Lifehacker to the Rescue, Again: Ways to Relax

I do love diving into the world of Lifehacker.com, but I usually forget to do so as it’s a link I have hidden in my Tech Stuff folder, and I tend to lean on those on my main browser bookmark window.  What’s great about Lifehacker is it can be focused on tech solutions to things, but a lot of times, it’s articles on things on how to do things better.  I love these.  Whether it’s job-hunting or conversations or effective networking or what other people do that’s cool, you can find a plethora of topics.   Today’s article that I found interesting and applicable was this one:

http://lifehacker.com/top-10-ways-to-escape-reality-and-relax-1792238208

I like a lot of these, especially things like reading, exercising, and taking a vacation.  But you do you and see if these or the other suggestions make sense.

Some Movies, Some Drinks, Some Videos

Well, that past week of time just went by and there were no interludes at all by me on this here website.  I pledge to do better, as I really do enjoy posting.  But last week was a little busy and rough, and I hope that there is good news ahead.  If not, I continue trudging forward and looking to make sure that good news does end up coming my way.

So maybe I’ll go in reverse chronological order and post the videos I just made this evening while Larry was making dinner.  I had realized that while I take lots and lots of pictures, there’s rarely much in the way of video of us together.  Or even by ourselves.  Not that I need to be in video (my Jeopardy! appearance attests to that), but hey, it’d be nice for posterity.  So here are some videos:

Apparently my voice is very high still.  One day puberty will come.  This next video is an instructional one as Larry demonstrates how to effectively drop hard pasta into boiling water while also being a very scenic display.

The Grammys were fun this year, and I loved that Adele, Beyonce, and Bruno Mars performed a lot.  I think Beyonce was robbed in either Record or Album of the Year – Adele could have taken one and Beyonce the other, but what can you do.  I liked that Adele recognized that too.  Beyonce’s video for “Hold Up” is still ridiculously awesome, as is the rest of Lemonade.

Last night was a lot of fun.  Larry & I were invited by our friend Amy, who we had met on our 2011 Mediterranean cruise, to meet her in LA with some friends to celebrate her birthday.   We Uber’d there and had a fun time catching up and talking with her friends, who quickly became our friends too, as they were huge fans of the movie Spy too, so yeah, good people.

We also went and saw 2 movies this weekend – on Saturday we saw John Wick: Chapter 2 and today we saw The LEGO Batman Movie.  Happily, both were great!

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Well, if you enjoyed the first John Wick, then by all means, go see this movie as it effectively picks up shortly after that first one ended.  The mayhem awoken by the events in the first movie don’t let up and Keanu Reeves’ John Wick only has more and more hell unleashed upon his world which he handles in gorgeous, stunning scenes.  Plot points that could take up a whole movie on their own get resolved in short, violent order and lead to the next epic takedown.  Happily, no dog gets killed in this one – but that poor little puppy in the first one really is the catalyst that changes John Wick’s life forever nonetheless.  If you haven’t seen the first movie, go and do so.  It’s insanely good.  But alas, if you don’t have the time, just know that John Wick is a retired assassin who gets dragged back into this underworld and effectively declares all-out war on it.  There are allies all around, and one of the best parts is the Continental Hotel and its status as a safe haven, but for how long and for whom is a question this movie wrestles with…  Honestly, this movie just kicks so much ass and needs to be seen to be believed.

Then today, we saw a much lighter movie!

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

If you saw The LEGO Movie from a few years ago, then you’ll appreciate where this year’s LEGO movie is coming from in terms of humor and creativity.  Will Arnett again voices our caped crusader Batman in this movie, which deals with Batman’s predicament in being unable to form lasting bonds with anyone due to the scars from losing his family.  Enter the endlessly charming Dick Grayson (Robin), the new Commissioner Gordon (Barbara Gordon), and his trustworthy butler, Alfred.  Don’t discount the importance of having a life-long nemesis in the Joker either!  Oh yeah, EVERY single DC character shows up in this, along with a very great number of surprise villains.  The movie is very cute, very funny, and has a lot of references that’ll make you chuckle if you catch on to them.   It’s a movie worth seeing, that’s for sure – although be warned it’s over 100 minutes, so don’t be like me and drink a medium soda and think you can hold it since the end must be coming soon.  The end is not coming right then – the movie has a surprisingly long Act 3.

Movies Seen in 2017:

Fantastic / Rave-worthy:

Very Good:

  • The LEGO Batman Movie

Okay / Wait to See at Home:

A Lady Gaga day

After yesterday’s amazing Super Bowl performance by  Lady Gaga, I of course had her on repeat today.  She does have a great catalog of fun songs to pick from now that she’s a few albums deep…in fact, I just bought something from her official store so I could get access to buy early tickets to her upcoming tour.  She announced her “Joanne” World Tour after the performance and I am finally ready to go to her show.  There’s a performance at the Forum on Aug 8, so here’s hoping I get some of those tickets!

