Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

Thank You Glenn Rhee + Steven Yeun


As the old saying goes, a cat has nine lives. In the zombie apocalypse, former pizza boy turned wise leader Glenn Rhee had a thousand.

The comic books already sealed his fate. It was ultimately a matter of time to see if television would follow suit. After six years on The Walking Dead, we're giving thanks to Glenn Rhee and Steven Yeun, a cinnamon roll too precious for this world who managed to survive against all odds.

It's rare in television for good-hearted characters to not only survive in an apocalypse but also become a fan-favorite. Maybe we're often a pessimistic bunch and it irks us when someone can seem so damn honestly good, especially in a world when it's an eye for an eye, blood out for blood.

Sometimes we want to know what dark and tortured issues makes a person tick, what makes them sane or insane in a dog-eat-dog society.

Often goody characters also come with on-the-nose warning signs of their imminent peril. We never feel like our growing admiration is trusted in the hands of writers who will unpredictably cast aside our heroes to the wolves.

But somehow Glenn defied everything that literally stood in his way, not only from a writer's perspective but in this ridiculous world known as the zombie apocalypse.
I get to be the funny guy with the one-liners, I get to be the romantic male in the group, and I've been able to be a bad-ass on occasion. Actors only dream of an opportunity like this. - Steven Yeun
People survive differently; it can make them be a mayor of crazy town, become an unforgivable monster, or live and lead with others day-to-day. Glenn definitely fell into the latter group, but his way of life was more than simply existing. Level-headed, humble, and good-hearted, Glenn was a beacon of how people can choose to persevere if they actively chose to. He was a genuine light in the darkness.

Community made him mature. Love means sacrifice but it also symbolizes stability; where you love, you have hope. His relationship to Maggie didn't break him, no matter their accumulation of losses. She made him realize that being walker bait wasn't cool; it was time to grow up and consider the future, whichever is however long it lasts and what they forge with the right mindset and their own hands. They were each other's equals; giving strength to one another and being each other's guiding light.

The Walking Dead has proven surviving a zombie apocalypse not just a game of brawn. Being physically fit and wielding weapons certainly ups your odds, but a good portion of using your brains comes into play too. A lot of heart goes into persevering.

When shit hit the fan, Glenn thought about who he wanted to be when the dust settled. The danger that surrounded Glenn didn't stop him from being his own moral compass. Early on he accepted that every friend or foe has something to offer, and holding onto his humanity separated him from the enemies. He remained sane, diplomatic, helpful, and resilient. This is a whole other kind of courage that's very rare not just in The Walking Dead universe but the real world.
And let us not grow weary of doing good. For in due season we will reap if we do not give up. - message Glenn sees in Father Gabriel's church
Time after time Glenn's composure was tested. He's lost his cool and questioned whether his fairness to not mercilessly kill was worth it. But his obstacles only re-enforced his strength. His focus to rebuild shone through because of his dedication to not harden or hold grudges; to not cause violence for violence's sake; to be living examples of the wisdom and blessings he received by his family. For every person the group lost, he used a piece of them forward. He observed dire situations and saw the thru-line of what kind of person he wanted to be.

Glenn was so lovable and respected primarily because of Steven Yeun who played him. Unlike Rick, Glenn didn't have the freedom to run to the edge of Crazy Town and return back from the brink. Unlike Carol, Glenn wasn't someone who was a quiet yet significant force of nature. Unlike Daryl, he wasn't a gruff bad-ass decked out in leather jackets riding around on sick cycle and acting all mysterious.

Glenn had a good heart, and that's not easy to come across as too melancholy, kooky, or naive. Yeun's humble abilities carried a significant honesty to his character's downfalls and triumphs. Glenn was a steady stream of finding the good within the bad, ugly, and just plain atrocious. He smart, wise, charming, funny, hopeful, and realistic. Yeun did it all with an underrated genuine heart and kindness. His character's transformation is one of the most remarkable arcs of the series second none to Peletier and Grimes.

It's difficult to say goodbye to someone who provided such a reasonable, and calm presence in such a grim, bloody chaotic world. He is one of the most layered and respected members of the original and evolving Atlanta clan, and it will be nearly impossible for the impact of his character to be fulfilled in the future. As fans of the pizza boy, his admirable positivity and ability to think of others before himself will always be with us. To Glenn and Steve, for everything, I give a humble Thank You.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Warby Parker & Kill Screen Limited Edition Glasses

Let me be completely honest: I'm obsessed with eye-wear. One of my favorite brands is polished and cutting-edge frames by Warby Parker. Every pair of their glasses for the everyday wearer has a gorgeously sleek and modern design. 

