Archive by Author

Becoming Rocky Balboa #OutrageousOctober

26 Oct

As a film student, I find it incredibly difficult when someone asks me what my favorite film is. There are so many great stories that have been shared through the form of film over the years that I find it almost impossible to choose just one. But over the years, I have formed my own answer that goes outside the rules. I say: “I don’t have a favorite film, but rather my top 3”. These films are: Back to the Future, E.T and Rocky.

rocky

I grew up watching the Rocky films back-to-back as my parents were both huge fans. Those films became a part of who I am. The score is iconic and so is Rocky’s line: “It’s not how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and still stand up.” This October, I decided I would find a way to take care of my health, using one of my favorite films as an inspiration. I decided to sign up for boxing classes.

boxing3

Now, most people would describe me as a gentle and non-violent person, which I am, but sometimes I just want to feel hardcore, and what better way to do that than to learn an intense sport that requires extreme physical fitness (note the fear in my tone)? But when I got there, everyone was super welcoming and right away I knew I was going to like it. First step was to purchase the bandages for my hands so they would be injured when using the gloves. That part of the night really made me feel tough. I didn’t even have the gloves on yet and I already felt like I could get in the ring.

boxing1

The workout was intense and required a lot of core strength, which doesn’t really exist for me. But it was a challenge that pushed me and encouraged me to do better. I went in as a guest, just to see what a boxing class would be like, and walked out with a membership. I have a chaotic daily schedule between classes, work and art projects but I felt that this would be a good outlet for me to not only release some stress but feel empowered as well.

boxing2

I can’t wait to go back and see how I improve over time. I want to be able to feel good about my body and health, and this October I found a way in which I can achieve that. I guess you can say that I have the Eye of the Tiger.

-Zuri

Advertisements

#StudiousSeptember: Mastering The Perfect Cat Eye

29 Sep

I have been doing my makeup since I was 16 years old. During that time I have discovered the glory that is makeup and the wonders it can do. This is not to say that I wake up every morning with the sole intention of leaving the house looking like a completely different person, but it does give me a certain portion of my morning when I only have to focus on myself. In some ways, to me, makeup is therapeutic.

eyebrows

Given this information, you would think that I’d be the Yoda of cosmetics. No. There are plenty of makeup techniques that I not only do not understand, but I also cannot accomplish. Out of the various tasks that fall into this category, the cat eye eyeliner is at the top of my list. No amount of attempts or any high magnification mirror could help me master this edgy makeup look…that is until now.

eyeliner 1

For Studious September I took it upon myself to do the impossible. First I had to choose the best eyeliner for the task. I was surprised by the variety of eyeliner available in the makeup world. Everything from liquid, pencil, to gel! After much consideration (not really) I decided to go with the good ole gel liner.

Now came the hard part…actually making the line. I grabbed my magnifying mirror and a pulled up a YouTube video and went at it for about an hour. I tried the tape method (using the edge of tape as a sort of guide along the eye), the business card method (same concept as the tape) and even tugged on the corner of my eye in any attempt to make this goal possible.

eyeliner 3

Right when I was about to give up on all hope, something happened. I decided to try to make the line freehand. Without the use of gadgets and gizmos I tilted my head and let my brush do its own thing. To my surprise it worked! Who would have guessed that the secret to the perfect cat eye was not tricks or cheats but practice?! At the end of the day all that matters is that I am ready to complete any fierce look now that I have mastered the perfect stroke.

eyeliner 2-Zuri Torres

Top 10 Films and Television Shows of this Summer

30 Jun

It is no surprise that summer is the best time for film and television. With a season full of box office busters and new episodes premiering, it can difficult to decide what to invest in; in other words “so much to watch, so little time”. Because of this terrible fate, I have taken it upon myself to weed through the this summer’s media and present to you (in no particular order) the top ten films and television shows you should be investing in this summer. After all, who needs fun in the sun when you can stay in bed with the air conditioning on, right?

10. Face Off

Face off gifs

If you have never watched this show, I definitely recommend giving it a shot. Face Off is a reality competition show where makeup artists who hope to work in the science fiction genre go head to head each week. They are given a theme for the week and then it is up to them to create a concept that fits that theme. It’s crazy what some people can do with clay and a paintbrush.

