Amid the excitement of Thanksgiving (I’m talking about gravy, pecan pie and naps), we must face the inevitable: dinner with the family. Don’t get me wrong, cooking with my mom and talking politics with my grandparents are activities I genuinely enjoy; however, there is always that lull in my Thanksgiving break when I’m placed at the kids table and awkwardly forced to create conversation with my second cousin twice removed who only wants to pet the cat in the corner. Thus, I’ve created a list of classic movies – a plan B for your unsuccessful attempt at conversation – that you and your unfamiliar family member can watch together at the easy expense of Netflix during the holidays.
Here’s a conversation starter: Bring up how Robert Redford is a better Gatsby than Leonardo DiCaprio. This older (and better) version of the widely acclaimed love story is great for the holidays because 1) it’s a nice break from the firework-extravagant 2013 version, and 2) the movie raises the importance of the eternal themes of loyalty and love, something you and your awkward cousin can intelligently converse about.
Yes, Audrey Hepburn makes any movie a classic, but no, this is not “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This holiday classic is fun and not your average romantic comedy. Why, you ask? Because this movie isthe ultimate romantic comedy of the romantic comedies. By watching this, you are witnessing the breakthrough of romantic humor, historical settings and classic beauty of cinema during the 1950s.
This movie will make your dad, who has a heart of steel, feel emotions he’s never felt before. Some people will say that this movie is the epitome of cliché in how a protagonist perseveres against all odds and ends up achieving all his impossible goals *surprise*. Yes, I 100 percent agree that this story is so cliché, and maybe that’s why 21 years later, it still tops the charts.
Before you comment on how many times you’ve watched this movie, just revel for a second in how awesome this movie is. Awesome as in, every time you watch it, you discover a new quote to live by and catch yourself crying when Forrest realizes he has a son. (Every. Time.) With your third serving plate, a slice of pumpkin pie and your tissue box, you’re basically set for this Thanksgiving weekend.
Let’s just start off by saying that this movie beat “Star Wars” in the 1978 Oscars for best picture. Yes, “Star Wars.” I’d like to think that the case was because this movie was one of the first to introduce reality and believability during a time of embellished cinematic romance and fiction. It’s very real, not sappy and extremely witty. It takes a couple of watches to catch all the cultural references, but boy, once you get them, you just feel cool. To make a fun holiday activity out of it, see which family member is the hippest of all and can get the most references.
I remember last year, while waiting patiently for my chunky chicken salad sandwich at Bruin Cafe, Jordyn Wieber was just casually standing next to me. I didn’t know what to do. Do I say hi? No, that makes me seem creepy. Do I mention something about her gymnastics abilities? Probably not. She’s a regular student, just like me. Except she has a gold medal from the Olympics and arm muscles strong enough to beat me at arm wrestling.
Seeing Jordyn Wieber in everyday clothes and ordering regular food just like me, I wondered what other famous people might have attended UCLA. So, I have done some research and am here to give you a list of some of the most famous UCLA alumni. Not all of them graduated from UCLA (some peeps gotta pursue their dreams, ya know?), but hey, they were Bruins for a coo’ minute so obviously being a Bruin is something to brag about.
Famous UCLA Alumni (who earned a degree from UCLA)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Professional basketball player
Honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Abdul-Jabbar is an American professional basketball player with a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player award. He played four seasons for the UCLA Bruins where he was twice named Player of the Year, was a three-time First Team All-American, played on three NCAA champion teams and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. A legend in both NBA and Bruin history, Abdul-Jabbar earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 1969 while being considered the most dominant player in college basketball.
Troy Aikman: Professional football player
As one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles, Troy Aikman began his rise to stardom as one of UCLA’s best quarterbacks. Aikman was the first quarterback in UCLA history to lead the Bruins to back-to-back 10-win seasons, along with two bowl victories, and is being honored on Nov. 28 with the retirement of his jersey number. The UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame member participated in graduation ceremonies in front of his mother and three daughters in 2009 after completing his degree in sociology.
This American singer-songwriter who graduated from UCLA in 2003, blew up on the radio with her hit single “Love Song” and has kept a prominent place in the music industry, selling over a million records and being nominated for a Grammy Award five times. While at UCLA, Bareilles was a part of the communication studies program, sung with of the co-ed a cappella group Awaken a Cappella and won the Spring Sing talent show twice.
