The Lake Woods

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Lake + Woods

I just recently spent six days at Chelan in the woods — “the woods” is code for “there was no wifi” — with a good friend and it was everything I needed. I leaned into all the -ings. Eating, reading, writing, sleeping, cooking, dreaming, staring, nothing. A whole lot of nothing. I read Crazy Rich Asians. Played Yahtzee. Went bowling during half-price day, and walked along the water. She found Kingsman in the cabin’s DVD collection, so we made vodka cocktails (heavy on the lime) and watched that one night with our feet up. It was probably the eighth time I’d seen it because I’m a COLIN FIRTH FANGIRL. I think he’s my #1 on the ole celebrity exception list, now that Alan Rickman is gone. This is perhaps the most American thing I may say in my lifetime, but the fight scene (tw: very graphic, lotsa murder) where he kills 40 people in one long, continual church scene is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen, and the only time in history when “Freebird” was the perfect soundtrack. 

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GOT Recap, S8 E5: No, Thanks

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So accurate it’s painful.

“What is dead may never die” and yet I’m ready to pull the plug on Game of Thrones. Better that than watch this sloppy, predictable, dementia-riddled death at the hands of writers who ultimately chose to serve themselves over the actual story.

As someone who loves television, I’ve always been fascinated by writer’s rooms and the creative process by which these complicated stories get made. And I imagined so many scenarios around the Game of Thrones writer’s room; how they potentially built on each other’s strengths and mapped out George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy tale together. Was it an austere writer’s room, was it messy, was it thoughtful? I envisioned spirited debates over plot points, and late nights where crafting an incredible fantasy series was worth missing out on dinner with the kids or having a girlfriend. I imagined being part of something greater than yourself, writing your name in the annals of television history, and building worlds for people of all backgrounds to dive into, even if just for an hour. The responsibility seemed great, but so did the honor. “Those writers are so lucky,” I thought. “They must be at the top of their game.”

Now it’s clear that the process for writing this show is furiously masturbating onto a pile of old TV tropes, lighting the pile with misogynistic wildfire, feeding the ashes to a woman suffering in silence who wasn’t given any lines, watching her HORK the flaccid remains onto a typewriter from 1984, then naming her vomit “Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 5.”

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GOT Recap, S8 E4: WTF

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Look, we have to talk and I have to process, so I apologize in advance for what will surely be a ten-thousand word, one-part rambling/two-part rage post about the latest Game of Thrones episode — called The Last of The Starks — which I’ve aptly retitled: So What The Fuck Was That??

So like, what the fuck was that? As I’ve grown with this series — a good ten years of my life — there have been times that I’ve said to other women, “No, I get it, girl. I get it. Rape scenes: bad. Incest: everywhere. Problematic everything plus a Byzantine cast and plot that could be overwhelming in the wrong hands. BUT HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP GOING….” and I became one of Those People, pleading my case in a court of Starbucks, explaining why they should keep watching something so triggering and imbalanced and sometimes devastating. The writing. The cinematography. Jon Snow. Dragons. That George R. R. Martin rule of “Kill whoever!” Arya motherfucking Stark. Continue reading

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Life Dysmorphia

Pictured: Not my kidneys.

A friend sent me a love letter recently; the platonic, supportive kind. It was filled with sweet things like “You’re an inspiration to me” and “You’re one of the strongest people I know” and “I’m in awe of the things you are doing.” When I received it, I had been in the same pajamas for 72 hours, I smelled like an old, tired foot, and I’d been crying for an hour over a terrible Netflix rom-com that I’d watched instead of working. I was sleep deprived, received two pitch rejections that morning, and had stale cookies for breakfast. Just inspiring people with awe over here. None of what she wrote felt like me in the slightest.

When I see myself in a window or in photos other people take of me, it’s never what I think I look like. “Who is that lumpy old lady? Am I wearing Hammerpants?” Everything feels distorted. When I hear myself speak in video or on a mic, I sound like a weird, dispassionate stranger; if I try for a lighter, more animated pitch, I sound fake as hell. But I don’t really know what I thought I would sound like, only that it’s somehow me while also not me at all.

I write something and think it’s total shit but someone else thinks it’s genius; then sometimes the opposite of that. I make a new connection and potential friend but they totally ghost me. My health tanks just when I’m starting to feel better. Is life dysmorphia a thing? Because I clearly don’t know myself or apparently how things work. I’m constantly being surprised by how wrong I am, about pretty much everything.

My kidneys are relapsing again, though this time I think we figured it out early. Beyoncengue Fever (also known as Minimal Change Disease) strikes again. Crossing my fingers there’s no hospital time because the two weeks I did last fall at Swedish were fucking grueling. On the flip side, those two weeks were also amazing in many ways. Filled with love and support, friends and family coming by, books read, a secret donut here and there. The 11th floor nephrology unit was hands-down the best team of medical professionals I’ve ever worked with — great at their jobs but also really lovely people. I got a ton of writing done and actually worked a bunch from my bed. I laughed a lot. I cried a lot, too — from despair and pain and frustration and fear. I was only allowed outside twice in that time and that was with a nurse chaperone. The hospital isn’t fun for an extroverted control freak. Or anyone, really.

I’m writing this to remind myself that I’m not supposed to have shit figured out, and anytime I think I do, it’s going to be temporary. It’s just a constant process, being a biological meatbag who doesn’t know what her own voice sounds like sometimes. It’s remembering that good stuff and bad stuff always happen together, because life is not baseball; nothing is turn-based, and if it was, I’d still be fucked because sports. One of the things I’m perpetually learning is that stuff comes at you from all sides, and you just gotta roll with it. Even when I don’t know how — especially then. Deal with the challenges and appreciate the good. Both/and, always.

In conclusion: Life is hard, baseball is a bad metaphor, and trying on new pants is terrible. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

GoT Recap, S8 Ep3: G’Night, King

 

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“WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE.”

You know how we do when it comes to battle episodes: To emoji battle at Winterfell!

There were about 14 minutes and exactly 45 English words spoken in the time before the White Walkers finally got on-screen. In those 14 minutes, we saw our favorite eyes get bigger and bigger with the anticipation of certain death — or did we? I couldn’t see a goddamn thing thanks to winter (it came! like a thick wool blanket dropped over our tv) and the moodiest of mood lighting.

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