Overheard on the job

[sung] “Oh where oh where has my capuchin friend gone,
Oh where oh where can he be? Is he up in the outside
Or will he come in for ve-eee-ggie straws?”

“Hey, look at this poop!”
“Not a sentence you hear much at other jobs….”

“Wow, what the [redacted]?”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know! It’s gross!”
“Is it alive?”
“I don’t know, I’m not touching it.”
“I’m not touching it either!”
“Is it moving?”
“I just literally poked it with a piece of poop.”
“Oh, it wiggled, it’s alive. Look, it’s got little red arms….”
“What is it, then?”
“It’s a maggot.”
“That’s a maggot?”
“DUDE that is a big [redacted] maggot.”
“Well, it’s a larvae of some sort of fly. I’m assuming…”
“S+, what’s this?”
“Grub.”
[this is practically a verbatim conversation. The grub in question was large and it was nasty and it was hanging out in a pile of tiger poo. Not sure how the conversation could have gone any other way…]

“Everyone go pretend to wash dishes.”
“Yes, the tigers like it when we are busy.”
“Ahhh, so that’s why they keep us on our toes…”

“Billy!”
[ROAR]
“Come try to kill me over here!”

“I gave [Lazy Lion] his meds…A2 was able decoy the lionesses away. I guess she looks tasty!”
“Must be all them bones.”

“M2 is leaving in two weeks, which means they’re just going to have us. And what are they going to do with three girls?”
“I know, we can’t lift sh*t!”
“Riders is looking at you like, ‘speak for yourself.’ ”

“OK, [Lazy Lion], it’s hose time.”
“You sound really excited.”
“…I’m going to spray a lion with a hose and you’re going to force-feed him chicken. What’s not to be excited about?”

The Magnificent Seven – no, not the good one…

Don’t get excited, this one is the 1998 TV version.

So this one starts out with a poor Indian village who were being attacked by a band of ex-confederates who are led by a crazy guy and also have a cannon. The Seven are:
– Chris, the leader guy who wears black and has a hat that’s too big for him (Michael Biehn, who is a good actor *cough* but really doesn’t do much here.)
– Vin, the second in command guy, who has a scruffy mullet
– Buck, the guy who is always horny
– Ezra, the gambler who utilizes sesquipidalian circumlocutions, but is rather chahming nonetheless.
– JD, the kid from back east
– Josiah, the crazy preacher
– The black medical guy

Other characters include Robert Vaughn (!) as circuit judge Travis, and then a blonde newspaper lady as the chief love interest.

It’s not bad–in fact, it’s just good enough to keep you watching the next episode….in the hopes the next one will be better. It’s just the kind of show that, if you want to go to bed a little early but the dog is asleep on one side of your lap and the cat just moved onto the other side, it’s just fine to stick around and watch another episode.
The characters are all pretty well drawn out and their personalities are distinct. In fact the episodes with a focus on the characters are definitely the better ones.

Rated: I think I may have inadvertently infected one of the other interns with Western Movie Watching Virus….

