Thursday, June 21, 2012

Diagnosing my Summer Fever.

Where has the time gone?!

Over the last few weeks, I kept meaning to write a blog post for various things - to talk about how it feels being in the completely post-production stage of Job Hunters, to explain my new fascination with slacklining, to brag about how I finally learned how to play chess from my friend Joe. But now I find myself four days out from my trip to LA, from VidCon, from immediately then heading to North Dakota for my family vacation, and I'm just so overwhelmed by the excitement and stress of summer that I honestly can't even tell you where the time went.

This has been an amazing month. I am absolutely up to my eyeballs in different projects I am trying to accomplish, but nothing really feels better than the sweet satisfaction of looking at your insane to-do list at the end of the day and knowing you completed everything, no matter how hard it was. Mix that in with some really awesome time with friends, great weather, and a lot of well-spent creative energy and I'm finding myself in what I can already tell will be my Greatest Summer Yet™.

Last weekend I went to the Fremont Solstice parade with Joe, Justin and Claire - this is an event I had only heard about from afar, but never managed to check out in person. Basically, it's this awesome, weird, artsy parade they do in Seattle's funkiest neighborhood to welcome in the summer, but it starts with a very different version of the parade. For the first hour or so, the spectacle is hundred of naked people covered in body paint riding bikes. Like, we're talking really awesome and creative body paint, and we're also talking really naked. I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, reenactments of famous paintings, and my personal favorite - a Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack and Rainbow Dash. But, you know, naked.

There's obviously a lot of symbolism here. The naked cycling is about artistic freedom, about self expression, about creating art with the only we come into this world with - our bodies. But examining the very lowest common denominator here, I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear as I watched these happy painted people zipping by on their bikes because SUMMER is here. What better way to celebrate that then to take all your clothes off and run through the streets in bright colors?

So even though I stayed very snug in my tshirt and jeans that day, I tried to embody the spirit of the cyclists as Joe and I ran from place to place at the fair - hula hooping in the park, eating lunch outside on the open deck, and riding the super slide during the only ten minute period it rained the whole day.

What is it exactly about summer that makes us so excited each time it happens? It comes at the same time year after year, and yet it still catches us off guard, making us do crazy things like jumping in lakes fully clothed, hopping in a car to take unplanned spontaneous road trips, or telling that cute boy/girl we like that we have feelings for them. People talk about 'Spring Fever' but I think Summer is the real fever - and I have it bad right now.

My bag is halfway packed, my flight information is sitting in my inbox with the little priority star checked next to it, and I am itching to get away. It's summer, and I am ready for it. It's time to get crazy.

Monday, June 4, 2012

In which I am apparently a squirrel.

Time is moving so quickly!

I can't believe that not only have I lived at Hypercube for over a month now, but that it's already JUNE - putting us halfway into 2012 and nearly right in the thick of the annual summer convention craziness. I'm not really ready to accept that half of 2012 is over yet, but this has been a year of so many changes and exciting developments in my life that I'm not in any state to slow down, either. I feel like I am flying through this year, arms outstretched, feeling the wind and the memories and the new friends and experiences soaring through my hair, making me glad every day for the decisions I made that set me on this path.

It is human nature to second guess our decisions. In reality, it is the very fact that we can second-guess our life choices that gives us our unique humanity. Do you think squirrels spend days or weeks deciding which nuts to scavenge and from where? No. They feel hungry, they see an acorn, they take it.

We, on the other hand, would budget out how many nuts we need and the work involved in obtaining them, comparing and contrasting the nutritional value of nuts still attached to trees or ones lying on the ground. We'd research where the other squirrels are getting THEIR nuts and figure out what these different places will say about us as squirrel-citizens in the larger societal setting. We'd window shop, looking at various nuts but not actually buying them; we'd try to find the places giving bargain nuts and at the end of the day, you know we'd rather spend our money on a nicer tree or a bigger den, so we'd probably just have our nuts ordered in from the local take-out acorn tree. And even then we'd wonder if we should have chosen the healthier option, or worried that the neighbors had seen us order in more than once that week, or panic if we were missing out on a popular new seeds-only diet.

I'm currently trying to live my life in a way that makes me happy I just took the nut, instead of constantly wondering what could have been.

There were a lot of decisions that went along with the choice not to move to LA last summer. Especially working in the field that I do, LA sort of has this "eyes on the prize" feeling about it. Regardless of how well I feel like I am doing in the career-realm, I can't help but notice that I find myself often surrounded by people who believe that LA is the sort of "final frontier" of this kind of work. And when I get those reminders, I have to wonder if deciding not to move to LA was a throwing-in-the-towel of sorts. Of sabotaging myself, when I could probably succeed there. Of severing (or at the very least loosening) ties that could be useful to me in the future.

But then I look at Job Hunters, and all I've learned, and the people I've met in this past year, and I'm really freaking happy I took the nut. I don't regret it. I do honestly feel like my decision to stay here was the right one, and even though other squirrels might be living in cushy two story dens at the tops of trees made of gold, I'm happy I took the nut.

