Friday, July 31, 2009

Sex Toys

First of all, a very happy birthday to Jo Rowling and Harry Potter. One is the author of my soul, and the other is the love of my life. So thank you, Jo. You've changed my life in so many ways I can't even begin to list them.

I went on a shopping trip tonight with a friend, in search of his Frank N. Furter costume for a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show we're seeing tomorrow. I already have just about everything I need for Magenta: the dress, the apron, the capacity for gigantic hair. My friend, after seven different stops around town, now owns a corset-like vest, teeny tiny shorts, thigh-high fishnets, and patent leather two-inch heels. I watched as he tested lipstick after lipstick on the back of his hand, styled his wig, and asked the woman at Payless which pair of shoes made his calves look better. It was a ton of fun... and he thinks he's straight. It's adorable.

My friend was a costar of mine in high school, and he's one total drama queen of a physical comedian. Our excursion included a lot of hip-swinging and eyebrow-waggling on his part, and a lot of laughing on mine. Only after he begged, I reluctantly pulled my very recognizable truck into the parking lot of a sex shop. "Will they ask to see my ID?" asked my seventeen-year-old friend. "Should I say I'm your twin brother? Should I wear my sunglasses inside? Do my sunglasses make me look older?" I sighed, let out an exasperated "NO!" and dragged him through the red door.

Sex shops, for those who have never visited one, are like a wonderland of discomfort. The walls are adorned with all kinds of things that light up and spin, you can barely walk but through a sea of lingerie, lace, pleather and fur, the doorway is stacked with complicated objects that you can imagine being illegal. And all the while, you feel the eyes of the cashier on your back and pray that the large man in the front was stopping in for directions, and is on his way out.

The trip was anticlimactic; we came out of the sex shop dry and unsatisfied. (I am so sorry for that one, Mom. That's why you don't read your teenage daughter's blog.) He was disappointed, but my friend will have to do without the strappy garters. It hurts my heart to see a kid get his hopes up like that only to be let down.

On a note unrelated to disappointment, I'm currently on my sister Cori's couch, having a slumber party. My brother-in-law went out and bought each of us a personal carton of ice cream, and we're watching Wedding Crashers in true fatass style. I have big plans for playing on my computer, Pacey (after Pacey Witter of Dawson's Creek, a monumental influence from my early teenage years), all night, and starting the glorious Jaclyn Moriarty's fourth novel, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor. Verdict: awesome day.

Sexy: Though I know I'll take crap for it, Owen Wilson. I like his nose, okay? And I think he adds some kind of real-life charm to crappy romantic comedies. He can turn a chick flick into a guy movie. I respect that.
Unsexy: The fact that my brother-in-law just made a detailed reference to One Tree Hill when prompted for something unsexy. I said, "Ty, what's something that's not sexy?" He said, "Guys who look like Lucas Scott!" Another thing that's unsexy? The fact that I know who Lucas Scott is.

Chipotle burritos this year: 25
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,790

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Carrie Bradshaw, Love Stories, Jonas Brothers

When I pulled up Blogger, I fully intended to talk about the usual stuff. How Jess and I watched Billy Madison and ate a pan of Rice Krispies Treats to chase our burrito bols, the lung-busting hilarity of last night when Sebastian and I attacked each other with sticks of butter, how I posted a video on fiveawesomegirls. But there's something about having a laptop that makes me feel like Carrie Bradshaw, and I can't fight the urge to throw my hair in a bun, eat imaginary ice cream out of a carton, and lean over Microsoft Word pensively. I feel like I should write up funny, revealing vignettes about my friends' adventures with sex and the city, and ask some kind of deep, unanswerable question in a large font. 

Well, I'm no Sarah Jessica Parker, but in my little suburban corner of the world, I've been thinking about the writing of love stories.

In Tuesday's BlogTV show about relationships, John Green mentioned that most love stories, while entertaining and sweet and interesting, are either about stalking, or promote some seriously twisted ideas about love. The story begins after the big airport kiss, and a happy wedding ending is both unrealistic and insulting to those in real, human love. Someone in the chat also pointed out that for as often as love stories begin with hating the other person, in the healthier tales, the ones rarely told, they like each other all along. The chat was moving too quickly to effectively get a word in edgewise, but I couldn't help think, What about Shakespeare, John? Jane Austen, anyone? 

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I've begun rereading one of my favorite books of all time, Pride and Prejudice, in hopes that I'll discover some kind of latent formula that makes a love story go from a cliche to a home-hitting classic. A prime example of what both John and the viewer consider to be unrealistic, it's a wonder that P&P is so true to so many generations of people. Maybe it's the exception to the rule. Maybe it's due to brilliant characterization, and since most women relates to Lizzy, most women are willing to believe that the whole ordeal could happen to them.

Unfortunately, I haven't reached any life-changing conclusions as of yet. I'll keep my eyes open if you will. Along with being the first record of one girl's passionate battle to consume fifty high-calorie burritos in a year, maybe this teenybopper blog will be the first to crack the mysteries of human emotion.

Or, you know, I could just link you to this corny Jonas Brothers video I keep watching. :-p

Sexy: Those awkward, dark-haired Christian brothers in weird little outfits. I don't care if Nick Jonas is two years younger than I am (we have the same birthday!) or if that makes him a legal minor. First opportunity, I'd go pedo for a Jonas.
Unsexy: The repulsion and guilt that accompany realizing one's attraction to the Jonas Brothers.

Chipotle burritos this year: 25
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,734

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Love at first laptop <3

I just noticed that yesterday's was my 100th blog post. Besides internet-based private diaries, I have never kept one blog running half as long as this one, and I see no end in sight. So thank you, readers-- especially commentors-- for making me feel interesting and loved. I would make videos whether or not anyone watched them, but I feel like you guys are mostly responsible for my desire to write down my daily thoughts. It's helped remind me how much I love writing, and it's helped me feel connected to my audience. So let's all raise a toast (seriously, pick up anything near you and hold it at arm's length. Coffee cup, mousepad, baby; anything'll do the trick) to the last hundred entries, and to the next hundred to come. Huffah!

I woke up this morning with the slight disappointment that comes with a lack of plans. I could scavenge youtube for video ideas, I thought. Or just turn on my camera and see what happens? But alas, I then remembered that the last time I did that, I ended up with this. There're still some pizza rolls in the freezer, said Stomach. Who says breakfast can't be microwaveable tomato sauce lava? But delicious as they are, even Tostino isn't enough incentive to get up and greet the day. Alas, sighed Brain. I guess we'll just stay in bed and read @mileycyrus tweets on our phone until something happens. And then something seeeriously happened.

A motor's roar from the end of the street induced my dogs into a barking fit. I jolted upward in my bed to see a beacon of hope, shaped like a FedEx truck, coming to a stop in front of my house. With a yelp, I scurried into the pajama pants lying in a heap on my floor.  I jumped about six steps at a time and made it to the door just as the bell rang, my hair a mess and my grin wide. Before he could get a word in, I scribbled something vaguely resembling my initials on his little screen and ripped the box from the man's hands. "Wait, are you over eighteen?" he called through my cheers of exaltation. Barely noticing him for all my glee, I practically screamed something mature and worldly like "Yuh huh!" before I slammed the door in his face and happydanced.

It has finally arrived. My 13" aluminum MacBook Pro. It's beautiful and comfortable and makes a gorgeous tiny noise when I shut it, like an almost inaudible clap. Everything is registered in my name. The background is a zoomed-in photograph of a zebra, and I've set it so when I highlight things, it's coral. My desktop is empty but for the harddrive and a single Word document, containing half a tentative new first chapter of one of my novels. I can't remember the last time I felt this at ease and able to write. I feel competent again. And funny. I'm practically manic, people, thanks to this perfect little metal piece of evidence that money can buy happiness.

