Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"She's a loathsome, offensive brute, yet I can't look away."

Yeah das right, just try looking away from these pictures that I awkwardly took of myself against a nearby elementary school wall. Kids were on the adjacent swing set, most likely questioning why the heck some broad was trying to channel her inner Cosmo Kramer.

Denim shirt: Belongs to my dad. Similar ones found at a Goodwill near you.
Kramer shirt: Target boy's section in 2009.
Jeans: Forever21.
Boots that I once biked 26 miles (round-trip) to purchase: Jelly Pop Leal Booties.

I feel like I should end with another related Seinfeld quote.
"Why do they call it a 'building'? It looks like they're finished. Why isn't it a 'built'?"
*cymbals crash.* To clarify, that quote is related to this post because there is a building behind me.  I, uh...I guess I'll talk to you guys...later. *Drops microphone. Walks off stage.*

Saturday, December 8, 2012

All That Glitters...

...ain't gold. I can tell you that. I found this out firsthand when I attempted to make a Star Spice Cake that I found on TasteSpotting.   The recipe originally came from this website. Please click on it. Tell me if anything looks problematic. 

"Who cares," I said. 
"It'll be fine," I said. 
"That's what Google translate is for!" I said.

So wrong, Katie. So very, very wrong.

 The night ended with me, very Peeta-esquely, tossing the flavorless brick into my backyard.  Have at it, birds! Enjoy this Polish mistake! It tasted like raw pancake batter. I won't even post the measurements I used because somewhere during the conversion process, I fudged up. Was it the 10 eggs? The entire jar of honey I poured into the batter? Who knows. At least it looked okay.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I-wish-I-could-say-that-I-haven’t-posted-in-over-three-months-because-I-was-too-busy-living-a-wild-and-glamourous-lifestyle-but-the-reality-of-the-situation-is-that-I-was-too-scared-to-write-a-movie-post-WOW-IT-FEELS-GOOD-TO-GET-THAT-OFF-MY-CHEST. Gimme a sec. I gotta catch my breath.
It is true. Every time I sat down to grease up this blog’s wheels and finally get her rolling, I ended up asking myself, “What business do I have writing about movies?” I am not a Film student. I am not involved in any type of film production. I don’t even know the official name of that black-and-white-clapping thing they shove in front of the camera before each take.

(Note: I just Googled. It is often called a Clapperboard.)

As these months went by, however, I began to realize that I was going about this all wrong. I shouldn’t be kicking myself because I don’t yet know the all cinematic lingo that will allow me to discuss inherent themes and shot composition. I should be writing these posts to organize the jumble of thoughts I have about films I watch, to learn as I go, and to share and gush about said films with anyone who’d be interested. To quote Mean Girls’ Kevin Gnapoor, “Cady Katie, this is your night. Don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang.”

 So let’s buck up and get going. First stop on this cinematic gravy train: 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The cast was perfect. The whole lot of ‘em. I’ve never wanted to be friends with a group of fictional characters so badly, and it was due to their believability. It was my first time seeing Ezra Miller, and I’m hooked. The kid’s got stage presence. He played his high-school-senior character, Patrick, with enough authenticity to get me wondering why I never saw him in the halls of my own high school. I know people like Patrick and his friends existed, because I heard their jokes and saw their clothes on the friends my older sister brought home when she was in high school and I was just a scared, awkward middle-schooler hiding in my room. 
That’s one of the bigger messages I took away from the film. There are so many different kinds of people in one high school. Each with their own favorite teachers, reading assignments, iTunes libraries, and scars--both emotional and physical. Why shouldn’t we try our best to get to know them all? I hope current high schoolers who saw this movie are moved to widen their social circles, even if by just the slightest amount, because that is one of my bigger post-high school regrets. I wish I came out of my room when my sister’s friends were over. I wish, on the first day of the semester, I sat by the odd (but really who am I to judge) kid in class instead of that one girl I knew from the previous year's math class. I wish I had a teacher like Mr. Anderson (Paul Rudd) that told me to participate. Charlie, the scared and socially awkward protagonist, took that plunge when he approached Patrick at a football game on a Friday night, and his story began.

He also met Emma Watson’s character, Sam, that night, who was played with equal amounts of wonderful. Any worries of Emma Watson getting pigeonholed into being known as Hermione Granger for the rest of her life are gone, baby. She wasn’t Emma Watson on screen. She was affable, emotional, strong-minded Sam, with an awesome hairstyle to boot. She cried, I cried. She made jokes, I laughed like I was a part of them. I love you, Emma Watson.

And Logan Lerman. Loooooogan Lerman. You delicate, baby deer. I questioned your portrayal of Charlie the first time I saw the movie. “Who the heck wouldn’t want to be friends with him!? He’s built like a model and has the face of a small woodland creature!” I asked as I shook my fists at the sky. The second, third, and (oh God) fourth time seeing the movie helped to ultimately change my opinion, though. His awkward half-grins and social gaffes became endearing and relatable. Little things like his posture, walk, and slight hint of a Pittsburgh accent made him seem real. Maybe even more believable than Charlie’s character in Stephen Chbosky’s book. Good work, Logan. Good work, director Stephen Chbosky. Good work, casting directors Venus Kanani and Mary Vernieu. I love you guys, too.

 When I read Stephen Chbosky’s book in middle school, I never actually decided whether I loved it or not. Maybe it was because some of Charlie’s thoughts hit close to home and left my sense of individuality feeling a little violated. Maybe it was because I was too young to understand the emotional, uphill slalom course that is high school. Maybe I was just too busy catching up on The Clique series to take the time to fully process my own feelings. Probs that last possibility, if we’re being completely honest.
I know how I feel about the story now, though. And it can only be described as that glowy vibration you get in your stomach when the waiter brings out your food at a restaurant, except it lasts for the entirety of the movie and then some. Or maybe I could just say it makes me feel infinite. One of my favorite quotes from the book was when Charlie wrote:

  “I’m not exactly sure why, but I always thought it would be fun to have “glory days.” Then, I would have stories to tell my children and golf buddies. I guess I could tell people about Punk Rocky and walking home from school and things like that. Maybe these are my glory days, and I’m not even realizing it because they don’t involve a ball.”
The quote hasn’t left the back of my mind since I first saw Perks. My first thought, as I watched Charlie and his friends experience high school through school dances, house parties, drug experimentation and first kisses, was, “Why didn’t I have those experiences? I must have done high school wrong.” I later realized, though, as I drove home from the AMC Waterfront Theater, through the Fort Pitt Tunnels with my best friend, that we all have different glory days and moments of infinity. No matter who we were in high school, we had those moments where it felt like our throats would burst due to laughing and our stomachs would burst due to the bubbling, boiling-over love for our friends that filled it. And for the joyful reminder this movie gave me, I’m grateful.