Review: Big Little Lies Episode 1

Well. What to say?

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Reese Witherspoon is perfectly cast. This role fits her like a glove, and I wonder if years from now, we will have trouble separating Reese Witherspoon from this role. She inhabits the character of Madeline like a second skin, bringing a delicious type-A bitchery to a character that could easily be infuriating in her determination to be chipper and vice-like grip on a good attitude, but instead is intensely watchable. She also brings nuance to the character, as she is more than just an overinvolved “nice” bitch, but an actual person. From Reese’s first “I am not 100% sure with that tone, young lady,” I knew I was going to love this depiction. I don’t particularly like this type of character (or person), I like my bitches stone-cold and with no-holds barred, just like myself, but I know Reese is gonna kill the shit out of this role.

 

Nicole Kidman’s storyline has the creepiest undertones. Her every interaction with her husband is trilling with tension and discomfort. You know immediately something is not precisely right with this perfectly sexy couple and their mirrored sons. Kidman gives her character a fragility and an elegance that makes her interactions with the other characters sing. Although I have no idea what they’re doing with her hair throughout this entire first episode. But based on the past few years of her favoring that washed-out beige-blonde, neither does she, so whatever.

 

As for Woodley’s character, she is the most relatable to the average viewer, probably, and being the newcomer to the school district, she also serves as the closest thing the opening episode has to an ingénue and a narrative point of view for the viewer. She is the outsider with a mysterious past. Woodley brings emotion and tenderness to her scenes with her scene, displaying a level of acting I did not think she was capable of, quite frankly. She’s clearly financially-outclassed in this new school district, and running from something. Her scenes with her son were well-acted, but I usually don’t give a fuck about the children so I found my attention wandering. The little boy is a good actor though. Actually, all of the child actors are particularly good.

 

Also, as an aside, some woman at one point notes that Kidman’s husband is a lot younger than her. Alexander Skarsgard is nine years younger than her. Is that a lot younger? Really? If their genders were switched would this be remarked upon? I cannot decide if it’s a commentary on how these times of PTA-battle-involved mothers can sometimes treat one another, or if it’s a reflection of the filmmakers themselves. If it’s the former, I’m digging it. If it’s the latter, I’m pissed.

 

So, the story opens with one of my favorite narrative devices-everybody talking about what happened the night of the murder, discussing the events leading up to it. This quickly just devolves into everybody talking shit on everybody, especially our main four ladies and especially especially Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline McKenzie. It’s clear that she’s a polarizing figure in the school system, sort of like how TV’s version of the Prom Queen was always polarizing—people either adored her or hated her, depending on how close they were to her orbit.

 

Another actress of note is Laura Dern, representing the working mother. We don’t see much of her in the first episode, but I will say that she looks fantastic silhouetted against the sunset with a large glass of wine. That’s how I like to imagine my life will look like in the future.

 

Bonnie, the new partner of Reese’s ex, is played by the always gorgeous Zoe Kravitz. She’s a yoga instructor who is a bit of a hippie, but she’s a believable one. In the words of the parents being interviewed by the police, her husband is a bit of a dick, but a likeable one (spoiler: he is not a likeable one).

 

It’s a good cast, simmering with so much more going on underneath the surface that I cannot wait to see more of. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

 

 

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Basic Bitch Resolutions

Most of the time, I try to write blog posts only when I have something new to say, but honestly guys, this list is pretty run-of-the-mill. Like you could probably read the same thing on Buzzfeed—only better because they have Arrow and Bob’s Burger’s gifs. But hey, I do talk about sex some so… you know…

Working Smarter

Everyone tells you that being an adult is difficult. When you’re a child in grade school or junior high or hell, even high school, the proverbial they tell you that it isn’t easy. “Adulthood is hard,” scream all the blog posts by disenchanted, disillusioned, white, liberal, young adult bloggers.

Me. That’s me I’m talking about there.

What they fail to tell you, what you never expected, what you will struggle with for years, is that not only is adulthood hard, it’s complicated.

You think that “it isn’t easy” means exactly that. You think that you can work your ass off and succeed. You think that you can put in sixty hour weeks and be okay. You think so long as you are tired and unhappy and aren’t buying any luxury items for yourself that you’ve worked hard enough. And maybe you have.

