Back To The Drawing Board

I recently came into a lot of free time, which is a nice way of saying I got canned. The good news is, I have money in the bank (which is a phrase that makes me think of bad hip hop), The bad news is I have to start this whole begging for work thing over again.

So I’ll be standing on my corner of the internet (no, not for that, get your mind out of the gutter), like an old-timey newsboy, waving my resume to anyone who will read it, knowing most will take it and toss it in the garbage. But  have to keep optimistic about this whole thing, or then I’ll give away how unhappy I am at interviews and they’ll have yet another reason not to hire me, right along with “Too young”, “Too inexperienced”, “Too reserved”, and “Not what we’re looking for”. But, according to recent news, Millennials such as myself are doing a little better in the job market, so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed.

I’ll also have to find a way not to take rejection so personally, even if, in it’s very nature, rejection is very, very personal. Nope, I’ll just have to grit my teeth, say “Thank, you for your consideration.” and hope the next thing pans out. And people wonder why I’m stressed.

Apparently, this is what your early twenties are supposed to be like. And I’m finding that, as I rapidly approach birthday number 24 still living at home and essentially leeching off my parents, I’m wishing more and more that this is just a movie and I can fast forward to the most successful part of my life. Yep that’s me, a (semi) grown woman, hoping to wake up one day with the career of my dreams, a thriving social life, and an ever expanding bank account.

But then I realize that usually, even in movies, most successful people have probably been in my position, unhappy with their current situation, wishing for simpler times, and not really seeing a way out of that mentality. But eventually, it gets better, through some combination of hard work and luck, things change. And you reach that point where you think “I did it, I’ve succeeded in being an adult”.

That is the feeling I’m working toward, that’s what keeps an optimistic view in my peripheral vision even if all I see in front of me is bitterness, it keeps me getting up in the morning and keeps me going through the day. And if I lose sight of that goal, I don’t know who I’d be.

Advertisements

Movie Review: The Lovely Bones (2009)

Before i start this review, I feel the need to say that this film covers some very disturbing subject matter. This is a warning for those who cannot handle such subjects.

 

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Saiorse Ronan, Rachel Weisz

Based on the novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones is not just another story about a murder. It explores how such a tragedy has a profound effect on all involved, not just the victim, but the friends, family, and yes, the murderer themselves.

Yes, this film is first and foremost about Susie Salmon, a fourteen year old who is brutally raped and murdered, but we also see the way her murder changes the lives of those who care about her most. We also get to see how it changes her. We see a father’s torment and obsession as he searches for his daughter’s killer, we see the marriage that was already on tremulous ground crumble before our eyes, and we see every stage of grief of all who were involved.

That, in my opinion, is what makes this story so unique.

We don’t follow the police in search for Susie’s murderer, We follow her father, her sister, and her friends. So, in my review, I’m going to cover the perspectives of each of these characters, starting with the father, and concluding with Susie herself.

Jack Salmon (Wahlberg), becomes obsessed with finding the man who killed his daughter. In the process, he harrasses the police with possible suspects, alienates his wife, and falls into a downward spiral that is frankly hard to watch. His devotion is both touching and worrisome. You can see the depth of love he had for his daughter with every scene, and how it strangely seems to be a detriment to his personal life and to his investigation. Wahlberg gives an excellent performance, you can see the seeds of his obsessive personality in early scenes, and, as a result, it feels like a natural progression instead of a slap in the face. And when we see him start to piece together who killed Susie after he’s made steps to move on, he’s thrown back into his obsession.

Susie’s sister, Lindsey (played by Rose McIver), also feels compelled to find out who murdered Susie. She, however, is much more subdued in her interest than her father, at least at first. We see her seemingly move on and even find a little bit of happiness, but she is suspicious of the real killer long before her father is.However, it’s only when her father shows signs of suspicion that she acts on her own feelings. She also finds herself obsessed with the killer, to the point where she risks her life to bring him to justice.

George Harvey (Tucci), is Susie’s killer. He lures her into a “clubhouse” where he rapes and murders her. (The rape is omitted from the film, but is presented in startling detail in the novel, so I’m leaving it in). In the events after the murder, he calmly resumes his regular routine, but is discouraged when he discovers that Lindsey is suspicious of him. Stanley Tucci adds depth and humanity to a role that could have easily been horrifically miscast. We see him unravel and make mistakes that could easily implicate him. And the subtle edge Tucci gives to the character is one that makes him almost sympathetic. That being said, due to his actions, I couldn’t wait to see him get what was coming to him.

Susie (Ronan), starts out in the film as a typical teenage girl. She is heavily invested in her own problems and somewhat dismissive of her parents. After the events leading to her death, however, we see that she s very reliant on her instincts. She recognizes Mr. Harvey as a killer too late for it to make a real difference, but early enough the we see her change from optimistic and friendly to horrified within seconds. That’s what makes her death in the following scene even more heartbreaking than it is. Her realization that following Mr. Harvey into his undergond clubhouse was the worst decision she could have made, and she couldn’t do anything to stop what was coming was what turned Susie into an incredibly realistic character. As we see her watch her loved ones from “the inbetween”, we see her grow and change along with them. 

