Dave Chapelle Almost Caused my Death

If I died of an asthma attack, just know it would probably be the fault of Dave Chapelle.

With a small NYC Broadway residency, Dave Chapelle has created mounds of lines, containing people of all races, ages and genders, that were ready for one activity. That activity was to kick back and laugh. He accomplished that and so much more.

Just to get a little personal, I didn’t like Chapelle’s work at first. I thought he was insensitive to my needs as an audience member and said some outlandish shit that couldn’t possibly survive more than a couple small stages. But what I didn’t realize was that he was ahead of his time.

His jokes weren’t funny to me because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t realize that in order to make life better, first you have to laugh about it. Found that out by attending college, the biggest, yet most serious, joke of my life. Dave said things that I always thought but never voiced, because I was too worried about sounding ignorant, or worse, racist against people with problems similar to mine.

Dave Chappelle Broadway
I would only wait in line for Dave Chappelle. A hot, sticky, muggy line of well dressed New Yorkers.

Yet I knew I wasn’t the only one thinking these thoughts, how could I be the only one living this life?

To watch Dave Chapelle again in college was like reinventing the wheel. Once this man started rolling through my YouTube history, I knew there was no turning back. Skit after skit, stand-up after stand-up, from a movie back to another stand-up, that I’ve probably seen twice already, this dude that I’ve never met told an audience stories about my life; stories that I used to hate because I wanted
different.

But now, I know better, and while I was creating my own Chapelle Marathon, mounds of work sat at my desk, begging for my attention. You know what I did? I laughed about it and did it all night before the due dates.

Without realizing my fatal mistake, I made this comedian an integral part of my life. Which may seem weird to most, but you have to understand that the best medicine I’ve ever discovered in my short, yet tumultuous, 25 years is laughter.

Anyone that makes me laugh with my gut, is most likely a close friend of mine till this day.

When I saw the billboard for Chapelle’s Broadway residency, I thought it was a bad joke. Why would he be on Broadway of all places, this dude doesn’t make people laugh through dance and song.

After a couple google searches, I found that it was authentic. Dave Chapelle, one of my favorite comedians, is in NYC and I don’t have a ticket. Like most people, I immediately went online and found the ticket information. I thought back to his first Netflix special where he stated that his tickets were only $80 compared to Kevin Hart’s $125. This made me particularly excited, because I could afford
$80 and still buy my $1.50 buttered roll in the morning. Then I saw the price of the cheapest tickets and realized, my buttered roll was out of the question.

Dave Chappelle Broadway
Like most minorities, I had to think twice about this decision. I wanted a ticket so bad, but could I give up my buttered roll for the next couple of weeks? Then I thought, when will this happen again? Just buy the damn ticket and give yourself something to look forward to. So, with a shaky hand, I bought the cheapest ticket, almost closed out the window when I saw the taxes, and proceeded to my usual routine, thinking to myself,

“I have a week and a half until this show comes, time to catch up.”

For a week and a half, I revisited every skit and stand up of Chapelle’s, and perhaps his work might have superseded my own work, but you know I just laughed it off. Whatever I didn’t finish I finished the next day. All I knew was that I had to prepare myself for this event. I wanted to hear all his jokes; from Uncle Toms, to crack sprinkling cops, to every transgender joke he’s added to his repertoire within the last 12 years.

It felt like I was studying for a final exam and I was determined to ace it.

The day finally comes; July 19 is here and 8pm couldn’t come soon enough. Everyone needs to understand I’ve been working hard for a while now and I really need this night to make me laugh. When I laugh, I let go. I bought this ticket (which is supposed to be $80) because I knew Chappelle would guarantee me a night of laughter. He did not disappoint. If his set continued just five minutes more, I would probably have had an asthma attack. Mind you he stayed behind for a Q&A afterward, so it’s by God’s divine intervention that I didn’t keel over.

His set incorporated jokes that only he could pull off. I will not repeat any of his jokes on this post, for fear of messing the jokes up. However I will say one of my favorite jokes involved one of the greatest phrases to come into existence. That phrase is, ‘shut the fuck up.’ Such a simple, offensive phrase that almost caused an asthma attack for me. If you are a fan of Chappelle’s work, then this phrase shouldn’t surprise you at all.

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Chappelle let the audience see that he is a regular guy, imperfect like the rest us, but with a wonderful talent to make it all funny.

