Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

I’m Not Ignoring You, I’m Just Digging Through My Past

Yes, yes, I know I said one week off for the holidays, and it’s been two.

I blame my computer.

Well, more specifically, I blame a number of things that have made it so I couldn’t get at my computer.

It started the weekend before Christmas, when my spouse decided he didn’t want mess visible when friends came over and so buried my desk and chair in it instead (it was behind a wall, so out of sight). And blocked my access to desk/chair by putting the filing cabinet in the way.

And then, you know, Christmas.

And then the spouse decided the office was a place where things went to clutter and had a bit of breakdown, which resulted in me trying to re-arrange things to make the clutter less obvious.

Which did not work.

(Meanwhile, my desk/chair are still buried/blocked.)

So I did some research on storage solutions, made several layouts with different desks/bookcases, and eventually we picked one and went to get furniture.

Which was an unmitigated disaster.

While I had picked furniture from a specific place (IKEA), we agreed it wouldn’t hurt to try a few other places as well, which turned into us going into every furniture store between here and IKEA (surprisingly a lot) even though most of them were too expensive/the wrong style/didn’t even sell office furniture.

By the time we finally got to IKEA, we were exhausted, so we went home.

And the next morning, we went back. We examined all the color options, made storage bin decisions, and came away with a plan for at least the storage part, if not the desk part. But by the time we made it to the warehouse to pick up the bookcases, the color we wanted sold out.

So we went home again. But later that night, my spouse had come up with a new plan, so we went back and bought bookcases in a different color, and came home again.

At which point spouse decided he hated everything and wanted to return it all and, I dunno, wallow in the clutter.

So, long story short (too late), I have been to IKEA six times in fives days. I have changed out colors of various things, sizes of bookcases for other sizes, returned a number of bins (we can’t count, apparently) and also returned a number of impulse buys (IKEA is dangerous that way).

But I do now have storage shelves bought and built, and a desk (smaller, so it’s harder to let clutter build up on it), and also coincidentally have a new monitor, keyboard, and mouse, because it’s hard to stop the spouse once he gets going.

Right now, my set-up looks like this.

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Looks pretty nice, right?

But what you don’t see is this:

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This is my dining room right now, which currently has everything from the office that has not been put back in the office. It looks so bad because I’ve been going through bins and drawers and whatnot to see what’s in there.

And, good Lord, it’s my entire adult life. Sticky notes with random story ideas that are no longer connected to any context. Letters from people I lost contact with years ago. Presentations and homework from college. My first Myers-Briggs test from my first job after school. Old drafts of stories that have since been rewritten. Workouts cut out of magazines a decade ago that I’ve never done once. Newspapers of various things (including an article about Nano from 2006 featuring a picture of me, and a different one of just my hands typing). So much stuff, just shoved in a bin or a drawer or wherever, and then forgotten.

And it’s hard slogging. Do I throw this stuff away, knowing I haven’t touched it in years? Do I keep some, to remember again next time I go through my stuff? How many mementos of your life can you keep before it overwhelms your present?

So, anyway, I’m digging through that. And through everything that built up while I didn’t have computer access. But I am moving, and by Tuesday I should be back on our normal schedule, fingers crossed.

How were your holidays, squiders?

Epcot and Expectations

Happy Tuesday, squiders! I am so glad to be home! (Although I am behind on everything, but what else is new?)

You see, last week we took the smallish, mobile ones to the most expensive happiest place on Earth. I would like to say that it was a fantastic family bonding experience (and, to be fair, sometimes it was), but good Lord. My eldest is on the spectrum and I don’t know if I just forgot how overstimulating Disney World is or if I just never knew, but it was…overwhelming.

(I do not have sensory issues myself–aside from styrofoam, screw that stuff–and Toy Story Land about put me over. The noise and the lights and the colors, they will haunt me.)

I went to Disney World three times as a kid, when I was 8, 10, and 14, so it’s obviously been a while. But when I was little, I remember loving Epcot above all the other parks (though, to be fair, there were less of them then). I’ve always been a nerd, so I loved the science and technology aspect of it, and looking at what the future might bring.

