I think my love for Shonda Rhimes is fairly well known. The day Grey’s Anatomy premiered, March 27, 2005, I was an unhappy, angry 16-year-old high school sophomore. I was lost as a scholarship kid, black girl, semi-intellectual, semi-creative who couldn’t quite pin down her people, her passion, her direction, or her place amid a sea of both supporting and microaggressing cast members. I felt so alone, like every teenager does, and what’s more, I didn’t have the words that I would learn in college and from the internet – words like “microaggress” and “privilege” and “blackness” and “marginalization” – that would let me properly express what I felt was happening to me, and so even with my best efforts I couldn’t find myself a way out or in or through.
Then I, or maybe my mom, decided to keep the TV on for some random new show that we would half heartedly watch. It was a Sunday, which meant it was the night that my mom put on any old crap while she was ironing clothes. And I probably did not have homework, or if I did, I had no interest in doing it. So I watched, too.
Somehow I came across Polyvore four years ago. I joined, tried it and wasn’t very good at it, and mostly forgot about it as a social site or a creative site and just used it a couple times a year if I was looking to buy something. It’s really useful for shopping for something in particular, whether it’s an exact product or if you’re just looking for “light green scarf with fringe” or “cotton/poly leopard print blouse” or something else super specific because you have your reasons. Anyway, it’s great, especially when you are on a crusade to be grown up and have a set style and a decent, career-appropriate wardrobe like me, because you can rip things out of magazines, paste them into a journal, and also look up the exact things on Polyvore, where you can find out where you can buy them and (I think) sign up for sale notifications. Wins all around.
Image via CrunchBase
But really, Polyvore is this vibrant place where people who are really into fashion and makeup and interior design and also have an eye for it (i.e. not me, but I love swooning over it) can make “sets” that are like virtual collages of products, magazine cutouts, words, music, etc. They’re pretty brilliant, and there are a lot of people who are fucking amazing at it. You can get lost forever and wonder how some people just have an eye for the layering of items and laying out of items and on and on. I am jealous. Really.
As you can see, I did not quite get that the point was to saturate your set with things, not just make a really simple outfit. Continue reading →
I miss music. My stint in the Simmons a cappella group didn’t last long, and I really miss choir from college. But strangely, what I miss most is piano. It was my first instrument, but once I discovered that I could sing and that I loved it, I started thinking of it as secondary. And given that I’ve always had a problem with accompanying myself and singing at the same time (I have relative perfect pitch; rhythm is something I’m not awful at but have to actually actively apply my cognition to), I’ve sadly never been able to realize my dreams of being a YouTube-discovered indie piano pop superstar à la Ingrid Michaelson. (By the way, taking suggestions for activities to improve that cognitive skill, or for books that explain how it works and how I can get better.)
Missing music is kind of a crutch and a cop-out, though, because between crit/scholarly stuff, creative writing, and music, they’re always at odds with each other for position as my NUMBERONEFAVORITETHINGFOREVERANDEVERAMEN, and generally I am always required to be working on one, desiring to be working on another, and then missing the third and thinking that my life would be perfect if only I could be doing that instead. I have to do school, and the write-a-thon (plus my new writing stint that I will be starting soon at Paper Droids and some guest posts at other blogs coming up) says that I should be writing (as should my jealousy of how many friends of mine are getting published before I am), so of course I want music. And there’s absolutely no possibility for balance between the three right now, because my life just doesn’t have that kind of leeway in it. Continue reading →