Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm mostly okay

My neck and shoulders are sore this morning from having tensed up. And I have a raw spot on my neck where the edge of the seatbelt's shoulderstrap caught me when I pitched forward. (I had a hive there last night, now it's just a raw spot. The vans are made for people taller than I am and there's no way I can see to adjust the shoulder straps)

I did watch very carefully who was coming up behind me driving in this morning, and when a loud car passed me in the opposite lane I could feel my heart speed up just a bit (I guess the SUV that hit me was kind of loud. I heard its engine but not it trying to brake - and there were no skid marks on the pavement (I looked after the whole thing was over) which tells me maybe the driver *wasn't even looking at the road ahead* when he hit me)

Oh well.

I just hope this doesn't affect my department's van privileges. It SHOULDN'T, seeing as (a) I was not at fault and (b) there was no way I could have avoided the accident (and believe me, I've replayed what I remember of it in my head enough times). But you know how bureaucracy works -  things can become a game of Telephone and stuff can get misinterpreted. Several people told me that the fact that the police officer didn't talk to me much beyond verifying I wasn't hurt, asking me to tell him what happened, and asking me if I could estimate how fast the other driver was going, but spoke MUCH LONGER to that driver, means that they figured the other driver was at fault.


I went home after filing my report and sat and stared at the tv and ate some Nutella out of the jar with a spoon. And told myself, "Get up and do something, you are okay." But I couldn't, quite. I watched a couple re-runs of MLP:FiM - the Rarity Has a Crush episode (the one with Trenderhoof - "Simple Ways") and then the "Filli Vanilli" episode (where Fluttershy - transformed temporarily into Flutterguy with a decoction of Poison Joke* - gets to sing on behalf of Big Mac, and therefore, perform-without-performing, given how much stage fright she has. (She is behind the curtain, and Big Mac is lipsynching)

(*Yes, it's crazy complicated, for people who don't watch the show).

Those were both good episodes, and I think in a way they captured some rather grown-up (or, at least, on-the-way-to-growing-up) emotions in a way few shows that are ostensibly aimed at adults seem to.

In the first, when Rarity breaks down sobbing: "he doesn't LIKE me!" She has developed a sizable crush - based mainly on appearance and the things he has written - on Trenderhoof, a hipster unicorn who writes travel articles. But Trenderhoof falls for Applejack. (But Trenderhoof is an idiot - or at least, a bit of a, I don't know the best polite word for it, but he's a bit of an entitled jerk. He makes the comment "I have ALWAYS appreciated the work ethic of Earth Ponies." Oh, Trenderhoof - check your unicorn privilege. I can just hear someone in the upper middle class here saying that kind of thing about someone of a Different Ethnic Group who seems to work very hard for their living.)

But anyway - the tone of Rarity's voice, the way she says "he doesn't LIKE me" - well, that's right in the 16 year old feels for me. I remember saying (or at least, feeling) some variant of that a few times in my life. (Never mind that one of those times was because the fellow I had happened to develop a crush on, as they say, batted for the other team). And of course, Spike, who has a giant crush on Rarity (and which she knows) is standing right there....which adds a little wry humor.

In the end, Rarity decides to reinvent herself* as a farm girl. She changes her clothes, gets dirty, and even code-switches (oh hai, Bee, if you're reading this!). She goes from her very posh Mid-Atlantic type way of speaking to a strange, heavily-rhotic, self-consciously-dropping-the-gs on gerunds, version of what she thinks "country speak" is. (As someone who took Linguistics - several classes of it - for her social sciences requirement in college, I admit I paid attention to that and found it amusing and interesting.)

Also, the whole rhotic and non-rhotic thing. Like most Americans, my speech is pretty heavily rhotic. (I pronounce the rs in things - and pretty heavily, too - I have an upper-Midwest-influenced-by-Northern-Midwest accent, from my time growing up in Ohio and time spent around my mom, who speaks with a SLIGHT Upper Peninsula accent). (Maybe someday I will see if I can record something and post it on here so you can hear how I talk. I've had people occasionally ask me if I'm originally from Canada, and while I don't THINK I sound Canadian, I guess some people do. I once even had someone ask me if I was originally from Britain, which was baffling, because I speak pretty American.)

I like Rarity's usual mode of speech (kind of like a parody of Audrey Hepburn and a couple of other old-time lady movie stars) and I admit, if I were learning a "put on" accent I might go with that (though it would feel terribly fake to me, how I talk is how I talk.)

(*This is something foreign to me. Someone I know was talking about another person I know and commented about how he regularly "reinvented himself" and I had to kind of laugh because in so very many ways I am exactly the same person I was when I moved here 16 years ago. I don't know whether it's I'm sufficiently uncomfortable with change, or whether it's that I'm so comfortable in who I am....)

The second episode, Filli Vanilli (a pun on the old 80s group that was in a lipsynching scandal, and sadly, one of the members wound up killing himself/ODing on drugs afterward) features Fluttershy singing. She loves to sing, but gets terrible stage fright, and so cannot perform. But, as I said, by the series of plot machinations described above, she winds up singing "backstage" for Big Mac. And discovers she really loves it.

And the group - kind of a small Pony glee club - keeps getting gigs, and every time, Rarity (who is nominal leader) asks Fluttershy, and says, "You don't have to do this" and she says she WANTS to - partly because she doesn't want anyone to be disappointed

(Oh, how I know the feeling of "I'm doing this because I don't want people to be disappointed")

but it also turns out that she really kinda-sorta enjoys performing, even though she'd never be comfortable singing out in front.

Also, this episode has one of the happier and more peppy songs of the season (well, Season 4 had a lot of good songs, but the one in here is one of my favorites:)

Also cool character design - the boy-pony (I think his name is Toe Tapper?) and the pony with the beads in her mane (Torch Song) both have slightly different body designs than the average ponies. (I like that they've got a few mare in there with more "mature" or "zaftig" bodies. I know a lot was made in the early days of the series about "oooh, they made the ponies THINNER than they used to be" and while that doesn't bother me, I like that they do have different body types of ponies in there. Not necessarily so much as a "body positive" thing, but as a "they're not just doing cookie cutter figures" thing.). And I really like her mane....

1 comment:

CGHill said...

Of course, Flutters singing behind the curtain owes a lot to Singin' in the Rain.

It was Fitzgerald who said that there were no second acts in American life, though this is probably a case of "believe the speech, not the speaker," given the evolution of Jay Gatsby.