Nostalgia

December 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Disneyland is without a doubt one of the more nostalgic places I’ve ever been. When I saw World of Color over the summer I couldn’t help but tear up. I’m a rational girl and a  cynical, detached person by nature but for some irrational reason Disney is my emotional kryptonite. When I go to Disneyland or even visit the Disney Store a part of me becomes carefree and ridiculously and illogically happy. As a matter of fact the when I visited the Disney Store website to get this link I wasted a good five minutes browsing things that I logically should have outgrown over a decade ago.

 

 

Last month I went on a trip to Disneyland with my mother, Aunt and two younger cousins.  The two latter had a deprived childhood and although they are 12 and 10 had never been to Disneyland. It was incredibly special for me to go with them because your first visit to Disneyland is such an important rite of passage. I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to go to Disneyland as often as I do.  Ever since the first time I visited the park, almost 16 years ago, I adopted the belief that Disneyland is indeed the happiest place on earth.   There is no other place on earth like Disneyland. As my silly french exchange student put it even other Disney parks cannot compare as they are “BAAAAD… FALSE Disneyland”.
Since re-watching Disney Classics with an analytical eye proved to be a fun activity, ss part of my inner-child challenge I thought it would be interesting to see how Disneyland was different for me as an 18 year old. Interestingly enough unlike some of my other childhood favorites I didn’t approach Disneyland differently as a technical adult. Disneyland merely brought out my inner child and forced me to abandon (some of) my cynicism. I had too much fun to be analytical and was too carefree to worry about anything but saving enough room for churros and soft serve.

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What is Appropriate?

December 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

As we were watching “March of the Penguins”, I  kept wondering how I would have reacted to the movie as a child. I remember when the film came out reading articles and hearing conversations about whether or not it was suitable for little kids. Obviously it is a pretty G movie but the scene with the gull was pretty upsetting. The entire classroom of 17 and 18 year olds was cringing and had we been 10 years younger there very well could have been tears. This got me to thinking about what is appropriate for children. I know that this was a source of controversy for “The Lion King” and “Bambi”. I came to the conclusion that the loss of a parent or a home or predation in wildlife is indeed acceptable for children to see and actually important for them to understand.

One movie that we watched this year that I however do not think is appropriate for children is “Fantasia”. When I was a little girl “Fantasia” scared me  shitless. It does not teach children to fear rational things such as death but completely insane things like Satan and vindictive Olympians. As a child I would experience an odd combination of fear and boredom during “Fantasia”. It was too creepy for me to enjoy! When I re-watched it this year it was a bit like what I would imagine an acid trip to be like. Now I recognize that the film has some very admirable qualities. It teaches children to appreciate classical music, science and mythology but it is legitimately frightening and I think I will wait until my children a bit older that I was to let them see it. 

“Dirty Trash Can Full of Poop”

December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

While watching “March of the Penguins”, I was reminded of the characters from one of my favorite films, “Surf’s Up”. “Surf’s Up” tells the tale of Cody Maverick (voiced by Shia LaBeouf), a young penguin from Shiverpool, Antarctica and how he realizes his dreams of becoming a great surfer. “Surf’s Up” mimics classic surfing documentaries, with scenes that perfectly mirror parts of another one of my favorite movies, “Endless Summer”. The soundtrack of the movie features songs by Weezer, Greenday and Lauryn Hill and is delightful and appropriate to the overall mood of the movie.  “Surf’s Up” is lighthearted, entertaining, laugh out loud funny and extremely sentimental.

I was first introduced to the movie by my mother. I went upstairs one day to find her in bed with a box of tissues crying. When she informed me that an animated penguin movie was responsible for her tears I quickly went downstairs to escape the insanity. The next day I went to her room again and she was actually re-watching the movie. At the time I was rightfully apprehensive about the singing/dancing penguin cartoon craze so it took a lot of convincing for her to get me to sit down and watch a movie about  animated penguins who of all things surf. I’m glad I finally caved though. “Surf’s Up” has become our family movie. My mom and I force almost everyone who comes over to watch it with us and we are yet to get a bad review. We watch it on holidays, when we are sick, we even have two copies of the movie- one for  home and one for our beach house. My mother always says that it teaches its audience the true meaning of life. Although this may be a bit of an exaggeration, “Surf’s Up” does serve as a lesson on the importance of perseverance, passion and friendship. I would obviously recommend it to anyone who reads this post.

You can stream the soundtrack here.

Also enjoy this trailer to understand the title of this post and find out what it really means to be a winner. 

