Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend randomness! And reruns!

Random thoughts, interspersed with a few more favorite Spatula Forum Rerun links from times past as we continue our month-long celebration of three years of the ol' blogging…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketITEM! The beauty of living in Auckland is that there's so much to explore, particularly for a man and his 3-year-old with lots of time to fill during the week while mom works. With Playcentre on an Easter break, we've been zipping around all over the place lately trying to occupy time – the museum (Peter loved the stuffed animals, not so fond of the volcano exhibit), the beach house for a few last gasps of summer, the Easter Fair, various parks, the downtown library (Peter rides a city bus!) and more.

And I'm sorry to see winter approaching (it starts circa June 1 here), because I've been walking my tuchus off around Auckland these past six months pushing a very heavy boy in a stroller (he can't walk really long distances yet) – lost a good 10 lbs. or more, and all my jeans are a bit loose in the saddle. I weigh less than I've weighed in 10 years, I think. Then again, chasing after a hyperactive 3-year-old is pretty intensive cardiovascular, anyway.
Spatula Forum Rerun #3: Another place that was cool to explore was our trip to Vancouver, Canada, and the Olympic Peninsula. New Zealand is awesome, of course, but the Pacific Northwest is right up there too.

ITEM! I finally saw the fantastic film "Pan's Labyrinth" recently, and wow, what a visual marvel it is. Director Guillermo Del Toro piles on the imagery (which some of his previous great movies like "Hellboy" and "The Devil's Backbone" also did) as he spins a tale of madness and myth. Set just after the Spanish Civil War, it manages to combine a gruesomely adult fairy tale with the horrors of warfare. It ended up being a lot more gory and intense than I'd thought (definitely NOT for kids!), but often astonishingly beautiful. "Pan" and the "Pale Man" are some of the more vivid and disturbing movie creations I've seen in a long time. Check it out if you haven't.
Spatula Forum Rerun #4: Speaking of horror, my "Zombie-Rama" four-part series in which I checked out all of George Romero's "Dead" movies for the first time is one of my favorite blogging moments. Here's part four, and links to the other three are also there.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketITEM! A plug for my Portland compadre Jeff Parker's new Marvel Comics miniseries, Spider-Man/Fantastic Four, the first issue of which just came out – Jeff writes delightfully old-school fun without all the angst and grit of most current Marvel comics (it's set pre-"Civil War," thankfully). Any story that features the wise-cracking Spider-Man teaming up with the goofy Impossible Man is all right with me. It also boasts some beautifully clear art by Mike Wieringo and a good old-fashioned tale of aliens trying to invade Earth. It's not a comic that will "change everything as we know it," but frankly I've had enough of those money-grubbing crossovers lately. Go pick it up if you're looking for something light and fresh.
Spatula Forum Rerun #5: Watch Jeff Parker turn me into a villainous henchman in one of his comics! My moment in the four-color sun.

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