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There are weird, random things that I think about on a strangely regular basis. For instance, more than any other song in my life, Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" gets stuck in my head, almost always without any discernible context. Why am I apparently subconsciously fixated on this song?

Then there was a 1991 movie starring Merryl Streep, Albert Brooks and Rip Torn called Defending Your Life. It's with strange frequency that I think about this exchange of dialogue:

Is this heaven?

No, it isn't heaven.

Is it hell?

Nope, it isn't hell either. Actually, there is no hell. Although I hear Los Angeles is getting pretty close!

Actually I thought about that line a lot more often when I was vistiting L.A. on a monthy basis for five years. Although I still don't especially miss those visits, such prolonged exposure to that city did make me shed my previous conviction that the entire city is a shithole. That city has a lot of really great things about it. I mean, it's no Seattle, of course.

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-- चार हजार दो सौ और चालीस-नौ --

I actually watched a superhero movie last night. But! I didn't pay extra for it; I waited to watch it on DVD from Netflix: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II. I actually did see the first one in 2014 and gave it a solid B; although its MetaCritic score was 76 and then it was 67 for Vol. II (both scores falling under their "generally favorable reviews" category), I think if I had written a review for this sequel I still would have stuck with a solid B. It's a little overstuffed and visually busy, and the especially clunky dialogue in the first few scenes had me feeling grateful I never paid movie-theatre prices to see it, but soon enough it wound up being lots of fun, and pretty consistently funny. I hadn't realized Shobhit never even saw the first one, but he was still pretty into it.

Furthermore, there's a couple of things this sequel actually improved upon the first film, which I complained as having an unmemorable villain (I literally still can't even remember who the villain was -- wait, I think it was played by Glenn Close?) and being tonally inconsistent. Vol. II is much more consistent in its tone, really never takes itself seriously (always a plus in such an objectively ridiculous movie), and has a much more memorable villain in Kurt Russell. There's a very odd part played by Sylvester Stallone that has weird whiffs of Demolition Man to it, and is too large a part to be considered a cameo but barely qualifies as a supporting part. Honestly he's distracting just by virtue of being Silvester Stallone. But, overall, it was worth watching at home after work on a Thursday evening.

The movie is too long, of course, at 135 minutes, so it took up pretty much the entire evening, once I was done helping Shobhit make eggplant squash and parathas for dinner. We didn't have quite all the ingredients Shobhit likes to have for the eggplant, so he thought it was bland, but I didn't find it bland at all. I had two large parathas and felt like I had quite a bit of the eggplant, and given I shared truffle macaroni and cheese with Karen for lunch yesterday, I was stunned to weigh in this morning at 145.9 lbs -- a full pound and a half down from yesterday. I cannot say at all what accounts for that, although our intention to make chai and then completely forgetting about it may have helped. Still, I usually pretty consistently am up the next day after I have that macaroni dish, which is insanely rich.

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[posted 12:30 pm, for the first time using the "scheduled" feature so it posts in the middle of a work lunch to celebrate Bryan working at PCC for 25 years; hopefully it worked]