Tag Archive | Atlanta

Happy Finals Week!

Yesterday was the last official day of classes. Congrats you guys, we did it!

Well, we’ve almost done it. Because yes, there are free breakfasts and therapy dogs, popsicles and bowling—tried and true signs of another term…terminating. (Sorry, that was too good to pass up.) These wonderful fun FREE things do little to disguise the fact that we still have a little ways to go.

Seven days to go, to be exact. And these seven days are some of the most stressful of the semester.

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Happy finals week, everyone. For some, this is the defining moment of their weeks upon weeks of worry and stress. For some, it is all that stands between them and graduation, or a fabulous summer vacation. For some, they’re lucky and it’s mostly just a chill period of time to wander around collecting free stuff until it’s time to move out.

Regardless of where you stand, it’s pretty universal that finals suck, but it will all be better in about a week. And in honor of these last seven days, here are seven things that don’t suck, but that can even make everything a little bit brighter~

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1. Netflix

Everyone needs a study break every now and then. If your brain hurts, find a short show, they don’t require too much commitment. Girls is my latest go-to, but I also love Friends and Seinfeld. Netflix also has a bunch of really amazing new shows too, one of which is Girlboss with Britt Robertson. It’s based on Sophia Amoruso’s (the founder of Nasty Gal) autobiography by the same name.

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2. Exercising

To not feel guilty while watching said Netflix shows, I often go running while I watch them. There are also so many fun classes at the CRC, like barre pilates and power yoga. And, even better, they’re free during finals week! So anyone can drop by and try them out!

3. Ice Cream (and assorted foods, bonus points if FREE)

Exercising is wonderful but let’s be honest, ice cream is also extremely important. So are the aforementioned free popsicles, and cookies, pizza, and breakfasts. This may just be a freshman thing, but it also may be a being-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time thing. To be determined. ALSO there’s also the new “late night bites” thing at Chick-fil-a and Panda Express in the Student Center, where we can use meal swipes from 9 pm-12am. So either way, brilliant.

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4. Music + Art

Make a new playlist, find some new songs, hunt around Spotify for a bit to de-stress. It’s quite fun, and the fruit of your labor (ie. an amazing new selection of songs) will come in handy for when you go back to studying, too. Additionally: if you play an instrument, go for it! Except, you know, not if your dorm has quiet hours.

Otherwise, draw something, paint something, de-stress that way! Last week the Arts Ambassadors (aka me and some of the coolest most wonderful people I have ever met) held an Arts Fest in the Ferst Center! There were tons of free cookies, student artists selling their work at booths, a muralist, interactive art, a Piano Project piano with a chalkboard on the back, student performers… You name it. It was wonderful seeing so many people come in and participate, so exciting and therapeutic to just be in such a friendly and happy and artistic atmosphere.

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5. Family and Friends

Don’t forget about them! Yeah it’s just a week with a weekend thrown in there, but study with friends, go on study breaks, get dinner together, etc. Also, text your mom. It’s so much better for everyone’s sanity, and the people who care about you will help you through.

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6. Sleep

DO NOT FORGET TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP. SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT. IF YOU HAVE BEEN STUDYING FOR HOURS ON END AND CAN’T KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN LITERALLY JUST GO TO BED. You won’t retain information as well if you studied it well if you studied with a  compromised mental state. And you’ll be crabby as heck the next day really please just go home and sleep and don’t snore in the CULC this is completely theoretical (it’s not). My heart hurts when people do this. Sure you want more hours in the day but make better use of the ones you have and simply embrace how wonderful and helpful sleep is.

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7. Georgia Tech

All in all, there are so many things that are important and helpful, so many yummy and wonderful things. Georgia Tech may not always seem like one of them, as it is also the bearer of the finals chopping block itself. But Tech cares about us, genuinely. There are so many resources that they provide, so many study breaks and opportunities to hit the refresh button. They want us to be healthy, happy, successful—whether you always think so or not. So take advantage of the benefits, give Buzz a hug, study hard but not so hard that you hurt yourself.

After all, it is just a week.  

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Table 19 Movie Review

table-19-posterDo you ever get so completely thrown off by something because you expected it to be one way but it really turned out to be completely different? Like, when you see a really scrumptious-looking dessert that you imagine to taste one way but ends up being a totally different flavor? That’s how Table 19 was for me.

