Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for April, 2012

The Weekly LitWit Challenge 8.8: Talk to him

April 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest, Movies 4 Comments →

From IWDRM, Clive Owen and cat in Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

See the guy on the couch with the cat? Write a story about him in 1,000 words or less. Post it in Comments on or before 11.59pm on Friday, 4 May 2012. The author of the best story will receive Neonomicon, the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows.

Begin conversation.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore.

The Lord of the Snacks: The Two Towers

April 26, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Food 1 Comment →

Orthanc and Barad-Dur (with Saffy on top)

These giant boxes of Oishi products were waiting for us when we got home. Our cats are especially delighted with the boxes, which they use for jumping and climbing practice and for sharpening their claws (note the scratches on the left box).

Our people are especially delighted with the snacks, particularly the Pillows, Bread Pan, Baked Potato Fries, Caramel Popcorn, Gourmet Wasabi and Nori chips and Baconette Strips. Basically, everything. Thank you, Oishi!

Smaug the Dragon tops fictional billionaires list; Tony Stark, Tywin Lannister, Earl of Grantham among richest

April 26, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Money No Comments →

Smaug and his treasure. Wonder what he paid Benedict Cumberbatch to dub his voice in The Hobbit.

Don’t forget the “father” of the Seattle-based vampires, Montgomery Burns and Bruce Wayne.

The Forbes Fictional 15

A is for Awesome: Avengers take Manila

April 25, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 7 Comments →

In the beginning there was the Hype, which moviegoers know may leadeth to box-office paradise even amidst the wailing and gnashing of teeth among the people gypped of the price of admission plus popcorn and two hours of their short lives upon this earth.

But today there is great rejoicing in the Buffyverse as the world bears witness to the awesomeness of Joss Whedon. All hail the men and woman in unitards!

The Avengers is an absolute blast, go see it. Best reserve your tickets online as there are long queues.

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Our sister wanted to bring our 5-year-old niece to the screening. “NO!” we cried, not just because we allow only one infantile monster in the room and that is us. No, we feared Mika’s mega-decibel appreciation of Captain America, which manifests itself in bloodcurdling shrieks of “I love you, Captain America!” and flying kisses.

“Who do you like better, Captain America or Thor?” Cookie asked her child.

“Captain America! Mwah! Mwah! (flying kiss)” said Mika.

“I thought you liked Thor,” I reminded her.

“Captain America!” It should be noted that when her parents took her to see Captain America she had no interest whatsoever in Steve Rogers before he got the super-injection.


“Captain America!”

“Thor!” For when Chris Hemsworth donneth the outfit, cape and wig and speaketh in archaic English we both start giggling uncontrollably.

“What about Iron Man?” Cookie suggested, for we feel it our responsibility to teach the next generation that good looks and large muscles are exponentially enhanced by scientific genius and billions of dollars.

Mika was not interested in Iron Man. “How can you not love Robert Downey, Jr!” we screeched. “The line delivery, the comic timing, the sense of irony!” She was unmoved.

“She liked the giant Hulk hand in the toy store though,” Cookie said.

“We worry about The Hulk,” we said. “What’s there for the big green guy to do?”

“Don’t worry,” Cookie assured us. “In the comics whenever there is some seemingly indestructible force they always send in The Hulk.”

“Hulk!” we cried.

“Captain America!”


“Captain America!”

So we went to the movies without the kid.

* * * * *

We were standing in line at the box office when someone messaged us. “Are you watching The Avengers?”

“No, we’re standing in line to watch The Lucky One.”

He believed us.

* * * * *

All Robert Downey Jr needs to be a superhero is a Black Sabbath T-shirt. And the armor.

One of Joss Whedon’s strengths as a storyteller is the way he invests his material with a psychological acuity that overrides the silliness without losing its innate humor. In The Avengers every character is clearly delineated and his/her role defined so no one looks like a spare or a concession/contractual obligation. (True, Whedon was working with characters who had already been developed in comics and previous movies, but this only made the potential for disaster greater.)

So Iron Man is the former child prodigy whose money and brilliance have kept him from ever having to grow up, Thor is the favorite son who had to learn humility in order to rule, and Hulk is trying to live with his boundless rage by staying away from the things that might trigger it. Captain America is the old-fashioned hero whose ideals and beliefs seem out of place in the contemporary world, the Black Widow is atoning for her sins in the past, and Hawkeye has to live with looking like a member of a Village People tribute band (He doesn’t get a back story in the movie).

But for their amazing powers they’d be just like the rest of us. And that’s the secret of superhero comics.

Game of Thrones as History

April 25, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Television 1 Comment →

For half a century, fantasy has essentially been a series of footnotes to Tolkien. Until George R.R. Martin, that is. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series — now five novels and counting, with the first two dramatized by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on HBO as Game of Thrones — ventures boldly outside the Tolkien box and has revitalized the entire genre in the process. Gone are hobbits, elves, orcs, non-human dwarves, ents, balrogs, and most magical items (although not all magic or magical creatures). Gone too are the Manichaean simplicities of a world in which most characters can be quickly identified as good or evil. Martin’s saga has few one-dimensional heroes but many fully fleshed out people.

A Song of Ice and Fire is set in a world modeled after medieval England, and many claim that the series’ genius and popularity stems from its accurate and sensitive portrayal of medieval life. Millions of readers and viewers have formed a passionate bond with Martin’s creation, this argument runs, precisely because it is not simply made up but, rather, rooted in actual human experience. Martin himself has encouraged this line of thinking, claiming he reads “everything I can get my hands on” about medieval history and even including a bibliography on his Web site for those interested in his source materials. But is the argument correct? Just how realistic is A Song of Ice and Fire?

The short answer is “not very.” Before hordes of angry fans launch their trebuchets in my direction, however, let me hasten to add that this is a good thing, not a bad one.

Continue reading in Foreign Affairs

GOT TV trivia: Harry Lloyd who played Viserys is the great great great grandson of Charles Dickens. He played Herbert Pocket in the recent BBC adaptation of Great Expectations. We kept hissing at him. Alfie Allen who plays Theon Greyjoy is the brother of Lily Allen. Her song Alfie is about him.

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Got kids? Here’s a list of Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10.

We would add our favorite epic fantasy of all time: The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Accept no cute TV substitutes.

This is a Swiss Army knife.

April 25, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Technology 4 Comments →

Victorinox Swiss Army knife with 1TB thumb drive. Time to upgrade our pocket knife!

For our friend Mike at Walk and Eat:

This Nikon fisheye lens will allow you to take ridiculously clear pictures of food.