Everyday Inspiration, Day Twelve: Critique a Piece of Work

I don’t think many people know this about me but I love classic movies. I’m not talking about 70’s and 80’s classic, I’m talking about 30’s and 40’s classic.

American Actress Barbara Stanwyck
Studio portrait of American actor Barbara Stanwyck (1907 – 1990)  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

I don’t think many people know this about me but I love classic movies. I’m not talking about 70’s and 80’s classic, I’m talking about 30’s and 40’s classic.

I credit my Mom for introducing me to classic movies. She used to put on The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz for me while she braided my hair.
I rediscovered classic movies in high school and fell in love with them. I loved the glamour, the witty banter, the drama, and of course the romance. I do realize back in those days things weren’t really glamorous for women or minorities. But that’s what movies are for, to help you forget about your troubles for awhile, and be entertained.

My favorite classic movie star is Barbara Stanwyck. She was so fierce, witty, smart, and not a damsel in distress. She didn’t play characters who needed men to save her. If anything men should beware of her, her cleverness was deadly. Ms.Stanwyck also had a very long career in Hollywood, which made me admire her all the more. She stood the test of time from to the pre-code 1930’s to the dawn of TV shows  as a force to be reckoned with.

I decided to put together a little list of 5 of my favorite classic movies. I reccomend these if I’ve inspired you to give classic movies a try.

  1. The Lady Eve (1941). Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda
  2. The Apartment (1960). Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon
  3. Laura (1944). Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews
  4. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman
  5. Three on a Match (1932) Joan Blondell, Warren William

 

Below is a clip of Barbara Stanwyck in action in The Lady Eve. She plays a very clever conwoman hunting a socially awkward millionaire played by Henry Fonda, little does she know she’s about to fall in love.

Everyday Inspiration, Day Eleven: A Cup of Coffee

If we were having coffee right now…

coffee 2

 

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that I plan to learn to how to play an instrument very soon. God’s been telling me that it’s time to stop wishing, wanting and saying someday. The time is now, go for it. He gave me these gifts and these longings for a reason and it wasn’t to put them on a shelf.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that ever since I read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer with my bible study group I have been hearing God more and more. It’s exciting, and a tad unnerving. It’s like “Did I really hear that?”

If we were having coffee right now… I’d ask you when do you say when in your career life? I ask that because my relationship with my job is waning. I’ve been praying through some serious anxiety lately at the thought of my job. Sometimes the night before and sometimes in the car when I get in. I’m realizing now that when your job is making you psychologically ill it’s time to rethink some things.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d tell you that the farther I get into adulthood the more I realize how imperfect my childhood was. Well I never really thought it was perfect, but I’m understanding now it was more messed up than I thought. My parents will probably fight me on this one but it’s true. We’re not a “family-oriented” family and it should probably bother me more.

If we were having coffee right now… I’d say that though there are areas in my life where things aren’t great, I’m content. I’m enjoying the journey because I am determined not to waste my youth. I want to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch everything I’ve ever wanted to while I’m still young and able.

 

*photo by Patrick Tomasso

Everyday Inspiration, Day Nine: Writing and Not Writing

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed?

-WordPress, Blogging University
Two words and two words only answer that question. Live music.

 

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What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to the dashboard, refreshed?

-WordPress, Blogging University

Two words and two words only answer that question. Live music.

Next to Jesus and writing, music is one of my great loves. There’s nothing like an amazing piece of music to stir you up. Music can transport you back in time, make you wonder, make you dream. Music is the musicians heart, live music is that heart on display.  The artist will tell you why he or she wrote that song, what inspired it, and the music will take on new meaning. Maybe it was deep deep love, or ugly heartbreak, or the miracle of new life.
I live for that, I live for the story of how the music came to be, because it inspires me to take the stories of my life and create something with it.

Isn’t that what all art is? Taking the human condition and creating with it.

 

*Original Photos

Everyday Inspiration, Day Eight: Reinvent the Letter Format

members-of-the-kardashian-family-


Dear Kardashian family,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that your entire lives have become a media frenzy. Sorry that you can’t leave your home without cameras watching. Sorry that your kids will never know a normal life. Sorry that every tweet, snap chat, and Instagram picture is scrutinized and commented on thousands of times over. Sorry that the way your earn your living is by staying under the unforgiving public eye.