There's this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that LA is still a hovering beacon in the future that I can't swat away, but I am trying not to think about it right now. I know plenty of people (John and Hank being the largest of that sect) who manage to do everything they want to do from their home cities very, very far from the flashy lights of Hollywood, so for now, I won't think about.

For now, I will just relish in the fact that I can be successful in whichever city I choose, if I put my mind to it. Which I have been. Because I took the nut.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Indian food place that wasn't.

Eia and I have this ritualistic routine of going to the exact same Indian food place together when we need to talk, catch up, vent, or just generally practice the art of best-friendness. It's a place near our old house, it's absolutely delicious, and - given the nature of these outings, we tend to not like change.

Unfortunately, there was a Groupon a little while back (confession: I'm an avid Groupon-er) for an Indian food place about ten blocks away with a name so stupidly similar to our place that I have to wonder how restaurant owners aren't a tad bit more creative. So, without thinking twice, I bought it, only to be extremely disappointed later when I discovered my mistake.

Then I was faced with a decision. Use it? Give it away? Try to get my money back? The very fact that I was considering these options only drove home the very specialness of our particular Indian place. It's a restaurant, I told myself. You can try a new restaurant once, I told myself.

So, here we found ourselves on a Wednesday afternoon, craving Indian food and more so the comforts of our best-friend restaurant, with naught but the $22 to spend at the impostor location. Our minds were telling us to suck it up and give it a try; our hearts were telling us no. Finally, with the Groupon print-out tucked purposefully inside my purse, we headed to the faux-location. Because hey. It's almost summer. We're big girls. We could try branching out.

Here's what I learned yesterday, blog readers. Sometimes, it's better to never branch out.

For the two of us, our Indian food place isn't necessary about the food. It's not about the location. It's about the hundreds of conversations we've had about boys, about parents, about moving, about the future - all safely within the walls of that same restaurant. It's about the chai tea drinking battles we had due to an overexcited waitstaff that refills your cup before you've even managed to get halfway to the bottom. It's about the fact that we don't take any of our other friends there with us, keeping it a place shared only between two friends, where we can talk about anything we want and knowing what we say will never leave that restaurant.

Suffice it to say, this new place was average at best, and held none of that same meaning. The food was okay, they never refilled our cups a once, and while they did bring us a complimentary dessert (much like our place that tends to bring us something exorbitant like cheesecake, just to be nice) this place brought us a rice pudding that was best described with less than pleasant onomatopoeias.

Not to mention the chai was gross and the chicken in my Chicken Korma was questionable, and that the lady waiting our table looked very hurt and disappointed that I hardly touched either. She was so visibly upset that I actually felt I had to pretend I liked the rice pudding. I don't want to pretend I like food when I am paying for it! That's a trick I save entirely for when people I care about try new recipes that might not have gone quite right... not random strangers!

It's not like we're spoiled, that we require free refills and extravagant cheesecake. It's not like this new place was bad. It just wasn't our place, and we felt that all around us as we sat there. The menus were different, the food options weren't the same, and honestly (though maybe this was all in my mind) our conversations weren't even to the same caliber as we're used to when we really go out for Indian food.

The moral of the story today is: Read your Groupon offers before you buy them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

On wrapping a season and waiting for summer

It's a strange life I lead when I look forward to Mondays as though they're the start of my own personal relaxing weekend. Whatever errands, odd jobs or deadlines are thrown at me during the week, they're not as much work as a weekend of shooting, that's for damn sure.

This Monday, however, comes with a particularly bittersweet sense about it, since yesterday wrapped principle photography on Season 1 of Job Hunters.

To be fair, we already have a few pickups we need to shoot to really say the season is wrapped, but those scenes are short, they wont require a full crew to finish, and mostly contain individual actors. The giant, weekend-long bonding style shoots are finished for this season, and though the promise of free time on the weekends is sweet, I can't help but feel a pang as I think about not being on set again for months.

I know there are tons of groups out there doing tons of different projects, and oftentimes those projects can feel like something extra-special, a cut above the rest, better than real life. I know this isn't a unique feeling, that Job Hunters didn't invent it, that our bonding has been no more "incredible" than any other group of peoples' time together - but I do love that we as humans can still convince ourselves we're the first persons to feel the way we're feeling about a certain thing we're doing.

Job Hunters really has felt that way. There really is something extra-special about what happens when we're together, what we're able to create, the fun we're able to have -- and maybe it's no more unique than anything else out there, but it feels that way to us. And that's what makes it special.

Last night we insisted everyone go out for drinks at the bar that's slowly becoming "our bar" - the shoot ended around 8:30, and even though people were exhausted, I think it's really important to allow ourselves to unwind together, to remember we're friends first and a production team second. I am so, so proud of the work we've done in this past year, but I am even more proud that we've grown closer  as a group of friends - not letting any sort of creative differences wedge its way in and cause tension. There's none of that with this team, and I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.

