Obligatory Birthday Post

Monday was my birthday!

Is that why you didn’t post on Monday?…or Friday?

…no…

On Friday, I had an event that I’ll actually be talking about here a little later. On Monday, I was sick. Yep, sick on my birthday. Not fun.

I was one who wasn’t a fan of my birthday. It was only recently that I decided to fully celebrate it. I’m 28 years old. My 21-year-old self never thought she’d live this long.

With a new appreciation for my day of birth and my age, I actually wanted to celebrate. It’s tough because it’s the beginning of the school year and people don’t give a shit. It was only this year that I realized my birthday celebration should be for me, not others (though having others there makes it more fun). So I decided to celebrate how I wanted to.

I’m not saying you have to celebrate your birthday. I know plenty who don’t. But don’t shove it to the side, and definitely don’t shove your age to the side. Your age is not something to be ashamed of. I know it’s easy for me, a young 28-year-old, to say. And I’m also not telling you to share to the world if you don’t want to. What I’m saying is don’t hate your age. You’ve grown, and that’s what we’re meant to do.

Happy Birthday to me! And happy birthday to all who celebrate!

Hugs

Alexandra

Nervousness (aka Write Your Ideas)

So…I plan my blog posts ahead of time so I can write ahead of time so I can stay on schedule. Ahead of time.

When I planned this out, all I had was the title ‘Nervousness’. Then I sat down to write, looked at my plan, and…had no clue what I was thinking about when I wrote it.

Fam, I sat there for about two hours and could not think of a single thing to write under that title.

So, some advice for you: when you have an idea, write all the details you can in that moment. I’m sure I had more of an idea than just the word ‘nervousness’, but if I had taken just another minute to write the idea I had, I’d actually have something to give you.

But maybe my mistake can help you learn in the future.

Write your ideas in as many detail as possible.

Hugs

Alexandra

Liking ‘Problematic’ Things

Cancel culture, or call-out culture. I have opinions on it.

If you don’t know what cancel culture is, here is a basic definition: a form of boycott in which someone (usually a celebrity) who has shared an unpopular or questionable opinion is ‘cancelled’, mostly on social media.

These days, it seems everyone is ‘cancelled’ or ‘problematic’. Sometimes it’s very warranted. Sometimes people are truly awful and are therefore ‘cancelled’. But sometimes it’s a mistake or a misstep that they try to correct, too late as they are already bombarded with ‘cancelled’ remarks.

I understand this may be an unpopular opinion, but we don’t have to cancel every tiny thing.

Let me give some examples of something I like that is seen as problematic.

Benedict Cumberbatch. Known for his ridiculous name and the fact that he can’t say penguins. Oh, and he also referred to people of color as “colored people”. Oops. It was antiquated and possibly racist. But the issue is he misspoke. If you look at the full quote, he is saying that opportunities for actors of color need to increase. He’s trying to support them. Benedict is an amazing actor, feminist, and charitable. That’s why I like him.

The movie No Escape. An action movie about a family trying to escape from a rebellion happening around them. Oh, and it’s xenophobic. Whoops. The movie does follow a white family in an unnamed Asian country when protesters take over. The protesters don’t want the American company taking over (I get it), so they attack all involved. Unfortunately, that also includes the innocent people sent to work there. It’s not about Asians being awful, it’s about surviving in an unknown place with hostility. Olympus Has Fallen, if that is the case, can be xenophobic too. It just isn’t.

Markiplier. Somehow. He is a YouTuber who does let’s plays, short films, and random-ass vlogs. Oh, and he’s transphobic. Welp. Some time ago, Mark did a series call Huniepop. When you start the game (and I’ve played the game too, so yeah), it asks if you’re a girl or a boy. He proclaims he’s going to play as a male because he is a male because he has a penis. It was a poor joke, and if you watch he knows it’s a bad joke. He does not give two flying figs what junk you got under your kilt, he believes in respect and charity.

Now, I know that I’m going to get some angry comments (if not from readers than from my little sister). I keep up with cancel culture, but I also do my own research and form my own opinions. The internet exists for us to use it. Most of the time, yes, cancelled. Unfollow, block, goodbye. But there are times when we don’t look at the full picture and someone’s career was just severely damaged for no reason. Form your own opinions and do your research.