Sexy: Like I really need to say it again!
Unsexy: The inevitable learning period in which one must become accustomed to a lack of mouse, search high and low for a FireWire 400-to-800 adapter, and get confused by a seemingly uncontrollable zoom effect.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,688

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sextastic Disney Kids and John Green

Is there something in the water making all the wholesome young TV stars sing about the sex we don't like to imagine them having? I found out the other day (much later than everyone else did, according to Jess and Lor) that the guy who played Jimmy on Degrassi is a fairly well-known rapper. Like, this guy is the same person as this guy. Okay, I don't know what it means to make one's lady parts, uh, "whistle," but I don't like the sound of it, and I like the idea of Jimmy Brooks causing it a lot less. 

Hilary Duff and Vanessa Hudgens also need to clam down. I don't want to know about Lizzie McGuire's sexual deviancy or see a sexy silhouette of Gabriella Montez. And Hayden Panettiere? Somebody pour a bucket of cold water on that girl's head, because she's making me more uncomfortable than Ashley Tisdale, and that's saying something. I'd prefer if the music videos of Disney Channel stars didn't end with passionate, guttural moans. But that's just me.

I mean, it's not like I'm some kind of ultraconservative schoolmarm. Lady Gaga can do with disco sticks whatever she pleases in her chrome space goggles. I'm no Laura Mallory, and I understand that television corporations don't necessarily own the souls of their stars for all of eternity... but I'm just a little creeped out when they all appear to be trading in their sequins for stilletos. Rather than another handful of Lindsay Lohan disasters, let's hope for a couple more DJ Tanners that fall off the face of the earth once they outgrow their cuteness. (Oh, and Lindsay? If you want people to "back up off you," you should probably stop dancing in a cage.)

Unexpected rant over. Sorry, guys; no idea where that came from. In other news, I'm in John Green's BlogTV room... mostly for the ego boost. "And THAT'S why I love Hayley," he just said, as if on cue. (I will not admit to blushing.) Anyway, John's talking about love and relationships, which is really one of his most amusing recurring topics. "I know there aren't a lot of hot 107-year-olds, but Edward Cullen, you really shouldn't be banging eighteen-year-old chicks!" says John. I don't really know how I feel about that statement. On one hand, it's incredibly true. On the other hand, I don't like the sound of John saying "banging chicks."

Sexy: What John's currently saying about high school. "It doesn't have to be puppies and lollipops all the time. You just have to get through it. And when it's over, you can be free and go do something else."
Unsexy: How much I miss the other awesomegirls. I had quick conversations with Kayley and Lauren today, and I already feel the absence of Kristina, who's in England and therefore unable to text me. Liane and I haven't talked in forever. I just wish all my friends, like... lived here.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,637

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I like music less than makeup.

Sebastian once started a conversation, "I know you don't like music, but...." It made me laugh, because 1) there's no one in this world, save Bella Swan, who doesn't like music, 2) I've led musicals, played instruments, harmonize to absolutely everything, and am fairly proficient at sight-reading, and 3) I have thousands of songs in my iTunes. These things in mind, I shouted defensively, "I like music!" He smiled and said, "You appreciate cleverness, but you don't like music."

I kept that conversation in the back of my mind, not thinking of it again until tonight. I was at a reunion party for the cast of my senior musical, Into the Woods, at a table with my director, two marching band members, and my high school class's revered baritone. A song came on the stereo, and they began discussing it at length. "God, listen to this riff," said the singer, Jake, who began air-guitaring vigorously. I chuckled at my out-of-placeness. "Yeeeah. That's one great riff," I said. "And check out those... those licks." Jake cracked up and tried to halfheartedly explain the terminology. I nodded out of politeness, but I was thinking back to a lunch I once had with The Moaning Myrtles and The Whomping Willows. Across the table, Lauren, Nina and Matt got into a complicated discussion about basslines. I listened intently because the three of them are astoundingly talented people, but the entire topic went over my head. I tried hard to recall the last bassline I'd even noticed, let alone studied and remembered. Back at the cast party, the three situations floated around in my brain, converging together for the first time. Maybe I don't like music!

Hahaha. I'm kidding, guys; I realize full well that you can like music without being a musician. (And for the record, Sebastian, who is just shy of scientific tone-deafness, was only kidding.) I'm telling you all this because for a month, I've wanted to make one video idea into a reality, but it requires a lot of GarageBanding. I've synthesized music on the program quite a great deal, as you'll notice if you watch my channel, but the song I'm trying to parody is so hard to recreate. I keep opening GarageBand, moving tracks, tapping my foot, typing in trumpets and listening to drum tracks, and it's really a lost cause. I guess my point is... I came to terms with my lack of musical giftedness after my two-month passionate attempt at the acoustic guitar, and it's never been an issue for me. But when it gets in the way of my videos, I get frustrated. You can make as many quirky vlogs as you want, and they'll never get replayed as often as this or this. Sebastian, I suppose, was totally right this time: I appreciate cleverness, and I do not like creative speedbumps!

In completely unrelated news, today I came across the perfume I wore in ninth grade. Having since subscribed to the Perfume? Eh, whatever way of life popular with the older-than-ninth-grade crowd, I surprised myself by rolling a bit on my wrists and neck. Well. You know how they say the sense of smell triggers memory? It was like spritzing myself with Eau de Seventeen Magazine. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the need to plug in a curling iron, and found myself blending eyeshadows (What?! I don't even know what that means!) and putting bronzer on my neck. It felt so natural at the time, and it wasn't until I got out the door that it hit me. The tiniest hint of Sarah Jessica Parker's "Lovely," and I was instantly one of the six hawtt freshman grrlz in the cafeteria, flirting with upperclassmen and adjusting my layered lacy tanktops so everyone could see the Abercrombie emblem on my nonexistent thigh. (I didn't become the social outcast you know and love until my sophomore year!) I looked a lot more put-together than I ever have since my myspace days, but when I caught my own eye in my rearview mirror, I literally laughed out loud. While I still struggle deep down with doubts about my own femininity, I'm a lot happier now than I was back then. So goodbye, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hollister's "Malaia" (I kid you not!) and Sally Hansen hairspray. For now, I plan to smell like my grown-up self: Mexican food, pickup truck exhaust, seclusion, and happy individuality.

So I sit here this evening, eyelashes curled, GarageBand minimized, and a c'est-la-vie grin on my face. Life is a funny thing, and lately, I'm a big fan.

Sexy: Disneykid1. After searching for a video of his to link above, I've now rewatched nearly every single one. He's one of my favorite youtubers of all time, and if you don't already subscribe to him, you're going to seriously, seriously want to.
Unsexy: Accidental cult kidnappings that result in your living with biological parents you've never met. I... I'm watching the Lifetime version of one of my childhood favorite chapter books, The Face on the Milk Carton. Don't judge me.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,576

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sleepless Summertime Adventures

There's something disorienting about forgoing a night of sleep. No matter how many times I look at the clock today, I still can't conceptualize what time it is. I checked the expiration date on the milk and realized I had absolutely no idea what day of the week it is. It turns out it's Saturday. And today was awesome.

I left Sebastian's house last night, yawning, thinking I'd go straight to sleep. I got inside, locked all the doors, and turned on Sex and the City. I almost ignored the incoming call on my phone out of habit, but decided instead to give it a try. My friend Anna was on the line, asking me to meet her at Steak 'n' Shake to gossip and talk about books. I glanced at the clock. Almost one. "Sure," I said, smiling at my uncharacteristic late-night spontaneity. So I went.

