Archive for July, 2006

Meh.

Random, Writing No Comments »

I’m suffering from a serious bout of “meh” from my full-time job lately and all of the associative feelings are creeping their way into the rest of my life. I’m prone to suffering from “meh” when I get incredibly stressed out about something and the prospect of solving the stress seems rather hopeless.

As a director at a non-profit organization (an inherently thankless job), it is really difficult to expend my energy working my tail off and motivating my staff when I really could use a shot of optimism for myself every once in a while. I know that my staff feel valued because I am constantly reinforcing their roles in the department. I just wish I could feel those positive vibes about the work that I contribute to the agency. For the past year, I’ve had a swimming-against-the-tide/drowning-in-work/never-going-to-catch-up cloud hanging over my head with false promises of when the skies will finally clear. I thought it would be more manageable in April, after our agency accreditation process—nope. I thought completing four major grants might clear up my to-do list—nope.

In terms of my life outside of work, I’m finding it really difficult to come home and write because my brain feels like it’s stuffed with cotton instead of intelligent and creative ideas. I started going back to the gym this week in an effort to de-stress and clear out my head before going home; it’s led to a bit of weight loss, but I’m still brain dead. I’ve visited Borders and Barnes & Noble at least four times in the past week and a half because it’s usually very motivating to sit down with a stack of magazines and envision new article ideas. Besides spending money and drinking coffee, my trips were rather unproductive. Meh.

Any suggestions for how I can pull my head out of my ass?

Castration!

Pop Culture, Writing 3 Comments »

Now that I have your attention… My first Master’s level class ended yesterday and I am already finding myself depressed because I have two whole months before I take another course. Feminist Film Studies was an absolutely fantastic class! I feel 110% positive that the Gender/Cultural Studies program is the best fit for my passions and future goals. At the last minute, the original professor backed out of teaching the class so we were assigned a new adjunct professor who just received his Doctorate last week. He was so full of energy and passion for the subject that it was contagious. We read several articles from a feminist film studies anthology that set a good foundation for other media theory work I might encounter in this program. During the past five weeks, I had the chance to watch, analyze, and discuss the following films:
          • Now, Voyager
          • Vertigo
          • Alien
          • Daughters of the Dust
          • The Piano
          • Boys Don’t Cry
          • Mulholland Drive
          • La Pianiste
          • The Day I Became a Woman

I thought, through the virtue of my filmmaker fiancé, that I had viewed just about every movie on the face of the planet—give or take a few. So I was pleasantly surprised to read the syllabus and find only one film that I had watched previously (Boys Don’t Cry). It was a pain in the rear to track down the films that we had to watch outside of class, but I found them all via Netflix or one of the state public libraries. I particularly enjoyed writing about Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock was one crazy mofo) and The Piano (a great example of how Hollywood and American culture blur the lines between rape, violence, and sex). Mulholland Drive scrambled by brain like no other film on the planet and I’m still in shock over La Pianiste.

I took a stand in my final paper on how I believe that psychoanalysis is a poor tool for feminist film studies because it is patriarchal to its core. To prove my point, I compared representations of male vs. female madness using Freud’s theories on castration anxiety. Good stuff. It’s also fun to speak to fellow students in public about castration and take notice of all the panicked faces.

On another note, Lisa Jervis and Andi Zeisler (aka the co-founders of Bitch Magazine and my supreme, ultimate, absolute role models) are coming to Boston in September for a presentation on how to be a published, feminist writer. I cannot express how unbelievably excited I am to have a chance to meet these two women, who normally reside ALL the way in California. Would it be inappropriate to bring my favorite issues of Bitch with a Sharpie for autographs? Or to camp outside of the place overnight like a pre-teen N*Sync fan? I still have a few months to concoct a delicious plan to become their East Coast protégé. Hmmmm…