The Week in Uncollecting, 7/4/21-7/10-21

Man, I’m tried.

Three weeks have passed since the school year ended and I feel like it hasn’t stopped. Plus, my routine is all sorts of screwed up (which usually is only the case during the first week of break, not the third), so I haven’t been keeping track of things the way I want to. But in the interest of staying on this horse, I am logging one of these weekly entries. Here’s what’s moved to the “done” pile.

Comic Books. No back issues, as I spent the week finishing up the pile of current books that I’d been meaning to read. This included all of the DC series Far Sector, which I’d been reading while it was coming out, but when a miniseries finishes up, I like to take all of the issues out of the box and read it all the way through before hitting the final issue. Far Sector was outstanding, and if you can’t find it in the bins or on the shelf, get the trade.

Books. Finished up the novel that will be next episode’s “Required Reading” pick. Now, I have moved on to a couple of other books that I am in the middle of reading. So no actual finish here, although at my current pace, I’ll have two done this week.

Podcasts. Burning through Esther Perel’s “How’s Work?” on Spotify, a spin-off of her “Where Should We Begin?” podcast. “How’s Work?” is a therapy session that focuses on work relationships. Some of the people interviewed have fascinating stories; others are insufferable. Overall, though, it is a solid look behind the curtain of careers. Give it a listen if that is interesting.

Also of interest is the true crime podcast “The Devil Within”, which is about a murder that took place in New Jersey in 1988. Tommy Sullivan supposedly got into Satanism and as a result murdered his parents. The presentation is a little too over the top at times and there are some moments where I’m not sure where the writers and narrator are going with it, but it’s definitely entertaining and a little spooky. Give it a listen if you don’t mind your true crime podcasts with supposed Satanic rituals.

Also have been catching up on “The Walk-In”, a podcast from America’s Test Kitchen and hosted by Elle Simone Scott. Scott has had a career in the culinary world for a long time and she is using this show to speak to other Black members of the culinary world. It’s fascinating, not just because you learn a lot about working in kitchens, but because of the discussions and insight into race and the Black experience in America. A definite listen.

Otherwise, the remainders of my podcast listening have been of shows I am current with. “Questions We Don’t Have Answers” had an outstanding episode about Critical Race Theory that you should definitely check out. Andrew Leyland’s look at Man of Steel #1 on its 35th anniversary was fun over on “Palace of Glittering Delights”, and he and Michael Bailey’s “Under the Hood” coverage on “The Overlooked Dark Knight” has been fun as hell. All are worth the listen.

Television. Indulged in season two of Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle. Was I that vapid in my twenties? Fun, but Skip.

Movies. Finished the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics version of 16 Days of Glory via HBO Max. I’d already given it my highest recommendation via the LA ’84 post back in June, and I’ll continue to say Watch this. The documentary is long, but there’s the benefit of it being told in segments, so you could take several nights to watch it and it’s almost like watching episodes of a series. Calgary was the first Winter Olympics I remember, and ’88 was the first year I really sunk my teeth into watching the Olympics, so this brought back a lot for me.

Also continued my watch through the Daniel Craig Bond films with Skyfall. A beautifully shot, tense movie that I think is so far the best one of this particular era, and one that I immediately put into my top five. I appreciated the way that the film avoided too many tropes (I was waiting for a certain character to be the big bad behind everything and thankfully he wasn’t), and how it felt like a Bond version of “Daredevil: Reborn” in a sense. Watch.

Finally, I watched the 2011 documentary Bully, which is about bullying in schools, especially in middle school. The film profiles four or five victims of bullying as well as parents who have lost children to suicide due to bullying. There’s some honest moments throughout the film and even scary footage (so much so that at one point, the filmmakers intervene on a student’s behalf and show footage of him being bullied to his parents b/c they fear for his safety), but the movie is ultimately frustrating. It’s frustrating because of the way the school administrators are useless and it’s frustrating because it seems like it’s the documentary equivalent of one of those shitty high school assemblies where a bunch of people feel things but then go back to being assholes the very next day. Skip.

And there you go. I’m going to put some coffee on and see if I can make this the week where I settle in.

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