Stuff not from my 2019 goals

Included this year, not for the first time, are not movies from my 2019 favorites list, for I am crazy and haven’t written that blog post yet.


Hadn’t seen before:

  • Gotham (seasons 1 – 5)
  • The Umbrella Academy (season 1)
  • The Witcher (season 1)

Had seen before:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (seasons 1 – 5)
  • Dollhouse (seasons 1 – 2)

I had watched the pilot of Gotham when it first aired, but for some reason it didn’t grab me enough to watch anything past that.  Toward the end of the year [2019], my brother mentioned that he had been watching it on Netflix and really liked it, so I gave it a go.  I wound up really enjoying it, with the weird caveat that I didn’t really like Jim Gordon or Bruce Wayne all that much, but pretty much loved every villain, especially Penguin and Riddler.

My brother also told me he’d watched The Witcher around Christmas time.  I had heard of the games, but knew nothing else about the series (e.g. that it was based on novels).  It took until the fourth episode (of eight) until it clicked with me, and even then, it wasn’t my favorite thing ever, but remained interesting enough that I stuck it out and will check out the next season when it becomes available.  I did enjoy Henry Cavill, and the bard character.

My daughter got me to watch The Umbrella Academy, and it was pretty great.  I really liked the characters, especially Klaus, Five, and Hazel.  I’m looking forward to season 2.

After watching Buffy and Angel (and Firefly), my daughter wanted more Joss Whedon, so we watched Dollhouse together.  It was great, as always.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of my TV shows, and once I finally activated our free Hulu account, I began rewatching it, this time with my kids.  They all loved it, and it’s the only show that I can imagine tolerating sitting through the ads to watch.  As my youngest said, “If God and Humor had a baby, that baby would be Andy Samberg.”  I also showed my children Hot Rod and my daughter got to watch Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping with my wife.


Hadn’t seen before:

  • Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Detective Pikachu
  • Glass
  • Split
  • Waiting
  • Wanted

Had seen before:

  • Across the Universe
  • American Pie
  • Ant-Man
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Batman: Year One
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Black Panther
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Daredevil
  • Die Hard
  • Die Hard 2: Die Harder
  • Die Hard With a Vengeance
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • A Good Day to Die Hard
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fun With Dick and Jane
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Hook
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man
  • Iron Man 2
  • Iron Man 3
  • Justice League: Gods and Monsters
  • Justice League vs. Teen Titans
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mission: Impossible II
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Thor
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • The Tigger Movie
  • Unbreakable
  • The Whole Nine Yards
  • Winnie the Pooh

When Black Friday came around, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was on sale along with some other DC movies I wanted to buy, so I picked it up as well.  It was far better than I expected it to be.

I bought the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake for my wife and daughter a couple of years ago, but it remained unopened on the shelf until recently when my daughter told me we should watch it and the animated classic back-to-back.  I’d seen the first 15 or 20 minutes before, and was not a fan, and I remain not a fan after watching the entire thing.  Still love the animated version, though.

I originally had no interest in Detective Pikachu, but one of the trailers convinced me to give it a go once it came to disc.  I got it from Netflix, and it was also far better than I expected it to be, so I bought it on Black Friday.

I had originally seen Unbreakable shortly after it released, and hated it.  Like, hated it.  I don’t remember exactly why, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.  I wanted to watch Split after reading good reviews, and generally enjoying James McAvoy, so I did, and then rewatched Unbreakable before watching Glass.  All three are in the “didn’t hurt to watch that” category, with the qualifier that James McAvoy was amazing.

I watched Wanted at a friend’s house, at his suggestion.  It was OK.

I watched Waiting on Amazon Prime one night, solely because it starred Ryan Reynolds.  It was funny.

Video Games

First-time plays:

  • Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds


  • New Super Luigi U
  • Pikmin 2
  • Pikmin 3
  • Super Mario World

Cadence of Hyrule came out of nowhere at E3, and I’m a sucker for all things Zelda so I got it.  It was really fun, though I eventually enabled fixed beat mode because it was so much easier.

