Apparently I'm Too Small For Bikes

Sunday, March 29, 2020
In an attempt to get some fresh air, my mom, sister and I decided to go on a bike ride. Our neighborhood doesn't have a lot of people who like to hang outside so we wouldn't be close to others. However, I am 4'10", and that means adult sized bikes are very big for me, so I had trouble getting on it. But riding was fine. Felt a nice breeze and it was good to be in fresh air.

But then, when it was time to call it quits, I fell off the bike. Because I'm small, I have to do the jump dismount. When I tried to do that, my right leg caught the top bar of the mountain bike and I fell down in my left side. It was also a slow fall, my sister said it could have been in slow motion. I managed to scrape up my left elbow and left palm pretty good, which is my dominant hand, which is why I am typing this and not writing it in my actual journal. Can't really hold a pen right now, because it hurts and I'm bandaged up real nice.

So no bike rides for me. I'll stick to plain old walking.

Adventures in Cross Stitch

Thursday, March 26, 2020
In this time of stay at home orders, I decided to pick up cross stitch after my sister had started her own, and I learned that my mom is starting to knit.

I Miss Rock Music

Sunday, March 22, 2020
The Strokes came out with a new single recently, and it got me thinking about rock music, and rock music today. I cannot think of a single current rock artist. I'm not counting a lot of alternative rock/pop punk bands, because they've been leaning more towards pop than punk over the last few years.

That's not to say there isn't good music being made today doesn't take inspiration from traditionally rock music elements. But a lot of what’s on the top 40 radio lacks substance, production wise. I miss it. I miss music where you can actually hear the guitars and the drums, not some production sound-alike. There is a fullness to that sound that I miss.

I think it's due for a comeback. I know we'll at least get a good soundtrack either this year or next thanks to the tv adaptation of Daisy Jones & the Six, a book about a fictional rock band in the 70s. With The Strokes being back and this project actually happening, maybe it'll spark a trend.

I grew up listening to classic rock, and I still do. I'm always looking for older artists that either weren't who my parents listened or lost to time altogether. I just wish current music would find the same love for it that I do, and bring it back.

Earworm: "Jason's Song (Gave It Away)" by Ariana Grande

Saturday, March 21, 2020
This style suits her voice so much better than the music that she's been making lately, purely for the fact that this utilizes her amazing range. It also happens to be a favorite style of mine, so that may color it a bit.

It was written by Broadway composer & lyricist Jason Robert Brown, the Jason of the title. The two of them have been working together since he gave her her Broadway debut in the musical 13. His work is amazing, and you should definitely check out The Last Five Years and The Bridges of Madison County.

But it really does suit her voice. Her voice has soul, and she hasn't been using it in her music lately.

I Want To Build Up My Movie Collection Again

Friday, March 20, 2020
One day I’m going to get myself a blu ray player and build my own movie collection. I love holding the case and taking the disc out, and pressing the play button. I miss going through stacks of movies deciding which of my favorites I want to rewatch that night.

Once DVDs were being phased out and blu rays were starting to become the next thing, my family never made that transition. Mainly because those early players were expensive and they couldn’t justify spending that much on it yet. But the biggest factor was buying movies digitally, both on demand and on iTunes, and steaming platforms. Physical media was dying. I get most of my music on Spotify, though I do still buy some music.

But I miss ownership. I have all my books, CDs, and old DVDs on my shelf, and I love seeing everything that I love right there within reach. I love seeing the art on the covers. I love seeing the variety in my tastes, as well as the similar themes that run through them. You can’t let a single piece of art define your whole being, but the collective of the art you love can help you define and find yourself.

That is my dream. To build my shelf again. To own the movies that have meant the most to me, so that no matter what happens in the streaming wars, I can still watch the films I love. And maybe a couple of tv seasons, too.

Insomnia the Dark Won’t Descend

Thursday, March 19, 2020
It's been like a week and I am still having trouble falling asleep. My sleeping has always been weird. I have a good internal clock when it comes to waking up for the day. Sometimes it gets out of hand like that very long period in high school when I was waking up at 5:30 every morning. That was tough, but I did a lot of homework and studying during that time so at least I was productive. But I was also going to sleep at a normal time. Now I get myself ready for bed at around 11:00 and am wide awake until 2 in the morning to sometimes after 5. Those were hard wake ups.

