Lately

How are you? Hope you are having a great end of January. I am heading back to Detroit for work Tuesday. It’s been bliss working remotely in LA. I tried surfing and love LA, especially the weather and how friendly everyone is. I still feel like I fit in a little better in SF or DC though where there are more nerds. It is completely new for me to be around so much encouragement of creativity.

Hope you are up to some fun things β˜ΊοΈπŸ˜„. I am loving on the Crown Season 5, weight-lifting, and roller-skating. Thanks for reading- and hope you have a fantastic start to your February πŸŽ‰.

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Griffith Observatory

How are you? Happy 2023! How was your break? Hope this is a year of healthy progress and fulfillment for you.

Here are some pictures of Griffith Observatory. It was very hot (70s) and pretty.

Conflicting feelings- I’ve been trying to live in the moment and not take so many pictures- to instead just look at life and be really grateful for what I get to see and experience without feeling any pressure to capture it. But I still love taking pictures and creating things, and when I got to Griffith Observatory it was torture to not take a picture. Like I desperately wanted to capture the beauty. It’s difficult to take a bad picture there! There were some little 5-year-olds taking pictures on their disposable cameras at the Observatory and it was the cutest. I bet they took some really pretty pictures.

/\ /\ Someday I will remember to take my distracting plastic water bottle out of the picture. Just not this day.

Love love love the roots of trees. Thanks for working so hard.

LA

golden hour

I’m excited about some of the climate change legislation that’s been passed. Hope your week is off to a great start and thank you for reading. πŸ˜„

Pictures

How are you? Here is my phone as of late.

Deep dish Chicago, for the win. The best kind. Life-changing.

Painting! Good job Christina. /\ /\

/\ I’m only on page 100, but I love this one so far. /\ /\ It is about objects that are special to us. The main character in The Christmas Pig, Jack, loves DP so so so much because he’s always there for Jack. I love DP too.

I found this throwback over Thanksgiving. Isn’t my brother handsome!! /\ /\

/\ Don’t those ingredients look good? I want to try this.

/\ /\ Pictured- some extra joie de vivre in my mid-section & low-rise pencil-cut jeans that were stylish circa 2015 – 2016 πŸ˜…

Have you tried NAD yet! Try it. Please, please try it. Such a delight. NAD has helped me with anxiety and focus, but it alleviates and reverses a whole number of health issues.

My NAD drip at the NAD drip party. /\ /\

Memorializing the post-dinner mess.

Also hoping to watch Spirited sometime soon. Hope your week is off to a great start.

Thanksgiving & Late

Happy Thanksgiving πŸ™‚ How are you? We thoroughly enjoyed Turkey day at our house. In addition to eating, we played lots of ping-pong, hide-and-go-seek, charades, and dress-ups. I didn’t take a lot of pictures over the holiday, but here are some recent photos from my phone.

/\ /\ /\ With my niece and nephew, who are hide-and-go-seek geniuses.

/\/\/\/\ My niece, celebrating her illustrious time on Earth with a unicorn party.

/\/\/\ At Chipotle with my little sister. She was recently cast as the villain in a play about time travel and she’s very excited about it. I love her.

Pondering life’s most urgent questions with Archibald.

/\/\ Palisades Park.

I tried stand-up comedy last night and it was fun. Cannot wait to get back to California Thursday. Can’t wait. Can’t wait.

Hope you are eating chocolate and planning some hilarious and witty tweets about my boyfriend Elon Musk. He is not only colonizing mars but is also apparently an inspirational ceo.

Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚

Shannon

Tar, Don’t Worry Darling, 99 Homes, & Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.

How are you?

Here are my thoughts on a few movies I’ve watched recently:

Tar

TΓ‘r was very well-done, but not necessarily entertaining. It told an interesting story in a way that was deliberately slow, uncomfortable, and dull. There were parts when I was a little bored and right before things came crashing down on the main character, I was thinking– If something doesn’t happen soon… I’m going to mentally check out.

Because so many elements of the movie were so underdone, when the plot started to pick up and everything collapsed in on the main character, there was nothing to compete for my attention. The intrigue and questions surrounding Lydia (or Linda’s) actions were very pointed, which stood in contrast to the boringness of the rest of the movie. I didn’t like the main character; I think that was the point of the movie, but I liked that it did not necessarily force a lecture on the audience. Although the main character seemed very lost and ugly, I didn’t feel like the movie was trying to force me to think anything specific about her. I probably wouldn’t watch this movie again, but I think it accomplished what it set out to do. The movie was basically an ode to Cate Blanchett’s incredible depth and range of skills. I wonder what percent of the script she carried. She had a lot of monologues. She can do everything.

