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Q: Sunlight or Moonlight?
MOONLIGHT! Hands down! I’ve always been what would be called a “night owl.” The busy hustle and bustle of the daytime has never been my cup of tea. I prefer the easy-going wonder of night. How different things look at this time than they do during the day. It is nature’s way of reminding us that there are ends to beginnings as well as new beginnings to ends. Nighttime helps us find the confidence to endure. To face “unknowns” in hopes of a brighter new dawn.
Q: Top 5 Favorite Movies?
Although I am not a big movie goer,
The Godfather series have always been very iconic for me. It is one of those movies, for me, that resonates with your soul. It is because I was raised in a devout Catholic family. Coppola is a timeless director, alongside Spielberg, and Kubrick. He truly captured the turmoil of a religious family, modern-day struggles, and of course crime syndicate families. It is such a fantastic film. Described by some as droll, slow and boring, I myself cannot help but watch in amazement every time (which have been many.) Like a story being retold, finding new information each time. The Godfather is my “binge” worthy entertainment.
So I’ll count this as fav movie 1,2, and 3- since the main series is a trilogy.
4) Forrest Gump is an incredibly well told, well formulated and in-depth story. Tom Hanks is, after all, “America’s Dad”. Hanks himself is an icon of genuine simplicity and good-nature. In this film, Hanks was able to provide us a powerful, funny, yet dramatic story. One that implies that all people, big, small, white, black, intelligent or “stupid,” can do amazing things in our lifetimes.
5) Philadelphia/ Rocky Balboa
It’s a tie! It’s so hard to choose between the two!
Again, America’s Dad shows us a no-strings version of what it was REALLY like to be a man with A.I.D.S. in the 90’s in America. It is a wonderfully accurate story that has such a heart-wrenching ending. I cry, literally every time I see this movie.
Rocky Balboa. Sylvester Stallone’s career maker, yet another genuine perspective on living a “hard-knock life.” A young New Jersey man, making it the only way he can, having “no brains.” The Rocky series is yet another series for me, that I can jump in the middle of and still know where I am in the story line since it is another “binge” worthy series for me.
Q: Funniest Thing You Ever Saw?
There isn’t one singular event for me, that I can recall. However, animals make me laugh whole-heartedly. It doesn’t even have to be MY pet, other people’s pets are equally comical. It is when seeing a supposed “lower” intellectual being such as a dog, bird, cat, horse, and so forth, exhibit some truly quirky behavior. It is priceless to see.
Q: Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Accident?
The best thing that has ever happened to me by accident is my loving significant other. I had resolved with myself that I would likely be alone for many years, if not the rest of my entire life. My previous boyfriend had suddenly died from drinking and driving, which left me shattered. I had learned many things during that time, but primarily, that one must be okay with being alone with themselves, before being able to successfully be in a relationship. I learned to take value in those that I DO have with me, my family and friends, and spent my “lonely years” developing those types of relationships. Of course, these did not replace intimacy but I learned to allow the love and value, each person was attempting/wanting to bring into my life as support.
So when I met Tyler, I was already completely okay with being alone. I was still very social since that is just my nature. I had gone on dates that my friends would set me up on, and they were never right for me. I saw Tyler for his humor, his gentle nature, and so much more and I thought to myself, “If I could only just be his friend..” I would have been satisfied having him, at the very least, in my life as a friend. To be in my life at all – with his ginger hair and quirky ways… I would’ve been smitten. Yet Fate/God/Greater Power saw that there was more than that awaiting us. And here we are, 4 years later, still together.
Q: Weirdest Dream You Ever Had?
Oh Honey, I have P.T.S.D., I have weird dreams ALL THE TIME!
However, the question brings to mind, a recurring dream I would have for several years. It was of me flying. I would fly around during dusk, searching for my little cousin, who was in trouble. I would fly over railroad tracks, hills, and buildings. Yet, I would never find her.
Q: If You Had 3 Wishes That Could Come True, What Would They Be?
Weirdly enough, I have no answer for this question. At all. I am at a loss. One of my character traits is that I am a very headstrong person. I see others wish for a new car, or wish to win the lottery, and things of that like. I am a true believer of MAKING it happen. Don’t Wish- DO!
Q: Favorite Cartoon as a Kid?
My favorite cartoon as a child was Looney Tunes. All Looney Tunes. Although I was subject to only watching what my older brother wanted to watch, even then, these shows seemed timeless to me and I admired them to that end.
Q: Favorite Toy as a Kid?
My favorite toy was a small chalkboard slab my mother had picked up at a “flea market.” It had a wooden frame and I used this frame to duct tape the chalkboard to the wall. I would use last years school books to teach reading, writing, and spelling to my imaginary students. Using my little 8″x 5″ chalkboard, I would even sometimes use it to countdown the days until Christmas!
Q: If You Could Have a Party With Your Favorite Musician/Group Playing for it, Who Would You Choose to Play for Your Party?
This subject, unfortunately provides me with a tiny amount of snobbery because, I -myself and my partner, are musicians. Tyler is such an amazing guitarist that, I can play an unknown song for him and after 2 minutes maximum, he has already figured out the chords, tuning, and rhythm. He is literally a musical genius. In fact, we have dedicated an entire room in our house just for him to exercise his genius.
Q: If You Could Build Any Invention, What Would it Be?
