Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Like the Fonz Always Said

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.

So, without further ado...


FILM
Arsenic and Old Lace
One character thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt. Another insists he's not Boris Karloff. Plus, it's got Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, and two cute little murderous old ladies. Sure, it's a little over the top at times, but to top it all off, the film's based on events that took place less than 2 miles from where I live.1
TELEVISION
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Pretty much the same as the M. Night Shyamalan movie of the same name, but with one small exception: This one is good.2 Young Aang must master his power over the four elements to save the world from the wrath of the Fire Nation. Every character (with the possible exception of Momo) is complex and flawed, the story arcs are excellent, and best of all, they have a sky buffalo. Who could ask for anything more?3
GAME
Agricola
Sure, you and your spouse are nothing but flat wooden discs, and your cows resemble bullion bouillon cubes. But oh! the strategy! New actions are available each round as you try to improve your farm, though your opponents will undoubtedly grab exactly what you need right before your turn. Do you focus on improving your house? Do you feed your family nothing but carrots? Maybe have your sheep go at it like rabbits? They're all viable strategies, and the game plays differently every time... just one of the reasons it's consistently in the top 3 at Board Game Geek. But be warned: Agricola is not for casual gamers. (Don't fret, casual gamer: Over the next month I'll be highlighting plenty of "gateway" games to cut your teeth on first.)
MUSIC
The Arrogant Worms
If you haven't heard of these guys, clearly you don't listen to enough humorous Canadian musical trios. For the past twenty years, they've alerted us to hot-topic items ("Carrot Juice is Murder"), tackled religion ("Jesus' Brother Bob"), performed national anthems ("Canada's Really Big"), and sung perhaps the only song ever written about sponges ("Sponges"). I have it on high authority, however, that they are neither arrogant nor worms. Discuss.
LITERATURE
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Lately, there have been many books in which the young protagonist learns his/her father/mother is a god/goddess/wizard/cyborg/Australopithecus and is thrust into a whole new world he/she didn't know existed. What makes this one different? Well, for one, Fat Charlie is a grown man. For two, he's known his dad (apparently a West African trickster god) his whole life, and didn't inherit any godlike powers, since they all went to his brother — who he also didn't know existed. And for five, this book was written by Neil Gaiman. Enough said. Gaiman, set, match.

One last thing. Last year, I anagrammed all the hosts' names, so it's only fair I do the same again. Allow me to present to you the hosts of the 2012 Blogging From A to Z April Challenge (large log-rolling zombie at PF Chang):
Arlee Bird (real bride)
Damyanti Biswas (Wasabi Mints Day)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (ax jug avalanche)
Tina Downey (yeti, no wand)
Karen Jones Gowen (anger's new--no joke)
DL Hammons (hm... almonds)
Jeremy Hawkins (men jerk his way)
Shannon Lawrence (war channels: none)
Matthew MacNish (snitch met WHAM)
Elizabeth Mueller (I rule the bell maze)
Jenny Pearson (one's penny jar)
Konstanz Silverbow (now A to Z verbs slink)
Stephen Tremp (perps net them)
Well, that's all I have to offer up today. But of course, I'm always looking for more. Do you have any A recommendations for me?


1 Okay, technically it's based on a play based on events that took place less than 2 miles from where I live, but whatever. It's not like anyone watches plays anymore. (They should, though. Plays are awesome.)
2 Okay, technically they don't have the same name; the film dropped the "Avatar" part to avoid having James Cameron force his way onto the set with a bunch of 9-ft tall animated smurfs. But whatever. It's not like anyone watches M. Night Shyamalan movies anymore.
3 Okay, technically you could also ask for music and rhythm, but whatever. It's not like you didn't see this joke coming a mile away.

32 comments:

  1. Arsenic and Old Lave is one of my all time favorite movies. I crack up every time I watch it. My music A is always Aerosmith. I have loved them since 1986. ;)

    Love those anagrams. That is an awesome skill.

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    1. I've always had a love/hate relationship with Aerosmith. Some of their songs I love, whereas with others I can't change the dial fast enough.

      And since you mentioned the anagrams... congratulations! You've been named Miss Bread Alley.

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    2. Thanks for reminding me of Aerosmith; I love their songs. Aerosmith tickets are becoming available m looking forward to reading about other music artists; I'm sure I'll learn something

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    3. Wow, I didn't know it was possible to forget Aerosmith, since they're pretty much everywhere. In fact, they're hanging out in my living room right now.

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  2. Some of the anagrams were pretty funny ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Alas, the one I have for you is rather meh: Oval got his.

