Saturday, April 30, 2011

BEDA 30: The End.

Well, I'm on hold with Sprint. My favorite use of a Saturday morning. Bazinga, that was sarcasm.

I find it a little bit ridiculous that I've had to call twice now, and still no one on their customer support team can help me figure out why my old phone wont sync my contacts with my gmail account on wifi so I can transfer them to my new phone without going into a Sprint store. That's WHY they implement features like online contacts backup -- so we can do it ourselves from home!

I can feel myself getting more and more frustrated as I talk to this guy; I hate to be like this but it really kills me when I know more about my phone and how it operates than someone whose JOB it is to help people with it. This is a basic feature of the phone. He shouldn't be reading manuals in between stints of putting me on hold.

So anyway, I'm taking this stressful-useless-phone-time to blog. Today is April 30th, which marks the last day of BEDA. It's been a pretty crazy month, what with Playlist Live, all of my Miami adventures, and the filming of the Secret Buffy Project.


Blogging every day was a lot harder this year than it ever was before (or maybe I just don't remember the previous years and it's always hard xD) but I'm so glad I have record of all this craziness. I was a little nervous I would have too much free time when I graduated college, but I've almost been done a whole year (wow, time flies) and surprisingly I've found myself busier than ever. I'm super proud of what I've accomplished in the last year.

Alex Carpenter posted a really beautiful vlog the other day about not worrying if the things you love don't last forever. He said something along the lines of appreciating the time we're spending now as moments, then as great memories in the past. Because if your current situation lasts forever, you may miss out on even more amazing opportunities that are meant to follow. This obviously speaks volumes for the Harry Potter fandom that so many of us are scared to let go of, but it also made me think really hard about the parts of my life that came even before that.

I can't remember if I have really talked about this yet, but later this year they're tearing down my old high school's theatre and building a new fancy performing arts center. This is fantastic news for them, but very, very bittersweet news for alumni of my old drama club. I know every theatre group has their own special bond and connection but mine was definitely something special, so knowing the place we all spent hours and hours together is going to be gone forever is pretty tough news to deal with. I remember when I was a Senior, looking out to the future, the great beyond of life after high school; I had a really hard time imagining anything other than doing shows with the same group of people I'd know those past few years. I assumed I'd go straight to college-theatre, trying to find that same type of feeling, a similar group of people, attempting to relive the glory days of high school where I got a lot of leads and was drama club president.

But that didn't happen. I never did a single college production. Instead, I discovered wizard rock, started playing shows, got into YouTube. And looking back, the time I spent in my drama club is still really special to me, even though it's over. It doesn't mean theatre wasn't good enough, or that I gave up on it at all. I still have a bond with a whole group of people that nobody can ever break or tarnish. But, now it's a happy sparkling memory in the story that makes up my life, a stepping stone in the history of what makes me, me.

I thought this would be a sad thing, but it's not. It was hard to let go of drama club, but I went on to do such amazing, exciting things -- and I feel like I have my time doing theatre to thank for that. I became a performer in that auditorium. I learned what true friendship was. And I learned how to move on to bigger and better things with grace.

Similarly, Harry Potter (and my time spent in this fandom) will always be with me. I'll always be a fan of the books, I'll always keep in touch with my friends -- just like I still do with my drama club friends. But it's not a tragedy that it wont last forever in the pure state it's in now. Nothing does really, except inside of us. There, things truly last forever.

And on that note, I leave you with the conclusion of BEDA 2011. It's been fun, guys. See you next month.

Flights taken: 8

BEDA 29: Living room film festival.

I'm getting so close to the end of BEDA, but it's starting to get really tough. Tonight I'm over at my friend Tara and Alexander's place again, and I realized it hit midnight a few minutes ago, oops. So here I am, back on my iPad for another rushed entry on my second to last post of April.

So my friends were having a personal screening of select films from the Tribeca Film Festival in their living room, which was really cool. We watched "Wormhole", "The Ride", "Year Zero", "Mr. Stache", and "The Dungeon Master". Some of them were good, some of them were... less good... But the last one we watched was the best by far.

"The Dungeon Master" was directed by Rider Strong (Shawn from Boy Meets World!!) and his brother Shiloh Strong. Basically it was a short film about D&D, which was hilarious in itself, but the guy who played Warren (Adam Busch) in Buffy was in it. And of course, he played a total douche bag.

Then we played this super creepy games called Morton's List, which ended up not actually being creepy at all since all the game insisted we do is attempt to contact celebrities. This resulted in all of us using the leftover invitations for Tara and Alexander's wedding to send them to various real and fictional celebrities.

Now I am sleepy, and people are starting to go home, so I'm gonna end this early. I promise I will complete BEDA tomorrow with a large insightful post to make up for tonight's lame entry. xD

Flights taken: 8

Thursday, April 28, 2011

BEDA 28: New phones!

I had a weird dispute with a fan today, and I was going to vent about the whole thing in my blog, but the whole thing was resolved so I just deleted everything I'd typed so far. There was no reason to spread the negativity further than it already was.
Basically it had something to do with people expecting me to divulge more information about my personal life than I am comfortable doing, mixed with battling 1. a fan's desires to know everything about me and 2. my need for respect of privacy. Also I don't like being called a bitch. xD

But it's all fine now. The moral of the story is, don't write emails when you're upset. That's a rule I always try to live by. Also, I want fans to feel like I am approachable and reachable without me having to knock my walls of privacy down. It's a hard balance.

Anyway, that's not the highlight of my day by any means. Today was awesome because (what is this fiveawesomegirls?) Eia and I went on one of our traditional shopping trips where we vow we'll check out a few stores but end up only spending money in Forever21. Usually we go overboard, but this time I made a list of things I needed (bermuda shorts, summer dresses, earrings, new cell phone case) and I'm proud to that aside from this hilarious neon belt that I had to have, I only bought things on that list.

Speaking of cell phone cases, my upgrade was in March so I finally ordered a new phone, and I am ECSTATIC. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, but my HTC Hero was so pathetically buggy that I've been dreaming of a new phone for months. After days of research and indecisiveness I finally decided to go with the Samsung Epic 4G, and after only 24 hours of use I am pretty happy with it. It's fast, smooth, and the interface (though still Android) is way, way more intuitive than my Hero ever was. For example, the touchscreen can tell when your face moves away from the screen at the end of a phone call and brings the call menu screen back up for you. How cool is that??

Anyway, I am really happy with this new phone; I just hope the battery life can make it through a day. That's my biggest pet peeve with smartphones. Also I got a really pretty pink and white splatter paint looking case for it. I'm a sucker for cool cell phone cases.

Now it's only 5pm and I have the rest of the day to do whatever I want with it! Maybe I'll finish cleaning my room. Or watch... something... who knows.

Question for the day: Are you staying up latelatelate to watch the Royal Wedding (I ask because I don't really care per se, but Eia is throwing a party and I'm always down for a party), and what phone do you have? I'm curious. :)

Flights taken: 8

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BEDA 27: More stuff.

The response on yesterday's post was amazing! Thank you guys! I guess I should try to write blog posts like that more often. :)
Not that I mind the small smattering of comments I get on my day-to-day posts; it's just really nice to see so many people chiming in with something to say.

One thing I didn't address, since the post was mostly about finding motivation to do artistic/project based things you love, was how to find motivation for things that aren't fun. Things like homework, cleaning, etc. I was never as good at that as I am at being self-motivated for creative projects, I'll admit it. I never worried too much about finishing things in the end, because I always managed to, but it was a battle. I used to have to bribe myself: "I'll write two paragraphs on this essay and then I can spend ten minutes on facebook; I'll read a chapter of this book and then I can watch one episode of How I Met Your Mother; I'll fold one load of laundry and then I can eat my leftover cheesecake." Usually I would drive myself crazy staying up half the night finishing school work or menial tasks, but as long as you have the right mindset and know you'll eventually get it done... it doesn't really matter if the process is on par with pulling teeth.

Anyway, as for today's blog post... well let's see.

I didn't do much yesterday in the way of interesting things to blog about, that is unless you find a whole day of laundry fascinating. My washer is a tad on the broken side, so when I say it took me all day - I really mean all day. EXCITING!

Today I have a voice lesson at 1, which is something I always look forward to. In particular today though, I am especially excited as my teacher doubles as a Tarot card reader, and we've got that scheduled into our meeting as well. She told me she'd do Tarot cards for my friends and I whenever we wanted, so Eia's popping by after my lesson for a reading.

As for the rest of my day... it's Project Night again tonight at Tara and Alexander's so I'll be heading over there around 7pm, and other than that? I've been kind of gung-ho over going through my room and cleaning stuff out this week. I'm not a hoarder by any means, but I do have a lot of possessions (particularly clothes, books, trinkets and things sent to me by fans) and my room has just felt a little claustrophobic lately. So I'll probably keep working on that project in my off time today.

It's been nice, having this mildly low-key week. After all the Secret Buffy Project craziness (and LA next week) having a few nice days at home was really needed.

Oh! I finished watching Coupling last night. Justin and I had been working our way through the seasons slowly for the last month or so, but we finally saw the Season 4 finale last night. Ariana actually got me hooked on that show, and I'm so glad I watched it. It's hilarious. Now I can finally look at Coupling blogs on Tumblr and not worry about being spoiled, haha.

