Friday, June 9, 2017

Planning a Disney vacation takes lots of... planning...

We're going to Disney for my birthday this year.  As anyone that has ever gone to Disney can tell you, it requires lots of 2 things:  planning and luck.

When you reach the magical 180 days before your trip, you can make dining reservations.  I read reviews and menus.  I watched videos.  I listened to podcasts.  And I made my decision:

Ohana for my birthday dinner,


and Garden Grill for a breakfast.
Here is my trials with getting a reservation:

5:45am
Website:  Nope, not yet.

5:55am
Website:  You're getting warmer...

6am
Website:  How about this Ohana dinner, for 3:50pm NOT on your birthday.  and that's the best I can do.
Me: *grumbles*  *books*

6:02am
Website:  Oh, I'm sorry, the Garden Grill is booked for breakfast for your ENTIRE trip.  Better luck next year!

I pout.  I sigh.  And I get over it because something may open up later on.

7am
Me: *tries to see if something has magically opened up*
Website:  *is broken*

I go to work and put this out of my mind.  At lunch, I decide to do a search of ALL the places that might be available for breakfast on my birthday

Website:  How about Ohana?
me:  *squeaks like a dog toy*  *books it before I can think about it too hard*

Yes, I have a breakfast one day and then a dinner at the same place the next day.  The great thing about reservations is that I can cancel them.  In the end, I might want to cancel ALL of my reservations.


But I have 175 days to figure that out.

In other news: I'm terrified of making Fast Passes!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

It's been 6 days and 7 hours since my car broke

Last Thursday, my car was towed away...

then fixed... but not quite...

then fixed again... but not quite..

and a part was ordered...

Currently, my car is at the dealership.  It's fixed, but after all I went through, they want to make doubly sure that it's fixed.  So if all goes as planned, I get my car back this afternoon.

Now don't get me wrong.  it's not like I've been stranded by the side of the road this entire time!  I've been depending on other people for rides to and from work.

What did happen for this entire week, was that I was completely off my game.  I've been sleeping in.  I haven't been working out.  Why?

I was off of my routine, and feeling lost.  I convinced myself that I needed to be ready early, and with Misty on a leash and ready to go into her kennel.  How do I do that?  By not going out to run.  Eventually not going out to run became not working out at all.

Am I proud of this?  No.

Not at all.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be cool and dry.  And I should have a car back.  I plan on running, taking the pup to the vet, and getting a haircut after!

Well, all of this after I made our Advanced Dining Reservations for our Disney trip!

Thank goodness it's boot camp next week!  I need my ass kicked!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Be careful what you wish for

For a while now, I've been looking at taking a few days off from work.

I got that wish, just not in a way that I wanted!

Thursday I got to my car to go home.  And ended up having to call a tow truck.  Acceleration wasn't working, and the car was idling badly.  The engine wouldn't even rev.  A two truck was called.  I got it to the shop.  And I ended up with a nice day off.


And I had a great day off!  I gave myself a facial. I made bread.  I took a nap.

The dealership called.  It was an air intake issue,  A $200 fix.  I went to pick up the car.  The guy that drove it up for me proclaimed "did you know that the accelerator doesn't work?"  Seriously??? That's why the car was there in the first place.


The last time I had an engine problem, I had to get a new car.  The fix was more than the car was worth.

Instead of panicking, I made a plan.  I went onto the website for my student loan to see if there is a lower payment option.  There is.  I went online to the Carmax website and got pre-qualified for a loan.  I went online and found some cars that I'm interested in.  But we can file this under "Things I didn't really need right now."

I spent all weekend with this ball of dread in my tummy.  I spent days trying to identify it.

Part of me almost wants the car to be beyond repair.  I'm terrified of paying all this money to have to break down again and again.  I already went down this road and the car didn't even leave the dealership.  I'm terrified of being broken down on the side of the road.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is is possible to hide from reality?

In the last few weeks, the media has been a veritable shit show of awful.  From the President being awful around the world, to white guys being awful at home.

I've wanted to hide under the bed and ignore the awful stuff until it went away.

But I realized something today.  Hiding from reality... ignoring change in society and the world....  what's is what got us into this mess in the first place.

let's look at what has happened in the last few weeks:




It's the last one that made me think the most.  There's a few issues involved in this.  (What follows are my opinions!)

