Embracing The Future And A Lack Of Expiry Dates

Next week I start a new job! I am excited because it’s a new chapter in my life, and it’s a job in my field so it’s something that I’m trained to do (which is very satisfying after four years of school) but I’m also a little nervous because this new chapter doesn’t have something I’ve always had in almost all aspects of my life: an expiry date.

High school was always four years and university was four as well. Had I decided to do a Masters, even that would have only been another year or two at the most. Any job I’ve ever had has only been for a summer, excluding the paper route my brother and I shared, but I knew I obviously wouldn’t be doing that forever (thought the six years I did do it for felt like it). In high school, I knew my time living with my parents would end when I went to university, and I also knew that my time living in my university city would also likely end when I graduated.

That's the plan gif

But now…now things are different and I don’t have an expiry date. This new job I have has career potential. I could stay with this company and in this field for the rest of my life. Who knows when I’ll be moving out of my parents’ house now. Who knows what my life will look like now. This is both daunting and exhilarating. The future is open, and I need to embrace it. It’s all I can do.

And to do this, I think I’m maybe subconsciously closing doors to the past. I spent this past week, my last week of Being An Unemployed New Grad, playing video games. Specifically, video games I never beat as a kid. On a whim, I dug out my old Gameboy and Nintendo DS, and I’m having a good time. I beat Zelda: Minish Cap, Super Princess Peach, and I’m almost done Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers Of The Sky. After that, I think I’ll tackle The Legendary Starfy. I haven’t touched these games in eight or nine years, and aside from the two-week long Pokemon stint a few years ago, I haven’t played any video game for that matter. But they were a big part of my childhood, and I’m finally beating them. It’s a fitting way to spend my week and end my time before I enter the big, scary, and limitless world of Adulthood.

Entering adulthood

And besides, there are plenty of other things in my life that don’t have expiry dates. This blog, some friendships, the MCU, my love for pizza…

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this post of new-job jitters. I’m going to be honest, I spent so much time playing video games, that it’s really all I have to share this week anyway. But if you’re at a point where you’re starting a new chapter in your life, know you’re not alone, and we can all embrace the future together. Life comes at you fast.

That’s all for now!

 

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High School Clichés In Movies

Lately I’ve been obsessively listening to the Broadway Mean Girls soundtrack (it’s good stuff, y’all–listen to it here), and there’s one song called ‘Where Do You Belong’ that isn’t even in my top five songs of the show, but I’ve had it stuck in my head a lot. It’s a really showtune-y song and it’s really fun, but the reason I’m talking about it is because it’s all about finding and sticking with your clique in high school. If you’ve seen the Mean Girls movie, you’d know that it heavily relied on the concept of high school clichés and cliques.

Mean Girls isn’t the only movie to feature this. If you’ve seen any high school-set piece of media, you’d know what I’m talking about. High schools in America all apparently have these popularity hierarchies with football players, cheerleaders, and mean girls at the top and band geeks or nerds at the bottom with everyone else living precariously in the middle, afraid to disrupt the order.

Stick to the status quo gif
High School Musical had a whole song about it!

And I say “America” because I am Canadian and this high school set up is so weird to me. My high school wasn’t like that at all. I mean, we didn’t have football players or cheerleaders, but we did have more well-known kids (I wouldn’t say ‘popular’) and kids who played Yu-gi-oh before class and musical theater kids. But there was no set hierarchy that dictated the way we behaved. There was no pronounced bullying. I’m not saying we were all BFFs with each other, but there were no clear cliques. We were just kind of friends with who we wanted to be friends with. That’s why I’ve never really identified with high schools portrayed in media because they all seemed so hellish and unnecessary.

Are American high schools really like the way they seem in movies and TV? Do football players really run the show? Do the hallways really part when popular kids stroll through? I’ve considered that perhaps my high school was just an anomaly and other Canadian schools may align with the media, especially given that I went to a Catholic school in a largely middle-class town, so I asked around. Overall, people said that there were popular kids (often athletes) and some mild bullying, but nothing strongly resembling the movies. To be fair, I only asked like ten people, and I think they all went to school in the same province as I did, so I know it’s not concrete data, but still. I also asked a couple of American internet friends, and while they said their high schools were a bit more clichéd, it still wasn’t as dramatic.

