Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finally, A Video Game For Girls Just Like Us! Disney's City Girl

Just like Tuesday's post, I have not in any way been paid to write about this product, though that will be abundantly clear once you start reading...

On Monday I got an e-mail from Geanna.

Subject line: Please write about this...
Body of text:

I have been both thanking and cursing Geanna ever since.

The gist of the article from Gothamist is this: A new Disney game promises to be a new kind of spirit guide, simulating the New York City experience for each player, giving tips on how to "climb the social ladder and make your dreams come true!" The program will also strip away your authenticity and uniqueness and transform you from "country bumpkin to glamour girl."

There's also this important element: Disney City Girl's players are mostly 20 to 29-year-old women—and a rep explains, "This is an adult game—the language, the storyline, the mission of the career progression, some of the humor, those have all been purposely targeted at adults." According to DNAInfo, "The concept was to combine the long-standing popularity of Sex in the City motifs with the growing 'pink' gamer demographic."

And finally, to get a real feel, take a look at this: 

Want to know my favorite part about all of it? The fact that 20 to 29-year-old women play video games.They're not really right? That just accounts for all the crazies who played Farmville, right?

Of course I spent an hour playing City Girl last night. How could I possibly avoid all those adorable animated images of my favorite city in the world? Plus, I had to know if I could make it in virtual New York faster than I "made it" in actual New York.

In my brief experience with the game I have concluded that it is both completing insulting to the real life of a young, city girl and yet wildly accurate.

Here's why:
  • The minute you move from the sad, no-potential farm to the big city, your blonde "friend" Jenna is like, "OMG you made an amazing decision! We've been waiting for you!" which is exactly what your blonde friend Jenna says when you move to New York. 
  • When designing the face for your avatar, the game offers you 14 eye shape options, 14 eyebrow shape options, 8 shades of eye color, and one nose. I really hope this is because a nose job is an option at later levels of the game.
  • The very first thing you do when you arrive in New York is get dressed. You have the following the chose from: three top options, two bottom options, one dress option, and six pair of short-shorts. FIVE pair!! You know some 16-year-old programming genius was like, hhmmm, what do girls wear?

  • After you're dressed, they give you an apartment. It is a tiny, crappy looking studio with an exposed bathroom and no furniture. They give you a free couch, but anything else costs ACTUAL money. First, this would be accurate if there was someone else living in the studio with you. Second, earth to "pink gamers" - DO NOT PAY REAL MONEY FOR FAKE FURNITURE FOR YOUR FAKE, ONLINE APARTMENT. Instead, take that money and actually move to New York!!!
  • Next it's time to get a career. Your black "friend" Tasha "can make a few calls to line up something right away!" (where was she 9 years ago...). Then up pops this crap:

Of course author is locked?! Of course it's just a blue pencil sketch of what might be for the non fashion designers and chefs of the world. God it's so true it hurts... Also, what kind of author gets to walk their book down the red carpet, because I need to stop whatever I'm doing and pursue that kind of writing instead.
  • In order to succeed in the game, you have to make sure your needs are met by accomplishing certain tasks. Here's the needs bar: 

The needs are friendship, fun, health, hygiene, and rest. I'm going to ignore the fact that money and family are no where to be found on the needs list and instead focus on the fact that when you press hygiene your avatar goes and sits on the toilet with all her clothes. I guess that's okay because when you press fun she puts on the stereo and dances like an idiot, and when you press rest she magically changes into an adorable skivvy set and takes a disco nap. Oh, also, hahaha, I forgot this one: when you press health she presses some buttons on the microwave. 'Aint that the truth!
  • You're required to go shopping to keep up your look because, as Jenna says, "fashion and the city go hand-in-hand!" The fake subway takes you to a store called Tempo where you can choose from a bunch of outfits. I had a really hard time with this, and I am ashamed about that fact. I didn't feel there was enough variety to really build a proper closet, and so I struggled with whether to go casual or formal. Literally. I literally struggled. Damn you Disney...
  • One of my favorite parts of the entire game is that you're required to spend "friendship time" with your new fake friends in order to earn points (which equal money, which equals the ability to furnish your ugly apartment). There are lots of ways that you can spend friendship time, but the one that earns you the most points is watching TV together. I watched TV for 3 seconds with my friend Jenna, and then this message popped up saying, "you're now really close friends with Jenna." I was like, yep, that's correct. 
  •  But my ABSOLUTE favorite part of the game is this:

