Disney Princesses are Bad Role Models

Danny and I were talking about how Disney princesses are all basically dorks and bad role models.

It started when we were talking about Odette from the Swan Princess (yeah I know, it's not technically a DISNEY movie...). When we were engaged, we watched that movie on YouTube. It was really fun, mostly because there are such gaping holes in the plot, the songs are hilarious, and it was a movie from my childhood.

"I just think that movie is funny because they tried to make a smart princess, who isn't just pretty and shallow, but instead they end up with a prince who is completely shallow, and the ONLY good thing about him is that he's handsome," said Danny.

Odette is kind of dumb, even though she has sleeves (unlike most of the others). At first she's ticked because Derek only likes her because she's pretty, so she breaks up with him. And then, she gets captured and expects him to come rescue her. Huh.

Then there's Belle. She's pretty much the biggest snoot of all the princesses. Danny, pretending to be her, said, "Yeah, there's nobody in this town who is as smart or interesting as me!"

Ariel: she is the epitome of teenage drama. "My daddy doesn't ever let me do what I want, so I'm just going to rebel and do it behind his back! He couldn't possibly be thinking of my welfare!" She has a serious case of grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence. And...she's an airhead. Let's face it. Earlier in the movie, she signs her name to the contract with the witch. Danny, "That's probably the first thing the prince asked her once she could talk, 'So...why didn't you just write down your name and that I needed to kiss you to break the spell in the first place?' 'Oh. Yeah. Write it down. Hmm.' "

At least Snow White is nice, likes animals, and is a good mom. "She's TOTALLY the dwarves' mom!" says Danny. [squeaky voice] " 'Wash your hands and clean your room before dinner!' - that's like, twenty minutes of the movie!" Oh wait, there might be something more to motherhood than being good at cleaning and cooking. THAT'S why we don't all just hire nannies, ohhhhh.

Aurora is a bit of a mystery; she doesn't really HAVE a character. Not many people in that movie do, except the fairies (who are the ultimate protagonists if not the namesake of the film - "Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather" just isn't as catchy as "Sleeping Beauty"). She's an innocent girl who's nice to the animals, a bit up in the clouds when it comes to reality, but mostly everything that happens to her is fated. She doesn't choose to be beautiful, or good at singing, or even to prick the spinning wheel (who thought THAT one up?). In fact, besides falling in love with the Prince (which arguably could have been out of her control), she doesn't really do anything the whole movie. Some role model.

Jasmine is a bit tricky. She's upset at her dad, she doesn't naturally fall for Aladdin as a Prince - maybe she's the strong-willed, courageous female Disney character that we've been waiting for? Wait, though - let's think about the first part of the movie. She runs away without any type of preparation or forethought, and then is easily seduced by a (very fair-skinned) Arab street urchin. Aladdin takes her to his pad, and is almost going to start undressing her when the guards come in and actually do end up rescuing her from what would have been a pretty serious problem. And, that's okay?

Mulan and Pocahontas are pretty interesting. They are both non-white, but they don't even have full "Princess status." The only reason that Mulan is able to do great things is because she dresses like a man, and Pocahontas has the proportions of Barbie. Although I loved Mulan, as a child I never incorporated it into my imaginary pretend games the way I did the other traditional princesses (maybe I was too old when it came out?). And personally, I just never really got that much into the story of Pocahontas. Danny (who grew up with three older sisters and also has one younger sister, now age 7) has never even seen the movie. Keep in mind that he knows the lyrics to songs of the other "Disney Animated Classics" just as well or better than me.

Esmeralda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Meg from Hercules could be exceptions to the lousy role model trend the other princesses set. Except that Esmerelda is a pole dancer and Meg sold her soul to the devil, neither of them are actually princesses, and they have really odd physical characteristics that always turned me off. Esmerelda's face looks like an old version of Michael Jackson, and Meg's butt is just...incredible. 

