Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brave



Disney princesses are a a part of our culture. They're a large part of my generation. I grew up watching Disney Princess movies (Belle from Beauty and The Beast is my favorite). There are others that I like, such as the originals who were Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Aurora/Brier Rose/Sleeping Beauty.

 Pocahontas was unique because she was the only real life princess and Disney was fairly accurate with her story. Mulan was also inspired by a real Japanese warrior, and as badass as she was, she is not actually a princess. Shang wasn't even a prince, but still, they made for a great couple!

Then there were those that really got on my nerves, such as Ariel (she came off as a spoiled brat), Jasmine (winy and complaining), and Rapunzel (just down right annoying). Tiana from The Princess and The Frog I liked because of her sassy sense of humor, even though I didn't care for the movie.

Princess Merida with her family.
Now a new princess is joining the ranks of The Disney Princesses franchise. The wild haired, stubborn, and independent Princess Merida of Scotland. Not only is Merida Pixar's first princess, she is Disney's first princess to have no prince charming.

No, instead she has something much better than that. A wonderful family.

When the movie begins we see Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) as the oldest daughter of King Fergus (voicedc by Billy Connelly), who prefers to be more of a father than a king, and Queen Elinor (voiced by Emma Thompson), who rules the roost just about...everywhere. Merida also has three younger brothers, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish, who are fun loving troublemakers and are downright spoiled by their older sister.

Family life is relaxed, maybe too relaxed for Queen Elinor. King Fergus adores his children and encourages his daughter to be whoever she desires to be. The triplets are the comic relief of the story and actually become unlikely heroes as well.

Princess Merida and Queen Elinor
The storyline generates around Merida and her mother who are at their wits end with each other. Queen Elinor is old school royalty who lives by tradition. She wants Merida to marry and learn to be a respectful lady, with the hope of becoming a future queen.

Merida, on the other hand, is repulsed by the idea of marriage and balks every step of the way. She's an extraordinary horsewoman and deadly archer, and is more interested in adventure than romance.

After Merida publicly announces that she will have no husband, as well as besting her hopeful suitors at the archery contest, she and her mother have an all out yelling brawl. Leaving a desperate and rebellious Merida to do the unthinkable.

Change her destiny.

King Fergus and Queen Elinor
 Change does not always come out the way we want it too and Merida's foolish act of selfishness almost costs her what is most dear and precious to her.

Her mother.

And yet...Merida must find the bravery to atone for her mistakes and make right what what she has wronged. In the process, she and her mother come to a much better and clearer understanding of one another.

Merida realizes that her mother didn't want her to be just a lady, but a strong and generous woman. She also learns that to find your own future, you must sometimes learn from the traditions of the past.

Elinor sees the courage that her daughter posses and knows that she is capable of handling her own life, not with help of a husband, but rather the guidance and support of her family.

Brave
This was a very good movie. Now I'll admit, it wasn't the best of Disney Princess movies, but it's one of the best movies that Pixar has come out with in several years.

The animation is beautiful, the soundtrack is stunning and full of traditional Celtic music, and it is hilarious. There is also a great subplot to the storyline concerning the legend of how the kingdom began, as well as a little mystery to go along with it.

Now some gave it a rather scathing review which I thought rather unfair and their opinions unrealistic-Visionary Daughters.

As far as Disney princesses go, I liked Merida. She is feisty, stubborn and rebellious, but she is fiercely loyal to her family and her kingdom. She has a great sense of humor and I especially loved how she just adored her baby brothers!

Of all the lessons that this movie could produce, the importance of family loyalty is the best and strongest. Not waiting around for prince charming to save you, but to rely on what you already have and to never, never take that for granted.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Story Fun


 There's a certain theme that continues throughout this story. Can you figure out what it is???


 The Thunderstorm

Allie and her brother and sister were watching a thunderstorm in their living room. Before long the lights had gone out.

