The Office-Govt. Shut Down Mashup

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PART ONE?

The shut down. You might have noticed I’ve avoided, mostly, political shtuff. Mostly because it’s being covered 24/7 by experts and randy amateurs alike. I put randy in there because I think it does make your garden variety political blogger a bit horny to be living in these interesting times.

Also, I don’t really have anything new to add to the American stew that is, well, everything right now. 30 days or so of this. Trump said he’d own the shut down. So far, he’s blamed it on exactly the group we all knew he would. The Democrats! Yep.

You write such things, realizing they’ve been written a bazillion bazillion times before. Dead horse. Dead horse here!

Okay. Let’s take a hard turn toward the BBC’s The Office.

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Ricky Gervais as David. Martin Freeman as Tim. Mackenzie Crook as Gareth and Lucy Davis as Dawn.

PART TWO!

I found the entire show, on DVD, at the local thrift store. For next to nothing. Four bucks. Mint condition. Beat that, Ama-sucks. I am not a Ricky Gervais fan but I do know of this show. It was mentioned, briefly, on Gilmore Girls, during the Rory Barbie Yalie years. That the original British show was far superior to the Yank one. It took her several time watching it to get all the jokes. Ha ha. Rory, you’re such a TV-watching genius or somethin’!

Full disclosure– I have seen the American version of this. I hated it. It got tiresome fast. I didn’t care about Pam and Jim. Dwight came across as highly killable; the cops would look the other way as I killed him with a dull spork. Steve Carell’s boss guy, I now see, was softened a great deal. Wow.

The BBC Office goes for the jugular, while the American one goes for…a pale imitation. I said it. There it is.

I watched the BBC The Office with my stomach hurting. [I binge-watched this. Mistake. Mistake!]

It was about the darkest comedy I’ve ever had to suffer through. [I mean that in such a good way.]

Gervais’s hapless, insufferable David Brent lumbering through two seasons and one special just about finished me off. When you nearly start screaming at whatever you’re cringe-watching…GET A CLUE YOU WANKER.

I just. I CAN’T EVEN!

I’ve worked with people like this! I’ve had to sit through those soul-crushing trainings. The skin-crawling team building exercises. Where you sit there wishing for death. Actual death.

Death, here I am! Save me, death! Those kind of meetings. Oh yeah. Holy hell.

Oh! Their faces as the mockumentary camera/s panned the people–

actors, yes, but far too realistically done to not think at times this is a real documentary. Unlike the American counterpart, where you never believed there was a camera crew catching people being slowly smushed by their work environment–

their faces as carefully blank as a doll visage. The little body twitches. The slight eye rolls with each other over the more horrible parts of the trainings.

Now of course there’s a doomed office romance. Tim and Dawn. It’s just as sad, ordinary, interesting at times, painfully awful and ‘oh holy hell, been there’ as one would wish. 

There’s the odd duck who’s very good with all this structure and mindless dronery. Gareth. Now, the first time Gareth appears, I thought, is he meant to look so ill? He’s a very tall actor [ Mackenzie Crook] who’s quite thin, and the skin about his giant eyes seemed purple and bruised. That’s what I noticed, as well as how ANNOYING Gareth can be.

I looked him up. He played the tall skinny one-eyed pirate with the wooden eye in the POTC franchise.

I was wondering where I’d seen him, as you do, when binge-watching thrift store DVD’s.

He sat by Tim Canturbury, played by the ever lovely and talented Martin Freeman, and the two worked so well off each other. Tim amuses himself by playing pranks on Gareth, who’s a bit of a military fanatic, as well as being awkward socially. [But who is not in this little tiny fish bowl world they live in?]

We get the stapler in gelatin bit right off! Gareth is disgusted! Dance, puppets, dance, in your office stage set! That tiny glimpse of rebellion and misplaced rage under that somewhat harmless prank. You notice. You notice!

Tim and Dawn, of course, shared sexual chemistry, flirt gently with each other but Dawn [Lucy Davis] has the prerequisite AWFUL BOYFRIEND FROM HELL. Lee! Who has basically sucked away her dreams, her ambitions to be an illustrator and a lot of her self-esteem. That was also hard to watch. It was done so casually, more with thrown off lines muttered or tossed away as if no big deal at all, sent toward her.  Her slow-burning rage as she accepts this as just her lot. That resignation tinged with ‘Is this my fucking life??’ expressions. Lucy Davis nailed Dawn’s ability to say more with her glances than her polite, very soft words. 

Tim makes an utter fool of himself over her, the camera catches all of it. He does this twice! We sympathize with him and her. Tim also gets a sorta galfriend but he breaks up with her. And Gareth hovering nearby waiting to pounce on Rachel [Tim’s galfriend] makes for laughs and no no no, he didn’t just say he doesn’t do sloppy seconds but he’d put on a condom and do her anyway…holy hell. Seriously, that was delivered as if he had just offered her a giant compliment. It was played very straight, almost shy yet…ugh. You marvel at Gareth’s persistence yet gag at that persistence. 

Is our government still shut down? Okay, yep, it is. Back to something warm and fluffy! 

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Tim had to hide that in David’s office. So David confronts the entire office. With the two people looking to hire him for a speaking engagement looking on. Ricky Gervais. I’m not sure who the two other actors are. Sorry!

PART THREE!! 

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Holy hell, do you not know people like this?? I do. 

However. Ah. The heart of darkness in this office helltopia.

We have some sympathy for Tim. We have a smidge of understanding for Gareth. We root for Dawn to wake the fuck up already, the guy’s cray cray for ya. We make frowny puzzled faces at Keith. We have no idea what the names are of pretty much anyone in that paper selling place. We’re not even sure what that paper place does with all that paper. Everything’s electronic…paper is on the way out, right?

Slough is such a bad name for a town!

Ah, the heart of darkness is named David.

We cannot find the same empathy for the ‘boss from hell’, as the mockumentary labels him when the project gets finished, then shown on BBC2. 

Not for realsies, of course. Remember these people ARE NOT REAL THANK BABY JESUS.

