What the Boss Likes – John Carter

Finally got to see John Carter last night.  I LOVE it.  Screw the “critics”, it’s an excellent entertaining  movie that you can enjoy and not worry about.   A modern viewer may not see it as original but it was the first of its kind and everyone has borrowed from it.  And face it, no story is original anymore.  It depends on execution, not if you came up with a new variant on “man vs man, man vs nature, man vs himself”.  And this execution is just about flawless.   It is what it is, a great pulp story that has characters you care about, and goreous things to see.  Give me this over saccharin tedium like the “The Help” or “Steel Magnolias” anytime.  

 As for age appropriateness, I’d put it at about 8 years old. I would have had no problems with it earlier but I was reading crazy early and already knew that people died in stories.  Except for John Carter’s, all the blood is blue. 

When courting me, my husband lured me with books (and gaming, but that’s another story).   He lent me a lot of them, mostly sword and sorcery or pulp (oh and Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, happily I had already found Hunter S. Thompson or I probably would have thought he was nuts).  I loved most of them but it took me another 10 years to finally get into Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter books. I had read the first Tarzan book when I was probably 12 or so, and enjoyed it but John Carter was a lot tougher to like for some reason.  Read it here if you’d like.

But I do like it and the movie does indeed do the series justice.  The movie is more of a combination of “A Princess of Mars” and “Gods of Mars”, but it hits the right marks.  We have the requisite “planetary romance” plot points of “hero, monster and lovely woman end up at the same place and time on a planet”.   Disney has released the first ten mintues of the movie .   This does a lovely job of establishing who John Carter is: stubborn, honorable, a damn good fighter, and a man desperately tired of war.

Now for some spoilers under the cut Continue reading “What the Boss Likes – John Carter”

From the Back Room : Bavarian Hefeweizen

A couple of weeks ago we bottled the hefeweizen that we made from the Northern Brewer kit.   At that point the signature banana aroma was pretty strong.  After a couple weeks in the bottle, it’s even stronger, but much more blended with the other aromas in the beer.   If you get this kit, get it with the Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephen yeast.   Husband loves hefe from having served in the US Army and being sent to Germany.  I also love it.  Generally we drink Franziskaner  and this is quite comparable. 

hefe weizen

 Just got a bottle of Dogfish Head Ta Henket, their version of an ancient Egyptian beer. I was pleasantly suprised that Wegman’s had this in their beer section; they also had Midas Touch.   The Ta Henket will be tasted tonight, and the Egytpian pantheon toasted, especially Sekhmet who really likes her beer.  They’re at least some fun, if just as imaginary as any other.

What the Boss Likes – the cats part 1

In the interest of keeping the tubes full of cats, here are 2 of mine and my husbands.  The others will be coming, it’s rather hard to photograph black cats and one cranky one.  We also have a ferret, Loki, which is even *harder* to photograph.

We have 5 total: Grendel, Luna, Mystra (all siblings), Mordred and Muffin.  Now, can you guess which out of the five is the cranky one?  Why yes, it *is* Muffin. Seems we will totally invert the nature of the cat to the strength of its name.

Grendel grendel

                    Luna Luna


From the Kitchen – Meat Pies

Once upon a time I was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  It’s a loosely (often very loosely)  historical recreation group that had its genesis in the 1960s.  I was a member on and off for 20+ years.  Finally the politics were too much and I ended it.  I still love historical stuff (as you can see from my interest in Steampunk and Dieselpunk) and anythign that has to do with swords, but one big group that has “ranks” in it, not for me any more.  I’d do LARPing, for instance with Alliance, but frankly I haven’t the time and I’m just not very social. 

However, I did end up making some great food when associated with such things.   The food of the Middle Ages/Renaissance weren’t all “rotted meat with spices” (which is generally quite a myth). You can find medival recipes for battered and fried cheese sticks and what amound to funnel cakes (one of the best cookbooks and research on the subject: The Medieval KitchenRecipes from France and Italy ).  I’ve come up with one of my own, for meat pies, that had great acclaim.  Continue reading “From the Kitchen – Meat Pies”