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There’s a New Princess Jasmine in Town, And She Isn’t Here to Take Any of Your Crap

Fair warning: While this post does not reveal any significant plot twists or surprises in the movie, there are slight spoilers in this post. Proceed with caution.

Oh, and read it in a sassy voice, trust me on this.

One thing you need to know about Princess Jasmine in the 2019 version of Aladdin, is that she IS that chick. She's not with the ish. She is not the one, or the two.

And She Is The Princess You Needed All Along

See, Princess Jasmine ain't the one to mess with. First of all, she's not about to sit around waiting to get married off to some man. She is not a prize to be won!

When I was a child, Aladdin was my favorite movie. I must have re-winded that VHS tape a thousand times. I don't even think that's an exaggeration, I can quote it forward and backward.

Princess Jasmine was a HUGE deal back in the 90's because FINALLY, SOMEONE IS BROWN! See, this was back in the day before Tiana in The Princess and The Frog. I took my poofy hair, tied it back in three blue hair ties, and I. Was. It!!!

Back then though, Princess Jasmine made me yearn for a flat stomach. But this Jasmine now? This Princess Jasmine right HERE?? She will make you yearn to fight for any cause that she backs.

Is she beautiful? Of-freaking-course she's beautiful, her skincare routine is ON POINT. But real talk, this is a woman who is running things. This is the woman you overlook for promotions, meanwhile, she could be running your entire company without breaking a sweat. Give. Her. All. The. Things.

On top of all that, she is watching these men in power and she is tired. Real tired. Because she knows that she could get it done herself and still sneak off to Agrabah later.

Jafar better watch out, because this Princess Jasmine might even throw a hand or two. But the amazing thing about her is that she wouldn't have to. She wouldn't even have to raise her voice. Just stepping into a room commands everyone present to shut up and listen. Now THAT'S power, Jafar.

Realest talk, Princess Jasmine is the kind of woman I aspire most to be.

Use The Bathroom Beforehand Or It’ll Be Endgame For You: My Avengers Endgame Movie Experience

There are NO SPOILERS to Avengers Endgame in this. NONE. I promise you.

One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year is, hands down, Avengers: Endgame. Everyone will be bending over backwards to see this movie opening weekend. Geeks will be seeing it and Non-Geeks will roll their chair over to your cubicle, asking you what their children/grandchildren are so excited about. It's truly a time to let your geek side shine.

If Thor Went to Movie Theaters, He Would Smash This One And Ask for More Just Like It

First off, I have always thought AMC Theaters was my only choice for a movie theater because, well, thats what we got. But WOOO CHIL-AY!!! B&B Theaters were pretty on point. This pic is a little grainy but look at how wide this isle is! You mean I don't have to put my whole butt in someone's face as I walk by? Yes!

The widest isle I've ever seen in a movie theater. Not that you'll be getting up during the movie

The seats were leather recliners and they were way comfy. Comfy is what you need for a 3 hour+ movie. Can you imagine your butt and thighs fall asleep halfway through Avengers: Endgame? My bit of advice is that if you can splurge a little extra for nicer seating, this is the movie to do it for.

Also know that Marvel Studios spared no expense when it came to this movie, so the graphics are amazing. Splurge again on theaters that give you an even better, more immersive picture. Ours took place in the Grand Theater which had a huge screen and DTS:X sound. The sound was amazing, not like a big inaudible boom to ruin your ears for the rest of the movie. The sound was very crisp and clear.

To Pee Or Not To Pee

I'm going to level with you, I knew better. I knew well ahead of time that the movie was over three hours long. I knew that I needed to pee before I left the house, which I did! But see my husband was drinking this cherry Mountain Dew and my mouth was feeling dry and then it just all went downhill from there. After the movie started, my eyes widened in a panic. "Shoot, I have to pee! When do I go?"

I got deeper into the movie and I thought to myself it's now or never. Much like the track star I was never destined to be, as soon as that movie screen was out of sight, I full on SPRINTED to the restroom, which was not close to this theater. After a quick squat and washing of hands, I sprinted back, Avengers dress flapping in the wind and the concessions workers laughing behind me.

I managed to not miss much so let me give you a piece of spoiler free advice. PEE. Become your mom and threaten yourself to go before you leave the house. Make yourself go again when you are in the theater. And no drinks. NONE. B&B Theaters is planning to sell Avengers themed drinks for the movie and if I were you, grab your drink AFTER THE MOVIE.