Brad Delson is an American musician known for his role as guitarist in the Grammy Award-winning rock band Linkin Park. Delson was one of the founding members of the band and worked towards a degree in communication studies with a specialization in business and administration when he entered UCLA in 1995. Delson was roommate to future band mate Dave Farrell for three of his four attending years and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Delson graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1999.
An American television and movie actor known for his role in the hit crime TV series “NCIS,” Mark Harmon transferred to UCLA in 1972 and was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins football team in 1972 and 1973. Receiving the National Football Foundation Award for All-Round Excellence, Harmon accomplished an amazing 17-5 record and graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.
American film and television actresses, Danielle and Kay Panabaker came into the spotlight at a young age. Danielle Panabaker starred in Disney films as a teenager including “Stuck in the Suburbs” and “Sky High.” Kay Panabaker also starred on Disney with a recurring role in “Phil of the Future.” Both sisters later acted together on Disney’s original movie “Read It and Weep.” Astonishingly, Danielle Panabaker received her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 2007 at the young age of 19 while her younger sister, Kay Panabaker, completed her bachelor’s degree in history before she even turned 18!
An American actress and former model, Gabrielle Union is known for performances as head cheerleader of the East Compton Clovers in the original “Bring It On” and as the sister of Martin Lawrence’s character in “Bad Boys II.” A transfer to UCLA, Union interned at a nearby talent agency where she was later asked to work as a model. Union graduated from UCLA with honors in sociology.
Bill Walton: Professional basketball player
Two-time NBA Champion and retired basketball legend Bill Walton rose to superstardom playing under the coaching of John Wooden at UCLA from 1971 to 1974. During this time, he won three consecutive Naismith College Player of the Year awards as a Bruin. Bill Walton is regarded by some college basketball historians as the greatest player who ever played the game at the college level. Walton graduated from UCLA in 1974 and has been honored with the retirement of his jersey number at UCLA.
Jaleel White, famous for his role as the nerdy but charming Steve Urkel in the hit sitcom “Family Matters,” White attended UCLA after the completion of the show and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and television in 2001. He continued on with his acting career, starring in “Dreamgirls” alongside Beyonce, and has been featured as a guest on many shows including “Boston Legal,” “House M.D.,” “Psych” and as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Jamaal Wilkes: Professional basketball player
Former Los Angeles Lakers star and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Wilkes was a key player for the UCLA Bruins, helping the team win consecutive NCAA Championships in 1972 and 1973, and he contributed to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak. Wilkes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA in 1974 and left the school as a two-time All-American.
More Famous Students/Alumni (who did not or have not yet graduated)
Jack Black (Actor), “School of Rock,” Major: Theater
Nicolas Cage (Actor), “The Rock”
James Dean (Actor), “Rebel Without a Cause,” Major: Theater
Ryan Dusick and Mickey Madden (Musicians), Maroon 5
Mariska Hargitay (Actress), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Major: Theater (member of Kappa Kappa Gamma)
Anthony Kiedis (Musician), Red Hot Chili Peppers, studied writing
Heather Locklear (Actress), “Dynasty,” (Pledged Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta, also model and commercial actor for UCLA Store)
Steve Martin (Actor, comedian), “The Pink Panther,” Major: Theater
Jackie Robinson (Professional baseball player), first African American to play in MLB and UCLA’s first four-sport letter winner
Kristen Stewart (Actress), “The Twilight Saga,” Major: English Literature
Ben Stiller (Actor, comedian), “Zoolander,” Major: Film
Sometimes no matter how much you study, you don’t do so well on an exam. We’ve all been there, and it’s unpleasant to say the least. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to cheer yourself up without ever leaving campus. Check out Mojo’s favorite pick-me-ups.
1. Browsing the holiday section at Ackerman
Around Christmas time, our favorite student store looks like your childhood and happiness. Find comfort in the red and green candy wrappers and the sweet smell of gingerbread… hand lotion.
2. Grabbing a hot drink with a friend
Hot chocolate or a latte, venting to a good friend and the Hogwarts-likeness of Kerckhoff? Best. Combo. Ever.
3. Treating yourself to froyo
Remember when we told you about Sweet Spot? Well now is the time to turn your not-so-good day into a great one, with the help of this classic dairy mood booster.
4. Simply taking a stroll
Ever noticed? UCLA is kinda nice. Add fallen leaves and the slightly cooler weather, and our campus makes for a preeetty great walk. Stroll aimlessly until you feel better.
