Regular-Sized Rudy: Not Your Typical “Nerd with Inhaler”

Because my health currently prohibits me from working, I’ve been watching a lot of television. Too much television. I would not recommend that anyone watch the amount of television that I watch. It is not at all healthy. However, in the past few years, I’ve come across the animated gem that is Bob’s Burgers, and I am enamored. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk basically about mental illness, weird animal fun facts, and Bob’s Burgers. I’ll watch the show on loop. Despite what others might say, I do not see my obsession as an unhealthy choice. I half-heartedly justify it by citing a dodgy Vice article I once read that states cartoons can help ease depression. Really, it’s just a comfort show. I’ve seen enough to know what’s going to happen; the constant, quick puns make me laugh; and the family is incredibly awkward and heart-warming and they support each other no matter what.

Overall, Bob’s Burgers is excellent (in my opinion) because it doesn’t rely on cutaway gags and vulgarity like other “adult” animated shows. The timing and improvisation is impeccable. I would like to shine a spotlight, though, on my very favorite character: Regular-Sized Rudy.

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Bob’s Burgers S3, E22 “Carpe Museum”

Continue reading “Regular-Sized Rudy: Not Your Typical “Nerd with Inhaler””

The Good and Bad of Watching The Keepers as a Sexual Assault Survivor

July 25, 2017: This post has been featured on The Mighty as “The Pros and Cons of Watching ‘The Keepers’ as a Sexual Abuse Survivor”.

Trigger Warning: This post discusses sexual assault and mentions suicidal ideation. If you need support, you can call RAINN/National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or text “Start” to 741741 to reach the anonymous Crisis Text Line.

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Released in May 2017, the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary series The Keepers examines the decades-old unsolved murder of beloved Catholic School Teacher Sister Cathy Cesnick in Baltimore. The series connects the nun’s disappearance and murder to the claims of sexual abuse filed against the then-chaplain of Archbishop Keogh High School by former-students in the 1990’s. Through interviews and conversations with former Keogh students, The Keepers pieces together the story of Sister Cathy, the dark testimonies of mistreatment by chaplain Father Maskell, and the ways in which the cases may have been mishandled by Baltimore police or repressed by the Catholic Church.

As a lover of true-crime, I was very excited for the series’ release, but as a sexual assault survivor, I was afraid to watch it. My abusers were not members of the clergy, but any stories or images of sexual abuse can trigger me and send me into a state of hypervigilance and panic. Fueled by curiosity and perhaps a bit of masochism, I turned it on, against my better judgment. The first episode of The Keepers is harmless enough (as far as brutal, unsolved murders go), so I decided to continue, naively unaware of the truly horrifying narrative ahead. Continue reading “The Good and Bad of Watching The Keepers as a Sexual Assault Survivor”

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

niven_jenniferLight Spoilers; Trigger Warning: Death & Suicide

Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places is a stereotypical young adult romance novel wherein a troubled boy meets a troubled girl, they embark on an adventure together, and they fall in love. However, instead of being a feel-good, bubbly book, the protagonists of All the Bright Places are both suffering their own personal tragedies. Violet has just lost her best friend and older sister, Eleanor, to a car accident, and her sense of identity is completely lost. Theodore Finch has already tried on so many different identities (80’s Finch, Badass Finch, British Finch) that he can’t figure out who exactly he is. He is a quirky teenager, experiencing the identity-shaping turmoil of adolescence that we all go through, but he also suffers from undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Most of his story is told from a manic perspective wherein he is trying to avoid the “sleep,” or the nearly catatonic lows which send him into a numb, suicidal state. Continue reading “Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven”

Forgiving Oneself as a Writer

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In eighth grade art class, I made a stained glass window. I cut shapes out of a piece of black construction paper to create the outline of the windowpane and glued tiny bits of colored tissue paper over the spaces to mimic the glass. The assignment was to fill in the parts of the rectangular paper window and suspend a silhouette in the middle. I went to Catholic school, so a lot of the shapes we got to choose from were spiritual symbols: doves, crosses, the holy Eucharist. (I believe it was an Easter-time art project.)  The silhouette I chose to create was a butterfly, a symbol of new life. Instead of making the butterfly a black shadow on the colorful background, I decided to make it bright and real. I cut soft patterns in the wings and filled them with light spring colors while the window itself had a hard, angular design with dark blues, purples, and reds. Continue reading “Forgiving Oneself as a Writer”