  1. Even though the President and his government won't admit it, White Nationalistic male terrorists are a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists.  With few notable exceptions (9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing), many of the biggest acts of terrorism in the states have been committed by white guys.  The reason why it is being ignored?  Because these white guys mainly kill brown people.  
  2. The guy that did the stabbing in Portland?  He's a Bernie supporter.  It makes him hard to paint into that above narrative.  (although he has reportedly been involved in white nationalistic causes in the past)
  3. Did you guys notice the FLOOD of people praising these victims, and not saying much about the harassed women that started the mess?  We're praising the heroism of the people that helped to stop the attacks.  And rightly so.  But can we address the bigotry that was the root cause of this?  
  4. It's that bigotry (be it overt or internal) that breeds radicalization.  Both in the right-wing white guy sense, and the Islamic Extremist sense.


I think the root of many of these problems goes back to the idea that people like things the way they were.  White guys like being on the top of the heap.  Even some of the most liberal people around may harbor a bit of prejudice when they want things to go back to the way they used to be.  And we all know that ignoring the problem doesn't make it better.  Hiding from reality won't work much anymore.
Mr. Woolery is thinking back to a time when a good chunk of everyone in the US was Christian.  (Or at least everyone who Mr. Woolery considers to matter)  He looks back on that mythical time of Pilgrims and Patriots and has Hamilton-esque dreams of the founding of this country.  (Except in his dreams, all the Hamilton actors are white)  I'm sorry Mr. Woolery, but Mr. Kruse is right.  This country wasn't founded on Christian Principles.

I think that we need to make sure that people know things like that.  We need to make sure that history is understood, before it repeats itself.

My question to White America is:  why didn't more people speak up as those women were being harassed on that train?  Why don't more people try to shut down hate speech and ethnic, racial and religious slurs that we hear every day?  Are we afraid of also being stabbed?  Are we so used to minding our own business (like our parents told us to) that we don't speak up?

I think there's been a protest just about every month since the President took office.  Sadly, I think both sides of the issue are becoming bolder, more outspoken.

I'm absolutely terrified by what I see on the news every day.  A Handmaiden's Tale is so terrifyingly close to reality that I won't watch it.  But what can we do?

Well, we do what we can.  If it it is just correcting people when they are factually incorrect or speaking up as bravery will allow.

Friday, May 19, 2017

No man is an island

I think we can agree that I've not had the best 2017 so far.  And yesterday I had a pretty bad day.

Actually, my bad day started at 4:30, right before I got ready to go home.  The fact that many of my job tasks (things not part of the current job description, but have to be done until we hire someone) still are a mystery to me really got me down.  I hit an extreme point of frustration at not knowing how to do this job that has been thrust upon me.

So in that awful black mood, I headed home and burst into tears.  I was frustrated at my job.  I was feeling lonely and forgotten.  I cried and screamed.

Then I realized something.

My new gyno put me on Medroxyprogesterone for a week to jump start my cycle.  After the cycle is jumpstarted, I then get to go on birth control.  (I know.... my tubes are tied.. but apparently when you don't have a period and you should be having one.. you could get cancer.  I seriously don't want cancer!)

I looked it up last night.  Medroxyprogesterone is a fertility drug.  It's basically PMS is a bottle.

Oh yay!!

So like a kidney stone, this too shall pass.

And then I saw this on Facebook:
All I can say is yes.  100% yes.  As I sat sobbing on the kitchen floor, I vowed to never speak to my friends again.  In my hormonal stupor I was convinced that they didn't need a shit-show like me in their lives and they were better off without me.  Just like Oliver Queen does every few episodes on Arrow, I thought everyone would be safer without me around.

Say that it's not true all you want, but in that moment of existential crisis it was true to me.  (Even Oliver got that message this week.. from Malcolm Merlyn of all people!)

No man is an island.  You need meaningful relationships in your life.  And your friends want you around, the depression (or hormonal miasma) is lying to you.

This is to the friends:  if you haven't heard or seen someone in ages, send them a message.  They might be too scared of rejection to initiate contact.

Monday, May 15, 2017

I hate feeling like this

I've read that a variety of things can affect mood and mental outlook.  Hormones, time of year, stress levels....

I must be in a weird place, because I've hit a strange place.

After finishing up the school year with commencement, I am now allowed to breathe a bit.  (But only a bit, because I just got a few "Why isn't this done???" emails.)

After a day in a dress and heels, and an afternoon at a theme park, I went to bed dosed up on asthma meds and Benadryl.

