Monthly Archives: August 2014

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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tbt: Moving to New York (2006)

We moved from Davis to New York EIGHT YEARS AGO. It’s backwards to do the tbt post of “moving back home” before the tbt post of “moving out there,” but that’s the way it happened. (By about three weeks.)

It’s a little Dear Diary, but here’s what I posted on my LiveJournal eight years ago today.


We started out this morning before even false dawn.

Drew and I woke up before the alarm, but neither of us is sure from what. We made it all the way out into the car (about 4:40 am) before I realized I couldn’t find my wallet. Half an hour (and 2 frantic calls to my parents, and 2 frantic calls to Erin’s parents) later, we discovered it had somehow gotten into the bag of stuff for Erin. By 5:20 we were on our way to Oakland. The security was not bad, my carry-on was randomly searched and it was discovered (drumroll, please) that I was carrying a contraband stuffed dolphin apparently belonging to the security guard’s daughter. After asking me some rough questions (“You have my daughter’s dolphin, what are you doing with that?”), he softened up and I found out she was 3 years old and collected plush marine life.

We boarded the plane; the flight was uneventful; Bravo (in its first big act of betrayal against me) showed a marathon of people playing poker, rather than the Project Runway marathon I’d hoped for. (JetBlue gives everyone little TV screens and like 30 channels, or something. Nice, but there was really nothing on. Maybe because it was stupid o’clock in the morning.)

We landed; we got a cab; it cost us $50; we made it to our apartment. I am so not afraid of living here. Honestly, it seems like the people are faking the Jewish thing. Because EVERYONE is so stereotypically “Jewish” looking. And they speak Yiddish to each other. I love it. There’s a little market on the corner (a couple blocks down) that will probably be good for quick stuff, and we went to Target tonight to get some things we thought were missing…and it turned out everyone was just really thirsty, so we got a lot to drink.

The apartment is SMALL. I was expecting this, but not necessarily the fragrance of…we think it’s authentic Jewish cooking. Mixed with the smell of small apartment. I’ll go through room by room.

The KITCHEN is really the foyer: you enter the apartment through it. There is a fridge, a stove, a microwave, and a surprisingly deep sink. I don’t think we’ll use too many dishes, though. I think it’s gonna be paper plates and paper towels for us.

The LIVING ROOM is not bad. The couch, I feel, is comfortable (although I haven’t yet tried the pull-out bed). The overhead light is very white, not yellow, which is nice. There are 2 fairly large windows covered in horizontal blinds. There is a nearly empty shelf to put things on.

The BEDROOM is also not bad. The bed is firmer than I’m used to (and I think Drew is going to hate it). The window is covered in lacy white curtains, which seem like a recent afterthought. There is an A/C unit in the window that doesn’t seem to be cooling everything off much. There are shelves and a full-length mirror, which are both nice, and in one of the two small closets we discovered a rack of pull-out wire drawers, which will be very nice when we decide to unpack.

Let me not forget to mention, the BEDROOM has no door.

The BATHROOM is through the bedroom. It’s nice, albeit small. The floor is black and white checkered (yay!) and the shower is actually pretty nice (it has good pressure, and it gets nice and hot and nice and cold, depending on what you want). The toilet flushes like a railroad train…by which I mostly mean “loudly.” There’s a window that opens. Oh, also there’s a shaving mirror in the shower, and I was absolutely fascinated by making my hair into different shapes while it was all shampoo-y. Something I haven’t done since I was in baths.

So we brought our stuff here, and feeling slightly disheartened (mostly by the smell, I think), the 3 of us called our homes and left messages saying we were safe. Then we set off to buy Metro cards (30-days, unlimited rides, $76) and explore. By request of Joe (and because there was a sign suggesting we were close), we went to Coney Island…which I think is cool, that we went to Coney Island. We ate Nathan’s hot dogs and watched a guy shoot paint balls at a “freak,” which was less interesting and more disturbing than I was expecting it to be. Then we came home and I discovered the merits of the shower, and then we went out again, to discover Target and perhaps a BofA ATM (which we never did). We bought food and drinks at Target and then explored the subway some more.

And we came back from Target and that’s been our day, pretty much. The end.

PS. We want cable and a router so more than one of us can be on the internet at once.


Little did I know then, am I right? And I think this post was kind of falsely cheerful. I realized later how hard all three of us were trying, because flying in to JFK and driving to Brooklyn is not exactly the prettiest, most culture-filled and exciting part of New York City. Especially in August. I’m glad we stuck it out, moved up in Long Island, and made it our own.

I’m reliving August of 2006 on my LiveJournal now, while I whisper “Long Island” with a Long Island accent (hard G) under my breath. Miss you, New York!

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Filed under Beginnings, Dreams, Drew, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Travel

Disney Project 2014: Aladdin

Movie: Aladdin

Release year: 1992

In a week when everyone is talking about Robin Williams, it’s a strange coincidence that we watched Aladdin this weekend. We talked about how this was the first Disney movie (that we could think of) where they cast current celebrities to do the voices. And we both realized how amazing this movie is, although it seems to get lost in the shuffle of the second Disney Renaissance. In a way, I’m glad we had the chance to watch Aladdin this weekend, so it was just an enjoyable experience rather than a bittersweet one.

Anything I can say has been said already. I remember being 8 years old and seeing this movie, and having a talent-crush on Robin Williams. He was an inspiration to watch, and I am sorry for the loss of such a brilliant actor.

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