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Fievel Goes West: Moving across the Country

 

When I tell people the story of why I moved to the West Coast, their response is usually somewhere between a slow and uncomprehending nod, or, if they’re kind, a “Wow, that was bold.” Bold it might have been, but brave it was not. Mostly it was fueled by the overwhelming sense of stagnation that comes from being caught up in the dregs of this shitty economy and the fear that if I didn’t do something drastic to change the course of my future, I would be living in my hometown forever.

So, with the encouragement of my extremely generous friend Merritt who offered me the refuge of her couch until I got a job, I got on a plane and headed to the Bay Area. As I flew across the continental U.S., I was overcome by an uncharacteristic sense of bliss that I was sure was some sort of indication of my manifest destiny. I didn’t know what was about to happen, I didn’t know how I was going to make it work, but I trusted in my ability to land on my feet.

That sense of trust waned and eventually gave was to panic as I scrambled to find work, healthcare, and affordable food. I quickly dissolved into a puddle of anxiety and uncertainty. The Bay Area has a considerably more visible homelessness problem than anywhere I’ve lived on the East Coast, presumably because of the milder climate and the relocation of the homeless during the Reagan administration, or so I’m told. I couldn’t help but be terrified by the plight of the figures huddled in doorways, clothed in dirty rags and reeking of human waste. How many of them started out as twenty-somethings who naively moved across the country and ran out of luck just when they got here?

What kept me from going crazy were the intermittent tales I heard from other people who were “bold” enough to relocate here from the other side of the country. I clung to the gritty details of how they managed to get by when their lives were as uncertain and up in the air as mine.

One woman I met relocated here some twenty years ago from Boston. “I had a hundred and fifty dollars in my pocket, and I slept on a mattress on the floor of some woman’s living room next to her Yorkshire terrier.” She said she survived her first two weeks or by eating nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, until she managed to land a temp job. She said the first piece of chicken she ate after she had secured her income was the best piece of chicken she had ever tasted.

I met a guy named Ken through a friend of a friend, with a similar relocation story to mine. He was part of a group of almost all strangers I met up with on a Friday night at Fort Mason Park, where gourmet food carts gather every weekend to cater to people with expendable income (read: not me). When the sun set and it got too chilly to stay outside, we decided to relocate. I soon found myself in the back seat of Ken’s Mercedez Benz, being driven in style to the Marina, which I quickly learned was a yuppy paradise for Generation Y; the San Francisco equivalent of New York’s Murray Hill.

I did not expect to have anything in common with Ken, but we happened to sit next to each other, and he grew curious about me when I asked him, “Hey, where am I?” I explained to him that I just moved here, and he told me the story of how he landed here right after college about five years ago, living on his brother’s couch and ending up working for the same temp agency I had just signed a contract with.

“Every few weeks the Temp agency would call and send me a new job offer.” He mimed picking up his cell phone, “‘Yep!’ I’d say, and go off to work for some law firm or another in Walnut Creek. After a few months of that I remember getting off the subway and saying to myself, Ken, don’t do it. Don’t do it man. just turn around, get back on the train. But I’d go anyway.”

And in the meantime, he applied for jobs and networked like hell. “I’d send a thank you email to every single person I met at the places I tempted and told them to keep me in mind if they heard of something permanent.” Eventually he managed to land an interview with an educational nonprofit due to a very convincing cover letter, which he admitted was mostly bullshit, but apparently convinced the hiring manager that being a tutor was one of the most rewarding parts of his undergraduate experience.

He bombed the interview and didn’t get the job. But he had the gusto to call the woman who had interviewed him back and ask her for tips for his next interview. She when a friend of hers needed someone to volunteer as a grip on the set of an independent film. He had the luck to run into the director in the elevator, and he struck up a conversation despite being burdened with a ladder and several pounds of miscellaneous electrical equipment.   The director thanked him for his time, and as an afterthought, Ken asked him, “Do you know anyone who might have a job opening?”

The director did, and that’s how Ken landed his job working for some digital animation company, where he stayed for the next seven years, rising in the ranks and earning enough to afford to buy a Mercedez. Ken has significantly more balls than I do, but that’s not the point. The point is, it takes a certain amount of balls to give this cross country relocation a go. And if even if you’re actually just kinda faking it, not to worry: you’ll grow a pair.