I'm not sure what I'll do with my free time yet, now that we're mostly in pre-production. My talents are definitely centered in pre-production and the actual on-set aspects of this project, so now that I have weekends free and am not constantly coordinating extras for this insane last few shoots, maybe I'll have time to read books again. Or start running more regularly. Or start an entirely new project!

Though, we all know it's more likely the Producers will instead jump right into Season 2 planning. We're all dying to do it anyway. :D

Every morning I wake up here in Seattle and am amazed over and over again how much it feels like summer already even though it's only May. I am looking forward to this summer so much. I know I've been nauseatingly radiating positivity for the past 6 months, but it's like I've been waiting for summer deep in my bones, like I've just been itching for the weather to match my mood.

Well it's almost here and I couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Taking a second to breathe.

This has been such a crazy few weeks. I would apologize for not making time to sit down and document it, but everything has been going by so quickly that it's almost been a blur. I definitely feel like I have been a little detached from the internet (especially with vlogs on my main channel), but from moving to the new house, to getting back into the thick of filming Job Hunters, to spending time with my friend Clint before he moved to Georgia - it's been a whirlwind of a month.

Let me try and backtrack. I am still fresh from having taken a good friend to the airport this morning, but there's a lot more to this story that I've bypassed in the Most Miserable Attempt at BEDA™ 2012(MMAB)

On April 29th, 2012, I moved out of my college home of 3.5 years, Mammoth Caves. In honor of the occasion, we threw what we hoped would be the most epic of epic parties housed there on April 28th. I suppose you never really can top a Halloween party, or a Night Zero party, or even a birthday party -- but we tried our best. It was pretty awesome, all things considered. At the very least, we celebrated one last time in the house we loved with people we love and left it in a state we were proud to pass on to the next set of Mammoth Cavians - well worn and a little stained with booze. The night ended with a laser light dance party and culminated in a bunch of tired, slightly drunk people crashing on the floor of my already-emptied old bedroom.

And then there was House 2: Hypercube.

I've only lived in this new house for 9 days as of 11:11 AM on May 8th, as I sit here writing this long-overdue blog post. It already feels so ridiculously like home though. My bedroom is amazing and perfectly and totally me, the kitchen is modern and fancy and the living room just begs us to have fun times within its walls. And the best part is - everything is so CLEAN. Since having moved in we've already had friends over for a make-your-own-pizza party, as well as hosting both a Game of Thrones night and an Adventure Time afternoon marathon. I love living in a house that so obviously welcomes friends and encourages fun. House 2: Hypercube does not disappoint.

In the grand scheme of things, everything is going really, really well in my life right now. I'm eating healthy, I'm feeling creatively fulfilled and challenged, I constantly feel like I am surrounded by amazing people, I'm living with my best friends. People seem to like my web series. People still comment nice things on my videos.

But. Yesterday we had a going away party for a relatively new friend named Clint. It was one of those situations where an awesome person sort of tornadoes in and out of your life in much too short an amount of time, but I'm glad for it nonetheless. The party was fun - it was simultaneously the first BBQ of the year, the first time pulling out a frisbee since the weather's gotten nice - and - most importantly, the first time I won a game of beer pong. Aw yeah.

It was a great way to unwind and share the nice weather with great friends, if you could ignore the underlying sadness of losing an important member of your social group the next morning. We ended the night with one last Adventure Time Power Marathon, but I can't shake the disappointment I feel at not having been able to finish the show with the person who introduced it to us. Eia and Dave and I (the crew that's been watching it) will have to finish on our own. I guess.

Despite that blip in the positivity (is that a word? I like it, either way) of my life, I am really excited for the new leaf I feel like I am turning over with the move into this house. Nothing big is really changing, but I feel like I am truly adopting the slow adaptations that have been infiltrating my life since last summer, when I decided not to move to LA. Weirdly enough, I feel like that was an even bigger life step for me than moving would have been. I had to make a lot of tough decisions. But I am extremely happy with them, and I can't wait to show off my new house. Expect a house tour video in your sub boxes today or tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BEDA 4: The Art of Moving.

Wow. So much for doing "Blog Every Day in April". I'm not even ashamed; the time went by so quickly. Just... wow.

So, I had the beginning of a post all typed up from awhile ago, and it started like this:

The time between signing a lease on a new house and actually moving into it is the stupidest time I've ever experienced. I can't think of a better word to describe it than "stupid".

I spent this morning looking at furniture on Ikea's website, and then I started going through my things to try and get rid of stuff, but doing that just makes me want to start packing. And I'm not moving for 3 weeks... so beginning packing now means I'd just be sitting here with all my stuff in boxes for no reason for the next 20 days.

SO I HAVE TO JUST WAIT. I hate waiting.

