Monthly recap — February 2024

Movies & TV

I watched a few horror or horror-adjacent movies last month.

  • The Visit was surprisingly good and a fun watch. “Found footage” is my favorite genre so I loved the format, but beyond that Ed Oxenbould (who looks like a miniature version of Dax Shepard) stole the show and added a natural goofiness that played well off of the darker aspects of the story.
  • The Nun II was decent overall and had some creative jump scares — the scene in the alley with the magazines flapping to eventually reveal the nun silhouette was beautifully crafted and terrifying.
  • As a massive fan of Ari Aster’s previous work, I had high hopes for Beau is Afraid. The first hour of the 3-hour epic was engrossing — I was completely engaged and physically anxious from the nonstop assault of external forces on the title character. Although the film showcased Aster’s superlative visual storytelling style, the middle and final acts of the movie sort of lost me in their abstractness.

I also watched Anatomy of a Fall. The acting and dialogue was great, but the pacing was pretty dense and overwhelming so I found it hard to get into. I will say that Messi absolutely deserved to win the Palm Dog for his performance, which scared the hell out of me.

In TV series, I fell hard for Slow Horses. Gary Oldman is great, and the show does a nice job of weaving in the intricacies of intelligence tradecraft with character development and humor. Seeing Graham Yost in the credits was no surprise — it has some of the same vibes as Justified.

Lastly, season 4 of True Detective was quite a departure from previous seasons, set in Alaska in winter. It’s visually stunning, the cast was excellent, and I enjoyed the finale even though it was rated pretty harshly.


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was excellent — a fast-paced thriller that explores the implications of discovering a way to navigate a multiverse, it manages to be accessible while deeply exploring what becomes a very complicated set of circumstances.

After really digging the series, I was excited to finally read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It did not disappoint — I love Mandel’s crisp style and the post-apocalyptic world she builds. I wish I would have read the book before seeing the series, because I kept waiting for more of a connection between Kirsten and Jeevan to unfold, and it never did.

I finally finished You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane after starting it a while back. I was afraid it might be outdated already since the narrative around AI has changed so much over the last few months, but it still served as a great (and funny!) primer to the underlying concepts of AI and ML, grounded a in a ton of real-world examples.

Are Design Systems a zero-interest rate phenomenon? is a great post by Dave Rupert that defends design systems as a practical, preemptive pursuit. “Design systems become a “hair on fire” problem and get buy-in when people in the organization encounter a catastrophic or near-catastrophic event.” Incidentally, after reading this article my usage of the term “hair on fire” went up exponentially.


New album & tour announcement from Pearl Jam! Looking forward to seeing them in LA in May. In the meantime, will have to get by on the single they released, Dark Matter.


My new favorite thing? Hop water. It’s sparkling water with varying amounts of hop (and other) flavor, depending on which brand you buy. There’s a great overview and recommendations at Wirecutter. Basically, you get a taste of the crispness and hoppiness of beer with zero calories and zero alcohol. My favorites so far are the offerings from Sierra Nevada and Hoplark — those have the strongest hop character of the ones I’ve tried.