Friday, December 25, 2009

Terrifying Santa, and I am Sporty Spice.

"Frosty the Snowman
is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow
but the children know
how he came to life one day."
-Frosty the Snowman

Christmas is coming to an end, and I feel like I wont be blogging much while I am in LA, so here goes.

Monday my brother and I went shopping and we had a nice time. I really haven't seen him enough since I moved out, and I want to stay an important part of his life and all that older-sisterly stuff. So anyway, we ate lunch at Red Robin and shopped for our parents gifts and he helped me pick some things out for Luke. :)

Monday night and Tuesday I had an epic Heroes-catchup day with my housemate Justin. We were behind by 5 episodes, and we watched all of them over the course of those two days. I also spent a good portion of Tuesday helping Luke and our other friend Alex Hinksman with a Christmas song that they kind of sprung on me - but, honestly, they wouldn't be some of my favorite people to make music with if we DIDN'T frantically work on things last minute over email, so I had fun writing lyrics for them and stuff.

Wednesday I went to work, and then (with my bags packed and ready for LA) I went to my parents' house, where I have been ever since. We've done a lot of really nice family things. This is probably the longest I have stayed here since I left. I watched some Firefly with my dad (he made fun of my new hat Nick bought me - it looks like Jayne's hat and he said I look like an idiot when I wear it. Firefly reference. He likes the hat xD). We made two big awesome meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas day (I tried Cornish Game Hen for the first time - it was hard for me to get past them just looking like baby chickens though) and we opened presents on Christmas Eve.

Okay, I feel like I have the only family in the world that does this, so I am going to explain how we do Christmas and ask all of you if anyone else did it this way, or if we're just weird. Because I know MOST people leave out milk and cookies and Santa comes in the night and when you wake up, there are your presents, waiting for you. And you open them in the morning. Like pretty much every Christmas movie out there tells you to.

MY family, however, opens our presents on Christmas Eve. We eat dinner, and then after dinner, we go into the living room with the tree and we start opening the presents, which have been sitting there all along. Except the main present, which Santa brings. And by "Santa", I mean, my parents literally had someone (usually a family friend or relative) dress up in our Santa suit (which I have only recently been shown, out in a box in the garage) and come over to our house. Sometimes he would bring a little bell to ring, and he'd always ask my brother and I if we'd been good that year, and he would never give me my present unless I sang him a Christmas song. Usually Frosty the Snowman. Or Rudolph.

And I'm going to admit to you something right now that I never told my parents - before the years when I recognized Santa as my cousin Korrie or our family friend Pete - Santa SCARED me. I sang him that Christmas song out of fear. Because when I was little, I thought I was meeting the REAL Santa, and that's a lot of pressure. I mean, what if he didn't like my songs? What if I forgot the words? And then after a certain age, when the dressed-up Santa was more for my brother and less for me (since I was a big girl and found out he wasn't real) -- THEN there was just a strange man in our house (this being the years my Dad got a coworker I didn't know to do it) and THAT was scary too. I couldn't even fully enjoy getting my presents because I was so concerned with figuring out who the Santa impostor WAS. I didn't want to sit on some person's lap and sing for my presents. Nick never had to sing.

I mean, yeah, the fake-Santa was always giving me a Tattoodles doll or a plastic art studio desk or an Easy Bake Oven, but he also was wearing a false beard and a hat and talked in a loud booming voice and demanded I sing when all I wanted to do was finish opening my presents.
So there you have it. I was scared of the jolly man in the red suit who'd been hired by my parents to force me to sing songs in exchange for gifts.

Well, then there was the year my DAD dressed up as Santa. That's when my parents just got lazy. That was probably the year Nick stopped buying it too.

Now I am almost 22 and Nick is pushing 17, and we don't hire a Santa anymore. My dad still signs some of my presents "To Tina, From Santa", but we all know the truth. Santa is our neighbor, my uncle, a coworker, my dad, each other, etc. Not to be cheesy, but Santa is that part in all of us that loves seeing the faces of our friends and family light up when they open our gifts. I think it was a good tradition, even though Santa scared the crap out of me. I had to EARN my Christmas presents. Maybe that's why I became a singer. I had to, for fear of Santa Claus.

I wonder if I will need to hire people to play Santa for my kids someday. Maybe I need to instill in them some good old fashioned Christmas anxiety. Or is this just a super weird tradition that should be left in the past? xD

In other news, my Mom was showing me old pictures the other day, and I found proof that I actually WAS Sporty Spice. Check out that track suit. Check out those SHOES.

Anyway, this has been a nice Christmas. I went to church with my family today, which I honestly probably haven't done since LAST Christmas, and tonight we saw "A Christmas Carol" together in 3D. Tomorrow we're going out for breakfast, and then it's off to California for me. :)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Right, the point of the blog entry: Does ANYBODY else celebrate Christmas like we do?

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Bucket.

"I'd rather dance with you
than talk with you,
so why don't we just move into the other room.
There's space for us to shake,
and 'hey, I like this tune'."
-Kings of Convenience, "I'd Rather Dance With You".

I had a really, really nice day on Saturday.

I woke up in the morning and had the house pretty much to myself for most of the morning. Then I went to the post office and there were 6-7 cards waiting for me in my PO Box, which was fun. People have been asking me what sorts of things I might want to be sent, which is kind of a hard thing to answer to complete strangers, but I do really like things I can hang on my walls, or notebooks (I LOVE notebooks or journals) and books are always welcomed. Or Harry Potter/Doctor Who/Lost/Dr. Seuss/Disney things. :)

Anyway, that was a tangent. Back to my day.

Brittany got to my house around1:45, and then we set off together for Rebekah's wedding. It was about a forty minute drive up there, and then (out of my sheer stupidity) I told Brittany to turn left off the freeway rather than right and we ended up lost in a terrifyingly foggy valley for a good twenty minutes, before my faulty phone-GPS took us right back to where we started and we finally found the hall the reception was being held at.

Rebakah looked beautiful and the reception was really fun. We were only able to stay for about an hour, but a bunch of other girls we know (people who Rebekah met at various wizard rock events here in the NW) were there as well so we all sat at a table together and enjoyed all the yummy desserts they had set out for the guests. That was actually really funny, because about a week or so ago I got this really bizarre question on formspring asking me to rate various pastries on a scale of 1-6 -- and I had no idea why but I did it anyway -- turns out it was Rebekah, secretly asking advice for her wedding desserts. The Internet is nerdy. :)

The best parts of the wedding were that the cake had a Bride Pikachu and Groom Pikachu on top (BEST EVER) and then they took pictures of all the guests with silly props like star shaped sunglasses and fake mustaches. I like creative, funny stuff like that. It was a great wedding.

Then we had to dash out unfortunately, because Brittany needed to make it home for a Christmas party she and her husband were throwing, and on the way home, she dropped me off in Lynnwood at a restaurant where I was meeting my parents and a bunch of family friends for a 50th birthday party sort of get-together (the party was for my parents' friend Carol). I had such a good time there. I am really fortunate, I think, to have a family I can have fun with like this.

They have two kids in their late twenties that I get along with pretty well, and Aaron (the boy) and his girlfriend Krista sat me down and told me that when they were bored one night, they watched every single one of my videos. I was pretty embarrassed (I forget that real people I know in my life might be watching; it's weird!) but they assured me that they thought I was funny and loved the videos.

Then everyone started to get a little crazy (because we had the party room in the back of the restaurant to ourselves) and this place sold mixed drinks called "The Bucket" that came in a literally bucket with a handle and a shovel. Aaron bought me one in honor of the trip to Mexico our families are taking in a few months, and well, I'll let you go ahead and assume what happens when a girl of my size has a bucket. My parents were driving me home, thankfully. :D

Before we left the restaurant, there were two twin girls who were about 19 (Carol's nieces)
that had been sitting on the opposite side of the room from me all night. One of them (the more outgoing on I suppose) came up to me and said, "Ummm. How do you know our aunt Carol?" I shrugged and said something about being long time family friends and her jaw just dropped. She said "My sister and I watch your videos and are big fans of yours and we had no idea we were connected to you in any way. And we've been sitting in the same room as you all night and that's kind of a big deal." Then I got all blushy of course, because I always do when this happens to me in public, and I chatted with her for a few more minutes, but mostly I am telling this story because I was so amazed at how small the world is and the frequency with which I seem to be getting recognized lately. It's really, really strange. But fun. :)

That night I went home, Eia and I watched "The Grinch" (the one with Taylor Momsen in it - I LOVE HER) and then early the next morning, I went to do that Zombie shoot with Night Zero that I mentioned before. That was a lot of fun. I posted a picture of me in my zombie makeup on Dailybooth and everyone was saying I seem like I am a zombie more often than I'm not a zombie. I think a lot of people were under the impression that I just do myself up in makeup like this for fun, but I assure you, I had a professional doing my makeup and it was for a purpose. Haha.

