Coming to NYC: A Square One TV/Mathnet 30th Anniversary Tribute Show!

Hey, Square One TV/Mathnet fans! 2017 marks 30 years since Square One Television first debuted on PBS! My, how time flies, eh? There’s so much that’s been going on within the fandom over the years that I need to take some time to point out all the amazing projects and social media posts I’ve found, although today, let’s just focus on this upcoming event.

The PIT’s Square One TV/Mathnet 30th Anniversary Tribute Show! Happening in NYC at the People’s Improv Theatre on Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 – call ahead to reserve yours!

Square One TV 30th Anniversary Tribute Event

This is totally a dream fan project of sorts, so grab your 80s fashions and travel back in time, mathematics-style! One of the performers is an old Mathnet fandom friend of mine (hi, Heather!), so please do go and support all the hard work and talent behind this special event!

But Who’s Going?

Will I be there? I wish! Although if anyone attends and grabs video, pictures, etc., feel free to post here and/or share online! Go! Make me jealous! Maybe if it goes over well, they’ll do future performances…you never know!?!?! (PSST! Rumor has it some former cast members, writers and crew may also be in attendance.) I have been fortunate enough to keep in touch with many of the actors and behind-the-scenes crew over the years, so if anyone has a chance to meet any of them in person, tell them hello and shake their hands for me!

Connect With Fellow Fans!

The fan base has sort of migrated throughout social media over the years, starting on Usenet back in the late 90s, but for the time being, Facebook is the place to find many fans. Here are a few Square One TV-related groups/pages where you can post memories, pictures, stories, etc., at that:

Square One TV Page on Facebook (Like the page; it seems to be a semi-official one.)

MathNet – “To Cogitate and to Solve” (Public group)

Square One TV Math Fans (Closed group – request to join!)

Should any video and pictures materialize from the event, I’ll update this post to reflect it!

Enjoy! And until next time, “May the Math Be With You!

Elections 2016 – Where Do We Go From Here?

I posted the following on Facebook after thinking about how these elections are making me feel tonight. After reading/writing some pretty intense tweets, a few thoughts suddenly hit me, and I just want to put them out there for those feeling a bit lost/confused/angry right now. We have to look out for each other in this life, more than ever.

No matter how this ends, let’s piece ourselves together and realize something: as voters, we have the right to stand up/die for what is right and in the best interest of ALL our fellow Americans, we don’t have to accept that this nation is literally divided more than ever right now. If this is what causes a massive change in how the world turns for awhile, well, we may as well go for broke.

Giving up and running away won’t fix that, we have to do our part to ensure everyone feels safe and welcome in the United States (or Divided States, as it appears). The world really is counting on us here no matter who takes office and many I’m sure would help come to our aid should we need to take a stand against hate and bigotry.

Okay, I know, I posted that image earlier about not gloating or expressing anguish, and we don’t really know how this is gonna end just yet…

Don't Gloat. Don't Despair.

After the Election…

Image Source: David Borrink

 

Holy Cow, Time Flies!

Well, I guess it has been awhile since the last blog post…since August of 2014? Oops!

What have I been up to since then? Mostly working on projects, some of my own, several for design and content writing clients; traveled a bit, but not enough; met and greeted Josh Groban a couple more times (pictures for another day); helped plan and put on a 20-year high school reunion (WTF?!?!?)…so, taking time to write about life has sort of been a non-priority. I thought it might be a good idea to just quickly post here so 2015 doesn’t feel too left out, so a longer post will have to wait!

As for those things that made me realize my life needed redirection, and in following my own calling, I realize some things are just best left in the past. As time passes, people and situations that have caused unhappiness and unbearable stress aren’t worth worrying about anymore. People and environments sometimes change for the better, others don’t, and as it turns out, our being present or absent has little or nothing to do with it. Sometimes to walk away and keep one’s distance is the best, healthiest thing you can do for your own sake. If people don’t like what you do or how you do things, why worry; put those feelings into something more worthwhile, always. Honestly, if nothing’s going to change in the here and now, and you realize separating yourself from those unhappy/unpleasant places is what you need to finally land where you belong, whether it’s leaving a “dead-end” job, breaking off a toxic relationship, or overcoming a persistent roadblock in life (or all of the above), push forward with no regrets and don’t look back – let the messes you can’t fix fall onto someone else’s lap, focus on your dreams and goals, and keep looking up. Enough said there.