-- Dangit!! I literally started this blog post when I woke up today, and now it's almost midnight and I just realized I never finished/posted this. I'm sitting at Project Night with a whole bunch of my friends discussing various project ideas we're planning on doing in the near future (and in general just doing social things), so I'm going to end this here. The end.

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 54-57

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BEDA 26: Inspiration, Motivation and Staying Busy.

Someone said this to me once in the comments, so I think I am going to comment on it today:

"You should make a blog post about how you keep yourself motivated, inspired and busy working all the time."

I am going to answer this question in three parts. :)

The easiest way to keep yourself inspired, really, is to surround yourself by inspiring people. I feel really fortunate to have incredibly talented friends, but it's not just a coincidence. I chose to associate with people who have obvious passions for the things they spend their time doing. A lot of my friends are musicians, but also I know photographers, writers, designers, actors - it's all a matter of who I've made the effort to keep in touch with over the years.
First off, however, there are plenty of ways to inspire yourself. Read books that make you want to write your own, listen to music that makes you want to figure out how to play your instrument better, watch television shows or movies that make you want to act, travel or learn to make movies yourself -- but! There will be dry spells in self-motivation, and that's where the friends come in. I have friends whose YouTube videos make me want to jump right up and start on one of my own. I have a friend who all I need to do is talk to her about writing for ten minutes and I start to get itchy fingers for working on something of my own. These kinds of people are so valuable to the typed of individuals who feel the need to create.
You also need to be perceptive to detail. Sometimes the smallest things will inspire me. A picture of a lovely town renews my desire to travel in an instant. An impressively phrased sentence in a book or script can inspire a whole story idea in my mind. The tiniest notion of something that may entertain a large group of people can become a most-viewed video. I see these kinds of ideas everywhere, and I guess that's what I would call inspiration.

This one is a little tougher. A person can have all the inspiration they want but never make the move to actually do the project, write the book, film the video, etc. I'm not really sure how to explain how to get motivation, because I kind of feel like I was born with it. But there are a few ways to keep other activities from detracting away from your motivation.
Don't let time-wasters destroy you. TV, Tumblr, going out and partying - whichever your poison is, find ways to enjoy these hobbies in moderation, or cut them out completely if you can't do that. I do all of the things I listed above, but I try to be pretty strict with myself about when those things are appropriate. I try to balance my day with a fitting amount of work and play.
The bottom line is that if you love your work, you wont need to feel the constant battle of wanting to do other things. Work isn't always fun, even if it is painting or writing or dancing, but the motivation is natural if you feel a calling for those things. I've been doing Internet stuff for fun long before it was making me any money. I was moderating forums amidst studying for tests in high school, I was building fanfiction communities during my lunch hour on the computers in the library in middle school, and so on and so forth to the degree that now, it still just feels like an extension of the things I've always loved to do. Some days, yes, it can be difficult to force myself to edit another video rather than staying in bed and finished Season 4 of Big Bang Theory, but when it comes right down to it, I could work at a fast food restaurant right now. And I don't. I make videos. So making videos doesn't seem so hard when I look at it that way.

Well, if you're inspired and motivated, being busy just comes naturally. It actually starts to freak me out and make me feel like I'm not accomplishing anything if my schedule starts to clear up, so my system for the last few years has just been this: If I feel like I am taking on the perfect number of projects at any given time, take on two more. Then I'll never have any time to spend lazing about and wondering if I'll ever need to get a real job. This IS a real job, one that keeps me far busier than I ever anticipated.

I know this stuff doesn't come as easily to everyone as it comes to me, but I think it's something everyone sort of needs to figure out on their own. You need to either figure out your passions and throw yourself into them, or, if you haven't quite found your passion yet? Try everything until something sticks. Once you know what you really want to accomplish in life, the rest follows.

And hey. If it makes you feel better (because I realize I kind of sound like a robot right now) in the past month I've clocked up 49 hours of gametime on Pokémon White. So we all slip up sometimes. xD

I want to ask a question for the comments section today -- Does inspiration and motivation come easily to you, or does it feel more like a constant battle?

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 53-56

Monday, April 25, 2011

BEDA 25: Fast food and Tangled.

Well, I am typing this blog post up while watching Tangled. For the third time. Justin hasn't seen it yet and my DVD just came in the mail from Amazon, so this is my Monday night.

I am pretty proud of myself - today I finished going through all my clothes and managed to get rid of a bunch of stuff. There are currently three bags sitting at the foot of my bed. I kind of have a problem when it comes to buying clothes, so this is something I should do much more often.

God, I love Tangled. I think one of the best parts of this movie is how amazingly they did Rapunzel's hair. I mean obviously the premise of this movie is that she has long, long hair so obviously they're going to pay extra attention to detail there, but it's exceptionally good. In past Disney movies it was kind of a thing that princesses have these impossible hairdos (can we talk about Ariel's hair for a second?) but Rapunzel's hair actually behaves the way normal hair would. Her bangs fall the way actual bangs would, it's messy sometimes when she's moving around, and you can see individual strands sometimes. I just think it's incredible.

Figures it's in the movie about Magic hair that Disney finally gets it right. xD

Today was mildly uneventful, but I did head over to Oliver's house today to record some last minute harmonies for the Buffy song. Tomorrow I am meeting with Forest and David to see a rough edit of the video, which I am really, really excited about. Everything seems to be coming together so nicely.

So I think I mentioned this back when Lent started, but this year I gave up fast food, and it was a lot easier than I thought (aside from the few times I slipped and had pizza). As yesterday was Easter, I am now free from my non-fast-food-eating time, so I celebrated tonight with one of my favorite restaurants, WingZone. I freaking love boneless buffalo wings and potato wedges.
But the funny thing is, aside from a few exceptions, I don't really miss fast food at all. I feel way better after having not eaten it in so long, and I'm not really in any hurry to start up again. So yay! Lent = successful.

Okay. Rapunzel is interrogating Flynn Ryder. I have to go. More tomorrow!

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 53-56

BEDA 24: Easter baskets at Age 23.

Oops, it's after midnight already. I was going to type up a blog post when I first got home from my parents' house, but I got distracted going through my clothes (I'm trying to get rid of at least two bags, since currently I don't have enough room to put them all away if everything is clean at the same time). After that I was going to do my blog post, but I got distracted talking to Luke. Then I was all set to start working after we hung up, but I popped downstairs for a moment and Justin was watching Jurassic Park, so there went another 30 minutes or so. Finally I came upstairs, sat down at the computer, opened Blogger -- and noticed in my email that my friend Gabe, the one I shot the "Delete You" music video with, had sent me a demo.

So I proceeded to watch it 3 times in my excitement.

Anyway, I'm here now, so blog post commence.

I had a wonderful weekend. As I said in a post about a month ago or so, I've been feeling overly homesick for my extended family (my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. The ones I don't get to see very often) but even moreso lately I've just been missing my immediate family too. So spending the whole weekend back in my hometown with them was just what I needed to quell the homesickness a bit longer while my busy life takes over again.

Saturday night we actually "celebrated Easter" because my brother has a job now and had to work on Easter Sunday. My parents are lovely and still do Easter baskets (seriously, how does someone "outgrow" gifts and candy? They don't) and every year, my parents hide mine in the dryer. They said to us, "alright, we decided to do Easter baskets one more year [they always say that] so go find them before we eat." I hopped up from my chair and said, "Well, I know where I'm looking."

But! Lo and behold, there were... clothes. In the dryer. So I was stumped. And searched around the entire house twice before realizing that my parents had in fact tried to hide my basket in the dryer as usual, but upon seeing it was occupied, hid it one foot away in the shower. Figures.

After our Easter dinner we went out on the back patio where my family has a fire pit, and we shared the first backyard fire of the year.

Today was a relaxing day; highlights being shopping with my mom (and buying 5 pairs of shoes between the two of us.. don't judge) and doing an extreme car-washing session with my dad. My poor little black car needed it badly. I stayed for dinner and then let my parents get on our DVR to show me their favorite songs from this week on American Idol. They're really into American Idol.

I feel really sort of refreshed from my weekend at home which didn't involve video-editing and email checking and crossing things off to-do lists. You need a little break from that every now and then, so I appreciated it. But tomorrow is Monday, so back to the routine. I am tackling my closet tomorrow.. need to fill another bag with clothes to get rid of. Wish me luck.

Flights taken: 8
Pokemon team levels: 52-56

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BEDA 23: Reliving the good old days.

It's only 10 o'clock at night right now, but I am completely exhausted. That seems to be the theme of this month, it appears.

I'm sitting in the family room while my parents try to watch TV but ultimately just keep falling asleep - it's just like old times. Haha. Anyway, I'm having trouble concentrating because the TV is loud and my mom keeps asking me things and to be honest I only got a few hours of sleep last night because I was out reliving my high school days with a bunch of "the old crew" who all happened to be home at the same time.

Hahha. The newscaster on TV just said "we're having some great weather this week after a truly miserable Spring so far" and I turned to my mom and said, "wow, that's dreary. I don remember our Spring being that miserable so far." My mom just rolled her eyes at me and said "you haven't been here for most of it! I'm sure our Spring seemed great during all those weekends you spent in Florida." Fair point, Mom. Fair point.

