A question from a busy student

Today is Veterans Day.

First of all, say thanks to your veterans, whether it’s a family member or if you just say it in spirit. Quite a few family members and several friends serve(d), and I appreciate their service. I know I could never do something like that.

Anyway, today is a federal holiday. Post offices are closed, banks are closed, even the local library is closed.

But the schools are not.

So, coming from a busy and exhausted student who could’ve used the day off, why aren’t schools closed for this federal holiday? Thanksgiving gets three days from school for whatever reason (considering the history of Thanksgiving versus the history of Veterans Day). And I know my teacher friends are cursing this as well.

Just a question from someone who could’ve used those three and a half hours working on her assignment that’s due tomorrow.

Happy Veterans Day!

Back in School

This is kind of an add-on to a video I recently put up on my YouTube channel (which you can watch here if you want).

As I had stated, I am back in school. I’m a full-time graduate student once again. It’s an online course, but with technology being what it is these days (i.e. amazing) I have to ‘attend class’ at very specific times. I’m not going to say the school or major quite yet as I don’t feel 100% comfortable, but I will tell you it will be for a second Masters. I’ll now take questions.

Why are you back in school? It seemed like the best thing for me to do. What I want to do in life as a potential career is kind of unique and uncommon. And in order to do that, or something like that, I would need an education in something specific.

But, Alexandra, why did you bother getting a Masters in the first place if this second one is what you need? Because what I want to do will combine the Masters into one great career. Also, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I received for anything. Both of my graduate degrees will, I believe, help me be the best I can be in the area I want/will strive to work in.

Why are you telling us? I mentioned this in the video as the reason I made the video anyway. It’s a way to tell you what’s going on. As an audience, I respect your time. Also as an audience, you do not need to know everything about me. The thing is, being a full-time graduate student and working gives me a limited amount of time to do other things. And while I pride myself in organization, I am absolute shit in time management. It is my hope that I will force myself to be better throughout the next several semesters. And, sorry to say, hobbies such as YouTube and this website is put on the back burner to make way for a healthy lifestyle. If I have to take a break from writing in order to get sleep or in order to exercise, I will.

Does this mean you’re quitting? Absolutely not! I will hold onto this website and my channel for as long as I can. Trust me, quitting is very much a last option.

It is my hope that you guys make good and healthy choices, and that your time management is done in a healthy way. Do not sacrifice physical or mental health for work, school, or hobbies. You are more important than that.

Hugs

Alexandra

Don’t See a Play with Me

As a theatre person, I love seeing onstage shows. I prefer straight plays over musicals, as I’ve said before, but I don’t think you should see either with me. Now, why would I say that considering I love theatre and I want to encourage others to love it as well?

Because I’m an awful audience member.

And I have some examples: one with my past roommates, one with my mother, and one when I was on my own.

Let’s start with my roommates, and actually this wasn’t a play. It was a movie, the last Hobbit movie to be exact. When I watch movies, there are several factors I keep an eye on: characters (acting and how they’re written), writing, editing, and stunts. The last Hobbit movie, as much shit as it got, was quite beautiful. And when I get excited, I must express! Much to the amusement of my roommates when I was all over the final battle. They never let me live it down, and they never saw a movie with me again.

A while ago, I got to see ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ the musical in Utah with my mother. I love ‘Hunchback’. It’s one of the few musicals I genuinely love. I was very excited to get to see it (and if you want to know deeper thoughts on what I thought of the show I saw, I put a review on my blog that you can find here). Again, my excitement showed and I raved (quietly) to Mother as the show went on. Problem is, I also went off on what was wrong about it. I was full critic-mode when I really was just enjoying the show. Mother didn’t seem to mind, or she was just being polite.

I fully realized how awful I am when I watched the David Tennant/Catherine Tate stage version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Thank God I watched this alone, because I was having full conversations with the characters, the actors, the designers, and Shakespeare about what I thought. Mother did walk in sometime during the show, and I was excitedly telling her what I thought. She left the room. When I finished the AMAZING show, I sat there exhausted (as I do after a good or thought-provoking play) and realized, I talk a lot.

The blessing is I keep it quiet between me and whoever is with me. I’ve also learned to sit away from other audience members when I can so I don’t disturb anyone. But if you see a show with me, you are under threat of me exuding my excitement onto you.

That’s why you should not see a play with me.

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