15 Dreams That Came True in 2015


Sometimes, when you are running fast and hard, all you feel is the burn. You struggle to overcome the pain and keep going. You are so focused on going forward and meeting your goals. Sometimes when you are running fast and hard, you forget to appreciate how far you've come.

This is not a post about how I run. This is not about what horizon I am running to. I think we focus a little too much on those things-- not to say they are unimportant.

This is a post about where I have run.

See, I'm ambitious. I've got a healthy (some might argue a little too healthy) ego, and fortunately I am the kind of person who would prefer to achieve the things I need to in order to justify that ego-- which is, you know, better than just having a big ego made of nothing. I'm sure many of my readers are the same way as I am. #YoungScrappyandHungry

When you are ambitious though, it can make you hyper-focused on achievement and the-next-big-thing. I don't want to be the kind of person who puts in hours to cook herself a feast, only to forget to taste any of my victories. And so here I write 15 dreams, of varying sizes and seriousness, that came true for me this year. I hope that this encourages you all to stop running, and taste your victories.
  1. Graduated from W&M. Not only did I graduate from my dream school-- this also means that I'm done with my formal education, for good, unless I decide to change my mind and keep going. From now on, my education will be done on no one's terms but my own-- and that is an incredibly liberating feeling. 
  2. Saw The Wombats perform live. I got to see my favorite band, The Wombats, perform live! It was so great seeing them, and although it was somewhat bittersweet since my little brother I planned to take was sick that day, it was still a great performance. They are coming to the US more and more often, so hopefully he'll get the chance to go. (In lieu of the concert, I took him to the Charleston Aquarium :))
  3. Visited a Cat Cafe. So, this actually wasn't all sunshine and rainbows as I had previously expected before going to the Cafe. It turns out that I am allergic to cats, a fact that had either escaped my notice or not become a fact at all until that day. I thought I had an uncooperative contact lens, so naturally I rubbed my eyes in an attempt to get it to right itself. Big mistake. By the end of our trip to the Cat Cafe, I had to have my friend physically guide me home as I could barely open my swollen eyes. Still though, those kitties warmed my heart. 
  4. Went to the Philadelphia Flower Show. I like arranging schemes, but also arranging flowers. I went to one of the biggest/best floral shows in the US and I had a wonderful time looking at the floral art and shopping and even meeting Christina Milian.
  5. Visited Disneyland. I have officially been to two Disney Parks! Didn't get as much time there as I would have liked but it was a business trip so it really could not be expected. I hope I can go back to Disney Parks soon!
  6. Touched the Pacific Ocean. I have successfully touched two oceans! As an East Coast girl, I'd never been close enough to the Pacific to do it-- it's so cool though to know that I've touched another ocean! I've never done that before and a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do so, so I'm grateful!
  7. Moved to New York. I made it to the city, I got an apartment (albeit one that is very small) and started my life in the city I've wanted to live in for ages. I moved here without a job, without even any interviews lined up. It was so hard. But I am so happy with where I am now!
  8. Got a job at Disney. I've always wanted to work for Disney since I was a kid, and as I grew older that ambition only got stronger. I thought it would take me closer to 3 years out of school until I would make it happen, but I was so fortunate in that things really aligned so that I got this job that I absolutely love. It was not easy and sometimes I cried about my job hunt, but it really worked out for me in the end, and I think that it really drove home something important that I forget a lot: Just because it's out of your hands, does not mean things will turn out horribly. 
  9. Ate some really fancy ramen. Okay, so living in Northern Virginia most of my life, there has been no shortage of awesome Asian food, but most of it is Korean and Vietnamese. Until January of 2015, I had never had a nice, non-instant, bowl of ramen. Now I have had some real actual ramen and I loved it! My fave is Totto Ramen in NY. 
  10. Went to New York Comic Con. I am embarrassed to say that I was the only friend in my closest circle to not have ever attended of Con (or Ren Faire). (Is it embarrassing that I think that's embarrassing?) If it is not clear, I am a total geek, most of my friends are geeks, and we as geekdom, consider the Con to be a rite of passage. I have finally attended a Con, ya'll. It was awesome! (See recap video and haul video)
  11. Hit the Broadway Flea Market. I helped support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by shopping at the Broadway Flea Market! I've always wanted to go ever since I got into musicals in a more serious, less-low-key way but since it happened during the school year I was never able to go til now. The Bway Flea is a great way to snag merch, meet Broadway stars, and support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
  12. Set up a 401(k). This is something I really have been looking forward to for a long time. Is it kind of... boring and adulty? Maybe, but I think that there is a lot to be said for making responsible financial decisions. When I was working at a financial services company, I learned that nowadays most people in their twenties and thirties put more emphasis on saving for their next vacation than they do on saving for their retirement. Combine that with social security running out, people living longer than ever, and having kids later or not at all, and you've set yourself up for a really hard retirement (if any retirement at all)! To be clear, as of right now, I don't think I want to have any kids, but the point being that the question arises that if the government can't help you in your old age, and your kids aren't able to help you (or don't exist all together to help you), then who can you depend on? It's gotta be past you. So, being that I am working hard to be an independent, self-actualized person on a high vibe, high plane of existence, it was really important to me to set up a 401(k) as early as possible. And I'm so happy I did!
  13. Collected every single Twyla doll and every Ginger Breadhouse doll. You may have noticed that I am a half and half split between being a mature, responsible person and an actual child. I am totally satisfied with that lifestyle. So far I own every iteration of my two favorite characters in the Monster High and Ever After High doll lines, and I am so happy about this. I am exhibiting a massive amount of restraint in not going nuts over all these dolls and I am so satisfied with the characters who are my favorites, and it really does give me a lot of satisfaction to own all of their dolls. 
  14. Did a presentation on Monster High's entertainment/merchandise business strategy. Combining my adult and child sides gives me so much joy, and for my final major project in the Business School I did a presentation on transmedia storytelling, and how Monster High uses this new model to totally rule the toy market and create a business that others should aspire to. Not only did I present this to my class, but also to Mia, a fellow geek girl and digital media business nerd. It was amazing, and I was so excited to go out with a bang on my time as a student in the Mason School of Business.
  15. Became a Disney VoluntEAR. Almost as long as I have wanted to work for Disney, I have wanted to be a part of their initiatives to give back to communities and spread some Disney magic into the real world. I successfully completed 14 hours of service in about two months of employment with Disney, and I have worked mostly to help children who are underprivileged, sick, or abused. I plan on continuing to donate my time to those in need through Disney, and I'm so happy to be a part of a company that not only allows me to do work I love, with people I love, but also encourages me to serve the community and connects me with opportunities to do so!
Those are my 15 Dreams that came true this year. What are some of yours?

