W.I.P: Writer is Procrastinating

As most of you may know, my dream is to be a published, best-selling author one day. When I was in middle school, I learned that Christopher Paolini had gotten Eragon published when he was nineteen, and he became my hero. Over a decade has passed since then, and the closest to getting published I have ever gotten is way too many Glee fanfics on fanfiction.net. I write a lot less now than I did back then, but I still write. That’s one of the main reasons why I participate in NaNoWriMo every year- it motivates me.

As a by-product of all those National Novel Writing Months, I have several projects in process. Most of them don’t even have a completed first draft completed, but I wanted to tell you all about them. Maybe it will give me some drive or ideas on where to go with them from here.

I’m going to start things off with the trilogy I mostly finished while I was in high school. I say mostly here because the first two books were completed. I have no idea where the third one ended up, but I never typed it and now it is gone. Children of the Moon was my first real attempt at writing a novel, and the story is basically Percy Jackson has the magic system of Eragon. Now, I did not read any of Rick Riordan’s books or watch the movie that doesn’t exist until after I finished writing the first one. That was a bit of a shock. I just really loved (and still love) Greek mythology. It does have all the Young Adult components: chosen one, prophesies, love triangles, etc- and I still love the premise of the story. It just needs to be completely rewritten so it doesn’t sound like a teenager wrote it right after reading books with the exact same elements. Fifteen-year-old me had some weird ideas of how reality worked, even for a fantasy novel.

Butterfly Kisses was the one and only time I won NaNoWriMo. It was either 2013 or 2014, so I had all the free time of a college student. My main character was an accountant and a mother (I have no kids, so basically that whole part of the story was guesswork based on observing my own mom and other maternal figures in my life). Her own mother had passed away from cancer when she was very young, causing her to be paranoid about her own health. Main character ends up getting diagnosed with breast cancer fairly early in the story. I actually did a lot of research for this one, and it was only half-finished at the end of NaNo. The chapters were specific dates to show the progress of the cancer and how it affected the relationships of everyone impacted. I was really proud of it, but it didn’t really have a direction. I lost steam and just abandoned it.

One of the characters I have been writing for eons is my favorite pirate captain: Destiny Dalma. Her origin comes from a Pirates of the Caribbean roleplay that dates back to my early teenage years, and she is the daughter of Captain Jack Sparrow and Tia Dalma/ Calypso. She is my go-to character when I want to write something random, and I really want to put her into the Children of the Moon universe. Sea of Destiny barely got started, but Destiny is ultimately the one that hears the prophesy that sets the trilogy in motion. And, of course, I would alter her backstory to avoid copyright infringement. I may be a cast member, but that does not mean I get to do anything I want. You have to be smart about these things.

My most recent, and technically current, project is titled Golden Soul. I used the Skin the Cat! Writes a Novel method to plan this one out, and my characters laughed at me and said “Nope!” within the first chapter. The basic idea was to do something like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” meets the myth of Orpheus. Should have been simple. But now these is royalty involved and the earth reset itself but a task force in the underworld made sure that some information survived so humanity didn’t start all the way over. It’s now an almost steampunk era, but not really? Also, there are now some Jane Austen elements/ feelings involved? Yeah, I lost control of this hot mess. All I wanted was for Lucifer to fall in love with a violinist and she would have to win his soul with the gold violin he gave her when he had to return to Hell. Sigh.

So, those are my main works in progress that I am not progressing on. It’s honestly really hard to find the energy to actively work on one of them right now. Plus, TikTok and Reddit are very addicting, and I’ve only watched Hamilton four times. I’m trying to get better at having a set time goal to write every day, but it is very hit or miss. I even signed up for July Camp NaNo with a goal of 20,000 words, but as of now I am somewhere around 5,000. I know if I want to achieve my dream of being published, I need to get to work. Because I love writing. It’s one of my favorite things to do… when I actually do it.

Anyone else having the same difficulties? How does one overcome them?

Theme Parks During a Pandemic

In the past month I have gone to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Disney Springs, and Hollywood Studios (thank you cast member preview). I am an annual pass member for Universal Studios, but I did not attend the preview days. I was still there within that first week of opening, and my reasoning for going was that the parks were most likely the cleanest they have been for a long while. I will tell you about the experiences I had at both resorts, then I will point out some comparative differences I saw.

