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Showing posts from September, 2015

Junior is One Year Old!

I have three takeaways from Junior's first, rollercoaster year, but before that -- I must brag.

My son learned to walk before his first birthday.
Item 1: Regularly lifting 22 pounds every day was doing a number on my lower back.
Item 2: Junior's crawling skills had become so advanced that he could do the Cockroach Scuttle -- a lightning fast movement from Point A to Point B, designed to evade hunters.
Item 3: Junior had been cruising for a month, a precursor to actual walking.

The prep: In the three days before his birthday, I encouraged him to walk "long" distances with me, holding his hand and beaming encouragingly as he waddled three feet, his ponderous belly leading the way. He would fall, get boosted up again, waddle another three feet... you get the idea. I also took him to the park and pointed out all the other kids who could run, then helped him waddle to an area where he could cruise.

All our practice paid off. The big day came and he was all:


Just so unbearably…

Game Review: Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (PS3)

Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is a terrific sequel to Tales of Symphonia (my review here). It boasts a better story, superior graphics, excellent music, a non-lame (but still hideously attired) Big Bad, and a fun combat system. Dawn also lets players collect monsters to serve as battle buddies, but alas, this new mechanic can only be truly enjoyed by the Mindlessly Obsessed.

Now, when I say "better story," I really mean "slightly less needlessly complicated." As a sequel, Dawn benefits from being set in a world already familiar to players of the original, ergo, a place where mana exists in all living things, and where a tree is the source of mana. Dawn deals with the fallout from the previous mana tree being destroyed in Symphonia -- the tree's Summon Spirit, Ratatosk, finds out about it, and boyfriend is pissed. Also, a group called the Vanguard is assaulting towns, claiming to protect Sylvarant (Sylvarant being the less advanced of the two worlds …

Movie Review: The Babadook (2014)

With hubby out of town for a couple of days for work, I decided that it would be a great idea to watch The Babadook, a horror film about a single mother and her young son. It was an excellent life decision and I regret nothinggggg!

Plot: A widow and her young son read a sinister children’s book, which triggers frightening events.

Let’s get to the point: if I read the actual Mister Babadook book, complete with its disturbing pop-ups, I too would be wailing like Samuel, the child in the movie. And I’d flambé it on the grill like Amelia, his sleepless mum, the second time it mysteriously shows up in my house. That is one scary book.

The monster, meanwhile…not so much. As a supernatural threat, the Babadook was utterly unimpressive and its reveal actually eased the feeling of shrieking dread that the movie had been building up to that point. Real life offers scarier visuals (c.f. the 2016 candidates), plus the sound team couldn’t muster anything more imaginative than the monster saying “…

A Review of the Back Bay Chocolate Tour, by a Non-Lover of Chocolate

The Back Bay Chocolate Tour is a two-hour journey to several locations that either specialize in chocolate, or use some sort of special chocolate as an ingredient. The two rules of the tour are:

#1: No chocolate left behind.
#2: Be friendly.

My group had almost 20 people. Here is a summary of our choc-tivities:
LocationChoc-tivityReactionFlour BakeryLearned history of chocolate chip cookies. Ate chocolate chip cookies.Publicly declared my love for the tour.L.A. BurdicksTold of marriage between interior decoration and chocolate craftsmanship. Given tiny wrapped white chocolate mouse.Carefully placed mouse in backpack for later. Somehow lost mouse at next stop.Georgetown CupcakesHanded insane menu of specialty cupcakes. Had to protect tour guide from tourists/vultures trying to see what was being handed out.Ate two chocolate2 cupcakes.Ben and Jerry'sLecture about ethical sourcing. Ate brownie fudge ice cream. Easily the best thing I ate on the tour.Froze to death during lecture due …