Saturday, February 28, 2015

Singalong! Carry On by Fun

Things are super busy and kind of piling on in my life right now, with an end glimmering just a little bit too far out of reach. Sometimes you just gotta find a new anthem to keep it moving.


CARRY ON
by Fun

Well I woke to the sound of silence the cries
Were cutting like knives in a fist fight
And I found you with a bottle of wine
Your head in the curtains and heart like the fourth of July

You swore and said we are not
We are not shining stars
This I know
I never said we are

Though I've never been through hell like that
I've closed enough windows to know you can never look back

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on

So I met up with some friends in the edge of the night
At a bar off seventy five
And we talked and talked about how our parents will die
All our neighbors and wives

But I like to think
I can cheat it all
To make up for the times, I've been cheated on
And it's nice to know
When I was left for dead
I was found and now I don't roam these streets
I am not the ghost you want of me

If you're lost and alone or you're sinking like a stone,
Carry on
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and
Carry on

Woah my head is on fire
But my legs are fine
After all they are mine
Lay your clothes down on the floor
Close the door
Hold the phone
Show me how
No one's ever gonna stop us now

'Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we're miles away
So we'll come, we will find our way home

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground and
Carry on

(No one's ever gonna stop us now)
(No one's ever, no one's ever gonna stop, no one's ever gonna stop us now)
(No one's ever, no one's ever gonna stop , no one's ever gonna stop)
(No one's ever gonna stop us now)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Learning! Wisdom from the 40s


I am not in my 40s, but sometimes I wish I was.  Life at 30 feels frantic - which I know is mostly all my fault - working all the time, cramming friends in where I can, sitting on boards, occasionally dating, and all the showers and stagettes that go along with friends getting married and having babies.  It's joyful and wonderful and fun and meaningful and hard work and really really tiring sometimes and I need to learn to just take a break.

Anyways, my vision of being in my 40s has something to do with being settled, in the best possible way.  This is, I'm sure, just as likely as my teenage vision of having it all together and knowing exactly what I was doing with my life once I turned 30, and of course, you carry your same self through life which means that unless I actually make changes I will be equally harried when I am 40, possibly with babies at my feet.  Especially since this excellent New York Times article What You Learn in Your 40s calls the 40s the "rush hour of life".  Great.

Here are some of my favourite lessons from this article:
  • "There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently."
This is how I've felt ever since I got my driver's licence and realized that I now had a trusted, powerful ability that I had previously associated with mature, responsible adults. Nope. I was 16 and high on pixie stix. So glad we're all still alive.
  • •"Forgive your exes, even the awful ones. They were just winging it, too."
Ugh. Yeah. I know. But it's hard and I'm still just 30 so we'll keep working on this one, okay?
  • If you worry less about what people think of you, you can pick up an astonishing amount of information about them. You no longer leave conversations wondering what just happened. Other people’s minds and motives are finally revealed.
This reminds me of things Amy Poehler said in her book about being in her 40s as well.  I very much look forward to finding my way to this place.
  • You don’t have to decide whether God exists. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. But when you’re already worrying that the National Security Agency is reading your emails (and as a foreigner in France, that you’re constantly breaking unspoken cultural rules), it’s better not to know whether yet another entity is watching you.
As a church-going person, I think this is FANTASTIC.  Sure, I have chosen to live my life as if God is real.   Guess what?   I can't tell you for 100%, absolutely, matter-of-fact sure that he is.   Neither can you.  Something being real or not isn't up to us to "decide" - if he is real, his realness is in no way impacted by you agreeing with it or not.

Source.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Five Things I Learned from Watching a High School Production of Grease


Last weekend I went to go see a high school production of Grease.  Why did I do that, you ask?  I participate in a mentorship program, and the girl I was mentoring last year is a part of the production and invited me.  I was thrilled to see her again and support her work and figured hey, how bad could it be watching teenagers sing about getting busy in the sand and changing themselves to find boyfriends?

In his director's notes, the drama teacher tried to make the case that this show is more of a parody/commentary on high school politics and teen stereotypes, but I'll be honest: I am pretty sure that he was trying to justify the fact that he needed a show with teenaged characters and a lot of roles for his students.