“Can someone find a flashlight?” Allie asked

Danielle went and got it from the kitchen. Everything will be Ok and it shouldn’t last long,” she said.

Fine, but I like it like this,” said Andrew.

“Great,” groaned Allie, “How long is this going to last?”

“It shouldn’t be too long,” said Andrew, “Just get comfortable.”

Knowing he was right, Allie pulled out her i-phone.

Luckily, she still had it half charged.

“Might be good to have it on for an emergency,” she said.

“Nothing ever happens around here,” Danielle said.

“Only massive thunderstorms,” said Andrew.

Peter Davis texted Allie a few minutes later.

Quickly she opened the message.

“Really quick question,” he texted, “Someone needs an answer to this. Tell me what disease begins with X.”

Understandably confused, Allie told her siblings.

“Very hard,” said Andrew after a few seconds.

“Wait a minute,” Danielle said, “Xanthosis is the answer.

“You know everything,” Allie said as she texted back the answer.

Zipping up her hoodie, she smiled.  

 ~Ivy

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where The Sun and Stars Meet



 Where the Sun and Stars Meet
Part One


A Thor fanfiction

Thor walked through the long candlelit hallways of the palace. The lightning storm outside grew louder and louder. Rain pelted the roof and fogged the window panes. Thunder rumbled in the distance, coming ever closer.

He really wished that Sif hadn’t sent him down there. He hadn’t been down those hallways that led to that room for years. Then he smiled when he began to remember all those memories spent in that room; the baby’s nest (nursery).

Thor remembered all of his and Loki’s imaginary adventures they had as boys. Wielding their small wooden swords and shields and running across their own little rainbow bridge that father had made for them.

As he made the final turn, Thor remembered him and Loki studying the history of their predecessors and warriors of Asgard. Actually, Loki preferred to do all the reading and studying. To this day, Thor had never known anyone who could read as much as Loki did when he was a child.

He on the other hand couldn’t sit still for five minutes; he was always jumping up and acting out the latest battle that they had just read about. He must have driven his tutors to madness.

“Back away from Asgard, evil King Laufey, or I’ll destroy Jotunheim!” shouted nine year Thor as he thrust his sword into the imaginary foe.

“Thor,” said Loki, who had just turn seven, “we’re supposed to be reading about it this. Not acting it out.”

“But I feel like a mighty warrior just hearing about all the great battles of Asgard,” Thor said, his tenacity unabated.

“You feel like a warrior, but you sound like an idiot,” said Loki as he brushed his messy black hair out of his pale face.

For being the god of mischief and lies, Loki wasn’t afraid to tell the truth when it needed to be told. An aching pain spread through Thor’s heart.

He missed Loki. So much.

In spite of all he had done, Thor still loved his brother dearly. He hadn’t seen him in years, but Loki’s presence was still there in Asgard and he could never be forgotten. In spite of his harsh words about being overshadowed by his brother.

Thor stopped at the door of the baby’s nest. With a shaking hand he opened it. The room had changed very little since he had been a child. The only difference was the small golden haired girl playing on the rainbow bridge.

She was chattering on happily to her dolls as lined them across the bridge. Her bright blue eyes were filled with delight and wonder as befitted a three year old.

Suddenly she looked up and smile came to her face.

“Hello Father,” she said jumping up from her play.

Thor felt his blood begin to rage. How he wished to be anywhere but there.
 ~ ~ ~

When Thor found out that Sif had given birth to a daughter instead of the son that they had both desperately yearned for, he found himself compromised. He wanted his firstborn to be a son, to raise him as his father had, to teach him fight, to ride, and battle.

Instead it was female. He knew nothing about girls and quite frankly, Sif knew very little about raising a daughter as well. They hadn’t even thought of any female names in their assurance that it was going to be a boy.

Frigga named her. Although, she had never stated her opinion about the sex of the child, Thor knew full well she had wanted it to be a girl. And how happy she was when she heard of the news of the birth of her granddaughter.