Today I am going Christmas shopping with my little brother! I really don't spend enough time with that kid, so I am very happy we are able to do this. We'll probably go out for lunch, too.

Also, I think I got my birthday wrong in my last post. My birthday is on Sunday. The 27th. xD By then I will be in LA! This winter break has been so good to me so far. I am really happy.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter break funtimes.

"Baby Jesus got some gold
What all infants prefer
I bet he got the present face
With francencence and myhrr
Christmas and his birthday
Are both on the 25th
It must have sucked to have to open
Combination gifts"
-Garfunkel and Oates, "Present Face"

I haven't blogged in over a week. I feel slightly guilty about this, but I had finals going on, and then I was relishing in not having finals/anything pressing or important to do, and THEN I was busy with the Project for Awesome, so blogging just took the backseat for a little while.

I had a really strange dream last night. I dreamt that I went back in time (I think it was with Eia, but looking back, it could have been a stock dream-best-friend). I remember walking around in our normal clothes and a street vendor guy asking what was wrong with us and offering to BUY US regular (period appropriate) clothes. And then I went to a book store and was looking for cool old books to buy and bring back to the present, and I found a copy of "Treasure Island" so I tried to buy that, but when I opened my wallet, all that was inside were Euros, which I couldn't use to pay for the book because they weren't even going to be INVENTED until 1999.

Anyway. The Project for Awesome was hugely successful and fun this year. I was proud of the goofy video Liz and I made, and then Kayley and I had a a really good time running the livestream for about three and a half hours on Thursday. Luke was having a blast holding down the fort on spamming the twitter feed, and I am happy to say that #P4A was a trending topic there on twitter for nearly the full two days.

We seriously bulldozed through videos, commenting and getting them up on the most discussed page. And we had a Skype broadcast chat going where a number of people helping out with the project got to know each other on a much deeper, much more inappropriate (and vulgar?) level. Haha.

I've been really enjoying my winter break. School was stressing me out and getting me down, and being done for a little while feels so, so good. Yesterday I cleaned and organized my room, and I've been playing guitar now and then (my New Year's resolution is going to be learning to play seriously. Not that I am not already doing that, but I like to make my resolutions direct and ambitious).

I can't remember what my resolution was last year. That's actually a little disappointing. I am going to pretend that I can't remember what it was because I already accomplished it. Yep. Going with that.

Later today Brittany and I are going to our friend Rebekah's wedding. I am looking forward to this for a number of reasons. 1. I haven't see Brittany probably since May. 2. Rebekah always comes to our wizard rock shows (that's how I know her) and it's nice to finally be able to go to something of hers, to sort of give back. 3. Weddings are fun and I get to dress up.

Tomorrow I am getting up early to go do a zombie shoot for Night Zero, which is going to be a blast I think. I've helped out with production a few times in the last year but I haven't actually been a model for them since last October. It will be fun to get all bloodied up again, and they're shooting for the cover! I'll be sure to let you know when those pictures are online.

Then Monday I am going Christmas shopping with my brother, and then it's pretty much the home stretch until Christmas! Things are exciting and fun around here in Kristina world, basically. I am happy, and Liz is currently getting us tickets to the Muse show that's happening on April 2nd in Seattle and things couldn't be better. Except maybe if Luke lived closer to me. :D

AND, my birthday is in exactly one week. When did THAT happen?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Short story for college: I Really Like Highlighters.

Okay. After an overwhelming response from people on twitter, I have decided to post the short story I wrote for my Japanese American History class. The assignment was to write a research paper, but our Professor said if we wanted to do some sort of creative project instead, we could. So I wrote a short fictional story about a second generation Japanese girl dealing with her parents pressure to get a good job and also her fear of bringing home a white boy.

I tried to avoid stereotyping as much as I could but I apologize in advance if I offend anyone. I am not Japanese and don't actually know what it's like, but I tried to be as realistic as possible based on what I have learned in my course this quarter. Let me know what you think!

*Also, I know people have wanted me to post stuff I have written for NaNoWriMo, but as I have plans to maybe publish some day, I have been reluctant to do that. I hope this is an okay alternative. :)


I Really Like Highlighters.

I’ve been working at Toshiba for seven months now. It’s a respectable Japanese company here in America. At least thats what my parents say.
I’m in marketing. My parents were really proud of me when I got this internship right out of college. A lot of my friends had to get jobs as waitresses and baristas, but after the amount of money we spent on our education, my parents think that a job like that is shameful. But here I am at my desk. In my cubicle. There is a box of paperclips next to my computer, and a cup full of pens. I really like highlighters, and try to find any excuse to use them any time that I can. I like to draw little borders around my memos. It brings a little color into this dreary cubicle.
It’s really not that bad. I help figure out new ways to market televisions. Radios. Stereo systems. Well, right now I actually do a lot of data entry for other people who figure out new ways to market that stuff. But I have perfected the ideal cup of coffee. Two sugars, one cream. Stir.
But all of that is about to end. One week ago, I got a letter in my company mailbox. The letter was informing me that at the end of my internship (which is in precisely three weeks) they’d like to invite me to work for Toshiba full time. As a real employee. With benefits!
I haven’t told anyone yet. This is the type of news that is going to change my life. It’s going to change everything. I’ll be working forty hours a week, making money to help support the family, and my parents will be so, so proud of me. Not to mention my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and probably even the family cat.
But it also means I’ll have to quit my art lessons. That’s another thing I’ve kept to myself. My family thinks I work late on Fridays. Really, I catch the bus and go to the community center where I take intermediate level classes in drawing and painting. I wanted to take art classes in college, but the business program I got accepted into was much too rigid to allow for any sort of extracurriculars. I spent the better part of my four years there studying in the library and volunteering with the Japanese student union. And staring at the art wing longingly.
But with this internship, those community art classes happened to fit perfectly into my schedule, and were easy enough to keep secret. My parents likely would have thought I was wasting my time; not focusing on the goal. But I really like it. It would be a shame, once I got this job, to have to give it up. I’d even started making friends there.
I looked at the clock on the wall. Three. It was time to clock out and catch my bus. The bus that delivered me right in front of the community center left in fifteen minutes. I logged out of my computer, straightened my highlighters, and rolled back across the carpet in my chair. Toshiba was a nice company, really. This was a great opportunity for me.