Here's what I learned from the experience:

1) Watching teenagers perform is adorable with a touch of unfortunate.

I know I'm getting old when I see high school students giving their all on stage and just want to hug them and pinch their cheeks.  They were so RIDICULOUSLY cute!  Many were very good singers.  And this one kid wrote the funniest, cutest bio I've ever seen, so much so that I instagrammed it.



The touch of unfortunate came when I quickly realized how the girls were far more self-conscious on stage than the boys.  The boys would pose, preen, dance, and play their roles with gusto.  They also rocked some falsetto moments in a major way.  One notable exception aside, however, the girls barely committed to their poses, blocking, and dance moves.  It was obvious watching them that they didn't think they were too cool for school - it was fear holding them back.  Probably fear of being judged.

This fact made me sad.  Girls of the world!  Don't be afraid to give something your all!  Everything is much better when you do!

2) MIND THE COSTUMES!!!

Some oddities aside, the costuming was really impressive (why there were two girls dressed like 1920's flappers at a sock hop I'll never understand).  However, these are teenagers on stage.  I know Frenchie wore a little nightie in the sleepover scene in the movie, you have creative license on stage and did she really have to be wearing that little silky thing?  And Cha Cha didn't even have that much cleavage in the movie.  My date and I both felt very weird about this.

The story of Grease is questionable in general, but at least when you watch the movie, the actors are actually adults, so you kind of separate yourself from the fact that the characters are actually 17 years old.  Watching actual teenagers smoke, drink, wear negligees on stage, have pregnancy scares, dance lewdly, and transform into sexpots right before your eyes, on the other hand, is kind of creepy.

3) The stage version of Grease doesn't even make any sense.

There are so many non-starters in the stage version of Grease that I'm pretty sure it only makes sense if you have seen the movie and are okay with ignoring a lot of random details.  Like the fact that Danny joins the track team because Sandy said she doesn't think he could and then immediately dates the cheerleader girl (who told Sandy he wasn't good enough for her but then acts all in love with him later).  Then he quits the track team in one practice when the coach asks him to get a haircut but at no time does he do anything to leverage this to impress Sandy, which I think it's supposed to be all about.

The cheerleader in question also seems super proper at first, then she makes fun of Sandy for being too goody-goody, and then later says she has something "really important" to talk to Danny about that made me think that she, like Rizzo, was pregnant, but we never actually find out either way.

Also, Danny is supposed to be embarrassed to see Sandy at first because she is a "good girl" and he's got a "bad boy" image to maintain, but then he goes to the dance with the cheerleader who is also a super "good girl"?  Except that maybe she's not, because maybe he got her pregnant????  While he was supposed to actually be in love with Sandy???

Back to Sandy, in the stage version it's Rizzo's "There Are Worst Things I Could Do" solo that inspires her to become a hubba-hubba-bad-girl.  This basically means that she sees her friend have a pregnancy scare and then thinks, "yep, I'll start acting more like her."

There is a brief mention that the DJ who hosts their high school dance tried to roofie Frenchie.  She says, off-handedly, that she thought was a good guy and then saw him putting an "aspirin" in her Coke.  Okay, so good that she recognized that good guys don't do that, and that she saw it happen and then got away, but DANG if that isn't a big bomb to drop as a tiny aside, as if it's a normal thing.

Back to Danny and the track team - he ditches his friend in a rumble (that never actually happens) for track practice, but then you later find out that he ditched out on track practice too (it was the terrible haircut incident).  WHERE DID HE GO???  Why would he leave practice and not go to his friends?  We know he wasn't with Sandy because she's still sad about him.  Also, the pre-rumble-that-never-happened scene made me wonder if I was watching The Outsiders for a moment.

Finally, at the movies Danny basically tries to molest Sandy and then when she runs away he sings "Stranded at the Drive In" and we are supposed to feel bad for him?


4) The message of Grease goes the wrong way.

Of course, we already knew that the heart of Grease is the worst, because of the whole "change yourself to get a sex-partner" thing, but the character arcs are actually backwards from what one might expect.

