Getting PC on my MAC And Other Reasons Why LA Drivers Are Bad.

Getting PC on my MAC And Other Reasons Why LA Drivers Are Bad.

People are naturally bad. I know this because I’m an LA driver.

Or maybe bad is just a little harsh, let’s just say that people are naturally selfish and driving on crowded LA freeways brings out a dormant survival instinct where everybody is out for themselves or whatever alliances they’ve made with other cars on the road that look just like them.

Or maybe I’m not really talking about traffic.

You see, every time I put my blinker on to change lanes (as the good handbook tells me) the response I get is not the slowing down of someone who respects my fundamental driving rights but rather a flagrant desire to get ahead and beat me on the race to morning Starbucks; even if it means that both cars become damaged and one of us winds up dead.

To be fair, Starbucks now serves Red Velvet Frappuccinos.

Through the Darwinistic desire to prove whose car is faster or which coffee is hotter, people have become walking sports teams on and off the road. And, as a white, liberal feminist, I guess I’m just frustrated.

I’m frustrated because calling myself a WHITE LIBERAL FEMINIST reduces me to a stereotype who cares more about her right to wear cornrows on social media than disempowering structural racism and sexism.

I’m frustrated because that’s what I think of when I think of a WHITE LIBERAL FEMINIST, and I’m exhausted that there aren’t more people on my computer screen to prove me wrong. Or right. Because name-calling on the internet is stupid and compartmentalization is what got us here in the first place.

You see, as I watch the news and talk to people, and read blogs and twitter, I find myself bombarded by two extremes that are missing the point. It’s not enough to be right and it’s not enough to prove others that they’re wrong. It’s about creating allies so that gaps in income,education,race, gender, and television preferences can merge together to form a middle where everyone’s needs are safely met, all voices are justly heard, and the boxes can stay in the basement where they’ve always belonged.

Again, it’s not enough to be right.

I say this as someone who has been exposed to many people of different backgrounds and perspectives on life. I’ve been militant in my desire to prove my liberal ideals but have been reduced to anger and tears when I can’t get others to intersect. To explain, to really patiently explain my perspective to someone that I perceive as “ignorant” is hard to achieve when my first reaction is always knee-jerk. In my desire for someone to just get where I’m coming from, I’ve ignored the “yes and” part that is so wisely the first rule of improv.

My blinker may have been right, but I hesitated too long and blocked the road.

At the end of the day, I’ve learned from my mistakes in communication and am wary of all defensive and aggressive driving. I’ve learned to shift into neutral and dream of when others will slow down and catch up. I dream of an America where sports teams only exist on the field. I dream of a world where both *Bell Hooks and Beyonce are unquestionably considered feminists and homeless veterans are two words that are rarely put together. I dream of a strong middle class that is not reminiscent of the exclusionary 1950’s and I have a dream of an American dream that is not based on material gain or enacting violence on others.

But mostly, just like everyone else, I dream of a more pleasant commute.

*This refers to an intellectual gathering at The New School where acclaimed media scholar Bell Hooks called Beyonce a terrorist for hyper-sexualizing her body in her music. I love Bell Hooks but don’t see how the whole women vs. women thing has furthered feminism in the past/present. 

If You Don’t Have the Job You Love, Love the Job You’re With.

If You Don’t Have the Job You Love, Love the Job You’re With.

Like many millennials straight out of college, I find myself feeling both profoundly lucky that I’m employed-at least in the part-time sense-and confused by the job I have-in the full-time sense, at least.

For over a month, I’ve been doing work that has nothing to do with my college degree, in an office whose contrast to my forward-thinking liberal arts college can best be described by the general opinion of gender pronouns. And guns laws. And whether or not I seem like I was a cheerleader in High School.

But hey, if I was going to stare at a screen for five hours anyway, I might as well get paid. And, if I suddenly look like a leader who cheers well then, *Bring It On.

Because truthfully, I’m just happy that I made a first step to figuring it out and have some sweet PDFs to add to my portfolio. I’m happy for the upgrade from my $0.00 internship wages even if the current rate has me *Feeling The Bern.

It’s just, for the first time, I find myself missing interactions with people my own age. Even though, I always swore I hated those.

Or maybe I just hate compromise.

You see, when you’re in school, it’s pretty awesome to refuse to compromise your values. You may have less friends, but you get a neat high horse to ride and the comfort of knowing you didn’t sell out. If you get too opinionated as an independent contractor, then you run the risk of getting fired and having to sell that high horse for gas money home.

