Not So Magical After All?

I wanted to post about this sooner, but I just did not know what to say. I am still learning about the topic at hand, and all I can really offer is my personal opinion and views on things. There have been so many responses to this already- I suggest you read more than just this post if you have not done so.

I am talking about the tweets and statements made by J.K. Rowling about the trans community. She made quite the stir with her conservative views about their rights, and she doubled down on her publicly stated views after her fans rightfully tried to educate her on the matter.

My opinion is this: you can separate the creator from the art and still appreciate the beauty and message. You can also have various reactions to different situations based on your own compass and the sin. Your views are your own, and they are valid. However, you should be open to learning and listening if someone points out the flaws. And in this case, Miss Rowling is in the wrong.

I will admit that I first gave her a pass on what she said. She is the author of the series that shaped my childhood- really most of the millennial generation. I wanted to believe that she just did not understand what she was tweeting about, and that she would learn from the responses. However, when she refused to back down and claimed to be a victim of the internet, I quickly realized she was not a person worth my respect. Transgendered individuals are humans, and they should have the same rights as everyone. Gender is not an absolute, and a person should be able to be comfortable within their own body.

What hurts the most is Harry Potter is about love and acceptance. The bad guys were literally evil because they wanted to discriminate and commit genocide based on archaic views. Yes, there are some problematic things in the story regarding stereotypes and representation, but the seven books boil down to clear messages of hope. Friendship prevails. Hate loses. Love and accept everyone, no matter their status. It’s kind of a simple concept, really. It’s a shame that the author cannot practice what she writes.

I will not stop loving the Wizarding World. She just doesn’t exist to me anymore. This is the fun part of this situation- how fans are replacing her. Is Starkid the real author and everything else just fanfiction? Hermione decided to write a memoir. Maybe there is no one author and it was written by magic. I’m not sure which one I like best- perhaps a combination of them all?

Again, I am not the best person to be writing about this as I have limited knowledge. I am a straight cis female, but I do consider myself to be a LBGTQIAPK ally. I could be a better ally- I am usually pretty quiet on social media when it comes to these things. I tell myself it’s because I don’t want to start fights with family and friends, but that’s a pretty bad excuse. I want to be better. Learn more. Speak up more. That starts today.

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?

The Beach during a Pandemic

Hello there.

I said I would write about my beach vacation, and here I am. I spent last Saturday through Tuesday at Santa Rosa Beach. My family has a condo there, and it’s usually not as busy as other popular beaches. The location is also about thirty minutes to Destin or Panama City, which makes it pretty great for a vacation.

The first night we went to Rum Runners bar. Saturday nights there are for Dueling Pianos, which is one of our favorite things. The area Rum Runners is in is like a small boardwalk within a resort. Not many people were wearing a mask, but most of them were at outside dining tables and still keeping social distance. Rum Runners itself has less tables than when we were there two years ago in order to allow for six feet between parties. Dueling Pianos was a lot of fun, but the smaller crowd made a huge difference. While the songs were good, there was no feeling of a party. That may be the wrong way to put it. The atmosphere was just not as electric. Not as many drunk bachelorette parties.

Sunday morning, we got to the beach around 9:30. I was shocked at the number of people there- at least double than what we normally see (we go around the same time every year). My guess is most people chose to go to the beach when all the other vacation spots closed due to the virus. There were four or five rows of people that morning, and I will admit that pictures of the beach from a certain angle would make it seem like everyone was on top of each other. But, there was space between groups. I did not bring a ruler or anything, but everyone was setting up the acceptable amount of distance away from others. At least, I never felt like I needed to put on my mask (I kept one in my beach bag at all times, just in case).

That afternoon was spent in San Destin for shopping. Masks were required, and the number of guests inside stores was limited. Our favorite place to shop is the Vera Bradley outlet (or factory, not sure which one is the official name), and this time they had some of the Disney print! I snagged myself a Mickey beach towel, but I never used it for fear of messing it up. Oh, and this time we did the tourist thing and got ourselves airbrush shirts made. You have to wear matching shirts, otherwise it’s not a true girls’ trip.

Monday morning, we got to the beach a little earlier than the day before and it was a lot less crowded. When we left at noon, there was only two rows of people. The weather was fantastic, and the fish were determined to eat our feet. Yeah, that part was not that great, so we did not spend a lot of time in the water. I get freaked out when the fish nibble.

The highlight of the happened that afternoon. We found an axe throwing place in Panama City, and immediately said “yes! Let’s do that!” I was the only one in the group who had done it before, so we spend a good thirty minutes learning the ropes. We were the only ones in the place, and the employees, Crystal and Tiana, were so much fun (and patient). They ended up playing the games with us, and they allowed us to play a little longer than our reserved hour. Everyone was so good by the end of it! I have a feeling that Axe Throwing PCB will be a permanent spot in our future vacations.

