Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The virtues of Ellen Page and the indie girl

You all know the indie girl: she's got that weird, eclectic, but awesome taste in music (hello, anyone who's ever seen my iTunes library), she watches weird, eclectic, but awesome movies (I'm sensing a pattern here), she wears weird, eclectic... well, you get the point. The best part of the indie girl is that she doesn't give a shit what other people think about her and her quirky ways.

Enter: Ellen Page, Zooey Deschanel, Aubrey Plaza, and the likes.

The examples I provided all happen to be actresses who I absolutely adore. Not only do I feel like these women are extremely talented, funny, and quirky, but I love the way they act in the public sphere. Aubrey Plaza is still relatively new to the scene, best known for her role on Parks and Recreation as April, and her role as Daisy in Judd Apatow's Funny People. Zooey Deschanel is perhaps best known for her roles in Elf, Almost Famous, and Failure to Launch. Ellen Page is best known for her role in Juno as the title character, but on October 9th, Page stars in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It, a coming-of-age "dramedy" about a misfit girl in a small town, just looking for her place to shine.

Whip It appeals to me on several levels: first, its cast is spectacular. It includes Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live and Knocked Up fame, Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development, and rapper Eve. Second, the fact that the screenwriter is a woman (Shauna Cross) and the director is Drew Barrymore (whom I adore!) and the story is about a girl kicking-ass and taking names without having to be scantily-clad or stereotypically "high school evil" (ahem, hello, Jennifer's Body...). I love that. I'm all about that. Girls being themselves, totally breaking the norms and cliches society sets out for them, and all the while, a wry sense of humor is employed.

Perhaps this is why I love Ellen Page so much. She has typically played sarcastic, funny girls who stick to their opinions and aren't afraid to voice them. It doesn't matter to her that she's not the coolest girl in school, and that's what makes her, in actuality, the coolest girl in school.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Despite my usual realism and even sometimes cynicism in the romantic realm due to what I thought was irreparable damage during the height of my vulnerable years (ha, as if they've ended. Do they ever?)... the past few months have almost completely reversed this.  Yes, I must admit that this reversal of cynicism is due to a certain someone, but also, I feel like as I've matured and stopped doing things that took huge emotional tolls on myself, a sense of wonder and idealism has returned to me.  I've always had a tiny bit of idealism; you can't really be a creative realist... and after all, my creativity is the personality trait I cherish most.  But I almost feel like my innocence was returned to me.  And so, that's why PostSecret and this new blog (art project? website? I'm not sure what to call it) reach me so deeply.  Both projects have similar aims: to reach people because people can relate to these projects.  People project their vulnerability in these projects and it starts to soften the cynicism about love and romanticism that has been steadily growing for quite some time now.  I don't know about you guys, but I'm tired of "hook-ups."  Sure, you have a good time, but what are you left with afterwards besides a messy hairdo and the 50% chance (if you're lucky) that your booty call will actually call you once more. 
Personally, I'm ready for men to start opening the car door for me again and shaking my father's hand like they mean it.  Good thing I've got someone who is willing to do both and more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Really, BU? Really?

So, I have my own laptop, and luckily, my own printer (it came free with the computer).  I'm so grateful for both of these things, but even I sometimes have to use the ResNET labs at the bottom of Warren Towers to print an article needed for class or an extra-long research paper draft.  As my friend Ellen Belinksy said at lunch today, "Sometimes I have to revise a paper a good five times.  That's 50 pages to print!"  Ellen has her own printer like I do, but just as BU is trying to cut costs by limiting computing and printing resources at Boston University, so are the students.  

True, BU is faced with a huge budget deficit--one of $10 million.  But raising tuition and room & board costs along with cutting out simple resources such as print labs is wrong.  Boston University's President Brown is not Robin Hood and the students at BU are not evil King Johns.

Charles Westington III writes in his BUndergound editorial that everyone at BU should have a personal computer and a personal printer in their room.  No exceptions.  He talks about someone using an excessive amount of his print quota, and then says, "Couldn't he just read the damn thing on his computer?  Maybe he was too poor to own a computer, and he shouldn't be at this school in the first place!"  First of all--and this may sound like I'm judging a book by its cover--but with a name like Charles Westington III, I'm not surprised you have this idea that Boston University is meant for the wealthy and the fact that you have this stuck-up view that everyone should be able to afford such a tiny expense as a personal laptop and printer.  

Hey, Charlie, did you know that not everyone that goes to BU can afford their own private island?  It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone gets everything they want handed to them on a silver platter.  Maybe the annual cost of $53,000 dollars for a BU education is simply a drop in the bucket to your Rolex-wearing, Rolls Royce-driving parents, but to the rest of us "poor people," $53,000 is a lot of money.  It's a lot of money that we expect to be put towards things that benefit our educations, like being able to print out required reading for classes at no additional cost.  You say that closing the ResNET labs is a great place to start cutting costs.  How about we start by using the "decorative" foods in the dining hall for something more practical--like eating?  How about we stop wasting money by offering free stuff to people for attending sports games that no one wants to go to?  And hey, one more thing, I heard this weekend that the Track and Tennis Center on Ashford St. keeps its lights on 24 hours a day.  Here's a crazy idea: save energy and money by just shutting off the lights!

