29 August 2009

Movie Review: "Taking Woodstock"

To say that Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock adhered completely to Elliot Tibor's memoir of the same name would be a lie. But to say that it deviated from the book, from the message of the book, would also be a lie. Lots of details were left out, as in any movie version of a book, but the most important message was there: love those around you, live your dreams, and let yourself be free. The film had a dual track, partially focusing on Elliot's distressed relationships with his parents, and partially outlining how Woodstock, the legendary hippie festival, began and played out. The movie takes focus off the musicians and the heavy crowds of Woodstock, and focuses instead on the outliers, giving you a real individual perspective, taking the macro and bringing it down into the micro. Every scene is entirely believable, and each role is played with intense attention to detail. Famous actors (Demitri Martin, Emile Hirsch) are entirely their characters, and relatively unknown actors (Jonathan Groff) present an equally convincing portrait of the '60s groove. Sometimes Taking Woodstock meanders along without any real action or drama, a style seen in Lee's other films, such as Brokeback Mountain and Lust, Caution. Moments like this, however, just add to the aesthetic beauty and peaceful, no worries attitude that Taking Woodstock is all about. In other words, beautiful, wonderful movie and I loved it. I highly recommend that you all should go see it!!!

27 August 2009

Exercise and Imagery

Today I watched the sunrise, golden and orange, surging up from one end of the sky. I, blinded slightly by window curtains and the trees outside, glanced up every now and then, to see more and more of the darkness overtaken by reds and pinks and yellows, and the light blue hues of the impending day. As the light crept into the porous holes of the sky, I rose, and dressed silently (or possibly not as silently as I thought), and put a band-aid on my blister. Purple is a healing color. And I donned black running shoes and little white ear-plugs and listened to a band called "City and Colour" (music recommendation of the week, take note, recommended to me by my Canadian hippie friend), and then listened to something faster, and sped down gravel like a cat on the prowl. This must be just like living in paradise. An hour later I arrived back home, and I deep-breathed, and touched my fingers to my feet, and knew I was alive.

25 August 2009

When's the last time you bought some lingerie?

You're single. You're searching, hoping, scanning every single guy you pass to see if he meets your ideal. You look at yourself in the mirror, but you're sure you still need to lose 10 more lbs. off your 120 lb. frame. You're still single a month later and you wonder what's wrong with you. But there's nothing wrong with you.
Trust me, I'm slightly chunky for my weight/height combo. But I do have a high level of self confidence about my body, which boths leads to and stems from a high respect for oneself. I always cringe when my best friend says, not joking, that she's going to end up as an old maid. Or that it doesn't matter when she wears ratty underwear and a bra that doesn't fit right, because no one is going to see them.
Self-respect has to start somewhere, because if you don't want to see yourself as a ferocious sex kitten, why would anyone else? It's not hard to develop a healthy collection of undergarments -- in fact, bras and panties have become some of my favorite items to shop for! Here are some steps and tips to help you get started:
1. Don't go for anything that feels too unnatural. If you're not the type of woman who likes lace and thongs, get something that feels less threatening -- maybe try a cute pair of boy shorts with a very low key, yet still stylish bra. (The "Pink" collection at Victoria Secret would be perfect for you). 2. If you are into lace and ribbons and push-ups and see-through corsets with matching fishnet tights, don't worry. You don't have to spend a lot of money if you hit up H & M. This quickly growing retailer is my favorite spot to buy sexy, yet reasonably priced, lingerie. And they carry every bra in sizes A through C, with certain selections offered in a D cup as well.
3. If you just can't seem to find lingerie that you think looks good, buy something anyway. Just make the leap. And try it on at home, maybe dance in front of the mirror for a while. Pretend you're a lingerie model. Remember, you want to look good for yourself. Even if no one else will see what you're wearing, you'll know, and you'll feel good about it.
4. Remember, self-respect, self-confidence, and self-love all come together in a circle, and you have to connect each part in order to feel good about yourself. Tell yourself that you're beatuiful, and intelligent, and deserving. And I promise, once you know how great you are, others will start to realize it too.

20 August 2009

Give Me Those Thrills & Chills, Baby

Six Flags has evolved into the World Disney World for adults. Not only are there badass super hero characters to recall from chidhood, there are also plenty of action-packed thrill rides, although some parks do have more new and impressive rollercoasters than others. So when we went to Six Flags New England in Springfield, I went in grumbling. I was under the impression that Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey couldn't be beat.
And it can't. Nothing tops the thrill of sitting in the front row and shooting up and down the nearly vertical, 45-storey slopes of Kingda Ka at 128 mph, which makes it the tallest and fastest coaster int the country. Or the commanding prescence of El Torro, which was rated #2 wooden rollercoaster in the U.S., according to the Six Flags website.
But it does beat the New Jersey lines. At Great Adventure, we waited nearly three hours to ride Kingda Ka, a ride which lasts only 59 seconds, but doesn't feel nearly that long. At Six Flags New England, we waited an hour for Bizarro (the best coaster there, which I really enjoyed), which lasted a crazy 3 and a half minutes.
All in all, I guess it doesn't really matter which park you go to, because you're probably going to have a great time either way. I know I did, especially riding sickening coasters and then immediately wolfing down some fried dough and lemonade with John. And it was great to spend time there with family.
(L to R: Marvin the Martian, Dad, Me & the penguin John won for me, my brother Frankie, John standing beside me, Yosemite Sam, Mom, and Frankie's girlfriend Megan)

