Ten on Tuesday ~ And the Oscar goes to…

Today’s Ten on Tuesday prompt is “10 Thoughts On This Year’s Oscar Show”. Well, I’m in luck! I actually watched (most of) the Oscars this year. (Granted, there were optional prompts in case we didn’t watch, but still. I like to do the “regular” one when I can.)

So, here are my 10 thoughts…

1. ABC could have had a great thing going with their online live stream. If they had realized that this is 2014, and people actually USE online live streams. And therefore if they had enough bandwidth to handle the number of people wanting to watch online, and had made it more than two minutes into the show before the server crashed.

2. While we wanted to watch using the live stream, I guess the Oscars gave us an excuse to finally set up the TV antenna. So while we missed the first 20 minutes to half hour of the show, at least we got to see most of it.

3. If I had to sit in that audience doing nothing for as long as they do, and if I had been posing on the red carpet and all THAT nothing for as long as they do, I would have totally been in on that pizza.

4. Why don’t people bring knitting to the Oscars? It would make the long bits of waiting that much more bearable.

5. I really wanted “The Wind Rises” to win Best Animated Picture, and I am very sad that it did not. I felt that (even though I did not see all of the movies in the category) it was the best of those movies, and should have been recognized as such. I am glad it was nominated, though. At least that was something. And since the movie wasn’t released in the US until recently (though it was out in Japan last summer), I guess it’s not surprising that the US-majority of Academy voters didn’t select it to win.

6. If “The Wind Rises” didn’t win, “Frozen” was my next choice. So at least there’s that.

7. I love Idina Menzel. And I love her song “Let It Go”.

8. I could easily make a John Travolta pronunciation joke here, but I think they’ve all been made already. And I hear that Idina is being really classy and not mentioning it, so I won’t say anything more than I just did.

9. I am pleasantly surprised that “Gravity” did not win Best Picture or Best Actress. I enjoyed that movie, but I liked the visuals and the (mostly) science accuracy in the film. I’m not a huge Sandra Bullock fan (I can take her movies, or leave them), and “Gravity” didn’t change my mind on that.

10. There are people complaining that Ellen overdid the pizza bit, or that the mass group selfie was silly or dumb. Personally, I liked them both. And you know what? I love that she proved that you can just have FUN as an Oscars host. (Hooray for costume changes!) There’s no need to always be edgy. There’s no need to be snarky and make fun of everyone all the time. (Keep in mind that I missed her opening monologue due to technical difficulties. She may have been snarky then, but if so she kept it contained and didn’t carry it through the entire show.) It is possible to just have fun playing dress up and visiting with friends. More awards shows should be like that.

What do you guys think? Did you watch this year, or have any opinions on the winners (or losers)?

Brave

I saw Disney•Pixar’s “BRAVE” almost a few weeks ago, and loved it. I didn’t think much of what I made of the story until I read Joely Sue Burkhart’s review of it at the end of that same week. Since then, I’ve realized something pretty major.

“BRAVE” isn’t really a story about Merida. It’s actually a story about her mother.

There are movie spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want the spoilers, then come back and read this after you’ve seen the movie. But if you have seen it, then I’m curious to see how my thoughts compare with what you took away from the movie, or if they make any sense at all outside of my own head.

So… the main character. In any good story (and in my opinion Pixar creates great stories) the main character undergoes major change. Look at Woody in “Toy Story” (ALL 3 of them… major character growth and changes). Carl in “UP.” You can follow the character arc through the story.

So in “Brave,” you would expect Merida to be the character undergoing the biggest change. And yet, she isn’t. Her mother is the one who changes the most, who grows the most.

The closest I can come to the character situation in “Brave” is “Finding Nemo.” I would argue, however, that Nemo changes more than Merida does. Also, Nemo and Marlin both have POV scenes in this movie, making it more of a joint-POV/two-main-character movie.

Okay, granted, at the end of the movie Merida apologizes. But after that, when we see the montage of “look what’s different” there’s precious little of Merida being a good daughter and princess. The only scene to that effect I can remember was when she was showing the potential suitors to their ships… and that had the ulterior motive of getting them away from her. I remember scenes of Merida and the queen going horseback riding, and of Queen Elinor’s appearance changing from always proper to a bit more comfortable and carefree. I don’t remember anything to show a compromise from Merida. My mom reminded me about a scene where Merida works on embroidery with her mom, so I guess that’s something. On the other hand, it obviously didn’t make too much of an impact on me, since I didn’t remember it on my own.

At any rate, the Queen is the one with the most to lose. She is the one who has the biggest character change, and who risks the most at the end when Mor’du attacks.

“Brave” is her story. Merida is just the narrator.