Thank you for putting up with my venting.

Hugs

Alexandra

Playlists I Have and Need On My Phone

Music is a saving grace in my life. I have a playlist for every occasion and every emotion possible. One of the things I do get asked (besides book recommendations because duh) is music recommendations. I listen to everything, and I mean everything. Of course, I have preference, but I consider myself open minded with music.

And today I wanted to share some of my playlists with you. Here are some that might help someone:

new job confidence is needed

  • breathin’–Thomas Sanders, Foti
  • The Middle–Jimmy Eat World
  • I Lived–OneRepublic
  • Hall of Fame–The Script, will.i.am
  • Danny Don’t You Know–Ninja Sex Party
  • Confident–Demi Lovato
  • Warriors–Imagine Dragons
  • Someday–Rob Thomas
  • Odds Are–Barenaked Ladies
  • Until the End–Breaking Benjamin
  • Alone–Alan Walker
  • Human–Rag’n’Bone Man

no lyrics because lyrics are stupid

  • Violet Evergarden Collection (complete soundtrack)–PianoPrinceOfAnime
  • The Lord of the Rings movie soundtracks (all three of them)
  • Undertale soundtrack
  • Studio Ghibli instrumental compilation (all the movies)
  • Willow movie soundtrack
  • Two Steps From Hell
  • Memoirs of a Geisha movie soundtrack
  • Wonder Woman movie soundtrack (specifically Wrath of Wonder Woman and No Man’s Land)
  • To The Moon game soundtrack

because im angry and need to release some energy

  • Break Stuff–Limp Bizkit
  • Chop Suey!–System of a Down
  • Bodies–Drowning Pool
  • Tear Down the Wall–Art Of Dying
  • Afterlife–Avenged Sevenfold
  • Red Cold River–Breaking Benjamin
  • Headstrong–Trapt
  • I Stand Alone–Godsmack
  • Toxicity–System of a Down

feeling down so lets get sadder

  • 1-800-273-8255–Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid
  • One More Light–Linkin Park
  • Inside the Fire–Disturbed
  • Can You Hear Me–Eduard Frolov EFG, Robyn Ardery
  • Ashes of Eden–Breaking Benjamin
  • Everything’s Alright–Laura Shigara
  • Adam’s Song–blink-182
  • Skinny Love–Birdy
  • Not About Angels–Birdy
  • The Night We Met–Lord Huron
  • Look On Down From The Bridge–Mazzy Star
  • Hold the Door–Eric Michaud (from Thrones! the Musical)
  • Von–Arnor Dan
  • Alone In A Room (Acoustic Version)–Asking Alexandria

These are just four of my hundred or so that I keep on hand (my phone’s gig space hates me). Maybe you find some new music, maybe you find some new emotion to release in music.

And of course, I am always taking new recommendations as I love music. (The Wonder Woman soundtrack was courtesy of my friend Kirsten). If you have music you want me to listen to that can go on one of these playlists (or another playlist you think I have) please let me know.

Enjoy the music!

Hugs

Alexandra

Worrying About My Playwriting

I write plays. I’ve written a few. Nothing produced, but they exist. I even have a degree in playwriting, so I must be decent, right?

…right?

To save you some time, I’m just going to tell you that this is a story about me comparing my own damn self to others. I know I shouldn’t, shut up and let me tell my story!

I’ve been editing a play I’ve worked on for about three years now. I’ve submitted plays to competitions, theaters, and the like before. Never got past the first submission. Anyway, I’m editing this play, since I want it to be the first work of mine I see produced on stage. There’s a call for local playwrights to submit work for production, so hell yeah I’m gonna submit work.

I take a break to check social media ’cause I’m a millennial or something. On Facebook, I see the call for local playwrights (again) from a friend who had his work produced, I see a Scottish classmate who is having her work done on stage and opening night is tomorrow, I see someone getting professional praise for his scripting, and I see an actress friend whose play received a special commendation from an esteemed competition in New York.

After that, I logged off Facebook and just sat at my desk doing nothing for about two and a half hours. Not even working on my own play.

I just felt so deflated, not that I was inflated to begin with.

