Weekly Update 006

My parents visited! My parents visited and brought up some of my distant relatives up to check New York out. They saw my apartment for the first time and we ate a nice lunch together. I was really excited to show them my new place because despite being much further from "everything" it really is leaps and bounds bigger than the previous space I was living in. They brought some of my books up and they also brought me an air conditioning unit which are super appreciated (especially in this heat).

My desk art set up is finally up. I love my high ceilings but I hate bare walls, and since painting isn't an option I really love finding ways to cover my walls with fun art or textured pieces. I've even expanded my art wall even further since I took the photo above and I'm really happy with the way it has turned out. It's a mix of art prints, postcards, magazine  clippings, ticket stubs, window cards, and now a calendar.

I gave myself bangs. Sometimes they don't cooperate since I don't use heat on my hair, but so far I've been digging the look even though the morning cowlick I get is ridiculous since my hair is thick/coarse. I cut them on a bit of a whim but so far they're mostly working out!

Mia is visiting. Y'all might know from twitter that me and Mia of Fake Goth Girls are real good friends, but what you may not know is that this is the first time we have been able to physically meet in person! Mia and her sigO Colby are visiting New York and we were finally able to hang out in person, and probably just as important-- play pokemon and eat food together. Stay tuned on her Youtube Channel for a video about it.

I don't trust strapless dresses. I think I own one, but I'm realizing more and more that I do not trust strapless dresses. I definitely do not have big enough boobs for this to be an undoubted fact of life, I've just grown very jaded at the age of 23.

Bojack Horseman continues to be amazing. I have a lot of feelings about Bojack Horseman's brilliant writing, phenomenal jokes, and incisive examination of the search for meaning and happiness. If you do not watch the show, you need to start.

I'm traveling to Los Angeles and Austin next month. Both will be relatively short and busy trips but I'm hoping to maximize the excitement of being in a different place. Also, I've never been to Austin before and I'm excited for everything except the heat. Hopefully I'll put another Travel vlog out! If you're in the area, hit me up on twitter and maybe we can hang out.

That's what's new with me. What's new with you?

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7 Things Pokemon Go Has Changed for Me

I don't think I need to explain how big Pokemon Go is to anyone, but for anyone living under a rock, it's a game that combines the nostalgia and excitement of the biggest craze of my childhood with augmented reality, setting game play in the physical world. In about a week, it's caused some major changes in me-- for better or worse.

1 - I want to go outside. As someone who suffers from depression and an anxiety disorder, it can be really hard to want to go outside. Despite the mountains of evidence that going out improves the body's ability to cope with stress, it can be hard to actually do it when your depression makes you feel like you can't do anything and your anxiety tells you you shouldn't do anything. Pokemon Go is not only helping me overcome those feelings when they arise, but actually causing me to think about going outside more often, even before I feel the shadow of depression descend upon me.

2 - I'm probably tearing through data. There's no way I'm NOT, right?

3 - I'm noticing my environment more. This is a little counter intuitive. You may be asking how a game that literally begs me to interface with my screen while out in the world has made me more observant. But really this game is encouraging me to visit new places, take in landmarks, street art, and history.

4 - I am walking way more than ever. In a typical week, between work and wanting to make content, I don't move much. Pokemon Go actually encourages walking around through game rewards and distance-based events.

5 - I'm bonding with strangers. The other night I was battling to take down a Valor gym at Astor Place and I came across a team mate who was taking it down with me. We swapped names and tips and just bonded over the game. And here's the thing-- we didn't exchange twitter handles or phone numbers or anything. No intention to "build a friendship" or anything intense like that. We just ARE teammates (#TeamMystic) and we had a nice moment and that's it. It's so rare for me to have interactions like that where no one expects anything of anybody, or there's no pressure to make a follow-up something. It was really nice to have a moment like that when I'm constantly trying to engage with the difficult fight to make this country a better place in the face of abusive authority structures and a Trump candidacy.