5. Hitting the gym
If you’ve seen “Legally Blonde”, and most likely if you haven’t, you know that exercise produces endorphins and endorphins make you happy. So go lift those 50 pounds or run those five miles, you champion you.
6. People watching
What? No, we don’t do that. That would be weird.
7. Taking a nap in Powell
Isn’t that what libraries are for?
What do you do to feel better after receiving bad midterm news? Let us know by tweeting us @dbmojo or commenting below.
For those of you who have not yet been able to make it to the Getty Center, I highly recommend it. As one of the most visited museums in the United States, the Getty Museum is well worth visiting. Housing art from several different eras, it really does cater to all interests, from illuminated manuscripts to photographs to art from Van Gogh and Cezanne.
I don’t know too much about art, but while walking around there were several paintings that I recognized and was just blown away to see in person (AKA if you don’t like art, STILL GO).
For example, this Van Gogh painting is amazing:
Plus it’s free. We’re poor college students. We like free. The only money I spent all day was $1.75 each way for the bus. Speaking of the bus, it’s super easy to get to the Getty (I’m talking about the Center, not Villa, which is a different destination altogether). There’s a stop right next to the entrance to Bel Air on Sunset Boulevard and Bellagio Drive. Just walk up De Neve Drive past Sunset Village, and you’ll get to a crosswalk. The bus stop is on the Bel Air side, right next to the entrance.
The walk is not that long, and the bus ride is super short. You get off of the bus at the Sepulveda Boulevard stop, you cross the street, and you’ve arrived! You take a tram up the hill to the museum, and, trust me, it’s super self-explanatory (I’m saying this as the worst person in the whole world at orienting herself and reading maps involving public transport). The view from the tram is great, and it only gets better the closer to you get to the museum.
The first thing I did was take pictures of the incredible view and of the museum and its gardens. It’s #instagramworthy. And I know, because I instagrammed it.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve been to and what you thought of the Getty!
A mere month into the academic year, midterms are in full swing and have caught some of us relatively off guard. This, coupled with our tendency to procrastinate, usually leaves us in a less-than-enviable position. Whether you prefer to dismiss procrastinating as a personal bad habit, character flaw or what have you, procrastination is more or less universal – we all procrastinate. But before you decide to put off another study session, we here at Mojo have a few apps that will help you beat procrastination and give you an edge when crunch time rolls around. Without further ado, here are some of our favorites:
1) Strict Workflow
This Chrome app blocks all social media and any other site that might take away from your work for 25 minutes. You can delete the app, or even reboot your computer, but those websites will still be blocked until the timer runs dry. While this might come across as a bit harsh, it all but guarantees a period of productivity for the user. Moreover, after each 25-minute session, the app allots the user 5 minutes of free time, which is plenty of time for you to check up on your social media outlets. If you feel like you need help working out a moderately healthy balance of work and play, Strict Workflow might be an excellent option for you. (Strict Workflow on Chrome Web Store)
2) Yelling Mom
Named after the original bane of one’s procrastination, this mobile app is arguably every bit as effective as its namesake. Operating on the premise that aggressive prodding is the optimal method of motivating an individual to complete any given task, Yelling Mom takes you to task by reminding you of your scheduled tasks via a sizable host of obnoxious alerts. These alerts range from disco music to sirens to car alarms. Interestingly enough, the sound file of an actual nagging mom is not included as an option. Notwithstanding, if your mother was your motivator at any given point in life, it probably wouldn’t hurt to give Yelling Mom a shot. (Yelling Mom on iTunes)
3) Write Or Die
This app is positively diabolical. Its unforgiving nature has actually attracted attention (and perhaps a grudging endorsement?) from The Guardian. By incentivizing productivity with pictures of kittens and puppies, Write or Die seems innocuous enough prima facie. But don’t be fooled, because that’s where the other foot drops: if this app catches you slacking, it will start deleting your work. In fact, the most recent edition of Write or Die has made it so that upon a detecting the passage of a predetermined period of inactivity, the app will start selectively deleting every vowel in your piece, effectively disemvoweling (haha, get it?) your work and leaving it an unintelligible husk of gibberish. Talk about taking the carrot-and-stick method to the next level! But if you subscribe to the “go hard or go home” mentality, this app was made for you. (WriteOrDie.com)
How do you deal with procrastination? Comment below, let us know! Or alternatively, tweet us @dbmojo.