David Brent. He leers, he laughs, he tries to be popular, he puts his foot in it, he tries far too hard. He has such an inflated sense of his own self. He plays to the camera aimed at him instead of being himself.

We get to see the slow take down of this beastly character. The inevitable take down of this ghastly man who reminds me of…Donald Trump.

Anything David Brent can do to get praise he does. He bullies those around him. He inserts himself into situations where he’s not wanted. He thinks he’s charming. He thinks people love him. At the end of the day, he has no real friends, just people who tolerate him. People who make fun of him to his face that he accepts because he wants so desperately to be one of the cool boys in the office.

One of the most gut-turning scenes arrived late in the series. During the ‘what happened to them–where are they now’ ender, David has been banned from the paper products office. Watch to see why!

He does a speech about how everyone wants him there at the office. People won’t even look at him, the silence breaks your ear drums.

He exhorts people to go for a drink with him to show the manager that people don’t wish him banned…and no one moves a muscle or looks at David.

He then begs for drinks the next night, the night after that. Until it’s the pregnant desk mate of Tim who says no one wants to go have drinks with you, no one likes you. Tim then predictably mumbles he’ll meet David for a drink later.

I just. I’m cringing even writing about it.

To stand there, among people you worked with, who hate you so. Without them saying a word or even looking at you. Devastating.

Yet. You can’t muster up much more than YOU DESERVED THAT YOU BLOODY WANKER.

Does he learn from this? No. Does he learn from anything he mostly does to himself? No! Kind of like the current POTUS.

Dark comedy. If that’s your cup of arsenic and belladonna, then do I have a show for you.

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Film-ruining Pigslags!

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from the Theux Blog. This seemed closest to me this week. Peering uneasily down a never-ending abyss of movie criticisms.

 

I stumbled, innocently enough, across MFA film students taking down current or past films. I do mean in excruciating detail. Zealots. You know them, you’ve been around those megafans that rabidly argue the merits of the spaceships of the Stars Wars franchise with those of the Star Trek franchise versus the spaceships of Battlestar Galactica.

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Oh the dreaded zip ties! Do not get these for BDSM play.

Right down to fuel used, size of screws in the paneling and square footage in the place where the pilot sits. Cabin?

I’ve watched several hours of these. I was perusing Jeeves and Wooster, as you do, then noticed, hey, a take-down of Fifty Shades of Gray. Not a take-down, a defense. Sort of a defense, the title implied coyly. Yeah. I fell. Hard.

Hook in brain, I let that wily talkative fisherman reel me into the world of minute, bitter, movie-hating killjoys.

Now! I actually enjoyed the roughly three hour take apart, don’t even bother putting it back together video…um, essay? of Fifty Shades. All three movies. It was informative and enjoyable.

You’re supposed to hate this movie.

You’re supposed to notice how abusive Christian is BEFORE someone tells you how abusive that rich creepy Edward Cullen wannabe is.

I also, um, watched one where the critic gave a rather nice defense of Stephanie Meyer. Of literature written for teen girls in general. Meyer wrote the Twilight books. 

How we as a society hate teen girls and everything they do. So that very idealized and safe world of Twilight got MOCKED TO THE SEVENTH HEAVEN, of course. Meyer proved quite gracious and didn’t sue Erika James, who ripped off Twilight’s everything to ‘create’ Fifty Shades.

Which as everyone should know by now grew out of fanfic. Which James had scrubbed, supposedly, from the internet and fanfic sites. But as nothing ever dies on the internet, EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS more or less that Christian Gray is Edward Cullen, except with whips and zip ties.

Now, I did see a severe dressing down of Fifty Shades, from yet another couple of filmies, who knew a lot more about the BDSM world than James does or ever bothered to find out. They’re hot take is the movies are garbage, it’s an abusive relationship, neither lead can act, neither lead seem to like each other on screen or off, and DON’T EVER BUY ZIP TIES for BDSM purposes.

As they tighten and you can’t get out of them easily if there’s trouble or if someone’s struggling. Zip ties can actually kill you at worst or break the skin, cause physical damage not wanted…so don’t use them. We see in the first movie where Christian is buying ‘supplies’ at the hardware store. One of the things he buys is…zip ties. Yep!

Okay.

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from Indiewire

So I watched that threesome of critiques, then watched other suggestions, then went down an actual rabbit hole.  I clicked on why Captain America:Civil War sucks; suddenly all the heroes have new characters and are ignoring past setups and generally acting in unknown ways so there can be the civil war of the title.

Why Disney needs to stop ‘fixing’ their animated movies in the new live-action remakes coming out or already here. Hint, ahem, Beauty and the Beast, ahem, ahem. Fixing plot holes with even worse plot holes!

Why they were afraid Wonder Woman would be something something FEMINAZIS ON FULL PARADE ARGH. The two giggling cute bunny critics got the cold shits from a still of women on the set holding up signs that said Girl Power. Girl power. Girls with power. Save the world from girl power is the subtext of their reaction??

They were afraid it was gonna be the Feminist Manifesto that Burned Their Eyeballs and Castrated Them For Feminists to Turn Into Slaves of the New Feminist Order? Was that the subtext? The actual text from the two cuddle bunnies??

I watched a lot of these…yeah.

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Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman V. Superman, Dawn of Just Man Candy Mostly

But what gets me is that I now, sort of, hate movies. Hate them!!!

I look at the movies I love, and hate them. I look at movies I already hate and despair bigly. Then, my own bitter snarliness breaks through.

I DON’T CARE IF THE SHOTS DON’T MATCH IN THE OPENING WITH SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE. I like what I like, you fucking movie zombieshits!

Every movie they–this is all the film critic film school original Star Wars fanatics youtubers I happened to click on–reviewed seemed made by amateur dead Labradors. They name dropped more than a starlet at a Hollywood party. [Obvious joke that set up an expectation yet fell flat in delivery.]

