Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Hey guys. I really, really hate being whiny like this. I didn't choose to participate in BEDA just so I could beg other people to share the burden, or so I'd have a platform from which to waaah every evening.

I've been getting headaches all year, but they became spectacularly worse this week. I contemplated not posting anything tonight, because since about 8:30 (it's 11:30 now), I've felt like there's a tight, heavy band around my skull. I've had pills, two cups of caffeinated tea, and one hopeless little aroma therapy candle burning from my desk, just to ease my mother's conscience, since we have no idea how to make the aching stop. I still feel tired, despite the energy-boosting drugs and pint of liquid in my stomach, but every time I close my eyes, I just lose my ability to distract myself from the pain. It doesn't make any sense. I eat so well. I exercise a lot, but not to the point of exhaustion or anything. I drink more water than anyone I know, and I get eight hours of sleep every night, and the headaches occur whether or not I've looked at a computer all day. My experience at the eye doctor's, while slightly traumatic (I reluctantly allowed her to give me eye drops, which I'd never had before, but couldn't turn off my spastic flinching long enough for them to complete all the tests... they probably went back in their break room and told everybody they had a psychopath patient), was altogether pointless. As I suspected, my vision is darn near perfect. Too bad I'd rather wear a monocle than feel like my head is being perpetually squeezed between Hagrid's hands.

I'm going to the regular doctor on Thursday. I don't care if he prescribes for me to daily inject my own brain with nuclear waste-- that'd be a cake walk compared to enduring head pressure like this back at school, without even my mom's adorable-but-worthless "Autumn Wreath" candle to provide comic relief.

Sorry to be a Debby Downer. It's been a fun month, and the readers and commenters of this blog have been like a cheerful song-and-dance number at the end of a crappy TV show. Thanks for sticking with me, even when all I do is complain.

And on that note, I have to go place a pillow over my head and let out a string of excruciated whimpers until sunrise. See you soon. <3

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mamaghoover Takes a Turn

I can’t believe I’m doing this. She asked; I declined. She asked again and I said “your readers don’t want to hear what your mother has to say.” “But," she said, "I’ve had a headache all weekend, I’m exhausted and The Situation is on skype and. . . ." So here I am.

I want to apologize in advance for what is sure to be a very mundane, uneventful post. Hayley has been writing circles around me since she was seven. In fact, Hayley began her writing career at age 4 when she was jealous because Jess could write the word “stop." She’s been at it ever since.

When she was five, after she had written every member of the family a book as a Christmas gift, she asked my mother “Grandma, how many books have YOU published?” I think we knew then that she was serious about this writing biz.

What else can I tell you about Hayles? She has been a complete and utter joy from the moment she was born. Her nickname when she was little was “the angel child’ because she always had that little spark in her that filled the room with light. The hayleyghoover you see on youtube and vlogs and blogs is pretty much the real deal. She doesn’t hide much, she never pretends to be someone she’s not. She has always known exactly who she is and what she wants out of life.

Hayley makes her father and I proud all the time. We are her biggest fans and I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of “stalking” her on the Internet. The truth is I love watching whatever she comes up with. (But, I didn’t really like the ‘wine cone’ video.)

What makes us most proud is the heart she has developed for others, especially the girls she works with each year at Royal Family Kids’ Camp. This camp for children who have suffered from neglect and abuse, is an extremely rewarding experience for all those involved. It is also physically and emotionally exhausting. One of my greatest joys as a parent is watching Hayley (and my other children) pour themselves out for these sweet campers who have suffered in ways no one deserves.

If you were hoping I would tell you what the “g” stands for in hayleyghoover, sorry to disappoint. As Hayley has said many times before—it’s gansta!

Hayles will be back tomorrow night, I promise!


Today I saw: a sweet middle school boy sing an awesome “Amazing Grace” at church. The poise and maturity of this young man (not to mention his voice) gave me chills.

Heard: The raucous laughter and banter of my extended family around the dinner table.

Smelled: fresh basil from the herb garden. Is there anything better than fresh basil?

Tasted: An entire buffet of wonderful food prepared by my mom. I am so fortunate to still have my mom with me.

Touched: a soft, fuzzy peach picked off a tree in my yard.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aim or A-I-M?

Thanks for all your well wishes on yesterday's post, guys. It's a little bit comforting to know that my phobia isn't uncommon, and your comments made me less nervous for my appointment tomorrow. I'm just going to go in there, bite my lip, and hope it goes by quickly. I hope. Hopefully.

In other news, my headache persisted all night, and even after several Tylenol, I barely slept. I was exhausted this morning when I forced myself into the shower, and I skipped church to take a nap. I pretty much slept all day, and yet I still feel tired now. Maybe I'm getting sick? I don't know. That would be better than allowing these pains to continue, unexplained.

To lighten the mood a bit, I've decided to take an easy way out of tonight's blog and answer one of those ridiculous myspace surveys from my childhood-- seriously, this time. That's what people did in their xanga blogs, right? Hold on, I'll find one that looks particularly stupid. "75 Questions I Bet You've Never Been Asked Before." This sounds promising!

1. First thing you wash in the shower?: I shave my legs first.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?: Gray.

3.Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?: MAYBE IF HE DIDN'T LIVE SO FRIGGIN FAR AWAY. Yes.

4. Do you plan outfits?: No.

5. How are you feeling right now?: Mentally tired, physically restless.

6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?: Assuming coral counts as red, practically everything in my room.

7. Do you say aim or A-I-M?: I say it's 2010.

8. Last dream you remember having?: My teeth falling out. I have that a lot.

9. Did you meet anybody new today?: No.

10. What are you craving right now?: Liposuction. I ate something like three cupcakes today.

11. Do you floss?: Not as often as I should. Maybe the guilt that stems from my lack of flossing routine is responsible for those dreams.

12. What comes to mind when I say "cabbage?": Hmm. "Why in the world am I filling out a myspace survey?"

13. When was the last time you talked on AIM?: Probably when I got my braces on and I really wanted Jon S. to hold my hand during couples' skate.

14. Are you emotional?: Well. Yes, I am, but I don't tend to express those emotions typically in my everyday life.

15. Would you dance to the taco song?: This was obviously not intended for people my age.

16. Have you ever counted to 1000?: No.

17. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?: Okay, no, I can't do this anymore.

Today, I saw: the inside of my head, as I slept.
Today, I heard: the voices in my head, as I slept.
Today, I smelled: the made-up aromas of my dreams, as I slept.
Today, I touched: my bed, as I slept.
Today, I tasted: a ton of food at my grandma's house. Some desires are stronger than headaches.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
Subscribers: 34,054
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Secret

Hey, guys. Not really feeling up to the task of blogging tonight. I have a nasty headache. For the past several months, I've been having them nearly every day, like clockwork, at both three and nine pm. They don't change or go away-- no matter what or when I eat, when or how much I exercise, whether or not I take any medicine. A while ago, I started suspecting that it might have something to do with my vision (what else could it be?), despite the fact that I've never had problems seeing, and the headaches don't seem to increase when I read a lot or spend a lot of time on the computer. Either way, I'm going to the doctor to get my eyes checked this week, just in case. I've never had a vision exam before, because I have this sort of... phobia. Of eyes. I don't usually talk about it, and I don't think I've ever told the internet before, mostly out of fear that people will think I'm exaggerating and touch their eyes around me or something, to be funny. But it's true. The thought of anything being too close to someone's eyes... particularly mine (I can put my own hands around mine, but no one else can)... it makes me shiver. Not in an "Oh, Hayley's so eccentric and weird, lalala!" way. It's honestly one of the things that disturbs me most, totally devoid of humor. You should feel honored that I trust you guys enough to tell you about that.

So yeah. Headache. Ow. I'll leave you with my daily senses, and I hope you all have lovely Sundays. I'll see you tomorrow night.

Today, I saw: this amazing blog. I just looked at nearly the entire thing.
Today, I touched: the perfect little black answer to my skirt prayers. I've been searching for one like that for years, and the dream became a reality today. It even has pockets.
Today, I smelled: brownies baking downstairs.
Today, I heard: my dad, who just screamed. I think he's watching a sporting event.
Today, I tasted: Chipotleeeeeeee.

Chipotle burritos this year: 24
Subscribers: 33,961
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl

Friday, August 27, 2010

For Whom the Skype Ping Tolls

Greetings and salutations, dear singers of the Hayleylujah Chorus! My name is PJ and I am Hayley’s friend, comrade and consistent cause of eyebrow twitching. It’s so good to finally meet you, as I hear about you guys CONSTANTLY; time and again I’m told you hear of me as well. I feel as if we are already good friends, remember the time I dyed my hair pink accidentally? Ha, good times.

