Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Playlist Live and BEDA!

So, lovely blog readers, it's almost April. And you know what that means, right? RIGHT?

Blog Everyday in April.

I'm definitely going to be BEDA-ing it up over here, so tell your friends! Tell your grandma! Tell your cat! Or bust out your own blog and start writing yourself!

Either way, I'm entering BEDA with a running start this year, so here's the first of my recap blogs about Playlist Live in Orlando, FL.

Friday ----

Playlist Live was such a blast. I went into it not really knowing what to expect, but I'm finding that, like Wizard Rock, anytime you get a bunch of YouTubers together for a weekend, it's bound to be a good time.

I left on a flight early early Friday morning, connected in LA, and arrived in Orlando about 6pm. I got picked up there along with a few other people I knew from the Tubes by a guy named Will who was working the event, and we all arrived at the hotel around 7. I tracked down Luke, dropped my stuff in our room, and immediately had to go downstairs for the Partners meeting thing which, if I remember correctly, ended up just being everyone hanging around downstairs, getting our Playlist lanyards/badges, saying hello to everyone and getting wristbands for the VIP party later on that evening.

Then there was the ongoing food saga. There wasn't much in the way of food at the hotel (three expensive restaurants and one gross food court) so after an hour of being wishy washy on making decisions about food, we decided to just head down to the party for awhile and see if there was food there.

There wasn't.

And naturally, nobody thought about eating for the next few HOURS while we danced and socialized and utilized our free drink tickets. There was so many awesome people already there, and it was so much fun to just mingle and meet new friends and catch up with old friends. My normal crew was there (Luke, Alex Jason, Jimmy, Joey, Brittany, Meghan, Mike, Hayley etc.) but it was nice to see other friends like Kaleb Nation, Tyler Oakley, Tessa, Shawna, and way too many other people to begin to list here.

It was nice to know that people like ShayCarl and his wife, MysteryGuitarMan's girlfriend Sarah, DaveDays and other random people I've only met a few times remembered me as well, even though I've only spoken to them once or twice before. I also got to meet the other members of VlogCandy (since I obviously know Meghan) which was awesome, since they're super nice people and some of the only vloggers I haven't actually met yet (and who've been around approximately as long as I have).

In fact, the only people I'm still bummed I didn't get to meet we're Shay's kids. I spoke with him personally a few times, but never managed to be around when his kids were meeting fans. I went to their panel though, which was one of the most adorable things I have ever seen.

Fridays night's party was really fun, and of course there was an impromptu conga line to Rebecca Black's "Friday". I was telling someone this weekend it's hilarious that YouTube conventions always coincide with big memes, since we're all Internet people and there's always something new going on. VidCon was "Double Rainbow". Playlist Live was "Friday". You just can't plan this stuff.

That night we ended up hanging out in a hotel room for awhile, getting pizza around 2am (I'm ashamed to admit I broke Lent :/) and then , much later than we intended, we went to bed, as the real events weren't even happening until Saturday.

I'm going to just admit something to you now. I haven't played WoW in over 3 months. So I'm going to stop tracking my progress there (since there is no progress). I'm going to let you know how many gym badges I have on Pokémon White and what level my starter is. Still nerdy enough? Okay? Okay.

Flights taken: 6
Pokémon Gym badges: 3
Oshawott level: 24

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Emerald City Comic Con

I've had another whirlwind of a week here in Kristinaland. I got home from DC late on Wednesday night, went to bed, woke up, and had one day to prepare myself for Emerald City Comic Con. I can't even remember what I did, but I think it involved editing a video or two and lying in my bed watching The Big Bang Theory for awhile. Which, if I were to sum up my life lately, would be pretty much that.

Ariana had just gotten home from New Zealand or wherever the heck she was this time, so naturally we needed to hang out. She came over around 7ish, when we then immediately left my house to head over to the Apple store, where the Brothers Wong were looking at the new Macbooks. Jimmy was getting himself a new laptop, so we stood around for moral support or something, then with his computer under his arm, we headed out of the store to find someplace to eat (but not before dailyboothing, obviously).

After Thai food (and milkshakes from Dick's), our pilgrimage lead us back to my house where we watched Star Wars Episode 4, on account of my never seeing it and that not being okay with Ariana. Or Jimmy. Or Freddie I suppose, but it never came up with him before that night.

