Friday, March 16, 2012

Rookie Hour

Movies + TV

Freak Like Me

What I learned from Lindsay Weir.
In the show Freaks and Geeks, it’s never clearly explained why the main character, Lindsay Weir, my personal hero, traded in her cardigan for an army jacket and started ditching class to hang out with stoners. At one point, her little brother Sam comes into her room and asks, abruptly but not out of nowhere, “Why are you throwing your life away?” Lindsay pauses before telling Sam that she was alone with their grandma when she died and had asked her if she saw anything right before it happened, “a light or anything,” and her grandma, someone who’d been “a good person all her life,” said no.
Maybe Lindsay, a star student and lifelong rule-abider, figured then that all of her efforts to do right by her family and her teachers had been for nothing, that if there was no reward at the end like she’d thought, she might as well try to have fun. Or maybe she was just exploring.
These here precious (groan) teenage years are meant for change and for testing out being a human in the microcosm that is school and your friends and your house before you have to go be a human in the world outside. It’s natural and healthy to try out different identities and go through phases. What worries me is the resentment with which I look back on the person Iused to be. These multiple versions of myself, they’re everywhere. They’re at family gatherings and the houses of old friends, in photos on our fridge and online, in my closet and in my now-embarrassing collections of books and movies and music.
And at school. Oh, god, school. As you navigate the halls during those first days of a new school year, eager to adopt a new identity, you’re instead met with sad, bitter reminders of your old one, and as you recognize people who knew you at a time when you were less nice/cool/interesting/smart/attractive, you panic a little bit. They do the same, and so an unspoken pact is made through uncomfortable glances and half-smiling nods. It is understood by the time October rolls around: we will never talk about who we used to be.
Which is kind of sad, and scary. None of those versions of myself, when I really think about it, were nearly as mortifying as I make them out to be, and I’m sure my classmates’ weren’t, either. But it terrifies me to think that if I felt as sure in who I was a year ago as I do about who I am now, it means that, in another year, I’ll be sure about some new version of myself, and everything I’m currently latching on to—all of the songs that I think I could listen to forever and all of the friends whom I deeply trust—could mean nothing.
“It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one’s self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 AM of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”
—Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook”
Lindsay Weir’s geek hammers on her mind’s door multiple times throughout the rest of the series, but the finale (SPOILER ALERT!) is so good because Lindsay doesn’t end up fully falling into the freak role or going back to the geek role, but instead gets into a painted van to follow the Grateful Dead with a group of friends, most of whom she’s just met for the first time. And for a moment you’re like, “DID THE PAST 18 EPISODES NOT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?!” And then you recognize the maturity with which she says goodbye to her family and Sam’s friends, and you realize that she’s shaken hands with her former geek self. And you see her approach the van with the same uncertainty that she had when she started hanging out with troublemakers Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario, but also with a confidence that took her the whole series to find. And you realize that this show wasn’t about a good-girl-gone-bad either losing or finding her true identity. It was about a girl realizing that she could give herself permission to explore and change, and as the van drives away and the show’s credits start to roll for the very last time (tear), you know that this was only the beginning.
“You know, Lindsay, when you started hanging out with them, I felt kinda bad for you, because I thought you were gonna turn into a dirtbag. But then I realized that you were just exploring, and now I guess I’m kind of exploring, too.”
—Millie Kentner, Freaks and Geeks
That’s what it is. It’s just exploring. Hanging out with different friends, taking different classes, joining different clubs, getting into different music or wearing different clothes: the important thing isn’t figuring out who exactly you are and your sole purpose in life THIS VERY INSTANT. It’s just knowing that it’s up to you the same way it was up to Lindsay Weir. In the meantime, all you can really do is find the things and people you relate to at the moment and hold them close. Somewhere, among the hair dye bottles and sleepover souvenirs and doodled-on paperbacks, you’ll find parts of yourself that you know will be sticking around. ♦
Reblogged From rookiemag.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

Which Sex and the City Girl Are You

Happy International Women's Day everyone! (Do you say things like that on days like this?) In honor of the day I'd like to talk about 4 of my favorite women. Those women would be Samantha Jones,  Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbes,and Carrie Bradshaw. Yes, Sex and the City is one of my all time favorite shows and part of its appeal is is portrayal of what I'd define as 4 modern women. Carrie and friends are both sexy and strong, and although they have their faults and might pine for men, when you get down to it they are also independent. I find this fact to be some kind of accuracy that people don't like to talk about. Why should I feel bad about wanting a boyfriend? It doesn't make me weak. I just want to cuddle...
Anyway, we are all a Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda or Carrie deep down inside. Which SATC girl are you!?

