this is an informal blog

Hi. I don’t really have anything to say this week. But I committed to doing a blog post every week, so here I am, doing a blog post.

I know that a lot of people who have personal blogs like this write pretty polished blog posts. They’re usually writing to get a point across and they convey it clearly and concisely.

Well, I don’t. Heh heh heh.

I don’t really enjoy writing super opinionated, argument-driven blog posts because I consider my blog to be more of a form of self-expression rather than self-publishing. I kind of just write about whatever I’m feeling. And the blog posts meander and go around in circles and don’t really come to any particular conclusion, but I think that’s okay.

I write blog posts because in a few years I want to read my old posts and remember the person I was. I feel my self constantly changing and it’s hard to remember the person I was even a month ago. I want to live in the present, but I also want to remember who I was, where I’ve come from, and what I have overcome and accomplished to get to where I am.

So yeah. That’s why these blog posts are very informal and kind of purposeless. Eh.

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the one about periods, because I can.

Surprise! It’s a super special mid-week blog post. Crazy right? I can’t believe I’m writing this either. It’s 11pm on Monday night and I just feel like writing something. So I am.

Today I wanna talk about… periods. Don’t be shocked, almost every human with a vagina experiences or has experienced periods in their life. It’s a natural bodily function and nothing to shy away from addressing.

There are three main ways to deal with a period.

Option number one: Pads. Pads are useful for when you’re feeling lazy and your flow isn’t too insane. I used to only use pads, and now I almost never use pads by themselves for two simple reasons: 1) I hate the feeling of blood exiting my vagina and 2) I wear leggings almost every day. As a dancer, I have to give extra care to my methods of ~fluid~ collection because aside from the clothing situation, there’s also a lot of sweat and a lot of weird positions that your body might end up in. Also, I find it very difficult to feel “clean” wearing pads. Possessors of vaginas, you know what I mean.

Option number two: Tampons. Tampons, in my opinion, are MUCH more useful than pads. While pads allow all the crap to gush out of you and do a measly job at protecting your underpants from the aftermath, tampons actually prevent your flow from leaving your vagina (when they work properly). Tampons can be much more discreet than pads which make them great for leggings, leotards, etc. However, tampons definitely aren’t perfect so I always wear a pantiliner (or even a full pad if I’m not leaving the house) in combination with them. Personally, I’m quite comfortable with using tampons and find them to work very well – except for three major exceptions. 1) Tampons put you at risk of toxic shock syndrome, so you can only wear them for 8 hours. This means that when I wear tampons to sleep, I have to be very meticulous about setting my alarm and I expend a lot of nervous energy worrying about getting TSS. Plus I’m automatically limited to sleeping less than 8 hours a night. 2) Tampons create a lot of WASTE! Every time you use a tampon, you throw away the wrapper, applicator, and the tampon itself wrapped in toilet paper. That’s a lot of waste generated over the course of a period and a lot of wasted money spent restocking tampons every month. 3) TAMPONS HAVE SCARY CHEMICALS AND CRAP IN THEM! You can read this article or research others like it and see how SCARY it is that we insert these wads of chemical-laced cotton into our vaginas for 5-7 days every month! I once accidentally bought a pack of scented tampons, but by the time I realized they were scented, I had already opened the box and it was too late to return them. I wasn’t going to waste my money so I used the tampons anyway… and months later after I had stopped using them my vagina still smelled like some damn roses! It’s creepy and terrifying to think about the potential danger I put my body in every time I use tampons.

So, this brings me to option number three: MENSTRUAL CUPS. Let me tell you, menstrual cups are a wonderful, wonderful product of human innovation. I first heard about them on YouTube where women sang the praises of this safe, medical-grade silicone cup that sits in your vagina and collects your blood without doing anything to disturb the delicate ecosystem of your nether regions. Essentially, it works by creating a suction around your cervix, so when the blood leaves your cervix it gets collected in the cup. Later, you remove the cup, dump its contents into the toilet, rinse it out, and reinsert it. Since the cup is reusable and you flush the collected fluids down the toilet, virtually no waste is produced AND you don’t have to spend money on single-use menstrual products every month. I will say that there is quite a steep learning curve to using the cup, and I’ve only used it for one cycle so far, but I definitely think it is WORTH IT to at least try out. Menstrual cups are so much better for your body, the environment, and your peace of mind since you don’t have to worry about toxic shock syndrome! Also, menstrual cups come in all different shapes and sizes so you can find a cup that works well with your personal anatomy. Check out the links to resources and information on menstrual cups below! (Also feel free to ask me any questions you may have about menstrual cups. I may do a separate post on my personal experience using a menstrual cup later.)

