Notes: I met Lin-Manuel Miranda!

So…every so often, I get a rush of enthusiasm for writing and I don’t have my computer nearby (and I always type faster than I write, and I have a lot to get out). So I write it down on my phone. Sometimes it’s a story idea, but the ones I’ll share on my blog are opinion / essay / experience type things. Sometimes, depending on how long ago it was written, I’ll offer my opinion now, to compare with my mindset when I wrote the short piece. These are “Notes” – enjoy.  

(Written on May 4th, that night, directly after, and May 5th 2016, the morning after:)
I just saw Hamilton. The musical. I wrote a bit about it in my book, Letters And Answers (which should be ready in hopefully less than two years), in my letter to writers, but I literally…I just…I just saw it. It was amazing. I’ll get straight to the point(s).
Leslie Odom Jr. He is fantastic. He is so raw, and deep, and he is symbolism for me. The British. Doing what you honestly believe is right, and you’re so adamant about it because you really, honestly, believe what you’re doing is right…and you die. Or your brother dies. Or mother, in an attack. Or you’re the young man waving the white flag. So many have died, and they won, and for a good cause, but…so many have died. Death isn’t fun, it’s not something you can just skim over. Remember that one line? That Hamilton had to win the war to meet his son? He’s one guy. I mean, we love him, but he’s one guy. Imagine…a few decades after the war, you’re sitting alone in your bedroom. Your dad died. A few decades ago. You have a better life now, of course, but to pay for one man’s (and by one man we mean George, King George) mistakes with his life…if only you could’ve been there. So I guess my point is that there could’ve been a dad on the other side of the war too. Who thought he just had to get home, but…didn’t. Love doesn’t discriminate between sinners and saints. Thank you, Leslie. Thank you for teaching us that Burr, and the British, and Mariah Reynolds..they’re all human. They’re all real, and forgivable. It wasn’t just you, but I heard it in your voice. It’s this divide, today, that causes Trump supporters to lose friends. We don’t understand the fear, and the hope, that goes into supporting a man like that. It’s time we understand. Love doesn’t discriminate, between the sinners and the saints. I swear, they will be playing that song at my funeral. I loved it. I felt it.
Lin-Manuel Miranda. I want to hang out with the guy. Everyone does, of course. But I’m serious. How often do you find someone that nice, who has that brilliant a mind and caring and thoughtful a soul? I met him. I talked to him. It was a short conversation, but long enough. I hugged him too. I don’t understand. How he came to be. That amazing, fiery gold soul, great heart. How. Someone tell me how. I need to know. I know I’m just a fan. And I know that so many people have shared a similar moment with him. But…I am special. Strangely. Wonderfully. Darkly. I will sacrifice so much for so many others. And you’ll all know what I’m talking about, one day. I will hang out with Lin one day. Because he knows. He saw the special. And yes, we didn’t have to pay because it was a gift. But no, I’m not…just a normal rich person looking for a photo of a famous person to boost popularity or business of whatever. I…am cosmic. I am cosmic. I am a middle class white cis-sex agender she/her-pronoun human who uses a wheelchair and loves and cares about everyone and who met Lin-Manuel Miranda, the beautiful soul. I “didn’t have words right” when I was with him, so he may have gotten confused when I began to tell him about the spirits helping the actors dance. What I mean, Lin, was that they felt their story being told. Washington’s charisma was perfectly inherited by Christopher Jackson. Angelica definitely appreciated the feminist touch, I’m sure of it. Aaron Burr felt safe, felt like a good person again, in Leslie’s hands. And Rory O Malley? He was no Jonathan Groff, but that didn’t even matter, I bet King George was dancing. They felt their story being told. And they loved it. Art connects the story and the storyteller in ways…unimaginable. So that’s what I was trying to say, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
And you know what was amazing about the whole experience? Lin-Manuel Miranda. (They were all amazing; you’ll see where I’m going in a second.) He was right there. Right fucking there. A man who I had watched YouTube videos of, a man whose voice I’d been listening to for months in preparation, along with other voices, he was right fucking there. Do you get what I mean? His body, his soul, his mind, he was less than a 100 feet away. And Hamilton the musical was like everything you expect in a positive way times 1000000 times infinity.
The Founding Fathers (and Uncle, Burr, who could’ve made it but just wasn’t in the room where it happens) were stupid. I mean, they were all genius. But they were stupid. They were stupid because they were all genius, and they all contributed good to the U.S and society and the world, but they couldn’t see that and all they could do was keep arguing and hate each other.
The U.S…there are a lot of problems with the U.S. Dystopian, almost. It is not my favorite country by the standard of unbiased kindness. There are a lot of idiots in charge. But let’s continue with the spirit of the Founders; Alexander Hamilton, and fix these problems and then rap about it. Write like you’re running out of time, free those who used to be in bondage from the bondage of a death scare from the authorities, let immigrants get the job done. And finally…I am an absolute pacifist who does not support the death penalty…love does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints.
Bless you all.

