Tuesday, August 31, 2010

But it's a hide-a-bed!

Today is the last day of August! I have mixed feelings about this.

I am sitting on my bed, drinking a glass of wine and musing over what to write about for my last entry of BEDA. It's been a fantastic month for me, and I truly hope your months have been nice as well, and that we've all been able to share a little part of our days here together.

I don't think I'm going to slow down very much in the blogging department, though. Now that I don't have school cluttering up my time, I can focus on things that are actually important to me (not that getting a degree wasn't important; I just think working on personal writing projects is more rewarding than writing essays on American consumerism). Blogging definitely falls into the category of things that are important to me. I've come to really love reading your comments, so much so that it's become a standard part of my day, and I hope that continues well after the end of BEDA.

I have the glass of wine here because Eia, Justin and I just did something we rarely ever do; we made dinner together. Eia and I are going to the Bahamas this weekend and realized we need to start getting rid of our perishable food again (I feel like I spend so much of my time making feasts of refrigerator food because of how much we travel...). So we made a dinner spectacle of salad (complete with croutons and olives) pasta with red sauce, and garlic bread (all of which single-handedly solved our lettuce and bread problems).

Over dinner we talked about the Pirate festival happening in Portland next month (and how we need to go to it) because we just found out it doesn't actually conflict with our trip. We then proceeded to discuss the linguistics of the word "pirate-y". And how it sounds almost exactly like the word "party". And "parody". And "parrot-y".

Last night I went out with some friends of Justin's for trivia night at our favorite bar. Our team didn't do very well (4th place or so) but that's not what was funny about the evening. What was funny about the evening was when I pulled out my phone and the girl sitting next to me (Katie) goes, "I love your cell-phone case. It's like Harry Potter or something."

Now, knowing what you do of my life, this is not a strange comment for someone to make about me and/or something that belongs to me. However, my cell phone case is literally just black with silver stars on it. I had to bite my tongue to keep from crying from laughter and said only, "Thank you. You have no idea how right you are."

The other thing that was funny about the evening was the couch Justin and I found on the side of the road on our walk back home. Just a couch, just hanging out. In the dark; in the middle of the night. And the fact that we moved it directly onto the sidewalk. And then proceeded to realize it was a hide-a-bed. And that we then took it upon ourselves to make it into a bed. And then jumped on it. And then ran home laughing our heads off, because hide-a-beds are not stable enough for jumping, nor should they be in the middle of a city sidewalk.

I am having a really, really great summer, and I have really wonderful friends, and I am really thankful I have the life that I do. Thank you, each and every one of you, for contributing to that in the little ways that you do. :)

Last google search: "goodwill in seattle"
Chipotle burritos: 18

Monday, August 30, 2010

It could be a LOT worse.

I've seen a lot of tweets and Facebook updates this morning about people starting school.

It snuck up on me, really. I thought it would feel incredibly strange, you know, not school shopping or signing up for classes or any of that, but I didn't even realize summer was nearing its end yet. I'm still wearing shorts, walking around without a jacket on, and gearing up for my trip to the Bahamas next week (more on that later [like later this week]).

I guess I'm so far removed from the college life now (everyone I live with has graduated already) that it's not even on my radar. That's... bizarre. I thought it would feel weirder, but maybe it takes a little longer. For right now, I am still loving the post-collegiate life, and not really feeling nostalgic for books, school buses, pens or pencils of any kind.

And I have strawberry cheesecake on a plate right beside me. So, you know.

So I'm sitting upstairs with Eia, hanging out in my bedroom and looking up old female powerhouse pop hits from our youth, when I hear Paul come in the house downstairs. Justin's sitting in the living room and after closing the door behind him, Paul just stops dead in his tracks.

"What, no Buffy? What is this?"
Justin looks up from his work he's doing on his laptop looking incredibly proud. "See? SEE PAUL?"
He smirked. "It's like I walked into the wrong house or something."

I then storm down the stairs yelling, "Paul! Hey. I don't like your tone!"

He looks at me and says, "All I'm saying, is that my exgirlfriend started watching Buffy her sophomore year of college and actually stopped going to class. It happens."

"Paul, clearly I'm not going to let that happen. I don't even have class."

"That sounds like something an addict would say."

I hmph at him and retort, "I don't think you're viewing this situation correctly. You could be walking in on us snorting coke or something in the living room every day. It could be much worse."

"Yeah," Paul mused. "You could be watching 7th Heaven."

Now I am contemplating how to spend my evening, as I edited two videos today (that's twice as many as I set out to!) so I am hereby giving myself the night off when it comes to doing productive things. I also sold a bunch of my old books at Half Price Books (for $7 total, thanks a lot stupid store) and went to the bank.

Speaking of my bank, they of course did not fail to make me smile again today when I stopped in. After depositing my check, the guy that was helping me said, "Here is your receipt, and here is your lifesaver." Then he slid me a bright red lifesaver candy. Amazing. Guys. This bank. I can't even convey how much I love going there. Every time it's something new.

Question for today's comments section - what are some awesome goofy songs from your childhood? Eia and I are having a hard time thinking of any beyond, like, songs from Josie and the Pussycats or my Sailor Moon soundtrack.

Last google search: "cooking a baked potato in the microwave" <-- Yes, I am that lazy.
Chipotle burritos: 18

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rewind ten years.

Wow, I just realized how close we are to September. August has flown by, and I'm happy to say that blogging every day hasn't even begun to feel like a chore yet. But we have three days left here together in August, so let's make them count.

Speaking of chores, though, I decided to start cleaning out my room yesterday. I grew up as a complete packrat, saving any little thing that had even the most remote significance simply because I couldn't bare to throw it out. I've been teaching myself not to do that, but old habits die hard. Especially when it comes to books. I have a large bookshelf in my room that is positively overflowing with novels; stacked on top of each other, squeezed in open crevices; some old favorites and other still waiting to be read. Yesterday I forced myself to make a stack of about 20 books I either don't feel any real attachment to, or have had for over a year and know I will probably never actually read. It was difficult, man. And my shelves are still full, even without them.

My closet is a whole different story. I have a bookcase in there as well but it was mostly stuffed full of old school things. Notebooks, binders, textbooks - I can't even begin to explain how amazing it felt to throw that stuff out. The only things that are left now are my books on fiction writing, an atlas, and a few choice reads on the entertainment industry and communication.

Back when I asked for blogging topics on twitter, @aidanthejones wanted to know what I was like at 13. I'm turning 23 in a few months, so let's flash back about 10 years, shall we?

When I was 13, I was in 8th grade. I was still in middle school. I mean, I'm the same Kristina I've always been, but my hobbies and interests were a lot different than they are now, even though it kind of explains how I came to be who I am today. In some ways. Other parts are just confusing.

When I was 13, I was in track. I was never big on sports (especially team sports) but I liked track because it was something social (I thought track meets especially were really fun) but the actual competition was pretty individualized. You competed against other people, yes, but the real competition was with yourself. Improving your time, learning how to make yourself run faster. And as much as I suck at distance running, I was a pretty good sprinter. I was among the best in my grade for girls at the 200m, the 400m, and I was always on the top team for the relays. I don't even really remember what compelled me to do track in middle school (I only did it for 2 years), since it's so out of character for me, but it was a fun and different hobby while it lasted.

Also, I only read the Harry Potter books for the first time when I was 13, so a good portion of this year was spent in other ways. Before I read these books and got into the online fandom, I was much, much more into anime. I was an avid follower of Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Cardcaptor Sakura, Ah! My Goddess, Rayearth, and I spent a lot of my money trying to afford to buy the DVDs at Suncoast. I also was really into the Japanese style stationary and pens and erasers and things they sold at Morning Glory and Sanrio.

I also, surprisingly, liked to draw when I was about that age, because I loved the anime style so much. I was never very great at it. I usually ended up just drawing copies of pictures that already existed, of Sailor Scouts and of Sakura, mostly. I had a whole notebook of these drawings. My early fanfiction username had the word "Sakura" in it, actually. I'd forgotten that.

Age 13 is also when I first started taking Japanese in school. A bunch of my friends and I were all in it together and honestly, some of my best school memories were in that class. I was a wiz at the Japanese language too, and I wonder sometimes if Harry Potter hadn't taken over my life, if I would have headed in a much different direction, the one I seemed to be going in with my fascination with Japan and its culture.

My best friends at the time were a girl named Heather (also in Japanese with me and part of the group of friends that really liked anime) and a girl named Stephanie. Stephanie was super into the Beatles, and I spent a lot of that year listening to their music and learning all sorts of stuff about them that I'd never known before. I might even equate this to be when I actually started really getting into music, because it was at 13 that I started asking my parents if I could maybe get a guitar. I also still played flute in school; this was before I dropped out.

One of the most cohesive aspects of my friendships in middle school was that all of my friends were writers. I remember a group of four of us creating these characters and roleplaying with them online in a forum I made, until we had enough character development and plot to start writing stories around the characters. We bought four notebooks and each started with a chapter about our own character and then we'd switch, rotating in the same direction so we all were working on each others' stories.

