Aviously

Because, aviously…

Netflix has been pumping out one-hour comedy specials for a few years now (See: Amy Schumer, Hasan Minhaj, Sarah Silverman and Dave Chappelle) and they have now given six up-and-comers a half hour a piece for Season 1 of The Standups.
They are not connected to each other, and can be watched out of order, but are designed to be watched in a straight thru binge, as each episode almost hands it off to the next.

Six episodes. Six comedians. Six different styles. Here is my review, in the order of enjoyment:

Deon Cole
I knew him from Conan, and his style hasn’t changed much over the years. He is telling jokes and taking notes, and was easily the funniest one of the group, while also being the racist-joke-teller for the season.

I’m a racist when it comes to food. I want whatever nationality it is cooking my food. If it’s Italian I want some hairy guy back there cooking my food. I want some chest hair in my food. That’s what makes it authentic to me.

Nikki Glaser
I first saw Nikki in the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe where she killed it, and in recent years as Amy Schumer has fallen from her throne, Nikki is there to pick up the dirty jokes, covering topics from Match.com dating accounts to relationship etiquettes.

Skills? I take a nap. I took a two hour nap today where I dreamt of taking a nap. That’s my skill. But you can’t write that down.
I put running. I run if I’m chased or whatever.

Beth Stelling
Beth’s whiny girl delivery works for her, and she brings a good bridge towards the end of the season long binge, discussing babies and weight loss.

I’m not scared of an ugly baby, I’m scared of an ugly teenager. An ugly baby you just cover up with a blanket. Ugly teenager… that’s a lot of AP classes.

Fortune Feimster
Fortune is a Mindy Project alumni, with a decent delivery and good personal stories that get the crowd going, but only brought me a laugh or two.

It was a tough day when the gay community declared war on Chick-fil-A. I’m fat first, gay second.
Their chicken doesn’t taste like it hates gay people. It tastes very gay friendly.
Come on. Pick Subway.
You can take away my rights, but don’t take away my biscuits.

Dan Soder
Dan talks about his grandma and being a pothead. He gives Bargatze a run for his money at which can be unfunnier. They both drop a joke or two, but being the anchors of this show is a weird choice…

I live in New York City, no one ever looks up from their phones. It’s creepy. No one, in historically one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.
20 years ago, Yellowstone National Park introduced a pack of Canadian Wolves, and it completely changed the ecosystem, for the better.
I think we need to do that for NYC.

Nate Bargatze
It’s a shame that he’s the first episode because it almost made me want to turn it off before I got to the good comedians. If Netflix did a one-hour with him, I don’t think I’d watch it as he only had a few jokes that land. The rest is just one big storytime.

I only like precut apples. I’m not a horse. Can you people do work at the factory?
Or however apples get here.

Some Songs of the Day to heat up your summer.

God, Your Mama, And Me – Florida Georgia Line feat. Backstreet Boys

Never gonna run dry, never gonna come up empty
Now until the day I die, unconditionally
You know I’m always gonna be here for ya
No one’s ever gonna love you more than
God, your mama, and me


Issues – Julia Michaels

No, you don’t judge me
‘Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
‘Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory, of all our problems


Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran

You know, she played the fiddle in an Irish band
But she fell in love with an English man
Kissed her on the neck and then I took her by the hand
Said, “Baby, I just want to dance”


The Cure – Lady Gaga

And if you say you’re okay
I’m gonna heal you anyway
Promise I’ll always be there
Promise I’ll be the cure

It’s been 17 years since Hugh Jackman took on the role of Logan/Wolverine, and in that time he has turned it into an iconic character in the Marvel universe.

But now it’s 2029, and the mutants of the world have long been cleaned out. Logan (Jackman) is older, his healing capabilities have slowed, his claws are rusted, and he’s living isolated from the public with an albino and an even older Professor Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart).

While he just wants things to remain simple until they can get away on a boat and live at sea, that all changes when a young mutant, with strangely similar powers, shows up on his doorstep, being chased by all sorts of might and military.

This has long been said to be Jackman’s last appearance as the Wolverine character, and if it is then he plays the final act to perfection.
The movie is long and constantly entertaining, and finally drawing a page from Deadpool‘s book, as it’s a Marvel adult movie (read: language) that fits the Wolverine character.

