Friday, April 29, 2011

Boys and girls and adults of all ages...

Current mood: Silly
Current song: Weird Al - I Perform This Way

Like any normal child, when I was growing up I loved watching cartoons and disney movies. And like any abnormal adult, I still love doing so today.

Today I finally saw Planet 51, and I greatly enjoyed it! No, I am not a parent. I was not babysitting kids, nor am I a kid myself. I'm 22 years old, and I watched this movie on my own, by choice. On any given night I will watch a horror flick, a mature drama, a medieval war movie, or an animated kid's film.

Is that odd? Is that weird to you? Most people would answer with "yeah, kinda." But why? In my experience, most cartoons and animated movies have plenty in them to keep adults entertained. There are even things included that children themselves can't understand.

Take classic disney movies. Walt Disney must have been a really gloomy guy, because in most of the classic disney movies, someone dies, or at least almost dies. There are a lot of deep emotions in old school disney movies.. mature interpersonal conflicts, too complicated for a child to understand. When I saw Mufasa die as a kid, I remember not feeling much more than a simple "uh oh, his dad is dead." When I see Mufasa die as an adult, I feel like I want to cry (and more often than not, do.) There is always an explicit moral at the end of these movies for kids to learn from, but underneath that, there is a deeper message and understanding that adults applaud.

Now jump ahead to today's kids' movies. The morals are still happily there, but in place of those deep emotional rollercoasters and romantic fairytales, writers have added in comedy. Some of it is that classic comedy for kids to enjoy, but most of it is subtle comedy that only adults would understand and enjoy. When you watch a cartoon with a kid, you both end up laughing. The child will laugh at one part while you stay silent, then you will laugh at another part while they stay silent. The point is, these "kids' movies" are actually aimed at all demographics. Why? Well of course the main reason is so parents can take their kids to the movies and not die through an hour and a half of boredom. But people in the movie business know their stuff. They know there is a late teen/early adult market to be targeted, as well as the elderly who would rather avoid movies with obscene language and ear-shattering fight scenes.

So with that in mind, why don't more adults without children sit down to enjoy a nice cartoon? Do they feel restricted by social acceptance? I think most feel that to watch a cartoon means they then are considered to be more immature. Maybe there are just too many "childish" scenes to deem worthy of a viewing.

If you think those childish scenes are beneath your level of interest, invite a kid over to watch with you! No matter how dumb you think a scene is, if a child laughs at it, it will automatically put a smile on your face. Go on and try it. I dare you.

Don't know any children? Well you're in luck. You can try the all new Lili's Rent-A-Kid! We have boys and girls of all ages. The perfect way to pick up chicks or get an extra exemption from your taxes!

But product placement aside... Along with the normal kid's cartoons, we seem to also be in an era of adult cartoons. No, pervs, not hentai. But tv shows like South Park, Family Guy, and Archer; with violence, suggestive themes and adult language. Humor no child would understand. So "entertainment psychologists" seem to acknowledge the enjoyment people of all ages get from watching an animated show. And since most movies directed at children contain enough adults jokes to keep us entertained, not to mention a gripping moral that people at any age can appreciate and learn from, why is there still a stigma against an adult watching a kid's movie? For children, college students, parents and grandparents, it's socially acceptable. But if a teenager or an adult without children chooses to sit down by themselves and watch an animated movie, it's "abnormal." Hell, even sitting here writing this, the stigma still effects me. That little voice in my head that says "but Lili, it *is* kiiiinda weird...". That's how ingrained social stigmas can become.

But as usual, I'm going to go against the grain, move ahead of the pack, fight the man, be an individual... and go ahead and keep watching one of my favorite genres of films, no matter how old I become. In this society, youth is everything... and watching these movies keeps me young at heart. Hopefully my skin and health will also get onboard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A woman is as young as her knees

Current mood: Apprehensive
Current song: Adam Lambert - Broken Open

Well, I'm down to a little less than 3 weeks until my right knee surgery. As ready as I am to finally have both knees fixed and healed, I'm still very apprehensive and anxious.

The surgery on my left knee 2 years ago went really smoothly and the recovery was great... as far as I remember. I can't help but wonder though, if I was just too focused on the emotional trainwreck that was my summer '09 to pay any attention to the pain and lack of mobility. I was so depressed that summer that all I wanted to do was lie in bed all day anyway. Now that my mood and energy are back up to high levels, will being bed ridden for 3 weeks really bum me out? Will the pain be much greater than I remember?