What am I doing here? Well, as you should certainly know by now Hayley Hoover is a procrastinator (aren’t we all?), so I should have foreseen the impending request to fill in for a night but this was not so- after enjoying my supper of hot and frozen pizzarolls, the skype ping woke me from my greasy cheese-filled stupor.

Hayley Hoover: wanna write my blog for me?

PJ Scott-Blankenship: ...who are you? Are you feeling well?

Hayley Hoover: shh

PJ Scott-Blankenship: OH I GET IT, it's still August…you're doing BEDA still

Hayley Hoover: yes.

Hayley Hoover: seriously, wanna write my blog for me?

PJ Scott-Blankenship: *sigh* fine

So here I am, feeling like a complete fool with no idea how to carry on a one-sided conversation with a thousand strangers. How are you? What is your favorite movie? Do you like Mario? All I can say is that I’m happy to be here, and even happier to have Hayley as a friend. Oh! There’s an idea, let’s get some insight into the enigma known as Hayley G. Hoover-please note: the enigma is probably laying stomach-down on her bed wondering if her own kitchen has pizzarolls.

All I can say is that above all else, Hayley makes very real and deep connections with the things she cares most about, and you know something? You all are on that list. Hayley is very aware of the community around her, and though modest about it takes an unimaginable amount of time reading every email, atreply, comment, and reply she gets. The prime example of this the tale of how I met Hayley Hoover.

Wanting to start a new life, I left my tiny town on the Scioto River and ran to Athens to attend Ohio University, hoping with every ounce of my being I could escape the legacy of the 25-student-class from which I graduated. On my own I rolled my pudgy self across the hills of OU, and after a long day, I sat at the dining hall with my mother-I looked up and rubbed my eyes thinking I saw something familiar but the image had since darted away like an antisocial fish in a crowded pond…full of in a…school. Okay, I tried to make a fish and school and education joke there, WHATEVER.

Anyway, bright and early the next morning I completed orientation by being the first in my group to register for classes and thus was let go, with laptop on…lap, I sat near the escalators of the university center, and felt my eyes glance up for no reason whatsoever. I need to preface the following by saying, I am/was a proud member of the lonelygirl15 community, and on our community blogspot there was a featured story about a popular girl on youtube who happened to look like the character Sarah. Now, slowly descending before my very eyes like a squirrel-kissing angel I saw her, my mind compiled the facts to confirm what I saw:

Thinking it was a real kismet moment, I uploaded a video there on the spot, never actually thinking she’d watch it, let alone that we’d meet for real, and that we’d end up being incredibly close and sharing so much together.

When I came out of the closet Hayley was there; when I was left friendless and forgotten on Halloween Hayley was there, when I had a huge birthday party and invited all my friends Hayley baked the cake, when I was locked out of the school’s computer system and thought I had failed a midterm Hayley stuffed pizzarolls down my throat, and when Hayley and I made plans for the summer…Hayley forgot but her mom was there and then Hayley was there with a vengeance!

I think about how easily and strangely I came to know this girl, and I know that many of you would give so much to switch me places and are probably more deserving of it, and all I can say is that for the rest of my friendship with Hayley, I promise you that everything we do will be in your names, because if it wasn’t for great support like you Hayley wouldn’t do what she does and I’d never know her. I am eternally grateful for you guys, and will never be able to thank you enough.

Yours truly,


You can subscribe the heck out of PJ's awesome videos here and here, and read his blog here, and follow him on twitter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ye Olde YouTube

I miss youtube. I miss things like this, and this, and this, and this. I miss thewinekone telling ten-minute stories that probably weren't true. I miss paperlilies reading her hater comments off pieces of paper. I miss boh3m3's background, and when even the "big" people made video responses to each other, and before anybody really knew how to edit. I miss horrible lighting and having to deal with whatever unflattering thumbnail happened to land in the exact center of your video. I miss 4x3 and the useless middle three stars and even a tiny bit of copyright infringement. I miss when lipsyncing took talent and when smosh was dreamy and when getting featured was an instant membership card into the clique of "people who mattered." I miss brookers. I even miss danielbeast.

In typical end-of-the-summer fashion, I wasted away my evening by watching old favorite videos from 2006. It started with this one, which led to several viewings of this one, and a tweeting of this one, and this blog. What about you guys? Were you around for the tubular Golden Age? Do you miss it? Do I sound like one of those nasty middle-aged women in the movie theater snarling at giggling middle schoolers and muttering things like, "In my day, we showed respect!" or am I justified?

Today, I saw: sooo many old TheHill88 videos. Have another.
Today, I touched: some mildly ugly shoes that my grandma (sweetly!) bought for me.
Today, I smelled: awesome pizza. It smelled like grease and dehydration and happiness.
Today, I heard: the sound of my mouse as I clicked around youtube, looking for an answer as to what I heard today.
Today, I tasted: way too much chocolate, as per usual.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 33,430
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Sad Day

Another bad day today, unfortunately. First, the news that sixteen-year-old Nerdfighter and hayleyghoover follower, Esther Earl, died of cancer last night. I didn't know her, but I experienced her presence online over the last year, and she was quite the inspiring girl. It's absolutely tragic.

Far less important, but also emotionally distressing: today was Jess's farewell party. I self-medicated with an enormous episode of binge-eating, of unforgivable proportions. Mentally ill proportions. I cannot believe I ate that much today, truly. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, even, but it's hardly fair for me to share my weight loss success story without ever showing glimpses into the hard parts. Today was a sorrowful downward slide in the food department. I'll be making up for it for a week.

On top of all that, my mom and one of my sisters left for a business trip while I was traveling around, and their flight home got canceled, so I haven't seen either of them in what feels like forever, and they were stuck in a nasty airport all day. The garage door is growling as I type this, though, which means they're now home. Sorry for not feeling up to the senses and typical blog counters again today; I'm gonna go collapse on my mommy.

Your comments yesterday were beautiful and very much appreciated. Thank you for everything. I hope you all have nice Thursdays, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bad News

I'm depressed. I keep forcing myself to go for walks around my neighborhood, trying to clear my head and burn off some of the feelings I've been eating, but it's not working. Boyfriend and family members keep calling to ask how I'm doing, and I keep mumbling "fine." I am fine. I'm just depressed, too.

I haven't mentioned it yet because I like to convince myself that if I ignore something, it becomes untrue. Our relationship is all about dissecting feelings from a distant, mature angle, rather than getting overly caught up in emotions, so, until now, I've been a grown-up. I haven't walked around crying, and I haven't blogged about it, and I haven't even had a full conversation with her on the subject. I've behaved graciously all summer, but my heart is too heavy tonight for me to continue pretending. In three weeks, my very best friend is moving 2,474 miles away.

I hate being emo like this, but if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how insanely close I am with Jess. She's been my absolute soulmate since we were four years old. We've never had a fight. She's one of the few people in the world I could never get tired of, even after straight weeks of nonstop togetherness. We are intense. And she's moving to Oregon.

I really don't even know what to say about it. I am genuinely thrilled for her-- she bought a one-way ticket across the country with the intention of starting a new, exciting life all by herself. I'm too nervous and skeptical of a person to try something like that. It's so right that she's doing it. What's more, she's doing it right now. Not giving herself any opportunity to be one of those people who takes local job after local job and never ends up leaving our small midwestern city. That's awesome. I'm excited and happy and anxious and proud for her. But I'm still... I mean. I knew that someday we'd grow up and have to live separate lives, but I didn't prepare for it to be so soon. I don't want her to stay here; she's supposed to go. And I don't want to go with her, because it wouldn't be anywhere near the right thing for me. And I don't want to go back in time and I don't want time to stop. It's just something that's Real and Now and unchangeable and, despite the good circumstances, it's really, really painful.

It hurts to need something you don't want.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Questions, Day 2

Are you ready to have your mind blown by the second day of Ask Hayley Questions? Below, I've responded to as many as possible. If I didn't get to yours, it's probably because a) I've answered the same question a lot in the past, and will probably get around to including it in a FAQ of sorts, b) I've written it down and will try to devote a full post to it later, or c) it was too personal/difficult to put into a few sentences, etc. Whether your question appears in this post or not, I greatly appreciate that so many of you took the time to comment. I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow night.

How and why did you decide you wanted to be a professional writer?
Hayley: In first grade, we wrote (very) short stories, got to type them on fancy computers, and read them aloud to the class. Mine was killer, and the other kids really listened and said they liked it. It was an amazing feeling, and I've sort of been chasing it ever since.

Morgan: How hard has the long distance thing gotten, at its worst?
Hayley: Our relationship is strong enough that even the sad times are totally worthwhile. I've never thought for a second that being single would be easier than missing him. That being said, however, sometimes it's pretty depressing. The worst part is saying goodbye after having been together nonstop for a week.

Stefan: If you made videos full time, do you think you could live off it?
Hayley: No, I couldn't. If I were to make videos every day, and if they were to receive the same attention that my fortnightly videos do now, I could maybe scrape by. But that's not going to happen, and I don't really want it to.

