Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I had lunch with my mom today. She works about 25 minutes away from me, so I just popped over on her lunch break and she took me to this cute little farmer's market.

I don't know why I don't go to farmer's markets more often. Everyone has these adorable booths with food they've grown themselves, and it's so much more personal and meaningful than buying food at a grocery store. I got to taste all sorts of wonderfully ripe cherries and slices of crisp, fresh apples.

One booth was selling all these little bundles of flavored noodles, and they looked so delicious I ended up buying a Spinach Garlic one and a Tomato Basil one. The lady selling them was so cute. I just love supporting people like that. Makes me feel good about myself.

I also bought a large bag of snap peas, which just seem like the best TV watching snack. On that note, I have two episodes of Community left, which makes me incredibly sad, as the show has recently shot up into my list of favorite TV shows of all time. At least it'll come back on for more seasons. :)

The real reason for this blog post is that when we headed back to my mom's office after lunch, she asked if I wanted to come inside for awhile. She's only worked at this job for a couple years so I'd actually never been inside before. I know my parents enjoy showing me off to their coworkers (haha) and I love knowing more about my parents' lives (the parts you don't normally see, you know?) so I headed inside. Right when we walked in the door, a man stood up and shouted, "Look, it's the Unicorn Warrior!!" Hahhaa. Do you see what you guys have done??!

It's always funny to me that people like my parent's coworkers watch my videos. I always forget that my demographic isn't JUST random people I don't know, approximately ages 13-19, mostly girls. I get reminded all the time, but it always just slips my mind. So I did a fair amount of blushing.

My mom walked me around and introduced me to everyone, which was nice. Two ladies asked me how old I was, and did a double take when I said "twenty-three". "We thought you were going to say fifteen or something like that!" they exclaimed.

Fifteen? Really? Guys, I'm 5'10". I thought I had that distinguished "college-grad" look about me, but I guess not. Haha. Fifteen. Wow.

Now I'm just home, pondering ways to cook flavored noodles that won't be disappointing with my lack of culinary skills. Guess that's why I have google.com. :D

Flights taken: 13

Monday, June 27, 2011

Farewell to thee, corndogs.

Last night Eia and I drove up to this mall that's a little further away than our regular mall, but has a great movie theatre. Sometimes we choose to go to this theatre over our normal one because the mall it's attached to ALSO has a food court that has a Hot Dog on a Stick.

Before you judge me for being gross, have you ever BEEN to Hot Dog on a Stick? Hand dipped corndogs. Just think about it. They're so delicious! And a treat, since we don't get them very often. Eia and I like to consider ourselves a sort of corndog connoisseur, often judging the various types sold at streetfairs (which we always buy). But every now and then we indulge in Hot Dog on a Stick, because it's reliable, it's cheap, and you don't have to worry about running into any scary clowns or people trying to sell you balloons shaped like dolphins.

The reason I bring this up at all is because yesterday, upon arriving at the food court, we ordered our usual. I mentioned casually that we made the trip specifically for the corndogs, since it's not exactly down the street for us.

The girl in the funny hat behind the counter said, "Good thing you came today then, as it's our last day."

It took me a few moments to process the words being said to me. "Your - but - what? Your last day? Like, ever?"

She nodded sadly. "We can't afford to pay the rising mall rental space fees. Would you like a free lemonade?"

I was in such shock at not only the fact that my favorite foodcourt establishment was closing, but that we happened to, on whim, show up on their very last day of operation.

"We have other locations! Auburn... Portland... Alaska," she tried to console us. Alaska? ALASKA? Yes, I am going to FLY up to ALASKA for a corndog. Not helpful.

So Eia and I ate our corndogs in somber memorium of the good times we've shared over the breaded hotdogs. Guess it's back to street fair scouting for us. I even sent a complaining tweet to the mall. A sort of "how could you!" cry to the establishment that was taking our corndogs from us.

So I'm sad. Not to mention the movie we went to see, The Art of Getting By, was bland in all senses of the word. Which is a shame, because I adore Freddie Highmore.

And that was my Sunday.