Needless to say, I don’t pay for my own horse.

I guess at the end of the day, a job’s a job. Much like school, it’s a reason to get dressed in the morning and interact with a world that can still afford AC. It’s not always good but it’s definitely not bad and indeed.com always holds the promise of a new day and opportunity.

Or maybe that’s just the optimism of Saturday night delusion. I guess, we’ll know Monday.

*Bring It On is a cheerleading themed movie franchise. You’ve heard of it.

*Feeling The Bern is a reference to potential Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. If you don’t know much about him, look it up. He’s a good dude who thinks you deserve a living wage.

Having the Foresight to Reject Hindsight

Having the Foresight to Reject Hindsight

If hindsight is 20/20, then I’ve been functioning at 20/70 for far too long. At least, that’s what I realized when I was given contacts for the first time and my perspective jumped from VHS to HDTV in just a matter of eye pokes. Instead of being thrilled by my new crisper, 3-dimensional vision that all the kids have been raving about, I resented the new change in my daily routine. After all, I loved my VHS tapes.

Six business days later, my glasses came in and my spirits lifted. Daria. Tina Fey. Mother Teresa. By my standards, I was finally inducted into a special club for great women, whose success in gender politics can be measured by their choice in eyewear (take that the pro contact patriarchy).

But when my excitement wore down and I realized that I was no closer to becoming Liz Lemon, I noticed that something bigger and more pressing had been obstructing my view. Much like my vision, my perspective since graduation has been completely near-sighted.

In the past, staying present was hard. I liked looking ahead at the vague shapes in front of me and planning how they would mirror my future. Internships, friendships, teacher-mentor ships, these were just a means to achieving the fruit of my hard work. I had no doubt that I could be a screenwriter and would be ready for any challenge ahead of me.

Well, I’m two months in and my future looks hazier than ever. I can barely see what’s ahead of me and not just because my glasses are foggy from the summer humidity. I’m near-sighted because I don’t have the foresight to know what I want anymore. Are the hoops to work in entertainment worth it? Is selling and possibly changing my art going to bring me any personal satisfaction? Could I really be happy following a career path that only helps myself?

What I realized is that I made choices that led to one path without realizing whether I would regret them. After all, as a child actress I’ve been involved in entertainment my whole life. At what point does it become entertaining?

As usual I have no answers but am finally asking myself the right questions. I love writing, but I can expand what that means. I have stories to tell, but I can choose who I tell them too.

Instead of regretting my lack of hindsight, I accept the challenge of finding a clearer perspective. I will try to explore other interests and other destinations until I find the life I want. I will enhance my sight so that when I drive, I’m no longer a danger to those who share the road. I will not blame the past and lose sight of the future. Yes, I still don’t particularly care for the present but at least I have choices. Glasses or Contacts? It depends on the day.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Unsolicited Advice (AKA Returning To Your Childhood Home)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Unsolicited Advice  (AKA Returning To Your Childhood Home)

22 is too young to be feeling this negative. That’s what my father told me last night and I can’t say that he’s wrong. 22 is too young for a lot of the ways that I’ve come to define myself: cynical, tired, curmudgeonly in the face of Excel tutorials. And yet here I am, 22 with a glass half empty and an unshakable desire to skip to the last page of a book I’ve all but completely written off. Because hey, the twenties are a lot like the last Harry Potter book: full of hasty narrative choices and a needless amount of time spent alone in the woods. But, unlike Harry Potter, who had his teen years and a genocidal wizard lord to justify his angst, I just have my feelings. And my free childhood home. And a lifetime of institutional privilege. And a father who is still alive to tell me I’m negative.

So, what do I do? Do I feel guilty that I’m not as happy as I should be or do I take the Inside Out approach, and just feel Joy that it’s okay to be Sad?

OR

Do I cry it out now and feel bad, and miss my boyfriend, and hope that I can wake up tomorrow and go to work and feel like a person instead of an ungrateful garbage monster?

OR

Do I just take a deep breath and admit that maybe my dad, no matter how well intentioned, was wrong? I am feeling negative but I’m not too young to do so.

The thing about being 22 is that there’s a seemingly never-ending amount of emotions, questions, and choices. There’s no Dark Lord to slay, but the path to self improvement is just as daunting. Answers still need to be found. Excel still needs to be learned.

Today, I choose to not to feel bad about feeling bad. I choose to listen to my family while still accepting that I may not (or may) have the maturity to implement their advice. Tonight, I choose to shut off Excel and save self-improvement for the next chapter. Harry out.