February 26, 2013

But Where I am Blows

So, yesterday was supposed to be blogpost writing day but I honestly didn't know how to write the hotmess coming your way. Prepare yourselves, people. An extra day did not make me worlds more coherent.

I don't feel "with it" at all these past couple of months.

What is "it"? I DON'T KNOW. If I knew, I could probably get with it but I don't sooo... here I am? Even though I don't know where that is?

Like, I just feel like something is missing.

And, of course, being my own therapist (I swear, we are the most neurotic people, as you will probably be able to tell by the end of this post), I start posing questions to myself, trying to answer, then you come up with a "treatment plan" of here's what has to change and here is what it will look like when it is changed. But as I implied in my oatmeal post, the things I'd like to see in myself are intangible. I am the project and I know what areas I'd like to wok on but what will success look like so I know to be happy when I make progress or succeed? Not a clue. For example--

It's time to get started on myself as a brand. If I want my future dream and business to be rolling and becoming increasingly more productive, I have to really start getting my shit together and establishing myself. I've actually done pretty well on this. I've been mapping out plans and questions and articles but between the occasional downer from school and the fact that I still don't have a website, I still don't feel like I've made much headway.

Meanwhile, I want to be a better therapist. Yea, over a month ago, I realized therapy may not be what is right for me and since I've admitted that to myself, I have been less anxious but overall dissatisfied that I've been in the pursuit of sex therapy since high school and, technically, that's still what my degree is going towards. Because it is the degree I'm working towards, I, at the very least, need to return to therapy during a year-long internship but I'm also motivated to build myself as a well-rounded professional who is not just the research one-trick pony. And in case my life hasn't been a royal pain in my ass the last month, I started reading my couple and sex therapy textbooks a few days ago and to my horror, I was pumped to use the information in a therapy session. NO, DAMMIT! I finally had the come-to-Jesus where I admitted to myself and others, "I want to be a researcher-- not a therapist." Stop being excited, self, STOP IT.

Ironically, as I've just started to fully embrace the "come-to-Jesus" phrase, I've kind of walked away from Jesus. Maybe the holidays spurred my religious questionings but I've all-the-sudden become more motivated to explore other religious ideas. My first stop will be the Satanic Bible which I've been wanting to read since sophomore year but I've been too guilty Christian to admit. Now, I'm just swamped with reading for classes and other things (I just started reading the Illustrated Man so there's SOMETHING I'm not taking notes on), so I'll probably get around to it when I'm no longer motivated.

Amidst all this redefining myself, I started my multicultural course. I've told everyone and their mom about my experience so far and I've got a serious rant-post brewing for when the class is done (and my grade is secured) but in sum-up, this class has the worst timing ever. I've been in several multicultural courses which I've hated (for reasons I'll explain months from now) and I feel like I learn nothing. This one, I have to admit, I'm learning something. one of the bigger things is how I've viewed my process of viewing race and exploring other cultures. I essentially had a come-to-Jesus where I recognized, "No, I don't go out of my way to learn about others which makes me a pretty lame person." But I try and I've made progress and for several other reasons, I don't want to learn about these things-- at least, not now and not in the way I've been told which makes me think, a) am I a horrible person because I don't want to learn or b) is learning about it now just too much for me, and I'm really ok. Crossing our fingers it's the second one.

And then there's all the little things. I've been going to the gym but haven't seen great progress, I'm getting better at coordinating meals but I'm still not in the full healthy, balanced diet yet. I'm applying to jobs and still getting zero bites. The basement project is at a total stand still.

I try to recognize things are in progress, I'm not stagnant nor have I relinquished anything-- in fact, I'm more productive in more areas in my life than anything else. And yet, I don't feel productive at all. Where are things going? How will I know when I get there? It's when I realize I have no answers to these questions, I notice that it is quite rare for me to have so much ambiguity. I should sit with it, learn to work with it, be where I am. But it's just so painful-- you cannot become productive by sitting in an unproductive state!

