Uncontrollable Sobbing in a Movie Theater

Also known as “the time I saw Disney-Pixar’s Coco.” 

You guys. I needed this movie, and I needed it so much that I didn’t even know I needed it.

I’ll probably write about some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it, stop reading and GO SEE IT NOW IMMEDIATELY PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

I’ll wait.

***

Ok. Glad you’re back! Did you get some popcorn? Always get the popcorn.

Wasn’t this movie beautiful? I was so inspired by the visuals and the aesthetic of this movie from the opening scene–animation etched into colorful flags, marigold petals that glitter golden and magically, the skin (I know…weird) of the characters so perfectly imperfect. This movie was just gorgeous visually.

Now to the themes. They’re what left me a sobbing mess as the credits rolled, they left my sniffling on the car ride home, they left me contemplating life and my family and loved ones days after the trip to the theater.

Now let’s get a little deep.

Without giving so much away, this movie is about how our loved ones are remembered after they’re gone and how important it is to honor and remember their stories and pass down their memories so that they can live on in our hearts and live on in a real sense.

How Pixar conveys this message is so beautiful, and the ending of the movie made me think about my own family in a very real, very hard way. I couldn’t stop crying–red faced, swollen eyes, runny nose, heaving chest–because I couldn’t stop thinking about my grandpa.

My grandpa passed away about twelve years ago, but he’s still the most amazing man I’ve ever met. He made everything so fun for my sister and me, and he was a storyteller to boot, a spinner of tales, a pretender-of-sorts–all in good fun and for our entertainment, of course. He was the ultimate believer in imagination and make-believe, and I feel so lucky to have had him as a grandpa. He always lived his life so others could feel loved and happy, safe and secure. He wanted his loved ones to have fun above all things–even when the cards were against him (believe me, my grandpa faced so much heart-wrenching adversity), he faced life with incredible positivity and love and a joyousness I haven’t seen in too many people.

Ugh. I love him so much.

Coco reminded me to always keep his legacy alive through storytelling, the very thing he was so good at. My grandpa’s story deserves to be told to my future children, their future children, to people on the street, to this blog. My grandpa touched my life more than I can express, and he deserves to live on through the spoken or written word.

All of these emotions about my grandpa and about my own legacy in the world hit me like a ton of bricks as the movie ended, but that’s exactly why I thought this movie was so good–its message transcends into real life. Yes, all movies can do this in a way, but the themes in Coco–family, remembrance, legacy, love–are so universal and so poignant.

The movie’s tear-inducing, but it’s also change-inducing. That’s why it’s so good.

In short, go see Coco. I loved it, 5 out of 5 stars or pixie dust particles or whatever tickles your fancy.

P.S. Coco‘s got a great soundtrack, too. I’m telling you, this movie is gold.

Advertisements

Currently Reading: All Things Anne

Note: the following post contains a lot of random musings about everyone’s favorite imaginative redhead–I would like to emphasize the word “random.” Enjoy! 

I finally carved out the time to read (almost) the entire Anne of Green Gables series. FINALLY.

Took me long enough. I was inspired by Netflix’s adaptation of the beloved series–while it was grittier than the books, the series did capture Anne’s ability to survive life’s hardships through optimism.

Disclaimer: while I loooooooove reading and writing and all things literary (former English major and current creative writing grad student here), I’m the kind of girl who can read a whole lot and then fall into a year-long slump in which I can’t seem to find reading material I truly enjoy. It’s been one of those years, but I’m working on it.

Anne has helped me discover reading again; returning to her world is like taking the first sip of morning coffee, sleeping in on a weekday, or having nothing on a must-do list.

I just love her. I love her, I love her, I love her.

Anne is so plucky and ambitious, especially early on. I adore the third book in the series–she attends Redmond College and learns what it means to live on her own away from Green Gables (with a group of delightful “chums,” of course), and she finally opens her eyes and her heart to the boy who has always loved her. She becomes a young principal of an entire school in book four, and she continues to win the heart of every reluctant soul around her. She marries Gilbert in book five and establishes her quaint and Anne-ish “House of Dreams.”

I have to admit, I love Anne the most when she’s single, books one through four. I love how she grapples with the world’s challenges on her own, and I love the relationships she forms with others along the way. Anne has a way of connecting with the misunderstood among society, and audiences aren’t treated to those relationships too much after she is married. Most often those difficult, “kooky,” or tormented souls are her “kindred spirits.” I love that about her–she’s unafraid of going against the grain, and she can win almost any heart with her unconquerable spirit.