The one thing I truly am nervous about, is the damn iv. That's one thing I remember clearly from last time; the 12 times it took "one of the Cleveland Clinic's top anesthesiologists" to find a vein. I ended up being flipped upside down on the pre-op table so the blood would rush to my head, while the doctor shoved the needle into my throat in one final attempt at snagging a vein. Three pokes in the throat later, he finally got one. It's a vivid recurring nightmare of mine. One I really don't wish to repeat.

The pre-admission testing by itself is going to be a pain in the ass. Next week, I have to go in to get checked out and make sure I'm healthy enough for surgery. This means blood work, and yes, more needles. As an added bonus, this year they are forcing everyone to take extra MRSA precautions. Apparently there was an unexpected outbreak of MRSA in 2010, so they aren't taking any chances. As if I wasn't nervous enough. Now I may die of infection? No wonder part of the process of any major surgery is going over your last will and testament.

Can you see why I've contemplated canceling this surgery on more than one occasion? However, I can't deny the one benefitting factor of my last knee surgery; my left knee has not dislocated since, and the overall pain has greatly decreased. And once both of my knees are fixed, I can do all the things I haven't been able to since junior high. Learn to ice skate and possibly snow board, be a stronger swimmer, start yoga, have better endurance while jogging, etc. The reason I want these surgeries done now as opposed to when I'm older, is so I can still have the energy and stamina to do all these activities. As of right now, the 9 years of damage I have done to my knees has already given me slight arthritis. But I can stop that from worsening, and perhaps even reverse some of that damage, with this final surgery. The point is, I want to enjoy my youth as much as possible.

As I've been telling most people who ask about my upcoming surgery, the thing I look forward to the most after both of my knees are completely fixed and recovered, is running at full speed down the middle of the street, with no fear of dislocation. I mean, yeah I may trip and fall on my face, breaking my nose and a few teeth on the pavement... but hey, at least my knees won't pop out anymore. =]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rainy days of spring

Current mood: Pensive
Current song: Bond - Kismet

I'm starting this blog, because like most people, I have a voice that craves to be heard, and possibly a few people might read this, which is enough to satiate my instinctual human desire for attention. But mostly I'm writing this for myself, as my personal diary. Writing out long rants by hand gives me wrist cramps, and typing out an electronic diary in a word document has the possibility of being lost in the event of a computer crashing. When I write out my thoughts and feelings about life, half the fun is going back years later to read them, to see how I've changed as a person. So here I am.

And so, this being my personal place for rants, raves, and general life musings, I'm just going to start ranting. Today's rant: friendships.

For as long as I can remember, I have been the kind of person who values friendships, who values all kinds of human interaction. In short, I'm a people person. I used to be really shy growing up, and yet I always had plenty of friends. However, throughout the years, people start to grow apart. I've fallen out of touch with most of my childhood friends, but that's to be expected. And where old friends go, new friends always come.

But despite the constant flow of people coming in and out of my life, there was one friend who I thought would always be there. That singular best friend that you put in the "lifelong" category of all your acquaintances. Friends all through high school and college, she was the one person I knew I could count on. We had so many similarities, all the same ideals and life goals. We were two peas in a pod.

But lately, that other pea has begun to live in a different pod. Over the past two years, she has begun to change. I won't get into why that is, but myself and many people who know her suspect the one reason why. She'll never admit to it, and that's okay. I am not against her becoming a different person. I'm friends with all kinds of people, from various races, religions, and backgrounds. However, this brand new her has started to make me feel really bad about the same old me. She used to be completely okay with my low socio-economic status, but now rants to me about how she can't stand her tax dollars going to the programs my family uses. Her and I used to share the same non-religious beliefs, but now she tells me it's wrong for me to celebrate easter and christmas, despite the fact that millions of non-christian people do the same, including herself for the first 18 years of her life. Two years ago, I knew that if god forbid I would need or want to have an abortion, she'd be right there by my side at the clinic telling me how everything would be okay. But now, she'd probably tell me how sinful it is and how if I don't confess my sins, I'll be burning in hell.

My best friend used to think I was perfect just the way I am, as I used to (and still do) think the same of her. But now, I'm looked at as a bum who eats away her tax money, and a heathen who needs to be "saved." I am completely supportive of her new religion, her new beliefs, her new ideals. Everyone changes, that's part of life. But this new her is no longer okay with the same me that I have always been for the 8 years of our friendship. If I met a person like her tomorrow, who looked down on me for the way I am, I would honestly not choose to be a close friend of hers. Who would choose to be friends with someone who makes them feel bad about themselves?

So because of this, my best friend is no longer my best friend. I'm glad to still have her in my life, but I have plenty of other close friends who don't look down on me and make me feel so small. Unfortunately, this particular girl is not in that lifelong category that I so hoped she would be, but that's life. People come, people go. The rainy days of spring wash away all the winter decay, and make room for new friendships to blossom. <3