Six Things Make a Blog

I am alive, really. Just haven’t quite come back from Oz yet. It might not be a super in-depth blog, but here’s a little something…

1. My niece makes the cutest Munchkin. And she likes playing with “Toto” backstage.

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2. What is up with this weather? It’s July in California, for goodness sake.

3. It’s July. I am having a hard time believing that this year is half over already.

4. Flying people around the stage is really fun. I especially love the tornado scene. 🙂

5. I have a couple of different ideas in the works for stories to write. I’m still in the research phase on both, and am not ready to talk about them here yet, but progress is being made.

6. I love Apple. I got a new iPhone this weekend, and the iCloud allowed me to restore nearly EVERYTHING to the new phone with absolutely no fuss. The things that didn’t transfer were the songs I’d ripped from my CDs and my passwords – which I wouldn’t want to transfer anyway.

Learning Process

Life sure is a learning process, isn’t it? In the past year — heck, in the past three months — I’ve learned an awful lot about myself. Wanna know some of what? No? Too bad. I’m going to tell you anyway. (Face it — you’re visiting my blog. If you didn’t want to know more about me, you wouldn’t come here.)

  1. I don’t like knitting two socks at once. I can do it, mind. I’m currently knitting two socks toe-up on one long circular needle. I’ve done this before, too, and love the resulting socks. But the technique doesn’t do anything for me. The yarn gets tangled up, it’s harder to correct & prevent ladders between the needles, and it takes too long. Granted, when you’re done you’re DONE; there’s no second sock to knit. But still. It takes, like, TWICE AS LONG or something to get a sock off the darn needles.  😉
  2. The smallest things can amuse me. Such as having my socks smile at me as I’m knitting them.
  3. Smiling Anklet

  4. Most of my “free time” in the past little while (2 years? 3?) has been going to knitting and theatre. Knitting has taken the random, flexible time. The kind I can “afford” to spend. And it’s relaxing. Theatre has taken every. Waking. Moment. (At times, anyway. Sometimes it’s more manageable.)
  5. Now that I have a guy in my life again, I want some of those moments back. Naturally, I have discovered this at a point when I can’t take a break in theatre due to kinda being IN CHARGE of a production which goes up right after Thanksgiving.
  6. Stress makes me tired. The more stressed I get, the more likely I am to spend all day in bed (if allowed).
  7. Spending all day in bed when I have things that need to get done stresses me out. This makes it a bad coping mechanism.
  8. Knitting is still a calming influence, until I glance at the little number at the top of the eBay webpage and realize they are reminding us how many days there are left until Christmas. And I’m not going to tell you how many days there are left, but it’s UNDER 50. And my gift knitting isn’t done yet.
  9. Stress, stress, stress.
  10. Knitting toys is fun. Sadly, I can’t show you pictures of these toys until after they get unwrapped for Christmas.
  11. After this show, I am so taking a break from theatre. I know, I have said this before. And yes, I have agreed to work a show next late spring/early summer. But still. Theatre break. I mean it this time.
  12. My cat likes my guy. This makes me incredibly happy.

What about you guys? What have you learned about yourself lately?

Monday Morning Musings

I had planned to move my book review posts to Monday, since I’m only planning 3 blog posts a week for now. However, I rediscovered something about having a special guy in my life that I had quite forgotten… I don’t get nearly as much reading done as when I’m all by my onesy*. You know people who read to escape, who read as a way to get into a happier place? Well, that’s (one of the many reasons) why I read, and especially why I devour books the way I have been doing.

Now? Heh. Now I don’t have nearly so much I want to escape from. In fact, there’s next to nothing about my life that I don’t like right now. (We won’t go into the job situation and financial mess that resulted from it. That’s one main thing I’d still like to change. Working on it.)

So, long story short, I don’t have a book to review because I haven’t finished reading it yet. I’m about halfway through Shiloh Walker’s Veil of Shadows, and am loving it, but you’ll have to wait until next week (maybe) for a review. Sorry about that. Only I’m really not.

Thinking about plans and timing and all, though, can be interesting. I mean, I actually have to think about my schedule now. I can’t just say, “oh, sure, I can do that,” because I need to stop and think whether we have anything planned. I don’t mind, don’t get me wrong. But it will make this fall more interesting. Between both of our (different) theatrical productions, NaNoWriMo, holidays, and actually getting to – you know – spend time with my guy (whom I still don’t know if I want to use a code name for), I think I will have an incredibly busy rest of the year. Fun, and certainly worth it, but busy. Some things (like blogging and actually finishing my 50K) will undoubtedly be difficult. (The 50K was going to be difficult anyway, since my show opens in November.) I’m still not complaining, though. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible. And my priorities aren’t the same as they were even a month ago.

It’s just a good thing I like a challenge.

*bonus points if you get the reference, though I can’t promise I spelled it right