Friday, March 15, 2013

Wreck It Ralph Fever

I awoke to the sound of a ringing phone. Yes, it was the Acme. Could I come in two hours early, at 3PM? No. Not after I worked 8 1/2 hours yesterday! I'd come in at 4PM. I still had grocery shopping to do, too. I just hurt so darn much. I had a lot of hours this week as it is.

Spent the rest of the morning after I finished with my journal watching Wreck It Ralph. This Oscar-nominated animated film was Disney's big movie for last fall. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villainous character in the 80s arcade game Fix It Felix Jr. He's getting tired of destroying buildings that Felix (John McBrayer) fixes, then getting thrown off the building by the residents. It's not that he doesn't like his job. He just wants  some acknowledgement from the other game characters. In order to get a medal - and Felix's attention - he flees first to the first-person shooter Hero's Duty, then to an anime-inspired racing game called Sugar Rush. Ralph's game isn't playable without Ralph, so Felix goes after him. While Felix encounters the gung-ho Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), Ralph befriends Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a rather bratty "glitch" in Sugar Rush who wants to race with the other characters. Meanwhile, a monster bug from Calhoun's game followed Ralph into Sugar Rush, and its ability to regenerate may allow it to do far more damage than Ralph ever could...

By far Disney's best movie in years. This is one of the few animated movies that felt like it really inhabited my history, my world. I was born just as video games were starting to take off. Growing up at the Jersey Shore, I wouldn't live more than 20 minutes from a decent arcade until college. Heck, when I encountered QBert again in the arcade in the basement of the Wildwood Boardwalk Mall, I had to play a few rounds, even though I've always been pretty bad at it. There's gaming cameos going out the wazoo - some of the ones I actually recognized in addition to QBert included Sonic, Pac-Man and the ghost Clyde, Bowser, and a couple of guys from Street Fighter.

The original characters are awesome, too. Reilly's lovable lug who learns a lesson in true heroics is well done. Silverman's feisty tomboy is annoying and hard to like at first, but I warmed up to her, especially once I started to figure out along with Ralph who she really was. Lynch was a riot as the queen-of-action-cliches Calhoun. McBrayer's Felix was sweet and very funny when paired with Calhoun and her temper.

Critics complained about some obvious product placement, especially in Sugar Rush. Honestly, I didn't really notice that much, and it's likely most kids won't, either. This may be the first Disney movie in years that can truly be enjoyed by all ages - little kids will love some mild toilet humor, teens who can be talked into it may relate to Ralph and Vanellope's misfit status, adults my age will enjoy the video game references, older adults might like the unusual plot. Highly recommended.

I finally made it to the grocery store around 1PM. I could understand the fussing earlier. It was mobbed. I was lucky to find a line that wasn't really long. First of all, we're still in the midst of spring cleaning. Second, St. Patrick's Day is Sunday; many people were probably preparing for their St. Patty's Day dinners. Third, we're once again having big sales this weekend. I made use of a dollar produce sale to pick up scallions, grape tomatoes, and small containers of pomegranate juice; also needed apples, blood oranges, and bananas. Found a salmon filet with a manager's coupon that was a decent price. I'd have it for lunch. Needed to replace canola oil, toilet paper, canned Italian wedding soup (thought I'd try the new Campbell's that's the least processed possible), and wraps. Since I actually have money now, I decided to return to using whole wheat flour for my baked goods; good thing Hodgeson's was on sale.

When I got home, I put everything away, made the Salmon with Green Beans and Almonds and sauteed winter vegetables for lunch. Ran a couple of spring and Easter-oriented Max and Ruby episodes while I ate. In "Max's Chocolate Chicken," Ruby searches for the eggs the Easter Bunny hid...but Max just wants to eat the chocolate chicken left as a prize. We have a similar scenario in "Max's Picnic," only this time, it's cupcakes that Max wants and can't have, and Ruby and her best friend Louise are bird-watching. "Max's Apple" is a sweeter variation. Max keeps asking Ruby for apples, disrupting the hand-clap game she's playing with Louise. We don't find out until the end why Max wants so many apples, although anyone who's been listening to the girls' game might have a good idea.

Work was, indeed, very busy tonight. It didn't help that we're not only short-handed, but short-registered. The first three and last few registers were being cleaned. It's a mess up front, with cleaning products and buckets of cleaning fluid everywhere. I don't know why they couldn't have found people to do it at night, when the store was closed, instead of trying to do it between customers two weeks before Easter. Thank heavens it slowed down enough by the time I was finished to go straight home.

I have a better schedule next week, too. While I do have one 7-hour day, it's not nearly as late as Thursday. I work much earlier as well - the latest I work is 9. I also have two days off, but we'll see how long that lasts. The last two weeks I've had more than one day off, I've been called in on the extra day.

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