Insatiable Wanderlust by Disney

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I used to blame Disney for my fanciful, romantic dreams. Princes and ballroom dances and true love winning out. Don’t get me wrong…I still occasionally dream those dreams and I still blame Disney for them!

But there’s something else and I didn’t even realize it was Disney’s fault till I saw Moana this weekend and that still small voice inside me was awakened by the song “How Far I’ll Go.” The thought of something out there calling to me, it hits home. It always has.

Disney characters have long been looking out and asking “Is there something more for me?” Some don’t have to go very far to find what they’re looking for. Others, like Moana, have to sail across the sea. Some are searching for princes and others for destiny.


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Sure, I can’t blame it all on Disney. God’s the one who put that call in there to begin with. But the House of Mouse sure knows how to hit the chords that make you dream. And growing up watching the entirety of Disney’s animated film collection, well…they created a “monster.”

A “monster” who is constantly thinking “There must be more than this provincial life” and my life isn’t even provincial. But sometimes, when I’m doing something plain and ordinary like laundry or desk organization, I sing that to myself. I wonder what’s “Just around the river bend.”

If I was a Disney character, there’d be a perfectly timed song and the lyrics would help me realize my next steps and it would be inspirational and you’d be singing it for months. As it is, we mere mortals have to figure it out without catchy tunes and perfect hair. Darn it, Disney! What have you done?

Prequels and Sequels and Spinoffs, Oh My!

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If you are someone who is tired of seeing the same 7 or 8 franchises roll into theaters time and time again, I feel bad for ya, son. I got 99 problems, but that is definitely not one of them!

I LOVE them! And I’m not saying all of them or any of them deserve Oscars.

Look…it’s true, some of them are not good at all! But for every stinking sequel there’s a Force Awakens. For every sloppy spinoff, there’s an Agent Carter (her cancellation is not her fault!) or a Rogue One (which I’m already certain will be blowing us all away in under a month.) And for every poorly written prequel there’s a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And I’d watch a thousand bad prequels for the chance to get something as delightful as Fantastic Beasts in front of my eyes!!

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We are certainly living in the age of reboots, re-imaginings and big budget franchises. But again I say, I LOVE IT! When word broke that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm and there would be a slew of new stories from that galaxy far, far away I was overjoyed. I love expanded universes. The deeper a story goes, the more involved it gets, the more I can lose myself in the fiction. That’s what makes the worlds of Harry Potter, Marvel and Star Wars so compelling and why they inspire the ticket and merchandise sales that they do.

Do you run the risk of overkilling something people dearly love? Of course. But the alternative is putting that franchise up in a box never to be touched. Never to be reimagined by someone who comes along and loves the world JK Rowling has created as much as JK herself. Art imitating and inspired by art is such a cool thing.

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JJ Abrams grew up on Star Wars, got into movies because of Star Wars and there he was directing his very own Star Wars movie. No matter what you thought about the film itself, doesn’t that inspire you?! JJ is one of us, one of our people (we the geeks) and he got to do what so many of us have only dreamed.

Just think, Harry Potter fans…think of the possibilities that the Wizarding World of JK Rowling holds for you. That world is not closed off. It’s not a 7 book, 8 movie story. There’s so much more and that means big things for you and your imagination!

So I say, prequel it up all you want, Hollywood. Just use Fantastic Beasts as a barometer on how to do it and do it well.

Land of the Free

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It’s Election Day! I hope you get out there and exercise your right to vote for who you want to be Senator, Congressman, Comptroller…President. You are free to do that.

I’m reading a book called “The Girl with Seven Names” by Hyeonseo Lee. Hyeonseo escaped from North Korea and a brutal life under a dictatorship. She didn’t even know the extent of her own bondage until years later. She lived in fear of things like the mandatory home portraits of Kim Il-sung and his son, Kim Jong-il getting dust on them and the almost assured punishment that would follow such a disrespectful crime. She lived in a dark world where information was restricted, lest the people of North Korea form free thoughts and opinions. Hyeonseo was not free.51dOIBoNRrL.jpg

My fellow Americans, do not be deceived, we are free. Your life may not be perfect. There’s still work to be done in this country, I’m not saying it’s a perfect world. Your life may not be what you want it to be, but you are free to change it. You are free to speak against our President, against our government, against our very Constitution without fear of punishment or retribution. Hyeonseo was not. She wasn’t even free when she finally escaped to China, constantly under the watchful eyes of the Bowibu looking to bring back escaped North Koreans. Hyeonseo had to watch her back, had to hide in plain sight, had to change her name seven times in the course of her life just to stay alive.

