I Got An Acceptance!

I am very excited to announce that a story of mine was accepted to The Creative Truth, a poetry/flash fiction publication. “A History of My Life in Six Glasses” is now available!

You can download the whole Volume as a PDF for free here, or give them money for the print copy here.

thecreativetruth

Actually, it’s been available since August and I am just dumb. I submitted the story in July, received my acceptance then, and was told that publication would take place when the volume had enough pieces, so the publisher would let me know. Apparently the email got buried under my Mom’s Facebook Like notifications, because I never realized it was available. Earlier this week I thought ‘Hey, I ought to check on that,’ and was delighted to find I’d been accepted! YAY!

**** In Other News****

The big news is that the Army Corps of Engineers blocked the lease on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Although that’s great news, it’s also only the tip of the shitty iceberg (shitberg? GROSS) as apparently the DAPL intended to keep on drilling. It doesn’t seem that they are, but everyone, including the company, expects them to. Whether they still do seems to be up in the air.

Here’s some good news about the viewing habits of young people: More people in the 16-35 age bracket are watching Planet Earth 2 than any reality television. That is wonderful – I FUCKING LOVE Planet Earth and am super looking forward to season 2. I rewatched the whole series (it’s on Instant Watch!) — even the dreaded Polar Bear episode. You know, the one I swore I’d NEVER WATCH AGAIN. I had to return to the well, and I did. I’m not sorry. Although I did cry again.

polarbear
[weeping sounds] GODSPEED SWEET DESPERATE BEAR! YOU SLEEP AMONG THE ANGELS NOW!
This isn’t a new story, but I thought it was neat: a former CNN sales executive quit her job to help teach Malawi farmers about tech-sharing, so they can share their information with other people in the region.

And just for fun, here is The Rock singing “You’re Welcome,” from Moana.

I still haven’t seen it, but I’m going tonight (FINALLY) because I need a dose of cheerfulness, fun, and chicken wings at my favorite cinema grill.

Saturday night I have a holiday party, and Sunday I’m going to a wedding. So, full weekend ahead!

Have you got any weekend plans? Have you received any good news lately? Share it! I’d love to hear it!

Apples and Oranges: The Jungle Book(s)

Welcome to Apples and Oranges! This is an occasional feature where I compare two things, related or not. Today we’re looking at the 1967 and 2016 versions of Disney’s The Jungle Book. In the interest of doing a really comprehensive comparison, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. 

After seeing the 2016 version in theaters last weekend (and loving it) I couldn’t help but compare the two versions and mull over what the remake did better, worse, or just plain differently. The 1967 version was a huge part of my childhood; I had a massive crush on Mowgli (first saw it when I was six, I think), and was so inspired by his clambering around the jungle with only his animal friends that I spent hours in my backyard, climbing trees and doing gymnastics. I even had a stuffed Bagheera.

So when the trailer came out last year, showing little Neel Sethi running through the steaming Indian jungles as an orchestral refrain of ‘The Bare Necessities’ swells in the background, I was BEYOND excited. Cynics might believe Disney is just cashing in on nostalgia with all these remakes, but honestly, The Jungle Book has been the best of them, with the most heart.
Continue reading “Apples and Oranges: The Jungle Book(s)”

I’m Back, Y’all!

I totally teared up during this trailer. Between the music, the voicework, and that little boy’s spunky spirit, I am all over this. I am READY.

Got my internet situation handled, and I’ll have some entries up later this week – one for one of Gary Oldman’s greatest roles, that of Ludwig Van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved. HOW HAS HE NOT WON AN OSCAR BY NOW?

But today – oh, today!- here is another trailer for Disney’s new The Jungle Book. 

I get that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but as a weird little only child who grew up climbing trees alone in a big backyard, and preferred the company of animals to people…

…this has me. 

I totally teared up during this trailer. Between the music, the voicework, and that little boy’s spunky spirit, I am all over this. I am READY.

I LOVE the casting – I am hearing a lot of snark about Scarlett Johansen as Kaa, specifically her voicework, but I think it’s perfect. People are complaining that the line-reading sounds flat, but I disagree. After all, Kaa is supposed to be disarming, supposed to sound as if eating you is the farthest thing from her mind. She’s a 50-foot python and running prey down isn’t an option – large reptiles are ambush predators, meaning they wait hidden for you to let your guard down, before they strike. In the cartoon Kaa used hypnosis on his prey, but I like the reinterpretation. They’re playing with the  ‘Eve and the Snake’ mythology of Western culture a bit too, with woman as ‘seductress,’ but I kind of dig it. Mowgli’s wolf mother is played by Lupita N’yongo, which is nice, but seriously can we get her in a big blockbuster role where we see her face?.

And Idris Elba as Shere Khan?

Get that casting director a bucket of awards and a dumptruck of money because that is PERFECT. 