Obscure film critics, obscure camera operators, blah. Yes, I can appreciate a well made, perfectly written, perfectly shot film…[oh wait, there isn’t one of those yet.] but god damn it, I love the cheesy bad movies that just want to entertain ya. Not socially redeem you or teach you anything besides explosions taste better with a giant tub of corn and a diet Coke to suck down.

Every movie seems to be that.

Every. Last. One. It’s just a cynical cash grab these days, unlike the good ole days…oh boy. 

Even high falutin’ Oscar Bait. Yeah, I went there…Yeah. A Star is Born. Explosion of emotions! Manipulations galore! Wheee. Ugh. 

I actually did appreciate one of these film school sharks who made an effort to explore topics like the various King Kongs, Marxism [there are several versions of Marxism, but they all seem to hate jazz…] and Santa Claus. There’s research there, actual trying to connect the dots, interesting tidbits. I do love trivia and bad movies interspersed with better movies. Or movies that try really hard. Rabbit hole, rabbit hole. 

Then I switch over to two ratty sorts giggling and cooing back and forth as they fart out why they hate Justice League. Like, it sucks, you know. You’re cute, no you’re cute, you’re cute, no you’re cute…

It wasn’t that bad, they actually had some real points but…ugh. I noticed all their reviews were along this line. [The same couple that advised against zip ties, by the by] She giggles, acts cutesy. [Oh. My. God. Stop, just stop.] He talked over her incessantly. I mean…yeah.

You know how that goes because that happens all the time. Mansplaining. There’s a woman talking? No, there’s not, because I, he-man and Wookie expert, iz talkin! She even does the patient wait to speak again bit. It was. Yeah. 

He hates feminists and all that, she does, too. She agrees so fast with him I thought I missed it. Nope. Uh huh. I noticed that. I noticed that a lot, because it was a recurring theme in his reviews. She was just there to bolster him or play the zany backup. I noticed that, too. She cuddled various merchandise, acted the ditz while he was SERIOUS FILM CRITIC. I should probably stop noticing such super-obvious shit in a pair of canoodly film critics, eh?

Okay, before I go off into that rabbit hole…

I need to stop watching these. I don’t get anything done, and there’s SO MANY OF THESE. What did so and so say about Black Panther?? What’s their hot take on Jurassic World?? Why is Rei [Rey?] a de-evolution of the Star Wars heroine?? Has the Stars Wars franchise been Disneyfied??

The answer seems to be a resounding fuck yes fuckfuckfuck.

Maybe I should switch to indy art films. Expecting anything from your basic blockbuster…

Ah. There it is. I don’t expect anything from whatever blockbuster or event film I go see at the actual movie theater. I don’t expect anything but some pretty man candy and things that blow up.

I went to Wonder Woman to watch her KICK SOME ASS. That was pretty much the start and end of my feminist agenda there. 

Occasionally I might even attend a quiet, prestige-like film, like BlackkKlansman. I might sneak off to Into the Woods.

I might go see Dumbo, this spring, all by myself, because I was sobbing just watching the trailers. [Baby elephants are sad! I grew up on this one. Baby elephants are sad!]

I know the work already that goes into film making. I have actually been on sets, seen what has to happen for a tiny short film. Feature length films, with lots of moving parts, balls gets dropped and then some at times. I’m oddly forgiving of this! I know if you get careless, it looks shitty. Duh.

I know that big films are ruthlessly made and marketed for the money these days. Art has gone bye bye! It’s obvious and yet…man candy and explosions. MAN CANDY AND EXPLOSIONS AND ASS-WHUPPIN’S YA’LL. I expect NOTHING from movies these days. Sad, isn’t it?

Maybe if we as a society demanded more of our readily accessible art, we’d have a better society. Maybe if we stopped giving our money to BIG EXPLOSION MAN CANDY IV, MAN CANDY’S CHRISTMAS BANG BANG then they [Hollywood!] might start making THE GOOD STUFF again.

Like: MAN CANDY’S GREAT BIG REALIZATION THAT HE NEVER TOLD HIS DAD HE LOVED HIM. I’d so watch that! That doesn’t sound like it has those nasty parasites called feminists anywhere near it!

Will I stop clicking on former film school sorts jawing about why the spaceships in the original Stars Wars are superior to the current spaceships of the Disney knockoffs?? Ha ha, no. I’m a creature of compulsion.

I’ll type out a bitter ranty rant then go right back to watching why J.K. Rowling is ruining her own creations film-wise. She’s the new George Lucas! It all swings round to Stars Wars. Every. Single. Time. 

Those film-ruining pigslags. 

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Artsy shot of a rando stream in Eastern Oregon. I know the composition is all wrong but the intent was there. It almost succeeds in a Georgia O’Keefe meets Thomas Kinkade subgenre of post-post-modernist flair. 

 

Brain Toots

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Oh woe is me. O Woe to thee o Israel.

Ever sent  off a submission to a literary this or that, thinking you’ve actually read the submission guidelines instead of just your usual indifferent glance? And then received the prickly ‘you have no ability to read, do ya??’ terse reply as to why your submission will now be sent to the proverbial literary guillotine?

Ah. The comforting excuse of the brain toot! The more crude ‘brain fart’, for those so inclined. 

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I’m not sure who made the above. But this illustrates the enormity of my brain toot a bit.

It’s just a reminder that I need to actually pay attention to whatever rules and regulations have been put into place. That’s all this is.

Not a sign from the Great Gazoo that I should go into dead animal removal, as that doesn’t require reading anything. Who can’t operate a shovel?? Well…that could get into some prickly areas right there!

Now!! I did correct my mistake. I wrote an apology for my flub, my gaffe, my head-scratcher. I even wrote a fresh brand new piece to send this entity. To make sure there would be no second

WTFISWRONGWITHYOUYOUDIPSHIT

emails sent to me. [That’s the subtext!]

The text is a bit more polite than that.

It’s January and I yet possess some energy to laugh at myself, then try again. This might last a few more days, so I must take advantage of it.

What’s the weather like??

I’m glad you asked!

It’s chilly!! It might rain or snow in the near future. I added some hot chocolate mix to my morning coffee. I feel like a princess now.

