Note to Self:

April 30, 2008

Do not wear Colts sweatpants in Boston while going to get a sanguwich at 9:15. Every scary person on the street will comment on them and some cars might honk.

Seacrest Out.

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duh nuh nuh NUHHHHHHH

I am really excited about the current state of things. I have completed approx. 50% of my finals load and the second half is WAY easier than the first. I’ve got a solid 4 days coming up when I can close myself in my apartment and work until my brain hurts.

I think my eyes are getting worse. I started wearing my glasses (a new prescription as of December, that I didn’t get made until NOW) and it feels stronger than my old glasses. Every time I take them off now, I get kind of dizzy. It’s weird. This every happen to anyone else?

Did laundry today (SO NECESSARY), harassed other loser blogs online (I could make you a list, but I won’t bother, and I don’t want them to get the attention), and then posted this list of AMAZING things you should watch (and then leave me a comment so I know your favorite 😉

These are all things I watched at the “Sleeper Hits of the Internet” at ROFLcon. I’d have to say these were my favorites (that I could find). Enjoy:

1. I can’t even describe this, but I’m sure if you were super faded, this would be the most amazing thing you’ve ever watched. I think it’s pretty ridiculous sober, so beyond that must be mind-blowing.

2. This is a commercial that I just thought was heartwarming to watch. Believe it or not, but it’s for a car. Apparently this is the first commercial they released to introduce the character – who is probably the cutest/creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.

3. As explained by the panelists, this is what comes up when you type “The Best Music Video Ever” into youtube.

4. The grossest, creepiest, and funniest thing that may have ever caught people off guard in New York. Holy crap. Ew.

5. This is just really well done. Kind of long, but brilliant.

6. “I’M SICK OF BEING A HUNGRY VEGAN!”

7. Adorable and abusive. Just like me. (It’s almost heartbreaking, really. At the screening people would laugh and then be like “ohhhh. oh.” Its totally adorable though.)

8. Dean Jansen and Ji Lee were the panelists that put together the presentation. They worked on this together and I just thought it was sick. I can’t wait to run around New York and find these.

9. I’m pretty sure this was shot in Boston. The whole thing was just really cool. Loves it. (Mean it.)

10. This didn’t actually get shown at ROFLcon, but I think it’s brilliant and should have been. (My sister sent it to me, props Katie.) I think the world should do less freak dancing, and more fosse, damnit!

ROFLcon 08

April 28, 2008

So I just discovered every time I type “Tron Guy” into a post, it somehow gets posted on Tron Guy’s actual livejournal. I think that’s amazing. Read about his experience at ROFLcon here.

ROFLcon was a lot of fun. Learned a lot of cool stuff at the conference and saw some great stuff too. There was a lot of stuff about gender and the web, and why panels were mostly male-dominated and why there are “no women on the internet.” I have my own theories about this, the most valid (in my opinion) being that women aren’t as accepted if they suscribe to “low comedy.” Women are ostracized if they participate in low humor… It’s not as easy for women to get away with fart jokes, and although bodily humor is becoming more prevalent among women, it is still not the forefront. A lot of men suscribe to low humor on the internet, and therefore, a large part of readers/etc are men.

The other thing I thought was really interesting about ROFLcon was the presence of Anonymous. It was unannounced on the website (it was slotted as “mystery” on the schedule) and I was excited about going when I heard. They recently protested in Boston at the scientology center.

So as they started showing their video about fighting scientology and whatnot, I felt really good about it, thinking that this is an organization I could wholeheartedly support. I’m not against religion or believing in whatever you want to believe in (sure, Aliens. Believe in it. I don’t have a problem with that.) But I am truly against an organization that bases itself entirely around money. Because they are a “religion” they are tax exempt. To learn more within the church, you have to “donate” thousands of dollars. Why do we mostly hear about celebrities being scientologists? Because they can afford it.

So as Anonymous got on with their presentation (it was 5 people in the Guy Faukes mask – thats their thing) I quickly discovered that this wasn’t about exposing the truths about a “religion” or changing the recognition of Scientology, it was about making mischief and having “fun.” Most of the answers the Anons gave were about them “having fun” making trouble for scientology.

