My reading has slowed down this week. My writing has also slowed down this week. I wonder if they are connected. I did watch two movies and two new TV shows. Here’s my week:
Movies – We watched two movies this week. The first was Honest Thief. Liam Neeson plays a bank robber who got away with over $9 million. When he meets and falls in love with Annie(Kate Walsh) he decides to turn himself in to begin a new life. He is double crossed by two corrupt FBI agents and has to fight for his new life. It is a standard Neeson action movie. I think I dozed a little, but didn’t feel like I missed anything important. My wife who loves standard action movies liked it a lot. We also watched Tenet. It is a timey wimey action movie starring John David Washington. I’ve been a fan of Washington since his days on the HBO show Ballers. I’m glad he is getting big roles. As my wife put it – It’s very good if you stop trying to think about all of it and just enjoy the movie. It is a very good movie but can break your brain. It is also 2.5 hours long. It was a challenge for someone like me who tends to doze during movies. This is not one where you can doze or be distracted and not miss something.
TV – I watched two shows this week and wrote reviews of both. Clarice and Superman and Lois. Click the links for my thoughts on those. My daughter has been home this week so we caught up on the shows she watches. We are now current on All Rise and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. We watched the first couple of episodes of season 2 of Snowpiercer. It is still very good. I watched the second episodes of Kenan and Young Rock. They are both still pleasant enough to keep going. Young Rock is better when it focuses on one time period. Once I am too tired to stay awake for a full show my wife and daughter watch the Great British Baking Show. I stay awake long enough to have favorites. So far all of my favorites have made the final three but have not won. I’m getting close to finishing my rewatch of Greek.
Books – I only finished one book this week
This is My Brain in Love by I. W. Gregario – Jocelyn Wu is a junior in high school. Her parents own a Chinese restaurant in Utica. When her dad says they might need to move back to NYC so he can work for family there she tries to help bring the restaurant to modern times to save it. Will Domenici is a junior at the local private school who wants to find a paying summer internship. Jocelyn hires him to help with marketing the restaurant. They, of course, fall in love. It is complicated by Jos’s parents’ prejudice, Will’s anxiety and Jos’s possible depression. I always like a good YA romance and this one was very good, if maybe a tad bit too long. It was nice to have diverse characters – Will’s mom is Nigerian, the Wu’s are Chinese, Jos’s best friend is Indian-American – and characters dealing realistically with mental illness. I would recommend.
On Deck – I’m reading We Are Not Free by Traci Chee. I have no movies on DVD. I would like to watch Judas and the Black Messiah, but I think I ha better odds of getting my wife and daughter to watch the Tom and Jerry movie that hit HBO Max today. I need to watch the new episode of WandaVision today. New seasons of Walking Dead and New Amsterdam start this week.
It’s been a week with a Monday holiday, a birthday and an ice storm. I used this as an excuse to do more reading and TV watching. Next week I guess I will have to go back to a more productive life. Here is my week in reading and viewing.
Movies – We completely forgot that we planned to watch Hillbilly Elegy last weekend. Instead, we ended up with the DVD of Love and Monsters. My daughter loves Dylan O’Brien so it immediately jumped to the top of the list. It is set in a world where bombing an asteroid heading to earth caused radiation to come down and mutate cold blooded animals into giant monsters. O’Brien’s character, Joel, is separated from his girlfriend when they both flee with their families. Seven years later the military and the biggest of the monsters have killed each other off and there are small communities of humans surviving underground. When Joel discovers his girlfriend is alive and in a community 80 miles away, he embarks on a journey aboveground to find her. If you don’t think too hard about the premise, it is a fun movie. O’Brien is good as always. It veers from the expected a few times and doesn’t have a neat, happy ending. I would recommend it.
TV – I watched two new shows this week: Young Rock and Kenan. You can read my reviews of them here. We watched some shows that our daughter watches with us. Superstore, American Housewife, and All Rise. All Rise and Superstore are two of the shows that are doing a better job of handling being set in the pandemic. They aren’t perfect, but they are much better than most other shows. I used the afternoon of my birthday to catch up on WandaVision since my family seemed uninterested. I was happy that episode four started to move more into a Marvel type story and wasn’t just the weird old sitcom story. We are still working through our DVR’ed shows. We generally make it through two or three a night. We start after the 7PM airing of Jeopardy(I’m going to miss Ken next week) and I generally give up and go to bed around 10. Soon I’m afraid I will reach a critical level with DVR space.