6 - I'm making the most of my external charger. To be honest I thought I was a little bananas when I bought my 7x charge external battery for my phone, but now I feel very vindicated in my purchasing decision.

7 - I'm wearing my team colors more and even planning Pokemon Trainer Outfits. I'm legitimately putting together outfits just for hunting Pokemon so people can know what team I'm on (and also to make Pokemon more fun for me).  It's a lot of fun to think about for me since planning outfits is like, half the fun of going out.

What has Pokemon Go changed for you?

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Weekly Update 005

Here are some updates from the past few weeks!

The heart is heavy and tired. This past week has been an atrocity in terms of police brutality and the senseless murders of black people at the hands of police, as well as a horrifying attack on good cops who were supporting citizens' right to peaceful protest. But still, I am hopeful. The circumstances around these deaths, the coverage, and the transparency has caused this past week's events to reach the hearts and minds of people who have not been reached by anything before. More and more allies are coming forward with stories of intervening on behalf of black people. More people are speaking on both the fact that not all cops serve and protect, and the fact that in many cases the only reason they lived to tell about it was because they were white. These things make me hopeful. I think that is all I'll say here. I've talked a lot about #BLM on Twitter and a bit on Facebook as well if you are interested in reading further thoughts.

My room is finally coming together! After a very harrowing month of trying to get the CORRECT desk sent to me from an online retailer, I've FINALLY DONE IT. Once the desk came in, it's been so much easier to get REAL WORK done to improve my space. Admittedly I blew a lot of money this weekend on buying things for my home but I am excited to finally have a space I love living in. I was falling into a depressive slump a few weeks ago due to my maddening life-being-put-on-hold because shipping errors situation. It's been really nice to work on something that physically transforms something I consider an extension of myself and my psyche. I think I'll also be able to do more work creating great content now that I mentally and physically feel like I am in a better space to create.

Pokemon Go is making me active and I am living for it. I'm a recovering sedentary person (and sometimes, I'm not-so-recovery-y). I'm really excited to have a new exciting reason to get moving. Granted, I'll still have to work hard to get cardio in, get toned, and really get in shape, but having a reason to move even when I'm not up for a full on work out is such a huge improvement to my life. I'm also working to make sure I play safely, so I'm looking forward to making friends with my neighbors and playing with them! I'm going to be coming out with a blog post soon on all the ways Pokemon Go is changing my life. In the mean time, please remember to stay safe-- if something is not a good idea without Pokemon Go, it's not a good idea with Pokemon Go, including going out alone at night, being a distracted driver or pedestrian, or climbing into unknown terrain!

I had an identity crisis when picking a team. I eventually went Team Mystic, but I was really feeling Instinct as well! Honestly I spent a long while researching my choice and thinking it through... which in hindsight makes Mystic seem like the obvious choice.

I went to a Pagan Street Fair! I missed Witchsfest last year but I was really happy to catch it this year. I'm really looking forward to digging into my intuition and internal compass in really deliberate, ritualized ways this year. I think as a society we spend a lot of time muting, dulling, and drowning out our inner voices and truths so I'm excited to put an even bigger emphasis on thought, trusting myself, and listening to my body and heart. I bought some crystals, some palo santo (a recommendation from Melificent), and a deck. I love the idea of turning wishes, hopes, and questions into physical representations and rituals and then letting them go out into the world! I'm excited to get started on the craft. A lovely, powerful witch gave me advice and I feel very blessed to get involved with a practice that values sisterhood and honors passing down knowledge.

My sister visited! We had brunch at a cute spot. I talked her ear off about pokemon. She talked my ear off about bands I am not cool enough to know about. We took a walk through Prospect Park together and did some shopping at a really cool weird boutique. I bought some cards and a retro cute bee pin. She bought a really rad tote bag. It was so nice spending time with her without the "Etc." of family gatherings and holidays. Not to rag on family, of course, but as kids we had "everyday" together and we don't really have much of that anymore. I was nice to hang with her without also having to think about everyone else!