Tuesday was the goodbye and drive back to Orlando. It was a short and sweet vacation, and I miss it already. It was nice to not have to think about work for once this summer. Everything has been so hectic and sometimes it feels as if things are just getting worse. Last weekend was a blessing. And I would say, if you are comfortable, do the things that make you feel better. Mental health is hard to keep up with in a normal time, and it is amazingly difficult when your stress level is off the charts. Go to the beach. Take a walk. Do it safely. Just take time for yourself.

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.

Let’s Talk Podcasts

So, working at home has been a fun challenge. I like working with more than one screen because Excel is SO much easier that way (and over the years I have had a total of three screens always. The offices have spoiled me), so I am in what can be considered a study and not in front of my TV. To help pass the time, I have spent hours listening to various playlists and podcasts. I have a few podcasts that I really enjoy, so I decided to share them with you!

The Upside with Callie and Jeff Dauler is a M-F podcast out of Atlanta. Jeff Dauler had been a morning show host most of my life, and when he made the move to podcasting I followed. He and his wife make a great team. They are so honest about everything. It is a political-free zone 97% of the time (sometimes you cannot ignore what’s going on in the world) which makes it a delightful break from the news. Gratitude is their main thing, and the fan base are a bunch of super kind, encouraging Weaponized Hamsters. This show has become so much of my morning routine that it throws me off if I don’t listen. Also, they have two dogs that they talk about a lot and that is just the best.

Welcome to Night Vale was the first show I ever started listening to back when the only place I knew to find podcasts was YouTube. It is a fictional podcast told from the view of Night Vale’s radio host Cecil Palmer. His voice will melt butter; I love him. The story is on the Lovecraft side of weird, but you get so attached to the characters and the stories. I got to meet the voice of Night Vale, Cecil Baldwin, at DragonCon in 2016, and he was the absolute best. The podcast updates about twice a month with a break during the summer, and has been going on since… I feel like I was in high school? So almost 10 years?

The Darkest Timeline with Ken Jeong & Joel McHale is a brand new pandemic project that was started back in March. I love the show Community, so I had to give it a listen. And, guys, it’s not all dumb jokes and show stories. Ken and his wife are doctors, and part of the show is to talk about the Corona Virus and what’s in development and such. It’s not nearly as political as I thought it would be- they are really determined to stick to the facts. And they have GREAT guest stars. Jim Rash, Alison Brie, Dani Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown… Basically everyone from Community has shown up at least once, but then there has also been Pedro Pascal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Shaq. Donald Glover, unfortunately, has only come on for the script reading and after show that they did, but he never stops. The man is a legend. I both learn and laugh a lot with this one.

Office Ladies is actually my least favorite on this list. For me, personally, it just feels like a talk through of each episode of The Office. There aren’t a lot of behind the stage stories, and compared to the Community cast stories, it’s just lackluster. But, I only recently started listening to them, so maybe I need to give it a few more episodes?

My Dad Wrote a Porno is the best worst thing you can ever listen to. And by worst I mean, do NOT listen to it in public. You are in for one wild ride as Belinda traverses the business world. I have learned that the only way to make deals in the pots and pans world is to have sex with everyone. I have also learned that Rocky Flinstone knows nothing about biology and anatomy, and really that’s what makes it great. You have three hosts for this one: Jamie (son of Rocky), James, and Alice. Jamie reads a chapter of his dad’s books (yes, there are more than one) each episode, and James and Alice make amazing commentary while playing the drinking game and trying not to puke at the gross descriptions. There was a HBO special where they read a chapter in front of a live audience, and that is how I found this show. If you need to laugh until you cry, check this one out.

Other fun honorable mentions include the new Harry Potter at Home series and other Night Vale Presents shows: Alice Isn’t Dead, The Orbiting Human Circus, Between the Wires, and more. The Harry Potter series is various actors reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/ Sorcerer’s Stone and it’s just delightful to hear Daniel Radcliff, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis,. Jason Issac… Really pretty much everyone involved on stage and screen in the HP Universe.

There you have it folks! The list of podcasts that are making my 8-14 hour long days (I wish I was kidding) better. Do you have any suggestions? I know a lot of people are in to true crime- not really my thing, and I want to try to catch up on Critical Role at some point as I have heard that one is good. Let me know what you have discovered!

A New Month Already? Julying

Happy second half of 2020! We’ve had a hell of a year so far, but there’s still time to turn it around.

Disney opens at the end of the week, and while I am excited, that’s not the subject of today’s post (I am signed up for one of the Cast Member preview days, so I will talk more after going to that). Today is all about that lovely goal I have about getting healthy. Woohoo!

