Monday, March 12, 2018

My Favorite Genres for your Goodreads Book Challenge

Every January I take up the Goodreads Book Challenge to read a certain number of books that year. Last year I crossed the finish line mid-way through December.  I attribute my procrastinate behavior and lack of urgency to knowing that literally nothing (except perhaps defining myself as a good-for-nothing blank page) would befall me should I fall short of my goal. The remaining two weeks of 2017, I earmarked for exploring the benefits of a completely sedentary existence. Pajamas all day every day while my mother doted on me with home cooked meals and effusive praise for my generosity and ability to outperform my sister at every turn. In a moment of quiet self-reflection, she would admit to me that I am her favorite child. Sadly, my mother didn't have the chance to share her truth. I was forced to trade relaxation for deterioration as my body fought valiantly against the severe cold, graciously donated by my father.

Once my mobility and overall desire to live were restored, I set my new Goodreads goal of 50 books for 2018.  So far I've read twenty nine books. Twenty ahead of schedule. Normally my diligence would warrant applause but quick math affirms that these numbers are the rightful cause of my dwindling social prowess. Rest assured, not all twenty nine books are substantive. My completed list contains the occasional foray into the romance sub-genre called "Mommy Porn." A genre comprised of the same story told in every sexual position known to man and animal with each version a different take on the oozing sex appeal of toxic masculinity. Just as porn grossly distorts the act of sexual congress for young men, mommy porn distorts healthy relationships for young women. Still read them though. Why? Probably because emotions are a hard pass for me and I much prefer to read one-note romances that reinforce my life decision to avoid intimacy. Plus, they're filler reads.

Besides books that count towards my PHD in descriptive words for "orgasm", I delve into true crimes and historical non-fiction. My love for true crime is a consequence of my first childhood crush, Encyclopedia Brown. He solved neighborhood crime with a panache that blew my heart up. Had Encyclopedia existed, I would have followed him Felicity styles to college and become a bona fide badass in ill-fitting pantsuits dodging bullets and nailing murderers on Forensic Files. To cope with his non-existence, I stay at home on Friday nights discontinuing friendships while devouring stories of creepy dudes that I find oddly attractive. If you look at Pablo Escobar objectively, he is quite handsome. Something about putting together puzzle pieces that slowly identify the big picture is quite satisfying. Murderers can be extremely sharp but they always mess up somehow. Discovering their slip-ups reassures me that most don't get away with it.  Mrs. Scarlett in the billiard room with the knife!

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Oscars So Worthless?

Does anyone really care about the Oscars anymore? Clearly not, as the 90th Academy Awards were the lowest rated in its history. I'm not surprised. Perhaps it's because the Oscars is just the last of about 100 self-congratulatory award shows with the singular purpose of reminding audiences of how brave thespians are to act like normal people. It's an extraordinary gift, I tell you, one that is so vastly underrated it needs to be applauded and acknowledged over and over again to drive the point home. Real life teachers, soldiers, doctors and activists are great and kudos to them but pretending to be one in front of the camera? That takes guts.

In an era of #MeToo and "Times Up" this year's Oscars felt more tone deaf and self-serving than usual. Do viewers want to hear lectures about inclusion and gender equality from an industry that continuously fails to practice what it preaches? And when it does attempt to right its wrongs, albeit sporadically, fails to show an ounce of humility, preferring to boast of its progressiveness by calling the first step a revolution as opposed to what it really is, a planted seed that has no guarantee of baring fruit. Black Panther and Get Out are still the exception, not the rule, but you wouldn't know it by copious amounts of pats on the back the room gave itself.

This lack of awareness was also readily apparent when Kobe Bryant walked towards the stage to accept his Oscar in the midst of a standing ovation.  How quickly Hollywood forgot he was accused of raping a 19 year old in Colorado years ago. The audience greedily applauded his dig at the insults thrown at LeBron James while willfully dismissing the serious accusation he never accounted for. Hollywood also seemingly dismissed the allegations of abuse made by Gary Oldman's ex-wife. You know, the one where she accused him of beating her with a phone as she tried to call 911 in front of their kids.

