Saturday Morning Brain Drain [12/3/22]

A place to let it all out.

Image via Entertainment Weekly

What I watched:  For the 800th time for some people, we watched The Shawshank Redemption, as a break from Murdoch, who finally married Dr. Ogden. I cannot imagine that any of you have not seen this iconic movie based on the story by Stephen King. It is free for viewing on You Tube.

“Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn’t commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years.”

18 Things You Somehow Missed:

What I read: Phantom Game by Christine Feehan, book eighteen of her Ghostwalker series. Feehan has written so many books within so many series that she often “phones it in”, but this book had fresher material than some. If you like her writing, you will like the book.

“Jonas “Smoke” Harper has watched his brothers find their perfect mates, never imagining he’d actually meet someone who complements every part of him — even the monster that lurks within. But his instant connection with Camellia goes far beyond wanting the intelligent, beautiful, and lethal woman in his bed. They are two parts of a whole, linked to each other and to a larger network that exists everywhere around them.”

I also read An Impossible Impostor (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 7) by Deanna Raybourn. These books feature a female sleuth who defies convention, has a love affair with a taxidermist, and lives in a folly on a lord’s land. She is also the illegitimate daughter of Prince of Wales.

“London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before. But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead?”

And I read the four (of six) books currently released from Eva Devon’s The Bluestocking War (writing as Maire Claremont). The books are The Beast’s Bride, Beast’s Bluestocking, Beast’s Belle, and Beast’s Beloved. They are fast reads in the regency romance genre.

“A brand-new series that will sweep you away to the drama and angst of Regency England. Glittering ballrooms, wild moors, and brooding lords waiting to be tamed by bluestockings await. . .”

What I listened to this week: Somebody’s Child, The Lover (I really like this); Stephen Malkmus & Von Spar, Ege Bamyasi; Mnevis, The Kids In Town; and Model Man, Ross:

So, darling DeadSplinterites, how are things in your world? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 506 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. We watched Dopesick – it’s about the Oxycontin/Purdue Pharma effects on Michael Keaton as a small Pennsylvania mining town doctor and some of the people he prescribed the drug to, the drug salespeople and the state attorney’s that work on the case. It’s incredibly interesting and sad and somewhat rage inducing – so be warned. I’m amazed at how the Sacklers really don’t think they’re at fault. I mean I get that they’re shitty billionaires, but the level of denial is staggering.

    I finished the second Iron Druid Book – Hexed. It wasn’t quite as good as the first one but I’m starting the third one with high expectations. Our plucky Druid takes on a non Marvel  Thor to get some apples for a witch.


    • …haven’t seen dopesick yet but keaton is pretty good in those sorts of movies, I think…at any rate he did a pretty great job as the insurance guy in worth…which is similarly something that can be a little on the rage-inducing side since it’s about the 9/11 victims’ fund…but does have the benefit of stanley tucci?

        • …yeah…I avoided it much the same way I’ve avoided dopesick…kept thinking “that’s probably pretty good…but maybe not the good-for-tonight kind of good”

          …but it is pretty good

    • @Lymond as a Pennsylvania resident I can attest to the disproportionate oxy addiction. The boonies between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have been especially hard hit. Less now, but for a while every month there was a young musician or barista or server who fell victim to oxycontin; it seemed to affect young people to a greater extent, but statistics say that it is a scourge of all ages.

      • The way the show presents how easily people got addicted is really tragic. I knew about the opioid epidemic but really didn’t understand Purdue Pharma’s role in it. I know the show isn’t a documentary but if half of what it shows about Richard Sackler is true – he should be in prison.

    • I knew it was someone here who got me started on the Iron Druid books! I read the first 2 this week, and I actually thought that the second book was better. More twists, more action, and I like getting to know characters slowly. Also, I love the widow.

  2. …I don’t think the netflix algorithm actually manages to take these comments into account but after talking about a couple of films that are pretty much one character on camera here last week it gave me the hard sell on something called nightride that wasn’t bad

    …& then managed to point me at the coldest game…which involves a US-russian chess match during the cuban missile crisis

    …so maybe I should worry more about where it checks before making recommendations?

