Brandon Graduated!

The past couple weeks have been SUPER busy for me. Lots of visits from friends, and my birthday happened (I’m 26 now!), and trying to keep up with writing and everything else…it’s been hectic.

So now I’m waiting for tonight’s Game of Thrones episode to come on (which will be super sad) and decided to take a moment to bring you up to speed on my life.

Tonight’s blog post is BRANDON GRADUATED!

Who is Brandon?…some of your may be asking. Well, Brandon is my oldest and one of my dearest friends. We’ve been buds since the 6th grade and across 3 different cities. We’ve pretty much gotten to watch each other grow up and go from awkward teens to awkward adults. A couple weekends ago was very special because Brandon graduated from college!!

His family came up from Florida to visit and celebrate and attend the ceremony. We’re all super, super proud of him and all that he has accomplished. Brandon is an amazing artist and designer and one of the most ambitious people I’ve ever met. He always inspires me to never settle for less than exactly what I want. Love you Brandon!

Okay…so not exactly part of the graduation festivities…but a few days before we nerded out and went to see Star Trek 2. Spock and Kirk are totally the epic romantic couple of this movie, I don’t care what anyone else says!

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Me and Brandon circa 2005 at high school graduation and then together on college graduation day.

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After the ceremony we went out with his family for some awesome Korean BBQ.

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And then later on, toasted to his accomplishments and the next chapter of his life with some rooftop beers.

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So Brandon! If you’re reading this now, congrats again! Can’t wait to see what your future has in store! 🙂

And congrats also to all my other buds who graduated this spring!

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Where Have I Been?

Nowhere.

But doing stuff…and things.

Sometimes I find that I’m not 100% sure what to write on this blog, and have been trying to think of a way to focus it a bit. I know my title says that it’s “about me and the stuff I like” but sometimes I’m unsure what is interesting to other people. However, recently I noticed in a family email newsletter, my blog was included! So I thought dang, if family members are reading this, maybe I should start writing about myself more! Maybe I should write in general!

Plus, I have my fangirl blog over on tumblr for the super nerdy, fangirl stuff and then I recently started a YA lit tumblr so I can continue to explore my love of reading 🙂

So, what have I been up to lately. Well….

1. Watching Arrested Development

In addition to all of the other television things I watch, I’ve been doing a rewatch of Arrested Development. It’s one of those shows that I’ve watched in the past, but never all the way through, in spite of the fact that I think it’s genius and hilarious! I probably won’t make it all the way in time for the new premiere on Netflix to which I can only say… I’ve made a huge mistake.

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2. Re-reading The Great Gatsby

Which I haven’t read since I was 20 (I’m about to be 26). I usually like reading or rereading books before movies come out, so I can have some context for comparison. It’s getting to be more and more difficult since there are more and more films being made of books I like, but Gatsby is short and totally worth the time. Plus, Chicago weather is getting nicer, so I’ve been heading out for afternoon park reads on my days off!

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3. Catching Up with Old Friends

This past weekend, Meghan was in Chicago, visiting a friend and took some time to meet up with me for dinner. She’s someone I’ve known since I was VERY LITTLE. We grew up in the same town together and went to high school. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen her since about 2007, but thanks to the internet we keep in touch a bit. It was nice to get some face time. Hope you enjoyed Chicago Meghan!

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4. It’s Almost My Bday!

I’m gonna be 26! AHHH!!!

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5. Running A Lot

So nice weather = running outside again. Finally! Although it’s been months since my shoes have hit pavement, so I’m a little rusty. But my body appreciates the exercise. I can’t tell you how much better I’ve felt lately now that I’m back to running three times a week. One of these days I’ll actually do a 5K race. It’s gonna happen.

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p.s. one of my favorite workout mixes right now on 8tracks

 

6. Starting a Thing I Can’t Talk About Yet

Secrets, secrets! A few of you reading might know, but the rest will have to wait. A new creative endeavor that I’m very excited about and can’t wait to share with family and friends, but until my ducks are in a row…you’ll just have to wait!

 

Wishing everyone a great rest of the week and a great weekend. My lovely brother from another mother, Brandon, is graduating on Saturday! So proud of him!!!

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Happy Sunday!

