This Mirror Ain’t Big Enough for The Both of Us

In my previous life, I was a loss prevention detective for a large big box retailer.

I’d tell you of my exploits but that just seems both a waste of time and also like a million years ago.

The key thing to remember is that during the three years I held that position, I faced some pretty harrowing things.

I had a crackhead with a blade in his pocket.

Another had a stashed needle in his coat.

Another was trying to spit blood at me and my coworkers.

I was bulldozed by a fifteen year old girl who kicked me in the head as she ran. (not my finest moment)

I wrestled a teenage girl to the ground after flying over a railing.

In short, I did alot of weird things that looking back on it was both an adrenaline rush, ill advised, super risky and very dangerous. A superhero for a company that doesn’t remember I was even there. Brave bold and stupid, you know?

So why is it when it comes to talking to co-workers I have no spine?

When I look at the things I’ve been able to do, a lot of it was just because I had to turn off my brain and just say fuck it. Anxiety is debilitating as is depression and the combination feels a lot like being punched repeatedly in the face and making the most of a busted lip. I’ve done my very best to stay optimistic despite everything and have done a fairly good job of it (previous readers will probably recall the meltdowns and other crisis I’ve been too public in discussing) but when it comes to tackling things like basic social and human interactions…

chef_bot___does_not_compute__by_giframa-d555wi8

It’s gotten to the point where I will play a conversation and the variations thereof to make sure that A) I don’t sound like a fucking imbecile and B) that I convey my point effectively and not at all like an asshat.

I realize, that it’s all because I’m in the middle of my own head worried about how other people see me and both outcomes result entirely on how big or small an asshole I look. It’s about me, people. It’s about me not being a fucking pussy. It’s about me being the person I wanted to be but also not feeling like a second class hand me down waste of space you know?

I will sit and overanalyze and things won’t get done and then I’ll vex and obsess about why things are not working out for me because I am spineless and in my own way.

My heroes are not spineless or in their own way.

2e4fqki

they have shotguns and fashion sense

xena-social11

Round killing things and fashion sense

buffy-season-1-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-1418312-1869-2560

Pointy things and fashion sense

SO.

How does one get out of their own head and grow a spine?

You just do it.

I think back on how I was fighting motherfuckers over stuff that wasn’t mine (stolen merchandise and the no bonus you get in recovering it) like a rabid panda and I wonder where did she go? Where is that guy when you’re trying to talk to someone about making adjustments on a project that is a seemingly easy fix but you’re so busy trying to not sound like you’re incompetent that you basically wind up mumbling and stuttering and coming off exactly like your worst fear. I think back on how confident I was telling a shoplifter that I didn’t want to send them to jail and that they needed to be honest about the number of times they’d stolen things. How much twisted fun the people I worked with had being low level toy cop assholes to people. That guy, that guy was pretty boss. Somewhere between surviving and thriving I lost my nerve. I wound up leaving that job and suddenly all of that changed. My spine curved. My internal monologue became a massive long diatribe narrating the worst things about me and the reasons why I couldn’t possibly that good anymore, especially if I couldn’t work that gig.

Probably didn’t help that around the same time that happened about a few months later I was broken up with (maybe even almost immediately after I don’t remember) disaster lumps itself in threes so the entire thing was just a total dismantling of myself as a human.

I’ve never felt more destroyed than when all of that happened. Okay maybe there were a few other times but c’mon fam…it’s like how many times can a person take L after L?

 

1392673408_meek_mill2_84

but I really don’t think he lost

You’ve read the past posts so I won’t rehash the past but it was hard. It was scrapping and scraping and doing things that needed to be done to get things done. It wasn’t always easy but then again nothing ever is. I lost a lot of myself,  and was still chasing after something that (looking at it now) wasn’t going to happen but when you’ve got

2016 is about getting that nerve back.

It’s not without it’s bumps, bruises, ebbs and flows.

I’m trying to do this new thing where I accept that I’m really only capable of doing the best that I can but let’s be honest who the hell has the mental and emotional fortitude to believe in all that bullshit anyhow?

2016 is about getting that nerve back. I keep saying it. It’s popped up once or twice, the straighter spine, the conviction in statements and execution of tasks and the feeling of victory is fleeting but I hang onto it because well, rainy days stay happening and you always need an umbrella and shiny lights to keep you from losing your mind.

tumblr_lyeog2cnrp1qfn6g4o1_500

 

The wild thing is that I’ve done so much since I’ve been where I am and that in it of itself is an amazing thing. What I’m trying to do though, is be excellent and I keep getting in my own way trying to be excellent. Can I stay out of my own way? Maybe maybe not. I guess the best advice is to just know that I’m going to be standing in front of myself which means I’m chasing me and that means that there is a version of me that’s pretty advanced and moving at the speed of light so I’m doing things the right way.

flash-gif-2

I’m really hypnotized by this

Confidence is a thing that doesn’t come easily, not anymore. It’s actually pretty sad because there was a time in my life where I was real fucking arrogant bastard but that was because I really hadn’t any equals. A God complex without ever really thinking about where that came from and just like that it was gone. I could spend a whole boring ass post analyzing it all but let’s face it, we’d get nowhere and you’d get bored and I’d run out of gifs to entertain you.