Kiss of the Spider Woman

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A spider crawled up my leg the other morning, out of nowhere. It might have been hiding in my skirt, fleeing towards safety as I pulled it on, trying not to get caught up in the mad rush that is me getting ready for work everyday. I had to consciously resist my fear as I bent over to inspect it, forcing myself not to swat it away or squeal. Instead I put my hand in front of it and let it crawl onto my palm, no cup, no piece of paper separating me from this creature that I both feared and revered. As I brought it closer to my eyes I could see that it was a perfect specimen. I carried it quickly to the door and let it free, and took it as a sign from the spiritual word that I must be doing the one thing I’m not: writing.

About a year ago, I got very into totem animals, and was horrified to discover through Ted Andrews’ guided meditation that my totem animal was a spider: the one creature on this green earth that really freaks me out. But since then, I have come to embrace the spiritual symbolism of the spider, and pay attention when they appear in my life.  According to Ted Andrews, in his fascinating and fun-to-read book Animal Speak, the spider is the author of the most primordial alphabet:

“It was formed by the geometric patterns found within spider’s web. To many this was the first true alphabet. This is why spider is considered the teacher of language and the magic of writing. Those who weave magic with the written word probably have a spider totem.”

When I first got to California, I spent a weekend in a lovely house with rooms to let, which I found on Air-Bnb. As I went to wash my tea cup one morning, I found a crumpled up spider lying on her back in the sink. I desperately tried to scoop her up and out of the way of the faucet’s torrent of water. I was pleased to find that she was still alive, although in rough shape, but ultimately was not surprised by her state. I was also in a rough state at that time – waking up everyday in an anxious fit, scared and nervous all day long, terrified I would run out of money and end up like one of the many unfortunate homeless people on the street, who are so numerous in California.

It’s been two months and I’ve settled into a more comfortable state of being. I moved into a house in Berkeley with five PhD students, and my life began to unfold in a much more comfortable daily routine: go to my temp job, come home, go to yoga, watch Battlestar Galactica. I have done everything else I have told myself to do: find a job, be frugal, make friends, go out when I don’t want to, , move across the country. But the writing I let go. It was the one thing I thought it was ok to give up on, I suppose because I was filling my time with the other things I felt like I was supposed to do, that this one “supposed” could slide. “Uh-uh,” the little spider messenger said, as she flickered over my summer-kissed skin with the dexterity of fingers on keys. “This is what makes you whole.”

And it does. I feel grounded to life this way. I feel centered in my truth when I’m writing, even if I’m not writing well. The rest of the world is a candy colored blur, but nothing is as concrete and sensible as writing, each line like a thread of a web connecting me to something larger and all-knowing. So here I am, writing. In between episodes of Battelstar Galactica.

Discombobulated

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I haven’t posted on my blog in a while because I haven’t had the clarity of mind to sit down and write anything. My thoughts these days have taken on the disjointed quality of my outfits. Getting dressed in the morning or before I went out used to be a ritual of circumventing perfection. Now I’m so confused by the West Coast weather that I can’t quite bring myself to care if the outfits I’m wearing actually “work.” I have nightmarish flash-forwards of landing on a future episode of “What Not to Wear,” and all my friends are pinpointing this point in my life as the time I got so overwhelmed that I stopped caring about my appearance and simply forgot to resume caring.

It’s not just the weather that has me feeling discombobulated; it’s the drastic transition I’m in the midst of. I just moved to the Bay Area, finally ready to start my life over again. Although I’ve done a lot of writing over the past two years, I haven’t done much of anything else. I wasn’t sure which way my life should go. So I decided to take a faithful leap, and this is where I landed.

Since landing, I’ve been thinking about times in my life when I’ve made a major change like this and trying to remember if it was quite so hard as it is now. I remember when I moved to New York, fresh off the Amtrak train, getting hastily handed a set of keys by the roommate whose lease I was taking over as he rushed out the door, and dropping my suitcase in an empty bedroom as I waited for my mattress to arrive. But I don’t remember much else about what it was like when I first moved to New York, and my first month there was for the most part a blur.

“When you move to New York, all you need is a fork and a mattress,” my longtime New Yorker friend Chelsea told me. I arrived in Oakland much the same way I arrived in New York, with a couple of suitcase and a vague sense of optimism.

I don’t remember being this afraid, though, when I got to New York. My first couple of weeks here were wrought with fear. Since then, the fear and anxiety have mostly been relegated to the mornings, when I wake up with the whole day ahead of me to take on, one hurdle at a time. Or maybe all the hurdles at once.

