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Hipstercrite: August 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slacker 2011

Austin, Texas is a film city. It is not always easy to find film work in, but it's an excellent place to write your script or make your movie (see why here).

Moviemaker Magazine named Austin, Texas the #5 place to Live, Work, and Make Movies In.
We host arguably the #3 film festival in the U.S. (SXSW) and a respectable up-and-coming festival that features big Hollywood movies and players (Austin Film Festival). We have studio directors who got their start in Austin and continue to shoot their productions in here (Richard Linklater, Mike Judge, and Robert Rodriguez) and we have a plethora of indie filmmakers whose work has been seen at every festival on the planet, literally.

So needless to say, some pretty interesting and creative stuff comes out of Austin.

A perfect example of this is the "reimagining" of Richard Linklater's perennial indie classic Slacker, which will be premiering tonight at the historic Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue. If you went to film school, you know that Slacker is touted as revolutionizing independent filmmaking. Script? Real actors? Money? Who needs them! With no significant credits under his belt, Linklater made Slacker in 1991 for $23,000 in Austin with friends and locals and went on to sell it to Orion Pictures, garner $1 million at the box office, and launch a profitable career in Hollywood (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, A Scanner Darkly). How do you like them apples?

So what makes the Slacker remake so special? 24 local filmmakers each directed a scene in the movie. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I haven't! How cool is that? The film hasn't even premiered yet and is already getting buzz all over the nation.

My boyfriend, Geoff Marslett, was one of the 24 filmmakers (he's pictured above). There was a lot of local talent represented in this film: PJ Raval, Miguel Alvarez, Bradley Beesley, Bob Ray, Jay Duplass, and Ben Steinbauer. In typical Slacker style, each scene was shot on a small budget with donated time, services, and talents from cast and crew. It was a fun shoot and Geoff's particular scene, scene #16 "TV Room", features local talent James McMurtry (Larry's son), John Dee Graham, Heath Kafka, and Don Hertzfeldt. It is an exciting project that really brought the Austin filmmaking community together. Hopefully you already got your tickets because this 1300-seat screening is sold out! The Alamo Drafthouse will be showing screenings for the month of September and hopefully you'll see Slacker 2011 at a festival near you!

Check out my thoughts and experiences with Slacker and Slacker 2011 below from CultureMap:

The movie Slacker was not my bag. Like most people who moved to Austin, I eagerly rented the 1991 Richard Linklater film hoping that I would become acquainted with my new home through the quirky storyline and true to life characters depicted in the movie. 

Instead, I was terrified.

Slacker made Austin look like a glib, overcast landscape filled with conspiracy theorists, pap smear collectors and parent killers. Not only did I have difficulty getting through the movie, I ended up rocking myself to sleep that night.... (continue)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Making the Twenty-Something Leap

There comes a point in every young person's life where they have to make the jump.

Have to because they can't kid themselves that they're happy with the safe route anymore. Working jobs that mean nothing to them and waking up every morning trying to kid themselves that they care. Ignoring the hunger pains of a creative appetite gnawing away at them.

"But life is sometimes about working jobs that you don't like!" the age-old sentiment kept cycling through my head. "But not if I have any say it!" I finally answered back one day. Last week. When I realized that now was the time.

I was born from a musician and an artist. One took the safe route her entire life and regrets it, the other jumped on the Autobahn to creative anarchy. My father tried going the safe route- which included marriage, kid, and steady employment- but ultimately he couldn't handle the confines. Do I blame him? No. Because I'm just like him. "And that scares me," my mother can often be found saying. But we live in a time where if a young person decides that they don't want to take the safe route- they don't have to- and I know I will not settle down until I'm ready.

This is not my first time making the leap. I capered from Los Angeles three years ago, when after sitting under a cloud of melancholy for five years that I mistakingly thought would move past, I headed on the road to nowhere. Anywhere. Austin, Texas.

It was by Chicago I came. Twelves months before I jumped into my car on September 28th, 2008, and headed east to Texas, I had been working on a television production in Chicago. Leaving LA for the short term and being housed in the heart of downtown Chicago proved wonders for me. A backdrop of Lake Michigan, historical architecture, fire escapes, city sounds, and down-to-Earth people stirred something within me. I bought a notebook. I began drawing my surroundings. I kept a diary. I wrote songs and song lyrics. I'd walk for hours taking it all in. I was happy. I was being creative again...and I'd be damned if I let that go.

I had never done that in LA. I had lost sight of my dreams.

Shortly thereafter I gave my boss my month notice and he was thrilled. He knew before I did that my heart just wasn't in Hollywood. It took me another eight months until I left LA. Though I know I needed to leave, I was scared to leave my friends, my apartment, and the first city I earned my adult badge in. Finally one day, I knew when to take the jump. And I did. And I'm making the jump again.

This time I'm leaving my full-time employment with benefits because it was preventing me from achieving my creative passions and I've reached an age where I know better. Know better to let comfortable dictate my life. I'm being smart about it this time. I'm moving into work where I will be able to stretch my wings. I will be freelancing for the first time in my life and it is both exciting and scary. I will be working on two movies, freelance writing, and revamping Hipstercrite all in the city that has become my home.

It has taken me 28 years to find my way. Now was the time to make the leap and I can't wait to see where I land.

Have you ever made the leap?

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Twice Monthly Non-Period Period

I noticed something lately. About once or twice a month I get really apathetic. Discouraged. Run down. Confused. Tired. I want to sleep under a rock for 48 hours and when someone starts talking to me I give them a blank stare as if to say, "Back the f on up away from me, friend." I sit at my computer feeling like a lead weight. I shuffle home and plop on the couch and can't think of anything. I curl up into a ball on the couch and whine like a little bitch and want nothing more than the day to end.

It's not my period. I know very damn well when that hormonal voodoo is messin' with me. And it's not depression. I have a pretty damn good life and depression does not run int the family. Instead I guess it's a 'everything is finally ganging up on me!' feeling. And I'm not even sure what triggers the malaise. Something or things slight enough that it falls off the radar, but if I actually took a minute to think about it, I'd see the string that led me to that place. Something someone said or something that happened or a movie I saw or song I heard that scratched the surface of a purposely stowed away subconscious thought.

The feeling of being overwhelmed constructs an emotional and physical obstacle that makes me unable to achieve anything. You can barely get me to complete a full sentence, let alone get me to hang out or create. It's the sort of funk that's not conducive to writing. I'm not wallowing in self-pity and drinking myself into a Hemingway-esque stupor. My mind, spirit, and soul have simply shut down for the day.

