Archive | May, 2013

The Office Finale: Bidding Adieu to One of My Favorite Sitcoms

17 May

So last night The Office aired its final episode.

To be completely honest, the last couple seasons of The Office haven’t been my favorite. To me they were sort of lacking in everything that the earlier seasons excelled in: the humor, the relationships, the plot lines (but mainly the humor, and the fact that Andy got a million times more annoying the second he took on the job of Manager). Because of this, I didn’t think the finale was going to effect me all that much, despite the fact that I loved the three or four episodes leading up to it (and even teared up at the end of each of them). I figured I’d shed a tear or two, be a bit nostalgic, and move on.

But Christ, that finale. It just… I mean, it had everything I wanted to see happen. They hit all the right notes; all the right stops. The episode as a whole was beautiful – the coming together of old friends to celebrate and say farewell – and everyone got their ending. Everyone was where they wanted/needed to be. It was wonderful to see happen to characters who have been with me for so long that I might as well consider them friends. Not to mention the humor was first-rate, and it felt just like the good ol’ days at Scranton once more. Honestly, there was no other way they could have ended it.

I was emotional throughout the entire experience (especially when one Mr. Michael Scott showed up), but I really lost it at the end when the characters were speaking for their last time to the camera and they started showing flashbacks of earlier seasons. It all seems so long ago; not just for the characters on the show, but for me as well. I was a sophomore in high school when I first started watching The Office on a regular basis. I had tuned in the year before, back when I was a freshman, a few times, but I think the awkward-cringe-humor was a bit much for me at first. However, I remember EXACTLY where I was the moment this show finally hooked me and the episode that did it (ie. I was on a cruise ship, it was about one in the morning, Rachael Lowary was asleep three feet away from me, and I was watching “Casino Night” on my iPod). After that, I rewatched the entirety of seasons one and two, and then watched the show devotedly for the rest of its run – even when the episodes took a dip in their later years. I was obsessed with it when I was in high school; it was the quintessential comedy in my life. Hell, I even have fan fiction that I wrote about it back in the day (which is by far the most embarrassing fan fiction I have ever written and I will never speak of the premise ever because of how embarrassed I am about it and you’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands to ever read it – only Connie Limbrick knows why, and I’ll kill her before she ever gets around to telling anyone about it).

I watched the finale at work last night – thankful that no one came into my own office, as I was heaving with sobs by the end of the episode – and as I walked home after I clocked out I cried the whole way. I couldn’t figure out why the ending of this show was taking such a big toll on my emotions. I didn’t cry this much when 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, or any other show I’ve ever watched ended. The only show I could think to equate my emotions to were what I went going through with LOST‘s end (except LOST was a million times worse and I literally couldn’t get out of bed the morning after its finale because I was so sad it was over). However, I began to think about it, and I realized that my experience with LOST was a lot like my time with The Office. Both shows started back when I was a freshman in high school (2004/2005) and stayed with me until I was in college. Unlike LOST, which ended three years ago, The Office stayed with me until now. That means it lasted from March 2005 (freshman year of high school) until May 2013 (senior year of college). I think a part of me is projecting a lot of my sadness/anxiety about school coming to a close on the Office’s series finale. The Office has been with me for so long, and it’s what I’ve come to know and expect from my Thursday nights – kind of like school (except with, y’know, life in general, not just Thursday nights). And I journeyed with all these Dunder Mifflin characters every step of the way, and now their time at Dunder Mifflin is ending at the exact same time my journey with school is ending. It’s hard not to equate life with television right now, especially when no other television show has been with me for as long as The Office.

As scared as I am about leaving college and entering the real world, I found so much of what the characters were saying at the show’s end encouraging. Plus the fact that many of them were moving on to do bigger and better things… well, I just found it comforting. I could relate to what a lot of the characters said about coming to terms with endings (“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them…”), but there was one quote that truly stuck out to me. One quote that I truly found encouraging as I make my dreaded approach to graduation:

“I didn’t watch the whole documentary. After a few episodes, it was too painful. I kept wanting to scream at Pam! It took me so long to do so many important things, it’s just hard to accept I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been. Jim was five feet away from my desk and it took me four years to get to him. It’d be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I’m a tragic person, I’m really happy now, but it would just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself, ‘Be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, just go after what you want and act fast because life just isn’t that long.’

So thank you, Dunder Mifflin. Thanks for the laughter, the tears, the memories, that time the bat got stuck in your office, and the journey.

I’m gonna miss you.

Advertisements

one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

tea and acne.

11 May

If anything positive can be said about the anxiety I was diagnosed with, now over a month ago, I think it’s that I’m now taking better care of myself. I’m running on a consistent schedule. I’m eating small portions (ie. not gorging,) and snacking less, and eating healthier overall. I’m trying to go to bed at decent times. Basically, I’m treating my body like a temple, and all that good stuff.

So in the last two weeks I’ve stumbled across two things that have made life just a tad better.

