Been There, Done That

commentary on many different thoughts

Month: May, 2013

Writers, Editors and Screenplays, oh my!!

If JRR Tolkien had a cynical sense of humor, he’d have appreciated the latest take on The Hobbit. Unfortunately, he gave the impression of being a scholarly and sensitive individual. He must be developing ulcers as he watches what they’ve done to his children’s masterpiece.

I was fortunate enough to rent The Hobbit on Netflix rather than seeing it in the theatre. I would probably have walked out within the first ten minutes and demanded a refund of the admission price. As it was, I spent about 3/4 of the film on the fast-forward button, pausing only to check and see what they did to the book in that particular episode.

Nice -but pointless – idea to try and tie the story line in with LOTR. Anyone who saw those 3 has a pretty good concept of what came before (considering that the screenwriter wasted the first half hour in a capsule summary of The Hobbit in Fellowship) and nobody else was going to watch it anyway. And sorry, but singing dwarves are not my kind of fun.

What really frosted the cake for me was the fact that they’re milking this into 3 parts. A good editor could have told the story in one two-hour movie (and left out Galadriel and assorted other material that had no place in the book). Almost 3 hours and they haven’t gotten past the first ten chapters. LOTR was a brilliant series (although they could have hacked 20 minutes off the end of part 3 without loss), but this one’s a waste of time and effort.

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Georgia Rambles

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Scene (and seen) from the bridge near my place, just a country creek. Would you believe it’s 100 feet from the interstate?

Big Guy!

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This is Pam’s big boy – all 18 hands of him.

Aren’t We Special?

We fought the good fight and had a good time doing it.

new dress

Full Moon

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Moon over the Mediterranean from the deck of our ship. Lovely, lovely night.

Show Prep

I just spent a few days helping out a friend who was competing two horses at a multi-day horse trials. She had the older one in Open Preliminary, and the young horse was going Training. Her first ride was at 7:30 on Friday morning, so she was out at the barn til 10pm (she keeps the horses at home) getting ready, and then got up at 3am on Friday to bathe, braid and haul to the showgrounds. I met her at the show at 6am, coffee in hand, and helped set up and get ready.

She did respectably in both dressage and stadium with both horses, so we tidied up, fed, walked cross country for both horses, fed again, watered, mucked stalls, grazed both horses, and eventually went home for dinner and early bed, because her prelim cross country ride was at 7:45 on Saturday morning.

During all of this, I reflected on what an easy life my ballroom dancing is. My partner can bathe himself, shave his own whiskers, clean his own bedpan, braid his own mane, and tack himself up. I dont’ have to wake up early to supply a 6am feeding if we don’t dance until 2pm, and he can certainly find his own beverages of choice.

Granted, he talks back a lot more than my friend’s partners, but there are advantages.

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May I Recommend?

May I recommend Roman Holiday as a light-hearted must-see! This is the film that introduced Audrey Hepburn (yes, her first), and co-stars Gregory Peck in one of his yummiest performances. It’s set in and filmed entirely in Rome, and Rome itself is one of the main characters in the film.

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Short version of plot-line is Princess Ann of Ruritania is young, gorgeous (they copied the Edith Head formal gowns for “My Fair Lady”) and bored to paralysis with the routines of royalty. She runs away and has 24 hours in the company of Gregory Peck (me! me! me!) and has a blast. Returns to duty, honor, country as she has been bred and trained to do, but the ending is heart-breakingly lovely. And Gregory Peck does the final scene which should move you to tears without a single word.

Must see.

Watching what happens …

Regarding my post of a couple of days ago (Let’s See What Happens), I have now received responses (of a sort) from both companies. Neither answered my questions or addressed my concerns.

The SC Johnson (“a family company”) response was approximately: oh, dear, that’s nice. Thank you for your concern and I will pass this on to our advertising department for comment. Based on my own past experience with advertising and marketing departments, the chance of actually hearing from someone (much less reaching the ear/eye of someone who is willing to actually do something about it) are approximately those of a snowball in the Inferno.

The Bissell Company came back with a long piece of purple prose about how the model in the advertising was the wife of the CEO of the Bissell Company and how they wanted to illustrate the ease of use of their products. They did not, at any time, address my complaint – that only a well-groomed, cheerfully smiling woman was ever shown using the product, and that she cheerfully (and without mussing her coiffure or manicure) cleaned up after dirt-tracking kids, animals and men. Dead silence on that point.

So I went after them again (I really am feeling belligerent these days!). I wrote back to person who signed my e-mail and pointed out that she hadn’t addressed my complaint – and suggested that instead of using “wife of”, why not (shudder) show Mr. Bigshot CEO himself doing household chores! What an inovative thought.

Anyway, more on this as it evolves. I’m still ticked off.

Impossible Dreams

I refuse to accept “impossible”. “Improbable” maybe. “Impossible”, no. In the division in which I compete, there are women who have been doing this for years longer than I have, who have lots more time and money, etc, etc, etc, and who clobber us regularly. Does this mean I’m going down without a fight?

Thank you again, Captain Ted (my USMC partner in law school). I may be going down, but I’m going down with flags flying. I’m going to take some of them with me. And, above all, I’m going to make them work to beat me, not lie down like a doormat and let them have it. I may not be able to beat them – yet – but I’m going to make them sweat. This is the year I want them looking over their shoulders and see me stepping on their heels. Next year, we take them. My mantra for the year.

Semper Fi.

Let’s See What Happens!

I have previously ranted about television advertising that glorifies the stereotypical beautifully-groomed and cheerfully smiling “Mom” who happily uses (specifics here) S. C. Johnson (a family company) and Bissell products to clean up after her precious children and supportive (only in the sense that he props up the family recliner while being waited on hand and foot) husband. The dogs track in dirt (don’t worry! Mom will bring out the ergonomically-balanced vacuum cleaner and tidy the carpet), the kid plants grubby paws on the freshly-washed window (Mom beams and hugs the kid), husband plants car engine on kitchen counter (I don’t want to print what I would do to him in that situation!!!) and Mom smiles and cleans and never musses her coiffure or her manicure. Puke.

Anyway, this morning I contacted both of these companies. I used their “contact us” feature to complain about the offensive nature of the stereotypes. I got “bounce-backs” from both companies saying that someone would be in touch with me within one business day. I am extremely curious to see what happens. SC Johnson holds themselves out as being environmentally-consciencious and publicly aware. Bissell does not. Should be interesting. Stay tuned.