Chaos Attraction

Charge the Bear

2020-12-05, 8:28 p.m.

recently on Chaos Attraction
Bleah News - 2020-12-09
Then I Watched Some Lifetime Movies - 2020-12-08
Nothing But Hallmark All Day Long - 2020-11-29
Let It Go - 2020-12-07
I Dunno About Gifting - 2020-12-06


Cast list as of November 2019

I was reading this this morning, about how Will Leitch had an article take off online and the horrors of what happens when that happens. Actually it doesn't sound like he had horrors break out, per se, but it still made him uncomfortable to get that amount of publicity. And I thought, "and he's saying that as a straight white male, i.e. the demographic all people find "the least offensive." If he was Willa Leitch, he'd be getting death threats by now for having something become popular.

I....sorta... want to be famous. I can't really explain this because while I love performing and wearing interesting clothes and whatnot, I'm not an enormous attention whore IRL. Fame appeals for reasons of being able to do what I love doing without having to spend 40 hours a week at a day job where I don't fit well and piss off a lot of people, having access to working with other cool people, and presumably not having to worry about money too much, but not so much the attention. It'd be more of a useful tool for my goals than anything else. However, these days fame is a horrible idea because as a woman, I will get stalked, doxxed, harassed, and death threats aplenty if anyone knows who I am. I'm glad I didn't get particularly attention-whore-y before the Internet blew up because then it'd be too late, and given my age, looks, flying under the radar and not being on social media, it's not likely now. Which is fine.

I love plays. I had no interest ever in being filmed for anything or doing movies. Too old/fat/nerdy/female would have ruled me out for that even if I'd wanted to, I live nowhere near the film industry, etc. I would categorically not have done anything that would have made it to YouTube if not for the pandemic and filming basically becoming the only option to perform. Given that scenario, it's fine. Happily, nothing I've done online has gotten more than a few hundred people watching it and nothing has gone "viral" and probably never will, which is a relief. Plus it's fun to be able to show things to the out-of-towners, as it were.

It's a good thing that there's so many performers out there and ways to do that that you don't have to be famous in order to get jobs. You can always fly under the radar and maintain your day job. Likewise, these days, as long as you stay off social media, you're fine for not having things get crazy on you. Literally nobody reads this the rest of the year and I am totally fine with that. I use the journal like David Sedaris uses his: look up stuff for material later, and it's easier to find stuff this way than looting through my paper journals. I figure I would ruin my life if I was posting this stuff on Facebook (at the very least, my former bully, who loves to stalk on Facebook, would have a field day) and god help me if I posted something people liked there. It's also probably a good thing I'm no longer a reporter in case somehow I wrote something that did take off. I said I wish I could write an article on people demanding smiles during a pandemic (on a related note, read this.), but if I actually did that, I'd ruin my life, so.... it just ends up here. And that's fine.

I don't feel like I'm fulfilling my purpose in life to stay hidden, but then again, most of us don't, so it doesn't matter. Staying safe is all.

Good news! Jury trials are shut down through December 25. I've been terrified all pandemic that I'm going to get called--my coworkers have been and I got a notice checking my eligibility for federal jury duty early on, but at least federal trials were shut down last I checked. Now my county is too. Whew. I think it's complete insanity to try to have them in person right now and they should not legally be forcing people to risk their lives to do it. At least for now...whew.

Also good news is this text from Mom: “We are not going to the wedding for sure this weekend. Hope you are proud of us not going there. You are certainly one of the deciding factors of not going.” WHEW.

I have finished the cross stitch Christmas trees I was making for Mom. I can stick them in a regular envelope and mail them without having to go to the post office in person, thank goodness. I had some difficulties because apparently the credit card for my craft blog site expired and nobody notified me of it, so they suspended the account and I had a hard time getting them to just update the payment info. I had to switch to a different payment to get it to work, but then that at least instantly fixed it. Whew.

I have been investigating the animated/robot/remote control/whatever Baby Yodas, and this helpful video has helped me to decide that the Hasbro Baby Yoda is for me. Mom asked if I want anything else for Christmas and....well..... I like that the other one follows you around, but it’s so dang LOUD that would make me crazy, and the Hasbro one is super cute.

It's a weekend and I thought I should go outside for the Vitamin D, but man, I just don't feel like it. I was out in 60 degree weather yesterday for 90 minutes of walking and it still wasn't that enjoyable.

Today's Lego Advent is...I am not kidding, a BOMBER. Like the character is dressed like a handyman with a tool belt, but he has a big ol' obvious TNT to hold in his gloved hand. WTF? Maybe there's a whole plot to this...first the cop/cop setup, then there's a bomber for the cop to stop....?

I watched The Mandalorian this week. Well, you knew at some point the poor kid was gonna get kidnapped.... That said, Mando got some interesting assistance with that, and we’ll see who the kid called (“ghostbusters?”). Also, the opening scene with Mando and baby was just so cute! And for all the people griping about Baby Yoda (seriously, his given name is sadly not that great...”grow goo?” Didn’t anyone think that through?) beating up stormtroopers, the kid got kidnapped, it’s self defense. The opening scene was cute as heck, though.