Tom: How do you feel about Nerdfightersecrets?
Hayley: In its short existence, that blog has already caused me a lot of pain. There's so much heartbreak and sadness oozing out of it that it's exhausting to read. I was willing to support it nonetheless up until people started publishing cruel and uninformed jabs at my friends. John and Hank's goal as community leaders is to give people a sense of belonging despite their differences. Making unfounded mean comments about the people you perceive to be popular is exactly like high school, and exactly the sort of negativity I try to avoid in my life.

Hannah and Elisabeth: My current relationship is about to become long-distance for the first time. Advice on how to make it work?
Hayley: Make special dates on Skype to talk and "hang out" like you would in real life. When it works, turn on video chat while you both do other things, too. Sometimes The Situation and I will sit in silence while I do homework and he answers emails. It sounds silly, but it reminds you that your relationship is real and normal, instead of trying to squeeze as much together-time as you can into one IRL weekend.

Meg: Is your hair straight, curly, or in between?
Hayley: All of the above. Naturally, a few random pieces of my hair are perfect spirals, but most of it is rather straight with a few kinks and waves.

Kelly: Do you have any advice for new vloggers?
Hayley: Practice editing as much as possible, find other vloggers with similar interests and try to form friends and contacts. Take collab opportunities when they come to you, and don't try too hard. Don't try to become some successful celebrity. Do it because it's fun.

Kaylaann93: What kind of music do you listen to when you run?
Hayley: Anything upbeat and positive. Sometimes the music that annoys me most in the car can motivate me the best while working out. For example, I often run to the soundtrack from Legally Blonde: The Musical.

Gillian: What did you do with the Hannah Montana barbie doll and the Ninja Turtles bedspread?
Hayley: Hannah sits happily on my desk, and he brags to people about the bedspread aaaall the time.

Kate: NSYNC or Backstreet? Which Spice Girl are you?
Hayley: NSYNC. Ginger.

Hannah: What's your favorite video you've ever made?
Hayley: My two favorites are my Makeup Tutorial and Pizza Rolls.

Sarah: If you could switch lives with one youtuber for a day, who would it be?
Hayley: John Green, and I'd spend the whole day reading unpublished writing of "mine" and molesting myself.

Toastburntbread: How did The Situation and you come to be this lovely couple?
Hayley: It's not some miraculously theatrical tale, but we don't really tell people how we met, so it can be our own private story.

Julie: Would you ever make a video about being a vegetarian?
Hayley: Probably not. I'm a very passive vegetarian. I mean, I stopped eating meat when I was five years old, so it's not exactly a struggle. My lack of meat consumption hardly ever crosses my mind. It's just how I am.

Lauren: Have you read The Hunger Games? Favorite Potter book/film? Are you seeing Deathly Hallows at midnight?
Hayley: I haven't yet, but I plan to. Half-Blood Prince, for both. Yes.

Abby: Have you ever seen Wicked?
Hayley: I've seen it something like five times.

Today, I saw: some stupid western. My dad works so hard all day that, once in a while, he likes to turn them on in the evenings and stare at them for hours while he half-sleeps in front of the TV.
Today, I touched: my dog's leash. She's great.
Today, I smelled: very little, because my nose was too consumed in the fact that I kept bursting into tears, since The Situation left for home this morning.
Today, I heard: the beautiful Marion Cotillard sing in Nine, which I watched today for a second time in my sister's living room.
Today, I tasted: a McFlurry for the first time in many, many years. I bought it in an emotional stupor with the intention of eating my feelings.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 33,292
Nail color: In the transition period.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Questions, Day 1

Super crazy busy day again! I only have about half an hour to write and post this, so I'm going to answer a handful of questions from yesterday's comments. I'll try to get to more of them tomorrow. If there's something you'd like to know and haven't already asked, feel free to comment on either this post or yesterday's. You guys are incredible, as always. Looking forward to reading the things you come up with!

"What are you looking forward to most about being a sophomore in college?"
Hayley: Living in close proximity to my school friends again.

Veronica: "Are you planning on doing Nanowrimo this year?"
Hayley: Of course! We'll see if I finish this time.

Nela: "What's your favorite piece of cutlery?"
Hayley: I'll go with spoons. You can scoop most forkable objects, but you can't fork liquid.

Kai: "How do you feel about being a 'Christian role model' at the camp you work at?"
Hayley: That's a really good question. My campers are eleven, so I don't condescend and try to act all perfect. I just try to be friendly and project happiness, even when I'm not feeling it.

Sammie: "What's your most played song on iTunes?"
Hayley: It's actually a three-second clip of The Situation saying, "We don't have any eggs!" because it makes me laugh. The top SONG, though, is "Even Though" by Darren Criss, from the MaMD soundtrack.

Kay: "Would you ever go sky diving? Do you drink the milk after you finish your cereal? Favorite fruit? Favorite chocolate bar?"
Hayley: I like to say that I would... but I'd probably chicken out. No, I don't. Strawberries... and kiwis... and peaches... and blackberries. Chocolove Strong Dark.

Tara: "Are you living on campus again this year?"
Hayley: Yep!

Caitlin: "Could you talk about your writing process?"
Hayley: Sure! I'll write a note to myself and talk about that sometime soon.

Christina: "Can you please recommend books to read? Something similar to Jessica Darling."
Hayley: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman, The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson.

Ben: If you looked into the Mirror of Erised, what would you see?
Hayley: Food. Always.

Tessa: What is one day you'd like to go back and redo just because it was so fun?
Hayley: This weekend was fun enough for a replay.

Sarah: How does Date Night, in your mind, compare to Baby Mama and Mean Girls?
Hayley: They're all intended for different demographics, so they're obviously quite different. Obviously, Mean Girls is a total masterpiece-- I feel like I'm not even worthy to dissect it. Baby Mama didn't TOTALLY blow me away the first time I saw it, but it's now become one of my ultimate favorite movies over time. Date Night was really great, but not on a zomg-I-worship-it level.

Today, I saw: The Princess Bride for-- believe it or not-- the first time.
Today, I heard: "He Loves U Not" by Dream, in an attempt to relive my childhood.
Today, I smelled: groooooss KFC at a rest stop in Pennsylvania.
Today, I touched: a sleeping bag that I had scrunched into the passenger seat of my boyfriend's van. It was quite the feat. Quite the comfy one.
Today, I tasted: half a Hungry Howie's pizza. The Situation bought us one, and I had it half-balanced on my lap because it was so hot, as we drove down the highway at night, shoveling it into our faces. It was remarkably romantic.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 33,255
Nail color: Really needs to be changed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Hi! Very little time for blogging again, as The Situation and I are heading out to Philadelphia to see the glorious Paul and Storm perform, and to hang out with youtube legend Nalts. I'm currently on The Situation's bed, and he's sitting at his desk, purposefully ignoring me and surgically editing a video from his show last night... his best friend and I decided to take some artistic liberties with the filming of the video... and it was very funny at the time... but now he has about nine minutes of footage of trees and my laughter. He's really not amused.

Oh. He forgives me. Now I'm at the kitchen counter and he's making me blueberry pancakes. I must be pretty charming.

Anyway, yesterday was nice. I read a lot, bonded with my boyfriend's friends, and played the role of Awkward Uninvited Party Guest Who's Eating All the Food. At first I was hesitant to make strangers uncomfortable, but then my hunger became stronger than my will to succumb to social norms. I stood right in the middle of some group's conversation, silently, and ate pizza. I can't really convey to you how funny it was. Like Flight of the Conchords funny.

I feel kind of bad for having nothing to say and little time to say it in. I'll try to make the last leg of BEDA more kickass than the first. Hey, do you guys have any questions for me? Not, like, "wuts ur fave color?!" but anything you'd legitimately like to know? Leave comments, if you'd like. Other than that, uh, have a good Saturday! I'll see you all tomorrow.

Yesterday, I saw: lots of people I don't know.
Right now, I smell: a fresh blueberry pancake.
Yesterday, I touched: my feet. They were freezing. New York does this crazy thing where it gets cold at night.
Yesterday, I heard: my boyfriend being a musical prodigy, as per usual.
Yesterday, I tasted: homemade salsa that seemed to have some kind of fruit in it. Maybe mango? It was delicious.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: The internet's really slow right now, so I have no idea.
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

Friday, August 20, 2010

I can fly hiiiigher than an eeeeagle...

Good morning! Busy day today. I'm going with The Situation to an annual party at one of his friend's houses, where we will, reportedly, "drink beer, chill, and jam." I'm not really one for beer-drinking, and unless anyone wants to lend me a clarinet and my sixth grade songbook, I am pretty much jamless. However, I am a decidedly good chiller.

