July 2016

This month I also published a piece in a prominent women’s magazine under a pen name. Alas, for legal reasons, that is the only clue I can give you.

I also contributed a book to this list of 10 Books Worth Reading This Summer. I have since read the book and can’t quite recommend it for the reasons I was first interested.

We asked each other 36 questions to fall in love. Then we broke up.
The Washington Post Solo-ish – July 27

Our first weekend as a couple, my boyfriend and I asked each other those 36 questions to fall in love, which appeared in a New York Times Modern Love column last year. We’d been friends for years and were giving things a shot, romantically.

8 Refreshing Summer Cocktails to Try
5280 – July 27, 2016

From spicy margs to tiki-inspired sippers, these are the drinks of the season.

May 2016

Your Mountain Drinking Passport
5280.com – May 30, 2016

We all know by now that the mountains aren’t just for skiing. Now, a new program called Elevated Libations aims to further broaden the horizons of slope junkies and tourists alike by showcasing the unique experiences offered at mountain-town bars.

Why Adult Coloring Works for Christians
Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics – May 23, 2016

Last year, sales of coloring books in the US shot up from 1 million to 12 million units. The sales spike quickly prompted a slew of articles asking whether our culture is collectively stressed out and/or reverting to childhood hobbies. I, too, mocked the trend right up until I started coloring this year as a therapy tool and discovered that it settles my mind and helps me focus.

5 Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo
5280.com – May 3, 2016

Even if you have no real reason to celebrate the Mexican army’s underdog victory over French wanna-be colonists on May 5, 1962, Cinco de Mayo is still a great excuse to experience Denver’s tequila scene. Here, five agave-focused libations to get your party started. Bonus: Balance out all the drinking with tacos—check out our list of Denver’s 52 Top Tacos for some inspiration.

March 2016

Animation Supervisors Are the Zookeepers On Disney’s Zootopia
The Credits – March 1, 2016

Kira Lehtomaki likes the idea of her role as the protector of “Judy Hopps.” Lehtomaki, an animation supervisor on Disney’s upcoming Zootopia, animated and supervised multiple segments of the feature film but was mainly responsible to oversee the female bunny police officer voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin.

Explore Denver’s Coffee Scene with the Fika Passport
5280.com – March 28, 2016

For me, spring conjures thoughts of coffee-shop meetings and lingering at cafés. The folks behind the Denver Passport Program seem to have read my mind with this week’s release of the first-ever coffee passport in Denver. Inspired by fika (fee-kah), an enviable Swedish cultural tradition that emphasizes slowing down to enjoy a mid-afternoon coffee break with a friend or co-worker, the new Fika Passport contains two-for-one coffee specials at each of the 24 participating cafés. The program runs from April 1 through October 1.

February 2016

Super Bowl Cocktail Suggestions from Denver Bartenders
5280.com – Feb. 5, 2016

Whether you’re hosting or joining a Super Bowl party this weekend, themed drinks are a fun way to showcase your Broncos pride. But with blue and orange as a theme, that can be a little limiting. That’s why we asked a couple of experts—bar managers Joe Schratz from Punch Bowl Social and Anthony Hinojos at Terminal Bar in Union Station—for drink ideas that will impress any super fan.

The New Student Activists
Christianity Today Magazine – March issue

If college is a friendly environment for forming an argument or taking a stand, then Christian college students have perhaps even more reason than their peers to take action based on passionately-held beliefs.

January 2016

True story: Between seeing one movie last month and writing the review, my car slid off the road. That’s how you know I’m a pro, right?

Sisters review
World magazine, Jan. 9

In the 1980s and again in the ’90s, the teen party movie became a staple. The genre has faded since then, but Hollywood replaced it with the adult party movie, a slightly tongue-in-cheek formula modeled on those teen movies and likely created mainly by adults who grew up on movies like Sixteen Candles or Can’t Hardly Wait.

The Force Is With Her
Christianity Today, Jan. 8

Star Wars: The Force Awakens probably would have made $1.5 billion even without its female lead. But it’s only fair that a female character get her due when she plays such a central—and compelling, thanks to actress Daisy Ridley— role in one of the most enduring and culturally-defining movie series in generations.

Where to Find Bulletproof Coffee in Denver
5280.com, Jan. 27

This popular beverage, made with coffee, grass-fed butter, and a shot of medium-chain triglyceride oil, supposedly increases your energy and helps you burn fat. Here’s where to get your fix.

 

December 2015

Holiday Cocktails for the Rest of Us
5280.com, Dec. 21

Bar managers are checking their cocktail lists twice this holiday season to roll out new selections for those seeking a festive buzz. These cocktails are characterized by flavors such as nutmeg or pine, mint or eggnog, cinnamon or cider. Almost every Denver neighborhood has a bar that offers one. Here are specialty drinks to seek out before 2015 draws to a close.

Concussion review
Christianity Today Movies, Dec. 21

Concussion tries to achieve the depth and stakes of the Biblical story of Esther, without quite enough unchecked power or genocide to support the claim.

November 2015

Bonus: I suggested a book in this round-up of “15 Books That Are Good Enough to Give” at Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics.

Miss You Already review
Christianity Today Movies, Nov. 6

Let’s first celebrate how many movies released this year pass the “Bechdel Test” (in which at least two women talk to each other about something other than a man). As a woman and a movie fan, I’m especially pleased by that. But watching Miss You Already, I couldn’t help but wonder why a movie that takes female friendship seriously has to revolve around childbirth and death.

A First Look at the 2016 Winter Warmer
5280.com, Nov. 30

Winter is hard. Drinking shouldn’t be. Fortunately, the Winter Warmer is here to guide you to the coziest spots for cold-weather drinking.

