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Joe Hendrix

Finals Are Here

Winter Quarter finals are here! And while I know that may be a stressful thing for a lot of us, think of positives! We are almost in Spring Quarter! And what does that mean? We’re practically in Spring! We can finally leave the winter behind and get to brighter and sunny days. I’m sure the brisk wind will pop its head out every now and then, but only a few more weeks till sunnier, longer, and hopefully happier days. While we come to dread finals, the simple fact is that once they’re here, they’ll be gone just a moment later, so don’t spend valuable time stressing/procrastinating. You have to keep going and give it all you got till it’s over, and regardless of it you got the highest grade possible you finished, and that’s all that matters. 

We put a lot of academic stress on ourselves, but the simple fact is we don’t give each other enough praise for balancing classes with our extra curriculars, our jobs, our social and other daily responsibilities. We are constantly being told to keep going, do more, faster, harder, but rarely do we ever just get to feel accomplished. Well that’s something I want everyone to feel so after you’re done smashing these finals and finishing up your classes I want you to relax and be proud of yourselves, because all the hard work you put is only ever going to be appreciate it by you, so relish in it, be proud, and have a great Spring Break!

inspirational phrase



Happy International Women's Month!

Happy International Women’s Month! This month is a celebration of the courageous women in all of our lives, so I thought I would take today’s blog to appreciate some of the coolest women in media doing cool things. First things first shout out to Jameela Jamil. One of the leading actresses on the great NBC sitcom The Good Place spends most of her free time advocating for body positivity in women all of races, shapes, and sizes. Just recently she called out a magazine for airbrushing her skin and making her skin look lighter. She also has an Instagram page that is a community for any and everybody to spread their body positivity. She also advocates against body dieting supplements and is very vocal against normal body standards and the mental distress it causes women. 

actress Jameela Jamil

The next women I’d like to talk about is musician Noname. She is a rapper out of Chicago with ties to Chance the Rapper who similarly uplifts the city with realistic and emotional songs that resonate with everyone no matter their gender. She is a positive influence on up coming artists in the city and someone whose music I would recommend.

And the final woman I’d like to commend is recent Oscar winner Regina King. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie If Beale Street Could Talk and it is a tremendous accolade not only for a woman of color but for someone of her stature and career highlights. Support the women in your life and enjoy the month!

actress Regina King


Take Care of Yourself

One thing that is often overlooked in the fast-paced environment of college is a student’s mental health. It doesn’t matter how far into school you are, your mental is something you should always keep in check because sometimes we neglect in favor of other things we deem important. Stressing about whether we get this assignment done, whether we have enough time to go hang out with friends, etc. 

College can be overwhelming if you’re not taking the right steps to keep yourself balanced and mentally healthy, and I can tell you from experience that when you don’t your performance in all aspects of your life will decline. School in and of itself will always be a big point of stress for us students, and that impending fear about class can be a good motivator to get work done, but it can also cause us to do things like stay up all night when we should be getting sleep to help our bodies/brains. 

Sleep is something that we often take for granted at this age; we no longer are beholden to bed times, curfews, and other things from high school. But getting enough rest is a part of the self-care needed to really get you to one hundred percent and do your best at school. And of course, every situation is different for everyone so evaluate what you need specifically and make sure you keep your mental health in check. Talk to someone if need be, take a break and enjoy some time alone if necessary, just make sure to keep yourself healthy. 


Party Tips

I was at a party this past weekend where I knew maybe like a dozen people. However, there was upwards of maybe a couple dozen there in general. So ultimately, most of the festivity goers were unknown to me. One of things that I find so interesting about parties (especially college ones) is how people usually aren’t too friendly or willing to dive outside your social circle. So, with that in mind, I’m here to give you a list of options to make your party going experience more fulfilling (or at least fulfilling to me anyway). 

First things first, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. It can seem overwhelming to walk into a packed apartment where music is blasting and try to meet new people but, in the end, it is better to at least try (even if they ignore you) than to sit it in the same corner all night wondering why no one is talking to you. 

Also, you don’t have to drink! No where in the rules of partying does it state you must be under the influence of anything to have a good time. In fact, one way to keep things fun for yourself is to play drinking games (without the drinking!). “Beer Pong” will always be fun to me, doesn’t matter if there’s anything alcoholic in the cup. 