Anyway, here’s hoping this video lasts a while of her performance at the Super Bowl – pretty damn great.

In the meantime…my favorite Lady Gaga tracks – not coincidentally, she certainly put most of these in the show, as they really are freakin great:

POKER FACE:  The song I first loved from her, and which made me a fan.  So great.

BAD ROMANCE:  This song is unbelievably great.  The video is just as fantastic.  Eminently singable and makes you wanna scream and dance and all of it.  A quite enjoyable song to play on Rock Band too.

BORN THIS WAY:  Fucking great LGBTQ anthem and very strange video, gotta say.  And even though it’s compared to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” for musical reasons, I still say, “Girls, you’re both pretty”.

TELEPHONE:  Her and Beyonce kill it on this track.   I really really really thought Beyonce was going to make a surprise appearance at the Super Bowl when Lady Gaga started singing this song.

AMERICANO:  By far the song that is so not a hit but I fucking love the shit out of this song.  I still wish I knew choreographers and had the motivation and time to have figured out a flash mob dance to this song at our wedding last year.  It would’ve been epic.  Could have then led into the Hava Nagila horah dance.  Le sigh.

Anyway, there are so many great songs in her catalog, although I will say I think my favorites are from her first albums, The Fame, The Fame Monster, and Born This Way.  I can listen to those albums all the way through and be wildly entertained.  Joanne is growing on me, while ARTPOP is really disappointing.

In other random news, Larry bought me a Christmas present that just couldn’t get here on time due to supply issues: a signed copy of La La Land‘s soundtrack on vinyl (signed by the composer, Justin Hurwitz!).  Sooooo lucky to have a wonderful husband as him!

 

Google Street View made it to the Azores

Jason Rubi sent me a text with the picture from Google Street Maps as seen below of the house I lived in shown above, and it’s like, holy shit, that’s where I lived, first with Angelo, then with Jason, while stationed and living in the Azores, specifically the island of Terceira.  I’ve periodically reminisced here about the wonder of living there – it feels like a dream, honestly.  This house, a former church, was where I lived – it was perched on a cliffside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  The views were amazing, and it was almost distractingly remote from a lot.  There was one other house across the street, and then a little cafe at the base of the Sao Sebastiao Bay Baia da Salga (how did I not write that at all in this post originally??).  At night, it could be really quiet and eerie.  When it rained, I sometimes braced for the house to collapse down the cliffside.  We once climbed down the cliff to the shore and the way the cliffside was hollowed out was almost frightening.  But guess what?  The place is still there, and looks almost exactly the same.  I’m surprised – the owner/landlord had said he was going to sell the pastures in front and develop them with more apartments….but I guess gentrification decided not to come to the Azores.  I’m glad, to be honest.  I love that it’s still the same.

Terceira, Google Map – with where my house was on the south side of the island pointed out, as well as Lajes AB, where I worked:

The next thing to see is a zoom in of where we lived in ol’ Sao Sebastiao (pronounced San Sebastian, but it’s Portuguese, so everything ends in an “o”) / Baia da Salga.

It’s awesome to see that Google points out one of the restaurants I absolutely loved going to, A Ilha.  SO GOOD.  I had my going away there when I left.  But they served some very good Beef or Chicken Alcatra, which is like the best pot roast you’ve ever had.  There were better places to get Alcatra on the island, but having one so damn close was the best.

And then here’s the Street View of the ol Home on the Cliff:

Man, the MEMORIES while living there!  The drinking, the dancing, the eating, the laughs, the music….the croquet playing, the drinking, the passing out, the rain, the running out of hot water due to the gas tanks emptying, geez, it was a whirlwind.  But those days when the weather was perfect, and the sun was shining, and the ocean was beautifully blue….

Yeah, just amazing.  Loads of pictures can be found on my old site here (but my entire collection is larger, that’s for sure) and one day I’ll eventually get to converting those too into my WordPress site.  I met the greatest set of people there during those 15 months, and that was lucky, as it could have been a very lonely place to end up.  But yeah, I got lucky, and have nothing but fond memories there.

This Kinda Helps, To Be Honest

http://lifehacker.com/youre-going-to-die-heres-how-to-deal-with-it-1791498957

Morbid as fuck, I know.  But still, I do sometimes let myself get caught having trouble falling asleep when I think about it.  But as someone in the comments of this Lifehacker article or maybe in the article itself points out, we weren’t really here before being born, so it’ll be going back to that experience after we die.  So we’ve already been there.  It’s kind of reassuring.  I don’t really believe in an afterlife, and even when I’ve hoped that something like that is there, thinking of ETERNITY just sounds exhausting.  So guess what, time to live life and make the most of it.  And that’s what I’ve got in my mind with regards to certain things hopefully coming down the pike.

Okay, can’t leave things just all focused on THAT…so here’s by far the best GIF of Winona Ryder at the SAG awards during Stranger Things acceptance speech: