Thursday, December 30, 2010

Total 2010 Recap

I haven't blogged in ages, and there is no excuse. But no time like the new year to rectify that, am I right?

I wrote in my planner a few days ago "write reflective blog post on 2010". I've been putting it off naturally, because how does one sum up an entire year? It seemed such a daunting task that I actually completed "do laundry", "clean up house from birthday party" and "renew Disneyland annual pass first" -- which are all incredibly painful chores, I assure you.

2010 was an amazing year for me. I think one is doing a grand job living their life if each year surpasses the last, and so far in my 23 years of life I feel I have managed to accomplish this for myself. I'm going to go through the months and try to remember the highlights and accomplishments from this year.

January: This may not seem like a huge deal, but I got my first smart phone in January. Google sent me the Nexus One as a gift, and since I don't have T-Mobile I traded it for an HTC Hero for Sprint and sad as it sounds, it has kind of changed my life. Being able to check email, tweet, do so many social-networky things from literally anywhere has completely changed what it means to be plugged in, and I think it's only helped to create this self brand I've been building online.

February: I registered for my last quarter of college. I spent a lot of time at home really bonding with roommates. I started to realize I was outgrowing my job at the theatre that I had loved for so long. I spent another Valentine's Day alone, which in actuality means Eia and I spent another Valentine's day with our credit cards at the mall. I did a huge zombie photoshoot with NightZero where we shot about 80 different frames for a vignette in a single day. And Luke came to Mexico with my family and I for a lovely week in the sun.

March: Luke came to Seattle and we filmed the Don't Unplug Me and World of Warcraft music videos. Our album "Bmin/E" came out this month. I think this was a huge turning point in my life, to be honest. I kind of feel like everything changed after Bmin/E came out. ALL CAPS went almost instantly from a fun hobby to my legitimate job, and the opportunities that started pouring in were incredible. We had a big NightZero party at our house, which was another good step in the direction of me making more friends in Seattle. Then that month, I quit my theatre job. It was a hard decision, but in hindsight, it was the right one.

April: I saw one of my favorite bands, Muse, in concert for the second time. I don't think I could ever see this band live too many times. It's just such a breathtaking experience. Then on Easter weekend, I went with my parents to a casino for the first time (which was the first of many, surprisingly). Took my second trip to LA of the year. My roommate Justin and I started the "Back to the Future Game" which essentially just means we turn on the TV and hope Back to the Future is on (which we're still playing actually, though we also started one for Spongebob since then). This month is also the month I think I started becoming friends with Ariana, who I had no idea at the time would become one of my best friends. I auditioned for America's Next Top Model. xD I also met the lovely security guard at my local bank this month, who became a regular character in my blog. Hallows and Horcruxes Ball 3 was this month, and Luke and I performed "Lumos Flies" - technically our first live ALL CAPS performance. Also, unbeknownst to the world, I started playing WoW.

May: I started to get to know Tara, who I had no idea would also become a very good friend of mine. Save the Children invited me to come along to Washington DC for Advocacy Day, which was the first time I took any sort of trip because of YouTube for social activism. Luke came out to visit one more time before heading to Wyoming for the summer, and I spent the better part of this month slaving over my Senior Thesis. I watched the Series finale of Lost, bringing a huge chapter of my life to an end. Went on my family's annual camping trip that I had missed the previous three years because of HP events.

June: Graduated from the University of Washington. It felt surreal - simultaneously like I had been in college forever, and like no time had passed at all since high school. I didn't enjoy college as much as I'd hoped, so finishing was a monumental occasion for me, one I was very proud of. Tara asked me to become a permanent writer for I started watching the Shaytards on YouTube. I left for summer tour.

July: Most of this month was tour. I learned so much about myself and my friends on this tour - and for the most part, had a total blast. I went to VidCon, where ALL CAPS got to close the mainstage show the first night. I went to Infinitus, where I got to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and definitely cried the first time I stepped into Hogsmeade. One of my favorite cousins got married and my family was right there at the wedding cheering him on. I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

August: I blogged every day in August. I went to the Renaissance Faire with my friends and met a whole bunch of new people there I had no idea would become good friends of mine later on. Again, I spent a lot more time bonding with my Seattle friends, after a crazy summer of being gone. Powered through about 4 seasons of Buffy. Read Mockingjay, a heart-wrenching and powerful book I'd been looking forward to all year. America's Next Top Model called me in for a private audition for Cycle 16, but my flight got cancelled and I didn't get to go. My roommate and friend PJ moved out of our house. I continued to get to know Tara and the other new Zaxy writer, Brittney, and we started our semi-regular Zaxy sleepovers.

September: I went to the Bahamas with my two best friends, Eia and Liz and had such an amazing wonderful relaxing time. I got to attend PAX Prime here in Seattle, experiencing a whole world of video games I didn't even know existed. I went to LA again, my third trip in 2010. Luke and I worked on our acoustic album but mostly played Magic the Gathering all week. I got ready to leave for fall tour.

October: Went to my hometown's annual parade, saw my brother in his marching band for the last time (he's a Senior). Most of this month was spent on fall tour, which was possibly even more incredible than summer tour. Getting to spend that much time on the road with my best friends is an experience that's not even comparable to anything else. Got to know Ariana a lot more and started getting really close with her. Broke my toe, went to ZomBcon and had a hilariously wonderful Halloween party at our place in Seattle.

November: Most of this month was NaNoWriMo. Successfully completed my 5th year of writing 50,000 words in a month. Attended Wrockstock 4. Went to LA for the fourth time in 2010 and spent a lot of time with friends down there. Came home and essentially locked myself in my room and wrote for the remainder of the month. Eia moved out of my house, which was sad, but gave me her huge bedroom which is so much better for making videos and recording music.

December: Went to Guatemala with Save the Children, which was an awe-inspiring, life changing experience. Went down to LA for a fifth time, this time for the Project 4 Awesome livestream that was also a pretty mind-boggling thing to be a part of. Met a ton of YouTubers (including Shay and Katilette, which was awesome) and for the first time, really felt like an important member of this community on a larger scale. Came home, spent time with Seattle friends, spent Christmas with my family, had an amazing birthday with my friends at my house, saw the Harry Potter Exhibition and now I'm getting ready for New Year's Eve, the end of this incredible year, and the start of one I can only hope is going to be even better.

I was going to wax philosophical about the tone and feel and themes of my year, but I think this summary is sufficient to stand alone. I'm going to let this all stew, and go into the new year without any expectations or implications. Thanks for coming along with me on this crazy trainride of my life, and I hope you'll stick around to see what the next chapter brings.

Total chipotle burritos in 2010: Only something like 26, I lost count.
Last google search of 2010: "renew Disney annual pass"

I feel like I should go out with a question here -- for the comments, what was your absolute favorite memory of 2010? Also, did I meet you this year? If so, tell me when!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Guatemala Part 4

Dec 3, 2010

Apparently the no heat situation extended to the water as well, because if I wanted a shower this morning, it had to be ice cold. So I opted out (the idea of putting my already freezing body into freezing water just was not my idea of a good morning), and began today's journey a bit dirtier than I normally allow myself to be when I venture out into public, especially when I'll be filming myself all day.

Today was another astonishing day. We had breakfast at the cheese farm (pancakes, pineapple, eggs, black beans, and of course tortillas). We spent a bit of time admiring the fog rolling in over the sleepy valley we were staying in, said hello to the horses and chickens (though none of us were particularly fond of the previously mentioned rooster) and then we were on our way. We drove about a half an hour until we got to a little village set precariously on the steepest, muddiest hill I've ever seen.

First we had to trek up this slippery path that led us to the school and the health center (children walk up that path to go to school, every day! I can't imagine!) and we got to go in and see all the mothers bringing in their young children to have them checked out for colds, pneumonia, etc. The health facilitator was this sweet girl who let me come in the consultation room and she taught me how to test the respiratory patterns of babies. The baby I got to test was pneumonia-free. :)

We left the health center (which was just a building with concrete flooring and two rooms in the back for consultations and injections) to head back down the scary steep hill for some home visits. There were two mothers in the village with newborns, so we went to talk with them, give them hats that were donated to Save the Children, and see their homes. I really couldn't believe the insides of some of these homes.

The first home had electricity (meaning a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling) but also a makeshift sink and a sewing machine out front. Inside the house was basically two beds, a small table and a television, actually. That surprised me the most. They also had chickens walking around the house, coming and going as they pleased (which made me giggle). There was also a pig tied up outside with a water dish. Like a pet dog.

The next house was a bit larger but had no TV, and instead of a sewing machine they had some sort of complex and intricate weaving device hanging from the top of the porch. We talked to the mother of this baby for awhile; she wasn't able to sit up because she'd had a c-section but seemed to be recovering well. She let me hold her baby for awhile, and we gave her a little white and yellow hat with matching booties. I have some footage of Rebecca and I putting the little booties on this infant (they were quite a few sizes too big) and I think that's one of my favorite moments from this whole trip. I'm not sure I've ever held a baby so young, either. I think she was only 15 or so days old; it was amazing holding something so little in my arms.

By this time we were running a bit late (it's easy to do that when there are adorable babies everywhere) so we said our goodbyes and hopped in the cars again. We had a very, very long drive back to Antigua so we wanted to get going early. We wound, turned and bumped our way along and after a quick lunch stop at the Save the Children headquarters, we finally rolled into Antigua around 5. Somehow I got a super sweet room with a living room so I am currently just hanging out here by myself before we all meet at 7 for dinner, our last event together. I have a super early flight tomorrow with Mary Beth, so I'll probably just turn in early tonight after we eat.

Mary Beth and I poked around in the artisan's district a little bit when we first got back and I got suckered into buying a couple more things - but two of the things I bought are Christmas presents, and the other is just a little hand-woven bracelet I added to the growing collection of things around my wrists. I like that all of my bracelets have a story (either from places I travel or bracelets fans made and gave me on tour), so I figured one from Guatemala was a worthy addition.

I can't believe how quickly this trip has gone by, but at the same time I'm a little excited to be going home tomorrow. Mostly because I can't wait to tell my friends and family everything i've seen and to start editing the videos I plan to make with all the great footage I shot while I was here.

It's almost dinnertime! I guess this is it. Coming to Guatemala was amazing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guatemala Part 3

Dec 2, 2010

Today was incredible.

The morning started at 5 AM for me; I woke up, forced myself to get out of bed, showered and packed my things rather than laze around with the extra time I had given myself. I wandered around the hotel in the crisp morning air, taking in the decaying walls of the monastery, perusing the artifacts and just generally feeling a bit awe-inspired by where I was.

We met up with the entire group out front, climbed into the three separate vehicles we had for traveling around, and began our long, long journey. We drove for about an hour and a half before stopping at a cute little restaurant for breakfast. This place was so fun; they had individual fire pits they'd bring you at your table to keep warm, and I got to try this black bean stuff that looked like a scoop of black mud ice cream but was actually really delicious. The oatmeal was a bit soggy but I just picked all the bananas out (because bananas are awesome). I also tried "eggs on corn" which was essentially two eggs on some corn patties. Not bad.

There was a little market out front where a bunch of vendors kept telling me I was "muy bonita" (probably just to sucker me into buying their stuff) (it worked). I bought myself a pink scarf and a knitted maroon cap and then I bought a bunch of souvenirs for friends and for my mom which I wont spoil here in case they're reading my blog.

Then it was back into the car, where we drove for another good two-three hours before stopping into a small Save the Children office in some town whose name I can't remember. This began the part of the day where I started sleeping in the car (or attempting to sleep) and why I now have a rather large bruise on my head where I kept knocking it against the window accidentally (the only guy on the trip, Andrew, was in the same car as me told me he could hear my head hitting the window repeatedly all day and couldn't believe I wasn't waking up. I guess two months of touring makes you a pretty fierce car sleeper, even on these ridiculously unpaved and bumpy roads).

More driving, then another food stop. We ate at another cute restaurant where I got to try some of the local soda (I got orange, because I gave up pop altogether awhile back but I can't resist orange soda at times) and had some amazing chicken soup and mashed potatoes with green flecks in it. I don't know what the green flecks were, but I am fairly certain they were supposed to be there.

Then we drove some MORE, and finally, finally got to our first village stop around 2:30. We were in a small community right in time for the baby-weighing. All the mothers in the community bring their small children to this big room and line up to have their children's arms measured and then they have to put the babies in these harness things to weigh them (kind of like the things you use to weigh fruit at the grocery store). We got to talk to the women, and they introduced us to everyone, and I got to give a hat to a mother and put it on her baby's head. Then she let me hold the baby. It was a pretty amazing moment, made even more special because the baby's middle name was Christina.

Then we had to go, so we drove more until we got to the home of this agricultural leader for Save the Children. He showed all of us around his yard, showing off his plants and his pigs and his method of raising and breeding goats (which included keeping them in these tree-house like pens up in the air and having a drainage system to catch their urine to use for fertilizer). It was really crazy to see such a different style of living, so up close and personal. They had all these kids running around and the kids were just absolutely adorable. They kept asking me to take pictures and video of them (in spanish xD) and then immediately asking to see it, then completely cracking up when they saw themselves on the little screen. I don't think they have their pictures taken very often, so I was more than happy to take as many pictures as they wanted. I managed to get in a few shots with them, and so far those pictures are my favorite souvenir.

One thing that's been a little difficult for me is the language barrier. Most of the people on the trip with me are at least semi-fluent in Spanish, but I don't speak a word. I adore getting to know children, playing with them, talking to them - but with these kids I've been meeting in Guatemala, I can't really do that at all. I attempted a few hand motions with some of them, but I've been finding the best way to communicate with most of the people I meet in these villages is just by smiling. I did a whole lot of smiling today. It seems to get the message across.

One girl (who was probably about fifteen) at the home we were visiting saw my bracelet that says "Monday" on it and asked me if it was my "nombre" - I had a pretty hard time explaining that not only did it say "Lunes" (Monday), but that "Lunes" was not in fact my name, and why the heck I had a day of the week around my wrist - I finally just sort of dropped my wrist and told her my name was Kristina. I love how people down here say my name. It sounds so pretty.

This was our final stop of the day, so we piled into the cars one last time and began the craziest car ride of my life. First we were all concerned about this apparent mudslide that may or may not be blocking our path to our hotel. We drove through all these insanely windy roads getting higher and higher in elevation until we started seeing all this heavy fog everywhere; I felt like I was in Jurrassic Park or something, it was so scary. I have never legitimately felt like I was going to get attacked by a dinosaur until that car ride. When we finally got to the site of the mudslide, all of us were in shock. It was so wet and slick and goopy and terrifying, and to be honest I'd only ever seen mudslides on TV before. We drove very slowly through it, and then we were back on our way.

We went right through this little town, down a narrow street where we saw loads of dark, tiny homes and children running around and playing and women carrying baskets on their heads and bushels of sticks on their backs. Chickens and cows were just wandering free all over the place, and everyone looked busy. There were no people just hanging out or sitting around, at least not out in public.

It took us about 40 minutes to drive through the town, and that led us to an even smaller road the wound through the hills and parallel to a beautiful stream that followed us for the next forty minutes or so as we made our way to the place that we're now staying tonight. We drove so far, and for so long, that I began to doubt we were really going anywhere. The sheer knowledge that some people live and work so far down a single road, so far away from anything but trees, dirt and their own company is completely mind-blowing to me.

Tonight we ate dinner at the little cheese farm we're staying at; the people who own this place cooked this homemade spaghetti for us, along with tortilla quesadillas. I think we've had tortillas with every meal. I think I'm okay with having tortillas that much. We visited with each other and had a fun little evening and got Rebecca Romijn to sing us the Jewish song she's been telling us about the whole trip. She made us sing the bass part underneath her part though, haha, the "yabba-bim-bams". She told us she once taught Josh Groban that song and had him sing the "yabba-bim-bams" as well. Again I ask, what if my life?

This farm we're staying at has no heat, so I'll be sleeping in my clothes. There is also no way to charge my laptop so I need to cut this short, as it's still just running on the charge from last night. This is so far away from anything even remotely commercial that if I were to go outside right now, that may be the closest I will have ever come to hearing real silence. It's so crazy.

We're not here for long, and we're only making a tiny dent in seeing all the work Save the Children does in this country, but so far it's been just awesome, being here. Now I am going to get under my covers and think about warm things.

Edit: Forgot what I said about silence. Roosters? Really? 3 AM is when they start crowing?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Guatemala Part 2

Later Dec 1, 2010

I arrived in Guatemala after sleeping for most of my 8 hours of flying. The time I didn't spend sleeping were spent playing Puzzlequest on my DS, which is an awesome game and I can't get enough of it.

It took awhile to sort out which immigration booth to go through, where my bags were, and how to find the entrance to customs, but after that was solved I was let into the country with way more ease than I ever received in the UK. A little disoriented, I finally found my group of Save the Children people waiting for me outside the airport, got into our shuttle, and began the forty minute drive to Antigua. It was dark out when I arrived so I didn't get to see much of the scenery along the way (except for a ton of fast food chains including a Domino's Pizza that had a sign claiming it to be "the Dominator!" - which made me giggle). I am really looking forward to staring out the window tomorrow when the sun's out; I'll be doing a lot of that, as our drive is apparently something like 6 or 7 hours.

Everyone on the trip so far is really nice and really easy to talk to. It was all girls for that shuttle so we chitchatted and bonded over all being between 5'9" and 5'11" in height whereas most of the people we'll be working with and talking to on this trip are probably more like 5'.

The hotel that we're staying at is called the Santa Domingo and it's INCREDIBLE. Again, I didn't get to see much of it, as it was dark outside, but it's built around a monastery and a site that's still an active archeological dig, and there are artifacts and museums all over the place, and everything is crumbly and weathered and older than anything we have in America.

There was some music playing off in the distance so Mary Beth and I (she's my main contact at Save, the one who invited me on this trip) decided to wander in the direction of the music rather than turn in for bed right away. We were led along this little bridge path until we found some tables serving hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. After graciously accepting a snack, we continued walking until we found this giant outdoor chapel where there was literally a HUNDRED PEOPLE SINGING AND PLAYING CHRISTMAS MUSIC. We had no idea if these were famous Guatemalan musicians or what, but there were at least a few hundred people in the audience, and the atmosphere was amazing with the high ceilings and the ancient statues of saints behind the performers and the silk banners floating in the night breeze -- and all this was just happening right inside our hotel past the courtyard!

I'm aware none of this trip seems to have anything to do with Save the Children yet, but we're waking up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to head out to the more remote areas where Save has people working, so the philanthropic part of this trip really hasn't begun yet. For tonight, I'm just a girl who's absolutely tickled pink by this beautiful hotel. My room has a fireplace! With wood and matches and kindling sitting out for me! But I don't want to burn down this ancient landmark from the 1500's so I'm not going to use it!