Books – I finished two books this week
Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman – This is the latest in the Alex Delaware series. In this one Milo is asked to take on a very cold case when a wealthy woman pulls strings to get it reopened. It is the case of a woman found with a bullet in her head in a car crashed off the hills on Mulholland Drive. It seems like an unsolvable case, but as they investigate they find too many coincidences and discover someone is trying to stop the investigation. I love the Delaware novels and this one is as good as the rest. Milo and Alex are a good investigative duo. Old favorites pop up in supporting roles. The mystery is a good one. I would recommend it, but I’m also a “read in order” guy, so go start from the beginning of the series.
Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth – This was one of the award winners from the ALA Youth Media Awards. It is a memoir in verse. Gansworth tells the story of his life growing up on the Tuscarora reservation in New York. He also tells a little about his grandparents being sent to boarding school as kids to learn to be more like white people. I really wanted to like this more Kind of like I really wanted to like the one fiction book of his I read more than I did. He has a moving story, but unlike other books in verse, this one just didn’t draw me in at all. I was bored a lot. I probably should have given up on it and moved on to something that I found more appealing. I’m not sure what the people who gave it a Printz Honor Award saw in it.
On Deck – We have Honest Thief on DVD. A Liam Neeson action movie. My wife’s favorite. I might sleep through it. Eventually, my son will give me Tenet back and I will watch it and get it back to the library. I really want to watch Judas and the Black Messiah, but I don’t think it will happen this week. I will watch the newest episode of WandaVision today or tomorrow. Snowfall starts back this week, so I will have one more show I watch alone. I would like to try Clarice this week so we can decide if I need to keep recording it. I will continue my re-watch of Greek. I am reading This is My Brain in Love by I.W. Gregario.
Another week is almost over. The end of winter is in sight. Warmer weather might mean more time reading on the deck. I might trade screen time for book time. Or not. I guess we will see. Here’s my last week in reading and viewing.
Movies – We watched one new movie tis week. The Little Things on HBO Max. I’m loving all the new movies coming to HBO Max the same day as the theatrical release. This one stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. Washington is a former LA homicide detective who is now with a Sheriff’s department north of LA. He is sent to L to get evidence and is drawn into a homicide investigation led by Malek. Leto is the guy they suspect of being the killer. I enjoyed the movie. It is not for someone who needs a lot of action or a clear cut ending. It is slow moving, perhaps a little too long. It’s a good story with a great cast and an open ending. I would recommend it to people who like drama and detective stories and don’t mind not knowing all of the answers at the end of the movie.
TV – I don’t think I watched anything new on TV this week. We’ve been watching a lot of the Canadian import Nurses. I know people have complained that it is not realistic but I don’t really care if it accurately portrays the job of a nurse. I like the cast and it is a nice way to spend 40 minutes or so. We watch Resident Alien the day after it airs. It is a weird, fun little show that my wife weirdly loves. I’m still working my way through my rewatch of Greek. I’ve had the TV on the impeachment trial during the day while I am writing/reading. Watching the poor performance of the defense lawyers reminded me of the time I was on a jury. Watching the video of the break in at the Capitol reminded me of a scary day when I was in college. The extra footage showing how close they got to people in the building was chilling.