But working hard isn’t enough. It’s true: adulthood is certainly not easy. But it is also complicated. It is not enough to work hard. You must work smart. You must be wise with your money, and discerning. You must budget and plan and accept the responsibility of your life. You must acknowledge your debts and formulate a plan to pay them off.

Life isn’t just hard work; life is a chess game. You can work harder than anyone else, you can use yourself up in the endless race to success, and not get anywhere. Life is a big game of the tortoise and the hare. Running fast, running hard, running yourself away will only get you so far. You must strategize.

This is something I understand in the abstract, but have so far failed to implement in my own life. So, my first and most important resolution for this new year (sweet Jesus please let 2017 be better than 2016), is to begin to do that: to budget, to plan, to set goals and stick to them. In 2017, I will work smarter.

 Date More

 Or at least have more sex. Or at least have making out. Or handholding. Or Jesus Christ, at least get someone to buy me some popcorn at the goddamned movies.

Mostly have more sex.

 

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Suck it Buzzfeed

Lose Weight

 Hey, I titled this post basic bitch resolutions for a reason. I know everyone wants this, and they want this for a reason. I wanna lose weight. I wanna get in shape. I want abs that will make children weep and an ass so firm that you could balance your breakfast on it.

There’s only one way to do this, obvs, diet and exercise. There’s only ever been one way to do this and maintain it, and I don’t care what Kirstie Alley or (the incredibly stupidly named) It Works! or those douches at Herbalife tell you.

No disrespect to the almighty cult of Herbalife you guys. As far as cults go, it’s like number one on my list of favorite cults. It doesn’t kill its ex-members like goddamned Scientology, and by and large, most of its douches are hot douches.

Of course, if diet and exercise don’t work, I’ll just have to reduce my food intake to laxatives, lemons and water for a few months.

Write More

 Pretty self-explanatory. As a writer, I’ve kinda dropped the ball this year. I haven’t kept up with really anything really, and I know that if Tina Belcher can drop a new friend fiction every day, I can at least write a blog post twice a week.

Kill A Man 

Just kiddinggggg……

 

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…Mostly have more sex.

Four Years Later

I paused several times before writing this. I worried it would cheapen my grief. I worried it would be an attempt to capitalize on the death of the woman who made me. I didn’t want to manufacture mourning into a narrative in an attempt to be the next Cheryl Strayed or Joan Didion. Not that they did those things, but I know my ambitions, and I worried that in writing this down, I would be indulging those ambitions.

Last year, on the third anniversary of my grandmother’s death, I did nothing. I said nothing. I had told a few close friends it was coming up, but as the date drew closer, I felt as if I could say nothing. My tongue was paralyzed. I didn’t want to seem to be inviting pity or whining for attention. I wanted my grief private because I wanted to honor my grandmother, and my grandmother was a very private person. I worked that day. I’m not certain, but I think that I worked that day. I think that because I work every day. I worked and I was miserable and moody, as I always am in the days up to and including the seventh of December. I worked and I mourned and I drank wine when I got home and I went to bed and the next day it was over. It’s strange how that works. How your body, your emotions, your spirit seems to have an internal funereal clock, ticking down the days until a certain amount of time has passed. It’s probably all psychological.

This year has been the same. But worse. Friends have asked me what was wrong and I have been unable to answer. Not really answer. Because I did not want to cheapen it. Because I did not want to make a show of grief.

However, in the end, I think every writer, every diarist and scribe, every novelist and fanfiction typist hunched over a keyboard, is an exhibitionist. Joan Didion once said she writes in order to understand what it is she is feeling. That is true for me as well. But I need to express it out loud, to someone, to the public. I need to hear my voice echo in order to understand it fully.

It’s been four years. I can’t decide what is harder: the missing her, or the ever-present fear that if she were alive, I would be disappointing her.

I think of how I mark her death. Quietly, to myself, no more drunken posts on Facebook, no more prostrations of grief. Just myself, and my bad moods, and a quiet observation of the day. I think that that is how she would have wanted it.

