Friday, May 17, 2019

Sorting Friends into Hogwarts Houses


A few days ago I saw a meme posted celebrating Monica and Chandler's anniversary. Despite what fans want, we may never get a reunion movie/mini-series (and fans would certainly never be satisfied). So to help with the grieving process that another year has gone by without a "Friends" reunion, here are my thoughts on where the six main Friends would be sorted at Hogwarts.


Chandler Bing - Gryffindor
At a first glance, I thought Chandler was a Hufflepuff. However, when I stop to think about it, Chandler reminds me a lot of Neville. Chandler dealt with a lot growing up. His parents got divorced when he was young and his mother was never the role model he wanted. However, despite his faults and his struggles, he pushed forward. Even when it came to romantic relationships where he was scared to commit, he pushed forward, eventually marrying Monica and even being brave enough to adopt two children (even though it scared him senseless at one point or another). Because of that courage, he's a Gryffindor to me.


Monica Geller - Gryffindor
Like her husband, Monica went through a lot and it took a lot of bravery to make the changes she did in her life. She made a goal to lose significant weight (albeit not for good reasons) and she did it. She gave up happy relationships because they weren't going to make her happy long-term. And when all hope seemed lost about being a mother (the one thing she wanted most), she perservered and ended up coming home with two children instead of one. Her ferocity and her tenacity are the reasons I place her in Gryffindor.


Ross Geller - Ravenclaw
He's the stereotypical Ravenclaw, so I don't think there's much discussion on this. He's intellectual. He likes to debate. Research, knowledge, and education are always at the forefront of his mind (except maybe being on a break). Other than his on and off obsession with Rachel (and who she's dating at a given time), lectures, learning, and intellect were his top priorities. Even down to being a grammar nazi.


Rachel Green - Slytherin
She ran off from her first wedding to make a name for herself. She spent the next ten years following her professional passions. It was slow going for her, but she never gave up. Her ambition eventually led her across the ocean to work in France (until she got off the plane). We never found out what happened to her after she chose Ross over her career, but because of her passion and ambition, you can bet she got a new job in fashion and worked her way back up again. Because of that unyielding ambition, I'm putting her in Slytherin.


Joey Tribbiani - Hufflepuff
Loyalty, kindness, and true are three adjectives used to describe Hufflepuffs. Whether we're talking about Joey's instinct to talk to Ross before he crosses any (further) lines with Rachel or how he was willing to forgive Chandler after Kathy cheated with him. He's a bit of an oddball in other regards, but his friends always came first at his core. Even when it came down to dancing with Treager to help out Monica and Rachel, he went above and beyond for all of them. That's why I'm proud to have Joey in Hufflepuff with me.


Phoebe Buffay - Ravenclaw
Like Chandler, at a passing glance Phoebe would appear to be a Hufflepuff. However, she's too much like Luna Lovegood for me to pass this up. I dug a little deeper into what it means to be a Ravenclaw and I was reminded that Ravenclaw (in addition to intelligence and wit) is also known for creativity, originality, and individuality. Luna and Phoebe both exhibit those qualities in everything they do. I mean, how creative do you have to be to write "Smelly Cat"? Genius! Also between the Nargals and the guitar playing, I don't think we have a more original duo. So naturally Phoebe belongs in Ravenclaw.

Where would you sort each of the main Friends? Any other "Friends" characters you feel strongly about sorting? Mike "Crap Bag" Hannigan? The mustached Richard? Monica's mom?

Friday, May 3, 2019

Meeting Royalty of the House of Mouse at Salt Lake City Spring FanX

(Guest Post by David T)

I was a teenager when Disney’s Aladdin and Pocahontas premiered in theaters in 1992 and 1995. As an avid fan of Walt Disney feature animation at that time, I learned who animated and voiced each character, particularly the heroes and heroines (the female leads who would later comprise the Disney Princess franchise). I knew that Aladdin was voiced by Scott Weinger with Brad Kane singing for him; that Linda Larkin and Lea Salonga spoke and sang for Jasmine; and that Pocahontas’ speaking and singing vocals were provided by Irene Bedard and Judy Kuhn.
As I grew older, I wondered what the women and men were like behind their iconic characters. I imagined what it’d be like to meet them in person, but never believing I would. Well, my dreaming became a reality when I had the pleasure of meeting Pocahontas (Irene Bedard), Aladdin (Scott Weinger), and Jasmine (Linda Larkin) at Salt Lake City Spring FanX two weeks ago.