It wasn’t a bad different, by any means. But I had been watching the trailer for so long, waiting for pictures and updates and squealing every time I saw the pretty pink poster that by the time I watched the movie itself I thought…what?

Don’t get me wrong. It was a really good movie. A little odd, but good. Cute. I adore Anna Kendrick. The selection of characters at Table 19 made it completely hilarious. Perhaps it was the storyline that just fell a little short to me. Eloise (Anna Kendrick) and her relationship with the blonde guy (who I disliked from the get-go and furthermore refuse to call by either actor or character name out of protest) annoyed me to no end (if you couldn’t already tell. And unfortunately, this is who a lot of the film is centered around. Their relationship was so unsatisfying to me, and I can’t help but hope that it isn’t as realistic as it eerily seemed. Because yeah, the gorgeous brunette guy in the trailer that anyone watching the 2 minute clip would expect her to run away with after they adorably dance together? Spoiler alert, so skip to the paragraph after the next picture. Don’t get your hopes up about The two of them and all the adorableness between them. They were shorter lived on screen than the actual length of that very movie trailer, and I was (and am still) super bitter about it. b26df04dea30538d19fc75db41ecc067_700x259Ok, non-spoilers, hello again. Another thing that bothered me, yes moving on from Anna Kendrick and her character’s relationships. The other people at the Table seemed a bit jipped to me. It was like, “oh yes, we’re all in this horrible table situation together, let’s bond.” But as a viewer I felt like Anna was the only one I really got to know. Granted, she was the one with whom I, also snarky white female in this general stage of my life, can immediately relate to. (Also helps that I was a huge fan of Anna already. Not sure which came first here, either, chicken or egg. But whatever.) but all of this aside, the other characters were simply not that memorable. They were there for witty banter, there to support Eloise. They seemingly came to realizations about their own lives, grew as individuals by the end of the movie on their own too (oops was that a spoiler). Seemingly. To me they still seemed like static characters that the director tried to make dynamic in order to round out the story and fully tie the idea of the crappy wedding Table 19 as a unifying symbol together with a big pretty pink bow.

img_1889All in all, I appreciate the concept of this movie. I like the whole idea of this odd group coming together. The actors were all excellent, particularly my girl Anna (and yes, future self, I did just refer to her as “my girl Anna” like we’re complete “homies”). I always have to nod to Lisa Kudrow and that awkward kid from The Grand Budapest Hotel. The music was even amazing (I am about to go look it up on Spotify as we speak). And the film was, undoubtably and undeniably hilarious at times. However, I had imagined some cute indie film full of complex characters, thought-provoking storylines and messages, and a solid, satisfying ending. What I found instead was a story about one complex character with a lot of side characters, all bound not by the table, but by a story and relationship that I didn’t like or understand from the get-go. I found that, instead of eating one flavor of cake, Table 19 was a wholly different and rather unexpected one. Then again, I guess cake is still cake.

Rating: 6/10

Food, Friends, Art, and Coffee

Hello again! I thought that I’d end yet another infamous and periodic bit of radio silence with a post about an adventure I went on back in—what was it now, January? Man that was so long ago now.

Anyway, a while ago I went to Cabbagetown with the lovely ladies I am going to be sharing an apartment with next year! Three of us were already friends, and I was friends with the fourth. Before this, though, the two and the one actually had yet to meet each other, so an introductory excursion was definitely in order. And preferably one with breakfast food and cute photo ops.

So we had brunch at the Carroll Street Cafe, a cute little place with an abundance of both coffee and mimosas, depending on how old you are. The biscuits are the best too, highly recommend. Afterwards, we walked down the road and took a right to walk along the lengthy wall full of murals. We wandered all the way down to the Krog Street Tunnel, taking pictures and chatting and joking along the way.

After our adventure, we headed back to campus to do homework, as it was a Sunday and we are all typical Tech students. Not wanting the expedition to die completely, we went to Amelie’s for yet another change of scenery. And coffee.

All in all, it was a wonderful day, full of food and friends and art and coffee, which is basically all anyone could ever need. I am so looking forward to rooming with my friends in the fall. I can’t wait to decorate our apartment, to have movie nights, to have four walls to myself, to joke and tell stories in the evenings, to cook in a real life kitchen, to have a dishwasher… And, of course, I can’t wait to go on more adventures like this one too.