Flights taken: 13

Sunday, June 26, 2011

3 concerts in one week.

I haven't even known what to do another blog post ABOUT these past few days, because the outpouring of love from my last post has been so overwhelming. I have no idea how to even thank every single one of you that left me an encouraging response, other than to just say "thank you, so much". You guys are seriously the best group of people I could have ever asked for, and I am so fortunate that complete strangers care so much. :)

As if trying to test my reserve, I happened to be going to THREE concerts this week. All of which by bands I love and would have enjoyed shouting the lyrics to their songs, but I have refined the art of mouthing words as of late. Wednesday I got to see Matt, Lauren and Justin on tour here at my college's bookstore, which was a lovely little show. Afterward we took them to "Beth's", one of Seattle's most famous diners (well known for the walls being covered in hand drawn pictures from guests). At one point in the night a confused waitress walked back to our table and said "does anyone here play.. uh.. Harry Potter music?" We cracked up and raised our hands, and she not only gave us crayon drawings of each of us, but a GIANT CINNAMON ROLL! For free!! Some fans had come in and sent them to us!

It was a delicious cinnamon roll.

We chatted and ate our entirely too-large 6 egg omelettes, and those same fans came and taped these drawings to the wall behind us when we weren't looking:

Pretty awesome. I think I am really warming up to this Unicorn Warriors thing, guys. :)

Friday I got to see Harry and the Potters in the Seattle Public Library, which I already knew was going to be an amazing show. For those who don't know, the SPL is this insanely gorgeous architectural heaven right smack in the middle of downtown. The walls are made of glass and nothing is exactly square, and it's hard to explain so just imagine a building that looks really, really cool. The last time I saw HatP there, at least 500 people showed up. This show didn't disappoint, and it really took me back to a few years ago when going to HatP shows was one of the big highlights of my summer.

Here's another reason it took me back:

I had both Eia and Brittany there with me! I don't get to see Brittany very much anymore, but it was lovely to have her at the show with me. It really made me stop and think about the fact that while Paul and Joe DeGeorge are just two goofy guys singing songs about Harry Potter, they've really made a huge impact in my life. I've been a Harry and the Potters fan since 2003 when they only had their music online, but if Brittany and I had never seen them tour through Seattle, we would have never written any silly songs about being Slytherins. If we hadn't done that, we would have never put them on myspace, proceeding to find Matt, Lauren/Nina and Alex. If we hadn't done that we would have never gone to Phoenix Rising in 2007, or any Harry Potter conferences, and if I hadn't gotten involved in the wizard rock fandom, I wouldn't have made a YouTube channel.

So I had a kind of emotional moment, looking over the sea of people, watch Paul and Joe rock it out, and thinking about the paths I've taken in the past four-five years. It's incredible. I am so excited to be sharing LeakyCon and this movie experience with all of these people. That's all I can really say without breaking down, hahha.

For old time's sake, and to be goofy, we took pictures with them:

That night I went over to my friends Tara and Alexander's place with Justin and my brother Nick, and we played 'Betrayal at House on the Hill'. When the Haunt started I ended up being the traitor, which made me nervous because I wasn't positive I had a good enough handle on the game to be trying to beat everyone else by myself. Thanks to my secret assassins, though, I was able to kill the heir to the treasure and wiiiin! I love that game.

My third and final concert this week was Sondre Lerche. He's a incredibly mind blowingly awesome musician from Norway and I've been a huge fan of his since I was in high school. For some reason or another, I have never been able to see him live, so this was a huge, huge deal for me last night. The concert was incredible.

Some times live shows involve the musicians just playing their songs for you, live. Sondre made sure every single part of his show was unique for this live performance, and I just cant even begin to explain how amazing it was. Generally he plays solo but for this tour he has a band with him, which just made his songs that much more amazing. Every single musician onstage (from the drummer to the violinist to the bassist to the backup female vocals) were just spot on, and I know I am gushing right now but I just love him so much and it was so good.

