another reading

This time of a short story that deals with jealousy, insecurity, and a big, fat, white zit while visiting – what else – West Hollywood. This is a modified version of this post.

Graduate Reading Series at St. Mary’s College of California. Introduction by Michael Caligaris (Creative Nonfiction Writing MFA candidate of 2014).

Ex-bashing included.

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things that are not quite right with disney’s frozen

I have to admit, the first time I watched Frozen, I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it simply because I thought it didn’t live up to its hype.

Then I watched it the second time and really forced myself to watch it, and started falling in love with it. I realized small things like Kristen Bell can actually sing (and is classically trained – and I like her voice better than Menzel’s), Jonathan Groff (voice of Kristoff) is as sexy in real life as his character in Frozen (warning: LINK DEFINITELY NSFW), and that Olaf’s “In Summer” song – although the concept of a character singing happily and obliviously about his demise has been done before – is just so catchy and brilliant.

BuzzFeed has run an article about the fifteen questions in Frozen. Some of the points are valid, so I thought I didn’t have to write about them, but I still kind of want to do it, and I kind of have spare time to do it.

So, let’s get started. Warning: SPOILERS AND NSFW IMAGE.

1. Really? Those men are just going to leave a little kid (and his reindeer) alone in the cold, dark, snowy forest, that’s probably full of predators? 

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2. The King and Queen don’t age (or change their clothes).

Here they are with little Anna.

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And here they are as they’re going to board the ship, many, many years later. Not even a wrinkle, or gray hair. I demand to know who their doctor is! Or their hairdresser!

vlcsnap-2014-03-29-12h50m26s39Also, they wear the same dress when they barge into the room and slam the doors open to find Elsa cradling the unconscious Anna. Okay, so maybe it’s not that late and they haven’t changed into their dressing gowns.

Speaking of fashion choices, Anna sings about dressing up in a gown for the evening of her sister’s “cornoration”, but shows up not in a gown.

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3. No Prime Ministers? No Minister of Trade?

Then who’s doing trades with Weaseltown Weselton? They “closed the gates” but still doing trades? Then what does “closing the gates” mean?

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This also applies to Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. Really? How exactly does Arendelle work? No one actually objects to the idea of this foreigner ruling Arendelle? It would be better if he had some credentials, like he was the son of Arendelle’s recently diseased prime minister, so then everyone believed that he was capable of actually taking care of Arendelle.

Crazy eyes.

Crazy eyes.

I guess my biggest complaint is how Frozen‘s writers make minor characters seem really, really minor. Like this dude. Who keeps appearing and seeming to have a really important part.

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Which explains why these characters (including these soldiers)…

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Don’t react to this…

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When they can actually see what’s happening.

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4. Olaf. And that Snow Golem. 

I don’t care if Elsa can actually turn ice into fashion, fashion that can be worn by people who won’t think it’s too cold. Like these skate boots.

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But Elsa can actually create living, sentient beings? And not only that, but one of them actually knows a great deal of things like bats, summer (although oblivious to the fact that snow melts when it gets too warm), and how to start a fire (and still surprised to feel fire). Oh, and how many rooms does a castle usually have? Lots, right? So how does Olaf figure out which room to enter to find Anna lying there dying?

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Also, where did Elsa and Anna get the twigs and the carrot when they build Olaf in the palace?

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Also, bendy twigs? Really?

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The Snow Golem is actually not that sentient, but it’s still alive. And it’s faaaahbulous.

Tiara!

Tiara!

I guess what really bothers me about this movie is the level of credibility. Brave is largely fictional, yes – it involves magic and witches and will-of-a-wisps, and mothers-turning-into-bears – but the politics of the kingdom, the customs, they are clear. Unlike Frozen. Who mentors Elsa to become the queen? How much time passes between the King and Queen’s death and Elsa’s coronation? And do reindeers act like dogs?

I think if I were a kid, I’d love this movie unconditionally, the way I loved Pocahontas and Hercules and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

So, here, have this sexy Kristoff illustration.

