All posts by Tami Benedict

Tami Benedict is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Xpress Magazine. This is her last semester at SFSU before she gains her degree in Journalism. She enjoys writing about the SF Giants, beauty, fashion, health, and trending topics. If she is not busy writing, Tami enjoys hanging out with her cat Frodo and dog Snow, live tweeting a Giants game, or sleeping. Follow her on Twitter @tamimarieb

I Experienced the Tomorrowland Movie Premier

Photo by Chris Benedict


I never figured I would be the type of person who would go and stand outside of a movie premier, waiting for celebrities to walk by as I scream their name, standing on my tip-toes trying to glance over the hundreds of heads, all trying to get a glimpse of someone famous.

When I went to LA this weekend, I didn’t plan to go to the Tomorrowland movie premier. I was at Disneyland to run my first half marathon and it just happened that the premier was happening the same time in Downtown Disney. After much debate with my group, we decided to go check out the premier just to see what was happening.

As we made our way down to where the AMC theater was, we could see loads of people walking around with press passes, all making their way to Disneyland to finish the premier. At first I thought we had missed the premier, the celebrities, and all the excitement surrounding the event.

When we got to the theater it was pure madness. There were hundreds of people lined up against a barrier, selfie sticks in hand, anxiously awaiting for the next celebrity to walk down the carpet. When someone made their way down the royal blue carpet, fans would start screaming their names, waving their pens in the air, hoping to get a signature.

After finding a nice hole to jam ourselves into, we waited for over an hour for a celebrity we actually recognized to show up. Celebrities started walking the carpet, including Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Brett Dalton, Lance Bass, and Ashley Tinsdale. Britt Robertson and Keegan-Michael Key also made an entrance but Robertson never stopped for the fans, while Key stopped for photos and autographs.

Although those celebrities were nice to see, I wanted to see the man of the hour himself, that’s right, George Clooney. Clooney was one of the main stars of this movie, so I knew he was going to be there and I wanted to see him. After another 15 minutes passed, more people with press passes walked by and kept saying “don’t worry he’s coming, he’s coming!” Camera ready, I planted my feet and waited for the arrival of Clooney.

When Clooney did appear, there was an abundance of screaming. Everyone wanted a piece of him, a picture of him, or just for him to hold their baby. Clooney stopped numerous times to take photos or sign autographs and even stopped in front of my group.

George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict

After Clooney left, the fans started to disperses, everyone happy that they got their fill of Clooney and other celebrities they liked. As I walked back to my hotel I couldn’t help but think how crazy the whole experience was. There was both a good and bad that came with it. Having the experience of seeing these celebrities, how they interact with their fans, was amazing and great to see. But dealing with the crowds and people pushing you around to try and get closer to the celebrity wasn’t fun.

For my first movie premier all in all I can say it was good. I was happy with who and what I witnessed, even with the crazy crowd. Hopefully thing won’t be the last time I go to a movie premier but maybe I’ll have a press pass next time!

  • George Clooney signs autographs for fans. Photo by: Bree Benedict
    George Clooney signs autographs for fans. Photo by: Bree Benedict
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  • George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
    George Clooney signs autographs at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Christ Benedict
  • Britt Robertson walks Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Britt Robertson walks Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
  • Brett Dalton dramatically runs towards and at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Brett Dalton dramatically runs towards and at Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
  • Faith Hill walks the Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict
    Faith Hill walks the Tomorrowland premier. Photo by: Chris Benedict

5 Drinks you need to try for Cinco de Mayo

Today is Cinco de Mayo, yay! A holiday that many of us take as a day to drink tequila to our hearts content and eat bomb Mexican food, because why not? But why do we celebrate this holiday? Many believe that today is Mexico’s Independence Day, well think again because it’s not. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually celebrated on September 16th, we celebrate the fifth of May because it was the day that the Mexican army won over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, which happened on May 5th, 1862. It is such a big deal because during the battle the Mexican army wasn’t a favorite to win but they were able to overcome the French troops.

Now enough about history, lets talk about drinking. As American’s we like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well, which means plenty of tequila based drinks for us to celebrate with (not to mention drown our sorrows about finals week.)

Prickly Pear Moscow Mule:
This drink will start your Cinco de Mayo off right. It’s a hot pink color with a sweet pear taste but a kick at the end from the jalapenos.