13 August 2009

I Miss My City

Here I am, in a small town called Rockville, Maryland. I came here with John, to meet his family and friends and go to lots of cute mini golf places at Ocean City. Well, the cute mini golf places are already out, as the trip to Ocean City has been canceled. And we haven't really met anyone yet, either. Pretty much, we've hung out in this budding small town suburbia. And don't get me wrong -- it's pretty quaint and gorgeous. But it isn't New York City, and I miss my hustle and bustle and grime already. For instance here, the sidewalks are utterly devoid of trash. People stop driving to let you cross even if you have the don't walk sign, and they won't start up again until you're across the street. I got complimented twice in a matter of two days. Everything is nestled in a five block radius and once you get past that, there's nothing to do. There is literally zero crime here. I have not seen one person who looks remotely homeless, and I doubt they exist. Rent for a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment is only $2,300. ... In my angry, pricey city... that'll get you a studio the size of John's bedroom closet, with walls you can hear every argument or sexcapade the neighbors have. And yet I'd still take that, with its glorious skyscrapers and humid, dirty (but way cheaper!) subway and multitude of different languages you can hear on the street, over this. Why? Beats me, but once you know New York, it's hard to leave.

07 August 2009

Rockin' Robin, Tweet Tweet....

For the longest time, I've held out on my opinion that Twitter is the most useless thing ever. Who cares what you (or anyone else) does during their day? Shouldn't some privacy remain sacred? But during the summer, my best friend Jo has been using Twitter for other reasons - mostly to look up information about different Broadway plays and to see if there are any good events going on around town that people she "follows" (or is there no "w"?) have tweeted (is that proper verb conjugation) about. So, today I caved and signed up for Twitter. If you've already signed up for a world where life becomes nothing more than a short, badly written blurb, find me as "hungupon". We might as well all go down together. (Disclaimer: I might not last on Twitter, but at least I'm giving new things a go!)

05 August 2009

Letting Go

Right now, John is in the process of moving out of his dorm in Manhattan to an apartment in the Bronx, just a few blocks away from where I live, actually. I can't imagine trying to move all of my stuff out of my room and into somewhere new. But see, that's the problem. Because when you're moving, you have to throw stuff out. You have to let go of all those old love letters (which, for years, I re-read and re-read, just to open up the metaphorical wounds anew); sometimes, you have to toss the memories to consolidate and make room for the new. It took me a long time to realize this and, now, as I help John pack and as he so easily talks about leaving things behind, I'm realizing it all over again. I am far too attached to my belongings -- not in a materialistic way, but in a sentimental way. And I am way too attached to former loves and friends -- although I can't say I have very many left of the latter. Just a few days ago, I had to let go a really close friend, who I've known for nearly four or five years. It was hard, but I'm getting along alright. As for those love letters, I now have Warhammer* miniature models to take their place. (-_-) Well, at least it's something, and at least it makes me smile rather than frown about the past. Try it with me. Let go of the things that don't matter anymore. Let go of any negative feelings about those around you, and especially about yourself. Let go of your ego and your physical manifestation, and become a swirling mass of feelings and potential, and let yourself be guided home. ------ *P.S. - for anyone who doesn't know what Warhammer is, you can read my article about it and one of its players here. Or, for the simple explanation - its a tabletop war game where you battle another player using tiny models you've built and painted yourself. And yes, John does have me building a Wood Elf army. (Which, yeah, yeah, I'll let go of the pretense and admit it -- I'm really excited about it!)

03 August 2009

No More Complaining

If you know me, you know that I hate when my hair starts getting longer (and I complain about it... a lot)! Then I end up getting it cut short, but I always complain about it too. Well, this time, I picked a slightly different style (short in the back, longer in the front on the left side in a sort of side bang) and made an executive decision - I would not complain. And since I've decided that, I feel way better about my haircut than I have in years. So now, my new goal is to reduce complaint and expectation, and just be satisfied with what I've got. (Pictures of the haircut will be on my facebook, and for info on it, I got it done at Astor Hair on Astor Place and Broadway, by an older woman named Martha. Usually I get it cut by Fran, who knows how to chop it up for me just right, but she's away on pregnancy leave right now). If you need a haircut, check it out.

01 August 2009

A Quickie

Don't you just love a short litle quickie before you head out for the day? Well, here goes: Music recommendation of today: "Follow" by Richie Havens. It was actually recommended to me last semester by this somewhat aging beatnik that I interviewed named Evan. He reads at the poetry readings in Barnes and Noble once a month (which I have been skipping out on because I haven't written any worthwhile poetry; I just can't get over this poetry block). So now I'm recommending it to you. When you listen, think of transcendental meditation, and the transfer of energy from one human being to another, tiny glittering strings of emotion and common interest and blood, all twinkling in the spaces between us. Umbilical cords that we have to learn to reconnect, before it's too late for the planet, and all of us on it. Joining together is our only answer; we must follow the call of our connections, our humanity, our love.