Elsa had no idea what a car was, no idea how to operate one, and yet Emma Swan had insisted upon it.
“You need to know these things,” the Sheriff had said as she’d loaded the Queen of Arendelle into a bright yellow contraption that put Elsa in mine of some kind of beetle.
“But why?” Elsa asked once more, as Emma strapped her in and there was a metal click that told Elsa there would be no escape.
“Because,” Emma continued as she climbed into the passenger seat and strapped herself in. “You didn’t come over with the curse so, unfortunately, you need to learn some of these things the hard way. Driving could come in handy when we find your sister. It gets you places much faster than walking, that’s for sure.”
Elsa appreciated that the Sheriff had said “when” they find her sister. Elsa gave her new friend a small, hopeful smile. There had been no sign of Anna, but if there were, Elsa would definitely like to be able to reach her quickly.
“You know,” Elsa began as Emma instructed her to turn the key and start the vehicle, “I’d normally just create an ice trail and slide around to get where I need to be. Or an ice staircase. Something like that.”
Emma started at her, slightly aghast. “Really, you can make an ice staircase?”
Elsa beamed at her. “If we ever get back, maybe you can come visit Arendelle and I’ll show you my ice palace!”
Emma didn’t even have time to compute “ice palace” before Elsa had accidentally stomped on the gas pedal, propelling them forward at high velocities.
“Sorry, sorry!” Elsa exclaimed, stomping hard on the brake and causing the yellow bug to skid on Main St.
Emma was holding tightly to the oh-shit bar, her eyes wide. “It’s…um…okay,” she finally said. “Just try again, and more gently this time.
This time, Elsa barely pressed the gas pedal, and they accelerated at a much more acceptable speed.
“Good, that’s it!” Emma encouraged her. “Now, you have to stay on the right side of the road. See those lines there? You have to always be on the right side or you’ll be heading into traffic.”
They slowly pulled up to a stop sign and Elsa asked, “Shall I stop at that sign that says stop? Is that sign for me, or someone else?”
Emma laughed. “No, you’re right, you stop at the sign. You have to look both ways to make sure no other cars are coming before you can turn or cross an intersection. Whenever you see road signs like that, you have to follow what they say.”
Elsa nodded. That rule made sense.
She checked both ways, then slowly made a right turn.
“You can go a little faster,” Emma assured her, so Elsa placed slightly more pressure on the gas pedal.
They shot forward once more. Elsa screamed and slammed on the brake.
“Too much!” Emma commented, unhelpfully.
Elsa gave an awkward laugh to cover up her discomfort. She had noticed, though Emma had not, that snowflakes were beginning to float around the inside of the car.
Clearing her throat and giving her full focus to the road, Elsa tried again. This time, they began cruising at a comfortable speed, and Emma visibly relaxed.
“Emma,” Elsa said after a moment of companionable silence, “Do you think we’ll ever find Anna?”
Emma nodded. “We’ll find your sister. No worries. Emma Swan always gets her man. Or princess. Whatever.”
Elsa smiled broadly at that. It was hard not knowing what had become of her sister. It was hard having pieces of her memory completely missing. But she had come to trust Emma Swan, as well as Emma’s royal parents.
Somehow, Elsa knew she would get through this the way she had always overcome everything in her life thus far. With fierce determination, and love.
But first, she had to master driving a car.
1. Anna. Her casting is magnificent. I'm sure the writing helps, as they wrote her as if she just stepped out of the movie, but the wrong actress would come across as forcing the cheerful and awkward nature of the character. This actress, however, hits it just right.
2. They have upped their CGI game. The trolls and Marshmallow, not to mention the ice magic, all looked really good. I haven't been so impressed with the CGI since the dragon/Maleficent in the first season finale.
3. Rumbelle dance. OMG. The costumes, the music, the cheese! I loved it. If we assume that, yes, in this world these characters would be familiar with the Disney version of Beauty & the Beast, it makes perfect sense for Rumple to have created such an atmosphere for them. It was iconic in every way. I feel like the Rumbelle fandom actually dreamed that scene into existence. We have certainly been wishing for it for a very long time!