I’ve heard a lot of negativity in this election cycle. A lot of talk about how scary our country has become and how much people are wishing for the “good old days.” I hope you think about what the “good old days” looked like for so many people in this country. For minorities, women, immigrants…they were not good days.

Freedom comes at a price. The price is moving forward. The price is allowance and tolerance and understanding. That is a price that North Korea refuses to pay. And a price that America paid a long time ago. Think before you talk about this great nation. We don’t need to be made great, we already are. And those who are still fighting for rights deserve the chance for the same freedoms that I (a privileged, white, American, female) take for granted.

Reading Hyeonseo’s story has me thanking God for my own, flaws and all. And doubly has me thanking God for my country. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t let anyone tell you different. If you spent a day in Hyeonseo’s shoes, you might think differently about this great nation!

Vote well. Vote wise. But most of all VOTE!!

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“O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!”      –‘Let America Be America Again’ by Langston Hughes

Channeling Your Inner Darryl Dixon

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There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to the best mode of transportation in a zombie apocalypse. Most agree that it’s gonna be boats that keep humanity alive. But unless you’re already living on the “True Love” or “Boaty McBoatface” then you’re gonna need to get around on land first. Here are some options:

  1. Personally, I like to stay on foot. No technology or mechanics to rely on, except the good old-fashioned, God-made mechanics. Easy to hide and easy to run. You are more exposed, but I really think I’d prefer to stay on foot for the majority of the apocalypse.
  2. Sometimes, you just need a little more horsepower though. If you’re toting a family around and can’t just go it alone, may I suggest an RV or a mini van. The problem with bigger, clunkier vehicles is the potential to get trapped in it on the road to freedom. But if you have littles to care for, this is really gonna be your best bet for keeping them safe till you can sail off into the sunset.
  3. Next up is your classic 4-wheel drive vehicles. Trucks and cars. They’re great for making supply runs to neighboring areas. In my opinion, food scarcity, personal safety, the safety of your designated apocalypse squad, wondering if there’s a cure for this hell on earth…there’s a lot to think about. I wouldn’t want to add worrying about a steady gas supply to my ever growing list of worries. But it really comes down to a personal choice.
  4. And finally, we have the trusty bike. Loved by the Darryl Dixon’s of the world. Whether you choose to motor or pedal, next to pedestrian life, I’d choose the bike. It’s easy to abandon if there’s a malfunction or if you’re happily biking down the street and encounter a hoard. Imagine trying to complete a 3-point turn in an RV with a zombie hoard approaching from the North. Never mind, don’t imagine it. It’s not a pretty picture. Of course if you choose motor bike or motorcycle, you will have to worry about that pesky gas issue again. But I’d take the chance on a bike.

Which brings us to Week 2’s Zombie Apocalypse Survival Challenge. Cycling. This is your week to get comfortable on a bike. Because, like the kids in Stranger Things, if you choose to ride a bike it’s gonna become part of your story of survival really fast.

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Photo from TheOdysseyOnline.com

Here are some great ways to get that heart rate going (once or twice a week to start):

-Good, old-fashioned bike

-Trendy Spin Class

-Stationary bike at a gym

Darryl would be proud of you!!

And remember…keep on staying alive, staying alive!!

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When the Music Dies

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Here we are in week 2 of the Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe it hasn’t happened to you yet, but there will come a time, my little zombie hunters, when the music will die. This is, after all, an apocalypse and one simply has no time for the finer things in life. Disc Jockeys will be turned, Spotify developers will get eaten and eventually that little battery in your beloved mobile device will peter out. What will accompany you on your frantic runs through the hoards?

Nothing, little one.

Nothing, but the steady beat of your own heart and the gentle lull of your feet against the pavement.

In preparation for this inevitable occurrence, I urge you to get used to that sound. The sound of solitude.

Go for a walk or a run and listen to what happens when you have no option, no song select, no fast forward, no skip, no replay, no loop, no track, no beat, no lyrics, no strings. I’m sorry if this sounds rather grim…these are hard times.

Recently I had an unfortunate occurrence involving my mobile device…it was turned to the dark side, never to return and I was forced to go running without my Dance, Dance Revolution playlist on Spotify (the struggle was real!) I had spent days avoiding the inevitable believing myself incapable of being motivated without my headphones firmly planted in my earholes.