I have no grand conclusion. I'm sitting in nowheres with no destination so there's no conclusion. I guess I was just sharing how it's a struggle to define yourself mid-changes. Why am I focused on productivity when clearly the things in my life cannot be measured that way? I'd change it but shit, that's the only clear and stable thing I have going for me right now. I feel like I'm clinging on for dear life to this idea of contributing to the world when I'm just surrounded by little things that prepare myself to change the world and letting go of the idea is terrifying. Where would I land? What if it's somewhere I don't like? I don't know if I can come back? Why isn't there a book called, "Get Your Shit Together" where it addresses all your big-life "What the fuck am I doing?" quarter of your life crises? It could be one of those books that sit on my shelf, becoming out of date in my life.

I think I need a beta fish. So that when I go to sleep tonight wondering how I helped, how I was productive, I can just think, "Well, at least I fed that fish."

February 19, 2013

Because Necrophilia is Cool

Before I start this post, I wanted to address the awesome-ness of an email I got this morning. I had a really rough night last night when my 18 page paper got kicked back, requiring a rewrite. That's never happened to me ever and after being built up to be all cocky with a 4.0 since I started grad school over 2 years ago, I was practically having panic attacks like those small children that cry about a B. Anyway, I consoled myself watching Lawless (which is an awesome movie, btw. I know it doesn't sound like much when you hear the plot but it is really good) and being upset about how I contribute nothing to anyone on the planet and fail at life. This morning, someone sent me an email saying thank you and that she was super appreciative of my level of involvement. It was short but very nice so let's all (including myself) try to remember the little things can make a big difference.


 Because I'm sure you're perplexed by the post title and don't really care about the aforementioned stuff...

I saw the new movie Warm Bodies in the theater on Sunday. I will warn you that this post is ripe with spoilers but unlike Lawless, the movie is really not all that great and since I predicted the plot when I walked in, I don't know if I'm ruining that much for you.

The story takes place post-apocalypse and to entice all those apocalypse preppers, they never say what actually happened but now we're a generation later with a bunch of zombies running around. Some are "Bonies" which are zombies that have mostly decomposed and are beyond help but the rest are what you see in the traditional zombie movie/show. The story follows one zombie as he talks about being conflicted about eating people and wishes to be more alive. He can initially only speak limited words but his vocab, motor skills, complexion, heart functioning,... all that jazz improve upon meeting this human girl whom he immediately falls in love with. To add a new level, her dad is the big kahuna of the human city and behind this whole idea of a wall to keep out the zombies so we get a nice Romeo and Juliet flare in there. And then to add to the drama *envision the stereotypical drums bum-bum-BUUUUMMM*, the zombie ate the human girl's boyfriend's brains in order to experience his memories and learn about the girl.

Just curious for anyone who has eaten animal brains-- do you have flashes where you envision yourself eating grass or something or is eating brains=getting memories a far creative leap?... Because it seems like a far creative leap.

Anyway, the zombies start becoming more alive with seeing and experiencing human contact and the main character turns fully human and they live happily ever after. I know you didn't see that coming. So the title of the post comes from me seeing the two main characters kiss and I, of course, had to go to a different place with it. Even if he does come back to life, this is something that has been dead for several years. That doesn't bother you? This doesn't bother people in the audience? I mean, gay people getting married and having children is unnatural but having relations with a dead (or formerly dead) person is totally ok because it's heterosexual? Nobody notices this? Ok. And here I've heard how homosexuality is a slippery slope towards bestiality but nobody mentioned how heterosexuality was a slippery slope towards necrophilia. Sorry, I got sidetracked, but can we take a moment to acknowledge how ridiculous our culture can be?

So here is where higher education takes a mundane movie with a waste of John Malkovich (he plays the angry father, protecting his daughter but I'm pretty sure that his appearances in the film could have all been phoned-in with is sad because he's awesome) and makes it something totally different with social commentary-- I read the film as talking about how technology has separated us from each other and made us zombies. I know that sounds silly but go with me on this:
  • In the beginning of the movie, the main zombie talks about how we all used to be connected, surrounded by people and the film shows a flashback to now where everyone is on their cell phones, not directly interacting with anyone.
  • All the zombies have collected in the airport. The airport is a hub of technology and, in theory, is a place where a ton of cultures are mixed and exposed to each other but in reality, what are we all doing at the airport? We're in our own zone, looking at signs, being dehumanized through searches, and are essentially in a pissed off and anxious state, reaching out to no one.
  • The father is trying to wall his child away from zombies/technology but the child is naturally drawn outside the wall and can negotiate the gap between the communities, incorporating zombies/technology without becoming infected/isolated.
  • The biggest example is how human interaction/physical connection stems this outbreak of the zombies getting better. Upon the two main characters holding hands, the other zombies start remembering past lives, dreaming, and speaking more just as when we put down the phone, we let our mind wander and talk more to people.
There were other connections that I could make but essentially I started thinking about how technology plays a role in my existence. The email I received earlier today was a simple interaction with an acquaintance and wasn't absolutely necessary but made all the difference in defining my level of productivity and influence on others. To further trek down the irony trail, the email regarded how I'm using technology to connect people in my program. Without a doubt, technology is critical (even on days when it insists on pissing me off) but human connection is all the more essential to our experience as human beings.

So here's my soapbox: put down the cell phone! Don't use your laptop for a day! There isn't the need to immediately look up ever answer on google on your phone! Be where you are! Focus on the people in front of you before you reach out to those far away through the interwebs!

Unless the person in front of you is dead. Do not make out with that. That's the time to open an online dating account.

February 11, 2013

I'm Kicking Myself for Even Writing This

For anyone who has talked to me knows that I exclaim things as "communist" frequently.

It's a joke and I mean nothing by it since I genuinely believe that communism does work for some people and the sociologist in me could sit here and explain how I think that Karl Marx's ideals were pretty solid in theory but the man needed to read some more Hobbes-- "man is selfish brute". Then there's also the fact that China has a much better economy than us now so you cannot argue that those commies aren't onto something. Also, the things I usually call communist are actually quite capitalist. BUT I won't go more into that. Moral of the story is, when I say something is communist, it is a freaking JOKE.

Side note: Within the last week somebody took some sexist joke I wrote on Facebook as fact and wrote "smh" and such. First off, it's Facebook. All major business and government transactions are conducted on there for a reason... oh wait, NOTHING serious happens on Facebook? Oh maybe that's because it's not something to be taken super seriously. Ever. And yes I recognize that my getting upset over this incident which occurred on Facebook is highly hypocritical which just pisses me off more so don't even bother pointing that out. Second, anybody who has interacted with me for 5 minutes, I feel should get the clear picture that I do not take myself super seriously and therefore you should not either. Third, "smh" or "shake my head" is condescending anddd you're a dick. That fact that you try to "playfully" or "friendly" cover up your hardcore judging with a little "smh" not only shows me you're a dick for being judgmental, but you're also a dick who doesn't own up to being a judgmental dick, AND you're assuming I cannot pick up on your mad judgment making you, hmmm, A DICK.

...A communist dick.

Moving along...

So the only time I am not joking about the "c" word is the communist love day coming up this week. And the fact that I'm writing a post about it makes me feel like I'm fueling the importance and significance of this communist holiday and I'm not remotely a fan, hence why I'm kicking myself for even writing this.


You are forced to find a "love" which yes, we all love someone. I try not to be one of those shitty single people who advocates for "Single Awareness Day" which is exactly what it advertises- SAD (as in pathetic, not cute Eeyore) since I'm not a fan of this communist venture even in a relationship. Also I'm AWARE that as someone who is single, I can have the selection of my friends as my communist love day buddies or with more true desperation, I can exchange communist love with my parents. I'm afraid not people, they have equally communist mother's and father's day for that which I also do not like to participate in.

Ironically, before I got on here to write this post, I saw something online that said something to the effect of "So what you're not in a relationship on ___ Day? It's the same as people who don't have a mother on Mother's Day or a father on Father's Day so get over it."

Oh really? Is that the way it should work? You're unhappy because all of society thinks you should be celebrating when really your feelings are as insignificant as the feelings of people with deceased parents on days designated for parents or all non-Christians on Christmas and Easter.

Oh, you weren't going to go there? Too far?

Tough shit, get over it because it IS the same. You are being forced to celebrate showing love which I don't like because you should be doing this year-round and 1 day of being nice doesn't make up for 364 days of dicketry. And then you cannot just do your own thing. There's the communist aspect of you have to show your love a specific way that is tangible and measurable. Now I'm not even showing MY love, I'm showing SOCIETY'S love which just makes this forcible interaction all the more fake. Furthermore, it stresses people out whether they're doing enough, whether they don't fit into the traditional expression of love (because they're single), and then there's me who gets stressed because now I'm going to be eating shit for a week for not reciprocating in the forcible, societal scripts of you must jump off the cliff, *here* and like *this*.

And honestly, I'm not trying to be a negative nancy on this but my true feeling is that when you send me something on/around this day, you did it because society told you to and I will not appreciate or receive the gift in the good intentions you sent it with.

Similar to sending a Christmas gift to a Jewish friend or saying, "Happy Thanksgiving" to a Native American, you may just be happy and in good spirits which is fabulous but it's a demonstration that my beliefs or experiences are not respected in mainstream culture nor even within the people closest to me. I'm not saying that this communist love day should be eliminated (although, hey, I wouldn't complain if it did) since I recognize it gives so many other people happiness. I'm just saying, there's really no need to include me and I would really appreciate if you respected my choice to not participate.

I will end this piece by acknowledging that I may be biased by the fact that I think roses smell like unholy shit and cheap chocolates taste like crap. If you truly need to include me in your communist practices, send salt my way, preferably in the form of UTZ Ripple Cut Sour Cream & Onion Chips (yes, ripple cut DOES make a difference). If you send some of those chips my way, you will definitely get some uncommunist lovin'.

February 5, 2013

Let's Have a Come to Jimmy Moment

You guys, it's time to address it. I know it's something that's been eating at us all and we frequently lose sleep over it-- whether you sit for hours pondering why or wake up in a cold sweat from a nightmare about it. Then there are those times when you're hanging out with friends are they are all laughing and you just sit there thinking, "How can they laugh?" Then you cannot even focus on work and you go into the bathroom and cry heavy sobs... it's time to talk about this, people...

Jimmy Buffett

Specifically his song, "Escape" which is better known as the Pina (just imagine the little ~ over the n because I don't know how to make it on the computer) Colada song.

For those of you living under the rock for the last 30 years, the song is this guy describing how he is tired of his dull marriage and sees a personal ad saying, "If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain; if you're not into yoga and you have half a brain; if you like making love at midnight on the dunes of the cape, then I'm the love that you're looking for. Write to me and escape." Side note: yes, I write song lyrics using proper grammar. Get over it.

So, the guy responds that he likes those things and decides to meet up with this woman and run away with her. Turns out it's his wife and they fall in love all over again.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have a strong affection for some pina coladas and do not consider it beneath myself to belt this song when it happens to be playing and I'm drinking. I'll even sing it when I'm drinking something that ISN'T a pina colada. Blasphemous, I know.

And it may be my marriage and family therapist bias, but when I actually listened to the lyrics, I thought, "The fuck is wrong with these people?!" Seriously, you are bored in your marriage, and instead of, you know, talking to each other or maybe getting therapy, you select adultery and running away with someone you met because their personal ad was witty and rhymed as your life choice. Really?!

I'm dead serious, this song bothers me. Don't judge me, you know it's messed up too.

Another popular song that gets under my skin (and I DO NOT sing it) is "We Are Young" by Fun..

Give me a second, I need to get my story straight. My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State. My lover, she is waiting for me just across the bar. My seat's been taken by some sunglasses asking 'bout a scar and I know I gave it to you months ago. I know you're trying hard to forget but between the drinks and subtle things, the holes in my apologies, you know I'm trying hard to take it back. So if by the time the bar closes and you feel like falling down, I'll carry you home...
And the song goes on to talk about how let's get wasted and party because we're young and someone needs to carry my ass home because I'm not perfect and have a severe alcohol problem that requires me to be carried home. And because this song was about partying, the song made top 40 and was played excessively, especially in bars.

... Meanwhile I looked around thinking, "Really? This doesn't strike a chord for anyone? We're all ok with idolizing this song? Really? Ok."

Like, the guy cannot even follow through with a solid apology for drunk-indused abuse. Shit is SAD.

With a combination of being a sociology major, which ponders how media reflects and influences our culture, and a human sexuality major, where we for some reason have many conversations on how our behaviors look ridiculous to people in other cultures, my brain goes off on this tangent of "What the hell will future generations think of the shenanigans we produce?"

I mean, Dusty Springfield talked about losing her virginity outside a church to preacher's son back in 1968 (a delightfully sacrilegious song) but it was consensual-- come on, who could say no to Billy-Ray?

But that's kinda of what the 60's were about. free love, civil rights, bomb Vietnam, defile the alley behind the church with the preacher's son and/or daughter! ... What? The 60s didn't have that last one? Well, there was still religious defilement from John Lennon who pretty much defined the 60s and he was in music so it still works.

It's also interesting to consider looking at male and female relational roles through history. I had to read a 30+ page paper on it for class last semester and there's no damn way that I'm rewriting that shit here... I also didn't retain the information enough to do so. The moral of the story was, relationships and gender roles tend to reflect the economy and various religious movements (mainly the movements of monotheistic, or one-god, societies conquering polytheistic communities). For example, before the Roman Empire really took off, they had a more male-dominated and possibly monotheistic religion. Then they started conquering all these other little communities that were farmers. The little farmers weren't banned together or really used to fighting so they fell. Also being farmers, they were into a more nature-based religion with multiple elemental gods where the seasons resembled birth and life (and death if you didn't watch yourself). Women were as valued in the culture as men because they resembled the main goddess, nature-- women give birth and life and if you didn't watch yourself, death. So the Romans come in saying, "Oh HEEEELLLL NO! We're not having these women trying to be doing shit." but they also wanted the communities to passively be taken over and not revolt. Solution? Zeus just got hitched to a lesser female god (reinforcing than heterosexism, there) and brought her fire and water and such posse to live with them.

Now, the research on this sounded flimsy but, like, consider King Henry the VIII (yea, I'm going to type "the" in there even though it's highly unnecessary. Get over it. I mean, why do we SAY it and not WRITE it? English is stupid). That economy was based on the monarchy, put-a-dick-in-charge system. So now women's roles were to have men (because she can help that and all) and her products are more valuable than her life (products, economy, get it?). And, well, that didn't pan out too well for a lot of women and the whole male system built around the woman being screwed up because she was jacking the dick-in-charge system.

Anyway, I was going to continue down that tangent but point is, economy = gender roles.

Then when we apply sociological understanding of media we get: media depictions of adultery and abuse and Nicki Minaj = our economy is getting beaten up by drunken lying donkey witches who we cannot understand why we keep giving money to because they're just going to run off and start anew. Ok, I threw Nicki Minaj in there because I cannot stand her. The one good thing about that person is that it gives me hope because you don't have to be good at something to get a shit ton of money.

We need to tell Jimmy Buffett to stop, people, or he can sing a song about how he sought therapy from me. I am down for either.

... I could also go for some pina coladas but I may abuse someone... probably Nicki Minaj.
Also, we need to ban the bottle.