Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guys, this is Brain Cat. Brain Cat lives in my head and, in general, makes a nuisance of itself.

Like a cat, Brain Cat only shows up when it's inconvenient and is asleep when I need it most.

During a test:

Me: C'mon, Brain Cat. We know this. I need you to get off your lazy cells and tell me what the answer is.
Brain Cat: Zzzzzzz....
Test moderators: Uh, miss, do you have Tourettes? Or are we going to have to escort you from the building?
Me: ...yeah...

When I get home from an overnight shift at work:

Me: So tired...I'll just close my eyes...and sleep...because I'm going to die if I don't...
Brain Cat: Meow. Meow, yo.
Me: For cryin' out loud...
Brain Cat: Hey hey hey Becca hey hey hey guess what meow ha ha ha I'm a cat but I'm also your brain and do you know what would be awesome if we dipped pretzels in jelly and then put them in the microwave am I right anyway we haven't pondered the mysteries of life for like two hours so let's do that right now also are we wasting our talents--
Me: ....
Me: Brain Cat....please, for the love of all that is decent, go to sleep.
Me: We are not going on a run. Ever. Could you please stop thinking in all caps?
Me: *is exhausted*

Anyway, that's all. So if anyone knows of any good brain cat tranquilizers, let me know.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Prunella's Prediction S04 Ep. 08 (Part 2)

 In which the fashion options of the middle class are mocked pitilessly by the bourgeoisie.

Category: Arthur (and Prunella) Fail at a Basic Life Skill
Basic Life Skill Failed: Being able to afford fashion sense

The little thirty second bit before the title card is Arthur dressed as a vampire, guiding the audience through a Fashion House of Horror. Which in and of itself is a little baffling because Arthur's featured in this episode for his poor fashion sense. Not that anyone in Elwood City is particularly chic--they all wear the same clothes every episode. But if anyone would be holding a Fashion House of Horror and making a profit, it would be Muffy Crosswire. Or D.W. 

We begin the episode with Prunella watching "Silver Hills" and Dumpy McWhinerpants is complaining to her hot friend that she looks terrible and can't go to the dance. Hussy Hotbod says that they should just go and have fun (trap #1) and that Dumpy's boyfriend won't care what she's wearing (trap #2). Dumpy asks Hussy what she's wearing and we get our first view of *FLASHPANTS*. 

They're even better when you're actually watching them in
motion. I'm pretty sure the animators broke the budget on
this one special effect. 100% worth it.

Prunella tells her sister, Rubella, that that's what she was hinting about for her birthday. (Which I just realized was two episodes previous in "Prunella Gets it Twice." I need to write that one up. Also, the Arthur writers' continuity  is SOLID. *coughGleewriterstakenotecough*) Rubella takes note and busts out a fake prediction as to the end of the show (Dumpy's boyfriend dumps her "just like in the preeeeviewwwws").

She then claims that the phony prediction drained her and heads to the kitchen for a snack. Her mom is talking furtively on the phone with someone (who we can assume is not Prunella's absent father), but then chills out when she sees it's just her hippie older daughter. From what we hear from that side of the conversation, it sounds like someone is going to send Prunella a late birthday present of *FLASHPANTS*. All the clues point to it- "kids are so into what they're wearing," "I think that's what she was hinting at," "silver." 

Come on, Rubella. Don't pretend like you haven't seen enough sitcoms to know where this is going.

Meanwhile at Chez Reed, Arthur and D.W. are being left in the capable hands of Grandma Thora while Mr. and Mrs. Reed and Kate are going on a cruise. D.W. does not beg to come along, surprisingly, but instead tells her parents to bring her one of any unicorns she drew for them. If she can't have her parents' quality time, she may as well get a horn`ed mythical creature out of it.

Later, Rubella sets about faking another prediction for her younger sister. She tries using a Ouija board (or maybe some astrology chart? My Wiccan's a little rusty), but Prunella is unimpressed. So Rubella wanders out to the mailbox and repeats the same phrases her mom used, adding in a little mumbo-jumbo: "on the day you were born," "from someone older," etc.

Prunella thinks she's going to win the sweepstakes. Rubella gives up trying to dupe her.

I don't believe Marc Brown or any of the animators have
 ever been inside the house of a teenage Wiccan.