I woke up in quite the funk.
I woke up wondering why I'm doing all of this exercising for.

I woke up feeling fat, ugly and stupid.

I woke up wondering if anyone cared if I was around, or would notice my absence.

I woke up feeling that my purpose in life was to work, do jobs that aren't mine, and clean.



And we know that those things aren't true.  I know that they aren't.  I'm sure it's dehydration, exhaustion and hormones.

But today I feel fat, ugly and unattractive.

And I know this will go away.

I'll hide on the sofa today.  I'll lose myself in a show.  I'll work on that dehydration thing.  (Seriously, I feel hungover, but I haven't had alcohol in ages).

I'll get up tomorrow and run and get back to the being healthy thing.

And I'll tell myself that this too shall pass.

Anne with an E

I've spend large amounts of time this weekend watching Netflix's new take on Anne of Green Gables.

I'm not sure how I feel about it yet...

In the original book, Anne was imaginative, and clever.  She didn't exactly fit in, but (if I remember correctly) wasn't ostracized by her classmates and the rest of the town.  I hadn't made it over far on my re-read.. I must admit.

Here are my thoughts:

  • This Anne CLEARLY has PTSD.
  • She's also like dialed to 11 on the not-fitting-in scale
  • I've seen 4 episodes, and there's MUCH that isn't in the book.
  • And I'm a little unhappy that Diana isn't yet her Bosom Friend!  *harrumph* 
I wonder if they didn't take the book, research what it was like for orphans back then.  Then add challenges and feelings from today's youth (which were probably the same back then)

The result is a show that is edgier.  It adds realism to the fairy-tale world that the original existed in.  

This book was one of my favorites growing up.  I was the red head with too much imagination, too much temper and didn't quite fit in.

I think to properly appreciate this take, I need to think of it as something different.  She's not the Anne of my youth.  She's an Anne of a different, and harder time.

EDITED TO ADD:
I've seen the entire first season now... and here are my thoughts:

  • they added a lot of plot to the show, but kept in the highlights from the book.  (Getting Diana drunk, Matthew's heart trouble and all)
  • There are themes (like menstruation) that are explored, that wouldn't have been written about during L.M. Montgomery's time.
  • I really do think they went back to the book and read between the lines.  How would Anne have acted coming from that environment?  how would other people treat her (remember how harshly Rachel Lynde talked about orphans?)
In all, I can't wait to see season 2!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fangirl (Did Rainbow Rowell spy on me in college?)

After I listened to Geekerella, I decided to listen to the Audiobook of Fangirl again.

Fangirl is a book by YA author Rainbow Rowell.  It's about Cath and Wren, twins who are freshmen in college.  Cath is the main character and the book's narrator.  She is an avid fanfiction author and struggling with anxiety.

There are many, many points in this book where I have to stop and take a breath.

I swear.  At points she is describing me.  I used to be an avid fanfiction author.

And we all know my struggles with anxiety.

Here are some quotes:

"Cath could already feel the anxiety starting to tear her stomach into nervous little pieces. "It's not just that… I don't like new places. New situations. There'll be all those people, and I won't know where to sit—I don't want to go." (chapter 4)

"It's just… everything. There are too many people. And I don't fit in. I don't know how to be." (Chapter 21)

“The arguments in her brain were like a swarm of people running from a burning building and getting stuck in the door.”








“Too much crying, she thought. Too many kinds. She was tired of being the one who cried.”


I've been here Cath is.  I've been afraid of the dining hall because I could picture myself standing with a tray and no knowing where to sit.  I know the tight and hot feeling of cresting anxiety.  I've been afraid of new things and situations because I don't know what to do, or what to wear or how to react.  I've been there, with the swirling thoughts, too many to process.

I also appreciate that Rowell did her research, because this runs in families:
"I'm crazy like him." She was already having panic attacks. She was already hiding at parties. In seventh grade, she'd been late to class for the first two weeks because she couldn't stand being in the halls with everyone else during passing periods. "It's probably going to get worse in a few years. That's when it usually kicks in."(Chapter 19)
Her father has issues as well.

I wonder how many women read this novel and though: wow... I'm Cath!

I know I did.

I wrote fanfiction.
I have a love for Harry Potter (Simon Snow in this book) that won't die.
We both have anxiety issues.

Thank you Rainbow Rowell.  Thank you for this novel.

Monday, May 1, 2017

RavenCon 2017

I haven't been to a convention in YEARS!  Seriously, years.