It's not uncommon for people to have funks. Shit, we all have a lot to feel funky about. Some more so than others. We all have a lot on our minds. We live in a time where we hustle, we stay connected 24/7, and we rarely have a minute to sit with ourselves. It would only seem inevitable that once in awhile our brain says, "Chill the f out for a second and digest." Digest the issues in your life. Digest the news you take in that day. Digest your daily relationships and occurrences. Digest all that is around you. And when you do that, it's like a piano being dropped on you. "Fuckkkk, man. I have three writing deadlines due. My last day at work is coming up. I'm starting a new job next week. Am I going to make enough money to pay my bills? When am I going to get my smashed car window fixed? It's hot outside! I have a boyfriend! Wow, a boyfriend. Shit, it's been a long time since I've had one of those. He's amazing. The poor guy is stressed because of the movie he's directing that you two wrote. You wrote a movie? Huh? What is it that you want to do with your life? Shit, I wonder if that is Mom calling. I better pick up because she might need someone to talk to because Grandma is driving her insane. Grandma is upset because her boyfriend's Alzheimer's is becoming severe and everyone is getting older. I'm getting older. Fuck, I'm an adult. This isn't going to get any easier, my dear."

I don't really like these funky moments, but it's life. There will always be days like these. Maybe if I actually dealt with my life in real-time instead of waiting until everything comes to a head, I wouldn't have to deal with the twice monthly non-period period. One period is enough!

Do you ever experience the twice monthly non-period period? Boys, I'm talking to you too!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham Are My Soap Opera

When I was a young girl I fantasized a lot about Fleetwood Mac. Specifically Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. They were my teenage soap opera. I would lie in bed for hours gobbling up their discography, paying strict attention to the sharp pangs of Lindsey's anger and the romanticism of Stevie. My heart would flutter as the story of their love and break-up wafted from my turntable. For those of you not familiar with Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were a young couple/struggling musicians in California that got their big break the day that Mick Fleetwood and John McVie from the British blues band, Fleetwood Mac, heard them. He welcomed them on board as their lead singers, alongside keyboardist Christine McVie, and the rest is history. This super band when on to record one of the best selling albums of all time, Rumours, with over 40 million copies sold, in addition to many other high-grossing albums that have earned the band their place in rock n' roll history. Nicks broke up with Buckingham shortly after joining the band in 1976 into 1977 as did the McVies which inspired all but 2 songs on Rumours. Nicks, Buckingham, and McVie all went on to solo careers with Nicks arguably having the most successful post-Fleetwood Mac venture. The band has since reunited intermittently and you can often find them touring together or separately.

In the early days of the Internet, I would peruse Fleetwood Mac lyric interpretation sites and read the messages from fellow lovesick fans that pretty much agreed that every song Stevie and Lindsey wrote was for each other- whether it was true or not. Forget Don Henley and Mick Fleetwood and Jimmy Iovine- Lindsey was the only man that mattered to Stevie. Or rather, we wanted to matter to Stevie. And really why? Lindsey sounds like a huge pain in the ass. His long-term partner after Stevie claimed that he was abusive and Stevie never shied away from discussing his child-like tantrums. BUT THOSE EYES! THAT HAIR! THAT SEMI-MENTALLY CHALLENGED LOOK HE GIVES WHEN REALLY GETTING INTO A GUITAR RIFF! Stevie was no angel either having had a cocaine problem that visibly effected her performances and then later a very serious Klonopin addiction. But Lindsey was a dreamboat and Stevie was his Queen and in the minds of us googly-eyed fans, they'll always be the perfect couple.

I remember distinctly the day that Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham showed up on my radar. It was 1997. I was 14 years old and the music video for "Silver Springs" from Fleetwood Mac's reunion tour was taking VH1 by storm. This 1976 B-side was ok; it was simple and had that folk-rock sound a lot of bands had in the 1970's, but there was something different about it. The singer was really singing about heartache. Forget the cliche verbiage used in break-up songs, Stevie pleaded, threatened, and lamented in "Silver Springs": And did you say she was pretty?/And did you say that she loved you?/Baby I don't want to know.

What also made Silver Springs special is that Nicks wasn't singing about some lover we'll never know of, she was singing about the dude standing right next to her. And how did we know this? Because she turned away from the crowd and started belting those emotional words to him- twenty years after they broke up. Stevie and Lindsey ensued in a staredown and Stevie broke from her middle-aged rocker phoning-it-in to scream: I'll follow you down to 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you/You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you/Was I just a fool? Now how is that for a juicy melodrama?

What makes the story of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham so interesting is that their songs tell a lot of truths about their feelings, more truths then they said or acted in person. Though Stevie broke up with Lindsey, the common theme that Lindsey would miss her often ran through her songs. She also insinuated that she still loved him and would get emotional when he'd walk in the room: I still look up when you walk in the room/I try hard not to look up/That girl was me ("Angel" from Tusk 1979) Lindsey was angry and acted as such, but occasionally a softer side would peak through- wishing he could give Stevie everything: If I could, baby, I'd give you my world/Open up everything's waiting for you ("Go Your Own Way" Rumours 1977) or missing her during those lonely nights: Here comes the nighttime/Looking for a little more/Waiting on the last time/Somebody outside the door ("I Know I'm Not Wrong" Tusk 1979)

Listening to their songs about each other, which typically appeared on every album, with the band or solo, was like trying to piece together a puzzle. Why did these two beautiful people break up if they obviously couldn't get over one another? The band members will tell you it is because they had to see each other every day. How do you move on from someone when you not only work with them daily, but when that work is an artistic form of expression, one that can leave you emotional and vulnerable. Buckingham vaguely admitted in the song "Say Goodbye" from Fleetwood Mac's 2003 album Say You Will that he finally moved on from Stevie: Saw your face yesterday/Thinking on the days of old/and the price that we paid/For a love we couldn't hold/I let you slip away/There was nothing I could do/That was so long ago/Still I often think of you/Now I finally found my way/Now I know just what to do/Once you said goodbye to me/Now I say goodbye to you.

Lindsey wrote this song 27 years after they broke up. He had a new wife and children yet he still wrote about his first love. Stevie was even quoted as saying in 2009 that the day she realized that she and Lindsey would never get back together was the day that his first child was born (in 1998). "It's over", Nicks said. "It doesn't mean the great feeling isn't there, it must mean know, we're beauty and the beast. It means that the love is always there but we'll never be together, so that's even more romantic."