    …think I’m also caught up with discovery…but haven’t checked out the second season of picard yet…not sure how successful I’d say discovery has managed to be at what it seems to have set out to make the season about…but can’t really fault them in terms of the scale they’re trying for…& I’m not saying they’ve been checking the expanse’s homework exactly…but go big or go home does seem to the order of the day in terms of the overall narrative arc?

    …& I finally did get to the end of the last of the expanse novels…so I might be eyeing up the novellas as a way to taper off that little addiction?

      • …I don’t want to get into spoilers…& there are a few other things I can think of that might be places you could take a similar lead from but I think citing them might tip the spoiler bar?

        …if anyone’s seen this season of discovery & the expanse, though…I suspect they might have very little trouble guessing what I mean…& would probably be able to think of some of the same references I skipped making?

  3. I didn’t do any reading this week. I spent a lot of time on the phone, with family, and a couple of old friends. It left me feeling somewhat depleted so I watched a lot of TV and TikToks. Other people’s drama was a welcome distraction.

    I watched the first 4 episodes of The Dropout and I do not understand this woman. Did she really believe she’d eventually produce the product she claimed she had? Or did she think she could string everyone along forever?
    I also watched the first 3 episodes of the new, and final, season of Better Things. I love this show and hate to see it ending.
    And finally, I told you it was a lot, I watched the first episode of Season 42 of Survivor. I hate reality TV but one of my sister’s relatives is on it and she wants me to watch so… *sigh*
    I listened to the new song from the upcoming Kevin Morby release. It’s another feelgood selection from Deadsplinter’s own little miss sunshine, lol!

    This Is A Photograph


  4. Love, love, love the Shawshank Redemption–both the movie and the novella.  It was the first movie that I was able to show Mrs. Butcher to demonstrate that not all Stephen King stories are blood and gore.  Anyway…

    Watched:  The Kings Man.  As a prequel, it…didn’t make any sense.  The movie is fun and action packed, but honestly not nearly as well put together as the original Kingsmen film.  This one felt really disjointed.

    Read:  Why We Shouldn’t Push a Positive Mindset on Those in Poverty.  An article from Psyche which clearly spells out–really for the first time that I’ve ever seen it anywhere on a media platform of any kind–why the whole “positive thinking” or “visualization” bullshit is BULLSHIT.  As someone who spent many a year in poverty, this crap always fucking pissed me off, because changing my mindset did literally nothing to change all of the structural hurdles that were keeping me poor.  Anyway, the article not only points out the fallacy, but also the fact that this causes actual psychological harm to poor people because it’s just another way to blame the victim.  This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, but I also know that there isn’t a single Republican anywhere on this planet who will accept it.

    Listened:  Our latest stop on the best engineered albums of all time is “Crime of the Century” by Supertramp.  Generally speaking, Supertramp was a wealth of excellent musicianship which makes creating great sounding recordings ever so much easier.  This album was engineered by John Jansen and Ken Scott.  Scott worked with a shitload of major acts including the Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Procol Harum.  The album was recorded at three different studios, one of which being the legendary Trident Studios in London–where the original Trident recording console was born and eventually became its own manufacturing company.

    Listen to this album under a good pair of headphones and be amazed.


    • Great article, thank you for sharing!

      Also completely agree. Like what’s the point of skipping that $3-5 treat once a week will amount to exactly what in a year? Certainly not enough to matter for shit.

      In a related note, this is a similar problem to how we as a culture treat fat people. Like telling someone “hey make better choices because you need to lose 50 pounds” okay well thanks at a healthy weight loss of half a pound to a pound a week that’s 1-2 years of work and that’s a mindfuck right there. 

  5. I stumbled upon Naked & Afraid and binged watched it for half-a-day (and put it on throughout the night whilst TRYING to sleep).

