Saturday, October 29, 2011

HALLOWEEN!! The best.

I am the happiest girl. :D

And that's saying something, because I have a headache on top of being sick. But last night was our infamous Halloween party and it didn't disappoint. A bunch of people came over earlier to help set up, but as usual (and as it should be) the boys ended up setting up while the girls got into our My Little Pony costumes. I know we already did this at BlizzCon, but it was really fun to have another group of ponies together, this time including Twilight Sparkle, Big Macintosh and Apple Bloom (as well as our Pinkie Pie, Spike and Apple Jack).

Oh, speaking of Apple Jack - Ariana SURPRISED US AND SHOWED UP AT OUR PARTY. So, a few weeks ago we made the Facebook invite for the party and added Ariana on principle since she was a large part of last year's epic Mammoth Caves party. She obviously lives in LA now but we gave her a lot of crap about making a trip up for it; we spent a good week or two collectively trying to peer pressure her into doing it. She brushed us off and eventually we gave up trying (it is a long way to travel for a party I guess).

But then last night (man the timing was perfect) Liz and Eia and I headed out to the store to buy some more party snacks and drink mixers and in the mean time, Ariana showed up at our house (sufficiently surprising Justin). Then when we got back, I had a nose blowing emergency and ran upstairs, leaving Eia and Liz to have their own discovering-of-Ariana experience. The funniest part is, before coming back downstairs, I had tweeted "Mammoth Caves Halloween Party COMMENCE!"

I walked in the living room and took in all the awesome lights and decorations (the boys did a great job), then wandered into the dining room where everyone else was standing. I saw the boys finishing up with the table cloths and then I saw all the girls huddled in the corner and then I did this sort of double take because even though after BlizzCon I am pretty used to seeing Ariana in her Apple Jack costume, I suddenly realized she was IN MY DINING ROOM and not in LA where I thought she was and I definitely let out an expletive or two when I put it all together. Her mom's birthday was also this week, so it made the trip easy for her to justify taking. I was so happy. I can't believe she kept that a secret from all of us. Incredible.

There was lots of hugging and jumping around and incredulous-ness and then it was a REAL Mammoth Caves Party. The whole night was so fun and perfect. Our old roommate Tyler who moved to San Francisco whom we all adored happened to be in town as well so he came to the party too, which was just the icing on the cake. We had so many great people there, and good music to dance to and jello in the shape of a brain to eat and spoons to balance on our noses... every ache and pain in my head and sinus region is totally worth it because last night was so great.

Halloween is already my favorite holiday, but when you're surrounded by that many amazing friends (and my little brother came too!) it just makes you realized what a great place you're at in life. I'm really glad I have managed to find the best of both worlds -- good friends and amazing times here at home, and indescribable and life-changing experiences and people all over the world.

I'm kind of partied out though, even though it's only the 29th. The rest of my Halloween weekend might consist of watching movies like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus on my couch.

Flights taken: 26

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BLIZZCON and Disneyland.

I feel like this is way too much to try to cram into one blog post about BlizzCon, but here I go attempting to do so anyway.

Thursday: I flew down to LA with Justin, Ariana picked us up at the airport, and then we headed to EchoBase briefly to pick up Erinn and Aaron. The plan was to go immediately down to Anaheim to check into our hotel, pick up our BlizzCon registration, and hit up the WoWHead pre-party.

The line for registration was out-the-door long, but chatting in line and feeling the building anticipation made the time go quickly. This was where the joke "Black Shirt Con" started, I believe, on account of 80% of the people in attendance wearing black shirts. I think that gives a pretty good picture of what this convention was like. We met a guy in line who was wearing a My Little Pony shirt; he definitely approved of the costumes we told him we were wearing the next day.

The swag bags were awesome. The main gift was a model Tyrael from Diablo, a WoW authenticator, and an assortment of other little fun things I can't be bothered to go rifle through my bag to remember. After we go our bags we stuffed them in a friends' car and headed out to the party. Almost immediately Jason and I recognized TradeChat and said hi to her; I was surprised she recognized me as well and would not stop telling me how much she wished she could have my voice. Guess she hasn't heard about the nodes, har har (that was a terrible joke, I'm crying inwardly). We wandered around a bit more, saw Felicia Day sitting at a table surrounded by weird creepo lurking fans (I really did want to try to say hi to her, but not under those circumstances) and then chose to leave the party early in favor of hanging out with Hank Green (who also happened to be in Anaheim at the same time as us).

