“My only anxiety is, how can I be of use in the world?” – Vincent van Gough

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Liebster Award!

Dirty Laundry Blogger has nominated me for a Liebster Award! Thank you very much!

The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize awesome blogs. If you’re nominated, here’s what you do:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination.
5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

So here are the 11 questions Alyssa asked me:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging last year after graduating from college in an attempt to keep writing every day-ish. And it’s been working-ish.

2. Tell a funny/interesting story or joke.

Why do artists constantly feel cold?

[Because they’re surrounded by drafts]

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3. What is one good deed you’ve done this week?

I gave the guy behind me in the Metro line the dollar he needed for his ticket.

4. What was the last good book you read? (Because I need some suggestions! :P)

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple!

5. What is the first quote that pops into your mind?

“You rest, You rust” – something my Pops (grandpa) used to say.

6. Where is your dream holiday destination, and what would you do there?

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I would love to travel to England with my sister and see the Bronte house (Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time).

7. Name your top  5 favourite singers/bands.

– Bruce Springsteen

– Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes

… and…I don’t know. But here are three I’m liking a lot lately:

– First Aid Kit

– Phosphorescent

– Lana Del Ray

8. Who inspires you?

My parents. My sister. My friends.

Tina Fey. Mindy Kaling. Nora Ephron.

Louise Erdrich. Wally Lamb. Julie Andrews.

Why is Julie Andrews listed among my favorite authors, you ask?

BECAUSE SHE WROTE THIS AMAZING BOOK:

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9. Would you rather be permanently a child, or permanently a 60 year old?

60 years-old. Because by the time you’re 60…you do what you want. And get away with it.

10. When was the last time you washed your hands? (haha so random)

Just now. Twice.

11. What is your favourite thing (not necessarily a possession) in this world?

Hm. My family’s house. I love being there and having everyone over. And lying on my living room floor.

*And my 11 nominations are!

Beautiful Absurdity

 Life. Movies. (Cats.)

MBA to MFA: Changing Tribes

Katie McGinnis: Writer

Laura Donovan

Musing on Film

Archives Mouse

Milisanthrope

Film Grimoire 

Interesting Literature

American Vagabond

*And my questions!

1.What are your top 5 favorite movies?

2. Who was the last person you hugged?

3. Where was your favorite vacation?

4. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

5. If you had to marry a fictional character (book/TV/film), who would it be?

6. What do you want to be like when you’re old? (For example, one of my friends says she wants to be that memorable neighbor who chases after kids with her cane.)

7. What was the last good book you read (I need to add to my list)?

8. What TV show are you addicted to right now (I just caught up with American Horror Story)?

9. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

10. What cheers you up?

11. What three things would you bring with you on a desert island (one can be a person, one can be an infinite amount of something, if you so wish)?

Leo Never Gets the Girl

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After Leo missed out on another Oscar win this past year, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of role it would take for the Academy to finally recognize his talents – maybe if he could get the girl, he could get the Oscar.

*Spoilers to follow*

1. Rome & Juliet (1996)

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Everyone knows what happens, but it didn’t make the loss any less painful…

Viewer: Her fingers are moving! Her eyes are opening! She’s not dead! SHE’S NOT DEAD. DON’T YOU DRINK THAT POISON.

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2. Titanic (1997)

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The following year, Leo portrayed another ill-fated character – Jack Dawson – and girls everywhere swooned. And sobbed.

Viewer: They’re meant to be together! They’ve gone through too much! THERE WAS ROOM ON THAT DOOR.

*At least we get a glimpse into their underwater after life

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3. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

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It could be argued that Frank doesn’t really want to be with Brenda, but it hurts nonetheless to see him endure another broken relationship (Frank/Mom, Frank/Dad, Frank/Everyone else in his life). At least he still has Carl.

Viewer: Stop running! She loves you! ADMIT YOUR MISTAKES AND JUST LIVE.

 4. The Departed (2006)

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Poor Billy just wants to be a honest cop in a dishonest world, and Madolyn is there to help him.

Until Colin (Matt Damon) shows up.

Viewer: Wait. WHAT JUST HAPPENED. THAT’S NOT EVEN FAIR.

 5. Revolutionary Road (2008)

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The world rejoiced when it found out that Leo and Kate would finally reunite onscreen, hoping that this time around their love wouldn’t be destroyed by disaster. Icebergs, splitting ships, and icy drownings have nothing on this suburban sob story set in the 1950s.