And thats where I found my issue. I certianly couldn’t support a “Project Mayhem” sort of organization that wasn’t there to make a difference, but to have “fun”. They talk about morality and exposing the truths (they use the term “Moral Fags” on their website and within their own community) but trying to expose an organization “for fun” and not to make a difference sounded like it had no morality behind it at all.

I’m not saying what Anonymous is doing is wrong, or that everyone within Anonymous feels like they’re just doing this for fun, but having those 5 represent an organization full of thousands of people was a poor decision in my opinion, and it really rubbed me the wrong way.

This guy signed the lunchbox (which I bought) he designed for the conference. He was realllllly nice and very humble.

That’s another thing. Out of all of the “internet celebrities” that were at the conference, The Brothers Chapman of Homestar Runner were probably the cockiest people there. I was really turned off by that. Everyone else was incredibly humble and flattered by the amount of people that showed up to see them.

Leeroy Jenkins was the MC. Only my little brother knew who he was. And the WOW people in the audience. Holy God. Hahaha.

Maybe I’ll talk a bit more about it later. I haven’t even talked about the “Sleeper Hits of the Internet” yet. It was awesome.

Absent

April 27, 2008

I’m sorry I’ve been out of the loop for a few days. Very busy, but havin fun.

Spent the weekend at ROFLcon (roflcon.org) and it was a blast. I’m going to post about it soon (I met Tron Guy and Lesley Hall – GEM SWEATERS!!!) but finals have consumed my life and quite frankly, I am not patient enough to write about it this instant.

Having weird dreams lately. Very vivid, but getting a lot of good sleep. Kind of kills my sleep theory.

On a “please help me” note: Does anyone know how to get rid of fruit flies? Theres nothing very dirty in my house (garbage is out, sink is empty, etc) but they keep appearing out of NOWHERE. I have literally killed like 50 in the past few days and I don’t know where they came from… UGH.

Also, I am proud to announce that I am the official “general manager” of http://www.wearemjr.com – WAHOOOOO

Today I received my first official absentee ballot from the state of Oregon. (Now you know where I’m from!) I am really excited because this is the first election I get to vote in because I was too young for the last one (Now you know approx. how old I am! Gah…)

I suddenly feel like I can have something to do with what is going to happen to the country. I felt so helpless last time, but tried to at least make my opinion known by having an “Ogres for Kerry” pin on my backpack. (It had a picture of Shrek on it, hence “Ogres”. I thought it was funny. I also thought I was ugly. Again, “Ogres”.) But after Kerry lost (and we actually became neighbors, no seriously. I trick-or-treated there Freshman year and Theresa Heinz-Kerry gave me a 100 Grand bar. It was especially delicious. Hah.) I guess I kind of just lost hope in the government for a few years. I decided to ignore what was going on (ignorance was bliss) because there was really nothing I could do about it at that point: Bush was hellbent on rubbing salt into the infected papercut he created, and I felt my safest stance was to watch from the sidelines and mumble about what an idiot he is like a majority of America.

However, I really feel like this year will be different. For starters, I think it’s the first year where Oregon’s primary votes actually will count. I’m excited for resh candidates, fresh ideas, and for me, a fresh voter, ready to give my two cents to an election I really care about. I will admit I am a liberal/democrat by upbringing, but I will admit that I agree with some of the things McCain says (def not all of it. For the love of God, some of the things he stands for I wholeheartedly disagree with.) The same things can be said for Obama and Clinton I guess (Obama really “dreams big” – almost too big at times, and Hillary, well, yeah. Similar story there.)

Although I’m not going to openly discuss who I’m voting for here like other “bloggers”, but I will say this: What a lot of my vote is based on (at this point) is who I think can bring the country together – who can rally them to action and actually have Americans make the difference, rather than have it fall on the President. I think that’s where Bush really failed, and one of the candidates (my candidate of choice) can succeed. Even though at this point, it’s split about 50-50 with the Dems, I think my candidate has more of a chance to win over the rest of the Dem voters (“dem votahs!”) rather than have them go to another candidate if they receive the nomination.

All that I ask of readers is that they consider going out to vote. Just in general. I know you see that everywhere and people on the street are practically harassing you to vote, but if you can vote, please do. Cause even though it might not be YOUR priority, you can vote for someone who can’t, like me when I was 17 right before the last election, and it will obviously make all the difference in someone, and your own, future.