(I am also fond of the World Showcase, though the last time I went as a kid, we got some chocolate dessert in Norway which was just the worst. I don’t remember what exactly it was, just that it was sacrilegious to the idea of chocolate. But, seriously, the World Showcase is a nice companion to the future world part of Epcot–the world as it is next to the world that could be.)

This time around, however, I found Epcot to be…disappointing? Languishing, maybe. Aside from Spaceship Earth, everything from when I was a kid is gone. (Well, Journey to Imagination is still there, but in some weird, less awesome form.) That’s not necessarily bad–it’s supposed to be about technology and the future, and that’s changing all the time!

But it doesn’t feel like they’ve replaced them with anything worthwhile. Like…it became too hard to keep up with the future, and so they just…gave up. Most of the buildings in the future world section are partially or mostly empty. The Innoventions buildings, which I remember being full of cool science things, have nothing but a small section labeled Colortopia (which was cool, not going to lie) and a handful of character meet n’ greet spots, most of which feel like they were put together at the last minute.

The two newer things, Mission: SPACE and the Test Track, are neat and fit in to the general idea of Epcot, but they’re a couple of things surrounded by empty buildings. The Seas and The Land Pavilions feel dated and are in bad repair. And the new thing they’re working on–a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed rollercoaster–feels completely out of place.

I mean, on one hand I understand. Epcot has no doubt been hard to merchandise, since it lacks the connection with Disney properties like the movies and TV shows. It’s also probably expensive to maintain, since rides and exhibits date themselves faster than at the other parks. (Hell, they’re still doing the SAME Indiana Jones stunt show that they we’re doing when I was 14 at Hollywood Studios.)

But on the other hand, the little kid in me that loved science and technology and dreaming of the future wants to cry. I remember Epcot as being this glorious celebration of science and space and dinosaurs and energy and the future. A tribute to what humanity had been and would be capable of. And it’s hard to see that anymore.

But hey, maybe my nostalgia is coloring my memories. Maybe Epcot has always been poorly realized and/or half-empty. I mean, my husband told me that Walt Disney had wanted to build an experimental future community (EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), and so Epcot’s beginnings were already off-track before the park was ever built.

Anyway, thanks for reading my rant. Any thoughts on Epcot, squiders? Want to talk about rides that have been?

The Road Untaken

So, last week a new Muppets movie came out.  (And they put out about a million different trailers, and I have had to watch them all multiple times.  Evil marketing, Disney.)  I went to see it opening night with my sister-in-law and her husband with great expectations, but despite it being fun and full of Muppet-y humor, it still felt a little too…close to home.

Hm, how to explain this?

Jim Henson died twenty years ago.  He managed great things in his lifetime: Sesame Street, the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal – movies and television shows denoted with humor and life lessons and imagination, pushing the envelope of how far you could create a fantasy world without the use of computer animation.  The Muppets have always been there, always been real.  When actors act opposite to them, they have something there to act off of, to see react to them.  I read something once where the Muppeteers think of each Muppet as their own individual being, where the Muppets will do and say things unplanned by the human moving the mouth and speaking the voices.

We lost a visionary when we lost Jim Henson, and I sometimes feel like the Muppets lost something too.  We had Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island within a few years of his death, helmed by Brian Henson, and those feel good.  Feel natural, feel right.  But since then…well, there was Muppets Tonight in the late 90s, which I liked, but overall, it’s kind of felt like something was missing.

The Muppets have kind of dropped off the radar, except as something we look back on as something we used to enjoy.  And the new movie plays on this a lot – the Muppets, even in the movie, are forgotten, out of place in a world where flashing lights and computer graphics are all the rage.  And it felt like that while I was watching it too – at the theater on opening night, sitting in a theater that was maybe half full at best.

And the new movie isn’t bad – it’s good, the story resonates, and all the Muppets you’ve ever loved are there, from Piggy and Kermit to Waldorf and Statler to Sam the Eagle and Rizzo the Rat.  Most of the songs are catchy (if you ignore the one, extremely random rap number), and they play old favorites like the Muppet Show theme and Rainbow Connection.

But there is this overall feeling of having been lost for some time, and it makes me wonder where the Muppets would be today if Jim were still with us, and had had them under his wing for the past twenty years.