Golden Globe Buckets

While obsessively preparing for awards season/enjoying the trappings of winter, I have noticed a few major trends in the major motion pictures. I believe, so far (I am still missing Her, of course, but soon! amongst a few others) that there are three major buckets for big ticket films this year.

1. Road Movie with a Twist; This bucket will contain Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska. There are a lot of elegant long highway shots, with an ultimately gratifying finish, making the trip tres worthwhile.

2. Rebirth and Salvation; In this bucket you will find 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. Gravity being a top favorite of yours truly, both (similar to the road movie in a way) our protagonists endure, and finally reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Retro Heist; Of course here we find The Wolf of Wall Street, and…it’s peculiar semi-wannabe cousin (though I love David O. Russel) American Hustle. Wolf was just Scorsese at his finest and strikes a double whammy by hitting the chord of the moment.

Now the real question is; who will win best picture? Votes, predictions? My prediction is; 12 years.

PS: Shout out to the unbucketable Dallas Buyers Club. Huge Fan, and Jared Leto was inspired.

Girls and Her

When I first heard of the Girls…I was appalled. And that is putting it lightly. My self-loathing was tangible, palpable oozing so bad I had to work over time and two extra shifts to deny it. It felt like I was looking in a mismatched mirror of my own desperate past, that was now for all to see, objectify, ridicule. It was like self-loathing on super speed. I refused to watch it. One time, out at dinner at a semi-chic (read; not so good and overpriced) then-new restaurant in Bed-Stuy (so Girls) my friend told me that I reminded her of Lena Dunham. Not, her alter ego Hannah, but the real LD herself. I almost died. I had not yet seen Tiny Furniture or Girls, but still, it was like a kick to the lady parts that made me want to flip my gourmet macaroni slider ball covered table and storm out to wait 45 minutes for the G.

Anyways, there was a lot of weird self-loathing slash overall annoyance with the show…before I actually sat down to watch it and TF.  Of course, I LOVED. IT. because obviously how else would that story end.

Not only do I love the show-not my favorite in history but-hilarious and uncomfortable nipple showing half shirts and all, but I deeply admire Lena Dunham. She REPRESENTS. She OWNS her shit. She basically has a mini Bey thing goin on, not as fabulous of course, no one could be, but we can all aspire. Perhaps most importantly, she is a boss. She runs the show, writes it, produces it, and doesn’t give a damn what people think. Especially of how she looks, which by the way makes her a fucking hero to like millions of women. Not saying she is perfect, and I kind of wish she would write Hannah to be more like Lena, but whatever. The point is, I was way wrong.

Now, when I saw the trailer for Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix I literally barfed in my mouth a couple of times over and over again, then once for real on the floor. Then I saw this article in the Atlantic; why it is THE BEST film of the year… Oh congratulations you mega douche. You love your phone. Novel concept really…oh wait, have you ever met ANYONE before?! If only your character was a little bit more like your “character” I’m Still Here, then I think things could get for realsies interesting. Remember how much you hated women in that movie? It’s almost like you could make them disappear! Which is exactly what has happened in Her. Ahhh, sweet relief. A womanless world.

Which brings me to my next point. Another character who made a lady disappear, Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones.

Can I get a Hello?!The whole PDA with your PDA (who happens to be Scarlett Johansson, I mean are you kidding me Jonze) joke is like MADE with the movie though, thanks for that at least. But, just like with Girls maybe I should watch it and it won’t make me want to die so much. Except, Girls is all about, well…it’s in the title…girls running their shit. Her, on the other hand, is just that…the objectifying, commodifying, empty, perfect, AI girlfriend any hetero-normative mustachioed tool can ever hope to Google.Congrats to you on that.

7 Things aerobics teachers have taught me about teaching

So, three years later, I’ve missed you, blog! So I am back. I have become–ta da–an elementary school teacher! Amazing, beautiful, heinous, grueling, empowering, delightful…the list goes on and more to come on that situation. So, here are some things I have learned along the way.

1. 5 glows for every grow. Seriously. You might think you are being positive, but it won’t translate unless you are intentionally 5:1 with praise. Think about every bad boss you’ve ever had. How much resentment did you harbor for the overly-critical? How far would you go for the supportive? It’s pretty outstanding.

2. Let me know when it’s over (at least temporarily.) I am going to try so much harder when I know the next break (nap, vacation, you decide!) is only 15 seconds away. I am also the QUEEN of the countdown. Yes, I should live more in the present mo, but I still like a little sumn sumn to look forward to.

3.Empty praise is golden (great job everyone! you are the best readers ever….see?) Though I have always been told empty praise is the devil to be shunned, it must be precise and non-glorifying (e.g. you worked hard, Billy! vs. Billy, you’re soooo smart! you creative genius you!) but I have found, when I am busting my ass, panting, sweat dripping from previously unknown crevices that hearing the words “you are doing good” –even just OK— makes me happy. So I say it all the time to my kids. Because I think, generally, they are trying, as I do, to do a good job.

4. I assume you’re talking about me (yes, admittedly, vain as hell–but I’m bold enough to know I’m not alone here) be it critical or glorifying, I assume when you say “HEAD UP! relax those shoulders!” that it is I with the low head and tense shoulders. Then when you say it again (see #1) I am like JEEEEEEEEEEEZ, get off my back.

