Brother Bear

The last time I thought about you was a few weeks ago.

It was because some friends and I were discussing the best animated Disney movies. As we went through the list, the title Brother Bear popped into my head, and I immediately began expressing my love for the film, declaring it my personal favorite.

Now that I think about it, I don’t even really remember what happens in the movie. I vaguely recall a plot about two brothers who turn into bears, then turn back into humans, then decide to turn back into bears – or maybe something sort of like that.

I didn’t realize that I miss you until tonight, and I think part of the reason why it started to hurt so much is simply because I wasn’t even aware I missed you.

The last time you called was to wish me happy birthday, and that was four months ago. I can’t remember the last time I saw you.

Ever since you moved out, we’ve gradually lost touch. Now when you come to visit I feel a sort of distance between us. Maybe it’s because you’re over a decade older than I am, but even still, when I was in kindergarten and you were in high school I remember you used to laugh at my jokes, or at least pretend to laugh at them.

Now it feels like we don’t have anything in common. When you do come home to visit you’d rather sit with Dad in the kitchen than come play video games with us. It didn’t used to be like that. But even if you do choose to spend time with your siblings, it would probably mean throwing around a ball in the yard with our brother, and I would either sit and watch you both or just stay inside.

Image Credit: Disney,com

I remember you babysitting while our parents weren’t home, how you used to sit us on your bed and then flop onto it beside us to see how high we would bounce.

I remember the countless hours we spent in the pool. I would cling onto your back like a leech, and even though it annoyed you you let me stay there. I remember the first time I went down the slide I sat on your lap because I was too little to go by myself. Or when you would throw me up in the air and how it felt like I was flying, how time stopped and I was weightless, until I finally splashed back into the water.

I used to think of you as a superhero, and in some ways I guess I still do. I believed everything you told me and never questioned it, not just because you were so much older and wiser, but simply because you were my big brother.

I always took our time together for granted. It’s been some five years since you graduated college, and even when you were still in school you barely lived at home. I know you’re still looking around for what you want to do, and I know you might be unsure even though you wouldn’t admit it. I just hope you’re happy.

You’re always busy. It’s either work or a softball tournament or plans with friends. You never come on vacation with us anymore. I don’t blame you one bit, that’s just life. But sometimes I wish you would try a little bit harder to make time for me.

I like to imagine that you’d live closer to me if it weren’t for your girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong, I think she is very good to you and very lovely, but sometimes I can’t help thinking that maybe if you weren’t with her I would get to see you more often.

It’s hard for me to believe that you’re grown up now. I don’t want to believe it.

Looking back to that movie conversation with friends, the reason why I vied for Brother Bear so intently was because it reminded me of you. Maybe you remember the nights when I wanted to sleepover in your room. When I did, that’s what we always watched –  because it was your favorite movie.

Even though you’ll never see this and I’ll never tell you, know that I love you very much, and I miss you.

 

 

 

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OVS Confessionals #1

Before I begin, let me say how much I love this school. OVS has provided me with a home away from home and friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

That being said, this school isn’t without its flaws. So, that’s what I’m here to talk about today.

Every Monday, the dormers have to dress to the nines and sit at the usual cafeteria plastic tables, but set with tablecloths and flowers in vases. Boys dress in their nice shoes and suits, while the girls step into their heels and flowy dresses. The dining hall’s aura is changed into that of a nice restaurant, instead of its usual casual conversations and colorful plates.

But, before any girl can make it across the hill, she has to go through dress check. Basically, she is required to check her outfit with a dorm parent. While this isn’t my main point, I must say that this process is, in its root, sexist. We have to make sure that our bra straps are concealed, our dresses aren’t “too short,” and that we look like “nice, young ladies.” Girls have to follow a strict set of rules and to what avail?

We all know that we can’t show our underwear and shouldn’t be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I apologize severely if throughout my meal my bra strap distracts a boy or teacher from finishing their mashed potatoes. I’m sorry if the skirt of my dress shows my upper thigh when I first sit down or stand up.

Photo Credit: momomod.com

I’m not saying that I want to wear a cocktail dress to dinner. I just don’t get why a low back is so offensive if we are sitting down for the entirety of the meal?