The Q&A afterward was just as funny as the set. Chappelle let the audience see that he is a regular guy, imperfect like the rest us, but with a wonderful talent to make it all funny. I won’t spoil the rest for you, but just know that when you finally get the chance to see it, you won’t be disappointed.

July 19, 2019 will go down as one of the best Fridays of my life, so thanks Dave Chappelle. You are alright in my book. Now I am excited to see what you are bringing to the table with your new Netflix special. That’s right people! Sticks & Stones will premiere on Netflix on Monday, Aug. 26. This will be Chappelle’s fifth Netflix special.

So Mr. Chappelle I don’t know if you are ever going to read this post, but I have one thing to say to you… Bitch, you better go hard or go home.

“I hope this shit don’t make me famous. I don’t want to be famous, famous I want people to like me for who I am. Like a famous dude don’t never know why people like them.”

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

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Who Are You to The World: A Hero or a Villain?

What side are you on? Why do we have to choose? Does that make them the bad guys, does that make me the good guy?

From bad to good, light to dark, yin and yang, hero to villain: What do they mean? Every story has a hero that courageously fights the villain. A man of unstoppable morals goes against the lowest of the low, and they fight for the people. The ordinary citizen, you and me, that can’t do what they do. The villain is against us and we have to side with the hero every time. That’s how most conflict within stories work, but what if I told you that the definition of hero and villain isn’t so black and white?

Rather than two opposing sides, with no middle ground, hero and villain fall on a moral spectrum. As recipients of the conflict, we rarely look past the actions of foe and friend, we assume safety falls in the hands of the friend. However, not all friends have the moral to be a hero.

Many times, a person becomes the hero of their own story.

Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men.

Take Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier, for example, both are Marvel characters that play the opposing sides in a mutant-filled world. Magneto feels that mutants should rule the world and not be afraid of their birthright or the general human fear of mutant population. Mutants should be pure and proud. Professor Xavier feels that humans and mutants can coexist peacefully, they can learn from one another and grow together; in love, in friendship, and in business. Both sides are vastly opposed, Xavier sees humans and mutants as water with water, while Magneto sees humans and mutants as oil and water, never to mix.

Whether you follow the cinematic universe, or read the comic books, we see that Magneto has done a great many deeds that cause harm, while Xavier stops these dastardly deeds and continues to protect humans and mutants alike. It’s very easy to dislike Magneto, but what about Erik Lehnsherr, the man behind Magneto.

Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto of the Brotherhood.

If we looked closer at his history, we would see a fighter, a strong-willed human being, a survivor of genocide. Lehnsherr’s life saw his survival of Nazi extermination, the Warsaw Ghetto, and Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Lehnsherr knows the sacrifice it takes to survive, and that’s what he is trying to instill in his followers. Can we blame him for his aggressive actions, when his intentions are to not repeat history?

Yes, this example is fictional, but all fiction takes inspiration from reality.

Yes, this example is fictional, but all fiction takes inspiration from reality. Magneto’s personal history was founded in the Holocaust. The human, mutant divide is a clear metaphor of segregation that took place during the Holocaust; similar to black vs. white, native vs. foreign, and man vs. woman, every story has a hero and a villain, but who is who?


She believes in protagonist and antagonist, not hero and villain, that a character can perform actions that make them likeable and unlikeable. That life, whether it be in a novel, movie, or reality, isn’t so black and white.

This question was initially answered in a book discussion I attended for Victoria E. Schwab, a successful science fiction writer, one of my favorite authors. Her work resonates with me because of her ability to blur the line between good and bad, black and white, hero and villain. I asked, ‘how would you define hero and villain?’, because I found that in all her work, I could never choose a side. All the characters created a deep connection and one wasn’t better than the other. This ability to blur titles is what Schwab prides herself on when creating her characters. She believes in protagonist and antagonist, not hero and villain, that a character can perform actions that make them likeable and unlikeable. That life, whether it be in a novel, movie, or reality, isn’t so black and white.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab, first installment in the Villain series.

Take for example Schwab’s main characters from the Vicious series, Eli and Victor. Similar to X-Men, these boys—who started as best friends—discover that near-death experiences give survivors superpowers. These superpowers depend on the survivors’ final thoughts before death, so the powers range in danger level. Eli, a fierce zealot of God who came back with the ability of super healing, believes these mutants are abominations and must be exterminated, and started his conquest with Victor, who also gained the power of pain manipulation. We learn that Eli not only survived his near-death experience, but he also survived a radical father who consistently abused him in the name of God. Even though he murders over thirty innocent survivors, he himself is also a survivor.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab, second installment in the Villain series.