What kind of mettle did I have as an eighteen year old when I headed off to college, or a twenty-two year old touching down in New York? I certainly had a lot less life experience, so why am I scared shitless now and have no memories of such nonstop panic in my earlier iterations?

What I have come to realize is that one of the great things about growing older is you are more invested in the things that matter. After my father passed away, the importance of family, friends, and having enough space in my head to write down my thoughts took on paramount importance. When I told people back East that I was moving out here, I was met with several rounds of “What a great adventure!” But I don’t want an adventure.  I want a sense of stability and security and to be surrounded by people who love me.

So, in short, my paralyzing fear and constant striving for a new and full life has left me feeling a little inept at writing well and with focus. I want to have the clarity of mind I had before that enabled me to write something coherent in one full swoop. But everything’s changing, and I have to let it. My focus may go elsewhere for now, but I have to trust that this will all inform my writing, some day, hopefully not long from now.

People Who Shoot Things with Arrows

I’m not going to say much of anything about the Hunger Games. It was pretty good, but I think it’s only a matter of time before Gary Ross gets slammed with criticism and a demand for a formal apology to the Association of People with Motion Sickness Disorders. Jesus Christ that movie was jumpy. I counted, and on average the camera stayed on one shot for no more than three seconds at a time, and quite often that shot ended when the camera was phsyically moved from Jennifer Lawrence’s face to, say, her hand clutching her mockingjay pin. I just wanted to scream, “WHO CARES WHAT’S IN HER HAND? WHY IS THE CAMERA JUMPING AROUND WHEN THEY’RE RIDING ON A FRIGGIN TRAIN?”

But whatever, I took some Dramamine and got over it. The thing I was most looking forward to was seeing how badass Katniss looked shooting her bow and arrow on a scale of 1 to 10. I’ve always been a fan of the bow as a choice of weapon. It’s strategically a good idea. Why go running into the thick of things at the front lines, using up all your energy just to get sliced down once you get winded. No, it’s much smarter to chill out on the top of hill, eat a sandwich, and wait for your enemy to get close enough and then just pick them off with an arrow.

“You no like my shooting?”

It is one of my greatest desires to someday learn how to shoot a bow and arrow and to look awesome doing it. I tried once in gym class in high school. Turns out it’s a lot harder than it looks to not only make the arrow go more than twenty feet, but also just to keep it on the damn string long enough to shoot it. For some reason our school thought it was completely ok to have actual, lethal, arrows for us to practice with. They warned us to be careful because we could actually kill each other, in theory. But I guess they knew that t would take months of practice before we’d be able to shoot our arrows with enough force to kill. I probably could have hurt someone more effectively by chucking a ruler at them by the time we finished that segment.

But I digress. I would say Jennifer Lawrence was so-so on the intimidation scale with her weapon. She definitely looked more convincing than Keira Knightly did in King Arthur, even without all the tribal makeup. Keira did an interview when that movie came out and said she liked the part because apparently she had done research or something and women did fight in battle in the dark ages? Which I’m not sure is accurate? But I know if they did go to battle they probably wore more armor than this:

That’s a flesh-wound waiting to happen.

But here are a few more people who outranked Jennifer in the baddassery department:

4. Hawkeye

King of the Deltoids!

Jeremy Renner made a cameo appearance in Thor  in his run-up to play Hawkeye in the Avengers. I don’t know who Hawkeye or Jeremy Renner is, but this man definitely has the shoulder definition to carry off the part. I’m starting to think that’s the secret to looking cool with a bow: deltoids.

3. Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Geena Davis is only outranked by the last two guys on this list because she never actually shot a bow and arrow in a movie. BUT, she did get into the Olympics for archery, which earns her a permanent spot on my list of favorite people ever. Plus she kicked a lot of ass in The Long Kiss Goodnight  alongside Samuel L. Jackson.

“What I’m saying is, back when we first met, you were all like “Oh phooey, I burned the darn muffins.” Now, you go into a bar, ten minutes later, sailors come runnin’ out. What up with that?” – Samuel L. Jackson, The Long Kiss Goodnight

2. Legolas

The man can walk on snow and shoot three arrows in one second. How did they shoot that scene where he rapid-fire shoots like that without making it look like claymation?

Peekaboo.

1. Gizmo

The most underrated archer of all-time, Gizmo lit fire to something that looked like a marshmallow and shot it at the spider gremlin in the air shaft in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. It doesn’t get anymore kick ass than that.