When Warby Parker announced they were going to launch a brand new game, alongside a new collection of limited edition glasses, I was all eyes (and ears) open!

For their new venture, Warby Parker partnered with Kill-Screen, a literary-minded video game arts and culture company, to create their first ever (and totally free!) game called Worbs. To make this vision come to life, trio master designers Highline Games, Warby Parker, and Kill Screen designed a physic-based matching game, where the objective is to match like-colored balls in a bowl.

The beautiful minimalist creation is set on a work desk with distracting book titles, a pair of their amazing new glasses and the ever-important "tilt button".  It's a perfect and simple game to play at your desk - something I've been doing a lot during my work breaks. Worbs is available to play, here.

Aren't those glasses absolutely killer?

To match the joint effort between the two innovative brands, Warby Parker has transformed one of their best-selling (and one of my favorite) frames into another work of wearable art. 

Their sturdy and sleek creation Burke is serving as the inspiration to launch those ultra-chic Kill Screen limited-edition glasses. The attention to detail Warby Parker commits to in all of their styles takes on a whole other level with this exciting collaboration.
The limited-edition glasses, Burke in Glacier Grey (a best-selling frame reimagined in a new hue), are crafted from premium cellulose acetate and equipped with lenses that have anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings—which conveniently reduce the glare from screens. (Score!) Inside the frame’s temple is an embossed Kill Screen logo in their signature red. Also included in the bundle is a custom lens pouch with artwork featuring the Kill Screen logo cleverly deconstructed into minimalist lines and shapes.
The game and the glasses are an absolute total score, right? Warby Parker's gorgeous and bold premium eye wear is available for both men and women. Check out this exclusive and highly anticipated launch with their awesome game at the official website here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Ode to DVDs + my recent haul

Last month when my sister and I discovered that the sole local DVD rental store was closing, the news was bittersweet. Many Christmases or afternoons while my mom shopped for groceries were spent at this store where hung out with the cashiers to talk about movies.

We'd be lying if we didn't see the signs that a massive clearance sale looming. Last year the shop divided its space into DVDs and (overpriced) pop culture merchandise. The move essentially cut the movie buff demographic in half. Who wanted to see all the dvds squished to the side for toys and gadgets you could buy next door at Wal-Mart? People sprinkled in to rent movies and attend midnight release parties, but not in droves like they used to.

It was weird to visit the store as it was closing down and seeing rows of DVDs marked down. (I can't lament too much about this: I saved like $200....) That's where this very rare dvd haul comes from.

In this awesome world of streaming whatever we want wherever we are, are DVDs officially going out of style? I guess, in a lot of ways, yes, especially for people who don't live like a cave person.

Similar stores like Blockbusters are extinct. Grocery stores have RedBoxes, so renting is still available but the physical location of hanging out with other geeks or parents taking their kids to pick out a special Friday night movie (a faded tradition my family had) has become a thing of the past.

With all of the instant access we have to movies these days, it's hard to remember a time when DVDs were in-style. Almost twenty years ago news broke out that these strange but awesome little discs were going to replace VHS tapes. It was a totally weird concept: discs? like a CD? how would we tape shows to them? WHAAATTT? That's not gonna last. Subsequently, Me and my sister spent that whole summer saving up for our own television, DVD player, and our first buys: The Mummy and Twister. DVDs were once the ultra-cool way of the future.


The massive transformation of VHS to DVDs soon ushered in other eras like Dial-Up to Wifi, CDs to Ipods, and VHS Players to DVR devices.

Some things never disappear. Vinyl records for the masses temporarily vanished but it's been coming back. People used to claim that books would be dead and replaced with kindles and ebooks, but literature is flourishing with bookworms. In fact Barnes and Noble sales have plummeted online but risen with physical stores. The community is as active as fandom culture with the conversation about what are you reading and what do you want to read growing exponentially.

But the future for movies looks more and more like it's going to be online in some form of streaming content; less dvds, less movie theaters, less of it in a physical sense. Which is ironic considering this I blog about movies that I, for the most part, watch on my tablet.

When everything is just tapped into online by a smartphone, tablet, or our televisions now, the tangible feelings I have towards movies are getting lost in the shuffle.