Victor makes it his life’s work to end Eli, by any means necessary. However, he picks up a few close friends along the way. Friends that were meant to be used as tools in his plan, became permanent fixtures in his life. They are similar to Professor Xavier and Magneto, both are similar, both were once close, and now both are in constant conflict. We learn so much of Victor and Eli that we can’t decide who deserves our sympathy. This is Schwab’s ability to take fictional characters with fictional abilities and humanize them. They are not hero and villain; they are protagonist and antagonist. They are capable of making good and bad decisions.


They are not hero and villain; they are protagonist and antagonist. They are capable of making good and bad decisions.

To end this outer existential monologue, I want for you, the audience, to ask yourself, what would you consider yourself? From personal experience, I admit that I’ve had nefarious days and I’ve also had glorious days. But can I say I am a villain to others, I hope not; can I say I am a hero to others; I hope so. All I can say is that I try to be better than the day before, I try to enact change in others so that they can be better than their day before. I feel that challenging others makes me an adversary, a challenger, an antagonist, but not a villain. If I have ever been a hero, I have been a hero to my own story.

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

From One Writer to Another: Author Discussion with V.E. Schwab

Victoria E. Schwab is an author of epic, mystical, monstrous proportions. With a re-release of “The Near Witch”, her first published novel, she shares her world with us…

A world away from worlds is an ample way to describe books. They transport you to a place that can only be reached with imagery that is distinct to the reader. When entering the genre of science fiction (Sci-Fi) that world becomes more.

From monsters, to magicians, many London’s and near-death acquired superpowers, the worlds created by V.E. Schwab are vast and full of adventure.

With over four New York Times #1 bestsellers, Schwab has an imagination that brings a blank page to life. While her career is only beginning, it has come to its first full circle with the re-release of her first published novel The Near Witch.

Schwab is now on a book tour that made a stop in New York City. From the Barnes and Noble located in Union Square comes an awesome opportunity for her fans. We were given the opportunity to enter the world of V.E. Schwab.

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Essentials of a lingustic creative: a notebook, pen, and recorder at the ready.

The best discussions are discussions had between friends. Fellow successful sci-fi author, one of many accolades, Jon Scalzi held the discussion and allowed for a wonderful circulated conversation. A conversation that flowed eloquently; similar to the pages of an engaging novel, the discussion between two authors—two friends—was riveting, emotional, and informative.

Everyone brought anywhere from two to four books, whole series that were written by one of the authors, not expecting a whole new story to unravel before their eyes.

As a fellow writer, I find that I, and others, idolize authors that inspire us. We see them as steps beyond us, untouchable in their talents to take the written word and transform it. However, this discussion reminds us that they are people too, and they are exactly like us. Schwab reminisced about her first novels, Schwab describing hers as a “pretty plotless plot,” which had to do with her study of poetry. I wondered if the plot was forgotten because the story read with a beautiful, rhythmic intensity distinctive to poetry. This is her process and it’s a process that many can relate to, which made Schwab come to our level, but still hold a special place in our inspirations.

A process has general rules that most writers follow, however a process eventually becomes unique to the writer.

A book is a world away from worlds, so when we make the decision to write one, we are deciding to create a world of our own. One that we want inhabited by an audience. It is a process, a journey to get from one end of the book to another, I often wonder, is the journey or the end the most important part of the process and where do I start? Should I write the story as a puzzle? Piece together a chapter sentence by sentence like V.E. Schwab does, or should I work in order from beginning to end? What works for me?

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The discussion held wonderful insights to the life of woman that started out like any other person in this business. To quote Schwab, the writing business is “a fickle business,” and “we are all freelancers,” so many times our emotions and self-critiques can get the better of us. However, we are all capable of writing stories that reach the skies and we capable of doing so. All we have to do is start.

“ I get very caught up in the power of words, the power of language, and I think it’s not just because I’m a Slytherin but it is something that goes back to my poetry days and it is something I use in a lot of my books, especially Near Witch, as an early work, is the idea of almost the witchcraft of cadence. The idea of being drawn into a spell, with words; entering a place where you feel like in a slightly different head space. You feel like a slight intoxication by the syllables of the words, you know, that I love that.” Victoria E. Schwab

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AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

The Whitney Museum Presents Andy Warhol: You See Him Once, You See Him Everywhere

“Why do people think artists are special? It’s just another job.”