“Hey, Sachiko!”
A sandy-haired boy with a slightly upturned nose waved at me from across the classroom. I blushed slightly as a few other people turned to look at me before I slid down onto the stool beside him. I set my purse down on the floor beside our art table.
“Hi Brady,” I said back. Now that no one else was looking at me, I smiled warmly at him. We’d met on the very first day of class. He’d been going around the room trying to trick people into shaking his hand when it was covered in clay; I’d been the only one foolish enough to fall for it. We’d been friends ever since. “Working on a new sculpture?” I asked him, gesturing toward his lump of clay as I pulled my sketchpad out of my bag.
He grinned at me. He’d been working hard on a sculpture of his mother for the last month, but somehow she always ended up looking a bit like an alien. The new lump of clay signified that he’d clearly decided to give up.
“You know,” he said, shifting in his chair. “The sculpture was for her birthday, and I think she’d appreciate a nice vise just as much as the bust I was working on. And vases are much easier, let me tell you.”
“I would like to learn to sculpt sometime,” I said softly, digging in my bag for my charcoal.
“I’ll teach you!” Brady offered.
I just smiled, not having the heart to tell him I wasn’t going to have enough time left with this course to be learning any new skills.
“Happy Friday, class!” An eclectic woman with paintbrushes in her hair and a long skirt stood at the front of the room. She never spoke too much, because she wanted to give us plenty of time to work on our projects. Generally she gave a few announcements and then made her way around the classroom to check on people individually and give inspiration and advice.
“I just wanted to congratulate you all on how hard you’ve been working, and let you know about our end of term art show. Everyone will get something of theirs hung at the show, but we’ll be selecting the very best pieces to be featured in the main exhibit. You can invite all your family and friends to show them what a great job you’ve been doing here. And we’ll have refreshments! Because no one ever comes to anything unless there’s free food. We know what we’re doing.”
There was a soft round of applause spreading through the classroom, but I just felt subdued. There was no way I could invite anyone to an art show. No one I knew was even aware I was going to these classes, let alone in support of it. As far as my family was concerned, I was at Toshiba right now. Stapling things. Bringing pride to the family.
“Man, I’d better get going on this vase if I want to get anything in that main exhibit,” Brady said, slapping his hands on the sides of the clay. “Unlike you. You crank out those charcoal drawings like some sort of one-woman assembly line.”
“I just have images in my head,” I mumbled. “I find it easy to let them seep out onto the paper.”
“Sachiko Tanaka?”
I whipped my head up. I hadn’t even started my drawing today, and our teacher was already hovering over our table. “Yes, Ma’am?”
She held up a large manilla envelope and waved it gently in front of me. “I just wanted to make sure you were going to be able to attend the art show. I have selected a number of your pieces to be displayed. It would be a shame for you to miss that. You’re very talented, Sachiko.”
I felt myself blushing as I took the envelope from her and slid three different charcoal drawings out onto the table. There was the very first piece I’d ever done; it was actually two drawings side by side, a self portrait of sorts. One had me sitting in an office, at my desk, working on a computer. Juxtaposed to that was another drawing of me sitting on a park bench, with flowers blooming around me and the sun shining down on everything.
The second drawing was a perspective piece. It was the front of the office building I worked at, from an upwards angle, making the place seem dark and looming.
The third piece she’d selected made me feel a little embarrassed, and I tried to hide it from view but I was too late; Brady had already seen.
“Hey, is that.. is that me?” He asked, raising his eyebrows at me. “I sit next to you every day, how did I not see you drawing a picture of me?”
“You were absent one day,” I said sheepishly.
He nodded thoughtfully. “Right. Swine flu. Hey it’s pretty good,” he said, his eyes lighting up as he smiled. He matched the drawing perfectly at that moment. I’d tried to capture his laugh lines but my memory was only so good. Apparently I’d been dead on, this time.
I turned my attention back to our teacher. “When is the art show?” I asked her.
She smiled, taking the drawings back from me and slipping them carefully into the envelope. “In exactly two months when the class is over. We’ll still be picking more works to feature in that time, but I want to let you know ahead of time because I am certain about these. You’re a fantastic artist.”
I blushed, for what felt like the hundredth time that day. Then I realized what she’d said. In two months time, I would be a full time employee of Toshiba. I wouldn’t even be attending class anymore. There’s no way I could make it to that art show.
It surprised me how badly that realization made me feel.
I didn’t say any of this to my teacher; I would tell her later in private. I just said “thank you”. I didn’t want to shame myself here in public, in front of Brady. Instead I leaned over and began drawing a television. Flatscreen, high definition. Thirty-two inch LCD screen. This was my life now.
Class went by quickly, or maybe it went by slowly, I couldn’t tell you because I wasn’t really paying attention. Brady told me about the funny characters he met at the club he worked at. He was a bartender. It sounded fun. I nodded along and said “wow, really?” at all the right times.
After class, I shoved my supplies in my bag and tried to duck out as unobtrusively as I could, but Brady followed me out. “Where are you headed in such a hurry?” he asked me. We usually walked to the bus together. I wasn’t feeling like being accompanied today.
“I have to get home,” I apologized, digging around in my bag for my bus pass.
“Did I do something wrong?” he asked. I could see the hurt outlined in his eyes. No. This was not the reaction I wanted. I was avoiding him to keep him from getting hurt. I knew he wouldn’t take my leaving the art class well.
“No, Brady. I just have a thing. Tonight. I need to get to it.”
He shuffled his feet against the pavement. “I was going to invite you out to dinner, tonight. I’ve been working my courage up all month.”
I paused. “Dinner? Like on a date?”
A flush stained his cheeks. “Maybe you could call it that.”
“But you’re just my art buddy!” I shoved him off, finding the bus pass and raising it triumphantly in the air. I realized how hurtful my words were the second they left my mouth. “Brady, I just - I’m sorry. I didn’t mean-”
“No, it’s fine,” he said. “I was kidding myself.” He turned to leave.
“I have to quit the class,” I blurted out.
He stopped in his tracks. “You what?”
“That’s why I’ve been acting strangely. I got a job offer today, and it means I can’t stay in the class. Or go to the art show.”
“What kind of job offer?”
“Toshiba. They want to hire me full time.”
“That stuffy place you’re working now? Sachiko, you’re worth so much more than an office job.”
“It’s a great job,” I huffed.
“Says who?” he asked me, taking a step closer. “You deserve to be getting your art published. Not sitting behind a desk.”
“Well that’s not up for debate. I’m taking the job. I have no choice.”
“Have you accepted the job yet?” he asked me.
“I - no. I haven’t.”
“Then you absolutely have a choice. You can turn it down. You can apply for an art internship. You can go to the art show! Who knows, maybe someone will see your work there. You can do whatever you want. You just need to figure out what that is.”
Nobody had ever seemed to care much about what I want. It had always been “what was best”, or “what was good for the family”. I didn’t even know how to think in terms of what I wanted.
“It’s not that easy, Brady. You don’t know my family.”
“Maybe not, but I do know you,” he said, trailing off. And then he kissed me.


Why I decided to invite Brady over to meet my family that night, I can’t explain. Why this would be a good idea in any lifetime is beyond me. But when he kissed me, I knew that everything had changed. He was not just my art buddy. For the last few months, when we’d talked and laughed in class, admired each other’s work, something had been happening between us that I had been so blatantly ignoring.
And now I was bringing a white boy home to meet my incredibly, incredibly Japanese family. This was probably not going to go over well. But I thought, if I could conquer this fear, maybe I could face my difficult decision with my job as well. Baby steps.
We took the bus, and he held my hand as we sat next to each other on the hard orange seats. I liked how our hands looked together. His strong sculptors grip clasped around my dainty yellow mitten. As we got closer to my stop, I felt butterflies in my stomach. This was the worst idea. A horrible idea. Surely my family had already eaten, so it’s not like I was inviting him to dinner. We were going to stand awkwardly in the foyer while my family gawked at him. And even though I was nearing twenty-three years old, I’m sure I would not be allowed to take him up to my room. I almost wished I could take back my offer for him to come over, but it was too late now. We were two stops away.
Eighty-fifth street.
“This is me,” I said, getting to my feet. Brady followed suite, still holding my hand. We got off the bus together, giving the driver a little wave of thanks, and a moment later, we were standing in front of my house. The lights were off. That was weird.
“You look nervous,” Brady said. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah,” I said, lying. “I’m fine. Let’s go inside.”
We walked up the front path, and at the door, I fumbled through my keys to find the right one. I unearthed it from my massive keychain, and heard the click as I turned the key in the lock and pushed the door open. Everything was completely dark inside, which was unlike my family. Someone was always home at this time. My grandparents tended not to even leave the house, usually.
“Hello?” I called out, taking a step inside. Brady reached for my hand but I pretended to not notice, crossing my arms over my chest. Best not to shock them with hand holding, yet.
All at once, the lights flew on and it seemed like people were jumping out at me from every direction. “Surprise!” they yelled, and I could see streamers and hear little noise makers and there were a lot of happy smiling faces scattered around the foyer.
“What?” I asked unintelligently, taking a step back and accidentally stepping on Brady’s toes. He caught me with both his hands, which I was thankful for, because I almost lost my footing entirely. I realized a few awkward moments had gone by without me saying anything at all, and the sheer joy I had seen on the faces of my friends and family (and were those some of the neighbors in the back? The local grocer?) had changed to confusion as they stared at Brady behind me.
“What’s going on?” I asked, completely dumbfounded. It wasn’t my birthday.
My mother scooted forward through the crowd and waved a familiar looking envelope at me. “I saw this on your desk. I’m sorry for snooping, Sachiko-chan, but how could you keep this news from us! We are all so thrilled for you!”
My letter. Everyone knew, now, about the job offer. There was no way I could turn it down now, being it was out in the open like this. I realized how closely I was still standing to Brady and jumped away from him.
“I wasn’t ready to tell everyone yet, Mom,” I said under my breath.
She stared at me, confusion in her eyes. “But why? What honorable news! This is so great!”
“Maybe I wasn’t sure yet!” I cried. I didn’t want to make a scene. This wasn’t polite. Everyone had come over in my honor and I was being ungrateful. “Can we talk in the kitchen, Mom?”
My mother was glowering, but nodded.
I grabbed my little brother Ren and said, “Hey kiddo, meet my friend Brady. Show him the punch table, would you?”
Ren shrugged and motioned for Brady to follow him. I mouthed the words “I’m sorry” in Brady’s direction before following my mother into the other room.
“Sachiko, who is that?” my mother asked immediately.
“That’s not what we came in here to discuss, mother.”
“I would still like to know.”
“A friend,” I said simply.
“He doesn’t look at you like he’s just a friend.”
“Mom, I don’t want to talk about that right now. I want to talk about this party you threw behind my back.”
She threw her hands up in defense. “That’s how surprise parties work!”
“What if I didn’t want a surprise party? What if I’m not sure I’m taking the job yet?”
Her gaze was stern. “What else would you be doing with your life to make you not take this job? This job is a wonderful opportunity.”
“I don’t know if it’s the best opportunity for me, though.”
“Oh? And what would be better?”
I didn’t want to say it. Not here. Not like this.
“Art,” I said. Oops. There it was.
She stared blankly. “Art?”
“I like art, Mom. Not business. Not marketing. I like to draw.”
“You realize how foolish you sound right now?”
That stung. This was why I kept things to myself. “Brady believes in me,” I said. That was a mistake, but I couldn’t stop myself.
“Is Brady that white boy out there? He doesn’t believe in you. White boys only want one thing from girls like you.”
I felt a fire growing inside me. “That’s not true, Mom. Brady is kind, and nice, and wants me to do what I want to do. Not what you think is best for me.”
“I want that boy out of my house right now, if he’s planting these silly ideas in your head. Who is going to pay you for being an artist? Who is going to care about what you draw?”
“Lots of people care! My art teacher chose my pieces to be featured at the art show!” Another mistake. I couldn’t stop myself tonight.
“What art teacher? Sachiko, what are you talking about? What has gotten into you? Come back out here and enjoy your party, and let’s forget about this nonsense.”
“It’s not nonsense!” I screamed. I was going to seriously regret every decision I was making tonight, but I didn’t care. It was done now. “I’ve been taking art lessons behind your back, and I’m good, Mom. I’m really good. And it makes me way happier than working at Toshiba ever has.”
“Life is not about silly hobbies. It is about working hard and doing the best you can do. Which you will be doing, if you take this job,” my mom said slowly.
“No, Mom. I would be selling myself short if I ignored my gifts. I can work hard at my drawing too. And I know it would be hard. But it’s what I want to do.”
Apparently I was making my tough decision right now. I barely even recognized my own voice as I was talking to her.
“I don’t want you to see that boy anymore,” my mother said in retaliation. Her calmness was almost more scary than if she were yelling at me.
“It’s not his fault,” I spat. “He’s the one who opened my eyes, but I have come to this conclusion all on my own.”
With that, I spun on my heel and re-entered the room with the party. Brady was eating cookies with Ren and my sister Mariko, and everyone else was standing around awkwardly. I grabbed Brady by the elbow and then turned to face the room.
“I appreciate all of you coming here to celebrate my job offer, I really do. Due to circumstances in my life, I am not going to be taking the job. I’m sorry for wasting your time. Feel free to stay and eat refreshments. I think Ren just got a hundred percent on an algebra test, so you can celebrate that.”
I turned to Brady. “Want to get out of here?” I said to him.
He didn’t ask questions, just nodded. “Whatever you want.”
We were walking toward the door when I thought of something. I turned around again to face the group. “By the way, I have an art show in about two months at the community center in town, if anyone is interested. A few of my pieces are being featured. I would love it if anyone wanted to come.”
I saw my mothers face as she stood at the doorway to the kitchen, looking disappointed and upset. Not to mention embarrassed, in front of all her guests.
She would forgive me. I knew she would, with time. But for once in my life, I needed to do something for myself. I slipped my hand in Brady’s, in front of everyone, before leaving the house.
“Maybe we could go get that dinner, after all?” I asked him once the door had shut behind us.
“I’m proud of you, Sachiko,” he said. Then he didn’t bring up the disaster that had been my party again for the rest of the night. “How about the Olive Garden?”


Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fiesta Weekend: Part 3

"Pizza in the morning
Pizza in the evening
Pizza at suppertime..."
-the Bagel-bites commercial that's stuck in my head

I haven't had any time for blogging this week because fall quarter is almost over, and I've been swamped with wrapping up school stuff, writing papers, and now studying for my final exams which are happening next week.

In order to take a break from all the hectic stuff, I have been watching a lot of movies this week. I have already watched Finding Nemo, the 6th Harry Potter movie, and Monster's Inc. Rewatching Monster's Inc. last night solidified it as my favorite Pixar film. I had forgotten how much I liked it, though something at the back of my mind had always told me it was my favorite.

I promised Fiesta Movement Part 3, so let me just wrap that up really quickly:
The last day of the fiestamovement activities included waking up way earlier than I would have liked to, eating a superfast breakfast, and boarding a bus to the Staples Center for the LA Auto Show. Once we got there we were treated to an amazing sandwich bar and were left to our own devices for awhile. Luke and I took a walk around downtown LA, and then raced back for the big fancy Ford press conference.

There were cameras everywhere, so many press people and reporters, and a big huge floor with seven or eight of the Fiestas covered in silk sheets, and then they did the official announcement of the car and all 100 of us agents ran out and on three, we whipped the silks off and cameras were flashing and music was playing and it was all very, very exciting.

Then a bunch of us ran backstage and some people from some website or tv show or whatever were asking us loads of questions and we were all really pumped on adrenaline so everyone was jumping in front of the camera to answer them… looking back, it was really funny. All we did was pull sheets off cars. But they MADE it a really glamorous/exhilarating event.

We hung out for another hour or so; the Ford Taurus people gave us free promotional bags that I was excited to get at the time but will probably never use, and then Luke and my friend Dartanion and I decided that the Ford floor in the middle of a huge official Auto Show with business executives and cameramen walking around was the perfect place to film a slow motion rap video, so we did that for awhile in front of a particularly pretty yellow Fiesta. That was a highlight of my day.

Then Alex and Jason came to pick up Luke and I, so I said my goodbyes to whichever agents I managed to see on my walk from the Ford section of the show to the door. I did see Jenny, my mission control contact, and I got a little weepy knowing I wasn't going to need to email her a few times a week anymore with questions about everything under the sun. She told me I could still email her if I missed her, so I told her I would send her emails every morning asking what I should wear that day, where I should go for lunch, etc.

Aww. I am really going to miss the Fiesta Movement. It was such a big part of my life for so long.

Anyway, when we got back to the house, we decided to film a music video with the other guys for one of the new ALL CAPS songs. It was tons of fun, and it can't go on YouTube until we get the okay from Alan, but it will be up soonish.

It sucked leaving LA. I hated leaving LA. Mostly I hated saying goodbye to Luke (I don't know why I do this to myself) but also, I just had loads of fun on that trip and wasn't ready to let the whole experience go.

But now I'm home, and as I said before, it's finals week. The formspring addiction has died down a little bit, but I do have a few funny screencaps I'd like to share with you all.

First I took a day long sabbatical because I had a paper to write, and Eia told everyone that in order to get me to come back to question-answering, they had to spam my page with various nonsensical words. This is what my inbox looked like for awhile thanks to her:

And then LUKE decided it would be funny to create a puppet formspring account for me, where he answered questions as if it were me answering questions. Though why anyone believed him, I can't be sure. Would I say something like this???

I really like that guy.

Okay. Back to doing absolutely nothing tonight, before two grueling days of Kristina's Extreme Study Weekend. Finals are on Monday. Sad face.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fiesta Weekend: Part 2

"I want to reconcile the violence in your heart
I want to recognize your beauty is not just a mask
I want to exorcise the demons from your past
I want to satisfy the undisclosed desires in your heart."
-Muse, "Undisclosed Desires"

As if I was going to leave you on the cliffhanger for very long. :P

Okay. So on Tuesday night, we got all dressed up and headed to the roof of the hotel for the first awards ceremony and dinner. It was pretty much your standard swanky LA roof party, which I have never had the pleasure of attending, so I felt incredibly cool. There was so much amazing food, but I remember eating just a ton of portobello mushrooms and these little fruit tarts that were amazing. Also, I tried sushi for the first time because I was feeling adventurous, even though it was only the avocado and celery kind. So it was cheating a little. But I don't like seafood at all, so it was the best I was going to do.

We walked around, we mingled, we ate, and then everyone gathered around the pool while Jake and Amir from college humor talked about the fiestamovement and handed out awards. I won an award! I was lumped in on "Best Prank", because the other Seattle agents decided it would be funny to prank me and my car a few months ago. So I had a pretty passive role in the winning of this award, but I still have a customized frisbee with my name on it, suckaaa.

Then Jake and Amir drew the names of the three lucky people who would be winning cars. I didn't win, unfortunately. I actually didn't know any of the three people who did win. But the third guy jumped in the pool after his name was called, which was pretty funny regardless.