Good morning! So it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted. I’ve been working extra, which is great, but it means having to readjust my personal schedule to fit in with work.

Not much to report or share. Just wanted to check in and wish everyone a lovely Sunday. I think I shall grab a tea and go for a lazy stroll 🙂 Better enjoy the happiness before Game of Thrones comes along tonight and makes me cry.

A lot of crazy stuff has been happening in our world this week…Everyone has opinions and everyone has something to say. I saw someone on my twitter feed say something about praying for things in times of trouble and how it doesn’t really work, because weren’t there people on the opposite end of things praying that it did? While that may be true, and  it may be one of the great questions of the universe why, if there is a God or some higher power watching over us, he/she would let such terrible things happen. We may never know. Either way, prayer–true prayer–is born from positive energy. It is born from hope. Even if you don’t believe in God or a god or anything, I still think prayer is possible. Putting hopeful thoughts out into the universe generates good energy and makes the world a more positive place. Maybe not in ways we might ever see, but it works.

That’s my point of view anyway. 🙂

Happy Sunday!

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I Heart Villains

Hello there! I have survived the Game of Thrones premiere which was beautiful and awesome! How I fair the rest of the season is a toss up. I’m sure you all will hear my tears and woes at length.

So guys. Villains.

Villains.

How’s that for an intro?

But really, I have always loved villains. Most of my close friends know that my favorite characters in books/movies/shows tend to be villains. I don’t know what it is that fascinates me so much about the evil ones–maybe because they always seem to be so much more layered and multifaceted than the heroes. Maybe I was growing up in a different time where heroes were less relatable. They always made perfect choices and did the right thing and knew what that was, unlike kid me who was a little bit selfish at times and didn’t like to eat her green beans at dinner.

My first villain love was Darth Vader. I’m sure it wasn’t love at first sight, but sometime around the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back (I was nine) something in me recognized that DV was just misunderstood. There was something there that we weren’t seeing. I wanted to know what that thing was. One of my favorite villain backstories has to be that of Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. There’s a lot of pain there, and maybe was a little on the cliche side, but I love it. I hate bad guys who just exist to cause heroes strife. I need some backstory with my baddies!

I read a Tom Hiddleston interview once in which he said, “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.” (Hiddles plays Loki in the Thor/Avengers movies by the way).

Here is a short list of some of my favorite villains and why they will always have my heart! Even if they’d rather just pull it out of my chest…

1) Severus Snape

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Snape is one that kind of skews that line between hero and villain. Perhaps he’s more of an anti-hero. I started reading the Harry Potter series after the sixth book and right before book seven came out. The big marketing tag for the final book was “Snape: friend or foe” because *spoiler alert* he had just killed Dumbledore. I had faith throughout the series that Snape was indeed a friend. I know JK had a big pay off coming for us, and she didn’t disappoint. Snape’s final chapter at the end of Deathly Hallows–with it’s large and painful backstory–had me in tears. So much so that I had to take a half hour break before I could finish the rest of the book.

2) Darth Vader

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Darth Vader is a great tale of what can happen when a hero chooses Path B instead of Path A. We didn’t have his complete story until the prequel trilogy came out, but let’s look: he was raised by a loving mother, then taken in by Jedi’s who are inherently good (though I could argue things about Jedi’s in a whole other post), and taught by Obi-Wan Kenobi. He has all these great influences yet in the end, when tragedy strikes and fear grips him, he chooses the dark side. Darth Vader is classic greek tragedy. Instead of letting things go, he attempts to take destiny in his hands, and then ends up fulfilling it. #oops

3) Klaus

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Okay everyone, please stop judging me for writing a character from The Vampire Diaries on this list. Yes the show is cheesy and poorly written 8 times out of 10, but Klaus is one of the darkhorse, amazing things about this show. Part of me wonders if that is large in part thanks to Joseph Morgan, the actor who plays him, who seems to have a great understanding of his character. Klaus was introduced as the big bad of season two, out to sacrifice heroine Elena as a means to his own end. We are at season 4 now and Klaus is still hanging around, when rumor has it the writers had intended on having him defeated and killed in season three. During that time, we’ve seen him as a human before he became one of the world’s first vampires, we’ve met his entire family, and we’ve also seen the beginnings of what might be a man falling in love with one of the good guys. Klaus definitely fits the “hero in his own mind” category of villain. And soon he might get his very own show soon! If that doesn’t say GREAT character and villain, I don’t know what does.

