Feminist Film Camp

A few weeks ago I sat down with my college counselor for about the fourth time and something weird happened. She looked me in the eye, and without hesitation or a shadow of doubt, said that she had a good idea about what she wanted me to do in college. As in major and minor. As in future. As in career. As in something nobody had ever had the want, need, or inclination to tell me. But she did. She and her decades (but she absolutley doesn’t look it) of experience in the service of young people and more specifically their academic preparedness for college. I trust her. And that’s why what she said blew my mind, because I believed her. Whereas before I had never believed that someone would sit me down and tell me what to do with my life. Not that it matters, but I’ll tell you because it’s cool.


“Film… with an undergrad in business just to be safe”


Film. Well that part wasn’t a shock, but at the same time it was. I love it, and the people I know and love know that I love it. But even many of them wouldn’t volunteer the idea to me, for reasons I can’t really guess because it’s my blind dream we’re talking about. But I can get a feel for people, and what they usually tell me without words is “Oof that’s gonna be rough” or “Aw cute, until she decides she doesn’t want to be poor”. But again, my blind dream. And my counselor’s more than just my counselor, she’s my guru. (Yes, that good) And so she knows that when a teenager has fostered a love for something, by paying attention in that class or taught themselves a skill and has just simply made that time to love that time with that thing, whatever it may be, it’s important to not just to encourage it but to support it. So shoutout to my college counselor. And shoutout again when I’m receiving that Oscar.

It’s taken me months to get the energy to post again. It’s draining, this writing thing. Thoughts to fingertips to keys. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s a tough hobby to keep consistent with. It can only really be done when it’s from your being, because math says you can only give what you have and much as I hate to admit it, math is usually right. Math won’t allow me to write about things I haven’t fostered a care for, because the words won’t be there. So giving more of what I have is probably what I’m going to work on, and finding what those things are too. It’s easier with pictures. Anyone with my snapchat or following my instagram could tell you that. Sydneyjoto is kind of a mess there.

WHICH leads me to my next trick topic.

Film camp. More specifically, Feminist Film Camp. It has a better and more official name, which I’m not sure if I can share so we’ll just call it the former. I found out about it several weeks too late and then there was nothing short of a miracle; somehow they let me in. They turned out to be fabulous people who were incredibly talented at each of their varying jobs within the film industry. We met and skyped with movie directors, editors, PR people and went through what must be the process of making a movie because we did. We made a movie and aired it at a real premiere in a theatre. It’s two weeks later and I’m still feeling butterflies from that one. In teams of five, we wrote, directed, acted, edited, and finally produced a piece all while learning from the professionals about ways to do the best visual, audio, and story work possible. Oh and storyboarding. Almost forgot that.

Here are some notes from lunchtime speakers I took in my nerdy film journal 

• It takes both brains & luck
• Have people back you up with a common goal, but never give up creative control, even if that means you have to turn down an offer from Disney. (They have a thing about that)
• The documentarian women making “Code” always just wanted to make a film.
• On choosing a topic for a documentary, “It has to be something really important and topical.”
• Show before you tell, or just show and hope that tells enough.
• Honestly, you have no idea how an audience will take a movie. You’re just feeding your home made food to the kids and hope they like it.
• A director is the one who carries the production with his or her drive alone. The director needs to be the most passionate, the story is their baby and they want to see it succeed.
• You need a team that fills the many gaps of what you can’t do, and in the end work to create something a thousand times better than what you could’ve come up with. Notice how as movies have improved over time, the credits roll longer and longer?
• Editors push the scene layer upon layer, they have artistic license and mad organization skills
• Both creative and technical people are necessary to making movies. You just have to learn how to speak the two different languages.
• Actresses with cool roles really are the role models for young girls. Thanks to CSI, the number of women entering college since 2000 under Crime Investigation or Criminal Justice has dramatically increased
• As women, we tend to doubt ourselves. More women will walk into a job interview thinking that they’re hardly qualified, whereas men typically think “it’s all good I got this”. Know that you have got this as much as the boys do.
• Code, the language of computer code will be more and more invaluable to you in the future. Learn it, and you will almost be guaranteed to use it someday and get paid for it.
• Light is everything. In animation it makes the world seem like a place you can actually go to and visit. It converts kids to Disneyisms and in live-action can make adults cry and laugh or scream sometimes more effectively than just acting.
• A documentary is a hell of a lot of work. But so is a live-action film. And animation. All need smart and creative people and all are necessary to help tell the stories that need to be told.
• When trying to sell your movie, smile. Give gifts. I have seen grown men in suits almost get in a fist fight over a ballpoint pen that said “Sundance”.  Also, the best parties don’t serve caviar they serve hot dogs. People are hungry!

