The Ridiculous Genius of Co-star

Astrology has tip-toed its way into online, youth culture. It’s seen in social media trends, twitter feeds, and entire instagram accounts devoted to making memes and commentary on “how crazy geminis are!” or “what kind of hobbies libras enjoy in their free time.” There’s no doubt that it’s become more mainstream. 

Well, I’m not big into astrology. It’s fun to discuss the stereotypes of certain signs and see where they prove to be true, but honestly, I don’t think astrology has any correlation to who I am as a person. The fact that I’m a ‘taurus’ doesn’t mean much to me, other than signifying I was born in early May. 

However, even though I doubt its legitimacy, my friends roped me into downloading the app ‘co-star.’ You may have heard of it–being a social media zodiac center that people can download and view personalized, daily updates. I just laughed at it when I first downloaded it, followed a few friends, and barely looked into it any further. Most people see it as a meme, especially with how blatant some of the push notifications are. Even some of them I’ve received so far have been… laughable. 

“Nobody cares how many books you’ve read.”

“Enough alone time. Get out of the house.”

“Silence your ego today.”

Day after day, for a while now, I’ve received a new notification, attempting to find exactly what my spirit needs for the moment. (And yes, some of the notifications sound a lot like my mom.)  I’ve realized that although some of them are silly and unrelated to anything I’m experiencing, none of them are… bad. 

Although astrology doesn’t mean much to me, the words of advice, encouragement, and honesty from this dumb little app have made me feel more self-aware and positive. One morning I woke up to it telling me, “Phone a friend today.” I stared at it and thought, “Nah, I have an exciting day, I don’t think I’ll need that.” Well, whoop dee doo, I wound up crying in a Target parking lot that night, finding myself very much in need of a phone call with a friend. Co-star, you sly bastard. 

So, even if I’m an astrology atheist, a little more positivity, pushiness, and honesty from a computerized, trendy app can still be a very good thing for me, and for a lot of others as well. Who’s to say how long this trendy zodiac app will last? I couldn’t tell you, but I’ll enjoy it (and sometimes laugh at it) while it’s here. 

One Second Each Day

I came across this really interesting idea a few years ago–taking a short, one-second long video of each day for a year, and compiling them up and seeing how your year turned out. I tried doing this for 2018, but I unfortunately ran short of storage on my phone.

But this year, I gave into the society-consuming monopoly that is Apple, and bought more storage. I began filming everyday starting January first, and have been consistent everyday since.

And so far, I must say, 2019 has given me many bad days. Many things I don’t want to film. Many breakdowns, stressful nights, and issue upon issue. So, I found that the days I go out with my friends or party much easier to find the perfect second to film, but the days I feel empty are so much harder.

But, some good came out of these empty days. Because yes, things have been hard. Specific days have been huge struggles. But, this little video project essentially forces me to find one good thing about that day. So, I got a scholarship rejection letter. I cried, and then I found a really pretty sunset to look at. I stayed up for hours working on a midterm essay, and I filmed a really cute baby pitbull hanging out the window of someone’s car. Searching for the right ‘second a day’ has given me a reason to look for the good, the magic, the life in everyday.

I also had a tendency to search for ‘perfect’ things to film. My makeup had to be flawless, or it had to be a cool video of all of my friends, or a new, exciting thing that I’m doing everyday. But that’s not EVERYDAY. Everyday is normal things. Colorful pens I organized on my desk, coffee in my car cup holder that I made while I was running late for class, or just normal everyday things that don’t have to be perfect.

So, even if it’s hard to, take a second to find the good part of your day. I promise, it’s worth it.

 

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We Are All Foreigners

We are all foreigners. In some way, to some person, we are unbeknownst. The term ‘foreign’ can be described as something strange and unknown to one. People different than us have a strange way of striking confusion and fear within ourselves. But that’s only one dimensional. And as we all know, a single story is dangerous, as we can’t infer any deeper understanding.

So what does this poetic garbage mean?

It’s important that we sometimes see ourselves as foreigners; we’re the ones with unknown traits. This topic has been lingering on my mind for some time now. I’m in a college production of The Foreigner by Larry Shue–a farce comedy set in 1980’s rural Georgia (so probably not the best place to be one.) We meet an Englishman staying with this Southern family for some time, Charlie Baker, a gentleman so paralyzed with anxiety and fear, and as a result of this fear of talking, he is introduced to them as a foreign man who speaks no English.