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16 Things I am (Re-)Dedicating Myself to in 2016


2015 was a whopping big year for me, but it felt more like a transformation into adulthood than anything else. It was the end of childhood, school, and the beginning of "the rest of my life."

And so, with grades and summer vacations and internships melted away like a lingering snowdrift come April, I am finding new ways to move forward in meaningful ways in my adulthood, and set my own priorities and goals that do not revolve around my schedule as a student.

Here are sixteen things I am planning on dedicating, or re-dedicating, myself to in 2016.

1 - Knowing myself and forging my own path. In general, I pretty much know who I am, and that's lead me to be very confident and self-assured in most situations. I know what kinds of happiness matter most to me, and I have my priorities and needs mostly figured out. But that's also predicated fairly heavily on the routine set in me over the course of sixteen years of school, and being a kid. As I enter "real life" I am finding myself in more and more novel situations and my priorities have shifted to match the new concerns I have in my life (like bills), so I have to once again rededicate myself to continuously learning, negotiating, and experimenting with myself.

2 - Building healthy routines. There are a lot of things that honestly should probably be more routine by now, like taking my vitamins, dry brushing, flossing twice a day, etc. that really aren't routine for me yet. I think a lot about the amount of brain power I waste each day on this stuff, and how many opportunities I miss to make a healthy choice, and it really sucks! I want to suck less! Maybe I'll even get into that Miracle Morning routine that Mia is constantly raving about.

3 - Keeping up with doctor's appointments. Okay, you might be thinking, 'Harper, you complain about being at the doctor's office again with something or other like eight times a year, what the hell do you mean you aren't keeping up with doctor's appointments?' Well, let me tell you. When I get sick, I go to the doctor, because usually my big concerns are feeling terrible and not wanting to miss work. But, when I'm not feeling terrible, and I'd actually have to miss work to see a doctor, I typically forgo the hassle. I had my first dentist appointment in three years just before Thanksgiving. I used to rely on my mother to set up my yearly check-ups, and when she stopped, I just didn't make these things a priority. I have to take responsibility for these things.

4 - Organizing my life. This year, I've begun keeping a bullet journal-- a type of super flexible planner/journaling system that Mia told me about (if you don't already follow her you should-- we constantly share recommendations for great stuff). I'm trying to be more on top of my things than ever, and that even means planning and organizing for things in a far-off future now that I'm unbounded by academic years. I'll be posting about my bullet journaling here, as well as on instagram and youtube, so be sure to follow and subscribe.

5 - Getting fit. I decided that I am going to run the Disney Princess 10k in 2018. The problem is that I'm at level 0 when it comes to fitness. That's a problem I am hoping to overcome in the two years between then and now. I am absolutely sedentary and I have never really been in shape-- I've always been unathletic even when I was regularly active. While I don't think I'll ever become an athlete, I do want to put priority on becoming healthier, and more active. I don't want this stretch of future that lays ahead of me to be a steady slide into my coffin. I've recruited some friends to join me in my goal of running this 10k. I'm honestly terrified with the sheer scale of what I'm setting out to do, but I am glad that I have a plan, support, and even if I end up only running the 5k, I'll still have accomplished a lot!

6 - Witchcraft. This is a word that carries a ton of strings for most people. Depending on your upbringing and what you're exposed to growing up you might think magic is evil or just generally in opposition to whatever god(s) you believe in. Honestly magic is just an umbrella term for the set of thought + action + belief that people use to find harmony and peace with the world and help bring things into it. Prayer and rituals affiliated with any religion (or even the superstitions an athlete might carry) can qualify as magic or witchcraft. I find the practice of witchcraft and magic really inspiring and comforting. Whether one believes fully in magic, or thinks its a pleasant and helpful placebo, or something in between, I think it's worth exploring. I'm very excited to establish rituals, affirmations, etc. that will help me (whether magically or not) to feel more secure, empowered, and at peace with the world.

7 - Planning meals. There's honestly no other way to follow up witchcraft than with something incredibly mundane. The fact of the matter is, I spend way too much money on food. I either buy food that ends up going bad before I get to it, or I don't buy enough food and end up ordering food or eating out. I have never really been a meal planner, and I think this is because I have some romanticized view of food where it's like this great experience that I get to have 3 times a day and I should make it awesome and kind of spontaneous as if I have the skill and resources to "whip something up." The cold hard truth is that I share a refrigerator with three other people, I am not a fantastically skilled or creative cook, and I get really impatient and wimpy when it comes to my own hunger. I'm trying to improve my ability to buy appropriate groceries and manage my expectations surrounding dinner by planning my meals.

8 - Spanish. I feel like every year, I make a loose statement that I'm going to start studying Spanish again. When I was a kid, I was pretty good, and was even in a program where we did have the school day in English, and half in Spanish, until I got moved into a separate program for kids who tested into an accelerated course of study. This year, I think I'm really going to do it, and the reason why is because I'm finally not studying a bunch of other things on a much more urgent (read: graded) basis. I can finally say that I have the free time, and I probably have fewer obligations in my life now than I will in the future. I want to take advantage of this. I want to finally feel like I can conjugate my damn verbs with confidence!

9 - Ukulele. I have a ukulele, but I don't practice with it regularly. I want to become better at it, and be able to serenade people when they are feeling blue. I've got little baby hands, so ukulele is the perfect instrument for me!

10 - Building a great wardrobe. I have a real job, and that means that I should really start investing in my adult wardrobe. I'm slowly trying to amass all the pieces I need in adulthood. I can't do it all at once, but I definitely think that I can continue on my fashion journey to build the quirky-cute, colorful wardrobe of my dreams. My aesthetic is like, Mindy Lahiri meets Ginger Breadhouse.

11 - Using natural body care products. I want to get more into using body products that feel wholesome, whether that means buying them from businesses like Lush or making them myself at home. Your skin pretty much "eats" whatever you put on it over time, so I would like to try to move towards using more products that haven't been over processed or filled with chemicals that I couldn't safely consume.

