After I posted the pictures from Disney Springs yesterday, a couple people asked for pics from Jock's. So there are several below. The fictional narrative it presents offers us a new storyline (so nerds like me aren't nitpicking or scanning for perfect location recreations). But it does offer us plenty of props and all the right vibes.
Anyway, here's to vicarious living through pictures! They're nothing fancy, I just took them with my phone, but I hope you enjoy!
Call 202-456-1414 and tell them whatever you want.
We're some of the luckiest ducks that ever did duck to live in America, a country where we have the right to use our voice. I wish I would've been calling the White House and my representatives from the time I turned 18 until now.
If you're like me and you've been complacent in the past, ditch the shame spiral in favor of peaceful, responsible actions.
I always keep an eye out for the latest Her Universe Merchandise. I'm not much of a fashion connoisseur (It's something I hope to change and I'm currently working on it!) but my friend Kay is quite the expert and you can read her articles about Geek Fashion, and lots of other cool stuff, here.
1. Clean the house from top to bottom while listening to music that soothes my soul but creeps out my housemates.
2. Grab my pull list from Heroes Landing and let's see, what else was there?
3. Ah, yes! Fight the creeping existential dread constantly threatening to overtake my soul by calling my senators. (Also, I cleaned the jets in our jacuzzi tub, filed our taxes and made a vegan cobb salad.)
I watched Under The Shadow almost two weeks ago, a haunting film about the specter of war and fascism. I've thought about it every day since. Aside from the fact that it's thoughtfully crafted and well-performed, it's also eerily relevant.
I fully admit I'm a strange mix of snob and cult fan when it comes to horror. Some of my favorites in recent years have been The Babadook and It Follows. I'm looking forward to The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which I believe was done by the same director responsible for the captivating and beautiful Trollhunter.
The fact that I can even watch horror movies sometimes surprises me. My reactions to them can be...uneven.
I can't stomach slasher films or haunted houses because I can't handle scenes that echo actual violence happening in the world. Give me monsters all day long. But the church scene in Kingsman? Total freakout. Not a fun catharsis for me.
The over-the-top ending that saw villains' heads exploding in tiny little rainbow clouds? Didn't bother me in the least. Thought it was a sheer delight.
The ultraviolence of a Tarantino movie seems to exist in an alternate universe. A world where Samurai swords can be taken on planes like carry-ons. It doesn't stay with me because it's not realistic. I don't believe it's happening and I don't have to worry about 88 samurai being killed by a woman out for revenge.
Horror is specifically designed to evoke and antagonize. And an antagonized brain won't always behave in a predictable way. As Wes Craven said, "Horror films don't create fear. They release it." And maybe it's just me, but it feels like it's been a long time since we've had such a variety of specific, possible fears from which to choose.
On that unsettling note, Under The Shadow presents a familiar terror. Something strangely realistic, which may seem like an odd anecdote about a horror film involving...well, I won't spoil it in case you haven't seen it. But the movie spends as much time on the resentment oppression brings as it does on supernatural forces. Like Poltergeist, Under The Shadow wants to remind you that your home might not offer inherent solace.
Not when "they" are coming for you.
Watch the trailer below, then head to Netflix for an incredible film.
If you were a kid in the 80's or 90's, you were frequently told that all your dreams could come true. Everybody was telling us we could do it. (The "it" was up to us.) Now we're all grown up and there seems to be a divided consensus on whether or not that was true.
If you were lucky enough to go to Disney World back then, you probably remember the Epcot ride "Journey Into Imagination".
The chorus to the song "One Little Spark" that plays throughout the ride goes:
Imagination, Imagination, A dream can be a dream come true, with just that spark in me and you
My husband and I went to Epcot again last night. It's become our go-to place to walk and talk. I know how lucky that makes me. Living in Central Florida is like being on a permanent vacation.
The happy kind, not the coded mobster-talk kind.
It seems like a weird thing to do with the world in such a state. We felt guilty about it. But we're both busy with work and we both keep to-do lists making sure we stay engaged as citizens every single day. That creeping existential terror we feel right now? Turns out, the bubble of Disney World is a pretty effective antidote to that.
We did one lap around the world showcase. On our way out, we walked past the Journey Into Imagination ride. (I've obsessed over it previously for Orlando Attractions.) It was open. We always go at night when the ride is usually closed. This time? We walked right on the ride. No wait.
