Saturday, November 23, 2013

MY Voice

Mt. Roberts, Juneau, AK

I've written before about the struggles of being a Millennial, my complicated relationship with my generation, and my anger with how we're portrayed in the media. So when I read an article this week about the "100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize," it had me seeing red. Really, I should have known better---listicles about twentysomethings almost always get under my skin. I realize that the majority are written in good fun, but something about the overgeneralization just bothers me. But for reasons unknown, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to click. I was almost immediately sorry that I did.

The article, if you can even call it that, was idiotic at best and offensive at worst. While many of the items on the list are painfully generic and sophomoric stereotypes (and certainly eyeroll-worthy)  a few actually made me grit my teeth with rage. To spare you from actually having to read the article yourselves, here are a few highlights: 

(Note: The original quote is bold, my thoughts are italicized.)

3. Shaving is more than a suggestion. That goes for both men and women. Or, we could stop judging people based on the amount of hair their bodies produce or assigning a person's value based upon physical appearance.

4. If you eat enough pizza,  you will turn into a tub of oily cheese. Or, we could stop judging people based on their food choices. See also: LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING.

19. The way people see you is just as important as the way you see yourself. Or, you could just be confident in who you are.

34. If you can get her in to bed by date 3, then you'll get bored with her by week 2. So, if a woman has sex too early in a dating relationship (by the author's standards) she's a slut? Doesn't it take two to tango? 

43. If you're feeling shitty, get some exercise. Yes, exercise is a beautiful thing, but I'm fairly certain it won't solve all of the world's problems.

50. You should live in New York City for at least a year. How is this even logistically possible? Do we all take turns? Are rent scholarships available?

57. Make mistakes now. Making them later will be too late. Won't "later" still be our "now," just...later? Maybe reading this article was my first mistake.

82. Slow and gentle will always get her off. Rough and intense only works on occasion. How scientific is this statement? Was there a survey? Did mine get lost in the mail?

89. You don't have ADD. Yes, actually. Some people do. 

90. You're most likely the cause of your own depression. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. 

Perhaps this article was meant to be satirical, and I'm taking it far too seriously. Perhaps there was a disconnect somewhere and I just didn't understand tone of piece. Or, maybe this is exactly what the author was going for and my reaction was the intended effect. The context of the article suggests that the author is privileged, heterosexual white male, but I don't want to generalize. He is entitled to his opinions, views, and beliefs, and has every right to voice them. 

But so do I.

So, why am I letting a stupid article like this bother me so much? Many would say that this transparent cry for attention doesn't even warrant a response. And they're probably right. But if this prejudicial voice can be heard, so can mine. This so-called "Voice of Generation-Y" certainly does not speak for me. And I want my voice heard. I want blogs like Live Inspired and The Militant Baker to be heard above the din of articles like this, blogs that promote positivity and openness, advocacy and community. 

With articles like this floating around the Internet and getting attention, it's no wonder that my generation is viewed the way it is. I'm so sick of it. Stop generalizing. Stop equating individualism with narcissism. And for the love of god, STOP TRIVIALIZING DISABILITIES AND MENTAL ILLNESS. 

I realize my voice is just one of millions. I realize this blog post is just one of millions. I realize that others have said what I'm saying louder and stronger and more eloquently. But I want to add my two cents. Because if I raise my voice, and you raise your voice, together we can be heard over the stereotypes. And maybe, just maybe, history will remember Generation-Y/Millennials/Me Generation as a generation that stood for equality and acceptance, peace and creativity. Maybe I'm just waxing poetic. But maybe, just maybe, I'm right. 

I can't wait to find out.

What are your thoughts on these types of articles? Are they offensive, or all in good fun?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Dad!

For sharing my sense of humor and sarcasm, instilling in me a love of beer and baseball, and always encouraging me in my many pursuits, I am forever grateful. 