The best part was that it was my friend John Platter who showed me Sondre Lerche back when I was 15 or 16, and we both has gotten tickets to this show unbeknownst to each other. So it was great to get to experience this show with him. :)

The night ended with the most spine-tingling, chill inducing sing-along version of "Modern Nature" ever (which is my favorite song of all time), and I just closed my eyes and let the song wash through me and it was the perfect night.

So things are good. I have all sorts of fun plans going on this week, I'm gearing up mentally for my trip to Orlando soon, and the sun is out. I hope everyone else is having a nice start to their summers as well.

Flights taken: 13

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Serious Announcement about this summer.

I have a bunch of fun things I want to be blogging about right now, like my most recent trip to LA, summer plans, and my speculations on Pottermore, but I have to make a kind of hard announcement right now so those things are going to have to wait.

This is something I have been meaning to talk about publicly for awhile, but it's a difficult and kind of personal topic for me so I've been putting it off. Literally for years. But it has become more and more apparent to me recently how bad it's gotten, so I can't really hide it anymore.

The announcement, as much as it pains me to say this, is that I have to drop off of the ConTour this summer. I know ALL CAPS is only playing on it for less than two weeks, but I was super pumped about those shows and hate letting anyone down. And every time I've gotten an @reply on Twitter or an excited message in my ask box on Tumblr recently, I've felt really guilty as I mulled over what to do.

Basically, the long story short, is that I have vocal nodes that are increasing in severity. I first realized I had a problem with my singing voice back in 2009 when I went to the first LeakyCon and lost my voice there completely for no reason. It took me an alarmingly long time to get my voice back then, and once I did, I still found I couldn't sing for almost 4 months. I didn't really tell anyone about it, since this was around the time I was studying in London and didn't need to use my singing voice very much then. I didn't know what was going on and I had no idea that even continuing to talk as much as I do on a day to day basis was causing lasting damage.

Once I got my voice back in the fall of that year, I jumped right back into my normal routine. Luke and I were working on Bmin/E at that time, and I was gearing up for 2010's summer RoflcopTour. But there was a little piece of me that knew there was something seriously wrong with my voice, because tour was a struggle. I was raspy every night after shows, and there were stretches where I could barely play the shows at all. But I powered through, because touring and performing and making my fans happy is important to me. When I came home though, I finally went to a voice specialty doctor. They shoved a tube down my throat and told me that sure enough, I had nodes. Mild ones, but they were still there.

I went to a speech therapist for awhile, and they gave me all these tiny little things I could change to try and improve things (speaking in a slightly higher register, avoiding milk and citrus and spicy foods, no singing in the car, avoid talking over loud music in clubs/bars, talk less in general) so I started making changes in my life.

But how do you tell a YouTuber to stop talking? And how does one turn down going on fall tour with all her best friends? So I was irresponsible. I went on Triple Rainbow Awesome Tour. I did another short album with Luke. I continued to sing, and talk, and just hoped the little changes I had made in my life would be enough to make the nodes subside.

They weren't.

Things have only gotten much, much worse. The last few months have been really stressful amd hard for me. As someone who has been singing my whole life and has it literally affects my mood depending on if my voice is around or not, I've been crushed. I can't go more than a few days without getting raspy, and I can never count on my voice being okay for singing or performing on particular dates because it's so iffy. I've had to start turning down friends who invite me out to places that are loud, and silly as this sounds, one of the hardest parts has been not being able to participate in any sort of sing-a-longs with friends in months (road trips, campfires, etc).

It's a terrible cycle where the nodes stress me out every single day (I mean, what do you even HAVE without a voice? How do you communicate? It's a difficult concept for me to even grasp), but stress contributes to nodes, so hard or not, I have to start taking care of them.

It just sort of hit me recently that if I don't want to do any lasting damage, I need to stop being selfish and reckless now. I need to take care of myself NOW. So while I am going to be at LeakyCon and VidCon and will continue to perform there because they are important to me, I can't go on tour this summer. And I don't know how many singing related projects I will be able to do in the immediate future. This is a really good time for me to really focus on writing, and deal with the fact that silence might need to be a part of my life for a little while.

