Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Return of That's What She Said!

We've released the first episode of That's What She Said Season 2!

Over the three years since we finished Season 1, there have been so many life changes. People got degrees. Changed jobs. Moved. Nested. We've each taken turns leaving the city/state/country for brief and long excursions. We began having near-weekly Google Hangouts to coordinate amidst our busy schedules and cross-state/county locations. 
We've each had to go on various journeys in the last few years, and we are still very much figuring out how make the production process smoother, more streamlined, how to bring on additional support and involve those who are interested. It's tough coordinating an independent venture like this, but we're working to get better at it together. 

Being far away means I have to be careful about getting complacent as a producer. One goal for 2014: Be a badass co-producer/friend.
I see piles of dirty dishes and I get calm. Because I was the dishwasher at my college. I did it with my best friend—two years washing dishes together three nights a week. We talked the whole time. We made a system where we’d let everything pile up and then blast through it in a half hour. Which means we got paid to eat dinner and talk. I have never loved a job like I loved that one. 
The best memories I have in college are of the warm soapy water and great conversations in the small quiet room at the end of the conveyor belt. I didn’t learn much in college. I never took a writing class. I never figured out why people date except to get married. But I learned about work. Any job is a great job if you do it with a friend. 
I’ve had amazing jobs at high levels where I felt alone and it was not nearly as nice a memory as I have of washing dishes. I am at a stage of my life where I have to make decisions about what is most important about work for me. And it’s having friends. The experience of working with friends is so powerful that it can even calm me down in a roomful of purging ballerinas. 
- Penelope Trunk 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Considering the "Holiday Season" // Beginning

The increasingly inescapable connection between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the pathological consumption cycle known as “Christmas shopping” makes me surly.
- Robert Jensen, I'm The Guy Who People Think Hates Thanksgiving 
Last year I was glad to be hopping on a plane on Thanksgiving Day, primarily because I was looking forward to visiting Cambodia again, and secondarily because I was glad to be away from the holiday cheer/shopping sprees/festivities I've felt increasingly disconnected from. I love seeing family and friends, I love enjoying copious amounts of food and drink with them, and I confess that a winter is not complete without watching It's A Wonderful Life at least once, but I have always been uncomfortable with the "holiday season" in a number of ways, for a number of reasons.

From a very young age, I worried about whether my immigrant family did American things "the right way," making all holidays a source of anxiety. Whether it was buying cards and candy for friends on Valentine's Day, making gift packages for Christmas, or the way we gathered to eat turkey, potatoes, and stuffing on Thanksgiving, I was critical of the ways that my family did things differently than the images on television. There were elements of race, class, and religion in all of this. I felt my family caught between trying to maintain Khmer culture and traditions, while also trying to keep me from feeling left out as a kid born in America.
Thinking critically about Thanksgiving is not an attack on the family. I believe our families (biological and chosen) are stronger when we learn together and when we work together to create a world we want to live in.- Beja, The Last Thursday in November
Now that I am older and have a more critical view of these holidays because of their ties to capitalism, labor abuses, and glossing over history, how do I continue to engage with my loved ones? Though I may not want to support and reinforce certain holidays, I also want to take opportunities to spend time with people who otherwise have to spend much of their time working.

It's going to take a while to organize these thoughts in some coherent fashion.