We live decently close to some quality area cons.  And this year's RavenCon was at a hotel that was 15 minutes away.  

So at the last moment, I decided to go.  Why did I decide to go?  Because Mercedes Lackey was the guest of honor.  

Friday afternoon I left work early so I could give the pup some out of the kennel time.  After a quick stop at Wendy's, we were off to the hotel.
Staying at home, and being a boring person, I didn't need this advice
I looked at the panels, circling the things I wanted to go to.  After noticing that everything was at the same damn time, I picked my panels.  And all of them were at 10pm or later.  Anyone that knows me knows that I'm in bed by 10 most nights.  

Ever go to a panel after half-reading the description?  That was me.  I thought I was going to a scholarly discussion about females in literature that are up to no good, and what I got was a panel about the Misbehavin' Maidens, a group that sing feminist Renaissance Faire-ish music.  I loved it!  I immediately made plans to attend their concert the next evening.

After that panel, was Mercedes Lackey's panel and signing.  I brought only 1 book: the UK cover of Sacred Ground.  (I bought the book in Ireland, and it's very special to me)


Then reality smacked me in the face.  I came in around 6 the next evening, but was already tired and antsy.

There's a reality for people that suffer with Anxiety related issues:  sometimes the world is too people-y and it's just exhausting.  I know, it sounds odd.  But after spending hours wandering around, talking to people and trying to figure out where I should be and where I was going and trying not to look like a gigantic dork when doing it all.. I was exhausted.

I left the hotel at 9pm on Saturday night, before the Misbehavin' Maidens concert.  I was disappointed.  But they understood!
Which prompted this bit of musing:


If I had a place to hang out that wasn't a chair in the lobby, or all alone in the game room... I might have made it.

But we came back on Sunday, so I could get my loot:
And now I'm at my desk, trying not to fall asleep.  

It's not like I stayed up super late.  maybe I'm just getting old?



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Good lord, I'm tired


(Well, not THAT way...)

I feel like I've been scrambling for months now.  Some days I have it together.  Other days I burst into tears.

When this all started, I claimed that I wanted a week at Disney as soon as we hired someone.

Then I declared that I would settle for a week someplace sunny, with a pool.  Then I declared that a room with a hot tub would be good enough.

Last week I declared that a week on the couch with my puppy on my lap would be wonderful.

Now I just want someone to clean my house, because I can't manage the energy.  It is rather gross.









It won't be long now.  Next week is May.

May brings commencement.  After Commencement there are fiscal deadlines.  A few weeks of crazy before a respite.

And by the time the new fiscal year rolls around we'll have another employee in this office.



Today is Thursday.  Just one more day until the weekend.

Maybe this is the weekend when I'll clean my bathroom.

Monday, April 24, 2017

And I ran... I ran so far away....

This weekend was the Run the D.O.G. 5K.

It was the first hot, humid day of the spring.  (Last time I ran this it was almost 40 degrees)

And I ran a crappy race.  I wore clothes for weather that was 20 degrees cooler.  I started in a corral that was WAY too advanced for me.  I tried to keep up with the faster runners.


After I got home, I had a long shower and had time to think.

This time next year is the Disney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon.  I was actually considering running it.  But after that disaster our 5K, I don't know if I CAN.  What I DO know is that this is something I can work on.  I can set my alarm on Saturdays and get those long runs in.  I can step up the cardio that I do.

But what I need to sit down and really think about is:  Do I WANT to do another half marathon (another 2, actually.  I'll need to run a fall half if I'm doing the spring one). I swore after the Princess Half that I never wanted to run a half marathon again, and here I cam contemplating another long race.

In the end, I've got some time to make this decision.  But in the meantime, I'm going to train.  There's no harm in it.

Well. I'll train, when it stops raining around here!

Does anyone else have a race they are thinking about?  or a race they are pondering?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I had such high hopes for this weekend too! (We're about to get TMI up in here)

I had a healthy Easter dinner planned!
I had a run scheduled!

But no... My body had other plans.
And before people get squeamish and run away, let me say this:

Why the hell are you getting squeamish and running away?  This is a process that most women on the planet go through every month.  It's messy and painful and life. It's not something obscene.  But yet, it's a major reason that women in developing areas miss out on education.

So, Sunday found me beginning that lovely time that I call "Shark Week."
 
I was on a run at the time.  Needless to say:  the run became a walk.