Love, Goose

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hello, November

I'd fully intended on writing this oh, 11 days ago, but tech week (and pre-tech week, as it were) took over and it just didn't happen. As a result, I will be spending the next few days catching up on laundry, grocery shopping, and with my codependent relationship with Netflix. The fleeting days of October were lovely, but I'm excited to be in the month of my favorite holiday. I absolutely love Thanksgiving! It's terribly gray and snowing here in the Mitten today, so it's nice to have a day of copious amounts of food and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles to look forward to.

I spent the last weekend in October at Western Illinois University visiting the fabulous Arielle  and taking in her MFA show, Noises Off!. She was obviously amazing, and it was just an added bonus that she was staring in one of my favorite plays. When Arielle wasn't performing, we watched Will & Grace and laughed our asses off. It was so refreshing to spend time with some of my closest friends, and it really reminded me just how much I miss Arielle and Darion.

Photo courtesy of Morgan

The following weekend brought our Halloween celebration. When your friends are theatre kids, Halloween is a big effing deal. Everyone's costumes were awesome, and Kyle and I won Most Creative for our Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme. (Obviously, we weren't going for Most Topical. Are we ever?) With Kyle as Mike Nelson and myself as Tom Servo, we made snarky comments all night to keep in character. But really, that isn't anything new. I don't think we'll ever top last year's costumes; however maybe one of these years our attire will actually be topical. (But knowing us, probably not.)

Tom Servo & Mike Nelson

In this season where we put extra focus on being thankful, I look back on the past few months and am so grateful for where I've been and where I am now. These next few months will undoubtedly bring more changes, both expected and unexpected. And while I have moments of apprehension, I'm so ready for this next chapter to begin. 

Bring it on. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Behind Shadows

The summer before Kyle and I graduated from college, he started writing a play. It was a tale of love, loss, and time travel (of course). He worked on it for months; excitedly filling me in on plot developments and reading dialogue each evening when I stopped by his apartment after my summer job selling tee-shirts. Although he had no prospects of getting it published or produced, he poured his heart and soul into his writing. While the script was eventually finished near the beginning of the fall semester, it would sit in a file on his computer gathering cyber dust for the next few years.

Fast forward to the first weeks of 2012. Kyle and I had both graduated, gotten married, and were living downtown. In an effort to combat the winter blues, I decided to participate in an event at the public library called History Detectives. There were a variety of presentations throughout the day, each regarding notable historical people, places, and events in the Grand Rapids area. One such presentation touched on the Sanford House, a beautiful mansion at the end of our street in Heritage Hill. As it turns out, this house that we walked our dog past every day had quite the history--famous owners, mysterious fires, rumors of hauntings. When I offhandedly mentioned to Kyle what I'd learned, he inexplicably became a man obsessed. He spent hours in the library archives, scouring the Internet, and talking with Heritage Hill historians, researching the house, its former occupants and all he could about their lives. 

Eventually, Kyle pulled out his old play and completely reworked it. While keeping true to the original tale of love, loss, and time travel, the script was completely transformed with his research into the Sanford and historical Grand Rapids. The final result was Shadows at the Sanford, the story of newlyweds Alan and Eliza Callaway who time travel to turn-of-the-century Grand Rapids and meet prominent residents of the Sanford, John and Katherine Blake. With multiple rewrites over the next year and a half, he was finally satisfied with the play. And this time, it was going to see the stage. 

Through our involvement with The University Wits, Kyle was given the opportunity to not only see his play staged, but also to direct it himself. It has certainly  been a collaborative effort. Our friends, family, and the local theatre scene have worked so hard to get this show off the ground. I'm so, so proud of everyone. But I'm especially proud of Kyle. His passion for this show and the story it tells is unwavering. In some ways, Shadows at the Sanford is the story of Kyle and I: the life we live together, and the life we hope to. 

Tonight is Opening Night, and I'm so excited to be there at Kyle's side. 

If you're in the Grand Rapids area this weekend, we would love to see you at the show. Shadows at the Sanford runs November 7-9 at 8:00 p.m. and November 10 at 3:00 p.m. at Dog Story Theater downtown. Visit the Dog Story Theater website for details and ticket information. 

Break legs tonight, cast and crew! And thank you. You're making dreams come true.