4) Hades

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I was on the phone with a friend the other night, discussing awesome disney villains. His vote was for Scar and mine was for Hades. I think it’s another reason why I love villains so much more: sarcasm. It’s something that seems to evade most “heroes”, especially in Disney movies (maybe not in later movies). Hades was so likable and funny that you kind of forget until the very in that he’s not the one that you are supposed to be rooting for.

5) The Joker

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Okay so I don’t know much about The Joker outside of any film version of Batman. But what I do know is this: he has no definitive origin story. Anywhere. There seems to be no reason in particular that The Joker is evil. I know earlier I said that I like to have my villains with a bit of backstory and know where they’re coming from, but I think not knowing where The Joker comes from makes him that much more interesting. The fact that he seems to exist just to torment Batman and wreck havoc on Gotham is more than enough for me. “Some men just want to watch the world burn,” is what Michael Caine’s, Alfred, says in the Nolan version of the movies. I mean, what’s a more intimidating backstory than that?

 

Who are your favorite villains? Or do you, unlike me, prefer the heroes?

Wishing you all a wicked Wednesday! 😉

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Sunday Shares: Game of Thrones Edition

IT’S HERE!

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Oh dear readers I’ve been waiting for this day for months! Finally my most favorite show on television is back for my viewing pleasure! This season is going to be a painful one…fans of the books already know what is coming. That’s not to say that they past seasons haven’t been painful, but I’m sure this one if going to punch us all right in our hearts.

However, in celebration of the Game of Thrones premiere, I’ve curated a few shares for you fellow/potential fans to enjoy 🙂

Create a House Sigel. My motto was “Sarcasm and Wit”.  (Join The Realm)

Ever wonder what Joffery Baratheon would listen to if he were a teenager in 2013? Here’s the answer. (8tracks)

Not sure which is more scary, war in Westeros or High School Politics. School of Thrones makes you wonder. (YouTube)

Game of Thrones prequel? Yes please! (TVweb)

8-bit version of the Game of Thrones theme. Cause you know you wanna hear it. (Tumblr)

Happy Easter to everyone as well! Cause that’s also today…

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Bring It On!

I really wanted to update my blog today, but wasn’t sure what to write about other than how proud I am of myself for buying lots of healthy groceries yesterday and how excited I was over my first run of Spring! (It was terrible, in case you were wondering. Taking off for 6 months = barely making it two miles).

Well instead, I decided to take a page from Meghan’s book and do a Throwback Thursday post 🙂

A couple weeks ago, The Vampire Diaries had an episode that featured a cheerleading competition (sometimes normal high school things happen on that show in between all the supernatural fighting). Since then I’ve been having massive cheerleader flashbacks. Yesterday I actually wore my 8th grade cheerleading t-shirt on my run. I can’t believe I still have it!

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.41.25 AM Look! Me circa 8th grade in my cheerleading picture. Unfortunately, all the high school cheerleading pics are at my mom’s house in Florida.

I was in 8th grade when the movie Bring It On came out. Yes, I saw it in theatres about three times with my cheerleading friends. Yes, I could quote every line. I even remember one embarrassing moment when my team decided it would be a good idea to do one of the cheers from the movie at a football game. It made no sense to anyone in the stands, except us.

Cheerleading has always had a reputation for being a “girly” sport–that is, if someone is even able to admit that it is in fact a sport. I was a part of a generation of cheerleaders who helped bring cheerleading into a whole new category other than just a bunch of pretty, popular girls waving pom-poms and rooting for the home team. We were athletes. To paraphrase the movie: We had fun. We worked hard. And we won competitions. Most of what we did wasn’t even seen by the people we cheered in front of at every game because no one goes to Cheerleading competitions. But we still did it, because we loved it.