But something wonderful happened, future zombies of America (not you, of course not you…no the person next to you, that’s the future zombie!) I discovered the music of my rhythm. Instead of pushing myself to match the beat of each song and losing steam in the middle of song two, I found that my breath matched my feet. One two. One two. One two. I went 2 extra blocks that I usually do on my first run after weeks of inactivity.

I don’t know if it was the motivation of knowing that at any minute, if I’m not fast enough, I could get my brains eaten by walkers, or if I finally just allowed my body to go at it’s own pace instead of Justin Timberlake’s but it was good…no it was GREAT!!

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Photo from pexels.com

I learned something! We will make it through this, survivors. There’s still music out there if you’re listening for it. The zombies haven’t taken it from us completely. Keep your ears open for your rhythm and your eyes open for biters.

And as always…Stay alive!

Zombies Don’t Care About Rain

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A big deterrent to physical fitness is the weather. Mother Nature has her own ideas sometimes about when you’ll go for a run or a walk or a fitness class outside. But guess what…zombies don’t care about the rain.

That’s why it’s vital for you to continue training in all kinds of weather. Listen, I’m not encouraging you to go out in Hurricane Matthew and get a run in just to keep in peak physical condition. (Today’s hurricane threat is a real one…take it seriously.) I’m just saying that if you had to choose between a hurricane and a flesh eating monster, I think you might take your chances with the wind and the rain. (But don’t do that today!!!)

Yesterday, I did a little rainy day recon and I really enjoyed it. The rain was cool on this hot Florida day, making the distance not feel so far. I enjoyed my (non threatening) rainy day run. And now I feel pretty confident that the elements won’t slow me down. If I need to run in a torrential down pour to avoid getting my brains eaten, I’ll do it.

You have to decide for yourself, survivors. Are you willing to do what it takes? Maybe it’s a gorgeous sunny day, maybe it’s pouring out. Maybe you live in Siberia and there’s a freaking blizzard…actually you, Siberia guy…you’re probably pretty save from the zombies. Carry on!

Apocalypse Research

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It seems as if America has been anticipating this zombie apocalypse for quite a while. The number of movies and TV shows about it is astounding. Almost as if someone out there knew it was coming….hmmmm.

While the electricity is still working, why not take some down time and do a little research for what is about to become your current reality…

Zombieland

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This is the perfect movie to refer to for zombie apocalypse survival. There are survival tips and everything and it’s funny. And let’s face it, now’s the time when funny is really gonna be the thing that gets you through. Laughter really is the best medicine!

The Walking Dead

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There are 6 seasons of The Walking Dead (season 7 is set to premier on October 23rd, but given that reality just started imitating art…who knows.) That’s a whole lot of field research to dissect. Season 1 is all about fighting zombies, learning to survive, the art of hand to hand combat and which weapons are the best ones to pick. By the time you get to season 6, the zombies are the least of everyone’s worries and people become the main threat.

While I do recommend going through the whole Walking Dead journey, you’re crunched for time. Who knows how many days are left till the power just runs out. So skip ahead to seasons 5 and 6. The group’s confidence and bad assery are just what you should be watching right now.

Fear the Walking Dead

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To watch a bunch of people who have no idea what to do against zombies, refer to Fear the Walking Dead. A great show. But because of the journey taken on The Walking Dead, watching these people not know what they’re doing is almost like take 12 steps backwards. Still plenty of great moments to use for research on your future zombie hunting endeavors. But I’d say to stick to the big boys and watch The Walking Dead instead.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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This one is fun, whimsical and totally bad ass! The perfect choice for anyone looking to train in hand to hand combat and get more proficient with a blade. Plus if the Bennett sisters can fight the hoards in Regency Era dresses, you can certainly fight in your Old Navy jeans and Forever 21 tops! You got this!

Dawn of the Dead

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I’ve actually never seen Dawn of the Dead. I don’t particularly like scary movies. But reality just became a whole lot scary than any movie. So now is the time to give it a look.

Shaun of the Dead

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And of course, if you’re going to watch Dawn of the Dead, you should follow it up with Shaun of the Dead. Because, again…laughter, humor, levity…these are the things that will remind you that life is worth fighting for. And Simon Pegg is a king of comedy!

28 Days Later

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Same argument here as for Dawn of the Dead. But make sure not to get it confused with 28 Days, which has absolutely nothing to do with the zombie apocalypse.