Then we were shuttled over to the Palladium for the REAL party. This was so crazy; the outside of this big venue, right in the heart of Hollywood, had a giant picture of my face outside. Only a few agents had pictures of them on the wall, they happened to pick one of mine!

The inside was really fancy too. They had these 8 giant monitors where they were looping their favorite mission videos all night, and my rap video was up there! I kept seeing myself out of the corner of my eye all night, which was a little strange, but kind of fun at the same time.

There were Ford video games set up all around, so we checked those out, and then Luke and I started utilizing our free drink tickets. Eventually we ran into Alex Carpenter and Jason Munday, whom I'd invited to the party, and we hung with them for a big portion of the night as well.

A bit later I had my interview with currentTV (you can watch it online here) and I got to meet Max & Jason in person, which was awesome. I met them via skype while I was sitting in my closet a week or so ago, and I have to say this was much better.

The rest of the night consisted of dancing, introducing people to each other, making new friends, watching Parachute play, and finally ended with me getting a stomach ache (worst timing ever). I stuck around as long as I could, but eventually Luke and I took the shuttle back to the London hotel and hung out in our sweet room there. Apparently loads of our friends kept partying once they got back to the hotel, which I am a little sad I missed, but there will be other opportunities for partying with LA friends. Since, you know, I'm going back for my birthday and new years. :D

Oh! And they showed the video Parachute made with my car! As far as music videos go, I have to admit it was a little cheesy. It was really just them driving around in the Fiesta and was so obviously sponsored by Ford. But as far as professional videos with my car in them go, it was amazing. I felt really silly because as I stood there watching it, leaning into Luke and a few glasses of wine in, I started getting a little emotional. There it was, right there, in all its magenta and blue decal-ed glory, and I was never going to see it again. I felt really dumb for letting my eyes tear up a little bit over a material possesion, but hey - this is coming from the girl who cried when she saw the Dakota Fanning remake of Charlotte's Web. I am a sap. And I really loved that car.

I can't believe at this point in the story I have only finished talking about the first day of the Fiesta Movement festivities. I haven't even gotten to the LA Auto Show part of the story yet. But I am going to stop here, again, for now, to talk about something much more pressing.


I have been completely addicted to it for nearly three days now, and by the looks of twitter, so has most of the Internet.
I can't explain why it's so fun. Maybe because it's like blogtv, without all the awkward, "Okay, so, hey guys. What should I talk about?" and also because the questions aren't whizzing by, so I don't miss as many as I would on blogtv. And even though it's all text based, we really are interacting live.

I think also, it's fun because not only do you guys think of hilarious and wonderful questions, but we've all spent so much time doing this that we've started to develop inside jokes within our little formspring groups. Like how my question-askers informed me of the shortage of Eggo waffles do to bacteria growing in one of the factories, how we're all admitting to being neopets dorks and reminding each other to get the dailies, and how Luke and I have forbidden fanfiction being written about our relationship. I spent a good portion of my night spamming Eia's formspring as well, which was probably only funny for me. xD

Anyway, it's been fun having a new way to connect with you guys. Next week is the week before finals, and I don't know yet if that means my formspring participation will slow down or if I'll just fail all my classes because I am too busy answering questions. We'll see. Ha.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fiesta Weekend: Part 1

"Good morning Charlie
this is Claire from flight 815
we're gonna crash
but this island is not what it seems
It's a chance to change."
-the Oceanic 6, "Good Morning Charlie" (unreleased xD)

I just got home from one of the most exciting and exhilarating trips I have ever been on. So exciting and exhilarating, in fact, that I haven't been able to get myself to sit down and blog about it… UNTIL NOW.

I haven't written a blog in nearly a week because it has been "go go go!" since last Friday (I am aware this means it has been a week since I blogged. I'm sorry!). I picked Luke up at the airport at 6:30, and then we went back to my house in Seattle. We spent the evening playing Tetris and old Super Mario games with my housemates, and stopped for an interlude at our favorite bar down on the Ave, so I got to show Luke where Eia and I are usually hanging out during our Seattle vs. LA tweet battles.

Saturday morning we woke up and I took Luke over to my parents' house where they made us dinner and my brother got to show off his drum set and all of that general meeting-of-the-family fun stuff. I think that part of the trip was a success. :D

Then we hopped in the car and started our voyage down the west coast. We made it about as far as Portland where we stopped and met with one of Luke's old friends (since he lived in Portland last year). We hung out there for a few hours before getting back in the car and making it about two to three more hours south. We got a hotel somewhere in mid-Oregon, got to enjoy their complimentary breakfast the next morning (huevos rancheros!), and hit the road again.

Sunday was long. We drove pretty much most of the coast in that one day. We listened to music, talked theory, and before we knew it, we were pulling into his driveway in LA at about one in the morning (after the flat tire fiasco - we just shredded one of the Fiesta's tires on the way down, but luckily Luke is a big strong man and was able to change it for me. We drove the rest of the trip on a spare. Also, there were Fiesta agents from Oregon doing the same drive as us and were stuck in the same traffic a few hours back tweeting us well wishes during our tire problems. That was fun. This is a terribly long aside).

It was fun seeing the house that Luke/Jason/Alex live in!
Monday consisted of lots of music stuff. Alex made us all breakfast in the morning, and then Luke and I worked on a new ALL CAPS song for a good chunk of the day. This was the first time we have ever actually written a song together, in the same room, and it was so much fun! Then we recorded vocals for another ALL CAPS song, and then I did guest vocals on an Oceanic 6 song. Then we played tons of Rock Band with Jason and Sarah Snitch.

Tuesday started early. We had to be at the London Hotel in Hollywood by 11, and this part of the day was really sad. I just had to leave my Fiesta with Valet. No dramatic goodbye, no pictures, no awkward car hugging sad face stuff… just, "Here are my keys. Well, bye then. It's been fun, Sailor Moon/Sally Amber/World's Fastest JellyBean."

But then I walked into the hotel with Luke and immediately saw just tons of Ford stuff everywhere. I turned the corner and there were all our mission control contacts! I hugged everyone, got checked in, saw a huge Ford poster thing with all our faces on it, and got my name put on a ping pong ball to be entered into the drawing for the three free Fiestas.

Then we went in to eat lunch and I saw loads of people I knew from YouTube, from the Fiesta training weekend, and from seeing their faces on the fiestamovement website for the last seven months! It was so exciting and surreal, like most YouTube events. Ford and Action Marketing people said words, Luke and I loaded up our plates with food, and a bit later I had to go to a meeting with the currentTV people to make sure I was all prepared for my interview at the big Awards Ceremony that night. The girl I was talking to about everything for this looked like Jewel Staite. That made me happy.

Directly after lunch, the agents were loaded up on a bus to head over to the Staples Center (the big sports arena in downtown LA) to do a rehearsal for the Fiesta Reveal and press conference that was going to be happening the next day. We didn't do much aside from being placed in various positions around the Ford floor of the auto show and practicing whipping these fancy silks off the cars. I hung with my agent friends Bridget O'Neill and Brittani Taylor for most of this process, since we were assigned to the same car. The entire thing took a good 3-4 hours, which I felt a little badly about since all the agents had to leave their +1's at the hotel. But I don't think Luke minded. Our hotel was SWEET. Giant bed, wrap-around couch, flatscreen TV, bathtub, giant two-person shower, and a super awesome deck overlooking LA. Gosh, Ford spoiled us so much.

We got back to the hotel and I had about an hour and a half to just hang in my room with Luke which was nice, and then after channel surfing for awhile, I got to change into my pretty dress in preparation for the really fun parts of the night.

However, this blog entry is already rather long so I think I will stop here on this lovely little cliffhanger and continue on next time. Sorry!

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo and the Fiesta Movement - what else?

"This very secret
That you're trying to conceal
Is the very same one
You're dying to reveal
Go tell her how you feel."
- Feist, "Secret Heart"

So, I'm sitting here on my parents' couch with my laptop in front of me, and I've got about 4,000 words(ish) left to write, I'm guessing, until I actually finish this year's NaNoWriMo novel.

It has just occurred to me that this probably isn't going to happen today, as Luke gets here in about two and a half hours and I am just not feeling very motivated to work on it right now.
My goal was to finish the novel in a month, but I did get 50k words (and then some; I'm at 55,155 right now), so I accomplished the NaNoWriMo goal, anyhow.
And I can write the end of the novel next week, I guess, when I get home from LA.

But - look at my graph! My most impressive catchup ever!

So anyway. I had all sorts of Thanksgiving stories and things to share, but I am just so burnt out on writing right now that I am going to just let everyone use their imaginations. There was a lot of food, and fun, and all of that. At one point my housemates and I all were wearing crazy hats and we changed the holiday into "Hatsgiving". Before we ate, we all had to say what we were "hatful" for. Good times.