12 - Creating awesome content on the regular. I know I've been pretty MIA on the blog from time to time, what with all the transitioning-to-real-life I did. I want to make sure I put out at least one great blog post a week for you all, and one video a week out on Youtube!

13 - Creative writing. I haven't really done much creative writing in years! It kind of hurts to know that I've let those creative muscles atrophy. I used to win writing contests, but now I definitely feel my skills are very rusty. I want to work on writing some creative things, whether it's a novel or just doing some writing exercises.

14 - Reading. I want to read more. Don't get me wrong, I read a lot, but most of my reading is on the internet through think pieces etc. I want to read more actual books. I have a list going and I'm hoping to crack some long neglected spines I already own.

15 - Save money. I am really trying to nail this whole responsible adult thing, and that means getting better about saving my money for emergencies and for other things down the road. As a freshly-minted real-life-adult I have a lot more expenses than ever before, and I am trying to be as responsible as possible (despite my occasional toy collecting and penchant for fancy orange sodas).

16 - VoluntEARing. In my first month-and-a-half as an official Disney Employee, I've done 14 hours of voluntEARing for the community, working mostly to serve underprivileged and/or sick children. I love being able to work with kids through the magic of Disney, and I love the level of flexibility the VoluntEARS program affords me. Giving back to the community is very important to me, and I think it's also good for my mental health. I can fall into depression if I am not careful about how I take care of myself, and serving others gives me a sense of purpose and connectedness to others that also helps me to remember that I am important, and worth taking care of.

What are you dedicating or re-dedicating yourself to in 2016?

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Harper Watched: Advantageous


Harper Watched is a recurring series where I talk about entertainment media I've seen and review it for you. From movies to musicals, TV to live theater, I cover it all and lay it out for you right here.

Today I'm talking about a movie that is a rarity not only in terms of story, but in terms of who created it. Advantageous is a sci-fi film written and lead by two Asian American women. Jennifer Phang teamed up with her lead actress Jacqueline Kim to write this expansion on a short film they had done together. You can watch Advantageous on Netflix.

Advantageous is the story of a single mother working toward a bright future for her daughter. The problem is, that in this future, while science and technology have progressed, women have moved backwards. This dystopia is built on a society where small-scale terror attacks are the norm, resources are dwindling, and breaking into the elite is seemingly the only way to build a better future. Societally it was deemed better for men to get the remaining jobs out there, since women are less likely to riot, and thus, the competition for girls to be better prepared, more talented, and more beautiful has become more difficult than ever. The stress this puts on women is apparently even breaking down their ability to reproduce, with pre-pubescent girls worrying about the state of their ova. But this movie is not about the dwindling fertility in young girls. It's the story of a mother and a daughter, and a mother's sacrifice for her child in a world that has pit itself against her.

The Story

Gwen Koh (played by the aforementioned Jacqueline Kim) is a single mother raising a daughter named Jules. Gwen works at a prestigious medical spa-- where technology, medicine, and lifestyle collide. She is their spokesperson, and is hoping to get a raise so that Jules can get into the right prep school, and ultimately achieve a happy life, in a world where young girls are going homeless, and even turn to prostitution at alarming rates. Jules is, by all standards, a very gifted child-- but there is no shortage of competition, and the sheer volume of need and the scarcity of resources makes things difficult, even for a smart girl like her.

Instead of getting a raise, Gwen is told that she is being fired, and will be replaced by a younger, more universally appealing spokesperson. That is, unless she agrees to try their new experimental procedure, through which she would become both expert and living testimonial for the Center's services-- by transferring herself into a new body.

This film is less about the science, or the effects, and more about this woman. All that she is, not just her motherhood, but especially her motherhood, as she undergoes a radical procedure for the sake of her child.

Getting Down To Business

This storytelling is a bit more subtle than other movies in the sci-fi vein. Most segments that capture the serious plights on society are short, and seem almost surreal due to the main characters' relative separation from the more desperate levels of society. The detachment from certain events like an airship crashing into a building somewhat resembles America's own detachment from certain issues like the gun violence problem-- as these attacks become more frequent, it becomes easier to react as though they are matters-of-fact in society. Because of this, certain details need to be paid attention in order to catch the gravity of the moment.

That said, this film is worth having that active attention process going during. It's beautifully told and really speaks to that mother-child/mother-daughter bond, and I think it is especially potent for those of us who are the children of immigrants, or are otherwise POC because we know exactly how much has been sacrificed for us and how terribly the odds were stacked against our parents and us, even though we may have been completely unaware in childhood.

I love how the mother is portrayed as at once both incredibly talented and smart, and also incredibly flawed and vulnerable. She is no angel, nor is she a villain, and I think women, especially mother-figures are depicted as one or the other. They are rarely allowed to be complicated people. This film does that in a way that is very authentic (if not a little far-fetched).

Some people may find the daughter's character to be too intellectual-- maybe overwhelmingly so. I don't think that that's a fair assessment given the fact that A- yes, the daughter is highly talented but also B- the level at which these children are educated and the ferocity of the competition they are thrust into.

This world, for all its beauty and comfort and high tech amenities is still one that is near hopeless in every sense. With the state of women and girls losing fertility at astounding rates, it seems that the entire human race is doomed. And yet one mother is determined to do everything she can to give her daughter a better life.

This movie is excellent and I highly recommend it. You'll want to call your mom (or mother figure) after.

Harper's Rating: 5/5

Pros:
Great portrayal of women
Creative dystopia-- it's different from any other imagining I've seen, and has a rich cultural tapestry
Asian American women at the helm-- so rare and so important
Great acting, holy moly
Visual direction is on point, both for the mundane bits, as well as the special effects
Cons:
Has a subtle-ish, slow-moving pace-- not an action adventure
This is not a movie you should be doing other things during-- sorry multitaskers
Conversations can be hard to follow if you're not paying attention
You'll probably cry


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Black Friday Haul 2015!


The time has come-- the time of Black Friday Hauls! Being an avid Black Friday shopper, I love this time of year because it means I got to grab stuff I normally can't, and it's a great time to prepare for the oncoming winter, as well as the year ahead!

Since now I'm on youtube, I've got a fancy video I'm embedding right here, but scroll down for photos and links to the stores I ordered from!


I have no idea why that pink box instead of a photo thing KEEPS. HAPPENING. Here are the photos that should have been in the video as well!