Friday started Emerald City Comic Con, which was AMAZING. I can't believe such a great nerd convention takes place in my OWN CITY every single year and I never knew about it. It's incredible.

We started Friday by just moseying through the vendor room, checking out all the booths we would inevitably empty our wallets at. Then there was a Will Wheaton panel (how is that man so brilliant) and immediately after there was the JAMES MARSTERS panel. I had never seen him in person before, so after being so immersed in Buffy for as long as I was, it was truly bizarre to be within throwing distance of the man who played Spike.

He was so interesting to hear speak. He jumped up cross-legged on the table, and answered questions with such ease. The most amazing part is that he really DOES share a personality with Spike, minus the bleach blonde hair and innate desire to kill people. I regret so badly that I never got to actually speak with him or get a picture or anything. Someday. Soooomeday.

After the panel, we headed back out into the general hustle and bustle of the conference. We saw adorable children dressed as super heros, overweight sailor scouts, parents encouraging their kids to hug a giant walking pedobear - Emerald City Comic Con is simply a magical place.

That evening the Zaxy girls were invited to be involved in Unexpected Productions "NERDprov", which is essentially just an improv show where the topics are nerd related. Tara, an improv veteran herself, was actually asked to be onstage for the show while Britt and I were given black robes and put on the side as judges. Which was a total blast. I really channeled my inner Simon Cowell that night.

Afterward there was the obligatory post-show partying in the bar area, and then we made our way back to Tara's apartment for a necessary Zaxy sleepover. Too many fun things going on to bother heading back to my place.

The next morning, after a stereotypical stop in Starbucks for some breakfast, we went on a quest to find "the girl dressed as Wonder Woman" for a flash mob we were SUPPOSED to be part of. But let me tell you, looking for a Wonder Woman at a nerd con is like looking for a hipster at Urban Outfitters. They're everywhere. So that didn't happen.

Saturday was fraught with Buffy panels, more shopping, and the much anticipated Buffy Sing-a-long (which was put on by a company that used to actually do them professionally, a la Rocky Horror style. We had props! And instruction sheets!). That night we all had tickets to James Marsters concert at the Hard Rock Cafe, with a few other bands such as H2Awesome and Kirby Krackle. The whole night was a blast, including meeting the members of the other bands and making friends with them, having Space Unicorns drawn for us by guys at the merch table, and having a guy hunt me down based only on my twitter picture and the fact that I had tweeted about his band during the show. Crazy.

But the highlight of the night was obviously watching James Marsters play. He had a hilarious combination of heartfelt, cheesy songs about his then-girlfriend-now-wife, intermixed with very inappropriate and suggestive songs including one he prefaced was about Michelle Trachtenberg when she was 14. Surreal night. But the best.

Sunday I didn't end up going to the convention at all because I wasn't feeling well, but I did get to see Jimmy again before he headed back to LA. Now I've been stuck in bed since then with one of the strangest sinus sicknesses I've ever had. Such is my life.

Flights taken: 4
Levels on WoW:
Mage: 56
Shaman: 34

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Washington DC: Part 2

I had so much fun having Kayley with me on this year's Washington DC trip. There was a ton of traveling (almost as much flying time as time actually spent in DC) but it was alright, since I enjoy flying with her so much. We're currently on our flight from Chicago to Seattle and we found that channel 3 has the best pop mix going on right now - so we both have our headphones on and we're having a little dance party here in row 26. She just leaned over to me and asked why no one else is having as much fun on this flight as we are. These are the questions we ask ourselves.

"Baby I like it! The way you move on the floor. Baby I like it!"

The first day in DC was great, but we were just so tired. We went to an Advocacy Day debriefing workshop, then one on the situation in Haiti. It was good to get a refresher on what Save the Children is doing right now, because while I have plenty to say to the Senators about what I saw in Guatemala, it's good to be current on the stats and everything too.

YES KE$HA. "There's a place I know, if you're looking for a show, where they go hardcore and there's glitter on the floor."

Have you ever noticed that literally every single Ke$ha song references glitter? Listen for it. I need more glitter in my life, I think. Say what you want about Ke$ha, but any woman who likes glitter that much is okay in my book.

Okay, focusing. Washington DC. My trip.

