I was tired and wanted to go home, so I can’t recall putting much effort in smiling for photos. My father a few days later came to me saying he wasn’t “trying to break my balls” but gave me a several minute speech about how I should put more effort into faking smiling for photos since I look too grumpy and murderous in mine. They want special photos where I’m happy. I understand where he’s coming from, but it only reinforced why I don’t like taking pictures. I don’t like being told to smile, it’s annoying and it’s like being told what to feel. Not to mention my default expression is somewhere around neutral and I’m not sure what expression I’m making, so smiling mightn’t always come out right like with my latest photo ID. Granted, the photographers can and do school me into the right type of smile, as with my graduation photo. Though there, I merely asked if my smile was appropriate. Maybe I could smile more for photos for my family but the others would have to tell me if it’s the right and nonawkward kind of smile. Hopefully, I won’t have to deal with having another picture taken of me for awhile so I won’t have to deal with the issue much.
The final letter of recommendation for my application to get into Albertus Magnus has finally been submitted. I’d have hoped for it to be submitted before the end of May but the professor I tapped to write the letter has presumably busy with work and other writer things. Fortunately, he apparently had it in his calender and was on time. Rolling admissions meant that I had another month or two to have everything submitted but that meant any response might take longer. Whatever the outcome, I’m glad this process is finally done with so it isn’t hanging over my head.
Was also supposed to do the volunteer job onsite this week but due to communication difficulties, I wasn’t able to do so and all of the options got rapidly booked up. I admit, I waffled on which ones to take, since I didn’t know what my preferences were when asked. Fortunately, the person in charge gave me contact list to copy down to excel and was able to show off what I can do from there. The next time the selections come up, I’ll try to choose at least one a week for the weeks that are available. Which from each week I’ll choose might be a bit trickier, especially since I’ll have to coordinate with my helper for when she’s available to drive me to and from there. I’ll see how that works out, especially for my resume.
Saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on the 17th. It was pretty good. I liked that most of the characters had arcs and that we learned more and got elaborated on them. Admittedly, some of the jokes and gags did make it hard for me to get pulled into a scene but they didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the movie. Peter does go a bit Dogged Nice Guy to Gamora, which was particularly irritating but their relationship continues to dwell in that maybe territory and the pair also have bigger issues to focus on.
Issues like family. Peter’s father Ego seemed quirky but benevolent at first, attempting to connect with an understandably embittered son. It seemed to go the usual but pleasant route. Mantis’s behavior hinted something more nefarious might be afoot but then Ego’s casual reveal that he’s a right monster was a pleasant shock. He doesn’t care about other lifeforms to the point he wants to replace them with himself and disposes of his children if they aren’t useful to his plans. At one point he feels enough for Mrs. Quill to be tempted to abandon his plans, but he’s so dedicated to his goals, he inflicted her with cancer to ensure that a strong enough connection between them wouldn’t be formed. He wants to use Peter as a tool and there was no redemption for him. I find that rather refreshing. I do find main characters being related to terrible people appealing and I like how Peter and his comrades fought and eventually took him down.
Speaking of father figures, pairing Yondu with Rocket and Groot was something I heard about but didn’t click with until I saw them bounce off each other. The talk from Yondu of how their traumatic pasts makes them react to love and compassion with hostility in fear it mightn’t work out and to cover their insecurities was pretty good. Rocket even seems to like Peter, but can’t express it in anyway other than being jerkish. Yondu looked after Peter and Rocket looked after Groot. With what is revealed about Yondu’s past, I wonder if his whole talk of how Peter is ungrateful after the latter left related in any way to him being kicked out of the Ravagers after he made that deal with Ego out of greed. He has all kinds of regrets and though it doesn’t excuse how he jerked Peter around while raising him, including multiple vore threats that were empty but still terrified him, but he did try to own up to his mistakes throughout the movie, going ultimately to sacrificing his own life to save Peter. Rocket zapping Gamora unconscious before she could rescue Peter as Ego was about to go boom because he didn’t want to lose anyone else showed how he really came to the value his fellow guardians and was tired of losing people in his terrible life. His sadness over Yondu’s death was also poignant.
