Why Girls Like “Avengers”

I was sitting on Pinterest this evening snuggled up under my fleecy Avengers blanket when this image popped up on my feed.

3bc23f4c29905d5b2fd915b86da9fa84

I nearly had a conniption when I saw it. I literally recoiled leaning away from my computer snarling at the image. Why? Because that is some bullshit.

Let me tell you a little bit about my favorite film and why I, as a girl, like it.

download

“Avengers” or “Avengers Assemble” if you live somewhere other than America is an ensemble film that came out in 2012. The movie itself was unprecedented. It was a film about a group of super heroes who all come from different backgrounds and save the world. What was great is that we already knew the heroes incredibly well. It was a film that took more than four years to create because the universe had to be established. It is a beautifully written action oriented Shakespearean epic.

It is my FAVORITE film!

The thing that made Avengers so wonderful is that it was well written. Marvel could have thrown the characters together with a sub-par script and still made a ton of money. They did not do that. Marvel went out and got a phenomenal writer who did research into the comic books and created a film that was character driven (as character driven as any ensemble film can be), dark, funny, and meant something.

Avengers is my favorite film for the same reason that super hero movies are my favorite kinds of movies. Super Heroes is a genre of film that we, as a society, desperately need. It is a film about people putting themselves and their own issues aside and saying that they would rather fight and die than give up be ruled. Super Hero movies, especially Avengers, are about one person standing up and saying “no” when everyone else is afraid to. They are about how if one person stands up others will follow. Avengers even foreshadows itself in the scene in Germany when the elderly man refuses to kneel.

That old man is my hero. Someday I would like to be half as bad ass as he is.

Later on in the film several people (extraordinary people) stand up not only to Loki but to the entire Chitauri army simply because it is the right thing to do. Because they are not going to go quietly. THAT IS WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL ABOUT SUPER HERO MOVIES!

C.S. Lewis said “since it is likely children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard about brave knights and heroic courage.”

Isn’t that the point of comic books and comic book movies? Those movies show children that there can be cruelty in the world but there can also be great courage. That is a theme that is so important to me that I almost never stop talking about it. That is one of the many reasons that I like the movie Avengers.

The fact that there are people out there who see me watching Avengers and think that I only like it because I like Tom Hiddleston or I like one of the heroes makes me so angry that I would like to find each and every one of them and punch them. Girls like Avengers because it is a brilliant film hat was beautifully written, wonderfully directed, and perfectly acted. Girls like Avengers because girls are people who enjoy things.

Honestly I am so irritated, even an hour later, that I cannot fully function.

Advertisements

Because I’m a Lady, That’s Why.

This morning I decided it was the perfect day to spend at the park. It is grey and breezy so I knew I wouldn’t overheat walking around in my boots and sweater. I don’t mind the cooler weather, I was always taught to dress appropriately for it (I tend to run a little warm anyway).

IMG_6264

I did not have anything else I had to do today, technically I’m on vacation (or I have really turned into a vagabond, it’s hard to tell), so I packed up my stuff and headed out toward the park. The nearby park is HUGE. I wandered around it from 11 to almost 3 and still did not see all of it. It was almost the perfect way to spend the day. In fact, it would have been perfect if it was not for one uncomfortable social interaction I had to deal with.

As I was turning down a new path a guy I had passed just moments before rode his bike up to me. “Can I get your number?”

“I don’t have a number, at least not one that works here. I’m only visiting the UK and my phone doesn’t work here,” I responded trying to brush off the conversation and go back to the walk that I was enjoying.

“Your Facebook then?”

“I don’t use Facebook,” I lied.

“E-mail?”

“No. I’m sorry, I’m very flattered but I’m only visiting and I am not in the habit of giving my contact details to strangers.”

I put my headphones in my ears and walked away, hoping that would be the end of the interaction. And it was.

IMG_5908

My reaction to this man had nothing to do with how attractive he was, how polite he was about asking me, being afraid of him,  or the fact that he was a stranger. I responded the way that I did because I have expectations about how I want to be treated by people (friends, relationships, etc) that I knew from one sentence he was not going to meet.

“Can I get your number?” That is what he said to me. You, sir, do not even know my name which is far more vital information than my contact details. This guy could have been perfectly nice but he started that conversation the WRONG way. He started it in a way that told me he did not actually have any interest in who I was, only in the fact that he thought I was attractive. You see, he was not actually interested in me he was interested in himself and what he wanted. Before you respond yes a person who is paying attention CAN tell that from a sentence.That is a way that I will not allow myself to be treated. I am not sorry either.

