jesse leo dot com - new and improved for 2019!
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12/1/19 -- Aaaaaaaaaaaand just like that it's December. Holidays, anyone? How the hell did this happen?

-- 12 second musical review: Jagged Little Pill: We sat down expecting something life-altering, considering the genius of the iconic album it's based on. And it was, well, good. Just good. Felt like Diablo Cody played it way too safe. There were powerful moments and a few great numbers, but much of the time it seemed like the show couldn't decide what it wanted to be.
10/27/19 -- So I wouldn't really say we hosted a pumpkin carving party this time around. Rather, being stressed out of our minds these past few weeks and running ragged in general, we simply procured a field at the Pratt Nature Center yesterday and said "Hey - show up at this time. Bring some food. And some pumpkins." And I'll be damned it actually kinda worked out. This one lacked the glitz and glamour of past pumpkin parties, but what's not to love on a gorgeous fall day in the great outdoors? Thanks to everyone who pitched in with setup / cleanup, and to everyone who brought goodies.

It's been rough, this time around, getting up for our favorite holday. Real life has a way of dousing one's enthusiasm for such things, and Halloween 2019 just isn't getting the love it deserves.

There's still time to be spooky... I'm not giving up.

10/6/19 -- On this 6th day of October, 2019, we've been blessed with the quintessential October weather... mind you not the blue sky 60 degree perfection we saw yesterday. No, this is a gray, albeit mild, damp-ish vibe that sends the imagination spookily running amok. Took to a woods walk with A and les chiens, and every creaking tree branch and squawking crow evoked deliciously creepy thoughts of Halloween.

Bring it on.

9/21/19 -- Much has happened since last visiting this little crawlspace, I'll get right to it:

- We vacationed on (surprise surprise) Block Island. September is still boss out there. But you already knew this. Maria and Kate posted oodles of droolworthy pics on FB, go checkit checkit checkit out.

- I watched Kingfish perform at the Cutting Room. Incroyable! And get this - BIG was in the crowd, standing literally about 4 feet away. Jaw agape at Kingfish's guitar wizardry.

- Finished The Woman in the Window. Damn fine thriller. And ready-made for a movie, I think next year. Yowza.

And here we find ourselves knee-deep into "Septober", our favorite time of year. Reminding ourselves to savor every moment... freezing, gray, depressing yuckfest will set in all too soon. Pumpkin Party anyone? Details soon to follow. Huzzah!

8/30/19 -- I might've watched the Downton Abbey trailer 800 times... September 20th cannot get here soon enough.

-- Check 'Run Spartan Race' off the Bucket List, did one last weekend with some gym pals and it was a hoot! I see now why people become addicted to these things...
8/23/19 -- Barack Obama's summer reading list, in case you were wondering... And here's what our current president is reading... oh wait, bitch doesn't read. Less than zero intellectual curiosity.

-- Ya know, say what you will about the modern Sherlock Holmes movies with RDJ... as a Sherlock purist I have many gripes. But there's no denying that the Game of Shadows forest chase scene was beautifully done. I'm told they're working on a third installment, I'll be first in line.

-- Had a go at this workout today. Suffice to say there's a lot of work to be done and I need to try again next week.

Power snatches
Overhead Squats
30 double-unders

For the snatches and OHS, the reps go 3,6,9,12,15,18, and so on. 9 minute cap.
Ascending reps... just cruel.

-- My first ever Spartan Race tomorrow, wish me luck! I'll only consider it a success if I return home limping and covered with mud from head to toe. And smiling.

-- Mandalorian trailer, anyone? Yes please. Ok Disney, you've got me by the balls once again. How do I sign up for this silly streaming service of yours?
8/17/19 -- Good Fitz and the Tantrums.

Bad Fitz and the Tantrums.

8/10/19 -- Six second book review: Elevation by Stephen King. Such an odd little story, and certainly a stiff departure from his usual fair. Call it a good-natured ode to acceptance... not at all what you'd expect from a master of horror. I'll say it's certainly worth your time.
8/2/19 -- "It says here that you speak German fluently."

