Frozen Fails With “Fixer Upper”

Fixer-Upper

In the last two weeks, I have watched Frozen three times.  Unfortunately, I never got around to seeing it on the big screen and my first viewing was on the plane home from Boston last week.  It was adorable and I—like so many who watched it before me—fell head over heels for Disney’s latest animated romp.  It was heartfelt, hilarious, and filled with great songs that have me tapping my feet and singing along when I simply think about the movie.

Everyone loves “Let It Go” and it really is a powerhouse song, but I can’t figure out why no one is talking about the poor message from one of the other songs: “Fixer Upper.”

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Listen To The Little Voice

Several months ago, I did something I had never done before.

It was a sad Friday.  The family dog, Killer, had died the night before after being a part of the family for more than ten years and I was fairly certain I had a difficult decision to make in the relationship department.  Since it was my day off and I didn’t really feel like staying home to wallow, I packed up some tissues and headed to California’s Shangri-La otherwise known as Ojai.

You might recognize the name of the town as the setting for the Emma Stone comedy Easy A.  Yes, it’s a real place and I hadn’t been there since high school.  It’s a quaint little town with locally run shops and few chain stores.  With my bloodshot eyes carefully hidden behind sunglasses, I wandered the main drag, popping into stores that had artisan crafts and produce picked from nearby farms.

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Be The Priority Of Your Life

As adults, we juggle many responsibilities. Some, like managing finances or family, are a given. Others, like the ever-growing to-do list, come to light at a moment’s notice. In one day, we may attend back-to-back meetings, get our teeth cleaned, root for a child on the soccer field, share dinner and a movie with a loved one, write a blog post, and still find a way to sleep. With an act like this, let’s just run away and join the circus now.

Granted, we don’t do all of these things all of the time. We place value on the events, relationships, and goals in our lives. Watching your daughter’s first ballet recital may be more important than working overtime at the office. Saving money for a down payment on a home may be more important than a big, elaborate wedding. It’s really up to you to decide what takes precedence in your life. We order our preferences by their significance and place the priorities front and center.

Between all the juggling, we often forget one very important piece of the puzzle: ourselves.

Priority

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Happiness Starts With You

What makes you happy?  Are you getting enough of it?  If you’re not, why aren’t you?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choices we make and the reasons we make them.  What I’ve discovered is that a lot—and I do mean a lot—of the decisions we make are because we are trying to make other people happy.  It makes sense.  We focus on families and loved ones because, in order to be seen as kind and selfless people, we must put their happiness above our own.  We justify it by saying things like “if they’re happy, I’m happy” or “their happiness is more important than my own.”  But is that always right?

The simple answer is no.

If we always put the needs of others before our own, we lose sight of what we need as individuals and can turn bitter and resentful.  There have been a great many times when I have witnessed or experienced the anger that comes when one’s own needs are forsaken for someone else’s.  The seed of resentment is a slow-growing emotion that once realized, is far stronger than you thought possible and incredibly hard to get rid of.  And let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

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How I Became A Mento

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Mentor Spotlight Week!

Inspired by my awesome mentor in all things, this week I will be sharing with you Wonderlings some of the Fonz’s obsessions, his words of wisdom, and maybe even a post from the man himself.  I hope you all enjoy the first themed week of Defining Wonderland.

But before we begin with Mentor Spotlight Week, let me tell you about the beginning of our mentorship.

When I started at my job four years ago, the Fonz was one of the people I had to check in with.  Being escorted from office to office and meeting with dozens of new people, I don’t remember our first encounter.  I guess it’s good that he at least didn’t make a bad first impression.

The Most Interesting Mentor in the World.

My desk was situated outside of the business director’s office and the Fonz, being another manager, would frequently meet with the business director.  Over time, our small pleasantries turned into sarcastic conversations about anything and everything.  This was a man who not only got my sick sense of humor, but had one even more twisted than my own.  Also, he could keep up on the pop culture references with an impressive knowledge of movies, music, and television shows.  He thinks he’s the white Shaft for crying out loud!  After a lengthy conversation about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I suggested that he show up at the building Halloween party dressed as Dr. Frank-N-Furter.  Luckily, he didn’t take me up on my suggestion.  That would have just been wrong.  So, so wrong.

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Be A Less Crappy Friend

I am the first to admit that I can be a crappy friend.  However, I think that part of my problem is that I cannot accept when friends behave in ways that I deem crappy.  Behold, three tips to be less crappy.

