Girls Gone Wrong: Galentines, Valentines, Blah Blah Blah

Intro to the Friend, Interrupted series

kailakuban

Long before Amy Poehler claimed the best zinger of the 2013 Golden Globes when she referenced the Zero Dark Thirty/Kathryn Bigelow controversy noting that “when it comes to torture, I trust the lady who was married to James Cameron for three years”, Poehler’s character on the hilarious Parks & Recreation invented a new holiday: Galentine’s Day.  As Leslie Knope explained it:

“February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is about romance. But February 13th, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends. It’s wonderful and it should be a National Holiday.”

This holiday has been warmly received by many, boasting it’s own Wikipedia entry, a tumblr, and numerous blog posts.  And it’s no wonder.  Because ever since Sex And The City’s Carrie Bradshaw uttered the famous sentence “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with” many women have embraced this idea – on February 13th and…

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Friend, Interrupted Part 1: On Heathering

Part 1 of 3

kailakuban

the heathers the heathers

In this piece in my series on female friendships I want to talk about a very particular type of friend that many of us have had – she can make us feel like we are part of a very elite group but without warning she can flip a switch and ice us out completely.  Her name is Heather.

I learned about this type of friend when, as a preteen, I was obsessed with the movie Heathers starring Winona Ryder (before she was a shoplifter) and Christian Slater (when he was actually cool).  I watched Heathers so many times that my then-best-friend and I had memorized one of the bitchy fight scenes between ‘Veronica’ (Ryder) and one of the Heathers, which we would randomly act out while in public.  If you haven’t seen this movie you should probably stop reading and go watch it immediately.  But if you don’t…

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Friend, Interrupted Part 2: Sudden Death

Part 2 of 3

kailakuban

yep, this happens. yep, this happens.

Prior to working on this series on female friendships I believed, wrongly as it turns out, that the end of friendship is something we don’t often discuss.  But even a cursory Amazon search will yield a host of books about this very topic  – and often, specifically about women’s friendships.  You can check out famous female authors writing about this in The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women’s True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away – or a clinical psychologist’s advice on this issue in Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend.  But since friendships, like romantic relationships are complicated, not all friendships end in the same way.  In particular what I want to talk about today is something that is often taboo for us to discuss but is also – unfortunately – a very common experience. …

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Friend, Interrupted Finale: Chap-et Friends, Long Haulers & Dealing With Conflict

kailakuban

remember when you had fun with your friends? remember when you had fun with your friends?

Ok, dear readers, so ideally now that you’ve crossed those Heathers and Sudden Deathers off of your friendship list, I want to end this series with a post on two special kinds of friends – the Long Hauler and the Chap-et Friend – and some advice on making these friendships last.

*Your Chap-et friends:  Right off the bat I have to say that this is a term I’m borrowing from someone I once knew who referred to telling the ‘Chap-et version of stories’.   As she explained it to me some 15 years ago (so I’m paraphrasing here): there is the normal retelling of a story like, “I went on a blind date last night” and then there is what she called the ‘Chap-et’ version, where no detail is spared: “so I had this blind date last night and when I was on…

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I Was the Victim of Voter Fraud

Awhile back I posted a nifty little poll on my blog asking you, my dear readers, what you would like me to write about.

You voted.  Thank you.

I made sure not to check the results until the poll closed, but the current results were displayed to voters, and so my readers who I also know in real life kept reporting back to me that the winning category was overwhelmingly “stuff about life: relationships/friendships/making-your-way-in-the-world.  maybe kinda self-helpy but hopefully not in an obnoxious way”.

This was not necessarily the news I had wanted to hear, but I had gotten myself into this ‘tell me what to write’ mess and I would deal with the consequences – no matter what they were.  Sure maybe after a decade in grad school I wanted someone to hear my anthropological take on politics and culture, but whatevs.

So imagine my surprise when I logged on to see my polling results and found the following:

The votes were pretty much split evenly between three categories: stuff about life, culture & sh*t, and politics & the world.  This was good, if unexpected, news.