It was one of the reasons why I loved and still love Bring It On so much! It showed a side of cheerleading that most people didn’t even know existed at the time. In any other sport, you practice and practice and get a handful of games to prove that your team is the best. If you lose a game in football or basketball, you can always redeem yourself the next week. In cheerleading, you train and practice year round and get three minutes to prove yourself. You use it or you lose it. Competitive cheerleaders have to be so many things: gymnasts, dancers, acrobats…you have to smile and preform and make that round off back-hand-spring-back-tuck look effortless.

Wow, I got a little carried away with the Cheerleading feels just now! Back to the movie….

I’ve never seen the sequels that followed, but the original will always be one of my favorites. It brings me back to a time when I was a little girl who had sprained her ankle three days before competition but sucked it up and went out there anyways, and suffered the pain of it after happily when we scored a trophy! I was proud to push my body and make myself the best I could. I loved bragging about every bruise and injury. I loved the adrenaline rush of competition. Just watching that part of the movie makes me feel that excitement all over again.

Plus, Jesse Bradford was easy on the eyeballs too. Even though back then I, like Kirsten Dunst, had no idea who The Clash was. *loser sneeze*

And we have the same birthday. May 28th!

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Happy Thursday everyone…

The weekend is almost here!!

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This is not 40.

I feel like I’ve been asking myself this question for almost a year now. I graduated college at the ripe age of 25, which is later than most people who aren’t, like, pursuing medical or law degrees or something other higher form of learning. I used to have talks with my roommate–who is also still in school–about whether we should feel weird or bad that we were among the older kids in our classes. I always said it wasn’t that big of a deal, because college isn’t high school and everyone is on their own time lines. Other factors come into play like finding a way to fund said education or working. Plus, it wasn’t like we weren’t working our butts off the entire time.

Anyways, here I am, about to turn 26 in a couple months and wondering if I’m “on schedule” with my life. Am I blossoming to an adult or am I still stuck in the rut of adolescence?

Maybe I’ve just been watching Girls too much. I constantly laugh but empathize with the way all of the characters are fiercely and sometimes detrimentally independent. They still receive financial support from their parents but at the same time they’re like “fuck you I don’t need you I’m an adult”. They host dinner parties and drink wine and act like everything is okay because this is what makes them adults. Like little kids playing dress up, they’re only playing the grown up game. The maturity level would suggest they are somewhere else entirely.

But I’m not writing this to criticize a TV show, but to ask myself if I’m just playing dress-up. On the grown-up end: I work, I pay my bills (with a little parental help), I buy groceries, I go out to bars and know that I like Chardonay but not Merlot. On the teen side: I still have celebrity crushes, I still read books about vampires, I still spend too much time eating pizza and browsing the internet and don’t clean my room as often as I should.

I’ve had so many conversations over this subject in the past few months I’ve lost count. Which is almost comforting in a way. It means all of us 20-somethings are asking the same questions and feeling similar feelings about adulthood. Being twenty is like going through a second adolescence. We still think we know everything, we still are dramatic, we still want to prove our independence,  but when the push really comes to shove and things get hard we still want someone to swoop in a take care of our problems for us.

One of these conversations was with a friend from my summer internship. She’s about a decade younger than my mom and a great pal and always has lots of great and wise advice to give. She told me “You’re still young. The twenties are for making mistakes. Date the wrong people, have mismatched furniture, stay out late, work crappy jobs and dream about where you want to be at 40. That’s all okay.”

Another conversation I had with an acquaintance in which we were catching up a bit and talking about what was going on with our lives. I admitted to him, “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing, and I’m not going to pretend like I do.”  At some point between the two conversations I decided two things: 1) I’m not 40 yet. I don’t need to have it all together. 2) I’m not going to waste energy pretending like everything is perfect. As we talked I told him that I didn’t have the most glamourous job in the world, but I don’t mind what I do and it pays the bills while I figure stuff out. I said overall I’m happy and that’s what matters more to me than anything else.

I hate starting out on Monday thinking depressing thoughts. So if you are a 20 year old and you are reading this, take a deep breath. We are not 40. We can still be making mistakes and working boring/crappy jobs and sit on our weird hand-me-down couches while we watch The Vampire Diaries and eat microwave meals for dinner. As long as we don’t lose sight of who we are and what we do eventually want, we’ll all be okay. 🙂

Happy Monday Y’all.

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