"Do you realize we haven't seen each other since May?" she asked, closing her jacketless Potter book as I sat down. "Like, since we graduated high school?" I hadn't realized. We made our eyes big and stared at each other, shaking our heads. Anna, a short, sassy little thing with a giant geisha tattooed up her left arm, is quite the character. We sat for a long while and dished and made up for lost time. She drank countless cups of coffee, I downed a couple mugs of tea with honey. Having always been the early-to-bed-early-to-rise type, there was something strangely romantic and teenagery about sitting at a diner after dark, and I felt anything but tired. Jess texted, asking me to hang out with her--as a joke, because my being awake and willing to go do something was about as likely as Condoleezza Rice doing handstands in jello on MTV-- so I threw her for a loop when I said yes. On my way to Jess's house, this song came on the radio. I know, I know-- the corniness is lost not on me, but I was feeling rebellious for doing what's expected of me, so I'm already no stranger to being lame.

Jess didn't have to work until afternoon the next day, and I was free of all responsibilities, so we decided not to sleep. Before 5AM, we ended up at this gross 24-hour restaurant famous for its smiley face logo and faint aroma of urine and the elderly. It sort of resembles a hotel lobby, in that it's dimly-lit and deserted but not lonely. My best friend and I fully utilized the free coffee and tea refills. I drank six cups of Lipton with lemon and subsequently used the recently-cleaned bathroom several times. Three young, terribly drunk girls tripped and stumbled their way in, dressed in stereotypical "going out" tops and little dresses, to order a breakfast of meat sandwiches and coke. They swore loudly and passionately and danced in the aisle to the restaurant's soundtrack of oldies music. Jess and I listened in, smiled knowingly, and talked mostly about how great our friendship is, the hilarity of 7th Heaven plotlines, and how beautiful life is early in the morning. The sky was the color of the cover of Le Petit Prince. The atmosphere felt like some kind of pretty post-apocalyptic world where everything that sucks has evaporated. Paying the $1.80 bill, we walked outside to the light-colored morning with an adrenaline surge.

We drove around for a long time, observing the gorgeous, empty expanses of park and private property outside the town, listening to the trippy new Black Eyed Peas album (Jess is really big on the future, as I'm sure I've told you. For once, it was honestly her thing before it was cool. Lady Gaga just looks like a poseur compared to Jess) and laughing. We sat on the playground equipment at our park like the creepy ne'er-do-wells that we are. Jess had the brilliant idea to go to the mall (which we hate) still two hours before the stores open, to mockingly power-walk with the frumpy women in athletic gear and seventy-year-old married couples. Yes. People do that. They go to crappy midwestern shopping malls at sunrise to walk laps on the linoleum. I've never been prouder of myself.

After an hour-long nap on Jess's couch, I zombie-crawled home at eleven feeling like a drug addict Inferius. I've since watched several episodes of the boring new Degrassi cast, eaten a few bowls of Frosted Mini Wheats, slept for a couple of hours, and am still contemplating taking that much, much, much-needed shower. I'll get to bed at a reasonable hour, but I don't think today is ever going to feel like a today. It's a little weird, but a whole lot great.

Sexy: Summertime freedom.
Unsexy: My diet over the past week, which has consisted mostly of pizza rolls, salsa, chocolate, taffy (I HATE TAFFY. THIS IS ALL JESS'S FAULT; SHE IS VERY PERSUASIVE!), Taco Bell and disgusting quantities of tea.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,536

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Friday, July 24, 2009

My nails look like Patronuses.

"What are you going to?" he asks as I hastily type a URL into his laptop. He leans over my shoulder. "Are you seriously blogging right now?" Well, Sebastian, you should really stop being so selfish. There are people in this world who need my musings and anecdotes far more than you, my surgery-recovering boyfriend, need me to caress your neck and mourn the loss of your tonsils.

He's gotten over it, by the way. He's currently sitting on his bed, drawing something (you crazy artists, you) and mumbling about things in a bit of a morphine-induced stupor. I'm leaning forward in his fake suede desk chair, wearing an old t-shirt and ill-fitting pants, with my hair desperately hanging onto the same ponytail I've had since this morning. My fingernails are the most beautiful silvery white. Like Dumbledore's memories. I've never been a nail-biter, but I have to keep willing my hand out of my mouth because they look like glorious little candies. Sebastian just asked me to look up a picture of bulbasaur to compare to his free-hand. The drawing was a failure and a half, but he gets points for trying.

Moving right along.
Today my sisters and I went to my brother-in-law's parents' house. They live about an hour away in farm country, which is a magical land of breathtaking landscapes and mouth-breathing hillbillies. My sister's inlaws, although they weren't home for long, are awesome people with fun personalities, a hot tub, and a stereotypically trashy above-ground pool. The three of us girls bobbed around on those cool floaty chair things (after I promptly fell over and my sisters promptly laughed at my expense for several minutes) all afternoon, chatting about such pressing current events as my artificial hair color and the hygiene habits of middle-aged women. We don't need to be accomplishing anything or talking about anything that matters to have fun together. It's pretty great.

In other news, let the record show that Sebastian keeps the box for his iPhone in plain sight on his desk. Not because it's needed, or in any way a new addition, but because he's so proud of himself for having an iPhone that I think he just likes to remind everyone who visits. Now he's crooning sweet nothings to his dog. Sick of being nothing but white noise in the background, I just turned to see what he's doing to make so much scribbling noise. Turns out he's making my name in Arabic, mixing colored pencils to make coral-- my favorite color.

Uneventful as it was, today was a pretty freaking great day.

Sexy: Typing on an international keyboard that makes letters like this: شلاؤيثبل because its owner speaks Arabic.
Unsexy: Departed organs. "Inability to eat solid food!" says the peanut gallery.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 6
Subscribers: 18,515

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aw Shucks! We're Corny!

I'm not Hayley! 

Today, we bought wife beaters from Wal*Mart. I drank Diet Mountain Dew, and I gave myself bangs. I also have very "classy" black eye shadow. Love, Jess

Uh, hey! This is Sebastian. Jess left to cook corn. Oh, look, she's back!


(I took this picture at the library!)

SYKE! It's Lauren. Today I learned a dance. It is a zombie dance. Jess taught it to me. You lift your heels while you slowly wave your arms in the air and move your hips. And that is the juicy gossip of the day. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family, Jess, Pickled Penis

My uncle and aunt from out of state are here for the night. My aunt's a lovely person who brought me a graduation present when I haven't seen her in years, and my uncle is positively hilarious. We haven't spent much time together, but he's sort of like a mustached replica of my dad, so it all feels familiar, comfortable, and fun. Tad and I just performed a live-action version of an embarrassing story about my mom. My brother-in-law Tyler recounted the classy tale of when he shot a raccoon in his attic. (Yes, really. My goodness. And my sister Cori, his wife, was at one time a vegetarian.) Kelly told an outrageous--yet shockingly true-- story about Rasputin's penis (Don't worry; no pictures!), which is currently kept in a pickled jar in a museum. At that, my dad furrowed his brow, slunk down in his armchair, and made too much eye contact with us kids, which basically means, Seriously? New topic, please. So right now I'm the reclusive freak half-participating in the conversation, typing away and loving my family. 

In other hilarious news, I received this tweet from Jess, who's experimenting with veganism: "Today at work, someone bought a gluten- and dairy-free cookie but thought it was gross. I put it in my trash can, but then I ate it on my break." I read it aloud to my family, who responded with a mixture between laughing and gagging. To Jess, I texted, "YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PERSON." The following conversation came as a result:

Jess: "Not for long! Mom said I could die of a disease from doing that."
Me: "It's fine."
Jess: "Oh no! My throat is swelling shut!"
Me: "No it's not."
Jess: "Yes! It is! I'm turning purple!"
Me: "And texting about it?"
Jess: "Naturally!"
Me: "Go to the hospital, then."
Jess: "No, they'll probably give me gluten or something. But like I'm in spasms on the floor?"
Me: "Are you foaming violently at the mouth?"
Jess: "Yes! Funny you'd mention that!"
Me: "Just shove a bezoar down your throat."
Jess: "Dude, I'm all over that!"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my best friend. And why.