The video above does a great job explaining how menstrual cups work and how to use them! This quiz helped me to determine which cup to try out.

So TECHNICALLY those are the three main options for menstrual care, but I also want to point out one more option: reusable cloth menstrual pads. I personally haven’t done much research on this (yet), but I definitely will in the future and you should too! Reusable pads allow you to save money on pads AND protect yourself from all the nasty chemicals and crap in pads that go right up against your skin. This YouTube channel is a good starting point for learning about cloth pads; you can also use Google to find various forums. Also, I know there are some shops on Etsy that sell cloth pads, or you can even make your own.

Alright, that’s it for me. It’s 11:44pm now and I need to finish my readings, shower, and sleep. Goodnight y’all! Have good periods and good lives.

February Goals

It’s February.

The semester is still fresh and I’m making lots of commitments. January was pretty good, let’s make February even better.

Here are my goals for February:

  1. Write a first draft of my play and submit a proposal to second season. I am working with a lovely human being on developing a play about identity, its significance, and how we define it. It’s going to be super exciting! I’m actually excited to write this. I’m hoping to have a completed first draft (even if it’s very rough) by the 12th, which is when the second season proposal is due.
  2. Apply to be a choreographer for a musical. This basically consists of a single email I need to send; I just haven’t done it yet because I’m not sure how to make a choreography/dance resume. My goal is to get this done today, heh heh heh. (Note from me the day after this was written: I did get this done yesterday! Woohoo!)
  3. Make two new friends. This is going to be hard, lol. Honestly I have no idea how to go about this or how to quantify it.
  4. Upload a digital painting to Instagram! I haven’t posted on my art insta since January 6th.
  5. Make progress on my comic! I’ve been reading a lot of Line Webtoons lately and I had an idea for a romance webcomic 🙂 I’ve started planning the story a little bit, the next steps (and my goals for this month) are to finish my first draft of the story and develop the character designs!

Hmm. I think that’s enough goals for this month 🙂

I’ve been having some very mixed feelings lately. At certain times I feel very happy, content, and hopeful. I feel like this semester has potential to be really amazing if I put in the work and don’t slack off. For example, there are multiple creative projects I’m working on and things I’m applying for. I hope to get better at connecting with people and building relationships because those connections are essential to finding opportunities to do creative work. Also, I just want to have more friends and deeper friendships. Getting a job to make money is another goal of mine, but I’m ok with pushing that to either this semester or this summer.

Here’s hoping this month and this semester go swimmingly 🙂

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2 photos this week! This one is an awesome dance show I saw with my lovely friends! The Instagram post below is because our technique class got to do a fun mini performance!

BEWARE OF THE BIRD PEOPLE 🐤

A post shared by Hana Huie (@mighty_jalapeno) on

 

a weekend wrap-up

I don’t really feel like writing a blog post today. So here’s a lazy list of some things that happened this week.

  • went to a wig (and bald cap!) workshop
  • finished working in the costume shop
  • started classes
  • my first technique class went pretty well
  • my first afro-modern class was challenging and interesting
  • went to a dance audition… thought it went pretty decently
  • ate an entire can of honey roasted nuts
  • met up with old friends
  • got encouraging emails from my awesome cousin
  • drank a protein shake
  • read some sappy webtoons
  • read about experimental theatre
  • read a truly disturbing play
  • woke up early (before my alarm) everyday
  • got some compliments on my new haircut
  • questioned my faith and beliefs
  • started planning out a comic
  • stressed about my living situation
  • walked home alone

Today I got lunch with my aunts and grandma since they were near campus. It was lovely because I haven’t seen them in a while. We went to Franklin’s and I got this delicious portobello burger with goat cheese; we also had some amazing, humongous beer-battered onion rings. I don’t get to see my relatives very often, and when I do, I’m usually with my immediate family so it was really nice to talk to them just as myself rather than as part of a family unit. Does that make sense?

Afterwards we went back to my aunt’s house and I got to see her cat. He has some luscious black fur and is super friendly – he behaves almost like a dog! There was some fun talk about cats and then I had to leave to see a show – the 35th Annual Choreographers’ Showcase. It was pretty good, though sometimes I tire of seeing modern dance pieces trying to be edgy over and over again. I also was a little bit concerned about how “white” the whole affair seemed… It might just have been me, but most of the performers, audience, and people in charge were white………… and the two pieces with black performers were about being black. One of them seemed to be about the horrific aspects of being a black person in modern America, and it made me sad and angry that this country is still such a mess, and that I am probably not doing enough to revolt against the system. I was kind of surprised since I was expecting the pieces themselves to be diverse, but they were pretty much either all black or all white… but maybe I’m just being too sensitive to race. BUT STILL: where are all the Asian Americans slaying the performing arts? Heh.