Where I shopped:

Nine West // Boots 50% off
Adidas // 25% off already reduced prices + $10 socks doorbuster
Loft // 60% off
Target // Sale cardigan + 40% off sports bras + clearance trousers + half price We Love Disney CD
online
Hot Topic // T-shirts all $10 + 25% off all other merchandise
Sugarbones // 25% off

PS-- If someone can tell me how to fix this pink box problem, I will be super-duper grateful!!

What did you score this Black Friday/Small Business Saturday?

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Things We Learned from 5 Bad Movies in 2015


2015 isn't over yet, but seeing as how we're in November, I figured we were deep enough into the year to talk about some movie that didn't turn out so hot. We've had a lot of movies this year that felt really terrible in a way where it just felt like being begged the question "it's 2015-- Have we not gotten this down after nearly a century of filmmaking?" And the answer, sometimes, is no.

I'm going to put in here a disclaimer, that I feel shouldn't be necessary, and yet it totally is: these are just my opinions. I'm sure a lot of people disagree with them, and a lot of people agree with them. I'm gonna make my case, and maybe even engage with you on the subject, but no one is obligated to care about what I think, or even read this piece!

Anyway, let's get down to business.

Aloha. 2015 has been a year of some huge strides being made toward acknowledging the structural problems America faces when it comes to respecting POC, and some people just totally not getting the point at all. Aloha is one of those messes. The majority of Hawaii is not white, yet in Cameron Crowe's Hawaii, pretty much the only POC were service people for a cast of white characters-- including Allison Ng, a "quarter-Hawaiian" character portrayed by Emma Stone, of all people. Akin to Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" video, Aloha made the offensive mistake of thinking that POC are invisible, not worth being depicted, and overall ruinous of a white fantasy of playing in an "exotic" land without any of the people who actually live there.
What did we learn: Whitewashing will make people angry. Whitewashing means: a) making something "whiter" in order to make it less "other," thereby reinforcing the "othering" of POC, b) removing influence of POC people from a work (or giving white people credit for it) in order to continue disempowering and undervaluing POC, c) changing things to cast white people in a more favorable light than what actually happened, which erases the real, lived histories of POC. 

Jem and The Holograms. Jem and the Holograms is a beloved Hasbro property that a lot of young people today are getting introduced to from either its appearance on Netflix and/or from its new comic book-- but I hope no one is getting introduced to it from this movie. This movie failed for two big reasons: not staying true to it's totally awesome (however dated) source material, and for completely misunderstanding a generation of young people to the point where the entire movie is a condescension to us and those after us. io9 writer Charlie Jane Anders reviewed the movie pretty well in a piece entitled "Jem and the Holograms Fails In A Way That I've Never Seen A Movie Fail Before." Her piece opens "Young people, right? They like young-people shit, like YouTube videos, Instagram selfies and crazy hair. If you hate young people but want to pander to them for some reason—like, if you have loathsome, foul-smelling stepchildren—you can always take them to see Jem and the Holograms."
What did we learn: Don't mess too much with the source material of something already deeply beloved. No one wants to see their fave bastardized by some misguided "new spin." Also, if you're going to make a movie about young people, you might need to actually understand them, and not write a movie about how self-absorbed and fake they are and overlay it with pop music to make it seem empowering.

Pixels. It's an Adam Sandler movie that is incredibly sexist, and rips off the plot of an episode of Futurama. I have no words for how terrible this movie is, but a lot of other people do: E!Online rounded up 23 of the best burns the critics had for this garbage fire
What did we learn: Stop letting Adam Sandler do stuff. Oh wait, we didn't actually learn that because Netflix penned a 4 movie deal with him, during which his "satire" Ridiculous Six caused cast and crew to leave due to how absolutely offensive it is.

Fantastic 4. This movie is, cinematically, kind of a hard-sell to begin with. The powers and costumes in this franchise are overwhelmingly cartoony, so to have them done with real people is a real obstacle rather than say, using animation. Add onto that "too many cooks in the kitchen" with studios, execs, and creatives fighting over everything, and the story got turned into an incoherent mess that pretty much no one is proud of. Which really sucks considering most of the people involved are pretty talented.
What did we learn: If you're going to do something, commit to it-- commit to a vision, commit to a story. In addition, maybe be more selective about which superhero properties you bring to life.

Pan. I love Peter Pan, and I'm always eager to see new takes on it-- some of them are great (Peter and the Starcatcher) and some of them are terrible. Pan is terrible. One critic says it's so terrible you HAVE to see it because you will never believe how resoundingly awful a film can be.  Despite a high budget and a talented cast (featuring the highly questionable use of Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily), this movie is awful. Everyone overacts a spider-web thin plot, with stunning visuals that have pretty much no plot to back it up. 
What did we learn: If you are going to make an origin story, it needs to at least make sense. Casting won't make up for a terrible/non-existent plot. Stop casting white people as POC (wow we really have not wrapped our heads around this, have we?) Also stop making characters that are Indiana Jones rip-offs-- it's just lazy.

What movies did you think were terrible this year? What do you hope Hollywood will learn from them?
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Friendly Reminders for Black Friday


You are stressed, you are tired, and you are trying to vie for the best deals. I get it, I've been there. But that's no reason to be rude to the people who work in retail/service on Black Friday. Here are some friendly reminders for this time of year to just not be a butthead on Black Friday.

Be nice. It is someone's job to assist you to the best of their ability. It is not their job to put up with your crappy attitude. Be understanding of them as they work one of the busiest shopping days of the year-- retail is hard enough without you losing your temper.

Don't make ridiculous demands. Retail employees will know better than you whether or not a coupon works, whether or not they have something in stock, etc. In fact, they have a computer that tells them this information in most cases. They are not trying to screw you over, or hide stuff from you. If they say they can't do it, they can't do it. Respect that.

Try not to screw up the shelving/stacking of inventory. This takes time to fix, and that's time they might not have on a day as busy as Black Friday. Try to lift-then-pull something out of a stack rather than just tugging and destroying everything. It is not that hard to take a few extra seconds to not wreck a display.

Say thank you. People don't get enough thank yous in their lives, and we all know that Black Friday, and for some people even (Thanksgiving) is a hard day to work. Show them some love and appreciation.

If you can't keep it together, just shop online. If the crowds, the stress, and the intensity of shopping in-person on Black Friday are too much for you, that's fine! Stay home and shop online-- consider trying stuff on in store and making note of your sizes at particular places if you have to. Most places will have online-deals and free shipping, especially for large orders.

