O me! O life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

– Walt Whitman

The Wild Party

Some love is fire: some love is rust:
But the fiercest, cleanest love is lust.
And their lust was tremendous. It had the feel
Of hammers clanging; and stone; and steel:
And torches of the savage, roaring kind
That rip through iron, and strike men blind:
Of long trains crashing through caverns under
Grey trembling streets, like angry thunder:
Of engines throbbing; and hoarse steam spouting;
And feet tramping; and great crowds shouting.
A lust so savage, they could have wrenched
The flesh from bone, and not have blenched.

– Joseph Moncure March

Lessons Learned (Sleepy Tom Edition)

You guys! My little brother is DJing in New York City tonight. New York-freaking-City!

So I was going to go into this whole tirade about working hard and following your dreams and how proud I am and the lessons I’ve learned and other mushy stuff like that, but it’s Saturday and my brain is sleepy. So, instead, check out Cam’s official music video:

Or on Much Music’s website. (Like, it’s a part of the official rotation now.)

And dance your butt off while you’re wrapping your body in warm things and building up the courage to leave the house (Canadian readers) or getting over your midday slump (I see you, one Australian reader) or making inappropriate decisions after midnight or wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, throw on “The Currency” and get a little crazy.

So, congratu-fucking-lations Cam. Kick some ass in New York tonight. I’m so proud of you and I’m so grateful you’ve shown me how to follow your dreams. Wish I could party with you in NYC tonight. Maybe next time 🙂

Why I’m not going “makeup free” on Facebook

Let me start by saying that when anyone looks at themselves in the mirror and is happy with what they see, that is a beautiful thing. And when a woman chooses not to wear makeup because she’s happy with her face the way it is, that’s great too.

But what is this whole “no makeup nomination” business really about? Is it about feeling comfortable and happy in our own skin? Or is it yet another way to base our self-worth on our appearances?

I don’t have perfect skin. I am 26 years old and I still break out all the time. I deal with rosacea and dry patches and puffy skin and, on especially bad days, an atrocious double chin. Now let me make myself very clear: I am not fishing for your sympathy, empathy, your pity compliments, honest compliments, or your feedback. I am extremely happy with my face, faults and all. At my 26 years I have learned to appreciate it for exactly what it is and when it doesn’t make me happy I let it go.

But letting it go isn’t something I’ve always been able to do. I’ve struggled for years over body image issues. This isn’t some huge confession. I’m no different from any other young woman. My friends and I speak about these things nearly every day. I see these issues in every woman I know. I see it when they try on clothes; I see it when they do their hair and makeup; I see it when they choose their meals.

They (we) are all beautiful, healthy women, yet we spend so time obsessing over our looks. Forgive me if I don’t think a makeup free selfie is going to fix that. 

Because what about the woman who doesn’t feel comfortable taking a no makeup selfie? What about the woman who is nominated and, like EVERY celebrity “makeup free” photo, touches up a little bit here or there, covers a spot or two, puts on some shimmering moisturizer and then snaps a pic? What about the surely tens of thousands of teenagers who are experiencing this trend all over their social media who don’t feel comfortable with themselves and are inundated with beautiful young women, somehow blessed with clear skin, who don’t know how to respond to their nomination because they aren’t confident enough or don’t feel beautiful enough to show their naked face to the world?

And for the women who do, do we really need to pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a hearty congratulations for having the bravery, the audacity to post a picture online sans makeup?

Apparently this trend has raised 2 million pounds for UK Cancer Research. Well, that’s fucking fantastic. But I only learned that today. Most of the pictures I’ve seen haven’t mentioned anything about that. And while I would never want to condemn something that is raising money for a good cause, what on earth is the correlation between not wearing makeup and raising money for cancer research? Oh, and did you donate?

I hesitate to even post this as some of the selfies in my newsfeed were posted by some of the loveliest people I know. They radiate inner beauty and that’s why I’m so blessed to call them my friends. (But they’re also really pretty. Like, really naturally pretty.)

So why must we continue to base our self-worth on our looks? Where are the nominations to spread happiness? Do good? Plant flowers? Buy a stranger coffee? Tell someone you love them?

I’m aware this is a silly battle to fight. It’s relatively well-intentioned and at the end of the day, it’s raising money for good. But I’m also trying to be aware of what this means for us as women, as a society. Let’s work on being happy and comfortable with ourselves for exactly who we are — NOT what we look like.