Love and Destiny – eps 6-10

So most of the stuff happening is happening with the tattooed Advisor guy doing stuff to people and the thunder god guy being scheming and Jiu Chen not really caring. So, remembering that there’s the question of 100,000,000 dead Celestial soldiers of whom Jiu Chen is the only survivor, people want answers. The implication is that one of the generals (Yuan?) succummed to demonic influence and was doing something wrong; Jiu Chen may be trying to protect the rest of his once-friend’s family.
And we soon learn what he is protecting them against, since we follow the fate of a tribe that the Advisor guy has it in for. They end up fed to the Abyss Chaining Spirits, except for one guy who gets eaten by some kind of black hole monster. In the meanwhile, Jiu Chen is under house arrest…and may himself have been tainted by the demonic aura as well. But never fear! Ling Xi is there to keep him company!…um, well, ok, I’ll go scrub the, dust, or…um….
So one of the things the Advisor is after is bloody revenge; and it turns out the Phoenix Queen, for whom he nominally works, isn’t fully on board with the plan. Phoenix Queen has an adoptive daughter, but still misses her own lost child…a daughter, also about that age. AHAH! Anyhow, Phoenix Princess has a giant crush on Advisor. Mom is not down with this, because she knows that Advisor is dangerous. Princess loves her mom, but is also both a total princess and slightly psycho. (I am nevertheless liking Princess right now because while she’s somewhat psycho and definitely spoiled, she’s also still quite innocent. So she’s not at an Azula level yet and hopefully we can redeem her into being one of the good guys. Also, the Advisor is quite nice to her. Maybe he’s just being manipulative, but before that’s proven he’s still very sweet.) Meanwhile! Advisor is actually losing his spirit power because he’s too busy being obsessed with revenge, and is basically poisoning himself. He refuses to consider this as a possibility and intends to continue as is. So…okay, it appears that one guy he hates got eaten by the black hole monster–which is the demon king guy that Jiu Chen sealed away 50,000 years ago. Advisor wants to get at this guy REALLY BADLY…to the point that he’ll unlock the demon king just to get a shot at him? I think?
Ling Xi, meanwhile, must go back home to beg, find, or steal some medicine for Jiu Chen, who keeps turning into ice if he doesn’t get it. We meet Junior Fox Brother for the third time (and this time get to talk to him), and yep, he’s the same guy who plays Qin Shang Cheng, and YEP he’s just as hilarious here, too.
Meanwhile, Advisor may know much more than he’s letting on about the Phoenix Queen’s missing actual baby? So: there was some sort of fight, and Queen left baby under enchantment while she went back to try and help. But then a cliff collapsed on the baby and it’s presumed dead.
Meanwhile! Heroine’s elder sister gets attacked by a random giant bird and then one of the guys shows up and chases it away from her. That was random.
Meanwhile, Ling Xi is trying to manufacture the medicine for Jiu Chen. NNNnnnnnot very successfully. LOL. (BOOM)
The heroes discuss the matter of black hole monster (demon king guy). He’s awake and the demon miasma is increasing in that area. Also, Ling Xi is definitely connected with this matter, somehow. But everyone knows she’s adorable, lovely, innocent, kind hearted, clever (BOOM) LOL EVEN JIU CHEN IS FED UP AT THIS POINT. But! the important thing is that she’s succeeded and made some pills.
(What kind of pills, Ling Xi? And exactly how and how are you going to test them?) Ling Xi, is not an unscrupulous heroine. She’s going to test it on herself….by diving into a pool of icy celestial water. Guess what happens next. No, go on. Guess.
And then! Remember the mortal puppy that Ling Xi adopted? Well, it’s dead now. Someone lured it out of the house and killed it right before Ling Xi was going to make it immortal. WHYYY? So Ling Xi tearfully says goodbye to her puppy Lil White and tells him to be a good boy in the next life. NOOOOO WHYYYY. And then everyone else is missing Puppy, too…WHY DID YOU ALL HAVE TO KILL THE PUPPY?!
OK, so we’re getting a little more backstory to Phoenix Queen. She was princess back in the day, and she and one other guy (the father) were being attacked by ninjas of some kind. She put the baby down–and sent someone, who looks hugely suspicious when he’s told to, to go fetch it–but the guy sacrifices himself for her. In the present, though, the Queen has deep suspicions still (oh, she suspects the Advisor, because he somehow has the knot charm. He got it from Ling Xi….bu Ling Xi got it from Jiu Chen. What the heck is going on, here?) So the Queen goes to find some answers from the oracle…while Advisor and Phoenix Princess both bump into each other while eavesdropping. GUYS HOW CAN YOU BE BOTH EVIL AND ADORABLE?
