Who’s Your Favorite Disney Character?

A while back I was talking to my mother who gave me a serious look and asked “in job interviews how do you answer the question; where do you plan on being in five years.” 

I was not sure how to answer that question just like I am never sure how to answer the question of where I plan to be in five years. I have maybe the next ten minutes of my life planned out and then there is just darkness… and dragons (there are always dragons). The last time I was at a job interview and was asked that question I panicked, having a small existential crisis there in the executive director’s office. Finally I regained control of myself (as much control as I ever have) and told her, “oh, on an island that I own tanned, rested and alone,” literally breaking into song “SURROUNDED BY ENORMOUS PILES OF MONEY!”

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Those of you who are awesome know that those are Flynn Ryder’s lyrics in the song “I’ve Got a Dream” in the film Tangled. If you didn’t know that… well now you do.

The woman I was interviewing with looked shocked for a moment then nodded. “When can you start?” I liked that job. Mostly it was copying and pasting things out of the database and tailoring them to suit my immediate needs but a small portion of it was quoting Disney (and other) movies when people asked me questions. Usually those were Flynn Ryder quotes.

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“Hey Katie, how was your drive?” “Oh the things I’ve seen and it’s only 10 o’clock in the morning.” Things like that. Although once, when I was sick and had to leave early, I walked into my boss’s office and muttered “Janine, I’ve been turned into a cow. Can I go home?” Flynn, and other Disney characters have had a major impact on my life.

I won’t say that Flynn Ryder is my favorite Disney character (that would be Princess Jasmine) but I will say that I connect with Flynn Ryder/Eugene Fitzherbert on a deep and almost spiritual level. I honestly believe that I am him in a small way. 

Obviously you can learn a great deal about people based on simple things like their favorite Disney character, NInja Turtle, and Muppet. They are things that do not really change as you grow older. You can grow to love a new character that you meet later in life (like I love Flynn Ryder) but that first character that you loved and wanted to be like does not change.

So here is the thing. Princess Jasmine is my favorite Disney character for a lot of the same reasons that I connect with Flynn Ryder. What does that say about me?

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Mostly I think that says that I am a firecracker. Totally unpredictable and extremely sarcastic. Don’t believe me? Watch those movies again. That is something important about both of those characters. Now here is the other thing; both of those characters have other, possibly better, options than the people they end up with but they make the choice to be with those people. it is not the love at first sight Disney culture that we are taught to believe in but a culture of choosing the person that you love even if it is not easy. I think that is the most important thing to remember about those characters. 

What’s Your Plan Here (Thoughts While Rewatching Thor)

I am currently rewatching the movie Thor. I think that I have explained my love for that particular movie as well as all the other Avengers films often enough that there is no reason for me to explain myself. 

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Well now I want to explain myself.

1) I have been watching my way through all of the Avengers films for the last week. I started with Captain America and have made my way through Iron Man 2 so the next one is Thor.

2) Thor is my favorite of the Avengers movies so of course I am going to watch it at any point that I have an excuse to. 

I usually say that I like it the best because it was very intelligently done. It is certainly more character driven than most of the other movies. And that is true. However, I do not believe that is the real reason. The real reason is that it is an important film in my own personal narrative. You see, my best friend took me to see Thor with her on the day that she told me she was engaged. 

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(Here’s us Cosplaying as Loki and Thor, even if my costume is kind of terrible, at the 1st Salt Lake City ComicCon) 

At the time she was one of the last friends I had from  my childhood and teen years who was still single. Suddenly even she was leaving me for the strange and terrifying world of real adulthood. I was also making a move more into the real world. That summer I lived and worked full time in the town where I attended college, living in a house I rented and preparing my own meals. We had both long since left childhood behind but we were really entering adulthood. In a way the movie really represents, or at least reminds me of, that turn in my life. 

It is worthwhile to note that one of the themes of the film is growing up. That if you do the math (which I’ll grant that I didn’t) Thor, Loki, and friends would be around the age of college students (based on lilfespan and the fact that Loki was a baby during the war with the Frost Giants which happened during the 900s AD). 

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(Here’s my friend and I Cosplaying really well as Loki and Thor at the 1st Salt Lake ComicCon… wait, that’s a lie.)

Thor grows up during the movie from being a “greedy, cruel, boy” to someone who understands the real burden of being a king.

Loki grows up largely because he has to. He has a little bit of an existential crisis after his 1st trip the the Jotunheim. That’s the sort of thing every college graduate goes through. 

I think that is one of the big reasons that I like that particular movie so much. I might also consistently like men with long blonde hair and arms the size of my face but I’m going to go with the reasons I listed a moment ago. 

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BUT THIS ISN’T WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT!

I want to talk about the fact that I do not understand Loki’s plan at the beginning of the movie. His second plan in which he wants to destroy the Jotunheim and prove himself a worthy son makes sense. That plan I get but I do not know what the hell he is doing at the beginning of the movie or what his reasons are for it. I also never cared until this viewing.

