Guardians of the Galaxy

Latimer is confused as to what you are rocket...
Latimer is confused as to what you are rocket…

Latimer: Okay, this is a post about something I want to watch. It’s a trailer and as the picture suggests it involves a talking raccoon! It’s the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer!

I’m so intrigued and confused, because I don’t know anything about the Guardians of the Galaxy beyond the images of some the characters – raccoon man, tree man, man man, green wo-man and…Kratos…

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The Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the Marvel Phase 2 movies. There’s a clip at the end of Thor 2 about it. And while I never needed an introduction to Iron man, Thor and Captain American, I really don’t know anything about the Guardians – they never had a cartoon that I remember seeing.

Bradley Cooper is going to be in the movie – voicing Rocket (the raccoon). Hopefully the Guardians of the Galaxy will be in the next Avengers movie! I’d love to see Tony Stark talking to a raccoon. 

Basically, I’m really excited about a movie I know nothing about. And I need to see a proper trailer to confirm my feelings!

A Marvel intergalactic space movie – it could be so good! Marvel movies are on a winning streak, fun-and-funny, so I’m really hoping this one will be as good!

The trailer is due to drop on Tuesday (18th Feb) – so we’ll soon be able to see how good this movie could be! 

Avatar: Rise of the Naughties Cartoon

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Latimer: As a nineties kid, I always felt like we had the best cartoons – all the Marvel cartoons, Gargoyles, Animals of Farthing Wood, Mummy’s Alive, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Batman… the list goes on!

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Those cartoons had proper, involved story-lines.

But somewhere in the late nineties cartoons got fixed on this one episode, one story, structure, that I never liked. I always missed the ‘larger picture’, the big story arcs.

Then, around this time, I more or less stopped watching cartoons – so they remained, in my mind, fixed in that ‘one episode, one unconnected story’ structure.

In slightly later life, I swapped Western cartoons for Eastern ones. This would be around the time my obsession with anime kicked in. In anime, big story-lines never went out of style!!

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I noticed early in the naughties Western cartoons started to taken on this East-meets-West style; an almost ‘anime but not quite, style’. I think it was due to the popularity of anime at the time.

That was probably what brought me slightly back to Western cartoons.

I think out of all those new ‘East-meets-West’ cartoon series, Avatar, has got to be one of the best.

NICKELODEON THE LAST AIRBENDER

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Forget that terrible movie version. The cartoon is where it’s at!

Avatar is a great show. I was late to the game – I haven’t seen all of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but am a pretty big follower of Avatar: Legend of Korra.

I love the style, music and feel of Avatar… It’s a well-thought out story-line, with interesting characters, with interesting ethnic backgrounds. Basically the story is focused on a world where people have the power of controlling (bending) elements; water, fire, earth and air. The avatar is the one person in the world that can do all four and is sort of the, near as I can tell, spiritual and bending guide of the people. A big figure-head basically.

 

When the avatar dies, the next avatar is born and so on….

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So, when the new Avatar Korra takes centre-stage, you know that the previous Avatar, Aang, is dead.

Which is pretty sad actually, given that the last time we see him is as this chipper 12 year old kid who saved the world. We don’t really get time to grieve over that, we just have to accept it, which is… yeah kind of rough!

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But there’s lots of cool, funny characters in Legend of Korra too (and Korra is a very strong female lead, so that’s pretty cool!)

My favourite characters are Bolin and his little red panda Pabu – Bolin is just brilliant…

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Okay, so maybe the best cartoons didn’t end with the 90s, maybe there are lots more to come! 🙂

My, My Little Ponies

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Latimer: I think my first real obsession was with My Little Pony. I adored them.

Recently, My Little Ponies have made an amazing comeback in the form of a cartoon; My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

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There was a cartoon in the 90’s too, that I used to watch. There were a few different ones. The one I remember most is the My Little Pony Tales, which is possibly what the new cartoon is based on?

Seriously though… how are those Ponies grabbing anything! They have no fingers!

The return of the Ponies is a complete shock to me, because they disappeared years ago without a trace. They were popular in the early 90’s, and then they just vanished – cartoons and toys.

When the toys came back, very briefly, I bought them, but I was getting older and I couldn’t squeeze myself back into the fangirl suit I used to own. But I tried… lord I tried.

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I tried but couldn’t love them again!

They didn’t stay around long.

I’m going to hit the nostalgia button now and bring you back to my My Little Ponies…

Yeah, I still have them. It’s because of all my old toys, these meant the most. I couldn’t toss them out or give them away. 

Taking them out of the bag was weird because I remember actually getting a lot of them. My birthdays always involved getting a My Little Pony.

They are chunky, clunky beasts, but they have this beautiful old familiar weight to them. The more I took out the more I remembered.

The bride Pony (with a cake, her veil is missing but I remember she had one, I think I gave it to Barbie) – with no bridegroom!

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Poor girl, you have no one to marry!!

