2019 LIST OF LISTS: OH SHIT, THAT'S THE DECADE?
[Let's cut to the chase... I know you're just here for the best shoes of 2019.]
So this is only my second post all year... aside from actually going outside and doing things more (yay), one thing that's kept me from posting more is the increasingly prohibitive process I've locked myself into with this throwback old school site design wherein every little tag has to be manually coded. HTML is my 2nd language, yo, but it's also tedious as fuck. </bitchfest>
Best Books I Read in 2019
I listened to a record number (no pun intended) of audiobooks this year... which I attribute to my new daily routine of running up the stairs in my building, which is made bearable only by having a constant stream of audiobooks from the library in my ears (that and never having to wait for some nitwit to finish taking "fitspo" selfies on the machine I want to use). I even ordered some little earbud attachments that hold them in place while I'm sweating. I realize there are some people (wink) who feel that listening to audiobooks doesn't count as "reading." According to them, I've really only read a handful of graphic novels this year (those probably don't count either because they're mostly pictures). But for everyone else, here are all the books I've read this year.
Best Videos of 2019
Legion || The World Killer (see also Best Shows of 2019)
How Bodyguard SHOULD have ended - Comic Relief 2019
7 Character Creators In Which We Spectacularly Failed To Make Ourselves
(It's funny because it's true.)
TIMELAPSE OF THE FUTURE: A Journey to the End of Time (4K)
Here's a fun test for anyone who thinks they understand a little something about physics, cosmology, astronomy or the universe, through their watching of the many popular science programs, documentaries and public appearances of Neil De Grasse Tyson. Watch this video and see how far you get before you hit the following mile markers:
1. Wait, but how do they actually know that?
2. No really, how can they possibly say..?
3. I mean, surely that can't really be right...
4. Okay, that's just ridiculous!
5. Now they're just fucking with us! There's no fucking way.
6. You know what? Fuck physics.
I wonder how many flat-earthers started out as normal people who watched one too many videos like this?
"Breed" - Otep (A perfect Nirvana cover.)
A Black Lady Sketch Show | No Makeup (Full Sketch) | HBO
Comedy Short: Leading Lady Parts - BBC
Rewriting The Matrix Sequels
Long, but excellent. I'd love to see this guy's Reloaded and Revelations.
Uber and Lyft Why the Wait
Totally specific to Vancouver, but this is why I love YouTube... theoretical physics, pirated SNL sketches, HBO recaps, makeup tutorials, every other kind of tutorials and people like this guy, who wonders why something is fucked up and then goes out and shoots a 10-minute video that explains it PERFECTLY, and even adds some historical footage and animation.
Joker SNL Parody
So much better than the actual Joker movie.
The Teletubbies perform -I Fink U Freeky- by Die Antwoord
Fine, it's from 2014. I don't care, it's new to me and I fucking love it.
Best Shows of 2019
1. Legion (RIP)
Three seasons of perfection. I could watch another three, but it ended exactly when it probably should have, on its own batshit, creative-as-fuck terms, yet totally consistent with its 1980s golden age of comics roots.
2. The Crown
4. Game of Thrones (RIP)
6. The OA
8. Black Summer
9. New Girl
10. Project Runway
(Shout-out to the brave YouTubers who tirelessly posted every episode of the latest season within hours of it airing and somehow evaded detection just long enough for me to watch before they were taken down.)
Best STARmeter Climber of 2019
Pedro Pascal who, as of this date (December 29, 2019), is #3 on the IMDB's "most searched" celebrities list and the #1 male celebrity. I couldn't agree more with his well-earned skyrocketing fame status! On my Best Shows of 2017 List, I mentioned his fabulously retro mustache in Narcos and his role on Game of Thrones as the hot-as-fuck but tragically doomed (which could be said of so many GoT characters) Oberyn Martell.
I commented back then: "Benedict Cumberbatch can take a break now. I want to see Pedro Pascal cast in literally everything for the next ten years." Now, thanks to (so weird to actually say this) Star Wars, it looks like my wish will be granted. He's in The Mandolorian, but his face is never shown, so here he is again from Game of Thrones.
Five Movies I Watched and Have No Comment On
A new category this year because I feel like I watched a lot of things just to cross them off the list since everyone was talking about them, but then was like... Well, that's done. A few of these were from last year and I finally saw them on Netflix and was unimpressed. Others, well... I'm sure t least one of these will resonate with you.
