Of Misunderstandings, Ineptitude, and Frustration

Hello, readers.

It’s the start of a new week and I don’t know about you, but mine is looking grim. As the end of the semester approaches professors are scrambling to get in everything they want to say and tensions are running high. And though it seems like everyone is working together in order to get to the end in one piece, that is definitely not the case.

I’m currently dealing with the worst group project experience I’ve ever had in the unnecessary amount of years I’ve spent at the university. It’s one of those things where no one quite gets what the other people are saying, so it takes forever to get a consensus. Then even after you reach a consensus, people kind of go do their own thing anyway. So, in the end, the hours you spent trying to reach an agreement were wasted. Absolutely wasted.

It’s a problem when people are so sure that they’re right all the time, that they can’t see exactly how wrong they are. I’m not saying I’m perfect, not even saying I’m easy to get along with or work with. But I’d like to think I can accept when I’m wrong, that I can back down and let other people who know more have their say. Maybe I’m blind to my own shortcomings and should apply this to myself. However, this isn’t about soul searching it’s about writing shit out so I don’t go out into the world and say things I can’t take back.

There is still time before this project is over and done with and I still feel like leaving the group and doing shit on my own. Especially when I think about the fact that we all get the same grade. I’m frustrated and unhappy and frustrated some more. End of the semester will do that to you. And all you can do is shut your mouth, suck it up, and get shit done. Also you should probably stop writing blog posts and pay attention to class.

I’m gonna go do that. Until next time, readers.

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Rangent: On Being Better

Hello, dear readers.

Wednesday rolls around yet again, all smooth curves and shiny trails. It’s 6:14am and I’m sitting in bed thinking about being better. Sometimes you fall under the impression that you’re doing things well, only to realize that you’re not. Not even a little bit. In fact, it’s kind of a hot mess that misses it’s purpose.

Heat was applied to it. So. Fucking. Messy.

Usually those moments of realization come with crippling anxiety, overwhelming frustration, and anger born of persistent feelings of inadequacy. And, while it’s true that some of that still remains, I’m surprised to find it’s coupled with a sort of calm acceptance and, most incredibly, a plan. There side by side with a jittery need to be better, I found concrete things I could do to get there.

And I know this all sounds like bullshit. You have a problem, you find a solution. Blah, blah, blah. Except, sometimes the anxiety and frustration can be blinding. It makes it really difficult to see past them and into what can only be called the light at the end of the tunnel. (It could be called many other things, but it’s 6am and I’m having an epiphany. This is no time to challenge clichés.) And sure, after it all subsides, you still get to a solution so you possibly end up in the same place. But now I feel relaxed about the whole thing, rather than landing on a solution after a panicky struggle.

Am I explaining this well? No, not at all. Is it still important? Yes, yes it is. To me it is at any rate. Because it means things are changing and they could possibly be changing for the better.  It means maybe this new and improved (Leave my clichés alone.) version of me could possibly have some chill, some zen, some “right thing at the right time” situations. It’s a nice thought, right?

Anyway, this self-serving post is brought to you by the knowledge that things are changing. Whether the changes will stick, whether they’ll be good or bad, whether this is all an early morning hallucination, that’s all crap for another story (read: another post).

Have a good one, readers. Until next time!

Rangent: YouTube Binge

Hello, hello readers!

Monday comes again like the promise of death and almost as cheerful. It’s been a weird, funk ridden weekend. I was meant to spend it with friends, but I had to work so I ended up spending it pretty much alone. I making it sound more depressing than it was, I promise.

I worked, which is always good when you’re as broke as I am. I got some reading done, the fourth book in The Hollows series is down and I’ve moved on to the fifth. Some studying was done. Most importantly, I’ve YouTubed. And having done so, I’ve decided to share my three favorite videos with you!

1. Affection – Cigarettes After Sex

I found out about this band because one of its members is the guy behind Short Story Thursdays. Now, if you don’t know what that is, SST is a weekly dispatch where you receive a short story from an often forgotten writer in history. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me! I might start writing about them, so something to (possibly) look forward to. Anyway, they do cool ambient rock. Have a listen.