I’m going to start with yesterday’s cast member preview at Hollywood Studios. We have been blocked out of this park basically since Galaxy’s Edge opened last year, and I was VERY excited to go back. Hollywood Studios was my home park during my DCP in 2013, and it has been my favorite park since the MGM Studios days. It’s my love of theater that drew me in, but Rockin’ Roller Coaster sealed the deal. Of course, all of the shows are closed right now, but I still love it. Anyway, we were there from opening to about 7 p.m.

In that time we were able to ride everything, including Rise of the Resistance, at lunch at Pizza Rizzo’s, and shopped a bit. Coaster was a walk on, so we rode that twice within ten minutes. We also got to ride Mickey’s Runaway Railroad twice with a rough thirty minute wait each time. Rise was a much longer line- about ninety minutes- and the queue wrapped around to the Muppet’s Studios queue. Portions of the line were even backstage! Cast members stationed at Muppet’s allowed people to get out of line for the bathroom and to get cups of water from Pizza Rizzo’s which was a godsend in the heat. A majority of that line was in the sun, but the ride was worth every minute. Like, I cannot begin to describe how intense and awesome Rise is.

Characters in Galaxy’s Edge were on platforms, and we saw character parades through the park at random times. We were never at the right spot for these parades to get pictures, but I think there were three: Mickey and Friends, Pixar, and Disney Junior. Everyone was social distancing and wearing masks for the most part- most of the crowding happened when people were trying to enter a ride queue from multiple directions at various speeds. I’m not sure how that could be addressed, but just pay attention to your surroundings if you go to a theme park, okay?

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure were pretty empty. I mean, I got GREAT pictures at Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. We spent one day at each park, and Islands was a little more crowded than Universal, but I believe the walkways in Islands are more narrow. The app to get into virtual lines was a tad glitchy and unpredictable, but we had three people trying to get in, so it ended up being okay. This was a pre-planned family vacation for my cousin’s high school graduation, so we had a group of twelve people which made things interesting. We were always split up at every restaurant we went to except for Hard Rock Cafe where we got to sit together. We had plenty of time to do everything we wanted to do and a lot of things twice. If I remember correctly, Hagrid’s Motorbike was really the only line we had to wait more than ten minutes in.

I’m trying to recall this trip that was over a month ago, so bear with me if it’s not as good as the Hollywood section.

The 3-D glasses were tricky thanks to fogging, and the team members were quick to tell guests to keep masks on over their noses otherwise “the ride will stop.” I did think I was going to lose my mask on the Hulk, but I did not and it was fine. You did not have to wear a mask on the water rides in Islands of Adventure. The freestyle cups were active (something I think Universal has that Disney needs), and a team member wiped down the station after every guest.

Both parks required mobile ordering for quick service meals (we did not eat at a table service within any of the parks). However, Universal’s locations allowed you to be seated inside while waiting for your meal while Pizza Rizzo’s made you wait outside until the My Disney Experience app said your order was ready for pick up. That was a HOT wait out in the sun, and I could see a lot of angry guests in their future. Universal’s system was not perfect, though, as a team member would go around the tables to get order numbers and sometimes they would miss a table in their rotation, causing a longer wait for food.

Hand sanitizing stations were everywhere at both parks. but it was not enforced at Hollywood Studios. At the Universal resort, a team member gave you sanitizer at the head of the line, and you could not board the vehicle until after. There was also a sanitizing station right after you got off the ride, but that one was not required. The difference was most apparent at Toy Story Mania where guests were able bypass the sanitizing station without using it before loading into the ride vehicle.

Overall I will say I felt safer at Universal than at Disney in regards to Covid guidelines. I will also say that my experience does not mean someone else felt differently. It’s all personal opinion. I do recommend bringing multiple masks to whatever park you may go to. I switched mine out after four hours in the fun summer Florida heat. This helped immensely with breathing as the sweat and humidity kind of clung to the fabric of the mask.

Now that everything is opened up and cases are on the ride, I will probably no go back to a theme park for a little while. Between the block out dates, the heat, and increase in out of state travel, I think I will say goodbye to my Saturday cardio of walking around the parks (I know, my privilege is showing. Perk of working corporate for a major tourist industry). I will probably go to Disney Springs before the current increased cast member discount ends, though. I am also going to the beach this weekend where I WILL have a mask with me by the ocean just in case the crowd levels are more than I am comfortable with. I know my level of risk, and I will act accordingly even if it means only one half of my face is tan.

