Guest Blogger: Maddie Carens

The best new movie I’ve seen in a while has to be Craig Brewer’s 2011, Footloose.

I know it’s a remake, and unfortunately I never saw the original, but in any case I think it is a crowd pleaser for people of all ages (13+). It was very well done from beginning to end with actor choice, special effects, music and costume.

To help you get an idea of what you find in Footloose, here’s your quick synopsis. 17 year old, Ren MacCormack moves from Boston to a small southern town in Georgia, where he will now live with his aunt and uncle.

In this town three years earlier there was a tragic accident where five high school seniors on their way back from a dance party were killed. After this incident that affected so many town-wide, there were many laws put into place including “no public dance.” Ren McCormack uses his determination and convincing to try and get this law abolished. Throw in some teenage love, and Dennis Quaid as the local minister, and you have a fabulous combination of action and enjoyment.

Because this movie is based on dance, I think it was really ideal that the director chose characters that actually have solid dance ability and history, making the use of stunt doubles virtually invisible. This is not your next High School Musical, this is a developed, feel good flick, that had me dancing in my seat once it ended.

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FW: Corn Dog Movie

OK, I have done this freewrite several times already but last night I sat through yet another viewing of Stick It. This damn flick!

Those of you that know me already know I am a huge fan of gymnastics. I especially like gymnastics because I pretty much like watching people fall on their asses. And no one falls better than a gymnast. So elegant, so graceful, so splat on their face.

so yeah, I love Stick It simply because it’s all that gymnastics stuff and the movie is basically a big FU to USA Gymnastics. The climatic moment of the film is when one of the girls is up for a vault and she gets points deducted for having her bra strap show. All the gymnasts are pretty pissed at the stupidity and limitations of the judging committee so they end up pretty much blowing the entire meet by doing their own thing.

Best scene: Wei Wei’s beam routine. This chick “rocks it out” (as any Toddler’s and Tiara contestant would say). it kicks some major ass. And it’s fun to watch. Thank GOD for YouTube.

yeah, I can watch this stupid movie a million times and still be pretty content. It was on ABC Family all weekend of fall break. And I watched it all six times. And yeah, I do already own. It is what it is.

Do yourself a favor….

Take nine minutes out of your day and watch this video. Then think about it. And react

Guest Blogger: Maddie Carens

The Freshmen ’15, you hear about it all the time! It’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of someone’s first year in college. Will they gain the weight or will they be able to keep their shape?

I always told myself that I would never have any issues with the Freshmen ‘15. After being a three sport athlete in high school I thought that I would have enough self control to keep my fit body shape all throughout college without any issues. Man was I wrong, it has been a battle everyday to contain myself from all the food options we have here at HWS. There’s the Café, Saga, DeCordova Café, and The Cellar Pub.

Being on the Gold Plan I am allowed unlimited swipes into Saga. That right there is trouble. Unlimited amounts of anything, let alone food is just dangerous. Although I have an assortment of snacks back in my room, I seem to have a mental set every time I am in Saga that I will go hungry in between meals. Therefore I eat as much as I can. I always have to try the different options too making my meal significantly larger then it really should be. I can’t help that they have three different kinds of dessert at lunch and dinner that all look delicious, as well as their constant collection of Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, and Trix available all day.

At the Café they sell cookie dough, M&M Brownies, and Rice Crispy Treats just to name a few. It’s like they want us to gain weight! Then I think about the “healthy” choices that they offer us at Saga. What I consider healthy such as the vegetables in the “Classics” section, or the fruit in the salad bar area, are realistically not. It is either frozen packaged food that is thawed and cooked in oil and butter, or it is from a can and packed with processed sugar.

I have a Mother that has always cooked a fresh healthy meal every night, buys limited junk food, and always made sure I ate my fruits and veggies. When you get to college all of that is gone. You are forced to make your own decisions, and that freedom is what gets me every time. I am not saying that I am or will become obese after my freshmen year of college, but I do think that the whole food situation is a major adjustment that everyone needs to take into consideration, especially the colleges.