Finally, dance! Dancing in fun, and never let yourself feel afraid of looking stupid. So next time you’re at a party, introduce yourself, have fun, relax, and just be yourself. Rarely is it ever like it is in the TV shows.

a party


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Procrastination and Other Things

I had absolutely no motivation to go to class today. Whether it was from a lack of sleep or not keeping track of my priorities, school fatigue is a problem that plagues us all. But fear not! It is a problem that we can conquer but only if you put forth effort. 

If you have early morning classes, I’m sure you already know getting enough sleep is a necessity. For the past few years, I’ve depended on caffeine to help wake me up, when in reality I need a better sleeping schedule and a proper diet. Not only that, but proper exercise can also help your motivation and ability to stay focused on your goals. 

Also: try not to procrastinate. I know it is easier said than done, but waiting until the last minute for everything will only become detrimental as time goes on. Take it from someone who at one point became a Master of Procrastination: In the end we must evolve as young adults who will eventually join the public work force. As hard as things may seem now, the real world (post-college) can be a rough place. Bosses, supervisors, superiors, etc. will not accept late work and are definitely not as swayable as professors you might encounter here. Consistently being late will get you fired. So while it may be annoying to adhere to some rules within a university, it is much better than having to keep up with a real life job. So enjoy your time but realize you must evolve with it!

falling asleep while studying



Netflix Binge The Cold Weather Away​


As Chicago continues its bipolar weather season, rarely do we know if outside will be habitable from weekend to weekend. Luckily for you, I’m here to break down all the amazing things you can be watching should you not want to go out into freezing cold. Who needs bars and parties when you have Netflix or Hulu? Am I right? 

For those interested in some good Sci-Fi comedy, Future Man on Hulu is a great half hour comedy that has an amazing spin on the whole-time travel gimmick and manages to have an entire cast full of likable characters, entertaining situations, and just generally strange comedy in a breath of fresh air. Not all science fiction or action shows need to be super serious or too campy. Future Man is able to find the right balance and so far, has two incredible seasons you can binge watch right now! 

Future Man on Hulu


For those who have Netflix, there are numerous movies and shows I can suggest to you. Funny enough, both Hulu and Netflix are two different documentaries on the chaotic train wreck that was Fyre Festival. Despite both films being about the same festival, each is somehow completely different due to having different footage, different people interviewed, and both are just as equally entertaining. 

Also, Netflix recently premiered the new show The Umbrella Academy which is based off the graphic novel of the same name. I’ve only watched the first one so far, but from what I know and have heard it’s a delight for fans of comic books, mystery, action, and family drama. Definitely some things to look out for when you’re snowed in or don’t want frostbite! 

The Umbrella Academy on Netflix



Happy Halloween

While some may go to movies to get their Halloween scares, for those of you who want a longer trick or treat, the best horror entertainment of the weekend comes in the form of the new ​“Sabrina: The Teenage Witch” that premiered on Netflix this weekend. I know it may seem crazy, as a lot of us may have grown up with the old Melissa Joan Hart version but as most nostalgia from our childhoods this update is very different. I’d compare this show more to “American Horror Story” than anything else but do anything but compare it to the similar “Riverdale”. Instead of glorifying the nonsensical storylines Sabrina works because it’s about magic and monsters and it is supposed to be over the top. But still features much more diversity, good acting, and even LGBT characters that aren’t just there in token roles. For anyone hoping for just a good ole scary show for the holidays fret not, because that’s exactly what the show is, it’s never preachy and has genuinely likable characters. One of the other benefits is that it’s all available now to watch. I came into the show very skeptical and by the end of the first episode I was already determined to finish half of it before going to sleep, woke up and watched even more of it. Only stopping to write this very blog post right now. For someone who doesn’t have ten dollars to waste we got to stick together and watch the best Netflix content, so get on it, Happy Halloween!