Usually in a comedy, the character goes through some kind of redemption - they go from being a jerk/workaholic/sleaze/generally-not-great-person into a nicer, kinder, more compassionate human.  Generally they also get a sex-partner to fall in love with them was a part of that transformation.

Now let's look at the character arcs in Grease:

Sandy starts off a super good girl in every way.  Not only does she abstain from drinking, sex, drugs, and smoking, but she is also kind and doesn't judge anyone else for their choices.  She has compassion for Rizzo's pregnancy fears, even though Rizzo is 100% mean to her from the start.  She sticks to her principles in the Drive-In.  Then she suddenly decides to change and starts smoking and implies that she will probably have sex now, or at least let Danny touch her boobs.  So her transformation is the reverse of what one might expect.

Then there's Danny.  It is implied that Danny was his best self during the summer romance with Sandy that happens just before the play starts.  We meet him, however, when he's back to being "Cool Boy Danny", the Greaser's favourite guy, always ready to make a penis-related joke or get in a fight.  His big struggle is that he wants to be with Sandy but doesn't want to ruin his image.  One might expect that he would transform into a good, sensitive, caring guy, and that would be the story.

Instead, Danny makes the week-long sacrifice of joining track to show Sandy he can be more than a thug and then quickly quits and goes back to being a thug.  Then he gives her his ring and expects sex in return, but that's okay because Sandy got away and slammed the door on his junk.  Then he basically gets everything he wants: Sandy changes for him and so he can maintain his image AND get to at least touch Sandy's boobies!  Go Danny!  You win!  You don't need to be redeemed!

The rest of the characters basically have zero storyline at all, except maybe Rizzo, who has the closest thing to the redemptive storyline: after her pregnancy scare she seems to actually starts letting Kenickie into her heart in a real way instead of acting like she doesn't care about him.  Go Rizzo!

5) There are also a lot of fat jokes!

Adding to the "Just the Worst"-ness of this story, Jan, one of the Pink Ladies, is pretty much there to be the butt of a bunch of fat jokes.  She is slightly larger than the rest of the girls (in this case the actress appeared to be wearing a small amount of padding to avoid making fun of a girl's actual size being larger-than-tiny) and the funny thing about her is that she is ALWAYS EATING!  Hilarious!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Inspiration! Say Yes Please With Amy Poehler

I have always loved Amy Poehler.  She is just so smartly funny and ambitious and she plays Leslie Knope, the most optimistic feminist I've ever encountered in any form of life, fictional or real.

Naturally, I ate up her book, Yes Please and almost everyone I gave Christmas presents to got a copy.  This week I wanted to share with you the bits I highlighted while electronically reading the book, but I left my e-reader at home and am on a self-imposed deadline to get this post written, so instead I googled quotes from the book and am sharing ones from there that I think I might have highlighted, along with a note as to why I might have highlighted it.


I May Have Highlighted This Because: This is what I've been talking about a TON lately. With the Madeline L'Engle quote and the Tina Fey quote and my entire life right now. I don't want to talk about doing things, I want to do things! Like write these words, RIGHT NOW. LOOK AT ME DOING.


I May Have Highlighted This Because: I mostly just like this one because I love dancing like a crazy person and it's pretty much one the best way for me to stop thinking about anything else, especially what other people think about me or being self conscious or anything. Dancing like a wild creature (a wild creature that can hear music and with a body that can move however that music tells it to) is one of the most liberating things a person can do.


I May Have Highlighted This Because: Kindness is just the best thing. I'm working on this.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Singalong! Don't Be Shy by Cat Stevens

If you need a song to help you in a journey towards self-love and acceptance, or to remind you of a weirdly beautiful movie about a young male falling in love with an elderly woman, listen to Don't Be Shy by Cat Stevens.  It's the perfect musical embodiment of humble honesty with yourself!


DON'T BE SHY
by Cat Stevens

Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by

You know love is better than a song
Love is where all of us belong
So don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
You're there

Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by, on by, etc.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Learning! Expensive Wedding? Enjoy Your Divorce.


I have two very close friends getting married this year which means, among other things, that I get to help throw them some big pre-wedding parties and that marriage-related things are on my brain.

