Sometimes it takes you to the Texas Gulf, on a shrimp boat captained by a man named Mauricio. On that boat is a beautiful woman doing aerial silks. While you watch her, your boyfriend is dressed as a sea captain and is aiming a fake firearm at a fictional person. Two friends are simultaneously filming these scenarios. You and Mauricio stand there staring at all of it; you try to speak with him in your newly learnt Spanish, but he laughs and corrects you. You discover through the beautiful girl, who is filming a crowdsourcing video for her festival to heal the bay you are sailing in, that the water around you is polluted by the plastic and aluminum factories she points to in the distance. All the sea life around you is toxic, and the beautiful woman plans on reducing the mercury levels in the bay by planting oyster mushrooms.
Sometimes life is interesting, and you’re in appreciation of it all.
Sometimes I’m that person who loves going to Whole Foods on Sunday morning, New York Times in tow. I feel as though I should apologize for it, or at least make fun of myself for it, but in truth, I look forward to this time to people watch, eat well, read or strike up a conversation.
Today I sat next to man who was also reading the paper. We got chatting about newspapers- “Did you see that they revamped the New York Times Magazine?”- and about three exchanges in he asked, “Are you Jewish?”
I laughed and nodded my head yes.
“So am I. I can tell,” he said.
I quickly added that I’m non-practicing, but that I’ve been interested in exploring the culture. My culture.
“Don’t worry- most Jews are that way,” he pointed out.
“My family is from Eastern Europe. My Grandmother was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household, and I think it scared her,” I explained. “My grandma raised my mom without religion and so on. My mom and I would like to reconnect with our roots.” This is something I’ve been Continue Reading
Since its inception, Sundance has worked diligently to showcase thought-provoking films from up-and-coming talent. This mission was amplified in 2011 by the creation of Sundance Film Forward, a touring program of the Institute’s most culturally relevant films. Each year, Film Forward brings eight films and their respective filmmakers to communities across the globe, offering free screenings and workshops and fostering dialogue around the societal issues the selected films present.
This coming Monday and Tuesday, February 23rd and 24th, Film Forward will be in Austin screening two features: Imperial Dreamsand Little Accidents. Imperial Dreams, the Sundance 2015 audience award winner written and directed by Malik Vitthal, demonstrates in gritty detail the daily challenges, big and small, that ex-convicts, particularly people of color, face after leaving prison. In Sara Colangelo’s Little Accidents, the first-time filmmaker tenderly imagines the gamut of emotions one small Appalachian Continue Reading
This weekend, my friends over at Citygram are co-presenting One by One Texas, a three-day event showcasing the best in Instagram photography, food and drinks from Austin’s hottest upcoming restaurants and a delightful BBQ smorgasbord.
And Citygram, the very fine ladies and gentlemen that they are, would like you and a friend or lover to be their Very Important Persons.
I’m often full of hyperboles, but I’m not shitting you here.
It’s calledWhat We Do in the Shadows and stars the film’s writers and directors, New Zealanders Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.
I watched the film at SXSW 2014 (it initially premiered at Sundance 2014), and I nearly crapped myself. From laughter. Not the free SXSW tacos.
Imagine This is Spinal Tap but with lovable vampires from New Zealand.
Are you imagining it?
Now imagine yourself riding a horse bareback with Fabio.
For the past 11 months, I’ve anxiously awaited the US release of What We Do in the Shadows. I even tweeted at the film’s official Twitter account, @deliciousnecks, hoping for some answers. I was told that a release would come very soon.
So, that brings me today.I was tooling around Kickstarter and was surprised to discover a campaign posted by Jemaine Clement asking for funds to do a US release for What We Do in the Shadows.
Over the holidays, I took my sixth domestic train trip. Since my fear of flying creeped on strong about two years ago, my modes of transportation are now the car, the bus and for long distance, the train. (I don’t recommend taking the bus; it can be a sad and disorienting place.)
I’ve learned a great deal about American’s great passenger train, the Amtrak, over these past two years. A lot of friends have said that my journeys have inspired them to take the train themselves, which makes this blossoming rail nerd very happy. In case you’re interested in traveling via the train yourself, here are some tips, tricks and hacks for getting the best out of your Amtrak adventure.
1.) Spread yo’self out
During the slow season, you can easily claim yourself two coach seats and sprawl your fine ass out during sleepy hours. This is not frowned upon. However, if the train car does fill up, you gotta give up that extra seat. Don’t be the dick that pretends to be asleep when someone is looking Continue Reading
I bare a secret that is often too embarrassing to share.
It is something that I’m not proud of, but it’s a part of who I am, dammit. It is one of my physical imperfections that, over the years, I mostly forget about until that awkward moment arises during intimacy with a boyfriend or yoga with a friend.
“Excuse me, do you have a toe ring?”
I nervously snort, “Oh, that ol’ thing! Heck, I forgot it was even there!” I throw a dismissive gesture with my hand, but deep down I’m sweating like a pig on an elliptical.
They saw it. The saw my secret.
The truth of the matter is, yes, I do often forget that it’s been on my right toe since 1997, when I was fourteen years old and toe rings, in addition to nose rings and eyebrow rings, seemed like a wise fashion choice for the pubescent teenager. Since I had nightmares of infections and permanent scarring from nose and eyebrow jewelry, a toe ring was the edgiest I would go. And much like an ass tattoo, my toe ring was not for everyone’s Continue Reading
As many of you know, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer over the holidays. Maneuvering through the early part of Grandma’s cancer journey was a whirlwind- countless doctors’ appointments and medical procedures- but one constant that got us through it was the incredible support from others. The care and concern of our friends and family helped give us the feelings of hope and love during a difficult time.
A handful of well-intentioned people also said some pretty lame-o things to us. Knowing what to say to a person just diagnosed with cancer, and their family, can be difficult. I know they didn’t mean what they said or maybe they just have mouth diarrhea, but their words stung. I’m writing this article not under the pretense that I’m now an expert in the field of cancer, but as a person who experienced a wide array of responses to her grandmother’s cancer. This also isn’t an attempt to shame anyone; I’m hoping it will give a little bit of insight to those wanting Continue Reading
I can’t remember how our conversation started, but we talked from 8AM to 10:15AM. He was 60 years old, a truck driver. His daughter bought him his first smartphone, and he asked me if I could download a few apps for him. I was surprised how relaxed he was giving me his phone and personal information, but the train has a way of making you feel comfortable. I find myself sharing stories of my own life to strangers.
While I was downloading the apps, he began talking about his daughter who gifted him the phone. His face lit up when he spoke of her. “She’s an artist, a poet, a rapper. She’s cool,” he said. Many years went by where they didn’t see one another, and when he saw her again, he noticed that she had a very beautiful “female friend” with her. “You know, my daughter likes members of her own sex,” he told me. He mentioned God once or twice in our conversation, so I wasn’t sure where the conversation was headed. “She was afraid to tell me that she liked women,” he said. “Everyone Continue Reading