Epic Rap Battles of History: Stan Lee vs. Jim Henson

You have to watch the the whole thing! It starts out a little rough (NOBODY TALKS SHIT ABOUT HENSON IN MY HOUSE. NOBODY) but it gets so, so good. And you might check out their other stuff – heaven knows they have something for everyone!

ERBs can be hit or miss, but the latest one NAILED. IT.

You have to watch the the whole thing! It starts out a little rough* but it gets so, so good. And you might check out their other stuff – heaven knows they have something for everyone and there are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning!

I got some new posts cooking! Stay tuned!

*Nobody talks shit about Henson in my house. NOBODY.

Oh THAT’S Why I Haven’t Watched it in 27 Years Entry: The Fox and The Hound

[Spoilers Ahead!]

Somewhat recently, a whole slew of older Disney movies have come available on Netflix. A lot of them are the older animated ones, and the combination live action/animated ones from the 70s and earlier. Think Aristocats, Pete’s Dragon, and some of the wholly live action ones like The Parent Trap.

There are movies you grow up loving, because you remember them as you age and, as they hold up to repeated viewings, you re-familiarize yourself with them every few years, and remember why you loved the film all over again. Some of it is nostalgia, and some of it is just that the movie stands up after all the years.

I had no memory of the Fox and the Hound other than a vague sense of unease, like I knew it was one that I’d seen but never been overly fond of, but I couldn’t have explained why. I had seen someone post a scene from it on Imgur.com a few days before and, as I had some time while I was home sick a few weeks ago, decided to check it out.

Good LORD.

Copper and Tod chilling
Friendship! Togetherness! Splashing!

As I mentioned, there are movies you grow up loving. I am convinced that every generation views the newest generation’s entertainment as some how lesser than their own; sort of an outgrowth of the ‘kids these days!’ mentality, which is usually accompanied by a world-weary eyeroll. We’re all guilty of it; I know I myself have done it. And then some things are enjoyed multi-generationally, as parents and older siblings/family members introduce children to things they themselves grew up with. Sometimes there’s a bit of culture shock: a child (or anyone, to be  honest) who grows up watching very modern entertainment might be deeply upset by something like Bambi, The Black Cauldron, or The Dark Crystal. 

I am here to tell you that I cried through MOST of The Fox and the Hound, and it sure wasn’t the cold medicine. There were several times when I bawled out loud, to my sniffling boyfriend, ‘How is this a CHILDREN’S movie??!?!?!?’

I mention these not because I am condemning the movie, or think it is anything but fine filmmaking. But JESUS. If you saw it when you were about 5, haven’t seen it since, and think to yourself ‘Hey that’s a children’s movie! I will watch it with my small child!’ then perhaps you might want to watch it yourself first.

To wit, here are a few things that happen:

– In the first 5 minutes, Tod’s mother is killed after hiding him at the base of a fencepost. She laid the little bundle of her baby down, gave him a last look, and then ran off. My tear ducts immediately began production.

–  Amos tries repeatedly to shoot Tod.

– A dog gets hit by a train. SERIOUSLY. He doesn’t die, but the dog falling down a rocky hillside to land in the water was pretty goddamn upsetting. Tissues were again deployed.

– The Widow Tweed drives Tod into a game preserve and leaves him there, to keep him safe. Her taking his collar off KILLED. ME.

– Amos and Copper go into the game preserve for the express purpose of hunting Tod. They leave traps all over the place for him, and watching him pad amongst the leaves, juuuuuuust missing the traps was nerve-wracking.

– Amos sets fire to the treestump where Tod and his mate, Vixey, live. They struggle to escape and are almost burned alive.

– Tod, Copper, and Amos all fight with a bear. The ensuing fight leaves Amos wounded and trapped by his own fox traps, and Copper knocked aside. Tod takes it upon himself to save Amos and Copper, doing his best to fight and distract the bear.

– Copper positioning himself between Amos and an exhausted and wounded Tod, refusing to allow his oldest friend to be harmed.

I certainly enjoyed the movie, I just wasn’t expecting to to punch me in the gut the way that it did. I totally underestimated it because I had filed it under ‘lesser Disney’ of the 70s, when they had run out of Princesses and were doing a lot of animation recycling. Basically, I forgot that it doesn’t matter what medium a good movie is in, if it really is a good movie.

I think the most interesting and perhaps the hardest lesson of all in the film is the fact that even though Tod saved Amos and he and Copper could become friends again, Tod remained in the forest with his mate. The wild was his place, and he was not a pet. Of course there are efforts to domesticate the fox, and plenty of anecdotes about them living with or near people, but they are still largely wild animals.

Long story short, The Fox and the Hound is a masterful piece about putting differences aside in the name of friendship. There are a few charming songs and cute moments, including a subplot with a caterpillar and some hungry birds. As always, you would be the best judge of what’s appropriate for your children (or yourself!).

Just, you know, keep some tissues handy!