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1. I applied for health insurance! I am only at the beginning stage so I don't have a plan yet, but I apparently qualify for medical assistance so my monthly payment might be $0.That worries me a little, because why are you pushing people to sign up if they're not going to pay you any more than they were before? Won't that cost responsible taxpayers more money in the end? But I'm also inherently miserly, so if that somehow works, I'm not going to fight you on it. I'm just relieved to have that part done.

Or mostly done. I never feel like I've entered my income right, because I have a seasonal job where the length of time varies every year and also has bonuses dependent on how many FULL weeks are worked, and my regular job's payment varies as well, since I'm paid per piece instead of by hour, and the pieces have different dollar amounts so that my monthly total can vary by as much as $250. Basically, unless they ask me for pay stubs or the exact amount on last year's tax return, I'm left going, "I make about this much, give or take one to two thousand dollars." Which feels like a lot.

2. I saw Into the Woods yesterday, and it was more wonderful than I ever hoped.

I come to you as a person who didn't know this was based on a stage musical and had no idea about the plot beyond what I saw in 30-second TV trailers. I just liked the idea of celebs I love singing and doing a fairy tale movie. But from the moment Anna Kendrick's pretty voice started singing, my brain was set on full-tilt THIS IS SO GREAT feelings. The only thing I didn't like in the entire movie was the voice of Little Red Riding Hood, which was just the most AWFUL sound, blaring and nasally. (It is my new dream that  one day, one day, I will see a movie musical where no one is an objectionable singer.)

Thoughts:
-"Agony" made Chris and I laugh so hard there were tears in our eyes and we were doubled over. The princes were just so GOOD at being melodramatic and overwrought. We particularly appreciated the Intense Chest Baring.

-Anna Kendrick is now officially one of my favorite actresses. Not person, she's much too foul-mouthed for that, but when she's got a family-friendly muzzle on I love her face and expressive eyes and hair and voice and general personality. I just loved everything about Cinderella. I am totally writing ALL the AU BFF stories about her & Mrs. Baker in my head.

-Emily Blunt was super pretty and this is definitely my favorite role of hers to date. The thing with Emily Blunt is, she's the AT&T of people no, much too harsh; but she's the Colbie Caillat of movies. She matches all the things that I like in an actress, including beauty and picking great roles/movies/a choice of husband/order in which to get married vs. pregnant, but I just cannot get myself to feel emotions about her and I don't know why. So I'm glad she was so sweet and lovely here.

-Meryl Streep is a fantastic witch. Not even an evil witch, really, which is the best part.

-Jack's cow/best friend was a real, beautiful cow, who got tons of focus and cuddle glomping, which made me very happy. As did Jack's accent. I also loved Tracey Ullman as his exasperated mom.

-CHRISTINE BARANSKI + JENNA ELFMAN. So good at being shallow and ludicrously evil.

-I'm not sure how I felt about Johnny Depp. He brought his usual great Quirky Weirdo charm to the character, but Mr. Wolf was rocking an extra hard pedophile vibe in this film, which took away some of that. Like, he was a literal Stranger With Candy. COME ON.

-Rapunzel was pleasant, and even more pleasant when I realized she wasn't Elle Fanning. Elle Fanning has just been in Too Many Things for the relative appreciation I have for her face and acting skills, so I was relieved to see some other young blonde get a spotlight role.

[Spoiler (click to open)]-It took me a while to process that Mrs. Baker had actually died and wasn't going to pop around the corner for her happy ending, which makes her weird dalliance with the prince that much more "wtf is happening and why." (I still don't understand why that was a necessary plot point for making her lose her way, or really why she had to die at all once you took out Jack's mum.) On the other hand, PLEASE sign me up for dying right after I finally end up with a baby. That's the real Happily Ever After to me.

-Let me tell you a story about "No One Is Alone." As the lyrics started to drift over my brain, I sat bolt upright and went "WAIT A MINUTE. IS THAT -- THAT IS TOTALLY THE DISAPPOINTING SONG FROM GLEE!" When it aired in "Bash," it bored me to tears as ballads from musicals out of context tend to do, so I skipped it immediately. I remember being super mad that I didn't like a Kurt/Blaine/Rachel song, which is the one of the Holy Grails of combos on that show. But the context was so beautiful and haunting in the movie that I instantly fell in love with it, and now I'm having eargasms over the specific vocal pairings in the Glee cover, so I'm basically flailing all over the place at getting two great songs for the price of one.

