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?

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The Musings of a Fan Girl: Five Fictional Places I’d Never Want to Live.

29 Apr

Man, I love me some fictional realms. If I had the option of spending the rest of my days kicking it in the Shire, visiting Diagon Alley, traveling to new places in the TARDIS, I’d be one happy duck.

However, as much as I love all my fandoms, I am sane enough to recognize that some of them aren’t exactly ideal locations to ever relocate to (though I am insane enough to say that I would totally live on the Island). So, having put some thought into it, here are five fictional places I would never want to live in/visit/even exist.

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5. Sunnydale. This one almost didn’t make the list, because I am so in love with all the characters on this show and the wonderful storyline Joss Whedon came up with… but here’s my beef: I hate vampires. No, not because of Twilight (though that didn’t help). Vampires have always creeped me out. Something about the idea of someone puncturing me with their teeth in order to suck out my blood… to be quite honest, I just got nauseous writing that sentence. It’s weird because I’m totally fine with all other sorts of violence you see on TV and in movies (wahoo desensitization!), but a person drinking another person’s blood? Ick. No thank you.

This has always been a thing for me, ever since I was a little kid, which is why I’ve always stayed far away from vampire related things. There have been exceptions, of course (ie. Buffy and the UK version of BeinHuman), but only because of the amazing characters and stories being told. Even so, as much as I may love the Buffy-verse and the cast of crazy characters who live there, man, I just would not be cut out to live on top of the Hell Mouth. There are scenes in Buffy where I literally have to look away because of how much all the blood drinking grossed me out. I almost threw up in a scene from Being Human. So no vampires for me, please. Stay out of my life.

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4. The Battlestar Galactica. I should probably amend this to say “any television show and/or movie that takes place on a space ship (except for Doctor Who).” The idea of being on a ship out in space has always freaked me. This probably has something to do with that fact that one of the adults in charge of my elementary school’s After School program, where kids could hang around waiting to get picked up by their parents, thought it was a good idea to show the film Apollo 13 to a group of kids when I was friggen eight years old. I was so deathly afraid of space for years, because I assumed everyone who went up there came pretty damn close to dying.

However, with shows like Firely and films like Star Wars, I guess you could say I’d be a little less reluctant to journey into the final frontier and concur this lifelong fear of space. But not on the Battlestar Galactica. As some of you know, I’m currently going through BSG, and man, those people cannot catch a fucking break. Every episode they’re losing their water or cylons are chasing after them or the people on the ship are rebelling and killing each other, and as much as I’ve come to love this show, fuck, living on a Battlestar seems like the last thing that I would ever want to do.

And knowing my luck I’d probably turn out to be a cylon anyway. (I could’ve been Number Nine!)

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3. Panem. Yeah, this one should be self explanatory. If you have ever said to yourself “Man, I wish I could live in Panem” then go check yourself into an institution ASAP. Panem may be an entire country, but even so, goddamn, there is not a single region there that I’d want to live in. The lower districts are dingy and the higher districts are filled with self indulgent assholes.

Plus, y’know, the whole Hunger Games aspect is really a turn off as well. Yes, as much fun as I’m sure it would be to live in a dystopian future where we cheer on kids killing each other for fame, I think I’ll have to pass.

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2. Jurassic Park. So I love Jurassic Park. I’m pretty sure I’ve established this dozens of times by now, so I’ll just leave it at that. However, as much as I love the story behind this film/book, holy hell, this is something I never want to be a reality. Someone approached me in the last couple months and told me the news about how scientists have realized it’s impossible to clone dinosaur DNA, and my response was a loud: “GOOD.”

The whole purpose of Jurassic Park is that we, as humans, should not play god, because it is guaranteed that life will find a way (and that we’ll fuck everything up). I don’t mind obsessing over a story that presents the notion of how dangerous over idealism is with dinosaurs running around in the background, but the second someone actually goes and creates a dinosaur, goddammit, I guess it’s time to get over my fear of space because I’m gonna have to get off this fucking planet.

1. Westeros.

HAH.

HAHAHAHAH.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

HOW ABOUT NO.

