Wednesday, August 23, 2017

film 6260

as it turns out, a jimmy fallon skit is not appropriate for an assignment about writing short films. my professor politely listened to my argument but in the end i couldn't sway her to see otherwise. so here i am, soliciting the internet for ideas about what to write my screenplay about. 

a few of these look promising but for the most part seem like ripoff's from other ideas (like how the last one is really just a mash up of the movies "Five Year Engagement" and "La La Land," and the election one is probs a VEEP episode). 

so take a look and help your girl out. 

A subway train breaks down in a tunnel. 
A couple takes this opportunity to use the trapped passengers as a sort of jury to hear their cases out (the girl wants to break up, the boy refuses.) Passengers take sides and a verdict is delivered just as the doors open onto the platform.

A magazine office/news crew tries out some crazy ideas in order to remain relevant. 
They rap out a news story “Hamilton” style, treat news stories like “tinder” and give the audience the ability to “swipe right” on stories they want to hear about.  

A pizza delivery guy has some strange encounters during his night on the job. 
He helps deliver a baby, uncovers a plan for a bank robbery, helps a music star finish a hit single.

Behind the scenes of election night (small, local mayor). 
Tensions are high and the drinks are flowing. One staffer admits to voting for the other candidate, etc.

Spring Break 2k17.
A friend is left on the beach after refusing to leave with the rest of his group after a concert, he is now left on his own to make it back to the condo. Scenarios like hopping a van hoping he could blend in with the rest of the passengers, wandering around a local supermarket, falling asleep in a hotel lobby (uses the phone to call his ex girlfriend, the only number he remembers) crashes a house party and grabs some “jungle juice,” and finally makes it back to the condo just as the rest of his friends come home from dinner.

Eclipse 2k17. 
Inspired by the eclipse and worried about the events that could happen after (she is very influenced by facebook news and how this can become the real Y2K), a mother spills the family secrets to her children as they watch the shadow come closer. Stories like how she hid 10,000 dollars in the back yard come to light.

A girl comes back home to attend her younger brother’s wedding.
She spends the whole dinner defending herself and her fiancĂ© about their long term engagement (he proposed five years ago, her brother is getting married after only knowing the bride for three weeks, they met on a cruise). The conflict reaches a boiling point during the toasts. While giving her speech she sees her ex in the crowd, a flash back occurs, a resolution is made. Will the engagement finally end in a breakup or a double wedding? 

also, if i had to write a screenplay based on a song it would be one of these two: hotline bling (let's be real, the girl drake describes sounds cool af) and green light

Monday, August 21, 2017

despacito: the remix

hello faithful follower, i am writing to you live from the kennesaw university library! 
i have just started my second week of school and this semester marks the halfway point of my graduate degree.

i have doubled up on classes this semester and am taking four classes instead of the recommended two. this sounded like a good idea during registration because i wanted to make sure i graduated on time this go around (lol undergrad) but i have forgotten how hard it is to come up with fresh material for every assignment. 

the essay i am sharing with you tonight is from my creative nonfiction class. we were asked to use a memory of ours to defend our opinion on how much liberty can be taken when writing cnf (like you probably don't remember everything your friend said that night seven years ago or what the weather was like at the baseball game or maybe you want to compress a twenty day hike into one morning)

so my memory was from my first night in honduras and everything i wrote was truth. a quick sidebar however: before i shared it with the class i did mention that i tend to believe everything and i don't really spend time questioning how much was fabricated to fit the story. like i still believe that the tv shows "laguna beach" and "the hills" are real (everyone laughed, its fine). 

my class is pretty cool, there is a lawyer who is a jazz trombonist and acts in local plays in his free time, my professor is a daughter of a bank robber, and the classmate who sits next to me is a very sweet blind lady who types her notes on a braille typewriter. 

so here we go: 

My mouth was dry and my heart was racing like that one time I drank a coffee and a Five Hour Energy too close together and just knew that death was imminent. I was trapped in the bench seat of a passenger van bouncing along a dirt road, and if death wasn’t imminent motion sickness sure was. In an effort to keep from vomiting on my new friends I switched seats with a girl shouting “I’m the one” (in her defense it was the song on the radio) to stick my head out the window like a dog or a drunk. It’s about 10 at night and without street or house lights the valley of San Manuel is oppressed by a darkness I have never experienced before. I brushed up on my astronomy and constellations before I came here, expecting a sky full of stars only to find that there is a constant coverage of smog over the country built up over decades of burning the sugar cane fields. 

I have been in Honduras for about 8 hours now and am fully convinced that America is a figment of my imagination and I will never be able to make it back home. I feel like I’m living out that dream where I know I have to be somewhere important but no matter how long I walk the hallway never ends. Sensing my home sickness, my new friends are taking me to a local coffee shop, Toyas, thinking it will help me feel more grounded (it’s very similar to a Panera or Atlanta Bread Company). 

Even on my ride to the village from the airport, I knew that Honduras felt familiar to me, I had seen it before, kind of like how you vaguely remember your waiter as a classmate from high school years before, the one that was always trying to drop their mixtape. I placed the feeling when the van stopped alongside a semi truck and a man riding a donkey “chariot style” at a stoplight. I won’t speak for Honduras as a whole, but the city of San Manuel is the real world version of every apocalyptic movie ever made. The roads are a disaster, there is no power or water, people live in shelters made of cardboard, signs, and old tires. Buildings are run down if not deserted altogether and the air never stops smelling like fire. Cows, pigs, and chickens run free. I am an accidental extra in a Mad Max film. 

It’s at the coffee shop when I finally relax for the first time since unboarding the plane that morning. The well lit dining room and air conditioning slows down my heart rate and I forget all about the hammer kept in the shower for times when a scorpion or tarantula might crawl in. I remember that America is real and this time 19 days from now I will be back home having chicken tenders for dinner and binge watching Bravo TV as if my adventure to Honduras had never occurred. This thought sobers me considering my whole intention of going on this trip was to have a life changing adventure, what was the point of being here if I spend all my time counting down the minutes to my departure flight on my FlyDelta app? 

We’re loading back into the van now and I snag a window seat in the third row. My stomach hurts from eating a nutella and strawberry crepe too fast but for the most part I am at ease. I hold onto the roll bar and brace myself for the uneven road but Tanya and I end up falling on each other anyway. "Despacito" plays over the radio and this time I join in on singing along.

this week i am working on a call back interview for the office of economic development (fingers crossed) and writing an eight minute screenplay for my screenwriting class (it will most likely be for a skit on jimmy fallon). i will also be listening to this song about a hundred more times. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

survival kit.

welp, my flight to atlanta leaves in exactly one day and twenty hours. i'm so excited to back in the states and sleep in my bed and take a shower without fear of a scorpion coming in (this is a true story). 

i thought it would be cool to make a post of all the tools that have helped me survive these past three weeks.


face stuff: 
pixi glow tonic 
cover girl mascara
covert girl lipstick 
nyx by cream 
almost healthyglow foundation
soap and glory wonderbrow 

can you believe this is all the makeup i brought? i can't. i knew it was going to be hot but i truly had no idea. the tonic was nice to use in the morning and i'm glad i didn't bring toner because of how harsh it would have been on my skin. the almay foundation was supposed to gradually tan my face (because i didn't bring bronzer) but that did not work at all. my lashes and brows have been on point though so i guess that's all that matters.


the tools: 
bug spray 
fanny pack
water bottle

all of these tools have been crucial, almost like another limb to me. the headlamp was awesome because of how dark it gets in the village (the sun sets at 6 and there are no street lights) i didn't really wear it on my head though because the bugs would go straight for it. so maybe just a flashlight next time. 

this bug spray saved me. i've been here for three weeks and have gone hiking several times. as of my second to last night i only have four big bites. that is awesome. id recommend the brand because it never bothered my skin which is good considering how much i used (i've gone through four bottles). 

my beautiful fanny pack. extremely unattractive but definitely a necessity. i should probs get street cred since the brand is patagonia. 

the grayl and steripen (the flashlight looking thing in the last photo) were amazing. i never worried about safe drinking water so that was cool. looked like i was performing science experiments the whole time but knowing my water was safe to drink was such a good feeling. if rei is reading this, ben from the camping section of barrett parkway location really knows his stuff. 

