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Blog Post #7: Two By Two Review

Hi all! This week’s review is on Two By Two, by Nicholas Sparks. My sister bought the novel for me a couple of years ago and I adore it! Thank you, sis!

 The book tells the story of a man with seemingly, the perfect life. Russell has a beautiful wife, adorable daughter, a gorgeous home, and a very successful career under his belt. With so much going for him, the guys is on top of the world.

But over a few short months, his whole life turns upside down. After deciding to quit his job to start up his own marketing firm, nothing is the same again. This one bold move initiates a chain reaction of negative events. His wife leaves him for the man he used to work for. BOOM! Russell’s sister is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. BOOM! He bumps into a former girlfriend from college and decides to pursue her. BOOM!

Every time I even look at the cover of this book, it puts a smile on my face. (as cheesy as it sounds) What really stands out about Russell’s character to me is how he grapples with the various hardships the universe has thrown his way. From becoming a single parent and discovering shocking things he never knew about his former wife, to reflecting on his past and embracing a new beginning, Russell tackles it all head-on with dignity, an incredible work ethic and a new perspective on love. The main message that I got is: if you keep an open mind and try your hardest to make the best out of the craziness going on around you, everything just might fall into place.

I’ve been a huge Nicholas Sparks fan since high school. Being known for his amazing ability to pen incredible stories in the drama/romance genre, his books have also been turned into critically acclaimed films as well, including The Last Song, The Choice, and The Lucky One.

I love this book and hope you will too.

Why I Decided to Live at Home During University

This week I wanted to talk about an important life decision that I made when starting university. My plan was always to move out as soon as possible, but when the time finally came, I decided that going away for university was not the right path for me. Here are some of the factors that went into I decided to live at home during university:

Cost

One of the most obvious factors that will determine where a student lives during their time in university is the cost of living. Let’s face it, rent is expensive, especially if you are a student trying to balance tuition fees and other expenses. In my particular situation, I had the option of living at home without needing to pay any rent. This cuts down on a lot of my expenses and allowed me to save more money for when I do move out in the future, while still having enough disposable income to enjoy on the weekends.

Proximity

I did get into my dream school that was all the way across the country and higher ranked than the school that I currently attend but that did not affect my decision to leave. When thinking about what program I am actually interested in studying, I knew that the school that is only 30 minutes from my house had a program that I was much more interested in pursuing.

Stability

When accepting an offer of enrollment from my university, I considered the stability that I had built in my current life. I liked the idea of sticking around. I was not ready to uproot my life entirely. I already had a steady, part-time job that allowed me the flexibility working around my school schedule and the majority of my friends were staying in town as well. I felt that I would be happiest if I stay in my current situation – and I don’t regret my decision. I did not really feel like I would get major FOMO on dorm life or getting the “real college experience” because it just was not right for me in my current situation.

Networking

I knew that during university I wanted to get work experience and particularly participate in my university’s co-op program. I wanted to build connections near home so that if I am offered a job in the future, it will be near where I live. Living here allowed me to begin networking and making connections in my field from the start of my undergrad.

I am grateful that I am able to have the option to decide whether to live at home or go away for university, and I hope that hearing about my experience will help you make your decision as well.

Peer Review #2

This week, I will be reviewing Steve’s blog, Foodie From Van. Being someone who also loves food, I am really excited about this one!

Theme & Customization

Right off the bat, readers are greeted by a colourful header image. The header image is great because readers automatically know what the blog is about without having to dig through the content to find it – and it definitely made my mouth water! The theme that Steve has selected is nice and simple, but it does look a little basic. I would suggest that he spend some time taking advantage of the customization options further, so it does not look like a template.

Site Structure/Usability

Overall, the layout of Steve’s website is easy to navigate and use. Personally, I would recommend that he try out making the homepage of his site consist of only excerpts of his posts instead of the entire post. I think that it makes it easier to scroll through the site to see all of his posts laid out instead of scrolling for a long time until you find the post that you want. The “recent posts” widget that he has in his side bar can be a solution to finding his different content, but the “excerpts” only is my personal preference when reading a website.

Typography

The typography that Steve is using for the title of his blog could be changed. The concept of his blog is awesome, but I think the typography could reflect the theme a little better. It could be cool if he tried out a typography that makes the reader automatically think of food. As Mauve Pagé explained in her guest lecture, typography is important because it offers readers further insight into the identity of the author and the contents of what they are about to read.

Here is an example of some food inspired fonts that I found from winterandsparrow.com:

Content

His blog posts are really thorough and well-done. I enjoyed reading the recommendations and would love to visit some of those spots. I appreciate the detail he puts into his reviews of each restaurant – number scales, full description etc.

The images he has included in his posts are also really nice – not sure if they are his own or taken from the restaurants’ websites, but they look really professional and add an interesting visual aspect to his posts.

Social Media Integration

I was not able to find any social media integration on Steve’s blog. Due to the awesome food photos that he is including in his blog posts, I would suggest that he creates an Instagram account for his blog because I’m sure people would love to follow him!

Overall Thoughts

Steve has created an awesome foundation for his blog, and I am excited to see where he takes it.

Furutsu Sando – Fruit Sandwich

Furutsu Sando (フルーツサンド), or fruit sandwich in English, is a sandwich filled with assorted fruits placed between fresh whip cream and sometimes cream cheese. It is very common in Japan and can be found in supermarkets, dessert cafes, convenient stores and department stores. The pretty and colourful look also makes it very Intagrammable.

Origin

Most Japanese may think that fruit sandwiches were invented in Kyoto, and were made for Geishas and workers to enjoy fruit while keeping their hands clean. Yet, there are a few other sayings about the true origin of this recipe.

Yaoiso (ヤオイソ) Cafe is one of the oldest cafes in Kyoto found in 1869. During 1972, the 5th owner Ikuo Hasegawa visited a Fruit Lounge in Osaka and discovered a sandwich menu with whip cream, cashew and peanut as fillings. He then decided to reproduce a similar product, but replace nuts with fruits since his cafe is famous for fruits. This modified recipe may have marked the beginning of fruit sandwiches in Japan.

Another explanation is that, instead of Kyoto, fruit sandwiches first appeared in Tokyo. It was invented when Europe, America and Japan started a Japan-based cruise ship business in 1962. The fruit sandwich is designed for the sake of luxury since fruits were rare and expensive in Japan. This proposed recipe was also aiming to fit the taste of western customers and provide them with the best customer service by giving them the highest quality foods.

Kaoru Kamatani, Associate Professor of the School of Food Management at Ritsumeikan University, suggested another interpretation of the invention. He made an educated guess that fruit sandwiches and fruit punch are items made for the Japanese in the 1960s. It was to help the Japanese get used to exotic foods. Hence, bread slices are used instead of cake, which makes it seems more affordable and friendly.

Recipes

Ingredients required to make a fruit sandwich are very obvious, which includes sliced bread, whip cream and choice of fruit. It is extremely easy to make, and the only tricky part is to layout the fruit pieces. It will affect the appearance of the sandwich particularly the cut surface.

As the image has shown, there is a different layout depending on cutting diagonally or straight down in the middle. Also, wrap the sandwich tightly and settle for 10 minutes before cutting. It helps the cream to stay in shape and make the best-looking fruit sandwich.

Fruit sandwich may seem like a very basic item, primarily two slices of bread with fruits. However, the history, stories and consideration behind have made it into an interesting topic to talk about when eating it.

Blog Post #6: True Love Review

*WARNING* Major fangirling in this post! This week, I’m going to review True Love by Jennifer Lopez, someone who’s been my idol for the past eight years. Starting out as a “fly girl” on the hit 90s show In Living Colour, to selling over 80 million records worldwide, to say J. Lo has proven to be a force in the entertainment industry is an understatement. I first saw her on Season 10 of American Idol and became a hugefan. I absolutely love everything about her. This title was released back in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to share my thoughts about True Love. It’s a very important novel to me.

