What I Learned : September 18th

This week, we return the scene of the crime, climb the (sorta) highest rooftop, get grenades lobbed into our chest cavities and buy hats

Saturday

Feels like a haze. Perhaps it’s due mainly to the fact that I’m running on irregular sleep, working long hours and the weather just can’t decide between hoodie and heatwave but it feels like everything is on fire.

This is not the first time I’ve used this meme.

Between the standard protocol for the day, there’s a shoot that I’m somehow pulled into coordinating on an equipment level and maybe it’s because I’m still trying to understand how the word, ‘No’ works, I wind up doing that plus freaking out about a million other things that after the fact aren’t even important, I just need to sit and be reminded that I’m not a surgeon, I’m not saving the world and no, no one gives a good goddamn about your feelings.

I should be on Grey’s Anatomy or something though…

A contact pulls through and I wind up going BACK to the event and this time, enjoying the space. I take a few pictures, have two glasses of white and feel like a snob.

Then she happened.

When you’re at a thing that you initially went with with other people (who left) and you’re there trying to figure out if it’s worth staying, you tend to do two things; stare off into space, or stare at your phone. I don’t have anyone really to talk to so I stare at the third option, my camera.

While there a sprite of a thing flits up to me and says, “You’ve got great energy.”

I am actauually standing in a corner with a bottle of water and my camera fidgeting and trying to not run home for more work to finish and sleep to catch up on. These are things I need kid, not your energy.

The strange thing about girls like these is that I keep attracting them. In a past life I had attracted Charlie and for a moment it made some kind of sense but I didn’t really see it as anything besides two people who genuinely liked each other but Charlie wanted more than I could give. Interestingly enough, it would be the things that happened with Charlie that would bring me to Waffle.

These girls convince you with their strange charms to do rails of cocaine and take selfies with cops.

(neither of these things happened)

They’re the kind of lightening in a bottle that all the terrible indie rom coms have fetishized to the point that when you see them, you want to run in the opposite direction.

Anyway, Dynamite convinces me to walk out with her and a friend where I wind up escorting them over to the East Village for dinner. I drag my sorry carcass the hell home…and deal with lousy trains because why not?

a girl like you should come with a warning sign

Sunday

My increasing panic allows me to multitask but I’ve also hit a personal breaking point.

I get home and sleep for twenty minutes, eat dinner then spend the next two hours in various sprawls on the couch until I drag my ass into bed to watch a lackluster episode of Fear The Walking Dead while simultaneously resembling the newly dead.

I vex on the title and ask Waffle is maybe it should’ve been named “Rise of The Walking Dead” or if that was too literal.

Monday

I sprint into Brooklyn, still wind up getting there late but am granted ten minutes to plot something on my left arm that I hope will bring me confidence I so desperately need. I’m continuing to build on armor that keeps me from the world and gives me something pretty to look at.

In the midst of all that, I oversee an edit on the project from Friday that looks pretty damned cool.

I get back into the city proper, wind up aimlessly wandering 14th Street and pick up Ant-man, a new book and wander into a bar.

BECAUSE IM TRASH.

I’m then given the worst batch of whiskey gingers I’ve had…and of course it’s from the pretty but stupid bartender. It’s her second day in and no one told her the dump the liquor skip the soda rule. She looks like Naya Rivera’s impression of Kim Kardashian.

just as vacant in the eyes too.

Of course the male clientele love it…I’m a mean bitch who just can’t tolerate pretty girls without a lick of sense.

A Jameson rep is MERCIFULLY at the bar today, shilling the nectar of the gods.

She gives the bar a free shot.

I close the tab.

Then remember the place has great burgers.

I move.

She follows me with those big dumb glassy eyes.

She tries to palm off a fucking GIN AND GINGER on me and I tell her, “WHISKY ginger and don’t charge me for that.”

I get a burger, pay only for the burger and wind up getting four more less than shitty whiskeys but have no buzz, an upset stomach and have been mansplained about digital.

I’m having a right proper Monday.

Waffle doesn’t text me again after starting my day with a ‘Do you think Old Navy is having a sale?’ text to which I replied, “More than likely, wanna meet and find out?”

Waffle: “I just got home, Im’ going to sleep.”

Then radio silence. You’d think I’d be used to it but it’s just one of those things where…here, I’ll let this clip describe it.

Every text message is the equivalent of “opening my heart with a knife and continuing to remind me that this could be us but I’m playing.”

I meet a lot of people they do nothing for me and my increasing distance with humanity is essentially alienating me from the rest of the world; I’m fine with that. I am. To a degree because as I get colder, I wonder if Waffle will even notice. there’s a gulf between us, life making it worse and ever the painful optimist, I keep building a bridge out of whatever I can find and securing it with whatever I can so that Waffle knows to cross it, meet me in the middle and let’s go through this together.

I wind up walking home after my less than stellar bar day, determined to never do it again because my jeans are fitting me awkwardly and the last thing I need is to be miserable AND overweight because they go hand in hand in the misery train.

Tuesday

I get an early morning text message and immediately backflip out of bed…

then fall back to sleep.

Waffle needs to go clothes shopping and of course, exhausted and grumpy as I am, I get up, get dressed and I’m out the door.