I finally uploaded my Disneyworld Haul. Remember how I went to Disneyworld before I moved and this got too busy to do like... anything? Me too! This video was shot at my old apartment but I didn't get around to editing it til just now. Whoops.

I gave myself bangs. I cut my own hair somewhat compulsively. It's usually after a period of craziness, slump-iness, or general malaise that I whip myself out of in a weirdly manic state. The malaise tends to overlap with long stretches of not caring for myself properly or wanting to break something about myself and it's usually my hair. There's a really long history of hair cutting being symbolic as hell in terms of turning over a new leaf (see: Zuko, my personal fave). I think this is what I needed. I mean I need more than this since it's been years since I've gotten a professional hair cut but that's neither here nor there. I am happy with my long side bangs and feel really renewed but this small shift.

That's it for me. What's new with you?

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Mannequin Nips

A lot of people have asked me about why I get so mad about mannequin nipples since I mentioned it in my last weekly update. It's something I think about at least ten times a year, and my conclusion is always the same. I'm mad. And, as with most things in my life, I sound like a crazy person, but I also have some solid points. I'm going to tell you what they are. But first, some background.

Mannequins with nipples are everywhere. I don't know why more people don't seem to notice how everywhere they are, but they are legitimately everywhere, poking out of blouses and tees, challenging me to an unwinnable staring contest. They follow me wherever I go. They are too constant a presence in retail window displays. When will I be free of them?

I'm not sure if I just happen to notice more because I'm mad about them, or if I'm mad about them because I notice them more, but I'm sure once you look you will realize that most female mannequins have nipples. Here are some reasons why this is maddening to me.

Mannequin nipples serve no purpose. In fact, they serve less than no purpose, because the purpose of a mannequin is to model the way clothing should ideally be thought if in the mind of the shopper. The difference between what a dress looks like on the rack and what it looks like in three dimensions on a mannequin is a big one. You know what most people don't do? Aim to have their nipples jutting out of their clothing. Is there anything wrong with going braless? Not necessarily. But it's just not a common enough choice to justify these mannequin nipples existence, and it actually makes the modeling of the clothing less effective to me.

They are distracting. This kind of goes along with my last point, but let me just add that there are some mannequins out there with really unevenly placed nipples that completely put me off thinking about the garment its modeling. Are uneven nipples a biological reality? Of course. But I find myself spending too much time trying to understand the artificial unevenness of fake boobs whose purpose were supposedly to put focus on the clothes.

Who on earth is putting time into sculpting these nipples? We have established that mannequin nipples directly contradict the purpose of mannequins, so who on earth is sculpting these nipples? Who is designing all these nipple-having mannequins?

Why are mannequin nipples okay but girls get kicked out of school for going braless? Y'all probably guessed that I think school dress codes are often sexist. Telling kids not to wear clothing with swear words on them is reasonable, telling girls to go home because other people are sexualizing her is sexist and generally BS. Last month a high schooler was sent home because her bra-less outfit made a male teacher "uncomfortable." What kind of sexist joke of a society are we living in when many mass market, family-friendly retail stores can have woman-shaped objects that can have their nipples out but a girl can have the same look and get kicked out of school because she is being objectified by others-- adult others in a position of authority over her. Are you getting mad yet?

How about the treatment of mothers compared to mannequins? What about the fact that these mannequins have less-than-useless nips out for the world to apparently not have any reaction to, but women can't breastfeed in public free of shame? There are places that will have women's boobs out for male consumption or economic gain and it's totally cool, but women using nipples for their biologically intended purpose is not okay? What is that all about?

It infuriates me that these mannequins have nipples for pretty much no reason and can just display them so openly in a way that actual human women cannot. They are useless and they just highlight how the women's bodies are commodified and subjugated. How do objects whose nipples serve no function pass without reaction and yet living people get taken out of school, called unprofessional or get fired, and get harassed for making it known that they have nipples? 

I don't get it and I never will. 

What do you think about all this?

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