snailbowimgprofile

“Keep Looking Up” – Watercolor painting by Jill M. Sheehan, available as a print and in other formats on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

Things to Come in 2016:

  • Taking on more design and writing projects for clients;
  • Finally getting my JillthePill Design site launched beyond a “landing page” state;
  • More personal artwork projects; you’ll find several designs are currently available as high-quality art prints, stationery and personalizable housewares on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. (<–Shameless plugs)
  • Working on developing more handmade pieces – some previous work is available on Etsy, but I’ll be adding new designs as I hone my artsy-fartsy skills!

And beyond that, I just have to see where things go, because holy cow, time flies.

Stay tuned – have a happy, healthy 2016 and beyond! Carpe diem! 😀

My Take on Depression and Suicide: We Need to Talk.

Depression. Suicide.

Such harsh, powerful words. Words nobody wants to speak of, ever. That is, until something major happens, usually when a celebrity opens up about their battle, or succumbs to it. As terrible and tragic as a life lost this way is, the best time to talk about it is when it’s fresh, having opened up our wounds, broken our hearts, and affected us so deeply.

Robin Williams as Patch Adams

Robin Williams as Patch Adams. (Image Credit: Universal Pictures)

The one-and-only Robin Williams, an actor and comedian eager to entertain the masses, who made us all laugh, always ready with a joke or prank to brighten someone’s day, no matter their struggle, lost the battle to this cruel, ruthless beast we know as depression and by way of suicide. It hits hard, sharply, to hear those words together, yet it is the tragic reality, and we need to able to talk about it without fear, shame, or judgment. Robin isn’t the first, and sadly, won’t be the last entertainer (or singer, or artist…) to lose their fight with depression.

My initial thoughts upon hearing of his death (taken from my Facebook status):

Regarding suicide: Please don’t criticize a suffering person who has (possibly) taken their own life. Know that it is a deep, dark, struggle and not usually a selfish decision, but one made by a person desperate to be free of their pain.

I had already been planning this post before reading an article by Katie Hurley on the Huffington Post that nails a lot of my sentiments, but it can’t be said too many times when the issue of openly discussing depression and suicide is so important, now more than ever. There are many more great articles out there; take the time to read as many as you can – this isn’t a time to “conceal, don’t feel.”

HBO Go: What’s SHE In?

Holy cow, it’s been awhile since I last posted, as in last year, but I’ve been quite busy doing the whole artist thing (go check out my Etsy shop if you’re interested in a sampling of the many things I’ve been working on), but I have a fun(ish) post to share today.

Last week, some new ads for HBO Go were suddenly stirring up quite the buzz on social media, featuring an “Awkward Family” watching some rather saucy scenes together from shows like Girls, True Blood, and Game of Thrones. My first exposure (pun intended) to this ad campaign was on my Facebook timeline, via a Time Magazine link. I noticed right away in the preview images one of the actors looked very familiar…

Where have I seen her before...hmm...

Where have I seen her before…hmm…

After checking out the ads, I knew why; the mom is played by Toni DiBuono, best known as Pat Tuesday, Mathnet.

By far the most popular of the seven clips, already reaching over 1 million views on YouTube since they debuted on April 21st, is one in which Toni doesn’t even speak – her facial expressions say it all. She walks in as her commercial son is watching True Blood.

WARNING – potentially NSFW video clip follows – click play at your own peril!

Hilarious, and effective. The rest of the ads are equally funny, and awkward, and Toni appears in 5 of the 7 ads. Go check them all out, and let’s hope we’ll see Toni in more stuff in the near future – hey, maybe they’ll spin this family off into their own series, or do some more ads!

Given the success of these ads, I’m thinking it might be a good time to do a follow-up interview/Q &A with Toni, so if anyone out there has questions about what she’s doing now, or anything not covered in Maia Weinstock’s great 2012 conversation with Ms. DiBuono (aka, Mrs. Michael McGrath), comment here!

