Saturday, April 26, 2008

Miscellaneous Corn

Check out this wacky corn I found at the grocery store this morning. I've never seen corn like this, with purple-tinged white kernels. So I had to try it. I have no idea what this strain is called, as the produce label only said "miscellaneous."

I cooked it the same way I always cook corn on the cob, by steaming it in the microwave. Upon cooking, the white darkened to something more akin to gray than yellow, so it looked slightly less appetizing. However, it turned out to be quite delicious. It's definitely a variety of sweet corn, rivaling the white-and-gold two-tone sweet corn for flavor. The kernels were plump and juicy, and the core of the kernel was bright yellow. I would definitely have this again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Invasion of Astro-Monster

Nope. Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero) was plain awful, even in its original Japanese.

The 1954 film Gojira was suspenseful, powerful, and even rather moving. In that first movie, Godzilla was actually a scary monster. He was a dinosaur, acting with animal motives. There was nothing human about him. He moved like a beast, not a man. He was a force of nature, an ancient animal awakened, then transformed and twisted by the actions of humanity. When that first Godzilla destroyed Tokyo, it was truly a magnificent moment in cinematic history. It was terrifying and heart-rending. You really felt for the woman clutching her children and telling them, "We'll be with your father soon." Or the radio announcer reporting on the destruction, knowingly facing his own doom with dignity as he signed off, "This is our final broadcast. Goodbye," just as Godzilla moved in for the kill. Yes, that first Godzilla killed people. Death was shown on screen, as were the wounded, maimed survivors. The despair and sorrow were palpable. That first movie was one of the greatest disaster movies ever made, to say nothing of one of the greatest monster movies. Heck, delete "disaster" and "monster"--Gojira, in its unedited form, is a truly great movie. No qualifiers needed.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

By the 1960s, the vintage of Invasion of Astro-Monster, Godzilla had been fully personified. He had become a fancy-dancin', high-kickin', goofy superhero. He no longer acted like an animal, instead making blatantly human arm gestures and other movements. He was no longer frightening, nor even slightly intimidating. Oh, sure, he stomped a city flat, but he looked so ridiculous doing it, with those high steps and swinging arms, that it was merely laughable. They never showed any people actually dying in all that destruction, just running away to safety. The real sense of fear and threat is all gone.

And the aliens and their dorky-looking flying saucers and ridiculously primitive uber-computer were outright dreadful. (Not that the computer was supposed to be primitive, mind you. Pretty much every 1960s-era movie depiction of a futuristic, super-powerful computer seems primitive and clunky compared to even the outdated junky computers that can be found in virtually any apartment complex dumpster today.)

Of course, I do love cheesy B-flicks. I absolutely did enjoy Invasion of Astro-Monster on that level. I just find the sharp contrast between 1950s Godzilla and 1960s Godzilla fascinating.

Stack o' DVDs

I bought a bunch of DVDs on sale today. Which one of these is not like the others?

Sweeny Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street -- blood and gore and unspeakable violence.

Kill Bill -- two volumes of blood and gore and unspeakable violence.

Nancy Drew -- kindness and cupcakes conquer all!

Yeah . . . Nancy is probably creeped out by who she has to share the DVD shelf with.

And despite these new movies, what am I watching tonight? Invasion of Astro-Monster! (Otherwise known as Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero.) I've been enjoying the original Japanese versions of the Godzilla movies. Gojira and Godzilla Raids Again were certainly much better than their U.S. versions, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Gigantis: the Fire Monster respectively. (Gigantis, in its U.S. release, is borderline unwatchable. I couldn't finish it!) Here's hoping the Invasion of Astro-Monster is also secretly a good movie in disguise.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Luna and the Monsters

In response to my last post, S said, "Poor Luna looks like she's in hell!!"

The thing is, Luna wouldn't leave the couch! No matter what I did, he was bound and determined to outlast me! I put the plushies around him, and he sat still for a couple of minutes, then moved to the other end of the couch. So I moved the plushies to where he was. And he moved again. Three feet to the left, three feet to the right, three feet to the left again. This game went on for fifteen or twenty minutes. With the picture I used in the last post, I loved the "okay, I'm starting to get annoyed" expression on his face, especially the faintly red glowing eyes.

But just to prove that he didn't really mind all this plushie nonsense too much, here's a picture of him looking reasonably content, even with the chimera perched on top of him.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


While most of my tax refund will go toward replacing my glasses and, most likely, more dental work, I did allow myself to buy some frivolous things with part of my state refund. Namely, monster plushies!

(My long-suffering cat Luna is shown with them for scale.)

I have loved griffins ever since I was a little girl. They've always been one of my favorite mythological beasts. With my love of birds and cats, a half-eagle, half-lion monster was just the coolest thing on wheels. I have wanted a stuffed griffin for nearly my entire life, and I had never before seen one, until I discovered the Here Be Monsters toy line.

What caught my eye first (before I saw they had a griffin) was the chimera. How often do you see a stuffed chimera? Seriously!

So I treated myself to the griffin and the chimera. And they are so adorable! They're goofy and cheesy, which makes them somehow even more lovable.

I think when I get my tax rebate, I will allow myself another plushie or two. I'm thinking the hydra is a must-have. All those cute little heads! The beholder ("eye tyrant," as they call it) is also pretty darn special. But the gargoyle and the transformable werewolf are rather tempting, too. And that four-foot long Chinese dragon! That would look pretty awesome stretched across the back of the couch.

Oh, it takes so little to make me happy sometimes.