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three

21 Apr

breath hasn’t been coming easily to me as of late
I’ve grown accustomed to sleepless nights and horrid thoughts
an anxious anxiety that permeates within my soul

but all I need do is place my hands on my stomach and just think
to be there
to be in you
to be surrounded by you
and it makes the breath come back in waves and renews
the heart in me that fears the worst

but not only that

this week has not been good for us as a people
what does it say that I feel afraid
to walk on the soil to which I call home?

and I’ve begun to contemplate
whether or not this one year excursion
might turn into something more than just
a meager diversion from reality

maybe it’s destiny, maybe just a vacation
but I cannot deny this question has been on my mind:

will I even want to come back?

~~~~~*~

six || five || four || three

amazing twenty-four hours.

17 Apr

These last two weeks haven’t exactly gone according to plan.

I went into this term expecting the best. I’m only really taking three classes, which is the lightest coarse load I’ve taken in my entire college career. With an easy term ahead of me and New Zealand not too off down the road, I started this term with the highest of hopes. Spring terms, in the past, have tended to be quite sucky for me, so I was hoping I could break that streak on my fifth and final time.

Then, two days into this spring term, I started feeling bad. Shortness of breath, tingling, pangs of pain, chest pain, feeling lightheaded, etc. When I realized one night my left arm was completely numb I broke down crying because I thought I was having a stroke. Three days later I was in the hospital, prepared for the worst, and the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety. While there are far worse things I could’ve been diagnosed with, I was pretty bummed. So much for my easy term.

The last week and a half has been a trial, though I like to think I’m winning thus far. I realize I haven’t addressed most of these issues with friends as of late, except for the vague Facebook status on occasion (“Feeling great today!” or “I hate this”), but rest assured, things have slowly been getting better. I was, for a while, feeling kind of depressed over the whole thing, but that time has seemed to pass. Right now I feel, for the most part, back to my old self. I’m still having trouble sleeping at night, but even that’s gotten better. I’ve also gone and seen a counselor, and we talked about how my body might’ve had a lot of misplaced stress since I’m not taking as heavy of a coarse load as it’s used to (or, as Nick so graciously put it, I’m anxious about not being anxious (isn’t that just plain dumb?)). There’s also the chance that I might’ve had a pinched nerve that coincided with all of this, and I went to get a massage last week and, man, that has done wonders for me already.

But enough about why this term’s been crummy so far. Let me tell you about the last twenty-four hours.

Last night I went and competed in my second ever poetry slam. The first one I competed in was last month, and I walked away with second place, $30, and a gift certificate to Northwest Pizza. After round one last night I was sure I wasn’t going to place in the top three. I flubbed my first poem a bit and, if I had gotten any lower, wouldn’t have made it into round two. However, my next two poems were really well receive and, by the end of the night, I placed first. I was floored. I waked away with $105 in my pocket, a $25 gift certificate for pizza, and a $20 to Bloomsbury Books. I wanted to cry. I’m not used to winning anything really, so the fact that my poetry was so well received… gah, it’s just astounding to me. It’s amazing to know that people like my words.

Skip to this morning. I got to sleep in, then laze about watching TV for a while. After that, I took off downtown, and was thrilled to find out my financial aid had, indeed, gone through. Looks like someone can afford rent at the end of this month after all!

Not to mention that the weather today is so nice. Today’s one of the first where I’ve actually been able to don a dress. It’s been a good long while since I’ve felt good about myself appearance-wise, but today was one of those days. Plus, as I was walking through downtown, I realized that I wasn’t having to focus on my breathing like I have been all these last two weeks. I guess I really am getting better, and that’s wonderful beyond words.

Next, I hit up the Graduation Fair at my college. As I was making my way to the Fair, my New Zealand playlist (yes, I made a New Zealand playlist, shut up) shuffled to the song “I’m Waiting For My Real Life to Begin”, which was just utterly perfect and summed up how I’ve been feeling about graduating. I got my graduation announcements, my two tassels, and my stole. Then I headed off to the art building, and I was ecstatic to find that the art lab was open and I wrapped up this week’s photography project in under twenty minutes.

Finally, I headed to go meet with my Capstone adviser for Creative Writing (ie. Craig). I was really hesitant about going, and to bribe myself I bought the most delicious panini that I’ve ever tasted (because there is no greater incentive than food). I was hesitant because I hadn’t talked to Craig all of last term about my short story, so I had no idea how he felt about it. It’s a story I’ve been working on for over three years now, and it’s been so long that I’ve sort of lost perspective on it. I went into the meeting telling myself that he was probably going to have a lot of harsh critique, and if I ever wanted to be a professional writer I’d have to suck it up and take whatever he gave me. But the first thing he said to me when I took a seat in his office? “I love this story. I always have.” I was astounded. I wrote the story back in his Advanced Fiction Writing class when I was a sophomore, which was so long ago that I assumed he had forgotten all about it. He went on to give me some notes, mainly that I should cut down on some of my longer sections (since the shorter ones, he noted, pack a much greater punch) and then he had some nit picky things about grammar/spelling/word choice, which is fantastic. But he told me that my story is good overall, and that I’m great at opening sentences and transitioning between sections. It was just really nice to hear, especially when I hadn’t been expecting it.