By the way, if you have anything you’d like to shout at me on Twitter – I tend to retweet and comment about things on Mathnet/Square One TV when I find them, I can be found @JillthePillNet, though I do occasionally share and talk about other random things as well, so fair warning. 😉

2013 – My How You’ve Flown.

Well how about that, the year’s over, just like that. The past few months have been busy for me – finally opened up my Etsy shop – here’s a little preview – go check it out when you have a chance!

JillthePillDesign on Etsy

Just Joshin’

In October, I got to meet Josh Groban at his Seattle show (these pics come from my Instagram):

The Breaking Bad inspired Meet & Greet Pass.

The Breaking Bad inspired Meet & Greet Pass.

 

Me, Josh Groban, and a Box of Salonpas.

Me, Josh Groban, and a Box of Salonpas.

 

Sorry, you had to be there to get this joke. ;)

Sorry, you had to be there to get this joke. 😉

It was a brief meeting & greeting, but he was a hoot to talk to, and is always witty and entertaining during his concerts. For those of you wondering why the box of Salonpas, check Josh’s Twitter archives for background on that. 😉 Thank you, FOJG – it was a pleasant surprise to be one of the Seattle M&G drawing winners! Also saw his show in Salt Lake City, thanks to an online friend!

Old School Memories…

I revisited my old stomping grounds to say goodbye to the “Little Theater” that’s being demolished for the new FWHS, which was bittersweet, like stepping back in time where little has changed, venue-wise, but in other ways nearly unrecognizable elsewhere on campus. It was a great opportunity to say hello to my former drama teacher and let her know I’m still keeping the creative endeavors going to this day. If you ever have the chance, you should go back and thank those teachers who left an impression on you in life; it means a lot to them!

On the Creative Front…

Creatively, I’ve been juggling various projects in these final months of 2013 – new items for the Etsy shop, for one, and lots on the table for the coming year! I didn’t get everything I wanted to accomplish done just yet, some things shifted on the burners a bit, but I guess I should pace myself instead of racing myself. This has been a good year for taking time to nurture my creativity, learn new things, and journey ahead without looking back. It started out with greatly mixed feelings (as earlier posts indicate), but I’m glad I took this leap of faith. If I hadn’t taken a chance on new adventures, I know I wouldn’t be on the path to where I’m meant to be in life, so no regrets there. 🙂

That’s really about it – details on the mundane things in life aren’t worth going on about anyway, so these are just a few highlights until I post again. (This is mostly for me anyway, to look back and see the growth in myself, and share how life’s treating me for those stalkers curious folks out there.) 2014 has more in store, and I look forward to it!

May all be well with those reading this – and remember, it’s never too late to drop everything you know in favor of new, enlightening life adventures. 😀

Until we meet again – Happy New Year!

Preparing to Launch.

Hello! Consider this my August/September post, because I’ve been a busy bee as of late!

While I have been working on various projects for others this year, I have also been slowly tinkering away at getting my own “brand,” if you will, up and running as well. Just a few more details left to finish – the fun, business-side of things: loading up the online shop, writing up product descriptions and going over shop policies, making sure everything works properly, etc.. Yes, this means finally, for those who have been wondering when it’d happen, I have actual products in my hands, and just in time for those who might want to buy a few things as holiday gifts. You only have a few months left! 😉

It always feels good to be productive working for others, but it’s definitely another challenge altogether when it’s your own brand identity, that’s for sure. I am such a stickler for quality when it comes to my own work, though I am learning to go with the flow and not worry too much about perfection, focusing more on the art and craft of making each creation my own. I hope this will reflect in the works I will be selling – I’ve taken advantage of working outside on beautiful sunny days, and toiled into the wee hours over the past several months, and I feel like I have works of art people will really like. The hardest critic to please, as always, is the inner critic of the artist themselves, so you know if I’m content with my work, that’s saying something. I have learned and grown creatively, not just emotionally, and I am eager to share the fruits of my labor. Here’s a little sneak peek at a couple sticky note designs that will be available at launch (click the image to embiggen):

Sticky note design preview.

