Me, Myself, and I

It’s time for me to speak out.  While my English isn’t aways perfect, there are some grammatical things that drive me nuts.  I’ve tried to document some examples that are an easy fix.

  • me vs I:
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John and me.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John and I.
    • Why: The easiest rule here is to pretend the other people don’t exist.  Using the examples above, you’d never say “Here’s a photo of I,” right?  We’ve all had it beaten into our heads that it’s “I” and not “me” in most cases, but it doesn’t work here.
  • myself: If you use ‘myself’ you have to have an ‘I’ in there.
    • Correct: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and me, which I photographed myself.
    • Incorrect: Here’s a photo of John, Sarah, and myself.
  • begs the question: Just don’t use it, it doesn’t mean what you think.  You probably mean “raises the question.”
  • puncuation
    • commas and quotation marks: If you live in the US, commas go inside quotation marks.  There can be exceptions if it involves a something like a book or movie title in quotes.
    • ellipses: You know those three periods?  Those are called ellipses (…).  I use them a bit too much myself, but my two issues are more about usage.
      • Never try to accomplish this with three commas.
      • There are shortcuts on keyboards for this, so don’t type out three periods (option + ; on a Mac).
    • spaces: I personally use one space after a comma and two spaces after a period.  The most important part here is consistency.  If you work for a company and are writing public posts, make sure you know their format.
  • less vs. fewer: if you can count it, use fewer.  If it’s more nebulous and intangible and you can’t count it, use less.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer apples.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less apples.
    • Correct: We need to buy fewer food.
    • Incorrect: We need to buy less food.
  • “Where’s that at?”
    • Avoiding ending sentences with prepositions can be difficult, I know.  For this example just say “where’s that?” and drop the “at.”
  • Others:
    • you’re/your
    • there/their/they’re
    • it’s/its
    • too/to

Night of the Living Dead

Did you know it’s legal to share the movie “Night of the Living Dead” online because of a mistake with copyright? It’s true!  If you’ve never seen it, give it a watch.  I hear the restored version is even better and I can’t wait to check it out!

Here’s why it’s free to watch, share, etc…

Happy Halloween!

Summer Madness

I have a bit of a confession; I’ve become a fan of pop and other forms of music I never thought I’d like.  Here are some songs I’ve been listening to over the last few months.  Keith Urban?  Harry Styles?  Miley Cyrus?  Yup, I wouldn’t have expected these either, but there’s something there for me!  It’s a byproduct of a few things; I’m married to a huge pop fan, we have kids, and I get a lot of my music via the radio.  I don’t hear the same music I did even 5 years ago.  That’s not to say there’s stuff on there I wouldn’t have listened to anyway.  The tracks by Childish Gambino and Thundercat would probably be in heavy rotation for me no matter what (and The Weeknd/Daft Punk collaboration isn’t a million miles away from those).  There’s the nostalgia pick of my time in Ireland with Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ and a song from the show Nashville.  There’s more than just the songs I’ve mentioned, so give my little list a listen!  What have you listening to lately?  What else should I hear?

I’ve Been Everywhere

Everywhere is a bit of a stretch, but it turns out I’ve been able to travel a lot in the last few years because of work.  A friend I hadn’t seen for some time reminded me that when we first met my response to “hey, have you been to X place?” was inevitably “no.”  And that wasn’t an exaggeration in my early twenties.  Other than a few places in my home State of Maine, I’d been to New Hampshire, Boston, New Jersey, Florida, and Washington D.C..  Other than those few places, I really hadn’t been anywhere.

  • Canada
    • Atlantic Canada (2002?): 2500 miles in a Ford Focus through…
      • New Brunswick
      • Cape Breton
      • Nova Scotia
      • Prince Edward Island
    • Campobello, New Brunswick (2016)
    • Montreal, Quebec (2015)
  • Europe
    • Ireland (1999):
      • Cork
      • Dublin
      • Doolin
      • Connemara
      • Clifden
      • The Burren
    • London (1999/2015)
    • Prague (2017)
    • Paris (2017)
  • US Travel
    • New Mexico (2014)
      • Albuquerque
      • Santa Fe
    • Austin, Texas (2016)
    • Colorado (2012)
      • Boulder
      • Pueblo
      • Denver
    • Florida (1987/2016)
    • Maryland (1992/2004)
    • New York (2000, 2009, 2011, 2013)
    • New Jersey (1987)
    • Pennsylvania (2015/206)
      • Lancaster (2004)
      • Gettysburg (2004)
      • Philadelphia (2015/16)
    • Phoenix, AZ (2017)
    • San Francisco, California (2016)
    • Utah (2015/2016)
    • Virginia (1992)
  • Other
    • Aruba

With just a few months left to the year, I know I still have trips to Whistler, BC and Nashville.

