She’s Gotta Have It

So, a Netflix-series version of the Spike Lee film is being released next week on Thanksgiving. In preparation for that, I guess Netflix decided to add the film to their collection.

I just watched it. I’m sure there’s many angles to scholarly critiques to check out, and I definitely want to read them to further understand this film. I bet someone out there holds it up as a feminist work.

What I really enjoyed about it was the nostalgia element it has now. I’m obviously not watching it upon its initial release as I was born in 1995, but it carries an element of inspiration to watch Spike Lee act in his own films. He was very into cameos back when; except, he was actually an actor and not doing a cameo. Also, in the credits, it was awesome how collaborative it was with his family: Bill Lee, Joie Lee, the producer was a Lee, and himself of course. He also had each actor slate themselves, and I think that’s cool. It conveys a certain belief in them and a hope that they would get to go somewhere with their talents.

As for the film itself, it is commenting on the agency of its title character, NOLA, who I believed is supposed to be named after Zora Neale Hurston. Why? Because it seems to be a combination of the first two names and they quoted her in the beginning. We read this author in my sophomore English class in high school. However, I could be wrong about this because until I checked my spelling on the name, for the whole movie, I thought the author’s name was also Nola. Alas, it is not.

This read very much so like an art film, and Lee’s editing structure worked well for it. It was linear, but wasn’t?? It broke various Hollywood structures as concerns storytelling. For example, the documentary style while gazing within the camera. It also featured jump cuts. I think we all want to attribute jump cuts to French New Wave, but I’ll refrain from that because as a millennial, I think YouTube when I’m editing jump cuts.

Storyline: NOLA is in relationships with three men simultaneously. These men are GREER, MARS, and JAMIE. She also has a female lesbian friend named OPAL but nothing ever happens sexually/romantically between them. For Nola, the men are sexually fulfilling. Yet, the only one that she believes she might love is JAMIE. However, each man brings with them a reason why they are not Nola’s soulmate, even though they believe she might be theirs. For example, Jamie is looking for a wife. A real traditional lady. Greer wants someone to bow to him and someone that he can control. Mars is humorous but has some growing up left to do. Each of them fulfill a need but not a real purpose for Nola. They all eventually tire of being strung along by Nola, and they leave her. However, she chooses to meet them all one more time, and it is there that she lets Greer and Mars go. She asks for Jamie back but realizes that she should not have. She’s a more than one man lady, and she prefers to control her destiny as she sees fit.

Found the part where Nola got upset at the prospect of Jamie being with other women relatable.

Featured black and white, some color, dark lighting, documentary-style, art film, small cast, jump cuts, and New York.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd9oTGr_1DA

New Series Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whvPjWm7ZE0

 

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Poems to Keep: God Breaks the Heart

cause I procrastinate by reading articles about artists and finding new poems.

Via @poppyinthewheat via @nylon via @yesikasalgado @via my girl tif_fee//in honor of going to Boyle Heights tonight with Tiff to listen to Yesika Salgado get her words on.

God Breaks the Heart Again and Again Until It Stays Open

by Sandra Cisneros (of course <3), after a quote from Sufi Inayat Khan

But what if my heart is a 7-Eleven after its third daytime robbery in a week?

What if my heart is a piñata trashed to tissue and peppermint shrapnel?

What if my heart is a peeled mango bearing an emerald housefly?

What if my heart is an air conditioner weeping a rosary of rusty tears?

What if my heart is Sebastião Salgado’s sinkhole swallowing another child?

What if my heart is Death Valley in wide-view Cinemascope?

What if my heart is a chupacabrón chanting, Build the wall?

What if my heart is the creepy uncle’s yawning zipper?

What if my heart is a Pentecostal babbling a river of tongues?

What if my heart is the cross-eyed Jesus bought at the Poteet flea market?

What if my heart is El Paso, Texas, in bed with the corpse of Ciudad Juárez?

What if my heart is unhinged from the weight of its lice-ridden wings?

What then for an encore, oh my soul, when you have blessed me a hundredfold?

 

Weekend Warrior #1

For titles, I was stuck between weekend update and weekend warrior. Both are taken from existing things, but aye, it’s just a title and it works for this.

