Ever since I was young, I’ve found myself on the left end of the political spectrum. The older I get, the more fervent I become in my political/social beliefs. Tonight, while perusing Facebook, I saw that one of my friends had shared a Facebook post, no doubt blasting Michelle Obama. Not just that, though. It was an article from Fox News (insert involuntary eye roll after every mention of Fox News in this post) blasting Michelle Obama because she is urging Americans to drink unsweetened tea as opposed to sweetened tea as part of her Let’s Move campaign.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.43.36 AM

It really just boggles my mind that people will get so up in arms about something as trivial as sweet tea. And, I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I want to be healthier. Sweet tea isn’t healthy. It’s definitely not healthy when you get one or four daily from McDonalds, size large, which seems to be something a LOT of people do in my hometown do. I used to! I was born and raised in the south and sweet tea is a staple, but in college I got to the point where sweet tea was just entirely too sweet for me. I had to dilute it with lemon juice. Now, I drink iced green tea with barely any sugar in a whole pitcher, if any at all. According to the nutritional information from the McDonalds website, there are 54 grams of sugar in a 30 ounce McDonalds large sweet tea (36 g in a small). 54 grams! That’s like eating one and half Snickers bars. Fact: America is the most obese country in the world. Michelle Obama is in charge of an initiative that works to help educate us on the harm the food we eat can do to our bodies. We eat like pigs, here, it’s true. And It’s our choice as to whether or not we drink a large McDonalds sweet tea while eating a Big Mac, or opt for something healthier, like unsweet tea. The people commenting on my friend’s Facebook post were OUTRAGED, which is really unbelievable. I don’t see how this is a topic for outrage. I’m not outraged, I’m just baffled and blown away by the bias and prejudice I see exhibited on my Facebook news feed so often. There were comments asking “Why doesn’t Michelle focus on addicts or the homeless?”, but obesity is a serious problem that can cause death, too. I guess some people just don’t realize how serious obesity is. And, just to put the lid on this, FLOTUS does concern herself with homelessness and a whole slew of other problems (I guess Fox News just chooses to leave out all of the other positive things she does, huh). The fact stands that FLOTUS is not BANNING SWEET TEA, as I’m sure Fox News would lead you to believe. Which leads me to my next point.

Fox News.

Let’s just assess the article, written by Todd Starnes for Fox News Radio.

The First Lady of these United States is now urging Americans to stop drinking sweet tea.

Yes – friends – you heard correctly. Mrs. Obama has declared war on the House Wine of the South. It’s all part of her anti-obesity campaign — called Let’s Move.

The website Free Beacon was the first to report on her latest culinary atrocities – urging us to wash down our lettuce and bean sprouts with unsweetened tea.

The First Lady also told Americans to stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets — which I’m sure is great news for all those folks employed by all-you-can-eat buffets.

Mrs. Obama also wants us to consider rustling up some tasty eats from the Department of Agriculture’s Pinterest page. Among her personal favorites are entrees like bean-kale burgers  and curried pumpkin with peas.

I just got a little throw up in my mouth, America.

A few things.

  1. “The First Lady of these United States is now urging Americans to stop drinking sweet tea”. First of all, exactly like I’ve said. URGING. Not “requiring” or “making” Americans stop drinking sweet tea.
  2. “Mrs. Obama has declared war on the House Wine of the South”. Has she though? Really? By wanting to take steps in helping you become a healthier person?
  3. This part probably infuriated me the most: “Which I’m sure is great news for all those folks employed by all-you-can-eat buffets”. Why even make that comment, though, other than Fox News hoping to instigate in any way that they can. It’s unbelievable. Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign isn’t going to put buffets out of business. It just isn’t. Too many people watch Fox News while sipping on their third McDonalds large sweet tea of the day and saying things like “NOT MY PRESIDENT” before hopping out of their La-Z-Boy to go to the local buffet restaurant for that to happen. While I don’t completely agree that all-you-can-eat buffets are a problem, I do understand her wishing we would stay away from them. When I have access to all the food I can eat, I’m going to eat until I’m about to burst. That isn’t healthy. Therefore, she’s saying we probably shouldn’t do it. And we shouldn’t. Also, “culinary atrocities”, because unsweetened tea is so offensive.
  4. “Among her personal favorites are entrees like bean-kale burgers  and curried pumpkin with peas. I just got a little throw up in my mouth, America”. Okay, Todd Starnes, we get it. You think health food is disgusting. You go right ahead and slurp on your sweet tea that you’re so hell-bent on defending while eating your, I don’t know, country fried steak and gravy and sweet potato pie.

