Category Archives: It Just Got Personal

Alma Mater Drama

Warning: this post is serious…

I’m feeling less and less proud of my alma mater.

FULL DISCLOSURE!!!!

I went to a smaller, private university. In Orange, California…in one of the Red districts of Southern California.

As a Democratic-leaning Independent…it was a little uncomfortable. However, I was a Theater Major…therefore surrounded by much more like-minded individuals. I interacted with plenty of conservatives and got along with many. But it was always obvious the political leanings of the University OVERALL.

Why am I bringing this up?

Well, my alma mater is starting a new Center for Freedom of Expression and Media Integrity. Focus on that last bit for the rest of this post.

As with most things, there will be an inaugural event. The Dean of the School of Communications who will also be the Center for Freedom of Expression and Media Integrity’s Founding Executive Director has invited 2 speakers to the event, both former Press Secretaries for Presidential Administrations.

I’m sure you may be seeing where this is going. One of the speakers is Roberts Gibbs former White House Press Secretary of the Obama Administration. Okay.

The second speaker is former White House Press Secretary of the Trump Administration…Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Let’s review the title: Center for the Freedom of Expression and MEDIA INTEGRITY.

Now, this led to a former student (an alumni) sending a concerned email to the Dean of the School of Communications who will be the Founding Executive Director. I will post the student’s email. The Dean’s response. And the student’s response to the response. I will be blocking out names for the sake of anonymity. Though I will leave the name of my Alma Mater in because I think it should be known.

Alumni’s email:

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Dean’s response:

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Alumni’s response:

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I could state my opinions on the matter. I could argue against the school’s decision to invite a highly controversial figure…but my alma mater has already done it before.

They invited Ben Shapiro to speak in a closed door, paid invite only discussion with business students…a small number of business students who had to pay a LOT to listen to him speak and NOT ask questions.

They invited Norman Finkelstein (twice) a man who has spoken negatively Jews and claims they use the Holocaust for political and financial gain.

They invited former President George W. Bush. Need I say more?

Anybut, the bottom line is, I accept my alma mater is highly conservative. I accept I will not agree with many people they invite to speak.

However, I do not accept the response of a faculty member to a former student where she degrades the student. Degrades the student’s intelligence. Degrades the students right to argue the credibility of a speaker who has been proven time and time again to be willing to lie and call the free press “enemy of the people”.

That is where I draw the line.

 

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Dentist Update

My jaw hurts…

But not from work being done, just from holding my mouth open for so long.

I had 2 appointments over the past 2 weeks. Why?

I’m not ashamed. I had to get deep cleaning cause I’m not good at flossing. I’ve never been good at it, but I’m making a…drawing a line in the sand. I’m going to do better.

Oh, and I also, mainly, had to get the deep clean before I can get my chipped tooth fixed. Don’t want it rotting underneath the…why is the word vinyl in my head? That’s reallllly not the right word. Varnish? Nope, definitely not the right word.

VENEER!!! There it is (ironically there was a poster with this word next to me in the office the whole time I was in my appointment).

ANYbut, I got the chipped tooth grind down and they took a mold of my teeth. Now we wait 2 weeks for the tooth to get made (they don’t make them in-house) and then I’ll get another mold so I can get a night guard to stop me from grinding my teeth. Which was why my tooth chipped in the first place.

So, yeah, that’s my dentist update for the past 2 weeks.

Gorgeous

Felt cute, might delete later…

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Should this be the time I get into the ridiculousness of being afraid to post ugly pictures?

Nah.

But here’s one I took and couldn’t get over how thick my glasses are. I mean look at that right eye (my right eye, not the eye on the right)! It’s like a poorly photoshopped attempt to make my face look thinner, but I forgot to do the rest of my face!

Anybut….I’m not embarrassed to post the ugly pictures.

And yes, that is a zit on my face. Guess what? They never stop coming! Okay, maybe for some people they do…but don’t be surprised if you still get those little puckers well into your 30s!! (Especially if you’re like me and get stressed easily…they love stress)

Workloads

I think we need to have a discussion on workloads.

Now, perhaps I’m not the best person to discuss this, but I’ve been witness to so much lately I think it’s time to talk about it.