My mom and I went shopping today for a little while - AFTER the black friday morning chaos/rush - I hate to admit, I mostly bought things for myself. Though to be fair, I did get my little brother a Christmas present that cost almost as much as everything else combined. The little brat.

I don't know why I felt it necessary to update my blog right now. I mostly felt guilty that I hadn't updated since Sunday, but I have literally been writing my novel nonstop so I couldn't justify doing any other kinds of writing this week. December will be much more blogful, I think.

I've been getting really Fiesta Movement nostalgic all week, because I have to give my car back in 4 days. I am really, really sad about this. Not just because I love the car and have been totally spoiled for 7 months with free gas, but also just because being part of this whole "movement" has been really fun. Having this crazy experience in common with 99 other people, doing interviews and missions, getting emails from "mission control" - I'm going to miss it.

But the big Fiesta party is next week and I can't WAIT - I'll get to meet so many people I have only seen in the #fiestamovement twitter feed or in videos, and I get to see Parachute play (and hopefully see the music video they used my car for in filming?) and do a live interview with currentTV and wear a pretty dress.... I'm very excited.

AND, I get to drive down the entire west coast with Luke! That will be a really fun last trip to take in the Fiesta. I know Thanksgiving is over now, but I feel like I have a lot to be thankful for.

Also, today I bought cowboy boots. They were on a clearance rack. I could NOT be happier with this day.

Word count: 55,155

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Most people don't do that.

"Since you've gone I've lost a chip on my shoulder,
Since you've gone I feel like I've gotten older,
And now you've gone it feels as if the whole wide world is my stage
And now you've gone it's like I've been let out of my cage."
-Lily Allen, "I Could Say"

Last night I went to see Kayley's play, Ivanov!

She had a lead role, as Sasha, and she was so, so good. Eia and Liz and I were fangirling in the lobby as well because her headshot was so gorgeous. I missed seeing Hank on tour in Seattle to go attend her show (the venue was literally minutes from my house), but I was happy with my decision because I was so very proud of her. It made me kind of miss the days when my life was pretty much dedicated to theatre (in highschool) when I saw that glowing look on Kayley's face during the curtain call and afterwards when she came out with the rest of her cast to greet everyone. I mean, I am definitely happy with how my life is now, but it made me a little nostalgic. Anyway, I know a lot of people probably wished they could have been there for her and I clapped extra loud for them.

The other day Eia and I went shopping - we do this every so often when we really shouldn't, but as best friends and roommates sometimes we just have to indulge. We bought these little sparkly letters to hang on our doors - currently I have a pink glittery "K" and Eia's door has a matching "E" in blue. This has been a dream of ours since we moved in together and it makes me incredibly happy, in a five-year-old way, that the dream has been realized. It's really the little things in life with me, haha.

While we were at the mall that day, we were sitting in the foodcourt eating Panda Express (pretty standard happenstance) when Eia pointed to a sign they had hanging up at Sbarro. It said, "NAME OF THE DAY! WIN A PRIZE IF THIS IS YOUR NAME."

The name that was handwritten on the board that on particular day was "Kristin". I looked at it and said "No waaaay!" So I waltzed right up, leaned on the counter and asked, "Sooo... what if your name is just one letter off the word of the day?"

The lady just smirked at me, left for a moment, and returned with a piping hot breadstick and a little container of marinara sauce on a plate. Which she gave me! For free! Just for being named Kristina!

Last night I was shopping online because I realized Christmas is actually, regardless of what anyone thinks, scarily close. I only bought one present for one person in this particular online quest, but I wanted to share this hilarious anecdote because it was too good for me to just experience alone at 1 in the morning by myself.
After putting my paypal payment through, it took me back to the basic confirmation screen from the original website I was buying from, but instead of the standard/boring "thank you for your purchase" message, it said this:

"Please keep this invoice for your records if you're into that sort of thing. Most people don't do that."

Maybe that's not as funny to anyone else, but it had me cracking up. I love when things are self aware like that. I mean, does ANYONE have a folder of "please keep this page for your records" printouts stashed anywhere? I always get to that page when buying/booking/signing up for things, and I just roll my eyes before closing out of it forever. I mean they usually email you anyway.

Okay. I want to talk about something else. Just as I have been typing this, I have received not one, but TWO spam messages on skype. On skype! Is this really the future of the internet? This message was trying to get me to sign up for muscle supplements, and actually used the little animated muscle emoticon in the IM. Professional.

What the heck! I just got another one for "EuroSoftware, Inc."

No thank you, EuroSoftware.

In other news, I have just reached 35,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel, and officially have to write 3,000 words a day in order to finish on time. And that's assuming my novel will only be 50,000 words in length. I have a sinking feeling that it's going to be longer than that, and after doing NaNoWriMo for three years, I am no longer the kind of person who is just okay with stopping at 50,000 words. I have to finish the novel.

This is going to be a stressful week.

But in other news, Luke will be here in 5 days. :) So that's positive.

Word Count: 35,193

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Glitter, Muse and sleep-texting.

"I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
I want your love and
All your lovers' revenge
You and me could write a bad romance."
-Lady GaGa, "Bad Romance"

I'd like to welcome you all to another installment of "I should be working on NaNoWriMo but instead, here I am! Writing a blog post! Doing cartwheels! Actually that's not true because I am, in fact, incapable of doing cartwheels! Yes!"

However, I have already written 1,300 words this morning, and at only 9 AM, I am feeling secure in my decision to stop nano-ing to write something else. So here I am.
My goal for tonight is 30,000 words, but that puts me at needing to write 3,700 more, so we will see how that goes.

I talk about this too much. I'm not apologizing, just acknowledging it. When it's all you're thinking about for an entire month, I suppose it makes sense that my blog is just littered with talk of word count and writing strategies and gameplans.

However! I do have other things I want to discuss today! Here they are!

The winner of Top Model. I wont say who, in case people haven't watched it yet, but I was pleased. I also enjoyed the extremely gratuitous glitter-covered runway show. Although that one awkward moment when all the sparkly contestants were rubbing each other as the water fell down on the catwalk was a bit much.
I don't know how the public would feel about this, but I have always wanted to audition for America's Next Top Model. I love love love the photo shoots, the fact that they go to another country each cycle, and not to mention all my proportions are right and everything. However, at this point in my life, I would probably just be pegged as "that YouTube girl" which would be annoying, and also, I would be the girl (there's always one) who gets called out for not knowing a thing about fashion designers. Also, I can't walk in heels. But besides that, I think it would be awesome.

That's assuming I would get picked. It's doubtful. They did an open call in Seattle once but I didn't make it there in time, which I took as a sign that reality television is not my calling.

Other exciting news - I got an email yesterday in the middle of my "feeling sorry for myself and my aching uterus" afternoon, from a fan who remembered that I love the band Muse and really, really, really want to see them live. This person was informing me that Muse is playing Deck the Hall Ball here in Seattle in TWENTY FIVE days and did I know this?
So I immediately called Liz, whom I had woken up from a nap, and she freaked out too, and then we realized it was sold out, and then we panicked, and then we checked eBay, and 20 minutes and a fair amount of money later, we had tickets to see one of our very favorite bands play live for the first time for both of us. Yessssss.
I still had cramps at this point, but cramps are a lot easier to take when you're the owner of a ticket to see Muse next month.

I spent the rest of the evening feeling apathetic about writing, and moaned and complained downstairs on the living room couch. My roommate Justin tried to cheer me up by showing me the new Lady GaGa video, which I hadn't seen yet. I, in fact, had never even seen what Lady GaGa looked like until Gossip Girl this week. Like the rest of the world, I'd heard 'Poker Face' a million times but never gave Lady GaGa much of a passing thought. Now I am super intruiged by what a ridiculously strange person she is and will probably have to get the rest of her music to see what I've been missing. I don't even really know what people actually think of her, though I'm aware that most of the world is way ahead of me here on my interest.

Anyway, it's the weirdest freaking music video I have seen in a long time, but I really, really love it. You should watch it, if you haven't.

I'm sleepy. Last night I fell asleep at 11 PM, and sometime after that got a text message from Luke asking if I was awake, to which I am pretty sure I sleep-texted him back saying yes (I have no idea how), because I was woken up by a phone call around 2 that led to me staying up waaay later than I meant to, again. xD

Word Count: 26,329

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thai One On.

