Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday morning things

Mostly ponies, because I'm watching a marathon of them right now before church.

* Edited to add, the new episode: I didn't love it but didn't hate it. I'm less fond of those that draw v. heavily on "we're going to make the Ponyworld roughly equivalent to the Humanworld and work in stuff that's a thing in modern American culture now." I like the more "timeless" episodes or the magic-centered ones better.

And I get, yeah, it's a moral that works for the kids - that you don't have to like EXACTLY what your friends like, but that moral was done already (and done better, I think) in the Fluttershy Nightmare Night episode, where she tried to enjoy it for her friends' sake, couldn't, and everyone decided next year she could do her own thing for it.

But it did feel a little bit like the writers were (a) trying really hard to appeal specifically to the adult fans and (b) push back a little at fans who need to obsessively complain and pick apart and "but the earlier seasons were better." And I found Quibblepants annoying, though I get that was the idea.

And again: I am really not on-board with the idea of AJ Yearling ACTUALLY being Daring Do, of Daring Do not being a purely fictional character. Of "in-world developments that bug me" that one is actually bigger than the alicornization of Twilight - that seems to have worked out okay but I still find the "I'm this reclusive writer WHO IS ALSO an adventurer" thing a little jarring.

But that's fine, maybe I'll like the next episode better

(A joke they could have used but did not,  at the very very end, where Quibblepants kept talking over the credits (which, okay, was pretty funny, I'll give them that) would have been for Rainbow Dash to burst out with, as the VERY last line, "Shut the Tartarus up already, Quibblepants! NO ONE CARES" But I know that's not in keeping with "love and tolerate" even as it's probably what a lot of the fans were thinking. And yeah, I think RD would be the most likely one to use in-universe cursewords (Tartarus being the Pony equivalent of Hell).)

Another gag I liked in the episode: the food vendor who had one of those "hot dog roller" things (like at 7-11s or Quickie Marts) but cooking carrots on them. Because Ponies are herbivores, of course, and carrots are the most hot-dog shaped thing that is a recognizable food (and not, like, some fake soy-sausage thing that looks like a real hot dog and therefore would make people go "EWWW THE PONIES ARE EATING THEIR COMPATRIOTS"). Then again, I think a cooked carrot on a bun would be pretty nasty, and I don't just say that as someone with a food-intolerance to carrots.

(Also, I missed it in the episode - my eyes "read" it as a poster a pony was carrying - but EqD pointed out that body pillows printed with geekpony "heroes" like Daring Do are now canon. I've seen enough anime fandom to know what allegedly happens to body pillows, so, yeah, ick.)

* I've mentioned it before but I kind of love heow they gave Rarity's parents stereotypical "Upper Midwest" accents (Are they from Whinny-sconsin?) but Rarity affects an old-style "Midatlantic" accent like what Audrey Hepburn and other old-time movie stars had. And yes, I believe it is an affectation and I have the headcanon that somehow Rarity managed to get herself to the Equestrian version of finishing school where she became who she is today.

And if I wanted to (and could) put on a v. affected sounding voice, I'd probably pick the Midatlantic accent, because it sounds very cool and sophisticated and above-it-all. I am not good at being above-it-all (I am a reactor) and I wish I were able to just detach and show no reaction to things. I've cried more in front of my chair and colleagues this past spring than I like to admit, and crying in front of people makes me feel terribly out of control.

And yes, I know Rarity does her drama-queening, but I think of the Midatlantic accent (or the related "Connecticut lockjaw") as being the purview of people who have managed to detach themselves from reacting to things....that they could be told their stocks have just tanked or something and they would simply nod and perhaps say "unfortunate" and then if they have anything like a meltdown, it is 100% in private.

* Rewatched "The Cutie Re-Mark" this morning - the one where Starlight Glimmer messes with reality and so Twilight and Spike take trips through increasingly dark Pony alternate universes. And I admit, I said out loud to the TV: "Has anyone checked to see if Starlight Glimmer is somewhere around because her interference would totally explain 2016."

* Because sadly, the big bad news of the weekend: a hot-air balloon crash in Texas that killed quite a few people? My reaction was "That's sad....but at least it wasn't caused by someone wanting to kill other people." That's how low my bar for feeling bad about world events is now. 2016 will break me.