Quick recap: I am an accountant and therefore sit around all day and do not exercise very often. I am also prone to stress snack on chips and chocolate. All bad habits combined led to a 30 pound gain since I got married in October 2016. I was doing good this past year- I started going to Orange Theory this past October and was taking daily walks on my lunch breaks. Oh, and I kept my desk at standing (LOVE my standing desk at the office) until the afternoon, which also helped a lot (scoliosis back pain, so fun). Then quarantine and working from home (indefinitely still at this point) happened and everything just kind of stopped.

In the beginning of May, I did my very first 5K for one of my favorite organizations: Bert’s Big Adventure out of Atlanta. It was a virtual race, so I was able to complete it by running around my neighborhood. I did not train for it, and according to MapMyRun, I did a total of 5.14KM in 57 minutes. Not too shabby for my first race.

My first 5k race!

You would think that would have made me want to get moving more, especially with the Wine and Dine 10K not yet cancelled, but I still did not get into a routine when it came to fitness.

In Flordia, Orange Theory opened right before Memorial Day. I did start back the week after it opened – OTF and the grocery store are basically the only places I go now. The first few classes were terrible as my body had ditched all the gains from the past 6 months. It was very discouraging, but enlightening to what all I had gained, then lost. I started making sure I took walks more regularly after that- and because B.B.A. announced another virtual race for the 4th of July. This time we could get shirts!

Y’all, my time on Saturday was 51 minutes. Things are working.

The best part is the scale is starting to trend down! I am so excited, but I do have a feeling that it is not just because of the increased activity. A couple of weeks ago, I began to really count the calories I ate – I bought a food scale and everything. Staying home all day decreases my calories burned, so I incorporated a very loose intermittent fasting schedule as well (16:8 for those who follow IF). My morning is hot tea and water; I try not to eat anything until noon. It’s working as long as I stick with it.

With all of that being said- what are some good healthy snacks? I know fruits and vegetables, of course, but what about non-traditional snacks? Especially for someone who loves sweet and salty things. Let me know some of your favorite recipes for me to try!

Some Advise for the Grads

First of all, congrats! Whether it be high school, college, military or whatever else has graduations, you did it! All of your hard work paid off.

I want to share some of the things I learned over the years, mostly in college, to try to help some of you. Some lessons you will have to learn the hard way, but I hope this will give you an idea of what to watch out for. It will make you stronger, smarter, better. It will hurt, and some of that pain may take a long time to fade. And we all will react to that pain differently. Just be sure to do what is best for you.

Anyway, some food for thought:

  • Try new things. Especially if you are going the college route. Now is the time to find the things you like. Maybe swing dancing or improv. Campuses have a little bit of everything.
  • It is absolutely okay to not know what you want to do and to change your major. I started out as a creative writing major, and now I am a C.P.A. Accounting was my third major.
  • Apply for the Disney College Program! It’s fun. You will learn a lot, and it’s Disney. Do it.
  • Just because it is popular, does not mean that it is your style. Not all of us can pull off feathers in our hair, though some of us tried.
  • Alternate water when drinking! Believe me, it will save you a headache. Always have water.
  • It is perfectly fine to be the mom of the group. Groups need the mom friend for a reason. You will help them survive.
  • Learn and grow from your mistakes. There will be plenty.
  • You will come to realize who your real friends are. Beware one sided friendships, and be mindful of who stays by you when there is a rough patch. Be there for your friends as well. Also, you will be the bad friend to some. If they call you out on it, try to do better.
  • College weight gain is a real thing. Just because it is a buffet, does not mean you need to get pizza and a burger.
  • If you feel like the outcast in your friend group, maybe you need to find different one. Do find a different group if that group does not take your outcast feelings seriously.
  • You do not have to say yes to everything and please everyone. That is impossible. Again, do what is best for you.

My hardest learned lesson was toxic people. I am not a social butterfly- I have a handful of close friends and that’s it. I am mostly an introvert. But, I also felt like I should have had more friends. Been more outgoing. Basically be not me. As a result, I was the mom friend and the outcast of a friend group. I did not start out as the outcast as we were a small group, but the group expanded when I went to my DCP (no regrets there, obviously, because I am now a salaried CM), and I never really got close to the new members of the group when I got back. Those last couple years of college were hell on my mental health as I kept trying to fit in with that group. They did not treat me well, and I did not see them as toxic until I let the fact that I was the outsider consume me. I tried so hard to fix things, when I should have just let them go. Thank whatever god or goddess was watching me when I found one of my now best friends who made that last year fun and bearable. One good friend is worth more than 10 fake ones.

And family members can be toxic as well. Yes, there are different rules to handling it depending on the culture of your family and how easy it is to enforce boundaries. I had A LOT of one sided relationships with family members. And, again, it took a good friend (or several in some cases) pointing out the effect that person had on my health before I realized it. If someone is concerned about you, listen to them. A lot of times you cannot see the toxicity because you are too close. It is a hard lesson to learn without experiencing it. And I hope that you will not have to endure too much pain before you learn what is toxic to you.