Back to my main grievance for the day, a new rule has been put in place. During dress check, if our dress doesn’t meet any certain guideline, we will be given a dress to wear. Not just any dress, though. No. We’ll have a choice from one of the many new thrift shop garments hanging up in the lounge.

The dresses aren’t simply to meet the guidelines of the meal, but to embarrass those who don’t make it through dress check the first time around. Shouldn’t the whole purpose of dress check be to make sure our dresses are appropriate? If we are showing too much skin or our bra, we are expected to change. This system is in place to make sure that doesn’t happen. Why are we now being penalized for following the rules?

We are checking to make sure we can wear our outfits to dinner. That’s the whole point of that exercise. However, this check will become a test. If our dress doesn’t fit the needs of the school, we’ll have to put on an oversized piece of obnoxious floral cloth or an outdated two piece set.

Well, I guess I’ll have to make sure not to corrupt the young minds of the boys around me! And, hey, thrifted clothes are so in!

What a punderful world!

Photo Credit: smosh.com

Many people hate me for it, or get annoyed in the bang-their-head-on-the-table kinda way. But I just can’t help it. I really, really love puns!

I think they are punny, puntastic, and it’s straight up a lot of pun to make them!

I’m about to get some serious hate for this, but here are some of my favorite puns:

“If you are in a restaurant, waiting for your waiter, aren’t YOU the waiter?” Hah. Ha. Or how about, “If you are cleaning the vacuum cleaner, aren’t YOU the vacuum cleaner?”

Okay. Those are some pretty good ones. But, there are only few things I appreciate more than a really well made, thought through pun. Take as an example, “A steak pun is a rare medium well done.” It’s so good! I’m really glad that @ahuj9 on twitter took the time to make up this beautiful joke, because it just made my day! Just like one that goes like, “I, for one, like roman numerals.” That is pure magic! It is so well made and I don’t care how ridiculous most people find puns like that, I am so fascinated by them!

There are so many puns in this word, but the sad thing is that there are so many that just don’t make sense in english! I realized that when I first tried to tell a joke to one of my American friends. But I totally forgot that it was a German joke. I tried to translate and explain it, but it didn’t work, because it was a pun! Damned be those fantastically awful little pieces of potential disappointment!

Anyways, if you are like me and are completely infatuated with puns, check out these 33 Bad Puns on Buzzfeed, because for some reason bad puns are the best puns!

The Summertime Blues

The summertime blues whisper to me,

they caress and seduce,

they ask

Am I going to regret that?

Photo Credit: Chicago Blues Bar

 

Not taking them up on that offer.

Am I going to regret what I’m doing to myself?

Am I doing it to myself?

Is there something wrong with me?

Why am I no good at conversation?

why are you boring?

Why do I feel that when I open my mouth everyone is just waiting for me to shut it?

Why do I think a helping hand is offered in pity, forced on by “good will”?

because it is.

I tag along on other people’s words.

Photo Credit: Forensic Medicine for Medical Students

how annoying can she get?

I can’t meet people’s eyes.

what if they actually see me.

no, I want them too see me.

do I?

so, eyes flit away.

Do my hands shake or do I imagine that?

Why does it seem easier to go it alone than to give people the chance to push me out?

Why does it feel like everybody stares?

Photo Credit: Harvard Business Review

All eyes on me.

no eyes on me.

no eyes on me.

delusion to assume you took center stage, the spotlight’s not on you it’s on the person next to you, Narcissus. 

No words left.

Their eyes and hearts and minds wait, full of pity.

But what if I didn’t give them the chance?

But what if I didn’t give them the chance?

Camping Conundrums

At Ojai Valley School, the whole school is like one big family, similar to having around 120 brothers and sisters. One thing that makes the OVS community like this is the annual fall camping trip. This trip is used to introduce the new students to the OVS lifestyle, and involve them in our big family. The trip I went on was to the Eastern Sierras, by Rock Creek Lodge. This trip was anything but a walk in the park with numerous ongoing lightning and thunder storms, the flooding of our tents, and hours of sitting in cars and waiting out the storms.