Have I not tried enough? Or am I just that lousy of a writer?

Since then, I haven’t been able to work on my piece again. I don’t quite know what to do about starting it up again. But something must be done if I want to be a playwright. I can’t just give up, nor will I.

One thing I know I need to do is congratulate my friends. Just because I don’t feel successful does not mean I want to diminish their work. They obviously worked hard and got what they deserved. I’m just a wee jealous (lol). Love you all, wish I could see all your work.

Another thing I should do is learn to be okay with my own work. And that’s a journey in and of itself.

I’m gonna keep trying, and maybe one day fortune will find me. I just might be a late bloomer.

If you take anything from this, know that just because others are good at something it does not diminish your talent. Just because my friend Kendall is great at writing a play does not mean I suck. Just because your friend is good at something does not make you bad at the same thing.

Yes, I’m still bummed at how slow my foot is from getting into the door. I’m still jealous at the accomplishments of my friends. I’m still beating myself down for something I can’t control. It’s a process that I’m trying to break, but it won’t be an overnight process.

I’ll get back to work on the play. Eventually.

Hugs

Alexandra

Having Colored Hair in the Workplace

I recently had a meeting at work where someone who was hired with me asked what the dress code for the place was. Turns out we didn’t have one, as long as it wasn’t outlandish and remember what impression you want to leave with potential advertisers, etc. I asked about hair color. No rule! However, I may get looks because it’s a pretty conservative office. So, now I have thoughts about what I want to do with my hair.

Part of my relationship with my hair was heavily influenced by what color I was allowed to have. My undergrad university was a conservative school with dress codes, including not being allowed to have non-traditional colored hair. Right before I left for Glasgow, to a liberal arts foreign university, I dyed my hair blue. img_7862I wanted to do something new and something I was never able to do before, and that is have a ‘shocking’, non-traditional color. And I LOVED my blue hair. Did not regret it for a moment.

After I graduated, I entered a workplace where I could not have colored hair. Back to a natural color, and I went with my own natural strawberry blonde. There were moments I was bummed and just wanted to change my hair color, but alas.

Why is it such a big deal having colored hair in the workplace?

I don’t get it.

It’s self-expression and it doesn’t hinder from performances. It’s like tattoos (which some workplaces also banned). But how is it unprofessional?

So, I Googled it.

Some people say it’s a distraction. That’s not my fault. It’s the fault of the person who feels the need to judge silently. It doesn’t distract me from my job, and I’m still the same person I was when I had natural hair.

Some people say it’s a sign of rebellion. The only thing I’m rebelling against is my own self-doubt that I can’t look cute. I’m not fighting the patriarchy through my hair color. I’m rebelling against nothing except self-loathing.

Some people say it’s a form of immaturity. To this I say: whatever. I have met far more immature natural people than immature ‘unnatural’ people. The most immature adult I have met was a natural person (and she gave people shit about having colored hair). One of the most mature people I’ve ever met had tattoos (she loves colored hair on others but not herself). Immaturity has no correlation with colored hair.

Now, there was an argument I saw that stood out because it gave some good arguments. It’s considered unprofessional in a job with high human interaction and “they might be unappeasing to the customer/client you’re dealing with, and you wanna retain your customers/clients.” (Link) Okay, fair. Not enough to ban it, in my opinion, but thanks for actually coming up with an argument.

Anyway, I don’t get it.

If you have to abide to natural hair in the workplace, do it. I’m sorry you have to, but you shouldn’t threaten your position for it. Self-express in other ways. I’m fortunate that I was given a go-ahead, so hopefully I’ll have some colored hair to show you guys soon.

Hugs

Alexandra

Changing Wardrobe

Told you I’d be back with a post about the change in wardrobe.

Part of my yearly goals was to completely update my wardrobe. 2019 was the year I finally want my closet to have pieces I will truly wear in a style that fully reflects me. So what is that style?

Black.

Straight up, all black.

I could hear you now: “Alexandra, are you going through an emo phase in your late 20s?” No, I still have color. Let me explain:

img_7846I wanted my actual clothing pieces to be black. No design, no words, nothing. Literally just black. But I want my shoes and accessories to be colorful. Bright blue shoes, pink hat, jewelry with stones of all colors. So, why did I want this as my style, and how does it reflect me?