So yesterday around 5ish I drove the 45 minutes back to my hometown where I dumped my stuff off in the guest room that used to be my bedroom. I went out for dinner with my old high school pals Justin and Colin, and then we met up with Liz and Eia afterward back at our school. Eia actually helped direct the show that opened there last night, so we all went to see it and support her. Plus it's also nice to visit my school and see the my old director and the theatre I spent so much time in growing up. :)

The rest of the night was spent being a little crazy with some of my best friends that I don't get to see nearly as often as I'd like anymore. There was a lot of ping pong, chips and salsa, cheap wine and dubsteap. Until about 5 AM. I love my friends.

Today was good too but I'm too tired to write about it. I'll get to it later.

Flights: 8
Pokémon team levels: 50-52

Friday, April 22, 2011

BEDA 22: Pokémon and Anime classes.

Hello! It's Friday morning, I'm still in bed, and my to-do list today is long. Let's cross "blogging" off early, shall we?

Yesterday I met my dad for lunch around 11:30, which is something we try to do fairly regularly. He took me out for Pho (which is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup if you didn't already know) and we chatted about various family things before being joined by one of his coworkers. When we returned to his office, he took me around and introduced me to some new employees as usual, and the ones who already know me told me they'd been keeping up with my videos. I always end up blushing a lot whenever I visit my Dad's office. He's such a proud dad (though everything gets put in check when I remember he has THREE pictures of my little cousin Madeline on his wall by his desk and only one of me. What gives, DAD? At least I'm doing better than my brother Nick, who's first wall picture was only put up recently).

Anyway, I came home I continued work on the "Behind the Scenes" videos for the Buffy project. The whole thing took so much time to create; there's actually going to be a series of five videos I post on my second channel that will be companion videos (if people are interested in "Behind the Scenes" stuff, that is). The videos are pretty fun, so I hope people like them.

Last night I went and saw the play The Secret in the Wings at UW with my friend Hope. There's actually a funny story about this show -- I saw it originally at the Seattle Reperatory Theatre about 5 or 6 years ago, and my high school friends and I absolutely fell in love. Then later, we realized it was kind of a new work and couldn't find anything about it online really. We began to wonder if we'd ever really seen the show at all or if the whole thing was some bizarre sort of shared dream. Haha.
Anyway, when I heard my old college was putting it on, I immediately bought tickets. I was really excited to see if the show lived up to these crazy expectations I had built up in my mind over the last few years.

It didn't.

But I still enjoyed the production! It just wasn't quite this magical, ethereal experience I remembered having with my friends so long ago. I guess it's one of those things where you have to wonder if it would have been better to just never see the show again and savor the memory of the experience. Or something.

By the way, while we're on the topic of school - so if you've been reading my blog awhile, you know in college I got to take all these fun focus groups within my major. I took one on childbirth (which I loved), but more excitingly, the one on Disney.

Anyway, I'm still on the mailing list for news about my major, and this quarter I've received two emails that have made me want to re-enroll in college. Check out these focus groups they're offering Summer quarter this year:

[CHID496A] Pokémon 101
The focus group will be watching Pokémon episodes, doing readings on Pokémon, learning about Japanese popular culture, and encountering questions about animal representation and rights.

[CHID 495] Animation: Miyazaki and the Vitality of Media
M and W are film screenings of Hayao Miyazaki's films and other important anime. Tuesdays and Thursdays we talk about the films in relationship to readings we've finished. Some of the films we will watch: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.

DUDE. Why didn't I get to take these classes? It's like they created these classes FOR ME and I won't even be there to enjoy them!!!!

Moral of today's blog post = life is unfair. Also, stay in school.

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team level: 48-51

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BEDA 21: Weekly Project Workshop.

Wow, we're really getting into the home stretch with BEDA, aren't we? It's amazing how quickly blogging every day becomes part of the day's events; I'd hardly noticed that twenty days have already gone by.

There was a comment on one of my posts yesterday that made me smile, so I figured I would share it: "Er... you can't just *drop in* that you went to the bank without reporting on that amazing security guard and any bank antics that went down. Not cool. :P"

Hahaha. Well, the thing is, my security guard friend and I have just sort of settled into a routine where I show up, he smiles and opens the door for me, I deposit my checks and then when I'm leaving, he tells me "it's always nice to see you here" and I smile wide back and tell him "No, it's nice to see you!" Every time. Without fail. And I still do that thing where I sort of hang back and wait outside the door a moment if I see he's busy because I know it disappoints him if he can't open the door for me. So, that's the update on my bank. Thanks for caring, guys. xD

Yesterday I had a voice lesson, which went well (though my voice teacher and I are becoming good friends and I always end up staying a half hour longer than my lesson because we're just talking or watching YouTube videos together). We've been working on this Ingrid Michaelson/Sarah Bareilles duet and she asked me yesterday if I would ever want to go sing it with her at an ope mic night here in Seattle. I've never done anything like that before! I'm kind of excited about the idea.

The rest of my day was spent writing lyrics for a new song, editing a few videos and stopping y my dad's office to pick up a bunch of stuff I bought on Amazon and accidentally shipped to my parents' house rather than to mine. Finally, I own a copy of Tangled. Finally!

My friends Tara and Alexander have been doing this thing called "Weekly Project Workshop", which essentially means they invite their friends over on Wednesday nights to work on whatever project they currently have going on, or to start a new project, or whatever. Basically we all sit in the same room on our laptops, go around the circle and say what we're hoping to accomplish that night, and then we do it. And since we told everyone what we're doing, we feel like we're held more accountable to actually get work done. Plus there are so many people in the room with different skills, you can easily ask each other for ideas/suggestions/tips etc. Last night was my first night going, but I really liked it. I finally cleaned out my email inbox (which I have been putting off for weeks) and got a Zaxy post done (another thing I have been slacking on for awhile).

The best part, really, is that we were all pretty much just working on the same sorts of things we would have been if we were at home - so the basic concept of just sitting on our laptops together rather than at our respective house is already a great idea. Fun and productive. :)

Then at 10:30 I had to run back to UW for the last pickup shot for the Buffy video. I met with Forest, David the cameraguy, and our other friend Hope in the black box theatre. We were just getting some simple shots to help thicken up the variety of scenes to cut away to, so it didn't take very long at all. Though Forest made sure to tell me on multiple occasions how much of a hair flipper I am. And how squinty my eyes are. And a bunch of other weird ticks I have that people would only notice after going through hours of footage. Cool. xD

The best part of the night was when David showed us a bunch of rough cuts of different scenes from the video that he's already begun editing together. I almost wet my pants, it looked so awesome. I am dying to show you guys this. DYING.

Now I have some more videos to edit and life things to attend to, so I'm going to wrap this up.

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 47-48

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BEDA 20: Aquarium adventure.

Yesterday was a pretty laid back, lovely day.

It started with me heading down to a local coffee shop about a block away and meeting with someone from Throwboy. I recently sort of started getting to know them when I dropped by their booth at Emerald City Comic Con, so we decided to meet up so they could give me a bag of their pillows to give away on YouTube in creative ways. So I've got a garbage bag full of fun chat pillows sitting in my room now, just itching to be given to fans. I'm probably going to start doing something with those in the next week or so.

Then Justin had a Groupon for the Seattle Aquarium that expired today, so we hopped in his car and headed downtown. First, however, I found out that MysteryGuitarMan was doing this sticker hunt thing and that one of the stickers was not only in Seattle, bit literally right across the street from the Aquarium. I made Justin do a little detour on Post Alley so I could hunt for it, but by the time I got there, the Seattle sticker had been stolen (why are people such jerks and have to ruin the fun for everyone else?)

Anyway, I took this sad picture in front of where the sticker was supposed to be, tweeted my disappointment, and headed down to Anthony's on the Pier for happy hour. Unfortunately since we were on the Pier, pretty much ever restaurant/bar down there specialized in seafood, so my options were slim for snacks. I ended up splurging on an $11 blackberry cobbler (with vanilla ice cream!) because cobbler is my weakness and I was feeling sorry for myself looking at the other options of calamari (barf) and clam chowder. The bartender also seemed to really like Justin and I, and gave us free shots "on the bar".

Now, I am 23 years old, but I try not to talk too much about drinking because I know I have young fans and I like to keep up the facade that I'm that girl who saves sick children in Guatemala and plays with My Little Ponies in her rainbow colored bedroom (haha) but there is just something so funny about the fact that by the time Justin and I got to the aquarium we were about four drinks in and a little afternoon-sloshy that I'm just going to lay it all out on the table. We called it "Drinking with the Fishes". It made the aquarium SO much more fun.

I hadn't been to the aquarium in years, and I didn't remember anything about it. There were adorable tide pools (where Justin poked a fish and it freaked him out so much he whipped his hand out and got his whole front soaking wet) and this big circular tank that jelly fish just swam around and around and around in, with LED lights making them look cool colors. We caught the sea otter feeding, and I completed my mission of finding fish that looked like Dori and Nemo.