My grandmother was a humble woman. She was uncomfortable under a lot of attention. She was proud and imperious and sure of herself, but humble, and kind, and retiring. She didn’t like to eat at restaurants, because she did not like to eat in front of people she didn’t know. She was shy. For her birthdays, we never did much. Every once in a while, every couple of years, I would buy her flowers. Or my uncle would throw a party. Or my mother would do something nice. She always said thank you. Always grunted and went along as if she would just as rather not be bothered. She didn’t like the attention. But then I think of how I feel, on the quieter birthdays, how I feel when someone tells me happy birthday. I think of that, and I wish I had done more.

It isn’t regret really. There is no regret in remembering my grandmother. Everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. Just… longing. To hear that voice again… I would give anything.

The first time she was really sick, the beginning of the changing of our relationship of her as parent and me as child to me as parent, she was thirsty. I can’t remember now… was it a knee surgery? Some sort of surgery. She couldn’t get up easily. And she was thirsty. It was late at night. She had called me several times during the night. I was tired and young (twelve? Thirteen?) and impatient. I was obviously irritated when she called me that last time.

“Are you mad?” she asked, anxiously.

I felt myself taken aback at her tone. Grandma didn’t sound that way. Not often. Not… anxious. Not weak. Not scared. Not vulnerable. Grandma was… Grandma. She was an institution. She was my parent. She was stronger than any mountain.

But still, I was young and ungrateful and tired.

“No, Grandma,” I said, too patiently, with too much exasperation, “I’m not mad. I don’t mind. Really.”

She asked for water. And by water, she meant Diet Pepsi. She loved Diet Pepsi. It was all she ever drank. I encouraged her to drink more water. She never wanted water. She never listened to me. She wanted Diet Pepsi.

She took her first drink out of the cup I had brought her, her eager, thirsty gulping. It was dark. A bit of light escaping from the hall into the bedroom, illuminating only the barest outline of the bookshelf and her dresser.

“Oh, thanks Seth, you’re a lifesaver.”

It was the first time I ever felt that tenderness to her. The tenderness of parent to child. It was so odd to hear her using that phrase that way. “You’re a lifesaver.” It just sounded so unlike her. It sounded so young. She seemed so much smaller. It was cute. It was cute like when a kitten does something. I felt protective and sorry about my earlier impatience. I felt like I imagine she had felt about me my entire life.

I think one of the greatest divides between a parent and a child is the resentment, however buried, that a child inevitably feels when they discover that their parent is not perfect, is not immortal, cannot protect them from anything and everything that will come. I think we all feel it. It isn’t conscious always, but it’s there. When our parents die, we come to the shocking realization that they are not gods, however much we believed them to be deep down. They always seemed so tall when we were children. They made us feel so safe. The world rested on their shoulders and they would protect us against everything. We want to believe in something bigger than ourselves, and a part of us is shocked and angry and despairing when we discover that our heroes are only human after all.

I lost that when my grandmother got sick, and I became the one doing the protecting. Or perhaps I didn’t lose it. Perhaps it merely changed into something different.

Because I still wish I could talk to her when something goes wrong in my life, which is too often. I wish I could turn to her when things don’t go the way I planned. I never got a chance to tell her, things didn’t go the way I planned. She couldn’t do anything about it. I know that. But it would be nice.

She was tall, my grandma. Until she became bound to the wheelchair, and then she inevitably seemed small. I remember, anytime a nurse or an aid or a physical therapist stood her up how surprised they were at her height. She was 5’11”. She was hardworking. She loved to mow the lawn, feed the hummingbirds, decorate for Christmas, and any show that contained vampires, werewolves, blood, murder and gore. That last is true, and I had to throw that in there before you start thinking she was a harmless, benevolent, little old lady.

One of my favorite comments I ever received about my grandma was from a woman named Sandy, at our local grocery store. I was working there as a stock boy, and Sandy was midway between my age and my grandmother’s, and she had worked with Grandma when she was at Boeing. “If I was ever in a fight,” said Sandy, her voice full of respect and rueful admiration, “I’d want your grandma on my side.”

