Movie Review: Peace, Love and Misunderstanding

When I first happened upon the Peace, Love and Misunderstanding trailer, I was really excited.  I couldn’t wait to watch it. When I saw it was on Netflix months after seeing the trailer, of course I watched it right away.  I really liked the message it sent about love and letting things go and living your life without the burden of the past to hold you back from finding yourself, but I was really disappointed in the subplots.

I hate how movies like this are trying to get a profound message across to its viewers, yet completely bombard that by introducing love interests just to sell the movie.  Having a love interest is all fine and good, but when the character has to give up him or herself and just settle so they can end up with someone at the end, because god-forbid a movie ends without everyone being paired off, I loose respect for the whole movie.

Obviously, these are movies and don’t really compare to real life, however, when young minds watch these seemingly motivational movies and see a young woman settle for someone she doesn’t believe in, what once was an unreal adaptation of reality becomes the seed to unhealthy relationships among adolescents and on into adulthood.

I’m not saying this movie alone has tarnished the young lives of today, but film and entertainment as a collective definitely play a huge role in the choices we make as individuals.  Let me point out some examples:

1. The daughter has every right to be upset at her mother for sleeping with another man before she is even divorced because that upsets the daughter’s morals. Then they play it off as being okay just because the father may have been a not-so-great guy. When you are a parent, you have to think about what you are feeding to your children.  Parents all too often think their actions aren’t picked up by their teens or even young children, but kids are way more perceptive than parents think.  When a young child sees an adult, and more importantly, their parent, go against what the child has been taught, that child will become confused, one, and two, now think that it is okay to throw all morals out the window and act rashly just because they are upset, for example.  Parents just need to be role models first is what I’m basically saying.

2. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I would be furious if some guy I’ve known for one day tried smacking lips with me on stage, in front of a whole town.  That kind of thing is not romantic.  It’s manipulative and invasive.  This kind of routes back to Disney movies, when the “strong” female lead marries the man she met yesterday after he saves her life…  That doesn’t happen and shouldn’t happen.  This guy doesn’t know anything about me and my life and what I am willing or not willing to do at this point in my life.  That is a very tough position to put in when you are literally in front of everyone, including your impressionable kids, and you are forced to make a split second decision whether or not you want to just go with the flow and not mark that moment as the most embarrassing moment of your life, or be true to yourself and say, “no, this is so not appropriate and how dare you put me on the spot like this.” I’ve seen many articles depicting the contrast between how movies portray romance and the reality of what is acceptable and what is really not.

3. This one probably hit me the hardest: how do you just get over the fact that someone is everything you are against?  Despite the fact that he butchers animals, no matter how grass fed and organic they are, will shoot a deer without hesitation, and smokes, she still ended up with him.  How can you be with someone who’s breath smells and tastes like cigarettes every time you kiss them, who’s clothes constantly smell like smoke, or who’s first thought the second after you are deeply intimate with each other is to smoke a cigaret because being with you isn’t enough?  You can’t.  It really bothered me that after all these red flags and her basically laying out her stipulations for the kind of person she would date, she lowered her standards for this guy.  Yes, I know it’s just a movie, but what is that telling young girls?  It’s okay to discount everything you feel is important just so you don’t have to be alone?  NO!

This review may have been more on the serious life lessons side, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in my passionate attempt to clear the line between harmless entertainment and subliminal messaging.

This isn’t to deter anyone else from watching it.  I love Jane Fonda and the majority of the movie was very funny and I think you should make your own assumptions about it.

The problem with being gluten free

DISCLAIMER: I get very angry when I cook and things don’t work so there are some bad words, dammit!

It started out harmless enough.  I chopped everything up and put it into easily dump-able bowls.

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“Combine everything into the pan,” Martha Stewart said.  Okay, sounds good to me.  This is going to be simple and easy and I can’t believe I haven’t done this before.  Jut put everything in one pan!  How genius!

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Then I turned on the heat and that’s when the shit hit the fan. Whatever residue comes off the gluten free pasta in the water just reacted to everything else in the pan 10 fold and after 10 seconds, I had a creamy pan of shit.  I didn’t take a picture of that cause I was too busy throwing things in the sink and splashing water everywhere.

There is a reason there is an order to things.  There is a reason it goes, onions and garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, then after the heat is off, basil…  I’m not convinced this recipe would have worked even had I used normal pasta because you don’t fuck with the order.

So after picking out all the pasta and rinsing to see it was beyond saving, I put everything else in a colander and rinsed it out, along with all the flavors, stuck them in another saute pan with some olive oil and more red pepper to mask the creamed wheat flavor and cooked it separately.

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I threw out my favorite pasta and had to use another crappier brand of pasta I had for emergencies.  This was an emergency.

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I will make this again but I will do it my way.  I barely saved it this time… Threw on some feta and I was over it.

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Pinterest Fail

So I tried a recipe I found on pinterest.  It didn’t work how they said it would.

This was the pin.  There was no original website.

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I did exactly what the picture showed, but I added a tiny bit of sugar and cinnamon and this is what I got.

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Then I decided to add some flour and it turned out much better.  It actually started bubbling up so you knew when to flip it.

