Hey, Deutschlandfunk!

•July 25, 2017 • 2 Comments

I used to spend a lot of time listening to this radio station when it was called Deutschlandradio Kultur. But in any case, definitely a positive review.

If the first episode is still heavily laden with clichés and one asks oneself whether a simple American view of the world is being served here — evil whistleblower against decent US spies — the series gains complexity and tension. […] If Berlin Station distinguishes itself pleasantly from Homeland, the other US spy series that only filmed Berlin in its fifth season in stereotypical decal photos, it’s because this time many Europeans and Germans collaborated and probably also had more to say. […] Berlin Station may not reinvent the genre of the spy film, and seems rather classic and somewhat staid, however, it definitely displays Orwellian dimensions.

Some of Monday’s Castlevania yield #richardarmitage

•July 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Likes the length of the season (in contrast to almost every reviewer and blogger).

Trevor is a bit of an asshole, but he’s fun to watch and you know he has a good heart underneath. And that deserves a lot of credit to both Ellis’s writing and Armitage’s performance. Together they managed to gift the character with that perfect mix of down-on-his-luck roguishness and likeable charisma and create a fantastic lead with it.”

I think this is only the second review I’ve seen in German; it praises the freedom the story takes with the narrative of the games and looks forward to more. Final sentence: “That Trevor is voiced by Hollywood great Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and that stars like James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) are there too in the original version may also may also be mentioned with praise as well.”

The voice of the main character did annoy me, I realise he is drunk and depressed most of the time, but he sounds lethargic.

I found it an intriguing choice to use Trevor as the main character, as he has not been the protagonist in a game since Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse. I personally like this choice, as for me, Trevor was not a well known character and I feel both Warren Ellis and Richard Armitage brought another side to his character with his dark humor, coarse language and apparent lack of care for many things.

[I’m going over at this point to only posting these if they say something I haven’t read somewhere already, or they say something specifically about Armitage / Belmont. I may actually be reaching print fatigue on this theme. Remarkable.]

In case Richard Armitage is in Austin and has time for one more restaurant meal

•July 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment


I’ve been gone six years now, and one thing that’s clear about Austin trend restaurants — like the city itself, the scene changes constantly. But I still think about the restaurants there, one of the few things I miss about the city. These are my favorites, not in order, but in terms of type of restaurant. I’m not a serious foodie (could never afford to compete with what the tech people could afford to pay), so this list reflects not what’s on the top ten list now, but rather my quirky preferences, my mid-range budget, and to some extent the neighborhoods where I lived (south, south Congress, edge of Hyde Park / North Campus).

Sushi: Uchi. I was only there twice because it’s so expensive, but it’s the best sushi I’ve ever tasted. And that in a land-locked city. And keep in mind I haven’t been in Japan. But it’s fantastic. Keeping in mind Richard Armitage’s preferences.

Fresh and trendy: Wink. This was actually the first restaurant I ate in, in Austin in 2001. And the place I tried ostrich and felt guilty about kashrut but did it anyway.

Most like a German restaurant experience: Fabi + Rosi. Although I think they’re Swiss. Eating here always made me feel like all’s right with the world.

Best late night Austin-specific hippie diner meal: The Magnolia Café. I usually went to the one near campus or on South Congress. I recommend: Mag mud queso, the pancakes, and whatever their special is.

Best “interior” Mexican: Fonda San Miguel. This was the original in town, and there are other choices, but this is Mexican food a la méxicana (not Tex-Mex) and delicately and deliciously prepared. The originators cooperated on several cookbooks that stress authentic ingredients and preparations.

Barbecue in town: Franklin Barbecue. Although I went to it when it was a food truck. I hear now that it’s a store, the wait times are egregious. It’s excellent.

Barbecue out of town: The Salt Lick. This is kind of a nostalgic favorite, as I used to drive out with friends and watch the sun go down while we waited for a table.

Breakfast tacos — because it is an Austin specialty. Or maybe a San Antonio specialty: La Méxicana. Best bought at 2 a.m. I prefer to buy from a source run by immigrants or their descendants (here’s another favorite) but it’s hard to find a horrible breakfast taco in Austin. My favorite casual Mexican place, Las Manitas on Congress, got developed out of its space while I still lived there and I spent the remainder of my time in mourning. I replaced it with Julio‘s in Hyde Park (cash only).

Best hole-in-the-wall Thai place: Madam Mam’s. It was also convenient to my office. I see from the website that it seems to be gentrifying.

Steaks, Texas style: Austin Land and Cattle. This wasn’t on my frequent list but ex-SO loved this place.

Beer: Black Star Coop. My beer drinking mojo didn’t really take off until I left Austin, so this may not be a great tip, but I loved this place and I loved that everyone there was paid a living wage.

Wine: Vino Vino. This was my neighborhood wine place, the last two years.

Place you shouldn’t miss: Whole Foods “Mothership.” Although the NYC store is pretty excellent itself, so if you’ve been there, you could skip this.

Coffee: if near campus, Medici. If south and Michelle Forbes is with you, Bouldin Creek. If central, Flight Path or Quack’s (I graded a lot of papers there).

Best restaurant in a movie theater: Alamo Drafthouse. I loved this place. I saw all the LOTR movies at the Village.

If you believe this, Castlevania beat Handmaid’s Tale in the US #richardarmitage

•July 24, 2017 • 14 Comments

Here. Of course, Handmaid’s Tale has been available quite a bit longer than the last two weeks. Still, I find this fascinating, since (a) almost every RL friend I have has seen or is watching Handmaid’s Tale (I’m not — I have a strong dislike for Margaret Atwood in general and this book of hers in particular), and (b) every culture venue I follow in RL has commented on Handmaid’s Tale extensively, whereas I’ve seen nothing about Castlevania.

That was fast!

•July 24, 2017 • 20 Comments


Another Castlevania interlude #richardarmitage

•July 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The voice acting is hit or miss, Richard Armitage (of Hobbit fame), is fantastic as Trevor Belmont

Trevor is the best protagonist of all the shows I’m watching right now. He’s amazing, he doesn’t give a crap, he’s funny, a begrudging hero and I love him, that’s all I have to say.

The voice acting is amazing as well and you can tell that everyone who worked on this put their hearts into it.

A poor adaptation.

Trevor is one of the best examples of what this show does so exceedingly well, in that the voice actors bring life to the characters in a way that suits the genre.

Article about Pilgrimage in the Connacht Tribune #richardarmitage

•July 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This is a regional / local Irish paper. Most of it is an interview with producer Conor Barry.

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