In the quest to find confidence or find steel in my spine, I’ve been trying everything and anything. I’ve started changing my wardrobe up enough to look cooler or at least vaguely resemble someone in touch with reality as opposed to my actual aesthetic; hats, tee shirt and sneakers I bought pretty cheap on a binge shopping run. Ironically enough, this is the actual look and feel that everyone who is cool tends to embody, I just look like a fucking idiot.

giphy

and yet Martin Starr is a dreamboat now

I’ve learned so far that I really am just trying to get by. I’m coping with a mother who’s sick, a job that’s both rewarding and frustrating, a family that’s getting by and a relationship that’s starting to be something and a tattoo collection that needs to get up and on with it’s bad self. I’ve learned that by trying to alter myself I get farther and farther away from me but then again, I wind up back at square one.

SO.

The spine thing.

The trick is to live recklessly. You’re going to fuck up, you’re going to fuck up super hard and you’re going to fuck up often. You’re going to say stupid things, wear stupid things, act like an airhead and you’re going to be the biggest idiot for an hour or two but you will never be that for the rest of your life. You will solve all the problems, be the solution and save all the boxes of kittens in burning down houses. Why?

Because you’re a goddamned superhero.

You’re not as bad as you think you are and for the most part, even if you are, you’re not that terrible. You’re the amalgamation of a series of strange occurrances that had to happen in order for to be here. You have to 1000000% remind yourself that while other people are uncomfortable with you’ve got to live with yourself and I guess that’s really what it’s all about.

I think alot about the way that I started out and how an extraordinary a machine I am, banged up bruised and battered (basically I’m the Millennium Falcon) from everything and still keep going. That’s really thing thing. You have to be confident in your mileage, in your ability to survive, in your ability to adapt and even if you don’t look like much, you’ve still got it where it counts.

Maybe that’s really the whole point. I’m just going along and seeing what happens as it happens, conquering things in my own way. I still miss the person I used to be and I want to be the more improved version of that person.

For all I know, I already am.

What I Learned This Week: June 26

This week, we discover that marathon weeks are for people who are actually in marathons, I can multitask and people are just strange strange mammals.

Saturday: I’m at work, attempting to not lose my mind as the elevators don’t work properly. Sure, simple solution, let’s just see if we can get a break and a low key weekend. “We’re fixing them, they’re fixed, there’s also the freight elevators, don’t worry, everything is awesome” We knock out the job and I spend the evening talking to a guy who’s a freelancer and looks like Schmidt from “New Girl” It’s not a thing. He’s also baffled by my age. Which is bafflng. Why am I using the word baffling?! I don’t really get a chance to talk to Waffle either. BUT I do manage to knock out the side project well. So. Guess things are good.

Digital woes

Sunday:

I’m amazed I’m even standing upright as I have to book a project for Thursday that entails my calling everyone I’ve worked with and asking, ‘aye, you wanna work with me.’ It’s also a weird day because I don’t know what I’m doing again. I’m also covering for the LA team which meant that I was basically running home to upload work for the left coast and make it as seamless as possible.

Monday:

Is the day that followed Sunday. I have no recollection of what I did. I’m assuming it was amazing as I have a job and I’m liked. Mom’s surgery approaches. It’s kinda shitty.

Tuesday:

Waffle texts me so it might as well have been a message from God about where we stand. I can’t stop grinning. I handle a few things, fumble a bit, am a totally messed up pile of goo about it but shovel a Rice Krispy treat down my face hole because that’s just the kind of fatass I am. I have a donut when Waffle shows up. We get Shake Shack, we eat across from Trill after she gets a tattoo.  It’s disgusting how enamored I am.

Oh and I did this thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze8uWjOs2Eo

Wednesday:

No rest for the wicked. Plan out and execute for things with the second shoot. Mom is also going in for surgery. Haven’t been sleeping well and am extremely tired, baggy faced and flabby. This is the grossest I’ve felt in the longest. I shovel pizza in my face, knock out things and run back home. Mom is okay. She’s tired but y’know that’s life innit? We’re all tired.

Thursday:

The shoot is basically an amalgamation of all my worlds at once. The smart fast capable PA who knows more than the Production Manager (me) on a block where I used to work for three years with a guy who hired me who’s basically co-signed my work. I’m the convergence. All of me has collided into one me like a creep Voltron or something. I’m proud of myself. I made it work. I’m working and while I’m tired, it’s better than the downward spiral I was heading down. I guess that’s pretty cool. I also bought sneakers because wearing shoes or hard bottoms is just not normal. They’re cozy and I’ve let the world dominate my closet.

