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Possibly Weirder than a Shyamalan Film
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For someone who hasn't been in the greatest of moods lately, going to see "Tangled" with some girl friends was just what I needed.

We are the Disney generation. We were the tots who begged our parents to put the well-loved copy of "Beauty & the Beast" into the VHS player. We were born with expectations of what animated films should be.

And, well, frankly, we've been forced to lower said expecttions over the years.

I remember they came out with some movie, "Home on the Range" that was the last handdrawn film, I think, until PatF was made. I was about 11 or 12 at the time, and I couldn't stand the previews. There was none of the wit, drama, and seriousness of my favorites. It patronized. It was filled with talking animals that were annoying and not awesome like Sebastian.

And then the awful live actions came out, and I cried inside.

When Princess and the Frog came out, I was thrilled. It wasn't my favorite Disney film, but it was very good, and I still watch it on Starz whenever it's airing. The Shadow Man Whose Real Name I Can't Recall was rather scary, and my friends and I discussed afterwards about whether we woud let our children watch it someday at age 3 like we had with the Disney Renaissance films. It was nice to feel like it was mature. I think my future kids would be fine, personally; I was always the most scared of the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. I wouldn't force it on them, but if they wanted to watch it, I'd certainly get some popcorn for us

But the film did feel rather short. We were older, of course, and an hour and a half for a five-year-old is different for an hour and a half for a sixteen-year-old. But it made me think, "Man, did they rush the romance."

With "Tangled", I was a little worred. We went to the 3-D showing, as I had heard the 3-D in this film was far better than the last 3-D film I'd seen, "Spy Kids Game Over". I was hoping, so, so much, that this would be as wonderful as the early reviews had said (we saw it on opening day). There were few children in the theater, luckily, which was possibly because a huge storm was supposed to hit later that day and it was 11 o'clock in the morning.

Already I began feeling a surge of hope, all because of something irrelevent to the movie: the 3-D glasses. They no longer had the easily-bendable red-and-blue lenses! They almost looked like real sunglasses! Times had changed. And maybe, it meant progress technically speaking, and regression Disney-wise.

I have seen Tangled only once so far. It was absolutely lovely. It was the typical hour-and-a-half, but it didn't feel rushed at all to me. The romance built naturally. Earlier, I had seen one of the released scenes on YouTube, when they enter the Snuggly Duckling, and the scene ended with, "Is this you?" by one of the rogues. A commenter had pointed out that when the characters jumped away when the door slammed, Flynn automatically put Rapunzel behind him. When I had seen that prior to the movie, I thought, "If this is how the movie is, with these little subtleties, it's gonna be good." I was right. Another amazing part was that when Mother showed up in the woods, Rapunzel was not so easily dissuaded about Flynn's feelings. She said, "I think he likes me!" She wasn't cocky, she was simply observant, hopeful, and sweet. And it made me happy, because after how her Mother treated her--"Oh look, you're here too!"--she needed to realize she was cared for not just for her locks.

And Disney got the animal mascots right, too. Pascal is not nearly as important as the previews made him seem--which is good. He is there, is cute, is helpful, and is more the support-when-ya-need-it, whereas Maximus, the undisputed Best Animal and perhaps Best Character in the film, showed off his personality by being "loud" in a character-dynamic way. The chameleon blended in, the frickin' huge horse stood out. AND THEY DID NOT TALK.

While I admit that it's wonderful Rapunzel said she preferred Eugene over Flynn and actually kept calling him Eugene after saying this...Flynn Rider is an awesome name. Just sayin'.

Some reviewers have hated Grothel, because she's not "blatantly bad" enough. Really? She is dynamic that way. You know she's only after Rapunzel because of the inner flower in her; even in "Mother Knows Best" she calls her as "fragile as a flower". Yes, she's fond of Rapunzel, but only when she's behaving. It's awesome that she's so multilayered.

As for the CG: The hair, the fluidity, all of it was awesome. This has already been discussed extensively, so I'm going to go onto the soundtrack.