What's funny is that while all my other friends forgot about those characters and that world, I actually used it to write my first NaNoWriMo novel back in 2006. And I am still thankful I had so many friends who were excited about writing in middle school, because I think it played a huge role in my thinking of writing as a fun activity, rather than a chore or something that's boring or solitary.

One thing I am not so proud of, though, is that I don't think I was always a very nice person when I was younger. I cared a lot about what people thought of me. I never had any desire to be popular per se, but I always wanted to at least make sure people didn't think I was a nerd (which is funny, because I clearly was a huge nerd). I liked to be in charge of things. I think I stepped on a lot of people when I was younger to make that happen.

It's interesting, being this far removed from my 13 year old self, to differentiate between how you want to remember yourself (obviously at 13 I thought I was always right) and how you realize now things actually were. I mean, I was a good kid. I didn't really get in any huge trouble when I was younger, at least not with my parents/principal/teachers. But I was a kid who had very specific ideas about how her world worked, what she wanted, and who was cool enough to share those things. I had a really hard time finding friends that thought enough like me, and found myself cycling through new people to hang out with nearly every year (with the exception of Heather, who stuck by my side through nearly everything).

I was definitely a girl who went through a lot of friend problems, and it took me until 11th grade (about age 16) to really find a group of people I melded well with (in drama club, which is why I became a theatre kid [though I did become drama club president so I guess I never stopped needing to be in charge of things]).

So to sum everything up, when I was 13 and in my pre-Harry Potter life, my time was spent mostly in concert band at school, in Japanese class, running track, writing stories with my friends, listening to the Beatles, or watching anime. I wasn't always courteous of other people's feelings. But I put myself on a track to find out who I was and where I belonged, and though it took awhile, I made it there eventually. I have always been a really driven person, but over the years I've learned how to use it for good and to help other people, rather than to just help myself. And reading Harry Potter (later on in the year) really helped me get there.

Last google search: "vindictus"
Chipotle burritos: 18

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Past and present fandom culture.

Hello and happy Saturday, blog readers!

I'm pointing out that it's Saturday not because I feel you aren't aware of what the date is, but because I am proud of myself for sharing that knowledge. I had a minor freakout yesterday when I was sitting on the couch and thought to myself, "is it Thursday or Friday? I just - wait. When was Wednesday? Yesterday, or two days ago? How have I not looked at a calender enough recently to know what day it is?!"

It was in fact Friday. I used to work at a theatre where I sold tickets to musicals and was constantly, constantly looking at calenders. Not having that job anymore (and being on a break from 5AG, to be honest), I'm never quite as sure what day of the week it is. But yesterday was the first day I actually had to look it up.

Even though it's still technically "summer break", I've been learning how to battle myself to stay motivated and productive with all my free time. And aside from the exorbitant amounts of Buffy-watching, I think I've been doing a pretty good job, and actually do keep myself relatively busy with all the little projects I take on. But I'll admit, it helps that even the things I have to do are kind of fun.

Working for ZAXY (and preparing for all the fun PAX stuff happening next week) is the first time that I've actually realized I might not be nerdy enough. Seriously, after all my years of Harry Potter and Anime and Wizard Rock and YouTube - I sit down for a G'Ovah podcast interview or look at the PAX scheduling and I feel like the new kid on campus. So a lot of my time is being spent researching nerd subcultures I've never been part of, and learning to change my chameleon skin to fit that of PAX West.

Watching Buffy, too - I now understand how people feel who are only just reading Harry Potter for the first time. I am almost finished with Season 4 of Buffy, and I just watched the 2 episodes where Faith comes back (sorry, kind of a spoiler) and I had this sort of sad realization that the Buffy fandom was probably a really awesome one to have been part of. I mean, granted, I was only 11 when Season 4 aired on TV, but I get emails from plenty of 11 year old wizard rock fans or nerdfighters. I'm sad that I missed being part of that world when it was happening.

I wonder how different it would have been though. I only just started using a computer when I was 11 - the types of ways we create internet fan culture now are so different than they were back then. Is there anyone who reads my blog that WAS part of that world and can tell me more about what it was like?

But I guess at the same time, this whole realization sort of gives me hope that there are always going to be great things to be part of. I mean, just looking at the timeline of stuff I was into - Sailor Moon, Pokémon, Harry Potter, YouTube, Doctor Who - there are no shortage of fandoms to be part of, so in a way it's kind of nice to see that people were doing this kind of stuff long before I was, and will most likely to continue to do so ... probably forever.

Anyway, Spike still cracks me up every time he's onscreen, Xander and Anya are the funniest together, Riley is kind of Vanilla for my taste but I suppose he's okay, and every time Willow and Tara talk to each other I want to rip my eyes out because it's so awkward and overtly sexualized in a weirdly innocent way. Also, every time I think I've pinpointed who the villain is this season, they die. I like college!Buffy; it's been nice for the change of scenery and the mix-up of everyone's role in the group/relationships.

I had a whole list of questions left over from people on twitter that I was going to answer today, but I got distracted on my fandom tangent, so I think I will just stop here for the day.

My friend Strawburry17 was just talking about Cardcaptor Sakura on twitter and it brought back this flood of memories from middle school (it was my favorite anime). She sent me a site where you can watch them all online, so I think that might be something I am doing in the near future.

Questions for today's comments section:
1. What's the earliest internet fandom you became involved in?
2. What's your favorite anime?

Last google search: "toonami"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Friday, August 27, 2010

How did he KNOW?

After two days of back to back depressing Kristina blogs, I am back with a little more skip in my step today. Sometimes you'll get in a bad mood, you'll stomp around, maybe slam a cupboard, but you know you're being ridiculous and that it's not really that bad. Sometimes, though, the world can be overwhelming in a lot of different ways, and you need to take a day or two to just let yourself deal with stuff. A little time can fix most things, is something I've learned in the past year or so. It really can.

So anyway, I'm back with my regularly scheduled programming of silly anecdotes, roommate woes, and funny stories.

Our new future roommate Johnny stopped by yesterday and I have no idea what to make of him. He plopped himself right down in our black papasan and talked a mile a minute for nearly an hour (while Justin and I had our most recent episode of Buffy on pause the entire time). In that time we found out he has an irrational fear of cream cheese, he went to a high school for aviation, doesn't eat salad and has tried soup once. In his life. He's tried soup one time in his life.

Though he did get us pretty good - I said to him, "You know Johnny, I'm not sure how this became a tradition but usually within the first week of someone new moving in we tend to get all the roommates together and go out partying."

He then informed us he's underage, so I said, "Okay, well, then we'll stay in partying," to which he said, "and yeah, actually I'm Mormon."

Justin and I just stared at him for a second, both completely lost for words, when he cracks up and says "just kidding!"

I guess you would have had to be there, but I can already tell living with this guy is going to be an experience. So we'll see.

I just realized how weird it is that he came to our house, told us all this stuff about himself, and now here I am transcribing that to thousands of strangers online. What if he doesn't want the world to know he's afraid of cream cheese? (He didn't hesitate to share the fact with us, so I'm doubting it's some incredible secret of his). But that's not the point! Here I am, saying my new room mate seems a little weird, but I'm totally weird too. He doesn't even know about my YouTube life yet. Though he did find out about ALL CAPS pretty much right away because I accidentally said "while I was on tour this summer" casually in a sentence. Oops.

He moves in next Wednesday, so expect more Johnny anecdotes in the near future. Justin will be pleased, haha; it will give him a break from being the main topic of my blog.

Speaking of watching Buffy; I'll admit, I have been watching anywhere from 1 to 4 episodes a day. But I also do a lot of other things with my day, such as writing, working on new songs, filming videos, running errands, hanging out with people, etc etc. But for some reason, our other room mate Paul only seems to come home when Justin and I are sitting on the couch watching Buffy. It's like clockwork. But a new disc in, Paul comes home.

It started out innocently. Paul would walk in and I would stop him in the entrance-way saying, "I promise, this isn't all we do." He would just shrug, smirk and continue into the kitchen.

The next day a simple call over my shoulder, "Really. I swear, we do more than sit here and watch this show!" Another shrug of the shoulders, another saunter into the kitchen.

Then I got a little more insistent, the next day. "You just have terrible timing! I was doing other stuff all day today, Paul!" "Whatever guys," he said back. "I know what I see."

Then I started getting frantic. The next time it happened I grabbed him and was like, "Listen, YOU. I can just feel you judging me. You may have just gotten home right now, but this is the first episode we watched today. This is your fault. I bet you wait outside all day until you hear the Buffy theme music and that's when you walk inside. This is a conspiracy!"

And last night, we finally got a brilliant idea. When I saw Paul coming up the front walk, Justin immediately paused Buffy, returned to regular TV, and flipped to something dumb like football. We both put on our innocent faces as Paul walked in, pretending to be totally invested in the game.

