Archives for category: Updates

I used to think that if I could be paid to have ideas for things, it would be the greatest thing ever (and the perfect job).

I still think it would be pretty great, but maybe not all it was cracked up to be.

I never have a shortage of ideas. Ideas for blogs, for stories, for things to cook, for things people should invent (I swear I invited the Kindle at age 9), for all kinds of things. I have more ideas than I could ever possibly follow through with. Because of these many ideas, I start a lot of projects. I love projects.

The problem is, I have a hard time focusing my ideas from the massive web of things they could be into something manageable. Conversely, I get ideas, become really excited about them, and become obsessive. Everything becomes about that one thing– this is great and fulfilling and productive for a while, but if there’s not something adding fuel the steam fizzles before too long.

Today I’m feeling overwhelmed with projects and ideas.

I’m at something of a loss lately with the direction to take Everything is Problematic in. Because the contributors are so spread out we can’t have meetings like the team of a regular startup might, and it’s hard to create a central vision from the disbursal. I hadn’t factored those kinds of things in in advice, but it turns out they’re a really big deal. Communicating over the internet (both with contributors and with the blogs audience) often makes me feel like I’m really just talking to myself, which can be disheartening.

I think part of the problem is that my projects are usually not things that have a clear end, so I can spend forever working on them, which seems nice at times but eventually there has to be an end or at least some kind of final goal, otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels.

I’ve been doing very little writing lately. In terms of EiP I have many a file of first paragraphs and awesome titles, but little in the way of finished product. The stuff I have finished I’ve been less than pleased with (I don’t, generally, think it’s bad, it’s just not what I’d like it to be). I’m definitely a little desperate for possible reinforcement, which is never a great place to  be. As for creative writing… nada. I have an idea (go figure) that I’m pretty excited about, but I’ve just been plotting/playing with it in my head. To be honest, I’m nervous about starting it (or anything) because I’ve been feeling so listless about my work.

My mom has been encouraging me to do more graphic/web design stuff for a while (I’m basically the webmaster for her company website and I do all the promotional stuff- flyers, etc), and I’ve started considering it as a way to make extra money. I want to put together a portfolio of what I’ve done/my services, but at the moment I’m feeling freaked out about the whole thing. I’m worried about biting off more than I can chew. Or worse, finding there’s nothing to bite into at all (aka no one wants what I have to offer).

I pulled my journal from the rumble of my stuff (aka my rummaged through but not unpacked boxes) the other day to journal a little. I said I would do it every day, but haven’t written any sense then. I should probably do that so I at least have a manageable place to start.

Anxiety, man. That shit can be crippling.

I was wearing pajama-esque clothing all day, and putting on some jeans and putting my hair down actually did wonders. Maybe I’ll cook something (that is one project I always finish), or maybe I’ll at least find some recipes for stuff to cook tomorrow and get a fresh start on that in the morning.

may be starting a fun little project on tumblr inspired by Donna from Suits. But maybe not…

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. The windy weather here has kept me out of the pool the last few days, but tomorrow I’m determined to spend some time sunbathing.

P.S. Check out Suri’s Burn Book– it’s hilarious.

I am so pleased to announce that in 6 days I will be launching my new project, Everything is Problematic.

Once the blog goes live expect an update on the creation process.

For more information, check out everythingisproblematic.com 

Pitzer College

Founded in 1963, Pitzer College was built upon four core values that reimagine the purpose of a college education in a progressively changing world. These values are social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy. Almost 50 years later, our students feel that our founding values help prepare them to address the issues of their time. How do you feel these values will help you find solutions to the evolving challenges of your generation?

More than even before, we live in a time of constant change. Sometimes slow, building changes which are often unrealized until they finally take hold, but also change which comes quickly— two years, a year, a few months. In the relatively brief period that I have been alive to witness these changes, the world is dramatically different. Yet even with changes in technology, law, and many other areas of life, many cultural narratives and societal ideals are virtually the same as fifty years ago and beyond. Some of these narratives serve us in a positive way, but to accept all of them on the basis of their familiarity or the fact that they have survived the ‘test of time’ is detrimental. More than anything it is important that my generation realize blindly accepting change as a sign of improvement or letting little change be enough change, regardless of circumstance, not only fails to advance us, it allows backslide. A commitment to social responsibility, one of Pitzer’s basic tenants, is key to such realizations and understanding.