Add to this our current era of wedding reality shows where people spend $10,000 on weird Moulin Rouge-style wedding dresses and the number of elaborate engagement videos that have gone viral on YouTube, I have often wondered about the relationship between the flashiness of one's engagement or wedding and future marital bliss.

Turns out, according to a new study, that couples who spend over $20,000 on their weddings are 1.6 times more likely to get divorced than those who spent $5,000-10,000. Interestingly, however, couples who had more attendees at their wedding were also less likely to get divorced, and of course, more people cost more money.

If you had an expensive wedding already, don't worry! This is a correlational study, and as every psych professor I had through university made me repeat "correlation does not equal causation." This is merely a relationship between two events that could be caused by any number of things. Like, for example, the possibility that some people who spend a lot on their weddings are doing so to cover up insecurities they have about their relationship. Or the fact that you are more likely to find a person who cares more about appearances than following their heart spending extra money on a lavish affair. Or maybe it's that people who spend hardly anything on their weddings are able to focus more on the promises they are making to each other because they don't have the opportunity to get caught up in other details. Or maybe they have already weathered difficult financial situations together whereas wealthier newlyweds haven't had to yet.

Don't worry. You, as an individual, are not necessarily going to get a divorce. (Although, of course, I don't know anything about you or your relationship. You might be doomed.)

Source.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Me & Ryan Gosling - showing off the view

This past summer, Ryan and I went to the Okanagan Valley for a friend's birthday, and one afternoon we all hiked a lovely trail, giving us an amazing view of the valley. Ryan got pretty stoked, so we took a selfie.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cute! Gertie Plays the Piano

Gertie figured out that she can play the piano yesterday. So now the piano stays closed most of the time.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Today is Valentine's Day! PANIC!!!!


It's happening! Today is Valentine's Day and YOU PROBABLY AREN'T READY!

Don't fret! Here's my handy guide for everyone, regardless of relationship status, to make it through the day unscathed.

Are you....

RELATIONSHIPPED?

Guys, if your relationship is new enough that you haven't settled into a Valentine's routine, here's what you do. Run, (don't walk) to the nearest drug store. Purchase whatever candy they have, preferably shaped like a heart or a teddy bear or a teddy bear holding a heart. Girls love those, that's why they make them. Then visit the greeting card aisle and look for the section that looks like a post-apocalyptic siege. Those are the leftover Valentine's Day cards. Find one that is not ripped in half, is written in a cursive script, and maybe has glitter that will fall off and get all over everything. Girls love glitter. Write something confusing on the bottom of it that does not indicate specifically how you feel, like, "I'm so glad to know you." Freak out over how to sign off on the card (Love? Sincerely? Yours? Affectionately? From?) and then just write a dash and your name. Call around until you find a restaurant that still has reservations available, probably Milestone's or another generic chain. There. You have fulfilled the basic requirements for "doing something" for Valentine's Day, without "complicating" things by "communicating" about what she might want to do (because you simply must do everything on your own). Now she can't complain, because you did something, even if it would have been better to just chat with her about what she wanted to do, and you didn't have to do anything extra to get her expectations too high for any future milestones. She might be mildly disappointed, but she won't be able to really say anything since you got her a present and planned something.

Girls, while your man goes to a drug store to buy you a token gift and books a lame restaurant reservation, here's what you need to do: go to a different drug store (so he doesn't see you) and stock up on any make up or other necessary supplies you might require for transforming your disgusting body into something appealing. Razors, tweezers, bleach, hair goops, moisturizer, lip gloss, eyeliner, cover up, mascara, foundation, eye cream, bb cream, blush, a pumice, exfoliating scrub for your butt, bobby pins, cuticle oil, perfume, nail polish, nail polish remover, oh my goodness this list is so long. Do you have enough of all these things? And the many more that I forgot about because I try to pretend they don't exist? Good. Now that you've spent a month's salary transforming yourself into something appealing, spend your day performing that transformation. While you do this, imagine everything your man is planning for you, and get your expectations and hopes reallllly high. Don't you dare call him to talk about what you should do though, it's his job to show you how he feels about you by planning so so many special surprises that you are overwhelmed and maybe a bit frightened by his love.

In case you're wondering, this is what you're looking at for gift options.
SINGLE?