Now it is April 17 and I am just over a week out from moving. I would say I have about 30% of my stuff sitting in boxes, and the rest is just waiting to be packed up so I can transfer it over to the new house. Saturday we (meaning the girls; Justin tends to get left out of this particular aspect of moving) took a group trip to Ikea to buy room and kitchen items, while getting ideas for how we want to decorate the living room. It was super fun in an incredibly over-excited way - we kept running from section to section saying "Guys! OMG! Look!" and "Do we need this?" and "I really think we need this!"

Our front door is lime green so it kind of went without saying that our kitchen will match accordingly. I've never even realized how many lime-green accessories there are out there until we really started looking for them. We bought green hot pads and utensils and a rug and mixing bowls. We also pondered over a giant lime-green pantry, but that's something we're still making our mind up on.

My room is going to be a combination of blacks and cranberry, with teal blue accents. I bought a new lamp, and a ornate black mirror and a throw pillow and a trashcan. The most exciting part of this whole moving process is also getting to decorate a bathroom, so I headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond last night and decided on a silvery shower curtain with a sequined design on it. The towels, trashcan and rug are all aquamarine blue.

I can't wait until I can move all my stuff over and start taking pictures to show you guys the new place and all my decorating ideas and whatnot, but alas. One more week. ONE MORE WEEK.

Impatience levels are high here at Mammoth Caves.

Tomorrow we're posting Episode 2 of Job Hunters, which will be a fun and exciting distraction from my own inability to wait for things. We're also filming this weekend, which I am so stoked about. It's been a few weeks since any of us have been on set (Emerald City Comic Con, Easter and Greek Easter really threw a wrench in our production schedule) so everyone is itching to get back into character, to see everyone again, and to crank out some more of the remaining episodes.

Let's see, in other Kristina News from April I also started watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead - both of which are awesome. We're only about 5 episodes into GoT, but with the Walking Dead I managed to marathon into early Season 2 last weekend with a bunch of friends. It got to the point where I was having nonstop post-apocalyptic zombie dreams, but given the nature of TWD, the dreams never actually included zombies. Only the high-intensity off-time with the other survivors, scavenging for food and trying to figure out "what's next".

So, yeah. I am completely failing at BEDA this year, which is a total first for me. But I haven't moved houses in over three years and I forgot how much time it takes up and how much you have on your mind constantly -- things like writing blog posts get pushed to the very back.

I'll be around again sometime soon. I always am.

If anyone has any good packing/moving tips they'd like to share, please do so in the comments!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BEDA 3: Job Hunters release day!

Haha, whoops. Missed a day. The funny thing is, I totally opened up blogger yesterday and STARTED writing something up, but then clicked away -- and in the excitement and bustle of the day, I never went back to it. So here's what I started typing yesterday, Wednesday:

"Well, today is exciting.

I am sitting in my living room with other Job Hunters producers on either side of me, Chipotle in my tummy, and 200+ comments on the first episode of the web series.

So far people seem to really like it! I mean, there are the few standard "this iz jus a Hnuger Games ripoff" and the "u guyz can't act" comments, but honestly, for the first episode of a brand new show, we seem to be doing REALLY WELL.

The best part for me personally is to see how excited and proud the rest of our team is. Everyone's posting facebook comments and twitter statuses all over the place full of exclamation points and smiley faces, and it's making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, because it wasn't that long ago that this project only mentally belonged to four people. Now there are so many people who take ownership over it, and it's the best feeling."

Now it's Thursday morning, and I'm super tired because Eia and I stayed up until 5AM talking like a couple of dummies (this of course being after we were over at our friend's house until after 3 hanging out and watching Adventure Time). I don't have a lot more to say, except that yesterday was awesome, I'm glad people seem to like our web series so far, and it's actually incredible how behind I feel in life right now.

I am completely out of the swing of making regular videos so it just feels a lot harder making them each week, I haven't even started on my Answerly video for tomorrow, and knowing that I'm going to have to start packing to MOVE soon (and that the whole process is right around the corner) is vaguely terrifying.

It's just a busy time right now. I know everything will sort itself out. I'm just feeling very fortunate that it's all positive stuff going on right now. That's a style of busy I can get behind.

Oh, and also, I tried the Cheesy Dorito Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell last night. So, like I said, good things all around. More tomorrow, when I'll hopefully feel like my brain is on straight again.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BEDA 2: Thoughts on leaving Mammoth Caves.

Alright I can't promise this is going to last all month, but here I am already, back for BEDA post #2. It's funny - I'm so incredibly busy right now (Job Hunters comes out TOMORROW guys) that the idea of writing a blog post amidst all the crazy actually sounds kind of... calming. It sounds nice. So BEDA has come at a good time of year for me, as a way to clear my head and document all the awesome stuff happening.

Yesterday I talked about Emerald City Comic Con... today let's talk about moving. And how I am doing it.