And lastly, favorite quotes:

“Smile. Love the process, and if you don’t, go be a dental hygienist.”


“If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.”

let me repeat that for the haters

If you love it, you’ll find a way to do it.


You’re darn straight.

Something else I really love, is finding flaws in society and coming up with my own dumb solutions to fixing them. So I found a way to do that at this camp, with my production team. My problem, my solution. Please pay no attention to the lead actress she’s no Jlaw, but I think the message is something to think about. If you know a teenager or anyone with a picture-posting problem, or anyone really, please feel free to share.

You can only give what you have right? Subtraction and addition? Well here’s a story I wrote about a girl with an Instagram problem, and how I think kids should start viewing the way they view the world, which is not on a phone screen.


Thank you dear reader for doing what you do best here, and I wish you all a wonderful day/evening/morning/birthday/holiday/drive/whatever else awaits you.

All the best,



The Wonderful World of Homecoming: Part 2

Happy dance, throw down a Tebow, and then meme tears of joy… HOMECOMING IS OVER WITH BABY!

After much stress, tears, and blood, the finished product came out looking like the average Sophomore work. (eh-okay)

But hey, it’s over! Who cares what place we get, we participated, got a little united and artsy, and had fun. Que slideshow.

Not as bad as I made it sound huh? We were Sherlock in case you didn’t guess, and it was definitley a challenge.

Lessons Learned:

• Osh always has caution tape

• Osh doesn’t always have refrigerator boxes

• Sherlock lived on Baker St., and no, there were no double decker buses back then

• Things get much better when you’re an upperclassman

And lastly…

• You SO cannot do this type of thing alone, it’s important to divvy out the workload to everyone willing to help, and then thrust paintbrushes in the hands of those who aren’t

My own mother has that last one perfected and she too did a “Happy dance, throw down a Tebow, and then meme tears of joy” when my brother’s school fundraiser was over. She was the boss-lady, and she too had her share of paintbrushes to thrust in order to but this baby on. Que Slideshow.

Mom, you did a fantastic job. I was a balloon of pride and I still am. I just hope that one day, I can be as awesome of a boss-lady as you. Hey, so I might just try Homecoming again next year as a funky junior! Help me will ya mother?


Writing a Paper

via Coroflot

Let’s call this a warm-up. Did one of those in Alg 2 today, and I’m going to do one in about t-minus 70 minutes before my first game of the season. Setting: Dad’s class with his 7th period discussing Roger Williams and Galileo in APUSH, little Sophomore me in the back on my laptop thankfully unintroduced)

The Golden Key

Jacob and Wilhem Grimm

Summary: Once Upon a Time there was a boy who found a golden key, and shortly after found a little chest in which the key fit.

The narrator ends the story with this sentence;

Then we shall find out  what kind of wonderful things there were in the little chest.

Blow your minds people.

My quest is to flip, add to and sculpt a climactic story out of THIS. I love mysteries, but this is another Lady or the Tiger . A “choose your ending” story, or is it more? It has to be because the Brother Grimm were the Brothers Genius’s and always had a resound ending and moral to each story. So simply, what is the hidden moral?

You decide.