So the thing about traveling in other countries is that you can't always just assume everything is going to be "normal"; specifically the tiny things you take for granted at home might be completely different in another country, causing not so tiny repercussions. Case in point - the "C" on the handle in the bathroom for the sink does not in fact mean "cold" like I assumed, like it was always does at home. I can only imagine it stands for "caliente", because I nearly burned my face off a minute ago while getting ready for bed.

I have to wake up in about six hours so I'm going to call it a night, but I just had to gush about how much I love seeing new places and how I am actually setting my alarm for a half hour earlier tomorrow morning so I can go wander around my hotel a bit. So, to put that in perspective, I am WILLINGLY setting my alarm for 5 AM. Oh traveling. How I love you.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guatemala Part 1

I know I haven't blogged in a month (exactly a month, actually) but I was doing nanowrimo! I was traveling! I am now going to distract you with lavish imagery about my trip to Guatemala to distract you from being mad at me!

I didn't have Internet during my visit to Central America, so this blog is a few days behind reality. I hope you enjoy hearing about my trip! :)


Dec 1, 2010

I am currently sitting in the Dallas Fort Worth airport, about to get on a plane to Guatemala City. I literally have no idea what to expect for the next three days of my life, despite this trip itinerary I have sitting beside me that just sounds like words as I look over it at this point.

But first, let me back up a little bit.

I haven't blogged in over a month, which I feel terrible about, but I had legitimate reasons. First I was at Wrockstock from November 5-8 (which was amazing, as usual) and then I found myself in LA for another five days or so. When I finally got home I was so behind on NaNoWriMo that I pretty much spent the remainder of the month balancing writing my novel and keeping my sanity in check.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving at home with my family and some of their old friends from North Dakota, Justin and I bought a Wii for our house and set it up, and I hit 50,000 words on my novel on November 30th around 2:30 in the afternoon. After the hectic nature of November and touring with ALL CAPS in October, I was kind of really looking forward to a semi-quiet December at home, but as I'm sure you've all realized by reading my blog, such is not the nature of my life.

I got a call from my contacts at Save the Children about a week ago (the same organization I went to Washington DC with earlier this year for Advocacy Day at the Senate) asking if I would be interested in going on a trip with them to Guatemala to film from my perspective what they're doing down there and to vlog about the experience. I figured it would be sometime in the distance future, with plenty of time to prepare physically and mentally for visiting another country with such a different style of living. However, the trip they were inviting me on was not in fact in the distant future but instead only a week in the future.

Nervous as I was, how could I possibly say so? I couldn't, that's how. The excitement I felt at such an amazing opportunity vastly outweighed the slight apprehension I felt about how little notice I had to get ready.

So… now I am about to leave for what I am assuming is going to be one of the coolest things I have ever done. I will be sure to blog about everything. This is an experience I want to remember in rich, vivid colors, and not let any of the details slip through the cracks of my memory. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Novel excerpt #1.

I really love NaNoWriMo season. This year is especially fun for a number of reasons.

1. I feel like the number of people I know taking it seriously this year has gone up considerably from past years, and more people doing it means more excitement all around.

2. Every other year I'd been scrambling to balance nano-ing with classes, homework, and having a job I needed to be at 3-4 times a week. While I am taking a big fat break in the middle to go to wrockstock and LA for about a week, I have altogether more time to spend on my novel this year that ISN'T being shared with homework or being at work. It's much more guilt-free NaNoWriMo this year.

3. Everyone seems to still remember the NaNoWriMo song Luke and I wrote last year and I get messages about it from people a few times a day telling me it's still their anthem for the month. That's really nice for me to hear.

I leave for Wrockstock tomorrow morning and my goal was to have hit 10k words by then. I'm currently stopped at 6,620 so we'll see if I make it to that goal. In the mean time, since I really can't justify spending a ton of time on blogging this month (this post is already 213 words) I am going to share a little bit more of my nanowrimo novel with you.

The response I got from sharing the prologue a few days ago was overwhelmingly positive, and all that user feedback really put me in the mood to keep writing at the fast pace needed to do this. So thank you guys, I really appreciated the comments you left. Here's a tidbit I wrote a couple days ago, and remember, there's been no time for editing so this is pretty raw.


“Mom! Mom look! Lunch boxes with super heros!”
“I thought boys your age were into girls now, not super heros,” I replied, pulled from my daydreams. The cart bumped the edge of a cardboard display, causing about a hundred glue sticks to sway in unison. Oops.
“Well, I mean yeah, but I’m not going to buy a Hannah Montana lunch box because of it.”
“You don’t even pack a lunch, Max. I give you lunch money.”
“I know that. I always thought you were supposed to keep other stuff in lunch boxes anyway. Like your rock collection, or old stale pretzels, or dead bugs. Not actual lunch.”
“Well that makes a lot of sense,” I reasoned. “Buy a whole lunch box for things that would be better suited to go in a trash can, or under the deck, or in a tupperware.”
“Mom,” Max said, rolling his eyes at me in a way that I’m not even sure eyeballs are supposed to move, “They don’t sell superhero tupperware. That’s just stupid.”
“Well excuse me, Super Max. Speaking of super heros, do you need new underwear for this year?”
My son’s eyes widened as his head whipped around, presumably looking for any of his friends from school. “Mom. You cannot just go walking around talking about a middle school boy’s underwear,” he hissed. “Someone might hear you.”
“Well everyone knows you wear underwear, Max. It’d be more embarrassing if they thought you didn’t.”
“Just grab some white ones and throw them in the cart when no one is looking okay? It’s a simple thing to ask. Underwear is not important. Now can I get a cool stapler, please?”
Just as I was about to ask what the difference between a ‘cool’ stapler and a regular one was, Max jumped up on the foot bar of the cart in an attempt to steer it himself, and sent it flying forward much faster than he intended. The wheel grazed the same display of glue sticks, this time toppling about a third of them to the floor. He looked up at me sheepishly from behind the handle of the cart.
I sent him a sidelong glance in return. “Are we trying to destroy this display? I really don’t want to buy it; it matches nothing in our house.”
He giggled, carefully pushing the cart a bit further into the aisle, away from anything that could fall down or break. “I agree, glue sticks would totally clash with the sunflower theme in our kitchen. But that one over there, the smiling teacher cutout? I think that might look nice in my bedroom all smashed up.”
“I never knew you noticed interior design, Maxy. Would you like to remodel the bathroom?”
“Mom,” he said seriously, stopping and giving me a grave look. “Never call me that again.” I don’t think I’d ever heard the kid’s voice so resolute in his life.
“Why?” I asked. “I always call you that.”
“Well it needs to stop. You know when I went to Harrison’s house yesterday?”
“Of course, I drove you there and picked you up.”
“Well he has an older sister, and she is mean.”
“Did she make fun of your nickname, Maxy?”
“Stop it!” he cried. “And no, she didn’t make fun of my nickname! She stuck her stupid gross girl pads on our shirts and you know what they were called?!”
I could see where this was going.
“Maxi pads, Mom. Maxi. Pads.”
I bit my lip, simultaneously feeling terrible for having given my son what I now realized was a horrible nickname for a soon-to-be teenage boy, but at the same time stifling a giggle.
“This is not funny!” He insisted. “I’m making you buy me the most expensive stapler they have in exchange for child abuse!”
I gestured toward the shelf. “Good thing even the most expensive stapler is only seven dollars. It’s all yours, Maxy. Comes in pink and purple! This one has glitter!”
He tossed a green one in the cart with a scowl, saying nothing.
“Do you want it with or without wings?”
“I don’t even know what that means!” He kicked the cart and let out a growl, running off to look at backpacks.
I suppose I deserved that. I made a mental note to cut the pet name and start calling him just Max, especially in public. Guess they had to grow up sometime. I always thought they taught sex-ed too early.


There you go! Please tell me what you think. This is the very first character the pen belongs to, so you're reading a bit about her life/her world. I'll be back with more soon!

Edit: Someone in the comments asked why I would have an adult character in a YA novel... the entire novel deals with YA themes from different types of people's POV. I don't think YA readers are incapable of relating to an adult or a child for 1/15 of a novel to see a different perspective on a situation. So that's my answer. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broken bones and NaNoWriMo.

I am an idiot.

I like to think I am an adorable, lovable idiot, but the fact remains that sometimes I do really stupid things. Like trip while running up the stairs holding a pizza and jam my foot directly into the step before me. Which is why I am now sitting in my bed, foot up on two pillows, homemade splint taped around my big toe and tears stained on my cheeks. And probably my toe is broken.


Well, since I can't move or go anywhere, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to write a blog post. I feel a little badly that I started that Fall Tour series with the intention of writing more posts on the road, chronicling the entire trip.. but that didn't seem to happen. I don't know what it was about Fall tour that was so different about Summer - I seemed to have a plethora of time for blogging during the summer. But these past few weeks have been so ridiculously crazy and fun and busy and jam-packed I just never seemed to have a spare moment to sit and write about what I was experiencing.

^ I wrote that above part a few days ago. Now I've spent the weekend going to my friend Tara's birthday party, hanging out at ZomBcon, and having a super fun Halloween party at our house Sunday night. I want to acknowledge that my time on tour with Luke, Alex, Jason, Mike and Ariana was one of the best times of my life, even if I didn't manage to write most of it down. We played so many amazing shows, met incredible people, saw places we'd never been before, and just generally became closer and had a really successful experience on the road.

In other news, after our super fun Halloween party last night, I am sitting in my living room in my footy pajamas working on my NaNoWriMo novel. I am not going to write a long post, because I am better suited using that effort to get words written on my novel, but I wanted to share a little piece of what I've accomplished this morning with you guys, since so many people have been asking what I am writing about this year.

