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A Post-Thanksgiving Ramble

Hello all!  My brain is still in vacation-mode coming off of Thanksgiving, so I’ve yet to regain any motivation to write a “real” blog post this week.  I’ll try to put something out in the next few days, but until then, here are some stream-of-consciousness rambles about my extended holiday weekend:

  • I had a wonderful Thanksgiving (and hope you did too!)  Had dinner at my cousin’s place, watched the Bears-Packers game (As a born and raised Cheesehead, it was pretty depressing), and played some Bang! and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.  Overall, it was a great time with my immediate & extended family.  I love them all dearly and was happy to spend time with them all on Thursday!
  • For the next few days, I stayed over at my brother’s apartment in Chicago.  We watched movies, played Rock Band 4, and just lazed around.  It was fantastic 🙂
  • While my brother played DOTA 2 at various points throughout the weekend, I read through several Image comics I had picked up recently:
    • Lazarus (Vol 1-3) – I had only recently heard of Lazarus, but it had been highly recommended and sounded to be right up my alley.  And boy is it!  I’m still very much a comics noob, but this series is already one of my faves.  The worldbuilding is just so great.  I’ll probably do a review of the series thus far after the fourth trade comes out in January as that book will finish up the first main story arc.
    • Saga (Vol 1-3) – I re-read Volumes 1 & 2 to read Volume 3 since it had been awhile since I first picked them up.  Saga is all the rage right now, and justifiably so.  Everything about it is fantastic.  I’ve been taking my time reading this series since I’m so far behind and a trade-waiter anyway 🙂  Can’t wait to get my hands on Volumes 4 and 5.
    • I Kill Giants – I picked up this graphic novel at the recommendation of the Image Comics subreddit. (I haven’t posted anything on that thread as of yet.  But nice try, would-be cyberstalkers!  😛 ) I didn’t know what to expect going in, but I definitely enjoyed it.  A truly unique and interesting read.
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Forever Carlyle from Lazarus  (Art by Michael Lark.  via Greg Rucka’s blog)

  • My siblings, cousins, and some friends have our own Turkey Bowl each Thanksgiving weekend.  We’re all pretty out of shape, but it’s still a lot of fun.  We played on Sunday morning, and as of today (Thursday morning), my leg muscles are still kind of sore.  I seriously need to exercise more 😛
  • Saw two movies in theaters this weekend and both were fairly disappointing.
    • The Good Dinosaur – As far as Pixar films go, this was one of their weakest entries.  It all just seemed so rote and color-by-numbers.  There was apparently a lot of trouble behind the scenes during the movie’s production, and it shows.  Though it tries really hard to convince you that it does, the film just doesn’t have that Pixar heart.  On the positive side, the visuals were stunning, and I liked the hints of the western frontier theme.  Now I wish they had doubled down on that and made a cowboy dinosaur movie.  At least that would’ve been something new instead of the bland film we got instead.
    • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 – aka Speeches: The Movie.  I swear, at least a third of this movie was spent by characters pontificating.  I remember enjoying Part 1, but haven’t rewatched it since.  Still, I imagine Part 2‘s failings could’ve been avoided by keeping Mockingjay as a single film.  But them’s the breaks.  Definitely the weakest of the series, which is a shame since it ended the movie franchise on a low note.
  • Watched the early-released pilot episode of The Expanse and loved it!  I’ll write up a formal review when the show formally debuts on SyFy in a few weeks.  But I just wanted to say that the show does not disappoint.  I loved Leviathan Wakesand the television adaptation seems incredibly faithful and very well produced.  (Also, they included a Belter version of Tighten Up by The Black Keys.  Amazing.)
  • I ate sushi twice this weekend.  I love sushi 🙂

Now I’m back at work, and with this post, gradually easing back into writing.  Alongside making progress on some other creative endeavors, I hope to get some more blog posts out by week’s end.  So until then… See you, space cowboys!

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Coffee Time Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Good morning, lovelies!  It is I, your humble blogger Wise The Simple, recently returned from a month long hiatus.  I’ve been meaning to return full force with some actual blog posts, but let’s ease in a bit with a stream of consciousness Coffee Time.

This week my brother and a friend of his are staying at my apartment.  It’s been a lot of fun so far, albeit a much different atmosphere from my normally solitary evenings.

On Monday evening we all went to the movie theater to watch Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.  The showtime was at 10:15pm, and I live practically in the middle of nowhere, so we had the entire theater to ourselves.

It was pretty good!  I love the M:I movie franchise and thought this was a great installment.  Tom Cruise is absolutely insane — the plane stunt?  As someone with an intense fear of heights: nopenopenope!  But yeah, the action was great, newcomer Rebecca Ferguson was fantastic, and overall it was a very enjoyable film.

My one major qualm, however, was this film’s insistence on making Ethan Hunt such a Gary Stu.  Throughout the film, I found myself siding with the character(s) who argued against Hunt’s often reckless schemes.  But others kept praising him, saying he could do no wrong, and that he was THE ONE MAN who could possibly save the day.

(Mild Spoilers — Ving Rhames’ character was particularly one-note in this regard.  He spent the entire movie hero-worshiping Hunt.  But it wasn’t until near the climax of the film that I literally scoffed at a line from a different character.  It was so ridiculous, I couldn’t believe that it was said in earnest.  If you’ve seen Rogue Nation, I’m sure you’ll know to which scene I’m referring.)