Overall, I’d say that The Lovely Bones is an excellent film. Peter Jackson’s direction, along with the stunning visuals and phenomenal cast, make it incredibly memorable. But what set’s it apart for me is Alice Sebold’s story. While this changes quite a bit from the source material, mostly the order of some events and omission of certain elements, the overall plot is the same, and you get the sense that Jackson respected the novel. I can see why the changes were made (especially leaving out the rape scene), and those changes do not undermine the story. This is how all novels should be adapted.

I’d definitely recommend this film to almost anyone. It is criminally underrated, and, in my opinion, one of Peter Jackson’s best.

How writing changed my life, for better or worse

Anyone who knows me personally can tell you in an instant that the personality I project through writing is completely different from the one I project through actual conversation. On paper, or in this case, screen, I can confidently say things I would never say in person.

It’s relatively easy for me to write what I’m thinking. However, in conversation, the constant measures I take to edit and censor myself make me seem aloof, at best, and painfully awkward and shy at worst.

The reasons why I censor my speaking so much are numerous, but it really mostly comes down to how I was in my childhood.

When I was between the ages of 7 and 10 I often said things that most people wouldn’t. And while this behavior is sometimes perceived as cut before the age of five, after that cutoff, it just comes off as offensive an annoying. Often, after people discovered this little “quirk” of mine, they would stop talking to me altogether. So I developed a way to censor myself around the age of 10. This unfortunately, caused people to withdraw even further from me, an most kids saw me as oddly quiet.

After a few years of this, I decided to start writing, which, as I said before, helped my confidence immensely. When I found myself thinking something I thought would illicit a negative reaction from someone, I would write it down.

Soon, I started writing everything in a journal. My journal entries turned to poetry and stories, and thus, my love of writing was cemented.

But my increased interest in writing was detrimental to my social skills. I became increasingly more withdrawn as a teenager than I was as a child. This was something that kept me with only a select few friends, and with quite a few people seeing me as rude and off-putting.

Thankfully, these days, I’m seeing my social skills start to improve as I meet more people like me, and I’ve reconnected with some people from my past, especially since I started this little blog of mine.

My anxiety has gone down within the past year, and, while I wouldn’t say I have a thriving social life, I’m miles ahead of where I was just a few years ago. I’ve found that having someone listen to my weird little rants and thoughts every once in a while has helped me grow as a person.

And even if no one reads this, at least I’ve written it. This has the potential to reach a lot of people, and if I tried this in person, say through a vlog, I wouldn’t even be half as verbose a this. But that’s something that I’m working on. People respond well to me when I appear confident, and I’m slowly getting more sure of myself everyday. Which, like most things in life, is easier said than done.

Mutual Acceptance

I’ve talked about the hypocrisy of the LGBT community before, but there’s so much more to say, it would probably cover many more posts so here I go again.

And yes again I consider myself an activist for this community, having volunteered for my local pride festival twice (and planning a third time), often publicly speaking out when I see intolerance. But at the same time, this community, like any other, is not without its faults.

First, I’ll talk about the problem with the concept of “tolerance” as opposed to “acceptance” as the aim for many LGBT organizations. Of course, 100% acceptance of any cause is highly unlikely, but it’s a better thing to aim for than tolerance. You tolerate a small child kicking your seat on an airplane, or a hair in your soup, but neither one of those things is a positive experience. Tolerance implies something inherently negative, and I believe that we should instead aim for acceptance.

Which brings me to my real topic. Someone wanting acceptance, or even tolerance, from others should pay the same respect for people who they don’t agree with. There is an inherent disrespect in the LGBT community toward Christianity. This is understandable, considering the stance that some Christians hold toward homosexuality. But this is a stance not taken by all Christians. And in fact, there are several Christian organizations that accept and welcome gay members of the church, and even gay pastors.

But still, mentions of Christianity in LGBT circles is met with at best, a roll of the eyes, and, at worst, outright contempt.

This is the worst hypocrisy I’ve seen from the LGBT community. Tolerance goes both ways (pun intended) and yes, even most Christians cannot stand the Westboro Baptist Church.

So, I you’re looking for someone to disrespect, choose the WBC. They’ll get the same level of respect they give everyone else, none. And when you see a church-run booth at your next pride festival, keep an open mind, thy go in knowing the level of disrespect that could come their way, and that takes an incredible amount o bravery.

Relationships

I recently found someone with whom I could possibly have a great connection with. we’ve found common ground on tons of things, have differences in opinion about others, and just generally have a nice time together. While it’s a bit too early to call what we have a relationship, I’d certainly want it to turn into one in the near future.

And I’m a nervous wreck.

I know I’m capable of staring a relationship with someone, I have in the past, it’s just that none of them have exactly been what someone would call successful. Which is why I have trouble connecting with people, and showing them my many (many) vulnerabilities.

I have a tendency of freezing up when people ask me about myself. In my head I’m listing traits that I know people will find interesting (writer, baker, feminist, aunt). But what comes out of my mouth is a nervous chuckle, accompanied by a blush and me quickly leaving the area.