Many have said that it's not memorable on first hearing. This is true enough, I suppose. I liked it, the bar scene made me laugh, but it wasn't completely amazing. I enjoyed the music during the dance scene greatly. I love it when modern day films have non-verbalizing moments. But after I got home, I listened "When Will My Life Begin" and its second reprise many times, loving it more and more as time went on. (This is on streaming sites. Don't worry, I'm planning on getting the soundtrack! I'm just trying to think of a way to do this without anyone I know seeing. Good thing it's Christmas; the cashiers at least won't think much of it!). "I See the Light" is lovely, and I'm hoping to fandub it in the future.

And as for the tear scene--this is where the spoilers really come in--IT MAKES SENSE. It's not a mere "True Love Conquers All!" message. Rapunzel has the flower in her. It was in her hair because maybe the hair follicles were in her so the flower power could stream out. But her tears also come from within her, hence why it worked. Cliche? Yes. But they had a reason for why it worked.

A comment about this scene, though: Flynn, buddy, I know you were dying and everything and the loss of blood was probably getting to your head, but why not cut her hair after she heals you?

...Wait, I think I just answered my own question.

Flynn, at the time, maybe didn't know that Grothel was only after the hair? I can't recall. But Rapunzel earlier stated that she never ever breaks her promises, and she promised to go with Grothel if she saved him. So....Oh my gosh, that is so beautiful! I need to watch the film again now.

...But that doesn't dismiss the fact that her new hairdo isn't nearly as cute and princesslike. Didn't Mandy Moore have that hairstyle at one point? It looked beautiful on her, but Rapunzel should at least get to have her hair grow back out! My one friend thinks her hair looks better now, but I disagree. Leave a comment on which style you like most!

All in all, I love this film. If someone who knows me wants to get me an early present, a reservation on the DVD would be fantastic!



24th-Nov-2010 08:39 pm - Note to Mother
Why won't you just shut up and let me do what I want? Geez! I actually start writing, and it's not what you want me to write, so you tell me what to write? Are you frickin STUPID? And that's supposed to make me feel better? 

Thank you. Thank you ever so much. Because knowing you want me to write about my feelings, but not use the form of the novel as the channel for it, is awesome. Because, you know, it's not like I"m the one writing or anything. Oh wait.

Seriously! I ACTUALLY START WRITING AGAIN, and yes it's about loathing, because over the past few weeks I've been loathing everything. That's my venting. And then you say, "How about writing about a girl standing on a beach in front of a sunset deciding to press on?" WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?! I'm sorry, you miss your smiley daughter oh so much. I'm sorry that I actually FEEL LIKE THIS every once in a while!!! What if I actually do have depression? THen you'll have to shut the eff up and let me take my effing meds and write what I want to write.

You know what? Screw writing! Screw you! There, how's that for voicing my feelings? Not that you'll ever read this. It's more important to be your happy little daughter than say you upset me. Even Dad's a better cheerer-upper than you are.

14th-Nov-2010 10:54 pm - Sleepy
Just a few notes to the future me before I turn in for the night:

1) If you dare sign up to do PSEO next semester, I will eat you. Because angry selves with non-cannibalistic tendencies from the past can totally do that.

2) You actually might be able to write to some degree. Just suck it up, spit it out, and then learn to edit. Edit REALLY well.

3) Parents do care about your story. They might have no idea what the deuce goes on in that silly little head of yours, but they generally tend to be somewhat positive.

4) Friends equal love, even when you're suffering from a Early Life Crisis.

21st-Sep-2010 09:48 pm - We Are Family~
aw crap

Honestly, I am so frickin' sick of my brother right now. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating, but better to exaggerate than keep it pent up.

He breaks his guitar, we mourn, we move on. He can probably get it fixed. But he insists on being depressed. I tell him to close the blinds, he says he will, I say now, after a few more minutes of me calmly telling him to do it now, he screams SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! And yes that has no quotation marks because I am lazy and I am annoyed.

He's hardly scolded, which I don't mind so much but he apologizes even though I know he's doing it grudgingly. Oh well, we've all been there right? But my parents have been talking to him for like 40 minutes now about trying to cheer him up and I just heard him say, "Well, it just annoys me because Alyssa doesn't care!"

