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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Say Peas!

So left to her own devices, Mo might spend the entire weekend playing the same YouTube video over and over. Or she might get bored with that and just sit staring at the wall. Don't judge, this behavior is more common than reported because unlike our house, most homes have a TV and if you stare at the wall the TV is on, nobody knows.

With prompts, there's painting, stickers, coloring (she loves the 'adult' coloring books, I think specifically because it specifies that it's 'adult' on the cover). And she does like to go to the movies, though she rarely suggests it. And it turns out, while garden chores are generally a loss, she likes peas well enough that she's actually a pretty good gleaner when you put her on the last of the pea vines.

We were giving her a hard time for lack of progress based on her tendency to freeze a lot, and the lack of peas getting in the bin. That's because for every pea that went into the Rubbermaid, three or four went in her mouth. When I went to show her how many she'd missed on the vine, I could only find one.

I've stumbled on the movies as a weekend outing for us. I don't have a TV but I really enjoy the big screen experience. I think it's the focus that intentionality brings, along with the full immersion environment. The audiophile claim that records sound better than CDs depends largely on the quality of your turntable and cartridge, and the quality off the DAC hooked to your CD transport. But when you drop a needle on a record and there's only maybe fifteen minutes of music coming up, you actually listen to it.

So basically every pay day, I slot two $20 bills into the movie fund. That allows a once a week trip to a matinee with sodas for the two of us. Two tix, nine bucks even, a large Sprite for her, large Coke Zero for me, $10.20 (I know, that's obscenely expensive soda, the way I rationalize it is it's actually part of the ticket price—we could share but I don't like Sprite and that's her favorite). Occasionally there's a small popcorn in the mix because CineMark's phone app sends me coupons for a free small popcorn with purchase of a fountain drink when I use their 'CineMode.' Which is basically just an app for silencing your phone during the movie that's built into the app I use to look up showtimes.

Mo will sit well through pretty much any movie but I've learned a few things about how to select what I take her to. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, for instance, she was fine while it was action. War in the Middle East, that's some action. But the later parts of the movie are mostly office politics and romance two concepts she really doesn't connect with. Star Wars, comic book adaptations, The Revenant, horror flicks, it's really no that hard to find something I can enjoy watching with my kiddo.

She's actually expanded my horizons some. I've always liked the comic book films, and we saw Deadpool three times in the theater. Batmeh vs. Supermeh, Captain America Civil War, that sort of thing. Alice Through the Looking Glass is fun (not truly a Lewis Carroll story, just his characters), and I doubt I'd have seen that on my own. Jungle Book, never would have picked that if I didn't have Mo in mind. And most surprising to me, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

I never would have seen the turtles without Mo's influence on my show selection. When it came around the first time (when I wasn't much younger that Mo), I dismissed it: that looks stupid. Fair enough, but so are the Three Stooges, see also the Beverly Hillbillies, etc. But like those examples, Turtle Power turns out to be hilarious. And I know Mo enjoyed it because she laughed out loud and clapped through most of it

Most recently we took in Warcraft. Comic book adaptations have no excuse for mediocrity: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc., you have a gazillion storyboards right there in the comics you already sold. And you can tell from sales and fan feedback which ones resonated most with audiences. But a movie based on a video game, you're starting from scratch on your story. Mo loved Warcraft, but I'd say it was more than a little predictable, and a bit frustrating because every chance to resolve conflict was bypassed in the end in an obvious play to extend to sequels the first movie really doesn't call for. Angry Birds, honest to goodness, did better on that front (speaking of stupid movies my daughter and I laughed our heads off at).

But stupid is not always a good thing: look at the Trump candidacy, which would be funny if it was just a movie. It's kind of Springtime for Hitler except it's actually happening.

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