In which Sturr Wurrs

I did manage to pick up the new TV yesterday– while it was clear at 1:00 that I was going to be there at least an hour if I intended to have anyone bring me my purchase, when I went back at 7 I had a blueshirt knocking politely on my car window before I’d even managed to open the email with the magic yellow “I’m here” button on it, and dude had my TV in my car and me on my way within three minutes of pulling into the spot, which was pretty sweet.

And then I got home and needed to watch a movie to see some 4K goodness, and thought hell, I haven’t seen Rise of Skywalker since it was in theaters. You may remember my review, which was 10,000 words long. I am happy to announce that this is the first Star Wars movie in a long time that I felt was better on a second view, because a few of the things that didn’t make sense to me on the first viewing were cleared up on the second, and oh also I missed the most powerful moment in the entire damn movie.

I somehow missed it when Ben Solo tries to say “I love you” to his father during their scene together on not-Endor, and he’s not able to say it, and Han’s response is “I know.”

And in a trilogy that is absolutely infested with callbacks to the original trilogy, that is how the fuck you do a callback, and it knocked me flat on my ass rewatching it, because how the hell did I miss that? Did I die during the movie or something? What the shit happened?

Also, I am more convinced than ever that the reason Leia waits until Ben’s death to disappear is that it is actually her life force keeping him alive after the lightsaber battle on not-Endor, and when he finally dies, having spent what energy they both have left to bring Rey back, she finally goes as well, and Rey has both of them living on in her, and that’s fucking beautiful too.

So, yeah. The most annoying thing about the movie remains its utter lack of concern about distance and time, particularly for anyone who is offscreen, but that’s really only one thing, and you can either roll with it or you can’t, and I’ve decided to roll with it. Lando and Jannah’s scene on Base Planet is still creepy, too.

We also watched the latest episode of The Mandalorian yesterday, a show that probably deserves another entire full piece devoted to it, and while I’m not going to really jump into it because spoilers, and you deserve to see this episode without interference, I will say this: I am not angry about anything that happens in this episode, and in fact I’m quite a bit more excited about future developments on the show than I was before watching it.

I even rewatched the first half of Solo today. Apparently it’s Star Wars season around here right now.

In which Black Friday came early

I am officially twenty percent more of a capitalist than I was two days ago, apparently. Wal-Mart is clearly the way to go lately if you want to land a PS5, if only because they’re advertising when each batch of systems is going to go live so that you can be in front of your computer to hit reload and hope you get lucky.

And, well, I got lucky, and I hit reload at the right time, and I don’t actually physically have my PS5 yet but I can pick it up at the store (by which I mean “have them bring it to my car”) sometime between two and six days from now, and honestly I suspect it’ll be on the earlier range of that.

That’s not what increased my capitalist rating, though. What increased my capitalist rating is that I went and fucked around and now I’m picking up (by which I mean “have them bring it to my car”) a new fucking TV tomorrow to go with my new PS5. We didn’t need a new TV by any reasonable definition of that term, but the PS5 can output 4K graphics and our current, several-years-old TV cannot receive them. So.

Now, before ordering this TV, I tried to dig into TV reviews for a while to figure out what sort of TV I was interested in and what price ranges were like (and, honestly, 43″ 4K TVs are so much cheaper than I thought they would be that this is not really a major financial hit) and after a bit of reading and a bit of comparing I realized that TV reviews and car reviews are the exact same thing and I needed to stop reading them.

What do I mean by that?

I drive a Kia Soul. Two cars before my current Kia Soul was a two-door Toyota Yaris, and I need you to understand that I loved my Yaris (I traded it in when I moved out of Chicago and had a child, at which point a two-door car was not nearly as practical an idea as it had been) and I love my Kia. I plan to keep my current car until my son is old enough to drive, give it to him, and whatever car I purchase to replace it very well might be another Kia.

If you read car-people reviews of the Kia Soul, you will come away thinking that it is a garbage car, barely fit to convey one to work, because car people review cars for a living and they have standards that simply push them out of the realm of relevance to the regular car owner, who may well go decades in between cars and for whom anything that is new and up-to-date is going to feel like an enormous improvement.

And TVs are the same thing. Most people do not replace their television sets all that often, and there is simply no way that a 43″ TV at a price range that I’m willing to consider (I ended up spending $279; I could have been convinced to go as high as $500 if I’d felt the advantages warranted it, and I’m not convinced) can compare with the type of wall-dominating, four-figure monstrosities that these guys are used to. I got all worried about viewing angles before I realized that my wife and I sit maybe fifteen degrees separated from each other when watching TV and if it’s an issue we can literally pivot the screen, and it’s not going to be an issue. 43″ is the biggest screen I can get without radically reconfiguring our living room, and it’s plenty big enough. I didn’t even consider a larger size.

