Sunday, August 31, 2008

I am very ready for school to start. My friends at Winthrop started a week ago, and though I am keeping myself busy by reading books constantly, every second I am eager (and very nervous) to go ahead and get animation classes rolling. It's so strange to try and push it into the back of my mind- I was reading Harry Potter today and strangely enough, all of the students at Hogwarts apparently were transferred to SCAD since the picture my brain made when I was reading the book had Savannah backgrounds and classrooms.

I finished SexGod two days ago. I wish I had gotten straight to the computer after I closed the book because all of my thoughts would have been fresh- I've had a few days to think about it and my initial reaction has turned into familiarity... nonetheless, SexGod was a great read. I recommend it to everyone.

One of my favorite snips:

In the first chapter of Genesis, when God creates the first people, he blesses them. This is significant. God's blessing is the peace of God resting on people. The story begins with humans in right relationship- in healthy, life-giving connection- with their maker. All of their other relationships flow from the health of this one central relationship- people and God. They're connected with the earth, with each other. They're naked and feel no shame.

And then everything goes south.

The choose another way.

And they become disconnected.

God goes looking for them in the garden, asking "Where are you?" The first humans make coverings of fig leaves, and then they're banished from the garden.

Disconnected from each other.

Disconnected from the earth.

The woman is told that there is going to be conflict between her and the man.
The man is told that there is going to be conflict between him and the soil.

And this is where you and I come in. We were born into a world, into a condition of disconnection. Things were created to be a certain way, and they're not that way, and we feel it in every fiber of our being.

Is this why the first thing newborns do is cry?

We're severed and cut off and disconnected in a thousand ways, and we know it, we feel it, we're aware of it every day. It's an ache in our bones that won't go away.

And so from an early age we have this awareness of the state of disconnection we were born into, and we have a longing to reconnect.

Scholars believe that the word sex is related to the Latin word secare, which means "to sever, to amputate or to disconnect from the whole." This is where we get words like sect, section, dissect, bisect.

Our sexuality, then has two dimensions. First our sexuality is our awareness of how profoundly we're severed and cut off ad disconnected. Second, our sexuality is all o fhte ways we go about trying to reconnect.

Last year I was swimming in the ocean with one of my boys on my back in the midst of a pod of dolphins. They were swimming around us and under us and making their noises, which are increcdibly loud and piercing, when one of them shot up into the air above us and did a flip. Right over our heads.

When we describe moments like these, the words we use are rarely about distance. The words we use are about nearness and connection, sometimes even intimacy.

Your friends just got back from hiking, and they say, "We felt like we could just reach out and touch the mountain."

I just spent an afternoon with a doctor who donates significant amounts of time working with people who have AIDS and can't afford proper treatment. He loves it. He talked with great passion about the joy it brings him. He's a successful, educated, wealthy man who loves to spend his time with poor, uneducated people who are from a totally different world than he is. He was telling me how his work brings him a sense of connection, an awareness of the simple truth that we aren't all that different from each other.

These moments move us because they have a sexual dimension. They help us become reconnected. They go against our fallen nature, which is to be cut off.

This is why music is so powerful. Have you ever noticed that when you ask people why a particular song or concert moved them so much, they often resort to ambiguous explanations? You rarely receive a response such as, "Well the prolific use of polyrhythims offset with the arpeggiated succession of relative minors touched my heart."

No, of course not. You get words like emotion and passion and energy and relationship and connection. Music is powerful because it is sexual. It connects us. We generally don't think of it in those terms, but it's true. The experience of a great concert- with everybody singing together, waving their hands in the air, and a feeling of oneness permeating the room- has a significant sexual dimension to it. We don't know each other, we come from vastly different backgrounds, we disagree on hundreds of issues, but for an evening, we gather around this artist and these songs and we get along. The experience moves us so deeply because it taps into how things were meant to be, and we have so few places where we can experience what God intended on such a large scale.

Whether it's a concert or a church service or a rally for a just cause, certain communal events draw us into something bigger than the event itself. We feel connected with the people we're having the experience with, and not just connected, but aware of something bigger than us all that we're brushing up against in the process.

What we're experiencing in these moments of connection is what God created us to experience all of the time. It's our natural state. It's how things are supposed to be.

It's written in the letter to the Ephesians that there's "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Eph. 4:6)

And in the book of Hebrews, it's written that God is the one "for whom and through whom everything exists." (Heb 2:10)

As you can see, I'm not much of a short and sweet 'let's-just-use-a-quote' kind of girl. I hope Rob Bell won't mind I typed out almost 4 pages of his book.