9. Dope

Dope

Given a lot of critical acclaim at Sundance, Dope follow three friends as they get into shenanigans and share a mutual love for 90’s hip-hop. Although I have yet to see it, I have hopes that this film will be full of humor and feel good moments.

8. Southpaw

Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal has grown a lot as an actor in the past couple of years. He was a favorite of mine in films such as Donnie Darko and The Day After Tomorrow. After seeing him in End of Watch and viewing the trailer for Southpaw, I think he has shown a different side of his acting skills. Southpaw follows  Billy “The Great” Hope as he tries to get his life back together after the death of his wife. He loses his daughter due to his reckless behavior and decides that in order to prove he is worthy of getting her back, he should pursue the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World.

7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Kimmy Schmidt

If you are a fan of Tina Fey, then it goes without saying that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt should be on your summer watch list. Kimmy spent 15 years in an underground bunker with three other women, who were told that the apocalypse had happened and the world as they knew it no longer existed. The series launches right after the woman are rescued and follows Kimmy as she starts her new life in New York City. This quirky and smart comedy will have you quoting characters for days!

6. Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four

No surprise that Marvel is coming out with another superhero reboot. Fantastic Four will be coming out this summer with a fresh, young cast. Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan are two of the actors playing leads. Grated that it has not been that long since the last Fantastic Four franchise came out, but just from watching the trailer, I can tell that the graphics and cinematography are going to bring this movie to another level.

5. Paper Towns

paper towns

After the success of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green is back with the film renovation of his New York Times bestseller Paper Towns. The films stars Nat Wolff (previous cast member of The Fault in Our Stars) and Cara Delevigne. From the trailer, the film looks like it has a ‘coming of age’ tone to it, while also adding in that John Green humor we all know and love. If it is anything like the fan following for TFiOS, Paper Towns is expected to bring in positive box office revenue.

4. Inside Out

Inside Out

I am not going to lie, I am not the biggest fan when it comes to animated films. With the special exception of Disney classics and Up, it takes a lot for me to voluntarily watch an animated movie. However, my close friend Casey told me that it was definitely worth the movie ticket price and she would watch it again with me. After going in with no expectations, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was the style of animation different from any other Pixar film I have seen, but it also did a great job of appealing to both younger and older audiences. I recommend it to anyone who needs a good pick-me-up!

3. Ant-Man

Ant Man

Another Marvel movie! Don’t get me wrong I am a hard core Marvel fan, but it continues to surprise me how much of a powerhouse Marvel has been over the past couple of years. Ant-Man, in comparison to the other Marvel superheros the film franchise has focused on, is not the most popular. With the powers of super strength and the ability to manipulate his size, Ant-Man does not seem like the ultimate hero. However, he is a hero nonetheless. Plus Paul Rudd plays Ant-Man, what could be better than that?!

2. Orange Is the New Black

oitnb

After a long year of waiting, season 3 of Orange Is The New Black is finally here! If you have yet to jump on the  OITNB train, I highly suggest doing so. With it’s mixture of comedy and drama, this Netflix original does a great job of giving the audience an honest background of the inmates while also making sure you can sympathize with them. Let’s not forget how this new season introduces the firework that is Ruby Rose!

1. Jurassic World

jurassic world

Spielberg, Spielberg, Spielberg and SPIELBERG! I do admit that I hold a massive bias when suggesting this film, since Steven Spielberg is a creative role model of mine. But that doesn’t take away from the hype that this film has been getting. Jurassic World takes places years after the close of Jurassic Park and does a great job of referring back to the Jurassic Park films all throughout the movie. With the special effects and subtle humorous moments, Jurassic World is a fun ride that is well worth the $9 movie ticket.

Well there you go! Summer is great season for film, so why not take advantage of the air conditioning and popcorn?

Have a great summer everyone!

-Zuri

#MightyMay: I’m Going to Hogwarts!

