All posts filed under: More Stuff

A Day in Santa Barbara, CA

A few weekends ago I took a day trip with my boyfriend to Santa Barbara, CA, just 80 minutes north of Los Angeles. This was my first time in Santa Barbara, and even though it was just a day, I can say that the small city exceeded my expectations. I knew it would be beautiful, but I was admittedly surprised by Santa Barbara’s lack of pretension. Our first stop was the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a stunning Spanish Colonial Revival-style building completed in 1929. Before checking out the rest of the city we got brunch at Mesa Verde, a cute vegetarian restaurant where the food is light and flavorful, and the plating is impeccable (I think flowers may come on every plate!). While in Santa Barbara we also stopped by Stearns Wharf, made our way down State Street, went to Old Mission Santa Barbara (where there happened to be a chalk drawing exhibit), and ended our day at Butterfly Beach, which was foggy and cold in the best kind of way. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to get away …

5 Essential Food & Agriculture Docs on Netflix

I believe that it is immensely important that we know where our food comes from. Not only is it in our best interest, but it’s our right! These five documentaries listed below, which are all available on Netflix, provide a quality starting point for learning about food production and consumption in the U.S. Check them out and be sure to let me know about some of your favorite food and agriculture documentaries in the comment section below!   GMO OMG (dir. Jeremy Seifert, 2013) In GMO OMG father and filmmaker Jeremy Seifert investigates GMOs: what are they, what do we know about them, and how is our government involved with the protection of huge agricultural businesses such as Monsanto? Even if you know about GMO’s and steer clear of them already, Seifert’s critical examination of GMO’s and “big ag” is interesting and powerful. And his kids are super cute!   Food Inc. (dir. Robert Kenner, 2008) I think of Food Inc. as the ultimate documentary about food in the United States. From plant-agriculture, to factory farming, big ag, fast food, organic farming, politics, animal welfare, health, poverty, …

Some Movies That I Simply Can’t Stand

I don’t typically like writing negatively about films (because it takes so much hard work and creativity to make a movie) but I decided to get a little snarky this week anyways. Here are a few films that I strongly dislike. If you totally disagree with one or more of my picks, I’d love to hear from you! I also want to know what movies you just can’t stand either! It’s good to be brutally honest once and awhile. El Topo (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970) I wish I was cool enough to like El Topo. I consider myself to be into the “weird” and “surreal,” but Jodorowsky takes it too far for me. Before watching the El Topo I had read that it was John Lennon’s favorite film, so naturally, I wanted to love it. Unfortunately, it’s just too damn weird for me. Like way too weird, and super creepy! Jobs (dir. Joshua Michael Stern, 2013) This is an example of what a movie should not be: overly dramatic, poorly written, and with little character development. You can read my review for Critics Associated for a deeper understanding …

Barrio Viejo, Tucson

Last weekend I was searching through my computer and rediscovered these photos I took in Tucson just a little over a year ago. Before moving to Los Angeles, I tried to visit places throughout town that were important to me or that I felt retained a deep connection to the city’s spirit. Barrio Viejo, a neighborhood in downtown Tucson, is one of those places. According to Barrio Viejo’s website, the neighborhood is considered to be the largest collection of 19th century adobe buildings in the United States. In addition to its history, Barrio Viejo’s character and charm is what draws me to the area; each street is brimming with color and energy. It’s also a place where community, family, and supporting local commerce is of the utmost importance. If you ever find yourself in Tucson, I recommend parking in the neighborhood and going for a stroll. And after that, you can discover the rest of what Tucson’s eclectic downtown has to offer.

25 Things

Last year I shared 24 things I’ve learned in 24 years. Now, exactly one year later, I’m turning 25, and I’d like to do something just a little different! Below are 25 things – feelings, thoughts, moments, and emotions – that I love. Enjoy, and let me know about a few of your favorite things! Rediscovering a forgotten song When my mom calls (Hi Mom!) Walking in the desert Discovering a place that’s new to me When an idea just *clicks* Sharing a moment with a stranger When I get to be lazy Getting to the end of a beautiful film and thinking “wow, I’m so lucky to have had the experience of watching that” Walking on the beach; watching kids playing with their parents and siblings; feeling the ocean breeze; and listening to the rhythm of the waves When hard work pays off Connecting with an animal Knowing that I’m free to be me Watching kids just be kids Learning something new about a person I’ve known forever Sharing space, love, and my hopes and dreams with my …