I also finally got a chance to play A Link Between Worlds, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while.  It was a really great 2D Zelda entry, and I hope it eventually becomes available on the Switch or something.

My daughter and I have experienced a resurgence in playing Pikmin 3 against each other, and play most nights for a least a few matches.  It inspired me to replay the story mode, as well as Pikmin 2.

I replayed Super Mario World on my SNES Classic with my youngest son, and we also played through New Super Luigi U together.

2019 Goals Update

How well did I do with my 2019 goals?  I don’t know!  I’m going to find out as I type this up!

Books to Read

I read two books, which is a large improvement, but still desperately sad.  I read and discussed Ender’s Game with my daughter, which basically should win this category for life.  I also read a Discworld book, The Light Fantastic.

TV Seasons to Watch

Haven’t seen before:

1/4.  I finished Cheers, DuckTales remains on my shelf, and The Flintstones et al. may as well just be a running joke at this point.  A tired, sad, running, joke.

Have seen before, but haven’t yet watched my BDs/DVDs:

3/3.  One category at 100%.

Have seen before:

Let’s say 0.5/2.  I watched NYPD Blue through season 9, since that’s what I had on DVD.  I got seasons 10 and 11 for Christmas, and I’ll pick up season 12 at some point and watch them this year.

Currently airing/will air this year:

Of the ones that count (Homeland season 8 was pushed to 2020), 8/8.  Two categories at 100%!  I shall endeavor not to let it go to my head.

Movies to Watch

From last year [2018]:

4/4.  Three categories at 100%!  I am on a roll.

From previous years, already seen or not:

29/29.  My head is swelling.

New this year:

The New Mutants was pushed back (again) to 2020.  Of those that remain, 10/14.  I missed Frozen II, Jumanji: The Next Level, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, and Toy Story 4.

BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once a year:


BDs/DVDs I [try to] watch at least once every other year:

8/9, having missed The Muppet Christmas Carol.  December wasn’t my best month ever.

BDs/DVDs I haven’t watched since 2015 or before:

This list was long, at 139 entries.  I think I watch 89, giving me a 64% success rate.  That’s what, a D?

Video Games to Play

First-time Plays:

1/4.  I started Crash Bandicoot and quickly grew frustrated at how hard it was.  I completed the Pokedex in Pokemon Let’s GO! Eevee though.


1/1.  I played the heck out of Breath of the Wild, again.  I am so excited for the sequel.


I actually did four (4) (FOUR) poetism commentaries in September, and started on a fifth one.  I think I only have around 20 left to go.  Perhaps I will finish this decade.

Media Update September – December 2019



  • Bewitched
  • 007: The Living Daylights
  • 007: License to Kill
  • 007: GoldenEye
  • 007: Tomorrow Never Dies
  • 007: The World Is Not Enough
  • 007: Die Another Day
  • 007: Casino Royale
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • The Fifth Element
  • 50 First Dates
  • Fun With Dick and Jane
  • A Good Day to Die Hard
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
  • I Am Legend
  • The Journey of Natty Gann
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Les Miserables
  • Piglet’s Big Movie
  • Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1
  • Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2
  • Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
  • Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
  • Ponyo
  • Porco Rosso
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Speed Racer
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • The Tigger Movie
  • The Whole Nine Yards
  • Winnie the Pooh



  • 007: Quantum of Solace
  • 007: Skyfall
  • 007: Spectre
  • Daredevil
  • Elektra
  • Fun and Fancy Free
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Horton Hears a Who!
  • I, Robot
  • The Transformers: The Movie


  • Gotham – 47 episodes

Video Games

  • Pikmin 3



  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  • Batman
  • Batman Forever
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Big Hero 6
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Hercules
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Mission: Impossible II
  • Pom Poko
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • WALL-E


  • Gotham – 53 episodes
  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man – 2 episodes



  • Batman: Hush
  • Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Detective Pikachu
  • Elf
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Shazam!
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Superman: The Movie
  • Superman II
  • Superman III
  • Superman Returns


  • The Mandalorian – 3 episodes
  • The Witcher – 8 episodes

Video Games

  • Pikmin 2

Poetism Commentary: “Something Broken”

The poem in question: Something Broken

When I was about 13, my older cousin recommended The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever to me.  I probably shouldn’t have read them till I was a little older, but to this day they remain some of my absolute favorite books.  The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are also very good, and I’ve read the first and second Chronicles several times.  The story and characters had such an impact on me that my wedding ring is made of white gold (Thomas Covenant’s white gold wedding ring is a fundamental element of the tale).