My sister and I made memories searching up and down the aisles for that one title we wanted to take home with us, or muddling through the subtle disappointment when some indie movie wasn't in stock and hoping for better luck next time.

Sometimes it's nice to have something physical of a movie similar to the popular ebooks and physical copies debate. Kindles are great to carry 100 books wherever we go, but physical copies are more intimate i.e. holding a book in our lap while sipping a cup of coffee or cuddling into bed.

I'm ALSO a person who, as much as she loves to stream Jessica Jones over and over, has thought: when is Netflix gonna release this on DVD? Not only do I have regular EPIC moments of brain-fartery, but I do get a little giddy popping a DVD in and getting comfy for a movie night, and that somehow feels different to me than streaming.

Amazon, and what's left of stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. will surely still stock DVDs as far as we can tell. Getting a movie shipped to my house is a great convenience, but makes the experience of being among other movie buffs a thing of the past. DVDs might not be going out of style just yet; they're just taking on another form that I'll guess I'll have to get on board with....soon.

P.S. The haul itself was pretty good. I bought a fair amount of movies I just wouldn't pay full-price for i.e. Leatherheads, Eat Pray Love, and Loser. I was so excited to get Gone Girl and have watched it....quite a few times. I think my sister and mom suspect there's something wrong with me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Katy's Fauxchella with TickPick

Summer has officially arrived! 'Tis the season to go to music festivals! With the sun shining and blue skies above, it's an awesome time to jam to our favorite bands or new performers. Perhaps one of the most famous music festivals is Coachella. It's notorious for it's appearances by celebrities as regular music fans like us. Though this year's concert has already passed, there's always next year to think about not only what the concert will have in store, but also my dream concert. Gina at TickPick teamed up with me on a collaboration of my dream music Faux-chella festival.


Tickpick's designers customized this awesome poster with my imagined headliners. My music tastes vary all over the place from swing and the 1940s to classic rock. Having attended an amazing concert by Florence and the Machine last month, she was certainly at the top of my list. A solid rock vibe are taking over my playlists these days.

These are the bands I picked: Alabama Shakes, Elle King, B├śRNS, Florence and the Machine, The Lumineers, Fitz and The Tantrums. I've included each band and my favorite tracks that would be awesome to hear.

Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight

Lead singer Brittany Howard's sound and her band first blew me away as apart of the Silver Lining's Playbook soundtrack back in 2012. Their style and especially her vocals are ridiculously soulful. Don't Wanna Fight is just one of several tracks of of their most recent album Sound and Color that I love listening to over and over again. Check them out - don't fight me on this. They're awesome.


Elle King - Ex's and Ohs

King's Ex's and Oh's has become a big radio hit as well as her other song America's Sweetheart. What can I say? Her voice just freaking kills it. Though Alabama Shakes' ruminations about relationships and life are a bit more soulful but nevertheless honest, I love how King is bringing back exciting, bad-ass (female) anthems to rock again.


Borns - Electric Love

I don't really remember how or when I first came across Borns, but it's been one of my favorite discoveries as of recently. This band isn't like the first two on this list, which might add some spunk to a concert of my dreams. Like King, Borns has a very cool eighties-esque sound and one of the coolest songs around right now.


Florence and the Machine - Ship to Wreck

This selection was a bit of a cheat since I just saw her live and can't get over her concerts. Her ability to perform is like mixing Janis Joplin and Queen - she is that good. Smaller stages really do her a disservice because at full voice and barefooted, Florence can't be tamed. She runs around the stage and unleashes an amazing energy. She gives an unbelievable concert, so she would no doubt be a good addition to my dream Fauxchella.


The Lumineers - Ophelia

Similar to Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers caught some big air play with their hit song from Silver Linings Playbook called Ho Hey. It's no doubt a great song and very catchy. Some of their more recent songs like Ophelia are great follow-ups to the shout-along feel that initially made them such a big hit.



Fitz and the Tantrums - The Walker

Fitz and the Tantrums is just such a groovy band. I love how they sound very rockish but also have a pop vibe to them. As the lyrics goes, The Walker just makes me want to break out and dance. One of their other best songs is definitely the totally groovy Moneygrabber. The music video has a very old-fashioned sixties feel while also remaining hip and modern rock. Basically, I would give them (and every artist on this list) all of money to see them in person!

