Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Night Flop

When I was in college I was never really a party animal or anything, but my Friday nights were definitely a time to be social.  A coffee house, video games in someone's dorm room, out for pizza, an occasional frat party...but certainly something involving other people.  Recent Friday nights have been dead.  Granted, it's been a pretty busy time around work over the past month--lots of overtime at work involving production of the high school tournaments for television, and that's left me a bit burned out. 

Regardless, looking at my Friday night this week was just sad.  I got home from work late and took a quick nap.  I tried to figure out what to make for dinner, but realized the fridge was mostly empty so I went grocery shopping.  Realized that I was out of clean underwear, so I did a load of laundry.  While it was washing, I sat down with a game on my iPod touch and got absolutely sucked in (W.E.L.D.E.R.--an insanely addictive word game).  I looked up and suddenly realized it was after 9:00.  So I snuggled up with my computer and did some work on my taxes.

What happened to me??  College Josh would be so disappointed...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

I kind of like the resurgence in fairy tales in Hollywood recently.  Between Once Upon a Time and Grimm on television and Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman coming out as movies, it looks like the memo is going around and it looks like they're attempting to take some new and interesting angles.

I think that every child grows up on fairy tales.  It's the way to pass on the message that absolutely anything is possible.  It's lovely and sweet and all, but generally the fairy tales as read to kids are not the fairy tales as originally written.  I definitely have a preference for Grimm's version of the fairy tales over the scrubbed versions that Disney has taken on.  They're grittier, have more depth, and they don't always end with "and they lived happily ever after".  (Spoiler alert if you haven't read Grimm)  The Little Mermaid dies, the queen in Snow White demands Snow's heart, liver and lungs for her dinner, and Sleeping Beauty has her father's child after she's raped.  I'm not going to say that these are pleasant images or events, but they're just...more interesting for me.  Happy and fuzzy was not necessarily the Grimm way.

And taking a familiar tale and playing with it a little bit is something I've always enjoyed.  In a college creative writing class, I wrote a couple stories from the wolf's point of view in both Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.  I enjoy looking at the motivation of "the bad guy".  I mean, what if the Big Bad Wolf was just hungry?  If his home forest was being chopped down and the other animals weren't as abundant, can you blame him for trying to get a bite to eat from a little girl's picnic basket?  Granted...chowing down on the girl and her grandmother might have been a bit extreme, but hunger makes you do strange things!  And what if the three little pigs had willfully destroyed the wolf's ancestral home to get the materials for their houses?  Can you blame him for wanting a bit of revenge?

Turning familiar stories on their heads is great deals fun for me when it's done well, which is why I'm pretty much hooked on both of the fairy-tale based television shows (and why Into the Woods is one of my favorite musicals).  When you can take the original and ask "what if?" it brings new fun into an old favorite.  I find it more enjoyable than knowing going in that it will end with "happily ever after".

Friday, March 2, 2012

Curling up with...

For as long as I can remember, I've loved the opportunity to curl up with a good book.  So when the desire to curl up with the internet or the tv is more tempting, I know something is wrong.  I've found some wonderful projects that have taken some of the time which could be used for reading (like knitting and making key racks out of Legos), so that doesn't bother me.  What catches my attention a little bit is the amount of time I spend watching TV these days (especially since my job entails watching TV as well) and on the computer. 

I still have my must-see TV, but that's only two or three shows a week.  I'll generally knit in front of the television, so that may account for another few shows that I don't feel a burning need to watch, but are good entertainment while I work on a project.  And I have my fair share of things that need to be done on the computer (including putting together a blog that can be very therapeutic at times).  But certain social media sites which shall remain nameless remain major time suckers for me.  Technically it's reading, but much of it is of the worst kind--gossip, fluff, and bad spelling, grammar and abbreviations.  There's information to be gleaned, but it's something that I should be able to read and walk away...and yet I can't.

My reading habits tend to be all-consuming.  I'll find a series that I like, dive in, and not come out until I've devoured it.  Or find a genre that intrigues me and go from book to book to book until I don't want to think about the genre ever again.  I found a series that I love, but it runs 14 books.  I have the next book in the series, but I'm not jumping at the opportunity to start it.  I think it may be time to make a switch from the noir detective novel.  I'll have to find something else to dive into and allow to consume me until the desire returns to finish off this series.  I just need to find the next glimmer of intrigue...