Valhalla Rising, cavemen farting, Terry Pratchett giving it a shot, and me running(!)


I’m watching . . .

Originalos (and Valhalla Rising)

Let’s say you’ve picked out a swell movie to watch, and everyone’s ready and snuggled up on the couch, except that one kid is still washing the dishes. Still. So what do you do? You watch a few episodes of Originalos. Here’s a representative sample:

Look, I’m not proud of it. In my defense, if you saw Irene laughing that long and hard at a farting caveman, you’d probably let her watch more, too. These 3-minute episodes are streaming on Amazon Prime.

We also watched Valhalla Rising (2009, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who directed Drive, which we loved) last night, and we’ll have a lot to say about it on this week’s podcast! (To join my super secret, super fun podcast club, see my Patreon page.) Here’s the trailer for Valhalla Rising:

Reading . . . 

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Behind the curve as ever, I’m just now getting into Terry Pratchett, who played with words, and with ideas of futility, heroism, absurdity and hope, throughout 41 novels about Discworld. He died in 2015.

I did read Going Postal a few years ago, and was charmed and moved by the characters and dialogue but very confused by the plot. Guards! Guards! was much easier to follow, and very winsome and entertaining, as well as touching in parts. Looking forward to hanging around with Captain Vimes more, as well as that very, very interesting Patrician.

Guards! Guards! summary: In the human-all-too-human city of Ankh-Morpork, the canny leader of a secret society realizes that he’ll have the citizens in the palm of his hand if only he can find a champion to conquer the terrible dragon. Only there is no dragon, except for small, mostly-harmless pets. So he summons a big one. Things do not go as planned! The focus of the story is on The Watch, the ones you call when things go wrong, but you don’t really expect them to do anything. In fact, you count on them having no intention of doing something. Well, this time, they do something.

As far as I can see, this is a typical Pratchett theme: Everything has gone to hell, and there’s not much anyone can do about it. Still, for whatever reason, the one guy who knows better decides to give it a shot anyway, and make a stand for what he decides to believe is the right thing to do. (Pratchett fans, do I have that right?)

Listening to . . .

The Black Keys

Also not a new find, but I’ve rediscovered the Black Keys as excellent running music. Yarr, my husband and I are doing Couch to 5K. We’re on week three, when you have to run for three minutes at a time. This is only possible if I hide the fact that I’m running from as many of my senses as possible (especially since we’re celebrating spring with hail and slippery freezing rain; and, not wanting to die, we are running inside).

Here are a few Black Keys songs with a good beat for a slow, steady run:

“Gold On the Ceiling”:

“Tighten Up”:

“Fever” is a little brisker:

“Howlin’ For You” (which comes along with a satirical sexploitation revenge fantasy movie trailer that made me laugh so hard, I almost fell off the treadmill) (warning: stupid, but R-rated):

I welcome other suggestions for running music! I’m putting together a list, because I hear there is more running coming up in this fershlugginer program.

Now your turn! What are you watching, reading, and listening to?


Pratchett graffiti image by David Skinner via Flickr (Creative Commons)

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14 thoughts on “Valhalla Rising, cavemen farting, Terry Pratchett giving it a shot, and me running(!)”

  1. From my running playlist: Viva la Vida (Coldplay) For the longest Time (Billy Joel) , In the Mood (glen Miller) Due South TV theme, Carry On (Fun) That Thing You Do, some Franki Valli stuff, and a few Lindsey Stirling violin pieces thrown in. And Hanging Tree from Hunger Games since it references running.

  2. watching: Murdoch Mysteries – it’s on Acorn TV, a good clean show, my teens like it too
    reading: “Wuthering Heights” Ignatius Press edition with comments by Joseph Pearce – helps me to read his footnotes!
    listening to: jazz – lyrics distract me, probably since I’m getting close to 50 my brain can’t handle too much at once. I chose a play list off Pandora

  3. Watching: “The Americans”
    Reading: “The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies”
    Listening to: Not much right now.

  4. Good luck on the couch to 5k! I prefer the weeks BEFORE the long runs and actually feel like I get a better workout. I find indoor runs longer than 5 minutes a little boring. Probably because I don’t run as hard once I’m running longer than a couple of minutes. This Lent, I didn’t do couch to 5k, but I’m taking a page from c25k and doing run/jog intervals.

    As far as music for indoor running goes, my husband and I are really both TV watchers, but on those very rare occasions I venture outside to run/jog, I use my daughter’s aerobic exercise playlist. Some of my favorite ones are the Rocky theme and raucous Irish rebel music. I’ll ask her for some specific song names and come back and post them.

  5. My favourite Terry Pratchetts (so far) features Granny Weatherwax, I think the first one is ‘Equal Rites’. They are bonkers and fantastically so… Highly recommend that one next. 😀

  6. I’ve read one Pratchett book, a picture book called Where’s My Cow? It features Captain Vimes and is dee-lightful.

    Watching: Samurai Jack, Bob’s Burgers, The Last Man on Earth

    Reading: War and Peace (on and off for seven months now. Going to maybe try to finish it before starting a new book. One of the main characters was just erroneously declared dead for the *second* time!)

    Listening to: Regina Spektor, Postmodern Jukebox…and the podcast! : )

  7. The Tiffany Aching trilogy is another good Terry Pratchett work. 🙂

    Watching: The Imitation Game. Liked it more than I thought I would, but still got a little annoyed with it. If they had left out the obvious use of a catchphrase, it would’ve been much better.

    Also, the British Baking Show. 🙂 British reality cooking shows are actually about the cooking rather than the drama surrounding the contestants, which is nice.

    Reading: Anasasi Boys by Neil Gaiman. He likes to slip his magical worlds into the real one, but manages to do it rather well.

    Listening to: lots of 80s and 90s classic rock and pop songs. And only when I’m in the car. Lol.

    1. I’ve read a lot of Neil Gaiman, and I think Anansi Boys may be his most successful novel (as a novel). Even his less successful stuff is usually intriguing–there’s always some image or idea that stays with me and makes me think again . . . in Anansi Boys I loved the notion that everyone has in the soul a secret song that expresses his or her reason for being, and the image of an elfin petite daughter of hippies whose inner song is “Evildoers beware!” and longed since childhood to be a police officer.

      1. I really enjoyed it. 🙂

        I think ‘Coraline’ is still my favorite book of his though.

        Have you looked at the comics that he wrote? I haven’t read ‘Sandman’, (the one he’s best known for) so I have no idea if it’s any good, but he wrote a comic where he took a bunch of Marvel superheroes and put them all in the waning days of Elizabethian England. Lots of fun.

        1. I started the Sandman ones and made it less than half-way through–too violent and horrible. Even with a version of G.K. Chesterton in the story.

  8. Beats Antique is a group that specializes in world music electronica, with a lot of Middle Eastern influences, and a number of their tracks are great additions to my running playlist.

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