“I guess they pushed him too far.” – Billy

Split in Half

I am writing two books at once. And by “writing” I mean I am occasionally working on finishing the one I’ve been working on for three years while meanwhile have fits of inspiration about writing something entirely different and unrelated. This was not my intention. This was not in the plan. The plan was to finish the first book over a year ago, but I’ve had so much fear surrounding just writing a simple ending, not to mention living my life in general, that it just didn’t happen.

“Okay,” I promised myself last year, sometime around December/January. “I can do this. I can hold a job and write at the same time. I’ll do it. I’ll get it done. I’ll set a deadline. By March I will have finished my manuscript.” At the time, my manuscript was mere inches away from being completed, my snowflake outline plowed through and set aside. Yet here I am, in the tail end of March a whole year later, still pushing to finish that manuscript.

I let the fear get in the way and had no taskmaster but my pride, so I managed to push off completing this project for  some time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with waiting to be inspired by your muse, but the problem is your muse is a fickle bitch and she might come up with another idea for you on which to focus your energy and attention on.

So, if I might take a moment to channel Mary Catherine Gallagher style, I would like to say: “Well, my feelings would be best expressed in a description of that scene in Bridesmaids where Maya Rudolph is running across the street in that priceless couture wedding dress, desperately in search of a bathroom to relieve herself of the poisoned food-toxins trying to evacuate her large colon. She doesn’t make it to the bathroom. She doesn’t even make it across the street. Instead she sits down in the middle of the road and says something to the effect of ‘It’s happening. It happened,’ and then waves the cars in the street around her with a defeated flap of her hand.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an extreme metaphor, but whatever. The point is you gotta go when you gotta go. And I’m not going to apologize for spoiling that scene for anyone who hasn’t seen Bridesmaids, because I really hate, nay, I abhor poop and barf jokes and I’m really mad a Judd Apatow for insisting the screenwriters put that in there to make the movie more guy friendly. Plus, that particular part of the scene where a woman poops in a $15,000 wedding dress scarred me to no end, and I wish I had been warned that that was how the scene ended. So there.

Downtown Withdrawal: A Recovery Plan

Ah Friday.  Unfortunately it is not so sweet sans the punctuation mark of Downton Abbey at 9pm on Sunday nights, now is it? If you sense mocking in my tone, you are not mistaken. Because SOME of us had to work Sunday nights this winter, and then jam all of our Downton Season 2 into a 36 hour period when we just happened to wander over to PBS and realize there was a friggin deadline before they pulled it offline! What kind of crap is that?

Do not fret, my friends. For I was not at a complete loss. I did manage to jam all but episode 6 into that 36 hour period, and then afterwards rest of the time I put salve on the wound with other British shows which I have long been dependent upon. I would like to say, for the first time out loud (sort of) that I, Kerina Pharr, am an anglophile.

This is how it all started: Gosford Park is one of my favorite movies, and as the rest of you diehard Downton fans know, it was written by the same person who created Downton Abbey. That movie is friggin genius. Hard to follow, but genius. Acutally most movies and tv shows made in Britain are hard to follow the English have a tendency to mumble and not blow things up as much as Americans like to do in movies, but their genius and enjoyability lies in their underemotion and lack of a directorial equivalent to Michael Bay.

the best version of Being Human that everyone who gets BBC America should watch. P.S. If the dude who plays Mitchell asked me to be his vampire bride I would cross over to the dark side in a heartbeat.

So last year, after moving to my sleepy hometown hamlet tucked away in the Berkshires, I found myself with a tingling affinity for all things quaint and desperately wanting to watch something set in the English countryside. But the seeds of my addiction were really planted a few years ago when I stumbled on BBC America’s broadcast of one of my favorite shows of all time, Being Human. Not the shitty American version (WHY oh WHY must we remake a perfectly good English show just so American’s don’t have to strain to understand the British accents? The end results are never good). A love of sci-fi/fantasy was my gateway drug to all things deliciously British.

So it wasn’t very long until I found myself meandering around the British selections on Netflix to try to quell my undying anglophiliac thirst. On a semi-side note, listening to British people untie the knots of a murder mystery in the most calm of manners is probably the only tried-and-true remedy for insomnia. At least it works for me. Have you ever read Beatrix Potter to a small child? It has similar narcoleptic affects.