Samantha Jones
Wild and outgoing, bluntly honest about her thoughts, but in denial about her feelings, Samantha Jones is a true go-getter. With her own PR management company and a no-marriage policy, this female gets off on being a powerful and successful woman, holding her own with the boys, and living her life however she wishes to at the given moment.



Charlotte York
Sweet, put together, and polite, Charlotte is what I like to call "the dreamer" of the group. With her more classic ideals, she dreams of the perfect husband, having perfect children all while living in their perfect apartment. Luckily Charlotte's ideas of "perfect" can be changed as she learns from many of her unsuccessful relationships.

Miranda Hobbes
Miranda is the more logical of the group. Being a stereotypical lawyer, she is very intelligent but also on the cynical side. If Samantha is being too frivolous, Charlotte too imaginative, and Carrie too pensive, Miranda is the one who is going to ask the right questions. Her personality is as fiery as her red hair and she likes to wear the pants in her relationships, so to speak.

Carrie Bradshaw
Carrie leads us through her life with the thoughtful, observant, and witty internal monologue of a writer. She is more tactful than Samantha, a little less idealistic than Charlotte, and not as logical as Miranda. She is mindful of her relationships and about life.





All are equally fabulous and reminders that as women we should celebrate who we are! Even when part of us is the girl who freaks out about a boy they have a crush on, gets moody when they are menstruating, or spends an extra hour or two getting ready in the morning just because when you look better, you feel better.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

One Saturday Morning

I don't have kids and don't spend a lot of time with kids, so I'm not sure if the Saturday morning routine of watching cartoons is still alive. I remember being around 8 or 9 years old and making sure I'd wake up before my little brother. The goal was to beat him to the television, and I almost always did. If he got there first, it was Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, and maybe some Speed Racer if I was lucky. But if I got there first it was a lovely morning of Eggo waffles drowned in syrup, hot chocolate in my Tweety Bird mug, and a couple hours with my best friends T.J., Spinelli, Gretchen, Gus, Vince, Mikey, Pepper Ann, and Doug Funny.
It was this weekly meeting that sparked my obsession with "the character". I had so many questions about their lives, only somewhat realizing they were not real people and all I saw on the screen was all that existed. I wanted to know more. Who put King Bob in charge? Why were kindergarteners so vicious? Why did Pepper Ann have 3 identical copies of the same outfit in her closet? What kind of creature was Doug's best friend Skeeter (everyone else seems to be a regular human)? My connections with these people who came from someone's mind and sketchbook were strong.
With the new millenium (and by that I mean the year 2000) came some real-life shows. One Saturday Morning now had Even Steven's and Lizzie McGuire. Here I discovered my first love in the eccentric, dweeby, jew-froed Louis Stevens (Jewish and from Sacramento? Meant to be! And played by Shia Labeouf, who only got better with age.) and the creation of my internal monologue, inspired by the frustrated tween Lizzie (Hillary Duff's only good role if you ask me).
I gained so much curiosity about the world and picked up things from these characters, whom I associated with reality. I took my few hours with One Saturday Morning and made them last all week, until the next Saturday where I could soak up more. Good or bad, I was a true 21st century child. Perhaps this is why I'm such an oddball. My personality is a mish-mash of characters I've met over the last 20 (almost 21 !!!) years.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Forward

Hello Darling Readers,

What's that you say? It is March already? The time is flying, and I personally couldn't be happier. School is becoming a bit of a drag, but all the more reason for me to do "research" for this month's content. March is all about characters. Characters on TV, in movies, books, music, at school, work, on the bus, in the street, your apartment building, even you and me! Characters are EVERYWHERE and it is an amazing thing! We collect them, fall in love with them, dream about them, dress up as them for halloween, and all kinds of other crazy things.
I know you enjoyed Eden's scandalous shower story.We'll also have more from Eden Redmond and hopefully a few new contributors this month. So Stay tuned (into the blog and your televisions, cause there are some fun characters on that thing)!

Send in your stories, photos, etc. your favorite/interesting characters you encounter this month and we'll post 'em!

Sincerely,
the 4monthsatsea crew