Fox News Radio posted an entire article where a grown man whined about the fact that the FLOTUS wants us to maybe not drink sweet tea anymore, if we care about our health, because it would be better for our bodies and America’s growing obesity problem.


Michelle Obama is doing nothing wrong at all! Nothing. She’s trying to do something extremely positive. She isn’t devoting every minute of her entire day to her Let’s Move campaign, but when she is working with that particular campaign, she tries to make an effort to put positive change into effect. She’s aware that there are more important things going on in the world, just like we all are. Our obesity problem is very, very, serious, and you can ignore that or not. But. There are other things to be concerned with apart from what the First Lady has to say about sweet tea. There are plenty of other issues to which you can allocate your outrage. Why spend your time fighting for friggin’ SWEET TEA when there are ACTUAL LIVING AND BREATHING HUMANS that don’t have the same rights as other humans. Like it or not, Barack and Michelle Obama are POTUS and FLOTUS. You can spend the rest of his term griping and whining and complaining about it, or you can focus on the things that make you happy, and if that’s sweet tea, you go right ahead and drink it, but do us all a favor and stop posting Facebook posts that instigate and infuriate and don’t cause any positive change.


Well, hello again! I’m really bad at the whole regular updates thing, but oh well! I’m a busy gal! I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of design projects on my plate lately. Ones that have thoroughly entertained me and haven’t at all been a total burden, which is awesome! I think part of that has to do with the fact that I feel like my creative energy has been completely reinvigorated (hooray!). I think I’ve discovered that the trick to being able to pump up the creative juice, at least for me, is to work on each and every project like it’s your personal passion project, wake up super early, and (this is the biggest one), take advantage of sites like Creative Market, Graphic Burger, and other designer’s tools sites. I’ve spent way too much money at Creative Market lately, but it has been 100% worth it because my designs look more polished and put together now.


When I haven’t been developing an ad campaign or a magazine cover or logos for local businesses, I’ve been working on a personal project. It’s been a way to play around with new tools I’ve downloaded from the aforementioned sites,  and it’s been a way of keeping me sane. If I ever got just overwhelmed with a client’s project, I would take a break to work on this t-shirt design (and some other works in progress that I have up my sleeve). I’m extremely excited about this shirt, though, guys. It’s a little in-joke from the town I grew up in and currently live in. In 1882, the USPS unintentionally misspelled “Arad” (as in Arad Thompson, the founder of my town) as “Arab”, and we just kind of… accepted it, and we’ve been Arab (pronounced Ay-rab), Alabama ever since. So, yeah, we’ve embraced that typo since 1882. I’m getting the shirts printed on American Apparel unisex tri-blend t-shirts (because they’re the best t-shirts ever and I’m not getting my design put on cheap, uncomfortable Gildan shirts that aren’t flattering or good quality) and selling them for $25 apiece. The money I make is going to go toward my next big purchase, an iMac. My MacBook just isn’t cutting it for all the design stuff I have to do anymore and I need a desktop. So, I’m really pushing these sales! It’s been pretty successful so far, and I’m hoping once the first batch arrives, people will see others wearing the shirts and ask where they got them, and maybe I’ll have more orders to make! It’s been a really fun project, and people seem to like it, so I’m happy.



I decided I wanted to start tending my own plants. My dad has always had plants around our house and he’s definitely got a green thumb, and I wanted to try my hand at it. I took it EXTREMELY easy and got a little cacti and a jade plant. I put the cacti in a plain white concrete planter by Threshold for Target, and I put the jade in the dog domesticated trinket dish by Marta Turowska from Anthropologie. I’m really into it right now, and I can’t wait to take care of these plants!

I’m considering opening an Etsy shop, I’m teaching myself to make woven wall hangings, I’m going to start making my own brooches, and I’m designing all the time. I’ve been very happy lately, and I hope you have too! What’s been going on in everyone’s world? Fill me in!



