what i watched last week


I was talking to a neighbor today, and he said the whole block was wondering where I was. He said he hadn’t seen me for three days. As far as I know, I haven’t been any more of a hermit lately than is usual, but when I thought about this later, I remembered that it had been a couple of days since I posted here, and perhaps I should show my head so everyone will know I’m around.

The problem is, I have a few things I’m mulling over, but they aren’t connected, and I don’t have enough to say about any of them to warrant a full post. So here comes a variety show of items:

  • I’m preparing for my spring class on critical thinking. The last couple of times I’ve taught this course, I’ve found myself focusing particularly on the idea of cognitive dissonance. I always show a movie in my classes, but the film doesn’t always match the theme of the course … last summer, I used Minority Report, which kinda/almost/didn’t really fit. I think I’ve narrowed my choices this time to a pair of movies. Good Will Hunting has enough of a relationship to cognitive dissonance that you can buy essays on the topic, so that clearly matches. But my left-field preference is for The Rapture, which is an all-time favorite of mine that I have never used in a classroom. I’d argue that the ending of The Rapture involves cognitive dissonance, so I think I could make it work (and the film is obscure enough that I doubt there are any essay factories with a backlog of papers to be purchased).
  • Somewhere in the late spring, Robin and I got behind on a couple of our TV series, and then they sat on the DVR for months. I needed the space on the machine, which explains why I watched almost all of Season Two of Nurse Jackie over the last couple of days. Normally, I’d say a few words, but the season ended so long ago, I doubt anyone cares about it now. I still find some of the characters so annoying they are almost enough to make me quit watching (although, interestingly, they aren’t the same characters who drove me crazy in Season One), and part of me admires the show’s reach more than I love the result. So I like the idea of a title character who is increasingly unlikeable, and Edie Falco is very good. But it’s still in the “B” range as these things go … The United States of Tara, which Showtime matches with Nurse Jackie, is closer to an A grade.
  • Speaking of my lovely wife, Robin is in Japan right now, after spending a week in Singapore. She’ll be in Japan for two more weeks before coming home. There was a time when we would never think of spending three weeks apart, and I was welcome to come with her on this trip. I haven’t spoken of it here because I fear the whole thing shows me in a pathetic light … I could have gone to Singapore and Japan, and I didn’t, because I’m lame. For punishment, I’m here alone with the cats, left with a couple of Skype sessions a day to help maintain my relationship with my wife. I am so unadventurous.