Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Bonding Process

Warning: this blog post is mainly me gathering my thoughts, which will undoubtably not be at all interesting. You might as well stop reading here; I won't hold it against you. :P

Lately, I have spent far too much time mulling over the process of getting to know someone, and how much technology has complicated things. When you are already comfortable with someone and know them fairly well, you can imagine their inflection while reading a text message or IM. However, when talking to an internet friend textually, it isn't necessarily as easy for them to pick up on sarcasm or understand your sense of humor. It's hard to get past that without being accustomed to each other's voices. Sigh.

I guess this concept has been plaguing me because my thoughts tend to take a much more formal manner when being written out than spoken aloud. Maybe it is my rigid journalistic training taking effect? Whatever the reason, I just seem so rigid via text, like I need to chill the fuck out. Ugh. I guess the difference is that while physically hearing my words, it becomes obvious that I never take myself seriously. Without being able to recognize that tone in my voice, my writing conveys that I need to lighten up. This has become increasingly apparent, and it just... sucks.

In other news, I literally just finished The Hunger Games trilogy. HOLY SHIT. That is all I have to say until I organize my thoughts; otherwise I'll be reduced to a rambling mess while attempting to convey exactly how much I love that series.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I bet my friends are more ridiculous than yours...

I don't even know how to describe my night without listing the events in bullet point form; they're just too ridiculous. I need new friends.

- After observing the uncharacteristically warm weather for February, I decided that I shouldn't be wasting away the evening alone in my house. I texted two of my friends, and we agreed to meet at one of their houses.

- The house that we decided on is in the middle of a cul-de-sac, meaning that the curb curves rather drastically. It is difficult to park unless you have a driveway at your disposal, and my friend Hazy decided that she could do a better job than me. Mere seconds after getting behind the wheel, she speedily reversed into a mailbox, knocking it clear over.

- My other two friends, having heard the crash, came racing outside. We spent about five minutes in hysterics, trying to decide how to best handle the situation, before determining that we should simply re-bury the mailbox. We had to dig the original hole deeper, and it took more than twenty minutes to get the ground compact enough to keep the mailbox up.* (The entire time, we were whispering frantically, as if we were burying a body or something. I blame the fact that it was in the dark.)

- As soon as it had been determined that Hazy had not damaged my car and that the mailbox would stay put, we hurried inside to play about two hours of Dance Dance Revolution. It was glorious, considering we are four of the most awkward girls you will ever come across.

- Hazy and I spent at least half an hour looking up clips of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, trying to convince our friends that he is the most delicious creature to ever exist. Ever.

- We ate this strange bacon banana pepper pizza that apparently Bulgarians like? At least, my Bulgarian friend and her family are obsessed with it. I'm not sure how universal that is. :P

- Somehow Vassi (the girl whose house we were at) convinced us to get in the jacuzzi, something that none of us wanted. We had about an hour of idle girl talk, giggling over subjects that I am highly ashamed to have discussed. Could we be any more stereotypical?

- I had an allergic reaction to chlorine, struggling to breathe. We then played more DDR.

- Hazy and Vassi researched everyone we have ever met on Facebook, because they're creepy like that.

- I went home and watched at least two hours of Friends.

- I then stayed up until six in the morning reading the second installment of the Hunger Games trilogy.

I AM SO EXHAUSTED.  Mehh... goodnight. (:

*Edit: It eventually fell over during a thunderstorm, but we paid for it.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh, the woes of standardized testing.

Today was a very traumatic event... I took the ACT.

It's not like I think I bombed it or anything; in fact, I'm sure it went fairly well. As an extremely logical person, I tend to score highly on exams. That said, the actual test-taking experience still sucks. I get distracted pretty easily, my mind focusing on a hundred different random thoughts at once. Concentrating on one stupid test for five hours is not exactly my idea of a party.