I woke up this morning to news that the nominees for this year’s Golden Globes had been announced. The Golden Globes are great; they’re probably my favorite awards show. Most likely because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have hosted for the past few years and nothing in the whole world could top that (the only thing that has ever come close is Neil Patrick Harris). I’m sad that this is their final year hosting, but the list of nominees is tremendous and I just want to spend some time talking about that.

Best motion picture — drama

“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

Being from a small town in Alabama, we don’t get the limited release features that come around. So, sadly, the only film on this list I’ve seen as of yet is Boyhood, and my God, it was brilliant. I’ve wanted to see Foxcatcher for a few years now, and I think it will be nothing short of a vision. The Imitation Game has been on high buzz since it was released, and I’m highly intrigued by it. I am personally interested in Selma because it was filmed in my home state and takes place in my home state and all of that. Every time I see a commercial for The Theory of Everything I cry, and I love Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne and I just think it will completely destroy my emotions. So, as you can tell, I’m not very qualified to be making picks, but I’m going to do it anyway because I love awards season. And, honestly, the only movie on this list that I think I could even possibly like more than Boyhood is Foxcatcher. So.

Best motion picture — musical or comedy

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“St. Vincent”

OBVIOUSLY I’M GOING TO PICK THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL because Wes Anderson is my all-time favorite and I’m so proud of all the awards he’s been nominated for in this year’s Globes. Could this lead to his first Best Picture nom? Let’s hope so. Birdman has been at the top of my must-see list all year, but it hasn’t made it’s way to podunk Alabama yet. As a musical theater nerd, I’m super excited/nervous about Into The Woods. I fear it won’t be as upsetting/depressing as the original stage play, which is the best part about the stage play. The trailer for Pride looked decent enough (though it was a little heavy on the emotional resolve that inevitably comes in the end) and St. Vincent looks good. Birdman is the likely winner. Again, I’ll make another post when I see more of these films.

Best actress in a motion picture — drama

Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

I have only seen Gone Girl as Rosamund Pike was the perfect Amy Dunne. I’m not even going to go into the others because I haven’t seen them, but I will! You have my word.

Best actor in a motion picture — drama

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”

I have no comment on any of these because I, unfortunately, haven’t seen any of these. However, I’m shocked that Jack O’Connell didn’t receive a nomination for his performance in Unbroken, which has been heavily talked about. WHERE IS COOK’S NOM, GLOBES?!


Best actor in a motion picture — musical or comedy

Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

The resurgence of Michael Keaton makes me happy all over, but man, oh, man I want Ralph Fiennes to win for The Grand Budapest Hotel. I am in favor of all things Wes Anderson, yes, but Fiennes was so hilarious and charming in TGBH and he deserves it.

Best actress in a motion picture — musical or comedy

Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Annie”

Sorry, this new Annie looks awful and I can’t understand why Quvenzhane Wallis was nominated. I cringe at all the television teasers for the movie, and I have nothing against Quvenzhane Wallis! I just have things against unnecessary remakes and… I feel like there had to have been a better candidate for this category. Actually, I KNOW there’s a better candidate for this category and it’s JENNY SLATE FOR OBVIOUS CHILD. I was really crossing my fingers for this nomination, either for her or for director Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child was her directorial debut! And it was so good! SO GOOD). Jenny Slate is one of my favorite people, and she deserved this.

Best supporting actor in a motion picture

Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

I normally don’t like Ethan Hawke (with the exception of Reality Bites) but I loved him in Boyhood. He was perfect! He didn’t get a whole lot of screen time, but he lit it up whenever he was on screen. Moving on.

Best supporting actress in a motion picture

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

Okay, Meryl Streep. This is getting out of hand. You know in football when a team gets so far ahead of their opponent that they start to play terribly just so the other team doesn’t feel so bad? I think it’s about time Meryl Streep started doing the same. Like, maybe Meryl should be the next lead in Transformers. Or maybe she could be the romantic lead in the next Adam Sandler film? Y’know what, screw that, those films would probably get Oscar nominations if she was in them. It’s a lose-lose.
The only film I’ve seen in this category, again, is Boyhood, and Patricia Arquette was my favorite part of Boyhood. That scene where she breaks down crying at the kitchen table affected me more than any scene in any movie from this year. So excellent and emotional.

