July 04, 2014

Film Friday: Netflix Picks

Happy Fourth of July, American readers!  Any exciting plans for the long weekend?  Watching Netflix?  When I did a Netflix free trial a few summers ago, I did my best to milk it for all it was worth.  Of course, this was a time before shows like Orange Is The New Black made exclusive releases to the site, and before there were a million OTHER ways to stream thousands of movies.

For this installment of Film Friday, I thought it would be fun to share a few picks of what I've watched and enjoyed on Netflix.  In no particular order:

TELEVISION
Breaking Bad (2008-2012)
So this still makes the top of the list.  Sorry not sorry.  All five seasons are now available to stream.  I might have to marathon the series again.  I may be able to skip the first season, though.  Goodness knows I've seen that alone at least 10 times.

Friday Night Lights (2006-2010)
Full disclosure, I have not finished watching this entire series.  However, I am convinced the first two seasons are most worth watching anyway.  Written by an alum from my college, I think this does a good job with character development.  Plus there are actors that it's hard not to love, like Connie Britton.

Parks and Recreation (2009-current)
Need I blather on about how fantastic this show is?  I am probably preaching to the choir

Rita (2012)
I had no idea what exactly I was getting myself into with this foreign drama series from Denmark.  The gorgeous title sequence exuded promise.  I immediately liked how sassy the protagonist is, even though I'm not sure I would've liked her as my schoolteacher.


MOVIES
American Psycho (2000)
This was a movie I had always heard about, perhaps even had seen a few stills from, and yet still never quite understood what it was all about.  After viewing this grotesque 2-hour character case study, I still don't know how to coherently explain it.  Yet if you're looking to go on a terrifying ride, look no further.

C.O.G. (2013)
Jonathan Groff surprised me in this.  Although the story wasn't particularly new -- and I'm not sure how I felt about the ending -- this thoroughly sucked me in for its duration.

Tabloid (2011)
I stumbled upon this earlier this summer purely by chance.  This tells the story of a woman who was arrested in Britain for kidnapping and raping the love of her life who had been sent there for mission work with the Mormon church.  The entire movie seems nearly unreal and -- without spoiling anything -- shocking.  This made me think more critically about who is telling what story and for what reason.

Frances Ha (2013)
This film and I have a very special relationship.  It's filmed in black-and-white with the backdrop of NYC.  The main character, Frances (Greta Gerwig), is a 27-year-old aspiring dancer still figuring out her life.  Filled with comedy, drama, genuine emotion, captivating dialogue and entirely relatable moments, the movie oozed life.  I swear it is part of my soul now.  Just go watch it already.  If you don't think you'd like it, then at least watch this scene.


SPECIALS
Bo Burnham: what.
I can see why some might find Bo's brand of comedy offensive.  I would go so far as to say he is one of the best comedians of our generation.  He understands the way we operate nowadays and mocks it brilliantly.

Let me know what you've watched!

June 21, 2014

It's a small world after all.

I am officially convinced that the world is not as vast as humanity typically paints it out to be.  It has to be.  Otherwise explain to me why my good friend from middle school, Zack*, and a classmate from my college, ended up working the same summer job in San Francisco.  Mind blown.  Faith shifted.

I'd be lying if I didn't say my past week has been exhausting.  Fortunately, one can often find solace in the little things.  This morning at my office job in the library I felt very zen.  I realized that the majority of my mornings in 2014 had started in the college's library.  Then I thought, "Dang.  I must love it that much."  And I do.  Even the basement with its flickering light above a certain computer I have vowed never to use for that reason--the flicker is too distracting.

My exhaustion may be linked to when I watched Before Sunrise (1995) last night.  Devastingly good.  I teared up, of course.  I was glad I had also rented the sequel, Before Sunset (2005), because I watched it immediately, hungry to see how the story continued.  I swear an hour and a half movie never felt so short.  The characters are so charming and incredibly human.  I am planning to rent the third movie in the trilogy from the library soon.  After watching those films and reading this collaborate blog, 40 days of dating, chronically an experiment two NYC designer friends underwent in dating (read the 'about' page first), I am emotionally spent.

Watch out, no real segue here...

I wonder if my friends and I will plan a barbecue for the 4th of July.  We already have one successful potluck under our belts.  Here's the photographic evidence:

Mmm, check out that strawberry nectarine crumble.

Tomorrow, er, today, the majority of classmates around the Cities this summer are having a picnic at a nearby lake.  At the beginning of the week, I was stoked to go.  However, my mindset and health have changed drastically since Monday.  I shall remain in bed to rest until this cold is over.

Currently taking any song or movie recommendations to take my mind off feeling miserable!

I hope everyone is having a fun summer.  The common theme I've been seeing, though, is mostly surrounding adulthood?  Yeah, that's only mildly terrifying.

*He's also, strangely enough, responsible for the title of this blog.  I've mentioned this before, haven't I?

June 03, 2014

Onto the next one.

(I apologize if this post is all over the place.  That's my  mind  life right now, for ya.)

Why hello there.  I am currently seated at my summer house's dining room table.  As devastated as I was to lose the house I had planned to live in, this alternative has proven quite great -- dare I say better.  Several of my friends have come over and agree, so this isn't just my gooey-honeymoon-eyed biased opinion.  All the real credit -- and gratitude -- goes to my friend Jenni who offered this subletting option to me after everything feel through.  She, Miya and their three other friends picked a fantastic spot for the next two years.  I shall have to come over plenty when I am back in the spring.

The phrase "back in the spring" fills my vocabulary lately as I begin planning for my semester abroad in Scotland.  Even writing those words seems more like a dream than my not-too-distant reality.  Okay. I'm going to stop talking about it.  Can't psych myself out too much.

Settling into life here again has been surprisingly fun.  Granted I love getting the chance to redecorate a new space, probably more than most folks.  What can I say?  I like making spaces my own.  Pictures to come when I'm done.

Most of the fun and belly laughs have come from my housemate Liz (not confusing at all).  She and I have spent quite a bit of time together these past few coordinating this and that.  On Sunday her boyfriend Declan was kind enough to drive us to IKEA (plus Target…and the grocery store).  I had the hardest time navigating IKEA and ended up buying nothing save for some Swedish meatballs for dinner.

All of this unpacking and unloading almost makes me forget the time I spent home, then in Providence, Rhode Island for my brother's graduation from Brown and home again.  Blah, blah, blah, yes, Emma Watson was there at the graduation.  No, I did not meet her.  Brown did not make as big a deal out of it as the presses.  Besides, I was focused on my brother and how proud I was of him.  Look at this (teary-eyed) graduate!  Everyone comments on how we look so much alike.  Genes: magical things.


I will keep the majority of my thoughts about the trip to my journal.  Basically I was stunned four years had already passed.  And by the end of it, I have come to realize sometimes it is better to accept the messiness of life.  

Take care, folks.

P.S.  I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Would definitely recommend.