Romney 2016

m_165_mitt_1sht_V1.indd**If you honestly thought for a second that this article was going to be my support for Mitt Romney in 2016 you’d be wrong, and also, I think he’d rather undergo actual water boarding then run another campaign, at least, according to this movie.

The Basics

I had really only moderately heard about this documentary prior to last week, about a film crew who followed the Romney family during his 2008 and 2012 run for President respectively, but I was not prepared for what I ended up watching. What transpired in the 90 minute montage film of a family on the brink of the highest political office in the land, was a mix of brutal honesty and pure heartbreak. It’s Mitt Romney doing what he does best, running for office, and yet the mood throughout is somber and real, as if the Romney family was more Katniss Everdeen, sacrificing themselves for the masses, and less – well… Mitt Romney.

What I Loved…

Break away the political punditry, the glass box that political families are forced to step into, and the visceral rhetoric of the select minority and you’re left with an american family not unlike many others trying to leave behind a legacy for themselves. The peek behind the curtain as we follow the Romney’s from early 2006 until election day 2012 never feels forced or staged and may be the most accurate portrayal of what it must be like to pursue the Presidency in our current social media, 24-hour news cycle society ,than anything else in modern history. You spend most of the film wondering why “documentary” Mitt Romney and “candidate” Mitt Romney couldn’t grab a beer together and figure out how to appeal to Americans in the way he so seamless does here. His wife Ann, along with their sons (who shall here to fore all be renamed Jr Romney’s) spend most of the movie straddling the blurred lines between supportive family members and unwilling hostages for the better part of a decade, all in the hopes of becoming the First Family (a role that they seem all too hesitant to take in the first place). The emotional, mental, and financial roller coaster ride feels more authentic than any “reality” TV show I can remember and, politics aside,  I beg you not to watch this film and think “I’d vote for that guy,” and mean it.

What I Hated….

       But, of course, politics not aside, the film makers blatantly glaze over some of the more questionable Romney moments from both the short lived 2008 campaign, and the more notable 2012 campaign. Romney getting caught in the lie about Bain Capitol, his “binders full of women” comment, even his dog strapped to the top of the car snafu was edited out of an otherwise pretty short documentary and I wondered if they just missed the real life reaction to the shit storm that was these events, or if someone from inside the Romney camp put a stop to it somewhere between both elections when things really started heating up. While the access these film makers had seems pretty unlimited, we never really see the family in their natural setting. Of course the one exception being before he decides to run in the 2008 election, and even then we are met with the most staged scene in this entire movie of the family sled racing in the snow, Mitt front and center. I’m sure as the Romney campaign shifted in the polls the access to him and the family became more limited and the narrative of him as this family man, cornered into running for President by virtue of being  the only viable nominee for the GOP in 2012 became THE only narrative anyone wanted told.

Why Watch?

This is Netflix first venture into movie production and just like it’s original TV programming it knocks everything else to pieces. It’s has holes in the narrative- yes, but underneath that is a chilling story about how a regular person can just decide to run for public office and automatically they’re Beyonce level famous and their families are put under a microscope so narrow, one could barely breathe.  It’s about how our political landscape is shaped by the few and how easily manipulated these politicians are by their respective parties. It’s why John McCain pre 2008 election was sane and post 2008 is borderline bipolar. It’s about power, privacy (or lack there of) and wanting what’s best for the American people when you can’t even discern what’s best for your own family. And yet it’s the story of the Republican party in both 2008 and 2012 campaign cycle. First unwilling to see past Hilary Clinton to the atomic bomb of change that was/is Barack Obama and then in 2012 settling for anything just left of crazy. Mitt Romney and his family were put in the crosshairs of a slow to evolve GOP and just like the  end of this movie, no one is sure where they go from here.

Don’t Call It a Diet

swb_4pks-800x531I am not on a diet. Earlier this month I made a conscience decision to eat healthier and make better food choices while also attempting to exercise 3-4 days a week. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

You see, I have steadily been gaining weight for the past two years. Long gone are the days where I would walk around in tiny booty shorts while scarfing down In-N-Out as fast as I could and yet never gaining a pound and instead came a slow and steady 30+ lb weight gain. It’s not obvious. Looking at me I look like the average American girl with maybe a little extra water weight here and there. But naked, stark naked, I felt like a whale, and the subconscious thoughts started affecting my confidence in other places of my life. I would start to second guess myself when picking clothes off a rack, wondering if my normal Medium would fit around my expanding chest area. My jeans started to feel tighter and tighter, even after wearing them a few times from the wash. My standard outfit started to consist of yoga pants and big tops meant to cover my pudgy stomach and yet it only drove me to eat more and more.

