Friday, October 12, 2018

A cuteness deficiency

I joked about that yesterday, but I wonder if maybe it is a thing for me - that if life gets too up in my face, if I spend too much time on work-stuff and fighting with the various websites I MUST use in my teaching, and things like grading, I start to get a little sad and droopy.

Yesterday evening, after various tasks (trip to Mart of Wal, submitting grade-and-attendance reports, laundry, piano practice), I sat down to relax. It was a little late to tune into "The Good Place" (and also I missed last week's episode, and I feel like until I've seen more of season 1 and 2, I will have a harder time getting the thread). I considered one of the tiny-house shows that currently heavily populate DIY network, but, eh. (Sometimes I kind of hate-watch them, especially the ones with the people who smugly declare they want "experiences, not stuff" or who give odd reasons for things like eschewing actual flush toilets or on-site laundry facilities. My life is hard enough without making it harder by having to empty a toilet or go to a laundrette. But sometimes, I admit, I like the idea of these tiny little hobbit-hole type places, that would be so easy to clean, and you would NEVER have to host meetings at your house because...well, it's too small. And I like the idea of everything being in easy reach and just the whole scaled-down dollhouse aspect, even as I KNOW that during a string of bad weather (either heavy rain as we're getting now, or hot summer days, or an ice storm) I'd go nuts in such a small space and not being able to go out)

So that didn't work for me right then.

So I fired up the Amazon Prime connection I get through my dvd player (I could also get Netflix or Hulu if I wanted to pay for them, and I can get Pandora and YouTube). And I pulled up the first season of what they are now calling "Classic" Angelina Ballerina. (This is the traditional-style cartoon that I've talked about before, not the uglier and more-modern CGI sort of thing).

And watched a few episodes.

The show is very simple and very cute. Yes, I get how it wouldn't be for everyone and it is very much aimed at younger girls, it seems. Most of the "drama" is friend-drama (minor misunderstandings, or the two rich bratty twin mice Penelope and...Primrose? I think? making everyone else miserable) or family-drama (Angelina had to babysit her little cousin but she was planning on going to the fair with her friends, and she takes him along, and OF COURSE because he's a baby he doesn't want to go in the haunted house or down the helter skelter...)

And I find that restful. I dunno. I find I hit a point where anything beyond the mildest of friend-and-family drama* or the very mildest of "peril" is too much and too tiring.

(*and especially if it's situations where, as Sweetie Belle once remarked, "The problem gets worked out in 22 minutes or so")

I also like it because it's just pretty and nice to look at. The colors recall watercolor paintings or old-style children's-book illustrations (in some ways, it feels a bit like the spiritual heir to Beatrix Potter). And the setting is very distinctive (one of my gripes with the newer CGI style series is that they've modernized it and lost the small-village/rural character of the original). It is very clearly a small British village, probably of the 1950s or early 60s, based on the styles of (mouse-sized!) buses and cars. There are telephones, but they're the old candlestick style. There *might* be radios, but they don't play a big role and I don't remember seeing a television in any of the episodes...and I like that slightly-timeless, slightly-historical feel.

I suppose it's that I'm getting old - I once commented that my childhood probably had more in common with Ralphie Parker ("A Christmas Story") in the 1940s than my niece's current childhood will have with mine. (Well, there was maybe 35 years between Ralphie's childhood and mine, and my niece is almost 45 years younger than I am....but the world has moved awfully fast between the 1980s and today).

But part of it is that the pleasures seem to have been simpler. Going to a fair was a big, big deal. One of the episodes I saw (they are short) involved the extreme disappointment of Angelina and her friend Alice after they rushed to take the bus into the next biggest city* and the tickets for the ballet performance they wanted to see were sold out (but Angelina's father, a reporter, apparently pulled a few strings, and got tickets for them, and even arranged a meeting with the dancers)

(*And they went on the bus, ALONE. Angelina and her friend Alice are, I'd guess, analogous to about seven or eight year old girls. Again, an extreme anachronism: would any child today be allowed to travel into The Big City alone to buy a ticket?)

But yes. It's very pretty and rather quiet and the music is nice and the settings - the houses and shops and everything - are nicely drawn and interesting to look at; it very much has the feel of a storybook come to life.

And I needed that. I think I went to bed happier and slept better for having watched it. (I need to find a few more things like that - oh, I have more unwatched episodes, and even at that, I could rewatch them once I've run through them. But I like the sweet gentle cartoons.)

One of the problems is that there really aren't a lot of "cute" places to go in town. Some of the nice little shops have closed, and while we have Lulu and Hazel's, I haven't got out there in a while (haven't been doing any piecework or quilting, not for a long time) and mostly my running-around-town other than to work or church is going to either Pruett's or Mart of Wal, neither of which is exactly *cute*

(We don't have any nice and fun little cafes where I'd be comfortable going alone for lunch or to get a tea. I wish we had a bubble tea place like my parents' town. There are a couple of coffee places but they don't list much in the way of tea on their online menus).

And driving to Sherman feels like a hassle a lot of the time. (And we might get 3" of rain tomorrow, so going tomorrow seems unlikely).

I will admit on my wal-mart run yesterday I looked at the toy section, and looked at some of those sequin-covered toy animals (the ones where you can flip the sequins from one color to another by brushing your hand over them: that is a thing now). I admit I find the flipping-the-sequins thing somewhat tactilley pleasing (it hits the same spot as running my knuckle along one of the "mortar grooves" in the painted-brick walls in the hall here) but I didn't buy one because the only one I particularly liked was the narwhal, and someone had damaged it - pulled off some of the sequins - and I wasn't going to buy a damaged item.

I dunno. Part of me says "you need to be saving money" (especially seeing that CD interest rates are back up to something that makes the idea of tying up my money for a year or more seem slightly attractive) and also that I am still waiting on Cony and on Toothless to come in the mail....

I'm not sure about asking for one for Christmas - again, harder to find in print catalogs (though I think Signals maybe had a version) and given my parents' practicality, I doubt they'd buy me one. It is kind of a weird thing, I know. (Maybe I wait on it, maybe I do ask for one for Christmas or maybe I just wait and they come out with some nicer ones in the coming months)

But yeah. Maybe the cure for feeling tired and sad and worn is immersing myself in cute things? I was also thinking last night I should re-dress my various dolls again (taking into account the weather is colder, and yes, I like to have weather-appropriate clothes on my dolls).

And I'm still working on Not Okay Bot but the body takes a loooooong time to crochet. (I am also thinking again about doing a G4-ized crocheted Waterfire; I think I can find all the yarn I bought for her with a little looking).

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