We kind of made it an early night (well, if you can consider 1-2am "early"; this was a convention) because we wanted to get up early to put on our costumes and see the opening ceremony.

Friday: The morning was a hurricane of tights, makeup, wigs, costume pieces and fighting over the bathroom mirror. We have a guild on the WoW servers called "Friendship is Magic" and all of our characters have My Little Pony related names, so we decided to dress accordingly for the first day of BlizzCon. In the order pictured down below, Aaron was Soarin' from the Wonderbolts, Justin was Spike, I was Pinkie Pie, Ariana was Applejack and Erinn was Rainbow Dash.

For the most part, everyone really loved our costumes. We even met a little girl dressed as Twilight Sparkle, which was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. We had one or two hardcore BlizzCon attendees give us a little attitude about dressing in non Blizzard attire, but I didn't really care at all. It's called imagination, Black-Shirt. Get some.

Anyway, the first day of BlizzCon was totally awesome. We got to watch a bunch of panels on the new WoW expansion "Mists of Pandaria" (which, as cheesy as martial arts pandas is, sounds really cool). We played the demo (super fun even though we only got 20 minutes - I tried out the new race/class combo Pandaren Monk), we tried to open the prize chests at this one booth with the "epic loot keys" that came in our swag bags, and we attempted to play this bean bag throwing game at the Jinx booth but failed miserably (aside from Justin and Austin who won TEN TIME IN A ROW and won 50% off coupons at Jinx!). We got our pictures taken at the green screen photo booth (ponies in Azeroth!) and Erinn and I got a picture with Tink and Clara from the guild and we found this big mountain thing that looked like the Aggro Crag and we took pictures there too.

Having been to PAX Prime and Emerald City Comic Con, I was a little more prepared for a convention of this magnitude, but the whole thing was still just so incredible to take in. There were rows and rows of computers out on the floor for demo-playing, people milling about everywhere, and booths bigger than anything I've ever seen at previous conventions. Not to mention the attendance level was somewhere in the twenty thousands. WoW feels like such a solitary game when you're alone in your bedroom -- it was amazing to me to be walking around this convention hall seeing the THOUSANDS of people I probably pass in-game as well that only appear to be computers there.

That night we partied in our hotel room a bit but found ourselves pretty exhausted after our first day at the con. I can't even tell you how awesome it felt to take our costumes off as well... eight hours of wearing a long curly wig while walking up and down a gigantic room all day is enough to make anyone crazy.

Saturday: I will admit, we slept in really late the second day of the con. We made our way back to convention center at our leisure, knowing we had plenty of time to hit up all the things we'd missed the day before. We waited in line a while to spin the NVIDIA wheel to try to win prizes (we didn't get anything good) and played the demo again (this time I switched it up and went Pandaren Mage) but spent most of the day just wandering around trying to make sure we didn't miss anything. We finally ran into other friends we knew there and saw their amazing cosplay (Joey and Meghan looked awesome in their tabards and armor, Katers17 had a seriously mind-blowing Priest costume, Jimmy was rocking a murloc suit) and managed to snag pictures with both Bladezz (from the Guild) and Felicia Day. Pretty pumped about that.

The con ended with a Foo Fighters concert, which was great, despite not being able to get in the main room and having to watch it from an overflow stage on the big monitors. I didn't really mind though, because it meant we got to sit down and relax for the concert rather than being jostled around in the crowded see of black-shirts.

Also, some crazy WoW-themed death metal band opened for the Foo Fighters, so we had a grand old time head banging and making fun of their lyrics (example: "it's time to raise some hell" followed by some head banging). Their closing song was called "I AM MURLOC" and consisted of basically all screaming. Pretty great. And by great I mean.. well, you know. Something different.

That night we went and hung in Hank's "Governor's Suite" again, which was a nice way to end the event. He was there scoping things out for VidCon (which is being held in the same space as BlizzCon was) and was given a room much too big for just him, so we were happy to come take up space in it for awhile. When your friends live all over the country, you get to see each other so little -- it's really nice when these freak coincidences happen where you randomly end up in the same city with free time and get to hang out. :)

Later on, we spent our last night in our crappy hotel with our crappy pillows. This group of people has spent so much of the last few years together in hotels though, it's hard to complain. Hotels just feel a little like home, crappy or not.

