Beauty and the Bath

In Ancient Rome, bathing was a communal affair. The biggest bathhouses could hold 3000 people.

I stand naked in my modest bathroom. I must run the water for a bit first, it comes out brown for at least 15 seconds.

Plug tub, adjust tap. I like it uncomfortably warm. I like when I sink into the still-murky water and the heat shoots electricity up my spine.

And then…ahhhh. Better.

I took a hot shower this morning, and I just got out of a hot bath. It’s one of those days. Nothing is warm or comforting enough.

The bathtub has been many spaces for me. When I was a child, we had some sort of oval green object that hung over the shower head. It had a cartoon elephant on it. One of my first memories is crying because I didn’t like having my hair washed. “Look up at the elephant!” my mother would coo.

My tiny brain tried to grasp complex subjects in the tub. What happens when we die? Does God hold our hands when we die?  How many pizza pops can I eat this week? And other existential questions.

I wrote my first joke when I was in the tub. I was 4.
What kind of goal does a deer make?
A FIELD GOAL.
(This was hilarious to me at the time, I assure you.)

I stopped taking baths when I was older, I forget their magic. During the worst period of my life, my friend reminded me how soothing they were for her.

I began running baths again. The inescapable warmth was where I began crying. I finally felt alone enough and safe enough to weep for myself. I asked myself again what happens when we die. What happened to my friend when she died?

And that was also around the time I discovered that too many pizza pops make you more sad than happy.

I also began to love my body in bathtubs. Hips wedged between the porcelain sides, the water not quite deep enough to completely submerge me.  Girls like me hardly ever get to sink.

I decided to create an ode to my bath-time. It’s creepy and sensual. Be warned, there are hints of nudity in this. If you’re comfortable with that, click away!

Advertisements

“Getting Ready”

Hello my beautiful blueberries,

This week I had the absolute joy of making a video montage of my previously featured beaut, Bree.

I wanted to create a strange, dark, beautiful timeline of someone getting ready for a night out. I would love to continue this series with different folks. I find it fascinating that each of us has different rituals in order to feel attractive. I love finding out what pumps us up for a night on the town (or just a night in feeling fierce.)

The music is by xxyyxx, the song is called Alone. Let me know what you think, and if you’d like a Getting Ready video of your own!

My predictions on the future of the media: Our Bubbles, Ourselves

I’m no Marshall McLuhan, but it’s not difficult to speak about my experiences and extrapolate based on that. The past often dictates the future.

I was 9 years old and far too curious for my own good. I wanted to know what the characters on the television were trying to sell me. I snuck my way into chat rooms to see “bots” spam chats with advertisements. I saw tiny, pixellated avatars (this was 1998, by the way) resembling my favourite cartoon characters and some that promoted animations that I was definitely not allowed to watch.

uhoh

From that age on, the internet has been my main way of communicating, shopping, and socialising. I am one of the first generations that hardly knows a life without the internet, but I witnessed the rapidly changing landscape of personal computers and internet culture.

Media predictions are an elusive beast. I have heard many stories of technology and communication pioneers (Like, in the 70’s. Real old school..) passing up on investing in web-technology. “A passing phase,” they thought.

Oops.

These days, you hear the outcry from society: “Look at us! Look at how absorbed we are in our personal devices!”

I think we will only become more self-sufficient in our media consumption.

Living in physical media bubbles? Maybe. Google Glass is a thing, so is virtual reality. But I predict media content will only get more personal and accurate; creating metaphorical advertising bubbles. For better, or for worse? What end of the spectrum of thinking are you on?

 

Book Assignment: A Deadly Wandering

A Deadly Wandering- The (Distracted) Devil Is In The Details

FullSizeRender (1)
Preface: This is a blog post about the non-fiction book A Deadly Wandering, by Matt Richtel. It covers the timeline from the collision caused by Reggie Shaw, who was texting and driving. Two men, Keith O’Dell, and James (Jim) Furfaro, were killed in the collision. The different story lines follow Reggie, The Toll (or aftermath of the collision), The Neuroscientists (who study what happens to our brains when we are distracted), Terryl (a victim’s advocate) and Hunt for Justice.

The first time I stopped to think about the extent of Richtel’s research was on page 40 and 41. I took out a red pen and underlined the lines about coach Van Park.

Van Park stood at the podium, shuffling papers, as the fifth-period students began pouring in. (pg. 40)

 

There were posters warning students about the dangers of drugs and STDs. And there were three framed nature pictures, each one urging excellence with a word: Challenge, Determination, and Success. (pg. 41)
This is where I had to stop. I texted my friend who had snatched the book from my hands before I had gotten a chance to read it, and had completely devoured it.

“Did you notice that part? What the hell? How does he even know? How did he find that out?”

I still don’t completely know how he did it. Part of this type of writing involves some assumptions, but I know those assumptions are based on real observations Richtel made. I can only imagine the amount of note-taking that was done during this process.
More than halfway through the book I forgot how many quotes were in the story. Quotes weaved seamlessly in. We learned about this in film editing class: you don’t notice editing unless it’s done badly. In long-form journalism, those quotes are intrinsic to the story. It was unlike the journalism we had been learning about. It was something I could see myself writing in the future.
On page 56, Leila, Keith’s wife, is being handed Keith’s belongings.

