8/07/2020

Mutiny on the Bounty!

 Youngest is my early riser.

Every morning no later than 7:20, he's downstairs and mostly raring to go. We've fallen into a routine of snuggles and breakfast and then some sort of semi-education TV.

He's a big fan of ocean things. And generically animals. So Wild Kratts. Octonauts. Dino Dan/Dana. But also Planet Earth and Life and other nature documentaries.

I love that our Disney+ subscription gets us the National Geographic channel.

So today, we scrolled around and found Sharks of Lost Island.

On it's own, it's a good documentary of the Pitcairn Archipelago and the state of the coral reefs there. One was just gorgeous -- they said it basically looked untouched -- and it was swarming with sharks. There were others that were also lovely but lacking in sharks which are, apparently, an indicator of reef health.

But what struck me, was the fact that Pitcairn (the island) is where the mutineers from the Bounty were marooned and their descendants still live there today.

Here's the thing -- I did not realize that was an historical event. I thought it was a story like Treasure Island or Master and Commander. (I mentioned this to my dad at lunch and he just shook his head and asked who taught me history. But honestly! I can pretty much guarantee you that this was never touched on in any history I studied. Never ever.) I had equated Captain Bligh to Long John Silver in terms of veracity.

So, yes, embarrassing, and yet the kiddo and I spent a good hour sussing out the story and looking up maps and the ship and the captains and on and on and on. 

Now I need to find myself a book that includes the story more than Wikipedia and the like can give me. Because I'm just simply fascinated.

All in all, it was well worth it for the sharks, for the Bounty, and also to find that yes, indeed, the archipelago has been made into a marine reserve which should help protect those pristine reefs and hopefully allow the hurting ones to rebuild.

8/03/2020

Collecting up shoes

Whelp.


Today was the sister's repeat PET scan since the one in May (90 days post treatment) did not look like what it should. There was some diminishment in May, so they were hoping it was just residual evacuating/dying cancer cells and that today's would show a clean bill of health.

Not so much.

If you set today's image next to the one from October (pre-treatment of any sort) they're virtually impossible to distinguish. If anything, today's looks a little bigger and brighter (brighter being activity, to my understanding.)

So yay.

The official chat with the oncologist is Thursday and I suppose there's a 0.00000001% chance he'll be able to say oh no, you're reading it wrong.

But mostly none of us believe it.

There are possible options, but none are good. The treatment in the fall/winter was always billed as "everything and the kitchen sink" - so what's left are "well, you're dying anyway we might as well try this" type options.

She thinks 18 months on the outside based on her research.

I guess we'll see what the doc says, but honestly, 2020 can suck it.

7/28/2020

Changes I would like to keep

I will happily agree with anyone who is anxious to get back to normal. I'm right there with you. 


That said, there are a few changes I would happily keep until the end of days.

  1. Hubby being able to work from home with some regularity. The traffic around here is his #1 frustration. Not having to deal with it is a huge boon for everyone. (Him because he doesn't have to deal with the traffic. Me because I don't have to listen to him gripe about something that's not changeable. And the kids (and me) because we get more time with him. Of course, he hasn't yet managed more than 2 complete weeks working from home because of the nature of his job, but even one or two days at home is a huge win.
  2. Virtual speech therapy. This is amazing. I love the fact that I HAVE to be there while kiddo is online with the speech therapist (which is hilarious because when it was in the office I was absolutely not allowed to go back with him). It means not only do I see what they're working on (and can intercept and redirect when I see that they're missing the issue that needs to be the point of ST to start with) but I can help her understand what he's not getting (there have been some kind of big miscommunications that I was able to help solve). And overall I can actually end the time feeling like it wasn't a huge waste of time. PLUS, our ST office is a solid 35 minute drive each way, for a 30 minute appointment. So spending just 30 minutes on ST instead of 90 is a win all day long.
I think I had one or two others but now I can't remember what they were. Because braining is hard?

Anyway, that's still 2. 