I bet you never saw this coming when you first decided to let cameras into your home 9 years ago. I remember that first season, you were a lovable blended family that gave me a modern day Brady Bunch feel. There were antics and laughing, that made me want a big family of my own one day, if only for an hour. Compared to Paris Hilton the reigning reality queen of the time you all seemed a lot more relatable.

These days the you’ve become an American dynasty. Even when the cameras have stopped rolling your lives are still a source of entertainment. From the sex tape to the sex change millions of us are tuning in.
Sometimes I wonder what goes on inside of you? What happens when you do get that private moment? Do you regret letting those cameras in? Do you regret depending on your image for income?  Do you worry about the day when you’re no longer relevant? Or what’s going to happen to Kendall and Kylie being young socialites with money to burn? History says they’ll become reckless party girls who will waste their money on booze and lawyers for their multiple DUI’s. How will you keep them grounded when they’ve grown up on TV?

Some say that I shouldn’t feel sorry for you. That this is exactly what you want, you love the attention, the glamour, and the money. I don’t doubt that. I think apart of you does love it, but I also think apart of you hates it. You were pulled in by the fact that you could just “be yourself” and make a sizable income. But now you see what the consequences are of living your lives on display, but what can you do? This is the way you live.

So I end this letter asking you to not lose your perspective. Hold on to what’s real, knowing that your fame has a shelf life. I don’t want to sound harsh but it’s true, America is fickle. You’ve fought a good fight though. You’re active on social media, have clothing lines, make up lines, fragrances, and of course the TV show. But it won’t last forever. And just like fame has a shelf life so does beauty. In our world beauty is everything, so the moment that goes the cameras will go too. I caution you to build something that will not crumble with the loss of surface level things like fame and beauty. Build something that will stand the test of time.

Sincerely,

An Old Fan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Inspiration, Day Seven: Let Social Media Inspire You

 

nasa2

Ouch…

I think this is what makes humans so insufferable, we sometimes lack the ability to see how truly insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. When compared to the universe our lives are just a speck of dust, but here we are thinking that universe revolves around us and our needs.
I feel I can say this because I’ve worked in customer service my entire life and have seen the worst of worst human beings in action. But a lot of humans are selfish, prideful, entitled, annoyingly insecure, and just downright pain in the necks. But I love y’all still (most of the time) because I’m not perfect and have been and sometimes still am all of the things I’ve listed.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in this #selfie nation that we live in. But right now promise yourself that you will take more time to step out of “me” and into the world around you.

  1. Take A Walk
    When’s the last time you just stepped back just to marvel at how awesome this world is. I know there’s a lot of ugly things happening in the world right now but that’s even more reason to get out there at see it. Look up at the blue sky and the massiveness of it, appreciate it. Who knows what it will look like in 10 years.
  2. Actually Care
    No one really cares about anyone anymore. I realize that a little bit more every time I get on the road and no one will let me change lanes. So next time if you see someone with their blinker on don’t just pass them be a nice person and let them over. Also the next time you ask someone how they are, actually mean it. I hate that that’s become this empty greeting.
  3. Think Of Someone Else
    I can’t stress this one enough. Have you ever entered a public bathroom and it was completely trashed? That’s because someone didn’t have the courtesy to clean up after themselves. I know this is surface level but this kind of thing bleeds over into more serious parts of life. You messy bathroom people, do you ever stop to think about the poor soul who has to clean that restroom? No…you didn’t, next time please do. You may never get a “thank you” but trust me your helping someone.

 

 

 

*Photo by NASA

Everyday Inspiration, Day Six: The Space to Write

georgebernardshaw
George Bernard Shaw and his writing shed he called “London.”

 

Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Dylan Thomas, Michael Pollan, and Henry David Thoreau. All noted authors or poets but they had one more thing in common they all had writing sheds.

For these authors their writing sheds was a way they could get away from distractions and focus on their writing. Michael Pollan was quoted as calling his shed “a place of solitude a few steps off the beaten track of everyday life.” These sheds were actual converted storage sheds or sometimes cottages and huts. George Bernard Shaw actually outfitted his with a turntable so he could push it towards the sun as it moved during the day for natural light.
I currently write at a small desk in the sun room of my apartment but it’s a shared space so it’s not very private. My roommate aka my Dad also uses the desk so his mail tends make it’s home there. I have a desk in my room but I find it to be suffocating and too distracting. I dream of having a writing shed of my own someday nestled away in a garden. With big windows, a small couch and a desk. Some where I can be alone with my thoughts with only the sounds of nature. No traffic, no neighbors, just sweet sweet solitude.
image

