Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1 Class Down, 2 more to go

I finished all the work for my creative performance today and now I can sit back and relax.

Well not really. I got a ton of stuff for my other two classes (thesis and screenwriting), but at least I don't have to worry about this other class. And because I know you guys TOTALLY want to hear my final project, here it is:

It's an audio play about a tour guide at a metal kazoo factory (It's 17 minutes FYI... hey... it's a play okay?!):

And because I know you guys ALSO want to hear about the crazy-ness that happened after I presented it to the class and to hear about a RIDICULOUS person in my class who also presented her project... (really it's a good story), you should click on the link below for my Tumblr post about it cause it comes complete with hilarious GIFS that adequately express my emotions (also you should read the tags at the bottom because they also add to the story and give you a better picture why I think this person is ridiculous):


Okie doke... that is all for now.

Just like 3 more weeks and I'm DONE. THREE MORE WEEKS.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It All Started With That Damn Squirrel

Two posts two days in a ROW!! I'd just like to preface this with saying, don't expect me to be posting everyday now. Today was just too weird of a day and I had too great of a story to not tell you what happened. After this I'll go into hiding again till the end of the semester. Promise.

This morning, on my way to work, I hit a squirrel.

I tried to slow down, but it was just going too fast and then I distinctly heard a thud. (Gosh, if I'm in my car, animals should just stay away. Things never work out well for them.)

I felt a tinge of sadness and guilt for hitting it, but it's not like it was enough for me to do anything. I continued on to work and carried on with my day and forgot about the squirrel for the most part.

Should have known that squirrel was a sign of how the day would go.

At lunch, I purposefully avoided looking at some lady? (I don't know I wasn't looking at her/him remember?) who was begging for money, holding out her hat to cars that were at the stop light. I don't carry cash, so it's not like I had any to give anyway.

Another sign?

By the end of the day, I had forgotten all about both, and I was tired and ready to go home. I even thought to myself... perhaps I'll take a power nap before I have to go to a rehearsal (because I agreed to help a classmate with her final project; I clearly have a problem with telling people no).

FYI, that power nap never happened. Here's what did:

As I was leaving work, I turned right out of the parking lot and went about 20 feet before I was waved down by an older (probably in his 40s) African American man, wearing, oddly enough, a "Master Thug" shirt (as in Mastercard... get it?) (But I'll be honest, I didn't notice the shirt till later on, it just seemed interesting compared to what happened next. Also, I only added that he was black so you could get an accurate description. I really didn't care that he was black.) Next to him was what I assumed was his son, who looked like he was 17 or so. I pulled over and rolled down my window to see what was up.

He asked if I had a jack that they could borrow because they had a flat tire. Seemed like an innocent enough request to me and we were literally RIGHT in front of my work building, so I parked and pulled out the jack for him.

But then he told me they didn't have a spare tire to replace it with, which made me wonder why they needed a jack then if they didn't have something. The guy told me that he was just in the building to talk to a lawyer on the 12th floor, and he pulled out his paperwork to prove it to me (it looked legit... legit... like I even know? Ugh whatever.) He said he was trying to get a divorce, which is why he was there meeting with the lawyer. He told me he didn't have any money, and all he had was $2 (so he couldn't buy a tire either), which he gladly offered me several times (I didn't take it).

After making excuses myself (I had to get to class, I didn't have any cash) and having them not work, I said I could drive him to the tire place, which was down the street (about 3 minutes away) and drop him off. So, he left his son to watch the car (which was now on my jack) and he came with me to the tire place.

Now before you start lecturing me about how this was a terrible idea, I get it okay. There were tons of things I should have done differently or not done... I understand. But this is what happened. And I'd like to think that if it hadn't been what I should be doing, I would have gotten a sinking feeling about him or the situation. But I didn't. So I carried on... as you should do now with my story:

On the way to the tire place he tells me his nickname is Mike but his given name is Columbus "like the explorer Christopher" (got it) and that he's not from around there so he doesn't really know where he is because he's from the Garland/Dallas/635 area. I tell him my name is Mattie, but that's it. He then proceeds to tell me that he's trying to get a divorce from his wife who he hasn't seen in awhile because she ran off with another woman (WHAT? Did I hear that right?). And he's trying to get the divorce done so that he can marry the boy's (the 17 year old that was with him) mother. He also tells me how much he has to pay for rent etc. and how much he had to pay for the lawyer (you know clearly illustrating to me that he has no money to buy this tire).

So the first trip to the tire place (that's right I said first as in there were multiple trips), we go and borrow a lug nut wrench from the tire people because mine wouldn't fit on their car (and luckily the tire dude was SUPER nice in letting us just take it.) And then I decide I'll be super nice and drive him back. He asks the tire dude how much a used tire will be ($35), and he looks at me wondering what I'll say.

I don't know what happened. I guess I thought... $35 isn't too much; this guy looks pretty sad and he just wants to get a divorce from his gay soon to be ex wife so he can marry this other chick and be a dad to this kid. I don't know. I don't know okay.

And so I told him it was fine and I'd buy it for him. He practically jumped for joy and said he had to serve me and stopped me from opening my own car door so he could hold it open for me. We drove back to his car, and I waited for him to take the tire off, and we then drove BACK to the tire place. I bought him a new tire and then drove back to his car so he could put it on.

The little trips were probably the most interesting because he told me about how he always had a feeling his soon to be ex was gay but he could never prove it. I asked how he found out (hey he was already sharing and I was kind of curious... hello I was thinking of you guys. I wanted a good story. Ugh... me and my writer inclinations dang it.). He told me he was in prison (Ummm what? Yeah I didn't ask him this time and he didn't share the reason.) and she had written him a letter telling him, and when he got out and came home he found her and realized it was all true.

He asked me how that could be. How could another woman just run off with another woman? He couldn't understand it and didn't know why people did that because God doesn't like that. God wouldn't make them that way on purpose would he? That's not what it says in the Bible... etc. (He went on but I really didn't say much or comment on anything he was saying... I just kind of said "I don't know" a lot and nodded and said "I understand." I'm also not commenting to you about this either because of other reasons, so just know these words were from him and I remained neutral and rather silent while he rambled.) He also told me about how he was taught to respect women and how a relationship is about doing things for each other and listening to each other. He said he knows how to treat his woman right, even in bed (Umm ok... TMI. Luckily this was the last trip back to the car and we were super close to it.) and then quickly added he didn't mean "no disrespect... but it's true." (Thank you for that.) He said he'd come visit me, I told him that was okay (I wasn't going to give him any kind of address because even though I had spent $35 and he could have theoretically paid me back, I didn't care enough to want to see this person ever again.)

I waited in the car for a bit while he changed out the tire and while his "son" was finishing up he came over to me.

Now this is what kind of made me wonder if I should have done what I did and helped him because the man had the audacity to ask me this.

He asked if he could have $5. I got kind of angry at this and thought he was pretty rude for asking considering everything I've done for him at this point. I told him again I didn't have any cash, and I couldn't give him any money. He said he wanted to buy cigarettes and I could use my card. (EXCUSE ME?) Not going to lie, I got pissed. I told him, "I am not buying you cigarettes. I just bought you a $35 tire, and I don't even know you." He could tell I was pissed at him for even asking and he quickly and profusely tried to apologize and say that I already did so much and it was fine and he was just asking and it's okay.

He finished putting the tire on, gave me my jack back, and then I left (with the hope and his promise that he'd take the wrench from the tire place back. I sure hope he did.).

So here's my question to you... in a world where everyone is distrusting of everyone else, where there are so few occasions where others do good deeds because we feel like they are just scamming us, or where we judge someone based on what they look like or how they are dressed, was I being too trusting? Should I have just said "Sorry sucks to be you; I have to go, give me my jack back"? Should I have just ignored his waving and kept driving because he didn't look how a "trustworthy" person looks? Was I being a good samaritan or was I a sucker and being played for a fool by the "Master thug"?

I'd like to think that I was doing the right Christ-like thing and because of that the Lord was watching out for me and made sure nothing bad went down, but honestly I don't know the answer myself.

But what I do know is that it was all because of that damn squirrel.

It Ended Where It Began

Um... so... hey guys!

Remember me?

Hey, I did say I wouldn't be able to post much till after I was done with school, and really I shouldn't even be typing this, but I'm hoping writing this out will help get my mind focused.

I have about 3 weeks till the end of my grad school career.

It's crazy, right?

And it's ending how it began.

With an emotional breakdown.

If you recall, when I started my grad school career I had so many problems with administrative type issues (financial aid and what not) that I broke down and started crying, worried that if I couldn't handle this, maybe I wasn't cut out for grad school after all.

And, now, I am so close to the end I can see it, and I'm almost there.

But there is so much I have to do before I get to the end. Once it all caught up to me, my stress was through the roof and I pretty much just lost it.

This happened a week or so ago, so I'm a little better now, but I'm probably just as stressed (if not more so since I'm a week from the deadline on most of these things).

It was a combination of many factors (which is always the case in emotional breakdowns, am I right?), that involved work, school, and church, and I almost gave up and just wanted to abandon everything. I called my mom and broke down in tears telling her I couldn't do it (ugh I'm tearing up now just thinking about it).

And even though my mom likes to criticize me sometimes (her way of trying to get me to be better, which I get), instead she told me that I could and that I needed to sit down and make a list of everything I needed to get done and what I had to do to complete that list (my mom, always the practical one).

Isn't it great how moms always seem to know what you need?

I'm still stressed, but I've made a lot of progress, which is important. But, this week and next I'm just going to be a grumpy, distracted, stressed out mess. I have a final project (which is almost completed) and accompanying paper due (not too stressed about that part but should probably write it sometime before then...) on the 16th for my acting class, and the 1st draft of my thesis is due on the 20th (yeah my blog which I have NO posts up for... this is the thing I'm freaking out about the most).

After the 20th, I'll be a little more personable and friendly... because after that I'll just have to do my thesis presentation and accompanying reflection paper (to wrap everything up), and then my 90 page script (of which I currently only have 26 pages of because I had to REWRITE the 36 pages I had.... yeah that was one of the things that contributed to the emotional breakdown) for my screenwriting class is due on the 10th.

Then graduation is on the 19th.

And then I'll have a Master's of Arts in Emerging Media and Communications from the University of Texas at Dallas.