Friday, July 25, 2014

Film Love: "Blue Valentine"

This is one of my favorite Ryan Gosling films to date, a very close second behind "Half Nelson". "Blue Valentine" is raw, unapologetic, and transparent in the way they wish to show how resentment can eat away at love throughout the years until there is nothing left. The two characters clearly love each other and it is almost painful to watch scenes depicting their present when their past held young love with a love that appeared to be so promising. The chemistry between the two is undeniable and helps heighten the sympathy you feel toward the two who are holding onto each other like water, not realizing how impossible it is to keep water from slipping through the cracks. And despite the fact that they are really flawed characters and may do or say things that do not quite put them in the "likeable" category, I find that that it was interests me. A portrait of the imperfect. A portrait of the broken.

Do you have a favorite Ryan Gosling film? And if you don't have one, what's your favorite film depicting bleeding love? Share below!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Indie Goes Indiegogo!

If you've been reading this blog within the past year, you know that I have a project that is both near and dear to me entitled "Love Notes", which is essentially a documentary series to air on YouTube where I interview strangers about their love - any kind of love, all types of love. Creatively, the project has been very rewarding to me, spiritually as well. And although I loved the pilot episode and even the second episode of notably lesser quality, the summer is winding down, meaning that I, struggling college student, will be sans her resources when her baby sister returns to Athens. I started this campaign on Indiegogo on the eve of my birthday to call to attention the fact that in order for this to be the beautiful, inspirational, positive force I know it can be, funding is needed, funds I unfortunately do not have as my bank account reminds me constantly.

Although I'd been encountering issues for months now, I was very hesitant to attempt to resolve it, especially this way because it is hard asking for help, especially asking strangers for help, but I decided a few days ago, what the heck? What could it possibly hurt to ask? So I am, asking that is, for you to support my art and my work, and help continue to make my dreams come true by allowing me to have the resources I need in order to breathe life into "Love Notes" once more. I really want to take this project to the next level, get out there, interview interview interview, edit edit edit, and premiere premiere premiere. This means a lot to me and it's time to really start acting like it.

As much as self-promo makes me queasy, it's something I've been learning that I have to get over if I want to make things happen. So if possible, and you're still reading this post at this point, please click here to be redirected to my campaign where I've attempted to offer perks for certain donations (5, 10, 25, 100) but any little bit helps and most definitely counts.

Thank you all! I love you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

23 [Life Lessons So Far]

I am 23 today. And as I think about life, its many twists and turns, its surprises, its highs and its lows, I am thankful to say that I am entering into another year. Blessed to be alive to see myself turn 23, blessed to have the friends I have in my life, my family, a roof over my head, plenty of food to eat, air to breathe, etc. Forgive me for my ramble, but birthdays really mean a lot to me. When I was younger, I used to have these huge surprise parties in South Carolina where I'm from, they were epic and loud, and I think they were the pebble that began the ripple effect of making me feel birthdays were so momentous because they are. I look at today and find it impossible to feel anything but lucky.

I decided that from now on, I want to have a list of life lessons to commemorate my birthdays. I feel that life is about growth and about learning and I want to end the list with a new number and a new age every year highlighting the lesson that was most resoundingly clear for that year.