This is the prologue to my story. It's in the POV of a ball-point pen. The rest of the story is in the POV of whoever currently owns the pen. That's pretty much the whole basis of the novel.

"I am a black ball-point pen. I’m really nothing special. I came in a pack of ten, on sale for $4.99. One of those back-to-school sales. I may not be a neon green gel pen, or write in glitter, or glow in the dark, but I’ll be the most reliable pen you’ve ever owned.
You may think my existence is a boring one, but I can assure you that it’s anything but. Okay, I mean yeah. I can’t really do much on my own, aside from just sort of sitting there. Maybe roll a little with a big enough gust of wind, or if someone leaves a fan on. But all it takes is one person: a curious child, a rebellious teenager, a single working mother; and I’m seeing the world. When you have no say in where you go, what you write, or who you belong to, you really get around. Sure I spend my fair share of time in the bottoms of messy purses, being chewed on during a particularly dull lecture, or tapped repeatedly against a mahogany desk, but it’s all worth it. At least I wasn’t left alone in a dusty cupboard until my ink dried up. In all my time here, I’ve written love letters, grocery lists, diary entries; I know facts and secrets about people you wouldn’t believe.
So here begins the story of my journey. I’m not going to say I loved any of my owners more than the next one, because what I’ve learned in my lifetime is that everyone plays a part. Everyone, even the bit characters, make up the cohesive story of your existence. You may not think you have anything in common with the man who collects your trash or the professor who bores you out of your mind on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but everyone is connected. Everyone. And sometimes it takes something as simple as a ball-point pen to realize that."

Anyway, Happy NaNoWriMo, everyone. And Happy November, if you're not into writing. I've got a few thousand more words to write today.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Tour blog #1

I have been terrible about blogging on this tour. It sucks too, because there are so many small moments I would love to have recorded down from this experience, but there just has been no time.

I got myself into a pretty good blogging rhythm on summer tour because we just spent so much driving - I would get my laptop out in the car and rehash all the fun we'd had in the days before… but on this tour we planned our route a little less crazily; so that we don't have as many ridiculous drives. On the one hand, this is fantastic, because it leaves a lot more time for hanging out and for sleeping, but on the other time, it's taken away my blogging time.

But here I am, sitting in Effingham, IL with a bit of spare time while Luke's in the shower, so I am going to do my best to write some semblance of a tour blog.

To sum it up lamely, this tour has been so amazing. There have been very few low moments and sometimes it really just feels like I am on a very extended vacation with my best friends. Every show we've played has more than exceeded our expectations on attendance, awesomeness, and enthusiasm. Completely.

We started out the tour in New York, where we played at the Sidewalk Cafe and got to hang out (albeit briefly) with mememolly and Caitlin Hill, spent time with my author friend Robyn and YouTube friend Rosi Halse, and ate some delicious pizza. Sammy G was with us for this portion of tour as well, and we had a hilarious little party at her house that night (which included a creepy panda mask, glitter EVERYWHERE, and too many pictures).

The next day was the real first day of tour, and we piled all our stuff up in the van (currently only sort of named 'Velocidad' as per Jason's suggestion, because nothing better has come to us) and headed out to Philly. Our show there at the Milkboy was probably my favorite show of tour so far. We packed this little cafe, met a ton of awesome people, and the energy was just so high. Also, this was the show where a group of fans got into a car accident on their way to the show, and rather than going home, they brought the broken headlight from the crash to the show for us all to sign. I think this is also the show where Mike signed someone's turkey sandwich.

My favorite part of this show was during the "World of Warcraft" song; a fan handed me a foam sword onstage when Luke wasn't looking, so during the second chorus I pulled it out and we started swordfighting onstage during the song. It was hilarious, mostly because he wasn't expecting it, but also it's always fun to make the shows different and exciting, and this one definitely makes my top five list for that reason.

Next was our show in Boston, which was totally awesome. We played at the Lilypad, which was fun for me because I saw Hank Green play the same venue two years ago at LeakyCon. We also got to hang out with Brittany and Joey of WinterSpringPro, which was a blast because our whole tour party is in love with them. We also packed our third venue of tour, which is a great feeling.

Unfortunately we had to leave Sammy in Boston that night, since that's where she goes to school, so we were down one person in our van. But this started the beginning of the actual 6 for Triple Rainbow Awesome Tour, which was okay too.

The next night was kind of special for Luke and I, as lame as that sounds. We were playing at The Space in Hamden, CT, which was the first venue we ever played at back on summer tour. I mean, that wasn't very long ago (I think it's about about 4 months), but it was kind of cool for us to compare how much we've improved as a performing band since that show. Many of the fans that were there were also at the show back in June on Roflcoptour. We had a great time, and the show was just as large as it was in the summer.

Our show the next day was a little different in nature. We weren't able to secure an all ages venue in Washington DC, so we just had a meetup near the National Mall. It went over so much better than I would have guessed. We showed up and there was a huge circle of fans already there waiting for us, doing ice-breaker games with each other on their own. We played a few acoustic songs per band, had an ironic t-shirt competition, and watched Mike try to solve a Rubix cube in under 2 minutes (like his song "Hey Molly" claims he can).

One of my friends from high school named Adam stopped by the show (he's studying at Georgetown right now) and it was a strange experience having him see what my life is now compared to when we were in classes together 5-6 years ago. Especially since his little sister is a huge fan of me and the other guys on the tour, and was texting him the entire time begging for pictures of Jason hahaha.

After that we were en route to Pittsburgh. I don't think I have ever been to Pittsburgh before, and I think going to brand new cities is always exciting. One of my best friends from my childhood named Heather has been going to school in Pittsburgh since we graduated HS so I was really stoked about this show (as this was also the first time she was going to be able to see me perform at all). We played at this weird little venue called the Shadow Lounge that looked really shady from the outside, but as Alex put it, looked like the Bronze on the inside. Apparently it was actually a hip-hop venue most of the time, which is pretty hilarious for a bunch of nerdy/pop/dance bands to be performing at.

Our favorite little 5AG fan Noah (the young boy who I ran into at the HP theme park this summer who has more energy than our whole tour combined and pretty much has all of our 5AG videos memorized) was at the show, and was bouncing off the walls talking to Hayley and I all night. I had him come onstage for "Don't Unplug Me" and let him sing a bit of the chorus with me, which I think made him almost faint in excitement. It was adorable.

Also Hayley surprised us and came to our show that day, which always makes for a great time. The amount of real life time I get to spend with Hayley, in general, is disappointingly low. So I was glad to see her. That night, after we all went out to dinner and had the most amazing mac 'n cheese in the world, we got a small block of hotel rooms and had the most fun we'd had since that first night at Sammy's with Rosi. Tour!

Last google search: 'my little pony'
Chipotle burritos: 21

Friday, October 1, 2010

Salmon and clothing.


I just finished watching Jo Rowling's interview on Oprah. I need to meet her, someday, just so I can be one of the thousands of people to tell her how much she's changed my life. It's one of those things that probably wouldn't mean much to her in the grand scheme of things, but saying those words to her would mean everything to me.


I wrote that on Friday and never got around to writing anything else about it to make a complete post, so I figured I would leave it at that.

I've been walking around all week with a proverbial red countdown timer over my head, ticking away the minutes until I leave for tour. I leave in twelve hours and my suitcase is only half packed, my to-do list is long, and I've spent more time organizing my shoes and Magic cards than figuring out what I really need to bring on a 3 week trip.

You would think, after traveling as much as I have, going on trips pretty much every months for the better part of the last three years, that I would be awesome at packing by now - but I am just not. I mean, I rarely forget anything, I know the essentials that n00bs leave behind (shaver, deodorant, tweezers, the right amount of stuff to do on the plane) but that frantic last minute scramble to make sure you have everything ready before you leave? It never goes away. Ever. In fact, I almost feel like it gets worse with each passing trip.

And packing for fall tour is so much harder than summer. It was easy, in July. A whole duffel full of shorts, tan ktops, and sandals. Done. But with temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees, chances of rain nearly everywhere - the amount of boots and sweaters I find myself packing is outrageous.

But the good news is, I have the bag with ALL CAPS merch packed and ready to go by my door. That was easy. :)

I've been talking about packing now for well past the accepted limit of interesting-ness, so I am going to switch gears here. Aside from working on the new ALL CAPS album and filming our launch day music videos, I have had a tiny bit of time for good old fashioned recreational fun.

On Saturday I drove out to my home town to see my little brother play trumpet in marching band for the last time (as he is a Senior in high school this year). My parents were feeling a little nostalgic about it, since for the past ten years they've bundled up and dragged their lawn chairs to see either myself or Nick playing our instruments in the parade. It's weird to think they don't need to go anymore, or that if we do go, we'll have no one to clap for (or embarrass, in my case. I think I've yelled "NICK HORNER IS SO CUUUUTE" as he goes by every year he's marched xD).

I didn't stay at the fair very long afterwards, but I did stay long enough to eat a chicken teriyaki skewer, an ear of roasted corn, a scone with raspberry jam AND hum bao. Don't judge me. I walked around with my parents for about an hour and then met up with my friend Austin (whom I went to school with but only really got to know each other lately because of YouTube, haha) and his friend Danielle, and I hung out with them for a little while.