‘Maybe that was a little harsh,’ I thought for a moment while walking away. ‘No it was not,’ the part of my brain that I actually listen to chimed in.

I understand that it takes a lot of courage for someone to walk up to a person he/she thinks is attractive and try to generate a relationship out of thin air. It is scary as hell and being off-handedly rejected makes it harder the next time but I refuse to feel bad for rejecting a person when I do not believe they are going to treat me the way that I believe I deserve to be treated. That is why most of my bar stories involve my mastery of the pick-up line shutdown.

I am a true master of the art of the pick-up line shut down.

IMG_6277

Here is the thing, I have mirrors at home. I know what I look like. Whether or not anyone finds me physically attractive is not particularly important to me. Those are my genetics and have very little to do with who I actually am. I would always rather people think I am smart and funny than think that I am pretty but that guy did not get the chance to find those things out because he was not interested in those things. If he had been he might have started by greeting me and asking for my name and what brought me to the park today.

I am a lady and I expect to be treated like one. I don’t mean that I want guy’s opening doors for me and throwing down their cloaks so I don’t have to walk in the mud (please don’t that second one) I mean that I expect to be treated like someone who has their own mind and interests. Women are, after all, people and people tend to have their own minds, interests, and names. Hopefully that guy will remember to ask for one of those things before he asks for a girl’s number next time.

I Love Fall but I hate Pumpkin Spice

So… I went for a lovely autumn walk this afternoon.

It was the perfect day for it too; about 70 degrees, sunny, but still with a little bit of a breeze. It felt like the perfect fall day… until I realized how HOT my feet were in my boots. Let’s face it. It is September and schools have started but summer still has some fight in it. It is too early most places to walk around with a thick wooly sweater in the middle of the day. The evenings and mornings may be getting cooler but it is not quite fall yet. We still have some time for a few more summer adventures.

1937481_10204449937345486_5190198125699029700_n

I’m a big fan of summer but I love fall. I like to wear my boots and flannel shirts. I like it when I can wear the knit cap my friend made for me without being judged for dressing for the wrong season. Yes, the stereotype lives on. Girls in their twenties love fall because it is the coziest time of the year. They wander the streets in their flannels and off-brand Ugg boots carrying pumkin spice lattes talking about how badly they want to go apple picking. That is the stereotype and I guess I fit into it except that I HATE pumpkin flavored things.

Seriously. I hate pumkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice scones and whatever other things you can add pumpkin spice to. I also have not owned a pair of Ugg style boots since college but we can talk about that later.

So there is the big secret. I love fall but I hate pumpkin flavored things and I get a little bit annoyed when I come across them especially if I perceive it as being too early in the season.

download (1)

Yesterday I had a Skype call with a friend of mine living in Denver. I was sitting in the back room of the house I am staying in while she sat at a local Starbucks. Toward the end of the call she mentioned that she was drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte and that would probably be all of the sweets that she had that day.

“Pumpkin Spice? How can you already have a pumpkin spice latte? It’s barely September.” Okay, it was September 7th. We are a week into September, which for all intents and purposes is autumn but that did not change my feelings. It isn’t pumpkin season yet. It is not pumpkin season or apple season just yet. It is early September which plum season and new office supplies season but don’t harvest your pumpkin yet, it isn’t ripe.

images

Before I get into explaining all of the reasons that pumpkin spice flavored things appearing too early bugs me I want to tell you that I am a hypocrite. I am completely guilty of being excited about things that correspond to a season and wait with baited breath for those things to hit shelves. I love it when the red seasonal Starbucks cups appear in people’s hands at Christmas time. It means that their special Christmas time Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider is available. I might not go to Starbucks very often when those things are available but I still get excited about it and wish that time of year would come earlier. The only real difference is that I am willing to wait for it to actually be the season that I claim to love instead of forcing myself into autumn mode when clearly summer is telling me that I can still have some fun.

Why does pumpkin spice flavored things appearing too early bother me? Mostly because I know that pumpkins are not ripe just yet. That means all of the flavor you are sucking down is fake or from last year’s harvest. It isn’t fresh and good like it was originally meant to be. It also feels to me like we are trying to force the end of summer to make more sense. It is still warm in most places when school starts but we call the beginning of school the end of summer. It isn’t. If anything it is a mysterious transitional fifth season lost over the eons.

