All posts filed under: Culture

Why I’m Vegan

Why are you vegan? I’m asked this question all the time and the full answer is far too complicated for me to answer succinctly. Instead, I tackle the interrogation with a simple answer – “for the environment, animals, and my health” – but the truth is there’s far more to it. Sometimes my response is enough, but more curious folks will press further. How is being vegan better for the environment? But aren’t dairy cows treated well? So where do you get your protein? In such moments, I wish I had a packet I could give them and say “read over this and that’s your answer.” Although realistically I can’t walk around with copies of a document highlighting the facts that informed my decision to go vegan, I can share one digitally. So here’s my web-based Why I’m Vegan fact sheet for those who are curious and for vegans who need a reminder of why they made changes to their lifestyle. Let’s start with one of my favorite facts: “Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 …

What “Lady Bird” Means to Me

When I finally watched Greta Gerwig’s beautiful Lady Bird, I felt so much and still do. Unlike Lady Bird I have a wonderful mom who’s kind and understanding, I was never ashamed of my socio-economic status, and I wouldn’t lie to a peer about the house I live in or who I’m friends with. But like Lady Bird I wanted to go to college in New York City despite never having been there, felt stifled by the mid-sized city I called home, and was sure that there were bigger and better things out there for me – whatever that actually means. Lady Bird somehow brought me back to my undergraduate years, when I felt like the world was this new and exciting place to explore and express myself within. Since then I’ve grown to be more realistic and a bit cynical, but seeing Lady Bird’s struggle to figure herself out reminded me of a part of myself I had forgotten. While I’m much more sure of myself than I was in college, I missed the hopefulness I found within my confusion. I …

Complaining About LA Doesn’t Make You Cool

People complain to me about Los Angeles all the time. Mostly it’s grumpy folks who don’t live here, but sometimes it’s even those who have never stepped foot in the city. Everyone in LA is shallow! There are so many hipsters! The traffic is horrible! Everyone’s so snotty! There’s no culture! There’s no history! There are too many health nuts!  I wonder why friends, family, and acquaintances who live elsewhere feel the need to tell me how much they hate LA? Why they waste their time and energy whining about a place they barely know, to a person who openly loves calling Los Angeles home? There are folks who live here and can’t stand it because it’s not the right place for them, but some of them decide it’s objectively bad. LA’s too crowded, dirty, and pretentious…and I don’t fit in here because I’m different! These types of arguments seem to be based on a very narrow view of the city, ignited by ideas about what life’s like for predominantly white, upper-middle class people who live here. …

Winter Wonder

Back in the fall of 2016 I posted my first mood board and since then I’ve been sticking to the seasonal theme. Although I skipped the following winter and spring, I did do a summer board and have now finally gotten around to making a winter one. When I make one of these digital pieces, I start with a few places and objects that evoke certain feelings for me this time of year like the cold, dry, desert air – or bright, dewy oranges. When I think of winter, snow and the holidays don’t easily come to mind. Instead, I’m reminded of crisp Arizona mornings and the quietness that accompanies the cold. Or cloudy coastal afternoons, where a calmness overtakes even the most frantic of places. I imagine warmer climates in the Southern Hemisphere, and the commanding pine trees of the Pacific Northwest. I think of animals – thriving or barely surviving – and desolation and fire. I also think of warmth, bright colors, and far away cities – or people drinking hot coffee in …

“Twin Peaks” Podcast for NERDSoul Sunday’s

This past week I was invited to contribute to the NERDSoul Sunday’s podcast by The Comic’s Bolt, and in the podcast I talk about Twin Peaks (of course) and why I love the series, what made it viable for primetime broadcast TV, and the show’s use of melodrama to hybridize other genres. If you have the time, take a listen and let me know what you think! If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, do you agree with some of my points or take a different stance? And if you haven’t watched the series, maybe it will pique your interest? I’ve also included a link to the video essay I made in 2016, which is the source of much of the research I reference in the podcast. PODCAST: The Strange World of “Twin Peaks” VIDEO ESSAY: Exploring “Twin Peaks” And as a bonus, here are two of my favorite Twin Peaks videos: Twin Peaks, Without People Twin Peaks but without context (*spoilers*)