"Did you guys just pause Buffy and switch to something else when you saw me walk in? Smooth, guys," and into the kitchen he went.

"HOW DID HE KNOW?" Justin and I were baffled. It's hilarious, because we do watch a lot of Buffy, but not that much. Not as much as it looks like to Paul -- to Paul, we look like lifeless drones who never leave the couch. Really, though, he just has impeccable timing. And actually, he's been coming upstairs and joining us for the random episode here and there, so can he really judge? No. No he can't.

Anyway, these are the trials of having a lot of roommates. If nothing else, it makes for great blogging.

Last google search: "popason?" (had nooo idea how to spell that word)
Chipotle burritos: 17

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Numb. (no spoilers)

I literally just finished reading Mockingjay about five minutes ago. In a silly attempt to use this overflow of emotions as a chance to blog something really insightful and raw, I'm finding that it's proving difficult due to the absolute mind-numbing qualities of the book.

I liked it. I mean, I hated it, but for all the reasons Suzanne Collins wanted me to. I'm happy with how it ended. If you can even say that. There is so much death and destruction and breaking down of pure, innocent people to ever truly feel happy in the "I feel good" sense, but I am happy with the book in a "this speaks in volumes I never could imagine about how our world could turn out with the wrong people in power". I feel like this trilogy painted a really realistic and believable (and frightening) picture of a world simultaneously eons ahead of ours and yet not too different in nature.

My roommate just asked me, "Did you enjoy the book?"
Before I could even think about my answer I said, "No."
He stared at me and said, "What!? But you never stopped reading it! How was it bad?"
I said, "Oh, no, it was terrific. Brilliant. Wonderful. I just didn't enjoy reading it."

I don't think this book was meant to be enjoyed. I felt like I was suffocating while I read it. It wasn't funny, comedic, even uplifting really. It lacked so many of the qualities of the first two, in suspense, in the novelty of the love story. But this final book stripped that all down to the very bare bones of war, and it was so powerful and moving and a lesson on not giving up that it was the perfect ending to the series.

I am an avid reader; I've spent my life reading novel after novel after novel, but it's rare that a book leaves me feeling this disoriented, this empowered, this confused with my empty sense of what to do with myself until the emotions die down a little bit. But at the same time, this is why I love reading. This is why I love writing. The fact that human beings can craft images and messages with words, mere words, that can have such a powerful impact on people - that is truly a talent.

I have all sorts of other things I meant to be blogging about this week, but I can't seem to recall them right now because I am imagining children dying in the streets and grafts of replacement skin being rubbed raw from bodies and being engulfed by the horrifying scent of sewage mixed with roses. I think I will take a mental day off and return to normal blogging tomorrow. I didn't put any spoilers in my entry, but if you have finished the book (or started at all) feel free to tell me how it's affected you and what you thought in the comments.

Last google search: "kayak.com"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One of those days.

Having the most emotional of emotional days.

The trip I was going on (to Nashville, for the secret thing) ended up not happening. I was supposed to be flying there standby yesterday morning, and the flight looked open pretty much right up until I went to the airport. Then after an hour and a half of stressfully playing the waiting game, I got bumped. Simple as that. So here I am, still in Seattle, disappointed and distressed but trying trying not to dwell on it.

I still can't say why I was going, as there is a slight chance I could still... do it... You know, I'm just going to stop talking about it because it's unfair to be so secretive. Basically I'm not in Nashville, is the point of this whole thing, and it's hugely disappointing.

Because of my airline misfortunes I really had no time to read Mockingjay yesterday, so I've spent a large chunk of today lying in bed and reading. The internet has been kind to Hunger Games fans and thankfully I haven't been spoiled, as I am only halfway through.

It's hard to formulate thoughts about the book right now, because my head is such a jumbled mess of everything happening to these characters. I love the book, I hate the book, I have to just continue reading to keep from crying or throwing it or stopping reading altogether. I don't think I have ever read such an emotionally charged work of literature, or something with the ability to make me so uncomfortable, or to hate the human race so much. And that's saying something, as I've read a whole arsenal of books set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future meant to comment on the worthlessness of how we live our lives.

I've only stopped reading a few times, during which I have heard the news about the beautiful, inspirational Esther Earl passing away last night. Charged with the emotions of Mockingjay and getting bumped from my flight yesterday, I'll admit I lost it for a second. It's unfortunate that such an ugly, horrible disease could take someone so good and pure and brave from this world. And knowing that an entire community of people who never knew this little girl personally are mourning her together today; it's enough to make even the toughest person a little weepy.

So I'm having one of those days. I'm reading a reading a life-alteringly amazing (though brutally emotional) book, mourning the loss of a incredibly strong and inspiring nerdfighter, and wishing I was in Nashville like I've been planning for the last week. I'll see you tomorrow.

Last google search: ZomBCon
Chipotle burritos: 17

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mockingjay release party! (no spoilers)

You guys are very lucky that I am a determined blogger, because I would much, much rather be reading my copy of Mockingjay right now than typing this up.

I went to the release party at quaint little bookshop in Kayley's town last night. The party started at 11, and I would guess there were only 20-30 of us there. I was alright with that though, it made the experience less of a "get out of my way I need this book now, b*tch*" and more just fun.

I'm not sure if Mockingjay release parties across the globe were similar to ours, but the bookstore we went to had a very creative way of entertaining us while we waited for the clock to count down to midnight. They gave us each a scorecard and we had to go to each of the stations, practicing our area skills and getting scored.

First we went to the Archery station, where Eia managed to hit the pig with her dart twice, Kayley hit nothing, and in an attempt to defy the Capitol and shoot the apple, I accidentally hit a Gamekeeper in the face. So no points on that one for Kristina. Haha.

Next was poisonous plants. We had to correctly identify which plants (out of a collection of about eight placed in jars) were edible. The only one I recognized was the blackberry branch so I scored rather low in that one as well.

We headed back to the Cornucopia station next, where we were instructed to choose three items on slips of paper out of a bag and then convince the person running the station that we'd be able to kill someone with those items. I drew a brick, a pocketknife, and a kleenex. While first asserting that I'd gotten totally screwed, I then insisted I could drown someone by tying the brick to their ankle (with the kleenex) and throwing them in the lake. Let's just hope I don't actually get chosen as a tribute because that method is shaky at best.

The last station was rope-tying, and lucky for me, I just went sailing with Eia where she taught me all sort of crazy knots. So she and I swept that category, while Kayley stood confuses and frustrated with her un-tied rope.

With my final score of 7 (embarrassing) we we split into groups for the final event. Four tributes were chosen and the rest of us were now stylists for the Capitol. We were each given a box of random items to use to dress them for the chariot parade thing. We decided we were from District 4 and used this white netting to fashion a dress, used our rope-tying skills to make a lovely belt and scarf combo, made fish and seaweed out of old garden gloves and made the most elaborate looking boots I have ever seen out of a length of silver twine and some handkerchiefs.

Needless to say, our tribute (who was Eia) won the fashion show.

The activities were silly but we had a ton of fun; mostly because we always have fun with Kayley but moreso because it brought back all the nostalgia and joy of Harry Potter book release parties. Eia and I both won "survival handbooks" in the raffle (in case we need to know how to survive the Games) and Kayley won two mockingjay keychains. Then at 12:01 we got our books and headed home.

Now I am scrambling to read as much as I can before I have to leave for the airport around noon. I am so excited to read this book; I only got to page 15 last night before falling asleep.

As always, the race to read it before anyone spoils anything commences! May the odds be ever in your favor!

Last google search: "chrono trigger"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Monday, August 23, 2010

You are a dinosaur!

As my friend and ex-roommate PJ has moved out of our place to live with her boyfriend, we've spent the last few weeks showing the empty room to potential new tenants. It's always a strange experience, when you're the one who happens to be home when the doorbell rings, because while you're showing the empty room and answering questions about the house, the neighborhood and the experience of living here, what you're really doing is sizing each other up. Imagining a future in which you live together and deciding whether or not that image is working in your mind.

Anyway, after showing the room to a whole plethora of different personality types, a boy named Johnny has decided to move in. When he came by to look at the room, both Justin and I were home, and while we only spoke for a few minutes, he seemed generally agreeable, fun, but not too needy or expectant of partying and/or roommate bonding time. We do spend a lot of time together in our house (hanging out in the living room, going out together for drinks), but we're still all the sort of people who need our down time, without other people bringing their friends and their kegs into the living room and demanding you do as many shots as you can while standing on your head in the time it takes everyone else to sing the national anthem.

I have no idea if that's what people actually do at keg parties, haha, I've never been to one. Basically Johnny seems like a solid dude, but you never know about new roommates. So we'll see how things go, as he moves in just over a week from now.

I asked people on twitter today for blogging topic suggestions, so I am going to hit a few of those right now.

