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Dear Writers of Holiday TV Movies…

19 Dec 2014 (Fri)

Seriously, guys… we need to rethink these storylines before I go fucking apeshit.

I get it: the holidays are a great time to capitalize on schmaltz and twinkling lights and happy couples for your viewing audience. I myself have been known to binge watch your ridiculous holiday tripe because apparently, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas until Melissa Joan Hart drags a handcuffed Mario Lopez off to a cabin in the woods. (Which now that I’ve written it out sounds suspiciously like a seasonal slasher film, and I think someone should get on that.) But over the last few years, I’ve noticed some troubling clichés throughout this ever-growing collection of holiday — clichés which threaten to end my occasional dalliance with this modern holiday tradition. So, on the off chance anyone gives a shit, here are my top 5 requests:

  1. Please, for the love of secret Santa, stop portraying all workaholic women as ladder-climbing narcissists. Some of us are workaholics not because of an obsession with getting that high-rise corner office, but because of an obsession with somehow paying our rent. That shit’s expensive and merely keeping our jobs often means working overtime.
  2. Can these “sad” single women please be over the age of 30? Speaking as a 36-year-old single woman, the insistence that these 20-somethings are somehow past their prime is both insulting and horribly, horribly depressing. You might as well film 90 minutes of Alicia Witt pointing at the screen and laughing, because that’s how watching that bullshit feels. Though I can’t speak for all 30-something single women, I know that for some of us, the holidays are depressing enough. We don’t need that pinch of salt in the wound.
  3. Please never make another movie where a successful working woman discovers her life would mean more if she’d married her high school sweetheart and had four kids. It insinuates that working women without husbands and children are living empty, meaningless lives, and that’s an amazingly shitty aspersion to cast on an entire subsection of modern society. Especially during the holidays, when marketing ploys and family get-togethers are already doing quite well casting this aspersion without your help.
  4. Let’s stop acting like finding seasonal employment is the fast track to holiday peace and joy. Because you know what sucks far worse than a shitty holiday season? That rapid descent into a shitty January living in your car because your seasonal employment ended and you still can’t find a goddamn job.
  5. Can we please stop featuring female elves, angels and daughters of Santa? Portraying human men repeatedly falling for these fantastical creatures is not really helping the whole “Men, let’s be more realistic about our expections of women” cause. (Hell, Summer Glau is an unrealistically fantastical creature even without elf ears…)

I know there’s a reasonable argument to be made for simply not ever watching any of these holiday schmaltz-fests ever again, and really, I would do that — if not for my inexplicable penchant for seasonal everything. I love the idea of holiday movies… in theory. I just wish that, as long as they’re going to churn these out by the score every year, they’d maybe stop perpetuating the worst of our societal stereotypes, leaving some of us wanting to stab everyone we meet with a sharpened candy cane.

…If anyone needs me, I’ll be looking up those seasonal slasher films.

It is Sunday, January 19th…

19 Jan 2014 (Sun)

…And I am kind of only posting so ya’ll know I’m still alive.

And by “ya’ll” I mean “whoever stumbles across this blog since there hasn’t been a legitimate reason to follow it in years.” I’m not the kind of writer who can come up with entertaining content on a regular basis. I’d like to think a more accurate statement is “I don’t live the kind of life that lends itself to entertaining content on a regular basis,” but I don’t think that’s true. The plot line doesn’t always have to involve me directly; there are plenty of things to write about wherein I’m merely a commentator, not an active participant.

But the fact remains that I still haven’t figured out how to muster the energy to actually write about much of anything. If I force myself to write, I usually find myself eventually staring at a few intro sentences that go nowhere, like a match that sparks but doesn’t catch. Those matches are really depressing. If I’m lucky enough to hit on something which actually leads to several more subsequent sentences, it inevitably snowballs into the kind of raving lunatic post that goes so horribly awry, I exhaust myself in the process. Like accidentally dropping a lit match on its matchbook and the whole goddamn thing goes up in flames. Those matches are also depressing, but in a totally different way and I usually need a nap afterwards. It probably goes without saying that the remaining ashes of lunatic post are not suitable for public consumption.

And that’s really where things stand. All I can say is that I feel notably directionless and still bored with several aspects of my life, but I’m not excessively anxious about that. It is what it is, and this life is the kind of life that someone like me is probably going to lead. At some point, I’ll have to decide what I’m going to do with that, and actually be proactive about making some new life choices. But for now, I’m just going to poke around the issue and kick some tires and work on racking up fewer instances of exhausting myself. I have learned, the hard way once again, that keeping busy is often counterproductive when your actual goal is to find a new direction and a sense of purpose. Those things are difficult to find under pressure and deadlines. Sometimes they require space and silence and as many naps as you feel like taking.

Wherein I maintain my remarkably demanding pace of once-a-year posting…

9 Jun 2013 (Sun)

There’s a saying I learned from my dad that that goes something like, “If one man calls you a donkey, ignore him. If two men call you a donkey, check for hoof prints. If three men call you a donkey, get a saddle.” (Apparently this is a loose variation on a Yiddish proverb… Which figures, as I don’t believe I’ve ever met a Yiddish proverb I didn’t like.)