the hammer has helped me kill scorpions. so there's that. 


honorable mentions:
misquito net
baby wipes
dry shampoo 

my beautiful misquito net, i could write all day about this thing. it was easy to set up and it kept all the bugs out. i slept so well knowing that the creepy crawlers were not going to wind up in my bed. unfortunately it is incredibly flammable. i won't hold that against it though. 

i would say the baby wipes are important when traveling to a third world country because of the scarce water supply. we are supposed to get water every three days but there have been days when that did not happen. the wipes were a huge help when showers were not possible. (can i sound any more attractive) 

aerosol deodorant came in clutch because it's so hot here that regular deodorant will melt in your armpit and flake off all over your clothes and chair (this is also a true story, but not to me thank goodness) 


other than having every piece of gravel stuck in my shoe at all times, the chacos were awesome. 

the nix was such a good book, perfect for those nights you can't sleep because the rain is too loud (we have a tin roof here). 

my sweet little Bible. it is the amplified edition and has been with me since freshman year of college. the heat got the best of it but i'm hoping i can fix it with duct tape once i get back to the states. i recently purchased a new Bible from #shereadstruth which i love but the amplified translation is my favorite. 

well that's all! i'll hopefully be writing my last post while waiting for my plane to arrive! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

the weeknd.

the power has gone out for hours at a time each day this week. i never noticed how much i depended on those fans pushing hot air around the room. it was 119 degrees, how much of a difference does that fan actually make? it makes a huge difference. 

we have also been out of water for the past three days which means no showers, laundry, and even flushing the toilet is a no go. 

if you have never worried about taking a shower or flushing the toilet you need to praise the Lord. 

so anyway, the weekend was fun but the days following have been tough to say the least. 

after school let out on friday we went into the city to get a manicure. the salon wasn't exactly like the ones in the states, there were no massage chairs and the tub to soak your feet was a rubbermaid container instead of a heated jacuzzi. regardless, it was nice to finally be out of the village and my total cost was 350 limps or 15 dollars. 

after the salon we walked down the street for dinner at a 'mom and pop' restaurant which was really just two tents, a grill, and patio furniture set up along the road. i have found that this format is common here, food permits are not necessary so really anyone can choose a median or street corner to start up their grill and make some cash. while concerned about the nonexistent health score, the dinner was actually really good. i have forgotten the name but i had a tortilla with queso and pork. 

we headed to the beach the next morning, a spot called tortuga bay. i really liked being able to set my hammock up between palm trees and read my book, 'the nix.' we went on a banana boat and it wasn't until the boat took off for the horizon that i realized how terrified i was. i just knew i was going to fall off into the water and be carried away by a shark. i knew it. well, i actually did end up falling off the boat. shocker. when i made it out of the water and was just floating there i was afraid that no one noticed that i was gone. i know how silly that sounds but whatever. as i yelled for help i saw that another girl was in the water with me. so there i was, floating in the middle of the ocean waiting for the boat to loop around and pick us up. it was kind of cool. 

i enjoyed the second half of the ride so much more. i had already survived my biggest fear so what else could happen?  

after church on sunday we went hiking. there was an abandoned house waiting for us at the top which kind of freaked me out because i made the mistake of watching 'blair witch project' one time and i had to convince myself it wasn't the same house. i'm a moron.



Friday, June 2, 2017

hammers and fanny packs.

it's difficult to feel pretty here.

well, it's hard for me to feel pretty in the states too, but here it's on a different level. 

i smell like a strange cocktail of heat, bug spray, sunscreen, and days old clothing. my hair is free in its natural state and for most that is a good thing but for me that just means frizz.  top all of it off with my nike sneakers and fanny pack and it takes all i can to not run and blend in with the wall. 

this is where i am supposed to say that this trip has taught me that i am fearfully and wonderfully made and that i am beautiful no matter what instagram says. 

nah fam. i have not learned that at all. 

there are wordly treasures that i can deal without such as: fancy cars, snapchat glasses, designer clothes, an extravagant wedding, extra guacamole. but damn y'all, i just want to feel pretty.