Muffy calls everyone up and invites them to go skating the next day. Arthur, Grandma Thora, and D.W. suit up to go somewhere and Arthur's coat is too small.

"Look!" D.W. says. "Arthur's coat shrunk!"
"Arthur's coat hasn't shrunk. Arthur's grown," says Grandma Thora.

Know what season 9 of Arthur says? Arthur's fat. He's eternally 8, for crying out loud. Who's to say what's a growth spurt and what's a result of shoving cookies down his gullet at every waking moment? I guess it kind of makes sense, though: they already tackled the issue of growing out of one's clothes in this episode. They had to tackle childhood obesity at some point. Or something.

Mr. and Mrs. Reed clearly didn't leave any money for emergency growth spurts, so Grandma Thora takes them to her house to see if they can rustle something up from storage. Et voila! A Mr. Puffy coat is found! Once again, Arthur has no idea how cool something is. I mean, look at that thing! 

D.W. would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone
that she's styling too.

Quella awesome. Apparently Mr. Puffy was part of the Terrific Three, along with Landfish and the Legal Eagle. Anyway, Arthur feels super self-conscious wearing it and D.W. threatens to throw snowballs at him coz he's such an awesome target. (Speaking as the younger sibling of someone who owned a puffy coat, D.W. is absolutely right.)

Prunella makes the mistake of going to the mall with Muffy. They stand oogling at the *FLASHPANTS* display and Muffy says that they've been fashionable for months because her parents saw them while in Paris. Prunella makes the second mistake of telling Muffy that she's going to be wearing her pair (that she doesn't own yet) skating tomorrow. 

Muffy immediately peels off to fill the void left by her parents' inattention with some flashy, flashy pants. 

When Prunella returns from her mall trip, a teeny tiny box is waiting for her. Turns out her grandparents sent her a watch, which teaches us two lessons: 1) Don't ever rely on old people to get you something hip. Set low expectations so if they're exceeded you have the luxury of being super stoked. And 2) Don't brag about stuff you don't have yet.

Muffy calls Prunella to gloat about her recently obtained awesomeness and Prunella runs off crying. 

Muffy would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone
that she has an excellent fashion sense. As she wears
*FLASHPANTS* underneath her normal dress.

In true Arthur form, Arthur has a nightmare concerning his seemingly inevitable and impending ostracization from his current social circle. EXCEPT IT'S IN AWESOME COMIC BOOK FORM. I wish my dreams were this detailed.

La la la, Francine, Buster, Binky, and Brain are skating on a high mountain (Muffy is absent, which is weird coz it's her party), a random, big-headed, non-animal looking guy enveloped in a ball of fire shows up and is all upset that he didn't get invited to the party and starts melting the ice with his eyeballs.

Moral of the story? For heaven's sake, invite the weird kid
with superpowers! STAY ON THE GOOD SIDE OF THE

Good ol' Mr. Puffy shows up to save the day and knocks Mr. Melt into the water. And drowns him, I assume. Such violence.

And when Arthur/Mr. Puffy tries to rescue his friends further, they bite the hand that saves them from a freezing/fiery death (depending on what kind of villain Mr. Melt was). "Who are you? Mr. Moldy Marshmallow Man?" mocks Francine.

Then they throw snowballs at him. He wakes up.

Kids are cruel and ungrateful, y'all.

At this point, Arthur and Prunella are on the same page: no way in heck are they leaving their respective houses this winter. They both rustle up some money for survival food doing heaven-knows-what and head to the store.

Prunella has the sense to wear a blonde wig and sunglasses. Arthur wears the very thing he's afraid of being mocked for.

Because apparently Wiccans have wigs lying around.

They run into each other, knocking off Prunella's wig and a whole pyramid of cans in the fray.

A bored-sounding store clerk comes onto the PA and announces: "Clean up on aisle three near the puffy green boy."

Turns out Prunella is acquainted with the Terrific Three and thinks that Arthur's coat is pretty sweet. Arthur realizes that it doesn't matter what he's wearing, he'll always be middle class and should enjoy himself anyway.

Prunella realizes the same thing, but not until she gets to the cash register. She hands the boxes of crackers to the cashier and says, "I don't need these anymore-- I'm going skating!"

