Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fallout 4 Interview: And Her Nerdy Little Heart Grew 3 Sizes That Day...Right Before it Exploded

So an amazing thing happened last week.

An old friend of mine reached out to me and told me she could arrange an interview with Kal-El Bogdanove, the lead vocal director on Fallout 4, AND Courtenay Taylor, the female lead voice actor on Fallout 4.


No really, WHAT?!

I know, right?

I replied back (trying desperately to sound cool and collected and totally professional) that it sounded great and I would love to as soon as I got back in town (you know, from Wedding Dress Weekend.)

Then I tried to put it out of my mind, because I assumed that like most things I've tried to accomplish in L.A, it would just not work out.

But then it did.

And it was awesome.  It was so awesome that it could not be contained in just one video.  But here is the first installment in my Fallout Week series of videos:


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wedding Dress Weekend Day 1: Travel Anxiety and Devil Horses

Last weekend I spent a day on 2 different airplanes (I KNOW) traveling to see my sister in Georgetown.  I discovered something, however.  Even though I was all by myself- no boyfriend, no Leeloo- I found my flying anxiety is improving....I think.

I don't know if it's the Cognitive Behavior skills I've learned, breathing exercises, medication, meditation, or what, but it wasn't as bad flying on that first day.

Don't get me wrong, I was a cranky mess on the way to the airport and in the security line and while boarding the plane.  But, I accidentally discovered a coping method that was surprisingly effective for me.

Since I've been trying to make more videos as of late, I decided to record as much as possible during my trip, including take-offs and landings and flying.  Amazingly, when I watch the plane take off through my camera screen, (while concentrating on keeping it stable for a good quality video,) my anxiety was as close to non-existent as I ever remember feeling it.  It was kind of mind-blowing.  So much so, that when I got home and started editing the videos from traveling on Day 1, I decided to take a different direction with it.  Instead of documenting how nervous I was, I decided to edit in a way to show the peacefulness of travel.  It was a very therapeutic experience.  I tried some new stuff that I hadn't done in other videos, while still adding my ridiculous sense of humor to it as well.

I'm actually quite happy with this video overall.

I'm still getting used to Adobe Premier vs. iMovie, so I'm still making some technical mistakes and boo-boos, but overall, I'm really happy with the way this turned out.  I hope you like it.


Oh, and if you're confused about the "Devil Horses" part of the title, you should watch the video.  
It'll make sense.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Snail Sex and the Doom Cloud

Last week, the Doom Cloud returned.  It was not at its worst, but was still very disruptive, as it has always  been.  I documented as much as I could.  If nothing else, I hope this video helps people like me, and reminds them you are not alone.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

All the Vlogs

I started a new challenge for myself.  I've decided to do a short video blog eveyr day for a month.  Maybe it'll be awesome.  Maybe it will suck.  Let's wait and see.

Here is the run-down of last week, my first week trying this crazy experiment.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Going Postal

Today I ventured outside of my hidey hole to visit that horror of horrors: 
the United States Post Office.

Maybe I'm cynical because the vast majority of all of my experiences at the dreaded post office occurred in New York City.  In case you weren't already aware, the post offices in NYC are not nice places.  They are cesspools of vile hatred on the worst days, or apathy on the best days.  They also contain at least one bat-shit insane person at any given time.  Sometimes the batties are customers, sometimes they're employees, sometimes no one knows.

Why are post offices so awful in NYC? Well, mostly I think it's due to the fact that everyone in NYC is miserable when they have to deal with 6 million people on a tiny island day after day. It wears on you.  Then you add to the mix apathetic more-miserable-than-the-average-joe government employees, on top of that (in my experience) there simply are not enough accessible post offices with accessible hours for said 6 million people.  Thus, you get a shit-show.  I should also note that nearly every post office in NYC has the employees behind bullet-proof glass at all times, so that might also tell you something.

Example 1:  
Years ago, I was at the post office in Brooklyn one afternoon trying to complete an agent mailing before work and I overheard the all kinds of insanity while I stood there for almost an hour sticking stamps on envelopes.  This one lady, who didn't seem much older than me at the time, was trying to mail several large boxes of books overseas.  Based on what I overheard, it seemed like she was going abroad for a long time, maybe for school, and needed all these books.  Now, I didn't hear the entire exchange between Book Lady and the PO employee behind the counter, but the emotional meltdown she had tells me that the PO employee was probably being an asshole..


Not only did she scream this in front of about 20 people, but then she broke down into scream-crying unintelligibly.  Asshole PO Employee just walked away.  She LITERALLY walked away with the "I don't have time for this shit" wave of her hands.

 I guess that's another thing about bullet-proof glass, you stand behind it long enough, you probably stop giving any more fucks.  I think another PO employee eventually did walk out from behind the glass to help Book Lady, but what the shit?