"Like a katzenjammer kid."

I truly love this scene for some reason.

7/30/19 -- See, mom? All those hours playing video games weren't wasted... this kid just won $3M playing Fortnite.
7/24/19 -- I'm a Tom Hanks fan just like you, and pretty much every other living being on the planet is. And I bow to no man or child in my admiration of the late great Fred Rogers. So you'd expect me to be freaking out about the recently released trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. But somehow it leaves me feeling... unfulfilled. It's like seeing Tom Hanks dressed up as Fred Rogers for Halloween. Look, if anyone can pull this off, it's Hanks. But I just don't know...
7/13/19 -- Sometimes the thing actually lives up to (or even exceeds) your wildest expectations. For years it's been a running joke with us - if G Love, or Jack, or Donavon - ANY of our guys - ever did a Block Island gig... we'd be on the next ferry. And I'll be damned, G did a gig at the newly renovated Surf Hotel. It was a LOT of driving for a day trip (who on earth could afford July hotel rates out there?), but well worth every mile. And remind me to tell you about the opening act - a hidden gem known as the Kelly Bell Band.

To top it all off, G and fam were on our return ferry boat. I was leaning over the rail, gazing wistfully at the North Light (as I am wont to do), and felt a presence next to me. It was G himself! I was a little starstruck, but chatted him up for a few minutes. Turns out he's a down to earth, chill guy who loves his life.

A damn fine day.

6/30/19 -- Toy Story 4 is every bit as wonderful as everyone says it is. Box of kleenex mandatory.

-- I see now why people become addicted to those tuff mudder/spartan type races. Ran a "lite" obstacle terrain run thing today with some gym pals and had a blast. Looking to do something a bit more horrible later this summer. WHO'S WIT ME?
6/8/19 -- Must. Have. New. Mac. Pro.
6/2/19 -- Please tell me you've seen the Downton Abbey movie trailer. Please tell me you were filled with warm and fuzzies, as I was. If only Lady Mary would LOSE THOSE BANGS.
6/1/19 -- Suddenly I looked up and it was JUNE already. How the hell did that happen? Been neglecting my beloved website too long... were it up to me I'd spend all day every day in a coffee house, pounding away on the keyboard and uploading every random musing and bit of nonsense that skitters through my brain... but alas, real life can sometimes get in the way.

There have been two key events since last post: First and foremost we joined Kate out on Block Island for her birthday weekend. I hadn't been out this early in the season since, well, I don't know when. Y'awls always hear me singing the praises of Sept/Oct as the *only* time for BI adventuring, but damn if May isn't pretty special too. The place is just waking up after a looooong nap and you've got full run of the street and beaches. The beer is fresh and last year's gear is 50% off. Only setback: in May the Atlantic hasn't yet had a chance to warm up -- way too cold for human immersion. Ah well.

The other big event - THE GREAT PURGE. We've been talking about it for months, so we finally pulled the trigger and rented a 20-yard dumpster from Advanced Roll-Off. It had to be done - our basement had become a candidate for a Hoarders episode. It's taken us all week but the change down there is remarkable. You can almost traverse from one room to the next without climbing over things...

5/10/19 -- No seriously, Kingfish. A dutiful and lovely tribute... and then around 3:49 something happens. NPR's album review here.

-- At last the weekend approaches! And yet how can it compare to last weekend, which featured Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day (see above) on the same day??!?!?! That's like Halloween landing on a Saturday with a Full Moon.
4/29/19 -- Thrones is absolutely crushin' it in its eighth and final season. And like you, I watched 'The Long Night' from start to finish with nary a blink, jaw agape the entire time. But it needs to be said - I was one of the hapless buggers who had a hard time seeing things. I was cursing Frontier out loud, blaming them squarely for the pixelated, smudgy action sequences. Hard to say who's really to blame here. Need to re-watch on a laptop and hope for a better experience.
4/28/19 -- On the genius of the late great John Bonham...
4/12/19 -- The incomparable Brandi Carlile to perform Joni Mitchell's Blue album in its entirety. Can she do it justice? Might need to check that shit out.