What was I trying to do there? Reach some profound conclusion? Well, I didn’t. The conclusion I made was forced and tacky. 

But I do love that song so much. Wait For It. My father and I were listening to the soundtrack in the car a few days ago, because it’s so good that even after you see the show you have to listen to the soundtrack, of course, and I said to my dad, “You know what’s weird?” and he didn’t even have time to respond, I told him what I thought was weird, I said, “We met him,” gesturing at the song name on the display screen in the car. I was thinking of both the writer and the singer. That’s so weird! We met Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr! How weird is that? Weird! 

We met, performer-wise, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Angelica Schuyler for a brief hello, George Washington, and Jefferson/Lafayette. George Washington is apparently obsessed with a show called “West Wing,” and for good reason, according to his kind explanation of the content of the show. He was so kind and gentle for such a large presence on the stage. Lafayette was much quieter, more mild, but possibly just charismatic inside, and way less french offstage. I told Aaron Burr he had a beautiful voice. I could have told him so much more, but you know those celebrities, we’re just strangers to them, and they don’t have no time after hello. He seemed earnestly thankful.

I was surprised by how relaxed, and human, and right there Lin-Manuel Miranda was. He just…walked out. And said hello. And shook hands with my father. And hugged me (I already said that, I know).

I’ve said this before. But honestly. He’s the writer of the soundtrack that everyone listens to, and for a very good reason – and I got to hug him. He was right there. He was right there. He’s been shown on TV, written about, and I met him. 

I will remember those moments until I die. And I’m pretty sure I’ll remember them after, too.         

I Hate Typos.

I found a very interesting article in the New York Times. (This is the link, you should read it.) If you read my “Who I Am” page in the menu up top, you’ll know I love extreme science.

So I commented on it.

Zoe F L.A, C.A 9 hours ago
I am disappointed seeing so many pessimists in the comments. The mention of a Pandora’s box, by someone who calls themselves “hank,” and “carryonjeeves,” whose value on creativity and brilliance I otherwise support, says “Mr. Church and his select group are on a dangerous path.” I am optimist. I understand the importance of ethics and dealing with scientific breakthroughs and projects morally (kindness goes so far with me I’m actually an absolute pacifist). Obviously. What I don’t get is the lack of hope, and the abundance of fear. There is a story on a writing website called Wattpad, which I wouldn’t normally advertise, called “The CRISPR Kids” by a user called hungergamessin. I would not tell you to look at the story if it didn’t deal so optimistically about issues such as this. You should look at it, if only to recognize where people like me come from and why we think the way we do.

I was about to defend a serious scientific breakthrough, and look what happened! Do you see where it says “I am optimist?” It’s supposed to say “I am an optimist!”

Sometimes I just write so fast that I forget that I’m missing a word until it’s too late.

Really ruins the moment, doesn’t it?

(And by the way, I am hungergamessin on Wattpad, you’d see it on my links page. Yes, that is how I advertise.)

Notes: An anti-bullying law?

So…every so often, I get a rush of enthusiasm for writing and I don’t have my computer nearby (and I always type faster than I write, and I have a lot to get out). So I write it down on my phone. Sometimes it’s a story idea, but the ones I’ll share on my blog are opinion / essay / experience type things. Sometimes, depending on how long ago it was written, I’ll offer my opinion now, to compare with my mindset when I wrote the short piece. These are “Notes” – enjoy.  

(Written on 10/29/15.)

