Sunday, January 07, 2018

Winter Turns a Corner

It was still very chilly when I awoke this morning, but it was also very quiet. There were no tree limbs rubbing against one another, no wind chimes going in the distance. It was rather odd as I ate my Cornmeal Pancakes for breakfast.

Listened to the original cast album for Thoroughly Modern Millie as I ate and got ready for work. This got thoroughly mixed reviews from critics in the early 2000's, who weren't impressed by its piecemeal score or the book taken based on a popular Julie Andrews movie from the late 60's. They had kinder words for the choreography and it's sensational star, Sutton Foster. She's the title character, an effervescent flapper who has plans to marry her handsome and wealthy boss, but ends up falling for a mouthy paperclip salesman. Meanwhile, her girlish best friend who lives across from her at their boarding house also falls for her boss. Their housemother has her own plans for the young lady, intending to sell her to a white slavery ring. It's up to Millie and her new friends, including a smart black singer, to rescue the girl and turn their housemother in.

I'm surprised they complained about the music. It's my favorite thing about this. "Forget About the Boy" is an adorable dance number for Millie and the other secretaries after she thinks her guy is running around with someone else, and "How the Other Half Lives" introduces Millie and Miss Dorothy beautifully. I also like "Only In New York," "Not for the Life of Me," and "I Turned the Corner."

Dad once again drove me to work. It was actually pretty quiet for a Sunday when I arrived. It did pick up later, to the point where we had lines into the aisles by noon. I spent the first half of my shift bagging and doing returns, and the second half gathering carts. While the parking lot remains a mess and it's still bitingly cold (in the lower 20's), the lack of wind and a warm sun made being outdoors a lot more bearable.

Cleaned the bathroom as soon as I got in. It needed to be done badly. I shouldn't have put it off for as long as I did. The tub was especially grungy. Listened to my Cher greatest hits CD while I scrubbed.

Worked on writing for a long while after I finished. I started working on BB In Toyland, but ended up doing an entirely different short story. It's based around Kylo Ren and Rey in The Last Jedi, and no, it's not a romance. I still don't think their bond is romantic. If anything, I suspect they both thought they found a friend who could relate to their problems...and then were disappointed when they wouldn't automatically change who they were for them.

Ren tries to talk to Rey through their bond shortly after the end of the film. Quite frankly, she's tired of him, his family's overwrought drama, and how he thinks he has to live up to their standards. She calls him out for not letting go of the past; he complains about how she seems to be good at everything, despite not having the training he does (addressing some people's claims about Rey being too perfect of a character). She asks him to leave the First Order to Hux and join the Resistance, but he still sees it as a pipe dream.

She finally tells him that she doesn't mind that he made a mistake, or that his uncle did. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, they make big, hurtful mistakes. What she does mind is that he refuses to change, or even acknowledge that the hurt little boy inside him needs help and the love of real friends. He just doesn't seem to have learned anything from his experiences. She finally cuts off their contact before he can argue and joins Poe to hear Leia tell the story of how Luke and Han rescued her from the Death Star again.

I wrote this to address a lot of the complaints about The Last Jedi (which I loved), and to write a story that used Rey and Kylo Ren's "bond" in a way that wasn't romantic or gushy. If you're interested in seeing these characters in a less fanciful light, the story is up at my writing blog, Archive of Our Own, and Fanfiction.Net.

(And as you have probably guessed, there is a major spoiler alert for this story. Please proceed with caution if you haven't seen Last Jedi yet.)

Can't Please All of the People Any of the Time - Archive of Our Own
Can't Please All of the People Any of the Time - My Writing Blog
Can't Please All of the People Any of the Time - Fanfiction.Net

Finished out the night with one of my favorite cast albums, Crazy for You. This reworking of the Gershwin 1930's show Girl Crazy keeps the western setting and the "put on a show" shenanigans, but eliminates the family ranch and just makes it the story of a playboy trying to court a postmistress in a small, dusty western town. He poses as an impresario and brings along a bevy of his showgirl pals to turn the town's saloon into a Broadway-worthy theater, but she falls for him in his producer guise. And then his fiancee shows up looking for him, along with the impresario...

Along with "Bidin' My Time," "Embraceable You," "But Not for Me," "Could You Use Me?" and "Bronco Busters," we have a handful of songs taken from other Gershwin projects. My favorite is one that had literally just been rediscovered shortly before this show was put together in 1992, the hilarious and slightly dark comic duet "What Causes That?" This won the Tony for Best Musical, and it was well deserved. If you're a fan of the Gershwins or musical comedy, the original cast album is a lot of fun.

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