Sunday, March 29, 2015

Introducing Baby to Solids, and Other Tales of Eldritch Horror

Once, Cthulu Azathoth roamed the deep dark. Absorbing nutrients directly from his host, he needed no nourishment while in his dreamless slumber.

But lo! At last came the time of Prophecy, when Cthulu Azathoth shot out from the womb in a mighty spray of amniotic fluid. (This actually happened.) His parasitic link to his host cut...

Cthulu Azathoth HOWLED!

His heart beating with vengeance, he nursed every ninety minutes, even at night. Larger and larger he grew, disdaining the size estimates of the clothing his worshippers attempted to place upon his godlike* frame. (*like fat Buddha)

And lo, another time of Prophecy came, the one written in the blood of the innocent: "And the tyme shall be upon us, when the drippings of the chosen shall fall like unto raindrops from the sky, into the maw of the Terrible One."

Cowering, trembling, Cthulu Azathoth's worshippers committed the dastardly deeds demanded by their dark lord. With the key word "dripping" in mind, they prepared the feasts that met the nutritional requirements of the developing Being. They ground up oatmeal and cooked it with water using a 2:1 ratio. They steamed carrots and pureed them. They instructed the daycare to begin the applesauce regimen.

But Cthulu Azathoth was unsatisfied with the meager drippings offered him! For unbeknownst to his worshippers, another, secret Prophecy existed, which spoke of feeding the baybay with pureed adult food. Once this was discovered, Cthulu Azathoth was plied with chicken and rice and beef pho, and he received solemn sacrifices of apple core, tiny slices of avocado and banana, fancy hotel bread, and granola bar chunks.

At last, Cthulu Azathoth began showing signs of satiety. Generously, he extended his nursing to every three hours (every two hours at night). His fearsome howls still rock the time of the moon, as is proper.

Soon it shall come, the Day of Ultimate Prophecy, when he decides to Wean, and then shall the wallets of his worshippers and the shelves of nearby grocery stores tremble in terror.

Until then, may we all shelter under the smile of Cthulu Azathoth. Ai! Ai! Cthulu! Ai! Ai! Cthulu!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Message for the Easter Bunny

Dear Easter Bunny:

Hail and well met!

Lady Spring has finally cast her gaze upon us (or possibly her side eye). As I write this, the sun's rays beat down strongly upon the stalwart streets and buildings of beloved Boston, a counterpoint to the freezing winds that almost knocked the stroller out of my hands as my progeny complained in his sleeping bag-like contraption.

I know you're terribly busy laying chocolate eggs and burying them in places for good children to find, but I plead to you nonetheless, knowing that your mighty ears can hear the sound of one hand clapping as a butterfly flaps its wings on a branch and causes a typhoon in the Pacific. Verily, cause and effect and chaos are as sticks to you, to be ground underfoot as you hop to your next destination.

Hear the prayers of a new mother, Easter Bunny, ye who can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with the first!

Please let our humble home in the North End be sold this spring, it is nineteen hundred square feet with a private roof deck, priced a tad lower than current market valuations (what a deal!), and offers terrific views of the Zakim Bridge and Charlestown across the water!

Image credit: and The Boston Globe, Finishing the Big Dig Photo Gallery 

Let not the lack of elevator discourage the valiant, the pure, the heroic homebuyer who has excellent taste and good credit! Let this person's rewards be calves of steel, thighs of iron, and the lungs of Michael Phelps!

Please, o benevolent Easter Bunny, help us! Otherwise, our little one shall have to live in a laundry basket, like so:

Won't someone think of the children???

Yours in good health and nuttiness,
Fragrant Elephant

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Discworld Shall Float Forever

And Locaha said: I am a part of you, as are all things. So I say to you, Give me the mortal world, and go and make your better one. I will rule here fairly. When a human dies, I will send them to be a dolphin until it is time for them to be born again. But when I find a creature who has striven, who has become more than the mud from which they were made, who has glorified this mean world by being a part of it, then I will open a door for them into your perfect world and they will no longer be creatures of time, for they will wear stars. (Nation, 2008)

Sir Terry Pratchett took Death's hand today. Death, as we Discworld fans know, is quite an amiable fellow, in his own way. A figment of a brilliant imagination, Discworld's Death is an unforgettable character (who also comes in rat form!)

(The quotation above isn't from the Discworld series, but Nation has everything that makes Discworld special.)

Sir Terry wove his insights about human nature into all sorts of whackiness, like a religious tome kept in a three-ring binder (for when the deity added new commandments) and city tensions smoothed over by an interspecies police force consisting of humans, dwarves, trolls, a werewolf, golem, and gnome. Discworld stories were always gently mocking allegories for real-world issues like oppression, slavery, economic instability, religious tensions, drugs, war, and discrimination. Thanks to Sir Terry, the stories were unfailingly hilarious and impressively sharp. 

And the characters! Sir Terry was terrific when it came to creating impressive characters who got even better when they played off each other: Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax; Sam Vimes and Lord Vetinari; Moist von Lipwig and Adora Belle Dearheart; Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men; Gaspode and anyone he talks to...the list goes on. 

