Friday, July 11, 2014

Week 5: Moon Mist is the best ice cream

This was the week of Moon Mist, missions from God, challenges from Boxing God, repartee with Silent God, stolen planes, stolen Presidents, stolen babies, stolen hearts, stolen love and whatever the duration of Ladyhawke was in stolen time. I'm going to talk about a few things today, but the general tone of the week was pretty upbeat and I'm in an excellent mood. :D

Let's start with the big news: the sling is off! My shoulder's not excellent, but the bone has set and now it's going to be a slow assisted rehab process to make sure I don't stress it too badly. They put this really clever sort of wrap/limiter kind of thing on it that secures it and restricts me from the full range of motion, but I can actually sort of move my arm in that area again and it's just awesome. Next week, I'm going in for some surgery on the legs. Should put the old F U in fun and it means more general downtime, but it also means I'm on the road to some real recovery and that's pretty great.

This week, a whole bunch of you came through and did something really awesome for me, and I'm not going to forget that. I've never believed that I could (or ever wanted to) make money on the blog and that's still not a real incentive, but it was nice both to see people's generosity and wonderful messages of support and also to feel a bit more comfortable about having a spot in the budget for pizza again. I always feel a bit guilty when I dip into my cost-of-living budget for something fun, so thank you everyone who took that off my shoulders (busted and otherwise!) this week. Anyone who didn't donate: I'd love to make a joke about how you all suck or something but let's be honest, your being here, reading and commenting, is a huge donation of your time and attention already to a poor busted-up schmuck and I appreciate everyone who comes here. :D

I'll get to the week's entertainment in a moment, but first, something I know we've all (especially me) been waiting for: Lacy's punishment for That Movie! Today, I get to disclose to you one of her biggest embarrassing secrets. As you know, I'm a big fan of pizza. I like to try lots of different things on it, but I've got a soft spot for pepperoni and pineapple. The strangest topping I've ever tried, I think, is slivered almonds, which add a surprisingly pleasant crunch to the experience. But Lacy, oh, she's got me beat. We found this out and we like to tease her about it, and today, as her comeuppance for the bad thing she did, you're all going to know what she likes to put on her pizza:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

No, I'm dead serious. Not baked on, either; she crumbles them into pieces (large chunks, really) and just puts them on top of the pepperoni, mozzarella and all the rest. She swears that it's amazing. That might even be true. But holy smokes it's still something ridiculous because how does it even occur to someone to do that???

So now you all know about her nutty little pizza thing, let's have some sharing in the comments about choice of pizza toppings. If I see anything that looks cool or delicious, I may give it a try, because I actually have a small pizza fund now with which to do that! :D

I've talked shoulder and Lacy's madness; let's move on to looking back at the week. I actually did watch an episode of Star Trek (The Galileo Seven), which was great and I'll post the review at some point soon, but I got sidelined by shoulder and movies. In the upcoming week I'm going to start reading a recommended book called The Hobbit, which is about a halfling going on a D&D adventure, according to pretty much everyone who has ever mentioned it to me. If you were trying to keep it secret from me that hobbit = halfling, sorry but my gaming group spoiled that one like ten years ago. I don't know the specifics of the adventure, just that it's very D&D. Anyway, it's a D&D book and I'm very excited. :D

Ladyhawke is just not a good movie. Roomie's taking the heat for that one, apparently he liked it when it was a kid and forgot some of the details; specifically those pertaining to it being not good. Conversely, two shorter movies proved really entertaining: Labyrinth and Escape From New York were both excellent. Of course, pretty much everything suffers in comparison to Rocky, which overshadowed just about everything. I'm sure I overanalyzed that movie to hell and back - actually I'm pretty sure Rachel specifically said that I put  more thought into it than the people involved in the movie did. Sorry if that made it a tedious read. On the other hand, some of you were probably laughing at how freshman my read of the movie was, so... entertainment value, I guess? :D

I have to put qualifiers on Rocky, this week, because it got knocked off its would-be perch as the film of the week by the most smashing entertainment since Jurassic Park. The Blues Brothers was a one-two punch of fun comedy and infuckingcredible music. One reader emailed me to say he'd provide more (thanks SupernovaShock) and I'm really looking forward to it. Going forward I'm going to have to find a way to add music experiences to the schedule. I don't even know how you write a music experience, just that I'm sure as hell going to try.