Bonus Canadian version:

57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)

I realized back in 2005 that internet TV was probably going to be a thing.  It wasn’t just that YouTube made it’s debut, but also Revision3 – former cast and crew from TechTV making free, professional, content delivered like a podcast.  The format of the two were a little different with Revision3 offered high resolution versions of their shows; Systm (tech how-tos), Diggnation (tech/social news), Control Alt Chicken (cooking), and more.  Fast forward twelve years and I find the majority of programming I care about doesn’t come from a standard TV network, but can instead still be found online.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

Welcome to the Basement/Blame Society

I originally found Blame Society back in 2006 because of their show Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager.  Picture the loser relative of Darth Vader who works in a grocery store, but is just as power hungry as the Vader we all know and love.  Turns out they make some pretty great (and hilarious) observations on film.  Side note, Matt Sloane (voice of Chad) is so good at doing Vader’s voice that he now voices Darth Vader in most Star Wars video games.  I rediscovered Blame Society while on a Brian DePalma kick – their video commentary on Phantom of the Paradise kept coming up in searches on his films.  Now it’s a weekly staple in my video watching routine.  It’s one of those shows where you feel like you get to know the hosts over time.

Screen Junkies/Honest Trailers

I found Screen Junkies because of Honest Trailers and now it’s something I look for every Tuesday.  You’ve probably seen at least one – honest commentaries on films with more than a touch of humor and biting commentary.  Screen Junkies News is also a great source of film and TV news, especially comic book and sci-fi genres.  It started as a little YouTube channel with a few people riffing on movies and has grown into something resembling a laid-back pop culture news network.

Hot Ones/Food Grails

Hot Ones is spicy chicken wings and questions… that’s it.  The challenge for the celebrities (or near celebrities, in some cases) is to keep focused on answering questions while eating wings with ever-escalating spiciness.  Almost everyone is over confident on their ability to handle the sauces and hilarity ensues almost every time.  TJ Miller was my first, but I’ve watched them all (some a few times).

Food Grails, also from Complex/First We Feast, documents little-known foods within cities and neighborhoods.  From Atlanta’s lemon pepper wings to D.C.’s Mumbo Sauce, it sheds light on foods I otherwise wouldn’t know.  I even bought a bottle of Capital City Mumbo Sauce out of curiosity – totally worth it!

Binging with Babish

Ever wanted to sample foods from your favorite TV shows?  Andrew Rea experiments with recipes, usually trying the accurate recipe first from a classic TV episode.  If that doesn’t work out then he attempts to make a tastier version based around the original concept.  Seinfeld’s chocolate babka, The Moistmaker from Friend’s, the foods of South Park, the and many, many more are covered on the show.  The foods can range from something simple (carbonara or fish tacos) to the outrageous (SNL’s TacoTown taco or Big Night’s Il Timpano).

Cinefix

You know those internet countdown lists?  They’re everywhere, but this one has a twist… it’s really good!  It’s a masterclass in filmmaking in the form of short YouTube videos (and I’ve taken three film courses, so I know 😉 ).  Some picks may seem arbitrary on the surface, but there’s always a method behind their madness.

Kaptainkristian / Nerdwriter / Lessons from the Screenplay

These tree YouTube channels are not related, but they share a very similar structure… deep dives into a single subject.  Kaptainkristian pulls ahead as my favorite of the group, but are all equally interesting and thought provoking.

Song referenced:

The Game

I first noticed David Fincher’s work as a music video director in the ’90s and it really stuck with me.  How bid of a fan am I?  I’ve probably seen Alien³ and The Game more than Fincher has.  Despite having followed his career from almost the beginning, I was a bit taken aback by this video, which details his subtle usage of VFX in his film.

Here too are a few favorite videos:

Everyone loves a little Walken in their music video.

This is literally the Citizen Kane of music videos.

Quentin Crisp on MTV, who would have thought it possible?

Author’s note: Aerosmith is terrible, but the video is another story.

You can also see the influence of David Fincher in the music videos of Michael Bay.