Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moving On


Something really strange and unexpected happened last week. I got a job. Maybe that doesn't seem out of the ordinary for some people, but for me it came out of nowhere.

I've been trying very hard for about 6 months now to find a new job ever since my current employer announced they are closing our building next year.

At first, I looked only at jobs in my current city. After months of not receiving any callbacks and only receiving the occasional rejection email, I decided to start looking elsewhere. Primarily, I started looking in Tennessee. My parents moved to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee last year and, at first, it kind of bummed me out. But then I started visiting them and realized that it's actually a really awesome area.

For a couple of months, I applied to basically any decent job I could find in both areas. Last week, I got my first interview. And, subsequently, a job offer.

It happened really fast. The job was posted on Thursday. I applied Thursday evening. A recruiter called me on Friday, but I was at work and missed the call. She then emailed me on Saturday morning and asked that I get in touch with her for a phone interview. We had the phone interview Monday, another phone interview Wednesday morning, and then an in-person interview Wednesday afternoon. I was given the offer pretty much on the spot when I went up there in person.

After months of disappointment, something finally worked out. And now I have less than two weeks to pack up my life and move to a new state. I'm equal parts excited and terrified.

Some things about this are great. As much as I love Lynchburg, there are so few opportunities for advancement here. I know the town like the back of my hand, but there's little joy to anything anymore. For months, I've just been going through the motions.

I'm excited to live in a place where I can once again discover new things and meet new people. For someone who thrives on routine, I've gotten bored with mine.

Some things aren't so great. I'm going to miss my friends terribly. After 12 years in one place, I've gotten to know some really great people and now those people aren't going to be in my daily life as they were before. I plan to come back to town as much as possible, but that will be difficult with a new job until I get some tenure under my belt. 

I'm also going to have to live with my parents for awhile. Even though their house is really great and my room will be really nice, I feel like I'm regressing a little bit. By 25, I think a person should probably cease living with their parents... but I have to remind myself that this will just be temporary until I'm able to save some money and get on my feet.

Right now, the whole thing feels kind of like a dream. I'm packing up my things and the place where I have lived for the past 2+ years is now starting to feel less like home.

I'm sure I will write more about my moving process as I continue sorting through my life. The future is uncertain.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fall Film Challenge


Thanks to Stephanie, I now have another reason to be anti-social over the coming months. What is that reason? The Fall Film Challenge. Read more about the rules here (and join if you're a couch potato like me!).

Basically, you watch 25 movies over the course of three months (runs from September 1st to November 30th). They have to be movies you have not seen before and only movies that were released theatrically count. Each of the 25 movies must fit in with a theme. I've listed my 25 here... God help me.

one. any set in new york city. - Manhattan (1979)

I'm watching this because I love Woody Allen but have yet to see so many of his films. This one is heralded as being one of his great films, so I'm pretty pumped to watch it.
 
two. any incorporating hot air balloons in the story. - Up (2009)

Please no one throw things at me, but I have not yet seen Up! I've wanted to see it for a very, very long time but somehow have not gotten around to it. Now is my chance.

three. any featuring a child as the main character. - Murmur of the Heart (1971)

I'm trying to watch more foreign films and this one has been on my list for quite awhile. 

four. any disney film. - James and the Giant Peach (1996)

I remember this coming out when I was a kid. I always thought it looked magical and awesome, but I never saw it.

five. any set in egypt OR that has an egyptian character OR that stars an egyptian actor/actress. - Cairo Time (2009)

This one was tough, since I've already seen The Prince of Egypt and I'm not at all interested in The Mummy.

six. a close friend or family member's favorite film. - Beetlejuice (1988)

I don't think it's her number one favorite, but my roommate likes this movie a lot and it is one of the few Tim Burton movies I have yet to see. Win-win.

seven. any with the word great in the title. - The Great Dictator (1940)

I'm honestly NOT super pumped about this one. I've never seen a Charlie Chaplin movie because they don't really seem like my thing, but this movie is very highly rated. And since I'm trying to eventually complete the IMDb Top 250 I figure it's worth it.

eight. any starring harrison ford. - Blade Runner (1982)

It's funny that this challenge is starting in a few days because I just watched a Harrison Ford movie -- Witness -- last night. Shame I can't use that. But Blade Runner has been on the "to watch" list for years.