Overall I’d probably give the film a B/B+.  I think my favorite of the series is either M:I III or Ghost Protocol (I honestly need to give them all a rewatch).  But if you enjoy these movies, definitely give this one a go.  The action is great, all your favorite characters are back (though some are shafted in the story department), and although the plot line was a tad shaky, there were plenty of spy movie thrills, twists, and turns to keep you engaged.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to watch Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation and let me know what you thought in the comments below!

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Musical Monday/Coffee Time with Wise the Simple

Hello, friends!  Hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day with loved ones.  Sorry that I’ve been AFK for awhile.  While I drink my morning coffee, here are a few things that have been happening on my side of the blogosphere:

  • I was sick for a few days last week.  I used to never really get sick, but lately my body has been doing this thing where I have a cold for two days and then a lingering cough for weeks.  Not cool, respiratory system…
  • A large portion of my week was dedicated to Ingress.  You see, this past Saturday was the Persepolis Anomaly event in Milwaukee, WI. So this week was dedicated to “farming,” i.e. Hacking high level portals to stock up on inventory for the big battle.  I’ll write up a post about the event to be published some time in the near future.  I currently have a backlog of quite a few posts I have promised you in days long past, but I’m on an Ingress high, so this one will likely come out soonish.
  • I, along with the rest of the entire human population, saw Jurassic World on its opening weekend.  It was enjoyable.  Good, even.  Sure it had story problems and a lot of flaws in character development, but it was still fun.  I wasn’t let down by it or anything — it was exactly how I imagined it would turn out.  All in all, not a great film, but not a horribly bad one either.  It’s an entertaining flick meant to be a popcorn movie and nothing more.
  • Father’s Day was a laid-back affair at the Simple household this year.  We had a cookout, watched some movies and the U.S. Open golf tournament, and just hung out together.  Sometimes big celebrations aren’t necessary — sometimes playing fetch with the family dogs, eating ice cream, and simply chatting to catch up are the elements needed for a great summer day.

And now for some good music to start your week off right —  Jamie Cullum is a jazz-pop pianist and singer-songwriter.  I had the good fortune to see him live in Chicago a few years back, and he is not only an incredible musician, but an amazing performer as well!  Here he is performing a cover of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” at Jazz à Vienne in 2014:

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Coffee Time with Wise the Simple

Soooo… I’m going to be late with today’s post again.  It’ll be up either late tonight or on Friday.  I have a half-written post waiting in my drafts, but my parents are visiting tomorrow and I’ve been rushing to do all of the spring cleaning that I have pushed off until now. But you’re probably sick of my excuses.  To tide you over until the post goes live, here are some things running through my sleep-deprived, yet-uncaffeinated brain:

  • Nintendo of America just hired a new VP of Sales named Doug Bowser.  I’m not kidding.  But despite the name, Mr. Bowser seems to be a nice enough guy.  That is, until the internet noticed something strange in this picture.  Well played, Bowser.  Well played…
  • While listening to a podcast recently, I heard a reference to Victor Borge (which delighted me to no end.)  Do you remember Victor Borge?  I was introduced to him via a PBS special, and have fond memories of watching and laughing along with my father.  Phonetic Punctuation, Inflationary language, and all of his wonderful piano-based gags…  So great! 🙂
  • Barnes and Noble just published an article going over the origin story of James S.A. Corey, the pen name of authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham.  I’m currently working my way through the Expanse book series (and eagerly awaiting the SyFy television adaptation), so this was definitely an interesting read.
  • Waffles are delicious.  Even just eating a freshly-toasted frozen one without toppings for breakfast.  Nom nom nom.
  • I’m severely behind on my television watching, so I only just saw the Person of Interest season finale.  Not gonna lie, this season was kind of hit-or-miss for me.  Especially since last season was a constant roller-coaster of awesome.  But that being said, though there were some lackluster episodes, the good episodes were amazing episodes.  Still one of my all-time favorite tv shows.  Good news is POI has been picked up for season five; bad news is it’s only a 13-episode order and we don’t yet know if this upcoming season will be its last.  Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman have previously said that they have plans for well-beyond season five; but if it comes down to it, I think that narratively speaking they are at a good place to wrap things up.

So those are some of my rambling thoughts over coffee this morning.  Time to get some actual work done!  New post will be here before week’s end.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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Welp.

It’s official: I’m the worst.

I know I promised to have three posts up per week — on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  But for the past two weeks I’ve completely missed the Friday post.

I feel terrible about this.  Not only because I personally feel like a failure, but because I feel guilty about anyone checking back to see if I’ve written anything new.

SO…

I am hereby reneging my promise of three weekly posts.  Instead, I will post twice a week.  You can now expect posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When I get better at posting on time, I will look into adding more to the posting schedule.  But as it stands right now, keeping up the promise of a third post and not fulfilling said promise is not fair to my hypothetical readers nor to myself.

I am so, so sorry!  I really hope to get better at this as time goes by.  Thanks to those who have stuck with me; your patience is unbelievable and very much appreciated!

Until then,

See you on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

-Wise the Simple