7/19/2020

Y'all

I think some of my problem with posting here is that I've simply gotten out of the habit of talking about things online. Because generally my feeling on Faceplant is, just say no. The thoughts that rattle through my head aren't going to spawn exciting discussion, and so really why bother over there? (And if they were to spawn discussion, it'd be either an echo chamber or I'd get cancelled and really who needs either?)


So many things right now:
  • Much in-law drama ensues. I am, if nothing else, learning the kind of Mother-in-Law not to be. But I think (really really want to believe) that I would not have been this kind of person anyway. 
  • Semi-related--adopted kids are kids. Full members of the family. I have ZERO use for anyone who feels otherwise and honestly, I'll chose my adopted kids 100% of the time over any "blood relative" who disagrees with that.
  • Seriously. Pound sand.
  • Le sigh.
  • Honestly, I think to myself "Oh good grief, pound sand." To a lot of things these days. It's my version of get off my lawn I guess?
  • Masks - whatever. I wear them when others ask. Do I think they help? Meh. No. But it's really not a big deal to wear one.
  • School is a non-issue here, though I feel for people having to make a decision b/c there's really nothing like having your hand forced. Also, I don't understand what the folks who need two incomes to survive are supposed to do. We've trained people to expect full-time childcare from the state in the form of school. Now we're yanking it away with no backup plan? I mean sure, school isn't childcare, whatever, the State has MADE it childcare. 
  • That's probably enough. I'm grumpy about the state of the world.

7/13/2020

Around the World in 80 Days

We finished up Around the World in 80 Days last week. It was a very fun story all the way to the end. The bets continued back and forth about whether he would a) actually make it in the allotted time and b) whether or not he was the bank theif.


So, since we finished, I thought, well, let's watch the movie.

There were options. There's a 1950s movie and a 2002(ish) one. I knew the older would be a super hard sell for my boys. (They're heathens I admit this. We tried to watch the original Tron prior to seeing TronLegacy and were told in no uncertain terms that it was "old fashioned junk." I am not optimistic about trying something black and white.)

So, 2000s version it is! 

Plus Jackie Chan is always fun.

Y'all.

THIS MOVIE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOOK EXCEPT THE TITLE.

It was like Starship Troopers. 

Fun movie? Sure.

Anything to do with the book?

Nope. Nopeity nope nope.

Still, the boys had fun. It was their first introduction, I believe, to Jackie Chan. And we had a fun conversation at the end about the fact that the book is always better and THIS is why you always read it first.

Because dang.

7/05/2020

Hamilton Thoughts

I will admit to having seen, with something approaching gleeful anticipation, that Disney+ was going to be releasing Hamilton on July 3rd.


When it opened on Broadway and took everything by storm, I watched with interest. Mostly because I am and ever will be at heart a theater nerd. I listened to a few songs on the soundtrack thought maybe I was just not getting it because I was missing the whole stage experience.

Honestly, everyone was hyping this show. You couldn't turn around but everyone was oohing and ahhhing and I thought to myself, "Self when you get the chance, you should see this."

The traveling show came to the Kennedy Center last year (was it the year before last? I feel like maybe Mom and I talked about it, which would mean 2018. I know we talked about the show, so I'm not sure if I'm melding that with the thought of the ticket prices into one conversation even though it wasn't.) I looked at tickets and nearly died. Because I'm just simply not paying $300 to sit in the nosebleeds. I'd maybe spend up to half that, depending. 

Anyway, since I realized my budget was never going to stretch to seeing it live, I was stoked about seeing it on Disney+.

And so, last night while we were waiting for it to get dark enough to light off our small explosive celebrations, we turned it on.

It was...not what I was expecting.

Don't get me wrong, it was good. I enjoyed it.

But it wasn't the most amazing thing ever released upon the stage and OHMYGOSHWHYHAVEN'TYOUSEENITYET!!!!! Like I figured it would be.

I actually spent a little time on the intertoobs trying to suss out where all the hype came from. Best I can see is because it was revolutionary (see what I did there?) to have a primarily minority cast taking on the roles of old, dead white guys.

