April 2017 Goals

This is a little bit late (a little bit? a lotta bit), but nevertheless, here are my goals for the month, which is already a quarter done. Whoops.

  1. I fell off the wagon with 3 sodas/week. Get back on it.
  2. Exercise 2x/week. Just do it.
  3. Eat better food. Somehow.
  4. Writing: write 1000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo.
  5. Reading: read the Protector of the Small quartet. Plus at least 2 other books.
  6. Movies: watch at least 10, 5 new to me.
  7. TV: catch up and keep up with Doctor Who. Ditto Steven Universe.
  8. Video games: get married, get all towns to S in 3oT. Try to get off the plateau in BotW.
  9. Baking: make and decorate cupcakes for Liara’s birthday. Maybe bake cookies while visiting Lia.
  10. Knitting: work on the baby blanket for Evelyn.
  11. Blog: post once or twice per week.
  12. Set up payments on my student loans.
  13. Have fun on my trip to visit Lia!

They aren’t as extensive as the last few months’ goals have been, but I think that this a level of activity that I can keep up with. I have a big trip to Pennsylvania planned later this month that I’m really looking forward to, and I’m hoping to read more books now that I’m finally done with The Name of the Wind.

What are your plans for this month?

March: Goals Round-Up

Well, after a crazy kind of month, it’s time for another round up of my monthly goals and how I did on achieving them.

  • Keep up with 3 soda days/week. Try to cut back to just 3 sodas/week.
  • Seriously start exercising twice a week. Either walk (at the mall or the park) or do the recumbent bike.
  • Eat better. More fresh food, fewer microwave options.

I did all right here. I mostly stuck to the soda rule, but I can’t really say I ate any better, outside of making and drinking a lot of smoothies. I didn’t really exercise a whole lot, either. Maybe two weeks out of four. I feel like it’s something I need to work on, but my days have been so void of motivation that I’m not sure how well that would work out.

  • Bullet journal: keep up with it all month. Keep up with the handwriting practice. Do #RockYourHandwriting every day.
  • Writing: write 1k. Finish those flash fics. Prep for Camp NaNo.
  • Reading: finish a damn book.

I’m proud to say that I kept up with my bullet journal, though I’m not quite so fastidious with it as I was at the beginning of the month. Still, I’m still doing it, and that’s what matters. I feel off practicing my handwriting, though. Rock Your Handwriting happened in fits towards the end, but I got it done. I did not get any writing of fiction done. I finished a book, but only one. As of the second of April, I’m still stuck on The Name of the Wind.

  • Movies: watch 10, 5 new to me.
  • Television: keep up with Steven Universe. Seriously catch up on Doctor Who. Everything else is a bonus.
  • Baking: bake macarons, that’s all I ask of you.
  • Video games: new games this month. Play them. Figure out the whole LP thing.
  • Knitting: finish the blanket; work on the scarf.
  • Practice ukulele twice a week or more.
  • Keep up with one blog post/week. Two if possible.

Well, on the bright side: I saw a few new movies. Kind of. More like two. And a half. I baked macarons just last week. I played the crap out of at least one of the video games. I finished the baby blanket finally. But… I didn’t work on the scarf. I didn’t keep up with any of my TV shows. I didn’t touch my ukulele. I barely kept up with posting to this blog. So that’s kind of a net zero, I guess.

  • Figure out student loans and what’s going on with them.
  • Save $400 if still employed. $200 if not.
  • Visit brother and SIL. Figure out if we’re doing Night Vale again.

I think I have my student loans figured out. Thank god. I managed to save quite a bit of money thanks to my tax refunds coming in. And I visited my brother, at least; my sister-in-law was unfortunately out of town for work.

So once again it was kind of hit and miss. Maybe I need to aim lower.

(Sorry that this is a bit morose. The last few weeks have been tough.)

Why I walked out of Beauty and the Beast (2017)

So here’s the thing: Beauty and the Beast (1991) is my very favorite movie. And Beauty and the Beast (2017) is the first movie I ever walked out on.

I’m not that proud of it. I wish I could have sat through the rest of it, but everything up to the point I walked out (when Belle snuck into the West Wing and subsequent conflict from that) was just Too Much, if that makes any sense. It probably doesn’t. Probably I’m just too nostalgic, or too much of a purist, or Too Much myself. But this film is trying so hard to play on viewers’ nostalgia, and to remind viewers of the 1991 original, that I can’t help but think it fell into its own trap. Every attempt to remind us of the animated film reveals what it really is: a pale, cold imitation.

But almost from the very start, the movie was distracting. The prologue’s narrator put the emphasis on the wrong words so often it threw me out of the movie. Emma Watson’s voice, autotuned or not, lacks any of the warmth of Paige O’Hara.  (And she still does that weird stuff with her eyebrows.) That’s something I could say about the “whole” film: it has no warmth, no joy. It’s trying so hard to be like the original that it doesn’t bother trying to do its own thing.

Mind you, I did like the things that were different, the brief flashes of something original: that the castle was locked in eternal winter, and the enchanted objects becoming more inanimate as the rose wilted. I like that Maurice worked in delicate clockwork rather than being a kooky inventor, and that they kept part of the original fairy tale’s reason for the Beast demanding a price from him: he stole a single rose. I thought Gaston and LeFou were quite funny.

But there was so much else wrong that I couldn’t keep my eyes on the screen from sheer embarrassment. Ewan McGregor and Emma Thompson’s accents didn’t do them any favors. The costumes were trying so hard to be Realistic that they fell into this weird uncanny valley of fakeness. As much as I liked the original stuff, the movie aped the animated version so often that it distracted me. Every time they repeated a line from the original, I got jerked out of the movie, and they did it often.

In the end, I just couldn’t stand it. Maybe the second half of the movie was better. Maybe it improved. Maybe the ballroom scene had that sheer awe and love of the animated version. (I doubt it, going by the promo pics of it.) But honestly, I think the whole thing was a calculated money-grab, playing on viewers’ nostalgia to get them into theater seats.

But that’s just me, I guess.