2 oz lime juice
1/2  jalapeño
2 oz Mezcal
6 oz ginger beer
1 oz. prickly pear syrup
Lime, for rimming the glass
Salt, for rimming the glass
Jalapeño slices (seeded), for garnish 


1. Sprinkle salt on a plate and set aside. Run a cut lime along the rim of the glasess. Dip the rim in the salt covered plate. Set the glasses aside.
2. Muddle the lime juice and jalapeño at the bottom of a shaker until well combined.
3. Add the Mezcal, a few cubes of ice and the prickly pear syrup. Shake vigorously until well combined.
3. Pour the mixture evenly into the two glasses.
4. Pour the ginger beer into the glasses until the drink reaches the top of the glass. Stir.
5. Garnish the drink with a few jalapeño slices for added bite.

Tequila Sunrise:

A tequila sunrise is a twist on the typical margarita, fun for any party but not dangerous enough to make you hit the floor after one drink. It’s also really easy to make.


2 ounces Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
4 ounces orange juice
splash grenadine
orange slice

1.Fill glass half way with ice

2. Pour tequila and orange juice into the glass
3. Stir to combine, add a splash of grenadine
4. Garnish with an orange slice.

Jalapeno Margarita:

Because why not? It’s Cinco de Mayo!


1 jalapeno, sliced thin
Celery Leaves
6oz fresh lime juice
Spoon full of sugar
16oz tequila
8oz orange liqueur


1. In a blender, combine jalapeno, celery leaves, lime juice, and sugar
2. Add in tequila and orange liqueur
3. Serve of the rocks, add salt to rim of glass

Classic Margarita Spritzer

Who doesn’t love a good spritzer, especially when summer is right around the corner and nobody needs those extra calories.


1 1/2 ounce tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce triple sec or orange juice
4 ice cubes
Chilled seltzer or club soda
1 lime slice for garnish


1. In a tall glass combine the tequila, the lime juice, the triple sec, and ice cubes.
2. Fill the glass with the seltzer and stir the drink.
3. Garnish it with the lime slice.


Tequila shots, am I right? If you don’t want to mess with the hassle of making a fancy drink, then just drink the tequila alone. Always remember what happens after your third shot of tequila. My favorite tequila, Patron silver, goes down smooth but doesn’t leave a burn.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, please drink responsibly!

**drinks found via Pintrest

Bumgarner not a fan of DH for National League

Madison Bumgarner, Bay Area hero, San Francisco Giant’s pitching God, and hitting machine, spoke out against Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer‘s complaint about the National League not having designated hitters, DH, for pitchers. Last Thursday Scherzer suffered from an injured thumb while batting, but it has always been a National League longstanding rule that pitchers hit.

“He knew the rules. Whatever much he signed for — what did he get, again? — he didn’t have a problem signing his name,” Bumgarner told ESPN. “He didn’t have a problem with hitting then. I’m sure he had his pick of anywhere he wanted to go.”

Bumgarner continued to say that pitchers can get injured in a number of ways, but that does not mean they need to run away from the thing that caused you injury. He added that he felt bad for Scherzer, saying he works his butt off when he is out pitching and the injury he sustained was unfortunate, but it does not call for a change in the rules.

The San Jose Mercury news reports that Bumgarner took Scherzer comment as if he was implying that pitchers could not hit. Bumgarner, who has six career home runs, two of those being grand slams, said that this is the way the game has to be played, regardless if someone gets injured in the batting box.

Tensions may seem higher for the National League to get a DH after Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright suffered a torn achilles after running from the batters box on Saturday. The injury cost Wainwright the rest of the 2015 season and the Cardinals one of their best pitchers.

Bumgarner ended with saying he doesn’t want to see the National League’s rules changed and appreciates the unique challenges it brings to players and managers of the National League.

Earth Day 2015: 5 Steps to Save Mother Earth

Contributed by: Catherine Uy

SFSU makes it easy to recycle. Photo by: Catherine Uy
SFSU makes it easy to recycle. Photo by: Catherine Uy

Today is the 45th celebration of Earth Day, yay, where people gather together to help demonstrate support for environmental protection. According to The Earth Day Network, the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and is now coordinated globally by The Earth Day Network and celebrated in more then 192 countries.

Here are five simple steps to make a difference on Earth Day:

1. Take public transportation: Taking public transportation helps reduce the amount of  green house gas emission, and lets be real, with the price of gas right now who really wants to drive their car? According to Earth Day Network, transportation accounts for 24 percent of global emissions. It is also the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Your options are unlimited when living in a city like San Francisco, you have Muni, Bart, Lyft, Uber, or even a bicycle.

2. Recycle: Do we need to say more? Recycling is one of the easiest ways to help planet Earth. It’s pretty simple, from throwing away your plastic bottles in the correct bin, to composting. At SF State, they even have three types of garbage bins, labeled with what goes into each, to make it easier to recycle. Recycling cuts down on pollution and cuts down on energy.

3. Reuse: By reusing plastic water bottles or your own grocery bag, you’re eliminating waste and sustaining the environment. Also….it saves you money. Aim for reusable items, not disposable.

4.  Conserve water: With California being in a drought this is also a good idea and there are many ways to make this happen. Take shorter showers, wash your dishes by hand, don’t run your sprinklers, or turn the sink off when brushing your teeth. Saving water is an easy thing to do and most of the time you won’t miss the water you’re not using.

5. Compost: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, we toss out 40 percent or 20 pounds of edible food each month.  Instead of throwing it in your garbage, save those left over scraps of food and try composting it instead, it makes great mulch.


A ‘Fuller House’ will soon be upon us

Full House is back. Photo from: Andrea Barber Facebook
Full House is back. Photo from: Andrea Barber Facebook

Full House fans rejoice! Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, John Stamos announced that he will be producing a spin-off of Full House, called Fuller House, on Netflix. Candace Cameron-Bure, who played D.J. Tanner, Jodie Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner, and Andrea Barber, who play Kimmy Gibbler, have all signed on to be apart of the 13-episode series. Stamos also announced that while producing the show, he would also be making guest appearances as Uncle Jesse as well.

The show will center around widowed mom D.J. Tanner who lives in San Francisco and is pregnant again. Her sister, Stephanie Tanner, and best friend, Kimmy Gibbler who is also a single mom, move back into the famous house to help D.J. take care of her two routy boys and help prepare for her third child.

Stamos also addressed that talks are in placed with veterans Bob Saget, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Dave Coulier, and Lori Loughlin about making guest appearances on the show.

Fuller House is set to debut on Netflix in 2016.



Gators pledge support for discounted transit passes

A new campaign has surfaced to help support commuting students who attend SF State, the purpose of the campaign is to make transit accessible and affordable. SF State is known widely as a commuter campus, with only about 10 percent of its students living on campus.

With BART announcing a $.10 to $.15 cent increase next year and many SF State students taking Muni to campus, the “GatorPass” has gained support fast, currently having over 500+ pledges and being shared frequently across Twitter, even being re-tweeted by SF State’s President Leslie Wong. The GatorPass would be paid for by student fees and other funding.

Supporters of the campaign include San Francisco District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner, BART Director Nicholas Josefowitz, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, SFSU President Les Wong, the San Francisco Transit Riders Union, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Many took to Twitter to show their support of the GatorPass:

Reactions to GatorPass on Twitter.

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Will injuries defeat the Giants?

Baseball season is back in full swing and the 2014 World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, are off to a tremendous start. The Giants just wrapped up a three game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, and Chris Heston pitching the season openers. The Giants won the series, 2-1, and made a great start to the beginning of baseball season, but not all went as planned.

Hunter Pence, Travis Ishikawa, and pitcher Erik Cordier were all placed on the disabled list, DL, before the regular season even began. On April 7th, Matt Cain whose season ended early last year due to bone chips,was also placed on the DL with a flexor tendon strain in his right forearm. During Tuesday’s game, first baseman Brandon Belt had to leave the game during the bottom of the fourth inning after chasing a foul ball and straining a groin muscle. To top the injuries off, pitcher Jake Peavy has been suffering from back soreness. The Giants have not placed Peavy on the DL yet but after a bullpen session on Tuesday Peavy did comment that he felt soreness in his back.

With the season just beginning the question is, how are these injuries going to effect the Giants as they try to break the stereotype of only winning the World Series during even number years. Bruce Bochy said that he has never gone through such bad luck with injuries in the beginning of the season. Two of the Giants better at-bats are currently residing on the DL list which could effect them as they head into a three game series against the San Diego Padres.

But knowing the Giants, these injuries are just a bump in the road and they won’t let it get into their head too much. After Buster Posey’s season ending injury back in 2013, the Giants were shaken but still strong after losing one of their best players to a broken leg. And sometimes the injuries can be blessings in disguise, allowing minor league players to come up and play professionally, usually shining as they replace someone we believed couldn’t be replaced. Take Ishikawa for example, he was brought up after Angel Pagan was sent to the DL last season. Ishikawa played well but on a faithful Thursday night during a playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ishikawa hit a walk-off home run which sent the Giants to the World Series, which they later won.

It’s too early to tell where the Giants will be come October but hopefully things will be looking up when their plays get off the DL and back onto the field to chase their fourth World Series Championship.

New App helps pay for college

Speshh is mobile based. Image from
Speshh is mobile based. Image from

College is great. You meet new friends, get away from home, and live new life experiences but along with all that also comes the enormous debt you pile on semester after semester when you actually attended college. Some of us are lucky, we have great paying jobs which makes it easier to afford colleges and some of us even get scholarships to pay for the tuition, but not everyone is that lucky and needs assistance to pay for college and everything that goes with it.

That’s where Speshh comes in. Speshh is a crowdfunding app that helps college students raise money, all through an app. With Speshh, college students can ask their friends and family but if their goal is not met or looks a little low, Speshh gets involves by asking their business partners to help donate to your cause.

“We found that one of the main reasons that campaigns fail are due to not being shared enough with potential donators,” says Sibel Suleyman, Co-Founder of Speshh. “Speshh could call on business partners who may be able to fund the rest of the campaign with CSR money that is dedicated to this type of activity.”

What makes Speshh different from other crowd-funding sites, like Indiegogo or Kickstarter, is it is completely app based, making it easier for college students to use and access. Speshh is a lot like Kickstarter though, having an “all or nothing” funding behind is. This means that if you don’t reach your goal, then you get none of the money you raised which could be a turn off for students since Indiegogo lets you keep whatever you raise.

Speshh also has a percentage it keeps, like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but at the beginning of your campaign, Speshh lets you know what the percentage is and works it into the money you need donated so there is no loss for you.

Currently this app is only available to college students, meaning you need an edu email address to register for the app and to begin campaigning.

Speshh is set to release in June 2015 but is currently testing out the app and allowing people to register early.

Instagram introduces new app

Instagram is at it again, slowly trying to become the best photo app ever and destroying the competition while they’re at it. Today Instagram released a new app called Layout which makes it easier for you to create a photo collage but includes much more than that.

Layout also allows you to mirror images, lets you choose up to 9 images to create a collage, and allows you easily resize the image of your choice. You can flip and reverse your photos with a push of a button or use a slider to make one picture smaller, while the other gets bigger.


To make your life even easier, when choosing your photos Layout puts them into ten different collage options, so no need to go around and push buttons to see what collage you like, Layout has already done that for you.

This isn’t the first time that Instagram had tried to take the photo game over either, their first side app that they released, Hyperlapse, did pretty well in the beginning but now it’s just kind of there.

Personally, I think Layout is genus. Not only is it super easy to use, like so easy my Grandma can use it, the creative options they give you are fun to play with and create custom made images of your own. I am a big fan of the mirror image feature and the cropping with just a swipe of a figure, because I am phone challenged and always mess up cropping. What I also like, and I tested my theory, is an image that is too big for Instagram, fits with ease using Layout. That means no more InstaFit Free and those annoying ads that go with them, with Layout it makes it easy for Instagram users can see your hair and the shirt you are wearing.

The reviews from the App Store are also pretty positive, Instagram users are happy with the app and how easy and simple it is to use. Negative comments include not being able to save to your phone and not being able use a photo you’ve taken with the Instagram app, but all minor issues that Instagram is sure to fix.

Layout allows you to choose up to 9 photos, adding them into a collage for you. Photo by Tami Benedict/ Xpress Magazine.
Layout allows you to choose up to 9 photos, adding them into a collage for you. Photo by Tami Benedict/ Xpress Magazine.

Now if Instagram can create an app that allows more space on my phone, that would be great.

Frozen 2 officially happening

Its really, really happening. Just when you thought that the Frozen phenomenon was finally over and you can get “Let it Go” out of your head, this happens. It was announced today at Disney’s annual shareholders meeting that Frozen 2 is a go.

According to John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar, the team had so much fun making the Frozen Fever short, which will premier before Cinderella, that they were excited to make a sequel.

Frozen made $1.219 billion at the box office and became the top-grossing animated movie of all time, so it isn’t really a surprise that the sequel is in works. Disney has not announced a plot line or release date for the movie but we can all assume it will be filled with snowflake love and happy snowman. Maybe even Anna’s wedding to Kristoff?

Parents get those credit cards ready because with the Frozen Fever short coming and the announcement of Frozen 2, we all know a whole slew of new products will also be available, you know for Christmas in July…

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, tweeted this out in reaction to the Frozen sequel.

Via Twitter
Via Twitter

Here is a look at some hilarious reactions to today’s announcement:

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Will Ferrell plays nine positions

Will Ferrell will play all nine positions of a baseball game. Photo by Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons
Will Ferrell will play all nine positions of a baseball game. Photo by Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons

Baseball and Will Ferrell fans rejoice, for today Ferrell will be playing all nine positions during five different Spring Training games.

Ferrell and HBO teamed up with Major League Baseball to film a Funny or Die segment that will be dedicated to fighting cancer. As many baseball lovers know, MLB has teamed up with Stand up to Cancer to help fight cancer.

Ferrell will travel to Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, and Peoria, Arizona and participate in the following games:

Mariners VS A’s
Cubs VS Angels
Reds VS Diamondbacks
Giants VS White Sox
Dodgers VS Padres

San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner asked if he would be able to pitch to Ferrell tomorrow during the game. Ferrell will be catching in the 5th inning for the SF Giants and Bumgarner is insisting on pitching to him.

“You don’t think I’ll be pitching in the 5th?” Bumgarner replied when SF Giants Manger Bruce Bochy told him that Ferrell will be catching then.

Ferrell isn’t a stranger to baseball games though. In 2010, he pitched a Triple-A (minor league) round under the name “Rojo Johnson,” for Texas, caused a brawl, and was ejected from the game.

Ferrell and HBO have not released many details for this project, but know Ferrell and the funnies of MLB will be something great for a good cause.

Here are some of the best reactions to Ferrell’s new project.

Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter
Via Twitter

Don’t worry – Fifty Shades will fade away

Xpress Logo 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey was released in theaters last week and people have gone ape shit over it. Over the three day weekend, Fifty Shades broke box offices records making $85.17 million being the fourth all-time best opening. Before the movie was released, people were still losing their minds over the sultry books that lined the shelves of bookstores.

What is funny though is before the author of Fifty Shades, E.L. James, came out with this series, she was writing Twilight fanfic in the privacy of her home, living in the fantasy of vampires and werewolves; just like the readers of Fifty Shades are doing today.

When the Twilight franchise blew up, I was right in the middle of it. Being in my late teens/early twenties, I was engrossed in the books and in love with the movies. The odd “Romeo and Juliet” style book of the forbidden love been a vampire and human was enough to send any fan girl off the edge. I even had the pleasure of meeting Robert Pattinson at Stonestown, yes, the one right by SF State, one evening and sat in the madness of thousands of fan girls awaiting the arrival of the Twilight star.

We all remember that time, too, back when Twilight was the shit. People would be wearing their “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” shirts, battling over who should win Bella’s affection. Hot Topic even went to the extreme by selling fake blood for people to drink – I promise you I am not lying about this – you know so all us vampires could still live.

Now, though, people will not admit to ever being in the Twilight crowd. Being closely associated to Twilight is a social death wish for any cool person. Even the actors of the movies hate themselves for letting the fade of Twilight brainwash them into thinking that the five part movie would be the greatest thing on the planet to make.

Coming full circle back to Fifty Shades, the same thing is happening. We are trapped in this pop-culture bubble where if one thing even remotely peeks the interest of people, it is suddenly a phenomenon. Today, there are people dying to be the next Ana, wishing they could stumble into Christian Grey’s office and be swept away in a dark, romantic fashion, knowing the secrets they keep are deep. Realistically though, by the time the second movie comes out people aren’t going to be as interested; then they will attempt the third movie, maybe even drag it out to a fourth to waste money and the souls of the actors, all to obtain money off of a dying franchise.

By the time the next Fifty Shades comes out, the next big thing will be developing, sweeping people into a crazy fan filled storm of “HOLY SHIT CAN THAT BE MY LIFE.” Personally, I have nothing against Fifty Shades or the franchise. If that is your thing, then you rock it to your fullest content – I am not judging. But also remember that when that next big thing comes out, it’s just a fad and soon will also be swept under the rug making way for the next fandom.