Friday, May 24, 2013

I Say This With Nothing but Kindness: I Hate You

I'm sitting here after a shower, hair dripping and still smelling like a bonfire, with another headache and in the midst of doldrums.

Wedding day is less then a month away now. Grendal and I are both nervous, as are those in the wedding party. Everything is just about leveled away and should go on without a hitch. We even bottled our mead on Tuesday after a speedy delivery of bottles:

Such pretty colors. Most of them are basic batches but we have some cherry, 2 blackberry, a pear, and strawberry. Grendal insisted we make a batch for his manager at work who was kind enough to postpone his week off so we could enjoy a simple honeymoon. The one he received was rather sweet, which made me happy. We were both a little upset we had to part with it but knew he'd be happy. I think I'll demand a sweet blackberry batch next time.

The reason for the title isn't due to the wedding or the mead but towards some general things. And I honestly don't hate the people! It's more 'Oh gods, that is so awesome. Bravo! I hate you so much.'

One of the girls from the bakery is off in Chile right now for a week for school stuff. She's double majoring in Spanish and Anthropology. When I heard all of that, I told her I hated her and she laughed. She knew where I was coming from. Such an amazing opportunity and she is taking it all in. She also plans on heading to Spain one of these days to take in that culture and further her studies, which is just freakin' amazing.

Then there is one of our gaming buddies (we'll call him Boxy). He works for a nice company, makes(I assume) a decent amount of money, lives with his parents on their farm, and they all travel throughout North America, possibly even Central and South. Why? I don't know. Boxy is an awkward sort but very talented and very smart. One gaming session he made us sushi, which was wonderful, and then another he made us batched of spaghetti, ravioli, and all the fixings.....from scratch. I've been wanting to make homemade pasta for moons but haven't the means to do so, nor the time at the moment. Everything tasted beautifully and, again, I told him in between gushing about the tasty food that I hated him for doing this. He took in stride and a compliment.

It's honestly times like these that I mentally take a step back and look at what I've done. I came close to being able to travel outside of the US my senior year, either with my french class or theater class. I opted to join the theater group and my parents agreed to pay the fee. We'd be in England for a while and then off to Paris for a day. I talked the teacher into agreeing to let us see Stonehenge and even the Paris Opera house. That was the year 9/11 occurred and, understandably, all trips outside of the US were canceled.

Grendal and I have wanted to go to Japan. I did research, figured out prices, found places to stay, and agreed that we'd check out Tokyo once. We planned to save up for a year and we'd have enough money to spend about a week abroad. That never happened. Life happened. Bills cropped up, we had to help his parents thanks to his sister and her family mooching off of them. And now we enter the world of me actually getting close to hating a person. I don't like it, to be honest. Thinking about it makes me feel horrible but I'm not the only one creeping to that conclusion. Our relationship with his sister and her brood is for another time. I don't need THAT much angst in one post. :P

But yes, money was and has been tight ever since. I don't think his family realized it until the 18th. Everyone was over for a impromptu Mother's Day lunch. Grendal was talking about buying a moped. His siblings and brother in law started talking about how he should get a bicycle with a motor, and then prices were being tossed around. I piped in and told them "That's not going to happen any time soon. All of the money we have is going towards the wedding." It's true. I think it made a bit of an impact because I'm usually quite during get togethers (too many people make me nervous). They were quite after that. None of them knew any of that and I felt a bit better once they did, though nothing has changed.

So yes. Here I am, finally dry from the shower, and looking at my life. While I never really had a plan of where I would be, I just have to shrug. Things could be a lot worse then they are. The two of us are trying our damnedest to work our way out of this hole but it's slow going. We may never be able to travel abroad but we'll be happy and together.


Monday, May 13, 2013

We Interrupt this Program

Grendal and I went to the movies today, which is a big thing! We used to go to the movies rather frequently but lately money has been tight and we've been a little more critical on what we decide to see. High end Scifi, fantasy, and comic book movies, though, seem to throw that right out the window.

We saw Iron Man 3. There has been a big brouhaha about the movie and it's twists and all that. So, I am noting now that if you haven't seen Iron Man 3 don't read on. If you haven't seen it and don't care about spoilers, though, keep going.

We good?  Good.

Now. I've heard people going on about how this movie doesn't seem like and Iron Man movie. Not enough action, too many one liners, blah blah blah.  As a BIG fan of the previous two movies I must say this is right along the same feel. Nothing has been changed. If it has, I haven't noticed and am delusional.  The big complaint about the movie is this guy

Love me some Ben Kingsley
The Mandarin. Stark's greatest foe in his comic books suddenly brought down to being drugged up actor proxy. This character is supposed to be a genius, well trained in technology, ten magical rings, and awesome with martial arts. In the movie, like I said, he is a drug addicted actor who is there to live it up and remain all druggy. The Mandarin is actually this man

A very airbrushed Guy Pearce
What? Aldrich Killian gets barely any screen time in the comics but in the movie-verse he is suddenly The Mandarin.  :|  He has a think tank, so I suppose he could be an intellect, and while one could say he has the martial arts moves at the end, well so does Pepper. I attribute all of that to the drug Killian had flowing through him.

So, I am one of those people in the good ship Mandarin proclaiming that Kingsley's Mandarin is the real one. The Mandarin character would be crafty enough to pull the twist of, 'I am Mandarin but I hired this group to do this for me and I will continue making my threats but you see this guy with the bad dye job? Yeah, he's the figure head' or something along those lines.