1. I have discovered the power of tea.

Don’t go classifying me as a tea drinker just yet (I still prefer coffee overall), but I think I’m slowly being won over. Since my anxiety started, everyone’s been recommending I start drinking tea. Despite my constant response of, “But I hate tea,” I finally caved and bought two different blends: Nighty Night and Breathe Easy (and yes, I bought both based on name/what’s been ailing me, STFU, I know nothing about tea, don’t judge). I was hesitant about both types I bought. In the past, the only time I drink tea is when I’ve got a sore throat, and normally I just drink a peppermint tea which I kind of hate but endure because, hey, it really does help.

To my surprise I really like the taste of both blends, not to mention they’ve both been doing wonders for me so far. Breath Easy really does help me breathe a whole lot easier (the first time I drank some it felt like a weight had literally been lifted off my chest). Now, instead of lying down and trying to monitor my breath whenever it’s suddenly hard to breathe, I just make myself some of this tea and my problems go away. It’s quite nice.

And I finally tried Nighty Night last night, and it was the first time in over five days where I was able to fall asleep in under twenty minutes (as opposed to the two hours of tossing and turning that I’ve been dealing with).

So. Yeah. Tea. I think I might have to buy some more.

(My only real qualm is that, holy hell, it is way too hot to be drinking tea right now. Stupid early summer weather.)

2. I made my own facial treatment.

I’ve been going through a bout of mighty bad acne recently, which is weird because acne’s never been much of a problem for me (I’ll get a zit or two once in a while, but I’ve been relatively lucky in retrospect). I started getting breakouts on my forehead about six weeks ago, which I’ve been linking to stress (especially since it started up around the same time as the anxiety). After weeks of using store-bought products and not yielding a positive result, I took matters into my own hands.

I began looking into different home remedies for acne; researching the different products used in each of them and why certain ingredients were effective. I finally landed on one facial remedy, and christ, it has done wonders for my skin.

All you need is water, oatmeal, honey, and a blender. You basically toss everything into a blender, mix it up, and it’s ready to use. I tend to use more honey and oatmeal in my mixtures, since that makes the facial thicker, which helps it stick to your face. I’ll usually apply the facial and then read for ten minutes, before jumping into the shower and washing it all off. I went ahead and made myself a big batch, which I store in my fridge. That way it’s ready to be used at a moment’s notice.

I’ve been using this facial for almost two weeks now and my skin is just about back to normal. So, if anyone’s looking for a way to fight acne, I highly recommend this!

Relating to Tony Stark: Something I Didn’t Quite Expect.

6 May

This is going to be a very short ramble on a particular (and somewhat central) plot point of the new Iron Man 3 movie. I don’t really think anything I’m about to say is incredibly spoilery, seeing as this whole aspect is introduced fairly early on in the film and, when you really think about it, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it’s something the character of Tony Stark is going through. However, if you’re trying to keep any/all information about Iron Man 3 away until you finally see it, then yeah, close this browser tab now.

And let me make this clear that this is not a critique on the film either. Iron Man 3 had a lot of problems, and it certainly wasn’t perfect, nor my favorite of all the Marvel-Disney films. Even so, I happened to love it. I was hooked from the get go and it kept me enticed the entire time. It even managed to throw a couple curve balls I didn’t see coming (as much as I love the Marvel-Disney films, they’re pretty easy to predict, so it was nice to have a few twist and turns thrown my way). Anyway, that’s not what I want to focus on.

I’d like to touch very briefly on Tony Stark’s anxiety disorder in this film.

(Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be surprised.)

Can I just say how fucking nice it was to see a superhero plagued with something that I’ve been dealing with for this last month of my life? I mean, obviously Tony Stark has more viable reasons for having an anxiety disorder than just being stressed out about graduating college (ie. the whole wormhole deal in Avengers), but it just… it just made me feel a little less alone. Y’know? Especially because his anxiety seemed as physical as mine is, where is kind of takes over your whole body at a moment’s notice.

And it’s funny because, ten minutes into Iron Man 3, I started having a minor anxiety attack. Nothing major, but I was having a hard time breathing and there was a bit of light headedness going on. And then, a minute or so after I started in on my own anxiety, trying to calm myself without drawing attention from the friend I was with, Tony snapped the crayon. Then I watched as he raced outside, unable to breathe, in order to find out what was wrong with him, and the second that JARVIS told him it was anxiety I just wanted to cry. I don’t know how to explain it. There’s just something so comforting watching Tony’s journey throughout the film (despite the really quick, unfulfilling resolution at the end having to do with how he overcame it). Obviously my heart went out to him whenever he’d have an attack throughout the film, as I’ve come to know what that’s like. I’ve spent a lot of this last month feeling so very alone, and while I know I have many friends who’ve gone through/are going through the same thing as me, it’s hard to keep that in perspective at times. But seeing it on a big screen with a character you’ve come to know and love over the years? Oof. That made a world of difference.

While I know he’s not a real person and that there are actual people I can look towards for comfort, the thought of a guy like Tony Stark dealing with this same ordeal that I’ve suddenly had thrown at me, well, quite honestly, it made me feel stronger.

I mean, if Tony Stark can kick anxiety’s ass, then what’s stopping me?