Best animated feature film

“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”

The Lego Movie. No question. One of the best and most funny movies I’ve seen all year.

Best director

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Oh, Wes Anderson, how I hope you’ll win this! You deserve it! You’re the best, most uniquely original director ever and I love you so much. The hard part here is that a couple of my other favorite directors are nominated- David Fincher and Richard Linklater. But I don’t care, I’m sticking with Wes.

Best screenplay 

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Do I even have to say who I want to win? WES.

Best original score 

Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
Antonio Sanchez, “Birdman”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

I’m such a huge fan of Reznor and Ross’s collaboration with Fincher, and their score so perfectly summed up the terror of Gone Girl.

Best original song 

“Big Eyes,” from “Big Eyes”
“Glory,” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is,” from “Noah”
“Opportunity,” from “Annie”
“Yellow Flicker Beat,” from “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part I”

I have no input on this category. I love Sia, but I’m torn because she sings that damn song from Annie, a film that I can’t understand why is nominated for anything (I know, I haven’t seen it yet, but I have a strong gut reaction when it comes to these kinda things).

Best foreign language film 

“Force Majeure Turist” (Sweden)
“Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett” (Israel)
“Ida” (Poland/Denmark)
“Leviathan” (Russia)
“Tangerines Mandariinid” (Estonia)

I want to see Ida so bad, and I just saw that it’s on Netflix so I’ll watch it here soon.


Best TV series — drama

“The Affair”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Good Wife”
“House of Cards”

~I don’t watch any of these shows but I know I should~

Best actor in a TV series — drama

Clive Owen, “The Knick”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
James Spader, “The Blacklist”
Dominic West, “The Affair”

~Same thing I said before~

Best actress in a TV series — drama

Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

~I guess I should note that these squiggly lines mean that I’m saying this in a sing song voice~

Best TV series — comedy

“Jane the Virgin”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”

I’m just so happy that Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory weren’t nominated! Modern Family is the Meryl Streep of television comedy, and The Big Bang Theory is the dog shit that Meryl Streep stepped in. Anyway, Girls is one of my favorites, I’m such a huge, huge fan, and I always root for it. I desperately need to watch Jane the Virgin because I’ve only heard great things about it. OITNB is also one of my favorites, but it doesn’t compare to Girls, and I wasn’t as impressed with Season 2 as I was with Season 1 (I did love it! Just not as much). I’ve watched a few episodes of Silicon Valley and thought it was funny (I love Martin Starr), and Transparent is another need-to-see. Anyway, WHERE IS VEEP?

Best actor in a TV series — comedy

Louis C.K., “Louie”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”


Best actress in a TV series — comedy

Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”

Queen JLD deserves this one. Selina Meyer is such a great character and she plays it perfectly. Veep is one of the best!

Best TV movie or mini-series

“The Missing”
“The Normal Heart”
“Olive Kitteridge”
“True Detective”

True Detective, because there was nothing on television in 2014 that I loved more than True Detective. It’s brilliant.

Best actor in a mini-series or TV movie 

Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”

I am ALWAYS rooting for McConaughey. And, subsequently, True Detective.

Best actress in a mini-series or TV movie

Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Frances O’Connor, “The Missing”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”

Jessica Lange is THE head bitch in charge, and if she doesn’t win this the world is off its axis or something.

Best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or TV movie

Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

~no comment, ugh, I need to get to watchin’ this stuff~

Best supporting actress in a series, mini-series or TV movie

Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”

I know I said I’m always rooting for True Detective, but Uzo Aduba is who deserves this. Crazy Eyes is a much better character than Monaghan’s Maggie.

I feel very under-qualified to post my opinions about the Globes, but I have these opinions and I wanted to post them and it’s my blog! So. I will update this once I see more of the films and whatnot.

What are your opinions on the Globes this year? Who do you think got snubbed? Jenny Slate did!!!!!

Let’s talk about it.


Hello, internet! My laptop charger broke and I was without my precious MacBook for nearly a month, but I’m back and better than ever. Other than that, life has been tremendous. Being without a computer was quite wonderful, honestly. It gave me time to do things other than stare at a screen for hours on end. So, I’m going to recommend some things that I enjoyed during my absence from the internet.

