Things I Do While Waiting On My Seamless Delivery to Arrive

  • Practice pirouettes in the living room in my socks, especially on the left, because my left pirouettes are atrocious.
  • Pour myself a glass of wine, which I drink in between pirouettes.
  •  Take a shower, frantically sticking my head out from behind the curtain every two minutes to listen for the buzzer.
  • Eat a handful of Reese’s Pieces.
  • Become wayyyyyy too involved in 5-10 minutes of a Say Yes to the Dress marathon.
  •  Immediately pin 5 different wedding dresses to my secret wedding board on Pinterest (which I will forever deny having if you ever ask me because how dare you suggest I am THAT Girl™).
  • Obsessively look out the window for the delivery man during a commercial break.
  • Swiffer living room and kitchen floors.
  • Track my order on Seamless. – “Still cooking.” Damn.
  • Pour another glass of wine.
  • Eat a handful of kettle cooked potato chips.
  • Flip to one of the fifty bajillion showings of Shawshank Redemption and ask why Morgan Freeman doesn’t also have fifty bajillion Oscars instead of just one.
  • Obsessively look out the window again like a nervous heroine in a late 70s/early 80s horror movie.

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    Looking out windows for Seamless and Michael Myers since 1978

  • Attempt another left en dehor pirouette.  Not on fleek.
  • Hate myself for five seconds for using the term “on fleek.”
  •  Eat a spoonful of 1% cottage cheese.
  • Switch over to Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire just as Movie Dumbledore slams Harry against a wall like a WWE wrestler and yells in his face, “HARRYDIDYAPUTYOURNAMEINTOTHEGOBLETOFFIRRRRE?!?!?!”
  • “He asked CALMLY,” I say pointedly to the TV, rolling my eyes.

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    Did no one read the book before shooting that scene?  Accio done with your nonsense, Steve Kloves.

  • Track my order on Seamless. – “Out for delivery.” YAAAAS QUEEN!
  • Favorite and retweet @lin_manuel about 6 times
  • Donate $16 to Hillary’s campaign
  • Obsessively look out the window again.  Is that a clown?
  • Do a Duolingo French lesson on food.  J’ai faim.  Je voudrais un sandwich.
  • “Like” two different girlfriends’ engagement announcements on Facebook. Ugh. Je voudrais un boyfriend.

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    Literally the only French you need. Stop being greedy, Francois! Crossing YOU off le boyfriend list, merci beaucoup.

  • Laugh at Snapchat video sent by my friend Kevin
  • Attempt a Snapchat recorded pirouette video to send back to Kevin.  #fail
  • Eat another handful of Reese’s Pieces.
  • Make mental note to rewatch E.T. the Extraterrestrial soon.
  • Make another mental note to phone home.
  • Instagram my third glass of wine with the Valencia filter and a caption pretentiously quoting a Transcendentalist author. #basic
  • Get nervous/excited when the buzzer rings like I’m going on a first date…except if I were, I wouldn’t have ordered Seamless
  • Mentally play the Super Mario End of Level Theme Music in my head as I receive my bag of food from the delivery guy.
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Naughty AND Nice

We’ve reached that time of year when everyone starts doing their “year in review,” and I know that because Facebook is pushing it hard every time I log into my profile.  And magazines are all doing End-of-Year editions, wrapping things up, making lists, and, you know, checking them twice.  Everyone gets very reflective during the last few weeks of the year as though they’re debating what to write in the yearbook of their high school classmate they didn’t really know all THAT well but want to pretend like they did for the sake of future nostalgia.  There will be extra-long Facebook statuses (and not just from your really crazy conservative uncles) talking about how #blessed people were in 2015 or how shitty the year was but how much better 2016 is going to be because this is FINALLY the year they get their lives together.  We’ve heard it all before…just like Leo hearing he’s the front-runner for the Oscar only to have it snatched away come February.

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Will 2016 finally be Leo’s year?

But I’m going to tell you something no one else will around this time of year and certainly not Santa: it’s okay to be naughty, you guys.  Seriously.  Sometimes, it’s better to be naughty than nice.  Naughty people get shit done.

I should probably clarify.  When I say “naughty,” I don’t mean murder or adultery or not tipping your waiters (IF YOU DON’T TIP, YOU’RE THE WORST…or possibly European?  In which case, if you’re European, don’t worry, because your waiters are fortunate enough to get salary, so good job Europe).  I don’t mean voting for Donald Trump or being racist or misogynistic or destroying the planet with pollution.  I don’t mean charging a gazillion dollars for an HIV/AIDS medication like Martin Shkreli. 

