I'll Get Around To It Later

A tour de force with your host Faith

T-Minus 1 Month

And then I will be an aunt! This is probably a case of appropriation, but regardless of how it make me appear I'll share it anyway – I am SO excited. My feelings are hard to put into words which is why I am struggling with this a little bit.

This was something that really hit home when we had the baby shower.

While I have only ever been to one shower, that being the one for my sister, it was the best one I will ever attend. Mainly because it gave me the chance to express myself without the need for words. I could simply help prepare and choose things that I knew she would appreciate and at the same time she would know that they came from me. It is a sister thing I guess.

Everything that I would help with I did help with. From helping get the guest list together and sending out the invitations to managing the RSVPs. Oh, and I got to "help" pick out the invites as well. Actually they pretty much left it up me.

And that was a lot of fun.

There are a lot of different options which is one of the reason that got the job. It was clear that they were overwhelmed with the choice in invitations and quickly threw up their hands.

I mean it isn't like I am pregnant myself but regardless there is this sort of excitement that is making me antsy. Anticipation would be one way to describe it but then there is more to it. The biggest factor that is making me nervous is that I want to be there for my big sis but it is difficult since we don't really live that close by. We speak more frequently now that when we were in the same house. It is strange how distance can improve some relationships.

One month and counting before baby is here

To make a short story long, in one month from now I will be an aunt. And I am excited and terrified at the same time. That is the most direct I am be. Becoming a mother would probably totally freak me out, but my sister is handling the pregnancy amazingly well, especially considering that it doesn't seem like it was all that easy. Though I think that people that claim their pregnancy was easy are just down playing or forgetting all of the pain and changes it produces in our bodies.

What Is Pregnancy?

Can you really tell somebody what it is like to wait for a child to be born? I don't think that I even completely comprehend the whole process. The changes that one's body goes through during pregnancy are incredible and a little bit overwhelming. At least to me. But my sister has held up well through out the last eight months and has what I can assume would be a relatively easy pregnancy so far without any complications on the foreseeable horizon.

It would be both sort of embarrassing for her to go through them. And I will save you for the details as well because there is a chance some of you may blush as well. Needless to say it was an eye opener for me as well, because as much as I wish some of it would have been left out I got a pretty detailed account of the whole experience.

My Solution

My solution has been simple. Listen. Maybe I won't be pregnant anytime soon but I figure what I learn now will be able to help in the long run. Any information is better than no information and even if it doesn't help in the foreseeable future it might: a) help somebody I know b) be a base to build my experience on.

Right now I am just practicing being the best aunt that I can be for when my niece/nephew is born.

Becoming An Aunt

When I think of everything that has changed in the last five years in my life I am a little overwhelmed. Five years ago my sister was still living at home and didn't even have a boyfriend. Now? Now she is going to be a mother.

The idea of becoming an aunt it thrilling. And it has given me a chance to do some amazing things.

Calling the Cauldron Black

"The pot calling the kettle black" is a proverbial idiom that may be of Spanish origin of which English versions began to appear in the first half of the 17th century.
The idiom is glossed in the original sources as being used of a person who is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another and is thus an example of psychological projection.

When I started re-enjoying Disney movies I was loath to try "The Black Cauldron" since it was never something that I enjoyed watching growing up. This was a risky move. And it demanded a little bit of thought to get it right.

Risky moves

I don't think it's a particularly good effort by Disney, it was different. Though I can look at it now and appreciate it for what it is. Back then Gurgi was the only good part of the movie and he still is.

The art direction is great in "The Black Cauldron" and I assume that this the reason it was one of my brother's favorite Disney films as a kid. Watching it now I see how dark it really was and why it did not appeal to me.

Audiences weren't necessarily prepped for a darker movie in the 1980's, the film had budget issues across the board, the plot tried to condense a lot of material. At the time it just didn't feel like a traditional Disney movie. It was darker and put off some families.

This was because Disney had purchased the rights to the whole series. It was named after the second book but also tried to cover the first and then veers in a different direction and the pacing occasionally struggled because of this. On top of that the characters come and go with little development, which makes them forgettable. The film's atmosphere feels oddly empty, as if there's no world or characters beyond what shows up on screen. Compare that to something like "Beauty and the Beast" which features a lively castle, rowdy bar, village, etc.

As for story it took a simplified direction with the material like many Disney stories and the story they did try to tell was visibly undermined by censorship. It's very poorly paced compared to better example of Disney animation for decades before and it is clear that it has been reworked from the editing. Another reason was because it was the last of the Disney "gag men" style of animated feature.