Monday I did something I've never done before.  I called out sick because the pain was so bad.  I mean, I tried.  I did some yoga.  Five minutes in I was in child's pose trying not to vomit from the pain.
And I know what you're thinking.  It's just cramps.  We all get them and I should get over it.  Well, yes.  women often get cramps.  But mine were bad.  And why should my pain be less important because it's associated with my period?

It shouldn't.

But often times, women's pain is dismissed.

(These were just the readily available articles....)

How many women here have had this?  People (men AND women) dismissing what you are feeling because "it's just your period" or (my favorite) "you're being hysterical?"  Most women have.  And this dismissal isn't just about abdominal pain either.  All sorts of pain are often ignored by medical professionals.  If you add being overweight to it, your chances of being taken seriously go down.

Thankfully, I'm feeling better today.  I have yet to ruin the pants that I am wearing.  I didn't run this morning, but that's OK.  Tomorrow is an arm day, and I can handle that.  I'll get back to my diet an exercise regimen (I need to look more carefully at what John Green did on his healthy mid-life crisis and do it too) tonight.

But seriously....

Ladies, if it hurts, fess up to it.  It's nothing to be ashamed of.  You're in PAIN!

And everyone in general:  If she says the pain is so bad that she might vomit... please don't think it's trivial.  It's either super bad cramps, or something worse.  She's not just the Girl who Cried Pain.  Go educate yourself.

And then there's this asshat.  (I can't believe he's serious... but I wouldn't be surprised)

Now, if you will excuse me... I need some chocolate.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

17 bags of trash later...

You know that box of random crap that you picked up somewhere along the way?  We've all had one form time to time...


Last weekend I discovered at least 6 of them!

Last weekend I walked upstairs into the storage room and noticed that our nice shelving was leaning precariously away from the wall.  The leaning tower of shelving!  So that day we emptied the shelves and started the great purge of 2017!

Some back story:  After I left my ex-husband I moved most of my belongings into my BFF's garage.  Over the course of that summer most of said possessions molded and most of it got thrown away.  After that, my attachment to things decreased sharply.

Over the last few years I've worked hard to find a place for everything, and put everything in its place.  I've gotten rod of most of the boxes of random crap that I had.

Sadly, my careful efforts didn't do anything to address the boxes and boxes of Legos that are all over the house, thanks to the Spousal Equivalent and his love of Mobile Frame Zero.
not an actual picture of our legos, we have WAY more!
While taking everything out of storage has been a gigantic pain in the ass, it's actually helped!  I've cleaned out a few closets.  I've reorganized much of my own things that I have in carefully labeled boxes.  And what seems like 17 bags of trash later... we have less boxes of Legos stuffed into every corner.

It's a slow moving process.  One that caused me to hurt my back.  But it's moving along.  And there's something therapeutic about it.  I know where my stuff is, and I can find it without too much bother!  I still have pockets of clothes here and there.  That's my next task.  But at least I know the shelving isn't going to collapse on me!

And tomorrow... we build a shed.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Light at the end of the tunnel

If you remember from last time, I've been under a bit of stress.

This week hasn't been as bad.  I mean, there were moments where I wish my coworker was here so I could ask her questions.  There will always be those moments.

But I have a plan.  On Mondays I work on everything that came in over the weekend, and take an inventory of all that needs to be done.  I group those tasks by category and assign a day to get those tasks done.  For instance, today is bill day.  This afternoon I'm going to focus on paying some bills.

There are those things that I can't seem to get to, and thankfully I'm getting help with that.

Things are looking up.  But there are still days when I feel like I'm drowning.

There are still days when I don't know how I'll get everything done.

There are still days when the house is an absolute disaster because I don't have the energy to clean.

There are days when the undone tasks, both work and home, feel like they are monsters lurking under the stairs, waiting to pounce.

But today isn't one of those days.  It's sunny and nice and I'm going to take a walk to the Colonial Area



And because it's a beautiful day, the best thing I've seen all week:



Thursday, March 30, 2017

A study in extreme stress

I drove home today, on the verge of tears.  I honestly don't know how much of this is stress and how much of this is hormonal...  (Yay, PMS!)  I spend most of the day either frantically working through a massive to-do list, or too paralyzed with the enormity of it all.  Thankfully, this week has been a bit better since I planned out the big tasks.  But there were still tears on the way home.  I'm living in this Möbius strip of stress at times.  Working away helps keep me from freaking out, but the sheer amount of work causes the freak outs...

What am I doing to help myself?


