The Casting Dock

Posts from — August 2011

this one’s for mom.

Let this serve as evidence, mother, that your children actually do like each other.

All is not lost.

Or at the very least they can fake it for 2.5 seconds to appease their mother.

Also, you would be proud, Mom–I’ve been working on my domesticity. Ya know, being a proper wife, living up to the wife expectations and all that jazz. Can’t say I’ve mastered that whole cleaning thing, but I bake. So that’s gotta count for something. Really though it just means I was craving something sweet and these were the best I could come up with. That and I really wanted to put my new cake plate to good use.

Using a cake plate makes me feel very domestic.

August 29, 2011   3 Comments

A Little Lauren Love

I spent a glorious 24 hours with this girl this week:

We call her Lauren.

Lauren is another one of my college roommates and I basically owe my career to her.
Well, her and Miss Stephanie June…

(quite possibly the most photogenic person I know)

How, you ask? Well, let me provide 2 snapshots of my time in Bromley 308.

SNAPSHOT 1: Lauren and I, though we didn’t know each other at all before signing off to sharing an apartment, hit it off right away. She’s very lively, likeable, and outgoing…one of those people who seriously knew e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e on campus. But throughout the course of the year we found ourselves in quite a few “discussions” leaving me feeling like we just weren’t really getting each other or she was mad at me or I don’t even know what, but something, was wrong. It was perplexing to me for the longest time. These discussions usually went something like this:

Lauren: You know I don’t really think _(insert name of someone)_  likes me at all.

Me: (shocked, because as I said, EVERYONE knew and liked Lauren) WHAT?!!? Yes, he does. Are you kidding me? He came up to our apartment yesterday specifically to catch up with you, he invited you over to his apt for dinner 2 nights ago, and he always seems to gravitate towards you in the group setting.

Lauren: Mmmm, yeah…no, I don’t think he likes me.

Me: But that makes no sense. He makes a point to say hello to you and his actions/body language/etc. all seem to say that he thinks you’re a cool girl and a good friend. Why do you think that?

Lauren: I don’t know…I just do. (quiet and starting to withdraw from the conversation)

Me: (recognizing that something’s off but feeling so confused as to how we got to this point…)

SNAPSHOT 2: Steph and I are talking with our friend JD one day about some
activity he did in a Communications class.

JD: Alright, so you have to read through each of these 20 statements and determine which ones are male characteristics and which are female characteristics (hands a page to me and another one to Steph)

Steph finishes before I do.

JD: (looking over her sheet): Yup, you got them all right. (looking over my sheet) You got 19 outta 20.

Me: What? Which one did I miss?

JD: “When my friends come to me with their problems, I help to fix them.”

Me: Yeah, that’s a female trait. That’s what girls do all the time…

JD: Nope. That’s what guys do…Steph, what do girls do?

Steph: Girls just listen to the problem and empathize. They don’t try to fix the problem.

Me: But that makes no sense. If you know how you can fix the problem, why would you just want to listen and empathize? Wouldn’t it be better to just fix it?

Steph: Oftentimes girls don’t want someone to fix it. They just need to know someone is there for them.

I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D by this. Like blow my mind shocked. Honestly, at the time, I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard. Listening to problems without doing anything to fix them? Craziness. BUT, it shed a whole new light on why Lauren and I kept running into the same problem.

“AHA! She keeps trying to tell me how she feels and I keep telling her why she shouldn’t feel that way…”

I thought that what she was saying was irrational so I would spout off a TON of what I considered “evidence” to refute what she thought. My intention was to allow rational evidence to overtake irrational thought/emotion. But this only served to alienate her from me. All she wanted all along was just for me to listen and empathize.

Honestly, Lauren and Steph taught me the importance of just listening. Not refuting or questioning or judging whether the thought or feeling is justified or rational (though there is a time and place for all of those things), but just listening. Listening/empathizing is the biggest part of counseling. It’s also the reason why I know I would hate just straight up counseling, hour after hour, session after session. I used to think I would thrive in that setting, but Lauren and Steph showed me otherwise. Being empathic is a conscious effort on my part. I have MUCH more of the “guy” wiring in that sense. I want to fix. I want to provide evidence. I want to be an active part of the problem solving process, not a passive one. That’s why I work with kids. They need more direction and they thrive on things being clear and concrete. And that’s why I love the school counseling setting. Every day is different and it’s definitely not hour after hour of, “Tell me more about that….”

