writing365

Watched Hidden Figures today and I was sadly not enamored by the film. I think that it’s an important story to tell, loved the messages and themes, but as a film it kind of fell flat for me. It kills me to say that because I’m all for more POC stories being told in Hollywood. Thankfully, this film seems to have resonated with most people and also made a boatload of money so I’m happy about that. 

I’ve now seen all the Best Picture Oscar nominees. Here’s how I would rank them…

1. Arrival
2. La La Land
3. Moonlight
4. Manchester by the Sea
5. Hell or High Water
6. Fences
7. Hacksaw Ridge
8. Lion
9. Hidden Figures

Numbers 1-4 are all REALLY close as far as which movie I liked more than the other. Arrival knocked my socks off last year. La La Land tapped into the hopeless romantic side of me in the same way Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight did. Moonlight was so damn powerful and nuanced. Manchester by the Sea reaffirmed my love of Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me is one of my all-time favorites that never gets any love). Hell or High Water made my personal top 10 of 2016. I enjoyed Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, and Lion but they just missed my top 10 list.

Driving...

Had a conversation with a friend recently about driving long distances and I just realized that while I do drive often, I don’t often drive very far. I think the furthest I’ve ever personally driven is I think Mountain View, which is only about 35 miles away from where I live. Obviously I’ve been to places a lot farther than that, but I was never the one behind the wheel. The only place away from the Daly City area that I can think of that I’ve driven to a lot is San Mateo, mostly because I went to CSM for all those years. I think part of the reason I don’t drive very long distances is because I drive a van and let’s face it, vans don’t get very good gas mileage. Anyways, my friend was saying that I should make it a goal to take a long road trip and I think that’s a great idea. Maybe over the summer I’ll finally take a long distance road trip… and actually be the person behind the wheel for the drive.

Sometimes I miss you

Day 23: Some days, some feelings. Some people. Some things you don’t forget. Ever. No matter how bad the aftertaste, some memories are just so good. They now and then tend to resurface. Sometimes it’s not even fair but this is the way our brains are wired. Sometimes I miss you. Quickly I have to remind myself of all the pain, but still sometimes I miss you. But just sometimes.

Shoottttttttt

So I shot a basketball for the first time in months and I can’t tell you how unbelievably gratifying it was. Right from the first shot I literally had a stupid grin on my face. Thankfully there was no one else there haha. Despite not having played in such a long time, my shot actually felt a lot better than I thought it would. Obviously not nearly as good as when I used to play damn near everyday, but still pretty efficient. I also ran for a little bit to see just how out of shape I was and yes, I was out of shape. My ankle actually gave out on me before I lost my breath if that’s any consolation (which it’s not lol). I really ought to make an effort to exercise more often because the stress of school is really killing me and we’re only entering week 4. That and fixing my diet so I don’t feel like a complete piece of crap all the damn time.

The train tracks on The Wire...

*Note: This post contains no major plot spoilers for The Wire*

The creator of The Wire, David Simon, has publicly stated that no critic has ever gotten the reason why McNulty and Bunk drank by the train tracks correct and I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I haven’t really read any critic’s take on the train tracks so this might have been said before and much more eloquently, so here goes…

The ultimate message of The Wire is about institutions and the way that nothing ever seems to change on a grander scale. There are always people who are benefited by the system and choose to back that system up instead of advocating for better.

How does the institution tie into the train tracks? I see the train tracks as the system itself. No matter what anyone who rides the train does, they cannot sway from the path that the tracks leads them to.

There’s a scene in The Wire where McNulty stands on the train tracks as the train heads towards him. The only two options he has is to move out the way or let the train kill him. Either way the system to continues on or the system kills him, there is nothing he can do to prevent the system from continuing the same way as it always has.

Another big theme of The Wire is how life is cyclical. Similarly, a train essentially only goes around in circles or follows the same path. It is impossible for a train to travel anywhere that its tracks does not take it. The path that it takes is firm, rigid, and set in place, there is no other alternative. Trains are orderly, exactly the way that many institutions in America are.

The railroads in America go so far back that they predate the ban on slavery. The railroads were built on the blood, sweat, and labor of immigrant and slave workers, the same way that the very same institutions running America today continue to exploit not just minorities anymore, but the working class. The common man and woman serve as nothing but tools to keep those in power in control. We don’t have slavery anymore, but in a way we are still enslaved to those who run the system. What greater representation of things not changing is there than the railroads of America?

Anyways, that’s just my theory on the train tracks. I really ought to look up some critic’s views, because this show is just endlessly fascinating. I finished the series months ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it/discussing it with people I know. If you haven’t seen The Wire, I would highly recommend that you do whatever you have to do to watch it. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Exercise!

