Friday, February 27, 2015

Now We Are 46

I don't know how 46 is supposed to feel. (I admit, this morning, it felt a bit like worry - I woke up with a hive on the inside of my lower lip [I think it was a pressure-hive, from how I was sleeping, it's nearly gone now] and frustration [I dropped the carton of milk while going to make my morning porridge and it spilled all over the foam mat thingie I keep in front of the stove - I can't wash the mat so I will probably have to throw it out as it will soon smell of old milk*])

(*Though I suppose another option is, the first warm day of the spring, to hook up my hose and hose it down well in the yard until the water off it runs clear. That might take care of things)

I remember when I was a good deal younger (under 40), I thought, "Someday you will need to cut your hair short like the other middle-aged ladies." And "You will have to stop watching cartoons and start watching stuff like Grey's Anatomy." And "Really, it's ridiculous for a woman in her 40s to still have stuffed animals, let alone having them on her bed"

I don't know, though: If I'm expected to make up as much of adulthood as I go along as I seem to be doing maybe I get to make the rules about what kind of television I watch and how I wear my hair....

Anyway. I did open the couple of gifts I had waiting this morning. The biggest one I had specifically asked for - a new iron. This one is a cordless model (it has a "charging base" that it sits on when you're not using it). This was a good choice, as it turns out, because the last time I unplugged my old iron there was a rather large spark and I am now afraid to use it. (It was more than 15 years old). I guess I can just take the old one down to the recycling center - I think they take small electronic appliances and try to harvest the bits of metal out of them.

I also got some books. The "extra" present from my parents was a copy of Irish Pub Cooking (which I am guessing was bought at the local-to-them gourmet shop, as it wasn't sent direct from Amazon). I flipped through it quickly; there's a recipe for potato cakes (mashed potatoes) that looks really appetizing, and also a fish cake recipe that looks good.

I had an Amazon box. I am assuming it is from my brother and sister-in-law although there was no "gift note" in it. But the gift followed their current pattern: three books, two big ones (one from my brother, one from my sister-in-law) and a little one (ostensibly from my niece). I got a copy of Volume 2 of that American Songwriters series (piano music - well, it also has guitar charts and music for the singer, but I use it for the piano arrangements), and the America's Test Kitchen slow-cooker book, and a small book of fingerless mitt patterns (mostly for dk yarn, which I don't have a whole lot of....but maybe I can substitute sportweight for some of them, sport is very close to dk)

A couple friends on Ravelry bought patterns for me. (As I've said before, this is one of the nicest features of the site: you can buy, either from a "wishlist" people have or just buy randomly, patterns, and have the .pdf delivered to the person's virtual pattern library. It's simple, it allows you to give a gift to someone overseas without having to pay high shipping rates or get to the post-office with enough time so that they will receive it for their birthday or whatever. It's just a nice service and I guess it does help support Ravelry a little because I think pattern designers pay a tiny fee every time a pattern is sold through Ravelry). 

Other than that, I don't know. The local weather guy, who tends not to be overly alarmist, said that "roads are going to be treacherous" tomorrow morning so I guess I will plan to stay home. I MIGHT, if I can get a few things done this morning, go to the local quilt shop for a look-around this afternoon, and maybe go to the local homewares shop (maybe they have a foamy mat that can replace the one that got soaked with milk).


Last night I finally made time to watch "Guardians of the Galaxy." I had never seen the movie though I knew a little about it from the Internet.

I liked it. It's more of an action movie than I normally watch, but it was pretty fun. A few disconnected thoughts: (There will be spoilers, but I am guessing anyone who's going to see it probably already has)

* I liked the character of Drax more than I thought I would. Seeing him in the promotional photos, I was all, "Yeah, another wrestler type who's probably going to play it dumb as a post." Instead, Drax was more like an ancient Spartan warrior - or like Lt. Worf on Star Trek. Very concerned with honor and what is "proper" in warfare and with things like avenging the dead. He was also extremely literal-minded, which at times was kind of humorous. (When he finally got - more or less - the concept of "metaphor," that was one of the funny moments). I liked how this little touches - the literal-mindedness, the idea of this Honorable Warrior - kind of allowed you to fill in a whole backstory for his people.