More surprising to me was the fact that somebody had voted for me to ‘please stop writing’.  I figured it was one of those legendary internet trolls I kept hearing about.  But it bugged me.  Like back in the day when I was teaching and I would get 29 great teaching evaluations from students but the 1 evaluation that was negative – or just didn’t sing my praises as ‘like, the best teacher I’ve had’ – would gnaw at me for days.

So I did a little digging and I was able to obtain the IP address for the user who had cast that fateful vote (welcome to the internet, people!).  And then I called a tech-savvy friend of mine – I wanted to know if I gave her an IP address if she could find out more about who it was.  It wasn’t like I was going to freak out on the person, I just wanted to know.

And when she called me back she fessed up.  SHE was the one who had placed that single vote in that category because she needed to ascertain how much weight any one vote had.  This would make it easier for her to skew the results of my poll.  Why you ask?  Because, indeed, the ‘stuff about life’ category was leading the votes, and my friend wanted to make sure that she didn’t “have to always read about relationships and bullshit”, so she had voted in the poll like 20 times to make sure there was an even distribution into two other categories as well.

This was my fault, it turns out, because I hadn’t set the poll settings to limit one vote per IP address – although this same friend is internet-smart enough to be able to cast her vote through ghost host IPs.  Though I doubt she would have put in the time to do that.  But the point is, she could have if she wanted to.

So what’s my point here?  Well, there’s two really.  First, this whole poll and IP address fishing expedition kept me thinking about what Liz Lemon famously called the interwebs.  If you read my post about the film Disconnect (if you didn’t, you can read it here) you’ll know I’ve been thinking about privacy and identity in the age of the internet.  Given the recent revelations about NSA collecting internet data on US citizens this topic seems more timely than ever, so you can expect a post or two about that.

Second, I did hear you, and if you really want to read “stuff about life” then I’ll write some stuff about life.  Because I’m here to make you happy.

One thing though (and I kind of can’t believe I’m quoting Ani DiFranco here, but hey – it’s a good quote): “art may imitate life, but life imitates TV”.  This is something I think is really interesting – so simultaneously important and outmoded – television.  I know, even the word makes me think of some Pleasantville old-timey black and white with rainbow ears and knobs TV.

But at its heart, TV shows are stories – and, from the time we are old enough to “see spot run” we learn about our world from stories.  We learn how to make sense of this world through stories.  And we inevitable make up our stories own along the way.

All that is my long-winded way of telling you that – heads up peeps – I’m gonna write about TV.  And movies.  And stories.

But I’ll write some ‘stuff about life’ too.

One rule though, no crying.  There is no crying in this blog.  This is a cry-free zone.

See you again, soon.

I promise.

*kaila

No Post For You!

Actually, jk, there is totally a post for you.  Only today you’ll get to read it on another blog.  This is my first guest post and I’m really excited about it.

Before you go read it here on Grub Daily just a few quick things:

  1. If you aren’t familiar with Grub Street you should be.  Check them out here – they will save your writing life.
  2. To get lots of excellent advice on writing you might want to subscribe to their blog Grub Daily.  You won’t be sorry.
  3. Lastly – but most importantly – please consider supporting Grub Streets’ Young Adult Writing Program (YAWP).  It’s the best thing you can do with your money today.

Thank you & happy reading! *kaila

Tell Me What You Want: I’m Listening

i can hear you through these fancy interwebs

i can hear you through these fancy interwebs

Hello Lovelies.

So.  There’s a lot of writing on my plate these days.  Stuff keeps happening in the world and in my life – things I want to write about, so many things, if only I could type fast enough.  And that’s sort of what I need your help with today.

I like writing (meaning that I actually hate writing, but I love how I feel after I’ve written – it’s kind of like going to the gym in that way).  Writing for writings sake is all well and good, but the point of this blog is to also write stuff that people are interested in.  So with that in mind I did some WordPress statistics searching and found out some interesting things about you – dear readers – in terms of which articles you’ve read the most, which topics you seem to gravitate to, etc.  Then I made a nifty little poll – below – that I’m hoping you can help me with.  The point?  To find out what YOU want me to write about. Feel free to chose from a few of the options provided or put in your own answer.  Tell me what to write.  I’ll listen.