Yes, that's an Oscar. They call it a "Gold Statue" but it's totally an Oscar, and it's offered among the several options for your apartment decor. Because who wouldn't want an Academy Award to brighten up their paint-chipped, 4th floor walk up?

Yes, I played this damn game until I earned enough money to buy that damn Oscar. I didn't buy a dining room table. I didn't buy a desk. I didn't buy new clothes. I worked my retail job, and I bought myself an Oscar.

And with that, ladies, I think we've learned what life in New York City is really all about.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Review of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred

Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Jillian Michaels, nor have I been paid to write this post. I am just a good Samaritan who didn't have anything else to write about today.

I don't like to exercise because it is hard, and I hate the way my hair looks when I sweat. That said, I recently picked up my very dusty Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVD because I really want to get back into doing ballet, but I'm not in good enough shape to start. Yes, this is the exercise equivalent of cleaning your house before the maid comes, but we all do that too, so whatever.

My history with and knowledge of how to properly exercise is limited. Literally, if I could find my Mom's old VHS of the Jane Fonda work-out and transfer it to DVD, I'd do that for the rest of my life. Actually, forget the transfer. I'd buy a VHS player for that. But, alas, Jane is stuck in the '90s and Billy Blanks' Tae Bo system is too expensive. So, "TV's toughest trainer" is it.

I selected Jillian's "fool proof 3-2-1 training system" because of its advertised foolproof nature, and because I hoped the 3-2-and-1 had something to do with the amount of minutes we would be exercising. I was 50% correct. You do three minutes of strength, two minutes of cardio, and one minute of abs, but a semi-coordinated, college educated 29.5-year-old can mess up every single move. 

Here is what I hate about Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred:
  •  Jillian Michaels - if she tells me that "I don't get to do a 20 minute work out and a take a break" one more time, I'm going to take several more breaks. Also, I find it very annoying that she says, "you're well on your way to being shredded" at the end of every video. I mean, that is my goal, but who wrote that line?!
  • Natalie, her "best girl" - Natalie is a bitch. I can tell because she smiles the whole time she's doing her exercises, and that's extra annoying because Jillian makes her do the advanced versions. It also bothers me that Natalie exercises with her hair down. Who does that? Ridiculous.
  • The fact that we have to do arms and legs together - Jillian says that this is the key to the entire system, but I'm not sure I buy it. I feel like I could concentrate better on doing good arm moves if I wasn't trying to squat, lunge or jump at the same time. Part of the problem might be that I'm using 5lb weight instead of 3lb weights like Jillian and her best girls, but I thought that would lead to faster results. Instead it just leads to me putting down the 5 pounders and using two Poland Spring bottles instead. Those are 3lbs each, right?
  • The amount of jumping jacks included - Jumping jacks are awful. They're loud, and they hurt very strange parts of your body, and if your boyfriend walks in on you doing them half-assed, he will make fun of you. 
But, here is what I love about Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred:
  •  It's only 20 minutes a day, and even I can suffer through that. On average I now complete approximately 17 of the 20 minutes, which is a huge improvement. 
  • It's only for 30 days. I'm only at day 12, so I can't tell if I'm going to be "shredded" on day 30 like Jillian promises, but I don't know why she would lie to me, so it will probably happen. 
  • It includes three different levels. You're supposed to do each level for 10 days, progressing in level as you go. I like this because I enjoy completing projects, so I think of each level like a project I must complete. Also, the higher the level the more Jillian compliments you when you finish, so that's nice.
  • It doesn't include enough abs (in my opinion), so I do extra abs (take THAT Natalie) because I firmly believe that lean abs distract from the rest of the body (not true at all). And whenever I do anything beyond the trained fitness professionals fool-proof DVD, I feel extremely fit. 
Despite the fact that I spend my 15 minutes of alarm snooze time try to come up with an excuse to not do my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVD's every single day, I really do love them. They allow me to believe I'm shredding my body one shorter-than-a-sitcom increment at a time from the comfort of my own living room. Plus every day that I complete the work-out, I allow myself a Girl Scout cookie. Don't worry, I bought enough to make it through the 30 days. After that, I'm switching to Julianne Hough's dancing work outs because why the hell would I lift weights and do jumping jacks when I can just Flashdance my way to fitness?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Delayed Oscar Pun Dish Post