Viewer: But…it’s Leo and Kate…

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6. Shutter Island (2010)

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While investigating the disappearance of a patient on Shutter Island, Teddy Daniels is also forced to deal with his own demons, including his wife.

Viewer: I don’t…why did she…how could he…

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7. Inception (2010)

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Hired to incept a client’s competitor, Cobb’s own dreams about his wife, Mal, interfere with the high-stakes operation.

Viewer: Her name is Mal? This isn’t going to be good…

8. The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Even though the movie received mixed reviews, Leo gives us a stellar performance as lovelorn Jay Gatsby who will do anything for Daisy, and Daisy will do anything for…attention.

Viewer: SHE DOESN’T DESERVE HIM.

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9. The Wolf of Wallstreet (2013)

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With all of the drugs, crimes, and over-the-top indulgences, you couldn’t really feel bad for Jordan Belfort when his second wife (rightfully) leaves him.

Viewer: Shame on him.

So is the Academy full of a bunch of romantics who want to see Leo wind up with the girl, instead of him dying/her dying/both of them dying? Probably not. But he’ll get it.

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Where’s Winston?

Winston. Winston. Winston.

No, wait. This isn’t his fault.

Ever since Winston and Daisy broke up (and maybe even Winston and Shelby), Winston’s character has been spiraling out of control. He doesn’t know what to do with his life, his free-time, or even his pants?

What I’m getting from this: single people are weird.

Sure.

Fine.

But that doesn’t mean Winston can’t have a storyline…

Since Winston has entered singledom, we’re supposed to just go along with the fact that he is terrible at puzzles…

is obsessed with cats…terrible at pranks…color blind…and now allergic to MSG?

In the first season of New Girl, Jess got all the flack for being too quirky, so they had her settle down a bit; but now that she’s with Nick (which I love), it is as if the Quirky Crown has been passed down to Winston. And Lamorne Morris works with it, he puts so much energy in his  performances that he deserves to be given more than a broken wheelchair he found in a ditch.

With the arrival of Coach, I’m worried that Winston is becoming even more of a forgotten character because the “New Guy” already has farther trajectory (broke up with his girlfriend, moved back in the loft, needs confirmation that he can still coach, as Coach…).

My ideas?

Schmidt and Winston share the loft across the hall.

Sure it’s supposed to be Schmidt’s space, but I was looking forward to seeing how their friendship grew in the midst of the Nick/Jess relationship – they thrived together in their weirdness! Winston helping Schmidt find his “CeCe fish” is one of my favorite episodes to date. Now that Coach is back in the picture, Schmidt and Winston are going to need each other.

Give the guy a girl.

He survived Daisy’s cheating and restrained from murdering Ferguson, so I think he has proven himself ready for the next relationship. It would also influence the actions of the other newly single men, Coach and Schmidt – the jealousy! the confusion! the possibilities!

Let him be good at something.

Why do all of his quirks have to be strange? And why couldn’t he just train with Nick and Coach?? He played basketball too! He’s not that off-balance!

Winston was a great nanny, maybe he could be a great teacher and give Jess a run for her money – start off as a tutor and just keep escalating to substitute and then just get his degree out of the blue because that’s what happens in television!

All I’m saying is, Lamorne Morris is too gosh darn talented to be left behind, he should be defying gravity.

Cue music!

Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Jane Eyre

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He was the first to recognise me, and to love what he saw.

Jane Eyre is my favorite book.

I had to read the Charlotte Bronte novel the summer before my senior year of high school and since then I have re-read the it at least seven times (purchasing the Out Of Print t-shirt and wearing it proudly somewhere in between).

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While I haven’t seen all of the theatrical versions of the novel – which go as far back as 1934 – one of my favorite movies of all-time is the 2011 adaptation with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.

Some may scoff at adaptations (especially when the movie poster is the book’s new cover), but I enjoy comparing what the filmmaker, in comparison to the author, believe to be significant to the story. Cary Fukunaga brings Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel to life, illuminating everything I love about Jane Eyre to the big screen.

Given the opportunity, Jane Eyre can teach young girls about the complexities of love, life, and the self.

1. Once you love yourself, you can love others.

I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world
I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world.

Jane had a rough childhood – her parents died when she was little; she was forced to live with her awful aunt, and then was shunned by her schoolteachers. The people who were supposed to love her told her that she was wicked and would burn in hell for having such a fiery passion. By the time she escapes to Thornfield Hall, she is a young woman with many talents worth praising, but it is difficult for Jane to believe that she is deserving of such attention, especially from Edward Rochester.

