Category Archives: Motormouth Stuff

Cynical Moments in a Disney Blockbuster: Watching Frozen in a Damp RV on a Damp Day

(Note: if you are someone who has been blessed enough to not yet have seen Frozen even once, this will spoil it for you.)

Yay! Motormommy is finally camping! Less than “yay” is the huge split in our RV’s hot water line that, ahem, dampened our camper. (Daddy has already fixed it, which is “yay.”). Also, some rain is dampening the grass and playground equipment. Nothing is dampening our spirits, though!

We watched “Frozen” again this afternoon. I really do love this movie – it’s beautiful and the music was obviously written to be made into a Broadway show. Can’t wait for that.

Still, this has to be the 14,792nd time I’ve seen this movie. I’ve watched it as many times as I read papers and books that I had to critically review in grad school. I think that’s why I’ve started thinking so critically about it.

Here’s what I’ve noticed- what do you think?

1. Kristoff is totally calm about the magic of the winter in summer, but he is totally in shock about someone who would fall in love after 1 day. Even through all the other things that occur, this is the most disbelief we see from Kristoff. Is this Disney’s way of mocking the people who don’t like the fairy tale “love” stuff? I mean, our daughters figure out that they’re not going to run into a talking snow man, is it too much to expect of them to make the jump that Princess isn’t a career and love isn’t really that “magical?”
2. When questioned on his love knowledge, Kristoff cites his friends, who turn out to be the trolls. Do the trolls represent the fairy-love haters of the public? Because they, like the public, are fickle. Even though they’ve taught Kristoff all about real love, they sure are ready to marry him right off to Anna in a hurry. And wouldn’t most of the movie audience, even the fairy-tale-love haters, love to see that wedding sooner than later? Because Kristoff is their creation, right? An honest, imperfect, smelly, not-royal suitor? The antithesis of the typical Disney lover boy?
3. But, shouldn’t we remember what Kristoff does for a living? He sells ice. He’s also the only one outside of the royal family who witnessed the troll incident. Remember the boy and his reindeer watching from the hill? So he’s known all about Elsa’a powers all along, right? Funny he should run into Anna… Is he really any better than Hans? Except he doesn’t want in on the castle, maybe he just wants in on the human ice maker.
4. Olaf will melt in summer. Anna and Kristoff know that. Still, they let him believe he’s going to love summer and he helps them as best as he can to get summer back. Isn’t that a little messed up? Kristoff wanted to tell him the truth, but Anna says no.
5. Olaf has no problem lying. He lies to the marshmallow monster. “All good things, all good things…” And later, he pretends the rocks are Kristoff’s friends.
6. Elsa says we’ll never see her cry. We sure do later on, when she believes Anna is dead.
7. Everyone in the movie lies.
8. Hans does lie, too, of course. But he never tells Anna he loves her. He says he loves crazy. And love is an open door for him. Anna’s love opens a door to a castle he wants to occupy. In fact, no one in this movie says they love anyone.
9. There’s something weird about when Pabbi said, “don’t worry I took away all the magic, but l left the fun.”
10. None of the good guys in this movie would have gotten anything they wanted- Elsa’s control of magic and freedom to use it, Kristoff’s human ice maker connection, Anna’s human companionship, etc. if Anna hadn’t believed in true love and been ready to marry Hans.
11. It is super convenient that, at the end of the movie, everyone was standing on a slightly sunken ship that floats right up when the fjord thaws.

I did just download Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen,” the story on which the film was based. I’ll let you know what I find there.

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Can You Help the Kooky Kousins?

Howdy all!  I haven’t been on here much and I do apologize for that.  I’ve had a lot going on and one of the many things is our Kooky Kousins team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Hartford, CT.  The race is coming up quick- June 7, 2014.  I’m so excited about the race- a bunch of my friends and family are going to be there, there will be lots of pink, and I feel like I’m doing my part to remember those who were lost and to honor survivors, like my kooky cousins Cheryl and Kim, who demonstrated a so much strength and hope in each of their courageous battles.

I was just checking out our team fundraising site, though, and it’s looking a little sad.  We do have one donation.  Kristine, one of our team members, has a donation of $25 from some folks named Gill and Mike.  I don’t know them, but I’m so grateful for their donation.  In fact, I’m so poetically grateful that I wrote this in their honor:

Three cheers for Gill and Mike!

