Archive for July, 2011

thrift store finds: the uncanny x-men by tor books

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood’s St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the things I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

Today’s Thrift Store Find: The Uncanny X-Men, published in 1990 by TOR Books.

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odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , on July 29, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

The last week or so has been all about resting and recouperating from my ear infection. At times, I couldn’t believe how low energy a simple ear infection was making me- there were two days where I did little more than sleep! I’m feeling MUCH better now, to the point where my family and I are, as I write this, undertaking a second trip! We’re piling in the car and driving back to the East Coast for a week. It’s been over a year since I’ve been to New York and I’m very excited about seeing old friends again. Ellen and I are even planning on leaving the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and spending some time back in our old stomping grounds in New York City. It should be a really fun week!

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One of my favorite books about movies is Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. I read that book when I was a teenager and I clearly remember thinking, as I got to the end, “Biskind didn’t really write about Halloween or Alien!” Two of my absolute favorite movies from the ’70’s are given passing mention in his book but, by and large, Biskind stayed away from the horror genre (The Exorcist notwithstanding) and focused on the maverick directors of the 1970’s like Coppola, Scorsese, and Spielberg.

With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror by Jason Zinoman, an exhaustive and entertaining look at the horror genre in the 1970’s that takes many of its’ cues from Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Zinoman give his readers a comprehensive look at the directors and writers who brought horror from the midnight screenings to the mainstream. George Romero, John Carpenter, Brian DePalma, William Friedkin, Roman Polanski, Tobe Hooper are all given equal consideration. While documenting the process of their movies, the author also gives cultural context to the successes of the movies in a time in America full of political and social upheaval.

Although some interesting points are made, I’d argue a little too much time is given over to Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets, a movie I don’t really consider a horror movie despite the Zinoman’s arguments. However, it’s nice to see the author give so much praise over to Dan O’Bannon, an relatively unsung father of modern horror and sci-fi.

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Thwipster is sort of Groupon for nerds. Every day, they have some sort of deal on a book/item that only very geeky people would be excited about owning. Usually, they offer comic book trade paperbacks, but their low prices never seen all that much lower than places like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Last week, however, they had something on offer that I just could not resist:

A toy replica of the 10th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who! Ellen and I are planning to go as The Doctor/Amy Pond this Halloween (costumes sure to be met with a chorus of “Wait, what are you again?”) so I’ve been wanting to pick up one of these sonic screwdriver replicas. Although I’m likely to go as the 11th Doctor, I very much doubt I’ll have anyone nitpicking the inaccuracy of my screwdriver choice… and I’ll always be more of a David Tennant fan.

The toy came a few days ago and it’s a wonderful little replica. It’s quite screen-accurate and I could see kids having a LOT of fun with something like this. It comes with a switch that extends the top of the screwdriver forward. A small button, when deployed, reproduces both the blue light and the sonic screwdriver sound to great effect. It even has a neat-o UV pen for you to write secrets that can only be read when the sonic screwdriver’s light is held on the message.

summer journal comics: in my day…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Ellen and I worried a fair amount about letting Elliot watch even that much television, but I know for a fact that quite a lot of kids his age are watching hours and hours of television everyday! I don’t mind giving him some time watching stuff like Dora the Explorer or, his favorite by a wide margin, Disney’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

I don’t even mind him watching television for the sake of a good time- he’s fairly obsessed with The Muppet Show, as all smart children should be.

summer journal comics: watch it when you want to watch it

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , on July 27, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Part one of two!

summer journal comics: swim lessons

Posted in Uncategorized on July 26, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

It makes sense that municipal pools would schedule swim lessons very early, considering that normal hours are when the majority of people will want to jump in the pool. Still, I remember taking swim lessons this early as a kid and the water was CRAZY cold. Elliot took two weeks of swim lessons, and by the second week, he was completely over the novelty of swimming in a big pool.

 

summer journal comics: gettin’ up with henry

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , on July 25, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I suppose I should think of this as something of a compliment; Henry loves me so much that he has to wake up extra-early to be with me!

 

 

students draw me, part six

Posted in student drawings with tags , , on July 25, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

The Assignment: As a fun “bonus question” on their final exam, students were asked to draw a picture of yours truly. I’m taking Sundays throughout the summer to share these unique works of art with all of you. 

I love this one because it makes me look like an extra on Gossip Girl. Also, the artist gets bonus points for intimating how hard I worked them throughout the year!

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