It's funny, but my town is really big on Salmon. We were required to learn about the Salmon cycle in school (I think I've drawn pictures of the egg/alevin/fry/smolt/adult/spawning circle at least 3 times in my life as homework). We call our annual fair "Salmon Days" and we have a Salmon hatchery right in town where you can watch the fish returning up the streams to spawn. We spent a good twenty minutes over at the fish ladders, cheering with the rest of the crowds every time a salmon would make the leap up to another level of the ladder. I also learned that Salmon don't feel pain the way humans do, which I thought was quite interesting. They can have half their face ripped off (which happens often, since they fight against the current for miles) and it only feels like pressure. It also never heals. Poor fish.

Yesterday Ariana and I went shopping for tour and bought a bunch of cute clothes that I am very excited to wear (including a silver sequined fedora that was an impulse buy if I ever saw one). I feel like I can briefly return to the topic of clothes because my entire last paragraph was about Salmon. Right?

I should get back to packing. Here's to tour, and to the new ALL CAPS acoustic album coming out today!

Last google search: '"kicker" mtg'
Chipotle burritos: 20

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nightmares and school (unrelated).

Today was the first day of school at the University of Washington. I saw all the college-aged kids swarming the streets of the U District today with their backpacks and their cell phones and their cups of coffee.

You know what I did today?

1. Slept until 10.
2. Went to Target.
3. Set up a green screen and lighting device in my dining room.
4. Finally took a shower around 5.
5. Filmed a video, learned how to chroma key in Sony Vegas, and replied to a ton of emails.
6. Watched a movie with Eia.

I'll admit, this is actually a pretty standard day in the life of Kristina Horner. But every single thing I did today felt the tiniest bit wrong when I stopped and thought about the fact that literally for the past 18 years, on this day in the fall, I was putting on my backpack, a new outfit, pouring over my schedule and going to my first day of new classes. There's a small part of me that misses school (new clothes, school supplies, new friends, new classes), but mostly it feels really freeing. I can do ANYTHING I WANT. Anything. Except fly. I still can't fly.

That sentiment is only slightly dampened by how much time I have spent on the phone with car insurance companies this week. Real life, man. It has its plusses and minuses.

So my sleeping schedule is all off right now for some reason (a combination of staying up late to catch up on YouTube videos, to talk to Eia because it's the only time she's ever home, and just generally losing track of time), but I have this viciously meticulous internal clock that will not, under any circumstances, let me sleep past 10. No matter what time I went to bed. And usually I'm up by 8, on a normal day.

Anyway, the point of this is that when I don't sleep well, I have nightmares. Not like, exorcist boogieman mentally-scarring nightmares, but just... really weird, disorienting stuff.

I dreamt a few nights ago that a friend of mine tried to give me this herbal tea stuff that had worms in it that were apparently great for detox or something, but when I opened the lid they just started flying out and attaching themselves to everything. That's not a fun situation to wake up from.
I had a dream, too, that my face was covered in these creepy lumps and nobody wanted to tell me about it, and I actually woke up from it unconsciously feeling my cheeks to make sure they were alright.
I also had this dream one time where a guy was trying to hunt me down from the internet and wanted to kill me or kidnap me or something, and in the dream I remember coming home and seeing my place was trashed - when I woke up I actually had to have Luke reassure me that nothing was wrong.
And one time I dreamt Eia was demanding we move into a dancer's commune where you sleep in a different room than you keep your stuff in, as an attempt to share the living experience on a deeper level with your housemates -wtf! And she wasn't listening to me at all when I was telling her that I didn't want to live there, and I actually woke up angry at her, before I realized it wasn't real.

These are just a few of the recent ones, and while it's not really a big deal because I tend to get over it within about five minutes of waking up... I guess I'm just wondering if this is normal. Nightmares seem like such a little kid thing; you know, in movies, it's always a child in their rocketship jammies waking up and screaming for their parents from some nightmare, but I seem to have them pretty frequently. And sometimes they really shake me up for a few minutes.

So anyway, that's all. Do you have nightmares? Do you have them often? What kind of nightmares are they/do they affect you for awhile after you wake up?

This blog post got very personal very quickly, so I am going to turn attention away from myself now, and reply to a comment I got on my last post from a lovely girl named Alex who comments on just about everything of mine. :)

Advice time!

kira902k: What should I do when my friends that I've had for a really long time are suddenly showing their backstabbing, bitchy sides and I have a whole new group of nerdier, more amazing friends (who are all either not at my school, or in a grade younger than me)? Do I ditch my longtime friends and graduate without friends in my grade, or do I just play along and deal with them until high school is finally over?

Let's take this one piece at a time. First of all, it sounds a little bit like you've answered your own question. You can obviously tell the difference between bitchy/backstabbing people and people who are truly worth your time, so you should be super thankful you have those other friends, regardless of where they live or how old they are.
I went through some trials and tribulations in middle school and high school with mean, backstabby people, and if I'd had another source of awesome friends to turn to then, it would have helped so much.

Graduating with people you know is fun and important, but you're always going to remember if those friendships were hollow or in fact meaningless. Even if you're not surrounded by your best friends on graduation day, you're still going to be celebrating a HUGE achievement you made on your own, and you're still going to have those great other friends waiting for you at the end of the day. Don't make yourself miserable just to take pictures in caps and gowns with people who aren't worthwhile.

Basically the moral of the story here, is that it's NEVER better to "play along" until some predetermined time if you're unhappy. Your life is happening right now. Spend it with the people who matter. Even if they're a grade below you. Or far away. :)

And that's how Kristina C's it! LOL.

Last google search: darkstone
Chipotle burritos: 20

Monday, September 27, 2010

Leftover advice questions - and answers!

Alright. So last week on fiveawesomegirls we did silly advice week, and I'll admit… most of my answers were less than helpful. So today, I'm going to be answering some of the more serious questions in a more serious manner here on my blog. Annnd.. here we go!

lobi89: how do you know if a guy likes you?
I know everyone's experience is different, but I've always found it to be pretty obvious if a guy liked me in the past. If he starts complimenting you in ways he never did before (especially on things like your looks), or starts randomly doing nice things for you out of nowhere, those are generally the first tell-tale signs that he's started thinking about you differently.
Or, in my experience, if he posts a song on YouTube telling everyone he likes you; that's a pretty dead giveaway.

xfallenwarriorx: How do I find a nerdy boyfriend? It's so complicated. D:
You're going to hate this answer, but sometimes you have to wait for that nerdy boy to find you. Love usually doesn't come when you're looking for it; in fact it quite often falls out of the sky, into your lap, at the worst possible time when it was the last thing you would have expected. But that's why it's called "falling in love", not "bundling up, heading outside with a compass, and hunting love down".

penguin1124: Do you have any advice for my senior year of high school?
I was one of the few (it seems) who actually really enjoyed high school. I mean, I definitely had my share of hardships, with friend problems and identity issues, but I really felt like I had it all figured out by the time I was a senior. In my last year, I spent most of my time either in the theatre (where I was drama club president), in the journalism lab (where I was the Opinion section editor) or in the TIP lab, which was were the other computer nerds hung out.

And I'll admit, my lesson here, really, is to spend the first three years of high school working your way up to the things you know you'll love senior year, and not everyone can do that. But you don't have to be president of a club to enjoy it - just get involved. Seriously, get involved in high school and make your experience there about your extra curriculars and yours friends, because while classes are great and all, they're definitely not what made high school amazing for me.

madamesuede: what should I bring to my first and only HP-con (which will be Leakycon2011)??
Hmmm. Definitely bring a camera (video or still, whatever your thing is) because there are memories to be captured there and you don't want to miss out on that. Bring any Harry Potter related clothing you have (cloak, wand, t-shirt with Ron's face on it) because this is one of the few times you'll look like a total baller wearing it, rather than that weird kid in the corner. Bring your phone (obviously) so you can tweet about how much fun you're having every second, and bring something super hawt to wear to the ball, because generally wizard kids tend to go all out for these things.

ProfessorAliceC: What's the hardest thing you've had to give up for Harry Potter? (eg. not attend a b-day party for a HP book release) .
My family takes this annual trip to North Dakota every summer to see my grandparents and all our other relatives who live back there (it's a lot of people). I really, really enjoy going and seeing my cousins, my aunts and uncles, everyone. We live so far away from so much of our family that it's usually the one chance we have to see everyone until the next year.
I've had to miss this family trip twice now because of Harry Potter. And while I wouldn't give up the opportunities I've had to tour and go to conferences, it was pretty hard for me, knowing my family was having fun without me.

margaretdarling: @KristinaHorner How do you deal with procrastination? Perhaps not you, since you are a goddess of productivity, but maybe the other girls.
Haha. Procrastination is a real problem for me, now that my job IS blogging, making videos, and recording music. I don't have a boss looming over my shoulder, causing me to minimize my freecell game or pretend I'm working when actually I'm checking email.

I've always been a go-getter, though. The internet, while a pit of procrastination for a lot of people, has always been a golden chalice of opportunity for me. I have FUN doing things that other people might see as hard work: blogging, replying to email, building my presence online, researching things for various writing projects, etc. I don't have a schedule of deadlines given to me by other people for the most part - I operate under self-appointed goals, and before I go to bed each night I ask myself, "have I accomplished enough to feel good about how I spent my time today?" If my answer is no, then I make sure I do more tomorrow.

The short answer is, "I live out of a very meticulously organized planner with a complicated system of prioritizing and crossing things off as I finish them".