@jrg1990 asked me about the Hunger Games. As the newest (and final) book in the saga comes out this evening at midnight, I suppose I can talk about it. It's funny, because people always tell me they read Harry Potter or found 5AG or the vlogbrothers or my videos at a hard time in their lives and it helped them get through it -- I never fully appreciated that experience until it happened to me. Last summer, as those of you who've been reading my blog that long know, was kind of a tough one for me. I was a girl with starry-eyed dreams of the future, and when things didn't turn out the way I expected them to, I spent a very long time feeling trapped and alone in a foreign place, cut off from the people I know could have made that experience easier for me.

Ever the bookworm, I instead turned to "Waterstone's" for support. It was in the UK where I first read the Hunger Games, and reading about Katniss' terrible fortune, her struggle in the arena, her mishaps with the Capitol; all of those things were so much worse than my predicament that I was completely able to lose myself in the story. The books are so enthralling that they made a lot of my hurt go away, and replaced it with a burning appreciation for how affecting literature can be.

Anyway, the point is I have been waiting a long time for this book, and I am so, so excited to read it. I haven't felt this way about a book since Harry Potter, and the added thrill of knowing I am going to a midnight release party brings back some of that excitement from my HP book release days. And that is a feeling I never thought I would get back, after Deathly Hallows. The whole experience of Mockingjay coming out is such a mix of excitement, nostalgia, gratitude and sentimentality. I can't wait.

@JustinTime6323 asked me about music. For someone who is in more than one band, I realized I don't actually talk about music or my favorite bands very often.

I have had a lot of people in my life (friends, exboyfriends, people online) that influenced my music tastes, and I have never been one to say "that band isn't cool anymore" or "I'm so sick of that band". I hold most of my favorites dear, even if I discovered them years ago.

Bands that have been with me for a while but are still among my favorites are Rilo Kiley, Eisley, Muse, Sondre Lerche, Kings of Convenience, Sigur Ros, Paramore, No Doubt, Regina Spektor, Tilly and the Wall, Muse, Metric, Owl City, The Blow, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., The Shins, the Postal Service, Feist, the Hush Sound and the Format.

As for music I have been listening to and/or discovered more recently (like in the last year), I would say Ingrid Michaelson (I have been listening to song from her album "Everybody" pretty much every morning while I get ready for the day), the Tings Tings, Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Greg Holden, Imogen Heap, Jason Mraz, Hey Monday, and La Roux.

And I'm going to go ahead and throw Ke$ha in here, because even though most people hate her, I think her songs are (mostly) hilarious. She has a whole song about accusing someone of being a dinosaur, guys. I'm aware she means an old man hitting on her, but I prefer to imagine she means the literal definition.

I also really like soundtracks. I love the Across the Universe soundtrack probably more than any other soundtrack in existence, but other favorites include Prince Caspian, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Juno, Josie and the Pussycats, and nothing could ever really top my age-old love affair with the A Walk to Remember soundtrack. Or the music from Pokémon. And a lot of my favorite musicals.

I'll save the rest of your blogging suggestions for tomorrow, because I need to go meet my friend Karly for Thai food right now! Let me know if we like any of the same bands, or if you know of any I might enjoy based on my collection of favorites. :)

Last google search: "ruffled ascot"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pass the honey mead!

Ahhhh. I am so tired.

I went from sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag for just a few hours on Friday, to sleeping in a tent on a floaty pool raft in a sleeping bag for just a few hours on Saturday, with incredible amounts of junkfood-eating, bodice-wearing, uncomfortable-shoe-walking, party-having, dusty, camping fun in between.

The Renaissance Faire was awesome, as always. We set up our tent in the middle of the camping grounds, put our canopy beside it, donned our medieval garb and headed over to the grounds mid Saturday afternoon. I am not ashamed to admit that I spent most of the first day shopping. I'm really not. The best part of the Faire, as I was telling Eia and Liz today, is that it's literally just like normal fairs (the vendors, the fried food, the drinking, the parties, etc.) only we do it all while simultaneously playing dress-up. So yes, world; all you prying and judgmental eyes: I DID spend $50 on a new black and gold patterned bodice. And I like it. Because it's form fitting. And my other ones were too big. So there.

And I did buy a new claddagh ring. And a lather satchel for my belt. And a pickle, from the pickle wench. And a turkey leg.

So, we had a blast. Serendipitous as it may be, a campful of boys pitched their tent right beside ours, and we had a great time hanging out with them after we'd come back from the grounds. We spent most of the night trying to remember exactly how many people in the group were named Tyler, finishing off the obscene amounts of honey mead everyone seemed to be purchasing, giving each other code names (examples being Harriet the Spy, Nighthawk, Agent Cody Banks, The Slayer, Iceman and Theodore Roosevelt) and wearing 3D sunglasses (in the dark) with all of our period appropriate outfits.

This was the first year I was actually over 21 while attending the Faire, so I got to see what all the fuss was about at the Tavern parties I've been hearing about for years -- it was pretty much like any other party, except we were closer to the source of the alcohol and there was a little wooden fence around us keeping out the minors. We still sang Disney songs at the top of our lungs (which actually attracted new friends rather than drove other tavern-goers away, surprisingly) and only half our group even remembered taking the shuttle back to our camp in the morning (I was among the remembering, for the record).

Highlights from today (the second day of Faire) included: eating a delicious crepe for breakfast that made me feel like I was back in Paris, witnessing a tiny little girl in a fairy costume wearing a helmet and totally taking down a grown Barbarian with a foam mace, seeing a cat with wings, seeing a dog in a masquerade mask, buying a wand holster, and seeing incredibly attractive equestrian men with long ponytails and no shirts do backflips while standing up on a moving horse.

The Renaissance Faire is one of my favorite times of the year. I had so much fun with all my friends that came with me, and I love how just going always ensures you'll make new friends. We left today about an hour before closing, and I can't even tell you how wonderful my hot shower felt after two straight days of dirt/dust. But I already can't wait until next year.

Now I am absolutely burnt out and plan to spend the rest of my evening on the couch watching Buffy.

Last google search: "shoulder cat"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Slumber party.

I am currently at a sleepover party with my friends and fellow bloggers, Tara and Brittney. It's past one in the morning now, and it occurred to me that I wont have any time to blog tomorrow as I will be waking up early, driving home from Tara's house, donning my Renaissance garb and heading out to the Faire for the weekend. So here I am, clicking away on Tara's laptop while the other two play Dead Space: Extraction.

The two girls I'm hanging out with are my fellow zaxy.com writers, and since we all live here in Seattle, we've decided to make these sleepovers a monthly thing (to hang out, film videos together, and continue to expose each other to even more awesome geek stuff). We're past the age where sleepovers are a normal occurrence, so we're taking it upon ourselves to change that in the name of nerd-dom and blogging. Plus, our guys friends are having a LAN party, so what better way to combat that?

Already tonight we've recorded an interview for the G-ovah! podcast, looked over the PAX West schedule and highlighted what panels we want to go to in those scented Mr. Sketch markers, bought candy at the nearby gas station, played Just Dance on the wii, watched a children's choir sing the song from Portal on YouTube, and Tara taught me how to play Puzzle Quest.

Also, Tara terrified Brittney and I by making us watch a Chatroulette ad for the new Exorcist film, confirming that neither of us will sleep tonight. We were hiding behind our drink glasses, and I definitely heard Brittney yelp "hold me!" at one point.

I'm going to be doing a lot of really exciting things with Zaxy in the future, so it's been fun getting to know Brittany and Tara better. I spent most of my life hanging out with boys because I thought in general, "boy stuff" was more fun in a recreational way (like video games, explosions, playing outside) than "girl stuff" (makeup, dolls, playing house) -- so it's always fun for me to meet girls who are the exact same way. Even though Tara lent me a pair of her high heels today, but that's another story.

They've been educating me on PAX, since I've never really been to a conference outside the HP ones and VidCon/YouTube Live. I've been looking over the panels, but I still really have no idea what to expect. It will be a whole new experience for me.

I'm a little jealous of all the zero-gravity and shooting and radiation happening over on the TV screen without me, so I'm going to end this post here. Thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's post - I know it was long, but it was a story I'd been thinking about and was meaning to type up for awhile now, and I'm glad so many people enjoyed reading it.

Last google search (on Tara's computer): "Arianna the Just Dance Girl"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Friday, August 20, 2010

A brief history of the Internet (for Kristina).

Alright, as I have already said too much about what I'm doing next week (many of you have jumped to a conclusion far, far more exciting than what's actually happening) I am going to switch gears and do something completely different for today's BEDA post.

Yesterday I went to that meeting for the PDX Zine Symposium (the one where Kayley and I are speaking on a panel) and we had a long chat with the other three guys about social media and our histories with it/using it/how it's impacted our lives.

It got me thinking that my usage of social media didn't just start with YouTube - it goes way, way back to when I first got a computer. I've been utilizing the tools of the Internet before I even realized how beneficial it could be to my life. So today, I will tell you my story.


We got our family computer when I was a child. I don't remember exactly when that was, but I'm assuming it was something like age 8 or 9. When my parents first hooked it up, I was pretty apathetic. I played Ski Free, I drew things in paint, I had my Barbie Fashion Show computer game, but beyond that, I preferred a good Babysitter's Club book over the computer any day.