Irene Bedard (Pocahontas):
Even though I was excited to meet all three actors, I was also very nervous. So I mustered the courage and met Irene Bedard first.

Irene reminded of Pocahontas. Like the titular animated character, Miss Bedard was dignified, and as I spoke with her, I could tell she loved and was proud of her Native American heritage. At the same time, Irene was warm and engaging. She actively listened as I shared my love for Pocahontas, and laughingly smiled when I expressed how excited I was when she joined Scott and Linda for their Aladdin panel earlier in the day. I took a photo with Irene at her autograph table, and at the conclusion, she expressed the wish that I would enjoy the rest of my day.

Scott Weinger (Aladdin):
Meeting Irene Bedard gave me the confidence to meet Scott Weinger. As I was waiting to meet him, I heard Mr. Weinger say to a small group of people meeting him that he wouldn’t be on Dancing with the Stars like his Full House/Fuller House co-stars Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin. Listening to him, it hit me that I was meeting the guy who played Steve Hale (DJ Tanner Fuller’s boyfriend) and the voice of Aladdin.

My interaction with Scott was brief. I introduced myself to him, shook his hand, and got a selfie. After the picture, Scott told me that he was enjoying himself at FanX, and then we parted.


Linda Larkin (Jasmine):
After meeting Irene and Scott, I was finally ready to meet Linda Larkin, with whom I was most nervous about interacting.

Meeting Linda Larkin was a Dream Come True! She was very friendly and welcoming when I met her. When I took my picture with her, I asked Linda to hold Rajah (the Funko I brought), and she was enthusiastic to do so. I told Miss Larkin that Jasmine is one of my favorite Disney Princesses. I shared that I immediately related to the Princess of Agrabah the first time I saw her on the big screen. I also expressed to Linda how excited I was to hear her as Jasmine in the famous Disney Princess scene in Wreck-It Ralph 2. At the end, Linda shook my hand and thanked me for coming, and I expressed my pleasure at meeting her. After meeting each of them, I thanked Linda, Scott, and Irene for coming to FanX. I expressed the hope that they would have a wonderful time while they were there, which they seemed to appreciate.

In the last two years at FanX, I have met Jodi Benson (Ariel), Christopher Daniel Barnes (Prince Eric), Paige O’Hara (Belle), and now Irene Bedard (Pocahontas), Scott Weinger (Aladdin), and Linda Larkin (Jasmine). Each has been a nerve wracking yet memorable experience. It has truly been a Dream Come True to meet face to face with the actors who brought to life the iconic and treasured Disney Princes and Princesses of my childhood and teenage years. I hope FanX continues to invite the voices behind the animated royalty of the House of Mouse, and I eagerly await to see who I’ll meet next.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

8 Hours at FanX

I've lost track of how many Salt Lake Comic Con/Fanx events I've been to, but this is the first time I've neglected to take time off work for the event (Disney World kind of takes priority). As a result, I had to make the most of only 8 hours at FanX this weekend. So here's what I learned from the shortened time at FanX.


Plan Ahead
FanX put its panel and celebrity schedules out in advance. So I made sure to look ahead to see which events I wanted to hit at FanX, so that I wouldn't waste any time when I was at the Salt Palace. I also over-plan, putting more panels on my plans than I actually care about attending. By the time the panel actually comes, I tend to disregard half of them.


Give Yourself Extra Time
Half the fun of FanX for me is the vendor floor and the cosplay. Despite the limited time, I left plenty of extra time to wander the vendor floor and people watch. It's always better to over-plan for the amount of time you'll need between events and have extra than to not have enough.


Take Breaks
That much walking around a concrete floor will almost inevitably hurt your feet, regardless of the type of shoes you're wearing. I felt apprehensive of taking breaks during this Con, because I knew my time would be short. However, there's no use wearing yourself out (especially if you're introverted like me), just to spend extra on the floor.


Prioritize
You're not going to get to do everything every Con. Especially if you're going just for a day or for a few hours, some things will get cut. I missed the Tom Felton panel, but made it to the Aladdin panel. I didn't make it to any photo ops (because of lack of money mostly, but time would have also been a factor), but I made it early to three panels to get a good seat each time.

What was your favorite part of FanX? Which celebrities would you like to make an appearance?