Tuesday, August 22, 2017

why 'Dear Evan Hansen' resonates.

There's been a lot of hype around Dear Evan Hansen (even before the Tony's), and rightfully so: it's music is powerful, it's story is striking. There's a lot of emotion packed into this show, and I know there's been a fair share of criticism about it too, but I can only speak from my own experience about what I felt walking into the show and what I felt walking out of it.

By the time I went to see the show, I was incredibly familiar with the music, but only somewhat familiar with the details of the plot. I knew what the show was about, how the characters related to one another, and where the music fell in the story, but I didn't want to know every line/every scene/every detail before I saw it on stage. So walking into the theatre, I knew what I could expect in the broadest terms.

Dear Evan Hansen is, too sum it up briefly, about suicide, anxiety, and what happens when a lie spins out of control in a very public way. Those tentpoles of the show build a story that is complex and challenging because – here's the thing: it's hard to root for Evan Hansen, 100%. In the beginning, you feel empathy for him. He's a lonely teen who struggles to accept that his voice matters to anyone, including, at some points, to his own mother. But as he carries on with the lie that he was best friends with a classmate who killed himself, things spin out of control and he begins to not only own the lie, but manipulate it.

On the surface, it's the most selfish thing an audience could witness; and yet, I think one of the reasons it makes you feel uncomfortable as you watch it is because we can all recognize Evan in ourselves in some way.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

grief is for the living.

I spent the majority of this day one year ago in bed watching The Great British Bake-Off. It's not productive to re-hash what happened and the terrible final 24 hours we went through as a family, but all I remember was feeling vulnerable and helpless – 3,000 miles away, and all I could do was send emails and call and try to get the convalescent home to listen as my aunt was dying. By the time she took her last breath, I don't know if anything I did made a difference other than to get one person to finally respond and say "sorry" they had forgotten about her needs.

When somebody you love dies, the grief is impossible to put into words. Even a year later, I don't have the right words to reflect on the loss. All I knew at the time was that I could no longer afford to be 3,000 miles away, and so I packed up and came back to California – a decision I 100% don't regret.

We went to her grave site yesterday to lay flowers and say "hello." My grandmother still hasn't been, which my dad is judgmental about, but I don't think he gets it because his side of the family is always in this perpetual state of petty fighting. It's been hard to feel like I should've come home sooner, been there for when I was needed. But I think being back now is good enough. It's the least I could've done.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

the Disney tag.

I meant for this week's blog post to be a Dear Evan Hansen reflection, but a combination of family obligations plus crashing on a few projects with tight deadlines has resulted instead in – you guessed it – another tag/list.

I'd say "oops," but it's my blog so I suppose I can do whatever I want on it :) So this week: the Disney tag! (Note: I'm excluding Pixar films from this.)

1. A scene in any Disney movie you wish you could experience.
The lantern scene from Tangled.

2. An unforgettable experience/moment you've had at the parks.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

favorites: July 2017.

In between crying over Dear Evan Hansen and catching up on my YouTube sub box, July passed by in such a blur. I'm trying to focus these "favorites" list on products and keep the entertainment (podcasts, shows, music, book) to a "what I'm listening to/watching/reading" section at the end. Not a perfect structure to these lists so far, but who needs perfect? ;)

1. A French Kiss Bubble Bar by Lush


Y'all know I love me some lavender – and this bubble bar doesn't disappoint. I had never used a bubble bar before, but watching it crumble and form the bubbles for a luscious purple bath is addictive. The scent is wonderful and relaxing and it doesn't leave an annoying color stain on the tub like I was worried it might.


when (not) to burn a bridge.

It can be difficult to spot when you're being taken advantage of – whether personally or professionally – but when you realize it, I've often struggled to answer the question: is it too harsh to cut off ties completely?

Here's the thing: burning bridges is generally never advised as a first resort. The internet has actually made our worlds a bit smaller, I think, and even if you tried to do everything possible to keep someone out of your social media feeds, they're never really excised a la Eternal Sunshine.


That having been said, I've wondered when exactly it is the "right" time to say, "No, I don't want this person in my life." That can be a harsh decision to make. You're essentially saying to yourself – and the other person – that you actively do not want them to be a part of anything you do. Sometimes, it makes sense to cut certain people out: an abusive ex, a bully who made your life hell... but often times, there's no easy answer when it comes to trying to figure out how/when/why the time is now.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

30 songs.

Having one of those writer's/creator's block moments where nothing interesting is coming from banging my fingers against the keyboard, so here is the most boring thing I could think of to blog about this week: a Tumblr survey I found that has 700-some notes to it, so it must be popular, right?



1. A song you like with a color in the title: "Blackbird" – The Beatles
2. A song you like with a number in the title: "6/10" – dodie
3. A song that reminds you of summertime: "California Girls" – Katy Perry
4. A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about: "Calendar Girl" – Stars
5. A song that needs to be played LOUD: "Call Me Maybe" – Carly Rae Jepsen
6. A song that makes you want to dance: "Bad Romance" – Lady Gaga
7. A song to drive to: "Castle On the Hill" – Ed Sheeran
8. A song about drugs or alcohol: "Habits (Stay High)" – Tove Lo
9. A song that makes you happy:"Here Comes the Sun" – The Beatles