4. Rumple's scene at Neal's grave. Another scene that I wanted to happen, since he had to miss the funeral, yet I also didn't want it to happen because it was just so painful. Robert Carlyle's amazing monologue easily brought me to tears. And it was yet another painful reminder that Nealfire got the short end of the stick to make way for another ship with Emma. I kept expecting (hoping) that Rumple would turn around and his precious boy would just be there, alive. Wishful thinking, I know.
5. Regina choosing to save Marian from Marshmallow. Good girl. It was clearly not an easy decision for her, and everyone else was unconscious, so she could have easily let Marian die and then pretended like she was never even there. But she didn't. Good for her. That is a redemption arc.
TOP FIVE THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE
1. Regina's backslide. I know I just said that she made a good decision with Marian, and she did. But using Sidney again, and wanting to crush everything in her path again (the book) is just so first season. I expected so much more from her this season, and now she's ignoring her own son who she crossed realms to save. gg, Regina.
2. The costumes for the Frozen people. I'm sorry, but it's a bit bothersome when no other characters in the series have ever had a direct translation of their Disney costumes until now. Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff are STRAIGHT OUT OF THE MOVIE. I was so looking forward to the embellished Elsa dress that we caught a glimpse of at the end of season three. I know it was rushed and not really a full costume, and they just slapped it on a stand-in actress, but I WANTED IT, DAMN IT. And it's not that they didn't do a lovely job, because they did, but I have seen nothing that a dedicated cosplayer couldn't do. In fact, as a cosplayer, I've SEEN IT DONE. I guess I just wanted something a little different and more spectacular out of the Frozen costumes. Not direct translations. Anna's wedding dress being the only exception so far. And, considering I've seen a sneak peek of Hans, I'm still left feeling disappointed because it's yet another direct translation of his gray outfit from the film. I know you can do better, Eduardo, so do it!
3. Rumple being tempted by magic again so soon after promising his son that he would be a better man. Sure, it was right under his nose, but I've known people who have quit smoking for longer than that! I felt it was too soon. Yes, allow him to backslide because it would be in character, but not within the same episode that he gave Belle the real dagger back, and made a promise over his son's grave to do better.
4. Too much plot packed into one 42 minute episode. They shoved so much Frozen in our faces that the already established characters almost felt shoehorned in. If they wanted to do that, it would have been better to have a two hour premiere. Give us time to get to know these Frozen people in this variation, and don't just assume we know who they are from the movie. I always needed more Emma and Henry dealing with stuff, especially considering that Henry JUST got his memories back. The lack of Charmings, however, was a nice change of pace.
5. Robin Robin Robin. He said something that bothered me on a personal level. Bad stuff should stay in the past where it belongs? No, bro, that's not how life works. If you just ignore the parts of your life that you don't like anymore, you will never be able to learn from them and grow as a person. I love that he's a noble and virtuous man who makes noble and virtuous decisions...but that statement REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. It makes me not even care what kind of bad stuff he supposedly did in his life. Talk about a line that just kind of squicked me out.
And this has been my review of the Once Upon a Time season four premiere. I'll be here all night. Tip your waitress.