She intimidated everyone. She took no nonsense. As I said, she was hardworking, and expected everyone else to be hardworking. She worked at many factories and plants, and they always wanted her to be a supervisor, but she never wanted the position. Being a relief manager at my own job now, I understand why. She never was unfair, or asked anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself, but she expected people to do their jobs. She started her union at a factory in Hartshorne, and was vice president of her branch of the union at Boeing. She was very pro-union, and because of her I would never pass a picket line.

She was hard and strong, but she was also kind. Very tender-hearted, although she didn’t display that openly. There was a girl who got pregnant in my neighborhood when she was about fourteen. She was from a bad family, and the girl herself got wrapped up in drugs at an early age. This girl was forever walking her baby back and forth across the neighborhood in some beat up old walker. My grandma was very concerned about the girl, and her baby. She sent me to Wal-Mart with the money to buy a new walker, and we gave it to her, although Grandma absolutely did not want to speak to her and forbid me from letting her in the house. Thanks for that kind of thing would have embarrassed her, and she did not like meeting new people.

I guess there is some regret, after all, because my biggest regret is that I didn’t see her more at the end of her life. I was away at college, at OSU in Stillwater, and I was very busy being in college. Being a college kid, being dumb and being depressed and being promiscuous and being young. I didn’t go home much. It’s a three-hour drive, or three-and-a-half if you stop to pee as much as I do, and it was always such a hassle. I should have gone home more. I should have seen her more.

No. Not should have. I wish I had. I feel no obligation, no failed sense of duty. I am sorry that I didn’t. Because now I would give anything to see her again.

Missing her is an old, deep pain in me now, a longing that is much a part of me as roots are part of a tree. I don’t express it often, I don’t talk about it often, because it hurts, but I think I should. It hurts, but it hurts in a good way. It is good to remember her and smile. Remember her quirks and her rages and how tight she pretended to be on money, but how absolutely generous she could not help being.

I got to the hospital just a little too late to find her fully coherent. She was heavily medicated, and couldn’t seem to fully wake up. My mom and Aunt Bettie Jo poured cold water on her, just to see, and she did wake up somewhat for a second, just to mutter a sharp, “Bettie Jo! What are you doing?!”

She did wake up a bit for me as well. Her last words, if I remember correctly, were to me. I had gotten there, and they had poured water on her, and they managed to shake her awake to convey to her that I was there. “Seth is here.”

She looked up from that hospital bed and smiled, her eyes opening somewhat, and said, her mouth barely opening and full of sleep and medicine and exhaustion, “Oh. Seth. I love you.”

So I said to her, “I love you too Grandma. I’m right here and I’m going to stay here as long as you are.”

She never woke up after that. They tried a procedure, but they couldn’t anaesthetize her for it, because her heart wasn’t strong enough to start back up from the anesthesia. The next day, after much debate between my mom and aunts and uncles and I, we decided. I had to give the order, because I was the one listed on the living will as having the ability to make that choice.

And they pulled out her breathing tube or whatever it was, and they shut some machines off, and that was it. I was and am relieved for her. She suffered a lot those last few years. They were hard. She survived mostly, I think, for me. She even told me that. The night I stayed in her hospital room, on that cot feet away from her bed, I whispered to her, “It’s okay Grandma. I know you’ve been doing this for me, and if you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to. Because I’m going to be fine. You’ve raised me to be fine.”

And I am fine. I mean, I’ve made mistakes, a lot of them. I haven’t graduated yet, but by God I’m going to. That’s all Grandma wanted in life was for me to graduate college, and if I have to crawl to the graduation procession, I will. I will be fine. Life isn’t as I imagined or hoped it would be, but it is a good life.

There was one day, about two weeks after it happened. My best friend Alex had stayed the night, because she always stayed the night, we slept together our last year, maybe two years, of college. Because I didn’t want to be alone and neither did she. We were getting up; it was a weekend I think. I was at the kitchen sink, she was in the living room, we were talking. I was pouring water into the water purifier and I remember having this itch between my shoulders, this nagging sense that I was forgetting something. Something seemed off.

Then I remembered. It had been so long since I had talked to Grandma! Why hadn’t I called Grandma? I needed to call her. I should be ashamed of myself.