So Lauren–seriously–thanks! I am much better at what I do because of you. And sorry for all those times I berated you with my “evidence” as to why what you thought/felt was wrong…it really was with the best of intentions…ha…

August 26, 2011   6 Comments

cheap, adorable, and easy–a potent project trio!

Every single ounce of credit for this one goes to Jami Nato. I poached it, step by step, from her blog. It was so crazy cute, easy, and cheap (!) that I couldn’t help myself.

Behold my two new cake plates in all their adorable glory:

These babies cost $2.60 total, coming to you direct from the local thrift store. I popped in to quickly browse while I was out and about yesterday, having NO intention to replicate Jami’s adorable little craft. But when I stumbled on a whole section of glass plates and cups, my fate was sealed. The large plate and little ice cream cup were a buck each and the little (now blue) plate and cup were 50 cents and 10 cents.

I love purchasing just about anything for 10 cents these days, let alone half of an adorable cake plate. (sadly I forgot to take a “before” picture, but here it is just before it was glued…)

I followed Jami’s advice and did NOT spray the top of the blue plate, but I had to experiment with the cream one and just doused it with paint. I sealed the entire thing 3x over with a protective gloss. Who knows how long it will hold up, but it sure is perrrty and for 2 bucks, if it only lasts a few uses, so be it. (The shade makes the color look wayyy off on these outdoor pictures…)

and the finished product(s)…

Now I’ll need to do some baking to fill these little babies…

August 23, 2011   3 Comments

blogger pet peave.

Blogger pet peave number 1…well, maybe number 2 because number 1 has to be this stealing identities/stealing posts phenomenon of which I was unaware…but number 2 is people who comment on or “follow” your blog simply so that you will comment/follow back. Usually people are kind of sneaky about this, but I came across a shockingly blatant one today and I know this sounds exaggerated, but I was actually a little disgusted.

(But first a quick, shame-filled confession: I did have about 1.5 days of my blogging life where I too, feeling self-conscious about my lackluster number of followers, clicked around to different blogs and just threw up a quick comment hoping that my fellow blogger would return the favor. I lost interest after about 6 of them. And then felt so dirty and ashamed like an hour later, like I cheated and defiled the system.)

Anyway, there’s the plank outta my eye so now I’m gonna harp all over the speck in other peoples’…

So yeah, I was looking at the comments on a friend’s blog and someone wrote something painfully generic like, Nice blog. and then followed it with, Wanna follow each other? Initially I was just a little put off thinking, Who is that blatant with their intentions??! I mean, everyone knows that people do this, but generally you don’t spell it out that plainly. You at least want to pretend that you have genuine interest in the person.

So, out of curiosity, I clicked on this person’s blog (I know, falling right into the trap, right??!?). They had a couple hundred followers and like 50 comments on their latest post so I thought, Ok, maybe I judged too harshly. It’s not like the person has only 10 followers and is just trying to inflate numbers. 

I extended grace too soon.

Don’t ask me why I spent 5 minutes of my life doing this (I am just too stinkin’ curious), but I clicked on those 50 comments and quickly scrolled through them and wouldn’t you know almost every single one was a variation of, Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I’d love to follow you if you follow me. Let’s follow each other!

WHAT?!?!?!? Why would you want a whole host of phoney followers to inflate your numbers?!!? Just so in 6 months you can charge $20/month for people to sponsor you? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t it be so much more rewarding to create a genuine blog with good content simply for yourself? And if loads of people find it and love it, then great, but if not, that’s fine too because at the end of the day, it’s for you. This whole infecting the blog system with low level spam isn’t working for me. I find it annoying.

For me personally, I mostly read blogs from people I know. I have a few outliers, like this gal who has the most adorable kids, throws killer (looking) parties, is brutally honest about her marriage, and is just hilarious, or the above linked to gal who is also honest and hilarious but mostly, I just like a little glimpse into the lives of people who I know in real life. And if you’re on my blogroll and I don’t personally know you, it’s because I think you are particularly funny or interesting or creative. Not because I just want you to follow me back.

There’s my soapbox for the day.

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August 19, 2011   4 Comments