Anyway, now I’m back at my dorm enjoying this rare moment of solitude. And I will eat some instant noodles and watch YouTube or read comics to celebrate it.

Hope you all had a great week~

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Me as a baldy! Thank you Kristen for your mad skillz. I’m very proud of my resemblance to Captain Picard. ❤

the last day of break.

Today is Saturday, January 20, 2018. It is my last full day of winter break; I head back to campus tomorrow night. It is 3:37 PM and I am sitting at our kitchen island. I am listening to the sounds of my laundry in the wash while my brother plays Breath of the Wild and my mother works on her sermon in the next room over. Sunlight streams through our dusty windows creating a beautiful dispersion effect through the room and I am eating kettle corn.

I’ve done and thought about a lot this week; after lounging around at home for the whole break I spent this week working full days at my school’s costume shop. Though it was a lot of work, I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting and working with the people there. I am no longer afraid of sewing machines, riding the metro alone, or asking for help. I have an appreciation for waking up early, working hard, and doing creative work, and I think I have gained a better understanding of the daily working grind that comes along with an awful commute as well as priorities outside of work life.

There are a lot of occurrences from this week that I could write about, but I probably will not because I feel that they require a much greater depth of reflection than I am willing to give right now. Perhaps eventually they will make their way into something I create.

What else did I do this week? I started reading webcomics on Line Webtoons and Tapas. To be completely honest, they are kind of trashy – but reading them is like indulging in an overly dramatic reality show or two extra slices of pumpkin pie. I read one this morning about a girl who was sent a human boy hatched out of an egg so she wouldn’t be lonely… heh heh heh.

Anyway, on the topic of school starting up this week, I don’t feel very anxious (which is good). I’m more just hoping that I will embrace discomfort so that I can accomplish my goals. I often gravitate towards comfort (for example, sleeping in, snoozing my alarm, laying in bed watching YouTube, eating sugary snacks) but I’ve realized that even during a week like this past week where I had to wake up at 6:30am and got home so late that I had only one or two hours to indulge in lazy Internet video watching, I felt no less satisfied than when I had 12 hours of sleep and 9 hours to lazily watch Internet videos. In fact, I probably felt more satisfied because I had more time away from screens and that helped me to be more mindful and present. Furthermore, I found that no matter how many videos I watched or hours I spent doing comfortable, entertaining things, I didn’t feel happier or more fulfilled afterwards. While I do get inspired from watching YouTube videos and looking at new things on the Internet and whatnot, after a certain threshold, I experience no increase in satisfaction, happiness, or inspiration.

All this to say, when school starts, I hope that I wake up early and instantly and embrace discomfort whether through eating healthily, working out, or choosing to work on homework or side projects instead of mindless media consumption. Woohoo.

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Here’s a screenshot of an enlightening tweet for no reason other than the fact that I think it’s INTERESTING!!!!! Okay goodbye and have a nice day.

Accessible Theatremaking

Hi. So I just watched a Casey Neistat video and it inspired me – nay, motivated me – to create something. I’ve been kicking around this idea of utilizing YouTube to kickstart or propel me along in my career (though what that career is, I don’t know).

In Casey Neistat’s video, he talks about how his lifelong dream was to be a filmmaker. He chased the traditional path that he believed was required to become a “proper” filmmaker – red carpets, awards, film festivals, names on posters – and ultimately discovered the beauty of the Internet in that the power of filmmaking and storytelling lies in the hands of everyone with access to a smartphone or computer. It’s a spectacular thing. And it makes me think about my own aspirations for my creative career.

I aspire not to be a filmmaker, but a “theatremaker” – someone who creates meaningful shows. There are perhaps similarities to filmmaking, though Neistat seems to emphasize storytelling through film and I don’t think theatre is always necessarily about storytelling. Theatre can also be about relationships and connections and it is overall much more deeply personal than film. So many shows have steered away from the proscenium approach and I think that speaks to how people are increasingly buying into the value of theatre not just as a pretty, entertaining show to see but as an experience evoking presence, mindfulness, and connection.

And I don’t really know what kind of theatre I want to make. Sure, I believe there is value in telling stories on stage. I think it would be really cool to tell stories with perhaps ordinary, linear plots in ways that are more avant-garde, postmodern, and experiential. For example, consider the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s simple, it’s a tale that most of us are familiar with, the plot flows and makes sense. But what if it was presented in a way that confronted the audience to not just observe the story, but actually be immersed in it? Maybe the audience walks through the theatre doors to stumble upon the corpse of an old woman mauled by a wild animal, blood and gore and all. Then perhaps the mortified audience continues walking only to find more and more scenes from the familiar story presented in a grim and grotesque light. That’s surely going to leave an impression on the audience member who was expecting a quiet night out to see a show that is satisfyingly average and then head home to bed. But in reality, it would be really hard to put on this kind of show by myself. I would have to develop the concept, design the scenes, create the sets, design the lighting and sound, and make sure the whole production has a tone consistent with my directorial vision. Furthermore, I’d have to obtain the space, funds, and team to create this.