We text back and forth and maybe it’s the residual feelings from yesterday but I feel that stirring happen and I wind up flirting, poorly, but it happens. I had over a sticker that made me think of everything I believe because to be honest, I just need that magic to work and for Waffle to understand it works best when it’s believed in together. We get on the bus and talk the usual bullshit while I work from my phone. Try as I might, I just can’t not be working. Good bad, who knows. We wind up at the mall where I fallow Waffle around like the lovesick puppy I am. At Old Navy I stare and then try not to. At Hot Topic (shut up) I stare and flirt and I watch the way those cheeks pink with each bad pick up line. It’s so bad the girl behind the counter is giggling. We get brunch (legit, lunch was breakfast, I understand the hype behind brunch now) I get Dairy Queen and Waffle get’s Nathan’s. I stare again, and do my best to not look so thirsty but it’s one of those fuck it things at this point.

The day is nice until Waffle awkwardly, on a bus full of people, mentions that the odds of our getting back together after two years are not in my favor.

That sound you hear?

That’s another large chunk of my heart being shattered under them sneakers.

I hold it in and ramble things that I believe to be true and get the, “What do you want me to say?” answer over and over again.

I ramble and make a few coherent words and apologize for everything again. I wind up crying. I suck it up. “I just want you to see me the way you saw me the first time. I feel like you’re denying it, I feel like you’re doing your best to not feel that because it wasn’t the best towards the end. When I left the job (we were in mutual positions) the thing that upset me most was not having an excuse to see you every other day at work, not even that I’d been dropped from the roster. Isn’t that sad? The fact that not seeing you was more upsetting than not knowing how I was going to pay bills or take care of myself?”

I saw Waffle wiping away tears out of the corner of my eye and honestly, I couldn’t help the small twinge of joy that gave me.

I mention that we have mutual tattoos as well and that’s just a strange coincidence right? The quote that means a lot to me:

I mean

And another that mirrors mine; one that I got years back to impress Waffle in the first place. That was five years ago. I went alone and I got it done and showed it off. The look in those eyes.

I think I’ve romanticized something that’s slowly driving me insane.

I see the signs, I see the patterns, I frequently ask the universe and work and work and work and I just keep seeing the signs everywhere and I just can’t ignore them. I can’t.

Am I wrong?

I haven’t cried about it in awhile, stress and anxiety working their wonders to keep me from melting down into a pile of tears and sadness but I wind up falling to pieces as soon as I get home anyway. I also knock out a few pitches and ideas while trying to tell myself that these two days were supposed to be chill and relaxing, not bizarre and upsetting.

There’s another wonderful life lesson to learn: happy is just not something that I can actually be, neither is content or satisfied. I’m in perpetual state of ‘shit happens, deal with it, live fight die repeat.’

Instead of being a normal person and watching Narcos like all the cool kids I wind up watching the Strange Empire and having a deep heart eye emoji for Cara Gee.

I have a type.

Hours later I text a rambling message to Waffle that repeats everything I’ve been saying for the last two cringeworthy years only to basically get nothing in response even though it was something I was prepared for, it’s still not something that I wanted to get, y’know?

Meanwhile, whatsername from three weeks back keeps trying to talk to me and honestly, I don’t know how many ways I’ve said to go away without sounding like a prick.

The irony is, I was flattered for two minutes until whatername gave me Charlie vibes. I ran like someone lit my ass on fire and I’m still running…in the direction of the wall that Waffle put up.

There is nowhere else I want to be and nowhere else to go and Waffle knows it.

I’m trying, I am but out of everything in this world that could possibly mean more to me it’s that.

It’s true. You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

In the middle of all of this, the video from Friday makes it onto the internet: 

PS. My neighbor’s choice in music is shitty.

Wednesday

Work starts off with an insane rush of things to get done. I have a shoot in Brooklyn that I haven’t had time to prepare for outside of the precursor questions and research that I’ve done on my days off. It feels good to be out in the field though, especially considering the fact that I don’t have a chance to obsess over the fact that I know damn well Waffle won’t be texting or calling me early in the morning for awhile.

A care package I’ve been meaning to deliver to my brother arrives courtesy of my mom and he texts me with OMG. So I guess it was a hit. I feel like an absentee parent when it comes to my brother. My days are pretty loaded and I don’t know how to unplug myself and just be in the moments anymore. I may also be suffering from that success thing and I don’t want it to stop because that’s what’s afforded me the ability to even indulge in the stupid things that we enjoy.

We hit Williamsburg for this shoot and we film in an amazing space and I hope to god that it’s a hit because it’s been such a bumble of a thing to work on. Everything from timing, to sound to picture has been a bit of a struggle but I have this weird faith it’ll all come together…mostly because there are worse things that can fall apart.

I climb onto the roof and sprain my thumb (self diagnosis, we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow) and film what I can in the heat and on a rooftop, making it up as I go along while my thumb is throbbing. I may be so tired, dazed and out of my own head that it doesn’t phase me, a person who’s uncomfortable with heights, am standing on a rooftop shooting skyline and painters. I think i’m just accepting that things have to be done and if I’m doing them, I’m gonna fucking do them.

I get back to the office with enough time to shovel food in my face (my lunch is now dinner) and finish out the day. I discover some fun features on Snapchat that I won’t use because you don’t need to be subjected to my face so, there, you’re spared. HOWEVER, my Snapchats tend to be hilarious as hell so, you should follow me on that. (invisiblecircus)

I get on the phone and talk to my brother for a half hour where we giggle about plans for Comic Con as I make my way over to Midtown Comics because I have a serious problem. I wind up picking up four comics and a Cobra New Era cap.