Tell someone to “stick it” with these notes! 🙂

My illustrative style is more on the cutesy side, although I am capable of doing sophisticated designs if people are interested. Being a smartass-at-heart, I can’t help being a little sarcastic and having fun with these initial designs, something you will definitely see regularly in my “Zom-Bee” creations. So, hang in there, it’s almost ready (I really mean it this time!), and if you have ideas of things you’d like to see, leave a comment here or drop me a note. 😀 You can “like” the page on Facebook, and comment there, too.

I’ve plugged it before, but in case you didn’t know, the design site can be found on JillthePill Design – that’s where you’ll be able to find a portfolio of my work, hire me to work on your own projects (I specialize in print design, but I can do more than that, just ask), and buy my creations as well. It’s not 100% ready, so just drop your E-mail into the form on the landing page there, and you’ll be notified when it launches – if you need incentive, I’ll be rewarding early adopters with a discount code!

Thanks for tuning in; things are getting exciting here! -Jill 🙂

P.S. – Here is a shameless plug for one of my client projects – my mom is also about to launch her fine jewelry design shop and site, VerLen & Sydney. It’s still in landing page phase as well, but you can sign up for updates, and “like” her page on Facebook, too. Thanks! 🙂

An Open Letter to PBS.

Dear PBS,

Oh, how you taunt us so. A couple of weeks ago, you posted on your official Tumblr account this little teaser image:

Where in the World IS Carmen Sandiego?

…Carmen Sandiego?

And then…speculation started to flow from all corners of the Web. Even HuffPo covered it! New episodes? Reruns of old episodes? So much potential excitement here, and then…NOTHING. No follow-up posts as of yet. Boo. Hiss.

So, what’s the deal, PBS? Don’t you guys realize how EPIC this would be? Why tease the masses, then just crush their hopes with your “edited to add” business: “this is not about new episodes, but will be appreciated by any 90s kid…” Well, I was an 80s kid and I watched it, but I’ll let that slide. Are you going to do something, or not? And while we’re on the subject, PBS, let’s talk about some other shows that could prove useful for today’s kids. You did keep Reading Rainbow on the map for awhile, as well as Ghostwriter, you even refreshed The Electric Company, an “Old School” staple, as well as Zoom! for a time. Sesame Street continues to brighten the lives of young kids as well. So, how about a couple more that could use some revamping, or re-airing, at the very least: 3-2-1 Contact, and Square One TV. Oh, and of course, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (Let’s pretend that Noggin didn’t exist though, because it’s dead; well, it’s Nick Jr. now, and they didn’t always do these shows justice in rerun format.)

Granted, some of the materials and information on these shows may be a bit dated and in the case of “Carmen,” inaccurate, but in a time where American kids are falling behind in math, science, and geography, let’s at least put some reruns back. Better yet, DVD releases of these shows. Ever heard the phrase “shut up and take my money” used online? Surely you have. You would have SO MANY former kids fully prepared to hurl massive amounts of money at you if you put these shows out on DVD. You might not even need to have pledge drives for awhile if you do it right. Teachers and parents want this stuff in their homes, trust me. As someone who created the site for “Mathnet” (yes, it needs updating, I KNOW), I can tell you I have received a lot of E-mails about this very thing for years now, and the more people hear about possible renewed interest in these 80s and 90s after-school staples for kids, the more people will crawl out of the woodwork wanting to know more. And they’re waiting…

I could go on for quite a while about this, but what I’m saying here is: pay attention to the media buzz! Look at the likes, shares and mentions on all the major sites  – there’s your target audience, plus any new fans you pick up along the way. If you follow through with these teasers, it’ll be a move you won’t regret, and kids are about to go back to school – is there any better timing? 

So, do it. Do it, Rockapella!

With Love (that remains to be seen),

Me, and Legions of Other Fans.

Time Marches On.