 Jennifer describes in vivid detail on what life was like between 2011-2012. Although her career was at an all time high, she went through an extremely difficult time shortly after her and former husband Marc Anthony divorced. But through it all, she discovered something crucial that many people (especially a lot of us women out there) need to learn: How to love yourself. Despite possessing an incredible work ethic, being extremely talented, and achieving massive success, she reflects on times when she did not hold herself in as high esteem as others. She gives the example of when she was pregnant with her twins. Someone was smoking a cigarette nearby and she promptly walked away from the area. Of course, a parent does anything to protect their child, (or in this case, children) but noticed how, before the pregnancy, she never really considered doing the same for herself, even though she generally doesn’t like being around smokers. She didn’t think that she deserved better.

From incorporating elements such as glimpses into her childhood growing up in the Bronx to embarking on her very first world tour, reading this book almost feels as though she’s reading it directly to you. Its that personal. (And aesthetically pleasing – the photos she chose for it are gorgeous) I’ve read True Love a few times. Each time I read, it seems like I adore the book more and more. Loving myself is definitely something I need to work on, and this inspires me to do more things on a daily basis that involve affirmations or my overall mental health. Words cannot describe how much I love her and this book. Even if you’re not necessarily familiar with Jennifer Lopez or her work, but looking to find an intimate and impactful novel, True Love ticks all the boxes for a great read.

Check out her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/JenniferLopez

Week 6: Process Post

“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”

Bruce Springsteen

I created my blog with a specific audience in mind – myself. I tried to think about the content that I would like to look at and design my blog around that. I have always loved “college content” where bloggers/vloggers post about their college experiences and tips. It is something that I can relate to and enjoy getting advice from someone else’s perspective. That is what I wanted to be for my audience – a friend that they can listen to and communicate with while we are both going through a monumental time in our lives.

So far, I imagine that my audience would be mostly female. My content is gender-neutral, but I think on average more women will be interested in reading my content than men. Due to the audience that I have in mind, I have designed my blog to be pretty minimalist because that seems to be a popular aesthetic among college blogs. I also have created a featured image for each of my blog posts. I try to edit my featured images, so they all look pretty consistent to my theme, but I still try to keep them interesting so that they have something to do with the content. The featured images are kind of Tumblr/Instagram inspired because they reflect an ideal or aesthetic version of college life.

Some of my featured images I have posted so far:

I think that while I continue to work on my blog I will try to add more stylistic and interesting design choices that make my blog stand out a little more. I think it currently looks pretty basic, and I could definitely add more to it. I am excited to see how I can update this blog as the semester goes on.

Why a Degree in Communications?

For most people, choosing what you’re going to major in is difficult. You want to take something that you enjoy, but you can also get a job from and make a decent living. I was one of those people struggling to find my path. I actually ended up enrolling into my university’s School of Communication on a whim because it seemed like my best option at the time. Luckily, even though I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, I was able to find the path I wanted to take. If you are also struggling to figure out what to major in, or maybe you have considered Communication, but you’re just not set on it yet, here are the reasons why I love being a Communication Major.

Flexibility

As a Communication student, one of the most common things you’re going to hear is…”so what exactly do you do?”. While this question is a little frustrating, it is valid. My School of Communication focuses on teaching critical thinking an ways of production. That may sound very general, but that is because it is. Communication offers a way of thinking and understanding the world that can transfer into a variety of different careers. People can graduate with a degree in Communication and go on to work in marketing, public relations, social media, event planning, journalism…and the list goes on. Even though I am happy with the major that I chose, I am still not 100% sure what I want to do after school finishes, but with my degree, I will have the flexibility of choosing from a variety of different areas that interest me.

