My first Thanksgiving

What is Thanksgiving? You’ll probably answer with: “It’s an American holiday and as the name suggests, it’s an occasion for people to be thankful for all the blessings in their lives.” But what’s the origin of Thanksgiving? When the Pilgrims arrived in America, they had trouble growing crops and in 1620 that lead to a famine that killed half of the Pilgrims. Fortunately for them, the Wampanoag tribe taught them how to farm on their soil and later in 1621 the Pilgrims had their first successful harvest. The Wampanoag tribe was then invited to a feast known as the “First Thanksgiving.”

As a non-US citizen, I was very curious to see how people celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s taken very seriously. Growing up, I used to love Thanksgiving specials on shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Simpsons.” I knew the basics of Thanksgiving, but have never experienced it.

The food is fantastic, I never knew that turkey and cranberry sauce can go together so well. What I really appreciate about this holiday is the opportunity to reflect on your life and realize how many things we should be grateful for. I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with my family and it was very sweet to have the whole day to keep saying how much we mean to each other. I’d say this experience has brought us closer in a way.

This was a very successful first Thanksgiving. Here’s to many more!

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at White House

 

Photo Credit: Rose Rundown

 

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Freaks and Geeks

The TV show “Freaks and Geeks” is a true gem hidden behind TV’s biggest names like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Friends.” It only ran for one season, but still developed a cult following around the world.  In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed Freaks and Geeks at #16 in the “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years”. This show actually means a lot to me and has helped me understand myself more.

Photo Credit: IMDb

The show is set during the 1980-81 school year at the William Mckinley High School. Lindsay Weir, a previously proficient student called a star “mathlete”, one day decides to transform her life. She starts hanging out with the school’s “freaks” that are troubled rebels and slackers.  Lindsay, a goody-goody tries very hard to get approval from her new friends and gets into drinking and smoking. Lindsay’s new friendships create all sorts of problems for her, they cause friction between her and her parents, problems with self-image and love triangles. There’s a second storyline of Sam, Lindsay’s younger brother, and him trying to fit in during freshman year. Sam and his friends aka “nerds” are in a constant struggle for popularity and trying to fight off their bullies.

Freaks and Geeks really stuck with me because I was going through exactly what Lindsay was- an identity crisis. This was the first show aimed at teenagers that I could actually relate to. It wasn’t sugar coating high school, and it didn’t try to make characters “cool” and “relatable”, it showed raw and painful teenage problems. It helped me to realize that a lot of decisions I was making at the time were self-destructive. The show shows the mistakes almost every teenager makes with compassion and there’s a lesson to learn from each episode.

If you haven’t watched the show, I highly suggest finding some time to sit down and binge it. I guarantee that you will see yourself in one of the characters. Also, did I mention that James Franco is in it?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0193676/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/freaks_and_geeks/

 

 

Late Night and politics

I feel like everything is about politics now. Suddenly, everything and everyone is political and very vocal about their beliefs. You can’t even turn on a Late Night Show without hearing something about Trump in the monologue. Are you still able to watch Late Night?

I used to be a huge Conan O’Brien fan, now I simply can’t watch him. I am usually able to separate the art from the artist, but it has become too hard to do that. I understand that all the hosts have a right to voice their opinion (most of which is from the left wing), but they weren’t given the platform of a Late Night show to cry out about current events. They were given this platform to create comedy, make people laugh and get their minds off all their problems. That should be their goal, as people need to laugh now more than ever.

 There are political Late Night shows designated to start the discussion on new bills and events happening daily. Personally, I don’t watch John Oliver, Trevor Noah or Bill Maher, and I absolutely cannot watch Samantha Bee. I understand that none of the above are Republicans, but all they do is talk about Republicans and how they are in the wrong. Their agenda is very clear and the propaganda is too obvious. Jon Stewart had a much broader view and gave wholesome commentary.

In my opinion, there needs to be more political diversity in Late Night shows (especially political shows), there has to be something center or right wing to balance out Late Night. Colbert’s Report was the closest thing, with Stephen Colbert’s satirical, conservative character.

I can’t wait for Late Night to go back to its roots and actually be funny again. Are Late Night shows getting too political or is it their hosts?

 

 

Photo Credit: ABC News

Late Night on CBS

Psycho

Cult classic. Directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Named “The 100 Greatest Movies of all Time’ by Entertainment Weekly. It’s Psycho.