Anne still has a way with others when she’s married, but she’s certainly more confined–not necessarily by Gilbert or her children, but by society at that time. Even though she was a successful educator and loved the world of academia, she does as societal custom requires (at least for the era) when she enters the world of marriage. She keeps an impeccable house: she grows gardens, sews clothes, has and raises babies, and keeps the House of Dreams and Ingleside in tip-top shape. She’s the matriarch of her little home(s), and while I know she loves it, I miss her free-spirited Green Gables or Redmond days.

Anne begins to settle as she grows older, which is both admirable (why not be content with the life you have?) but also bittersweet. She forgoes her childhood dreams of successful novel authorship, settling for the few publications in ladies’ magazines and newspapers. Those are still a wonderful accomplishments, but I wish she could have done a little bit of everything–I believe Anne could write the next great Canadian novel and still be a fantastic wife and mother.

No matter. Anne still has my heart, and I aspire to embody her optimism and grace.  Revisiting Anne’s world has been so refreshing and so inspiring–L.M. Montgomery’s dreamy prose and Anne’s spirit is like a drink of cool water on a sweltering Prince Edward Island summer day.

Does P.E.I. ever even experience a good swelter? Probably not, but the effect of the Anne series on my soul is that of contentment and delight nonetheless.

What are you currently reading? I could use some suggestions for future library excursions.

As always, have a magical, imaginative, and zip-a-dee-do-dah day, my friends.

“You’ve Been Gilmored!”

I quote Lorelei with the utmost seriousness. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been “Gilmored.” Hardcore. I’ve been “Gilmored” in the weirdest of ways: emotionally drained, physically drained, intellectually drained. Just…drained.

All from watching the revival of the a little TV show.

No, Kaila. It’s not just a television show–“it’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion.”

Note: To read why this show really does mean the world to me, check out my previous post. 

Oy! (“With the poodles already!”) I just can’t stop the Gilmore quotes.

Can you blame me? The revival was everything I imagined and then some. It also left me begging for more, leaving me unsatisfied and grumpy and thinky. Yes, that’s a made-up word. Do I care? No!

This revival even hindered my ability to write a review/discussion about Disney’s newest heroine, the Polynesian powerhouse Moana. That’s how serious my thinky-ness was, my friends. I freaking adored Moana, but the fate of the Gilmores consumes my headspace.

After I thought about the cliffhanger ending–really thought about it, multiple times, in the dead of night and at the helm of my steering wheel during my morning commute–I really was satisfied, enough that I began to function again, going about my daily tasks knowing good and well that Rory and Lorelei are still doing ok.

Who am I kidding? I want more, I want more! *Pounds fists onto the keyboard of my laptop and deletes the gibberish I left in my tantrum’s wake*

Alright. The time has come to discuss details of the revival, to explain my frustration and my satisfaction, and to acknowledge the scary quirks that prove Gilmore Girls has been and will always be a reflection of my life, my mom’s life, and my sister’s life. My grandma’s life, too.

I’m here to warn you that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. I repeat. SPOILERS. COMING. NOW.

First: Rory takes up tap dancing to relieve stress. I know this seems like an improbable first detail to discuss, but it’s so important.

Do you know what I did after moving back home from my six months of galavanting at Walt Disney World? I took up tap dancing.

Seriously.

I felt aimless and out-of-sorts, and I desperately needed a goal to work towards. I needed an activity to do for exercise. I needed something. 

I strapped on some cheap tap shoes my mom bought on Amazon and turned to YouTube and a how-to DVD and began a-tappin’ away. For a few weeks, at least.

I just thought it was so funny/scary/wonderful that Rory was doing something that paralleled so specifically to my life.

Also, Lorelei has “Sadness” stickers (the lovable blue character from Disney’s Inside Out) stuck to her computer. Paul, Rory’s less-than-memorable boyfriend throughout the revival, mentions this for just a split second in “Winter.”

My mom and I went nuts.

Sadness is one of my mom’s favorite Disney characters of all time. She loves Sadness. And I mean loves. After we saw the movie in theaters last summer, my mom just kept saying over and over and over: “I just love  Sadness. She’s so cute. I just love her.” Over and over. And over. Lorelei’s (assumed) love for Sadness was just so perfect.

After nine years away from the little screen, Gilmore Girls was still scarily similar to our lives in such minor and important ways.

Ok. Now lets talk about some juicy details. Actually, let’s just skip to the final four words, because I’ve been obsessing for a week and a day:

Rory: Mom?

Lorelei: Yeah?

Rory: I’m pregnant. 

Credits.

