Saturday Morning Brain Drain [4/9/21]

A place to let it all out.

Image via telemystery

What I watched:  Inspector Lewis, a spin-off of the Inspector Morse series which was based on the books by Colin Dexter. The Inspector comes from working class roots while his partner, Detective Sergeant Hathaway, is Oxford educated. The mysteries are solved in and hour and a half and it is an easy show to watch. Because of the Oxford setting it is chock full of beautiful buildings, idyllic scenes of punts on rivers, Latin, education, and generally higher-brow crimes.

Here are a few trailers:

What I read: Oh, it was a very good book week. I discovered the six-book Magic and the Shinigami Detective series by Honor Raconteur. Synopsis: a female FBI agent is captured and portaled to a different world by an insane witch, kills the witch, and learns to live in a world closest to 1900’s England but with magic and technology. There are so many things to love about these books – the world building rocks, the character interplay is erudite, even the small asides written by the chapter headings add to the overall mood. She uses a magical language translator, but idioms do not translate, and attempting to explain pop culture references is a challenge…and this makes for fun reading. Her imprint on that world, introducing new technology via a genius inventor, introducing new crime investigative techniques (or approximating them via magic), the things she misses, like running shoes, are thoughtfully presented. The speed at which drives is a running gag throughout the series, as she horrifies passengers by pushing the car’s limits to 30 miles an hour. You could do worse than to give the Shinigami Detective series a read.

And, for those of you who are fans of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, it is in movie development at Paramount!

What I listened to this week: I was digging into older playlists and came up with Her – Five Minutes, The Isley Brothers – That Lady, Pts. 1 & 2, and Rationale – Fast Lane.

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, how are you doing? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Did you do anything that was fun? What is going on in your world? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 505 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. What We Do in the Shadows is back. The first two episodes launched on Thursday and it is just as funny as always. The dynamics between the ensemble are fantastic, and it’s finding the right balance between updating the characters without messing with their cores.

  2. I saw the movie years ago but haven’t watched the show yet. (It sounds like I would love it, but our access involves watching commercials. Time for me to suck it up, it appears to be well worth it.) Thank you for the reminder! @bluedogcollar

  3. Watched Wrath of Man starring Jason Statham and some other familiar faces like Josh Hartnett and that bossman from Mindhunters. It was a decent Statham movie. Lots of action, brooding, and macho one liners… actually a bit too much misogynistic dialogue for me. But hey it was a men’s locker room scene so why would I expect differently?
    I read a book! Gideon the Ninth is sort of a SciFi book about eight necromancers and their bodyguards who are summoned to a gothic castle on a remote planet to complete a vague test in order to become practically immortal. The space elements are too vague for it to really count as SciFi (but that’s how it is marketed). The necromancers live on different planets and they take spaceships to get to the remote planet. That’s it for the space stuff. The rest is about the magic science of necromancy. It becomes a whodunnit in a gothic lab-castle with monsters conjured out of bone. Gideon is the reluctant bodyguard to a powerful necromancer who has a dark past. She is crass, simple, but loyal like a female version of Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy. I enjoyed it enough to buy the second book of the trilogy.

      • Awesome! I would love to know what you think about the contrast between how they marketed it as “Lesbian Necromancers in Space!” and how it played out as “Necromancers and Gideon the bodyguard who is a lesbian by the way and the allusion to space travel and a looming space war but Necromancy doesn’t actually function in space because there are no buried booooooones there!” And also just in general how you like the book 😉 yes I felt a little cheated by the marketing but the book is a lot of fun.

        • …I forget how many books into that series I got vs. how many there are…but I found it took me a while to get into the first one…after which they were pretty good?

          …I think the “logic” of the marketing is/was basically “it’s in space so it must be sci fi” but it would have made more sense to me if it had been pitched on a “fantasy” basis on account of the whole necromancy thing

          …they’re not really similar but that did sort of remind me of the “blood price” stuff from the milkweed books…although the fact those seem to call themselves a triptych rather than a trilogy sort of made me think they might take themselves a bit too seriously?

  4. What I’m reading: Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward 2000–1887. I am forever looking backward so this makes perfect sense. It was actually written in 1887 though and it is about a Bostonian who wakes up in 2000. It’s a Socialist Utopian novel, part sci-fi, mostly political tract. It’s pretty heavy going because it is so didactic but I’m always fascinated by what people in the past thought the future would look like. Popular Mechanics made a specialty of this.

    What I’m listening to: My snoring dog, crap I feel the need to post on DUAN to make sure I get the YouTube links right, the Better Half chattering with people all over the globe, dirt bikes and ATVs outside my window (I’m five floor up), and pushed ad videos which seemingly every site I visit has resorted to but not this one, thankfully.