And she's right. I don't think their love story will ever die.

For you Buckingham/Nicks junkies, here is a great site to drool over.

What is your favorite Fleetwood Mac song? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Cultural Significance of Rick Moranis

Lately the Moranis has been on my mind and in lieu of no new post today, I wanted to revisit an 'ode to Rick' that I wrote awhile back. Enjoy and share your love for Rick Moranis in the comments below!

A childhood fascination of mine that has transcended into adulthood is my love of nerds. Short nerds, tall nerds, young nerds, old nerds, aesthetically questionable nerds, sexually subordinate nerds- it doesn't matter. The more socially awkward the better.

Where did this love come from? I'm not sure. Believe me, if I knew, I wouldn't have spent all that money seeing a psychotherapist on Saturdays and then supplementing my emotional purging with a trip to Golden Corral after every visit.

Maybe it was from the hours of watching "Back to the Future". Somewhere between the ages of four and six I discovered that Doc Brown could get my latent sexuality flux capacitor up to 1.21 gigawatts. It wasn't long after that that I ached to get a glimpse of Egon Spengler's proton pack. By the time I was ten, Lord have mercy for I was powerless to the charms of Dr. Ian Malcolm. I dreamt of making sweet Goldblum love to him in the foothills of misty mountains while being scouted by vicious velociraptors.

All these men satiated my questionable "should we maybe have her talk to someone about this?" fantasies and made frequent appearances in my dreams wearing knit sweaters and eating cupcakes (long story), but only one man in particular held my heart on a string.

Rick Moranis was my prince in starched clothing. My fumbling Lothario. My nebbish Romeo.

For years Moranis held the #1 spot in my heart. His characters' affinity for circular glasses, tussled hair, and lack of self confidence showed me everything I looked for in a man. I thought my love for Moranis was mine alone, but as I grew older, I discovered that I had to share my little man with others. Dozens, maybe even a hundred people in the world love Rick Moranis.

But what is so special about Rick Moranis to others? Why do people like this guy sing about boning a giant cardboard cut-out of Moranis' face in an alley?

I asked my alarmingly witty co-worker, Tommy, in NYC to give me a little insight. He is an aficionado on pop culture and a champion in life. If anyone knows about the importance of Moranis in today's society, it's Tommy:

Me: Why do you love Rick Moranis?
Tommy: Because of his glasses...and his small stature. I just want to put him in my pocket.
Me: What would you do with him in your pocket? That's not a loaded question. Ok, maybe it is.
Tommy: I'd feed him powdered milk. And bits of cheese. I've often thought about putting him on a keychain. He's an adorable little man.

I also asked my producer friend, Chris, in LA his thoughts on Moranis. Working in Hollywood practically makes him Moranis' brother:

Me: Why do you love Rick Moranis?
Chris: Because he was the lovable, bespectacled goofball in the films of our childhood.
Me: But why do you really love him?
Chris: Honestly, I've seen like two movies he's been in...
Me: I'm just going to write that you said- "Rick Moranis was possibly the greatest actor of the 20th Century. His comedic abilities blazed trails for generations of comedians, but he also proved that the nerd could overcome all adversity. Comedy AND society would not be where it is today if it weren't for Rick Moranis."

What I think Tommy and Chris were trying to say is that Rick Moranis was possibly the greatest actor of the 20th Century. His comedic abilities blazed trails for generations of comedians, but he also proved that the nerd could overcome all adversity. Comedy AND society would not be where it is today if it weren't for Rick Moranis.

He was the lovable drunk that saved a bunch of alcoholic Canadians from turning into remote control zombie hockey players.
He was the flower shop associate with the high-fastening pants that got the girl but was formerly eaten by a giant, velvety-voiced plant in the original screenplay.
He was the accountant who wore coordinating velour track suits who didn't get the girl, but later got Annie Potts.
That is why we love Rick Moranis. He taught us that anything is attainable.

But why do I love Rick Moranis the most?
Because adult Rick strangely looks a lot like me as a baby.

Happy Rick Moranis Day! (Rick Moranis Day also happens to fall on my Mom's birthday- Happy B-day, Momma!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

When Are You Most Creative?

Some days you have it and some days you don't.

It's a total mystery as to the why either one happens.

As a friend pointed out when we had a discussion about this over the weekend, Steve Martin once said something along the lines of, "Forcing creativity is like trying to force a shit. You just can't do it. You have to let it flow naturally." Now, I tried Googling this quote for verification, but I can't seem to find it anywhere which leads me to think that my friend is full of shit. However, I did find two OTHER delightful quotes from Steven Martin on creativity:

"Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol."


"Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naivete, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do."

(I beg to differ Martin's claim of "a lack of natural ability"- he seems to effortlessly excel at anything he tries; comedy, acting, singing/dancing, writing, music...)

But I'm getting off point here. My point was that you can't force creativity. The same friend whose credibility I question also mentioned a TED conversation he heard about how instead of particular people being genius, we all have genius. The Greeks and Romans believed that creativity was a divine spirit that would enter one's body at random. I looked this one up and my friend was right. It was a TED conversation with writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and her topic was "nurturing creativity".

Over the weekend, I thought a lot about the idea that creative mojo is something out of your control. That creativity is a ghost that lurks behind my shoulder, striking through me whenever it likes. Or when my metabolism goes into overdrive and expels the nicest piece of crap you've ever seen. It gave me some freedom in not knowing exactly what to blog about come Monday morning. Usually I stress and try to force an idea which is something that is never smart since not only will you be unhappy with the outcome, but your readers will sense your disdain for your piece as well. This theory is countering the long noted blogging tip to "write, write, write". Well I don't know about you, but sometimes just forcing myself to "write, write, write!" produces junk. Though I agree the only way to become a better writer is by writing frequently, what's the point of writing when you ain't got the inspiration? If my creative juices are watered down for the day, the only thing you'll find me writing is "Lindsey Buckingham is a sex God" over and over on my empty document page.

Which leads me to another part of the discussion we had with our friend. Relinquishing control of your creativity and giving ownership to a vapid entity is not the smartest move. It's import to understand yourself well enough to acknowledge when the creative spirit is most likely to hit. For me, it is when I'm supposed to be doing something else like work or school. For my friend it is late in the evening and into the wee hours. He explained that for him, he feels that he doesn't comes to life until the PM.  I on the other hand am exhausted after an 11 hour work day and the last thing I want to do IS STARE AT ANOTHER FUCKING COMPUTER when I get home. I'm often most productive in the morning when my brain has a clear slate and my body is full of coffee. It also helps me to go number 2.