Books – I finished three books this week
Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi – This is a very short book about two siblings with extraordinary power. It starts when Ella is a child and Kev is born and takes us through their adulthood when Kev is incarcerated and then out on parole. Ella visits him both in person and supernaturally and shows him a possible future of a revolution that burns down the new fascist society. The book definitely kept me reading. It was a little hard to follow as it had time jumps and I had a hard time figuring out how much time had passed and how old they were though a good portion of the book. I would recommend it, though.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson – A boo in verse about the son of an NFL player dealing with how CTE has changed his dad. His dad is an NFL tight end who has had multiple concussions. His headaches get so bad he has to stop playing while the doctors try to figure out what is causing headaches, mood changes and memory loss. The book takes place before we knew about CTE. Woodson is a great author and this is a very good book. I recommend you read anything by Woodson that you can find.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour – I put a hold on this one after reading a rave review in the Washington Post. Darren lives in Bed-Stuy. He was valedictorian at his high school. but opted not to go to college. He is working at a Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building and has no desire for anything different. This all changes when a encounter with Rhett Daniels, the CEO of New York’s hottest tech startup results in Darren being offered a spot on his elite sales team. He is given the nickname Buck by the racist head of sales. As he gets more immersed with Rhett and makes more money he changes and is estranged from his mom and his friends in Bed-Stuy. A tragedy at home and a scandal at work sets ups a chain of events that changes everything. I loved this book. It is compelling. It is funny. It is well written. It has great characters This could easily end up being the book I most recommend this year.
On Deck – My daughter will be home this weekend and has asked me to watch Hillbilly Elegy with her. I also have the DVD of Tenet from the library. We will catch up on some of the shows she watches with us while she is here. I am currently reading the new Alex Delaware novel Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman.
I’m now at the point where every week is basically the same. I write in the morning while listening to music. I take the dog for a walk. I might do some cleaning in the afternoon I watch Greek in the late afternoon while waiting for my wife to finish work. We eat dinner and then watch TV. A lot of these weekly recap posts will be very similar because all of my weeks are very similar. Here is what I read and watched this week.
Movies – I didn’t have any new movies on DVD from the library. We didn’t watch any of the new movies that are streaming. My wife did ask me one night if I wanted to watch a movie, but it was almost 9 and I knew there was no point in starting a movie then unless I was OK with sleeping through it. I did watch two old movies this week. Sunday afternoon I watched Any Given Sunday on HBO Max. I wanted to watch it last year on Super Bowl Sunday, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I was happy to find it was streaming. It has a great cast and I love a good sports movie. On Groundhog Day I was happy to see AMC was showing Groundhog Day all day. Last year I couldn’t find it anywhere. I love this movie every time I watch it. Here is a picture of me recreating part of the movie for a social media post at work last year.
TV – Nothing of note really in the TV realm. We are just continuing to catch up on all the shows we watch together. I am still watching Greek in the afternoon. I have been surprised by the random people who had small parts on the show. Dave Franco is one of the Kappa Taus. Danny Pudi is in a few episodes. Max Greenfield has an arc as Calvin’s boyfriend. Jesse Williams is in a couple of episodes. Olivia Munn is in a few episodes. The Plain White T’s play Kappa Taus who have a and that play at parties. One of my favorite bands, The Dollyrots, are in an episode. It’s fun finding all of them in random episodes. We have watched multiple episodes of Big Sky. It has become our favorite new show. My wife strangely loves Resident Alien on SyFy. It is not the type of show she would normally watch.
Books – I finished two books this week
Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale – I got this one for my daughter who is a fan of Hale’s books. She didn’t read it, but I decided to give it a go since it was in the house. It is a YA book about a girl who was a big deal in high school due to her talent in the school musicals. She flops when she tries to make it on Broadway, gets a job as a nanny, and moves to Montana with the family. While there she stops into a bookstore and decided to start reading again. She discovers that the glasses the bookstore guy gave her puts her physically in the story she is reading. It was a decent book, but not one of my favorites.
Broken by Jenny Lawson – I entered Goodreads contest to win this book. I never heard anything so I assumed I didn’t win. I was pleasantly surprised when a copy was delivered to my house. It immediately became my next read. I love Jenny Lawson’s writing and wish I could write like her. I think I agree with my friend that it isn’t quite as good as her other books, but it was still very good. It was funny. It had very honest talk about dealing with mental illness. If you haven’t read her books yet you should find one and get to reading.
On Deck – I think we might finally watch The Little Things on HBO Max this weekend. Tough As Nails season 2 starts this week. It is a reality show where blue collar workers compete in team and individual challenges. We liked season 1 a lot more than we expected. The Super Bowl is Sunday night. I hope the commercials are good. I am currently reading Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi and might finish it today.
I can’t believe that date I just typed is an August date. What happened to summer? I did not read nearly as much this summer as I usually do.