So, now the questions remain: are there high schools where people are labeled and forced into hierarchical cliques and football players are local celebrities? And if not, why does movie after movie perpetuate this idea? What’s fun or smart about portraying a wildly unrealistic setting? Isn’t the point of high school-set media to make it relatable to everyone because we all went to high school?

I don't get it gif

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so let me know what country you went to high school in and what that experience was/is like.

 

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That Time I Had A Mosquito In My Ear

I currently have about seven mosquito bites on the back of my thigh, right under my butt, which is a really awful spot for scratching. I don’t know when I got them but I have on my longest shorts to cover them up. But would you believe that this isn’t the worst mosquito-related incident I’ve ever faced? As you can tell from the title, I once had a mosquito in my ear, and I thought it’d be a fun story to tell. If YouTubers can do random storytimes, so can I.

So this happened when I was maybe eight or nine years old and I was in bed trying to fall asleep. But I couldn’t because this sound kept me awake. Every minute or two, I’d hear this really weird sound that was loud and clear and unusual. It sounded like a single twang of a guitar string with a slight echo. Considering that I don’t own a guitar, it was a really odd sound to be hearing in my room, especially with such clarity. So I called out for my mom.

Calling for mom

Mom came in and was a little concerned about this information. I’m not one to cry wolf, but she couldn’t hear the sound when I still clearly could. What do you do when your daughter claims to hear guitar strums at night? I turned on my little lamp and she sat right next to me, but she still couldn’t hear it. I remember her even pressing her ear to my ear and still not hearing it. Eventually we resorted to kind of shaking my head around and rubbing my ear. I guess that worked because I couldn’t hear the sound after several minutes of us sitting there, listening in silence.

And then Mom noticed something on the wall. She turned on the overhead light and we both stared at a very large mosquito. We kind of both clued in at the same time: the mosquito must have been in my ear. Luckily, it didn’t bite me in there or lay eggs or anything, but it was still creepy to experience. I hate bugs (though I suppose mosquitos aren’t the worst compared to others) so having one inside me was weird, and it took me a while to fall asleep after that.

Kimmy Schmit survived

So that’s the story of when I had a mosquito in my ear. There’s not really a moral here except like, maybe don’t let mosquitos into your house? I’ve often considered sharing random stories here–is this a thing you’d want to read? I don’t have that many, but it’s an easy blog post, and I like when things are easy.

That’s all for now!

P.S. Speaking of mosquitos, do you use heat on mosquito bites? We have this thing that my family calls The Heat Thing (see below) and it just applies heat to your bite which is supposed to soothe it, and I don’t know if I believe it works. I feel like it’s a placebo. Thoughts?

Mosquito bite heat thing
Our Heat Thing is black, but this is similar.

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The Going Solo Stigma

The other day I went to a concert by myself. Buying a ticket was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision so I didn’t have a chance to plan to go with a friend and I didn’t want tickets to sell out. The concert ended up being really good and I’m glad I went.

But there’s this social stigma that makes going to things alone seem uncool. Concerts are seen as a Squad Event, movies are for Dates, and eating out is for literally anyone but just you. But what if you only have a few friends? Or they don’t live near you? Or they can’t afford to go to things? Or they have different interests? Am I supposed to miss out? No. No way. I’ve missed out on a lot of things but I’m doing my best to not do that anymore. I’m a fairly independent person and in the last few years I’ve done a lot by myself. No shame!

Chris Treager is not lonely gif

Going alone to things is totally fine. Especially things like concerts or the movies. The fact that there’s a stigma on going to that stuff alone bothers me because it’s so fundamentally silly. All you do is sit quietly next to each other and watch the thing you’ve paid to watch. There’s no space to really interact much so what does it matter if you’re there alone or with three people? Are you worried about other people seeing you and thinking you’re lame? I get that because it’s something I think about, but the truth is, most people either literally don’t care or notice. It’s just a fear we have to get over.

