Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things I do instead of blogging.

As usual, I've fallen back into being terrible about blogging. Though, to be fair, I have been focusing my efforts on similar and equally advantageous hobbies.

Things I've been doing instead of blogging:

1. Being photo crazy. I was so inspired by the 2010 photo album I made a few months ago that I went on this rampage where I organized all of my pictures from the last 3 years and picked out the best ones from 2009, 2008 and 2007. Working backwards, I have already made a photo album for 2009 and 2008 is all ready to be put together.
I can't feel too guilty about spending my time on this rather than blogging, because it's the same sort of memory-saving activity, not to mention one I'll really appreciate in the future.

2. Learning to use my Canon 60D. I've had this puppy sitting in my room for a while now, but I hadn't really had much of a chance to take it out and really get my feet wet with it. There is so much to learn, switching from a Sony HandyCam to a DSLR camera. Finally I made plans with my friend Justin (who's a total camera nut and going to school for photography) to go to our local Seattle Zoo where he could teach me some basic functions of the camera while taking pictures of the adorable animals. It was a total blast.

I still have a long, long way to go until I'll consider myself a "pro" at this camera, but I'm very excited to keep honing my skills. Especially with video, though I enjoyed using it for pictures as well.

3. Catching up on TV shows. I'm now officially caught up to live TV with "The Big Bang Theory" and I'm almost finished with "Glee". Just have the season finale left. Also, I finally took the advice of what felt like EVERYBODY ON THE INTERNET and started watching the new "My Little Pony" series called "Friendship is Magic". I'm only 10 episodes in, but I can't believe how entertaining it is. It reminds me a lot of the "Powerpuff Girls", and even though it's sort of wrapped in a pink frilly bow (which deters a lot of people, I understand), it's such a smart show. I like it a lot.

To be honest, that's kind of the majority of how I've spent my last week or two. It's been so nice just being home for a change; I wasn't in any rush to fill up my schedule with plans. This weekend I am going camping with my family though (just for one night) -- because then, I have to hurry home for my friends Tara and Alexander's wedding! I am so excited about it! We've ALL been looking forward to this event for so long, it's really hard to believe it's already here.

While it's on my mind, I wanted to thank you guys for the sweet comments you left on my Buffy video. It was so exciting to finally post it, and I definitely saw more than a few comments from people saying they were blog readers who'd been hearing about the video for ages. You guys are always so supportive, and it means a ton to me. I know I allude to this all the time, but you're definitely my favorite fans. Don't tell everyone else. ;)

Well, time for the season finale of Glee. I think I'm gonna munch on these Triscuit Thin Crisps and Japanese candy and call it a day, blogging-wise.

Flights taken: 12

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicago Adventures!

This trip to Chicago has been so crazy! I knew very little about what we were actually going to be doing here, so every day was literally a surprise.

So I flew here on Tuesday, then took a cab to the hotel and met up with Luke. We hung out in our hotel for a little while, but eventually we had to get out of the room so we tracked down a Supercuts and got Luke a haircut. By that time it was getting pretty late and neither of us had really eaten much that day, so on the recommendation of a guy in the lobby of our hotel, we went to this little Italian pizzeria a few blocks away. Of course we had to order one of Chicago's famous deep dish pizzas, which was delicious.

That night we turned in early, knowing only that we had a shoot the next day for some karaoke video game that had hired us to help them promote their release. And that we'd be hanging out with Wheezy Waiter, Meghan and Liz, and Alex Goot, who were also in Chicago for the same thing.

The next day was nothing like we expected. We headed over to this studio that was in the adjoining building and were met by a handful of really friendly, excited people. Peering through the window of the closed door to the studio we could see Craig rocking out on this super intense stage to "Umbrella", and Luke and I were handed the lyrics to "Feels Like Tonight" by Chris Daughtry. I had literally heard this song maybe twice in my life, so Luke and I spent the next fifteen minutes in panic memorize mode. As soon as Craig finished, we were ushered into the studio and sent to the sound guy where they had two mics set up ready for us to record our one vocal track to the song.


Luckily, Luke and I are both fast learners and pretty good at winging it, so I think after about 20 minutes or so we were able to cut a decent track. Then we had another five minutes or so until we were up onstage, rocking out and pretending we were performing this song to thousands of adoring fans while the camera crew filmed us.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Luke and I both showed up in pretty good performing outfits, but since we had no idea we would be singing Daughtry, we were missing that extra something. Two of the guys we were working for, Soung and Ed, decided it would be worth it to run down to the second floor where there was a clothing store that sold leather jackets to ask if we could borrow them for an hour or so. Like, borrow clothes from a store. We were skeptical, but the guy running the store was so awesome about it, he said it was totally fine. So Luke and I got to essentially play dress up in a leather store and we both picked out the most basses looking jacket we could find. It was hilariously fun. All we had to do was keep the tags on, which was easy because we just shoved them up the sleeves.