Finally, Cinderella, the classic Disney Princess. She is a lot like Snow White because she can cook, clean, and is nice to the animals. She can also sew, which is a very marketable skill in their kingdom Just check out the hideousness of all the dresses at the ball. Why, with Cinderella's style, she could totally start her own line of ball gowns, and probably make a huge profit. But instead she chooses to be submissive and passive. She stays at home where her evil stepmother and ugly daughters (and aptly named cat) subject her to verbal abuse and slave labor.Come on, Cindy, you must be at least 25 (doesn't she look old?) - what are you doing living with your step-mom?

Here is an article that is even more cynical about the situation than I am:

The thing is, I already know that Disney princesses will be part of my little girls' childhoods. I am an upper-middle class American.There is no escape. At least we have about a year to brainstorm possible solutions/approaches.



Help Iraqi Refugees

My brother told me that this Sunday at the Wilk there is a meeting for people who want to help volunteer and help Iraqi refugees in Salt Lake. When I was doing my ESL practicum, I was able to help translate for a 12 year old who was new to the school, hadn't been in school for about 9 months because of war. I am interested.

If you want to go to the meeting, all I know is that it is at 5:00 in the wilk. That pretty much is vague. I looked on the BYU website and couldn't find more information than that. So just email me (click above on contact me to get my email address) if you want to go, and I will get back to you with the "where". It sounds cool.


Jane's Baby Blessing

Danny gave Jane her baby blessing on Sunday, October 18. She was great the whole time. I, on the other hand, was sick with the flu. I still am, in fact. Danny did not want me to stay at church. He made me go home basically right after the blessing. It was a little bit embarrassing: "Oh yeah, come to church, and only stay for your baby's blessing!" But I know, and you know, that that is not what happened.

You can't really tell, but I feel like absolute crap in this photo.

DMBA absolutely SUCKS

 DMBA (Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators) is the absolute worst insurance company I have ever dealt with before in my life. I had a baby on July 15. I was covered by the student health plan, which gives me 80/20 coverage. It is October 20th and I still have not gotten the correct bill.

At first, it was because somewhere between the hospital and the insurance company, the code was switched from "Maternity" to "Mental Health". I certainly was NOT in the hospital for "Mental Health". I was there to deliver a baby. I have the proof, too! She is a beautiful girl.

DMBA billed me for $5,000. I called them and told them that it was wrong. They told me I need to call the hospital and have them change the code. I called the hospital. The hospital told me I needed to either call my physician or wait 10 days until they could figure out if it was their own mistake. I did both. It was the hospital's coding mistake. I called the insurance company and verified they had everything they needed to get the bill right. This all took about a month. So from July to August.

I waited.

About a month later in September,  I got another bill for $5,000 from the hospital, and an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from DMBA saying that it was a "duplicate claim", that I was not covered.

I called DMBA and told them that I was indeed covered and their EOB was wrong. They apologized and while on the phone told me that everything was taken care of, they had submitted the correct claim. They said to wait 14-20 days. They told me this in September. It is now October 20th.

Today I got a bill from the hospital for $5,000. It always happens like this: I get the hospital bill, and about a week later I get my EOB from DMBA. On the bottom of the bill, it was written, "duplicate claim." Excuse me?

I called DMBA again today and told them that the bill was yet again wrong. They said that my claim was still coded for "Mental Health", not "Maternity", and that I need to call the hospital to have them send me the "Delivery Record", i.e. proof that I had a baby. I was pretty much pissed off because I have done this three times already. Isn't it their job? They are getting paid for sitting on their butts for 3 MONTHS while my claim has been untouched, and they continue to lie to me about "straightening it out", erstwhile making me do all of the work of calling people to verify this or that record?

The point is, I think that BYU should consider hiring a different insurance company to manage their student health plan. DMBA absolutely sucks.


Fun Saturday!