The replacement for the daughter she had lost long ago. The daughter she had lost due to Thor’s careless actions as a boy. This new child would be her second chance, her redemption, and Thor knew she must loathe him for not loving her like a father should.

Frigga had named her Kass, which meant beloved and she was her grandmother’s beloved darling as well as her grandfathers. Both of them seemed to love her more than her parents did when she was first brought into this world.

Although somewhat disappointed at the fact that she was unable to give her husband a son, when Sif held her daughter for the first time, a wave of love filled through her. A love she had never felt before. Strong, yet tender. Sif started to cry when she held her.

Her, Sif, the goddess of war, crying over a newborn child?

"She's beautiful," Sif said as cradled the tiny bundle in her arms.

"She's not what we wanted," Thor said coldly.

Sif looked up at him. How could he be so cold about this precious child? Yes, they had wanted a son, but...did it matter now? They had a beautiful healthy daughter. A princess of Asgard. How long had it been since Asgard had boasted of a princess?

"Thor," she said slowly, "we may not always get what we want or our plans turn out the way that we wish them too, but maybe this is better. The unexpected always surprises us."

"Well, then I will leave you to rejoice in the unexpected," growled Thor as he stormed out of the room.




"Go back and play," said Thor with no warmth in his voice.

Kass stopped running to him; her blue eyes clouded and her smile faded. She obediently turned back and went back to playing with her dolls, but no longer with the same joy that she had moments before.

After three years of this child and still Thor could find no reason to be with her. Sif had only sent him up there to check on her and make sure she was all right. He wasn't up there to play. What could he possibly do with a girl?

As he looked around the room, he realized that it had changed. When he had been in there as a child, it had been filled with toy swords and shields. Now it was filled with dolls and stuffed animals.

"What does a child do with so many dolls?" Thor thought.

Most of them were gifts and present from her grandparents. Kass was downright spoiled by them and by her mother.

Of all the changes that Kass's birth brought, the change in Sif had been the biggest. Once the lady warrior of Asgard who dreamed of battles and adventures, now motherhood made her soft. She now preferred to spend hours with her daughter, reading to her, playing with her, and taking her everywhere with her. Kass was her constant shadow.

Except for today. Sif had a terrible headache and had sent Kass to play in the baby's nest. Well, Thor had done his job and could report back to his wife that her daughter was fine.

As he was about to turn and walk out the door he heard Kass's little voice ask, "Father, where's Mama?"

"She's not feeling well," he said looking straight at her, "So you are to stay in here until someone comes and gets you. Do you understand?"

The little girl nodded her head in silent reply.

Thor walked out of the room, but not without hearing a small choked sob before closing the door.



Sif sat back against her pillows and pressed the scented compress to her forehead.

"This damned weather always put me in such a mood," she thought glumly as she watched the rain hit against the bedroom window.

The door opened and Thor walked in quietly.

"How are you feeling?" he asked as he sat down on the bed next to her.

Sif smiled, "Better now that you're here."

Thor took her hand gently in his and kissed the top.

"How's Kass?" Sif asked

"Fine," was his short reply.

She didn't know how much longer she could take of her husband's cold and resentful attitude toward his own child.

"This can't go on like this," she said, "Kass is our daughter, your child. She's a sweet, loving little girl who is desperate longing for her father's love."

"I know nothing about raising a daughter," argued Thor.

"Neither did I...at first, but it came eventually. You have to give it time."

"I don't want to give it anything," Thor said letting go of her hand, "She has you and my parents."

"You are her father!" Sif said, almost on the verge of tears, "You are an irreplaceable part of her life!"

Thor stood up, "She's softened you," he said, "Made you weak and trust your feelings instead of your instincts. If we had had a son-"

"Well, we don't!" cried Sif, "And if we had a son, I would probably be the same way I am with Kass because he would be my child as she is. I feel no wrong in my change! I never thought I would be a mother, but every day with my little girl brings more joy than the greatest victory in battle. Kass is my greatest victory."

