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[4/24] Recently Read, Watched, and Listened


The Mermaid from Jeju, by Sumi Hahn -  One of the best novels I have read this year. It has me looking for more historical fiction set in Korea, a genre that I've become a big fan of. This is a beautiful and emotional tale about love and loss, which sounds generic but, when set against late 1940s Korea, really hits me. Jeju is one of the most spiritual places I have been to, and this story centers on a lot of that. There's a scene in this that made me think of the No Gun Ri massacre, and I couldn't stop thinking about both (the scene and No Gun Ri) for days.


Breaking News in Yuba County (2021) - If anything, it’s worth watching for Alison Janney’s performance. It’s almost a given that she’s just so good in anything that she appears in. The movie itself was okay. I had a feeling, not too far in from the beginning, where things might be heading (and I was right) but, it didn’t take away from watching if not for entertainment value. Wanda Sykes had some great lines; I’d love to see her in more roles. 

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) - It ’s silly and that’s exactly what we needed when we pressed the “play” button for this one. I like the two main actors (Wiig and Mumolo) together; they’re really funny and their real-life friendship definitely plays into their onscreen chemistry. Their accents and dialect were really well done, especially when they had lines that overlapped and ran into each other. Like I said, the story was overall silly but we had a few laughs while watching and the movie itself did what we wanted it to do: entertained. 

Falcon and The Winter Soldier - completed season 1. My personal irritation around comic book movies is all of the easter eggs and nods to characters, objects, and storylines of significance that are part of other comic book series, usually within the same universe. I get it, it's fan service and they can be really fun for those who are really into the entire diaspora (comic books, novels, tv series, etc.). It's just not that fun for casual fans. It almost feels like... gatekeeping? That said, I liked this series for its tone and messaging.


This week’s rotation included G.O.W.E., Lee Jung Hyun, Fin.K.L., The Notorious MSG, Ana Tijoux, and Rachael Yamagata.

[Single] “En Busca Del Agua” by Ley Line - I listened to this a few times, even having to resort to Google Translate when I got stuck (in my head) translating the lyrics. It’s really well-written.  

[Podcast] Hidden Brain: Humor Us: From the episode description, "The average four-year-old child laughs 300 times a day. By contrast, it takes more than two months for the average 40-year-old adult to laugh that many times." There are far too many societal and cultural "systems" in place that actually work against allowing people to laugh freely.

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