For the single ones, you have three options, and hanging out with friends or doing something normal is not one of them. You MUST react to the fact that this day is a relationship-focused holiday and either:

Have a protest night! Get together with only friends of the same sex and indulge in totally stereotypical girly/boy-like behaviour. Go over the top with expressing how awesome each other are and how much you don't need partners.

Get some action! Go somewhere where people go when they want action. Wear something that shows your most action-getting features. Act like you want action. Tell someone you are looking for action and find out if they want the same thing. Get your action. If you live in Vancouver, I hear The Roxy is a great place for that.

Be alone and sad! Wear anything that screams "no action will be had, whatsoever, because my body barely has a shape!" Eat junk food. Watch Netflix. Try not to cry or text everyone else who is happy.

There, those are your options. Like I said, you can't communicate with anyone that you might be in a relationship with, you must set expectations and scramble to fulfill imagined expectations. You can't just hang out with friends and be normal. You can only act totally insane.

This is, of course, entirely heteronormative. When you're not in (or seeking) a relationship that is societally forced into a gender binary, what do you do on a holiday designed around gender roles and expectations?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Learning! Artips


Have you heard of Artips?  Well don't worry, because now you have.  It's awesome.  You get weekly emails that include a piece of art and some background information on it.

For example, this week's email was called "A Clairvoyant Canvas?" and told the story of Giorgio de Chirico's painting Premonitory Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire. The painting was a gift for poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who helped Chirico sell his first painting, and it may have predicted Apollinaire's death! Spooky and educational.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Challenge Follow-Up: What Happened After 24 Hours Without Complaining


Yesterday I challenged myself to go 24 hours without complaining.  While I generally consider myself to be a pretty positive person, I figured that I could still learn something from intentionally shutting down my complaints.


Here's what I learned:

1) It's easy to forget.

I intended to start my challenge first thing in the morning yesterday, and didn't remember until around 2pm (2:03pm to be exact) when I shared the blog post to my Facebook page and realized that I had completely forgotten to start.  So I instantly rescheduled and told my coworkers about it so they could remind me/shame me if I forgot and complained.

Still, I forgot a bunch of times about the challenge, and I don't expect my coworkers spent the day worrying about whether I was complaining or not, so they probably forgot too.  This means that I'm not entirely sure how successful I was.

2) I didn't really know how to define complaining.

I didn't define my terms before I began.  At one point a small discussion occurred around whether sharing bad news counted as complaining, but (to be honest) we got distracted and moved on, reaching no conclusions.

It wasn't until this morning (20 hours into the challenge) that I defined the term.  And by "I defined the term", I mean "my coworker Googled the definition of the term and we accepted it as fact."

The official definition of complaining: "to express dissatisfaction or annoyance with a state of affairs or event", "to state that one is suffering", "to state a grievance".

So, for example, when I got into work this morning and realized that my pants had ripped right under the crease of my bum, telling my coworker that had happened was not complaining, that was a statement of fact.  When I said "I'm sad that my pants ripped", that was complaining.

One could further an argument about the importance of tone as well: if I state a fact in a whiney voice, my tone is conveying dissatisfaction/annoyance/suffering.  So both the words you're saying and the way you say them are a part of the complaining package.


3) Trying not to complain created an elephant in my brain.

I noticed way more mental complaining yesterday afternoon, after the challenge began.  My thoughts were suuuuper complain-y.

There are two possible explanations for this:

One is that, because I was trying not to complain I was more aware of the inner complaints that were already there.

The other is that the very act of trying not to complain made me think about all the possible things I could complain about, even if I normally wouldn't have.  After all, it's well documented that when you ask a person not to think about something, they think about it even more than they would have before (the key to avoiding thinking about something is to just intentionally think about something else, not focus on trying not to think about it.)

What was actually going on in my brain was probably something halfway between the two.

4) Complaining made me sad.

At 2:03pm today my 24 hours were up, so I ran over to my coworker and let out some big, joking, exaggerated complaints.  We laughed that I was "set free" complain once more, and then as I walked back to my desk I realized that I felt kind of sad.  I may have been joking in my complaints, but they still bummed me out, pretty much instantly.

5) It's easy to reframe things positively.

