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Mistaken for a vision

Wow, it's been more than a few weeks since I posted. So, uh, updates on some of the stuff from last time: I took Billy to a new foster home that has two dogs we're hoping he can model himself on. He was coming around a bit more after a few days, but he still had such fear issues on walks after the dog attack that I just felt it was better for him -- and I had to find a place for him to stay, anyway, for the weekend while I was at Bitchin' Party (aka Pacificon). I'm still really sad, because I had quite fallen in love with him, but hopefully it'll make him more adoptable -- even when a dog is as cute as he is, people are wary of dogs with fear issues.

I haven't heard anything about him, but I'm going to ping them at some point to see how he's doing. I thought I was going to get a senior poodle gal, but they've never been back in touch. Animal Control hasn't, either, and the fuckwad with the loose dog isn't responding to my calls. I don't know what to do at this point; I'm not good at this sort of thing because it brings up my social anxiety issues in a big way. It's really easy for people to tell me to keep calling him or call the construction company, but that kind of thing is really agonizing for me. Just calling the times I've called was hard enough; to have to keep doing it...I don't know. Especially since I have a number of other anxiety-provoking issues at hand right now.

Anyway. Today I had my yearly checkup with my doctor, whom I love. I spoke to her about the challenging experience with the back doctor and what I was supposed to do, and she's going to follow up on some stuff for me, and she suggested I go back and just be really clear about what next steps should be, etc. She's focused on getting my back better, and though she wants me to do some other things, she said she wants that to happen first. I don't know what I'm going to do when she retires. Even though I've considered moving away from Seattle lately, I'd be willing to fly back here for my yearly appointment and pay out of pocket just to keep seeing her.

I've had another one of those situations where I have two books due at the same time, one of them a guidebook to Ecuador which was updated this time not by an author but by a fact checker, who apparently never learned basic grammar or spelling. It's hilarious -- anything he or she has updated I can spot instantly because they're so completely horrible. And the novel that I just finished has the most bizarre punctuation I've ever seen; the copyeditor was new so she didn't deal with it with the author, just left me this vague note about the author using things "stylistically" so there wasn't much I could do, but I have to admit, I'm going to be very interested in looking at reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to see what people say about it. I tend to really think the self publishing and ebook revolution is mostly a good thing; this, however, is the kind of thing I don't like about it. There are no real gatekeepers anymore.

I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier again yesterday. Stray thoughts:

- I was so disappointed that Rumlow turned out to be a bad guy because I was quite smitten with him, especially his admiring "No, no, he wasn't," comment about Cap not wearing a parachute. But then I realized after I saw it the first time that his first name was Brock (which I don't think anyone actually called him by in the movie), so I started wondering, wait, wasn't that Crossbones's name, and sure enough, while I didn't remember him being named Rumlow, Crossbones is in fact Brock Rumlow. So his burned body, I noticed this time, there at the end is kind of reminiscent of his outfit in the comics. I don't know why this bums me out so much, but it does -- I thought Frank Grillo was just hella sexy in the first part, and he had real chemistry with Cap, and man, I fuckin' hate Crossbones. He's just a vicious psychotic and so rapey and sick that I just...I swear, every time I like someone they turn out evil, and I'm not a fan of villains for the most part.

- I was in the Sitwell denial camp there for a while, too, but I noticed this time that Bucky literally throws him under a bus -- or, well, a truck maybe, but it's a large, fast-moving vehicle that Sitwell goes right smack into and then under. So I guess ol' Jasper isn't coming back, or at least, it'll have to be comics magic if he does. Wah. Despite the progress they've made, there's still a lot wrong with killing off the only Hispanic character in the universe.

