All posts filed under: Blogging

Going on a Summer Hiatus

Hey, hi, hello! Lately I haven’t had much time to dedicate to Catch-all, nor have I been all that excited about working on it. I’ve been blogging for the past five years, and up until recently it never felt like a chore. Blogging was always something I did as a hobby, but the fun of it has dissipated. I’ve decided to take a break, but not give up entirely on Catch-all. I’ll be back by the end of the summer and will hopefully feel refreshed and excited about working on it again. Until then, I’m going to focus on a few other projects I’d like to get started on, and spend more free time reading, watching movies and TV, and doing other things that make me happy. I’ll still be on Instagram and Twitter, so you can follow me there — and come back to Catch-all around September to see what’s new in this neck of the woods! As always, thanks for reading! ❤ Julia

Catch-all is More of a Hodge-podge

I think that if I started this blog all over again I’d name it hodge-podge. Originally I thought of it like a catch-all dish that accumulates little odds and ends. Bills, bobby pins, loose change, buttons, political stickers, gum. It’s astonishing how many of those catch-all dishes I actually have in my apartment. They start out being useful, but quickly become piles of both important and unimportant things. I end up avoiding it all until it’s time to clean my catch-all dish out and start over again. But this Catch-all has become more of a hodge-podge. It’s like the area of my apartment where I’ve placed shoes, empty picture frames, books, and my old violin I’ve been meaning to donate. It’s my go-to spot for big things that don’t go together but have nowhere else to go – which is kind of like this blog. … As much as I want to pinpoint a specific direction for Catch-all so that I can actually try to reach an identifiable audience, it’s becoming clear that it’s just …

Catch-all in 2018

I decided against making resolutions this year, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t put aside a little time to reflect on Catch-all and consider what the future of this blog should – or could – look like. Because blogging is just a hobby for me, I’ve never been particularly strict about narrowing down my focus (it’s called Catch-all for a reason) and I know that going into 2018 my posts will continue to be just as varied. I do, however, plan to put my media studies degree to use and share more work that examines film, TV, pop culture, music, politics, identity, and representation. With more serious work will also come some fun (I think it’s about time to write about Vanderpump Rules) and I’m hoping to maintain that delicate balance between content that reflects both fierce critical engagement, and lighthearted entertainment. Catch-all in 2017 Most popular posts this past year: Fun with Vinyl Resistance Reading List On America, Mobility, & Freedom in “Easy Rider” PHOTOS: Women’s March Los Angeles Riding the Pacific Surfliner Most …

Saving Net Neutrality

UPDATE: The FCC has voted 3-2 to repeal Net Neutrality, but there’s still hope! Congress can pass a “Resolution of Disproval” in order to overturn the FCC vote. Continue to write, Tweet, and call Congress using battleforthenet.com. This week I wanted to share a post on how the internet has democratized creativity, serving as a space for all to create and disseminate art and ideas. But then I remembered the fast approaching vote on net neutrality, which impacts the very existence of a free and democratic internet. In the U.S., internet is a public service, accessible to all. In 2016 a federal court ruled that internet access should be classified as a utility, not a luxury, and that as a result government regulation is vital in maintaining a balanced dynamic between users and providers. “The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power and should be available to all Americans, rather than a luxury that does not need close government supervision.” – “Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not …

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Since my last blog post I’ve been all over Iceland, spent a long weekend in New York City, returned to Los Angeles for a few days, and took a trip back home to Tucson, AZ. Once I’m back in Los Angeles I’ll have to find a new place to live, move, say goodbye to my sister who’s leaving LA, and find a job. Regardless of the major changes coming my way, I’m still putting off the stress of thinking too much about everything until I can’t avoid it any longer. Beyond the logistics of moving and looking for work, there’s a lot in my life that’s currently up in the air. Graduate school was wonderfully rich and life changing – but exhausting – so I’m glad that’s over now. Aside from personal issues, drumpf and his people are wreaking havoc on this country and our world. I can’t help but feel that Americans are on the brink of a collective meltdown, and we’re all just holding on by a thread. But while all of this has been …

