Instagripe

Hey Instafriends, it’s one thing to take a selfie when you think you look great, or are doing something cool. It’s completely another to stop someone on the street and ask them to disregard whatever they are doing to take a picture of you so that you can post it; even if you’re sun salutation-ing on a mountain, even if you’re flouncing down a busy street in new shoes, even if you’re looking bored in front of Tiffany’s with pearls and a croissant.

I kind of think it’s rude. But it also peaks my curiosity…

Do you just ask randoms to photograph you? And fuck, isn’t that embarrassing?

Here’s the scenario I picture in my head…

Instafriend 1 at Starbucks calls out to the barista: “Hey! Yeah you! Can you take a picture of me staring off into the distance, sipping this espresso? Make sure you get the title of the book I’m reading in the shot!”

Like, I’m pretty proud of how lawyerly I look today — I’m dressed in a business suit, in the lobby of a nice hotel, with legal pads and manila folders in disarray around my workstation. Should I ask the other intern to walk about 10 feet away and take a picture of me from across the lobby so I can properly document this instamoment? Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

My one experience with this was on a police academy tour. This girl put on all this SWAT team gear and then asked me to take a picture of her, I obliged, and she offered to take one of me with my semi-automatic weapon so I let her. I mean, she offered right? That’s different than just asking someone. After all, it’s not every day I look this threatening:

 

But, hey, maybe I’m misinterpreting this. Perhaps my instafriends are just swarmed by people who like to chronicle their every move?

Like Lindsay Lohan… if you check out her instagram account, clearly, she has a whole team just taking pictures of her to post—Look it’s Lindsay on a boat, Lindsay’s in the air,  here’s Lindsay in the Prada dressing room,  there’s Lindsay not being a working actress, etc etc etc.

My new year’s resolution was to take more selfies, only so I could remember how unwrinkled my face once was, but I just do not have the gall to ask someone to take pictures of me doing things, no matter how image enhancing they might be on instagram.

 

Oh wait.

 

*Photo Credit: Intern Charles

 

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Spinning

 

 

I had a dream last night that I gave birth to two sets of newborn twins, and a toddler, all at once. Like, over the course of one evening I became a mother of five. The children’s father ( my husband?)  was 5’3″ and from some indeterminate Central or South American country.  He didn’t speak,  but he smiled a lot.

I distinctly remember thinking in the dream that I had thrown away my life, and was now permanently stuck with five babies and a grinny latin mini-husband.

But, because I was stuck–I was stable.

My takeaway from this dream is that I am sick of change, and need to find a stable situation.

Just not that one.

Looking back, I guess it’s been a pretty chaotic five years.

I wrote on my law school admissions personal statement that by the time I was 12 I had lived in 13 different residences. Well it just occurred to me that in the last five years, I’ve lived in six different residences.

The cycle continues… Fuck, I’m my mother… etc., etc. Damnit.

Seriously though, my life right now, is vastly different from what it was a year ago, which was vastly different from what it was the year before that, which was vastly different from what it was the year before that, and so on, since like 2008.

Which makes me terrified that I purposely eschew stability because it makes me feel “stuck.”

I crave it now, but I’ve thrown it away before. In 2008, oh, I had some stability… but by 2009 I was like “nah” and plunged headfirst back into chaos.

I don’t regret it, but I do worry that I made that decision— not because I was young, free and 25, as I tell myself,— but because that decision is just who I am.

For instance, in 2013 I had a solid, stable career. But similarly… I was like “nah” and plunged headfirst into legal memoranda, instead.

Im afraid that somewhere in my subconscious’ dictionary:

Stability –  [stuh-bil-i-tee] (noun)  dry rot.

Or… maybe, I was just in my 20s–( clearly, my favorite way to rationalize, like, anything)

I’m 31 now and I guess its a good sign for the latter that I have been perusing real estate listings lately. Nothing says permanence like home ownership.

Right now, I want one address. No, I want ONE COUCH at one address that I can sit on, forever and ever.  Right now.

If I had that, I wonder if I’d throw it away too. I really shudder to think that my whole life could just be this exhausting tumult that I’ve been living in because I am incapable of being content with anything else. Yikes.

However, here’s the thing about change though, its the only constant. And sometimes you don’t choose it, it chooses you.  I can’t help that, obviously. But at a time when I don’t even recognize my life from one day to the next, the decision to stagnate with a house, five babies and a tiny Mexican mute to call my own doesn’t sound so bad.

…Right now.