- And honestly, this brings up one of my biggest issues in the movie. I just don't believe there are these thousands of people who've embraced the Hydra lifestyle and are going around whispering, "Hail, Hydra" in people's ears. First off, that kind of "sieg heil" type of identification thing is really seriously passe, it's just not something people really do in modern times, and it feels so completely silly and retro in a sad way to me. The worst part is the creepy Senator (which, really, did we have to spend so much time with him, listening to him go on about his young bimbo girlfriend? Couldn't we have had more time with Sam or Bucky or Natasha?), I just cannot buy that scenario of him and Sitwell Hydra-bonding like a couple of new frat pledges. I'm sure it worked for most people, but for me and the person I saw it with the first time, it couldn't have been any cheesier. And just all those people infiltrating an organization like SHIELD and no one noticing until just before their operation's been planned to take effect...yeah, for me that's a big problem.

I did love the whole '70s political thriller aspect of it, very much, and they did a great job on that sort of spin, but I just can't quite buy the situation as they've set it up with Cap 2 and Agents of SHIELD. Which isn't to say that Cap's speech at the end isn't really moving and affecting, just that I couldn't buy the scenario in which he says it. I loved Sam poking fun at it too -- when he asks if Steve wrote it down, I laughed out loud both times. But there were a lot of people running around killing everyone, and that level of coordinated subterfuge is extremely hard to pull off. This has always been one of the most significant problems with people who believe in large conspiracy theories -- it takes so much massive coordination to make everyone lie about something, to keep the lie going, to keep everyone toeing the line, to not have leaks break through, that I'm just not able to buy Hydra's complete infiltration.

And Pierce's empty rhetoric that he gives Bucky to keep him in line is just so howlingly pompous and pointless -- though I give them kudos for the fakeout from the trailier. They make it seem like he's talking to Cap in the trailer about shaping the century and his work being a gift to mankind, and then the reveal comes that he's saying it to Bucky was pretty good. He's preaching to the choir of himself, really -- his minions aren't going to care about this bullshit speech, and it's lost on Bucky, who's focused on the man he knew, so he's expending his breath on a meaningless rally the troops speech that goes nowhere.

- Which reminds me of Sam doing my favorite thing in the whole world -- telling a talking killer to shut up. People who know me know that I hate the monologuing talking killer more than pretty much anything else about movies (or TV or books). Having Sam just cut through the bullshit and say, "Man, shut the hell up" after Rumlow goes on about pain and power was absolute fucking perfection.

- Although having Robert Redford play the right-wingy Pierce was kind of a casting miracle. I mean, Redford was the liberal golden boy throughout the seventies, and he was the guy fighting against conspiracy plots in movies like Three Days of the Condor, so that was a brilliant bit of meta that I could really enjoy.

- I don't understand people who think that Natasha is a nothing character or that Scarlett can't act. That scene where she asks if their roles were reversed, if she saved him, would he trust her, and he says he does now, just blew me away. The tiny little nod, the way her eyes move, gah...she is just so amazing. That's the moment where she changes, where the Natasha who can blast her secrets all over the Internet is created.

- Jesus Christ, I love them all. I just love them so much.

- And my heart just aches for Bucky so much. SO MUCH. I almost can't watch that scene in the bank basement, it hurts so hard. And thinking that we're going to have to wait, what, four more years to get some kind of resolution? ARG. I'm terrified that they're going to do a Civil Wars story in spite of SHIELD being in shambles; I really hope not, but at the least, I just want like two hours of finding Bucky, helping him reintegrate, and Steve and Bucky getting therapy from Sam (any kind, whatever makes you happy) and there needs to be LOTS OF HUGGING.

- And in that scene, all those guys train their guns on him when he makes a gesture and Bucky backs right down, even though he could wipe the floor with all of them in mere seconds despite being weaponless and shirtless himself. And I still can't get over him just lying back and accepting that biteguard, but there's that tiny look of defiance in his eyes, of anger, and I can't help thinking that that's what makes him snap there at the end, that's what makes him know that his mission is over; this man helped him at great cost to himself and now Bucky has to do something to save this man because those other men abused him so unspeakably. AUGH FEELS.

- I wonder how many people recognize that it's Gary Sinise doing the narration to the Smithsonian Cap exhibit? I thought that was a cute touch, considering how involved Gary is in veterans' issues.