Then the WEIRD thing, was I ran into my good friend Karly! Of all the places to see an old friend -- just so happened she and her boyfriend had a Groupon that expired too. Haha. Anyway, Karly is really into octupus, so we spent a while at the octopus tank, listening to one of the employees tell us all sorts of cool facts about them. Apparently they only mate them on Valentine's Day. Adorable.

Oh, and I did this:
On our way home, our friend Alexander called and tried to convince us to go play Laser Tag with him and Forest, so Justin and I stopped by their apartment rather than going home. Neither of us were in any mood to play Laser Tag really, but we knew we could convince them to do other stuff (plus I knew Tara wouldn't wan't to play, so regardless of whether or not Justin got stuck playing with the other guys, I knew I'd be safe).

We ended up going out for pizza (and more drinks) at this place called the Crocodile, then coming back and playing.. okay I'm going to attempt this. Betrayal at House on the Hill? Betrayal at Haunted Hill House? The Haunted Betrayal at that one House over on the Hill? Hill House Betrayal at The? (The joke became saying the name stupider and stupider the longer we played, because the name is so complicated that even if you're looking at the box it's hard to say).

The evening ended with a few rousing rounds of You Don't Know Jack and another game I can't remember the name of but was kind of like CatchPhrase. I had a blast. I have such little time lately to just hang out with friends (and have it not include working on a large project) so I really appreciate when I get to have evenings like this. :)

Aside from a voice lesson and the filming of a small pickup shot for the Buffy video, I have no idea what my plans are today. I'm excited to find out.

Flights taken: 8
Pokémon team levels: 46-47

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BEDA 19: Final day of shooting.

I'm having one of those mornings where the sun is streaming in through my open window and it makes me want to wear a cute outfit and frolic around outside for no apparent reason. The massage yesterday left me feeling practically as good as new, so I'm on kind of a high today. The kind of high where things like cleaning the bathroom seem like they could actually somehow be a little fun, and crossing things off my to-do list is easy as cake.

Speaking of cake, I've been really wishing I was part of this whole Portal 2 hype that's been going on. I never played Portal, and while I know the song that plays over the credits as well as the next nerd, I don't even really know what type of game it is. Guess I'll stick to my Pokemon. I hope everyone who started playing last night is enjoying themselves though, I know how exhilarating the night of a big release can be. :)

So, before the details flee from my mind, I want to sort of wrap up my commentary on the filming of the Buffy video. Sunday was the last big day and it was the first time we had the whole cast together. We were at a new location this time; we shot the outdoor "school" scenes at a local community center (that weirdly looked much more like a school than a community center). I sent out a call for extras on twitter and surprisingly a few people showed up! Even though the sun was shining that day, it was still freezing (theme of the video I guess) so we tried to get everything done as quickly as possible.

There were a few different shots we needed to get that day, but my favorite by far was the one where we rigged a makeshift jib onto the back of the UHaul so that the camera could smoothly be raised and lowered to film things behind it at angles regular humans can't reach. I think it's going to look amazing. I did feel a little silly though, walking behind a huge truck and lipsyncing to the camera attached to it. Haha.

I wish I had more time to spend with the people we cast for this video. I don't want to give too much away, but there's an older cast (that's the section I'm in) and a younger cast for another section of the video that runs parallel to what I'm doing. If that makes sense. Here is a picture of me with the younger girls; they were all adorable:

There is one more shoot we're trying to line up which would double as a cast party (but it all depends on our ability to secure a location that looks remotely like the inside of the Bronze) so if that comes together in the next week or so, then we'll be completely finished filming. I can't wait!

Now that I have a bit more time to work with, I am returning to regular life type things - I have a meeting today and directly after Justin and I are heading over to the Seattle Aquarium to use a Groupon he bought ages ago. This weekend is Easter and I am looking forward to spending some time with my family. And most importantly, I have time now to catch up on my favorite tv shows!

That's all for today. See you tomorrow!

Flights taken: 8
Pokemon team levels: 46-47

Monday, April 18, 2011

BEDA 18: Massage Envy.

I am way too exhausted to be blogging right now.

Today was my first day that wasn't jam packed full of rehearsal or filming or preplanned events in nearly a week, so I spent a good part of the morning just relishing in that, lying in bed, watching a bit of Big Bang Theory (I saw the second Will Wheaton episode, which was amazing) and replying to email. Finally I crawled out of bed around noon and forced myself to run a few necessary errands. Bank, grocery store, etc.

Then I completely spoiled myself and went to "Massage Envy" where I splurged on an hour long massage (though to be fair, newcomers get the introductory $39 price, which isn't terrible). I have only had two real massages before in my life, both of which were paid for by my mom (one for graduating college and one as a Christmas gift) so this was kind of a big deal for me. The guy who gave me the massage was pretty cool, and somehow got my whole life story out of me over the course of the massage.

I went home feeling like total jelly and spent the remainder of the day catching up on Being Human with Justin. I really like the show, but it's getting super dark. The two episodes we watched today were incredibly sad and mildly disturbing, actually.

I have a lot of work to catch up on after being as busy as I was all last week, but I really needed today to just veg out. It was good. I want to write about the last day of shooting for the Buffy video too, but it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges: 8
Pokémon team level range: 43-46

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BEDA 17: The Demon Boss.

I am so exhausted. I'm literally just lying flat on my back in bed with my laptop on my stomach, thanking whatever sentient being is responsible for the fact that I don't have to go anywhere for another two and a half hours. It's nice to just relax. :)

Yesterday fight rehearsal went really well. We just practiced in my living room (and now that I think about it, I just remembered the chairs and other furniture aside from the couch and tv are still shoved haphazardly in my dining room, oops. Hope my roommates didn't need those) but I thought the fight sequence we learned yesterday was so, so much cooler than the first one I was taught. I think I'm getting the hang of this stuff a little.

Around 2 we had some filming to do at my house which didn't take long, I met with Lauren the costumer again to get a bag of sweaters from her to bring to Kayley (who's playing Willow) and then Forest took myself and David (the camera man) out to lunch. After that I had about an hour to myself before heading back over to the Community College we're using as the set for another big evening of filming.

I had so much fun last night. There were more actors around this time, including the three girls we cast as demons (including Tara) and Kayley and a guy named Nater as my Willow and Xander. Dameaion (the guy who's been teaching me the fight choreography) was the main demon boss and had on the scariest makeup of all time. He's a super nice guy, so we were both pretty excited to film this scene. It was way more intense of a fight scene (as I said before) than the one we did the night before with the vamps, so I had my work cut out for me.

This shoot had extras too! And a big sign that looks like the one in front of the Bronze on the tv show. The only problem was that it was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING, so when we weren't shooting, there was a lot of jumping around and trying to make those stupid hand-warmers get hot enough to actually help.

-- This part is written hours later after another day of shooting.

So many of the people we cast in this video are so nice and fun to be around; I really hope I can stay in touch with a lot of them. I know I complain all the time that all my video-making YouTube friends live down in LA, but this weekend has really reminded me what a great place Seattle is for this kind of stuff. It's been incredible, seeing the enthusiasm in my friends to help out with this project. I feel so blessed all the time to be surrounded by creative, eager people when it comes to working together on things like this.

I got home pretty late last night with bruises on my arms and fingers that were chilled to the bone, so I pretty much just crawled in my bed and fell right asleep. Today was another big adventure, but I'll tell you about it tomorrow. :)

PS. Forest told me he ctrl+F'd my blog posts to see how many times I said his name while talking about the shoot (what a n00b) so here: Forest Forest Forest. You're dumb. :P

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges in Pokemon: 8
Pokemon team level range: 43-46

Saturday, April 16, 2011

BEDA 16: Filming Day 1

So much going on, so little time to blog about it all. Yesterday we had our first full session of shooting for the Secret Buffy project. I headed up to a local community college about twenty minutes from my house where I was meeting with the rest of the production team and the three guys we cast as vampires for the shoot. It was amazing how professional everything was. I've been filming a behind the scenes video that I'll be posting when the actual video goes up so you can see what I am talking about, but Forest really went above and beyond with the prep work for this.

We had a UHaul for transporting the lights and other equipment, one of those event tents for all the technical stuff (in case it rained) a craft services table with food for the actors and a makeup station. We had to get another two guys in full vampire makeup before we could do any real shooting, so I spent the wait time rehearsing the fight scene over and over. Then the guys were ready and we began shooting. We were doing this outside in a little alleyway-looking area, and I was wearing a tanktop (thanks, Buffy, for being set in Southern California) so there was always one person on coat duty when I was filming. I felt kind of bad that they had to keep running back and forth with my jacket between shots, but it was SO COLD.

It took about an hour to an hour and a half to get everything filmed in all the different angles we wanted and everything, but I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had. Everyone we cast was super nice and great to work with, and even though I got kicked in the arm once on accident, I walked away from the shoot at 10pm with minimal injuries and bruises. Mostly I'm just sore from learning this stuff. Fake martial arts uses muscles I didn't even know I had.

Forest and the camera guys seemed pretty happy with the footage we got last night. It's amazing that again, it took upwards of three hours to film a scene that will probably make up 20-30 seconds of a much larger video, and I'm continually astonished realizing how long it must take to film a whole episode of Buffy for real (or any show really). The only real acting I had ever done before this was live theatre, which is a whole different animal, so I am gaining miles of respect for TV actors this weekend. Do you measure respect in miles? I'm sticking with that.