2. Unravel Gameplay Trailer

I’ve talked about video games before, most notably Firewatch. Which, by the way, came out last month! This is another game that came out recently and I’m really excited about it. You play as Yarny, a character made from a single thread that unravels as you move along. According to the website, the story unfolds entirely without words and the environment is inspired by Northern Scandinavia. It’s beautiful and somehow sad.

 

3. Joseph Speaks to Mary – Gage Wallace

This is an old favorite of mine. I really like slam poetry and there are certain poems I always return to like Accents by Denise Frohman and The Period Poem by Dominique Christina. And this one. This poem where Joseph speaks to Mary and promises all he is and all he has. Definitely worth a watch.

 

That’s it for today, readers. Hope you’re having a good day!

Rangent: The “Real Woman” Issue

As a person who spends an unseemly amount of time online, I keep coming across the phrase “real woman” . Men say they want to be in a relationship with real women, women say that “sluts” and “airheads” tarnish the name of real women who respect themselves. Like having casual sex or multiple partners, cancels out your womanhood. Like only monogamous, alluring, supremely confident females have the right to call themselves women.

We’re so quick to dismiss, to turn our faces when confronted with women who don’t uphold the values of the great, real woman. And I say we because I’ve felt that desire to cut all ties, to say ‘that person saying stupid things does not represent me’. But what gives us the right to define womanhood when we can’t even define ourselves? What makes us think we can label anyone as fake, as less, as non-womanly .

That Real Woman who is poised and affectionate and “values herself too much to sleep around” isn’t real at all. She’s the person we’ve all been taught we should be. The fake idol that keeps us up at night and makes us feel ashamed when we laugh too loudly and snort, when we’ve had more than a socially acceptable number of sexual partners (whatever that means). She’s a body made of gossamer and lies that we’ve tried to make our truth only to find we don’t quite bend that way.

We can’t be her. And we complain about the ones who seem to have become here because who are they to achieve something better than ourselves. Because we can’t see how that isn’t necessarily better through the haze of our self-hatred. Then we turn up our noses at the rest because at least we’re trying and surely that makes us better. Even though we have nothing to define “better” by. And in the end we’re all screwed, hating ourselves and each other in a scramble to uphold ideas we’re not sure we should be believing in anyway.

So, we tell ourselves to be better. We tell ourselves that we’re all real. We stop calling women sluts. We develop strength of character and look for the best in people, rather than the worst. We persevere in our efforts and pinch ourselves every once in a while to make sure we’re not a dream…

 

Rangent: The Fear of Missing Out

Welcome to Wednesday, you guys! The Sun is out and the sky is blue. Everything is beautiful and so are you. Paraphrasing The Beatles is more satisfying than it should be.

Our generation is constantly afraid of missing out. The term is Fear of missing out or FOMO, as it’s affectionately called. We consume information at an astonishing speed – current events, music, movies, books. We’re so scared of missing out, like being out of the loop will leave us stranded in empty space. We all vibrate with a need to be everywhere, a subconscious desire to separate our particles and scatter them to every corner of the world.

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Hopefully the split would look more elegant and glamorous than this…

I’m one of those people. I feel the need to be everywhere at once, especially when I travel. The months before my trip I spent them combing the internet looking for events. The thought of being somewhere new and missing out on things, not out of disinterest, but because I didn’t know about them was pretty awful. But, the thing I felt I was missing out on the most, was my best friend.

We were traveling at the same time, but in entirely different places. I felt like I was missing out on her experiences, just as she felt she was missing out on mine. It’s a very particular feeling that fear of missing out on someone else’s experiences. Although, I suppose that’s the essence of missing out, isn’t it? Someone else is experiencing things you wish you could be a part of. You feel adrift, instead of feeling anchored to shared moments with someone else.

That’s life, though, right? We can’t be everywhere at once, so we’re destined to miss out on things once in a while. It’s impossible to have it any other way, but that’s ok. Because life isn’t about being at every party, reading every book, watching every movie. It’s about going the parties that matter, reading the books that make us feel something, watching the movies that give us a new perspective or make us laugh.

And for that, there’s a whole host of things you can do! Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of thankfulness for that. Things like social media and newsletter subscriptions are invaluable for that. Two years ago, during my internship in D.C., I found out about Eventbrite and it became my go to for events. In a city that was constantly in motion, bristling with conferences and book readings, Eventbrite gave me access to more events than I knew what to do with. Which meant I ended up going to the events that truly interested me, rather than random events that didn’t make me happy.

I don’t think this generalized anxiety of ours is necessary. We shouldn’t be afraid of missing out on everything, rather we should be afraid of missing out on the things that matter. So, let’s all make the most of Facebook, Twitter, Eventbrite, and as many newsletters as we can get our hands on. Instead of suffering from FOMO, let’s make the most of GOMO! Fight the fear of missing out by making sure you’re always where you want to be.

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Be as happy as Rapunzel going out for the first time.

Let me know how you keep up with events! Have a good one, readers!

Rangent: Mixed Signals

Middle of the week ranting tangents? Let’s do this!

I don’t know about you guys, but I hate mixed signals. Maybe it’s just cultural? Bleurgh. I’m going to backtrack for a sec, so you can get the full picture.

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While I was traveling I received a message on OkCupid (Yes, I online date.), from this really adorable Israeli guy. I was traveling though, so not much could be done about it. I figured nothing would come of it, I barely had wifi so it’s not like we could talk. Except, when I got back home he messaged me again asking how my trip had been. We talked and decided to go out.

This date was one of those almost straight out of a movie dates. He came to pick me up, opened the door for me, refused to let me pay for anything. He was funny, charming, smart, well traveled. I’m telling you, it was a pretty great date on paper. On paper.

After the second beer we decided to go for a walk and ended up sitting somewhere looking at the water, surrounded by stars and dim lighting. We were talking and suddenly he starts going on about how he recently broke up with his girlfriend. He’s just looking for friends because he gets lonely.

Gee guy, isn’t this something you should’ve said before? Just sayin’. Alright, I’ll go with it. That’s fine. He’s cool, so we can be friends. Except he keeps asking me on outings that are clearly dates. It’s like dating someone without all the sexual benefits. Ugh.

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I realize that it’s probably me overanalyzing things and being annoyed because I want to make out. Butt fuck it. I just want him to organize himself.

Hope you’re having a more sensible week than I am! Stay cool, readers.

Rangent: Rabble, Rabble, Hospital Conditions

I know I’ve been on a few rants lately, but bear with me.

Yesterday started out looking like every other day. I did some shopping, because that’s what you do when you have other things to do. To be honest, it was pretty efficient shopping, but that is neither here nor there. At some point in the afternoon we got a call from my elderly grandfather saying he thought he’d stepped on a nail, but he wasn’t sure. What he was, was afraid. My grandfather had a pretty major stroke a few years ago and, while he’s made a remarkable recovery, there was some brain damage. This means it takes him longer to understand things and small things can really scare him.

The wound wasn’t actually that bad, he was wearing shoes which shielded him from properly impaling himself, but just to be safe we took him to the hospital. We figured, a check up, then a tetanus shot, and that’d be it. Well, it wasn’t. Why? Because the hospital didn’t have any tetanus shots! We’ve been going from one pharmacy to the next looking for it and no one has it in stock.

I realize that it’s not like saying they didn’t have thread for stitches or pain medication, but to me it’s just part of the trend. State hospitals are under staffed, under prepared and usually over crowded. Not only that, but the doctors are overworked and tired, which makes it easier to make mistakes. It amazes me that so little attention and care is put into making sure that facilities run as they should and that the personnel is at it’s most proficient to treat patients.

This isn’t a particularly innovative or special rant. There’s nothing new being said here.  Moments like this just remind me of the kind of society and the kind of world we’re living in. Thankfully, my grandfather is fine. The wound wasn’t too deep and after we find the tetanus shot, he should be covered. Sleep deprivation may be playing a part in this rant, seeing as we got home in the wee morning. I should probably take a nap. Or something. Right? Something?

I promise we’ll return to your regularly scheduled and, (hopefully) more entertaining, programming tomorrow. Until then, keep your shots up to date. Stay safe, readers.