Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Television Pet Peeves

I really like NCIS New Orleans. I love Scott Bakula, I love C.C.H. Pounder, I love Lucas Black (creepy child actor grows up and becomes surprisingly hot and speaks with a delicious New Orleans southern drawl) and Daryl Mitchell. The setting is really fun. I watch the original NCIS but for some reason I've never gotten into the Los Angeles one. They're all among the few shows that actually stay on On Demand in their entirety (rather than the earlier episodes disappearing, which I find infuriating), so I usually catch up on a half-dozen episodes all at once when I'm spending the day cooking or cleaning.

So here's the thing about NCIS NO though: Bakula plays Dwayne Pride, the Agent in Charge of the New Orleans office. He is, predictably, a real stand-up guy, a little intense - okay, a lot intense, to the point of self-destructiveness. It's a well-known type (in sad fact, it's making me like the show a little less just thinking about this more closely). I'm getting a little weary, this season, of the storylines hammering heavily on Pride-is-off-the-rails, particularly because it kind of felt like we just had that storyline and just as we were getting back to normal, here we are again.

The other point is, like many mainstream dramas involving law enforcement or medical personnel, friends and family of the main characters are involved in the plot lines way more than is statistically likely. This seems to make the whole question of "why does Pride get over-involved" even more ludicrous - like, duh, he gets over-involved and breaks the rules because it's his best friend's daughter/best man/boyfriend/college pal/ex-husband who's in trouble. Despite the whole notion that it's better to have an objective, detached doctor or police person handling your case, the idea of being looked after by someone who will never, ever give up is irresistibly romantic and dramatic - I get that. But drawing attention to it kind of shakes the fourth wall too much, if you know what I mean.

Also, is anybody really sick of the "I went through something traumatic but I don't need any help, I'm FINE" shtick? Wouldn't it be really refreshing if they would just say "yeah, that was intense, man. I should probably talk to someone BEFORE I alienate all my friends/develop a drinking problem/ cross paths with a murderous criminal in my vulnerable state". Yeah, I know it's unrealistic. I'm just tired of watching the same old pattern.

Monday, November 20, 2017

City Champs

So last Tuesday evening was the city volleyball final for Angus's school team. He told us not to go last year and then told us we should have come because it was really exciting. So naturally I decided we would go this year if they made it that far. And naturally Matt was in Japan when it happened.

It was November, and cold, and dark, and I wanted to leave the house about as much as I wanted to french kiss a cactus, but I love my son and I am always trying to be less weird, so off I went.

It went well. My contacts were untroublesome, so I could read all the signs well. The route was extremely circuitous and downtown, which I don't like, but the traffic was fine and I got there easily. I found the gym with some difficulty (it was on the third floor, which seems weird, doesn't it?) It hadn't occurred to me that there would be an admission fee, and it was three dollars and I only had a fifty - cue feeling like an absolute tool. They were nice about it, and I don't think there were many people coming in behind me, so hopefully the fact that I pretty much cleaned out their change tray was okay. I stifled the urge to tell them just to keep the change - the urge was definitely there, because I hate inconveniencing people, especially polite teen-agers, but I stifled it.

I thought that one person I know might be there, because both her kids are big into volleyball and one of them plays on the team. I managed to find her and squish in beside her and her husband, so now I wasn't totally alone either. I managed not to ask a million questions about what was happening, which was difficult, because, look - I learned the rules for baseball I learned most of the rules for baseball I learned some of the rules for baseball. That was the agreement. I did NOT learn volleyball.

It was an almost perfect game in the movie sense - our team won the first two periods sets, but narrowly. The other team pulled ahead significantly in the third set and then won. The fourth set was close again, and then our team started pulling ahead coming up to the final points. There were a bunch of kids from the school that came on a fan bus, and they all stood up for the final point and then rushed the court. Angus didn't play very much, which always means Matt and I make noises about how it's great for him to play for a team where all the pressure isn't on him and we think it will be relaxing watching the game because it's not all on our kid, and then we both freak out and hyperventilate anyway. It was an exciting game and I was glad I was there, even though I had to climb over a few vexing neurosis obstacles to get there.