1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion

I finally read Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem (happy belated birthday to the truly inspirational Didion- she just turned 80 and is still as stylish and lovely as ever) and it blew me away. Her prose will make you want to be a better writer. It will also make you want to read everything she’s ever written.

2. Twin Peaks (TV series, 1990-1991)

Shamefully, it took me until 2014 to finally watch Twin Peaks in its entirety. It’s still haunting me. David Lynch has a way of doing that- peering into the darkest places and making you feel terror that shouldn’t exist outside of actual nightmares. The scenes with Bob have given me nightmares like nothing else.

3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Yes, Please is so incredible and honest and my, God, we are lucky Amy Poehler exists in our lifetime. I suggest you read this one right away. It’ll make you want to take the world by storm and experience everything.

3. The One I Love, 2014, dir. Charlie McDowell

I saw the trailer, which reveals little but intrigues a lot, and was transfixed. Mark Duplass tweeted that it was finally available on Netflix and I watched it immediately. You need to do the same before you hear anything about the plot. It’s the most uniquely original film I’ve seen in quite some time. I was entertained from the first scene. It should also be noted that Ted Danson is in this for little bit, which makes The One I Love well worth watching just for that. His stepson, Charlie McDowell (son of Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen), directed the movie, and Mary Steenburgen’s voice is featured in one scene. It’s a family affair!

5. “Birthday” by Selena Gomez
My friend Rachel heard this song while shopping in Forever 21 and immediately reported back to me on how girly and fun it is. It’s been our car ride go-to, and it really is the most girly and the most fun.



There’s a thing in the “blogosphere” called the One Lovely Blog Award, and a great human person, Joseph nominated me for it. I’m honored, and honestly just surprised that someone likes the words I type enough to make a post talking about it. So thanks, Joseph, you’re too kind and I’m so flattered that you like my blog!

There are some rules that come with this award, and those are that I have to nominate 15 other bloggers that I follow and I have to state seven facts about myself. However, I could not come up with 15 blogs, so I went with a rounded 10. And, since I only posted 10 blogs, I decided to only post 5 facts. So. Let’s get to it, shall we?


1. I broke my back in August of 2010. It involved a grappling hook and a 12 foot tall sloped wall. One day, maybe, I’ll tell y’all about it 😉

2. Unlike a lot of people I know, I have very fond memories of high school, including being captain of the danceline and a part of the musical theatre program.

3. My lucky number is 3.

4. I have a very profound interest in the darker side of psychology. I realize some may think it crazy, but I find things that are so completely foreign to me to be some of the most interesting, albeit terrifying and horrendous, things in the world.

5. I have been with my boyfriend for three and a half years and I love him more everyday. He introduced me to Lost, among many other superb shows and movies, and has really helped me develop better taste and opinions concerning film, music, television, and literature. He’s pretty okay, I guess. 🙂


Joseph Mwamba
My nominator, the ridiculously sweet Joseph Mwamba, writes a blog about television, and we all know how much I like television. Reading his reviews are like reading thoughts that come from my own mind. He’s excellent, and did I mention that he’s so kind??

Lillian & Dot
My friend Hanna, whom I know ~irl~ is absolutely adorable, fashionable, and knowledgeable. Her blog, Lillian and Dot, is what made me decide to start blogging again.

Darling Chay
I’ve recently been corresponding with Chay of Darling Chay through comments on our respective blogs. She is so sweet and so encouraging. Her blog is tremendous, as well.

One of my favorite media review sites. Dave reviews films old and new, and I know if I ever need a suggestion for what film to watch, I’ll find a plethora of options at ccpopculture.

The Belle Jar
This feminist blog is spectacular and full of brilliant reads for men and women who support equality of the sexes.

Scene A Lot Of Films
Another great film blog! It’s a writing portfolio for the author, Rachel, but it doesn’t read like a student writing research papers (the nice way of saying “it isn’t boring”). It’s entertaining and witty.

JayJayne is a blog of DIYs, fashion, beauty, and miscellany that I absolutely adore.

Bullsh!t Wiki
A sometimes dark and highly engaging blog full of information from any and everyone.

Angry Pear
I love these comics. Look at these comics. You’ll love them, too.

The Honking Goose
I just recently followed The Honking Goose, but I quickly understood that the blog was funny, and full of very blatant opinions that are compelling to read.