Don’t Worry Darling

I loved everything about this movie. I can’t say enough good things about it. I loved the focus on female pleasure. I loved the illustration of what happens when someone less powerful shares information that proves to be inconvenient for those in power. It reminded me a little of Mormonism and Utah. Florence Pugh is an incredible actress and Harry Styles has a lot of talent. Olivia Wilde is apparently a very talented director. The dialogue in the movie was entertaining, simple, light, and painted a clear picture of the bizarre world of the Victory Project. The visuals were like candy. In many ways it was the opposite of TΓ‘r though; it was so entertaining that when the plot needed to thicken, it had a lot of other elements to compete with. I was so lost in enjoying the dialogue, the relationships, the visuals, the characters- that when the dinner happened and things were escalating, although it felt realistic, the conflicting actions didn’t feel quite sharp or uncomfortable enough to stand out from the rest of the movie. I thought there could have been a little more cerebral discussion, tension, disharmony, ugliness, fear, and examples of the manipulative power plays that cult leaders tend to play. Apart from that, the ending had several surprises and left me feeling satisfied. Overall, the movie was generous and well-done. Thank you, Olivia Wilde. Please direct more movies.

99 Homes

Watched this because I am on an Andrew Garfield binge ever since watching Under the Banner of Heaven. 99 Homes told the fictional story of Dennis Nash, who was evicted from his home with his mom and son during the housing crisis of 2007 and 2008. I know that not all fiscal conservatives are as mean-spirited as Rick Carver, but I don’t understand how those types of predatory ‘business practices’ were forgiven so quickly. I love Adam Smith and the invisible hand- I love the innovation and creativity that are part of a free market- but lying and deceit are not innovative, and kicking families out of their houses is not creative. I don’t love that America has such a long history of ignoring exploitative practices.

The movie effectively illustrated how poverty is criminalized, and I would guess all of the things that happened in the movie did happen to people in real life. The movie did not feel like a lecture to me, but that is partly because I already agreed with it. I don’t know if the movie is compelling or persuasive for someone with a different mindset or if they would see it as melodramatic. Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, and Andrew Garfield made a great combination.

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

I just couldn’t get into this one, probably because I haven’t seen the Matrix (πŸ™„). Watch it if you want. I’m sure if I had a more creative mind and in-depth understanding of cinema, I could have gotten into it. I just thought it was weird.

Hope you are having a great Veteran’s day and can find some time to relax and watch a movie!

Shannon

Lately

Risky business

How are you?

This past month has been a blast- flashy, friendly, bold, bohemian. I’ve tried things that have opened me up in really healthy ways. I got to see really funny live standup comedy- Sarah Silverman, Whitney Cummings, Erik Griffin, and Adam Ray. I’ve also met some sort of shallow people – Last night I shared an uber with someone who was bragging about all of the TikTok influencers he knew – he was very nice, but I said a silent prayer to never become the type of person who brags about that πŸ€­πŸ˜….

Hope you’re having a fab Halloween season and have some darling trick-or-treaters come to your door tomorrow.

xxx,
Shannon

We’re here to bless and prosper each other.

So this blog has basically become snapchat – who knows which posts I will leave up and take down….