Once I knew what complaining was, it did became relatively easy (and kind of hilarious) to try to rephrase something that could have been a complaint, in a positive light.

For example, instead of complaining that I didn't want to listen to a song that had come on, I stated the positive that I wanted instead: to be listening to a different song.  And I said it brightly as I moved to solve the problem.  Easy!


6) Success is variable.

Depending on how you measure success, I experienced it in moderation.  As far as I remember, only a couple of straight-up complaints slipped out, and on a few occasions a sort of whiney sound escaped my lips, a sound that tipped me off that a complaint was coming and I clammed up or found a positive rephrasing.

There was one giant grey area: last night my friend made me tell her the story of a male suitor who recently rejected me.  I mostly just told the story of what happened, but I did directly say that I was disappointed with how things gone down.  That means that technically it would have been a complaint.  But I also was saying that because she asked how I felt.  So... well, I'm giving myself a half point on this one because I didn't volunteer the complaint, and that was the most positive way to frame my answer.

All-in-all it was an educational endeavour.  I learned how to define complaining and I learned that complaining makes me sad and trying not to complain makes me complain a lot more in my brain.

I think this challenge will be a recurring one in my life.  Perhaps a weekly no-complaint day?  Then I think I might actually learn and grow into a different kind of sunflower.

6 Things I Learned About Humanity from Living With Roommates


I have had a LOT of roommates over the years.  In fact, I just tried to count them and quickly determined that there are enough that it's too much work.  To ballpark it, I have lived in eight different places since leaving my parents' home, six of which included probably 10-15 different roommates.  A few of those had repeat appearances, one even returned after getting married (her husband came too.)  Hopefully this significant turnover was not because I'm a horrible person - everyone had pretty legit excuses for needing to move out.

Now that I've been living alone for a little while (a situation that has a few notable down sides, but is primarily excellent), I have been able to reflect on the humanity I observed and the lessons I learned from living with so many different people.  Lessons I will now humbly offer to the face of your computer screen for your evaluation.

1) Everyone is annoying.

Not in a "humans are the worst so shun society"-type way, but in an "if you live with someone they are, at some point, going to reveal things they do that drive you nuts"-type way.  Of course, some people will annoy you more than others, because personalities exist, but ultimately, everyone is going to drive you nuts from time to time.  And you're going to drive everyone else nuts from time to time as well, because you're no fluffy cloud of perfection, thankyouverymuch.

What does it matter?  If you live with roommates, it matters so that you can get over yourself.  If you don't live with roommates, I think this lesson best applies to living with people who are romantic-type partners.  People often speak of "testing out" living with their partners, and generally they seem to be referencing the value of learning a person's annoying habits before they commit to living with them for the rest of their lives.  I'm not poo-pooing living with someone before you marry them, but I am poo-pooing all over this reason because you will never find a person who doesn't have annoying habits and they will all make you want to claw, drill, or gouge various body parts from time to time.  Or all the time.  In my completely inexperienced opinion, if a person's annoying habits are going to stop you from living with them, then you likely either a) don't love them all that much to begin with or b) will not be able to live with any romance partner, ever, because there is not a person on this earth who won't drive you nuts.

2) Everyone has things they hate doing.

This took me a while to figure out, but somewhere in the latter third of my roommate adventures, I realized that everyone has different things they hate doing when it comes to housework.  On the other side of that coin, everyone also has things they love doing (or at least, things they really care about maintaining, and so will voluntarily put effort into).

Example: I really care about the bathroom being clean, specifically the sink and countertop area, and will wipe it down almost daily.  I also generally maintain the dishes because piled dishes make it seem like the Wicked Witch of the West just sent her flying monkeys through the room.  Floors, however, I couldn't care less about.  I only ever really bothered cleaning floors when I knew people were coming over so they wouldn't think I was gross.  (Now I have a robot that cleans my floors.  WIN!)

What does it matter?  Well, if I have a roommate cares a lot about floors, but doesn't really notice the bathroom counters that much, then we could both wind up grumbling that we're "doing all the housework" and not realize that it's the glorious combination of our efforts that is maintaining things. This principle applies to any life situation where two or more people are responsible for a common good.