Gamora and Nebula’s conflict and their resolution got some proper screentime and I liked it. The revelation that Nebula wanted a sister, but Gamora was focused on survival during the fights arranged by Thanos, so that sort of spoiled their relationship, was pretty hard. She was the sister who could never catch up. When she finally had Gamora in her grasp, Nebula couldn’t jump the final distance and end her life, which means that for all the resentment and rage she had, she still loved Gamora. It’s been awhile since I saw the first movie, so I don’t recall much of Gamora’s characterization but her mentioning in this film her winning was just her way of trying to survive and that she didn’t realize the impact of those actions until later. I like how they reconciled and worked together in the final battle as well as bid one another farewell as Nebula goes out on her own mission of dealing with Thanos and rescuing other children. With that, I kind of fear she might bite the dust in the final battle against Thanos. After all she went through, she deserves to survive. Gamora doesn’t need any more tragedy in her life.
Drax and Mantis’s interactions were both funny and sweet. Drax was still blunt as always I did like the moments where reminisced over his dearly departed wife and daughter. He was a bit too blunt with how he viewed Mantis’s appearance and other factors at points but he was sweet. Mantis was sweet too, having barely interacted with anyone except Ego for her life, committing some endearing and amusing social flubs while trying to connect with others. I like how, though she loses her nerve more than once at spilling Ego’s secret to the Guardians, she feels remorse for the horror of witnessing Ego murder his children and her growing bond with Drax meant she got the courage to not only alert but help them in the fight with Ego. I’m not sure whether her relationship to Drax is platonic or teasing at the edges of romantic, but I’m interested in seeing where it goes when they’re more comfortable with one another.
One missed opportunity that I saw pointed out and I agree with was that Peter and Mantis were technically stepsiblings yet they barely interacted and this concept wasn’t at all explored. That would have been interesting to explore, how Peter operates with a sister and how Mantis might take to Peter’s quirky and at times playboy demeanor. Oh well, can be explored in the next films. I couldn’t see much of how Groot was explored and developed, admittedly. He seemed often to be the source of revealing other characters’ layers. The closest I could remember was him debating on the right button to push for the bomb after repeatedly flubbing Rocket’s instructions. He was also a bit more hostile than his grownup counterpart. If anyone did see more development for the character, though, feel free to correct me. It has been awhile since I saw the film. Otherwise, I completed enjoyed the movie.
Still liking Digimon Universe Appli Monster as of episodes 29 to 33. Yuujin and Offmon have settled into the dynamics just nicely, with the former still showing moments of insecurity while still being a supportive and loyal friends while the latter is unsure around other people due to lack of contact and fear of his Shutmon side hurting others. Still, Offmon gradually warmed up to being with the others and has been a sweet addition. His presence did lead to Gatchmon being jealous enough to run away. That episode was okay, though one of them offering to run away to Yuujin’s home offers all sorts of delicious AU possibilities. Dokamon got some focus that I think helped his character. I did think Offmon’s wild side was a bit too constrained in the two episodes it was in, but I otherwise thought his and Yuujin’s relationship was developed nicely.
After we had several episodes of Yuujin and Offmon settle in the group, the latest episode started the next arc of the show nicely with the introduction of Knight Unryuji. I didn’t know what he’d be like but his youthful energy and wonder do make him entertaining and creepy. The Ultimate 4 was also interesting and ominous. It was all thrilling. Though this show has its light tone to uphold, I hope they keep up the raised stakes introduced here throughout the remainder of the series.
That’s all for now. I’m thinking of posting my individual Appmon episode reactions here as well, since they can be more eloquent. Hopefully by June’s end, I’ll fully be caught up on news and made some fic progress. Until then, see you!.