I'm delayed in posting this because it didn't turn out quite like it was expected.

I made my Baked Brie-st of the Southern Wild. I cut many different sizes and shapes of brie cheeses into the shape of a giant boar. I wrapped that boar shape in way too much Pillsbury crescent roll dough. I added the features of the animal in 3-D using even more Pillsbury crescent roll. Then I created "fur" along the entire thing using a paring knife. Here is proof of that really ridiculous process:

Please note just how well it fits in with the actual scene from the movie! I intended to place this image (that I downloaded, formatted, and printed, ehem...) next to my dish once it was cooked.

 But, sadly, the oven at the house where we watched the Oscar was having a bad day, and by bad day I mean it never got over 200 degrees sooo the brie cooked on the inside, but the dough stayed raw. Oscar pun dish FAIL. Frankly, I had a feeling I was flying too close to the sun on this one...

Luckily I can take half credit for this genius, second place winning dish by R:

That's pretty damn good, right?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My 2013 Oscar Picks

On account of the fact that I won last year's Oscar pool by a landslide (thank you Pete Hammond at Deadline) and could not think of anything else to write today, I'm publishing my 2013 Oscar picks.

It will come as no surprise to you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT the Oscars. It will also come as no surprise to you that I attend a party in which you have to bring a food item related to an Oscar nominee. Every single year I make my mom's famous baked brie and then shove it into a pun. 2011 was Baked Jeff Brie-dges in the shape of his TRUE GRIT character, 2012 was Baked Brie of Life in the shape of that tree from that weird Terrence Malick movie, and this year I will be making Brie-sts of the Southern Wild: a baked brie in the shape of one of those boars from my favorite film of the year. Yes, I'll post a picture on Sunday night.

Now, without further digression, my 2013 Oscar Picks, including explanation. For reference, here is the full list of nominees:


I recently learned that this is the award for sound that is mixed on the set on the day, so I’m going to vote for LES MIS because they sang live (in case you hadn’t heard…from Anne Hathaway….10,000 times…).


I recently learned that this is about sound effects done in post. I did not see LIFE OF PI, but I bet that has some really great sound on account of the whole lion and ocean situation. I’m going to go with SKYFALL because I want it to win some awards, and I do believe the sound was excellent.


This is cheap, but I’m voting for LIFE OF PI based solely on the previews, though in my defense I did watch one of those “featurettes” on I saw a few of the other movies, but I wasn’t particularly impressed.


I did not enjoy the production design in LES MIS, and I don’t think any of the others were better than LINCOLN, so I’m going to vote for that.


Adele for SKYFALL, duh. A. it’s the best song and B. any opportunity to hear Adele’s insanely amazing voice give an acceptance speech is worth giving her the award. Industry, take note.


I can’t really vote on this because I can’t remember the score of most of these movies outside of LINCOLN, and there was that whole weird controversy with that film’s score.  When I don’t know how to vote, I do what this guy at The Hollywood Reporter did, and he says LIFE OF PI, so I’ll go with that.


I don’t understand why LINCOLN wasn’t nominated because Daniel Day-Lewis looked more like Abraham Lincoln than any actor has looked like any famous person, ever. I’ll give it to LES MIS but not because of skinny, sad Anne Hathaway’s live pixie-cut and “prostitute” make-up. I think they aged Hugh Jackman well.


