Tag Archives: entertainment

My Week with Apple Watch

The absence of a house, spouse, child, or discernible adult responsibilities of any sort in my life have left me with enough extra income to purchase Apple’s latest gadget, The Apple Watch. (Anyone who calls it the iWatch might as well stop reading now and save both of us the hassle). The following is a day-by-day account of my first week with The  Watch, journaled for posterity so that when the robots have taken over in the semi-distant future, we will have a better idea of where we went wrong.

Apple Watch Sporty Spice

Apple Watch Sporty Spice

April 30, 2015

Day 1 — The Apple Watch is definitely a solid device, meeting or exceeding all my expectations. Big takeaways so far are that battery life is way better than advertised, it’s more water-resistant than I realized, and I’m finding nuanced little features I hadn’t heard about before all the time (i.e. using the watch as a remote control for my AppleTV, using it to take pictures with my phone, checking into my gym with it, etc.)

Day 2 — Really dug into some of the fitness features today. The Apple Watch has a different workout setting for most of the common cardio exercises; really cool to see my heartbeat and calories burned in real time. I sprinted a mile as part of my workout and felt myself pretty out of breath…hm, weird, I would’ve thought Apple Watch would’ve fixed that. Apple Watch also failed to add ANY weight to my max bench press. Odd. Might have to make a Genius Bar appointment to make sure I didn’t get a defective unit.

Day 3 — Despite owning the Apple Watch for almost half a week, didn’t get to see Avengers 2 yet. Weird, because I know I really wanna see Avengers 2, and Apple Watch is supposed to be the more personal and effective device ever and yet here I am, still not having seen a single second of what my girlfriend has called the “I will break up with you” movie of the summer. Instead spent the day reading Shakespeare’s King Lear on my Apple Watch. Eyes were pretty strained after the first two hours, blacked out from a migraine for a little bit, but felt way better after I woke up. Thanks, Apple Watch!

Day 4 — Got fired at work for physically assaulting my boss when he said he thought the Apple Watch “wasn’t for everyone,” definitely didn’t see “getting fired” as a side effect of the Apple Watch, but it’s still a pretty new device so they’re still working out some of the bugs. Hopefully future versions will be less likely to get their owners fired. Getting pretty good at drawing dicks on the Apple Watch screen and sending them to my friends.

Day 5 — Well my girlfriend left me (out of nowhere!), and despite me REPEATEDLY sending her my heartbeat via Apple Watch, she still hasn’t come to her senses and begged me to take her back yet. And my heart was beating extra fast today, too! (It always does when I’m taking her cute best friend out to dinner). Really need to make that Genius bar appointment to make sure I don’t have a bum unit. Maybe her cute best friend will go with me, and we can see a movie and take a moonlit walk on the beach afterwards under the stars. I have a sneaking suspicion that Apple Watch is altering my perception of time to better fit in with its own battery cycle, as I’ve been up for 51 hours but Apple Watch keeps saying it’s still Tuesday. Which is a pretty cool feature, if you ask me.

Day 6 — At this point I’ve had the Apple Watch for almost a week, yet that STILL didn’t stop the bank from foreclosing on my condo today, something about 18 months of back-payments and overdue property taxes. I don’t know, I didn’t get any reminders about anything like that from my Apple Watch, so it must be some sort of clerical error. Clerical Error would be a great name for like a speed-metal band. Oh also my (now ex) girlfriend finally texted me back today and told me she was pregnant, but said she won’t let me near the kids, which is a terrible Apple Watch feature that I hope they fix in the next beta.

Day 7 — The IRS is auditing me totally out of the blue, despite the fact that I literally just filed my taxes four years ago. Sounds like an Apple Watch bug. There’s just a sinkhole where my condominium complex used to be, although I’m told the bank can still foreclose on my condo even if it’s three stories underground now. As if that wasn’t enough of a bummer about the Apple Watch, my neighborhood has been hit hard with an intense breakout of tornadoes, famine, tsunamis, freshwater drought and a plague of toa-locusts (a genetic hybrid of toads and locusts), but I think that last one is because my next door neighbor bought a Samsung Galaxy Gear from one of those resellers on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Having some real difficulty finding a virgin for sacrificial purposes (that’s Los Angeles for you I guess), DESPITE using Apple Watch’s Siri integration. Even though I’ve been charging it every single day, Apple Watch has yet to repair the estranged relationship between me and my father. Maybe I should’ve sprung for the solid-gold “Edition” version of the Apple Watch.

Day 8 — Returned my Apple Watch today. Honestly, I liked it a lot, but having to deal with all of the other side effects just wasn’t worth it. Maybe I’ll pick up a future version, but for now I’m happy to be a little more low-tech than the next guy.

Day 9 — Everything is back to normal now…I guess maybe it isn’t for everyone, after all. Looks like my boss was right on that one…but don’t tell HIM that ;) (Rest in peace, Mr. Johnston).