Usability

Another thing that I love about Communications is how applicable the course material is to your every day life. Learning about the concepts that shape our reality is very interesting. You will be up to date on current events especially in the areas of technology, politics, and media. Again, because you will be learning a wide variety of skills that apply to everyday life, it should not be too hard finding a job after graduation.

Customization

I’m not sure how a Communication degree works at other schools, but at my school, you are required to complete some electives from outside the Faculty of Communications. Due to this, myself and many of my peers go on to complete a Minor along with their Communication degree. Getting a minor is awesome because you are able to explore another interest you may have outside of Communication, or you may find something else that will pair nicely with your Communication degree for your career after graduation.

Adut Akech for The Last Magazine

Photography: Annemarieke van Drimmelen; Fashion Editor: Katelyn Gray; Model: Adut Akech styled in The Row, Peter Do, Jacquemus, Saint Laurent, and Alighieri.


What stood out to me about this photoshoot for The Last Magazine was the simplicity:

Employing Annemarieke van Drimmelen for this photoshoot was perfect in showcasing the beauty of simplicity of using natural light and the dramatic effects it can create through shadows. To me, Drimmelen’s style is like photographing a snapshot with a film camera. There is a documentary style that she employs. By crushing the blacks in the shadows of the images, it adds a vintage, almost memory-like tone to the photographs. As well as the vignette that burns the corners of the photos to frame the subject. Her photos can illustrate breathless joy or the dramatics of a sullen stare. Her photographs remind me of a mix of Peter Lindbergh and Richard Avedon. Her images are truly spectacular and museum worthy.

As part of the team, I have to mention the model, Adut Akech. She is one of the most prominent and successful models at the moment in fashion. At only 19, she has already starred in campaigns and walked for some of the biggest fashion houses such as, Valentino, and Saint Laurent. Akech has completely proven time and time again that she is a force in the industry and in this particular shoot–adorned in timeless and polished ensembles– Adut Akech is the star power that emanates so fiercely through the distortion of the images.

Practicing Self-Care as a University Student

YES, school can be stressful, but I’ve learned that it is so much more important to be mentally healthy and happy. Here are a few of my tips for self-care during the school year:

Leave time for the things you love…

Whether it be rock climbing, playing guitar, or reading a good book, it is so important for students to make time for the things that they love doing. Focusing all your time on school work will overwork you and make you feel rundown. You need an outlet to let some of your stress out and have a good time.

Keep Active…

Mount Tod Trail at Sun Peaks

Make sure you are making time to stay active during the school year. Sitting all day studying is not healthy! You definitely need to get up and move around. Physical activity can also release endorphins that make us feel better and happier. I love hiking because being outdoors helps relieve some of my stress, but when the weather is not great, I like to make time to go to the gym.

Journaling…

If you are someone who has struggled with anxiety, try out journaling. I have come to love it. Writing down all the things that stressed you out during the day somehow makes them seem small and insignificant. It also makes for a great memory keepsake to hold onto when you’re older.

Yoga & Meditation…

Something that I want to start doing more of is meditating. I have heard nothing but great things from people that have tried it. I also really like yoga! Last year, I bought a pass to a yoga studio near me, and I loved the way it made me feel. Yin Yoga is great for relaxation after a long day at school.

And…if all else fails, run a nice hot bubble bath to forget about all your problems.

a place that is better in fall

As leaves started to change colour and heavy rains are knocking on our door, we know that the Fall has come. I am assuming for many people Fall is not their favourite season but to be honest I love Fall. I love it when the ordinary colours of the earth is replaced with many shades …

cities

I am assuming if you have read my previous posts you probably understood that I am not a big fan of big cities and crowded places. I usually like to experience the small miracles that nature offers. For me a good trip should take place somewhere far away from the big, scary skyscrapers, unending traffic …

Wagyu – Japanese Beef

Wagyu (和牛) is the famous Japanese beef cattle known for its marbleized fat distribution. This type of beef is usually used in the menu of Yakiniku, shabu-shabu, teppanyaki and more. A grading system is specifically made for quality control and classification of various breeds and brands of beef.