Oh, I guess I did some TV acting when I was in Ireland for ApartmentRed, but even that seemed easier than this. Memorizing lines is a cynch; it's memorizing fight choreography and making it look the same each time you shoot it that's hard.

Anyway, I'm just killing time before the fight choreographer gets to my house - he should be here any minute to rehearse for tonight's shoot. Last night was the big vampire scene; tonight we're shooting a slightly different demon scene outside "the Bronze". My feet are killing me from the square-heeled boots I'm wearing with every single Buffy outfit, so today I am rehearsing in running shoes. Haha.

We have some easier, non-fight scenes to film here in my bedroom before the big one tonight anyway, so my feet get a little bit of a break. Thankfully.

I know I am pretty much giving everything away with these blog posts, but I am too excited to keep everything under wraps. I am SO anxious for this video to come out. I think people are going to really like it. That's all for today, I'll be sure to have many, many more exciting details for you tomorrow!

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges in Pokemon: 8
Samurott level: 45

Friday, April 15, 2011

BEDA 15: Fight choreography!

Hello, blog readers! I had another jam-packed day yesterday that my fingers are itching to tell you about. My day started early - first I had a meeting with the costumer for the Secret Buffy Project where I tried on so many amazing mildly ugly 90's clothes. The best part is the pair of high heeled boots I get to wear that are so quintessentially Buffy; believe it or not I actually never owned a pair of boots like these. I was probably just about the only girl who didn't.

Anyway, after deciding on a few mini skirts, floral dresses and some perfect red pants, I had to dash out the door to run and pick up my roommate Justin from the airport. He'd been in Texas for a week or so visiting his family down there. Much to Justin's chagrin, I didn't actually have time to take him HOME before the next thing on my agenda, which was heading downtown to go to the Triple Door Musicquarium and Lounge for Jimmy's second Seattle show/charity benefit here in Seattle.

I don't think Justin minded too terribly much, though, because we managed to get there in time for Happy Hour and had ourselves some delicious food and a few low-priced drinks before the event actually started. My friend Cynthia (thecynchannel on YouTube) also showed up, and I had a great time hanging out with her all night. There was a raffle for a bunch of prizes (with all the proceeds going to Japan Red Cross) and Cynthia and I ended up winning three prizes between the both of us!! (Justin won nothing, haha). I personally got $100 in movie tickets to the Seattle IMAX theatre, which is freaking AWESOME.

We spent the rest of the evening hanging out, mingling a little, making fun of this adorable sucker fish that was following us around from inside the giant fish tank, and teasing Jimmy for being so effin' popular. It was a total blast. I was a little bit bummed when I had to duck out a bit early, but I had to rush down to the Seattle Center for my fight choreography rehearsal. Yeah, you heard me right. xD

So, Forest hired this guy to teach me (and the other vampires, who all at least have a bit of experience in this stuff unlike me) to do onscreen combat without actually killing each other. We met up in this rehearsal room and first when over the basics of punching and kicking, and then walked through the whole fight routine between me and these three vampires. We worked pretty much straight for two hours, and even though I'm still really inflexible and have never actually punched someone in my life, I think it started to look vaguely believable. And with movie magic, I bet people watching the final product might actually believe I'm a total bad ass. So that was fun.

Also, I had to do all the fighting in the aforementioned boots. Because, come on, vampire slayer? She only fights in style. Such a great character trait in the TV show, being the ass-kicking girl fighter - but it makes everything SO much more difficult.

I have so much more respect now for people who do this stuff all the time in TV shows and movies. We were blocking what will literally come out to be a twenty second scene in a video. I can't even imagine how much training goes into some of the fight scenes I've watched in the past in legit movies and TV shows - especially Buffy. There are fight scenes in every single episode! Sarah Michelle Gellar is a boss.

The funniest part of the night was the fact that Justin had to come with me to the fight rehearsal too, because there just wasn't enough time for me to take him home inbetween all my stuff going on. Poor guy had his suitcase in my car the whole time and it took us five and a half hours to actually get him to walk in our front door. I bet that's the last time he asks ME for a ride, hahaha.

More exciting stuff to come today! See you tomorrow!

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges in Pokémon: 8
Samurott level: 45

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BEDA 14: Vampire prosthetics.

Decided to try my hand at actually blogging early in the day today, rather than fitting in between various outings with friends or during someone's show or seconds before heading to do something else. I'm finding the change is (not surprisingly) very relaxing.

So right I am sitting in bed, trying really hard to catch up on email before I need to get up, shower, and meet with the costumer for the Buffy video. I know I have been dropping hints here left and right, and that at this point, it probably doesn't even sound like a YouTube video anymore. My friend Forest has a TON of theatre and artsy friends, so our little idea, somehow over the course of planning, has turned into a rather large production with a cast and crew of something like thirty people. It's kind of crazy. I've never really been involved in a production like this, so I am really enjoying the experience.

Last night, the rest of Jimmy's meetup was a ton of fun. Kayley and I tweeted out that we were there to see if we could get any last minute fans to show up, and low and behold one did! This girl named Caity (who just happened to see our tweets on her way home) showed up, and apparently had come to a ROFLCOPTOUR show in Boulder last summer. She was really nice, and we ended up talking to her for most of the rest of the evening. Then this super weird guy came and sat RIGHT IN BETWEEN US, which made conversing difficult, not to mention awkward when he started drinking water from Caity's glass. So weird.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that we met a girl named Bam Bam. Seriously. Like "Pebbles and". She was really nice; just came to support Jimmy and everything. But her name was Bam Bam! For no reason other than that it was her name! I have never met anyone named Bam Bam before, not unless they lived in the Stone Age.

After the meetup (and after the restaurant forcing me to take leftover Chinese food with me for the road, not that I'm complaining) Jimmy and I both had to head over to UW for the first night of shooting for the Buffy project. It was great timing that Jimmy was going to be in town this week, and Forest immediately jumped on figuring out a great little cameo for him. So starting around 10 pm that night, our friend Alexander began the long process of putting Vampire prosthetics on Jimmy. I spent most of the evening alternating between taking behind the scenes footage and holding Jimmy's prosthetics on while the glue dried. I really can't wait until you guys get to see this stuff.

The makeup actually took much, much longer than the actual filming, but I think we working until almost midnight. I don't have a picture of the final makeup right now, but he looked scary. It made me super excited to do the rest of the filming this weekend with the full cast. :)

Jimmy I went out for Dick's burgers after the shoot, which is always a staple for those visiting Seattle, and then I think I finally crawled my way into bed around 2am. I have a lot of long days coming up, but I couldn't be more pumped for them. I'll be back with more updates tomorrow!

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges on Pokemon: 8
Oshawott level: 44 (I am aware he's now a Samurott, but it didn't occur to me to change that name here until someone pointed it out in the comments. I'll start tomorrow. xD)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BEDA 13: Together-together?!

So much for having more time for blogging once I got home from Miami... I'm currently sitting in a little Chinese restaurant watching Jimmy Wong play guitar for all the people who came to his meet up/dinner thing, and this is honestly the first free moment I've had to blog today. That's pretty sad, since blogging during my friend's show is a pretty terrible time to write, but I'm sure Jimmy will forgive me.

This meet up is adorable. I'm not entirely positive how it all came together, but I think this function is sponsored by the Red Cross. At least I think that's who I donated money to a few minutes ago. Haha. There is this woman who keeps ushering Jimmy around, having him meet everyone, and it's just really cute. She also gave us copies of the Asian Weekly newspaper he's on the cover of. And these fliers with pictures of his face and quotes from him on it. Kayley and I are trying to figure out what to do with these printouts of Jimmy's face. Because we need to do something good with it. 

We met his mom a little bit ago, and after being introduced, she asked Kayley and I if we were together. We both froze for a moment, not sure whether she was actually asking us if we were together-together or what... but then Jimmy clarified that yes, we both live in Seattle - so I was quick to reply "oh, we DROVE here together." So awkward. Hahaha.

Later tonight, after this event, we're heading over to UW for the first night of filming for the Secret Buffy video. I'm really excited to get started on this. We have Kayley playing Willow, too, which is super fun. :D

Okay, Jimmy is playing Damien Rice now. I need to go back to paying attention. See ya tomorrow, guys.

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges on Pokemon: 8
Oshawott level: 44

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BEDA 12: Last day in Miami.

What a weekend. Seriously, even though the Miami Yule Ball was kind of a smaller show (compared to conventions and stuff) I think it was one of my favorite wizard rock related trips I've ever gotten to take with my friends. It was just so nice to see everyone in the middle of our crappy weather season in such a beautiful, fun location -- and to have the extra days to sightsee and experience Miami. That's generally my biggest annoyance about all the traveling I do, actually. We go to all these fun cities but then spend most of the time in a hotel and don't really see what the city has to offer.

But this time, I definitely feel like we got a taste of South Beach. :)

Last night after all the hostel room Ke$ha dancing, we took the local bus (it only cost 25 cents!) down to this shopping area to meet with Erinn and Aaron for dinner. There were so many fun shops to see, and the walkways were decorated with these fancy fountains and modern art. We ended up eating at this Thai place that was delicious, and then walked around and shopped for awhile afterwards, like girls do.