When I say it’s okay to be a little “naughty” I mean:

It’s okay to be a little selfish

I know, right?  In the season of “sharing and caring,” I’m telling you it’s okay to to do neither of those things on occasion.  And it is.  I happen to be one of those people who has often been far too accommodating of other people’s feelings and needs to the detriment of my own.  We all have that one friend or family member who just sucks us dry but never replenishes the well, and frankly, it’s not fair or okay.  Sometimes, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, and that is a lesson I have learned the hard way.  It’s not selfish to focus on how YOU feel or to spend time on projects that are important to YOU.  It is perfectly okay to put yourself first sometimes, to say no to things and people, and to focus on what is best for you.  I wish I could tell you that everyone has YOUR best interests at heart, but the truth is there are a lot of assholes out there who don’t and will do anything to get ahead of you in life.  Be kind to others and to those people especially (because they probably need it to make their Grinch hearts grow three sizes).  Always be kind.  But don’t be afraid to do things for yourself. 

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Wonder Woman doesn’t put up with your crap, and neither do I.

It’s hard to say no to people who always expect you to say yes, but a well-chosen “no” can change your life just as much as a “yes.”  I started saying “no” a lot more this year, and so now when I say “yes,” it’s to things I really want to do and to people I really want to help or collaborate with.  I’m a lot happier because I know what makes me happy, and now I have the emotional space to actually help others without feeling guilty about how I feel or what I’m not doing to take care of myself.

Embrace your inner-Slytherin aka be ambitious

Slytherins get a bad rap.  Yes, they were the house of Voldemort and a bunch of terrible Death Eaters, but they weren’t all bad.  I say this as a Gryffindor who should be predisposed to disliking them, but I also know that if I’m being honest, I embody some of the qualities of the House that Salazar Slytherin built: cunning and ambition.  It’s the latter that I want to talk about, and especially as a woman.  Men are allowed to be openly ambitious and no one thinks anything of it, but if a woman is openly ambitious, she is often viewed as selfish or aggressive. 

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Go for what you most desire…even if it’s just a bottle of peroxide to touch up your roots.

It’s not a bad thing to know what you want and to go after it wholeheartedly.  Ambition, for whatever reason, is viewed with negative connotations, and I honestly think it’s because people are afraid to see others working hard to achieve their goals when maybe they aren’t doing the same.  Where many Slytherins went wrong is in the methods they used to achieve those lofty goals (i.e. like making Horcruxes), but they never apologized for being ambitious, and neither should you.  I am not shy about what my goals are, and I’ve come to realize that I don’t care if people don’t like that I’m ambitious…because it’s my life and goals and not theirs.  Which leads me to my next point…

Don’t try to make everyone like you

This is a battle you will never win…unless you are Paul Rudd, because, to my knowledge, everyone loves Paul Rudd.  ANYWAY, it’s pretty much impossible to get everyone to like you.  It’s stressful and takes up a lot of time you could be spending on achieving your ambitious goals instead.  And definitely don’t TRY to make people like you by attempting to ingratiate yourself on others.  Do or do not; there is no try. 

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Yes, Paul Rudd. I care about you deeply. Like, I maybe care too much. Marry me?

People either will like you or they won’t, and there is nothing you can do to change that (other than not be a total asshat).  I have spent way too much time trying to appease other people, which has led to me being walked over once or twice or even thrice (okay, I really just wanted to use the word “thrice”).  In the end, I wound up being really hurt by those people when it was obvious to everyone else BUT me that no matter what I did, they were never going to really like me anyway.  Some people just won’t like you, even if you’re awesome and nice and work hard and make people laugh.  We can’t all be Paul Rudd.  So just do your own thing, feel good about it, and stop worrying so much about what other people think of you.  The right people will think you’re a Paul Rudd.  The rest probably prefer Pauly Shore, and who wants to prefer someone whose career peaked in 1995?  (Paul Rudd’s essentially STARTED in Clueless in ’95, so…)