-- Remember when Pink was still cool? Seems like so many years ago...

-- So earlier that day I'd spotted a mangled turkey carcass on the side of route 7 and wondered aloud how someone could be that careless in hitting such a large bird. Sho nuff that evening my wife did just that, or rather the turkey hit her - shattering the windshield, denting the roof, and rendering her car undriveable.

Like we have time for this crap.

4/6/19 -- For Date Night last night we took in Us at the local theater. To summarize: at the halfway point I was thinking it was the dumbest shit I'd ever seen... but afterwards walking to the car I was like Damn that was actually really clever. Why the hell didn't I think of it? Stay with it, you'll see what I mean.

Damn you and your brilliance, Jordan Peele.

-- Played Connect Four last night for the first time in 20 years. And now I remember why it's been 20 years. But still... most memorable commercial from our childhoods, wouldn't you agree?
3/24/19 -- The eyes of Sir Ian. Love this.

-- Jakey had his birthday geek-out extravaganza sleepover last night - Six, maybe seven hoodlum 13-year olds, their laptops, and 100,000 calories worth of Dominos Pizza, Dr Pepper, and Doritos. I got up to pee at 3am and they were still at it. This morning's capper consisted of the elite sugar cereals of your childhood (above). Pullin' out all the stops.

In two days' time he'll be 13. I can't even.

3/17/19 -- Top o' the marnin' tooo yuh! And oh yes - MY PATRICK'S POT ON YOU. Whatever it means, I still have no idea. But I got you.

Speaking of which, I was on a conference call the other day with a room filled with delightful Irish folks. Such beautiful, soothing voices, and that accent - uh! After 5 minutes I was on ASMR overload - practically drooling on my desk and barely able to pay attention.

3/13/19 -- Sometimes after a rough day you just need to watch MJ fading away for a while. Forget the high-flying jams and the buzzer-beaters, the fadeaway is the most beautiful shot in basketball. And nobody's ever done it better.
3/12/19 -- I'll grudgingly admit that today's new Aladdin trailer is tolerable, especially compared to the horror show they released last month. And MAN the actress playing Jasmine is gorgeous, who is she?

Still boycotting this movie, however.

3/3/19 -- So I guess this is how mankind will end: In my dream the other night, every single person in the world was infected with some disease which made our skin pink and peely. Like a bad sunburn. There was no mass hysteria or panic, everyone just sorta wandered around in grim acceptance. It was unclear how much time was left to us before we all keeled over dead, but our demise was certain. I found myself in some stately old house filled with strangers and a few select family members, my Aunt Kiki among them. Somehow we got to talking about puppies, and I vividly recall her stating: "If I had a new puppy dog right now I'd name him Pimple McFucky." If you've never met Kiki, this is exactly the kind of thing she says all the time.

Dreams. Go figure.

-- Wifey and I dozed off on the sofa last night with the excellent film The Kids are Alright on screen. Jolted awake by a certain scene (warning: minor spoiler ahead) involving Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, ummmm, enthusiastically and acrobatically enjoying each other's company. Fortunately both children were already in bed, but whew!
2/23/19 -- Asked A how he feels on his extra special day, he replied "Just happy."

Aidan is life. And he's FIFTEEN! How'd THAT happen?

2/17/19 -- NBA All-Star Weekend 2019 and I couldn't care less. This used to be a huge deal for me, in fact I've had the good fortune of attending a few such weekends back in the early 2000's. Was even in the building to see MJ hit this shot (around the 0:44 mark). Nowadays, not so much. Don't get me wrong - the talent levels of these modern athletes defies description. But somewhere along the way, the weekend lost its soul.

Take the Dunk Contest. It just sucks. Every spectacular humanly possibly dunk has already been done in years past, so nowadays the participants rely on over the top grandstanding and silly props - seriously, one guy last night dressed up as a WWI Flying Ace. The 3-Point shootout is still watchable, but really can anything ever top Bird - in his warmup jacket no less - walking off holding his finger aloft (3:56 mark) while the final shot drops through the twine? And as for the All Star Game itself, there's absolutely zero defensive effort on display. It's basically players lobbing alley-oops to one another while everyone else stands around.