But nothing beats last night - technically this morning. I managed to fall asleep after 6:30 a.m. I was awake for almost twenty-four hours. There was no point where I felt tired, so I did what I could to keep my brain occupied to keep myself from feeling frustrated. I went on this YouTube wormhole of Dancing With the Stars performances. Specifically, the performances of Zendaya and Jordan Fisher. They were fantastic on the show and if you want to watch some good dancing, and maybe go further down the wormhole to celebrities trying to dance, that's a good one to fall down.

I'm so tired of having insomnia. I'm gonna try melatonin, even though the last time I tried it, it didn't help me fall asleep and it turned me into a zombie the next day. But, I have no plans to go outside for at least the next few days, so might as well.

Been Spending the Last Few Days Listening to Show Tunes and Worrying About Broadway

The last few days my master playlist of every show tune I love has been getting major rotation. It has 177 songs and you can really see how diverse my tastes in shows is.

For our birthday, my parents decided they would treat my sister and I to tickets to a show, within reason. So, no premium seats, and find the best deal that you can. We were originally planning on seeing Hadestown, but then decided to see Six, about the six wives of Henry VIII. But now, we don't know if that show will continue performances. Or any show for that matter. I also wanted to see Company starring Katrina Lenk, because it's a new take on a classic musical and I loved her in The Band's Visit. Also Patti LuPone! But now I don't know if those shows could stage once this quarantine/self-isolation/social distancing phase of the coronavirus comes to an end.

It'll be interesting to see what this stoppage means for the Broadway season and The Tony Awards, because as it stands now, I think Moulin Rouge is the only musical to qualify. I loved Moulin Rouge and I got to see Aaron Tveit up close and *sigh*. But it's not gonna be a fun show because it's not competitive, and very rarely is it fun to see a single piece of work sweep a show. The only time it was fun was the 2016 ceremony when Hamilton won a lot, because the other shows that season were also fantastic. It wasn't like a year of also-rans. It was a good year for theater.

This year was shaping up to be a good year of theater. I hope it still will be, but the whole country's in limbo and we all have to do what's best for everybody. Unfortunately that means some good art won't get their proper and deserved due.

Bookshelf: Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
This was the first book I've read where the prose was written in how a person really thinks and comprehends others. It was like a real time breakdown of her interactions with and feelings about other people, and herself.

It's smart and messy. And I related to Frances, out protagonist, in some of the ways she processed her emotions and interactions with other people. Not her experiences. She doesn't her own feelings readily, and she overanalyzes and thinks through the different reasons why a person is acting the way that they are.

But that's what people do. They guess at what everyone else is feeling and try to navigate that as best they can, until they find out what's really going on with them. I think a lesson from this book is to have those deep conversations with your friends and everyone else in your life so you don't have to make assumptions about their behavior.

I'm looking forward to picking up Rooney's second novel Normal People, and hopefully finish it before the Hulu series airs.

Back to Florida to Hide Out for a Week During the Pandemic

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Yesterday my mom announced that she got me and my sister plane tickets to spend a week back home. Which is nice, and we’re gonna have some quality family time with movie nights and game nights. But I wish it weren’t happening because of a pandemic. She was obviously getting worried because we live in a big city and maybe spending time in a suburb would be better, at least for a week.

Hope everyone stays safe, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

EDIT: It has been longer than a week.

I Wish I Could Have Voted for Elizabeth Warren

Today is the day of the Florida Democratic Primary, where I am registered to vote. The candidate I believed to be the best for the job was Elizabeth Warren. But now I can't vote for her.

It's taken me awhile to sort out my feelings, and I know since that this is old news by the time I posted this, but since this was the day I was supposed to cast my vote for her, I wanted state my case for a huge mistake the electorate has made.