Then I got home and found the clothes I had ordered came in the mail today. I’ve been pretty good about not throwing money around since I started saving for New Zealand (after this next paycheck I’ll officially be half way to my goal amount), but I figured I could spend a little on myself. I’ve been noticing I’ve been wearing a lot of dark colors recently, which there’s nothing wrong with, but I’ve been nostalgic for some brighter clothes. So I bought a couple of bright tops to liven up my wardrobe.

So, yeah, basically today has been the bee’s knees. I realize this quickly divulged into a diary-ish entry about “I did this” and “I did that”, but I don’t care. It was a damn good day. The best day I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

the new norm.

15 Apr

I’d really like to live in a world where, when catastrophes of this magnitude strikes, the first thing that comes to my mind isn’t, “Not again.”

Shootings in movie theaters.
Bombings at marathons.
Killings in elementary schools.

When’s it going to fucking stop?

she would’ve been sixty today.

10 Apr

6am aneurysm.

 You told me that I looked like her once,
as if it were some simple compliment
you could pay to a stranger on the street.
How can seeing another face in the mirror
ever be taken as a blessing? People
constantly comparing the way I look, the way
I speak, the way I walk, the way I carry my
books pressed against my chest. All they
see is her, her, her, her to a fucking tee.

I once made my computer applications
teacher cry in front of an entire class by
reciting the simple fact of who my mother
used to be. Little had I known of her
friendship with the departed. As she broke
down in tears, I felt so embarrassed, like
the fault fell on me for being the daughter
of a dead woman.

I’m reminded everywhere I look of a life
that crumbled to pieces ten years ago.
Tom Hanks movies, cat collections,
song creating, humungous scrunchies,
lizard impressions, lilies in spring, red.
Each taken away from me before I knew
the meaning of the word teenager.

God she loved red.

I wish I could be her more than anything, but
I’m not. I’m simply the shadow of a ghost.

my day at the hospital.

5 Apr

Today was supposed to be easy.

The plan was simple enough: stay in pjs all day and don’t leave the house. There was so much I was going to get done. Finishing up my Capstone short story. Getting a start on my heap of homework. Writing up a blog entry about the book vs. film of Jurassic Park. Catch up on TV. Y’know. The words.

But I’ve had a couple things ailing me the last several days. Shortness of breath. Some numbness. Chest pains. Pain all over. Trouble sleeping. Heart pain. Seeing as it’s been going on since Tuesday, I decided to pay a quick visit to the Health and Wellness Center on my college’s campus. I figured it’d be a quick trip that would last no longer than an hour. Boy was I wrong.

The HWC didn’t know what was wrong with me and told me, after about an hour and a half of questions, examining, and an EKG, that I should go to the hospital. This led to me breaking down in tears because – hah – I hate the hospital. It’s only ever brought about bad things for me, and going there is always something I dread. So I went. I had multiple tests done on me. Blood test. A second EKG. Lots of heart monitoring. An X-Ray. I was starting to get worried. The doctor mentioned something about the possibility of a blood clot early on, which scared the hell out of me. I’m a healthy, young girl. This wasn’t supposed to be happening to me.

At the end of it all, the doctor who was treating me sat down and gave it to me straight: I was not dying. I didn’t have a blood clot in my lungs. I was showing early signs of a stroke. I wasn’t at risk of blood poisoning. All the horrible results I had thought over weren’t coming true. All my tests came back positive, and I was still a very healthy person.

What I have is anxiety.

Now, I know I’m an anxious person. I get anxious over the stupidest things. However, I did not know I was this anxious. To actually have physical symptoms and need to go to the hospital. When the doctor first gave me the diagnosis I was highly skeptical, because I don’t feel anxious. My life has been going pretty well this week. It’s an easy term. What’s there to be anxious of? Then I talked to my dad on the phone and he pointed out a few things. I just got off a ridiculously hectic term, and on top of that I’m graduating in two and a half months only to then promptly leave the country.

Then there’s also the fact that I’m, quite frankly, not good at talking about myself. Oh I have no problem talking about the TV shows I’m watching or the classes I’m taking or the things I did over the weekend, but when it comes to my feelings and inner thoughts? Nope. I stay pretty closed off when it comes to that shit. So maybe keeping things bottled up, after all this time, is to blame? I recognized that I was having some pretty bad anxiety last September having to do with something, and I didn’t talk to anyone about it, so maybe that’s now coming back to bite me in the ass as well.

The point is, the doctor recommended I go see a therapist, so I guess that’s what I’m gonna do. Anything to get things back to the way they were. I’d like to not jolt up out of bed in the middle of the night because it feels like I can’t breathe and start crying because my arm is numb and I’m afraid I’m having a stroke. That’s just really something I don’t need in my life right now.