Feel free to ask me questions about the parks, and I will do my best to answer. I will also follow up about that beach trip and whether or not I felt good on the panhandle.

The Top Disney Animated Sequels

Let’s do a top 15 list! I debated long and hard on whether or not I was going to include sequels released in theaters, because I did not want this list to be all Pixar. After all, the 90s and 2000s were a prime time for straight to home video sequels and prequels and mid-quels that were labeled as sequels. So, I will do one top 15 with theatrical releases, and one without.

As always, feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comments.

THE TOP 15 DISNEY ANIMATED SEQUELS

  1. Toy Story 2
  2. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. The Incredibles 2
  5. Frozen 2
  6. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  7. Lion King 1/2
  8. Toy Story 4
  9. Kronk’s New Groove
  10. The Return of Jafar
  11. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  12. The Rescuers Down Under
  13. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  14. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  15. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland

It is important to point out that a VAST MAJORITY of the straight to home video sequels were the opposite of the original. In about half of them, the offspring of the main character wants to do the reverse arc of the parent. Also, a lot of them have “return” in the title. It’s pretty wild. Anyway, here is the same list without theatrical releases:

  1. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  2. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  3. Lion King 1/2
  4. Kronk’s New Groove
  5. The Return of Jafar
  6. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  7. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  8. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  9. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland
  10. Aladdin and the King of Theives
  11. An Extremely Goofy Movie
  12. Mulan 2
  13. Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure
  14. Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return
  15. Tarzan 2

There you have it, folks. I know some of these are controversial. And my mom is probably reading this and thinking “you made me watch this movie so many times, and it’s not even at the top of your list?!” Well, Melody is annoying, and Ariel should have just told her she was a mermaid. As I have re-watched these with an adult mind, I have noticed my perceptions have changed.

Except for the Lion King movies. Each and every one is a masterpiece. Lion King 1/2 was the first thing I watched on Disney Plus and I am proud of it.

I am also not justifying this list. Most of the second list is “I like the characters, but the original had the magic.” And I really should not have to tell you why there are so many Pixar movies in the first list. And, yes, I think Frozen 2 is better than Frozen.

But Tangled is better than both.

This May Be My Most Controversial Post Yet

CAUTION: THIS IS ALL ABOUT STAR WARS INCLUDING AND NOT LIMITED TO ALL THEATRICAL RELEASES, TV SHOWS, AND NOVELS (I HAVE NOT PLAYED ANY OF THE VIDEO GAMES). THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make. I like the sequel trilogy. I also like the prequel trilogy. And the stand alone films. And the originals. Now, that does not mean I do not recognize the problems the films have on an individual level. I just want to be entertained. If a movie or book or whatever has enough things that I enjoy, then I will like it. I do not indulge in sci-fi and fantasy to be taught some deep. psychological lesson. I want to see cool fights and sappy romance. You know, the good stuff.

I know the sequels are the hot thing to hate right now. But, the writers did take from the extended universal novels (that are no longer cannon but still really good to read), and a lot of those novels are not great. I mean, there is a whole arc that Luke goes up against a Palpatine clone that has gone insane. So, yeah. Disney tried to use some of the ideas that we already were familiar with. The main issue there, in my opinion, was using multiple directors who did not want to work together on plot line apparently.

Let’s take a look at the films and TV shows (that I have seen, sorry Rebels) in chronological order, shall we?