It wasn't until we got AOL that I started to realize the computer was a communication tool. I found chat rooms geared toward kids, I made friends with people in a chat room for aspiring child writers, I started to add friends from school onto my "buddy list".

As more and more of my friends at school starting using computers, I remember some time in 6th grade, when I was 11 years old, we all found out about Neopets. Each one of us made an account, and we'd play - during lunch, after school, at home on our family computers. We made guilds, we played games, we competed over who could earn more neopoints - all the while beginning to develop a sort of online community, even though we saw each other every day at school.

The next year, when I was 12 and the cool-ness of Neopets was dying down, I remember we discovered the world of blogging. Though we didn't know it was called blogging at the time. The first site we used was teenopendiary.com, a very regulated, hard to customize site where many of us complained about our lives, our friends, our families; all in a public setting for everyone else to read and comment on and talk about behind each other's backs at school. Then the site went under, deleting all our posts without warning, causing us to switch to diaryland.com. This site operated much more like a personal website, with skins that made everyone's personal diary look as unique as they wanted. And though this site never deleted itself on us, it too faded in coolness and within a year we'd all switched to Xanga.com. By the time we hit Xanga, we had a little better idea of what should be posted publicly on the internet and what shouldn't, but this was still during Middle School, and 13-14 year old minds don't operate under the same rules of discretion as older ones do. I can remember countless fights happening during these years of my life with my school friends over what someone posted about someone else in their blog.

All the while, I was still fascinated by the sheer amount of opportunity on the Internet. When most kids were worried about being popular at school, I was trying to find ways to fit in online. Backing up a little bit, I remember my friend Lis had showed me my first of work fanfiction ("Royal Flush", it was about Sailor Moon) at age 12. From there I found Fanfiction.net, a site with amateur works about literally anything your heart desired. I rooted around until I found Harry Potter fanfiction. From there I developed a fascination with pieces about Draco Malfoy, which soon turned into a passion for Draco/Ginny. I read hundreds of fanfiction (which is also to blame for why I read nothing but Harry Potter for nearly 3 years of my life). Because of my love of the D/G ship, I started a Yahoo Group about them, joined up at various other fanfiction hubs (Fictionalley and Portkey.org) and sooner or later became a site moderator for Portkey. It was here that I started to build real friendships with people who were passionate about the same things as I was.

On Portkey I met my good friends Crystal and Daniela. We were all moderators on the D/G side of Portkey and together worked on many different writing projects (including a huge undertaking where we planned to rewrite the entire HP series from Draco's POV, which never actually happened). But when I realized the D/G community was too small for me, I branched out, finding a particularly active thread on the site called "Wonky". I discovered it because I saw someone posting there whose info claimed he went to the same high school as me. My curiosity got the better of me and I private messaged him, asking if we really were neighbors and what Wonky was all about. Turns out we were about 3 years apart in school, and that Wonky was a thread that had started between a few people that seemed to never die, and so it was given a name and got its own moderators, and became a sort of exclusive safe-haven for people on Portkey to "belong" to, to talk about things other than Harry Potter with a group of HP fans that would never judge them. It became a little eclectic family, right there in the Portkey.org forums.

My friends from Wonky also encouraged me to start a LiveJournal account, because even though I still actively used my Xanga (it was still cool with my school friends) LiveJournal catered much more to creating communities, easily following your friends' updates, and of course implemented the popular "LJ icon" to which we were all so fond. So I switched.

It was shortly after I started the Yahoo Group that my good friend Adrian excitedly sent me a link to the band "Harry and the Potters". I fell in instant love, and was even more thrilled when he got me their first CD for my birthday. That summer (of 2004) they toured the country and Brittany and I (among a whole slew of our other friends) were first in line to see them play in Seattle. It was around this time as well that we decided it would be funny to start our own little Harry Potter themed band, only we'd sing about evil things rather than about love and bravery like the boys. We pitched this idea to Paul and Joe and they encouraged us to keep writing music. So we did. And we put our songs on Myspace.

It feels like everything was such a blur after starting the Parselmouths. We recorded a few songs, we saw Harry the Potters play a few more times, we got to meet Draco and the Malfoys (Brian and Brad really inspired us to record an album), we found out about the Remus Lupins (and met Alex Carpenter), the Moaning Myrtles (I started emailing with Lauren Fairweather) the Whomping Willows (Matt Maggiacomo invited us to come play our first show in New York in early 2007). We also submitted a Christmas song to the first Wizard Rock collab album in late 2006. Shortly after our New York show (where we met even more Wizard Rockers and fans and people in the community) we were asked to play at Phoenix Rising, which led us to attending our first Harry Potter conference at age 19.

But even though wizard rock was taking off in a very exciting way, that didn't stop me from finding even more avenues to express myself online. In late 2005/early 2006, my friends Liz and Miranda (from high school) were just starting to get involved in stock photography. They showed me there was this whole community on Deviantart.com where various amateur photographers/models would post their unedited pictures for other artists to use and manipulate to practice their own art. I knew it was something I would love, so I grabbed my aspiring photographer friend Justin (not my room mate, the other one) and we spent the next two years going to different locations with trunkfuls of costumes. Before long I had a huge gallery of stock photos on the site, and hundreds, then thousands of people started using them. My likeness appeared in sketches, paintings, vector art, on t-shirts, in school art projects, you name it, my stock was probably used for it. Liz and I met so many people in the stock community - I started going to the stock model chat rooms, we held contests on the site, and all the while it never even occurred to me that I'd managed to find yet another close-knit internet community, just by following my passions.

Wizard rock was exploding - we put out our first album which I sold out of my bedroom through paypal. I used to pack up the albums and take them to the post office myself. My return address labels had a little snake on them. We were getting asked to play more shows, being interviewed for newspapers, local television spots, MTV - and yet, I still needed more to do.

One day I was talking to Lauren and she showed me a video made by Bre Bishop (ifancythetrio) in which she lip-synced to "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley and made it about the HP fandom -- and I knew instantly - I wanted to do that. Not lipsync videos, per se, but making videos on YouTube. So I did. I made a channel, I started filming myself in my bedroom - talking, singing, dancing, footage from various wizard rock trips - and then, in a missxrojas video, I found the vlogbrothers. I started watching Brotherhood 2.0 and became involved in that first year's Project4Awesome (Liz and I made a video together, coining the nerdfighter notes by hiding them in John's books in our local library). One of the brothers liked our video enough to feature it in an email during the P4A, and I honestly credit that as when I "made it" on YouTube. I knew I had the support of the vlogbrothers, and from there people just seemed to keep finding my channel.

Meanwhile, I knew a fanfiction author who had written a blog about this writing project called Nanowrimo, and after a year of wondering what it was and if I should have done it, I finally signed up in 2006. It became a huge topic for me to discuss on YouTube, and through it I met a lot of other writers on the video blogging site. This is how I started talking to hayleyghoover, one of my best online friends and internet collaborators.

When the vlogbrothers completed their first year of daily videos, being ever the inventive one, I took it upon myself to create a spin-off channel. I called up Lauren and together, we chose Kayley, Hayley and Liane to fill our our 5-day week and started fiveawesomegirls. We truly thought no one would really care all that much about our videos, aside from maybe our friends, so when we got around 10,000 subscribers just in the first few weeks, we were shocked. Fiveawesomegirls really brought the five of us to where we are today - through it we met so many of our other friends on YouTube, whether they were on another fiveaweome channel or making responses to our videos.

It was once I started gaining a following on YouTube that I started utilizing sites like facebook, twitter, and dailybooth as additional ways to interact with not only fans, but my other friends who lived far away. Everything started to snowball from there. I hosted BlogTV shows, I got a smartphone and started doing twitpics nearly every day to better chronicle my life, and grew accustomed to never leaving home without a camera. I "auditioned for" and got to participate in the Fiesta Movement, and met a ton of people through that as well. The final blog switch, also, came about in late 2008 when I realized most YouTubers were making their home on blogger.com. That explains why I am here, posting religiously on this site.

I met loads more YouTubers when I attended YouTube Live (my first big event that wasn't HP-related), and in the background, Wizard Rock was still a huge, dominating element in my life. I started trying to change my "image" from italktosnakes, the Harry Potter girl, to "ohheykristina" - a more generalized version of who I wanted to portray online. I wanted to start a "Kristina Horner" brand, as lame as that sounds.

This story almost brings us up to date, aside from the biggest force I think of any of my Internet endeavors, which I would say has been ALL CAPS. Luke and I had always worked well on music together - I've helped with more than a few Ministry of Magic songs, and he helped produce the most recent Parselmouths album. So when he suggested we write some songs together that weren't about Harry Potter, just for fun, I was more than happy to oblige. Our first few songs (the zombie songs, Mrs. Nerimon) were kind of testing the waters, and when we got such a positive response, we decided to write a whole album. We recorded and released "Songs in the Key of Email" without telling any of our friends we were doing it, and were literally knocked on our behinds over how much people seemed to like it.