The ballerina young Ponies. They were novel because you could move their legs. We were very impressed at the time!

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I had two teacher Ponies (Pony groups came in sets of 4 generally). I still have their school bags and their combs (all Pony groups had specific combs).

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The Beach Ponies where my very first set. I remembered that their hair was all matted and could never be brushed out, because of the carpets we used to have in my old playroom in the garage (I used to drag them over the carpet).

Memories!

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I got this beauty Pony after being in hospital for an operation during Halloween one year.

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This Pony smelt like sweets (that was her ‘thing’) – and she still does.

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These were tiny baby Ponies, so cute (they have massive heads and are weirdly-distorted).

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This is a funny one – maternity Pony. You flick the heart…

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and her babies drop out.

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Yup…

This baby Pony was an interesting one; not because it did anything, but because of what my sister used to say it could do.

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The Pony came with a baby’s plate. My sister would put crackers and coffee grains in the little sections, then she’d tell me;

“I can get your Pony to eat these.”

I was wide-eyed, “Really?”

She’d nod; “But you have to wait outside.”

So out I went (happy, believing) and I’d come back in and the food was gone – except the coffee grains.

“The Pony didn’t like them.”

I was astounded at the time. I wondered why I couldn’t make my Pony eat like my sister could.

The way I packed away the Ponies was also kind of sweet. I packed up all the combs in little bags and the accessories in another. It was like I fully expected to play with them again someday.

I vividly remember thinking, “What do grown-ups do without toys? What do they do all day?” Thankfully you realize people never grow up and toys of childhood morph into those of adulthood and it’s a relief.

I’m happy to see my old obsession has reinvented itself and flown off to another generation 🙂

Worrisome Wasps

'I'll get you Latimer!!'
– ‘I’ll get you Latimer!!’

Latimer: As summer draws to an end (NOO :(!), I’m plagued by the last remaining wasps. And I hate wasps!

I mean I really hate them.

But my hate is based on fear, pure fear. If a wasp is in the area I warn people with; ‘Listen, listen guys, there’s a wasp over there, now I might jump up and run away screaming and kicking at the air, but don’t mind me!’ This warning more often than not becomes reality.

I run based on what might happen to me, because, I have never in my life been stung. Well, up until last weekend that is…

I was moving bags of clothes from downstairs to upstairs and I got a sudden pain in my foot and thought initially – ‘argh a splinter’ but then the pain got worse and I lifted my foot and screamed…

- 'Oh JAYSUS!'
– ‘Oh JAYSUS!’

There was a wasp stuck to my foot! Still I am screaming, because now one part of me is thinking, ‘oh no I have to touch it to get it off! NO! I don’t want to touch it!’ and the other part is just shrieking.

Now, my hatred-fear of wasps is complete. It is warranted. I don’t want to be stung. But wasps are angry, vicious creatures (hence the term ‘waspish’). I don’t bat at them, I just run away, because batting them makes them angrier and they come at you!

Sharing my experience resulted in people telling me all sorts of stories about their experiences of wasps.

First there was the boy…

He told me a story about when he was a young carefree lad, he used to play in the bushes at the back of his house – where randomly, mid-way through this wasp story he drops; ‘the bushes were Ian Paisley told me off for being one time’ ha.

The bushes had been cut and piles of leaves had been left on the ground. The young boy got excited and raced over to the piles and started playing. Then a swarm of wasps crawled up his chest out of the pile of leaves (he’d stood on a hive).

- Poor Boy!!
– Poor Boy!!

Naturally he ran shrieking to his mother (covered in wasps). His clothes were ripped off, and a wasp flew out of his underpants. Yep, the wasps got him everywhere.

- ...everywhere...
– …everywhere…

The boy  then tells us how he was staying with a friend once and one morning the friend decides, ‘today will be the one day of the year I will be a real man and cut the hedges’. The friend was then confronted by…

- 'I'm gonna get you bub!'
– ‘I’m gonna get you bub!’

 

- 'And I got ALOT of friends!!'
– ‘And I got ALOT of friends!!’

And he runs into the house screaming; ‘get me vinegar!’ And in front of everyone in the house, the friend starts ripping off his clothes, getting naked and running into the bathroom, still screaming for vinegar. He got stung a lot.

We then hear how the boy and his friends were outside one day, enjoying the sun and having some drinks, when the sky went black as a swarm of bees descended on them; ‘hundreds of thousands, they eclipsed the sun briefly’ he said. They all ran into the house, screaming; ‘CLOSE THE WINDOWS! CLOSE THE WINDOWS!’

- 'Close the window, the boy's getting flashbacks!!'
– ‘Close the window, the boy’s getting flashbacks!!’

Now my story of being stung is so boring! But give me time, I feel like another story is on the horizon for me! The last few weeks I’ve been plagued by wasps; now I’m even more afraid – I’m under-siege!

Summer is a time of joy… and wasps 😦