The best movies by genre

Here are my mini-Oscars

In general best movie ever: Scent of A woman. Already wrote an entire blog post about how great this movie is, but overall 10/10 across all categories- especially acting, plot, and screenwriting.

Soundtrack: for me, it’s a 3-way tie between Baby Driver, O Brother Where Art Thou, and 500 Days of Summer.

Action: John Wicks- super basic but true like for me it goes in order of chapters 1, 4, (3 and 2 tie). All the action is super satisfying to watch, but an underrated one would be Scarface

Horror: ok the scariest movie I’ve ever seen is the Lighthouse but it’s not really scary. It’s just really gross and made me the most uncomfortable- I really don’t like this movie.

Romance: to be honest I’ve only seen a ton of romcoms, but my favorite has to be Notting Hill, 10 Things I

hate About You, and My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Comedy: Superbad- it’s just hilarious I love Fogell and the Cops, haha.

Best “film bro” movie: The Pianist, French Dispatch.

Cinematography: The Grand Budapest Hotel.


Just My Luck

So I rolled my ankle the day before the league final track meet- an event I’d been looking forward to all season. All my life, there’s been a pattern. I will have roughly 4 days where everything is just fabulous and going my way, life is terrifically smooth and easy but it abruptly comes to an end, followed by an equally long period of just comically terrible rotten awful luck! And this eternal pendulum swings between luck and misery, creating balance in my polarized life.

It’s gotten to the point that I will recognize whatever “phase” I’m in and alter my behavior because of it. If I realize I’m in a bad luck week I will be more cautious and weary of what I’m doing. It’s like a legitimate phenomenon, really, if there are any scientists out there totally out of things to study, this could be it.

Right now, I am definitely in that bad luck phase. My computer just died while I was getting the charger for it WHILE typing this, I am getting bug bites too, and I accidentally spilled a drink on my piano earlier this evening. I realize these are serious first-world problems and it could be so much worse, but dealing with all these little annoyances really makes me mad enough to write a whole blog post about it. You’re not going to believe this- but my first draft of this wouldn’t even save so I had to start over!

To be honest I don’t know if I actually believe in luck or not, but what I do know is I either have it all or not even a smidge.


Since Hannah Didn’t Put My Common App Essay in the Student Union:

I love old technology. The analog feel of buttons and dials under my finger, the lights of a stereo amp, the crackle of vinyl, and the warped sound of an overplayed cassette tape––all create beauty we so often lose in the digital world. The beauty of chaos, the unorganized, and the functionless. These devices hold value in their aesthetics but also through the stories that define them.

Such objects fill my room with stories from my own life and the countless others they’ve encountered. Next to my bed sits a CRT TV I found abandoned on the road. It works surprisingly well for a piece of technology made before Facebook, though, like the person who left it behind, not many would think much of it. It’s been replaced by two decades of 4K ultra-HD developments, which produce bigger, brighter images. Why would anyone watch a special effects masterpiece on something with the quality of a cave painting and a screen smaller than a shoebox?

 I see its beauty though, the way it needs to warm up before turning on, the way it cracks and clicks when you try to push its archaic buttons, and the decaying colors of the few remaining VHS tapes, long-forgotten. 

I imagine this TV didn’t change hands many times. It was probably bought new at Radio Shack in Ventura, six years before I was born. It probably sat in someone’s living room playing movies for their kids on family game night, and then their grandkids, and then it probably sat in the garage taking up space until they finally decided the black hunk of metal, glass, and plastic was an eyesore whose good days were as long gone as its remote. Now it sits as an exhibit in my room, a reflection of others’ memories and a piece of art for me to admire. 

Like this old TV, I, too, can easily be overshadowed by things bigger and brighter. I surf with more passion than I’ve ever felt before, but by most standards, I’d be considered unremarkable. 

Surfing’s the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered: walls of water like moving mountains, foam like a powerful avalanche, a board that goes from being your greatest ally to greatest enemy the moment it’s freed from your grip. Is the feeling of a wave worth the pain of falling? Often, it is. Small waves, no biggie, a couple seconds of being under frigid water, and then you paddle back out and try again. But when the waves become giants and the board a brute-force weapon, that fall begins to exceed your limits. 

I remember going out on a day with waves far beyond my skill set—Goliath and Polyphemus in watery form. Before I even paddled for a wave, a set came in. The first wave blocked the sun as it groaned past me, the second feathered as I crested its peak, the third, I wasn’t so lucky. The avalanche hit me, immediately tearing the board from my hands. The wave was now groaning on top of me, thrashing my body like a ragdoll in a washing machine. Then, it was over. The wave passed, and I was okay. So what pushes me to surf in these conditions? I think it’s because putting myself in places beyond my skill set and comfort, where I’m deeply flawed, has shaped me. I find love and beauty in the places where I know I’ll fall, for it’s there that I find who I am.

I climb, hike, surf, and run, but most athletic is an unlikely yearbook superlative.  

Like the TV, I, too, crack and click when I’m pushed too hard. If all that made me was performance, I, too, would be left on the street without a second thought, but I am my story not my statistics. I too, have beauty, which lies not in my achievements but in my imperfections.

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pc: me

New Sp5der Sweatsuit

Just got these fire sweats by the brand sp5der. The brand was created by popular rapper THUGGER, aka Young Thug aka YSLSHLAT, aka Mr 🅿️ himself. Young Thug who is originally from Atlanta Georgia has a bunch of great hits, such as Pick Up the Phone, Digits, and Relationship. However, he was locked up in 2022 for a R.I.C.O charge, along with fellow rapper Gunna and other members of their group labeled “YSL” which stands for “Young Slime Life”. However, Gunna snitched and is now out and Young Thug is facing possible life in prison.