* Picking away at different things. The first of the "pronk" socks has its heel flap done. I've also been working away on the front for Raven. Not sure what I will do this afternoon after church, whether it's more knitting or working on the Horsey McHorseface I am crocheting on, or whether I sew on a quilt top. I admit, kind of "traditionally" I have made "Sundays are for sewing" but it is SO hot right now and my sewing room is at the tail end of the chain of ductwork and there's no attic over it so it gets very hot during these hot summer days.

* The other day the issue of noon sirens came up on Twitter. The funny thing is, I had totally forgotten these existed until it was mentioned. The town I grew up in had a noon siren every day. Since I moved from there in 1987 or so, I've never lived anywhere that did noon sirens. The Internet tells me that they were a common feature of factory towns (makes sense) because the siren signals a lunch break. The interesting thing is: my little town was not really a factory town. We had Terex, I guess, but they were outside of town (I've forgotten so much of the geography. I want to say they were west of town on 303 but that could be wrong) and I don't think they'd hear the siren out there, because it used to run from the old fire house that was right in the middle of downtown.

I admit, I kind of miss the idea of a noon siren, for strange reasons. It's one of those link-with-the-past things, I guess. I can also picture the little central square of the town where I grew up when I think of the noon siren.

I know some towns also used to blow a siren at 6 or 6:30 am on days when the school closed for a snow day. Ours didn't, but by that point in time enough people lived out of earshot of the siren that it would not have been effective.

Actually, if it doesn't sound either too pathetically hipsterish or too old-lady, I kind of miss living in a smallish town that was "self-contained," in the fact that you didn't need to drive far for what you wanted. We had LOTS of things in that little town: a little bookshop, lots of gift shops, a toy store, an old pharmacy that had a soda fountain, various craft shops (yarn, fabric, other things - I think for a while there was one that sold needlepoint supplies, needlepoint and crewelwork were the big "status" things some women did as a hobby). A couple grocery stores, a hardware store, clothing shops, a gourmet shop....we really didn't go to the mall more than a few times a year. And now, if I want a better shot at groceries than what the wal-mart has, I have to drive an hour's round trip. I know, lots of people have to do more than that, and some have to do that for ANY groceries, but I do miss not having to. One of the things I have found hardest to adapt to living here is the need to drive long distances for anything that is "specialty" or having to mail-order so much. I think that's why I periodically get "cabin fever" - I get busy and don't have time to leave town for stuff, or I say "You shouldn't spend the gas and the time" but there aren't those "third places" there (outside of church, and we don't have that much going on in summer) that aren't work or home.....and I miss having that, having a downtown to go to. (We've lost so much out of our downtown since the oil bust).

Oh, it was expensive in the town where I grew up. You paid for that convenience. But it was kind of nice to be able to walk downtown and window shop, if nothing else.

We also had a village green with a gazebo/band shell and a clocktower. My town was kind of a wannabee New England village, except that given their history, it kind of made sense that tey were: they were part of the "Western Reserve" of Connecticut, so most of the early settlers came from there and imported their culture and architectural style. And I also kind of miss that; the sense of the past. The nice old house a couple blocks from me, an old brick house from the turn of the (last) century that was, at one time, a store, suffered a fire earlier this summer and I see the other day that they totally pulled it down; I guess it was not salvageable. That makes me sad.

There were a lot of things I disliked about the town (mostly having to do with the attitudes of the people: there was a lot of snobbishness, a lot of cliquishness, and in some ways it was like the little old New England towns in that if your grandparents weren't born and raised there, you were a "newcomer" and therefore suspect). But there were also a lot of things about it that I miss, I don't know whether because they were genuinely better or because there are things I am dissatisfied with now that I am comparing them to. (Biggest dissatisfaction is the lack of pleasant places to go that aren't work, home, or church....the wal-mart is functional at best but v., v. ugly, many of our "nice" shops have gone away...and everywhere that has "what people need" (the wal-mart, the Lowe's) is always very crowded because it's the only one in the county, and everyone has to go there, and crowds just have bad behavior)

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