The verdict? Pretty good! It was a given that we would let the little guy stay up late (a whole half an hour) to watch the special, since it's a new instance of his favorite thing ever in the entire world, but fortunately Pixar has a pretty high commitment to quality, even in holiday tv specials. I thought they took an interesting tack in this one, focusing mainly on Jessie, who is the toy with a whole set of fears and anxieties built into her backstory (abandonment issues, claustrophobia) which could be exploited in a haunted house (or motel in this case) story. And ultimately, Jessie overcame her fears and got to be the hero, which is heartening. Plus Carl Weathers as Combat Carl was marvelous, and some of the other new toys amused me (Pocketman of The Fastener Four? TRANSITRON, the composite robot made of transforming mass transit vehicles? COME ON.)
The one thing I was a little iffy on was the running thread of Mr. Pricklepants basically channeling the sensibilities of the Scream franchise, offering meta-commentary of the "well if this were a horror movie, this is what would happen next" variety. Cute, but kind of done to death by now. On the one hand, it almost makes sense for there to be in-story explanations of horror conventions, because the target audience of little kids won't have that frame of reference, but on the other hand, do they really need to process those parallels and echoes in order to follow the plot? (No.)
Still, it was a very me thing to include. Have I mentioned that Mr. Pricklepants is my wife's favorite character? If he obsesses over how meta things are, that's not exactly going to change my wife's affection for him, I reckon.
No updates on the job-change front, although with every day I'm hankering for change a little bit more. Another factor in the equation cropped up recently: the dreaded Holiday Parties. Plural. Apparently my department is responsible for planning this year's party for the whole agency. So I kinda need to get clear of that mess before it gets into full swing.
Last month, I read a novel called The Art of fielding, which was about college kids and encompassed everything from baseball to Herman Melville. I enjoyed it immensely, though all the references to professional baseball tended to revolve around the St. Louis Cardinals, which is a team I'm resolutely indifferent about.
Well, usually I am. But now St. Louis is the NL opponent of the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, and so of course I am rooting for the Cards big time. Once again life imitates art in funny, funny ways.