When you can take your jeans off without unbuttoning and unzipping your pants, it’s probably time to buy new pants lol. I’ve talked about the weight thing on here a few times before and it’s an ongoing thing. The last… I’d say 4-5 months have been relatively stagnant for me on the exercise front. Now that I’m a few weeks into nursing school I’m not so sure how I’ll be able to fit in time to get in better shape. I say that I don’t have time… but I do have a little time and I need to do my best to manage it. I’m just trying to live healthier overall, because the past two weeks have been kind of hectic and I’ve felt pretty crappy for most of it due to my poor conditioning. Just need to get my body to start going on a regular schedule and keep to it.

Halloween and trick or treating is completely dead in my neighborhood. It’s 8 PM and I don’t think our doorbell has rung even half a dozen times tonight. What happened to all the trick or treaters? I remember my block used to be HELLA crackin’ with hundreds of kids roaming the streets. Now there’s barely anyone out, it’s so sad! My mom has a funny head piece on and she’s sad that there aren’t any kids coming to our door because she bought a good amount of candy. Has the paranoia of parents ruined Halloween or is trick or treating not cool anymore?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I had of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly constantly within film circles ever since I really started to get into film. It’s a 2007 biopic that has been praised to the high heavens by most who have seen the film, basically calling it nothing short of a masterpiece. I’m no different, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a truly stunning film. The story of this man’s life is simply amazing.

Jean-Dominique Bauby at the age of 42 has a stroke that leaves him with a rare condition called “locked-in syndrome,” which essentially paralyzes him from head to toe. He eventually manages to communicate through the use of his one good eye, speaking to others through morse code by blinking his eye. He then dictates a book on his life and living with locked-in syndrome.

This film is simultaneously a gut punch and a shining example of the possibilities of life. It captures so poignantly the tragedy and beauty of life, showcasing our struggles and our ability to overcome monumental odds.

As someone who watches movies constantly, I always give a film credit when it does something new and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly feels so unique in its approach and filmmaking. The first person perspective and inner monologue could never fully replicate the idea of being “locked-in” but it shows the immense difficulties of the condition and hints at the true terror of it.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a the kind of film that I love the most, equal parts entertaining and profound. It shows the lowest depths that our lives can take us to and also the moments that make life worth living. I would highly recommend that everyone seek this movie out and watch!

Watching movies and how we experience them

I’ve gotten into discussions about this with several friends recently and I think it’s fascinating the way that watching movies has changed over time.

Back in the day the ONLY way to see a movie was at the movie theater. There was no such thing as home video, Netflix watch instantly, Redbox, etc. Movies tended to stay in theaters for longer periods of time and even had rereleases.

Now? We have so many outlets to choose from. We can go to our local movie theater, watch on our flat screen TV’s at home, on our laptops, and the ways we can do it have multiplied. We can buy movies, rent/view from Netflix, Redbox, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, there are so many ways to watch movies.

What has been gained and what has been lost in the recent technology boom? I’m all for the ability to gain access to a wide selection of movies. The scope of films you could see in the past were much more limited, whereas nowadays you can see almost any film you damn well please. It is also just so much more convenient being able to watch a movie on your laptop, iPhone, or whatever.

In a way though, the movie watching experience has been degraded with the advent of technology. When you watch something on Netflix watch instantly on your laptop, how often do you pause the film to take a break, check your email, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.? The same goes for when you watch a movie at home versus the theater. And watching a film on a 15 inch screen, or even a 60 inch television, is a much different experience than watching a movie on the big screen, and it seems like filmmakers/studios are starting to cater to the home viewing experience over the theater one. It’s cool that you can watch a movie on your phone, but is that really any way to seriously watch a film for the first time?

Filmmakers back in the day made their films for the big screen, there was no concept of a movie being seen on a small screen. I think that you inherently lose some value when you watch a film on a smaller screen. I’m all for advancing technology to improve the movie going and home theater experience though. Very soon we are probably going to see all content become digital. If you want to watch a movie you’ll just turn on your TV, find the movie through a service, and click play. However, until we get full HD, subtitles, audio tracks, bonus features, etc. in online streaming, I think that I will still prefer watching on Blu-ray/DVD for the full home viewing experience. Not saying that I don’t love Netflix watch instantly, but it doesn’t offer much aside from merely seeing the film, which in all honesty is enough for most movie watchers. 

I wonder just how much the experience of watching a movie will change in the near and distant future. If you know me at all, you’ll know that I LOVE watching movies and I’m curious to see exactly what the future will bring.

I’m a lightweight hypochondriac, I always think that something is wrong with me or that I’m sick and I just don’t know it. Doing all this studying for diseases and what not is making me feel a little more secure knowing how they all develop, but it’s also simultaneously freaking me the hell out because I keep thinking “what if I get this!?” There are so many diseases out there where they just don’t know what the root cause of it is and that scares the HELL out of me! I mean hopefully you know, I’m totally fine or whatever, but there are always those lingering doubts…

Type, type, type...

