2015-02-20 00:55:00 -0800
Recapping what I saw, did, read and heard for the month of January, 2015.
- I caught Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, which is an adaptation of a novel by Thomas Pynchon. I really loved this movie and can't really explain why. Yes, it's hard to follow like Pynchon novels seem to be (I'm halfway through Bleeding Edge, slowly moving along), but I found once you give in to the madness it can really be enjoyable. Overall it was an excellent story of paranoia in a time where the counter-culture was blending with the mainstream yet there were still too much drug use involved. I may have to see it again while it's in theaters. Also saw The Long Goodbye for the first time which was equally amazing.
- Also had a mini-David Fincher marathon: The Game, Se7en and Zodiac. It was the first time I had seen The Game and thought it was great. Surprised that it isn't mentioned more compared to his other films. Speaking of Fincher:
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- Broad City is back and better than ever. That is all.
- My collegues at Grand Round Table and I hosted Philly's version of the Gopher Gala at Indy Hall. It was a fun time and a great opportunity to emerse myself more in Go, which I am getting more comfortable with. My original idea turned out to big too big of an undertaking for a weekend (and included too much OAuth) so I ended up making pitchfork, a CLI to music reviews and news on Pitchfork.com. Still a work in progress but I think it's neat.
- At the beginning of the month I started a Basic Drawing class at Fleischer that is still ongoing. I rarely ever draw because I'm not good at it and this class is my attempt to change that. I'm surprised with my progress so far and it has really opened up how I see depth, light and shadow when I look at things. More about this later.
- Finished A Prayer for the City, Buzz Bissinger insider's account of Ed Rendell's first term as Philadelphia mayor. Sprinkled within tales of the political machine (some which are funny) are stories of normal Philadelphia citizens attempting to survive in a post-industrial, economically struggling city. The book really is a love story on the idea of a city and posits that they are important and worth saving no matter what federal and state funding may think. Essential reading for anyone that loves Philadelphia and for me it was a little strange to read the author's descriptions of landmarks like City Hall and Kelly Drive that I know really well. I suspect Bissinger's dramatic style gives Rendell a little too much credit for turning Philadelphia around, but some of the accomplishments from his time as mayor are still benefiting Philadelphia today. I would love to read a similar book recapping Michael Nutter's administration.
- The Clean Architecture is a solid way to think about the architecture of systems. I came across the idea from Applying The Clean Architecture to Go applications.
- The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of "jaywalking": While extremely interesting, this story isn't particularly surprising to me. It's not a huge leap to see that as the car industry grew, they took action politically and culturally to ensure that automobiles were the dominant force on the streets. The word "pedestrian" itself is problematic because its other definition is "lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull", or, the opposite of driving in most people's minds.
- Sleater-Kinney's No Cities To Love is the album of the year so far.
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