The party is supposed to last until the part of tonight that is actually tomorrow morning, and as I am generally incoherent past one o'clock, I have to post this now. So, um. What's up? I went mini-golfing yesterday and (surprise!) learned that I'm a terrible mini-golfer. I also went on a cute little romantic dinner date, where I ate a bowl of pasta bigger than my head in a less-than-cute-little-romantic fashion, and fell asleep with my mouth wide open and my face flat against the couch while the "Fresh Water" episode of Planet Earth played. It was another wild and crazy day in the life of Hayley Hoover; it's times like this that I truly understand why it is people follow me on the internet.

Oh, and since I didn't really get into it yesterday, I want to thank each and every one of you who left comments on my short stories. Posting something like that is always a little awkward... I almost feel like that uncle who insists on singing "The Wind Beneath My Wings" at the wedding reception, even though he's only an average singer, and everyone has to stand around with champagne glasses, noncommittally half-smiling. I appreciate those of you who said you enjoyed reading them, and those of you who left constructive criticism, and those of you who read them but didn't comment, and those of you who didn't read them but still chose to stick around. You're all too awesome for words... so I must express my gratitude through song. DID YOU EVER KNOOOW THAT YOU'RE MY HEEEROOOOOO?

I think I'll leave you on that note. I hope you all have a lovely Friday, and I'll see you sometime tomorrow.

Yesterday, I saw: the gorgeous lake where this party is going to be taking place. I thought to myself, "I could stand here and look at this all day!" and then realized, like, "Well, that's good. Because tomorrow, I have to."
Yesterday, I smelled: I don't remember, but here's something funny. The other day, at the youtube gathering, The Situation started one of his songs and my friend Caitlin screamed with delight. "You like this song?" I asked. She replied, "Yes, and I smelled garlic bread right when it started, and my love for garlic bread combined with the music and it was beautiful."
Yesterday, I touched: a golf... putter? Is that what it's called? And I apparently touched it WRONG, because my boyfriend kept trying to show me the proper technique or whatever, and I kept trying to convey to him that I really couldn't have cared less. No offense to those who like mini-golf.
Yesterday, I heard: church bells. They're a constant presence around here.
Yesterday, I tasted: awesome apple pie that The Situation's mom made. He warmed it up and gave me a piece for breakfast. That's love.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 33,103
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Car Rides and YouTube in 3D

What? What's this? A blog? I have a blog?

Just kidding, guys; I didn't forget to post yesterday. At 12:23 PM, while we were on our way to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with friends from the 818 youtube gathering, I interrupted conversation in The Situation's car to jab my finger at the digital clock and proclaim, "I have failed! I did not blog every day in August!" Unfortunately, though, we were about two hours away from my computer, and surrounded by hilarious and fun people, and about to watch Michael Cera be awkwardly sexy. So I accept any insults you'd like to throw at me, because I admit to having failed. But I have fun things to tell you!

I drove all through the night on Tuesday with Andy, The Situation's drummer, on our way to Chez Situation. He has a crazy nice hybrid car with a button instead of a key, and driving it sort of feels like ice skating on a freshly unsealed jar of peanut butter without any cuts on its surface. Perhaps I'm romanticizing this smoothness a little bit, since I was tired at the time and my old pickup truck is often reminiscent of riding a wild bull, but let me tell you-- those things are freakin' luxurious.

Vastly more interesting than Andy's car, though, was our six-hour conversation. You'd think it would be uncomfortable, being stuck in a small, enclosed space with someone you know rather casually, and I anticipated enough awkward silences that I brought a book with me, but it wasn't remotely weird. We literally didn't stop talking the entire ride. The Situation texted me several times to ask how we were doing and what was going on, and according to my text message history, Andy and I told our life stories at 10:30, talked about philosophy at 11:45, discussed the "oppressive patriarchal society to which we are slaves" at 12:30, got into religion sometime around one, and ended the journey in a slap-happy stupor-- involving jokes to which "penis" was the punchline-- at 5AM.

I crashed when we got into The Situation's house. It always puts me in that library-esque state of comfort. I only slept about four hours, though. When you wake up from a dream about hanging out with your awesome boyfriend and then realize he's in the next room, it's hard to choose lying still with your eyes closed over the option of poking him repeatedly until he'll get up and play with you.

So yeah. The Albany, New York youtube gathering! I genuinely had a lot of fun. We went to a burrito place for lunch (a good start), hung out in a park, and then went over to some little bar, where we stood in awe and amazement and wonder as members of our gang took turns performing absolutely beautiful poetry and beautiful songs. Caitlin Hill also performed "beautiful" dances to accompany Mike and Andy's set, causing me to lose my breath from laughing. After 2/3* of the Mike Lombardo Trio played (*fans face with hand*), I was introduced to the GORGEOUS music of Benjamin Jameson Morey. I'd never heard of him before, but he won me over instantly. Such clever and pretty and poignant lyrics, combined with a really endearing personality and altogether attractive presentation. You need to look him up. That's an order.

Then we went to the movie, which was... entertaining, and something I'm glad I saw, but not exactly my cup of tea, and then we all had an orgy**, and then I considered blogging, and then I fell instantly asleep on The Situation's couch. Now I'm eating scrambled eggs.

I'm seriously sorry if anyone was disappointed by a lack of post yesterday-- it broke my heart this morning to see that @kinseyheartsyou from twitter was waiting up for it. It means so much to me that you guys care so deeply about what I have to say. You're amazing. Honestly.

Yesterday, I saw: Albany, New York for the first time.
Yesterday, I heard: LizzieRadio perform live (her youtube channel is linked above). She was really good and so sweet.
Yesterday, I smelled: dead skunk on the highway.
Yesterday, I touched: my usually-not-IRL friend, Erica. A lot.
Yesterday, I tasted: a super gooey and delicious cheesecake brownie, made by my awesome new youtube friend Emily's mom.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 33,052
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

*I offered to sing the bass guitar parts, but they declined my offer. I have no idea why.
**No, we did not. I apologize-- I'm not even sure why I just found that funny.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another short story!??

I spent my day making another new video, going for a super long hike with my mom, and waiting for The Situation's drummer, Andy, to pick me up and take me to heaven. (I mean my boyfriend's house.) It's really been a less-than-eventful Tuesday, and it didn't provide me with any funny anecdotes or news to report. But, because I vowed to blog every day in August, and because you guys seemed to take well to the last one I posted... I've decided to bite the bullet and put up another short story. Once again, I honestly don't mind if you think it's boring or confusing or if you don't want to bother read it all-- I'd like to hear any and all opinions. And if you do enjoy it, awesome! Let me know which parts. I'm extraordinarily lucky to have an audience (especially a smart, kind one!) who can provide me with constructive criticism, and I want to make the most of it. So, without further ado, here's another untitled random selection from my fiction writing class.

" Of all the aphorisms used to show some kind of passive condolence to the victim of a brutal breakup, there is no expression more nauseating than “I know how you feel.” Pardon me, but until you’ve watched your girlfriend of almost a year engage in six extra-relational hookups—two white guys, one black guy, one lesbian, one straight girl, and one drag queen—all on a cable television reality show… until then, you do not know how I feel.

Like all my most pathetic stories, it began in Brett MacDougall’s basement. In high school, we used to go down there after practice to drink warm beer, recreationally beat each other up, and eat bright orange potato by-products that probably would have killed us if we hadn’t been athletes. We were sort of the Popular Crowd, but you wouldn’t have known that if you’d seen us. Twenty people, one couch, Brett MacDougall’s basement. Every single day. My friends were really into being popular, but I never paid a lot of attention. At graduation, when everyone else was bawling and clutching each other, I was ecstatic, knowing that anywhere I went next would have to be more exciting than the place I’d just left.

The thing is, when you go off to college an hour away, you hope your life will sort of, I don’t know, refresh itself, and that when you come home for a weekend, you’ll have a million hilarious stories and seventy new best friends, and you won’t feel so empty as you stare at a screen in hopes of seeing your girlfriend, who you have barely heard from since she got a real life, while you sit in Brett MacDougall’s basement.

But as soon as the clock hit 7:59 on that one fateful night in November, all my anxious feelings started melting away. I sat on the 1970s-style corduroy upholstery, surrounded by most of my old cross-country team, and some of the dance squad girls I’d graduated with. I checked the clock on my phone. Go time.

“YO; SHUT UP!” I yelled. I had the remote control in my palm, kicking up the volume on Brett MacDougall’s shitty TV, until the theme music drowned out everyone’s excited chatter.

Seven aspiring actors,” announced a female voice over edgy instrumental music. “One house, one summer, and one goal: Who will be America’s next soap opera star?

The music continued, and a handful of hot teens and twenty-somethings struck poses, announcing their names. I could feel excited tension bubbling all around me, when the camera finally landed on her. She looked like herself, mostly, but somehow… faker. Still, I beamed at the TV like a moron. “I’m Lindsey!” she shouted, spinning, her hair whipping around, as her named popped up below her. She blew a kiss at the camera, and I seriously think I shivered in response.