A big thanks to TickPick for reaching out to me for this project. It was a lot of fun and definitely got me letting loose to some awesome beats for the summer. If you're going to pick up tickets, check out TickPick's official website information about concerts and the NFL.


What about you guys - who would you love to rock out to?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Old Isn't Bad: Spreading the Love for Classic Film

Entering the film world in college, I expected to hob-knob with classmates over movies we loved, hated, seen recently, and so on. Disappointingly, I realized so many students don't actually like or even love movies - or if they do, so many have only seen newer releases from the past five, maybe ten years. Even more disappointing, is that teachers, as well as student, had a distaste for Classic Hollywood films, mostly because they are just old.

The disturbing trend about film is that apparently, it has an expiration date. Anything beyond 2005, or 2000, or sustains a Star Wars-like reputation, is not worthy or interesting to watch.

In and out of the classroom what is disheartening is not only the lack of interest in classic films but the disconnection of what they are: out of date, not worthwhile, useless. So, I'd like to put an end to the stigma about older films with these simple steps.

1. Don't Add 'Well It is OLD'. With Facebook status posts and tweets every nanosecond, often my generation likes to go for what is new, current, and so not fifty years ago. If you add 'It's Old', or the old 'Back in my day, kid', our attention is lost. There's no need to make a big deal about age - whether it is relatively young or entering it's senior years.

2. Don't be surprised if they haven't seen it. Ever not listen to a certain type of music or never gone skydiving, and made to feel like you are the biggest outcast in the world for having missed out on that once-in-a-lifetime, life enhancing opportunity? Yeah, when you mention a classic film someone hasn't seen, don't go for the big gasp, hand to the forehead, "Oh my gosh, you haven't?! WHY NOT?!". You just turned a potential fan into someone carrying a sour attitude towards classics forever.

3. Share but do not preach. John Brunner once said, "There are two kinds of fool. One says, 'This is old, and therefore good.' And one says, 'This is new, and therefore better.'" When we talk about classic films, there's no need to go off into film lingo about the production, cast, etc. To a fan who hasn't seen many classic films, talk about them like you always do with a movie you just watched last weekend; conversational and fun.

4. Tell them where to go. Old Hollywood films are rare but don't have to be completely dismissable. Suggest where they can be watched. Turner Classic Movie channel plays all classic genres uncut and commercial free. Suggest your friends to check out The Essentials to ease their way into the genre. There's also Netflix, Amazon, and even YouTube. Try to sound like the movies can be at your friends' fingertips ready to watched like so many modern movies are.

5. Don't be ashamed. I'm often guilty of this. When talking to other students, and they have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, I'm often interrogated about why do I like classic films, aren't they in black and white and so on... Well, yes, they are. Soon I'm shamed or quieted because other students find it weird I like older movies. Simply, don't! Share your love for them when you can...and don't make a big deal that they are old(er).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Horror Movie Survival Kit Inspired by ManCrate

Halloween is the perfect time of year to watch scary movies. A group of high school students are attacked by Ghost Face. A hotel won't let you leave one of its rooms. A family won't leave the house they just bought, even though it's filled with poltergeists or ghosts. As we watch in terror as characters try to evade their serial killers or phantom hosts, at times don't we all think we have what it takes to survive a horror movie?

Well, we're in luck! ManCrates focuses on creating awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates that he has to open with a crowbar. In celebration of the Halloween season, the awesome people at ManCrates asked me to come up with what I would want in my own dream crate that would help me and others make it to the end credits of a horror flick.

There are a few obvious essentials to surviving a horror movie like being familiar with the commandments and carrying a few in-case-of-emergency aids (flashlight, phone chargers, etc). When we're caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, or are pitted against vampires, it's best that we are prepared for anything. Here is a list of tools I thought would be awesome for a Horror Movie Survival Kit. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Fandom Struggle is Real with The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games fandom struggle
The Hunger Games symbol
Franchises can be universally loved, hated, or a mix of in-between. No series wins the hearts of absolutely everyone. After the monumental success of Harry Potter, Hollywood started its crusade of the Next Big Young Adult Phenomenons. Many a teenage flick has tried to fill the void left by the Boy Who Lived. Only one has been the most successful: The Hunger Games.