Doesn't care? Doesn't CARE?! Who's the one who gets PO-ed at me because I get decent grades and you don't--not, I might add, because you're dumb, but because you're simply lazy?! Who's the one who didn't even bother reading the first laminated book I wrote back in first grade--even though it WAS DEDICATED TO YOU?! Who's the one who didn't even read MY FRICKIN SELF PUBLISHED BOOK YA JERK?!?!?!?

My apologies, O Grieved One, for not producing the sufficient amount of sympathy for a guitar you can almost definitely fix? Worry about it then! And when I said he should read the passage in Matthew about worry, he gives me this dirty look! Oh, HEAVEN FORBID I recommend you to read the Bible! And you're supposed to be a Christian too? Honestly, dude, you don't exactly act it.

Now, back to my short story. I think this helped somewhat.


A very, very ticked off Alyssa.


9th-Sep-2010 01:05 pm - Thoughts on 9/11

It will soon be the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I was in third grade when it happened. I lived near Harrisburg, PA at the time. The first indication of something wrong, in hindsight, was the announcement that there would be no after school program that day. The after school program was designed for kids whose parents were working and wouldn't be home right after school, so they could wait there and play games and work on homework till their parents could come. This is usually canceled on holidays, so I thought it was a little strange that it was cancelled on a random day like 9/11, but I didn't think much of it at the time. It just occurred to me that, not only did the teachers probably need to head home with their loved ones, but at least most of the parents had come from work early to pick up their kids.

My next memory of the day is getting off the bus and walking home, which was three houses from the bus stop. I walked in the door to my house, and my mom came over and said, "We're in war."

Now, as a kid, I thought of wars as old things that never happened anymore. I hadn't studied much about the world wars, and I hadn't heard of Vietnam or the Gulf War. I thought we were a happy world in regards to nations, even if we occasionally fought with people. So this statement not only scared me, but was mindboggling as well. How could we, the United States, suddenly be in war?

Of course, it was not officially announced that day. Still, the attacks were a clear act of war.

I watched the replayings of the burning towers with my mom, and while I can't remember my exact thoughts and emotions, I do remember being distracted from my math homework. I was working in the dining room, and the family room, if I turned my head a bit, could clearly be seen, which meant I could hear and watch the tv. The news was on, of course, and I knew that a plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. I automatically thought of my dad, who was working that day and was driving home. Would he be okay? What if a plane hit him? (A small chance, really; I highly doubt a moving car could get hit by a plane so easily)

Have you noticed that if you look into a bright light, then look away, there's a little darkish shape that you see for a while? I noticed it for the first time that day. I looked up at the light without thinking and looked away, and I thought the shape looked like an angel. I thought it was God's way of telling me I was going to die.

Once my dad came home, I was pretty much okay. As the years passed, I heard so much about 9/11 that, while I felt compassion and was still disturbed that it had happened, I hadn't really bothered to watch many shows about it.  Over the last few days, I watched a couple which were on Nat Geo, and I just feel so shaken up now. I watched footage of people gathering to jump, and then of others in the middle of their jump. I watched people running from the dust cloud, of the people screaming in shock and horror as the planes flew into the building. I can't imagine what they were feeling.

But for the first time, I noticed some miracles too. It's a sort of miracle that the towers fell pretty much down on themselves than toppling over to the side. It's a sort of miracle that more attacks weren't initiated. It's a sort of miracle that there were survivors at all. It's a sort of miracle that we were united once more.

I still don't understand why radical Muslims hate freedom so much. I don't understand why they hate our country. But I will say this: So long as we are one nation, under God, they shall not win. Psalms 33:10-22 state, "The Lord foils the plans of the nations, he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart rhough all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth--he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in the unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

God bless those who stood and still stand for freedom. We will not let them take it away. Let's continue to pray for our country and the people in it, even if they may be halfway across the world.

Lots of love,

30th-Jul-2010 02:19 pm - About My Life

After last night's little commentary on faith, I realized it's been a ridiculous time since I wrote anything of relevence to my life. I mean, God's of course a huge part of my life, He gave me my life, but I mean...well, you guys get it.

I'm mostly done with my summer homework, which is great. I'm actually supposed to be working on my Bible notes for Lit, but then I got a little distracted...yeah...