a week into my trip, the homesickness only comes when it is time to go to bed. that's when i long for the comforts of home the most. things like air conditioning, a spider-less bathroom, and water that won't kill you. last night i saw a scorpion chilling on the wall above my bed and we had to google how to kill it. the internet was not helpful in the least and the only advice it gave us was to either pack up and leave or burn the place down. we started googling facts about scorpions to learn more about our nemesis. things like if they were fast, if they can squirt their venom, can they survive without their tail. we decided to stab it with a broom and then hammer it once it was on the ground. after a few practice stabs we succeeded in destroying the thing. 

today i learned that mean girls is almost as universal as beyoncĂ©. i just assumed being mean wasn't possible here, the village is only three streets, there is only so much drama that can happen before everyone stops talking to each other. 

i was grading papers during recess when minely came in and sat at her desk. it isn't unusual for kids to skip recess because it's 104 degrees here on average so i didn't think anything of it until she burst into tears. she told me that throughout the day she and the other girls were joking with each other by hiding one another's things (a workbook on the slide, a pencil next to the boy she had a crush on, that kind of thing) and everyone was having fun until suddenly they weren't. minely hid yajiara's headband and the spirit of regina george descended upon the playground. the other three ganged up on minely all the while minely couldn't figure out why things had changed so quickly. 

i couldn't answer that because i am still not sure why it happens even in my own life. i have been blindsided by so many friends over the years. there are definitely friendships that i can point to and say, 'yeah, me and my huge mouth ruined that one' but there are others that have gone unsolved. we were friends one day and the next day we weren't. 

i brought the girls together and told them that playing around and joking is fun but once someone gets hurt it needs to stop. the headband was returned, apologies were exchanged, and they were all rushing out the door to enjoy the rest of recess. 

if only everything was that easy to solve.

during their nap time i caught yoely passing a notecard to jeremy. she smiled as she handed me the notecard, she thought she was slick because it was written in spanish. the note was in too much slang for me to figure out on my own, but my google translate app is super cool and helped me out. what i read shocked me. yoely was telling a boy all the reasons why he could never be her boyfriend. the list was mean and even racist. i was stunned. this girl is so cute and sweet, it broke my heart to know that she could say such things. 

as it turns out, the boy didn't even want to be her boyfriend, he liked yoely's friend  genesis. he wrote genesis a love letter and she was about to throw it away when yoely asked to read it. yoely offered to write a letter back to tell him to leave genesis alone. 

hearing that crushed me even more. yoely created drama that wasn't even hers to begin with. how many times have i done that over the years? you'd think i'd cook more considering how much i love stirring the pot. it's hard seeing your flaws in someone else. 

it was even worse when i and the principal had a conference with yoely and her mother. i think the mom was more upset that we wasted her time.  

and that wasn't even the end of my day! we played a game of kickball with the other grades during p.e today and the ball hit minely square in the face and knocked her over. this poor girl couldn't get a break today. the boys kept imitating her reaction throughout the game and i realized the embarrassment of being hit was more painful for her than actually being hit. i told her to laugh. i told her that she couldn't let them see her cry because that's what they wanted. if she laughed along with them it would stop being funny. you can't give your enemy content (like tears, a response, a screenshot of how you blocked them) because that's what they feed on. 

i don't know if that is what you're supposed to say to a ten year old but we both laughed and kept playing the game. 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

and brick killed a guy with a trident.

i couldn't open the door, it was too dark and i had left my headlamp in my backpack. i joked about how we would have to sleep outside instead, and that's when we saw the glow through the window. our room was on fire. 

the door opened and i stumbled inside to asses the situation. a whole corner of the room was in flames, an overhead fan caught fire and fell onto my bed. 

it was terrifying how helpless i felt. there are no fire departments here, just you and a bucket. the other girls ran to the school to grab the fire extinguisher only to find that it was empty. i threw our suitcases out onto the porch in hopes to protect our passports. 

we cut the power off and doused the room in water, shirts tied around our faces to keep the smoke away. 
as quickly as it came, it was over. my pillow and misquito net were the only casualties. i stayed up all night thinking about what would have happened if i was in bed like i usually was around the time the fire started. 

