Tuesday, August 6, 2013

no award: social justice. media. fandom. drop bears.

Hey so all my apologies! I have a brand new blog that I'm super excited about. That makes blog number eleventy million for me of course, and I am in no way neglecting this one, or the vegan blog or the tumblr, but this new one makes all others PALE IN COMPARISON in terms of my passion and drive for it. At least right now.

Liz and I have combined to bring you No Award, a blog where we talk about social justice and media and intersectionality all specifically keeping in mind that we are Australians of varying backgrounds. So far in our first three weeks of posting I've spent a lot of time blogging about racial and infrastructure and political issues in Pacific Rim, and also about the exotic as shorthand in dystopic future fiction. Liz has looked at lots of things including the deconstruction of masculinity in Dance Academy, and an old school Melbunnie SF novel. It has been a lot of fun so far, and I look forward to continuing this project.

Come say hi! It is super fun.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

8 ways to keep applying for jobs when all you (i) want to do is yell JUST GIVE ME A JOB and then go to sleep

red is the star   My contract with WWF-China finished in November of last year, and since then I've been busy but payments have been intermittent. I've been working hard on my con (just seven weeks away, and mildly stressful), working on a major personal (but hopefully fruitful) project, baking cookies for sale in a cafe, looking for a new place to live and dealing with my ever exciting depression and anxious tendencies.

So in all of this I have trouble with motivation; though to be more specific, what I have is a motivation issue in regards to finding a new job. I've been for so many interviews since I returned to Australia, and written so many selection criteria, and been told so many times 'you were amazing and we love you but we went with someone less qualified' - as if telling me that makes me feel any better about the job search that is slowly sucking my soul.

And I'm sitting on the couch right now, prioritising everything that isn't writing yet another set of selection criteria for one of the jobs that I have open in a tab, but I do have some techniques for getting this stuff done, even when I'm feeling demotivated and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch Super Sizers.
  1. Do something little but useful every day. I get a whole bunch of job emails sent to me that I've tailored to what I'm looking for. I filter these into a separate folder, but I check that folder every day. Even if all I do on the job hunt that day is open the folder, read the emails, and open the jobs that look suitable in new tabs, that's still a thing, and I did it.
  2. Prioritise the jobs by date. I keep track of them in my head but if that doesn't work for you, put them in a spreadsheet. When I see how far apart the due dates are, it allows me to feel like I can breathe.
  3. Breathe.
  4. Break it down. Break the job application down into something that looks like a process, then do one part each day, or two parts, or whatever works for you. A normal government job for me looks like: find the pd; pull out the selection criteria; write each criteria point (not all at once); email BFF to review them; write a cover letter that directly addresses the sc points; review cv; have someone (BFF) reassure me that I would be great for this job; rewrite sc; submit; don't think about it again. You are good for doing each of those elements, you have achieved something for any step that you complete of that. 
  5. Sometimes apply for easy jobs. Not jobs that you easily get, jobs that are easy to apply for. With the work I do, for the most part I have to write five pages of selection criteria and a tailored cover letter, plus of course my CV. That takes days. Sometimes it feels really good to just write the cover letter and shoot it off. I might not get that job (though it's always a job I think I could do, just maybe a bit higher than I should be aiming or out to the side or something), but it helps me to maintain momentum on days when the thought of yet another 3000 words on my suitability just seems insurmountable.
  6. Take a break. Don't do it constantly, it wears you down.
  7. Get someone to poke you. For me that's a person whose specific task is to say 'hey did you apply for that thing? Let me sit on the internet next to you while you write one criteria and then we'll watch some tv together,' but your mileage may vary.
  8. Reward yourself. Applying for jobs is hard, for so many reasons, including the constant rejection and the constant doubts of your own self. You have to do this work, but reward yourself immediately for getting it done. The nebulous satisfaction of 'getting a job' is great but ultimately useless when you're in the throes of rejection/anxiety/omg I'm going to die homeless and friendless and alone, and sometimes you just need a cookie and a cat gif. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

mqff is upon us! prepare for queer cinema!

The Melbourne Queer Film Festival starts next week, and as always I'm super excited! I missed out on the Festival last year (because China), and I'm really looking forward to this year's festival.