His clothing brand has been popping off and the sweatsuits are very comfortable and they look good. I personally got the slime green suit, which features the sp5der logo on the front of the sweats upside down, the hoodie that has a spider web on it, and the sp5der logo. If you see me on campus you know imma to be stuntin’, cmon now.

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Photo Cred: Me

My Journalism Journey Pt. 2

When I began high school I was no longer eligible for the Scholastic program, but I knew I wanted to continue to pursue journalism. Although freshmen were not typically allowed to apply for the school newspaper editor position, my junior high English teacher put in a special word and they made an exception. I was elected, and again the following year.

Last summer I applied for, was accepted to and attended the New York Times Summer Academy, which was an amazing experience.

I’m (obviously) taking journalism at OVS now and have had the chance to publish a couple articles in the OVN. This coming summer, I will be taking a course titled Storytelling for Social Change, which I imagine I can tie back to journalism. And for my senior capstone project next year, I’m hoping to create a Humans of New York-esque video or book in which I interview strangers.

^ An example of a Humans of New York story, PC:

Ghetto party

I’m very excited to be back in my element this weekend. Me originally being from the ghetto, hood, mud, etc. It can be rough for the realest person from these types of areas to come up to communities such as these and fit in. However, spring break has allowed me to return to the hood and have fun. I will also be able to see one of my favorite rappers this weekend, he goes by the name R3dachilliman. He’s made songs like Blamp Camp, Woc Pint Freestyle, and Ice. Im planning on taking my friends from the suburbs to let them see what a real party is like. However, it can be dangerous at these parties so you need to act right and be in check, therefore I will be putting my friends in training the day before. This training will consist of how to act if someone comes up to you and says “Where you from”, or if someone yells at you from across the street “Lemme holla at you real quick!” These will just be a few of the things I will be training them for, but it will be fun!

photo by me

A Perfect Summer Day

There are only 7 more weeks of school until summer and I am so ready. This is what my perfect summer day looks like: I start off the morning reading in bed, then make myself a delectable smoothie bowl. I get ready – shower, pick out an outfit, brush my teeth, and put on some mascara and sunscreen. I work on my French course a little bit and do the NYT mini in the hammock outside. Before it gets too hot I might go on a bike ride in the meadow with Siya or Tomoki or them both. We make avocado toast and fresh lemonade for lunch.

PC: Me

Next, I drive to the beach, listening to Spotify’s Daily Drive (which mixes your favorite tracks with daily news and is my new favorite thing.) I meet up with friends here – let’s say Ula and Melia – and we sunbathe and swim and body-surf and laugh. We probably hit a thrift shop and pick up a burrito on the way back, before staying up all night together.

what I’ve been playing on the piano pt 2

Imagine rainfall, accompanied by the sound of warm piano slowly picking away at the layer of your sorrows, that’s how I feel when I play Laura by Erroll Garner. It’s a song I’ve been learning lately, and one of the hardest and technically challenging songs I’ve tackled this year- but most rewarding. The arpeggios are INCREDIBLE.

Just listen:

the rain last week made me want to go back to playing more moody jazz. Pieces with really pretty and new york city-type chords. Songs like Almost Blue (Chet Baker), and Scenery (Ryo Fukui).

amore mio aiutami by Piero Piccioni is perhaps one of the most beautiful songs I learned on the piano. I can’t stop playing it. Another one like it is Lujon by Heny Mancini

I found one of my Dad’s old Billy Joel books, and I’ve been playing the music (that I could play) in there too. Billy Joel is the master of complex and heavenly chord progressions. I especially liked Just the way you are, and The Stranger (interlude).

Surprisingly, George Michael and Sade’s songs, although very slow, are a blast to play on the piano. Their melodies are so satisfying to play.

Also, I watched the pianist 2 days ago


My Journalism Journey Pt 1.

Last night I found an old video on a cheap little camera of mine. I’m in Joshua Tree on a camping trip, approaching my fifth-grade classmates and interviewing them each in turn. “What’s your name?” I ask. “What do you like doing – what are your hobbies?” Looking back, I realize I’ve always been a reporter.

My first real interview was with Jane Goodall some four years earlier when she came and visited my school in Bali. A few of the best students in the second-grade class, myself included, were selected to ask her questions about her conservation work.

In the sixth grade, I applied for a Scholastic Kids Reporter program after spotting an ad in a magazine. Once accepted, I began covering all kinds of stories and interviewing all kinds of people. Among those I spoke to (or listened to in press conferences) were screenwriters the Russo brothers, actor and writer Chris Colfer, director Rob Marshall, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, America’s Got Talent winner Darci Lynn Farmer, JoJo Siwa (no explanation needed), Congressional Representative Julia Brownley, and the casts of Captain Marvel, Avengers Endgame, Mary Poppins, Coco, and Young Sheldon. I even got to see Zendaya and John Cena in the flesh. Scholastic was quite possibly one of the highlights of my life.


^ My first interview for Scholastic. I was so nervous I mispronounced my own name when introducing myself.

perpetually ill

Up until last month, I thought I was invincible. I had gone the whole school year without getting sick once. Yet, here I am stuck with the fourth cold I’ve got in the span of 30 days. I can’t remember the last time I could breathe through my nostrils when I didn’t have to stand up every 10 minutes or I would drown in snot. What is going on? There is some vicious cycle where everyone around me keeps getting sick- they mutate it, and I get the disease again. I know I’m part of the problem but I am very upset!

And this week, not only did I become re-infected with the same, dreadful disease that I had spent the last month battling, but now I have allergies. I am all for the super bloom California is gearing up for since all this rain, but now I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable again (at least until this Summer).