Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Monday, January 8

The Year So Far

It seems like just yesterday it was January first! I thought this would be a good time to stop and reflect on the things I’ve learned and seen so far this year.

Best Television

The Office, Season two, disc 2

I saw this on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was great. I saw disc one in December and, I don’t know, it was pretty good too. Anyway, I liked them both, but I watched disc 2 this year, so the other one isn't really eligible, I guess. I liked the deleted scenes from disc 1 more though, if that means anything.

My friend Anna makes fun of me because I rent my television spread out over the course of years. (I’m almost done with Oz, which I started in 2004, and Carnivale, which I started in 2005. I’m starting the fourth season of Six Feet Under later this month. I’ve decided not to start The Shield or Lost until I finish up the series I’ve already started)

Best Book

Lunar Park, Bret Easton Ellis

I started this Christmas weekend and finished it New Year’s Day. I had no idea he was even married.

Best Album

At Home with Owen, Owen

For Christmas I received two CD’s from this guy I’ve been seeing for a couple months: At Home with Owen and Ennio Morricone Film Music Volume 1. He said the Owen album made him think of me. I don’t get that, but it’s a great album.

Best Pop Song

‘Over My Head,’ The Fray from How to Save a Life

Great hook, repeated over and over. I suspect this song will be annoying the shit out of us in less than a month. But for now I really like it, despite how mundane the rest of the song is. I’d like to hear it covered by Ted Leo.

Best Video Game (MMORPG)

City of Heroes

I’ve been playing this game since early September and it hasn’t gotten old yet. For the few of you out of the loop, you play MMORPG real time with thousands of other players. It’s like going to the playground for pick-up basketball, players randomly forming and playing as a team, some leaving for dinner and chores and new players joining in. In this one, you play a superhero fighting the AI villainy in Paragon City. It has a great comic-book feel and an easy learning curve style of play. I’m on the Liberty Server, playing a radioactive, gravity-controlling hero named Grav Tron. Join me there.

Best Video Game (non-MMORPG)


This game is like 3 years old, but I never played it before. There are some serious problems with the game (the controls are terrible and a lot of the game is pre-2003 style with large segments of the game being film clips) but it is cleverly animated and has an amusing story line. You play a young boy at a summer camp designed to help paranormals hone and control their powers. Each mind you enter is remarkably different, some war-torn with traumatic memories (reminding me of Disneyworld’s Mister Toad’s Wild Ride), some pristine and orderly (a Mondrian painting and mobile come to life).

Best Movie

I’ve seen a lot of good movies this year, but the two that stand out the most are The Descent and Lady in the Water. I’m told I saw the European release of The Descent which had an alternate ending. I found the ending the only disappointing thing about the movie. Meticulously crafted with aplomb storytelling, it was immensely satisfying. (Though I did not vomit.)

But I have to go with Lady in the Water. This film was hated by everyone I know as well as nearly every review I read, but I spent a lot of this movie smirking and crying, though to be honest, I’m not sure why I was crying so much. People complained that it was too talky, that Shyamalan was telling rather than showing. But the dialogue was the red herring. It seemed written to intentionally trip up those who didn’t experience the film but who only analyze it. (I’m reminded of Maynard James Keenan telling The Onion the reason he doesn’t print lyrics in his CD’s is because reading is antithetical to hearing and feeling; reading is thinking and analyzing.) You might say it’s unfair to put traps in art to prevent people from understanding what you’re getting at, but don’t look to me for sympathy about someone attempting multiple things—sometimes conflicting things—with a narrative.


Blogger Nick writes:

Um...Check out Bret Easton Ellis' Wikipedia article. They mention nothing about a wife; only a boyfriend who died at 30, while Bret was writing "Lunar Park."


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