Tag Archives: holiday

No Flowers, Please

I’ve never liked receiving flowers, not that it’s happened too many times. I get that “give pretty object to person I like” is just something lots of people are inclined to do, but why would anyone want to receive authentic plant pieces as a gift? Several years ago I happened upon one of those demotivational posters with the phrase “Nothing says ‘I love you’ like slowly dying reproductive organs” and I said, “Hey, perfect! If anyone ever doubts me when I tell them I don’t like getting flowers, I’ll quote this!”

I kept that phrase handy, but the situation didn’t really come up much. I ran into a nonbeliever or two who thought I was just trying to be difficult I guess, but generally there was no need to explain myself. Then I got married. As it turns out, people will usually believe a lady when she insists she doesn’t want a certain gift, but nobody believes a poor husband when he’s asked what he got his wife for Valentine’s Day and he doesn’t say flowers. “She doesn’t like flowers,” he tries to explain, but his coworkers or acquaintances or dialysis nurses scoff at him. “Every woman likes getting flowers,” they say. “If she says she doesn’t want any, she’s just trying to be polite and save money or something. You should surprise her with flowers anyway! She’ll love them!” Fortunately, my husband is not an idiot and takes me at my word. He’s had to quote me quoting that poster just to get people to stop giving him a hard time.

Flowers can be pretty, but I really like when they’re attached to whole plants. (The plants like that, too.) I don’t want a handful of them to slowly wither and rot on my table. Not to mention the smell is just never that good. The grocery store I frequent has recently moved the flower section to the front entrance, and I get smacked in the face with pungent, musty, sweetness right when I walk in. I have to dodge the displays and zoom through to the milk before my eyes start watering.

A load of chocolate truffles or peanut butter cups; now there’s a fine Valentine’s gift! Not those chalky, chewy assorted boxes of junk in the Valentine’s aisle, mind you. If you’re going to give someone candy, it should be a bag of their favorite kind. Anyway, moral of the story: People like different things. Also, if you’re the type to give perfectly thoughtful husbands flak for not buying this or doing that for their wives, knock it off.

Not Quite There and Back Again

Well, one of my favorite books, The Hobbit, is now a movie. Or rather 1/3 movies so far. I was really surprised at how different it was at times. Usually they take your favorite book and chop it down to half its size in order to fit it into a ~2 hour running time. But this time they’ve stretched a little book out into three looooong movies, leaving no scene out and adding in plenty of new ones. I found myself a little bored during the added-in parts and extra battle sequences, but overall I enjoyed it.

Martin Freeman makes a wonderful Bilbo. The scene with Gollum was just about perfect. Middle Earth looks fantastic as always. For the most part the jokes and gags are funny. And I was really happy some songs from the book were left in.

But. . .there were just a couple spots that came off cheesy. I really didn’t like that Thorin’s orc nemesis was added in for such a big role, but I’m guessing his purpose is to give the goblins and wargs in the finale a specific character as a leader. The prologue with Frodo served absolutely no purpose and should have been cut. If I want to see Frodo stare at me emotionally I’ll watch LotR again. The dwarves could have set up the quest just as easily. I think cutting the prologue would have made the running time a little easier on my rear end, too.

One other thing that bothered me was how un-dwarf-like some of the dwarves were. Thorin was missing his long beard, and he and a couple others seemed a little too human to me. I assume the film makers were trying to make a few of the dwarves more appealing to us humans, but I like my dwarves to be as dwarfish as possible. Gimli for example. If they hate elves it should be because the elves are a bunch of sissies, not because elves didn’t jump in to save them during a dragon attack.

I’ll give them a chance to grow on me in the next two films though. I can’t wait to see Murkwood and its spiders, the wood elves and their cellar full of barrels, and of course, Smaug. The camera people of Dale were once some of the worst of their kind. They failed to capture even one shot of the infamous dragon during his initial attack.