1. Wonderful - Everclear
2. Speechless - Lady Gaga
3. Black Balloon - GooGoo Dolls
4. Love Somebody - Tamagawa Sakiko & Hiramatsu Akiko
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation Theme
6. Tokyo Nights - Utada Hikaru
7. Drops of Jupiter - Train
8. Beautiful Day - U2
9. Let it Go - Idina Menzel
10. One Week - Barenaked Ladies
11. Miracle Days - Danny Vaughn
12. Never Be the Same Again - Melanie C.
13. Marchin' On - OneRepublic
14. You're Not Alone - Nick Lachey
15. Piano Man -Billy Joel
16. Breaking Up the Girl - Garbage
17. Running - No Doubt
18. To the Moon and Back - Savage Garden
19. A Broken Wing - Martina McBride
20. Fancy - Reba McEntire
21. I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts
22. Deep Down - Pam Tillis
23. Call Me, Call Me - Yoko Kanno and Steve Conte
24. Velvet Underworld - Weiss Kreuz
25. No Surrender - Weiss Kreuz
(Bonus Track) Comforting Lie - No Doubt
There are several times in my life when I've had to reach down deep and find the strength within. It's so easy to allow yourself to believe that others are better than you, or that you deserve to be berated. But it's important to remember that no one has the right to harass or demean you, and that you are allowed to fight back.
The first time that I truly fought back was really the most important time, because it changed me as a person. I had started school early because my reading and writing comprehension was ahead of the game, so by the time I hit high school, I was still a month from turning 14. I was small, underdeveloped, and ultimately still very naïve. All I wanted was a friend or two to sit with at lunch, but even that seemed to elude me.
Finally, I met a small group of people who were also fish out of water. A boy who was new to the area, and two girls.
We were what I'd call "lunchtime friends" because I didn't have any classes with them, but we would sometimes meet up in the hallways and pass the occasional note.
I don't remember a lot about what went wrong, but eventually one of the girls became very angry with me. The whole group stopped eating lunch with me, and I was back where I started on the very first day. Except now I had to eat at the "loser" table with all of the other alienated kids. I had a certain view of myself that didn't involve being a leper, but that's how I felt.
The girl who was angry with me started harassing me. She threatened me. She said she was going to "kick my ass." So of course, as a small, mousy person who had never been outright threatened by such an abrasive person before, I had no idea how to react.
At first, I ran. I stayed home from school for three days. I kept telling my mom that I was sick, but I know she didn't buy it. She did, however, know that something else was wrong and let me stay home. On the third day, the girl actually called my house and accused me of avoiding her. I assured her that I was just sick, but that I would be in school the next day. She threatened me again.
And in that moment, something inside me snapped. I realized that I didn't like how it felt to run, and I decided right then that I would never run again.
As it was early 1996 at this point and I was a teenager, I listened to music constantly. I will never forget the song that I put on repeat and pulled strength from to face this girl the following day at school.
It was "Case of the Fake People" by TLC.
To all the fake people in my life
I never wanted you around me
So be on your way now
You better think twice
Before you let people in your life
Because when you put down
No one is around you
You got a case of the fake people
I knew then that these people had never been my true friends if they were so easily swayed to turn on me without first coming to me with their issues, or even speaking with me in a rational way; and I have never been one for pointless drama.
So I decided I was going to let them know how I felt about them.
The next morning at school, all three of them came up to me in the hallway and the girl in question started pretending to come at me. She was yelling, "someone hold me back!" in a most dramatic fashion, but no one would get near her. She was yelling and flailing...and then I did something that set her off even more.
I realized that she had been all pomp and posturing, and that she wasn't really going to hurt me. So in my own dramatic teenaged fashion I quoted a bit of the above song to her. With a smile on my face and a hand on my hip, I waved my other hand at her and said, "goodbye, goodbye, to all the fake people in my life."
And then I walked away.
That is what true power feels like. True power is taking your fate into your own hands. True power is not letting someone else control you. My fear of this girl and what these people thought of me had controlled me to the point where I had lost sight of myself.
Every once in a while, I make the mistake of letting the wrong people into my life again. But as a tiger never changes its stripes, bad blood will always make itself known before too long. Even people you've known for years have the ability to morph into someone you don't know anymore. But just as I did on that morning so long ago, I never let them win.
I will always fight, because above all else, I choose me.