I want to quote Roger Ebert’s review site on this one:

The action scenes have purpose and connect so much more powerfully than most superhero films, in which they are often just ways to show off the budget. When “Logan” breaks out into action, it feels organic to the plot, moving the themes and characters forward…“Logan” is the rare blockbuster that could be a game-changer. It will certainly change the way we look at other superhero movies and how history judges the entire MCU and DC Universe of films. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good popcorn superhero movie as much as the next guy (maybe even more than most critics), but “Logan” shows how deep one can go in the genre if they just approach it in a different way. In that sense, “Logan” deconstructs the modern superhero movie. It will be hard to put it back together again. — Brian Tallerico

This movie gets a 9 out of 10.

Last weekend I lost another friend, and the rest of the world lost a Jewish icon.

Mayer Weiss was a friend of mine for 15+ years, going to camp together for many summers and working together as a waiter.
He was a constant giver. Giving his time, his money, and his heart to those around him, and bringing out the best in others.
In camp he ran the learning program for the adult staff, giving his time every night (when others were playing baseball or basketball) to keep track of the timecards and finances.
He was also known to have a love for weddings. Helping people out from beginning to end, from setting up dating prospects to helping collect money for whatever was needed on the wedding nights.
In that honor, they have taken up a charity fund to help others with their weddings, hoping to raise $200K by 10PM tonight, and they are well into the final push for that goal. You can give your donation HERE.

Just 48 hours before Mayer passed, a man who shared his first name, and helped form the learning of Jewish studies as we know it passed away.
Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz was the founder of ArtScroll, the world leader in publishing prayer books, books of the Torah and Talmud, and everything else in the Jewish world, most famously translating them from Hebrew to English.
He started as an invitation printer and expanded to simple scrolls. From there he went on to make the prayer books found in just about every synagogue in America, and the famous 73-volume set of Talmud in Hebrew/English.

Two people. 45+ years apart. Each affecting the world around them in very special ways. Each going to be missed in very different ways.

Oh, Hello is a two-man spoken word play that was recorded on Broadway and added to Netflix in recent weeks.

It’s the story of two old men, played by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, who tell their long friendship story, mixed with a little song and dance.
From calling out the audience members in the cheap seats, telling things exactly how they are in the world, and just being plain old funny.
They touch on what other plays do wrong and make fun of how things should be.

It’s a play about your first job, your second marriage, and that time you opened your cab door into a Citi Biker in silent protest of Bill DeBlasio.

When on Broadway the show features a guest star every night, and that list includes Will Forte, Katie Couric, Natasha Lyonne, and Rebel Wilson.
For the filmed production they had an appearance from magician Steve Martin, and Matthew Broderick.

Treat a four like a six, and she’ll be grateful.

The show was funny from the start, with a lull towards the end before a strong finish, and is worth watching getting a 9 out of 10

 

The hardest part for me when planning a vacation is figuring out where to go.

I’ll hem and haw for a while, but when I finally nail down a location, I am pedal to the metal planning it out, from A-to-Z.

In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about where to go this year, and for a while, I thought I wouldn’t do anything this year (mostly because I couldn’t pick a location).

I like to go in late October/November when the weather in most places isn’t too hot or cold, and tourism pricing is fairly low.
The other advantage is most people are in school, so the number of tourists is low, leaving me to have places to myself to explore and take pictures of.

I have so far done most road trip destinations (that can be driven within 5-10 hours of NYC) with only one or two still remaining on my lists, which are unfortunately not favorable to the cold weather months, and so far I still refuse to do August trips.

So after going back and forth, between thinking about not going anywhere to doing Orlando, figuring between Montreal and Vermont, I pulled a rabbit out of my hat and decided on this years destination.

October 2017 I will be heading to…*drumroll please*…SAN DIEGO!!! Stay tuned #AvisTravels readers.

You Get Me is the latest teenage thriller put out by Netflix, and unless you are really bored, it won’t be worth your time.

Tyler and his girlfriend Alison are doing just fine until one of her ex’s show up and show him that he really doesn’t know Ali at all.
So in a moment of drunkenness, they have a falling out and he goes off with Holly, an out-of-towner in town on vacation, thinking she’ll just be an end-of-summer fling.

But when the night is over he just wants to go back to Ali, until Holly shows up at school on Day 1. Will Tyler come clean with Ali? Or will he try to hide the secret as Holly tries her hardest to ruin it all?
Are there any lengths Holly won’t go through to bring her and Tyler together again?

It’s crazy how one person could change your life. That’s the thing about love. At first, everything about it seems to make sense. But the deeper you get, the more you realize you don’t know anything at all.

There are no giant A-list names in this movie, but Bella Thorne (Alison), Halston Sage (Holly) and Taylor John Smith (Tyler) all have long casting sheets (including Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming Orville for Sage), and play their parts well.