(Why a Vizio? The other two TVs in the house are Vizios. I’ve been perfectly happy with both, the price was right, and good user reviews. Good enough.)

Because no matter what TV I get, my standards are going to be “make my PS5 graphics look as good as they can, and don’t feel like a downgrade in any way,” and it’s gonna, and it won’t, and even if it ends up being crappy compared to other 4K TVs I don’t have any others lying around to compare it to.

User reviews appear to be pretty damn solid, especially figuring in the “people are fucking idiots” factor– that guy who literally reviewed this TV at 3/5 stars because it didn’t fit on his console (I’m not joking) is not, in fact, entitled to his own opinion, because his opinion is dumb. Good user reviews are really all I need here. So long as I can avoid the soap opera effect, which drives me batshit insane, we’re all good.

So, yeah. I spent money at Wal-Mart, and they’re the devil, and I spent money on Black Friday sales, which makes me an asshole, particularly this year, and I’m actually going to go to Best Buy tomorrow, even if I don’t plan on getting out of my car and I’m going to go in the afternoon when crowds should be minimal, so obviously I’m a failure as a person on a number of levels. But, man, is the remake of that game I’ve already played and beaten going to look great!


Finally, and in accordance with our most ancient traditions, Happy Thanksgiving.

Calling all cosplayers

This has been a surprisingly productive Sunday– I need to do some lesson planning, but all of my grading and tomorrow’s lesson are set, we went outside and finished off the rest of the huge pile of sticks from a couple of weeks ago, and I’m writing a blog post right now, so I don’t really have much to do other than play video games and read for the rest of the night, which I figure is the right way to end a Sunday night.

We went out and got the boy’s Halloween costume yesterday, as I said. He’s dressing as a giant chicken, for some reason. The costume is hilarious but I would never have guessed that he’d have picked it. As I’ve said, I traditionally dress up and pass out candy in the driveway, because we’ve always had either escape-adjacent or doorbell-hating pets, and frankly I can do without hearing the Goddamn thing all night myself. I have a go-to costume, but I wanted to do something different this year.

And thinking about my son’s inflatable chicken costume got me thinking that an adult Oogie Boogie costume was probably something that existed out there in the world. And then I looked for one, and discovered that they do exist, but they’re either crappy or expensive, and it is also somehow possible that a costume of a dude who is literally a burlap sack filled with worms might not fit me.

Then I thought that it might be fun to wear my Santa suit while passing out Halloween candy, only that idea got shot down because there is a good chance as young as our Trick-or-Treaters get that some of them will want to hug me, and I’m not down with hugging strangers right now, nor am I interested in putting parents in the position of explaining to their kids why they aren’t allowed to hug Santa.

So now I’m all like … burlap’s cheap. It’s not like the pattern is going to be complicated. The trickiest part’s the mask, and that can’t be that hard. Use black wool for the stitches, and they can be wide as hell and sloppy and it’ll still look just fine. He’s literally a burlap bag. There are just not that many ways you can fuck that up!

Somebody talk me out of this, please. There’s less than a week until Halloween so all I have to do is go a few days without ordering the burlap and inertia will take care of the rest.

In other news…

Right now the only social media account that I have under my actual name is one of my two TikTok accounts. I have one for Luther, but I haven’t posted any videos. I am, however, posting videos under my teacher account, which until about 22 hours ago had about 40 followers. The account was giving me a mild reason to celebrate, though, because I’d just had my first video that scored over 2000 views before fizzling out.

And then I found a video of an Asian woman (her race is relevant) getting a tattoo and noticed that one of her tattoos, oddly, was the word “pizza,” spelled phonetically in Hebrew. (It may be a cognate; I’m not sure.) As the account posting the video was all in (I think) Chinese, and pizza is, as far as I know, not a hugely common food in Southeast Asia, nor are Jews, I made the not-foolproof-but-still-defensible-I-think suggestion that maybe people shouldn’t be tattooed in languages they can’t read and posted a short video saying such.

It’s now at 1.1 million views and counting, with over 60,000 Likes, and I’ve gained over 300 followers since it went up. There is also what appears to be a lively argument in Hebrew and Arabic going on in comments, and I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, although Palestine may be involved.

I now have a viral Tweet under my belt with over six million views, a viral TikTok, and a couple of viral blog posts, although the biggest viral blog post only had a comparatively-paltry 110,000 views. I think it is fair to suggest that I may be the king of all social media. Now I just need to find a way for it to make me some money. 🙂

In which I ascend

…to the highest imaginable levels of nerd.

I have created an unboxing video.

Witness: