Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, April 30, 2012

The End of All That Jazz

During this year's Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, I'm highlighting things more people should know about. For the most part, I'll be ignoring the most popular and widely known items (and sometimes my personal favorites) in order to promote the unfamiliar and underappreciated.

Zoinks? Have we reached the end? Really? And did I really just say "zoinks"?


FILM
Zodiac
I've loved David Fincher's work ever since Se7en. This one brings us San Francisco in the grips of the Zodiac killer in the '60s and '70s, and follows three characters obsessed with tracking him down. Well-acted, well-written, and, well, a pleasure to watch. It doesn't try to dazzle like Fight Club, and didn't have the hype of The Social Network, but this is one exceptionally strong film.
TELEVISION
Zoom
I know nothing about this kids' show from the '70s, but my wife said it was fun. And my wife has good taste,1 so it must have been.
GAME
Zooloretto
As delivery trucks bring you animals, try to plan out your zoo to get the most visitors. The male and female of a species can get you babies, or you can swipe an animal from a competitor. Just be careful not to overpopulate or have too wide a variety of creatures, or you'll have to stick some in your barn and that'll hurt your business. A fun family game for 2-5 players. With flamingos.
MUSIC
Zebrahead
They started out as more of a hip-hop funk band, although they've since migrated to a more standard pop/punk rock sound. With dual lead-singers providing a back-and-forth singing/rapping dynamic, they've got a fun sound and great energy.
LITERATURE
The Z Was Zapped: A Play in Twenty-Six Acts by Chris Van Allsburg
A creative way to teach your children the alphabet, from the writer-illustrator of Jumanji and The Polar Express.2 With each turn of the page, another letter undergoes an alliterative transformation... often with dire consequences. I like dire consequences.3

And now I'm zapped, too.

It's been a long, tiring run this month, but I've had a blast highlighting some of my favorite alphabetic hidden gems. I do hope you've enjoyed reading my letters.


1Especially in husbands.
2 Not to mention his other Z-book, Zathura. Oh, crap. I said "not to mention" and then I mentioned it. I'm always contradicting myself (except for when I'm not).
3 Dire Straits are pretty good, too, but they only help you learn the letters M, T, and V.

16 comments:

  1. Zodiac is a fantastic film.

    And, as always, your footnotes slay me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My footnotes keep slaying yet still you live. You're like the resilient villain in an action or horror film, who has to be shot like twenty times (or perhaps beheaded a couple times) before we're finally safe.

      Not that you're villainous or anything. (Or maybe that's just what you want me to think.)

      Delete
  2. Well done, Nate. Your posts were all highly entertaining.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, M. (I just went with M since I'm not sure whether to call you Mood or Moody or Mooderino. Maybe Moodster? The Moodiferous One?)

      Anyway, that's my goal: to entertain. Or rather, that was my goal. Now that April's coming to a close, my goal is to sit back and relax and be entertained.

      Delete
  3. was hoping for world war z on literature.

    Zoom, it was either the same show just much later or modern rebirth of it, but my oldest used to watch this show on PBS about 5-6 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, but World War Z starts with W. Plus, I haven't read it yet. Heard it's quite good, though.

      As for the recent Zoom, I believe it was a reboot of the original program. At least, that's what I was able to discern from a quick glance at iMDb.

      Delete
  4. Great selection of Zs. Congratulations on finishing the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenny. And congrats to you, too.

      Delete
  5. Zapped doesn't begin to describe how I feel right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, the perils of being popular. Luckily, I get less than 1/10 the number of visitors, so I can get away with "zapped." What's a more fitting description for you feel? How about "crushed beneath a 10-ton octopus"?

      Delete
  6. Nate, I'm just really impressed with all your A-Z posts--not only have they been funny, but informative, too. I must ask, did you design all your A-Z fonts/letters, because they're fabulous! You should be a graphics designer, lol! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bridget! I did design the letters myself, combining my own photos with Adobe Garamond letters by way of Photoshoppery.

      And yeah, I probably should be a graphic designer. But I overshot, and now I design webs for a living instead.

      Delete
  7. I admit to watching Zoom in the 70's. I was not a little kid in the 70's. Nor did I have little kids in the 70's. Just one of those unexplainable things. (Actually, there's a good explanation but you're not getting it.) Congrats on finishing the a - z!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, if you're not going to give me a reasonable explanation, how about you come up with a completely unreasonable one and give me that? (And hey, congrats to you, too!)

      Delete
  8. OK, so I hate to be overly "librarian," but Chris Van Allsburg wrote "The Z was Zapped," not Chris Von Allsburg. Fun fact? He also wrote a book called "The Chronicles of Harris Burdick," which has some startling similarities to the campus of our alma mater. :)

    -Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not being "librarian;" that's "correcting my typo."

      And I believe I've actually seen that book before... yet never made the connection. Clearly, this (and the Von Van) prove my knack for noticing details has become knackered. (And yes, I know I didn't use that quite properly, but remember: I'm now bad with details.)

      Delete