Thoughts while watching Christmas Under Wraps again (I reviewed it a year or two ago but rewatched last night):
* Lauren may be a smart doctor, but dumb life choices include (a) no safety jobs, (b) assuming daddy’s connections will get her into a job (okay, so in usual life it would), (c) refusing to go shop for winter clothes before moving to Alaska-like, was anything she packed for SF cold worth bringing? (d) deciding she’d rather get clothes shipped from Amazon and wait around for however long that takes rather than actually hiting the general store as everyone tells her to, (e) wearing a pashmina artfully and not for actual neck warmth.
* I love how this is supposed to be Santa’s Village but it’s so.... low rent and cheap looking. Santa barely has a beard. The town is not as fancy as most places in Alaska. “This is it? Just a normal warehouse?”
* Billie asked Wyatt out. Good for you, girl!
* I have never been to Alaska and never will be, but sometimes I wonder if this movie should have more snow in it. Like there’s banks of snow around, but nobody’s having any issues walking.
* Calling a human doctor to deal with a reindeer’s sprained ankle never stops amusing me.
* Lauren’s total amusement about Frank wanting to work tonight is a mostly wordless “I’m giving you shit, you know, I know” delight.
* It does amuse me that they really don’t clarify officially on the Santa thing until the last shot.

I also watched The Christmas Waltz, which was very good:

* So Avery, yet another girl who wants a Christmas wedding, has scheduled 10 dance lessons for said wedding on December 20. However, her Mr. Flinchy fiance decides to take a job out of town and wants to "table" the wedding. Fine, the wedding's off, says Avery, sensibly.
* However, she decides to stick with the dance lessons even though she's alone because she liked dancing as a kid, which reminds me of why I never wanted to take up ballroom dance in the first place, i.e. you can’t ever do it if you don’t have a partner and I never have a partner.
* Then Avery ends up crying--um, not very much crying, a very decorous eye rubbing--and walking out.
* Avery asks the question we're all wondering about of her hot dance instructor Roman: "If you're Russian, why do you have an English accent?" The explanation seems to be "I went to school in England."
* Roman takes a spill in the snow and has to get his head checked. He's quite the showoff, when she asks him to walk for her he straight up does Charlie Chaplin.
* I admit Will Kemp has a certain wolfish-but-not-too-wolfish charm to him.
* He invites her to his family party and the mystery is: DO HIS RELATIVES HAVE A RUSSIAN ACCENT OR NOT?
* I'm sort of wondering why a guy who runs a business doesn't know how to do a business plan? Like I get that it's so that she can help him as well, but uh....
* I'm not sure what the heck his mom has accent-wise.
* I'm not normally into Lacey Chabert, but I think this one's her best movie and she and Will Kemp are very cute and having fun together. Fiance? What fiance? Who cares about that bum, here's a hot dance instructor with a sense of humor!
* Awww, watching these two together goofing off dancing in the street is just so cuuuuuuuuuuute! "I thought evenings like this only existed in Christmas musicals." "We can always live in our own musical."
* So her ex comes back and I love the look on her face when he wants to know where she was, and then he's all "oh, right, I don't have the right to know that." And she is so not really into this, or all the flowers he dropped. Then the ex drops by the dance studio to be all power playing on him, and Roman is absolutely deadpan "We're just dancing."
* However, he gets all weird and awkward on their last lesson. Later she meets David at the bar and declines his new proposal, and also is all "Uh, how do you know he's starting another business....?"
* I love how Roman's dance partner is all "Did you hear this FROM AVERY? You really should check with her FIRST on this."
* Awwww, and they just made out at the end of the dance number! It's all so cute! I really like this one even though I swear it took me four hours to watch (Mom also called several times).

I've never watched a Lifetime Christmas movie (or any Lifetime really, since it's on cable and I don't have it and my impression is that Lifetime is super trashy most of the time/), but I found a random free one on YouTube, "The Christmas Gift," so here we go. Based off a real life story!....which I might have preferred to this one.
Our Heroine is a hard-nosed newspaper reporter (Megan) who gets dumped by Alex, her coworker boyfriend of six months because basically, he doesn't wanna deal with competition, and then he gets the news story she wants because....well, "he's a man" isn't stated, but more like "you're earnest" and softer and, y'know, female. She sounds like she gets assigned ridiculously bad girly stories anyway about makeup. Why don't you write something else and "destroy the box?" Whatever that means? Anyway, she's reminded of getting a random Secret Santa journal from a kid who signs his full name in it--Wesley Hardin Johnson. (His mom points out that Secret Santas are supposed to be secret, but at the time he's all "who cares, never gonna meet 'em anyway.") She hits the Google, tracks him down. and gets his dad, then gets the son, and he works at some foster care organization or something that she writes a story on. Meanwhile, her aunt's retirement community is going to be mowed down for condos, which her ex is writing about...and oh yeah, Wesley Sr.'s dad owns the company.