Unfortunately, I didn’t like The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and I just pretend they don’t exist.  Maybe I’ll read them again one day and see if I change my mind.

Anyway, in The Wounded Land, the first book of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Thomas Covenant says to another primary character,

There’s only one way to hurt a man who’s lost everything.  Give him back something broken.

That line stuck with me, and I wanted to write something based on the words “something broken,” which is how this poem came about.  Despite its flaws, it’s one of my favorite poems that I have written.  I was quite passionate about it, and I think it turned out pretty well.  I also call it my “D” poem, becausemany of the words start with D.  (Get it?  GET IT?!)

My “Something Broken” isn’t about a man who’s lost everything, but rather about someone who is continually making poor choices without regard to consequence.  It was written from an LDS perspective—as I mentioned some time ago in the commentary for Stormy Weather,

In LDS theology the Book of Mormon offers some insights to Satan’s workings in 2 Nephi 26:22 and 2 Nephi 28:21-23.  Basically the idea is that the devil will attempt to be our friend, slowly putting a “flaxen cord” around us so we don’t realize we are under his control, until one day it’s too late, we’re bound by his “awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance,” and he gleefully abandons us and moves on to the task of ensnaring the next poor soul.

The subject of Something Broken—the friend—has taken this path and is beginning to suffer the consequences:

The wool has covered up your eyes just as you said it wouldn’t,
You’re dancing into danger without seeing.
You’re being dragged off to the dungeon where you said you couldn’t,
Destroying the true nature of your being.

But now that he’s lost, he doesn’t see a possible way back and is contemplating suicide as a plausible “out.”  This is evidenced by wandering the rooftop alone, and (maybe my favorite lines from the poem):

Dark and dreary visions deign to occupy your mind:
They try by deep deception to convince you it’s your time.

In this case, suicide is not the way out, it’s just furthering the devil’s victory, but that isn’t easy to realize.

The speaker of the poem hasn’t given up on him, though.  One interpretation of the speaker’s identity is Jesus, though really it could be anyone.  The line

Your dearest friend will then become your foe.

Seems to me like it could easily be misinterpreted.  It’s not that the speaker will give up on his friend, becoming an enemy; rather the lost soul will feel so uncomfortable in his presence that it will simply feel that way to him.

The superficial “something broken” is finally revealed in the final line.  The “broken crown” represents the promised reward from Satan that is ultimately worthless.  However, the real “something broken” is the lost soul.  But the speaker understands that he can come back, and it may be hard, but worth it.

Setting aside the LDS view (since I no longer subscribe), I think it works well enough as cautionary tale of downward spiral.  And though I wrote this a few years before The Lord of the Rings movies were released, the line

The stars are shining brightly but the clouds are hiding them.

Now reminds me of something Sam says to Frodo as they lay shivering in Mordor, near the end of The Return of the King.  Sam looks up at the sky and sees a brief break in the clouds, and says,

Mr. Frodo, look!  There is light, and beauty up there, that no shadow can touch.

Tolkien’s original text is even better:

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

The light may be hidden from us at times, but it is always there, waiting to be rediscovered.

Some notes on the original handwritten version, seen below:

The scribbled-out “D’s poem” at the top refers to two different things.  Firstly, as mentioned earlier, I call this my “D” poem, but I also have a friend who has a sister whose name begins with “D.”  People often called her “D” in lieu of her name.  Around the time I wrote this poem, she was also at BYU, and I would often see her around the time of my HEPE class, as it was in the same building as the university swimming pools, and she was a swimmer who apparently practiced around that time.