Friday:

The Supreme Justice says gay marriage is legal across all 50 states.

You gays.

I mean guys.

THIS IS HUGER THAN ANYTHING I’VE WRITTEN.

Time Travel and You

So I’ve been watching SyFy’s 12 Monkeys series and it, like anything involving space and time travel got me thinking:

What would I change if I could?

They say, you cannot change the past, you can only learn from it. Sure, I learned a lot. I learned I made poor an ill advised decisions in my life that lead me to my current situation. Aimless wanderer at 30 and not that charming handsome witty manic pixie dream type of wanderer. I’m that confused, angry, sleepy, constantly hungry and enjoys drinking type of wanderer. A proto-hobo if you will. I have enough time (WAY TOO MUCH) time to think about life and the things that have brought me to where I am and have systematically, neurotically picked it all apart, putting the pieces out onto a nice and rows and categories like: shitshow, disaster, that was a good time, never again, what were you thinking, oh man that was a good time and so on. In that time, I managed to pinpoint the moment I would change if given the opportunity to go back and do it.

Time travel gets a bad rep. We think it should be used for the greater good but in fact it will be used for whatever good that suits the user; so it’s still the greater good, it’s just not YOUR idea of the greater good.

One has to keep in mind that the rules are spelled out: you cannot change something MASSIVE because of the butterfly effect it will have on the present. Ir can dramatically alter the timeline you are traveling from that can cause a dramatic rip in your own timeline. You can end the world. You can end the sandwich. Pizza won’t be invented. The variations are catastrophic.

Anyways.

I’d go back in time and fix a few things.

I figured out the most crucial one is where I went to college. I picked a janky school because it was what I could afford and they offered a scholarship. That was mistake number one: I let money get in the way of my progress.

So. New college.

That means new people yeah? Of course.

I still believe that there are some people that I was supposed to meet and be friends with and those are the people I met in the college I wound up in. HOWEVER. In my fantasy alternate true time travel reality however. I would’ve met much more diverse people, encouraging people, interesting people.

I would’ve met douchebags and wondered if the grass was greener.

The next big thing would be what happened in my relationship. Sure, I went to a different school, I met different people, I didn’t wind up on my career path and I didn’t meet Waffle. The twist is this. I was always going to meet Waffle. Our paths are just designed that way. Once I dropped down in my next timeline for repair, the first thing I’d do is avoid ever type of argument that popped up. We fought over stupid things, the way people in love do. The whole thing would’ve been repaired before it started to get nutty. I mean a complete personality overhaul. I was quite lousy (work was getting to me) and things were feeling forced. Instead of asking for daily meet ups after work, once a week, a big grand adventure; doing nothing, maybe everything…It would be completely different.

So now I’m in a paradox. The fork in the road. I can only go back once to repair the damage my present timeline is facing. What do I do? Do I go to a better school finally get a degree and have a career? (Currently I’m ass deep in student loan debt like the rest of the country) Do I get to see the world in this timeline? Will I finally get shitfaced in London like I’ve always dreamed of? Ride the Tokyo Bullet Train and sip sake while trying to speak to a business man who keeps asking if I’m yakuza because I have tattoos. (Dear GOD let me have tattoos in this timeline!) Do I fulfill the greater good and complete my personal goal of perceived success or do I fulfill the thing I didn’t know I needed like having a relationship with someone who I adore more than travel and whiskey. (I LOVE WHISKEY)

Here’s the thing.

Either opportunity is life changing. Either move I make will dramatically change everything. They are all self-serving. They are all moves I make for myself like a chess master.

There is always, of course, the third thing.

My brother was critically injured in 2003. He broke is neck. He became an incomplete quadriplegic, meaning he has full function of his upper body to a degree and minimal function of his lower half. He suffers from muscle spasms. He is nothing short of a miracle. He was supposed to be dead. If I went back, to the moment I made the choice to go to a different school, what would happen to him? Is that the butterfly effect that I fear? Instead of surviving and being the strange miracle that he is (he builds computers, has a bunch of girls squabbling for him and pretty much beats every video game I get him) would he be worse? Would he be better? Would he be dead? If I go back and prevent the accident, what then? Does his life improve?

Instead of being self serving, picking a better school, saving my relationship (I’d still do that, fuck school, I’m too cool to go back) I would save him. Is that decision self-serving? Probably. It would save my family a shitload of trouble and probably drastically alter everything that follows.