Work hard, but let yourself live a little

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So sayeth the Lord(s)…

Know when to quit.  I fully admit to being a bit of a workaholic, but sometimes I forget to enjoy myself and the fruits of my labor.  It’s okay to have a lazy day once in awhile where you watch Netflix in your pajamas all day.  It’s okay to meet up with a friend for a drink after a stressful day at work.  It’s fine if you want to take a day-trip away from where you live to recharge and explore.  And it’s also fine to do this if you’re poor (you know, within reason).  It can be really easy to let yourself fall victim to the grind of work-sleep-repeat especially when you’re poor and stressed about money (which doesn’t always end when you’re not-so-poor), but you’re entitled to give yourself a break without feeling guilty about it.  I used to feel guilty about going to the movies when I was poorer, but it was the one place that consistently brought me a sliver of joy, so I treated myself; usually, I went to a morning movie where it cost me a lot less, but I still treated myself.  It all goes back to taking care of yourself.  You need balance, which means that as great as it is to work hard and make money, you gotta know when to play a bit and spend even a teensy bit of what you’ve earned on yourself.  So if you need a day to marathon Doctor Who and eat Haagen-Dazs*, go for it.  You’ve earned it.

*I’m definitely NOT** speaking from experience.

**I’m TOTALLY speaking from experience.

Stop apologizing for being happy around others who aren’t, for your opinions if someone disagrees with them, for your successes, for liking things that other people don’t, for not doing things the same way everyone else does

Women especially have a really bad habit of apologizing all the time for everything; almost to the point of apologizing for just existing.  But all of us could use a reminder to stop apologizing for ourselves except in situations that actually warrant a legitimate apology.  First, it is not your job to make sure everyone else is happy 100% of the time, and you do not need to feel guilty if you are happy when someone else around you isn’t.  You can try to cheer them up, but never apologize if you’re a ray of sunshine, and they’d rather be a cloud.  Be happy if you feel happy.

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She probably learned this nugget of advice from a made-for-TV movie. #marykatherinegallagher

Second, you are entitled to your own opinion.  Someone may challenge you on it, but you are entitled to having your own, differing opinion.  We live in an age where it is easier than ever to have and share opinions, but most people do not understand that it is in disagreement where solutions often arise, because constructive conflict usually breeds new ideas and compromise.  Life is about balance, and it is good for us to hear different opinions from our own, so that we can be exposed to lots of ideas and learn new things.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt more confident in standing my ground on things where other people disagree, and while I don’t always change other people’s minds, I have stopped feeling guilty about my opinions.

Third, it’s okay to be successful and happy about it; just be careful that you are grateful as opposed to grandiose in your celebrating.  No matter what you do, some people will always look at your successes as their failures, but that is a problem with THEIR perspective not YOUR hard work.  You don’t have to apologize for the things you have achieved on your journey through life just because someone else is a little jealous.  Now, don’t be THAT person who is always #blessed, but it’s fine to give yourself a little pat on the back every now and then when you are crushing it at being an adult.

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Be as happy as Lucille Bluth when she’s surprised as Gene Parmesan if you want to

Last, you really don’t have to apologize for liking what you like or doing something different from the way everyone else does.  So you like pumpkin spice lattes and Beyonce?  Great!  You believe in conspiracy theories and watch Long Island Medium?  Cool.  Maybe you tie your shoelaces with one hand or cook breakfast food only at night.  Whatever you like, don’t let other people make you feel bad because you occasionally go against the grain.  Embrace the bizarre parts of you, because that’s what makes you interesting.  Stop apologizing for the things that make you YOU.

But be nice.

It IS important to be empathetic, compassionate, and kind to others.  There is a lot of hatred in our world right now, and we all need to pull together to be a light in the darkness.  Do things for others.  Care about the environment.  Throw someone a smile on the subway.  These little acts of kindness are just as important as the big things you’re doing or hope to do for yourself and the world.  But don’t be afraid of letting that “naughty” side out when you need to.  We all need a little kick in the tush sometimes even if it comes from ourself.

I just realized that I’ve been singing the lyrics to “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” wrong for years.  The lyric is supposed to go:

He’s makin’ a list

Checkin’ it twice

Gonna find out who’s naughty OR nice

I’ve always assumed it was “naughty AND nice.”  But maybe that’s because I’ve always been a little bit of both.  We’re all a little bit of both.  So tonight when you put out your cookies and milk for Old Saint Nick, don’t worry too much about naughty OR nice.  Just embrace it all.

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Merry Christmas you filthy animals,

Emmy

Tempus fugit

I saw Richard Linklater’s extraordinary new film Boyhood opening weekend (at the always cool IFC Center here in Manhattan) and was treated to a Q&A with the man himself and his star, the miraculous Ellar Coltrane, following the film.  Chances are, you’ve probably been reading and hearing a lot about this film the last two weeks or so, and not without reason does it have a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  It is quietly moving, honest, and completely lovely; full of the real stuff of life that seems insignificant, but upon rumination, it is actually the important stuff.  It’s the stuff that shapes who you are.

Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane: changing the face of cinema, quite literally

Richard Linklater and Ellar Coltrane: changing the face of cinema, quite literally

And it got me thinking (and continuing to think as it is over a week ago I saw the film) about life.

But it also got me thinking about magic: both fictional and real.

Whether it’s coincidental or not, magic seems to be a recurring theme in the film.  In one scene, Mason’s mother (a sublime Patricia Arquette) reads from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before bedtime.  In another scene, Mason and his sister, Samantha (played with feistiness by Lorelai Linklater), dress up and attend a midnight book party for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  They’re wide-eyed and excited, clutching their newly purchased books to their chests like precious treasure.  A third scene has Mason asking his father (the always reliably affable Ethan Hawke) about magic and elves.  “Right this second, there’s like, no elves in the world, right?” he asks tentatively.  And this propels his father into a wonderful moment of vocal philosophizing about the definition of magic itself.  He explains that magic could very well be the fact we have whales so huge you can swim through their arteries, but is that magic?  He doesn’t know.  When Mason asks again, this time a little more pointedly, his father answers, “Technically, no elves.”

Mason Jr. and his female friend = the new Jesse and Celine?

Mason Jr. and his female friend = the new Jesse and Celine?

The last scene of Boyhood features a now nineteen year-old Mason sitting on a rock in the wilderness of Texas with a girl he’s just met that day, his first of college.  They’re talking about life.  “You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment?” she asks. “I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”  He replies, “Yeah, I know, it’s constant, the moments, it’s just — it’s like it’s always right now, you know?”  And just as he’s saying that, the sun is setting, and you know you’re glimpsing another fleeting, magical moment, but like Mason, you’re hopeful, because you know another one will come along if you ground yourself in the present.  And THAT right there got me thinking about another of my favorite Linklater films, Before Sunrise (really just that whole trilogy, but the first especially).  In a scene in that particular film which is all about seizing those fleeting moments, Celine says to Jesse, “If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something.”

"If there's any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt." - Celine

“If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.” – Celine

So is that magic?  Connecting with someone else on an almost spiritual level?  The kind of magic we’re accustomed to is often the kind associated with witches and wizards like Harry Potter where there are spells and people are transformed.  If you really think about it, all magic is about doing something to another person: cursing them, making them fall in love with you, changing them or yourself in some way.  The Oxford Dictionary defines magic in four ways:

  1. The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
  2. Mysterious tricks, such as making things disappear and appear again, performed as entertainment.
  3. A quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight.
  4. Something that has a delightfully unusual quality.

So if we look at it this way, as magic being something that seems delightfully removed from everyday life that influences the course of the events in a life, then we really DO experience magic in the real world.  Mason’s father wasn’t wrong and neither was Celine: magic is very real and present.  I don’t think Richard Linklater featured Harry Potter in two scenes of Boyhood without reason; not only have the books changed the lives of millions of readers around the world in profound ways, but so too do Harry, Ron, and Hermione experience the magic of growing up, forging friendships, and discovering love (among other things like battling dark wizards and basically saving humanity).  Magic is ever present in all those milestones of life, big and small.

"We are the three best friends that anyone could have..."

“We are the three best friends that anyone could have…”

Celine and Jesse experience that magic as they wander the streets of Vienna, talking for hours and essentially falling in love.  I’ve written about it before, but we’ve all had those moments of connection with someone else.  It’s usually those moments we actually FEEL life happening to us and around us; we become acutely aware of our own mortality and the preciousness of it all.  It’s the thing where you feel infinite and finite at the same time.  Mason Jr. becomes aware of it at the end of BoyhoodCeline and Jesse know it too.  And so too do we when we allow ourselves to be swept up in those moments, to be seized by them the way Mason’s female companion posits during their conversation.  And those moments are also usually the ones that transform us with their magic, because our lives are never quite the same afterwards.  I just felt it late last Wednesday night as a guy and I recklessly climbed ladders to the roof of his office building just to look at the Empire State Building and essentially, each other.  To hold hands and talk about life, both of us sensing it was the start of something new and treating that beautiful fragility with reverence and wonder, because we know it will never be like that ever again; we will never have these moments again.