1. Believe in people's actions, not their words. Words can be easy, truths can evolve into lies in the blink of an eye, but in action is integrity, devotion, promise. Those who care will show they do and those who don't won't. It's simple.
2. Happenings have their reasons. Seasons end so that new ones can begin, things change so that we can grow, the sun sets so that the moon may rise. Believe that what's happened is meant, find blessing in every lesson.
3. "Friday Night Lights" is the remedy to any bad day. See also: "The Office", "Arrested Development"
4. Doing what you love and what you're passionate about is far too important to be silenced in lieu of being realistic.
5. If you end communication with someone, do yourself a favor and allow it to stay that way. Do not allow people to be relics and if they are not in your present, keep them in the past.
6. Be fearless.
7. If you have to ask yourself "why?", be certain to always counter with "why not?". It is easy to find excuses if you're looking for them, search harder for reasons you should versus reasons you should not.
8. Love without question, without expectation, without doubt, and without specifications/qualifications. Love because you love.
9. Love yourself first so that the object of your love never feels suffocated by what you are trying to give. When you love yourself first, love stops needing and only wants turning entrapment into freedom.
10. Say "no" and mean it.
11. It is okay to defend yourself and it is possible to do so without threatening your ability to remain eloquent.
12. Parents mean well and are your biggest and most sincere supporters. They support simply because they created you, shaped you, and love you and do so without you owing them anything in return. If you quarrel, make peace with them. It is because of them that you are everything you are today.
13. Emphasize that even more for moms who sometimes get the short end of the stick, especially when their stuck with a daddy's girl for a daughter.
14. Happiness is a choice. No one can take that choice away from you so never feel like you have to wallow in negative emotions. They can visit, but don't allow them to live with you for long.
15. Crying doesn't make you weak. In fact, it is the exact opposite.
16. That man cannot and will not ever define you.
17. Surround yourself with people who see you the way you see yourself. Like-minded individuals who support you while reaching for the stars themselves.
18. The tongue is powerful, be cautious of it. Only say things that you wish to be true. You are who shapes your reality. Words, whether negative or positive, speaks things into existence. I'd much rather it be positive, thus it is important to seek to have those words be positive.
19. Speak your truth always. Never quiet yourself to make others comfortable especially if you're sacrificing your comfort for theirs.
20. Patience is beyond important in life. Everything cannot happen at once and sometimes you must learn what it means to sweep your own porch before trying to sweep the next one. (Still learning)
21. Don't kick yourself for missing a week or a month or three months at the gym, it'll be there when you're ready ;)
22. Never deny yourself pleasures in life, especially the simple ones. Like a walk in the park, or a trip to the movies, a kiss from your mom, a hug from a friend, that awesome dessert at that tapas place you love. Life's too short.
23. Your path is yours to create, to design and yours alone. Don't allow the opinions and decisions of others to eclipse what you know is best for you. The world doesn't define you, you define you. You create your life.

All of these lessons are significant to me for different reasons and in different ways, but this 23rd one is the one that has been the theme of this year thus far for me.

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope the week has been great to you so far!

[p.s. also, in unrelated but related news, I sense a giveaway coming up soon since my birthday usually mean blog anniversary is in our midst as well. currently brainstorming ideas. yay!]

image via

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Weekend.

I've been pretty lucky lately when it comes to weekends and kind of feel like the luck will keep going, especially with my birthday around the corner. Speaking of birthdays, this weekend meant celebrating Chymere's birthday with her and her friends and although we planned on making an appearance at the Atlanta Street Food Festival, we found ourselves at Atlantic Station, indulging on great burgers at The Burger Joint. I had the Triple D which was awesomeness on a bun - beef, cheese, applewood bacon, and an egg over easy to top it all off - hold the grilled jalapenos.

Afterwards, we swam in the pool for hours, which was equally awesome. I love water and haven't been given the opportunity to submerge myself in it yet this summer so being greeted by its chill was a welcomed solace. And Chymere looked so at home in her element. She's an amazing swimmer. We played 2-on-2 football which was really fun especially because by nightfall, most people had left so we had the entire pool as a field. She and I went across the street for a treat of frozen custard afterwards which was perfect and yummy. All in all, it was a great day and I was happy to be invited to celebrate Chymere's bday with her. It still amazes me that we started off as blogger boos and have evolved into a really great friendship.

Sunday was also beautiful. I spent some hours with George wrecking havoc in Grant Park. We ate lunch at Tin Lizzy's where I had their delicious buffalo chicken tacos and he had their southern comfort skillet. Although it was really hot outside, I enjoyed the view we had from our rooftop table which overlooked the cemetery. The decor was great, golden umbrellas shielding us from the sun, license plates lined the walls until there were no painted spaces left, The World Cup played on the flat screen. George and I talked forever lol. It was hilarious because our waitress kept checking on us to see what we had ordered and I kept disappointing because running my mouth was an easier feat that prying my eyes away from him long enough to read the menu. She was even kind enough to let us stay after we paid and ate to keep enjoying each other's conversation. It was dope.

The Oakland Cemetery is something I often hear about and have seen every time I've come across Grant Park, but never actually entered so I was excited when George mentioned he had never gone either and was eager to make it a day of firsts for the both of us (first Tin Lizzy's, then the cemetery). It sounds really morbid I suppose, walking through a cemetery, but it's really nicely constructed, quite expansive, and there are beautiful ornate tombstones all around. It was nice to walk and talk, joke around, and take the occasional photo. One tombstone stood out for me the most because it likened the deceased to a poem of celestial sound. I thought that was beautiful. Much like the weekend.

Did you have a great weekend? Tell me about it below! 
Happy Monday!