Food for thought: On birthdays and the detached connected generation

So this week I turned the page on yet another chapter of my life.  I officially entered my 30s.  Last year was the BIG “dirty thirty” turnover and this was the step in.

As I had been not single for a majority of this year, I haven’t seen as many of my friends as I’d have liked to.  Add to it last year’s awesome birthday trip to Seattle was not in the works as I’m currently a Muse for Hire as well as teensy bit pregnant.  (Read: not even showing just yet)

As things have been a bit all over the map and tumbling down as well as riding up (I will go into them in other posts but you can start by reading this one here and this one here to get an idea of where to start) I started to have a few rain cloud thoughts about this year’s birthday.  A couple of shitty phone calls later from my past and, well, I wasn’t exactly feeling the most bubbly about everything.

Granted: there were TONS of birthday messages on my Facebook wall and a few of you even reached out to me on Twitter.  And that was fantastic and completely appreciated.

Despite the TONS of friends and wishes, There were only a few people who even asked what I was up to… less than I could count on one hand… and one of them lived cross country.

I felt crappy about it.  Silly as it were, and knowing that I had dropped off the radar a bit with my relationship, I still was bummed.   Moreso, I felt bad about being bummed- worried that it was potentially just another case of pregnancy hormones trying to get the best of me on my otherwise productive day.

It wasn’t until I ended up telling my current roommate about my plans for the evening that things really came into view.  As it turned out, he had talked to another friend of mine who also knew what was going on and they were trying to arrange a small little outing for me.

I felt like a total asshole.

“People probably assumed you already had plans because, like me, you’re always so busy.”

I bucked up a bit and helped pull the reins.  I reached out to a few close friends and asked them to dinner.  As it turned out, there will be more dinners in the works in the next coming days.  Friends were happy to go and hang out with me and have dinner and what not to celebrate.  They, like my friend commented, just assumed that I had other plans.

At dinner I mentioned the whole thing to friends as well.  It was a unanimous thing said amongst everyone.  As active as we are in our daily lives, how often, unless you have a set group of friends that you do things with CONSTANTLY how often do you take the time to ask someone what they are doing for their birthday?  Really take a moment and step back and think about it.  You might be incredibly surprised.

In a day and age where we are so digitally connected, we too often forget just how much it means to someone (who yes might totally be busy a lot of times) to even get asked the question of what they’re doing.  It may seem petty in a the scheme of things, it could mean the world to… even the people you think might think are social rockstars.

Special days are special because of the people we share them with.

While it’s true that social media is a great tool to stay connected with friends it doesn’t replace the power of going one step further and showing you are also real life person outside of a page.

 

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For Marie

As many of you know, my cousin- one of the most inspirational figures of my travels into the art world, passed away recently due to breast cancer.  I have been battling the sadness that comes with one of my childhood heroes fading to black since we got the call a few weeks ago that she was going to go any day now.

As the “artsy” kid of the family, I have found myself returning to thoughts of her more and more each day.  It’s made me realize how truly important to keep company with people whom inspire me.   One such person is my friend Mark.

Mark and I met through social media events, which then turned into various run-ins of art/eccentric functions.  He is someone I’ve valued and appreciated for years.  But what he did yesterday brought me to tears.

You see, Mark went to Burning Man this year.  For those of you not in the know, Burning Man is an art festival held in Black Rock City Nevada.  It is one of the most populated cities in the state for the week that it exists.  Burning Man is an event to some, but a community experience to many others.  It represents growth, transition, and artistic expression.

Each year at the end of the festival, two monuments are burned to the ground: the Man (the symbol that represents the festival), and the Temple of Transitions.  On the temple, you are encouraged to write messages that will be released to the sky.  When Mark returned he sent me the following picture of what he wrote on the temple wall:

I want you all to know that I am forever thankful for each of you.  The people we surround ourselves with assist in creating the bigger picture of our lives.  They are gifts.  Treasure them while they’re still here… and when they’re gone. Aspire to cultivate masterpieces with the people in your life.  Each and every day.

Gold stars for you: Moving is more than moving

I haven’t talked to her in a few months.  We’d said that we were going to talk more.  We used to be best friends.  You know, back before he happened.

I introduced her to her boyfriend- a guy I knew from a website around the same I started to date Big.  While we all know what happened with him, her relationship, though cross country not only lasted but she arrived in New York this week to take up residence to be near him.