The first day we got to the campsite our tent was a bit of a wreck, with broken poles and stuck zippers. The whole process of trying to set up the tent took around an hour, trying to hurry with the constant pressure of the storm sneaking up on us. That night, the lightning was less than a mile awhile away and when it would strike, the entire world to us would go white and then back to utter darkness.

On the third day, as we drove into the canyon back to our campsite, it was like a scene straight out of a horror movie; leaving the clear blue skies behind and entering the gray fog covered world ahead. As soon and we drove beneath the ominous sky, the waters came down.

When we arrived back at the campsite, Mr. Risser jumped out of the car and ran to a safe spot from the lightning to meet with the teachers. We were told to stay in the car, safe from the storm. We stayed in the crammed back of the truck for around an hour or two singing songs and eating quesadillas brought to us by the selected brave souls who were fearless enough to go out during the eye of the storm. We finally left the truck when darkness hit and sprang to our tents, straight into our sleeping bags.

Two days before we headed back to school, a select few of us hiked to the most stunning valley we had ever seen. Luscious, green grass spread as far as the eye could see, while crystal clear, blue waters intersected them at the white shores. Picturesque mountains surrounded the valley sheltering us from the world outside. We hiked along a waterfall at the end of our journey, and jumped into the mind-numbingly water. Even though we couldn’t feel our legs from the chilling water, it had no effect on us because we couldn’t bare to look away from our exquisite surroundings.

Although we endured many set backs during our trip, we were all heartbroken to leave, but excited to unfreeze our fingers and toes and take a shower.

Image Credit: gardenbetty.com

 

IT : a review

*Contains spoilers

IT, where to start? Born from the brain of literary machine and titan Stephen King, IT is the story of how fear and childhood trauma haunts people into adulthood. Written out, the entire story takes about 1,100 pages and is quintessential King. So, when Andrew Muschietti declared that 2017 would see IT reborn exactly twenty-seven years after the television adaptation the world of King fans was ready to see Pennywise again, ready with a bit of trepidation.

Photo Credit: wikipedia.com

To take on such a gargantuan story would be daunting to anyone and considering how long an IT remake has been on the drawing board it is a bit of a gift and surprise Pennywise even made it to the big screen.

While overall an enjoyable and successful adaptation there are a couple of definite flaws that despite solid casting, genuine chemistry among the young actors and overall success must be discussed.

But before the long haul starts, there is a shorter review by Time Magazine: here.

Now buckle up and let’s get this show on the road.

It was a brave decision to take on Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise and with twenty-seven year old Bill Skarsgård in the role most of the pedophilic undertones of Curry’s older Pennywise were buffed out, but that still leaves a child eating, embodiment of all the hatred and evil in the hearts of the Derry folk that is Pennywise the Dancing Clown, so all in all still disturbing and skin crawl worthy.

While Skarsgård did a wonderful job as Pennywise, the physical appearances of Pennywise throughout the movie lacked the true terror of the novel and the manipulative taunting of the T.V. series. As the 2017 movie tried to combine the two it came up seemingly empty handed, lacking true all-chips-in terror of the source material but equally lacking the restraint and presence of Curry’s.

But again compliments must be paid to Skarsgård, whose clown face is possibly more terrifying without the makeup and skull cap. His take on Pennywise is unique from Curry’s and is definitely akin to the book’s. He gave a convincing and often times pitch perfect performance, marked by a genuine understanding for the character of Pennywise and seemed to understand the inner, festering motivations in a way the Curry never did. But alas, Skarsgård’s Pennywise was sadly marred by timing and strange cut offs that lacked the tension and drama of a true chase.

Given the enormity of Muschietti’s challenge slack must be cut for the adaptation. 2017’s IT focuses solely on the childhood half of the novel, an effective and advantageous decision for pacing and continuity. By cutting the novel in half and detangling the time lines Muschietti gave himself room to build the relationships and character arcs of the Losers Club, but even that seemed to lack oomph.