Work that spans three floors and decades of influence, Warhol can still be considered a contemporary influence on the 21st century, even though Warhol passed in the late 1987. To see Warhol’s work is like seeing the color red; it is everywhere that you look and many times you see it without realizing what you see.

My first interaction with Warhol came during my junior year of college in an Alternative Photographic Process course. He became an example of saturated prints, then our next project was introduced, and I moved on, but his name stayed in the back of mind. We share the same name, so I remembered him vaguely. When I heard of the Whitney Museum’s exhibition, I knew I needed to revisit his work. Just because we share the same name. Of course, I spell Andi with an I, not a y, but close enough.

 

 

 

Usually, I do not like work that is mainstream and made for the in-crowd. Warhol’s work definitely falls into that mainstream, in-crowd genre. The question is, did I bother to look into his work, look past the most common pieces and find work that truly spoke to me. I hate to be wrong, but if I’m wrong, I liked to be proved wrong. The evidence has to be credible, so that I learn from it. Aside from appreciating Warhol’s ability to read the people and make money, this exhibition allowed me to learn from Warhol’s other work. Work that may not be considered his most successful or lucrative pieces.

“It’s always good to get abstract when it comes to economics.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)

“Cash. I just am not happy when I don’t have it. The minute I have it I have to spend it. And I just buy STUPID THINGS.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 130

 

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From Warhol’s Death and Disaster works, Electric Chair (1963-71)

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Race Riots (1963-64)

 

“I’m so sorry to hear about it. I just thought that things were magic and that it would never happen.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 122

“I don’t believe in it, because you’re not around to know that it’s happened. I can’t say anything about it because I’m not prepared for it.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 123

In a video that documents Warhol’s creating of Mao (1972) he says, “The sloppier it is the best… just be as fast as you can,” while he tells his assistants how to create art, he switches his techniques. Sloppy to Warhol incorporated a large paint brush, ones that I usually see painting houses, and when he felt that the paint brush wasn’t quick enough, he started to spread the acrylic paint with his hands. His strokes weren’t consistent in pattern, and only seemed to have one purpose; cover as much of the canvas as possible. The end result is a portrait of a dictator using bold, saturated colors that seem to go against all rigid posture held by a dictator.

 

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Mao (1972)

The sloppier the better, the quicker the better, not a piece of advice I would normally hear from my art professors, yet it’s a piece of advice I enjoyed hearing.

 

 

 

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This reminds me that art is subjective, with no right or wrong. To Andy Warhol, speed is necessary while precision is not. His work is known to be repetitive, with intense chroma, while showcasing high-profiled people. Profiles are a dime a dozen with artists. Yet, he has work that spans multiple mediums. It would be severely unfair to remember Warhol by the work we see in textbooks and modern-day culture.

 

 

 

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“I think ‘aura’ is something that only somebody else can see, and they only see as much of it as they want to. It’s all in the other person’s eyes. You can only see an aura on people you don’t know very well or don’t know at all.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 77

The Whitney Museum is holding this exhibition until Mar. 31, it would be a great experience for any creative to go and explore the inner workings of Andy Warhol. He was a man of many masks and many mediums. He understood people, money, markets, and consumerism. Yet, he was still an artist and one that didn’t shy from creating whatever came to mind. I am far from Warhol’s biggest fan, but I can say that my appreciation for him as grown. Now I will remember for more than just the name we share. Of course, I spell Andi with an I, not a y, but close enough.

“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), 111

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

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Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962)

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Marilyn Monroe (1967)

I Declare Myself a Feminist For Men and Women Alike

The word feminism spurs mixed emotion. To me, a word feminist is a form of power and protection. Power for my fellow women and protection for my fellow women.

This idea of feminism being a negative, man-hating movement has held traction for many years. To think that a movement about the equality of women somehow centers back to men is alarming and proves the point of feminism. Women aren’t asking for men to lower themselves; just to help their fellow women get to their level and improve at a rate that benefits all, not some. I am a feminist because I want equality of the sexes.

For so long, I did not declare myself a feminist, because I quickly become tired of defending my morals and constantly repeating myself. Why should I waste my breath if someone already has a pre-conceived notion about me? Not that I care about that, or so I thought. Things changed when I realized the importance of showing my true opinions.