Photo credit*

Photo credit*

Readers and friends!
Anything that you’d like me to write about?? I’m taking ideas! Just head over to my Contact page and leave a comment. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Everyday Inspiration, Day Five: Hook ’Em With a Quote

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I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all.
Zora Neale Hurston

A Reconciliation To Blackness


When I was a little girl I preferred white dolls to black ones. I remember a home video of my 5th birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese where I complained at the sight of a black baby doll. “I wanted a white one.” I complained. This frustrated my parents who could not understand this preference of mine so they continued to buy me black dolls. I’ve always wondered why I was like this. I hadn’t experienced racism yet. I had no self-hatred or shame towards my race. I can only guess it was because I had no representations of black women in the books and TV shows I watched. There was no black Disney princesses at this time, no black kids starring in the shows or movies I enjoyed. All the characters I loved were white.
I loved Barbie as most girls did, but it was white Barbies that mostly graced store shelves. And the what did I have in common with the black Barbie? Other than her skin tone? And really not even that, she came only in a dark brown shade and I was not that. Her hair wasn’t like mine, and neither were her features. She was a darker version and that’s it. A second-rate copy, no more similar to me than white Barbie.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t experience racism in my early childhood. Although I was among one of the few black students in my classes surrounded by Latinos and Asians, the other kids never made me feel any different. Maybe because we were all growing up in a culturally diverse area and we were used to it. It wasn’t until I left the tolerant west and came to the not as tolerant south that all that changed.
It was made very clear to me early on that here in the south my “blackness” mattered to everyone. First of all the school I intended had been segregated in the 60’s. This shook me because in California, America’s checkered past wasn’t so easily seen. The buildings were newer, historic areas weren’t common. But even though the school wasn’t segregated anymore the students acted as if it was. The white kids hung out with the white kids, the black kids with the black kids, latinos with latinos. Furthermore certain races were expected to walk and talk a certain way. If you didn’t act “black” then you were acting white and therefore trying to be something that you’re not. This was made known to me the moment I opened my mouth to speak, I got some very confused looks followed by a “Where you from?”
I had no twang and used no slang, and was soft spoken. None of this was “typical” of black girls and therefore I was talking like a white girl. Up until to this moment no one had ever commented on the way I spoke. Not only did I not talk like them, I didn’t enjoy the same music or activities. I was shunned and branded a “Barbie.” Go figure.

So there I was in a social no man’s land. Not black enough for the black kids, but still too black for the whites and latinos. So I fell in with rest of the rejects, the gays, the pothead’s, and other troubled teens. They didn’t seem to care what I looked like, or how I spoke.
This unofficial segregation wasn’t only in the schools, it rippled through the rest of the small city of Amarillo, TX. There was a clear-cut area which was the black side of town, which in itself isn’t that uncommon. What perplexed me is that the blacks rarely even ventured out of their side of town as if there was an invisible wall around the east side of Amarillo. So when me and my family would go to restaurants and stores anywhere else in town we were usually the only black people. I can remember vividly one night when my family and I went to a Mexican restaurant, it wasn’t upscale in any way just your average family restaurant. As we entered the entire restaurant stopped what they were doing and looked at us. You’d think we were aliens dressed in purple the way we got everyone’s attention. They served us and the waiter was polite but no one expected us to be eating there. 2007 and a black family in a restaurant was unexpected!
Over time I came to expect uneasy stares because that’s usually where it ended. But one day as I was strolling through the “white” Wal-mart, that wasn’t where it ended. I was walking through the aisle and as I walked by this elderly white woman she pulled her purse closer to her.
“I don’t want your purse you old hag!” I wanted to yell.
She didn’t know but she had offended me deeply.
I hated that my “blackness” carried automatic suspicion. I hated that my “blackness” was the first thing people saw. Most of all I hated that this was accepted by everyone.

I was so glad when I left the accepted racism of small town America for the big city. I’ve heard Altanta called the “Black capital of America.” Not sure if that’s true or not but I know I found it very rereshing to able to walk through Target without drawing one iota of attention. In Amarillo it was rare that you saw a black face in Target, it was too “bougie.” But here I was in Atlanta in a Target where everyone was black!  Everywhere you looked there was black people, in nearly every part of the city! There were affluent areas filled with black families! It was hard to find a well off black family in Amarillo, let alone a whole neighborhood filled with them. Maybe Atlanta is the “black capital of America”, it defnitely is the black capital of the south. Are things perfect here? Of course not, racism in America is a chasm that runs very deep. It is an anomaly though  because the moment you leave the Metro-Atlanta area things start to look like more like the traditional south.