The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know how to lose the weight. I wasn’t one of those people who thought there was an easy fix and I could just shed the pounds and be back to my goal weight within a few weeks of monotonously moving back and fourth on the elliptical machine. I knew it required a totally mind., body overhaul, and yet with a fluctuating career, another campaign, and relationship drama I was never in a place where getting my body back on track was a top priority. I complained constantly to my boyfriend; who by the way was blessed with a road-runner fast metabolism, a 6 pack, and a love for the gym that borderline obsessive, that I was getting fat and I couldn’t stop it. In an attempt to be helpful he’d comment on the things that we ate (mostly pizza, pasta, and bread) and would hammer that it was “easy to lose the weight if I just went to the gym.” I, of course, did not find this helpful and would push back even harder sighting stress, combined with a time and money shortage as my main reasons for lounging around the house watching Dexter on Netflix all afternoon. And most of it was true, on again off again campaigning supplemented with waitressing made it impossible to get my body on a regulated routine. The hot yoga his mom got me into was amazing but at $20 a class was almost an impossible financial situation for me, and I was exhausted from being on my feet day in and day out so cardio was out of the question. The more he pressed for me to get in shape the more I resented him, and even more so myself for not caring if I ever got back to my size 4 cheerleader body I had in high school. I was always a yo-yoer, losing and gaining throughout college but by the end of last year I was at my heaviest and I was done.

Finally I started a new job and my routine began to level out. My 8 – 5 desk job kept me sedentary throughout the day but I began to increase my water intake, drinking a gallon of water starting when I woke up well into the evening. I joined a gym that was right across the street from my apartment so that I never had an excuse for not making it over and supplemented my weekday cardio with weekend hot yoga (that with a steady job I could afford if I budgeted right) so that I was always burning something in some form. But it wasn’t just all about the workouts. I eat breakfast everyday with an AM snack, a healthy lunch, a PM snack and a healthy proportioned dinner. I’m not a zealot, but small changes in my choices make it so I have more energy throughout the day to do what I need to do. My snacks are mostly fruit, applesauce, or yogurt. My lunch choices haven’t changed much but salads have taken the place of pizza slices and deli soups. If I eat sandwiches their wheat bread and always small in size and salads are plentiful for lunch and dinner. Cooking at home has been easier than I thought with chicken and seafood dishes dominating what once was Chipotle burritos and microwave mac & cheese.

I probably sound like a snob but honestly, it’s not even that serious. Every once in a while I splurge and share pizza with someone, have a few beers, even sip nonchalantly on a milkshake my boss brought back from lunch, hell- just last night when I was in the most typical of irritable moods I downed a bacon cheese burger with fries without even a second thought. But I’ve loosened the term “diet” in my mind to mean “food aware”. Guilt leads to pressure and pressure leads to gaining weight back, and I am not down for that. Sometimes I still don’t feel like going to the gym, and on those day I reason with myself, never forcing myself to go if I am really tired or burned out from a hard workout the day before. After 3 weeks I feel good but I know that a change this big will take time and a bikini ready body won’t be visible until bikini season this summer (if I keep it up!). As cliche as it sounds I’m accepting my body in all it’s glory slowly but surely. Granted it’s not Lena Dunham level of acceptance but I mean, honestly, who is that fucking comfortable being naked?! That’s just ridiculous.

Whatever you do, don’t call it a diet.

That’s Just Your Opinion: Vanessa Elizabeth

egwIn an effort to make my blog more consistent I’m going to start a series that will periodically pop up when I see articles that are far and away the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. I don’t want to come across as someone who puts other writers down but I figure when you write an opinion piece you’re opening yourself up to a lot of blow back and this article was a doozy!

Piece: 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged When You’re 23

First appeared in: http://wanderonwards.com/ & Huff Po. com

Author: Vanessa Elizabeth  

WTF: This has been a common occurrence as of late, that twenty-something writers feel the need to discourage other twenty-somethings from getting married or engaged prior to hitting 30 and having it all figured out. This conception that anyone who gets married young is stupid and doesn’t understand the magnitude of such a life event is, to me, the equivalent of women in the 50’s & 60’s  discouraging women from having careers. It’s gross, it’s one-sided, and it’s a blanket generalization geared towards the shaming of young women who make other life plans and goals separate from the norm!

The Evidence: Below is the literal list of things this writer says you should do instead of getting engaged or married at 23 [[with my commentary obviously]]:

1. Get a passport. [[Honestly you should probably get a passport the minute you turn 21. Why wait till 23?! Also, if you get engaged or married you probably are already getting a passport for your honeymoon anyway.]]

