Week 44.22: No cat, no mood

A cataclysmic catastrophe. Specifically, our new cat, who did not arrive on schedule. We were notified just the day before she was meant to come home that she’d developed a slight case of the sniffles. So she will stay a little longer where she is for observation and we’re hoping to get her next weekend instead. This means an additional week of fur-free living surrounded by our toxic plants, but made for quite a disappointing weekend.

Also, slightly disappointing was episode three of The Peripheral, which sagged a little bit compared to the impressive introduction of the world and technologies in episodes one and two. It also looked as if the budget was significantly reduced for this episode, and several scenes had a small, green screen sound stage feel to them. I hope this is not indicative of the remaining episodes.

Being impatient for the rest of it to be released, I intended to start reading the book again, but somehow picked up John Scalzi’s Kaiju Preservation Society instead. It’s a book that manages to meld a serious enough approach to its science and drama with a premise that just can’t be taken seriously. So far so pleased.

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An update on my foray into publishing Darkroom presets: the company published a curated collection of creations from the community and featured a bunch of mine.

Koji’s an original I shared this week. As the tweet above says, it’s inspired by characteristics of both Kodak and Fuji films, but not from comparing and copying any existing ones — just a vibe from the mental pictures I had of both brands at the time. I first made the Koji preset about four years ago, but it’s since been tweaked a hundred times probably and doesn’t resemble its original self anymore. Nevertheless, I find it an attractive analog look that suits both portraits and holiday snaps, leaning warm/red in the skin tones (Kodak?) while having subtly green-forward shadows and rolled-off highlights (Fuji?).

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Oh, we also saw Ticket To Paradise, a new rom-com starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney that goes for the feel of more successful genre pictures from the 2000s, but somehow only manages to achieve the hollow, plastic soul of a Netflix algorithm joint or one of those Chinese-financed vehicles for an aging Hollywood star that also has a minor role for some Chinese tycoon’s niece.

But here we have two Hollywood stars who have aged really well, no Chinese money in sight, and it’s still a weird dud. It wants the 2000s energy so bad that it’s also kinda tone deaf about race and white privilege, purporting to be set in Bali while not looking the part, and having its Indonesian cast members play exotic, superstitious, speak-a-no-English Easterners who openly make out with foreign women they just met, and in front of their families too.

In one scene, though, Clooney gets to tell a mediocre story with all his indelible charisma and likability turned on — that easy voice, low with emotion, taking you into its confidence; a precision tool calibrated for both paternal warmth and Nespresso/Omega endorsement — and afterwards it doesn’t really matter how the movie ends, you’re just glad to see them both on screen again, even if they allowed a hack director to momentarily make them look like two sad has-beens fighting over who can harvest the most seaweed.


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