You have to respect the branding

I’ve basically taken to wearing caps because my hair is in a weird transitional phase, I’m too lazy to even style whatever it is living on my head and my self esteem is trash so…you know…dress it up.

I get home watch some of the debates and wonder how the hell these people even function in the world.

Fingers crossed I get to pull off two projects for work.

Thursday

I pull together a few things that work and by work I mean they don’t blow up in my face.

I spend some time in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Walk to the train and get home in no time.

Rewatching Grey’s Anatomy gets me mad though…Calzona…still broken up.

Friday

I get an early start and manage to get things done. I interview an intern, which is odd because what the hell do I know?

I offer to pick up beers for everyone and see the mood change. Liquor, the great uniter.

It’s funny because I always manage to make the things that seem improbably possible and while it’s a great trait to have, I don’t want to be the one who comes in and manages to make things happen with almost no planning.

Then again, like i said, my life is a strange trip.

What I Learned: August 14

This week, I spend time in Tarrytown in a rental car listening to trap music, complete the lap that made me almost weep, learn that technology is not your friend and that being a workaholic is a better substitute for alcohol.

Saturday:

I’m up with the birds and armed with Apple Maps (which, fuck you by the way) I climb into rented Ford Focus and feel like I’m in a jet because I’m doing checks like a pilot. I have about 120,000 songs on an iPod and wind up listening to of all things…Fall Out Boy. Don’t judge me, it beat the radio at 7am.

It’s true what they say about driving, your mind completely blanks out and you focus more on piloting a massive machine through highways built years before you were a thought by people who didn’t think those roads would even be traveled for as long as they have been.

You get super philosophical.

I find parking relatively easy at 7:30am (I was in traffic to boot and DIDN’T drag race once it cleared up…) and run upstairs to make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be. Again. My personal life, total shitshow, professional life sorta put together.

The team shows up and we load in for our epic journey to the most magical place on earth: the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown NY. While on the way, we encounter the fail that is Apple Maps.

Have you ever driven in near circles in the middle of a scenic part of a town and immediately think, we’re a car full of minorities, isn’t this is how horror movies start?

drive faster

I watch too many movies.

Anyways. We make a few turns and wind up where we’re supposed to be…fuck you Apple Maps…sincerely.

I’m about 5’7 which in the WNBA makes me a guard and probably a decent prospect; in the NBA that makes me the water girl. We arrive and check in and walk into the Liberty side of the basketball court.

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been there before but I still kinda swoon because that’s what I do.

We land some hilarious interviews and shoot what could be the hit of our mini summer vacation.

We climb back into the car, strangely inspired by the entire day (it was two hours that felt like less than that which is saying something) get 5 Napkin Burgers (which is a miracle) and pile into the office for a late shift.

Sunday:

Even if you want to play a game of treat yo self, you still wind up being incredibly responsible and climb into the fray super early and with a box of bagels for your mom. You also want nothing more than to get another win in terms of getting that date to happen.

The date doesn’t happen.

The sobbing continues.

On the upside, we get two great videos lined up and good to go and I land another byline for work.

I learned that I have to master the art of multitasking.

Also. John Wick is awesome.

Adrienne Palicki, Bridget Reagan and Keanu Reeves carrying guns and being complete assholes. this is basically porn.

Monday:

Screaming matches over stupid things are always fun.

Driving around late at night is even more fun.

I tackled the FDR to the West Side Highway and like a superhero, sat and listened to Kid Cudi wondering about what the hell life is doing with me and my fate these days. I miss the opportunity to get Waffle for a drive around because Waffle being Waffle kept being Waffle and wiffled on me. I was tempted to be a creeper and sit in the car outside waiting but decided that I can’t keep reeking of desperation. The fact that Waffle would’ve gotten in the car with me for fun while I said nothing and blasted music and driven around until drop off at work. These are the things that make me feel all kinds of funny to be honest. I learned that I should just trust my lack of impulse control when it comes to these kinds of situations. Especially when I want to share views like this. IMG_2932

My drive looked nothing like this but I did in fact blast Steve Aoki, so I guess you could say, we were on track.

Tuesday:

So I had rum and cokes.

Wednesday:

Multitasking is multi-taxing but it’s done and honestly, I keep telling myself, I was unemployed last year. Stop bitching so fucking much.

I mean it’s one thing to be overwhelmed and completely burned out but it’s a whole other level if you’re completely like…miserable.

I can’t be miserable.

My brain can’t process that correctly.

My brain shorts out actually.

I know I’m due for a meltdown but I’m also due for an upgrade so I guess you have to burn things down to build something new from it.

I wind up in Jim Hanley’s Universe and have rather interesting conversations about some of the plot fuck ups in X-Factor (which I have admittedly not been keeping up with) but apparently, it’s a big nasty soap opera. I love the fact that out of many of the shops that I’ve been to, this is the only one that actively keeps you in the store with shit talk and comic gossip rather than aisle after aisle of things to look at and maybe consider buying. There’s a strange comfort in the nerd herd. Unsurprisingly, I pick up a bunch of titles that will take me until NEXT WEEK, to read but fuck it, I mean it’s what happens when you work; you get to do things you love.

One day I will write and work for Marvel.

It’s on the list of things to do before I die.

So’s a trip to London.

Fuck it, let’s do both.