/end public service announcement.

Have a nice day.

74 hits today and still going.

P.S. I own Kid Pix. Retro, right?

HAVE A GREAT DAY

Dear Emily,

Thank you for arguing with me and trying to pick on my poor “Kansas” ass on your “blog.” If you didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have made a new record of hits on my wordpress today. Stats to be posted tomorrow.

Love, Natalie

P.S. Thank you Gawker for making Emily Brill think she’s famous and then subsequently getting everyone who reads her “blog” to click on my comments and read my wordpress… I love you new readers and I’d like to know what you think. (I promise I’ll tell you how I pay my bills and I’ll even take a picture of my wrists if it means that much to you.)

See: This post
and then
this post

make her feel like she’s important plz.

I’m a little overwhelmed. The last post is what I turned in for my second nonfiction draft. (We’ll see how that goes… I suspect a workshop massacre.) Anywho, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately and thought I should give an update:

Pros and Cons of the past week:
– I have $80 in my bank account to last me until the end of the month. Don’t invite me out to dinner.
+ Had a really good night with boyfriend last night. Really low key. Went to bed early and just had a good snuggle. I love nights like that… where nothing is really expected except just spending time together.

– Have 2 papers assigned, and 3 more to be assigned. I can smell the disaster ahead.
+ Have 2 drafts of the 2 papers already assigned, and am just waiting for the others to be handed out. I’m glad I got a start on the other two though or else I’d be in a giant pit of doom.

– the medication I was on was not working and was only giving me heinous side effects.
+ met with my doctor and arranged for it to be changed so I can be normal again. sigh.

– Feeling really overwhelmed and busy.
+ going to ROFLcon with boyfriend this weekend. Kind of excited, kind of overwhelmed. Kind of just want to sleep and do homework. Oh well.

– Still feeling overwhelmed and busy.
+ Today is my only day of class. So I should have plenty of time tomorrow to get some work done.

+ made plans with Hallie on Sunday for a photoshoot in the park.
– Terrified of looking ugly and F-A-T. Fabulous.
+ Get to spend that day in the sun
– probably will be sunburned.

I’m a pessimist by nature, I’m sorry. This was pointless.

The Circus

April 23, 2008

Their trailers roll into town, white, but covered with stains of former towns, their tires worn from long hours on the road. They park and hoards of men appear and begin unloading long sturdy pipes from inside some of the trailers. Over the course of the day, they work tirelessly to put up the large white tent in a space usually reserved for pedestrians and farmers markets. The blinding white tent rises far above the usual obstructions, and has an almost regal appearance to it. As I approach, the tent seems to rise higher and higher into the sky.

Over the past five years, I have moved nine times. Through apartments, townhouses, condos, and developments, my personal belongings have been paired down to childhood souvenirs and the fewest of personal belongings. I grew up in one of the biggest houses downtown; it took up half of a residential block with a gated yard, courtyard, separate garage, and my parents’ beautiful sprawling garden, which was recognized by several organizations and national publications. My childhood was bliss, and the garden reflected it: I saw beauty and success everywhere I went. I lived in the attic of our three-story house and would look out my skylight at the glowing sky. Like the garden, it felt as it the sky above my head possessed this unfaltering beauty, even when it was gray and rained. It was something so out of reach – something that I just didn’t understand. It was taught from my youth to work as hard and to reach as far as you possibly could. In doing so, you would get what you wanted. The beautiful sky was just something so out of reach. I settled for the ground, which out in the garden, satisfied me for the time being.

I sit near the workers to watch them set up under the heavy, dark clouds. It could rain, but it doesn’t seem to concern them. I can hear them shouting to one another over the clanking pipes, which looked worn and tired. A man climbs up the taught white surface of the large tent; he’s attached to a cord connected to the very top of the tent. He’s pulling himself up the angle and tightening hidden straps along it’s surface as he goes. I wonder how many times he does this in a year, and where his family is. Does he have a family? Does he have children? Do they miss him?