For the first fifteen minutes of the show, I was living large. Every time Lindsey came on screen, her friends would holler things like, “Get it, girl!” and at one point, someone punched me in the shoulder, saying, “Damn, Cole. Your girlfriend’s not just small-town-hot anymore. She’s reality-TV-hot.”

And then… and then it went downhill.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint the worst part of watching your girlfriend dry-hump strangers on national television, but I can compile a list of the top six: 1) Finding out that the girl who wouldn’t sleep with you because of her “morals” is a nymphomaniac who, apparently, only had morals against you, 2) Seeing the earrings you made her in Metalshop dangling from the very earlobe some stranger is licking, 3) Not being totally sure whether one of her partners is a natural man or woman, 4) Realizing your mother is at home, watching it, and 5) Being in Brett MacDougall’s basement while it happens to you, open-mouthed like the biggest moron on the face of the planet, feeling like there’s a dead pregnant squirrel lodged and rotting in your throat.

And, of course, the worst of all these. The moment when one of Lindsey’s friends looks you in the eye, holds a hand to her chest, and proclaims, 6) “Oh my God, Cole. I know how you feel.”

* * *
“Cole,” said a chick with blue hair on my video game screen. I didn’t respond, and just continued to stare at her, unmoving but for her ponytail swaying back and forth. My computer mouse was hidden amongst the filth in which I lived since driving back to school in a haze, somewhere in the general vicinity of Pringles Can Valley and Dirty Clothes Cavern. I didn’t care to look for it. The blue-haired avatar was used to combating all kinds of danger, facing peril around every corner, and looking hot, even when covered in mud, but without my manipulation, she was kind of boring.

“Hey! Faggot!” she said, this time with more force and less politeness. Also, she was a baritone.

It turns out that the voice was not coming from my computer after all. It was my roommate, Anthony, at the door of our shared dorm room, in another attempt to nag me back to life. “Dude, unlock the freaking door. You’ve been in there for like twelve hours.”

Had it only been that long? When you’ve fallen beyond rock bottom and into the deepest, darkest pits of despair, concepts like time and hygiene and not-scratching-your-own-ass-all-day just seem so trivial and energy-consuming. Instead, I’d chosen to spend my time listening to the same few bars of video game music repeating from my computer screen, while wearing nothing but a pair of plaid boxers, white soccer socks, a grease-stained t-shirt, and one of those winter hats with furry ear flaps.

“Use your key,” I yelled back, noticing by its hoarseness that my voice was just as reluctant to speak as I was to live. The video game music was then interrupted by the jingling sound of Anthony opening our door. Without entering, he popped his head into the room.

“It smells like alien piss in here,” he said, scrunching his nose. “What the hell have you been doing all day? Puking on yourself?”

I pulled my hat down over my eyes. “Sorry, man. I should be more courteous to you. I forgot that your girlfriend also banged a she-male on TV and that your life is also over.”

Anthony said, “Yeah, well, you look like Sasquatch and sound like a pansy.” He lowered his voice and added, “I have a girl with me, dude. What am I supposed to do about that?”

If I’d had more energy, I would have made a joke like, “Search ‘sexual intercourse’ on Wikipedia and start from there.” But I did not have more energy. Instead, I sighed. “Tell her your roommate is catatonic. Go to her room or something.” However, before I even finished mumbling the words, Anthony was kicking his way through my piles of trash, opening a garbage bag, and filling it with clothes and food alike.

“Hey!” I tried to exclaim, but it came out sounding feeble and apathetic. So I just went with it. “Okay, whatever. But don’t, like, throw away my iPod or some--”

“Hi,” said a girl, cutting me off. She’d entered the room in the middle of my sentence.

“Uh, hi,” I replied, finally feeling a little bit embarrassed about my appearance. I glanced at Anthony, who was cringing and scowling, then back to the girl. She was shorter, curvier, heavier-but-not-fat. She had dark pretty hair, and a necklace draped over her protruding collarbone. She didn’t look anything at all like blonde Lindsey with her supermodel dimensions and permanent pout. This girl looked friendly, and normal, and quite frankly too attractive to be with my roommate, who somewhat resembled a pitbull. Not that it was my place to notice such a thing, because I was in the Depression stage of grief. And because I looked like I’d been run over by a cement truck.

“I’m Cole,” I said. I considered outstretching my hand, but decided it would be beneficial to the girl’s health if we skipped the handshake.

“Cole Richmond. I know,” she said, looking down and smiling all cute-like. “Do you… have any idea who I am?”

Um, I thought. I turned my eyes to Anthony, who just looked exasperated, and looked back to the girl. “Um,” I said.

“It’s okay,” she admitted, but I could tell she was embarrassed. “I didn’t really expect you to know. I’m Alicia MacDougall. I was a year above you in high school? You, uh, used to hang out with my brother, I think.”

“Oh yeah!” I said. I very, very vaguely recalled Brett MacDougall having a sister living at his house my junior year. But we stayed downstairs, and she was some kind of theater geek, or an artist or something. Not really my crowd, so I never paid close attention. “How are you doing?”

Alicia MacDougall brightened. “I’m. Well. I’m doing better than I imagine you are, huh?” I glanced at the grease stain on my shirt, and at my lack of pants. “Everyone’s talking about what happened with your girlfriend and that drag queen.”

What do you say to that? Since I said nothing, Alicia sort of tilted her head in concern and continued. “I’m going to totally humiliate myself by saying this, but I’m a tiny bit drunk, so I’ll got for it.” She giggled. “I always thought you were so cool. Just, like, really together. So judging by… this… you must be feeling pretty low. After the whole Reality TV Incident and stuff.”

I shrugged and said, “Low? Nah. What makes you say that? Is it the Pringles cans or the pit stains?”

Alicia giggled again, cutely, and she looked me up and down with an almost maternal expression of pity. “No, you just always seemed so interesting and, like, exciting. I’m not trying to rub it in or anything.”

“Thanks,” I said, trying to sound as genuine as I felt. “That means a lot.”

Alicia MacDougall shrugged. “No problem,” she said. “So…I only ask because I’m legitimately curious. Are you okay? I have no idea how you must feel.” "

So... yep. Again, not the greatest or most coherent thing to ever come out of my brain, but I don't think it's bad. The main character, Cole, is actually from a partially-finished novel I have lying around somewhere, and I liked him enough that I wanted him to get a little bit of attention, as it's very likely that his whole story will never be told. I'm open to suggestions if you'd like to leave a comment. If you don't have anything to say, but still read it, thank you! And if you didn't read it, that's still cool, too. You all deserve virtual hugs just for keeping up with the blog of a stranger. :)

Today, I saw: tons of awesome video comments. Love you guys!
Today, I heard: from my good friend, PJ, who I'll be seeing lots of once I move back to school.
Today, I touched: my suitcase zipper, getting ready to head off to Chez Situation.
Today, I smelled: an emery board. I filed my nails down shorter, so as not to accidentally spike my boyfriend in the jugular.
Today, I tasted: chocolate from Germany, thanks to an awesome girl named Amina who follows me on twitter!

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,953
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

P.S. I'm going to the YouTube gathering in Albany, New York tomorrow. Let me know in the comments if I'll be seeing you there. I hope we'll get to exchange real hugs. And have dance parties. Mid-Embrace Dance Party Gift Exchange: it's happening.

P.P.S. As I have stated before, I am extremely LGBT-friendly. My characters' opinions or word-choices do not always reflect my own. I do not condone the use of several slang terms in this story; it is fictional.

Monday, August 16, 2010

5AG Summer Vacation

Hey, good-lookin'. You come here often? What's your sign? What's a nice girl-or-guy like you doing in a blog like this? How long can I keep this going? Why do you people like me?

I'm in quite the chipper mood right now. I've spent the evening discussing new secret writing projects with some of my Awesome Author Friends, and making plans with the fiveawesomegirls about the future of our channel. We've decided that we're going to take a short hiatus from daily videos for the next month-- from today until September 13th-- in order to get our chaotic lives together, and to plot for the next couple of months. Most television shows take a break during the summer, so we're doing the same. Call it 5AG Summer Vacation. It's only a month, and we'll be back with more energy and more ideas. Basically, we feel guilty putting out rushed, tired vlogs, when our audience is amazing and deserves more than that. If you're bored, I have a new favorite collab channel, Honestovlog, that might entertain you in our absence. Fiveawesomgirls fans, we'll see you soon.