Thursday:

Accomplished many a thing, including successfully feeding myself at a decent hour, addressing stuff and things and planning planning planning.

I wound up getting a preview screening pass to see Straight Outta Compton through work which was sweet. It’s insane that all this happened in my lifetime and I’ve basically grown up with this music; I lived through the of many anti-establishment movements fueled by music and made by people who just wanted their voices heard and the vision to just make shit happen. That doesn’t work anymore does it? That unyielding sense of success and self confidence that is needed to take what sounds like a failing idea or a longshot and make it actually happen. Think about it. Ice Cube was the hardest rapper in the game (still is) at the time and just transitioned because he just wanted to do it. Dre just wanted to make music that didn’t suck and E just had the momentum to bring everyone together. It’s probably one of the best made music biopics and some of the moments that happen made me oddly nostalgic for the time where my mom said I couldn’t listen to Metallica, NWA, Public Enemy and when she caught on, The Beastie Boys. Kids aren’t told ‘that’s bad for you’ and if they are, they don’t give a flying fuck. Go see it, it’s worth it.

It’s also creepy how damn near EXACT O’Shea Jackson Jr. resembles his father.

Best cosplay ever.

Friday:

For Whom The Bell Tolls indeed.

In on time despite a late start, doing a bunch of things for the next three days and eagerly anticipating…I dunno…a small moment to think, read a comic book and do more writing because I owe some people some of my letters rearranged into words.

Friday:

I had a salad. That’s not interesting until you realize and understand that my fat ass wants a burger and booze and to be left alone with Waffle on a romantic dinner date where all we do is talk shit and laugh at things.

I’m seeking a gal pal at this point.

An Angie to my  Peggy.

A Sandy to my Danny.

A Laura to my Carmilla.

Basically I’m just rehashing old feelings.

The weekend should be spectacular. Stay tuned.

Why Visibility Matters

imvisible peggy

The above is a gif from the Agent Carter episode “Sin To Err” where while under arrest, Peggy basically lays into her SSR coworkers and tells them to fuck off and die.

Ok maybe not but she should’ve because that’s the show I’ve made up in my head.

In the episode, she highlights the bigger problem in the real world where women weren’t useful once the world was done with them, the other (LGTB, disabled people of color) were undesirable and accepting that fate was all you can do. On a larger scale, Peggy’s entire dismantling of her peers and supervisor reflects the current trend in comics, movies and television where the invisible are no longer content with being unseen and have taken matters into their own hands with incredible results. Last week, following the splintering of the Spiderverse, comic book readers were treated to various launches of an army of Spider people, Spider-Gwen (the resurrected Gwen Stacey) Silk (the first Asian-American Spiderwoman Cindy Moon) and the continuation of biracial fan favorite Miles Morales. They contend with Peter’s existing foes, their own personal problems and the ramifications of Peter’s actions leading up to their own journeys as part of the Spiderclan. These characters reflect the readers who’ve been buying comics for years; we aren’t all white boys who live in our parent’s basement playing World of Warcraft with limited communication skills.

Some of us are Puerto Rican women who live at home, work, play video games, have active social lives and run hilarious tumblr accounts.

Some of us are African American girls who’ve grown up drawing our favorite anime characters in the margins of our math homework.

These characters are the people who read their stories and it couldn’t be more amazing time to be a nerd who reads funny books.

Another practical outfit

 

A practical outfit

fuck yeah you are Miles

We need these images in popular culture so that we know we count, we matter, we exist in the world. A reader from last night’s post pointed out that comics were created by xenophobic men in a time where racial tensions were high and that it’s important that these things change. (hi by the way!) It totally is.

Consider, IF the creators of the classics were so xenophobic, racist and misogynistic as we believe them to be, then we wouldn’t have Jean Grey or Janet Van Dyne as founding members of one of the longest lasting super teams in comics (X-Men and The Avengers respectively). Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) wouldn’t represent the other the way he does. Storm wouldn’t have been a super powered god. Wonder Woman was actually designed as a feminist icon, by a man, years before the movement was widely adapted. Comic books allowed progressive minded individuals an outlet to create an idealized world, a world of diversity (admittedly limited, Black Panther was steeped in racial tropes while Wonder Woman suffered years in weird bondage and fetish tropes) and where anyone could be a hero. It was seen as an idealized childhood medium, something that entertained kids for 10 cents but opened their eyes to the possibility of something more.

That need to see yourself reflected in your programming and entertainment is universal. It can change your world view, the way you see yourself and put you on a new path.

Because she saw Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek

 

Last night, Once Upon a Time launched season 4B and the dialogue between the widely shipped duo of Regina Mills (Evil Queen) and Emma Swan (The Savior) sounded like it was taken out of the pages of a femslash fan fiction entry. Swan Queen, as the shippers have dubbed them, sent the fan base into a frenzy with heart eyes and what seemed to be less than plutonic touches. Why does it matter that in 2015, two women are more than friends? Because there are lesbians and bisexual women in the world who need to know that they matter, that their feelings are valid and that television won’t shy away from these feelings.

first of all how dare you

 

second of all how dare you also

please tag your hair and outfit porn

(gifs taken from The Queen And Her Sheriff)