Kristoff by David Kawena.

Kristoff by David Kawena.

the pilot

If I could unburn that bridge. If I could undo it. If I could, I would, but there are forces stronger than both of us.

Or maybe I was just being lazy, maybe I was just being afraid.

Now with all this talk about airplanes, I wish I could reach out to you without worrying that I would hurt you. I wish I could ask you what your thoughts were – you were always so full of opinions, so opinionated, that was what I liked and ultimately hated about you.

I remember the Sunset Steps, the Chinatown, the Indian Restaurant in the Castro, the Castro Fair, the Castro Theater. I don’t think I can ever set foot in the Castro ever again without risking bumping into you, without worrying that I’ll hurt both of us.

I cannot say how sorry I am. All I can do is tell you that I am sorry and repeat those three words, all strung up together. They started from making sense to no longer having meaning.

Every goddamn piece of news. Every goddamn piece of editorial written by pilots. Every flight lingo. ACARS this and Transponders that.

Every time I see the L Line. Every time I pass by Embarcadero. Every time someone mentions The Castro.

I remember your house. Your house. Your house. That bedroom where we made love, that bathroom where I cleaned my face off my makeup, that kitchen where we both cooked for each other, that lonely dining room, those beautiful bird and flower pictures that your mother made.

That sofa where we cuddled and cried as we watched those stupid Thai commercials.

And remember that British sit com of that old gay couple? Remember when you asked me if we would be like that one day? Still bickering but still very much in love with each other? What did I say? What was my reply? Did I give you hope? Did I kiss you?

Do you still keep the peacock figurine that you gave me? You sneaky little sweetheart. You knew I was eyeing that peacock figurine in Chinatown. You sneaky little sweetheart.

I wonder where you are. I wonder if you’ve moved on.

***

Post somewhat inspired by this prompt.

i have that scarf

Two hundred and thirty nine people are lost, while hundreds more are mourning, waiting in the dark, huddling and sharing. Yet all I can think of is:

Photo by Reuters

Photo by Reuters

I have that scarf.

That woman is wearing the exact same scarf that I wore today, but she is grieving and angry while I was elated and snarky.

That woman is wearing the exact same scarf that I wore today, but she she is mourning and worrying while I was undulating and shimmying.

I have that scarf. I wore it today. Also on my head. The same color. The same shiny material. But under a different circumstance.

A very different circumstance.

stone

And you sit there on your throne, with your memorials, celebrating the murders, celebrating the murderers, celebrating those who were murdered, wanting, wishing, wondering if we’ll get the message, that war is indeed fathomable but your ego is too big, too strong, too self-aware, too single-minded to stop it or to listen to those who want, wish, wonder if you’ll ever stop, if you’ll ever listen to us.

And I sit here on my own throne, with my own memorials, a victim, a perpetrator, a critic, a skeptic, a bully, a girl, a boy, a queen, a king, a peasant, loving and loathing my memories, how I’ve created my own monuments, carved the names of my friends and families and most of all my enemies (whose names and deeds shall never be forgotten) and wanting, wishing, wondering if these memories are mine, if they are true, if they aren’t too clouded, too subjective, too dependent on my understanding of what life was.

And we sit here on our own thrones, with our own memorials, heroes in our heads, masters in our minds, safe inside, free from cold, free from heat, with things that were considered magic thousands, hundreds, dozens of years ago but here they are now, within our reach, our basic needs satiated but we still want more, wish more, wonder if we could stop wars, if we could stop famine, if we could stop disease, if we could stop speaking for others, if we could stop projecting, if we could do more than just being intrigued, tickled pink and red and blue with this desire for peace, as we type this on our hundred-or-thousand-dollar laptop in our bed in our apartment, as we click publish and move on to puppies and porn and recipes and recreation and crochet and cats and technology and the latest celebrity tweets.

***

For the Weekly Writing Challenge prompt (Threes). I decided to challenge myself further and write in three long sentences. I chose this series of photos.