Take it from someone who effed up, give your bladder a pep talk. But if you have to pee and want to avoid missing an important moment, I would say you are good until Ant-Man is looking out of a window and smiling. Once that happens, stay in your gosh darn seat. You, and that traitor of a bladder, are in this for the long haul.

My food was delicious!

Be Kind To Your Concessions Folks

I had two of the concessions folks call me over "Excuse me," one of them said "but we haven't seen the movie yet. Could you please tell everyone not to spoil the movie for us when they come out?"

So I took my happy ass to the theater and asked everyone to be kind to the concessions people and don't talk about what we see in front of them. And they obliged.

Just be real respectful of who you talk around guys. Yes, you're excited and yes, you wanna shout or from the rooftops, but be mindful of the people working round the clock who even make going to the movies a thing. Got it? Good!

So, Did You...Did You Like It?

In conclusion, with no spoilers attached, to answer any of your burning questions...

The answer is yes. Go see this movie.

Cosplayer Convos: Supporting Strong Friends The Way That They Support You

I'm working with a new concept here. A series of blog posts and interviews that I will call Cosplayer Convos.

I enjoy cosplay. I admire cosplayers. But I think we forget that the person behind the cosplay is...a person. We see them at conventions and follow them on social media and sometimes forget that these glorified humans are just...human. I believe that by sitting down and talking to them, we can all learn something new.

Thus, I present to you: Cosplayer Convos

So, What Is a Strong Friend?

You know who they are. They are that go to person on social media. They always know what to say. Or they're someone you consider to be an IRL (in real life) friend. They don't give a crap how your homophobic uncle feels about "that lifestyle" (this is not going to be the first time I go in on your uncle, #sorrynotsorry) they're going to fight the good fight anyway

Our strong friends save the day, without breaking a sweat or shedding a tear

Tip: if you don’t wanna be perceived as toxic, then DON’T BE TOXIC. You don’t get rid of the label by sheer willpower,...

Posted by Briana Lawrence on Thursday, November 29, 2018

But, where do our strong friends go when they need a strong friend? Who do they have when they need advice? Where is a shoulder when they need to cry?

I'm holding myself accountable, as I am the friend who is often in need. I have benefited from having strong friends swoop in and rebuild me, time and time again. As someone who was still building their support system, I was extremely thankful.

BUT...was I asking them how their day was going? Was I even calling them just to have fun or was I just expecting them to appear when my life was falling apart? Was I only prepared to tag them on Facebook when arguing social justice issues, like I was summoning a Pokemon with a higher CP than my own?

When I think of a strong friend, or just a strong person in general, my mind goes to one person. One of the strongest people I know is our fearless leader, owner, and admin of Geeky Girl Guide, Leslie. Remember that time she announced on the podcast that if you are being harassed and need someone, she's your girl? Yeah, she's the bomb. She has told people she will feast on their cracklings before. And dammit, she means it. Don't mess with her.

She's got an amazing heart and will defend you to the end. As I often am scared, short, and not the least bit intimidating, I admire her strength and her ability to always push back and to speak up for what is right. Leslie does not give a red cent f#$k what you think about her.

And wrapped in all of that strength is a human being, who is just as deserving of someone willing to tear someone apart for her as she is for others. Leslie deals with life just as much as my emotional ass does. And she deserves the support that she gives to all of us

This post is about Briana of Brichibi Cosplays, but I'm dedicating this post to Leslie. Leslie: You are strong, you are seen, and you are appreciated. Never stop being you <3

Briana: The Strongest Woman You Will Ever Meet

Briana is a cosplayer that I've admired for years. Not just the ability to rock amazing cosplays (I think my favorite is a toss-up between Tiana and Wonder Woman) but to take up space in a way I hadn't seen before. Here she stood. Black. Fat. Queer. And magical.

Briana (Brichibi Cosplays) receiving a smooch from her longtime partner and talented seamstress, Jessica (Snow Cosplays)

Alongside the love of her life and longtime partner, Jessica (who is an amazing seamstress by the way) Briana seemed to have it all. But in spite of her successes, hateful people saw her and did what they did best. For every positive thought we had for Briana, there were 20 more people who were angrily typing on their keyboards letting us know in all caps how they couldn't stand her.