While the above relationship isn’t canon (as in, active relationship) their dynamic reads verbatim from every classic rom com trope ever conceived, making Swan Queen shippers point out that had Emma been Emmett she and Regina would’ve been married by now. Sorta like how Caskett (Richard Castle and Kate Beckett) are ultra super canon and solving murders of the week like the couple on Hart To Hart. They are right to demand some kind of gay or lesbian representation about finding your happy ending because the visibility of women who express themselves romantically is limited to sweeps, slow ratings or fan fiction; mainstream television will showcase a lead as a gay or lesbian character and saddle them with a tired coming out story, homophobic family or wind up dead. On cable, the diversity is higher and LGBTQ characters aren’t as marginalized but let’s face it, cable doesn’t give a fuck. Notable same sex canon as hell pairings include Root and Shaw (Person of Interest) Clarke and Lexa (The 100) Brittany and Santana (Glee) Callie and Arizona (Grey’s Anatomy) and while they’re on network TV, there was a massive push by Clexa, Root X Shaw and Brittana shippers to make the pairing happen. The writers built the arcs in to see what would happen, essentially queer baiting an audience who otherwise may not have watched the show up until they saw someone who was like them on screen. Queer baiting is a mean trick but it also shows that someone in the writers room is trying to make change happen. They want to make a part of their audience seen on screen, seen as normally as they see everyone else.

Calzona fans…well…you guys…I mean…*ugly cries* They’re gonna work out.

Starz original series Black Sails had the pairing of Max and Eleanor (now Max and Anne Bonney) universally feared pirate Captain Flynt was revealed as gay (I’d argue bisexual but, whatever) in the same way they happily discuss murder and rum. IT IS A NON ISSUE. Network makes the argument that if someone is an other they have to have a long rough journey to acceptance. Black Sails argues that being a pirate is tough, who you sleep with is irrelevant. Unless they can be used as leverage in which case they don’t give a shit if it’s a man or a woman. Spartacus featured same sex couples as regularly as they featured the bloody arena fight of the week.

Why does this matter when we have cable? It matters because having cable or satellite isn’t the answer to solving the visibility crisis, creators who are eager to tell the story are and outlets willing to tell them. It’s still a television show that is widely embraced by the nation, it still has the power to reach to millions of people in a way that people who may want answers or have questions. It may rot your brain but it also asks you to look deeper, to understand and to learn more.

I have cable.

The Swan Queen pairing sticks out because the fandoms that support Emma with Captain Hook (Captain Swan) and Regina with Robin Hood (Outlaw Queen) have verbally attacked SQ shippers for their want of a same-sex paring. They have taken to social media and bombarded the cast with their homophobic rhetoric while harassing fans online with some of the most childish tirades about why ‘their ship is stupid’. Super eloquent. They’ve seen what change can do and it’s terrifying to them, proof that the invisible is being seen and heard. It sticks out because it’s the story of two women, who from the beginning seem completely at odds with one another, much in the way two mismatched leads are thrown together then suddenly work like magic (PUNS!) when needed.

The closest SQ and LGBTQ fans got to a possible lesbian pairing was  Mulan’s blossoming feelings for Princess Aurora (Sleeping Warrior) which was quickly swept under the rug (also aired during sweeps HA!) when Aurora revealed she was pregnant and in response Mulan ran off to the forest never to be heard from again. Which is why visibility matters; an LGBTQ individual struggling to identify themselves in the world will find something within the lines of the dialogue, in the scenes, in the story and find comfort that their feelings aren’t wrong. They need to see themselves the way other people see themselves regularly.

Aurora, asking the tough questions

 

Mulan giving life.

(gifs from Pirate and Savior)

The Walking Dead has been taking more and more cues from their source material with season with the introduction of gay couple Eric and Aaron in last week’s episode. Naturally, Twitter erupted with collective vomiting noises at the sight of the two men kissing after being reunited.

from issue 72 of The Walking Dead

Nevermind that the book has been out for ten plus years, that the cast is as racially diverse as it’s been for the most part (I miss you Ty…not so much you Bob but that’s a whole other post) The crew thus far consists of a lesbian in Tara Chambler (who’s girlfriend for 2.2 seconds was shot in the head by a 10 year old sociopath, natch) former lawyer turn samurai Michonne, the survivor GAWD Glenn Rhee and Army Reservist Rosita; a rag tag group of pan ethnic survivors killing walkers without questioning loyalties and somehow managing to stay together.  The THOUGHT that two men could still be together riding shitshow zombie wave with comfort makes you sick I just…I can’t. In last night’s episode, the ‘mayor’ of the survivor colony Alexandria is a woman named Deanna Monroe; in the book it’s a black man named Douglas Monroe. A quick gender swap (fascinating) but still worth noting because the fact that leadership experience is valued over gender is important. The last time the crew met with male leaders of similar sounding utopias one was a cannibal and the other was a maniac hellbent on revenge.

LET ME REPEAT: A SHOW THAT HAD A BABY IN PERIL, NEARLY RAPED A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD BOY, HAS ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK AND ROUTINELY COVERS IT’S CHARACTERS IN BLOOD DREW THE IRE OF IDIOTS EVERYWHERE WHEN TWO DUDES KISSED.

This is why diversity matters, why seeing version of other people’s lives matter, why seeing someone you’ve never seen before is important; if you never leave your house, never leave your town or your state, your next best thing is living vicariously through the entertainment. Consider how many states have passed same sex marriage. Some of the change was caused by seeing positive and inclusive characters in a show; they weren’t demons or deviants, they were just people trying to live their lives.

