Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Latest Obsessions

For those of you who are interested in what I've been into lately... Blogging, fairy tales, and exotic pets! :)
1. Blogging
I started two blogs a while ago and then never really posted on them.  But a lot has been happening in my life recently and I especially want to share my development as a harpist.  Updates on my harp blog are long overdue. So, I'm hoping to blog more frequently and catch you all up on what I've been doing!

2. Modern Fairy Tale Remakes
There has been a surge of fairy tale-based media lately, especially movies and television series.  There are two in particular that I've really enjoyed.

First, Beastly, a movie that came out in April 2011 starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.  (Can I just say Alex is totally my new celebrity crush?  Forget Orlando Bloom and Taylor Lautner, Alex is my new fave! <3  It's a shame he's not in more movies...)

I thought Beastly was pretty good, if you can overlook the fact that 
a) the school looks like the Apple store 
b) it's hard to determine if it is set in a futuristic, semi-dystopian society or today
c) his "ugly transformation" was actually pretty cool - multicolored tattoos, cryptic symbols, an animated tree tattoo on his arm that changed with the seasons, and shiny things embedded into his head - but maybe that's just the fact that I'm part crow and I love anything shiny and colorful....
d) the fact that nobody seemed to go to class when they were at school

The message of the movie is really sweet and it gave me warm fuzzies to watch Alex's character go from a snobby, egotistic jerk to somebody really trying to do nice things for the girl he loved.

Rant (and possible spoilers): I kind of wish that in "Beauty and the Beast" retellings, the Beast character would stay ugly.  I mean, when they find somebody that loves them for who they are, not what they look like, looks don't matter anymore!  The beast feels special, the girlfriend doesn't notice his looks because "love is blind", and they find happiness together.  The re-beautifying at the end seems to take a little away from the "you don't need good looks to be happy" message.

I'm also watching the new ABC show Once Upon a Time on Hulu.  The episodes are almost an hour long each, so I've been watching them in parts of about 15-20 minutes while I eat lunch.  I guess you could say I never "grew out" of the little-girl love for fairy tales and I enjoy how the show seamlessly incorporates most of the popular fairy tales into one big story.  I mean, it's totally believable that Cinderella and Snow White could have been best friends, or that all the evil step-mothers liked to get together and discuss their diabolical plans over a nice cup of Earl Grey. 

3. Exotic Pets
Specifically, parrots and sugar gliders!  Unfortunately, I won't be able to have any pets at all for at least 6 years: none of the colleges I applied to allow pets in the dorms - not even fish! - and after I graduate I'll have to figure out where I'm going to live and find a place that allows pets.

Anyway, about parrots: When I was about 14, my best friend got a cockatiel named Sunny.  He took to me like a duck to water the first time we met and ever since that moment I've wanted a bird of my own.  Parrots are as intelligent as 3-year-old humans and when trained and socialized properly, they can be your best friend.  Right now, I think a cockatiel is the parrot for me.  Everyone who has one says they are really the "perfect bird": they're not extremely loud, so you can keep them in apartments and not bother neighbors, they enjoy human companionship, they are total hams so trick training and socializing appeal to their love of showing off, and they're SO FREAKING CUTE!

How could anybody resist this face?!

So, to satisfy my wants, I've read a lot about training and caring for birds over the past few years. They're not like cats and dogs, so it's important to do your research before getting one. All this reading almost makes up for not having a parrot of my own... Almost.

And now onto sugar gliders, also known as sugar bears. My other best friend's little sister got one a few months ago and she has sent me a few pictures and links to more info on them. 
Basically, possum + flying squirrel = heart-melting ADORABLENESS! 

A few quick facts:
1. They are family pets. Instead of bonding to just one person, they love everybody in the family!
2. They don't stink like other small animals, such as ferrets.
3. Their favorite past time is sleeping in your pocket.
4. They are very clean.  They bathe themselves like cats do, and they don't go to the bathroom where they sleep.  So if your glider is napping in your pocket, it'll instinctively come out to do its business elsewhere; unlike rodents, which have no qualms about leaving an unpleasant surprise in your hand or lap.
5. They are easy to maintain.  They carry no known diseases, or heartworms, parasites, etc.; so unlike dogs and cats, they don't need to get shots or be de-wormed.

For more info on sugar gliders, check out (where my friend's family got their glider).
Sugar Glider Vet gives info on the basic care and training of gliders in a video series.

For more info on parrots, visit these sites:
KiliParrot Youtube (part of Trained Parrot) (Run by the Womach brothers, Chet and Dave.  Dave and his wife and their "flock" have done numerous tours with many entertainment companies such as cruise ships, Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, just to name a few.)
BirdTricks Youtube (part of
Dave Womach's YouTube (Lots of stuff from their circus tour.)
Barbara Heidenreich's YouTube (Barbara is a professional bird trainer who also runs Good Bird Inc.)

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