13 May

It has been a while since my family has been on vacation, almost 10 years actually. However, that is all about to change as my mom, sister, and I are going to pack our bags and take an adventure in the most magical place in the world…The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

HP vacation

So in honor of this amazing trip to come, here are the top 5 things that I plan to do in order to make this May Mighty.

1. Eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp!

Forrest Gump

Universal City walk has a ton of activities to do with the entire family, however the one thing that stood out to me was the Bubba Gump restaurant. Forrest Gump was a movie that I grew up watching and I couldn’t think of a better family vacation than one where I get the eat at a place that has shrimp all over the menu!

2. Visit Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

It wouldn’t be the full Potter experience if we didn’t go shopping for the essentials first! Diagon Alley is going to be a blast, not only does it look cool, but it will give me the feeling that maybe my acceptance letter to Hogwarts did get lost in the mail.

3. Ride all the roller coasters!

Roller Coaster

Growing up, I have always been a chicken when it came to roller coasters, but not anymore! I have made a promise to myself that this time around I will not be a coward and ride a huge roller coaster. After doing some research I think the ride that I am most afraid of is The Incredible Hulk.

4. Butterbeer

Butterbeer

Not actually containing alcohol, butterbeer is a right of passage for anyone who wants to fully immerse themselves in the magical world of Harry Potter. I have heard that it is really sweet and is the bees knees of fandom drinks, so lets hope it lives up to the hype!

5. HOGWARTS, HOGWARTS AND…HOGWARTS!

Hogwarts

Yes, Universal Studios does sound like an awesome theme park with plenty of attractions, but let’s be real… the Wizarding World of Harry Potter wins by a long shot. I will probably be the most excited adult, and will definitely squeal when I see Hogwarts for the first time. Whether its eating in the dinning hall, riding the rides, or just walking inside to check it out, I know for a fact that when this vacation is over I will be able to say, with conviction, “Mischief Managed.”

-Zuri

#AdventurousApril: I’m Going to South Korea!

24 Apr

Coming into college, I knew that at some point I would want to study abroad. However, seeing as I have only ever been to Mexico the idea of going overseas seemed like a pipe dream to me. Given that it is my sophomore year, I thought I would give it a shot and apply for a summer program in (wait for it)…SOUTH KOREA!

jeollanamdo

The application process was a long one, but definitely well worth the wait. I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to go to a country that is so vibrant in its culture and explore what it has to offer. Although this program will be taking place in the summer, I thought I would take advantage of this #AdventurousApril blog and share some of the things that I most excited about!

1. Going on a plane for the first time!

plane

“I have never been on a plane before” usually when I say this to someone they are utterly surprised and question how I have gone 20 years without ever being on a plane. My response: I don’t know! However, this is all going to change soon enough. After doing some general research, I found that the flight from where I am to South Korea is about 16 hours (yikes!), so I will have more than enough experience when I get back. I am also excited about those airplane peanuts I keep hearing about.

2. The food!

korean food

No surprise, that one of the things that I would be most excited about is the food! I have watched enough Korean dramas over the past year to know that Korean food definitely looks yummy. But out of all the things I have seen, I am most excited to try kimchi (a traditional fermented side dish made of vegetables and seasonings) and any street food that I happen to get my hands on.

3. The pop culture

hands up

South Korea is one of the most thriving countries at the moment in terms of its pop culture. The music has traveled overseas and some Kpop albums have even made it to the United States’ top 100 charts! I’m not going to lie, I find myself listening to Korean music a lot more than any other genre. Along with the music, the drama produced and distributed in South Korea have made quite an impression in different countries. These dramas are anywhere from 12-22 hour long episodes that introduce characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. The writing may be a bit cheesy at times, but that’s what makes them lovable! I want to see how Korea’s pop culture is celebrated compared to our own.

4. The language

hangul_v

Being bilingual in Spanish and English, I have never had to struggle in terms of communication. Now going to a country where I only know certain words and phrases in that language excites me, but also frightens me greatly. The more I look into Korean as a language, the more fascinated I become in the way it is written and spoken. I have made it a personal goal to start learning the language and at least become more familiar with it.