3) Real life sex sounds aren't all that sexy.

That's pretty much it - hearing real people have actual sex generally does not sound very sexy.  It can sound awkward, funny, or weird, but rarely does it actually sound sexy.  Know what's even less sexy?  Overhearing people discuss their sexual (mis)adventure right after the fact because for some reason they didn't close the door and you wandered unknowingly into the living room!

What does it matter?  It probably doesn't, but there is some relief in realizing that (apparently) nobody really sounds all that sexy when they have sex.  So you don't need to worry about it either.

4) Hearing sex isn't a big deal.

It isn't sexy and it doesn't really matter.  Like I said, sometimes it's funny or awkward, and it might be a bit uncomfortable if, say, it was particularly odd-sounding and then they come out of the room and you're right there, staring stone-faced at the TV, but really, who cares?  As long as it's not so frequent and obscene that it interferes with regular daily activities, just let it be and move on with your life.

This is also important to realize when it comes to living with couples, because living with couples is an EXCELLENT way to pay very little rent.

What does it matter?  It doesn't!

5) Use your words.

Most people don't want to be jerks.  So that means when other people are doing things that disrupt our lives, we try to live with it until the disruption becomes completely unbearable and we're seething with resentment like that scene in The Little Mermaid where Ursula starts huffing and puffing until she's turned the water inky black.

The problem with this?  Then something totally little and easy to adjust becomes a giant issue.  Plus, you've experienced a lot of anger.

The easiest example?  Noise.  Since, as I already suggested, most people aren't jerks, most people probably also don't realize that their noise is being disruptive.  So if you're trying to sleep and your roommate is watching a movie and giggling with friends, you have choices.  You can become Ursula and stew in your anger until your whole life is inky and black and you want to stab your roomie with a triton and possibly wind up exploding in angry screaming, or you can poke your head out the door and say "hey, sorry to be lame, but can you keep it down a bit?"

What does it matter?  Giving people the benefit of the doubt that they don't want to make you miserable and talking to them about things is a readily-transferrable skill that will result in reduced anger and increased harmony.  Communication, my friends, is key.

6) Get over it.

While it's good to communicate about the things roomies are doing that disrupt your life, let's remember that living with other people is a general life disruption.  It's actually sort of part of the point.  So you can't really force them to live exactly the way you do.  Most of the time, you just have to get over it.

If you can't get over it anymore and have started to be annoyed by things that happen when you live with any other human, like the fact that there is food in the fridge that isn't yours or shoes by the door that aren't yours or that you heard a person move around in the other room, then it's time to bite the bullet and get your own place.  And maybe examine why you are having these control issues (I know I did).

Why does it matter?  I guess it only matters if you want to be a part of society in any way.  If not, take to the hills and have a happy, un-disrupted life!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inspiration! Challenge Accepted: 24 Hours Without Complaint


Here's an interesting challenge: go 24 hours without complaining.  

Today I am trying this!  One entire day without complaining once.  I don't think of myself as a complainer, but I'll bet I'll be surprised at how hard it will be.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cute! PlaceKitten

My friend sent me this incredible website.  It's really just useful for our designers, but if you're designing a website and need placeholder images, this website provides kitty pictures to whatever specs you need!  Look:





It's called PlaceKitten!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Singalong! Call Me by Blondie

This morning I played the "plays" game from iTunes. You know, where you sort your music by most or least frequent plays. Sometimes I do it to actually listen to the stuff I've added to my music collection and then forgotten about, revealing both hidden gems and music that I never should have downloaded in the first place. Other times I like to see what my top hits are. Apparently, Blondie's Call Me has the most plays out of my iTunes collection. Kind of surprising, but heck, I like the song.


