I called truck #212221 'Desirae'. Google tells me this is a French name for "the one desired". I found a poster of Ray Lewis propped against a pump-canister in the back of the flat-faced Isuzu my manager assigned to me: perhaps a desire but even more a discovery. "I'll call you 'Rae-Rae'-- short for Desirae."… Continue reading Halloween Day: My Truck, My Tablet, and a Pink House
On Halloween Day I departed from the IHOP in Olney, MD in a daze. To lessen the likelihood of mowing-down trick-or-treaters with our fleet of half-blind utility trucks, our assigned work orders were lighter that day. I had spent the morning disguised as a lawn technician, and employed as one this past Autumn, but never shed… Continue reading Halloween Day: The Costumed Clerk and a Plastic Trumpet
I cried unexpectedly when I read Kamasi Washington’s liner-notes for “Harmony of Difference”. I found the suite while browsing for “Heaven & Earth” on Amazon.com and ordered both sent to my father’s house in Holland, MI. Absconding to a chair in a blind corner, I quieted too fast and my father came looking for me,… Continue reading It’s Like Warm Caramel
Olaf is 'fully character' and 'fully symbol' from the moment that Anna, Christoph, and Sven hear his voice. Elsa's dormant playfulness is awake -- and much more. The preceding animation features panoramic, crystalline winter beauty -- frozen waterfalls, glitter encrusted willows -- causing Anna to declare "I never knew that winter could be so beautiful." Olaf enters with vivid color suggestions; his antics are rife with comic relief, gags only a snowman could complete, and his song about summer seems to be part of the fun. "I don't know why," says Olaf, "but I've always loved the idea of SUMMER and SUN and all things HOT--" Theatrical improvisers relish 'games' like this one: his character- deal is to obtain something fatal to only him! We're treated to some quality comedy as Olaf's solo absorbs us into a jump-cut-montage of warm environs where snowmen would perish; hilarious! Though it would be an excellent throwaway sequence, Olaf's role in the rest of the movie leads me to believe that his summer-time aspirations are thematically key.
The person who snatches the glove rarely understands what is beneath. Anna releases the literal winter within Elsa in a heated moment. Elsa takes that unwanted first step into the unknown, toward finding-out what she's capable of doing-- forced to embrace the risk of loss. I never wanted that moment, either. I know what it feels like to be a storm pretending to be a statue; to try to hold 'the stage'; to believe that life depends upon a glove. She loses control. They call her a monster. She flees. Her fears come true and even worse. Feel that with me.
Like many of us, Anna thought she could break her lonesome "spell" with a romance, unaware of the antecedent spell in her family. Elsa was correct: "You can't marry a man you just met." Yet I want to defend Anna's initiative: she was outside the gate. Hans didn't come 'calling', she found him while in town, exploring. Unfairly, their parents died unexpectedly and Elsa's reticence took away opportunities for sisterly mentoring. Anna committed a mistake but at least she wasn't paralyzed. Throughout the entire film, Anna takes action: she is on the heroine arc! Anna is the one who seizes Elsa's glove, precipitating the advent of Elsa's full power and an instant winter. The results are terrible, terrifying, and ultimately terrific (see that?). Falling for Hans is part of Anna's heroine arc and key to plot development-- heroines commit blunders, whereas inert princesses are perfect... ly helpless. Anna is our beloved heroine because she is one of us blunderers!
I will risk showing both my age and some "geekiness" in this piece. When I turned thirty, two years ago, I started secretly replaying my copy of Pokémon Blue Version. Chalk that one as a reward for finishing graduate school or else something to fill the space between accepting a new job and discovering the… Continue reading Poké Lessons: Firestones