Warm Bodies

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And finally, the tender love story of a girl and her zombie. Love in the time of apocalypse…it’s harder than it looks on TV. So enjoy movies that remind you of romance, because dating in an apocalypse? Not really a thing. But more on that later!

Happy watching and remember…STAY ALIVE!

How to Train for the Zombie Apocalypse

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Yes, the worst has indeed happened and the evil undead are roaming our earth. Are you prepared to do what you must to survive? Chances are, most of you won’t make it to see next week. In a zombie apocalypse…like this one, there’s no time for sugar coating things.

I can tell you what it will take for you to survive, but ultimately it’s up to you to make it happen.

Let’s start with something simple, your diet. You’re probably used to a cushy diet of fast food, donuts and soda. Hey, you’re only human (at least, right now you are!) The truth is, the first week is pretty critical when it comes to perishable food items. So the rule of thumb for week one is “if you find it, eat it.” If, for example, you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of a Krispy Kreme donut, eat it! Chances are, it could be your last. But don’t overdo it. Eating poorly and too much will slow you down and that Krispy Kreme will be your last, but not because no one has time to make donuts anymore, get my drift?

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This first week of encountering zombies will be tough enough for you, without introducing a stringent training and eating schedule. My best advice in this turbulent time is to moderately enjoy yourself as much as you can and keep within a manageable caloric range for your height, weight and body type. Also keep in mind that you will be a lot more active this week and you may need some extra calories to keep your energy up. Calories from bad fats and sugars will make you feel sluggish and to be honest, that’s just what the zombies want!!

This week we’re gonna focus on cardio, so get moving (or the zombies will do it for you.) Hopefully you and your family made a plan before this apocalypse hit, an emergency strategy for what to do and where to meet. If you didn’t, well I hope you said your goodbyes before the apocalypse and enjoy my good advice while you can, this blog may be your last.

Ok…so you have some guidelines for getting your body moving and eating all the perishable items you can find, but not overdoing it. That’s a great place to start. Staying home in your locked house is going to seem like a great idea right now…it’s not. In all likelihood, at least one or more of your neighbors has been turned and soon they will be looking for delicious, juicy brains to eat. If you live, isolated, in the country, you may be able to last a little longer. The suburbs…not quite as long and if you live in the city…GET OUT OF THERE NOW!!!!

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It’s good, at this early stage in the apocalypse, to identify your weapons. Get comfortable with your baseball bats, your katana swords, your crossbows, your bowie knive. Guns are fine, but keep in mind that bullets will become scarce and hitting the brain with 1 or 2 shots is actually much harder than movies and TV shows portray. Make it easier on yourself and get comfortable with hand to hand combat using whatever is around you. But more on that later.

It’s crucial right now to get moving, like I mentioned before. Walking, running, practicing sprints…these are your focus. If you have a car, great. Stockpile as much fuel as you can and keep moving. But you’re still gonna want to get good at evading surprises and learning some simple parkour moves wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. But there will be lots more parkour in weeks 3 and 4. Right now…RUN! It’s the best way to stay physically fit and alert for what’s to come.

In this early stage of the apocalypse, the virus is pretty contained to large cities. This is the chance you need or rather, the chance you have to start getting prepared for the worst. Food isn’t scarce yet. That’s a good thing. You’re gonna want to start walking/ running twice a day for 30 mins each. If you can go longer, do it. The longer you keep that heart beating, the better off you’ll be. Challenge yourself, but don’t push yourself too far past your current limits.

This is the only chance you’ll get to take your time and get the lay of the land. These are called recon missions. Did you have a gym membership before the apocalypse hit? Money wasted. The world is now your gym and it is going to push you harder than any physical trainer ever did.

My final advice for your first week of training is to drink the cold beer, white wine, chilled juice, smoothies, etc. now because refrigerators will soon be as dead as the undead. Those finer enjoyments will be a thing of the past. But remember this…it’s wildly important…drunkenness will get you killed. So do not get sloppy!

This is a week of learning your limits, testing your strengths and being thankful for the little things. But don’t forget to watch your back. Once the virus hits the nearest metropolitan area, it will change your life and being thankful will be as hard to come by as that Krispy Kreme donut!

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Stay alive!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 30

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30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post

Day 30: Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 30 Jessica Rabbit Disney 80's hair cartoon blog post

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 30 Jessica Rabbit Disney 80's hair cartoon blog post