She stood up and took her husband's hand. Tears filled her eyes and in a trembling voice she said, "It grieves me beyond all measure to see that you have become her greatest enemy."

"I will leave you to your emotional grief then," said Thor as he let go of her hand, "There is nothing that could possibly tempt me into wanting to accept that girl as my child."

Sif choked back a sob and tears trailed down her face. As she heard the slamming of the door, she buried her face into her pillows; her head pounding and her heart breaking.



Thunder crashed outside the baby's nest window and Kass jumped up and held her dolly tighter.

"Mama," she said in a small voice, "Mama, I miss you."

She went over to the rainbow bridge and snuggled up against her other dolls. Kass thought about her father and why he never seemed to like her. She tried to be a good girl and never be mean to people, or get into trouble, or fight, or be rude, and always listen to Mama and Grandfather and Grandmother. It was a lot for a little girl to do, but she did what she could.

Kass tried to be a good girl around her father, but more often than not, he ignored her. She didn't like seeing him angry, it scared her. Actually, Kass was afraid of her father. He was so big and so strong, and when he looked at her with his stern face it made her want to run away. Still whenever she saw him, like she did today in the baby's nest, she harbored some hope that her father would pick her up in his arms and give her a kiss like grandfather did.

He never did though. Kass wiped away a tear that fell down her pale white cheek. Hugging her dolly closer to herself, she tried to fall asleep until the scary storm stopped.

(End of Part One)

~ ~ ~ 

It's been a while since I've written a fan-fiction. Actually it's been a while since I've written...anything, stories, blog posts, poems. Pinterest obsession, what can I say : ) Anyway, this is just a one shot story and I'm in the process of writing part two. So I hope you enjoyed it.

~Ivy

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Body of newborn girl found in Jodhpur hospital dump

 Body of a newborn girl, surrounded by dogs who were trying to feast on it, was on Saturday found in a garbage dump behind the Umaid Hospital in Jodhpur. Police found the body inside the garbage pile after by-passers, who also claimed to have spotted two bodies of infants, informed them. Police have, however, denied the two infants theory and claimed that there was only one infant and that was a girl.

"We received information at about 9.30 am that there was a dead infant lying on a heap of garbage," said Investigating Officer (IO) Pabba Ram,

The body of the newborn girl was surrounded by dogs who were trying to feast on it in a garbage dump behind the Umaid Hospital.

"We rushed to the spot and found the people surrounding a dead infant girl behind the Umaid Hospital," said the officer.

According to the officer, the police have registered a case and handed over the body to Hindu Sewa Mandal for her cremation after postmortem.

"It is a matter of investigation whether the infant was born in the hospital or somebody else from outside dropped it there," the IO said.

"We will inquire from the hospital to find out if the infant was born there, if yes, the police will also check for the involvement of any staff of the hospital," Ram said.

But he has not ruled out the possibility of the infant being dropped there from some outsider.

"We also have to see if the infant was alive when dropped," the police officer said.

According to eye-witnesses, dogs had already devoured one of these infants whereas the other one was spotted before the canines could harm it, said one of the eye witness.

An eye witness said that they had seen the dogs running with an infant to elsewhere and when they rushed there, they found some blood scattered there.

"I was just passing by when I saw some dogs on the heap of garbage, when I got closer after shoeing away the dogs, I found a dead girl infant and immediately informed the police," he said.

Whatever be the case, but it is a major setback to the efforts of the government and various social organisations who have been invariably been emphasizing the acceptance of the girl child.

In 2009, a new-born child had died after being bitten by a rat in the natal ward of the same hospital. This led to the suspension of two doctors and a nurse.

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan had on May 9 met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the issue of female foeticide. The issue was raised in the first episode of his television show 'Satyamev Jayate'.

 Source: India Times
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