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Space Cadet Stalks the March Family
Dr. Wood LXXIII
[WARNING: Little Women spoilers ahead]
What a day it was. Two very important things happened – one of which was difficult but necessary, and another of which was wholesome and wonderful. I’ll start with the latter – I got to spend an amazing afternoon/evening with my grandmother! I headed over to where she lives after I went to the recycling center and then to the store to buy some chocolate chips for my breakfast yogurt as well as a protein bar and kombucha for lunch. By the way – apparently drinking kombucha can give false positives for a breathalyzer test because of its alcohol content (albeit very insignificant amount). So technically I was drinking and driving. But it doesn’t impair the driver in its normal quantity. I just got to feel like an outlaw for a little while. I need a shirt that says “fudge the police” or something. All right enough talk about that dumb detail.
Anyway, I arrived at my grandmother’s place, and after talking for a bit, we got onto the topic of Little Women, which I had talked with her about prior since I was watching the anime for it. And we decided to watch the 1949 Little Women adaptation! It was good! It was interesting seeing how condensed the content of the 48-episode anime was, and yet there was extra content included. I’m wondering if the movie more closely follows the book, and that the anime has some original content. The movie was very fast-paced, and I don’t think I would’ve followed it nearly as well if I hadn’t watched the series prior. But it was good! The scene where Beth hugs Mr. Lawrence after he gives her his late daughter’s piano melts my heart every time. What a lovable story that is! I was surprised to know, though, that in the story following Jo’s departure to New York, poor Beth dies. It was very subtle, but it happened. And then Amy marries Lawry instead of Jo… like jeez, what a turn of events. But I love it all the same, and I’m reserving my tears on Beth’s death for when I confirm its canonicality in the book. My grandmother and I decided to do a “book club” sort of thing where we both read the book (neither of us have done so yet) and discuss after a few chapters. She got it for her Kindle and I as the paperback version (due to arrive on Tuesday). It was so heartwarming seeing how thrilled she was that I was thrilled about the movie/story. She kept expressing her appreciation of that and it made me feel really good, even though I genuinely loved it myself.
Before we even finished the movie, we stopped to have dinner. My grandmother made goulash with peas and a side of Dave’s Killer Bread (which I hadn’t had prior – but yeah, it’s pretty killer all right). The food was delicious! Over our meal we talked about memories and some things related to the family, namely with issues regarding my dad’s break from the rest of them. I don’t feel like getting too deep into that for this entry as my thoughts on it are a bit of a mess. But it was refreshing to hear my grandmother talk transparently about her thoughts on the matter. Once we finished dinner and the rest of the movie, we had some poundcake and watched Glory, a movie about a Civil War Union commander who led the 54th Regiment, which was a military unit of African-American men. I know a few things here and there about the Civil War, but didn’t know really anything about the 54th. So when the assault on Fort Wagner was depicted, I was pretty shaken by how tragically it ended for them. At any rate, with how spot-on my grandmother’s movie recs had been lately, I had pretty high expectations for the movie. It definitely did not underperform. Fantastic acting by Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Andre Braugher. I sound like an amateur cinephile right now, don’t I? Seriously though – two really great movies. After that, we talked for a bit more, and then I headed home with many leftovers. What a time well-spent for us both!
I have to say – I’m extremely pleasantly surprised by how well my grandmother and I get along. During my car ride home, I realized that she is someone who is super low-stress to be around. And a darn good conversationalist. She always shows genuine interest in what I have to say, and she shares her own anecdotes while listening to and acknowledging the ones I share. During our watch of Little Women, she asked multiple times if a certain part we were watching was featured in the anime version. I never thought I’d hear her say the word “anime” without actually referring to her friend “Anna Mae”. But clearly, she really listened to me when I talked so excitedly to her about my encounter with the Little Women anime series. Also, somehow, there’s never really an awkward silence between us. It’s kind of like how it is talking with my brother. I mean, minus the sheer stupidity between Eric and me, of course. But like, when I talk with Eric, it’s always just fluid conversation. If we don’t have anything to talk about, we just kinda embrace the silence rather than think of things to fill it. When we do that, it almost feels like there really isn’t any break in us talking after all (like, it takes the pressure off of us or something, I guess). The same goes with talking with my grandmother. I’m so surprised with how transparent I can be with her too. The only thing I’m hesitant about is sharing my lack of a spiritual life, as she’s quite Christian. But that’s whatever. I feel like my relationship with my grandmother is continuing to grow quite a bit, and with this two-man book club we’re doing, I think we’ll be staying more connected in the weeks to come, at the very least. I don’t particularly think she’s on her last leg or anything, but when the day comes that she has to leave the world, I think I’ll feel more than pleased with how much quality time I got to spend with her. And with as much heartfelt gratitude as she’s expressed to me for my company and my interest in the stuff she likes, I think she will feel the same.
So the other thing that happened today is something that I’ll spend not even a full paragraph on. I responded to the email from the member of the fellowship group, basically stating that I’ll be missing the hangout this Sunday and will be taking an indefinite break from the group for personal reasons, loosely stating that it’s nothing to do with the amazing members and all to do with where I’m at spiritually. I felt this was the best way to convey my abandonment of the group: all truthful, but not pointed or too abrupt. Took me days to grow the balls to write that message, and then I spent nearly hours agonizing over whether or not I should send it. The two millimeters between an unclicked mouse and a clicked mouse has never been so tough to close. Like, when I say I was agonizing over it, I MEAN really catastrophizing such a triviality. But now it’s done, and I just have to await the response. The man who had been reaching out to me comes off as extremely kind, understanding and down-to-earth – I’m just generally a worrier when it comes to how people will perceive my seeming fickleness.
I’m now sitting in front of my computer, just past midnight, getting ready for a nice, long pre-bed bath before I go to sleep. I have a few more seasonals to finish up this weekend – not too many since a few of the seasonals I’d been following have already concluded. I also finished Daphne in the Brilliant Blue – overall a very solid show, with a surprisingly hard-hitting twist at the end. I can probably fit one more one-cour show as well as a few other small watches before I do my big MAL update next weekend (if I do end up doing it then – not sure if my friend’s really gonna go through with her 9.5-hour drive to visit me by then or not). I have a pretty busy day tomorrow, what with postcards I have to send and posts for my page I have to write and birthday drawings I have to create. I also should probably do some housecleaning. I was thinking about what anime to watch next at work (I hadn’t picked up any new ones this past week), but I’m wondering if I should actually go with a live-action TV series instead – specifically, another TV adaptation of Little Women. I’ve become quite the fan of the story and am now officially on a quest to see every adaptation of it! It’s so strange how much I fell in love with it – definitely not my normal choice of genre. I mean, it’s not like something I would actively decline to watch, but it’s also not something I would think I’d go out of my way to watch. Seeing the anime during company time kind of bypassed that “going out of my way” notion, and now I’m willing to go out of said way to see more of it. One would be surprised with the unlikely kinds of things they’re capable of adoring – and in this case, for me, Little Women was one of those unlikely kinds of things. Well done, Louisa May Alcott.