Through this setup, he overhears the complexities and secrets within this Georgian family, but also helps them grow, and defeat the evil of ignorance.

It gave me a deeper understanding of the mystery, hatred and ignorance so wrongly placed on the word ‘foreigner’ and how we are all foreign in some way, making us not so different from one another after all.

An example of this: When an American visits some European country, and gleefully proclaims their love of the accents. The local then slyly asserts that it’s the visiting tourist with the accent, not them. Two perspectives, two stories, two foreigners.

We are all foreigners, and it’s a very good thing.

 

5 Unparalleled Romance Movies Worth Watching

Although Valentine’s Day is far past us, good quality romance films will always be in season. Here’s a list of 5 romances that don’t belong in the cliche bin.

Amelie (2001)

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Words and actions don’t always align. Amelie is painfully shy, yet continually sets up intricate mysteries for strangers passing through her life. Although this movie is a foreign film, it’s definitely worth the watch in its lighthearted, upbeat and romantic nature. Not to mention, the cinematography in this film is one of a kind.

2) The Big Sick (2017)

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A narrative written so personally, The Big Sick is a love-story so close to reality. It doesn’t follow the same structure of every rom-com you’ve watched. It follows a journey that focuses on family, religious expectations, illness, and the lengths people will go for those that they love.

3)  500 Days of Summer (2009)

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I love this movie because it looks like such a cliche, cheesy romance film, but it’s actually super duper not. It focuses on our projections of what we think love is, versus what reality turns out for us. Sometimes we see love through rose-tinted lenses, and our expectations aren’t always fair. 500 Days of Summer is endearing, heartbreaking, and worth a watch.

4) Juno (2007)

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This movie isn’t simply boy meets girl, or girl meets boy, or the well-known stereotypical love scene in most romance films. It deals with teen pregnancy, boundaries, not fitting in, and all the complications that come with a new life. It’s also an exemplary artifact of the off-beat 90’s teen culture.

5) While You Were Sleeping (1995)

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This is a classic film that twists through a series of lies, altercations with family, and finding unexpected love. Also– Sandra Bullock. Is she not the greatest?

 

A Wave of Empowerment: Let’s Talk About Strong Women

It’s March: Women’s history month. And as I’ve been busy with school and work, I’ve still been trying my best to dedicate time towards fueling empowerment for girls around the world, as well trying to motivate myself to stay inspired.

Something I’ve learned about strong, empowered women is understanding the utter importance of helping fellow women–and especially not putting others down. We have to do away with the cat fights, the name-calling, and any form of the hideous girl hate that seems so many people just give into. We have to help, we have to love, and we have to be strong. Hating on other girls does neither party a favor. And the wise words of Tina Fey’s character in Mean Girls, Ms. Norbury, once said–

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Which conveniently leads me to bringing up the recent #metoo movement. This is such a huge step. While it’s painful to hear such horrific, sad stories brave women everywhere share, there is also a comfort that comes with it, a sigh of relief. We’re no longer kicking these stories under the rug–we’re bringing them to the light and beginning the conversation that should’ve been started a long time ago. Because when we show love and support, we empower other women. And that brings us a little bit closer to gender equality in the world.

In honor of this revelation, and realizing the importance of empowerment, my friend and I began working on starting a new club at my college, ‘Girl Up.’ This is an organization that promotes the empowerment of young girls all over the world. Our goal is to full of fundraisers, events, projects, and learning activities that will benefit girls in need, by empowering them in both our own communities and adolescents in developing countries.

So, no satire piece today, folks. Just some good old food for thought. Hopefully some of you reading find creative ways to empower those around you, and make a positive impact.

How to: Afford College the Wrong Way

Alright. So we all know college is exactly three million dollars per person nowadays and it’s rare to find a student who isn’t struggling with debt. Here are a few very real tips to find money for college that have been proven by scientists to work. Let’s dive right in.

Pretend to be a girl scout

This is perfect timing–it’s scout season. If you’re a boy, no worries. You can simply pretend to be an eagle scout and sell that popcorn, baby. Take the orders, take the money, and drive it all the way to Harvard yard. I mean, who really cares if you’re suspiciously not a child?

Become a Hitman

Illegal? Possibly. Efficient? 100%. Take up self defense courses and invest in medieval weaponry. Finding willing customers is simple. If you see an annoying customer complain to a store employee, approach the store employee for business. This can also apply for step-fathers, in-laws, PE teachers, and any employee at a DMV. You’ll be killing all day, and cashing in all night.