-Speaking of which, ALL the music in this movie is so great. I'm still singing the title track on and off. Very addictive! I want to see the stage version now, too. Preferably before I memorize the soundtrack and get mad about any additions or deletions. (so something in the next 72 hours would be ideal)

-Out of all the singers, I think either Anna or Emily is my favorite, because one (maybe both? can't remember) has the lower register that fits right in with my range, and that will always sound prettier to me than someone like Meryl who can go up to the rafters. (Though to her credit, she still sounded excellent.)


3. I watched an episode of Mad Men with Mom, must have been season 7. I was interested in some of the clothes, but as for the actual characters and plot, SO MUCH MEH. At least it wasn't as gross as I feared it would be, although I also don't know how explicit that threesome got before I nope'd on out. Also, Sally Draper is the most obnoxious little snot, good reasons or not. She's the only character who was nothing like I imagined -- everyone else, I totally had right thanks to Fandom Osmosis.

4. I also watched my first episode of Downton Abbey, something about presenting people at court and hunting for a letter. As above, the costumes and set dressing were lovely, but it was pretty bland, except for the people I already like via osmosis: Mary Crawley, Maggie Smith's character, and the latter's awesome disdain for The American. I may watch more or start from the beginning, but it's not a priority.
P.S. Question about the Christmas special:
My mom was flabbergasted by the butler's marriage proposal. "I didn't think they were romantic, I just thought they had a cool friendship!" Is she on or off the mark? If she's off, how hilarious is her reaction? Because with zero canon knowledge, I just lol'ed because it sounds like the kind of reaction one might have if two characters were officially revealed to be gay/hooking up with each other.

5. I am STILL not ready to let go of Survivor, so having finally posted my finale review, here is a Reddit AMA Josh did and some interesting things gleaned from it:

-"It was basically a roast for Missy. Baylor wasn't just crying because of Reed, I think they were both oblivious to how horrible they treated everyone on the jury and were shocked that none liked them. I told her that she wasn't getting my vote because I protected and saved her loved one when they were apart, but then she turned around and was verbally abusive to my loved one."

-"The comments she made to Reed and I (obviously that did not get shown) were awful and vile. She attacked our sexuality and Christianity on multiple occasions. She didn't like that Reed and I were gay Christians, since she was a Christian. So she looked down on us and treated us rudely. She once called Reed a fork tongued snake and a liar. She would give people in her alliance more rice when she was in charge of cooking. I'm sure outside the game she is a fantastic woman, but she was very mean to people not in her alliance."

-Q: "Can you explain your move voting for Baylor at the first tribal? It seemed like she never forgave you for it."
A: "I went in to tribal that night planning on voting Nadiya with the guys and Baylor (although we had discussed voting Baylor out, but I swayed them toward Nadiya because I was aligned with B), but at one point in tribal Rocker hit me on the knee and pointed to Baylor. In reality he was just telling me that whoever was speaking was talking about Baylor, but suddenly the thought hit me that I could use this to tell him I got confused and that he wanted me to vote Baylor. And then if I did that no one in my guy alliance with think I was aligned with Baylor and we could work together to the end."
(RS note: whatever, still sour about that)

-"We would find all those small crabs and skewer them. We'd sometimes have like 15 on one skewer. Cook them over the fire and then eat the whole thing!"

-Nadiya's online vilification was blown out of proportion. "She does need to realize that she can't talk to everyone the same way, but I understand where she was coming from. Her best gay friend loves to be called girl, so she made an assumption."

-Wes got stung by a stingray [edit: and it's on YouTube, with BONUS BROADWAY BOYFRIENDS! It's a good thing they're there to distract me because otherwise I'd be annoyed by the lack of explanation/closure on the severity of his foot gash.]

-One thing not shown: "I was very aware of Jaclyn's feelings at the merge, and was making sure she felt connected and wanted by our alliance...in the end Alec and Wes made it impossible to proceed with her."

-Considered throwing the flag puzzle challenge to vote Jeremy out, but ultimately decided not to because things always seem to go wrong when people do that. In retrospect, they wish they had so Dale (part of their alliance) would have stayed.

-"Reed and I are much stronger as a couple now that we've done this together. We figure if we can starve out on a beach together and live with nothing, we are gonna be able to handle whatever this world throws at us." #wise words.