After being signed to DFTBA, releasing our second full-length album, going on a nation-wide tour, and seeing our name climb the charts on iTunes, I can safely admit I never saw it coming.

I never saw any of it coming. I didn't create stock with the dream of seeing my face on shirts in legit shops in Spain, or on a tee of the day on Teefury.com; I never dreamed MTV would give a crap about Wizard Rock. I made videos because I thought Bre looked like she was having a ton of fun, not because I expected 57,000 people to want to know what I'm up to on any given day. I used to blog solely to say mean things online about my friends in middle school and complain about how unfair life is for a 13 year old girl, not to share the intimate details of my day to day life with strangers. And ALL CAPS was a project between a friend and I, writing songs about zombies because we thought it was funny, not because we ever expected our album to place with Owl City's in rank.

Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve any of this. Sometimes I wonder if I drank a whole gallon of Felix Felicis as a child and it still hasn't worn off, because it feels like every choice I made seemed to be the right one. I have been so damn lucky, with almost every endeavor I set out to do. But looking back over my life, over my internet history - I have been working hard for 10 years, never stopping once. If something wasn't cool anymore, I moved on. If there was an exciting new opportunity, I took it.

It's funny, too, because my parents used to really get on my case about how much time I spent on my computer. I got my own desktop when I was 14, and my mom used to go crazy over the amount of time I'd spend alone in my bedroom. I don't know what she thought I was doing (probably just wasting time, in her mind) but I always assured her I was "working on something really important". And now, after all this time, and showing them what I've accomplished, having them come to my shows and see me on MTV and ride around in my Fiesta; they finally believe me.

So that's all I did. This was how it happened. There was no magic spell or generous handout or cool kids club I got a membership to - I just became obsessed with social media and the opportunities of the Internet at a very young age and over the years let it consume me, in a good way. And I feel like I owe so much of it to every person I encountered every step of the way.

So thank you. For being here, for supporting me, for anything you may have done at any point in my journey that encouraged me to keep going. You're the reason I'm still here.

Last google search: "gnarls barkley" (I had no idea how to spell that)
Chipotle burritos: 17

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The woe of the retag.

Well, I am definitely going to Nashville next week. I'll be gone Tuesday through Friday. When a trip just comes up like that, out of nowhere, and you'd planned on spending the week reading, working on music, and watching Buffy - suddenly there are a lot more things that need to be done in preparation. I've been making lists and running errands pretty much constantly since I found out I was going, and today is no exception.

Luckily while I am in Tennessee I am going to be staying with my cousin rather than some crappy hotel; the cousin who just got married. I'm looking forward to some quality time with him, as well as some quality time with his friend Kathy's brand new outdoor swimming pool, which has already been offered to me for my use.

I still can't tell you why I am going, unfortunately, but I will say this - I know a few of you may have already guessed it, and also, like, can you guys cross your fingers for me? Okay, that's ALL I AM SAYING.

Haha. Justin just walked in my room (it's only 9 AM) with a box of Krispy Kreme donuts in hand and said, "Sorry, I ate all the jellies." We have been watching way, way too much Buffy.

Speaking of Buffy, I just watched the episode "Enemies", and I think it's definitely now one of my favorite ones. Again, I don't want to spoil anyone, but let's just say I was highly impressed by Angel's acting skills. Also, I totally called it. I also loved the episode "The Zeppo", the one that details Xander's crazy night that he never tells anyone about. The plot element used, where everyone else keeps mentioning it was "the worst monster yet" and we don't actually know what they're facing, but get to experience Xander's entire parallel crazy night - I thought it was brilliant. And comical, in the best way.

I know a lot of people warned me that Buffy starts off really cheesy and gets better later on, and I think I am definitely getting to the good episodes, because I have been blown away by Season 3. But then again, I liked all the episodes, right from the start.

I also loved the throwaway line that Oz said in his second or third appearance, about his hair: "It changes sometimes." I've been cracking up every time we see him and it's dyed bright blond, black, brown; no explanation or even mention of why. What a silly show.

I spent this morning going through my old writing from college. I took a fiction writing class and have a folder full of little stories, so I was weeding through to see if there was anything worth keeping. I was expecting to just toss them all, but surprisingly I found a good handful that I moved into a new folder called "Work on Later". Nothing to show yet, but maybe if I do a little work on some of them, I'll post them here like I did with the Mirror Girl story.

As for today, I have a meeting in a few hours, have to go to Kinko's to make some copies, and might work on another one of my tour vlog videos. I have a lot of footage left to sort through, and haven't looked at any of it in over a week.

Oh, and to "katie", who asked me if I was on the 70 bus around 1 yesterday: I actually wasn't, sorry! It's not one of the lines that goes to my house, though it's close! I used to have a bus pass since I was a student at UW. Since I graduated it's expired, though, so you wont find me riding the buses very often anymore.

Okay, can I rant for a second? I love when people tag facebook pictures from shows, or events, or gatherings, or parties, you know, all the fun places we go and photos are taken. And I'll admit, it's a little annoying when I come home and find 200 tagged pictures all of the same show: many dark, the flash focused on a random crowd member's head rather than the stage, each one relatively similar to the last. It's fine though. I keep the good ones, I untag myself from the bad. No big deal.

What I hate, though, is when people see that I've untagged myself, and take it upon themselves to re-tag me in the same fuzzy, pixelated picture I already removed once.

I already have over 3,000 tagged pictures due to all of the conferences, shows, etc. that I've been to in the last few years, with no hope of ever finding anything older than a month or two, but to have to remove pictures more than once? Rant rant rant.

I do realize that some human beings on this planet don't have food or water and here I am complaining about facebook pictures, but I really wish more of the human race could look at a picture and tell if it should be posted or not.

In happier, more upbeat news, check this out: the Parselmouths were mentioned in an article on Sparknotes! If that's not success, I don't know what is. xD

Last google search: Kinko's
Chipotle burritos: 17

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Once a non-football fan, always a non-football fan.

Haha, looking back over yesterday's post made me giggle; it was pretty apparent how badly I wanted to get off my computer and into the sun. I don't think I have ever written a more hurried and nonsensical blog entry, good mood or no. But look!

The weather was beautiful, the lake was calm, and the tubing was great. My dad drove the boat around Lake Sammamish while Justin, Eia, my brother and I took turns out on the tube. There are few summer activities I like doing more than going tubing, but I always forget about how sore it makes you the next day. I've been doing errands all morning, which hardly makes anyone break a sweat usually, but my legs are creaky, my shoulders ache, and my back is sore in places I don't think I've ever been sore before.

Last night when we were driving home from the lake, my brother put down the little sun visor and started trying to read the airbag instructions to us in another language (you know, how there is usually a second language printed on instructions after the English). After a minute, he goes, "Wow. I used to be able to read Spanish words perfectly after taking it in school. I really have forgotten everything already."

Eia stifled her giggles before saying, "Nick, that's French."

Justin has been watching the Brett Favre press conference all morning, so despite my complete lack of interest, I find myself pretty up to speed on his continued on-again-off-again retirement news. Being the daughter of a Seahawks Season Ticket holder (otherwise known as the father who will forever be disappointed I failed to inherit his love of pigskin) I decided it would be funny to send him a text message about it pretending I actually care.

"I can't believe Brett Favre is back again!" I sent to him earlier today.
He wasn't fooled. He immediately sent me back, "Are you OK?"

My father knows me too well. Of course he's assume I'm hallucinating or sick before he'd believe I know anything about football. He did, though, tell me to try it on my uncle (who also has season tickets, right next to his).

So I tried again, on my dear uncle Dale. "Can you believe Brett Favre? Make up your mind already, sheesh!"
Dale writes back nearly as quickly, "Ya, WTF. I agree!!"

Then a few minutes later I get another one from him. "Wait. Is this Tina? Have you turned over a new leaf?"

I can't trick anybody around here!

Monday night was the Season 6 premiere of Weeds. Eia and I have both been so excited for the show to start up again; we started watching the series together while we were in Italy last summer, because I had the first season saved on my laptop. Then we both barreled through the entire five seasons that were already out, now eagerly anticipating new episodes.

The premiere was really weird. Half hour episodes feel so short now for a drama, after watching so much Buffy this month. I mean, I hadn't forgotten that Weeds is a really strange show the way it is, but it's going to take some getting used to, watching it week by week. I think while I was catching up I never watched less than 3 episodes at a time.

Anyway I don't want to give any spoilers in my post, but you should tell me in the comments what you thought of the premiere if you're a Weeds fan. If you're NOT a Weeds fan, then... um... tell me what your favorite Nickelodeon Game Show was. I read this awesome article today and it made me so nostalgic.

Last google search: euro to dollar conversion
Chipotle burritos: 17

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy beautiful sunshine wonderful day.

