Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Springtime Sunshine

Got a quick start this morning with breakfast upstairs, then headed out. It was still blustery and cold at 8:30, though not quite to the degree of yesterday. At least it was sunny, too, without a cloud in the sky. I made it to work just in time.

Once again, work was quiet in the morning...but when the noon rush hour came, we really didn't have enough help to deal with them. Our vacation cycle starts over in May. People with vacation time left are using it now, including the cashier who normally works in the morning. Didn't help that there were a lot of people who had trouble reading signs. One lady fussed when I tried to explain she had the wrong cereal for a sale. Even the manager shelving them tried to tell her. She later called to complain about me arguing with her. I was just trying to get her to listen! And later, someone else read the price on bags of Lifesavers wrong and wasn't happy. 

And if I hear one more complaint about New Jersey outlawing paper and plastic bags next month, I will scream. People usually complain that we use the darn things. Now they're complaining because we won't be? So you have to buy a few bags. Tote bags can be found everywhere, often for under a dollar. You can make bags from pretty much anything, for crying out loud. I don't know why everyone's making such a fuss over it. I guess because they expect things to be free, and now they won't be. 

Hurried straight home after work. Watched Tattletales while changing and having a snack, but it was too nice to be sitting inside all day. With everything going on, I haven't been spending nearly enough time outside lately.

My first stop was Dollar General. I was hoping to find more Propel, but no luck there. Ended up getting a two-pack of Secret Deodorant. Didn't see any snacks I could get away with, either. I was in and out quickly. 

It was too nice to go home right away. I headed down the White Horse Pike to Newton Lake Park. It was just glorious down at the lake today, windy but a bit warmer, in the lower 60's. Probably just about right for mid-April in South Jersey. Sunlight sparkled on the water and on the newly-blooming pink and white blossoms on the trees. Everyone was out and about today, from little kids riding bikes ahead of their folks to other people taking solo strolls.

Went straight into writing when I got home. Richard leads everyone through a bookcase and into the hall of White Castle. He and his sons are horrified when they see Richard's Card Guards (Larry Hovis, Bert Convy, Greg Morris) marching with the Red Knights as if under a trance. Richard, who was last told they were in the dungeon at Red Castle, insists on following them.

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Watched Match Game '77 while I ate. The junk man was pretty funny, but he was finally defeated mid-way through the episode. Richard was happier to help the female contestant with "Susan __."

Rested in my new chair during Match Game PM. Gary Crosby and Mary Wickes joined in for a very competitive game that came down to a sudden death tiebreaker. They got to help the winner with "Barbara __" on the Audience Match. For once, it was Charles who got to figure out "Amateur __" on the Head-to-Head.

I was so worn out, I didn't even move for The Backyardigans. Tyrone hits the high seas as the great fabled explorer Sinbad to find the end of the rainbow. Thing is, "Sinbad Sails Alone" and isn't crazy about Pablo sneaking aboard and trying to help out. 

Ended the night on Disney Plus with Turning Red. Meilin "Mei" Lee (Rosalie Chiang) is a peppy 13-year-old living in Toronto in 2002. She mostly loves her life, hanging around with her friends, figuring out complex math equations, and drooling over boy bands. She's also expected to be a dutiful daughter who helps her demanding mother Ming (Sandra Oh) and her chef father Jin (Orion Lee) at their Chinese temple. 

After her mother finds out she has a crush on the boy behind the counter at her local connivence store (Addie Chandler), she throws a fit and practically threatens the boy. Mei is beyond embarrassed...and after a nightmare about red pandas, she wakes up the next day in the body of a giant red panda. Turns out her ancestor in China asked for the ability to turn into a red panda to protect her daughters. That ability is now considered to be a curse by her frosty grandmother Wu (Wai Ching Ho) that needs to be eliminated in a special ritual. Thing is, the ritual takes place the night of the big concert for wildly popular boy band 4*Town, which Mei and her friends absolutely must see. Not to mention, Mei's red panda form is actually getting pretty popular. She has to decide whether she wants to continue to suppress her wild side...or if it's worth hurting her mother to let out her inner beast.

Wow. The last thing I expected from Pixar was the coming-of-age tale about a normal Chinese-Canadian kid with some pretty extraordinary family history. I was just out of college by 2002, and more interested in getting my apartment in Wildwood going than boy bands...but I do remember what a big deal groups like The Backstreet Boys were among kids a decade younger than me. Remember having to watch my younger siblings' Tamagotchis a few times, too. And I was a fan of Sailor Moon by this point, one of the anime whose pastel aesthetic definitely inspired this film. 

I'm not entirely sure what the controversy is all about. Apparently, there's some complaints about representation and talking about mensuration. As someone who hit puberty when she was 9, I say you can't discuss these things too early. As for Mei Ling not being relatable...I may have been 13 a decade before Mei, but I know what it's like to feel like an outsider and like you're not good enough for anyone in your family...and what it's like to have strong female relatives. 

I loved this one, but due to the controversy and some mature themes, I'm going to say I highly recommend this for real 13-year-olds and their parents, along with anyone who remembers this era or loves Pixar. For anyone else, your mileage may vary.. 

No comments: