485102366262020-02-10T14:02:00.002-08:002020-02-10T14:02:57.780-08:00What I've Been Watching: Jan. 2020I haven't read Joe Hill's NOS4A2, but I'd heard of it and saw AMC adapted it for a series, so I gave it a whirl. It stars Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueen, a troubled teenager just discovering she has extraordinary powers. The series also features Zachary Quinto, of Heros and Star Trek 2009 fame, as Charlie Manx, the antagonist in the story. He is not a vampire as we usually see one, but the Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-73375616869846510502020-02-10T13:58:00.000-08:002020-02-10T13:58:20.651-08:00What I've Been Listening to: Jan 2020Halsey's new album, Manic, is very appropriately named, but what t amounts to is variety. Prior to hearing her perform on SNL a few weeks ago, I wasn't very familiar with her work, so I started with her recent album. It's very easy to listen to, and groove to, but what really struck me was the variety in style. From slow to upbeat, from instrumental piano to electric fueled rock, sad to hopeful Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-53661099365801309932020-01-06T21:37:00.000-08:002020-01-06T21:37:47.295-08:00What I've Been Reading: Dec. 2019I was so taken with N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, the first in her Broken Earth series, I launched right into the second book, The Obelisk Gate. The book picks up right where the first left off. It seems likely to me that Jemisin planned the continuation of the story from the beginning because the transition was seamless. The story begins with Essun, the main character carried over from book Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-24351322838349564792020-01-06T16:30:00.001-08:002020-01-06T16:30:39.999-08:00What I've Been Watching: Dec 2019I started watching the new Watchmen series on HBO when it debut, however the Netflix age of binging may have gotten to me because I found waiting a week for a new episode lent to distractions. Thus, after a couple of episodes, I slipped away and came back when the season finished. Then I watched it in a couple of evenings. If you're at all familiar, you'll know that the series ties into the Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-63831558697485923752020-01-06T16:25:00.001-08:002020-01-06T16:25:44.068-08:00What I've Been Listening To: Dec 2019A couple of years ago, I heard a pair of songs from Jenny Lewis and thought they were pretty cool. I wasn't familiar with Rilo Kiley, or any of her other ensemble work, and like many things, something else came along and took my attention elsewhere. However, recently Lewis's 2019 album, On the Line, found its way to my iTunes account, I gave it a try, and I was smitten. Lewis is an excellent Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3216945910922291544.post-63884669040408988482019-12-03T10:44:00.000-08:002019-12-03T10:44:27.860-08:00What I've Been Reading: Nov. 2019Over the summer, I was perusing an article highlighting minority voices in sci-fi and fantasy. N.K. Jeminsin's, The Fifth Season, caught my attention, so I picked up a copy, but I didn't crack the cover until last month. In short, I loved it. This book has a lot going for it. It's set in a future where Earth is a more volatile habitat. The planet is far more active with earthquakes and volcanos Channing Whttp://www.blogger.com/profile/03019464419883679102noreply@blogger.com0