What I did: October 2023

Posted by Ryan C. Jerz on October 31, 2023

Here are the things I watched, saw, listened to, read, did, or whatever in the month of October 2023.


I care, so I'm noting this here: I stopped rating movies with stars in mid-October. I'm not good enough at reviewing to make those determinations, so it's either a like no no like on Letterboxd.


  • "Efficiency Is a Thief of Joy" by Parker Richards -- This enters my life in the form of Yelp reviews that decide where we eat, Siri to immediately answer questions that could easily be a fun conversation, etc. I was thinking about this in terms of the podcasts I listen to...without the riffing on what you think the answer might be, you lose the fun of the conversation, which is why we're there!
  • "Without a Trace: How to Take Your Phone Off the Grid" by Monique O. Madan and Wesley Callow -- I have a phone I'd like to try this with. I'm weirdly into anonymous information sharing. I feel like it'll be a skill that's helpful in the near future.
  • "Millennials and Gen Z Are Tilting Left and Staying There" by Jamelle Bouie -- Jamelle Bouie is my favorite columnist who teaches writes about history in an unapologetic way. His insights are well-thought and I tend to think he's generally right.
  • "Actress Spotlight: Veronica Lake" from The Girl with the White Parasol -- a few movies later and I want to understand this person. She's awesome in what Ive seen, and the stories about her seems fraught with hangups about women from that time.


  • "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare. Directed by Dawn Monique Williams. Anyone complaining about the length of movies in the modern era should have to sit through some of the Shakespearian classics. They're good, but they're also filled with scenes that are wholly unnecessary to the furthering of the story. Al Espinosa as Malvolio was a real treat.
  • "Where We Belong" by Madeline Sayet. Directed by Mei Ann Teo. This one-person show starred Jessica Ranville and was moving and powerful. Every show I have seen to this point in the Thomas Theatre has been one to remember. It's a tremendous setting.


  • Halt and Catch Fire, Season 2 -- This is my second time through, but the family is digging it. This show is very good, despite me mostly hating 3/4 of the main characters
  • Lessons in Chemistry -- We listened to the book on a road trip that went off the rails one day. The book was a wonderful reprieve from the bad day of driving, and the show is pretty much exactly what I expected.


  • Ring of Fire eclipse -- Ashland, Oregon. The morning started out cloudy, but cleared perfectly to see the full ring of fire. I heard several people in my orbit say that if you've seen one, you've seen them all, but I can't get on board with that. It's fucking cool to see these things.
  • At the risk of burying the lede, we also went to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks to start the month. It was a tremendous trip and we lucked out a great deal with the Republicans in Congress not fulfilling their tantrum desires and keeping the government operating (for now). A much more detailed post is coming and will be linked when ready.