Breeds

There are 4 main breeds of wagyu, including Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. 90% of wagyu came from Japanese Black because it is easy to reproduce, and holds the highest chance of having marbelized body fat. Japanese Brown usually has less than 12% body fat, and the selling point is on the authentic taste of the muscles. Japanese Shorthorn holds more inosinic acid and glutamic acid that enhances the flavour of the beef, and Japanese Polled have more amino acid that deepens the aftertaste.

Wagyu Brands

Additional to breeds, there are further categorization branched into countless wagyu brands. These various brand names depend on ancestors, location, grade, and usually, need proof of certification. Two of the most popular brands are Matsusaka and Kobe.

Matsusaka beef (松坂牛) are Japanese Black heifers, registered under the Matsusaka beef management system, lived in Matsusaka since 1 or younger, and raised in Matsusaka. Candidates who pass all the above criteria will be offered a sticker and a certificate.

Kobe beef (神戸牛) is the best quality Tajima beef (但馬牛), which needs to be a heifer aged 28 – 60 months, registered in the system, graded between B4-A5, weight 270-499.9 kg, and BMS needs to be No. 6 or higher. Qualified beef will be granted a stamp.

Grade

The grading scale of beef is consolidated by the Japan Meat Grading Association, which grades around 70k cows monthly. The beef grading system uses one alphabet letter and one score number, such as grade A4, each representing a different aspect of the meat.

The alphabet represents the “yield grade” of a cow, which is the percentage of flesh that can be collected, excluding bones, organs, extra fat and skins. Grade A beef has 72% or more collectable meat, grade B has around 69% to 72%, while grade C has 69% or less. Most wagyu belongs to grade A, yet this alphabet grade is not related to the actual taste of the beef. The taste of the beef is mostly affected by the score number, which measures the meat quality.

Beef Marbling Score (BMS) is used to rank the meat quality, which depends on fat distribution. This score ranges from 1 to 5, as the image above has shown, No.1 is grade 1, No.2 is grade 2, No.3-4 is grade 3, No.5-7 is grade 4 and No.8-12 is grade 5. Fat removes dryness and chewiness of the beef, explaining why more fat will be resulting in a higher grade. Combining the alphabet and score number, the highest-graded beef is A5, and certainly, it is also the most expensive beef grade (20 ounces for $265 on Amazon).


Although the price can be a little expensive, I strongly recommend wagyu to everyone who hasn’t tried it. It is totally different from regular beef, it is the type of meat that will make you believe in love at the first bite.

Blog Post #5: The Opposite of Maybe Review

This week I wanted to do a review on a fictional novel that I read earlier this year called The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. This is a story about “Rosie,” a woman in her mid-forties who has never really had a “traditional” life. She and her boyfriend, Jonathan, (only a year older than herself) have been together for 15 years, living in an apartment with no children or any serious plans on having any. The couple always prided themselves in not being like everyone else, until one day, all hell breaks loose. Rosie discovers she’s pregnant. Jonathan decides to propose to her then declares that he wants to move their lives to another city far away so that he can continue pursuing a (weird and insanely boring sounding) long-term hobby. Just like that, *snaps fingers* her whole world turns upside down.

After much deliberation and arguments, they agree on Jonathan getting settled there by himself for the time being. Rosie decides to move in with her over-90-years old maternal grandmother temporarily and sort everything out before joining him, only to find that she hasn’t been taking proper care of herself. Rosie also meets her neighbour, a young man named Tony, who’s life is just as crazy as her own. And what happens when you combine one messed up life with another? Well, it most likely becomes a bigger mess (haha) but something absolutely wonderful can come of it if you give it a chance.