Accepting social responsibilities means also accepting difference, accepting that different peoples hold different ideals and goals. Intercultural understanding is necessary make things better for all, rather than better for some— and subsequently worse for others. The necessity of intercultural understanding exists not just when dealing across countries and continents, but in daily and personal life. The United States is full of cultural and ethnic diversity and complexity, which should be embraced and celebrated.

Interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy are values that I find to be especially complementary because they encourage exploration and innovation. The problems faced by my generation, be they social or otherwise, require a willingness to step outside the box of preconceived notions. Not everyone wants to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician— people should not be forced into pursuits that others believe to be ‘necessary’ or ‘productive,’ instead they should be encouraged to what inspires them. Furthermore, what it means to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician is rapidly changing— they requiring people thrilled to undertake the challenge, not drones pushed into the field. The best that can be done is to encourage people to explore what they are passionate about, something which Pitzer does through emphasis on student autonomy. Only by investigating the full extent of our interests and the diverse directions they may lead will lasting improvements be made.

and wrote a scene instead of an essay for part of my Pitzer application. The prompt was to explain my dream job. The screenplay format went to hell posting it here, but you’ll get the idea:

 

INT. LOUNG – SAN DIEGO COMIC CON – day

MICHAEL AUSIELLO, a television journalist, sits in a plush arm chair. Across from him sits CHELSEE BERGEN on a couch, examining throw pillows with the faces of actors on them.

CHELSEE
What do I have to do to get my face on one of these? I guess people would have to recognize my face in order to want me on their throw pillows.

MICHAEL
Some people know your face.

CHELSEE
Yeah. Hardcore fans. But I mean, those guys know like the address of the childhood home of our secondary characters. But I think even they wouldn’t want my face on a pillow.

Chelsee holds up a pillow with the face of a handsome young actor next to her own. She laughs.

MICHAEL
Maybe they’ll start a line of executive producer pillows.

CHELSEE
Can I get some of those? Like, is it creepy if I’m hoping that J.J. Abrams style brilliance will rub off on me from a pillow? Executive producer pillows- that would be great.

MICHAEL
So, for those people who aren’t familiar with you- who don’t have a pillow with your face on it- can you give us an introduction to you and your show?

CHELSEE
God, I probably should have started with that instead of the pillows.
(laughs)
I’m Chelsee Bergen, I’m the show runner for a show called POINT PERDIEM, which is something of a sci-fi drama about this strange little town where time becomes… ambiguous. The show is in its fourth season on HBO, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve just been renewed for our fifth and final season.

MICHAEL
What has your experience been like working on the show? I mean a few years ago it didn’t seem like the show was even going to be picked up, now you’re headed towards a fifth season with a huge fan following- looking back on these past few years, what’s that like?

CHELSEE
I’ve got the best job in the world, I really do. Five years ago I could not have even conceived of the wonderful experience that this show has been. I get to show up to work everyday and talk with the most creative, some of the coolest and smartest people I’ve ever met, about stories and weird stuff and magic and science and whatever we want. The show had kind of a shaky start, so it really was trial by fire, trying to get our footing, but I’m surrounded by talented people- actors and writers and crew- that I want to work with for the rest of my life, really. Like, when the wonderful ride that is Point Perdiem finally ends I know I’ll take a deep breath, maybe a nap, and then I’ll start calling these people up and asking ‘What have you got for me? What do you want to do? What can we make happen?’ Cause that’s really what gets me exciting, getting to work with people and create new and interesting stuff. There’s nothing better than that.

Suitcase

This isn't my suitcase, but it might as well be. (Photo credit: Пероша)

I still haven’t quite gotten back into the swing of things Post-Spring Break. For starters, I haven’t unpacked my suitcases (if I need something I just pull it out, making the suitcase really messy and hard to navigate when going for future stuff…), and I’m having a really hard time keeping my room clean (which is usually a sign of my mental state), which means when I feel lazy I end up throwing stuff on to my still-packed suitcase to be put away when I finally unpack (only really it just sits there until I wear it again or decide to throw it in the wash).

I have a project in the works, a really exciting one that I am really thrilled to share (later). Details are forth coming, and said project launches on the 26th of this month (that is not an April Fools joke).

I made some really awesome friends this week and I’m hoping to continue to do really awesome things with them this semester. I suspect I will have more to say about our adventures later.

