I began a late morning with banana pancakes and more Rick Steves. We headed to the French countryside to explore their Dordogne area. The main attractions here are a quiet river, well-preserved medieval towns, and cave paintings from an advanced prehistoric society that were literally some of the first art ever.
Hurried out to get the laundry done around quarter of noon. I should have gotten up earlier. They were packed when I got in. I barely got a washer. And of course, by the time I was leaving, they were nearly empty. I had a really big laundry load too, including towels. I passed the time working on story notes and ignoring soap operas.
When I got home, I quickly put everything away, ate soup for lunch really fast, then rushed back out. I was only about five minutes late for counseling. I told her about how I've gotten my ID and my birth certificate (both of which I needed under any circumstances anyway) and am pretty proud of myself there. Wish I could say the same for the rest of my family. This isn't the first time people close to me have said they'd help, then took forever to do so (or even forgot). That's why I prefer to do things myself. Almost everyone I know is annoyingly unorganized. Even Rose has said she envies my organizational skills.
Also, I told her I intend to take Linda Young up on the convention idea. Like I said, I'm hoping to meet fans who are a tad less...rabid...than one finds online. See the thing is...I like everything. With American Girl, I don't care if the dolls are from the 80's or now, or if their clothes aren't 100% period accurate. And while The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie, I don't hate any of them, even the prequels.
Maybe the Jedi have something about attachments. I'm not so attached to the way things were that I can't enjoy the way they are. American Girl just released a whole batch of new modern characters, including the boy people have wanted from them for years. While I find the modern girl Tenney Grant to be a bland doll despite her interesting music-focused story, the Girl of the Year Gabriella McBride has a unique story and is a lovely doll, and they finally re-released Felicity, in a gorgeous blue gown to boot. Plus the few pictures I've seen of their next new historical character - Nanea, a Hawaiian girl living in Pearl Harbor when it's attacked in 1941 - are beautiful, the prettiest doll AG has made in years. (And I don't care if the panties are painted on or fabric. No one is going to see them.)
Likewise with Star Wars. Yes, I like Han, Leia, and (to a lesser degree) Luke, and I probably always will. But I've also enjoyed seeing the fanfiction people have come up with for Poe, Finn, and especially Rey. After the initial shock, Han Solo's death didn't bother me. It's fiction, and I accept that. As I mentioned, I don't think the older characters were treated badly, either, just realistically. Was Force Awakens a masterpiece? Not by a long-shot. The villains need to be polished (I don't care how handsome the teen girls find Denhall Gleeson to be, General Hux barely had six lines and came off as a stock space Nazi) and they need to rely less on the older movies as templates. (And no more planet-destroying weapons. Ever.)
Mrs. Stahl agreed with Linda that attending conventions and meeting people who also love the same things I do would be good for me. She does continue to insist that I get social security and that there's something wrong with me beyond basic personality disorder. If it is, it's something they haven't discovered yet. I've read over every damn mental disorder and disease and whatever I can find, and I don't fit any of them besides a few of the anxiety disorders.
I don't get it. They tell me to be myself...but when I'm myself, I'm told I have something wrong with my brain, that I have some kind of mental problem. What do they want?
Cheered myself up with a water ice from Primo's in Westmont on the ride home. Despite the on-and-off clouds and chilly breeze, it was relatively warm, in the upper 60's by 3PM. I went with chocolate peanut butter, which I enjoyed outside. It was decent, not very chocolate-tasting, but with lots of real peanut butter. I just avoided the crowds. A group of pre-teen girls buying ice cream cones had just left before me, and a whole gaggle of little girls came in after I was already sitting on the black metal bench outside the store. (They all came out with mint chocolate chip cones or water ice.)
Came to and from Haddonfield via Newton River Park. The park is starting to show the first signs of spring. Daffodils, jonquils, and crocus are popping up in every yard. Tufts of bright green grass are pushing through the old, dry brown places, and the trees are showing the first signs of tiny leaves. Needless to say, they were busy with joggers, dog-walkers, and people out for walks and pushing their children in strollers both times.
When I got home, I revised my story a bit. The khyber crystals are now being used to power not just any steam engines, but the wonder of the age - airships! Tarkin asks Leia to come see the launch of the Death Star, Coruscant's newest and greatest - and only flying - warship. Bail agrees. Leia protests...until he tells her she can get the plans for the warship from the two surviving members of the team that stole it.
Jodi called while I was working. She need some information...because yes, she did finally call the doctor. Now she needed to turn in paperwork and get more information.
Finished the night out with an improvised chicken stir fry made from bagged vegetables, canned chicken, mushrooms, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and water. Watched Let Freedom Ring as I ate. Nelson Eddy's only major solo outing without a female partner was this unusual semi-musical western. He's lawyer Steve Logan, who comes home from back east to discover that his father's (Lionel Barrymore) farm is under siege by a greedy railroad baron who's trying to build through his land. Steve cozies up to the baron and his Irish henchman (Victor MacLaghlan), which alienates his sweetheart. What he's really doing is publishing newspapers against the railroad and its corrupt owner. Matters come to a head on Election Day, when Steve reminds everyone that freedom means being able to make your own choices...including the ones about who you vote for and what your rights are.
And Lauren had a good suggestion. She wants to get together in July this year. I'm wary of putting so little time between vacations after I was broke after the last one...but she suggested asking for the tickets for my birthday instead of gifts. I like that. A round-trip ticket from Saturday to Saturday costs a little over $150. They bought me that suitcase, anyway. Might as well use it. Also, we both learned our lesson last year. This year, we're going to try to find things to do that cost less, and buy fewer things and do more window shopping.