I'm not sure why this surprised me so much. I knew it all along- I've watched movies, I've been in plays- everybody feels it when, at the end of whatever it is, the whole cast becomes friends with each other (and in my favorite case, all break out in a musical number). Could this possibly be part of what's drawing me to film?

Two summers ago, a huge group of my friends went to see Ratatouille opening day in New York City. I'd say there were about 13-15 of us in the same group, and around us, the theater was packed. That, plus the expectation for the movie and waiting for almost a year, gave (me) such a sense of really being together. Together. And the best part was how the audience reacted. It wasn't like movies I'd seen other places. Since it was opening day, the audience was packed with people who had been eagerly waiting, and like me, were more than excited and ready to see what Pixar had thought of this time. So if something even slightly funny happened, the laughter sounded like a roar. And everyone had synchronized gasps. In those cases, I don't even mind if I can't hear what the character is saying. I'll see it on DVD later.

I'll never know the names of every person who was inside Epcot the first time I saw Illuminations, but there was a connection- all watching and hearing the same thing, but from different places around the World Showcase. And then each country contributed to the grand show with their own fireworks- all in the center and for the purpose of unity and togetherness.

Sometimes if I'm watching a cheesy musical (or High School Musical for that matter) I'll gripe that everyone in whatever setting all happen to know the words and complicated choreography of the song. Yeah- in our current state of disconnect- that is unrealistic. But if I'm being honest with what I believe, those theatrical scenes are just a glimpse of how it will feel to be in Heaven- with people who are celebrating because they are glad that the curse of separation has finally been lifted.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

new book

Sex God by Rob Bell.
I'll let you know what I think.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Princess and the Frog 2009

Hand-animation has not died! Disney is using traditional animation for the first time since 2004 (Home on the Range was the last). The Princess and the Frog will be Disney's 48th 2D feature film with the direction of John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid and Aladdin). Randy Newman (A Pixar favorite) is scoring the film and the story takes place in the 1902's Jazz Age of New Orleans. Tiana will be Disney's first Black Princess.

I'm excited to see this film with other animation majors. We'll probably be geeking out. We'll eat cake beforehand. (A Caketown reference, Andy)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Monsters Inc. ride at Walt Disney World

Found this article today about plans to add a Monsters Inc. attraction in Pixar "land" in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Coming 2011.

Who's coming with me for the opening?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last chance

Tonight is my last night working at the Emporium in Walt Disney World. At least for this season. I hope to come back for a week during Christmas break or something, and maybe stay seasonal for the years to come. I would just have to work 40 hours a year, and I would still get free entrance and guest admission. Something to consider...

But not now! Since tonight is my last chance to see the 9:00 and 11:00 Spectramagic Parade, I thought I would post a few photos from one of the first times I had ever seen it! These photos are from maybe the second or third week of Project, after I had gone out drawing on my day off.

Monday, August 11, 2008

P.S.P. (Post Summer Project)

Walt Disney World Summer Project 08 is over and everyone has flown/driven home. All but me. I loved working in the Emporium so much that I asked around and was offered a guest bedroom in one of my co-workers apartments! Since I've been able to stay, I've been picking up shifts almost every day at work and trying to work as much as possible. (SCAD's not cheap!) When I'm not working, I'm out drawing in the parks or working on a painting for our "adopted mom" at the Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel. It's been a bit lonely since the WDWSP group has gone home, but I've gotten to have even more fun times at the Emporium and in the parks with my co-workers.

Our friends from Hong Kong have gone home- this has been the most devastating thing for me yet- I was very attached to a Chinese girl by the name of Jennifer. In the middle of the summer, Laura, Jennifer and I started spending a lot of time together- girl's day out to Animal Kingdom and lunch. I'll probably post some from my journal later about that... All I think I can say now about that is that God is so good!

Sabrina (the very generous lady who is letting me have and 11 day sleepover with her), Jennifer, and I spent Jennifer's last free day together out for lunch and touring around the Grand Floridian. Jennifer, who is probably the cutest, most affectionate girl I have ever met- was taking about 10 bzillion photos of everyone and everything that day (I think it was Wednesday?) As soon as she puts them on the internet, I will probably borrow a few for this blog. Just a warning: As soon as you see her precious face you will probably fall in love. God has big plans for her-I know he does.

As for the next few days, I will be working as much as possible so I won't have to rely on my mom for supplies and clothes for SCAD next year. I am also trying to catch up on blogs I haven't had the time to type up. I've journaled most of them and I've been trying to take photographs consistently for the whole summer, so now it's just a matter of sitting down and putting everything on Blogger. I have half a sketchbook of drawings from the parks and Main Street breakroom- I'm just waiting to get to my scanner! All of this to say- I promise I haven't forgotten about you!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Here is the newsletter from our summer at Walt Disney World. Click the pages to see them bigger!