If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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Almdudler Review

Another soda I acquired at World Market, and another soda I’m going into knowing nothing about, save that it’s a “Natural Alpine Herb Lemonade.” And it’s from Austria – Vienna, to be precise. And it’s called Almdudler.

Without further ado…Almdudler.

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2018: The Books I’ve Read – Q1


Ian Carmichael as Jim Dixon in the 1957 film adaptation of Lucky Jim.

Right after Christmas, my workplace banned cell phones on the premises, so that even during my breaks I would not be able to fiddle around on my phone (or spend half my break trying to get a workable signal, as was so often the case). This left with me with up to an hour of free time every afternoon with no certain means of filling it. I could nap, of course, or I could watch the break-room TV (I still do, especially when Family Feud is on), but it seemed to me this would be a golden opportunity to catch up on the reading I’d so long neglected. Not that I hadn’t been reading at all – I had recently finished Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, for one – but I was doing so quite erratically, taking months to finish even fairly short books.

So I grabbed Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim from off my shelf and now, three months later, have just finished my third book in as many months – and I’m starting my fourth on Monday. Here are the books I’ve read so far:

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BLACK PANTHER Review – ****


Five weeks into its release, with over $600 million in the till in North America alone and reviews good enough to spur talk of Oscar glory, is there much left to be said about Black Panther? Is there much I can add to the chorus of acclaim, especially since, as my rating gives away, I am in tune with it? Perhaps not. What I can talk about is how my appreciation for the film grew from my first viewing to my second, and how the film, sitting as it now does atop a mountain of praise, earned its position.

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Paulaner Spezi Review

Been a while since my last soda review, but as we’re moving into spring and the weather is growing warmer, it’s going to be prime soda-drinking time for a while.

Today’s soda is one I almost had before. It’s a German soda (produced in Munich), about which I know only that World Market carries it, that it boasts a fairly nifty looking can, and that, going by the on-can description of it as “Orangelimonade mit Cola”, it’s something like a citrus cola. Beyond that, I’m going in blind. Without further ado, from the Paulaner company, it’s Spezi!

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A WRINKLE IN TIME Review – ***


A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of movie that breaks my heart a bit. As an example of representation and empowerment, both in front of and behind the camera, it earns top marks. As a fantasy adventure and spectacle, it has some really delightful moments which show just what a skilled director can do with the resources of a major studio. And as an emotional journey, it is, in its strongest moments, a poignant reflection on self-image and the lengths to which we’ll go for our families.

But as a piece of storytelling, as a narrative film, it’s wildly uneven, and frankly often confounding, especially for those who’ve never read the source novel. And as skillfully as it embodies its themes when it opts to show and not tell, it far too often falls back on ham-fisted dialogue and vague symbolism, making for an experience that’s ultimately rather frustrating.

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ANNIHILATION Review – ****


I know it’s coming to Netflix in about a week, but seriously, see it on the big screen if you possibly can.

Is the distortion/mutation/alteration of what we consider the natural order necessarily malevolent? Is the Shimmer, with what it does to our accepted form of organic reality, a force of evil, or good, or something else entirely? The title initially suggests an act of malice, but might it not also refer to an eradication of accepted reality, of one’s assumptions about the nature of the world, or simply of an impartial act of destruction, recreation, and/or violent change?

These are the primary questions Annihilation raises, but they’re hardly the only ones, as the film’s story, themes, and very style are thought-provoking from the very beginning.

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Reviewing the 90th Academy Awards


Just gonna start by saying – I’m really happy with how this year turned out. Even though there were few outright surprises (only a couple, honestly), it still felt good to see things play out the way they did. And that all starts with…

Best Picture: The Shape of Water

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