For those of you following along at home, my current house is called "Mammoth Caves" and I've lived here for almost four years. I moved here in 2008 when I was a junior in college, because it's walking distance to my college. Eia lived with me here for 2 years before moving out and leaving me her super huge bedroom. This is where I met Justin (who in turn kind of introduced me to almost everyone I hang out with now), and where we've cycled through so many amazing (and not so amazing) other roommates.

The time has come though, to leave it behind and try something new. I can get weirdly emotional and attached to inanimate things, and the houses I've lived in definitely fall into that category. It took me a long time to really feel like it was time to move on, but once I started feeling those inclinations rising up in me, it sort of became an obsession. I started checking housing rental sites every single day, I went to about 6-7 viewings of potential houses, but nothing felt right.

Until a few weeks ago. I just happened to find this house, in almost the perfect location, but that's not even the best part. The best part is that it's one of those super modern cube houses.

Now, whatever you're picturing when I say "super modern cube house"; take that image and make it even cube-ier. Seriously. And that's my new house.

We're moving at the end of this month (which will be another awesome thing to document and yet another reason I'm glad BEDA is happening right now) so the next few weeks are not only fraught with Job Hunters excitement, but will also include insane amounts of packing and the transition to the next stage of my life. Moving into "House 2: Hypercube". :D

Anyway, being that it's the morning before the official launch of my web series and we're about three weeks out from moving to a completely new house, I'm filled with all this nervous/excited energy and it's nice to have a place to focus it. As soon as I finish this entry I have to go get work done that I know I wont touch at all tomorrow in the hustle and bustle of releasing the show, so it makes me a little sad to end this post. But I have to, so, I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, April 2, 2012

BEDA 1: Emerald City Comic Con wrap up.

Well. It only occurred to me today, on April 2nd, that I have already missed the first day of BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) should I so choose to participate this year.

BEDA, you're one of those things I know I really don't have time for, but despite that, I find it so hard to quit you. So I guess I'm gonna try it. Or whatever. We'll see.

This weekend was absolutely incredible. I'll probably just sort of glaze over everything because I am way too exhausted (and a little hungover) to really delve into extreme detail. Essentially, this weekend was Emerald City Comic Con. It was my second ECCC, but definitely far surpassed last year's in every imaginable way.

Friday was the most laid-back day; we went to a panel on web series and then spent the remainder of the day poking around the vendor room, buying enough art to almost completely decorate our new house. Then Liz, Ariana, David and I went out to dinner before heading over to the Hard Rock Café for Kracklefest. Adam Warrock (a nerd hip hop rapper) was great as usual, I had the pleasure of finally seeing Marian Call perform live, and Kirby Krackle rocked the place down. I got to jump up onstage to sing "Comic Shop" with them, making it the first official time we've performed it together. I know I really shouldn't be singing right now, but it was the first time I have performed live since VidCon last summer, and it was just one song. So it felt good.

The only downside of the whole day was that at the concert, there was this couple that wedged their way completely in front of David and I and then wouldn't stop making out with each other. At one point the girl was even licking the guy's face. We tried to combat the awkward by inappropriately moshing with only them during not entirely mosh-worthy songs. It didn't help.

Saturday started early. We went to Wil Wheaton's 90 Minute Awesome Hour (contradictory, I know. He's just that awesome). We wandered around a bit after, looked at costumes, got our photos taken at the Night Zero booth, then went to another web series panel. A bunch of us bought dice sets (a few of our friends were picking out their very first ones!) and as it grew later, we decided to call it an early night. My voice was already kind of going, and we wanted to be rested and fresh for our Job Hunters panel the next day. So we went out to dinner at Azteca and headed home - before I think would traditionally be considered "cool" for the Saturday night of a con. Which is fine, because Eia, Ariana and I just snuggled and watched Buffy at home. :)

Sunday was seriously one of the best days I've had in a long time. We started the morning with the Summer Glau panel (she's adorable and so genuinely sweet!), which fed directly into the Adam Baldwin panel. He's so hilarious. One of the highlights of the panel, also, was when my dad went up to ask him a question in the Jayne hat I got him for Christmas. I had a pretty proud nerd daughter moment then. Anyway! Next was the Phelps twins (Fred and George Weasley) panel, which I was only able to catch about 15 minute of, because we had to race over to room 2AB to prepare for the Job Hunters panel. I only started getting nervous about 5 minutes before we went on, which is pretty standard for me, haha.

It went so well, though! Myself and the other three producers spoke a bit about the show, but then we jumped right into showing episode 1 to the crowd. People seemed really receptive to it! They laughed in the right places, and I got a lot of incredibly sweet @replies on twitter about it over the course of the rest of the day. The Q&A went really well after, as well. It was such a rush, suddenly being in front of a crowd talking about it after keeping it under wraps for so many months. It makes me super stoked for Wednesday, on the official release date!