Tonight was a lot of fun. Lots of family is in town because of Jane's baby blessing tomorrow. We had a really fun day today, including a visit to the new OC Tanner jewelry store in Salt Lake City. Too bad the thing I picked out was more than a downpayment on a house! I was also able to get some temple names printed from the Family History library, so that was cool. We had lunch at the Lion House. Later, Sarah, Mykle, Joe, and Pop came over and we all had dinner together. It was really fun. Danny and I are always saying how we wish that every day was the weekend. We think that's what heaven is going to be: Saturday. (I actually figured that out when I was very little, but it had a lot more to do with cartoons).

My hot husband!

Isn't Jane adorable?

The new OC Tanner building. It's really beautiful inside.

Jane's halloween costume 2009!

All the grandkids (plus Ella, their Aunt)

Pop and sleepy baby

Cute sock monkey nephews (and the sock monkey doll my mom made!)

"Say 'Macaroni and Cheese'!" (one of the only foods this one will eat!)

And this one is starting to talk! Tonight he said, "Bob the builder!" perfectly and surprised us all!

Auntie Ella!

Dan and his iPhone. I used my camera, he used his phone.

Granny Janny and Danny (in the background).

And now...I'm going to sleep.


Jane's Blog

I decided to start a separate blog for updates about Jane. The world is just too creepy of a place for me to be posting details about my baby in a public setting, so I made the blog private.

This is the blog's URL: http://janechallis.blogspot.com

You won't be able to see it if you aren't invited, though.

If you would like to be invited to read this blog, email me and I will invite you.

If you don't have my email, click on the button that says "Contact Me" at the top.

That being said, I probably will sometimes put photos/videos of Jane on this public blog, because she is SO much a part of my life. I just think it would be better to reserve details to a private setting.

Hope to see you there!

Blog Goals 2009/2010

A little less than a year ago, I set some goals for this blog. I'm going to give an update on how I've been doing:

1. Write on my blog often

Well, as long as "often" doesn't mean every day, I think I've been doing fairly well on this one.

2. Put photos on my blog often

This proved difficult. The old blogger post editor sucked when it came to posting photos.

3. Get people to read and check my blog often.
I have increased my readership, but again, what the heck does "often" mean?

So, I think I ended up doing pretty well on all of those goals. Here are my new goals:

1. Post often: i.e. every week on this blog, every week on Jane's blog, and every week on our family blog. I don't know...our family blog is kind of...not as fun to write on as the other two. So we'll see. Maybe I will discontinue that blog.

2. Organize my labels: it's kind of dumb to have labels that only are on one post. I can always just search the blog if I want to find something. Labels are for organization, but as of now, they're not really doing much.

3. Increase my followers to 25 by next year. I know that not everybody uses the google followers thing, but some people do.

4. Increase my feed subscribers to 25 by next year. This will probably be much easier than getting "followers" because people can read feeds in a billion different ways.

5. Comments: Get at least one comment per post. The way to do this is by commenting on other peoples' blogs. So that is what I will do.

6. Post more about my spirituality. In last month's Ensign, there was a huge article about sharing the gospel via blogging. Some of my friends have started separate blogs as places to post stuff about their beliefs. I don't think I want to do this because a. I don't know how many people would read it anyway, and b. I don't want to set up a whole new blog. I'm a picky template chooser. I'd have to burn another feed, which while this is not difficult, it still is just one more thing on the list of things to do....So back to the goal, I think "more" would mean about once/month. That is the goal.

7. Weekly Polls: I really think that polls are cool on blogs. I want to have one about once/week. Maybe it will slow down to once/month, but let's aim high!

8. By this time next year, 4,000 hits!!!!!

9. No complaining posts. Let's face it. Blogs suck as places to complain. People misunderstand what you have to say. You come across as a complete and total jerk.  You can't ever explain yourself as fully as you would like in this forum because it is at worst a one-way medium, and at best a slow two-way medium (when people comment). Writing is a limited form. Plus, complaining is just depressing. Not a good thing to do. That being said, I don't plan on making this blog a fluffy-bunnies-kittens-rainbows place. I just want to avoid gripe-sessions.