I opened my mouth to say so to Alex, and then I remembered.

Oh.

Right. That thing. That’s why it’s been so long.

That is what they don’t tell you about grief. It isn’t constant. It’s tidal. You don’t throw yourself on the coffin, sobbing that it can’t be true. You forget that it is true, because so much of your life has been built around the person you’ve lost, it takes time to adjust to the fact that they’re gone. I don’t know that you ever really become accustomed to it. You just deal.

A couple of months after Grandma died, I was walking on campus. It was after classes, and I was… oh, I don’t know. Just messing around. I think I went to the student union and bought some stuff I didn’t need. I was looking through my phone, walking across campus, and I noticed a notification on my phone. It was a voicemail, from a number labeled “Home.” That number is still in my phone, even though “Home” has long since ceased to exist. “Home” died with her. Somebody else has that phone number. I’ll never call it again. But it’s still in there. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to delete it.

It had been a while since she died. I knew I wasn’t over it, but I didn’t think it would bother me all that much. It was just a voicemail. Grandma was awkward on the phone. She often came off short and gruff and annoyed. So I decided to listen, standing outside the student union, I pressed play:

“Seth? This is Grandma. Just calling to see if you need anything. It’s been a while since I heard from you. See if you need some money or anything. I love you.”

I’ll never stop missing her, and loving her. Everything I am is because of her.

VMAs Top 5: Best

MTV’s Video Music Awards have never been the most notable fashion event in the entertainment industry. They command neither the sophisticated glamor of the Oscars or the the sweeping dramatics displayed on the steps of the Palais des Festivals at Cannes. One thing the VMAs is known for, however, is the outrageousness and the wild sexuality embraced by the clothing worn there, in a similar, more experimental manner as that shown at the Grammy’s. With that in mind, that we are not expecting Academy Award winners wearing L’Wren Scott or minor members of Swedish nobility bedecked in McQueen, I have chosen my five best looks from the VMAs.

 

Hailee Steinfeld – Balmain

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This look is hardly groundbreaking, neither for the VMAs or for Balmain (I love Olivier Rousteing but what was once sartorial genius is quickly becoming an outmoded, Kardashian-esque rut), but however, these are the Video Music Awards, and this cute, perfectly-accessorized mini is more than able to garner Steinfeld a win from me (even if I do find it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between her and Shailene Woodley). Bonus points for the adorable and not too matchy-matchy mani-pedi. At first I thought the dress was McQueen, but then I was positive it was Mary Katrantzou (which makes sense, given how much the Greek designer has expanded and expounded upon some of the ideas the deceased visionary introduced). It makes sense as a Balmain, of course, in that it is beautiful while also being somewhat derivative, but then again, the same could be said of the VMAs.

Chance the Rapper – Unknown

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I looked all over for a goddamn ID on these overalls, and all I could find were blog posts that mentioned Super Mario Brothers! Nevertheless, this may be a bold choice, but I unabashedly love this look. It’s the VMAs! It shouldn’t be all white tie and staid tuxes and ballgowns. This look is fun, well-fitted and brimming with personality. Also, that cuff is fucking perfect and I want the name of Chance’s tailor immediately. The jacket is awesome, I love the nod to Michael, the only thing I met have left out is the hat, it is perhaps just a hair too much muchness, if you know what I mean. Still, this is a look that drips swagger, confidence and enviable style. It makes me want to fuck him, and I don’t know that I can give a better compliment.

Kim Kardashian West – Vintage Galliano

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Listen, I don’t like giving her this anymore than you probably read about it, but I gotta give it to her. Girl looks hot! At first, I hated this look, and I might still sort of hate it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for this exact event and that she isn’t pulling it off like a goddamn pro. Finally, that friendship with Riccardo Tisci is paying off (I still think he’s crazy). The shoes are perfect, and if you’re ever going to look like a sexy, shipwrecked sea wench/shampoo commercial girl, this night was it. She’s also coming closer to pulling off that wet look than I thought was actually possible outside the realm of Mario Testino’s camera lens. (Also pictured, her husband, clearly rushing to the event after getting off late from his work as a Storm Trooper)