When do you feel is the best time for inspiration to hit you?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Everything Dies, Baby, That's a Fact.

Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.

Maybe it was the lyric or the couple of glasses of whiskey I drank earlier in the evening that kept pushing me deeper and deeper into the car seat. Hitting the back button on the stereo, I turned and gazed out into the blurry night every time Springsteen sang those words. I closed my eyes and felt the warm rush of tears as I thought about where his spirit was now that his body is gone.

"What happens to us when we die?" I blurted to my boyfriend as he drove us home from the memorial service. I was a child again, hoping that someone could give me a direct answer on this thing that looms over all of us.

He began answering matter-of-factly, the sort of answer one without a religious upbringing gives. Like me.

But I don't want to believe that I'm not sure what to believe.

We sat two rows behind her. The widow of the young man who died so sadly. The sight of her petite shoulders occasionally heaving up and down sat in the corner of my vision. I tried to look away out of fear that I would lose my composure, but she stayed strong. Strong for all of us. She watched her husband pass away only a few days earlier, but there she stoically sat. We watched her stand in front of all of us and recite stories about his last days. Her voice quivered in absolute exhaustion, but she finished each thought in a way I couldn't comprehend. I would have fallen to the floor or run out of the building as far away from Austin as I could.

There we all sat- old friends, new friends, people who never even met- all brought together by this one man. This one man who is no longer with us, but who has been in all of our thoughts over the past 8 months of his fight with cancer. Throughout the tears, there were laughs and smiles. We drank and ate and listened to records to celebrate a life.

But as we drove home listening to 'Atlantic City', my boyfriend's answer becoming white noise to me, all I kept thinking about was the next morning when she wakes up and realizes none of it was a dream. Then the next evening when she's lying in bed alone.

I want more than anything for her not to have these future moments.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fashion: Too Damn Hot to Wear Suits

I truly hate this time of year in Austin. My sense of fashion flies out the window. Hats, scarves, cardigans- everything I love I can not wear unless I want to melt like this playground here:

I'm from the North so my idea of fashion involves layers. I like sleek, tailored and imaginative. Actually, I really just like wearing suits. Full-on dude's suits. Been wearing them since I was a little girl. Probably the first time I realized I loved wearing suits was the day I dressed as Rod Serling for no reason. It felt so good to put on a jacket and tie and impersonate my writing hero. Serling always looked so cool and collected up on the TV screen and that's how I wanted to look.

This sounds like the beginning of a Born This Way blog post, the day I realized when I was a boy trapped in a girl's body, but alas, it's not that interesting. I just really like suits. Love them. Love the way they look on me and other women. I don't just fancy suits either- ties, bowties suspenders, and men's hats are also my jam. When I first saw the music video for Janelle Monae's "Tightrope", I was like, "Shit, that woman knows where it's at."

I used to wear suits and ties in high school. A few kids made fun of me- called me a dyke- and I became super self-conscious. Little did I know that some of my peers actually dug my sense of style- though they wouldn't tell me until years later. You see, nowadays, I don't even think about that stuff. Whether you think I'm a dyke or crazy or attention-starved, I like wearing the suits because they make me feel good. It's an extension of my personality.

Now if it would only cool off so I can put my freaking tuxedo jacket on!

Do you like wearing mens clothing? Do you think it looks good on ladies?

Friday, August 12, 2011

The MetroMillennial Dilemma

I just made up a word: MetroMillennial. It means a Generation Y-er who lives in a big city or has big city hopes and goals.

I'm a metromillennial. I was born in 1983 in a small town in Upstate New York. I always knew I wanted to live in New York City (which I never have). My family raised me to be curious about the world, to dream big, and to not let the confines of our small town hold me back.

Because of this, I left my small town at the first opportunity I had. I moved to LA seven years ago, then Austin three years ago, and I've never lived in my small town again.

I've felt guilty ever since.

If you are a metromillennial typically your big city trek takes you far from home (unless you're one of those enviable breeds born in a big city and stayed). I came from an area of the country that is economically depressed and subsequently emotionally depressed. Regardless of if I wanted to live in a big city or not, if I wanted to have a semi-decent quality of life and desirable career- I had to move far, far away from my hometown. When you're young, you take the first relatively interesting job offer you get, which could be anywhere- like California. Which in my case was 2,700 miles from home.

If you were lucky enough to come from a close family, you understand the stress it causes living far away from home. Not only did I grow up in a small, tight-knit household (I'm an only child with a single mother and a grandmother who lived across the street), the ethic that you stay close to the family occasionally wafts through my head.

Not that long ago Americans physically stayed close to the family. They stayed to work for the family business. They stayed to help take care of the elder family members. They stayed to have the elder family members take care of the kiddies. They stayed because that's what you do- family is the most important factor in your life.

But somewhere along the way that changed. American changed. Family businesses started disappearing. Jobs started drying up in many parts of the country. Baby Boomers, torn between the idea of staying close to home and the new found liberation born out of the 60's, promised themselves they would raise their kids to be explorers. So even though the idea that you stay close to home for the sake of the family rarely exists anymore, the ghost still exists- having been handed down, but slowly fading generation after generation.

If I could live closer to home I would, but I love my life in Austin. I love the opportunities I have here. I could move to New York City but it's vastly more expensive and has terrible winters (something I certainly don't miss). I've pleaded with my mother to bring she and Grandma down to Texas. Buy a condo they can live in 6 months out of the year so they won't have to bear the terrible Northern winters either, but she says it's not possible. Instead we are doomed to live far away from each other (for now).

What's a metromillennial who loves her family to do?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kanye Ain't Got Shit On Otis: The Epic Lives and Deaths of Soul Singers

I wasn't able to write a new post for today, but I wanted to revisit a post I wrote last year about the deaths of famous soul singers. I've been thinking a lot about Otis Redding lately after I discovered that Kayne West and Jay-Z sampled the singer on his new album, Watch the Throne. Buzz is circulating around the to-be-released-this-evening music video of the song "Otis". Which as I'm reading right now actually as no mention of Otis Redding in the lyrics, but rather talks about cigars, champagne, private jets, and supermodels.