Encourage your friends with new credit cards to capture the moment by posting facebook pictures.

And you’ll be the first to disappoint them.

Perform Street Shows

You don’t have to be into drama and arts to do this. Pick something you’re good at and perform it in front of a crowd. Maybe it’s accounting and finance. Screw the subway guitar players–display your budget skills on a large binder for crowds of people to see.

Figure out a FAFSA employee’s Grindr password

Blackmail, blackmail, blackmail! Trusty and effective.

Follow these steps, and you will make money for college the very wrong way, good luck!

 

Trump’s Morning Routine

The exhausted Washington sun shines on a dreary Washington morning. After awakening in a bed right by the love of his life, Donald professes his gratitude.

“Oh, beautiful mirror,” he says dreamily, “Look at us. You and I? We’re going to do great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great–”

Twenty minutes pass.

“Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, GREAT things today. Also, has anyone brought me my three egg mcmuffins and eight hashed browns yet? No? I don’t see it. This is an atrocity! Money is time, people.”

After tweeting angrily about his late breakfast, Donald rocks back and forth six times before being able to sit up properly. Without a single speck of shame, he trudges to his bathroom.

“Now, it’s time to brush the pearly whites! And as everyone knows, white is the most superior color.”

He pushes out the toothpaste onto his brush, a liquified version of Paul Ryan, people clapping when the airplane lands, and Tommy Bahama cologne. The toothpaste is glaringly, painfully white. He looks proudly in the mirror.

“Now we’ll do my special routine for my skin. There’s a reason I look so glowingly handsome. To combat wrinkles, I use youthful, innocent serum for my skin.”

What’s in this container of serum you might ask? It’s a simply mixture of tears from all the pageant women Donald made uncomfortable, soft tufts of fur from faultless animals that Donald Junior shot on hunting trips, and beads of sweat from the underpaid, exploited, working class of America. Find it at a local Sephora near you!

He looks at himself in the mirror at his very bald head, shiny and saddening. “Daily wig maker? Where are you? I’m in no mood to be patient,” he whines.

A man in a theme park uniform quickly enters, pushing a large cotton candy machine through the door.

“So sorry, Mr. President,” he shakily begs, “I had to pick up more blonde powder at the store.”

Donald leans his head into the machine; while the man cranks, blonde cotton candy whisps out onto his head.

“It was sweeter last week.”

“I think they changed the formula, sir.”

The final step of Donald’s morning routine is simple yet vital. In order to achieve his stained orange pigmentation, he has to work his way up to the level of anger that turns him that color. This requires one crucial step–getting angry.  

Donald pulls up the Tumblr app on his phone.

“Well screw you, Jerika from Long Island! Your purple hair won’t ever earn you respect anyways. I bet nobody even sits with you during your fifth period lunch. What a LOSER!”

The anger saga is fulfilled by a five minute slideshow of people wearing beanies, SNL writers, and urban outfitters employees ordering iced coffee before their shifts. He shouts, screeches, spits, and squalls until his anger turns him into the infamous, Donald-orange. After that, he begins his day full of hard work. On the golf course.

Comedians that Dominated their Decade 1920’s-now

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1920’s : Buster Keaton: Known for his physical, slapstick antics, Buster Keaton was the ‘stone-face’ of comedy in the new platform of film. He’s famous for seemingly impossible gags, establishing a new territory of comedy in his era. You can’t take a film class without hearing his name. He’s known for his feature films like The General and Steamboat Bill Jr.

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1930’s: Charlie Chaplin: Relying heavily on pantomime and eccentric, quirky movements to convey humor, Chaplin paved the way for experimental techniques in comedy films. He’s known for his works like Modern Times, and The Great Dictator. (Side-note: he’s also infamous for his scandalous life outside of film.)

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1940’s: Bing Crosby: Known for his life in comedy motion pictures, as well as music, Crosby took the entertainment industry by storm in his era. He’s known for many comedic films like Going My Way and Road to Bali, especially when he was starring on the silver screen with classic comedian, Bob Hope.

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1950’s: Jerry Lewis: As the Paramount comedy star, and former duo member with Dean Martin, Lewis was a thriving entertainer of the 1950’s and beyond. Creating and starring in a plethora of comedy films, as well as being known for his quick improvisational humor on The Martin and Lewis Show on the radio, Lewis seemed unstoppable in his career endeavors. He went on to pursue a solo career, and later directed many films like The Bellboy and The Ladies Man.

