Really sorry, all!

Apparently I did not have my askbox enabled on this account, and now that I do I see that I have a bunch of messages I never saw or replied to!

It’s not creepy to talk about what you want from your life, no matter how much other people want to make you believe that. Don’t ever design your life around the need NOT to be That Woman. Because our culture makes every fucking one of us into That Woman. We are That Woman when we refuse to take whatever is dished out at work, without complaint. We are That Woman when we cry at some moment deemed inappropriate by someone without a fucking soul who’s incapable of feeling human emotions in the first place. We are That Woman when we live alone and we adopt a cat, because we fucking like cats. We are That Woman whenever we dare to behave like regular human beings.

Most of the good things in my life came out of being That Woman.

Decide what you want, and then own it without shame. Knowing what you want, even if you might never get it, doesn’t make you a loser. Owning what you want, and sticking your neck out for it: That’s what separates happy people from unhappy people. Standing up for your dreams and politely declining to “be cool” and “hang” and play along with the status quo? These actions are crucial. They shape your whole life. Without them, you are merely a spectator.

via this article. (via nogreatillusion)

(via nogreatillusion)

New Year’s Resolutions

We’re now two weeks into the New Year and because Seasonal Affective Disorder is rearing its ugly head, I need to generate some motivation, so I am checking in on my progress re: New Year’s Resolutions.

katoleary:

  1. Write two books. A nonfiction project I’ve been planning for the last couple of months, plus another run at NaNoWriMo. Also, revise the novel I wrote in November. I spent a small amount of time revising my novel the first week of the month.
  2. Date Be a girl who reads. Let’s try for 50 books again (OK, so I didn’t quite make it this year at 46). I’ve read 1.5 books so far. At this rate I will only read 36 this year. Oops.
  3. See more live everything. Music, comedy, theater, performance art, whatever. I saw Big Mouth at the Public Theater with Elisabeth over the weekend. I tried to go to Wyatt Cenac’s album taping but $7 tickets = it sold out before I could grab one.
  4. Keep my apartment clean. Sometimes people who are not Natasha come over. Occasionally they are hot men. Yes, my apartment is clean! Photographic evidence below!
  5. Dress less like Yayoi Kusama and more like Rei Kawakubo. I moved all my colored clothing into my closets and have been getting dressed from this rack:

  6. Go to Iceland Airwaves, like, for real this time. Will buy ticket when I get a job.
  7. Finally take all those Skillshare classes I purchased months ago but never got around to. (They see me coding, they hating.) Yeah, still working on this. Pretty sure I need to block time out on my calendar or it’ll never happen.
  8. Actually update my blog and get comfortable sharing opinions under my own name again. Sort of doing this?
  9. Re-lose the five pounds I’ve gained back over the holidays and then lose another ten. Then start walking like Charlize TheronLost the holiday weight mostly by virtue of no longer being invited to consume dessert and champs multiple times a week. Have not done much to lose more weight but do occasionally think MURDER while walking down the street.
  10. Stop watching Netflix in bed. At this point my 30 Rock references are so esoteric that they are no longer fit for conversation with anyone other than Tina Fey. Plus, I sleep better without the light from the screen. I cancelled Netflix and Hulu+! And subsequently discovered that I don’t enjoy binge-watching anything on Amazon Prime. Instead I listen to podcasts while I drift off. Success!
  11. Read GetBullish every morning. This is like the one Internet rabbit hole where falling down it actually pays dividends. Jen Dziura is a genius and I need to be more like her. Some of her best advice: don’t waste time on “anything that is not extremely productive or extremely pleasurable.” Yo Candy Crush Saga imma let you finish… Yep, still doing this.
  12. Inbox zero every day. God gave us Mailbox app because He wanted us to use it. Doing better but not perfect. Still a lot of unroll.me activity to be had.
  13. Learn how to use a real camera. Camera+ clarity filter can only get you so far. Oddly, I associate being able to take a decent picture with a certain form of self-reliance. Need someone to buy me a real camera and then I’ll do this.
  14. Finally learn to play my guitar beyond AC/DC’s “TNT.” No excuse on this one. Again, needs to be added to my calendar.
  15. Build something. I don’t know what this means yet. Probably learn to code first!
  16. Say yes more often. I once read an interview with my grandpa where he talked about the “serendipities” that have occurred throughout his life. I find that these are especially likely to happen when you do something you were disinclined to do. I think I am doing better with this. Last Friday I met up with a friend and now I have a 20-hour/week job that will cover my rent and allow me to develop some new skills. On Sunday after the play I ran into a friend from high school on the street. Yesterday I agreed to meet for coffee when I was kind of tired and unmeowtivated and it turned out my friend had a project for me. Now I have a tentative meeting about it tomorrow.
  17. Get up earlier. It’s the secret to finding more hours in the day, and I have a sense of calm in the early morning that’s impossible to locate once the rest of the city wakes up. Mostly doing well at this, though the gray weather really inhibits it. I want to get back to where I bound out of bed at 7 and start working by 7:30.
  18. Make to-do lists at night instead of saving them for the morning. Allows me to wake up with focus and get started on the day instead of wondering what to do first. Yes, this really helps a lot. In fact, I’d say it’s the #1 factor in determining how productive I am in the morning.
  19. Learn French. Again, this one requires capital I don’t have right now.
  20. Be the Yeezy I wish to see in the world. Always.