In lieu of posting a makeup free photo I’m going to donate $10 to cancer research. Then I’m going to step in front of the mirror, cover up that ugly zit right under my nose, and head out into the world. I nominate you to do whatever the fuck you feel like doing, but doing it with kindness and the intention to improve others’ lives through your actions.

To donate to the BC Cancer Foundation click here.

I’m Back!

My apologies, loyal readers*, I have not abandoned you. I’ve been back in Vancouver for nearly two weeks and, somehow, I’ve had barely any spare time. Between the job hunt, catching up with friends, and helping out on set, I’ve hardly had two spare seconds to rub together (not to mention discovering Tinder, playing in the snow, and cleaning/organizing/struggling to figure out what the heck I’m doing with my life).

So here we are. I promise to keep this place much more updated. More stories from L.A. will quickly follow, as well as updates on life in Vancouver and other random, fun rants, recipes, stories, reviews, whatever have you.

*Hi, Mom!

backyardtodayMy backyard today.

My wish for all of you today is that you’re warm, dry, and not stressed out. Be happy, friends 🙂

xo K.

Of the Week

Magic Mike 2 is going to be “… essentially the movie that everyone thought the first one was going to be.” #YESSSSSS This is wonderful news. Also, no Alex Pettyfer, please.

Creepy ass pictures. Like, arty, creepy ass pictures.

Will Ferrell’s production company (Gary Sanchez) is forming a “female-driven” division (Gloria Sanchez). Awesome, awesome, awesome-sauce.

Tired of lugging heavy cans of beer around with you everywhere? Allow me to introduce, Beer Concentrate!!!

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon want your money… for charity. And if you give them some, you might win a dinner out with those two crazy kids.

Vulture listed the 25 best RomComs since When Harry Met Sally and I heartily disagree with at least half of them. I think part of the problem is that there hasn’t been 25 great RCs since then. Lots of other people are angry too, but mostly about what they didn’t include. They’re certainly playing pretty fast and loose with the term “romantic comedy” (specifically for their number one choice); plus there’s no way I can get behind any list with “best” in the title that includes THREE Adam Sandler flicks.

Song: Now that I’m back in Vancouver, I’m listening to The Peak again. Super digging “Afraid” by The Neighbourhood. Figures the first song I get into back in Canada is by a band from California.

TV: Less than one month ’til the Veronica Mars movie, guys!!! If you haven’t seen the show yet, get on it!

Quote (from that awesome Buzzfeed article on one of my favourite people in the world, Amy Poehler):

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Back in the Homeland

Mere hours off the plane, I’m decked out in fancy rain boots, sporting zero makeup, and trudging through the rain to dine at the Na’am. Vancouver, never change.

rain boots

Leaving L.A. was extremely bittersweet. I’ll write more about it in the coming days, I’m sure, when I’ve had more time to reflect. Saying goodbye to Hayley was hard. Life’s just better when she’s in it everyday. But I was returning home to fresh water and my bed and Miss Alana whom I hadn’t seen since September. (She was off traveling through Africa and India AND writing an amazing blog about it.) And as great as L.A. is and as positive as I always am, real life has to be attended to once in awhile and real life is Vancouver right now.

naam night

Krista being lovely while Nisha continues to fight the good fight against taking an attractive photo. Tuscan nachos and thai stroganoff — and sesame fries with cheese and miso gravy, in honour of Hayley.

Now life is a job search, a constant rewrite party, and remembering to blog in between hanging out with everyone else. For the first time in my life I know exactly what I want to do and I am actually, educationally speaking at least, qualified for it. So bring it on (and feel free to send me your film/tv job offers).

On top of all of that I have a new goal: an Arts & Culture mission, if you will. Or, proving: No Fun City.

Vancouver’s such a tiny little city but we have so much potential. I think the most exciting, interesting parts of Vancouver’s arts and culture scene are hidden beneath the surface. Right now a lot of the best stuff is inaccessible* to most people; so while I’m here (for the undisclosed future), I’m going to dedicate myself to taking in and talking about every rad homegrown thing I can find.

So bring on the music, the theatre, the poetry readings, the sketch comedy, and send me events and ideas and suggestions of things to see!

*inaccessible/not on their radar/they have no clue events and happenings are happening

Starting with:

RCC-LH-SC-400x400

Rain City Chronicles‘s monthly storytelling night. February edition: Love Hangover. What I’m assuming to be is a night of people reminiscing about terrible experiences of love and life for multiple hours in a boozy locale. (So, awesome!)