    For example: At some point last week I got it into my head to make stromboli. The Feast of San Gennaro kicks off in a couple of weeks, should it take place [looks like it will, but I won’t be going] and Feast-favorite stromboli, I learned, is really simple if you use pre-made pizza dough rolled out in a rectangle, place filling down the center, roll each side to the center so it overlaps the filling, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

    This is all well and good but I logged on at like 4:30 in the morning. I keep very early hours, combo of insomnia and Faithful Hound. I had forgotten that I had been trolling YouTube the night before looking for suitable DUAN contributions, went to a promising recipe website, and out came a-blasting, “YOU GUYS STROMBOLI IS SO DELICIOUS AND SO EASY TO MAKE AND I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW!!!” It was a pushed instructional video that I had not asked for. Better Half was not amused. My penance was to make a stromboli using spinach and ricotta (BH’s demand) whereas I was going to go for a self-invented “Cousin Matthew’s Hungry Man Three Italian Meats with Two Italian Cheeses Stromboli (with just enough pizza dough to hold the whole thing together).”


      • At the Feast of San Gennaro (have you ever been to one of these street fairs? We used to have them all the time) most of the vendors sell really sub-par carnival/boardwalk food, to the dismay of the “real” restaurants still clinging to their leases in the rapidly shrinking Little Italy. I used to go every year, and one year I actually abandoned Better Half and took our dog at the time to house-sit an apartment and their huge dog during the Feast because it is so crazy in the area and the couple who lived in the apartment decamped for a week–

        Where was I? Oh yes, there was one vendor that made these amazing stromboli but they were like $1 more per generous slice so the frugal Feast-goers took their custom elsewhere. More for me! (And the dogs, but don’t tell them that 20+ years ago I was feeding their now-deceased hound stromboli.)

  5. i watched edens zero

    pretty funny this one…and especially in the early episodes does a pretty good job of letting me think i know exactly where this episode is going….and then going off into lala land..definitely had a couple ha! did not see that coming moments
    it is mostly cheap laughs and a little fanservicey tho (dont bother me none…but isnt everyones cuppa)
    also watched medal of honour 

    which…occasionally feels a little bit war heroics! ooh fucking rah!…. but mostly left me feeling sorry for a bunch of deeply traumatized people… can see it in the eyes
    and currently watching the witcher

    which im currently about halfway through….could take me a while to get through the rest….keep getting sidetracked (its a good watch tho….i just have some attention deficit issues…and well..magics never interested me much)
    and listening to….abba..actually…i mean…i couldnt just let it be and not check it out right?

    • I struggled with following the chronology in the Witcher with what happened when since they mixed up the order. 

      Which, like fine, but also hard for me to follow having no familiarity with the characters.

      Honestly I think they just were working off the assumption that “oh the nerds will need a big battle in the first episode to keep their nerd interest in the show” 

      • yeah…. a little note mentioning what happened when wouldnt have hurt…took me about 6 episodes to figure out not everyones story is playing out in the same timeline…..guessing it gets there eventually

  6. Loved Inspector Lewis! Unfortunately the actor who plays his sidekick, Laurence Fox, has gone full antivaxxer.

    • *reads the replies*

      oh really?
      fucking try it
      i had to get a smartphone just to be able to sign my contract as a temp….(apparently physically signing the contract in person doesnt count anymore…..probably coz the agency staff is too lazy to do the paperwork when a touch of the button could do it)

    • Came here to say that as well. I don’t think I could watch Lewis without breaking the TV every time Laurence Fox came on screen. I’ve said it before, but divorcing him was Billie Piper’s finest work.

  7. I watched the new Cinderella on Amazon. It is…FINE I guess. If I had little kids I’d let them watch it. Fun songs, colorful costumes. It’s not great, but it’s cute. 

    The reviews are hilarious tho. People are BIG MAD that they made Billy Porter the “Fabulous Godmother” and these racists are showing their whole ass complaining about ‘wokeness’ and “whY ruIn A ClAsSic”


    Worst movie ever. Stop with the whole political agenda. Sadly this is what is becoming more and more the norm. I just wish my money spent at Amazon didn’t fund garbage like this .

    The beautiful memories of our childhood story which we grown up with it has been destroyed just for the sake of some individuals concepts.

  8. Last weekend i binged “The Wilds” on Amazon Prime. It’s really good and I’m annoyed that covid delayed season 2. It’s hard to even describe without being too spoilery. Some teen girls are in a plane crash and have to survive on an island, but everything is not what it seems. But it isn’t like Lost or anything I’ve seen before. 
    I started reading “The Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.” I’m not far enough into it to review, but I saw season one on HBO of “Gentleman Jack” (based on this book) and liked it. About a lesbian woman in 1800s England, upper-ish class society, just trying to live her damn life and find a lady to live it with. 

  9. I haven’t had much time to read but still working on the Hidden History of the War on Voting & a cookbook I got at the library:

    Watching: Luke Cage on Netflix.  I like the fight scenes but like most Netflix Marvel series, it drags out way too long.
    Listening to: Ghost Note

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