Black Friday is a great time for deals, but it's no reason to forget your manners. Happy hunting ya'll, and don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel to catch up on my Black Friday Haul video. Or maybe videos.

Lastly, if you're a Star Wars fan, don't forget to check out my awesome giveaway!

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Star Wars x Love and Madness Giveaway

Grand Prize Pack!
I'm giving away prizes to three (THREE!) winners in anticipation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will hit theaters on December 18th. I've partnered with a totally awesome brand called Love and Madness that creates geeky accessories for ladies who feel that geekdom, badassery, and femininity should come together in rad pieces. They work with Disney, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, and there are more on the way! They're an all-female run business (#whoruntheworld) and I love talking about them!

Necklaces by Love and Madness
Things that are cool: epic battles between good and evil; space travel; aliens; fight scenes. Things that are not cool: gatekeepers of fandom trying to tell you you're not the right kind of fan. Girls and women have often been kept out of geekery-- from science and math to Star Wars and video games. We grew up getting told the these things weren't for girls, or maybe the more subtle "wouldn't you rather do something else?" I think fewer girls are growing up hear that kind of stuff today, but it still happens a lot. We have a right to consume and enjoy things and explore and express that enthusiasm however we see fit! And that includes anything from fanfiction to buying awesome merchandise and wearing fandom-y outfits. That's why I love supporting businesses that not only totally get why I love certain movies and TV Shows, but also aren't afraid to cater to women. We like geeky stuff too! We shouldn't be forced to choose between geeky and feminine, and the geeky, girly stuff that's out there shouldn't be shoddily-crafted!


I know tons of you guys feel the same way, and tons of you guys also love Star Wars (or know someone who does) so I'm giving away some totally rad pieces from Love and Madness' Star Wars collection. The giveaway will run through Sunday, November 29th so get your entries in before time runs out. Let's get into our fabulous prizes!

Metallic Star Wars Flash Tattoos by Love and Madness
One winner will get a metallic zipper pouch filled with awesome Star Wars goodies including a Love and Madness x Star Wars necklace and a Love and Madness x Star Wars metallic flash tattoo set along with some Covergirl Limited Edition Star Wars Lipcolor!







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Black Friday Prep: Your Guide



It's that time of year again: Black Friday Prep. I'm one of those people who is big on Black Friday because I love a good sale, and this is the mother of all sales. It also helps that for me, Black Friday is a family affair that my sister and parents love as much as I do! (Well, almost as much.)

I've created a long-loved series of posts on exactly how to tackle this beast.

Step 1: Make your Lists (and check them twice).

Step 2: Plan your Outfit for maximum efficiency.

Step 3: Put together your Game Plan to help get the most out of your time.

Step 4: Pack your kit so you don't go out unprepared.

I'll be coming out with more Black Friday content for those of you fellow shoppers.  Don't miss it!

What tips for Black Friday are you looking for?

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How to Organize your Job Hunt



When you are sending out 10 job applications a week, it can be difficult to keep track of. Your poor computer weeps as you leave open 15 tabs of jobs you want to apply for but haven't gotten to yet. You can't remember if this new posting is for a job you've already applied for, or a new job at the same company. I have been there, and done that, and it's no fun. But luckily for me, and now for you, I discovered a site that helps handle all that for you!

It's called JobHero, and you can access it for free at gojobhero.com. You sign up and it basically compiles the job listing you save to it, kind of like pinterest, but instead of images with links, it has a listing with all the relevant info, the link to the original listing, and handy color coded buttons to help you keep track of the status of your applications.

Now you can close all those tabs, save listings to review later, and keep track of where you are in the applicant pool all from one spot! You can easily fill in the necessary fields using the bookmarklet which you can add to your browser, and then all you need to do is click it and highlight the necessary info. For certain job boards, like LinkedIn and Indeed, it will even upload all the detail automatically with one click.

This tool totally saved my sanity during my job hunt and it might save yours, too!

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November Wishlist

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5
November is upon us! I'm a little scared of the impending winter since moving from DC to New York, but I'm sure I'll make it through. I'm very excited to go home for Thanksgiving and also for Black Friday-- I'm sure I'll snag some great deals!

Starbucks Gift Cards - As the chill picks up, I'm all about hot drinks. The ubiquitousness of Starbucks in the city, the convenience of loading up and paying for drinks with the Starbucks app (and earning rewards!) all adds to the temptation towards the Salted Caramel Latte! It's my favorite drink this season. Starbucks Gift Cards can get loaded into your Starbucks app for easy payment, and you can even gift them digitally. They're a nice little pick me up!

Holiday Cards by Minted - One of the things that I have really looked forward to about adulthood is the Holiday Cards (and Holiday decorations, but I don't think I'm there yet in terms of space and disposable income). I'm not a religious person, but something about that dependable once-a-year update from a friend, coworker, or family member, no matter how far flung, wishing a better new year ahead and a magical end to this year is something that I find very comforting, joyful, and symbolic of adulthood. Now that I'm out of school, I'm trying to determine what traditions and benchmarks are important for me moving forward, and sending out holiday cards seems like a really good one. I really love the designs from Minted, and you can filter by holiday, business-y or not, photo-y or not, etc. Buy through this link and you get $25 off your order!

Alice in Wonderland Latte Mug - As of right now, I'm mugless. I wanna fix that, just in time for hot drink weather! I'm planning on keeping this mug at work for my daily coffee. The design is just so pretty and Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite franchises for its visual motifs! This mug is really cute, and there is a similar Stitch mug, and I also really want the Art of Jasmine set as well, which you may remember last month.

Fantasyland 8" Plate - I've also been updating my dishware. I've decided it's time to upgrade from the Target plastic dishes I've had since college. I think having these plates will be a wonderful way do add a little more magic to my apartment, and will also make me more motivated to cook at home! There are matching sets of these for Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland as well, which are all part of the Magic Kingdom in DisneyWorld!

Vanellope Von Schweetz / Wreck-It Ralph Ears - I love the movie Wreck It Ralph and there just isn't enough merch of it out. I'd love to see more, especially since the Sugar Rush aesthetic is SO great! I bought my first set of ears when I went to Disneyland this summer and I think I want to start a small, heavily curated collection of them, both official and not. This set of ears is from an Etsy store called We've Got Ears!