Her sheer amount of patience through the struggle of being away from the person she loved for so long is admirable.  I envy her in a way.  It is not something that I think I could have done.

Her cross country love story- from Alaska all the way out East, gives me a bit of hope.

Everything is possible if you add heart and push yourself.

So while I push harder than ever to get through some of the things going on here, my bag is a carry on tote.   These cranes will continue to be folded.  And perhaps wishes and dreams really can come true… but only if you give yourself entirely to the goal.

Here’s to fighting to making that move… everyday closer to that one bit of manifest destiny that resides within each and every one of us.

And with that, I have to go back to work.

Gold stars to you my former best friend.  I miss you.  Congrats on making it home.

Time Outs and Outings: Betties & Greasers Makeovers and Night on the Town

Things got a little out of hand.  It’s been a… ride of a week.  If I had a time machine I would erase that one moment.. that one silly text that really.

I hadn’t been classy.

As it would turn out though, it was perfect timing.  Friday nights silly joking around text escalated into another defcon level.  It was time for a bit of a time out.  Hopefully it’s not a game over.  Only time will tell though.

Saturday was the much anticipated Betties and Greasers makeover and night on the town.  A stunning gal named miss Stephanie hosted a girls night of pampering and pinup morphing, dinner, and then drinks.  There were a limited amount of spots as it was hosted in her own home and all done by her and two other women.

It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

I called that I would be arriving a little bit late to the festivities.  I wanted to finish some things before I headed out.  I arrived to come in and see a sea of women, cupcakes, cocktails, makeup, and hair supplies.  It was something out of a 50s dream.

Bite size

Bite size

“I’m not going to be drinking tonight” I told the hostess.

“That’s ok you can drink some Coke with me.  I don’t drink.”

You didn’t need to drink with this group.  It was absolutely wonderful.

My mother is a cosmotician and never taught me all about this stuff.  I saw the world of Steel Magnolias and looked upon my grandmother’s old photos with a bit of envy.

I grew up a tomboy.  I knew next to nothing about these stories of womanhood before coming to California and being taught them by my “shallow” cousins. Even still, I know very little about it.

Stephanie prepares hair

Stephanie prepares hair

A sea of women all pampering eachother.  Talking about boys, and well none of anyone else’s business.  It was great fun and wholesome for the most part.  I sipped soy milk in a red cup as others drank champagne, water, coke, and other assorted bevies.

Stephanie and Jennifer handled the  hair duty.  Libby took care of everyone’s makeup.  The rest of us chattered and painted eachother’s nails.

Libby does Roubis makeup

Libby does Roubi's makeup

The night continued post makeup and hair to dinner at C & O Cucina to meet some of the boy yelpers.

It’s a little Italian dinner off Washington Boulevard near Marina Del Rey.  The space was accomodating and appetizers of garlic knots flowed as we waited with great anticipation for the remainder of the entourage to arrive so we could finally get the rest of the evening started.

Time is beauty and it took a little bit more for the hostess and the rest of the girls to get there.  Slowly but surely they all trickled in.

I sipped my glass of water with lemon as our party sipped sangrias, stella and wine.

“Jena don’t you want to have a beer or something?’ one of the guys asked me.

“No thank you my ass is plenty big enough.  I don’t need a drink to have fun.”

We ate gnocchi, tortellini, triangle ravoli.  It wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst.  A photo opportunity came about for all of the girls to get together near the end of dinner.

Group shot

Group shot

As you can tell, I felt a little bit awkward in a way.  To be honest, despite the makeover, I still felt a little out of place.  All of the girls are so beautiful.  They really didn’t need all of the makeup to make them so.  It’s something that I am personally figuring out the reasons as to why I worry so much.  Ah burlesque may help with that.  But that’s another story.

The night would continue on to a rockabilly style bar.  I would arrive late however, due to randomly running into a friend as we were leaving the restaurant.

I had a cozy little talk with my friends- chatting about various real life issues and about the museum festivities that I’d missed due to being out with the group.  I finished up and then met the girls a bit later.

At the bar, the party was in full swing.  I came prepared with my “bag of tricks” and there were quite a few surprises.  Many libations were had by many.  I sipped my water.

All in all, the night ended splendidly.  It was an evening of swell dames, keen but chicken rat pack boys, and much smiles and laughter.

And while I’m wishing that it hadn’t started out the way it did… and perhaps… well…

You really should have been there.  I’m sure you would have had a great time.