My parents divorced when I was 17, during the spring of my senior year of high school. My mother and I moved into a small townhouse in the north part of town, and a few months later my father followed to a nearby development; my parents had agreed to live nearby for the sake of my younger brother, who would live at both houses. I kept my belongings at my mother’s townhouse, but quickly discovered the things that once fit, sprawled throughout a large attic, wouldn’t fit as nicely in the smaller room above the one-car garage, which was declared “mine.” Over the course of a few months, my belongings were sorted into “keep,” “give away,” “throw away,” and “store.” I would be leaving for college soon, and my mother didn’t want the burden of bringing my things with her if she moved again. I packed my “keep” belongings into large boxes and shipped them to the dorm where I was living the following fall. My room at home felt empty, in fact, it didn’t seem much like home anymore. The clothes were mine, the things in the room where mine, and the walls had my pictures all over them. But there was no light that came down over my bed. No window to the sky. This wasn’t home.

The performers’ trailers line the chain link fences that the workers set up earlier in the day. Their shades are drawn and the lights are off; I wonder if they are exploring the city or getting a bite to eat at a nearby café. I am intrigued by their life on the road: is this “home” or is it somewhere else living a life that they are not involved in? Do their lives continue without them while their on the road? My instincts say their coworkers are their family and their trailers are their home. This is a life they’ve chosen for themselves because maybe the conventional ideas of life don’t apply to them. I wonder if they’ve ever experienced love.

My first apartment was a three-bedroom first-floor apartment in the heart of a fairly rich neighborhood, boasting multi-million dollar brownstones and notable social names. I shared the apartment with two friends I met during my freshman year. We picked out an apartment in the spring, but after the summer and move-in early that fall, things had begun to deteriorate, and our “perfect apartment” we had so envisioned was nothing but a murky distant memory. I found myself generally confined to my 8’ by 10’ closet-sized room. My twin day-bed doubled as a couch, and it was there that I’d sit for hours, looking out my windows, which took up one entire wall of the room, into the back alleyways behind the apartment. They were filled with garbage and remains of plants, and I could barely see the sky over the nearby buildings. I rarely left my room, but when I did, I felt obliged to put on a happy face. It was with this face I denied my feelings, and masked my true unhappiness with my living arrangements. I performed the “fun roommate” song and dance as much as possible in an attempt to keep the tension to a minimum. I kept my happy face on for as long as possible, but by spring, I was looking for a new place to move.

I am not scared by clowns, in fact, I am fascinated by them. There’s something about a clown that doesn’t bring me joy, but brings me hope. That one person can completely exist part of their life as someone else. Some clowns are mute, and I am drawn by their ability to maintain an optimistic persona through their silence. I can’t do that. I try to sneak peeks into trailers, hoping to catch a glimpse of a clown without his makeup; perhaps it will give me an idea of who that person really is behind the mask. I don’t exactly see clowns as actors. I see them as people that need to put on face paint and a costume to feel good. And as long as they aren’t scaring children, that’s fine with me.

My time at college will soon be done and I am planning one of my final moves. I am tired of packing and shipping all of my belongings every few months, and I have finally reached a point in my life where I can move once, and stay there as long as I like. I’m somewhat scared of this move, knowing I’m going and I don’t want to look back. I finally get to buy furniture I get to keep. I have walls I can paint and call my own. I’ll have a city where I can make a group of friends that will become my family.
My constant travel and living arrangements don’t stop me from loving my family or maintaining relationships. It just makes it harder. I am looking forward to the time in my life where I can stop, breath, look out the window for once, and know I’ll be staring at it for as long as I like.

Sometimes I walk by the tent and trailers at night in hopes of catching a glimpse of something out of the ordinary. After the show is done for the night, and the lights have gone down, it’s the time everyone returns to their trailer for the night. I pass a trailer on the edge of the circus where the lights are on and the shades are open. A man, whose silhouette is all that I can see, smokes a cigarette and plays cards. His body language makes me think that he is happy, that perhaps constantly moving doesn’t distress him. Everything he wants and needs is there. It makes me curious if I’m actually making the wrong choice with my future; should I join a circus and travel with all of my nearest and dearest around me at all times? Or is there something inside of me that needs a stationary existence for once. My body is tired, so I sit on a bench. I wish I didn’t have to move, but I know by the sky that it’s going to rain, and I have to be heading home.

Fortune Cookie:

April 21, 2008

“Escucha la sabiduria de los ancianos.
Numeros de Suerte: 10,12,18,22,31,45”

This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a fortune cookie in spanish. There is no English on it whatsoever.

Wtf.