Briana was always overcoming. For every hateful comment, she had an equally positive one. It was always in a perfect way to shut them down. "She's got to be the strongest woman I will ever meet." I often thought to myself

There was something I didn't realize that was going on behind these posts. While I was reading them in real time, I was putting myself down thinking of how I would be "too sensitive" to deal with this if it was directed at me. I remember thinking Briana was so strong.

"I responded to every comment," Briana says about her social media posts at the beginning of her cosplay journey. I remembered this about her. I read them and admired for her being so strong despite the ongoing homophobic, fatphobic, and downright racist comments she received. Sooooo strong, and yet...

When her partner, Jessica, came home earlier that day, she noticed that Briana had been responding to each and every comment on Tumblr and told her to turn anonymous comments off. "I was like, 'I can't do that, I have to show people that if you get bullied, there's a person who can stand up and deal with it'," Briana describes of that day.

Jessica persisted, pointing out that she had been on Tumblr all day responding to comments. She again told Briana she should turn anonymous comments off. Almost instantly, Briana felt a sense of relief. "It was this moment of 'oh my God, I'm allowed to walk away'."

Waiting To Exhale: Are Your Strong Friends Holding Their Breath?

"I don't think people realize that the strong friend doesn't usually start out as being strong." Briana says

"I'm very vocal about different issues and I write about them and it's really great. But people don't understand how much that weighs down on you because most of us are pulling from personal experiences."

One thing we talked about is this iconic scene from Waiting to Exhale. Yes, that one. Where Angela Basset's character Bernie burns the car of her cheating husband. It's a pretty memorable scene that left many people saying the 90's equivalent catchphrase of YASSSSS QUEEN.

Briana brings up a great point about this scene. "Everyone talks about how she burnt the car and its badass but before that, she sat in her room and cried and even after [that scene] she cried some more. That comes with the territory of being the strong friend..."

Forgetting that our strong friends have feelings and pain behind that strength is doing them a disservice. We believe tears and strength cannot coexist. That's the trap we fall into, believing our strong friends are exempt from the pain they're always saving us from.

Too Strong and Too Soft: A Confusing and Frustrating Paradox

Lesson of 2018 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾

Posted by Briana Lawrence on Sunday, December 23, 2018

"It's so frustrating because they don't want us to be vulnerable, but they don't want us to be too strong either," Briana says

I can definitely see what she means by this. It's almost like we expect our strong friends to be strong within our parameters. It's like we tell them, you need to be strong, but in a way that is beneficial to me and this has to change.

"With the strong friend title they forget about the friend part," Briana says "And just focus on the strength part."

While this paradox can present itself in times of support, it can also present itself when your strong friend is being outspoken. Once they hit a nerve with someone, they're expected to pull back.

"I thought our friendship could withstand [inset topic]" is something that Briana often hears. Because she's often outspoken on these issues that often affect her personally, there seems to be this unspoken soft spot she hits with people. "I thought our friendship could withstand this" often translates to "I love it when you speak out, just not about me"

They're telling their strong friend on the surface that they hope their friendship could withstand differing politics, subtle racist tweets, and separating their friend from their sexuality. But what they're really saying is "I thought our friendship could stay beneficial to me and not disrupt my beliefs."

Whatever the case, this is exhausting. Whether the lack of support comes from not having the space to be vulnerable or only being heard under certain terms, we have to do better for our strong friends.

How to Support Your Strong Friends

It was difficult for Briana to be vulnerable, even just on social media. When expressing her feelings on Facebook, she got responses from people who said: "I don't know how to talk to you because you're so strong" (<----see, there's that saying again).

Briana describes how one of her friends showed how to be supportive in the right way "She was like 'I know you're busy and I'm busy but whenever you're free we can get together and watch anime'...that's all I wanted!"

It's not always about having the right advice or cuddling them when they cry. Sometimes your strong friend doesn't need advice or cuddles. Sometimes they just need a distraction, a neutral zone that they can build themselves up again. And that's ok.

"Don't just check on us when we're suffering...also be there when we're having a good day." Briana brings up a really good point about not just being there in trials or triumph, but in those boring in-between moments as well. Invite them to lunch when nothing particularly exciting is going on. Ask them how they're holding up just because it's Wednesday. Draw them a picture because you know it will cheer them up.