Just when I need it most, there is a brand new book or movie or song or TV show to distract me from depression and anxiety. When I was a child, loneliness was my enemy. It was just me, an only child, with very few friends. Back then, I gave my all to the things that brought me joy. I threw every ounce of attention and imagination into my favorite songs and cartoons. I made up music videos in my head and I truly believed, as only a child can, that I could go to some magical land where I could be more than I am. Queen of some cartoon kingdom, living among my favorite characters. I would be able to sing and dance effortlessly, and do all of the things I couldn't do in the real world.
I would lose myself in books. I became a fan of horror when I was probably too young to be exposed to that sort of thing. I believed in ghosts and curses and carnivorous aliens, because life couldn't possibly be so dull that this is all there is to it.
When I was in middle school, and I was all alone with not a single friend, I accidentally discovered Star Trek. Suddenly the entire future was my playground. A world of peace and kindness and exploration was intoxicating to a girl who was painfully alone and mercilessly teased at school on a daily basis.
In high school, it was anime. I watched a lot of powerful women fight for peace and love and justice. They were just like me in so many ways. High school students, mostly, but caught up in magic and fate and powers so much greater than they ever thought possible.
And so it has been for my entire life. Whenever things are at their worst, something new comes along right in the nick of time. This is escapism at its finest, but without it I might not even be alive now to write about it.
But I'm still here, and I'm still living my own fairy tale. My husband may not wear armor, but he's still my hero. My friends don't owe me a blood debt, but they have been by my side through some drama epic enough for a book or anime. And they have done it because they want to, not because they have to.
I have even faced my share of villains, but they have never been able to destroy my tenacity.
Though I still lose myself in fiction, it is no longer lost on me that my own life is actually worth living. Maybe this is simply due to age and experience…but I'm writing my own story. It's still sad sometimes, and there are a lot of hardships, but I'm holding out for that happy ending.
The glass slipper still fits, and I'm dancing.
He liked to think of himself as mature and good-natured (his mom often complimented him on those features) so he didn't want to let on that he felt uneasy in the small town; but the truth of the matter was that Storybrooke kind of freaked him out.
First there were his mom's friends, Mary Margaret and David. David hadn't been around much because apparently he was the Sheriff, but Mary Margaret had hovered over him and doted on him to the point where he felt like he was being stifled by an over-attentive grandmother rather than someone who had done jail time with his mom.
Then there was the librarian. She was young and pretty, but her too-big smile when he'd walked in was a bit confusing. It was as if she recognized him from somewhere. Then, when she realized she'd been smiling, it was as if she forced herself to stop and then treated him in a way that was very aloof. Mary Margaret had picked out a large book of fairytales for him, which Henry actually thought was pretty lame, but he'd smiled politely and taken it. He hadn't even opened it yet.
The waitress at the diner, too. She'd known that he liked cinnamon on his hot chocolate, and he could have sworn that she'd started to call him by name. But he was sure he'd remember her if they'd met before. She was hot.
Then there was the dark haired woman who gawked at him like he was the lunch special or something. She wanted to show him around town and buy him ice cream, which was cool, but the way she always stared at him was bizarre. More than anything, though, was the weird tingling in the back of his mind that made her feel familiar. Not quite deja vu, but also not quite like trying to recall a dream. It was like a pinching sensation behind his eyeballs that made him think he should know the woman...what was it, Regina? Yeah, that he should know Regina. But of course that was impossible.
The weirdest of all, of course, was the strange man who had ridden with them from New York.
His name was Killian, which sounded like a freak name from another century, but he also dressed in all leather and said things like "mate" and "love" like he thought he was Jack Sparrow or something. Henry couldn't figure the guy out, but his mom seemed comfortable with him and had things well in hand, so he didn't worry about it too much. But since arriving in Storybrooke, he hadn't even seen the guy. Henry found himself wondering what had happened to this supposed client of his mom's.
He didn't like questioning his mom, because she'd always been honest and up front with him about everything. When he was old enough, she'd told him all about his dad leaving her and how he'd been born in jail. It wasn't that shocking, considering how his mom was with men and considering her job.