To stand up for all women is a large challenge, but life fulfilling and necessary when it becomes exhausting to fight against each other.

A feminist is defined as “a person who advocates for the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. With this definition in mind,

I declare myself a feminist.

With all women in mind,

I declare myself a feminist.

With myself in mind,

I declare myself a feminist.

I can’t say I am perfect in practice. Many times, I find myself relying on old social practices meant to separate the sexes (certain jobs are for men, certain jobs are for women, leave it to the men, leave it to the women, the list goes on) and having to stop and call myself out. If I practice the belief that a person can’t do this to me, then I can’t do this to them. While I can’t control the perspective of others, I know that my perspective has to expand, and it has to become more compassionate.

This movement can’t succeed without the ability to listen and understand one another, male and female.

I declare myself a feminist because my success is your success and your success is my success. Quite a mouthful I know, but it covers all the high points. This life becomes better when we decide to look out for each other, however, women have to improve at this aspect more than men. I try to look out for my fellow women by spreading positivity through compliments, honest conversation, and fighting for what I believe to be right. As I said, it’s not easy in practice however that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be practiced.

To be a feminist means to be open and life also has to open up. Life has to evolve from old societal traditions.

Not an easy feat, but worth it in the long run. Why you may ask? We all have sisters, mothers, cousins, nieces, aunts, and other females to come that will have a long list of preordained obstacles that come with being a woman. Is it fair that we must have a life with harshen steps that barely allow elevation, or that we must work twice as hard to make a fraction of a difference? Is it fair to expect women to live this preordained obstacle course? The answer, to all the above, is no.

I declare myself a feminist,

Because I am tired of defending my morals and constantly repeating myself.

woman wearing white t shirt and blue denim bottoms

Photo by Chelsi Peter on Pexels.com

Frugal Fashion: Two Outfits in One

When penny pinching becomes a way of life, having multiple uses for one item of clothing is a necessity of life…

Multiple factors can play into a person’s capability to choose an outfit that will fit the whole day. Factors include the following:

  • Attitude
  • Events
  • Social Interactions
  • Weather
  • Motivation
  • Umm… LIFE!

Look, I know I might be missing a couple hundred more factors, however making an outfit work twice, even thrice, in a day only needs a few changes. Those changes can range anywhere from shoes and outwear, to makeup and accessories. The options are plentiful. Below are some examples.

The first example is a plush-knit swing dress from Old Navy. The color is described on the Old Navy website as heather gray with a short sleeved, A-line fit that can be dressed down or dressed up.

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This is one of my favorite pieces. With some thigh high stockings, work boots, and a collared shirt this became one of my easy go-to work outfits. Especially during the hot summer months when pants were a no go.

(Work outfit to come soon!)

When it came time to clock out, it took me only two wardrobe changes to create a casual, comfortable, bohemian style outfit. With the use of multi colored Birkenstocks, an oversized elephant print cardigan, and some large gold hoops I am able to start the next part of my day.

 

While this is just one of many options, it shows that it doesn’t take much to make a singular piece work in multiple ways. This is what I like to call Frugal Fashion. Fashion that doesn’t break the bank, burn a whole in your pocket or lose its importance after one season. This is one out of many Frugal Fashions I will be sharing. Anyone has any comments or advice, let your girl know. Until then…

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

5 Reasons Why Sierra Burgess is NOT a Loser

While on my Noah Centineo craze, I decided to watch Sierra Burgess is a Loser. Let me tell you guys, the last stereotype I saw in that movie is a loser. Sierra Burgess made me relive my questionable high school years and wonder if my “loser” days should have really been called my “Sierra Burgess” days instead. Let us break down my top 5 reasons why Sierra Burgess is NOT a loser.

1. Sierra is thick, curvy and proud of it.

It’s no secret that Sierra Burgess isn’t like her popular female peers. She doesn’t have a slim body and her style goes with her confidence; which is more cerebral than physical. Even though she doesn’t fit the stereotype of “popular” she fits the stereotype of “Sierra Burgess”. Which is a far better fit than any high school cliché.

