Thursday, May 12, 2011

"No one can resist the golden lasso. It binds all who are encircled and compels them to tell... the truth!"

This post was composed May 12, 2011 when Blogger was down for maintenance, and published on May 13, 2011.

A new box of curriculum arrived today as part of my now yearly ritual of "ARGH! I've got to spend the rest of our Distributed Learning funds by the end of May" shopping spree. By far the most interesting item -- if you are a 7 or 9 year old boy and live in my house -- was the Antropolis kit. Essentially it's an ant farm, but instead of dirt it contains a nutrient ant-gel developed for use in experiments in outer space! Zarf was pretty skeptical.

"So we have to add extra food for the ants?" he asked.

"No, they can eat the gel."

"Eat the jello?" he looked with renewed interest at the farm. "What's the flavour?"

"No. Not jello. Gel. That's the blue gelatinous matter in the kit. The ants will dig through it and eat it "

"Could a human eat it?"

"No. It doesn't have the right nutrients for a human."

Then from down the hall Klaxon yelled, "It does if that human is Formicida!"

• • • • • • •

I have a small obsession with buying dvds. Particularly television series dvds. For me television is akin to comfort food. I can watch the same show over and over again. If it's been a rough day, I like to settle in front of the tv and watch Remington Steele or Murder, She Wrote or Simon & Simon or (obviously) Star Trek. It's the ritual of returning to a narrative that charms but doesn't challenge, characters who makes me smile, a tidy universe that calms my fragile nerves.

I'm amassing quite a collection of seasons of various series. This impulse to buy tv series is fortunately curtailed by the slim retail opportunities in our small town, but I have found a few gems at our local Field's. It was there I came across Lois & Clark: Thew New Adventures of Superman, Season 1 for the delightful price of $8.  I watched this show sporadically in the early 90s, when I was in university. I remember mostly watching it because I like Lois' clothes. To this day I have an unfashionable interest in blazers with contrasting piping or embellishments and shoulder pads. But I found Clark to be too wholesome (I was cultivating a taste for grunge music, and boys who wore flannel and artistically ripped jeans). Turns out the cure for cynicism is growing up, parenting young children, getting your head out of your own ass, and the sight of Dean Cain in his Superman costume.

I wasn't sure that Mr Wrath was quite as thrilled with this purchase, so I defended it by saying, "It could've been worse. I hemmed and hawed between this and the old Wonder Woman series." And so it was that after 11 years of marriage, Mr Wrath surprised me by confessing that he loved Wonder Woman.  Mr Wrath's been very tolerant to me brainwashing the boys to love Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Men, and The Avengers. He's been good-natured when people remark, "Why you boys know a lot about super heroes and mutants and Spock. Your dad must really like comic books." And all this time he's been hiding the fact that the one and only super hero he loves is Lynda Carter.

So naturally I used this an excuse to buy that dvd set as well. HEY! It was a bargain at only $6.

I was worried that the boys wouldn't be interested in Wonder Woman. Well, in truth I was worried that they'd be too interested in some PARTS of Wonder Woman, but that they'd balk at a show with a female heroine. They didn't. They're just an enamoured as me, and Mr Wrath (who may or may not be too interested in some PARTS, but he keeps it too himself). The aforementioned reference to Formicida (the alter ego of an chemical engineer who can communicate with ants) is evidence that the stories are percolating into their big brains.

• • • • • • •

Despite the boys enthusiasm for Lynda Carter's version, I was less likely to let Klaxon and Zarf watch the (now shelved) Wonder Woman reboot.

(I'm juxtaposing the new costume with Lynda Carter's 
original outfit. After this photo of Adrianne Palicki was 
universally scorned the costume was slightly altered.)

GAH! In theory this new costume should be less suggestive then the 70s version. After all Wonder Woman's no longer wearing short shorts. But the bustier and the shiny vinyl pants borrowed from a dominatrix are obscene. Based almost entirely on this costume, I'm okay that the series probably will never air.


  1. So Formicida was an Ant Woman?

  2. "It does if that human is Formicida!" Hahaha.

    Once, after years of marriage, my husband confessed that he had had a thing for Alyssa Milano on Who's The Boss. I think he still has a thing for the (adult) Alyssa.

    I think Dean Cain is the bee's knees, myself.

  3. @Mary-LUE -- Yes. Her name is a pun (of sorts). Ants belong to the Formicidae family. Sorry for the obscure reference.

    @Nicole -- I use to love Alyssa Milano, but not the same way as your husband. I would watch "Who's The Boss" on Tuesady night then on Wednesday I'd wear an outfit similar to one she'd worn. Because I was a goof. Obviously.

  4. I love Murder, She Wrote. And Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, which came out not that long ago in a gorgeos looking box set at a price far exceeding $6, which then made me sad...

  5. "A narrative that charms but doesn't challenge" - I love that. There were a couple of months when Angus was around one that I had A&E on every morning - Matlock, Murder She Wrote and Northern Exposure. He did a little dance whenever the Murder She Wrote music came on. It was comfort food in tv form.

  6. You left Twitter! What is going on???

  7. @Marty -- The other three seasons of Lois & Clark are over $50. Don't think I can justify the cost. Or can I...

    @Bibliomama -- I love the Murder She Wrote theme song. I think I enjoyed Northern Exposure more before I was living it.

    @Kimberly -- just for a bit. I need to break the addiction.

  8. I totally get how a certain show can be comfort food for the psyche. I loved Northern Exposure...I would watch it over and over. I never really watched Murder She Wrote, but now I want to find some episodes!

  9. So, it is true what they say about Americans living in their own bubble - however, in our house, we are always trying to learn new things about the world around us (especially to the north) - so I learned something new today in that Canada (or at least BC - "the best place on earth") has something called "Distributed Learning Funds"? That sounds fascinating. Is it great? A hassle? Or just the Canadian way (and I am naive)? :)