So, there’s a woman, I think her name begins with L or something – a video described her as the “Ugliest Woman In The World” or something and I read about in a magazine article today but I can’t remember her name – wants to pass an anti-bullying law or something. Like, a bill or something.

An anti-bullying law? Tell me, honey (I’m talking to her, but anyone can answer); how the hell do you think that’s going to go down? And you may say you’ve felt what it’s like to be bullied, and you have, but please, tell me what it’s like to go to jail for insulting someone! I bet that’d be terrible!

Yes, bullying can cause suicide. Yes, bullying can cause a childhood, even lifetime, of mental health problems and depression. Yes, bullying is more than just “insulting someone.” Yes, I fu**ing get it.

Right now, if a bully bullies someone, maybe that would start a list of angry (and sad) emails between parents, teachers, and more parents. It might cause a visit to the school counselor, or maybe a more personal therapist. Maybe a scolding and a helping, on the behalf of the bully’s parents. Please, keep it that mundane.

Because jeez, woman, we’re learning! If you make it a law, people won’t stop bullying because of their own (however potential) good nature. If you make it a law, people will stop bullying because they’re afraid of going to jail, or paying a fine, or wrecking their reputation much further than they ever would “normally.”

And that means, one day, when the law is lifted, bullying will still be around, because we haven’t gotten rid of it for an actually good reason.

I should not have sounded so aggressive, although I do currently have the same opinion about the idea of an anti-bullying law.

The woman who I forgot the name of is named Lizzie Velasquez.  

If I Get Fat

I won’t. I’m sure of it. But just because life likes to give you those little surprises, I decided to write this. To clear up my opinions about a few things.

Fat shaming, a subcategory of body shaming, is a serious problem. It causes suicide among the most sensitive, and a simply shitty life among the least. Because of this, it is a very touchy subject among intersectional feminists. There is an immediate call to arms when they think you could be possibly close to potentially insulting a fat person for being fat. Let me relate my experience.

A post showed up in my feed and I commented on it, replying to the caption (I’m hungergamessin):

photo 1-6

Imagine you are a detective. You have two main subjects. Subject A is a subject whom you’re trailing “just in case” because they were thought to have been near the crime scene when it happened, buying a similar thing that the criminal happened to buy while on their journey. Subject B shows all the clear signs of committing the crime that Subject A doesn’t show, including suspiciously shy behavior in front of you when you had them in view. You are running out of time. Both subjects are within a quick two-mile radius of you and your team. Who do you go after? (I’m not saying eating too much is a crime, and I’m not saying this is how detectives really work, this is an analogy about assumption.) Without thinking too much, just say it out loud to yourself – which subject, Subject A or Subject B, seems worth it to you?

This is my mindset behind a comment like that. No, thin doesn’t mean healthy, and fat doesn’t mean unhealthy, but at least you have a lead with fat people, a proven possibility of a problem, so that is the first place you look.

Soon after, the call to arms happened. This was the first comment I got, from a person who I’ll nickname Qt: “lol no ur (you’re) missing the point (No, I wasn’t.) the only person who can asses (assess) anyone’s health big or small is their fucking doctor. U can’t see unhealthiness. (Yes “u” can.) U don’t know their life. (Did I say I did?)”

I commented back to that person “But I care about people! I love everyone and I’m willing to bother someone if they live longer.” This is true. I do care about everyone. I literally mean everyone. It’s hard, because I do get shit in return. And I am willing to bother you for your own safety. I don’t want to get you depressed, but in my mind, short-term (and only short-term, because I care about you) sadness or anger is worth it. If you ask for my help quitting smoking, I will tie you to a chair and feed you there, not allowing you to touch the cigarettes at all. (We could get into the complications of the daily schedule of that slightly unlucky person, but that’s for another day.)

Brutal (I’ll admit) intelligence. logic, and brutal honesty attracts some defensive idiots. Another person, who I’ll nickname Chester, because Qt did not continue the conversation, commented to me “‘i love people!! I want to make people who are already insecure about their weight (the issue is, still, a lot of people don’t even know of any potential problem, much less being insecure about it) even more insecure!! I’ll make people feel self-hatred as long as it makes them skinny because I love people!!'” Oh, joy. There are different types of trolls, and this one is a mocker.