Also, I did some research for like... three minutes, and it turns out that Moon Mist is a pretty Nova Scotia thing, so today I am feeling great pity for the rest of you. While I sit here with my cone of Moon Mist. If anyone has tasted this frozen confection, though, isn't it awesome?

So to summarize the week: movies awesome, music awesome, shoulder awesome, ice cream awesome, readers most awesome of all. Let's hope Week 6 continues to be as good! :D

46 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear you've had a good week. But any week with the Blues Brothers in it is good!

    So you're getting into music. I can't think of many better places to start than Blues and Bowie. And aside from just sitting down and listening to stuff, you could do worse than watching music videos, which have become a big part of the music business.

    But some other stuff you might consider, musicwise:
    The Beatles (You've probably heard of them, but if not you have to check them out)
    Queen (If you dig Bowie, you'll probably dig them too. They even recorded a song together!)
    Gorillaz (If you go the music video route, DEFINITELY check them out. Also they've done some pretty great genre-busting experimental stuff, often collaborating with other musicians who are great in their own right.)

    Another musical avenue to consider is the Rockumentary. And you won't find a better example of that than This Is Spinal Tap.

    I should note I'm coming at this as a British person, so I imagine there'll be a whole bunch of other stuff people suggest But I think all my suggestions did do well on your side of the Atlantic. I hope if you sample any of them they'll be to your liking!

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    1. Again, I know the guy is inexperienced with pop culture, but I really can't believe he wouldn't have heard, or heard of, the Beatles. That would blow my mind. (Granted, I know he's a teenager and Kids Today don't know their rock history and blah blah....but c'mon. They broke up before I was born, but I still grew up listening to their records. Are you telling me people don't do that anymore?)

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    2. I don't think This Is Spinal Tap shouldn't be attempted before gaining at least a little context of the history of rock and metal. I don't think Jeremy is there yet. Lots of it would fly over his head I think.

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    3. Spinal Tap... you're right, Anon, he shouldn't try it before more lessons... But what about Almost Famous? That might fit the bill.

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    4. Everyone's heard of the Beatles. I don't know that I could name any of their songs, but I've definitely heard of them.

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    5. Agreed on the Bowie. You get on Spotify yet, Jer?

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    6. He should watch Flash Gordon and than hear Queen

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  2. The next couple of movies on your list would seem to guarantee a good week. :)

    I know you're the guy who only saw Star Wars last month, Jeremy, but it kind of blows my mind you don't know anything about The Hobbit. It's not just a D&D style book, it's a book that D&D wouldn't exist without...It's basically ground zero for modern fantasy.

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    1. Yeah, the Hobbit is the book that started it all. It's not a D&D book, D&D is a "The Hobbit", "Lord of the Rings", and "Fafred and the Grey Mouser" combined inspired RPG with a magic system inspired by "The Dying Earth"

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    2. It is impossible to overstate J.R.R. Tolkien's contribution to the modern fantasy genre. Were it not for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, there would be no D&D or anything similar, at least not as we would recognize it today.

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    3. At the risk of derailing, I do find it really interesting to consider what the modern fantasy genre would look like without Tolkien. Contrary to what a lot of people believe, there WOULD have been a modern fantasy genre without him--if nothing else, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft all predate him, not to mention Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum and J. M. Barrie. The fantasy genre was actually flourishing from the late 19th century up until WWII; Tolkien was actually pretty late to the party. There are a ton of forgotten or nearly-forgotten authors from that era, from Lord Dunsany to George MacDonald to Eric Rudder Erickson to James Branch Cabell. That last is a dude who was ENORMOUSLY popular in his time and has been almost completely forgotten. If you ever get a chance to track down his books, particularly "Jurgen", go for it, they're terrific.

      Anyway, the tendency among all these writers was either for whimsical, satirical, fairy-tale style fantasy or for more action-centric, swashbuckling pulp stuff. Tolkien was the one who brought in the idea of a really sprawling, mythologically dense world with elaborate backstory. I actually sort of go back and forth on whether he was a good influence on the genre--the fact that "fantasy" has become code for "ripoffs of Tolkien" means the diversity of the genre that existed before him has dwindled down to almost nothing.