The week as a different week than expected. We got a call Saturday that my MIL was in the hospital. My wife and daughter headed to Kentucky Sunday morning and have been gone all week. You would think that would increase my reading and watching, but all it did was increase my time sleeping on the couch. Here’s what I did manage to read and watch.
Movies – I did get lucky with this one. My family told me they would not watch Pet Sematary with me. It came in while they were away so I watched it last night. I had to fight falling asleep during the movie. I have not slept well when I’m actually supposed to be sleeping this week. I managed to stay awake and thought that it was one of the better Stephen King adaptations. I don’t remember the original movie, so I can’t say how it compares. I like that it was nice and short and they didn’t try to add a lot to the story to stretch it out. I like that there was no Hollywood contrived happy ending. I would recommend it.
TV – It was a very bad TV week. I watched the Lifetime adaptation of VC Andrew’s Heaven Sunday night. I loved the books when I was younger. My expectations were low for a Lifetime movie. They should have been ower. It was bad. Real bad. I will still watch the next in the series. I was looking for a funny show to watch Monday night. I asked friends on Facebook for recommendations and then ignored them all and watched a random show. It was Catastrophe on Amazon. The premise is a guy has a one week stand with a woman he meets while on business in London. She calls after he’s home to tell him she’s pregnant. He moves to London to be with her. It was funny. I liked it. I’m not sure if I will watch more. I can’t say why. I just never feel the need to start it up again. I watched Beat Shazam and played along as always. This time I actually did well and beat all of the teams except the one that won. I was very proud of myself. I watched(and dozed during) the two nights of debates. I think it’s time for all but around six of the candidates to drop out.
Books – I finally finished Wanderers by Chuck Wendig. It is almost 800 pages long. It starts with a young girl who starts sleepwalking away from her house, Her sister can’t ae her up. She keeps walking and is soon joined by others. The book is about the CDC trying to figure out why while a white supremacist group decides to use them as a tool to spread a message of hate. You actually find out the why halfway through the book. I liked the writing. I liked the characters. The story was compelling, I liked it up to the end. I hated the ending. It’s a bummer to read almost 800 pages, like most of what you’ve read and then hate the ending. I should sue!
On Deck – I still have Shazam. I’m not sure how we are going to watch it with everyone in different places and getting home at different times. I might need to get my son to come home Sunday to watch with me and then have my wife watch alone after she returns from Kentucky. I have more movies(Alita: Battle Angel, Missing Link, Cell) but I’m not sure I will get a chance to watch them. Dear White People and Derry Girls both have new seasons on Netflix today I know what I will be watching on TV this week. I should finish reading Neon Prey by John Sandford and All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred Taylor this week.
It’s been an off week for me. I worked Sunday, off on Monday for the holiday, had an all day training at a different branch yesterday, I’m now the only person home and today I work with a very short staff and then I can finally relax. It was a short week, but not a great week. I need this weekend. I keep pretending like I’m going to go to a movie or actually leave the house, but I know I will spend all of my time on the couch reading or watching TV. OK, enough rambling – on to the review
Books – I read Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith. Smith is one of my favorite YA authors. If you haven’t read his books, go get Grasshopper Jungle or Winger now. Rabbit is more along the lines of Grasshopper. It’s weird(humans on a spaceship full of malfunctioning robots), but funny. I wasn’t sure about it at first and thought it might be one of his first ones that disappointed me, but after the first couple of chapters I really liked it.
TV – First some TV news – New Amsterdam and FBI have both received full season orders, so that is a good sign as far as renewals go. I don’t think anything has been canceled yet. I think the only new show I watched this week was All American, a CW drama about a football player from Crenshaw who moves to Beverly Hills to play for Beverly Hills High. It will be my new “high school drama” show now that Riverdale has lost me.
Movies – We watched Deadpool 2. If you liked the first one, you will like this one. If you didn’t like the first one, don’t bother. I hope they do make an X Force movie next. That would be fun. I still wish Deadpool would make an Avengers appearance.
On Deck – I started Lethal White, the next book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith(JK Rowling) but I’ve always listened to them, so I might stop and wait for the audio. I don’t think I will watch a movie this week and TV will be catching up on DVR’ed shows. There are a couple of new sitcoms I might try next week.