Turkeys

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m a vegetarian and always have been so I’ve never gotten too excited about the whole turkey thing during the holidays. I happily stick to my tofurkey and let the carnivores in my family enjoy the bird. Although I have pet chickens and would be extremely offended by the concept of Chicken Day, Turkey Day doesn’t bother me as much. I have to wonder why.

 

When we matched up animals and characteristics in class we proved that a lot of people, myself included, have preconceived notions about animals. Maybe I think that turkeys are inherently stupid. I mean they aren’t exactly geniuses but not technically much smarter than my chickens (for the record I believe my chickens are exceptionally smart birds). Maybe it is because I don’t think that turkeys are very cute. The cuteness factor is a big deal. You don’t see little marshmallow turkeys or rubber bath toys shaped like turkeys. Whatever my reasons I don’t sympathize with turkeys as much as I should and it makes me feel guilty! Maybe the reason Turkeys are exploited over the holidays as they are is because they are deemed ugly and stupid. Maybe it’s because they are really delicious, I wouldn’t know.

 

Not the Same

November 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over Thanksgiving Break I decided to begin my inner child-challenge. I began to re-watch episodes of one of the shows that defined me as a kid, “Rugrats“. My mother always joked that “Rugrats” was two shows, one for adults and one for children. Rewatching it I began to understand what she meant. There are many jokes that would have made me blush had I understood their meaning as a youngster. The social commentary on “Rugrats” also great and I love the way the show pokes fun at the detached role many parents play in their kid’s lives. Yes, there are many new and exciting aspects to one of my childhood favorites but this blog post is going to focus on what is missing from revisiting “Rugrats” in my “old” age– commercials!

Yes I loved the show itself but I was equally captivated by the plethora of advertisements that interrupted the program! The subliminal messages that oozed into my brain. These commercials are likely responsible for my current shopping addiction. I would watch the little children with envy as they played with the super awesome toys that my mother deemed violent or mindless. I remember how I would often feel a tad bit jealous when I would see commercials I had auditioned for air during “The Secret World of Alex Mack“. Remember all of those Hooked on Phonics ads during “KaBlam!”commercial breaks?  Priceless.

During commercial breaks I was able to escape even further. There are many TV show themes that I can’t for the life of me remember but I have a feeling there are dozens of commercial jingles that will always remain in my head. So yes, watching “Rugrats” takes me back but being able to watch old commercials would be so beautifully nostalgic! No commercials takes a bit away from the experience, making shows from my past seem a little less authentic.

In the age of TiVo I doubt that commercials will make as much of an impression on the “Hannah Montana” generation but the cheesy, manipulative commercials that I enjoyed as a child will always stay with me.

Enjoy this commercial break from “Figure it Out”

The Man Who Loved Bears to Death

November 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

At first glance, Werner Herzog’s documentary, “Grizzly Man” could easily be confused with a Christopher Guest mockumentary. Herzog’s heavily accented narration, Treadwell’s eccentric behavior… Whoops,  I just read the “Slate” article and it looks like David Edelstein beat me to the Christopher Guest angle in Exit, Pursued by a Bear.  I find Treadwell to be an interesting character.  Despite his insanity Timmy was dedicated to the bears and was obviously willing to die for them. Yes he was completely insane and clearly had some issues but he loved the bears and gave his life trying to protect them. Only issue is he failed. I feel like Treadwell was a little bit self obsessed. He talked about a series of relationships suggesting that he needed constant companionship. The bears filled the void that alcohol, drugs and women couldn’t. I don’t doubt that Timmy had good intentions and even if it was inadvertently, I think he cared more about his own well being than the well being of the bears.  In reality Timmy needed the grizzlies more than they needed him.  Sadly the film didn’t paint the bears in a good light.  Getting mauled by the animals he was trying to protect did little for his crusade to help the grizzlies. Although Timothy brought widespread attention to helping the grizzlies he did so at the expense of his own life and the life of a poor grizzly bear.

Too Old?

October 31, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ok so tonight my friend Poop and I took my mom’s god daughter trick-or-treating. What you just read is a total lie, we went trick-or-treating and had a small child with us in order to get away with taking candy from adults. I was under the weather this year so I only lasted a few houses but for the first time in my entire life I felt awkward trick-or-treating… Made me wonder how old is too old?

Here are a few signs that maybe you are too old for trick-or-treating:

  1. You are hung over
  2. “Slutty” or “sexy” is part of your costume title
  3. Yes there are a few freakishly tall 12 year olds (I was 5’10” 4/4” at 13) but generally if the people handing out candy have to look up at you, you might want to come up with another Halloween activity
  4. If the thought crosses your mind that you’re too old chances are you’re too old
  5. When people open the door they laugh at you

Free candy is a timeless idea but next year I’m gonna sit it out.

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