CALL ME
by Blondie

Color me your color, baby
Color me your car
Color me your color, darling
I know who you are
Come up off your color chart
I know where you're comin' from

Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) my love
You can call me any day or night
Call me

Cover me with kisses, baby
Cover me with love
Roll me in designer sheets
I'll never get enough
Emotions come, I don't know why
Cover up love's alibi

Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) oh love
When you're ready we can share the wine
Call me

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, he speaks the languages of love
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, amore, chiamami, chiamami
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any way
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any day-ay

Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) for a ride
Call me, call me for some overtime
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me in a sweet design
Call me (call me), call me for your lover's lover's alibi
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me)
Oh, call me, oh, oh, ah
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime

Friday, February 6, 2015

Learning! Reach out and touch a parallel world


I know we all love quantum mechanics.  A day doesn't go by that I don't daydream about those theories of existence and multiverses and stuff that I totally understand (after all, apparently babies do, and if a baby gets something, then obviously I get it too.)

There's a new theory on the block of quantum mechanics: the Many Interacting Worlds theory, wherein not only do parallel universes exist, but they interact with ours and can be detected.

Note: this is only different from other theories (like the Many World Interpretation) in that they now say the worlds interact with ours, not just that they exist.  This means it should be testable and also means we might be more likely to meet a time-travelling alien in a blue box.  (That last bit is my own personal analysis, and is actually long and faraway, if at all possible, as right now they're in the fun "theoretical math" phase of this theory and we are a very very long time away from possible human interaction between worlds.  Although, this time traveller would not be human and has awesome sonic technology, and so may be able to speed the process.)

PS: If you aren't a total nerd, I'm referring to Doctor Who with all this time-travelling-alien mumbo-jumbo.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Today I Learned: The Difference Between Dashes


Did you know that there are multiple different kinds of dashes, and that they're different from hyphens?  I sort of did, but really, I didn't until my friend Andrea (I know!  Another Andrea!  And she's even better at being an Andrea than I am!) tweeted about "em dashes" today and I thought "whaaaaa?"

Turns out that when it comes to short lines between words in grammar, you may be using a hyphen, en dash, or em dash and not even know it.

In order of length and coolness:

The em dash is longer and by far the coolest.  It's the one that you would use two hyphens to create (--) and if you have a fancy word processor (read, pretty much any word processor) it'll combine them into one, long em dash.

Em dashes can be used to replace commas, parentheses, and colons, depending on how formal you want to be and how much attention you want to draw to the insertion.

En dashes are a little bit shorter and only averagely cool.  They are used for things like spans of time (1984-2015 -- that's the number of years I've been alive) or to show conflict or connection between two terms (the us-them dichotomy).

Hyphens are shortest and not too exciting.  Use them for compound words, or two or more words that, when combined, create an adjective (she's a simple-yet-opinionated child).

Grammar!  It's fun!

Learn more about hyphens, dashes, and other grammar things on this attractive and informative website, The Punctuation Guide.

Signs You're Getting Old: Dirty Clothes

You know when you're about to leave the house and then realize that your clothes are dirty, and then instead of going out anyways and pretending that it happened when you were already out of the house and couldn't do anything about it, you actually change your clothes instead?

Yeah.

That means you're getting old.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Inspiration! Everything is raw material


“Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into my creativity. But without proper preparation, I cannot see it, retain it, and use it.” — Twyla Tharp

This connects perfectly to last week's inspiration, if you ask me. Part of preparation is to be DOING. I remember when I first took photography in high school, suddenly I was seeing everything around me through the lens of a camera. Everything had was a potential photo with imaginary edges all around it. Then I took a film production course and everything became a film clip. When studying acting, everyone becomes a character. When you work on something, you see the potential everywhere for that medium.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Today I learned about being nice to cashiers at Shoppers Drug Mart


Today (and by today I mean yesterday, but time is a mystery, so get over it) I learned that when you return something at Shoppers Drug Mart and don't have a receipt, the employees can't just a) scan the item and issue you a store credit if you have a legit reason (like, say, their contact lens solution burned your eyes), b) look up your past purchases using your Shoppers Optimum Card, or c) do some fudgey thing where they issue you a "voucher" for a new product and pretend the old one never existed.  Nope. 

What do they do?

They have to ask you to try to remember where you bought it, what day you bought it, and if you bought anything else at the same time, and then go through all the transactions from that store until they find the transaction from your purchase.  And they will actually do that for you.

So, you know, next time you need to return something without a receipt and it seems to be taking a really long time, be nice to the person who is literally going through thousands of transactions trying to find yours because you can't remember if you bought it on Saturday or Sunday.