5. Seoul, South Korea

seoul

Seoul is the capital of South Korea. Being one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, Seoul is full of life and culture. With museums, street markets and unique stores, Seoul is on the top of my list. Although I will be staying in Jeollanam-do Province, I will be taking a 2 day 3 night excursion to Seoul!

6. The people

Perhaps one the things I am most excited for is meeting new people. I love making new friends and having the opportunity to make friends that are across the world is surreal!

Overall I can’t wait to embark on this adventure and see what Korea has in store for me!

-Zuri

Adventure Is Out There!

7 Apr

If you are anything like me, you have high hopes and dreams of one day being able to travel the world and experience new cultures. However, every summer I find myself sitting on my living room couch snuggling with a bag of Cheetos while watching America’s Next Top Model reruns.

antm

Summer can be a hit or miss vacation for some people; it can be two months of Netflix binge watching, adventures, or perhaps both. Experiencing college, I have realized that I am in need of adventure, which is why I have taken the initiative to apply for a summer study abroad program!

study abroad

Study abroad is an incredible opportunity offered by universities around the globe. This experience allows students to complete university credits while also immersing themselves in a new culture. I personally wanted to go to a country with a language I am unfamiliar with and whose culture is vastly different from my own: I chose South Korea.

gagnam

Although I have yet to hear on my acceptance status, I know that if accepted I will have an experience of a lifetime. All too often it is easy to fall into a cycle of everyday stress. College is a stressful time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Try new things and learn about the world that we have in front of us while you can!

Adventure is out there, Wildcats!

up

-Zuri

#MiddlingMarch: Ice Cream Always Makes Everything Better

18 Mar

Finally, midterms are over and the time for some R & R is here! While others take road trips to California or fly overseas, I like to spend some “me” time.

blog 2

After a stressful week of school and what feels like an eternity of studying, I like to spend some time in my cave (my bedroom) and share a moment with the one thing I love saying “hello” to, but find it hardest saying “goodbye” to: my bed. I snuggle under the covers, take a deep breathe and let the relaxation begin.

blog 1

It is at this point that I so casually reach for the remote and turn on Netflix, the mothership for any film and TV enthusiast. Once I start watching a show, I usually don’t move from the initial position for 4-6 hours. Anything under that is an amateur’s work.

blog 3

However, the night isn’t complete until Ben & Jerry show up for the party!

blog 4

Overall, remember that you don’t have to have an extravagant vacation planned out in order to make your post-midterm break a great one! Don’t forget to treat yo’ self!

tumblr_lt6xahv2ba1qh67evo1_500

-Zuri

Dreaming of the Perfect Vacation!

13 Mar

I am the type of person who likes to dream big and traveling has always been a big dream of mine. But how do you turn that dream into a reality? Simple –  you just plan, plan, plan. Traveling can be an amazing experience, but putting together everything necessary to make that trip happen can be exhausting. Here some tips and tricks you can put to use when planning your dream vacation:

1. Be Reasonable

alice in wonderland

Although this may sound contradictory when speaking about planning a DREAM vacation, it’s also necessary. Depending on your availability and the excursions you want to take, it may be more reasonable to stay in a small town in a country than in a major city. Again, this is dependent on many factors and therefore different for everyone.

2. Start Saving

dumb and dumber

Planning your dream vacation does take a toll on your wallet, and college does not make things any easier. In order to ensure that all your expenses will be covered make sure to give yourself plenty of time to save. Planning to go to Europe? Give yourself a year of saving time so you can pay for your plane ticket and have extra for everything else. There’s no fun in dropping tons of money on transportation and lodging if you don’t have any extra money to go to restaurants, pay for entertainment, buy souvenirs, and generally experience the culture. 

3. Look For Deals

blog pic

Finding a great deal on plane tickets and hotels is possible, you just have to look for them. Sites like Expedia and Kyak are resources that have bundles that can help you save a lot! This may take some time and a lot of patience, but just let your goal be your motivation!

4. Give Yourself Time

blog pic 2

It is okay if your trip is set for a year or two from now – these things take time. Don’t feel rushed or pressured to get this done right away. In order to make your dream vacation a success all the details need to be put into place. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! It’s much better to spend the extra time planning a big trip than to rush, leaving yourself feeling unprepared and stressed.

