Mary Poppins Returns

I saw Mary Poppins Returns, finally.

I wanted to see it ever since I saw the trailer. Yes, we’re all weary of sequels, especially one that rides the coattail of arguably one of the most beloved movies of all time. Well, the trailer came out and I watched it with the usual skepticism and then thought: huh, that actually looks quite delightful! (Not to mention the excellent casting.) So I had higher-than-medium hopes for the film. No one can replace Julie Andrews but, well, let’s not judge before seeing, right?

Didn’t have time to go anywhere near theaters until last week. Dragged my s.o. with me, too. (He’s only seen clips of the original so he wasn’t too enthused, which reminds me: I should make him watch the whole thing at some point.) And I thought the film was perfectly good. Emily Blunt did a GREAT job portraying Mary Poppins. The songs are catchy and technicolored (I know that doesn’t really describe sound but they just feel that way) and everything is perfectly nostalgic. When the animated section came on I nearly cried because it had been a long, long time since I’ve seen Disney 2-D animation (yes, I know none of it’s technically 2-D but, again, close enough). It’s weird isn’t it that one can get emotional over such small things from our childhood. And all those bright colors and the cheerful costumes. (Anyone know where I can buy Mary Poppins’ awesome polka-dotted gloves?) The whole film just gives off this wholesome feel of happiness, something I (and the rest of the world) fucking desperately needs right now, I think.

Something else funny happened when I went to see the film. It was the 10 pm show on a Saturday and there were literally six of us in the theater altogether (three couples). We and one of the couples were lounging across the seats drowning in popcorn while the other couple left 1/3 through the film! I told my s.o. this later (he didn’t notice) and he was like, wow, why would you buy Mary Poppins Returns tickets if you don’t like musicals? I said it might not be the fact it’s a musical but that it has so many references to the previous film that if you’ve never heard of or seen it, you’d be a lot less enchanted by its magic. Which leads to the question of ‘why would you go see this super direct sequel if you have zero inkling of the original?’ which I guess we’ll never get the answer to. But at some point I heard the couple who left talk and they weren’t speaking English, so maybe it’s a cultural thing? (My immigrant parents saw the original film with me and thought I was crazy for liking it so much, so.)

Anyway, I enjoyed the film quite a bit. I heard they might have a sequel to this sequel – uh…I hope not. I don’t think making this a franchise is going to do it any favors, especially if it’s released on a regular schedule or some such.

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Return

Well, it’s December 24th of 2018 and I’ve just returned from a week-long cruise in Mexico. I’ve also returned to update this blog, it looks like. This year has been quite uneventful, and it’s not for lack of trying on my part. My life seems stagnant, spiraling in a stall, and so my desire to keep up with blogging has pretty much drained down to nothing. But 2019 is around the corner, so perhaps things will go differently with a fresh new year.

The trip was very fun but not quite relaxing. Being surrounded by people 24/7 isn’t really my cup of tea, but it was a great vacation nonetheless. I went with my s.o. and his family and we all had separate cabins with balconies. We went offshore for excursions and brought back a bunch of souvenirs (all very unique and very breakable. Lucky we didn’t have to deal with flights or anything crazy aside from an Uber ride back). It was my first traipse into Mexico and as far as super touristy cities go, it was quite nice.

(Saw a T-shirt that said “relax, you’re on the fun side of Trump’s wall” and thought it was hilarious. Didn’t buy it though because the occasion where wearing it makes sense are very, very few.)

I like the night when we were at sea the best. I love standing out on the balcony, watching the moon’s rays reflect beautifully on the water. The only sounds were the splashing waves from the ship. There were so many stars, unaffected by light pollution, and I could actually see the gentle curving of the horizon with nary a coast in sight. It was then that I started to relax. The idea of being alone at sea seems to invoke some sort of calmness in me rather than fear. My mind empties out, and I worry about nothing for a while. It’s funny, because I’ve never appreciated the sea quite so much before. Guess I had to be in the middle of it rather than by the beach for it to make me feel its draw.