2. Sierra knows that her mind is worth more than her body.

Her father is a best-selling author, her mother is a self-help coach of some sort; her parents are braniacs in their own regard and so is she. Sierra Burgess is a social genius. She concocts a web of mystery concerning her crush, Jamey, from another school AND gets the assistance of the MOST popular, and ill-tempered, girl in her school, Veronica. Sure, it got a little rocky in the middle, what with the whole reveal and all, but it all had a happy ending, and you know why? The genius social strategies of Sierra Burgess, that’s why! Without her quick-witted plans and covers, this would be another run of the mill Netflix movie.

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Looks like not a care in the world. All Sierra Burgess needs is books, her own looks, and good friendship. Not a loser in sight.                                                                                                                Photo courtesy of kaylitepaylas.com on Flickr.

3. Sierra is a proud band geek.

From one band geek to another, the minute I saw Sierra Burgess in her super suit (i.e. her band uniform) I knew it was fate for me to watch this movie. Unless marching took up your weekends, you could never understand how much of an influence the marching arts plays in anyone’s life. Usually, anyone that’s involved in marching is a dedicated, committed, hard working individual. A type of person that you can rely on. Trust me, band geeks are some of the best people around.

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    4. Sierra doesn’t allow the actions and words of her young peers to determine her         self-worth.

Before Sierra and Veronica became BFFs, it seems as if Veronica’s favorite pastime was belittling Sierra in any way that she could. However, we know from the first interaction that Sierra Burgess wasn’t having ANY of it. Every opportunity to point out Sierra’s physical “flaws” was met with a witty comeback that makes the audience go “Ohhhhh! You get it girl!”

Sierra understands that words hold power and she doesn’t allow Veronica’s words to overpower her. Lots of power in play in this gem. However, let’s get one point straight. Veronica is so easy to hate, but she is also responsible for the entire movie. After all, without Veronica’s idea of giving out Sierra’s number, rather than her own, to unwitting male interests, we wouldn’t have Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. Let us tip our hats off to Veronica. Thanks for being such an unbearable human being in the beginning of the movie. Thank goodness, Veronica proves to be a great human being in the end.

5. Sierra, just like us, experienced heartbreak in multiple forms. Yet, still came               out on top, WITH THE GUY AND THE BEST FRIENDS.

You might ask, how can one character be so relatable? Well, Sierra Burgess relates to any and every human being that experiences high school. Heartbreak hit Sierra thrice; once with her first best friend; second with Jamey, her love interest, and third with Veronica, an unlikely friend that helped Sierra see herself in a new light.

Similar to most high schoolers, she wallowed in self-pity, made her amends with her personal issues, and prepared to move on. However, life works in mysterious ways. In the end, Sierra Burgess got the boy and the best friends. In the process, she also changed the life of one Ms. Popular Veronica. Of course, I know that Netflix gave their audience a sappy, popcorn eating, movie ending that radiated positivity, but would we want it any other way?

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If this isn’t the face of heartbreak, I don’t know what is.                                                                        Photo courtesy of  kaylitepaylas.com on Flickr.


If I had to choose the Netflix Movie of the Year, it would definitely be this one. A movie that stars a voluptuous coming-of-age woman, is rare and few in between. This is a movie that tells the story of many young Sierra Burgess, past and present. That journey has no room for losers, so let us agree once and for all that Sierra Burgess is NOT a loser. As a matter of fact, Sierra Burgess is my hero and an example I wish I had when I attended high school.

As fellow human beings, we know life can get rocky and it doesn’t always end well, but let’s take a moment to appreciate what we did get from this movie. Sierra Burgess is a Loser is a reminder to us all. Yes, we all come in different shapes and sizes, yes, we can all get along, and yes, we can all get the boy in the end. As long as that’s what we desire. No matter the outcome, we should never deem ourselves losers. We should, first and foremost, love ourselves.

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

4 Reasons Why A Planner is Necessary

To be organized is a blessing and a burden, however it is a necessity of life…

Many see a planner as a another tedious, task of the day, but really, it is there to make life easier. I started to realize the power of the planner when I became a full-time college student. From tests and quizzes, to meetings and interviews, events and personal issues, they all need a certain amount of attention. As all the women in my family say, “There’s a time and place for everything.” A planner is the ultimate way to keep track of those times and places, for everything.