  • Episode One: The Phantom Menace: We were gifted with a super cool villain in Darth Maul, the BEST piece of soundtrack ever with “Duel of the Fates”, introduced us to Padme Amidala who is pretty awesome, and gave us Qui-gon who was definitely a gray Jedi. Jar-Jar and dialogue were big problems (“Now THIS is pod-racing”), but the characters and action made up for that.
  • Episode Two: The Attack of the Clones: This is the weakest of the prequels. Padme does get to be a badass, and Ewan McGreggor is the best thing to happen to Star Wars. BUT, the best pick up line Ani can come up with is “I don’t like sand.” The guy has clearly never spoken to a female before.
  • The Clone Wars: If you have issues with Anikin’s character arc in the films, you need to watch this animated show. There is so much depth in the different relationships and the slow dissolve of the republic. Still not sure why Ani was not granted the rank of master when he had a padawan, but whatever. There’s an episode with dark Yoda that looks like a creepy Smeagol thing from nightmares.
  • Episode Three: The Revenge of the Sith: Best of the prequels, and not because of the memes. Epic light saber battles, betrayals, more bad dialogue. But most importantly: Darth Vader arises. I do have MAJOR issues with Padme being reduced to a weak pregnant lady when I think she would still be badass. That wasn’t cool.
  • Solo: I think this one suffered because it was released so soon after The Last Jedi. Donald Glover was great. I think the guy playing Han did a good job. The story was fun; there was some fan service in there. BUT THE ENDING. I want there to be a follow up somewhere, because I literally punched my husband in the arm repeatedly when I saw Maul.
  • Rogue One: The best of the Disney era. I honestly cannot think of a big issue with this one. The characters are awesome, all loose ends are tied up, and there is a beautiful transition to the original trilogy. Darth Vader steals the movie. His scenes are terrifying. We finally get to see how powerful he really is.
  • Episode Four: A New Hope: Han shot first. Also, Luke was able to use the force pretty easily to destroy the Death Star for someone who had like three lessons with Obi (or is it Ben?). Chewy deserved a medal. That was rude.
  • Episode Five: Empire Strikes Back: Yoda is a creepy little puppet frog, but he’s cool. Lando is fun. Things happen. Han and Leia do their thing. Honestly, this one is probably my least favorite of the movies (besides episode eight).
  • Episode Six: Return of the Jedi: Leia killing people in a bikini is a mood. We get a great wrap up of things in this one. Anikin’s character arc is complete- he is the one to bring balance to the force. Everyone is happy and the evil empire is gone… OR IS IT?
  • Star Wars Rebels: I have not watched this yet, but I’ve heard it’s good.
  • The Mandalorian: Who doesn’t love a good space western with heists and the most precious baby alien you have ever seen in your life? My only complaint is people die too soon. Side characters are a guaranteed one episode only thing. Oh, and it’s pretty much confirmed Ashoka will be in season two which will be awesome.
  • Episode Seven: The Force Awakens: Ben is actually one of those borrowed extended universe ideas, but he was Luke’s son (I wish Mara Jade was in a movie). Yes, it follows the same formula as A New Hope, but I honestly thought the setup was good.
  • Episode Eight: The Last Jedi: The only part of this worth watching is the throne room scene. Canto Blight makes no sense. The force bond is neat, but they did Luke dirty. Also, Leia was trained in the force and used a lightsaber in the extended universe novels. I think Kylo makes for an interesting character with his struggle between good and evil and being a confused mess.
  • Episode Nine: Rise of the Skywalker: I think this one did the best it could after trying to pick up the scattered pieces episode eight left behind. Really, one director should have been in charge of this. And, I will repeat myself, clone Palpatine was in the extended universe. Probably force healing too, I’m really not that sure. I did not like how they further reduced Finn and Poe to be comedic relief. They’re better than that. Also, this is the first time all of them are together and their like instant best friends? And why didn’t force ghost Ani show up and be like “grandson, you’re being stupid.”

Now, if Disney continues to bring in things from the novels (I will not pretend I have read them all), I think they have some strong stories to draw from. Thrawn is the greatest villain character in the universe. Revan is a fun one. Mara Jade. I love Mara Jade, but I guess she can’t be married to Luke so not sure what we can do there. Basically anything set before the prequels would be fun to see. Or more Darth Maul. I love Darth Maul.

I am not trying to make excuses for any of these movies. I just think Star Wars is Star Wars and having more Star Wars is awesome. Also, if you don’t like something, you can always fix it in your own fanfiction. Just don’t start fights with someone just because you think Disney ruined Star Wars. They did not. They aren’t giving us perfect Star Wars, but it was never perfect.

I do highly recommend going to Galaxy’s Edge when you get the chance, though. That is a fantastic area.

Productions of Starkid Productions, Ranked

In honor of Black Friday being uploaded to YouTube, I give you my ranking of Starkid musicals. Please note that these are subject to change at any time due to unexplained shifts in time, portkeys, and/or enslaving hive minds.

