Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a ridiculous gem that’s finally getting a second chance
Jeffrey Parkin for Polygon:
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was a hidden gem when it was released in 2016 on Nintendo’s Wii U; a niche game released near the end of a niche system’s lifespan was never going to find a wide audience. Many of us never had a chance to play the game, or didn’t even know it existed.
2022 is a pretty dry year for the Switch. Thankfully, there are a million fantastic games for it, and nobody had time to play them all. I picked up Tokyo Mirage Sessions for 30% off during the summer sale. I wonder if I’ll get farther this time.
July 4, 2022
Once Twice Melody
Philip Sherburne at Pitchfrok:
With panoramic proportions and gleaming finishes, the band’s sprawling eighth album luxuriates in the rhapsody of sensation itself. You don’t listen to Once Twice Melody, you dissolve into it.
This album came out months ago and I’m just finding out about it, even though I follow Beach House on Spotify. It’s probably not their biggest weakness, but you’d think “surface stuff you know I want” would be a layup.
June 29, 2022
I blog when I feel like it. And I’ve been feeling like it lately. Let’s see how long I’ll keep up.
June 29, 2022
Two stories about the Microsoft Courier. First, that the Surface Duo 2 seems to be getting better.
Dan Seifert at The Verge:
And reader, I can finally say I get it. The Duo 2 is the most unique mobile device I’ve used, allowing me to do things I just can’t do with a traditional smartphone. It also does certain things, such as multitasking and reading ebooks, better than the Z Fold 3’s single large screen.
Second, that the Surface Neo seems to be dead.
Zac Bowden at Windows Central:
Microsoft’s official word on the status of Surface Neo is that the product has been postponed, but my sources tell me that the Surface Neo that was announced is dead and will never ship.
The Courier continues to be the computer I want. It’s what I’ve wanted since 2009. Maybe the 2023 version Microsoft might release will finally be it.
June 29, 2022
‘Stranger Things’ and Streaming TV’s Indulgence in Overlong Episodes
Alison Herman and Miles Surrey:
This weekend’s ‘Stranger Things’ finale is slated to run 140 minutes, a move that has few precedents in the history of television. Our TV critics discuss the exacting task ahead, and a trend that’s increasingly prevalent in the medium.
This conversation goes on a little long.
We’re watching Stranger Things on friday nights, late. It’s pretty long, but we’re treating each episode like a movie, because the episode lengths don’t give us much of a choice.
June 29, 2022
The lost thread
I quit Twitter for the third or fourth time earlier this year, mainly when Elon began his threat to buy it. It had stopped being a fun place a long time ago. This meant it would only get more hostile.
I haven’t missed it, but I really thought I would. Twitter is excellent at making you think it’s the website that matters most.
The speed with which Twitter recedes in your mind will shock you. Like a demon from a folktale, the kind that only gains power when you invite it into your home, the platform melts like mist when that invitation is rescinded.
Not being on Twitter is annoying when a link elsewhere goes to twitter, because Twitter has stopped letting a non-user read much of the site without obfuscating content with a giant signin page. But sometimes that popup is welcome. “You made a conscious choice to not be here” it says to me. “Either get in, or get out.”
And then I close the tab.
June 29, 2022
Working Outside Sucks
This blog was a nice reminder of something I get tempted to do, especially in the summer: go to a cafe and work on a patio.
Luke Winkie, for Gawker:
Where do you even start, man. Why is every cafe outfitted with the worst chairs in the United States? Why is the WiFi completely sundered when more than three Macbooks connect to it? I’ve probably spent entire days of my life watching Google Docs attempt to load while “Songbird_Guest” heaves and chugs. Isn’t it cool how every time you press the spacebar your latte wobbles perilously on the table? These factors are consistent across every one of my attempts to work outside since Covid made landfall, and I completely forget about them until the very moment I’m baking in the sun, smashing the refresh button, wondering how I keep falling for it. We’ve finally uncovered an employment experience more dehumanizing than the average office, and it can be found in the coffee shop grottoes across the country.
Bringing a hulking work laptop is a non-starter: it’s tablet computer (with their brighter, better screens) or nothing. What you’re doing on has to function offline. And it also has to be okay if you end up doing very little of the work you intended to. That’s why the cafe is for first-draft writers, note-takers, doodlers. It’s not for the cranking.
June 24, 2022
My get-to-work hack is to use a music player that isn’t your computer and isn’t your phone. I use an old iPod but anything will work.
- no notifications
- long playlists
- offline music that won’t get interrupted so long as there’s battery life.
Maybe iOS16’s focus modes will obviate my iPod. I adore that they’re trying to add context areas to using the device that are all other devices. But until I wrap my head around that feature, I’m still syncing my iPod.
June 15, 2022
May 2022 in photos
June 5, 2022
Good Movies, April-May 2022
June 4, 2022
- Casablanca, 1942 - ★★★★★. If you’ve seen Casablanca, and you have someone in your life who hasn’t seen Casablanca, it’s probably a good idea to sit them down and watch Casablanca.
- The Hit, 1984 - ★★★★. A great addition to both the “fallout from off-screen elaborate heist” and “road trip where enemies become friends who become enemies who become friends who become enemies” genres.
- The Last Duel, 2021 - ★★. Five stars up front because Ridley Scott did Alien. One star deducted for the needless animal violence. One star deducted for wasting the first hour to needless worldbuilding, padding the runtime. One star deducted for every fives times my wife said “I hate this medieval bullshit”.
- Titane, 2021 - ★★. It’s okay to not like things sometimes.
- Jojo Rabbit, 2019 - ★★★★. I know it’s copyrighted but a pro wrestler should steal Sam Rockwell’s “going out in a blaze of glory” outfit.
- The Seven-Ups, 1973 - ★★. that car chase absolutely belongs in a VHS supercut, but I shouldn’t have to slog through the rest of this to see it.
- The Loveless, 1981 - ★★. That’s enough cheekbones for today.
- Everything Everywhere All at Once, 2022 - ★★★★★. Movies like this are why I love the movies 🥰
- Venom, 2018 - ★★. if this was made today (a totally nutso thing to say only 4 years later) it would be a 6-part miniseries on the + and not one scene would be filmed on a set.
- Putney Swope, 1969 - ★★★. The kind of movie that’s both wildly ahead of its time but has also aged poorly. A fascinating artifact that feels like it should mainly be viewed in school, though I’m not at all sure what class.
- No Time for Comedy, 1940 - ★★. Super weird pacing and character beats, but what do I know, I just had champagne for the first six times in my life.
- Don’t Make Waves, 1967 - ★★. Memorably bad!