 

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Thoughts

People are either vitamins or drugs. Drugs can immediately fill a void, but it’s temporary and it’s bad for you. Vitamins sustain you, although most times their effect is imperceptible.

 

 

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My Plight of Facebook Oppression


I remember in December 2004 when I first joined this whole Facebook thing and it was all about, like, connecting with other people you may not have “met” technically but who were friends of friends, or were affiliated with the same University as you.

I remember in like February 2005 searching “Jesus Christ” and “Peter Griffin” on Facebook and sending friend requests to the one that popped up with the most friends. I wanted to be Facebook friends with Jesus Christ and Peter Griffin, dammit.

It was all so new and exciting back then.

Now…
1. I spend way more time thinking about insignificant people than I should.
2. I spend way more time looking at pictures of insignificant people than I should.
3. I assign far too much meaning to insignificant occurrences or nonoccurrences that transpire on Facebook.
4. People I actually liked at one point I flat-out abhor, if only for their incessant posting, or candy crush invitations (YES I STILL GET THESE, KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!)

All that being said, I still appreciated the fact that Facebook gave me the freedom to cultivate a lifestyle, and an identity that was not nearly as mind-numbing as the existence I actually maintain. This was a great self-esteem boost. I could check my page and be reminded that no matter what I actually thought about my life, it sure looked like I knew what the hell I was doing.

Success!

But fuck if they didn’t just take that from me too.

I went to edit my profile today to change my name from my current Firstname-Middlename combo, to Carrie Stardust (my new bad-ass Weird Hot alter-ego) and the damn thing wouldn’t let me. I tried several more times but it kept popping up with a box that said Facebook was now mandating that people use their real, legal names and if I really wanted to change my name I had to scan in my government issued id so they could verify it. Or I could input it as my alternate name which would pop up under my REAL NAME like so:

Carrie Elizabeth

(Carrie Stardust)

Well that just looks fucking stupid, and totally de-bad-asses anything cool about Carrie Stardust.

Plus, Elizabeth is not even my real last name, Facebook, I deleted that from you years ago, you dumb whore!

That is my errant hostility coming out on account of realizing that where Facebook used to be about me and you and us, it now blatantly prefers the corporate membership and frankly, my feelings are a little hurt.

I know this because the corporations are the only ones who could possibly care that much about what my real legal name might be. They want to cross-reference my identity with various lists and databases of potential buyers so they can more effectively market their stupid, stupid products. They need my legal name so they can find out my address, my phone number, what brand of deodorant I bought last month, and where I shop for chew toys for the Puppy Lady. That is the only reason that I’m not allowed to be Carrie Stardust or Carrie UnicornGlitter or Old Mother Hubbard or whoever the hell I want to be.

And with that, I think I might be done with Facebook. I mean it only has lackluster appeal anymore anyway. It’s really just a series of redundant buzz feeds, and hoax celebrity deaths. Even the passive aggressive dramatic posts that were always good for a laugh have subsided in recent years. Plus, a smaller number of “real friends” are connected to me via other social media sites that are not so conglomerated or totalitarian.

I really think Facebook is like the new AOL, you know? Everyone was on it, and then, all of a sudden, no one was.

So, in short, I think the Facebook party used to be a blast, but now it’s a totally overbearing bore. And I definitely don’t want to overstay my welcome.

xoxo

Carrie Stardust

Side note 1: Maybe I’m using the party metaphor because I’m still hopeful that I might actually get a real, live high school reunion one of these days.

Side note 2: If you ask me, I think the only place it should be mandatory to use your real legal name is in the comments section of blog posts or news articles, because it will cut down on all the senseless clownfuckery and trolling.

 

 

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Fashion Problems- I started writing this in March but forgot to post until now

 

 

^ If you’re wondering, this dress wins the Oscar for Best Oscar Dress. I love her because when everyone else is wearing Navy, or Tiffany Blue, she comes at you with sky. I think I had legit forgotten this color existed in clothing until Oscar Night. 

Now I love fashion, in fact I have only recently discovered that it is my prime motivation for having an active social life.

Turns out, I don’t really like people that much– I just need an excuse to wear the things I own.

So…yes, I will go to dinner with you… but only so I can wear my new shoes.

That being said I take HUGE issue with a lot of the fashion industry. From an outsider perspective, it seems to be chiefly populated by lemmings, who scurry around assigning way, way too much importance to the things they do, and scoffing at those who have a realistic perspective on where Charlotte Olympia flats fit into the scheme of human existence.

I’m all about work place passion, but unless you’re curing cancer, you’re not curing cancer, y’know?