"I Shouldn't Have to Defend Myself From YOUR Friends": A Quiz

Small rant before we get to the quiz. One of my biggest peeves about Facebook is going through hoops to keep all of my content limited to only the people I want to see it. While I've made attempts at putting stricter privacy setting such as "Friends Only", by some small loophole, a status you make could still be seen by your friends Racist Uncle Twice Removed.

Briana said something that was really impactful, especially in regards to Facebook.

"I shouldn't have to defend myself from your friends"

Grab your pencils guys, this is your Quinzel Quiz of the day

Your strong friend posts something that your Racist Uncle sees (cause the way Facebook sets up mutuals, it happens). Racist Uncle does what he does best, which means sending a profoundly hateful and misspelled lashing to your strong friend.

In this situation, do you:

A) Assume your strong friend will handle it because she's great at this kind of thing

B) Let your uncle know that he shouldn't talk to your friend that way and why, thus putting a protective barrier between your strong friend and your racist uncle who still needs help setting up his iPad

The answer is B. But often times what plays out is A. It goes back to the assumption that this strong friend has GOT IT because they are vocal from these issues, so why should this be any different?

That line of thinking isn't supportive to your strong friends. It's one thing to defend yourself from strangers, but having people that you consider friends who just leave you hanging puts strong friends in a position of not only having to fight their own battles but yours too. Next time this happens, tell your Racist Uncle to take a hike and buy him a dictionary for Christmas. Auto correct will thank you.

Final Thoughts

All I really want us to do is ask ourselves are we supporting our strong friends in a way that's equal into the way they support us? Are we giving them space to be vulnerable? Or are we contributing to a burnout?

I can't tell you the number of times that I faced something in my life that was really hard but didn't think of myself as a strong person because I faced it with tears streaming down my face. I get down on myself because I think both can't co-exist. But Briana reinforced for me that I can cry my eyes out for hours and still be strong.

Briana has lived a life of pain, loss, and frustration. But she has also chased her dreams, fell in love, and continues to influence and affect everyone she meets in a positive way.

Your strong friend is this beautiful, vulnerable individual who is a force to be reckoned with. They take their tears and often turn them into a shield, protecting others from the pain they've been through. Their voice is loud because they're often speaking for the timid and unheard.

To Briana, Leslie, and all of my strong friends.

You are wonderful

You are appreciated

You are heard

I Hate Using My Cane: Here’s Why

I woke up Monday morning to many pictures on my feed of Selma Blair wearing this gorgeous dress. What I didn't understand at first was why so many people were tagging me in it.

She has a cane. She has Multiple Sclerosis. Just like me.

I've discussed many times on the blog and on the podcast that I have MS. Shocker, right? First response I always get it that I don't LOOK sick.

Gee thanks, where's my Emmy?

But I conquer a whole level of commentary once I leave the house with my cane. And I hate it. I'm glad that Selma showed us that you don't need to put away your dreams because of your diagnosis. But I need to take the time to let you know that people can say some shitty things when they see you have a cane.

Do I need my cane all the time? No. Should I be using it more often? ...yes, but to be quite honest, I don't use it as much as I need to. As I get bombarded with these variation of comments.

"You're too young to use a cane!"

While I want to give them a pass because, as I discussed on the podcast, I look and dress like I am 16 years old, after hearing it for the 545,640,590,123,509th time, it gets old

...older than I am BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!!

Don't remind me that I can't run around here like my peers, cane free. And don't invalidate my struggle because I don't LOOK the way you want my sick ass to look.

"What's that thing even for anyway?"

The weirdest thing about this comment is that they know damn well that it's a cane and they know damn well I am using it to walk. What they want is to open the door for me to give them more information. And if you're an acquaintance, a co-worker, or just a goddamned stranger, I don't owe you an explanation.

"But you were walking yesterday!"

Ohhhh, that last one. Yes, I can walk without a cane. I still have legs. They aren't the most functional. But they are capable of short distances. I get to decide what days I need my cane and what days I don't. Deal with it.