At one point the ceremony honored the men and women who served our country by showing clips of military films. The montage was introduced by a Native American Veteran who proudly stated he served in Vietnam before asking the audience, "did you?"I would like to think he was actually only asking one person, Jane Fonda, aka Hanoi Jane, who visited the Viet Cong during the war to protest the military's treatment of Vietnamese citizens. To many veterans her actions were an act of treason. If you caught Ken Burns' 10 part documentary series on The Vietnam War, it would be hard to argue that it wasn't. And yet, when Jane Fonda walked out on stage later during the show, she received a standing ovation. One could argue that this is a customary greeting for living legends. Sure, but on the heels of an American Vietnam Veteran who fought and lost brothers to the very men Jane supported it seemed disrespectful, or at a minimum off-putting.

Hollywood has always survived on smoke and mirrors, directing audiences to what they wanted you to see and believe. When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, those mirrors were shattered and all that was left was the truth. A truth that exposed the systematic hypocrisy of the industry. To ignore this reality, as Hollywood has done with every award show this season, is to stubbornly hold steadfast to the belief that audiences are willing to disregard what's right in front of them in exchange for the privilege of seeing celebrities bathed in glamour and glitz. What used to be an escape from our tedious life now feels frivolous and unnecessary in the face of serious issues plaguing our country. Hollywood no longer holds much currency with Americans, but instead of owning up to its deficiencies and admitting they're just as fucked up as the rest of us, the industry doubles down with equal parts sequence and condescension. This inability to accept accountability and "read the room" as they say will further erode the relationship between the viewer and the artist making award shows like the Oscars something to skip entirely.

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Note

My Christmas gift from my parents two years ago was a writing class. I took one a couple of years ago at UCLA and enjoyed it immensely. I gained skills that would have been incredibly useful had I actually used them on something. Anything, really. Even a FB status update. But alas, lack of motivation and what I would argue was an incorrect dosage of my anti-depressant compelled me to set aside my writing learned-ness for a the more useful skill of figuring out how to share my sparkly-eyed, face-tuned Snapchat image on Instagram. That activity right there practically took me a year to master. Now, two years later I'm finally cashing in on my parents' thoughtful gift. By thoughtful, I mean listed in order of rank on a curated Christmas list I send out to my family every year. Honey, take your shade elsewhere 'cause my list is highly anticipated by my family for its humor and genius.

I start my writing class at the end of March and am truly excited. I figured in the weeks leading up to it, I should take down the cobwebs inundating my blog and practice by writing a couple of words here and there. While practice makes perfect, that's not my goal here. Besides, perfect can only be applied to Timotheé Chalamet's (pronounced Tim-o-tee Shall-amay) performance in Call Me By Your Name. And you know I ain't playing friends if I'm rooting for him to win the Oscar over my #1 man of all time, Gary Oldman, playing my bae Winston Churchill. No guys, the goal here is to bust out the old "voice" again and perhaps entertain the two people and 15 Russian bots who visit this blog sporadically. Please note that I do not vouch for my rudimentary understanding of grammar nor my ability to be cohesive. You've been warned.

So check back in from time to time this month for new content that I'm sure you could live your whole life without knowing exists. Could even possibly make you angry for wasting precious minutes of your day that you will never get back.

till then,


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

It's Time to drop the "The" from The Rory Gilmore (A Gilmore Girls Review)

It has taken me awhile to put into words the feelings I have towards the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival on Netflix. Generally speaking, the joy of seeing all the characters I said goodbye to ten years ago was gratifying. A special shout out to my spirit animal Paris, who stole each of her scenes. Emily Gilmore's progress from heartbreak to healing in dealing with Richard's passing and her relationship with Lorelai was inspiring to watch. Lorelai and Luke's story was stagnant and at times hard to endure but they got married and that is all anyone wanted to see anyway. Let's all agree that the musical was a total time suck and Zach looks a thousand years old.

