And then I will be an aunt! This is probably a case of appropriation, but regardless of how it make me appear I'll share it anyway – I am SO excited. My feelings are hard to put into words which is why I am struggling with this a little bit.
This was something that really hit home when we had the baby shower.
While I have only ever been to one shower, that being the one for my sister, it was the best one I will ever attend. Mainly because it gave me the chance to express myself without the need for words. I could simply help prepare and choose things that I knew she would appreciate and at the same time she would know that they came from me. It is a sister thing I guess.
Everything that I would help with I did help with. From helping get the guest list together and sending out the invitations to managing the RSVPs. Oh, and I got to "help" pick out the invites as well. Actually they pretty much left it up me.
And that was a lot of fun.
There are a lot of different options which is one of the reason that got the job. It was clear that they were overwhelmed with the choice in invitations and quickly threw up their hands.
I mean it isn't like I am pregnant myself but regardless there is this sort of excitement that is making me antsy. Anticipation would be one way to describe it but then there is more to it. The biggest factor that is making me nervous is that I want to be there for my big sis but it is difficult since we don't really live that close by. We speak more frequently now that when we were in the same house. It is strange how distance can improve some relationships.
To make a short story long, in one month from now I will be an aunt. And I am excited and terrified at the same time. That is the most direct I am be. Becoming a mother would probably totally freak me out, but my sister is handling the pregnancy amazingly well, especially considering that it doesn't seem like it was all that easy. Though I think that people that claim their pregnancy was easy are just down playing or forgetting all of the pain and changes it produces in our bodies.
Can you really tell somebody what it is like to wait for a child to be born? I don't think that I even completely comprehend the whole process. The changes that one's body goes through during pregnancy are incredible and a little bit overwhelming. At least to me. But my sister has held up well through out the last eight months and has what I can assume would be a relatively easy pregnancy so far without any complications on the foreseeable horizon.
It would be both sort of embarrassing for her to go through them. And I will save you for the details as well because there is a chance some of you may blush as well. Needless to say it was an eye opener for me as well, because as much as I wish some of it would have been left out I got a pretty detailed account of the whole experience.
My solution has been simple. Listen. Maybe I won't be pregnant anytime soon but I figure what I learn now will be able to help in the long run. Any information is better than no information and even if it doesn't help in the foreseeable future it might: a) help somebody I know b) be a base to build my experience on.
Right now I am just practicing being the best aunt that I can be for when my niece/nephew is born.
When I think of everything that has changed in the last five years in my life I am a little overwhelmed. Five years ago my sister was still living at home and didn't even have a boyfriend. Now? Now she is going to be a mother.
The idea of becoming an aunt it thrilling. And it has given me a chance to do some amazing things.
In the "Stranger Things" episode "The Body" had the children walking along a train track which echoed several scenes in "Stand By Me". The movie "Stand By Me" was based on a Steven King story called "The Body".
Just a thought though.
I think that food should be both delicious and fast. At least when I am hungry, which is often, everyday almost when I stop and think about it.
Hungry, I started to making a delicious French bread pizza. It is actually surprisingly easy. It's probably one of the fastest things I make on a regular basis. When I say fast I mean 20 minutes. But for a satisfying dinner that everyone at the table will be on board with, miracles do not happy often. The key here is to pick a really delicious prepared pesto, easily found in grocery stores even when basil isn't in season.
When you have your pesto you need to layered the rest of your ingredients on crispy French bread with fresh cherry tomatoes, sautéed chicken, and mozzarella cheese, etc..
I usually use:
Once I have my ingredients I will start potting things together to bake. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, then pre-heat to 400°F.
Once you have that going start heating the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering then go ahead and add the chicken. I like salt so I use two big pinches of salt when I am grilling the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and starting to turn golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the heat to ensure that it doesn't burn.
We're getting close now, you'll need to use a serrated knife to cut the bread. Otherwise when you try to cut it in half lengthwise you may rip it and that doesn't present itself nearly as nicely on the plate.
Place the halves cut-side up on a baking sheet.
Spread the pesto on bread. Top with half the tomatoes and half the chicken. Sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella. Top with the remaining tomatoes and chicken.
Then start baking it until the bread is heated through and the cheese is melted, in my oven this takes about 10 minutes. Then take it out and dab a little olive oil on top and cover it in Parmesan shavings. If you want to. This step is really only if desired. But we really love it like this! Cut each half into 2 pieces for a serving.
I know, it's not very popular, but I loved the music and animations.
It was acid for my my little brain.