A now iconic movie poster for a now iconic film

A now iconic movie poster for a now iconic film

Boyhood often is about the mundane of life, but further examination reveals the mundane is the magical.  So often we remember these small things more so than the milestones.  The little setbacks and victories.  The way your mom would make breakfast.  Summer days spent riding bikes and drawing with sidewalk chalk.  Long conversations to your best friend on the phone.  Or maybe harboring a crush on a college professor.  Or climbing on a roof to look at the city lights with someone just because you’re young and feel invincible.  Things DO change, people DO change, and that’s the magic of it all.  Time is magic, because as it passes, it transforms you and the world around you.  You’re always under its spell.

Just as he’s leaving for college in Boyhood, Mason’s mother is crying and poignantly admits, “I thought there’d be more.”  So do we.  All the more reason to appreciate whatever time and magic we’ve got.

*Run to see Boyhood whenever it hits your local multiplex.  Heck, even drive to a showing nearby if it’s not.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of movie.  Truly something special.

16 & 17: My Summer MUST List

It’s Memorial Weekend here in the states, which for many people (and especially Hollywood), signals the beginning of summer.  Despite the cooler, somewhat dreary weather here in my part of Missouri today, I can’t help thinking about the things that excite me most about summertime.

My Personal Must-List for the Summer

1. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part II  (out July 15) This is my biggest MUST.  Sadly, this summer brings the official end to all things Harry Potter with the last film of the series.  It’s highly emotional for me because I’ve spent more than half my life with Harry.  I graduated from high school the same year the last book came out, and now the last film comes out the summer after I graduate from college.  I’m not sure how it worked out that way, but it’s really beautiful.

2. Super 8 (out June 10) This film, directed by J.J. Abrams and exec-produced by Steven Spielberg, is going to be the film people talk about all summer long.  The plot has been kept extremely secret by everyone involved, but from the trailers, it looks like the Goonies meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The film has an old-school Spielbergian feel.  I’m digging the trailers and the use of mostly no-name actors (save for Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights fame).  This is a must-see for me.

3. So You Think You Can Dance (Wed & Thurs 8/7c on FOX) I don’t watch a lot of TV in the summer, preferring to hit the movie theatre instead, but my can’t-miss-it-TV-show is So You Think You Can Dance.  I haven’t missed a season since this show started.  As a dancer, I love the way it celebrates all styles of dance, introduces America to some of the world’s best choreographers, and showcases some of the best, hardest working dancers I’ve ever seen.  Not to mention I love host Cat Deeley and judge Mary Murphy.  All aboard the Hot Tamale Train!!!

4. Mad Men season 4 (on DVD) I usually don’t have time to watch this when it actually airs on AMC, and because of lengthy contract negotiations, season 5 is on hold until 2012.  That being said, I’m using this summer to catch up on the fourth season of my favorite TV drama.  Why Jon Hamm hasn’t won an Emmy yet for Best Actor baffles me, and in this season of change both personally and professionally for Don Draper (and his Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ad firm), Hamm is at his most superb.  There isn’t a better-written, better-acted, more stylish show on television.  Period.

5. Born This Way by Lady Gaga (available now) I fully admit to being a “Little Monster,” and I am always intrigued and excited to hear and see what Gaga has come up with.  I admire her not only for her musical abilities but also her dedication to her craft.  No other musical artist out there pushes more boundaries.  She is a true performance artist.  Love her or hate her, you can’t deny she has a complete vision for her art.  The track I’m most digging?  The 1980s saxophone-tastic “Edge of Glory” featuring Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band.

6. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares (in stores June 14) At age 22, I am not even remotely embarrassed to want to read this fifth entry in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book series.  This book checks in on the fabulous Tibby, Bridget, Carmen, and Lena ten years after the fourth Sisterhood novel.  The Traveling Pants series has always been one of my favorite summer reads over the years, and though this new novel may not exactly be marketed to my age group, I’m still planning on catching up with my girls this summer!

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (available now) It’s the book series (and future movie series) everyone is talking about.  I figured this summer is the perfect time to investigate this dystopian novel trilogy about a girl forced to fight for her survival.

8. JAWS (available on DVD) Summertime always makes me think of Spielberg movies, and this is one of my all-time favorites.  Everyone knows it’s all about a shark that terrorizes a resort-town, but it still never ceases to thrill and engage me.  And who doesn’t love Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw chasing down the giant killer shark while drunkenly singing not to mention John Williams’ epic score?