10. Monthly Funny Things post. Those will be fun to look at later.

Delicious things I've cooked recently

Here I am  with some yummy pork chops I made for Saturday Sibling Dinner.

And these are also pork chops, with tomatoes from grandma and grandpa's garden.

A closer view of the previous porkchops.

Chicken and broccoli. Actually I think this photo makes it look nasty. But it wasn't.

Me holding the chicken and broccoli.

Grandpa's easy potatoes. Russet potatoes, olive oil, and this special kind of salt. We are constantly going upstairs to "borrow" it from them...

Ruth Ann's yummy cranberry chicken. EASIEST CHICKEN RECIPE IN THE WORLD.

Sarah always brings rolls to SS dinner. So she had me take a photo of them because they were what she "cooked". 


This is the page where I will upload all my logos, past and present.

Version 2007:

Version 10/15/09:


About Me


Williston Northampton - 2004
Brigham Young University, B.A. French Teaching, TESOL K-12 Minor - 2009

School Year Abroad - Rennes, France 2002-2003
6 Months Independent Homestay - Irbid, Jordan


My husband and daughter
Arabic K-12 Curriculum Development
Family History
Local NPR Station: KUER

Be a stay at home mom
Learn Spanish
Publish a book

Mormonism (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)


2:00 a.m. text to my brother Joe: "Infestation of molluscs?"


Chain E-mails

My students have my email address. It's a good way to be in contact with them. Unfortunately, it means that I get forwarded a lot of RIDICULOUS chain e-mails. I remember when I was in middle school, thinking how cool it would be to write one and get it started.



Although, if I could succeed in changing the format of the chain-email, that
would be a remarkable feat. Their format is so boring and predictable. It always goes something like this:
1. Apology: Please forgive me for sending this stupid chain e-mail.
2. Testimony: But it really works! Here are some examples.
3. Instructions of what to do: think of crush, dream, wish, say it several times, close your eyes, whatever.
4. Text-based image scrolling: as you scroll down the page, asterisks or exclamation points will form wavey patterns.
5. Demand: Now you have to send this to _____ amount of people in ____ amount of time...
6. Threat: ...or else your life will be ruined. Here are some examples.

The email I got today was no exception, except that it was
so poorly done, I thought it would be fun to blog about.

1. Apology
u better read this!!!! PLEASE ok i know u hate this stuff when people send you poop like this but trust me i mean trust me i will never lie too any of u....this is soooooscary its sooo crazy and it works but u have too belive in it.. soo good luck lates

How about it's "[not a good idea]" to send "poop like this" to

2. Testimony
thursday october 6, 2005

here just do it

most people aren&'t sure of what they really want in life. I received this letter from a friend on the computer, did what it told me to, and within a week, everything I had wished came true!! Here&'s an exact copy,




"Do it, do it, do it!" At least Billy Mays had more diverse portfolio of persuasive arguments. This sounds like a bunch of middle school boys trying to get another middle school boy to eat a live worm. If you want more info about
that story (except minus the middle school boys and insert 19 year old missionaries), just ask Danny.

3. Instructions

1. To yourself, say the name of the only guy or girl you wanna be with 3 times!
2. Think of something you wanna accomplish within the next week and say it to your self 6 times!!
3. If you had 1 wish what would it be? say it to yourself 9 times!!!
4. Think of something that you want to happen between you and that 1special person and say it to your self 12 times!!!
5. Now, heres the hard part! Pick only 1 of these wishes and as you scroll down focus and concentrate on it and think on nothing else but that wish.

So here's what I think: the person who wrote this was learning about multiples of 3, and concentrating is something they consider difficult. Both of which scream "MIDDLE SCHOOL" to me.

4. Text-based image scrolling

Okay, so to be honest, this is the only reason I open emails like this. It's the only part that ever changes and is funny and somewhat creative. Sometimes my Uncle forwards emails that have funny text-based images.

But this severely disappointed me. It consisted of nothing but this for about 20 seconds of scrolling:

* *

* *

How lame is that.