I love Autumn and I look forward to it’s arrival in the next few weeks but it is not fall just yet. Of course, that will not change my opinion of pumpkin flavored things. I do not like pumpkin spice lattes before September 21st and I still do not like them afterward.

10690017_10204449938905525_9077780214357926275_n

I love fall but that does not look like fall to me.

House Keeping/Announcement

You’ve probably noticed that there have been a few changes to the look and layout of my blog. If you are anything like most people you probably hate it. Change is scary after all. That doesn’t change the fact that it has happened and you will just have to get used to it. I was looking at my dashboard yesterday and realized that this blog is almost three years old.

Three years. Can you believe it? Things have certainly changed since January of 2012. My hair has gotten longer, I graduated from college, and I think this blog has “grown up” a little too. 

mystery IMG_6084

Then and Now (same pair of jeans)

That’s not to say that I won’t cut my hair short again someday (probably in a year or so) but with the times changing I thought it was time for an update. I hope you like it. 

Creative People Fail

A few days ago I read an article title “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.” If you want to read it you can, just follow this link: 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

I read through the whole thing because I was bored and had some time to kill staring at my phone waiting for the train, you know like everyone else in my generation. I also read it because I like to consider myself a creative person and I like to argue when I think things are wrong. Sadly, I did not find much that I felt the need to argue with. I know, I was disappointed too.

Reading down a little way in the article I reached the phrase “they fail up.” Something about the way that phrase rang  in my ears caught my attention. It almost sounded like leveling up. But… you don’t “level up” when you fail. Failing is about being held back. Failures don’t help us move upward. 

If you think that you are wrong. 

Failure is actually really good for people. Every kid who grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s remembers the character trope of the incredibly smart over-achiever student who in one episode comes across something they are not naturally good at or gets a bad grade on a test and sudden;y has to take a long hard look at their life and their priorities. They only did that when they finally failed. That horrible black hole of fear was suddenly realized and they had to stare it in the face.

Ren_and_Coach_Korns

Like the time on “Even Stevens” when Ren had to replace the star pole vaulter and just couldn’t get the technique down. Or, probably, any other episode about Ren on that show because being smart and good at things was her entire character.

Once you realize that failing is not that frightening and that it isn’t really failure at all you will enjoy your life a lot more. 

I would like to point out that those characters only start to fail when they finally try something new. They have always known what they are good at and done that and never really sought out the experience of something they might not be good at. That’s the difference between those characters and the highly creative but inevitably a goof ball characters that make the show.

download Ron_Stoppable

I present for your consideration Cory Matthews and Ron Stoppable. Those guys made their shows. They were goofs. They failed at everything. Mostly they failed because they were always trying new things and new ways of seeing the world. If they had just stuck with what they knew they were good at there shows would have been cancelled in the first season. Instead I can walk up to almost anyone in their twenties and casually mention Boy Meets World and get a high five for awesomeness. 

Those characters failed their way right up to success’s door because they were always learning about themselves and how not to do things. Sure their failures were often huge but when they finally succeeded their successes were also huge. From the outside it would seem that creative people have a “go big or go home” mentality. 

They are the people who don’t walk with the crowd and inevitably end up traveling farther. People who follow the crowd usually stops where ever the rest of the herd stops.Not only that, they learn to be resilient in the face of failure and obstacles and they know when to turn around and try something else because that is clearly not working. 

To me failure is not a defining trait of creative people but rather an outcome of every other trait that creative people have. According to the article “creatives”

  • Turn life’s obstacles around- sure finding a new way to look at your problem is great until that doesn’t work and you have to try something else because, technically, you failed.
  • Seek out new experiences- It is incredibly easy to fail at something new or look like you have failed when really you just discovered a new way not to climb a mountain. (Thomas Edison looked at life that way)
  • Ask the BIG questions- And what happens when you don’t find the answer?
  • They take risks- doing something that could be a risk is the easiest way to fail but the best way to succeed.

I’m sorry. I just don’t see failure as a defining trait. I see it as the occasional result of looking at the world through a different lens than the rest of the world.

Oxford 1

So why did I feel the need to write this blog post? I want to shrug and say “because I fail all the time” but I honestly don’t see it that way. I just discover 100 new ways not to make a light bulb.

I do not believe that failing again and again throughout life is a something that creatives are just going to have to deal with. I think that seeing the world differently can result in what others might view as a failure but is really a success or a lesson in disguise. 

That is not to say that rejection is not part of being creative. One of my favorite writing professor once told me that you really know you have made it as a writer when you start getting handwritten rejection letters. 

You can trust me on this. I’m a reputable source.