Month: July 2017

This Morning Was Alright

This Morning Was Alright

Today I:

  • Tried a gluten-free breakfast sandwich because they were out of everything else. It was my least favorite no-gluten thing to ever eat.
  • Tried to take Austin Kleon‘s very good advice about staying informed without burning yourself out on news before your day begins – You can be woke without waking up to the news. I lasted 20 minutes.
  • Saw two dogs on campus that looked like the big and little versions of each other! (I couldn’t snap a photo because they were playing too much.)
    Hm, what else? Oh yeah…
  • Woke up to millions of Americans still having their healthcare.

Capture

I don’t suddenly feel less anxious about the overall state of the government but today it seems a little easier to focus on the people who are doing good. Like ADAPT and the many women in our government who somehow find a way to keep fighting in the face of all this, like Patty MurrayKamala Harris, & Maxine Waters.

And last night, Mazie Hirono showed real life courage:

We have a long road ahead, but just being able to even mention a few positive, encouraging people and news headlines today feels like a big step.

The Light & Dark of It

The Light & Dark of It

It’s a new week. And I’m still here.

  • Yesterday morning I missed a crucial left turn driving to work, so I had to drive about 10 minutes out of my way to turn around. I’ve never missed that turn.
  • My eyes have been twitching on and off for over a week now. At first I thought it was something with my contacts, but then I stopped wearing my contacts…
  • I’ve been going to bed about an hour later and waking up about 30-45 minutes earlier every day for the past couple of weeks.
  • Lately, I feel perpetually behind on tasks and over-booked for activities. It’s a daily struggle.
  • I forgot my office keys at home today. I’ve never forgotten my office keys.

It’s a new week. And I want to be here.

  • Despite feeling exhausted, I’ve been setting time aside each day to draw, read, or work on a project I enjoy.
  • I’ve also been making time to just sit and watch something that makes me laugh, like The Larry Sanders Show (which I finally discovered), Tiffany Haddish telling a story, or 30 Rock on Netflix.
  • I’ve also been making time daily for 10 minutes of mindful meditation. Overall, this is beneficial, but specifically it helps me check-in with my brain & make sure I’m not telling myself too many negative stories.
  • Yoga with Adriene – 7 minute stress relief, remains essential to my weeks.
  • I decided to start therapy again to work on the sources of my anxiety & depression. I realized last week that I have told three people this month about how much therapy has helped me, so I’m going to take my own advice, and reach out for another source of help.
Summer Movie Enjoyment Cap

Summer Movie Enjoyment Cap

Last summer, I only saw three movies at the theater from May until September. If you’re curious, they were Captain America: Civil War, Ghostbusters, and The Nice Guys. All three were good movies and I enjoyed them, but my favorite experience, by far, was Ghostbusters.

Watching four women save the world from ghosts was not only super fun, but it felt exciting in a way that was… specifically for me. I had goosebumps. It was honestly a little overwhelming. I went through a cycle of emotions after that – I was happy a big summer movie featuring women heroes existed, but I was also really irritated that so many movies still placed an unnecessary hard cap on my (and most people’s) possible enjoyment by not including women, POCs, or other perspectives in their stories. But maybe this wouldn’t feel so new one day and it would be normal to see everyone represented in wide-release summer movies?

ghostbusters-masshysteria

[Cut to summer 2017]

This summer, the cinema has upped its game. I’ve already seen six movies and it’s not even August. But none of them have left me feeling as good as Wonder Woman. I saw it opening night with my partner, and then gave it my money a second time with my best friend. We loved this movie in that specific Ghostbusters way.

Now that I know what it feels like to watch movies that aren’t just the same white men making movies about white men being cool, I want more, and I want better. Here’s a quick list of some “Perfectly good & enjoyable, but there’s a cap on that enjoyment” movies I’ve already seen this summer:

1. War for the Planet of the Apes: A technical masterpiece. The direction, score, special effects, and genius of Andy Serkis as Caesar, created an engaging, beautiful movie. But, I also found myself cringing at the story. A larger, seriously problematic theme was overt. And this entire franchise is undeniably rooted in misogyny. I never thought I’d say this, but we deserve better stories about apes taking over the earth.

2. Spiderman Homecoming: A very well done Spidey-reboot from Sony/Marvel. We should be sick of getting new Spidermen but with this great cast & fun story, we’re back in!… Rooting once more for Peter Parker when Miles Morales could have been our first POC Spiderman? I know there are hints that it’s coming, but why not now? This movie was solid, but seems like a possible missed opportunity, made even more obvious by the fact that everyone else in this movie is not a white guy, except the main hero & villain, of course.

tenor

3. Baby Driver: Fast cars, cool music, heists, Jon Hamm!… But, the women in this movie are props, and I tweeted my other thoughts.

Look, all these films are all very highly rated, and I enjoyed them – I laughed, smiled, and felt emotions. I don’t think enjoying something means you can’t discuss its problems. I’m just so tired of saying, “I enjoyed this movie, but…” And as long as big-budget storytelling is predominantly a white male-centric domain, these stories will be problematic & limited. And so will our enjoyment.

Recommendations: Movies I enjoyed recently on my Likes page. Also, go see Black Panther when it comes out because it looks fantastic!

Photo Credit: ScreenRant

A Friday List #2

A Friday List #2

  • I recently started a podcast with my best friend after months of remarking, “it feels like we’re podcasting.” during our weekly FaceTime chats. It’s fun, nerve-racking, and a big learning experience. I love it. We have six episodes up so far on topics like bullet journaling, The Rock, aging, and TV.
  • Last week I started Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), a collection of diary entries by David Sedaris. I haven’t read much about Sedaris, so this has been an interesting introduction to his early life so far. And I’m a sucker for journals.
  • Wonder Woman is now the #1 DCEU movie, #1 summer movie in the U.S., and #2 superhero origin movie of all time. I’m kind of a nerd for box office numbers and this makes me very happy.
  • My one and only sister is arriving today for a visit! We have swimming, movies, snacks, pedicures, and sister-time planned. I’m excited.

I’ll Stick to Walking

I’ll Stick to Walking

People run miles every day, outside to stay in shape. I’m not making this up. I’ve heard a lot about it on the internet.

Recently, Jeffrey Tambor told me (via his audio book) about how he once ran 10 miles a day to stay in shape for a rigorous work schedule. Side note: I enjoyed his memoir very much. It offers a lot of personal insight and fun tidbits like this:

Anyway, I suppose I “get” running. It works out your whole body, is good for your brain, burns calories more than almost anything else, can help manage anxiety, and is…fun? IDK. This clip comes to mind:

As someone who has always lived in an extremely warm climate, running confuses and fascinates and frustrates me. It’s mostly too warm where I live to even walk to your car most days without feeling miserable. I’ll admit propelling my body forward at a higher speed than I ever (probably) need to, the rush of the air, and the strong pumping of my heart does sound appealing. On paper. In an air conditioned room.

Even assuming I could get used to waking up extra early before it’s “too hot,” and got in better shape so I eventually enjoyed running, getting to that point would require basically torturing myself for weeks to months. Alas, for now I will refuse to start my day gasping for oxygen, engulfed in sweat. Seems logical.