Practicing Self-care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political welfare.” – Audre Lorde About a month ago I had an incident that made me realize I need to focus more energy on my well-being and prioritize practicing self-care. I believe that in order to be my best self (which means doing my best for others too) there are certain steps I should take to ensure my emotional, mental, and physical health and happiness, and you should too! 1. Understand the importance of your health and wellbeing. As I get older, I realize that when my body and mind are out of whack, everything’s out of whack. I know it’s a common phrase to hear, but it’s true: when it comes to our mental and physical health, everything is connected. In order to do my best as a student, daughter, friend, sister, and partner, I have to first do what’s best for my body and mind. 2. You must find time for rest and relaxation. In this day and age (thanks, in part, to the demands …

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! Historically, women have been erased or excluded from countless professional arenas. This occurrence of exclusion and erasure is particularly true of the sciences, but is also evident in tech, politics, and the arts. Luckily, numerous publications (such as Women in the World and MAKERS) will be celebrating the successes of so many women in honor of International Women’s Day, and I’m excited to read about some of the amazing trailblazers who have made the world a more vibrant, interesting, and accepting place. In addition to celebrating these successes, it’s imperative to know the facts about global women’s issues. Please read and share these statistics on women’s health and safety worldwide, which were gathered from UN Women and DoSomething.org. Be sure to check out these sites to learn more about what they are doing in the fight for women’s equality. Approximately 35% of women worldwide have experience physical and/or sexual intimate partner crime or sexual violence committed by a non-partner. In some countries, up to 70% of women have experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Women who experience physical or sexual abuse committed …

8 Social Media Tips for Indie Filmmakers

I think I have a fairly strong grasp on marketing, specifically social media marketing, and how to expand the reach of a creative work or business. Why? In college I took courses on film and television promotion, worked as a student brand manager for Red Bull (one of the most well-known and promoted brands in the world; read more here), and during my senior year I marketed an Indiegogo campaign that funded my entire thesis project. Now, I use social media to expand the reach of this blog and am developing a formidable readership. Here are a few of my social media tips for indie filmmakers, but these suggestions can also be used toward any creative or business endeavor: 1. Keep your personal social media accounts professional and always include links to your creative work. 2. Know your audience. 3. Utilize platforms that align with your audience. If you are doing an experimental coming-of-age film, consider using Tumblr and Vimeo for your social media marketing campaign. On the other hand, if you’re working on a social justice documentary, maybe Twitter and YouTube …

Revisiting ‘Cowtown Keeylocko’

After graduating from The University of Arizona, I landed a dead-end job that I held onto until I found the courage (and opportunity) to move to Los Angeles. One day at work I was feeling especially apathetic, and a charming older man came in to the office and completely brightened my day. His name was Ed Keeylocko, and he had the type of joyful energy that could not be ignored. For business reasons I needed his address, and he told me he lived in Cowtown Keeylocko, AZ. I had never heard of such a place before, so I asked him about it. He said it was his town, and as ridiculous as that may sound coming from someone, I knew he was telling the truth. This guy was special enough to have his own town. After he left the office I decided to do a little research. Where is this Cowtown Keeylocko, and what’s this guys story? I typed his name into Google and found article after article, recounting the story of the man, the myth, the …

Watch ‘The Wolfpack’ – A Mesmerizing Documentary That’s Available on Netflix

Directed by Crystal Moselle, The Wolfpack journey’s into the secluded lives of six brothers who had non-traditional upbringings, characterized by a severe lack of connection to the outside world. In order to escape the confines of their Lower East Side Manhattan apartment (which some years, they didn’t leave at all), the brothers watched and recreated their favorite movies. The Wolfpack is an exceptional documentary about extraordinary young filmmakers who harnessed their oppression as a means of creative power. They maybe grew up sheltered, but their intelligence and appetite for creation seems to outshine the effects of their seclusion. To see the world through their eyes – at times lost, sometimes disillusioned, but above all, hopeful – is a gift unto itself. The Wolfpack, which is available on Netflix, is an absolute must-see film. It embodies so much of what I love about documentaries; not only are the viewers allowed a glimpse into the peculiar lives of “The Wolfpack” and their family, but we are given, if briefly, a chance to rediscover the outside world and bask in its infinite possibilities. After you watch The Wolfpack, be sure to check out their short …