I think maybe I'm just not hipster enough to care about that. (Should there be more minorities cast on Broadway? Yes. If there are people of any race/creed/color/etc qualified for and auditioning for whatever roles are out there, then their race/creed/color/etc should not be what's keeping them from getting those roles. Does having a cast that leans heavily on less represented folks automatically make that show amazing? I'm gonna go on a limb and say no.)

The music was fine. I'm not super into hip hop and rap, so I mean I was probably never going to love it. I also don't listen to Kanye and...honestly I don't know enough about the oeuvre to even come up with a second name to throw in there. Ke$ha? Is that what she does? (I like FloRida, but I'm guessing he doesn't fall into this category.) For what it is, it was good. 

If they did a musical that was all country music, I would also not be enthralled with it.

Beyond that, they spend a lot of time on the suspected but not proven affair between A Ham and his sister-in-law and the proven indiscretion with the other chick. And...I mean I get he torpedoed his career with the latter but I just...infidelity leaves me blergh. He was a creep. Which okay, he was a politician so I guess it follows. I just wish there could have been less focus on it (and I remarked to hubs at the height of the affair bit that if A Ham was running for office today it would either not matter or, more likely, give him some cachet. Because that seems to be where things are these days.)

So, did I like it? Well enough I guess.

From a theater nerd standpoint, did I love it? I mean, I enjoyed how they handled some of the technical aspects -- having the stage crew taken on by the chorus, the double revolving stage, the staircases that move in order to "rearrange" the set somewhat. It's a very stripped back set and I thought they did a good job with that, but I'll admit a preference to the more elaborate staging. (Actual helicopter a la Miss Saigon? Yes please.)

There were definite high points.

Will I watch it again? Meh. If someone wants to watch it and I'm around, sure. I guess. But I don't see myself seeking out anything other than the 7 minute compilation of King George's songs on YouTube. Because those? Those are gold.

6/27/2020

Saturday Random

I'll try to keep this cheerful - I realize it's mopey around here lately.


  • Today would've been mom and dad's 56th. Dad...is not doing well (haha, so much for cheerful) mentally coming up on 2 years of mom being gone. Which really, why would he be?
  • Today is the boys' final award ceremony for their Trail Life troop. It'll be outside and different than usual, but barring extreme heat (please God), it should still be a pleasant time.
  • We're also meeting in person with my writer's group today - first time in many months. I think, technically, we could have been meeting as there are only six of us (which is, obviously, lower than 10), but we generally meet at a church and so Der Kommisar had tighter restrictions. Because Christians are more contagious than normal people. Or something.
  • Anyway, we'd been meeting over zoom, which is fine, but also not the same.
  • The boys are officially finished with all of their curriculum. Let the summer break begin! Which means instead of doing schoolwork every day, we'll have mandatory reading time - both our read aloud and individual reading.
  • Speaking of read alouds, our current is Around the World in 80 Days. I'm enjoying it mightily -- especially being able to give a sufficiently snooty French accent to Passepartout whenever he speaks. I've realized I have never read any Verne before. Not sure how a lit minor in college (added on top of having taking AP Lit in HS) managed that. But whatever. He's very readable today, which was, I admit, a tad surprising.
  • The boys are enjoying it as well. We have our own little wagers running on whether or not Fogg will make it around the world in his 80 days or fail and whether or not he stole the money from the Bank of England. Eldest says no and yes, respectively. Youngest says yes and no. I think yes and no as well - but I also snuck a peek at the last chapter because I couldn't stand the suspense of the first question.
  • Said peek sneaking thoroughly annoyed eldest - he says to me, "MOM! You can't DO that." To which I replied, "Why not? The pages turn." And he says, "But you're supposed to wait and see what happens!" And then I explained how I desperately hate surprises and will enjoy the book more for knowing the end. He is still not sure about that, but since I'm keeping my own thoughts on the wager quiet (so as not to influence opinions), he's letting it lie. But periodically I catch him giving me a disbelieving look of annoyance. But then, he's a tween, so it might be unrelated.
  • The traffic is starting to pick up some, and hubs is now beginning his grumbles about his commute. I guess some things will absolutely go back to the way they were. Sigh.