Saturday Morning Brain Drain [13/8/22]

Your life must be more exciting than mine!

Image via Amazon

What I Watched: Grace, a new-ish show with five one and a half hours episodes and another season on tap. It is based on the 19-book series by Peter James, which he has been writing since 2005. It is a nice palate cleanser – not especially violent, nice seashore scenery, and more words than physicality.

Here is a quote from the Guardian: “When we first meet Roy Grace (Simm), he is working on cold cases in a back office, his reputation having taken a battering after his last case, which garnered unwanted headlines when the press discovered he had asked for help during the investigation from a medium. Again, it is a measure of Simm’s credibility and enduringly connective everyman quality that this revelation doesn’t immediately make you roll your eyes and lose all sympathy.”

Trailer One

Behind the Scenes (3.35 Minutes)

What I Read:

Forever Protected: Forever Bluegrass #18 by Kathleen Brooks

Amazon blurb “Parker Davies, former rodeo star turned U.S. Marshal, wants something he can’t have—Tilly Bradford. He had met the equestrian, fell for her, and then saw her name on a case that came across his desk. Suddenly he had to step back from the one woman he had wanted. Instead, he threw himself into the work of the task force he’d been assigned to—the one tasked with taking down the person responsible for financing the criminal underworld.

Kisses of a Rebel Rogue (The Duchess’s Investigative Society Book 5) by Samantha Holt

Amazon blurb “The only thing darker than his reputation is his desire for her…From homeless street thief to business owner, Charlotte Bailey has come a long way. Which makes it all the more distressing when an old friend arrives, asking her for the impossible. She never thought refusing him would put her life in danger. And she certainly wasn’t prepared for a sinfully attractive rake with a past darker than her own to step into the role of her protector. But, here she is…

Mistress of Birds: a 1920s historical fantasy romance (Mysterious Powers Book 7) by Celia Lake

Amazon blurb “Thalia’s life is full of artists, authors, and other creative minds, but she’s barely keeping herself together. After yet another rejection of her writing, she’s willing to keep an eye out on a remote home on the edge of Dartmoor while her reclusive great-aunt takes a rest cure. Adam hasn’t been the same since the Great War. Adam’s family have long since run out of tolerance for his continuing shell shock. His uncle’s broken leg is the perfect excuse to get Adam out of the house – at least he can make himself useful fetching and carrying. Adam’s not at all sure he can be any sort of help to anyone. When he visits his uncle’s apple orchard, he’s even more confused by what he finds – and no one else seems to find the late-ripening apples at all unusual. The house has its own secrets. At first, the house seems a pleasant enough retreat for Thalia. The housekeeper and maid are competent, if distant. The food is wonderful, and she didn’t have to buy or cook it herself. But there’s the odd noise from the attic, the locked rooms, the ageless photographs. When she meets Adam, they at least agree that something is odd. Can they discover the secret and change their futures?

What I Listened To: Un Homme Sans Visage by Jonathan Personne; Circumference (Visualiser) by Working Men’s Club ; Night Vision by Kiwi Jr.; and The Storm in You by the Ruen Brothers.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearest DeadSplinterites? What is going on your world?

About Elliecoo 459 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. I started watching Warrior, it is pretty fun so far, it is based on the writings of Bruce Lee and his daughter helped produce it …

    and listening to new Bite Me Bambi song, I love this band!

    • …think I mentioned warrior a while back when I first came across it…iirc it’s based on a script/treatment he put together when they were trying to get it made with him as the lead but that eventually became the kung fu show with david carradine?

      …either way I like it a fair bit so I hope you enjoy it

      • I think I kind of remember that.  I know that he was up for the Kung Fu part but they thought he had too much of an accent but didn’t realize he wrote part of that?

  2. What I watched:  Respect.  This was the Aretha Franklin biopic with Jennifer Hudson in the lead role.  This was a good film, for the most part, although I would say that the Genius: Aretha miniseries was better–but they had more time to work with.  Anyway, I recommend this one.

    What I read:  The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.  After the literary purgatory that was The Dawn of Everything, I pretty much blew through this one in a couple of weeks.  This is a great book that goes through the brain and body biology of trauma, and also discusses at length a multitude of treatment modalities.  van der Kolk has been doing this for decades and it’s clear from his writing that he not only knows what he’s talking about, but that he also comes from a position of personal compassion and not just clinical efficiency.  I would recommend this book for anyone, even if they don’t suffer from trauma or think they don’t know someone who does–because the chances are we’ve all run into at least one person in our lives who fits the bill.