"Have you made up your mind?
It's the only way.
Have you made it up? Have you made it up?
I admire the time that you take.
Have you made it up? Have you made it up?"
-Ben Kweller, "Make it Up"

So first and foremost, I have reached 25,000 words on my nanowrimo novel, which puts me at OFFICIALLY HALFWAY DONE, which is super exciting. Plus - I am actually only about 2 days behind being right on track with where you should be at this point. I don't even know how I did it. I have been an absolute machine the last few days. I mean look at this graph:

So that's exciting. Notice the stretch of flat when I was at Wrockstock. Haha. It was about 3:30 in the morning, last night, when I was forcing myself to just get another 700 words to cross over into the world of "the second half of my novel". This was, of course, a direct result of staying up way, way too late talking to a boy on the phone, but we lie in the graves we dig ourselves, I suppose. I still hit half way. I'm just tired, today.

This morning I woke up early and had to deal with a whole bunch of boring errands-type stuff. I had to chat back and forth with a company I am working for about payment issues, I have to take a contract to the post office still, I had to write up the bio for ALL CAPS for the DFTBA site, and I had to drive over to my Dad's office (he works moderately close to where I live) to pick up my car registration (on my old Cavalier, not the Fiesta) and go to the licensing office to figure out why, if I paid for my tabs renewal and new license plates, I don't have them. And they were all, "this is from months ago, why do you only care now?" and I had to fight back with "well I won a car, sucka, so I wasn't driving this car or thinking about its license plates" and they were like "orly?"

This is getting ridiculous. xD The point is I am no closer to sorting it out, since I left only with a phone number to call where I will likely have a very similar conversation to the one above, end up hanging up on them in frustration, have to go BACK to the licensing office and just shell out the $35 for replacements. I didn't lose them! Ahh!

In other news, even though I should have come home and continued writing, I instead went out to lunch with my Dad at a cute little thai place called "Thai One On". I love food with a sense of humor. I got this amazing curry fried rice; half of it is down in my kitchen in the refrigerator in a to-go box. I love leftovers.

Then I went over to my Dad's office for awhile, which is seriously one of my favorite things to do. I dunno. Walking around that office makes me feel so good because it is super, super apparent just how proud of me my Dad is. I mean, literally everyone who works there knows pretty much everything about me. We walked around all the individual offices saying hello to his coworkers (whom I also know from his annual company picnic also, but still) it was a little crazy the amount of "how was Europe", "my daughters loves your new album", "two weeks left with the car, eh?", "do you have any shows coming up?", "how many words are you at on your novel?", and "I voted for you on the Fiesta Favorites thing from my work AND home computer!" I got in the half hour I was there. It was crazy - one of my dad's coworkers seemed to know more about the Fiesta Movement than I even did. He'd scoped out the competition and was telling me stuff about the other agents... I was amazed.

So anyway, I'm in a pretty good mood. I also got my dad to print out my paper that's due today in my Consumerism class while at the office, so I don't have to make an extra trip to the computer lab. *fistpump*

Tonight is the season finale of Top Model! That's the only thing I am allowing myself to do besides writing, tonight. If that girl with the obnoxious accent wins, I'm going to be pissed.

Word Count: 25,004!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Oreos. They have red cream.

"You and I left our troubles far behind
But I still have just one more question on my mind
For all my pals who live in the oceans and the seas
With fronds like these well,
Who needs anemones?"
-Owl City, "The Bird and the Worm"

I am only allowing myself to write a blog post because it's only 9 AM and I have already written 1,600 words on my novel this morning. I am consistently about 10,000 words behind schedule, but I have worked out that if I write about 3,000 a day, I can still win easily. So my goal now is just to write as much as I possibly can each day to try to give myself a little bit of a buffer and maybe even catch up eventually. My biggest problem (I have a really good life if this is my biggest problem) is that Luke is coming up to visit me/help me drive my Fiesta down to LA to give it back to Ford on the 27th. That cuts me off 3 days early, giving me only 11 days left to finish.


Anyway. Yesterday I spent most of the day working on a video I made with Luke, which was a sort of NaNoWriMo theme song. I am aware that writing a song and filming a video ABOUT writing rather than writing is a little counter-productive to my goal, but the amount of comments I received telling me that the video had inspired people to keep writing made the entire endeavor completely worth it. And, not to mention, it was the first video I had made in awhile that I actually had a ton of fun making and was completely happy with when I posted it. So, yaaay youtube! You can watch the video here.

Yesterday the new Doctor Who special "Waters of Mars" aired in the UK, and while I have a link to watch some crappy streaming version open on my computer, I haven't watched it yet. I don't know what I am waiting for, honestly. Yesterday I was so behind on writing that I didn't feel like I deserved to watch it, but I know I wont be able to hold off much longer. I'm sure I will be tweeting my thoughts as I watch it later today.

What else is going on in my life that's exciting? Basically, I vowed I wouldn't make any plans with anyone for the rest of November as long as I am still behind on my novel. Meaning, no random trips to our local bars with my roommates. So far this has been working pretty well. I only work 3 more times this month as well, which is helpful. However, I wont be able to tear myself away from Gossip Girl, or the season finale of Top Model, or FlashForward this week.

The only other thing I can think to talk about this morning is that my local grocery store is currently remodeling, so they have this shelf up front that they just load up with new items every day that are marked 50-75% off. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been stopping in literally every day to see what awesome things I can buy for super cheap. I mean, c'mon. Snowman Kleenex? FOR A DOLLAR? This is one easy-to-please-Kristina.

My NaNoWriMo snack food of choice has been Holiday Oreos. They have red cream. I am so, so lucky I am not fat.

This is an absolutely pointless blog post.

Here is my favorite Omegle conversation to date, to make it more exciting:

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Stranger: Kristina?!
You: OMG
You: YES
You: YES

Back to writing. Or, if I am being completely honest here, back to reading comments on my nanowrimo video and eating.

Word Count: 16,664

Friday, November 13, 2009

Omegle procrastination and writing failure.

My first four Omegle conversations:

You: Hey
Stranger: james?
You: No, everyone says I look like him.
You: This is his son, Harry.
Stranger: i love you harry
You: ....Draco?
Stranger: ahahah
Stranger: why are you with ginny
You: She's hawt, man.
You: But hey. If you're.. available..
You: I could ditch the Weasley.
Stranger: yes
Stranger: kill the spare
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Stranger: hey
You: hey
Stranger: wassup?
You: Nothing much, just studying for Potions.
Stranger: potions..
You: Yeah, with Snape?
Stranger: ah
You: Freaking hard class.
Stranger: lol ok
You: Did you test out or something?
Stranger: test out?
Stranger: so whos snape?
You: OH did you not get a letter? Embarrassing.
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Stranger: hi, how are you?
You: I used to feel so alive
You: but... now I feel like I only can survive.
Stranger: kewl, yah same.
You: some people call me a zombie.
You: maybe they're right.
Stranger: Here is my tinypic album, {link here} do you think i'm hot? :)
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

And this last one goes out to Bre Bishop:

You: Do you like harry potter?
You: My mom says I look like harry potter.
Stranger: Harry Potter is amusing enough.
You: I have harry potter's email address.
Stranger: Oh wow.
You: I think Ron's stupid.
You: For Christmas, my mom got me a harry potter lego set.
You: Do you have a harry potter lego set?
Stranger: I do not have a harry potter lego set.
You: You should ask for one for Christmas.
Stranger: I'm a bit too old for a harry potter lego set.
You: Do you want Harry Potter's email address?
You: I can share it with you.
Stranger: I'm curious what it is.
You: I'm just kidding Harry Potter isn't real.
You have disconnected.

So... this is what I have been doing in the 2 hours I gave myself between my classes to work on my nanowrimo novel. That and talking to Emma about juicy girltalk. Not very productive.

Sigh. Tonight is going to be writing night for me for sure. If you're so inclined, you should leave me encouraging (or threatening) reasons I should start up writing again in the comments. I need reinforcements at this point, because stopping writing for a week and trying to start back up has been the hardest thing I have ever tried to do during nanowrimo. I am not happy with myself.

Wordcount: 7,846

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

75 hours WHAT.

"The butterflies are passive aggressive
and put their problems on the shelf
but they're beautiful."
-Ben Kweller, "In Other Words"

We pulled into Liz's drive at about 1 in the afternoon today.

I was so tired, I ended up staying at her house for about two hours even though Eia went to her parents' house and Liz went upstairs and went to bed. I just stayed, creepin' in her living room because I did not have the will to get back into my car after driving all night.

Okay, to recap. We left Lincoln, Nebraska at about 10 am on Tuesday, and began the incredibly long remainder of our trip pretty energized. I took a 5 hour shift, and then Eia took an 11 hour shift because she is absolutely ridiculous. That brought us to about midnight on Tuesday, after a long day of good conversations and eating just ridiculous amounts of junk food. We had massive meals at both Burger King (lunch) and then Taco John's (dinner). We also seemed to just be snacking, the whole day.

