Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crazy Random Happenstances

Weird things happen to me all the time. I predict songs on the radio, dream random things that end up happening and occasionally find myself on the same frequency as another person. I'm pretty sure this happens to everyone at some level, some people more frequently and some more intensely, but I think we all have had some experience that made us go "Whoa, that was weird." I think I'm past the days of believing in signs and miracles (very rarely have I found any relevance or pattern to these occurrences) but I'm not sure I believe in coincidence either. I've been pondering lately why and how these things happen and can't seem to come up with anything satisfying... so I'm opening the question up to anyone who reads this. Does this happen to you? What is your explanation for how and why these things happen? Do you think there is any pattern or significance, maybe not directly evident? Does it matter?

I'm going to give three examples of things that have happened to me this weekend alone, and then encourage any and all input.


1. Alphabet Soup
Friday night I'm laying on my couch, feeling sort of contemplative and melancholy and watching
"Et Dieu créa la femme." I decide to make myself a bowl of vegetable soup, the kind with the little alphabet letters in it. When the movie is over and the soup is all gone, I set the bowl on the floor and start talking to T online. I fall asleep mid conversation and have a dream about said T. I wake up a bit later, close my computer and check my phone. As I go to set my phone down, the light shines on my bowl, revealing a tiny bit of broth with the letters B and T right next to each other in the middle of the bowl. There's nothing else, and they are so perfectly positioned, it looks like someone did it intentionally. I didn't think much of it at the time and went back to sleep, but a part of me couldn't help but think, "Why now, under these circumstances, when I'm feeling like this?"


2. Bradley
I've gotten so used to the connection I have with my son that I don't really notice things like this anymore. On a regular basis I'll be thinking something and he'll draw a picture of it, or he'll be playing and randomly say exact words that run through my head out loud. I can't explain it but there it is. This one happened tonight. I was laying here thinking about Wall-E of all things. More specifically when Eve shuts down and Wall-E stays by her side diligently and lovingly, trying to bring her back or at least make the experience as pleasant for her as he can. It made me think about humans and our ability to love and care for each other; Our pati
ence and resilience and the things that love makes us (or allows us to) do. I've been considering the changing times and if these things are possible anymore, and if they will become less so in the future. At that moment Bradley calls my name from his bedroom where he is supposed to be sleeping. I go in and he says, "Mom, I was thinking about Wall-E. Do you think the future will be like that?" He was probably talking about the way society is portrayed in the movie, but still the irony of the question could not be overlooked.

3. Britt Clardy and Dreams
I was sitting under the stars with Britt Clardy and CACole Saturday night talking about dreams. Britt shared with us a recent dream he had in which there was some odd, apocalyptic destruction of mankind (seen only as occurring in close proximity to him but the assumption was that this was the end of life as the earth knows it and the beginning of something new and unknown). Rather than panicking he watches this unfold with wonder and contemplation. The next thing he knows he's walking through a deserted forest with no idea of where he is but the understanding that he is headed toward the right destination. Eventually he comes across a shack and, understanding that this is his destination, goes toward it. People that he doesn't know begin to call his name, he goes toward them and is invited to play a sport with them. The dream ends with him thinking over the occurrences of his day and feelings completely and totally bewildered, but with a sense that he is okay.
"You're joking me," I say to Britt Clardy. "I told you my dream and you're messing with me." Britt assures me this is not true and I have to agree because I only shared the dream I had (on the same day) with one person and it wasn't Britt. Mine also involved an incredibly odd destruction of mankind, seen in the same way and taken with the same curious but calm attitude. Later I am walking down a dusty trail through empty fields with no idea of where I am but looking for the place I'm supposed to be. I come across a broken down country cottage where there are people waiting to greet me. They know me but I don't know them. An older woman welcomes me in and a guy my age invites me to play video games with him. I am completely confused, trying to figure out what has happened but feel comforted by the familiarity offered by these people. CACole looks at me, then Britt, then me (and repeats) with his mouth gaping open.

Dallas Observer... sometimes they let me write.


Good news! I've found something to like about my job! On occasion they let me write and as that occasion is becoming more frequent, I'm starting to lose track of everything. So I'm going to keep links to everything here and update each week. Here's what I've done so far.

Print

Online: Why? Review

Online: Ratatat Review

Online: Del tha Funky Homosapien Review

Best Of: Index !!!

Best Of: Barcadia

Best Of: David Sance


Monday, September 22, 2008

Feminism and Funny

Of course these are hilarious and brilliantly done but I love them because they also bring up a point that I've been trying to make since my junior year of college.

The best line of all time:

(on sexism) "An issue which I am surprised to hear people suddenly care about."


Behold: Palin/Clinton address the nation





Couric/Palin interview

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Q & A (minus Q)

I've compiled (and anticipated) some FAQ's... just to clear things up.

