Aden somehow wound up with a gigantic bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans, which I imagine was the inspiration for the “All Flavoured Beans” in Harry Potter. There’s seriously over 40 flavours in one bag. Crazy. Last night I tried to sample one of each. I started to take notes as I matched up the colour and flavour with the key on the bag. I got about 7 beans in before I felt ill to my stomach and gave up. The many coffee flavoured beans left a bitter taste in my mouth which even the potent raspberry couldn’t get rid of. There’s something just wrong about the artificial flavours that sort of simulate real flavours, things that you know can’t be distilled from the source (like caramel corn), it’s like the uncanny valley (RIP MJ) of food. Bleh.
When you’re pregnant, or your spouse is pregnant, two weeks feels like an eternity, every day of the last month before the due date just drags on… I’m not even carrying the kid and I feel it. I have great compassion for all pregnant women, and great sympathy for those who carry with stoic resolve. How is it that each day closer to the day makes it seem further away… it’s a space-time conundrum.
After receiving a copy of the UK premiere film magazine Empire from Aden’s dad a few months back, I’ve had a jonesing to give it another shot, since it seems to have an honest geek focus (both genre geek and film geek) which American rags just don’t seem to come by. The mag has professional writing (unlike some of the godawful crappy news/rumours sites out there) and some great articles, a solid crew of reviewers, and plenty of Brit and international content (again, which the American rags don’t seem to pay any mind). It doesn’t worship at the cult of celebrity, but rather seems to hold the cult of the director in more esteem, as any film mag should.
This month was Empire’s 20th anniversary feature, which at first to me seemed like a long time, then I realized that 20 years ago I was 13, and Batman had just come out, so in a sense it’s not like their roots in film are that much deeper than mine. To celebrate their 20 years, Stephen Spielberg guest edited the Magazine, which led an interesting synergy to much of the book-sized magazine. There were three major articles featuring Peter Jackson (focusing on his new film, Lovely Bones, as well as his motion capture co-directing gig with Spielberg on the two Tin-Tin moves, and an extensive interview with him and Guillermo Del Toro on the Hobbit films), and a focus on technology (including interviewing Coppola about his love of pure filmmaking and James Cameron on Avatar, and all the new gadgets he’s developed for shooting it). Directors get a spotlight, with a great survey sent out to twelve prominent directors (Miyazaki to Del Toro, Pixar’s Andrew Stanton to David Fincher) - the scary thing is how many want to try 3-D, yuck - Tarantino hitting 9/10 on 10-questions (they threw him a Muppets Wizard of Oz-related curveball which he called shenanigans on), and Jack Nicholson pondering his friend Stanley Kubrick.
Though thinned out with a couple boring photo spreads of celebrities and the Empire awards party, it’s a pretty entertaining and meaty (took me a full week to read) mag. I’ll be back for more.