How To Succeed in Posting Without Really Trying, Starring Daniel Radcliffe

I currently have 114 posts in my drafts for this blog. If I went through them and sorted them, I know many would be either obsolete or better suited for my new animation site, Animation Complex.1  The earliest post in there is from March 25th, 2011.

2011.

Dramatic lone statement. For emphasis.

I didn’t post an actual post on here until May 4th, 2014, in a post appropriately titled “Overdue.” In this terse first post, I lay it all out:

For almost six years, I have longed to become a much more proficient writer. Similarly, it is one of my goals to become what many would consider a valid, valuable, and respected voice in the field of animation and computer graphics.
Day after day, year after year, I talked myself out of doing something as simple as starting a blog, not feeling secure with putting myself out into the Internet, nor confident that my opinions would ever carry any weight in the future.

It makes me uncomfortable, and that’s why I need to try.

Again, “For almost six years…”. Six, man. In 2008, I graduated from high school and was starting college. I wanted to start a blog, start a YouTube channel, but felt silly. Who would care? And to be honest, I still feel that way. In some ways, I dodged a bullet being born when I did: early enough to have a tech-free childhood, bar a weekly typing computer class where you had to manually launch the Windows OS from the DOS screen, but late enough where I’ve been able to enjoy this boon at an age where I could quickly and easily adopt it as a nearly-digital native. I dodged cyber-bullying as a kid, baby photos on FaceBook, and potentially saying some really dumb shit, as kids do.

That first blog post from 2011 was about going to see Daniel Radcliffe on Broadway2 with some college friends in our junior year. I know that I started typing it out and probably felt as though that wasn’t a “proper” first post. That I needed an introductory post or something with more of a hook. Or just that I’d be adding a droplet to an ocean. Always some reason.

So without further ado, on the anniversary of that original blog post’s intended publishing date, I give you the contents of that draft:

This past Tuesday, I was treated to a wonderful experience. Through my college, I was able to see Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) sing, dance, and speak with an American accent for only $36. This included the price of the ticket as well as the bus ride to and back from my school.

Something interesting to note about the story is…well…the story itself. The main character, Finch, specifically. He doesn’t ever have a downfall in this musical. He maneuvers his way into the higher ranks of a company, messes up, finagles out of it again, and at the end gets the big bucks and the girl. Doesn’t learn any lesson, doesn’t have a sharp change of character, nothing.

I know that from here, I would have attempted to delve into the idea of the “perfect character” trope, and how I’d lump him in with characters like James Bond and Mary Poppins–these perfect characters that don’t really have an arc, whom we love regardless. I’d have tried to delve into the unbalance I felt towards ‘Mary Sue’ characters vs. the male equivalent, ‘Marty Stus,’ not in calling them out, because, CALL AWAY, but rather the excuses that tend to be provided for the male characters.

It would be especially interesting to delve into sexism with How to Succeed due to the time period it takes place and, thus, dated attitudes that were then quaint but now casual sexism or just blatant sexual harassment in the workplace3. This would still make for an interesting post, but this is not that post. I think I hesitated to write that all out back then because I didn’t think I had the right to make these assessments–that I was still just a student, and though I was learning this type of thing, felt that I still just didn’t know enough. And in hindsight that’s absolutely true. But I was also denying myself many, many opportunities to learn by doing.

This post is a reminder that I have so, so many failed attempts, and somewhere along the line I let this culture trick me into seeing them as negatives in my life rather than opportunities. But changing your mindset is very, very hard. This post is also a reminder that I need to clear those drafts away, one way or another, and I hope most can be salvaged and I type them up with reckless abandon like I did this one. This is a pretty short post, but I’ll take that over not having posted anything about this. Lastly and most importantly, this post is a reminder that DanRad is super, super short.4

 


Footnotes:
1) Gotta get that self-promo, yo.
2) You’re welcome.
3) There is literally a song in this called “A Secretary is Not a Toy” among other gems, that problematic and antiquated though they may be, are a conflicting delight to see acted out.
4) You’re welcome.

