Friday, February 06, 2015

Girl On Fire

Started the day with grits and a banana for breakfast and more Backyardigans. The kids traded slinky Mission: Impossible-style spy capers for glamorous James Bond-jet setting stories in the special "International Super Spy." Pablo is Agent Secret, who has a gadget for every occasion and likes his apple juice shaken, not stirred. He's tracking down the three canisters that may become "a recipe for disaster" if they fall into the wrong hands. Namely, the hands of the evil Lady In Pink (Uniqua) and her not-very-evil hench-moose (Tyrone). Master of disguise Austin lends Pablo a paw as he makes his way around the world, dancing and dodging Uniqua and Tyrone.

Work was on-and-off steady, helped by a sunny day and slightly warmer temperatures. I also worked earlier and finished an hour before the evening traffic began. This time, I was able to shut down with no relief and no need for one.

Went right to getting my schedule. It's not as good as next week. In good news, Monday and Saturday off again (I'll be off for Valentine's Day). In not-good news, slightly fewer hours, and though nothing later than 7, next Friday is an unusually-early-for-the-winter 9 AM. Several morning and afternoon people who have vacation time left took it this week.

I didn't really have a huge grocery order. The big one was canola oil. I ran out earlier in the week. I bought Wesson; not the greatest sale at $3.99, but I did need it. Also restocked apples, bananas, grapefruit, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and dollar-shelf soap. They had 3-packs of chicken drumsticks for $1.99 a pound; I bought two. Found those spring-themed Nestle chocolate chips I was looking for last week in a display on the end of an aisle. The clearance rack had tons of the Acme's organic brand tomato soup. For a dollar, I figured I'd try one.

When I got home, I finished out the Backyardigans, then put on Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have no sooner returned from the Games than they're taken on a Victory Tour of the districts to show off the victors. Effie (Elizabeth Banks) wishes they'd stay on script, but Katniss can't help but notice the rebellion that's growing all around her. Manipulative President Snow (Donald Sutherland) has noticed, too. He doesn't like the hope that Katniss inspires. He first increases punishment of all kinds, then announces a special Hunger Games that will call back past victors. Katniss bonds with kindly old Mags (Lynn Cohen) and tries to make friends with bitter Johanna (Jena Malone). Peeta discovers that there's more to strutting Finnick (Sam Clafin) than meets the eye. This time, the victors are older, and the spoils are greater...but Katniss knows that the real threat is without.

This is another sequel I actually enjoyed even more than the original. The stakes are higher, for one thing. A lot of people are counting on Katniss and Peeta to come through and fall in love. It's not just the two of them. For another, the brewing rebellions add even more to the story. The competitors being much older also adds another level - this isn't kid stuff anymore. (And thankfully, they go easier on the shaky cam during the actual Games.) Once again, this is incredibly intense and violent and isn't recommended for kids. Teens on up, especially if they enjoyed the first installment, will have a lot to discuss and chew over.

Speaking of chew over, I made a tasty meal of Merlin's "Magic" (Baked) Chicken, broccoli with cheese sauce, and fruit cocktail for dinner. I was originally going to have roasted potatoes as well, but I left them in the stove for too long, and they got a tad too roasted.

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