What was once invisible, taboo, dangerous is now being demanded, asked for, created and supplied by consumers and creatives alike. When you have the opportunity to see yourself reflected in the screen in front of you, in the pages before you, in the images around you, you find a form of confidence, comfort, joy and worth that other people take for granted. Many people take their own lives because they are invisible, they are told they do not matter, they aren’t desired in the world.Comic books, movies, tv shows, books can dramatically change that for a person just because they saw themselves in the lines and pages, bold face font as opposed to the margins.

Consider the breakaway success of Fresh Off The Boat. The story of Eddie Huang, the food kingpin, growing up in Orlando during the most critically incredible time in hip hop. A Chinese-Taiwanese American, Huang’s story (loosely based on the memoir of the same name) follows Eddie and his family through the strange suburban streets of Orlando with an essential hip hop soundtrack. It’s the first series since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl to feature an Asian American family in the narrative. I know a lot of Asian American kids who’s stories I’d never seen on screen; we’d grown up together so I know their lives but it’s fascinating to think that as a minority in a minority, your own image doesn’t resonate at all. Asian kids were always the mathletes, goofy swagger- less immigrant, the punching bag but the kids I know, they’re pretty fucking amazing. Jane The Virgin breaks the Hispanic stereotype and lead actress Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for it. We are coming full circle, we are coming to a point where the former, the ignored, the disenfranchised are finding themselves in positions of power and are wisely growing from it. TV and media are powerful forces for change, for conversation and for visibility.

Everybody deserves to have some form of their story told in some medium. They need to know they are important to what makes the human experience and if they don’t see themselves, they should be more than encouraged to create the images that they want to see, that they should see and should be seen.

You are visible, you matter, you count.

I Wanna Get Better

So.

full disclosure.

I’ve been struggling with unemployment for the past few months.

At first, it started out as a massive kick to the face. Dear God, here I am, 29 (at the time) earning my way through the complex digital world, meeting people, networking, not truly understanding the power I wield but I’m paying my bills on time and contributing the the toxic sludge that is the internet.

so paid

so paid

After a few days, it turned into a mini vacation. I was still meeting people for chats, consulting on best practices, sleeping in a bit, hanging out with people. It was like seeing the world for the first time in awhile. Obligations were gone for a moment.

but forever

After about a month, it became a debilitating, soul crushing experience. Waking up early to stare off at the job listings screen, wondering why anyone wasn’t returning my calls or emails then forcing myself to eat breakfast then go to the gym to clear my head.

srsly

After two months, my birthday.

I’m now 30 years old.

I can’t celebrate anything really. I have a party of sorts. I get a little drunk but it’s that kind of drunk where you want your feelings to drown so you can float to the surface, embracing clarity and say you’ll never do that again knowing damn well you’re going to do it.

It all feels like a surreal nightmare where I’ve been dropped into a Fincher movie; all muted hyper colors and textures and there’s an alternate version of me walking around, successfully. Okay so I may have described the plot to Fight Club but it’s the same idea really. There is another version of me, improving, living, thriving.

I am Jack’s complete disillusionment

 

I figure, while I’m booking random gigs, for which I am grateful, I would just try to live a little bit. I try going out early in the day, New York in the summer is my favorite type but I find myself getting up early to go to the gym, be upset, get rejection letters, going home, showering and sitting in my bedroom, AC barely on watching Netflix.

You do a lot of soul searching and personal assessing when something like this happens. As it happens, I’ve been coping with a separation, so it was basically a mega shitshow hurricando mega force suckfest. You start picking things apart, putting the pieces into boxes to really get a big picture and see what happened. I didn’t lose my job due to performance, just the economics of the business. Like a survivor on Lost or Gilligan’s Island, I pick through the debris and see what I can salvage. Turns out I’m more a Gilligan than a Professor. Mercifully, the relationship is still sort of salvageable, but that’s a whole other entry. OR several. Stiff upper lip, I work through it.

I go to a lot of bar events.

I don’t tan.

I’ve dyed my hair at least four times already.

By August I book a gig working the U. S. Open (I dye my hair an acceptable color) The job feels like summer camp really.

When I close out this job, I make the note to spend more time in a gym because there is nothing on Serena Williams’ body that jiggles. THE BOOTY REAL.

actually watched this match. it was intense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I make money, meet people, pass around my business card and discuss business opportunities but the entire time, I find that I’m struggling with just what is that I am offering? What is that I do?

I continue checking my email, sending my resume out, collecting rejection letters, random messages for gigs and the occasional offer to enlarge my penis. As if my problems aren’t enough, my phantom dick is small. fuck my life.

I go to New York Comic Con.

IMG_0372

where I sat in the same room as Edward Norton and Michael Keaton

I work a Thanksgiving Day commercial for one day, setting up office in a home gym in a house with a price tag that makes me weep.

I work a lot of odd jobs.

I work.

What am I doing?!

I’ve become a drone, mindlessly filling out job application after application, hoping to at least land a gig that caters to my skill set. I apply for retail jobs, knowing full well they are the very textbook definition of temporary and I fear repeating the vicious cycle that the last six years have been. (As me about it some time, I’ll tell you all about it. Preferably over drinks.)  I wind up doing more writing and land a few pieces on Vh-1 which fuels me to find my niche and again I’m dumbfounded.

I’ve never done a career assessment. Ever.