My Best Comebacks

You need a good set of coping skills to deal with these comments. Fortunately, I have a smart mouth. So here's some of the comebacks I have to the questions I get

"What are you doing with a cane?" Minding my own business, mind yours

"Why do you have that?" It's a fashion accessory, don't you know? It's totally in

"You're too young for a-" And you've been around long enough to know that what you're saying is rude. Stop it!

"I think you're faking being sick" On the contrary, I fake being well

Maybe Selma Blair using her cane is a good thing. Maybe a few well-meaning people will choose their words more carefully before speaking.

And maybe, just maybe, they will start making more fashionable canes. One to match every outfit? Nerdy canes? Yes please.

What did you guys think of Selma Blair and her cane? Do you or anyone you know have Multiple Sclerosis? Leave me a note in the comments section below, I don't bite 🙂

Quinzel Sick Day Streaming: Check Out What I’m Watching

Can I just tell y'all how much I NEVER wanna see another hospital again? If you've been following, I've been sick, stuck in a hospital room and ultimately getting *gasp* surgery. Now that I'm released, I'm confined to Netflix. So I thought I'd give you guys a rundown of what I have been watching.

Just so you know, I avoided Bird Box completely. I loved the memes, but I just feel like I'm not going to watch it and I am going to be stubborn about it. Going forward, you won't hear s#!t from me about Bird Box

100% Hotter (Netflix)

I needed a show where i didn't really have to think. Something I could conk out on pain meds and still follow what was going on once I woke up. My friend recommended this show and said it wasn't as shaming as a certain-show-on-TLC-is/was. And that the stylists even worked to keep them within their original look. Cool! Sold.

I'd recommend it because it's not a farm mill pushing out the same end result just on different people. The stylists seem to really cater to each individual and their personal style. And it's given me some ideas as to what to do with my own style that keeps constantly changing.

I Feel Bad (Hulu)

This show came up randomly after I dozed off for a bit and honestly, it was a happy little accident. What could have just been another white show about white problems turned out to be this really cool, really authentically diverse show. Meds or not, this was a pretty entertaining show.

She frigging works for a fictional gaming company *jealous*

(My husband would like to tell you all that this show is essentially Black-ish with a few differences. There, honey, I told them.)

Tidying Up With Marie Kondo (Netflix)

This show got a lot of hate that I only noticed after I finished it. I gotta be honest here. This isn't going to be a hate review, I really liked this show. I felt like it was very different from other "throw out your clutter" shows in that it didn't emphasize shaming each person. I felt like each person was relatable in their own way and I didn't get lost in sitting on my couch like "Ahhhh I least I'm NOT AS MESSY AS YOU!!!" because truth is, I struggle with laundry too. And if my broke ass had the money, I'd so pay someone to do it and put it away.

Loved the black family because they were already so full of joy and I felt like Marie participated in that joy. They also just seemed like a really sweet, kind family and they were very refreshing to watch

I like when she entered each house that she bowed, it showed a lot of respect like "hey, I get this is your house and I'm just a visitor. I'm here to help, not to judge."

Did I mention I LOVED how there was no suggestions to go buy more things to be more organized? That she used what they already had? Ahhh, glorious!

The real question is: when I am recovered from my surgery am I going to go through my junk? uhhhh, I can't really think about that right now.

Grown-Ish (Hulu)

I've seen the first season...actually, last time I was in the hospital XD and I feel like I get a sick satisfaction from Zoey fucking up her early college experience. But that's cause we ALLLLL been there. It's kind of comforting knowing someone as gorgeous as her is overthinking as much as the rest of us. Especially over relationships. I mean, I'm married now but GOD DATING WAS SUCH A PAIN. Does he like me? Does he not? Is he texting someone else? Is he thinking about Pringles? I don't miss those days.

I will say that my hair did not look as good as hers does in college. I lived in bandanas and PJs. Cause screw looking pretty when I'm living on 2 hours of sleep. But you do you, Zoey.

 

So those have been my binges so far. Hopefully, I'll get off this damn couch soon. What are you guys watching right now? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.

What ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’ Taught Me

NOTE: Spoilers about the after credit scene, jsyk

Once Upon A Deadpool is here just in time for Christmas. As told by your favorite man-in-red, the entire plot from Deadpool 2 is read to Fred Savage, who is duct taped to a bed.

And what, might you ask, did this Christmas-y rendition teach me?

 

To never EVER allow them to make Deadpool a PG-13 movie.

