Monday, February 6, 2017

Advocacy and General Organa

Last year Carrie Fisher died. I had been in our spare room (hereafter referred to as the Purple Room) with the new kittens. I walked into the kitchen to start another load of laundry when Avie told me. I just completely stopped what I was doing and literally sank into a chair. I remember thinking dimly that I was scripting a little but didn't give a shit; I was honestly too shocked to do anything because reports up until this moment was that she was stable with a side of 'she'll make it'. I wasn't expecting this. 

My shock and sudden feelings of loss dwindled down to one thing: who will speak for me now? Stephen Fry was far from my thoughts and all I could focus on was the fact that in my mind, she was the only celebrity who was openly living with something big like Bipolar and wasn't ashamed to admit it. In fact she almost glamorized it. She made it normal and okay that she had a therapy dog who she traveled with. She made it okay to not be neurotypical. She was someone that I grew up watching, someone who I imitated by applying bagels to my ears to pretend to be her. She made me feel normal. 

And she was gone. 
“I outlasted my problems [...] I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.”
On a day-to-day level, Carrie Fisher didn't cross my mind all that much. When STAR WARS: The Force Awakens opened, Ms. Fisher was doing the talk show circuit promoting the film. Certainly I was aware of her diagnosis, but I hadn't thought of it since I had recieved mine. So all of a sudden there was this hilarious woman with Bipolar Disorder who was talking candidly about one of big mental illnesses which affected her on a daily basis.  

I want to do right by the General. And that's why I'm up at 2 in the morning, feverishly writing about how important it is to normalize mental illness. Daily, I struggle and daily I make the decision to keep moving, to take my meds, and to work towards a life worth living. 

“Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic — not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival [...] An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community — however small — of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities.”

Thank you, General Fisher. We've got this from here. ✩

Thursday, November 3, 2016

“Did You Guys Ever Watch The Show?!” Galaxy Quest As An Intentional Parody of Star Trek

One of the things that I want to with this blog is start writing about films again. For those NOT in the know, I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Film and Culture. Mainly, I like to look at films and see how the film was influenced by the times and how the times was influenced by the film. Mainly, I got to think big thoughts about movies and got a degree while doing it.

What I think I may do is every Thursday, I'll post up a small paper I wrote for one of my classes with some thoughts / explanations of WHY this paper, WHY this topic. 

One of the things that I walked away from during my college years was a strong sense of female representation within film and frequently how there is a lack of strong female characters on the screen. I later wrote my senior thesis on the Action Heroine and the Science Fiction Film and has been a large focus for me when thinking about... well anything. In this paper you can see the beginnings of my focus (I believe that I may have lifted some concepts from this paper for the thesis, but I digress) as well as my general amusement with Galaxy Quest

I hope you enjoy. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

To New Beginnings

Beginnings are important. Starting something new, or restarting something that has been a point of frustrated contention within yourself, will have its inevitable pitfalls. The first time I started a 'blog' it was over on Live Journal. I used it sort of like how I use Facebook today: as a way to keep up with friends. Later, I tried moving over to blogger, partially because I was bored at a job where I was pretty miserable (though in hindsight was pretty good for a solid paycheck and hours) and for some perceived sense of growing up and accolades. At the time blogging was a big deal, a way to be some sort of runaway hit that resulted in me becoming Internet famous. At the time, I wasn't hugely aware of my motives, but looking back, that's pretty much what i was doing. 

The first post was very carefully crafted to sound airy, quirky, and thoroughly not me. At the time I was trying this persona of what is not, something that I have done for most of my life. My niece tells me that picking a type of look is known as an esthetic, and what I was going for at the time was Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl. I have many friends whose online personeas make them seem super happy and carefree with their ridiculous pictures and frequent adventures. I tried writing in the same way that Cracked does, using fun images to break up my writing and create content that was funny, snarky, and clever. Ultimately, that didn't work out well. I tried using a blog post naming convention, which I shamelessly stole from Friends, I attempted to try on who I wanted my online self to be and in turn who I wanted to be.

Like most things having to do with me trying on a new me, it didn't work. The person who was inspiring me dropped out of my life and I fell off of the blogging wagon again. 

Many years later, that blog is thoroughly defunct. Before making the decision to not post over there and start this blog, I thought about restarting there. I've read and re-read the posts and have come to the conclusion that I'm just not that girl anymore.

"'Course that star struck girl is already someone I miss," Ani DiFranco

Why am I starting this now? Because I've been toying with the idea of a blog. I miss LiveJournal (and the friends I made there), but I know that I can't always go back when you want to. I'm a drastically different person now. I've been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, something that I am actually happy to have named. Being a Borderline means that my moods go every which way. That on Monday I could be on top of the world, fulfilled by what I am doing and getting chores done, and feeling loved by my community. Tuesday, I could be in a deep dark depression, feeling like I am completely isolated and unable to do anything about it. Living with Borderline is hard. Living WITH a Borderline is hard. 

Part of living with Borderline is that I'm in therapy twice a week, once with my personal therapist and another with a skills group based out of WJCS working with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Part of that therapy is becoming more mindful, and part of that mindfulness for me is journaling.

I'm starting this now for a few reasons. Journaling is hugely important for the success of me. ANother is that Borderline has SUCH a bad rap and I want to be public about my illness as well as teach people that mental illness CAN be normalized and shouldn't be something people are afraid of discussing. 

I'm partially because of the Cred Bureau (once we go live, I'll hopefully write about it), a movement of female and non-gender binary folk who verb games in some way. The Cred Bureau is something that came about because my partner Avie and a few others came together to try and combat the lack of room for female game designers, it quickly opened up to accept the non-binary folk and moved on from there. 

I'm partly doing because I have thoughts on so many things that I want to put out there: feminism, film theory and analysis, LARP adventures, trials with make-up... there is a lot I want to say and and writing about it on a consistent basis should be good for me. 

Mainly, I want to be writing again. While on LJ, I posted almost daily, working on content and thoughts that I threw out there for people to respond to. I wrote more short stories then as well and I can only assume that was partially due to the frequency with which I was engaging on a blog-esque level. 

I started writing this blog post while standing in line at Taco Bell, 5 days out from Metatopia, the gaming industry's premier event of the year for developers. I have finally gotten the nerve to do this thing and hopefully I'll have another blog post next Sunday (did you know you can schedule that shit so it just posts? Freakin' magic man) and I'll get this thing moving.

No promises. ✩