What made this experience worse than any previous exam I have taken is the pressure to score well, combined with the lack of ways to prepare. I brought eleven pencils with me, solely because it was the only aspect I could control beforehand. Usually I feel rather apathetic when a test is coming up, and I have virtually no experience studying. The ACT and SAT are such an important part of college applications that I actually felt anxiety for what I'm pretty sure is the first time ever, at least regarding a test. I hate this feeling; in the grand scheme of things, I am of the firm belief that one measly standardized test should be of no consequence to my future. Considering I am in no control of the way the world works, I have spent way too much time lately fretting. God, I can't wait until my scores come in and the suspense is over.

I am mentally exhausted; this post probably makes no sense at all. It's probably best if I just abandon recording my tangled thoughts here and go to bed. :P

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mailllllll. (Did that seem Blue's Clues-ish, or no?)

This week, I ended a major part of my life: I quit my internship at VYPE High School Sports magazine. There were several reasons behind this decision, the main one being my hectic schedule. It was becoming more and more stressful, and when writing my articles seemed more like a hassle than a privilege, I knew it was over. Plus, I just couldn't bring myself to care about high school anymore, and I had never entertained an interest in sports. So, after over a year of gaining wonderful journalistic experience, I terminated my internship. 

While it is a relief to have more time to focus on the million other things I have going on, I feel... weird. Having both yearbook and the magazine out of my life completely is not something for which I was really prepared, and it scared me a little. I have always had writing in my life, and I have spent the past three years pouring my heart and soul into journalism. What could I possibly do without it? Sure, I have this blog as a writing outlet, but I have always written for a publication bigger than myself. I was a part of something, and it felt like I couldn't be a part of that world anymore. 

With all of those panicked thoughts whirling around in my head, I checked my mailbox today. After thumbing through bills and catalogs to find an envelope from Scholastic addressed to me, I opened it despite my assumptions that it was some sort of spam mail. Imagine my surprise as I read that I had been awarded an honorable mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition! Vague memories of uploading a rough draft to their website surfaced, though I never paid the registration fee to enter the contest. Apparently, I somehow managed to be a contestant anyway? 

This news could not have come at a better time. I realized that it is possible for me to participate in the writing competitions that have been such a large part of my high school years, even though I am no longer a member of a public school publication. I feel whole again... and now I'm done being melodramatic. :D 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why, karma? Why?

After suffering from a severe case of boredom on Sunday, I filmed and uploaded this video to my personal channel on YouTube. Apparently, I bitched a little too much about my fear of flat tires and animal death, and not enough about crashes and weather-related disasters. I claimed to be less than concerned about hitting another car, a statement which my life decided to test.

On my way home from work yesterday, I was innocently sitting at a stoplight, waiting for the light to turn green. Suddenly, I felt a small bump, and it took me a moment to realize that I had been hit. The girl behind me had somehow managed to roll into my car, and out of what I assume to be sheer panic, she DROVE AWAY. You should never, ever flee the scene after an automobile accident, no matter how small. 

Fortunately for me, there was no damage, but I still thought it appropriate to grumble to myself about it throughout the rest of my journey home. Apparently, I was focused more on being irritated than I was on how carefully I should drive on the icy neighborhood roads, because I lost control of my car and lumbered into a small snow bank. After trying everything under the sun to dig it out, my family and I gave up a losing battle and left my car there to brave the lonely night. A day later, we are about to attempt to push it out, a plan that I'm sure will go smoothly... except probably not. This is about to be embarrassing.* 

Basically, the moral of the story is to never accidentally challenge karma. They call it a bitch for a reason.

EDIT: No, pushing the car out of the snow did not work, and yes, it was slightly embarrassing. We had to call a tow truck to come to the rescue. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Party? I'd rather do laundry.

It seemed almost as if everyone in America was at a Super Bowl Party today, with me being the exception. Even the people who aren't interested in football attended a gathering solely for the commercials or the company, but apparently I am just too cool for that. Forgoing the opportunity I had to be with actual people today, I chose to lounge around my house all by my lonesome, thinking about doing chores. I managed to accomplish making a video about nothing, throw a couple loads of laundry through the washer, and eat a thousand doughnuts. My life, right thurr.