The only storyline that left me baffled was Rory's.  I could not in a million years have guessed where a year in her life would lead. Hearing Alexis Bledel speak in recent interviews, she didn't either.  Rory's journey was the hardest to understand.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Paging Dustin Hoffman

Hello everyone. With today's news that semen can detect traces of Ebola for 101 days I thought it time to release my post  about my new favorite hypochondriacal paranoia.  This post had been languishing in the barren wasteland called "drafts" but this stroke of relevancy allowed me to reveal my inner thoughts on the subject. In addition to semen seizing,  a doctor with Ebola died yesterday in Nebraska. From the little to no fanfare with respect to coverage of this second US death, it seems pretty clear to me that Americans have become desensitized to the idea of Ebola on our shores.  Be desensitized no more.

Reminder #1: Ebola can kill you.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Try a little Tinder-ness

"Hey ;)"


You see that exchange right there? The exchange with a total of 10 characters including emoticons and exclamation points? Those 10 characters are the impetus to your burgeoning Klonopin addiction and eventual descent into madness stemming from the mindfuck permeating singletons everywhere.  Welcome to Tinder kids.

 I'll spare you the minute details of how this works but suffice it to say you feel like your sifting through the Sadaam Hussain playing deck.  And actually you just might be. Pretty sure a terrorist or two is cruisin' the site looking for easy American females to beard them for their sinister plots. We dumb asses mistake their actual beards for a unique brand of hipster and swipe to the right accepting the proposal lurking within those big brown eyes visored under unibrows. See, that's the thing. Tinder is purely based on looks. Four looks and a tagline to be exact. What's a tagline?  A tagline should be a phrase or two that gives a sneak preview of your personality but from what I've seen men are either egregiously illiterate or figure just posting their height will distract from the essence of Drakkar Noir emanating from the swirl patterns saturating their tight tees. I've seen taglines with twitter handles, websites, long ass paragraphs about their philosophies of life, and my personal favorite, the motivational speech. "There is no time like the present!" "Be the change you want to see in the world!"Aww that's so inspirational!  So much so it inspires me to change my screen by deleting your face. I know I sound like a shit of a lady but if I'm going to engage in mindfuck it needs to be worth it. As for the women I have no idea what they use for taglines. What do they use? Measurements? Credit Scores? Quinoa recipes?

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Zumba-Death by Gyration

It is a secret to no one that I identify myself as a Latina. Admittedly a Latina with zero legitimate hispanic blood coursing through these veins. I'm what they call a nebulous Latina. My hispanic-ness arises from both the penumbra of rights afforded me by the U.S. Constitution and the summers of 0 years to 12 when my parents shipped my brother and me to El Salvador to partake in "camp El Salvador". This particular camp consisted of three months at my grandmother's house where her idea of entertainment included hiring clowns for the better part of an afternoon. I'm convinced my early childhood exposure to clowns is why I don't trust men. And also, coincidentally, why I attended clown school and used my skills to entertain old folks in assisted living facilities. No, I'm serious. I did.

Now inherit in all Latinas is the ability to move one's hips in a circular rotation. This circular rotation mimics the flush of a latrine. Amazing imagery here. You can thank me later.  Round and round they go where they stop nobody knows. "Nobody", of course, being the name you give the one night stand you eventually pick up based on said rotation. "Give" because you don't remember his name or really even asked for it. Sometimes it's best not to know. I mean, his name could be Brett. Or Tristan. Or frankly any name where the parent believes the best way to fine tune and add flair to an otherwise established and sturdy nombre is to shit all over its spelling. Like when one exchanges an "i"  for a "y" for uniqueness. If you come across a gentleman where this is the case then you RUN lest the percentage chance of your child becoming a Trystan Jr. rises considerably.  And while I'm at it let me just say that if I personally encounter a name where the "h" is silent for help me God.  Rhyan. "Oh hey Rhyan, GO FUCK YOURSELF!" I once came across a Gipson. Yes, G-I-P-S-O-N. I couldn't help but wonder why Gipson's parents wanted to ensure his son's complete failure in any romantic relationship. Can you imagine a wedding invitation with Gipson? People would assume you had the biggest typo party foul. And we all know that if phoentics is brought into the equation then it is safe to assume a 1st rate education was denied Gipson's parents and therefore Gipson himself. Maybe not denied eduction, but rather D'd their way through it. This tangent has taken quite a negative turn especially considering I don't do one night stands. Moving on.

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