Then we performed our song a few times through, took a bunch of pictures with the other YouTubers and with the crew and everything, and we were done for the day! The whole process took not much more than 2-3 hours, and everything about it was fun. I love that this is my job.

We had a few hours to kill before the group dinner reservation so we hit up the skyline bar (or something like that, I could never remember the name) back at our hotel with Craig, Soung (who works with us on YouTube promotional stuff) and Christina (our contact at Crave Games. Craig gave us a comprehensive history of all the places we could see from our sky view that he applied to in the past that didn't hire him, we talked YouTube, and had a really nice time just hanging out.

Then we met up with everyone else and headed over to the Purple Pig, a restaurant that actually belongs to a family member of George Strompolos, who used to work for YouTube but now does things like getting Luke and I this opportunity in Chicago. The restaurant was a ton of fun; it was the type of place where everyone orders 2-3 dishes and then everyone just shares with each other. We all tried so many new things, including such frightening options as Pork Rear and Bone Marrow. Okay, I didn't try the Bone Marrow. Luke freaking loved it though. So did Alex Goot's camera guy and friend David (who was also a super cool guy, despite the loving Bone Marrow thing). Alex hated the Marrow, so I felt better about not trying it. Totally fine with being a wuss on that one.

After dinner, Craig took us up to the top if the John Hancock building which has the most incredible view of Chicago after the Sears Tower (but the Sears Tower costs money and this view was free). We took the elevator up to the 96th floor. I couldn't wrap my head around being up 96 floors. I don't think I have ever been on the 96th floor of anything. It was the kind of height that made your ears pop going up and down the elevators. The kind of height that dwarved buildings that we'd otherwise call skyscrapers. The kind of height that makes you wonder if humans should be allowed to be that high up. If the streets below really go on forever, like they seem to.

We took a cab back the hotel and called it a night after saying goodbye to everyone. I went to sleep feeling in awe of my own day, of the beauty of Chicago, and the friendships I have the privilege of making on these types of trips.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when we went to return the leather jackets at the store after the shoot, I had grown so attached to mine that I ended up buying it rather than giving it back. The guy was so, so nice; he gave me a discount on it, but I'm still a little ashamed of how much it was. Something like $150. It looked awesome, okay? And EVERYONE on set pressured me into buying it. xD

Flights: 12

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LA to Chicago.

It feels super weird to be blogging now - during BEDA, it was always a stretch having enough to talk about every day without waxing philosophical about things outside my average day to day activities. But haven taken even one week off, thinking back over everything I've done in that time... where do I even start?

I guess at the beginning.

I was in LA for nearly a week, in which time I filmed many videos with people, went to Disneyland, and experienced Free Comic Book Day Los Angeles style. My first two days down there were pretty much consumed with my friend Whitney's birthday party (including a ritzy new media networking party and hopping around many of LA's bars with our friends). Day 3 was Disneyland with Ariana, Whitney, Sarah, myself and Alex. It was so hot that day that getting drenched on the Grizzly Rapids ride in California Adventure was actually a welcome event. Thats saying something. We spent most of the day wandering around in the heat, enjoying the relatively short lines, and watching our friends Darren, Brian and Nick (from A Very Potter Musical) get weepy over their first experience with World of Color. Adorable.

It was fun to get to spend some time with the Starkid guys. I'd met them all before but never really got a chance to actually hang out. I know it's a little weird meeting them now, after they've gotten all "famous" and stuff, but it was great to see they're all really normal, down to earth guys. So that was fun.

The next day in LA included filming a beach music video with Meghan (strawburry17) Joey, Brittany, Luke and Jimmy. We had a ton of fun down at the Santa Monica pier and then met up with a bunch of our other friends for dinner. The next day was more video filming, though this time it took place in Jimmy's warehouse. Meghan set the whole thing up; essentially we powerhoused through 6 videos with the fantastic musician Lelia Broussard. We were helping her promote her music as well as this contest she's in that could potentially get her on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. It was a really gat experience (and loads of fun), especially Meghan's video, which included throwing paint at each other. I mean come on. I get to call this my job?

Friday was pretty low key and ended with everyone hanging out together at Echobase, and Saturday was my last day. I spent the morning doing Free Comic Book Day with Whitney and her friend Colin, then came back and opened all these oldschool Magic the Gathering cards with the EchoBase boys that my friend Justin found for me at a garage sale. That was a total blast, even though the cards were worth nothing. xD

Then I had a very short period of time at home. Sunday I woke up and drove to my old town to rehearse the duet I am singing with one of my old friends from high school for our gala this weekend. Then I headed to my parents' house for Mother's Day, which as lovely (as trips home normally are).

Monday was a whirlwind of practicing my other duet with Eia, shopping for dresses for the performance, spending some time with Ariana before she leaves for Europe, seeing a movie with Justin, unpacking, and repacking.

This morning I boarded a flight to Chicago. That is where I am now. For a business trip. I'm exhausted.

Flights taken: 11