    The show basically starts off with a naked man and a naked women who meet for the first time and they have to survive in the wilderness for 21 days. They are each “allowed” one item that are usually the same two brand new items that they claim to be their own.

    Then they are given a map to SHOW THEM WHERE THE FRESH WATER IS so they can camp out until day 21 before some sort of treacherous journey to an extraction point.

    Each partner has a specific issue with the other partner which they eventually get over by the end…after starving for three weeks…usually because, on day 20, it just so happens that the “lazy” partner finds a boa constrictor right in front of them, smack in the middle of their walking path, and cuts its head off so they have just enough protein to make it through extraction.

    Not always. Sometimes people do tap out before the 21 days. And sometimes (but rarely) it’s not a boa but some other day 20 convenient, smack in the middle, creature.

    Now, I’m no expert (cough) but…


    …then, AND ONLY THEN, build your whiny asses a shelter FFS!

  6. I’m just about finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve really lost myself while reading; it’s been hard to find that flow over the last couple years.

    I’ve got Britbox at the moment, so I started watching season 6 of Shetland, but also just clicking around a bunch of brit comedies without really settling on anything. Watched a bit of Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie ect. in their first sketch comedy show.

    I’ve got Pepper by Butthole Surfers stuck in my head this week, and also Dwane Gretzky’s cover of Just What I Needed.

    • @bestcoast hello!!! We have Britbox also, and have enjoyed it. Shetland was one of my favorites; we are caught up and can’t wait for the next season. They shot this season and next season back-to-back because of the pandemic, so it is just a matter of waiting for it to be aired.

  7. I watched the first few episodes of Our Flag Means Death.  It is cute but not so great.  Very similar to a pirate version of Galavant.

    I also watched the first episode of Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty which is a great show.  I fell in love with the Lakers during the showtime era so am probably biased but it is a great show regardless of your love or hate of basketball and the Lakers.

    As for music, I am still on a ska kick…

  8. I’m still working through Big Bang Theory, but I’m towards the end of season 10 I think. I dunno, I just turn on HBOMax and resume whatever episode I’m on. Eventually I’ll run out of episodes.

  9. Also, I couldn’t help myself but to rant about John McCain’s daughter and three people have read it without trashing it…so look out for that at 1pm.

    Also, Also…I have updated the share icons (and updated the Twitter card FINALLY without fucking up the ancient commenting system). Use them!

      • Yes…and I apologise for that. More issues might be coming seeing as I messed up the Twitter Card thing again. Everything I do is limited to the way I have configured the ancient comment section to work with the more-than-ancient text editor I revived from the grave with codes I won’t remember if I scrap it in order to do testing on other – and better – features.. It sucks. It’s actually quite disheartening at times.

        • …pretty sure none of us would be happy if it burns you out…but mostly seem to do pretty well put of your efforts so it might be a little easy to assume it isn’t driving you nuts?

          …if we need to make our peace with switching out the comments section for one that doesn’t require you to tear your hair out on the regular I expect folks would…for whatever that might be worth

          • Disqus would really be the only other option at this point and it would cost 1200$ USD/year. Even though it’d help bridge the gap between GT, BT and DS it would scrap all comments over the past 3-ish years on DS and taking my experience with Disqus into consideration, I’d rather pull my hair out.

          • Agreeing with Rip’s assessment, and do whatcha gotta do, Myo!💖

            Heck, with all the re-jiggerings & switcheroos Denton used to pull with Kinja, it’d just be like a better, kinder, much-more-fun version of Ye Olden Gawker-times!😉💖

  10. I saw Sorry to Bother You on Netflix and it’s a very fun, very interesting movie.

    LaKeith Stanfield plays a guy struggling for money who takes a telemarketing job where things spiral out and get weirder and weirder.

    It has a great supporting cast, including Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, and Danny Glover. David Cross and Patton Oswalt sort of show up too.