Well that ended on a poetic note. Hopefully it doesn’t read too cheesy, but you know what, even if it were it’s fine. It’s really hard for me to find ways to relax, at least now I can add ‘lost at sea while staring into the abyss’ onto that list.

Picking Up – And Different Goals!

It’s been a while again. Boy, why do I always do this to myself? Or rather, to this journal? I really can’t keep a consistent blog for the life of me, can I? Oh well, I’ll just do what I can.

Anyway, it’s August, and I tried to do Camp NaNoWriMo July and failed, sort of. It’s more like I started to write my novel and realized there’re some fundamental issues with my plot and character growth, so I stopped writing words altogether and went back to the basics of plotting and outlining and wracking my brain trying to solve some serious logistic issues. And I’m happy to say that: well, the kinks aren’t all ironed out, BUT a good portion is going okay, so I’m just going to spend probably the rest of this week to seriously outline the thing before I pick it back up again – this time to finish.

Yes, I’ve decided that the first draft has gone on long enough. I’ve worked on this for at least two years now, approaching two and a half, and I’m just really sick and tired of working on it for now. So I’m going to stop writing it by the end of September, and declare it finished, even if I might be a couple chapters or two short. I will spend October planning something else, for christ’s sake, and for this year’s NaNoWriMo I will be writing another project, because goddamn, my brain is just so tired of thinking about this novel already.

Next year I will of course start second draft, which will (hopefully) be faster and better. But that’s next year. I need a serious, major change of pace, and I’m going to just do it.

June

It’s June.

The good news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned.

The bad news is that in May I wrote two chapters, like I had planned the bare minimum. I was aiming for three or four chapters, and only got two done. One I’m horribly unhappy with.

The good news is that it’s June, and I can start fresh. I’m still planning to do two chapters because I know one is going to be ridiculously long and complicated (and probably will be divided into two chapters upon revision). I’m also going to try to write every day instead of the sporadic of a truckload of words one week and zero words the next. Because that a hobby makes but a steady job does not make.

Although if I discover that I just write super bi-polarly and that’s just how my “style” is, then I’ll let it be.

I don’t think that’s the case, though.

Friday Fictioneers – #13

I hope this isn’t too subtle. I’ve been reading E. M. Forster and class is on my mind.

Photo Prompt:

bowl-and-leaves
Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

Sunday Brunch

My mother has that same bowl.

That was what Beulah saw when she walked into the Stantons’ living room. Not the fine china, the taffeta curtains, or the fresh yogurt on the kitchen table. It was the plain, almost tacky bowl, one that her mother had kept half-blackened banana in for baking, that drew her attention.

“Hey, you’re early,” Nick came out from the back. “Oh…yeah, that. It’s my Gran’s. Dad wanted to chuck it, said it ‘broke the aesthetic.’ Whatever; I think it’s cool. We had it since forever.” He grabbed the keys. “Ready?”

“Yeah,” Beulah nodded, and smiled.

Reading With No Time

Have you ever found a new book to read, and checked it out the library or bought it, and wanted to slot a time to read it because you know it’ll be good, and then just never actually find the time to slot it to read it because you keep putting it off because you have a zillion other things to do that needed to be taken care of NOW? Yeah, that’s yours truly, and the kicker is that I checked this book out of the library and I think it’s due in a like a few days, and I haven’t even started.

The book is Howards End by E.M.Forster. I’ve read one book by Forster before, Maurice, and loved it. That book was so good; it’s definitely ahead of its time by like 100 years. So when I read a random article on Vogue about the new series “Howards End” that’s based on another one of his books I thought, well then, time to check this one out too. I read like the first paragraph and went ‘this’ll be excellent too’ and then I never had time to read any further. Ugh.

Maybe I should seriously consider setting aside 30 minutes every day to read? I know that there’re habit trackers that help with that, and would be a good addition to my bullet journal. There’re so many things that I want to/need to read that I’m further behind in my good book backlog than  my video games/tv shows backlog, I’m sure. Why does life just feel like a series of things that you try to keep up to get done before you kick the bucket? Hah. That’s a morbid thought, especially for someone as sickly as me. But I think a set time to tackle at least the literary front (not a specific time, just 30 min every day whenever) is a good start.