ProfessorAliceC:@KristinaHorner Where where you and what were you doing when you heard about MJ's death?
I was actually at @Mickeleh's house with Alex Day. I remember Alex was visiting and Michael had wanted to have us over for dinner, so as we were eating our chicken and salad and discussing everything under the sun, he got a text from his roommate Leslie about it. It's amazing how big events create such vivid memories of how you found out about them, because I remember so many tiny details about this night with such clarity.

loosee123: Do you have any tips for cheap travel? It is breaking my bank.
I always use for booking flights; I believe it to be, by far, the best flight comparison site around. Beyond that, this question is kind of hard for me to answer, since I don't know exactly what kind of travel you're talking about. But if you're traveling abroad - definitely check out hostels rather than hotels. If you're traveling to see friends - try to go at off peak times in the year, and fly on days like Monday or Tuesday when it's cheaper. If you're traveling for Harry Potter conferences or shows - start a wizard rock band so you're asked to play and don't have to pay for registration. Ha.

m3lf4c3: how do you decide what personal information to share with your online community and what to omit?
You know... I share a lot of myself with the online community. Thinking back over fiveawesomegirls, I put a lot of myself out there. I keep it a little more contained on my personal channel (being more about entertainment than talking about myself) but the 5AG videos are still all out there. Twitter makes it so I can share literally any fleeting thought I have with an audience of nearly 12,000. But the real kicker here is my blog. If you read my blog (which I assume you do, as you're here reading my blog) then you know a LOT about me. You get a first hand account of probably 60% of the things I do. You read about my reactions, my emotions, my problems, my happinessess... and over time, I have needed to learn to omit things here and there, based on the past and what I know is good for me to keep private.

I try to leave out times when I am feeling really low. I try to leave out specifics about my personal relationships, romantic or other. I try not to share information about my friends if I know they wouldn't want that online, because while I enjoy "broadcasting myself", my friends and family might not be so keen on it. I also try not to mention things that are happening in the future that aren't sure things, because I don't want people to get disappointed if they don't happen.

It's all a balancing act. I am a lot more candid with my life than most people like to be, but you have to decide what you're comfortable with. Some people, like the SHAYTARDS or Dan Brown, are completely fine with putting everything online. I try to be a little bit more guarded, but still like sharing as much as I can with you guys. :)

feqwhy: You seem like you're always happy and have your life put together. How do you do that?
I know this isn't true in every instance, but you get out of life what you put into it. I approach life as if it's an adventure, and every day is a new opportunity to do great things, have fun, and hopefully touch other people's lives in some small way. I also try to find joy in the smallest aspects of life, because then you'll always be surprised by what can put a smile on your face.

I would say, having just graduated from college, I am far from having my life together. But I know that the things I am doing now are things that make me happy, and that hopefully are leading me down the path to finding the career I will love for the rest of my life. When I know I am working toward a goal like that, it's tough to not be happy.

Also, my friends rock, and there are thousands of strangers that I get to interact with every day that are some of the kindest, sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to. I wouldn't be surprised if my blog comments were a big part of why I seem so chipper every day.

Thanks for the great questions, guys! I had a lot of fun answering these, and I wouldn't mind making it a more regular segment of my blog. Have a great Monday, and let me know in the comments what you have on the agenda today. I'm just curious. :)

Last google search: "commonly misused phrases"
Chipotle burritos: 20

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TSA Agents make my day.

I leave for tour in ten days.. I can't believe how soon that is. Sometimes it still feels like I just got HOME from tour. I think it's going to be amazing though, since so many of the people I'll be spending those two and a half weeks with are some of my best friends.

Speaking of best friends, I just got back from LA last night. Luke and I worked on our acoustic album a fair amount but mostly spent the week building our Magic the Gathering decks with Jason and playing each other over and over. And going to Disneyland. And eating pizza.

It always feels weird coming come from a trip to LA. It takes me a day or two to readjust to being in Seattle, because I have so many friends down in California, so many really great friends, that it doesn't really feel like a vacation. It just feels like hanging out with friends, which in turn makes it feel lonely and distant up here without them at home.

But then I remember how much I love my city and my bedroom and all the friends I have here and things start to go back to normal. It's kind of like being pulled in two very persistent directions constantly... but now that I've graduated and have free time to spend in the ways I choose... I dunno, I think things are going to be good for me. I'm excited about the upcoming year.

So yesterday when I was leaving California, I was waiting in line at security and this TSA agent kept looking at me with this goofy grin on his face. I went about my business as normal; taking off my shoes, removing my laptop and putting it in its own screening tub, walking through the metal detector... then as I was gathering my stuff to leave, he runs up to me. "Were you in a music video about World of Warcraft?" he asks me sheepishly.

I burst out laughing. "Yes, I was!"

We chatted for a few moments as I put my jacket and shoes back on and then he had to go back to screening people, but how funny is that. Of all the places for a complete stranger to look up and think "Hey, is that the girl in the blood elf costume from that video I saw once online?"

Anyway, I got home and waiting here for me in my YouTube inbox was this message:

"Hey hope you dont mind me writing to you, this is the TSA officer who recognized you at LAX, just wanted to say hello and hope your tour goes well."

Some days I feel like my life just never stops being fun. And to prove that point, I am now going to play video games for awhile before calling insurance companies, all while waiting for Luke to send me tracks from the acoustic album that need my vocal takes. Overall, not a bad day. Except the whole part where I'm out of college so I have to start paying my own car insurance. Bleh.

Question for today's comments: I've been thinking off an on about the concept of "feeling at home" or being "from" a place. I was talking to Alex and Jason about this yesterday... like I can say I'm from Seattle because I grew up here, but I can also say I am from North Dakota because I was born there.
But also, you could live in a place for years and never really identify with it. Do you think you can truly be "from" more than one place? Do you have multiple places that feel like your home?

Last google search: "lunk errant"
Chipotle burritos: 20

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The most exciting deal of your whole lifetime.

I'm sitting at SeaTac airport with about an hour to kill before my flight leaves, and thanks to the beauty of free airport wifi I get to spend it typing up a blog post.

There is this guy behind me standing at a kiosk, and he's doing what is probably the most hilarious thing I've seen in a long time. He's apparently supposed to be pushing people to sign up for Alaska Airlines Credit Cards, but it's clear he knows that nobody wants to apply for a new card at 8:30 in the morning. He's slouched over, chin on his hand, speaking in a medium-loud monotone, "Hey, you. Yeah you. Do you want to go to Disneyland… for FREE?"

But don't forget he lacks any semblance of enthusiasm whatsoever. "Step right up here and talk to me about the most exciting deal of your whole lifetime. Why? Because. Don't miss out."

Hahaha. Now a woman just went over to him, stars in her eyes… but a few seconds later said, "Oh it's a CREDIT CARD? Nice try."

"But it's round trip!" he said after her, only mildly sarcastically. "Spread the word!"

I do understand what most companies probably frown on their employees acting like this (Alaska included, I'd bet) but I can't deny that I'm much more entertained by this method of salesmanship. I'm not going to sign up for a card though, so that sort of negates that.

I wanted to type up a blog post this morning to tell you about something that happened to me yesterday. It was the day before my trip so I was doing standard last minute errands and things, and I had a few checks to deposit. So I got to make a stop-in at my favorite place in the whole word, my local US Bank.

I don't know what was different about yesterday, but as I was pulling into the parking lot, I was thinking about my security guard friend, and how he probably smiles at everyone since he's a nice guy. I started to convince myself that I really have no reason to believe our interactions are anything out of the ordinary for him. He's such a jolly man; he probably has this happy-making 'smile-and-hold-the-door-open-while-making-pleasantries' connection a hundred times of day with handfuls of people.

I hopped out of my car, checks in hand, and like usual he was waiting to open the door for me. And on that day he literally said to me, "Hey, it's my favorite person."

Not only did this make my entire day, it then amazed me that he has no idea that he's become a 'character' in my blog. And that thousands of people probably wish they had a security guard as nice as him at their bank.

Hahaha. "You can go ANYWHERE. You know, in the US. Even Wisconsin!"

I feel so bad for that Alaska Airlines credit card guy. Another woman just yelled at him for talking to her because she's not a US citizen and can't sign up anyway. It almost makes me want to go apply for a card from him.

That's probably how he gets you. Tricky guy. I'm such a fool.

Halloween costume hint: It's from a TV show, and it's neither Powerpuff Girls or Sailor Scouts. Those were popular guesses!
Question for the comments: Do you have any special people with bit parts in your life like my security guard?

Last google search: trapped in sunken pirate ship
Chipotle burritos: 20

Monday, September 20, 2010

Everything is your favorite thing.

I've been bad about blogging. I didn't mean to be; after BEDA this year I definitely told myself, "Self? You really enjoyed blogging every day in August. Because of that, you should carry that over to the rest of the year and BLOG MORE IN GENERAL."

But you know we rarely listen to ourselves lecturing ourselves.

Our last day in the Bahamas was amazing. After sleeping in, we went to this little cafe where I had a delicious panini and then it was time to meet up with our guide for the snorkeling trip we'd signed up for.

Immediately upon arriving at the meetup spot, the three of us knew we were in for a hilarious afternoon, because we were the only ones signed up that weren't on a honeymoon. So Liz, Eia, and a whole slew of happy couples boarded our catamaran and set off in the sun in the direction of some fantastic coral reefs.

It was a little scary right away, the snorkeling. We put our masks and flippers on, and I remember standing at the edge of the boat thinking, 'I can't believe I paid money for something this scary." I'm kind of a water wimp, you know, the kind who likes to ease her way in, one toe at a time. So the prospect of just jumping into the ocean from a boat with god-knows-what beneath we was very, very terrifying.

For about 3 seconds.

The second I got in the water and felt how warm it was, I relaxed considerably. It took me a little while to adjust to using the snorkel and the mask, but once I did, I flippered my way around taking in the colorful fish, the amazing reef below me, and the faces of my friends in their masks.