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark (available on DVD) My all-time favorite summer movie.  It has everything: action, adventure, romance, mystery, John Williams music, shirtless Harrison Ford, and Steven Spielberg’s masterful eye behind the camera.  The opening sequence with the idol and the rolling stone ball is absolute perfection and STILL one of the best action sequences ever filmed.  Indiana Jones never disappoints.

10. Now & Then (available on DVD) One of my favorite movies growing up in the 1990s.  I still get nostalgic watching this movie about four friends coming of age in the early 70s one summer.  From Roberta’s first kiss with Scott Wormer and Chrissy getting bird poop in her hair to Sam and Teeny’s treehouse confessions, I think anyone will find it hard not to think back on their own adolescence without laughing and maybe a few tears.

Obsession of the Day: Movie Trailer Edition

I’m back, kids.  Did you miss me?  I took a little time off to enjoy some R & R.

However, I’m back with a vengeance.  Recently, I have been ridiculously obsessed with two movie trailers.  Both feature mind-blowing effects, awesome acting, and dark, twisted plotlines.

First up is Christopher Nolan’s Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, and (Nolan fave) Sir Michael Caine.  I’m a HUGE fan of Nolan’s films, and this one looks terrific.  See trailer below.

The second one is for a film about a certain, dashing, young wizard named (yep) Harry Potter.  The new trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts I & II) is thrilling, chilling, and gorgeous (just like its young stars).  Upon watching the most recent trailer, I actually screamed aloud at how fabulous it looks.  Of course, I AM a big fan.  I’m so pleased to see that David Yates and his cast and crew appear to have really captured the look and feel of the final book and made such a wise decision to split the two.  See trailer below.

Are you as excited about Inception and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as I am?

Daniel Radcliffe Films PSA for “Trevor”

When I get annoyed by the silly, shenanigans of rather vapid, young stars (like those that try to act “older” by pole dancing on an ice cream cart during an awards show watched by mostly thirteen year olds…uh, great role model, parents), I am always delighted to find out that sensible, intelligent, artistic young people do, in fact, exist in this tabloid-obsessed world.  Among these enlightened few, I must give special attention to Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.

Beyond my intense crushing on this good-looking, talented actor, I admire his eloquence and charitable demeanor.  Daniel has been involved with numerous charities in the U.K. (such as the Demelza House Children’s Hospice Center) and the United States, using his fame (and size-able paycheck) to bring attention to issues sometimes overlooked by the rest of the world.  Unlike many other celebrities, Daniel takes a personal interest in his charities, donating frequently and (in the case of the Demelza House) visiting with the people he’s helping.

Just recently, Daniel filmed a Public Service Announcement for the Trevor Project, a 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth (to learn more about it, visit their website here).  After his stint starring in Equus on Broadway back in 2008, Daniel took an interest in the Trevor Project.  He says:

“I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about — that some men were gay and some weren’t…And then I went to school and (for) the first time … I came across homophobia. … I had never encountered it before. It shocked me.  Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it.  I think it’s important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like ‘Harry Potter’ and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. … The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well.”

As an ardent, straight supporter of the LGBTQ community and their desire for civil/marital equality, I applaud Dan’s efforts to bring light to the struggles of these youths.  Having dealt with many of my friends coming out to their parents, I know how hard it can be for young people to make these sometimes brutal declarations to their families and peers.  One of my very best friends became the subject of a near witch-hunt at my high school because he was open about his sexuality (and was one of the few who was at the time).  Luckily, he came from a very supportive family and had the love and support of a tight-knit group of friends (including myself), so he never felt too ruffled by the comments of the outspoken few.  Now in college, he’s flourishing in a more accepting, open-minded environment where he’s able to live his life without fear of retribution or persecution.  Isn’t that how everyone in this country should be treated: with love and respect?

After hearing about Dan’s support of the Trevor Project back in 2008, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.  It’s a great charity, and I think a vitally important, much needed source of support for these youths.  I think if they knew that someone out there loved and supported them for who they are without question or judgement, these kids wouldn’t feel so helpless and hopeless. The Trevor Project provides these kids a place where they can talk and receive that kind of support.  If you’re interested in helping out this great cause, please check out my SocialVibe sidebar.  By just answering a few questions, you can provide 8 seconds of crisis and suicide prevention for these teens.

Thanks to Daniel Radcliffe and the Trevor Project, we may be able to keep a whole generation of youths alive and loved.