Now, I'm going to go down to my empty print-lab and waste the university's money by printing out a research paper for a class I'm paying for.  Wait... something's not right here...

[Latest news regarding the ResNET labs.  Sounds pretty ambivalent if you ask me.]

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's about the experience, not the money.

As I sit here watching everyone at the Boston University Relay for Life, people throw footballs and frisbees, people walk around the track, and there is an overall feeling of camaraderie.  A little over an hour ago, people snapped glow sticks in honor of loved ones that have passed away from cancer, are still fighting, or beat it and are survivors.  Both of my grandfathers are survivors of prostate cancer, and it never really affected me that much before tonight because, in both cases, their cancer was caught early and treatment was fairly simple and noninvasive.  But tonight, cracking the glow stick in honor of Papa and Goofy, Chandini's aunt, the Sandia swimming coach, and all those others touched by the cold hands of cancer, I couldn't help but feel so deeply sad.  But at the same time, I remembered that I'm lucky.  My grandfathers are survivors.  I'm so incredibly grateful for that.  And then I realize: I wasn't crying because I was sad about cancer... I was crying because I have so much hope.  Hope for those who have cancer, hope for those who are in remission, and most of all, hope for humankind.  People of all walks of life gathered in the indoor track center for Relay; they could have been out partying, sleeping, or doing an infinite number of other things.  But everyone is here.  And I became so overwhelmed with pride in my fellow Terriers and everyone else at this particular Relay event.  Everyone has good in them.  Despite the flaws that irk us and even the flaws we "can't stand," people are good.  It doesn't matter if they're giving up twelve hours on a Saturday night.  And that's why Relay isn't about the money they raise: yes, the money is important, but what really matters is that people are here, walking in teams around a track for twelve hours and not sleeping.  So, even though this world holds so much turmoil, it doesn't matter.  People are still good.  And I have hope.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twittering... tweeting... twitting?

So, I'm not really sure when it happened, but has become some sort of overnight sensation.  Of course, the site has been up-and-running for about three years now, and I acknowledge that I am definitely not one of the first users... but I'm still confused by its popularity.  In fact, I've even noticed that good ol' Facebook has started to mirror twitter.  Instead of just showing people's statuses and other random things in the Newsfeed, FB now shows what your friends write on their friends' walls.  I'm not entirely sure I like this; and it's just like the @responses for twitter... open for all to see, but meant for only the person you're writing to.  Obviously, a great deal of privacy is given up with internet networking sites like Facebook, twitter, and even the (grand?) father of social networking sites--MySpace.  But at the same time, I don't care what Sally writes on Bobby's wall.  If Sally wanted me to read it, wouldn't she write it to me?  I just find it stupid.  It's reminiscent of all this celebrity gossip that is oh-so-popular for some reason.  I personally could care less if Lindsay Lohan and her girlfriend got in a fight at some club and she was seen leaving with someone else.  (Obviously, that story is fabricated; I am by no means up-to-date on the latest celebrity gossip.)  So, the FB feed, and even twitter--although it was never anything than what it is now, so you know what you're getting into--seem to play into people's egotism and the need to seem important to the world.  At least that's the way I see it.

But then again, that's not stopping me from updating my status once or twice a day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are!

This trailer is superb; I can't wait for October 16th!

Let's go to Paris!

No, not that Paris.

Paris Creperie in Boston's cute, kitschy Coolidge Corner.  It's a tiny hole in the wall, but the folks at Paris sure know how to make crepes, hot chocolate, smoothies, and even soups.  They have everything from a s'mores crepe to a chicken Caesar crepe--which I've had and loved--and their hot chocolate is the best I've had.  Make sure you order some form of their Nutella hot chocolate; yes, that's right, they make their hot chocolate with Nutella!  I've tried the original version (with no extra flavoring), caramel, vanilla, raspberry, almond, and mint.  They're all exceptional, though I must say my personal favorites so far are caramel and almond.  Anyway, Paris is a great, local place to eat, and they really know what they're doing when it comes to making crepes.

From Kenmore Station, take the green line outbound to Cleveland Circle (it's the C train) and get off at--shockingly--Coolidge Corner. Paris Creperie is on the west side of Harvard Ave... pass the Walgreen's, but if you hit Coolidge Corner Theatre, you've gone too far!

PS, if you have a chance to check out the movie theater in Coolidge Corner, do it.  I saw Happy-Go-Lucky there and the theater has a great atmosphere since it's a small, independent one. Thursdays are their college student discount day.