The 7 Blogging Rules I’m Always Breaking

Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the sort of universal blogging and social media marketing rules that I should be following, but don’t. The truth is, I break most of these rules despite knowing that they would surely improve my blog. But is Catch-all successful already? Well that depends on how you define success… In almost every way you look at it, my blog isn’t successful. I’ve been working on it for years and it hasn’t taken off yet and may never. But that’s okay, because I like writing and blogging, and for that reason I consider it a triumph in my own terms. Catch-all is a place where I can share my thoughts and photos, and people will either read what I write and engage – or they won’t. And that’s okay. Though I’m still trying to figure out what the identity of this blog truly is and how to best support it, I’m also just enjoying the journey and not giving it much thought. But after working on this list it became clear that if I do ever want …

Post-Election Feelings & Taking a Break

I guess I’ll start by saying that I’m absolutely devastated by the election results. I went to bed Tuesday night with a feeling that I’ve never experienced before and can’t fully capture in words. I’m simultaneously enraged, saddened, terrified, disappointed, and disillusioned. How could this happen? What now? I fear for the safety of my friends and family and good people across this country and the world. I am shocked to see just how many millions of U.S. citizens are comfortable electing a xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic man who’s endorsed by the KKK, brags about sexually assaulting women, wants to ban Muslims, and has promised to build a wall dividing the U.S. and Mexico. His rhetoric has stoked the pride of hateful white nationalists across the country, and make no mistake, we are significantly less safe because of him. I’m confused and scared, yet empowered. I refuse, along with so many others, to let hate win. I will continue to fight for a more just world, where everyone is welcomed and safe. Along with the fear …

The Benefits of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and it’s something I feel passionately about and love doing. Here are just a few of the benefits I’ve discovered in starting and sustaining Catch-all: It’s a creative outlet When your work life is less than creatively fulfilling, blogging provides an opportunity to express yourself. I’m personally of the school of thought that we’re all creative people – some of us just know how to access our imagination better than others. I also believe that self-expression is hugely beneficial for anyone’s work, whether you’re an accountant, secretary, painter, or writer. Blogging improves your writing and helps you find your voice When you write a lot, your writing will naturally improve. Blogging is far more informal than most styles of writing, but I’ve found that posting on Catch-all has benefited my academic work as well. And after three years of working on this blog, I think I’ve finally become more comfortable with my voice as a writer, which of course is always evolving. Keeping up with my goal of posting weekly also requires that I’m constantly thinking of new ideas, jotting them …

I’ll Blog For You, Too!

This summer, I’m looking to spread my freelance wings and fly! If you’re searching for an experienced writer to produce high-quality articles for your blog, contact me so we can discuss your site’s needs! I have experience with formal academic writing, as well as short-form blogging. If you’re interested in reading a writing sample of my scholarly work, please let me know. Otherwise, here’s a taste of what I’ve written for the web, both on my own blog and elsewhere: ‘Boyhood: In Defense of My Dissenting Opinion’ for Catch-all ‘A Response to Michael Eisner’s Comment That Beautiful, Funny Women Are Hard to Come By’ for Catch-all Jobs review for Critics Associated  Fruitvale Station review for Critics Associated Magnolia Character Analysis for Mr. Rumsey’s Film Related Musings Topics I’m especially interested in writing about include, but aren’t limited to: General film and television criticism and analysis Gender and diversity in Hollywood General pop culture criticism and analysis Feminism and women’s issues Veganism and the environment Various social and political movements Lifestyle and self-care Please email me at vanvalkenburgj@gmail.com or fill out a …

Revisiting My First Blog: Girl in Cannes

I recently rediscovered my first blog from almost three years ago, Girl in Cannes, and thought it would be fun to share it on Catch-all. I started Girl in Cannes as part of a scholarship project in conjunction with my college internship at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. It’s a lot to read, but be sure to check out some of the pictures I snapped in Italy after my internship concluded. I took this photo today at my aunt and uncle’s house in Phoenix. How beautiful! I thought it would be nice to post a picture from Arizona before I depart for Europe. I’m truly going to miss Tucson (not the heat, but my family and friends), but I am OVERWHELMED with excitement. I’ll be particularly happy once I get off the plane, because I am not looking forward to the long flight! I board in 10 minutes, so it’s time for me to say au revoir to America and bonjour to Europe! _______________________ _______________________ I’ve been extremely busy and have had very limited internet access, so …