So if Internet videos are the accessible form of filmmaking, what is the accessible form of theatremaking? Sure, many people post skits on the Internet or create webshows with characters. One of my favorites is Chris Fleming’s “Gayle” which has a wonderful way of breaking the 4th wall to establish a connection with the audience. Furthermore, Chris Fleming’s amazing humor always seems to draw me in and really make me think. So that’s kind of similar to theatre – it evokes presence and connection and the experience of watching it. So that’s one option: creating a webshow.

Another option would be writing short scripts and reading them on camera, or perhaps pseudo-acting them out on camera, or even bringing in friends to read parts of scripts. I feel like this format would do best with scripts that are humorous and comedic in nature. I’ve never tried to write comedy before, so that could be an interesting foray. This format might also work with scripts that are aggressively postmodern in addressing the audience (viewer) and prompting the viewer to really think and consider whatever topics are addressed. These videos could be more “artsy” with b-roll, filters, and background music. I don’t think this format would work with melodramatic scripts because I feel that melodramas heavily rely on the audience to invest in the story – emotionally or otherwise – and this wouldn’t work so well with Internet users who are clicking around for entertaining or interesting videos. So those are two more options for accessible theatremaking: reading or acting out comedic or postmodern scripts on camera.

Another option would be more “behind the scenes” in nature. For example, I might make videos of me pitching ideas for shows while showing sketches, concept art, inspirational images, or reading drafts. Additionally, I could make videos showing the process of me building or writing something. I could also make vlog-style videos showing my journey to become a “theatremaker”. I could use the vlog series to set creative and career goals and keep myself accountable for working towards achieving them.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I have stuck to the format of Internet/YouTube videos for all of these. Well, I think YouTube is a great platform because it allows you to create a huge amount of content and the more you put yourself out there, the more discoverable you become. When you have a wealth of content behind you, it lends credibility to you as a creator. By making videos I would work on improving my skills and my craft as a theatremaker which would help me in my career. Furthermore, YouTube has an existing audience which is incredibly motivating when it comes to content creation. And finally, YouTube videos can be monetized.

So these have all been some really interesting ideas, but what it ultimately comes down to is hard work. If I want to create anything, or if I want anything to come out of this, I have to put in the hard work to actually make this stuff happen. I don’t really want to commit to weekly YouTube videos, but I can try for monthly? I’d rather under-commit and then over-deliver than overcommit and under-deliver. So I’ll commit to do 3 videos… this year. Haha. I’ll keep you updated and edit this goal as I deem necessary….

Failed Resolutions

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2018 was to write and upload a post to my blog every week before Saturday at 11:59pm. Well, I’ve already failed. That’s ok though – I’m all about grace and second chances and working with imperfect processes.

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This is Coco. She is completely adorable and completely unrelated to this blog post.

When I set my resolution to write a blog post every week, I also made a list of 32 potential blog topics that I could write about. I thought I was off to a great start – there are 52 weeks in a year, thus 52 blog posts I would have to write for 2018, and if I could think of 32 ideas in one night I would be golden for the rest of the year. Surely, I would be blessed with a wealth of topics and ideas to write about. So why didn’t that work for me this week?

I did start writing what I expected to be my first blog post of 2018. It was to be a review of 2017 and the events that I experienced in it. I felt that this topic was important to write about because 2017 was quite a transformative year for me – though lots of crappy things happened during it, I also grew tremendously as a person in learning to listen to my intuition and getting to know more about myself. I went from being quite hopeless to being inspired and full of hope and peace – something I hadn’t experienced in a while. But as I went through writing out all the events that transpired in 2017, I grew tired. I didn’t want to detail all of these things even though some logical part of me knew that it would be good to document them for the sake of posterity. So I didn’t. I also didn’t choose another one of the 31 topics on the list to write about, and I missed my 11:59pm deadline.

Essentially what it comes down to is this: the way I work currently is sporadic and unstructured, especially when it comes to writing. I want to sit down and write about whatever interests me at the moment, even if it doesn’t make sense or offer a ton of value to readers. For now, I would like to work towards writing more consistently in 2018. Even if the topics I write about end up being random and disconnected, at least I will improve at my consistency and work ethic. I want to write and publish a post on this blog every week in 2018 before Saturday at 11:59, so I will do it. Here’s to 51 more crazy blog posts.