The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with rain" - Dolly Parton

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What I’ve Been Watching – Quarantine Edition

WATCH - April 26, 2020

Steaming is up by 34% if not more, and I would like to say I am a part of that statistic, but it doesn’t feel like my consumption of streaming content has gone up by too much.  However, this is the first time I’m finally coming out with a “What I’ve Been Watching” post — so, I’ve obviously been watching enough content to be inspired to share what I’ve discovered.

The Relationtrip

A super weird little indie film that involves an abusive toxic puppet named Chippy that sounds exactly like my internal dialogue sometimes. Yeah, that is how I want to describe this movie, because if you can’t sign off on a toxic puppet – then you will have a real hard time signing off on the rest of this indie picture. We basically follow two young people over the course of a weekend in Joshua Tree, and while watching the movie you’re not exactly sure if you’re in on a joke or just watching two people in a Southern California terrarium. It’s no longer available on Hulu, but you can rent it on Google Play and Amazon Prime for $3.99. If you’re down for weird, have an edible, and bored of everything else; then definitely watch The Relationtrip

Teen Spirit

I was surprised by how much I loved this movie. The soundtrack is fantastic and the acting impeccable. When I saw the trailer I was intrigued because of the music, but then was afraid it would be another dull indie movie similar to Neon Demon. A movie that is all aesthetic.

A common flaw of the indie or alt-film genre is that storylines can veer into the lane of either too complicated or too subtle to be enjoyable. A waste of my time. But Teen Spirit wasn’t! The singing competition is merely a vehicle to tell a more meaningful story about relationship dynamics.

I love ripping on bad trailers. Trailers that don’t make sense for movies at all and get the heart of the movie all wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t fault the trailer of Teen Spirit, because a trailer about the heart of the film – wouldn’t have motivated anyone to actually watch it. It’s like a hidden treasure for those who take the time to enjoy this film. It’s still available on Hulu, and you don’t need cannabis to enjoy it.

Under The Silver Lake

This movie is one of those indie movies that is too damn complicated for its own good and the fact it’s filmed in my backyard* can’t even save it. I wanted to like it, and I just couldn’t. It’s a 2 hour and 20 minute self-indulgent mess. It’s a bad date with a really cute guy. It’s available on Amazon Prime and I had to watch it over the course of two days because I gave up on Friday night, and am in quarantine and had nothing better to do with my Saturday morning – so I finished it. The ending wasn’t satisfying. The whole experience was mildly frustrating. So if you want an exercise in patience and enjoy self-torture, again – it’s available on Amazon Prime

*I live about 20 miles away from Silver Lake (silver lake area) but still consider it my backyard because I grew up in a suburb of LA and as soon as I could drive I went to Sunset Junction and fell in love. It’s no longer the city of my youth, but it still has a special place in my heart.

The Platform

If you enjoyed Cube, I think you will like The Platform, but you’ll need to read subtitles unless you’re fluent in Spanish. An incredibly unique film that puts a microscope on human nature. Can’t lie, it can be a little triggering especially given the current state of our world amidst a pandemic. An analysis on selfishness, indulgence, desperation, and privilege – oh it’s a think piece that might leave you a bit more unsettled than you were expecting. Violence, gore, and jumpsuits are involved; but if you get past the grim you get to enjoy a really great story. I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with the story. The movie is available on Netflix.

Marriage Story

I don’t like Scarlett Johansson. I love Adam Driver. Movie was mediocre. A basic latte. A beige sweater. It probably did so well with the Hollywood crowd because it’s a highly accurate picture of divorce …. fun ? ? ? I only watched it because I was already in a bad mood and kept me in the same place.

Tiger King

Need I say more…

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Cool Stuff Friday | Wk. 3 – 2018

HOME + LIFESTYLE - January 20, 2018

It’s Friday the coolest day of the week, so it’s time for some cool stuff. Here is a collection of items from the internet that peaked my interest, tickeled my fancy, or made me smile – I hope it does the same for you too.

I want to explore Katharina Grosse’s blanket fort installation. If only I could zip down to Sydney on my imaginary private jet. Also, the artist wouldn’t call “The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped” (the name of the piece) a blanket fort, but we all clearly know what this magical, colorful, art installation really is….

View a a full write up on the pieces & images on Juxtapoz

My friend Darcy O’Day made the cutest animations using the very candy-colored installation by Pip & Pop as the land where adorable monsters cannibalize each other. The install is showing at Corey Helford Gallery, and I must see it before it goes away February 17th.

A post shared by Darcy Yates (@darcyoday) on

A post shared by Darcy Yates (@darcyoday) on


So, Into the Gloss is one of my favorite beauty websites and I thought this article, Your Next Candle Purchase, Based On Your Personality Quirks, was funny and quite accurate. I can’t sing and I know I’d love the candle they suggested.

I constantly see trailers for movies that I want to see, that I end up never seeing because I forget what the movie was.  So maybe documenting them on Cool Stuff Friday will remind me to watch them later.

Lastly, how amazing is this friendship. I would say friendship goals, but I already have friends like this – we’re just all a little less famous.

