“It’s an honour just to be nominated”

 

Sitting in front of my television, I always was surprised how sincere everyone says they are just happy to be there. As a competitive person, I never thought that it was possible to be happy to be tied for second on international television. You work so hard on something you care about, and you go through all these sacrifices to put your best work out there only for someone to snatch up the award and thank their mother and say, “The people in my category are so deserving of this and I’m amazed to be nominated with them.” How very nice, but if you are sitting down, you still didn’t win. 

I was really confused with this concept until it hit close to home in a way that I could relate to. Contrary to my high school aspirations, and my very private fantasies, I will not be going to the Oscars for the amazing film that I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in and win 14 Academy Awards. Instead, I got the opportunity to apply for an internship to one of my dream companies in Chicago, my favourite city in the world. 

To be fair, I really didn’t think I had a chance of even being a blip on their radar.  I was amazed to find out they wanted an interview. We scheduled the time, and I prepared as best I could. As interviews go, I think it went really well. (I am a terrible at forced interaction, and making myself good in public is about as easy as pulling teeth from a shark.) It was a good back and forth and I learned more about their company and I think I gave them a decent view into my world without scaring them too much. (Maybe talking about masturbation was a bit much, but if Cosmo can tweet about it, why can’t I bring it up?) I had really good answers and really decent questions for them. I have gone through interviews where I have bombed, so I was feeling good about it. 

I was told that I would hear from them on Monday, and I anxiously waited. And waited. And waited. Fun fact: the weekend is a really long 48 hours when there is little to distract from the fact you might be relocating to a different time zone in less than a week. Not to mention, this is a huge step that I would be making in my career and I would be readjusting my entire life for this. All of this information was so much to handle in one weekend. 

Today, I received an email with my fate. I was not given the internship, but I was given a positive rejection, and to look for possible future positions. I’ve sent out the obligatory “I didn’t get it” txts, and have gotten “I’m sorry” in return, but really I’m not. I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry at all. 

First and foremost, I’m just glad I know the outcome. I’ve been nervous for a week. Getting an interview for something that I care about was amazing in itself. I’m glad that I know where I stand in the industry. I’m glad that my resume qualified me an interview, even though I am 3 states away, in the 3rd largest city in the country. I’m glad that I have the support from my friends and family to want me to go and follow my dreams. I’m so blessed that when it all came together that it could have happened and I had friends in Chicago who were there to catch me when I got there. 

I feel like I’m am miles ahead of where I was 3 weeks ago, and I am so glad I have gotten this opportunity to really  put myself to the test. While I didn’t come in first, I really feel like I did cross the finish line. And, when it is all said and done, it really is just an honour just to be nominated. 

 

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Boy Meets Girls or Girls & 1 Gay: Taking a Bender into Lena Dunham’s Mind

I did it. I broke down and watched ‘Girls’.

Instead of catching up on emails, putting boxes in the storage unit, vacuuming my office, or doing anything else productive, I sat through 11 episodes of the critically acclaimed show brought to us by the wack-a-doo mind that is Lena Dunham.

Why did I do this? I could have vacuumed and that would have been a more productive suck of time and energy. I could have gone through the other 75 shows currently sitting in my queue, but instead I sat through a show about white girl problems.

All because I hated Lena Dunham.

I’ve hated her since she started showing up on the scene. I don’t care how talented you are. I don’t care if you continue to put out amazing work and get nominated for something every year. When you are invited to big events, you put on a cute dress, bring a date, smile for the camera, graciously answer questions, and thank the little people that got you there.

When Lena goes to events, she is ‘better than it all’ dressing in unflattering outfits, smiling weirdly, and makes us stare at her awkward tattoos. I’m sure she’s a lovely girl, but speaking from the Awards Circuit, I haven’t been a big fan of hers.

I have almost the opposite problem that others do when it comes to Award Shows. Some people feel that when a front runner wins and runs up and is flattered (see: Taylor Swift) people jump up and  yell, “Don’t act surprised! You knew it was coming!” I believe that if you receive a major award, it doesn’t matter if you are expected to win, go up, accept the award, cry a little, thank your mom and your fans, and act flattered and surprised.

Watching Lena Dunham at the Golden Globes win her award, I was convinced. Her speech was typed out so she wouldn’t forget anyone. She was hurried, enough to get it all in because she knew she wasn’t going to have the music held for her, and she knew that this was her moment, and that her work was finally being recognized  and I respected that.