-"Studied theatre in college, and then I went and received my MFA in Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatiore in Scotland. I moved to London after that and worked as an actor there for three years before moving to NYC 5 years ago."

-How you find out you're cast: "They called both Reed and I individually and then found out we were together, it was an awesome feeling knowing that we both had been chosen, and it wasn't just because of BLOOD VS WATER that one of us got on. We spent a week in LA for finals, and then we heard about 3 weeks before we started filming that we were chosen."

-OH MY GOD THIS DRAMA. LOVE IT. Facebook, the social media site of Satan that keeps on giving:

Q: What's up with you and Reed defriending Coby on Facebook for the things he said on his blog?
[RS note: copying the relevant parts here for posterity]
[RS note: Coby was giving a rundown of the season by commenting on impressions of each pair, and had the following to say about them:

Josh and Reed: I had a strong REACTION to both of them! I know it is probably because they are gay and I wish it was Brent and I playing, I can admit that. But I found Josh's overblown 'best player ever' edit and Reed's bitch of the month club edits just that, bitchy and overblown. I do not feel Josh was the best player out there he was extremely judgmental of most the players and it showed to them which is why they voted him out. Reed
. . .

I know some LOVED his final Tribal. I did not. There was a article on the New York Post which had some of the best/meanest Final tribals and in the video at the bottom I got number #7 for tearing into Katie ( http://nypost.com/2014/12/18/the-all-time-best-survivor-jury-speeches/ ). So I realize that this seems like a hypocrite judgment on my part. Rewatching mine I stand by it but still feel Reeds came across in several ways, besides just Survivor cruel, extra or artificial.

-
First, I feel most of it came from his distaste for Baylor whom he called a brat etc. He dislikes Missy for birthing her and carrying on her bratty behavior. But Reed doesn't have a child. I feel if he did he would have seen their relationship very differently. Reed cannont fathom anything harder than playing with the love of his life Josh but trust me…playing with and against your child would be very, very difficult. His judgement came from a very selfish place from someone who lives in New York and has a completely different lifestyle.

-
Second, I feel he was just trying really hard to get SOMETHING out of this season so he went for the jugular to try and chip a piece of Survivor history out for himself. Good for him, maybe he did and will get asked to be a Villian…I get it. But his whole "Wicked Stepmother' thing just seemed like someone who was jealous because he and his wicked stepsister Josh didn't get to stay at the ball either. Watching his beautiful dress fall apart and turn back to rags as the clock struck 12, he feel to the floor and threw a fit when the glass slipper didn't fit. Hmm, kind of sounds like something Baylor would do?  Missy was just the mirror to his own reflection to his own shattered fairytale.

But don't worry Reed as Jenna Proved you can win someday…maybe that speech will get you back on?

I realize the only difference between us once you boil it all down is I am pure sugar and you are Stevia…well that and I DID vote for Katie.


---------
A: Coby kept hitting on Reed before the show started airing, and was being slightly inappropriate, especially because he knew Reed and I were together, and Reed wouldn't give him the time of day. [RS note: #DYING] Then he blogged about how horrible Reed and I were and TAGGED US in it, which goes on our FB wall. If he hadn't tagged us in it, it wouldn't have been a big deal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But it's just rude to tag someone in a mean comment. Coby of all people should understand that the audience doesn't see everything and that the edit is huge in shaping viewers opinions.

[RS Note: I forgot Coby ever existed -- I only remember like 20% of the players for more than a year or two anyway -- and that was a good feeling. Creepy dude.]

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
vegawriters
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
They're pushing people to sign up because in the end, the rates work out and balance out across the board.

For example, in the work side of it - the organizations who were most bitching about their rates going up were places like gyms and other companies that tend to employ really healthy people and the rates for places that employ more people with health issues/disabilities actually went down, so they can afford to give better benefits across the board.

Across the board is the phrase of the day apparently.

Anyway, the more people who are in the system, the more people are paying, the better it works for everyone and those subsidies that allow for health care for everyone, even if you aren't paying anything, actually help to expand the economy from the ground up. More people in the system means more people who need to work for health care groups. More work means a stronger economy and more taxes going back into the system.

Kaiser Health did a FANTASTIC study about five years ago on the need to expand Medicaid services and how it strengthens the economy when states do it. Totally opened my eyes to certain things, and I was already in their corner with it.
pianogurl330
Jan. 3rd, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
I really want to go see "Into the Woods"!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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