Comedy at its Finest

mr bean collage

I remember my seven year old self popping a DVD into the player and plopping on the couch. When it came to my comedic taste, I didn’t need variety. I just needed my daily dose of Mr. Bean. I wasn’t like most kids that spent all waking hours watching the typical cartoons, such as Courage the Cowardly Dog or The Teen Titans. From the first episode of Mr. Bean there was something  that made it remarkably different from all the other humor.

I think his performances are funny and memorable because they brought a funny light to everyday life. He did not go on faraway missions to and encounter strange things in order to do something funny. Instead, he brought strangeness to the way he dealt with his everyday problems. Many of his performances revolved around the simple but real “struggles” in real life. Often times, the laughs didn’t arouse from the problem itself, the true humor lied in his often exaggerated reactions.

Little me easily laughed at the his incoherent mumbling and his moments of rage.

Oh yes Mr. Bean, the rage is real indeed. We can also never forget the facial expressions. Whether it’s because he is stuck in line or he has lost his watch preparing a turkey, his reactions are always suitable and hilarious. They’re the best part.

Fast  forward into the future I’ve watched many other comedies. I still laugh just as easily as I did when I was little. One thing did change though. The elements of humor in popular movies have become less diverse. The performance of the actor has lost some of its original importance. Modern humor in movies often achieves comedic effect by making sexual or simply controversial references.

I realized this when I sat down two months ago and watched Johnny English RebornIt was a major blast from the past. I had completely forgotten what it was like to watch a movie and laugh without any inappropriate dialogue to cue it. It made me wonder if Rowan Atkinson is some mystical human being because he communicates humor like no other that I’ve seen today.

“I want to express myself in a different way. I have a performing inclination.” -Rowan Atkinson

In my opinion, what makes Rowan Atkinson stand out the most is that he acts in the manner that is outside of social norms in the most carefree manner. We live our lives fighting to not sleep during church, resisting the urge to mess around with dentist tools, and trying not to mess up laboratory experiments. So when Mr. Bean does it on the big screen, it’s a nice relief. For just a while, you forget about what’s socially acceptable and what isn’t. You just laugh because of all the trouble that he gets into for caving.

UjlG1

So that leads me back to my question: Is he a mystical human being? Maybe he is. He’s brought laughter to the biggest and smallest of stages ranging from the 2012 Olympics, Snickers commercials, radio, and my very own home by just being himself.

Yours Truly,

Michelle

Advertisements

To be Immortal

“Immortality. We all want to be remembered: We want to do things that will make people say, ‘Isn’t he wonderful?'”

The Fountain of Youth. Just one sip of the precious liquid will grant the drinker eternal mortality, immortality. The ability to be young and pretty forever, to never have to worry about premature aging, to always have tons of time to do whatever; it is the epitome of one’s existence. Many eons ago, man has been trying to achieve this mystical phenomenon and has miserably failed. The “Fountain of Youth” does exist, just not in the typical “deep in the subtropical rainforests of South America” corner of the world, and believe it or not, it’s right under our noses.

“People are more intrigued by the story of looking and not finding than they are by the idea that the fountain might be somewhere”

Explorers and scientists alike have been searching for the Fountain of Youth for generations and have not found it with any success. Some have given the grueling search with little to no progression and claim that the magical spring was just another child’s tale that never existed, said that it was lost forever due to human industrialization and expansion. The thing is, however, is that they have the wrong mindset of what the Fountain of Youth truly is, and look for it in the wrong places. Beyond the perception that it’s merely a tiny little spring out in the middle of uninhabited wilderness, the Fountain of Youth is your legacy―your life’s hard work paid off. In the highly competitive world today, we all strive to make a name for ourselves, whether it’s to be the best, the most hard-working, the generous, or the worst. Thus, the moment you make a name for yourself in the world, you will live forever. Yes, you will still age and die sooner or later, but after your death, all your accolades and blunders will live on and be remembered the moment your name is brought up. You had left a huge impact in the world and possibly rewrote history, and hence, you had taken a well-deserved sip from the Fountain of Youth. From that moment on, you’ll be remembered long after.