Sexy: The free iPod Touch I received today in the mail for ordering a MacBook! It's gorgeous, but I hardly use my little red nano, so I feel like a total technology glutton for even considering keeping it. Should I put it up on ebay? Scratch my engraved name off my old one and sell it? What do you guys think?
Unsexy: Rasputin's pickled penis. I was kind enough not to link you to any pictures earlier, but... well, I sent you guys to clothes-on foot fetish porn in the past. Tell you what. I'll put a picture here, and clicking to view is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,391

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow.

P.S. No, but seriously. Google it if you want to see. Grooooooooss. <3

Monday, July 20, 2009

Facebook Stalkers (in a good way?)

[A heads up? This blog post is weird, and I sound like a disoriented psychopath. You may now proceed at your own risk.]

Remember the time I was terrified of my roommate assignment? I got her name first thing this morning, and have been surreptitiously giving her facebook profile the once-over (or sixth-over) since. Lo and behold-- she lives really close to me, listens to the same bad music I like, does theater, is a member of the fan page for chocolate chip cookies, and seems like an all-around nice person. To top it off, I've gotten friend requests from a bunch of girls on my floor, and I've been messaging one of them for the last hour about all kinds of stuff. It's like I forgot I'm okay at making friends. (Online, anyway. We'll see how it goes in person.) But yeah. Freakout = unnecessary to the max.

Anyway, every time I give shout-outs to my commentors, I feel a little bit like I'm delivering some kind of unsolicited prom queen acceptance speech. So waah waah you really like me waah; I'll spare you guys the drawn-out emotion and just say this: thank you for caring about me, thank you for being heartfelt and funny at the same time, and thank you for being awesome. Love goes out to Katie, Sarah, Brad, Kara, Caroline, Catherine, purpleapril, toastburntbread, tigressflowers, rAm, Jen, labyrinthalaska, Kaitlin, ThePeterls, Leah, Robynne, Hannah, an anonymous reader, a different Sarah, Elizabeth, Whatsername, Randi, Karen, Caitlin, Karissa, Nicholas, Caitlin, VTBurninator, partyweetow, Brynne, Kristina, Allison, Allyson, Nicole, Kate, Jennifer, Bridgette, the fb stalker (we'll get to you later!), another Sarah, Tass, and kira902k.

Hidden among the lovely college advice letters and pleasantly quirky messages I received on yesterday's post, I read this adorable comment from an anonymous reader: "I can't help but ask for some advice. I was at a party on Friday and saw a teenage boy who resembled one of the best-looking authors alive... Mr. John Green. Through the stalking tool that is facebook, I found out his name. However, I did not talk to this boy the entire night and merely freaked out from afar. Does the wise Ms. Hoover have any advice? (I'm also kind of thinking that you would have freaked out as much as I did.) Thank you, The FB Stalker."

I've never done this whole... advice-giving thing, but I'll give it a try. *Cough* All right, so your mistake was wasting a whole night thinking about talking to him when you could have either a) gotten to know a cool guy who looks like sex on legs, or b) realized early on that he was a Decepticon in Hot's clothing and subsequently moved on. However, the night is young, and you have plenty of chances to make this right. I suggest you find out in a SUBTLE way (i.e. not friend-requesting him or telling his friends you're in love with him at first sight or anything) to figure out the next party or gathering or wherever you'll get to see him. I once saw a play at a local theater and practically drooled all over myself because one of the supporting actors was so gorgeous. I messaged him on facebook, pretending I'd just glanced at the program, and told him he did a good job. He responded, "I'm gay... and that's scary." THIS IS NOT A GOOD EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW. Instead, find a way to actually talk with him. In person. If it's awkward and horrendous, you're like the rest of us. If he's cool, I'm super jealous and you need to comment with updates. The whole blog is involved now, FBS. You owe it to us. 

Love, Hayley

...What in the world just happened? In twenty minutes, I've gone from watching the Degrassi episode where Alex becomes a stripper, to prom queen, to Dear Abby. This is the part of the blog when I bite my lip nervously and slowly back away. Uhh... goodnight?

Sexy: Blackberries! Not, like, the phones, and not "sexy" in a weird sexual deviant way. I'm talking about nature's delicious sweet/sour little drops of heaven. My mouth is ninja-kicking with delight.
Unsexy: My outfit. Hot pink oversized t-shirt, bright orange unrolled soffee shorts, unshaven legs, teal flipflops.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,348

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Politicians and Dormitories

Living in this microcosmic electronic world of ours, it's easy to convince ourselves that we're normal. I walked my dogs around the neighborhood today while chatting to Marlena (fluffvondanger) on the phone for something like an hour, all about the Half-Blood Prince movie. I change my facebook status to be about my newly-replenished passion for the Black family tree, and I get a page of "likes" and comments, all from people who get it. It doesn't seem unreasonable for me to covet someone's silver time-turner, or to have a character card catalogue precursor to the lexicon from my childhood. So imagine how depressing it is to go from that security blanket of nerds to the empty, vacant real world.

Kelly (the sister closest to me in age) and I spent most of the day hidden in our parents' room, reading FML and TFLN, avoiding small talk with the masses of politicians scattered on our lawn. It was pleasant and fairly brain-stimulating activity, so I was irritated when my mother insisted I come outside and "network" with some man who edits video professionally. A few seconds into the man's one-way, forty-minute conversation, it became apparent that we do very different things. He's an advertiser who doesn't know how to upload videos to youtube. I tried to maintain eye contact and occasionally mock-smile, then escaped at my first opportunity. "Don't flatter yourself," I said to my very excited mother. "I only came outside for one of those chocolate eclairs." Well, the eclairs had been cleared out, and it was a long trip through a lot of eager strangers back to inside comfort. I ended up pretending to laugh at a lot of dadjokes about my hair and explaining that "Yes, I'm the youngest... no, I'm not really much of a Republican... yeah, um."

(I know people will ask, so once and for all, my political views are... whichever side is least represented among the company I'm in. I'm the family's Raging Liberal to my ultra-conservative lawyer sister, and the Heartless Conservative on youtube. In reality, I have conservative views on some issues, stemming from my religion, but I'm primarily a liberal-minded person.)

Oh! What I was getting at. An old family friend was giving my dad a hard time for going to see HPatHBP, throwing around things like "Dumbledorf" and "Ya gonna wear one of those tall, pointy hats?" I was already on edge from the whole atmosphere of the event, so I was at the point where it's hard to pretend smile. So I just didn't. And then: "What's that thing about Dumbledorf being a pedophile or something?" I bit the inside of my lip and closed my eyes. "I know Republicans can't tell the difference, but he's not a pedophile. He's just gay," I said. Some other joke came out of that, but I gulped my classy plastic cup of white wine and ignored it, running inside.

In other news, I've been on pins and needles since May, waiting to find out my rooming situation at Ohio University for the fall. I've been checking the website like crazycakes, refreshing my email, reading the incoming freshmen facebook group, tapping my fingernails. Finally, I received an email today announcing that I should know my room number and roommate(s)' name(s) by tomorrow. My thought process: What if we're really different and have nothing to talk about? What if she's really needy and I have to pretend to be friends with her? What if I want to be friends with her but she doesn't like me? What if we hit it off really well? ...Is my middle name on facebook still Fairytopia? 

I'm slightly (okay, SERIOUSLY) freaked out by the idea of college. I took some classes at a university nearby last school year, and I figured it out and everything, but for some reason I felt younger than everyone else. Like they were always staring at me. And, sure, I was a fake at the time, but they didn't know I was a high schooler playing dress-up. They thought I was one of them, and I still could sense how out of place I was. Will it be different at OU because I'm living there? Will it be worse because I'm not the stereotypical party type? Will it be better because my sister will be there as a senior?

Will I ever calm the hell down and just breathe?