But he couldn't shake the feeling that this trip to Storybrooke was more than meets the eye. A long lost feeling was beginning to curl its way up from the pit of his stomach.
Henry thought that if his mom didn't tell him what was really going on soon, he'd do some investigating on his own.
After all, what could possibly go wrong in such a sleepy little town?
To be honest with you, and I try my hardest to be honest even when it hurts, I've been fighting a losing battle that I hope to overcome with LJ Idol.
After more visits to doctors than I am able to count, I've finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I complained of pain, especially in the joints, as far back as last April. Then came the itchy spots, chronic fatigue, and "brain fog." I was tested for everything under the sun, but it all came back negative. At that time, the neurological symptoms were the most frightening. I've always been a writer, but suddenly I was unable to come up with the words I wanted to say. A huge vocabulary at my disposal, and suddenly it was like having a computer file that I simply couldn't access.
I was determined to get a diagnoses, but that all went to the wayside when I found out that my gallbladder was failing. After the appropriate testing, I found out that it was only working at 26% and was therefore causing me a lot of pain after every meal, and I was unable to process certain foods properly. I was constantly sick to my stomach.
In June of last year, I had my gallbladder removed. But that's neither here nor there. It was after surgery that I began to notice the overall muscle and joint pain again...and it was getting worse.
No one really knows what causes Fibromyalgia, but I find it quite a coincidence that I've found so many anecdotal recollections of chronic pain after surgery in some people. So you go in and get cut open in the hopes of feeling better, and possibly come down with pain for the rest of your life? Sounds like a shit deal to me.
Anyway, at this time I'm highly medicated but I want to do my best to get my mind working again. I still have brain fog sometimes, and some days I'm bedridden, but I don't want this condition to steal away the essence of who I am.
I've been trying to restore my mind by reading one literary classic per month for this entire year. I've finally read "Frankenstein" and "Jane Eyre." I'm currently working on "Pride and Prejudice."
But this contest is going to be the true test.
I am Cristi, and I am more than the sum of my parts.
(The order listed on the back cover is actually pretty important. ENJOY THE FEELS!)
Here is a lyric sampling of the songs...
Girl on Fire
Everybody stares as she goes by
'Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
But she's gonna let it burn, baby, burn, baby...
I couldn’t love a man so purely
Even prophets forgave his crooked way
I’ve learned love is like a brick, you can
Build a house or sink a dead body...
I can't imagine how hard it must be to be you
Adopting all your history, it's hard being me too
Are your secrets where you left them? cause now your ghosts are mine as well
I think it's time I met them and I think it's time you tell...
So here you are, two steps ahead and staying on guard
Every lesson forms a new scar
They never thought you'd make it this far...
She wakes up
Rage and grace
Pulling me closer, pushing away
The sharpest thorn on your vine
Twisting and turning
We’re all intertwined...
The River and the Highway
He's headed for a single destination
He doesn't care what's standing in his path
He's a line between two points of separation
He ends just where it says to on the map
And he rolls, he's a highway
Where he goes, time will tell
Heaven knows, she can't go with him
And he rolls, all by himself
All by himself...
everybody's selling truths
on every corner now
they wait until fear has knocked you down
all the rules are changin' now
you're livin' in sin
everything around you's cavin' in
and all you're hold onto's slipping
like water through your hands...
Bullet in my Hand
I've got a fast life and
A slow cuttin' knife
I've been drinkin' at a poisoned well
No home and a bag of bones
And nothin' else left to sell
I know why I'm in this hell
I just don't wanna believe
Past that line you just can't tell
But right now
There's someone lookin' out for me...
Losing Your Memory
The damage is done
The police are coming too slow now
I would have died
I would have loved you all my life
You're losing your memory now...
Heavy in Your Arms
I was a heavy heart to carry
My beloved was weighed down
My arms around his neck
My fingers laced to crown...
Cause I wasted the light
Between both these times
I drew a really thin line
It’s nothing I planned
And not that I can
But you should be mine
Across that line...