Dear Brothers and Sisters Who Come into the Church Library at 8:30 and Ask Me To Make 100 Copies of Something on Our Prehistoric Copier When the Library Closes at 9,

Is that what Jesus would do?

With (semi-)Christian Love,

Madhousewife

P.S.  I’m sorry, but I may have been rather frazzled last night, due to the fact that I had all four of my kids with me because my husband was out of town and my babysitter was working at her other job, and I nevertheless felt obligated to take my midweek shift anyway because it was one of only a handful of Wednesday evenings during the year when I am not tap dancing, and I feel like a slacker if I ask people to cover me when I don’t even have my class, even though they would probably have preferred that to me letting the baby rearrange the Bible shelf and Elvis practicing his cutting skills on the church programs and Princess Zurg and Mister Bubby calling each other “dumb butt” all night and me shouting false curse words at the paper feeder.  Nevertheless, I survived, and really, you should bring your copying in by 8:00.  The Holy Spirit leaves the library at about 8:45 (earlier if there are children present).


So last night at the church library with four kids wasn’t as horrible as it might have been if I had not been able to distract Elvis with a special screening of Barney’s Great Adventure on one of the church’s VCR’s.  (Never let it be said that I come to these events fully unprepared.)  Yes, a couple weekends ago Sugar Daddy and the kids came home from the Goodwill with a VHS copy of Barney’s first full-length feature film, which I heretofore did not even realize existed.  Well.  Now I know.  And contrary to what you’re thinking right now, which is probably along the lines of what I was thinking when I realized that there was such a thing as a full-length feature film starring Barney, it is not a steaming pile of dinosaur crap.  No, wait!  Come back!  I have more to tell you!

The surprising thing about Barney’s Great Adventure is, as Sugar Daddy put it, “it’s kind of…[uncomfortable pause]… good.”  Not Oscar-worthy good.  Not Star Wars good.  Just sort of…wow, really not annoying.  It makes no pretense of appealing to anyone other than your average pre-schooler.  It borders on self-parody, but never quite crosses the line.  It’s just a nice, simple, 100-percent earnest story about Barney and some kids using their imaginations and saving a giant, color-striped egg.  No, really, it’s good!  Barney’s appearance is greatly improved on celluloid, the child actors aren’t terrible and Baby Bop’s total screen time is five minutes on the outside.  Solid two-and-a-half stars, baby.  I myself laughed out loud at least a couple times.

I’m losing it, aren’t I?  Shut up!

Speaking of Barney’s Great Adventure and the VCR, there are some ads for Barney toys on this tape, along with some previews for The Borrowers (John Goodman’s career highlight, to be sure), Franklin (the turtle) and…Cats.  Yes, the Tony-award-winning musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber.  Does that seem odd to you?  I’m not sure which consumer demographic they’re targeting. 

I’ve never seen Cats, nor have I ever had any interest in seeing Cats.  No offense to Broadway musicals, which I enjoy, but I was just never particularly interested in Cats, maybe because I’m just not that interested in cats generally.  I was also never interested in reading the “immortal poems by T.S. Eliot” on which the musical is based.  I mean, I think I like cats.  My family owned several cats while I was growing up.  They’re very attractive animals.  I’ve been known to pet cats when they climb on my lap.  I’m not opposed to getting a cat someday, after the children are all toilet-trained and I start missing the odor of mammalian fecal matter.  I’ve just never been that interested in what cats think.  I understand they have more going on up there than dogs (at least that’s what I hear from the cat people), but still…they’re cats.  What do they do all day–eat, sleep, scratch stuff, lick themselves?  They just seem kind of shallow to me. 

But because it’s such a big-time Broadway musical that so many seem to enjoy, I have been somewhat curious about its appeal.  So now I’ve seen the trailer-length commercial for Cats on my kids’ Barney video and all I can say is…wow, that is a really creepy-looking show.  Seriously, I look at those human-size cats dancing around on their hind legs and I feel very uncomfortable.  There’s something about it that just isn’t…right.  In point of fact there’s something about it that is definitely…wrong.  Tell me, my friends, is this just normal mammal rivalry, or are those cats and that Cats messed-up and not a little bit scary?

And when that one cat starts singing “Memory” with such unmitigated earnestness, I’m sorry, but I just can’t get behind all that. 

One last word on entertainment, though:  Last weekend Princess Zurg and I went to see Enchanted and really enjoyed it.  I have heretofore had no feelings about Patrick Dempsey (never watched Grey’s Anatomy, always remembered him as that doofus from Can’t Buy Me Love), but he was pretty good in this.  (And yes, I see now that he is reasonably good-looking.)  However, Amy Adams = De.Light.Ful.  I adored her.  (I thought I must have seen her in something else, but when I looked her up on imdb.com I realized that the only reason she was familiar was that she played the Hot Girl on the first season of The Office.)  The movie itself is very charming, and not in some weird Barney way, but a solid three-stars-on-a-four-scale/three-and-a-half-stars-on-a-five-scale good. 

Upon reflection, it would probably take very little effort on my part to shred the movie from a feminist perspective, but when was the last time feminists made a good princess movie (with singing! and cute animals!)?  Never.  So I won’t go there.  (Fine, list me your feminist princess movies complete-with-singing-and-cute-animals in the comments section.  I can be taught.)  Anyway, my Inner Romantic (woah, we’ve never heard from her before!) thought it was sweet and thoroughly entertaining.  Not for dudes, though.  Except…I did make the mistake of looking at the ScreenIt.com review beforehand, so I was hyper-aware of all the cleavage in the movie.  Maybe you dudes would enjoy that part (or those parts).  You straight dudes, I mean.  (Gay dudes may have reasons to enjoy the movie on other levels, but I wouldn’t want to speak for you.) 

Well, our “real” house is finally inhabitable again, so I’m off to “enjoy” the weekend, packing-and-cleaning style.  Happy Winter Solstice, My Pagan Readers!

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