* Rocket Racoon. This was a character who, when first created, could have been made cute-ish and sort of cuddly - but they went the exact opposite way and that's what made it so wonderful. In fact, Rocket - who is snarky and foul-mouthed and supremely selfish - is actually kind of what I imagine a raccoon would be were it given sentience. (In some ways, I see Rocket as the "anti-Reepicheep" - Reepicheep the mouse being a character I loved dearly from the Narnia books. Reepicheep also was not "cute" - he was too deeply concerned with honor and virtue and doing what was right, even when it put him in peril. Lucy once felt herself wanting to pick him up and cuddle him, and yet, at the same time, knew that would be a grave insult to him, and more, would affect his view of the world, and so she resisted that temptation)

* It's generally an exciting/fun/funny movie but there are several poignant moments (I almost turned it off in the first five minutes - those who have seen the film know how it starts out). And the "We are Groot" bit kind of killed me a little. (And the whole idea of a character sacrificing himself to save the others.... and actually, that led to Rocket being "humanized" a little more, you realize he actually CARED about another being other than himself). And also, the bit towards the end, where the four remaining Guardians strove to save the planet from being destroyed by the stone....and how they all, one by one, grabbed on to each other to try to share the pain that Peter was experiencing from holding the stone - to try to make it bearable for him. Well, I tend to read too much into these things but I did see something metaphorical in that, as to why we need other people (and perhaps why I, who tends to be a bit of a loner, sometimes has more problems dealing with the bigger slings and arrows of life) - that having someone around to just figuratively grab on to your hand and give you some support/share the pain when you're suffering, that's important, and that's what allows you to keep going (and in the movie's case: ultimately save the galaxy.)

* Another thing that struck me: these were all characters who were hurt in some way. Drax had his wife and child killed in front of him. Gamora came from a seriously dysfunctional family. Peter lost his mother young and never knew his father. Rocket, for all his bluster, was totally alone in the universe, or so he thought - "Ain't no thing like me, 'cept me" - to feel like you are the ONLY one of your species everywhere, that must be incredibly isolating. And Groot - well, we don't really know what Groot was feeling too much, but I suspect Groot was confused a lot by what was going on around him. And yet, all these strange and at-first-hostile characters somehow bonded and became friends, or like a little family. And towards the end, when they realized they faced Almost Certain Doom, Gamora made a comment something like, "If I'm gonna die, at least I'm gonna die among friends."

* And yeah, I kind of want to make an amigurumi Baby Groot (there are several patterns out there) even more after seeing this. (And if there isn't already, there NEEDS to be a Dancing Baby Groot in the style of those goofy dancing flowers of 25 or so years ago (wow, has it been that long? I remember having one as an undergrad so it must be)

I need to make time more regularly to do things like that - to take an evening and watch a good escapist movie that makes me stop thinking about work-stuff or whatever problems I experienced during the day.


Anonymous said...

best wishes for a happy birthday and many many more to come-it sounds like you were sweetly remembered by family/friends who knew just how to please you-

here's hoping you also have a surprise upturn in your weather, so you can enjoy a few 'birthday activities'-

barb in east texas

Kucki68 said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Could you put your foam mat in the shower/bath tub and hose it off there? Or is it too large for that?

Lynn said...

Happy Birthday.

Maybe I shouldn't say this because I'm not sure how it will sound to you but here goes. You always seem so young to me, based on the things you remember from your childhood, so for an instant I thought, "Wow, she can't be 46."

I think you would like Advanced Style. It features a lot of stylish and elegant older women (older than you and mostly older than me) doing their own thing, wearing what they like, even if it's a little out there. Keep on doing your own thing.

Don said...

Happy birthday, youngster.

Charlotte said...

Best wishes for a happy birthday.

Lydia said...

Happy birthday! Many happy returns!

We got foam mats for the babies to play on, and some of the fancy figure ones are fun:

CGHill said...

This is about the point where that 12-year-old living inside you decides to get a little more exercise. Enjoy it. It's good for both of you.

Roger Owen Green said...

Happy birthday. In re something you wrote at Dustbury, I feel the same way about being instantly available; I'm against it.