In college, I was always in the career office looking at job postings, figuring I can do that, that sounds easy enough. I never sat with anyone to discuss my skills and interests. I never figured out what it was thatI could do and then was completely baffled as to why I had been passed for the position. I still never went to see anyone about it, figuring it was because I hadn’t had a proper resume to begin with. How many times as a college student were you passed on a job because you didn’t have a job before? (I’ve been working since the age of fourteen)

After that, I just dove head first into everything that I could, figuring something would stick in my wheelhouse. I worked in A&R, I worked as a camera operator, post production assistant, I was a copywriter, I was a delivery girl (woman!), I ran social media for various entities. I did it all, I did too much, I wanted to do more. I’d bitched about everything going on, as is the right of all working people in a capitalist society doing what they can to survive.

I have a resume with various skills but none of that experience tallied into a single marketable skill; there is no singular thing that I can define as my ability. (Swearing doesn’t count, sadly) I have a fairly succinct resume, divided between all my media work and then my production work into two fairly respectable entities, never mind the jobs in between all of that. Looking at them side by side, I feel like I’ve been a million different people from one day to the next and none of us can agree on just who we are professionally; we just want to collect the credit, the experience, file it and see where it takes us. (forget the hot mess that I am on a personal level.)

Just what the fuck is it that I do?

Like I said. I’ve never done a career assessment. I’ve had professional friends work with me on molding and shaping who I am, or at least guiding me in the direction to which is best suited to my abilities. We all agreed that I am a Swiss Army Knife. Adaptable to situations, capable, smart, stylish. Pocket sized.

I should pick a better selfie

I tried to do it myself.

What I’ve figured out so far is that I write a lot, (ramble coherently mostly), enjoy comic books, movies, I have pretty gay tendencies, I like animals, movies, off-color humor, drinking and swearing.

Basically I’m a Puerto Rican Judd Apatow character.

(if he was y’know a little more diverse in his writing)

I struggle with anxiety and I learned that when I speak to people, I have to memorize a script so that I can avoid mumbling something incoherent. (Fun fact! I was a theater kid for most of my life but my decision to get tattoos and dye my hair often tanked it.) I started getting more in depth with researching things, reading deeper into some articles. I wrote down ideas and tried testing them out on this blog. I tried dressing better too; apparently t-shirt and jeans is not standard grown lady apparel. I did not receive that notice. Studies indicate that doing little things to improve one’s appearance can increase their confidence and outwardly influence people they meet and thusly line your pockets with money. (vicious cycle)

Now armed with this newfound knowledge, I send out my resume, cover letter and articles to various publications in the hope that one of these strange traits will land me something somewhat resembling an opportunity but I still feel fake. I work and tweak the details, polish myself up, sell sell sell. I curb my social media habits, especially if I’m using them to market myself. I can’t have my moody music posts deterring people from considering me. (we’ve all posted Coldplay songs, shut up) Even with all of this, I feel off.

There’s a nagging feeling at the back of my head. Something I keep missing and I know it.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

I didn’t list that as something I’m fully capable of doing.

me editing this mess

When I was employed full time, all I did was write on the side, the phantom ideas taking up my headspace while working on sheets, deadlines and deliveries. When I lost my job, I broke out all my notebooks, pouring over them, pulling them apart for deeper ideas and I started working on them. It felt much like looking through a yearbook when you’ve completely failed at everything. You want to find the place it went wrong and pick up from there, with fresh arms and legs to carry it.  I broke out a fresh notebook, Post It’s tucked into margins with plot points I had to remember and things I need to remember with world building. I started working on them all the time, hoping that maybe all the experience I’d collected would just pour out in the next great American novel because so far, my luck has been terrible. What’s the worst that could happen, really?

The one thing that’s kept me sane has been writing. My reading has declined substantially despite my growing book hoarding habits (thanks Strand!)  and article perusing while job hunting but my writing, my writing has continued. My last article for Vh-1, the controversial Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You May Be Christmas’ Greatest Song. Ever, landed me my first blockbuster article share (including a RT from Mariah’s team) and first brush with “U R A RETARD GO FUK URSELF MARIAH SUX” hate mail in the comments section. I’ve placed six with them and am trying to work on a full time reccurring segment of sorts but haven’t found the right hook as of yet. Truthfully, I haven’t been able to match that just yet; it’s the Thriller article of my young writing career. I’m working on Bad but fear that all anyone will ever want is Thriller. The fact is, I’m writing, so, that’s a good thing.

So.

Let’s recap.

I lost my job.

I worked a lot of other jobs.

I’m still looking for a job.

I will talk about work with you. Over drinks. Or not. Whatever.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I write
  2. I direct
  3. I produce
  4. I create
  5. I take pictures of random animals that I find in the street and fight the urge to bring them home with me because I’m unemployed and can’t afford that kind of lifestyle right now.
  6. I offer tech support in emerging technologies
  7. I tell dick joks
  8. I can manage YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine accounts. With some bilingual flair.
  9. I am a strange brand indeed but you won’t be bored.
  10. I’m the invisiblecircus

Let’s see where it goes because I want to be a better me.

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Wonder Woman’s Six Scripts

Condensed into one final script.

Using Post Its.

I’m speculating and will probably come up with even worse treatments.

It will feature equal parts forced romcom, awkward political thriller, slow motion and possible wink and nod to how truly awkward it is to shovel 75 years of history into a two hour story.