Plain black makes me feel sensible. professional, clean, and confident. Black makes me feel slimmer, even if I’m wearing something hella baggy. It’s easy to put outfits together. I can dress it up or down, and be appropriate for any occasion. Now, I’m not trying to convert you to a black wardrobe, I’m just describing why.

img_7847But, I’m still very much a nerdy, colorful, fun person. And I want to showcase that  through accessories. It’s what people tend to notice first, and it pops a bit more on a black canvas.

One of the biggest things, guys: don’t go out and immediately buy a bunch of new clothing pieces. Add to the wardrobe a little at a time so you appreciate your style and wardrobe. And usually what I’ll do is, if I get a new piece, I’ll donate something else until I have a wardrobe I’m happy with.

I am so happy changing my wardrobe and I genuinely think I’ll be able to show my true self a lot more than I previously did.

If you want to change yours, remember these steps: know what your style is/what you want it to look like, ask yourself how you see yourself in this style, go through your full wardrobe and donate things that don’t make you happy and/or don’t go with your style, keep comfort clothes and everyday clothes separate, and buy one thing at a time. This is only if you want a specifically styled wardrobe. If you don’t care, then don’t care. If you prefer your hodge podge, then prefer it with pride. I wanted to stylize, and I wanted to give advice.

What you wear should make you happy, whether or not it fits with today’s fashions.

Hugs

Alexandra

Favorite Movie Exercise

Recently, I was doing some research on favorites. Why do we have favorites, what might they say about us, and how do they shape our personalities? In my research, I found this article about favorite movies. And I was fascinated! I recommend reading it (found here), but the basic gist is something about you might tie your favorite films together. Make a list of your top 10 movies, think about themes and elements, and ask yourself what ties them together. What do your favorite movies say about you?

I wanted to put this exercise to the test.

Almost a year ago, I made a post listing my favorite movies (here). I was looking through it again and decided to tweak it. My mind changes sometimes with favorite films, though I continuously seem to go through the same 20. But for this list, I decided on what speaks to me more often than not. Here’s my list in relative, not exact order:

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
  2. Die Hard
  3. Howl’s Moving Castle
  4. Willow
  5. Beetlejuice
  6. Legally Blonde
  7. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
  8. Jurassic Park
  9. Drop Dead Gorgeous
  10. The Frighteners

An eclectic, as Domenick put it, list. Different plots, different genres, different filmmakers, different actors, blah blah blah.

So what ties these together?

*! As a warning, there may be spoilers to the above mentioned films. !*

Let’s start with the top four: Mitty, Die Hard, Howl’s, and Willow handle a character underestimated by seemingly bigger forces. And usually the characters are constantly undervalued. Walter Mitty is constantly pushed around by those of a higher authority though he does more than they comprehend. John McClane is a cop from New York thrown into a terrorist situation in LA before taking them all out alone. Sophie, a girl who is undervalued by self and society, is cursed but is the only person who can keep the world moving. Willow is a small person bullied by those around him sent out on an adventure to save the world-ish, and even with the constant trash against him is the one who never stops and ultimately does save the world.

These are all stories of thriving when underestimated/undervalued, or continuing on when everyone says you can’t because you are the only one who can.

Let’s continue with the rest of the movies, and see if this theme continues throughout the other six.

Beetlejuice has a couple of underestimated characters. The Maitlands are undervalued as a simple superstition and walked all over on, but are able to take back their own house. Lydia is undervalued for being an oddball, but accepts herself and becomes more open in the end after making friends.

Legally Blonde is the ultimate movie of being underestimated. Elle is a beautiful blonde sorority girl from California who is treated like shit when she goes to law school. She doesn’t give up; she kicks all the ass.

To Wong Foo follows three drag queens in a road trip across America before they get stranded in middle America. They’re underestimated as ‘career girls’ and undervalued as drag queens. But they speak out and help the town value itself.

