Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph

When I first heard there was a movie called Wreck-It Ralph, I thought it would be something like Bob the Builder, and I had no interest in it whatsover. Then, through a convoluted twist of events that led to Elegyrl and me driving all around Woodland Hills, Westlake, and finally back to Simi in search of a movie to watch, I ended up seeing Wreck-It Ralph. Elegyrl told me it was about video game characters, so that didn't sound too bad.

I was delighted by Wreck-It Ralph. I was thoroughly and pleasantly surprised at everything: the graphics, the plot, the sound effects, the characters, the voice acting, the way the characters moved, everything! Since Wreck-It Ralph has become available on DVD, I have purchased it and watched/listened to* it more times than I'm willing to admit. It cracks me up every time. It makes me sniffle every time, too. I just love it.

***Note: possible spoilers ahead.***

Here are some of the good messages you can draw from Wreck-It Ralph, in no particular order:
  • You cannot do things just because you wish it. You have to learn and practice and work to get better. Even people who have inherent talents and gifts have to start somewhere.
  • Sometimes what you think you want is not really what you want. Like when Ralph gets the medal, it doesn't do for him what he thought it would do.
  • CONSTANT VIGILANCE! (That's not spoken, exactly, but it's implied--see General Calhoun's story.)
  • If you have a weakness/problem, it doesn't have to ruin you; you can turn it into a strength by figuring it out and getting it under control.
  • Don't be mean to people, because the person you're mean to may turn out to be someone unexpected, someone you'd be ashamed to criticize.
  • Do what's right. I love that Ralph does what he feels is right, even when he knows how much it'll hurt his friend. And when he discovers he was wrong, he does what he needs to fix it.
  • Put others first. By the climax of the movie, Ralph has told Felix that he'll never try to be good again. It's clear that Ralph's really a Good Guy though, when he shows he's willing to give his life for the benefit of others.
  • Be appreciative of all the people in your life, even your enemies. The Nicelanders didn't appreciate Ralph, but they soon realized how much they needed him once he was gone.
  • If you have the means, give to those less fortunate than you, whether that means giving food, money, or the opportunity to work (such as Ralph and Felix give to Q*bert).
  • Everyone has certain duties in life, and they're not always glamorous, but they're important. Everyone who plays a part in our lives, everyone we meet, is important. What we do matters.
  • Mentos and Diet Coke (just in case you didn't know).
  • Even when it seems like things have gone horribly wrong, like when Ralph and Vanellope were in the go-kart bakery, something good can still come of it.
  • Don't believe everything you're told. Find answers.
 Some other things I like about the movie:
  •  The princess is an anti-princess. She wears green, not pink, and she's smart enough to know that her value lies in being her true self, not in putting on an artificial label and a pink poofy dress.
  • The music and sound effects are great. I love the doyng (doing? doiing?) of the coins hitting the bouncer before they go into the trophy cup, and the donk of the medal hitting the game cabinet screen when Ralph throws it. I also like the sound of the lollipops stuck to Ralph's feet when he's covered in green goo, and all of the video game sounds, like when Felix bounces or uses his hammer.
  • Of course, I enjoy the fun hidden messages, things you can only see by pausing the Blu-Ray every five seconds or so. The inside of Ralph's helmet is especially amusing.
  • The entire plotline was engaging to me. I never felt like the movie was dragging.
  • The whole movie is just a visual feast. There's so much to look at.
  • Sour Bill. That guy cracks me up.
  • If you're looking for some good swear word substitutes, there are plenty to choose from in Wreck-It Ralph.
  • There's a good ratio of male/female characters and roles.
  • The credits are fun.
  • The names of the Sugar Rush racers are amusing. Rancis Fluggerbutter? Someone had fun naming these kids.
  • The graphics artists did such a great job of making each of the games look and sound true to the time period in which they were created.
  • The Sugar Rush song is in Japanese. For real!
  • The Wreck-It Ralph website is super fun. It's like a game in itself, and you get points by clicking on different links. Aside from learning about the characters and video game worlds, you can also play online versions of Fix-It Felix Jr, Sugar Rush, and Hero's Duty. I wasn't very good at Hero's Duty, and I didn't much care for Fit-It Felix Jr, but if I had a lot of time to kill (and a good internet connection) I'd have spent longer playing Sugar Rush.
So, those are some of the things I like about Wreck-It Ralph. Maybe I loved it so much the first time because my expectations were so low, then it ended up being so amazing. Kind of like the opposite of what happened with Les Misèrables.

Anyway, if you're looking for a fun movie to watch, try Wreck-It Ralph. Even though I've watched it many times now, I still notice something new each time I see it.

The end.