Everything was going really well until we saw these two women walking out of a clothing store... with a puppy. They told us "we bought it in there!", which immediately set off mental alarms to all of us. We went inside and sure enough, amidst the dresses and shoes and shirts there was a small area with dog beds and water bowls and three adorable, sad, moderately sick looking puppies for sale (and everything smelled like pee). The worst part, aside from the obvious, was that above the puppies there were these shelves, where they were selling puppy sized coats and puppy sized dresses and puppy sized sunglasses and purses big enough to put a puppy inside... these poor animals were being sold as accessories and it made all of us sick. Ariana was seriously considering buying one just to get it out of there. 

After at least twenty minutes of playing with the puppies and fantasizing about rescuing them, we finally had to tear ourselves away because it just wasn't practical. But I don't think any of us are going to get those puppy faces out of our memories for awhile.

That night we sort of took over the hostel kitchen and pooled all the collective snacks we'd purchased over the course of the weekend for party food. It was really nice just spending our last night in Miami hanging out and talking (even though the night beach swimming we'd done the night before was fun too. xD) We were having a super relaxing evening, just reminiscing about old tv shows we used to love, until these Swiss guys showed up. 

Apparently they weren't even staying at our hostel, but just come back now and then to try and pick up girls. I have never met a ruder bunch of guys - they kept trying to steal our food and one guy kept trying to shove money at us (suggestively, if you know what I mean) and I didn't realize this right away but another one was lurking in the back taking creeper pictures of us, which was just the last straw. After they started calling us vulgar names in their language, we left and made sure they were no longer welcome at the hostel. I hate that these places are such a great tool for people to travel and meet other interesting people from all over the world, but a bunch of dicks like those guys can really just mess it up.

Luckily they DID leave, and we got our kitchen back. Another guy came in later (named Simon) who was super nice and he told us his life story which was fun and interesting, so that kind of renewed my faith in hostels.

This morning we got up moderately early, and while most of our friends had left already, Ariana, Eia, Kayley and I still had the morning to spend in Miami. We had one last hurrah at the beach, I got some pretty funny tan lines (I still have my wrist band on from the show and it left a HUGE white stripe around my wrist.. so that's gong to be fun at home) and then we headed off to the airport.

This is the heartbreaking part of the story. When we were going through security, we realized Eia's ticket had been booked under "Eia" and not under her real name. We aren't even sure how it happened, but since that isn't the name on her ID, they wouldn't let her through. We were already kind of running late, so we sent Eia to complain at the front desk while we headed back to our gate and told her to call with updates.

Well, apparently this name business is a much bigger deal than we thought, because they couldn't get it sorted out in time for our flight. So, feeling extremely terrible, we had to board our flight without Eia. :( I'm sure she'll get on the next flight or something, but I hated leaving her behind, and the whole situation was stupid, and it sucks not being able to call her for an update until our layover in Denver. So that's been the saga of my last day or so in Miami. I'd LIKE to say I can't wait to return to the quiet life at home, but I have an incredibly busy week waiting for me to jump into it. Never a dull moment. I feel like I say that a lot.

Flights taken: 8
Gym badges in Pokemon: 7
Oshawott level: 38

Monday, April 11, 2011

BEDA 11: Kidrobot and the beeeeach.

This is another rush day, I'm afraid. There is just way too much going on here in Miami with everyone, and the hostel we are staying at really isn't the type of place you hang out in for long periods of time.. it's more of a home base/place to keep your stuff between shopping, beaching and eating.

Oh no. Ariana is getting out her speakers right now for a pre-dinner KE$HA dance party, which is going to make blogging even HARDER. I don't think I can write intelligent things when my best friends are next to me in this tiny hostel room shaking it to "Take it Off".

Today we decided to walk down the street a bit further than we had been (the rest of the trip we've been kind of keeping a few block radius since all we really needed was beach, food and the walgreens that we got sunscreen and beach toys from) and we found all these super cute stores. There was this pretty standard Miami gift shop where we all got these matching neon shorts that say "I'm in Miami bitch", which, while we all agree are SUPER tacky, we had to get. Because come on.

Then we found a KIDROBOT. If you don't know what Kidrobot is, you're seriously missing out. They sell all these adorable little weird toys where you have to buy them in a box and then you don't know which one you're going to get... so we all bought a couple of them (we got zipper pulls) and had a ton of fun opening them and comparing which ones we got. I think we definitely were channeling our inner children today, ha. I took a video of it, so that'll be on my second channel sometime soon.

Also, someone recognized me on the beach today! It wasn't even anyone from the show the other night; just a random person. That's always fun. :)

The boys had to leave this morning, which kind of sucks, but the extra girl time has been nice. I spend a lot of time with boys, between my time with Echo Base and living with Justin - so all this concentrated girl time is nice. And we don't have to go home until tomorrow afternoon!

Now we're all putting dresses on and heading down on the bus to some outdoor mall to have dinner with Erinn and Aaron. Also, I can't ignore the KE$HA anymore. So, this is all for today.

Flights taken: 7
Gym badges on Pokemon: 6
Oshawott level: 37

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BEDA 10: Sand everywhere.

I am trying to fit in as much blogging as I can between lunch and more beach time. Everyone is around me right now putting on sunscreen and re-inflating beach toys, but here I am typing away on my iPad because blogging is IMPORTANT.

After a lot of swimming and floating and splashing and tanning and general beach-ing yesterday, everyone came back to the hostel to pretty themselves up. We got to take this party bus from the hostel to the college which was amazing -- they supplied us with wine and tunes and like the dorks we are, we spent most of the ride either filming each other for the plethora of VEDA vlogs happening on this trip, or trying to do flips on the bar that ran across the ceiling of the vehicle. While it was moving. Yup.

Last nights show was really fun. (This is the part of the blog where I had to stop writing because everyone else was heading out for breakfast and beach day #2)
So now, post beach... The show was really awesome. Everyone at the Miami Yule Ball really took the theme to heart and looked incredible. I don't think I have seen people that well dressed since my high school prom, honestly. I had a pretty intense night, being on stage three different times. First Kayley and I were up for the live interactive Fiveawesomegirls show. We were kind of nervous, because fiveawesomegirls is something that was never meant to BE live, but it ended up working out really well. We had this giant die (it was something like a foot by a foot in size) that we rolled to see which challenges we'd do, and had a really great time doing onstage twister and answering surprisingly inappropriate questions during our Q&A. People in Miami are NOSEY.

The Parselmouths set went well too, and having everyone dance with us for "Voldemort Fangirl", our closing song, always brings back a ton of nostalgia from the old Parselmouths days.

Ministry of Magic and The Remus Lupins played next, which is always awesome, and ALL CAPS closed out the night, and for some reason Luke and I were being extra goofy onstage, so I might even say it was one of my favorite ALL CAPS shows. :)

On the party bus ride back to our hostel Erinn busted out some glow sticks, which was just necessary, aaaand today was pretty much just food and beach, all day. And volleyball games. We all came back to wash the sand off our bodies before dinner, so I'm taking this time to finish up my blog while everything is still fresh. I'm having such a good time here with my friends. I feel like everything is so stressful and hectic at home right now... Having my friends from all over the country be able to just come and spend this weekend together has really been the best.

Flights taken: 7
Gym badges in Pokemon: 6
Oshawott level: 37

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BEDA 9: Blue floaty tube.

Blogging on this Miami trip is proving to be much harder than I thought. I literally woke up, showers, went out to lunch with everyone, bought some floater beach supplies and headed out to the ocean. We spent a few good hours in the water, a little time tanning and now we're already back at the hostel getting ready for the show.

I have no idea what to expect tonight at the concert, but all I know is that they apparently got us a party bus to take us to and from the venue. So it's definitely going to be awesome.

I'm pretty stoked, because the show tonight should be really great, and then we have nooooo plans until we fly home on TUESDAY.

I don't really have much else to report, honestly, aside from the fact that I bought a big blue inner tube for swimming (which I LOVE) and the hostel has crappy towels so we all needed to get new beach towels for the remainder of our trip. Mine says "FLORIDA" on it and has neon splatter paint designs.

I can't even comprehend being back in Seattle weather right now, I am enjoying the Miami sun so much. Being here with friends is incredible, and it's days like today, when I have very little time to blog and way too much fun stuff going on to properly get it down in words that I have to stop and remember just for a moment how lucky I am to have such an awesome life and wonderful friends. :)

Fights taken: 6
Gym badges on Pokemon: 6
Oshawott level: 37

Friday, April 8, 2011

BEDA 8: Miamiiiiiiii.

Miami trip day one!

Im typing this on a plane! Today has literally just been traveling. Kayley and I woke up earlier than we would have liked, did last minute trip packing panic type stuff, and headed over to Ariana's with Eia. Since then, it's just been a lot of waiting in lines, a lot of flying and a lot of eating airport food. (So much airport food).

I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to my "no fast food for Lent" rule -- especially in airports, where it's particularly tough. I resisted the urge to buy Taco Bell during our layover in Dallas. Pretty good.