The animators must've drawn this face based on an alternate
script. No way anyone would look that shocked after Prunella's
declaration. I can only assume that Prunella flipped her the
bird or something.

Arthur and Prunella show up at the skating rink together and Prunella almost chickens out when she sees Muffy wearing her fabulous *FLASHPANTS*. Arthur points out that everyone else out there is poorly dressed, probably because this is a middle class neighborhood and really Muffy's the odd one out here.

Muffy caves into peer pressure and goes home to change into something a little less posh.

Did Prunella sell her good coat to buy her survival supplies?
Or did she sell her coat on the way to the rink for a hit of
cocaine? That coat is what she should've been worried
about the whole episode.

Everything ends happily because social order is restored. Also, D.W. and the Tibble twins pelt Arthur with snowballs until the last black frame. Golden.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

1001 Dads S04 Ep. 08 (Part 1)

 In which Arthur and the gang tackle the tricky subject of divorce by making
the kid with divorced parents feel inferior.

Category: One of Arthur's Friends (Buster) Fails at a Basic Life Skill
Basic Life Skill Failed: Having a nuclear family


Category: Arthur Fails at a Basic Life Skill
Basic Life Skill Failed: Being sensitive to the familial situations of others

This episode begins with an introduction where Arthur tells the audience that Buster's dad is AWOL, but that he takes Buster all sorts of places when he actually does show up so he's pretty cool. Buster gets a call from his dad while he and Arthur are flying kites and apparently it's really good news, but Buster refuses to tell Arthur what it is. Which was his first mistake.

This is also the first episode where we hear about Buster's infamous food collection...which apparently includes a paperclip chain?

After the title card, Arthur, Francine, and D.W. are walking Pal when they see some nameless extra putting up posters for the Father's Day Picnic. Arthur immediately panics because he's worried that Buster will have a miserable time and that everyone will find out that his parents are divorced (and have been for four or five years) and give him a group hug. Buster wanders by and Arthur accidentally glues himself to the wall in an effort to shield his friend from the trauma of seeing a traditional father and son poster.

Friends don't let friends see things they probably see every day just in poster form.

 Francine asks Buster if he's going to the Father's Day Picnic. He says he has other plans. She says that her sister ran away to Crown City to be an exotic dancer (or something like that), so their family was one kid short if he wanted to chill with the Frenskys. He thanks her, but sticks to his guns and says he has other plans.
After he's gone, Arthur immediately kicks into high scheming mode. If Buster doesn't want to be a part of someone else's family, he reasons, maybe he'd want a surrogate dad all to himself! Genius.

So he starts recruiting fake dads. Because that's what best friends do.

His first choice?

Pickles the Clown, a recurring character with an allergy to dogs (which is ironic because he seems to be the same bulldog-ish thing that Binky is).

Know what's scarier than a clown? A clown who rings your doorbell and says he wants to be your dad.

Unsurprisingly (or maybe surprisingly because it is, after all, Buster Baxter), Buster refuses the clown's offer, but takes the balloons which Arthur has to pay for.
But Arthur is nothing if not thick-skulled persistent, so he keeps trying. The following is a list of potential Mr. Baxters. 

