Disney Project 2014: Mulan (sort of)

Movie: Frozen Mulan

Release year: 1998

You may be asking, “Why did it take you 3 weeks to watch Mulan?” I’ll tell you why. This is why:

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B watches Frozen at day care, and he enjoys watching the YouTube videos of “Let It Go” and “Love Is an Open Door” (and all the rest). So we thought maybe we’d skip ahead a bit and get him the DVD of Frozen to have at home.

That movie is basically on repeat in our house now.

I literally just have to take him outside when I want to stop watching it. He adores it. He holds the DVD case up to the TV when he wants to watch it. He knows how to open and close the DVD player, plus turn on the TV using the remote. He has gestures and words he says/imitates at different parts of the movie. He is so into it.

It’s adorable.

I’ve been trying to be really vigilant about the TV watching though…because I’m not exaggerating, he would like it to be running on a 24/7 loop. So it’s been an effort to make sure that’s not the case. But it’s really, really cute.

What does this mean for Mulan? It means, sorry, Mulan. It means we tried to watch it. We turned it on. And we watched B run out of the room. Then he came back, grabbed my hand, and pulled me into the bedroom. He would rather read Dr. Seuss’s ABC than watch Mulan.

I tried to watch at least my favorite parts (Hello, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” and a capella final verse). But it was just like the old days. We were basically watching the movie in 5-second increments while we chased him back and forth through the living room.

But turn on Frozen? He’s stretched out on the couch, blanket in one hand, Mickey Mouse in the other, practically singing along to the opening choral notes.

I kind of like that he’s so into this thing that is world-wide phenomenon. It’s really cute. I can see how parents get sick of certain movies though. Drew and I have seen Frozen so many times over the last month. We are constantly pointing out facial expressions we like on background characters, picking at loose plot threads, making jokes about certain inflections…which is a cool experience for all three of us to be sharing.

I just wish that we could watch a different Disney movie once in awhile.

We’re also still a couple movies behind at this point. But at least I know when we get to the 53rd movie on the list, B will definitely sit still and enjoy it.

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35 Years in 35 Memories

My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this weekend. Congratulations! In honor of their many many years of wedded bliss, I thought I would write 35 one-sentence family memories/inside jokes. (Unfortunately, I have no memory of the first five, well maybe eight or nine, years of their marriage, so this is going to have to pick up around 1988.)

(I have not planned this out, so this is an experiment to see if I can get to 35. Here goes.)

(Oh, also, this is going to skip around in time a lot. I’m not doing this chronologically or anything.)

  1. Playing the Un-Game and my mom doing a cartwheel into a potted plant.
  2. Being completely confused the first time my dad shaved off his beard (“Who is that strange guy in the living room?”)
  3. Giggling at hearing my brother singing loudly in the shower…and then the flash of realization that that meant everyone could hear ME sing in the shower, too.
  4. Going camping at Patrick’s Point and seeing giant elk.
  5. Going camping at Gualala and almost getting really lost when we were all on a walk.
  6. Having dinner at the Times Square Olive Garden and my mom getting tipsy on red wine.
  7. Having the whole family together for a surprise 60th birthday party for my dad.
  8. My parents making the drive out to Davis for my very first Picnic Day…and it poured rain the whole time.
  9. Having a family debate about something, and my mom insisted, “Is that each, or apiece?” and then for a moment all four of us stumbled over that.
  10. During cleaning days, learning very quickly not to say in a whiny voice, “What should I do NOW?”
  11. The need to ask my parents every night to check and make sure the toilet seat was down so the cats didn’t fall in. (Cats are probably smarter than that though.)
  12. Getting caught writing love letters to my fifth-grade crush.
  13. They stocked up on delicious snacks (like bottled frappuccinos! very desirable in high school) for me and my friends who were staying over after prom.
  14. Eating sunflower seeds on road trips.
  15. The Oktoberfest at church – games and handmade goods and fall colors and peanut brittle.
  16. One weekend when Drew and I were staying in Lakeport, we had artichokes, and we ate in the living room. We put the bowl for leaves on the floor in the middle of us and we all just threw leaves at it. After dinner there were leaves everywhere. That’s kinda gross, but it was a fun and relaxing evening.
  17. Picking blackberries in the dry creek.
  18. Getting paid a penny per rock we picked up out of the garden – counting up those rocks and then marking them on a chart on the fridge.
  19. Also the “dishes” chart on the fridge – whose turn is it tonight?
  20. Watching Armageddon with my mom and she asked me, “Wait, are you CRYING?” at the end. I think she was making fun of me.
  21. Going caroling with people from church.
  22. Going to see The Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco for Christmas…just because I loved it so much.
  23. At camp, when they were in charge, they would always put me in the “good” girls cabin. (It really was better.)
  24. Also at camp, pulling off the “Chez Rubber Soul” mornings: servers, menus, and line order breakfast for all the campers and counselors.
  25. Helping my mom teach summer school.
  26. Hanging out in my dad’s classroom after school, and playing Lode Runner and Nintendo.
  27. Easter morning sunrise services: a lesson in dressing in layers.
  28. Building a (short-lived) treehouse in the back yard.
  29. Measuring the height of the water on the back step, and keeping an hourly chart, each year when it flooded. I used to get so disappointed when it started receding.
  30. Speaking of floods, parking down the street and wading home in rainboots was fun.
  31. So was sitting by the wood stove after a bath while my mom brushed my hair. It used to be really long.
  32. We had heating vents in our rooms, but we never used them – but sometimes I liked to turn it on, because the smell was so novel. I think it might have been a vaguely gas-stove smell? I liked it. It made me feel cozy.
  33. Calling my parents at 2:00 am to tell them they had a grandson. (“Okay, that’s it, see you tomorrow!”)
  34. Walking to the farmer’s market down the street from our house.
  35. Every time they come visit, they have more photos they took of things B would like: pigeons, dogs, recycling bins, signs, etc. I like that they do that.