I did have a very disappointing "Chicken Salsa Wrap", though, that tried to pass of boring old tomatoes as salsa. They weren't fooling me.

Now we're en route to Miami and Ariana is re-reading the Hunger Games, Eia is re-reading SkyMall (I say re-reading because she already read it cover to cover on our first flight today... twice) and Kayley is doing something on her iPad that looks productive but is probably just something like Fruit Ninja. I decided now was a good time to blog, before we actually get to Miami and all our friends wanna do fun things with me. It was hard to tear myself away from my Pokemon game though, I'll be honest. I got my sixth gym badge on the last flight. I'm awesome.

I've been thinking about this a lot today; I really enjoy flying with friends. I mean obviously pretty much anything is better with friends, but flying in particular is just the best. It's weird, but it's a totally different experience when you fly alone. Being surrounded by strangers, bored, trying to make the time go by faster because the destination is the only part that matters. But when you've got friends with you... Flying becomes PART of the adventure. All of my good memories from airports involve times I was there with other people. All the times I flew alone just sort of blend and morph into one singular monotonous memory.

Anyway, I'm a little stressed out about this trip because I haven't played a single Parselmouths song since last October. I practiced a lot before I left, but performing onstage is a lot different than playing guitar by myself in my room. It'll be fun, obviously, being on stage with Eia again, but I just feel so much more confident performing as ALL CAPS these days.

Regardless of how the show goes, I have plenty of beach days to look forward to this weekend, so it's bound to be a good time. Okay, I have anxious fingers. I'm going back to Pokemon now, sorry guys. I'll have more exciting stories tomorrow!

Flights taken: 7
Gym badges on Pokemon: 6
Oshawott level: 35

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BEDA 7: Spotted in PJs.

Before I start on today's blog post, I need to draw attention to a comment I received on yesterday's post.

Elisabeth: "Also - you've mentioned several times now that you wish people would come up and say hi. I saw you walking down the Ave about two months ago (in onesie pjs!) and really wanted to say hi, but was so surprised to even see you that you were gone and it was too late! I will totally say hi next time I see you, but I blame you for that not having happened yet ;)"

SOMEONE SAW ME IN MY FOOTY PAJAMAS, WALKING DOWN THE AVE -- AND DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING. I can't believe it. Hahaha. I have literally only walked down the main street by my house one time in full footy pajama ensemble and someone actually happened to recognize me in public THAT DAY.

Anyway, I just thought that was hilarious. Now I am trying so hard to make this an insightful blog post, but I've already, today, driven my roommate to the airport, met with a friend to return some equipment, met Ariana for lunch and a mani/pedi to prepare for our trip to Miami, went and recorded vocals for my Buffy project with Forest and Oliver, and now Kayley just got here and we need to film a couple videos before we leave. And I still need to pack.

Soooooo... how about I just promise you that the next few days of blogging will be filled with fun travel stories and hopefully lots of hilarious vacation anecdotes. So many of my good friends are going to be there so I am super stoked for hopefully a really great weekend.

I'll be back with more tomorrow! Bye guys!

Flights taken: 6
Gym badges on Pokemon: 5
Oshawott level: 34

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BEDA 6: Buffy video project auditions.

There were so, so many wonderful comments on my blog from yesterday about meeting YouTubers. I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment, because it really meant a lot seeing you guys leaving really meaningful stuff for me to read (not that you don't always leave meaningful stuff). Even though we're all from so many different backgrounds and and have different circles of friends and don't even really know each other, it's always amazing to me how similar of an experience we all share here online. :)

Some things people said that stuck out to me were:

alimarie_11: "Sometimes it stinks to be floating inbetween, and I know that I won't make many friends with people who I follow, but I just want you, Kristina, and other people I admire, to know what an impact you have on people who feel lonely or out of place. THANK YOU to people like you and the Green Brothers who Give me a place :)"

Sometimes it really bothers me that it's physically impossible for me to meet or talk to every single person out there who watches my videos or reads my blog and is probably a wonderful, inspiring person - but knowing I have any small part in making ANYONE feel like they have a place is an amazing feeling.

Another commenter was talking about her issues with wanting to hang out with more famous YouTubers who may not remember her at Playlist Live vs. spending time and cultivating real relationships with the friends she came with/met online who don't have a lot of subscribers or anything but enjoy a ton of the same stuff as her. She said:

Ruth E. Day: "The main way to get over that depression was to concentrate on the people I had attended the conference with. You guys had brought us all to one central location, but I eventually realized that I had been more excited to meet them in person than you guys all along."

I think that's great! And honestly, that doesn't hurt my feelings at all. I meet a ton of people, and I love making new friends and meeting fans and everything involved with that, but the most cherished memories are generally the ones with the people who I've made real friendships with rather than casual acquaintances. I'm pretty cool and all (haha), but I am only one person and can't be everyone's close friend. It makes me so much happier seeing nerdfighters building their own little fiveawesomgirl-style groups of friends. I love this community.

One person I would actually consider a new friend (Shannon/glitter_girl5678) commented and I just kind of wanted to call her out because she told me she's a big fan and didn't really talk to me much at Playlist because she felt intimidated. DUDE. And this goes for everyone -- don't be! I love meeting new people and I will never do or say anything that would make talking to me scary. Say hi! Let's talk! THAT GOES FOR EVERYONE.

Another really meaningful and important comment was:

Fandom Fashionista: "My Emboar fears your Oshawott."

Oh wait. How did that one get in there? xD

This weekend I am heading to Miami for the Miami Yule Ball which should be a good time. I mean, any trip where I primarily worry about how many swimsuits to pack is always bound to be a good time.

Yesterday Forest and I (along with our friends Michelle and Hope) held auditions for the Buffy video project we're all working on together. Like legit auditions. Like, us sitting behind a table, people coming in and doing a monologue style auditions. It was pretty wild.

I've only really ever been on the other side of the table for auditions, the "I'm really nervous and hope I get the part" side of the table. So to be watching hopefuls trying to impress us with their acting skillz, pouring over head-shots, musing over who would be good for which roles... it was a new, fun experience. I am so excited for this project. I think it's going to be greattttt!

Though I don't know how casting directors do it. We held auditions for a little over 3 hours and I was exhausted. I can't imagine watching auditions all day. I have so much more respect for the people who do that now.

Flights taken: 6
Gym badges in Pokemon: 5
Oshawott level: 32

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BEDA 5: Meeting YouTubers.

Hello blog readers! I have spent the last few days scrambling to get my blogs done late at night while I have friends around/stuff going on, so I figured I would try something new today. I figured I would try my hand at writing my blog for the day at 10:23 in the morning. So here goes.

I have this problem where, when people write me or ask me things online, I have this innate need to answer everything. My inbox is full of emails from people I'm still desperately trying to reply to, my ask box on Tumblr is overflowing - there's a reason I never got a VYou. I just couldn't open myself up to any more mediums of being asked questions I would feel compelled to answer.

This is why I started doing "Questions Vlogs" on my second channel. I have been taking questions on the channel page of that YouTube account and making individual videos answering each question. There are a few reasons I like this format. First, the asker of the question gets a little shoutout and a link to them in the description of the video. Second, if anyone else ever asks me the question again, I can just link them to the video, haha. Third, is that it gives my second channel a purpose that sets it apart from the types of things I do on my main channel. (Feel free to go ask me questions there if you feel so compelled!)

Anyway, the whole point of this wasn't to pimp out my videos, it was so explain that I have a text file open on my computer with things that people have asked me in the past that I felt would be good things to address in my blog. Which I think is actually kind of weird. But I can't help it.

In yesterday's blog post, I was asked in the comments section how I make friends with other YouTubers so easily, and this is something I've been asked a lot and wanted to talk about here more in depth. The short answer is that most of the people I'm friends with now on YouTube (that have a lot of subscribers and might feel out of reach to fans) are people who were also just starting on YouTube when I started.

I got to know John and Hank Green when they were in the 20-30,000 subscriber area, I found Hayley when she only had 26 fans; even the UK YouTubers I know like Alex and Charlie were sort of just starting out when I joined YouTube and met them, and so on and so forth. For many of the people in my sort of Internet social circle, we rose up on YouTube together. When you build a foundation like that, those friendships last, and a community is formed rather than a handful of "famous YouTubers". From there, more and more people are just added to that community as you get to know each other from various collaborations and meet-ups and gatherings.

Not to mention, starting fiveawesomegirls, and then bonding with the fiveawesomeguys, and all the five person collab channels that followed suite - even if you weren't on the same collab channel, we all had a shared experience there. 5AG and 5awesomegays and VlogCandy and Vlogvetica etc., we all were accomplishing similar things, so the friendships just expanded.

Which brings me to the fact that being a YouTuber is a pretty weird way of life. It's easy to make friends with other people who live their lives online, who film everything they do, who spend hours and hours in front of a computer. We just understand each other, in a way that most of the world can't. It's nice. It's a sort of instant click, generally.

Anyway, I'm not sure if the person asking me this wanted advice on how to meet famous YouTubers or was just curious how I did it, but my answer/advice of the day is to not seek people out AS "famous people you want to be friends with". Just do what you love and look for people with common interests/motivations, and the rest will follow. I have plenty of friends on YouTube who barely have any subscribers, and some with hundreds of thousands. The number means nothing; the important thing is how much I like that person. :)

And this has been 'Kristina preaches on YouTube, BEDA Day 5'.

