Dunkirk (2017)

Overhyped, and ultimately a disappointment.

It is great to see a World War II movie come out this year. It is even better that it isn’t American centric. I love my country, but we have made it this idea we won World War II by ourselves which isn’t the case.

The movie has some pretty spots, taking the story of three groups that intertwine. The first group about British Spitfires (fighter planes) trying to give some cover, and engaging with German air force. Resulting in Tom Hardy having the only interesting action in the movie.

The second story about a small civilian ship as part of the armada of civilians coming to rescue the trapped soldiers and the story that unfolds when they pick up a soldier from a sunk ship.

Finally the third story is about two soldiers trying to survive on the beach, and wait for the rescue coming from the civilian ships.

It was interesting that all three stories occurred over different period of time but ended together. The fighters story was within an hour, the ship within a few hours, and the soldiers within a couple of days. I think this could work in other movies, and I suspect this will spark a lot of copycats for that style. We will hate this just as much as other niche storytelling styles within a few years.

The problem is there is actually very little story. It is hard to see that because the story keeps jumping around, but when you step back the story itself lacks anything. I have seen documentaries on Dunkirk that had more story. I don’t know if there was never a full story, or if maybe the story got lost when Nolan was trying to break it up to fight the weird timing, but either way it is pretty barren.

I cared nothing about the soldiers at all, Nolan provided nothing for the audience to care about. Tom Hardy was interesting, but that was because of him, not because the story gave him anything. The only story I felt a little compelling was about the civilian ship, its crew of two teens and an older man and how they handle picking up a survivor. Even this story though was lacking on details and when you step back you wonder where the other half of the story went.

I will admit the possibility that the hype was so big that my expectations may be too high. I was told huge action sequences, and I didn’t see that. This isn’t Saving Private Ryan, or The Battle of Britain even. It was fairly boring for me, and I can really like slow movies. The movie has a short run time, but I was still looking at the clock before it was over.

The good: It is an interesting way to tell a story, and it is nice to see a non-American based World War II movie.

The bad: The pacing was slow, very little action or story, and very overhyped.

This is a movie I would recommend if you are a die hard World War II fan, but even then wait until it hits Netflix.

AHS: Murder House (Season 1)

I have to admit it was better than I expected from an American television series.

Originally the show didn’t have a name for each season, and was known only as “American Horror Story” however the name has been updated to “Murder House” to distinguish it from the seasons that follow (each named differently).

I watched this show originally when it came out for several episodes. I remembered liking it, but I don’t remember why I stopped watching.

The story itself was pretty good, they layered on many stories in the house and intertwined them. Most of the story is in current day, with flashbacks, so in that sense it is a traditional horror story. The didn’t shrink back from the season finale like I was worried.

However, the best part I think is the way the series itself is set up. Each season is a different story, but uses a lot of the same actors in different roles. I am currently finishing season 2, a fully different story, most of the same actors and the whole idea of doing the show like this actually exceeds the content of the season itself.

Pros: There are enough different substories combined with enough good actors you should be able to find something interesting.

Cons: The Murder House story itself isn’t the most unique storyline, enjoyable but not unique.

It has me bought into the show enough I will continue with the next season.

Memory: High Street

The place I lived longest in Bellingham was on High Street. We moved here I believe winter of 88 and I moved out from my parents in 1990. We were a few blocks down from Western Washington University, about a mile up from Bellingham High School and next door to my two best friends, Doug and Wolsey.It was here that I spent two summers gaming down at Eagle’s Games, when I became close friends to Wolsey (I was best friends with Doug and he was dating Wolsey).

During this time Wolsey and I became best friends and Doug went his own way. This is also when I met Disa, Bryon and a ton of other friends like Weylin.

It was also where I lived when I was working full time as a teenager and supporting my family, my parents were totally out of action due to alcoholism, and it was also where I lived when I almost joined a motorcycle club (they were family friends).

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

Memory: Iron Street

Iron Street was a place we stayed at for about 6-7 months. Sometime late Summer/early Fall of 1987 through early Spring of 1988.

It was a three bedroom one bath house. It is where I first started reading Piers Anthony’s  the White Gold Wielder series, the Xanth  series I had read back in Lake Stevens. The house had a kennel area that Mucho and Thirty Eight, our two dogs, used during the day.

There were definitely more memories from this place. My parents alcoholism was fairly rampant with some dry spells, my dad’s PTSD from Vietnam was hitting a crescendo and we had periods of no power and not much food. The most important part is this is where I lived here when I first met my husband. Also when our family started to befriend the local motorcycle club that was around me in my late teen years.

There was a grocery store nearby (which is now a Trader Joes, and a strip mall), an local shop that sold trees during Christmas and the high school was still only a few blocks away. It is also where I first watched Star Trek: The Next Generation on network TV. Overall not the worst place we had lived, but definitely was in the process of the downward slide my family had started back in Everett. Also definitely a place that I have stuff I will post about later.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.