i made myself sick. i couldn't believe that an hour beforehand i was obsessing over a dauchsand labrador mix and watching 'speed control two: cruise control,'  the absolute worst movie, while my room was burning. 

we packed up our things and headed to a friend's house in the city. 

monday morning was hard. i was unsure of where we were going to stay and how i was going to replace the misquito net and pillow. thinking about how i was sad about those things made me think about how i should be grateful because it could have been worse and how there are much worse things happening to others. this cycle of thought continued well into the afternoon. i was ready to call it quits and head home all over again.

i bribed the class today with songs for good behavior. they all got to write a song they wanted me to play on the board and we would listen to it as long as they were quiet. we listened to 'swalla' about 8 times in a row. they were so sweet today, even the boys gave me a hug and told me they loved me before going home. 

i spent the whole day thinking of how to get a misquito net. it had provided so much comfort and i knew i wasn't going to sleep without a new one. i really thought that buying one would be as simple as going to the drugstore but after several calls i learned that only one store in the city carries them. 

i asked one of the leaders to drive me and she said yes but i could tell she didn't want to. i prayed the rest of the day that i would make it to the store before they closed at 8. we left at 3. after a few errands and a series of unfortunate events it was 7:38 and we were parking in front of a supermarket. she told me that she was pretty sure the store would have what i was looking for. i was beside myself. how could this be happening? i prayed that i would somehow find what i needed inside. after 40 minutes of combing the aisles, a girl in the group appeared with a canopy netting. while not exactly what i was hoping for, i was so relieved i began to cry. i will never know why the leader acted like she did, but i do know that God used her to show that He will provide my needs no matter how silly. 

go ahead and click: 
also, the youtube in honduras is a little strange so if you can't pull up the video search for:alex aoino, "one dance"

p.s the title is from my favorite line of  'anchorman' 
'there was a man on fire and brick killed a guy with a trident.' get it, i told you about the room on fire.....
i may be stretching the joke a little thin but it's my blog so whatever. 



Saturday, May 27, 2017

cherry icees.

oi dios mio. today was so good. 
we went into the city of san pedro sula today (about an hour drive from our village of el doradito) and had dinner before going to see pirates of the caribbean. 

contrary to popular belief, honduras does have a metropolitan area and people there are well off. from what i have gathered so far, the government is very rich and the people are very poor. not unlike the states but on a more extreme scale. city living is similar to atlanta because of the mix of the very rich and very poor. the rich live in beautiful mansions behind high concrete walls complete with a watchtower and a guard armed with a machine gun. the poor live against those high walls underneath cardboard. 

my lunch was a pop tart and a handful of raisins (i just can't seem to get on the rice/bean/egg wagon) and was disappointed that dinner was at a coffee shop. ya girl needed a burger. the shop was less of a starbucks and more like a panera however, and i had the most incredible turkey panini and caramel frappacino. 

after dinner we walked through the mall to get to the cineplex for the movie. the malls are so fancy here, there are decorations and fountains. i couldn't help but laugh when 'empire state of mind' came on over the radio, apparently the allure of new york has worked its way into all cultures. 

 i was so full from dinner but knew i need to enjoy everything while i was there so i bought a cherry icee. i have given up soda a while back but an icee at the movie theatre is definitely my weak spot. 

we got caught in a rainstorm on the way back to the village and our little mazda van took a beating. i stayed up wayyyyy after my bed time (i'm usually asleep by ten) to watch the lightening strike the mountains. i got a few videos and once i figure out how to post them i will. 

as i was getting ready for bed i saw a black blur move along the baseboard. i asked a girl for a shoe and as i put my glasses on to kill the spider i saw that it was much much larger than i thought. i screamed immediately and caused everyone to panic. it was not a tarantula but it was definitely the largest spider i have seen yet, almost the size of my palm with its legs spread out. we brainstormed ways to kill it and i thought we could sweep it out. a girl went to grab the broom but another spider of the same size was standing next to it! i was terrified, we were surrounded! we asked a boy from the dorm next door to kill them and begrudgingly he did. praise the Lord. our adrenaline was pumping at that point and no one could go to sleep but i was better off because i got to sleep under the saftey of my misquito net. i will post about all of the tools i use to survive here later on. 



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