She's smart. Her plans were the stuff of dreams, but she was realistic and detailed, so they didn't feel pie in the sky. I do believe she would have been one of our very best presidents. I would have been proud to vote for her. I would have been proud that the first two people I ever voted for president was an accomplish, qualified, intelligent woman. And she was great when she popped up on SNL, and it’s always a huge bonus when a president has comedic timing and can get in on the joke.

But, for now, she can't.

Obviously I'm going to vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is. But I have issues with the final two candidates. Biden is a return to the status quo before the cheeto-in-chief, and I don't think he's aware of how progressive the party and the country actually is. Bernie rubs me the wrong way. I think his plans are not as detailed, and is very dismissive of some people who question him. And I don't think he's dealt with the sexism and misogyny in his campaign and among his supporters, which is obviously a problem, especially after the general public finally realized that was unacceptable. So I'll vote for them, but I don't think I'll feel satisfied in November.

I think we'll look back on this campaign as the campaign where a lot of the population dismissed the best person for the job. 2020 will be a year of thinking 'what could have been'. We'll look at how the media and political commentators covered this election, to how candidates themselves ran their campaigns, and how twitter played a role, so hopefully we can learn from this and not let the best person for the job slip through the cracks and disregarded like Warren was.

I look forward to see her carry out her mission in the Senate, and the next time I'm able to vote for her, I will.

How Gossip Girl Ended Is Still Bugging Me After All These Years

Sunday, March 15, 2020
It truly is. It's been over seven years and I'm still mad about it. And with the sequel series, reboot, whatever it is, getting green lit for HBO Max, I wanted to get my thoughts down on how the original should have ended.

A Journalism Series Should Become the Next Big Procedural

Friday, March 13, 2020
I went down a YouTube wormhole recently and ended up finding full episodes of Lou Grant, the Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff about Lou Grant becoming city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune. I love a good procedural and it's been a while since journalism was the focus of one.

A show about journalism in today's cultural climate would be intriguing. To see the struggle of subscriptions and clicks, the pieces that matter versus the ones you know will gain traction to make the publication money.

The format could be a story of the week, with the daily struggles of working in media being woven in with other reporters and staff dealing with other pieces or workplace issues. A long-wind investigation would make for a great multi-episode arc, not a full season arc because that could stretch the story too thin, and even though some pieces take more than a season of television to produce, we can let the fantasy world of television take over there. Or you could revisit stories in later episodes or seasons, and do it that way. A big story that ends up having major consequences for the reporter and the paper would be a great way to end a season and want us to see what happens next.

A great thing about a newspaper is the variety of stories there are that could be covered; pretty much anything. Corruption, coverups and other scandals in government, the police, colleges; breaking news like natural disasters or mass shootings; uncovering sexual misconduct; stories relating to health care and hospitals; the new scammer on the scene; human interest stories; celebrity profiles; whatever fluff piece corporate wants to run to get more ad revenue.

With the political stuff, like local, state, national elections, there can be an illustration of the struggle to assert the truth when the leader of the free world lies, and his administration, supporters, and whole party, lines up behind him. Don't make it like a parody of the Cheeto-in-charge, have it be a bit of a more competent person to make it a more interesting drama instead of a reflection of our waking nightmare.

Of course office politics will happen, and that could be another mini-arc, especially one that could wrap up a season as well. Especially as editorial decisions are questioned and the different people and organizations that are starting to buy newspapers could make for some great conflict of interest stories. You can get into the staff's relationships with one another and how their work affects those relationships, competitions for stories, promotions, and jobs when the budget cut storyline inevitably happens. There is also potential to highlight how this job affects the home life of some of the staff and the toll and repercussions, such as death threats, can take on their families.

I think with the news media, and how it operates, being paid more attention and under more scrutiny, a show about the people who own it, the editor-in-chief, reporters, copywriters, and everyone else could do with a spotlight on our televisions.

Earworm: "Totally Fucked" from Spring Awakening

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
A song from a musical about preteens in late 19th-century Germany, and yet it so perfectly describes society today. I can’t wait for the day this song is no longer relevant.

My Ultimate Girl Power Playlist

Sunday, March 8, 2020
Whenever I need a pick me up, I put on this selection of songs to make me feel a bit more powerful. These songs are inspirational, badass, telling people off, or any other aspect of life.

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