nine. any featuring an idiot as the main character. - Step Brothers (2008)

Trying to get over my apprehension of Will Ferrell.

ten. any mentioned in levis strauss' list: denim in the oscars: a look at jeans in cinema. - Drive (2011)

This looks good and so does Ryan Gosling.

eleven. a film about a knight. - The Princess Bride (1987)

No, I've never seen it. Yes, I know that's ridiculous.

twelve. a love story. - An Education (2009)

This is a film that I have wanted to see for awhile. This is my excuse to finally see it. Peter Saarsgard is the best.

thirteen. a movie about something miraculous. - The Martian (2015)

This isn't out yet, but it looks awesome. I kind of cheated because a bunch of people put this on their list, but I figure it works. Also, my main bitch Kristen Wiig is in it so I would have been watching it anyway.

fourteen. any starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours. - Foxes (1980)

I thought this would be harder than it was! I didn't know that Cherie Currie (of The Runaways) ever acted. Luckily for me, she did and this looks like a fun '80s movie.

fifteen. a film about the olympics. - The Cutting Edge (1992)

I will say that I probably would never otherwise watch this, but I've seen it around a few times over the years so I am a bit curious.

sixteen. a film on time magazine's list: the top ten newspaper movies. - His Girl Friday (1940)

So many movies made before 1960 bore me, but hopefully this will be an exception.

seventeen. any with a question in the title. - What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

My mom told me about this movie a long time ago. It looks really insane and awesome in a campy way. I'm pumped.

eighteen. any with a score of ninety percent or greater on rotten tomatoes. - A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)

This movie looks positively awesome. Iranian female vampires? Yes please!

nineteen. a film about a superhero. - The Incredibles (2004)

I know. Shoot me.

twenty. any with subtitles. - Persona (1966)

Getting another one of my foreign films out of the way here. This will be my second Ingmar Bergman movie. Pretty excited -- not gonna lie.

twenty-one. any incorporating unicorns in the story. - The Last Unicorn (1982)

My first boyfriend loved this movie and always talked about it. I never ended up seeing it. Now is my chance!

twenty-two. a film about a personal victory. - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

This is seemingly about victory? I don't know. But it looks badass.

twenty-three. a film with black or white in the title. - Three Colors: White (1994)

I have only seen Blue in this three film series... and I saw that probably 8 years ago. It's about time I finish it up.

twenty-four. any set in a country you would most like to visit. - The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)

This was hard because I couldn't find very many films set in Scotland, but I would like to go to France as well so we'll go with another French film.

twenty-five. a film set in a zoo. - Zookeeper (2011)

I've seen part of We Bought a Zoo so I had to go with this. I do like Kevin James, but I'm not sure I'll like this.

What do you think of this challenge? What movies would you pick?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Goodbye, Old Friend

On August 11th, I had an anniversary. It was the four year anniversary of my relationship with my Toshiba Satellite laptop.

I know this because I blogged about it back in the day.

In my blog post, I talked about how I hadn't had the best luck with laptops. The Toshiba was my third laptop in a five year period. 

Now, after four years, it is time to say goodbye to my good friend. Only two days ago, I discovered that my hard drive is failing. If it were a newer piece of technology, I might look into getting it fixed. However, this poor thing is pretty beat up looking and I think I've pushed it to its limit. 

Old faithful is missing keys and has been brandished with stickers that make it look like it belongs to a fifteen-year-old:



Thus, I will be retiring my comrade for a new Lenovo, which I just ordered today.

Overall, my experience with my Toshiba was a positive one.

This computer got me through my senior year of college, my subsequent internship, and the following three years that consisted of me treating it pretty badly. I rarely shut the thing down, hardly ever updated it, and didn't really use a virus scan for the first few years.

Considering how badly I treated it, my Toshiba was a saint. Now that I'm a little older and hopefully wiser, I plan to treat my new laptop with a bit more respect. 

That being said, I will miss the times that Toshiba and I spent together. We watched many hours of Netflix, we wrote an as-yet-unpublished novel, we designed blog layouts, and we attempted to do video editing. I say "attempted," because this little bugger was ill-prepared to handle Adobe Premiere, but we persevered.

Now that I will be moving on, I have some final words...