2. The Irishman
Best Games I Played in 2019
1. Resident Evil 2 Remastered
I just started playing this gorgeously remastered horror classic over Christmas break and it's already my favorite game of 2019. It looks so fucking real and it's genuinely scary... full of those awesome moments you've come to love from Resident Evil over the decades. The incredibly creepy settings and general atmosphere, the tension of moving from room to room not knowing what you'll find through the next door, the flailing panic as some hideous thing lumbers, leaps or crashes through the motherfucking ceiling at you as you scramble to shoot it, crying, "No! No no no no no.... aww!!"
2. Fallout: New Vegas (yes, kicking it old school...)
3. Fallout 3 (and even older school...)
The best part of Vampyr is eating rats when you get low on blood and the pained, genuinely disgusted voice of your character saying one of three lines. Every. Single. Time.
"This is despicable."
"I can't believe I'm doing this."
And, "I have this... thirst... for blood."
But it goes from annoying to fucking awesome pretty quickly... For me anyway. I can't speak for Mr. Pink, who eventually left the room whenever I started playing it.
Vampyr is a weird mix. It's an RPG so you have these complex skill trees where you gradually unlock your powers and get more and more badass, but the enemies only come in two varieties and there's no middle ground: the pesky, easy-to-kill ones that are everywhere (by which I mean, you "clear" an area by killing like a dozen of them, come back an hour later and you to have to kill every one of them over again) and the "bosses" who (if you're me) are nearly fucking impossible to kill so you have to back out and kill every NPC you can spare in order to boost your vampire powers enough to beat them.
But if you do that enough, pretty soon every district of the depressing-as-fuck post-WWI Spanish Flu-ravaged London is emptied out and devastated and there's really no reason to continue playing because even if you finally manage to beat the (hopefully) final boss, who's going to be around to hang out with you, now that you've killed literally every human being and vampire in the city? It says I've completed 82% of Vampyr, but I'm pretty sure I'm 100% done with it.
I just started playing this extremely cool-looking game, so I can't really say how it's going to turn out, but it's looking more like Vampyr and The Witcher in terms of my ability/desire to keep spawning in after getting killed over and over vs. switching over to the Xbox 360 where the slower pace, endless NPC dialogs and fetch-quests of Fallout 3 are waiting patiently for me.
Five Atypical Conditions That Give Me Brain Envy
From Wikipedia: "The condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying color information, or possessing four types of cone cell in the eye. Organisms with tetrachromacy are called tetrachromats." In other words, they see way more colors than the rest of us. Looking at a stone walkway, for example, one tetrachromat told the BBC, "The little stones jump out at me with oranges, yellows, greens, blues and pinks... I'm kind of shocked when I realize what other people aren't seeing." Yeah, thanks. Don't bother to downplay it for us or anything.
2. Eidetic memory
Sometimes called photographic memory, this is the ability to vividly recall images with high precision after only a few instances of exposure without using a mnemonic device (paraphrased from Wikipedia). Best example off the top of my head is this guy who can draw a panorama of the entire New York skyline after a quick glance.
From Wikipedia: "A condition that leads people to be able to remember an abnormally large number of their life experiences in vivid detail... as well as public events that hold some personal significance to them... without hesitation or conscious effort." This does seem to have some obvious drawbacks, like traumatic memories sticking with you forever, without the "time heals all wounds" default setting we all take for granted. Also, never being able to let it go when you're arguing with someone who can't keep their facts straight. Unfortunately, this seems to be the one condition that can actually be learned through practice and repetition. I'd much rather have that super-color-seer thing.
Best Archaic Letter Form for Endleſs Amuſement
My first visit to the New York Public Library this year reacquainted me with one of my favorite archaisms of the English written language, that being the "long s" favored by the powdered wig set at the time of the founding of the United States, as evidenced by their appearance throughout the Constitution and other documents of the time. See an example from the NYC library below.
(Maʃter ʃpirit lol.) This reminded me of one of my favorite old(e) XKCD comic strips from some years back, which set me on a long, tedious but ultimately fruitful search through the archives. My delight at finding it, however, was tempered by annoyance at the failure of my browser (or any of the 3 I have installed) to render the "long s" in the alt-text, wherein lies the best part of the joke.
(Translation: "Hey man, the 1670s called. They were like 'Wherefore this demonic inʃrument? By what ʃorcery does it produce ʃuch ʃounds?'")
Now, just to clear up any misunderstanding, I am well aware that the "long s" was meant to be a fancy, flourishy affectation, to spice up as it were the boring old commonplace rounded letter "s" and in no way should it be assumed that the "long s" was ever actually pronounced as an "f." But don't think for a second I would let that stop me from saying words like fquare, ftairf and ʃo on... Try it - and don't say I never gave you anything.