Example 2:
The closest USPS office to my old corporate job in Manhattan was 3 blocks away from work.  Awesome.  Their hours of operation were 9:30am-12pm then 1pm-3:00pm every week day.  My work hours were from 8:30am-5:30pm.  The next closest USPS was at least a 20 minute walk away from work.  So if I needed to go to the post office I was the dictionary definition of shit-outta-luck.  

Combining these past experiences (plus the countless experiences I haven't mentioned) with my stifling social anxiety, the post office tends to be one of my least favorite environments.

 Today was no different.

I needed to mail my brother's birthday present today and this required a trip to the post office. 

Once my package was address and all ready to be shipped, I stepped up to the "Please wait here for the next register" placard at the same time another man stepped up to it coming from the opposite direction.  I don't know how to describe this man except to say that her looked like an older scarier version of Quentin Tarantino.  

Yeah...but, like older and scarier.

 We stood in the sort of awkward "who's first" tango that social decorum requires.  Then I ceded the first-ness to him.  He stepped forward, claiming his next-guy-in-line status, and then turned to me and in a louder-than-necessary, way-to-enthusiastic voice proclaimed  "GOTCHA!"

Um...k?  I smiled and quickly averted all eye-contact as I my upper body grew hot and I wanted to slither out the door.  As I watched his interaction with the PO staff, it dawned on me that this guy might just be one of those Batties I can count on in any post office, anywhere, at any given time.  He spoke in a very animated way, as though her were having a conversation with his best friend, but he seemed to be speaking about nothing.  Something about his back hurting, and then he pulled out his AARP card and then looked like her was just reading everything on the card to the PO employees.  But the PO employees were completely ignoring him.  And I swear this man did not have a bluetooth in his ear, he was not on the phone. Then he paid and turned to go, having to cross my path again.

As he passed me he shouted "THERE YA GO!" at me.  But it wasn't in the "after you, madam" way or even in the "you go, girl" way.  He said it in a way a person might yell at a dog that found its ball after they threw it, sort of over-the-top enthusiastic, but also a little patronizing.  Even when I approached the PO employee at the bullet-proof glass-free register and tried to give her the "OMG what was that guy's deal" look, she gave me no emotion and just asked me how I wanted my package sent.  

Alas, even she had no fucks left to give.


So, short-story-long, I hate going to the post office.

Monday, August 10, 2015

So, I Sat Down to Write

I sat down to write - something I haven't done in quite some time - and this is all I came up with:

The times I feel like I have the most to say are the times when I feel the most hopeless and the least motivated.  I was thinking a lot this past week that what if there were some magical cure for all of my mental health issues?  Like, what if I could push a button, or drink some magical elixir and I would be guaranteed to be mentally healthy forever, no side effects, no drawbacks, not bad mojo.  Just, boom, cured.

If such a thing existed and it were offered to me, I don't know if I would take it.  I feel like I've been struggling with my own identity lately.  Who am I?  What do I believe in?  Is there a darkness in my soul that is poisoning my mind, or is it a disease of the mind?  I know I'm not my illness, but sometimes I don't think I do know that.  If I suddenly were to not be mentally ill, would I still be me?  Would I still have my snark and my sense of humor?  Would I still have a giant endless pit of empathy?  Would I still be able to be introspective and take pleasure in alone time and reading? Would I still be an actor? Would I still be me without these illnesses in my brain that have influenced and (at times) possessed my actions and the way I developed and reacted?

Does thinking that I don't really want to be cured make me a bad person?  Did I do something to deserve these horrible feelings and thoughts?  Is true evil real?  Is true good real?  What if I never amount to anything other than struggling my way through life?  What if my life doesn't really matter?  What if this is all there is?  What if there is more, but I'm missing it?  What if some people are just not "meant" to be happy for longer than tiny moments?  What if I'm one of those people?

I think all these feelings have bubbled over right now, because I just put my little sister on a plane home, and I miss her already.

My 14-year-old sister came to visit me for the weekend and we had a really great time.  Me being so much older than her, and her living 1,000 miles away makes it tough to spend quality time together.  So this weekend was really great.  But, all the time she was here, she kept saying things and acting like my life was amazing and full of glamour and like I was the coolest person ever.  I'm happy that she looks up to me and thinks highly of me, but I don't feel like I deserve any of that.

My life isn't the garbage pile that I often joke that it is, but most of the time I feel like a giant fuck-up.  A part of me doesn't want her to look up to me because my life feels kinda shitty more often than not.  She has so much ahead of her; she starts high school this week, she has college to look forward to, and all the experiences that go along with those life events (both good and not-so-good.)

Little Sis still has all this hope and optimism and enthusiasm for life that I wish I had.  And now I start to question whether I ever had it.  Am I a bad sister?  A bad daughter? A bad partner? A bad aunt?  A bad friend?  What if I am?  What if I truly am not a good person?  What if the badness in my brain makes me not a nice person?  What if I do "go crazy" and do something bad to someone else?  Am I allowed to be happy?  

What if I'm not? 

This is what happens when I sit down to write.