 

Once Upon A Deadpool might have lacked the F-word but, starting now, I'm not gonna.

First, you should know that Once Upon A Deadpool is literally Deadpool 2 with, like, DVD commentary alongside Fred Savage.

I could forgive that. After all, who doesn't need more Deadpool in their lives? Who doesn't need a movie with a Christmas-y title that has nothing to do with the actual holiday? Let's be honest, sometimes ya just need a break.

But whoever the FUCK thought it was a good idea to sit through a Deadpool movie with limited cursing and blurred out asses has got to be out of their fucking mind.

Adult humor is Deadpool. I didn't spend my week working 40+ hours for a paycheck to spend it on a Deadpool movie with BLEEPS! You gotta be *bleep*ing kidding me.

I am begging anyone in power. Anyone who has any hand in this. You wouldn't order a BLT and be satisfied if they left out the bacon. Don't take the bacon out of Deadpool. DO. NOT. EVER make it PG-13

PG-13 Deadpool Sucks *bleep*. Go See It Anyway

Once you get past the bleeps, Russell telling everyone to "freak off" instead of "fuck off", and even a blurred out baby Deadpool ass, this damn movie redeems itself.

You gotta wait until the very end. The final, final end credits scene

That's right, Excelsior! Right in the feels.

There's an earlier bit you should watch for. In Deadpool 2 when Domino flies over the city in a parachute, there's a Stan Lee mural. In Once Upon A Deadpool, this scene happens but on the Stan Lee mural, there's a small R.I.P. on it.

Think that was it? Grab your tissues folks

We get some funny outtakes of Stan Lee, doing his normal Marvel cameo for the film. Then he begins talking about the creation of Deadpool. The screen fills with images of a very happy Stan Lee.

The last thing you see before the screen fades to black?

One word: Excelsior

Now That I Can't Stop Crying, Should I See It, Quinzel?

For the final, final post-credit scene? Yes

For the PG-13 rating? Absolutely not. I will riot if they ever do this again

What did you guys think of Deadpool 2 Once Upon A Deadpool? Do you like the idea of Deadpool potentially being a PG-13 movie? Feel free to be wrong in the comments section below.

 

5 Reasons Grown-Ups Need to See ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’

*Don't worry guys, this review is spoiler free!

I got the chance to see Ralph Breaks the Internet and, let me tell you, it was a wang dang doodle of a good time.

If you haven't noticed, I am a full-fledged adult (I know, shocking!). And honestly I enjoyed it as much, if not more, than the kiddos.

Here's 5 reasons why your grown @$$ will love it too:

Gaming and Internet References Galore

This movie has all the gaming nostalgia that Wreck-It Ralph had. Now, we see references to all the things we know and love about the internet. It would be a fun game to see who can find the most logos.

Cosplay You Say?

A Geeky Girl can't really walk away from a good movie without finding a new cosplay and this one is no different. Yesss (and yes, her name is Yesss) would be the dopest cosplay ever. I mean just look at this ensemble.

This Movie Passes Bechdel Test

Two women talk to each other about something other than a man. Good job Disney!

The Cameo We All Need Right Now

There's a short cameo of a person that would really put a smile to your face. You need this cameo, trust me.

Can you spot it?

Disney Princesses Steal The Show

After much controversy over Tiana's hair, we knew the Disney Princesses would be in the film. But man, I was glad to see them in it. As someone who grew up watching these gals, it was quite amuzing to see them interact with each other.

I would not be surprised if Disney sold that pajama set. I'd give it my coins.

Tiana's hair upgrade was *meh* but whatever at least they actually included her, amiright?

Have you seen Ralph Breaks the Internet? What did you think of Tiana's hair uh, I mean the movie? Sound off in the comments section below.

The Hate U Give: Movie Review

***This review has spoilers: Proceed with caution***

Let's Start Here: The Book vs. The Movie

I’m going to be real with you: you will not be disappointed. Yes, there are many book-to-movie adaptations gone wrong. They will leave you confused and heartbroken.

This movie is not one of them.

Obviously, no movie can keep EVERYTHING from the book because, well, we would be there for 6 hours (not that I’d mind). However, I believe they did a great job with knowing what to cut, and new scenes staying in line with the overall focus of the book.