Yesterday, I got all up in Kanye's junk after declaring that Otis is an untouchable and upstarts like Kanye should not mess with his shit. This statement was mostly met with agreement, but a few people defended Kanye. They suggested that sampling is an art form and should be respected. Though I'm an appreciator of all arts- and I will include sampling as an art form, albeit one that I have mixed feelings on- I still think Otis Redding is the sort of musician you simply do not touch. It would be as if Kanye sampled The Beatles.

When I listen to Otis, my heart aches. When I listen to Kanye, my heart dies a little inside.


It was a Sam Cooke Pandora station kind of day.
Where silky-voiced soul singers played roulette on my computer.
Sam Cooke. Otis Redding. Marvin Gaye. Tammy Terrell. Curtis Mayfield. Jackie Wilson.
All unparalleled talent that died way too young.

Then I realized, "Wait a minute- they all died in some really f'd up ways too."

Plane crashes, shootings, falling stage equipment, brain tumors, hot grits (nobody actually died from having hot grits thrown on them, but Al Green did become a born again afterwards). There was no shortage of colorful murders and deaths in the soul world.

Let's start with the most insane first:

Sam Cooke- Cooke was one of the most prolific R&B singers of his time. With 19 albums and 29 Top 40 singles under his belt by the age of 33, it looked like nothing was going to stop this young man from taking over the world. Except for maybe a seedy motel manager in South Central with a gun and a broom. Cooke loved his ladies and his booze and unfortunately the two did not mix well the night of December 11th, 1964. The official story is that Cooke brought a lady against her will back to the Hacienda Hotel in South Los Angeles with the intention of raping her. The woman fled and in a rage, Cooke busted into the hotel manager's office half-naked and all like, "Where the f did my lady friend go?". The pant-less Cooke tussled with the hotel manager and out of fear for her life, she shot him in the gut and then beat him with a broom. Shortly thereafter, the validity of the lady friend's account came into question since she was a prostitute and many feel she had stolen Cooke's money. Regardless, the talented singer, who brought so much music to the world, died in terrible vain. Luckily for him, his contribution to the music world has mostly overshadowed the fact that his last minutes on earth were looking at broom bristles smacking his naked body.

Marvin Gaye Jr.- Unlike Cooke, Gaye's murder has stuck more in the mind's of music lovers for decades. Another gentleman who liked his ladies and recreational drugs, Gaye found his life spiraling out of control by the late 70's. He battled depression and suicidal thoughts (there is suggestion that the death of his good friend/singing partner Tammi Terrell ignited this). Wanting to make a change, Gaye decided to turn his life around by the early 80's and moved in with his parents to watch porn. Yeah, bad move. Gaye often fought with his father, Marvin Sr., and during a particularly heated argument, Jr. started smacking Sr. around and then Sr., gettin' all pissy, up and shoots Jr. in the chest. The bullet made an epic journey through his lung then heart then diaphragm then liver then stomach then kidney then taking a rest stop in his torso. Gaye was 44 years-old when he died and on his way to making a comeback. Lesson here? Moving back in with your folks can cost you your life.

Otis Redding-  Outside of Tammi Terrell, Redding was the youngest of the soul singers to pass away. It's amazing to think all that Mr. Sitter on the Dock of the Bayer offered in the 26 years of his life. Redding got his start by joining the R&B group, The Pinetoppers, in 1960. Soon enough, he was recording his own solo work. Back then, Redding impressed the shit out of his peers with his melancholic voice and knack for writing his own songs. In 1967, Redding and his band were in a puddle jumper en route to Wisconsin when it crashed in Lake Monona. Redding's manager and band (all except one) were on the plane. Everyone on the plane died except for trumpeter Ben Cauley. You know what happens when you're a kick ass soul singer who dies in a plane crash? You get a stamp and a creepy bronze statue made of you.

Curtis Mayfield- Unlike the others, Mayfield's death didn't happen immediately, but over many painful years. Mayfield had lived a pretty solid life up until August 13th, 1990 when lighting equipment fell on him onstage and paralyzed him from the neck down. I know, right? If that weren't bad enough, the poor dude had his leg amputated eight years later. That didn't keep ol' Superfly from recording though. According to his Wikipedia page, that motherf'er would record vocals on his back line-by-line. Mayfield died in 1999 due to complications from his paralysis and I firmly believe he should win a posthumous superhero award.

Tammi Terrell- Brain tumor at the age of 24
Jackie Wilson- Heart attack while appearing onstage at the age of 49
Dave Prater (Sam & Dave)- Single-car accident at the age of 50
Michael Jackson- Imploded into oblivion at the age of 50
Rick James- Heart attack in my old apartment building at the Oakwoods in Burbank, CA at the age of 56
Barry White- Stroke at the age of 58
Ike Turner- Crack overdose at the age of 76 (and bff with my friend Chris)

Who is your favorite soul singer?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Need A Blog Mentor

I wish I had a blog mentor.

Someone who can tell me if I'm making the right decisions in regards to my almost-complete blog redesign. Someone who can tell me what blog resources I'm missing out on.
Someone who can tell me which of my content sucks ass and which one shines.

Blogging seems easy enough that you wouldn't need someone to hold your hand, but I so desperately want to be coddled. 

There are three types of bloggers in this world- A.) people who use their blog as a means of expression with little to no concern of traffic B.) people who blog every day and care about their traffic C.) people who end up viewing their blog as a small business- whether it be for monetary value or brand value.

I fall into category B. I never wanted to be that person that closely watched their analytics each day. It's added a thin but nonetheless real level of anxiety to my life. My blog started out like category A for a very long time. My blog got about ten hits a day and they were all from one friend (who still reads my blog to this day- Thanks Chris!). I was lucky to start developing more traffic over time after a string of specific events: First, I joined 20-Something Bloggers. If you haven't done this already, do it. I can't say enough great things about the community here. Even though I don't have time to actively post on it anymore, I think it's a fantastic tool for any young blogger. Secondly, I was named one of Blogger's Blog of Note. This probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't online met the talented writer Hannah Miet through 20-Something Bloggers, who had been given the honor a few weeks before and who was a supporter of my blog. Thirdly, I became more active in social media, particularly Twitter. Austin, which is an extremely supportive city when it comes to it's creative folks, was also named the number 8 Most Socially Networked City in the country. My blog would not be where it is today without the support of Austinites and their love for social media. Fourthly, I was named Austin's Blogger of the Year at the Austin Blogger Awards, which again, wouldn't have happened without number 3. And last but not least, I started to freelance write more often which gave me more exposure, which again, would could not have happened without social media. None of these events above would have happened without the push of the prior event and all of them have given me the confidence in knowing that somewhere, someone seems to like what I have to say.

All of these events above snowballed into an idea that maybe one day I could fall into category C. Instead of writing a book or a screenplay, maybe my blog could be the physical piece of writing I had hoped to achieve.

This where I'm at a complete loss.

Viewing a blog as a small business is difficult. To me it screams, "Sell Out!". I also am terrible business person. I don't have the skills to view my blog as anything other than a place where I write. This is why I need mentor. Someone who has already done this and who knows what they're doing. Do they even exist?

I guess this is one of those things where you have to figure it out as you go along. So as my blog redesign launches in early September, please bear with this clueless blogger...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Where My Favorite 80's Characters Are Nowadays

The other day I came across a post on the ever-so-clever Flavorwire imagining what our favorite 80's teen characters are doing these days. I wish I thought of the post first, but I didn't, so the best I can do is copy it pay homage to it.

When I was a little girl, I sat alone thinking by myself a lot because a.) I was an only child and b.) I lived on a street filled with blue-haired folk. Because of this, I fantasized a lot about my favorite movie characters. Specifically Dennis Quaid's character in InnerSpace (not sure why considering he was about 1 millimeter tall) and Indiana Jones. Oh, and Doc Brown. I used to imagine what sort of future we'd all have together as one big happy polyamorous family. But those days are long gone. We know what happened to Indiana Jones. He got old and made a SHITTY MOVIE ABOUT ALIENS AND CRYSTALS.

This doesn't mean I haven't been left curious about some of my favorite 80's characters from time to time (and neither has Hollywood since they're probably remaking the living shit out of all the movies the characters below were in). Here are some of my favorite characters I've wondered about:

Louis Tully- Louis was able to ride the fame train of being microwaved in a dog suit and falsely blasting a bunch of goo off of the Manhattan Museum of Art and saving New York City for roughly 6 months afterwards. His big splurge was a blue Valentino velour suit which he wore to every party he was invited to. He ended up marrying Janine and they had a baby named Harold that Janine ended up accidentally killing by feeding him too much pizza. Distraught by the death of their child, Louis fled to Costa Rica where he dabbled in his true passion- health drinks. Using the berries and herbs found on the beaches to concoct his new beverage, Louis eventually came back to the States to market his product, "Louis' Lovely Liquid". He found success within the Whole Foods culture and now lives in a penthouse in Central Park. He was recently reunited with the Ghostbusters when they tried to collectively sue the reality show "Ghost Hunters" for stealing their idea. They lost the case, but decided to start their own reality show called "Ghostbusters: The ORIGINAL Ghost Hunters" on AMC. In one particularly touching episode, Louis and Janine "coincidentally" run into each other in a cafe and they've happily been dating ever since.

Doc Brown- Doc's life took a turn for the worse after the DeLorean was destroyed. After repeated pleas of not keeping plutonium in the house, his wife, Clara, moved out with their sons, Jules and Verne. Marty's parents also took a restraining order against Doc out of their discomfort of a middle-aged dude with no job exposing their son to time paradoxes. Left with only his time-traveling train and collection of 126 year-old liquor he picked up back in 1885, Doc decides that his life would be much better if he never discovered time travel. He opts to go back into time and prevent himself from ever falling off the toilet seat and envisioning the flux capacitor and thus never having the burden of knowing how to time travel. When he arrives at his house on November 5th, 1955 to stop himself from falling, he watches as his younger self hangs the clock above the toilet, sit down and take a dump, then get off the toilet without incident. Wondering how this could be, Doc suspects that all his fucking with time travel has caused changes beyond his control and he decides to use his knowledge for fame and money and markets his theory on time travel. That is why the world is going to hell.

Pee-Wee's Bicycle- After being reunited with Pee-Wee Herman, Bicycle found his former owner to be way too clingy and missed the days of being out on the open road. Fearful that his bicycle would be stolen from him again, Pee-Wee would chain Bicycle to his bed nightly. He'd only let him out of the house every now and then, never leaving his driveway and cycling around and around for hours until Bicycle got sick. As time went on and Bicycle became more and more depressed, Pee-Wee also became more alienated from other humans, not trusting anyone and therefore getting close to no one. Because of this, Pee-Wee turned to Bicycle for his sexual needs and thus commenced a grisly four year-long captivity in what would later be dubbed, "The Clown House of Terrors". Bicycle eventually escaped by jumping out the second story window and limping to Francis Buxton's house. Pee-Wee was arrested under false imprisonment and lewd conduct charges, but after developing Stockholm Syndrome, Bicycle vowed to visit Pee-Wee every day until his release on July 15th 2015.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Last Night

Sitting across the room from him, writing, listening to the consonance of alt-country, thinking how one day I hoped for a moment like this. How I used to write about the faceless passenger who rode beside me, out into the desert at night, the top down, thinking how there was nothing more beautiful than this. These thoughts converged as your face became clearer.

Sitting here thinking whether or not I'm a good daughter, if I should live closer to home, if I should not feel guilty about the impending leap I'm about to take. That will make me more hyper-focused than I've ever been.

I spoke with her earlier on the phone and I could tell she was bored. She recited the entire contents of a magazine she picked up in Walmart. A magazine featuring all the places one should visit in America. She deserves to go to all of those places. She deserves to do it sooner than later. Because life is short, right? And that is what I keep telling myself about the impending leap I'm about to take.

Sitting here thinking what she must be thinking when she tells him that he's stupid. When he tells her that he'll kill her. And with all this play-fighting within the world of Alzheimer's, I wonder when reality will set in.

He leans down to kiss me and says, "Your boyfriend is crazy about you."

I watch him pace the room, his brain filled with ideas about the movie we wrote. My brain is spilling with anxiety for no reason. For every reason. For not knowing how to handle it all. 

Sitting here waiting for the sleeping pill to set in so I will stop thinking. Ready to crawl into his arms and drift off into dreams of the desert.

Friday, August 05, 2011


I am a Jew.
A non-practicing Jew.
One of those people that is- according to Judaic Law- Jewish, but yet has only participated in one mind-numbing Seder her entire life. The sort of person who really loves telling people she's Jewish because she feels that it will help explain certain characteristics and because being part of the Jew Club is cool. Woody Allen? Gene Wilder? The Marx Brothers? They're my peeps.