My siblings (all OU veterans) and my mom keep trying to ease my nerves. Kelly says she was nervous and scared at first, but now she feels like Athens is her only home and like she's visiting somewhere when she comes back for holidays. My brother Tad's been a graduate for a year and a half, and he still hasn't coped-- fleeing to OU whenever he gets the chance. My other sister, Cori, wasn't the party type either, and she only had one friend on campus, but she fit in and loved her college experience. Just about the same goes for Tyler. They all say I'll love it, and that I'll be okay. Sigh. We'll see.

For now, though, I'm just going to keep listening to Kristina and Luke Conard's collaborative album, Songs in the Key of Email, on repeat, and stressing a little bit. Maybe I'll have another cup of tea with honey. Pray/cross your fingers for the news tomorrow!

Sexy: "You know what's sexy and unsexy?" said my mother earlier, unprovoked, trying to be cool. "People are sexy when they're themselves. You'll make friends at college by being you." Okay, she's corny as hell, but it's kind of sweet all the same. NO, I DON'T THINK MY MOM IS "SEXY," YOU PERVERT.
Unsexy: Friend drama. Bleehhhhhhhhhh.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,305

P.S. I just played a million games of 20 Questions online, and it is just downright freaky. I played the Harry Potter version, and it guessed Andromeda Tonks correctly. Seriously! And look at this one:
I put "sometimes" for number eight because of "the talking stove," and it STILL got it right. My goodness!

Bye, guys. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Half-Blood Prince and a MacBook

Upon seeing Half-Blood Prince a second time, I'm left, once again, with only unstructured, bulleted fragments of thought. I was reminded of what I forgot to tell you before, and I came to a few new conclusions.

--Last time, I got a little misty-eyed when Harry and Luna went together to Slughorn's party. Not because of anything the movie itself accomplished, but because it took me back to that place in my head. I know much of the fandom relates to Luna, the dreamy outcast, but I love her because of the good she brings out of the other characters. It warms my heart to see Ginny treat Luna well, and to hear Harry reassure her that they're friends. 

--This time, my misty eyes were care of Tom Felton. I've heard the argument in a few different places on the internet that the movie neglected the Draco plotline, but I sincerely couldn't disagree more. I jokingly tweeted tonight that they should've called the film Draco Malfoy and the Vanishing Cabinet, but sarcasm aside, I'm still in awe of Tom's performance. The way he tries to act like he hates Hogwarts, distancing himself, trying to convince himself that he has any say in his destiny. The look of torture on his face when Dumbledore speaks in the Great Hall. His indignant grimace as he exposes his Dark Mark. Aaaaah! Draco is one of my favorite characters, and I think Yates did him justice this time.

--Sorry, but I very much stand by what I said about Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix. If possible, tonight she annoyed me ten times more since I was expecting it. I HATE anything done unnecessarily quietly or gently, so her little saunter-around-you-and-whisper-in-your-ear thing just about pushed me over the edge. It's as if she barely skimmed the wikipedia article on Bellatrix and saw only the words "sexy," "scary," and "dramatic." Within a world of extremely complex characters possessing both good and evil, Bella is evidence for the theory that humans can be bad by nature. Helena didn't make me contemplate mob mentality and the incest problems of the pureblood families. She just sort of made me squint my eyes irritably.

--I understand that the last scene was trying to show the dynamics of the trio's friendships-- Hermione awkwardly attempts to lighten the mood by mentioning Ginny, but is still worried sick and is trying to look at the situation practically, while Ron is present and supportive but doesn't know what to say. I love Fawkes flying off, and the sad goodbye dripping out of Harry's final words. I do NOT like, however, how distant Ron felt. I was just uneasy and anxious until the last few seconds when he walked up to the other two.

--All it takes is fifteen minutes of explaining the major themes of the series to my dad in the car ride home for me to remember how complicated HP is, and subsequently how much of my freaking soul is this story. The other five movies embarrassed me. I didn't want anybody to think I dedicated myself to a corny kid book about "the power of friendship." But finally, finally, finally, I'm proud to be associated with a Potter movie.

Anyway, I'm currently sloshing hot tea around my sore throat, daydreaming about Harry, and dreading tomorrow. Our garden will be covered with politicians all afternoon. They'll drink wine, they'll speak passionately about trivial crap that doesn't matter, they'll pretend to know who I am and make me uncomfortable by expecting me to return the favor to them. It'll be less than fun... all I can hope is that my sister will be embarrassed by my hair and ask me to hide in my room. Looking like a delinquent reaps serious benefits!

In super important news, I placed my order today for a beautiful, glorious, gorgeous, spectacular MacBook Pro. It'll be hard to get used to the keyboard, lack of mouse, quiet speakers and new video editing software, but I REALLY THINK I'LL BE OKAY CARRYING MY COMPUTER AROUND 24/7. Think of all the writing I've always thought about but never done! It'll be so easy! (That's completely untrue, but it makes me feel better about how much money was spent on this baby.) It should ship in "7 to 10 business days," but in my experience, it's taken much less time to get here from Columbus. I'll let you know as soon as he gets here. And yes. I just personified my new laptop.

Sexy: Well, obviously. :)
Unsexy: How little Neville and Tonks appear in the HBP movie. I've never really thought of myself as a fan of either of them, but I certainly sense their absence. Besides, Matt Lewis is far from unsexy!

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,273

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Friday, July 17, 2009

A meal as I like it :)

Tonight's blog is coming to you live from my bed in front of a studio audience of my dogs, Lexi and Misty, who are lying on either side of my knees in a quite adorable fashion. "Aren't you adorable?" I just asked Lex. She exhaled and sort of raised her eyebrows, as if to say, "Aren't you blogging? Shut up." Misty wagged excitedly in agreement, but she's pretty stupid, so I wouldn't pay much attention to her input. Either way, though, Lex has a point.

I just came in from the world's cutest date. Sebastian, armed with a much-hyped picnic basket full of secret contents, picked me up to go see As You Like It. My favorite local Shakespeare troupe puts on two plays a summer in the garden of this beautiful historic mansion. The grounds are all vineyards and Monet-style bridges and lagoons and flowers, and the shows start at eight, so you sit down in daylight and the epilogue is delivered in the dark. We cuddled under a blanket and smiled and laughed. Orlando and Rosalind were played by an alluring, charismatic married couple that I've seen together in a ton of shows; it was perfect. Touchstone was funny and sort of like an older, round-faced Marco Del Rossi. I ran into a friend and fellow RFKC counselor. It was an overall lovely experience.

As far as the picnic goes, I have to tell you: after my initial reaction of Haha! Awww!, all I could think was, My blog readers are going to have a field day over this. Inside the old-style wicker basket were, drumroll, two Chipotle burritos. We gobbled them up as we sat on a blanket in the middle of a grassy knoll and discussed our new idea of The Matrix: The Musical. I've been feeling suddenly sick, and even though I hadn't really eaten anything all day, and even though this is me we're talking about, I had a hard time finishing my burrito. In fact, if you don't tell anyone about it, I'll admit that I, um, left a little bit of rice and some tortilla in the foil. SADFACE. Another tragedy came when I realized I had no room left whatsoever for dessert, which was a chocolate bar, marshmallow fluff, and graham crackers. That's right. S'MORES. I laughed so hard when he revealed this big secret that I think I released too much serotonin and sprained my brain.

The night was fun, and aside from my all-consuming current headache, I'm happy. I even dressed rather cutely for the event, although Sebastian either disagreed or didn't notice. Sigh. Metro as he may be, he's still a boy. :-p

Sexy: Orlando and Rosalind! As well as the name Rosalind itself. I always used to write girl characters named Rosalind in short stories when I was younger. I needed a break after using it to death, but now I really like it again. Oh, and pinning poetry to trees is pretty sexy, too.
Unsexy: Mulching. I spent a portion of my morning raking and spreading it in the front and backyards, pausing just long enough to scoop up a dead rodent with a shovel and throw it over the ravine so Misty wouldn't roll in it. All-round verdict of the situation: unsexy.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
S'mores this summer: Sadly, 3! But 4 in my heart.
Subscribers: 18,254

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Big Rocks, Cookie Abuse, Videos, Demi Lovato

I will hug the first person to make me stop compulsively singing Demi Lovato. This song has been in my head for a week straight, and this one is keeping me up at night because I can't stop watching the video. UGH! Anyway, moving right along....