Except for that whole my family intends to sell me off for favors and land thingie. Ahem.

So! The lesson I gladly impart to all of you: laugh at yourself when you make a truly dipshit stupid mistake, then correct it as best you can. Then add cheap clumps of vaguely chocolate-like powder to your coffee for that truly International Coffees feelz.

Remember those???

Oh. They’re still here. See?? I’m a mass of misinformation and wrongness lately.

Always. I’m always a mass of misinformation and wrongness.

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from Thrillist. Princess time!

Fifty Shades of Sharknado

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Our one snow storm, from December or so. See the corn? And the cows? Mm.

Dreams. They invade our sleep like strange armies. Jumbles of images, faces we’ve gathered while awake. I remember reading that the faces you see in your dream are faces you’ve seen while awake. As your brain can’t or won’t make up new faces to delight or frighten you with during dreaming time. There are no strangers in our dreams. Which is rather creepy.

Well. Last night. Yours truly had a dream. Where I combined my local scenery with that guy from Fifty Shades.

Stop. Stop right there.

You’re either laughing or already looking to perform an exorcism on yourself after reading even that far. It’s not one of THOSE DREAMS.

It was more me walking up and down the lane and road by the house as we chatted, then we were riding in a car, in what looked like downtown Los Angeles somewhere, at night. You know how dreams abruptly switch locations on you? Yep.

Summer. Sunshine. Yet the corn field across the way seemed in its winter state. Yellow bits of stalks left, the electric fence up to keep the feeder cattle contained. As people turn out their herds on harvested corn fields here, let them eat away to their heart’s content on corn stalks. Not being in the cow business, I have little to no interest as to why this is. Something about not wanting those giving birth to be too fat or something. I really do need to perk up my ears about the bovine trade, oh dear. Where was I. Oh yes.

Summer yet winter corn!

The juxtaposing of two seasons, yet the harmony of it. All while I’m chatting away to Mr. Fifty Shades. Jamie Dornan?

My truly malicious naughty dream inventor creature slapped together some amalgam of the Fifty Shades brooder with what is probably not the actor’s personality at all. Also, this amalgam stood in the lane, quite a distance from me. I walked up and down the road! Yet we could hear each other fine.

We had supernatural hearing. As you do in dreams.

Yes, a bit of polite flirting. I remember him muttering I wasn’t ready yet. Ugh? Then I was asking him what it was like to make that movie, if that was okay to ask him.

So it went from the Fifty Shades character to the actor, back and forth, like a weird game of chat tennis. It was both the Fifty Shades grim alpha hamster and the more down to earth, perhaps a bit more realistic actor persona.

Which I totally made up, I’m sure, for that dream series of sequences. Am I  a fan of Dornan or harboring a ghastly desperate want to get a slice of that fantasy? Not that I know of!

The dream ended before we two arrived at whatever destination in this convertible car. You should always drive in downtown Los Angeles in a convertible when dreaming– that’s my sage advice for now and always. But we clearly liked talking to each other. I perhaps miss people I can talk to– that might be what this dream tried, in symbols, movie stars and country roads, to tell me. TALK TO ACTUAL PEOPLE, YOU TWIT.

Maybe it’s a warning. Talk to real people before you actually do become one of those crazy hermit sorts, muttering at the rats you’ve made your boon companions about the state of today’s youth.

Maybe it’s meant to tell me to stop watching awful movies, just watch the ones that win lots of awards. No, no! I’ll never give up my junkie bad movie ways! No no no!

Ah, well, probably be checking the mail in my dreams tonight while chatting up one of the sharks from Sharknado.

Don’t bite me, combined with– Did you enjoy being one of the main sharks? Wherewith the shark will bite me, then answer–Tip top, I did, old chum, it was jolly good fun, lots of laughs.

You’re British?? Why is everyone British these days??

Don’t be spiffy, dahling. I’d like to chew your arm off, do put that in the mailbox already!

[My dream creator might add some Jeeves and Wooster in there, oh heck.]

A bit of light-hearted nonsense on a cloudy January day.

I also completed a one act play.

You may now cheer, clap your hands, grin foolishly for hours, o gentle readers. Celebrate in a suitable fashion. Remember to get some rest afterward.

I wrote twenty pages or so of dialogue about tigers, Pocatello, Idaho, and ghosts.

Clawtooth.

It needs some spiffing, pages numbered, nipple clamps added, but by Jove, it’s a rough draft! Mr. Gray will be so pleased. 

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This is from Sharknado II. I’ve seen all of them. 
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In case my genteel, well cultured readers had no idea to what I was referring. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Edward Gray and Bella Steele. Something like that! Tee hee. 

Ocean Stud

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Yours truly, or me, myself and I, decided back in 2018, when it was yet December, to go see Aquaman. Or Ocean Stud, the Wet Sexy Adventures of Khal Drogo.

Aquaman seems rather a tame title for two plus hours of seething ocean sizzle! You do not go see such a movie for the intellectual puzzles of our times played out by superb actors at the top of their game, after all. You go because things are going to blow up, chiseled sorts in ultra-tight suits bending over a lot and things blow up a lot.

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Jason Momoa as Ocean Stud, AKA Aquaman/Arthur Curry. So many inappropriate jokes about moistness could be made here. I won’t, don’t worry!

Yes, it was good. I liked it. That’s out of the way.

Good? Was it Wonder Woman good? Casablanca good?? Uh, no. It was good, though.

I rather enjoyed how it incorporated that annoying need to EXPLAIN WHY OCEAN STUD IS OCEAN STUD instead of, oh, showing us things blowing up from the get go and fistfights and fights while mounted on sharks…with some flashbacking. The always lovely Willem Defoe in a bit part. The secret trainer of Ocean Studling and adviser to Princeling Orm, Environmental Poster Child. A straddler, a part that calls for actual subtly. A bit of it. Okay, Orm must have ignored with all his might his adviser was a double agent, hello.

Oh look, things blowing up! Whee!