I’m torn between ARGO and ZERO DARK THIRTY on this one. They both had some really beautiful sequences and interesting moments. I’m going to give it to ARGO because I’m still mad that Ben didn’t get nominated for Best Director, so I think he should get a lot of other awards instead.


I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t see many of these, but I’m voting for SUGARMAN because R’s parents absolutely loved it, and they have really excellent taste in movies.


Voting for PAPERMAN because anonymous Hollywood Reporter guy did.

No vote, because that guy didn't vote.


CURFEW. Same, but last time, promise.


I want to abstain from this category because I think Ben Affleck deserved to be nominated and deserves to win this award, but that’s not a popular opinion. A lot of people think Katherine Bigelow should be in this category and get it over Ben (in the just world where he’s also nominated), but I actually think HURT LOCKER was a far better film and that 0 DARK 30 had some issues (said the unemployed comedy writer). I didn’t love LINCOLN, and, brace yourselves, I think people other than Spielberg could have directed it. So I’m going with Benh Zeitlin, first time director of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. He worked with first-time actors on an insane set to create a really moving and very different film.


I’m going to vote for ANNA KARINENA because it’s going to win, and the others weren’t better enough to earn my courtesy vote.


SKYFALL, no doubt about it. That scene in the glass building in maybe Tokyo is among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.


I didn’t see most of these, and I didn’t like those I saw, so I’m voting for PARANORMAN because I really love puns, and that’s a genius pun.


Here’s where stuff gets nasty…

Helen Hunt is a lead, Jacki Weaver didn’t do enough, and Sally Field was awful (in my book). So it’s down to Amy and Anne. I want to give it to Amy because Anne annoys me, and I just don’t know if I believe you should win this award for one song (wildly impressive though it may have been). Also, I don’t want to hear another annoying acceptance speech from her. But, bottom line, Amy Adams wasn’t as impressive in her role as Anne was in that one song, so, Mia Thermopolis it is.


Again, tough one. Naomi Watts just didn’t do it for me. Once she’s in that hospital bed (spoiler alert), she doesn’t do quite enough. Q Wallis (sorry, not even going to try) was outstanding, but she’s just too young to win in a category where Emmanuelle Riva is included. I didn’t like SILVER LININGS (at all. Sorry.), so I can’t say Jennifer Lawrence. For me it’s between Jessica Chastain and Emmanuelle Riva. Both were excellent in my book, but Emmanuelle Riva is a cut above, in my opinion. She does things in that movie that felt so real that I forgot she was pretending.


This is EASILY Philip Seymour Hoffman’s award, as far as I’m concerned. Christoph Waltz is brilliant, but not different enough from his Inglourious Basterds performance. Bob (De Niro) was in that movie I hated. Alan Arkin was being Alan Arkin, which is amazing, but not better than Philip Seymour Hoffman being an insane cult leader. Tommy Lee Jones was very good, but, again, not better than PSH.


It would be really awesome if Joaquin Phoenix wins for THE MASTER, but I think it’s Daniel Day-Lewis’ to lose. This is a tough category because both Hugh and Denzel were excellent, but in my opinion Joaquin played the most original character of the year, and that should be rewarded.


BEASTS for me, and I didn’t even realize it was an adapted screenplay until I started writing this piece.


ZERO DARK THIRTY for sure. That was a LOT of material to cover very delicately, and I think they did an excellent job.


I’ve only seen AMOUR, so I’m voting for AMOUR. Also, it will probably win.


This is tough, but I’m going to say ARGO because, of all the options, I enjoyed watching that film the most. When all the acting, editing, sound mixing, costuming, and cinematographing is set aside, that’s what counts most for me in a best picture winner. Did I enjoy it the best? Yes. 

Good luck in your Oscar pools, and remember, if you use my votes and lose, it's not my fault, but if you lose my votes and win, you're welcome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Theory On How Everyone Suddenly Found Someone To Get Engaged To

Over the past three months, seven people that I personally know have gotten engaged. Prior to these past three months, I hadn't even been to seven weddings. It is completely out of control.