So, whether you’re in the need for the televised equivalent of Ambien or a pick-me-up while you wait for Season 3 (Shirley MacLaine!!), I’ve assembled a few shows for you to check out to tide you over, all of which are handily available for instant streaming of at least one season on Netflix! (Or as the Brits like to call it, one series. Pip, pip).

I hope they make a Downton reference at the London Olympics. Dame Maggie Smith should be the MC. That would be FLY, yo.

If you miss… Mr. Carson

"We never should have installed those bloody bells"

Try…Midsomer Murders

“My opinion? She’s Dead.”

Carson is the beating, curmudgeonly heart of the Abbey. You’d be lying to yourself if you said you didn’t miss him muttering curses at the newfangled contraptions they drag into his pristine domain. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby is this century’s answer to Mr. Carson, grumbling to himself as he waddles around fictional Midsomer county solving the murders and incestuous plots that occur at an alarming rate for what you thought was just the sleepy English countryside. White people problems.

If you miss…the Earl of Grantham

I would miss him more if he wore that hat.

Try… The Commander

You know that beneath that supposed camaraderie with the 99%, The Earl is secretly pissed that he has to bend over backwards every weekend to kiss the asses of the help and go running after them every time they leave their posts because of some baby mama drama. “SO UNGRATEFUL! I should have listened to Mother…she always said it was impossible to get good help.” That Earl is a serial killer waiting to happen. But you don’t have to wait til Season 3 to watch him suffocate people with a plastic bag if you watch Commander (Woopsie. Belated spoiler alert). As a bonus, there’s a something very Mrs. Hughes about the Commander, who is also a woman. If anyone were to uncover the murderous plots of her employer, it would be this lady.

"I have not smiled since 1899"

 

If you miss….The Ladies Crawley

Lady Mary wore that dress for like the ENTIRE season. Fashion faux pax, AMIRIGHTLADIES?

Try…Mistresses

Saucy, sassy, adultery

I’m pretty sure the Crawley daughters have more scandals between them than any twenty-first century melodrama could muster. It’s hard to top Turks who die post coitus, shotgun weddings with Irish rebel footmen, and desperate gerophiles/stage 5 clingers (seriously, Edith, you’re not THAT dowdy). But an affair with a married and dying patient, a 9/11 mystery, and an event planner lesbian fling with the girl from Fringe and you’ll come as close as you can get to charades of the girls of Downton. Ladies, my foot.

If you miss…O’Brien

Try…The Ruth Rendell Mysteries

"I'm just not that into you." - Colin Firth in 'Master of the Moor'

OK, admittedly this one is a bit of a stretch because it’s not a series, per se, but a bunch of separate episodes which are sometimes murder mysteries and sometimes just stories about creeps being creepy. But they all have the same uniting acidic/this-just-isn’-going-to-turn-out-well, it is? quality that makes me think that they were written by the real life O’Brien who used the pen name Ruth Rendell to get her jollies off. O’Brien clearly has a lot of rage to channel, and that would lend itself to an illustrious murder-mystery writing career, especially with the likes of Thomas chain smoking and shouting over her shoulder while she writes “Make Colin Firth GAY!!”

If you just miss the whole gang

Please, please watch Gosford Park

It’s not the kind of movie you can watch without paying close attention to, but it’s worth it for the greatness that is a good old English murder mystery, plus the all star cast, and of course, Dame Maggie Smith basically playing the exact same Dowager Countess role. Here’s a quick breakdown to prove that all your favorite character/types from Downton are present in Gosford Park, except played by more famous people:

Kristin Scott Thomas playing a sluttier, goldigger version of The Countess of Grantham, and Ryan Phillipe filling in the requisite annoying American role.

Michael Gambson playing an older, crustier version of the Earl of Grantham. Plus he has the dog from As Good As it Gets. Win/win.

Emily Watson taking on the O'Brien character, except she is also sluttier.

Clive Owen playing a more delicious version of the Bates: MAN WITH A PAST character

Dame Maggie Smith playing the old lady/displaced queen of the castle character like only she can, and Kelly Macdonald taking on the hapless newbie character that is most similar to Daisy

Hopefully Ever After

Is it just me, or are Disney Princesses having a moment? They are all  over the place. First they got photo-shopped to look real, then the Honey-Badger dude sang that song “Bonjour!” from Beauty and the Beast. There were the hipster versions decked-out in gear from Urban Outfitters, then someone created historically accurate costumes. Some twisted sister even went so far as to create very depressing victims-of-vicious-crimes Disney Princesses.

