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13 March 2012 @ 11:31 pm
I'm scurrying to Read All The Things for LJ Idol (votes due a day early), and haven't made any progress on finishing my taxes or actually booking motels for Spring Break. :(

However, I did make it to a plant nursery this weekend, and discovered that early March isn't an especially good time for that. But we got a flowering (purple) magnolia tree and a replacement rose-tree out of it, and some blueberry bushes. So, not a total loss.

I finished Mockingjay (the final Hunger Games book) on Saturday. I was sad about where some of that final story-arc went, but not because those were bad choices on the author's part. I also finished The Finer Points Of Sausage Dogs (funnier than the first in that series, I think. Professor Dr von Igelfeld's obtuseness is more gloriously aggressive in the middle book).

We went to Christopher's basketball game on Sunday, which his team narrowly lost. Here's what I don't understand. When he was younger, we had to talk him down from being overly competitive, because he was alienating other kids. Now, he'll mope about his team losing but he's not really doing all he can to help them win. Far from it—you have to peptalk him into playing with any sort of fire at all. I don't get it. He has far more talent than he shows in games (the shooting thing is awful—he's a star in practice, and chokes in competition). I've talked to him several times about how much you can change the game just by sheer effort—blocks, rebounds, steals, defense, opportunity—and while he understands that, he typically doesn't enact it.

Boy. I didn't have half his talent when I played, but I put everything I had into it. Dave Twardzik was my hero, proof positive that modest talent and extreme effort can often trump superhuman ability.

How did this kid who was such a fierce player when he was younger become such a noodle? It's the lack of trying that gets me, and he goes nuts at lunchtime b-ball but then fades into the background during rec-league play. *headdesk*

We're catching up on Once Upon A Time, at least as far as 1) Belle was an Aussie? and 2) Mary Margaret is a tramp? Which is to say, still 2-3 episodes behind. Nitpick: the show puts so much effort into the art and sets, and yet slips up on continuity such as having a princess ask, "Are you okay?" Ouch.

All right, time to make lunch and go to bed. Must finish off the remaining LJ Idol entries tomorrow. Still on page 3, but I see the end in sight...

Maerhysmaerhys on March 14th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
Everyone's finishing the trilogy now! Makes me want to re-read.... perhaps I will. ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
I so enjoyed the whole thing-- SO inventive, in so many respects, especially in the horror of expecting children to fight to the death (as pawns, to remind their parents to behave) and the excruciating triviality of the people in the Capitol who view the whole thing as entertainment. It's so grindingly inhumane that it's perfect.
Jaguarkittydesade on March 14th, 2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Not all that much effort into the art and sets. Don't look too closely at Rumplestiltskin's walking wheel in Skin Deep, there's a weird depth/perspective error in the CGI that means the platform/rug it's sitting on is basically up on the wall. Like a bad video game. Drove me nuts until I realized it wasn't just me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
I guess I'm thinking more of the artistic design-- the Queen's castle in particular, and the Mayor's house. Really striking use of color and shape, very distinctive.

But on the flip side, look at Prince Charming's too-short hair, which doesn't at all belong in a setting like this-- or the Queen's leather-pants-under-bustle ensemble. WTH? :0
Jaguarkittydesade on March 14th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
There's that, it's true. And I'm particularly fond of Rumple and Mary Margaret's costume changes from one world to the next. The leather pants doesn't bother me nearly so much as the terribad CGI mostly, though. Or the atrociously cliche writing in some episodes.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Or the atrociously cliche writing in some episodes.

The Disney-only chipped cup in the Beauty and Beast story really bugged me (as if that story never existed before Disney!), but OTOH, there was the surprise of finding out that Sydney was once the genie in the lamp-- which I loved!
Jaguarkittydesade on March 14th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
My latest pet peeve is in one of the episodes you haven't hit yet, but the Sydney episode ... I will give them credit for a suitably twisty ending with regard to Regina and Sydney, but the genie was so damned dumb. I had no sympathy for anyone in the Story-book world in that episode, everyone seemed to be fighting for control of the idiot ball.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
but the genie was so damned dumb.
I was more pained by how wrong he was to betray the King's freeing of him.

And the Queen... how could you not realize that she loved only herself? Everything is always about her and her dissatisfaction with the world. Even now...
Jaguarkittydesade on March 14th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
That second one. Dumb, dumb, dumb. And while I can make a justification of bitterness at all those years of slavery for the betrayal, that only works if they actually put in the effort to show, through word choice and blocking and so on, that there's some underlying emotional or even thought out cause. As opposed to "I have suddenly lost all my independence of thought because of this woman now I will blindly follow her every command." with absolutely no reason whatsoever. Ugh.