(But seriously, help me out here :)



Warning: This is a Draft, This is a Draft, This is a Draft

Unfinished Tales

In “The Golden Key”, the theme that surfaces is that mystery is the best kind of climax. To make the story’s peak end on a frayed rope left to the audience to mend can only be a stroke of genius.  The climax begins when a young boy initially thinks in the snow after finding a key and wooden box with the fitting keyhole,  “Certainly there are valuable things in the chest”.  Certainly, there’s an object worth guessing in the wooden hollow. The ending of the story neither denies nor confirms this, but rather leaves it so intriguingly to the reader’s discretion with not a bias to slant off. There is in addition another version of the story, which is contains a much more dynamic and literally colorful plot. In this version, through a complicated series of events involving rainbows, fairies, and little girls with tangled hair, a young boy and his friends find themselves walking up a staircase to where the reader will never know, because the narrator ends the story with, “ They knew that they were going up to the country whence the shadows fall. And by this time I think they must have got there.” A much more beautiful example of mystery, and letting the reader choose the character’s fate. However in this example, the author at least hints at the happy ending that he believes occurred, giving the reader a slightly biased slant to build on. Outside of “The Golden Key”, there are other examples of absent endings. One famous sample is, “The Lady or the Tiger?” When the young lover of the princess is put into the Roman Arena by order of the king, he must choose between two doors. Behind one lies a lovely unwed maiden and behind the other a starved and ferocious tiger. The story ends with the famous line, “And so I leave it all with you: Which came out of the opened door – the lady, or the tiger?” In conclusion, people love mysteries. But even more so, they love predicting endings, or at least debating about what the author would have wanted you to predict using the clues he or she had given. When given the key, people will open the door.


The night before GIRLS CAMP!!!

“Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end- the middle’s the most important. Think of… an Oreo cookie! Right now we are in the middle of our lives, and this is the time that matters most. We’ll get to camp tomorrow, and we’ll leave on Saturday. It’s up to YOU what you do with that creme filling.”

Words from a high-adventurer of a sister in the stake, witty and smelling of Hawaii and full of jokes as well as inquisitive wisdom. It was a great talk. Anyways, I’m leaving for camp in the morning. With my dear non-member friend K. who is absolutely stoked about spending a week in cabins in the Sierras overlooking a lake. Yes, a sparkly cold lake. Our volunteer cooks are also food gods. I have to go to my restful slumber party now (excitement will keep my eyes open anyway) but before I do, I want to wish you all a happy mid-summer, and a happy mid-life! Please, Enjoy the filling :)

(Via Sodahead)

Epic Crabbing Adventures.


This is a post about a beautiful adventure with beautiful pictures. Not so many words… Forgive me? It’s also a journal entry of my first epic adventure of 2012, which took place (on/in?) Tomales bay on a motorboat I call Little Luno. My co-adventurers? Dad and his dad, my awesome adventure-seeking Grandpa. Our quest? To get crab, and lots of ’em. Equipped with eight traps and a bucket of nasty meat (Grandpa’s “Secret recipe”) we set off.

For all you my faithful readers, I apologize for pictures being rare on this blog, but today you’re getting your fix. All I’ll do is commentate.

Secret recipe? Ha ha think not, this is just a shmiggy of it.

Motor-homers can camp out while crabbing, if you’re hardcore enough.

Again, expert steersman Grandpa starting off… quite the bicep workout if you ask me

HA! My Uncles advice, you’re crab luck comes by petting the lucky feather.

We forgot to pet the feather.

Celebrity homes perhaps? I hear George Lucas has a place in the vicinity…

The smart crabbers out with their one-liners… but we’re the daring ones.

Pulling up for a pit stop


Welcoming committee was pretty grouchy, seemed to bark at all passerby’s.

A map of the Tomales: $23

We pretty much parked at the bottom and traveled up and down all day.

Cozy little bait shop, trophy fish pics and their proud sunburned fishermen

beaming at the camera.

Figured instead of putting our faces IN the holes we’d get a scenic shot of the whole thing.

We made our way to the dock, “This is where we say a lot of ‘How’s it goin?’s” -Gpa

Just scoping the scene.

I love the perspective here, our three shadows and a little girl waiting for her parents to pull up something good for dinner. The people here are experts and it was neat witnessing them do their thang.

