100 Things #7: The satisfying feeling from a good show’s ending

I’m gonna offer a fair warning, don’t be surprised if this turns into a writing-related rant. It’s VERY important to me.

So you’ve just seen the last episode of your favorite show. On the one hand you’re disappointed that the thing is over, but on the other hand you’re happy at the way that it ended—there was no other way things could have gone and things just worked out so effectively.

Note that I do not use the word “well.” A lot of good finales end BADLY for the characters involved in the series. First thing that comes to mind is how Angel ended. Basically they wind up walking into the FREAKING APOCALYPSE in action, and that’s the last thing we know—but it doesn’t feel like it could have ended any differently to me.

A good ending, be it to a play, a novel, a tv program, or something else that I haven’t remembered to mention here, feels like there couldn’t have been any other way it could have ended, like this is how things were supposed to wind up ending and nothing else makes sense. A good ending feels…right, somehow. It doesn’t feel pat—things get tied up a bit too neatly to really feel authentic—or contrived—WTF, Lost-according-to-all-the-people-I-know-who-actually-stuck-through-the-whole-thing. It ends things the way they should end, with a satisfying conclusion to all the threads that were tangled and hanging (Once again, WTF, Lost etc.?)

It’s important not to cheat the audience with the ending. You don’t have to pull an “and they totally all lived happily ever after and junk” where it won’t fit, and usually? It WON’T fit. It’s more important that the ending (I’m beginning to hate that word) be a properly fitting conclusion.

My favorite good ending of a TV show? …this may be a surprise to some, but I liked what they did with the anime Yu-Gi-Oh. Now granted, I saw the dub, which means that there’s almost certainly a few details I’m missing (that pilot ep…let’s just say no wonder they didn’t start with Season Zero, as it is called) but it ended…well, the ending was bittersweet, but it was proper.

Anybody else got favorite endings? Or want to rant about the ones that got it horribly, horrendously, CATASTROPHICALLY wrong? =D

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Chocolate? Bacon? Yes!

I might have a small problem to deal with. Things stress me out, I buy stuff. Usually something frivolous that, upon returning home, I wonder why the hell I bought it in the first place, as I look at my receipt and my now-smaller bank account.

Today was not one of those situations.

It is ALSO true that, when I have advance warning that things are going to get really tight, I hoard supplies. Soaps (eight bars in a bag under my chair, ready to grab one when the current bar is reduced to a sliver); dry goods and canned goods (you can’t have too much rice or flour handy); ghee (because a little goes a long way and I can eat a LOT of butter); and frozen fruit (because I like smoothies and baking things with it). Currently I have an absurd amount of frozen fruit and dry cereals: two boxes and one bag of cold; Cream of Wheat, FIVE POUNDS of oatmeal.

Which is why I now am going to have to pull a clever fiat where it comes to my money now: I don’t have QUITE enough to pay off every one of the bills that came up, but I can do a fiat on that—it’s due a week before payday. I can pay for THAT ONE WEEK and still have enough money left over that when I need to replace my medications again, I can pull it off without much difficulty.

Today wasn’t all about getting things done. It was also for this.

 

 

For proof I made sure to center this on my bed. Bacon chocolate bars are a thing. And delicious.

There’s also beef jerky chocolate. And pepper chocolate with Pop Rocks.

Lavender chocolate.

Rose chocolate.

Basically, if it is chocolate, there’s a strong chance that someone will attempt something unorthodox.

Next payday? Lavender.

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FOOD RAMBLE!

I’m exhausted. I had one of those long shifts today—though not a murder!shift, when I run laundry AND housekeeping on the same day. However, it ran me down about the same level as one of those would have. I have the interesting problem of being the only one who can consistently handle the heat in the laundry room now, and the problem is compounded by the fact that it’s gotten to the point where it’s too hot for me, even—I can’t drink water fast enough to keep up with the heat, and that heat is considerable.

We’re talkin’ 100°F plus in that laundry room. It gets toasty.

In an effort to keep from going NUTS back there from hunger, I’ve had to make sure that I bring my own lunch.

(I replaced my flatiron the other day…as a result I have 11¢ to my name. But I no longer look like a crazy bag lady.)

Right now I’m in the middle of cooking. I had to take a mid-day nap to get ready for cooking, and so that meant an 8pm ESPRESSO SHOT.

And I didn’t replace my Toddy filters. This is pretty much unfiltered coffee glory.

If I weren’t so wiped out, I’d be wired. 😄

 

I’m planning on bringing a plate of “spanimac” and a few pieces of attempted sushi. For those unfamiliar with this culinary kludge, spanimac is Spanish rice and sausage—except instead of rice, it’s deluxe pasta and cheese seasoned with the proper seasonings and meats. Spanish macaroni—or, as seen earlier, spanimac. It’s pretty delicious.