2. Find your “thing.” [[Again–  at 23? You should have a “thing” before then. Honestly you’ve been out of high school for 5 years, if you don’t already have a “thing” ,whatever it may be, you’re already a slacker so you probably shouldn’t be getting married]]

3. Make out with a stranger. [[Why is this good advice?!]]

4. Adopt a pet. [[ Okay this one is cool, but not sure why you can’t get engaged until you have a pet… What a weird prerequisite]]

5. Start a band. [[… if you can play an instrument… we don’t need any foe bands just because this chick says you have to otherwise you can’t get engaged]]

6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too. [[Again why wait until 23? Cake is good, literally, all the time]]

7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage. [[ Do not get a tattoo! She’s right, it’s more permanent than marriage, which may I remind you she’s advising against…. this makes no sense]]

8. Explore a new religion. [[Sure… you can do that married too you know…]]

9. Start a small business. [[Why would a 23-year-old have enough funds to start a small business?Also that’s a huge commitment, on level with getting hitched I would think, so not sure why she proposes this instead…]]

10. Cut your hair. [[ You should really be doing this regardless of age or relationship status. Guys should be getting cuts every 4 – 6 weeks and girls should trim every 6-8 weeks… #JustSaying]]

11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face. [[WHY IS THIS EVEN ADVICE. THIS IS HORRIBLE. DON’T DO THIS!!!]]

12. Build something with your hands. [[Any kid who’s been through middle school wood shop or ceramics has accomplished this one.]]

13. Accomplish a Pinterest project. [[No…. that’s… like why is this a marker of any sort of success?!]]

14. Join the Peace Corps. [[Okay the Peace Corps is a 2 year commitment in a 3rd world country and you get paid minimally. I’m not saying don’t join, it’s an awesome program started during the JFK years that remains great even today. And sure, it’s great if you’re trying to expand your professional networking circle and if you have NO OTHER COMMITMENTS that allows you to just up and leave to Uganda for 2 years, but let’s be real here, we have student loans so this is just ridiculous.]]

15. Disappoint your parents. [[You’ve already done that so much by 23 that this should actually read “Do not disappoint your parents”.]]

16. Watch Girlsover and over again. [[… if you want to poke your eyeballs out and die. #WhiteGirlProblems]]

17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting. [[ Do you think she actually reads any of her own advice!? You know Nutella is just a jar of chocolate right…? Have fun getting the shits.]]

18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places. [[ If you’ve been to any type of college I guarantee you that you’ve already done this.]]

19. Sign up for CrossFit. [[Sure. Also go Vegan and buy a pet lizard. At this point she’s just naming things that are trendy.]]

20. Hangout naked in front of a window. [[ Again, why you have to wait until 23 to do this is dumb. Also it’s bad advice #4]]

21. Write your feelings down in a blog. [[Good. Good. Better.]]

22. Be selfish. [[ You’re 23 you’re already as selfish as you’ll ever be.]]

23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year. [[No, because you give horrible advice and odds are you’ll be naked in front of a window the whole time making people uncomfortable and kissing strangers.]]

My Opinion: Okay, so here it is,– why do we continue to give a fuck who gets engaged and at what age?! Stay in your lane. For some people getting married early makes sense and is their prerogative to do because we live in a free fucking country. Not to mention this girl sounds like a bit of a loose cannon, she definitely shouldn’t be getting married, but not everyone our age acts our age. I mean I get her concern, that’s the reason why I, at 23 and in a fully monogamous, long-term relationship, will not be getting married this year. But do I see myself getting married before I’m 30? Sure, and I would prefer if girls like this didn’t judge the relationship status of people she’s never even met before. #SorryNotSorry

End of rant until next installment. And feel free to follow and like Vanessa’s blog if this is the type of advice you feel aligns with your life style, I’m sure I won’t.

5 Things College Doesn’t Prepare You For (Because paying $100,000 for Nothing is Awesome)

WhyGoToCollegeI know there are 489236589 list like this but it’s my blog so I do what I want.

5. Death — Because no one ever dies when you’re young wild and free. Life in college doesn’t teach you that people, friends, basically everyone you know will die. Sure you have that one kid who tragically passed away in high school and your class dedicated a page in your yearbook to him/her and it was all very depressing but in does but once you get to college instead of educating you on grief, how to deal with it, and it’s inevitability you just pretend that no one dies so that once you’re out of college and that first big death of someone you were close to comes you’re left to freak the fuck out.

4. Taxes — Like who the hell.. what the… I don’t even know… H&R Block?! Why don’t they have a class on how to get that big chunk of change the government EXTORTED from you (I use extort loosely) back in an easy an efficient manner? Or even explain it at all because that would be helpful.

