My Cultural Diet for March 2022

A quick rundown of last month’s cultural experiences.

In order to better track my various cultural experiences (e.g., movies, TV shows, books, restaurants), I’ve created the Cultural Diet. Think of it as my own personal Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp, all rolled into one (more info here). Every month, I recap everything that I watched, read, etc., in the previous month.

Not sure if this gave me a lot of new insight into Kon’s films, but it was neat to see how respected he was by other filmmakers. We lost someone truly special when he died.
Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey (The Expanse, Book Four)
My least favorite Expanse novel to date. But even a “bad” Expanse novel is still pretty good.
Direct-to-video martial arts action comedies from the mid-to-late ’90s don’t get much better than this. (Read my review)
Dark Horse by Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Book Seven)
Read this in under 24 hours. Hurwitz knows how to write a pageturner, but it’s 100% style over substance. I appreciated the effort to make more nuanced and thoughtful bad guys, but I would’ve liked more mindless action and less existential philosophizing re. marriage, parenting, etc.
Upload, Season Two
Didn’t like this as much as season one. Some promising new story ideas were introduced but none of them were developed in a satisfying way. This season felt rushed and truncated, which wasn’t helped by the fact that it only had seven episodes compared to the first season’s ten.
Their mango chicken on jasmine rice is solid, but the skillet shrimp appetizer is where it’s at.
Hyperspace by Edward Packard (Choose Your Own Adventure, #21)
For a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book geared towards grade schoolers, Hyperspace is pretty trippy and meta.
Space Patrol by Julius Goodman (Choose Your Own Adventure, #22)
Your Code Name Is Jonah by Edward Packard (Choose Your Own Adventure, #6)
Loved the Cold War, 007-esque espionage angle on this one.
Space and Beyond by R. A. Montgomery (Choose Your Own Adventure, #4)
The Cave of Time by Edward Packard (Choose Your Own Adventure, #1)
This restaurant in Mead, NE (of all places) was a delightful surprise. Their wood-fired pizzas are delicious and they even make a solid cheesesteak.
As a military aviation buff, I could spend hours here. IIRC, you could climb into some of the planes when I was a kid, but no longer. Still, I get chills every time I see the B-47 Stratojet up close.
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve had one of their caramel cinnamon rolls.
Arguably my favorite restaurant in Omaha. I was bummed to see that the Jujeh Kabob wasn’t available on their dinner menu, but not enough to not give them five stars. My wife had the Soltani Kabob and it was amazing.
If you have a sweet tooth like mine, then this place is a must-see. Huge assortment of candies from all over the world, including Japanese Kit Kats.
I used to go to this baked sub shop all the time, but now it’s only in Omaha. Their beef sandwich was just as delicious as I remembered (though I should’ve ordered it with extra cheese).
One of our favorite Omaha museums. The train exhibits are endlessly fascinating (and make me want to ride the rails) and they currently have an excellent Nelson Mandela exhibit.
And yes, I’ve had “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” going through my head ever since.
You’d think that a joint named “Cheeseburgers” would, y’know, make a good cheeseburger. We would’ve been better off just going to Runza.
I’m not a huge fan of maki rolls, but the tempura coating on their Hawaiian roll was *chef’s kiss*. The Itchy Salmon is also excellent. Added bonus: My kids loved it.
There’s a reason why this is considered one of the world’s best zoos. Highlights include the aquarium and the “Asian Highlands” exhibit (complete with red pandas and snow leopard).
I know Zio’s makes good pizza, but it doesn’t really travel well for takeout. Plus, they got our order wrong this time.
I liked this volume OK, but more importantly, it got me hyped for volume two.
Is there such a thing as a too-sarcastic Ryan Reynolds? This might be it.
My second time through the campaign. Enjoyed it even more, especially the gorgeous art design. I’m left wanting more, in both good and bad ways. (Read my review)
It pains me to rate a Jackie Chan movie so low, but compared to the first Police Story, this one feels underwhelming. The cafe and playground brawls are still topnotch Jackie action, though.
Reacher, Season One
I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Sometimes, you just want to watch a beefy protagonist who has no qualms smashing bad guys’ heads in while dropping one-liners. This more than fills that bill. Bring on season two!

For more, check out the full cultural diet.