Greetings! I know it has been quite a while- I can’t believe December is almost over already!
Below are a few pictures from my own Christmas
I hope you all had a lovely holiday filled with friends, family, and food
And with any luck, now that I am between terms, I will have more posts to come soon!
How is it possible that it is already November?! Frankly, this terrifies me. As much as I love Thanksgiving, I have 8 paper due before then, classes to register for, and last, but definitely not least, the presidential election! Suffice it to say this might be possibly be the scariest aspect of this November.
My desire to write this post was inspired by a remark one of my professors made recently,” if you are a minority, or a woman, you better vote, because people fought to give you that right.” Can’t argue with that, but no matter who you are, if you are a citizen, you better vote.
I don’t profess to be super political, but as I do go to a small liberal arts college in the northwest, it is kind of hard not to be 😉 That said, this post is not going to be about me and my own political leanings I hate it when other people preach their own beliefs and opinions at me in an effort to change what I think, but that being said, I really encourage everyone to vote. This is my first year voting, and I am so excited to be able to participate, yet I know that there are plenty of young adults (not to mention older adults) out there who will not vote this year.
Please please vote. Maybe you feel apathetic about the candidates, but you must have some opinions about the future of your country. Sometimes it’s a matter of the lesser of two evils, and that is ok! I mean really, who would want the job of being president? Not me, I know that much. Shouldn’t you give the candidates some credit for trying their best with what they are faced with? I think that no matter who you vote for, no matter what measures you agree or disagree with, you should at least voice your opinion respectfully.
And really, you have no excuse not to vote. You feel uninformed? Get online! Many states have online voter’s guides that will explain to you all of the candidates for everything from the President to your local mayor, and all of the measures that are up for the vote in your state. My state even has a video voter’s guide on YouTube that includes individual interviews with various candidates. You can also find the speeches from the DNC and RNC (that’s the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention, by the way), as well as the presidential and vice presidential debates if you missed them on tv.
Get informed. Go forth and vote!
Hello world! I have returned from the world of the sick, where I have been living in my bed for the past few weeks.
Ever feel like everything just comes together to form the perfect storm? That is what the last few weeks have been like for me. I got stressed, got sick, got antibiotics, felt better. Got off antibiotics, got worse. Had to write a bunch of papers in my feverish state. Got a secondary infection, got more sick. Finally got to the doctor and got new antibiotics, but then got an infection from being on antibiotics. And finally, got treated for that infection, and am finally feeling better! Yay! Oh, also during this time, I had to deal with midterms- it was SO MUCH FUN.
So, that is why I have been MIA for the past few weeks. . .
But, because of my enduring illness, I have been watching a whole lot of movies lately, which is why today I will be bringing you a double-feature extravaganza!
First up: Hysteria
In theaters, or dvd: This one is already on dvd, and probably available at your local redbox
Setting: London, 1880
Why it is great: It’s about the invention of the vibrator, and has an awesome feminist in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal!
Yes, you read that right, this movie is about the invention of the one, the only, the vibrator. And, you know what else? I watched this movie with my mom, and it was great! Now, I do not advise all viewers to watch this movie with your mom-there are many an awkward moment, but the movie itself is hysterical, and my mom and I laughed soooo much. However, if you and your mom do not share the kind of relationship in which you two could watch such material, better just to watch this with your girl friends 😉
In addition to being suuper funny, this movie was quite eye-opening in terms of historical medicine. “Hysteria” was a catch all diagnosis for “nervous conditions” afflicting women in the stuffy victorian age, and was similar to an insanity defense in court. Additionally, can you say germ theory? Germs don’t exist guys, that’s just silly talk!
This movie is clearly not for everybody, but it is really funny if you aren’t uncomfortable with the topic, and it was a pretty interesting historical story as well.
Next up: Pitch Perfect
In theaters, or dvd: In da Theatre
Setting: Random college campus, possibly in North Carolina?
Why it is great: Acapella, hysterical, Fat Amy, Breakfast Club, one of the most quotable movies I have ever seen!
This movie has pretty much everything I could ever want out of a college movie: Adorably geeky love interest, lots of musical numbers (which are soooooo gooood), a very diverse group of girls, and nearly every line in the movie is goldenly quotable.
If you have not seen this movie, GO SEE IT. NOW. This movie was just soooo good. Also, can I just say that any movie that brings up the Breakfast Club has my love (Easy A, anyone?). The main character is a bit too spiky in personality for me, but her sarcasm is priceless, so I forgive her. Fat Amy is debatably the best character in the movie, and has by far the best one-liners, about every 10 minutes in the movie, and if for no other reason, you should see this movie just to see what will come out of that girl’s mouth next. Also, the acapella competition commentators are wonderfully inappropriate.
I cannot stress enough how much everyone should see this movie!!! And if that couldn’t convince you,
Since coming back to school, my goal has been to write a post at least once a week. And I almost forgot to write a post this week! But fear not! I am here now!