It gave me the same sentimental swells. Nostalgia mixed with belief and joy. But this time, I was on the ride as a thirty-four-year-old. A lot of my friends now are cynics, though they'd call themselves realists. So...was it all a lie? Is a dream still a wish your heart makes? Can you make your dreams come true?
YES. YOU. CAN.
Today, I just want to remind you, it's true. All of it.
I know it's a weird time to be an artist. The temptation to quit projects in progress to do something that "really" matters is strong.
Listen to me...don't. Don't you dare. Don't stop creating.
Just add civic responsibilities to your daily to-do list. Because art can change lives and minds and hearts. And bank accounts, which can help you transform other people's lives.
But I didn't just come here to preach. I brought evidence.
I loved that ride as a kid. I wrote about it for a magazine. When we moved to Orlando, I met the man who played the Dreamfinder for an interview when I was working on a local tv show. Then we became friends. In many ways, Ron Schneider has become a mentor to me. He's kind and generous. In December, he even brought me to a play he directed and I got to sit in the back of house with him and watch.
A few days later, Jake and I pulled together a shoot for a comedy sketch my partner and I wrote months earlier. 2016 was shaping up to be the first year I didn't film anything since 2013 and I felt really weird about that. So we just chose a sketch from the pile and started producing.
It was kind of last minute. (Which is making the editing a mighty struggle...that was officially my last shoot without an actual crew.) But you know who agreed to be in it? Ron Schneider. THEE Dreamfinder. My friend. A performer of the highest stature. It genuinely still blows my mind.
I still have a long way to go in figuring out how to get the things I see in my head to show up onscreen the way I want them. There's still a considerable gap between vision and product. But I'm learning and I need to keep going. And so do you.
Your dreams can become literal reality if you just keep going and this picture is the proof.
One of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow is Sarcastic Rover. Today, that sassy robot pointed out the launch of a new weather satellite and proved that beauty (and Ghostbusters references) really are in the eye of the beholder.
You should follow Sarcastic Rover. And science. Science is good and helpful and interesting. We should have grown-up science fairs for people who aren't actually scientists. We could get U2 or (insert name of current relevant, popular band) to play the awards show after...I don't know.
Just trying to think of ways to get people interested in science as a hobby again. (Or...for the first time ever?) What about Omni magazine? Is that still happening?
If you've been to Her Universe lately, you've probably seen the countdown to the site's relaunch. Are you excited to see what Ashley Eckstein will be rolling out with the new iteration? I know I'm super psyched!
One thing that really blows my mind when reading that old interview is just how much the culture has actually, measurably changed over the last six years. I can't believe how much balance has been restored to the force. Nice work, Ashley and fangirls near and far!
P.S. One of my favorite geek fashion bloggers is Kay. She's a great person to follow if you're into geek fashion. You can also find her here. I'm sure she'll have all the latest when it comes to Her Universe.
I've seen Miranda Hart in "Call the Midwife". Her performance on that show is vulnerable, sincere
and frankly, my favorite. But I didn't have any idea that she was such a comedic force.
Hulu recently recommended the show "Miranda".
Those robots definitely know their stuff, because Miranda is fantastic! It's broad. It makes me actually laugh (not just quietly chuckle) and it perfectly portrays what it feels like to be awkward and different. Not that cute, manic-pixie-dream awkward that's all the rage now. But like...weird weird. This show makes me feel heard, understood, and happy.
I feel like this is probably one of those times where I'm years late to the party and the rest of the world already knows about her. But just in case it's not, please allow this collection of Miranda gifs to convince you.
Since then, I've listened to every episode and I'm anxiously awaiting new episodes at the end of this month. If you like history or film, if you enjoy human beings with pleasant voices, if you're desperate for a swig of water in this, our arid era of reality tv and pundits gone wild, you must listen to You Must Remember This.
I'm hooked. I mean, well and truly addicted. If you grew up watching classic movies, this podcast will contextualize them in ways both entertaining and unpleasant. And I would argue further, always important and never boring.
I love it so much, it inspired the compulsion to write a blog about it here. A site I haven't touched since 2013. There's a contagious nostalgia going around for 2007-2008ish right now. I went down the rabbit hole of the wayback machine the other day. I visited long-deleted Myspace pages and the early days of this blog. Back then, I was full of optimism and love. I noticed a funny thing while I was looking backward to find my way forward, I wasn't the only one.