    What I listened to:  Our latest stop on the tour of the best engineered albums of all time brings us to When I Look In Your Eyes by Diana Krall.  Released in 1999, this album was engineered by the legendary Al Schmitt, whose name has appeared more than once in these blurbs.  This was Krall’s fifth album, and she is really one of the great jazz revivalists, bringing back standards and less well known jazz classics, sometimes reworking them and sometimes doing faithful reproductions.  It’s really no wonder that this was the first time in 25 years that a jazz album was nominated for the Grammy for Album of the Year.  She is one of the few artists that I’ve always wanted to see live but have yet to get there.  Anyway, the recordings are super clean, with a judicious use of reverb, and no use of the dreaded bass direct so you get the actual wood sound.

    Irving Berlin

    Bob Dorough–you know, the guy who wrote the Schoolhouse Rock tunes.

    Cole Porter



  3. i watched day shift

    it didnt live up to the hype…..i think if i’d gone in blind it would have been fine tho

    also watched the losers

    if you are looking for popcorn action…thats a real good watch….also…that is a long ass trailer that somehow still doesnt give away much of the movie….lol

    and listening to the most metal of not metals

  4. I watched I Just Killed My Dad, the story of Anthony Templet, a young man who fell through the cracks so hard and only managed to climb out by shooting his father. It has a surprisingly positive ending for a docuseries about patricide.

    I read The River by Peter Heller. Most of my reviews lately have been negative. But I can 100% recommend this book. Best friends Jack and Wynn are on a dream canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness that becomes a nightmare when they have to flee a forest fire, confront fellow adventurers who may or may not be what they seem, and ultimately their own differences in the face of these obstacles. You may not enjoy it if you aren’t a fan of the outdoors, but water rats, in particular, would love it.

    Listened to the radio while out running errands. This track made an impression.

    The Cigarettes – They’re Back Again, Here They Come



  5. I’ve been listening to the American Scandal podcast. Watergate, Enron and hedge fund SAC insider trading eps. All I have to say is that – it’s amazing the hubris of all of the people involved.

    Also, someone in my fam that will not be named tricked me into watching Twilight. The first movie was slightly tolerable but I had to nope out about half way through the second one – absolutely unwatchable for the bad wigs alone, not to mention the acting, storyline and god awful dialog. And, they give off a stalking is cool vibe that Is really creepy.

    • I saw a clip out of context of a teen vampire vs. teen werewolf baseball game. That made it clear something was deeply off about everyone involved except maybe some of the cast and crew who were just cashing the checks.

      • Yeah – it was weird. I know teen girls loved those books but the relationship between Kristen Stewart and Cedric Diggory is really off putting – and that’s what the whole story is about. Yikes.

        • Preteen/early teen me loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer and OMG it was just so romantic how Angel felt about Buffy, etc.

          Mid-20s me was rewatching that series like what the fuck this is sexual predator grooming tactics and fucking gross he’s like two hundred years old creeping on a 16 yr old girl.

          I haven’t watched any of the Twilight movies, but I feel like it has that same problem.

          Really in general a lot of paranormal romance just has really gross date rape or rape dynamics with a lot of really gross power inbalance overtones. Anything that is like *oh you random young woman who is typically poor or at risk of victimization … you are his magical soulmate and if you don’t fuck him then he’s going to lose his soul/turn into a violent monster* is just ewww cringe when you step back and look at it.

            • I still like Buffy! I just wish the key romantic relationships for the series weren’t creeper old vampire and other vampire who basically rapes her but it’s okay because it turns out secretly they love each other. That second plot really did Spike’s character wrong.

          • …could be mis-remembering…but I think angel was all dream-boyfriend-material up until they slept together…& at that point became a soulless nightmare

            …I kind of thought that wasn’t terrible for heavy-handed hinting…but late in the series I do remember a point where spike (having been chipped by some black bag type crew) can’t bite willow…& the subsequent conversation was a genuinely funny bit of dialogue that clearly made the parallel with impotence

            …I was never a massive fan but that show had some really funny scripts sometimes?

        • Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon. So her idea of romance is framed by the sexual repression of her religion. A teen girl can’t just like a guy, it can’t be a completely consensual relationship. And of course he stalks her to be protective. So it’s okay, right? 😖

    • Those movies were filmed in a small town in the middle of nowhere WA.  It’s called Forks and before that movie was only known for being the wettest spot in the continental U.S., which really says something!  Now they have a store that is strictly Twighlight crap and they actually get tourists wanting to see the town.  In fact, what used to be a timber town now makes more from tourists than timber. Don’t blink if you are driving through or you will miss it.