Old friend, you may be leaving but you will never be truly replaced. Though there may be room in my heart for a new laptop, that does not mean that you will be forgotten. The place you hold in my heart is infinite and will outlive us both.

So travel on to greener pastures, old friend, and find your new home in the abundant beauty of earth. This is not goodbye. This is just retirement.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Elementary: "Bubble Land"


This post is part of a series about my elementary school experiences. Please click here for the full series.

You know how some children have overly active imaginations? I was one of those kids. I would come up with some crazy idea in my head -- something with no basis of truth -- and I would completely run with it.

This particular story takes place when I was probably about 7-years-old. We had family in from out of town, including three girls (my nieces, but they are older than me and that is a story for another time) who were about my age, give or take a few years.

It was summer and we were outside blowing bubbles, as children do. Somehow, I got it in my head that when bubbles pop, they would go to a magical world called Bubble Land. I don't know where I got this half baked idea, but it was there. Bubble Land was basically heaven for bubbles who no longer existed. I wanted every bubble to get to Bubble Land because this was basically the only way they could continue living after their earthly demise. 

Bubbles could only get to Bubble Land if they popped naturally -- not if someone popped them. This was a rule that I made up since Bubble Land was a fictional world that only existed in my head. And yet, I believed it so intensely that I became visibly upset when the other girls popped the bubbles.

I threw a ridiculous fit full of crying and screaming something akin to, "No! Don't pop them! They'll never get to Bubble Land!" And I was essentially ignored. They were taking such joy in popping the bubbles but they had no idea that there were dire consequences involved.

The whole thing became a much bigger deal than it ever should have been seeing as it never should have been a "thing" to begin with. But I had to blow it up.

We have a picture of the four of us sitting on my porch following this incident. You can see just how inconsolable I was:


I'm the crying blonde on the far left. The bubbles also appear in this photo behind us and to the right.

There were moments from my childhood that I look back on and think, "Wow. I was a really smart kid." This is not one of those moments.

Did you ever have any similarly ridiculous moments in your childhood?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Minor Pop Stars from the Late 90s-Early 00s: Where Are They Now?

If you were a young person in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you probably remember the rise of pop stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys, Destiny's Child, and others that remained relevant throughout the years... but what about those who didn't stay relevant?

A big part of my childhood consisted of watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Back in the day, these channels played music videos in between programming or during commercial breaks and this is where I heard most of the pop music that I listened to back in the day seeing as my small Missouri town only had a country radio station.

In addition to the pop stars that still make headlines in 2015, there were a lot of minor pop stars that just never made it to the same level of fame. Do you ever ask yourself what happened to those one and two hit wonder pop acts? Well, ask no further. 

1. M2M


Who remembers these girls? M2M was a duo comprised of Norwegian singers Marion Raven (the brunette) and Marit Larsen (the blonde who now is brunette). Probably their most famous song was "Mirror, Mirror" which was released way back in in 2000.

M2M broke up after the financial failure of their second album, 2002's The Big Room. The two girls have since gone their separate ways and pursued solo careers. Marit Larsen has released four solo studio albums and Marion Raven has released two, with plans of a third to be released soon. Raven has also co-written songs for acts such as Tammin Sursok and Lindsey Lohan.

2. B2K


Another band with a name comprising of two letters on either side of the number 2, B2K is probably best known for their album Pandemonium! or the movie You Got Served back in 2004. 

Unfortunately for all of us, the band ended up splitting around the time that You Got Served came out. But it wasn't all over. Lead singer Omarion has since released four solo albums of his own. Granted, I don't know if any of them were listened to by anyone.

Omarion is also currently appearing alongside fellow B2K member Lil Fizz on VH1's "Love & Hip Hop Hollywood." So, you know, there's that.

3. B*Witched


I don't know about ya'll, but B*Witched was one of my favorite groups of the late '90s. Between "C'est La Vie" and "Blame it on the Weatherman," I was jamming to them all the time. One of their music videos also played on the wall in the Disney Channel original movie "Smart House" and I wanted to be that girl jumping around on her bed in the smart house. 

B*Witched is an Irish girl group featuring twin sisters Keavy and Edele Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, and Sinead O'Carroll. Their self-titled album came out in 1998 and they followed it up with their second album, Awake and Breathe, one year later.