Jaden Smith – Undercover

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I wish I was Jaden Smith, tbh. That flawless skin and effortless style… honestly, the guys were the clear winner’s of the VMAs for me this year. They showed so much personal taste and quirk and every item of clothing was unique and fun and fresh in a way that makes my male fashion fanboy wanna sit up and scream, “YAAAAASSSSSS.”  This is not an easy ensemble to pull off, I’m almost positive I couldn’t do it myself, but it’s not fucking boring and it pushes those gender lines while also maintaining masculinity and clean lines. It’s interesting, and Undercover designer Jun Takahashi has gained himself a new fan. (Also ❤ the hair)

Alicia Keys – Just Cavalli

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This look is perfect. Like her skin. My god, I wouldn’t wear fucking makeup either if my skin looked like hot, buttered sex, but not even half the Make Up Forever line and and a third of my rent money spent on Clinique can get me to her levels of dermatological superiority. Anyway! I think the makeup-free look actually compliments the gown here, in that it all has a relaxed, loose quality that enhances the look. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Alicia pulled this heavy little number out of her closet the morning of and said, “This is pretty, and I can eat carbs in it and they won’t show. Done!” and I mean that as a compliment. People try very, very hard to reach this level of fashion cool and savvy. Props to her for resisting the urge to wear big, dangly earrings as I would have done. (Not pictured, the bodies of the hundred virgins whose blood she bathes in to keep her skin so clear and dewy)

Nine Years Later

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Nine years ago, in 2007, Britney Spears was famously suffering a breakdown. Fans, friends, family and a derisive public watched as the biggest star in the world began to buckle under the pressures of a life that had been decided for her since before she was old enough to have an adult tooth. She performed that year at the VMAs, the awards show that helped put her, and she it, on the map.

It was, to put it mildly, a humiliation and a disaster.

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It is always hard for me to talk about Britney Spears. I have so much affection for her. She means so much to me, and I don’t know that I can ever adequately describe exactly what that entails. She is a hero and an inspiration to me. When she was going through her breakdown, I was going through mine, and watching one of my childhood heroes being tested and broken on the wheel of public opinion in some ways made me stronger. There were days that I think I survived that dark period in my life purely for Britney. Because if I made it, so could she. And if she made it, so could I. We helped each other, you see. And she didn’t even know it.

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Anyway, that is a small part of what Britney Spears means to me. So to see her return, triumphant, golden and gorgeous and blonde the way we always want our Britney to be, means so very much to me. It gives me goddamn motherfucking life. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to feel as proud of myself as I feel of her tonight. I can’t wait to go out and hit the gym and get hot and write a novel and fuck Charlie Hunnam and have the best goddamn dance moves while I do it. And I know that I can, because of that killer fucking performance she gave tonight. The eyes, the spark, the fire, the choreography, it was all there. All the things that make us love Britney best. It’s Britney, Bitch!

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And to all of you haters, and I know you’re out there, because such is the nature of life (it is part of the pettiness of human nature that we cannot see a rise without painting the expectation of a fall), to all of you I say simply… It’s Britney, bitch, and if you aren’t cognizant enough to enjoy it, well, fuck… I just don’t have the time or the interest to teach you.

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Also, she and G-Eazy better be fucking. Cuz that chemistry was fiyahhhhh.

Pride

I’ve never felt completely like I was a part of the gay community. I myself am gay—anyone who knows me, knows that. It’s a big part of who I am, it’s a big part of my humor and my personality, and it’s something I like about myself. But I never felt much like I was a part of that community, and that’s probably mostly due to living in Oklahoma for much of my life, where the gay community is (by necessity) smaller and sometimes harder to find than it might be elsewhere.

Today I feel very much like a part of my community. Today, with the Orlando shooting in Pulse, I feel connected to my brothers and sisters.

