Finally, on my DVD: Coco (2017)

Best Animated Feature Film

CocoNot that long after it came out on DVD, I received Coco (2017) for Christmas or my birthday, since I never had a chance to see it at the cinema. Surely, we could get ONE of the three DVD players in our house to operate, couldn’t we? Well, no, not for about two years.

Finally, a friend of my daughter’s figured how to get me to work, just in time for the pandemic. I now have dozens of DVDs to watch. But I’ve found time to watch only the one, so far.

That choice was most worthwhile. Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming a famous musician. He wanted to be like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt).

Through a narrative that makes sense to the story, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. Along the way, he meets a trickster named Hector (Gael García Bernal). Together, they unravel the complex story behind Miguel’s family history.


This Pixar product, like most, is a reflection of quality filmmaking. The animation is extraordinary, with its dazzling colors. It is also a story with a lot of heart and passion which has been praised for its respect for Mexican culture.

The screenplay by Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich is based on an original idea by director Lee Unkrich. It is an excellent redemption tale. The voice actors are wonderful, including Ana Ofelia Murguía as Mamá Socorro “Coco” Rivera, Miguel’s great-grandmother.

No wonder Coco won Best Animated Film at the Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, and from several other entities. It won the Oscar for Best Song, Remember Me, written by the prolific songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Composer Michael Giacchino, who had worked on prior Pixar animated features, composed the fine score.

CD-ROM dream; techno failure

bad karma

cd-romIn mid-December, I woke up from this CD-ROM dream.

I was in charge of some massive organization that met in a football stadium. It had been accused of not documenting its activities sufficiently. So now we had to audit all the activities from the previous period. This involved reviewing a stack of CD-ROM discs that was three feet high. We couldn’t do any other work until we verified all the information.

Currently, I have no working computer that even HAS a CD-ROM drive.

One of our laptops was in the shop for several days at the end of the school semester. This meant my daughter needed the one working machine for homework AND my wife needed it for lesson plans AND I needed it for whatever it is that I do.

And when it was repaired, it no longer works with the printer. We ought to see if we can get the even older laptop to perform.

We have no working DVD player. I think we have bad karma when it comes to those devices. I bought a TV last year specifically to play DVDs. The second time we used it, the disc got stuck.

And also

Lest you think all of our difficulties are with electronics, our dishwasher can be cranky. It does not work when the outside temperature is less than 14F/-10C.

When it warmed up, it STILL didn’t work. I spent over a half hour on the phone with the company’s help desk. It didn’t solve the problem. We could have had a service call. It would have cost $129 just for the person to come through the door, plus $160/hour, calculated in 15-minute segments.

Finally, we called our own repair guy, who’s much cheaper. John cleaned the drain filter, which we had already done, but obviously not thoroughly enough.

None of this is meant as a complaint, exactly. One does find workarounds. We have a library branch less than two blocks away where we can print and copy.

Not incidentally, the Albany Public Library has this incognito mode I use all the time, so the next user doesn’t access my email/Facebook et al. Last time I was using the 15-minute computer downtown, I accessed the previous user’s Gmail. I sent him an email from “him” to him suggesting that he needed to take more precautions.

And of course, I’m very good at washing dishes by hand. So we get by. Geez, the door lock is sticking again…

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