So! The cool things that felt like life this weekend:

My first poem of this school year was in a gallery!!!!! AH. Does it matter that the gallery was the student gallery at LMU? Heck no. The work up on the wall was so cool, and I felt like the person I hope to always be as a part of it. I didn’t even actually invite my friends to come along with me (mass insta posts don’t count). This is always fine with me, as I like to think I enjoy my own solitude. Which I obviously do more than I used to as evidence by how I just called into a meeting for my service club instead of leaving my room to go to it. But anyway- as I was biking up to the show at the gallery, I was suddenly like, “oh my gosh. why did I come here alone?” But ya know what? It was fine. I made new friends, ran into one of my actors and her friends, remembered how much I love photography, and I got to see my generation of people be happyhappy and joyful at doing what they do. The people in that gallery were my kind of crowd, and I loved it. Also, it was cool to see black LMU turn out because I hardly ever see us in such a large group altogether.

I don’t really have a description of the feeling of getting to see my words on the wall. I kind of skipped over them, took pictures, and then tried to re-read them. But it was cool. I think I’m starting to think of film as my back-up and poetry as what I would really love to do. Funny how the creative world works, huh? I still want my life to be filled with both, but there’s something about an art gallery and an equally pretentious and rad crowd that makes my heart feel like it’s where it always should have been.

I’m going to submit the poem to a few journals/magazines, but I’ll probably post it on here after I do that.

Houston We Have A Problem Art Show

So, that was cool thing #1. IMG_8017.JPG

^^ photograph of me as the art world person.

#2 was having friends who tell you when you need to change your outfit into a sexier little number.

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which was this outfit, hello. and connected point to #2, is just having the people in this photo in my life in general. it’s also going to swingers and getting an idea for poem #4 thanks to the guy named teddy with the courage to come on over.

#3 is eating food in my apartment with Yi and Yi and going to Otis to study and actually finessing our way into a room with a ton of macbooks.

#4 Getting that homework doneeee.

#5 continuing the Quon Dynasty off Netflix and liking it more with each episode

#6 exercising and making healthy promises after buying the wrong ice-cream flavor but it actually turning out to be a nice flavor that kept you from eating the whole pint

#7 really enjoying the Underwings meeting and feeling as if it was an accurate representation of the club we are/have been/will be

#8 Getting all my Korean beauty stuff!!! AHH pic included

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#9 seeing Justin Bieber post “Black Lives Matter” and thus feeling as if I have permission to love him once more #belieber

#10 Getting to go to sleep calm

SeeyaseeyaLondonAlleyintheAMand10stepfacialroutinenow

 

One Day Until Twenty-Two

Back when I thought the website Ghost was the most beautiful blog hosting service I had ever seen, I wrote this post:


Two Months Until Twenty

09 JULY 2015

The teenage years are so heavily emphasized.

The early teenage years begged to be forgotten, but not in retrospect.

The later teen years had us thinking that we had it all figured out. And it felt pretty good to feel that way. We had more freedom, more responsibility, and more of a sense of self.

We also had countless books, movies, TV shows dedicated to the way that we felt in that time. We had songs we could- or could not relate to. (I stopped relating to music about junior year of high school) But nonetheless, the world screamed our importance.

Now, I’m two months until I turn twenty years old. It’s kind of crazy. It has seemed like I spent so long being a teenager, but I never bought into the hype that high school is the best time of life. It’s only four years- I’d be pretty disappointed if the rest of my life didn’t match up to high school. I’m expecting it to be fantastic at every turn.

My first year of college helped me to quietly but fiercely understand and establish my own importance. Life doesn’t stop here. It’s just beginning. With the lessons that I’ve learned, the people that I’ve met, and the family that I have, I’m excited about my twenties.
I’m also excited about my thirties, my forties, my fifties, and so on.

Life doesn’t stop when you get older. Sometimes, most of the time, the media screams that message at us too.

We don’t need to look younger. We don’t need to feel younger. That makes being older into a negative, and it’s not.

From where I am and where I’ll be, getting older looks pretty dang good to me.


 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about twenty-two. I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. A list of twenty-two things I hope to accomplish? A list of things I learned in the twenty-first year? I just wanted to write something- to commemorate it. Because I may be chill about it, but it’s also just that the days move and there are things to be done and birthday celebrations and deep reflections about them get pushed to the side. I’ve also always been very indecisive (s/o to the science and girl aisles at Toys R Us that saw me peruse their selections for hours) and so that added to not knowing what to say/do for my birthday.