Flights taken: 6
Gym badges on Pokémon: 5
Oshawott level: 31

Monday, April 4, 2011

BEDA 4: Final day of Playlist.

I had the type of day today where a whole lot of things go wrong when I would have very much preferred they go right - so I'm not going to talk about my day. Instead, I am going to talk about the last day of Playlist Live. :)

That final Sunday Luke and I had to get up early (again) to sound check for our show, which took a long time to sort out all the microphone and set-up issues. That's generally Luke's domain so I tend to do a lot of tapping on the mics and "test test one two three"-ing.

The moment that was through, I won't lie, meant nap time. Despite the plethora of friends and YouTubers I would have loved to spend a bit more time with, I was definitely in bed until about 1 pm catching up on missed sleep so I'd have some semblance of energy for our show that afternoon.

After a quick lunch, we headed out to the courtyard area for the acoustic show Alex, Jason and Jimmy were playing. There were a ton of people there and it was super fun, not to mention wholly reminiscent of fall tour. Then a bit later it was time for Luke and I to go onstage, and it was a pretty standard ALL CAPS show. The set went well, Luke and I were goofballs, people danced and sang along, and then of course for 'Don't Unplug Me' we had over twenty of our friends run up and storm the stage for an all out dance party finish. It never gets old watching that many people fall down on the last note of the song. I love performing with this band. :)

The rest of Sunday consisted of night-time hottub partying, getting kicked out of said hottub by security, hanging in hotel rooms and rearranging them because two beds pushed together is far superior to separate beds, and making new friends. I got to chat with the entirety of VlogCandy, which was lovely (I'm hard-pressed to think of a sweeter group of people) as well as talking to some of the guys from the band HeyHiHello (also great people).

While the partying ended around 3am, I don't think Luke or I managed to get to bed until about 5, so I suppose you can only imagine how miserable flying from Orlando back home to Seattle was the next day. Let's just say I utilized my skills in airplane-sleeping that day. Not to mention played a lot more Pokemon.

The details start to get fuzzy when I wait this long to blog about certain events, but I'm glad I got it all down. Playlist Live was a really great weekend, and I can only hope there will be more. :D

Flights takes: 6
Gym badges in Pokemon: 5
Oshawott level: 31

Sunday, April 3, 2011

BEDA 3: Pump It Up Party!

It's Sunday night, I'm exhausted, but I've had such a creatively inspiring weekend. :D Yesterday the 'Delete You' shoot was just amazing. I know I talked about it a little already, but my muscles are super sore today from all those hours of dancing so I can't help but mention it again. I have all these photos from the course of the day that I desperately want to put on Facebook to show everyone, but I don't want to ruin the surprise of the video (as it's not going up for awhile).

But since you, lovely blog readers, are some of my favorite people on the Internet, I'll give you a little sneak peek. :)

I'm trying really hard right now to blog about things that are important, but my friends are all sitting around me screaming about bouncy castle obstacle course fun land worlds. I believe Ariana just shouted "OMG OMG WHAT'S IT CALLED. BOUNCY TOWN. CASTLE LAND. OMGGG." How does one blog under these circumstances!

Anyway, before my friends drag me into a car with my laptop in tow in search of a giant trampoline house club kingdom a la a quest akin to Harold and Kumar looking for White Castle, I'm going to quickly sum up the rest of my weekend. After we wrapped the shoot yesterday, my evening consisted of Mexican food from Azteca, lots of champange and guava juice, and spending a good hour or two looking at a website with a collection of pictures of the world's worst tattoos.

Today I had a meeting with my friends Forest and Oliver to work on writing a song for this big project we've been planning for a few weeks. I'm pretty excited about it, and all I will say is that it's about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And it'll be going on my YouTube channel in a month or so.

I've been really enjoying doing these side projects with people up here in Seattle. So often I feel like I have to fly to LA to work on creative projects with friends, but I've been pleasantly surprised with how many opportunities and collaborative efforts I've been able to have up here right near home. :)

Oh god. Now everyone is looking at the website "" (which I can only assume is an obstacle course type place for elementary school kids based on the name "Pump It Up" and the conversation that's been going on in here while I'm trying to type) and are saying it in a bunch of different stupid ways, like "pum-pittup-arty" "pump-it-upperty" and are scheming ways to make a place like this for adults. Or something. My friends are cool. And distracting.

Okay. I promise the I'll try to make the rest of the month much less chaotic than this weekend has been, writing-wise. I'm very excited about blogging every day, and can't help that all my friends decided to live at my house this weekend. I think it makes it more exciting to blog during a crazy month. Something to keep me grounded.

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow. :)

Flights taken: 6
Gym badges on Pokémon: 4
Oshawott level: 29

Saturday, April 2, 2011

BEDA 2: Delete You video filming!

Welcome to Day 2 of BEDA!

Right now I am sitting in my living room with Ariana, Liz and Justin; in our footy pajamas, listening to Chris Brown. We have a whole bunch of champange and guava juice and a multi-colored rubber ball that was $1.19 at the grocery store. As you can probably guess, conditions are more geared toward Saturday night partying than they are toward blogging... but HERE I AM.

Today was out of control fun. I had to get up at 6 AM to prepare for a 7 AM start for a big video I was filming with a bunch of friends of mine that I met through Liz. We were filming a video for "Delete You", finally, and it's definitely the biggest video project I've taken on yet. We had a pretty intense lighting setup, white backdrops, costumes, makeup, choreography -- and I had BACKUP DANCERS. IT WAS SO COOL.

We spent about 6-7 hours filming everything, and coming from some who is not a dancer at all... there were a LOT of dance moves to remember. We had such a good time though, and after seeing some of the footage played back after we were finished, I can say right now it's going to be one of the best videos I've ever had a part in. Unfortunately the video won't be going up for a month or two because the guy editing it has a real job and it's kind of a huge editing undertaking, but I promise you guys will get to see it in due time. I posted some twitpics today, but here's what the setup/costume and everything looked like:

Anyway, I don't know how long of a popstar dancing career I can really have (haha), as my legs are killing me right now, but I had a blast today. Now I am going to go have fun with my friends and I'll be back tomorrow for more blogging. :)

Also, I know I need to finish my Playlist Live recap, but I will finish that tomorrow!

Flights: 6
Gym badges on Pokémon: 4
Oshawott level: 27

Friday, April 1, 2011

BEDA 1: Playlist Day 2!

Today is the first day of BEDA! Instead of getting emotional and talking about what BEDA means to me or something cheesy like that, I'm going to just right in to the next day of Playlist Live. So here goes!

Saturday ----

Luke and I had to get up really early to sound check, which was fine, except that they didn't have a certain cable that we needed -- so they
told us to come back Sunday morning (even earlier ew) to do it then. It was too late to try to go back to sleep though, so we splurged at
the buffet and had a nice ALL CAPS breakfast before meeting up with any of our other friends. I had a lot of bacon. :D

I'm losing track of everything we did that day, but I think the next thing on the agenda was a little Partner meet up where we watched
YouTube friends of ours (such as Freddie Wong and Corey Vidal) talk about things we already knew from them, but wanted to support them
anyway. Then Luke and I had an appointment to film our part of an official Playlist Live music video, which is absolutely ridiculous and
I can't wait to see it. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I will tell you we did our part hanging out of the sunroof of a swanky car.

Then we had a bit of free time so it was TIME FOR THE POOL. We headed down with Brittany and Joey and then once we were down there, we met up with Hayley. The weather was beautiful, the pool was amazing, and remembering what the weather is like back home in Seattle, well, I really appreciated the time we had there. :) Hayley and I got to have a nice little heart to heart as well, which is always nice.

After pool time we went back to the main convention room to watch Mike Lombardo play (Alex and Jason were his backup band). He was great, as always. Luke and I trolled a little right in the front row (when we weren't playing in the bouncy castle). I don't remember the time frame on this, but at some point in the night I also battled DaveDays on this giant inflatable jousting arena thing and totally owned him. Feeling pretty good about that. Wheezywaiter's band Driftless Pony Club played that night as well, which was awesome to see. I love Craig, and we are on the same label, but I'd never actually heard his band before surprisingly.

That night there was an official dance party, which was obbbbbviously a highlight. It wasn't quite as big or as crazy as our normal wizard
rock dance parties, but dancing with friends is always going to be fun.

Then we hopped right over to night two of the VIP party, only that night, they were making FLIPBOOKS. FOR FREE. Seriously. Like, you grabbed some silly props, got in front of a camera, moved around for 6 seconds, then they printed it out and MADE IT INTO A FLIPBOOK. It was so awesome. Luke and I did a pretty good ALL CAPS one, and then I did a really hilarious one with Jason and Jimmy that involved us all falling onto the ground at the end. Typical.

That night Luke and I both made the decision to turn in a little early. Having to wake up early AGAIN and knowing we had our show the
next day.. It just seemed like a good idea. I was glad for it, because Sunday was incredible. :D

Until tomorrow!

Flights taken: 6
Pokémon Gym badges: 4
Oshawott level: 27