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The first ones taste a lot more like banana, but are mush and the second ones actually look and feel like pancakes.

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Hope you learned something.

I am thankful…

I am thankful for the roof over my head.

I am thankful for a working car.

I am thankful for such an awesome reliable car.

I am thankful for my job and whatever other money flows into my life when I need it most.

I am thankful for my small family support group.

I am thankful for having a family to confide in.

I thank all that is in the universe for the open relationship I have with my mother.

I am thankful to have a best friend I can always count on and who does not judge me.

I am thankful for the new friends who have come into my life.

I am thankful for the artistic talent I have been granted.

I am thankful I am able to do something that makes life a little more enjoyable. (Because if you don’t have something you love or love doing in life then what is the point of it all?)

I am thankful I have the resources to acquire an education.

I am thankful for all the people who share my passion to improve humanity because I can’t do it alone.

What are you thankful for?

5 tips on how to keep a level head

KeepCalmCarryOnI was just thinking about this this morning as I sat quietly in my car a few minutes before school.  There are a lot of stressful things in our lives, I don’t think I really need to list those, it is different for everyone, but here are some things that keep me sane through all the insane times.

  1. Get a lot of sleep.  Try to get to sleep a little earlier that you usually would.  The next day your body and mind will thank you, and so will the people around you.  Sleeping in on the weekends is also a good way of catching up on sleep.  Just don’t wake up too late, otherwise it will be hard to get back to your weekly schedule.
  2. Have some quiet time to yourself.  In the middle of all the hustle and bustle, it is important to find a window to relax.  I don’t mean sleeping, I mean just sitting quietly in a quiet place without thinking about anything.  This could be meditation, when you first wake up in your bed, or in your car after you have found a parking spot.  Whenever you have a little bit of time, just clear your mind and relax.  This is not a time to think about the 20 things you have to do that day.  You can do that when you are procrastinating at work.
  3. Keep up your hobby.  Everyone has a hobby, even if they don’t think so.  For some it is art, for some it is model airplanes, and for some it is working on cars.  If you don’t think you have a hobby, just think of the thing that makes you happy.  A hobby is something you will go out of your way to do, something that gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment, something you don’t have to do, but do anyway.  If that is collecting leaves, so be it.
  4. Some form of exercise.  I know you are thinking, “I don’t have time for that.” but I’m not talking about going to the gym every day.  It can be as simple as parking on the top floor of the parking garage every day or always taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Engaging in active activities every now-and-then like yoga or rock climbing is also a fun way to work on strengthening your core.  It’s one less thing to worry about.
  5. Eat good food.  When I say “good food” I don’t mean hamburgers and shakes, I mean food that is good for you.  I mean natural foods, natural proteins, and maybe even a salad now-and-then.  Drink water instead of soda, drink fresh juice with an energy boost instead of Red Bull, pack nuts and berries as a sack instead of chips.  There are endless solutions.  When your body is happy, your mind is happy and you don’t have to think about what your body is going to throw at you next.

These are just a few suggestions.  What do you do to keep calm and carry on?

What does it mean?

What does it mean when you have a wonderful weekend full of friends, loved ones, and culture all to be torn away Monday morning when you find someone has invaded a private space and taken what they did not need?

What does it mean when the ONE time you forget to lock your car because there is a break in your routine someone swoops in and thinks they have some right to go through all your things and take whatever they want?

What does it mean when you see all your compartments open and empty and you lose all sense of security, like nothing in your entire life is safe anymore and at any moment can be taken from you?

What does it mean that a free pair of plastic sunglasses you got from a music festival, despite being worthless to anyone who was to take it, is the thing you are most upset about losing?

What does it mean when everyone looks at you oddly because they can see the flames coming from your eyes?

What does is mean when later that day someone asks you for a pen and then throws money at you because you “saved their life?”

With a pen.

You didn’t even want the money and you didn’t have a chance to say anything because your mouth was full, but you still yelled you didn’t want it as they walked away, but they ignored you.

What does it mean when you want to talk to everyone about your awful and weird day so far, but you don’t want anyone to know you are suffering inside

about some free sunglasses?

What does it mean when you think writing it all out will make you feel better and you end up writing repetition poetry?

You hate poetry.

 

 

 

Have a nice day

Where did the phrase “Have a nice day.” come from? Like, when you go to check out at the store and the cashier says, “Have a nice day.”  Like I didn’t already want to have a nice day.  Like I need someone to remind me.  It’s a command.  “Hey, you better have a nice day today.”  Did it start out with someone telling a friend who was having a bad day to have a good one and somehow it just made its way into our supermarkets?  What if I don’t want to have a good day?  What if I want to have a mediocre day because I’m saving my good day for tomorrow?  Or maybe the cashiers their their presence in your day will automatically make your day pleasant.  In which case they should say, “You’re welcome.”  I don’t know about you, but I wake up everyday with the intention of having a great day, whether I go to the grocery store or not.

I honestly don’t like going to the grocery store.  It means I’m spending money on things that are going to disappear in a week so I will have to go back and buy more.  So maybe the cashiers are trying to help with your recovery of having to drag yourself to the store.  “I know this is the last thing you want to be doing, so have a nice rest of the day and forget about this horrible waste of time.”