I admire that the movie is a bold attempt for Disney to use a darker style, rather than the usual stuffs they were producing, however, I just don't think that lives up to the better movies that came out before it. Still, I also feel that the darker-tone of the movie inspired some of the more mainstream fantasy movies of the 80s and against them it holds its own. Though it is not a great film as such "The Black Cauldron" is far from the worst Disney movie. And the hate that it receives is unjust.

Catching Up With the Classics

The Classics

I like to re-watch shows and movies at different points in my life to give a renewed perspective on them.

Cars Never Got Me Revved Up

So I just wanted to use the word Revved. It is just so nice and symmetric. But I have been on a Disney kick lately, and "Cars" came to mind.

Revved Cars

I could have also went with "Planes" but that is sort of a spin-off in the Cars universe.

Cars

Which brings up so many questions that I think the film makers would rather live without. For example: Through "Planes" is that we learn that WWII happened in the Cars universe. Which means they introduced all of the atrocities of the Second World War. Did they think this far ahead when they were making it? I hope they did.

But to be honest the Cars universe brings up so many questions a sensible adult should be asking.

Here are some of the thoughts I have had when I first watched the movie.

We don't see animals other than the agricultural equipment and those creepy car-flies.

Cars also seem to eat, which means they must replace food in the ecosystem even though plants seem to be ordinary.

Are all cars and car-animals manufactured, or did they evolve from a bio-mechanical ancestor? Is their a Car God?

Are there car marine animals?

Fossils of extinct cars?

Dinoco clearly indicates that dinosaurs existed in the Cars world. Which means that they are making a really hard attempt to recreate everything in our world. Which means that they might be using fossil fuel, which would be sort of weird.

What determines if a certain vehicle is an animal or a "car?"

Do cars "eat" car animals by using them for spare parts? Would that be the primary source of metal and parts for cars, or is metal ore just a significantly more valuable resource?

Are there car slaughterhouses, and car hunters with real tree paint jobs and deer racks? Are red neck "cars" the fitting makes and models?

What were vehicles from historical periods before cars and planes were invented like? Since they are a pretty new invention and wheels are pretty old. Were car animals like tractors also older models back in the day?

You really should not watch kids movies and expect them to make sense.

"The Body"

In the "Stranger Things" episode "The Body" had the children walking along a train track which echoed several scenes in "Stand By Me". The movie "Stand By Me" was based on a Steven King story called "The Body".

Just a thought though.

Quick Pesto Chicken French Bread Pizza

I think that food should be both delicious and fast. At least when I am hungry, which is often, everyday almost when I stop and think about it.

Hungry, I started to making a delicious French bread pizza. It is actually surprisingly easy. It's probably one of the fastest things I make on a regular basis. When I say fast I mean 20 minutes. But for a satisfying dinner that everyone at the table will be on board with, miracles do not happy often. The key here is to pick a really delicious prepared pesto, easily found in grocery stores even when basil isn't in season.

When you have your pesto you need to layered the rest of your ingredients on crispy French bread with fresh cherry tomatoes, sautéed chicken, and mozzarella cheese, etc..

I usually use:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese shavings, for serving (optional)
  • 1 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 2 (10-ounce) loaf French bread or baguette
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, divided
  • Salt

Once I have my ingredients I will start potting things together to bake. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, then pre-heat to 400°F.

Once you have that going start heating the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering then go ahead and add the chicken. I like salt so I use two big pinches of salt when I am grilling the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and starting to turn golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the heat to ensure that it doesn't burn.

We're getting close now, you'll need to use a serrated knife to cut the bread. Otherwise when you try to cut it in half lengthwise you may rip it and that doesn't present itself nearly as nicely on the plate.

Place the halves cut-side up on a baking sheet.

Spread the pesto on bread. Top with half the tomatoes and half the chicken. Sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella. Top with the remaining tomatoes and chicken.

Then start baking it until the bread is heated through and the cheese is melted, in my oven this takes about 10 minutes. Then take it out and dab a little olive oil on top and cover it in Parmesan shavings. If you want to. This step is really only if desired. But we really love it like this! Cut each half into 2 pieces for a serving.

Fantasia

I know, it's not very popular, but I loved the music and animations.

It was acid for my my little brain.

Fantasia is incredible because it's often either abstract and makes you think, or atmospheric and makes you feel. I used to love it as a kid because I was kind of a weirdo and I related to the emotions. When I watched it as an adult after having a kid and bawled my eyes out for that little "me". I appreciate it so much more now than I did as a kid. They also chose interesting, challenging pieces like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

"Fantasia 2000" was lackluster in comparison.

I saw it the first time when I was really little, either four or five years old, and the moment Stkowski's hands came down on the first note of Toccata and Fugue was the moment that permanent cemented the difference between pop songs and dedicated, classical music to me. I had no idea what was going on, other than that it was something different, and really, really special.