However, this is how I think I might approach it now:

After class, my friend Jordan and I went to the lair, LMU’s cafeteria. We talked about his previous birthday and what he did for it. While we were talking about this, he said something that increased in depth the more I thought about it. He looks at his birthdays more so as celebrations of the previous year. Not as preparing for the upcoming. And I like that. It does fit with my new outlook on things. I’m not nervous or anxious about the future. I’m excited for its unknowns and for what hasn’t happened yet. I’m cruising in it. So, maybe instead of twenty-two things I want to accomplish (which I don’t have anyway. I’ve got like three), I’ll think about what twenty-one taught me. And also what twenty did. They were rough years, as this blog knows, but if I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here. And here is a good place to be.

The earlier blog post really was an epiphany. Getting older isn’t a bad thing. Staying young isn’t an inherently good thing. Your life is as you make it (withstanding heavy consequences placed in your path). I still hope for the rest of my life to be the very best of my life.

These past four years of college better not have been the best, and they aren’t going to be. It’s interesting how these two bookend posts are somewhat full circle. I’m not exactly in the same mindset as I was when I was nineteen, but I like it again. (OOH THE TIME IS 9:07 S/O TO TOMORROW AND MY VIRGO-NESS- anyway) I am back to being more confident. I’m back to know yourself, know your worth. I’m interested in things. It’s nice nice nice. And I’m about to bike back to my beloved LMU to write poetry with my lovely friend Melissa. And I get to write poetry about revolutionary things. I liked straying away from my irate Facebook posts and taking time to write about anything else. But I’m excited to get into this poetry. Because I have a lot to say, and twenty-two will be more of saying it and remembering that I am not only twenty-two but I am all of the ages that have come before it.

I am the girl that speaks in grade years.

that song came out in third grade

my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps

when MTV was all of my attention

and VH1 was its weird cousin

before it changed into love and hip hop

I didn’t love hip hop

except when it was with my brother

fifth grade

and then I was sad when he started to like rock

because alternative was mine

and he didn’t like that

but more importantly,

he didn’t like hip hop

and it signaled a giving up of an identity

and this happened at the same time

that I decided I may not be able to understand lifestyle hauskambmbm

alright doodle bob

but I could groove along

fruit salad wiggles

the show we never liked

it is both of us with matching pacifiers

I’m wearing mine horizontal

and he opts for verticals

it’s getting braces off in ninth grade

and just a dream orienting my whole year

it’s first time heart breaks after being in

what I thought was love

it’s first time loss of motivation

after taking home all the trophies but two

it’s being cheerful but not feeling it

it’s not watching clouds anymore

it’s passing flowers and never knowing their names

it’s seeing a dandelion and still wishing anyway

it’s a first tattoo after I decided I hated flowers

because they always died

which is an idea I got from a friend

but it made sense to me

it’s a tattoo that didn’t hurt but felt like a knife

and still looks cool to this day

it’s hating italian sausage and angel hair spaghetti

because it made me puke

and loving pan as a college freshmen when it was okay in eleventh grade

it’s new parts of me

and old parts of me

it’s one and two and thirteen

wintergirls and speak

laurie halse and sarah dessen

bukowski and criminal minds

and finding less enjoyable ways to pass the time

11:11 after years have gone by

it’s full circle and half circle and being born under a full moon

September 7th


 

Thank you twenty-one. At times, I hated you, and I made that known. It wasn’t really you though. Let’s just say it was 2016 and a lil of 2017 and some of 2015. But you gave me lessons and great people and great interests. And I’d never turn my back on you again. Time for twenty-two to step in. But you’ll always be with me. Sandra Cisneros style. Also Aashna Malpani style.

Things to do:

  1. Finish learning Indonesian
  2. Go to Indonesia
  3. Graduate with the pride of a lion and the heart of a hummingbird

I’ll keep myself updated.

Much love – now and always,

Paige P.

Late PM/Early AM Rough Drafts: Don’t Read The Comments

The other week, I got the new Blogilates fitness planner in the mail. It’s bomb, y’all. It has built in to-do lists, which is perf because I was wondering how many sticky notes I’d have to go through this year to keep my mind as organized as a piece of paper. Today’s to-do included:

(1) Get nails done with mommy, (2) Shop for clothes, (3) Indonesian, (4) Poem, (5) Blog Post, (6) Check e-mail, (7) Read The Alchemist, (8) Walk

As of an hour ago, I had completed all of the tasks except for the writing of things and my Indonesian lesson. But alas, now it’s just the Indonesian lesson! S/o to the world that makes me angry, but makes me write because that’s how I process and calm down.