A toast the finest comic fantasy author in all the land! The world he created will always be with us, full of gentle laughter and incorrigible nutters. Discworld, carried by four elephants standing on the back of the Great A'Tuin, the space turtle, shall float onto the next generation, because Junior is getting every Discworld novel read to him at night. Every. Single. One. I think we'll finish by the time he goes to college. 

Thank you, Terry Pratchett. You brought joy. You and your works are remembered fondly. 

Here's an article about how nerds are keeping Terry Pratchett alive: Web servers enrolled in Pratchett tribute (BBC).


This post brought to you by a tub of Rocky Road ice cream, because of course I ate my feelings. Bright lights die and it's a damned shame and the world keeps turning and (runs off to find alcohol)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Baby's First PAX East

The Fragrant Family's first foray into the fantastic PAX East was fraught with fun. The day began with us stuffing our faces at the South Street Diner, a 24/7 spot near South Station that has the best staff. We both had the Diner Special, which consisted of three eggs, home fries, toast, corned beef hash (he had sausage), and french toast (he had pancakes). Knowing that our bellies would be safely occupied for the next six hours, we tramped through the ice to the BCEC. There was a line to get in that stretched about four blocks, so Fragrant Husband had us use the super sikrot entrance through the Westin lobby. FTW!

We met up with Hubby's nerd crew and played a board game called Betrayal at the House on the Hill, a collaborative affair--until one is revealed to be the traitor! I was all, "I hope it's me!"--and IT WAS! Yipeee!...And then I lost. Alas, I moved my cannibals too quickly, not knowing that one of the other players (Hubby, no less!) had dynamite. Grrr.

Afterwards the men played A Game of Thrones. I begged off because I wanted to buy some sweet, sweet imports for my PS Vita. So Junior and I ambled over to the video game half of the convention center, only to be stopped by an enforcer. "Sorry, no strollers past this point," he said apologetically. He explained that it was too tight, and offered to escort me to the coat check where I could presumably leave my baby in the stroller to be free to fulfill my consumerist nerd mission. Just kidding. But he did offer to take me to there. I demurred and just wandered around to a place selling STEAMPUNK HATS HELL YEAH. I did not buy one because I am more into high fantasy, but perhaps one day soon Junior shall own one. But not before he dresses up as Link, of course.

For dinner we stepped out for some food truck goodness. Also they are cheaper than the food inside the convention center. I had a Grilled Chocobo (chicken with sweet potatoes and slaw). It was amazeballs.

Soon Junior and I had to leave because it was close to his bedtime. We boarded a shuttle bus to a nearby hotel, and my precious promptly fell asleep as soon as the wheels started moving.

The best part of the experience was how easy it was to have Junior around. Hubby had cased the joint on Friday, and told me, "There are some quiet spots on the third floor." But all the action is at the Exhibit Hall spaces at the lowest level! So when teh behbeh indicated hunger, I laid him on the table, rolled up a burp cloth under his head, used a nursing cover, and he nursed away. The dudes at the table did not bat an eyelash, and they even offered to hold baby afterwards while I, er, adjusted! I tell you, these are the sweetest gentlemen. Junior's Buddha belly thanks them.

The next day, Hubby went without us (I only had a Saturday pass). He came home and proudly showed me what he bought for me: a copy of Tales of Innocence R, a darn good game--and an import I already own (my review here!). Whoops! Well, it's the thought that counts. 

Can't wait for the next PAX East! Stay tuned for Junior's costume!


This post brought to you by mochi that contains stuff my coworker is allergic to so she gave them to me! Thank you, other people's allergies! om nom nom

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending is what happens when a 10-year-old girl writes a screenplay and then Hollywood throws millions of dollars at her. The result is a gloriously cheesy space opera where the doe-eyed (but smart!) protagonist with an unenviable life is hurled into an adventure with a broodingly handsome and achingly lonely disgraced soldier. As he gravity-skates his way over the dead bodies of the various aliens who try to kill her, she develops feelings for him--but will her newfound true identity keep them apart?

(falls over laughing)

But let's keep it 100. Jupiter Ascending has peerless special effects, bombastic costumes and set designs, and an appropriately operatic soundtrack. The plot and dialogue are ridiculous, but boy is it a feast for the eyes and ears. And besides, its unintentional hilarity is a plus in this bleak world of ours. "Bees sense royalty," is a line that I have folded into a pocket in my heart, to be taken out and laughed at in moments of darkness. 

Silly and beautiful though it is, this movie does deal with a serious theme, albeit with an utter lack of subtlety (subtlety does not belong here anyway). Knowing nothing about the movie except that nerd ladies loved it, I found its framing of capitalism interesting, intertwined as it was in such a delicious and deadly family drama. 

The cast is terrific, with baby Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne standing out as the eldest of the feuding Abrasax siblings. His Balem is hard but almost languid, and he sounds like he's yawning out every sentence--until he suddenly starts yelling, that is. Meanwhile, Douglas Booth is memorable because his face is beautiful, oh my god what a hottie. As for the leads, Mila Kunis is charming, especially when she tries to get closer to her reticent and conflicted protector.  And Chan-chan just handsomes his way through everything, which is what we gave our money for. Also: Sean Bean is in this! Start taking bets now on whether or not his character survives!

TL;DR: A visually stunning space opera begging to be Rifftraxed. 


This post brought to you by PAX East!

Movie Review: Hereditary (2018)