After our panel we hung out at the con a bit longer, getting more pictures taken at the Night Zero booth and taking in the last of the con. It ended at 5pm, so everyone headed over to my house for the post con party we decided to throw. It was no hotel party, but it came pretty close. I spent a lot of this weekend sort of overwhelmed by how much I have grown to love all these people I've spent the last few months working on Job Hunters with. Even though we were being silly and drinking and dancing, I couldn't help but stop and sort of revel in how much hard work we've done together and how awesome it feels to celebrate that with each other.

I have so many other things to talk about, but I will save them for tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My begrudging attempt to be healthier.

Oh man. I haven't updated in a long time. I had to just go check what the last thing I actually wrote about was (finishing BSG, if you were curious) in order to figure out where I left off in my life updates. So, okay. Over a month. Let's see.

I'm sure this comes as no surprise to anyone, but I've primarily just been up to my eyeballs in Job Hunters stuff. We've officially passed the halfway mark with filming, which is incredibly exciting. We're premiering our first episode this weekend at Emerald City Comic Con, and then posting it online for its "world-wide launch" the following Wednesday.

It's a little nerve-wracking to already be posting the early episodes while we're still working on finishing the late episodes, but we'll get there. We're still on Season 1, and it's all an experiment. :)

Other life news includes the brain-crushingly infuriating process of house-hunting. Some of my friends and I are trying to move (I absolutely love my house and the location but it's time for a change of scenery) and HOLY CRAP moving is annoying. I've been scouring house-hunting sites every morning, emailing and calling realtors, scheduling appointments to view houses. But over and over again, either the houses are too weird, too small, one of the bedrooms doesn't have a door (seriously), too close too the freeway. Or on the flip side, the house is PERFECT but the realtor decides to give it to a nice little family rather than a handful of creative-minded twenty-somethings. Come on. So it's been a headache.

To sort of.. ease that process, I've really been trying to make other positive healthy life changes. Not in a "oh look at me, I exercise now" kind of way. More in a "dangit, my mom was right all along, exercise and eating healthy DOES improve your life" kind of way. So I've been experimenting with running (which sucks) and cutting out super unhealthy foods. Actually, I started a strict 80/20 policy for myself. I'm never going to entirely STOP eating oreos and cheesecake and McDonald's french fries and brie cheese slathered all over crackers. So I decided if I eat healthy 80% of the time, it can sort of excuse the 20% where I eat like a 5 year old.

I always hated cooking in general but I've been playing around in the kitchen a little lately, which is totally foreign to me. Rosianna inspired me to eat more veggies and salads via the deviously delicious ingredient quinoa. I've found that cooking with quinoa or cous cous actually makes boring old vegetables and salads something totally good-tasting and exciting and filling.

I also made my first casserole the other day. I've never made a casserole before. Now granted, this was a tater tot casserole and wasn't healthy by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I was proud of myself for being inventive with the leftovers I had from my night out at the AFK Tavern when I brought home half an order of +2 Tots.

Anyway. I find that people can get REALLY annoying when they start being all "HEALTHY!!@!12" and telling everyone how awesome they are because of how "HEALTHY!@#$#" they're being, so I'm probably not going to talk about it a lot. I just wanted to share, that this is what I've been (attempting to) do with the time I haven't really been blogging. It's hard work, man. But as annoying as it is, people really ARE telling the truth when they say this stuff helps.

Can't wait to share Job Hunters with you all, and I'll hopefully be back more quickly than last time with my next update!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Musings on the end of BSG (no spoilers).

Oh man. I don't even really have time to be updating my blog right now, but I can't help myself. I have a million things to do today (we're starting filming again tomorrow and there's always a mile-long list of things to do before our shoots) but I am in one of those crazy states of mind that I feel like I just need to capture.

Last night I finished watching Battlestar Galactica.

I'm a big, big fan of television. I'm all about the intricate storytelling, the breathtaking visuals, the actors so good at their jobs that it makes you feel uncomfortable to remember that they're real people with lives outside the show. That many (if not all) of the people on Battlestar Galactica have probably never actually shot a gun, have never been in space, have never met a real Cylon.

Each time I finish an incredible show, I have a really difficult time letting go. Good storytelling affects me in ways that I can't explain, ways that make me feel for a little while like there will never be anything as good ever again.

But, after Lost, there was Doctor Who. And after Doctor Who, there was Buffy. And after Buffy, there was Battlestar Galactica. Each time I let another show in, I feel like the bar gets set even higher, and new shows keep surpassing my previous expectations for how good television can get.

It's getting to the point where I can't even rank my favorites, but Battlestar will always have a slot near the very top of my list. I can't even explain in words how deeply I fell in love with this show, and even though it's over now, it will always be there in the back of my mind. Kara Thrace, Admiral Adama, Laura Roslin, Lee, Sam, Sharon, Gaius, Six, Helo, Hera, The Chief... they're not going anywhere. Just like every other great tv show and book and movie that's ever affected me is here to stay, so are the characters from BSG.

