Finished reading: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 📚

Now I see why this one is rightly considered such a classic. I can’t believe it took me this long to read it!

I live in mortal fear of one day being that guy who accidentally forgets to detach the gas hose from their car before driving away, spewing a trail of shame behind me.

Letterboxd Diaries—November 2023

Total movies watched: 24.

Favorite movie of the month: The Killer.

Least liked movie of the month: Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Be sure to follow me on Letterboxd! 🎥

I’ve been watching a lot of National Dog Show videos and now I’m desperate to know how I can become a judge. They’re basically professional dog petters!

TV Academy Slammed by Writers Guild for Moving Variety Writing Award Off Primetime Telecast ↗

By Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter:

The TV Academy is being slammed by the Writers Guild of America for apparently making the decision to remove the presentation of the outstanding writing for a variety series/special award from the Primetime Emmys telecast that will take place on Jan. 15, 2024.

In a missive sent on Tuesday to members of the WGA East and West, the guild’s top leadership — including WGA East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen and WGA West president Meredith Stiehm — calls the TV Academy’s move a “regrettable decision” and one “without any justification or defensible reason” which “devalues our profession.”

Wow, they really learned nothing from when the Oscars broadcast did this same thing in 2022. That wasn’t a good look either, and the Academy reversed course the following year, about as quickly as a slow-moving behemoth can do something.

To do this so soon after the resolution of the Writer’s Guild strike, too? Talk about tone-deaf and shameless.

Finished reading: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews 📚

I didn’t like this one at all. I know it’s supposed to be told from the point of view of a high schooler, but well, maybe I don’t want to wade through the incessant meanderings of someone who is too self-aware, too self-deprecating, and dreadfully unfunny.

And we get it—he loves The Criterion Collection.

I woke up this morning as the “small” spoon in a Hammy the cat cuddle puddle. I don’t know what made him love crawling under the blankets with us every day, but I sure am grateful for it.

How much screen time is too much screen time for a cat? I’m, um, asking for a friend. 😄

A lovely, happy, and hopefully stress-free Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates this gluttonous holiday!

Does anybody else wish they could wake up and be Chris Isaak or is it just me? Heck, I’d settle for waking up with just his voice.

In the parlance of Jackson Galaxy (and surely others), Hammy the cat is a bush dweller. In his case, this means that a few times a day he insists we make a blanket tent on the couch for him to crawl under.

If my legs are also there for him to cuddle up with, then all the better!

I don’t know what it is about 2023, but I’m seeing a large, and some might say unacceptable, amount of pre-Thanksgiving holiday lights appearing on people’s homes. In the past, there might be one or two that would light up their eaves early, but this time it feels like I missed a memo.

At this rate, my house is going to be the last one with lights up this year.

Finished reading: The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel 📚

This was probably my least favorite Emily St. John Mandel book. I just couldn’t get quite into like I wanted to. However, even the worst Mandel book is still a great time.

Excellent reading tips by Austin Kleon (via the website of @KimberlyHirsh) that I need to remind myself as I’m starting to get down to the wire on my reading goal for this year:

  1. Throw your phone in the ocean. (Or, keep it in airplane mode.)
  2. Carry a book with you at all times.
  3. Have another book ready before you finish the book you’re reading. (Make a stack of books to re-read or load up your eReader.)
  4. If you aren’t enjoying a book or learning from it, stop reading it immediately. (Flinging it across the room helps give closure.)
  5. Schedule 1 hour of non-fiction reading during the day. (Commutes, lunch breaks, and any continued period of idle time work well.)
  6. Go to bed 1 hour early and read fiction. (It will help you sleep.)
  7. Keep a reading log and share your favorite books with others. (They will send you even more books to read.)

‘Harley Quinn’ Nabs Season 5 Renewal at Max ↗

By Rick Porter at The Hollywood Reporter:

[Max] has ordered a fifth season of Harley Quinn, the adult animated series centered on the mayhem-loving character. The renewal comes two months after season four wrapped.

This is easily the best news of the entire freaking month. Coupled with the imminent release of Kite Man: Hell Yeah! things are starting to look bright in Gotham!

Spent a lovely day out in L.A. for my young nephew’s birthday party. It was great to see all of the family again, have some tasty food, and witness the unbridled joy of unwrapping presents. 🥳

Is there anything more satisfying than working out complex and useful spreadsheet formula improvements?

I have no idea why he started doing this, but Hammy the cat’s new favorite obsession is dropping his crinkly Mylar ball toy into his water bowl and then bringing it to us, sopping wet.

Honestly, it feels like we’re being pranked by our cat. Should have named him Mr. Mischief.

Coyote Vs. Acme won’t have its day in court, shelved by WBD for tax write-offs ↗

By Matt Schimkowitz at The A.V. Club:

Don’t expect to see the Looney Tunes back in action anytime soon. The perpetually in dire financial straits Warner Bros. Discovery won’t be releasing its completed Looney Tunes movie, Coyote Vs. Acme, starring John Cena, and will instead take a loss on the film in hopes of grabbing another craven, desperate tax write-off.

Add another great film to the sad pile of dead projects that had the misfortune of being handled by Warner Bros. Discovery. Coyote vs. Acme looked to be stellar.

Script contributor Zack Bornstein commented, “If great stories with beloved characters and A-list stars are getting shelved for tax write offs, why are studios even in the movie business.”

Well, they’re in the movie business exactly for these tax write-offs. They will only ever care about money, not movies.

UPDATE: It seems that Warners is allowing the filmmakers to find alternate distribution. I guess that’s a plus, but this didn’t have to happen in the first place.

‘The Rookie: Feds’ Canceled at ABC ↗

By Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter:

The Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes wiped out the September start and with production expected to resume in the coming weeks, ABC ultimately had no need for a second season of Feds, starring Niecy Nash-Betts.

Was The Rookie: Feds a particularly great show? Not really. Did I enjoy watching it every week anyway? You bet I did. I’m not surprised it was canceled, but this is still a bummer to see.

I hope the cast will continue showing up in The Rookie. Those crossover episodes were delightful.