In other news, I'm going to The Situation's house tomorrow, and am going to spend the week hanging out with him and visiting various places. Blogging may be a little more of a stretch in this third week of August, but I promise I'll make it work. If you guys are sweet enough to enjoy a post written on MS Paint (in which I misspell "aquarium," of all things), then I know I can count on you to be supportive, even when wifi is hard to come by. Going along with the theme of this video I posted today, I want to thank you for being utterly fantastic and, as I've said before, my (secret!) favorite internet community. In my heart, blog readers reign supreme. Move over, Chipotle.*

Speaking of The Situation, I just remembered that I have to bake cookies before I see him tomorrow. On that note, I'll leave you with my senses. See you tomorrow, lovelies!

Today, I saw: that my shorter hair cut does not take well to curls. I look a little bit clownish. The Situation says it's pretty, but he's paid to say stuff like that.
Today, I smelled: onions and carrots and tomatoes, oh my.
Today, I touched: my laptop's keyboard. A LOT. Writing up a storm over here.
Today, I heard: all kinds of propaganda from Cosmopolitan that I swear was published with the sole purpose of making real women feel inadequate.
Today, I tasted: my mother's homemade tomato soup. It was good. Not as good as MY homemade tomato soup (sorry, Mom), but still good.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,891
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

*Well. Not quite. But you and Chipotle are very, very close.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


P.S. I can totally not spell aquarium and I DO NOT APOLOGIZE. Mistake = made.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Real Life

In just over a month, I will be twenty years old. Up until this point, I always identified more with kids a couple of years older than I was, since I grew up with older siblings. When I was twelve, I felt fourteen, and when I was sixteen, I felt eighteen, and now that I'm (almost) twenty, I just feel... completely terrified. Unworthy and unready for this title of Twenty. I was driving around with my best friend several months ago, musing about life, when Jess asked, "When did everything get so real?" And that's exactly what it's like. Our teenage years are so superficial-- the basis for so many larger-than-life movies full of Cliques and Drama-- that I spent the entire decade feeling like I was just "playing life." But I'm about to be twenty. As in "She's in her twenties." As in real life.

I don't know. It's like, for my whole life up until this point, I'd dream about getting some unusual and interesting engagement ring, and having a wedding with a chocolate fountain, and living in some city apartment with mismatched garage sale silverware, and being the cute pregnant lady at the grocery store, and giving my army of perfect children all sorts of ridiculous literary names, and wearing high heels to the job where everyone obviously adores me, and then sort of, like, dying with a million grandchildren around. That's how it goes, right? Hmm?

But God. Lately, I feel like I've just been shaken awake too early from an afternoon nap. Apparently, marriage is so hard that barely half of those who attempt it succeed. And apparently it's really, really unlikely that you'll make a living off being occasionally clever. And apparently you're going to screw up your kids no matter how hard you try, and they'll never be exactly what you want them to, and apparently a whole lot of people lie and steal and have affairs and apparently your body doesn't stay hot forever. So maybe you get a chocolate fountain at your wedding, but you also get fifty years of stretch marks and bankruptcy and sadness.

Is that really how it is? You work through high school to get to college, you work through college to get a job, and then. What? Is Real Life exactly like being a teenager, but trading uncertainty for disappointment? I don't want to dread the majority of my time on earth. Maybe I just don't get it. But for now, I'm really scared.

Wow. That was uplifting. Older readers, I'd appreciate your input on this one, if you don't mind. Am I looking at it wrong? Am I not mature enough to get it yet? Is it okay?

Today, I saw: my good friends, Tom and Maria, who directed my high school musicals. Tom's in this really cute Beatles tribute band (he's George), and they were performing downtown tonight for an audience of mostly families and older, drunker people embarrassing themselves. I sat in a crowd of retirees and their blue-haired babes, twisting and shouting as much as their oxygen tanks would allow.
Today, I heard: cute men in wigs pretending to be British.
Today, I touched: my mom's back, as if to say, "Okay, Mother. You can stop dancing in public now."
Today, I smelled: that ambient festival aroma of garbage and beer cans.
Today, I tasted: these beautiful fruit kebabs that my sisters made for a family picnic.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,788
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

Friday, August 13, 2010

Eat Pray Love: Whine, Jumpcut!, Elephant

Well, I can now confirm it: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a hippie.

My family-- while very understanding and supportive of my internet life/artistic ventures/unconventional career path-- tends to joke about my "free-form chaos." My siblings refer to my guest room, which is often filled with traveling youtubers, as The Gypsy Hostel. I sometimes overhear my mom on the phone catching up with an old friend, saying, "It's called Five Awesome Girls, and they make these videos...." And I'm pretty much expected to always be dressed up as a mummy, or saving whales, or painting my face with glue. My one sister is the go-getter, my brother is the funny one, my other sister is the caretaker, and I'm this guy.

However, if Eat Pray Love is any example of how hippies are supposed to behave, then give me a freaking business suit and call me a fundamentalist, because that movie just left a seriously bad taste in my mouth.

I wouldn't ordinarily write a review like this on the opening day of a movie, for fear of spoiling the surprises and spurring on preconceived notions. But the thing is... there's really nothing to spoil. Astoundingly, the movie hardly managed to do or say anything in two and a half hours. By the time it was over, I couldn't remember anything about the world established in the first half. I was still totally and completely aware of the fact that I was watching Julia Roberts pretend to be a normal person. I paid nine dollars to see, in order: a whole lot of exposition with little purpose, James Franco looking kind of hot (purposelessly), some spaghetti, a bunch of people I didn't have enough of a chance to care about, an honest-to-God SHOPPING MONTAGE, more disorienting jump cuts than a wheezywaiter video, the lifeless drone of a main character pretending to have a soul but failing, some more characters whose names I can't remember and whose stories went by too quickly for me to be interested in, about twenty seconds of an elephant*, a terribly cheesy and terribly-executed flashback/dream sequence, and perhaps the worst and most unrealistic "romance" I've ever witnessed, which is saying something, because I saw The Last Song. I don't mean to give it all away, but the couple literally rides off into the sunset. I could have vomited.

Oh, and the message was the worst part of all. This movie preaches as much self-centeredness as an episode of Laguna Beach, multiplied by, like, Jordan Baker. The only thought we're left with? "Life is all about me. I should do whatever I want at all times, regardless of how it affects other people. Money is no object! The emotions of others are even less of an object! Maybe I'll get a divorce! Maybe I'll be with this guy! Maybe I won't! Maybe I'll be this religion! I'll do what feels good at this very second, and then move on to the next thing that momentarily satisfies me! Let's eat and gain sooo much weight that we're... we're still Julia Roberts." Give me a break.

Aaaand exhale. I'm sorry for that explosion, and I'm more than open to hearing your reviews, whether or not you agree with me. Maybe I'm overreacting, and maybe I just missed the point, but Eat Pray Love made me feel less like a vivacious foodie feminist and more like a moody semi-conservative in a theater full of menopausal women... and I was having hot flashes for a different reason. Sigh.

Today, I saw: a bad movie.
Today, I heard: a lot of people express surprise over the difference in my hair color. Still not used to it.
Today, I smelled: about forty different kinds of wine. I went with my mom and sisters to this cute little vineyard for dinner.
Today, I touched: a watermelon the size of my torso.
Today, I tasted: some kind of... fried pizza dough, dipped in... maybe marshmallow fluff? Whatever; I'm not too concerned. Probably not the best idea, but screw it, I'm a size four now.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,741
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

*I'm serious. With no previous warning, and with no follow-up whatsoever, there was an elephant. Doing nothing to advance any sort of plot. Just chilling, being an elephant, for the sake of being an elephant. It was as if they'd finished the film, and the director was like, "Oh my gosh. You guys. We're in India. LET'S GET AN ELEPHANT. Put that in there! I don't care where! Just insert an elephant clip! White folks go craaazy for that shit!"

P.S. High-fives and make-outs for those of you who caught my Elizabethtown quote in yesterday's post. Obscure!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Love Life

Hello, lovelies! Today was a good day. I did something SHOCKING! and decided to dye my hair back to its natural color, I got to hear a demo of a new Mike Lombardo song (so good), and I decided to alienate all my straight male readers by writing an entire paragraph about my boyfriend and my hair. I also posted a fiveawesomegirls video with terrible lighting, in which I make an inappropriate innuendo directed towards my engaged, female friend, and continue talking about my hair. And I took a shower. Really, I can see why you guys are so invested in my life; this crap's enthralling.

Anyway, I think it's about time to discuss a topic I've been asked about a lot lately, just to get it all out in the open and shoot down any possible rumors. I've been receiving quite a large number of questions concerning my love life. I'm going to officially address them now, once and for all, with the utmost maturity. Via a Myspace questionnaire from "," entitled "Questions About You And Your Lover."