I know an anniversary is kind of just between the two people celebrating, but I wanted to point out all the good things that have come out of their 35 years of marriage. I for one am very grateful they got together and are still together.

You guys are good role models and great parents! I love you very much!

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Filed under Awesome, Family, Love, Memoir, Parents, Sentiment

Disney Project 2014: Hercules

Movie: Hercules

Release year: 1997

Man, we are catching up to the present-day. We have 18 weekends left in 2014, and 18 movies to go.

I remember when Hercules came out, my bff and I watched it constantly. I remember spending the night at her house and watching this and Mulan back to back. These are great movies. We quoted almost every single line that Meg says. She was such a break from the typical Disney princess, who, although getting stronger and more independent, hadn’t quite yet attained that level of sass and sarcasm.

And WHY isn’t this a Broadway show yet?? It’s perfect for one. It would open with a scrim down, with a Grecian vase painted on it, and the opening lines would begin. When the muses “come alive,” they’d be behind the scrim and then it would rise up and they’d take over. It would be so great. Act I would close with Hercules defeating the Hydra – Act II opens with Zero to Hero. COME ON PEOPLE. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

The best song, hands down, is I Won’t Say I’m In Love.

Did you know LaChanze (the original Ti Moune in Once on This Island) is one of the muses? She’s the second-shortest one. With the kinda spiky hair. Love her!

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Disney Project 2014: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Movie: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Release year: 1996

My reaction: I didn’t grow up watching this one, but I have seen it on TV several times recently. The music is pretty great. And there are lots of little Easter eggs, like Belle and Aladdin‘s magic carpet in the opening song, and the fact that the two male gargoyles are named Victor and Hugo.

This one is super religious – all about judgment and heaven and hell. It’s an interesting perspective for a Disney movie. I like that they went there.

We don’t own this, and didn’t get around to purchasing it, so thank you very much, Netflix streaming!

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He wouldn’t sit still for a picture – just kept rolling around and laughing. =)

 

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Disney Project 2014: Pocahontas

Movie: Pocahontas

Release year: 1995

So all year, my dad has been saying how Pocahontas is a lame Disney movie, and how the music is forgettable and weak. So I had this hope that maybe when Pocahontas week rolled around, we could make my parents watch it with us.

It somehow worked out! They were here babysitting last week, so we broke our normal weekend movie-watching schedule, and dragged the high chair into the living room so we could eat dinner during it. I don’t want to speak for them…but I’d say they loved it.

If I had to guess, I would say my dad would tell me, “You were right, this is actually a really great movie. The music is quite memorable and clever. I highly enjoyed my viewing of Disney’s Pocahontas.”

And this picture is totes the best:

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New Works Festival 2014

I spent Friday and Saturday of this weekend at the New Works Festival. On Friday night I saw an 8pm show and then an extra special 10:30pm cabaret-style show. I got home around 1am. Yesterday I saw three shows: one at 12pm, one at 4pm, and one at 8pm. The 8pm one was over 3 hours long. I got home around midnight.

While I’m definitely feeling the effects of the long weekend, and I’m grateful I had the foresight to not plan to be there all today as well, it was such a cool experience. This is one of my favorite things about theatre – brand new plays, trying new things, up-and-coming writers taking chances. And Festival Weekend is especially awesome: between all these new plays, you’re mingling with other audience members and supporters, trying out the food truck, stealing M&Ms from the donor lounge. I love this time of year. Other theatre companies are dark in the summers, but I’m so glad we’re crazy enough to cram a bunch of stuff into July and August. =)

The very special show on Friday night was called One Woman Show, by Shakina Nayfack. It’s an autobiographical piece about her gender transition, and most of the story takes place in the 1990s. It’s a combination of storytelling, and songs written by great contemporary NYC songwriters for Shakina’s show. I don’t want to sell it short by trying to explain the story in detail. But it was inspirational and at times heart-breaking but ultimately totally uplifting.

It also made me think about what I would possibly talk about if I had to write a 90-minute autobiographical show. I think I could fill 15 minutes, but 90? I haven’t done anything crazy or scandalous or perhaps even that interesting in my lifetime. Which I suppose I should be happy about. Because that also means that nothing traumatizing or shocking has happened to me. Which is good.

The New Works Festival is an inspiration to get writing. If I can’t write a cabaret-style show, maybe I can work on something less autobiographical. That might be more appealing to the masses.

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Filed under Memoir, Nonfiction, Theatre, Writing

Disney Project 2014: The Lion King

Movie: The Lion King

Release year: 1994

My reaction: Man, this is a good time in Disney movie history. Each of these movies holds favorite songs and moments, and while Drew and I have watched many of them together before, it’s always fun to rediscover old faves.

Did you know The Lion King was Disney’s B-movie? They put all their A-list people on Pocahontas, and expected it to be the runaway hit. And it’s great, but it’s no Lion King.

When I was 10 years old, I was helping my mom in her classroom during summer school. And one of the end-of-the-year summer things we did was take all the kids downtown to the movie theater to see The Lion King. I just google mapped it. It’s 1.7 miles. And we walked a huge group of elementary school kids all the way through town. That was brave of us.

Our DVD includes The Morning Report scene, which is totally unnecessary. I’m fine just skipping that song.

This was one of those days that we just could not take a good picture of the three of us. So you get this!

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