So last Friday, I went in for an interview at Target, and I left with a job as a cashier! I was stunned--I'm still stunned, really. I've been searching for a job for ages! I can't wait to start; everyone there seems extremely friendly. I start in mid-August.

My dad and I had this deal, that if I got a job, he'd get me a car. So over the weekend and Monday, we looked at different cars, and I fell in love with a PT Cruiser. I mean, it's like a European car or something! It's so cute!  But my dad is very careful with money, and he thought they were too expensive (we were looking at only used cars, btw). On Wednesday night, my mom gets my dad to go with her shoe shopping, and he said he'd go so long as they could stop at Starbucks afterwards. This is nothing new, and I have a headache anyway, so I just mutter a "bye" as I watch TV. Later, they come home, and I'm still in the exact same spot. They're just chattin' away, and then all of a sudden a key dangles in front of me. I recognize it as the key the dealership we stopped at had with my fave PT Cruiser. I silently take it, my headache forgotten, and I walk towards the garage, pausing only to consider whether I should bother putting on my shoes, and then I decide it's too much time. My heart sinks a little when I don't see it in the garage, but the door's up so I keep walking. Still, though, I'm not seeing the car, but I realize it might be on the other side of the driveway, obscured from sight.

There it is, my adorable baby, sitting in front of my house. I stare at a moment, then proceed to scream, jumping into my dad's arms, crying, "Thankyouthankyouthankyou! This isn't just for a test drive right?!"

It wasn't.

So yeah, things are good :D

I even have some story ideas now.

...Okay, okay, I'll get back to my homework now. Bleh.


30th-Jul-2010 12:25 am - Thoughts
So I'm sitting here, watching "Case for Faith" with Mom, and a woman comes on named Joni Eareckson Tada, talking about her experience. While it's a short interview, my mom starts crying, and she says, "She's so incredible; I always want to cry when I hear her talk. I remember one time, someone asked her, 'I bet you can't wait till you get to heaven, when you can jump and run' and she replied, 'Oh, no. I can't wait to fall on my face in front of Jesus.' Her faith is amazing."

I'm naturally extremely impressed, and in typical teenage fashion, I say, "That's crazy," in a "Wow, that's cool" sort of way, not a literal "She's crazy for thinking that way." 

But then I thought, you know, aren't those of less faith the crazy ones? Before I continue, let me say that I count myself as someone of less faith. I am a firm believer in Christ, but I certainly have plenty of room to grow. I fully acknowledge that I have so much more I need to learn, and I need to pray and read his Word more to strengthen my relationship with Him. 

What I mean by calling us crazy is this: There is so much evidence around us for God's existence. There is so much evidence, Scripture and otherwise, for God's love. He is full of grace and mercy and has His hand stretched out for us. Yet so many of us don't acknowledge these things, or we do not really appreciate His goodness. While I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I oftentimes think, "Yep, thanks for saving me. Now, could you please help me do well on the test tomorrow? Thank you!" We have so much to be grateful for, but many, including me, hardly bat an eye when we consider it.

All day, I've been working on my Greek Mythology notes for AP Lit. While I enjoy reading the Greek myths--they're like fairy tales to me; I might not believe them, but I can enjoy the stories, especially my favorite, Psyche and Eros--I can't help but think about how lucky we are that the Greek gods don't really exist. Most of the stories are full of such blatant immoral behavior. Zeus sleeps with women how many times? Zeus sleeps with women in ANIMAL FORM how many times???  Great role model. And the gods are so petty and jealous and ridiculous. Lucky for us, there's the Trinity instead of those guys. I'm pretty sure the Greek gods, had they existed, would never have sacrificed themselves for humans to be saved from hell.

I have to go, but I'm praying God gives me the desire to build my relationship with Him more.

By the way, I just have to say that I love the quote that was also in The Case for Faith: Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
9th-Jul-2010 12:24 am - Late Night Thoughts

My future is vague. It dances before me, out of reach, but glimmering all the same. As I slowly open my eyes, I perceive the true darkness; acknowledging it, but keeping my eyes straight ahead. With the darkness noted, I see even brighter illumination. I stretch out my hand, and, with each step, come closer to it.
25th-Jun-2010 02:04 pm - Wow.