I live in a national park, which I all too often take for granted. So in order to carpe my diem (and because Sebastian wanted to look at big rocks), we went for a hike today around some of the old canal locks. For those of you who don't know, those are beautiful, gigantic walls of moss-covered stone that were at one time used to lower boats onto different levels of waterways. For example, we climbed this. The bottom level is taller than I am, and that picture does it no justice. I'll have to bring along my video camera next time.

After our walk and right before VBS, we stopped at Sebastian's house just long enough for me to show him the famed rap battle from 1989's Teen Witch on youtube, and for him to give me an AWESOME barbie-sized doll of Anastasia, a la one of my favorite animated movies ever. He got it at Burger King in 1997. And knew exactly where to find it in his room. If you're not laughing and shaking your head about that, I am enough for the both of us.

The last night of Vacation Bible School was... well, it was pretty miserable. I had a huge headache, hadn't really eaten anything at all, and my eyes kept threatening to close in some kind of episode of adult-onset narcolepsy. Not to mention, four-year-olds certainly love to scream. "What does that spell?" I chanted after the B-I-B-L-E song. One little, innocent-looking child took a large step toward me, made focused eye contact, and then shouted "BIBLE!!!" with a volume and pitch that could throw sirens for a loop. A helper brought us music leaders a plate of cookies near the end of the night, and the guitarist and I discussed whether it would be ethical to pulverize and snort them for a better sugar boost. I made it through, though, and I've lived to tell the tale. 

In youtubely news, today I posted a quick, quirky video on hayleyghoover and a vlog on fiveawesomegirls. I was expecting the majority of the comments on my Edward Cullen parody to be negative and threatening, but with just my subscribers watching so far, they've mostly been encouraging and pleasant. There are a couple of comments that've been thumbs-downed several times, but for some reason, youtube won't allow me to read them, no matter how many times I change my comment settings. There's a case for divine intervention-- an invisible force won't let me see hater comments. Thanks, youtube. Or, ya know, God. Whoever had that idea.

Sexy: Joe Anderson. He plays Max in Across the Universe and Henry in Becoming Jane. Something about his facial expressions and demeanor totally reel me in. I can't wait to see him in more movies.
Unsexy: My continuous headaches and this inexplicable bump on my head. I don't remember banging into anything or getting punched in that spot, although I wouldn't put it past myself to do so without noticing. Either way, ow. Go away.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,210

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I'm sitting here, bedraggled and tired, staring at an empty screen. Typing with my right hand as I gesticulate wildly with my left, searching for words to describe the jumping bean thoughts bouncing in every direction of my brain. The Half-Blood Prince movie. I... I can't write paragraphs about this. A sporadic list, for now:

--I'm disappointed that the other five movies were made, when all along they had the potential to be like this one. Sure, it's far from perfect, but the characters were themselves for once. Bonnie Wright looked a little bit awkward trying to be the confident, flirty minx that is Ginny, but hell, at least she had lines this time. Rupert Grint has never been more Ron. Emma Watson's hair was wonderful, and her eyebrows weren't crazyexpressiveallovertheplace. I am finally attracted to Dan Radcliffe, and I think that's because he finally resembled Harry! Blaise Zabini, Cormac McClaggen, and Pansy Parkison were glorious cast additions.

--I love that it doesn't apologize for the other movies. It's a film adaptation of HBP; not an extension on Warner Brothers' previous mistakes. Tonks and Lupin are there, but no one reminds us who they are. Because we should know already. No one says Narcissa Malfoy's name, or introduces Katie Bell, or says, "Go away, Wormtail-- Peter Pettigrew, the Neville-foil who betrayed Harry's parents to Voldemort!" There's very little cheesy appositive backstory. Kathleen and I did crack up uncontrollably, though, when Dumbledore said, "Voldemort, or, as he was known then, Tom Riddle...."

--I wish they'd have made the Gaunt family scene, as it's my favorite in the series, but I totally understand why it was left out. I knew they'd do Harry and Ginny's first kiss differently, and I was... okay with it. I spent the whole time mourning the real scene in my head, so I'll have to wait and see it again before I form a full opinion. It's sad that they eliminated the Ministry plotline altogether, and that we never saw Percy, but you've really got to choose your battles. We don't get "Dumbledore's man, through and through," but it's not like anyone's casually walking into the Department of Mysteries this time. 

--Omg Luna's lion headdress. Omg Hermione's canaries. Omg bezoars. I'm so, so happy with the details. They didn't get into Fenrir Greyback (which suuuuucks!) but he was present, at least. I wish Moaning Myrtle would've had a cameo, but that would have made the Sectumsempra scene difficult, and it was PERFECT.

--The Burrow fire? Wtf?! Kathleen rubbed my arm tenderly at this point, because I almost got out of my seat and ran to have a word with David Yates.

--Do you really think there's any chance in hell Harry would stand there with his wand out and watch Dumbledore die if he had the ability to move? That was just stupid. It makes Harry look pathetic instead of desperate and vulnerable. It seems to me like you can't change that bit without messing with characterization. Harry's fatal flaw is his arrogance and willingness to step up and fight, whether he knows what he's doing or not. Movie Harry just looked dumbstruck and incapable.

--So much of the dialogue was word-for-word! Much of the scene at the twins' shop, for example, and the memory of young Tom Riddle. I was on the edge of my seat at the ending, praying they'd say "With you, whatever happens," but I couldn't really be disappointed when they didn't, because the shot of the phoenix was too perfect. Part of me is glad that scene didn't happen by the lake, too, because that scenery is so intricate in my mind, and it would have been upsetting for such an intimate thing to be put on screen. The lake is one place that's still exclusively for us, and not the moviegoers.

--Romilda Vane! I thought for sure she'd be left out, but I'm glad she wasn't. I don't know how I feel about Lavender. She was very funny and her clothes/accessories were absolutely wonderful, but I thought she was too crazy and not ditzy enough. Yes, Lavender is frightening, but she should be more of an obnoxious bimbo than a dreamy-eyed pop princess Luna. I wish Parvati would have been there with her. It's a weird thing to say, but they're two of my favorite characters. Next time you reread the series, pay particular attention to Parvati. She's like a hidden gift from Jo.

--I LOVE THE NEW TRAIN. That's exactly what the Hogwarts Express is to me. I was shaking in my seat the second it became apparent that they were going to do the whole Malfoy-steps-on-yer-face bit. One of my favorite scenes in the series, and it was executed very well. I can still feel it-- suddenly Malfoy's a scary, adult threat, and not just a pest. He may legitimately have the upper hand. There's a good chance nobody will find you down here, and you're bleeding out your nose like a bitch. Ugggh. I love it.

--Helena Bonham Carter is a fantastic actress, and I was impressed with her after Order of the Phoenix, but... come on. Bellatrix should be weirdly over-sexualized with, like, Voldemort, but not with her nephew. I liked what she was doing, but I'd have toned it down a few notches. I understand that Bellatrix is far from a SUBTLE character, but Helena's portrayal was almost like a Halloween costume mockery this time.

--Narcissa's hair was stupid. It wasn't bad or anything, but she's supposed to be blonde. Her shoes, however, were AMAZING. Pay attention in the bit proceeding her scene: she's wearing classy black heels that scream Mrs. Malfoy.