  • The one thing I AM doing is leaving at 5 every day and trying not to answer work emails at home.  Keep work at work and home at home.
  • I'm making a small pile of tasks that I can't get to.  I know there is someone else that will help, but I HATE fostering tasks onto someone else.  But then again, I don't have to be Super Woman...
  • I've also stepped up the running.  I don't know why running works so well, but it does.


What I need is a week at Disney World... and a lot sooner than we're actually going.

How do you handle stress?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sometimes you need a little organization

I've been doing two jobs for about a month now, and I'm starting to feel the strain.  The amount of undone work was getting to me.

Things hit a crisis point, so I found some organization.  I started using my Bullet Journal more effectively.
Step One:  On Friday, I took a page in my journal and made a list of everything that HAD to get done the next week.  

Step Two: I then identified the five largest tasks and assigned one each day.

Step Three: The other small tasks were split up.

Step Four: I sent home for the weekend and took some non-thinking-about-work time.  (And promptly got violently ill)

Step Five: Get stuff done!

Today is Wednesday, and it's been working so far.  In fact, I had a pile of bills come in yesterday, so I earmarked them for Bill Paying Day, which is Friday.

Why am I doing this?  I don't think we're going to be able to get someone in the open position for a while now and I don't want to lose my mind!  (At times I'm closer to losing losing my mind than others)  It's all got to get done, and apparently I'm the one to do it.

Let's hope that this can work in the long term.

Anyone else Bullet Journal?

Disclaimer:  My Bullet Journal is the most boring looking journal ever.... hence the lack of picture.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What a long, strange trip this is


I've been at my current job for 6 years.  For five of them my coworker had been going to chemotherapy and away for periods both long and short.  For the last year my worst fear was that one day she'd leave, leaving me to pick up the work-pieces.

That happened last month.  She passed, after letting things slide for two months.  She passed, and left me to pick up the work-pieces.  My worst fear came true.

I think in the last few weeks I think I've called every department on campus asking about outstanding paperwork or if money has already been requested.  I've run up against things that I don't know how to do.  I've run up against things that multiple departments don't know how to do.  I've spent a lot of the last few weeks feeling dumb.  I've spent the last few weeks thinking that I'm close to being caught up and remembering a pile of undone tasks.
Frankly, I'm surprised that I haven't decided to say "screw it all" and have a cake for dinner. I deserve a medal for all of that willpower.  I'm even managing to work out almost every morning!

I know that eventually this will end.  Eventually the fiscal year will end, wiping the slate clean.  Eventually we'll hire someone to take over the extra tasks that I have to do.

Thankfully, the panic attacks aren't as frequent.  I no longer want to spend weekends in a blanket fort.  (Well, most weekends anyways..)

Can I got to Disney World yet?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Iron Fist....yeah...

So Iron Fist dropped this weekend.

And the critics hated it!!

We've been watching it, and while we're only through episode 9 or so, I've been enjoying it!  It's not a masterpiece, but it's good TV watching.

I had thoughts about it from the beginning when they cast a white guy.  But in bullet form, my thoughts on Iron Fist:

  • Why did they have to cast a white guy?  We've done the "white guy learns martial arts and saves us all" genre to death.  There's absolutely nothing keeping them from not casting an Asian or biracial actor.  It would give another character to a very under represented population.
  • They way they wrote Danny's character just annoyed the hell out of me.  He's too naive to be believed! (I know.. 15 years in a monastery, but still!) (EDITED TO ADD: And the complete 180 at the end? Can he someday soon find a happy medium?)  Maybe we're all jaded because we've already met everyone, but at times I want to take him home and feed him a cookie and give him a long talking to.  And slap the kid every time he bring up his parents.
  • And can we get more of Colleen and Claire?  I like them better than him most of the time.  (I'm not going to get into the sex scene... dude has moves, but unless he's been throwing it to the lady-monks he's never touched a girl... ever...)
    from money.cnn.com
  • I'm also missing his motivation.  He's the Iron Fist, the Defender of K'un-Lun, one of the Seven Cities of Heaven.  Isn't he supposed to be THERE?  What happened?  Did the mist clear and he come running out of K'un-Lun singing about wanting adventure in the great wide somewhere?  They could have done a better job with his motivations.
  • In fact, the Meechams come across a bit "caricature"ish.  Also, there's a lot of time spent at Rand Enterprises, watching Danny good-deed himself out of a job.  And that wan't the best use of time.
from Cinemablend
Have a feeling that Iron Fist was a victim of a time crunch..  I know that contractually the Defenders needed to air this summer, and for that to happen Iron Fist had to come first.  The scripts could have used a but more time to flush things out.

