The Princess and the Frog – 3 Thumbs Up

The Princess and the Frog – 3 Thumbs Up

I finally got a chance to see The Princess & the Frog this weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  In debuting its first black princess, Disney got alot right.  Here are a few of my thoughts:

1. The message was very timely and audience-conscience.  You can have a career and a man–you don’t have to choose.  I read several pre-release critiques about the movie and how we shouldn’t care about or promote little black girls being swept off their feet by men.  Well… little girls and not-so-little girls like me need to see that they don’t have to think of romance as an either-or venture.  Many of my peers work so hard and worry about their present and future family life–they (we) worry about whether they’re even capable of the balance needed.  It’s refreshing to see the princess get it all.  And to see her man support her in her career dreams.

2. The animation was spectacular.  Period.

3. Disney did a good job featuring the good and evil in the spiritual world.  I was worried that the traditional negative connotation of the voodoo culture would be overwhelming, but I think Disney did a good job of showing both sides.  The spirits were really creepy–but in my opinion, they’re reality.  And I’m glad Disney showed what can happen when you start dabbling in the dark side.  And while it was subtle, I’m glad that the movie shows that good isn’t necessarily in your face–God’s timing is what it is and if we’re diligent in doing what we’re supposed to be doing, He will work it out in the end.

4. Princess Tiana was beautiful, inside and out.  She’s gorgeous and she worked her butt off.  Of course, she had to learn that life isn’t all about working hard–it’s for our enjoyment.  I loved that she was so committed to her dream, like so many black women are.  It made me sad to see her not even taking a night off to hang out with her friends–I can relate.  That’s the beauty of the princess movies–Disney does a wonderful job of making movies that all age groups can enjoy.  There were little girls giggling throughout the movie, and so was I.  It’s important to remember that they weren’t analyzing the movie like I was.  They are able to enjoy it now with innocent, untainted minds, and then as they get older, they will be able to find new meanings every time they watch it.

5. Prince Naveen was a hottie and immature like many young guys, and I’m glad he had to step his game up before Princess Tiana paid him any mind.  Ok, he was “other”–from some random country, but he was colored and that’s enough for me.   And I loved that ALLLLLL the girls thought he was gorgeous.  Not just the black girls, not just the white girls.  He was an international hottie, and he ended up learning from and falling in love with Tiana. 🙂

6. I peeped Disney’s game.  Although the main antagonist was indeed a black man (and the first black Disney villain), there were a couple of other minor antagonists in the movie.  And they were white.  The prince’s shady assistant was white (which was interesting in itself).  And there were some dirty rednecks in the bayou.  So I think critics need to look at the big picture here.  All that was bad was not black, and I appreciate that.

7. Family was an important theme.  Tiana’s parents were a major part of who she was.  And they showed her dad as a strong black man (a king in his own right) breaking his back to take care of his family and still making the sacrifice to be there emotionally for his wife and child.  I’m happy that Princess Tiana’s connection to her parents helped her to make the right decision at the turning point of the movie.  And at the very end when the prince and princess get together, all parents were there to support, even Naveen’s who had disowned him.  They were smiling that Tiana had made such a positive impact on him.  And that’s how it should be.  Men and women are supposed to be interdependent on each other–and we should make each other better.

8. I love love love that old timey New Orleans was the setting, especially post-Katrina.  I’ve had an infatuation with New Orleans since I was little, so the setting was perfect for a child at heart like me.  I would have loved to see a second line when one of the characters passed away, but there was still some celebration.  And the music was good.  Not as great as I expected, but it was still really good.  And I love that jazz was highlighted.  Especially in Tiana’s dream scene.

9. I’m now wishing on Evangeline.  I think the storyline about the star threaded through the movie was stellar.  And we all need a little hope, yanno?

10. I can’t wait to get this movie on DVD.  I think it’s a grand addition to the Disney princess empire.  And I’m hoping in a couple of years we may get another black princess (and maybe it can be set in the Caribbean or something–that would be fun!). 😀

Reflections and Projections

Reflections and Projections

Usually in December (and intermittently throughout the year), I reflect on what’s occurred in my life and how I handled it all, and I try to reconcile that with what God would have had me do and what lessons I should be learning.

Well, the big thing I learned this year was about my focus.  It’s easy to focus on the positive when positivity abounds.  But it’s not so easy when bullshit and hurt and selfishness and overall negativity surround me.  BUT it’s not impossible.  When trouble comes around, the first thing on my to-do list is try to name 5 things I’m happy about.  Sometimes I have to drill all the way down to the things we take for granted. You know, like having breath. Or functioning limbs.  Or a roof over my head. Parents who love me.  And this is an ongoing lesson–I’m still getting over many things that occurred over the course of 2009, but it’s all about perspective.  Yes, I’m affected, but I have to let the positivity affect me and battle that negativity.

Another thing I’ve had quite a difficult time learning, and I didn’t know I had to relearn it until I had to deal with conflicts, was that I don’t do what I do for people.  I do what I do because it’s in my spirit and my make-up.  God made me a person who spends her days striving to use my talents to help other folks.  This year, I was in a position on more than one occasion of serving a great number of people, some of whom were very inconsiderate, very rude, very contentious, and very negative.  And I had to battle with myself consistently on staying in that position.  If I could have quit, I would have. In a heartbeat.  The problem with me, though, is that I’m not a quitter.  Once I’ve committed to something, I follow through with it, even when I’m miserable.  But why was I miserable?  Because I let a small group, maybe 10% of the people I serve, who were loud and silly, matter.  I let them drive me up the mickeyfickey wall, just because they were louder than the other people who either don’t bother me at all or who really are supportive.  Perspective.