The child (not that we didn’t know, but it’s news to Advisor) is alive. But she’s also not in the Six Realms; she’s nearby…man, that oracle was pretty useless.
OK, So. In ep 10, someone….wait, is this Ling Xi or Phoenix Princess? FOR THE LIFE OF ME I CANNOT TELL, she’s wearing black like Phoenix Princess?! –stumbles into a cave with glowing crystals that starts to show her the future—oh no, it’s Jiu Chen’s thoughts? Which include him kissing the heck out of Ling Xi. I’m pretty sure this is Ling Xi herself, because she is a little disconcerted at this. Oo, OK, so Ling Xi reactivates the crystals to show her the battle from 50,000 years ago. (I didn’t mention: Jiu Chen is currently going to stand trial for losing 999,999 other soldiers of the heaven realm, not to mention burning an official report). I think she’s looking for evidence. OOOOO, she is the kid! She was right there at the oracle cave and they all missed her?! AWWWW.
MY SUBTITLES ARE INCOMPLETE! The Phoenix Queen is publically snubbing the Advisor! That’s not good!
INCOMPLETE SUBTITLES–WHAT IS GOING ONNNNN I CAN’T TELL! NOOOOO. WHAT IS GOING ONNNNNNNN?!?! So, Ling Xi has evidence that can clear Jiu Chen, and she’s gone to go have a talk with the dead general who actually comitted the massacre/crime/whatever. And I think it’s a good talk because I think she asks him to take good care of Puppy on the other side. BUT YOU KNOW I CAN’T TELL BECAUSE THE SUBTITLES ARE MISSING [edit: she agrees keeping the secret is best, and please do take care of Puppy, awwwwwww I really hope that we can see Puppy in the afterlife.]
But his sister is there and she is determined to protect their family. Which is understandable. But she is going to let an innocent man be framed, though. [General Girl is named Yuan Tong. She does point out that Jiu Chen isn’t going to suffer any truly horrible consequences, such as having his entire family stripped of their privileges and massacred. This happens to also be the logic Jiu Chen is following when he allows himself to take the fall for it.] There’s an argument and Ling Xi has to run away. They’re at some kind of pool and Ling Xi is going to fall in I think…WHY DID SOMEONE PUT UP BAD SUBS? THAT’S JUST UNKIND YOU KNOW GUYS. I DON’T APPRECIATE IT.
Ling Xi falls/gets pushed into the pool [it destroys the powers and immortality of immortals, oh no, it took her 22,000 years just to get where she is now–] and passes out…OK, break. I need subs. I’ll finish episode 10 once I get them from someone who’s RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY.
…oh, wait, would you look at that. I also downloaded a zip file of the Viki subs for all sixty episodes. MY GOSH I was obsessed. Am obsessed.
And, meanwhile, everyone is noticing that Ling Xi is missing. So at least she’ll get rescued quickly? Lol, Jiu Chen is one of them and he’s not happy that she’s gone. .
In other news, Mama Yuan is a witch with a capital B. General Girl Yuan Tong is sorry about it all…but resigned to the deception.
Meanwhile, Ling Xi is still missing, it’s the eve of the trial. Also Shi San is causing trouble. Other news: water wet. Hah, I love that she’s able to taunt one of the guards that she fought in the war, where was he back then? Jiu Chen shows up to rescue her, at least, but where is Ling Xi?
But Ling Xi’s elder sister appears to have found out where she is, at least: down in the pool. UUUUUHHHHH OH. She’s turned into a bird again (but still has the record scroll with her!?)
OOO, OOOO ooo, ouch. Mama Yuan point-blank asks if Jiu Chen killed her son. Lady, you only think this is hurting Jiu Chen. It’s going to end up hurting you in the end! Wait, is she rubbing it in? What a bitch! OH MY GOSH YOU BITCH. YOU DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE 999,998 OTHER SOLDIERS, SCREW YOU. SHE ORDERS HER PEOPLE TO KILL HIM!
OOOOOOHHHHHHHH Elder SISTER ARRIVES JUST IN TIME WITH THE SCROLL AND LING XI. They do manage to turn her back into a human….heh, Yuan Tong Fiance guy wants to just call it a day. But Mama Yuan insists that the TRUTH MUST BE KNOWN. Not a good idea, lady–not when you’ve got Elder Sister and she’s got evidence. And Elder Sister is the kind of woman who is utterly unafraid to stand up to others.
AND SHE DOES IT! SHE OPENS THE SCROLL! ROLL CREDITS!