*I put audio tracks of movies on my iPod so I can listen to them (and "watch" them in my head) as I drive. It's actually very interesting to listen to a movie, because I always hear things that I never noticed while watching.

All images copyright Disney. Downloaded from

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Which is most painful?
  • to lose your best friend, not to death or great distance, but to evil dictators who capture her and hold her captive
  • to be the best friend now lost, held in solitary confinement, with no one on your side
  • to be the friend of the one who lost her best friend, wanting desperately to help, wanting to ease the pain, wanting your friendship to be a balm, but in the end, not being able to help at all because you are simply not the right person

Sunday, March 10, 2013

F/HE and the Program

Earlier this year, I volunteered to start printing the Sacrament Meeting program for church, because the person who had previously done so was no longer in the ward. The bishop, who had just been called to his position, seemed relieved at my offer, and gave me the ok.

I've secretly always wanted to do the church program. I like creating documents and forms and formatting things to look nice, so I looked forward to the challenge. I also decided to use a computer program I'd never used before, Adobe InDesign, because for some reason I feel this is a program I should know how to use.

It's been a steep learning curve getting used to InDesign, but I'm getting there. It took me about 4 weeks to even figure out how to print the programs. Before that point, I was hoping no one at church was familiar with InDesign, because it would be painfully obvious how inexperienced I was. No one said anything, at least, so that's good.

One interesting thing about making the program is that I'm also the person who picks the hymns, so I never have to call and bug myself to give me the hymns (I just have to bug myself ;o). I do have to call other people, however, for the activities and lessons information I include, and that can be frustrating.


Last week on Thursday I texted Val, the person in charge of Family Home Evening*, for information, as I try to print the programs by Friday. She texted back within a half hour:

"...indexing party with karaoke and secret service planning on the side... at the church at 7."

Simple enough.

I put in the program, "Indexing party and beyond," along with the time and address. All was well. I printed the programs on Saturday.

This morning, at 8:28, I got a text from someone who is not in my phone, who turned out to be a guy named Riff (he's not really named that, but he reminds me of Riff in West Side Story, so that's what I call him in my head). Keep in mind that our church starts at 9, and I have to get there early to play prelude. Today, in fact, I had to be there by 8:30 to rehearse the musical number, though of course Riff would have no way of knowing that. Anyway, he sent me this text:

"Have you printed the programs yet? Fhe tomorrow will be going to the family history library."

I didn't even see his message until Sunday School.

Seriously? I thought. I really need to figure out which people I'm supposed to be contacting about activities information...

It seems like someone different gives me activities information each week. Different people are in charge of different activities, I understand that, but shouldn't at least one person know all the activities going on, for sure?

During Relief Society, Bigbang announced the F/HE activity. Riff had been incorrect, after all: it would indeed be an indexing party, but it would be held at the Institute building.

Curses, I thought. The information on the program is wrong. I hate when the information I print on the program is wrong, especially when it's through no fault of my own.

After we sang the opening hymn, Riff himself came in to announce FHE again, but this time he mentioned that because it's spring break at the U, the Institute building will be closed, so we'll just be having the indexing party at the church at 7.

Yes! I thought. The program is right!

Apparently, I'm not the only one who doesn't know what's going on--it's no surprise that I'm given shifty information when the people planning the activities don't even know what's going on themselves!

*I type F/HE on the program for Family Home Evening, because, as my friend pointed out, we're not technically a family, so it's more of a Home Evening (though we don't technically meet at anyone's home, either).

Saturday, March 9, 2013


There are some questions that can never be asked of others, even one's closest friends, no matter how much one wants to ask them.

Sometimes it's difficult to not ask questions... but sometimes it's nice to not know, because the answers might hurt.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Best Thing In The World

Back in February, I went to the Utah Symphony and heard a piece I'd never heard before. It was stunningly beautiful, and I was pleasantly surprised. I sat in my seat, drinking in the sound, thinking, "This is the best thing in the world."

Later, I got to thinking, what other things make me feel like that? What other things make me think "This is the best thing in the world"?

Here are a few:
  • the smell of waffle cones floating out to me from Cold Stone Creamery.
  • the smell of ink and glue and paper as I flip through a book or journal.
  • the freedom of weightless movement when I go swimming.
  • the enveloping warmth of my puffy down comforter when I slip into bed at night.
  • the magical liquid sunshine of a mug of Hatch's hot chocolate. (Seriously, if you've never tried it, go buy some right now. Go. Now. And get me some too.)
  • the refreshing simplicity of a glass of water after strenuous exercise.
  • the vibrant pure pinks and oranges and yellows in a perfectly cloud-strewn sunset.
  • the silence and stillness and brightness of a snowy night with a full moon.
What makes you say "This is the best thing in the world"?