The rest of this entry is given over to, and penned by, Bubbles! By which I mean BrookeStardust, who plays Bubbles in Twitter's long-running EHC group and on the He Moves Me Differently website forum.
I have come to realise, in the many days I have spent with this document open and only the header of “DN Thing” typed on the page, that I am not particularly good at writing about myself.
I think the crux of this whole event came to pass when I found myself on tabloid websites, trying to find interview questions which might seem useful to ask myself.
It does not particularly help that I am not a celebrity though.
Questions like “how’s the new album coming along?” or “so are you and Beyoncè a thing now or….” just don’t apply to me. (For the record, if they did apply, the answers would be “Oh, it’s great, we’re on the mixing stage” and “Duh”.)
I guess all that leaves is trying to think of what’s happened that’s worth filling people in about since MangaBullet stopped being a thing and my immediate access to the fandom kind of withered away.
It’s a bit interesting to think back on, but fandom locations in general have changed so drastically in the past few years. I might wax poetic a moment here, but I remember the days of Geocities fan-page circles, LiveJournal communities and DeviantArt and the slow transformation that had to something like MySpace then things like Tumblr or Reddit.
We are in weird times, friends.
2011 I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Film and Animation after finishing a thesis which I still cannot watch.
This happened around a pretty weird time in the Animation and Film world. Layoffs were happening across all the major companies (Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks,etc.) which created a giant market flood of people who had far more experience than the kids just getting out of college.
So, like literally everyone in my graduating class, I had to improvise and scramble a bit for a job (for the record, not a single person I graduated with has a job in the industry right now). My first summer out, I moved back home and put in about seven applications a day to different animation companies, film houses, advertising firms, graphic design companies, video game houses, special effects houses… whatever.
At the time, I was working full time at the eBay job I had in high school, as well as working as a law office secretary part time. Eventually, I started getting desperate (you can only sell so many used women's sweaters online before you /really/ start wanting to not do that), so I began putting in applications wherever I could think of.
Long story short, I was hired in November of 2011 as a sales specialist for a fruity computer company, moved to technician within about three months, and have been there since.
As far as retail jobs go, it’s pretty good. I really love my team and have come to think of them as more of my family than my actual relatives are. We’re a close knit group, especially in a store of over a hundred employees, and I couldn’t ask for better coworkers.
Customers are customers and I think that would remain a true statement no matter where I worked. Some are great, some are not.
I know that, in the situation of the economy being what it is and the market being what it is, that I’m doing pretty well, but there are days (a lot of them) where I just feel stuck or lost or terrified that I’m going to wake up in twenty years still trying to fix the iPhone X9000, or whatever’s out by then.
I make sure to put in at least one job application a day now (long work hours leave one quite tired, so the seven I did when I first graduated had to be cut back a bit), and I just keep hoping that maybe something will strike a lead up. In the mean time, I keep saving as much as I can to eventually use to move to New York City and try to strike it big with some tiny animation house there.
Something something best laid plans of mice and men, perhaps, but it keeps me on a goal path, which has been useful when I get really emotionally lost.
My platonic life partner, Niki, and I have been attending more concerts lately than I ever have in my life. Last month included Streetlight Manifesto, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, ReBulder, Weezer, and O-Town. (I know you are jealous of my early 2000s boy band viewing. It is okay.)
We have also been making as many plans for both day trips in the area and longer trips out of New England as we can.
I make it an absolute point to attend Otakon in Baltimore MD every year (this year marked my… sixteenth year going, I think? I’ve started losing track) and make it more of a point to hunt down BlAIRbender for annual dinners.
For those who follow the EHC twitter group, which I still hold irrationally near and dear to my heart, consider it the real life reunion of Bubbles and Force10. I hold a firm belief that BlAIRbender /is/ Force10 and no one can convince my Roomba and I otherwise.
Every once in a while I’ll post over to my Tumblr (which, because I am original as anything, is my name. But it’s under the tag AlexArt there).
Or I’ll post on Furaffinity, although I have been really bad about posting with any sort of regularity. I tend to draw on my lunch breaks at work and just never think to post anything when I get home. The worst!
I still cosplay with complete regularity, wear more makeup than a streetwalker, watch more anime and movies more than is probably healthy, play D&D or PathFinder whenever possible (ask me about my bard hooker and her bag of holding wedged between her boobs), and dye my hair more than any person should be able to get away with.
Not much has really changed, I guess. Beyond the whole… being older thing. Which, for the record, is really weird and I do not agree with. I refuse to feel like an adult until I am 85. No matter what the government or my retirement fund has to say about it.
I am pretty easy to find on the internet, which is good if you are into that sort of thing. Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram all rock out with my name. The real one, not BrookeStardust, even though that name is infinitely cooler.
I could put a video link to A Better Place A Better Time, which has been a tune that has helped me out a lot over these past few years, or perhaps I could find some serene yet inspiring image on Google, which somehow reflects a perfect summary of this write up.
I like to imagine there would be several lobsters and a jackalope gazing off meaningfully into the sunset. Perhaps a rainbow would float across the sky. Eagles.
Instead, I am going to leave you with perhaps my favourite short collection of arranged words. I have no idea where this came from anymore. I only know that I have had it saved on every one of my computers for years and that I will go and reread it more than is normal.
I hope it brings to you all what it has brought to me.
What is McRib?
McRib is peace of mind and a sense of purpose. McRib is a memory of simpler times--of cool pitchers of lemonade on hot summer days and respect for one's elders. McRib is renewed consumer confidence and economic prosperity. McRib is conviction in your own beliefs. McRib is Manifest Destiny and the American Dream.
McRib is your first kiss and the embrace of a former lover. McRib is a shoulder to cry on and a confidant in troubled times. McRib is watching your child take his first steps. McRib is your favourite tee shirt fresh from the laundry. McRib is timeless elegance.
McRib is desire. McRib is a thirst you can't quench and an itch you can't scratch. McRib is a tangy, sauce-covered reminder of what you didn't even know you were missing. McRib is ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. McRib is a destination. McRib is a state of mind.
What is McRib? McRib is back.