The guilty pleasure of vlogs

I bonded with some one recently over this question:

Why the fuck do we enjoy watching other peoples live so much?

I got over reality tv a while ago (except MTV’s the challenge, that will always be a guilty pleasure favorite) but all of a sudden the trend is watching youtube blogs.  And it’s literally videos of people shopping in target, getting ready for the day, cleaning the apartment/house, etc.  That’s it.  It’s people doing what I do everyday.

But the big difference?  These people get paid for it.  And why not?  It’s one step up from the strangers we meet on tumblr or in video games.  We don’t know them but we share something in common and they are kind of like friends.  When I’m feeling down, unmotivated, or just when I wake up, I watch a blog.  It’s some one who we can relate to and is living “the best life”.

I’m curious to see how long/ how this will evolve.  For now, it only seems to be getting bigger.

Reunited with my family

I spent too much money on essentials yesterday.

My stress is so high that my hair has started coming out in chunks.

I feel guilt at what I left behind.

But yesterday I was greeted with snapchat after snapchat of people seeing I was in town and wondering when they could see me.  One of my best friends braved LAX to pick me up and spent all day with me.  I was welcomed back with cheers and open arms… literally.

And all of a sudden everything is worth it.

The stress at needing a job yesterday, the money issues, living way too close to my alma mater, this past summer, everything.  It was all worth it for those moments.

Family is more than where you are and what you’re doing.  It’s the people you come back to at the end of a long work week.  The people that make as much of an effort as you do and always have open arms for any occasion.

I am home.


… But you’re not one of us

A lot of people think that being a white female means that I don’t experience the same social issues a person of color, or a trans person, or a bisexual experiences.

And they’re right.  I don’t.  But because I’m aware of that, I work really hard to understand everything that is going on. I actually read the posts on my news feed.  I pay attention to the fact that almost all of my friends identify as something that is considered a minority and isn’t represented in media how it should be.  I don’t always share stuff on Facebook because, while a Facebook post can do a lot, I would rather take the knowledge I have and do something with it: educate the people that I know don’t understand or participate in a rally, etc.  I would rather engage in constructive conversations with people experiencing these things.  I want to be able to ask questions just like people ask of me.  I may be white, but I am poor and I am a female.  So I’m not at the top of the food chain.  Yet, I also know that I’m not considered to be at the bottom.

But it seems that no matter what some one does: how hard they try to support and educate themselves and others; how hard we work to make a change… nothing is quite enough.  Because ultimately… I am not one of them.  Too many conversations I have seen and heard end with that.  “You don’t understand because you aren’t one of us”.

No. I’m not.  But instead of shutting me down, instead of shutting anyone down that’s different than you maybe a take a second and understand that that is the same reason why we have these issues in the first place…?

Food for thought.

Book Review: Joyland

Ah yes, Stephen King.  The King of horror.

I’ve read a few of his other works including “It”, “Different Seasons”, and “Hearts In Atlantis” to name a few.  While all of those works are creepy and wonderful, they are also extremely long.


Joyland is different.  joyland

You see, Joyland is much shorter and to the point.  It’s simple.  And it deserves to be because it’s about an image we along the California highways or every summer when it rolls through town: an amusement park.

Maybe I’m biased because I’m a carni so I know a lot about what is being said already, but King doesn’t overcomplicate anything.  You have enough information to know what’s going on and how things appear.  This is a mystery/horror/thriller.  It’s the type of book that creeps up on you.  You’ll laugh as you read and say to yourself that it’s not that scary and it’s just as campy as the State Fair you just attended.  But then you turn off your lights to go to bed and a shiver goes down your spine as you picture the images that were laid out in front of you.  Perhaps you convince yourself that finishing the novel will help you sleep better.  It’s just a few more chapters.  So you keep reading and finish feeling satisfied and in control.  But no matter what there is an uneasy feeling that lingers.

This is the art of Stephen King.  This is Joyland.  It puts the fun in “fun park” and takes us back in time to a theme park that, today, would be a popular exploration spot for Youtubers.

I’ve read it twice this summer and it is one of my favorite pieces by the King.  5/5

When the going gets tough

The tough reapply mascara, get a haircut, and move the fuck on.

At least… it’s that simple in the movie right?

For some of us that works.  We make a drastic change or immerse ourselves in… ourselves and when there’s finally a moment to pause the pain has subsided enough to deal with.

Some of us aren’t so lucky.  We feel great and empowered until we’re left alone in the cool breeze of the summer.  No hairstyle or make up or workout fixes what’s really going on.  We pretend and we pretend because anything is better than facing what’s going on.  And why doesn’t it all just work? Why can’t a haircut help the pain in our heart? Why can’t that empowered feeling last more than a few hours?

