Another Creepy Word Conversation, Brought to You by “Rub”

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I had a conversation with somebody today that, as usual, ended up being creepy. It started with a coworker claiming that he wanted to set a goal of some sort, just so he could reach that goal and then earn a “backrub” from somebody (his shoulders were hurting). He then said:

 

D: There are some words that aren’t supposed to be put together as one word, but I just feel like they ought to be. So I do it anyway. “Backrub” is one example. “Hottub” is another.

Me: Yeah, “backrub” feels better than “back rub.”

D: Yeah, that space leaves a lot of time for second guessing. Backrubs ought to be approached with confidence.

Me: Yep. And the word “rub” is really creepy on its own. It’s like, “What are you doing over there, rub? Get back where I can keep an eye on you.”

 

Isn’t that just about the creepiest thing you can think of? Then, think about “rub” as a whispered word.

I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

 

What I Learned About Mean Youtube Comments

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It’s been a while since we last spoke. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot about mean Youtube comments.

But let’s go back a bit.

It all started when I was looking at the 100 most important cat pictures of all time.

I was, naturally, enjoying myself immensely. Some pictures made me chuckle, some made me guffaw. Not every single photo lived up to the “most important of all time” standard, but they were still all cat pictures, so I didn’t complain.

At #9, this photo showed up:

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I scanned it, and moved on down to #8.

Then I stopped. I went back to #9, and looked at it again closely.

At first glance, the picture did not grab my attention, because a) the cat isn’t making a funny face, and b) actually that’s about it. My personal requirement for a cat picture to instantly captivate my attention is solely based on the cat’s facial expression. Looking at this photo again, I realized that it really is an amazing photo. How on Earth did they get a kitten to push a little shopping cart? How did they get an even smaller kitten inside the shopping cart? Where the hell did they find the little shopping cart? Still, since the photo didn’t meet my personal requirement for an entertaining cat picture, it’s now in the “not-exactly-my-cup-of-tea-but-still-pretty-good” pile.

Then I thought of it this way: What if I had taken this photo? What if, by some miracle, I was the one that had managed to set this up, or at least captured it (if this moment was going on by the wayside without any human supervision, that’s just something else entirely)?

If this was my photo, I would frame the shit out of it. I would brag about it to anyone who would listen. It would probably be my crowning achievement in life.

But, it’s not my photo. I had nothing to do with its creation. So, I scanned it, and moved on.

Of course, I did go back and analyze it for way too long. But this is definitely not the norm, even for me. Internet consumers are a critical and picky bunch, and they absorb information so quickly that they have no time to give any “product” much more thought than what their initial reactions tell them to.

Here’s where Youtube comes in.

A movie that I had a big part in released a trailer a couple weeks ago. I live and work in a community with a very humble film scene, and somehow we managed to pull off a feature-length (an hour-and-a-half long) movie with very very little money. We’ve worked hard for the last two years to make this movie a possibility, and releasing the trailer was an exciting day for us.

These are the kind of comments we were met with:

“Looks cool, but will probably suck”

“This science fiction movie always have nice trailer but just wait for the movie to come out is going to be damn terrible huhu~ “

“$20 says there’s some hidden hippie environmentalist “save the earth” subplot bullshit in here.”

“Why the hell they can’t make 1 good movie for aliens……”

“Wow I don’t care, it all looks the same now”

Of course, there are many others with jabs at the acting, premise, the inconsistencies of the alien details in the real universe (the nerdiest of nerds), but it was the majority of the negative comments that struck me.

The first thing that struck me was that so many of them were automatically assuming it was going to be a bad movie. And, they felt passionately enough about that that they left a comment for all to see. I definitely use my own judgement while watching movie trailers to decide if it will be worth seeing or not, but it was different for me when it was personal. Why couldn’t they just give it a chance?

Because, they have no personal connection to it, and they have no reason to care. No reason to reach for more beyond their initial reaction to the trailer.

The second thing that struck me was, they were all comparing this movie to other big-budget movies. We were lucky to get our trailer on Movieclips’ channel, so maybe that was why we were being compared to all the other Hollywood movies that come out every year.

Either that, or we actually fooled them into seeing past how little money we put into it, and made them see it as an actual movie.

When it comes down to it, I’m really happy with the trailer. I’m close to it, and proud of my part in both the making of the movie and the trailer. I know its strengths and weaknesses but, if nothing else, I’ll be proud of how much I was able to help make out of nothing for a long time. No Youtuber in any basement can understand how much we’ve accomplished here, so let them say whatever they will. This is someone’s cat-in-a-shopping-cart picture.