– Strong female characters! There are a lot of women in this story, and they have real personalities–from horribly annoying, self-centered, and antagonistic (Mama Yuan), to innocent and sweet, to innocent and sweet but psycho and spoiled, to, um, Shi San’s ladylike but yet still manly attitude (love her)–and they have actual character arcs, actual plot relevance, and importance to the overall story. Not to mention, some of them actually can kick ass. Not that there’s been much of it, y’know, but it’s always welcome when it does happen.
– Strong, interesting, and nuanced male characters! No, they aren’t in touch with their feelings, but they also have personalities which make them fun to watch. They’re stoic (and hiding pain and amusement…and annoyance), they’re cocky and sly, they’re loyal and calm; they’re attempting to be dignified but struggling with it; they’re calm and gentle (but also potentially manipulative and evil.) Also, everyboy (TYPO but I’m leaving it, heh) has really great hair.
– I really love Doctor Le Bo (heroine’s father). Just a reminder.
– I like the Advisor, too. He’s got such a dramatic characterization he’s bound to be interesting to watch. But he’s so calm and in control (thus far) that he feels incredibly competent. And thus far he’s done very little evil deeds–he has in fact been very sweet to both Ling Xi when he met her, and Phoenix Princess. Not to mention he has (or had) a deep loyalty to the Phoenix Queen. So I guess What I’m saying is that he’s another of those loveable, heroic antagonists, whom we love to watch and hate to see die.
– Shi San and her relationship woes are consistently entertaining.
– Heh, the Junior Fox Brother and Ling Xi squabble-fighting. And then Ling Xi verbally smacking him around–while helping him wipe off the mud she splashed in his face when he came over to check on her because she was playing hurt after he attacked her for getting him beaten up for not guarding her properly when she ran away. OK, I love these two.
– Jiu Chen (invisibly) taking revenge on a guard who bullied Ling Xi.
– Princess bringing Advisor some healing ginseng soup. “Ginsing soup again?….it’s…uh…good!”
– Jiu Chen just trolls Ling Xi, you know. Lol.
– Jiu Chen’s reaction when Ling Xi blows up her medicine room. Repeatedly. By the second episode of this business he’s reduced to clutching his head and outright complaining of it, hehhhhhh.
– LING XI’s reaction after blowing up her medicine room. OK, I love this heroine. She’s not feisty or plucky or full of cunning schemes, but she is extremely well-acted by a charismatic and good-looking actress who makes the most out of the little moments.
– Heroine’s sister, meanwhile, has also sent some pills…but, aww, lol, Jiu Chen prefers to take Ling Xi’s….until he actually sees that it’s five times the size of the professional’s pill. AND THEN LING XI RUNS OFF WITH THE SMALL PILL. LOL.
– Lol, “It’s Merit Hall, not Spirit of the Martyr Hall!”
– Everyone has really nice hair.