 

Rice is steaming on the microwave top, and I have a can of tuna in the fridge along with some chopped onions (I don’t have any scallions, but these are sweet Vidalia onions, so it works).

The recipe I wanted to use, from Personal Trainer: Cooking on the Nintendo DS, was out of access, however—I might’ve accidentally left my game case over a friend’s house, and so I don’t have it handy. However, I grabbed my Nook Tablet and found this recipe, close enough to the PT:C recipe that I felt comfortable attempting it. Let the culinary adventure begin!

 

Let’s have some fun with this!

 

Let’s play pretend for a while. Say I’m a Tales of Series character, and I’m just learning the Sushi recipe.

In the spirit of this exercise, let’s make a fake profile card for the recipe.

image

I’m thinking of using this little mockup every time I try a difficult recipe. I’ve never done anything quite like making sushi, and the rolling, the slicing, everything—I’ve not got a frame of reference for this sort of thing, and so I was doing this blind. The first roll looked something like a log rolled up with paste and newspaper sticking out at the end.

The second? Passable.

The third? Well, it actually looked good.

 
  image

…It’s 11:53 pm. The lighting in the apartment means that NOTHING is showing up when I try to take a picture. So, no photos just yet. (I promise I’ll make a batch during daylight hours.)

 

I’m having trouble with the slicing, though. The first roll, I tried to slice using my chef knife—and it was terrible, even though the knife had been freshly sharpened. As it turned out, the cutting board I’d bought two days ago came in handy: it came with a santoku knife, perfect for slashing through sushi rolls. I used that for the second and third rolls, and this time I wound up with nicely sliced (if unevenly-sized) cuts. As for the extra-nori ends that I cut off to even out the rolls—I ate them for supper. Sweet mercy, I’d forgotten how good sushi is when it’s fresh…

 

Lunch tomorrow is going to be awesome.

100 Things #6: That first flower at season’s change.

Photo taken outside of a Wal-Mart using Instagram.

 

 

 

There is a reason that this first category is called “Intangibles.”

While flowers are in fact, tangible, I don’t like picking them without reason. I feel a bit guilty about ending the life of a flower just because I want to look at it for a little while longer on account of being pretty; this is why I didn’t mind (too much) when I stopped getting flowers as a pre-date gift. I like to grow them, however, and I like to watch them grow. This is why that first bunch of flowers I see peeking out of the ground at the turn of the season brings me such joy.

Take, for instance, these lovelies.

They’re quite obviously not originally wildflowers. They were planted in a planter (enter the Department of Redundancy Dept.!) outside of a Wal-Mart, but last year we had some ri-fucking-DICULOUSLY bad weather, and soon, things were blown every which way. These found new life near the McDonald’s across the parking lot, overtaking the weeds. When you looked more closely, you could see that the landscaping had been done to capitalize on the hardy-but-beautiful blooms.

Oh–and these were blooming when the average high temperature was about 40°F out. So they’re tough little cookies.

If they can handle being that far out of their element, I sure as hell can survive…

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100 Things #5: “That’s so awesome! I never knew that!”

   The Prelude (Title Screen) by Final Fantasy on Grooveshark

We’ve all got that one thing. You know, that one thing that you just absolutely loooobster love to perhaps slight extremes. You know a lot about it. You have followed it for perhaps years—or maybe you’re a recent convert and you caught up in the span of, like, a day and a half—but the point is, you’re just about an expert on the subject and nothing is going to deter you from learning everything about it.

I’ve got that sort of relationship with the soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series. (Some of you knew this a long time ago, eh-heh…) I remember getting stuck, bringing up the menu, and just listening to the music until I got an idea for what I was supposed to do next. I could go on and on about that music—but that’s another of the 100 Things. Right now all we need to know is that I made a point of knowing A LOT about it, getting my hands on as much of it as possible, learning the back stories behind why THIS track here and not THIS track.

Perhaps the most iconic theme from the series is the Prelude. It’s the little twinkly harp melody that you hear at the title screen for almost every game in the series. Once you hear that, you know what kind of game you’re playing. Final Fantasy and the prelude are almost the same; it seems like you can’t have one without the other. 25 years, after all, is a long time.

I jumped into the Inter-webs—digging through link after link, speculation after speculation, until I hit pay dirt at last. There had to be a story behind this little song, and it just had to be absolutely epic and inspiring. I find a link that looks pretty official and I learn…

…that the composer, Nobuo Uematsu, wrote this lovely little gem on request at the last minute—and it took him all of ten minutes to do it. I never knew that…and it just added to the song this level of awesomeness. It takes considerable talent to be able to do something like that. The Prelude has been a part of my word for as long as I can remember, and almost every time I hear it I learn something new about the composition.

I love learning new things about the things that I like. It makes me like them even more.

Audio from Grooveshark’s service. I do not own that piece of lovely aural gold.
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