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The Adventures of Lauren & Stank

On Saturday, January 28th, I met Christine (affectionately called “Stank” since some time around tenth grade) in West Midtown for our very favorite meal of the day. Our favorite because it’s Leslie Knope’s favorite, mostly, but also because it’s dang delicious.

We ate brunch at West Egg, which I had never been to before. We waited outside in the sunshine for a good thirty minutes, but it was extremely worth it. It also gave us a chance to catch up, and I got to know her friend who was visiting too. We were all rewarded for our patience, not just with each others’ company, but with delicious food and wonderful weather. And coffee.

After breakfast, we wandered around the area for a bit. We saw a tiny coffee shop made out of a shipping container, saw shops and cool urban-looking renovations. We then found the murals. The blue one is outside of Bartaco off of Howell Mill, and it was right beside the Merchant, a cute stationery shop that we promptly visited next. After saying goodbye to the new friend, I took the old to the West Side Cultural Arts Center right down the street. I had been there once before, but was pleasantly surprised by how close it was.

It was a lovely morning (or early afternoon?) full of lovely weather, great friends, awesome street art, and amazing food. It was such a treat to be able to explore new places and get to see one of my oldest and best friends, and I can’t wait to do it again soon.

The Women’s March

On Saturday morning, I woke up to lightning streaking across the sky and rain pelting my dorm room window. It was early, around eight or so, and I wasn’t exactly sure  why I couldn’t sleep through such dreary weather as usual other than the fact, I quickly remembered, that it was a Very Important Day. It was the day I had been looking forward to for months, had carefully written down in my planner with a hot pink pen. It was the day of the Women’s March.

I met my friends in the rain and we sprinted to the dining hall for lunch. After receiving notice of the rain delay, we ate second helpings of breakfast food and watched the sky outside miraculously clear. Then we made our way straight down the road to the Center for Civil Rights, where the march was to begin.

When we arrived, it was already so incredibly crowded that we couldn’t even find the supposed speakers. Supposed, because, were they really there? We didn’t know. Instead we took pictures and embraced the excitement, support, dissatisfaction, strength, and surge of energy that the crowd, with its humorous, creative, threatening, hopeful, and even sad signs, provided. The electricity surrounding us had nothing to do with the storm clouds looming overhead.

After an hour and a half of waiting for the march to actually start, these feeling turned anxious, the cheers turned impatient and pressing. Finally we were told that the speakers were making their way to the from to lead the masses, and we finally began our climb up the hill and towards the Capitol building an hour and a half away.

Being in the march itself was incredible. We were like a river of defiance and solidarity, breaking over a dam of hatred and restraint. We chanted, cheered, laughed. Some people played instruments, everyone held signs, some walked quickly, slowly, danced, pushed wheelchairs, everyone was peaceful. There were thousands upon thousands of our fellow marchers up and down the road where we stood; every new altitude or bend in the road exposed an endless stream of people. Being on the street in such numbers was like being embraced, contained, assured. Safe, despite the threats that brought us here together, safe amongst each other and our shared cause, our differences but our shared and equal humanity.

A feeling of resistance ran rampant, but even stronger was one of hope. Hope amidst the storm clouds, hope in every single person present. Once we reached the Capitol, we all dispersed, heading in waves to our various destinations. But it was, still is, impossible to feel separated or alone.

Homecoming, Man!

tumblr_o6owfyjmhm1scu1amo1_500Hey bros! (Brothers? Bretheren?)

It has been several months now, but Georgia Tech’s annual homecoming was an absolute blast. I am a homecoming-kind of gal. I love it. I love the events, the game, the competitions

I wanted to take part in the Homecoming festivities, because Homecoming at my high school was HUGE and I loved it. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to, because I’m not Greek and didn’t know about any other teams competing. However, there are teams for each of the dorm quads too! There are many more organizations involved than you may think, and anyone who wants to get involved—like me— is able to!

This being said, I helped out with chalking, painting windows, and designing and painting our quad’s banner. I also attended the carnival-themed events, which were fun too!

My favorite of all of these activities was definitely chalking. It took place on Friday, around lunchtime, and the atmosphere on Tech Walkway was indescribable.

It felt like fall for the first time this season, and people from all over campus had come together to get messy and creative amongst the leaves blowing along the sidewalk. Passersby meandered to and from lunch, stopping to watch and talk. I saw my friends, chalked with friends, made new friends. Someone was playing ACDC because it somehow related to the jungle theme, but no one was questioning it. It such a special experience. It was one of those times that feels almost unreal, like a scene in a movie. I mean, there was even background music.img_0476img_0482img_0471

The following Saturday was game day.

