American Sniper

I had no interest in seeing seeing this film, but sometimes that's what marriage is about. When we arrived to a packed theater (and had to sit in the fourth row) I was even more skeptical. However, after 135 minutes I hadn't looked at my phone and as we exited the sold-out theater, it was silent. I went in expecting a lot of egregious violence and no storyline, but that wasn't the case. This is a true story of a real family. It's not a blow-up-everything, lets-play-with-special-effects, war film. I'm not interested in politicking here but I will say that the film was a touching reminder of how much veterans and their families have sacrificed to wage a war a half-world away while the rest of us go about our business as usual. If you get a chance, I recommend going to see it. It was well done and a story worth telling (even if they used a fake baby). 

I've been listening to The Checklist Manifesto through my Audible account and it makes me excited to run errands. In the book, physician and author Atul Gawande explores how we execute tasks in a world of growing complexity. As the title suggests, a simple checklist can help us get things right. However, if that was all the book had to offer, you wouldn't need to read it. Instead, it's like the best graduate school class you ever took, with case studies on how hospitals, companies and governments have made decisions (both successfully and unsuccessfully). Gawande is deeply curious and his fascination with how things work comes across through his extensive research and interviews. It's a captivating look at how the smallest changes can make a big impact. After I finish this one I'll be moving on to Atul Gawande's other books Complications, Better and Being Mortal

I caught up on the first three episodes of Girls this weekend, and after watching the first season of Sons of Anarchy with Mike, I have to say that the episodes of Girls feel insanely short. Every time it ends I think, that's it? However I'm interested to see how Hannah's time in Iowa plays out (and if she'll last the entire season). I'm also hoping that at least one character will get a grip. Sometimes it feels like I'm watching a parody of our generation. Shoshanna in her interview? Marnie in her series of dysfunctional relationships? Jessa doing anything? Why can't any of them just get a job, work hard, be independent, and have a little self-respect? Is that too much to ask? I understand that's part of the show, but one girl pulling herself together would be nice. Despite all that, I do enjoy Dunham's reflections during the after show. Unlike her character, she has actually accomplished a lot and I love hearing what she has to say about the episode.