Sunday: We went to Disneyland. There isn't a ton to report, as it was a pretty standard Disneyland day. Haunted Mansion was The Nightmare Before Christmas themed, which is my favorite, and Justin, Aaron and Erinn got to see World of Color for the first time. They added a little section to World of Color to promote the fourth Pirates movie, and it includes that bit with the mermaid who apparently looks like me. I have to admit, with the image being projected on water like that, it DID kind of look like me. So. That was kind of fun.

I also got to ride the new Little Mermaid ride in DCA as well as the new Star Tours which was incredible. The day was a success, in short.

After Disney we said our goodbyes and only Justin and I continued on to Ariana's apartment. Tyler came to hang out with us, which was nice as it's always a pleasure to see him. The next morning literally all we did was watch the My Little Pony Halloween special, eat breakfast and watch Ariana play WoW (we didn't bring our laptops). It was really nice to have a day to just... relax. Three days of a convention, flying, and a day at Disneyland is taxing on the body, haha.

Since coming home from BlizzCon I've played a lot of WoW, but that's to be expected I suppose. Blizzard knows how to get people excited about their games. I'm so glad we were all able to go, not only because it was a total blast because it really did break up the terrifyingly large span of time we may have to go between seeing each other again. I actually don't know when my next trip is to see my friends, and that always makes me a little uneasy. At least we can run dugeons together. :)

Flights taken: 26

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Emma Stone and Dungeoning.

It's been a fun couple of days.

First of all, yesterday we discovered a bar within walking distance to my house house called "Booze and Burritos". I don't think it get better than that, really. Then last night I ran a dungeon (on WoW) with Justin, Liz, Ariana and Erinn, which was so much fun and really took me back to early last year when the Echo Base boys and I would run dungeons together nearly every night. That's definitely one of my favorite aspects of the game, and it was so nice to have a group of friends together (over skype and in person) working together to accomplish an end.

It got me even more pumped for BLIZZCON, which is this weekend. I've been making plans with Ariana, Justin, Erinn, Aaron, Jason; all my WoW friends will be together this weekend and it's going to be such a blast and I just can't wait. On top of all that, it'll be the first time I've been to LA since JULY, which is kind of strange for me. I was in LA almost every month for awhile there, so it is going to feel really nice to be back with all of my friends for the weekend.

After our dungeoning last night I ended up chatting with Ariana one skype for a good hour or so, and it really made me realize how much I miss a lot of the people down there. I still know I made the right decision to stay in Seattle, but man will it be nice to visit again.

Yesterday I went to this Seattle Blogger Luncheon with Tara and met a lot of really nice local bloggers as well as some great people from New York City who'd flown in for the event. I got there extremely early so I just went inside and decided to make friends with whoever had also arrived early. I ended up chatting with the three ladies hosting the lunch, and one of them said to me, "You know who you remind me of, even though I only met you thirty seconds ago?"
I shook my head no; she continued, "Emma Stone. You have her same energy and kind of a similar face."
At this, I cracked up and told them, "You know, I got that a little after Superbad and Zombieland just based on our looks, but I got it a TON more after Easy A because I'm actually a video blogger too."

The didn't know that I made videos (as it was a blogger lunch and most people were there representing written blogs); so the whole thing was pretty funny. But being compared to Emma Stone is a huge compliment, so I have to say it was a good first impression. Especially since I went to this semi-professional event with pink hair.

Anyway, today I need to film a video and finish packing and try desperately to get my main WoW character at least to level 70 so I don't feel like a TOTAL n00b at BlizzCon, so I should go.

Flights taken: 24

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pink pink pink.

Geez. How has it already been a week since I last blogged. Time sure flies when it's not BEDA.

So, yesterday I dyed my hair pink. It's funny because first I was going to dye it for my Pinkie Pie Costume. Then I found this awesome wig so I decided not to. Then I started wishing I could dye it anyway, just for fun, for a little while, to say I had. Manic Panic dye isn't supposed to last very long (a month tops) so, on a whim Saturday, I bought their regular pink dye and went for it.

Liz helped me do it, and after the whole process, my hair was BARELY tinged pink. There were a few streaks where it was obvious, but overall the dye hadn't really taken. I was bummed.

