Little known fact about me: I’m a huge fan of conspiracy theories. I don’t necessarily buy into them, especially the ones pertaining to things like the lizard colony and the illuminati, but it’s interesting to hear how some people try to explain the universe and why certain things happen. We’re all familiar with the more mild and well-known theories that have to do with Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster (both of which I buy into), but there are deeper corners that some people venture into, myself included, and I am here to share some of my favorite conspiracy theories. For this blog post, I encourage you all to delve into this with an open mind and suspend logic. I will admit, a couple of these are incredibly far reaching, so whether or not you want to believe them is up to you. Also, keep in mind that I am trying to keep these as concise as possible, so I may not be able to include some other key facts, but I will certainly try to maintain their underlying ideas.
2017 has been a big year in film, and is perhaps one of my favorite years in film. There hasn’t been one instance throughout the year where I wasn’t eagerly checking showtimes to see if I can squeeze a trip to the movies into my schedule. So many long anticipated films came out this year, spanning from big budget films such as the live action version of Beauty & The Beast, to lower budget independent films such as Lady Bird. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I have a very niche taste in film, and tend to gravitate towards independent movies, period pieces, and witty coming of age stories. Aside from the super exciting string of Marvel films that were released this year, here are several of my favorite films that came out this past year.
It’s been exactly one month since Taylor Swift released her new album, “Reputation,” and over a week since she has made the album available on all streaming platforms. Given her pop culture presence over the past several years, it’s pretty safe to say that the release of this album has been long anticipated, whether you stand on the side of excitement or apathy. Now that I’ve had the album in my possession for a month (and has since been on repeat in my car), I feel now is the appropriate time to finally share my thoughts and feelings on this album.
Last night, I went and saw John Mulaney’s live stand-up comedy act. In his show, he tells a story that those of us who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree are all too familiar with – receiving letters from our alma mater to donate back to the university. While he told the story humorously, it did resonate with me, someone who currently works within university philanthropy, and struck a conversation among my group of friends on the car ride home. I understand the sour taste that comes with the conversation of donating to the university, and I’ve found that it mostly stems from being unaware of the reasons why philanthropy is so important. Having worked in this field for a little over two years now, I am here to explain the importance of it and highlight the facts that I’ve learned over the past couple of years.
Well folks, we’ve made it through a whole week of this series without skipping a single day. It’s still a tad early in the series, but this year’s Blogmas looks more promising in terms of actually making it through the entire 25 days. As you’re reading this, I’ll be in LA at a comedy show, so you’re getting this post a tad earlier than I usually post (yay!). To wrap up this week, here’s another How Wow Pow Chow.
Ever since I got my first smart phone five years ago, I was quick to jump on as many social media platforms as I possibly could. When you first join Instagram, you immediately want to start posting as much as you can as often as you can. Eventually, you look through your profile and see a long string of photos of ordinary items with half-assed filters slapped onto them. My own Instagram profile has lived many different lifetimes. I went through the phase of posting every mundane thing that was going on in my daily life. I became that annoying friend you never wanted to hang out with because he insisted on making everyone wait to eat their food to take a photo “for the gram.” For awhile, I posted selfies with pretentious captions to make myself look ~brooding~ or ~cultured~ (Disclaimer: I am neither of those things). Nowadays, I do try to maintain some kind of a consistent theme with my photos, trying to incorporate the same filter and color schemes with each photo I take – which, let me tell you, is no easy task. There was a point over the past five years that I’ve participated in daily challenges in order to maintain a constant presence on the platform, while also challenging yourself creatively. If you are an Instagram glutton like myself, here are several challenges I, as well as my friends, have participated in over the past several years.
It’s been about six months since I’ve finished school, and I’ve done the usual things one is expected to accomplish post-grad: I got a full time job, I’m paying off bills quicker, and I’m taking reasonable steps towards future career goals while still basking in the freedom from homework, exams, and day to day interaction with other jaded students. There have also been transitions that I’ve been undergoing that I wasn’t at all anticipating, mostly having to do with my relationships with the people who are (and were) in my life. When you’re in school, despite how cynical you may have become due to the curve balls life throws at you, you still maintain somewhat of a rose-colored glasses perspective, especially with your friendships. There comes a point in college where you realize you’re basically an adult, which translates to thinking that the other young adults in your life have to remain there forever. For some, this may be true, but the reality is that just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean that you’re done growing. As people grow up, sometimes people grow at different times, in different directions, and ultimately apart.
Staring down the barrel of their mid-20’s, a lot of young people are eager to make changes in their lives, whether that be pursuing a job opportunity, finishing school, going back to school, or finding a significant other. As I came to the tail end of my undergraduate days, I was beginning to feel that itch. Similar to a lot of young people, I was in the midst of going through life changes as well, and wanted each change to physically manifest itself for all to see. That’s when I decided to pull the trigger and dye my hair, which turned into an interesting journey as I went through the slew of colors.
Since I started this blog, I’ve found that people have become more and more interested in what I thought about certain topics, what my opinions are with current events, and/or my take on certain celebrities and their goings-on. On almost all occasions, I’ve found myself responding with something along the lines of “Oh, I don’t know,” or “I don’t have an opinion about that,” or “I shouldn’t have an opinion on that.” But I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that I do have opinions (*gasp*), but I tend to just push them to the back of my mind. Why? Because as I find myself eavesdropping on conversations, I formulate my opinion on the topic at hand, but nine times out of ten, my opinion is the unpopular one, and so I just keep everything in my back pocket. Well now my back pocket is getting full, and it’s time to empty out some space and brain dump my unpopular opinions on you fine folk. (I apologize if any of these things offend anyone. But then again, #sorrynotsorry).
One Saturday morning in February, well into the chaos of Winter Quarter, I found myself drowning in obligations and work I needed to get done. I needed to work on a group assignment for my math class, had a fellowship application I needed to complete, and some much needed Bible lettering I was itching to do as well. I knew none of this would get done if I stayed within the confines of my bedroom, and going to the library wasn’t a particularly attractive option, either. I realized that it had been awhile since I went out and visited a new coffee shop. My list of recommendations from friends was extensive and growing, and so I figured what better time to finally check out some of these places.
Within an hour, I found myself sitting on an uneven chair at a table that was barely big enough to fit my laptop in a cramped space in the middle of downtown Pomona. While the latte I ordered was tasty, the space itself wasn’t very comfortable. I packed my things and decided to go to the next place that was on my list. Here, I found myself sitting in a plastic chair that felt like it would give at any moment, in a crowded space with no WiFi, with hard metal blasting over the speakers. It didn’t help that the drink I ordered was sub-par, either. I sat there and thought what an incredibly unlucky day for me to go out and try something new. Both of these coffee shops came to me under the recommendations of friends who knew that going out and getting work done in a coffee shop was one of my favorite things to do. I then realized that while I like to think that I’m open when it comes to what kind of coffee shop I like to visit, the truth is probably that my taste is far more refined than I would like to believe. So if you ever have a coffee shop suggestion you would like to give me, while I will still make note of it in the notes app on my phone, I do have a few things I like to consider before visiting any place new.