Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I haven't been blogging.

I like to be very public about my life. Not that I feed off the attention or need to validate the things I do by posting them online, but just because I enjoy it. I like sharing my experiences with others, documenting the good times I have to look back on later, and also being part of a larger discussion online about what's fun and new and exiting and happening in our community of web people.

But sometimes, like everyone, I have things going on in my life that are healthier to not talk about. I learned my lesson that summer in London; that being too candid with your problems and your thoughts and feelings and emotions when things are hard or heavy isn't always the best way to deal with yourself when you're down.

It's hard for a vlogger, or a blogger, or a tweeter, or a facebooker - because it can sometimes come down to either pretending or lying in your updates, or not updating at all. Neither of those are fun solutions.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. I have a couple posts I want to do on here about other things, like a Buffy survey I snatched from Becky a few months ago, and my thoughts on the game Tetris - easy things, simple things. But I'm apologizing right now for a lack of updates for a little while.

Flights: 0
WoW levels:
Mage: 56
Shaman: 34

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The last episode of Buffy.

A short entry. I'm not even going to do the little extra bits I usually add to blog posts because I just want to get this down.


This is the last thing I will ever type not having seen the ending of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am going downstairs right now to grab some snacks and watch the final two episodes.

I'll be the first to admit to being over dramatic and a bit silly.

It sounds stupid and cheesy, I know, to say a TV show (especially one that aired so long ago) can have such an impact on me, but I have the personality that really latches on to characters I can relate with in fiction. I actually believe it's why I want to be a writer myself, so I can try to make other people feel that way as well, because I know how wonderful it can be.

Buffy did this for me better than any other show I've ever seen. This is why I am so emotionally worked up over it being over. That idea of saying goodbye to friends. Letting go of something comfortable and reassuring, something that's been there for me for the last 3-4 months.

But nothing lasts forever. So here goes.

And tonight, right after I finish, I get to celebrate Buffy's 30th birthday with the folks of GeekGirlCon with a party at our local comic shop... so the timing couldn't be better. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello Seattle.

"Cause you had a good girl, good girl, girl
That's a keeper, k-k-k-k-keeper
You had a good girl, good girl but
Didn't know how to treat her, t-t-t-t-treat her
So silly boy get out my face (my face)
Why do you like the way regrets taste?"
-Eva Simons

This has been a wonderful week.

Monday afternoon I went to SPU and picked up my friend Matt (booshoe37) and together we drove to the airport where Johnny (JohnnyDurham19) was waiting for us to pick him up. He's been staying in LA for a few months (even though he's from the UK) and lucky for us, he decided to come spend a few days up here in Seattle at the end of his trip.

We picked up Kayley from school a bit later and proceeded to have an extremely entertaining day showing Johny around Pike Place Market - the golden pig, the gum wall, the first Starbucks, a bakery that sells shots of pure chocolate, the nerd store downstairs - which was actually fun for all of us, because I don't really go to these parts of Seattle often either. When a place is KNOWN for being a tourist spot, you really only think to go there when you have non-Seattlites in town. But there are so many amazing places in this city to see; I wish I enjoyed it all more frequently.

I forget how great this place is when I am just here by myself, working on videos and preparing for other trips and writing. It's a bummer sometimes that it takes having other people visiting from out of town to remember how awesome the place I live is. People can knock the weather all they want but I am totally in love with Seattle.

We did a lot more stuff the rest of the week with Johnny including karaoke, staying up really late and making new friends -- I was sad to see him go on Thursday. I spend so much of my life saying goodbye to friends... I guess that's just the way having friends all over the world goes.

Speaking of Thursday, I don't know what happened that day... some disconnect between my brain and the fabric of time and space, or something; but for some reason on Thursday I began living my day like it was Friday. I texted my friend Tyler trying to see what his plans were (assuming we were talking about Friday night), I was talking with Liz about our Saturday plans as if they were the next day, I was even figuring out my weekend in my planner as if I had one less day to work with.

Then at one point in the later evening I told Justin that Liz was coming over 'tomorrow'. He turned to look at me and said, "So she's not coming over Saturday?"