Photo Credit: comicbook.com

That being said since Muschietti was adapting IT for the silver screen not the small screen the development of the complexity in the kids, the parents and Pennywise were lacking. The adults were blatant and lacked subtly, the kid’s character development was simplified and hinged on singular moments instead of many. Pennywise was parred down to just a very scary clown rather than a symbol for racism, homophobia, of the hatred and fear that can inhabit very real people, but this simplifying of a complex character, simplifying of fear, is not unique to just 2017’s adaptation, the 1990’s T.V. adaptation was lacking as well.

Due to the time constraints of a conventional movie the Loser’s Club as a group also suffered. The time that could have been spent building the club into the truly loyal and incredibly strong group of friends it is in the book and even the 1990’s version seemed to be spent focusing on the “maybe” relationship of Beverly and Bill, important yes, but it should not have occupied as much screen time as it did.

Even worse though was the final show down’s use of CGI, a slapdash attempt to use all the new fangled tech available, the final “We all float down here” was taken too far. It was an unnecessary, overt and a lazy just-for-shock effect.

>> A Brief Interjection: If one is going to make a point about racism, one should not drop a one liner into a script like throwing in the gym towel. Racism is a complex topic that in order to land right and meld with a story must have development behind it. The line dropped by a mad and Pennywise influenced Henry Bowers felt like a sore thumb, out of place and awkward. The line lacked any build up or support from the rest of the movie. No back to CGI. <<

The use of CGI for the floating children, Pennywise’s floating blood and his final “diffusion”(?) cheapened the essence of what Pennywise is, it sucked the emotional weight from the final showdown and made it a fight of the supernatural alone, it takes the symbolic humanity out of the fight.

Photo Credit: shockmansion.com

The CGI also stole from the kids the sort of finality of facing their demons, of facing Derry. Muschietti gave Pennywise the benefit of a mystical “death”, admittedly Pennywise is fated to return but he needed to slither away like the pathetic creature he is by the end of the show down, not ambiguously dissolve like some dramatic end for the weight of story to land properly.

Now it may seem like this is about 900+ words just bashing 2017’s IT, in part that is true, but in all honesty despite the flaws the movie is an enjoyable one, it is all in all a very good movie, well worth the price of admissions and perfect for the upcoming Halloween season.

Music and TV Shows: Always and Forever

vampire diaries.wikia.com
Photo Credit: vampire diaries.wikia.com

Everyone has their favorite things in life. Sometimes they’re people’s favorite bands or singers. Sometimes people put their hearts and minds into their favorite tv shows or books. They become a topic of conversation over a dinner table, where those part of the conversation are imagining alternate endings to the season’s finales, or ranting about the ships we want but the writers won’t give. Maybe, the viewers begin to feel a part of the story the more they get into it. Those are just a couple things, but it’s these interests that make life a little more enjoyable for some people.

As I entered my junior year of high school, I told myself not to get invested into a new tv show. Thanks to Netflix, from the moment my parents started our subscription in sixth grade, I’ve gotten into many different tv shows. I’ve had too many to count. My favorites have always been “The Vampire Diaries” and “The 100”, or “Riverdale” which just premiered at the beginning of 2017 with season two coming out in less than a month. But now my favorite tv show is “The Originals”.

In October 2013, “The Originals” aired just after the season 5 premiere of “The Vampire Diaries”, and is a spin off of the famous vampire tv show. It is about the family of the first five original vampires, starring Joseph Morgan, who plays a character named Niklaus Mikaelson, and is a hybrid between a vampire and a werewolf. He returns to New Orleans with his brother and sister, Elijah and Rebekah, to regain control of the city he had lost over a century ago.

This is just the beginning of season 1. Now just starting season 2, I can assure that this series has been a series of twists and turns I never expected. This show never ends with the drama, the emotions, a mixture of feeling sadness and anger towards a show, the feeling of yelling at the characters though they can’t hear you, and that’s just how I felt in the first season. I still have 3 more seasons to go, and the next one aired will be their last.

Despite the constant conflict between the family in the show, Elijah always describes the loyalty between them to be “always and forever”. Maybe decades from now I won’t remember every detail of the shows I watched in high school, or all the facts of my favorite band members, but I’ll remember these little things being big parts of my life. And I’ll remember that, as cheesy as it sounds, always and forever.