You know those movies where there’s this woman, usually a twenty-something, who’s endearingly and frustratingly doing everything wrong in her life and just can’t seem to catch a break? This is the direction my life is heading toward. However, in those movies, the girl usually finds her footing and everything ties itself up into pretty little bows and it’s eluded that our affable protagonist lives a life full of happiness and success. You see, this is where we differ. I know that life isn’t like the movies, of course I do. But I’m so afraid that my life isn’t going to be what I want it to be. Part of it is because I feel directionless and stuck, currently. I just can’t seem to figure out what exactly I’m doing or what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s horrifying. My self confidence isn’t the greatest and that’s a serious problem that I’ve dealt with my whole life. You can read all the inspirational quotes you want and your mother can tell you how wonderful you are and you can have little successes and all these things that are meant to build up your self-confidence, but they don’t last when you’re perpetually unsure of yourself. My whole life I’ve undermined my ability. I’ve made myself less than so I wouldn’t have to face disappointment. Things got particularly bad in college. I was pursuing something that I absolutely loved and was so excited about, but after a semester with a couple demeaning and hateful professors, I lost any ounce of confidence and motivation I had to excel in my chosen degree. Those particular professors went on to make my remaining semesters in college hell. I felt targeted and bullied. I started taking a lackadaisical attitude toward my schoolwork and projects. The situation I was in was completely foreign to me. From kindergarten to senior year of high school I had been a successful student and a teacher’s pet. I felt as though there was no pleasing them, even if I did try. Being on the bottom of the totem pole was shattering, and I crumbled. I developed a distaste for authority and challenged them in any way I knew how. I’ve always had a passion for typography. When I asked my printmaking professor (one of the professors I felt detested me) if I could do a type study in printmaking, she told me no, that it wasn’t an art form, which is ludicrous. Type is a beautiful study of shape and form, light and shadow. It incorporates everything traditional drawing teaches you. To this professor, it “wasn’t art”. I was outraged. It was like artistic oppression, and I honestly believed had one of her favorite students asked, she would have agreed to let them pursue anything they wanted. I know she would have. I mean, y’all, I’m not making this stuff up. That same printmaking teacher told my parents she was “surprised that my graduation exhibition was successful”, talked about me, my grades, and my artwork to another student, and insulted me and my work in class on numerous occasions. She was the absolute worst and I thank my lucky stars every single day that I don’t ever have to deal with her again.

I would have loved to have done something like this stunning Dana Tanamachi chalk art typography for printmaking, but it’s not art, according to my professor.

I studied current graphic designers. I studied trends and was up to date on all the latest design news, but I was never lauded or made to feel like I was a successful designer. I was always inadequate. In my time at college, there were only two art professors that I felt made my time spent there worthwhile. Two that encouraged and supported me and made me feel like I wasn’t a worthless designer, and I’m so thankful for them. One was an art history professor and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and the other an adjunct drawing professor who was interested in contemporary art and exploring what was going on in the art world today and allowing students to find their own distinct voice, unlike the other professors. When I graduated from college, I was so excited to get my life going. To become a successful designer, to make a name for myself and prove the idiot professors wrong. Jump ahead, and not even a year later I’m going back to school to be a teacher. It feels like failure, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I am excited to become a high school english teacher, don’t get me wrong. I love reading and writing and learning, but there’s something about abandoning my dreams and doing something more feasible that just doesn’t sit right with me. After submitting a paper in my psychology class about perception, my teacher pulled me aside before class one night and told me that I was a very successful writer and I should consider teaching college instead of high school. This was just the stroke my confidence needed. Liz Lemon’s mantra soon became my mantra. “I can have it all!”

College professor… I could do that. What if I didn’t teach english… what if I taught a film studies class? What if I taught a film studies class and had a graphic design business on the side? What if I was a film studies professor with a graphic design business and a successful, popular blog? I can do it! I can have it all!

Of course, it’s still taking some serious brain power to make myself fully believe all this. One compliment about my writing isn’t going to pull me out of this funk, though it was just the push I needed to start believing in myself. Eleanor Roosevelt really struck gold with her quote, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. It’s so true, and it’s going to take some time, but I’m learning to live by that.