I'm hoping that the writing team is looking at the criticism and taking notes as to how they can improve.  There are some critics that say that the series is terrible.  It's not.  But there is room for improvement!

If you don't believe me, Emergency Awesome agrees with me.  Here's his thoughts:  (And I ESPECIALLY Agree with the Into the West comparison!)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

OMG French Fries!

Or: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Passmember Preview Day.

Every year before the park opens for the year the Passmember are invited in for a day.  There usually is a presentation and we get the park to ourselves.

This year's presentation gave us some interesting information:

  • The new coaster, InvadR, opens April 7th.  
  • The Food and Wine Festival has 1 extra weekend and has 3 new booths: India, Mediterranean and Frozen Tropical Drinks.  (That last one... oh yeah....). I wonder if they are taking any booths away.  Time will tell about that one.
  • There is going to be a kid's Halloween event (during the day) this year. 
  • There is another Howl-O-Scream surprise.  I heard the show Fiends had its last show last season.. so maybe a new show?
  • Europe in the Air is gone forever.  Next year we get an Ireland-themed VR ride.  (I'm not a coaster person.. so this is big!
  • There's 2 new shows:  Britmania and OctoberZest.  I'm hoping that the British Invasion show is good!
  • And there's a new place to eat!  Les Frites!  It's a restaurant that serves fancy French Fries!  OMG!  
I LOVE French fries!  We decided to try the Smokehouse and the Irish fries.  The Irish fries weren't that great, but the Smokehouse Fries will be my new go-to lunch!  OMG!
Irish on the left, Smokehouse on the right

We walked around the park, but was dismayed by the lack of the animals.  I heard that they were going, but it was so sad!  The sheep, cows, goats and the conservation area are all gone.  Even my favorite tortoise us gone!  (He's at Bluebird Gap Farm now, I was told)

Before the big InvadR reveal, we decided to finally get our wood plaque for the door.  I need clear tabs to hang it, but we're official now.
I need to order some clear 3M Command strips!

On the way out to the car, we stopped by to see the new coaster's art.  Wow!  That's great!

I must say, I look forward to Preview Day every year.  This year didn't disappoint.  I'm waiting for the shows to open for the season.

And of course I'm counting the days until Food and Wine!!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (There may be a spoiler or two)

We just got back from an advanced (Well, by three hours or so) showing of Beauty and the Beast.

I'd say that there will be spoilers, but except for some more flushed out details, the plot is exactly the same as the animated movie.
from comingsoon.net

But here are my thoughts:

from etonline

Belle has always resonated with so many women because of her intelligence.  In a world of tradition and old rural values, here is this woman that has a mind of her own.  She seeks knowledge and uses her critical thinking skills.  Emma Watson embodies those traits.  She's not going to win a Tony for her singing, but she makes up for it.







from movieweb.net
I always thought the animated Gaston was a bit too much to be believable.  He had everything turned up to 11.  Luke Evens gives the character depth, while in some ways turning up the evil.  They added a verse to the Mob Song that proves how devious he is (not to mention leaving Maurice for dead!):

[GASTON]
Call it war, call it threat
You can bet they all will follow
For in times like this, they'll do just as I say

[LEFOU]
There's a beast running wild, there's no question
But I fear the wrong monster's released

from comingsoon.net

Lefou.  In the animated feature this character was a bumbling idiot.  By making him gay and in love with Gaston it gives a reasoning for what he does.  And he manages to redeem himself at the end.

And the guy gives some serious shade at times!







from today.com

The Beast.  Does this guy even have a name?  The CGI was a bit much at times.  He looked like an animated character.  (Though in closeups it was better).  By filling in some of those plot holes and filling out his backstory it helps give weight to his character.  And who knew that Matthew Crawley could sing??




As for the talking furnishings.  I loved them.  Seriously, Be Our Guest was worth the price of admission.  (Watch it.  Does Belle even get to eat?)  I almost jumped up to applaud!

This movie isn't a new take on the animated classic.  It more of fleshing it out and making it a better movie.  I adored this movie when I was younger.  I still enjoyed the original.  I love this version.  I like this MUCH better than the Cinderella remake!

I enjoyed every moment!  Go see it now!!