I don't actually have anything real to say today, but finally uploading a video to my personal channel inspired me to create a quick blog post. Here it is, so Katey OUTTTTTT.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Once more, with feeling.

As a loyal follower of Kristina Horner's internet endeavors, I was pretty stoked when she filled out a Buffy the Vampire Slayer Survey. I hadn't finished the seventh season yet when she originally posted it, but now I finally feel qualified to give fair and honest answers. Here goes!

(This will include spoilers from the entire series. You've been warned.)

1. The first character I fell in love with: Prepare to hear a lot about Willow, because she was my favorite character throughout the series. It began with love at first sight; she was just so awkward, and I wanted to kick Cordelia's ass in that first episode for the manner in which she treated Willow. While in high school, she was so adorable with her overalls and her eskimo costume... plus she was brilliant and not afraid to show it. I also loved the way that she managed to never take out her unrequited love for Xander on Buffy, even though that must have been such a painful situation. Basically, she was the first character that I fell in love with because, well, I don't understand how anyone could help themselves. :P (I absolutely fell in love with Buffy as well, but then again, I fell in love with everyone.)

2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now: I feel like Anya and Andrew are going to be two characters that come to mind for most fans. It's pretty much inevitable. 

With Anya, it honestly surprised me that she returned after her first appearance as the main antagonist of an episode. She then proceeded to drive me crazy, with her pushiness and her offensiveness and just ugggghhhhh. But then, somehow, she managed to grow into this hilarious character that provided insight into every situation through her blunt honesty. She just could not help but give a running commentary, which I grew to love. I had never thought they would develop her character as much as they did, but as my view of her increased in complexity, she became one of my favorite characters. Though she did not understand why her friends insisted on sticking around for first row seats to every apocalypse that came to town, her love for them caused her to stay by their sides. That is a beautiful thing. Her fear of bunnies was something that never failed to crack me up, and I was a little sad when they replaced her rabbit costume in the opening credits. Also, it would be a crime if I didn't mention the episode that made me recognize how much I had grown to love Anya: "The Body". Her speech moved me to tears in a way that was unexpected from Anya. 

Oh, Andrew... he was another character that I thought would appear in a couple of episodes, but never grow to be prominent enough to be a favorite. I despised his relationship with Warren (my flood of hatred for Warren must have spilled over to encompass Andrew as well), and when Willow was attacking the Trio, I seriously wanted her to kill off Andrew just to get him to shut up. He didn't deserve to be Jonathan's friend, and it's not even like I hold Jonathan in the highest regard. These feelings all began to change when Andrew was taken hostage, and he grew to be nothing but hilarious in my eyes. I laughed much harder at his little remarks and references than was probably necessary, and I adored his attempt at vlogging. In the last few episodes, Andrew managed to join the ranks of my favorite characters, a feat more impressive when I consider that he didn't even have time for his character to truly develop. 

My love for both Anya and Andrew was reinforced by their interactions with each other in the final couple of episodes. They provided much comic relief in a very intense time, which I could not help but adore.

3. The character everyone else loves that I don’t: Why the fuck did Angel deserve his own spin-off series? I'll probably end up watching it at some point, but seriously. He had no real personality. Honestly, I liked him a lot more as Angelus, because at least he had character traits! The only word that comes to mind to describe Angel is "bland". Wearing dark clothing does not make you brooding and mysterious, I'm sorry. I needed a little bit more to work with to appreciate his character, and much as I love Boreanaz, he just didn't deliver. Considering his lack of personality, I had trouble respecting his relationship with Buffy. What exactly was it that she fell in love with? His jacket?