5. Demand

After reading this, you have 1 hour to send it out to 15 people, and what you wished for will come true within in one week!

Isn't that how horoscopes and fortune cookies usually work, too? "You will have problems at some point this week." "Oh man! It really predicted the future!" The likelihood of one of those wishes "coming true" over time, or changing your wish, or at least of you forgetting about it, is pretty high. That's even assuming that the reader of this chain e-mail
believes the writer, which...yeah. I shouldn't even waste the typing it would take to finish that thought.

6. Threat
Now, this was the main reason I decided to blog about this stupid STUPID
STUPID chain e-mail.

Sorry but once read, must be sent.

What must be sent? Oh. I get it. You don't believe in the whole subject-verb-object thing. Also, why the apology?

Yes, this is one of those kinda chain letters that everyone hates. This one has been going since 1864 and if you break this chain, you will pay!!!!!! Remember that after hearing these stories.

So, if you know everyone hates it, WHY SEND IT TO YOUR FRIENDS?

And :::drumroll::: the reason why I took all this time to blog about this stupid chain e-mail: the hilarious claim that this has been going on since 1864. WHAT?????

First Example:
Take Barbra Wallace.. She was a pretty lucky girl, up till she got this same chain letter. She had a crush on the same kid since kindergarden. when she got this mail she didn&'t pa y any attention to it. She just thought, no big deal. And deleted it. The next day her dad got fired and her mom dies in a car crash. If she would have sent the letter none of that would have happened and her mom would be alive.

Classic. Threaten the people you love.

Second Example:
Try Freddie D. Now Freddie D. was your average nerd.. Had glasses, was short and chubby, was in gifted. All the signs of
your total dork. He also received this letter and sent it to 51
people in the hour. Now, like Barbra, he had a crush on a girl since 3rd grade. The next day after sending the chain the girl confessed her love for him ever since 3rd grade. Freddie D. finally had the courage to ask her out, and of course, she had been waiting to yes to that for years. They grew up and
married each other to live happily forever.

Another classic: promise true love.

In middle school, I guess kindergarten and third grade seem like a long time ago, yet of course they are still memorable. Also, in middle school, happily forever seems like a concrete time period, instead of the vast eternity it really is. I gues happily forever to my middle school self would be like...everything before college. I couldn't imagine that far into the future.

Third Example:
Now if you couldn&'t relate to the others, this&'ll get ya hooked. Listen to this. A kid named Jordan Johnson was just getting on AOL to check his mail. He was a quiet k id, not that popular but not a geek either. he was just normal. He saw he had mail from his friend. It was this exact letter. Now Jordan Johnsen was a smart kid and he knew what could happen if he didnt pass it on. He simply pulled a few friends from his buddy list and sent it along. The next day, about that same time, he got a phone call. It said he had won the lottery!
then his dad came home and bought him a new bike! His mom bought him Nintendo64 and play station! His grandmother sent him a new computer, and his best friend
gave him tickets to the concert he wanted to go to, Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit! Then he inherited a brand-new tv from his aunt! He was goin&' wild! the next day his secret crush asked him out, and they have been going out ever since.

So, if you can't relate to loved ones being alive, or eternal life with your true love, you're sure to get hooked on the promise of money.

By the way, if I won the lottery, I don't think that other people would be buying me a new bike, multiple video game consoles, or concert tickets. This Jordan character is pretty heartless, considering that he just "inherited" a TV from his Aunt (read: she died and he's "goin&' wild" (what's with the scattered &'s???) ).

Oh yeah, and tack on the true love bit at the end for good measure.

Now, you heard the stories. I know which person i&'d rather
be, but thats up to you.

First, I read them. Second, the next sentence makes no sense. It's up to me to determine who the middle school author of this chain e-mail would rather be? Huh?

We all want what we cant have but now&'s ur chance to go out withtha t special somebody ur waiting for. Take it or leave it.

I'll leave it, thanks.

Seriously, thanks for being so ridiculous that I got to blog about it. This was really fun to write.