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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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About the weekend
I never did finish up that list. I got the floor done in the bathroom, quit for the night, then never got back to the list on Sunday. So, new list today.

Yesterday, Flar handled making pancakes for the sleepers-over. Then Tigger announced that I had agreed to make cake. I finished Lamb before I got out of bed, then made Angel Food cake, with frosting, per Tigger's specifications. He really wanted yellow cake but that would have involved more work, since I didn't have a box of yellow cake on hand.

We were about 10 minutes late to Gattitown for Scooter's birthday, due to waiting on the last sleepover dad to arrive. Food at Gattitown was yummy, as usual, and conversation was good. We don't get together with Brody's family very often. Scooter is now five. Wow. The girls are 10 and 8, and my but K is looking all grown up.

After food at Gattitown, we all came out to the house. Flar picked up some meat for Churrasco on the way home, and I asked him to pick out the "fruitiest" Baccardi mixer. So we mixed up half-strength rumrunners and sat around and sipped and talked while the kids played. Then we all got to watch Scooter bat at the Bob the Builder "piñata" (since when did they start making the things out of cardboard, with a trapdoor in the bottom?), and then pull the ribbons to open it. C helped get the candy to come out, and all the kids scrambled for their share. There was plenty for all.

Bébé stayed for dinner after Brody, C and their kids left. Flar took Critter over to a sleepover. Hmm. I need to feed the dogs myself this morning. Oops. We turned on Spongebob for Tigger, Bébé slept, and I read HP, while Flar cooked the meat.

When Bébé left, Tigger and I chose a PPV showing of Spirited Away. It was wonderful. Funny, I spent much of it wishing for someone sitting next to me to explain what was happening, but by the end of the movie, I felt that I understood it. I want to own this movie and watch it over and over again.

After the movie, I had time for a short phone call with Wolf, a tiny bit of email and LJ, and then bed.

I'm up to page 200 in Order of the Phoenix.

My new list:
  • Finish the master bathroom
    I just need to clean around the sinks. I probably won't organize around mine, this week.
  • Fold the rest of the laundry and put it away
    I've gotten it down to two over-filled baskets to sort and fold
  • Sort mail and post bills
  • Take Tigger his lunch - which I packed, but we all forgot to include in what he was taking today.
  • Pick up Critter from his sleepover
  • Sam's Run
  • Cingular - replace my broken headset
  • Radio Shack - replace the battery for my carkeys & maybe buy rubber cement
  • Pack a change of clothes for Louisville
  • work
  • Drive to Louisville after work

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The one time I had experience with a real pinata, the second kid to take a hit at it (blindfolded, of course) managed to whack one of the other kids really well instead. So, that kid was taken care of and the pinata was carefully cut open and the candy distributed instead of us getting to scramble for it. This happened in 6th grade Spanish class.

So, I'm betting that's why they are made the way they are now. ;) Spoils the fun for the rest of the kids who know how to stay away from the one with the stick though. :P

We still used a stick, though. The other kids got to direct Scooter, and we occasionally reminded them to back up when he got closer to the edges of the circle.

For one party, I *made* a piñata out of papier maché. It nicely broke up on repeated impact with a blunt instrument.

I think they're made out of cardboard because it's easier.

That could be. I made a pinata when I was in middle school (I think we learned how to do it in that Spanish class--now that I think about it, I think we either all made one and we were supposed to take turns breaking our own, or we got into groups and each group made one for the group to break, so we must have had to just cut into our own to get to our candy). But, the one I clearly remember making was with some friends in our spare time. We each blew up balloons and liberally applied newspaper with paste. Once that dried, we were going to cut a small opening to put candy in and then put lots of paper mache on it to decorate it. We never got to the decorate stage though.

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi...

(which is the original title of Spirited Away :-) )

I got dragged to see Spirited Away by my friend Cathy, and it immediately became one of my top ten favorite movies ever. I just think it's the most charming thing ever :-)

I've seen four other Ghibli/Miyazaki movies -- Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke), Tenku no shiro Rapyuta (Castle in the Sky) and Mayo no takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service), and Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro). I adored them all, but Spirited Away is definitely his masterpiece so far.

They all share two key features. One is a reliance on young protagonists, thus making these movies not only friendly but engaging for children. And they're all set in 'fantasy' versions Earth, with mythologies that usually don't actually exist, but are based on ones that do. Spirited Away, for example, is not based solely on Japanese culture but also heavily on Eastern European legends (Yu-ba-ba bears resemblances to the Russian folklore of Baba Yaga, for example). The result is that the adult audience finds things that may be familiar, many things that aren't, and is drawn in to try to figure it out.

In short: these are modern fairy tales, deliberately constructed by someone with a knowledge not only of his own culture but of many others.
And they're wonderful, charming stories, well executed.

I've seen three of these (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service) in both English and Japanese, and strongly recommend, if you get hold of the DVDs, that you do the same -- watch both. The English version is obviously easier to follow than subtitles, and the dubs are all extremely well done, but I find it educational to hear the original choices for voice portrayals in the Japanese versions.

Re: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi...

If you have the Japanese version on DVD, would you be interested in bringing it with you in July?

Re: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi...

I can be convinced :-). I have Mononoke-hime and Sen to Chihiro... on DVD (which includes the Nihon-go with subtitles -- one thing Disney has definitely done right with these releases :-) ). I might well acquire one or both of the other two that are in general release (Kiki and Castle...) before the trip.

Re: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi...

That would be cool!

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