Back to my normal posting schedule now that most of the TV premieres are over. One note before I start the review – ABC comedies Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless come back tonight. Both are very good.
Books: I finally read a book that made me want to keep reading. One of Us by Craig DiLouie. It takes place in the 80’s in a world where kids have been born with mutations and pushed in to homes where they become wards of the state and treated poorly. The kids start developing powers the government wants to use. Eventually, something happens at one home and town that pushes the tension between the “normals” and the “creepers” toward violence. It is very good. I also read Essex County by Jeff Lemire and Orange:Future by Ichigo Takano. Both graphic novels(one manga) and both also very good.
TV: I’ve posted a lot about TV lately. You can go back and look at those posts to get more detail on what I’ve watched. I did finish Mr Mercedes season 1 on DVD. It was one of the better Stephen King adaptations I’ve seen. As far as the new shows go – Single Parents is the only new comedy I will definitely continue watching. New dramas – hard to judge based on one episode. The only ones I’ve watched twice are Magnum and New Amsterdam. I still like both.
Movies: We watched two movies this week. American Animals is the story of the theft from the special collections area of the Transylvania University library by four students. I was interested in this one because I once lived in Lexington. It was an interesting story with clips of the real guys talking about it. I liked it. We also watched the gender flipped remake of Overboard. I liked it a lot more than I expected. Eugenio Derbez was really good in the lead role. I was also pleasantly surprised that they had the Spanish speaking characters actually speak Spanish and used subtitles instead of pretending they would always speak English.
On Deck: We are watching Deadpool 2 tomorrow. I’ve started Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith.
It’s been an odd week for me. My work schedule was different. I’m at the end of my seven-day stretch with no day off. I’ve only had one day off in the last two weeks. I usually work one evening shift a week, but this week I worked two. I’m tired and sometimes I don’t know what day it is. I’m going to use all of that as an excuse for not finishing a book this week. I did spend a lot of time in front of the TV.
Books – I’m still working my way through A Land More Kind Than This by Wiley Cash. I’m also re-reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman for my new book club at work. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by how much I had forgotten about Neverwhere since it’s been 20 years since I last read it. It has taken more time than it should to finish these two books.
TV – In addition to watching episodes of the shows I’ve already talked about here, I started watching two shows on Netflix. I watched all of season two of American Vandal. I wasn’t sure if season two would be as good as the first, especially since most of the cast was new, but I really liked it. I might have liked it more than season one. I would recommend not eating during the first fw minutes of the first episode. Also, if you have issues with poop, maybe don’t watch at all. We also started watching Shooter after my wife rewatched the movie version. It is much better than I expected. I am wondering, though, how the story can span three seasons. I also watched the first three episodes of Mr Mercedes. So far, so good.
Movies – It took me a second to remember that I did actually watch a movie this week. We finally got around to watching The Greatest Showman. I knew that I would probably like it I tend to like musicals. I was surprised that my wife liked it. Besides Grease, I’m not sure she’s every really liked a movie musical.
On Deck – I hope to actually finish the two books I’m reading. I’m not sure what I will read next. There will be a lot of TV as the new fall season starts. My most anticipated shows are Magnum PI and Single Parents. I will report on those during my week of TV posts next week. With all the TV, I don’t know if I will watch a movie. I guess that depends on what DVDs I might get from the library.
Dogs – I have a dog. I love my dog, but I don’t need to take my dog everywhere with me. I don’t understand why people want to take their dogs everywhere. There are dogs in bars, dogs at outdoor concerts, dogs on vacation and even a Ravens football practice where bringing your dog was encouraged. Why are we doing this? I barely want to take my kids places with me and I don’t have to pick up their poop with a plastic bag. Why would I want to take my dog? I don’t get it.
FLOTUS’s Shoes – I don’t care what shoes the First Lady chose to wear while walking from the White House to the plane to fly to Texas. I’m not a fan of Trump and think he is a disaster as president, but this need to pick on everything his family does is ridiculous. The shoes she wore on the plane mean absolutely nothing. There was an entire article about it in the Post. That’s really, really stupid. I know horrible people said horrible things about the Obama family when he was in office. That does not make it right to pick on the Trump family at all. Take the high road when it comes to the family.