We all want to be remembered for something, whether it’s discovering cures for deadly diseases, winning a Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the most wealthy and successful person to ever exist, or simply beating the world record for eating the most burritos in a day. By the end of the day, we want our names to be engraved in everyone else’s mind, to have it on the tip of their tongue, and to hear it being passed around from gossiping lips to the keen and restless ears.  To be remembered for a long time is pretty much fulfilling the meaning of life. The Fountain of Youth has no specific location as it’s an object you cannot actually grasp between your hands, you have find it on your own. And when you do, you and your legacy will live on forever.

forever

Yours Truly,
Joanna

Reckless and Breathless

I remember standing before the rocks that piled high as if they were competing with the towering pines. I was already who knows how far up the San Bernardino Mountains; but still, my camp buddies were urging me to climb up the rocks that we found during our walk. In that moment I didn’t know what I feared more: the thought of falling from that height or regret of missing out on something so adventurous.

Continue reading

The Curse of Being Adorably Petite

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

I’m a sophomore in high school (shh, don’t tell), and with my short stature and baby face, you could probably assume that I was a freshman or younger. Maybe you would even think I’m much younger, like the younger sibling of another high school student or something. Yeah, that would totally work, if I HAD any siblings to begin with at all–which I don’t, so moving on. A few months ago, I had accidentally bumped into a junior during passing period while I was going to Chemistry. I mumbled a quick apology as a way to be polite, and guess what he said: “Move it, you little freshman! You look like an eighth-grader!” Well, that extremely pissed me off. First off, I do NOT look like fresh meat, and second, I ABSOLUTELY do not look like a MIDDLE SCHOOLER. Why would a middle schooler be here of all places, take hard classes like chemistry and AP European History, and have an amazing teacher who loves food as much as English? Honestly, I was fuming and wanted to kick him really hard in the gut, but then, it wasn’t really worth it. Besides, he would just probably offend me again with another comment about my height, and that would make me want to hurt him even more.

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Photo Credit: Tumblr

He wasn’t the only person who made fun of me because of my petitness. He never was, nor will he be the last. I still remember always being “it” when playing tag on the playground. I hated it—being too slow. I could never catch any of the other kids, constantly pumping my short legs against the ground just to try to catch up to the taller kids and then face-planting in the soddy ground. Whenever I was “it”, the game officially ended. Even today, I have to walk twice as fast just to keep up with the slow, long strides of my friends and constantly have to look up and strain my neck while talking to taller people.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Being short, life was difficult. I could never reach to top shelves, my feet still dangles above the ground like a child when I sit, and I ridiculously get lost and separated easily in a mass of moving people. People rarely ever take me seriously—my friends never do, and think I’m adorable in everything I do, even when I’m mad and screaming at them while standing on a chair. Genuinely, sometimes, I want to be viewed as confident and beautiful, maybe even mysterious. Not cute, adorable, or child-like.

patting head

Photo Credit: Imgur

One might say that the easiest solutions are to either wear heels, wear more makeup, or to simply embrace the shortness and “cuteness”, and I’d laugh at them. Sure, I know know you’re trying to help but do you think that wearing heels solves everything? My back hurts, my ankles swell, my hips ache, and sometimes, I lose circulation to the rest of my body. I know, I sound like one of those pregnant women who constantly complain to their spouses about the effects of pregnancy, how they constantly have to go to the bathroom and what not. But really, wearing heels is no fun at all. Ask anyone you know, ask them if they enjoy wearing heels, if they ever hurt themselves while wearing heels at all, and if they are extremely relieved to throw their heels on the floor when they get home, taking them off is the first thing they do before locking the front door. Ask them, I’m pretty sure they all have the same answer to all of that. For makeup, putting on more or less doesn’t make you look younger nor older. In fact, putting on layers of makeup and having a cake face only makes you look younger as you seem “inexperienced” in applying makeup. Makeup only enhances natural beauty not creates it. Makeup is the art of illusion, not color-blocking. Sure, I have tried embracing my height and child-like features, building a wall of confidence and self-esteem, only to have others quickly tear it down like tissue paper the moment we share eye contact and start talking.

Telling someone something is easy, but making them do that “something”, however, is a different story. Change is hard, it’s supposed to be hard. If change was too easy and we followed everyone’s opinions, life would be way too easy, and where’s the excitement to that? Change is hard, so we could prove ourselves worthy and overcome the obstacles between us and our goals. Sure, embracing my height isn’t going to be easy, but I could still enjoy the perks that come with being short along while looking innocent to everyone else. Like getting free food at Denny’s and having tons of legroom in airplanes.