They could’ve said, “Kristine, take a hike!”

And then used their cash at the movies.

But, instead of being schmucks,

They took their twenty-five bucks,

And donated it to save boobies!

That should make them feel special, right?  Do you want to feel special, too?   You see, I’m a little behind on where I’d like to be on our fundraising, so I thought I’d ask for your help.  Aside from the tax-deductible nature of your donation, I thought I’d up the ante a little with these awesome fabulous great good kind of okay…. interesting thank yous:

bothshirts

If you don’t know what motor boating has to do with breasts or breast cancer, this probably isn’t the tshirt for you.

1.)  Be one of the first 7 people to donate $30 or more to our team and get a totally awesome, slightly inappropriate T-shirt (see pic at left) and a poem written about you on MotorMommy.

Just go to the Team Kooky Kousins page and make your donation.  Then comment below and email me at motormommy(at) yahoo(dot)com and I’ll get all the details I need to get the shirt mailed to you.  Yes, the tshirt is a little Vince-Vaughn-“Wedding Crashers” inappropriate.  But it is carefully constructed and artfully designed.  Also, it is impenetrable to evil spirits and the fire of dragons’ breath*.  Which is nice.

2.)  Be one of the first 10 people to donate $10 or more to our team and I’ll write a poem about you on MotorMommy.

Just go to the Team Kooky Kousins page and make your donation and then comment below.  (I won’t need an email.)  How often do people write poems about you?  Sure, evil spirits can get at you and a dragon can singe your skin, but you’ll have your own terrible poem!  Yay!

3.)  Donate as little as $1, and you can have your name, or any name you choose, scroll across the Team Kooky Kousins page.  It’s like being sort of famous!

Check out the Team Kooky Kousins page and you’ll see that Gil and Mike are already enjoying this great gift. What you can’t tell, though, is that each time your name scrolls by, you’ll feel a wave of gratitude sent telepathically from the entire Kooky Kousins team.  It’s true! Go ahead, ask Gil and Mike**.

Not in the mood or cant afford to shell out cash?  There’s still two ways you can help!  Here’s how:

We’re having a fundraising event Monday, May 19th at Artplus Studio in New Haven Connecticut.  We’ll have some wine and some snacks and there are even door prizes.  And you’ll be painting a lovely canvas that you get to take home!  You can go to the Art Plus Studio site and register online right now!

Here’s some more details:

Kooky Kousins for a Cure Paint Party FUNdraiser

May 19th 2014

Check in 6:30pm. Painting will start 6:45pm.

 FUNdraiser cancellations with more than 48-hours notice will result in a $50 cancellation fee.  Less than 48 hours will result in a $150 cancellation fee. In the event a FUNdraiser is cancelled, store credits will be issued to those who have already made a reservation.

  • We provide all materials, your take-home canvas, and step-by-step instruction with one of our instructors

  • We will also be auctioning off art from our collection to benefit your organization.

  • We’ll also be raffling off some door prizes, including one of the tshirts above.  Unless that is illegal.  Then we would definitely not do that.

  • You can bring your own drinks/snacks, but Kooky Kousins will have some wine and some snacks for everyone!

Of course, if you’re’ not in our area or if you don’t like painting or you’re short on cash, you can STILL help!  Just share this post!  Maybe you know someone who has $5 burning a hole in their pocket.  We would really, really, really appreciate it! As always, thank you so much for reading!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA or anyone with any sort of credibility.

**Waves of gratitude may take up to 48 hours to feel.

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A Letter to 4-year-old Princess About Boys

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Dear Princess,

There is a whole agenda out there which promises to let you know all about boys and what they want in girls. That paradigm, which seems to have infiltrated everything, has been set forth solely by folks who want your money. More accurately, for at least the next 14 years or so, they’re looking to help you spend money that actually belongs to Daddy and I.

So, I feel it is my duty to set straight a couple of myths that they are perpetrating.