So, in conclusion, the bullet pointed list is the general pieces of advise I would give to everyone. The paragraphs after were definitely more personal, but I believe that it is the biggest lesson to learn. You will have to deal with toxic people in school, work, personal life, basically everywhere. And if you cannot get rid of them, you will have to find ways to cope – i recommend having a really good friend on hand to boost you up. And if you try to tell someone they are toxic, be prepared for a world of defense mechanisms and excuses. Not everyone owns their flaws. Own yours.

I feel like this has become a hot mess of me just ranting. So, congrats again grads of 2020. Good luck in your journey, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Goals Check In

Hello everyone! We are still in self-isolation/quarantine land, and I have barely been outside my home in over a month. The worst traffic I have seen is my cat cleaning his junk in the middle of the walk way. As such, most of my health goals have been replaced by excuses.

I started out really well with morning runs and such, but then the Cast Member 5K at Disney Springs was officially cancelled and I just kind of lost the motivation. And that motivation has been extremely difficult to get back. I haven’t worked out in two weeks. It’s bad.

I did sign up for a virtual 5K that is taking place May 2nd. Bert’s Big Adventure from Atlanta is hosting it. All money raised is going to the charity which takes children and their families to Disney World among other things. Most of the children have some kind of serious illness or superpower, and I have been a big supporter for more than a decade. It’s awesome. Go check them out. The race is $15 for a runner and $5 for each additional runner you register.

I also purchased an elliptical that has yet to ship. I am hoping it will come soon, but COVID is putting a delay on a lot of purchases.

The other big problem my health goals are facing is the fact that I can snack all day long with no judgment thanks to working from home. The snacks plus the lack of movement (I am averaging less than half of the usual steps a day I got in the office) means I am definitely consuming more calories than what I am burning.

But, this is a new week leading into a new month. I am going to get back on track and complete that 5K. I will be ready to get back to the gym and the theme parks when they finally reopen. And as soon as that elliptical gets delivered, I will be adding it to my morning or afternoon routine to the point where I am doing some kind of cardio at least 4x a week.

And I will continue to be honest to myself and to you guys when it comes to the ups and downs of this. Health is hard, and you have to be able to acknowledge the issues to get there.

I will Go Down with these Ships

On today’s episode of “it’s quarantine and not much is happening” I will invite all sorts of hate and criticisms. It is time to reveal the ships I sail (for those who do not know what that means, I do not actually sail. These are romantic pairings that may or may not be cannon in the fictional world). Not all of them will be defended. I do not owe you reasons for my opinions. And, yes, some of them are very not cannon. I do not care.

Let the fun begin.

  1. Sparrowbeth. Captain Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann are my favorite ship that I will die for. She was done so dirty. Elizabeth is 10x the pirate Will will ever be, and I refuse to believe she stayed on an island just to see him once every ten years. She was-is- the pirate king, after all. Jack met her in wit and in adventurous spirit. Will, while I will always love Orlando Bloom, was not supportive of her pirateness and decided the father who abandoned him was worth more to him than she was. Sparrowbeth for life.
  2. Dramione. Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy are fantastic only if they are written well. He was a twat and a bully, but intellectually they match. I know this one will be the most hated on my list, but I like what I like. And I have a weird thing for villains. Sue me.
  3. Robin and Starfire in the original animated Teen Titans. Duh.
  4. Danny Phantom and Ember McClain. I really do not have any reason for this one. I just like it.
  5. Rachel and Puck from Glee. I KNOW THE REAL LIFE ISSUES. I do. But, I really did not like Finn. Again, see above. I like assholes.
  6. The Phantom and Christine. I am not that big of a fan of Love Never Dies. But I do like the Phantom and Christine pairing. Raoul is a big weenie.
  7. Reylo. Rey and Kylo Ren is not my hardest ship in the world. There are aspects to them I like, but the writing of the sequels ruined them. The redemption arc was there. It could have happened.
  8. Me with Loki. I’m kidding. Kind of. I love him.
  9. Joker and Harley is the most problematic relationship to ever be popular. I am almost ashamed of putting this on the list. Abuse is never okay. But I love them (animated series anyway. Live action Harley is better off. She doesn’t need anyone).
  10. Team Jacob.
  11. Teem Peeta.
  12. Eric Northman and Sookie Stackhouse. Read the books, y’all. They are so much better than the series. I have no idea what the writers were thinking when they made all those changes.

Okay, there you have it. Twelve ships that I ship. At least, the ones that came to mind when I was making this list. There are probably so many more (Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy for one) that fall into the definitely cannon list. And, I will be the first to admit that I see the problems with my ships. I know a lot of them would not work in the real world. But that is the joy of fiction and fanfiction. We can do what we want.

Tell me your ships or why I am the worst in the comments!

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.