Anyway, I am truly sorry to anyone I have disappointed who was planning on coming to the ALL CAPS shows this summer. I'll still be around at both major conferences to meet and say hi to anyone who wants to, but I hope you guys understand that if I am ever going to be able to tour again in my life, I need to take a little break now to take care of myself. Even if that means cutting back on my favorite activities in the world - singing and talking.

I love all of you for being so supportive of everything I've ever done, and I'm not going anywhere. Just keeping my mouth shut for a little while.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Good time spent at home.

Let's see. How to wrap up the past few weeks.

Last weekend, I went to my parents' house for the day for a BBQ (and to visit with my relatives that are in town). It was the same relatives I saw at the baseball game earlier in the week, but since we were home it was a much more personal setting to get reacquainted with the cousins I haven't seen in years.

Alexa, Madelyn, Abby, Rainy, Sawyer and Ruby are all so adorable. I have gotten to spend time with Alexa and Madelyn a few times before, so they remembered me (though they were shy and it took a little while for them to warm up to me again). The younger ones didn't really remember me at all, so it was a bit of a struggle for the first few hours.

But eventually, as children generally do - they warmed up to me. I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to be playing some strange version of softball in the front yard on a team with my 6 and 8 year old cousins. How happy it made me when they fought for who got to sit on my lap in the pictures my mom insisted we take for Grandma. How delighted it makes me when 3 different girls are vying for my attention to tell me stories that all begin with, "Hey Tina, so one time…!" I adore my little cousins and it's one of the biggest saddnesses in my life that I don't get to be an active part of their lives because we just live so dang far away from each other.

So in short, the BBQ was lovely. I adore having a large family, and cheesy as it sounds, I cherish any moment I get with any of them (as it's so few and far between as I get older).

Later that weekend, I went to two parties. Forest just moved into this crazy mansion with a bunch of other Seattle artists, and Saturday night they threw a party to celebrate a few house member's birthdays. For the most part, the party was a total blast (despite most of the people there being at least 10 years older than my friends and I, but no matter!) We ate food, we played a giant Jenga the drinking game (meaning the Jenga blocks were actually giant, not just that the game had a lot of people playing it), and we went on numerous tours of the vastly impressive house. Everyone was dressed formally and looked lovely, and I have to say I am looking forward to more parties at the mansion. The view is incredible. They live right on the waterfront, and off in the distance you can see the mountains across the way. Breathtaking.

That night I went home happy and with my shoes in my hand. The sign of a great party, for sure.

The next day was Forest's birthday, and our gift to him was to come over and help him clean out the garage at the mansion to turn it into a green screen studio. Not exactly the same type of party as the evening prior, but still a work party nonetheless. I spent most of the afternoon organizing an array of weird crap, from boxes of CDs and old unopened mail to life sized paper maché unicorns to kid-sized bikes with tires so flat you couldn't even ride it without falling on your face. For as boring as cleaning generally is, I actually had a great time hanging out and organizing stuff with my friends. The weather was beautiful and we all finished the task with a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention when we were done we got to go upstairs to the entertainment room and play hours of Xbox Kinect and eat pizza.

The week following my exciting weekend involved a lot of errands-running and room cleaning while preparing for the roadtrip to LA I'm about to take with Ariana down to LA. I did get a chance to see "Bridesmaids" in theaters, which was relatively funny - and on Wednesday I got a haircut. But not one that anyone else would notice.

Thursday I got up and heading out for a recording session. The local nerd band "Kirby Krackle" asked me to sing on one of the new tracks for their upcoming album, which I was more than happy to help them out with. Being busy and generally putting things off, I didn't actually listen to the track until the morning of recording, which proved to be rather funny. The song is a parody of 50 Cent's "Candy Shop", and in the new version, I play the sultry woman hanging out in a comic shop. I was totally not prepared to head to their home studio and ad lib things like "ooh boy" and "mmmmmm", but it proved to be a hilarious afternoon and I can't wait to hear the final product.

The final thing on my list of exciting events of the past few weeks happened yesterday: Nick graduated from high school. For some reason I forgot that they'd be in the same stadium, hearing from the same faculty, wearing the same robes, making the same life step. I actually surprised myself at how choked up I got, realizing it's been FIVE YEARS since I sat in those very bleachers with my bedazzled cap and dorky gown, linking arms with my friends and making promises to stay in touch as we walked into the next stages of our lives. Time really flies, guys. It goes by so fast.

