Ruminations

Introducing “Bookmark Limelight”: Minimalist Glass Art, How “Moana” is LOTR, and Michael Scott’s Meryl Streep Tribute

I’m the type of obnoxious person who has about 15 tabs open at any given moment, with three minimized windows with 15 other tabs open and waiting to be read. It’s really an awfully bad habit to bear and I’m sure would give someone with an anxiety disorder a panic attack.

I am, however, a proud “bookmark slut.” What’s a “bookmark slut”? Someone who doesn’t have the attention span to focus on individual web content (be it a news article, listicle, meme, viral panda video) and therefore bookmarks it and never looks at it ever again. I just made this term up. It’s also an awfully bad habit to bear. Until now. (PS Don’t shame me for it!)

I’m starting a new series called “Bookmark Limelight,” where I choose three random bookmarked pages from my archives to focus my post on, whatever random items they may be.

1. Spoiler Alert: Does Moana have the same plot as Lord of the Rings? If you haven’t watched Moana yet, stop reading this right now, GTFO of here, and get it on Amazon or iTunes. I’ve just become a smidge obsessed with Moana since it came out last November. Ben and I were Lin-Manuel Miranding hardcore with Moana and Hamilton songs playing 24/7 in our apartment throughout this past November, December, and January. And February. And March.

Back to this theory: I will say they are both quest stories, which tend to be similar in many ways. So—hm. I’ll let you make the call!

moana_lotr.png

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Los Angeles, Ruminations

Why I Marched and What Comes Next

I’d advise you to read this post, then read this post on how I accidentally ran into Lance Bass and the universe aligned itself perfectly for just a few seconds. Enjoy.

I wanted to chronicle my experience at the Women’s March Los Angeles—not just so I remember it in detail, but to give it the spotlight it deserves. I can name the many reasons why I marched, but here’s a truncated version: for women’s rights, climate change, inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community, and for immigration and embracing the diversity that was supposed to be the blueprint of the United States of America. Yes, walking was liberating, but the march was a moment—we’re in a movement. If we take no action as a constituent, what’s the point?

I started walking to the Palms Metro Station holding my cardboard sign in one hand, and holding Ben’s hand in the other. The Los Angeles sun obliterated all evidence that it rained heavily the day before, allowing us to revel in its rays instead. This was a good sign.

As we approached the station, only a block away from our apartment, my eyes immediately took notice of the huge mass of people already waiting for the Expo line toward downtown Los Angeles. Sprinkled in front of me were a sea of women, men, and children, many holding signs and wearing knitted pussyhats, each in various shades of pink. Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Middle Eastern—it was a scramble of different shades and it felt encouraging.

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Ruminations

Where Have I Been These Past 8 Months?

Last year, I made a promise to myself to continue writing—tangential to work stuff and instead create content solely for my entertainment, focusing on topics that I actually give two shits about. It felt so important to me, but in retrospect, I guess that wasn’t enough. Sure, creating, writing, and producing my own projects have been a goal of mine since I graduated college in 2011, but after examining my life these past six years, I’ve never really followed through with it. I felt stuck in a hamster wheel this entire time—always chasing wild ideas and never actually putting in the time to put words together to tell the stories I wanted to share with the world.

God, that’s depressing.

Writing has always been my go-to outlet and I’d like to think I’m half-decent at it. But someone recently shared a piece of insight that basically led me to re-explore my own priorities and goals: “I want to do it, but I guess I would’ve done it by now. It’s one thing to want something, and it’s another to actually take strides to make it happen. If you haven’t done it by now, do you really, truly care about it?”

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Ruminations

Shifting focus.

I’ve had this blog since the summer of 2009. In the summer of 2009, I was an almost-junior in college living in Austin, Texas. I was a journalism major dreaming of working at some New York women’s magazine, writing for The Daily Texan, listening to The Doors and Lady Gaga, and dating a guy I thought I’d end up spending the rest of my life with.

When I first started this blog, I was knee-deep in commentary about music, what-ifs, and that-fucking-celebrity-over-there. My biggest worry was finishing up interviews for a end-of-term story, studying for spanish finals, and deciding what end-of-year party I’d hit up first.

As understated as this may sound, things have changed after 7 years.

I’m a person that’s finally settling into her own skin and feeling comfortable doing so (at the moment, anyway). I’m a woman who loves food, feminism, cats, and the brilliance of incredible writing on any medium. I’m trying to move forward from past fuck-ups and into resolve. I want to start writing about what I value most:

  • Women’s rights, women’s education, and the amplification of women’s voices.
  • Excellent writing.
  • Compelling books.
  • Amazing events in Los Angeles that I’m lucky enough to attend (I do live here after all).
  • Cats, cats, and more cats.
  • TV shows and movies that are pure entertainment, no matter the brow level.

What I’ve listed above is a transparent list of what I should be writing about, and what I’ll start writing about.

Oh mel, gee . . . is still my stomping ground for my own thoughts. I’m just rearranging the furniture.

—Mel

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Ruminations

I DID IT.

NewComp_OhMelGee

I’m typing on a Macbook Pro, a dream machine that I’ve been wanting since before I was born and knew what the meaning of life was (cats).

It’s been a personal goal of mine to organize all of my files, write, blog, create as much as I can, and produce more content than my old ASUS 2008 comp could ever handle or keep up with. Whew. It’s been far too long and I’m excited.