Loki was obviously doing something. He had a plan. He was sneaky and got the Frost Giants into Asgard, knowing they would probably fail and Thor would get mad and into trouble, and then he convinced Thor to go to Jotunheim and was disappointed that Thor’s friends tagged along and it didn’t get to be a brother adventure. We even know that he is the one who told the guard to fetch Odin. I mean there WAS a plan and I do not think Thor getting banished was part of the plan. In the scene where Thor gets banished Loki tries to defend Thor and gets yelled at and is also practically weeping when Thor gets banished. 

SERIOUSLY! What is your plan here? What were you going to say? “Oh sorry dad. I was just pulling a prank on Thor. I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.” WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN? I don’t think it was connected to his scheme in the second half of the film. 

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I realize that Loki is a fictional character and cannot tell me what his plan was and that I will never know but right now it kind of bugs me. In fact it bugs me to the point that I spent most of the movie writing a blog post about Thor rather than just sitting and watching it quietly like a normal individual who functions within regular society. 

Does it bother anyone else? Am I just crazy? Let me know in the comments.

Bonus! The comment in the end fight of never wanting the throne, just wanting to be Thor’s equal only adds to my theory that Loki wanted the trip to the Jotunheim to just be him and Thor. There were times growing up that my brother and I would do fun things together and we had fun but the moment one or more of his friends showed up I became the tag-a-long younger sister and I think that is what happened when Thor convinced the others to join his quest. 

I have so many thoughts about this movie and others.

Do you have a flag?

Today is Flag Day which makes today the perfect day to talk about something that bugs me. 

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You have to understand that Utah is not like the rest of America. It is a strange place. There are weird things that happen and there are weird expectations placed on the people around you. 

The other day I had conversation with a woman in my church about the summer she moved to Utah. This woman told me about waking up on July 22nd (the secret Utah Holiday known as Pioneer Day) and calling her husband in a panic. “Is there a holiday that I missed growing up? There are fireworks and everyone has flags in their front yards and we don’t have one and they are going to know that we don’t belong.” I laughed. I know that feeling. I remember coming home from college, looking out the window and immediately asking my parents when they bought a flag and why everyone down the street had one too. My parents had to explain to me (and I was 21 at the time so there is no reason my parents should have had to explain something so simple to me) that the local boy scout troops put flags out every holiday for the summer as a fundraiser. If you pay the local boys x amount of money you get a flag every holiday and don’t get judged by your neighbors. If you do not have a flag your neighborhood knows that you do not belong. 

We have a flag out today. The teenage boys dropped it off in the early hours this morning. 

Personally I would prefer it if we did not. I have no issue with flags. I just don’t want to look like I belong here. To me Utah is the place that Stepford (of the scary story The Stepford Wives) was based on.

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I go to the store in my shorts and t-shirt to pick up milk and I am under-dressed. The women around me are wearing heels and dresses and gloves… maybe not gloves but you get the idea. Every thing and every one looks perfect. They look as if their entire lives center around the way things look (spoiler alert it does. That is the culture here). I mow the lawn in a big circle in stead of back and forth and the men around glare at me for ruining the look of the neighborhood. I drive through the neighborhood behind my house and I SWEAR that I am driving through a scary movie. I do not want to look like a belong here so no, I do not want a flag.

Utah is a strange place. And I am certain that many of the people living here are actually robots. It is only a matter of time before Skynet breaks into their programming and the world ends. Only a matter of time.

With that in mind do please enjoy your flag day it may be the last one you get before the robot uprising.

Writing Alone

As humans, even the most introverted of us, we need human contact. We need friends, family, and companionship. There are many things that simply cannot be done solo. But there is one thing that should always be done alone. Writing. 

I’m not saying you should not have a writing buddy. Someone with whom you share all of your drafts and ideas (even the terrible ones). That is something you absolutely should have.

I’m also not saying that groups of writers together do not come up with some pretty fantastic stuff. They do. Believe me they do.

What I am saying is that writing is and should be an incredibly solitary activity.When I am writing I need to just be left alone. Sometimes people see me scribbling into my notebook or tapping away at my laptop and think ‘she’s not doing anything. Now is probably a good time for a little chat.’ NO! It is not a good time for a chat. It is not a good time for you to be anywhere near me because I have three other voices and people in my head all trying to talk and experience emotions and I am literally experiencing all of it.

I think that writing has to be the most solitary thing that I do because it is actually the least solitary thing that can be done. 

Just a thought.

Travel Blog Up and Running

Hi faithful followers. If you have missed me for the last week I would like to say that I am not sorry. I have had many things to do besides, if I don’t do other things I won’t have anything to blog about.

I will be back to writing more consistently later today but for right now I just wanted to announce that my travel blog for my year long trip to London is finally up and running and I will be posting things there on a semi-regular basis as well. If you want to check it out go ahead. The link is below. 

http://abroadwithabroad.wordpress.com/