And now SNL has chimed in, and what a chime it ‘twas. The Real Housewives of Disney was not far off the mark when it comes to their depiction, because, really, what the hell happened to those girls after their happily-ever-after weddings?
I think my own recent foray into all things fabled is probably tinting my perspective. I’ve been watching a lot of the two new shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time. Both are based on fairy tales, but Once Upon a Time is an ABC production and thus with a Disney twist to it.

Once Upon a Time

I know I’m probably about 15 years older than their target audience, but I actually find this show quite charming and well done. It really turns the theme of “happily ever after” on its head as all the characters from the Disney classics and other of our favorite stories have been ripped out of their magical homeland and into our shitty reality. Snow White is single and depressed, Prince Charming is going through divorce, Cinderella is sixteen (give or take) and pregnant, and Belle fell in love with the wrong beast and somehow ended up in a mental institution. Talk about Reality Bites.

This show might be a wee bit of a downer, but even as a girl, I was always so bummed at the end of Beauty in the Beast. Bell started off as an extremely intelligent, book-smart girl who ran around in a field of wildflowers crying out, “I want adventure in the great-wide somewhere!” Even the mini-me version of myself was like “HELL YEAH!” I sympathized with her itching urge to break free of her small town life (which is why I sympathized so much with the Bonjour video). Every time I busted the VHS tape out of that childproof plastic case I was inevitably disappointed that Belle decides her great “adventure” will be to shack up in a castle with some dude who was formerly so conceited and self-centered that a enchantress felt the need to punish him by forcing him to wear a Beast-suit until someone smart enough came along and rescued him from himself.
How long could a happily-ever-after like that last? I often find myself wondering how women are supposed to balance societal expectations concerning their careers, child-rearing, and beauty regimens. So it’s believable that without further ambitions, our beloved heroines would end up as disgruntled housewives. As a counter to this awesome video, I’ve come up with a few career/life paths for the Disney Princesses to follow that I hope would make my career counselor proud.

Belle and Beast from the Disney Princesses at Prom series. Click the pic to see all the Disney Princess renditions.

Belle – Belle and Beast (seriously, what was that dude’s name? He was cuter as Beast anyway, despite the   horns) vow not to marry until gay marriage is legal in all 181 [check!] countries in the U.N. With the full support of her life partner Belle teaches abroad for a year in Taiwan, then follows that with a stint in the Peace Corps. She returns to France to write a best-selling novel based on her travel experiences, which she later makes into a movie. She writes the screenplay and directs the film herself with Beast serving as financial backer/executive producer and lead grip.

artist's rendition of a real life Jasmine

Jasmine –  After marrying Aladdin, founds Three Wishes ®,  an international nonprofit that provides large grants to artisans in third-world countries so that they can set up manufacturing companies in their hometowns.  In later life becomes an U.S. Ambassador for Peace, specifically in the Middle East.

artist's rendition of Mulan in historically accurate dress

Mulan – Has herself cryogenically frozen until she can immigrate to present day America, where she enjoys an illustrious career as a high-ranking American military officer. At the age of sixty becomes the first female/non-white/non-American born American president. Responsible for drafting a 100 year peace treaty between China and the United States and fostering a political alliance between the two super-giant nations.

Artist's rendition of fighter Tiana

Tiana – strategically promotes her new restaurant/jazz club with larger-than-life billboards featuring her hunky husband Prince Naveen biting into one of her signature beignets. The business blows up overnight, allowing her to opening up a national chain of“Tiana’s.” Becomes the highest earning Black American female, goes on to be referred to as Oprah’s heir when she founds her own cooking/home-styling magazine and stars on her own daily cooking show.

Artist's rendition of hipster Mulan, Rapunzel, Anastasia and Aurora

Rapunzel and Cinderella – after suffering through messy divorces, the blonde princesses join forces and start a line of unique hair salons that allow their patrons to shop for shoes and other boutique clothes and accessories while they are getting their hair and nails done. Become Fortune 500 company owners within a year and two of the highest earning female CEO’s, just behind Tiana.

artist's rendition of Seven Deadly Sins Princesses. Snow White is Gluttony

Snow White – after marrying her prince, Snow goes to law school. Graduating top of her class at Enchanted Kingdom Law, Snow builds a stellar career as a District Attorney and tireless child advocate. When she finally retires, she adopts seven children from seven different foreign countries, giving each their own dwarf manny.