Jurassic Park. Everyone knows this movie for one word: dinosaurs. Obviously, the dinos themselves are underestimated as they fuck everything up. Ellie is underestimated as a woman in this survival situation. Malcolm and his knowledge is undervalued. But they survive, and that’s the point.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary about a teen beauty pageant in a little town in Minnesota. The lead teen is undervalued because she is “trailer trash” compared to her competition who is from the wealthiest family in town. And she is underestimated for being kind. She prevails though, fireball and all.

The Frighteners is about a man who can see/talk with ghosts when a serial killer ghost starts claiming the living. He is an undervalued member of society since he ‘scams’ using his connection with ghosts. He is underestimated since, obviously, no one believes him. He kicks ass, though, and saves the town.

And if I think of some of my other favorites, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Wonderman, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Imitation Game, and more, the majority of them, if not all of them, involve characters underestimated and/or undervalued before showing out, showing off, and being super awesome.

Now, for the last part of the exercise, why am I drawn to these kinds of movies?

I myself feel like an underestimated and undervalued person. Whether it’s myself or other people doing it, I feel like I’m pushed down to not achieve greatness. Not every movie ends in ultimate victory. Sometimes we fail, and we can fail hard. But they were no longer underestimated for what they could/couldn’t do. They were not undervalued as less than. These characters sought for the moon even when they were told they couldn’t.

I see myself in these moments, and that’s why I love movies. I connect with them.

Anyway, this was a fun look into my favorite movies and my own psyche. I recommend trying this with your favorite films. You may discover something new about yourself.

Hugs

Alexandra

The Ring Experiment

I’m very single.

It’s not a surprise to people who know me because I joke about it (and I’ll be damned if I ever keep a relationship a secret again). And being a certified adult™, I have plenty of friends who are in relationships, engagements, or marriages.

Some more backstory, I went to a university was rampant. Like, 90% of the people I met there were already married or got married before graduation. And looking into statistics, the percentage is actually something like 70-85% marriage status. Yeah, everyone was getting married.

I was not.

But because of that whole 5 and a half year situation, I have made the unintentional habit of ring-checking. I can notice a wedding band quicker than anyone else. It’s awesome and awful at the same time.

But I was curious, am I the weird one or do others ring check?

So I thought I’d wear a ring for a while.

img_7233

I wore it for three weeks everywhere. Work, rehearsal, the friggin’ library. I didn’t make mentions, I didn’t say anything, just wore it on my left ring finger indiscreetly. And you know what happened?

Nothing.

Not a single thing.

No one treated me differently, no one asked questions, the people I live with didn’t even notice.

What was the point of this post?

I don’t really know.

But experiments are meaningless without data or writing. img_7721

Your lesson of the post of the day (what?) is a person is not a relationship, despite what my old college taught me. Turns out to be my problem, and a problem at my old university. Notice a person before you notice their relationship status.

Man, this was a bad post, but I’m allowed some, especially if it gets a thought out my brain.

Thanks for reading.

Alexandra

Can I Enjoy Editing Again?

I have a YouTube channel. It’s there for everyone to see, promoted on the side of my blog here (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile). I talk about my videos a lot. And a couple of months ago I took a break, mostly because my computer went belly up for the last time, but also because I was a busy bee.

Well, recently I came back to making videos and…I don’t have the same passion as I used to. Filming was boring, editing was a time-fueled hassle, and I just can’t come up with good video ideas.

I could go the usual route of just quitting like I have many past hobbies. But I have invested so much of myself into it that I don’t want it to go to waste.

And then I realized that that was the incorrect mindset to have.

Nothing about it was a waste.

Not the time devoted to it, not the money that went into, not the blood, sweat, and tears it took to maintain it.

I loved doing it for the time I did it. I enjoyed coming up with ideas, writing scripts, becoming different characters, and chasing my cats around with my camera. Most of all, I greatly enjoyed editing. It was the best part of video-making.

Yes, I have invested so much of myself into it. In return, I was given new knowledge and new experiences I couldn’t have had otherwise. So, it was a very sound investment indeed.

Now, I not quitting YouTube just yet. I’m giving it a few more months (mostly until my Adobe Premiere Pro subscription is up). Maybe my passion will be renewed, maybe I’ll leave it be. Whatever the decision, I’m happy I took the adventure to begin with.

Hugs

Alexandra