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  3. (Oh, and psst, Jeremy, you know you didn't do Second Thoughts on Escape From New York yet, right? Are you saving it for something?)

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    1. Saving it for when I remember to post it. :D

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  4. Fair warning: Some say that "that movie" was pitched as "Jaws" in Space. You might want to watch the trailer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1fu_sA7XhE

    On the plus side, Music is by John Williams, so at least you'll like that. :)

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  5. I'd laugh at Lacy, but really, I can't throw stones. I've dipped chocolate chip cookies into jalapeno cheese dip and found it quite palatable. Seriously!

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  6. I was mostly being silly about Rocky, for all that he's good at portraying a big dumb lug, Stallone's supposedly a pretty smart dude. Your analysis was entertaining as always.

    I too will provide a big music list ASAP.

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  7. How do I have like ten comments and still nobody talking about favorite pizza toppings? Am I the only pizza fan around?

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    1. I'm mostly a pepperoni guy myself. Although when I want to go above and beyond I prefer the "every meat known to man" pizza.

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    2. Grilled eggplant and andouille sausage.

      Feta cheese and olives.

      Jalapeño peppers and taco meat.

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    3. I didn't think the first comment I leave would be about pizza, but here ya go: Pineapple and jalapeno. Sounds weird but it's delicious. I also second the vote for fried eggplant.

      Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with all of us!!! I'm loving reading your blog; your perspective and sense of humor have made me appreciate new aspects of some of my favorite movies.

      Has anyone pointed you toward geeky webcomics yet? I highly recommend you check out xkcd at some point. In particular, this one seems highly relevant to your current interests: http://xkcd.com/1053/

      Again, thank you for writing--I'm still catching up to present and looking forward to all that is to come!

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  8. For pizza toppings it's hard to go wrong with the one I usually get - sucuk (turkish sausage), kebab meat, ground beef, jalapenos, chili sauce and garlic salad dressing on top after it's done.

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    1. This sounds preposterously incredible and I want like five of them.

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  9. I like to put pizza on my pizza. Does that count as topping?

    "If you were trying to keep it secret from me that hobbit = halfling, sorry but my gaming group spoiled that one like ten years ago."
    You don't know what Hobbit is?
    O_o

    o_O

    Next you'll tell us you never read Lord of the Rings. How do you even be a rpger without reading Tolkien? Damn whippersnappers these days...

    Hobbit is not a D&D movie. D&D is Hobbit fanfiction. >_>

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    1. Of course it counts as a topping :D

      And no, I've never read Lord of the Rings. According to the RPG.net forum vote I'm going to watch the movies and then later on read the book.

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  10. The Hobbit is the lighter "prequel" to Lord of the Rings, the series that pretty much all modern "classic" fantasy is based on (the elves/dwarves/orcs kind). The Hobbit is pretty readable but if you decide to go further, just fair warning that the Lord of the Rings series is much more dense. I'm sure many people have recommended the Lord of the Rings movies, and I agree they are really entertaining, very well made and just might be the best fantasy movies ever. If you do watch them I would recommend the extended versions, probably about 80% of the added scenes are good additions. I don't think I would recommend any of the various Hobbit movies, they're all lacking in my opinion, even the modern version.

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    1. With you on the Hobbit movies. They're interesting and visually well done, but even as a Kiwi I feel like PJ got caught up in trying to appeal to certain audiences, instead of simply telling the story as he sees it. Its why the LOTR movies are so good.

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  11. Favorites = Sausage and Green Pepper
    Most unusual = Feta Cheese, not too bad but an acquired taste

    -toclacl

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    1. I could see feta, yeah. Green pepper is a good topping. Sausage is good if it's good sausage.

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  12. Spinach, feta, and alfredo sauce makes for a pretty good pizza. But basically my favorite pizza is the margherita: fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. Plain as.

    I remember Moon Mist from back in the day. At some point I switched over to Tiger, though. Not sure why. I grew up in Vermont, so my true ice cream loyalties lie with Ben and Jerry's, of course.

    As for the past week: The Blues Brothers is plainly the best movie by almost any standard that you watched last week. So I'm glad you liked it.

    The week to come: I love the Big Lebowski and quote it, like, a LOT. I know people who are ordained priests in the religion it spawned. But I am not certain you will love it as much as the rest of us. It's ... very weird. And it's, oddly, sorta the first detective noir movie you're seeing? In a bizarre, sideways fashion.