The thing with time travel and the ethics with it is that no matter how you look at it, it’s still never going to work out entirely the way you want. It never does. It’s nothing to do with ripples, echoes or butterfly effects but everything to do with choice; there are people who are predisposed to making bad choices, wrong choices or choices with no concept of consequences. There are people who make them together, or make them alone but they happen. Time travel doesn’t account for this, time moves forward and backwards and if you subscribe to the extra creepy notion that there is someone, an alternate you, living the life you could’ve had if you’d made THAT choice, time travels like a spider web. Keeping that in mind, there’s always the possibility that your alternate timeline crosses your current one (deja vu) and you have an immediate choice to make; these choices dramatically influenced by BOTH parts of YOU, the one that made the right choice, the one that makes the logical choice. When both of YOU agree, you’ve merged a timeline and create a whole new paradox. Let’s say successful you and mediocre you are now a super saiyan and you’ve reached 9000. You’ve learned everything you need to know about time travel. Right? No. Of course not because somewhere in there is another ripple, another rift, another choice someone else will make that will split YOU into you and you; neither of you have ever encountered this and have no idea what to do. Does experience trump fate? Does it all repeat itself?

Ultimately, any time travel show, movie, book will always show you the consequences. You have to accept the things that you can’t change and have the wisdom to know the difference. Or is that AA? Whatever. The thing is, you can change the things by seeing them as they’re coming, as they’re happening. I see the lines connecting and crossing and maybe it’s becomes clearer the closer I get to it but it seems like the relationship portion of my life is starting to come back together. That clicks back together, then the school situation clicks back together and the work situation clicks back together and then I’m shitfaced in London apologizing to Waffle for my condition while marveling at how lovely she is under the moon in a different city.

Maybe time is a flat circle.

Maybe I’m just running the same path to the start.

 

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.

How Job Hunting Brought Me Here

If you’ve looked at my bio on Twitter (which I hope you have) I have listed myself as a content strategist, digital media guru, YouTube specialist and cat lady. These are all key things to
keep in mind when you consider that I have been job hunting since April of this year. I know what you’re thinking, you played on the internet, how hard could it be to get back in the game? The answer is really effing hard.

I am self taught in the digital domain game and my mentor, an extraordinary woman in her own right, both walked into the digital realm with bright eyes and can do attitudes that meant we were ready to take on the world. We did. The world wasn’t ready for us just yet.

This is not a sob story, this is a reboot, a reimagined version of what is to come.

At around the time of my job loss, my mom had been struggling to find one of her own. She’s a 20 year veteran of the garment industry, my mom has consistently worked, paid my tuition for school and kept food on the table and clothes on my back. As of December 31, 2013, my mom has been out of work. She’s taken a few freelance jobs that lasted a few months working for the same people responsible for her job loss and continues to scour the industry pages and job listings hoping for something. Here’s the thing that breaks my heart. My mom shouldn’t have to go through this at her age. She shouldn’t have to be fighting the same kids I fight (20 something’s with stars in their eyes) to get a job in an industry focused on outsourced and overpriced goods made in countries that are getting wiser to the game. Here she is, fighting and losing. My mom has never had much love for the fashion industry. She loves fashion and really did her best to get me to quit the tired tee and jeans look that’s my trademark but she never felt passionate about making sure the clothes the toddlers wore were actually flame retardant and wouldn’t choke your kid out; it was a job that kept her idiot child out of trouble and fed. She demanded and instilled that I keep reaching for the top shelf (because that’s where there good liquor is) and beyond for whatever bizarre dream I was clinging to. My mom wanted to be a doctor but she never said why she never continued it and that’s always bothered me, how she could dream but only a little bit and want the world for me. Today, she began paperwork for early retirement.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hustling like the good New Yorker I am, networking and freelancing to keep up with the pile of bills misery and paperwork to get back into an industry that doesn’t really care how you describe yourself in a Twitter profile but how you work on a set for 18 hours delirious from lack of sleep and anxious for that email saying you’ve booked your next gig. I had something that I enjoyed after shoveling crap for so long. Yes I love creating content. I love making people laugh and think and I did it for other companies for a long time but when do you stop making things happen for other people and make things happen for yourself? And how do you do it?

The new age in technology has allowed everyone to make an impact in was we didn’t know possible. We can see opportunities wherever we are not looking because there’s so many lanes open. We are capable of designing our own paths and we can find people we didn’t know we’re looking for us. I never had a chance to really think about what makes me an individual; I never gave a quality answer during interviews about why I was a qualified candidate and I tended to make terrible jokes about cartoons, Im an idiot basically. I never thought about my value as a person to any I the organizations I had been a part of (I’ve held a few odd jobs) so the first days and weeks of being jobless hurt more than anything. I had identified with this company so much so that I forgot why they liked me in the first place. It happens. You get comfortable. Feel safe. You are one.

I weighed my job options. My old retail job was looking for people but I couldn’t go back to that, not after launch parties at 40/40 Club (yes ESPN on the screen) or crashing celebrity birthday bashes and drinking free top shelf liquor. It was like being Mase and going back to being Diddy’s gardener; I couldn’t walk away from the cool kid life. I filed for city jobs, corporate jobs, temp work everything and waited for a call from someone.