This is little more than your typical teenage thriller and keeps it semi-interesting throughout, but I don’t think people should waste their time on this one unless it’s a rainy summer day.
It only gets a 5.5 out of 10.

Cameras on smartphones have reached a level that we no longer need to carry around a standard camera anymore unless you worry about battery life (which we all do).
That to me is the largest concern, running out of battery on my phone while taking pictures and then needing a map or to make a phone call.

For a few years I had the Moto X (3rd Gen) and the picture quality was really good. It shot at 16MP while 16X9 and had a 1/2.4″ sensor size.
The pictures from it were fantastic quality.

When I got the Samsung Galaxy S8 I was a little concerned that when shooting at widescreen it was only going to give me a 9.1MP shot (but it does have the better sensor size of 1/2.5″.
And after taking some great outdoor shots this weekend I am extremely happy with the shots on the S8.
All these shots are taken without a zoom (as it’s all a digital zoom anyways, so you can zoom before or after and it’s all the same result).


At the end of the day I’d say I’m more than satisfied with the quality of the photos from my smartphone, hopefully, your phone takes photos as crisp. If anyone has some iPhone 7 shots of scenic or wide shots outdoors, feel free to send them over for comparison.

I’ll be completely honest with you. Friday morning when I started watching GLOW on Netflix, I had zero interest in it.
I was watching simply because I was curious what Alison Brie has been up to since Community and because it was written by Jenji Kohan who has done fantastic work on Weeds and Orange Is The New Black (Season 5 of which came out earlier this month).
But by the time I finished Episode 10, in one of the fastest shows I’ve binged in a long time, I was hooked.

It’s the 1980s finding good acting roles for women was near impossible. Secretarial roles seemed like the only thing Directors were casting for.
But then came the crazy idea of GLOW. The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling are aiming to be the newest cable TV show, to counteract the men and Hulk Hogan.

Sam: You don’t think wrestling is acting?
Ruth: It’s not. Is it? It’s more like a sport, with costumes. Are you hiring actors to be wrestlers? Or are we the wrestlers?
Sam: Yes.

Ruth Wilder (Brie) can’t get cast even as a secretary as she’s too typical a women, and the ring seems to be no exception…that is until her actions place her as a heel (the villian), and it may be the best role she’d never hoped for, as “the devil always gets the good lines.”

But while Ruth is the center point of our Netflix show, it’s Betty Gilpin’s Debbie that will pull you in. At first she is a doubter, like I (the viewer) was, but as she learns to believe as do we and get pulled into the wrestling world.

I think that at times Gilpin’s acting leaves a lot to be desired…but her strong moments are really strong, while Brie and the rest of the cast are tag teaming other shows into submission.

Sam: Why’d you hire me?
Bash: Your movies are hilarious.
Sam: They aren’t comedies…
Bash: Oh.

Marc Maron (of the WTF podcast) is the on-screen sexist Director (Sam), and I think Britt Baron is silently great and a rising star.
It’s tough for me because I generally hate to pick out people from a show to highlight, but these girls are all fantastic in their roles, from Gayle Rankin’s She-Wolf to Ellen Wong’s Jenny.

This show should be added to everyone’s binge list and gets an 8.5 out of 10.

I tried Lyft Line the other day, and I am less than impressed.

Lyft Line is the ride-sharing car-pooling version of Lyft where you share the car with other people.

The problem that I have is that they give an estimate on your arrival time, based on not picking up any more people. But as soon as more people get added on it jumps 10-15 minutes, and continues to do that as the time grows.

Now I understand that this will happen as they bring more people into your ride, but I feel the estimated time should be more precise.
For example, if it’s going to take 20 minutes to get to my destination, tell me it’ll take 30-40 to take into account any pickups you may add. No one will complain if you get there too early.
Instead they tell you 18-23 minutes, and then it just starts jumping until you get there 40 minutes after the original estimate.

In New York City their algorithm clearly needs to be replaced. Whereas in other cities they may add in people within a 1/2 mile of your current route, in NYC that is equivalent to a 10-20 ride difference.
New York needs to be handled as a time difference. If it’s within 7-15 minutes of your route they add it in.
This would allow them to give a more accurate estimate of arrival before your trip.

While this method may not be good for their bottom line, neither are unsatisfied customers who can’t work on the assumption that “my 20-minute estimate is now an hour once you’ve driven me one mile in the wrong direction (which is 25 minutes in NYC)…”

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