There are seven differences between this picture and “Before“! Can you find them all?
Okay, but … giraffes
Feeding the giraffes was awesome, although it turns out they’re super skittish right now, because they’re not terribly used to people yet, so a lot of the experience involved being Very Patient and standing Very Still as an animal that could kick me into the upper stratosphere if it wanted to thought very carefully about whether I was too scary to accept lettuce from. Moving your arm slightly and watching as a sixteen-foot-tall, 3000-pound monstrosity turns and flees from your presence is kind of hilarious. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen giraffes run. It does not look right.
My training on Monday was, surprisingly, pretty good.
Everything else in the last few days has sucked, and I had my first shit day at work of the school year today as I showed up in a bad mood and absolutely could not shake it. This situation with the teacher who was attacked last week is becoming a bigger problem by the day. I’ve also taken on two additional classes– more on that later, as I don’t think I’ve actually talked about it around here yet– and right now my exhaustion level is back to first week of school levels. I didn’t want to skip three days in a row, though, so … giraffe.
#REVIEW: The Princess (2022)
You could be forgiven– I would forgive you, at least— if you dismissed the idea of watching Hulu’s The Princess almost immediately upon hearing about it. You have literally heard the plot a thousand times; the titular Princess, who is never named in the movie, is expected to marry a Bad Guy to ensure the also-unnamed Kingdom has an heir, refuses to do so on account of he’s an obvious sociopath, blah blah blah everyone’s captured and she’s chained up in the top of a tower awaiting her forced marriage because apparently the Bad Guy’s only rule is that he can’t just usurp the kingdom by killing the king; he has to do it “legitimately,” even though the wedding is a farce.
The movie has the distinct feel about it, especially in any scene not starring Executive Producer and star Joey King, of something that Disney would make with 7-10 year old girls as the expected demographic. There’s a lot of broad humor. At one point there’s a trap pulled directly from Home Alone. There’s a guy whose only role in the film is to be fat. The first forty minutes or so are structured in a way that feels very video-gamey. It’s all very, very Disney, and while there’s nothing wrong with making movies for 7-10 year old girls, it is also fine (especially if you aren’t a 7-10 year old girl) if you are someone who does not enjoy said movies.
And then, maybe five minutes into the start of the movie, the Princess dislocates her own thumb on camera so that she can slip out of her chains and then messily kills the two men who are there to keep her quiet and under guard. And, uh, we’re off to the races after that.
So take that Disney movie you had in mind, and then cross it with a really hard-R Charlize Theron action film, only with better fight choreography and a petite redhead who doesn’t immediately scan as a monstrous badass, and understand that there is DNA of both of those things in this movie (which is, for the record, rated R), and that this film, which starts out with the Disneyest of imaginable plots, ends with a beheading.
It’s … really something.
I only found out about this movie from TikTok, which advertised it to me relentlessly for weeks until I caved. I haven’t seen any promo for it anywhere other than TikTok and Hulu.
You want to see this movie for a couple of reasons: 1) the fight choreography really is fucking amazing. It’s well-shot, which is getting rarer and rarer in action films, and the choreographer never (well, really rarely) forgets that his heroine is a 120-pound girl, and despite fighting lots of grown men who are much bigger than she is, she manages to come off … realistic? She uses her agility and size to her advantage throughout the movie, fighting with accuracy rather than strength– there’s a bit where she’s fighting a knight in full armor that is just remarkably well-done, as she focuses on dodging big, heavy swings and counter-attacking at the gaps in his armor, and the movie never lets you forget that swinging a sword around is exhausting, as King spends roughly half her time on-screen gasping for breath.
Oh, and she has virtually no dialogue at all for about the first 45 minutes of the film. There’s only escaping, hiding, and kicking ass. The film’s even really light on badass quippery, which wouldn’t feel appropriate with this character. She does get a great “to the pain” monologue late in the movie, but there’s surprisingly little badassery for the sake of badassery in this movie.
The second reason is closely related to the first: Joey King is awesome, and I want to see her in many many more movies, only movies that know from the start that they’re geared for adults. I don’t know how well this has done for Hulu (it’s possible it’s been a runaway success; I genuinely don’t know) but it straddles two genres that really don’t generally … uh … straddle together, and I fear that that might have cost it some well-deserved viewership. This kid’s the real deal, and the fact that she somehow snagged an executive producer role for this and a couple of other Hulu projects makes me think that she’ll be around a while. The movie itself? Harder to say, but the bad parts are wrapped around some seriously cool shit, and I think it’s probably worth your time.
My new best friend
This isn’t tonight’s post, but it’s not going to fit with tonight’s post, so it gets its own entry: the Gelatinous Cube is probably my favorite D&D monster of all time, and if it isn’t it’s super close, and the fact that the absolutely fantastic Gelatinous Cube Funko Pop is virtually impossible to get one’s hands on without expending ruinous amounts of money has been and continues to be deeply depressing. But yesterday? Yesterday I discovered of the existence of this beauty, and today it’s in my office, where it belongs. (Forgive the messy desk. Or not. I guess I don’t actually care what you think of my desk.)
Fun fact: I got this from GameStop, where it’s apparently an exclusive product, and they offered either free 3-6 day shipping or $10 for overnight, which would have been same-day if I’d ordered when it wasn’t already nighttime. Normally I don’t worry about shipping speed, but for some reason I shrugged and went ahead and paid for it, only to discover that what they mean by “overnight shipping” is that they look to see if they have any at the stores in your area, and if they do, they fucking DoorDash the thing to you. Only they don’t tell you that right away, and there’s no way to tip the driver, nor is there any real indication of how much of that $10 goes to the driver who, in this case, had to drive all the way across town to bring me my stupid Gelatinous Cube statue. So I got her CashApp from her and tipped her that way.
But anyway. I now have a Mimic and a Gelatinous Cube in my office. Now I need a Hook Horror and I’ll be all set.
Holy shit IT WORKED
My student loans have been forgiven. They are gone. They are ex-loans. I am, at 45, done paying for my degrees.
If you work for a school district (even if you don’t teach; literally just if you work for a school district) or are in any way involved in public service at your job and you have existing student loans, click here and check the TEPSLF program out right now. (Note that to the best of my knowledge everything in that piece is still accurate except for the refund check, which I think only applies if you’re still making payments while they’re processing your paperwork; those specific payments will be refunded. I no longer think I get any of my excess payments back, although I’d love to be wrong.)
Close to 70 grand, y’all. Poof.
I’d like to issue a public thank you to the Biden administration.
Happy motherfuckin’ Monday.