  11. Been busy with work & Dad stuff lately, so I haven’t had time to watch anything, really…


    But I’ve been listening to MPR News on my drives up home & back, and to & from work–so staying up-to-date on lots of stuff going on in the wider world…

    And then reading things like articles (because I’m a total geek, who loves learning more about where the current research in ASD is going–and how i can help my kiddos (and sometimes myself!), with that info…

    I’ve also been reading lots of Buzzfeed, since they re-formatted this past week-ish, and ran across this GREAT, but also incredibly sad & frustrating article:

    There are also some links in that story, to new & different awfulness that I didn’t realize He who wants to annihilate The Gawkerverse is doing, in regard to… for example, in some ways (imo!) trying to destroy sections/sectors of public education–or at least create a broad distrust of it and disinterest/a public split from free publicly funded education, perhaps to create his vision of a “benevolent authoritarian” society, rather than the republic/democracy that he finds so abhorrent & untenable…

    Those links in the Buzzfeed article were entirely new to me, and I run across a decent amount of articles on the man’s nefarious nature & misdeeds…

    I also spent much of last weekend just vegging and reading things like AITA, and Treelaw😉

  12. @elliecoo thanks for the recommendations! Unfortunately, I think that site you linked to the Eva Devon books put a virus or some such crap on my Kindle, so… be careful!

    Ages ago, I found a site called which is (was… it’s still there but no longer being updated) run by 2 historical romance authors, Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott. I recently was reminded of it because I read a couple of books by Loretta Chase. Isabella, The English Witch, and A Duke in Shining Armor. The first one was laughable… not a bad story, but reeeeally needed a better editor. The second was better, and the third, which is much more recent, was actually quite good.

    I also read the first 2 Iron Druid books by Kevin Hearne, Hounded, and Hexed. Very enjoyable and entertaining, and I have the 3rd and 4th downloaded and ready to go.

    Currently reading Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir, book 2 of her Six Tudor Queens series. Not exactly groundbreaking to anyone at all familiar with her story, but still, well written and interesting.


    Currently watching New Tricks, a BBC police drama, on Hulu.

    • @elliecoo It’s ok, I just figured I’d give a warning! I opened the link on my phone and it was fine, but kind of hard to read. So, I typed in the address on my Kindle browser… forgetting that I have ad-blockers and anti-virus on my phone, but never bothered to put any of that on my Kindle because I never really download anything on there that’s not from Amazon or a public library. So! Be aware that that site can potentially mess up yo’ shit.

      Smart Bitches is a great site 🙂

  13. Just thought of another thing I read the other day, and I’m not quiiiite sure if it was mentioned over here or not.

    In case it wasn’t, or folks missed it, and with TW’s/CW’s for talk about suicide & mental health stuff, this article over at Huffpo, and Harry Miller’s Tweeted letter about why he decided to retire from football for medical reasons, is an EXCELLENT read;

    Miller is a young man who was lucky enough to get the help he needed, when he reached out, and is courageous in his desire to break stereotypes, push other colleges to offer their athletes the sort of good help he got, and by being so honest about his reasons for quitting Miller is pushing back against the toxic masculinity that is altogether too common in young adulthood, college, and especially athletic culture.

    We all know how incredibly competitive and frankly, toxic, mentalities can be, around “sports culture,” particularly the decades-long buildup of the “talented kids” who show the sort of talent at a young age, that even *might* earn that child a college or professional scholarship or even career, a decade and a half (or more) down the road…

    There are pee-wee leagues, then traveling/club teams, special clinics & camps these kids go to, that can literally become the child’s existence…

    For Harry to be wise enough to see the toxicity, realize its impact on him, and then be willing to walk away–while realizing his *own* privilege in being able to do so, AND calling out the fact that SO MANY of his compatriots CANT do the same?

    This young man has an EXCELLENT head on his shoulders, and although I wish that he hadn’t been in a position to feel that sort of pain & despair, I’m incredibly glad that he made it through to the other side.

    And I’m ALSO glad that he recognizes both his privilege and his unique position to be able to push to get others the help they need, because he recognizes the power he’s got *right now* to be able to be push on this topic.

    He seems like a REALLY good kid.

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