Meh Little Pony

yawnI’ve been quiet the last few weeks, as I’ve been wrestling with some intensely vocational, providential questions that ask me to define the nature and intention of the rest of my days.  Esoteric matters that cry out for existential consideration and an ability to take an objective look at my life, all that I want to achieve, and all that I may ever achieve.

Since that’s sort of boring and lame, I’m going to talk about My Little Pony instead.

Clearly Photoshopped: Rick Astley isn't Catholic.

Clearly Photoshopped: Rick Astley isn’t Catholic.

You see, I’ve seen this whole “brony” thing happen with a sort of curious, up turned eyebrow.  At first, I assumed it was just the tendency of the meme culture to latch onto things out of the pure, ironic camp of the subject matter.  Zombies, Christopher Walken, planking, and the mighty Rick Astley…and things that people just decided to like for the hell of it.  I figured the brony crazy was just the latest iteration of the internet’s obsession with quirky crap.

So the other day, when the lady pet was taking a nap and SH bounced up and down asking me to put on My Little Pony, I decided it was time to educate myself.

The final judgement?  Don’t get me wrong; I definitely appreciate the show.  Graded on the curve of children’s entertainment, it’s like an island of Terry Pratchett wit and cleverness amidst an ocean of dross, knock offs, and easy paychecks for IP owners.  It was also nice to watch a cartoon produced for little girls that doesn’t set the bar of their achievement so low that a molecule couldn’t limbo under it.  Why there are a whole bunch of adult males loosing their shit over toy ponies still baffles me, but it’s a cartoon I can put on without either wincing from the sheer avalanche of feminine tropes or sighing from it’s ability to numb the adult mind.  Not too shabby.

I never realized that their entire bodies could fit in their I can't notice anything else.

I never realized that their entire bodies could fit in their heads…now I can’t notice anything else.

I ended up looking into the show more deeply, because I found it had a lot more chops then it should have had.  The last time I had remembered enjoying a “girl-oriented” cartoon to any degree was the Powerpuff Girls, so imagine my lack of surprise when I find one of the same people behind that cartoon was behind this one:  Lauren Faust.  You may know her work from not only Powerpuff Girls  but  Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, The MaxxCodename: Kids Next Door, The Iron Giant, and Quest for Camalot.  So at least the quality of it makes sense, especially considering her husband‘s resume is just as polished and they often work on projects together. rainbows, please.  Unless Goliath has to kill mutant leprechauns or something...then I'm down.

Just…no rainbows, please. Unless Goliath has to kill mutant leprechauns or something…then I’m down.

I wonder if they’d consider trying to reboot Gargoyles….


Tales of Almost Parenting

There really needs to be a word for someone who is assuming the duties of a parent, but doesn’t quite have the legal definition of one.  My girlfriend has a pretty amazing little 5-year old, and it’s changed my life in ways that don’t offer themselves a clear and concise description.  When someone asks me about the child (who I’ll call “SH”, for purposes of privacy), I want to be able to say I am a something in her life in an official capacity; when you say “I’m her mother’s boyfriend” I’m always worried that people will hear “Her mom is riding the babysitter’s gigglestick”.

Ah well; if that’s the worst of my problems, things must kick some serious ass.  All joking about titles aside, it’s been a really interesting journey…one that I feel like I’m a lot better at then I should be.

Below are some of the silly stories that have occurred over the last four months.

So I get called on to play with Barbie dolls upon occasion.  This doesn’t bother me too much, though it does give me a pretty dour outlook on American perceptions of gender roles, physical beauty, and the use of neon pink.  Then I realize I’m playing dollies with a five year-old, and I try to take myself a smidge less seriously.

At one point SH points to Barbie’s ample chest, and says “She has something under her shirt.”

I start to panic.  “Really?”  I said, hoping that I wouldn’t have to explain fundamental biological functions to a five year old girl.  “Yup!”  she says.  She pulls off the Barbie’s shirt….revealing a bikini top.

Apparently I need to take myself a lot less seriously.

So I wake up pretty damn early for work these days.  Between 4:00a and 4:15a to be exact.  This means most of my interaction with my girl and her girl is pretty much limited to hearing them snore.  I was surprised to find SH was awake one morning…crying.  I went into check in on her.

She was scared that there were racoons outside, that we’re going to attempt to break into our house via the window.  I’m worried how the bills are going to be payed, and she’s up at the ass crack of dawn….concerned about the desires terrorist rodents.

So here I am, outside her window, at 4:12 am, in the freezing cold….diligently inspecting the premises for any evidence of racoons vigilantism.   I ended up being late for work due to my vigil…but it gave me the chance to make the most amusing call to work to explain exactly why.

I brought my Wii over, and SH and me ended up playing New Super Mario Wii the other night.  I had played the game before, and it’s not bad for the co-op feature.  What WAS interesting, however, was that it quickly turned in to an escort mission in a really awesome way.

NSMW has an extremely light penalty for dying.  Almost non-existant really.  However, keeping SH safe and powered up ended up being a rather tricky goal that lent something to the equation.  Playing a standard video game with a five-year old quickly reveals that keeping them entertained and having a good time is tricky; they still lack the hand to eye co-ordination to move effectively, they forget the buttons a lot, and they will diligently make some of the most inventive mistakes you could conceive of.   So here is me as Mario, running around and grabbing my blue toadstool companion and hucking him at fireflowers and such in order to get from one point to another.  It was really good stuff.

Also, I managed to look sensitive and awesome while playing a Mario game……I got that going for me now.

Perspective: The Advice we give Children

When the statement was told to me: During my School Years
What I was Told: “These are the best years of my life.”
What I think of that Statement Now: Thank fucking god I never believed that bullshit.  If I ever had believed that shit…if I ever truly believed that life was downhill from there?  I would not have been able to slit my throat while falling into an active volcano full of killer bees fast enough.

When the statement was told to me:  During my school years
What I was Told:  “If you ignore bullies, they’ll leave you alone.”
What I think of that Statement Now:  In retrospect, I feel like I was told “If you put barbecue sauce on yourself, piranhas will think you are too easy and will leave you alone.”

When the statement was told to me: As I was graduating High School
What I was Told: “College will be harder then anything you experienced in high school”
What I think of that Statement Now: I had an English Teacher who spent more time talking neutering his cats then about English.  He did teach me how to use a semi-colon though; I’ve always been grateful for that.  In either case, I failed…so I guess I can’t snark too much about this one.

When the statement was told to me: The first 21 years of my life
What I was Told: “Kids think they know everything!”
What I think of that Statement Now: This was a sort of confusing statement for me at the time, as I knew I didn’t know a damn thing.  So when I would express an opinion and get that response, I was always somewhat baffled.  Later on in life, I’d find out that this statement was more or less correct.

When the statement was told to me: My School Years
What I was Told: “Your bullies will grow up to have horrible lives.”
What I think of that Statement Now: The only one I’ve found out about is named Seth.  He went from being a popular jock…to owning a failing beauty shop with his wife….who apparently kicks his ass from time to time, and his kids might not be his own.  I feel petty when I admit to being satisfied with this on some level.

When the statement was told to me:  During most of my childhood.
What I was Told: “You’re too smart to have an attention spectrum disorder.”
What I think of that Statement Now:  BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!