Friday, February 27, 2015

"....Just Shy of Treason...."

Well it is that time of year again when House of Cards premieres it's newest season, and I have been eagerly awaiting to see what they'll do with season 3. What I've seen so far hasn't really got me thrilled, so I'm, hoping the show picks up as the season continues. It's great to see Francis as President, but it's weird that he seems weakened by becoming President not more powerful and emboldened. I think it really took a lot out of the character, unless that is a tactic more akin to a cathartic moment in waiting. Any rate it still looks great, and the characters remain good, just seem a little more vulnerable and less prepared for crises than before. After this week, I only have two terms (two 7 week periods) of graduate school left! That is such a relief, and come next month I will be preparing to once again change locations to live my life, and this time the place I choose will become much more permanent. In the meanwhile I have to survive, which as of late has been proving difficult. Something small that I would like to quickly address is poor customer care; recently I was in the process of rebuilding my computer and was fortunate to have a friend assist me in this endeavor, as I am not quite that adept at the technical aspects of computers. The go to place was Newegg.com as a source for acquiring the necessary parts, however I was quite unfortunate to have received a defected hard drive and the wrong part. Both were sent back and needless to say, I had an extraordinarily difficult time with customer service to get all of this accomplished. Never before in my life have I experienced such incredibly poor customer service and treatment during the which my integrity and honesty were questioned; I was talked down to and given incompetent assistance from their representatives, and when I was finally able to speak with a supervisor (this of course all unfolding over a period of a month almost) he made it sound like he was doing me a favor by making certain that they sent me a new part, even though it was my fault that they lost it in their shipping department. I maintained my composure and thanked the man for his assistance, although I will never be shopping there again; I checked the Better Business Bureau and found that most of the complaints (and there were a lot) against Newegg.com were for poor customer service, and poor product satisfaction I believe. I don't know who designed their customer service departmental guidelines, but they did a very poor job of it; I cannot imagine wanting to shop at a place that treats their customers so poorly. So be advised when shopping there. I would not be able to finish this week's blog without mentioning the Oscars from this past Sunday. Usually I have a little more energy about the ceremony leading up to it, but this year I cared not, and now I know why. The Academy Awards show this year was mostly boring, very awkward, and not hosted very capably. Neil Patrick Harris apparently needs to stick to the Tony's, John Travolta should never present again, and Hollywood should stay away from overt activity in politics as it always seems to end in poor taste. Some highlights: Julie Andrews as divine, Lady Gaga was astounding and the most refreshing part of the Oscars, Star Wars will always reign supreme, and thank you Anna Kendrick for doing what we've all wanted to do which was throw a shoe at Jack Black and tell him to beat it. Hopefully next year will be much better (Billy Crystal or Ellen). One more day and it will be March of 2015; it's scary that as the older you get the faster time seems to go by.

House of Cards season 2 ending (President Underwood)

Rebels season 1 finale

Cinderella clip (this looks great; hopefully so will the film)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"Let's Call it the Blacklist, that Sounds Fun..."

Welcome back and Happy Valentines day! As I get older and busier, time seems to be the one elusive element that is difficult to keep track of as well as find more of. It's hard to imagine (but thrilling at the same time) that is about 5 months I will graduate with my Masters degree, and hopefully moving on to bigger and better things with my life. I discovered that since I started graduate school that writing in addition to that and working full time would not be possible, and I have noticed that more profoundly within the last year where I have been doing very little writing. Hopefully once I am done with school that I will be able to find more time to write. So I've discovered the television show The Blacklist starring James Spader, who alone makes the show completely worth watching. If you've never seen Boston Legal with him, Candice Bergen, and William Shatner then I encourage you to do so if you have the access and time. The 2015 Academy Awards are coming up in a couple of weeks and I honestly don't have a clue much about the films being nominated. I am currently listening to one of the nominated original scores by Gary Yershon for Mr. Turner, and so far it seems to be the best choice out of the ones nominated: Hans Zimmer (Interstellar), Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game), Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything). Not a very good list as I have listened to parts of all of the scores and have found none of them really compelling unfortunately, and I was considering the entire year and I cannot recall really any good original scores, which is unusual. I have been working sporadically on a number of projects such as a musical (think a combination of Sweeney Todd, the Sound of Music, and Fiddler on the Roof), and developing a comic universe of sorts. I should really be working on my third book for my fantasy trilogy, but I think I really need to be focused and have a lot of extra time to be able to do that, and do it well. I am looking to start doing that in the fall of this year, if all goes as I have planned. Not sure how intimately all of you are familiar with what's going on in the world, but things aren't looking too good in all of the really hot spot locations like the Middle East, Ukraine, and Africa. Despite what President Obama and his administration tend to report, things aren't quite so rosy, although for the United States we seem to be doing pretty good, so in that regard I suppose he's correct, but as for the rest of the world as we abandon it....not so good. I have been watching this documentary on all of the presidents of the United States, and also about the nature of the office and the struggle the men have frequently had with Congress, especially in regards to the reach of presidential power, and the nature of the USA's role in the world. Let's just say that I am bigger fan of American activism within the world of both humanitarian and military support to nations in need and our allies. It's hard to do any of that effectively from the rear. On a side note, I don't understand how people live in frigid and arctic regions of the world year round for their entire lives like Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Finland; as I write this currently from the US Midwest, it is so cold! Major props to those people who live in the uber frosty lands of the earth!

Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer

House of Cards Season 3 trailer

Crimson Peak trailer (directed by Guillermo del Toro; looks...interesting).