“Beautiful” Woman, “Ugly” Man

I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive about the movie Long Shot. Don’t get me wrong. I have very high hopes for it. Based solely on the two trailers I’ve seen, it looks like it could be an enjoyable watch. (Please note that what follows is a discussion on a particular type of movie, which Long Shot may or may not be. I haven’t actually seen it yet. The movie’s trailer only sparked this discussion in me.)

Depending on how the actual movie plays out, it could be another in a long line of “unattractive”* guy meets “hot” woman and somehow woos/seduces/date rapes her movies (I’m thinking of Sixteen Candles and Hitch right now, but there are plenty of others). Who cares? What’s so bad about that? It’s cute and endearing and shows the power of love, right?

Wrong. These types of stories play right into the hand of incels (see the video below if you don’t know what they are), who are convinced that beautiful women won’t sleep with them because they’re prejudiced toward people with a certain bone structure and that if they’d just give the “ugly” guys a chance, they’d see how cool and funny and loving they really are. Newsflash: There are plenty of women who will sleep with “ugly” guys. I’m one of them.**

What’s an incel, you may ask? Educate yourself.

This whole idea of pretty vs. ugly, classy vs. goofy, rich vs. poor, etc. is not a new one. Cinderella and similar stories have been around for millenia (don’t even get me started on the gender-flipped version of this story; that’s a whole other blog post). I’m not saying that people in different social groups or statuses shouldn’t date, marry, or be friends.

Nor am I saying “beautiful” women shouldn’t fall in love with “ugly” men. Love is love, and their stories need to be told, too.

What I am saying is that we need to be careful when we tell these stories that we tell them like any other love story. The audience needs to see how normal and natural it is for the couple to fall in love because of their compatibility, even if the other characters in the story don’t see it at first. Think Romeo & Juliet (okay, problematic example) or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

The man’s attitude toward the relationship is everything in these stories. If the “ugly” man automatically appears to be thinking, “Yes, this is right. Finally I’m getting what I deserve,” it feeds incels’ feelings of entitlement. But if he’s thinking, “Wow, I’m lucky to have found the love of my life,” everyone can be happy for him.

Essentially, we don’t want storytellers to tell us, “Isn’t it a funny miracle these two got together? I mean, look at them! Isn’t it funny? Aren’t they an odd couple?” We want them to say, “Love can be hard. Sometimes you have to work at it, especially when outside forces want to tear you apart. It’s worth it, though. Fight for love.”

I’m looking forward to seeing Long Shot, despite its potential to be problematic.*** As a writer, I’m always interested in stories about writers, and it looks like the filmmakers tried very hard to be feminist in their portrayal of both main characters. Only a viewing will tell if they succeeded.

*I put words like “ugly” and “beautiful” in quotes because beauty is subjective. Everyone is both beautiful and ugly in their own ways. I’m talking about traditional beauty standards here.

**To be fair, I have poor facial recognition, and all the “pretty” guys look the same to me.

***And its similarity in title to The Long Shot, which my sister watched on DVD at least 10,000 times as a kid.

On Wholeness

Feeling whole and feeling like nothing is missing are two different things to me. There’s that old metaphor that gets used about the Japanese bowls being repaired with gold and looking more fabulous than they were before, and yes, that’s a wonderful metaphor for healing. But even though those bowls are whole, they can still be empty.

I’ll just say this up front, I feel whole. There are a couple little cracks a way deep down inside that could maybe be filled, but I don’t feel broken. (What is broken? Sam Winchester in the current season of Supernatural; he’s fucking broken.)* What is wholeness? I guess to me wholeness is having everything you need to get through the day and then recharge at the end of the day. If I’m not able to do that, I am definitely not whole.

But again, just because I feel whole doesn’t mean there’s nothing missing from my life. I could still do with a whole lot more love, peace, compassion, and kindness. I’m ready and willing to be filled with joy and caring. The spaces my loved ones fill will never be full, and this bowl can grow to accommodate new ones.

Being whole for me is more about being functional. Can I function in my everyday life? Yes? Then I am whole. But that doesn’t mean nothing’s missing. It doesn’t mean I don’t need more. There may not be a hole, but at times there is an empty space waiting to be filled.

Want to get real personal here? I want to be a mom. I’ve always wanted to be a mom (okay, except for like a month in high school when I thought it was cool to want to be a spinster). The fact that I’m thirty-one and not even pregnant hurts sometimes. That is one part of me that is definitely ready to be filled. If I never had kids, would I survive? Yes. I would continue to function, but it is definitely something missing from my life.

That yearning to do and have something else in my life doesn’t negate the feeling of wholeness I have, though. I am a complete person no matter what happens or doesn’t happen to me.

What makes you feel whole? When was the last time you felt broken or incomplete?

*Sorry, not sorry for bringing up Supernatural. I’m really emotional about next season being the last, and whenever I scroll through the hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, I start crying. Those guys are unbelievable, and even though the ending is timed perfectly, it’s still sad to see it end.