AHDK;AHGDKA;HDKLA;HDKL;HKFLAHDS;LKGH;ADLKSHA;LKSAHKDL;ASHLKSHF;KLASD;LKFASHKLHOIHGOQIERWHFLKADSNF;LKDSH;LAKFDSHKFH;ASDKLJFDLS;HF;LKASDLK;FH??????!!!?!>@??????!!!!!!!!!!!adkshkl;sahgdko;ahied;afhlkdsnkk;hl;kl;khkhlLKKH;IO;HF!!

The above literary rendition of my thoughts and feelings is completely accurate and poetic and well-written.

Ha.

Ok. I get it. I understand why ASP (Amy Sherman-Palladino) would end the series this way–Lorelei, aged 16, was pregnant with Rory by Rory’s father Christopher, a guy who always loved Lorelei but could never get his act together and eventually caved when it came to joining the family business. Luke pined for Lorelei for years and years, and the two finally realized their happy ending. Rory, aged 32 (the same age as Lorelei when the show began), is pregnant with Logan’s (loves Rory, is screwed up, and is in the family business) baby and Jess (Luke’s nephew) is seen gazing lovingly and longingly at Rory though a window, foreshadowing Jess’ involvement and storyline when it pertains to his relationship with Rory.

Lorelei asks for more money from her mother to expand the Dragonfly, Kirk finally does something totally and completely right, and Emily finds her independence and happiness in Nantucket. Rory figures out her purpose (a book about Rory and Lorelei’s life entitled Gilmore Girls), and the audience hopes that the little baby is a girl and the book is a bestseller and that life goes back to being unicorns and rainbows for Rory.

Life comes full circle; life goes on.

I understood, but I was so mad.

I longed to see Rory stupidly successful, ruling the world. I was never concerned about her ending up with a boy, but I was so disappointed in her decision to be “the other woman” in Logan’s life. Side note: I knew Rory was not going to decidedly end up with anyone in this revival. It’s never been about the romantic relationships of Lorelei and Rory…it’s always been about their relationship with one another as mother and daughter. But if I had to pick…#TeamJess all the way.

Anyways.

My disappointment came from seeing Rory struggle with her career, her personal decisions, and with her young adult life in general. I still see myself in Rory. I have dreams of success and fulfillment. I just didn’t want to believe that Rory’s ending was not a happy one. I want my happy ending, and Rory’s tiny taste of success followed by heaps of rejection and failure is scary to think about.

That could happen to me.

After I (briefly) took a step back from the revival and began re-watching it, I realized that the foreshadowing of Rory’s fate was always there. Not just in these four episodes, but in the entire series.

Rory was always going to end up like her mom. Always.

I finally realized (after days of consideration and contemplation aforementioned) that this was never a bad thing. Rory’s fate could bring her direction and purpose, fulfillment in her personal life and, ultimately, in her career. Let’s face it: Rory’s book will be such a bestseller with the addition of the uncanny coincidences.

ASP does a wonderful job illustrating that life isn’t about happy endings and smooth sailings. It’s about creating happy endings from any messy situation. Life is full of “peaks and valleys,” and we like to believe that the Gilmore girls can handle it. We can handle it, too.

Rory Gilmore is pregnant by a stupid boy. (sorry #TeamLogan.) I truly believe she’ll make the best of it.

With the help of her mother, of course.

Despite my initial frustrations, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was six hours of pure magic. I cried when I saw my girls strolling through a wintry Stars Hollow, accompanied by lilting and comforting “la la’s.” I bawled when Rory chose Richard’s office as her hallowed writing space. Lorelei’s attempt at “doing Wild” and her recollection of her favorite memory of Richard was perfect. Luke and Lorelei’s wedding made my heart smile.

Gilmore Girls will always be my favorite. If you need me, I’ll be in Stars Hollow. And no, you can’t convince me that I don’t live there.

Dear “Gilmore Girls,”

Today. Today is a day I’ve been waiting for for the longest time.

Well. Since the seventh grade, to be specific.

I wanted to write a letter to the cast, the writers and creators, and whoever helped make Gilmore Girls a thing. I’ve watched interviews and realize that sometimes you can’t grasp how much this show means to some people.

Let me tell ya. It means a whole lot–dare I say it means the world— to my little family.

So. Here goes:

Dear Gilmore Girls,

You came into my life during a very weird, hard, and transitional time. It was the summer after sixth grade, the summer before seventh. My mom and dad had just gotten a divorce and I was still hurt. He had left in January of that year, 2006, days after my maternal grandfather’s death. I was embarrassed. I was confused.  The second-to-last season of your show was on the air.

My mom had read about your show in a magazine–a single mom and her daughter, Lorelei and Rory taking on the world– and decided to pick up season one on DVD that summer. My little family–my mom, my sister, and me– needed a little TLC, a fresh start.