Not that I didn't expect this exact mass influx of engagements to strike right around the time of my 30th birthday. I've been anticipating it for the whole of my late 20s. Every "older" person I know has warned that the tidal wave begins around 27 and doesn't stop until roughly 35. I'm not surprised by these engagements. I'm also not surprised that people of this (my) age range want to get married. It's time for all that family planning, settling down, forming roots stuff, generally speaking. Yes, there's a whole other conversation about why it's time (part biological clock, part I'm-too-tired-for-this-wild-20s-crap, in my opinion), and yes, it is only time for some people, but bottom line: the next phase of life has begun.

My question is how all these people now getting engaged finally found someone to marry. I was 24 once, and it was BLEAK out there. There were barely legitimate people to wink at on How, suddenly, did all those people struggling to find someone worthy of a second date find people to marry within, essentially, three years? Or, maybe more importantly, what happens to a person's dating practices and/or generally personality between 27 and 30 that makes the mass engagement train leave the station?

I have two theories:

1. People Got Out Of Their Own Way

To me this means that whatever was blocking you from meeting the widest range of people possible, starts to melt away. Maybe you were limiting yourself to finance guys from New York? Maybe you were not in any way interested in older guys/younger guys/divorced guys/guys who are losing their hair? Maybe you prioritized your career over everything else? Maybe you only hung out in certain neighborhoods? Maybe you were afraid to admit to people that you're really looking for someone to date?

I don't know what your specific situation is, but mine was that I used to feel being in a relationship would hinder all my other creative/career/personal pursuits. I used to think it would get in the way of everything else I was trying to accomplish in my life. As a result, I kept the more serious guys at bay, until I decided it was time to get out of my own way. Make sense?

2. The Sheer Number of People Looking to Be in Serious Relationships Increased

Dating is a numbers game, and when the numbers increase across the board, so do your overall chances. I'm told that's math. So to play with those numbers: when we were 25, 25% of people in our circle were ready/able/interested in being in a serious relationship. Maybe that increased to 30% when we turned 27? And then at 28 it became 40% I don't know the numbers (or really any numbers), but I know that people I never would have expected to settle down and get engaged are doing so, males and females.

Remember when we were younger, and we used to say, "Mom, I would date someone, but there is literally no one to date!!"We were not wrong. Crazy party girls have taken a chill pill. Professional players have decided to stop their constant games. Men who never would have joined an online dating site have joined, and women who never would have walked up to that guy at a bar are swallowing their pride.

So I guess the way I see it, it's a one-two punch? Step one: people got out of their own ways. Step two: there were more of those people to date.

What's your theory? And/or what part of mine doesn't make sense?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Love Lesson I Never Realized I Needed to Learn

It is Valentine's Day, and so I feel inclined to share a little something I've learned about love.

This, like so many love lessons, is one I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't understand for a very long time. Actually, it's worse than that, I didn't even know that I didn't understand it. I didn't know it was missing from my knowledge base at all. It's like I was functioning under the assumption that the sky is blue, and then somebody came along and showed me it was actually whatever color you see. I had under-thought it (yes, me), but thankfully I met someone who thinks three steps ahead (yes, R). 

We were sitting on the bed in my old room on La Jolla sometime around our second official month of dating (which could be anywhere from June of '10 to January of '11, depending on which of us you ask). I was reacting to some frustrating scheduling problem. All I remember is that one of us was being inconvenienced by the plans of the other. I'm assume it had something to do with eating because that's what 90% of our plans involve. All I remember is that I said, "I feel like there's something you're not saying."   
                     "What do you mean?" R said.
                     "I just feel like you're saying it's okay, but really you mean it's not okay."

In the dramatization this story R takes both of my slim shoulders in his hands and looks deeply into my eyes before he says what he says next. In reality he looked at me like I was insane, then said:

                    "I'm never going to do that to you, okay? I'm always going to tell you how I   
                     really feel."

His voice was as matter-of-fact as any I'd ever heard. He was not kidding, and he wanted me to know it.

                   "I'm serious," he said.

By that point he could instantly read my face, which must have been saying, "you can't be serious."