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  3. Interesting theme! I look forward to seeing what else you come up with

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    1. Thanks, Heather. As do I. Still have a bunch of letters up in the air...

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  4. I am surprised that you, as a new father, would omit to mention the Arrogant Worms' landmark commentary on parenthood: Baby Poo.

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    1. Oh, I'm no longer a new father; that stage ended like three months ago. Besides, I barely talk about baby poo at all these days. Why, just the other day I didn't mention it at all.

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  5. I enjoyed your selection to entertain that all begin with letter A.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine. If there's one thing I like to do it's entertain. If there are two things, they're to entertain and to win the lottery. Halfway there!

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  6. Yes Nate, you get an A for your post. Good stuff. And I have been meaning to watch M Night's Airbender and judge for myself. All his stuff is rather "out there" and that's fine by me.

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    1. I hope this doesn't follow a pattern, with me getting a B tomorrow, an F by the end of the week, and an Incomplete next Tuesday. And as for M. Night, I loved his early stuff -- one will show up among my lists, in fact -- but lately...

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  7. First off....I loved the Last Airbender animated series!! Watched every episode with my son.

    Secondly...how did you know I loved Almonds! :)

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    1. Oh, good. You haven't found the hidden camera in your kitchen yet. (Crap, I may have said too much...)

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  8. Good a-z post Nate, looking forward to more.

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    1. As am I, Anthony. As am I. I can't promise they'll all be good, though. By the end of the alphabet I may too tired to do anything more than give the name of the movie/show/whatever and then add a bunch of random ujhsd iugeras ko oih eoihaw'g, you know?

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  9. I've had Neil Gaiman on my "to read" list a while, so I am going to check out that book. Thanks for the recommendations.

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    1. Anansi's certainly a good choice. I'd also recommend The Graveyard Book. It's about a baby whose family is murdered, so he's raised by ghosts in a neighboring graveyard. You know, for kids. (Really.)

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  10. My DH actually introduced me to the Avatar series long before the movie came out. I never really got into it the way he did, but I enjoyed watching the show very much=)
    Love your idea of highlighting lesser known things for people to discover!

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    1. Sorry, I had to look up DH. At first I thought, "She has her own designated hitter? Ooh, I have to get me one of those. He'd be fantastic in bar fights!" Only I don't get in so many bar fights, by which I mean none, so he'd be rather superfluous. Maybe handy to have around in the summer when the mosquitoes show their pointy little faces, but... okay, where was I? Oh, right. Your DH. You can tell him he has excellent taste.

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  11. I just watched "Arsenic and Old Lace" at a local community theatre this weekend. How funny! The show and the post. I did not know it was based on true events. I think it's bizarre that we laugh at old ladies poisoning lonely old men, even root for them. We're all crazy, me thinks.
    Play off the Page

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    1. Yes, we root for the old ladies, but we don't root for them to poison old men. Therein lies the distinction. But your conclusion still rings true: We are all crazy. Luckily, only some of us are certifiable.

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  12. I once wasted 4 hours of my life "playing" Acricola. Not for the casual gamer, indeed. It was insufferable.

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    1. But see, if you had been wasted, instead of the hours, the whole thing would've gone by in a drunken blur. (Tip: Every game can become a drinking game.)

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  13. other A Bands that everyone should know:

    Athenaeum
    An Horse
    Apparat Organ Quartet
    Aqueduct
    The Avett Brothers


    Other A Movies:

    Away We Go
    Adventureland
    The Aristocrats
    The Apartment

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    1. I love The Apartment -- it's one of two A movies I own and prefer to Arsenic -- but I nixed it from this list because it won Best Picture and thus, should be better known.

      I figured you'd mention some bands I hadn't heard of (and you did, three of them), but I didn't think you'd stump me on a movie. Somehow, I'd never heard of Away We Go.

      Public Service Announcement: Dear readers, The Aristrocrats is not for everyone. Only watch it if your sense of humor can be described as "disturbed" and you can stomach the depravity of Bob Saget and Gilbert Godfried stand-up.

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  14. I started at E and ready backwards. I think you and I have very similar taste. I added you to my google reader so I can keep following =)

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    1. Glad to hear it. I like people who have similar taste. (They're so delicious!... which doesn't sound at all creepy.) Anyway, I'll have to return the favor and make my way to your neck of the woods sometime when I'm not ready to crash because it's nearly 2 in the morning. Unless you don't have any woods, or your woods doesn't have a neck, in which case I'll just check out your blog.

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  15. Avatar is a great show. Corra, the sequel, is currently airing I believe

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    1. I just found out last week about the sequel, but yes, it's going on now. We're still working our way through season 2 of the original, however, so alas, it will have to wait.

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