Keep fighting the fight… when the going gets tough the tough get going.

Another year another carni

This is my third year working at the state fair.

This is my third year serving people in extreme conditions-people who judge me and, more often than not, can’t even look me in the eye.

This is my third year servings sodas I don’t drink and food I don’t eat and lying through my teeth.

This is the first year I’ve made a friend that actually makes me want to go to work.

My coworkers are great- I love my runner and he is perfectly quirky and fun and always greets me with a smile no matter how hot it is.  He is the one I radio when I’m swamped with customers and am in need of backup.

This is not the friend I am referring to.

I am talking about a guy who works at another stand and comes by twice a day to buy a Mr. Pibb.  I forced a little bit of conversation out of him and now he comes by every day.  And, every time he comes by I give him his soda and we talk for the duration of his break.  Sometimes that’s 30 minutes, sometimes it’s 10 depending on our schedules.  But since I’ve met this person, the lump in my throat that forms when I walk through the main gate every day is gone.

I actually dread when I don’t have work because I enjoy this other person’s presence so much.

This is not a crush.  Don’t confuse it with that.  This is a reminder that a not-so-fun situation can be turned around with the help of other people.  I made a friend this year.  A friend that I intend on keeping because he understands standing in 100 degree heat and he understands the cool drunk people that try too hard to be your friend for a free whatever.

Each job we are a part of, the “outsiders” may understand to an extent, but unless they have been there with you, they will never 100% get it.  I have never met another carni who shares a similar experience and feels the conflicting love-hate relationship of the carni life.  Until now.  And for that I am forever grateful.

So for those of us that dread work- be it a day or a week or a sale- find some one who gets it.  I promise you it makes all the difference.


Friends are not Accessories

I don’t even know why I need to write this post but a few things have been bugging me for a while…

A lot of people label their friends.  Specifically “gay best friend” or “token black friend” or “the trans friend”.  I do not care if your friend is gay or black or trans.  That’s awesome and if that is something that is important to them then let them say it.  But that is not part of their name and they don’t deserve to be treated like an accessory you post about with pride.  I hate the #gaybestfriend.  Like what the fuck.  This person is your best friend or not, there is no need to differentiate anything else.  It’s rude and it turns that person into their label.

The same goes for the joke of “the token black friend”.  Like really?  Is is something to be prideful of?  To have a black friend?  To have a Latino friend?  Do you feel better because it makes you feel diverse?  Get the fuck out.  That person is more than the “token black friend” but by giving them a label you are saying that is what they are.  That’s it.  They need their own category.  And for what reason?  There isn’t a good one.

Friends are not accessories we show off.  So lets reevaluate what we’re saying and what it means.


Shoutout to Cristian Perez for giving me the idea to write about this:

Gay Best Friends are not accessories

Facebook is evolving

Lately I’ve noticed that I see less and less “social” posts on Facebook: pictures of a vacation, embarrassing quotes, etc. and more posts that have a legitimate purpose.  I don’t know if it’s because 90% of my friends are hyper involved in current issues including (but not limited to) politics, representation of people of color, police brutality, LGBTQ, and trans issues.  Almost every single post I see is something related to a current event.  Facebook is becoming a platform for social change.  Maybe it’s just me, maybe everyone else is still seeing the same ol’ same ol’.  But I’m not.  And as depressing as it can get… I like it better this way.

The history we never learned

It was with a Facebook post that I first even heard of the Stonewall Riots.  That was never taught in class.  Nor was I ever taught about the gun restrictions on people of color.  That was something I learned through an MTV article.

These pieces of history I had no idea I didn’t even know.  They were never even mentioned in passing.  I don’t like that.  I don’t like that the school systems have edited out pieces of our history, or if we are going to learn them we have to take a specific course that will take years to become a reality.  You want to learn about the Stonewall Riots?  You have to sign up for “LGBTQ history” and that’s only offered once every two years so you better pray that it fits into your schedule.  And giving something its own course is great and all because it offers more time to learn about that, but then why isn’t it mentioned in the general U.S. history course?  Shouldn’t that be a course that gives you an overview and prompts you to take the specific courses to learn more?

This is not okay.  I understand that there is only so much time to learn in class and there is so much history.  History that grows every second.  But something needs to change.  I want to be educated not just on the whitewash version of history but ALL OF IT.  I want to learn from different perspectives.  I want to learn the big events and the small ones that are too easily forgotten.

It’s time to change how we look at history.

It’s time to change how we teach history.

It’s time to change how we learn history.

What else haven’t I learned?…