5. Go With Friends & Family

blog pic 3

Traveling is an amazing experience, but it’s even more fun when you share it with others. Include your friends and family and have someone to take selfies with!

Take care,
Zuri

The Top 5 Lessons I Learned my Sophomore Year of College

27 Feb

The transition between freshman and sophomore year may not seem like that big of a jump, but the changes that it entails are definitely worth mentioning. Here are the 5 lessons that I took away from my sophomore year in college:

1. Cooking is a thing!

cooking

Living in a dorm my freshman year, my food choices consisted of the campus food court and any meal that had the word “instant” in its title. However, finally having an apartment with a kitchen opened a whole new world of food for me. It was like stepping through the wardrobe and into Narnia, if Narnia was full of delicious food.

2. Friday nights are best spent with the Bae

netflix

I feel like freshman year was surrounded by the misconception that in order to have a good time in college, you need to go to parties and paint the town red. What I learned my sophomore year is that having a good time does not depend where you go, but rather who you spend your time with. I found that some of my favorite college memories have been spent with my close friends, some pizza, and Netflix. There is no need to feel pressured to go out every night just to say you are living your college years to the fullest.

3. It’s okay to let go of some of your high school pals

friends

Freshman year of college, I felt almost obligated to keep in touch with the friends that I had from high school. At the time it made sense not to let go of the friendships considering we had seen each other every day for the past four years. However, I had to come to the realization that people change and it is perfectly normal if you go onto a different path than some of your friends. To this day, I only really keep in touch with a handful of people from high school, and even that is occasional.

4. Study what your passionate about

super

All too often it becomes easy to forget why you are in college in the first place. I was lost my freshman year, and found myself stuck in a major that I was not enjoying. It wasn’t until my best friend asked me “if you could go into any field of study and money was not an issue, what would you study?” that I began to realize that I wasn’t happy in my major. Now, after changing my major, I look forward to my classes and the career that lies ahead!

5. Explore! 

travel

College is such a great time to explore, not only what kind of person you want to be, but the world too. Sophomore year is a perfect time to begin looking into study abroad opportunity and opportunities that simple let you travel within the nation. Take advantage of your time as a student, especially before you begin taking those upper division courses. Get to know the world we live in!

-Zuri

#FearlessFebruary Getting My First Tattoo!

18 Feb

For a while now I have considered getting a tattoo. The idea of having a permanent piece of art somewhere on my body has seemed very appealing. There is just one problem that comes with getting a tattoo: the pain. I have family members as well as close friends who have tattoos and love them, however they all seem to be very tough people regarding pain tolerance. I, on the other hand, tend to bruise like a peach.

tattoo blog2

I decided that #FearlessFebruary was the perfect opportunity to harness this fear and turn it into a strength. February is also my birthday month, so what better way to celebrate my 20th birthday than to get a couple of open wounds (note the fear in my tone).

scared

The first tattoo that I settled on was a flock of birds that I would get on my left shoulder. While the design was super cute, it also had a deeper meaning behind it that I knew would stay with me. The second one was a matching tattoo that I would get with my older cousin who has always been like an older sister. After searching through dozens of designs, we both agreed on something that fit both of our personalities while summing up our relationship.

me & priscilla

Walking into the tattoo parlor, I was nervous and a bit anxious; not because of the environment (the place was actually very open and welcoming) but because of the pain that was about to be unleashed. I let my cousin go first and immediately got goosebumps after hearing the needle sing at a high pitch. Finally it was my turn.

tattoo1

I was quite tense when he was setting up, but once he did the first line I knew there was no going back. The first ten minutes were painful, but honestly after that it was not too bad. My friends were there to keep me company and Michael, my awesome tattoo artist, made sure that I was comfortable. The experience was full of adrenaline which made it all the more memorable.

tattoo3

tattoo2 IMG_2119

I consider this #FearlessFebruary to be a complete success! I am glad I went through with it, but let’s just say that I am done riding this tattoo train for now.

Thank you to Michael Montoya at Red Sky Studio for the amazing work and awesome experience!

-Zuri