Wow, June has come to an end already. Half the year gone POOF? What is with that? Seriously, time…just slips away, no matter where you are or what you do. Let this serve as a reminder that life and time is short, so make the most of it! 🙂

So many things as usual on the mind, recently lost a beloved furry friend (R.I.P., Mr. Biddles), but I am finding, as time marches on, that things that were giving me worries and regrets earlier this year are no longer important enough to fret over, or rather, have faded into the past where they belong. Feelings of anxiety, emptiness, anger, frustration, sadness, all that is no longer hounding me, or very rarely these days. The time I have had to focus on finding myself in my element again has been good medicine, and surely a few of those who have been following along don’t want to hear that, but perhaps the problem isn’t really me, in that case. 😉 Finding what is going to make my life the best it can be (while the show is just me) is the main task for my life. While I am here to support and care for those in need (ALWAYS), and even those who don’t need it at this time, we have to look out for ourselves first and foremost; if you lose yourself in trying too hard to please everyone else, avoiding making waves to a point you become a pushover, blankly going through the motions, getting back to YOU can be a difficult journey. But honestly, I need not go on about that, because I have found peace in the process of moving ahead, and that is giving me motivation to tackle the things I had pushed aside for a long time. Don’t like that? Too bad; nobody’s making you read this anyway, and my give-a-damn’s busted. 😛

The coming months will be busier yet; over the past months, I’ve been working gradually toward making art my (eventual) full-time life; it takes time to get everything just right, with projects and client work on all sides, but it will be worthwhile for those who have been waiting ever-so-patiently to get things launched and up for sale in my design business. If you haven’t hopped over there yet, check out my business site at JillthePill Design (currently a landing page), and track the progress, answer polls and “like” the page over at Facebook; it’s nearly launch time, but before I unwrap the site, I’m working on getting physical goods made and assembled, while also helping my mom get her stuff going, too. (If you like one-of-a-kind, fine jewelry pieces, her stuff will be right up your alley!) My aim is to avoid any bumps in the road upon opening the virtual shop doors, so fingers crossed that works out!

Spring? Plants? I hate them. I made my zom-bees months before Grumpy Cat became a thing, but if the shoe fits, Tardar would hate these, too.

This is a Zom-BEE™. Don’t you want to own one of these “happy” fellas? I think you do…

Other than that, nothing of terrible importance to report at this time; once things have officially launched, I intend to get back into tackling those personal projects that have languished for far too long…yes, that means you guys, Mathnet fans. In fact, Mental_Floss recently posted an article that pays homage to the show, and we have dropped the ball a bit with keeping things updated. Enjoy things as they are now, and know that they will be revamped one of these days…we (the fans) really want to inspire enough confidence in the folks at Sesame Workshop so maybe they’ll finally bring Square One TV back – the youth of today could certainly use it!

Okay, that’s it for this month, since it’s essentially over now. Enjoy the summer (or winter, depending where you are), and I’ll be here to yap at nobody in particular (probably just myself at this point) at some point in July. Take care! 😀

Disaster Relief.

This is worth repeating any time disaster strikes, and those happen throughout the year, often with little warning, and the Red Cross can always use the help, even before an emergency occurs (but especially after). Given how many tornado-related disasters have happened this past month alone, one doesn’t need to think hard to see there’s a need out there. It’s as simple as sending a text message with “REDCROSS” to 90999, and a $10 donation will be put on your phone bill and immediately go toward helping those who need it most. And yes, there are plenty of other groups who can help, such as World Vision (based out of my home town of Federal Way) and other local community groups. If you’re brave, you can even give blood, which helps people all year round. 

If you’re not sure you want to give or how to best direct it, try to put yourself in the shoes of those going through a disaster or hard times; you’d appreciate that help, right? It’s worth doing your homework if you want to make sure your donations are going where they are needed most urgently – that’s where Charity Navigator can help you decide. If nothing else, positive thoughts and prayers always work, and are free to give, too. 

That’s about all I’ve got for today; lots of things going on and little time to reflect right now, so in the meantime, keep those who need your positivity in mind as they move forward and start rebuilding their lives. 🙂

Quick Summary: To give $10 right NOW to the Red Cross: Text “REDCROSS” to 90999, to give $10 toward tornado relief through World Vision: Text “TORNADO” to 777444. Thank you.

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