  1. Twisted
    1. The title song features the best villain cameos
    2. No one remembers Achmed
    3. SO MANY FEELINGS
  2. A Very Potter Musical
    1. It’s totally awesome
    2. Draco Malfoy everything
    3. Zefron
  3. Holy Musical B@tman
    1. I want to be somebody’s buddy
    2. Sweet Tooth is the greatest
    3. The puns are everywhere
  4. The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals
    1. 5 o’clock can’t come soon enough!
    2. I cannot relate to the main character, but that’s okay
    3. Between evil baristas and disturbing songs, there’s a little something for everyone
  5. A Very Potter Sequel
    1. Mamma Umbridge!
    2. What’s your favorite color vine besides green???
    3. Time travel?
  6. The Trail to Oregon
    1. It’s literally a musical based on the Oregon Trail game
    2. Jack Bauer (they got different names from the audience every show and made it work. You guys, it’s amazing)
    3. Alternate endings!
  7. Black Friday
    1. Dylan is back with the voice of an angel
    2. What if Tickle Me Elmo was a demonic toy?
    3. The vocals, omg.
  8. Starship
    1. The puppetry work is out of this world
    2. Epic romance
    3. I want to be a Starship Ranger…
  9. Firebringer
    1. Duck is lord
    2. Female power
    3. Everyone is beautiful and amazing
  10. A Very Potter Senior Year
    1. Darren Criss is back!
    2. Also Evanna Lynch
    3. We’re the wizard cops!
  11. Ani: A Parody
    1. Star Wars prequel
    2. He’s trying his best
    3. Now this is pod racing

Note: Me and My Dick is not on this list as I have not seen it. Yes, I am a bad Starkid fan.

Are our lists the same? Do you even know who Starkid Productions is? If not, then you need to go to YouTube immediately and educate yourself. Darren Criss would not be where he is today without them. The Langs are some of the most talented writers to have ever write, and Jeff Blim is… Well, he’s Jeff Blim. You’ll know what i mean when you watch him in action. there are SO MANY talented beautiful human beings involved. Lauren Lopez, Joey Ritcher, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Corey Dorris, Robert Manion, Joe Walker… The list is almost endless (but it does, eventually, end as there are only so many productions).

Please, go check them out. Love them. Stalk them on YouTube and on their website. Once you do, then you, too, will be totally awesome.

Goals for 2020

So we are six weeks into 2020, but I am still trying to figure out what my main goals for the year are. I am trying to have at least one for what I believe to be the important parts of my life. As soon as I share them, you guys can help hold me accountable. But, here are the couple I have so far:

My reading goal for the year is 50 books. That’s a little less than a book a week, and I think I can pull it off. Heck, I have 12 done already which will be good if I get into a reading slump later in the year.

Health goals are going to be non-scale based. I think that is part of the reason why I have such a hard time with it- numbers get into my head. I want to complete a 5k by the end of the year and move from power walking to jogging on the treads at my Orange Theory class. I just started jogging on the all outs without inclines, and man, that makes me super winded. Cardio is not my thing, y’all.

I want to finish writing my NaNoWriMo 2019 novel before NaNoWriMo 2020 starts. My plot decided to not follow my outline so I have been stuck with how to get things going again.

Make the most out of my annual passes. I am paying for Universal and SeaWorld, and I don’t want that money to be wasted. I don’t see it happening because I just love theme parks and roller coasters, but my life isn’t 24/7 Disney (it basically is, but we keep getting blocked out thanks to Star Wars).

Career wise I don’t have any specific goals yet. Last year was huge for my job, so I feel like this year will be honing my knowledge on skills I need for industry accounting. The change from public was a welcome one, but a lot of my every day smarts are not used here as they were tax related. It’s a different brain and I am enjoying it very much.

I plan on keeping you updated on these goals and more as they come up. I also plan on bragging about all the fun theme park stuff I get up to, so if you have any questions about Orlando theme parks, let me know and I will do my best to answer!

Dreams Come True

Okay, so I know that it was been WAY too long since I have written anything, so let’s do a quick life update:

  • I survived one of the worst tax seasons ever (thank you new tax laws that no one really understands yet).
  • We went to Disney! It was a blast. I even got to experience Hollywood Studio’s 30th birthday celebration.
  • We stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter while we were there. 10/10 would definitely stay there again and recommend to everyone. Everything was amazing, especially the food.
  • I got a new job, so goodbye public accounting.
  • We are in the process of moving for that new job. In fact, I’m writing this from a hotel room as part of the relocation process.

So, what is my new job you ask?

I am super excited to say that I am a financial analyst working at Team Disney for DCL!! Guys, I work right across the street from Disney Springs. Six years after the end of my Disney College Program, I am back working for the best boss ever. It still feels surreal. This past week was my first on the job, and yes, I totally almost cried at Traditions. I may not be in a role with a lot of guest interaction, but I still get to help make the magic come to life.