Brutal honesty: Unhappiness in the military

DISCLAIMER: As a note to all my friends and to people all over the world within the military, this blog is not to belittle your efforts, dedication, hard work or jobs.  I know that there is so much that you do than what is in the focus of this blog.  This is to those lost souls that have turned to the military to complete themselves rather than a foundation based in patriotism.

On one gaming forum that I belong to, I’ve made a few friends-people that have both helped me through hard times as well as touched me through their laughter, stories, and support.  This is the story of one of them.

His name is Hazard Cheif and he’s a pathological liar.  At first, I just thought he was kidding around.  Then the lies got bigger… mafia, car races, cheating girlfriends (ok that one could have been true), boats, yadda yadda yadda.

Sometimes it was funny.  I mean, it felt like a game to a degree.  But over time it became less and less funny.  As a friend, quite frankly I hoped that he would get past this stage in his life and start on the path to finding himself.  Given that I have been on this road (looking to find myself not the pathological lying bit), I distanced myself.  I never really disappeared but I also wasn’t there all of the time.

Once in awhile he will message me.  We will have a bit of loose conversation and then back to poof.

Last night was one of those nights…

(11:44:22 PM) supernerdlady: are you done with the pathological lying yet?
(11:44:33 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : ha yes actually
(11:44:42 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve left it behind me
(11:44:49 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : along with alot of people
(11:44:58 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : im in the US Navy now

Conversation continued more as I asked him about postcards. He said that he was stationed stateside and had not yet been deployed but would send some when he was.  And then he started to mention that he was actually looking forward to deployment…

(11:47:35 PM) supernerdlady: thats not something to look forward to
(11:49:36 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve never left the US
(11:49:59 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : it’ll be a chance to see new cultures learn new things meet new people
(11:51:55 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : other than that shit life has actually kinda sucked

It was abundantly clear that he’d joined the service in an attempt to get away from reality rather than face his issues.  As a good friend, I didn’t pander to his statements where he tried to rationalize his choice…

(11:53:33 PM) supernerdlady: escaping doesnt solve anything
(11:53:42 PM) supernerdlady: but thats one thing the service is good for i guess
(11:53:55 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : yea i guess.
(11:54:00 PM) supernerdlady: you dont need to focus on yourself bc you can just do what they tell you
(11:54:03 PM) supernerdlady: be how they tell you
(11:54:36 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve already been in for a year and 3 months, and i feel like i havent really done anything with my life thats really of any importance
(11:54:57 PM) supernerdlady: what dictates whats important or not?
(11:55:11 PM) supernerdlady: did you learn anything in that time?
(11:56:00 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i learned…. heh, how to iron military creases in my uniforms, alot about the UCMJ, and that i despise marines… ha

Now before you start with the hate mail, as I stated in the disclaimer above, I will reiterate that this blog is not to belittle your (anyone within the military or friends of someone within the service’s) efforts, dedication, hard work or jobs.  I know that there is so much that you do than what is in the focus of this blog.  This is to those lost souls that have turned to the military to complete themselves rather than a foundation based in patriotism.

He was unhappy and didn’t see just how unhappy he was, or rather, he didn’t know how to.  And then, it happened.  The beginning of the potential end of our friendship…

(12:15:50 AM) supernerdlady: at least its a steady paycheck
(12:15:54 AM) supernerdlady: thats more than i have
(12:16:24 AM) HaZaRd Cheif : yea
(12:16:40 AM) HaZaRd Cheif : id trade the paycheck for happiness anyday

Tick, tick boom.

That was it for me.  I told him flat out what I thought about his statement, and it was not pretty.  It’s so not pretty that I am not going to post it. But here’s a summation of how it went:

I told him that I “would take my poor, artistic, extremely happy but not always perfect or stable paycheck existence over a life like what he was living- without decision making or happiness over his any day.”  I wished him the best of luck to find whatever it is that he is looking for and that the only person that could save him was himself.

It was harsh, brutal honesty.  I let him go.  I meant what I said.  I felt really bad about it.  I know he’s not the only person going through this… so many others like him are experiencing this same pain.  Why doesn’t anyone do anything for these men and women?  Is a future with your own voice really that bad?  In the process of giving someone something they can be confident and successful in with moving up ranks and encouragement, we walk away from what really matters: that same application inwardly.

Mr Hazardous Chief, tread safe out there.  I hope you find the beacon to guide you home safely soon.

