Better places

We’re caught up on TV shows so we tried three new shows last night. I find it odd I’ve got a TV-related project coming soon but I’m using Summing Up for this post. So hopefully I’ll at least get to some tangents.

We did the first episodes for “Manifest,” “Russian Doll,” and “The Passage.” We then watched the rest of “The Passage” so far. It’s shocking it’s on Fox and “Manifest” is the NBC show. Sure, “Passage” is the show where I found out Zack Morris from “Saved by the Bell” does a fine Kevin Costner role, but it’s got a really strong cast—and Mark-Paul Gosselaar is perfectly fine. He never grandstands, making the show more of an ensemble, which isn’t how the narrative is set up. It’s a novel adaptation and they’re doing it like a bunch mini-series episodes to adapt it, skipping around the cast of characters. It’s engaging as hell, thanks to twelve year-old co-lead Saniyya Sidney. She’s John Connor if he were a Black girl and fighting vampires instead of Terminators. “Passage,” the show (not sure about the books), is a genre mishmash. Little thriller, little science, little horror. It’s a cheaper “Game of Thrones” mixed genre thing.

“Russian Doll” is good. Funny. First episode didn’t slice new bread though. I feel like anything with a repeated day needs to be marathoned through and shouldn’t get broken up into episodes. I guess I’m also curious how they’ll differentiate the episodes given the nature of the show. Character is repeating the same night over and over again.

“Manifest” is just a bunch of bad acting and extremely trite writing. Bob Zemeckis executive produced it (but didn’t direct the pilot because he’s not desperate or actually interested), which fits—at least in tone. They desperately want to talk about being good Christians but they don’t. They just imply it, then ignore when the show’s gimmick—a plain-full of people travel five years into the future and now get messages in their heads to save the world—contracts, you know, Christianity. If you’re going to do a Christian show, do it. Don’t be half-assed. Just be good, which “Manifest” isn’t. Fifteen years ago NBC would never have brought this thing to air.

And Fox never would’ve had “The Passage,” which is like a not-misanthropic or condescending “Westworld.” “Manifest” is “Lost” on a budget.

I wonder if maybe I should find a better place for TV writing….



I’m currently writing my first Summing Up post on the iPad with the Bluetooth keyboard thing. It’s working pretty well… one sentence into the post. I had this idea I could teach myself to type on the keyboard one-handed but the iPad isn’t auto correctly lower case i to capital I. So even with the predictive text, it’s not going to happen. Also annoying (in Ulysses, but maybe all iPad apps with keyboards going) is the bar along the bottom with the word suggestions and so on. It’s a weird place for it. I’m not sure how other people type with a propped up iPad—i.e. laptop style—on a table, but you’re looking at the center of the screen, at the cursor, not down at the bottom at all the changing nonsense. I’d fiddle with the Ulysses settings but it’s really underpowered compared to the Mac version.

I did try lowering the gutter, which worked for a second, then immediately reappeared once I started typing again. And the colors aren’t WordPerfect; it’s all right though. For a cheap accessory for a first generation iPad Air. I don’t think there’s much more like to get out of this iPad (it’s the hardest work its had to do in years).

Yeah, the Ulysses iPad settings choices are just sad.

But the mobile typing thing is happening. Another seventy words and I’ll have done my writing quota. Of course—and I feel like I already mentioned it somewhere (but maybe about the Mac version)—Ulysses is nowhere near as good as WriteRoom for word count. Not even the long gone iPad version of WriteRoom.

I did some work on the new site today. A legacy cross-post and changed the header font. I’m still not wild about the background, but I’ve got time to think about it. I suppose it should really be a single color. Stop Button and Comics Fondle don’t have themed backgrounds (though I have been thinking CF needs an upgrade with the style changes this year).

I also just remembered I have a Comics Fondle post to get up. And have for at least a week. Oops.

Not cats

I had this little post in mind about how I don’t see our cats as children as much as these adorable and weird people you have around. I’m not sure what the human correlation would be, but even with Shaz, who we’ve had since she was a (feral) kitten, I see her more as a persnickety person instead of a child. When I’m anthropomorphizing her. Because apparently I wanted to write a post about being a crazy cat man.

Thank goodness the impulse has passed.

Instead, I’m just preparing for some new writing practices–thanks to the keyboard stand, which ought to have arrived by now and hopefully works. The mini-media server thing I got off Amazon is amazing so high hopes on the keyboard stand. There are a lot better tech accessories out there than there used to be. Ten years ago when you’d buy something designed by a kid who then had it mass-produced in China (or sort of mass produced). That stuff was crap. Tech’s a lot better today. Because we’re living in the future. Ish.

But the new writing practice–which has a built-in “warm up” and shakedown period included–should make things a lot better, time-wise. And I did just sign up for a giant blogathon commitment so, you know… better figure out the pragmatic practices.

I should be ready to start talking about the new projects soon. I also need to make a decision about, even if it’s just using it to forward to Twitter. I feel like I’m almost too sympathetic to it.

So now I just need to write this Eleanor Parker thing on Friday–I’ve written maybe three more blog posts in Ulysses since I got it Friday and it works perfect. Frankly, I’ve always been obnoxious about fetishizing my writing practice. You get to be excessive in your practice quirks or at least you do if you have the right friends in your writing program. And with technology, wow, did I ever come up with some practice constraints.

Being able to just work with Ulysses’s not perfect WordPerfect screen? Not caring about getting it set just right on the iPad? It feels good. I’ve been trying to disassemble all those intentional peculiarities, sometimes more passively than actively, but still. It’s nice to actually get there, especially since I wasn’t too intentional about it.