Here’s to dreams coming true (and the sound of my credit card gently weeping).

—Mel

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Movies, Ruminations

This Week’s Wrap-Up: The Revenant, Room, and Baby Rey Kitty

Whoa—hi, 2016. I haven’t written in here for a few months. I’m going to try to implement a weekly wrap-up series to try and motivate myself to write more “for myself.” I’m trying to come up with a punchier title, but this will be the placeholder in the meantime. Here are the highlights from my week:

1. So much Oscar-movie binging. My wallet can’t handle it. On Sunday, the BF and I had basically lived at Arclight and finally watched The Revenant and Room, two movies I’ve been jazzed to watch since last year. Both are very good, and both will leave you with frozen tears of WTF JUST HAPPENED THESE LAST 3 HOURS?!

WhatIFeelLike2

You go, Leo. You go, Bri. We almost did what I’ll call a “Domhnall Double” and planned on watching Brooklyn AND The Revenant, but we wouldn’t have had time to sneak in Chipotle tacos and that would’ve been problematic.

2. Getting this text from my parents—my dad’s 60th birthday is this Sunday.

Papatext

Mamatext

I feel like I’m an asshole of a kid and don’t really give great presents to my parents. I’ll give them a book here or a spa certificate there, or I’ll try to buy them dinner when I’m home. But they’re really, really hard to shop for, and it’s extra tough to give them something meaningful. But I made my dad a Shutterfly Book, using pictures they accidentally left on my laptop like 5 years ago. I’m glad my “designing” while watching 16 Catfish episodes for a whole week has amounted to something.

3. Dany cat has recently been doing this thing where she climbs on top of Ben and I when we’re sleeping, proceeds to walk all over us, and then sits on our legs, causing us to be immobilized by her sweetness. Sounds creepy, but look:

Dany

4. Speaking of cats (I’m always speaking about cats), I discovered this fucking cute cat and love her. AND her name’s Rey! (Don’t tell Dany!)

Rey2Rey1Rey3

5. I’m 80% into Career of Evil, the third book  in the Cormoran Strike series—AKA the Robin Ellacott is a badass bitch series. So far this has been the strongest out of the trilogy. I’ve been renting a ton of e-books lately, and this one just expired so I’m Primed this baby so I can finish it. Now ya’ll look at this Cuckoo’s Calling fan art by artist Jean Frederic Koné:

Collection-TheCuckoosCalling

6. Finished work projects that seemed forever in my que: this blog post about “ussies” and this video of the Knock Knock boss lady talking business.

7. The most ridiculously amazing Twitter dramadey of the century is getting made into a movie. And James Franco is directing. I remember last year when this story caused a ruckus in our office and people had to explain what “trap” and “trick” were to me (and I still can’t remember what it means.)

8. My fireplace works. After a year and a half of living in this apartment, I can happily say that my fireplace now actually works. Not that I really need it in Los Angeles, but guys it’s cool! Lannisters blessing the fireplace:

Fireplace

Byee.

—M

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Events, Los Angeles, Ruminations, Writing

6 Powerful Quotes from WriteGirl’s Journalism Workshop

It’s my third season volunteering at WriteGirl, a creative nonprofit here in Los Angeles. Founded and pioneered by the amazing Keren Taylor, WriteGirl empowers over hundreds and hundreds of local teen girls through creative writing, writing genre workshops, and one-on-one mentoring each year.

WriteGirl is now in its 15th year! That’s 15 years of helping underserved girls find their own voice and cultivating their potential. 100% of girls who go through our mentoring program graduate from high school and go onto college—many not even realizing that’s an option for their futures. 100% of them.

WriteGirl

Each of month of the season is a different genre workshop—spanning fiction, poetry, screenwriting, songwriting, you name it. Last Saturday we tackled journalism with around 100 girls, ages 13-18. I was paired with a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 13 year old, who would doodle these really incredible sketches (mostly of My Little Pony characters, but still truly amazing) when she thought I wasn’t looking. I let her know she should start a cartoon one day and  she smirked in return.

As the workshop went through the fundamentals and building blocks of journalism, it was like my muscle memory kicked into action. And I’ve realized I miss it. I miss interviewing people and finding the story. I’ve missed feeling a slight kinship with complete strangers, even if it lasts for a few minutes. I miss being invited into their world, and writing about it. I forgot that spark that drew me to journalism in the first place—the idea that everyone has a story to tell. And someone has to tell it.

We were lucky enough to hear Beverly White, a NBCLA reporter who has over 30 years of reporting experience under her belt, talk about her career and time on the field.

I wish I recorded everything she said. She’s so vivacious and knows everything there’s to know about getting the story. But I happened to scribble these wise words from her:

1. “If it’s not truthful, what’s the point?” —Beverly White

2. “Getting it right is always the job description.”Beverly White

3. “This is not melodrama, this is real life.”Beverly White

4. “Every story is big to somebody.”Beverly White

There was also a panel of women journalists who talked about their careers and gave career tips for writing:

5. “Read, read, read!” (I know this is a simple quote, but it’s true. Reading = become a better writer. P.S., I can’t remember who said this, my apologies!)

6. “Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t make yourself the obstacle. Let someone else be the obstacle and tear that obstacle down.” Tamara Duricka Johnson, journalist

After hearing all of these wonderful women speak, I’m definitely thinking up more projects for the future—using my curiosity as the driving force. Stay tuned!

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