I didn't understand the gravity of his promise right away. To be honest, I thought he was being defensive about my suggestion that he was hiding his true feelings. Yes, I thought he was hiding his true feelings about the importance of not hiding ones true feelings. That is how conditioned I was to believe that people play games and hide things and are misleading because that's easier than being honest.

After the third time we had that exact same exchange, I started to realize this guy was for real. He was not going to pretend with me. He was not going to hold back, even if it made things more frustrating. He was going to always tell me the truth. He was nuts.

I don't know when I figured out how important R's consistent pledge of honesty was or that it was actually more important that he made such a point to remind me every time it came up. I'm actually not sure that I figured it out until I failed to uphold that same level of honesty with him.

Once again, it was some plans-based inconvenience. I distinctly remember saying, "it's fine," when it wasn't fine in my book. I didn't want to deal with it. I didn't want to get all pissy only to have him get all frustrated and then us get all weird with each other as a result. It was easier to just bury it, right? That's what people do, right? It's definitely what couples do. They tell mini lies to get through the rough patches. They "just deal with it" rather than hash it out together. It's only human, isn't it?

No, it's not, or at least, it doesn't have to be.

R doesn't function that way, and I can say with complete security that he has never in our almost three years together. At first I thought it was because he either didn't know how or couldn't be bothered. He's like that about convention. Like, he keeps wearing stained polo shirts because he thinks stains should be an acceptable part of life. "Sometimes shit gets messy, J," he says, "People need to accept that."

Now, after the his most recent reminder that he is absolutely not kidding about this whole complete honesty situation, I know that it's because he knows that's how you properly love another person. That is how you create a space in which both people feel trusted and trusting. That is how you fully come to know one another, and that knowing is one of the only ways two people can hope to make the very difficult task of a life together work, hopefully forever.

I didn't know that at first, but now I do, and hard as it may be to follow this relationship rule, I do it for R, because R does it for me. I'm now functioning under the belief that if we keep going with that mentality as our guide, everyone will be taken care of, always.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

House Guests are a Precursor to Parenting

Last week R and I hosted my cousin Derek for his week-long L.A. adventure. Derek was most recently in Seoul, Korea where he taught English and did voice over work. He decided to stop in L.A. on his way home to the East coast to get a feel for the city.

A few things you should know:
  • R and I love hosting people. I think it's because we're both super competitive so we want people to think L.A. is an amazing place (which it obviously is). 
  • R and I live in a one bedroom. It's a big one bedroom, but there's still only just the one bedroom making for a total of three rooms in the entire place (bed, bath, living/kitchen).
  • Derek is younger than us.
  • I am the oldest of four children, girl children while R has two older sisters
  • Korea is VERY different from L.A.
Onto the theory: hosting a guest in your home is like a mini preview of your eventual parenting styles. I, for example, wanted to ensure that Derek was cared for every minute of every day. R preferred to allow Derek to, shall we say, have his own L.A. journey. As such, R and I both expressed that feeling of responsibility for Derek in different ways throughout his time. It went something like this:

Regarding jet lag:
  • Me: Do you think he's jet lagged?
  • R: Yes, probably.
  • Me: How can we help him through that?
  • R: What?
  • Me: I really want to give him the chance to sleep off his jet lag so he can have the best time possible.
  • R: Yeah, he'll probably just tell us he wants to sleep, if he needs to sleep.
  • Me: Right...
Regarding Derek hiking:
  • Me: I gave Derek the 30 spf to take hiking.
  • R: Okay.
  • Me: Do you think that's enough?
  • R: Yes.
  • Me: I don't think that's enough...
Regarding Derek not feeling so well:
  • Me: Can you pick up some Gatorade for Derek? He's not feeling so well. 
  • R: Sure. I'll get some coconut water too.
  • Me: Yeah?
  • R: Yeah. That's supposed to be good for your stomach.
  • Me: Yeah?
  • R: Okay, I'll just get Gatorade.
Regarding Derek still not feeling so well:
  • Me: Hey, I'm at the library, and I haven't heard from Derek for about an hour. You don't think he's....dead...right?
  • R: Hahahaha.
  • Me: That's not funny. He was feeling very weak earlier. 
  • R: No. I don't think he's dead. I think he's sleeping.
  • Me: But for an hour?
  • R: At least. 
  • Me: Okay. I'm going to go home now just to check. 
  • R: J, he's sleeping. If you go home, you'll wake him up. 
  • Me: Right.
  • R: So what are you going to do?
  • Me: Go home very quietly.
 Regarding Derek's rental car trouble:
  • Me: Derek had some car trouble this morning...
  • R: Oh yeah?
  • Me: What are we going to do with this kid?
  • R: Nothing. 
For the record, R and I did approach one element of this pre-parenting exercise in the same exact manner. We both pretty much demanded that Derek eat at the places we recommended.