So the fact that an increasing number of people are politely mentioning that it appears my work/life balance is about as unbalanced as it gets has been… a little… alarming. Not solely because it’s embarrassing to have other people point out major lifestyle flaws you’ve apparently missed yourself, but also because I had no idea it was so obvious. My schedule is packed to overflowing, and I’d just always assumed that’s enough to make people think I’m managing my personal existence in at least a marginally healthy manner. Except for the part where apparently, despite my attempts to behave otherwise, everything I do feels like a chore. Despite my life being entirely void of downtime, I am painfully bored. Honestly, I think I’ve been bored for over a year. Possibly longer. It’s getting more difficult to remember a time when I wasn’t bored.

SO. FUCKING. BORED.

BORED. SO BORED.

And as it turns out, I’m no longer any good at hiding how fucking bored I am.

There are several different directions this post could go from here… I could write a diatribe about how it’s unrealistic to expect much more than a mediocre life when you’re a person like me living a life like mine (wrote that, deleted it). I could wonder aloud whether or not I have an obligation to work on this so-called “work/life” balance solely because I’m in the kind of socioeconomic circumstances where such a thing even exists in the first place (wrote that — both the “yes I’m obligated” side and the “I’m actually obligated not to” side, deleted them). I could also create a word search puzzle for you where you have to find all sixty occurrences of the word “BORED” in a 5-inch square (I never actually did that one, but I thought about it).

Instead, I’m just going to post this as-is without a conclusion. I’m conclusion-less. I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do about this, what’s realistic, what’s “healthy,” what’s what-fucking-ever. The only thing I do know is that it is a Sunday in June and I have about two dozen things I could/should do, but the thought of doing any of them makes me want to stab myself in the face.

And I am pretty sure this is the part of life that comes immediately before having an all-out nervous breakdown.

Is it November yet?

10 Jun 2012 (Sun)

…I only ask because I actually want to participate in this year’s Nanowrimo.

Of course, I say that every year. And if I honestly thought I could write a novel, I’d probably have started it already.

Still, it’s nice to have something to shoot for. As opposed to “shoot at.” I am not even remotely at a loss for things to shoot at, if by “things” you mean “people” and by “people” you mean “certain coworkers.”

(I’m still not sure how I landed in this weekday-hating cliché of a life. It is not even remotely what I was shooting for in my so-called formative years. Which is not to say that I think anyone actually aims to grow up into a cynical, job-hating drone… That being said, the number of people who do land in this netherworld of disappointment is staggering.)

Ah. Well. What I actually meant to post was this:

Image

You know how Google compiles terrible ads in the margins of your search windows and whatnot? And many of those ads are just a random image paired with an equally random tagline, which I suppose indicates that Google assumes you’ll find either one or both of these items interesting enough to click on, logical juxtaposition be damned? This erroneous assumption occasionally has delightful results. Here, we see how it’s offered us photographic proof that, according to the Internets, one of five everyday secrets to success is simply to stay in bed.

Which, frankly, is something I’ve suspected for quite some time now.

Where we see the math behind what we already suspected

6 Nov 2011 (Sun)

Beauty Benefits

This speaks for itself.

…If anyone needs me, I’ll just be off crying quietly in a corner somewhere.

Just a Little Zombie Interlude

15 Sep 2011 (Thu)

As both a Twittererererer and a zombie aficionado, I can’t help but find this hugely entertaining.

 

“That fucking guy made me kill, like, sixteen old people in a nursing home. ‘Cause I thought they… they showed signs of something… Apparently, it was old age…”

All things in context, folks.

2 May 2011 (Mon)

Okay, I get it. The death of Osama Bin Laden is big news. And a good blogger would probably be spewing forth randomness about how I feel about it, and what I think it might mean for us as a nation, or even just saying, “Congratulations, soldiers!” to whoever it was who ultimately took down this raging psychopath. (<–Which I am saying, by the way.)

Except I didn’t get the news until 7 a.m. and by then, the Interwebs had already amassed enough condescending theoretical bullshit and pointless contrarian diatribes that I was exhausted before I could even log into WordPress. And now there’s all this stuff I want to say… Stuff about the futility of ideals; how the word “fair” shouldn’t even be used in this conversation; how some people are just batshit crazy, making due process almost impossible. And most importantly, how there’s a huge difference between celebrating “a man’s death” and celebrating the end of a murderous tyranny, and how you damn well better make sure you know which is which before you start criticizing people’s morality.

I’m certainly not going to parade outside in my American flag gown* or spend the night drunkenly “whooo-hooooo!”ing the U.S., because I do think that sort of meaningless revelry would be distasteful. But what I do not believe is distasteful is an impromptu gathering of citizens outside the White House to say “Job well done, sir!” Nor is it distasteful for folks to gather at Ground Zero in remembrance, many of them probably hoping for that sense of closure they’ve been seeking for a goddamn decade. I don’t believe there is anything morally remiss in a collective sense of relief at the only justice available in this case, given that the batshit-crazy individual in question never once considered invoking his right to due process. And if you honestly think he was ever going to surrender, that he would’ve ever consented to a trial so that you can have your idealized version of what “justice” should be… then you seriously haven’t been paying attention. And I’d like to point out that I am against capital punishment; I don’t think anyone ever has the right to take another human life. That being said, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking there was any other plausible end to this game of hide-and-seek with a lunatic. Seriously.

So no, I don’t think Americans have exhibited any distasteful behavior (yet). I’m sure at some point, someone will prove me wrong, because the human race has a knack for disappointing me on a daily basis. But until that asshole does whatever idiot thing he’s going to do, I will be quietly reveling in the knowledge that there is one less tyrannical sociopath in humanity’s midst. And if you want to fault me for doing so, have at it.

~ r.

* For the record, I don’t actually own one of these. Just in case you were wondering.

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