While all this is happening, she uncovers heartbreaking details from her past, but simultaneously develops a new confidence to finally take control of her own destiny. The Opposite of Maybe is an uplifting story about someone who is tired of “what ifs” and decides to seize the major opportunities life has to offer, even if later on down the road than some people and it means leaving behind a life you’ve always known. 

5 Songs For Your Fall Playlist

Autumn is a time of relaxing and focus, but most importantly, self growth. Despite its diversity, the songs I selected all reflect that in some sort of way. You may not like the songs or even agree it belongs in a fall playlist. That’s perfectly fine, understandable, and respectable. Have your own opinions and feel free to tell me why or why you don’t agree!

10/10 – Rex Orange County

With the end of hot girl summer (see here for an explanation of hot girl summer), Rex Orange County’s 10/10 is a song of self care and self improvement. Using a robotic tune, Rex details out a rough year of mediocracy where he feels homesick, outgrowing friends, and failing to properly control his emotions. He then goes to talk about taking the time to focus on himself and reminiscing the past, but ultimately, taking control over who is in your life, doing what you need to do for you, and crediting yourself for your own improvement.

Sanctuary – Joji

Sanctuary often refers to a safe place in a time of crisis, and in this song, Joji refers to his lover as the sanctuary. His comfort with this person has gone beyond love, that being with her makes him feel safe. This isn’t just a love song that talks about falling in love, but rather, Joji’s perspective towards his love. They both are looking for “sincerity” but his tone sounds as if he just wants something he’s already comfortable with. With the start of October, the closer cuffing season becomes. I added this song into a fall playlist because we often seek someone during this time, but will it be the smartest idea? And to those who (unknowingly) partake in falling in love with the idea of love, and not actually love itself, is it really worth it?

Ukelele and Chill – Cody G

Ukelele and Chill is a typical song you would find in a YouTube or Spotify playlist such as lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to. As we get deeper into the fall season, it’s that time of the year to grind and work again, but appreciate all the changing colours. This is a song for that suits both, thus, I would put into my fall playlist.

NO HALO – BROCKHAMPTON

No Halo talks about the group’s morals and flaws, talking about topics such as substance abuse, personal relationships and more. This song is about believing that grinding through challenges, both their upbringing and just tough times in general, they will somehow find their way through it and be enlightened.

Lowkey – NIKI

Last but not least is Lowkey by NIKI. Like the title says, it’s about keeping things on the down-low. Just be yourself and enjoy the moments as they come, and most importantly, don’t try and blow things out of proportion. Take the chances that come and be genuine, and I think that is the main purpose of the fall season, which is reflected in this song.

there is not enough words

Have you ever been to somewhere that left you speechless? Somewhere even though you tried to describe it many times you just can’t because no word seems to reflect what you have seen. Well, I have been to somewhere like that. I am not sure how can I communicate my experience of Olympus / Antalya …

Sobaya – Dosanjin

Dosanjin is a soba restaurant located in Kyoto, Japan, with branch stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe and more. All soba noodles are freshly made in the restaurant, hand-cut by the chef. Buckwheat is collected from farmers directly, kept with the chaff on, and finally grated by the store when used. Each step is carefully taken care of, hoping to bring the best quality to customers.

Main Course

The interior of each Dosanjin restaurant is different but surrounds the theme of fusion Japanese and modern style. The Kyoto branch specifically uses wooden or stone made furniture, decorating with a few bamboo and greens.

Shortly after we seated, menus are provided and one item caught my immediate attention, which is the Sudachi soba (すだち蕎麦). This is a summer-time limited soba noodle served cold with thin slices of Sudachi, a lime and lemon-like citrus fruit usually used for cooking. The placement of fruit slices on top of dark shade soy sauce and mirin soup base reminds me of big and round firework blooming on a summer night. After taking several pictures, I slurped a mouthful of soba noodles in. The coolness and the sweet-sour taste is everything I need to rescue myself from the heat. It removes dryness in the throat and cools down the whole body. This is the perfect soba noodle menu for summer.