Kudos to you, George Tillman, Jr.

This Movie is NOT Trauma Porn

And it could have easily been. One thing I noted was the “quiet storm” that was King (why, Falcon, WHY!!). We didn’t need to see him beating the almighty hell out of Seven to know that this dude was fucking it up for anyone who crossed him. You didn’t even need to read the book to know that he definitely beat Seven’s mom after they left.

There are MANY scenes that could have been shot just for shock value, and I’m so grateful that they went for realism instead. Don’t get me wrong, you will need several boxes of tissues. But it’s not set out to shock, disturb, or disgust you. It’s set out to tell the real-life experiences that Black people face every day.

Maverick Carter is the Father We All Need In Our Lives

Russell Hornsby did a stellar job as Big Mav. I’m thinking this is going to be a separate blog post, but if you can gain anything from Big Mav, its never judge a book by its cover.

He entered donned in tattoos (no teardrops, however) and a past that involved gangs, drugs, and imprisonment. This man was the glue that held his family together. Some things to note about him:

  • In his most stressful moment, when the cops pushed him up against the glass, he never once screamed at his family
  • He encouraged Starr to “let it out” and used his traumatic experiences to give her just what she needed
  • He was always kind and affectionate to their mother, even when they disagreed

Think you can say that about King? How about Bill Cosby? (Don’t start, Quinzel)

 

I Definitely Wanted To Go 'Elevator Solange' on Hailey

I can guarantee that every black girl has gone through that level of gaslighting with a white friend. And usually confronting them on their bullshit, ends with them in tears, so you end up comforting them.

I was worried about seeing Hailey onscreen because the book version made me SOOOO angry. I read the whole "pretend like it's a piece of fried chicken, Starr" part as really aggressive. But in the movie, she had that clueless look on her face that's all too familiar. That look where you ALMOST believed that she really didn't mean any of what she said. However, both in the book and the movie, there were plenty of hints that Hailey knew exactly what she was doing, she was just really great at deflecting.

And you know what? I liked that! It gave the audience a chance to understand Starr's frustration. I also appreciate the realness of them never making up. Same as the book, but seeing it on screen was great because there are just some people who aren't gonna get it and you really do have to just move on.

Again, more realness than I expected to see onscreen. More kudos

Sekani, Your Name Means Joy

I want you to take a close look at this picture. Look really hard at the young boy. And I want you to ask yourself one question.

Could you kill him?

From the start of this movie, you can clearly see why his name means joy. His bright smile and high pitched laugh were enough to make your heart melt. Watching the scene with Mav and the cops is even more painful with seeing Sekani crying. Your heart will break for this sweet little boy.

The ending, while it didn't occur in the book, was arguably the most important scene in the movie. It brings full circle to The Hate U Give and what it means. Literal gasps filled the theater as Sekani pointed the gun and said: "get away from my daddy!"

In a flash, we could see what happens next, the cops kill this poor little boy before a bullet even leaves the gun. A mother watches her son's last breath. And the news doesn't depict anything about him that we already know. They won't discuss his smile, his laughter, the fact that he still can't aim in the toilet. People will shake their heads in judgment thinking nothing of a seven-year-old's death and criticize him for holding a gun in the first place. In those short moments, the audience all saw this happening. I could even hear sobs from a rush of tears. Thankfully, Starr shielded him and none of that happened.

But my mind immediately went to Tamir Rice. That baby is no longer here.

When tragedy strikes, people deflect any way they can, often making the victim as less human as they can. So if you watched that scene and cried, you need to know that none of this is really fiction.

Don't even get me started on Lyric. If you read the book, you can understand that that poor baby saw A LOT of fucked up stuff. And what about her? How will the hate that she's given fuck everybody? That's what The Hate U Give is all about.

The Hate U Give is a book, but truthfully, nothing we saw was fiction. You can't walk away from the theater with any kind of relief that this isn't our current reality.

Angie Thomas wrote the book that inspired this movie. She used her voice and it's already making a huge impact.

How will you use your voice?

3 Books To Burn in A Fire So You Can Stay Warm This Winter

Seriously, just consider this my hate list. *grabs gasoline for the fire*

I love reading. I love writing. I'm ok with some books. Meaning, I'm not going to throw your book up against the wall if I feel it's mediocre because maybe someone loves it. Maybe it's just not for me. Maybe another person would...