So since my Road to 29 commenced, I’ve tried to be intentional about my positivity and what I spend my time thinking about.  It’s still hard, of course, but not as hard as it was when I didn’t realize that I was getting duped by the devil’s antics.  So I’m ignoring the negativity–not giving them the benefit of acknowledgement.  And lemme tell you–when you channel positivity and don’t allow yourself to feed into the world’s negativity, you touch people.  You never know what people are going through or what they’re searching for.  I got an email this morning.  Someone who’s been having a rough time of it lately reached out to me just because I was positive in an email and the positivity reached out and grabbed her.  She didn’t see me.  She saw the God I’ve been latching on to, trying to keep myself out of the dumps I find myself in when I rely on myself and my own emotions.

So my projections–in 2010, the year that signifies perfection and divine completion, I will focus on the miracle.  I will strive to let the positivity outweigh the negativity, even when I’m being mistreated or when life throws me blows.  I will expect the unexpected because God is awesome and He knows what He has for me.  I will try my best to remember that someone I may not even realize is watching me may need to see the God in me, so I need to let him shine through.

Now, it’s time for another installment of Road to 29–pampering myself. 🙂 But I’ll leave you with my theme song for Road to 29/2010.

But the impossible is God’s chance to work a miracle, a miracle… So just know it ain’t over until God says it’s over. It ain’t over until God says it’s done.  Keep fighting until your victory is won.

Another Quote

Another Quote

I got this from one of my besties this morning. 🙂 Enjoy!

This is my wish for you:

Comfort on difficult days,

smiles when sadness intrudes,

rainbows to follow the clouds,

laughter to kiss your lips,

sunsets to warm your heart,

hugs when spirits sag,

beauty for your eyes to see,

friendships to brighten your being,

faith so that you can believe,

confidence for when you doubt,

courage to know yourself,

patience to accept the truth,

Love to complete your life.

Unexpected Happy

Unexpected Happy

On Facebook, I have an Honesty Box.  I very rarely receive anything of substance, and I’ve gotten negative/messy comments twice.  For the last week, my Honesty Box question has been: If I died tomorrow, what would you tell me today?

I found this in my box:

I want to let you know how much I appreciate you consideration of others and that you take the time to always enjoy each moment in time. You always seem to be care free, even though I know that you have struggles and various challenges. I want to thank you for that beautiful smile you always give when you greet me and others. And point blank, you are one of the most beautiful, classy, and elegant young ladies I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with. You are a blessing to me and all who meet and know you.

How nice!  It really made my day.  You never know where smile sources will come from. 🙂

The Walnut Excursion

The Walnut Excursion

When I was a kid, I thought I was so special to have two grandfathers who went by initials, one of which was the same.  My maternal granddaddy goes by P.H. and my paternal granddaddy was known as W.H. I still think it’s a lil special. 🙂

Sunday, before church, I walked a couple of doors down to sit with my granddaddy P.H., but sitting was not in the plan.  Not at first anyway.  He had embarked on a search for walnuts.  Now, this was notable to me because I have lived on that street for years and years and never knew we had walnut trees.  Since I was small, I have collected pecans, shelled them by pressing two in my hand, eating them as I picked them up off the ground, and I’ve shelled them the “proper” way so that they’d be nice and pretty for a pecan pie.  But I had no clue there was a walnut tree anywhere around there.

I don’t like walnuts, by the way. lol They’re too sweet or something.  And after my experience with them Sunday, they’re too much work!  Anywho, so after picking walnuts with my granddaddy, we set off to find somewhere to hammer them open without the wind blowing.  We tried a couple of places, but neither worked.  He finally went into his shed and beat them open. (Those things are really just too much work!  I liken them to crawfish or crab legs–too much work for a little bit of reward!)

While he was forcing those things open, I went in the house and realized that as much as I went over there as a child, I never paid attention to the bookshelf.  I looked at pictures I’ve seen thousands of times and at pictures I had never seen before.  Then I admired the history books (history of MS, history of slavery, world books, etc.).  While browsing, I noticed a Marriage Manual and a Marriage textbook.  Books can teach you so much. Open and closed.  Before even opening the book, I was reflecting on the fact that there was a time that marriage was so important that there was a textbook dedicated to it.  It had reasons to get married, things to consider about singlehood, the responsibilities to expect from each partner in the marriage, a little sexual education, how to deal with various situations, etc.  I didn’t take it with me for close inspection, but it really made me go hmm.

After my granddaddy was done breaking all of the collected walnuts open, we went next door and sat at the kitchen table and got out the itty bitty pieces of nuts.  We talked as we shelled.  He still can’t believe I’m unmarried.  I finally learned why his kids and my grandma went to a different church than he did. (I always thought it was a bit strange that there were two family churches even though I never questioned it.)  He asked me when I’m coming back.  He was happy that I’m finally out of school and am working. lol

I’m sure I won’t be eating walnuts anymore than I ever did, but I appreciate our little adventure.  And I appreciate the things my adult eyes and ears learn although those things were probably always there.  I’ll be looking forward to my next visit home.