Sunday I went back and bought Manic Panic's "hot hot pink", which is a bit more fuchsia. I did it again, this time leaving the dye on longer as well.

Oh my god.

My hair is PINK. Like really pink. And I think it looks awesome, but a lot of people have started warning me (despite everyone else's complaints that Manic Panic fades super quickly) that it also can sometimes stain hair and leave a tinge... for a very long time.

Soooo... we'll see. I like it right now; I think it's fun, it'll make the videos I post during the pink dye stage a little more exciting looking, and everyone should play around with dyeing their hair at least once. But now I have my fingers crossed that it fades and washes out normally (like half the people out there say it does) instead of leaving me slightly pink for months and months (like the other half insist it does). I can't really afford to have pink hair THAT long due to other obligations in my life, but I'll sort it out as the time comes. I'm sure there are other options for getting it out if I need to.

Right now I am just going to enjoy it. :D

I thought I'd give an update on further World of Warcraft DJing. Last night I played a bit with Liz and Justin, and these are the songs that came up:

-While questing, and since Liz is kind of new to WoW, she kept asking us to clarify which quest we were on so she could make sure she was tracking it on her screen. One of the quests was called "Bear Necessities", so obviously I played the song of the same name from Jungle Book.

-Liz plays a hunter which has the ability to tame beasts to become her new companion. Justin was explaining to her how to do it, reminding her she needs to make sure to "tame it, not kill the beast". Naturally, on came "Kill the Beast!" from Beauty and the Beast.

-When we were back in Azure Watch (turning in completed quests), we discovered that Liz and I both have the problem of accepting new ones without actually reading what they are. Earlier Liz accepted one that turned her into a female blood elf (as a disguise) for some specific quest and me and Justin both made fun of her for looking silly for 15 minutes. Later, the joke was on me when we BOTH accidentally accepted the quest (again) but my character was turned into a male blood elf. Fittingly, I played Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman".

Flights taken: 24

Monday, October 10, 2011

GeekGirlCon, Halloween, Disney on Ice.

Busy busy busy busy busy.

Last week was hectic because it was Justin's birthday, this weekend was hectic because it was GeekGirlCon, this week is going to be hectic because I have loads of meetings and things to do -- but I can't tell you how happy I am to see my life starting to fall back into its normal rhythm. Summer is amazing and fun and some of the best parts of the year, but I am such a project-oriented person that this is my favorite part of what I do, right here. Shoving all my little projects into the free crevices of each week.

Interesting things going on:

1. I bought tickets to Disney on Ice. This is funny to me for a few reasons. First of all, I haven't been to Disney on Ice since I was 6-7. Eia and I got to talking about it a few years ago, and it had sort of been this joke we've had, always mentioning to each other how much we wanted to go. We hadn't brought it up in awhile though, until the other day. Justin was asking me vague spoiler-y questions about the supposed Christmas present he's getting me, though all I can deduce is that it's some event in February of next year. Our conversation then went as such:

Justin: You'll never guess what it is.
‪Me: ‬ ‪Is it Disney on Ice?‬
Me: I hope it's Disney on Ice.
Justin: ‬ ‪It's not, but thanks, now anything I get you will be compared to Disney on Ice.
Justin: Now I cant get you anything‬.
Me: ‬ ‪hahahhahahhaa‬.

I then proceeded to see if Disney on Ice is even a thing anymore (it is) and if they are showing anywhere near me anytime soon (they are) and that explains how my friends and I will probably be the only people without children of our own with us at TOY STORY 3 DISNEY ON ICE next month. Life is awesome.

2. GeekGirlCon was amazing. I don't think I have the energy to do a full write-up (it was a long weekend) but I'll try to touch on the highlights.

There were so many amazing panels. I went to a lot of writing panels (YA Authors, Writing in Real Life [with a job, kids, other priorities, etc.], Writing Urban Fantasy), one on running your own geeky business, and a particularly awesome and relevant panel on Women in Web Series.

I also spoke on a panel called "Killing Cattiness and Creating Community" with such inspiring people as Bonnie Burton and Marian Call (along with a bunch of others). I met authors (large and small) and made friends with some guys at a vendor room booth who kept trying to convince Liz and I to join their DnD campaign; I bought new dice and painted my own pewter miniature and saw a lot of really, really awesome cosplay.