PSA – Two Very Important Announcements

FIRST: per Priscellie,theĀ Peace Talks book trailer is going live on Tuesday, to be followed by a live Q&A with Jim on Google Hangouts.

SECOND: there is a Netflix documentary out about a guy named Joe Exotic: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. Joe Exotic used to have and breed tigers for a roadside zoo in Oklahoma. The sanctuary I’m interning at has a several cats who were directly or indirectly rescued from that selfsame zoo. [Netflix link] At least one of the cats has basically a personality disorder because of his time at that zoo (insane food aggression.)

I have way too low a tolerance of animal cruelty, batshit insanity, and despicable human beings to actually watch the series myself, but it’s being eagerly discussed by all the other people (not to mention I’m getting a play by play from A1 and A2)–and it has some pretty good information about this subject.

In other news: brb, searching for wolf sanctuary internships….

Overheard…or maybe spoken…on the job

“I wish it hadn’t gotten so warm so quickly. Now all the cats are just being all so lackadasical.”
“…I don’t know what that word means, but sure they are.”

[on tour] “This is Nikki, she’s our youngest tiger. You can see she’s very energetic and playful. And, uh, she’s kind of a derp.”
“Mom, what’s that mean?”
“I don’t know honey, hush while the lady is talking.”

And on a particularly crazy day:

“Riders! Hey this is really weird, do you know if anyone here has size seven shoes?”
“…I’ll check.”
“Yeah please thank you, M1 had a boot blow out on her and it’s raining.”

Me, walking west: “M1, are you feeding [tiger]?”
“I was but she’s being a bitch so I’m making her suffer.”
“…ok.”
[Me walking east five minutes later, overhears:]
“Open your f*cking mooouuth!”

“Riders, can you give A2 her boots back? And tell her I said thank you from the bottom of my…soles.”

Wu Xin The Monster Killer – ep 6

So when we left off, the creepy ghost girl (Yue QiLuo) Wu Xin let out of her prison had trapped Yueya in a dream in the past. Yueya has (mentally) taken YQL’s place in the tragic events of 100 years ago. (YQL was involved in a forbidden romance, her lover killed himself but she was too chicken to go through with it herself, and his outraged family buried her alive in the well prison.) Anyhow, Wu Xin’s monster-killing blood isn’t helping, so Yueya has been thrashing around helplessly for an episode and a half while he and Lord Gu watch. YQL’s plan appears to be to make Yueya-as-her comit suicide…so she won’t be buried alive? Anyhow, Wu Xin tries to join Yueya in the dream (the spell is afraid of him and keeps floating away, lol), but he throws it on Lord Gu instead. Oh boy.
Lord Gu does his best but his time is limited, and the family quickly grabs Yueya. And then it gets weird, because the old master guy with the flywisk starts addressing her as Elder Sister and telling her that she’s a master of black magic….so…where and how did YQL get her powers? But things progress as they probably did in the past, with Yueya being nailed into the coffin under the well. (girl, stop squealing already. You know they’re not going to let you out. So just struggle in silence. Your screaming is annoying.)
I have to say, Wu Xin has been spectacularly useless this episode. Boy, think of something already! His only weapon is his blood, and he’s willing to try it again…but awww, Lord Gu points out that Yueya is his sister, too, be careful. Unsurprisingly, given that this has dragged on for almost three episodes, it works, even when YQL shows up in person to demand, even at this juncture, sympathy. And yes, I would be sympathetic if she wasn’t, you know, a murderous sex-crazed psycho witch girl intent on stealing Wu Xin from Yueya. (seriously? You’re a cool character, girl, you don’t need a man.) Anyhow, Yueya wakes up and gets a hug from Wu Xin and lol, Lord Gu comments that he’s happy and envious of them.
But the episode isn’t even over yet!…Wu Xin does not go after YQL, except to warn her of coming after them again. Instead he’s teasing Yueya and about to reach some sort of mutual agreement re: crushes when, awwwwwwww, Lord Gu arrives with a box of medicine and treats for his sis. He also wants to take them on a nice trip up to the hot springs for a, what’s that newfangled word? A “vacation.” Wu Xin, LOL, is NOT IMPRESSED. Oh, the hot springs is reportedly haunted.
Cut to: YQL gearing up to prove that the hot springs are definitely haunted….

So: this is a fairly weak episode but it’s more or less an intermission before we get to our next conflict at the hot springs. I’m liking the mysteries in this show–what is Wu Xin, what is Yue QiLuo and where did she get her powers–and also the fact that Wu Xin’s personality is “I want to live quietly and enjoy myself, not investigate mysteries.” So while I’m expecting to learn more about everything and avoiding spoilers for the meantime, there’s no huge hurry.

Highlights:
– Wu Xin trying to make the sleep spell work on him. It won’t stick–and when he swallows it it escapes out of his ears, looool.
– [Chestthump] “Little sister! Brother has come!”
– I just really love Lord Gu. He’s hilarious and he’s a good, loyal sidekick.