Eia had bought an underwater camera so we had a ton of fun playing around with it, posing for shots underwater and diving down to try and touch a fish. I remember seeing a rainbow fish, and a fish that looked like Dori from Finding Nemo, and everyone claims they saw a huge Barracuda but I couldn't see it no matter how hard I tried.

I'm so glad we tried snorkeling. It was amazing and I can't wait to do it again.

The rest of our trip was a blur of making "Atlantis Pals" - which was essentially build a bear - and going to the nightclub called Aura that was finally open on our last night in the Bahamas. We also found some time to go swimming in the ocean near our hotel, which was about a thousand shades of awesome. I cant even convey to you how amazing it was being up to my shoulders in salt water and having it be so clear I can see my feet way down below in the sand.

Since I've been home I've been plenty busy. First I watched the Season 5 finale of Buffy (which was heartbreaking and extremely intense, and I haven't had time to watch any of Season 6 yet so I am going crazy --- ahhh Spike's FACE when he found out ahhh) and went to my friend David's wedding.

Our friend Corey (a girl we met through Harry Potter stuff who lives in Florida) didn't have a place to stay so we offered to let her come hang with us until her flight home, and then found out it was her BIRTHDAY. So we took her out to Red Robin, had them sing to her, stuck her in a hurricane simulator, shared cake and ice cream, and then took her to see "The Full Monty" at the theatre I used to work at.

The Full Monty was amazing. We had such a blast. It was only the Friends and Family preview so we got to sit in the "family room" with my old coworkers (it's a glass enclosed room meant for crying babies but often used by us for partying) and eat snacks and things during the show. The point of the show is that a bunch of average joe middle aged guys who've been laid off decide to try to make it as strippers to show their wives they aren't just deadbeats - and at the end of the show, they ACTUALLY get naked. I mean, you see down to a thong and then the lights flare out so you can' actually see anything when they "go all the way!", but I can guarantee the whole theatre was laughing their heads off. It was so much fun.

Now I've been keeping busy with upcoming ALL CAPS stuff (leaving for LA tomorrow to go down and finish our new album with Luke) and ZAXY stuff (we had a sleepover the other night where we demo'd the new game Vindictus, watched Zombieland, and spent hours pouring over costume sites to figure out what we should be for Halloween).

Life has been good on my end, even if I haven't had the time (or the will) to write it all down.

Someone said something to me the other day that really stuck with me, and I wanted to share it here. They said, "everything is your favorite thing", and that they loved that about me.

I had to think about it for a little while, but it's kind of true. I feel like I am always logging onto twitter, Youtube, or blogspot to tell you guys about what I've been up to and how this new thing is "SO AWESOME" or "MY FAVORITE THING EVER". I had to consider whether this was a bad thing, like I am lowering the worth of these words by overusing them, but I don't think so. I think it's okay if everything is my favorite thing. It makes life more exciting.

Questions for today's comments section:
1. Guess what I decided to dress up as for Halloween. Hints - multiple girls can dress up like this and go as a set. Also, it's nerdy.
2. Have you started thinking about what you want to be? Am I crazy for thinking a month in advance?

Last google search: hot girl costumes
Chipotle burritos: 20

Monday, September 13, 2010

Take a look, honey.

I'm home now and it's a little bit more depressing to blog about the fun I already had back in the Bahamas while sitting at home in Seattle, but I want to remember everything so I am going to force myself through it. And besides, being back in Seattle isn't so bad. I went to a lovely wedding the other day, for my friends David Wood and Justine Kondrat, and it was my second wedding joining people I met on the Internet. I really, really love my life and the people in it. So anyway. More fun in the sun adventure blogging time. Here goes.

Wednesday of our trip was another day spent sleeping in, which turned out to be the theme for the whole week. We rolled out of bed again sometime around 11, and after eating a quick breakfast, ventured out of the hotel resort for the first time since we arrived. We took a taxi shuttle into town, passing by loads of brightly colored, old, interesting buildings. We showed up on the main street and hit up all the necessary places - the Bacardi rum store, various makeup outlets (things are cheap there!) and a whole den of marketplace style booths with women selling hand woven baskets and bracelets and all sorts of little nicknacks. They kept telling us to "take a look, honey", so you can bet we hurried out of there as quickly as we could.

The highlight of our day was going to Señor Frogs. If you've never been to one; it's essentially a Mexican Restaurant they have all over in tropical locations that boast their highly inappropriate atmosphere. The music is loud, the food is good, the clown makes you balloon hats while you're eating and if you get in the conga line, the waitresses will pour free shots of strawberry tequila in your mouth. We had an absolute blast having lunch there, right on the deck beside the clear blue water.

We made friends with some boys at the table next to us who were stopping in as an excursion from their cruise ship. Much to their delight we got the clown to make them balloon hats to match ours, and ended up combining tables and hanging out with them for the remainder of our lunch. I love making friends in new places when I travel; even if your lives and stories only overlap for an hour or two, like with our Señor Frogs buddies, it just makes everyone's lives a little more exciting.

After heading back to the Atlantis we spent a good portion of the afternoon back on the watersides, signed up for a Snorkeling trip, and then had dinner in a cute little deli. That night we didn't have any big plans ahead of us so we decided to finally go out to the beach (because what's cooler than walking along a beach at night?). There was a straight shot to the beach if we'd exited the hotel out the door on the right, but we instead chose the door on the left, through the aquarium. We got lost for a good while in the caves (which was kind of scary at night actually) so we turned it into a night photoshoot, taking silhouette style pictures in front of the glass and generally being silly in the empty halls.

When we finally made it to the beach, I just stood staring out at the black night over the shores for awhile. I'm not really sure when it happened, or what exactly the cosmic link is, but I am, without a doubt, a lover of the water. I was raised going to the beach, going clam-digging, boating and so forth, and nothing makes me feel more connected to our planet than standing at the edge of the water, sand beneath my toes and waves lapping up over my feet. Staring out at the horizon and knowing it goes on further than my brain can even comprehend.

The water was so warm, too, for being the ocean. I've always heard the term "the water was so warm it felt like bathwater" being said about places like this, and I scoffed. Being from the Northwest, feeling the water from the Pacific Ocean and shivering with the memory; it was hard to imagine any natural body of water feeling like bathwater. But it did. It really did. I'm getting a little sappy even thinking about it now, but it was just so beautiful there. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to experience it.

Last google search: no internet there
Chipotle burritos: 20

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Waterslide through a shark tank.

We slept in so late our first morning here; we're on no particular schedule or anything and it's awesome. We rolled out of bed around 11:30, threw on our swimsuits, and headed down to Aquaventure. There are seriously amazing watersides here, and we started the day right by doing the tube-slide that goes through a shark tank first thing. You start by going through a windy tube in the dark, and then it feeds you out onto this long stretch through an aquarium style glass dome with sharks and fish all around you. Coolest waterside ever.

Then we went down a few smaller slides before finding the Current River, which is just like the Lazy River, only way better. It's apparently over a mile long, and along the way you encounter rapids, waves, and all sorts of other crazy things. The best part about the river is that you can take a detour that brings you up to the park's best water slides by way of conveyor belt. So you're floating along in your tube, and then suddenly you're pulled onto this black stretch of moving rubber that brings you up and up and up, gradually getting an amazing view of the coast -- which, if you ask me, is way better than waiting in any line.

The water slides were amazing, with all the right amounts of sliding through the pitch blackness, and some even had parts that shot you UP. Imagine taking a huge plunge down and then having so much momentum that you can actually be sent flying back upwards. It was so great.

After awhile we were water-slided out, so we spent some time just lounging in the pool, finally calling it a day when our fingers were so pruny we couldn't stand it.

Lunch was eaten at a cute little pizza place, and then we had to hurry because our hotel has a free movie theatre and we'd decided to see the chickflick "The Last Song" at 5 PM. I don't care what anyone says, I think Miley Cyrus is cute, and we had good time seeing the movie (and crying our eyes out at the plot). Especially because we'd gone to the candy store just before, getting a bag full of sour things and jelly beans and swedish fish, just like when we were kids and would get to go to the Sweet Factory at the mall.

It started to rain a tiny bit on our way from the sweet shop to the theatre, which turned into a full-fledged storm within minutes. I've never seen rain as crazy as it was just then, but the fantastic luck of our trip granted us that it had quit by the time the movie was out. Seriously. We were so lucky.

We took a bit of a breather after the movie, hanging in our room, being goofy, and getting changed into our fancy dresses. That night we were going to a comedy club, which pretty much always promises to be a good time. There were three comedians and they were all hilarious, even though we got made fun of for being from Seattle (he told us very specific directions on how to get to the nearest Starbucks, har har).

That night we discovered a bar in our lobby that serves alcoholic drinks made of ice cream. ICE CREAM. It was so amazing, and we are going back before we leave for SURE. I am having such a great time here - being at a fancy hotel doing whatever the hell we want with my two best friends is just amazing. The next morning we slept in again, and after our round of showers we're heading into town to see what the rest of Nassau has to offer us. I'm sure I'll have plenty more stories next time I'm back to blog!

Last google search: no internet here
Chipotle burritos: 20

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paradise Island.

I read through all of your comments on my my most recent post this morning and it almost made me well up in tears all over again. I'm glad so many of you understand what I am going through while watching Buffy, and that so many of you reacted the same way as I did to the episodes I outlined in Season 5. Thank you for the wonderfully deep and insightful comments and for making me feel like I am just a human being experiencing a beautiful piece of art, rather than a dork-extreme. Sometimes I feel like a dork-extreme.

