Friday five

July 13, 2018

ONE || Won’t You Be My Neighbor

This documentary about Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was sentimental and mesmerizing. To hear from the people who knew Mr. Rogers best–his wife, co-stars, children–was powerful. Behind the sweaters and puppetry, Fred Rogers was a complex, complicated man.

TWO || JREAMZ | Jabawockeez

While we were in Las Vegas. we saw the Jabawockeez dance crew. Their latest show is ethereal and funny. If you have kids, this is actually a really great show for the whole family.

Be warned, though: there is an element of audience participation. Eek.

THREE || The Shining

Somehow I made it through my entire literature life without having read any Stephen King. To remedy that, I picked up The Shining and powered my way through it. Though I didn’t find it so scary I needed to put it in the freezer (Friends fans, anyone?), it was a well-written horror show. The movie gets a lot wrong and doesn’t capture the psychological terror and torment that Danny (our actual protagonist, in my opinion) suffers at the hands of his dad at the Overlook Hotel.

If you haven’t read this bad boy yet, I suggest you give it whirl, girl.

FOUR || A New Biometrics Test that will Uncover your True Travel Desires

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a sucker for a personality quiz. And one that predicts the perfect travel destination?! Forget about it! This quiz requires a quick hand, so your truest desires are revealed through intuition-based choices. Your results are revealed along with a hotel recommendation in each location.

These are my results: Texas, Brazil, or the UK

Ashlee, you are craving a chance to reconnect with the world in a warm destination. You have a preference for modern and clean surroundings and need to recharge by exploring all that is new. You feel most at home in the serenity of the outdoors. A romantic getaway is what your heart wants.

FIVE || How to Work from Home without Getting Saddled with All of the Housework

I might be back working from home for the next few weeks as I wait to hear from a job prospect as a copywriter. Last time I worked from home, I felt overwhelmed by the self-imposed expectation that I do all the housework. This article helps people who work from home separate work life from home life.

What Do You Do with the Mad?

July 9, 2018

In 1969, Fred Rogers—of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—testified in front of the U.S. Senate with the goal of convincing them to give public television the entirety of its promised $20 million funding. Mr. Rogers was visibly nervous, but his unmistakable soft-spoken cadence was steady and his words moving. His whole speech was goosebumps-inducing, but one facet, in particular, struck me right in the gut. “Feelings are mentionable and manageable,” he said. In order to control our emotions, we need to be able to express them, name them. Once something has been named, it doesn’t hold power over us anymore. He was trying to teach children that, and as adults, it’s still relevant. Maybe more so.

Because it feels like we are all angry. But it’s the oppressive feeling of fear that is most worrisome. Fear is a powerful driving force, and it doesn’t leave room for empathy or logic. We’re scared of change, of one another, of the route we’re headed as a country. It seems as though we’re too far gone, and each side of the political spectrum is furiously jabbing fingers of blame at the other.

Mr. Rogers closes his speech with the lyrics of his song, “What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?”

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.

How refreshing to be reminded that we don’t have to continue down a certain path just because we started it. We can stop—and even better, change—any time we wish.

Friday five

June 28, 2018

ONE || Incredibles 2

Fifteen years after the first IncrediblesIncredibles 2 has made its debut (like awhile ago)! And I loved it! Without a doubt, it’s a kids’ movie, but I think it’s really more suited to those of us who were kids when the original came out.

TWO || Milkshake cover | Riverdale

Look, Riverdale is my guilty pleasure. BUT there is some awesome music in this show, and my current favorite on non-stop repeat is the “Milkshake” cover. They took Kelis’s original and turned it into a ’50s-esque bop, which is perfect since Riverdale is based off of the very ’50s Archie and Jughead comics.

I linked to the YouTube clip from the episode, but the song is available on Spotify.

THREE || Australian Gold

My new favorite sunscreen! It’s non-chemical, mineral, and non-greasy. PERFECTION! It smells great, and even better, i’s available at Target.

