Flash Fiction: 100 Words Only

In response to terribleminds’ Flash Fiction Challenge: 100 Words Only.

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She awoke to blood sprayed across the motel walls and two dead bodies dropped on the damp, ugly carpet littered with bullets and casing. Glocks in reach of bloody hands, but gone cold and forgotten. Her limbs creaked as she crawled from the bed to her dead lover. His loose fingers around a bottle of Clorox. Lips still wet with poison.

“Romeo, Romeo…” She pried the blade from his waistband, thinking over their brief, planned affair turned tragedy. She leaned down to his still warm body and whispered, “No one messes with my family, bitch.”

In CinemaScope: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

This is my contribution to the CinemaScope Blogathon hosted by Classic Becky’s Brain Food and Wide Screen World. Be sure to check out the other posts exploring an early 1950s’ technical innovation that changed the moviegoing experience by dramatically widened the image, creating new aesthetic issues and opportunities for filmmakers.

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Musicals are an irresistible slice of escapism. Sitting down with an Old Hollywood musical, surrendering to the glamorous costumes, minimal yet lavishing set design and characters spontaneously expressing themselves through song and dance is the closest thing to time travel available today. As a child who spent majority of the ‘90s alternating between musicals and Classic Disney animated features (all on VHS) I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to discuss one of my childhood favorites. Not only is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) shot and shown in CinemaScope, but is also enduringly endearing and completely crazy.

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For Grandma Sally

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I’m not sure if I’ve really felt distance before these last few weeks.

The pursuit of higher education took me an ocean away from home and I have family and friends in nearly every time zone, but distance has always felt manageable because technology bridges that gap. If I ever felt homesick, I could call my parents or my sister and it takes seconds to text or tweet. My grip on this seemingly universal truth started to slip with the news that my great grandma was sick and in and out of a hospital in the Philippines. I grew up with her room only ever a few doors down from mine and after her return to the motherland, we would only get to talk once every few months over the phone and saw each other face-to-face even less. Last night, Friday the 13th of all nights, the woman I knew simply as “Grandma Sally” passed away at age 89.

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Girltrash: All Night Long

For Kels. Years after I said I’d write this. The things I do for friends.

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Have you ever watched Snack-Off on MTV? It’s basically a parody of every serious food competition. Instead of having professional chefs compete they have amateurs who make you doubt their life skills along with their cooking skills in the interview packages. Instead of using only the freshest ingredients, Snack-Off provides a pantry of processed junk real chefs whine about on Chopped. A comedian, a supermodel and one real chef serve as the panel of judges. As I’m watching this or rather, letting it play in the background as I work on other things, I can’t help, but feel bad for the one chef who works in and owns actual restaurants. He cringes at the crap put in front of him and even admitted to getting notes from the producers saying he’s too mean when judging. But then there are times where he takes a bite and he smiles a little and begrudgingly says it’s actually tasty even though he has no earthly idea why.

And that is how I feel about GirltrashUp All Night. 

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The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary

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Thirty years ago, John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, the quintessential high school movie, opened in theaters. When I was eighteen, someone asked me what my favorite movie was and I readily said The Breakfast Club, duh. Fast forward five years and nothing makes me laugh and feel this particular brand of mortification quite like remembering that and repeating it now.

I’ve grown into the type of person who will be the first to tell you The Breakfast Club isn’t the alpha and omega of the genre, that it isn’t without its problems and that the hype around the movie is greater than anything within it. It is no longer my favorite movie. I’ve long since dashed the concept of having a favorite movie. (Seriously, that’s like asking me to name a favorite niece or nephew.) Although I can nitpick and sift the flaws out of The Breakfast Club, I can also recognize the little sparks of genius throughout this movie about teens in detention on a weekend, unconsciously seeking to define themselves, seeking a stable sense of identity and finding common ground, finding understanding in unexpected places.

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Music Monday: Lower Dens

Off their new album Escape from Evil out March 2015 via Ribbon Music.

I love when a band surprises me in the best way possible. Lower Dens’ sound, most notably on their debut album Twin Hand Movement (2010),  is very Beach House-esque, a broody walk through the fog that then creeps into dream pop with their sophomore album Nootropics (2012). Now, this taste of their upcoming album is much brighter and infectious, but with lyrics that remind you it is still a Lower Dens song. It’s a departure from what I initially expected. It’s better than what I initially expected. Lower Dens shows they have more in their arsenal, making Escape from Evil one of my most anticipated albums of 2015.

Movie Log 2015

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Okay, here’s the deal. I have issued myself a challenge. It’s a simple challenge, really. There are only two rules:

1) watch movies

2) keep track

For the entire year! (Then I plan to do it again next year and the year after that and so on.) Ideally, I’d like to watch one movie a day and I have so far, but I know myself well enough to avoid a setup for disaster. What better way to honor and continue developing my undying love for cinema than by watching as many movies as I possibly can? I actually keep pages and pages of handwritten notes and thoughts on every movie I see in a Moleskine because the best movies make me think about it for days after and I need to get it all out of my head. I try to keep it brief with the comments on the online log even though I can go on and on about a movie forever. I even rate each movie based on my own personal system of little gold stars.

Check out my movie log for 2015! Happy watching!

Places I Love: Musée Mécanique

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The foundation for my love of film is a deep appreciation of where it all began. For instance, the early inventions that led to the birth of cinema were peepshow devices. Tools of entertainment mainly used to give the people of the late 1800s a little thrill are ultimately responsible for one of the greatest industries in the world, an art and pastime that’s become apart of daily life for many. I’ve been lucky enough to get up close and personal with a couple of these authentic optical toys at a coin operated arcade on San Francisco’s infamous Pier 45.

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