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WTF ALOHA!? My 5 Better Casting Choices

SNAIL MAIL, WATCH - May 29, 2015

*UPDATE* Cameron Crowe has written a blog post regarding the character of Alisson Ng. He apologizes for having offended people and explains how the character is proud of her heritage although she doesn’t look mixed. I understand how the casting of Emma Stone fits the characters appearance and after talking with my sister who has a blond hair, blue eyed, 1/4 Japanese baby girl – I understand her frustration of people calling out Emma Stone for ‘not looking Asian’. But in the end I stand by my desire that the role have been cast accordingly and that they have gone with an unknown who is a quarter Asian to play the role. I also stand by my desire that pet unicorns become legal.

I’m having major issues with Emma Stone being cast as a half Asian Pacific Islander in the new Cameron Crowe film Aloha and here are my reasons why. Back in the day I wanted to be an actress. I went to professional acting classes for 5 years and even graduated High School early to pursue my career. I did eventually decided the industry wasn’t for me, not because it’s hard or there is rejection that is in every career field. Just being 18 and seeing struggling actors at 28, I didn’t want that to be me in 10 years and knew I didn’t love the craft enough to be that person. So I jumped shipped and went into art. Anyways, when I was in acting classes and going on auditions, being half Asian and half white I was told my roles would be limited. I was also told I’d never be a leading lady. There are other talented mixed actresses out there that probably hear the same thing, and so when a role that is written to be someone of mixed Asian decent is given to someone who isn’t of mixed Asian descent, it’s pretty damn infuriating.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Emma Stone didn’t even have to audition for this film, and instead the studio had three white female actresses in mind. The two other actresses as back up if Ms. Stone didn’t want the part. Also I’d like to remind readers that Hawaiian is an actual ethnic background rooted in ancient Polynesian migration to Hawaii – so this character really should look a quarter Asian and a quarter Pacific Islander. As a mixed Asian woman, I’m not even asking the studio to hire an actress of that exact background, but maybe someone who actually has some Asian/Islander DNA. If a character was written to be half white and half African-American, I really doubt the studio would have hired an all white actress then – think about it.

I compiled a list of actresses that should have possibly been considered before our beloved Emma Stone, but probably weren’t. They are all around her age (Emma Stone was born in 1988) and have a decent amount of Asian in them – some might surprise you.  And I understand Emma Stone is great for the box office, but even if the following actresses acting chops aren’t up to that of Emma Stone, I’m sure they could have found a charming unknown that could deliver an great performance. Emma Stone is insult to injury in an already under represented demographic in entertainment.

My Casting Couch: 

Vanessa Hudgens


Vanessa Hudgens | DOB : 1988

What? Our High School Musical songstress is half -Asian? Yes, friends she is! Vanessa is half- Filipino which is considered Asian but has been debated to be more Pacific-Islander. It’s like Vanessa’s mixed background was made for the quarter this and quarter that character. I mean all Asian people look the same, right? Also Vanessa has gone one to perform in a few indie flicks and has worked to break her Disney image. I’d like to see a screen test!

Shay Mitchell

Shay Mitchell | DOB : 1987

Pretty Little Liar actress, Shay Mitchell, has yet to make her big screen film debut, but this could have been her chance. Her moment! She’s been kicking around on the tv circuit since 2009, but this also half Filipino actress could play Aloha’s Allison Ng. I don’t think Shay is a bad actress, but as rumor had it the studio didn’t have much faith in the film anyways, so why not let her have a screen test.


Nicole Gale Anderson | DOB 1990

Nicole is also an ABC Family darling. Playing Kelly Parker on one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Make it or Break it.  Two years younger than Emma Stone, with 10 years of television experience on her resume, maybe she wasn’t right for the part. But her Filipino heritage makes her closer to the character of Alison Ng, than Emma’s Swedish, German, Scottish and Irish roots.  

Katie Findlay

Katie Findlay |DOB 1990

Katie is one of the less Asian actresses on this list and yet my favorite for Aloha. Ms. Findlay is part Chinese mixed with Portuguese, English and Scottish. Unlike Shay and Vanessa who are half Filipino, I think Katie could have acted just as well as Emma Stone in this part. Allison Ng is a fighter pilot with the manic pixie dream girl charm. After seeing Katie in How To Get Away With Murder, take away the goth wardrobe and she could have played this twenty-something dream girl just trying to do her job, find her roots, and maybe fall in love. (I havn’t seen the movie, I’m basing this off of other reviews of Aloha)

Kelsey Chow

Kelsey Chow | DOB 1991

Kelsey Chow,  a total unknown still hustling to build up her IMDB credits, but played the ‘Hot Girl’ in the Amazing Spider Man staring Emma Stone. It’s like a sad six degrees of Kevin Bacon, Kelsey is Chinese but probably wasn’t even on the casting list for this mixed Allison Ng part.

I’m getting off my soapbox now, but really there is no reason the studio couldn’t have cast an adorable mixed Asian girl to play the part of Allison Ng. Critics are calling out the absurdity in the casting choice, but the damage is already done – the check has already been cashed by Emma Stone and not a mixed Asian actress. Once again I do want to say I love Emma Stone and she is probably great in this movie. I’d probably really like this movie because all the critics bashing this movie are saying the movie is on par with Elizabethtown, and well Elizabethtown is one of my favorite films. But really, when will studios stop thinking like its 1962 and get with the times!

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