Movie Review

Because everything that has transpired this past semester is too emotionally draining to re-hash I will simply end my long absence with a new genre of posts  for my blog, the movie review.  As a film major and obvious movie lover, I’ve always wanted to review the movies I’ve watched but I may be no good at it.  Bear with me.

I’m sad to say my first review isn’t a positive one.

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“This movie was so pretentious it made me physically ill.”

1 out of 5 Stars

As far as I can tell this movie is about a depressive, one dimensional boy named George who has never  done a days work in his life,  let alone a days worth of homework because his attitude is one of, “we are all going to die anyway.” Yet inspite of this he has still managed to make it to his senior year of high school where all the teachers secretly adore his “obvious” brilliance.  Cue rebellious one-dimensional girl with mommy issues who the boy falls in love with to drive the story, where we get to listen to their oh so deep, intellectual conversations and George’s oh so angsty, supposed-to-be-thoughtful comments on life and the universe.  The story climaxes… or flat lines when George, after losing the girl of course, is given an ultimatum— make-up every assignment of the year in three weeks or forget graduating high school.  Thankfully, his art teacher, who apparently knows how brilliant George is at art (of course George refuses to actually make art that means something because he is convinced he has nothing to say ) lets George off the hook but asks for one last emotional, soul-bearing piece.  Wow, I wonder what’s going to happen next….

This movie was so predictable I didn’t even have to give my full attention (I was simultaneously doing homework) and I still knew exactly what was going to happen.  There were moments where I was like, “No, they aren’t going to go there.  They wouldn’t dare throw in another predictable cliché…”  They always did.  Not to mention the sickeningly pretentious dialogue.  I can imagine the writer typing away thinking; wow this is so deep and insightful… no.    Let me give you a few gems…

Sally Howe: I have fears but I thought they were pretty run-of-the-mill: pain, death.

George Zinavoy: Not me. I fear life.

I literally dry heaved at that line.  Or how about….

George Zinavoy: You treacherous, sadistic little hussy.

I mean, I know the character is meant to be a bit odd, but while this was meant as an insult I found myself laughing.

I love coming-of-age stories.  Seriously, LOVE THEM.  The Art of Getting by felt like it was trying to hard to be prolific and rubbed me the wrong way.

Anyone have any thoughts on this movie?  I respect any and all opinions.

The Art of Living is // Failure

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I feel like, as far as blog posts go, a New Years Resolution post seems important.  It’s a topic we can all relate to, the innate desire for fresh starts and better days ahead.  I however, never made one, because for the life of me I couldn’t muster up the old enthusiasm I once had for New Years Resolutions.  I would always find myself making too many, ones I couldn’t keep, and others that I couldn’t measure.  It’s not like I ever wanted to be a different person just, well, a better one.

This year I felt defeated before I had started and couldn’t shake the feeling of having little inspiration for a better self, although I am far from perfect.  So instead, I scrounged together a short list of intentions. The word evokes so much less pressure, giving me a bit more confidence.

Two of my intentions revolved around improving my faith and fitness.  But lets be honest, who doesn’t go into the New Year not wanting to get into shape? Those sorts of resolutions are nothing new for me.  However, this year I saw a great flaw in myself.  I fear failure.  I am terrified of it.  As the years roll on I believe I am slowly drawing into myself, deciding risks may not be worth the crushing sense of defeat; not to mention the personal humiliation.  In 2013, I came to the realization that if I could not overcome my fear of failure then I may be doomed to never accomplish anything worthwhile, anything extraordinary.    So my very unconventional intention, the one with the possibility of the greatest reward….

Fail.

 

Fail again and again and again until the thought of failure no longer terrifies you.

 

What intentions have you made for this new year? Feel free to share and lets encourage one another to accomplish whatever we have set out to do.  I will surely update you on my failures from time to time.  I’m certain there will be many of them and I look forward to the day when I welcome failure with open arms, embracing all that it has to teach me.

The Art of Living is // Picking up the Pieces

It’s funny, or I guess not funny at all, that a few months after I began this blog to promote happiness in my own life and others, I found myself to be the unhappiest I have ever been.

It all happened so fast, really. Before I knew it, I began to feel the overwhelming pressure of school and my looming future.  I understand school is about learning and requires work but this semester I spent every day doing homework, studying for tests, and writing papers.   I cried every day for probably three weeks and completely lost my appetite for over a months time.  Everything was piling up demanding of me what I did not have to give; I was drowning.

I didn’t know it was possible for life to change me into a sad and bitter person in a few months time but I see it most definitely is.

I can’t really describe how emotionally draining these last few months have been, all I can say it became bad enough to cause my parents to consider pulling me out of school.  I am now on break and have had time to recover from the stress and anxiety but I can still feel them.  They are lurking, suppressed for now, but I am terrified of what next semester will bring.  Christmas break could not have come soon enough but where a few days have always been enough to recharge, it has been two weeks and I just don’t feel ready to tackle another school year.

My eyes were opened to many things in the last months such as the flawed structure of our education system and the flippancy of people toward those who are hurting.

With the education system, I believe there is a benefit to a healthy amount of challenge and hardwork but there is a difference between a healthy challenge and becoming so stressed you break down and cry every. damn. day.

As for people who are hurting…

People are always asking how you are and normally recieve the same generic responses,

“Fine” “Good” “Alright”

These answers are easy and the norm for us all.  Then, when you try and tell the truth and just be honest for once in your life, letting people know that hey, my life is kind of terrible right now and I’m not okey, you get answers like….

“Oh everyone goes through that, you’ll get over it” or “Well that’s life…”

Is it?  Is being unhappy really life?

Whenever I see stories of teens committing suicide everyone talks about how happy these kids were and how they “never said anything.”  Well maybe they did and people just told them, “that’s life,” maybe people weren’t actually listening.  I came to the conclusion that people don’t really want to know how you are doing, they just want the easy answer.

Of all the knowledge I gained during my first semester at my new school, these things are what will stay with me the longest.

The new year is looming ever closer and normally I have all these ideas for making myself a better person (because lets face it, I’m a flawed motherfugger) but at this moment I have nothing.  I don’t know who I want to be in the new year because I don’t have the energy for self improvement.   I just want this year to be over and pray for a better one, whatever this might entail.  I guess it means picking up the broken pieces and taping them back together.   So I suppose this blog was a fail for 2013 but perhaps 2014 will be the year I figure it all out.  I’ll keep you posted.

The Art of Living is // The Beach

Settling into the new routine of school turned out to be much more overwhelming than I had originally thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be where I am, but knowing no one and trying to be social  is exhausting.

Two weeks ago I was having a very rough time and this quote,”

“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.”

seemed to make a whole lot of sense.  It wasn’t necessarily the “wrong people,” just people who I didn’t know and had no connection with.  It was difficult to watch people with their group of friends while I basically have… well, zero.  It was odd because I am someone who enjoys solitude but I think I crossed the line between comfortable solitude and loneliness.   Take this element and pile on stressful film projects and tests… it wasn’t pretty.

No matter how low things seemed I had to remind myself that once you hit “rock bottom” things can only go up from there.  So I waited for the weekend to come to a close and the new week to commence.

Like I knew (and prayed), everything fell into place.  The quizzes and assignments that had me stressed turned out to be easier than I’d thought and I walked away with A’s.  I even found myself talking more to classmates, more meaningful conversations, not the hideous small-talk that fills the first month of school.  I felt like I made actual connections, and even had some laughs with a crush *gasp*.  Taking these small strides outside school will be my next challenge and I hope it will work out.  Don’t hold thy breath.

This past week my workload lightened and I decided to take this weekend to do whatever the hell I wanted!  So Friday I had to be at school at 8 for work where I do community cleanup– so essentially I get to take a two-hour walk and save the environment from pollution.  Although slightly tedious, that’s my kinda job.  After work I had a two-hour gap between before my first and only friday class so I decided to treat myself to a great breakfast.image-93

I brought a book with me and sat outside in the most wonderfully chilly, overcast weather.  I have officially decided fall is my favorite season, however California fall doesn’t really count.    After stuffing myself silly with an amazing omelette and sausages  I headed back to campus, sitting near a nice fountain to do some more “Game of Thrones: Clash of Kings” reading.

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After reading I had to head to class but, being only 50 minutes in length, it was easy peasy.  Afterward I got to do one of my all-time favorite activities…. grocery shopping at Trader Joes!  Seriously love it.

Is it sad if I consider grocery shopping an activity?

Any who, Saturday was just as glorious.  I walked two miles to work, where I walked for an additional hour and a half and trekked the two miles back.  After getting ready I headed off to Huntington to hit up Hobby Lobby (I was so exited when I found one.  Made me miss Iowa) then I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase a new Prayer Journal and copy of Jesus Calling for a gift.  This took a tad longer than expected but I managed to finish up my errands and head off to Huntington Beach.

Thankfully I was able  to find parking and proceeded to Starbucks to grab a caramel macchiatto.   I finally had everything I needed and set out to find a spot on the beach to have my quiet time with God.

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It was the most perfect day.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.    There is something about the ocean that makes you feel so small in a good way.  Like…. you realize how small your problems are and how beautiful the world is.  I get so caught up in striving and performing and none of it’s important!!  The pressure of school and society always swallow me whole and the ocean never fails to remind me what actually matters.

So if anyone else out there has had a rough time and you live near a beach or other beautiful body of water I strongly encourage you to drop everything and go!

I am convinced the beach is the closest we will ever come to heaven here on earth.

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The Art of Living is — Design

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You know what’s the most exiting thing about moving to a new city?  If you don’t count the new atmosphere, the thrilling anonymity, or the ability to be anyone you want to be I’d say decorating is definitely up there.  I’m not even a decorator, it usually overwhelms me… It’s difficult okay!  As soon as I choose something I end up wanting something else a few months later.

However, with this new start I knew I needed a fresh creative space.  My bedroom was always my little sanctuary; a place to go and get lost in a book or watch a movie in bed.  The past two years I’ve shared a room… and dorm room. Now that I finally have my own room again, it was my goal to create a space to get lost in; one that could inspire me.

You may or may not spend a lot of time in your home but in my opinion it can only help to make your personal space beautiful so go grab some inspiration and get decorating! Stat!

Since it is called a bedroom I knew that my bed was really going to set the tone for my entire room.  I had seen the wooden pallet beds a few times before and I was in love.  They just give a very earthy, simplistic vibe; exactly the kind of feel that I wanted.

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A few months before I had found the apartment I currently live in I visited Old Towne Orange by Chapman University (my new school woot woot!) and let me tell you it’s antique HEAVEN!   While wandering through one I found this old chain-link fence.  It was a four-foot section that had been painted white but had faded and rusted a bit.  At the time I was with my sister and trying not to spend money so I passed up the $75 treasure.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind and so when my mom and I moved some of my stuff to my new apartment I had to go back and see if it was there.  It was and I took that as a sign.

Not only did I find the fence, but I stumbled upon a tapestry at UrbanOutfitters.com (see picture above).  It is a gorgeous picture of a forest; because my room is small and box like I thought this would help to open it up and give the illusion of more space.  Four walls no longer confine me!   I feel as if I should take off my shoes and go frolicking through it.

I can’t, obviously.

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With my bed taken care of I really only had space for a desk and a clothes rack from Ikea I had purchased earlier.  Everything on my bed I had previously owned except the easel (which my parents graciously bought me so I could continue my portrait art).  The bulletin board I made myself with magazines, fabric samples, and modge podge.  Also, I was really  diggin’ the brown bag a Starbucks mug of mine came in so I decided to add it to my décor.  You will also notice my typewriter, my prized possession and yes I do actually use it.  It’s not just for decoration people!

Let’s not forget my floating bookshelves!  I am an avid reader and just could not pass them up.  You can see one in the corner of the picture above.

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The last touch to my room is the clothes rack I purchased from Ikea.  I spend way too much money on clothes and in the end I wear the same 5 things.  I really see clothes as works of art more than things to cover my body.  So, instead of letting them rot  away in a closed closet I picked my most beautiful articles of clothing and set them on display.

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All of these elements have come together to create my perfect sanctuary.  It is a calming oasis for me to relax in and every time I walk in my room I feel wonderful.

Create your own special place.

P.S. If you do feel free to share pictures with me! I love to see beautiful interior design.

The Art of Living is // Wellness

 

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After moving to Orange, California from San Diego, at the end of July, I had quite a bit of time on my hands.   I can’t say that I used it wisely, actually no, scratch that.  I think any time you spend enjoying yourself and relaxing is not time wasted.  However, was I what you’d call productive… not quite.   So I began watching numerous documentaries on Netflix, one being, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” 

To summarize, the documentary is about a man who, after living an unhealthy lifestyle and paying for it, decides to go on a 60-day juice cleanse.  I know, when I heard 60 days I couldn’t help but think, “This is madness!” No one can argue that his transformation is anything less than amazing, he and others he convinced to try the juice cleanse (not all for equal lengths of time) raved about how great they felt, how much energy they had, and how much weight they’d lost.

 

Intrigued? Yes.  Enough to actually try it? No.

 

This was my attitude after finishing the documentary.  I mean why would I pay at least a $100 dollars for a juicer and pile on expensive fruits and veggies on top of that?  I’m a poor college student who hasn’t yet found a job.  Pshhh… no way.  Nope. Not happening.

 

Cut to me at Best Buy purchasing Juicer.

 

Okay so I have a fault.  When I want something it’s very difficult for me to put it out of my mind until I get it. I feel like that statement made me sound like a potential home wrecker…. But this only applies to clothes, décor, and gadgets.

 

I couldn’t stop thinking about juicing.  I HAD to try it.  The thing is I don’t think I’m an unhealthy person.  I’m not overweight or taking any medication for any illnesses, although I do have very unbalanced hormones, or so my mother and doctor tell me.   I enjoy exercise and get the recommended 30 minutes 3x a week at least.

 

Even though I don’t think I’m an unhealthy person I’m not some health guru.  I still indulge, too much at times.  The week before I began this Juice journey my habits had gone down a slippery slop thanks to Aunt Flows visit and a trip back to San Diego for a concert.  So between those factors and the first day of school fast approaching I just thought I needed to do something radical.  Juicing seemed like a good option.  Originally I thought I would do a 10 day juice cleanse but later knocked it down to 7 due to school starting and not being able to realistically bring juice with me for 2-3 meals a day.  So here was my experience with this mini health journey.

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Day 1:

I woke up exited to start my new mini journey.  It is recommended that you wean yourself off of unhealthy foods at least a few days before so as to experience fewer “side effects” such as headaches, exhaustion, and just feeling like sh*t for days 2-3.  I however took my own approach.  I hate ice cream, a burrito, and some candy.  This obviously isn’t my normal meal plan but hey, if I was going to do this then I also was going to go out with a bang.  It was delicious.  I actually think this is what made it easier for me in the beginning.  I  knew I had not been good to my body and was more eager to make amends.

 

All in all day 1 was very easy besides the fact that my first concoction was TERRIBLE.  Ughh it was so awful, I was constantly on the verge of gagging and in the end I had to plug my nose to drink it and brush my teeth right after.  Not the best start and a tad discouraging.  Luckily I realized I’d added too much ginger and after that it was pretty smooth sailing as far as drink prep goes.

 

Day 2-3:

I was dreading these two days.  I woke up in fear for my life.  What I had read indicated your body will be ridding itself of toxins and going through a sort of withdrawal and this would result in you feeling less than stellar.  Fortunately, I didn’t have school or work so I could stay in bed all day if need be.  Weird thing was I felt perfectly fine.  Seriously.   No headaches, body aches, nothing.

 

What I was really surprised about was that I had no urge to eat more.  Three classes of juice a day and I was full and satisfied.

 

Day 4:

Woke up on day four feeling more or less normal.  Some say they woke up with an exuberance of energy.  I felt I had no more, no less.  This day was really going to test me though because today was orientation at school.

 

Chapman University was giving away so much free food.  Muffins, croissants, pizza, sandwiches.  Couldn’t have anything.  Didn’t have anything.  I can’t really say it was that difficult.  I wasn’t craving anything they were serving it was just disappointing because it looked good and as a college student free food is always accepted to save some money.  So I had to pass breakfast and lunch (I had juice before I left and drank more right when I got home.)

 

Then later that night I attended a student event at an upscale bowling alley where they served gourmet sandwiches, pizza, fresh fries, chicken wings.  Let me emphasize this was a super nice bowling alley and the food looked wonderful and expensive.  It was all FREE for us students.  *sigh* Except me.

 

I made it through the day without too much difficulty.  Just bummed I couldn’t enjoy some good food.