This reminds me of the English language taking simple words that mean one thing and making them also mean something completely different and irrelevant.  Like, Jesus.  It is popularly known as the name of a person or a religious icon, but somehow we have turned it into an exclamation.  I am not religious at all so I don’t care how you put it into context, but it’s kind of strange when you think about it.  Like when you have an emotion deserving of a spoken word you say some random name or word. Eg: “Oh my god!” or “Shit! Stupid box!”  When did these words get here?  They are just words like any other.  Think about it, it’s just like if you replaced, “What do you think you’re doing!? Jesus!”  You said, “What do you think you’re doing!? Pickle!”  Pickle is also just a word. “George Williams! That’s a big waffle!”

Just a thought.

Finals!

Heeeeeeey!  I have not been on here at ALL!  I know. I have been schooling and arting.  But I did not forget about you!  You have just gone down on my importance shelf.

SO!  I thought of something that I felt needed to be shared with the world somehow and since I don’t have a vlog I thought I should put it on here.

Finals:

Finals = watching youtube videos until your eyes burn.

Finals = walking into the kitchen 12 times an hour, finding nothing and going back to look again.

Finals = posting more useless daily updates on facebook than normal.

Finals = staying up really late watching Parks and Rec then being so tired in the morning you are literally shaking trying to get out of bed.

Finals = taking a nap as soon as you get home early after a horrific final and waking up at 6pm thinking it’s the next day and you missed your last exam.

Finals = thinking about everything you want to do this summer instead of what needs to be for tomorrow in class.

Finals = laying out all your study materials and making a video of you not studying instead. Then deleting it forever.

Finals = paying a ridiculous amount of money to fix your car from a tiny hole. (Wait, that has nothing to do with finals.  Just happened at a bad time!)

Finals = dirty dishes.

Finals = realizing how little you actually care about you grades.

 

Thanks for reading!

What are finals like for you?

Where have all the good photojournalists gone?

(Sorry I haven’t been present on this blog in a while.  I have been busy with school and my other blogs: Creative Stuff and Jessie Vittoria Photography)

I am writing a Pre-Op research paper for class and it has made me really see what I want to do as a photojournalist.  But it has also made me realize how few photojournalists do what I want to do.  I want to tell a story with my photos.  I mean a real story.  One with a back-story, a reason, a cause, and a purpose to show the audience they are not alone and they too can do something to help out their home, our home, this planet.  I want to show the reality and the potential as not to discourage the viewer into hiding from the opportunities.

However, I have yet to find a photojournalist who actually does this, who doesn’t just take pictures and say, “This is what is happening here.”  It seems that the objective of most photographers is to just show and not convince.  I want to be an inspirational and persuasive photographer who really captures the attention of the people.

Now, for the sake of this research paper, I would like to find a photographer who is like that.  Does anyone have any ideas?  I know I’m not alone.

A day to eat

(I know this is way late for thanksgiving, but I just found this in my drafts and thought I would finish and post it.)

I love baking.  Even more, I love baking miniature things.  Mini cakes, mini pastries, cookie bites, etc…

For Thanksgiving I thought I would bake two different kinds of mini pies.  Pumpkin (of course) and peach (for the southern girl in me).  Mini pies are nice in theory, but in reality they are a lot of work and very messy, but worth it I think.

The night before Thanksgiving  I baked, washed dishes and ate pies all night.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

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  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (homemade or store bought)

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.

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Roll out the pie crusts on a flour surface then smooth them out with a rolling pin. Use a cookie cutter or in my case a lid to cut 4 inch circles out of the pie crusts. Roll the leftover dough up into a ball then roll out with rolling pin and cut out more 4 inch circles. I had enough to fill all muffin tins because I rolled my dough out kind of thin.

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Fill each pie with the mix and bake 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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Cool.  Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

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Mini Peach Pies

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  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
  • 5 peaches, peeled and diced (Preferably fresh, but I got frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.

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Combine the diced peaches with the white sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, mixing then gently.

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Do the same as the pumpkin pies. Roll out the pie crusts on a flour surface then smooth them out with a rolling pin. Use a cookie cutter or in my case a lid to cut 4 inch circles out of the pie crusts. Roll the leftover dough up into a ball then roll out with rolling pin and cut out more 4 inch circles. I had enough to fill all muffin tins because I rolled my dough out Kind of thin.

Place the circles (bottom crusts) into the muffin tin, pressing them to the sides.

Now, before you put the peaches in the crusts, roll out the other pie crust and smooth it out using a rolling pin. Using a sharp knife, cut out leaves and strips to cover the pies. This is going to take some time so you want to do it before you put the peaches in, otherwise the bottom crusts will soak up all the juices and it will take longer to bake and the pies will fall apart when you take them out.

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After your finish your tops, scoop 2 tablespoons of peach pie filling into each tin. Then place the tops on the pies.

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Mix the egg and water together and brush the tops of each pie with the mixture.  Don’t forget to sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on the tops!  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

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Enjoy!