“Where are his glasses?”

This quote stands apart from most of the other text on this page. And I believe this was intentional for impact. It’s a question coming from a place of true love. It’s a direct quote that would not have been as impactful if it had merely been described. If Richtel had written it as an observer “Leila wondered where Keith’s glasses were,” it would have given the reader a barrier between themselves and the story.

This is just one example of how Richtel drops the reader into these events as they are happening, even though he was not present during them.

 

As a reader, I felt short-changed during certain parts of the book.
The Neuroscientist chapters felt like a forced science lesson at times. But the science of distraction can be fascinating. These chapters did a number on me because I kept getting distracted trying to read them. This didn’t seem intentional on the author’s part. It was difficult to leap from the rich description of the character’s experience to the heavily-detailed scientific testing.

On Page 126 Dr. Strayer frames the issues as such:

“It’s a visual, manual, cognitive problem.”

Bam. Simple. I wanted to hear more clear facts and examples about why this was true. The heavy description of the scientists, their lives, and the studies just wasn’t as captivating at the stories of Reggie and the victim’s families.

The science was a backdrop for the main story of Reggie. It answered the question “why does this matter beyond this one story?”
A few years before reading this book, I saw Werner Herzog’s documentary “From One Second To The Next” presented by AT&T’s It can Wait campaign.

The documentary told stories, including Reggie’s, about how texting and driving has fatal consequences.
It dramatically shifted my thinking on texting and driving. I don’t drive, but I had a fairly ambivalent opinion on texting and driving.

Seeing real people weep on-screen with pain and regret, has haunted me for years.

While print and video are different mediums, I believe this powerful story of consequence and distraction is worth telling in any form possible. As journalism students, we can remember that skimming the surface of a story is not enough. In order to create impact, we must delve deeper than what seems necessary.

 

Do the work to find the story.

 

Terrible, thanks for asking

Today I had the opportunity to write a letter to someone who I thought was an influencer. The goal was to see if they would retweet or interact with us online in some way.

I didn’t pick a major celebrity, and I honestly did not care if I got likes or re-tweets. My hope in writing this is that she would, for a moment, feel appreciated by someone. I also hope that more people will take the time to listen to this incredible podcast. I hope it brings you some entertainment and solace.

Here’s my letter to Nora Mcinery.
PS. she did re-tweet me.

Dear Nora,

I wouldn’t say I hate celebrity culture, it’s a strange and whimsical world where we, the lowly, lust after diamonds, the flash of paparazzi, and swimming pools shaped like swans. But I’ve always been more of a fan of the banal. I walk past people in the street and wonder what they want most right in that moment: a pastrami sandwich, to be debt-free, decent sex? All valid desires. But I also always want to know what haunts people as they walk toward me, concrete giants looming over us. What are they looking for? What did they lose?

Last November, I stumbled upon Terrible, Thanks For Asking. I read the title and knew I had to listen. You, with bravery, raw honesty and a wicked sense of humour, hit the listener with your multiple losses. Your miscarriage, your father, your husband.

Your podcast has been a simultaneous gut-punch and comforting hug. Hearing other people share their heart-wrenching stories gave me permission to cry. You know, that weird, drooling cry you get when you just don’t care anymore?

I have spent the past few years clumsily gathering up the pieces of my life after facing multiple tragedies as well. (“Multiple tragedies” is a horrific term, is there a better word for it? Have we come up with something that sounds a bit less clinical but not entirely melodramatic?) Losing my best friend of 21 years, then her mother, then my grandmother.

Your recent podcast episode “Are You Up?” explored what dozens of people from across the world were awake and thinking about. You asked us to share what keeps us awake at night.

For a few nights now, it has been your podcast. You have been keeping me awake and I mean that in the least sapphic way possible. Consider yourself one of my favourite “celebrities.” Sans swan-shaped pool.

Grief unites us all, and yet, we use pain to build walls. The name of the podcast says it all. We are so quick to answer “good” when we are in fact, absolutely not good. Terrible, in fact.

So thank you, Nora, for creating a platform in which people can truthfully respond to the question: how are you doing?

I’ve been terrible, thanks for asking.

Jessica Seburn

ttfa-1024x1024

View story at Medium.com

 

Tattoo Talk #3- Breezy

IMG_0861IMG_0863Dagger by Veronique Gray
https://www.instagram.com/vongray/IMG_0865IMG_0866Horseshoe by Chris Anthon 
https://www.instagram.com/c_anthon/IMG_0852

IMG_0847Snake and apple tattoo by Kris Hearn 
https://www.instagram.com/krishearntattoos/IMG_0846IMG_0845IMG_0842Wolf by Dan Fletcher, Kapala Tattoo.IMG_0840Kelly has Garth on her. Her tattoo says “Party on Wayne.” 
Done by Sam Smith. IMG_0849

IMG_0878From my straight edge days. IMG_0857Cat and shoulder roses by Sarah Rogers
https://www.instagram.com/liberty_ordeath/
IMG_0855IMG_0854“I saw, I conquered.” 
IMG_0884IMG_0886IMG_0859

BONUS:
I’m playing around with my camera. I shot a little video of Breezy’s sleeve and slowed it down. What do you think?

Sleeve by Steve McConnell at Main Street Tattoo Collective.