I am experiencing that perfect mix of slightly hollow yet completely satisfied now that it's over, and I feel so fortunate that I get to celebrate the ending of this wonderful TV series with EMP's Galactibash tonight. Perfect timing. Nothing makes me happier than to see slightly older fandoms still so relevant today, and I can't wait to party it up with the other BSG fans out this evening.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Job Hunters induced exhaustion.

I am working through levels of exhaustion that are unprecedented for me - today is most definitely going to be a non-work day. Except for the Job Hunters production meeting we have planned for tonight; but that's just going to be mostly talking. I can handle talking.

Thursday we had our final acting rehearsal/workshop for the first weekend of shooting. Friday night was pre-production meeting and tech night. Then we started shooting bright and early on Saturday. I arrived to set at 7:30 AM, and everything was pretty much nonstop from there, going until midnight and starting again on Sunday at 8 AM.

I am blown away by the incredible cast and crew we've managed to put together for this production. The entire weekend, I think everyone was sort of reveling in the perfect balance we were able to find between professionalism and fun. We powered through so much of the first 3 episodes in those two days, it was insane! The raw footage I happened to sneak peaks at looked amazing as well. It really is mind-blowing to think back over all the stages of this project - dreaming up the idea, fundraising, writing, casting, set building, etc. - and to see it really coming together now, before our very eyes.

So, again, I am exhausted. I'm fully dressed (in a pink sweater and matching pink hairbow a la 'Galentine's Day' this morning with my gals Liz and Tara) but I am tucked into my bed, catching up on email and blogs and twitter and everything I have been ignoring for the past week as my brain was in Job Hunters central.

I can't wait to do it all again next weekend, but for now, it's good to relax. I have a lot of Battlestar Galactica to watch with Liz and David this week. I. Can't. Wait.

I feel very off the grid right now, so I figured it was a good time to give a little blog post update. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Obligatory 'I Suck at Blogging' blog.

I have been absolutely awful about blogging so far this year. (We hear variations of this sentence a lot on this blog, don't we?)

One of the things I decided to really work on in 2012 is saying 'no'. I know, it sounds like a pretty negative thing to work on at first glance, but that's just it. Saying 'no' isn't always about being negative. It's about being realistic.

It would be awesome to just be able to say yes to everything. Yes, I will meet you for lunch! Yes, I will make video-snippets for your new video series! Yes, I will check out your channel! Yes, I will reply to every single email I receive! Yes, I will skype with you for the next hour! Yes, I will write a book! Yes, I will produce, act in and write this web series! Yes, I will go to your meetup! Yes, I will clean my room! Yes, I will stay caught up on all the new TV! Yes, I will say happy birthday to your cousin who's a fan I've never met! Yes, I will read that book you sent me! Yes, I will start going to the gym! Yes, I will promote your cause! Yes, I will do a giveaway for your product in my videos! Yes, I will go to your party! Yes, I will attend that convention! Yes, yes, yes!

Unfortunately, someone who says yes to all those things (and the hundreds more yesses people want from us on a daily basis) would, without a doubt, start to go absolutely crazy before long. One thing I've really had to just accept in life recently is that you can't do everything. You can't.

I like saying yes to everyone. I like helping people, I like being there for my friends and I like being in involved in new things. But sometimes it's just physically impossible. And finding that limit can sometimes be a lot harder than one would think.

So I tried it. I said 'no' to a video project I was offered in early January. It was scary, and I almost caved and did the project anyway - but, once I said no, I was overcome by how easy it was. So not only did I start saying no to other people, I started to find a few ways to downsize a little on the current responsibilities I already arbitrarily have for myself. Even the basic act of keeping up with social media is exhausting. Having multiple YouTube channels, Twitter accounts, Facebook, Tumblr etc etc etc. It's so much! There are ways to consolidate!

Don't be mistaken - this is not about saying no to EVERYTHING. That is bad. That is not what anyone should do. Learning to say 'no' doesn't mean holing up in your room and becoming a hermit; doing only leisurely things whenever you want. I'm talking about balancing your yesses with your nos, making sure you're focusing on the things that really matter to you and not letting your time get tied up in too many projects/responsibilities/commitments/etc.

Look at it this way. If you say yes to enough people, eventually you'll find you're only helping them make THEIR stuff happen. Nobody's going to check up on you and make sure you're working on your own stuff, too. And when you're super busy... there's no one to answer to when it comes to your own stuff. So that's often the first to go.

What it comes down to is, you have to balance. Allow yourself time for YOU.
While still helping others when you can.

So. I told myself, it's not a big deal if I don't post more than one YouTube video in a week. I absolutely adore blogging, but it's been tougher lately, trying to figure out how to do regular updates when I'm working on so many things I can't actually fully divulge on. So my blog got to take a back seat as well. I realized even scheduling weekly live shows was too much, so I put them on hiatus. Answering questions on Tumblr? Those can wait. Right now it's web series.