**SIGH** how I yearn for the good ol' days.

2/14/19 -- Valentines Day! The Missus and I have an agreement: no flowers this year, and definitely no chocolate. That is, until tomorrow when Whittman's Samplers are half price!
2/7/19 -- I take it back, I DO have a New Year's resolution: three consecutive ("unbroken") RMUs. On second thought, make it FIVE.

-- Lee Friedlander: six decades of photographing his wife. Love this.

-- Can bounced checks be attributed to Wells Fargo's current technical issues? Uuhh, asking for a friend.

-- So a week ago to the day Aidan got a light touch of the flu, which is apparently making the rounds through every child in the tri-state area. A week later his cough - and only his cough - still lingers, and his pediatrician cleared him for school. But even so, school wants him home. Trust me - we sent him yesterday and Nurse Ratched called us up insisting we come retrieve him...

I dunno, back in the day I recall nothing short of a severed aorta spewing blood would keep me home sick. Kids these days...

-- A handy guide to photographing food.
2/6/19 -- Luna takes advantage of a rare 60 degree day in February. An all too brief reminder of how wonderful April/May will feel, if ever we get there.
1/31/19 -- It's quite possible that I have an unhealthy addiction to Propel.
1/28/19 -- BINGO NIGHT! Aidan won a football. I never win anything.
1/24/19 -- 35 years ago today Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh. You've come a long way, baby...

-- A compilation of music stars pulling kids on stage to perform with them - and the kids absolutely crushing it. Makes me wish I'd stuck with my piano lessons all those years ago.

-- Ya know, when you're at the beach (or maybe the dump) admiring the sea gulls, I'll remind you that there's actually no such thing. What you're actually looking at are variations of creatures from the Laridae fam. Read on, fellow birders, and keep those french fries hidden.
1/22/19 -- Deep Blue is a 50-year old Great White shark measuring around 20 feet in length (one of the largest in the world, it's believed), and recently a group of divers had the pleasure of swimming with her. Sans cage!
1/18/19 -- Sick days: a thing of the past.

-- Big time product recall on my beloved RX Bars, and just like that I've lost the will to live.
1/14/19 -- Over the weekend we lunched at Barristers, New Milford's newest coffee house. My 10 second review: In a word, adequate. They've got some work to do. Closed Sundays? What is UP with that? My latte, however, was on point and there's a decent assortment of muffins, scones, etc. I'm thinking they ought to up their sandwich game, and funkify things - fire up some reggae, hang some art... add a little soul. But hey - beggars can't be choosers. I'm just thrilled to have an operational coffee house downtown once again. Even a work in progress.
1/11/19 -- So I started following this guy on Instagram, who is basically me had I ever won the lottery. As far as I can tell he's a professional photog who summers on Block Island and winters on St John (where he appears to be at this very moment). No, seriously. The fantasy version of myself. And what incredible shots!
1/9/19 -- Possibly more information about worsted wool than you'll ever need. But interesting, nonetheless.
1/7/19 -- Well it's official: Asparagus is king, followed closely by sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Adjust your 2019 food resolutions accordingly.
1/4/19 -- Taking inspiration from The Meg, which we recently rented and rather enjoyed, I watched this overly drawn out video about why the Megaladon went extinct. After 5 minutes I grew bored of the narrator's ramlbing, so I scrolled through the comments and saw someone had posted "Thats what a megalodon wants us to think." And just like that, my faith in the Internet has been restored.

-- Analysis: Skyfall vs Casino Royale. Discuss.

-- Pretty sure last year around this time I resolved not to make any resolutions for 2019. But who among us doesn't break their New Years resolutions? So I resolve to not not resolve to make 2019 resolutions... Wait, what?
Frequent stops:

Boing Boing
Me on Twitter!
MVY Radio
Autism Daddy
ars technica
Engadget - Apple News
National Geographic
Calvin & Hobbes
Daring Fireball
Jason Kottke