My grandmother grew up with her Orthodox Jewish grandmother and after a few years she was like, "f that". So when she gave birth to my mom, she raised her Barely Christian. Then I came along and that Barely Christian turned into Notta Christian and I've been wandering around spiritually aimless for the past 28 years. When you're young, this doesn't really matter to you. You think you and everyone you love is immortal. As you start to get older and more jaded, you're like, "Fuuuuuck, I am going to die. I better figure out where I'm going, otherwise this could get really depressing."

I've wanted to reclaim my Jewishness, but it hasn't been easy. Most Jews don't practice, they just like telling people that they are Jews like me. When I go home and try to nudge my grandmother into telling me more about actually growing up in a religious household she doesn't say much other than that she knows how to say, "GO TAKE A SHIT IN THE WATER!" in Yiddish.

Her grandmother used to live near the Studebaker family, the people who made those sweet ass rides, in South Bend, Indiana. Like most elderly people, my grandmother doesn't either a.) remember much of that time or b.) thinks it's not worth talking about. I don't understand why old folks think that talking about the past is boring! Anyways, the only item she has shared with me is that her grandmother would not use wooden spoons because of her religion. I don't even know if this is accurate. When I Googled "Jews and Not Using Wooden Spoons", a Jewish learning site states, "Wooden Spoons can be kashered by hag'alah" (???) and an article titled "10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Child" also comes up.

My Mom and I both feel gypped of our Jewishness. We didn't have a choice not to be raised Jewish. In my hometown where my Mom still lives, there are like eight Jews that live there. In Texas, it's hard to find a Jew too. I'm sure there are a bunch in Austin, but you can't really tell until you start talking to them and you realize they're as equally acting neurotic as you are. That is the moment where I scream, "I'm one of you too!" and we proceed in talking excitedly with our hands.

Back in LA there were a lot of Jews, but even there, none of them did anything about except list it as their first qualification in a job interview. I did have one friend who was a practicing Jew in LA and when he invited me to have Seder dinner with he and his family, I was stoked! Until I sat at the table for five hours eating teeny bits of bitter herbs and matzo and developing heartburn. As we all sat there and read from the Haggadah hour after hour, my stomach knotting into a black void of hunger, all I kept thinking was, "WHY??? Why is that brisket sitting over in the oven all by it's lonesome and I'm stuck with a roasted egg in my hand?!" I called my grandmother afterward and said, "Oy vey, Grandma. That was rough!" She laughed at me and said, "Now you understand what I went through."

I would like to be a bona fide Jew. I'd like to not walk around saying that I'm a Jew but not really knowing what "hag'alah" means and only knowing what the Yiddish word "schlong" means. Maybe one day I'll get off my duff and go find myself the closest synagogue here in Austin. Maybe one day my grandmother, mother, and I can all have our own interpretive Seder dinner, but instead of celebrating hunger pains, we can celebrate finally being a good Jew. 'Cause Jews rock.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Coming of Age in Hollywood

my first year in Hollywood
On my blog, I've only mentioned a few times that in a previous life I was a personal assistant in Hollywood.
And as I also stated in that post, I don't talk about that time often because of the a.) WMD-sized confidentiality agreements that loom over my head and b.) because I value a person's right to privacy. I worked for people who trusted me and I will never break that trust.

I often forget that I was a personal assistant in Hollywood. Occasionally people will ask me my story- where I came from before Austin- and I'm reminded that the Hollywood part of my life was a very big part for 5 years. 5 years in 28 years of a life is, well, I'm terrible at math, let's see here, a little over a fifth of my life? One day it will be an eighth, then a sixteenth, and then I'll be dead.

I'm sad that I'm slowly forgetting this important time in my life. Or rather, forgetting the emotions I felt at the time. Like the day that I was asked to work for one of my favorite Oscar-winning actors at 20 years of age.

I had finagled myself an internship at the actor's small production company. They didn't need an intern, but I told them that they did. I was studying for a semester in Los Angeles through my college and I wanted to make the very best of it. Who knew if I would ever be back in LA?

I came into the office two days a week and painfully sat in the back room, picking my nose and typing nothing on a bulbous Mac G3. I never saw the actor, for he was off doing actorly things, nor did I see anyone else at the company for that matter except for the assistant who hired me. It was a boring internship but I felt like who I worked for would give me street cred when I would head back home to film school. The semester end was fast approaching and my final assignment had not been completed. The final assignment was to interview anyone in the entertainment business and to not be afraid to go straight to the top. Though the actor was out of town, I had heard interesting tidbits about the president of his company- a twenty-something who had formerly been in the armed services then was the actor's assistant and now his producing partner- and decided I wanted to interview him. The assistant penciled a time for me to meet with the president of the company and I anxiously awaited for that day to arrive.

There was something a little scary about the president of the actor's company. Though he had the face of a young man, he had a stoicism that could be unnerving. He had an excellent poker face for Hollywood that he had honed over the years trying to separate his previous image as the actor's assistant away from his now high-tier title. We sat on the roof patio of the uber-contemporary offices located in West Hollywood and I rattled off questions from my notepad, "What did you do before you came to Hollywood?", "Did you always know that you wanted to work in Hollywood?", "What are your goals for the future?" We talked for three hours in the Southern California sun. Within that three hours the president of the company asked me if I wanted to work for him. I reminded him that not only was I still in school, I didn't know a single thing about how Hollywood worked! He shrugged and assured me that I would learned. My head spinning, I looked at him and asked if I could give him an answer tomorrow. He obliged.

There will always be certain memories you never forget though. One of them was walking away from that meeting, getting into my car, driving my car down Fountain Avenue, listening to the Beatles "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and thinking, "This is it. My life is about to completely change." I called my mother, then my father and said, "I think I'm moving to Los Angeles". I remember so clearly thinking that I had somehow won the lottery. I had been obsessed with Hollywood ever since I was a little girl and now I was going to be a part of it!

So a memory I do often forget, which saddens me, for it's one of those events that will never happen again, occurred when I went home for 3 weeks in between the semester and starting the new job. I was at the mall shopping with my mother, picking out clothes for my new gig. My phone rang and it was the president of the actor's company. He said, "Do you have a second? The actor wants to talk to you." I nearly shat myself. Up until now, the actor had been pretty elusive, only bumping into him occasionally around the office. I told him to hold on one second and whispered to my mother that I had to find a quiet place. We both ran into the dressing room and I locked myself in, sitting on the ground, waiting to hear the actor's deep voice come over the line. The actor called to welcome me aboard. I don't remember a single word that he said. All I remember thinking is, "Last year, I was running to the movie theater to see this actor's latest movie, now he is calling me on the phone. Me. He called me personally."