As I sat filing for unemployment I was writing. A lot. I’ve always been a writer, it’s just one of those things I was able to do without thinking but it was never asked of me to do regularly, so it was in the back burner. I wrote fanfiction (it got that grim but I have to say, some of it is really good) I wrote bad poetry, 140 character reviews, I even took the time to write Amazon reviews! I was writing articles for this blog, submitting to different digital properties I’d had professional relationships with and hoping they’d be interested in the ramblings of a now 30 year old uber child; turns out they already had a staff of 20 year old über children and they were armed to the teeth with gifs. Things were pouring out of me and I didn’t know where they could all go.

I had a bit of a rebellious summer. Cut and dyed my hair colors I couldn’t have with my 9-5, joined some fandoms, marathoned tv shows and kept up with what was going on with the digital landscape. I revamped my resume, I worked the US Open and made some connections but the confidence had been beaten out of me. The bravery to really go out and get that ESPN/CBS/TNN job just…I was rattled. Here I was, working an event meeting people right in the thick of things and I was reduced to a mess of goo because I didn’t know what I could bring to these people that they didn’t already have. You see, losing your job is a strike to the heart because you never saw it coming and what it does is rattle you body and soul. It renders you immobile because you want to know what you did wrong and no one will tell you. Everyone you hoped would help aren’t there and you’re out in the world alone and confused because it was all good just a week ago. So I sat. I waited. I submitted to more jobs and I waited. I wanted to quit but I couldn’t. What would I be quitting?

The government keeps saying that unemployment is on the decline but they always fail to mention that the resources are diminishing and that means people who were claiming it can’t anymore so of course it looks like everyone is okay. They just stopped claiming. They’re onto the next thing to make ends meet. They’re filing for social security, disability, something to keep themselves afloat in a city that doesn’t value the working class.
So I kept writing.

A friend pitched me to someone way back when and an email appeared while I was out with Waffle that changed a few things.

I was tasked with writing for and EDM property.

Now if you’re a fan of the blog (all five of you are and I thank you) you see I’ve been doing first reaction listens of albums. I figured no sweat. Someone cares right? I dove in. I dug up old stories, dusted them off and submitted them for approval. I landed a byline. A.DIGITAL.BYLINE. On a music news site that I frequented and my brain melted.

I had given digital rebirth to myself like some cybernetic Phoenix. My mom immediately took to Facebook (never doubt the power of a mothers love when it comes to her small social media presence) and demanded that everyone on her timeline read my scribblings. She had tears in her eyes. The last time she’d been this proud of me was when I’d graduated high school. I kid. It was when I landed the job that changed everything and brought me into the digital world but still.

I learned things about myself that I didn’t know. You’d think I’d have a good idea of who I am but there’s always something. I learned that I am a thinker; overthinking to the point of crippling indecision. I learned that I pick up on social cues and things people say and do, learn how to read the signs and plan accordingly. I learned that everyone will help if you help yourself and that while no job is perfect or permanent, the people who make it feel like it is are the ones you want to keep in contact with. I learned that my mom is super into puzzle games and really wants me to accept her Facebook invite to Gardens of Time (still pending) and that she still really believes that even when things are shitty, they can either be worse or get better. I learned that I just have to try, even if I don’t know what to expect. I don’t care how old you get, you always want to make yo momma proud. Bottom line.

I am a digital strategist, media mogul, YouTube specialist and cat lady. I’m also the daughter of a woman who made it possible for be to believe that for every weird thought you’ve had about making a difference in the world, you’re right. That you’re tougher than you thought, that you are not labels you write in your Twitter bio, you aren’t disposable or replaceable. You can fight your way back in and make everyone remember your name.

Job hunting made me find and create my dream job and as corny as it sounds, it really does happen.

Now if it paid better, I’d be set.

Find me on Twitter @invisiblecircus

Thor is A Woman and That’s Fucking Fantastic

There is a major shake up happening in Marvel.

Starting in October, Thor, The Might Asgardian Norse god of Thunder would be…Thor, the Mighty Asgardian Norse goddess of Thunder.

The statement released on Marvel.com:

Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THORwritten by Jason Aaron complimented with art from Russell Dauterman.

This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of the “big three” of Captain American, Iron Man and Thor. No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR.

More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/news/comics/2014/7/15/22875/marvel_proudly_presents_thor#ixzz37Z7NQyO0

Speculation is wild about the origins of the new wielder of Mjölnir, and the only hint that the lucky lady is someone who Thor himself saved. She’s built herself off of his mighty blondness and as of October, we’ll find out just who she is and how Thor lost his mojo.