  1. Organization is key
    • The ability to plan ahead helps to prevent chaos and create a stable environment. Also, understanding how to create and abide by a timeline is essential for productivity in all areas of life. From professional to personal, active to lethargic, actively organizing your life in ONE tangible book is key to figuring out the next step.
  2. Planners help reduce stress
    • According to a questionnaire survey done by Robert Epstein, a self-help author and psychologist, 25% of our happiness depends on how we manage stress. The study proved that planning ahead is the most helpful method to managing stress. Planning ahead prevents unnecessary stress, rather than letting things happen.
  3. Record and store valuable information
    • A planner acts as a storage vault for valuable information. Passwords, emails, addresses, account numbers, and more can be safely stored within a personal planner, so that you can save yourself the agony of remembering large amounts of important information. Avoid mistakes by keeping this planner, with all the information necessary, by your side at all times. Speaking of memory.
  4. Writing information helps create a consistent memory
    • Studies show that writing down information, in shorthand, helps to improve memory. According to Helen MacPherson of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, “we can keep pace typing but we can’t keep pace with handwriting, it means we have different ways of encoding the information, which in turn leads to richer memory.” By creating a shorthand, exclusive to your planning methods, you are more likely to remember more.

While I can think of many more reasons, these are the top four that ring true in my mind. Through daily experience, trial and error, journey and success, I’ve found that taking the time to plan creates a stability that leads to confidence in making that next move. Planners are a dime a dozen and so many companies cater to the needs of anyone.

For example, Moleskine is known for their sleek, simple, luxurious designs that cater to the aesthetics of a “traditional” black notebook. All planners can be personalized, have a small storage folder in the back, and fit in any pocket or bag. Not to mention Moleskine’s fabulous collaborations, from Harry Potter to Peanuts, to the Denim Collection. It’s all very personal when it comes to Moleskine.

Moleskine (The Marmot)

Photo provided by Flickr (Electrictuesday)

Moleskine2 (electrictuesday

Photo provided by Flickr (The Marmot)

Rifle Paper Co planners are known for their carefree designs, having plenty of room to write, and folder storage for small items. I have recently invested in a Rifle Paper Co 17-month Bouquet Spiral Planner (the largest planners they sell), and I love every aspect of this planner. From the check list format, to the sticker sheets in the back, to the daily log and monthly calendar tabs, I couldn’t imagine a better planner for my life. As a writer, I appreciate the space to voice every little detail.

Take your time and figure out what works with your life and don’t be afraid to visit your local bookstore and explore tangible options. Remember, planners are here to make our lives a little bit easier.

Camera Strap for the Ages

Cameracoup, home to a variety of camera accessories, recently released a promotion. Their most popular camera strap free of charge…

*1/16/19 Correction: The strap material, according to Cameracoup, is PU leather and Cotton.

This promotion is being done to celebrate Camercoup’s first ever global launch. This is a limited time offer, and only 100 camera straps (in color choices, tan and cream or black and grey) are available. The company’s only stipulation is that the customer pays for the shipping and handling. I know, shipping and handling is usually the deal breaker, but you know what? I went for it. After seeing the price for shipping and handling and reading the reviews, it felt like the smart decision to jump on this deal. Thank goodness, I am not disappointed.

I went down a checklist necessary for any photographer making a purchase.

  • The reviews of the strap
  • The material/texture of the strap
  • The comfort level of the strap
  • The ease of putting the strap on my equipment
  • The style/look of the strap
  • The price of the strap

I received two tan and cream camera straps, impeccably wrapped I might add, within a reasonable time frame (14 days after ordering them). Both straps are for my Nikon D5600 named Dotty, and my Canon AE-1 named Winston. Of course, I name my cameras, because they are extremely important to me, like children; so, moving on.

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According to Cameracoup, this item is called the ‘Vintage Style Camera Strap’ that works with any fashion style, is compatible with most DSLR’s, and pretty unbeatable when it comes to spoiling your cameras. I will admit, I love to dress up my equipment. Like I said, they are like children to me.

After reading the details behind the strap, I moved on to the reviews left by fellow customers. Out of 49 reviews, from all over the world, 49 reviews gave this item a five out of five stars… that is practically unheard of when it comes to camera equipment.

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I looked at every photo imaginable to gauge the material of this strap, since it isn’t available on the website, because my biggest worry was that this strap may look nice but wouldn’t be so once I received the item. Thank goodness I was wrong. The texture of the strap is so soft and smooth. Let me just say, I already knew from the start that this camera strap is one hell of an accessory.

While I can’t pinpoint the material, it feels like a nice material that is full of lifetime quality.