One of my other goals this year was to be more active, and on that note, I ran my first 5k today! A small accomplishment, admittedly, but I’m feeling pretty good about it, so I had to share 🙂
Now onto my newest tv addiction. As you may remember from a past post, I am a fan of the crappy teenage drama variety of entertainment (Pretty Little Liars ring a bell?), but my newest tv love is actually genuinely good! I swear!
If you haven’t heard of Awkward yet, go watch it. Now. I discovered it this summer and watched the first season in one night, that is how much I liked it (granted, each episode is only 30 mins, but still).
Here’s what shocked me most about the show:
1. It’s on MTV. I KNOW. But this little show is a gem. I still can’t get over the fact that it is on the same network that produced Jersey Shore.
2. The high schoolers in the show actually look like they could be in high school! Crazy, I know!
The show centers around a 15-16 year old girl named Jenna. Through a series of mishaps people mistakenly think she attempted suicide, making her more than a bit of an outcast. Pair this with a secret boyfriend, two ridiculously awesome friends (Ming and Tamara), a mean girl cheerleader, and a drama-tastic love triangle, and: We have a winner folks!
This show also brings together a lot of the best of pop culture in the best way. The school’s guidance counselor, Val, channels Glee’s Sue Sylvester, but makes it entirely her own since she actually truly likes kids, means well, and wants to be Jenna’s bff. And any show that has a scene where kids circle around an emerging fight yelling “Team Matty” or “Team Jake” a la Twilight has my vote 🙂
Awkward is also probably one of the few shows that actually seems relatable to real high school experiences. It is heartfelt and endearing (the last episode really hit the emotional mark), and no matter how much Jenna trips through life, you always want to root for her.
If I haven’t convinced you yet about this show, well. . . I guess I just won’t have anyone to gossip with about Team Matty or Team Jake 😉
P.S. I am sooo000 Team Matty *Sigh/Swoon*
So, I was not planning on writing a post today, but after watching Friends With Kids last night, I decided I needed to review it.
Let me start out by saying this: the plot of Friends With Kids is not unpredictable ( I like those double negatives, get used to it), yet still managed to surprise me, which can be somewhat hard to do.
The movie centers around a group of 6 friends from college: Jason (Adam Scott), Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt), Ben (Jon Hamm), Missy (Kristen Wiig), Leslie (Maya Rudolph), and Alex (Chris O’Dowd). Ben and Missy are a couple, as are Leslie and Alex, leaving Jason and Julie the only two of the group who have not found “their people.”
As the friends chug on through their thirties, everyone starts poppin out kids, and Jason and Julie seem to be the last ones standing. Starting to sound familiar? Everything comes to a head at Jason’s Birthday, when the two step through Alex and Leslie’s door and into the hell that is sleep deprived parents endlessly nagging each other. And the fun continues when Missy and and Ben arrive with their newborn, also fighting, though in a more passive aggressive sort of way.
After the birthday disaster, Jason and Julie discuss the pros and cons of having kids, debating whether it is the kid who ruins romantic relationship or if it is the whole “set up.” Jason pretty much sums up what Julie wants when he says, “So you want to be already divorced, with a kid, so you can meet the man of your dreams?” Confusing? YES
Of course, the obvious conclusion in this discussion is to have a kid with your best friend, split responsibility down the middle, so that they will each already have their kid, and can then be free to find, “their person.”
After a verrrrry awkward hook up between Jason and Julie (spoiler: porn and alcohol is involved to get in that baby-making mood), Julie pops a baby out, and the two embark on the experiment of raising their child as friends while they see other people.
While I originally rolled my eyes at the plot of this movie, I actually genuinely liked it. First of all, this movie gets brownie points for the cast! Kristen Wiig? Maya Rudolph? Jon Hamm? Secondly, this movie didn’t fall into that rom-com pit of a poppy, shiny, Hollywood-ized mess. This movie felt kind of warm and homey, partially because of the dynamic between the group of friends, and partly because of the dynamic between Jason and Julie. In their early days of baby-bliss, they act a little bit like a couple on a honeymoon, yet they do it so subtly that it comes off as believable, rather than corny, and the looks on their friends faces are priceless when they see these two together for the first time after the hospital.
Then Meghan Fox starts dating Jason, and everything goes to shit. Of course. I won’t spoil the ending, but there was a point when there was about 2 minutes left, and I was like, people you need to resolve this NOW! Because I was really rooting for this couple, and there was a good stretch of time when I was freaking out that they were NEVER GETTING TOGETHER.
As a 19-year-old, I admit that I know next to nothing about the toll kids can take on a romantic relationship from an adult point of view, BUT I have witnessed the strain between parents from the kids point of view, and this movie managed to explore this rocky, fragile balance in a relatable way, without being cheesy or overdone.
Overall, Friends With Kids = a movie worth seeing!