I’ve started screenwriting. It’s silly to think it will amount to anything and I’m not really sure if I want it to, but it is fun. The first idea I had was actually a tribute to my hometown because I have loved and romanticized it my entire life. There are a few distinct types of people in my hometown, and lots of traditions, patterns, stories. You see the same families over and over, but they have a unique commonality that brings them here. The people in my hometown are both pretentious and unassuming, exclusive and inclusive, changing and traditional, smart and self-deprecating. It’s a family-oriented town with lots of government employees. The buildings on Park and 123 alternate between exposed brick and pristine painted white every few years, like clockwork; that would be a simple way to illustrate the passing of years. Vienna has about 30,000 people, so I always felt like I recognized everyone from all the house leagues and travel leagues and switching school pyramids. It’s small enough to easily find your friends, your tribe, but it’s big enough to not know everyone’s business (and clearly misconstrue some). I love the history, the West End cemetery, the old houses, the same groups doing the same things, the high school plays every year, the folklore from the people who were at that one event where that one athlete did that one thing and ended up winning/losing the game/meet/tournament. There are streets called Lover’s Lane and Walnut Lane and they have 100-year-old houses on them- In 1954 Maple Avenue expanded from a dirt road lined with maple trees and Victorian houses to a paved road with no maple trees and no Victorian houses and lots of post-World War II baby boomer families flooded in. It’s had the same cyclical waves of change and growth since then, but when I was growing up it was still a small town where generations stay, including Black families that lived in Vienna since the Civil War. This plot would be an excuse for me to dig really deep into the books I’ve found at the library about it. I once found a book about Vienna that was written by someone who had not been taught to spell or capitalize. It was long and so romantic to me, like reading Huckleberry Finn, except it wasn’t fiction. I have so many little anecdotes, like of the day that Wolf Trap burned down and when they were deciding whether to make Vienna Woods an ice-skating rink or a pool. Unfortunately, I can’t do justice to my story because it needs a linear, measurable plot and I don’t want one for my hometown. I want it to feel immersive, like an ocean, and I don’t think I can do justice to the setting that I love so much, at least for my first one. The few stories from my hometown that resonate with me, I don’t want to touch because they feel too personal. (There is already a movie about Robert Hanssen that they filmed in my hometown, although that’s definitely a different feel). I love my hometown. But I feel like I am trying to play Rachmaninoff with this one and I need to stick with chopsticks.

All the experienced writers say that the enemy of writing is fear. And if you’ve read my blog, you know that I am not afraid of saying something stupid, so this should truly be a cakewalk for me.

But in keeping with the goal of writing a simple, straightforward plot, my next idea is superimposing a modern story onto Empire Records. That movie has a simple fun feel and I have a few ideas. I just don’t know exactly what to do with the scenes with Liv and Gina throwing themselves at Rex Manning. Do those scenes leave you feeling confused too? πŸ€”πŸ§ Am I the only one?

There have to be some recent history hidden gems in the venture capital world and I would love to do a movie about a fake kidnapping/murder story with paid actors that is sold to the media. I also love the ancient Hindu epics although they have some very uh, antiquated (offensive) themes. I could do a modern retelling of a Greek Gods story and I honestly like a story with a kid just simply saving money for something he wants all summer long. I like the story of a haunted pool house like at Overlee and I think it would be interesting to write a Truman Show sequel or prequel, but with a focus on the people who set it up. For some reason, I don’t think Hollywood would fund that one… And if no one makes a movie about the ah/em/Johnny Depp trial, we will all be robbed of an incredibly entertaining tv series.

I hope you are having a wonderful week! I’m going to see Spiderman tomorrow and am considering a trip to the beach or New York. xx

Throwback Thursday

This magical angle makes me look much taller than I am. Also, why aren’t giant trebuchets more popular. They are wicked exciting, fun, decisive, reliable, and good for the environment.

Baby Shannon in London. circa 2009. We stayed in Queensgate and it was sunny and gorgeous almost every day.

Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles. I stayed in a house that Jack Nicholson used to get trashed at. I crossed that off of my bucket list immediately after adding it.
The prettiest tree. ily California

Hope you’re on your way to a good weekend.

Lately

How are you, summer children? πŸ™‚ Here is my phone as of late and some life updates.

The Rachel Chase and Shannon show. We succeeded even without Mrs. Martin.

  1. No graduation for me. In order for my internship to be accredited, I have to pay the university 20k. So, full-time job instead.
  2. I am obsessed with Myers-Briggs (yes, still). Do you know your function stack! Here is mine.

3. Apples in cinnamon at 325 for 45+ minutes or until they’re really soft and sweet.

4. Ann Arbor trees, ftw:

5. I had to get a lot of blood drawn in June and it was not a good experience. In love with feeling good again

6. AccurateπŸ˜‚:

7.

8.

9. Visited the Grand Hotel on Mackinac-

10. Love you so much, Virginia, (even though you’re sweaty):

11. I’m reading Gabby Bernstein. She’s good.

Hope you are having the most lovely of days, weeks, years and that they’re filled with fun and meaningful happiness.

Small Talk, Medium-Sized Talk, Big Talk

Miss you, SF /\

Fam /\

BIFF /\

Michigan crew, celebrating being done with a really hard class. /\

Utah /\

Recent things & thoughts:

  • Currently am watching Under the Banner of Heaven. It’s intriguing. Andrew Garfield is a good actor.
  • The Supreme Court is freaking me out right now. I know the founding fathers intended to leave the Constitution open-ended, but that leaves so many opportunities for opinions that do not seem tethered to it.

Hope you’re finding and feeling some peace and love.