3.  Financial Planning — Once you’re done with college everyone expects you to buy a nice car, get married, have babies, buy a house, etc. But you know what all those things have in common? Their EXPENSIVE! Why don’t they teach you, ironically enough while spending somewhere between 50K and 100K how to financial save up for these things. How do they even calculate a credit score? Sure, I could be proactive and take a free class at the YMCA or something about financial responsibility, but that’s just the thing, I just finished college I’m not old enough to be responsible for my financial security through next week let alone my WHOLE LIFE. Thanks college.

2. Patience — Everything in college is NOW and everything after is later. You get nothing right away and I blame college for not preparing us for that. Even the premise of college is that in 4 years you go from barely able to get into Hookah bars to running Las Vegas (oh and having a degree, duh). Four years is nothing! After college it’s all “wait to have kids”, ” wait to get married”, ” wait for that promotion”. It’s nothing but being unbearably patient and I was not ready for that at all.

1. Reality — GOD DAMN YOU COLLEGE. Reality isn’t staying up all night on a mix of Red Bull, adrenaline, and beer pong! Reality is paying bills, reality is waking up everyday at the same time and doing the same thing in the same order everyday for forever! Reality is bills and coming home to a cranky boyfriend/girlfriend and going to the gym and hanging out with your friends who you barely have time to see anymore and that’s about it. College does not prepare you for when you have to call COX to dispute a bill charge, or oil changes, or anything mundane and regular. College is a place where crazy things happen all the time everyday and you never know what’s going to happen… except… wait… that’s life…

So I guess in a way, it prepared me for everything, and nothing all at the same time. #SMH

The Wolf At The Box Office

 ** Resolutions are no joke ( or at least not on the 2nd of January they’re not) So in an effort to keep mine, I’m reviewing the most talked about movie of the season! Yay me!

the-wolf-of-wall-street-poster-1The Basics 

You already know the basics even if you haven’t seen the trailer at all. It’s Wall Street pre 2008 collapse post 1987 collapse in an era where money bought you status and influence but more importantly bought you copious amounts of drugs, booze, and sex. Even if all you’ve seen was the movie poster and those facts, you basically know how this ends and but boy is it a pleasant cinematic ride to get there.

What I loved…

Everything. This whole movie is our society’s guilty pleasure of 2014. It’s sex and drugs and lots of it, but isn’t that the whole reason we watch movies to begin with? It also includes some of the highest grossing actors in Hollywood earning ever penny with performances that made it seem like they were really coked out their minds during the entire production, which, of course, didn’t hurt either. It’s fast talking, non stop madness that we mental condemn but secretly wish we could live. Like the great Scorsese movies that come before it, it doesn’t back down from telling a story of a man who literally did everything we see in the movie and yet both the actors, and the director make you root for him in a time & place where being rich (and in particularly Wall Street rich) is paramount to being a sinner. The over indulgence of every person who graces the screen should make you feel anger and contempt for a profession that no regular minded person can even understand let alone pull off but by the end you walk out feeling so thoroughly entertained you wonder if you’d accidentally taken a “lude”.

What I hated… 

The time stamp on this baby comes in at a whopping 2 hours and 50 minutes, which if I had seen this at a regular theater instead of dinner theater I probably wouldn’t have made it through. However, the complaints from my side end there. Lots of media attention has been paid this week to the “violence” and “sexism” played up in this movie and honestly it’s pathetic. Of course there’s sexism and violence in this movie, it’s a movie! It’s a movie that plays out a real life memoir where those things definitely existed. Just because there’s such a thing as sexism doesn’t mean Hollywood should take it out of their movies or risk the judgey looks of feminist bloggers. Those bloggers who feel that the men in this movie treat the women like objects should watch the latest episode of Scandal and tell me how they feel. It’s not real people. Ug, annoyed.

Why watch?

For all the reasons above and then some. Oh and for soon to be breakout stars Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie (who my boyfriend is still drooling over and we saw the movie 2 days ago… Robbie, not Hill, just to be clear) Jonah Hill pulls of serious almost as well as he does comedy, and his version of Belforts best friend and VP is so spot on it’s scary. While Moneyball got him into the arena with the big boys, look for this movie to catapult him into Leo, Brad, and Johnny territory within the next few years. Robbie on the other hand play a sexpot New Yorker perfectly but lets not go calling her the new Julia Roberts. She isn’t a household name yet but if she can find a niche outside of her famous co-stars (she’s been rumored to be having an affair with her leading man co-star Will Smith from her next film) look for her to pop in and out of every genre of movie you can imagine. ** ***Side note, chick is only 23 and is already killing it with 2 more films slated for release this year. Awesome, thanks for making me feel like an underachiever.