61 thoughts on “April 26, 2021: The Academy”

  1. My hot take is the remodel at the joint started last night. Emptied out all the old furniture, which is being donated to a new charter school in the area. I got to work at 6am and the joint is getting cleared out. Ceiling tiles replaced, restroom dismantled for new tile installation. Kitchen getting deep cleaned. My back already hurts.

    1. Only one I can think of is called Thrifty Traveler. My sister used it for a few trips several years ago (Thailand and Prague). I think they've created a premium, money-charging component recently so not sure how effective it is anymore.

        1. I subscribe to Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter. They have a free and paid tier (I do the free, it's delayed a day or two from the free). When we went to Spain 18 months ago, I just kept an eye out for an email about Spain flights in the right time window, then jumped on them.


          I wish Kiwi.com had been around when I'd been younger and I could have better handled the sometimes slightly circuitous routes they offer, but for insanely cheap sometimes. As I shared on twitter not too long ago, sample of flights you can find on Kiwi:

          I can get a family of 4 (2 adult, 1 child, 1 infant) one way to Porto for less than $900.

          As long as you don't mind 3 domestic flights first.


    2. my buddy The Music Man is making major travel plans. His "daughter" (a former exchange student from Turkey who lived with them and they basically adopted) is set to graduate from her Ph.D. program in Switzerland. He and his wife and their kids & families are all going, then gonna spend a week or so in Italy after. He was regaling me about the 4-bedroom villa he rented in Italy through AirBnB for like $400 per night.

      A spendy vacation, but damn, sweet deal. He'll probably spend close to that much per night per room in Switzerland.

      1. fwiw, our next one is in late June/early July, and it's to...Minnesota.

        we likely will only pass through the Cities on our way Up North for the duration, however. No real opportunity to caucus or see other friends. Strictly a family visit.

      1. I expect relaxation and many Palomas.

        I discovered Palomas early in teh COVID. I've always liked Squirt, so that drink is right up my alley. It's in regular rotation.

        1. Same for me, although I make them with a grapefruit cordial syrup and soda water. For a nice twist on it, substitute 1/2 oz of tequila with 1/2 oz of Aperol.

    3. We already took our big trip, when we drove to Virginia to see my wife's family.

      My wife is just about to enter the third trimester of her surrogacy, so we are now contractually obligated to stay inside the state of California. We'll be doing 2 or 3 camper trips (the beach, redwoods, and maybe Joshua Tree, too) in May and June, but we'll soon be limited to 150 miles from home, so those are about to be out of range as well. So this year, everyone's coming here, instead of us visiting them.

  2. I have not seen enough of the movies to have strong arguments against any of the winners. I did see Nomadland, and absolutely loved it, and am all for it winning everything it did.

    But the show itself? Yikes. They managed to make a more disappointing ending than the year when they read the wrong Best Picture winner.

    I have to imagine they moved the best actor award to the very end expecting/hoping it would be Chadwick Bozeman, and his wife would come up and give an amazing, uplifting, heartbreaking speech like she did at the Golden Globes. To have it go to Anthony Hopkins, who wasn’t even there, is a mess. Especially when it gives Joaquin Phoenix even more time to be weird and awkward on stage.

    1. In a year when so few people actually saw the nominated films, it seemed like a no-brainer to show clips from the movies when introducing nominees. But instead they apparently had the PR department write the whole show.

      1. They showed clips when they gave out best picture at least. But I agree, it was too much time spent just listening to people talk.

        Also, I wonder if it really is true that fewer people have seen the nominees this year. There's no big blockbuster movie that a huge number of people went to, of course, but many of the movies have been available on streaming platforms already. So I sort of guessed more people would see them compared to other years, when many small movies were only available at arthouse theaters before the ceremony.

        I'd certainly bet many more people have seen at least some of the documentary nominees this year, since many were on Netflix.

      2. But instead they apparently had the PR department write the whole show.

        You would think the PR department would understand the purpose of an Awards show is to pimp the products of the Academy's members. Clips and musical performances, in other words. Massive Fial.

    2. Another take: They ran the names by way too fast in parts of the In Memoriam video, but they should get Angela Bassett to introduce that segment every year. Her level of power and gravitas was amazing.

    3. Sound of Metal won for Best Sound and also Best Editing, which seems about right. As I had said earlier, if it hadn't won the Sound category, just cancel that award.

      1. I saw somewhere this week that Purple Rain won for best original song score in 1985 and after that year, they canceled that category, so that was the last winner.

  3. My hot take is I did my federal taxes yesterday, and I'm both happy and appalled that we will be getting a large-ish (for us) refund.

    My goal every year is not to give the Federales an interest-free loan. A few years ago, I misfired and had to pay a (very small) amount of interest (and penalty?) for not having withheld enough (when the Boy ceased to be a dependent and we no longer had tuition credits or deductions for him). Both the Mrs and I upped our withholdings, plus the Girl has also dropped off. So I figured the higher withholding would not necessarily be enough to tip me into the refund territory. But, huh. It did.

    1. I paid someone to do my taxes for the first time this year. I used to get paid to prepare tax returns, so it is a shot at pride.

      Got an email saying we were getting a $4,000 refund! The only information he needed was the kids' birthdates. I replied with that info and ten minutes later got another email back telling us we'd only get $1,000 refund due to two of the kids being too old for the child credit.

      I yelled at both kids for being too old.

    2. This year was the first as an adult that we had to pay federal tax. It sucked, but I wasn't completely surprised as not only did our son fall off the child tax credit, but we also earned a lot more last year due to me being home and my wife working marathon hours to help pay off the house.

      Next year should be a little more reasonable... I hope.

  4. I was 100% convinced that Minnesota would lose it's 8th congressional district, but no, we held on and kept it. Our sports teams suck, but it comes to participation in our democracy, Minnesota is #1, baby.

    If New York would have had 89 more people, we would have dropped to seven. Credit goes to Minnesotans, who did a bangup job of filling out their Census forms. Also, the Census date is April 1, 2020. By that time, New York had enough people die from Covid to make the difference.

  5. It's amazing how fast Kiriloff has gone from not good enough to make the team to batting cleanup without even getting a hit. (And you can add sore knee to another concern about Buxton's ability to stay on the field).

  6. So the wife got this mongo stovetop grill-pan - I made pepper-encrusted filet's on it tonight (with grill marks) along with the leftovers in the fridge: baked potato, mushrooms, green beans, Brussels sprouts, onion). Grill-lines on food are awesome.

    Problem is we live in an old house with no venting/fan-action. So even opening the back-door the kitchen is very smoky and we are coughing through dinner.

    The great thing on the grill-pan is that it keeps it's heat, so even if my extra-rare steak is OK, she can put any of hers back on the pan to finish it out.

    1. mongo stovetop grill-pan

      Google searching..."does NBB mean Mongolian? Mongo, as in "huge," or somehow "mango"?" I think the middle one, but not totally sure.

              1. apropos, that was one of the first things we did when we bought our current house (built in the 1930s; kitchen remodeled by the previous owners but there was no hood vent).

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