We don’t have to watch that first hour with eye-rolling indifference to how Aquaman embraced his inner squid. [Like, um, Superman, ahem, in Man of Steel Penis…er, Man of Steel.] We do get shown, in tiny snips, how Arthur learned to fight, blah blah blah. [We get to hear what happened to mom!]

I don’t care. I just wanna see him fight stuff underwater and kick ass and look all determination and alpha seawolf. [Would a seawolf be a shark or a killer whale? Mmm.]

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I don’t know who did this but BWHA HA HA HA. I found this after I ticked the Khal Drogo box, thanks.

Nicole Kidman as mommy seawolf queen person. Enjoyable! She’s, what, eighty years old and still looks great in a silver-spangly catsuit. She also channels her inner Bruce Lee, which is fantastically fabulous. 

And!!  A great big bravo to making the redheaded whatever princess warrior girlfriend love interest a fighter as well. Hallelujah and shut the door! Thank you!

I almost wondered why they didn’t just eschew asking ole Artie to become King High Lord Khal Emporer of the Oceans and just have princess ginger lady [as played by Amber Heard] go off looking for the Magic Weapon That’s In Nearly Every Superhero Movie Ever Made. [Not that I am complaining and I am not.]

She, however, is rather a Gamora type here. The Humorless Lady Fighter. It seems women can be girlfriends, background extras, or Humorless Female Fighters who look great and buff but have the grim personalities of Medieval monks during flagellation binges. Pfft! She did thaw out a bit, but still.

Does that make Arthur a sort of Starlord-like character? A bit, yes. Wise-cracking, lovable rogue, a bit of a doesn’t take any of this seriously blah blah. Blah.

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Patrick Wilson as Orm. Here I am to save the day! Not! Fishmom Nicole has some buff sons!

Ah, the evil but understandable brother to our lovable Ocean Stud. Orm? Worm? Blond Serious Underwater Crackpot? Power-mad Loki Copycat? [Yeah, I went there.]

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Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Here I am to save the day! Not! Compare and contrast now. There will be a test.

Orm is the half-brother to Our Hero so he has to be the heavy here. We also get yet another villain, Black Manta, who very understandably wants to turn Ocean Stud into fish sticks. As Ocean Stud had a Spiderman moment with Black Manta and his Pirate Dad. Where Ocean Stud could have prevented a chain of events!

Oh. My. Tartar sauce. Really??

Did no one else just roll their eyes at that very early moment in the six hour film? It felt a big long, I’m saying. I’m saying it outright.

We could have cut the Black Manta stuff to about five minutes. We already have younger half-bro sending baddies after Ocean Stud and Humorless Wench, after all. Set pieces get destroyed and then some!

Also, why didn’t Aquaman call on his Justice League buddies for help if his half-bro meant to destroy everything on land? Isn’t that, um, kinda what Steppenpuppy tried to do?

Are Batman and Wonder Woman and Superman just having some beers, watching all this go down? Going— eh, he’s got this. You buying, Bruce?

But! I had actual sympathy for Orm’s rant/whispered rants about what humans do to the oceans. That footage of beaches covered with garbage…that makes you go, why wouldn’t Aquaman get behind that one? His element is the sea. The ocean. Water. Humans pollute that bigly. Maybe he could have helped little brother.

Yeah, let’s clean up the planet then fight for dominance, hey ho, let’s go.

So yeah, Aquaman unfolds exactly as you think it will. The story holds no surprises but I oddly did not care. I knew exactly what would happen and I was happy as a clam about it.

My favorite part was the giant octopus playing the drums. It was such a Little Mermaid meets Spongebob delight.

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My other fave part was Ocean Stud emerging in that golden armor, because hey, what’s not to like about that? I didn’t go, twice, to this one, for the acting. Or the exquisite storytelling! This was wham, bam, action, sharks, octopus drummer, bro fight, the end.

PART II or Huh Oh, Here’s Where We Veer–

Ah, let me write a bit about why I attended this one twice. I’m not a Jason Momoa fanatic, in case you were starting to tremble a bit, then prepare to write me off as some desperately lonely thousand year old spinster lady with dungeon master BDSM fantasies playing in a moist reel in her head…Mm. No.

No, I agreed to go because a friend of mine had just lost her mother around Christmas. [I wrote about that.] She wanted to see this and I said, sure, I’ll go see it again. End of story.

Well, not really.

So, as you might not know, I am an entirely anxious kitty cat around fellow humans anymore. I cannot stand them near me! I crave being alone far more than having to make awkward chit chat about the weather or giant walls. I’ve been told what an awful ugly sort of person I am over and over, over the years, as well.

Fine. I give up. You all win.

I have been isolating myself for years now. [As if the few readers of this pathetic little blog didn’t know that! Pfft!]

I am also not fighting at all the giant fog bank of chronic depression that lurks constantly somewhere about me. [Can’t afford meds or a doctor.] I have giant ups and downs, and often can’t control or want to control myself around others that just…yeah. Okay.

So, I’ve made it clear I have no interest in ‘doing something’ with anyone. She persists. I’ve written about this, then erased it or scrapped it. I need to deal with it, yes. Yes, I do. 

So I went to the movie, because, hey, her mom died. I knew it would be uncomfortable, I knew I’d be anxious and short. As the day approached to go, I could feel how tense I was getting. To go to a movie. With another person. The night before I woke very early. I felt like I was heading off for a battle. Being sent to the front. This person had other people going…I about flipped out. I about went, nope, not going, have fun. Seen it!

That’s where I am these days.

I was uncomfortable and trying not to freak out the entire time. I tried to be patient with myself and this person. I made it known, no, I didn’t wish to ‘hang out’ the rest of that afternoon spending money I do not have.  I don’t wish to make awkward small talk over food I could not afford to order. I didn’t say any of that, just  sent a nebulous ‘Maybe’ to any plans after the movie.