Didn’t do a “writing365” post yesterday because I was literally at home for less than an hour for the whole day and couldn’t write. So to make up for it I’m making this post and another one that shall be posted later today. Anyways, can I just say how pleasantly surprised I am that I had been able to keep up my “writing365” series up until now? I suppose it isn’t THAT hard to jot down some thoughts in about 15 minutes (sometimes more) per day, but I haven’t been that good with the text posts on my Tumblr recently and I’m happy that I haven’t run out of topics to write about. Definitely plan to keep this going for the long run though!

A little self reflection...

I was looking at some of my old drafts that I always said I might polish up so I could post them and I just couldn’t help but facepalm at how self-deprecating and sad they were. It’s not as though everything I wrote was untrue, but they definitely gave off extremely depressing vibes.

I think I have this inferiority complex where I just never think that I’m good enough. There’s always something that I could improve or something about myself that I hate, but instead of working on problems I have with myself, I focus my energy on other more tangible things. I’ll clean my room or study a lot or do some other random miscellaneous task until I’m satisfied. For some reason I just can’t help but feel like I don’t deserve anything good in my life.

Whenever I’m with a group of people I always wonder if I’m coming off as annoying, which is why sometimes I find it more comforting to be alone. But a lot of what I feel is so contradictory as well. I’ll say I’m lonely but then refuse to go out with friends or call anyone. When I want to go out eventually I always feel like a third wheel or the odd man out. And I feel so angry at myself for sounding a fucking movie cliche, “Oh the lonely guy who feels so misunderstood, how fucking original.”

I wish I was one of those people who was more confident/secure about themselves. I’m a worrier, I just constantly worry about little tiny things that shouldn’t be a big deal. Like just recently, I was worried about meeting this new doctor for the first time and when it was all over I realized that I was anxious for no freakin’ reason.

I realize that a lot of this is attitude and I’ve never been one of those people who were confident/sure about their own abilities. I’m trying my best to change this aspect of myself, but it’s hard. I feel like I’ve made some progress over the last year and at the same time I still see my old tendencies creep to the surface. I’m not sure if this is something that can be a constant within my life, but I need some temperance to make sure I balance the highs and the lows.

So tomorrow morning is do or die time for me. I have to pass my HESI exit exam in order to graduate next week with my diploma. I didn’t pass it my first time around back in October by maybe just a question or two, which was excruciatingly heartbreaking. This is my last chance. I feel sick and physically exhausted from studying and worrying, hoping and praying that I pass this exit exam and finish nursing school for good. For some of you who have followed me for a long time have been here since I was taking prerequisites just to get in to nursing school. If you could just keep me in your prayers and send good vibes my way, I would really appreciate it.

RULES:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.

IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?

Tick of the Clock - Drive Soundtrack (lmfaooooo)

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

Don’t Get Me Confused - Black Ty (hahahha)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Throw it All Away - 112 (>_>)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Don’t Tell Me You Love Me - Big Sean (okay…)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?

Try Harder - Drake (this one actually fits! Haha)

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?

We Celebrate - Ghostface Killah (LIKE ALL OF MY GOONS JUST CAME HOME!)

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

Pinocchio Story - Kanye West (uh oh… haha)

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Jesus - Brand New (that’s kind of disturbing lol)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Homecoming - Kanye West (lol)

WHAT IS 2 + 2?

Brooklyn - Fabolous (RIDIN’ THROUGH THE BOROUGH WITH TWO FOUR-FIZZES/ PHANTOM OPEN UP LIKE TWO DOOR FRIDGES!)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Heaven - Nas (if heaven was a mile away…)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

The Champ - Ghostface Killah (I wish my life story could be as awesome as this song haha)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Little Shadow - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (hmm…)

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Girlfriend - Alicia Keys (LMFAO! Hahahha)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

We’re Back - Eminem (oh mannnnnnn haha)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Millstone - Brand New (0_o)

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST??

Reptilia - The Strokes (not really??)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR??

Summertime - Mae (hahahah)

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET??

I Need You - Alicia Keys (>_>)

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?

Get Right - Jennifer Lopez (heyyyyyyyy lol)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

A Trip Out of Town - Busta Rhymes (GOONIES)

For the first time since I got Tumblr in 2009 I haven’t been keeping up with it. It’s just literally impossible at this point for me to look at all the updates the way I used to. I thought I knew what difficult was but we’re pushing new heights of difficulty in this final semester. Not only am I freaking out about the HESI exit exam, but I’ve got to worry about passing my final classes and getting in 225 hours of clinical at the hospital. The HESI exam is the one I’m really worried about because we only get two tries to pass or we fail the entire semester. I’ve heard it’s hard as hell and I kind of hyperventilate and feel nauseated every time I think about it. We took the practice one last week and I actually surprisingly passed by a decent amount, but I’m not letting my guard down because the second one is supposedly wayyyyy different than the first. Just praying that I can finish this last semester and graduate this December. Send good vibes my way please, much love to all of y'all who still follow me!