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Throg

Beta Ray Bill

The hammer chooses the wielder, just like Hogwarts Sorting Hat decides that your weak ass is a Hufflepuff and worthy to wield the hammer. (I’m kidding, I don’t know if Hufflepuff is weak, I’ve always been sorted into Gryffindor) Everyone can be worthy to carry the hammer, which is the great appeal of the entire mythos behind the Cosmic Marvel universe.

In 1978, issue 10 of Thor, The Watcher speculated what would have happened if Jane Foster found the Hammer.

what if i did enough squats to git this outfit?

So it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the ownership to pass from Thor Odinson to someone else. It has happened before. Especially when you consider that Throg was an actual plot point.

Thor is a name, not a title.

Naturally, the nerd hordes had a temper tantrum regarding the sex change because nerd rage.

Essentially, comic book purists can accept Throg, vaguely recall The Watcher’s one shot story about Jane and Mjölnir but for her to actually happening during a current run is a problem. The statement includes (paraphrase) a nod to the neglected female comic book fan, which makes it seem like a bit of a cash grab but it also acknowledges that female fronted titles are in demand and Marvel suits aren’t stupid. Captain Marvel, AKA Carol Danvers has been having an amazing run under Kelly Sue DeConnick which has spawned into a great Ms. Marvel title. X-Men founding member Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, is getting her first lead title despite having been in comics for longer than the recently decreased Wolverine who’s had multiple runs as a lead character. Marvel has been leading the charge in comic book diversity where DC is struggling to keep up. Both companies have the luxury of celebrating 50 years in the business and Marvel seems to be the first out of the old guard to truly embrace that the world is in fact very different today than it was upon some of their classic titles first printing.

 

Yesterday it was announced that John Constantine in the upcoming NBC paranormal horror series Constantine would not be bisexual as is cannon with the comic book. That’s a whole other argument but the nerd rage was interesting. They were dismayed at having this part of the character be downplayed when it was essential to who he is. The show runners also discussed that he will not be smoking as much as he does in his Hellblazer title.

At the heart of the hero is still the heart of who they are.

What does it mean that Thor is being replaced by a woman?

Nothing.

What it means is that readers will be treated to a richer experience in storytelling because you have to make your character someone to care about. As a woman, you’re invested in a character that isn’t another run of the mill damsel in distress and as a male reader, you’re still reading a comic book with a ass kicking lead with a legacy. When Miles Morales, the famously biracial kid from Queens, became the new Spider-man, the world almost imploded. From the nerd purists to the racists, Miles becoming the new Spider-man was the prime example for why comics need to change, why diversity is important and why everyone should feel welcome and represented in the great big world of comics and fantasy. They are escape routes and lessons in being a better person packed into bright pages. People of color and women should be included in this world that essentially doesn’t know the same politics as this one does.

The truth is, Marvel should be working on creating a new female lead, fresh origins, fresh stories, fresh everything. They may still be a long way off considering the success of their legacy titles but the seeds are being planted now. They’ve started that with the introduction of Kamala Khan as the aforementioned Ms. Marvel but there are established rules with that power because of the years of the hero having been male. She still needs to be a hero with an old credo in a modern world that may not welcome her.  By introducing new faces in old roles however, you demonstrate that anyone can and will be worthy of the title of hero.

The rage comes from the boat of comfort being rocked and people who don’t like change being toss out of the boat. We don’t know who the new Thor is and won’t until the title rolls out in October. We don’t know the conditions to which Thor loses his ability just as we don’t know how long she’ll be Thor. For all we know, Sif is the new Mjölnir wielder and the ‘other woman’ is Loki in disguise. That’s what makes the speculation so exciting. Taking someone and putting them into an extraordinary circumstance, like becoming something more is a universal experience. It’s a journey that everyone will go through as they discover who they are. Why should an extraordinary experience like becoming a superhero, a guardian, a crusader be only limited to men, or white men? Why should we continue to tell the other that they will remain that way because comic books say so? We are at an age of discovery, where someone somewhere at every second will discover who they are, who they are meant to be and what greater allegory is there than the superhero comic book title? Image Comics, Top Cow and Dark Horse are fantastic when it comes to the idea of diversity in storytelling but they aren’t the MAJORS like DC and Marvel are, plus, their titles tend to lean more maturely than Marvel and DC do.

I get that people are upset that this is happening to their beloved character but it doesn’t change who that character is at the core of their principles. The wild thing is that when Loki has swapped genders, it’s so totally Loki that it’s accepted. Some of it is ridiculed because people are five and have problems with things that challenge their personal belief systems and that’s cool but their distaste is tainting a very simple thing. Sure, Loki is evil and evil people do lousy things but there was no real uproar once Loki went back to being a boy. Maybe women aren’t allowed to be evil? Even if they’re the god of mischief.