But let me just interrupt myself to tell you, this is not the case with these books. I hate em. I'm not nice about it. And who wants to be cold this winter? Not me. Throw them in a fire.

Let's start:

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey

I'm throwing this in first to get the fire going. Get it going real good. Yes, that's it. Burn, baby, burn.

Ok, Steve, you want me to wait 90 days to have sex, cool. Ok, we're together now. You want me to never withhold sex..I? WHAT DO YOU WANT, STEVE HARVEY??

It drove me up a wall to read page after page of how men can be sexually free because it's just in their nature but I dare not even give off a whiff of sexuality or I will never find love. This was a manual on crossing your legs, never cussing, and never being anything less than lady like. In return, you'll bear children to a guy who feels like it's not a "man's job" to change a diaper. Hooray??

Basically, the book is not only an archaic way of how a woman should be, but you're also literally getting relationship advice from someone who has cheated on his own wife, so yeah.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Now, this isn't going in the fire because of bad writing. Close to the same premise of that other fake bondage book, it's actually not written badly at all. Seriously, no shade to Sylvia Day.

But all the shade to the main character, Gideon Cross. Because if you don't GET YOURSELF TO A GODDAMN THERAPIST, YOU HAVE ALL THIS MONEY YOU CAN AFFORD TO- ok woosah, Quinzel, just throw it in. *fire roars*

50 Shades of...anything

Oh, this fire is getting warm and toasty. I'd tell you more about why I hate these books, but after three tries, I couldn't get past page 20. Consider me and E.L. James to be rivals. One on the Evil side, and the other on the Ok, I'm Evil But Not THAT Evil side.

*pokes at the fire* does anyone want a hot dog?

“PM Me If I’m Friends With Your Abuser”: Why That $#%t Doesn’t Work

TW: The following article discusses sexual trauma, abuse, and assault from a victims perspective. While it does not give details, it does go in depth on an emotional level and may be triggering for some. Proceed with caution

 

This week has been, for lack of a better word, trying for survivors of sexual abuse, misconduct, and harassment. I'd throw some statistics here, but chances are if you're reading this, you've been a victim at some point. Stats can only account for those who come forward. It doesn't account for those suffering in silence at every Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein water cooler talk at the office.

While you can usually plug in your earphones and drown them out while you work (guilty), there's just one Facebook post that I can't seem to get away from.

Ah, a nice little meme. A way for your friends to show solidarity with you. A chance to have someone not only believe you, but take action.

 

So...why do I not feel great about this pic being shared?

First Of All, This Should've Been Done A Long Time Ago

It should not take a meme. It should not take a high profile court case. It should not take several high profile court cases.

Because some of y'all knew. But felt I was too drunk. Felt my "no" wasn't clear enough. Felt it didn't count because we were dating. Felt I was sleeping around anyway.

So don't pretend you're my ally now.

So This Is Awkward, My Abuser is Your Significant Other or Family Member

There's a level of pain seeing someone on your friends list, cuddled up, smiling with your abuser. Your abuser has friends, your abuser gets engaged, your abuser has kids.

But what's even more painful is seeing that partner post that. Maybe you don't even realize they are together until you look through their profile. But it it remains: do I tell the truth? Do i risk being called a liar? What is that going to do for my healing?

Sending A Name, Just A Name, No Details, Could Make Me Relive My Trauma

Because that name is ruined for me now. That name is forever printed in my head surrounded by fear, anger, hurt, and confusion (gaslighting is a bitch!).

I can't type that name, because it's at the very top of an unstable tower and typing that name would be the final structure to have it all come crashing down.

There's so much fear of being called a liar, of you wanting to press for details, and also that I just may never stop crying after typing that name.

I just need you to know. It hurts.

Ok, So What Should We Do Instead?

You need ction. A meme is a passive gesture. Anyone can share a meme. But what do you plan to do after you get that name? Are you really going to block them? Are you going to confront them? Cut them out of your life?

You gotta have the uncomfortable yet authentic conversations with your friends. If you want to know if you're connected to an abuser, gain peoples trust. No one will open up to you unless they trust you first. Talk with your friends. Look out for your friends. Intervene when you see something that isn't ok.

*Forrest Gump voice* And that's all I have to say about that.

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