31-Day Declutter Challenge

In response to my February recap, and stating that I wanted to focus a bit more on housekeeping and the general clutter in my life, I figured that a good way to hold myself accountable while further gamifying my life was to have a little challenge. It’s nothing special. Just every day this month I am going to tackle a different area in my room/kitchen/bathroom to sort through. This totally goes directly against Marie Kondo’s advice, wherein she suggests tackling possessions by type rather than location in order to see the entire quantity of said category at once. Buttttttttt nah. Maybe that’s the next step. But it’s not what I need right now.

That being said, please enjoy the rest of this self-serving post…though, a blog as a whole is pretty self-serving in and of itself. 😉

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2017 Resolutions

Between sickness and incidents (see my last post), this year has already started off a bit rocky. But I’m determined to regain the momentum I lost.

I already did a quick recap of 2016, which covered some things I was focusing on this year. Some of my goals also reflect in my recap from 2015, which already feels like so long ago. Say what you will about resolutions, argue about the negatives of sharing your goals out-loud, cite articles about how silly it is to wait for an arbitrary date to implement life-changes. The way I view them is pretty casually, and more like inciting incidents. Like, hey, if I do the bare minimum I’ve set for myself, then I’ll have done all of this stuff in a year. Rules set that you some times break are better than none. That’s just what’s always worked for me. I used to try to treat my birthday as the time to start my resolutions, as that is literally my personal new year/life anniversary, but it just doesn’t make sense for me what with my birthday right before the major slew of year-end holidays (read: chaos). That, and I was embarrassed to be one of those people who did sort of take resolutions “seriously.” Get over yourself, PastJen. 😛

It’s a bit of harmless fun that should only be meant to help you along.

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When Your Year Doesn’t Start

It’s only ten days into January and I’m already behind.

This year has already started out rough for me..saying goodbye to a dear friend who lives on the other side of the world, getting sick, and then this past weekend I was in a car accident. I’ve been out of work more days this year than I’ve been in work. Which, again, only 10 days in, so I know that statement is a little overdramatic. But I’m giving myself a pass considering the ACTUAL existential crisis I’ve been dealing with when contemplating my own mortality and replaying this weekend in my head, or thinking about it in regard to the bf, who was the driver at the time. I won’t go into specifics, other than it was pretty bad but we got pretty lucky. And that the other driver was drunk. 🙁

I think the weirdest thing about all of this is how life just moves on. And it’s not as if I haven’t experienced these thoughts or realizations before in other ways, at other pivotal moments. I don’t necessarily think this moment is pivotal either. I’m definitely not handling it well mentally, and I know that that will take much longer to heal than my body. One of my co-workers wisely said that being okay is the most important, and then the healing process. We’re almost ok in the ‘get better soon’ sense, but it won’t be a thing that just is over. I’ll think about it daily until one day I just don’t, and then it’ll only crop up once in a while. At least that’s what I hope. You can’t predict how you will handle these things. I think I’m attempting to, I think I’m determined to not let it do the thing, but by blogging about it aren’t I letting it? But, you can argue, acknowledging it will put it out there and now that it’s out there I can move past it. Let’s go with that, yes?

Now it’s the healing and all of the stress of the aftermath, as ungrateful as that sounds. But let’s be real, I’m a complex enough person to simultaneously be grateful for our safety and dreading/frustrated at all of the legalities we have to deal with now. Those feelings can exist at the same time. It’s going to be stressful, and we’re probably going to turn off our already (happily!) low-key social lives to pinch pennies even more.

That all being said, I’m still working out my logistics for the year! I still have posts I wanted to write about 2016, but now it seems too late. But I’m going to post them anyway, because they are just some fun posts about my favorite books and anime/TV shows I watched this year, and finally my 2017 resolutions…which…are still IP…

All in good time. I’ve got actual goals this year, and expectations for myself month-to-month, but I’m not so naive to ignore the self-care I need right right now.

Year-End Highlights 2016

At first, I was going to do a month-by-month highlight of the year, but that seemed a bit redundant considering that this year I started doing a literal monthly recap at the end of each month. Not implying, jokingly or otherwise, that you should go back and read those, as those really do tend to be more for me (as is this whole self-indulgent blog 🙂 ). I think instead I’ll just muse about some top things that I remember from the year.

That being said, this is focused solely on moi, and only on the highlights. There were lowlights of course, between larger global and national concerns, a loss in the family, and just other personal struggles. But I think that I’m slowly becoming a more resilient person.

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