Play on,
Dustin

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox! …Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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Fall TV Pass/Fail (Part One)

A fact that sometimes surprises people when they hear it (myself included) is that I graduated an accredited, four-year private college with honors. I say that primarily to brag, but secondarily to let you know that often times I worked very hard in college in very difficult classes that stretched me mentally, academically, and sometimes physically (Ultimate Frisbee, spring quarter senior year…hey everybody should schedule a blowoff class their senior year). And while most of those classes demanded a lot of my attention and focus so I could keep my GPA at honors levels, my favorite classes were graded on what’s known as the pass/fail system.

If you’re unfamiliar with pass/fail classes and somehow also not able to grasp exactly what a pass/fail class is just by the name, it’s a class where instead of an A-to-F grading system, there are only two grades: you either pass, or fail. No in between. That brings me to fall television’s new schedule of shows (I’m not big on segues). We’re all busy, and our leisure time is almost as valuable as our productivity time, so rather than go through and grade every new TV show on some sort of A-F, five star, ten point, etc. scale, I’m going to break it down very simply for you into shows that either pass or fail (assuming of course that the “class” objective of each show is getting you to watch).

This guide is not exhaustive, it’s basically a handful of the new shows that looked interesting enough to me to DVR (I don’t watch anything live anymore that’s not sports), so if your favorite new show didn’t make the list of ones I’ve reviewed, I kind of don’t care. But still let me know in the comments because I’ll need something to fill the void in my life once Breaking Bad ends next week. Also, this list is pretty sitcom heavy because I like comedies and because like black people to Paula Deen, all dramatic hourlong serials look the same to me.

Let’s get started.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
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Andy Samberg’s first solo outing without SNL backup or his Lonely Island posse, the show’s premise is basically Reno 911 but in New York. I don’t know if a lot of you are  Samberg fans or not, but I like him, and I think his quirky brand of positive comedy is a welcome balance to darker comedies like Louie and It’s Always Sunny and cookie-cutter network fare like whatever is on CBS right now (you’ll note I included exactly zero CBS shows on this list because all CBS shows (particularly sitcoms) are absolute garbage (except The Crazy Ones). Am I generalizing? Yes. Are sweeping generalizations sometimes accurate? Also yes. Did I just use three sub-parentheses in this parenthesis? Triple yes). Two episodes in to B99, I laughed pretty consistently. Grade: PASS.

Dads.
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I’ll say it right now: I like Seth MacFarlane. I like Family Guy (even the new seasons), I liked Ted, I loved his hosting job at the Oscars (sorry, classy friends). I already like his new movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and it doesn’t even come out for another year. So yeah, I was biased toward this MacFarlane-created sitcom from the start. I wanted to like it, I really did. But, I didn’t. The jokes are hit-or-miss at best (leaning more toward the “miss” side), the leads aren’t that engaging or funny to me (not a Seth Green fan, never have been), and any modern-day tv show that still uses a laugh track already starts at a deficit in my book. The premise is okay, and I appreciate the postmodernist idea of kids having to support their folks at an increasingly younger age, but none of it felt that original or funny to me. Maybe it will get funnier after it’s cancelled and brought back a few years later, ala Family Guy. Grade: FAIL.

Agents of SHIELD (ain’t nobody got time to put all those periods between letters, so just know that it’s an acronym, ok?).
marvels-agents-of-shield
Agent Phil Coulson’s Marvel/Avengers character and Clark Gregg’s acting career are both deservedly resurrected in this weekly sci-fi series that takes place in the same universe as IronMan, Captain America, Hulk, and Thor (though never close enough to get them any screen time). As someone who’s been looking for a replacement for Heroes ever since it went bad after the first few seasons, I’m excited for Agents mostly because it’s the exact same premise as Heroes was, just with a better producing team that (hopefully) learned from the sustainability mistakes of previous attempts at this sort of show (Alphas, The 4400, et al). One episode in I like, don’t love, it but if the Marvel world has taught us anything it’s that the payoff is pretty consistently worth the buildup, so I’m giving it a few more eps to convert me from cautious optimism to full on fangirl. Grade: PASS.

Sean Saves the World.
I’m going to save you the trouble of reading my summary of this show and just show you the promo poster instead and let you make your own extrapolations from there.
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Grade: FAIL.

Derek.
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Quickly becoming my favorite atheist (sorry Jamiroquai and Nick Caruso), Ricky Gervais’ latest offering is a show that displays deep understanding of and respect for the human soul (ironically from a man who doesn’t believe they exist). Like the UK version of The Office (if you haven’t seen it, ask your most pretentious friend for a summary, he/she will have), and his lesser-known (but far superior) show, Extras, Derek takes the ordinary (borderline pitiable) and spins it into something fascinating, extraordinary, heart-wrenching and heartwarming. All in 22 minutes. And as an added bonus, this one is a Netflix original, so there’s no killing time for an entire week between episodes. Grade: PASS.