So, that teaches me that until I am heavily medicated or dead– not to go anywhere with people.  Unless I have my own vehicle so I can run away ASAP if I can feel myself wanting to start screaming or punching people to make them stay out of my personal space bubble. I’m sure it was not pleasant for her, either. I can’t hide how revolted I am on outings with others. Or how uncomfortable. Or how out of place. I’m a fish out of water. I just wish to sit in my own cloudy bowl of filth and that green stuff you get if you don’t clean the bowl regularly.

PART III–BACK TO OCEANIC BATTLES OF THE SEXY DEEP

Which brings me back to Ocean Stud, Lord of the Thighmasters.

You should go see it. It’s a lot of fun. Momoa hams it up. The redhead has some great fights. The dad to Aquaman is great, we can see why Arthur grew up to be the way he is. A lot of that was being around his dad. [A nice shout out to great fathers who raise a kid on their own. To single parents in general who do a great job.]

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Tuemura Morrison as Pops Curry. Momoa, of course, as Arthur Curry

Also, I think Patrick Wilson did a great job here as well. Not Tom Hiddleston level, not yet, but I think with some tinkering for Ocean Stud II, Attack Whales Unite, he could give Momoa an actual bit of competition in Highwayman and Duke’s Daughter fanfic attempts.

Or the Merman and the Hallmark Business Gal mashup.

Holy crab cakes, my next project just presented itself! Yay!

Where was I? Orm! Wilson!

That actual tortured villain that we love and want to cheer for. The bad boy who can wear a tight catsuit armor costume as well as his big brother…After all, you can’t have a super-villain looking like something out of a Jeeves and Wooster episode. Or can you??

Finally!!!

The superhero movies all seem to blend together into one big

Ocean Avengers Starlord Extravaganza Justice League, Part Twenty–Homecoming Wonder of the Spider Panther Elves.

You can mix and match other titles and sequels to your heart’s content on your own blog time, darlings.

Rabbit Rabbit

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You should totally treat bunnies nice, that’s a given. 

Allegedly, there’s an American and British…

Don’t come at me, I use British to mean those people who live on an island in Europia. We Americans don’t do geography. That one is very true. We’re not even sure there are other countries. Fake news! America is the only country! Okay, guffaws aside–

There’s supposedly this superstition that if you say Rabbit Rabbit as the first thing of the new year, the rabbit or rabbits you conjured with mouth magic will run away with all your problems in the following year, as well as bringing you some luck. Or all the luck.

All the luck?

It was trending on Twitter. I wondered why Rabbit Rabbit was on the side popular list. I satisfied my curiosity. [Does that make me a cat?] I discovered. Read above what I discovered! You could do an endless loop thing for about ten minutes. Go ahead. It’s the new year. Why be different now?

All done??

Great! Let’s continue.

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I spent roughly three days bingeing on Game of Thrones, catching up. Where Sansa Stark finally reunites with Jon Snow [You know nothing, Jon Snow…tee hee] and the dragon babe has to unleash her outer dragons.

I won’t unleash any spoilers if you still haven’t watched all the seasons. I have not, but I basically am caught up. But.

I spent the weekend not writing. Or doing much of anything but watching GOT, because it’s so freaking addictive and I must watch or rabbits won’t shower me with luck and prizes.

Anyone else have a crush on the wildling with the big red beard, curly red hair and naughty twinkle in his eye?

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Tormund and Brienne. Please make this happen, GOT. Please? Kristopher Hivju and Gwendolyn Christie. Guy in middle? Don’t know. 

Anybody else just thoroughly enjoy what happens to R. B.? [I promised no spoilers!]

Anyone else wanted to warn the High Sparrow not to bleep with Cersei?? Hello! [Sort of spoiler, look away!]

Anyone else wonder why the whole Arya storyline happened at all in that city with the giant ass statue? What the hell? She trains a bit, then goes home. It was a training montage. It could have been done in two minutes with Eye of the Tiger playing over it. Just my wrinkled brow WTF is this? reaction to all that.

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Hafthor Bjornsson, standing 6’9″ & weighing 190kg / 420lb. Lena Headey, as Cersei

The Mountain shouldn’t make me grin helplessly every time he appears on screen? That is one huuuuuuge man. And then they dressed him in armor!

The Hound! He’s actually one of my fave characters on here.

Him and Tyrion, of course. I get tired of Jon’s dour moodiness. Give me naughty twinkle, psychotic, murderous, gigantic people with flare and women people should know not to FUCK WITH.

Like the grandmother of Marge and Loris. Love her!! She’s awesome possum sauce and then some. Lady Oleo or Lady Oreo? something with an O sound to it. Who can keep track of names??

Even I start getting fuzzy after five hours of Jon looking pensive and dragon babe blinking at the men around her trying to make her behave.

SHE’S GOT DRAGONS YOU FUCKTWITS.

Why is it only clear to those watching?? SHE’S GOT DRAGONS. Dragons! And all that blond hair. You just let her queen it up, ya’ll!

By the seven gods and the Lord of Light, hello and shut the door already!

I could go on a whole squee GOT back and forth for ages. Maybe I will. I could do a rundown of EACH CHARACTER, and bore all of you to actual tears. Or not, some of you might be GOT fans.

But I feel a bit of energy for 2019.

A GOT three day binge-a-thon perked me up a bit.

That rabbit rabbit thingie did as well. Plus, I got to look at pics of bunnies. I like bunnies. I might even bother pecking away at something literary today. No, I didn’t go out last night. I did stay up.

Watched yet some more free HBO. Blockers, which when I first saw a blurb for it, thought it was just another awful comedy about teens or trees, whatever. The reviews said it was pretty good! I watched it all the way to the end. It was pretty good. That’s my professional movie critic summing up.

So now the year must begin anew. As it does once a year. Ha ha.

What will this year bring…Oh let’s not speculate just yet. No resolutions, either. I ain’t making no promises to the Drowned God, queens of GOT or Westeros. Nope!

Oy vey! Theon Greyjoy’s sis is the bomb! She is also in my fave character column. I loved her interaction with the dragon babe–how my brother describes her as he can’t remember all the names or who’s who or plotlines or…But he does like the show. It is very confusing if you’re jumping in now and then, instead of obsessive watching from Season One.