Fantasia is incredible because it's often either abstract and makes you think, or atmospheric and makes you feel. I used to love it as a kid because I was kind of a weirdo and I related to the emotions. When I watched it as an adult after having a kid and bawled my eyes out for that little "me". I appreciate it so much more now than I did as a kid. They also chose interesting, challenging pieces like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
"Fantasia 2000" was lackluster in comparison.
I saw it the first time when I was really little, either four or five years old, and the moment Stkowski's hands came down on the first note of Toccata and Fugue was the moment that permanent cemented the difference between pop songs and dedicated, classical music to me. I had no idea what was going on, other than that it was something different, and really, really special.
I've always admired Disney for being one of the first studios willing to put women in the forefront of story without making them glorified plot devices. Though I have to admit that I am not certain this was a purposeful act. Jeffery Katzenburg didn't think that "The Little Mermaid" would be a hit since it was targeted at girls. I am not sure who the other movies were targeted to then.
Which leads me to ask this question who is your favorite? Mine personally would be a Mulan - though technically she isn't a princess - but she is one of the better of the Disney heroines.
But I always loved how her personal mission and goal was devoid of her romance. And how she just happened to fall in love with along the journey.
Mulan is also a favorite for being such a badass!
It's interesting that Mulan is the only "official Disney princess" that is not a princess by birthright or marriage. A "Disney Princess" is very different than a princess from Disney. It's a specific marketing bloc that Disney arbitrarily defines.
My best friend likes Moana and we have gone around about this before. Which is better Mulan or Moana? Mulan had the better character arch than Moana in my opinion. For one she was not expected to be anything more than a good child bearing wife, and that even if her parents treated her better than the cultural expectations did, there's still that idea that her options are limited.
Moana had chiefdom ahead of her and was encouraged/expected to be headstrong, confident, intelligent.
Anyone who grew up in a household or culture similar or the same as Mulan grew up in know how difficult it is to overcome that upbringing, because you're not just fighting against actual people and institutions or laws, you're fighting against the part of yourself that agrees with them.
Moana is good because She is determined, has a specific goal that benefits her people, not just herself. No romantic interest, teaches a demi-god a few lessons along the way. I love that she is preparing to actually lead the people and take on the responsibility.
I think often Disney portrays "princesses" as "somebody important, rich, and pretty but with relatively few responsibilities" in sch a way that it undermines the message. So what? Is the ultimate feminine ideal to be a beautiful decoration that doesn't have to do anything but look pretty? I think that is why Moana is strong, it shows a young woman who is poised to lead her people one day and understands/embraces the responsibility. But it still places her in a position of privilege. Mulan has to fight against different adversities in a more believable setting.
But that is just me.
So who's would everyone else be?
Whenever I do marathons, I like to have a theme to connect the films in some way. Sorry if you thought that I was actually talking about marathons. Me? That is most certainly a nope. Anyway, I have a list going of different ideas, and they range from simple to complex(ish), but I'm always interested to see what others can come up with. Which is why I decided to layout some of the past marathons that I have gone. Some that I have thought about, and some that I would never want to sit through.
Some examples include:
The Galaxy Marathon:
The Cornetto Trilogy: (Simon Pegg)
This could also be used as an example of a marathon for films written, directed and starring the same person. Robert Zemeckis is another good example of this category because you "Back to the Future" and a whole bunch of Tom Hanks movies to choose from.
Some other ideas include:
I think with streaming services like NF and H you really have more options now when it comes to watching these types of marathons. I remember when I was a teen we would come of with these sorts of ideas and we would try to rent them from BB but you often didn't find everything that you were looking for.
Stockholm syndrome is often batted around for being the theme for "Beauty and the Beast" but I disagree. While the definition for Stockholm syndrome can applied it has some facets that do not overlap with the Disney fairytale:
the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with, identify with, or sympathize with his or her captor 
This would fit if the story only focused on the captivity aspect of the "relationship" though it goes further. Beast does release her so she can care for her ill father. This takes it out of the scope of pure Stockholm syndrome that tag that many like to place on the film.
That choice on the Beasts part is critical for me, and because of it it reminds me more of an abusive relationship than Stockholm.
Throughout the film we get a sense of bad moral being projected from the Beast. Yet the underlying message is that if you just love him enough he will change. He will go from a Beast to a Prince! This is not how an abusive relationship works. And that is the most disturbing part about it as a whole.
This is much more destructive than the Stockholm syndrome comparison since many women either find themselves currently in an abusive relationship or will find themselves in one at some point.
When you start having these views when watching an animated movie that is the moment you realized you're getting old.