My brother looked incredibly handsome in his graduation gown, and I stood up and cheered like a maniac when they called his name. It was my last chance to embarrass him in front of his school friends (one of my favorite pastimes) so I really had to make it count.

I'm so proud of my little brother. High school didn't come quite as easily to him as it did to me, so I know it was a very, very happy day for him. Plus, afterwards we got to stuff ourselves at the Spaghetti Factory and have a bonfire at home, and that's always a great end to a wonderful day. So things are good. :)

Flights taken: 12

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On growing up.

Growing up: On camping, weddings, and spending time with family.

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, my family has been going to the same campground since before I can remember. We've moved around the campground a little bit, but for the most part, weve even camped in generally the same spot. The people who come with us cycle and change every year, they've done a lot of work to improve the muddiness and ease of getting out to the tideflats, and in the last six years or so implemented the "ShrimpFest", a street fair in town during the same weekend - but through all these changes, one thing stays the same. My family.

On this trip, I've brought a whole array of different friends along throughout the years. I've met boys, I've gone swimming, I've stayed huddled up inside because of the rain, I've learned to dig for clams, I've decided I hate digging for clams, I've developed a monster skill for shucking oysters. I've roasted marshmallows, made hotdogs, had my first drink of alcohol, started to drive myself to the campground, and hiked to the waterfall nearly every year.

There were two years that I didn't get to go on this camping trip. One year was when Wrockstock fell on Memorial Day weekend. The other was when LeakyCon did. Obviously both of those events were a total blast, but there was a tiny hole inside me where camping with my family should have been. So now, no matter what, I always try to go.

This year was no different. I brought Eia (just like last year), we took the ferry over (because it's faster) and though I had to leave early to get home for a wedding, every moment I spent there was a style of fun I can't even explain to someone who hasn't been going on this camping trip longer than their memory allows them to recall. :)

Weddings are a funny thing. I went to plenty when I was younger; aunts and uncles, older cousins, family friends. Pretty standard. In my family, we generally dance to a lot of Polka music. The younger, hipper relatives throw in some Top 40, confusing the grandparents. Everyone dances and eats and stays up way later than we're generally allowed and I sat at the kid's table.
But now? Now I've been going to friends' weddings. People I know from high school, from YouTube, from college. People my age. And it's really strange to adjust to. I start to see my friends' last names change on Facebook. I no longer sit at a kid's table, because weddings are no longer a "grown up thing to do", they're something my friends are starting to do. And I'm not a kid. When did this happen? When did I get so old?

My friends Tara and Alexander got married on Sunday, and I've net met two people more right for each other. The wedding took place inside the Space Needle, the ceremony was full of little nerdy inside jokes and the food was delicious. We danced, we took photos with silly props, and there was no Polka music to be heard anywhere. Like most people, I'm sure, being there made me daydream about my own wedding someday. Will it be perfect? Will people walk away feeling as happy and content as I did, leaving Tara and Alexander's wedding? I hope so.

Basically, my uncle Lonnie and aunt Tina live in Alaska and have 6 adorable children I don't get to see nearly enough. The kids are all under the age of ten, and are the sweetest children I have ever met. On Wednesday I got to go to a baseball game with them here in the city, as they're in town visiting various family members. That's all there is to the story really.

I have such a large family, strewn out across the whole of the United States; I'm really starting to cherish any time I get with any of them. As I get older and busier, I've realize how hard it can be to make time for the important people in your life if they don't live next door. I never want to fall out of touch with my family, so these kind of experiences are important.

Feeling a little sentimental today thinking about all of this stuff. I'm sure the answer to this is yes, but do any of you struggle with this nostalgia of growing up more and more lately? It doesn't help I'm still making these photo albums, carefully applying my memories in the pages of books, making it that much more final how in the past they are. It's such a combination of happy and sad, I can't help it when I get all sappy like this. xD