Monday, March 15, 2010

Top Five Cool Genre things my oldest daughter has shown me

Today I'm writing my 92nd post, and as my oldest daughter Lori was born in 1992, I thought I would take a moment and look at five of the coolest genre things she introduced to me or shared with me.

Like most parents of kids who were born in the '90s, we hit a point where suddenly Lori was talking all about giants and muggles and The Boy who Lived. Thankfully, as my oldest daughter is a reader - this was well before the movies came out. That way, when people started talking about these new movies, I was totally in the know, heightening my cool dad factor. The fact that the books are really, really fun as well, was a huge bonus.

4. Checking out the Opening Day Matinee
I think it started with The Phantom Menace, where we first called Lori in sick from school and took her out to the first matinee showing of the movie instead. I know that a lot of movies have midnight openings, but the matinee tends to be a little less crowded, and I think my kids have more fun at it - we've taken gone to see everything from the Lord of the Rings movies to the Matrix Trilogy, to various super-hero films. In the end we're probably talking about one or two movies a year, and we make sure our kids have no homework due that day, but the sheer fun of skipping out on a day to see a new movie is a gift I have loved sharing with my kids - and I hope one day they share it with theirs.

Lori first played this game with friends at a birthday party, and when she got home she couldn't stop talking about it. It was a board game that didn't work like any other board game she had ever tried and it sounded almost like something she might have made up. Luckily I found a copy at our local board game store, picked it up for her birthday and the rest is history. Not exactly a genre game, Settlers of Cataan is a german-style board game which is a lot of fun and very addictive, we now have most of the expansions and still have a lot of fun when we bring this game out.

Years ago I started reading the Bram Stoker award winners for best Horror novel, as I'm a big fan, and my daughter would overhear me talking about how much fun it was to read a series of award winning horror books. Although Lori is not into horror, she did seem to like the idea of reading award winners, so she asked me to find her some award with books more suited to her. I found the World Fantasy Awards pretty soon after that and she's been working her way through them steadily ever since. The thing is, as I was the one getting her these books at first (she didn't have her own library card yet), I would take the time to read the back of the book on the way home and as a lot of these books had great stories, I started reading them myself. I've always been bigger into Horror and Science Fiction than Fantasy, so without her interest, I might never have found these really great books.

As a kid I watched a lot of Anime: Astro Boy, Robotech, and Vampire Hunter D were big favourites. Moving into parenthood however I started focusing on other things. Sure I still saw some great stuff (Grave of the Fireflies is one of the most heartbreaking films I have ever seen, period.), but anime largely fell by the wayside. Like a lot of other kids however, my daughter got very big into Pokemon, and as I was dragged to Pokemon movie after Pokemon movie, I eventually figured she needed to broaden her horizon. Stop #1 - according to a very frinedly video store clerk, was Hayao Miyazaki. So we started renting his movies, and wow, these were great. We actually own pretty much every one of his films now, and I don't honestly know if I would have come across him without Lori's interest.

So there you go, five of my favourite genre things I pretty much owe to my daughter.

Thanks Lori!

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