I moved out to LA shortly after and rode a roller coaster I never imagined that I would experience. I ate dinner next to Lindsay Lohan, had drinks with Wayne Gretzky, got hit on by Jeremy Irons, met Robin Williams, felt Jeff Goldblum's boner, ate at some of the finest restaurants, walked into some of the most exclusive clubs, and often felt as confused and depressed as possible. Sometimes the naivety is better than the reality. The stress I felt in Los Angeles has caused me to forget whole chunks of my time there, but I try so hard to remember the young girl leading up to then and how excited she was to start her life there.

I'm still friends with the president of the actor's company, who has gone on to producer a string of successful movies- including a recent Oscar nominee. He still runs the actor's company and I occasionally chat with the assistants who now work there. The actor is still acting, but I sadly haven't seen a new movie of his in years. When you work for someone- no matter how cool they are in real life- the magic of watching them onscreen kind of flies out the window. I hold a deep fondness in my heart for all of them. Being offered that job in Los Angeles was my gateway into the adult world and will forever be my coming-of-age story.

One that I (obviously) like to romanticize about....

Monday, August 01, 2011

How to Survive Your Twenties

Last week I wrote a post about how self-help/how-to lists are often written by people completely unqualified to tell you how to live your life.

This week, I'm writing a self-help/how-to list about surviving your 20's.

Hey, my blog is not called Hipstercrite for shits and giggles.

I'm not even finished with my twenties, so I'm certainly not the best person to heed advice from, but I've come across many articles about how to survive your 20's and I think they're full of crappola. Most of the articles will say something like, "Find balance" blah blah blah. Well, that's bullshit. You're going to be a basket case of questions and worries and imbalance for a good chunk of your 20's. The best you can do is try not to let yourself go insane.

Looking back on my 20's, no amount of advice or wisdom from others was going to prevent me from making the choices I did. I was going to do what the hell I wanted to do, but looking back, I certainly learned a lot from my mistakes and wished maybe I at least had one ear sticking out of my asshole.

1.) Remember that you're not the only self-centered twenty-something going through shit, with "shit" being relative
It's really easy in your 20's to think you're the only gosh damn person who is worrying about employment, money, relationships, and creative endeavors. Well, guess what, you're not! In fact, probably the majority of people have more shit to worry about than you do- like not getting their house foreclosed on or trying to figure out a way to pay for their medical bills. Everyone is a stinkin' bag of insecurity and anxiety in their 20's and the ones who are not are just in denial. Wait until it hits them at 40. All the questions and concerns and drama that you are going through is not new, to anyone, ever, on the history of the planet. You can sit there and rattle off about why you keep hooking up with a dude who treats you like crap or why you hate your post-graduate job even thought it was what you always wanted to do, but after awhile, you sound like a self-centered boob. Talk to friends and realize that- SURPRISE!- they're in the same boat and take solace in that.

2.) Don't Date Jerks
But you're going to anyways, so the best way to deal with it is to remember that you're better than that and one day you'll wake up and realize it. Whether it be men or women, twenty-somethings are usually an insecure mess pile and they're not going to be the best people to date. In fact, they may take out their own insecurities on you by treating you like poo- not calling you back, disappearing, cheating on you, etc. Your twenties are about figuring out who you are and what you want in a partner, and sometimes it may take you into your thirties to figure that out. Or maybe you thought you figured it out and one day you wake up next to your significant other and say in a low rumble, "I've made a huge mistake." Dating jerks early on is not going to help your already questionable self-esteem get any better, so try to avoid creating piles of baggage by not doing it in the first place. Date someone who is 40 who can navigate you through this difficult decade of your life.

3.) Get a Job
Listen, don't be a bum. I know the job market sucks right now and I know that reportedly 54% of kids under 25 are unemployed now, but get a job, any job. Living in your parents basement, whining about not being able to find a job in theater because that's what you got your $60,000 degree in, not paying your bills, and becoming complacent is not going to help anyone. Taking a year off to relax and save money living at your folks is one thing. Getting an allowance from your folks at 30 is another. Working is what keeps your mind active and your ambitions alive. It is also what makes us independent from our parents vice-like grip. Everyone has to work (unless you come from a wealthy family, you ass) and sometimes you might have to work at Forever 21 or Domino's until that job you really want comes along. And if you think you're better than working at Forever 21 or Domino's and it's better to have no job than work at places like that, well, then I feel sorry for you.

4.) Pay Your Bills
It's easy not to understand the severity of falling behind when you're younger. Running up your credits cards and then not paying them, telling yourself, "oh, this will fall off my credit report in seven years" is not responsible behavior. Because, guess what! If you want to buy a house or car and the rents won't co-sign, you might be shit out of luck. Or, what is the creditor decides to go ahead and sue you for the amount owed to them? How about them apples? Being financially responsible at an early age, no matter how difficult it is, will only help you in the future. I'm not telling you to start an IRA or 401k like those other lists tell you. Fuck, I live paycheck to paycheck so I don't expect you to start contributing to savings accounts right yet (unless you're that uber-responsible person that doesn't apply to this entire post at all). Plus, the economy sucks right now anyways, so if you need your dough to survive, keep it. Save yourself a lot of future stress by staying on top of your bills as much as you can, and if you can't, call your creditors and discuss your situation with them. You'd be surprise what can happen.

5.) Make Friends With People Older Than You
Because they're the only people to tell you to shut the hell up when you start rambling about your shit. I've always gravitated towards people who are older than me because a.) they're more interesting b.) they're loyal friends and c.) they can give you excellent advice because they've already been through it all. Your older friends will keep it real. They'll look at you and roll their eyes when you tell them for the 50th time how "life is so difficult". I don't know where I'd be today without my older friends who range from ten to fifty years older than me. I look up to them and they're some of the first people I go to for advice.

6.) Listen to Your Parents
You parents are not as full of shit as you think they are. Remember, they went through the same things you did and you are a piece of them that they have known for 20+ years, so they kind of know you better than anyone. My parents were always the first people I went to for advice, but I didn't always listen to them. I typically tried to convince them how my decision was the best decision and they trusted me and supported me. Looking back, there were a few times where I wish I just stopped talking and listened. Regardless of what we think, our parents are on our side and they only want what is best for us.