Why do I think Killian isn't Mandarin? First we have the first shot of the 'studio' where Mandarin films from. Everyone is getting ready and suddenly we hear that 'Master' is arriving. Now, knowing that this guy is a drugged up actor just looking for his next fix, why would these people be referring to him as 'Master'? If he was in the room I suppose they could be indulging the man but he wasn't there. He couldn't hear them. There was no derision in their voices. They also couldn't look him in the eye. A lot of those people looked like the type not to take shit from anyone, so why would they kowtow to someone who would bend over backwards to get his next fix?

Speaking of his arrival, it got me thinking. Now correct me if I'm wrong but the place where they film is where he lives, just held in a different portion of the building, yes? If that is true then why the hell would the country's most wanted leave the premises IN COSTUME only to come back? Not to mention he had escorts. Why do all this parading? Sure you can say it was for the audience's benefit but if they're trying to keep all of that hush-hush, why let him out in the garb? Give him some plain clothes, a bad hat, and call it a day.

There is also the portion of Mandarin explaining that the gun he had on camera was fake, that the people there didn't trust him with a gun. Okay.....Thinking back to Mandarin killing that corporate fat cat on camera. It was live, yes? Even taking into account the possible 3 second delay there is no way things would have gone off without a hitch. The firing of the gun, while they could have used a sound effect someone may have noticed it being off(that person is out there, you know it) and Mandarin's 'actor' may have flinched. I don't care how awesome of an actor you are, there would have been some facial reaction to the sound of a gun going off. Not to mention we don't know what happened to the man afterwards! Did they just off him and ditch his body some where? It's not like they could have let him go. The crew and everyone else would have had to keep up the whole 'Master' thing as well to make sure said fat cat didn't try anything while the camera was rolling.

I also want to know WHAT they showed on TV when the gun went off. Was it a close up of Mandarin's face, a nice image of his hand squeezing the trigger, or was it the man's death? All we know is the shocked reaction from the random people in the country.

All of that set aside we have the moment when Stark enters the home, offs some guards, and breaks into Mandarin's bedroom. Why would he be hamming it up if no one was around but the ladies in the bed? The area was heavily guarded and Killian seems like the type to have cameras around too, so I can place the argument that he knew that Stark was coming.  I could even say that Mandarin speaks with the British accent rather than the accent he has 'on screen'. He is a genius and it doesn't take one to come up with a story on the fly or even recant one that had been prepared from the get go.

Ben Kingsly is Mandarin in my head. While the marvel movie-verse may state otherwise, I don't believe it. He is too big of a character to be reduced to what he had been. Yes I could be in denial but a white guy with a bad dye job, crappy dragon tattoos on his chest, and drugs pumping through him doesn't really seem like a super villain.

Besides, someone wishing for world domination wouldn't jump in head first against a 'super human' foe, especially after the incident in New York. No! They'd test the water.  This was Mandarin's way of testing Stark to see how much he would have to push. If the people wanted to, they could use this as Mandarin's springboard and it would fit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Thoughts of Beltane Past

So it's May Day, Beltane, which ever you like. It's always been difficult for me to celebrate holy days, mainly due to the fact that I am a solitary person. Joining a group, while useful, seems to be the last thing on my mind. Whether it's because I'm worried about our ideas/traditions/what have you won't mesh or because with groups comes group politics, who knows. I try to do something for these days but it usually falls through, which upsets me and makes me wonder why I try to do such things. This is my spiritual path and I need to figure out some way to make it work, dammit.

Grendal and I used to hold bonfire gatherings through out the summer for our friends while we were attending a local community college. It was fun all nighters though it was usually he and I cleaning up the next morning. We look back on them fondly, wanting to have them again, and we know friends are wanting the same. Who knows.

I want to say that it was four years ago that we had a bonfire on Beltane. It was FOR Beltane it just happened to be on the day. That didn't matter in my head. I had a gathering of people, a fire, and there would be so much freakin' energy in the air. While I wasn't doing a ritual or spell, I knew it was just going to be a wonderful way to spend the night: with friends. Something amazing did happen though. Grendal, two of our close friends, and I were out prepping everything before people began to show up. Grendal was coming out of the house with something while the three of us were out front by the fire pit. I hear him shout, "Hey, there's a deer out back."  Deer don't wander onto our property thanks to the highway being so close. Seriously, I've been on this property edging on 9 years and I've seen deer here only twice(but turkeys show up like clockwork).

I don't know why I did this but suddenly I go sprinting towards the rear of the property. Keep in mind that this property is at least an acre and a half(don't remember the exacts) and I am in NO WAY a sprinter/runner/fast mover. I like to mosey. My two friends and Grendal were hot on tail while I sprinted through the property, chasing down the deer just to catch a glimpse. I did and so did the others. We just stood there, together, and watched it bound out of sight and just grinned like idiots. Our two friends have no connection to pagan paths and Grendal is an odd sort of agnostic but knows quite a bit. Despite that I think we all felt something special had just happened. The night was beautiful and one of the best bonfires we've held.

Now, I don't want to go on and say that the appearance of a deer was something special/magical but it just seemed to set the mood. It hasn't happened since but I keep my eyes open for these interesting occurances.