Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wasted Time / Time Well Spent

Summer break is the time for movies.

Like THE time. I waste all day watching films and even go well into the night, until the night turns into the morning. It is as if I might die the next day, so I must stay up and voraciously finish each story. As usual though, I always have plenty of time the next day. Much to the chagrin of my mother, my perpetually messy room is still that, a perpetual mess. Films are a really special medium. In my head, I have always toyed with the idea of acting or directing or writing films. I know it could be something worthwhile if I tried, but the realist in me says no way. The shy part of me also makes it all completely terrifying. My genre would be indie films. I wouldn't want my film to be too well known, and I would always rather it elicit grand emotion or introduce a new perspective to all that watch it. That might be more likely if less people watch it. However, my thinking here is not valid if we regard the Law of Large Numbers. Anyway this post is to provide a small review on my favorite films I have seen so far this summer.

Let's start.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This movie is my favorite Woody Allen film. So much so that it prompted me to go on a Woody Allen rampage (the only one I had seen before was Midnight in Paris) and watch as many as I could. Until I got bored. I think I like about half of the ones I have watched. I'll get to another one later. This movie made me fall in love with Javier Bardem. He is a great actor. Penelope Cruz is also just a firecracker in this. The use of narration was completely on point in this film as opposed to You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger (I had to watch that one, Freida Pinto is in it and she is my girl crush). I think the story was really wonderful, and it gave me a little bit of a lifestyle epiphany. I won't go much into that, though. I think everything was very straightforward in this movie, not to mean that it was not complex. I think the complexity was the choice to be straightforward. I could watch this movie all the time.

Match Point

Yet another Woody Allen film. I thought the story was interesting. A little Gatsby-esque considering the relationship between wealth, love, and responsibility, but still different. I guess that is really all I want to say about it.

God Help The Girl

A really charming musical film about a girl living in a different country while dealing with an eating disorder. She wants to make music and when she meets two other people, they do that all together while simultaneously supporting each other through personal turmoil. A great story of friendship. Although I think the storyline could have been better developed and it didn't end up how I wanted it to, I thoroughly enjoyed it thanks to the lyrical work of Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch. The melodies are whimsical and happy, even if the lyrics aren't always happy. Murdoch's songwriting style is one-of-a-kind; a character's thoughts or seemingly mundane and insignificant daily routines are strung together in ditties that make you smile yet still contain a meaningful commentary that adds to the mood of the film. Emily Browning's voice is absolutely perfect for the part, and I must say I have developed a new girl crush.

Short Term 12

I watched the trailer for this and knew I had to watch it straight away. I was worried that it might have already given away the entire plot, and it kind of did give away a good chunk of it. However, Brie Larson and the other actors that play the kids in the short term home give magnificent performances. I was crying thirty minutes into the film. The incorporation of story telling throughout was incredibly clever in delivering messages in an unexpected, indirect way. I really appreciated that even though the individuals in the short term home do not have the best circumstances, you never felt pity for them, only reverence. The kids and the adults worked together to get to a level of understanding, and in such great displays of empathy were great emotions elicited. I have immense respect for Destin Cretton for writing this story and living a similar one in his life. A must watch for any and every one.

That is all I have on the movie front for now. Hope someone found a nice way to waste their time thanks to my suggestions.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jordan Almonds

This post has been a long time coming. These are a couple images I wanted to share from a cousin's wedding back in November. My dress is the color of pink Jordan Almonds, which I don't really care for but looked so pretty filling a vase on the dessert table at the wedding (not pictured). I would like to say congrats to my cousin and her husband, as they are soon to welcome a new baby boy! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mornin' Glory

I went birding today. 

Not something I would actually do on my own. One of my best friends is an avid birder however, and  I thought I would give it a try because he likes it. We looked through plots of tamarisks (pictured in the first photo) that were used as wind breaks for a park and some crops. We saw yellow warblers, townsend warblers, some bushtits (I giggled inappropriately in my head at this name), and one other species that I cannot recall. Not a very lucky day, as he hadn't seen the more uncommon warblers we were looking for. I couldn't get any pictures of them either, for the tamarisks didn't allow much light to get through and the birds were too fidgety for me to locate them long enough. I don't really have a passion for birds, but I am always open to learning about wildlife. Spending time outdoors with a good friend in the warm early morning sun is also a treat in itself. I really appreciated just walking along a fairly empty road, listening the the chirpy shenanigans of the birds. It was so very peaceful and calming. I don't even mind that my sandals and feet got a little muddy, but that is my bad for poor judgement in footwear for the activity. I am happy I finally went birding with my friend though, as he is leaving to go somewhere for a long while. I guess I will dedicate this post to him, good luck, I will miss ya, but look out for my letters! 

Going to college and all, I am bound to make new friends. I really want to try and stay in touch with a select few though. Just people who love me inside and out, and I the same with them. So here is to the new and staying in touch with the old, let us never lose each other in the journey called life.


Also, in honor of this day and its significance to myself & fellow Americans, I am so thankful that I am alive and got to savor the quiet of this morning. Thirteen years ago was definitely a different story for everyone. Rest in peace to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to those in the conflict that followed after. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Le citron

Lemon cake is one of my dad's favorite cakes. So I needed a super easy recipe that I could whip out on special occasions. This simple, quick loaf cake with glaze is so easy and delicious though, that I find myself making it every time the there are ripe Meyer lemons on the tree in my backyard. Which has been a lot lately. 

*Please excuse the picture quality of the loaf cake, it was taken on my phone and edited at a separate time on a separate software. I would not have pictured it except that an image of the cake itself did seem necessary.