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Stannis and his kiddo. Stephen Dillane and Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon. 

Oh, and then the white walkers, Bran [is this just an excuse for explaining this or that?], what happened to the only daughter of Stannis…Stannis.

Oh gosh, someone had a major crush on that dour, moody so and so. I think it was me. And he loved his daughter…damn it!

That Red Witch woman, growl!

Hold the door…I think I just rubbed an onion in my eyes, BRB.

Fudge! ANOTHER WHOLE DAY OF GOT on HBO. It’s like a gift basket with a hidden stash of goodies under the packing.

Rabbit rabbit, you are already working!

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XAVIER AND VICKIE

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Miz Bridge. A little skinny cow dog mix. 

Christmas. It’s over. I have tales. A new dog. A relationship so toxic Baby Jesus winced even as Baby Jesus gave the two the side eye. A funeral. Ah.

The death of a mother. A friend of mine. Right before a big holiday season. Not pleasant when there isn’t a string of days devoted to this or that. Horribly nasty when it takes place during festive times. A Buddhist funeral. I’ve never been to one. I went with another family member, who’d never been to one either. This was a neighbor lady, Japanese, who had lived at the house across the field for eons. Farmers. Everyone about here are either farmers or teachers. Or cook meth. It’s that kinda world here lately.

Bells. Incense. Chanting. Very dignified. A sort of foggy Christmas Eve day. No snow. Wet, muddy, foggy. A reminder that Dicken’s immortal classic began with a funeral on Christmas Eve. Marley’s. More bells and the sweet odor of incense. 

Christmas Eve is spent with the hillbilly side of the fam’ly.

Christmas Day was and is traditionally spent with the other half of the family. Both sides of my family got along very well, in case you were wondering. Both sets of grandparents really enjoyed visiting with each other. Both sets migrated here to Oregon and Idaho from Nebraska, where they grow corn and manners and tornadoes. That’s what I’ve gathered from all that talking back and forth over the years. Christmas Day was giant meal, the women did all the cooking, and we played cards all afternoon.

Christmas Eve was spent with the hillbillies.

That’s my own pet snarky nickname for my mom’s kith and kin. I did get to see pictures of the cougars my cousin trapped and hear about how the price of coyote pelts is through the roof right now. I silently wondered who’s buying fur anymore. Who the fuck is that? Cause you’re not eating the cougar meat. You’re not eating the coyote meat– though I did see where you can cook it and turn it into haute cuisine sort of food. That was when Andrew Zimmerman still wandered through the Travel Channel. But anyway, before I get distracted and this gets super-ass long as hell!

I do cuss. If you’re new here, well. I do cuss on occasion.

Yes, now to Xavier and Vickie. Which is not their real names.

My little group trundles off toward the Christmas Eve festivities. It’s a foggy, muddy, somewhat rainy Eve. No snow. No real cheer. Just obligation and the thought of the chips and dips. Which tell me the holiday season is truly nigh. Sad. Chips and dips is what I look forward to, not halting awkward family interactions and hearing that the lib’rals have attacked God-fearing red-blooded ‘murican farmers.

I’ve done entire blog posts about what I hear pooped out of human mouths around me. M’kay.

We get there, it’s cool. As in groovy, not my auntie needs to turn the heat on or stuff some wood in her wood-burning stove.

Calm.

Most of the people showing up for this gathering are already there. It’s mellow. My aunt has enough food to feed Boise bubbling, boiling, baking or waiting to go into an oven. Ham. Turkey. Taters. Stuffing. Bacon mac and cheese, from scratch…with six kinds of cheese in it. OH MY WORD. Oh look, chips and dips. And then someone else brings bread and HOMEMADE DIPS THAT ARE SUPER TASTEFUL.

Veggies? No. I have yet to see a veggie dish show up since the death of my own mother over ten years ago. No salad. No squash. No weird green bean casserole attempt. Just meat and carbs and DIP. 

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Old-timey recipes! 

However, I pick up on how watchful people are. Waiting. One cousin is not yet there. I hear, nearly five seconds after I enter the house, decorated with red and green, blue and silver, gold and sparkly lights, that Vickie is a bitch. There’s the oh no, don’t start that yet admonishment. Do I already know what is thought of Vickie and her California ways? Yes. Yes, I do. Yep, she’s from California. California is a bad word in Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho. It’s kinda the queen mother of bad words here. You want to really insult someone, ask if they’re from California. [Because it’s run by liberals, the housing, the myths and legends people absorb as truth, the…uh huh. Then, Californians are all moving to Idaho and Oregon, ruining everything. Uh huh.]

I’ve mentioned that one, too. I know I have.

Okay! So we’re all waiting for Xavier to show up. If he and his little woman show up. It’s that kinda crowd.

Ah, the two arrive. The lights splash along the driveway! We’re all tensing already. What will walk through that door? Stay tuned to find out! Where’s the dip??!!

It’s just Xavier and one of his very young chil’ren. She’s fucking still out there in the car, he snarl-snaps at the startled, still sorts watching this entrance.

Suddenly, we’re watching a Eugene O’Neill play, except with modern language added. [The f bomb, mostly.]

Xavier dumps his first load of baby stuff– as it takes several Sherpa loads these days to take babies anywhere– to fetch the other kid and the rest of the stuff, presents and stuff. Vickie has not yet made her appearance. We’re all…uncomfortable audience members to this kitchen sink reality show of epic proportions. It takes perhaps half an hour before Vickie makes her DRAMATIC ENTRANCE.

DOG SHIT. ON MY SHOE. BIG PILE OF DOG SHIT. RIGHT THERE BY THE CAR DOOR. WHAT THE FUCK? DOG SHIT DOG SHIT DOG SHIT!

She’s more wound up than a barrel of rattlesnakes and twice as poisonous. Something like that!

Instantly, as we’ve been enjoying the two very young babies– both under two years old or so– the tension goes to eleven.