5. Stop talking (a little.) Seriously, shut it. I love my yoga teacher to the moon and back, Om Namah Shivaya etc etc, but when she starts going on and on about a pose while we are in said pose the only thing I can concentrate on is breaking the pose. Also, lectures are so boring. Even ADULTS in a conference are checking their phone and having side conversations, so how can we hold students to such extremes if it’s our own fault we’re rambling on and on like a…yoga teacher?

6. Recognize when we need a break. Sometimes, you need to tone it back. Sometimes, way waaay back. For example, a hot barre class on a 90 degree day. That shit needs to be toned back! Open that door. More water breaks!  Fewer repetitions! etc! Kids need to stretch and play and talk a lot, too. So let them.

7. Scaffold (apply various levels of difficulty for students to choose based on skill level) Let students choose which way they want to complete a project. Yes, choice is no revelation for student success. But, when I have the choice in a class heels up or down, upward facing dog or cobra, I am like, got this, doin it and doin it and doin it right.

I love being a student because it reminds me what pisses me off about being a student, so that I remember to bring the same style and attitude to my students. Though I am 20+ years older than they, I have an inkling they don’t mind so much.

Hey Everybody

So I’m not sure who’s checking this out lately. I admit I have been such a sorry blogger the past few months. What gives? I ask myself. But, I won’t dwell on it. I will say that in the meantime I have been trying to finish my masters degree which requires me to write this masters thesis.

So as a part of that I started this blog. It is totally an experiment, something I just threw together to see if anything bites. Check it out here: Culture Stock.

If you have any stories or pictures, please please please share them. not only will my profs totes love me, but more importantly I think it will be really interesting. If you don’t have any stories to share maybe you have some design advice, or maybe you think I could change some things around so they make more sense, or ideas for what I could add.

Whatever you want it to be, it is.

has it

really been that long?

the post i have been thinking about was writing about watching the new york city marathon, which i guess i ultimately decided was not, in the end, worth it.

maybe this will get the ball rolling.

you, me, a plane, a car, a train and we’ll figure it out from there

in no particular order, places i have to get to.

-Maya Lin, the sculptural prodige behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC (did you know that when people visit memorials like this, and leave say, oh a half pack of marlboro reds, a pair of boots and a picture next to the wall–its someones job to pick those things up and put them in an archive. How would you like to be the cyrptolibrarian of symbolic gestures to the dead archive?) also has an amazing piece at this naturalist sculpture park which is my new favorite nickname for anything i like “Storm King”. it’s called waveforms, and its just a field of grass which is constructed to look like the ocean.

-James Turrell’s Roden Crater. “Also, there’s a space where you can see your shadow from the light of Venus alone – things like this. And also wanted to gather starlight that was from outside, light that’s not only from outside the planetary system which would be from the sun or reflected off of the moon or a planet, but also to emanate light from the galactic planes where you’ve got this older light that’s away from the light even of our galaxy. So that is light that would be at least three and a half billion years old. So you’re gathering light that’s older than our solar system. And it’s possible to gather that light, it takes a good bit of stars to do that, and a good look into older skies, away from the Milky Way. You can gather that light and physically have that in place so that it’s physically present to feel this old light. Now that’s a blended light, of course, but it’s also red-shifted, so it’s a different tone of light than we’re normally used to. But that’s something that you can do here in a place like this, where you have good, dark skies. So to have this sort of old blended light and to have this sort of new, eight and a half minute old light from the sun – it’s like having the Beaujolais and then having a finer, older mature blend [of wine] as well. And I wanted to look at light that way, because to feel it physically, almost as we taste things, was a quality I wanted. And this is where you can work with light like that.” images

and, my most favorite of favorite dream destinations, Walter De Maria’s Lightning field in New Mexico. cabins available. that’s all im saying on this.lightningfield-top

Lady Gregg Gregg

The games of love are a well documented phenomenon, but so rarely have we seen the blatant usage in songs, songs about love games have indeed become our generational anthem. The fare of broken hearts, tormented souls is no longer relegated to the upstairs bathroom in my parents house before junior prom. ah no, sea monsters and pop stars alike resound with a universal plea, which begs, if you can’t love us, then just please stop playing your love games, or get in the game, get your love stick disco shtick in the love, the game of love. Alternative post title; From Gaga to Gregg: Cultural Dissection between Sea Culture and Pop Culture.

OLD_GREGG_by_fence
You be the Judge:

Gaga goes:
Lets play a love game, play a love game
Do you want love or you want fame?
Are you in the game? Doin’ the love game

Lets play a love game, play a love game
Do you want love or you want fame?
Are you in the game? Doin’ the love game

let’s play a love game
play a love game
do you want love
or you want fame
are you in the game

Gregg goes:
Do you love me? Are you playing your love games with me?
I just wanna know what to do ’cause I need your love a lot

Moving too fast, this isn’t a race ooh
Baby back off and lower the pace now
Slow it down, and give me some space, mmmh
Moving too fast, this isn’t a race. ah ah

Do you love me? Are you playing your love games with me?
I just wanna know what to do ’cause I need your love a lot