My Friday in Bed

Surgery went swimmingly yesterday.  Looking forward to being able to blow my nose.  It's the small things, folks.  In the meantime, Mr. B and my kitties are taking good care of me.  The girls will be home from school soon. My brothers-in-law in DC sent me a balloon bouquet with a box of Russell Stovers attached.  Last night, Little Sis gave one of her daddy's Brett Favre dolls a fabulous cheerleading section.  Tomorrow, Mr. B takes the girls to not one, but TWO birthday parties, and Sunday, he will run Big Sis to her first Nutcracker rehearsal!  Have I mentioned she will be playing a mouse?  Just like Tallulah in Tallulah's Nutcracker.

Oh, and when Mr. B went to Watermark Books for those birthday presents, he snagged a little something for me, too.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book
by Diane Muldrow. Random House, 2013.

Hope to resume normal blogginess next week.

Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!

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Rusalochka (1976)

So yesterday, I was playing around on the Roku and found a selection of Russian & Soviet films. [It's on a channel we pay for that has a lot of adult content, so I feel weird linking to it here.]  One of the items that caught my eye was a live-action Russian-Bulgarian version of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid."  I decided to hit play, out of curiosity more than anything.

This was a lovely movie, not perfect by any means, but it had a definite haunting quality that stayed with me the rest of the day.  It opened with Hans Christian Andersen and his party riding in a coach.  From there, he tells the story of "The Little Mermaid."  There were mermaids swimming in the ocean, a ship filled with singing sailors and a handsome prince.  The version I watched was dubbed, but still had English subtitles, which was amusing at times, because they did not match up.  The dubbing was actually done well, with voices appropriate to the characters and mostly matched to their lips.  

The story was somewhat faithful to the original by Andersen, with quite a few changes here and there. The mood and atmosphere, however, was sad and strange, much like the original fairy tale. No Disney ending.  There are some musical moments (which were not dubbed).  I don't know.  I guess the film wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it was an unexpected and enjoyable way to pass some time yesterday morning.

I found a playlist on YouTube.  This one isn't dubbed, but does include subtitles.  The DVD is also available through third-party sellers on Amazon.  If you're interested in fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, world cinema, or obscure "children's" movies, check it out.

Someday I need to watch a subtitled version of the gorgeous Soyuzmultfilm animated version from 1968.  There is a low-quality subtitled version floating around in playlist form, but if you're familiar enough with the original tale, you should give it a try as posted below.  It's of a higher quality than the playlist, even though it isn't subtitled.  Gorgeous animation!

I know "The Little Mermaid" is a problematic story.  The mermaid is so masochistic and so willing to change herself for the prince.  But in the original story, this does not work.  There is no happily ever after for the mermaid.  Things do not work out the way she hoped.  That's more realistic than Ariel marrying Eric, I think.  Oh, Disney...

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Nine Years Old

Howdy, readers!  I apologize for the quiet around here.  I had things to blog, and I kept intending to bank a few entries besides, but time was not on my side.  The girls started dance, I spent two afternoons in Big Sis's classroom - one reading and helping with a project, the other bringing birthday treats! - and Saturday we hosted Big Sis's birthday party!  She turned nine years old on Saturday.  She was quite excited that her actual birthday fell on a Saturday, too.

We decided to have a tie-dying party in the backyard, this year.  I hung a banner and a couple of tissue paper fans across the shed, and I did buy a plastic tablecloth for the table outside, but that was all the decor we needed.  We had beautiful weather on our side - mid-seventies, no wind.  It was just a huge gaggle of girls, rubber-banding then squirting white t-shirts with dye!  When they were not taking their turn, they were playing.  Just playing.  Between the swing set and the fairy house and the red wagon and bubbles and the ball toss, we had no reason to organize games or anything.  My favorite part was watching kids who had just met - family friends meeting girls from school, for example - play together like they've always known each other.  It was so much fun!

For the tie-dying, I used the Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit.  (I got it at Michael's using a coupon.)  I hadn't tie-dyed shirts since I was in Brownies!  Big Sis attended a tie-dye party when she was five, and remembered how much fun she had.  Plus, she has developed an affinity for peace signs and tie-dye, my hippie child.  This seemed simpler than using the old-fashioned RIT dye dipping method. We banded our Fruit-of-the-Loom boys' t-shirts in the design of our choosing, then squirted them with the bottles.  After that, I wrapped shirts in plastic wrap and stick them in old grocery bags with their names on them.  Unfortunately, when I'd turn away to wrap a shirt, I'd lose track of the actual dyeing.  Some of them may have gone a little overboard with the dye.  I gave parents the option of leaving the shirts with me to finish - they had to soak in the dye for 6 to 8 hours - but only one took me up on the offer.  I've seen two of the shirts that went home, and they turned out well!  Crossing fingers on the rest.

Big Sis wanted an ice cream cake, so we got a yummy, rich one from Freddy's Frozen Custard.

After the cake was consumed, she opened her presents in front of the fairy house.

I finished rinsing and washing and drying shirts the next day.  I think they turned out well!  The one on the left belongs to a friend, the one in the middle is Big Sis's, and the one on the right is Little Sis's, which is not tie-dyed at all:  she just wanted to go to town with the squirt bottles!

I plan on getting some posts prepped and scheduled this week.  Nose surgery on Thursday - wish me luck!

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