Next, I can’t decipher all of them, but some of the scribbled-out lines are:

(2-1) And everybody knows your name, so why are you complaining?
(2-6) Your only friend will then become your foe
(3-1) Consequences hinder you from every direction
(4-4) You’re destroying the true nature of your being
(5-3) Run away from dragons that will only bring you down
(5-4) The disaster that results isn’t worth the plastic crown

I think we can all agree those lines are terrible.  A few of the revised lines from the made it to the printed copy from my old web site, before becoming the final published version:

(2-1) Difficulties strewn about, I can see why you complain,
(3-3) Dark and dreary visions come to occupy your mind:
(4-3) You’re being dragged into the dungeon wherein you said you couldn’t,
(5-1) Come back and dwell with me, my friend, please don’t be deceived!

They are better, but I definitely prefer the final version.  And as a final note, although Something Broken will remain as currently published, I offer the following replacement for the final line:

The disaster that’s descending isn’t worth a broken crown.

Poetism Commentary: “Clockface Killed The Man”

The poem in question: Clockface Killed The Man

This is another poem that I wrote in class at BYU, this time in a Computer Science class.  As I recall, it was an 8 a.m. class, and I never have been, nor do I suspect I ever will be, an 8 a.m. person.  Also, the lecture was boring that day, and as I kept looking at the clock, a “Calvin and Hobbes” strip came to mind:

“Calvin and Hobbes,” September 8, 1993. © Calvin and Hobbes, © Andrews McMeel Syndication.

In my poem, the clock is anthropomorphized (a word I learned from another “Calvin and Hobbes” strip) as the entity Clockface.  I don’t know if he is straight-up evil, but he undoubtedly relishes in the misery of people when time is not flying.  When I envision Clockface, I picture a Mirror Universe amalgam of Cogsworth (from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”) and T.T. (from the Nintendo64 game “Diddy Kong Racing”).  He probably has a goatee.

The person in the poem just wants to live life on his or her own terms, without the constrictions of where to be, when, and for how long.  Of course Clockface insists on butting in and screwing those plans right up.

The beginning of the second verse (third stanza) is a reference to a “Dilbert” comic strip, back when it was still funny:

“Dilbert,” October 31, 1993. © Andrews McMeel Syndication.

I have no idea how my poetic salad caused a hospital admission, but it seemed funny at the time, too.

This poem was meant to be a silly poking of fun at the passage of time, but at this point in my life I find a more ironic meaning the progression of the things Clockface says:

Dance for me and prance for me or I won’t let you go

Come to me, succumb to me; you’ll see no need to go

Savor me and favor me so I don’t have to let you go

As a younger man I was always looking forward to the next thing.  I still do that now, twenty-and-more years later, but I am more keenly aware of my own mortality.  Of course time cannot forever contain us; it’s Clockface’s lie to keep us eager for the future, without actually savoring the precious moments we are currently experiencing.  We will inevitably arrive in the future regardless of our current state, so we should make the most of what we have now.

That isn’t to say the the present is always nice, and sometimes the future is all we have to look forward to when the right now is made bleak by forces beyond our control.  But by selling us his lie of making the passable, and even pleasant, present seeming unbearable, Clockface steals from us the one thing we can never recover.

He definitely has a goatee.

As far as the writing style, I don’t have much to say except that one thing bothers me.  In each of the “choruses” (stanzas 2, 4, and 6), the beginning of the third line has a little rhyme, (“dance for me and prance for me,” “come to me, succumb to me,” and “savor me and favor me”).  I think it works nicely.  However, the first verse (first stanza) also has a similar rhyme (“it’s mocking–how shocking!”), and I like it, but I did not replicate the pattern for the second and third verses (stanzas 3 and 5).  I think it sticks out a bit.

Finally, when I read Clockface’s repeated line

Life beyond this torture will be one that you’ll never know

In my head, I hear “this torture” as sung by John Linnell of They Might Be Giants in “Don’t Let’s Start”:

D, world destruction
Over an overture
N, do I need
Apostrophe T, need this torture?

Here is the original handwritten version, largely unchanged from initial scrawl to finished copy: