Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back at 2013

Each year has it's ups and downs, but 2013 has by far been one of the craziest. Here are some things that happened in the world that stuck out in my mind:

Edward Snowden helps aid sales of 1984


The government decides to take a little break


Marriage equality movement makes huge strides, even in Utah(!)


Nelson Mandela remembrance


"Twerking" and "selfie" officially become part of the everyday lexicon


Sharknado


Also the Harlem Shake and goat videos were a thing once


BATFLECK (never forget)


Game of Thrones. Breaking Bad. Downton Abbey. 


Stephen Colbert got Daft Punk'd


Doctor Who celebrated 50 years of existence


Veronica Mars
becomes the first feature film by the people, for the people



And in my own little world:



I graduated college (and
spoke at that graduation. Whaaat?)


Took a risk with an unpaid internship in New York City


Fell in love with NYC


Moved from one borough to another



Visited Boston and D.C. for the first time



Got a big-girl job in the industry I love


Attempted to be a responsible post-grad adult


Started a dieting/getting healthy vlog



I've written a lot about the things I've learned these past 12 months. It's certainly been a roller coaster of a year; one that I was really excited for. Now it's over and I genuinely have no idea what to expect in 2014. Guess we'll find out. 

Thanks to all who for some reason chose to read this blog from time to time. Please let me know if you have one as well--reading about people's lives and thoughts is my go-to time waster. 

Happy New Year, friends. 


Sunday, December 22, 2013

This Month in Pop Culture: Christmas Edition

If you know me at all, then you know that this is one of my favorite times of year. Holiday movies, specials, music,  lights, decorations--I unironically love all of it. Although I do love some of it more than others, and thought I'd share with you my Christmas pop culture favorites. You have three days to make sure you're up to speed with all of this. Enjoy and have a happy holidays!


Top 10 Christmas Movies (All-time)

*Don't know if I can take the stress of ranking these, so I'm just going chronologically here.


Holiday Inn/White Christmas (1942, 1954)

I adore Bing Crosby's deep dulcet tones, and these movies, despite their length and kitsch, just make me so happy. The songs stay in your head and who doesn't love a good Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby dance number? No one with a heart, that's for sure. 
Favorite Quote: "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..."



It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

This one doesn't really need much explanation. Despite the endless parodies and plot-riffs it's experienced over the years, this Jimmy Stewart classic tells a beautiful story about life and the things we take for granted. 
Favorite Quote
: "
Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
This melancholic film is the one that sobers me up the most to the true meaning of Christmas: remembering a special baby boy and being with the ones you love on a night where anything seems possible. It's also scored by Vince Guaraldi, which elevates it a whole level right there. 

Favorite Quote
“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”


How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

I loathe the Jim Carrey version of this story so much. Luckily Boris Karloff does Dr. Seuss proud the first time around with his deep-voiced, humorous songs, putting me in a state of pure bliss the entire 30 minutes. The film's beautiful simplicity makes it something I have to catch every year, especially for that emotional ending. 
Favorite Quote: "Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."


A Christmas Story (1983)

Despite being insanely quotable and the movie my family chooses to leave on the background while we make Christmas cookies (on that TLC marathon loop), I think I adore this movie because of how relatable it is. What kid hasn't plotted the ways to convince his parents to get them the perfect gift? Or had that moment of realization that their parents weren't perfect, yet perhaps perfect for them? Just a perfect coming-of-age story. And that lie about the icicle--I can relate, Ralphie.
Favorite Quote: "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenity that, as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."

Scrooged (1988)
It's Bill Murray being his Bill Murray-ist and I wouldn't have it any other way. Not when Dickens is involved. 

Favorite Quote: "I never liked a girl well enough to give her twelve sharp knives."





The Muppet Christmas Carol
(1992)

It's the Muppets + Charles Dickens. Definitely the best way to go about adapting this classic story. It was also my first introduction to the Muppets, so it wins nostalgia points for that. 
Favorite Quote: "Rizzo the Rat: Boy, that's scary stuff! Should we be worried about the kids in the audience? Gonzo: Nah, it's all right. This is culture!"


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The movie developed my love for Henry Selick and his brand of dark humor. It's deeply original, visually stunning, the songs are catchy, and you can't helped but be both charmed and creeped out by Jack Skellington's desire to experience the warmth and joy that Christmas brings. It combines my two favorite holidays; what more can I ask for?

Favorite Quote: "There's children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads. They're busy building toys and absolutely no one's dead!"


Elf (2003)

This movie could easily become overbearing and into stupid territory, but Will Ferrell makes Buddy the Elf charming and cheerful enough that you can't help but be pulled into the Christmas spirit along with him. And it's just so dang funny.
Favorite Quote: "You sit on a throne of lies."

Arthur Christmas (2011)

My favorite Christmas movie of this decade, Arthur Christmas is another wonderful and hilarious movie from Aardman Animations. It cleverly answers the question of how Santa is able to put presents under each tree in one night with a strong plot and emotional arc for its titular character. 
Favorite Quote: "They can't kill me! I'm Santa!"


Top 10 Christmas TV Episodes/Specials (All-Time)
*No particular order


"Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," Community (Season 2)

One of my favorite episodes from one of my favorite comedies, "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" exemplifies everything I love about Community: the hilarious jokes, clever parodies, and the heart and sentimentality underneath all that. The episode parodies classic Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer while exploring the psyche of one of its most complex characters and giving an honest examination of what Christmas really means.  It's a gorgeously animated episode that features Christmas pterodactyls and Chevy Chase as a teddy bear. No wonder I find myself watching it several times a season. 



"LudaChristmas," 30 Rock (Season 2)

Jack, with the terrifying Colleen as a mother, says there's no such thing as a perfect family, despite seeing the seemingly perfect Lemon clan lovingly together. The Donaghy's plot to turn the Lemons against each other at Christmas dinner is one of the funniest scenes of all time. I'm just glad no one in my family suffers from "Trauma Induced Nivea Aphasia." No amount of Christmas sweater-wearing could make me pretend like it was always 1985. Oh, Kenneth also accidentally inspires everyone to tear down the Rockefeller Center tree. I just love this episode.   


"The One With the Routine," Friends (Season 6)
Friends has a lot of great holiday episodes, but this one wins my favorite solely because of Ross and Monica's routine at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Kills me every single time.


"The Strike," Seinfeld (Season 9)

It's the episode that made Festivus a thing. It also features The Human Fund and the reveal of Kramer's job, but let's not forget that Festivus is now a thing on Dec. 23 featuring feats of strength, airing of grievances, and a Festivus pole. Long live Festivus!  

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," The Simpsons (Season 1)

I just learned that this classic was apparantly the show's first full episode. That makes it special in and of itself, but I just always loved it for that darned Santa's Little Helper. 


"An Echoll's Family Christmas," Veronica Mars (Season 1) 

This episode is probably my favorite all-time Veronica Mars episode, not to mention one of my favorite Christmas episodes. Logan Echolls was just a jerky antagonist to our heroine up until this episode--which takes a look at his truly messed up home life and gives him some real emotional depth. From this episode on, Logan became my favorite character. Also, he plays a mean game of poker.


"A Christmas Carol," Doctor Who (Season 5) 
Doctor Who's Christmas Specials are hit-and-miss, but "A Christmas Carol" is perhaps the biggest hit of them all. Featuring Michael Gambon as the Scrooge character, it embraces the essence of the original Dickens story while subverting its cliches using time travel and sharks that pull sleighs. Funny, clever, and moving, this is one of my favorite Who episodes. I might change my mind following the upcoming Christmas special (I miss you already Matt Smith), but for me this is the peak of them so far.


"Afternoon Delight," Arrested Development (Season 2)

Christmas with the Bluth family; what could possibly go wrong? This brilliant, hilarious episode just doesn't stop with the jokes, from the misunderstanding of the meaning of the titular song, to Gob trying to be a company man, to Buster becoming addicted to the claw game. It's an episode I watch multiple times a year while wearing my $4,000 suit.

"Benihana Christmas," The Office (Season 3)

It's a tie between this and season 2's "Christmas Party" as my favorite The Office holiday episode, but I think "Benihana Christmas" wins out due to Kevin's karoake, Dwight running over a goose, and the hilarious yet sad "bros before ho's" speech. I miss you Michael Scott. 

"Amends," Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 3)

Yes, it's the one where the snow makes Angel have faith and stop wanting to kill himself. But it also tells a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption, and learning to believe in the impossible, even in a world where most of the impossible is already possible. And it brings a whole new meaning to the words "Tree. Nog. Roast beast."

Music (2013)

*Cheating here because it would be literally impossible to choose my favorite Christmas tunes (and then my favorite versions of those songs) of all time. I mean, my Spotify Christmas playlist is 700 songs long. So here are the ones released this season I've been putting on repeat. 

Kelly Clarkson - "Underneath the Tree"

Pentatonix - "Little Drummer Boy"

The Killers & Dawes - "Christmas in L.A."

Kate Nash - "I Hate You This Christmas"

Mary J. Blige - "This Christmas"

Leona Lewis - "One More Sleep"

Erasure - "Bells of Love (Isabelle's of Love)"

Ariana Grande - "Snow in California"

Toni Braxton & Babyface - "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

Never Shout Never & Dia Frampton - "Under the Mistletoe"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pop Culture November

I haven't been keeping this up weekly. I apologize. But here's what's been great during the month of November, a notoriously great month for pop culture:

Television

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary
I finally caught up with Doctor Who just in time for the 50th anniversary, and I'm so glad I did. "The Day of the Doctor" is everything you want in an anniversary special: nostalgic callbacks,

David Tennant and Matt Smith playing off each other, crazy shenanigans, and a purpose for the series moving forward. As much as I loved "The Last Time Lord" of the past seven years, that story had played itself out, and I'm excited to see what Peter Capaldi will do going forward. I'm going to miss Matt Smith terribly though--I think he's officially my favorite doctor. Despite the baby face, you can't help but believe that this man is 1200 years old, and Smith's ability to turn from whimsical to terrifying in a split second is unrivaled. I'm going to be a wreck during the Christmas special.

I also caught the TV movie An Adventure in Space and Time, about William Hartnell (the first doctor) and the making of Doctor Who. I learned a lot about the origins of this everlasting British timepiece: that the first producer was a woman, that the executives originally didn't want "bug-eyed monsters and tin robots," and the heartbreaking decision behind the first regeneration. I believe it's time to start up the classic series.

Pretty people.
Reign
I have a love/hate relationship with the CW. Most of it seems trashy on the surface, and I know I should spend my time watching better programming. But no other network is quite as ridiculously fun and entertaining, and on a weekly basis I find myself looking forward to watching The Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and Nikita more than most other shows. What I love about these shows, other than the very attractive casts that I'm positive are bred and stored in a lab, are the balls-to-the-wall crazy plots filled with snappy dialogue, fun action, and over-the-top drama.

New addition Reign is no exception. It's probably the most CW-y of all the shows on the network right now. Someone on the Internet described it as Gossip Girl meets Game of Thrones, which is as accurate a description as any. It's very loosely based off the life of Mary Queen of Scots, although it doesn't care about historical accuracy whatsoever, and it's all the better for it. The plots are crazy, the costumes are gorgeous, Adelaide Kane plays a convincing teenage queen, and did I mention there are pagan sacrifices and ghosts, just to spice it up a little? It's definitely my new obsession. I mean, there's a hunky Nostradamus. It doesn't get much better than that.

Other new shows that have lasted from the original guide:
Trophy Wife
Sleepy Hollow
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (As a Brooklyn resident, the "Sal's Pizza" episode had me rolling)
The Originals
Masterchef Junior

Additionally: This season of Survivor has been great. The finale of The Legend of Korra was epic but made very little sense. Raising Hope is back! Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is perhaps the biggest disappointment. It's just so boring, which is the last thing I wanted to say about a Whedon-produced superhero show. Perhaps it can still get its act together.

Film

I've seen a lot of movies this month, so I'm gonna make this quick:

12 Years a Slave: Brilliant. Will win all the awards, and rightly so. I don't know if I can watch it again for a long time, however, but it's something I believe everyone should see. It's the story of one of humanity's biggest blights, depicted in one of the most real and heartbreaking ways I've seen.

About Time: If you're a fan of Love Actually (and if you have a soul, you should be), then you'll enjoy this. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how it dealt with the time-travel aspect. It was very low-key and lovely.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: It was much better than the first movie, but without the strong performances, these movies would just fall apart. The first half that deals with the consequences of the first games is much more interesting than when they go to the arena again, but that's how I felt about the book too.

Frozen: The marketing for this movie made me skeptical going in, but I actually really enjoyed it. I love when Disney inverts their own tropes and this is probably their most feminist movie yet, so of course I was going to love it for that reason alone. And you'll be singing "Let It Go" for the rest of the day after seeing this. I'm still humming it a day later.

Thor: The Dark World: Needed more Loki.

YouTube

Edgar Allan Poe has a vlog. Brilliance ensues.


My friend Eden has started a great new series called "The Couch Series" that highlights the amazing artists of the Provo music scene. Really enjoyable stuff.


Music

I've basically just been jamming to Lorde's album, "Pure Heroine," all month long.


Other things:

  • Late October was the New York Television Festival, where I saw some animated pilots (that weren't that great, unfortunately) and heard from Greg Daniels, creator of The Office and Parks and Recreation, who gave his advice on comedy writing. I don't have a huge desire to be a writer, although I love hearing about the behind-the-scenes of my favorite shows and am a faithful listener of the Nerdist Writers podcast, so hearing his perspective on what makes great comedy (the characters, not the situations) was really fascinating.
  • I also attended "Behind-the-Scenes with The Colbert Report" as part of the New York Comedy Festival and fell more in love with Stephen Colbert, which I didn't believe was possible. His ability to turn anything into a bit and to mine jokes from literally any subject continues to amaze me. Some highlights: saying he's probably 13% of his character, making a fool of the guy who asked how he feels about influencing the millennial generation, admitting his admiration for Maurice Sendak, and the true story behind the Daft Punk Fiasco of 2013.
  • It's post-Thanksgiving, which means my family sits in a food coma and watches movies all weekend long. So far we've watched Elf, White Christmas, and Ghostbusters. Sometimes my family is cool.
  • This is an important thing you should all read: "Gender Inequality in Film."
  • Quick plug for my friend Preston's new blog, Juicebox Critic. He writes about pop culture much more eloquently than I can, and there are some great articles up already. I particularly love his defense of Christmas music before Thanksgiving, since it validates my opinion on the issue. Take that, old roommates.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lessons Learned in NYC

It's November now, which means I've been a resident of New York City for a little more than six months. The time has both flown by and been a time of great stress, change, fun, and a whole lot of new experiences. Here are a couple of things I've learned or gained a new perspective on over the last six months:

1. Distance is relative.
My friend Andrea came to stay with me last weekend, and when she heard how long it took me to get places, she asked how I didn't go crazy. It made me pause for a moment, since I no longer consider a 40-minute commute to work or a 30-minute trip to Trader Joe's (or really anywhere) much of a big deal anymore. It's just how it is. Funny how just six months ago I'd complain about the 10-minute walk to campus.

2. How to secure a seat in a crowded subway train.
Always work your way to the middle so you're blocking the 4 seats jutting out. Pretend you're pregnant or have a limp. Glare at the man taking up two spots until he feels uncomfortable and scoots over.

3. How to eat a meal for less than $5.
Food stands. $1 pizza. Becoming a deli loyalist. Groupon. It's not impossible to eat cheap in the city.

4. But it IS really hard to diet here. 
See my earlier post.

5. You can feel really important one minute and then tiny and insignificant the next.
You have a tendency to become selfish here: regarding time, sidewalk space, or pride in your super-awesome job, but you are literally one of millions in this city who consider themselves the center of the universe. All it takes is a look out the window to feel humble.

6. Anything can happen here.
Want a job doing whatever you want? Come to NYC! It may take a couple of tries, but there is definitely a spot for you here somewhere. Want to attend a party specifically for TV-watching, video-gaming, flower-arranging, basket-weaving, or whatever it is your passions are? Not hard to find. Want to eat at a restaurant from a country you've never even heard of? New York's got it. It really is a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There's nothing you can't do. (Thanks Alicia Keys)

7. The outer boroughs are awesome. 
The Bronx has a bad rep they're slowly trying to restore (no thanks to Bansky), but I didn't have any trouble while I lived there and I loved the industrial surroundings of my neighborhood. And Brooklyn is wonderful. It has really gorgeous and yes, hipstery areas, as well as places like my neighborhood, where five dumplings cost $1 and there's a karaoke bar across the street. How much cooler can you get than that? Don't discredit living in the outer boroughs. Except maybe Staten Island. They're still listening to Christina Perri, for goodness sakes.

8. Dishwashers and air conditioners are for the elite. 
Bedbugs are a real thing. So are rats. You learn a whole new definition of comfort while you live here.

9. It's not what you know, it's who you know. 
Luckily in this city it's easy to meet people.

10. The importance of diversity. 
I went from one of the least diverse places in the U.S. to one of the most diverse. And it's changed my perspective in so many ways. I love hearing 30 different languages on any given day. Or getting my ice cream from a drag queen in the East Village and hearing her life story. Or learning about Ecuador from a cabbie or about Yemen from the owners of my favorite deli. Every day's a new cultural experience and it's been one of my favorite things about living here.

11. It's important to set aside time for yourself. 
Work is so fast-paced and there's so much to do here that time can slip away from you all too easily. It's important to not become so wrapped up in everything that you don't make time for yourself. The times I spend at home on my bed watching TV are some of my favorites, because it gives me a change to unwind and be away from all the craziness and just relax. Everyone should find their own thing--whether it's the spa, yoga, taking a walk in the park...whatever it is, it's crucial to set aside time to rejuvenate yourself.

12. Don't take things personally.
This city can knock you down just as easily as it can lift you up. It's important not to take things the wrong way. Whether someone looks at you funny on the train or critiques you at work, you learn to quickly build a thick skin and bear it.

New York, it's been an interesting and educational six months. I can honestly say there's no other place I'd rather be right now.  Here's hoping for many more great learning experiences to come.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

PR in NYC

I've been asked a lot of questions lately about what it is exactly I do and what it's like to have a career in New York City. I thought I'd answer some of those here:

What is public relations anyway?


The official definition of public relations, established by the Public Relations Society of America and the one I had to memorize for many a test, is the "strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics."

That definition's all fine and good, but the way I like to explain it to people is that PR is how an organization becomes known to its targeted publics and establishes a relationship with them in a "natural," unpaid way. There are a lot of ways an organization can get its message out there: advertising, media pickup, word-of-mouth, social media, events...and most of that is PR. (Just not advertising. We're all about the "unpaid purity" aspect of brand awareness.)


What made you want to go into PR?


I've always been fascinated with media and how it influences a person's behavior and mindset. I originally entered college with the goal of majoring in journalism, but in my Communications 101 class I learned what PR was and thought it sounded interesting. I took both Intro to Public Relations and Intro to Journalism the next semester and ultimately applied to the PR program for several reasons:

  • I really liked the idea of being an advocate for something you're passionate about. The unbiased nature of journalism was always the part I had the hardest time with...I love to editorialize in my writing, if you haven't already figured that out. 
  • I liked that there was more variety. You can specialize in different aspects of PR if you want to, such as event planning, social media, media relations, or crisis communications. You could also go into practically any industry--everyone needs PR (even if they don't know it yet). 
  • I wanted a job when I graduated.


Where do you work and what do you do?


I work at Goodman Media International, a top boutique PR firm in NYC. I love my job. It's an agency, which means I work for a variety of clients in a range of industries, including entertainment and nonprofit, two of the fields I've always wanted to go into. I get to perform a range of tasks and every day is different: one day might be a lot of media pitching, but the next day might include managing an event, tracking recent coverage or meeting with the CEO of a chocolate company. It can be stressful, but it's never boring, and I'm getting a lot of responsibility really fast.

Working at an agency is also a great opportunity to meet people from many different industries, to build media contacts in these industries and to gain experience with a wide range of skills. I highly recommend it, especially for new PR professionals.

What's NYC corporate life like?


I work at a smaller firm, so my experience is probably different than others, but so far I can say that PR in NYC is extremely fast-paced but very worthwhile. New York City is the mecca of the communications world. I'm contacting reporters from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on a weekly basis. I'm meeting CEOs of high-profile companies. I work with nationally recognized clients. This city is the best place to be in terms of networking and gaining experience and I'm still in awe of my life at times. Sure, most of my paycheck goes toward rent, but I wouldn't trade my time here for anything.

One thing to keep in mind is that it is NOT a 9-5 job; sometimes I'll stay until 6 or 7 to make sure things get done, and that's not counting after-work events I occasionally have to attend. And you always have to be checking email, even on weekends, because there could be a client emergency or breaking news that you need to comment on right away. I'm still trying to find the right work/life balance, but thankfully I work at a place where it's ok to take a break for lunch or laugh with coworkers, negating the fears I had gotten from hearing horror stories about other NYC firms.

Finding the right work culture is so important. GMI is a great place to work because everyone here is awesome. Everyone works hard but since it's smaller it's not as "corporate," meaning the hierarchy isn't as intimidating; I get to work with almost everyone in the office and no one's competing with each other to get ahead. Promotions just happen naturally and everyone's really happy for each other when someone gets a great hit or achieves a personal victory.

Plus, you can't beat the view:


What advice do you have for someone wanting to go into public relations?


First, you have to enjoy communicating with people. You don't have to be the world's chattiest person, but you can't be afraid of picking up the phone or walking over to someone and striking up a conversation. I'll admit that's still the scariest aspect of PR to me, but with time it gets easier. You also have to be a good, concise writer. You need to have a thirst for knowledge and stay up-to-date on current events. You need to be both creative and logical--this is definitely an industry that utilizes both parts of your brain.

If you're in school and think PR sounds interesting, take an intro class. If your school doesn't offer public relations as a major, try mass communications or marketing, while staying informed by reading articles about public relations and talking with people in the industry. Here are a few links to a couple of my favorite PR sites:
Definitely do a couple of internships. For one thing, the best way to know if something is right for you is to just go out and do it. Second, public relations is very much a start-from-the-bottom, work-your-way-up field. Most entry-level positions require at least one internship (usually more). Take advantage of every opportunity. Even the littlest things can lead to greater things down the road.

And if you're graduating soon and entering the job market, my number one advice is to not get discouraged. It can be frustrating trying to land that first job, but I promise things will work out. One thing to remember is that a major part of getting a job is about who you know, so don't be afraid to ask for informational interviews or to attend industry events and introduce yourself. Get to know as many people as you can; you never know when something might pop up!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

This Week in Pop Culture

Movies

OUTER SPACE IS REALLY COOL AND REALLY TERRIFYING. That's all I could basically think after watching Gravity. I think my nails were bitten all the way down from the sheer tension I felt watching this spectacular film. First of all, you need to see this in IMAX 3D, or it's basically pointless. Second, prepare to be amazed by Sandra Bullock, who carries this film pretty much by herself. And third, I never, ever, want to be an astronaut...as cool as the views may be.

Television

Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries is off to a great start, with great acting by Paul Wesley, playing an evil character this season, and human Katherine, still just as devious as when she was a vampire. The plots already seem more fun than the dregs of last season (ugh sire bond), and I'm so excited to see Rippahhh Stefan again.

I took Glee off my Hulu queue this year, but of course I had to watch Cory Monteith's tribute episode. And I couldn't help myself; I definitely cried. Especially when Rachel was singing her song; you could tell Lea Michele wasn't acting in that moment. Heartbreaking.

New shows I'm enjoying so far: The Tomorrow People, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. 

YouTube

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is a great modern adaptation of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This recent episode ingeniously sums up Jane's backstory in a Draw My Life video, consolidating the most boring part of the book in about four minutes. Brilliance.


Also, here's my new diet video where I attempt to make a healthy omelette and fail miserably.


Theater

So I have my name in a playbill. No big deal. The musical is called "Orphan Train" and it was performed to celebrate Grand Central Terminal's 100th anniversary. It was a cute play about the importance of trying to stop children from falling through the cracks. I'll let you know of future performances if they happen!

















News

Here's a great article by Linda Holmes on sexism in Survivor. You all know I love this show, but there's no denying that it has some serious issues at its core. Which are not helped at all by misogynistic Jeff Propst, as great as I sometimes find him when ripping a new one on a certain Colton Cumbie.

So many great guest stars on Community...whenever it returns.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dieting in New York City

Oh, waffle truck. How I miss you.
I thought I'd do a post to accompany this week's diet vlog, especially since it's not the most exciting video I've ever done. This week I talk about the cravings that have hit me hard this week. The first two weeks weren't so bad in this department, but this last week all I could think about was sugar and carbs. I think a lot of it is just my body adjusting, but living in NYC certainly doesn't help.

Yes, dieting is hard no matter where you live. But New York City is known for its food. They have literally every type of food you can imagine, and they have the best versions of it. I've made jokes before that the cheesecake is my favorite part about this city. But I also love the pizza, halal carts, Magnolia's, Shake Shack, literally any hole-in-the-wall deli or bakery, everything in Chinatown and Little Italy...the list goes on. I'm smack in the middle of the food capital of the world and I can't partake in much of it.

There are ways to get around this, of course. Since eating out is such a social thing in the city, it's usually not too difficult to find a healthy option on the menu. Almost every place has some version of a salad. But when the stick-thin girl next to you orders a pasta, it's hard not to feel envious. There's no denying I love food. I mean, that's partly the reason I'm in this mess in the first place. But as the whole empire of The Food Network knows, there's just something unexplainably satisfying about a well-prepared, delicious meal. Unfortunately most delicious things are not that great for you.

It's slowly getting better. I'm mixing up my meals a bit more so I'm not just eating salad every single day. For instance, today I had salmon and eggplant for lunch and it was fairly filling. I'll allow myself a Hershey kiss every now and then. I try to ignore the smells of the food stands I pass on my way to work by chewing gum. I politely decline when offered sweets at work, and I wasn't afraid to tell my coworkers about my diet. They're all very supportive, which has been great.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. If you have tricks on how to ignore cravings, I'd love it.

Here's this week's video. Next week's will be more entertaining, I promise.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

These Weeks in Pop Culture

Things have gotten a little backlogged. I apologize. Lots to cover:

Movies

Let's see, when I did last do a TWPC? September 8? Sheesh. Well good thing I've only seen one new movie, Rush. A Ron Howard biopic that somehow makes race car driving both sexy and filled with nail-biting anxiety, I quite enjoyed this one. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl were extremely well cast, and their  rivalry was intense. Like, battle-to-the-death intense. It's crazy what some men will do to get well, a rush. 

Television

I think I mentioned fall TV has started? Well now you know what's taken up so much of my time. ANYWAY. The Parks and Recreation premiere was perfect and way better than a 6th season premiere deserves to be. I still love hanging out with those characters each week. And Andy Dwyer is getting way too attractive. It was a little distracting.

I've really enjoyed Brooklyn Nine-Nine so far. The Michael J. Fox Show is ok. New Girl is great like always, and I really hope this is the Year of Winston. The color-blind American citizen deserves it. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was as fun as a premiere as I had hoped (ily Clark Gregg). And Survivor is as crazy as I had hoped it would be. I actually like the loved ones camp a little better than the returnee's. Mostly because that tribe doesn't have Colton Freakin' Cumbie. (Also, RIP Rupert. NOT)

Also, I've caught up to season 6 on Doctor Who. Steven Moffat is a mind-blowing genius and Matt Smith is a world treasure. That is all.

Lessons to live by.



Theater

BIG FISH. EVERYONE GO SEE BIG FISH. Probably Tim Burton's last great movie, Big Fish is one of my favorites. And the musical is everything I hoped. And more. I bawled like a baby at the ending, which was even more emotional than the movie. And Norbert Leo Butz. What a brilliant performer. He's on stage literally 98% of the time and doesn't miss a beat. I'm obsessed and will be seeing this again soon once it's out of previews.

I also saw Cinderella, which was cute and has some great costume changes, but really. Go see Big Fish.

So so good. 


Music

Wheelchair Jimmy, I mean Drake, has a new album and I'm quite diggin it. I don't quite get all this "Started from the Bottom" nonsense though since he basically started as a child star on a hit Canadian show. Maybe he considers Canadian shows the bottom? Nevertheless it's a fun album to listen to surrounded by my sistas on the subway.



Guilty pleasure of the moment: Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." It's catchy ok? Although this Daily Grace basically sums up my feelings of the music video:



YouTube

Do you guys know about Arturo Trejo's channel? They're a Mormon couple with the cutest son ever and their videos are HILARIOUS. Their last two videos especially had me in stitches.




News

Breaking Bad finale is happening as we speak. I'm still in the middle of season two, so I'm trying to avoid Twitter for the next few days.

Merritt Weaver's speech from the Emmy's is literally the best thing I've seen these past few weeks. She's my new hero.



Also, for those of you who don't know, I've started a vlog of my very own, chronicling my diet and my quest to get healthy. Many thanks to Jenny who visited last weekend and helped on my last video.



That's it for now. I wrote this all really fast because I want to go to sleep so I apologize for the choppy sentences. But I'm not really that sorry.

 Happy Sunday!