When James Franco’s collection of short stories, Palo Alto Stories, came out in 2009, I bought it. I read the first story, Halloween, and felt that it was reminiscent of the UK show Skins, which is a show that I love (it’s on Netflix, you should watch it, but only watch the UK version. Trust me. Don’t even consider starting the US MTV remake, it’s appalling.). I didn’t finish the book, which is a problem I have, starting things and not finishing them. At any rate, the movie came out in the height of the pretentious James Franco phase (which may not even be a phase, at this point? I don’t know. I keep telling myself it is because I’m a Franco-fan. At least I think I am. I could just be a Franco-fan by proxy because I’m an enormous Judd Apatow fan and he’s part of that crew, but I don’t know. All’s I know is I’ll defend Franco. As you’ll see. In this blog post.) I got around to watching the film adaptation of Palo Alto Stories, titled just Palo Alto, tonight, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I was really expecting it to be just the a film that reeked of pseudo-intellectual bullshit, but it wasn’t that. It was very raw and it offered a pretty harrowing view of fictional California teenagers, though I think I can say that there’s more than probably some acute truth in the depiction of privileged west coast teens. They smoke, they drink, they make huge mistakes to which their parents inflict no real consequences on them. This is something that baffles me. I know there are people in this world whose parents have no response of authority or guidance when their child does something that is so clearly wrong. For instance, when Teddy, played by Val Kilmer’s son Jack Kilmer, is the perpetrator of a hit and run whilst driving under the influence, he receives no punishment from his parents, not even a slap on the wrist. I get that this is a film and that it’s fictional, but there are people like that in this world! Parents who don’t care what their children do. That’s foreign to me, because my parents couldn’t possibly care anymore than they do about me and my behavior/reputation. I’m so thankful for that because that’s the kind of upbringing all children deserve, and I think it’s why I know right from wrong and how to carry myself.  But I digress. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing film. Director Gia Coppola, niece of Sofia Coppola, is understandably influenced by the films of her familial predecessor. Palo Alto is enormously evocative of The Virgin Suicides. Even so far as literally in some scenes, you can see that Emma Roberts’ character April has a Virgin Suicides poster on the wall of her bedroom. It’s dreamy in the same way that Sofia’s films are dreamy. Very muted color scheme, which makes every scene feel somehow simultaneously warm and cold. Palo Alto has been compared to Harmony Korine’s Kids and Gummo, but I didn’t get that vibe. The shock factor wasn’t there, and I think that’s the whole motivation behind Korine’s films. The only similarities between Korine and Palo Alto, in my opinion, was the unflinching depictions of misspent youth.

Apart from Emma Roberts’ stunning performance as the vulnerable April, who falls prey to the seemingly charming but ultimately presumptuous Mr. B, played by James Franco, the star and most alluring character is Nat Wolff’s Fred. His energy radiated on screen and despite his extreme self destructive and threatening presence. He’s violently selfish and narcissistic. The whole time I was watching the film, I wanted to know more about Fred. Is he on a steady drug cocktail that leaves him aggressively frantic or is there something wrong with him? What is he drinking out of that flower vase that still has flowers in it- WHY is he drinking out of that flower vase that still has flowers in it? He has no backstory, and I love that. I think an interesting turn the movie could have taken would have been to further develop Fred as more of a main character. Then again, maybe the reason I was so drawn to Fred was because he was such an elusive character; here one scene, gone the next. Perhaps, if the film would have followed that character arc more closely, we would have discovered he was a psychopath. He shows no remorse toward his habit for destruction, a habit that annihilates not only his surroundings but the people he holds close to him, and he shows no remorse. He shows the signs for a psychopath or sociopath, conclusively putting his character in a box and leaving him in a position where the viewer would be less enchanted by him. Fred was more interesting than Teddy. I was uninterested in Teddy’s story immediately after his arrest. While Teddy’s story became less and less interesting, Fred’s became more complex and interesting, and I’m left now wondering what became of Fred. The film concludes with a powerful scene of Fred racing the wrong way down a street screaming “I’m not Bob”, a mantra described earlier in the film that encourages one to turn away from death and not walk into it, arms open. It’s a powerful scene, and really solidified my opinion that Fred was the most entertaining, interesting, most perfectly underdeveloped and unpredictable character.