The Goldbergs.
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What if there was a show just like The Wonder Years, but like, less naïve and more self-aware? Also, ‘80s references. That’s basically the premise for The Goldbergs, and if it sounds a little thin, that’s because it is. As an SNL sketch, I love it. As a television show that’s meant to last anywhere from five-to-eight seasons, I’m not on board. The pilot didn’t blow me away, and I don’t see it having a lot of room to grow from there. But if I don’t like it, that probably means the general public will love it. Because that’s the purgatory I live in where 30 Rock and Party Down are off the air but Two and a Half Men is still around and Big Bang Theory just won a handful of Emmys. I can’t sigh exasperatedly enough to describe how I feel about that. Grade: FAIL.

Hello Ladies.
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Stephen Merchant is a name most of you won’t know, but he’s the creative Yin to Ricky Gervais’ Yang. Except if Yin and Yang were both equally funny in the same way instead of being opposites. Okay so maybe the analogy doesn’t hold up all that well, but for years Stephen Merchant has struck me as Gervais’ wildly underrated comedic equal, and now he’ll finally get the chance to prove me right that he’s been waiting for all these years. Hello Ladies is Merchant’s vehicle and blah blah blah some pun about a sports car and/or cruise control, just watch this show already. You will like it or your money back. Worth stealing your friend’s HBOgo login if you don’t already have one. Grade: PASS.

Well that’s all the grading the FCC will legally allow me to do this week (none of that is true), but check back next week (or whenever I get around to it) for my thoughts on the next wave of TV premieres. And in the meantime don’t forget that South Park, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, and New Girl have have all started back up if you’re looking for a comedic safety to fall into in case none of the new shows strike your fancy.

Play on,
Dustin

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox. Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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Ala Cartman

I’m sitting here in my room singing a slow loop of the only words I know from the song “No Diggity” (which, I am not proud to say, are just “I like the way you work it. No diggity. And that’s it. It’s a very short rendition), and I can’t figure out why CBS is so popular. I’m not entirely sure how those two things are related, which is a phrase I haven’t uttered since the first time I saw Bruce Jenner and Kim Kardashian in the same house.

It’s 3am, I always find myself writing these things at 3am. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not staying up to write. I’m staying up because I’m in the middle of my once a month laundry marathon (that’s exactly what it sounds like. I only do laundry once every four-to-six weeks. I have a lot of underwear) and I can’t go to bed until I get this last load into the dryer. That should be soon so hopefully this post will be short.

I don’t know all the details because honestly who could possibly care, but basically Time Warner is mad at CBS because CBS doesn’t think CBS is getting enough money and Time Warner doesn’t think Time Warner is getting enough money so they’re taking their ball and saying “Screw you guys, I’m going home” just like Cartman from South Park.

So now, Time Warner has blacked out CBS’ channels from its cable service until they can reach an agreement on the best way to give all the millionaires more millions.

I own exactly zero copyrights to this image, in case you wondered.

I own exactly zero copyrights to this image, in case you wondered.

The problem is that blacking out a single channel as a result of this dispute has caused them to accidentally stumble onto the reverse of what cable companies should have already been doing for years: offering their services ala carte.

Continue reading

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Whose Blog is It Anyway?

whose-line-is-it-anyway-2013

So there are really only a handful of things from my childhood that are sacred to me: Bugs Bunny, the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Claussen pickles (always refrigerated, never frozen), and Whose Line is it Anyway (there are others, but four examples is plenty for you to get the idea: I wasn’t a particularly “cool” kid). Of those, Bugs Bunny is still on the air if you know where to look, I regrettably parted ways with the Nintendo (mostly due to a lapse in judgment and the fact that my brother and I had never seen $50 at once before), Claussen’s remain one of only five things (along with milk, salad, cereal, and alcohol) I feel comfortable buying from the grocery store, and Whose Line it Anyway had a nice run and then got cancelled.

Until NOW.

I never learned about capitalization for emphasis in writing school, I just kind of figured it out on my own…did somebody say savant?? I’m like the Bobby Fischer of capslock (google the reference, 90s kids).

Imagine how excited the kid in me got when he found out that Whose Line is it Anyway was coming back? More excited than when he found out ExoSquad was on Hulu Plus (…again, google it).

Continue reading

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Your Fly is Down

As some of you are aware, I work a day job as an actor to help fund and fuel my dream to one day become a waiter. As a result, I sometimes find myself in wacky situations for acting purposes, this was definitely the case for a recent commercial shoot I was on that almost didn’t happen because apparently airlines can just straight up cancel their flights if they feel like it, no big whoop. Below is 31 hours of travel shenanigans compressed into seven minutes of me talking into a camera. Watch it if that’s your thing. If it’s not your thing, go back to eating your high cholesterol fatty foods, you stereotypical American, you.

So there you have it, a day in the life of a sort-of actor. Next time I should just take my personal jet like Clooney does.

Play on,
Dustin

Here is the first picture that popped up when I googled my own name:

if i'd taken senior portraits, i'm certain they would've looked like this.

if I’d taken senior portraits, I’m certain they would’ve looked like this.

 

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox. Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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