Clearing out my schedule in these small ways has really given me the extra time (and sanity) I've needed to throw myself into Job Hunters. I don't think I've been this dedicated to a single project with a group of people since high school theatre. It's a pretty amazing thing.

I am bursting at the seams wanting to tell you guys every little detail about it, but it's also kind of fun to have it so under wraps. Everything else in my life is so public - my music, my trips, my thoughts and ideas, even past relationships - I'm so used to sharing everything with you. This is exciting, new territory for me. I can't wait to just surprise everyone with the final product.

We've been doing pre-production all month - my main responsibilities have been coordinating with our costumer and makeup artist (costume shopping is SO FUN) as well as final script revision and whatnot. Today we had a set building work party, but my friend Molly and I were sent on prop scouting. I wont pretend we didn't get a little distracted at a giant thrift store though. I may or may not have purchased a Lizzie McGuire cookie jar. Um.

So, yeah.
Hey, loyal blog readers. I hope you've been doing well. I want to thank you guys for sticking around even when I'm not giving you much in the way of 'entertainment'. YouTube videos in general have such quick turn-around time, but trying to pull off a production of this magnitude... I've really felt like I've gone into hiding, and it's strange for me.

I just hope no one minds a little bit of radio silence while I continue to work silently over here on the biggest project of my life, so far. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello, 2012.

Well, we're only 3 days into 2012, but the year has already been good to me.

To recap, 2011 ended in the best way possible - with countless parties. I had my 24th birthday party on Tuesday, which included a trip to Sky High, the warehouse full of trampolines and foam here in Seattle, plus an evening of dancing and drinking in footy pajamas back at my place.

Friday, Forest had another one of his famous "secret parties", which ended up being a complex version of Mafia involving camera feeds and robots and being trapped in the Matrix.

Saturday was the official New Year's Eve party at Tara and Alexander's apartment, with confetti, fondue, a hilarious drink menu and a wall with our tweets from the night being projected onto it. My favorite part of the evening was when six of us decided to go on an adventure to the sauna on the second floor, making ourselves stay there until someone from the party saw our rescue tweets on the wall -- at the same moment Freddie was apparently showing everyone something on YouTube so NOBODY was paying attention to the tweet wall. Our "HELP WE'RE TRAPPED IN THE SAUNA" tweets went unnoticed for who knows how long - we came back to the party later sweaty and feeling like we'd just gotten ourselves into some sort of horrible Jumanji type game, haha.

Ringing in 2012 was a sort of cleansing experience for me. Not only did I get to leave a lot of old baggage back in 2011, but it felt incredibly right to be celebrating the new year with these amazing people who've showed me over the past six months that Seattle really is my home. I am not going to deny that texting with some of my LA friends over the course of the night didn't feel good, though. I'm glad I can have the best of both worlds, still. I'm so fortunate to have friends all over the world. :)

2012 has been as such: Sunday Justin and I played WoW and watched the Twilight Zone marathon all day. I know I should have jumped right into my new list of responsibilities for 2012, but I really just felt like I deserved one more day of "holiday vacation", and what better way to spend it, really? Then on Monday, the day was completely Job Hunters. I met with Liz, Forest and Tara to work out some business stuff and set some dates for final casting, set building, etc. Then we went to this awesome meetup for people involved in the Seattle web series community, which was even better than we could have expected. Everyone is so welcoming and nice and fun - we really couldn't ask to be joining into a better group of people.

I have more work to do today (as with every day for the rest of my life, probably) so I am going to leave you with an incredibly nerdy conversation I had with Justin yesterday that made me laugh.

I cleaned up a lot of junk in my WoW character's bank. You know dreadnettle, light leather, horcruxes, the usual.
Me: How many horcruxes?
Justin: Well, my character has killed over 5000 people. But it's not my horcrux, I was just holding it for a friend.
Me: I was only checking to see how many more are still out there. Sounds like we have a lot of work to do.
Justin: I wish that were the case. If we had to destroy horcruxes, I would have my wand and be out the door in a heartbeat.
Justin: My issue is, I don't embody the archetypal literary hero because they must first refuse the call to adventure, but be thrust into it. I would jump into adventure at the drop of a hat.
Me: That just means something would go terribly, terribly wrong before you succeed... to aid plot conflict.
Justin: You mean like that part of the movie where everything is at its worst? Those parts make me sad.
Me: Yeah, that has to be your life though. Good story-telling requires it.
Justin: Thanks. :(

Then in deciding what to track this year at the bottom of my blog, I made the mistake of... asking for help.

Me: What should I track on my blog this year? Last year was flights.. the year before was Chipotle burritos.
Justin: hmm. burrito flights???
Me: Sigh. Why do I even ask you things.

Any suggestions for things to track this year? I was thinking of listing the book I'm currently reading, but it's not a particularly creative or exciting idea, plus it might be embarrassing if I get really busy and am reading the same book for months.. haha. Let me know your ideas in the comments, and also, tell me how you spent your first day of 2012!