On rare occasions, I’ll have a conversation that hits all the right notes at the right time, and attempts to recreate these occasions fail miserably.

And times where people ask me about my past, or why I am the way that I am, all bets are off. there’s just some things that leave scars I don’t want reopen, and I get intensely uncomfortable when people try. But that’s something I’m working on.

I know it’s something that’s essential to a relationship, but I’m terrified of opening up to someone in the fear that they will reject me.

It’s the same knee-jerk reaction I get when I write a deeply personal post like this one. it is easier to hide behind a keyboard and a screen, but not by much. I know that there’s potential for the whole world to see what I’ve written and that mortifies me.

which is why I have to remind myself to take a leap of faith and let go, and hit that little blue button. So, in a way, every post i’ve written has been a little leap of faith, and now I’m about to jump again.

A Quick Update

Remember how last week I said my job search wasn’t going well? Well, that was Monday. Between then and now I’ve had four first interviews, two second interviews, and two serious prospects. I guess I spoke too soon. I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope I’m not jinxing myself with this post, but I had to write this, just to let you know that my schedule is getting pretty hectic.

I’ll know by Friday if one of my prospects works out, and I’ll (hopefully) know about the other one by tomorrow. So wish me luck.

Getting a job would mean less time for this little blog of mine, but it also means more money in my pocket, and a chance at getting even closer to my dream career.

On a less bittersweet note, the Harry Potter reviews are coming. The first will be this weekend, when I get a chance to watch The Sorcerer’s Stone for the billionth time (for accuracy, of course). And the others will follow in (relative) short succession.

On the writing front, I downloaded a new app that let’s me see my writing from my computer on my iPhone, which is awesome because I can make mental notes on what to fix and what to keep.

Just a quick update on what’s keeping me from coming here every day. Honestly, part of me wishes I could still be on that level, but that’s probably the part of me that’s kept me out of work all this time.

Funny Women

This is a late/early post for me, but what the hell.

Recently, while watching an episode of Young and Hungry (which is a pleasant surprise), My brother said this:

“I think women are finally starting to get comedy.”

This reminded me of the stance that he and many men have on female comedians (not Comedienne, this word makes me sick). And that is that women aren’t funny.

The most common “argument” for this attitude is that most female comedians only talk about three things; their period, their relationships, and their vaginas. Of course this doesn’t hold much water when you point out the men frequently talk about the equivalent male subjects; Their penises, their (usually terrible) wives, and their (usually nonexistent) sex lives.

So what makes men inherently “funnier” than women?

The fact that they aren’t women.

In fact, the most successful female comedians I can think of are famous because their act isn’t stereotypically feminine, but instead stereotypically masculine.

They focus on crude humor, swear incessantly and employ heavy use of shock humor.

I can count on one hand the amount of male comedians who don’t use the above tactics, and. like their female counterparts, they’re not nearly as successful.

But why?

Is there something about masculinity that’s “funnier” than femininity? Is being male more relatable than being female?

The short answer is yes.

From an early age, we are so inundated with stores from a male point of view that it’s genuinely shocking to find a story that is female-driven. And when we do see them, we see them as of lower quality because that’s how we’ve been taught. Women aren’t seen and heard on film, unless they’re backed by, or talking about, a man.

Until recent years, an action film with a female star, who could hold her own, was nigh unheard of. And female-driven comedies were all of the romantic kind. Now, with the recent addition of films like Salt and Bridesmaids, this is quickly changing. We have characters like Black Widow fighting alongside men. And comedians like Ellie Kemper getting national attention. 

In other words, Hollywood is starting to get that women can be funny.

Now, if only they could recognize more women of color…

 

 

More Posts Are Coming, I Promise

So lately I’ve been a little scant with this blog. And I’m honestly sorry for that, and it deserves an explanation.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend had her first child. he was born on July 5th, and I stayed in the hospital with her for three days to help take care of him. That’s all the detail you’ll get on that front. Anyway, after the baby was born I decided to get a little more proactive with my job search.

That pursuit, so far, has not been very fruitful. But it’s taken up a lot of my time and energy that could be spent here.

But, starting this week, I will try to do at least two weekly blog posts.

I’ve got a lot planned, including more movie reviews (starting with Harry Potter), way more rants, and possibly some poetry and original fiction.

If I can’t hold to that commitment, comment on the posts I already have, and tell me to get off my ass (or rather, on my ass) and blog already. Sometimes I need a little push.

Again, thanks for reading, I really enjoy doing this, and promise that there is more to come.

Stop calling it skill. It’s really just luck.

Life After Liquidity

What if you were born as this girl? What if you were born as this girl?

Not many people know that I am North Korean. Sort of.

My father was born in North Korea. The same day that he arrived to the world, his family had to flee to the South in order to escape the communists. The journey had to be taken on foot during the cover of night; naturally, it was extremely dangerous and risky. Capture could have meant death, or perhaps a life in a North Korean gulag.

At one point in the journey his family had to cross a river via a small boat. His mother was told that no noise could be made during the crossing. She was instructed to immediately drown her infant (my Dad) if he started to cry.

View original post 502 more words