So, I was watching Glenn Beck last night, and he was talking about communism.  He mentioned McCarthy, and I thought, "Ooh, this is gonna be interesting.  Man, I hate McCarthy."  But, to my immense surprise, Glenn said that he found out he was a GOOD GUY.  What?  Wait, WHAT?

The reason for my disbelief is that, in the summer before 10th grade, for AP US History and the Honors English 10 class you took with APUSH, part of our summer homework was to watch the film "Good Night and Good Luck" and compare it to the witch hunts of the late 1600s in New England, as part of our homework was also to watch "The Crucible".  Most of us hadn't even heard of McCarthy, and the film, as well as, probably, the assignment, made us say, "Geez, what a jerk!  He was obviously just trying to make himself seem important by using innocent people."

Now, though, I'm not so sure.

If what the author of "Blacklisted by History" is correct--and I assume he is; I hadn't even heard of the book until yesterday so I've yet to read it, but there are other sites too supporting this perspective on McCarthy--then McCarthy actually was correct with his accusations, at least some of the time.  Again, I do not know the entire history, but I'm looking forward to researching it once I get my summer homework for this year out of the way.  Interestingly, communist infiltration in the White House has been as far back as the 1930s at least, and much of the documents were (or are) missing from that time regarding traitors.  Remember, communists back then were considered traitors and Soviet sympathizers.  They're not like they were today.

...And I'm basically just repeating what Glenn said.  (facepalm)

I'm sorry, I'm just astounded by this.  Over the past however-long I've been watching Glenn Beck's show, I've learned a lot more than I feel I've learned at school.  I would watch a segment and think, "Huh, my teachers were wrong about that" but usually it was just a passing comment/brief lecture, so it didn't impact me as much.  However, this...I mean, we all bought the "McCarthy was BAD!" crap.  We were required to watch that film and compare it to the witch hunts of the 1690s.  We dwelled on it.  Really took it in.  And it turned out we were lied to.

Now, I don't believe this was intentional.  I thought my teachers that year were wonderful, and I really got along with them.  But I think the lie is so widespread that even those in teaching positions don't recognize it as a lie.  It's really disheartening.  I almost want to become a teacher so that I can help people understand the facts.


22nd-Jun-2010 07:45 pm - Melancholy
Have you ever felt that your life is out of your control?  I mean, I know God controls life and everything, but my life feels extremely out of my grasp.  It's nothing enormous--if you read my blog, I have no huge catastrophes or anything that's making me depressed--but it's like the little things.  I feel like my life is stretching out before me like a road in Oklahoma--flat, dull, and empty, and someone gave me a car to drive only down that road, but won't allow me to go on the nearest turnpike or on at least a -different- flat road.

I know everyone is just leading me onto the right path and everything.  Still, I can't help but recall what Shizuku's father in "Whisper of the Heart" said: We don't all need to take the same path.  And his wife replied, "I admit, I've imagined straying off the path myself."  And yet it seems that there's no deviation, not without throwing your life away.  But are we simply under the impression that there's no other path?  Perhaps it's covered in leaves now, but if we start trodding down that path as well, perhaps it will reveal itself more clearly.

In a few novels I've read, they spoke of leaving home to find one's self, or to seek one's fortune, or just to see the world.  They would just pack some food and up and leave.  I've noticed two things: 1) They are often historical -fiction- novels, set several centuries ago, and 2) They often involved fantasy, thus, they're not the most reliable.  Still, wouldn't it be wonderful to do that?  Just pack up and leave and see wonderful sights.  I'd go to Maine, as well as other places.  Maine seems lovely.

I suppose I could do that.  I could (once I get my own car) go ahead and leave once I turn 18, but of course that's unreasonable.  Staying in a motel would cost money.  My parents would be p.o.-ed.  I need to go to college.  And yet, it's so tempting. 

Someday, maybe I'll have the guts to just get out there.  I'll write as I go on my journey.  I will see beauty.  I will meet all sorts of people.  But for now, I suppose I will allow people to continue to lead me down that Oklahoma road.


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