Here’s the trailer. Give feedback if you’d like, good or bad, but you probably won’t change my mind either way!

 

 

Little Blips from My Latest Drunk Night

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I don’t drink much. But when I do, I take shots to get it over with quicker.

Even taking shots is difficult for me. Luckily, the other day I found a magical brand of cheap tequila that is surprisingly smooth, and…

This is what I remember.

 

Me: Margaritaaas!

C: Do you have salt for the rim?

Me: Damn right I do! Let’s get this dust off, and…

C: What are you doing?

Me: Looking for the instructions. Okay. It says we have to moisten the rim, and then dip it in.

C: Here’s a plate.

Me: What on Earth would I need a plate for? I just dip it in the container.

A few moments later…

Me: Mine looks like crap.

A few moments later…

Me: Wait, why am I putting salt on the rim? I hate salted rims.

C: You’re stupid.

Me: *sips* Oh, God, no. This is going to be the worst. *sips again*

 

D: You saw B’s latest short film, right?

Me: Yes! I love it!

D: Do you know what it’s about?

Me: No! He never tells me what his movies are about. As far as I can tell, it’s about an accordion.

D: It’s about abortion.

Me: *breaks down sobbing* Noooooooooooooooo.

 

S: Let’s have a toast!

Me: Yay!

S: What do we toast to?

Me: What?

S: It’s your turn.

Me: What?

S: It’s your turn to choose the toast.

Me: Laundry detergent that smells like islands.

S: Well, that was quick.

Me: I went to Walmart today.

S: To laundry detergent that smells like islands, then.

Me: What?

 

Me: Can I get you a drink?

K: Just Coke.

Me: Do you want anything else in that Coke?

K: No. I stopped drinking when I started smoking dope.

Me: *laughs*

K: *doesn’t laugh*

Me: But. You’re a sweet old man.

K: I drive better on dope than I do on alcohol.

Me: But. You’re like my grandpa.

K: By the way, if Chuck Norris turns down this gig then I get his part.

Me: Is he a grandpa now?!

K: Weird, huh?

 

Me: Okay, seriously, the Purge 2 could be pretty good. Because the original Purge was soooooooo awful. Like, Jodie Foster could have been in that movie and I would have been like “Hmmm this seems familiar.” But, I already said that, and it didn’t even have Jodie Foster in it. That’s how bad it was. It was just another home invasion movie, which we’re SO TIRED OF. The concept of a complete anarchist society was sooooo good. And they ruined it. Now they’re getting a second chance, in, like, the sequel. Did Ethan Hawke die? It doesn’t really matter, but I don’t really want him in the next movie. Maybe like Liv Tyler. Wait, I’ve seen that movie before, too.

M: Why are you taking your shirt off?

Me: You’re just ignorant.

 

And then this wonderful conversation that ended up actually being about me:

M: Yeah, she’s been stressing out a little bit. It’s not an easy script.

B: I bet. I’m sure she’s been getting pretty depressed about it.

M: Yeah, it’s even depressing me a little bit. She’s had to do all this research about all the shit going on with the world, it’s pretty heavy.

(enter me, stage right, wide eyed and out of breath)

Me: WE’RE RAPPING!!

M: Fuckk yeahhhhhhhh!

(all exit to go rap battle each other)

 

Wish you could have been there.

I wish I could have been there, too.

I don’t even rap.

 

 

Liebster Award Post

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I’d like to thank the Academy.

And especially Nicole Davis, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Her blog is a lovely, honest collection of posts about suffering through chronic illness, so check her out!

Here’s how the game works:

The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog a little and also bring together a community of bloggers. The rules of the competition are as follows:

  • The nominated user must provide a link back to the person who nominated them.
  • Provide 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

Now, get ready to learn a bit more than you wanted to about me…

 

11 Facts About Me

1. I have extreme anxiety around/fear of balloons. I don’t like them trying to shock me, and I think it hurts when they pop on me.

2. I started writing a fantasy book when I was a little kid. I thought it was going to change the world. But then Harry Potter books started coming out, and they were oddly similar to my stories. So I half-maintain that J.K. Rowling stole Harry Potter from me. I don’t know how she found my little first grader book without even a digital copy online or anywhere, but somehow she did.

3. My biggest goal in life is to make it to the Academy Awards someday. Ideally for a directing or writing nomination, but even just to be invited would feel like a huge accomplishment.

4. I hate having weekend plans. If I can look at the weekend and see no parties, no family get-togethers, no coffee meetups, and no fun, I think “Wa-hoo! I finally have time to get some work done!”

5. I have a crush on Alan Rickman. It’s inexplicable and irreversible. Especially Alan Rickman as Professor Snape. And that Die Hard movie he was in.