Before that, however, were the Freshman Cake Race and the Homecoming parade…which I accidentally slept through. Yeah, that was bad. I had been so busy for the past week though, what with late night Starbucks runs and cram essay-writing sessions, that it all caught up to me. It was a much-needed reprieve.

img_0616-1The Homecoming football game against Duke, though, a mere five or so hours later, was a blast. It was the big game, bigger than the Cornwall game in She’s the Man.

I sat closer to the field than I ever had before. So close, in fact, that I could actually see the football! (WILD!) (I usually block on the second level of the stadium with a different fraternity.) It was a really exciting game, but I’m still not sure if it was just the game or that I saw more of it than usual.

My high school AP Literature teacher (and favorite human being in the world) came to the game too! We caught up and nerded out over books and talked about school and life and etc. It was so sweet to see her.

And, to top everything off…WE WON! GO JACKETS! Duke didn’t know what hit them. (Duke the school/team, not Duke Channing Tatum. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.) It was hot, but I was happy.

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After the game, it was back to reality. Well, sort of. My friend and I tried to work, but were quickly distracted and/or exhausted. Our productivity was doomed. So we went into Halloweekend mode instead.

What exactly did this “Halloweekend mode” entail? In the spirit of trick-or-treating…you’ll have to just wait for my next blog post to find out!

Until then…do you like…cheese?

 

Miss Sloane Movie Review

mv5bmtayody4njc4mjbeqtjeqwpwz15bbwu4mdi0ntizmday-_v1_sy1000_cr006701000_al_“Lobbying is about foresight, about anticipating your opponent’s moves, and devising counter measures. The winner walks one step ahead of the opposition. It’s about making sure you surprise them, and they don’t surprise you.”

Miss Sloane, in theaters Friday, sure did surprise me. I had high expectations when I went to the screening, having seen only the excitement-packed, House of Cards and How to Get Away With Murder reminiscent trailer. I love this kind of thing. And it was even better than I had hoped.

Sloane (Chastain) is a powerful lobbyist, seeking to pass a bill that will enforce background checks before purchasing firearms. She is fighting for this bill to pass against the wishes of her old company, a group of people who knows her, has learned how she operates. She must not only persuade the public and senators to support the movement; she must also outsmart the group of conservatives plotting to stop her. She must outsmart herself. Amidst the twists and turns of legal proceedings and flashbacks, there are second-amendment battles, gunmen, a lot of really good-looking Asian food, spy cameras, fabulous clothes, pill-popping, public hearings, and inflatable rats. An admittedly odd combination, but it worked. More than that, actually—it succeeded.

miss_sloaneThere have been debates over how realistic the bills and legal proceedings in the movie actually are, but it seemed solid to me. (I know very little about gun laws and lobbying, that’s probably why.) The focus did not necessarily seem to be the politics themselves, though. It was more about the plotting that goes on, the back-stabbing and brilliance of the characters. Every character, but in particular, Miss Sloane.

This movie celebrates the strength and power of women in politics. Chastain’s amazing portrayal of this dazzling granite figure also reveals that perhaps she is not “stone cold.” She is humanized; she has struggles, is broken but refuses to show her cracks. At times her personal life and motives were completely confusing, but throughout the film the audience is allowed to realize more and more. No spoilers, obviously, but the end of the movie was extremely well done on taking her as a person into account.

screen20shot202016-09-1220at202-39-3120pmThe question of her support for the background check bill Sloane is lobbying for, however, is constantly questioned. Does she want this bill to pass because she wants to stop the conservative, narrow-minded white men like the man who seeks her help and attempts to destroy her when she laughs in his face? Is it because she does have some sort of personal connection that the audience is frustratingly never privy to? (This would have, admittedly, been such a satisfying reveal.) Does she simply thrive under the pressure and challenge, craving an unlikely success? Or is a bigger question of whether there really has to be a motive for such a woman to go to such lengths to support something? Why can’t she just have an opinion and support it, without falling prey to such questioning, like a man would?

The messages of Miss Sloane are powerful and particularly resonant. If you are a fan of politics, exciting twists, action/thrillers, and badass feminists proving everyone wrong, you will love Miss Sloane. Altogether, it is “mind boggling, ingenious, and completely unbelievable”—just like Miss Sloane herself.