Sunday, October 16, 2016

My week: October 2 ed.

This week, I cracked my tandem partner up. I told her about the Christmas pickle, which Americans believe is a traditional German ornament. The legend is that the first person who finds it receives an extra gift.

She asked me if Americans really believed that Germans do this. I said yes. She started howling with laughter and said, "Das ist eine Verarschung!"

Well, Americans think it's traditional, I told her. I had never heard of it until my friend visited Frankenmuth, which is meant to look like a German village in the thumb area of Michigan. My friend bought me one of these ornaments and it included a description that described it as a German tradition. Apparently it's not; A has never heard of it and apparently thinks it's quite funny, so there you go.

Source The unassuming Weinachtsgurke
Later this week, I provided an online training for everyone worldwide. I'm doing a lot more with training lately and I like that. I won't lie: it's certainly good for the resume to say that I train 70+ locations worldwide. It also gives me the opportunity to think that my undergrad degree perhaps was worth all the extra work (getting the teaching certification is basically like adding a second major, in addition to my two minors).

German class was a relief. I was moaning to the teacher that I wanted to take the B2 test but I needed to do so much more studying and I felt so behind. "Why?" he asked. "You could pass it right now with no problem." He said that some of the other classmates have passed that and even the C1 test and they still make mistakes, but I'm at least as good as the B2 student and there should be no reason I wouldn't pass. Yippie! By the way, I know it sounds a bit blunt about what he said about the other students. There was no malice in it and I see it as the German directness, which I like (outside of schimpfing ;)

I went on a "friend date" with M and we saw Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I had read all three books in the series and felt very conflicted about the movie. I think that if I had only seen the movie, I would have liked it. However, while it uses elements of the books, it makes some very major changes that are jarring.

One major change is that the main character's love interest is totally switched around. They took Emma's character and gave it Olive's talents. The original Emma can summon fire and even has a fiery personality. Instead, they gave her Olive's floating ability. In the book, Olive is a much more passive personality; for the most part, they use her as a lookout and sometimes they even forget her as she's floating above. Book Emma is very strong and independent and by her example, Jacob learns how to be courageous (or as I'd say, he stopped being such a wuss after witnessing her courage). Movie Emma is much more restrained. Boo!

Also, there is a very significant difference from the book and the movie regarding Jacob's grandpa. I won't write it to avoid a spoiler, but it is definitely not how the book went and the change in the movie would make Jacob's quest way easier. The whole point of the books is how he develops courage and loyalty (which isn't really giving away a whole lot, so no worries) through trying quests. The movie made it much easier for him. Hrmph. So, would I recommend the movie? If you've read and loved the books, it might be a bit disappointing. If you haven't read the books and don't plan to, then go ahead; if you like quest movies, you'd like this one then.

There has been criticism of the movie because it does not include any minority characters except for the main villain, played by Samuel L. Jackson. I don't have a problem with the main cast not being diverse because in the books, they're not, and it's not through purposeful exclusion by the original author. In the book, the majority of the characters are from England and Wales in the 1940s (or they were from earlier time periods too). There wasn't a lot of immigration at that time and therefore the population wasn't that diverse.

However, making the villain a minority is problematic because in the book, he's not. In fact, the movie smooshes together several villains into one so Samuel L. Jackson's character is a mashup of people, none of whom were a minority in the book. My main beef with his movie character was that Tim Burton didn't let what makes SLJ shine out that much. I mean, the guy's a bada** (in an awesome way) so why not let him be a bit more of one in the movie? Yes, I know it's somewhat of a kids' movie, but still. Kids can appreciate SLJ too.

In addition to the movie, I also attended a friend's birthday party on the weekend. I brought some egg liquor that I was trying to get rid of and a guy was drinking glasses of it, straight. I hope he didn't have an unpleasant following day!

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