The obsession began. We watched all six seasons that summer, and watched the last season as it aired.

What did we love about Gilmore Girls? At the time, we fell in love with Rory and Lorelei’s relationship, the eccentric little town, Rory’s bookish personality, Lorelei’s spunk, and Luke’s diner. We loved the Gilmore girls’ relationship with Richard and Emily. We admired the work ethic that both characters embodied, their ambition to become a journalist or to own an inn. We loved everything about your show.

We cried as we watched your show end in May of 2007. We were heartbroken it was over, but because of your show, our world truly changed.

We compare the seasons of our lives to seasons of your show. My college years? Mostly compared to season four, when Lorelei struggled financially and wore her famous pink coat over and over. She kept bread and tomatoes in the pantry and in the fridge. We did (do) too. Figuratively.

Junior and senior year of college? I dropped what I thought was expected and decided to truly pursue “Rory” passions. I’m now applying to graduate schools in creative writing and English, I’m working two Rory-ish jobs, and I’m not afraid to be a little different, a little “impractical.” I can do these things because I have my own Lorelei, my mom. She encourages me just as Lorelei encouraged Rory to pursue her dreams in journalism.

Now? Despite my current contentment and happiness, I still feel like season seven Rory, looking out onto a great abyss that is my life and wondering what it will hold. I feel like Rory when she turned down Logan’s proposal. She relished the feeling of facing the unknown, to living life unsettled.

That’s where I am. That’s me.

The show has grown with us, all of us.

I named my car Luke (my Ford escape is reliable…it was the obvious choice), my sister and I quote Gilmore Girls on the daily, we compare our pups to Paul Anka, and when we struggle with problems that seem insurmountable, we compare it to your show; we work through it.

Sometimes I’m early season six Rory. Not good. Somehow episode nine, “The Prodigal Daughter Returns,” happens in my own life, too. My momma always forgives me, and I always forgive myself.

The lesson Gilmore Girls truly instilled in us? You can take on the world in an unconventional way. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and single moms and their daughters can rule the world.

Before we found Gilmore Girls, my mom was implementing the idea of not playing the victim in our “unfortunate” situation. We would be strong and we would do good things; she was so adamant about facing the world with a can-do attitude. Gilmore Girls was just a cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the creamer in the coffee. It was a tool in becoming who we are today.

Excuse my french: we are badass, independent, successful, loving, strong, witty, and hard working women. We’ve taken on the world with the help of your show. We’ve taken your narrative and used it as a way to make sense of our own lives, to compare the events in our history to the history of Rory and Lorelei. My career was inspired by Rory, my mom’s resilience and independence mirrors Lorelei’s, my sister gets Luke’s constant need to take care of the ones he loves, be it by obligation or by reluctant love. I’m unapologetically ambitious like Paris and my sister embodies Rory’s nurturing nature.

Heck. We identify with Kirk. Who doesn’t love Kirk?

In short, your show has been a mainstay in our lives. We re-watch it every year, and each year we’ve realize how much we’ve grown. It used to be about Rory’s relationships with Dean or Jess or Logan.  When I was younger, I didn’t realize how Rory’s estrangement with Lorelei was so detrimental. Now my heart aches in season six, when Rory is so lost. I tear up when Richard says, “What she tackles, she conquers.” He reminds me of my grandpa.

I’m writing to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for creating this show, for showcasing strong women, for introducing idyllic Stars Hollow to the world, and for always being there. You’ve given us a show to love and quote forever and ever.

I’ve been waiting for this revival for so long, and watching it with my little family is going to be the most wonderful thing. Bring on the tears, bring on the coffee, and bring on the Gilmore-isms. We’re ready to enjoy your show together as a little family, and we’re excited to continue to enjoy everything that Gilmore Girls stands for.

Thank you and copper boom.

Sincerely,

Kaila and family, equipped with our own alliterated title

“Just You Wait…”

Why am I always late to the pop culture party?

Seriously. Gilmore Girls and Harry Potter are the only other immediate examples I can think of, but I feel like I am always really, really late when it comes to experiencing the good stuff in real time. Granted, I was too young to watch Gilmore Girls when it debuted, but still.

This year I showed up late to the Hamilton bash. I’d like to think I was fashionably late.

You guys. I am obsessed. Hardcore obsessed–the soundtrack that has changed musical theater forever is always playing to drown out the noise of my keyboard tapping away as I plow through graduate school applications, it’s always playing when I drive to work in the mornings, it’s always playing as I attempt to run on the weekends.

It’s. Always. Playing. 