Because it is all me

Lately I have gotten some new followers that have been great. Some of them however have reached out and asked me what my site is all about. I suspect it is because they came here for one thing such as reviews, or baking, or whatever, and they are surprised when there are a few reviews, then some pictures then all of a sudden some heavy family shit.

They have been kind, directing me to some sources that show blogs do better when they are focused. I don’t doubt them at all.

After all, this is exactly why Accidentally Gay, my blog on being married to a transgender man has its own blog, own followers. It is for me such a specific subject that probably will never stop being focused on that it was easy to do its own thing.

Same reason Second String General and Things You Should Know have their own focus as well. These are things I can understand people focusing on with me. One is my video game youtube channel with about 1200 videos so far, the other an educational youtube channel repository of different things I want to teach. However they are so different and so focused they all needed their own space as well.

I don’t think they understood when I replied that I don’t consider myself a movie reviewer, or a recipe expert and that these are all just facets of my personal life. I do keep my gaming posts for the most part relegated to their own blogs, since they are such a different thing then most mainstream people look at and are often used by my players. But that is mostly for my purpose to organize, record and disperse to my players.

Maybe in the future if I felt more comfortable with it, or decided it meant something else, I would start separate blogs for reviews and stuff, but for now it is all about my life. I thought maybe I would try to explain why here, hopefully its understandable why my blog is so random. It is because I am so random, scattered and full of half ideas.

Either way, you are all welcome, and if any of you figure out how to have your feed/reader only show certain categories let me know so I can let others know. I do try to categorize everything steadily, that way you can at least know if its something you might be interested in.


Memory: Virginia Street

Current Day (2017) front view

Our first actual place we lived in Bellingham was a small 2 bedroom, 1000 square foot house. They currently say its 1.75 bathrooms but I believe there was only a single bathroom when we lived there.

All I remember about this place is feeling safe for the first time in a long time. Not completely safe, my parents alcoholism started on a downslide here (and didn’t let up until long after I moved away as an adult). However, we didn’t have to worry about people kicking in the door and shooting everyone.

Current day (2017) side view.

The place itself is one of those shotgun houses. Meaning it was long and thin. It had an enclosed porch (which I am sure they count as part of that 1,000 square foot) that my sister slept in. While my brother and I shared the bedroom all the way in the back (I believe it was parallel to the kitchen which also went to the back of the building. There was a living and a second bedroom my parents used that was between the porch and my room/kitchen.

I don’t have a lot of memories I will talk about in this post from here. Except this is when I was listening to Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” song a lot and first learned about Elfquest comics. I also lived here when I helped with Camp Horizon, and also the first time I had a girl come over to talk with me, which my dad saw and he later asked why I wasn’t going out with her. I can’t remember her name now, but she was cute, I was shy and my dad was questioned why I wasn’t riding that train.

The place was only a couple of blocks from Bellingham High School so it was easy to get to school. It was also where I lived when I met Doug and Jay for the first time, started running them Dungeons and Dragons and where I started moving away from the future trajectory of being a biker and being involved in things that weren’t good for me (also all future posts).

We eventually moved to Iron Street, next door basically late summer. It was a bigger house, same landlord and a place for both of our dogs to go. There will be at least a few more posts about specific things here I think, but that is it for the place itself.

Link back to a listing of all homes I have lived in.

Ozark (Season 1)

Surprisingly good show about accounting and money laundering.

Ok, so it isn’t truly about that, it is only the premise. Just like the Accountant with Ben Affleck (I should call it the Auditor, because he was doing auditing not accounting) thrill me on a level that most shows don’t. I mean how often is my actual career field ever featured in an underworld type show with murder, mayhem and a wall full of money.

How couldn’t I like it?

I just watched the show on an impulse. It kept showing up in my “recommended” list on Netflix and one 3am insomnia driven morning I watched an episode, and I liked it.

Jason Bateman and the rest of the cast were really good. The pacing went well, and Bateman did a heck of a good job directing and acting in it. I binged it over two or three days and will watch the second session when it’s greenlight.

The only issue I really had was how they treated the children. They kept showing the children unable to handle the situation and being overly childish. I guess I come from a different world were something very similar to the plotline happened to my family and the 16 year old, 12 year old and 7 year old never acted like any of those children. People don’t understand how adaptable kids are, otherwise we wouldn’t have child soldiers or child prostitutes.

That was the only real issue I had. I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Pros: Almost all of it, especially the tight story and twists that do catch you by surprise.

Cons: The kids reaction to the situation in the beginning, and the fact that watching this makes me realize how old I am (Jason Bateman is only three years older than me and I remember him as a child actor).

I am in for season 2.