Monday, December 20, 2010

My Totoro Plush Is Done!

Almost three months ago, Rosie and Dash enjoyed watching Toy Story 3 on video. The one thing in the movie that stuck with Dash more than all else was that little Bonnie had a Totoro doll in her toy collection. Having never seen Totoro in doll-form before, but immensely adoring him from the fantastic Hayao Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro, Dash wanted one. Badly. He knew I was capable of making dolls, and started asking me to make him a Totoro doll—and continued asking persistently, for weeks. I finally sketched it out, bought fabric and started at the beginning of November. Here's the initial sketch:

I cut out the parts, got a little burnt-out on the hand-sewing/embroidery necessary for the boomerangs on the belly and the smile, and put it aside for a few weeks after getting a little more than this far:

At the beginning of December, I'd sewn on and stuffed the belly circle, stitched the arms up and painted the pupils (with black & white nail polish) onto the buttons. All that was left was making the claws, the ears, stitching it all together and stuffing, so this weekend, I decided to finish it. Here's the final result:

And this is the happiest boy ever.

Monday, December 06, 2010

This movie is kakashka.

"Kakashka!" from Dash's review of Inception.
We were watching Inception at home, with the kids, knowing that they would in all likelihood not be able to understand what on earth was going on. To be clear, we weren't planning for this to be a family feature, but once the film started, our movie-loving kids just gravitated to the rec room. If you haven't seen Inception, you may have at least heard that it's a DENSE, multilayered movie. It takes brainpower to follow the plot, necessary to recall all the prior twists as the next ones occur, to know which dream or non-reality the players are experiencing.

From Roger Ebert's blog review:

"...the viewer of "Inception" is adrift in time and experience. We can never even be quite sure what the relationship between dream time and real time is. The hero explains that you can never remember the beginning of a dream, and that dreams that seem to cover hours may only last a short time. Yes, but you don't know that when you're dreaming. And what if you're inside another man's dream? How does your dream time-sync with his? What do you really know?"

While Rosie quietly took the movie in, maybe or perhaps not understanding the plot's obtuse angles, Dash had an opinion part-way through the film:

"Mommy, this movie is kakashka." 

I could have taken the word as imaginative, as Dash makes up words all the time, but there was something definite about his tone. So I asked, "Kakashka? What does that mean, Dash?"

"It's Russian for poop."

Before I even went to the place where I wondered how he knew this, I boggled. Inception was so unfollowable and impenetrable for five-year-old Dash that he had to describe how awful it was IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE.

(Back story on the Russian: Dash's table-mate at school, Katya, had just returned from a 3-week family trip to Russia. Katya's older brother, Andrei, had been sharing some slang he picked up, passing it on to Dash through Katya.)

We all sat through to the end—Monkeyrotica and I thoroughly enjoying the mental workouts in the screenplay, the excellent special effects, and the wonderful actors—but Dash didn't waver from his first impression: pure murky poop.
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