It’s not one of those society-is-blowing-this-out-of-porportion things, either. Hamilton is just so stinkin’ good. The concept is admittedly odd, but it works.

If you live under a rock (don’t worry if you do; I’m always living under one, it’s quite comfy down here) you might not know that Hamilton is a musical that utilizes rap and hip-hop to tell the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

I’m not a big rap or hip-hop fan, but when I listen to Hamilton, I am listening to poetry.

I’m listening to a soundtrack that tells the story of a scrappy, hardworking outcast who is desperate to find his way and leave his mark. I’m listening to a story about a man whose flaws try to outshine his genius, but fail. I’m listening to a narrative about American history and learning more about American history than I ever did in any of my history classes.

I’m listening to poetry that is moving, funny, witty, punny, powerful, provoking.

The Hamilton hype is too real, and the Hamilton hype is well-deserved.

I think what makes me love this musical so much is not the unconventional way that it is told–although I do love that aspect, too–but the way I can identify with Hamilton.

Heck. I can identify with almost everyone in this incredible musical.

Hamilton is so desperate to create a legacy; he is an insatiable workhorse. He “writes like [he’s] running out of time,” he assures his peers that “there’s a million things [he] hasn’t done” but “just you wait.” I feel like Hamilton; I’m always looking forward and working toward something. I find it hard to settle down and relax, to “take a break.”

It’s a flaw, but I’m never satisfied. This trait has helped me achieve a lot of goals throughout my life–a volleyball scholarship, an almost-perfect GPA, an internship with Disney. I become obsessive in achieving the next big thing. My mind becomes one-tracked–the process can be exhausting, but the reward is so thrilling.

But do these achievements even matter? Truly matter?

Ambition and the desire to do great things does matter to an extent, but what I think Hamilton considered a legacy throughout most of his life–awards, achievements, status, etc.–is not the legacy that truly counts. Yes, a legacy is “plating seeds in a garden you’re never going to see,” but those seeds aren’t status and name; they’re how you have treated others throughout your life.

Oh man. I’m getting cheesy again.

It’s so true, though. I think Hamilton (as portrayed in the musical) realizes this as he dies, but listening to this incredible musical has made me realize it in the here and now. Yes, all of my achievements are wonderful and I will continue to work hard to meet goals. Working toward the next big thing will always be in my nature.

I just need to remember to take the time to sow the seeds that matter most, to water time spent with loved ones, to let the sun in on relationships so that they may prosper and grow.

Isn’t it incredible that one musical written by one man could spark such an epic internal discussion?

Thank you, Hamilton, for helping me conquer my post-Disney depression and for helping me reflect and recharge. You are so awesome, and you will continue to be on repeat for the next few weeks…or months.

 

 

Why Judy Hopps is my Spirit Animal

I finally had the chance to watch Disney’s Zootopia on a free afternoon. I was so ready–popcorn in hand, cookie dough bites within grasp’s reach, and a fancy vanilla coke to sip on. I settled into my comfy theater chair (Disney Spring’s AMC does it right) expecting another hit from the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

A hit is just what I got.

A perfect, socially-aware, maturely-themed, marvelously funny hit. Disney has done it again, folks.

From the get-go Zootopia captured my imagination–every detail in this mammal-rich world was meticulously thought out by the filmmakers. The different districts of the sprawling urban jungle accommodate different species of mammals, all co-existing in harmony because they have evolved from “savage” primordial beings to sophisticated mammals with heart and drive to be anything they want to be.

Or so we think.

Judy Hopps, an optimistic, spunky little bunny from humble little Bunny Burro, wholeheartedly believes that Zootopia is a glittering Oz full of opportunity and equality, a place where any animal can be anything. She’s right to an extent–she became Zootopia’s first bunny cop, a job usually reserved for the biggest, toughest mammals.  However, Judy’s optimism, although admirable, proves to be blind at times. While Zootopia appears to be a land of opportunity, it also has a gritty underbelly full of prejudice and harsh realties.

Here’s the deal: Judy Hopps is my spirit animal because of her hopeful idealism that sometimes get struck–and struck hard–by reality. She needs Nick Wilde, the sly little fox and Pawpcicle hustler, to balance her out. Nick sees things just as they are (admittedly by being a pessimist) and is able to help her see reality as it is, not as she would like it to be. Here’s the catch: if you can see the world how it is, you are able to realize that it’s not all too bad. You begin to recognize the flaws in your reality, and you  also can find ways to fix those flaws.

There’s a moment in the movie where Judy feels as she has “broken” the world she lives in through her misjudgment and actions. The head chief of the Zootopia PD, however, assures her that “the world has always been broken. That’s why we need good cops.”