After Ragnarök, Loki returned in a female body working with Doctor Doom so Thor would unwittingly resurrect his Asgardian enemies[40] and manipulated Balder to make him the new successor to the throne of Asgard.[41] In reality, Loki retained his male form after Ragnarok but hid himself inside Thor’s reborn lover Sif. During this period, Hela and Loki used magic to send Loki to the past to cause the events that led to his younger self being adopted by Odin as a means to eliminate Bor, Thor’s grandfather.

You can deal with spectral cosmic forces, space and time travel but a chick in charge, burn down the world.

Bae material either gender

What will be interesting is if the new Thor sticks around, what threat does she pose when it comes to warrior woman iconography? Gender Swapped Starbuck was the space warrior of our dreams but that didn’t come with controversy. We’re years away from Xena who was years removed from Wonder Woman who grand mothered Buffy the Vampire Slayer.. Could the new Thor be the new power character we’ve been looking for in the comic book universe? Can she become the next mainstream hero to stand with Black Widow, Maria Hill, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Black Cat, Melinda May, She-Hulk and Elektra? Of course she can, the real question is, come October, will you be willing to go on that adventure?

Personally, I’m looking forward to covers that aren’t spandex and ass shots. I mean c’mon. I’m badass, but don’t pay attention to my ass, just watch yours while it’s getting kicked.

With San Diego Comic Con just around the corner, one can only speculate that Marvel has succeeded in dominating the show floor and panels with this announcement as well as the media tour for the upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy, which features the daughter of Thanos and master assassin Gamora. Details will probably start surfacing once the con kicks off and we may get an idea of what’s in store for Thor and the new wielder of Mjölnir, so everyone who is butthurt now will be placated later on. Odds are, the answer will be so decent, that whatever controversy that may arise will be quelled by just how stupid they had been in the first place.What we do know is that Marvel is continuing the trend of understanding that readers, good solid committed, readers will always seek, find and buy the titles that interest them because that’s the business they’ve gotten themselves into.

What we want to see is a character that gives new life to an old name, that makes you discover comic books for the first time or rediscover them all over again.

FOUND OUT WHO IT IS:

DC had better step it’s game up.

Why Being Pretty is A Joke

Today I decided to get a quick eyebrow job figuring my part time werewolf impression was getting kinda stale. The place is run by Thai and Vietnamese immigrants so you can only imagine how many times you think they’re talking about you in their respective languages while while repeating “eyebrow, sit”. I love cultural exchanges and I ask a lot questions, chief among them,  the phrases that will allow me safe passage to places and how much liquor is.  That’s not the point though.

You walk into nail salons and it’s like entering another world, especially if these are non English/Spanish establishments which around my way, there are plenty of. Often times they’re all the same, white or cream interior, small cubicles of nail kits for sale, the wall o polish and the ten free nail design board with acrylic artwork that should be in a museum rather than chipping after three days.

It’s like a lottery when you go because some of the women are really good and then there are the ones still trying to master the fine art of the arch and not leave you with a chola arch. I get it. I’m Hispanic. We all want chola brows.

Anyways.

I draw the one that is the fetishized Asian ideal: Thin, big boobs, timid giggle and bottle dye job. Her twin is busy with a belt sander working on the talons of some woman who regretted waiting so long to do her pedi but it’s beach weather so she’s gotta do it. She tells me, “eyebrow, sit” and like a good goon, I do.  They’ve got a flat screen in there that’s linked to the web and have been streaming Asian top 40 mega mix stream (I swear on everything there was a track featuring Pitbull LAWD he’s truly conquered) she’s humming along and preparing to rip portions of my face off with wax and fabric. The salon is owned by someone much younger than I am and she’s pretty much a business tycoon, she’s employed mostly friends and family from the mother land and allows herself Mondays off. She checks in on them regularly and has been known to randomly pop up in the shop just to make sure the place hasn’t burned to the ground. The clientele is predominately black and hispanic, so it’s basically the urban UN in there. Women all complaining about lives either on their phones or to the nail technician. They do have Hispanic technicians but they often rotate days and today, they weren’t in. I’ve spoken to the Hispanic technicians there and they admit that the language thing makes them feel funny. We’ve had this conversation in Spanish.

They all start chattering on and giggling amongst themselves. Now, as a bilingual American, you do tend to ramble in your native language because sometimes, shit sounds funnier in your own language but in the context of a place where the woman working on your eyebrows is ACTUALLY inches away from your face, you immediately think, shit, they’re making fun of me. I’m just trying to get my eyebrows done and I honestly feel so attacked right now.

So now you’re self conscious with half an eyebrow done and they are all talking and giggling. Here I am, feeling all terrible and self conscious about my appearance (so vulnerable) and you’re giggling about something. In any case, I have the eyebrows done and have gone from a category four holy shit you’ve got a unibrow to a category one people will make proper eye contact with you when you’re in a meeting. I feel temporarily better because I don’t look like a Muppet.