One of Liz's tweets sums it up pretty well:

@kristinahorner and @eiaradio's new driving strategy: Eating. Constantly.

We also spent a good portion of the drive playing the Oregon Trail on Liz's phone, because we were amused that we were taking nearly the same route in our car. Our actual journey was a little more successful than our video game one… since Eia died of a broken arm, I got lost for 3 days going to the bathroom outside, and Liz died of cholera? Pretty bad.

So at midnight, Eia woke me up from a pretty solid backseat nap and told me it was my turn to drive. I don't know about other people, but if I have already slept about 3 hours at a normal sleeping time, getting up and driving a car full of people I love and whose lives I want to keep intact is not my idea of a good plan. But we really didn't have much choice because Eia needed to get home for work the next day and so we couldn't stop and get a hotel.

Conversation started getting pretty silly as well when Eia was sleeping and Liz and I were just losing it from being so tired. I am copying these over from twitter just for posterity's sake.

Liz: "You know what? Evolutionarily, it makes sense to have your mouth on your head."

Liz: "Can you imagine what this trip would be like without technology?"
Me: "Like covered wagons?"
Liz: " like with cassettes."

Liz: "I dont wanna put shoes on and throw this bag away."
Me: "Well, your options are do that, or don't do that."
Liz: "Well when you put it that way…"

So Eia needed a longer nap, Liz was nodding off, and I couldn't keep my eyes open. Great. So I called Luke and he told me stories and kept me awake for about 2 hours in the middle of the night which I really appreciated, and then I was able to do another few hours after that, getting us to about 5:30 in the morning when Eia took over again and Liz napped. Then I napped. Then we stopped at a truck/store/gas place in Pendleton, Oregon, where even though it was like 6AM, Eia, Liz and I collectively decided we wanted hotdogs. So that was breakfast.

Then Eia got us to Yakima, and I drove us home from there. Which brings me to now. I finally came home after my few hours of resting at Liz's house. I brought in my suitcase, but left all our pillows and blankets and junk and food and garbage out in my car because I just didn't care. I didn't go grocery shopping or shower or... anything productive. Best day.

And now, the adventure is over.

We went through a total of TEN states!
Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah and Oregon.

And we drove a grand total of 4,387 miles, which added up to about 75 total hours in the car. It was awesome. I am so glad we decided to drive.

This last week has been amazing!

Now I am sitting on gchat where Luke is trying to teach me to play guitar. So far I can just about play his incredibly emo song "Happy". I feel pretty cool singing that song in my post-wrockstock scratchy voice and am also considering painting my fingernails black. #NaNoEMO

I am so behind on all my TV shows! I'm going to go watch last week's FlashForward with my housemate Justin. It's good to be home, even though I miss everyone loads.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tired, disjointed Wrockstock thing.

"You transfigurated my heart
and now it only beats for you.
If I could apparate into your arms
maybe I wouldn't feel so blue."
-The Mudbloods, "I Wish You'd Be My Witch"

I don't even know how to begin to sum up this weekend.

I can start by saying that I am really really tired and am currently sitting in a hotel with really crappy Internet in Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm just writing a blog on a textedit file because I gave up wrestling facebook and gmail. We began our journey home around 1 in the afternoon yesterday, and I have to say that driving in the opposite direction as all my friends is the worst feeling. I mean, yeah, everyone was going home. But driving 34 hours toward a wizard rock weekend to see, in my opinion, some of the greatest people in the world, is a lot more fun than driving 34 hours to leave them.

We arrived at Wrockstock around 6 on Friday. Did the usual checking in, finding our cabins, unpacking, soaking in the feeling of being at my third Wrockstock and looking around at all the familiar sights. There are so many memories at this lodge. I met Luke, Aaron and Jason of Ministry of Magic for the first time 2 years ago at WS1. Had loads of amazing times with Jake Niffler at WS2. Ended my portion of our tour with Lauren and Lena last May and performed the Pokémon theme song in three part harmony during Lena's set. Grew so much closer to so many of my friends.

So within minutes of getting there and day-dreaming about years past, we got antsy and needed to go find our friends. A handful of them were sound-checking for that night's show, so there were hugs all around as we poked our heads in the performance room.

I can't actually remember the sequence of events of Friday night anymore, now that I think about it. At one point we went up to the lodge to eat dinner. They no longer use the kid's buffet, which freaking sucks. I never got my grilled cheese sandwiches. Then the Myrtle's played first, and they had this screen they put up and played video and picture slideshows on it during the set, which I thought was awesome. During their happy meta-wizardrock song "Transparent", they had a bunch of pictures from shows and cons over the years, with a ton from last year's Wrockstock. Lena and I were standing next to each other smiling and laughing every time we saw one of us, of which there were a lot.

Ministry of Magic played Friday night as well, and Snape vs. Snape was super fun, like always. As was Goodbye Privet Drive. I love them. :)

Post-show Friday night naturally meant partying, and I had a lot of fun seeing people I haven't seen since before London. I actually was just walking around with a huge grin on my face all weekend because I definitely remember when I was feeling really low this summer, and feeling incredibly alone over there in a foreign country; I was really, really craving a chance to see my Wizard Rock friends. And I remember Wrockstock seeming really far away at that point.

So it was nice to sort of… I dunno. It was nice to see that I had survived, if that makes sense. That I was really, truley happy, and that enough time has passed that what even used to still be a sort of dull ache in my stomach has now just been completely filled because I have so many amazing people and experiences in my life to make up for my crappy summer.

Anyway! I made some new friends this weekend, re-connected with old, and also spent time with people I have always meant to but never had the chance to.
I got to know Erinn Lewis this weekend, I bonded a bit more with Christian of Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls and his girlfriend Kelly, got to know Fred of Fred Lives, got closer to Nina, finally hung out with Kathleen and Sammie G after years of saying we should, and spent a lot of time with Luke after way too much time just talking on gchat.

Kathleen and Sammie and I had a talk about how much we dislike school on Friday night I believe, and bonded over how frequent wizard rock trips make it so much more bearable. And there were MANY conversations about how excited pretty much everyone is to be able to talk about LOST at the events we see each other at next year. And, I avoided thinking about NaNoWriMo like the plague. I'll deal with that when I get home.

Everyone's sets were really awesome. Especially Matt's. And Christian's. And god, the Mudbloods'. This was their last show together as a wizard rock band and everyone is really sad about that. They're just such a good band, and such a good addition to this community. Everyone is hoping for a reunion show. Sometime. xD

I'm trying to think of what else I can possibly say without getting too personal or delving too deep into "you would have had to be there" type stories. It was just a good weekend. I enjoyed myself a lot and I really needed to see everyone again. Sometimes I get a little… discouraged. About wizard rock. Living so far away from most people and also missing out on a lot of shows this summer… I was starting to feel really detached from the community. But it's really amazing how even after 6 months of being away, you can just insert yourself right back in with these people and it's really like no time has passed. Just that everyone is a little bit better of musicians than the last time you saw them (my friends are so talented) and you're a little bit more in love with everyone. I feel completely energized and motivated to write and work on music. Eia and I have loads of ideas for our set in Kansas, since the Hallows and Horcruxes Ball (in April) is our next big show.

We actually spent a good chunk of our drive yesterday listening to the complete Parselmouth's discography to see if we can revive any older songs, which was really fun. Eia and I always get like this right after a weekend like this though, so here's to hoping the energy holds up. :)

Completely amazing weekend. So what if we spent just as much time in the car driving there as we actually spent at Wrockstock? It made it an adventure. So what if I slept in my clothes every single night because I never actually made it back to my own cabin? So what if I got maybe a collective 12 hours of sleep in the last 5 nights? This weekend was amazing and hardly anything bad or negative happened. We played this amazing little set on the dock on Sunday night, where Luke and I played some ALL CAPS songs, and then we played Parselmouth songs and acoustic Ministry of Magic songs, and Jeremy even sang a song he wrote off his new album "Muggle Relations". It was really, really sweet. And a ton of people came! I love intimate, personal shows like that. And also, singing ALL CAPS songs live, together with Luke, instead of over a computer was really fun. I think people really liked it.

Anyway. Eia and Liz are still asleep in our hotel, we missed breakfast (we always miss breakfast), I'm all smiley because I like a boy and I am preeeeetty sure he likes me too, and there are about a solid 24 more hours I have to drive to get back to Seattle with my two best friends. All things considered, I'm pretty happy right now.

Wordcount: Oh shut up. We'll talk about it later.