I replied, quick to catch them in their mistake, “I don’t care about people being skinny. If you’re skinny, chances are you’re healthy. (Remember the detective analogy about logical assumption?) But of (if, gaaaaaah typos) you’re fat and healthy, that’s fine too.”

A minute later, a person who never made an appearance again, so I don’t have to nickname them, commented “that’s not even true lmao.” (I added the period.) I have no idea what they were referring to.

Chester came back a minute later from then and replied “and if you’re (Grammar! Yaaaay!) fat, chances are also that you’re healthy. Let people live for fucks sake.” (I added the period. It just doesn’t feel right without a period.)

Eager to end it, I commented my final comment on that post: “Will people stop hating on me. I’m sorry, okay? (Not really. My intentions are pure.) I’ll shut up. (What else could I do?) Stop replying to that comment.”

After that, no one did. I even got a few protectors. One person mentioned me in a comment and said “lowkey protects.” (I added the period.) One person typed out a much longer thing on one of my posts on that account: “Hey I just saw everyone in that comment section gang up on you because of you comment about fat/skinny health and I just wanted to say I know what you were saying and they completely blew everything out of proportion. (Thank you!) You weren’t fat/skinny shaming at all (Told ya!), you were just saying it’s important to try to stay healthy. I hope they didn’t crush you too much.” Wow. The Internet isn’t horrible after all. I am going to be friends with that person.

You might ask to explain my adamant attitude about “fat = (probably!) unhealthy.” Part of it is, as I said, that I do care about everyone but simultaneously have a weird, brutal love for honesty and logic. Part of it is science and simple statistics. But I don’t have to explain that part. My friend (in the same way that the person who commented a sort of apology-on-the-other’s-behalf above is my friend) Amanda did it for me:

photo 2-4

I DMed her and thanked her, I was so overwhelmed that someone actually agreed with me.

But this is about if I get fat.

The first thing that will happen is that I will get very, very anxious. Insecure, even. (Ahahaha.) Because I have been told, by the trusty doctors in my life, that my body type and “health type” isn’t up for being fat and completely fine at the same time. (There is an extra fear, too – I have a debilitating fear of needles = no diabetes for me, please.) And you may call me a hypocrite due to my belief that there is still a large number of fat, unhealthy people out there who have no idea what the problem is. But no, listen, I am telling you, I am writing it down here, right now: I would know. I know. So there’s nothing to assume.

The second thing that would happen is I would calm down enough to accept brutal honesty from my peers. I do love brutal honesty. If you act logically, how can the simple (or complicated) truth hurt you? I accept brutal honesty to no end. It would probably take a while for me to settle back into that habit if I got fat, but once I did, I have no problem with you commenting about anything. There are more important things to think about. Like your next story for a book or movie you’re planning, or the color of the clouds, or how to recycle water in space, or how beautiful kindness is.

I remember taking to my best friend about this topic. She was one of those call-to-arms-feminists (I am a feminist as well, don’t you worry, just a calmer, forgiving type) and soon told me “that no fat person deserves to hear an insult about what they look like, especially if it’s a woman.” (That was paraphrased.) And then a few days later (we hang out a lot, I love her), I asked what I would look like if I got very, very fat, and she said “Absolutely horrendous.” (Or something like that. I remember it was clearly an insult about what I would look like.) This is why lying is bad. Because knowing what somebody thinks is better then them talking about you behind your back.

The third thing that would happen if I got fat would be an epiphany about which way I wanted to take my life, depending on my health (if I’m wrong about my prediction that being fat would hinder my health) and my own personal preference about appearances. I will definitely tell you if my body can take being fat and completely fine at the same time, so I don’t have to endure the pain of assumption.

Why does the truth hurt? Why can’t you just fix whatever the problem is? And if it’s not a problem, tell the person gently. They have no idea why they’re wrong and therefore have no idea why you would be mad at them. Why can’t people just accept logic, intelligence, and the truth? (Or the false, but without getting mad?)

I found something on tumblr (via Instagram, I don’t have a tumblr, and I never will) that perfectly announces my opinion:

photo-15

I have no idea who you are but I love you.

I love everyone.