They could take some action on what they provide, limiting the amount of junk, to a couple of days a week. For those like me who have a hard time keeping a steady hand when it comes to food, I feel for you! Hopefully it is just a phase that comes with the excitement of being on our own. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll do much better second semester.

in keeping with my theme of “best toy ever”

I present:

like, do I even need to say anything?

FW: Most stupid thing I have ever done

there is so much. so very, very much. Of course, what can I actually write here that will still allow for some sort of respect from my students?

I think I have managed to mention on here that I traveled around Europe about a decade ago. Well, on one of these adventures, I was heading from Munich in Germany to Prague in the Czech Republic. I traveled by train–a pretty straight and normally, a really easy trip. I took traveled at night so I wouldn’t lose any of my days through traveling. thus, I boarded a sleeper car.

so sleeper cars are not an American concept. In fact, traveling by train is hardly an American concept. In Europe, however, pretty common.

I boarded the train at 1a in Munich and headed to my assigned bunk in one of the cars. What I did not know was that there were three bunks in each car. it being 1a, everyone was pretty loaded up and already sleeping by the time I boarded. Getting to my bunk–of course the TOP bunk–entailed me climbing up two bunks. Awkward genius that I am with my too-stuffed backpack climbed on the face of not on but two sleeping Germans. so not happy with me.

Because I caused such chaos in boarding my bunk (I also turned the light on when I walked in, waking up half the passengers, apparently a no,no in a sleeper car) I wanted to slip out of there first thing when the train hit Prague.

So early morning light, I got ready, jumped down and as soon as the train came into a station, I got out, trying to avoid the people I had so rudely stomped on the night before. Leave it to me to get out the station BEFORE Prague.

Here I was, stuck at a train station in the middle of the Czech republic at 6a. Sun breaking through the trees, completely alone and clueless. You know, they do not speak English in Prague. In fact, it isn’t even the same alphabet.

my vanity, pride and embarrassment took a bruise. Especially having to find a way to Prague that day, 200 miles away.

Ahem.

in light of my most recent freewrite and last night’s Emmy awards, I thought I might add these fantastic shots. The Emmy, of course, makes me love him even more. Because yeah, I am shallow like that.

Guest Blogger: Tom Mascia

Save your quarters kids. Stay on your feet. That special time has rolled around here at the colleges. It is time once again to face the washers and dryers at HWS.

Personally, I would much rather save my quarters for those ever enticing bubblegum machines that act as a kind of slide where you get excited watching the blue ball roll down the winding lane and deposit safely into your hand to be devoured. Just to have it taste remotely stale and you begin to wonder how long is has been encased in the machine (probably a good half a year) but I digress, I have laundry to do anyway.

Cutting to the proverbial chase, the laundry here is pretty brutal. I will begin with a description on what are called the washers. The washers here, or at least the ones I have encountered, always seem to sprout a significant leak that eventually finds it’s way to the hallway so it ends up looking like you live next to Alex Mac (90’s Nickelodeon reference YEA!).

Not to mention, I still have no clue what the right combination is for hot and cold or cold and cold or hot and hot, but I guess that is my own fault.

Drying clothes at this school seems to be like attempting to out run the Mangler (really wanted to make a reference to Stephen King’s clothing machine theme horror story and I did, point to Gryffindor!)

it doesn’t work. We all know the dryers work effectively under minimal circumstances and that no matter how many quarters are put in, even increasing the drying time to 70 min will not help, you will be met with damp clothes when you open that door. There is no getting around it. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, think it is a smart idea to press that Perm Press button; your clothes will be as wet as Charizard after Blastoise hits him with hydrobeam (80 percent accuracy!). In the end, I usually let my clothes air and hope my clothes do not end up looking like a prune.

What seems to bother me the most about this situation is that it costs 1.25 per load to have a poor quality machine do something Amish people have been doing significantly better and quicker for ages. To this fact I propose something to the colleges administrations, perhaps find out statistically how much students, on average, pay for laundry and add to tuition or allow students to swipe their ID’s and charge it directly to a student account. These are simply thoughts and I would be very grateful if the colleges looked into this issue.