Myth # 1. You will need a boy in your life. Nope, not true. Perhaps someday you will want a boy in your life. But since social norms have changed to where women can own property, and earn a wage and such, you will never NEED a boy in your life. In fact, boys seem to need girls more than girls need boys. Have you ever heard of a man having a face that launches a thousand ships? Seen a woman schlep all her servants around trying to find a man who fits a certain shoe because he was such a good dancer she HAS to marry him? Me neither.

So even though you don’t need a boy, you may decide you’d enjoy having one around. It’s important that you not buy into these next three myths.

Myth # 2. Boys know what they want in a girl. They have no idea. I made the mistake of asking a boy what he liked about me once. It didn’t end well (it wasn’t daddy, obviously.). Two of the world’s greatest love songs also support boys’ lack of understanding what they like about girls they like: “Whatever It Is” by Zac Brown Band and “Something In The Way,” by James Taylor. Both songs are about how head-over-heels-in-love boys haven’t the slightest clue why they are in love. This should be enough reason not to worry about what boys want, but I’ll continue on because these last two myths are so heavily publicized.

Myth # 3. Boys only like girls who are skinny and a certain kind of pretty. I haven’t been able to research this in it’s entirety, but I think it is a distortion of boys’ desire to avoid girls who are unhappy. Girls who are unhappy can be complicated, something boys seem to want to avoid. Avoiding girls who are unhappy may sound easy, but girls (including Mommy) can be fickle about communicating their happiness level. You may have heard the following conversation a time or two:

Daddy says: “what’s wrong? You seem upset.”
Mommy says: “nothing’s wrong. I’m FINE,” then storms off muttering about how Daddy should know exactly what’s wrong…grumble…grumble…

So, since a boy can never just ask a girl if she’s happy, he had to look for other clues.

Boys began to notice that girls who undertook certain behaviors were happier. These behaviors included playing sports, hiking, reading, boating, playing music and feeling pretty and such. Now, the musicians and readers were hard to pick out. But athletes generally had a certain physique. Girls who put effort into what made them feel pretty also were easy to spot. (Side note here: humans are very visual and the world is a beautiful place. Girls enjoy feeling beautiful in their own ways. For some it’s makeup and expensive clothes, for some it’s just a dress and a flower in their hair, for others it’s a pair of hiking boots and the sparkle of a little sweat on their brow.) Of course, since it’s tough to sell physical activity or that pretty feeling, corporations now try to convince you that boys like skinny girls who are a certain kind of pretty so they can sell you makeup, hairspray, weight loss formulas, and other junk you don’t need. They even increase their profit margins on clothing because smaller sizes use less fabric (see the next myth busted.)

This myth is especially awful because it means girls spend so much time and so much of their parents’ money on getting skinny and what people tell them is pretty that they don’t have any time left to do the things that would actually make them happy. This myth is also unfair to the boys because the boys then approach girls who they assume are happy because they seem fit and beautified. Then they find out the girls are the opposite of happy because all they seem to care about is finding a boy. And if there is one kind of girl a boy knows will never be happy or easy to be around, it’s a girl who spends her time trying to get a boy in her life.

Myth # 4. Boys like girls who wear hardly any clothes. This myth is just stupid. Anyone who can’t see through this corporate plan to sell clothes made with less fabric is just silly. I mean, why would a company use more fabric when they can convince you to spend the same money on one that uses less?

I picture an old white guy in huge, expensive office buzzing in an intern, who, in my mind, has a voice like Carl from “Phineas and Ferb.” So let’s call him Carl.

Old rich guy: “Carl get in here, quick, it’s an emergency.”
Carl enters, “yes sir, what is it?”
ORG: “my wife just called. She wants a tennis court at our villa in Italy. She loves tennis, and isn’t happy unless she plays. You know I can’t spend my Italian vacations miserable because she’s unhappy. We’re going to have to cut corners somewhere. Why is our bill for fabric in the juniors department so high?”
Carl: “sir, they’re currently manufacturing the winter clothing line. Items like long pants require more fabric.”
ORG: “call marketing. We need a new advertising campaign that pushes winter short shorts. Pant legs are too expensive to make.”
Carl: “yes sir! Brilliant idea! Right up there with your plan to only make three-quarter-length sleeves!”