After hanging out with my new awesome friends (and old awesome friends) last night I went to a party, which I ended up leaving after a single terrible hour and came home feeling terrible about myself and my life. It was one of those times when nothing happened per se, but everything was wrong. After an intense round of self-slut-shaming I curled up in bed feeling sad and defeated and alone. That feeling kind of carried over in to this morning and when I forced my self to go out into the world (for brunch), the sight of other people actually made me sad and confused. But the veil and sadness and melancholy slowly lifted, and after taking a well-earned nap after a long weekend and getting some homework done so I could feel productive, and taking to some friends, I feel much better, and not alone, and the fog of ridiculous self loathing has cleared out so that I can see clearly.

Friday night I went to a club with my friends and danced for hours. It was amazing. I felt so alive and wonderful. I need to do that more often.

Now that I’ve given you this mini-update I’m gonna watch an episode of New Girl and then get to bed.

Sleep well, live well, smile.

My body is not feeling well. I do not approve of this. All I want to do is lay in bed, except I don’t have anything to do (this is a lie, I have plenty to do, just nothing that I want to do) and I can’t sleep. I figured now was the time for an update.

My reading was last night. Despite all the worrying (and doubting of my ability to write) it went really well. I definitely want to do it again. I ended up reading a short story I wrote last fall (which has now gone through 8ish revisions– the most any of my work has ever received) called ‘Cross my Heart’ about a girl with a congenital heart defect. I may post it later– I’m pretty proud of it. Natasha helped me (the night before) decide to read that.
There will probably be another reading in April, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to get in on. If not, I’ll definitely go to it, because it was really nice to hear other people’s writing. There were some really wonderful poets there, which inspired me to write a poem about Alex. It’s part collection of inside jokes, part story of our friendship. Hopefully I can make something of it.

I am always starting projects. I meant to write an entire blog post about it, but I’ve realized that if I don’t write a post within the first two-ish days of conceiving it, I never will (or will not be satisfied with the product when I try to). I spent a lot of time berating myself about starting more projects then I can finish– about not having more follow through, more polished work, more to show for all the idea I get invested in. I’ve decided instead to celebrate always having projects, new ideas. There will probably be a time later in my life when I can only have one project at a time, when I will need to finish (basically) everything I start, but now is not that time. For now I am going to follow my ideas where they take me, and rejoice in the fact that not having inspiration is never my problem.
Details about this latest project are fourth coming.

In a week I will be at home. This means having a kitchen! I always aspire to post awesome recipe posts with the food that I make (which involves taking copious photos with my iphone), but so far that hasn’t happened. Perhaps you’ll have some of those to look forward to. At the very least I will keep you updated on my adventures in Vegas.

Everyone should be watching Fringe. Especially if you were a fan of Lost. If you weren’t a fan of Lost, it doesn’t matter. The show literally has something for everybody– procedural elements, character development, science, science-fiction, character driven story, mythology, good looking actors, talented actors, humor, heartbreak. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? Definitely Top 5 Material.
Anyone who knows me knows how coveted those Top 5 spots are!

I now have a second favorite poem (my first favorite being Helen of Troy Does Counter Top Dances by Margaret Atwood): Aristotle by Billy Collins. You should read/listen to it.

I plan to read a lot over Spring Break, so expect some posts about reading material. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with a hot shower followed by the Footloose remake and some gluten free cookies.

As some of you may have seen, I posted an excerpt from/link to a Hellogiggles article concerned Chris Brown performing at the Grammys (which you should definitely go and read if you haven’t already – here!). Thanks to that little post I got a record 220 pages views on the 13th! Wow. Obviously for the most part these weren’t people drawn in by my content [ 😦 ], but still, that’s a lot of page views! My viewership statistics will definitely be off kilter for a while… Anyway, hopefully at least a few of those people looked at other parts of the blog- maybe saw something they like and will visit again… A girl can dream!

I’ve been quite busy with classes and actually participating in life (it’s quite a concept), so I haven’t had much time for posting lately. I do have plenty of things I’d like to say, so hopefully I will create some time in the future to sit down and do that (not this weekend though, because my family is coming to visit!). I did just got on a rant earlier about one of my pet peeves (people who always need to be in a relationship- or at least act that way), so perhaps I’ll create some content around that.