I’m grateful to Atlanta for patching up my racial wounds. I’m now surrounded by black people who are not “tragically colored” but are educated, empowered and independent. I am proud to be counted as one of them.

 

 

*Photo by John W. Mosley

 

 

Everyday Inspiration, Day Four: A Story in a Single Image

We’re all so busy aren’t we? We keep our calendars filled from sun up till sun down with activities whether work or social. We rush from place to place always in a hurry, gritting our teeth in never-ending traffic.

train station

Images — including photographs and works of art — can as starting points for stories, essays, poems, and personal musings.

WordPress: Blogging University

 

We’re all so busy aren’t we? We keep our calendars filled from sun up till sun down with activities whether work or social. We rush from place to place always in a hurry, gritting our teeth in never-ending traffic.
Then at the end of the day we complain that there is still not enough time and not enough money to do everything we want to do.
Our minds are programmed that they must always be busy doing something. Even in our down time we entertain our minds with Facebook and Instagram or any other app that can keep our attention. We want nothing to do with having nothing to do, so we keep going and going until our stress levels are so high that we are forced to stop.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we place our rest and state of mind in last place?

I find myself these days yearning for something else. A change a pace or scenery because I’m so tired of the grind. Traffic in the morning and the afternoon and the evening. Traffic all the time. All the emails, texts, chats, because someone is always talking. Someone always wants something, needs something, or demands something of you.
I feel as if I am holding the entire world together with just glue and string because I am barely holding on. For once I’d like to wake up not feeling burdened by obligation. Not feeling like I’m only surviving but not thriving.

How does a girl escape her own world?

 

 

*Photo by Nicolai Bernsten

 

 

Everyday Inspiration, Day Three: One-Word Inspiration

The dictionary defines home as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. I think home means something different to each person.

home

Prompts come in many different forms. Sometimes, a single word is all you need to get your mind’s wheels turning.

WordPress: Blogging University

 

Home…

The dictionary defines home as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. I think home means something different to each person. For some home is a place, a childhood home, the place where you were raised. For others home isn’t a place it’s wherever your family is, where you feel loved and accepted.
When I hear the word “home” nothing immediately comes to mind.
My hometown is San Diego, that’s where I was born and spent the majority of my life so far. But I haven’t been back in a long time and I have no close family members there anymore, so to me it’s almost become this empty place. I have no fuzzy feelings or pull to San Diego that I would attribute to a place called home.
My parents are separated and my family is scattered all over the country.  Although if they were all in one place my relationship with my extended family is distant. So I doubt I would call that place home.
I don’t believe I’ve lived in Atlanta long enough to truly call it home. My apartment here is just a temporary roof over my head it has no sentimental value.

I suppose my home is something in the making. I daydream about one day when I have a family of my own, having a open home for anyone who needs it. Need a meal? Come. A place to lay your head? Come. Need a surrogate family? Come. My home is your home.
Until then I don’t feel like my life is lacking too much. Yes my family isn’t all together and I don’t have a childhood home I can return to but I do have a support system of my immediate family and close friends throughout Atlanta. So I have little pieces of home all over the city and I am thankful for them.

 

 

*photo by Bradley Swenson

Everyday Inspiration, Day Two: Write a List

The soft glow of the sunrise through closed blinds.
The sound of my best friends laughter.
That nostalgic feeling I get when I smell my Dad’s cologne

coffee

Compiling a list is a way to let loose, unlock ideas, and free your mind.

-Wordpress: Blogging University

15 Things I Love…

  1. The soft glow of the sunrise through closed blinds.
  2. The sound of my best friends laughter.
  3. That nostalgic feeling I get when I smell my Dad’s cologne.
  4.  A warm day with a cool breeze.
  5. When my friends call me “Tawn” instead of Tawni.
  6. Watching my mug fill with coffee first thing in the morning.
  7. That first deep breath after finishing a really good book.
  8. The sound of soft rain.
  9. The music at the end of a classic movie.
  10. A starry sky.
  11. Late night Taco Bell runs.
  12. Chicken strips and french fries dipped in ranch dressing.
  13. A comfy pair of jeans.
  14. That relieved feeling when you’re climbing into bed after a long day.
  15. Singing at the top of my lungs in my car with the windows down.

 

*Photo by Hello Goodbye

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