6. Chuck Palahniuk is my favorite author. Charlie Kaufman is my favorite screenwriter. Both of their influences together have hugely impacted the way I write, look at life, and see myself.

7. I’m in love with California. I’ve traveled to gazillions of cities in the world, but every time I end up in California it somehow feels like home. I hope to live there someday.

8. I don’t think Star Wars is that great.

9. I always want greasy Chinese food. Every second of every day.

10. I love to sleep. I would sleep 12 hours every day if I could.

11. The easiest way into my heart is expressing an interest in me. It doesn’t matter if you share none of the same values as me, seem like a creep, or whatever; if you ask questions about who I am and seem genuinely interested, I’m too flattered to not love you. This is definitely a curse of mine.

 

11 Questions for Me

1. What is your simple pleasure in life?

A cup of coffee. The way it tastes (especially if I splurge with a mocha), its warmth, and the hour it gives me of pure energy and clarity makes me happier than most things.

2. If you could talk to one dead person, who would it be? Why?

I would talk to John Lennon. I would ask as many questions as I could think of, and just listen to him. Even if I couldn’t think of questions to ask, I’d like to just sit by the dude for a while. He’s always been this major force in my life; maybe he’s a hero, or maybe just a fellow Libra. I just love him.

3. What is one thing you have lost that you wish you had back?

I lost my huge booklet full of Pokemon cards that I had as a kid. I have no idea where it went, and I wish I had it again. Not for any money value, but just so I could relive those glory days where my holographic Gyrados defined my worth as a human being.

4. If you were in your dream home, describe how the view from your back window would differ from your current view.

Definitely a beach. Preferably a public beach, but one that’s not too popular and only attracts maybe twenty people tops at a time. My view now is in the suburbs, which is all fine and good. But I’d rather be able to watch people during moments of their life that are different from the norm.

5. Do you share your blog with family/friends in real life?

I do not. I only share my posts with my boyfriend, and one friend of mine who is very clever with the Google and managed to find my blog on her own (you know who you are). I like to know that I can talk about what I want to talk about here freely.

6. Do you have any annoying habits?

The thing that my boyfriend hates the most about me is the way I eat finger foods. This only applies to finger foods that are “crumby,” such as chips, fries, and anything else with salt or other little particles. I can’t stand to have the stuff on my fingers for very long, so after every fry I take I’ll sprinkle my fingers over the basket to get the salt off. Then I’l take a drink. Repeat. He can’t stand that I have to sprinkle the salt back off after every fry. First world problems, am I right?

7. What habit do you find the most annoying in other people?

I have a real problem with sneezing. It all started when an old ex of mine used to sneeze like crazy after eating potatoes, sometimes to the point of throwing up his meal. Sneezing then became a stressful thing for both of us. Each sneeze was followed by cursing and anger. Now, every time I or someone else sneezes, all I experience is anger and stress. It’s kind of awful.

8. What is one life event you never saw coming?

My stepdad died really suddenly last summer. Besides losing a family member, it completely changed the way I had to treat my mom. She’s always been really strong, and was a single mom for a long time. But when she found my stepdad, we all thought  that she had finally found happiness and could finally settle down. Now she’s alone and much more dependent on me and my brother. Since we aren’t the type of people to talk about our feelings much, it’s taken some adjusting to get back into the swing of that kind of a relationship. But overall its been positive for us.

9. At what age did you truly grow up?

I remember experiencing a really significant mental shift at age 12. I don’t remember the circumstances around that time, but I do remember that it was extremely dramatic. To the point where I spent a whole week essentially reevaluating my whole life and everything I’d learned up to that point. I would think “What do I know about the dentist? Yesterday, the dentist was scary and I hate that little drill thing they use. But now I just realized the importance of going to the dentist, and when I think about the consequences of not going, I’d much rather go.” It was like my logical sense suddenly kicked in. That same week I also remember looking at my collection of childhood books and feeling really sad. Like I had just left the time when those were my books. It was a strange time.

10. If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be and why?

My younger self actually had a pretty impressive grip on what life was going to be like. If I said anything to my younger self, I would say “You’re right. Life is going to be really awesome.”

11. Tell us something that has made an impact on your life.

The story “The Nightmare Box” by Chuck Palahniuk. You’ll have to read it to know what I’m talking about.