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1960’s Joan Rivers: One of, or if not the most famous female comedian of all time, Joan Rivers was outspoken, fearless, and hilarious in her glory days of comedy. She pioneered comedy for females, as she was the first female late night television host and paved the way for stand up, igniting laughter with shocking comedy, insults, and witty observation.

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1970’s Rodney Dangerfield: Known as one of the greatest names in comedy, Dangerfield has mastered film, stand up, and simply being a hilarious person all around. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘I don’t get no respect!,’ you know who to thank. With stand up specials, No Respect and Back to School, and classic comedy films like Caddyshack and Easy Money, and hundreds of witty one-liners, it’s easy to see how Dangerfield rose to the top.

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1980’s: Robin Williams: Ah, the man himself, whom we all miss dearly. Williams’ comedic talents of improvisation, mastering impressions and voices, televised comedy and classic comedy films, is famously loved by many. Appealing to practically any audience, his legacy of comedy wins him a place as one of the greatest. Need there be a further explanation? 

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1990’s: Jerry Seinfeld: What is the deal with him? Inventing the best of sitcom comedy, Jerry Seinfeld is quite literally known as the ‘king of comedy’ by many. Exuding confidence, wit, and an expertise knowledge of humor, he’s the creator of one of the most famous, long-running comedy series. His stand-up specials and screenwriting skills have made him one of the biggest names in comedy. 

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2000’s: Dave Chappelle: Relaxed, philosophical, clever and brilliantly hilarious–Chappelle takes on broad topics in stand up from politics to sex and drugs, and many more. Creating the Chappelle Show, Half-Baked, and The Dave Chappelle Project as well as hilarious stand-up specials like For What It’s Worth, and Killin’ Them Softly. He’s known by many as one of the greatest names in the history of comedy.

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2010’s: John Mulaney: Taking the comedy scene by storm, Mulaney has created three successful stand-up specials (New in Town, The Comeback Kid, and Kid Gorgeous) undertook years writing for SNL, and co-created a new type of cartoon comedy on TV animation, Big Mouth. His aura of gentle, story-telling politeness is part of what ropes each audience in to roaring laughter. His talent in sketch comedy, self-deprecating nature, and surreal humor, are all what make him one of the current top names in comedy today.

 

 

 

An Angry Letter: Baby Boomer Edition

Dear Costco Customer Services and Management,

I’m writing today because I am extremely upset by the terrible service I received by one of your staff members earlier this afternoon.

The young, barely 17 year old cashier will rot in eternal hell for not providing me every damn thing I need. I was SIMPLY trying to make a purchase of 43 items, and return 56 items. When I tried to return the Aveeno lotion that I had used to its full proximity, the cashier, and I still cannot believe this, said ‘no.’ What, like a seventeen year old snowflake is going to tell me no? I don’t think so. So what’s mama’s next move? Calling the manager.

The manager came over, looked at the lotion and said that it “could not be returned whatsoever.” So, after screaming at the top of my lungs and waving my jiggly arms in their faces for a good ten minutes, I calmly settled and had the rest of my items sold.

As I tapped my poorly molded french manicured acrylics on the counter, I watched as coupon upon coupon scanned through the register. Then suddenly one coupon wouldn’t go through, as it was “not a Costco coupon, this is for TJ Maxx, ma’am.” Mmm, trying to play me as a fool? Not today, you’re not. I demanded for it to be put through at top volume, as the tiny, fragile cashier tried to search for a similar coupon online. Forget it.

Then came along my final attempt at bargaining. There was only one of my size of the fringed navy cardigan left and it had a small piece of fuzz on it. That’s right, you guessed it, say it with me ladies, “damage discount!” So as I pleaded my case, that it was clearly obscene for a microscopic sized fuzzball to be stuck onto the sweater I wanted so dearly, they said that there was “nothing they could do.” Truly sickening.

So, I ended off my purchase by telling the cashier that she has no future, no skills, and can’t do the easiest job on the planet. She started crying, which I did feel a little bad for, but that will just toughen her up. Teenagers these days, huh? Such pansies. Anyways. I’m writing to ask for a free lifetime membership to Costco after this incident, as I very much deserve one. If I don’t get one, this is not the last letter you will be receiving from me.

Warm Regards,

Your Least Favorite Baby Boomer

 

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