On that depressing note, here is the first blog about my trip!

Bahamas: Monday!

It is so strange to be on a trip where literally all I have to worry about is whether I'd rather go to the beach or to the water park during the day, the nightclubs or the comedy club at night, or the marina village or a poolside snack hut when I'm hungry.

I'll admit, sometimes I feel like the most spoiled person on earth, but I'm not sitting in the Bahamas right now because my parents are rich or someone else paid for me to be here. Liz, Eia and I got free round trip tickets on AirTran last year when our flights home from LeakyCon got messed up, and when we realized those free tickets were about to expire, we booked 5 days in the most exotic/outrageous place the airline could take us. Which is how we ended up in Nassau, Bahamas on Paradise Island. Then Eia did some very excellent hotel sleuthing and managed to find us an amazing deal for the Atlantis, so here we are at one of the world's most famous hotels, sleeping in until 11 when we'd planned on being up at 8 because we're all exhausted from yesterday's traveling. So I guess I am a little spoiled, but I'd like to think of it as lucky.

We left Seattle at 11 pm on Sunday, endured a four hour flight (with some of the worst airplane sleeping I've ever attempted) to Atlanta, and then had a 6 hour layover. 6 hours! This time consisted of eating Cinnabon and hashbrowns at the equivalent of our 4 in the morning, finding a nice patch of floor to lay on and making camp there while we all attempted to sleep for awhile. It was pretty crappy, but I managed to squeeze about 2 hours of sleep out of the arrangement.

We all started getting a little goofy (including Eia, doing somersaults across the airport floor and Liz, finding a video game machine amidst the payphones that someone had left with credits still on it for playing) but luckily our flight left at 12:45, so we left Atlanta far behind us as we boarded the next plane.

This flight was super empty so the three of us were each able to get our own row of seats, which was awesome. My favorite type of flying is the kind where you can snag your own row of 3 seats. I think I attempted to read a chapter or so of Scott Westerfeld's Peeps, but I was so tired that I stretched out across my three seats and slept for the entire flight. Aside from when the flight attendant woke me with a, "Sorry, hun," and tossed me an immigration card to fill out. I think I filled in the bubbles in my sleep, stuck the card in my book, and fell right back asleep.

The Nassau airport was cute. It was small and everyone was friendly, and there was a little band set up in the immigration area to keep you entertained while you went through customs. Seriously! It was the weirdest and quaintest thing I have ever seen while traveling, especially after both of my stressful trips to London where the border patrol seemed to really not like me.

A very nice taxi driver took us to the Atlantis, and along the half hour drive I asked him about everything from the best liquor stores on Paradise Island to what his grandkids are like. He seemed to think the three of us were going to be trouble makers while we are here. I have no idea why he would think that. /innocent

Our room is a pretty standard hotel room, but the resort itself is amazing. We're right near the predators rope bridge and the manta ray and shark tanks, we can see the beach from our balcony, and the casino and nightclubs are just a quick walk away.

We spent the afternoon looking around for a place to eat and finally decided on an outdoor hut called "Shark Bites". After eating, we changed into our swimsuits and found that we had a Lazy River right outside our room, so we grabbed tubes and floated around that a few times. Seriously the most relaxing way to end your day. If I am ever totally rich and famous, I am installing a Lazy River around my house.

Then we headed back up to our room, changed into cuter outfits, and headed over to the casino. Neither of us were very keen on spending more than about $20, so we weren't there for long, but I managed to turn my $20 into $40 on one machine. So that was pretty exciting.

After gambling we went to the bar and grill right off the casino and had a drink and dinner, and I got into an argument with our waiter (because he didn't know the difference between honey mustard and a vinaigrette). It was still moderately early at this point, so we spent the remainder of the evening exploring the hotel and areas surrounding, finding a cute marina village full of shops, an arcade, a bunch of models of the whole resort, and a place called Atlantis Pals (which is just like Build-a-Bear) that we are definitely, definitely going back to.

Last google search: aura nightclub
Chipotle burritos: 20

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The beauty of human emotion.

Warning: I am being a huge Buffy dork in this entry, but if you want to hear me gushing about the beauty of human emotion, then please continue.

I am really embarrassed about this but I am feeling incredibly emotional today. That sort of pit-of-your-stomach emotion that will only pass with time.

Nothing is wrong with me, don't worry. I've just power-marathoned through a lot of Season 5 of Buffy this weekend (I was supposed to be out partying with gamer nerds at fancy PAX parties last night but an unfortunate burrito stomachache incident rendered me couch-ridden) and it is such a painful season to get through.

I mean, and I've just started getting over the sadness that struck me when I finished Mockingjay - I was not prepared for the amount of pain and loss that Joss Whedon has put on my plate with this season. The episode "The Body" actually made me cry as though I'd lost someone too, and the lack of any backing music made watching the entire thing an edge-of-your-seat gripping experience. "Forever" wasn't much better, and following that immediately with "Intervention" made me realize I spent much of my day mourning the loss of fictional characters in a way that felt distressingly real.

I'm not going to have time to finish Season 5 before I leave for the Bahamas, which is a real suck, but it'll make the last two episodes of the season that much more intense when I get home.

I was realizing the other day that literally every book I have read recently was depressing. First I read 13 Reasons Why, a book about a box of tapes left behind by a girl who committed suicide and blamed those around her for her decision. Then I read Feed, which shows a depressing version of the future where everyone is so "plugged in" that they lose sight of what's important and an innocent girl's life is lost because of it. Then I read Mockingjay, which obviously goes without saying as to the depressing nature of the book. And now Season 5 of Buffy has left me numb and cold, but it's been my favorite stretch of episodes thus far.

I think the reason that I love reading and watching these difficult, dark stories is because it makes me feel something so real. I love a happy ending, yeah, and a cute little whimsical tale or a romantic comedy can put a smile on my face, but it's not very impactful. It doesn't resonate something deep within you like a good tragedy can. A tragedy can kind of open you up, make you feel a bit raw, or change the way you view the world around you.

Maybe this makes me weird, like I thrive on other people's (fake people's) pain or something, but I don't think that's it. I just find human emotion to be the most interesting tool in storytelling, and when authors or directors can capture that so wholly and realistically and beautifully in their work; I find that to be the most powerful form of art.

Also, I know I am not the first girl, and certainly not the last girl to say this, but I absolutely love Spike and I love his transformation, and my heart breaks every time the gang kicks him aside. He's trying! He's really trying. I've had a soft spot in my heart for Draco Malfoy for the last ten or so years of my life that many people have always felt was unwarranted, but I'm seeing now that Spike is who I always wished Draco would become while I was reading Harry Potter. Justin and I fight about this all the time because he thinks that Spike has used up all his "second chances" tenfold, but I disagree. And not just because I love him as a character.

I am going to stop being an absolute dork right now, because I need to finish packing for the Bahamas. We have a long, looong red-eye flight tonight with a 6 hour layover (gross) so I need to make sure I am armed and prepared with books, laptop, gameboy, etc.

I don't know if I'll have internet but I'll be blogging regardless while I am there, so expect tales of adventures and funtimes, and in this case, hopefully, for all our sake, no tragedy.

Last google search: "Weeds S06 E03"
Chipotle burritos: 19

Saturday, September 4, 2010

PAX! Day Two.

Uggh, today was not nearly as bright and sparkly as yesterday. Haha.

I woke up around 8 feeling really crummy, but after awhile I finally dragged myself back to the convention center around 11 in the morning. Immediately upon arriving, the Zaxy girls had an appointment for a demo of Kung Fu Live. It was so much fun! It's a completely hands-free game where you pretty much just kick and punch the enemies you can see on screen, and the capture technology actually puts a little image of you on screen (which is by far the best part of the game). The guys running the demo were handing out these headbands to wear while playing so you really felt like a kung-fu master.

It was shortly after that we met up with our camera crew; these two guys were hired to follow us around and film our PAX adventures. We played a game called Slambolt Scrappers (which was fun, but kind of a mess of a game that combined elements of Smash Bros. with Tetris). Then we interviewed some people walking around the conference, waiting in line, and got some particularly fun footage of a man in a bacon suit.

The best part of our day was when we got to play Just Dance 2 - which meant going up on a giant stage with a bunch of onlookers below while we shook our hips to "It's Raining Men". I'm sure we looked incredibly silly, but hey, I got the high score!

Throughout the day I also got to demo a game called Hakfu (which was visually stunning but kind of confusing) and Rift. I liked Rift a lot, but all of the controls and most parts of gameplay were almost identical to WoW. The visuals were a bit prettier, but it was just really, really similar. I got a free t-shirt from them. It's a 2XL though, so it may be better suited for a dress.

I headed home early due to overwhelming exhaustion and have spent the rest of my afternoon watching Toddlers & Tiaras and now I am almost to the good part of the Parent Trap. You know, where the parents meet for the first time after 11 years and we know they'll inevitably fall in love again. Also, Lindsay Lohan was so CUTE in that movie.

My time at PAX was really great. I am so excited about the prospect of getting to go to more events like this, and even though game-playing is probably horrible for my productivity, I kind of want to check out some of these game betas I was given. So, if I disappear for awhile, you know why. Haha. I met a lot of fun people while hanging out at PAX and learned a ton about the gaming world.

I am going to get back to the Parent Trap now. They're about to go on their annual camping trip and I think they're planning to do something horrible to Meredith - and I don't want to miss that part.

Last google search: NVIDIA dead rising 2 pictures
Chipotle burritos: 19