#7 The one where Winter has come

Kia ora whānau,

Happy Easter or long weekend, or however you recognise this time. Easter’s an interesting one. Like Christmas, it’s kind of become this amalgamation of Christian tradition, Jesus’ resurrection, and earlier pagan traditions with festivities celebrating Spring, and Jewish Passover. Though information is scarce some believe Easter has ties to Ēostre (Ostara), the goddess of Spring. I only learned about Ēostre, from watching American Gods, the television series adaptation from Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. My stepmother is from Romania and celebrates Orthodox Easter, which is actually next Sunday, but they’re overseas at the moment, so no dyed hard-boiled eggs for us this year.

It’s funny, this isn’t the first newsletter I’ve written. I was just reminded of one I started for my youth group back in the day. I even took over the local animal rescue newsletter for a spell. And to think I was doing something different. In with the old, out with the new.

No story this week, but as I’ve done in the past, I’m going to leave things more fluid, and change and adapt depending on the week. So have a baby update! And after the film review are a bunch of things I’ve been consuming. I’ve now separated these into the type of media. Enjoy at your leisure.


Baby Update

We took our wee one to the local swimming pool for his first swim. A bit of a water baby, he’s always enjoyed his baths so this was the logical next step. He’s taken to launching himself off us when sitting on us or when we’re changing his nappy. Even more so in the baby bath, he likes to propel himself off the edge and through the water. We packed a swimsuit and swimming nappy and off we went to our local pool. We dipped ourselves in the warm toddler pool and even had a quick turn in the shallow end of the big kid’s pool. Fortunately, no code browns! Some of the older toddlers were curious about this very young baby. He was happy and content the entire time. That was until we had to leave and get dressed.

Three months old. They weren’t kidding about time flying.


Review


Playing

  • I picked up Moonlighter.

    It’s a role-playing game that merges the best mechanics from other games I like. I’m still early into it but essentially you’re a shopkeeper who explores caves to find items to sell at your store. This isn’t even close to being one of the first games to explore that idea. But this package is just so polished. It has the dungeon crawling of The Binding of Isaac and a village reminiscent of Stardew Valley. It even reminds me a little of Bastion. If you don’t know any of these games I’m probably speaking gibberish to you.

Watching

  • With Avengers: Endgame out next week, Patrick Willems filmed a 3-part video series on the limitations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
     
  • The Twilight Zone is back, presented by Jordan Peele. I never watched the original series but I get the sense it retains the cheese of the original while giving family-friendly levels of scary. I’ve seen the first three episodes, all self-contained stories. They’re of varying quality story-wise but have interesting conceits and actors I enjoy.
     

Listening

  • Game of Thrones is back for the last time. If you like dissecting episode by episode, here are three podcasts all hosted by Joanna Robinson, one of my favourite commentators on pop culture.
     
    • A Cast of Kings is co-hosted with David Chen. The conceit of the podcast was Joanna read all the books of A Song of Ice and Fire and David had not. At this point, with George R.R Martin behind the show, the book knowledge doesn’t matter so much but Joanna still has a ton of insights to share, with more access now to the people behind the show as a writer for Vanity Fair.
       
    • Still Watching is an official Vanity Fair podcast co-hosted with Richard Lawson. They cover currently running prestige TV shows episode by episode but for the lead-up to Game of Thrones they have also been covering “the fifteen most essential episodes to re-watch.”
       
    • Finally, A Storm of Spoilers is co-hosted with Dave Gonzales and Neil Miller. Having only read the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire I initially held off on this one as they talked full book spoilers. But now they have both spoiler and spoiler-free sections, and book spoilers aren’t much a problem now. Who knows, maybe after all this is done I might go back and read all the books. But probably not, those things are huge.
       

Reading


If you enjoyed this newsletter, put it on a postcard.

*intricate secret handshake*

Michael

@mriceguy
michaeljgray.com