"What do you mean, I just SAID she is."

"Tomorrow is Friday, darlin'."


If real humans could facepalm like animé characters, I would have fallen off my chair, legs in the air, right at that moment. After the initial shock of embarrassment, it was like the heavens had opened up, reached down, and HANDED me another day. A whole day. Just for me. With no plans, no obligations - just a new, magical second Friday for me to live and enjoy with no consequence.

I spent it watching TV and playing Wii games. THANK YOU, UNIVERSE.

Levels on WoW:
Mage: 56
Shaman: 34
Flights taken: 0

Also: In response to the conversation with the Paraguay guys in my last post, someone left this as a comment on my blog:
"Forgive me for not knowing if you are "famous", but I only ran across your blog because I have a Google Alert for "Paraguay". Well, I looked up a couple All Caps videos on YouTube, and now you have another fan in Paraguay."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Scrapbooking, and my fans in Paraguay.

"I tried to do handstands for you
I tried to do headstands for you
Everytime I fell on you, yeah, everytime I fell
I tried to do handstands for you
But everytime I fell for you
I'm permanently black and blue, permanently blue for you."
Bruises - Chairlift

Literally every plan I have made this week has fallen through.

  • There were two conference calls I was supposed to have, and both got rescheduled.
  • Eia somehow talked me into going to an open ballet class with her, and we got up early, but nobody was there.
  • I had plans with a friend of mine here in Seattle named Tyler but he's been sick so we've rescheduled three times (and it still hasn't happened).
  • Justin and I were going to do a games night with some of our friends last night but they ended up being busy and never called us back?
  • I had a bunch of different plans to talk to/play online games with Luke but he's incredibly busy with a house guest right now, so I've barely gotten to talk to him the way we normally do in about a week and a half.
  • I was supposed to see the opening of Eia's show Footloose, but she called last night and told me it'd be better to go to closing, next weekend.
Most of these things were out of my control/just the way life works, but after an entire week of looking forward to going out and having it fall flat, I have a very bad case of cabin fever.

Because of this I have not only started reading more (which makes me very, very happy, as I can never find time to read all the books I have on my shelf), but I started thinking about pictures.

I will be the first to say that digital cameras are great. In every way. You can take as many pictures as you want, you can see them right away, everything is way higher quality, etc. etc. But after a fun weekend, trip, or party - you dump the photos on your computer, maybe put them on Facebook, but then that's it. All the memories from my life adventures are just sitting in folders on my harddrive. And honestly, how often do you look through your folders of pictures, really. I know I don't... ever.

So yesterday I went on a photo rampage. I looked through all my photos from 2010, put all the best ones in a new folder, transferred them to a thumb drive, took them to Walgreens and had them printed out. 150 pictures total, but a very thorough summary of my year. Then I bought a fancy photo album, grabbed some scissors, and spent most of last night cutting and arranging the photos into a chronological montage of one of the best years of my life.

Yes. Maybe that's a lame way to spend a Saturday night, but I am so happy I'm doing this. I might go back and make albums for 2009, 2008 and 2007 too. If I have the time.

Before I wrap this entry up, I want to share a series of Facebook messages I got recently. It made me laugh so hard, I just can't keep it to myself.

First I got a message from a lovely person named Martin:

Martin: Hello! I'm a huge fan from All Caps! i'm from Paraguay and i just wanted to tell you that we like your songs down here too!
Thanks for so much awesomeness!

To which I replied:

Kristina: Aw thanks so much! :)

But then, just a day later, I received another message from a guy named Tomas, who apparently knows Martin:

Tomas: Hey, I'm from Paraguay as well. That guy named Martin was totally lying about everyone liking your music down here. He's the only one who likes it. Just wanted to let you know. Good luck in life!

This guy seemed so concerned about me living under the illusion that EVERY PERSON in Paraguay is a fan of my music that he had to write me personally and refute that idea. Naturally, I had to respond. I wrote him back in my usual reasonable and calm manner:

Kristina: LOL.

I did hear from Tomas one more time. He couldn't just go about his life having made his point in the previous message, I suppose.