I am sorry to say that Michelle Trachtenberg as the lead is hard-eyed and mostly just kind of hard in general and not super fun to watch. Kinda flattish, too. The guy is cute and more charming, but also gets to play a more smiley role, I suppose? Mostly I just keep wishing this girl was having more fun in here. Also, she doesn't ever explain the whole Christmas gift thing to him until 1 hour 22 minutes in?

Her annoying ex keeps creeping in--after he dumped her, mind you--wanting to get back together/partnershipping/stealing her work and crap like that. That guy is certainly cast well as a schmucky guy. He also fucks with her story after she's left the building so that he's turned it into an expose that he claims they "partnered" on. Megan assumes she's going to be fired when the boss calls--to be fair, that's about how real life would go--but instead her boss says Alex the ex confessed and they've pulled the story from the online edition. What I want to know is if Alex has been fired for being a sleazy-ass, but that hasn't been answered. Oddly enough, Wesley Sr. comes to Megan's defense and invites her to a shindig.

Quote from her best friend: "Girl, if I didn't have wine, I'd kill myself." Main difference between Lifetime and Hallmark may be actual wine drinking and not, I dunno, cocoa or eggnog or whatever. Also, definitely more African-American characters, as I count four in this.

There is a side plot about a kid named Chase who steals/gets money from various dubious places(?) to try to gift Wesley Jr. something, and then he throws a fit saying he wants to go home and people told him his dad's not dead but he's NOT dead and I am all HUH?! God knows Megan doesn't really handle this well, but I'm not sure how much better anyone else would do either given that awkwardness. Then they just kinda drop it.

If this is typical Lifetime, I don't think I'm missing anything. It was pretty lifeless and boring and I only stuck with it for the novelty of being able to review a Lifetime movie. No spark except out of Wesley Jr, not that much Christmas hangout fun, the lead lady is fairly thanks. Did they even resolve her aunt's retirement community thing? I don't even think so?

Later I watched TEXxMileHigh online. I didn't feel like taking notes since I was eating dinner while this was going on and you can watch the link if you like, but they had talks from (a) a synasthete/perfume maker person about the joys of smell, (b) a "politically homeless" woman talking about how politics are set up and wanting runoff voting, (c) a Spanish language long poem about life in the garden (I'm guessing he's referring to a neighborhood called "El Jardin," or maybe it's a restaurant?) which looked quite nice in translation, (d) a lady talking about calling 911 and how to change it to get more mental health experts on it. (e) "To change structural racism, you need to change structures." She talked about five patterns of bias. (f) Singer performance, (g) professor talking about immigration and trying to pursue citizenship during the Trump era, (h) microbiome and plants.

I also watched Roosevelt: Charge The Bear (virtual tickets, watch anytime through mid-month if you like) because I am somewhat of a history/political junkie, or at least was going through a phase of reading about all the presidents four years ago. I got as far as Arthur and then Trump got elected and 'nuff said. I'd go back to it now, but getting to the library is a no-go....maybe someday I'll finish them all of again. Skipping one, of course. It's a one-man show about Teddy, dealing with the coal strike of 1902. He reads a letter from a 13-year-old miner and says he gets that kid more than you'd think.

He talks about being shut out from the McKinley government until the guy was died. He said he wasn't going to change policies and everyone breathed a sigh of relief...until a week later when he had his friend Booker T. Washington over for dinner.
He talks about a guy whose name I forgot trying to intimidate him and make him feel like shit...and how he was told to avoid the press, but instead he invited them in and gave them a press room.

Poor guy suddenly gets REALLY awkward when asked about his dead first wife. I haven't gone into great amounts of reading about TR yet (see above for why) but he totally shut down about her after she died, which really screwed with the baby she left behind of the same name.

Roosevelt's dad telling him he can't always stay inside being afraid of getting sick has a whole new meaning in 2020 :(

He also mentions the death of his wife and mother, leaving the baby with his sister, and running off to the West to clear his head.

At the end, Roosevelt finally decides what to do: he's on the side of the people. He calls the military secretly. Keep your intentions secret. "You will bring the strike to an end. You will effectively take the mines from the owners. On behalf of the coal miners. Seize the property from the coal miners." :) :) :) :) :) The miners go back to work, and coal is moving, and there was heat for the winter! "Every party was spitting mad and every party declared victory!" The miners got a raise and lowered days, the owners didn't have to acknowledge the union, "and I got back to thinking about the Panama Canal!"

Quotes from the show:
"Who would like to join me while I have a shave? I had the most well informed barber in Washington."
Why you want the Panama Canal: shorter, saves money, and "Nicaragua is lousy with volcanoes!"
"Kermit! Another snake in your mother's bedroom. To the menagerie, please!"
On someone telling him that having Booker over made him a "traitor to his class" (yeah, "class" is not the word I think you meant), he talks about having his boxing ring installed in the basement and "I often wished I could take men down there for conversations just like this one."
"Archie hands me a frog. Edith knows my heart is heavy when even a frog won't bring a smile to my face."
As a kid, "I chose to stay inside, WITH my dead squirrels." ?????
"Had I just caused my own presidency to end?"
"They agreed to arbitration!"
"I have been granted another day in the arena! Work to do!"

That was delightful and I highly recommend.

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