Douchebag of the week! Username: Heathers

Ah how many of you remember that beloved movie of the 80’s?

Let’s take a journey back in time to remember the female douchebags of my more formative years from one of my favorite cult classics.  It will make sense later I promise.

Heathers, circa 1988

Heathers, circa 1988

From right to to left, seen above, the characters Heather Duke, Heather McNamara, and the queen of the female douchebag power click, Heather Chandler accompanied by miss Veronica Sawyer.

In my teenage angst period and throughout my life, I seemed to most empathize with Wynonna Ryder’s character.  Here she was, riding along in the cool kids club, but she never really fit in.  There was something off about her, but not in a bad way.  It was noticeable enough to be noticed, but her entourage was her get out of jail free card.

For years I’d be haunted by these “Heathers.”  It became prevalent even more so when entering the entertainment industry.  It didn’t matter how nice you were to them, if you looked at some of them funny, wore your hair differently, showed up at a party with an attractive guy, got attention from the right person, they would snub you.  You are expendable and competition.   However, both parties can be successful in the Hollywood pool, but only if they moderate themselves.

In this movie, these douchebags made her life both hell and heaven.  The choice was hers.  So what better way to play the game than become one of the crew?  Once in the favor of the crowd, the potential to rise is endless.

Ah the politics of womanhood.  Take notice my dears and play nice, even if you don’t like eachother… because everyone wants the rank of a Heather but maintain the likeability of a Veronica.

*******

This week’s douchebag of the week goes to a very special girl from the East Coast also named Heather.  Like the characters in the movie, she’s a gorgeous girl with a commanding presence.  People know who she is, and she’s popular within her circle.  But she failed to moderate herself…

One of my best friends back home, Jace, finally got involved with a girl, Nat, that he’s been madly in love with for 10 years.  He was doing the long distance relationship thing.  She- on the east coast, He- from Chicago.   Their courtship had been something danced around quite literally for some time.  Needless to say when it finally happened, he was glowing magnanimously.

Jace and Nat love to dance.  He’s frequently flown out there for dance competions and video game functions.  They have been best friends for ages.  Their relationship was strong.  He’d met her family.  All steps in the direction of a potentially great payoff and long term romance.

It was also during this time that he’d also met Heather.  She was a conventionally beautiful girl who loved to dance as well.  However when he’d initially shown interest in her, she rejected him.

Time passed and he’s with Nat.  He’s on cloud nine about it.  This was when it would finally all make a turn for the worse.

What is it about women who suddenly want the guy when he becomes off the market?

I must admit, I’m guilty of this too.. but here comes the psychotic difference between her and the rest of “sane” women.

He was being a good guy to Nat. Heather decided to come out in the open that she had feelings for him and wanted him.  He respectfully declined and repeatedly stated he was in love with his girlfriend.  She refused to listen.

There was a dance competition coming up that he planned on attending.  Heather decided that this was the perfect time to schedule a trip out to Chicago…. so she could see him in person and tell him everything.  Jace was not clued in on this.

He went to his dance gig as normal and ran into her.  He was trying to maintain a friendship with her and be cordial.  She pressed.  She said she had things of his to give back to him- a sweatshirt that was back at her hotel room.

He tried to get out of it but she pressed more….

“Please come and get this, it will only be a minute.”

He ended up at her hotel room.  She begins looking for the items in question.  He waits patiently.

She straddles him in a chair and makes it clear that she doesn’t have panties on.  She pulls out elaborate letters about how she wants to be with him and proceeds to pledge her undying desire for him.

And then she kisses him.  He’s stuck in this spot and doesn’t know how to get out of it gracefully.

He excuses himself… tells her that he’s in love with his girlfriend.  He says he’s flattered but this is wrong.

Driving home he feels terrible.  He feels he’s to blame for her actions.

Is there something I could have done differently?  Was I not clear with what I said about my position on this?

And then the email…

Heather wrote Nat an email about how she and Jace are now together.  She twists the story around to make it sound as if she were completely innocent to the whole thing.  Nat is destraut and believes the girl.

As of right now my friend Jace is now single due to this meddling Heather.  Congrats on becoming this weeks long distance douchebag of the week hooker girl.  Perhaps there’s potential for you in Hollywood just yet… but only if you learn to play nice lest you be crushed by the real Heather/Veronicas.  At which point, tell me when and where and I’ll bring the popcorn and the gloves… wouldn’t want to get blood on my nails you know.