Tomas: Yeah LOL. In my opinion you suck! :)

Nice touch with the smiley face, Tomas. That always makes the other person know you're trying to be pleasant and polite. Good to know I have fans all over the world, right?

I have showed this conversation to pretty much everybody I know. It makes me laugh so much. I hope you've enjoyed this short look into the world of fanmail.

Level on WoW: 56
Flights taken in 2011: 0

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let's talk about boredom.

"Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts"
-Ingrid Michaelson, Be Ok

Boredom is a funny thing. When I was younger, I definitely was familiar with the concept and felt bored all the time. I'd come home from school, I'd be out of babysitter's club books, so I'd be bored. I'd be on winter break and my friends would all be out of town, so I'd be bored. I'd be on summer break, the thrill of warm weather and vacationing would be over and I'd even miss school a little, so I'd be bored.

But I quickly found that bored is a self-inflicted thing. You never have to be bored. If you're inventive, or have hobbies, or a little creativity - you can find something to do. The boredom is gone. This is a huge part of the reason I have so many projects in the first place - I turned to the Internet quite frequently when I needed something to quell the boredom. Deviantart. Fanfiction. Skype. YouTube. All direct results of making the proactive choice not to be bored.

But after enough time, the amount of projects multiply and soon there is little time for boredom at all. You become too busy to be bored. There is always a long to-do list of things that went from being boredom-crushers to legitimate obligations, and you miss the time you used to have in which you could just laze around, looking for a new hobby or project to pass the time. Things like reading a new book, or playing a DS game, or catching up on your favorite TV shows. These start to become the things you do when you're procrastinating. The things you do when you SHOULD be doing something else.

But then. Then after the touring, and the albums, the traveling, and the videos - it's winter. And you find yourself with nearly two months to yourself, two months without flying. Without deadlines. Without day after day of obligations, promises you made to people to get things done, errands and projects and early morning alarms set. And you find yourself... kind of bored.

Suddenly it all comes crashing back. All that time you longed for a bit of free time to read, to play video games, to write just for the fun of it -- that stuff isn't fun when you're BORED! Those are the things you want to do when you know you shouldn't, when they're the happy alternative to more grueling work.

So... it's January 4th and I am bored. And I'm trying to figure out if I need to motivate myself to just appreciate it and use the free time to read some of the books on my shelf I haven't read yet, or beat a new DS game that's sat unplayed for months, level up my main character on WoW - or just go online and find new projects. Or stay in bed. I think right now I'll choose stay in bed.

2011 is already out of control with the amount of stuff I am going to be doing, I deserve a little stay-in-bed/video game/reading time. Right?

PS. Thanks for all the suggestions on things to track! I've decided to go with WoW level (since so many people seemed interested, haha) and number of flights I've taken this year. Also, I think I might go back to doing song quotes at the top of entries, things that sort of parallel how I'm feeling or things I just like, because I always thought that was a nice addition to writing a blog post. Don't know why I stopped, honestly.

Level on WoW: 53
Flights taken: 0

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Every day is like a party.

As I woke up on January 1st of 2011, I was feeling very excited about life.

So my new bedroom is organized in such a way that the sun shines directly in my eyes between about 8 and 9:30 in the morning, and if I can sleep through it I'm fine - but if I accidentally wake up during that time I'm just screwed. So even though I didn't get to bed until about 4:30 AM the night after the New Year's Eve festivities... I was up early the next day. And every day.

But I didn't care! Because I am feeling so good! Maybe it's because it's the start of a brand new year but I am feeling incredibly bubbly and positive about everything right now.

This past week has been absolutely amazing. First I had a lovely Christmas with my family (most of our extended family lives too far away to spend the holidays together, but there is something really special about Christmas with just my parents and Nick). I got a lot of great things as gifts - pink fuzzy slippers, a gorgeous map of the Earth at night for my bedroom, a package for a spa day with my Mom, etc.

Then I came home and started planning for my birthday party. It's kind of hard to believe I am 23 already. But there was no better way to welcome in another year of my life than by going to the Harry Potter Exhibition with my closest friends. I got to sit in Hagrid's chair, throw a quaffle, and realized all the actors in the movies are way shorter than they seem (their clothes are all tiny!)