So at least the eventual, hypothetical kid will be well-fed....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Today is my 29.5

Today is my half birthday!

That's what I yelled in R's face around 7AM, one second after my alarm went off. Then I said, "Don't worry, I won't go nuts and buy myself any special clothes or anything," and he looked at me like, yeah right.

I don't usually celebrate half birthdays, but for reasons I've now written about extensively, this one seems like it's worth celebrating. It's exciting. It's motivating. It's the exact subject (and title) of the screenplay I'm currently in the middle of writing. (Write what you know?)

And so I had been planning to format this super exciting post as a collection of things I'd like to do before I turn 30. I thought that would be a fun way "check list" through the next six months before the big 3-0. Then I sat down to write the list, and it was really weird.

I haven't decided if that's because I've A. lived quite a bit already B. don't need to do things for the sake of doing them anymore and C. don't think much is going to change on August 7th of this year. Every item I wrote down felt...stupid? frivolous? immature? I do wonder if a little bit of it is a fear of writing down the really big things (sell a TV show!) or committing to the scary small things (side swept bangs?...). Regardless, below is the list, and below that is an explanation of why I've crossed almost every single thing off.

Things To Do Before I Turn 30

  • Get nose re-pierced
  • Stay up all night partying
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Wear a bra top as a shirt (like one of those wide ones, not an actual bra!)
  • Learn how to ski
  • Finish all five seasons of THE WIRE
  • Make sure everyone I love knows how much I love them
  • Run a 5K
  • Buy a pair of Louboutins
  • FINALLY get my podcast going
  • Eat a bacon-wrapped hot dog purchased from the street outside The Hollywood Bowl
  • Go to Asia 
  • Go back to Boston College
  • Really lose it, in public, at some insanely rude person's insanely rude behavior
  • Go 90 mph
  • Do mushrooms?
Reasons Not To Do These "Things To Do Before I Turn 30"

  • Get nose re-pierced - I had my nose pierced, and it didn't look all the great. Also, I'm an adult.
  • Stay up all night partying - This no longer seems worth it by any stretch of my imagination. That said, I could afford to go 'til about 3am again...maybe.
  • See the Grand Canyon - I mean sure. Yes. I should do this. But I could also do it when I'm 31, no?
  • Wear a bra top as a shirt (like one of those wide ones, not an actual bra) - I might do this just because I bought that damn bra top that can be worn as a shirt, but that will really be the only reason why.
  • Learn how to ski - I don't want to ski. I've never wanted to ski. When I hear people talk about how amazing skiing is I think, nope, still not interested.
  • Finish all five seasons of THE WIRE - See "Grand Canyon." Repeat explanation.
  • Make sure everyone I love knows how much I love them - I mean how, realistically am I going to do this? Strongly worded letters? I think I'll just call a lot more often and maybe send some snail mail from time to time.
  • Run a 5K - See "Skiing". Repeat explanation. Add: I have no endurance and never will.
  • Buy a pair of Louboutins - Listen, if I make a lot of money off the sale of something, I'm buying a pair. Will I need them? No. Will that stop me? Absolutely not.
  • FINALLY get my podcast going - I really, really, really should do this, but if I don't, it'll be okay.
  • Eat a bacon-wrapped hot dog purchased from the street outside The Hollywood Bowl - See "Louboutins". Subtract need for money. Repeat likely outcome.
  • Go to Asia - This would also be a real treat, but "Grand Canyon" and "The Wire" rationale applies.
  • Go back to Boston College - This is for nostalgia sake, and as a very nostalgic person, I think I should try to make it happen.
  • Really lose it, in public, at some insanely rude person's insanely rude behavior - This would be very, very fun, but I am chicken shit and really don't need some YouTube video of my bumbling freak-out getting passed around. Also, I cry when I'm really frustrated, so that won't help.
  • Go 90 mph - I drive a red car, so this is probably a really bad idea. Also, I live in the traffic capital of the world, so this is probably not even possible. 