Last night there was a Ren and Stimpy MARATHON on Nicktoons. A marathon, guys. So my roommates and I poured ourselves some wine and settled in for a few hours of some very intense TV watching, determined to watch as much of this show as we could handle.

I think we made it about three episodes, and I could have kept going, if I hadn't been falling asleep. And after three episodes, I still can't decide what my final opinion is on the show, watching it at age 22. I remember saying "what is going on?!" a few more times than I normally do while watching TV, but we also were laughing our heads off just as frequently. So we'll see. Final Ren and Stimpy judgement forthcoming.

So, as you may have read on Kayley or Hayley's respective blogs, fiveawesomegirls is taking a month long hiatus called "5AG Summer Break!" I know it seems sudden, after mentioning that we already had a theme picked out for this week in yesterday's blog post, but we all had a long chat yesterday afternoon. We decided it was better to give ourselves a little time off, to figure out how to continue to make upbeat and exciting videos for the remainder of the year, rather than force out creativity week after week when we're kind of not feeling it.

I'm hoping this will be a really good thing for us. That we'll come back refreshed and ready to start making videos again. Because the people who watch our videos deserve that.

There is something potentially HUGE happening in my life right now (I actually just found out about it around an hour ago), but I am not allowed to tell you anything yet. But just know that it involves possibly flying to Nashville next week, and if I could, I would be gushing all about it here on my blog. So stay tuned for exciting news in the near future.

Today has consisted of driving Justin to his job so he can drop off some papers (because his car has broken down again), aforementioned awesome news thing, eating leftover mexican food, and now I am just killing time in my living room until it's 1 o'clock. At which point I will go upstairs, put on my bright orange bathing suit, and drive over to the lake with Eia and Justin to meet up with my dad and brother to go tubing in our boat. This is such a great summer.

Not to mention I had a really great chat with Hayley yesterday (and John Green, being inappropriate, for parts of it) and the two of us are scheming again. I love when we scheme. It makes me feel all motivated and happy to know there is another person in this world who thinks so similarly to me and loves doing so many of the same things as I do. And who loves food as much as me. That's not really relevant though.

It's sunny and gorgeous and beautiful in the world today, so I'm going to go enjoy it!

This post is rather rushed, today, I'm aware, but there are more important things to do today than writing blogs - like boating! Goodbye!

Question for today: Tell me in the comments about the last time you were in such a good mood it made you goofy, and what caused you to be so happy.

Last google search: "alaska cruise" (what, I was just curious how much it costs)
Chipotle burritos: 17

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's better than bad, it's good.

Yesterday while we were out sailing, there was a good stretch of time when there was no wind to be found and we were left just bobbing around in Puget Sound, searching desperately for a breeze.

Eia told me that when out on a sailboat, your mood tends to match what's happening with the weather. If the wind picks up and you're cruising along, you're happy, carefree. If the weather turns sour, everyone gets moody. But if the sky is blue, the sun is streaming down, and there is just no wind to be had - everyone starts to go a little crazy.

And she was right.

We passed this log in our travels that was knotted on one end and just floating along in the sound, a seagull perched upon the end like it belonged there; I remember turning to Eia and saying "I bet he's the mayor of that log." This is a reference to the new(ish) social media tool called foursquare, if you aren't familiar with the terminology.

The idea, for those of you playing along at home, is that if you check into certain locations (actual locations, like the movie theatre or grocery store) more than anybody else, you gain "mayorship" of that place. You have to check in at least twice to become the mayor of a place, so we considered adding the log as a venue on the server and sailing by it a few more times to check in and… usurp the seagull… who has neither a cell phone nor thumbs nor any working knowledge of what foursquare even is… because he's a bird...

Also foursquare works on GPS locations, so adding a piece of driftwood as a venue makes absolutely no sense. It was a hot day, okay?

Anyway, the point of this story at all was that at some point in the day we started talking about old cartoons, and Eia's dad mentioned something about how much he hated Ren and Stimpy. Eia and I instantly both recoiled, insisting that "we loved that show!", but then we stopped.

Neither of us could remember anything about it, aside from the horribly disgusting looking animation (we seemed to recall that Ren's eyes always looked like he was stoned), something about leaving your hair from shaving in the sink for some holiday Yak, and the log song. ("It's log, It's log; it's better than bad, it's good!") After a few minutes of musing, we both said, "Why DID we love that show?"

And upon further introspection, I realized I never loved Ren and Stimpy. I actually hated most parts of it, because it was gross and didn't make a whole lot sense. But it was on TV at a time where in my young, pre-adolescent confusion, I assumed that cartoon = kid's show. It was a cartoon! It must be made for me! Therefore I should watch it! Every day!

This is exactly the same logic I used when I got mad at my dad for covering my eyes during Itchy and Scratchy. "Bart and Lisa get to watch it, it's not fair!" I used to say to him. "We're like the same age!"

We mostly forgot about Ren and Stimpy for the rest of the day (except for singing the log song every time we passed a piece of floating driftwood) until much, much later last night. I was upstairs, getting ready for bed and still generally complaining to Justin about how hot it was, when I heard Eia's voice from down in the living room. "Tina! Come down here right now! Ren and Stimpy is on!"

The timing could not have been better. It was playing at 1 am on that Nicktoons channel, so she and I spent the next half an hour reliving the cartoon we're not sure why either of us ever watched in the first place. It was weird, too. Really weird. Even weirder than I remembered. But I did find myself chuckling at some parts, especially the fake in-show commercials, so I suppose the show wasn't all bad. I think we're going to try to find it on TV again tonight.

Now it's Monday and I have to figure out what to make a tutorial about for fiveawesomegirls. It's how-to week, and I am lacking for ideas. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

If not, then you should tell me what shows you watched as a kid that, looking back, you have no idea why you watched it.

Last google search: "the log song"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In a word, it's hot.

I almost didn't realize I hadn't blogged yet today; I'm so used to writing these posts in the morning now that I didn't think of it at all when I got home this afternoon. So now it's nearly 10 pm and I am sitting in my swelteringly hot bedroom, windows open, basking in the (uncomfortably hot) glow of my brand new reading light.

I am so, so excited about this new reading light. It was only $5.99 at Target, it's a clip on, and it fits right on the window ledge above my bed. So now, when I am reading late at night, I don't have to get out of bed to turn the light off. I cannot even begin to explain the joy this brings me.

The heat here in Seattle has been outrageous. This city is usually pretty mild when it comes to weather - contrary to popular belief, it doesn't rain all the time. I would explain our weather more like this: We have approximately 2 months of summer, 1 month of winter, and 9 months of perpetual fall/spring. And it's likely it could rain for a small amount of time on any given day (during the spring/fall parts), but usually it will clear up soon or just sprinkle.

The point is, "hot" here in Seattle is generally somewhere in the 70's. But this last week it's been slowly creeping up past the 80's, into the 90's, and today the thermometer in the car was sitting on 99 degrees fahrenheit for a while there. My phone's temperature gauge was boasting highs of 97 all afternoon. And sitting here in my room feels like I am voluntarily slow roasting myself, broiling in an oven of stuffy bedroom-ness.

Last night I couldn't fall asleep no matter what I did. There are three bedrooms upstairs in our house, and unfortunately mine is the one sandwiched between the two outside ones, with naught but a small window for ventilation and no ceiling fan like the one I enjoyed in my bedroom at my parents' house. I tossed and turned for hours, trying to fall asleep, wishing covers had never been invented, and cursing the fleece throw I have at the foot of my bed every time my foot accidentally touched it.

The worst part is, it's about 10 degrees hotter in my bedroom than it even is outside. If it were safe to sleep on my lawn in Seattle, I would honestly consider it.

After about 4 hours of fitful sleep, my alarm went off dutifully at 7:45, and if I hadn't set it knowing it meant I was going sailing today, I probably would have smashed it. Because it was just as hot when I woke up as when I fell asleep.

This weekend has been nice, though, despite the temperature. Yesterday I stopped by the YouTube gathering, saw a lot of friends I haven't seen in awhile, got a lovely present from my Canadian YouTube friend Shannon (a pirate shot glass and this adorable robot-y etsy necklace!) and then almost fainted in the heat because I couldn't find anyone selling water. That last part was the non-lovely part of the day.

Today, as I mentioned, I went sailing with Eia and her dad. Both our dads have boats, but in all our years of friendship we've never gotten to take each other out on the water. So this afternoon I experienced the Waltzer family sailboat, and in a few days she will get to partake in some good old fashioned Horner motor boating. I can't wait to go inner-tubing.

We had such a nice, relaxing day out on the water. Sailing is a lot of fun, but so different from the type of boating my family does. We used to take crab pots out and go crabbing when I was younger, but now we tend to only use the boat for recreational tubing and eating and puttering around and swimming type things. Sailing is so much more work than that, but I can definitely see the appeal and why so many people love it. Sailboats are so... elegant. You have to be so in tune with nature and with the boat itself and know how work with the wind - it was really interesting to watch. I love the water. Being out on the water just calms me, makes me feel so free and alive and happy to live on such a beautiful planet.