Opening scene is Diana Prince, love and romance expert, writing a Sex in The City style article for the Daily Planet’s digital edition. She’s average looking. Brown hair pulled into a bun, green eyes, fair skin, a bought off the rack power suit. Has a framed picture of her cat. They want to downplay how good she really is.

Lois Lane is more desirable than she is.

Basically, she’s a swipe to the left on Tinder.

The plot will have to be something fun flirty and slightly dangerous because she will have to have a romantic foil or some kind of reoccurring running gag about her appearance or something that will be vaguely hinted at. Like a less sexy Mr. And Mrs. Smith despite the spandex. They’ll make it so that she’s undateable because she’s strong but someone who’ll run to her rescue is man enough for her. It will be left out that she is a demigod on par with Hercules, that her mother is Queen of the Amazons and her father is Zeus. Or Ares. The audience will pretend that that back story isn’t the same as Xena’s but quietly lament the fact just the same.

No big deal

Some semblance of a spy story, maybe referencing the hot mess that was Batman V Superman: Pectoral Wars where a flashback will remind audiences that Diana/Wonder Woman was even in the damn thing in the first place. Probably the only good part of the entire movie. Explosions, heroic poses, this outfit.

but we’ll probably won’t even get a good explanation for this at all

In covering up, explaining, protecting Superman and Batman (theoretically, Diana’s investigative skills unearthed everything about the super bros in the movie) she’s unearthed a much bigger problem with Lex Luthor, evil evil evil etc something something generic enough to be engaging. The romantic foil will keep reminding Diana she hadn’t fed her cat while they’re in the middle of a daring escape in the invisible jet, which, because it needs to max out the budget, will be visible and have a striking resemblance to the X-Men’s Blackbird but only by like total coincidence.

thank God Bruce had Wonder Dog on standby though

By Act 3, we’ll have to set up that Aquaman is also a Justice Leaguer and is Jason Momoa.

Bless

The solution will be simple and she’ll tell chiseled, unnamed romantic foil that her destiny is with doing daring deeds, feeding her cat and yada yada yada.

The End.

Doctor Strange Casting Wish List

Joaquin Phoenix, former rapper, Oscar nominated actor and all around creepy guy was dropped from the running to play Marvel comics next big character Doctor Strange, leaving Ethan Hawke still in the running.

Hawke sighting

Phoenix not rising…

Which means that we may be treated to yet another movie with a white guy in the lead. Look I love Paul Rudd and  even with all the trouble going on behind the scenes with Ant-Man, I’ll still see it but he’s still a white guy in a superhero suit. Marvel has been championing changes to it’s character and title roster in the last few years so it’s only natural to hope that they’ll take the same approach to their cinematic universe but so far, it seems to be taking even longer to see diversity on screen.

Producers are looking for top tier talent with mild genre appeal to fill in the mystical boots of the good Doctor Strange, a literal cult character in the Marvel wheelhouse lovingly called Mystical Marvel. So who is Doctor Strange and why does Marvel want to give him a movie?

Steven Vincent Strange was born 1930 in Philadelphia. Destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme (defender of Earth against mystical and magical threats) Karl Mordo cursed Steven with demons from age 8 until adulthood until the Ancient One and then Sorcerer Supreme rescued him. He earned his medical degree and fast tracked through New York Hospital, fueling his ego and providing refuge from his crumbling home life. He became an renowned neurosurgeon before the age of 30.

In 1963, Strange was in a terrible car accident where he suffered severe nerve damage, effectively ending his professional career. He took to performing risky back alley surgeries to make ends meet and ultimately lost his credibility. After hitting rock bottom, he traveled East to find The Ancient One but the sorcerer refused to heal him, instead offering to train him in mysticism. He spent years studying with The Ancient One who ultimately named him his successor and he embraced his destiny as the Sorcerer Supreme.

I trust this guy

Here are some of the gentlemen I’d like to see take on this complex role.

Pedro Pascal

He’s even got the facial hair…c’mon

Already a genre hero from his guest spot on HBO’s Game of Thrones as The Viper,  and Shakespeare in the Park veteran, Pascal is poised to take over Hollywood his way. He returns to TV in a way starring in Netflix’ upcoming series Narcos. With his significant acting chops, flair for creating sympathetic characters and pretty face, Pedro has all the elements you want in your mystical wizard doctor.

Chiwtel Ejiofor

 

He would’ve been an amazing Doctor Who

Oscar nominated for his role in 12 Years a Slave, looks dead sexy in six inch platforms (if you haven’t seen Kinky Boots, you should) Chiwetel becomes his characters, making it easy to see him in virtually any role. He’s already shown he’s a sic fi genre man having starred in Children of Men, Salt and Serenity.

Oded Fehr

I always wanted to go to Egypt and the want went through the roof when this guy showed up on his horse, facial tattoos, warning the stupids poking around the cursed lands that this could only end in tears. Already a veteran in the business, starring in both film and television series, Oded Fehr has that otherworldly charm that you need to play a dude who’s supposed to be the most magical wizard in the world. Besides Harry Potter.

Alexander Siidig

I mean come on!

Deep Space Nine. That is all. Alexander will be appearing in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones as Doran Martell after his run on Da Vinci’s Demons and his time on Atlantis…the man is sci fi defined. With his charm, wit and serious eye gaze, why couldn’t he just be Doctor Strange?

So who do you think would make a better Doctor Strange?