Don't forget to check out my video of everything I loved in October!
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New York Comic Con 2015 Haul


It's Tuesday, and that means it's video day on my youtube channel! Today's video is my New York Comic Con haul, where I show your everything I got at New York Comic Con. It was really crowded, and totally insane-- you can watch last week's video, with footage of me at NYCC here. Nonetheless, I came out of the con with a ton of cool stuff from great creators and artists!

Below are some photos of the totally rad stuff I got at NYCC. Be sure to click through to the video on Youtube to find out more about the stuff pictured below!









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Harper's List: Halloween Movies


It's that time of year again-- the time when I come out with my list of movies you should watch this Halloween! I love Halloween and I love movies, so this list combines so of my favorite things. I'm linking at all the movies on IMDB, but if you're looking to stream these movies, I recommend checking out CanIStream.it, a site where you can find out where things are legally(!) streaming or available for digital download. This list is an updated version of the list seen on this blog last year, so you may see repeats-- that's just because I'm trying to make as comprehensive a list as possible. This list also contains some movie-ish things like mini-series and webseries-- things that you can definitely marathon in around the time it might take to watch a movie or two.

Hocus Pocus
I really could not make this list without Hocus Pocus. I mean, there is no more Halloween-y movie ever. For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past couple decades, it's a story about a bunch of kids who accidentally set free three witch sisters who set upon the town to terrorize the people. It's a lot of fun, full of gags, and a really baller rendition of "I Put A Spell On You."

Carmilla - The Webseries
Based on the novella by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla is a modernized retelling of the story in the novella centering on a girl named Laura who narrates and investigates the very strange happenings at Silas University where she encounters a hot, amoral female vampire. Action, adventure,  mystery, paranormal activity, lesbians, and a frat boy with a heart of gold. This series gets really epic, and they've just completed season 2.

Kiki's Delivery Service
This Miyazaki Classic is about a little witch learning to make her way in the world by becoming a Delivery Girl. She goes to a new city and some people are suspicious of her since she's a witch, but eventually, she learns to just focus on doing the right thing and not worry so much about what other people think of her. Family friendly, and not creepy or scary for all you weenies out there.

ParaNorman
Norman just can't fit in-- not at school, not at home-- and it's mostly because he can talk to the dead. This kid finds out he's caught in the middle of the town's curse as the only other ghost whisperer dies, and he's got to pick up where the other guy left off and keep the witch at bay another year, or else the dead will rise! This is a really cute movie. I love the use of lighting and texture with the animation, and the storyline might surprise you. It's really endearing and full of fun jokes. It's totally underrated.

Heathers
This 80s classic tells the story of Veronica Sawyer, a smart girl who somehow finds herself in the uber-popular clique of Heathers: Heather Chandler, Heather Macnamara, and Heather Duke. Despite her intellectual and moral conflict surrounding her relationship with these elite bitches, Veronica can't break free of their toxic pull. Suddenly a mysterious, dark new kid named JD arrives on the scene, and Veronica thinks he'll be her escape-- but it turns out he's pretty damaged and more than a little psychotic. This isn't a scary or spooky movie, but it's definitely a dark comedy.

A Monster in Paris
I've reviewed this movie before-- but if you want the top notes, here it goes! A Monster in Paris is a really cute animated film about two best friends, Emile and Raoul, who accidentally create an 8-foot-tall flea that unwittingly terrorizes Paris-- until singer and childhood bully of Raoul, Lucille, takes him in and discovers he has a wonderful singing voice. She hopes to hide the beast and keep him as a performing partner, but the power-hungry mayor will do anything to kill the beast and distract the people from all the problems he's not fixing. Set in a Jules Verne-esque Paris, flooded with no end in sight, this movie is really cute and unexpected.

Beetlejuice
A deceased couple refuses to let go of their house, so when a family moves in, they turn to the Underworld to find a human exterminator to get the living out of their home. They hire Beetlejuice and it turns out they've opened up a can of worms-- the have no way to control him. This movie is spooky fun and it's stylistically magical.

Ghost
Some people like to watch spooky movies around Halloween, and some people just take every opportunity to see Patrick Swayze being a total dream boat. For those in the latter camp, you can use this movie to pretend like you are in the former camp. Best known for its iconic romantic-pottery-wheel scene (which has spawned endless parodies), this movie is about Swayze being in love with Demi Moore and getting offed because he discovered some dirty dealings going down at the financial firm where he works. He starts bugging a medium played by Whoopi Goldberg to help him get back to Demi only to discover she's in grave danger because the guy who killed him thinks she might know about his crimes too-- so now he's gotta save her from beyond the grave. It's mostly a romance movie, but since it's also about a ghost, you can tell yourself that you are watching this movie more because it's the Halloween season, and less because Swayze is a babe.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Another Tim Burton classic, this is the story of how the King of Halloween, Jack Skellington, got bored of doing Halloween year after year and tried to mix things up by taking over Christmas. It's got a great soundtrack and gorgeous stop-motion animation.

Fright Night
So, there is an older version of this movie, but I haven't seen it-- I watched the 2009 remake with Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, and David Tennant. Half because I'm super into David Tennant (hello, Doctor), and half because I am really into Anton Yelchin's voice. It's basically about a guy (Anton Yelchin) who's a total nerd, but his social capital has significantly gone up since a totally gorgeous girl fell for him, and now he's kind of pulled between being a cool kid and sticking with his nerdy friends. Then a vampire comes to town, moves in next door, and comes for pretty much everyone he cares about, so it's up to this former geek to find a way to kill a real-live vampire.

The Fourth Kind
Okay, so I really liked this movie-- it's totally freaky-- but a lot of other people did not like this movie. I think that honestly depends on where you stand on aliens (and like, being terrified). This movie is supposedly based off of real life accounts, actual documentary/therapy footage etc. and centers around a series of strange events in Alaska that happen in a small town. A woman (reenacted by Milla Jovovich, but with actual footage of herself) begins to investigate these strange happenings only to find out that there have been apparent government cover ups. Oh yeah, and a lot of alien activity.

Young Frankenstein
A Mel Brooks comedy featuring Gene Wilder as the grandson of evil scientist, Victor Frankenstein-- you know, the one you know about from the books. He's spent his entire life trying to escape his grandfather's insane shadow, but it's only a matter of time before he gets into the family business. It's a goofy parody of Frankenstein, and includes a fun musical number!