There are no appetizers or dessert provided with the course since soba noodle is mainly consumed as a quick meal.


This might not be the best soba noodle restaurant in Kyoto considering the cost, quality and quantity, yet, it is a nice restaurant to drop by after a long day of walk in the heat. Unfortunately, after my visit, the Kyoto branch closed down, but stores in other locations are still in business.

The Lion King Remake: Enjoyable but Missing Something

About a week ago, I watched the remake of The Lion King. Full disclosure: I am not one of those people who is obsessed with Disney movies and has seen each one over 100 times. The last time I saw the original Lion King was well over ten years ago, and I barely remembered it, aside from the main plot points (for example, I completely forgot that the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was in the movie…oops!). Despite my lack of enthusiasm compared to hardcore Disney fans, I was still excited for the film. The visuals looked spectacular, and I enjoyed the live action remakes for The Jungle Book and Beauty & the Beast, so I was optimistic.

After having seen the movie, I can say that it was enjoyable, and even good, but it was missing…something, although I can’t put my finger on exactly what that something is. I think it was several things put together, so to help me explain it, I am going to list what I liked and didn’t like about the movie. Warning: spoilers ahead!

What I Liked About The Lion King

  • The visuals, obviously! The CGI in this film was absolutely spectacular. It is probably the best CGI I have ever seen. Characters such as Mufasa, adult Simba, Scar, and Pumbaa looked so real it was unbelievable. Don’t even get me started on the landscape – if someone told me that they shot the entire movie on location in Africa and added the animals in post, I would have believed them.

  • I know a lot of people have complained about the fact that the animals can’t emote like their animated counterparts, but there were a few that I felt emoted very strongly. You could always tell exactly what Pumbaa was thinking and feeling, despite him being an ultra-realistic looking warthog. Scar’s expressions were also brilliant, and he looked far more menacing than his animated counterpart, which made him a better villain in my opinion. I was also very impressed with Sarabi’s facial expressions – they were probably the best of all the animals, as they conveyed shock and heartbreak brilliantly.

  • There were some excellent performances. Pumbaa was perfectly cast, and Timon was also great (I had high expectations for him because he is my favourite character, but Billy Eichner did a wonderful job). I was also very impressed with Scar – I had read online that people weren’t happy with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance, but I thought it was perfect. His voice was very intimidating and villainous, and made Scar a much more interesting antagonist. Scar’s scenes were probably my favourite part of the movie because I was so impressed with his characterization.

  • Timon and Pumbaa’s scenes were terrific, and were the most fun part of the movie. Their dynamic was great and real, and although Seth Rogen’s singing voice isn’t the best, Billy Eichner has one of the best voices in the movie, and together they make the musical numbers vastly entertaining. Also, Timon’s use of “Be Our Guest”to tempt the hyenas was absolutely hilarious.

  • This movie gets bonus points for depicting my two favourite animals (meerkats and lions, respectively).

What I Didn’t Like About The Lion King

  • It felt a little … rushed. It didn’t feel like one cohesive movie, and instead felt like a bunch of different clips thrown together. I felt like the story needed more time to breathe instead of rushing to the next event, but from what I’ve heard the original was quite rushed as well, in which case this complaint is more about the story in general.

  • Sorry Beyoncé fans, but the singer’s performance was my least favourite thing about this remake. Her voice is not suited for voice acting at all – it was so quiet that I could hardly hear her at times, and she barely expressed any emotion, even in scenes where it was required. It felt like she was simply reading her lines and not putting any effort into voice acting­. Her performance really pulled me out of the film, as it felt and sounded like a person reading lines as opposed to a character speaking. I truly feel that if they had cast someone else I would have enjoyed this film much more.