LA’s Women’s March 2018

This past weekend marked one year since the “You’re Fired” guy became the U.S. president. Sad! Very sad… Taking part in last year’s Women’s March in Los Angeles was an indescribable experience. I had been crushed by the election and inauguration, but witnessing the turnout that day gave me immense hope. An estimated 750,000 people shuffled around downtown LA, yelling, hugging, crying, laughing, and chanting. To share that experience with so many people – who cared and were scared too – made 1/21/2017 one of the most invigorating days of my life. This year’s Women’s March was nearly as exciting. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the fight to protect DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants, the energy in the air was full of anger and determination. With a turn out of around 500,000 according to Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA proved once again that we are a city that shows up for all people. This is what democracy looks like, and this is what America looks like too. Below are a few pics I snapped during the march – …

I’m Still Mad That “Good Girls Revolt” Was Cancelled

It’s been a little over a year since the premiere of Good Girl’s Revolt on Amazon, and a little over a year since its cancellation. The stellar series was created by Dana Calvo and is based on journalist Lynn Povich’s memoir of the same title. In her memoir, Povich details the discrimination lawsuit women at Newsweek launched against the publication in 1970. When I started Good Girls Revolt in November of 2016 (it premiered 10/28/16), Hillary Clinton had just lost the election. I was in absolute shock, punched in the gut by the reality that this country elected a racist idiot who jokes about sexual assault instead of a well qualified woman. I still have a difficult time facing the meaning behind her loss – and his win – and all that it says about this country and the people who inhabit it. At that time Good Girls Revolt offered a reprieve. It was a show created by women, for women, and I felt that energy in every ounce of its being. In early December of 2016, just a little over …

In & Around Palm Springs

I spent three days this past week in and around Palm Springs with my boyfriend, and below are a few pictures I took during our fun little trip. When I first arrived I wasn’t quite sure why the Palm Desert was (and still is) a go-to Hollywood destination. My realization by the end of our first day was that maybe because I grew up in the desert, desert cities aren’t as much of an escape for me as they are for others. I could see how such a slow, small, pretty town could serve as a reprieve for those who aren’t used to the wondrous charms of the desert. And quickly, I too was charmed by Palm Springs. One of my favorite things about the city is the architecture. I have a love for mid-century modern design, particularly from Southern California, and everywhere I looked there was another groovy building, sign, or piece of furniture. Because the history of Palm Springs is so deeply entrenched in Hollywood – particularly 1920’s through 60’s Hollywood – it …

Tommy Wiseau, Vegan Pizza, & Gifs

I really enjoyed putting together this casual newsletter-style post back in June, so I thought I’d do another! Here’s what I’ve been watching, listening to, reading, thinking about, doing, eating, and fawning over. What have you been into lately? WATCHING Not to be dramatic, but I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to watch much TV or go to the movies. As far as television goes I’m currently watching Stranger Things, Transparent, Golden Girls, X-Files, Master of None, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m basically part-way through all of these shows but haven’t been watching consistently. But I did binge the past 10 episodes of I Love You America with Sarah Silverman on Hulu the other night and I LOVE IT — YOU SHOULD WATCH! This past week I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi and attended the 30th anniversary screening of Die Hard. The movies I plan on FINALLY watching this week include Lady Bird, The Florida Project, and The Disaster Artist, and I’m hoping to see Call Me By Your Name, Lemon, and Lucky soon. Oh can we talk about The Disaster Artist trailer for a …

Saving Net Neutrality

UPDATE: The FCC has voted 3-2 to repeal Net Neutrality, but there’s still hope! Congress can pass a “Resolution of Disproval” in order to overturn the FCC vote. Continue to write, Tweet, and call Congress using battleforthenet.com. This week I wanted to share a post on how the internet has democratized creativity, serving as a space for all to create and disseminate art and ideas. But then I remembered the fast approaching vote on net neutrality, which impacts the very existence of a free and democratic internet. In the U.S., internet is a public service, accessible to all. In 2016 a federal court ruled that internet access should be classified as a utility, not a luxury, and that as a result government regulation is vital in maintaining a balanced dynamic between users and providers. “The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power and should be available to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.” – “Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not …