You know, I’ve been to Pulse. One of my favorite, favorite memories is actually in that club. It was spring break one year, and my best friend Alex and I were in Florida, and I wanted to go to a gay club. Alex and I got all dolled up, we looked fantastic, we were in Florida. I was blond, and tan, and thin—the perfect trifecta. We get there, and it’s big and it’s fun and they serve alcohol and I have a fake ID that passes and there are INCREDIBLY attractive guys dancing in their underwear on the countertops and Alex and I are literally standing back to back, getting hit on by guys (I mean, of course, Alex is so gorgeous she can be in a freaking gay club and the most attractive guy there makes a beeline for her). And… it was perfect. It was just a perfect night. I had so much fun. I went out with my best friend to a club in a new city, and it was exactly like any 19 or 20-year-old dreams that it would be.

And late last night, somebody intruded into that dream, and shot it down. I just wonder who else was there. How many people were having their own perfect night? The epitome of feeling young and in love with life and feeling free last night in Orlando? How many Seths were there who got shot?

How many kids who hadn’t come out, who weren’t comfortable with the walking, waking world of daylight and judgment where they didn’t feel they could fully be themselves? How many people went there last night to bloom? To laugh and to dance and to drink and to act like fools and to feel safe with a room full of people who wanted the same things?

So, I really feel connected to the community, not just other, individual gay people, but to our sense of togetherness. Because, I am certain there were straight people in that club, and God knows my heart and compassion go out to them just as much as to the gay people who were killed that night, but this was an attack on gay people. This was an assault on our way of lives. This was a statement some deranged individual wanted to make: I do not agree with homosexuality. It is wrong. You should be afraid. You will be afraid. You may die because you are gay. You could die for being gay.

And only other gay people could understand this exact situation. I was in that club once. I was in that club because I was gay. I could have died for it. I could have been murdered for being gay.

People will try to make us be afraid, but I am not afraid. I’m sure it is easy to be unafraid when these events happen in Florida or California and I’m in Oklahoma, but even if I were in Orlando tonight, I refuse to be afraid. We refuse to be afraid. You can’t scare the gay away. And you can’t frighten us back into the closet. I am a part of the gay community, and I am proud of that. I am proud of the way we have joined together in this issue, the way we have banded and bonded together from all across the world. I am proud of the straight allies as well, proud and grateful for the thoughts and the love and the prayers, but I am proud in a different sort of way, in a special sort of way, for my fellow gays. We are who we are, and you can shoot us down, but we aren’t changing, and we aren’t going away. We will continue to celebrate and love who we want to, regardless of some madman with a gun and a mental problem and a vendetta. We will bury our dead, and cherish the memory of them and be compassionate with their loved ones and mourn our losses, and then we will stand up and carry on. We will continue to live, and live well.

prayfororlando

This is Pride.

 

 

This Blog is for Me

I wanted to do something for myself tonight. Just purely for me.

It’s been a while since I’ve wanted that. I mean, the way I wanted it tonight, the sort of thing I wanted tonight.  do things that I want to do all the time. But there’s always an underlying motivation beneath it.

I constantly work. Because I want to work, because I need to work, because after so many years of working so much, the desire to work, the desire to earn money, the need to earn it… Is part of the fabric of who I am. I am constantly trying to make money. So that I can feel safe. So that I can breathe. So I can pay everyone back and get my life in order.

I drink quite a bit. Because I like drinking. I like going out and I like not remembering what my life is and who I am because I’m never really happy with those things. Because I’m scared that something is going to happen that I’m going to miss out on. Because my friends might form closer bonds with each other than with me and I will be left behind. Because there is always the fleeting hope that I might magically turn into a pile of abs at midnight and a nice pile of abs might fall in love with me.

Tonight I just wanted to go. Get out of myself. I just wanted to do something for me without an underlying motivation that didn’t have anything to do with me. I wanted to do something good. I didn’t want to sleep. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to drink or work or meet someone. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to feel good in a not shameful way. Because, at the ripe age of twenty-three ladies and gentlemen, I am getting tired of instant gratification and the false comforts of unhealthy habits. So, I went for a run.

It felt amazing. The air was perfect and it was April the way you always want to imagine April. Every exhalation and sweat drop felt like the sighing and stretching of my soul.

Britney Spears, my hero and my inspiration, said in her 2008 documentary, For the Record, “Sometimes you don’t need to use words to go through what you need to go through. Sometimes it’s an emotion that you need to feel when you dance, that you touch on and the only way you can touch it is if you move a certain way.”