  • I love Donald Glover as an actor (hey, fellow Community fans!), but I just didn’t feel that his voice really suited Simba. Don’t get me wrong, he did not have Beyoncé’s problem of not putting any emotion into his lines – in fact, his performance was great. I just don’t think his voice matched his character. When I see a large, majestic lion, I imagine a deep, powerful voice and presence, such as that of James Earl Jones. Donald’s voice just doesn’t scream powerful, majestic animal to me.

  • I wasn’t super happy with Mufasa’s death scene or his speech to Simba in the clouds. His death is a heartbreaking moment, and to be honest I was tearing up just thinking about it, but when it actually happened, it didn’t hit me as hard as I expected it to (I did cry, but not that much). Simba’s reaction to his father’s death just didn’t do it for me, especially because he is only sad for about ten seconds and doesn’t even cry. I was dreading this scene, but it honestly wasn’t even that bad. Mufasa’s speech to adult Simba was also lacking, mostly because we never see his face like we do in the animated version. This really took away from the emotional impact, and made it feel hollow.

  • This movie didn’t feel as fun as the original, perhaps because it was so realistic. This is kind of a vague complaint but it just felt far more serious, and seemed to lack some of the Disney magic that made it a classic in the first place.

Overall, I would probably give this movie about a 6.5/10. Certain aspects of it were very impressive, but it was really brought down by the miscasting of the two leads, the lack of feeling in two crucial scenes, and the more serious approach. I would watch it again, but I feel that most Disney fans will probably prefer the original (which I need to rewatch).  

The post The Lion King Remake: Enjoyable but Missing Something appeared first on Tessa's Thoughts.

Pav Dharia

I was honoured and thrilled to showcase some of my work at Pav Dharia’s concert and meet&greet. Pav Dharia is a very famous Indian singer. Showcasing my artwork was a great opportunity to get people to know who I was and enjoy my art. I got him to sign my painting I did of him for my giveaway contest. After showcasing my work at this event, I realized that I should get more involved with other events to create stronger network and connection.

Thank you, next.

It’s crazy to think that my undergraduate career is wrapping up within the next couple of weeks. It’s been five years of blood, sweat, and tears, but looking back on it now, it was so worth it. I have learned many life skills that were beyond my major, gained valuable knowledge on Elementary education (my major), and acquired so many wonderful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Saying that though, I am beyond ready to move on and see what is next to come in my life! In the words of Ariana Grande, time to say “thank you, next” to SFU and my bachelor’s degree!

I do want to shout out this class, PUB (Publishing) 101, as one of my favourite classes I’ve taken at SFU. I truly appreciate the course designers who believed students’ work is worthy and valuable enough to be put out there and read by the public, as well as taken seriously by academics. Creating work that will not only be read and critiqued by our professors and TA’s, but the public via the Internet, gives our work a sense of greater purpose than simply for a grade. So thank you, Suzanne and Ellen, for believing in us and recognizing that students’ voices deserve to be heard not just within the four walls of our classrooms, but for everyone to hear as what we have to say is valuable. I never thought I would ever write a blog, until I took this class, and now I have discovered that my voice matters too. 🙂

I created this blog in hopes of spreading kindness and encouraging people to practice empathy for others. If I have inspired at least one person to spread kindness in someone’s life, then I have achieved my goal! I truly believe kindness as a ripple effect, as demonstrated in this comic I stumbled upon on Facebook:

Image from: 4amshower

I plan on continuing my blog past this course, however I am going to take a well needed break for a little while! I’m not sure how long it will be, but I definitely want to continue writing and putting my thoughts on the Internet. Even if no one reads, I’ve discovered it’s a cathartic way of organizing my thoughts and figuring out my stance on big issues, as well as a venting outlet, and who doesn’t like venting. 🙂

Always remember that everyone is just doing their best in this big, wide, weird world and that we’re all humans who crave love and belonging. Be the positive light in someone’s day, the answered prayer, the spark of joy. Let’s all change the world, one act of kindness at a time!