But she is – the reader/viewer knows this from all that she has overcome – and she must realize this before she can truthfully be with another person. It is not until after Jane is on her own, away from Thornfield Hall, that she is able to find herself and realize what she wants in life – a singular, respectable, and passionate love with Edward.

2. Don’t compromise your morals.

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.
I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.

…even if he does look like Michael Fassbender.

Edward might have discretely mentioned something about having a crazy wife locked up in the attic, but so long as he was still married to Bertha, Jane could not stay at Thornfield; staying there would signify that she does not mind that Edward lied to her, that their marriage would have been a sham, and that there does not need to be mutual respect in their relationship.

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!

As much as it hurts her to leave Edward, she is able to find refuge with the Rivers siblings, a family that loves and respects each other in the ways that Jane realizes she deserves.

While St. John Rivers may view Jane as an equal, he wants her as a wife, one who he could share “enough of love” with. Having had a glimpse of true love already, Jane is not willing to lower her standards of what she believes a union should be – passionate.

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God did not give me a life to throw it away.

Jane teaches her audience that one should not settle, especially when it comes to love; it might have made Edward happy if she stayed at Thornfield, or St. John  should she travel with him as a missionary, but it would not make her happy.

3. But realize what’s worth “fighting over” versus “fighting for.”

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To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character – perfect concord is the result.

Jane leaves Edward because she believes she should not be constrained by someone else’s perception of how she should be living (while under the assumption that Edward merely wants her as his mistress while trapped in the marriage to Bertha); she knows that she cannot live a fulfilled life under someone else’s will.

It is not until Jane meets St. John Rivers that she realizes she does not have to sacrifice Edward’s love in order to be independent; she should not be bound by what society (or St. John’s savior) believes to be a respectable person. Jane finally understand that she is worthy of love, Edward’s love, because he is the other part of herself, and together they are wholly and perfectly happy.

“Reader, I married him.”

The Spectacular Now: Sutter and Aimee

*Beware of Spoilers*

So I saw The Spectacular Now last week and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I can’t stop thinking about Sutter and his dad and his drinking problem and how much he cares about people.

I can’t stop thinking about Aimee and her mom and her shyness and how understanding she is about people.

The characters meet at six in the morning on a neighborhood lawn after Sutter (Miles  has gone on a binge-drinking rampage, too out of it to find his way home. After spending the morning with Aimee on her paper route, Sutter decides he wants to take Aimee under his wing, teach her the ways of a “successful” high schooler, who isn’t afraid to swear or drink or yell; he wants her to live in the moment, and that moment is now.

It’s not a “She’s All That” situation where the Sutter tries to prettify Aimee, try and turn her into the prom queen; Sutter just wants Aimee to realize how spectacular she is.

Sutter is the kid in high school that made everything better – boring classes, parties, and even paper routes – with his charm inability to be embarrassed. He has his faults, too, but what makes him different than most is that he genuinely cares about his friends and family and people he doesn’t even know, people like Aimee.

Aimee is a character for the quiet ones – before Sutter, she never had a boyfriend, been to a high school party, or been on an adventure. She has been through quiet tragedies (her dad overdosing, her mom taking advantage of her, her best friend bossing her around) but still finds a reason to smile.

The director (James Ponsoldt) and writers (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who also wrote 500 Days of Summer) share Sutter and Aimee’s most intimate moments together, revealing even more about the characters with each conversation, smile, and embrace. It’s everything high school was and still is – awkward and scarred and sweat-stained, but still spectacular.

Put on the Cape, Ben

There are a lot of posts and comments and blogs and discussions out there arguing that Ben Affleck should not be the next Batman. The uproar is understandable – Christian Bale has been the one and only caped crusader for almost a decade and the idea of someone else blasting through Gothem City is a little strange.

My first and most important question: CAN HE DO THE BATMAN GROWL?

If Ben could just give us some of that before the movie comes out, I’ll feel a little better.

But in any case, let’s give the guy the chance to put on the cape.

I don’t know anything about the comic that the next installment is based on, but based on Ben’s previous performances, I think he has a lot to offer.

Batman is humanized by his misfortunes.

He fights for the people, for their justice.

But sometimes comes off as a bit of a nuisance to the actual authorities.

And he can’t help but love the woman he can never have.

I think Ben could be a great Batman – even if he once sided with the other team.

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Entertainment Weekly’s take on the matter:

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/08/23/ben-affleck-batman-jeff-doc-jensen/