1. When did you guys start dating?
We met during my sophomore year of high school. I was sixteen. He was thirteen, but he'd just moved into my town.
2. How long have you been dating for?
You... really can't do that math? Four years.
3. How did you meet?
I'd heard a lot about him-- he was gaining popularity among the older kids at school-- but we first came into contact with each other during rehearsals for a musical I was in. Someone brought him over to me because I was stressed. He made me feel better.
4. Do you love him/her?
More than anything.
5. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with them?
I mean... I'd like to occasionally have a little something on the side, but I'd always choose him first.
6. Does he make you laugh and happy?
He makes me very happy. He doesn't exactly make me laugh, though.
7. Have you kissed?
The majority of the time that we're together, my lips are on him.
8. Do you like him for looks or personality?
Oh, both. He's gorgeous, but it's what's inside that counts.
9. Would he/she die for you?
He dies for me about once a week.
10. Would you die for him/her?
If our love continues at its current rate, he will probably be my cause of death. Yes.

So there you have it: my relationship with Chipotle, summed up into ten beautiful, grammatically-sound questions. I hope you're satisfied-- I just allowed you into a very personal part of my life. Me and Chipotle are special. We are intrepid. We carry on.

...I'm sorry for that. On to the sensing.

Today, I saw: myself in the mirror and gasped a little bit. It's going to take some time to get used to.
Today, I heard: aaaall about some lady's adventures in potty training her two-year-old. Hair salon conversations are extremely boring. It's like you're sitting in on a meeting for a club you don't belong to and have no desire to join.
Today, I smelled: fancy hair products I would never buy.
Today, I touched: two of my awesome friends from high school, Alyssa and Emiko. I went for a walk with my mom and brother at the park where my old cross-country team trains, and they ran over to me, covered in sweat. It was adorable.
Today, I tasted: arugula salad with roasted pine nuts.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,694
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Note from The Situation

Hayley's off tonight.

So, while she laughs at this very clever Nalts video, I will fill you in.

Well she's off duty as a blogger. She's sitting on Skype on my other monitor, with beads and bows wrapped around her head, picking apart some beaded jewelry with a nail file and a piece of yarn.

She's not off because she doesn't care about you. It's quite the opposite. She's off because she does. She doesn't want to just write a post of nothing and have you be disappointed. She really does put a lot of time into what to write about. Sometimes it causes undue amounts of stress, especially on occasions like last night, when last-minute formatting issues sparked a minor emotional avalanche. All is now well, however.

I know this because, for the most part, the only time we have to spend together (and by 'spend' I mean 'skype') is at night, right before she goes to bed, which is also when she's writing her blog. And alot of our personal time together is spent by her talking/brainstorming/whining/writing her post for the night. I'm not complaining, I'm merely illustrating how high of a priority y'all are to her.

This whole being-far-apart thing will most likely become more difficult, seeing as she's about to go back to school, which is an additional 4 hours further from me than she is now, and I'm counting down the final days before leaving my last full-time job in an effort to spend more time touring, promoting the album, and trying to not start to death that way. Romantic artistic lifestyle? Maybe. But the most conducive method of ensuring we have time and money to hang out? Probably not. If we make enough from our respective 'careers' I'm going to attempt to take her with me on my trek to LA this January for my now-apparently-annual performance with Molly Lewis. Hayley says "The west coast is a big deal." Which is exactly why I don't want to go by myself again. What is the point of this? Doing what you love isn't so straightforward. By sticking with my regular full-time job, which I most certainly do NOT love, I have money to do things and go places with people I DO love. By quitting and doing what I 'love,' I make (far) less money but I'm doing that romanticized "living the american dream" we hear so much about. Quite a poser, indeed.

My collateral for writing this post? "If you want, I could pop out a couple of songs. A couple of jams. Slow jams. And...ballads."

Right now she's waving around a tube of toothpaste and poking at her webcam lens with a facial blush makeup brush.

"Are you just telling my blog that I'm crazy and weird?"


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A short story?!

After I post something deeply personal on this blog-- like my entry about depression, or yesterday's about weight loss-- it almost takes me a while to recover. I've spent full hours today reading comments and emails, and I can't force myself to stop thinking about your stories. Your responses have made me laugh out loud, and think about my own life, and some of them have nearly brought me to tears. What's even more amazing is that every time I get to the end of the comments and refresh the page, ten more have appeared. It means the world to me that so many of you are daring enough to open up to a stranger, and that you trust me and this community with such personal testimonies. You are a beautiful group, and that's not something I say lightly, because the word "beautiful" is often annoyingly misused. But this is not a misuse. In fact, I'm pretty sure the entire internet's beauty quotient is currently being occupied in my blog comments. Don't even bother navigating away from this page; everything else you find will be ugly in comparison. You're all so beautiful, you make Tina Fey look like Carrot Top.

Anyway, I'm not quite ready to jump back into normal blogging tonight-- I think I need another day or so to mediate on the last one, and to continue reading your comments as they come in. I am, however, going to do something totally out of character. I'm going to take a faithful leap into my friend Kristina Horner's footsteps, and since she dared to post a short story yesterday, I'm going to dare to do the same. Keep in mind that I never do this, and that I'll probably keep my eyes partially closed in self-defense as I read your comments, but I guess it's about time.

I just opened my laptop's Short Stories folder, weeded out the ones with adult content (I mean like mild swearing and topics less relevant to this audience, you pervs; you would not want to see me attempt to write porn*), and then I pretty much looked away and pointed at a random file. This is a little vignette I once wrote for a class. We were prompted to tell a story with emphasis on a specific amount of time, and it had to be under a thousand words. But we weren't instructed to be melodramatic and predictable and utterly unremarkable. I just took that upon myself. So. Uhh. Here you go. You're allowed to laugh at me if you want... just don't tell me about it, okay?

" The toilet flushed, and so did my face. It sounded different. Even girls' toilets are different.

I didn't want to be staring hopelessly at the stall door when Claire came out, so I busied eyes to the best of my ability. I glanced at my reflection in the large mirror, splattered with the soap scum of strangers. I looked as out of place as I felt-- a six-foot hairy beast, standing next to a tampon dispenser and digging his fingernails into his palms. It occurred to me that I should say something. I opened my mouth, but my tongue was too dry and my heart was beating too hard.

The latch clicked, and Claire walked slowly out, her bottom lip bitten and her eyes closed. We stood in silence for some time, before she cleared her throat gently. "Are you going to say anything?"

Weird. Her tone was so unlike her-- flat, expressionless, almost intimidating-- but she looked like a sallow little version of the very same Claire. I don't know what I had been expecting. It had only been two months.

"I'm trying," I admitted.

"Yeah, well," she breathed, and I think I heard something like a gasp in the back of her throat. "I didn't wait for you to drive here so I could do this alone."

With a squeak of the heavy wooden door, a middle-aged woman entered the room. Seeing me in my big gray hoodie, the woman's eyes bulged. Claire turned her head sharply and stared at the sink counter, embarrassed.

"Uh... excuse us," I managed to say in a somewhat normal voice, sending a startling baritone echo off the tile floor and walls. The scandalized woman parted her lips and turned quickly to leave, muttering something containing the words "public rest stop" and "indecency." I watched the woman exit and felt another pang of anxiousness when I spotted the blue cardboard box in the trashcan by the door. The same box I'd concealed inside my sweatshirt on my way out of CVS, and the same box whose contents were now being held between Claire's forefinger and thumb, calculating the answer to the question I'd been meditating on ever since she called and asked me to drive over, immediately.

Claire stayed frozen with her eyes cast downward. She was wearing a little white dress, and there were goosebumps up her exposed arms. It was June. I unzipped my sweatshirt-- mostly to buy time before I had to think of something else to say-- and I placed it over her shoulders. She looked for a second like she wanted to slink her arms into its sleeves, but she kept both hands steady on the little blue stick she held.

How have you been? I imagined her asking. Then I could reply, and say something like, I've thought about you. I still care about you enough to be here. I'm here, aren't I? I had to give my mom an excuse, and I had to pay for gas, and I'm here. In a girls' bathroom on the side of the highway, so you didn't have to do this at home, and you didn't have to do this alone. I'm here.

But she didn't say anything, or further acknowledge the sweatshirt, or give me any meaningful glances to let me know that she didn't blame me. She just stood there. Blaming me.

Finally, she said, "You stopped calling me."

"I didn't think you wanted me to. I saw pictures of you with that guy--"

Claire pushed a puff of air out through her nose. "On Facebook?"

"Uh." My shoes looked muddy. Had it been raining outside? Had I walked into the highway rest stop in such a nervous stupor that I hadn't noticed rain? "Yeah, I guess I saw them on Facebook."

Claire opened her eyes a little wider, as if to suggest that she would have found this funny, if she were currently capable of feeling anything but fear and disdain. She might have said, I guess we came full circle, then. I might have nodded and mused that, several months ago, when I saw a pretty girl on a mutual friend's profile, I never would have guessed that I'd spend spring break driving an hour back and forth between Pittsburgh and New Castle every available day, just to feel her against me, or that those short weeks when we were a We would bring us... here.