Okay. I feel like I have complained enough today to sufficiently get the point across as to how hot it is in my house right now. That means my work here is done. See you tomorrow, blog.

Last google search: "red mango closing time"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I HATE red shirts.

I was not in a very good mood yesterday, due to personal circumstances I'm choosing not to elaborate on. What I will tell you, though, is that sometimes when I find myself in a bad mood that I just can't shake, regardless of what it's about, I have to laugh at and humor myself until it passes. You know, just let myself be angry. I often do this by shouting a lot about things that are insignificant.

To illustrate what I mean, I will transcribe the outburst I had yesterday.

I rode along with Justin to pick up his work downtown just to get out of the house, and on the way I was complaining to him about the specific bad mood topic, and in the middle of my rant, this happened: "...don't understand how that was a good idea AND WHY IS EVERYONE ON THIS STREET WEARING A RED SHIRT? LOOK AT THEM. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IS WEARING A RED SHIRT. EXCEPT THOSE TWO, BUT THEY'RE WEARING ORANGE AND PURPLE AND THAT'S PRETTY CLOSE TO RED. GOD. SO ANNOYING."

I think Justin apologized on behalf of red-shirt wearers everywhere, and then we got pizza.

I suppose I feel it's better to just let your emotions out in harmless ways, rather than accidentally mailing someone fifteen-hundred live ladybugs or tweeting something melodramatic that you'll regret later.

I am feeling much more chipper today, and just in time too, as the Seattle YouTube gathering is happening in a few hours and that's an event that definitely needs my game face.

So, for my Buffy update, I'm now midway into Season 3. I just finished the episode "Lover's Walk", and because of it, I have dubbed Spike my favorite, favorite character. He is just so funny. Giving Buffy/Angel love advice, stumbling around drunk, chit-chatting with Buffy's mom, making "biting" faces behind her to annoy Angel... I love him. And I'm growing more addicted to this show every day.

Okay, I need to leave soon for the gathering, so I guess today's post is going to be short. I have to wrap this up. To spark discussion, you should tell me one of two things in the comments (or both):

1. How do you deal with anger/bad moods?
2. If you watch Buffy, who's your favorite character and why? (no spoilers!)

Last google search: I just restarted my computer, so it's blank.
Chipotle burritos: 17

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's nice to think about.

Yesterday I was reading some of my blog comments out loud to Justin in our living room, and he goes, "Wait, did you tell them about the laptop decals? Did you tell them about our conversation? What are you saying to people about me?!"

I did my little mischievous Kristina grin and said, "I suppose I'll let you read it and find that out on your own," mostly because I like being annoying but also because it's way funnier in context.

He gets all stern-like and says, "Kristina, I think you and I need to have a talk about what you're allowed to put in your blog and what you're not. I have an image I need to uphold."

I came back with, "When all I ever do is hang out with you at our house, OBVIOUSLY most of my blog posts are going to have you in them! Because we do funny things! It's not like I'm going to go invent new things I did that day!"

It's not like I'm making him look bad, anyway. Usually. As of right now he has the reputation of a demon spider slayer. I'd say he could do a lot worse.

So I wasn't going to admit this to you, but yesterday I did end up watching 6 episodes of Buffy. But I didn't mean for it to happen! First we realized we were almost at the Season 2 finale so we had to keep going, and then we had to start Season 3 because the finale was such a cliffhanger, and then the first episode was so depressing we had to watch another one to make ourselves feel better. And then it was 11 o'clock at night.

But I did get some other productive things done yesterday. I worked on some writing. I cleaned and vacuumed my room. I made nachos. And burnt them. And made another tray nachos.

(See Justin? I'm even taking credit for you burning our nachos. I don't know what you're complaining about, really.)

Someone asked me a question for my blog the other day and I think I am going to answer it now. They asked me where I see myself in 5 and 10 years.

This is kind of difficult for me, because I have been trying to learn how to live my life in the moment, rather than dwelling on the future. I spent a lot of time, in the height of wizard rock, living from event to event and being sad when I was at home; it was really easy to get swept up in the next time you'll see your friends, the next conference, the next gathering. But I realized when you live your life that way, you forget to enjoy the now. Seattle became a sort of "home base" for me rather than my home, so I've spent the last year or so relearning to love where I'm from.

But that doesn't mean I can't imagine my future. The unplanned one.

I guess in 5 years, I don't see my life being too drastically different. I'll be more well-adjusted to not being a student anymore, obviously. But I still see myself blogging, I still see myself making videos on YouTube, and I still see myself making music and going to nerd-conferences and living my life in the exciting way I have been. Hopefully, though, in 5 years I'll be working for some hip social media company or representing some client or being paid an actual salary to do the work I'm already doing. I'll only be 27 in five year's time, so I can definitely still see myself as the starry-eyed, travel loving, daydreaming girl I am now. And hopefully I'll be celebrating the success of my first published book. :)

In 10 years, I see things being a bit more settled. I'll be 32, and I would like to be married by then. I can see myself possibly with one child already, or maybe still thinking about having my first child. I would like to live in a house that I have furnished and decorated myself, possibly in a suburb, definitely near a lake. I can see myself being excited about starting a YouTube channel to post videos I film of my children. But I definitely still see much of the same things in my 10 year future as my present future. I want to still be writing. I still want to be going to conferences, being involved in the social media world, still working for that hip company, still traveling. Though maybe not QUITE as frequently. Maybe I'll have published 3 books. Maybe my music will be on the radio. Maybe ALL CAPS will have a one hit wonder.

Maybe all this internet stuff will have settled down and I'll be fading into obscurity, but it wont matter because I'll still be happy and doing the things I love. And I'll always have the memories of my crazy experiences to look back on, and smile at, and tell my kids about. Their friends will probably find my videos and tease them in school. I can't wait to be an embarrassing mother.

But that's all very far into the future. It's nice to think about, though. What do you think?

Last google search: "DragonQuest IX"
Chipotle burritos: 17

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A pink T-Rex, though.

Justin: So I have officially been watching too much Buffy.
Me: Haha why is that?
Justin: I killed the giant spider beast in the garbage downstairs.
Justin: By setting the garbage can on fire.
Me: LOL. Justin.

That is how my morning started.

Well, that and waking up from a dream/nightmare where my family wanted to put on a concert at their house and I was supposed to be the opening act, but I couldn't sing because I had a mouth full of these outrageous braces and was chewing gum that made them all stick together in a big gooey mess.

Before I got my wisdom teeth out, I had this subconscious terror about the situation (I hate people poking around in my mouth so much) and because of it, I had a dozen or so horrible teeth-falling out dreams. Ever since I got the surgery (about two years ago), the tooth dreams have mostly stopped, but every now and then I'll still have one and I literally find myself waking up every time with my hands rushing to my mouth, feeling around to make sure all my teeth are still healthy and intact.

I am happy to report that all of my teeth are in the same condition they were when I fell asleep last night.

Now because of a tweet Kayley posted this morning about custom macbook decals, I have spent the better part of the last half hour deciding between a T-Rex, wispy blowing dandelions, or an owl on a branch. I am aware I have a very, very difficult life.

Me: I have a problem, I need your help.
Justin: Uh, is it another spider? Cuz I've already killed 3 today...
Me: No, worse. It's a T-Rex.
Me: Which color should I buy? http://www.etsy.com/listing/53661496/tyrannosaurus-rex-macbook-art-vinyl
Me: Pink or purple?
Justin: I think pink is more your style, but you do have a lot of pink things.
Me: I think just being able to say "my computer is the one with the pink T-Rex" is worth it though.
Justin: Pink it is.
me: I'm glad we had this talk.

Now I am rather excited because I have literally no plans today, so that could lead to any number of hours spent reading, editing videos, working on music, or watching another 7 episodes of Buffy in one day. Not that I've watched 7 in a day before... definitely did not do that last week...

In other news, I am all smiles now because iJustine just said on twitter that she can't stop listening to ALL CAPS. It's pretty exciting to know we're being noticed by the acclaimed "front-pagers" on YouTube. I'm really pumped to see where this band goes in the next 6 months, and equally anxious to start working on new music again. We joke that our first album is essentially the zombie album and our second is the robot album - so what can we do next? Ninjas? Dinosaurs? Sharks? Aliens?

Probably none of the above. Haha.

Justin: I mean, did you SEE that spider downstairs?
Me: No.
Justin: It was this big! I told you to go look at it!
Me: Why would I do that?! I know better than to walk into the demon's lair!

Okay, my copy of Catching Fire is absolutely staring me down from its spot next to me on my bed (I feel the need to tell you right now that I have a queen sized bed that I share with nobody, and in the spot where another person would fit, that's where I keep my laptop, whatever book I'm reading, and my planner. I am a cool girl) so anyway, this is going to be the end of my blog post for the day because I need to finish my reread of this book in time for Mockingjay. 12 days!

Until tomorrow!

Last google search: crystal light flavors
Chipotle burritos: 17