So, here is the hashed out result of that. It’s nothing I would send to a publication, but I think we always ought to be in love with our words and how they come from us  anyway.

inspired by: excitedly seeing how 88rising posted Justin Chon’s trailer for Gook and being amped for that artist solidarity. Watching said trailer again and then looking at the comments. Y’all. Don’t look at the comments.

much love! Until next time, bruv.

image

 

A Post All About Me: New Bukowskis and Cities Not Named Cleveland

Yes, hello. Halo! Nama saya Paige! 

This is a post all about me. But wait-say you- aren’t all your posts about yourself?

Why yes. Basically, they are.

This isn’t even really about me… it’s more about my feelings.

Regarding my new Charles Bukowski: Jenny Zhang. And the Kathryn Bigelow film Detroit and how I for the first time became one of those people who is like “oh, I don’t mind that a white filmmaker made this film about a distinctly black American event” and who decided not to really say that in any large capacity because I believe those who do take offense on behalf of the marginalized usually err on the side of right. And I’ll get around to reading articles that argue that point later, but not right now!

So, my two things of this week both have something in common in how they affected my life: I’m not sure exactly what I think but I know there’s something special and that I like it. I think that mainly applies to Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang, but it goes a little bit for Detroit too, but much less.

So Detroit first!

I don’t think (oh wait, the world is yellow tinted right now and it is gorgeous, ugh nature and the beauty that Beaumont can have when I bother to look at it) kkay anyway, back to the scheduled post

I don’t think that I knew Detroit was about police brutality. I just felt it was important to see it anyway, so I asked my mother if she wanted to and we did.

The movie theater in town has new seats that successfully block the view of the rows below you, which means if there are no people next to you, you are bright little screen of a cell phone free! But I had people next to me. Who chose the moment the film actually started to pull out their cell phones. But no, baby. Paige doesn’t play with the cell phones. Everrr. So, I politely leaned over and asked the not on her cell phone party to ask the two on their cell phone women to put away their mobile devices. They did. Not for the whole thing of course, but their loss. If you wanna fight over a cell phone though, we can fight. Because you ARE RUINING MY MOVIE. Not really. But I’m easily distracted and you’re distracting me and I paid for it and so did you and omg watch it because they worked really hard on it and this is cinema gosh dang it.

Anyhoo.

So, we were snuggled between them and a very animated black man who chose to laugh at the ridiculousness of the white people in the film and at the situations occurring. Which was somewhat enjoyable, but as a person who is always asking my mother to not ask me questions during the film, I was also wondering if black people knew how to watch a movie without talking during it.

The answer is yes, they do.

Anyway.

Movie opens. Action is on. I was with the above-mentioned article writers because I was at first thinking “ooh. this movie is making us look really bad. oh, this is a little uncomfortable.” But then it becomes obviously clear who is in the wrong: the police. yay. of course. However, unlike the theatrical poster which proclaims: “based on the true story of one of the most terrifying secrets in American history.”

bah-ha. To who? The specific occurrence might be little known, but the “terrifying secret” of police brutality is not secret to black Americans nor has it ever been. So, let’s just assume the movie poster wasn’t directed at us. There were white Americans in the audience which I was happy to see.

We’re used to police brutality. The only gasp I heard during the film was from the nice not on her cell phone black lady next to me. None of the brutality got me to cry or shocked me. I’ve already been through my jaded America has lied to me and hates me and all of its minorities phase. There was a point in the movie where my mother tried to speak to me and I said, “nononono tell me when it’s over” because despite missy whipping out that cell phone again, I was engrossed in this movie and not trying to miss a second. I did actually have to hold in tears by the end of the movie. It didn’t work. They spilled. Those kind of tears that rack your shoulders back and forth, except there’s no exercise going on. At least not one that energizes you directly afterward when you think about all the work you put in.

Nope. I sat there crying because of the character of Cleveland (Algee Smith). Sweet lord.