The mirror thing seemed to be the only bit of justified idiodicy he did. That seemed to me to be exactly the kind of dumbass wish a person would make, even knowing how such wishes often turn out. More heat of the moment.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
That seemed to me to be exactly the kind of dumbass wish a person would make, even knowing how such wishes often turn out.
Yes! That really was pretty glorious-- a result that in no way resembles what you meant, but technically matches the literal content of your wish.

Have you ever read My Fair Godmother? It deals with that extensively, mainly because the Fairy Godmother-in-training is rather lazy and tends to morph all wishes toward the closest fairytale approximation that will twist them and make them hellish for the Wisher. And there are some funny twists, such as the idea that Snow White is incredibly simple-minded and the Dwarves are actually taking care of her. :D
the key of the day and the lock of the nightlocknkey on March 14th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I totally need to pick your gardening brain. Some of my things are coming back and I bought seeds and pansies, but I'm totally shooting int he dark - LOL!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 14th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Happy to help! I know this climate much better than I'd probably like, now! :D
the key of the day and the lock of the night: heartclocklocknkey on March 14th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'll e-mail soon. Sick now, so I'm not going digging in the rain. :)

Also need to find someone to hire to till some areas.

How come so little time?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 15th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
Isn't that always the way? I swear that having a job, being in college, or having kids makes it all worse.

Having 2/3 or 3/3 is even harder!

Hope you're feeling better soon. I was sick all last week, and so tire. I'm finally feeling like myself again, and not like I should have hung on to that inhaler from a few years back. :0
nodressrehersalnodressrehersal on March 15th, 2012 01:01 pm (UTC)
We've had the mildest winter in recorded history here in western NY state (suburb of Buffalo) and I'm having a hard time believing/trusting that what I'm seeing outside might actually be the beginning hints of Spring! But still, no planting here until May, usually, because of the threat of frost. But so many of my perennials are peeking out - I can see my bleeding heart, for cryin' out loud!

And about the b'ball thing - could it be that he doesn't enjoy it competitively anymore, that he likes the fun part but not the winning/losing part? One of our boys was very talented, hockey, roller hockey, baseball... but he had zero instincts for the games. Skills, but no instincts, so he was frustrating for the coaches, they couldn't figure out why he didn't anticipate and react and thrive. We figured out he just wasn't that into it, despite his skill, and that was that for team sports.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 15th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, the frost threat must be such a pain! We're usually past that by late February, but have to keep an eye out for extreme windiness. That can suck the moisture right out of a new plant, and unfortunately it also makes planting anything from shallow seeds nearly impossible. You need a kitchen greenhouse kit to get that to work, unless the seeds are at least 1/2" down.

Christopher still has a competitive streak, but it's not motivating him to be competitive in the rec league, which is frustrating. I'm sure part of the problem is that he's 12, and this year went from being at the top of the 5th/6th-grade division to the bottom grade of the 7th/8th-grade division. He's nowhere near puberty, and most of the 8th graders (and some 7th graders) are like an alien species to him.

One thing I wish I'd done more of, in retrospect, is to have him watch more basketball on TV. He always used to have a lot of game smarts, but basketball doesn't always stick with him the way football does (he's a Madden fiend, and at this point probably knows as much about football as my obsessed father).

Wish our rec-league season didn't end just as March Madness was beginning! That'll suck you right in, and he translates what he sees into strategic thinking really well. His sister... she can watch someone do something, and then be stymied when it's her turn, as if she has no "body smarts" at all. I don't understand THAT either, but my younger sister says her oldest is even worse-- didn't learn to ride a bike until age 11. Holy cow.

So, if you can't plant (and you must be itching too), what are you doing with your non-Idol time? I feel the constant call of the yard, just to prune things back and do cleanup, though I'll get a forced reprieve this weekend due to continuing, endless raaaain.
nodressrehersalnodressrehersal on March 15th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
Well, before I ran my own business as an organizer, I was an accountant - with tax season, I NEVER got to spend any time in the gardens before April 15th!

The time I spent on Idol really wasn't available time, so a lot of other things were set aside. I've been catching up and doing what I should've been doing all those weeks! I really liked the prompt to write, but NOT reading all those entries every week.

Honestly, there were maybe a dozen writers I consistently enjoyed, but felt obligated to read them all, since I hoped for the same from the other participants.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 15th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I enjoy the writing as well, though it can be a real challenge!

But the reading... good lord, I never thought we'd be slogging through so many entries for so long. Right around 100 for this last round, 18 weeks in, which... >-o

Makes me feel as dead as that little emoticon.

There are some writers I consistently enjoy, and some are hit-or-miss. Some write very well but dodge the prompt, and there are still others who have never responded to any comments I've left and/or never commented on any of my entries. I don't know _what_ to make of that.

I'll bet you're glad not to be doing taxes anymore, just for the insane flurry of work concentrating itself into some 3-4 months of insanity every year. Ouch!