Our world that we live in, humans, has always been broken. Sometimes I refuse to see it that way. I want everything to be peachy keen, for every one to get along, for the bad guys to disappear into oblivion. That’s not going to happen overnight–or ever–in my lifetime. The only way anything can happen is for change to start with the people who recognize that the world has always been broken. The people who recognize the broken bits know that the only thing they can do is be their best selves to help make their little corner of the world a little more whole.

Judy Hopps is my spirit animal, everyone, because of her slow realization that the world isn’t the perfect place. Like she says towards the end of the move: “Life’s messy. We all make mistakes.” And it’s ok. While it isn’t perfect, life is still sprawling with opportunity to create a more perfect existence. A perfectly imperfect existence. Perfection is not every the aim–persistence towards perfection, towards the betterment of yourself and the world,  is what truly counts.

Thanks for being my spirit animal, Judy. I’m so glad we’re learning to live in the real world where we can be more aware of our imperfect surroundings. When we’re aware, we can change it.

Let’s do it.

 

 

 

40 Thoughts While Watching Star Wars for the First Time

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the newest episode, The Force Awakens, just yet.

I’ve only just watched the first trilogy (episodes IV-VI) for the very first time. I am now OBSESSED. So obsessed, in fact,  That my mom picked up these tissues and these stickers at the Dollar Tree as a little suprise:


At first I told myself I would watch Star Wars for the sake of research. I’m moving to Disney World, where Star Wars obsessions are allowed to run rampant, and I wanted to know my stuff. Little did I know that I would be sucked into the stories of the “galaxy far far away” and enthralled by Luke Skywalker’s journey to become a Jedi knight. I loved the classic battle between good and evil, no matter how otherworldly the setting. Star Wars is so popular for a reason–its message is universal.

Here are forty pure, unadulterated thoughts on the phenomenon as I sat down to view episodes IV, A New Hope. 

  1. HERE IT IS! The famous opening title/explanation of this movie thingy that is so iconic and beloved by so many.
  2. SO MUCH SPACE. I would hate to fly through outer space…it’s too much…space.
  3. I can tell I’m gonna love Princess Leia. She seems like she can take care of herself.
  4. These robots are cool. The gold one is my spirit animal: “WE’RE DOOMED.”
  5. DARTH VADER. IT’S HIM.
  6. IT’S MUFASA. OR MUFASA IS DARTH VADER. You know what I mean.
  7. Luke Skywalker, you sure are a cutie.
  8. Luke Skywalker, YOUR EYES.
  9. LUKE SKYWALKER. I LOVE YOU.
  10. Obi-Wan Kenobi: his mother must have wanted the children on the intergalactic playground to taunt his name. But it is in a galaxy far, far away…
  11. I freaking love the music.
  12. Luke’s planet is not a planet I could live on.
  13. Isn’t it crazy that these planets were all filmed on our one planet but their existence is solidified in the world of stories that takes place entirely on Earth? It’s like inception. Or something like that.
  14. I love how characters can come to life through the creative process. Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia: they’re all REAL because of George Lucas and the fans that clung to them. HOW COOL.
  15. I’m getting sidetracked. Moving along…
  16. Hey! It’s Indiana Jones! I mean Han(s?) Solo…
  17. Is it Han or Hans?! Google…
  18. It’s Han. Ok. I still have a bad relationship with the name “Hans” because of Frozen. 
  19. HEY! Thats Chewbacca! His face is plastered on tons of merchandise!
  20. I LOVE HIM.
  21. Hyperspace looks like Space Mountain! STAR WARS IS COOL!
  22. I’m using CAPS LOCK  a lot in this post…
  23. It’s because I’m so dang EXCITED. OBVIOUSLY.
  24. R2-D2 is adorable. I want him.
  25. But C-3PO is my spirit animal…I mean droid. He truly is.
  26. Princess Leia is a bada**. Excuse my french, but it’s true. I love a strong female character, especially in these kind of movies.
  27. I could name a puppy Leia…
  28. Sidetracked. But you know what else is cool? Star Wars merchandise is everywhere. Especially in Disney. I’M MOVING TO DISNEY.
  29. Hot topic might have a cool, comfy shirt in Star Wars style.
  30. Google…
  31. Oh! This one’s cute! And it’s the poster of A New Hope! I’m watching it! I need it!
  32. Well, placed my order. I’ll wear it when I meet these people in Disney. (Thanks, Christmas money!).
  33. Back to the movie…
  34. Chewbacca is so adorable. He panics half the time and his little moans are so endearing. Can I have him too?
  35. So far I want all the supporting characters to take along with me on my daily adventures. We could have a good time, I know it.
  36. Darth Vader loves choking people with the Force. Bad Darth Vader…
  37. The Force is one cool concept, let me tell you. If only I had watched Star Wars before my mythology paper was due! There are so many mythological allusions and elements. 
  38. Light saber fights are my favorite.
  39. The good guys blew up the Death Star! Yay, good guys!
  40. When can I watch the next one?