  • A robot. Brain made said robot from a mannequin and parts of the robocat they used to prove that Buster was lying in a previous episode.
It actually looks like the animated Mr. Rogers from another episode. They should've called Fred up for this gig.
Buster sets out to exorcise the demon. Or...he thinks this guy swallowed a cat so he's trying to do the Heimlich.
  •  Mr. Ratburn. Because calling your teacher "Mom" or "Dad" is nowhere near as embarrassing as showing up at the Father's Day Picnic with them.
Poor Nigel just wants to be loved.
  •  Pal. George offers to use his ventriloquism skills for the greater good rather than irritating everyone and covering up his crippling social anxiety.
Pal is not convinced.
  •  A cushion. Yep. Prunella suggests that they hypnotize Buster into thinking a cushion is his father. Thankfully, Arthur has enough sense to shoot that one down.
Unrelated: In some future post I'm going to explore the mystical and Arthur. They address divorce, cancer, and religion, but they never address the fact that Prunella and her family are freaking Wiccans.
  •  A virtual reality helmet. We get a sad, sad glimpse into Muffy's loveless life when she decides that she'll go to the picnic with the helmet and Buster can have her lackluster dad.
George still hasn't given up on his idea.
  •  Binky Barnes. After everything else gets shot down, Binky offers to be Buster's dad and starts doing all sorts of parent-y things, like telling Arthur his shoe's untied without looking and tucking D.W. into bed. This is one of my favorite exchanges of all time:
Binky: "Hot chocolate, my boy?"
Buster: *as Binky spills hot chocolate on his arm* "Ow! Watch it! Why don't you take those glasses off?"
Binky: "Quit moving the cup! I mean...Watch it, my boy. This is a hot beverage."
Buster: "Binky, why do you keep calling me your boy?"
Binky: "...uh...Starve a cold and feed a fever!"
Buster: "This is some crazy plan Arthur cooked up to keep me from feeling like I don't have a dad, isn't it?"
Binky: "Um...yes...uh...no! Just play along, doofus, it's for your own good."
Buster: "Well, you can tell him I already have a father and I'm not sad!"
Binky: "Yes you are! You're miserable!"
Buster: *leaves*
Binky: *falls into the creek trying to go after him*
Binky: "Some son. Bet he doesn't even get me a tie for Father's Day."

I'll get you a tie, Binky.
  •  A piñata. This wasn't actually Arthur's idea. It was more of a pissed off response from Buster. "Oh, I wonder who my father is today. Is it the cashier?" (who, you can see, is a girl) "Is it that piñata?" (plays a bar of Spanish-sounding music)

In the end, it turns out that Buster's dad hired a hot air balloon for everyone at the picnic, Mr. Ratburn took the Tibble twins, Arthur's dad tries to bond with his only son and ends up breaking an egg on his face, and Francine's sister wasn't cut out for Crown City life and came back to Elwood City so everyone is happy.

EXCEPT ME. Buster isn't the only one with an absentee father. Poor overlooked Fern Walters is dad-less for the entire run of the show (except for in a later episode when the creators try to dupe the audience into believing that Fern's had a dad the whole time but I'm not buying it because I've seen every single episode for the past fifteen years thank you very much.) The Tibbles don't have a father or a mother or even a grandpa. Although I have a theory that they killed their parents because that's the sort of thing the Tibbles would do. Or maybe their parents are/were Nazi hunters. Rattles (one of Binky's juvie friends) doesn't have parents. Molly (more of the same) doesn't have a dad.

The real moral of the story is, don't be best friend with the main character coz they will get all up in your business.

Happy Father's Day, y'all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Perfect Day

So winter basically sucks. People who survive the winter months in Utah with Seasonal Affective Disorder should get a medal, parade, and pizza trophy. There were a lot of days when I didn't feel like getting out of bed. There were a lot of days when I didn't. I'd lay in bed, sometimes sleeping, sometimes watching random movies on Netflix, wanting to run away or sleep forever.

I probably wouldn't have gotten out of bed at all today if my friend Kerri hadn't texted me randomly to tell me about a weird dream she'd had. We texted back and forth for a little while and I mentioned not being motivated to do anything today. She expressed a similar sentiment.

I made a decision.

"Kerri," I said, "skip class and come over to my apartment and we'll watch Disney movies all day and eat French toast."

"I have to see if I can afford to miss a quiz today."

"In eighty years will we wished we had gone to class or been awesome instead?" And, because I know her weakness, I added, "The French toast will be from Kneaders and I'm buying."

Really she didn't need much persuading, but that cinched it.

So I did the dishes, semi-cleaned up the living room, Kerri came over, we ate some French toast, watched Pinocchio (messed up as heck) and Lilo and Stitch (hilarious), her boyfriend decided to join the party and then we all ate BLTs (and now my clothes and apartment smell like bacon- score!), did some reading for school while laying outside in the glorious sunshine (and listening to Kerri memorize her neuroscience stuff), and took a nap on my couch while Kerri bought strawberry plants and brought me a frozen yogurt.

I even made it to my last class of the day at five (where I am currently sitting, kind of listening to the lecture/discussion about the Harlem Renaissance). Ironically I got more stuff done today than I would have if I'd decided to buckle down and work.

And you know what?