A: Yeah, about 15 lbs. There's nothing to congratulate. I threw up every morning for a week, spent two months doing nothing (and when I say nothing, I mean nuh. thing.) but working and sleeping and then the next two months doing nothing but sleeping and attempting more sleep. That brings me up to mid-June when I was reintroduced to food by way of a slice of birthday cake. The appetite comes and goes these days but I think I've lost an overall interest in food. Also, I'm still out of shape, my jeans don't fit and now I have even less in the way of boobs than I did before.


A: I went with Blogspot over Wordpress because I like the little B icon in the corner. B for Brittan.

A: I'm not being lazy or led astray, ungrateful or apostate. I don't really feel the need to discuss it further. I've worked it out with myself and opened up to the people who matter most to me. I am anything but apathetic and I'm genuinely calm now.

A: I work for the Dallas Observer. I'm the Editorial Assistant. I figure I can look at it as one of two things: a.) the result of a really bad decision made back in June or b.) the waiting period before the result of a really good decision made back in June. Either way, I won't be here for long. The festival world is calling my name... and then telling me to wait on the budget... and then calling my name again. It's only a matter of time. The perk: I get to write. Nothing of substance but it's the funnest part of my week.

A: Bradley is great. I can say that honestly now because, thankfully, we've met again after those months of crysleepcryfilmfestivalcrysleepsleepsleep. He's in first grade and is by far the smartest kid in his class (it's true), is learning to play piano and has found a shy kid refuge in skateboarding. Also, I'm not allowed to address hi
m as he's getting out of the car at school now because it's embarrassing.

A: I don't drink. (Why do people still ask me this?) It's not religious, it's not dietary, it's me. I'll happily sip a club soda with lime while you have your vodka. It's really not a big deal.


A: Because of love.

Feel free to ask more if you have them. I always answer honestly.

So... we're back.

Mostly out of vanity but also because my journal and I are at odds right now and I need a neutral place keep track of what's going on in my head. I don't know if I'll invite many people to read but if I do I promise to present some substance to counteract the overshare that is bound to occur.

I think it fitting to start with what got me to open up again. The following is a note I wrote on Facebook and the subsequent responses, for which I am very grateful.


I stopped blogging because it was seriously affecting my motivation to do the writing that I get paid for and work on that ever-looming screenplay.

Also, I suck at it.

However, with everything going on I feel compelled to crack my knuckles and be completely self-indulgent for a moment. What's more, on a subject that I am completely terrified of: politics. I know what's going on but am by no means an intellectual on the subject, and I am admittedly an idealist who is not entirely certain where she stands on some issues. That being said, I do know what the media is throwing at us and I feel moved to share what it means to me personally.

Let's start with the lady making all the headlines.

I've been called a lot of names since I got knocked up in my junior year of high school. I'm casually placed in the ranks of strippers and welfare patrons, and (thanks to Juno and that Apatow fellow) often compared to Hollywood's story of what I am without a second thought. I'm stared at, pitied and gossiped about. Still. And one day I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do to someone a lot more important to me than any of those people.


But I've got nothing on Bristol Palin. It's not just the people at her high school and the PTA parents she'll get to deal with one day that are talking about her, it's every media outlet in the country and pretty much anyone with a political agenda. As one journalist explains, "I think Sarah would much prefer to be talking about [the needs of the country], rather than having to feed her trampy daughter and her jock boyfriend into the GOP happy-ending machine." Classy.

Why are we still talking about this???

Even if you have no concern for a scared 17-year-old or the baby that didn't ask to deal with this, even if you truly believe with all your heart that she is a WHORE and deserves to be called so in all caps and boldface on the cover of every tabloid for what she's gotten herself in to, surely you can see that this is the last thing we need to be talking about right now.

Why is our perception of a person's moral character (often developed with the help of key words like "God" or "whore" from the mouths of little people in our TV who sit behind a newsdesk and tell us what to think) more important than the actual issues that they represent and how they carry out their political--not personal--dealings?

Example.

Bill Clinton is an adulterer and Hilary stood by him and kept her mouth shut as he publicly humiliated her. Right there we've got a former president committing (imho) one of the grossest acts of disrespect and the first female presidential candidate bending over and taking it. On the surface level, in my opinion (and it is just that, a completely biased, feminist opinion), it's disgraceful and not something I would want my hypothetical daughter looking up to.

However, I would vote for Hilary (or Bill if it were the case) in a heartbeat before I would ever consider voting for McCain or any other Republican at this point. I don't know what their marriage is like or who they are as people, nor do I care. I feel like they have a political grasp on the issues that our country is facing that I can agree with, and it doesn't take a genius to compare 1993-2001 to 2001-2008.