Semi-related to my life and classes: I’m in two film courses this semester- Film Narratives and Philosophy Goes to the Movies. Belen (who is in both classes with me) and I have been having our own little Movie Mondays, as well as recreational film watching outside of class, and from that A BLOG WAS BORN! I give you 2 Girls and a Movie (or as I’ve affectionately nicknamed it 2G&M). We just set the site up, so it’s pretty empty right now, but it does have our ‘Required Viewing List,’ which are the films we’ll be watching for class, plus a few recreational additions. The basic plans is for us to review/critique/offer commentary on the various movies, plus some insight from our classes and our personal post-class discussions. I’ll let you know when we’ve got more content up, but hopefully you’ll check it out and maybe give it a follow. We’re funny, I promise.

Keep the Faith,

CB

I’m working on my ‘About Me’ (or, at least I’m thinking about it), but I’m not sure what exactly to included. Likely a lot of it will be nonsense/random facts, which is maybe actually less descriptive/pertinent that what I have now.
At any rate, here is the interactive part of this post: What do you want to know? What makes a good ‘About Me’? What should I include?

This is the part where you comment and tell me what you think, or else I’ll be sad and my about me will be the same forever and ever for all eternity (okay, maybe not that last bit)

 

EDIT: I did finally update it, and I’m pretty happy. You should check it out.

I have a new resolution.

When I introduce myself, I’m going to say my preferred pronouns.

“I’m Chelsee. I use she/her pronouns.” (prefer?)

Maybe I can find a really awesome way to say it. I’ll think on it and let you know.

Perhaps at this point you’re asking yourself why I have made this resolution. Well, here’s the thing- I may use the pronouns which typically correspond to my assigned gender (with which I identify), but not everybody does. My experience of the general public (of which I am definitely a part) is that we either assume people identify with their assigned gender, or that their preferred pronouns/gender identity corresponds to their appearance in some way– which is a limiting and marginalizing assumption.

Since so far people have always addressed me with she/her pronouns, my saying that those are my preferred pronouns will not be subverting anyone’s assumptions. However, by saying my preferred pronouns (naming it) I’m acknowledging that you cannot make assumptions and you should know how people want to be addressed.

I’m a little daunted by this task and finding ways to make it a habit, something I do naturally and without thought, but I feel like it’s a really good idea- really important. The part of me that worries about how other people perceive me is like “What if everyone just thinks I’m weird!?” But then the other (awesome) part of me says “Um, you are weird, and that’s okay (in fact, it’s great). This however is not weird- abnormal, maybe. But necessary. Also, you could start an awesome trend with the people around you and then EVERYONE WOULD THINK YOU WERE COOL! Plus, even if people don’t get it, it will get them thinking, and that’s good. SO DO IT.”*

Also, I hope that by doing this it will help remind me that I cannot make assumptions about people’s identities, and that if I have questions I should ask them so that I know and can be respectful.

*my inner voice lately is crazy weird. I kind of like it though. I think it’s channeling my awesome modern dance teacher. 

I think I’m going to tag this “Things I learned from Hampshire college”

I submitted my USC application. I feel… so much better now that I’ve finally done it. I had kind of a freak out this morning, first getting all weird about doing final edits on my writing sample, then not feeling ready when I finished those edits, then finally uploading the essay and freaking out about whether I should list a second choice major on my application. Even though my application is crafted around Critical Studies in Cinematic Arts, I decided to list Creative Writing as my second choice major– I decided that it can’t hurt, and that I was not going to let my self come up with ways that it could be bad.

I also called my advisor from Hampshire, Will Ryan, to see if he got my email about writing me a letter of recommendation. He agreed to do it, and we had a really nice chat– I miss having meetings with him and talking about my classes and life and all the crazy stuff I worry about. He said to keep him updated on what I’ve got going on, which I plan to do. Aside from a little nostalgic sadness about how I won’t ever TA a class for Will or do things like that, I’ve felt incredibly happy since getting off the phone with him.

My journalism professor from last semester is also writing me a rec letter, so I just need to find one more person to do it. I’m not the only person who feels like three letters is a little much, right? At any rate, I might ask Lipkin- my former English teacher- to write one in place of a professor, because I’m not in contact with any of my Hampshire professors, nor was I close with any of them like I was with Will, and I don’t really trust any of my other UNR professors.

I can feel things coming together, and it’s really nice.

 

Two more days left at home, then Spring semester starts on Monday. I’m ready.