Yours Truly,

Joanna

The Day I Started Hating Distance

I was barely a teenager at the time. I remember that I was itching to see and experience things for myself. Sure, I went out with my friends and went on frequent holiday vacations with my family. But sure enough it would end. I would come home to the same four walls of my room and wake up to my dad, mom, and sister. You would think that under these circumstances, the teenagery sense of adventure would eventually die out in me. I was ready to bury the cause  —until my best friend’s older brother offered to take my friend and I camping.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Dark, Dark Dream

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

Continue reading

“I’m A Feminist”

It was a late Friday night and my parents invited their friends over. I was a freshman at the time, and my mom warned me that I would be meeting the oh-so-outspoken daughter of my mom’s best friend that was also my age. My premonitions were confirmed when I saw her. She walked in without a single glance in my direction and there was an edgy expression on her face. Her eyes were darkly lined and her eyelashes were thick with mascara. Her lipstick was the kind of bright red that is stocked up at the makeup store because no one dares to pull it off. My eyes fell to the dark t-shirt that she was sporting. In bold white letters it spelled out “Crush the patriarchy.” I suddenly completely understood what my mom meant. Continue reading

The Scientific Tale of Two Dresses

The original image is in the middle. At left, white-balanced as if the dress is white and gold. At right, white-balanced to blue and black. (Photo Credit: Tumblr)

The original image is in the middle. At left, white-balanced as if the dress is white and gold. At right, white-balanced to blue and black. (Photo Credit: Tumblr)

Is it black and blue? Or is it white and gold?  Unless you live under a rock, chances are you know all about “The Dress” and its apparent magical color-changing abilities.  Celebrities are tweeting about it, couples are breaking up over it as color perception totally determines one’s compatibility with one another, and normal people are strangling their best friends, and this man got the dress tattooed on his leg in the midst of this apparently important debate of the year. Continue reading

(1) New Message

Three Saturdays ago, I went out with one of my close friends for the first time in a long time. The weeks of FaceTime, texting, and Snapchat just weren’t cutting it for me, Frankly as humans, we are communicative creatures that crave interaction… outside a phone screen. Like a classic rendezvous, she quietly slipped into the table of our agreed dim corner in Starbucks. I couldn’t wait, I knew that we had a lot to catch up on —once she would put down her phone.

Continue reading

The Top 4 Things To Do During Lunar New Year

You’re driving farther down Brookhurst Street and the amount of cars on the road is overwhelming. You tell yourself dear God, I’m not taking this street for weeks. It’s like Black Friday — except it’s just a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of February.What in the world was this? The world was preparing for Lunar New Year. The traffic jams are just a side-effect to this great time. To make it worth all the road rage, here’s my top four list of things to do before the big day to ensure that you make the most of it next year.

1. Cooking your own tet food is a must try. In Vietnamese culture, we show our appreciation to friends and family by giving gifts of traditional food such as pickled mustard greens, candied coconut ribbons, candied ginger, and different types of wrapped sticky rice. Of course, homemade foods are ideal and let’s the significant others know how much we really appreciate them.

My mom and I took on the challenge for ourselves by making homemade candied coconut ribbons.

It was many hours of standing over the stove until they became crunchy and sugary.image3 (2)image4

After massaging my wrists, I thought the end product was completely worth it.

2. Next comes the comfortable fashion risk. My favorite family tradition for this special time of year is designing our own ao dai, or the Vietnamese long dress. You pick the fabric, top to bottom. The design is according to your taste, ranging from sheer to solid and plain to sparkly. Then comes the agonizing (and exciting) wait for it to be done so that you can show it off. This is the perfect way to make it all about you in the new year and to embrace the beauty of this traditional wear.

FullSizeRender new

3. When the new year rolls up next year, don’t forget to buy some blossoms and orchids.  It’s a really exciting and selective process. It brings so much color to our homes and its rarity makes it feel like it’s truly Lunar New Year. While they are decorative and beautiful, they also make good backgrounds for nice family pictures.

image3 image2

4. Lastly, it’s never the new year without the Lunar New Year festivals. You can never miss attending the Lunar New Year festivals where there is live music, free gifts, games, and fresh food. Bring yourself home some free souvenirs from the commercial venders and sweet memories. There are two popular tet festivals in the Orange County area. I recommend the USVA Tet Festival in Costa Mesa where it is bigger and more popular. If you are looking to spend a peaceful day, the Bolsa Grande High School Tet Festival is still a great Lunar New Year experience.

image2 (2)

Yours Truly,

Michelle