Whether it is dresses, underwear, swimsuits, shorts, or whatever, dear daughter, don’t let them “sell you short.” Perhaps that’s where that phrase comes from. Okay, probably not, but you deserve more fabric for mommy and daddy’s hard-earned money! Don’t stand for anything less!

I think that should get you off to a good start in understanding the truth about the male gender. In summary, you don’t need boys, they’re clueless, they won’t be interested unless you’re interested in making yourself happy, and you should never buy into the clothing manufacturer’s desire to use less fabric.

Love,
Mommy

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Flooding and Stuff

When it rains it pours.

I live less than a mile from the Connecticut River, whose flood stage is 7.0 feet.  Over the weekend when I checked, it had reached 10.5 feet.  Even all the little tributaries that feed the Connecticut River are swollen and rushing with mighty currents.  It’s very beautiful and noisy. (Just like the one in the picture here, which is Little Falls at Wadsworth Falls State Park, which is normally just a tiny trickle over these step-like rocks.)photo

I suppose it’s pretty normal for springtime in Middletown.  There’s a restaurant that floods every year this time.  This year, I feel like I can identify with the floods.

It is certainly raining in my life, and snowing and stuff too, because this is the winter that never ends in New England.  Which is more annoying than the song that never ends.

I realized that all rain is good rain, though.  Whether it’s the first drop of hope after your whole life has felt parched, the convenient rain that hides your tears, that kind of cold rain that makes you tired, that light mist that just ruins your hair or that downpour that brings the flood that forces you to realize exactly what parts of your life are worth dragging along with you should you happen to remain afloat.

It’s all good rain because it all makes you grow.

Three weeks ago, I was trying to train for my half marathon and hang out with my kids all day and work my part-time job and keep the house clean and get a team organized for a charity race.  Perfectly great.  Until what appears to be the opportunity of a lifetime comes along.

What did I do?  I jumped on it.

But it’s meant an extra 25 hours of at-home work for me while I work my part-time job for now. And then I got an annoying cold and a surprise snowstorm happened and we had some of our favorite people come from out-of-town and then my daughter had vacation from school and my brother and his wife had a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby.  Plus my neighbor, an obnoxious drug addict and convicted felon, has been especially yelly and sweary lately which means interactions with the very polite police force in this city.  And there’s been Easter and Passover and the bunny and the pictures and a race I volunteered for.  Lots of people are giving me lots of help- parents taking kids for a little longer, husband giving me more time alone, etc.

So it’s all really, really, really good rain, right?

But I haven’t ran in 2 weeks although the half-marathon is still looming.  And this is the first thing I’ve written in a long time.  And I forgot to post the 5K training or try to organize a group run for the charity race we’re doing.  And I’m behind on the new opportunity.  And my kids have watched a lot of TV during their April vacation.  My poor dog is not enjoying her lack of time outdoors, either.  I haven’t had a conversation alone with my husband in a long time.   And my son puked his guts out.  Okay, not his guts- just a half a bag of jelly beans, a couple peeps, an eggs and some trail mix, which he’d managed to consume before 10 am on Easter Sunday.  But he wasn’t actually sick, just horribly fed while mommy was upstairs working.

Normally, those kind of failures would cause me to drop everything and assume I’M a failure.  That I knew I was biting off more than I could chew and so it was my fault I wasn’t at my personal best for any of it, so I should just throw in the towel.

Not this time, though.  One thing that running and writing have taught me is to embrace my mediocrity.  I normally don’t even participate in something unless I’m naturally awesome at it.  That’s why all I ever really did was bowl and sell cars.

Now, even if my head feels barely above water while I try to navigate this flood that is almost entirely my own creation, I’m going to just keep swimming.  I’ll keep getting done what I can, the best I can, when I can.  Even if it’s not done very often and not done very well.  Which will be weird for me.

Because I know that soon, the stars will align and I will get all of this done.  I believe the big dream and I’m starting to imagine some cool stuff for myself and my family so I won’t give up.  Even if it means some seriously half-assed accomplishments.  Deep breaths and focusing on what I can in the moments I can.  Easier said than done.

But the people who love me will forgive me.  Right?

(Updated at 11:45 am on 4/21/2014 because I decided not to forego proof reading completely – I just corrected some spelling.)

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