After the Exhibition we came back to my place and had one of the best birthday parties I've ever thrown. We played the most intricate game of Apples to Apples ever (with special new rules), Eia managed to convince my roommate Johnny and his band to give me a live performance in my living room, Justin orchestrated a pretty epic game of hide and seek (which, believe it or not, was both fun and successful even though we had about 15-20 people and only two rooms to hide in). The evening ended in a giant dance party to the tune of one of those crappy Hip Hop music television channels up in the 800's on Comcast On Demand.

I spent a few days being sick, but it wasn't so bad. My body was probably just telling me to slow the eff down, so I did. And I slept until 2 a couple days. Which was nice. And also something I never do.

My friend Forest had a party on Wednesday that he called his "Secret Event". He didn't tell anyone anything about it, just invited us all and left it at that, with the air of mystery. Which worked so well, because even though I was kind of sick, Justin and I were like "WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT IS." So we went. And it ended up being an incredibly fun holiday Mafia party, which Forest went to great lengths to make amazing for us. There were all sorts of new roles and rules and ended up including Aliens? It was a blast. The creativity and ingenuity of my friends continues to astound me.

Then there was New Year's Eve, and I think it was the best party of all the ones I went to this week. My friends Tara and Alexander have an apartment right downtown near the Space Needle and they threw a terrific little shindig for all of our friends, which I am so thankful for. I had such a blast with everyone there. Sometimes I feel so fortunate to have found friends that are so much like me, it's almost crazy. Especially after the last 4 years of feeling like all of my friends lived so far away all the time, and not really meeting anyone in college - these past 6 months of getting to know this new group of people here in Seattle has just been so wonderful. Especially since Eia and Ariana and even Tyler Nicholas (who was up visiting Ariana this week) all fit right into it too.

At the NYE party, we danced and ate and somehow started doing an impromptu photo shoot complete with lighting, a fan and a light reflector right in the middle of everything. We also found ourselves playing quite a bit of Dance Central (so fun). At midnight there was a lot of confetti and champagne and we all ran downstairs out onto the street to see the fireworks live, and it was so breathtaking and amazing and the perfect way to bring in the new year. I've only ever seen the Seattle fireworks on TV, so this experience was kind of magical for me. 2010 was such a great year for me in so many ways; I felt like I was exactly where I wanted to be as it came to a close. Surrounded by people I love.

I don't know if I mentioned this yet anywhere on my blog but at the Project 4 Awesome Liveshow earlier in December I got to meet FreddieW among all the YouTubers who were hanging out backstage with us. I found out that he's actually from Seattle originally and has been home for the holidays, so I've hung out with him quite a few times in the past week or so. He also brought his brother Jimmy to our New Year's Eve party, which was a sweet bonus because he turned out to be just as nice and fun as Freddie. I love making new YouTube friends, especially when they are near to home (even if it was just temporarily [everyone always has to go back to LA]).

THEN - I know, the fun never ends, then I went to this Yuletide feast with Ariana and Tyler. It was as crazy as it sounds: full renaissance garb, long tables with goblets, candle light, minstrels and jesters. All at this place called the Bors Hede in a small medieval village about an hour out of Seattle. Our plates were made of BREAD. We ate mostly with our hands. It was one of the most bizarre and amazing dining experiences of my entire life. I can't even really describe it more than that; you would have needed to be there.

Now the holidays are over and I'm trying to figure out what the next step is. Today is Monday, and there was no video that needed to be made for fiveawesomegirls. I, in fact, spent much of my day playing WoW and watching the Tale of Despereaux. I'm slightly hesitant to jump right back into the thick of things, because I am always, always so busy and it's been so nice to have some free time. Being lazy and spending time with Seattle friends are two things I rarely have time for, so I'm kind of just enjoying that right now. 2011 is already shaping up to be an insanely busy and travel-filled year, so the fact that January and February are still wide open feels slightly like a godsend. :)

What should I track this year?
Last year I tracked my google searches and Chipotle burritos, but I feel like a new year should warrant new blog devices. I'm going to think on it, but suggestions are welcome!