Two years ago I went to FanExpo (a comic convention) by myself. The year before I had gone with a friend but she had to work the next year. The cast of Daredevil and Danielle Panabaker from The Flash were going to be there and I wanted to see them. So I bought myself a ticket and went by myself. I had a good time but I’ll admit that I didn’t like being alone there. Not because I couldn’t handle the task of going solo or I was afraid of judgement, but because at conventions there’s a lot of waiting in lines and walking around, and I found myself pretty bored by myself. I’m not one to easily strike up conversation with strangers, so I literally sat by myself quietly as I waited, rationing the battery on my phone.

If you’re like me and are a bit more introverted and shy, then I can understand not going to things like conventions by yourself. Being bored sucks. The year after that, my friend had to work again, and because no one I really wanted to see was going, I opted to skip out. It has yet to be seen if I’ll go this year.

The point of all this is that if I really listened to society’s stigma that says it’s weird to go to things alone, I’d have missed out on a lot. So I’m here to not let other people’s circumstances affect your enjoyment. If you want to see that movie, do it! If you want to go to the mall, do it! If you’re craving some fast food chicken nuggets, go get them! Don’t let chances and moments slip by because you’ll regret it. And I’m not saying going alone is better (though in some cases it can be—sometimes people are annoying/negative and ruin the experience). I still encourage you to invite people to events and try to share those experiences with your nearest and dearest, but if things don’t work out, don’t let that stop you from doing it yourself.

 live your best life gif

Help me break the stigma. If Jason Deruuuulooo can do it, so can I.

What’s something you attended alone? Did you enjoy yourself?

 

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Hey, Companies: Where’s The Personality?

The other day, I was informed that tech retail franchise Best Buy changed their logo. Immediately, I looked it up, but I knew what I’d see before the page loaded: a boring typeface. Lately it seems that a lot of companies are updating their logos and changing to boring, basic fonts with no personality. And I was right. Best Buy is now a boring, white block typeface.

best buy new logo

At least they kept the yellow tag in the corner for a bit of personality and brand recognition at least. Because I’m not celebrating the fact that the B’s don’t line up. I mean, I guess I understand rebranding and freshening things up, but this new logo is boring. I can’t believe that this went through rounds of approval.

Best Buy isn’t the only company to downgrade their logo. Remember Google’s change in 2015?

google new logo

Google got rid of their serif typeface and moved to just plain sans-serif letters. At least they kept the colours. And here’s ebay’s 2012 change:

ebay new logo

The old ebay logo was fun. The placement of the letters was fun. Now there’s an uncomfortable millimeter of letter overlap and the letters are just plain sans-serif. And check out Microsoft’s change also in 2012:

 microsoft new logo

The slant. The dent in the o. The wavy squares. All good. Now we got straight, simple, plain.

What’s with this trend? Why are companies moving away from serif typefaces or anything unique and fun? Is it really increasing sales? Because I’m doubting that.

Personality is everything, and while I guess that Google is powerful enough to not really care about that, it still matters. Logos are how we identify brands. I remember playing logo trivia games in grade nine business class and on my iPod Touch. The game isn’t nearly as fun if all the companies are using the most basic looking typeface.

My Coolbeans4 font is sans-serif, but it’s not just basic blocks. It’s got personality and curves. And even the cover text of my novel isn’t just basic blocks (though it’s close). Admittedly, the typeface I used for that isn’t my favourite, but I liked that it was simple and legible and strong but had a teeny bit of uniqueness. I spend ages flipping through the fonts in InDesign, as that’s what I was limited to, and this was the best one, in my opinion. I wish it were a bit more fun, but none of the more fun ones were as legible to me or fit with my theme. But guess what? I’m a person just doing things for fun. I don’t have a team of graphic designers or a focus group or a budget. I’m just one person. So excuse me for being on a different level.

Anyway, shoutout to the companies still with fun, original, iconic logos. Shoutout to the companies with fun typefaces. Everyone else, you suck. And I’m disappointed with you. Be better.

'what about your personality' gif

Do any of you have logo annoyances? Feel free to share them with me. Or am I just being weirdly dramatic? Feel free to tell me to chill out and focus on more important things too.

That’s all for now.

 

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