4. The character I love that everyone else hates: I feel like I would need to know more about who everyone else hates to answer this question... I get the impression that people have a lot of disrespect for Dawn, which I find really unfair. At fourteen, she found out that a.) her family wasn't her family, b.) she wasn't human, c.) someone seemingly too powerful for Buffy to stop was trying to kill her, and d.) if she died, the rest of the world would basically follow shortly afterward. Her mother died, and then her sister sacrificed herself. As if this wasn't enough for a young teenager to deal with, her sister was resurrected but then seemed to wish she was dead. If Dawn held felt alone when Buffy was dead, it must have seemed so much worse when Buffy was alive but would rather be underground than with her sister. But apparently throughout all of this, she was too whiny for people to handle? Come on guys, let's try to be a little more understanding. :P

I also love Dawn's presence because she keeps Buffy grounded. As an only child, Buffy was always thinking about saving the world in general, but in a lot of ways she was selfish in the risks that she took. This contrasted deeply with her role as an older sibling, because she found out that love could override her sense of duty. She needed to be safe for Dawn, and I thought their dynamic was really interesting. Plus, the way that Spike cared for Dawn after Buffy's death really reinforced his love for her. Basically, I just think that Dawn was a great way to highlight traits that other characters possessed. 

5. The character I used to love but don’t any longer: I really need to stop agreeing with Kristina's answers, but I just can't help it. Amy was fascinating in the beginning, because the show first began to delve into the world of witchcraft through her. She was able to turn both herself and others into animals, which was awesome, but I found her personality even more interesting in the fact that she shape-shifted into a rat without knowing how to turn herself back from that form. Though it was an incredibly stupid thing to do, she took action to save her own life, something that demands some respect. The whole time she was a rat, I felt sympathy for her... well, the kind of sympathy that you feel when someone brought something terrible onto themselves. Whatever, the point is, I spent so much time waiting for something to happen with her character. I was just itching for Willow to turn Amy back, if only for plot continuation; I would have been so pissed if the series had expected fans to simply forget about her. Well, I thought I would be pissed; in retrospect, I wish they had kept her as a rat. Every minute she spent as a renewed human was a minute too long.

6. The character I would shag anytime: It would be nice to be unique and say something insightful or whatever, but I just can't bring myself to name anyone but Spike. Once they began developing his character, there was no one but Spike. He's so sexy, and yet when they showed the flashbacks of everyone who rejected him, this whole new pitiful layer was revealed. Would I want to be added to the list of women who hurt his pride? No. No I would not.

7. The character I’d want to be like: If I'm being completely honest, I would not want to be like any of them. I have such an intense level of love for most of the characters, but I don't envy any of their lives. I suppose if I could pick and choose traits as opposed to taking the whole package, I would want Buffy's ability to follow her instincts and Tara's overall loveliness.

8. The character I’d slap: OH GOD THERE ARE TOO MANY...

- Xander, when he lies to Buffy about Willow restoring Angel's soul. I'd also slap him over the whole Anya thing; I understand the realization that he didn't want to get married, but he handled it so poorly. Plus, making that decision based on fear of being a lousy husband or an alcoholic? Grow a pair, and actively avoid realizing those fears. Seriously. 

- Spike, when he attempts to rape Buffy. The whole situation was just too awful. 

- Drusilla and Harmony, in any situation. 

- Angel, just for being ridiculously cliche. 

- Andrew when he kills Jonathan. 

- Warren. Need I even give a reason?

I'll just stop there, but I have wanted to slap everyone at some point... except maybe Tara.

9. A pairing that I love: I adore Willow's relationship with basically everyone but Kennedy. 

- Willow/Tara: Oh my god. When Glory sucked the energy out of Tara's mind or whatever, Willow's handling of the situation was so beautiful. I will never forget the scene where Willow is feeding Tara, and she says that even if Tara never recovers, she will always be in love with her. "She's my girl." SO GOOD. Despite Willow's magic addiction and the way that it tore them apart, they could never stop being my favorite couple after that moment. They were so perfect for each other, and their love could not be affected by any tough circumstances. I found their relationship to be the most lovely, pure, and fitting of any on the show. 