 

11 Questions for My Nominees

1. Why do you write?

2. If you had to choose any movie to become the next hit Broadway musical, what would it be?

3. What method do you use to wake up on time in the mornings? Does it work?

4. Where is your favorite travel spot? Why would you recommend it to others?

5. Which Disney character that is NOT a prince or princess would you compare yourself to?

6. What is your deepest fear?

7. Describe your first kiss. (Or, your ideal first kiss.)

8. If your bucket list had to be narrowed down to one item, what would it be?

9. Which decade of the 20th century is the coolest?

10. If you had to write a screenplay to be produced, what would it be about? Who would the movie star?

11. What cheers you up, no matter what kind of mood you’re in?

 

And the 11 Nominees Are…

1. Out with Lanterns

2. PTSD~From the Inside Out

3. Kat Grant Freelance

4. AnieKSteph

5. piecesofkrystal

6. whyilovestuff

7. Off the Porch

8. palinodiae

9. doubleinvert

10. The Rollercoaster Ride of a fairly Boring Life

11. pens and musicnotes

 

Woot woot!

 

A Partial List of My Awkward Celebrity Encounters

20140423-123050.jpgDespite all my plans to become a famous person, I really suck at interacting with famous people.

It is so awkward to me, having a run-in with a celebrity. I am torn between the obligation to say something to them, and having absolutely nothing original to say and thus the obligation to say nothing to them. I don’t talk to strangers without provocation, why should I talk to THE Tina Fey with nothing to talk about other than I LOVE YOUR WORK?

(I haven’t met Tina Fey, but if I did I think I wouldn’t get far enough to give her generic praise and would resort to making a huge physical and emotional mess of the space around us.)

No, in general I’d say that it’s better to maintain the semblance of normalcy and say nothing.

This is only a partial list of the times when this method did or did not work for me.

1. Andy Serkis

When Andy Serkis released his book about the process of creating Gollum for the LOTR movies, he came to my city as a part of his book tour.  I wanted very badly to talk to him, but was too afraid. So, instead of standing in line like a normal person, I got into the area behind his table (apparently security was very lax) and crept up to look at the back of his head.

The next day, I was barraged by family and friends calling to say they saw me on TV with Andy Serkis. The news people were filming right then, and caught me looking like a creeper/bodyguard behind the table.

So, win?

2. Ice-T

I saw Ice-T’s film “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap” at Sundance. I was sitting right in the front row/corner, which was directly next to where Ice-T stood at the mic for the Q&A afterwards. Being so close to him made me feel pressured to ask a question, since he could see my face and thus it would be more like a real conversation without me having to be creepy.

I spent the whole Q&A trying to think of a good question to ask, and the only ideas I came up with were “Was that your helicopter?” and “Do you have a helicopter?” I think that, in the end, it’s for the best that I didn’t ask any questions.

3. David Yost

David Yost was the Blue Power Ranger from the Morphin’ Power Ranger days. Normally my rule of thumb for dealing with celebrities holds, but I arrived at Comic Con wearing a Pink Power Ranger costume. So, this time, the obligation to speak to him was very very real.

He started the conversation first. “Hey, I like your costume.” I beamed. I said “Oh geez. I’m a huge fan. I’ve loved you since I was four years old.” His face fell a little bit, and his hairline receded a little bit more.

Later, the old Black Ranger actor passed me and called “Hey, nice costume!” I refused to say anything back. The Pink Ranger will break no more hearts this day.

4. Patrick Stewart

I know almost nothing that Patrick Stewart is in. I saw X-Men once, and have not seen Star Trek. And yet, his face off in the distance was so glorious to me.

I said absolutely nothing to Patrick Stewart. I got close enough to see his face, and that was that.

This, again, is for the best.

5. Daniel Radcliffe

Another Sundance encounter, but under much different circumstances. I was a volunteer at one of the Sundance theaters, and we were screening Daniel Radcliffe’s latest movie “Kill Your Darlings” to a packed auditorium. I was technically an employee, and even I shrieked a little bit when they told us Daniel was coming in for the Q&A.

I feel as though I grew up with Daniel Radcliffe. I was 11 when he was 11, and would have gone to Hogwarts with him if it hadn’t been for my Muggle parents. So to know that I was supposed to help “escort” him in, be so close to him but to remain silent and professional, was both exhilarating and heartbreaking.

I had so much to talk to him about. So many lost memories to fill him in on, so many moments I spent with him as a child that he has no idea about.

But I said nothing. He walked in with the whole team from the movie, and I had to do whatever I could to avoid eye contact with him.

(He was Harry Potter to a tee. He was giggly with his friends, yet quiet, shy, and polite with strangers. Heartbreaking.)

The director of the film, on the other hand, was extremely chatty. He struck up a conversation with me about how nervous he was that people might not like the movie, that he hoped nobody was disappointed. When I told him I saw the movie and loved it, he threw his arms around me and gave me a huge, long hug and thanked me.