How Quentin Tarantino Protege Zoe Bell Traded Stunts For Acting
The Credits, Nov. 18

It’s not easy to switch from movie “staff” to acting, and Zoe Bell credits being “deluded” or at least “clueless” for her move from stuntwoman to actress. Quentin Tarantino deserves some credit, too. After working with Bell as Uma Thurman’s stunt double in Kill Bill, he went on to cast her in 2007’s Death Proof, her first acting role and one she took reluctantly. This year, Bell is the star of Camino, an independent movie making the rounds that just screened at the Denver Film Festival. She will also appear in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which filmed in Colorado and hits select theaters on Christmas day and goes wide on January 8.

Industrial Light & Magic’s Ed Kramer Discusses What It Takes To Work in CGI
The Credits, Nov. 18

Ed Kramer is interested in “historically significant moments” for computer-generated imagery (CGI) in the movie industry. It’s no wonder this has become his passion, since as a computer graphics artist or supervisor he has been a part of many of them —from the seamless blend of real and computer generated water in The Perfect Storm to the dynamic cloth simulation of Jar Jar Binks.

October 2015

Busy month. Also, if you’re a subscriber, you can hear me talk about my review of The Martian on The World and Everything In It podcast.

The Martian review
World Magazine, Oct. 17

Resilience is the theme of The Martian, a movie about an astronaut stranded on Mars. Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left behind by his crew, who think him dead, completely alone and in a hostile environment with very limited resources. Watney simply takes stock of his situation and determines, “I’m not going to die here.”

Go Now: Black Eye Capitol Hill
5280.com, Oct. 9

Coffee shop by day, bar by night: Black Eye Coffee, which on Monday opened a new location in Capitol Hill, is the superhero of mixed-use cafes. This little shop manages to do both coffee and cocktails right.

Inside the Sie FilmCenter’s Official Grand Opening
5280.com, Oct. 9

Denver’s home for independent film is officially open for business. The Sie FilmCenter, the permanent location for the nonprofit Denver Film Society, celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday as the finishing touches on its recent redesign were completed. Anna and John J. Sie, who made a donation to allow for the interior and exterior renovations, cut the yellow ribbon at the event. Actress Marisa Tomei attended the ceremony, and Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia dedicated the FilmCenter on behalf of Gov. John Hickenlooper, calling it a “cultural anchor” for the Colfax corridor.

Why The New ‘Feminist’ Rom-Com Is a Lie
Christianity Today Movies, Oct. 28

If you wanted to see a romantic comedy this year, you were in luck—especially if you wanted to see the old formula flipped on its head. A new wave of “feminist” romantic comedies attempted to empower women within the traditional meet-cute to happily-ever-after relationship story arc.

Trendspotting: Lavender
5280.com, Oct. 29

Lavender, an herb from the mint family, is perhaps best known for its floral notes that permeate soaps and perfumes. But look around town and you’ll see that the flowering plant has also been making its way onto menus.

The World as One ‘Room’ (movie review)
Breakpoint, Oct. 30

“Room” is a story about finding light in darkness and redemption in the depths of depravity. Although it’s not for everybody—the hell depicted in this story will be hard for many to watch—it is hard not to root for a movie with such an optimistic and moral narrative arc, especially one done this well.

September 2015

Drinking My Way Through Summer With The Denver Passport
5280.com – Sept. 15, 2015

The Denver Passport took over my life this summer. Between May 22 and September 7, this little blue book offered 2-for-1 drink deals at 64 Denver bars, and I hit every single one of them. By late August, my quest for stamps ruled every outing. Dates, guests in town, time to kill, or articles to write: Anything was an excuse to hit another bar (or two or three).

Brené Brown: Why We Need to Own Our Failures
Christianity Today – Sept. 18, 2015

We all want to be heroes in our own stories. But when we try to craft a heroic narrative for ourselves, what Joseph Campbell deemed the “mythic journey,” one big thing stands in our way: our failures.

Truth and Consequences
Breakpoint – Sept. 8, 2015

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” leaps into the debate over how young is too young for sexual activity by pushing the limits of what even the most sexually liberal person would consider acceptable. The opening scene sets the tone: “I had sex today,” Minnie (Bel Powley) announces in the first line of the movie. The thought puts a smile on her young, unadorned face as she walks home through a park.

The Intern fails to do its job
World – Sept 25, 2015

Writer/director Nancy Meyers seems to craft her movies to fit the definition of “feel good.” In the world made for her movies, from It’s Complicated to The Holiday, things might not always go right (for women, mainly) but somehow everything always works out.

August 2015

Didn’t write much this month, but who cares? I discovered I am listed on Rotten Tomatoes as a critic.

“Dark Places”
Christianity Today – Aug. 6, 2015

Dark Places wants to be a movie about forgiveness. It comes close to asking some big questions, like these: How do we acknowledge the past while living in the present? How do we forgive ourselves for past mistakes without running from the consequences?

Fantastic Four reboot offers a few twists to trite superhero tale
World – Aug. 7, 2015

It is a rare superhero movie that portrays the consequences of becoming a superhero. In Fantastic Four, five teenage scientists make some very foolish decisions and suffer for them by gaining superpowers—invisibility, expandable skin, rock-like durability, and fire.

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
World -Sept. 5, 2015

In the 1960s, while James Bond was regularly taking over the box office, Bond writer Ian Fleming suggested “Napoleon Solo” as the name of another womanizing, besuited spy working for an international government organization called U.N.C.L.E. After premiering on NBC in 1964, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. went on to rival CBS’ Mission: Impossible in popularity; but eventually, as TV was overrun with spies, it became almost a satire of its own genre.