Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016) has been out for nearly a week, and grossed a solid $46 million on its opening weekend.

Long before the film came out, there was a lot of commentary about the reboot, and what an all female cast (besides Kevin) meant. Big fans of the original were worried that it would be a direct copy, and ruin what was created in the 80s.

But Paul Feig was careful with his decisions. And if you’ve seen the film, you know that this isn’t a copy. Its a reboot, with tasteful easter eggs, and homages to the original.

If your wondering why a 20-something is writing about Ghostbusters, when I wasn’t even born when the original released, it’s because this reboot was for me. This reboot was for my generation. Its not because the original was flawed, it’s because Paul Feig wanted to introduce the series to a new generation.

Guys have had plenty of all-male buddy films. Its time the ladies get a hand in the genre.

The whole cast is phenomenal. Each character plays such an important part in providing women young and old a role model to look up to.

Leslie Jones is amazing as Patty. She’s street-smart, and provides all the historical New York knowledge the team needs to save the city.

Kristen Wiig plays astrophysicist Erin Gilbert, who provides some of the science to the existence of ghosts.

Melissa McCarthy plays the other astrophysicist, Abby Yates. She continues the research that she and Erin started after Erin pursues other options.

Kate McKinnon plays electrical engineer, Jillian Holtzmann, who is the genius behind many of the devices used to capture and fight ghosts.

This movie isn’t about boys and love interests. Its about women starting a business, solving a mystery, and saving the city. They become fast friends and members of a team that rely on everyone’s talents.

Jones has said that she was inspired by Whoopie Goldberg to pursue acting. Now Jones gets to be the inspiration for girls to pursue acting, or science, or any career to save the day. She’s a badass in her own right and joins the nerdy misfits after her encounter with a ghost at her Daily-Planet job with the MTA.

And then there’s Jillian Holtzmann. She’s been the clear favorite for fans. Holtzmann is quirky, and so genuinely herself. McKinnon’s character is gay, smart, and felt like the heart of the team. With the representation of a badass character that doesn’t get lumped into the “Bury Your Gays” trope (and hopefully she never will).

Holtzmann is so important because an openly gay character having a badass fight scene is amazing. And because being gay wasn’t her main character trait. Her focus was being the electrical engineer behind all of the weapons. She was nerdy, and passionate about her creations.

Patty and Holtzmann’s friendship throughout the film was one of my favorite parts. Two people of a minority that support and save each other. They provide audiences a foil. And they are able to be the representation that audiences sorely need and have wanted in films.

Ghostbusters (2016) is a refreshing and important summer film that is well worth watching to support the amazing cast. Also, the soundtrack is great.

Choose to be you

Move-in day arrived with much fanfare. The first year students were loaded into their rooms and shuffled off to a variety of activities that included a never ending list of ice breakers, inspirational speakers, and free food.

On the second day of move-in, students could attend the Dear World photoshoot in the Dining Center. I mentioned my requested participation in my earlier post, Stories to tellAnd between directing traffic, I jogged over to have my picture taken.

I explained the story of my chosen words to the photographer.

Throughout high school I let others dictate who I was. I let the words of others push me mentally, emotionally, and physically to make choices – that I didn’t want. I lived passively to appease others.

And it took me until I was 23-years-old to finally accepting who I was.

I had resisted for so long to be the person I was meant to be.

After moving 3,000 miles from home, I made the choices that I wanted.

Maybe I reference my move from Seattle too often. But in the novel of my life, that is the major turning point of my story.

And I’m the prime example of someone that finally chose to be themselves.

The other day I swung through the Student Center to check my mailbox. My best friend Curtis had sent me a text about sending me some post. I was not expecting two letters in my mailbox though.

A surprise letter from my mom.
A surprise letter from my mom.

I skimmed through Curtis’ letter, and made a mental note to respond when I got the chance. The second letter was from my mom. Over the last two years, she’s sent me sporadic letters and cards without any warning. We talk enough over FaceTime that I’ve never seen the reason for her to send them.

But this letter was different. I tore it open in the kitchen of my best friend’s apartment and started to read. And then my eyes welled with tears as I alternated between the conversation with my best friend and her roommates, and reading my mom’s letter.

My mom and I don’t have a rocky relationship. We did for about a year or two when I decided to join the Navy – again another instance where I let people dictate what I should be doing. But we have always been a solid pair akin to Lorelai & Rory Gilmore.

Letters of encouragement always make me cry. The same goes if they’re acknowledging some trait of myself that I don’t. I don’t tend to believe in myself as much as people say I should. People say we are our harshest critic.

My mom poured her heart out. She was proud of how well I was doing at school, and how much I had grown into myself. And she finally understood why I had to move away. That understanding gave her the wisdom to speak to a family friend that would be experiencing exactly what she had two years prior. Both of his daughters are moving away for college. One of them will head to Portland, OR., and the other will head to Spokane, WA.

Be fearless and choose yourself.

It’ll Grow Back

In the summer of 2014, I decided I wanted to dye my hair purple. High school and college is probably the prime time for doing this. At least in the early years. Its a chance for exploration and experimentation in self.

“How do you pick a color for your hair?” M said, and glanced up from his work iPhone. He is the associate dean of my university, and came by the office to have lunch with the director of our department.

I glanced up from the Reddit front page. “Oh. I just decide, I guess. Sometimes it depends on my mood for when I’m dying it.”

“You just seem to change your colors so often, and I’ve always wondered how you made that choice,” he said. “I’ve always seen hair as an important part of presenting yourself. And I’m so fascinated that you and some others on campus change your hair so often.”

“I think of my hair as something I can change at a whim. And its something that if I mess it up, I can cut it off and start over,” I said.

“I keep my  hair trimmed because otherwise I look like a Muppet,” M said.

I nodded. “I experiment. And if its bad, I’m fine with it. It’ll grow back.”

Hair ColorsMy hair color has been a great chance to experiment. I’m lucky that I’m a chameleon, so I haven’t experienced any terrible colors yet.

Hair dye is temporary. Its a cheap way to make a change.

Tonks had the right idea being a Metamorphmagus.

Every Word Matters

I’ve spent a good portion of my life stringing words together.

And while not everyone enjoys that task, I have a deep passion for being a wordsmith.

During a writing course at the community college I previously attended, we read Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Immediately I saw the beauty in making every word count. There’s something pleasant about sparse prose that keeps me reading. I don’t know how to describe it.

After reading a few more Hemingway shorts, I gave myself a challenge. Push my style and my language. Don’t just string words together, but explore storytelling in a minimalist fashion. Make every word and every sentence matter.

And I suppose its worked.

My nonfiction essays have grown shorter, until my last one was barely over a page. Maybe there are details I’m leaving out.

Only way to know if this is working for me is when I start submitting my essays for publication.

Beginning Somewhere

Its taken me an hour to write this post. And probably a solid week or two to decide whether to start this blog in the first place.

I fail at making decisions, and even more so when it comes to my writing.

So this is a blog by a twenty-something writer going into her junior year at a university in New Hampshire. I’m far from the rainy city I call home that includes my mom, and my beagle, Whitaker.

I want to give myself a chance to explore and reflect. Writing has always been therapeutic. I’m not quite sure what stopped me from maintaining some kind of diary over the years. Instead, I used the pages of blank spiral notebooks to interrupt my fictional drabbles with heartbroken words and stream of conscious ramblings.

Maybe this will be a risk I’ll regret, but life is short, and I should stop regretting things I’ve done.

I’ve learned more from doing crazy things.