Frankenstein MD
Can't get enough Frankenstein? Always wanted to see Frankenstein done with a driven female doctor in modern times? Watch this series, brought to you by the team who turned Pride and Prejudice into The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma into Emma Approved. This series was made in partnership with PBS and there's some awesome real-life, cutting-edge science in this web series. If you like Frankenstein and like medical science, you'll get a real kick out of this show.

Silence of the Lambs
The first film in the Hannibal Lecter Trilogy, Silence of the Lambs is not a horror movie, but certainly a thriller. FBI trainee Clarisse Starling is working on a case involving a serial killer who has been skinning his victims and turns to a notorious serial killer and cannibal, Dr. Lecter, to gain insight. Dr. Lecter is at this point in an asylum for the criminally insane-- although he's less insane and more just a serial killer and a cannibal. While Clarisse is solving a string of murders, Lecter's got his own plans in the works. This is my favorite movie that I've seen in the Hannibal Lecter universe.

Carrie
Based on a Stephen King novel, this classic film (and the recent remake starring Chloe Grace Moretz) is about a girl living under the roof of a border-line insane, religious fanatic mother. Like many kids from broken homes, Carrie is socially ostracized and struggling to come into her own. As she comes of age, she develops psychic powers, and tries to cope with a world that has constantly been cruel to her. This is a borderline horror film in that I wouldn't characterize it as horror, but others certainly would.

Over The Garden Wall
Ya'll, I'm obsessed with this series. It's a mini-series, 10 episodes around 10 minutes each, resulting in a full-watch-through time equivalent to a movie. It's a really beautifully done story about two brothers who get lost on Halloween and are trying to find their way home in a strange and mythical land called The Unknown. Monsters, beasts, demons, and tricksters await them in this tale of life and death. This is a masterpiece of a show. Please watch it, you will not regret it.

Edward Scissorhands
This is probably Tim Burton's best work, in my opinion. Starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, it tells the tale of Edward Scissorhands, a boy created by a genius, lonely, kind, and eccentric inventor who died before he could give his creation real hands. Edward is taken out of the castle and brought into suburbia, where he struggles to be himself, given that he looks and feels so differently than everyone else in town. It's a story about being misunderstood, struggling to fit in with convention, and cruelty versus compassion. It's a really beautiful story, and the visual direction is amazing.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Based on the Sondheim musical (which is based on a play, which is based on a book, which is based on rumors of the actual day), this is yet another Tim Burton film. Starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd is about a barber who has returned after being wrongfully imprisoned for the horrible travesties committed against his wife and child, now back for revenge. As he murders, a certain smitten pie-maker helps him dispose of the bodies by feeding them to the masses. There is quite a lot of singing in this, so if you're not fond of musicals, skip this one.

Monsters Inc.
Don't like murder or black magic? Monsters Inc is all about monsters but is also totally cute and sweet. It's all about the world of monsters, where they live pretty much just like us, apart from having extra body parts and getting their electricity by scaring kids. It centers around Mike and Sully, a scare team that accidentally lets a kid in through a closet portal and over time discovers that there's something very wrong with how the company runs itself. You'll have a lot of fun and be left completely nightmare free.

Teen Witch
This movie is terrible. But it's terrible in a really fun to watch 80s way. If you are looking for a light movie to watch with your friends to comment excessively during about the clothes, the ridiculous, numerous, inexplicable, terrible musical numbers, and the sheer "stereotypical boy-crazy teen girl"-ness of it all, this is the movie. Teen Witch is about a teen who discovers she is a witch. (Astounding.) And with her witchness, she does what pretty much any teen girl would do if you were the kind of one-dimensional teen girl people like to talk-down about: get revenge on girls who are more popular than her, and try to get the guy. If you want a taste of it, just to know what level of ridiculous I'm talking about, watch this.

Men In Black
I don't think I can explain how completely essential Will Smith was to my childhood. Combine that with my childhood obsession with aliens, and this movie was essentially, for me, as formative as Mean Girls is to most Americans in their 20s. It's about a new agent, J, played by Will Smith, who signs up for what he thinks is basically the chance to become part of a super elite police force or something-- he passes with flying colors, only to find out that he's part of the super secret agency that handles all relations with aliens. Plus, he's got a grumpy traditionalist partner to show him the ropes. It's a buddy cop movie, essentially, with the added bonus of an aliens, both good and bad.

Constantine
This movie got a lot of mixed reviews, but being a sucker for both comic book style plots and the whole angels and demons genre, I actually rather enjoyed this movie. It's a story about anti-hero John Constantine who can see the spirits that exist on the mortal plane. He commits suicide and is brought back. Now he has to atone for committing suicide, considered a sin in the eyes of heaven, and he goes about it by protecting people from those spirits who seek to do harm to humans. Then he finds himself caught up in a pretty big angels versus demons plot. I think it's visually well executed, but the script and story do feel a little self-important and muddled from time to time.

Interview with The Vampire
I recently watched this movie and found it strange and hilarious. It has massive cult-film value. It stars Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and a young Kristen Dunst since the film was made in the 90s. A vampire named Louis (Pitt) is being interviewed by a reporter (Slater) and he basically recounts his love, loss, and anguish throughout his life of being a vampire. This movie is one of those movies that tries to be serious, but can't help itself with how ridiculous it is. It's also very homoerotic, but like, in a way that I think was supposed to appeal to women? There's also female nudity in it so heads up on that front. I enjoyed watching it but it's very ridiculous. I wouldn't say that this is a favorite movie, but it is a movie full of vampires, flouncy period clothes, and the most male-to-male face-caresses I have seen in a mainstream movie, ever. I also almost always enjoy movies where Tom Cruise plays an absolute nutjob, so this one made the list.

Halloweentown
There are like, 4 of these Disney Channel Original Movies out. They are pretty much all good, lighthearted, Halloween-y fun. It's about a family of witches that lives with one foot in the mortal world, and one foot in the magical realm known as Halloweentown, where every day is Halloween and the creatures and magic are all real!

The Craft
This is a dark movie about high school witches. These girls experiment in dark magic to get what they want, but find themselves spiraling out of control, lusting after the power that comes with their rituals. The newest member of their group, a natural born witch, tries to bring them back from the depths of evil, but when it's to no avail, she has to fight against her newfound friends to save her town and herself. This is such a great, classic movie for weird girls everywhere. It's all about the struggle between community and independence versus temptation toward evil. How far will you got to fit in? How hard will you fight against the evil that tries to overtake your coven-- and if it succeeds, are you willing to destroy that evil?