As I’m sitting there, waiting for my mom to finish her mani pedi (she isn’t the one getting the power sander treatment) rubbing my eyebrows in dismay because I’m pretty sure I’ve roasted off the top layer of skin with the wax, it dawns on me: The effort that we go to be appealing is appalling. You wonder if, from their standpoint, they think you’re wasting time. Sure it’s great business to get into and finger nail hygiene is totally important, but the rest of it, the plucking, the waxing, the dyes, what purpose does it serve?

From the matching dye job the twins have, to my waxing hair off my eyebrows to the woman getting her lip and chin done and Lady Belt Sander, we as women spend so much time wanting to look acceptable that we spend more time fixing the things that are superficial. Then we judge each other based on how good we’ve convinced other people we’re good looking. We get self conscious about how we look and the personal value dramatically drops so we’ll go and fix it to see how much better you feel afterwards. It’s natural. Sometimes you get sick of looking at the same thing over and over again. I’m all about keeping a decent appearance and waking up all Beyoncé and flawless and what not but when we place the emphasis on what you look like versus who you are we have to pump breaks.

How I want to wake up

how I actually wake up

 

Pretty is a joke.

Aesthetics are based on what? Media? On personal choice? On what has worked in getting jobs and dates? Does that mean that we only work on the exterior when it’s going to be beneficial? Do guys feel that same pressure? Should I give a shit?

So many people talk about how it’s not what’s outside but what’s inside that counts but they WILL admit that they won’t talk to someone who looks like they quit giving a shit midway through getting dressed that morning. I should know, I’ve worn t-shirts to events and have had no one talk to me vs when I’ve had a button down on and people are demanding to know all about you. We don’t encourage people to be the weirdos they can be because sometimes your weird isn’t the kind of weird other people want to celebrate. This is especially painful to watch in women and girls.

At 12 we’ve already made a girl feel bad about being good at sports, being dirty and playing rough. By 21, she’s already got a complex about how she looks in certain outfits to best reduce the odds of being harassed. By 31, she doesn’t give a shit but misses her 12 year old self because that one was so much stronger back then than she is now. We spend millions of precious moments on looking better thinking we’ll feel better but we really should pay attention to what’s being said. You’re about as good as the last outfit and you look a mess today.

Place yourself as you are next to the ideal and watch how terrible you feel. It’s not until a normal person, someone also struggling with the same problems looks at you that you realize that that’s the reason you sort of give a shit. That one person who thinks that dirty t-shirt is amazing an the sloppy hair look is so you. That’s when you don’t care about the overall look and you care about yourself. Pretty people are always empowered or empowering others but what makes them so confident is that they stopped giving a shit and someone noticed. Or they say they don’t give a shit. People are attracted to the things that make them feel better and they hold onto it to give them the strength to improve and most of the time, those things aren’t hair products, skin regimes or fashion.

No one has it figured out really. There is no formula for successful self acceptance and anyone that tells you they’ve found it is a liar. The reason why you even start thinking about these kinds of things in the first place is because you want to know WHAT IT ALL MEANS. Why in many parts of the metropolitan United States there are strip malls dedicated to beauty, wellness, nail and hair salons, damn near identical store fronts with buzzing neon signs or funny looking awnings. You want to know why we care about HOW WE LOOK TO OTHER PEOPLE. You should always impress yourself before you want to impress others, that’s where the joy comes from. The idea that you can just walk through life being as normal or outlandish as possible is what makes you something to look out for.

When you’re pretty, the world seems to be handed to you, when you’re average, you bring the world to it’s knees. Think about it. Helen of Troy; they launched a war based off of how pretty she was. Know who was fighting over her? Two average dudes. Conventionally attractive people are able to get people to do things for them while average people are doing the things and pretty people are just being pretty. If you’re pretty, or attractive, people are more likely to listen to you while if you’re average, they’ll be impressed you are functioning in this society. Nevermind the fact that you wrote whatever pretty person is saying.

Actually you know what?

You can be pretty and be smart. Let’s stop being assholes about this.

You should however be allowed to be a bit messy and still be seen as a decent human being.

As I’m sitting here inhaling nail polish and acrylic, I see that there’s a whole world of people who will happily conform to the idealized head cannon beauty and you know what, that’s cool. What’s fascinating is that the need to be acceptable is a global truth; these women make a living making other women feel better about themselves and maybe talk shit about what they’re doing to get that cheap high. Western standards aren’t global ideals just yet but they are getting there, so long as salons like the one described exist. The women in the nail salon are just doing the dance to make something happen and the women who are doing the dancing will always do it because there’s something that needs to be done for them to feel that same cheap high. They haven’t discovered that you shouldn’t give a shit what other people think. We need them around because you have to remember that who you are is you and even if people giggle about you as you try to smarten up, you’re still you and that’s your truth.

Beauty fades, that’s why there are so many old time filters on instagram.