      • …death was good in the show but is an awesome “goth chick” with an ankh necklace in the comics & there are a couple of “spin-off” short runs centred on her…death: the time of your life & death: the high cost of living

        …the time of your life arguably has spoilers for stuff that might make it into the show if it runs to enough seasons since it involves characters who show up in the main narrative

        …the high cost of living is more of a stand alone thing, though…there’s an idea gaiman uses (that predates the comics) that death incarnates for a single day (maybe once a century, I forget the schedule) so as to die & thus more completely appreciate what her role means to mortals…& it’s a pretty great “short”

        …if you don’t mind the comic book thing, obviously

  6. I quite liked Grace.  The season ended on a rather expected cliffhanger, so I’m looking forward to the coming season.

    The Gray Man was good stupid fun, and Chris Evans makes a very good bad guy.  I’m starting Sandman soon.

  7. Went to the vintage well and watched Ice Station Zebra. It’s not a bad film but it has a lot of plot exposition points/twists that Alistar McClean usually adds in his stories. It was strange to see Ernest Borgnine play a Russian. Even James Brown was in it.

    Odd to have an interlude/intermission  in the Apple TV cut. 

    Next on the Apple TV list,  Outland…  With Sean Connery, Cliff Claven and his mom.

  8. Greetings from Montreal! I haven’t been able to watch anything because the kids are not sleeping well at night. Before we left, we watched The Platform (Netflix). It’s exactly the type of film I would expect to see at Fantasia Fest. I enjoyed the simple concept and the ugliness of human nature that it exposes plus the gore.

  9. …I watched the fourth matrix movie with a sibling the other day…much like the others it looks pretty good but falls short of being as clever as it seems to think it has a shot at being…all in all its about what you’d expect but that didn’t stop me from getting tired of the amount of eye-rolling it induced in me

    …I don’t mind stuff being nonsensical…I’d just enjoy it more if it managed to be at least vaguely internally coherent…& I’m not inclined to say that one makes it over that bar…which may be an unfair standard given that at best only the first one did?

    …also watched prey on the disney+ thing…sort of predator-prequel thing…which I enjoyed rather more

    …pretty sure I also watched some other stuff I aimed to remember to mention when today rolled around…but it’s not coming to mind?

    …also…speaking of remembering stuff…there’s a website that calls itself which is quite handy for checking the sort of “will I regret watching this?” equivalent of hannibal’s question about the book upthread…but to save you the trip since I don’t think it qualifies as a spoiler…in prey the dog makes it to the end credits

    • I only had 2 real frustrations with the 4th Matrix movie that pushed it from eh not bad to wow you fucking did that.

      First was how he handles going off his psychiatric meds and the whole suicide ideation that isn’t quite suicide. I’ve had several close friends have major mental health issues and seeing someone just dump the entire bottle and quite cold turkey was like wow fucking horribly irresponsible.

      Second was how the boring suburban mom just magically still loved motorcycles because she totes needed to be a cool girl motorcycle driving genius at the end. That felt so forced to me.

      I didn’t mind the concept of why the plot happened in the movie, I just was like huh did you need a few more script editors? with the execution of it.

      • …some of the stuff that was in tell-don’t-show mode I could see being by way of a sort of meta-response to some things I was inclined to give a pass…but they never really lived up to the philosophical stuff people were inclined to attribute to the earlier films & some of that end of things rubbed me the wrong way

        …mostly though it was just the one-minute-the-rules-are-this-but-the-next-that’s-contradicted that made me feel like it got away from them…which would be fine if they hadn’t tried to make out it was cleverer than it really was

        …pretty sure that’s mostly a me-thing rather than an impartial verdict but when some bits (crushing a car into a ramp) were obviously a this-would-look-cool-let’s-do-that kind of a decision it just seemed…I guess pretentious might be the word?

        …but then they’ve always been a bit hamstrung by the fact the first one clearly didn’t anticipate sequels so they fully mary-sue-d neo & struggled to pull things back from there to somewhere with narrative stakes…basically I think I just needed to manage to switch off slightly more of my brain than I did rather than it being disappointing as such

    • OMG, that is the link I have needed forever. “But, does the dig dog die?”, if answered affirmatively, is enough to veto a film. 🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕

  10. READ

    Coal Black Mornings, by Brett Anderson. Interesting, quick-read memoir from the lead singer from Suede. Focuses on his upbringing up to the point where he was starting a band that would eventually attract worldwide attention. Not as in-depth as it could have been, and I think the book suffers from that. 3 out of 5 stars.


    A couple days worth of flying this past week, and that led me to mellower, more ambient stuff. Mogwai’s As the Love Continues was a standout as I flew to the Midwest and back. Really about the only “post-rock” (WTF does that even mean?) act that I can really appreciate.


    With Dad basically house-bound, we watched a lot of Royals baseball. I really don’t like baseball, but the home team is at least somewhat compelling by the fact that they are starting a ton of rookies right now — because their competitive season was basically over before the all-star break. And those rookies have started to produce some wins over the last couple of weeks. 

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