Customer Service – Two instances this week of really bad customer service. My daughter and her friends went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s. The person at the window was not very friendly and when they got home they discovered that the box for the chicken nuggets was filled with tartar sauce packages instead of food. They had to go back to get the nuggets and apparently got free apple pies in apology. Had I been there, the entire order would have been refunded. I’m also once again dealing with poor delivery service with the Washington Post. I still like to read the print edition, but will likely switch to digital because the carrier does not care if I get my paper on time. Delivery is getting more and more inconsistent lately. This happened last year and no one cared until I tracked down the head of customer care on Twitter. Once he was involved it got better. It looks like I might need to talk to him again. Good customer service can be hard to find.
Mini-Career Rant – I managed a one person branch of a library for 19 years. It was in jail, but I still managed it. I did all of the day today, supervised volunteers(inmates) and purchased the collection. No one seems to consider that real management because I didn’t officially supervise a staff and didn’t write evaluations. Somehow writing evaluation is now equated with management and leadership. You can teach anyone to write a decent evaluation. Real leadership is much harder.
Eclipse2017 – This was the week of the eclipse. I had the option of going to the area of totality with a free place to stay. I didn’t do it. That was a mistake. There was no reason besides laziness and that is a poor excuse to not do something like that. I was fortunate that I had decided a couple of months ago to take the day off in case I decided to drive to Kentucky and to just enjoy the eclipse away from work. Working at a place that had eclipse glasses for the public threatened to ruin the experience for all of us. I see posts on Facebook where people say they wish people would prepare for the second coming of Christ the way they prepared for the eclipse. If they did that a good portion of them would be at their local library demanding to know if he was there. Regardless, it was nice to sit on my porch and watch the eclipse. The weather worked out and we had plenty of clear skies.
America’s Got Talent – My daughter and I still like to watch the show. We enjoy the audition phase much more than the live shows, but we still watch and vote for the acts we like. It is very frustrating to watch these days for a couple of reasons. I hate that once we get to the live shows and the public starts to vote the majority of the acts going through are singers. There are so many singing shows around. It would be nice to see people with different talents going through. We enjoy the magicians and a good stand up comic and get bored when the entire shows is people singing. The other frustration is that the judges can’t really give a contestant constructive criticism, especially if they are a kid. Last night Mel B tried with a kid singer and the crowd starts booing her and the other judges and the host jump in to stop her and keep talking about how she’s only 9 years old. If she’s too young to hear constructive criticism she’s too young to be on a talent show with such a big prize. I miss the days when they had a mean judge.
Louise Linton – The Treasury Secretary’s wife posted a photo of herself getting off a US government-owned plane. She was dressed in really expensive clothes and tagged the designers in the post. Some random woman commented “glad we could pay for your little vacation #deplorable” which led to Linton going off on a rant about how much more she has contributed to the country via taxes and service. It seems everyone is against Linton on this one, but I have a different take: 1. It likely cost no more for her to be on the plane than it would have if it was just her husband. I have no issue with her traveling with him. I travel with my wife when she goes to conferences. If she were flying on a government plane and I was offered a seat, I would not say no. 2. She’s rich. She will wear nice clothes. Everyone posts stuff online that makes them look good. 3. She’s right in her response in saying that maybe responding with positive message would be better, but I disagree that the positive would get more traction. People who post negative comments in situations like this get more publicity and I’m sure that’s what the commenter wanted. 4. I agree that the wife of a government official should think before responding to the public. It’s probably a good thing that she set her account to private now.
ESPN – ESPN has made the decision to move announcer Robert Lee from the UVA game to another game because his name is too similar to Robert E Lee. I don’t know what they think is going to happen. Do they really think people are too stupid to know that he has no connection to the statue? Especially since he isn’t white? Would anyone even notice? Half the time I don’t even know the names of the people announcing the games. When they put them on screen when they show them during breaks I will likely forget them when play starts(unless they are famous). This was a non-issue that ESPN decided to make an issue and all they’ve done is make themselves look stupid.
Weekly Trump Check – Still a horrible human being? Check. Still a bad president? Check. Still lying? Check. Still attacking the media? Check. Still an embarrassment to the country? Check.