Monday, July 23, 2018

Welcome to the Video Game Jungle

Began the morning with breakfast and disco. I have a soft spot for disco, probably stemming from it being the music of my very early childhood. I was born in 1979, when it was still at the height of it's popularity. The Bee Gees' Greatest Hits 2-disc LP set has some of the most emblematic music of that era, including "Stayin' Alive," "How Deep Is Your Love," "Jive Talkin'," and "Night Fever."

Worked on writing for the next hour and a half or so. Leia's beginning to have feelings for Harry, especially since he seems to have softened on helping her out with her research. She's not entirely sure about their trip to Bespin on the French Mediterranean coach, especially when local traffic control gives them a hard time about landing.

Had a quick blueberry smoothie lunch while watching The Backyardigans. "The Heart of the Jungle" has scientist Uniqua trying to get Sherman the Worman (one of the bright-colored worm-like critter who appear on the show from time to time) to his home in the jungle. Pablo, Austin, and Tyrone insist on guiding her. Each of them have a specific trait based after Tarzan in various media - Tyrone can talk to animals, Pablo is strong, and Austin has a limited vocabulary. Uniqua has no time for their pulp fiction nonsense, until she runs into something even she can't handle on the jungle floor.

There was an envelope sitting outside the door to Charlie's side of the house when I started out for work. It stated that those electricians who were here yesterday had been putting in a second meter for my side of the house. I have to call PSE&G and set up an account. Oh great. I thought they were just checking the outlets in the house! So much for being able to actually save money. That's never going to happen now. I put the note aside and headed out to work. I'd deal with it later.

Work, thankfully, went a lot better than it did yesterday. Though I did end up in the register briefly once, we mostly weren't that busy. I did the trash inside and out early on, but I mostly gathered baskets and carts and shelved loose items. It showered on and off, but never heavily or for longer than a few minutes. High winds and killer humidity were more of a problem.

Had a quick leftovers dinner as soon as I got home and changed. Watched the second half of another Backyardigans adventure story, "High Tea," while I ate. Uniqua, Tyrone, and Pablo are disappointed when Tasha suggests a tea party instead of something obviously exciting. They complain a lot less when they discover that Tasha's idea of a "tea party" means going to Borneo for tea leaves, to the grumpy Emperor Austin of China for cups and dishes, and to the Gobi Desert for boiling water to brew the perfect cup of tea.

I've decided that, instead of playing video games when I get home from work or late in the afternoon after I've worked on writing, I'm going to do research and try to figure out what to do about everything that's happened. First on the list was calling Rose. I told her that Charlie's started on the porch (though it's stalled right now, thanks to the weather), and what happened with Willa and the electricity. I really need her to call me back by tomorrow to see if I have to make that account or not.

The problem is, I'll research and research and look up and list great ideas, but then I get cold feet and never actually do any of them. All the work at home ideas just don't seem right. I also have a hard time breaking a task down into smaller tasks. I just want to get everything done, and I frequently have no idea where to begin. I really need to find something. I desperately need money, and soon.

Switched to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle after a shower to cheer myself up a bit. The premise is somewhat the same as the original film and book. Four very different teenagers find themselves transported into the world of a jungle game and end up helping another player who's been trapped there for twenty years. Nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff) becomes tough-guy archaeologist Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), football player Fridge (Ser'Darius Blaine) becomes short zoologist Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Kevin Hart), smart and mouthy Martha (Morgan Turner) becomes martial artist Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillian), and bratty blond Bethany (Madison Iseman) is horrified to learn that she's Sheldon "Shelly" Oberon (Jack Black), a diminutive intellectual. They learn from narrator Nigel (Rhys Darby) that they have to return the Jaguar's Eye, a cursed emerald, to a jaguar statue and call "Jumanji." It was stolen by Russell Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale), who has it's power to control animals. This odd group has to figure out how to work with each other and help another character who's trapped in the game (Nick Jonas) to find their way home.

What I like about this is the realistic video game dynamics. Everyone starts with three lives. When you lose them all, you're done - for good. It plays like a video game from the mid-90's, with a complicated mystery set-up and "levels" for the group to complete. It's a lot of fun, and a tad less cheesy than the original 1995 film with Robin Williams that stuck with the board game from the book.

This was a huge hit last winter, with only Last Jedi making more money around Christmas. If you've got older kids who are gaming fans or fans of jungle adventures like the Indiana Jones series, or you love the cast or the first movie, you may want to look into this one as well.

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