NO WAY. Okay, off topic for one more second. I've been going back and forth on whether I should buy the $7 fruit and cheese tray on this flight, because I'm hungry but the prices of airline food are always really excessive. Finally I decided to just go for it, and when I handed the flight attendant my credit card just now he leaned in and said, "that'll be $50. Nah, I'm just kidding, our machine is broken. It's on us."

So hell yeah, free food! FREE FOOD, GUYS.

OKAY. DC. I need to do this. After our workshops, there was a little reception upstairs where we got to meet the CEO of Save, awards/honors were given out, and Kayley and I made small talk with a lot of Save employees and politicians and other volunteers. Also these catering guys KEPT trying to give Kayley and I these crab cakes and little shrimp rolls, which was just silly since Kayley's a vegetarian and I hate seafood like ... a person who really hates seafood. But he was relentless. I think I waved my hand and said "no thank you" about ten different times.

Okay, this blog just isn't happening. Now "the King's Speech" is playing on those overhead airplane screens, and after seeing it win so many Oscars, I need to watch it. More soon.


The next morning:

I have been up since 11 AM and in that time I had a meeting with the people at, replied to and written over 10 emails, and am now finishing this blog post. And it's only 12:20. Sometimes I wonder if real blood runs through my veins, or if it's pure energy.

So the second day of DC, we got up early and met up with a group of people taking the children out to hold their adorable hand-made picket signs saying "Don't cut our funds, invest in our future". It was absolutely freezing but Kayley and I braved the cold to get some footage of them in front of the Capital Building.

Then it was time for breakfast where we saw a few more speakers, watched a recap on what Save has done in the past year, and I was incredibly embarrassed when they showed my video from Advocacy Day LAST year in front of about 200 people. And I know, usually my videos get 20,000+ views so what's the big deal, but the big deal is that I'm not usually in a room with all of them watching it WITH those people. Kayley seemed to delight in this, but we'll see if she's laughing next year if they show HERS. Haha.

Then we split off into our groups and headed over to the House side of congress, to meet with our first Representative (who was conveniently from Washington State). We spoke with an associate of Norm Dicks first, which went rather well. Then we had about two hours free so my group decided to while away the time in the Air and Space Museum (AWESOME). Then we headed to the Senate side to speak to an associate of Virginia Senator Jim Webb, which also went smoothly. Unfortunately my flight was kind of early so I had to head back to the hotel before my group spoke with Washington Senator Patty Murray, but I'm sure they did a great job without me.

I waited in the lobby for Kayley, and then we took a cab back to the airport around 4:30. Which almost brings us up to date.

I had such a great time returning for my second Advocacy Day, and I only hope I can keep coming back. I'll be posting a video on my channel soon about the experience, so if you want to know more, look out for that. :)

Flights taken: 4
Levels on WoW:
Mage: 56
Shaman: 34

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Washington DC: part 1

My brain is so confused right now. I left Seattle on a red eye flight with Kayley last night, and I had every intention of trying to sleep on the first leg of our flight. We had five hours to Charlotte, NC first. But dumb me, I ended up using the time to read two chapters of Scarlet Fever by Maureen Johnson, play about and hour of iPad games and write lyrics to an ALL CAPS song.

I mean, all in all, a pretty productive flight. But now I'm sitting in Charlotte and it's almost 9 am and I've completely missed my window of opportunity to sleep. Now we're gonna fly to DC and it'll be nearly 11 am when we arrive and then we're off to meetings and social things with Save The Children and dangit, I haven't slept a minute. I'm going to be a zombie. Hello, important Save The Children people, let me drool on you and then eat your brains.

I'll just have to fake it; the awakeness. Or perfect the art of sleeping with my eyes open. They'll never know. Unless they read this very public blog, I suppose.

In other news, when I was going through security back in Seattle, I saw a baby in a space helmet. Its like these people WANT me to steal their children.

My day and a half in Seattle between LA and this trip was... Short. I edited 4 videos, watched some Big Bang Theory, slept a lot and unpacked and repacked my suitcase. That's honestly about all I had time for. But regardless of my disdain for red eye flights so soon after other flights, I'm very excited to be returning to DC for another Advocacy Day. It'll be great to see the people I know from Save again, and I love the feeling I get working with such a wonderful organization.

I think they're about to start calling us to board the flight. I'm in Zone 4 but somehow Kayley is Zone 3. What a cheater.

Flights taken: 3
WoW levels:
Mage: 56
Shaman: 34