February 7-11, 2011

Who has time to watch the Oscar nominees? Kevin Mattison, that’s who, and he’ll hook you up with the Cliffs Notes. Start off this week with “This dream must be madness” (Black Swan), “Survival is nothing more than recovery” (Winter’s Bone) and “I’ll show you the life of the mind” (Inception)

Adrian Tomine may be the Shakespeare of human failure, but Kate Sloan says that his first book-length work, Shortcomings, is really about the grace of recovering afterward. Read “On coming up short in a giant’s world”

Gavin Craig doesn’t really love Little Big Planet. So why does he keep playing it? Find out in “Playing the penguin”

The Gamers’ Club is playing Final Fantasy VII. Read “The slog” by Gavin Craig, “My cousin Vinny” by Daniel J. Hogan, and “Character and materia management” by Andrew Simone

Are you lonely? Is your life lacking fulfillment or companionship? Not to worry, says Ana Holguin. It’s nothing that a slavish and unreasonable devotion to a dachshund can’t fix. Read “How to be a crazy (wiener) dog lady”

Lindsey Malta says that you don’t have to be an old fan to be a fan, especially when it comes to a brilliant, compact jewel like Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes’ Spaced. Read “Get Spaced”

It’s time to start thinking about spring training, and Angela Vasquez-Giroux shares her Project 3B list in “9 ½ weeks”

Travel may not be good for a cooking regimen, but it’s good for testing one’s food discipline, and helping to sort out priorities. Read Jill Kolongowski’s “On dieting and real food”

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