My mom tried to ask my what my favorite part was. “I don’t think that’s a movie that you have a favorite part to.” Which character did you relate to the most? “I wouldn’t say I related to any of them.”

Reflecting, that’s not true. I think I knew it wasn’t true then. I cried for Cleveland because of his own pain and because I saw myself reflected in him.

Man, Cleveland hurt. This is why I’m not writing about Detroit overall. I’m not writing about whether or not this was Kathryn Bigelow’s story to tell. Nah. I’m here to write about Cleveland.

I’m here to write about how we got to see Cleveland before, during, and after his traumatic experience with state sanctioned violence. We got to witness Cleveland’s sense of security be shaken up as truths were exposed to him, as he watched people leave without helping only to help him afterwards. We got to see how his worldview changed, and it hurt to see that change. We got to see ourselves in him and think about when our own perceptions of the world changed and how hard it was to get used to that and all of the mistrusts that we too had to experience.

It would not have been enough to only see Cleveland during. It would not have been enough to see him during and after. The before was so needed. That was Cleveland as carefree. That was Cleveland just wanting to sing. That was Cleveland being happy just to make music and perform and even sing to an empty audience because that was life. It was him not caring if the people who consumed his music were majorly white; it didn’t matter if they liked his products but not him or his people (think Do the Right Thing vibes and the answer of the Italian-American son).

It was being able to contrast care-free Cleveland with Cleveland who had to ask those deeper questions and who was traumatized from being in the same room as white people and police officers. Contrasting the initial Cleveland with a man whose mistrust arising from the way the world had treated him made him stand at the sides of a venue that he had wanted to be center stage on.

I don’t remember which part I started crying on. I think it was when he was on the sidelines. Even after the movie ended and it was just the credits, I just kept thinking about him and the change, and my tears were unstoppable. I didn’t even want to do anything after. I just wanted to go home. I wasn’t hungry; I wasn’t thirsty.

Eventually, I calmed down and life went back to normal. The rest of the day was actually fantastic. I was much happier than I had been just hours before. But those are the films I really appreciate. The films that leave me so broken-hearted that I’m disturbed. Yes. Give them to me. But also give me something fun so I can bring myself back to life.

Now on the Sour Heart. I was a little distracted while reading the novel, so I definitely want to re-read it. My favorite stories were the ones with Christina/Crispina. I just really liked it. I like the voice that Jenny Zhang has, and it’s because of Sour Heart that I chose to look up other things she has written, and I really appreciate how many of her things have dealt with racism. I even shared one on my Facebook because I feel like people should know who she is. When I re-read it, I’ll probably go more in depth about what stands out to me, but right now: it’s just its existence and how I’m happy I picked it up. For a lot of my favorite things/people in life, it’s sometimes not the things that they do/accomplish but its person that I believe them to be. The personality that I think they have. For example, off of Jenny’s website, I found this photo-series: http://www.rookiemag.com/2014/07/vilnius-travel-diary/ and that really made me connect with her. It made me want to go adventure, and I just appreciated how raw her descriptions were, especially the first photo. She was in Lithuania, but I’m trying to go to Indonesia by May of next year, hence the Indonesian that opened this post. I know more words! looooook: apa kabar kamu? bagaimana kabarmu? ibu dan bapak. selamat tinggal. selamat malam. salamat siang. selamat pagi. itu adalah saudara perempuan saya Lina. siapa nama kamu? apakah kamu juga saudara laki-laki <- I think I messed this one up. I need to go over my flash cards again haha. S/o to Mango Languages. Thou art bae. OH I REMEMBER NOW, I think it is: apakah kamu juga seorang saudara laki-laki. It might not be haha.

Anyhoo. I looked at her photo series, then I read her poems, and her essays. I saved them to my computer. I’m just happy to have found a new world to enter into. It’s so fun. This is how she is my current Charles Bukowski. When I first found Bukowski, I hella read this man’s poems. Who’s your favorite poet? Oh, Bukowski. He’s even still quoted in my Pinterest bio and until recently, my Twitter bio. So, that’s what I’m doing with her. Reading her older things and enjoying the ride and picking favorites. And I’ll return to them fondly in the future as I return to Bukowski fondly now. And discover new things even then.

And I hope most days that “it feels like I woke up happy”. ❤ (<- Jenny Zhang)

Toodaloooo. Until next time. Which is hopefully sometime soon.

Paige P.