After that, B*Witched disappeared. Apparently their management declined to finance a third album, so the group fell apart. However, there is good news. They reunited in 2013 for the reality-documentary series "The Big Reunion," which also featured groups like Atomic Kitten, Five, and others. Since then, they released a new EP called Champagne or Guinness and it is awesome.

4. Nobody's Angel


I honestly kind of forgot about this group until I started doing research for this post. But this song is definitely one that I remember from my childhood. Nobody's Angel consisted of girls who liked singing, dancing, and acting. The group appeared on such television classics like the show "Boy Meets World" and the movie Model Behavior... you know, the one with Justin Timberlake. 

They disbanded not long after a couple of members left to pursue their acting careers. None of them ever won any Oscars, but I don't think Nobody's Angel would have ever won any Grammys so I guess it's no big loss either way.

5. O-Town


I remember this being my cousin's favorite band back in the day. I don't remember consciously listening to them, but I remember this song and think it was one of the catchier boy band ballads from the time period.

The band broke up in 2003 but has since reformed with its original members, sans member Ashley Parker-Angel. Parker-Angel has been pursuing a solo career during these years but never really made it to stardom, despite having a short-lived MTV reality show called "There and Back." He did work on Broadway, appearing in Hairspray in 2007, and in 2014 he joined the touring version of the musical Wicked.

The group's third studio album -- Lines & Circles -- was released in 2014.

6. Savage Garden


I have a very distinct memory of the first time I heard the song "Truly Madly Deeply." My brother, who will probably never admit to it now, told my mom about the song because he was a fan. I listened to it with them and liked it, though my mom didn't like me listening to it due to the line that says, "I want to bathe with you in the sea."

Anyway, Savage Garden had a few songs. "I Knew I Loved You" and "I Want You" were also staples of late '90s radio. They were an Australian duo consisting of members Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones.

The duo disbanded in 2001. Reportedly, Jones did not know the actual date of the split until he read Hayes' announcement. Burn. 

Anyway, Hayes ended up going solo and released several albums but, as of 2013, he has taken an interest in sketch comedy and improv. He now hosts a comedy podcast called "The He Said He Said Show" and says he has retired from music. Go figure.

7. BBMak


"Back Here" is one of my favorite songs of my childhood. I'd forgotten about it until probably 9 months ago when I encountered it on YouTube after going down the rabbit hole. I felt like I was transported back to 1999.

BBMak hailed from England and consisted of Mark Barry (B), Christian Burns (B), and Stephen McNally (Mak). They appeared on the show "Even Stevens" in 2001 and had songs play in The Princess Diaries, Treasure Planet, and "Lizzie McGuire."

The band split in 2003 after two albums together. Each member currently plays with different bands. Burns plays with The Bleach Works and also released his own album in 2013. Barry works with a band called Fresno and McNally with Liverpool band 10 Reasons to Live.

What other bands you remember from this time period? 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Identity Crisis


I don't know if it's obvious to people who have been reading Pink Nightmare for awhile, but things have changed quite a bit over the years. I didn't really notice that until recently when I started thinking about how I would describe this blog to people who didn't know about it.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I like to read about and what types of posts tend to get the best reception. I've been thinking about trying to revamp the whole identity of my online presence -- not to change myself into someone that I'm not, but more to focus on that which I want to focus.

When I started this blog in May 2011 (wow), it held a completely different purpose than it does now. When I first started, I never anticipated that I'd still be doing it 4 years later. I didn't anticipate that I'd meet some really great bloggers who I connect with. I never expected that I'd ever find a reader base who actually engages with me in discussions and shares their opinions on topics I pose. Granted, it is a small reader base, but it does exist.

My intentions at the beginning of this blog were pretty simple. I had just gotten a job on my university's yearbook writing staff and I wanted to keep my writing skills sharp over the summer so I wouldn't go back in the fall and forget everything I ever knew.

The yearbook job ended up falling through because the university cut funding for it, but by then this blog was serving as an outlet for me to talk about my personal frustrations. I blogged about my roommate situations, the struggles with my aging cat, and annoyances at work.