FOUR || Classy Yet Trendy | Blog

One of my newest blog addictions is Classy Yet Trendy. Leanne, the blog’s founder and writer, is all about capsule wardrobes and helping people have a classy, trendy closet without breaking the bank or having a shit-ton of clothes. Leanne has ebooks and guides, and I’m ready to dive head-first into a capsule life. I really appreciate that she doesn’t exclusively shop at high-end retailers; she finds pieces at Gap and Old Navy, AND BONUS she always links to plus-size options, too!

She has several helpful posts about creating summer wardrobes and packing lists, all of which are awesome for any upcoming summer vacation or stay-cation plans!

FIVE || Lumosity

So this is a time-waster you don’t have to feel guilty about using because it’s improving your problem-solving, memory, and flexibility! I don’t know if it really does anything, but if I work out my body, shouldn’t I work out my brain?

Friday five

June 15, 2018

ONE || Hereditary

Considered by many as “scarier than The Exorcist,” Hereditary seemed like a can’t-miss horror film, so it was on my list. Let me preface this review by admitting Brian and I disagree whole-heartedly.

I did not like this movie, and while it is very difficult to watch, it isn’t necessarily scary. Disturbing, yes. It’s not meant to be “enjoyed” per se, but the acting is phenomenal. Toni Collette, in particular. The last half of the movie goes off the rails and into strange territory.

Definitely go see it, if you’re into that sort of thing.

TWO || Ocean’s 8

I was so excited for this and had such high hopes.

They were dashed, unfortunately.

This A-list cast never gets to grow as characters or even portray their individual personalities. A movie that manages to take Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, and Cate Blanchett and turn them into boring, one-note characters is not a good movie. They all have zero charisma. And I just wanted to shove Sandra Bullock’s hair behind her ears the whole movie.

Anne Hathaway steals the show without a doubt. Her character is horrible and hilarious.

The movie itself is very slow, and for a heist movie, there’s very little drama or suspense. It kind of hangs at one level throughout, and there’s this big reveal at the end that falls flat.

I loved Ocean’s Eleven growing up, and this just isn’t as strong.

THREE || A Long Day’s Journey into Night

Featuring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, this Eugene O’Neill play is deep and dark. It is a 3-hour, four-act play that just digs in and keeps going.

FOUR || They found the next Janis Joplin

This 13-year-old performed on America’s Got Talent, and she’s basically Janis Joplin reincarnated. Her name is Courtney Hadwin, and you better learn it, love it, remember it because you will hear it again.

FIVE || SAMAN með Coca-Cola

It’s World Cup time, y’all! I don’t really care about all that, BUT Coca-Cola approached Iceland’s goalie, Hannes Thor Halldorsson, to direct a commercial for the brand (apparently tiny Iceland drinks more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation).

To my knowledge, this commercial is this professional athlete’s first crack at directing.

It gave me chills. For reals.

What you need to know going in: Iceland has been a soccer minnow since they have a small population of just 325,000, but a decade and a half ago, the country decided that wasn’t going to stand in their way. Cut to 2018, and they’re in the World Cup. The team has been winning games and produced some of the best players in the sport. Thus, the “Viking Thunder-Clap” was born. It’s what the fans do in the stands (and probably at home and around the world). It’s a boom boom clap sort of thing (think Queen).

How a Movie Review Encouraged Me to Consider More Perspectives

June 7, 2018

It was Italian film director and screenwriter, Federico Fellini who said, “A different language is a different vision of life.”

That quote struck me most notably when I read this movie review of Get Out. The author of the article, Kendra James, maintains that the scariest facet of the horror/black comedy film is “its realistic depiction of racism.” Specifically, the danger people of color face when befriending and loving white women.

When I read the article, at first, I was battling defensive feelings and the urge to grossly exclaim, “Not all white women!” Then I decided to shut up and listen. I should not use my white and very privileged experience as a lens for someone else’s experience. In order to bridge the communication gap, listening is key.

The review (and the movie, too) made me feel uncomfortable more than anything, but that’s OKAY! If more white women would allow themselves to experience those less-than-stellar emotions like guilt and anxiety, there would be more cohesion between women of all color. Throughout the ages, white women haven’t done a good job of including WOC into their campaigns for equality because they weren’t able to remove themselves from their own experience.

It’s tough enough being a woman, regardless of race; we need to move beyond our different “languages,” so we can move toward complimentary visions of life.