Saturday, March 11, 2017

Video Game Girl

I slept so late, I didn't have time for much of anything but a quick breakfast before I headed to work. As it turns out, I could have slept a little longer. I thought I was supposed to be in at 10. I wasn't due until 11. I offered to come in early, but the head front end manager said he couldn't give anyone extra hours. I spent the time writing story notes and getting my schedule.

I did get tomorrow off for the toy convention in Cherry Hill. I also have Tuesday and Friday off again. (Which, given we're supposed to get snow again on Tuesday, is a good thing.) Otherwise, very strange schedule, with one very early day and one late day.

When I finally did start, I spent most of the day outside. We were very busy early on. I could hardly keep up with the carts! Thankfully, there was more help, including the head bagger. They sent her out later. It wasn't easy. Along with being cold, it was insanely windy. The carts kept blowing away. When I needed to warm up a little, I gathered baskets and cleared out the overflowing trash can in the back room.

My grocery list for this week was relatively small, but a little more expensive. I found crab cakes for dinner tonight and more ground turkey for later in the week. Bagged green beans and red potatoes were on sale, and I needed bananas, apples, and grapefruit. One of the Acme's occasional "buy 6 certain items, get $3 dollars off" sales allowed me to pick up butter, Gouda cheese, and two each of peanut butter and diced tomatoes. Restocked skim milk, green tea (found Harris on clearance), corn meal, and conditioner.

Ran some Backyardigans while I got organized. Cave-animals Tasha and Austin invite their fellow neanderthals Uniqua, Tyrone, and Pablo to the world's first cave party. The trio invent new ways of getting there faster, while Tasha and Austin create party amusements like music and ways to direct them to their cave.

Spent the rest of the afternoon working on my story. Han's manservant Charles is from the island of Kashyakk, which Naboo has invaded and plundered. His father and son are among those forced to work in the factories. Han and Luke intend to use the Lothal Arts Fair as a distraction to free them. Their use is also a bone of contention with Senator Mothma, Bail Organa, and Leia, who decry the practice of slavery, claiming they'd rather have Vader improve factory standards.

Broke at 7 to have crab cakes, green beans, and roasted red potatoes for dinner. Watched Barbie: Video Game Hero as I ate. Barbie's a video game programmer who spends her time playing her newest creation with her friends and trying to figure out the glitches. Her little sister Chelsea complains that Barbie doesn't spend time playing their favorite dance video game with her anymore, and that her game doesn't let her play the way she wants. Barbie thinks she's just being annoying...until she actually ends up inside another game. The game is being destroyed by emoji viruses. She has to play through four rounds and a bonus round, each parodying various kid-friendly video games, and make friends on the way. In the end, she learns that often winning means thinking outside of the box...and we all win when we use our strengths and work as a team.

I really had fun with this one. This was the most creative thing Mattel's done with Barbie in years. Even just the idea of her being a computer programmer breaks several gamer stereotypes, The "friends" aren't the typical loyal companions. They were programmed to win or be in a certain place, and they have to learn to work against that programming. Each level spoofs different video games (I recognized pretty obvious parodies of Mario Party, Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, Tron, Paper Mario, Mario Kart, and Candy Crush Saga, among others) with a different animation style, from 3-D to 2-D to blocky to neon. The "think outside the box" Aesop is a little forced, but not bad.

If you have a daughter who loves Barbie or the video games parodied here, I think she may enjoy this as much as I did.

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