#6 — Facebook transforms itself (or tries to) with a huge acquisition. I wrote long ago that we’d never see Facebook in the Dow 30 Industrials. The company is awash in users and profits but they’ve lost the pulse of the market if they ever had it. Trying to buy their way into the Millennial melting data market Facebook offered $3 billion for Snapchat, which turned them down then rejected a $4 billion offer from Google. Google actually calculates these things, Facebook does not, so where Google will now reverse-engineer Snapchat, Facebook will panic and go back with the BIG checkbook — $10+ billion. If not Snapchat then some other overnight success. Facebook needs to borrow a cup of sugar somewhere.

christinefriar:

THR: A challenge: $1,000 if both of you wear Amy Adams’ plunging blouse thing from American Hustle.

Fey: First of all, if you think my going rate for anything is $1,000 you are looking at an old catalog.

[link to interview]

This answer is an inspiration to me.

What is a nerd?

I started this post about a year or so ago and just found it in my drafts folder. At the time the idea seemed half-formed, but now (as often happens once I’ve had some distance from my writing) I kind of like it, at least enough to post it in the spirit of actually updating this blog.

I was listening to a podcast the other day — I believe it was an episode of Nerdist where Marc Maron guested, and not an episode of WTF where Chris Hardwick guested, but either way, it was a conversation between Marc Maron and Chris Hardwick.  They were talking about podcasts, which was sort of meta, but specifically about people who listen to podcasts versus people who don’t. Maron was talking about the distinction as being one between nerds and non-nerds.  Some people don’t listen to podcasts because the mechanics are confusing, whereas nerds are the ones who commit fervently enough to figure it out.

To me, this didn’t seem like a distinction between nerds and non-nerds but instead one between rudimentarily tech-savvy people and Luddites.  The process of subscribing to a podcast and downloading episodes is fairly straight-forward; meanwhile, one only needs basic knowledge of how things work on the Internet in order to stream them.  Someone who really wanted to listen to Car Talk without an AM/FM radio could probably figure it out with limited effort. Why, then, is this considered the purview of nerds? What is a nerd? I don’t identify as a nerd, not out of some desperate need to cling to illusions of my own coolness but because, ironically perhaps, I think that term is reserved for people cooler than I am — smarter, more knowledgeable, more aware of how things work.  I listen to podcasts most nights as I drift off to sleep, but my knowledge of the process of recording and editing them is limited to what I’ve gleaned from host commentary over the years.

So no, I don’t identify as a nerd, neither generally nor with regard to the specific niches of podcasts or, more widely, technology. But I wonder how much of this is because I tend to roll with a fairly tech- and Internet-savvy set — or at least I did prior to business school, where I once had to explain what Tumblr was to a roomful of my classmates.  Compared with the people I knew before school (both IRL and virtually), I’m definitely more of an enthusiast than an expert. Among my broadened network, however, I find myself to be an early adopter of most technologies, on a relative basis.

Despite feeling unworthy of the nerd title generally, there are certain niches where I probably qualify.  One is stand-up comedy.  I listen to stand-up comedy or conversations between stand-up comedians every day of my life. For the first few months after I joined Spotify, I was using it exclusively to listen to Patton Oswalt and Maria Bamford albums I didn’t have on my computer.  When I set my iPod to shuffle, it’s equally likely that I’ll end up listening to Mitch Hedberg riffing on Texas Grilled Fritos as Eddie Van Halen shredding away on “Panama.”

There’s a follow-up conversation to be had around the obstacles to women identifying as nerds and the fetishization of geek girls, but I’m still stuck on defining what (or more accurately, who) qualifies as a nerd in the first place. And for better or worse, I don’t think it’s me.

Only tangentially related is this post on the differences between the representation of nerds on Community versus The Big Bang Theory, which I stumbled across recently (although it went live in Septembr 2012)I’ve never seen TBBT, and I haven’t watched Community in a few seasons, but I nonetheless found it to be a pretty compelling analysis.