So, I decided to watch the show. One episode turned into two, then next thing I knew, I had already watched the entire season 1 and was making my way through the premiere of the second season. I literally spent an entire day watching a show about white girl problems. I literally went on a bender, complete with online ordered Pizza Hut. I don’t really see that it should have been another way.

Now, unless you’ve lived under a rock, you know what the complaints of this show are: hipster bullshit, trite, no PoC, etc. I can tell you all of this is true. But, what else do you expect from a show that showcases a life of a 20-something Michigan transplant living in Brooklyn trying to make it as a writer?

The thing that struck me about this show is how unlikable everyone in the show is. Every single person in this show is flawed. Each person has their flaws so transparent, you don’t want to be their friends or boyfriends. Lena Dunham’s character is the culprit of most of the unlikability, since she is the lead character. Her hatred towards herself and her self-serving tendencies put her at odds with almost everyone around her and for whatever reason it works.

Lena Dunham has probably gone where no one has gone before: Into the mind of a 20-something artist who doesn’t know anything except how to have fun and that she doesn’t want to fail. That sounds like the concept of every art opening, every hipster song and every essay on Thought Catalog. She talks about the things we talk about but we don’t talk about that we talk about it.

Plenty of sex, drugs and indie rock and roll is found in this show, and it is nothing new to those of us who live it. For those haters who have “lived this life back when” the characters seem whiny and over-privileged, remembering that this is a fictional show may help ease the wound, but knowing that this is the society of the newly graduated working class. (That is a topic discussed in episode 9). For those of us who live this life and wonder what our lives would look like on a reality show, this is it.

It talks about the problems of our generation: dating with Facebook, working an unpaid internship hoping that it will turn into a paying job, dealing with bosses with the “Old World” mentality, lack of free wifi. Yes, many of these are white girl problems, but these are our problems. These are the lives we lead.

Personally, I can name people in real life that embody each  character. We all know the girl still obsessed with SatC years later, and the party girl who has done it all, and the uptight I-need-a-boyfriend-to-be-happy friend.

Is it easy to hate? Yes.
Is it easy to love? Yes.

Is Lena Dunham one of the strongest voices of our generation? So far, I’d say yes. She is saying what everyone else says behind closed doors and is not afraid to put herself on the line to do it. I wish I had the balls to do it myself.

Which leads the question, which character am I?

I’ll never tell.

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and_frankly: A Discussion on Christian Persecution & Marriage

Many eons ago, (like last AUGUST) blogger Alycia Neighbours from and_frankly asked me to weigh in on a post about Christian Persecution of Marriage. And like the procrastinator I am, especially about hard hitting issues like religion, politics and marriage, I read it and promptly let it simmer in my mind for me to make my points the most eloquent that I could. Then life got busy and thus it is NOVEMBER and I realised I never wrote my opinions on the subject like I was going to. (No, I did not forget. It’s actually been on my whiteboard at Ampersand Review for months. So, without further ado, a response to this post: http://alycianeighbours.com/2012/08/27/dear-kitty-40/)

Marriage and Christianity are two of my favourite topics in the whole world. (They’re not, but they sure are interesting to talk about, especially when there are so many schools of thought on the matter.) But Alycia has a point. Marriage is a cornerstone of the Christian agenda. (if the Gays have one, the Christians have one.) People keep getting hung up on this word because it means something to them. All too often, believers in the JC talk about marriage like it’s something sacred and something that only they can do because “God. He loves me and because he loves me and my spouse, we have this, like bond that can’t be broken because we made vows in front of people and we’re awesome in His eyes and that’s why marriage is so important to the Christians and why no one else can have it.”

Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but we all know that couple. Marriage is the end all, be all, and if you don’t have a marriage like theirs than you are doing life WRONG. Maybe it’s because they are just so happy and they “just didn’t know what love really was” until they exchanged vows or because they got married and lived the life that they were ‘supposed to’ that it’s for everyone, if they want a fulfilling life. 

Well, I sort of have news for y’all. Shit happens.

(Divorce) (Adultery) (Coming Out of the Closet years later) (Kids) (Irreconcilable Differences)

and it’s not your job to judge people on why their marriage works or doesn’t work. Because unless you’re God, you don’t judge. And spoiler alert: you’re not the Big Man Upstairs. 

See, the thing about Jesus is that he loved everyone equally, because he could. He wanted everyone to be loved regardless of their past, their family and their transgressions. Which is awesome, regardless how you feel about religion. 

Too often people get hung up (and claim atheism) because the Christian ideals are forcibly shoved down their throats and people don’t hear about a dude who loves everyone just the way they are, but instead of a place of eternal suffering because they didn’t live their life “correctly.”

but I digress.

Alycia put it in words that I could not. But she’s right. Jesus would want better for you, but he wouldn’t give you a guilt trip. Everyone has their own ideals about marriage but the best thing you can do is be there for people in their trying time and not be a douchebag because you feel they did it wrong. Because that’s not actually your call. 

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TheGlassPhoenix blogs about Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday starts tomorrow night, and as TheGlassPhoenix I figured it would be kismut for me to write about it. (Okay, sue me. I’m making bad puns about phoenixes and ashes. It’s funny. Trust me.)

But seriously, this is a big deal.

I had my Paczki, and the one for good luck, of course. Mardi Gras went off without a hitch, or so I saw on the internet. And, tomorrow thousands of people (I’m going to guess thousands. Maybe I’m overestimating the holiday) will wake up with a hangover that they rightfully deserved from one too many drinks, and beads will have sentimental value and good stories attached to them. And sometime around sundown, many people will head into their church, renounce their sins and take part in Lent.

My dad is a pastor and I remember Ash Wednesday very well. It was a time for penance, and a time to be grateful for what you had. It was also a time, at least for me, to try to take a stab at my New Year’s Resolutions again.

Well, this year, I actually have been doing well on my resolution. I only had one this year. Drink more water. I have been. I’m about 3 glasses a day. It doesn’t seem like an improvement, but when I had been drinking a glass about 3 times a year, I’d consider it a success.

Since this year’s usual plan to give up something for Lent is out, I realised I had about 18 hours to figure it out. Then, after going through the things that I should give up, and should  pick up as good habits, I realised that my shortcomings would last me Lents until I lay on my deathbed.

I can picture it now. I’m laying on my deathbed, looking at the wall, saying “For Lent last year I should have decided to make housework a priority because I can’t get up but I’m still looking at that stack of laundry that has been there since Thanksgiving. And, now I can’t even get up to fix it. I’m going to give up swearing because the laundry doesn’t want to know how I feel about it right now.”
(I picture myself as a codgy old man with knitted blankets that are frayed because I insisted doing myself and a cardigan that should go into the trash but I’ve had it for 80 years, and I’m going before it does.)

So, I made a decision. I’m going to try to give up something everyday, and everyday I’m going to try to pick up a new habit. I think for tomorrow I’ve decided to make sure I put my shoes away when I get home, and not speed on my way to work.

I really hope that my balance of giving up one bad habit and picking up one good habit will open my eyes to the kind of thing I really want to change in my life, not to mention how much work it will take to get there.

Instead of giving up one thing, which will only make me want it more, (because I will break my own rules because I made them, and I can break them) if I put the work into manageable bites, I might actually keep a Lent goal this year.

With that, I think I will have one more Paczki and go to bed.

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why won’t Siri talk to me?

Because, I apparently I think I am privileged, and four years old. I’m whining on a public forum about my iPhone’s personal assistant. (Who would’ve thought our phones would get a personal assistant before most of us would?)

Hedwig, my phone, is great. She’s perfect and sleek. She’s smart, and I like her. Siri, her personal assistant is a pain. I’d use another word here, but I’ve been trying to cut down on my swearing.

She actively hinders my attempt to be productive. The other day when said to “txt Leah,” ‘Are You That Somebody?’ started playing. Now, I’m sure Aaliyah would be proud that Siri felt it at that moment to make her life relevant to me, all I wanted to do was txt my friend back.

Today, on the way to work, “Play Coldplay Mylo Xyloto” went from “Milo the lotto” to Bob Marley’s ‘Could You Be Loved’ playing.  I had even spelled it out in the speech bubble. I don’t understand how that could have messed up.

On my way to go to a bar, I pressed the button to talk to her. NOTHING. No ding. Nothing.

Driving down a potholed road, I have to log into Maps, MANUALLY to type in the name of the bar. How annoying is that?

(Again, I told you this was a whiny first world post about how Thom’s iPhone doesn’t work. I’m sorry. You can stop reading at any time.)

Sometimes, she pretends she’s going to be productive and helpful. I’ll press the button, she’ll ding hello. (I am convinced that is what the first ding means. The latter one is lower, and therefore means goodbye, but I digress. Often.) I’ll ask her “play Foster The People” and she’ll say something like, “one moment.” “I’m thinking” then

“I’m sorry. I can’t take any requests right now. Please come back later.”

Uhm. What?

Did I offend you in some way? Why won’t you talk to me? Am I crazy for thinking that you have feelings and therefore can decide that you are not going to grant my wishes?

I went up to the closest Apple Store to ask them what the problem was, but the Genius Bar was too booked for me to see them. The lanky attendant asked me very offending questions about my knowledge of iTunes. Okay, not really that offending, but I think I know how to find the reset button on my iPhone setting in my iTunes. (Okay, that may be more work than I knew, ..but still I know how to do it.)

I thought it was fixed when my boyfriend did something magical with my phone. He messed with settings and said he did [insert real things that I know he worked with but I don't for the life of me know what] and Siri seemed to work.

But then today happened.

So tomorrow, I’m probably going to have to completely factory reset my phone and hope that it fixes itself. If it doesn’t, I’ll be taking another trip to Ye Olde Apple Store. (It’s 2:11am. Judge me at a later time.) If it does, I’ll be thrilled but always wondering why Siri didn’t work when I first got her.

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dot com

I’m really just whining at this point. I mean, I wasn’t even around when the .com was invented. I just have severe OCD. That’s all this boils down to.

I was taking a break from my homework and reading this month’s issue of Vogue, as one does. I was flipping through the many pages of editorials and print adverts when I came across one for the Vogue website.

It’s a very simple advert. “The first look. The final word. VOGUE.COM”

There was nothing notable about the actual advert until I reached the bottom of the page where in the fine print it says, “Outside the U.S., visit AmericanVogue.com”

Growing up at basically at the same rate as the internet, I have learned to change with the times. Word processing classes were taught in 7th grade, and in my high school years, forums and fan-based websites were being created. Ask any 20something Harry Potter fan about MuggleNet. They’ll give you stories of all the time spent on that website.

In my late high school years, Facebook became a thing we all aspired to join, and my freshman year, I did. It was back before they let high schoolers in, and way before the public. We dabbled in the internet and learned how to say hi (read: creep) on all our friends, crushes and enemies.

(And no I didn’t forget about AIM. That’s an entirely different post.)

At the time of its launch, I don’t think anyone would know what the internet really was capable of. I still don’t think we have any clue.

In 10th grade, I made an email account with British hotmail. This was many years ago. I don’t even remember the name, nor the password. It was probably something pretentious and ill fated. I just liked the idea of being able to say “you can e-mail me at iambetterthanyou@hotmail.co.uk”

With every country getting their own internet suffix, why Americans get the luxury of having .com all of the time? Even when I visited Mexico, when I typed in ‘google.com’ my webpage would come up ‘google.com.mx’.

When I need to visit some of my music fan sites, I type in the webpage.se or some fashion websites are .fr, yet if you type in twitter.us and your internet browser will give the “I have NO idea what is going on” page. Not to mention entire website addresses need to be changed to reach the correct page.

That’s really weird to me.

I wouldn’t mind typing .us for all the websites I need. My computer autocorrects most of my websites anyway, and the ones it doesn’t, I’m fully capable of figuring out its home country.

In a time where our user names are becoming more important to us, and everything is case-sensitive, why wouldn’t we want to try to make the internet a little bit more user friendly?

Want Facebook’s homepage? facebook.com
Want to login to your feed? facebook.us

These could be two different websites with two different uses. I think it’s a good idea. Most likely, I just have a higher case of OCD than I’m willing to admit.

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In which I have conflicted feelings about a plant.

While I was at my parent’s for Christmas, I took home a poinsettia. You know, one of those stupid flowers that you try and pretend you like for Christmas and then your old Aunt Marge sends with you and then it sits in your house until it dies.

Anyway, my mom sent one with me. While I love them, (they are my Christmas guilty pleasure. It doesn’t feel festive without it) what am I supposed to do with it now?

I mean, I really think it’s sweet that my mom thinks I’m trustworthy with a plant but it just keeps sitting there, mocking me. It’s bright red and in my small apartment, I just can’t stop looking at. It’s bright red leaves are mocking me.

“Hey. Your mom gave me. You should keep me. Don’t let me die. That means you don’t know how to take care of a plant that needs no instructions.”

Hey plant, you should mind your own business.

So obviously, I’ve been watering it every time I see it.
Because I have a guilt complex.

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