Over time, this changed. While I still blog about my personal life, I've learned to put a filter on it. I now work a more professional job with a company that I don't want to bad mouth. I live with roommates who don't keep my life filled with useless drama. I still have a cat (and my roommate has two more), but thankfully they are all healthy and there isn't anything depressing to talk about there.

But I'm still blogging. Only now, I'm blogging for a different reason.

I am blogging because I'm a little lost and a little confused. I'm in a very scary time period in my life -- my mid-twenties. I thought being a teenager was bad, but really that was cake compared to this. There are some wonderful things about my life right now -- but there are also a lot of uncertainties.

So, for now, I am blogging to try and connect with people who feel like me. People who don't quite have it figured out yet and who kind of miss the days before we had to worry about responsibility and income and taxes. I'm blogging because there's a big part of me that misses childhood and that wants to hold onto as many pieces of innocence as I can.

All of this has really been just me introducing a slight shift to what I've been doing on my little piece of internet. I'm still going to blog about things in my personal life and I'm still going to blog about my opinions on things that make me angry, but I'm going to be shifting my focus a little bit.

Here's a short list of the types of things you will likely be seeing from me on a regular basis:

  • Nostalgic posts: me talking about things of the past and how cool they were, similar to my post about '90s toys and Disney Channel original movies
  • Childhood stories: recounting amusing stories about my behavior as a child. I don't know if people enjoy these, but I enjoy writing them so I'm going to keep doing it
  • Talking about my generation: I like to think I'm not alone in my struggle to become a functioning adult. I feel like I'm mentally breathing into a paper bag and doing breathing exercises every single day. I play it cool on the outside, but inside there's a neurotic mess just waiting to escape
  • Entertainment: Because I like to forget about my burgeoning life crisis, I regularly ingest large doses of entertainment in the forms of movies, television shows, books, music, YouTube videos, etc. I love entertainment and I have a lot of opinions about it, so I'm gonna keep talking about it.

Honestly, this has made up the bulk of my posts for the last few months anyway. So there won't be a lot of changing. This is really just me announcing that things have changed and accepting the new direction in which my blog has taken.

I can't say when, but I am planning to eventually move over to self-hosted Wordpress site and potentially change my blog name. I have very little free time these days, so this will be a work in progress for awhile. More on that to come. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Growing Up


I blog a lot about adulthood and the things about this time in life that fascinate me. I think that these things -- which are as simple as whether it's appropriate to have a bunch of stuffed animals and how some aspects of being a grown up just plain suck -- interest me because I still don't really see myself as an adult.

I'm not sure why that is. I don't feel like a grown up despite the fact that I can do everything a grown up can do. I can check off all the boxes on the checklist:

Can I serve my country? Check.
Can I buy alcohol? Check.
Can I rent a car? Check.

The only thing left is that, when I turn 26, I'm going to have to stop freeloading off of my parents' health insurance. That's the last string that's going to get cut -- and it's going to get cut very soon.

It's all happened very quickly and I don't think it's fully hit me yet. Little aspects of adulthood come at me from time to time.

A few years ago, I realized that I was no longer one of the youngest people at my job anymore. I'd always been one of the younger people before but now this is not the case. Especially at Pizza Hut, where I still work two evenings a week. I'm actually one of the oldest people there now. It's insane how quickly that happened.

There are people working with me at Pizza Hut who were born in 1997 and 1998. I can very clearly remember those years and these kids were fetuses. How is that even possible?

On top of that, people my age and younger keep having babies and getting married. I don't feel like I'm a person who should be allowed to reproduce or enter a legally binding marital agreement. I logically know that I am in my mid-twenties and that it's perfectly normal for people to be starting families, but my stupid brain keeps telling me that these people are the minority and that they're doing these things way too young.

The thing is -- they're not doing these things way too young. Mid-twenties is a perfectly appropriate -- heck it's a great -- time to start a family. But my brain still thinks I'm 17 and thinks that all these people on my Facebook page posting pictures of ultrasounds and bridal gowns are making the biggest mistake of their lives by starting too young.

I'm honestly afraid that my mind is never going to catch up. I'll be turning 45 and and people my age will start to become grandparents and I'll be sitting there, incredulous, like, "Grandparents? We're not even old enough to have kids! How is this happening?"

This is something that actually concerns me. Does anyone feel this way as well or am I going crazy?

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