- Willow/Oz: Though I don't see what they had in common, I adored the time before Oz left. All of the "Who is that girl?" scenes before they met were indescribably cute. Finally, someone could appreciate all of the quirky things there were to love about Willow. Plus, I believe Oz was detrimental to Willow developing self confidence and really discovering her true self. He also was the catalyst for Willow and Tara at last admitting their feelings for each other, which I see as a positive (obviously not for their romantic relationship, but for their friendship overall). 

- Willow/Xander: When Xander stops Willow at the end of season six, I just found it to be such a perfect scene. It really showed how pure their friendship was... in fact, Xander's entire speech was so touching and flat out spectacular. I also loved how the fact that they were truly best friends in a way that Buffy could never touch was subtly reinforced. A good example of this was when Xander lost his eye; Buffy had to be cold as the Slayer who had to make touch decisions, but Willow could just be Xander's friend. 

I'll stop there, but I essentially love Willow with everyone (again, except for Kennedy).

10. A pairing that I despise: Though Buffy and Spike are two of my all-time favorite characters to ever grace the television screen, I have to admit that I hate them together. They were just so impossibly toxic for one another, and their relationship was harmful and abusive. It hurt Spike in every way, and I just cannot bring myself to condone that. I just love their individual characters too much to enjoy watching them cause each other pain... it was too heart-wrenching to be bearable. 

Another pairing I absolutely despised is Willow and Kennedy. Though I mentioned it before, I just want to explain the reason behind my disapproval. Willow and Tara's beautiful relationship was such a positive step for the portrayal of homosexual relationships. I found her and Kennedy to be quite the opposite. It was like, "Oh, my girlfriend died! I'll just fall in love with the next lesbian that happens to be staying at my house." I can't help but feel that way... it was too soon, too rushed, and too convenient. I understand that they wanted to assure everyone that Willow wasn't just going through a phase; she really was attracted to women. After the negative response to Tara's death, I completely get the need to further establish Willow as a lesbian. But seriously? Kennedy was awful. She didn't respect Willow's magic, or the struggle that she was going through as a former addict. I found her pursuit of Willow to be borderline harassment, and then Willow fell for her? While she was still grieving, and despite the fact that the only thing Kennedy could relate to about her was coming out? Please. I may be completely out of line, but that was how their relationship came across to me.

11. Favorite male character (add a quote or favorite line): I wish I could pick someone other than Spike, but he was just too perfect. He was unbelievably hot, hilarious, and pathetic all in one badass vampire casing. Plus, he saved the world even before he was trying to be a hero. I don't even know how to fully articulate my love for him. 

"The torch I bear is scorching me, and Buffy's laughing I've no doubt. I hope she fries. I'm free if that bitch dies! I'd better help her out." - Spike

My favorite quote about him: 
"The only person I can even stand to be around is a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker." - Buffy

12. Favorite female character (add a quote or favourite line): A part of me wants to go with Buffy, but if I haven't made it obvious yet, I'd have to pick Willow. I'm too tired to explain... she's just Willow. I love her, even when her magic addiction is hurting her friends. Is that awful? Probably. She is the most fully developed of the characters, aside from Buffy. I think she is my favorite over Buffy because despite season six, I think Willow treats people better than Buffy does. 