Daredevil

I watch a lot of Netflix. I’m a film and television major here at DePaul so it is honestly the cheapest way to immerse myself in the art for creative purposes. One of the best things Netflix has to offer just premiered this week in the form of “Daredevil” season three. Now I’m sure there are people who are just not interested in comic book related things but to be honest this isn’t a usual comic book show. There aren’t crazy color costumes, there aren’t explosions and things of that nature. The show is more so a crime thriller with some action than anything else. The show follows a lawyer (Matt Murdoch) who despite being blind is a ninja who puts on a mask and beats up criminals at night in New York. But this specific season is great because it not only develops the incredible cast of characters wonderfully but the story is truly well-written. Twist and turns really keep you guessing till the very end and each episode transitions wonderfully into the next (allowing for maximum binging). The action scenes throughout the series are choreographed perfectly. It’s not your stereotypical comic book story, the show is dark, sometimes a bit bleak, but actually has a cool mystery the characters must solve throughout the seasons. Daredevil is entertaining and definitely a show worth your time if you’re up for a crime thriller with a lot of action. Don’t let the fact that it is based off a comic book not make you want to watch it.


Fall Netflix Binge-Watching

As the fall season truly starts to set in, the weather is slowly getting colder and colder and being outside isn’t always the most reasonable option. And what better way to justify staying indoors than a good Netflix binge-watching session. So, allow me to recommend some of my current favorites and give you plenty of reasons to never leave the comfort of your television screen.

First and foremost, for anyone who is a fan of documentary crime dramas “American Vandal​” is a must watch. With the second season having just premiered this past week I have never been so entertained by what might be some of the stupidest crimes in television history. “American Vandal” is a show that attempts to unravel mysteries such as “who drew male genitalia on the cars of a school parking lot” and “who is terrorizing a private school with feces”. What may seem juvenile to some is surely a hilarious watching experience for others.

Another great show you may want to give a try is “BoJack Horseman .” The adult animated series follows an anthropomorphic middle-aged celebrity horse with a drinking problem, navigating a weird subversive Hollywood. It can get very dark and surreal but don’t allow that to stop you from giving it a try. It’s really funny and when it gets serious it’s actually kind of inspiring. I think a lot of animated shows don’t get enough credit for how much meaning and heart they have when you look past the surface, but regardless, these are two of the shows I feel might be enjoyable to all, happy binging and have a great week!


Comics

I’m a big comic nerd. So, the month of May so far has been very good to me. Whether it’s the release of Avengers: Infinity War or impending superhero blockbusters like Deadpool 2 and The Incredibles sequel,  I absolutely cannot wait for movies this summer. That being said, I’ve begun to notice that movies like these are beginning to receive some backlash. Not that they haven’t necessarily had them before, but now people are being more vocal about how they don’t like superhero movies; how they’re all just the same and are a waste of time. I get it, from the outside in they are, they usually include a lot of forgettable bad guys and beams of light shooting from the sky but I think it’s important to remember that while everyone and their mother is trying to copy the success of the Avengers. There are other people trying to take comic book properties in another direction. Whether it’s on TV or movies I think we should stop putting a stigma around these movies and try to enjoy them for what they are and sometimes that is just mindless entertainment. Sure, these movies don’t try to be thought-provoking but they are entertaining spectacles and the ones that do put in the effort and are quality don’t deserve the hate that the less than quality copycats do. If you’ll never be a fan that’s fine, but if you’re even mildly interested in comic books but don’t care for blockbuster summer action look for something more your style, you’re sure to find something you like.

Favorite Movies and TV Shows

By the time you are reading this, the Oscars will have already happened. However, I am still going to tell you about some of my favorite movies and television shows I’ve watched this year. First and foremost, if you see any large superhero blockbuster it must be the wildly popular and successful “Black Panther​.” Rounded out by an incredible cast and amazing director this movie is not only outstanding by Marvel movie standards but it fits my criteria as a good movie. The film has a message, it is fun, it is well acted, and now we are one step closer to having more diversity in high budget Hollywood films.
In terms of television, I would recommend “The Venture Bros​” to anyone who is a fan of Adult Swim (and Rick and Morty in particular). It’s basically a parody of Johnny Quest, comic books, and generally weird stuff that mixes and mashes together as a wildly sporadic but entertaining show. Good animation mixed with stellar voice acting and writing, it is a must watch for anyone who likes weird adult humor and sci-fi action. 
Speaking of weird this is where I will tell you about “Black Mirror​” and why it is incredible. The anthology series is surely inspired by Twilight Zone but it has created its own legacy by showing us a darker side of the technology we as humans hold dear. In each episode we see a future affected by a piece of technology that drastically changes how we interact as humans. Anybody wanting to see a creative view on the future, I would definitely check it out, as well as the other two recommendations!