So close, yet so far, from hugging Daniel.

Now that I sound like a creep, I would like you to share your celebrity encounter stories with me. Because I absolutely love them.

The more awkward, the better.

 

The Difference Between America and Europe

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Today I’ve been thinking about my first time to Europe as an American. I was 15 years old and totally out of my comfort zone. My emotions during that first week were a strange mixture of fear/awe/shock/comfort.

The trip was a week-long educational tour across a few European countries, so…. that’s why it only lasted a week. Duh.

I went back five years later, this time for two months. I studied Italian in Siena, with an apartment and normal school schedule every day alongside a bunch of American peers

That time, the fear/awe/shock/comfort lasted two months. DUH.

Two months isn’t a super long time, I know. Out of the two months and one week of my life I’ve spent on the continent, I guess it’s pretty understandable that I’ve never become quite settled in the European way.

At the same time, though, there were many moments and places that felt so comfortable it felt like a new and different home was instantly created. Especially in Italy. These are the things that I remember when the travel bug bites while I’m at work and I start looking up plane tickets, hoping to go back soon.

I’ve read lots of lists based on the main differences between Europe and the  US, from people much smarter than I am. Things like education, politics, etc. But from a simple person still not recovered from her culture shock, these are the main things I noticed about what makes Europe different.

1. Buildings are treasures. Every European city felt different. It looked, smelled, sounded different than any American city I’d ever visited. The day I realized this difference was the day I saw a Pizza Hut embedded into Shakespeare’s neighbor’s house. The buildings are ancient and beautiful everywhere you look. Even the dirt ingrained between every brick is magical. It’s like glitter.

2. Food is slow. You learn quickly that, to be able to survive off their small un-American portion sizes (the horror!), you have to eat verrry slowly. To be able to keep enjoying this pasta with bell peppers that taste unlike any other bell peppers you’ve ever tasted before and that you will never taste in America, you have to eat slowly. To be able to fill up the time that essentially everyone takes to close down their shops and just eat, you have to eat slowly. Soon, you wonder why you ever ate quickly, because it starts to seem like life is all about eating slowly.

3. People are fearless. While I generally dislike stereotypes, in my experience the people I met in France had the “appearance” of being “rude” and sometimes “terrifying” (I’m qualifying so much because I don’t want them to kill me). They are not afraid to get short with strangers, or speak their mind. My bump-in with my hotel matron was enough to scare me into never accidentally stealing hot chocolate ever again (I promise, accidental). In Italy, none of the boys were the least bit afraid of sexual rejection. A “no” would be met with laughs and lighthearted pats on the back from his friends. Although I am not a scary person in the least, I did realize that there is a sort of overall fear that governs the way strangers interact in the US.  I never felt this in Europe; if there was no language barrier dividing two people, there was always room for conversation (no matter how heated).

4. Nights are alive. During my study abroad, I ended up in Rome between the hours of 3-6 in the morning, trying to kill time. Being a traveler in Europe will hopefully afford you these kinds of situations: ending up in a city, spur-of-the-moment planning, and with nothing to do but to walk and see. While every city was beautiful, the nights were absolutely something else. I’m not sure if it’s the attention to lighting that these cities seem to have or the late-night musicians that choose to play for nobody in the wee hours of the morning, there is a suspicious sense of security in the dark there. There are less people, and its the city itself that comes alive in the night. That sounds like a cheesy cliched way of saying that it’s pretty cool, but this right here is the inexplicable difference between Europe and America. It’s a different planet, and you just have to see it for yourself.

 

 

How to Easily Produce 400 Pages of Writing a Day…?

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Writing is the worst. I love it so much that I hate every second of it.

Not only am I tasking myself to write blog posts as often as I can (that’s the easy part), I have an approaching deadline for one of the most complicated screenplays I’ve ever written. Needless to say, every time I sit down to write, I end up just watching cat videos and crying.

know they’re not sad, this is what I’m saying. My hatred of writing is a serious problem.

But I’m sure all you other writers can empathize. The Thomas Mann quote “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people” most likely rings true. Those moments where I’m in the zone, so focused on my writing that I don’t even notice someone  has sent me an IM (a modern-day accomplishment), are the moments I live for. Even if all I’m writing is crap, those times when I experience absolute concentration are blissful. 

But getting there is so. damn. hard.

This is not me giving you any advice, I’m afraid. I don’t have any to give, because I’m a terrible writer. This is not even me trying to promote cheap discussion. This is me begging you for help. Pity me.

What are your methods? What do you do to stay concentrated?