Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"One of these things is not like the others..."

I don't even pretend to understand how Facebook tracks the things I do or like or how the algorithms are created.  But a colleague put a picture on their FB wall and I liked the sentiment and I like the lady so I liked the picture.

Once I did, I was invited to like these things that were "similar"....Now I don't know a whole lot about MacFarlane....maybe he is a big supporter of autism research or what not, but something didn't seem right about this....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cinema Sunday: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Currently #25 on my flickchart list
My son was a little bugged that he hadn't seen a movie when it opened at midnight.  He good-naturedly ribs me occasionally that I took The Armchair Squid to see The Avengers midnight opening....neglecting to recall that at the time, my son was 8 and not up to a midnight showing.

Our original plan to see this movie on opening night was derailed by my current quest to obtain my master's degree...I had class last Thursday, Friday and Saturday making it impossible to fit in a screening.

So we made plans to go to the latest showing possible this past Friday night.  We had so much fun on our Father-Son Night Out.  The previews rocked.  During one, I said we needed to see the movie advertised in the theater...Logan replied "On another night like this!".  He was easily the youngest member of the audience and reveled in that fact.

When the movie was over, we both started babbling about the Easter Eggs we caught and were eager to see it again.  Logan pegged it as his second favorite movie in the Marvel Universe.  I put it third behind Captain America: The First Avenger.  We both have The Avengers first.

I sometimes have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that we live in a world where the SEQUEL to a Captain America movie holds the box office record for April releases.  Where I would get a SEQUEL to a Thor movie and enjoy it even more than the first Thor movie.  Where I would have THREE Iron Man movies to rank and be okay with not liking some of them!!

Someone recently posted on-line that they could imagine themselves as an old man lecturing kids on the days when there were so few good superhero flicks growing up.  I remember the days of having to hang my hat on the first Superman movie and some of the second Superman movie.  I remember convincing myself that the first few Batman movies were enough to hold me over until...some day.

Now I'm waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy, a second Avengers movie, an Ant-Man movie....

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - March

During our two Snow Days earlier this month, I tore through this Vermont-based police procedural mystery.

I've been reading Archer Mayor's work since he first published "Open Season" in 1988.  I actually used to  bump into him or attended his signings so often, he would autograph copies of his books with very humorous, personalized inscriptions.

This is his 24th novel in the Joe Gunther series.  Gunther is a no nonsense, old school Vermonter who now heads the fictional Vermont Bureau of Investigation.  The novel takes place in the wake of Hurricane Irene, a storm that caused us some damage (though not as much as the May Flooding did to us that year).  The Hurricane exposes two decades old secrets in the state which wind their way throughout the novel.  I was very pleased that I was kept guessing until the very end.

I really loved this book.  Some of it might be my familiarity with the locales.  I also know many people with the same last names as many of the characters...even some atypical Vermont names....the Governor is named Zigman....I know a Zigman!  One of the detectives is named Spinney....I work with a woman whose maiden name is Spinney...I even knew a Kunkle at one point!

It's interesting to me to note how the longevity of the series has necessitated some changes.  Gunther's age and military history is more muted than it was when the series started 25 years ago.  There is less of a tying him down to specifics.  When I started reading the series, I always pictured Joe as my grandfather...then later I imagined him as Mayor himself....now, I sometimes picture myself as the hero....

I'm also really excited for the next chapter in the saga...

I also abandoned one book this month.

I really wanted to like this one but I just couldn't get into it.  It was too close to "The Series of Unfortunate Events", which I started out really liking but was ready for it to end by the 13th book, in terms of clever word play, characters, plot and narration.

I've read two good quotes about this book.  The first is from The Guardian: "A Series of Unfortunate Events started brilliantly, but dipped in quality over its 13 books; this time, sensibly, Handler has limited himself to only four."  However, I'm not interested in getting into any series right now!

The second comes from a GoodReads member: "Do any actual kids like Lemony Snicket books, or are they only read by hip parents who think that they are the kind of books they want their kids to like?"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sneak Peak: Tomorrow's Post

Here is a video trailer that was created last year to promote Vermont author Archer Mayor's most recent work.


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