Don’t keep people waiting.

My wonderful mentor once told me that “people who keep others waiting make it clear that their time is much more important than anyone else’s.”  I agree with this statement to a certain degree.  I don’t believe that people run on perfect inner clocks and are never tardy to appointments.  However, I find it increasingly rude when the same people are consistently running late.

I have a friend who cannot arrive at a place on time if her life depended on it.  Every time we hang out, I am guaranteed to wait, often in the cold, for at least twenty minutes before she shows up.  She almost always pushes back plans to a later time and will still show up late.  One time, I took her out for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Not only did she keep me waiting for over two hours after she insisted she was on her way, but then she dashed off to meet her boyfriend before I could even buy her dessert.  It’s so completely frustrating because she is fully aware of the problem so I feel like it would be pointless to say anything.  I have read in magazines that it is useful to turn the tables and keep this particular type of friend waiting so she will understand how annoying it is.  I have tried this tactic, leaving my place at the time when I should be arriving at the agreed upon location, but it’s no use; I will still be kept waiting.

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All Signs Point To Ask

When it comes to generating ideas for posts, a lot of times I just pull something out of thin air.  Usually it will be related to something that I’ve experienced in my recent days or something I’ve wondered about, but most of the time, ideas just hit me for no clear reason and I run with them.

This particular post was brought to you all by the universe.  Yes, that’s right.  The universe.  You see, for the last week, I have been inundated with the same topic time and time again.  Badgered over the head, if you will.  In no less than three different ways has this issue been made the focus of my life at separate times.  Clearly, I am meant to write about it.  However, as I sit here, I feel like I cannot truly do the topic justice because I feel that the message is clear enough and why should I further elaborate on an already defined subject.

But I will because, let’s face it, this is what I do here.

What is this mysterious topic that I write about so enigmatically?  Asking for what you want.

Who could forget Meredith’s speech on “Grey’s Anatomy” where she begged Derek to choose her over his estranged wife?

Simple enough, right?  You see something you desire, you ask for it.  A raise, a dance, a shiny new pair of shoes.  Children do it all the time.  “Mommy, I want ice cream!”  “Daddy, I want a teddy bear!”  “Auntie, pick me up!”  But is it really that simple?

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Let Your Freak Flag Fly!

I’m sure many of you out there have heard the term “freak flag” and wondered about what the heck it could possibly mean.  Is it an insult?  Is it a compliment?  It is anything special?  Is it worthy of a blog post?

The short answer is yes.

Urban Dictionary defines freak flag—its Urban Word of the Day on March 21, 2008—as “a characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.”

Ok, so what does that mean?

Is flying your freak flag horrible? Absolutely not!

In simplest terms, a freak flag is something that sets you apart from everyone else.  Now, I’m not saying that it involves a person swinging from a chandelier or down on all fours, barking like a dog in the middle of a staff meeting.  In the right context, that might work, but for the most part, those types of behaviors might land you a trip to a padded room with a jacket you can’t get out of.  Rather, waving one’s freak flag might be a gesture learned from your father or an accent that you only use with your best friend.  What sets these quirky acts apart is that they would not be defined as freaky if performed in private.  However, once you let loose in front of other people, consider your freak flag flown.

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Expect Less, Enjoy More

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has had great expectations for something—be it a first date, a new movie, or a job interview—and has been let down when reality did not match up to our vision.  It can be hard to deal with and certainly disappointing when life just doesn’t go the way you expected it to.

So how can we deal with our own disenchantment and how can we prevent it from happening again?

We must expect less.

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Chase Your White Rabbit

With so many forks in the road and decisions to make, how does one ever know if they are taking the right path?  Making the right choice?

Unfortunately, life is not as simple as the Choose Your Own Adventure book series popular in the 80’s and 90’s.  If you reached the end of the story, you could always go back and make a different decision to see where that would lead you.  As a kid, I read one of the stories—I’m pretty sure it was #52 Ghost Hunter—and I got to the point where the character fell to his death.  I remember being frustrated and confused.  How could I have chosen the course that had resulted in such horror?  Weren’t all stories supposed to have a happy ending?  Since I didn’t like that particular conclusion, I decided to retrace my steps and change the story.  Ironically, I didn’t like that ending either and the first one became the one that stuck with me for decades.

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