A part of me is truly excited for the epic conclusion with Mockingjay Part 2. A three year journey will end. Another part is not so happy. It doesn't feel like the revolution I signed up for. My inner fangirl has a major love and hate relationship with this series.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This Is How I Work Blogathon


Fellow blogger Mariah at a A Space Blogdessey changed things up a bit by starting a blogathon about her process and asking us some questions about ours. Inspired by other bloggers, she asked us to join in a challenge to show us how we work. Thank you to Mariah for hosting this blogathon. Enjoy the look behind the scenes about how this blog survives staying active every month.

What apps can my not live without? Netflix seems like a pretty obvious one to give a shout-out to. I also really love WPS Office, which allows me to write and edit documents. Sometimes writing is much easier on my tablet punching in every letter one by one rather than facing my keyboard and a blank screen. Google Keep is also easy for creating small notes and ideas in one place.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Genius of Reinvention: Matthew McConaughey

I loved EdTv growing up. The main character is an average Joe who is contracted by a television network to follow him around 24/7 by a camera crew. All of his personal relationships and family downfalls are aired for the world's entertainment. He becomes a major celebrity with college girls watching him every week together huddled in their dorm rooms, and temporarily he seems a hero to all of closest buds.

Before our culture eventually embraced the chaotic crazy world of crazies showing us every minute detail of their ordinary lives, the movie then seemed like a preposterous future. Today no channel is without a show about someone arguing with their friends, getting drunk, competing for cash, or showing off their ridiculous obsessions. Now, the movie seems less than special. Except to me it always has been because it brought Matthew McConaughey into my sphere.

He became my king of the big screen. His southern drawl, his good-natured spirit, his ability to play a normal guy with vigor and passion unlike I'd ever seen drew me immediately towards such an average character. McConaughey wasn't the first movie movie star I fell in love (John Travolta) nor the one that I declare to be my husband one day (Leonardo DiCaprio), but he was the biggest underdog.

Everyone seems to love McConaughey, or on some level, always did. Do you remember when he and Kate Hudson hit out of the park with How To Lose a Guy In Ten Days? It's your average chick flick of two people using each other to get ahead in their own careers, and then their "quirky" ambitions allow them to fall in love. Their chemistry was magnetic, McConaughey showed off his pecks, and the movie was a huge hit. Even before this chick flick that put him on every woman's radar, he was then building a career with popularized Dazed and Confused and Contact.

As a celebrity-loving culture, we often take severe notes over when we consider an actor or actress have hit their peak and 'fallen atrociously from grace'. Usually this happens in the course when someone's choices seemingly go from A+ material to something that may not even be worthy of a F- ranking.

A major tide turned for the Texan cowboy and his rom-com place in Hollywood: it went all over the map. In The Wedding PlannerFailure to Launch and Fool's Gold, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past he was attached to portraying a charming manboy who could swipe the panties off his love interest three thousand miles away. Every character slighted differently  but the scope his career took didn't reach expectations. Most people only remembered those movies and thought that's as far as he could reach.

Though he was never far away from movie making - he's made at least one almost every year since the 1990s - Hollywood and McConaughey made himself "a comeback kid" in 2011. After a "rough" decade of varying dramatic roles (several that I loved) like Two for the Money, Reign of Fire, and We Are Marshall, he finally gained notoriety in some better executed indies.

Suddenly taking notice of this electric presence on-screen, critics and audiences agreed he had finally made a return. With roles like Killer Joe, Magic Mike, Mud, and most recently The Dallas Buyers Club, how could anyone possibly ignore him. Throughout genres, he's carved an image of anti-hero. He was trying to catch lightning with more dramatic roles and he caught several bolts finally lighting up the world.

Similar to action stars like Nicolas Cage, we as audiences don't expect actors who take on blockbusters to have the level of intellect or intelligence they show when they are gifted with the opportunity to show it. They become servants enslaved to our pop culture expectations that they only have one side of their abilities whether it's blowing things up or being a shirtless sex god.

Though the material may range for McConaughey's carefully crafted talent, no one can deny the enigmatic spotlight he carries in every motion picture. That brimming smile, his thick accent, and that palpable energy. When he talks, he's on fire. You're hooked to his every charismatic and charming word. During his SAGS award acceptance speech, most people only heard Neptune and wouldn't let it go. I was watching someone with passion for his craft which was finally being taken "seriously".

Nowadays, actors are so immensely chillaxed about their life and career they barely have any personality orr energy. Everything seems to roll so lackadaisically off of people's shoulders, nobody seems to be affected either positively or negatively by their success, failures, and triumphs. Everyone is riding on neutral. Except Matthew McConaughey - he's soaring and always has been.