Last Friday, the first day Brave hit theaters, I was there, with my best friend in tow. We had both been really excited to see the movie, despite our age (but, really, who outgrows Disney?), and the fact that we were bound to be surrounded by 5-7 year old girls (and we were).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brave, the story of Merida, a Scottish princess who is stubborn, headstrong, and a skilled archer who loves riding her horse through the countryside, shooting arrows at targets hanging from the trees, is facing her arranged marriage to a Clan member, determined by athletic games. Merida wants to “Change her fate,” and, by the end, she does.
I was not only excited for Brave because the heroine, Merida, is by far the most feminist of the Disney Princesses thus far, but I was also intrigued with the setting (Medieval-ish Scotland) and the fact that this was not just a retelling of an already existing fairytale.
I HATE to say it, but Brave was not nearly as good as I had expected. In terms of the visuals, it was amazing. I want her hair. Seriously. It was fun to watch for the detailed visuals, but I found the story to. . . fall a bit flat, for Pixar, at least.
While I liked the set up of the story, the actual bulk of the film seemed to be rushed in Merida’s attempt to get to the resolution of the film. Additionally, one of the things I love about some of the more recent Disney Pixar films is the witty dialogue that appeals to the older audience of the movie (The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3) and many others. However, Brave was sorely lacking in the dialogue department. There were some funny moments, dialogue-wise, but for the most part, the plot just didn’t allow for that kind of dialogue.
Also, I realize that this is a children’s movie, but the approach taken in Brave was just too plainly moralistic. The maturity that Disney and Pixar have been able to achieve in many of their other films just wasn’t there in this one. The arranged marriage aspect of the film is glossed over, and not taken seriously at all. Merida is presented as selfish and immature for fighting her mother on her marriage to whatever Clan member wins her hand in the “games.”
So, that said, here is what I liked:
Kudos to Pixar for Merida’s three younger brothers. I loved them. It wasn’t until the end that I realized that none of the little boys (maybe two, three years old?) had said anything, for the whole movie, yet they added so much humor and also helped Merida forward the plot. Their expressions, mannerisms and general shenanigans were much more valuable than some of the actual spoken dialogue. Those boys were one of my favorite parts of the film.
I also liked that Merida comes up with a solution to the matter of her marriage that is not only a politically responsible compromise, but that shows a maturity and depth that the rest of the movie lacks. I really liked the fact that Merida was able to assert herself in a way that didn’t end in violence or (possible spoiler) in marriage, and was able to write her own destiny.
All in all, while I think it could have been better, there were still parts that I liked. For it’s target audience, i.e. kids under ten, I think it’s good, for us older folks, not so much. While still worth seeing, I am pinning my hopes for a really great heroine and female lead on a future Disney/ Pixar collaboration.
I decided to devote this, my second post ever, to the subject of guilty pleasures in honor of the summer premiere of the abc family show Pretty Little Liars. I entirely blame my roommate from last year for getting me hooked on this show!
For those of you who do not indulge in ridiculous high drama teenage tv shows, Pretty Little Liars is about four girls whose friend, Allison, was missing for a year before her body was found. After the police discover Alli’s body, the girls receive creepy texts and other freaky messages and threats from someone called “A.” In last season’s finale we learned “A” was another friend of the girls -Mona. That’s it, show’s over, one would think. Ha! No it is not over because “A” is not one person but a group of people!
This show, although ridiculous, is also alarmingly addicting. If memory serves, I believe that in last season’s finale they actually had a hashtag at the bottom of the screen declaring “ezriagoespublic” referring to two characters, Aria and Ezra,who had been secretly dating due to the fact that he was her teacher and she was like 16. See what I mean? Guilty pleasure all the way. Why I spend an hour each week of my life to watch the drama go down, I can’t quite put my finger on. . . However, since I am *trying* to be at least a little bit healthy this summer, I decided I would turn my guilty pleasure tv show into a positive, healthy hour.
My plan is to model this on the “Harry Potter Workout.” If you do not know what this is, google it! Now! The concept is actually a bit like a drinking game, except with different workout activities rather than an alcoholic beverage. Ok, so having familiarized yourself with the Harry Potter version, Behold! I give you the Pretty Little Liars Workout:
Everytime. . .
Someone receives a text from “A”——————-10 jumping jacks
Anyone mentions a secret, lie, or the act of lying——— 15 crunches
*Serious* looks are exchanged——————- 10 lunges
A look of shock!———————————- 10 crunches
One of the girls shares a “moment” with her guy——– 5 push-ups
“A” is said aloud—————————————— 10 squats
A male character takes his shirt off——————– 10 bicycles
This is from my first brainstorm, and I very well might add to this list after watching tonight’s episode. So what I’m thinking, is if I do this workout while I watch the show, the ice cream I plan to eat during commercials gets canceled out, right? : )
For all my fellow “A” followers, I challenge you to the Pretty Little Liars Workout! For those of you who have other guilty pleasure tv shows (Jersey Shore perhaps?) I challenge you to come up with your own show/ movie themed workout!