Lots of great speeches coming from Philly this week that are leaving me in tears and utterly inspired...
by David Davila
Okay... so I did a whole version of this post where I took ten of the speeches from the Democratic National Convention and ranked them. There were lots of wonderful and inspiring speeches from Michelle Obama to Cory Booker but here's the thing...
After watching the final speech of the convention, I was floored. Hillary Clinton made me believe in America again. Thank you Hillary! I'm in tears.
You have to watch this if you haven't.
"No one gets through life alone. We are stronger together."
Beautiful is overrated. by Alex Syiek (Writer/Performer/Arteest)
I have always loved arts and crafts. From pre-school to grad school, any time I have the opportunity to glue, cut, paint, and staple, I leap face first into the wonderful vat of paste before me. Now, while I love arts and crafts, I never said I was super great at them or anything. In fact, I subscribe to a very simple acronym I am just now making up - TWILTR:The Worse It Looks, The Radder.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, simply because it gives me a chance to fully realize this acronym with the creation of my costumes. The few weeks before Halloween, my apartment always looks like a serial killer's hideout, with scraps of latex, masks, fake knives, and the like strewn about the place. Let me give you a lil' tour of one of my favorite costumes.
Costume - Bloody Face from American Horror Story: Asylum
I love American Horror Story (except for one season - I'm glaring at you, Coven). So, naturally, one of my Halloween costumes was bound to be based on terrifying creep Bloody Face. I'm avoiding spoilers, just in case someone hasn't watched that season yet, but the actor behind Bloody Face got under my skin with his portrayal (pun intended). Thankfully, when making a costume based off of a super scary serial killer, one can feel free to make their product as janky as possible. I mean, do you think Bloody Face took care for symmetry with his creation?
So, I took inspiration from Mr. Face, and went about sculpting my own version of his iconic mask, putting my personal stamp on it, while still aiming for 'terrifying.'
Seeing your old self via paper and everything that follows By Kathleen Choe (actor/singer/writer)
I’m going through my old childhood bedroom throwing out things, feeling pretty proud of myself. The recycling bin next to me is almost filled to the brim. College notebooks? Toss. College papers? Toss. Old appointment diaries, old sketches. All old thoughts, old memories, old ways of thinking.
Into the bin it goes.
I haul said bin to the garage, emptying it out with glee, ready for the round two of cathartic purging bliss. I open up the closet…
…and come upon the stack of diaries.
When I say stack, I mean stack, about nine of them.They’re old Mead composition books, black and white covers, written in ballpoint pen. For every writer, there’s a certain way of writing that speaks to them---something about the simplicity of these books has always brought me comfort and worked for me. I flip one of them open.
Mead. Black. White. Classic.
Wow, I think. I had really good handwriting. Funny because I remember thinking it was awful.
Wow, I think as I read on. I felt a lot of feelings.
As I go through the entries, a wave of melancholia sweeps over me. They’re of loneliness, of feeling like I didn’t quite fit in, of people who I met who didn’t like me, of people I met and I didn’t like them. Some entries are in the form of letters, written on stationary and tucked in between the lined pages, folded Jane Austen-style, addressed to me or someone else. Throughout are dreams I have for the future, disappointment, heartache, longing, hope.
I’m reading these notebooks and the memories of being this girl suddenly hit so hard that it’s hard to breathe.
It’s all going to be OK I want to tell this girl, this old me writing all her feelings down in her notebook. It’s all going to be fine.
I put those books aside. Old thoughts, old memories, old ways of thinking.
Somehow I can’t seem to put those in the bin.
I go back to the closet, and look at the top shelf. I see a green hatbox, and next to it a bunch of papers tied with a ribbon. I pull those down off the shelf.
They’re letters. Actual letters.
I smile as I see names that are still in my life today, I toss the ones that from people I don’t remember, I pause over the names of people that aren’t in my life anymore because our lives went in different directions. I remember thinking that it was my fault when those people and I started to drift apart. I read those letters over again and know that it’s not.
It just happens.
I come across a stack of letters from my Mom that she sent me while I was in college and after, when I had my first apartment. I remember being so irritated when she’d put “words of wisdom” in the letters she’d send me. As I read them over, a wave a shame comes over me over having felt that way. She reached out the way she knew how. The love that comes across her written words are almost tangible.
Young, stupid, sensitive, angry, sad, love, hate, hope, dreams.
There’s a lot of life in these stacks of paper.
There's a lot that's changed. There's a lot that's stayed the same.
Suddenly I’m very, very, tired. I put the letters back in the box, tie up the packet with the ribbon again and put everything back on the shelf.
Lo and behold, we are back! Welcome to Noir Around the World as we fly through time and space to bring you the greatest noir plays...or some rather good plays. Again, I want to thank my friends at Crazytown for tolerating my guest blog.
This time around, we're set in ancient Egypt. Well, not so ancient. Not like King Tut ancient.
I'll have none of your sass, Internet. By Tom Rizzuto
Here are the facts. In 1990 Beach Boys founder and universally acknowledged musical genius, Brian Wilson was not in a great place. He was still reeling from the effects of decades of mental illness and substance abuse, he was being treated by controversial psychiatrist Eugene Landy (who most believe to have been unethical and manipulative), and his recording career was at a standstill.
"Tell Kanye West I think he's adorable. Spunky little guy."
It was during this tumultuous period in his life that Wilson wrote and recorded a rap song called Smart Girls. The song was coproduced by and recorded at the insistence of Landy, and was intended for Wilson’s 1990 album Sweet Insanity. The album was rejected by Wilson’s record label and never released. It resurfaced years later and this song in particular is generally swept under the rug by most Beach Boys and Brian Wilson aficionados.
The songs of summer that make me wish for winter By Jennifer Anderson (Actor/Singer/Puddle of sweat)
Well Crazytown, I guess we have all figured out what it will feel like if we commit some sort of heinous act in our lives and are condemned to spend eternity broiling with the likes of Mussolini and Ted Bundy. Whatever, they'll be Starbucks in hell.
But along with the excruciating heat come some pretty amazing pluses: summer blockbusters, trips to the beach, and tons and tons and tons of Mister Softee. Seriously, at this point the Mister and I are in a common-law marriage. Usually added to that list of perks are some fun, catchy tunes to play in our Beats while catching rays on our fire escapes. (I still think of sweating in my first Brooklyn apartment when I hear “Super Bass.”) However, this year it’s different.
Friends get together and raise their voice for the DNC By Joanna Syiek (Director/Producer/Blogger)
Again, trying as much as I can to stray away from directly trudging throught the political mud, because I'm positive that's what 90% are slogging through on social media. But a few things are worth noting from this week:
Michelle's incredible, incredible speech. Did she just talk her way into everyone's hearts for a future M'Obama presidency? I think she may have. #Michelle2020
Elizabeth Banks and buddies get together to sing, and sometimes that's just the best thing. Also, this vid is like "Spot the Bway Face." How many did you count?