I got a picture after of Angus with a teammate who has the same last name - the other kid also plays baseball, and I was watching him play in the district final trying to get to the Little League World Series the year after Angus's team had and when the kid came up to bat an enthusiastic boy of about ten in the bleachers behind me told his brother with great authority that that was "the brother of Angus Adams". I couldn't quite figure out how to phrase my rebuttal of his statement, so I just let it go. Here they are - the Adams Brothers.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Shrew-Taming and Trivia

So as a direct result of seeing the play on Thursday night, Eve and I watched 10 Things I Hate About You and I now have half a dozen versions of Cruel to Be Kind on my ipod. I am now, predictably, sad again about Heath Ledger. But I'd forgotten that the hilariously irate English teacher was played by Daryl "Chill" Mitchell. I really liked him in Ed (one of my very favourite tv shows ever), where he plays a bowling alley manager who's in a wheelchair. At some point - I don't even remember if it was before or after a really moving episode they did about his life in the chair - I found out that he had actually been paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 2000. He's still acting (in NCIS New Orleans) and clearly thriving, but it was weird to see him standing in the movie. In the play it was a short little black kid that Eve likes - they had to give him a box to stand on behind the teaching lectern. He did a great job.

World Trivia Night was fun and edifying and crushing to any pretensions of wide-ranging knowledge, as usual. Predictably, other than a couple of Shakespeare questions, the one answer I knew that nobody else did was Hannah Montana - not even just tv-related, TWEEN tv-related. I was not proud of that. Okay, I was a little proud. The last category was called Badly-Written Questions, and every question had two answers. We tanked it badly, but it was very clever and kind of mind-blowing. Apparently, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died on the same day (well not exactly, but it's recorded that way). Anthony Hopkins obviously played Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, but I had to rack my brains to remember that he also cooked human flesh in Titus. And then there was the question about a woman whose father was decapitated in a movie-set helicopter accident and grew up to become a successful actress. We figured it had to be twins, or at least sisters. Nope - it was Jennifer Jason Leigh and Katey Sagal. Both born in L.A., both actresses, both lost fathers to horrific movie-set helicopter decapitation accidents. How does that happen, and who came up with that question?

After two weeks, we're finally all home, which is nice. Eve has a horrible rash on her feet and can't really walk, which is not, but at least I'm not dealing with it alone. In general, I feel better than I felt at the beginning of last year, and even the bad days last week mostly ended better than they started. So that's good.

Got a reminder of 2014's post on Facebook today, and I can't help feeling like I can't quite hit my stride like that here anymore, and wondering why.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Day 17

World Trivia Night is over, Eve made a legendary club sandwich in cooking class today and we might get thirty centimetres of snow this weekend. However, that would mean it would happen just after my husband gets home from Japan, rather than just after he leaves, which is how it usually goes. Grateful for that. Good night. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 16

I went to see the play at Eve's school because her friends are in it. I went alone because she was supposed to have basketball practice tonight, but when they got there the gym was full of stupid ball hockey so they didn't, which is annoying because she was planning to go tomorrow night, and I can't go tomorrow night because of World Trivia Night (right Lynn?) So this is my week for going places alone at night and feeling like a big loser.


The play was pretty good and now I have to watch 10 Things I Hate About You tomorrow and feel sad about Heath Ledger. Also, I got home and Eve told me that the girl who played Kat broke up with the guy who played Joey halfway through the play and then she could have a real kiss with the guy who played Patrick instead of one where she stuck her thumbs in between their lips. So. There's your real drama.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Non-Wordless Wednesday Because I Feel Like Talking After All

Going to take the tip from Nicole, post twice today and say it makes up for the day I missed.

So the other day on a Facebook group I follow - it's called something like Fat Loss Without Deprivation, but so far I'm just using it to deprogram from my fucked-up relationship with food - someone said something like "it's still really hard to think of eating as fueling myself for my activities rather than thinking of exercising as punishing myself for eating". I didn't gasp in recognition or anything, just nodded in recognition.

Then today I took Lucy for a walk because our cleaning lady was here and it makes Lucy lose her mind and it's really embarrassing, and I'd planned to get out for a walk anyway.

I headed out on our usual route. About fifteen minutes in, I realized I wasn't really enjoying myself. I felt like I was just wishing for the walk to be over soon. This seemed a little weird. It was quite nice out - brighter after the unrelenting grayness of the past few days, briskly cool the way I like it. Lucy wasn't being an asshole. All the old people who had commented on how underdressed I was for the weather had done so nicely and humorously. What was the deal?

Ah. That was it. I was walking faster than was comfortable. You know, to burn more calories and make the walk 'worth it'. I've been kind of achy this week - hips, lower back, feet. I'm overdue for a chiropractor appointment and not young, or light. And walking fast was painful and exhausting.

So I slowed down. Let Lucy stop and sniff some stuff. Looked around a little. Enjoyed moving. And when I got near home, I went around the park again once more just because it felt good to be walking.

In a way it's really frustrating. I keep having to relearn the same lesson over and over again. I can't even just go for a fucking walk without it becoming a showcase for dysfunctional thinking. In a way, I guess it's good that I figured it out before I got home.

Wordless Wednesday: Found While Cleaning Out Angus's Hat and Glove Drawer, and Appropriate for November