Stuff I liked in February

Deadwood

I never saw Deadwood first time around. I’d always wanted to though, and in the run-up to Christmas bought the box-set for a few quid in a secondhand shop. I loved it. Bitter, portentous, vile. Atmospheric. I got thoroughly into the town and wish-wish-wish it had played out to the Deadwood fire (a moment telegraphed from damn near the start).

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of the movie.

“Bucket of shrugs”

I’ve been casting around for a phrase for something for a while, and “Bucket of shrugs” finally blurted from my mouth. It’s a way I’ve started referring to particular ‘checking and approval’ activities: you get a bunch of documents or facts, and make a vague judgement about whether things are ‘okay’ against some very vague criteria.

It’s a very, very common thing in legal services. It’s opaque, frustrating, and inherently hostile to clients. Making sure we never build a ‘bucket of shrugs’ into our processes at Juno is totally vital to building accessible, scalable legal services.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

I finished this book off around about the same time Phil wrote this blog post about ‘Olive Kitteridge’ and it rang similar bells. I found myself twisting in frustration at Eleanor’s behaviour throughout (it’s the point of the book, really). Enjoyed it though.

Grief is the thing with feathers

A recommendation from Gemma. I loved it. Gnarly and fractured. I burned through this in my commute and and from work… arguably too quickly. I’ll definitely return to it down the line. Connected a couple of loose ideas too, which’d be nice to do something with… possibly another writing project for Richard.

The February 8th entries on kottke.org

Physics and hip-hop. Four entirely unrelated links that opened up an internet for me: Buy the Cheap Thing First, Skipping Stones: “Every Throw Is a Complete New Puzzle”, Remembering J Dilla On His 45th Birthday and Me Cookie Monster. Ask Me Anything. A good day in links.

Bob Mortimer on Desert Island Discs

After a Guardian article in praise of fluffy, consequence-free interviews I got listening to Lauren Laverne’s run on the programme. Bob Mortimer came off as a lovely, relatable introvert. A chill time.

Josie Long on the Off Menu podcast

I’m enjoying Off Menu. Desert Island Discs for food. Especially enjoyed the Josie Long episode because Felix got a shout out. He is a wonderful man, who makes wonderful drinks.

Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts

My favourite Warhammer faction got a new rulebook! Insane ghouls who toil under the delusion that they’re actually noble knights… I find The Court of The Carrion King deeply relatable.

H is for hawk: a new chapter

Natural World documentary following Helen Macdonald as she rears a goshawk for the first time since raising Mabel – the bird she trained through H is for Hawk. I have a lot of time for that book, and absolutely intend to revisit it down the line. This was a nice top-up.

Flat Pack Pop

Music doc about the music of Denniz Pop and Cheiron Studios. It was rough around the edges, and lacked a few key interviewees, but I loved this for being one of the first docs I’ve seen that took the pop music of my youth seriously. I feel old enough to deserve that now.

Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend

Dumb fun. Now mega-excited to see Katya.