Xavier bristles. Vickie uses Wet Wipes to clean the poo from her shoes. Instead of just removing her shoes, leaving them by the door. Or laughing about stepping in dog poo right out of the car door. Or…so many other choices here than what she chose to do. [It’s family, you pretend you have manners. If I learned nothing else, I learned that, hello!]

Though dog poo on velvet shoes or delicate little spendy numbers you adore…but. I saw the shoes, just some old cheap ass boot looking things. Then the mutters, from Vickie, about the baby crawling on the floor…mm. If the tap water was drinkable. To keep so and so away from Baby X. Mutters. Oh the mutters one overhears at times. 

Xavier and Vickie apparently fought the entire time they drove to the Christmas Eve gathering. Apparently, they’ve been fighting since before they met, if you know what I mean. So, there’s muttering. So much under the breath muttering, just muttered loud enough for all of us to hear. Those not front and center in this O’Neill gritty reboot, have the side eyes down to an art. We’ve all become experts in body language communication exchanges. There’s selective deafness goin’ on! Whee!

The holiday air seems stained with invisible dirty bomb emissions. The chips and dips, so good! Everyone’s munching or in the other room, shoulders hunched up. Because surely, this ugly pimple is gonna burst. Spray noxious fluids all over us. Ever had one of those ugly angry white-topped pimples? Yeah, like that. Ever watched cysts and infected pimples get drained?? So gross and yet so satisfying!

Where was I.

The presents get opened. Ah. Thanks! The sound of ripping paper, the asking if those pretty boxes were bought at Joanne’s. [The local craft store.]

The food, the literal mountains of food, become available for consumption. The alcohol has been flowing, so actual food that’s not chips and/or dip, nice. Xavier, shoulders hunched to his angry earlobes, slaps some of that food on a big disposable plate, prepares to chow down. Vickie mutters she’d sure like a hot meal as she slams about getting out baby food stuff. Xavier about comes out of his angry skin, like a butterfly bent on rampages, bursting out of a cocoon, ready for carnage. He shoves that giant disposable plate away. He goes off for cartons of baby goo to shove at the youngest kiddo. The older kiddo gets mac and cheese and other tidbits. The two sit on the same side of the table. We’re…careful. Watching. Afraid to breathe.

Are the guns locked up? [I had that actual thought. Both sides of the fam’ly are totally into GUNZ.] This is the lead up to one of those Christmas Eve drunken fam’ly shootings. I’m watching it in real time. That was the impression I had.

Now, the two are shoving food at the two kids. Neither talk. The one year old can barely crawl. I see Xavier about once or twice a year, if that. My other cousin’s little woman fills me in on all this so…I have the gossip and what I observe. Okay!

Not long after the most uncomfortable dining experience I’ve had to sit through in years, Xavier and Vickie pack up their spawn, their shit, and head back ‘home’. Without a kind word for each other, without much enjoyment shown toward either kid, with faces like death masks from a Greek tragedy. A Greek tragedy channeling Long Day’s Journey Into Night with big handfuls of Mamet’s way with certain words thrown in.

During this brief, awful family drama unfurling, I go outside where people are smoking the funny weed that’s legal in my state. I burst out about the tension, what the hell is this, does anyone have any heroin, because it will take the edge off that scene in there. We all laugh, gossip fiercely, suck down some smoke. Because hey, why confront directly when you can smoke funky plants and gossip in half-whispers?

No. I don’t do heroin.

Okay! I’m not around Vickie on a regular basis so I don’t really know her but it does seem she got painted early on as a bitch, and unlikable. That she never really had a chance. When you’re around people who don’t like you, no matter how nice they’re pretending to be, you tend to get defensive. A lot defensive. Poor Vickie can’t avoid her own kid’s grandma. Well, she can and has, I gather. What a mess, a hot sticky this is gonna hurt to actually resolve this MESS.

That was my Christmas Eve. I had pecan-flavored whiskey, but did not get drunk. A bit high, but not drunk.

The fate of those four caught in some loop of resentment, outright hatred, commitment entanglements, children, obligations, job loss…ugh. I don’t know. Counseling might help, some neutral party that can weather the pimple bursting far better than family members can. I see a nasty as hell breakup galloping down the two-lane. Maybe people going to jail for assault. [Yes, that’s the air I got from all this.] I don’t want to hear Xavier and Vickie imploded and took everyone around them downward, too. I want to hear they took a realistic look a their situation, their relationship, worked out custody and money matters, then parted for good. So they could both heal from all this and become far better people on the other side. That’s my Christmas wish this year.

And the writer part of me…sadly…goes– how to use this? They don’t read my stuff. Or if they do, I don’t hear about it. [If that side did read my collected works, they’d tar and feather me, after asking me if so and so was them…] Family drama fuels a thousand percent of literature is my humble opinion. Usually first-hand family drama.

Except those writers who grew up in a vacuum somewhere in the wilds of Oregon on a communist commune where nothing happened except the day’s baking of nan bread. They grew up, wrote nice poems about flowers and were politely puzzled at another writer’s seething three-book rage-athon on why their dad was a POS.

Xavier and Vickie, poor things. Their two little peanuts. You just want to offer to take the two kiddos, let the two adults go destroy each other all they wish…

But hey, found a stray dog. Cream underbelly, dark brown silky soft short coat. What we call a cow dog. But there’s something else in there. Rottweiler? German Shepherd? Maybe even a bit of pit bull? Boxy head. Smart, female, no collar, skinny. I did post her on social media. I did ask the folks living where I found her if she was their dog. Nope. I found her where we’ve found other dogs, it’s a spot to drop unwanted canines out. Brigit. Or Miz Bridge. As she was found by the bridge. Yeah.

So far she’s torn up some mats and a old magazine. And my flip flops. But. She’s a big puppy yet.

I’ll end on a nice note instead of the intense sadness that is my cousin’s life situation at the moment. New dog! Oh and it snowed. It’s not a muddy spring-like mess without. Snow. I do love snow.

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I just like this pic. We have rabbits, there’s snow now on the ground. Then I wonder if that poor bunny is cold…