Running felt like expressing every disappointment and every self-doubt of the past two months.

What prompted this, you might ask?

(I hope you’re goddamn asking, cuz I’m telling you)

A boy. The usual. Just a boy. Which is irritating to me. I’ve always wanted to be someone who was different. I never wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be someone who could rise above the cliché and I guess, when I think about what the specifics of that desire means, rise above being human. I never wanted to be vulnerable. I never wanted to roll my eyes at myself.

But I’ve fallen for a boy that I shouldn’t. Well, that’s definitely too strong. Falling? Fall-ish-ing? I’m interested is what I’m goddamn trying to say. But I shouldn’t be. Because he’s not for me. I’m not for him. I’m not his type. Deep down I know this. I’m hoping that I’m wrong. I’m letting myself believe that I’m wrong. But I’m not wrong. He’s most likely not into me, and he probably never will be.

And I wonder if that’s kind of the point. I constantly see my friends falling for the wrong people because they are the wrong people. Because they know that they’re going to get hurt. Because they know they’re going to be rejected. But they’re going to be rejected for something outside of their control. He’s gay or she’s married or he lives halfway across the world. Something insurmountable that they can blame on something other than themselves.

Because if someone rejects you, if he rejects me, not based on outside circumstances but based on myself, based on who I am and how I am… Well, how are you supposed to come back from that? How am I supposed to survive that? I have walls thicker than titanium, but get past those fortifications and I am as easily crushed as Iggy Azalea’s rap career.

So I’ve fallen for this guy. I miss him when I don’t see him. He doesn’t miss me. I know that. And knowing that is killing me. But am I doing it to myself on purpose? Did I let this happen?

Then I got to thinking about all the bad habits I’ve collected. All the things that were important to me, that are important to me, that I’ve let slip away. I have become lazy. My life is a mess not simply because of outside circumstances, but because I’ve let it become a mess.

I’ve started letting things happen to me. Life is happening to me. I am not even trying to control it at this point. I’ve stopped running. I’ve stopped writing. I’ve stopped trying.

I work. Because I need the money. Because I have debts to pay. Because money will get me out of my most immediate holes, and I can never feel guilty or lazy when I’m working.

But there’s more than one kind of work. I can’t just mix drinks at a restaurant and come home and collapse after twelve hours shifts and let that be enough. That isn’t feeding my soul. That isn’t getting rid of these 20, 30, 40 pounds I’ve let accumulate.

I’ve let myself fall for this guy because I want someone to fall for, but I don’t want to try for a real relationship. Because I don’t like my body. Because I don’t know how to try to love someone, how to give a real relationship a real go, unless I have a suit of armor that consists of collarbones and fake tans and the confidence of knowing I’m the more attractive on in the relationship.

Unless maybe I’m really just kind of falling for him. In which case I’m screwed, but we can deal with that later if so.

When I was running, and now while I’m writing this… All of that fell away. I just felt better. I just wanted to feel better and now I do. I need to start trying again. I need to flex some leg muscle and some creative muscle. I need to stretch my soul out once in a while.

So, that’s what this is. I want to write. I love to write. When I’m in the zone and I feel like I’m on a streak, well, there’s no better high in the world. I want to breathe again. I want to create my life, not have it created. While I don’t know exactly what this blog is going to cover (a little of everything, I suspect, because I’m definitely going to have to talk about Britney Spears and How to Get Away with Murder and why I think Amber Rose is a fucking goddess), I know it’s going to be good for me.

I’m going to keep running, and keep writing, and I hope some of you will be interested to come with me along the way. I’m going to make my life the way I want it. I feel so much better. I’m not over this infatuation with this guy who probably can never feel the way I do, but I know that I will be. I know this blog will help me to get over this guy and the next wrong guy and all the wrong guys until I find the right kind of guys. I know it’ll finally let me express what I’ve always wanted to express about the awesomeness of the color white and the cruel lack of appreciation for Paris Hilton’s business genius and how to give the best blowjob. I believe it will help me make my life something like I’ve always wanted. I hope maybe it’ll make you laugh too.

 

So let’s fucking go.