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Any photographer can tell you, the worst feeling is a camera strap that cuts into the skin like rope and leaves a nice burn mark on back of the neck. I immediately took this strap for a test run the same day I received it. After a nice long day of candid photography in downtown Stamford, I didn’t feel any irritation to the skin. As a matter of fact, I would find myself subconsciously moving the strap around my neck just to feel the smooth material. That’s how comfortable this strap is, and take my word for it, my skin is as sensitive as they come. This strap felt like heaven.

Like most other straps, this one was simple to attach to my cameras. All of five minutes and my camera had a new accessory to sport. A simple pull through the sliplocs that all straps have, and the strap is secure and sturdy.

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What I love about the look of these camera straps are the small details. The little metal pin that is finely stitched into the strap is a discreet touch and it is complimented by the small camera engravings on both sides of the leather cuffs, so it’s not too hard to figure out where this strap came from. Cameracoup does not blatantly put their name all over their equipment, it is subtly stated in the impeccable design and attention to detail; both of which are aspects that photographers greatly appreciate.

Not only does this item accessorize my equipment, it becomes a part of my fashion as well. I match this strap with my outfits as easily as it matches with my cameras. Not only does my camera look fabulous, so do I, and guess what? This strap makes me feel fabulous.

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This product review is brought to you by a wonderful global promotion, so it would be morally incorrect of myself to not bring up the witty marketing skills of Camercoup. A bestselling item that usually retails for $39.99 is free of charge. Shipping and handling only costs $18.95 for two straps, which does not even come up to HALF the amount for ONE strap if I were paying full price.

That is, it folks. We have run down the checklist. Every major point has been covered and I am happy to say this strap has passed every test with flying colors. I would advise every and any photographer to take advantage of this deal. Quick recap,

Pros

  • Comfortable material
  • Highly fashionable style
  • Attention to small details

Cons

  • None!

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Now go forth and spoil your camera children.

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue. 

Chelsea Market Fashion: How sample sales can save a closet

Okayz you guys, so my bowl of graduation ramen turned out to be even better once I turned the corner and found the sample sale going on at the Chelsea Market…

The Chelsea Market, located in the Chelsea district and open since 1997, is a diverse location known for vendors that cater to multiple styles of cuisine, fashion, art and more. This is the type of place that takes a day, or more, to explore. While exploring, please remove the term ‘bored’ and any other word synonymous from your daily vernacular, because it’ll never come to fruition here. Make sure food is a definite stop every time a trip is made. Thanks to Mokbar, a phenomenal ramen bar I will tell you about later, I experienced my first Privé Spring Summer Fashion Sample Sale.

Quick definition! A sample sale is when clothing designers have a surplus of samples and stock, so they get rid of it by selling them at heavily discounted prices. The Privé Sample Sale included stock from brands such as Free People, Eva Franco, Burkman Bros, Bono’s Eco-chic line Edun and more. All of which was sold up to 70% off the original price. In true frugal shopping spirit, I went where the sales were.

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Not only was I fueled from the magnificent Kimchi Ramen, I also had the curious motivation of my Grandmother Anna. Another fabulous woman you will learn about later on. A capitalized, large font sign was taped outside the event and even had security guards posted on both sides of the doors, along with bag security.

 

Who knew that designer clothes warranted so much security detail? I felt like I was shopping in Beyoncé’s closet or something; but I digress.

Racks upon racks of men’s and women’s clothing was put on display for all potential customers.

Soon enough my grandmother and I went from potential customer to certain buyer.

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Let’s enjoy my Grandmother for a second. Such a cute little lady.

While we only left with two items, they are two phenomenal items.

One item is a PepaLoves Lilac Cat T-Shirt. While I’m allergic to cats, I couldn’t help the color or the design. Something about flowers and fur babies just speaks to me.

 

 

 

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The second item is a Derek Lam 10 Crosby Blue and White Striped V-neck, sleeveless shirt. This type of sleeveless shirt is usually difficult for anyone my size and body type (5’3, thick, big-chested woman) to pull off. However, this covered my bra and sat comfortably on my body and chest, so it’s a no brainer that this was coming home with Momma.

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At the end of this unexpected fashion adventure, and the advice of a wisdom filled Grandmother, I’ve come to learn another way to add quality rather than quantity to my wardrobe. Look no further than this link that documents the future 2018 sample sales in New York City— my favorite place to be.

AOO the SimplisticMKJunkie

-Remember, never bite your tongue.