UPDATE SINCE COMPOSING THIS DRAFT:

I only need to watch one more movie, and then I’ll be truly ready for The Force Awakens. I. Can’t. Wait.

And here’s the shirt I ended up buying:


Can you say obsessed?

Until next time, “May the force be with you.”

Gilmore Mania

Who else found that they could not contain their excitement over the announcement of the Gilmore Girls revival?

You guys. I was absolutely freaking out in the very best way possible. Here are some of my faces following the announcement:

“Oh my goodness, I love this show so stinking’ much.”

“I can’t wait to watch your four 90 minute episodes over and over again and cry my eyes out when I have to say goodbye yet again.”

“Oh my goodness, you guys. OUR GIRLS ARE COMING BACK!”

I’m just so happy–if you’ve been a reader for a while you have come to know my absolute love for this idyllic show. It got me through some hard times in my life, and to this day it is my mom’s, my sister’s, and my favorite show of all time. We can’t get enough.

To celebrate Netflix’s sorta set-in-stone vow to produce four 90 minute episodes of the Gilmore’s, I decided to share my top five favorite Gilmore moments of all time. Let’s get started:

#5: When Jess Basically Tells Rory to Get Her [You Know What] Together

In the middle of the darkest (in my opinion) season of Gilmore Girls, season 6, Rory has quit Yale and is doing nothing. It’s hard to believe, I know. Jess randomly (and blissfully) shows up and has written a novella, gotten a steady job in a publishing house, and is just as darkly handsome as ever. At the end of this episode, he finally says the very thing that Rory needs to hear: “What the heck are you doing with your life?!” [Wording not exact, but you get the point].

I’ve always loved Jess from the get-go, even when he was the “bad boy,” the brooding misunderstood genius. At this moment, I love him even more–he doesn’t coddle Rory, he tells it like it is.

And you know what’s awesome? Rory finally starts to get her you-know-what together.

You go, Jess.

#4: When Luke Does–Well, Everything

Luke Danes is such a good guy. Forget the romantic aspect between him and Lorelei (but don’t forget it either)–just think of all that he did over the course of the seven seasons we got to spend in Stars Hollow. Building a wedding huppa for Lorelei, even when she was planning to marry boring ol’ Max and not the steady, handsome, sweet Luke. Willing to do anything to get Rory back to Yale. Baking Rory a coffee cake for her sixteenth birthday. Being an awesome dad to April. And, finally, planning a going-away party for Rory when she gets her journalism job, his sewing of  the tarp to cover the town square and everything.

Luke just melts my heart, so much that I even named my car after him. He’s steady, reliable, and protective–Luke Danes wins.

#3: When Emily and Richard Recognize All that Lorelei Has Accomplished in her Life

Remember the very last episode? When Richard looks around and sees all of the people of Stars Hollow who have gathered to celebrate Rory and realizes how influential Lorelei is? And then he says this:

“It takes a remarkable person to inspire all of this.” 

Richard Gilmore just always knew when to come around.

Then Lorelei tells Emily she’ll see her at Friday night dinner, and my heart just never can take it. Cue the tears, all of the tears. Long live the Gilmore’s, forever in our hearts.

#2: Rory Graduates College

That moment when Rory looks out into the audience, and Lorelei stands up and says “Yay, Rory!” and they lock eyes and little tears well up in the corners of both of their clear blue irises. Everything that they had ever worked for had happened, and, even if it hadn’t happened, they still would have each other. This is such an important moment in the world of Gilmore Girls–Rory would be nothing without her mother’s sacrifices, love, and friendship, and Lorelei wouldn’t be the Lorelei we know and love without her daughter. This is such a small moment, but it means so much in the realm of all things Gilmore.

#1: Rory’s Valedictorian Speech

Click here to watch this epic, loving speech in its entirety, and be prepared to blubber. This speech is the epitome of Rory and Lorelei’s relationship, and I can’t help but tear up every time I watch it. I feel that way about my mom, so I can relate completely to the words Rory says as she graduates top of her class.

Bonus: When Rory Assures Lorelei That She Had Given Her Everything She Needed

Ok, one more. When Rory gets her first “big girl” job and is about to embark on a presidential campaign to write for an online magazine, Lorelei is scrambling to give her last-minute advice in the very last moments of the very last episode. Rory stops her and says, “You’ve given me everything I need.”