Romancing the Stone Gender Bender Remake Cast

Excuse me while I have some fun. I’m watching Romancing the Stone right now, and I was thinking how cool it would be to see a (well-done) remake. Then I thought to myself, Self, what if the genders of all the characters were reversed? Well now, that would be something! So, without further ado, here is who I would cast:

Ira/Irene (orig. Zack Norman): Julianne Moore
Ralph/Ruby (orig. Danny Devito): Melissa McCarthy
Dr./Col. Zolo (orig. Manuel Ojeda): Salma Hayek
Elaine/Eddie (orig. Mary Ellen Trainor): Zac Efron
Gloria/Gabe (orig. Holland Taylor): Ben Affleck
Juan/Juanita (orig. Alfonso Arau): Elizabeth Rodriguez
Jack/Jackie (orig. Michael Douglas): Zoe Saldana
Joan/John (orig. Kathleen Turner): Ryan Reynolds

I mean, really, wouldn’t you just love to hear Julianne Moore say, “Look at those snappers, Ruby.” Elizabeth Rodriguez saying, “John Wilder? The John Wilder?” Can’t you just see Zoe Saldana shooting at Salma Hayek, mumbling about how she should have listened to her mother and become a cosmetic surgeon? Ryan Reynolds, crying over the ending of his new romance novel and saying, “Oh God, that’s good!”

Hollywood, I expect to be made an executive producer and receive a portion of the royalties on what is sure to be a blockbuster hit. kthnxbai

This Is Fatigue

So I decided a few days ago that I would try Whole30 again. Today is Day 1, and it’s a great day to remind me why I’m doing this.

I woke up late this morning, by about two and a half hours. No biggy. It’s Sunday. I can afford to sleep in. I fed the cats, checked to make sure my computer hadn’t miraculously healed itself overnight (it hadn’t),* took a shower, and made myself a great Whole30 breakfast of bacon-wrapped shrimp and veggies. I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to church and a library visit.

Then, it hit me. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take a long nap, and it was only 10:30 am. I had nothing left in me to give anyone, even myself.

Going to church, surrounded by energy-sapping people, was out of the question. The library even seemed like a far trek, though slightly more doable because I knew no one would try to talk to me.

I was immediately disappointed. I wanted to go out and do things. Hell, I’d even be happy to stay in and do things! I would love to be doing laundry or cleaning my apartment right now.

But no. I’m sitting on the couch, writing this on my phone because the things I normally eat are hurting my body and causing it to sap my energy in an attempt to heal itself. That’s why I’m doing Whole30, not to lose weight or follow some fad. I’m doing it so my body can stop stressing and allow me to live my life.

Fuck, I’m sick of this.

*I dropped my computer last night, and it won’t turn on.

Divination, Oh My!

I just added a page to this site which describes my need for guinea pigs volunteers for free tarot and tea leaf readings. I can do tarot anywhere through email (I’m not up for Skype or phone readings yet, sorry), but if you want a tea leaf reading, you’ll have to be somewhere near me (or I suppose I can read your leaves if you send me pictures of your drained cup; I can send you brewing and swirling instructions).

Anyway, I think it’s fun, and I want more experience. I’ve been reading cards for myself for years, but I want to branch out to reading for others. The leaves are new to me, but I’d still love to practice with you. Contact me on my contact page if you’re interested. 😉

My Obsession With Jesus Camp

The whole movie, available to watch for free on YouTube.

Tonight on Twitter I made a confession. I confessed to having watched the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp at least four (?) times. I did this as I watched it again for the fifth (?) time.

A couple of points I should make: I am an agnostic Wiccan Unitarian Universalist. I used to be a fundamentalist Christian (a Reformed/Calvinist Baptist, in case you wanted to know), but I have never been a Pentecostal. I have never been 100% onboard with what the people in the film are preaching.

So why have I watched it so many times? I pondered this tonight and decided to talk it out here because why not?

Magic

First of all, I find the hypocrisy fascinating. I’m not talking about Ted Haggard preaching against homosexuality and then having his extramarital relationship with a man outed. I’m talking about magic.

Read More

Planner Love

Behold the beauty of my personally designed planner. After scouring the internet and bookstores for the perfect planner for–let’s face it–years, I finally decided to create my own. (Side note: I did try bullet journaling for a while, but I hated that I had to create new spreads every day/week/month by hand.)

I originally was going to have it printed at Kinko’s and put it in a binder, but that was going to cost in the hundreds of dollars (?!). I decided to check out a self-publishing website I encountered before (BookBaby), and to my pleasant surprise, my new planner (bound with a hard cover!) was going to cost less than $50, including shipping.

I had a shipping issue that was my own fault (somehow, my old address was put in, and I didn’t double check it; it was sent to the house that caught fire a year ago), so I didn’t get it until today. I’ve been having so much fun filling it in and coloring it, though!

The only problem is that it is quite large. I like the big page sizes, but not so much the thickness. Now, I included only seven months (and two weeks) in this, since I thought it up partway through the year. I had been planning on making one for next year that included all of 2019, but I don’t think that will happen. That book would be enormous! At this point, I’m planning on creating two six month planners for next year, but who knows what the future holds? Perhaps someone will come out with a (cheaper) planner that I love just as much.

Things I love:

  • It’s relatively plain, so I can jazz it up however I want. STICKERS
  • It has an Activity Inventory for each month, and the daily To Do lists are set up for the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Every day has two full pages!
  • There’s space for gratitude journaling, affirmations, and review EVERY DAY.
  • The daily schedule is 12 hours.
  • Weekly spread has review, planning, and schedule-at-a-glance sections.
  • There’s a full year calendar in the front.
  • The monthly spread has planning and review sections.
  • Special days, such as Esbats and Sabbats, are already on the monthly calendar.

Things I’ll change for next time:

  • Include space on daily pages for day-long events like birthdays and holidays.
  • Miracle Morning checklists.
  • Space for quarter, semi-annual, and annual review and planning.
  • Future planning for the next few months after the book ends.