    Jaws is probably the "best" movie on your immediate upcoming list. Broadest appeal, most revolutionary filmmaking, biggest impact on cinema history. Please don't watch it alone in the dark. It's nowhere near as STRESSful as That Movie, but it IS a horror movie. Have a movie buddy.

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    1. I like the Big Lebowski, but I did not enjoy it my first time around because I didn't realize it was a genre parody. Reviewing the Big List, I kind of feel like he should watch Chinatown first, so he can see the parallels in the stories of the Dude and Jake.

      As far as pizza goes, I think my favorite "unusual" pizza is BBQ chicken, although I think in recent years it's become so popular that it hardly qualifies. I also like ham and pineapple, which is something I regard as one of the fundamental pizza types, but which others seem to feel is some kind of abomination to the pizza gods.

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  13. By far, the best topping is sliced, breaded eggplant. Essentially, it's eggplant parmigiana, on top of a pizza.

    I have, over and over, had the experience of feeding a slice to a doubtful friend, who then falls in love with it.

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    1. Oh that sounds awesome. Bet I'd have to put it together myself, though.

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  14. Pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, and green chile for me!

    Now hurry up and watch Lebowski!

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  15. Lot of talk about LOTR and The Hobbit in these comments. Can I ask if you're intending to read the books first?
    I hope so, you strike me as a reader. Many people think the LOTR books are dense, and... well, they are, but thats not a bad thing if you read well. So much detail, the movies are forced to edit plenty out (and are still 3 hours long each! not to mention the extended editions...). I enjoyed reading the books even when I was much younger, and I think its always worth knowing the source before seeing an adaption.

    Of course, the LOTR movies are wonderful and well worth watching, although I'm from NZ so I have to say that haha.

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    1. Actually, I'll edit that slightly - seeing as Jurassic Park was originally a book, I'll say its just worth knowing the source AS WELL AS seeing the adaptation.Not always necessary, but never a bad thing.

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    2. From what I understand the plan is to read The Hobbit and then watch LOTR. Which I think is good, LOTR is not very... accessible in its written form and I'd hate for him to give up on it.

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    3. agreed. I tore through books from an early age and read all kinds of dense and inaccessible stuff and it took me *FOUR TRIES* to get into LOTR despite having been a tabletop gamer first. The first seven or eight chapters are DULL and SLOW the first time through, especially if your only context coming in is the Hobbit. I think the movies-first plan is a solid one tbh.

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    5. I'm going to disagree. I happily read the books when I was 13/14. And everything he writes here gives me the impression that Jeremy could handle it. Thats not to say that he won't get bored or annoyed at how long it takes the first book to get going; the point is I don't think it would stop him, especially having the knowledge that it will get much more interesting. Other than Tom Bombadil and that nonsense, theres still so much detail right from the start.

      That said, the first one I read was actually the third. I found it in the school library when I was 11, and noticed that it was by the Hobbit guy (haha). It was the only one on the shelf at the time and the first couple of chapters hooked me regardless, so perhaps it worked well that I didn't have to get through the slow start the first time.

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  16. Try artichoke hearts! One of my favourite pizzas is pepperoni, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes. Delicious with a good root beer, like IBC (if you're a root beer person).

    I would strongly recommend you read LotR before watching the films, if you're any kind of a reader at all. If you watch the films first, they'll colour your reading of the books, and (IMO) not in a good way. If you read the books first, you'll still be able to enjoy the films (largely) free from the preconceptions the books have given you—film is a much more immersive and compelling medium.

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  17. When I was younger my local pizza place had a specialty dessert pizza: crust, cheese, apple slices, and cinnamon. It was surprisingly delicious. Kind of like an apple pie you can pick up and eat :)

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  18. here in the Desert Southwest US where the men are men, the women are men and the sheep are scared, we enjoy "taco pizza" with ground beef, chile spices and cheddar cheese. Also southwestern style grilled chicken, monterey jack and green chile sauce, sometimes with black bean/corn salsa. Bonus points for finding one with a masa (ground corn) crust.

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  19. We used to live near a pizzeria with a dazzling selection of toppings. Our 2 favorites from there were white sauce, chicken, cashews and spinach, feta and gyros meat.

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