 

Day 5:

Very much like day 4, passed up on a lot of food.  By this point all I wanted was broccoli and an omelet.  Seriously would have assassinated someone just to have it!  I think that’s my body begging for some protein.  I had to deny it.   Also the fact that I hadn’t chewed anything had really started to mess with my mind a little haha.  You don’t realize how much you miss chewing until it’s taken away from you.

 

That night I attended a transfer student photo project meeting at Starbucks and we could get whatever drink we wanted for free!!! When I turned them down I was seriously asked three more times if I was sure I didn’t want anything.  I turned down the possibility to get a free venti white chocolate mocha… I deserve some kind of metal or something.

 

After I went to a Panther club night… thing.  There was music, a movie, and more free food.  Including fondue.  Okay, how many times do you ever go somewhere with fondue?  So my commitment went from 100% to 97%.  Okay, sue me! I had one piece of pineapple and 1 strawberry with some chocolate drizzled on it!  I admit it!

 

Phew, the guilt was killing me.

 

Well that summed up my day and after the slip up I was back on.

 

Day 6:

I woke up at 6:50 a.m.  I’m an early riser but even this was a tad unusual, especially since I hadn’t gone to bed till 2 a.m.  I actually felt great though.  Had a lot of energy and was ready to start the day.  I personally think it was the magic of the chocolate drizzle the day before but what do I know it could have been the juice.  I really did feel pretty good.  I think I noticed my skin looking a tad brighter.  I’m on Accutane already so I can’t say whether my skin actually cleared up.

By mid day I was kind of over juice.  I feel like juicing really put food in perspective but I think 3-5 days could have yielded the same results.  Either way 6 is a weird number to end on so I went to bed ready for one last day.

 

Day 7:

The day started out really weird.  I didn’t set my alarm correctly so I woke up very foggy and became disoriented when the clock said 8:30.  If I wanted to make it to church on time I had to leave in twenty minutes so unfortunately my morning juice had to be put off.  Once I got home I did my first juice of the day, thrilled to see the end in sight.

Knowing that actual real food will be in my stomach tomorrow I used this day to kind of prep it.  Consuming a plum and peach in between my juice.

So I still have one juice left for today and I’ll be happy when it is finished and I can look forward to food tomorrow.

 

Oh yeah, by the way school starts tomorrow.  I think I may be more exited for the food.

 

Positives of the juice cleanse:

  • Doing this juice cleanse really opened my eyes to how much I ate out of boredom.  I constantly snack throughout the day, yet when all I was consuming was three classes of juice I had no urge to snack whatsoever.  It was weird but was a testament to quality over quantity.  The right nutrients are what fills you up and because your body isn’t lacking you then don’t crave it in the form of junk foods. 
  • Skin seemed a tad more… glowy? Not 100% sure but I feel like there is a small difference
  • I wasn’t doing this for weight loss since I don’t even weigh myself but my pants fit much better.

 

Negatives:

  • Besides wishing I could chew solid food I often got light-headed when standing.  This started on day 4 and continued from then on.
  • Most annoying was when I didn’t eat and people asked why, as soon as I mentioned I was on a juice cleanse they just laughed.  Since I’m not overweight I think people just scoffed at what they thought was some crash diet to be thin. 

 

My Mistakes with this adventure:

  • Besides my little fondue fiasco I think the reason I didn’t see a noticeable difference in my energy level, skin, and just overall feeling was I know I wasn’t taking in enough juice to sustain my body in the long run.  My calories intake was probably around 900-1000.  I know. I know but I honestly was never hungry!  I didn’t crave anything and didn’t feel like I needed anything more.  My energy levels stayed mostly even, perhaps a little elevated which told me that perhaps I wasn’t consuming enough since everyone seemed to have an exuberance of energy. 

 

All in all I’m glad I gave the cleanse a try and it put food and my consumption of it in perspective for me.   I’ve always been a fruit lover but never really got my recommended vitamins.  So in order to keep up the benefits of juicing and getting in my recommended veggies I will try and replace 1 meal a day with juice.  Doing things for your body to make it stronger and healthier will only add to your happiness.  Whatever that step is go for it (after consulting with a physician of course).  Treat your body right and it will carry you through the long days.   Find a way to make your body a little bit healthier this week!  Whatever it is cut out soda, caffeine, or make a commitment to eat one more serving of veggies a day.  I know you can do it!

 

“Your mission: Be so busy loving your life you have no time for hate, regret or fear.”

-Karen Salmansohn