--The Slug Club was awesome. Cormac was ridiculously sexy, which sort of sucks. It's easier in the book to will yourself to ignore him, because you're obviously never going to be able to like Ron's competition. But kudos to you, Freddie Stroma. You weren't barbaric or frightening, but you deserve some points for being hot.

Obviously, I'm going to have to see the film about seven more times, and I'm sure I'll be full of new insights with each viewing. All in all, though, I'm overcome with positive emotion. My expectations were as low as they could be, and I was pleasantly surprised. At times, it was like someone had extracted the world inside me and projected it in through my eyes. And while there are obvious mistakes and it's obviously not my book, the movie is, shockingly, good enough for me to smile about. A LOT.

Sexy: Freddie Stroma, who plays Cormac McClaggen. Dayum, gurrl. I was going to post a link to a photo, but you have to go google image search him immediately. *drool*
Unsexy: Zooming in on Dan Radcliffe's eyes... all the time... when they're blue.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,152

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Painting and #dumbledore

"It's pretty!" says Mom, holding it out at arm's length with her head tilted, questioning. And then, "...I don't get it." Dad waves his hand in a bring-it-here motion, saying to my mother, "Of course you don't. Let me look at it some more." Dad stares at the painting for several minutes, under the dull living room light. Announcers on the television argue with each other about a baseball player. My sister argues with herself about whether or not the painter is gay. "As if it's your job to classify him in one category," Dad says, looking it up and down. I suddenly like my dad a lot. My brother says, "What's that, Haylzie?" and reaches out his hand. I transport the painting to him, and watch as he surveys it. "Are these hidden words?" he asks, staring closely at a small section. "No," I say, because I like feeling authoritative. "I don't think so," I add, as I realize I'm not. "That's cool," Tad says. I believe him. And, goodness, do I agree.

I'm talking about this:
Which Sebastian painted for me last night. It's a lot cooler irl, but I think it looks rather awesome here, too. I have some pretty incredible people in my life.

In other news (as if it's an afterthought!!) tonight I'm going to see the movie version of my favorite book ever written, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm wearing scattered Gryffindor garb (tie, scarf, probably robes, maybe glasses, might even splurge on an eyeliner forehead scar) and going with my brother, sister, and good friend, Kathleen. Kathleen will be dressed better than I will, which is precisely why I'm seeing it with her. Half of me is thrilled, half of me is [pure-blooded (lol)] nervous, like I've handed my best friend over to Warner Brothers and am waiting for them to create a clone. It'll never, ever be my best friend, but hopefully it'll be better than my enemies, you know?

As for VBS, the slow-burning torture burns slowly onward. Today I led kids around the third floor of the church in a "parade" to the tune of "Every Move I Make," allowing them to drown out the music with shakers and drum sticks and jingle bells. Four-year-olds have difficulty following in a line. I have difficulty smiling through chaos. It doesn't help that my partner is a singer/pianist/guitarist, whereas I just try to grin widely enough so nobody notices I can barely hit the high notes in "This Little Light of Mine." Ah, well. That's why I'm a superghettofly rap star. That, and my constant need to slap a ho.

Sexy: #dumbledore, especially this LOL-worthy tweet from @kristinahorner.
Unsexy: Michael Gambon. "DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE?!" No, Gambon, I didn't. But I might put my foot in your ass.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,145

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crazy Stage Mother (And shooting the artillery!)

"I read your blog comments," says Sebastian, with whom I'm currently speaking on the phone. "Not because I feel some kind of duty to read your comments, but because your bloglings are adorable." While I'm iffy on the term "bloglings," I really can't argue with his logic. The kid has a point, and you guys are the shizz.

Tonight was the first installment of the annual six-part series of torture we call Vacation Bible School. Besides both being church-run summer programs for hyperactive children, RFKC and VBS are two different worlds, because, for one, the camp kids aren't rich and bratty, and for two, people inexplicably encourage the VBS kids to scream. I don't know who originally equated acceptance of Christ to SHOUTING AND THRASHING AROUND, but pushing the sound barrier is the main VBS tradition. Despite all the unbearable auditory stimulations of the opening program, my job this year is, admittedly, about as pleasant as it could be: I reside in a quiet, secluded room on the third floor, where I sing and dance with preschoolers. Today we learned sign language for "Yes, Jesus loves me," formed a conga line while shaking tambourines, and did that borderline distasteful classic about being in God's army, where you pretend to shoot each other. Oh, and smiled in awe as they attempted to all recite their names. Some looked thoughtful when it came to their turn, like they weren't quite sure how to answer. Others screamed their names vigorously and way out of turn. "MY NAME IS MADELYN!" one whispered violently. Psst. Her name was Madelyn.

Leading a group of four-year-olds along with a CD reminded me of my old dream to become a professional child chorus singer. Not that I loved music or anything, or had more than a screechy octave-and-a-half. Not that I wanted to be, or could pull off, a soulful Star Search-era Britney Spears. No, I just longed to be one of the many nasally voices on those annoying Christian parodies of '70s pop music my mother played in my stereo as I fell asleep.

My mom indulged this fantasy for a few years. We flew to LA on a regular basis for auditions. Got a lot of prepubescent spray tans. I was teething, and she put Vaseline on my gums so I wouldn't frown and get a double-chin. After only minimal pageant success and a few regional and foreign commercials, we returned home, defeated. I turned to crack cocaine. Some prostitution. YouTube's really the only thing keeping me off the streets these days.*

...God, I don't know-- I must be a lot more tired than I thought. ANYWAY, everything before the last paragraph was true, and I promise my next blog post will be less delirious.

Sexy: Hugh Grant in Love Actually and Music and Lyrics. He's a jerk in Bridget Jones, and a little wimpy loser in all other movies, but he really gets his characters right in the aforementioned two.
Unsexy: *Crazed stage mothers, a la my little asterisk-marked fantasy.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,086

Bye, guys! Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A little bit about camp, a lotta bit about Jaclyn Moriarty

Long time no see, eh? I dunno. I don't really want to talk about it. It's not like I was in the hospital or blood was oozing from my fingertips or I was eloping in Vegas (who do you think I am, walllofweird?); it's just that when I got home from camp I tried to blog but was too tired... then I was a walking emotional wreck for about a week... and I'm only just now getting to the point where I can look at youtube without gagging. I haven't read a single blog, blog comment, or message for two weeks. Not because I've grown out of it, not because I suddenly hate the internet, not because I'm too busy. It's just that Royal Family Kids' Camp is a sort of alternate universe, and it takes a lot of time to become yourself again. Until now, I hadn't felt up to the challenge of stuffing my personality back into the keyboard.

But here I am. I'm over it. Hopefully you're over it. Breathe, and let's move on to the pinata.
...There is no pinata. But BOY, ARE THERE STORIES. I'll get into the hilarious and heartwarming sometime in the near future. For now, though, a basic overview.

Basically, it's you and a "buddy counselor" (mine was a lovely, twenty-one-year-old petite brunette named Erin, with whom I've been friends through church for a few years), and the two of you spend a week leading your cabin of four girls around to various stages of chaos. Ours were senior campers, so we spent most of our time with the other eleven-year-old girl cabins, which were led by my sisters and the other Hip Young Counselors. We participated in a lot of relay races involving pool noodles, ironed a lot of fuze bead crafts, sang a lot of high-pitched songs about Jesus, and averted a lot of eleven-year-old crises. Camp-wise, things ran smoothly all week. Aside from the spiders in the showers and Sam's Club "cheese" curls served as a nutritious side dish with most meals. But yeah, most of the problems were much more emotional than physical.

I bonded intensely with one of my girls, which was a bad plan from the start, because the nature of the camp makes it so we can't exchange personal information or photographs, and there's a good chance I'll never see this kid again. So I spent a week being her MOTHER, like, helping her get showered, taking her to the doctor's station when she got an ear infection, going swimming with her alone in the rain, inventing a secret handshake to make her smile, being the first person she saw in the morning and the last before bed, and then I returned home to... emptiness and vacancy. I did all those things for the other three girls, but at the distance of a camp counselor. To this one special girl, though, I was a mom for a week. And then, of course, I had to send her back to the crack projects where her biological mother doesn't have two dimes to rub together but has more than enough kids to not support, and...

