Thoroughly Thursday - the "LaLa Land" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the La La Land edition. As my daughter is still recuperating from getting her tonsils out last week, she sat me down the other day to watch "La La Land", which I had never seen. Of course, it was awesome, in that it captured both the glamour of Los Angeles but also the cringe-worthy moments of rejection and self-doubt which still resonate with the part of me that came to SoCal just over 20 years ago. The movie was beautiful, heartbreaking, and now I’m obsessing over Mia and Seb. Alternately, my daughter thought it was fun and liked the dance numbers. Anyway, I would like to thank my youngest's missing tonsils for finally giving me the opportunity to watch it.
What I'm Reading (Article) - The Emperor's Clothes are Too Big
This week I read an article in The Atlantic called "the Hardest Job in the World" by John Dickerson, CBS anchor and host of Slate's "Whistlestop", which chronicles the U.S. presidents and their challenges through the ages. The article talks about how, as much as we may malign the recent officeholders of the Presidency, the job itself has ballooned in recent decades to be nearly unworkable.
The Founding Fathers designed the Executive branch to be a relatively weak role balanced by Congress and the Judiciary. Now, the Presidency oversees thousands of civilian employees, millions more in the Armed Services, Intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and carries the expectation that whoever holds the role will respond instantly and appropriately to any number of crises, calamities and provocations that appear on a daily basis at home and abroad.
It is a long read (>20min), but easy to follow and filled with many, many interesting tidbits about our various U.S. Presidents (including the current one).
What I'm Learning - A Game of Beautiful Menace
I really don’t play video games that often. On my iPhone, I rarely play anything more complicated than Doodle Jump when I’m waiting on hold. However, a few years ago, I did get obsessed with a game called LIMBO by Danish game designers Playdead (I know, right?), which was a sparse, 2D puzzle game played in black-and-white. It was gorgeous, fun and deeply disturbing. The young protagonist must solve various spatial riddles to keep moving forward, but also avoid being crushed, drowned, shattered, impaled, eaten by giant spiders, or dismembered in the process.
Recently, Playdead released Inside, which keeps some of the basic elements of LIMBO (a young boy, various puzzles, and grievous bodily harm always looming) but they have upgraded the world with color, more visual depth, and elements of a story. If you like weird, moody puzzle games, this one is for you.
What I'm Doing - Getting Hammered in Mexico
This weekend I got to go with my oldest daughter and help build a tiny house in Mexico in a village outside Valle de Las Palmas, Tecate. It was a Corazòn.org project in partnership with the South Pasadena Rotary. The house was for three generations of a local family, 10 people in all, plus their dog, and was on a tiny lot that included a little penned yard with goats, lambs, chickens and a very disgruntled turkey.
I'm a terrible builder, but projects like these are one of the few things aside from raising my kids where I can take an obvious pride in thinking “I did that”. If you are interested in learning more, check out this Corazòn.org video. You can see some pictures of our build here and I'll have a video of our project in the next day or so.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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