Earlier this year I chose the word renaissance to define my goals and path. And, just like Disney in the 90s, I feel like this is my renaissance. I got my CPA and I am back with the company I have dreamed of all of my life. Things are only just beginning. Next steps are becoming a homeowner and getting my health goals back on track (walking around Disney World should help with that one).

Things are happening. Let’s see how far they’ll go.

THE ENDGAME

Guys, the Avengers 4 trailer just dropped and I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS.

****** STOP NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE TRAILER******

 

EVERYTHING IS DEPRESSING AND BEAUTIFUL.

Why didn’t Nebula help Tony out? She’s like super space savvy and could have easily gotten him to Earth. Also “Always you” ohmygosh she’s probably dust. I’m guessing all love interests are dust (Except Nat and Bruce which is still kind of weird). I will say the mask in the first few seconds really made me think he was gone. Thanks for that mini heart attack.

Scott being Scott is my favorite. I wonder how he got out of the Quantum Zone?

Steve!!! He needs a hug. And hours of therapy. Thank god he shaved.

Okay, so, I squealed when I saw Clint. Hawkeye is my favorite Avenger. It may have to do with the fact that I find archers INCREDIBLY amazing (IE Merida and Legolas). But also, he can get it. I am still a huge fan of the Chrises, but there is something about Hawkeye that I’m just like “YES PLEASE” over. He is the stongest avenger. Plus he sang a great song about how no one appreciates him enough (look it up on YouTube). Well, I appreciate him.

Where was Rocket???

This was not enough. I need Captain Marvel to come out today and this to come out next week. April is WAY too far away.

Side note: I’m going to Disney World at the end of April. I wonder if they’ll be doing some special Avengers stuff. This is going to be exciting.

Four months to emotionally prepare ourselves. I doubt it will be enough time. The Endgame is coming.

Happy birthday Mickey!

The Mouse turns 90 years old today. It’s weird to think that he’s been around for almost a century.  The magic has been real for ninety years, guys. That’s incredible. Mickey has been there throughout so much of modern history. A world war, civil rights movement, going to the moon… And the mouse hasn’t aged a day.

I don’t have a picture of my fondest memory of Mickey. And, as a former cast member, one may think this story silly, but being a cast member doesn’t kill the magic. And there is only one Mickey Mouse.

But in the beginning of January 2013, I went to Traditions. It was the official start of my Disney College Program. There was a group of us in a classroom, and we were going over the typical orientation stuff (I still have my books from Traditions. I don’t think I will ever get rid of them). And in the middle of everything, the door to the classroom opened, and Mickey Mouse, my new boss, walked in.

I cried. I’m crying now just thinking about it, to be honest.

Mickey said hi to us and helped the cast member running traditions for a while. I don’t really remember the exact details of why, but at some point Mickey gave me a little Minnie figurine. She sits on my desk at work now, but that had to be the most magical moment of my program. Before he left, Mickey brought the cast members running Traditions our name tags. He made us official cast members.

Mickey Mouse has been a huge part of my life. He never fails to inspire magic and happiness (and tears. I cry a lot when it comes to Mickey, though part of that is from watching Fantasmic on Youtube when I know I will cry from homesickness the entire time). He will be a huge part of my future, as well. Maybe one day he will be my boss again, but at a minimum, he will be part of my home.

Happy birthday, Mr. Mouse. I can’t await to see what your future holds.

Some imagination, huh?

Excelsior

Today is the day we have all been dreading. Stan Lee, after an amazing 95 years, has left our world behind.

He gave us so much. I never had the opportunity to meet him and thank him, but I always heard that he was a gem and a great man when it came to his fans.

The Marvel universe will never be the same without him. We will miss his presence- not just in his cameos. Mr. Lee was- is- the heart of Marvel. He shaped a world where we could be all sorts of heroes. Where we could learn to accept our differences and learn how they made us stronger even though we felt we were mutants. We learned that not all heroes are strictly good, and sometimes a hero means making a ka-bob out of villains and walking the line of “um, I think he’s actually a bad guy…”

He taught us that rage could be a strength and everyone can be redeemed. That being dead doesn’t mean being gone. And he will never be gone. Not truly. The legacy he left behind will continue to grow and be enjoyed generation after generation. We will never forget Stan Lee.

Rest in peace, hero.