Yeah, this is why I didn't blog before. I'm starting to sound wretched. Nearly all abusers were abused. I know. I can't adopt someone seven years younger than I am. I know. But it doesn't make it any easier to deal with firsthand.

Anyway, the experience, while exhausting and maddening and sometimes miserable, was fun, beautiful, and life-changing all the same. I'd suspected for some time that I'd like to be an adoptive or foster parent, but camp this year confirmed for me how serious I am. You can't look into the eyes of those sweet little kids and not want to love and care for them until the end of time. I'll get married, adopt two kids over the age of eight (that's when it gets really, really hard for them to find homes), give birth to two kids, publish a few novels, and stay home with my flock. Throw a little Chipotle in there, and I really can't imagine a better life.

In completely unrelated, chipper news (before I tear up, frankly), I realized the other day that one of my top ten favorite authors, Jaclyn Moriarty, has a blog. I instantly ate that thing up. (So I sort of lied when I said I haven't read a single blog since I got home. I haven't read a single blog written by a human, and Jaclyn Moriarty is like a goddess and unicorn's love child.) Anyway, it took about two sentences of her carefree, understated voice for my legs to start shaking with glee, and lo and behold: I've now reread The Year of Secret Assignments and Feeling Sorry for Celia, and have restarted The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie. HOW IS THE WOMAN SO AMAZING?

Remember the time I promoted Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts like crazycakes after the release of Perfect Fifths, and a whole group of you skeptical commentors gave it a try, and now you're all totally obsessed? Well, you're going to have to trust me a second time, and those of you who didn't listen to the first suggestion are going to have to trust me through the example of your peers. I said it in a video once before, but here's the thing about Jaclyn's books, especially Assignments: they're such a rare, unique, acquired-taste treasure that America has no idea what to do with them. They fly up from Australia, and some old bald guy in a New York office glances at them and is like, "Uhhh. This humor is too unusual and fascinating for our young adults. I guess... I guess we'll just make it look like middle school chick lit and hide them somewhere?" And then he slams down some kind of official rubber stamp, and the business is done. So whatever you do, make sure you don't read--or look at-- the covers. Just locate the books, squeeze your eyes shut, and run. Because these novels are beautiful art, and the covers remind me of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Because Lor and Sebastian provided enough of a push for it in their Special Guest blogs during my absence, I've decided to resurrect un/sexy. Partly because The Real Popstar Justin Timberlake wrote a page in this month's Glamour about what is and isn't attractive, and that was just too coincidental to not be an act of God... but mostly because it's a crowd-pleaser and I miss it. *Cough* SO:

Sexy: Being a witty conversationalist, speaking with the cadence of one who recognizes his own gifts as a witty conversationalist, but not being too cocky about his conversational wit. Also, funnel cakes.
Unsexy: The kind of boyfriend who would not bring you a funnel cake late at night after he went to a concert on the riverfront, where they sell funnel cakes. Lucky for me (and I suppose for you, you romance-thriving whores) that is not the kind of boyfriend I have. Oh, shut up. :)

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
S'mores this summer: 3
Subscribers: 18,060

Bye, guys. Freal, hopefully I'll see you tomorrow. <3

P.S. Commentor A.J. asked about Jess's Haiti trip. I'm going to let this picture speak for that experience, because words can't describe what a gorgeous human being my best friend is. She's so much better than the rest of us. And look how cute! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sebastian writes a title in the third person

Hey girls! It's Thursday!

Sorry; I had to. Hayley's probably going to fivewesomestab me for that.

Some of you asked about my blog. It's here. Just be warned: it's mostly just photos and emo poetry. And, since Lauren gave you guys her twitter, I might as well too.

So, I have a story for you! I'm painting a painting and, while it's not going to be anything worth looking at, I'm pretty excited about it. It's on Yupo, which is paper made of plastic. There's a layer of ink. Yesterday, I thought to myself, Hey, Sebastian, you should paint on top of that. This spurred the realization that, I have very little money, and therefore neither paint nor many of the things required to paint. So, I decided, I will make paint!

I decided on tempera mostly because of drying time. The entire painting is going to be black, so the obvious source of pigment was charcoal. It had recently rained, so all the wood was wet. Easily solved: I found an old coffee can, put some wood in it, doused it in turpentine, and dropped in a match.

There was quite a bit of black smoke. The label on the outside of the can not only melted, but caught fire. And then, well, then the grass caught on fire. Whoops. I put it out. But, uh, oops.

After that ordeal, I got some charcoal, ground it up, and mixed it with eggyolk. Ta-da! Paint! Not the best paint, mind you. I ruined a brush or two with it.

So that was the only really exciting thing that's happened to me since my last post: I, your humble narrator, set fire to my lawn.

I started The Fountainhead, and it's so good! She can say more with three words than I can with three paragraphs. I'm only on the second chapter, though, and I wonder at what point I'm going to want to strangle Ms. Rand.

Other than that, I'm really becoming addicted to Crusader Kings. This is probably not a good thing.

Alright, well, that's all I've really got to talk about.

- Paper. I love paper of all shapes, sizes, weights, fiber contents, and colors. I love the way it looks, the way it feels. Is that weird?
- Oppressive governments. Awesome logos and uniforms!
- This:

- Email chain letters. Especially virus hoaxes and patriotic manifestos.
- Ann Coulter
- The Star Wars prequels

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lauren wastes an entire day.

I’m back!

This is just too much fun to do once, so I’m doin’ it again!

This week I’ve pretty much sold myself to my mother. She works all the time and likes to have lots of parties for her jewelry business which means she has no time. Yesterday to help out, I told her that I would make some of the food for her party. So for five hours yesterday I slaved in the kitchen making some delicious food. I just don’t understand why almost all of it had to made of cream cheese. I like the stuff on a normal day, but when it’s the only thing you ate that day, it can get disgusting. My mom calls these things pinwheels and it’s cream cheese, yellow and red peppers, and onion wrapped in a soft tortilla shell. Then I made chocolate oreo truffles (YUM) which are made of only cream cheese and oreos, and they’re covered in chocolate. And somehow all of that took me five hours. I will not eat cream cheese for a while.

I know I said that I didn’t like the sims 3 very much, but I still play it on a daily basis. (After I water my flowers in ACWW of course…heh.) I ran out of ideas for making a family and they always seem to end up the same way whenever I play. So today I made the Griffin Family. Yes, from Family Guy. The traits were hilarious! Peter was childish and inappropriate, Lois was family oriented and good, Meg was a loser and over emotional, Chris was absent minded and a loser, and Stewy was a genius and evil. But oh no, I did not stop there! Being a perfectionist, I made their house the same as in the TV show, complete with purple couch and yellow curtains. It looks tacky and awesome. I haven’t had time to play yet though because it took forever just to do that. If you want to see the family, just go to my twitter.

Sexy: Occasionally I’ll browse the website and look at other peoples’ artwork and get really jealous and inspired all at the same time. Flickr is also sexy. Not the website because it’s kindof lame, but the content. (btw owlssayhoot, if you’re reading this, I really like your photography!)

Cologne. This probably goes with the Hollister thing perfectly described by Kristen in the comments. I guess it could be okay in TINY TINY TINY amounts so that the two people would have to be really close to smell it, and hey, that might even be sexy. But if you walk into a room and the smell of your body stays in that room for a good hour, then that is just too much mister. Because of cologne, I can no longer sit on my couch without gagging. The smell is permanently soaked into the fabric.

Thanks for reading this even though Hayley’s absent! It’s really cool!
Sebstian, see ya tomorrow.