Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Southbound Geese

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.

Very fine choices, these...


FILM
The Visitor
Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), a Connecticut College1 professor, is basically just going through the motions in both his job and his life until he discovers two illegal immigrants in his little-used New York apartment. He invites them to stay, and connects with Tarek through music, but a misunderstanding in the subway leads to the young Syrian's arrest. Only as Vale fights against his friend's deportation does he really find reason to return to the world of the living. A fantastic film.
TELEVISION
Veronica Mars
The high school-aged daughter of a detective moonlights as a private investigator while also trying to solve the murder of her best friend Lilly. Mars' witty popular-girl-turned-outcast is well complemented by fun, complex characters such as Lilly's former boyfriend Logan, habitually underestimated rival detective Vinnie Van Lowe, and Piz.2 The first season, especially, is some of the best television I've seen.
GAME
Vinci
I've pretty much already described this game, since it's the more complex precursor to Small World, which I recommended on Saturday. But I just haven't played many V games.3
MUSIC
The Verve Pipe
Most people only know this group for their hit single, "The Freshman." But did you know it was actually the third song released off that album?4 Or that their other albums, although not as commercially successful, are just as good? Or how about that their only original album since 2001 is for kids? (Actually, I didn't know that last one until five minutes ago...)
LITERATURE
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
My son is nine months old. He judges books by color, page-turning ease, and most of all, taste. Yet, this lesser-known story by Eric Carle (of Hungry Caterpillar fame) is perhaps the only one we own without tooth (or gum) marks; every time we pull it out, he must get to the end to hear the cricket chirp. A real page turner.

Vin.5


1 My alma mater! Even if none of the movie was filmed on campus... (Note: "alma mater" is Latin" for "all my mother," since my mom is also a Conn alum.) (Note: "alum" is short for "aluminum"... unless you're from England, where "aluminum" is called a "lift.")
2 Piz sucks.
3 Unless V stands for video, in which case I have played a few. But still, not many. At least not since '95.
4 And, in this listener's esteemed opinion (I esteem it, anyway), it's only the third-best song released off that album. (My opinion mirrors the order of release: "Cup of Tea," "Photograph," and then their (reworked after the album's release) hit.)
5 It's like Fin, only this way I get to end with a drink. Cheers!

18 comments:

  1. Yeah, Veronica Mars! I've been re-watching the first season the past few days. I adore Wallace and Logan but I don't seem to hate Piz as much as you do.

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    1. Yeah, I don't actually hate him. I just thought he wasn't interesting enough to be a main character. They should have kept him in the secondary.

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  2. I really like these lists that you've been posting, btw. Even on the days that I don't have the energy to read blog posts, I find yours and then go to bed! :)

    Jo
    In Which We Start Anew

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    1. So, you're saying my writing puts you to sleep... :)

      But seriously, thanks for the compliment. I only hope you'll find my post-April posts half as intriguing.

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  3. The only one here that sounds vaguely familiar is Veronica Mars, but I don't think I ever watched it. The rest I haven't heard of before.

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    1. Veronica Mars is a mercurial girl who lives in the town of Jupiter (here on Earth) with her dog Neptune.

      Okay, I lied about the dog. But you still might like it.

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  4. Thanks for your post :)
    I've watched some of Veronica Mars & really enjoyed it.

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    1. And thank you for your comment. I hope you enjoy the rest of the show as well.

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  5. Great choices - I'd forgotten all about Verve Pipe.

    Nice idea for A to Z, with the obscure lists ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Katie. I figured I'd have more fun turning people on to (or reminding them of) lesser known favorites, rather than just highlighting the ones everyone already knows.

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  6. my husband loves the verve pipe--i am going to watch the visitor--it sounds really good-thanks

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    1. It is very good. I hope you like it.

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  7. Oh come on, by the end Piz wasn't that bad. He's the most well-adjusted character in the entire show. That's why he sticks out. ...and his name was Piz.

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    1. If memory serves, Wallace was also pretty well-adjusted most of the time. But yeah, I suppose I was a bit harsh about Piz; I don't actually dislike him. (The things I do for a laugh.) My general feelings can pretty much be summed up as: meh.

      Or perhaps I'm just jealous. I was a nice guy, too, but Kristen Bell never considered dating me.

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    1. That it was. That it was.

      (I've found that if you repeat such phrases, it sounds more poignant.)

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  9. An interesting movie to check out, thanks. I also have the Verve Pipe's initial offering and really dig Freshman. Heard of Veronica Mars but never saw.

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    1. I don't actually have their first album. I thought I did, but through my brief research for this post, I learned Villains was actually their second (or third, if you count their initial EP).

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