Director Kevin Smith as a Writer’s Role Model

My recent infatuation with the career and life of director and writer Kevin Smith began after I saw the 2014 horror/thriller, Tusk. The film, starring Justin Long and Michael Parks, is more of what I would consider a genre blending comedy horror. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

I always wait past the end credits to see any special inclusions directors like to sneak in. The end credits of Tusk included a recording of a SModcast in which the idea for the film was introduced. This started me on a journey into the writing and personality of Kevin Smith.

Prior to my obsession, I had seen most of his movies and never really considered the writing. However, Tusk and SModcast came into my life when I had begun looking at writing as a real career and a real passion for me. Kevin Smith’s films haven’t won Oscars and his writing isn’t as appreciated as it really should be, and he knows it. In fact, he makes fun of himself often on his podcast, SModcast, and the thing I admire the most, is that he never apologizes for his movies or his opinions.

I find people who own their writing, and what they say with it, very impressive. Writing is very personal – I equate it to slicing your wrists open and putting it on paper – and screenwriting is extremely difficult to keep entertaining script after script. Somehow, Smith has been able to do this repeatedly, regardless of the box office returns. This is why I think of him as my writing role model, someone who has inspired me to pursue my dream despite feeling like its “too hard”.

Now, I know a good amount of people think he’s a cool dude, who smokes weed all day and doesn’t really care what you think, but I actually don’t believe that. In fact, I think he does care, a great amount. Anyone who puts that much effort into a script must care for their work and that is what a true writer must do.

Focusing on the hate of hate crimes

This year, social media and the news has exploded with racially motivated crimes, riots, and general hate around the United States. Much of the focus of these crimes have been about the races, sexual orientation, or beliefs of the people involved in the crimes, especially after the rash of police shootings that occurred earlier this year. Hate crimes seem to have risen in these recent years, even provoking folks to demand the Confederate Flag be taken down, despite its historical significance.

It feels like either people have a selective memory or they just want to imagine that hate and racism were never this bad in the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, there are those minorities that have experienced real hate within their daily life and they can never forget, but they do become numb to the hate they see on television.

As a mixed race child, I dealt with prejudice throughout grade school. I grew up in a Mexican household and related mostly to those with my same background, despite my caramel color skin (which was darker than most Mexicans I met at the time). I tried my best to fit in with the Hispanics in my class, but most judged me before getting to know me. I was subjected to racial slurs, pet names like ‘negrita’, and being outcasted altogether. It was painful and, for years, I was ashamed of my skin color.

Despite the mention of my race, it really wasn’t the slurs that bothered me. It was the unprovoked hate they had for me before they knew me. Similar to the way the victims in Charleston were judged by another human as being unworthy to live the rest of their lives. But, regardless of race, hate is the true problem here in America.

It would be a great change to see the news broadcasted without mentioning races and leaving photos off of the screen. Ambiguity would show us the incredible amount of crime between human beings. As humans, we have so much in common but hate causes us to focus on the one item that makes us different. But as Americans, that one difference should be the thing that brings us together, not tear us apart.

Celebrating Father’s Day without a father

Father’s day was always a confusing holiday for me.

I grew up without knowing my biological father and even the forced Father’s day projects in grade school didn’t make me want to know him either. It’s quite possible that he later became a better father to another child or maybe he was a good father before me. The point is, he has been nothing but an absent father to me and never deserved any of the construction paper ties made by my tiny child hands. Instead, those ties went to a more deserved man: my grandfather.

My grandfather was always a funny man to me but also strict enough to feel he knew best. I never questioned his decisions, I always tried to speak to him with respect, and, even after his death, I always asked for his approval. He was a genuine father, a present father, and that’s what every child needs.

Recalling those grade school days, I remember being teased that my grandfather wasn’t my “real” father. Despite their hurtful jabs, I knew my classmates would never understand the naturally occuring connection we had that usually comes from a biological father-daughter relationship. And honestly, I was okay with that. I know that if my real father had re-entered my life, the father-like position my grandfather held in my life would not have changed because he just simply meant more to me.

So happy Father’s day to every father, whether he’s a caring father figure, a biological father, or even a father to an animal child, every present father deserves to celebrate the day. Construction ties and all.

Why I Decided to Be a Fat Bride

Recently, I looked back on the photos taken at my wedding last October. My cheeks are plump and round, my eyes are pinched half moons, and I look genuinely happy. It’s been 7 months since I wore my laced, long sleeve dress, and I realized that I had become exactly what I was scared of becoming months before my wedding day had even arrived: I was a fat bride.

Engaged women are always bombarded with Facebook posts, Pinterest repins, and Tumblr reblogs featuring waify, lilaced-crowned brides under weeping willow branches and twinkling Christmas icicles. Basically, women are pressured to believe the ideal marriage spawns only from socially approved ideal weddings.

I fell into that system of brainwashing, and since our engagement lasted 2 years, I had 730 days of constant social media constructed wants. I found myself on a low carb/low taste/low food diet and worked out consistently for about a month. I lost nothing but gained about a year’s worth of stress in just 25 days. Eventually,  the month of the wedding arrived and I found myself with a wedding dress two sizes larger than I hoped to be on my big day.

Truthfully, I allowed myself to become a “fat” bride because I needed to be able to remember myself. I had always struggled with my weight and trying to lose more than 50lbs in 2 years was no different, so I destressed and decided to be myself on my wedding day.  Seven months later, the warm happiness coming from my photos is more satisfying than the idea of being a “model” bride. I was Christine getting married, not Bride #300,000,001 getting married.image

In  the end, the only person concerned with my weight loss was me. And I was just as happy being “fat” as I would have been being “thinner”, maybe even happier because I wouldn’t be starving.  A wedding day is the day where you should look your best but still be you and, unfortunately, too many brides fall prey to the social media gods and look their best as someone else.

The idea of being “fat” depends on who is saying the word, and those people probably wouldn’t be invited to your wedding in the first place so why change?  Being authentic will only contribute to the happiest day of your life. My advice for any engaged, non-slender individuals: Imagine 50 years from now, do you want to see yourself in your wedding, or someone else’s idea of you?