This movie is in my personal top 3 favorites. It’s also a pretty recent discovery for myself. It was a cold, rainy sad day. I was ill and spent the whole day at home, watching TV. After hours and hours of watching “Friends” and “Masterchef”, I decided to watch something actually meaningful. I wasn’t going into “Psycho” with much expectation, actually, I barely had any. I could never imagine that a black and white picture from the 60’s was going to scare me more than “Insidious” or “Conjuring.”

Also, before watching I somewhat knew the plot. I think almost everyone knows the famous shower murder scene from the movie, just from it being parodied in pop culture a lot. I couldn’t imagine that two hours later I would need to turn on the lights in the room because I’d get so scared.

The story is simple. Marion Crane, an office worker, steals $40,000 from a bank and leaves town to start a new life. Exhausted after a long drive, she gets caught in a late night storm. To shelter herself, she checks into The Bates Motel. The motel is run by an awkward, young man called Norman who lives with his mother next door.

Psycho is a real mind teaser, a murder mystery if you will. It’s full of suspense and paranoia. The black and white actually perfectly matches the mood of the movie. It’s raw, unnerving and gripping. Tense and horrific, it will haunt you for weeks. Psycho IMDBRotten Tomatoes Score

 

Photo Credit: Wicked Channel

 

LA Devotee

Are you an LA Devotee? I am and have been one for a while. My dad is convinced that “Californication” was written about me.

For the very few that don’t know what that is, “Californication” is Red Hot Chili Pepper’s best song and an absolute must-listen. The song metaphorically refers to the California lifestyle that Hollywood is trying to sell, it shows us that lifestyle through films, tv, social media, and magazines. Making people believe that if you come to California you can throw your life away in exchange for endless partying.

The song also reveals that the California that people think of as glamorous and perfect is really just made up and fake. The music video expands on this idea. At the beginning, all the scenes look great until all that scenery just collapses. The band members are constantly running in the video and perhaps thats their way of saying that they want to break away from this life.

However, I don’t agree with that. My experience in California has been very different.

Yes, I do see plastic surgery addicts from time to time. I also see women in full makeup at 9 am carrying dogs under their armpits just to go to a coffee shop, as well as beautiful sports cars just stuck in LA traffic, never having an opportunity to reach their full speed as they’re supposed to. Yet, those people don’t make up LA for me.

I would argue and say that Los Angeles is the only big city where I can put on a white tee and some jeans and be able to go to a trendy restaurant. People don’t feel the need to show off their wealth unlike in cities such as London or Paris. I really feel like a part of this city. It has really grown on me. Or is it just Californication?

 

Californication spotify

Californication music video 

Photo Credit: LA Weekly

Light and Dark

This will probably be the first and last post where I’m this free-spoken, but I know this will be therapeutic. I know we all have bad days, but what do you do when the closest people to you are just gone in a matter of seconds? What do you do when suddenly that someone becomes just a memory and you realize that you can’t make any new ones with them?

As I’ve found out for myself when everything is going great, suspiciously good, the universe has to balance it out. The Bob Ross quote, “Gotta have opposites dark and light, light and dark in painting. It’s like in life. Gotta have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come. I’m waiting on a good time now,” me too Bob, me too.

In moments like this, you feel like an outsider to the world and you just want to get away, distract yourself somehow. But I’ve forced myself to accept and face the facts: time heals, but you need a lot of it.

Bob Ross quote

 

Photo Credit: https://i.ytimg.com

David Lynch’s Eraserehead

It’s October aka the Halloween month, so I thought that it’d be fitting to share and reflect on some of my favorite horror movies of all time. First, I’d like to talk about a rather peculiar movie that is Eraserhead. I first came across it when I was only twelve years old and it was also my first time diving into one of David Lynch’s elusive worlds.

The movie is Lynch’s debut work and it was first screened at the Filmex Festival in 1997.  The plot tells the story of a single father, Henry Spencer, who has to take care of his mutant, deformed child. The setting is Lynch’s favorite- small and isolated, industrial town. However, most of the movie is an insight into Henry’s mind, full of hallucinations, nightmare-like sequences, and his dark fantasies.

Eraserhead manages to alienate the viewer from the real world into a dream world. Lynch perfectly depicts nightmare logic and that’s what makes this movie truly terrifying. This movie is also perfect if you want an authentic insight into Lynch’s mind, he directed, produced, wrote, edited and designed sound for Eraserhead. Lynch refuses to explain anything to the viewer, however, he did say that he still hasn’t read an interpretation similar to his.

I would highly recommend this disturbing, claustrophobic body-horror classic. Perhaps, you might be the first to have an interpretation that matches Lynch’s.

Eraserhead IMDB

 

Photo Credit: Amazon