I volunteer every year, which is something I recommend for anyone who is in to films, is in to queer films, or wants to support their queer community. It's a great festival, everyone is always really lovely and there's a great feeling around it.

Also, this year, there are vegan lollies available for sale! Which is pretty awesome, please feel free to thank your local vegan for the idea (me) and everyone at MQFF who let me suggest it and then just Did It. I love when people accomodate dietary requirements, I hope there's no gluten in the lollies hmm. And there's an app for iPhone and Android, and most of the movies screen at ACMI which as you know (Melbourne) is one of the best cinemas and spaces ever.

Here is my short list, in screening order:

When Hainan Meets Teochew (当海南遇上潮州) (Saturday 16 March, 16:00)

When Hainan Meets Teochew tells a unique story about love between a butch and a femme woman. The two meet in the most unusual circumstances (involving a falling bra), become enemies in the most unpredictable situation and become friends in the most unforgettable manner. Just as they gradually develop feelings for each other, Hainan’s ex-girlfriend appears and puts their relationship under the most challenging test. The ensuing love triangle results in much misunderstanding and hilarity. What will become of Hainan and Teochew’s romance, and who is the owner of the falling bra?


Oz Docs (Monday 18 March, 18:00)

This is a series of Australian documentaries, including 'The La La Road' on Chinese lesbians, and the Aquaporko Documentary, featuring a whole lot of awesome, fat, queer ladies of my acquaintance.

Cockpit (Thursday 21 March, 18:30)

Mrs. Doubtfire meets Tootsie, meets Some Like it Hot - 10,000m up, in this over-the-top comedy of mistaken identities from Sweden. After losing his job as an airline pilot when his company downsizes, Valle is thrown out by his materialistic wife, who takes the kids with her and immediately begins a new relationship with a wealthy elderly man. After countless knock backs by airlines, he hears that Silver airlines are looking for a female captain. In desperation, and with little in the way of a plan, Valle dons a pair of high heels, borrows his staunchly feminist and queer friendly sister’s identity and transforms himself into attractive Maria and wins himself a pilot’s job. The plan begins to unravel when his lesbian airline colleague Cecilia starts to fall for him/her, and a narrowly averted plane crash, lands Maria all over the news.

Queens! Destiny of Dance (Friday 22 March, 20:30)

Guru Amma presides over a community of hijras (male to female transgenders) inside a huge palace, with love and severity in equal measure. The apple of her eye is the talented Mukta who is the best dancer among them and also the potential next leader of the community. Mukta adores Guru Amma with all her heart, to the point of worshipping her. One day, a beautiful young girl turns up at their door without any explanation. Awed by her beauty, Amma takes the mysterious girl under her wings and names her Nandini.

Soon, Nandini becomes the centre of attraction for the other hijras and for Amma as well, thereby sidelining Mukta. Mukta’s jealousy soon turns to paranoia about Nandini, and Mukta leaves the community after threatening Amma. But Mukta soon realises that she will never be taken back into her house or the community. Determined to set things right, Mukta returns to Amma and the community, but behaves kindly towards Nandini this time around, until enough is enough and events unfold leading to a shocking climax.

True to the essence of Bollywood films, Queens! is chock full of colourful characters, and fantastic dance scenes.

Strange Frame: Love and Sax (Saturday 23 March, 14:00)

The first lesbian, science fiction, rock ‘n’ roll animated film is here! Hold on tight as we head off into the 29th Century.

200 years after the human race has left a decimated Earth behind, life on Ganymede, one of Saturn’s moons, is a world of space pirates, indentured slaves and genetic mutations. Parker, a saxophonist, meets a gutsy singer, Naia, who’s a ‘debt slave’, and the two quickly fall in love and form a band. Gaining cult notoriety, the band catches the eye of the authorities, and Naia is recaptured. As Parker begins a desperate search for her love, Naia is repackaged by ‘the man’ as a generic rock star and achieves immense fame. Will Naia be saved before her soul is forever destroyed?

(quotes are from the mqff programme)

I always keep my short list short, because I burn out fast during festivals, but others I wouldn't mind seeing eventually are:
My Best Day
The Mermaids
Speechless (无言)