But that is just mildly ass-chapping. My main frustration with the lemmings is that somehow Terry Richardson is still gainfully employed, and respected by much of the industry, despite the ample evidence that he is a creepy, exploitative sexual predator. ALLEGEDLY…yes.  But I’m fairly certain he’s guilty because a.) his mustache b.) his pervy masquerading as “artistic” body of NOTSAFEFOR WORK

This article infuriated me. If only because back when I was acting more I’ve auditioned for things and been in things where I had to do things that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with.* And its really, really easy to convince yourself that you have to do them in order to be successful. I’ve become so sensitive to this lately, that I’ll watch art films that depict sex scenes between dinosaur Geoffrey Rush and some 20 year old chick and get really appalled. The first thought I have is that Geoffrey is enjoying himself a little too much, and the second thought I have is that the director is obviously living out some sick, twisted fantasy vicariously by including this scene in the movie. And then I get really uncomfortable and feel really bad for the poor actress who felt like she had to do this scene.

Which brings me to the third thought: Men are really fucking disgusting. And the fourth: Women are really easy to exploit.

Terry Richardson just perhaps more so than average, and I, hopefully, less.

*Ahem, Debbie Does Dallas: the Musical, ahem.

 

 

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How to win friends and influence people with cocktails

 

That is such a baiting headline I’m kind of ashamed of myself but moving on…

We live in the age of Facebook Image Crafting, and because of it people seem to think that the best way to earn respect and admiration is to be perfect. Hence, they plaster their social media feeds with filtered images of their perfect relationships, perfect kids, perfect dinners, perfect pinterest crafting projects, etc.

And dude–I’m all about boosting my self-esteem via social media, so I get it. I mean, who really wants to cop to how fucked up and flummoxing life is? Not I, said the millennial.

But when it comes to earning admiration and respect, you’re doing it wrong. Perfection does not garner admiration, it garners jealousy…which, technically, is admiration but with an added pinch of disdain.

Haters be jealous, but if you want admirers you need to have sparing chinks in your otherwise pristine armor. And you need to draw sparing attention to them, too.

Anyways, I’m writing on this subject because basically I’m just really pissed that people still seem to hate Anne Hathaway. She’s a perfectly acceptable actress, she’s aesthetically pleasing to look at, and she is poised and articulate. And, unfortunately,  just a little too put together to be perceived as “real”.

Anne Hathaway is that frenemy you follow on instagram who is thinner and richer (translation: better) than you, and you really fucking hate her because you want to be thinner and richer too.

You are jealous of Anne Hathaway. You can not relate to Anne Hathaway.

Jennifer Lawrence is that friend you follow on instagram who is thinner and richer but curses regularly, drinks beer and falls on her ass.

You admire Jennifer Lawrence. You are just so sure that you and Jennifer Lawrence would totally be besties if you met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The irony is that I’m almost certain that Jennifer Lawrence’s persona is more “crafted” than Anne’s. Honestly, I think they’re both pretty chill people with half a brain. The only difference is maybe that Jennifer is more comfortable broadcasting vulnerability in the form of embarrassing herself and seeming a little crass. That’s really all…but  that is also precisely why proper Facebook image crafting requires a willingness to be perfect-ish, and then post a picture of a big coffee or spaghetti stain on your shirt because you spilled. This is the social media version of the “Celebrities! They’re just like us!” column in the tabloids.

I’ve simplified this further with a cocktail recipe below.

Thus:

An adoring public cocktail:

3.5  parts elegance

1 part total mess.

Serve slightly inaccessible and chilled but, by no means, frigid.

Feel free to substitute soda for elegance and whiskey for total mess. It’s actually quite metaphorical.

Also, this ratio skewers slightly the higher-brow your public function is. Actresses, for instance, are different than first ladies and diplomats, who should probably max out at .5 part total mess. Still, the money’s in the mess, as long as it’s proportionate.

If you have too much mess people will laugh at you (Tara Reid or that friend you have that posts something like this :”That’s it I’m so over it.”).

And…y’know be thankful either way for, like, the gift of life. Whether you’re more high-flying hated like Anne or adored like Jlaw at least your not fucking ridiculous like Kristin Stewart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adverlawyering

 

 

Fig 1. Bad law

Fig 2. Bad ad

Last summer when I announced my decision to go on sabbatical from the real world in order to become a full-time law student it was met with understandable side eye. My close friends had known that it was an idea I had been incubating until the right time, but others were pretty stupefied. I had a fairly cushy, work from home if I wanted to,  position, and my clients were pretty cool, which almost never happens. Advertising is not the most lucrative position, but after years of scraping, I was freelancing on the side and was pretty financially comfortable going out most nights of the week.