Ghostbusters
This 80s classic is about a group of friends that start a ghost extermination service. It's a comedy full of adventure and laughs, and honestly, if you haven't seen this film, you absolutely must.

High Anxiety
Another Mel Brooks comedy, this film parodies Hitchcockian thrillers. It tells the story of a highly nervous psychiatrist, who may or may not be surrounded by murderers, or might even be a murderer himself!

Brick
Have you ever wanted to see a high school, noir-style mystery starring Joseph Gordon Levitt from before everyone realized he is a total babe? If so, this indie flick from 2005 is exactly what you've been waiting for. JGL is brooding, dark, clever, and bad-ass in this film where he's out to figure out what's happened to his ex-girlfriend after getting a confused and terrified call from her.

The Babadook
I've mentioned this movie before on the blog-- If you like really well written horror that relies more on tension than gore or jump-scares, this is the movie for you. It's about a single mother, Amelia, who refuses to deal with the grief associated with her husband's death. Her son, Sam, was born the day her husband died, and as a result this difficult child's existence is tied to the death of his father. A boogeyman called the Babadook comes for Amelia and Sam, and slowly you realize that the Babadook is the grief and resentment she refused to deal with, manifested. Throughout the film you wonder if this creature is a real, physical monster made of her grief, or something in her head entirely. It's definitely scary, but in a suspenseful, dark way, not a gory, jump scare, effects-driven way.

Treasure Planet
This movie is so underrated but it's so cool. I wish Disney would make more stuff like this, but since it was so underrated, we're missing the boat. Treasure Planet is a sci-fi retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island. It's a really cool reimagining, with great character designs, and wonderful animation. It probably doesn't jump to the top of everyone's Halloween Movie List, but you've got pirates, aliens, and robots-- that's a lot of stuff off of anyone's Halloween checklist.

Shutter Island
Starring Leo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island is a pretty ace thriller, full of dark brooding and mind-bending twists. It's a psychological thriller about a US Marshall who goes to investigate a psychiatric facility-- or is it?

Horns
TW: Sexual violence. This was also reviewed by me earlier this year. It's a fantasy-horror-mystery starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ig, a guy who gets accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend, and suddenly finds horns growing out of his head. he is innocent, but no one believes him, and the horns are giving him a bad rep and even worse powers. This movie was pretty hard to watch at a couple points, but I think it was really well-done overall. If you like romance-turned-horror/revenge-story, you will probably like this.

Lunopolis
This is a 2009 independent sci-fi film that is totally cool, in my opinion. If you can get past the low-budget effects, the story will intrigue you. It is told like a documentary, centering around found footage of some guys recovering a strange device, which turns out to have roots with a strange religious cult that believes that there are humans living on the moon in a sort of utopian society, literally above all the strife on earth. As they search for answers, the truth is more mind-blowing than the crazy cult followers could ever imagine. This film goes into space travel, time travel, religious fanaticism, and parallel universes as it builds a story explaining the 2012 apocalypse prophesies.

Warm Bodies
In a post-zombie-apocalypse world, things look grim for humanity-- and also for the zombies. What kind of existence are they living?, they ponder, between long stretches of hunger and groaning. That is, until R comes across a human girl and suddenly decides he kind of likes the idea of being human again, and not eating brains, etc. This is a zombified reimagining of Romeo and Juliet, with the Capulets and Montagues swapped out for humans and zombies. I really like the visual direction of this movie, and the soundtrack is totally amazing. It's probably also the most interesting romantic lead you'll ever think of.

Phantom of the Opera
A classic musical, with dark, broody music, Phantom is about a madman living in the opera house, disfigured, abandoned, and lonely, he becomes obsessed with a rising starlet named Christine. Christine, having been orphaned, hears the Phantom's voice guiding her and believes it to be the Angel of Music, sent by her dead musician father to guard her. Not until later does she realize that it is in fact the Phantom of legend, and that he is in love with her-- meanwhile, following her rise to fame, she is reunited with her childhood love, Raoul, and they plan to get married. But this sparks the Phantom's ire, and he takes matters into his own hands.

The Book of Life
This movie is so beautifully done and I highly recommend everyone see it. It centers around the mythic Book of Life of Mexican legend and the Day of the Dead. This film is about the love triangle between Manolo and Joaquin who are competing for the affections of Maria. Their childhood best friendship and love triangle take on a level of supernatural importance when gods La Muerte and Xibalba make a bet on who Maria will choose.  On top of the animation being amazing, the story and music are also wonderful. I love this film because it tells the story of another culture without trying to tone down that culture to make it more mainstream. This movie is funny, has tons of heart, and the values of family are deeply examined. I also love that the women in this movie are totally bad-ass-- which is not something you'd expect from a movie centering on a childhood love triangle.

Monster High: Ghouls Rule
Okay, I had to put some Monster High on this list-- and I promise you, they are surprisingly good. All the Monster High movies are on Netflix, and you can also watch all the mini (2D animated) webisodes on Youtube.  Monster High: Ghouls Rule is the Halloweeniest of the Monster High movies since it's actually set around Halloween. In the Monster High universe, all the students learn that Halloween is typically a time when non-monster people (aka Normies) hunt Monsters. Though the monster hunting traditions aren't as big a deal in the last century, some Normies continue to hunt to this day, and are often regarded as dangerous to Monsters. A few Normies decide to go after the students of Monster High, and though the Headmistress bans retaliation, many of the monsters won't let the insult stand. All the while, the main characters find out that Halloween once celebrated the friendship between humans and monsters until some humans decided that people would be easier to control if humans feared monsters. This movie is actually a pretty solid demonstration of how a lot of oppressor/oppressed dynamics come to be and can be torn down. I really do recommend it-- especially if you're like me and you like stuff that is creepy and cute.

The One I Love
This isn't particularly Halloweenie, but it is kinda creepy. It's a little Twilight Zone-y and a little creepy-short-story-y. The One I Love is about a couple whose marriage needs work. At the suggestion of their therapist, they go off to a little cottage to get away from everything and work on their relationship. When they get there, things get a little... unusual. I don't want to spoil the movie-- it's pretty damn original. Watch this movie if you're more into suspense and tingly weirdness than monsters and guts.

That's all I could think of for my list. Tell me if you watch any of these, or if you want to do a watch-along / witch-along on twitter!

 Are there any that you would add? What are your favorite genres and creatures?


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