Siblings, Aw how cute :]


Blonde moment: I thought this meant the dock we were walking on.

Gorgeous water #1

Gorgeous water #2

(sorta) Gorgeous water #3

Visiting the locals

The most adorable stares I’ve ever received.

ELK!!! (Of course dad flips out)

How to pull in a crab trap, (Pretty self-explanatory)

FOR THE RECORD: The only dungeness we caught that day was in that trap.

Lunch Break: Little Luno :]

The tide swells so quickly here, there’s no need for tide pools.

It’s pretty much a living beach.

Discovered this little dude squirming around, attempted to help out,

I picked him up with seaweed… string and plopped him to freedom.

He gave us a “good riddance” ink jet and disappeared

Grandpa found a trail that led to a creepy little… picnic area?

Someone liked Tarzan.

Found this in somewhat of a random area, but it was a sweet little mini memoir all the same.

A view looking back, and most of that greenery is poison oak/ivy. This is where Grandpa informed us, “Ya know, there’s probably a big mountain cat about half a mile a way… and probably a bear in two.” I freaked and headed back to the boat, “Okay, time to go now!”

And then sweet Grandpa, bless his heart, let his granddaughter take the wheel, stick, motor-thing

Epic I know :)

And yes, it’s more complicated than it looks.

OH! Best part! While I’M driving my dad decides to feed the gulls (aka sea rats)  the extra bait we’re not using. So they FOLLOW US in a SWARM just waiting for us to empty the next trap fill of old bait. My dad’s just laughing at how they can catch food in the air while I’m trying to see past the flurry of feathers as they’re practically DIVE BOMBING the boat!

Thanks dad.

CHICKEN MEAT too! How wrong is that?!

Sea Rats.

This is where the slide show ends. After evading the feathered greedy-poos we made it to shore. We came home with six mean red rock crab and one dungeness. Although the meat’s not deserving of mayo, they’re still going to make for amazing crab cakes.

With our sad catch, I think the sun warmed the bay and cleared the sky out of pity for us. It’s January for Betsy’s sake!!! Instead of the rain and fog we expected, the weather made for beautiful pictures I hope you enjoyed. Well it’s off to the cupboard with me now before my dad yanks the laptop away but on a final note,

It’s days like these when beauty clears my mind, that it’s easy to think about Jesus. (Before the sea rats) More than once that day I imagined what it would have been like to be Peter on that fishing boat, looking up from my net of flopping fish and seeing my best friend and master walking across the swells towards me. I felt him close that day, and I feel ready to start the new year with this beautiful adventure under my belt. And that’s all…


Silly Sparrow

This morning, I heard a squeal. So I ran to the back of the house… Which was where my mom stood in the preschool. (Yes… we have a preschool attatched to our house.) I guess my mom had left the back door open and a BIG FAT sparrow… (And clearly confused) had flown into the catapillar room… And kept trying to fly through the WINDOW. (stuuupid) It just kept smacking the glass, and I could hear little grunts of frustration. Well instead of helping my mom whistle to it in birdie language, trying to lure him out the door again, I BOOKED IT DOWN THE HALLWAY to get my camera before It got away.
By the time I got back it had hidden from my mom behind a drum in the corner. Sadly, There was no way I was gonna get that picture so I put down the camera with a sigh and joined my mom the bird whisperer. Then I had a lightbulb go off.
I….. RAN AROUND THE HOUSE behind the door that was behind the birdie, BANGED on the door, and I heard my mom’s shout of triumph. (And in the backyard Mr. Birdie singing “I Will Survive” -Gloria Gaynor)

Well now Mr. Birdie’s got the whole wide world to explore… And crash into. Even though I COULD’ve kept him… As a really COOL pet…….. I didn’t.

Cause my mamma taught be to be a good Samaratan. Or a good animal rights activist…. person.

Moral of the story is… Well I don’t know because there’s about 500 analogies you could make with that so I’ll let you pick one! :)

Recap: Stupid Bird crash lands on planet catepillar, and Is kindly released by moi. Birdie fly away never to crash again. (Hopefully)