Many in the older generations like to say the younger generation (and I could go OFF on how annoying it is they lump ALL younger generations together when they say this, but I won’t. This is about workloads) is lazy and doesn’t understand true hard work and blah blah blah…

But here’s something they tend to not consider…just because a generation has moved out of the office doesn’t mean they’re working any less. In fact, BECAUSE they’ve moved out of the office…sorry, not sorry, workload has gone through the roof.

Why? Because jobs treated as unconventional aren’t protected. Most don’t have unions that ensure employees are given proper safety nets. And this leads to overloading workloads.

With minimal pay, or even good pay, but tweaked hours to make it as though the pay weren’t so good. OR tweaked hours to prevent benefits from having to be given out.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I’ve witnessed friends or people I’ve worked with just get swamped. And I mean, 60+ hours a week, swamped. Not to mention any other work they do like side jobs or familial responsibilities. And they are being worn and torn down.

The other thing younger generations are struggling with is the mentality of replaceability. We’re told over and over by different employers or companies that if we won’t do the job they’ll find someone who will so we get it in our mindset that we can’t bring up ANY complaints.

NOT EVERYONE OF COURSE!!! SHUT YOUR MOUTH JANET!!

But there are times when it should be obvious you can’t have people work this way…but then you have to remember that’s not what they care about. Results. They always care about results, not how they get to the results.

There’s this strange inability to lay down boundaries for ourselves. And with the growing difficulty of costs of living increasing as wages stay the same, we become trapped in the mindset of “You can’t risk losing this job, you can’t afford to live without it.”

Then we get injured or sick from overworking. From over performing without added benefits or employers forcing you to just tweak the actual hours you worked. Which then leads to missed work days, which leads to added workloads to recover the lost time. Which leads to more illness and injury.

Eventually, the tipping point is reached and a blow out happens.

And unfortunately, it’s the overworked employee who is given the death blow. Fired or gently nudged towards quitting. And the employer hires a new, fresh face to start the cycle over.

Sorry for such a downer post. I’ll try something more positive next time.

 

College Love…Nah.

I thought about somebody I haven’t thought about in over 6 years.

My college career was average. Normal. But one odd thing kept happening.

Now, there were a few GE programs I was required to fulfill. This meant a short list of classes to choose from to fulfill these requirements.

Almost every single class I chose to take…there was another student (I’ll call him Jack though that is obviously not his name) who took them, too. And I mean, every single class except for 2 (yes, I know that means not ACTUALLY every single class, but cut me some slack here. I’m being dramatic for storytelling sake).

Anybut, Jack noticed this pattern, too….I think….I mean he always went out of his way to sit next to me because he recognized me from the other numerous classes we took together.

Now I was a Theater Major. Jack was a Business Major. We should never have crossed paths. But we kept picking the same GE classes, as in we kept picking classes that we wanted to take, had interests in taking.

I hope you see where this is going.

Needless to say….I got a crush on this guy, Jack.

He was sweet. He was funny. He liked hearing about my theater classes. And he ACTIVELY sat next to me in these classes. If you read any of my other posts I hope you’ve been able to grasp the fact that I am the most awkward, shy, weirdo ever to be allowed to grow to an adult age. I don’t actively do anything. My preference is to sit in the back so nobody will talk to me….but he always found me and sat next to me.

“You’re reading too much into it. Of course he sat next to you if he remembered you from other classes. Humans are attracted (not in the romantic way) to familiarity. You were familiar therefore he felt more comfortable sitting next to you.”

Okay. Maybe.

BUT! Does that explain this thing that happened:

Context: I was a theater major. Duh. But there was also the student group within the theater department and my senior year the group wanted to do more across the campus activities to promote the theater department or promote other things.

One of these things was a campaign against smoking…cliche I know. Anybut, we created large cigarettes that we would carry around to our classes and if people asked us about the eye sores we had scritps to recite back to them in an attempt to educate on cancer, life expectancy, and other smoking facts. Then we would ask them to sign the cigarette with a kind of declaration of dedication to not start smoking or cut down on their smoking.

I carried that stupid cigarette all day. The only person who ever asked about it was Jack. I did the stupid little spiel. I asked if he wanted to sign his intention to never smoke. He to my surprise, agreed. When I got my cigarette back…he’d also written his phone number.

Yes. His phone number.

Here comes the heartbreaker. This happened my senior year. It was also this year in the very class this incident happened in…..that I found out he was married. He’d been married for almost 2 years…his wife was still back where he was from, planning to move out here to California at the end of the year.

This may be needless to say, but I’m going to say this twice. After finding out this information: I immediately turned off. ONCE I FOUND OUT HE WAS MARRIED I IMMEDIATELY TURNED OFF. What does that mean? It means any feelings I felt for him were shoved down beneath so many layers of reality there was no more flirting and there was very little casual talk outside of those required for class.

Is this an overreaction? Maybe. But quite frankly, there was no way I was going to continue anything with a married man who actively gave me his phone number and not in a “we’re in a group project” way. Maybe we could’ve been friends. Maybe we could’ve been friendly without any inference of romantic feelings…but there was also the possibility we couldn’t do any of those things.

Though I did keep that cigarette in the back of my closet for several years. I mean he was really cute….but I’m not going to be that girl.

I threw that cigarette away two years after that event. I never put the number in my phone. I never wrote it down anywhere else. I never considered calling it.

I kept it as a reminder of that guy in college I had a class with every semester. And that I let him go.

And though I’ve been calling him Jack to protect his anonymity….it’s honestly because I don’t remember his name anymore. I don’t even know what triggered the sudden memory of him. I haven’t thought about him since I threw away that cigarette 6 years ago.

Respond and Run

Does anybody else….

When you get a message and you’re unsure what to say…I mean like REALLY unsure what to say (like you go through twenty different iterations of what you want to say)….when you finally DO respond, you immediately run away?

Now I don’t mean literally, of course. I mean if, let’s say, you respond to something on Twitter or Facebook…you immediately log out of your account because you need to mentally prepare yourself for the response to your response.

OR if it’s like a text message with friends, you actively make sure you put the phone FACE DOWN on the table or desk or bed or whatever!

I ask because…I do all the time. Hell, I did it right before writing this post.

I mean, I end up reading the response to my response anyways, but I need that small buffer time. In person I’m incredibly shy…no, really. I am like stupidly shy (and I use stupidly in the sense of overwhelmingly….I guess I could’ve just used overwhelmingly…Annnnnnybut).

You know what I mean? You don’t? I’m just crazy? Ok.

Well, how about this:

Does anybody else, on top of thinking through twenty different responses, after realizing you’ve paused for far too long just…don’t respond?

This happens sometimes with my friends. I’m thinking of my response to something (going through many different iterations as mentioned previously) and when I’m finally satisfied with my response….it’s been almost ten minutes and the conversation has either a) moved on, b) continued on with THEIR lives (my friends, not the conversations obviously), or c) if my response was meant to be a joke or pun or something funny the moment has passed.

I know normal people would simply just respond anyways, but I don’t know if you’ve gathered from other posts….I’m far from normal when it comes to conversations…what with being overwhelmingly shy and all.

This is one of many reasons I try to pre-empt anything that may open me up to strangers messaging me with a notice saying: I’m very bad at responding. Please don’t expect me to be good or quick about it.

I do my best, but sometimes my brain just won’t let me be impulsive when it comes to written communications.

Slacker

I need to catch up on work…

Not actual job work, but work I promised myself I wouldn’t let slide. Well, that isn’t working out…no pun (?) intended…

I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a slacker or to be more precise last minute worker. As much as I try to not wait to the last minute to do things, the habit has been ingrained in me since, god, elementary school.

And I love hanging out with my friends….I DO!!! But sometimes, it feels like we always plan things right when the stars line up to allow me to get work done. I get the house to myself, it’s the weekend so I don’t have to worry about random knocks on the door…usually, and I feel the wave of slackness leaving (yes it comes in waves).

Then my friends plan things. Sometimes I get enough of a heads up to adjust accordingly….other times….I become a slacker. I put off saying I can’t do it, until it’s like too late or too inappropriate or uncouth to say I can’t do it.

And even if I did….how do you explain to your friends (who have faaaaar more strenuous jobs or actual 9-5, 5 days a week jobs) that you just can’t because of your own failures as an organized human being? Or how do you tell them that you just can’t go spend money on food or fun activities because the paychecks are few and far between and even when I get them….there’s not much left over after the necessities…

How do you let them know you’re ashamed of yourself and don’t talk about your life because you don’t want them to know how much of a downward spiral you feel like you’re on?

…………….Especially when their problems, their life issues…..are actual ones that aren’t because they’re slackers like me?

Laughter Makes the World Go Round…Right?

I have a confession to make.

When I watch videos on YouTube or niche reality shows (Harmon’s Quest, anyone?) I have a secret agenda.

The laughter.

Watching shows or videos where the people are genuinely having fun, making each other laugh, or go through crazy events…the laughter really makes me feel part of it. It makes me feel like I have friends.

Don’t look at me that way…I know the people on the screens aren’t my friends and never will be. AND I KNOW I DO HAVE FRIENDS!!

But there are times my friends…just aren’t into what I am. They don’t like the shows or videos I watch. They don’t understand the appeal of the things that make me feel so included. It’s not their fault. They have things they’re into that I’m not and this is not a diss on them.

And sometimes, I feel alone because I don’t get to see my friends that often anymore……So I put on a stupid little video of two people playing games together and having a fun time…and for a few minutes I feel like I’m not alone. I feel like my friends are there with me.

Always Late

I feel like I’m always late to the newest thing.

I didn’t have a twitter account until 2014 which was looooong after most of the planet. And even after I got one I realized none of my friends really use it anyways. They used Instagram.

So then I got an Instagram account in 2016. And that was really only to document a trip I went on. Eventually I added a second account to document my cats Lele and Midna.

I never got into Vine, but I thought, “this Tik Tok thing looks interesting.” So I got the app, but realized quickly…I was out of my league. So that went away.

I’ve been a fan of YouTube since its beginnings. I watched a lot of the old YouTubers before they became huge…then I stopped watching them once they did. But I always wanted to do it, too. So I created a book review channel back in 2014. It was really part of a New Year’s Resolution to be a little more outgoing. It makes sense if you think about it. You put yourself out in the universe for people to anonymously comment about you. I didn’t even mind the comments sayin my voice was annoying (I’ve always hated how I sounded in recordings so it wasn’t an insult really).

But that wasn’t what I really wanted to do and after one year (which was the resolution btw), I stopped uploading reviews. Maybe some day I’ll continue it, but not anytime soon.

See my favorite videos were Let’s Plays. I loved them. They reminded me of the days I’d watch my brother or my friends play games. It was nostalgic. So, I attempted to start a Let’s Play channel myself in 2015, but wussed out (slash couldn’t figure out how to do it on a Mac because almost if not all Let’s Players use PCs because they’re better for recording and games). But I finally, late as ever, swallowed my pride and started one.

This is not a promotional post for all of these things. Hence the reason I will not be including links to anything. I just wanted to spew all of this into the universe because since I’m late to all of these things…everyone who’ve benefitted from these things are either a) moving on to the next social media big thing, or b) have gotten so big they’re leaving the platforms or don’t do the content the same way.

Now I could go into a whole nother rant about content creators who change their content and become more…I don’t want to call it fake because I honestly believe it’s just become habit, but they’ve become more over the top in an unironic way. They don’t really want to be doing it anymore…they want to be actors or singers or whatever in mainstream media. But they’re afraid to lose the main source of their income in case they can’t make it up that large step. SO they don’t put as much into it as they used to. And by that I mean people who used to do all the editing themselves or writing themselves have a team now…and some creators make it work and still feel like the channel you grew to love, but others….it feels less personal and less passionate.

Sorry, I went into the rant anyways and this post was only supposed to be about how I get into popular things late and am shooting myself in the foot trying to do these things that other people have made into careers. But I know it won’t be a career. I know I won’t be popular. I know no one will watch. But I want to do it anyways. Because even if only 1 person watches and gets that nostalgic feeling that I got, it’s worth it.

Plus, I got my theater career and writing career to be unrealistic about. This is the side gig.