Law school was such a seemingly unrelated, expensive, potentially useless career move that to some it made little sense. I mean, I was/am starting all over from square one. (Case in point: at the moment I am applying for unpaid internships. I am 30 years old).

Now it’s been a while since I’ve seen square one but its not a bad little place to hang out every once in a while. It tends to bring out the opportunistic idealist in all of us. (Case in point: I am applying for unpaid internships and am not totally hostile at the fact that they are unpaid because of the experience I stand to gain).

However, the further I get into my studies and understanding of the legal profession, the further I am realizing that advertising and law are kind of exactly, 100%, the same, except not. The language is different but the struggles are parallel.

Here is why*:

1. Advertising is primarily a client service industry.

If you don’t make clients happy, you don’t stay employed. In law, if you can’t make your clients happy, you won’t stay employed, either.

2. The billable hours are just as vast.

Christ if I could tell you the hours I used to work when I was a young, upstart account executive. Evenings, weekends, I occasionally even got up super early to get to the office and that is something I am pretty much abhorrently against.

Similarly, from my understanding, once you work at a big corporate law firm you are almost never heard from again.

3. The “work hard, play hard” mentality is thankfully also vast.

Of the people I know that can out drink my advertising friends, most of them are lawyers or lawyers-in-training. Thats a damn tall order too because you should see my advertising friends.

Additionally, never have I attended so many school-oriented functions that were centered around happy hour.

4. You work yourself to death for years to ultimately either make partner or go in-house.

yup.

5.  You speak in Greek.

This is a relatively inconsequential similarity, but often times advertising agencies will present concepts for mail pieces or artwork in which the copy is “greeked” in. This tactic is utilized to show the general layout, even if all the information needed to create the copy is not yet known.

Ex/ 

Therefore, advertising clients are often actually reading Greek, whereas legal clients just think they are.

Har har har.

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SELF(ie) ACCEPTANCE

It is fairly rare that I take pictures of myself, by myself, and post them on social media.

This is for 2 reasons.

1. Because of the obvious pandering involved. The subtext of every selfie is “Please remark on how wonderful I am and how beautiful I look. Thanks kbi” Not that I’m not a bit vain, because I totally am, but I just prefer not to advertise that quality.

2. And there’s also the fact that the amount of time that it takes me to get a decent selfie is prohibitive because I really suck at assessing my own flattering angles and lights (see above).  Thankfully, when a camera comes out I have one face and one pose that is pretty foolproof.

This  past year I realized that I look the same in every picture, though, so I resolved to try to be fun and natural and spontaneous anytime someone brought out a camera.

Like this chick, see…

 

This is a good photo-phor for what I would like my life to be.

Meanwhile, this is my actual life, and my actual attempt at fun and natural and spontaneous:

 

Fun and natural ≠ awkward and shapeless. As for spontaneous, I am spontaneously hunching so…perhaps that counts.

And then here was another attempt.

I succeeded in looking fun and spontaneous (there is nothing natural about gold sequined leggings), and also succeeded in looking 30 pounds heavier (there is nothing flattering about gold sequined leggings).

So… I went back to my one pose/one face thing for a while and swore-off stupid selfies, opting instead for another annoying instagram cliche:

Pictures of my dog!

Then a few weeks later when I was recapping everyone’s New Years shenanigans via social media, I had my first epiphany of 2014. Gold sequined leggings or not, I am 30 years old  and fine-line free!

BUT NOT FOR LONG.

I will likely never look as good as I do now, again.

As sad as that thought is, when I am old and wrinkly, I at least want to be able to remember how I looked in my (semi) youth.

I also want to be able to do this conveniently, without having to dig around a dusty attic for old photo boxes and albums.

Thus, I have resolved this year to take more selfies.

And whats more… I am kicking off this resolution with a big ole’ selfie-centric blog post brimming with narcissism.

I also just changed my hair, like in a big way, and there is nary a better excuse to post a selfie than with a dramatic appearance change.

After about 60 attempts (I’m getting better!) I managed to eke out a pretty good one:

God Bless you Instagram filters!

Thanks to you, none of us have to remember ourselves as we actually looked… 

 

 

Rather, we can remember ourselves how we thought we looked, in our own swollen heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Spent My Winter Break

 

 

 

By Caroline Elizabeth Hubbard

Books read: 3.5

Wine Bottles consumed: 3-5

Days I did not get out of bed: 2.  I rationalized that this would probably be the absolute last time in my life when I would have so much free time and so little responsibility. I feel guilty for it though as I hated the me’s of the world and the flounderers when I was working 60+ hours a week for years.

IN OTHER NEWS

It is now 2014. I can’t quite wrap my head around this. The older you get, the faster time goes, I guess.  Last year, at the dawn of 2013 I had decided to take a break from the whole resolution thing to just see where I ended up without thinking about it. I could never have resolved to have ended up where I am now anyway, it’s just too strange. Suffice to say, I made no overarching goals for 2013 but somehow managed to experience more  forward trajectory than the previous five years, easily.

So I’m sticking to that plan by not making any serious resolutions this year either.

Merely, I want to lose 8 pounds, get good grades, and visit somewhere else I’ve never been.

Also to take more selfies, but more on that later.

 

 

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Why I will never see Catching Fire

Or 12 Years a Slave

or especially not The Passion of The Christ

and probably not even Braveheart

I saw a whipping scene in a shitty reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood starring Isabella Rossellini and Craig T. Nelson from Coach* when I was about 6 and have never been the same. It was not particularly graphic or shot in close view, being a kids movie and all, but it did lead me to discover that I just do not process any scenes depicting torture, sadistic violence or corporeal human suffering like a reasonable person. Rather, I am seriously shaken and horrified for an unreasonably long, long time afterwards. It affects my ability to sleep or to think about ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE HORRIFIC SCENE I have just witnessed for a disproportionately long, long-ass time afterwards, too.

It’s weird, I know.

I suspect most normal people are actually able to separate reality and the movies. Not I.

I mitigate this defect with a combination of research and excuses. In 10th grade we had to watch Glory in history class and I told my teacher that I felt sick and got a pass to go to the nurse. I carefully read the synopses of Game of Thrones on EW.com prior to viewing any episode so I know what scenes to hastily excuse myself from when I do watch it. I look up other movies on random Christian sites because they are usually very explicit with a play-by-play about the violence depicted in each scene.

And most of the time I just ask my close friends who know of my irrational fear and see a lot of movies.

It really sucks sometimes, as in Catching Fire, because I really loved reading The Hunger Games book series but I don’t think I’ll be able to watch either of the subsequent movies. Also, it dawned on me today that I should probably give up my dream of becoming an E! correspondent because the prudent thing when interviewing a celebrity about their movie is to watch it before hand.

Sorry, Chiwitel.

My reaction to these kind of scenes, even mild ones, is obviously much stronger than normal, but in the case of movies such as 12 Years a Slave or The Passion of The Christ–movies that seem to exist specifically to give people the same kind of horrifying reactions I so fervently avoid–I am really freakin’ bewildered in addition to horrified.

Just like I abhor the sadistic violence scenes, I equally abhor the masochistic tendencies of people who seek them out because they feel it somehow enriches their human experience or something ridiculous like that.

When I was in college my roommate urged me to see The Passion of The Christ because she felt it was something everyone needed to see to better understand what Jesus went through. For the record, she was also a strong Christian, which colors her perception of the experience in a different way than mine BUT I disagreed with her logic anyway.

Ask anyone who has ever experienced profound suffering, if they had a choice whether to experience it or not experience it, I suspect most of them would choose not to. Thats how I feel about subjecting myself to The Passion of The Christ. I choose not to (suffer).

This goes back to why I disagree with the whole notion of any kind of religious self-flagellation or even giving something up for Lent. If Jesus suffered SPECIFICALLY so YOU don’t have to, isn’t that a slap in the face to then intentionally subject yourself to suffering in spite of that? (in the case of Lent the suffering is questionable of course–giving up carbs is hardly tantamount to Jesus’ experience, which in itself is, to me, an additional slap in the face but whatever) Lent post.

But back to the movies–people like my boyfriend, who approach them from an artistic standpoint, can sit through some seriously depraved shit and see metaphors (about Nazis ) instead of images (of teenagers getting mutilated). Meanwhile, I can’t unsee the teenagers.

He will watch 12 Years a Slave and The Passion of The Christ through that same lens and be totally fine, but I can’t say he thinks it will make him a better person to have sat through it. And I’m glad for that, because I don’t believe that it will, either.

So… ultimately, I say watch whatever you want but, for Christsakes (pun) don’t do it unless you enjoy it on an entertainment level.

And lastly, if you’re the type of person who truly gets enjoyment out of the prospect of human suffering, whether real or fictional, you’re everything thats wrong with the world and I hate you.

 

 * Ring any bells for anyone? We had it on VHS–taped off the TV, natch.

 

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