  • Do mushrooms? - What I really mean is do some very low-key drug that is greater than pot but in no way equal to any actual drugs. Is that mushrooms? I don't even know. 

So, based on all this, I think I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing.

I've been really happy lately. I've actually been mostly really happy for 29.5 years. Sometimes check lists have helped keep that happiness a reality, but mostly it's just been living in a generally straight line, surrounded by awesome people who would probably indulge my attempt at accomplishing this list, but also agree that I'll survive turning 30 in six months without it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thoughts on 30 From Two Wise, Wise Sources

(thank you Celine Geiger for today's blog inspiration)

Thursday is my 1/2 birthday, specifically the last 1/2 birthday before I turn 30. So six months from this Thursday, my 20s will be over.

Thank god it'll be in the 70s and sunny when this will happens upon me. 

I am working on figuring out my feelings about this fairly momentous milestone, but in the meantime I wanted to share the thoughts of one 30-something and one mid 20-something on what turning the big 3-0 A. feels like and B. means.

The chain starts with a post from blogger Citizen Kerry (who is roughly 35) called 10 Reasons You Could Not Pay Me To Be 20 Again, If That Were Somehow Possible.  It's an awesome post in and of itself (Her number 1 reason: "I have hobbies besides drama" - hahaha), but what really resonated with me was actually a comment to CK's post from a blogger named Young Manhattanite.

YM writes:

"Krucoff told me I’m supposed to write an actual thing in response to this, probably because he didn’t know I was 25 until like a week ago, but all I’ve got is that it really bums me out that it’s generally accepted that people in their 20s don’t know, or don’t know how, to set boundaries. 

I mean it’s a hard lesson and a long road and I’d say sure, there are plenty of people in their 20s who don’t know how to set boundaries, just as there are people of all ages who couldn’t say “no” to save their own lives — and just as sure, I’d say the proportion of people who know to set boundaries in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s gets higher as you go than people in their 20s, because if you’re doing it right you’re learning a thing or two as you grow up — but the presumption that because any one person feels like they didn’t know their ass from their elbow when they were a kid — which is unfortunately the standard format of this kind of advice — doesn’t mean plenty of people at any age don’t know how to (sic) IRN;T with the best of them. 

Every single thing on this (wise!) blog post [from Citizen Kerry] falls under the category of setting and respecting appropriate boundaries. Do things that make you feel good, instead of things that make you feel bad. Listen to yourself, forgive yourself, be kind to your body and your spirit. Spend time with people who you want to spend time with instead of people you don’t, even if the people you don’t want to spend time with seem really really cool — some relationships are toxic even if there’s nothing at all wrong with any individual participant. Forgive others. Pay attention. Frankly my teenage sister has got every one of these down pat, and has since high school. She’s ahead of just about everyone I know."

What I liked about this comment from a not-yet-30-year-old is that it makes me realize some people feel 30-ish at 25. I think that's because I view 30 as corresponding with maturity, but maturity isn't an age thing. I was pretty mature around, say, 27, so what's really the difference between that and 30? What does 30 really mean as a milestone at all?

I like that YM is bummed about people hating on people in their 20s, and I like that CK hates on some of her own 20-something behavior and is thrilled to be in her 30s.

...Which means I'm even further away from understanding how I feel about these next six months than I thought, huh?

Stay-tuned for Thursday's unlikely revelations.