By the same token, George W. likes to throw around Bible talk, but some of the most religious, God-fearing people I know are now praying that his brand of politics will see the end of its days soon. Me? If I pray it's that my cousin Matt wont have to leave his family to go to war again. I don't care who GW is or how he worships, something's not working.


Let's bring this back to teens having babies.


I was raised by a great woman. A spiritual, selfless, smart, strong, AWESOME woman who also happens to be very successful in her career and continues to be a support to myself, the rest of our family, total strangers... anyone she can. She is the picture of service. She has stood by me (although not always been happy about it, I mean, let's get serious) through everything, put on the brave face, helped me figure things out and get on my feet. I dare anyone to place blame on her for that or find fault in her for my mistakes. More importantly, if her ability to do her job were called into question for it, anyone in their right mind would look at her professional history and say that that is all that's relevant.

If anything, let's talk about how abstinence-only education doesn't work and had I been taught (allowed even) to have more of an open mind at a younger age, I might have been able to find myself without having to look in the wrong places. Just saying.

So, why Obama?

Because when I was in third grade I sat in the library at my school and watched a video about the civil rights movement and heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. say things that I had never thought about before.

Because when I decided to open my mind and question what I was taught all my life, I found that my ideal wasn't as crazy as it seemed and that other people saw things like I did. That is what got me through college (on an academic scholarship - toot!), encouraged me to pursue the career I want and, more recently, helped me realize that I can decide for myself what I believe and how I act on it.

Because Justin's love is no different from mine, and war is bad, and the climate is changing, and old regimes do not promote progress and progress is what we so desperately need right now.

Because my generation came of voting age as our country plowed into a war that we didn't understand. The last eight years have left most people my age either apathetic or angry. I've fallen into both categories at one point. The former when I look around and decide that I would rather sit in a dark theatre and get lost in fiction than lay awake at night feeling anxious about the future. The latter during those times when I've been brought to attention by the news of my friend's husband being killed in Iraq and leaving behind two small children, or by hearing the mind-boggling numbers of our national deficit.

Mostly because when I hear what he has to say, I feel something like what I f
elt in third grade and it's not apathy or frustration. Maybe it actually is--dare I say--hope.

So my humble, idealist little take on things... let's stop talking about slutty daughters, skin color and whatever dirt we can dig up, and instead start looking at each other as humans and our problems as mutual. Let's focus on what steps are necessary to correcting those problems and which candidate's politics fall closest in line with those steps.

I'll spare you my P-Diddy line about voting. You're all gonna vote. Just do it for the right reasons.

Angus Wynne (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX) wrote
at 9:15am on September 5th, 2008
Brava, Brittain, for this brave and affecting piece. I hope to hear more like it from you, screenplay or not. THIS is the real thing!
Angus Wynne (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX) wrote
at 9:16am on September 5th, 2008
And, please pardon my typo...
Wendy Mason (North Texas) wrote
at 5:34pm on September 5th, 2008
you really should send this in to some media outlet - even if it's just the local paper
Ashley Hall (Texas Tech) wrote
at 2:21am on September 6th, 2008
b is not only for brittan, but also for brilliant.

eloquent, honest and peppered with that irresistibly charming brittan quirkiness- you have found a fan in me without a doubt.


please keep writing and sharing your work!

oh! and what do you say to a pedicure sometime sooon, my love? :)
Hiyam Abousaid (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX) wrote
at 10:03am on September 6th, 2008
Well put. I think you're actually a really good writer. I'm glad I read this. I agree with your friend, Wendy. You should get this published.
Theresa Pegues (Dallas / Fort Worth, TX) wrote
at 1:55pm on September 6th, 2008
Beautifully put from a beautiful soul. What a novel concept, talking about what matters and not just angry mud slinging. Way to go!
Jake B. Jones (Macarthur High School) wrote
at 11:26pm on September 7th, 2008
the only people talking about "slutty daughters, skin color" are the stupid democrats, and the media, and yes they should stop, but of course they won't

what has obama done besides become a senator?, not as much as mccain thats for sure.

They couldnt find anything wrong with Sarah Palin, so what did the media do?, they went after her family, how low!
Jake B. Jones (Macarthur High School) wrote
at 3:56pm on September 8th, 2008
your right, i shouldnt call anyone stupid, and i wasnt aiming it at you
Brittan Dunham wrote
at 4:13pm on September 8th, 2008
I understand, it's a heated topic. Again, much props for speaking up for your side of things.


I regret deleting the comment that I left between the two that Jake Jones left. I only deleted it out of courtesy to Jake. I didn't want my ripping into him displayed on Facebook. It was unfair, I know he meant no harm. But I do wish that I had it to display here because it's true. Using ugly words (or any words) to define entire groups of people is dangerous.