And that, my friends, is a moment that never ceases to make me cry. In all of Lorelei’s imperfections, she’s done anything and everything for Rory, and Rory recognizes this. They are everything to each other.

The Gilmore girls make one more pit stop before the series ends, and the camera pans out as the audience sees them enjoying their last cup of coffee at Luke’s Diner.

Man oh man. I just love that show.

Looking Ahead

What do you think we’ll find out in the four 90 minute episodes? What do you want to find out has happened over the time we’ve been away from Stars Hollow? And what are your favorite moments from this beloved show?

I hope everyone has a wonderful, Gilmore-filled day!

Take Me to the Moon…

No. Not really. I’d be terrified.

I am, however, newly obsessed with the Space Race of the 1950s and 60s, all thanks to the book and television series The Astronaut Wives Club. My mom and I decided to watch the show on a whim, and now we are hooked. We hustled to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Lily Koppel’s book, and the obsession became completely ingrained.

We’ve been enthralled with the fashion of the past, captivated by the relationships between the real-life astronauts and their wives, and busy googling and wondering about the real people behind the space craze.

I’ve never been a girl fascinated by space; I’ve honestly always been terrified of the “last frontier.” The thought of a whole lot of nothing and dark matter and stars just floating out there to infinity and beyond scares the living daylight out of me. I hate thinking about things that are unknown–my future, ingredients in the food at sketchy restaurants, and space, of course. It’s all too much.

The Astronaut Wives Club makes space seem a little more…human. Feasible. Nostalgic. I can empathize with the wives holding their breaths and wringing their hands as their husbands blasted off to dabble among the stars. I can’t imagine the anxiety, the not knowing, these women must have felt. I admire their bravery to face the press for the sake of beating the Russians to the Moon. I have nothing but respect for the women behind the heroes–some put up with infidelity (at least until after the Space Race) to help secure their husband’s spot in history; others battled inner battles (such as Annie Glenn’s speech impediment) to upkeep the essential ideal American appearance. They put on brave faces for the press despite their feelings of terror and apprehension.

Long story short, these women are lofty hero[ines] themselves.

Thanks to the ABC drama and the biographic page-turner, I’ve even conjured up a slight interest in the stars. About a week ago, I ventured out after sunset and marveled at a celestial phenomenon–Venus and Jupiter were in sight, so close to each other that my pinky finger could cover them both. Scholars believe this phenomenon could have been the star of Bethlehem. I wouldn’t have even cared if it weren’t for the Astronaut Wives, real women who would look at the Moon knowing their husbands were so desperate to walk its surface for the sake of fame, country, and history.

If you haven’t watched the TV show or picked up the book, I urge you to do so. These were real women living in a time when women had limited rights. They were supposed to be the perfect homemakers and have things just so, but they also had a voice. I love learning about different times in history, but I never paid much attention to America’s space craze. Now I know what an incredible time in history it was, and I also know a little about the people behind the Moon walks and the missions. It took a whole army to make history–men and wives included.

I’ve Learned “How To Be a Heroine”

I recently devoured one of my favorite books of the summer: How To Be a Heroine: Or, What I Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis.

Oh my goodness, how I loved this book!

It’s a mix of literary heroines, an autobiography, and a touch of feminism, all of which I love.  Ellis proves to be quite the heroine herself; we, as an audience, discover how she learns to stand on her own two feet and discover her own voice despite some pretty rough circumstances. She learns who she truly is, in spite of and because of the influences she encounters throughout her life.

Throughout her journey in life, she draws inspiration from some leading ladies in the literature I love. Some of these heroines include Anne of Green Gables, Scarlett O’ Hara, Jane Eyre, Franny Glass, and the Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Anderson version). There are more where that came from, and I loved hearing what she loved/learned about each one–it’s amazing how two people (she and I) could admire many of the same literary heroines in similar, yet decidedly different, ways. That’s so cool, if you ask me; literary heroines are ours for interpreting. They are like gifts to the unsuspecting reader, relatable and inspiring characters that started out as ideas and a few scribbles on a piece of paper.

Isn’t writing just so incredibly cool?

I don’t want to give too much away about this book; I want you to pick it up from a local bookstore and hungrily devour each and every page. What’s also so amazing about this book is it makes you want to buy more and more books, a desire that I see no problem with.

I’ll leave you with this: I’ve learned how to be a heroine, and what’s incredible is that I am the author of my own story.

You are too. Now go and compose your best essay/short story/novel/novella/poem/haiku yet. You are a heroine, and you can do some pretty amazing things.

Happy reading, my friends.