Friday, July 29, 2016

I WANTED to like the new Ghostbusters...

Oh, I'd seen the awful trailer, which I put down to poor editorial and advertising choices.  I'd heard all the rants, which I put down to misogynistic morons and stuck in the 80's fan boys.  But I saw a lot of potential in a gender swap Ghostbusters, with females taking strong leads in a comedy adventure.

I kept telling myself "It's going to get better" as I watched it. Maybe character development will come in time... there was certainly a lot less establishment of character in the beginning of THIS Ghostbusters compared to the original.

And I understood some of what was going on.  The characters in the original were stereotypes, and more than a little off the wall.  But in typical post 2000 Hollywood style, these characters were so narrow and so stereotypical, it was hard to see them as real people the audience could relate to.

In fact, except for Patty (whose last name I don't recall), I can't remember any of female lead character's names.  And the only remember Patty because of that one great line: "The power of Patty compels you!"

Of course, there were some great nods to the original:  Having a hearse as a vehicle, the fan baiting with the firehall, and of course having Bill Murray back as the scientist who poo-poos the Ghostbusters... as well as having Annie Potts (who played Janine Melnitz, the original Ghostbuster's receptionist) as the receptionist in the hotel which becomes the focus of the climax of the film. Two more former Ghostbusters appear in cameos in the film, as well as numerous references from the original film that are familiar to those of us who are old fans.

And while I loved the idea of a male version of Janine, Janine was tough as well as self absorbed, and was a much more interesting character than Kevin, who was so stupid that it's hard to imagine he could read the ad for a receptionist job, much less apply for one.

Something comedies have forgotten is that characters don't have to be written with such a heavy hand.  Character can have more than 2 characteristics.  And characters are actually FUNNIER when we can relate to them well enough that their oddities and eccentricities peek through the script, and aren't rubbed in the faces of the audiences.

I WANTED to like the new Ghostbusters.  I just couldn't.

In a time where women are supposedly equal in society (they certainly have equal numbers, although we know true equality doesn't exist) we still have only 22% of movies coming out with a female lead, and only 33% of speaking parts are given to women.

It's time we stopped marginalizing women in film, and it's time that women's characters be developed and written as well as male characters, and not just passed off for a quick laugh or the objects of the male gaze.

I'm not a fan of Ocean's Eleven, but I'll hope for a better reboot when Sandra Bullock takes the lead... and hope she doesn't come off as Gracie Lou Freebush.

So Many Once in a Lifetime Moments

I've been spending the last two days in gratitude.

What triggered it all for me was the announcement of the corpse flower blooming in the New York Botanical Garden.  I'd recently seen a corpse flower bloom in Denver:

I've done a number of things most people don't do, or few people do. I've made it a point to take in as much as I can.

How many people have pet a rhino?

I've seen the Smithsonian, the Statue of Liberty, and the Grand Canyon.  I've swum in two oceans.  I've wandered caves. I've been an electro-mechanical engineer, a high school teacher, and an artist. I helped design a lens system for a scanning electron microscope, planted trees along the Rio Grande, and served food in homeless shelters.

I've learned how to take a fleece and clean it, spin it, dye it, and weave it into fabric... and taught others.

I've gone on the road time and time again with a van load of zoo animals with a Zoo to You program. How many people can say they shared a hotel room with an alligator and a prehensile tail porcupine? Or been on the front pages of newspapers all around the state?

I've handled sharks and rays, horseshoe crabs, and all sorts of marine invertebrates as a shark/ray volunteer and a touch tank volunteer. 

I've lived through massive snowstorms, hurricanes, and recently slept through my first earthquake.

I have been blessed to be able to make the extraordinary an ordinary part of my life.

As I look back on all this, it strikes me how many wonderful opportunities I've had, and how many I can continue to seek out or choose for myself.  Life is full of adventures and possibilities.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Endings and Beginnings...

It's been a hectic week.

I won't go into all the problems getting my lease, and NOT getting my food stamps, and having to call 911 when my blood sugar got down to 35 mg/dL   Those were hiccups.

And because of them, I (a) now DO have food stamps coming next month (although this month was irretrievably lost I fear, and I discovered that I DO have full medical coverage for EVERYTHING, including my dental and optical, and MediCal simply hadn't notified me because (for some reason) because I was on MediCal for a few months briefly 10 years ago, I MUST have naturally assumed I'd get the benefits and retained my ancient and long ago expired card, which they apparently simply reactivated.

My new card has been issued.

My internet will be hooked up at the apartment on Tuesday, so today I've downloaded enough books to get me through a couple days, then canceled my KindleUnlimited after the free trial (which ends at midnight Monday).  Actually I spent more money buying books with the Kindle Unlimited membership (got hooked into series where only the first couple books were free) than I did without the membership.

That also means today is the last day I'm at the library racing the clock to blog.

Right now I'm coasting into next month, and because of the new startup costs (electric deposit, internet installation and connection) I'm likely not going to go to a lot of fun spots next month either, although I may try to get to the Natural History Museum despite the fact that the parking there is now $12!

I've updated my Amazon Wish List (linked in my profile) and at the end of the month will be taking down my GoFundMe, and right now it's just figuring out how to make $5 last 12 more days.  I definitely won't be driving around much!

So that's it... I'm almost down to the end of the whole move trauma, and getting into settling in and starting the medical care I came here for.

And right now I feel like I'm just holding my breath before a big sigh of relief in this new beginning.

And I DEFINITELY don't have time today to blog about the one thing I really hoped to:  The Cat House.   No, not THAT kind of Cat House... but... well... I'll blog about it soon.