It does help however if you’re stuck in the laundry room with an unknown acquaintance at which time, it is fair game to say ”Hey man or lady, these things suck, they never dry my shit and the water makes me smell like a dog”. To which they will reply “ Yea I know, there always broken and really expensive. I just had to leap over a puddle to get back to my room safely. I’m glad we bonded over this common misfortune, you’re just like me!” Now HWS I can understand if by allowing the deprecating quality of overpriced clothing appliances to create student friendship I applaud you for such innovative thinking, but if not all were asking is for the shit to work. If anyone wishes to vent their frustration on the laundry situation here at the colleges do not hesitate to seek me out. I will be the kid that looks like he just stepped out of a local water park where the kids all keep their clothes on.

Guest Blogger: Emily Andersen

The social expectancies and contradicting pressures for women in modern society are constantly under scrutiny. Sexually charged advertisements and unobtainable standards set by the fashion industry create a wave of passionate reaction within the feminist community (and usually within any woman who is tired of the burdens the culture places on us every day).

Just looking through this blog, there is a whole section broadly labeled “gender” with commentary on a huge range of issues that people have been influenced by. As I scrolled through all seven pages of blogs written in the “gender” section, I did not come across one article that discussed the effects that cultural influences had on men (don’t worry I scanned the “boys” section as well). I did see the picture about how Disney projects an image of men through their movies, but I’ve never heard a guy claim Prince Eric or Aladdin to be his role model, have you? So what?

Well, the first thing that popped into my head was, I guess guys don’t have a problem with how society portrays them. And honestly I don’t find that hard to believe, considering that society basically tells them that they can do no wrong. Men can be as sexually promiscuous as they want without detrimental effect on their reputations, men are not constantly asked when they are going to get married once they’ve surpassed the age of thirty, and generally even annoying and obnoxious men have friends (see Barney from “How I Met Your Mother”).

Men are expected to be into sports, be into sex, have great self-confidence, and no vulnerability. They are also stereotyped as being very sexually active and sexually driven. How come men in our society don’t feel as provoked to speak out against these cultural pressures as women do? Are they afraid of appearing emotional by creating controversy? Do they actually like being stuck in a social box? Men used to grow up focused on the end goal, having a job and a family of their own. Being respected used to be a priority, but now it’s all about being accepted. Then I got to thinking, was Ward Cleaver the male stereotype? Is this generation just attempting to throw off the shackles of the “Provider, Protector” image?

I don’t think I can really answer that (for one reason because I’m a girl), it seems like a viable answer. But really? Would men rather be perceived as sex-crazed, macho organisms that run off ego and beer or would they rather be respected, admired, and appreciated? Hopefully this post can generate some much needed conversation, because (obviously) I have a lot of questions and not so many answers.

Guest Blogger: Guanqun Li

Just as Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge stated: “Let’s be clear– live means live. If you are spending up to $200 [on concert tickets], I think you deserve better than a film clip.” Lip synchronization is often considered to be dishonest. BUT, let’s see this!!!

I have to commit that I love her at 1:24, but definitely not at 1:35; it just sounds damn horrible. I do not care about the external factors, such as allergies or drug addition, which may lead to this awful and husky voice because I am not a reporter for the tabloid. I just represent a group of people who have to spend quite a lot hoping to enjoy a live concert. Unfortunately, what Whitney Houston did was against their wills and made more than half of them walk out of the concert before it ended. Is Whitney Houston a successful entertainer?

Probably, yes, for her prominence in the past. But, definitely, NOT clever, especially when you compare her to Michael Jackson, who did lip sync when presenting Billie Jean on the television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever in 1983

By doing the lip sync, he could emphasize more on his dance and create a better on-stage performance. Look at 3:37, his first moonwalk would not be that marvelous if he was singing authentically! After that performance, he accumulated more reputation and became more eminent and influential. He became a pop icon! Thinking about his on-stage figure, lip sync is likely to be a little drop of water in the deep ocean. The main part of the ocean consists of “ The King of Pop”, “ the most successful entertainer of all time”, “the best selling album– Thriller”, and etc.

An author from ethicsscoreboard.com argue that lip-syncing in live concerts will “…destroy our ability to enjoy great live performances the way we once could.” WHAT A JOKE! Probably this author is a HUGE fan of Whitney Houston.