If you’ve never been to a storytelling night before, I highly recommend it. It’s like you’re at a party and you’re listening to a drunk person go on and on and on about their shitty love life, except that drunk person** is actually hilarious and poignant and potentially re-affirms your own shitty love life with their relatedly heartbreaking tale. And: there are still tickets available! (Which never happens, so jump on it.)

Many more posts about L.A., the people I met, and the things I learned, are on their way, but they will now be interspersed with the goings-on of the great Vancouver, British Columbia.

**I’m not saying that every storyteller at this event is going to be drunk (Although they might be; public speaking is terrifying.) but it’s an analogy of a drunk person in relation to a… oh fuck it, you get what I’m trying to say.

This was supposed to be about wedding dress shopping but it turned into a long rant about shitty romantic movies.

Another day came and went and I only took two photos: this one for Instagram, extolling the beauty that is cheap, American-bought alcohol and this one:

the vowOooh, so impressed. NOT.

It’s kind of timely actually as last night we were driving around and we stopped at a red light next to a poster of A Winter’s Tale. Go ahead: watch the trailer; I dare you. So I groaned when we pulled up to the poster and Ryan asked me the (very valid) question of, “Why do these movies keep getting made (if they’re so shitty)?”

The reason I took the above picture is because I watched The Vow, in theatres, no less, and I f*cking HATED it. It is a bad, bad film movie. So the thought, to me, of marketing a film by associating it with The Vow is laughable. WHY WOULD THEY THINK THAT WOULD MAKE ME WANT TO SEE IT?! Oh, right, because The Vow grossed 125 MILLION dollars.

There is it.

Both A Winter’s Tale and Endless Love are being released on Valentine’s Day: in a month that is already statistically proven to release awful movies and on a day where the entire marketing world pulls at impressionable women’s heartstrings. To be honest, I have no sympathy for women who get sucked into that crap (Eat some chocolate and get over it.) but it irritates me to no end that this is all we’re being offered.

No, I haven’t seen A Winter’s Tale or Endless Love and, yes, they’re two slightly different genres (fantasy-romance and thriller-romance, respectively). But they’re both made for and marketed to women on the assumption that we’ll watch anything with romance in it; and they’re right.

I LOVE romantic movies. I want to watch romantic movies. I want to watch historical ones, hilarious ones, ensemble ones. But the films that are coming out these days are almost uniformly sycophantic, offensive, and straight-up BAD.

Okay, confession time: I kind of liked the trailer to A Winter’s Tale. Ohmigawd, I know! I’m sorry. I’ve been ranting for minutes and it’s all a lie! I totally want to watch a bad romantic movie! But you know why I won’t watch it? The romantic leads are 13 years apart. And I just can’t do that anymore.

Because it’s not just this one film. It seems like 90% of films released, genre be damned, the female lead is SIGNIFICANTLY younger than the male lead. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale? 16 years. Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara? 11 years. Leo Dicaprio and Margot Robbie? 16 years.

And, listen, I know I’m leaving out Amy Adams and Sandra Bullock, but those talented ladies are the exceptions, not the rule. It’s not all awful. There are tons of brilliant filmmakers making movies with women of all ages. It’s getting better, slowly. But until there’s equality in the gender of the leads of films, until women stop getting described by their looks and men by their personalities in scripts, and until the age discrepancy between leads is equal (unless necessary to the plot), I will keep ranting.

I will not see Endless Love because, frankly, it looks like a shitty movie. And I will not see A Winter’s Tale because of the age discrepancy. But I bet they’ll both recoup their budgets and AWT will make some significant profit. Oh, how I wish they wouldn’t.

So what are we going to do about it? Don’t pay to see a romantic movie just because it’s romantic; wait; read the reviews; make an educated choice. And if you’re a writer, write something better. Be aware of how you’re describing your characters. Ask yourself why you’re making the females in your script younger than their males counterparts. AND, SCREENWRITERS, WRITE US SOME GOD DAMN AWESOME ROMANTIC MOVIES!!! (I’m looking at you, little Sam.)

Be conscious about what you’re choosing to watch. And this stuff bothers you like it does me, say something about it. We’re living in a day and age where social media matters and right now, we’re the target market.

Because let’s face it, ladies (and gents), we deserve better!