I would develop an intelligence wand. Whenever someone (including myself) is rattling on about an obviously illogical belief (such as a boss or co-worker), or when a person is absent-mindedly not acknowledging the other person’s words (such as a customer service hotline), I can just point my wand and SUDDENLY they have become intelligent enough to make turn this lame-brained conversation into an actually constructive one! If you have ever encountered a type of person that is “always right”, regardless of fact, you know what I mean. For example, Rapper B.o.B. and his attempt to prove world-renowned and highly intelligent scientists, physicists, astrophysicists, and even astronauts who have seen the earth while standing on the moon wrong, and say that the Earth Is Flat. Let’s just save all that drama and waste of time by waving the intelligence wand!
Q:What’s the best thing you ever wrote? Please include a link to it if you wish 🙂
While pursuing my Biotechnology degree, I had written a cause and effect essay for one college English class. It remains a secret treasure of mine that I will share below. Hope you all enjoy!
A Quidditch Match in the Shire
Like something you would only hear in “fake news,” alongside reports of German children becoming legally able to marry.¹ Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins have P.T.S.D. Yes! Potter fans know it’s true and Hobbit fans cannot disagree. As a result of their long and arduous journeys; both Baggins and Potter developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The signs and symptoms are clear. A closer look at their adventures must be taken in order to see how such derangement inevitably grew.
There are two primary origins for the development of their mental stress disorder. Firstly, both campaigns lasted longer than six months. Potter’s lasted seven years while Baggins’ lasted an astounding eighteen! From the day that Frodo left the Shire and from Potter’s initial introduction to Voldemort, both characters were continuously put in life threatening situations.
Secondly, an accompanying contributor to their resulting P.T.S.D. is that they both witness the loss of their friends’ lives in traumatic ways. Baggins watched as his beloved friend Gandalf fought an ancient demon and fell to his death in the Mines of Moria. Potter watched as Voldemort killed his quidditch companion Cedric Diggory. Potter watched again as his admired professor and mentor, Dumbledore, fell to his death. Sirius Black, Potter’s closest pseudo- relative, also died while Harry looked on in turmoil. These two factors alone are essential in post traumatic stress disorder, however other lesser and seemingly insignificant factors also lend to the equation.
Baggins and his trail companion Samwise often faced near starvation. While “Black Riders” and Orcs tirelessly pursued and numerously attacked them throughout their journey. It remained clear that death was always near. Furthermore, much of the hobbits’ passage were quite dangerous. They had to climb mountains and serrated rock face, where any slip along the path would result in their deaths. If the roaming of the terrain wasn’t challenging enough, the characters in Frodo’s accompaniment were. Betrayal abounds for Baggins and his hairy footed pals. Boromir, his supposed protector subsequently fights him for the Ring. Smeagol aka “Gollum,” Baggins’ once loyal guide, bites off Baggins’ finger at the cliffs of Mount Doom in an attempt to obtain his “precious.”
Potter also faced death when not battling Voldemort. In the “Triwizard Tournament” he braved man eating walls and egg hoarding dragons. Potter nearly drowned while attempting to retrieve the sword of Gryffindor from a frozen lake. These efforts and more contribute to both characters’ P.T.S.D. development. However, this is not all that challenged them.
To make things even more psychologically demanding, both Potter and Baggins were obligated as the “Chosen One.” Everyone around them superimposed a belief that only they could achieve the task before them. Unless they are used to such stipulation; that is a huge weight. Maybe Bilbo did instruct young Frodo to clean the toilet with explanation of, “Because YOU are the chosen one! Take this plunger to the Toilet of Doom! Throw it in and don’t look back!!” It is possible that he was used to such high regard, although unlikely. At any rate, there existed loads of mental pressure for these characters.
All of their psychological trials and tribulations fit the profile for P.T.S.D. according to the National Center for P.T.S.D.² A person with this disorder must have witnessed the violent or traumatic death of a friend or loved one. They must have had direct exposure to death or threatened death, and also must have had actual or threatened serious injury. Finally, a person must have experienced prolonged exposure to life threatening situations. Baggins and Potter definitely meet the above criteria. Furthermore, both characters visibly show these symptoms as a result of its evolution.
Potter frequently has nightmares, night sweats, and calls out in his sleep, “Don’t kill Cedric.” Potter, in conclusion, retreats to his secluded lifestyle, as would anyone with untreated P.T.S.D.
Baggins seclusion however, began almost immediately. He adamantly showed an inability to adjust to his life back in the Shire. His dissociation is present in his comments to Samwise when he speaks of, “Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” He describes also, of being “Torn in two.” Frodo has clearly endured so much and the memories stay with him and thus he sets out for the “Undying Lands” to find peace.
I know. You are thinking, “Surely our beloved characters could have avoided such a stigma as this mental illness.” However, they could not. Without their heroic efforts, Middle Earth would not have been reunited and Voldemort would’ve turned Hogwarts into a base camp for magical destruction. The only way P.T.S.D. could have been avoided was to not designate them for anything! Frodo could’ve “passed the buck” and said, “Listen Bilbo, you found it! You deal with it!” In addition, like a game of Duck Duck Goose, Potter could have hid while people searched for a savior against Voldemort. With Dumbledore coaxing young Potter, “Harry come out of the bathroom! You HAVE to battle Voldemort!,” and Harry scuffing his feet along the tile as he goes, saying “I don’t want to battle Voldemort. He’s mean and his breath smells!” Their stories could’ve been different, but then we wouldn’t have heros. P.T.S.D. comes with the job of being a hero. It was an inevitable burden.
-written by Renee R.
¹Grenoble, Ryan. “Here Are Some Of Those Fake News Stories That Mark Zuckerberg Isn’t Worried About.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 16 Nov. 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/facebook-fake-news-stories-zuckerberg_us_5829f34ee4b0c4b63b0da2ea. Accessed 3 Mar. 2017.
²National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “BrainLine Military.” DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD | BrainLine Military. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.