Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Sunday Review

Two weeks' worth of reviews for you this Sunday, thanks to the LEGO convention last weekend.

TV this week:
  • Smallville: "Plastique" - No Aquaman. No interest.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "Big Flavor" - Yeah, I'd eat at those places. I'd love to try the pizza place, because I'm curious what the crust is like. The proof of the pizza is in the crust. A good crust will make up for a lot in a pizza, and nothing ruins a pizza faster than a bad crust.
  • Food Detectives: "Heartburn Remedies" - I used to get heartburn a lot when I was obese. Now that I'm ... less obese ... I haven't gotten it as much. While attempting to buy Stepford House, I got it frequently, and was introduced to the baking soda cure by Eric's mom. The other segments (cooking by dishwasher and car engine, and backwash) were also good fun.
  • Heroes: "One of Us, One of Them" - Strangely compelling despite continuing plot holes.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Ghosts of the Sunshine State" - Nothing conclusive in either location, but the voices at the second hotel that woke Jay were spooky. Too bad they could have easily been someone standing out in the hall who then took off before he got up and checked. They should have left cameras running in the hall too. The missing flip-flop was also fun. I half-expected someone to admit to hiding it, as the crew are apparently notorious pranksters.
  • Destination Truth: "Aswang; Haunted Forest" - The Aswang bit was hilarious. Ryder was... a bit overreactive. I bet I'd be even more goofy in that situation. The story of the haunted forest was very sad. The kids they ran into looking for a dead body reminded me briefly of Stand By Me. Very very briefly.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "Cookin' It Old School" - I think I'd visit all of them, even if I wouldn't try everything. Big Mama is one of those people I'd love to meet. She was cool.
  • Ace of Cakes: "Tanks, Trucks and Vikings" - 76 cakes for one couple? Wow. The Viking cake was gorgeous. I always wonder what I'd want in a custom cake, but can never think of anything that seems challenging but fun enough. I suppose I could get a TARDIS. That would be cool.
  • Heroes: "I Am Become Death" - Ug. Time travel. Ug. How about a good story sometime instead of a convoluted, rehashed X-Men tale?
  • Food Detectives: "Spicy Foods and Sleepless Nights" - So, spicy foods actually can disturb your sleep? Hm. The smelly food and the amount of water you get from regular foods segments were also nicely solid. Turns out I get plenty of water each day.
  • Smallville: "Toxic" - Green Arrow's origin story! And a proper introduction of Mercy! But no Aquaman, so... meh. Sad, seeing Oliver shirtless just reminds me of what could've been if Mercy Reef had been picked up. *sigh*
  • Numb3rs: "High Exposure" - I liked the climber couple. They were fun, and made the human drama a little better. I only care so much about Charlie getting his security clearance back.
  • Iron Chef America: "Symon vs Adjey" - What an ingredient! And the explosion of the lighter was a true highlight, as one person said it made for some really good TV. Luckily, no one was hurt. If it had exploded even one second later, Adjey would have been seriously burned. And the result was... interesting.
  • Destination Truth: "Issie; Icelandic Elves" - Hard to tell what they ran up against in Japan, but if that was an eel, it was a rather peeved eel. The elf-hunt was great fun, and I laughed aloud many times at their antics. The electronic difficulties they had were definitely suggestive, but as Josh points out, not conclusive of anything. I love this show. It's the ultimate snipe hunt, but everyone is in on the joke.
  • Ace of Cakes: "The Big Cake-owski" - That Star Wars cake rocked the party. I loved it. I don't know anything about the The Big Lebowski, but I wouldn't want to be a cake at that party.
  • Smallville: "Instinct" - Maxima? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

And here's comics from the last few weeks. I'll be getting twice-a-month shipments from here on out, so I'll never be sure when I'll get a chance to review a book.:
  • Tiny Titans #8 - Lots of fun seeing the Tiny Titans mentors. I squeed at Aquaman, but Blue Beetle definitely won that one in the joke department. I'm surprised the cover didn't have Aqualad getting a "sea".
  • Checkmate #30 - Bored. Want the end of this story.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #5 - Ok, a Marvel book I'm enjoying. Wow. I really like Faiza. A nice grounded character who, nonetheless, has powers. Nice cliffhanger.
  • Spirit #21 - This really is a fun book. I think we dropped it... but it is fun.
  • Castle Waiting #12 - Wow, two cool bits in this one. Simon's monster was great, and the story of the doctor was tragic. I love this book, I just wish it came out a little more often.
  • Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam #2 - Theo Adam is a bit of a pain, isn't he?
  • Powers #30 - Hey, an issue finally came out! Wow! And it's even an ending of sorts. Yay!
  • PS238 #34 - I have a feeling I'm not going to like the new Tyler very much. I wonder what his powers are?
  • Usagi Yojimbo #114 - Fascinating tale. Did the Shogun actually have spies like that, I wonder?
  • Northlanders #10 - Brutal. This series is just brutal. I'm not sure if I like the idea of a series of standalone stories about different Northmen, but so far they've been good. This two-parter was very well done. And brutal.
  • The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror #14 - The Simpsons do Death Note! Scary how much Lisa looks like "L" in those scenes. And Krusty makes a great Shinigami. The other two stories were ok, but forgettable.
  • Land of Oz Manga #3 - Eeeek, too fast! The retelling is going way too fast! Somebody slow this sawhorse down!
  • Justice League of America #25 - YAY ELSEWORLDS!

My library book this week was The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. I've read the entire Vorkosigan saga repeatedly, and it's a series I go back to when I need a comfort read. I need to get the entire series in hardcover someday, because I think I wore out the library copies. Anyway, the point is that I really like Bujold's work... but I've never read any of her non-Vorkosigan books. I kept meaning to remedy that while living in Frankenhaus with access to King County's library system, but didn't get around to it. So I made it a top priority here with the regional library system. I got my copy of this book the same day hubby-Eric got his library card (unrelated) and set down to read it immediately, in between bouts of unpacking. The verdict? Well, I don't find it as comforting as the Vorkosigan books, but I enjoyed it a lot. Bujold can pick up a character's story long after the "exciting bits" have happened, and take that character further. In this case, Cazaril has endured a lot before the story starts, and he isn't your typical hero. But then, no Bujold character ever is a typical hero. The philosophy in this story is amazing, and the words "thought provoking" don't justify the theology. I can see that I'll be rereading this book in a few years and probably getting more out of it the second time. So my verdict: it's not a book about Miles or Cordelia but it's still very good and worth a read. Go on, check it out.

Fortean Times #240, October 2008. Got this just before I moved out of Frankenhaus, and so had to read it in bits and pieces as I moved into Stepford House. The title story is about rocketmen from the future, and has a nice collection of sightings that make you wonder about what was really happening to the witnesses. The Time Storm article was very neat, and I enjoyed it for fannish reasons as well as in the usual Fortean sense. I loved the coverage of the John Titor hoax. That seems like the kind of hoax that, if you only have enough imagination and the right sort of information, would be terribly easy to pull off. Ghostwatch had a tale in it that was covered later in the issue by a book review, enough to make me want to read the book. All-in-all, another good issue of the oddest magazine on the newsstands.