- Though for fuck's sake, no self-respecting museum would use curly quotes and apostrophes instead of foot and inch marks in their copy. In both of Steve's statistics pre- and post-serum, they list his height with curly quotes. You gotta be fucking kidding me. Really, people who do set design should ask someone who's marginally competent to look at these things.


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Apr. 24th, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
I don't understand people who think that Natasha is a nothing character or that Scarlett can't act

You know, this was another thing about having an actor of Redford's caliber in the movie--all the younger actors were more than able to hold their own in scenes with him, which I think highlights a level of talent on the screen that often gets overlooked under the costumes and action sequences. I also thought that the scenes Redford had with Jackson were wonderful: I instantly believed that these two men had known each other for decades, and their acting styles really complemented each other.
Apr. 28th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
I know, I know -- I was so amazed to see everyone kind of up their game around Redford. It's not like they wouldn't have brought their best game to the movie regardless, because I'm sure everyone realized what a great story it was, but he seemed to bring out the very best in people. And yeah, the scenes with Jackson and Redford were MAGICAL. I was in awe of them both together. You totally believed in their history and the depth of the betrayal.
Apr. 29th, 2014 01:55 am (UTC)
For such a heartthrob/leading man/golden boy, Redford has always been very good at showcasing his co-stars, and this was no exception. I was really impressed with how the filmmakers let Redford and Jackson shape Pierce and Fury's relationship without having a lot of exposition and a lot of "as you know from our long friendship" dialog. It was very deftly handled.
Apr. 24th, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
Honestly, I think it's exactly because SHIELD is in shambles that something like Civil War has a higher chance of happening. Because somebody will have to step up and deal with the crap SHIELD dealt with. And a lot of power hungry people, many of whom who won't have a clue what they're dealing with, will do so for a chance at the glory.

There's reason why in the comics, Civil War happened while Fury was out of commission, because he never would have been stupid enough to instantly antagonize Cap the way Maria Hill did.
Apr. 28th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
You're probably right -- I just...Civil Wars caused me a lot of pain, at least on the Cap side of things, but SHIELD not really being in the picture will definitely open them up to a lot of nasty possibilities. It would be interesting, I suppose, to see how they would treat a storyline like that, considering the changes they've made in the story so far...
Apr. 24th, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
Aw, I hope Billy's new home works out.

I hope you find some relief from your back issues. Mine flared up something terrible this week (it's been creeping back awhile) and this morning I went in for a nerve conduction study and got a short course of prednisone that will, I sincerely hope, give some relief in the short term. But I'm already looking at scheduling another steroid shot because at least that lasted for a year. I'm glad your regular doctor is following up for you.

WINTER SOLDIER FEELS. I have them, but haven't been about to articulate. Agree with your comments, but I did love Rumlow as a competent villain because I knew he was Crossbones going in, so that probably helped.
Apr. 28th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
I talked to my doc at my physical last week about the steroid shot. I'm curious and terrified of it. The idea of having a needle in your spine...ugh, and also, the steroid shot I had in my toe was so weird and kind of painful, so I'm not sure how much I want it.

I don't know how I didn't make the connection that he was Crossbones until later. It's like I remembered the Brock part, but I guess not the Rumlow part. I'm still really sad he's a bad guy! He's hot! And Crossbones is so very not.
Apr. 29th, 2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
The shot was a godsend for me, and I'm on the verge of throwing myself at the doctor's feet and begging for another one. (That's tomorrow's adventure.) The procedure took all of like, half an hour, and part of that was getting into the dumb surgical gown. Mine was upper spine (C6/7) so your experience could be different, but the most memorable part was feeling briefly like an elephant was stepping on my back when the steroid went in. More discomfort than hurt, and over quickly.

Yeah, the whole "shot in the spine" thing is freaky as hell, but I'm verging on nonfunctional ATM, so it's the only option. The last one worked for over a year and I'm hoping for the same again.

Not trying to talk you into it, just offering my perspective.
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