My favorite conversation from the series is actually between Willow and Spike:

"I don't understand. This sort of thing's never happened to me before." - Spike
"Maybe you were nervous." - Willow
"I felt alright when I started... let's try again. OW! OH! OW! DAMN IT!" - Spike
"Maybe you're trying too hard. Doesn't this happen to every vampire?" - Willow
"Not to me, it doesn't!" - Spike
"I know I'm not the kind of girl vamps like to sink their teeth into. It's always like, 'Oh, you're like a sister to me' or 'Oh, you're such a good friend'." - Willow
"Don't be ridiculous. I'd bite you in a heartbeat." - Spike
"Really?" - Willow
"Thought about it." - Spike
"When?" - Willow
"Remember last year, you had on that fuzzy pink number with the lilac underneath?" - Spike
"I never would have guessed. You played the blood-lust kinda cool." - Willow
"Mmm, I hate being obvious. All fang-y and 'RRRR!'. Takes the mystery out." - Spike
"But if you could..." - Willow
"If I could, yeah." - Spike
"You know, this doesn't make you any less terrifying." - Willow
"Don't patronize me." - Spike

13. My five favorite characters: Willow, Spike, Buffy, Anya, Andrew.

14. My five least favorite characters: Warren, the Potentials in general (their personalities; the plot was wicked cool), Riley, Angel, Kennedy specifically.

15. Which character I am most like: There are qualities I possess from each of them. I have Buffy's leadership, Willow's nerdiness, Giles's role as the voice of reason, Xander's stupid jokes, Anya's bluntness, and Spike's aversion to groups. Overall I am probably the most like Tara, after her character stopped being solely Willow's stuttering friend. She was loyal, gave advice without being judgmental, was a little awkward as the new member of a group, and was shy in general. I wish I could be as lovely as she turned out to be, which is crazy because I didn't care for her much at first.

16. My deep, dark fandom secret: I waited ten years after the series finale to begin watching the series. That, and my hatred of basically every single Potential... how does everyone else feel about them? I thought the direction Whedon took that plot line was awesome, but their personalities were so disagreeable. Ugh. 

THIS WAS SOOOOO LONG.  Sorry, guys. :P

Please don't charge me with neglect.

I'm a little disappointed in myself.  As opposed to pretending I have an audience, I choose to blog/vlog for my own personal amusement... but still.  Both of these creative outlets have been lacking love lately, and I wish that the reason could be that I am just too busy with my wild and exciting life to record my antics on the internet. Sadly, the true culprit is a lack of adventures to report.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. My January of 2011 was fairly spectacular, in a relaxing-and-uneventful sort of way.  A lot of projects popped up in my life, and I am sure as they progress I will have a lot more thrilling thoughts and memories that I won't be able to help but share. However, beginnings tend to be somewhat slow, and this year was no exception. Here is a quick synopsis of my month, in bullet point form:

- My collab channel on YouTube kicked off on the first week of the year. Though we are still figuring out the dynamics of our project, I have high hopes for it. We are just getting to know each other, but as we figure out each other's boundaries I definitely foresee the creativity level of our themes and videos increasing. Mostly, it's just incredibly fun. :D Despite wanting to shirk my responsibility the past couple of Tuesdays, I managed to push through my laziness and upload. I am so proud of that newly discovered perseverance.

- I have a newfound love for science fiction television series. For years now, I have had a slight addiction to purchasing the seasons of my favorite shows and re-watching them. These included Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Charmed. Though the latter falls into the scifi category, mostly I adored realistic sitcoms that I found witty. Now, I have become obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville. My instant watch queue on Netflix is overflowing with other reportedly amazing science fiction shows that are just begging to peak my interest.

- I have adorned my white collar, joining the ranks of the employed. It isn't the most exciting job in the world considering it falls under the title of "data entry", but it pays well. I always appreciate the safety net of an income, allowing my constant worry of running out of gas money to diminish. It is a wonderful (albeit dull) development in my life. (:

- As I already stated in a previous entry, I am taking piano lessons. In an effort to avoid redundancy, I'll just say that it is amazing to explore a whole different side of myself. I am not musically gifted by any means, but I have never really delved into this type of expression before.

Like I said, this past month has been relatively uneventful. Though it might not seem like much on paper (or, you know, on blogger), it has also been completely excellent in every way. I hope things pick up and become a bit more exhilarating throughout the year, but a slow start never hurt anyone. Overall, I am perfectly content. :D