Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The P.O.T.U.S. (#43)

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.

Well, well, well. Look what the Nate dragged in...


FILM
Waking Ned Devine
After their friend Ned dies upon learning he won the lottery, Jackie and Michael decide to make the best of it. All they have to do is get everyone in their small Irish village to pretend Michael is Ned when the lottery officials visit, and everyone wins. Of course, it won't be quite as easy as all that, not in this village. A fun little film.
TELEVISION
The Wire
I'm only one season in so far, but this show is good. The Baltimore drug scene is shown from both sides: dealers and law enforcement. But in this fight, neither side is entirely clean: there's bureaucracy and corruption, informants and rivals, and people on both sides have their own agendas. Every character is complex, never a caricature, and most of all: human. The second-highest rated show of all time on iMDb.
GAME
Wits & Wagers
Behold! A trivia game where you don't need to know a lick of trivia! Do you know the height of the tallest giraffe ever recorded? Or how many of Picasso's works have sold for over $1 million? Probably not. But hey, neither do your opponents. Each game is only seven questions long, and every answer is numeric. Once everyone makes their guess, bet on whose you think is closest.1 It's the perfect combination of gambling and trivia.
For 3-7 players (or teams).
MUSIC
Within Temptation
For someone who became a fan of Evanescence before few had even heard of them, I'm surprised it took me so long to discover this group. This Dutch band has a similar sound, only more... epic. If you like symphonic metal at all, especially with female vocals, you need check these guys out.2
LITERATURE
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
I first read this book in elementary school and loved it. But here's the astonishing thing: I reread it last year... and loved it. Most childhood favorites lose their shine in adulthood, but this one holds up. An eccentric millionaire has died, and sixteen unlikely characters are brought together as potential heirs. All they need to do is find out who murdered Sam Westing. A complex mystery with a sly sense of humor, The Westing Game will always have a spot on my shelf.

Wait, wait, don't tell me. We've reached the end, haven't we? Word.


1 Without going over. It's like "The Price is Right," only without some old guy telling you to neuter your pets (or that other guy from the Drew Carey Show).
2 Or, if you prefer a sound slightly weaker than symphonic metal, check out The Weakerthans. You can thank me later.

12 comments:

  1. It's interesting that you mentioned The Westing Game because I haven't read it since elementary school but I've been thinking about rereading it.

    I like Within Temptation. I haven't heard of The Weakerthans but I'll be sure to check them out. And then thank you. Later.

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    1. Obviously, the prose is kid-friendly, but for me writing style is usually secondary; it's story that's king. And after all these years, this one still had me hooked.

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  2. I saw "The POTUS" and expected West Wing to be on here. While I say The Wire is the second best show ever (after Firefly), West Wing is definitely up there.

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    1. By now I'd think you'd have learned not to expect anything from me, except perhaps for general in(s)anity, footnotes, and occasional photos of The Professor. Yeah, West Wing is a fine show, but I never really watched it much. (Also I knew it was the more popular of the two.)

      But Firefly... now that show was damn shiny.

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  3. waking ned devine sounds charming--and not quite yet ;)

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  4. Within Temptation - excellent choice! Big fan of that progressive rock band.

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    1. Symphonic metal, progressive rock... tomato, potahto.

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  5. Hello, Nate! I love cards and board games and definitely have to check out Wits and Wagers!! That looks awesome!! It'll be a big hit at my next family game night. :)

    Have a great week and happy A to Z!!

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    1. It's definitely been a hit with mine. And here's a tip: if it seems like a possibility, bet on the under. When it pays off, it pays off big.

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  6. The Wire sounds good so I will have to check it out...I discovered Within Temptation from Jess's blog during the A-Z...along with Nightwish.

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    1. The Wire is indeed an excellent show... and I haven't even yet seen what I've heard are its best seasons.

      And I hadn't heard of Nightwish, either. I'll have to check them out.

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