Because Claire said nothing, I dared to ask the question I'd been harping on all morning, alone in my mom's SUV. "Did... did you want me to keep calling you?"

But just as the words left my mouth, the phone timer in her dress pocket dinged. We looked at the little blue stick in her hands, and then at each other. For as out of sync as we had been in the past two months, Claire and I quietly gasped in unison, as she turned the little blue stick over in her shaking hand. "

So... that's, like, a story. It's no masterpiece, but I don't think it's terrible. Whether you like it or not, I hope you appreciate that I just took a serious risk in showing you. Lucky bitches. On to the sensing!

Today, I saw: about six episodes from the third season of 30 Rock. Ugh, I want to be Liz Lemon.
Today, I heard: "Freebird" playing over the grocery store loudspeaker, which was enough for me to momentarily forget that I don't play guitar. There may have been some rocking out in the shampoo aisle.
Today, I smelled: my own sweat in mass quantities, when I took a psychotically long and grueling cross-country run. Seventy minutes! It felt good. And also awful. Runners know what I mean.
Today, I touched: a fresh blister on my foot. Ooooww.
Today, I tasted: two servings of my favorite dark chocolate, because when you run, you're allowed to consume twice as many calories, right?

Once again, I'm looking forward to reading your comments on today's post, as well as any more on yesterday's. I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday, and I'll see you tomorrow night!

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,595
Nail color: Gasp! Blank. I'm in the process.

*Alright, if you INSIST. It was a dark and stormy night. Two people were in a house, and then they got it on and stuff. It was exciting and undignified and kind of gross, and everyone was really into it. Now pay me lots of money for that thrill I just provided you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Losing Weight

The time has come to address the elephant in the room... which is the fact that my roomly presence is now significantly less elephant-like. I've avoided the topic for the last couple of months with the same superstitions in mind that keep me from discussing videos before they've been made-- I didn't want to jinx anything while the project was still a work-in-progress. But as I stood on a scale this morning, it became even more apparent that the progression is over. In the last three months (almost to the day), I've lost twenty-five freakin' pounds.

The thing is, I've never been fat. At my least healthy, I was still within what the internet considers an average range. However, for three years or so, I was hauling around extra pounds. There's a difference between having a "bigger body type" and just carrying more weight than you should. I didn't look big or abundantly chubby or anything, but I was supposed to be a small girl, and my extra twenty pounds was quite obviously extra. Whether it was technically grave or not, I had a problem, and I needed to change it.

My unparalleled love of food has been part of my personality since birth, and it certainly doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so I really don't think eating is entirely to blame. The obvious enemy in this case was an emotional thing. I don't talk about it much, but I had some pretty big personal issues with depression for a couple of years. I consider the start of that to be eighth grade, I think, and the end to be around spring of my senior year. As much as I'm still... almost embarrassed to address it at all, I really spent a long time being miserable. This didn't manifest itself in my physical appearance at first, because I didn't finish developing fully until I was about fifteen, at which point I was running cross-country and struggling to eat enough to supplement the calories lost with my daily four+ miles. I quit the team in my sophomore year, though, after the physical demands got too much for me. This sudden deficit of exercise-- combined with my poor self-esteem and my intrinsic desire to self-medicate with bread-- eventually caught up with me. From sixteen to eighteen, I slowly and steadily put on about a pound a month.

The funny thing about depression is that it squanders your ability to care about your appearance, it slows you down, and it causes you to lose your will to move. In my case, it created one terrible cycle. I felt out of place and sad at school, so I moved sluggishly through the day, then dreaded the next day all night. I was wretchedly unhappy, so I ate and I sat. Then I was depressed about life because all I did was eat and sit, so I continued to eat and sit because it was the only way I knew how to feel empowered. Then, when eating and sitting resulted in a puffy face and a lethargic physical condition, I ate and sat even more, because moving became harder, and what was the point? People say it jokingly, but in reality, I truly looked unattractive because I ate, and I ate because I looked unattractive.

Well, the emotional struggles are another story for another time, but they eventually shrunk to the point of near invisibility. My waistline, however, continued to bulge, even when my fire for life started to flicker again. Old habits die hard, and for most of my freshman year at college, I was a happy person who still ate like a depressed one. I probably could have continued like that forever, too, had I not decided to do something about it. My new friends at school had never seen me at my ideal weight, so they didn't really realize I was out of shape, and my friends and family at home probably didn't want to rub in my face something I obviously wasn't oblivious to. Plus, I've always had a hard time accomplishing tasks that are expected of me. The only way I get something done is if I decide for myself. And one random afternoon in May, I decided that it was time to stop playing the part of a sad person, and it was time I let my newly-regained happiness show in the physical sense.

To shoot down inevitable speculation, no, this decision had very little to do with my romantic relationship. I had found happiness on my own before I found him, and he never indicated that he wanted me to improve my appearance in the slightest; this was all me. In confidence, I did tell The Situation that I was thinking about losing twenty pounds, and he said something along the lines of, "I think you're beautiful already, and you don't need to change a single thing. But I think getting healthier would boost your self-confidence, and you'd also look really hot, so I think it's a good idea if it's what you want." So, with this reassurance that I only had positive things to gain from the experience of losing, I made the commitment to myself.

With great success, and because I wanted to be Lance Armstrong (no, not really), I used the incredibly helpful (and free!) to chart calories. It has all kinds of easy tools available: once you record your height, weight, activity level, and the amount of weight you'd like to lose, it tells you how many calories you should aim to consume every day, and then helps you record all the food you eat and all the exercise you do. It also shows a pie chart of fat/protein/carbs so you can aim for healthy daily percentages, and monitors things like your sodium and cholesterol intake, to help prevent you from doing stupid stuff like eating nothing but a pint of ice cream in a day and being satisfied with the 1,200 calories. You can also track how much water you drink, and it shows a bar graph of your net calories each week, so if you make a mistake one night, you can account for it the next. The website really helped with my fear of numbers, because it takes care of all that for you. It just became part of my daily internet activity, and it felt more like a game than a diet.

Most importantly, I never allowed myself to go hungry, and I never did any of that crazy drink-chili-powder-and-eat-only-celery crap. If I wanted a brownie with dinner, I ran an extra mile at night to stay below the boundary line on my graph, and I ate the frigging brownie. I started making smarter choices, like eating veggie burgers on a bed of lettuce instead of on white buns, because it fit within my little game. And eventually, it became natural. Now I know not to deny myself the unhealthy foods I love (sour cream, chocolate chip cookies, whatever the hell kind of plastic is in pizza rolls), but to say no to the trash I don't even enjoy (most kinds of french fries, potato chips, candy). I no longer have to work at it-- health has become my habit, and maintaining my size four body is now just as easy as it used to be maintaining my size ten.

So. There you have it. I'm not writing this to brag, or for attention or whatever. I'm incredibly blessed to have never had to worry about obesity or diabetes or even just a genetic apple-shape, and I don't mean to undermine those who have had real problems by talking about my silly quick fix. I just know that a lot of people my age (particularly in America) happen to have struggles with weight at one time or another, whether they're big ordeals or lesser issues, and I thought I'd share my success story, in the event that it helps somebody out there. If you're looking for a solution to the kind of problem that doesn't require a doctor's attention, like mine, I really recommend It was like completing a guided independent study in health, rather than following a strict plan or being fed advice. The whole experience was free and relatively painless, and it worked for me, so it might work for you.

ANYWAY. That took much longer to type than I'd expected, and it somehow appears to be eleven o'clock. On with the sensing!

Today, I saw: that we had everything bagels, causing me to exclaim excited vulgarities, because I may be skinny now, but I am still a fatass.
Today, I heard: "Hayles? I'm having a computer problem. Can you help me?" To which I responded, "Sure, Mom. What's wrong?" My mom then tilted her head quizzically and said, "I wrote a Word document. How do you change a font?"
Today, I smelled: tall, summery grass at the park.
Today, I touched: frozen blueberries that felt like cold, textured marbles.
Today, I tasted: delicious flaxseed crackers topped with slices of gruyere cheese.

I really appreciated yesterday's comments-- especially the ones from you lovely (psycho) readers who tried valiantly to convince me that I'm set to someday be on par with my hero's writing abilities. You're all crazy, but it does mean a lot to me. I would love to hear your personal experiences with weight struggles, or anything else you have to contribute to today's discussion, if it's not too personal for you to disclose. Also, as always this month, I'm interested to hear what noteworthy things you sensed over the course of your day, if you want. If you choose to leave a comment, I look forward to reading it, and if you don't, that's cool, too! I hope you all have a pleasant Tuesday, and I'll see you tomorrow night.

Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: 32,532
Nail color: "Rogue Vogue," Maybelline (discontinued)