One of the highlights of my weekend was getting an @reply on twitter from Jane Espenson (TV writer who's worked on Buffy and Firefly [among many others] and is writing the new web series Husbands) which is hands down every geek writer's dream, haha.

I was a total nerd and took notes at the good panels, which I am really excited to go back and look over, since most of it is really inspiring stuff about freelancing and motivating yourself to write and pretty much all the things I am trying to do every single day already. I love seeing such a motivated and bustling geek community here in Seattle and I was thrilled to have been part of GeekGirlCon.

3. I'm working on redecorating my bedroom a bit. I don't know if anyone REALLY cares about this, but on YouTube I let you guys into my bedroom on a weekly basis so it feels like I am changing a much larger part of my identity than I really am.

I might write more about this process along the way, but it started last week when I exchanged my brightly colored rainbow bedspread of the last three years for a stylish black comforter with little curly-q designs on it. I also began organizing the plethora of "things" I have collected over the span of my life on the shelves that line the right side of my room. I want to do a great deal of "cleaning out" as well as acquiring some more grown-up furniture "investments", as well as updating my wall decor. It's going to be fun. I like this kind of stuff. :)

4. Halloween prep. My friends and I get way, way too into Halloween around here, so I've been working on my costume for the last two months already. Yesterday I went shopping with Liz and Tara to help them find some key pieces for their costumes, and overall I am just really excited for Halloween parties and pictures and the general spooky time of the year. It's just the best.

I have a long, long to-do list today, so I think this blog post ends here.

Flights taken: 24

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Travel DJ.

It's really, really nice to be home.

I've only been home less than a week but I already feel the comforting rhythm of my life falling back into place. Maybe I'm weird, but I love waking up early in the morning (earlier than most of my housemates), looking over my planner for the day, getting a bunch of work done in my room (I work the best between 8am-1pm, weirdly), planning out my videos, scheduling meetings and video shoots, etc. Obviously traveling is a much different kind of exciting, but this home-time stuff is fun in a way I can't really explain. I feel so fortunate to get to be doing what I love. :)

But! That's not what I meant to write about. I wanted to talk about World of Warcraft, today.

I played a lot of WoW last year; I used to stay up until 3 AM all the time running dungeons with my housemate Justin as well as a bunch of our LA friends (Jason, Alex, Luke; whoever was online really). However, we all got busy early in the year and my account has sat frozen since... January. Right after Cataclysm came out.

After the craziness of my summer died down though (and excitement for BlizzCon started to build), I found myself with a little bit more spare time than usual -- and I reactivated my account. I don't regret that decision. WoW is FUN, okay?

The whole point of this World of Warcraft narrative is to give a little back-story as to what I'm about to blog about.

So, for those who've never played WoW, one of the elements of the game is that you have to travel around Azeroth in real time. So, when moving from continent to continent, city to city, you have to use regular modes of transportation (unless you use portals or teleportation, but that's a whole different story). Basically you either have to take a train, or ride a boat, or run, or fly. And depending on where you're going, this can take a long time. Sometimes like 5-10 minutes, if you're traveling far enough.

The point is, when I play WoW, generally I am playing with my housemate Justin and he's usually in my room with me. I have double monitors on my computer (like a big 'ol nerd) and sometimes I really geek out over having a second screen to play around on while we're doing boring traveling stuff on my other screen. So lately I have taken to DJ-ing our travel time. Which obviously annoys the crap out of Justin.

My current songs are as thus:

When we are running, I play No Doubt's "Running":
"Running, running
As fast as we can
Do you think we'll make it?"

When Justin is flying in his bird form, I play Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle":
"I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free"

When I am flying on my carpet mount, I play Aladdin's "A Whole New World":
"Over, sideways and under
On a magic carpet ride
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming"

The reason this is so funny to me (and not funny to Justin) is that traveling happens quite often, so if I am feeling particularly clever, we hear these songs... all the time. Multiple times a day. In fact, I've taken to just queuing them up on YouTube before we even start playing, lately, hahaha. It just never gets old (to me). But then again, one of my life missions (and duty as a good housemate) is to annoy Justin as often as possible, so that works out.

Now I just need to think of a good song to play when we're flying on my two-seater rocket mount and I'll be set. Any good song suggestions about rocket ships?

Flights taken: 24