The New Year: New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve spent the last year–and especially these last few months–trying to figure out who I am right now and who I want to be in the future. It’s time for me to start thinking seriously about what I want out of my life, no matter how early for that I think it is. I have to start looking at Colleges and Majors, and scholarships and financial aid, and SATs and ACTs because like it or not they play a large role in the next few years of my life. I’ve started thinking about what career I’d like to pursue… something in the Anthropological field; I’ve always been fascinated by ancient cultures, and the origins of modern society. For whatever reason my parents and my guidance counselor at school find that hilarious. They think it’s not really a profitable field to be in, which may be true, but it is one that is sometimes underestimated, i think. In the race to make money, people sometimes forget the importance of learning, and doing meaningful, fulfilling work. I’d also love to be a comedy writer. I’m not really a funny person, and I’m not the sort of girl who can get up in front of people and not try to blend in with the wall, but since I started watching (like really watching) SNL, and Parks & Rec and New Girl and The Mindy Project, I’ve been thinking… if Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler and Vanessa Bayer and Mindy Kaling and whoever else can firstly, sit down and write jokes and not be afraid of whether people will get them at first, and make my day (or night), and secondly, have fun while doing it, why can’t I? which leads me to…

Laura’s Resolutions for 2014

  1. Stop listening and caring about what other people think unless it is about legitimately bad idea like driving in the snow, or breaking a law, or being really awful to somebody etc. Essentially, be the real-life embodiment of the Girl Who Marches to Her Own Beat characters that are found in every YA novel, and indie film.
  2. Be more open-minded.
  3. Write more. 2013 was a legendary year of drought writing-wise. Write anything… comedy routines, sketches, a screenplay or two, music, songs, things about why Matt Smith Will Always Be The Doctor…again anyhting.
  4. Get a job because job=paycheck=money=records+shoes=savings+life experience+new skills
  5. Learn more guitar and ukulele. I might just form a band as a side project (see: Zooey Deschanel, Carrie Brownstein, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Jimmy Fallon).
  6. Read More. 2013 has also been a somewhat book-less year. Or NEW book-less year. It’s been mostly about re-re-re-re-re-reading favorites. And not-so favorites. BUT I DID FIND Bossypants AND The Great Gatsby.

    via Tumblr

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The Weight Conundrum, and Why I Feel For Girls With Eating Disorders

OMG, a post!

Okay, so just bear in mind that when I say weight, I mean skinniness/fatness, as there are zero working scales in my house.

I’m just under 5 feet tall, 16, reasonably muscular (dance, karate), and tiny but curvy (not curvy as in that euphemism for fat, just as in… having curves, I guess), and so naturally, my weight is sort of a concern for me. Like, because I’m so short, I feel like I should weigh a lot less than everyone else, and when I don’t, I feel really self-conscious. For instance, I always feel awkward when taller girls are talking about their weights and are like, “Ugh, I feel so fattt. I just ate 3 cupcakes. I’m going to weigh like 125 this weekend,” because if they weigh less than 125 and they’re wayyy taller than me, then what would they think of my weight? And if I weigh the same as they do, that makes me fatter, right? Horrible outlook to have, I know. But it’s there, nonetheless. Also, I worry that since everyone else looks at me from a bird’s eye view, I may appear very squat. And I don’t want to be squat. And PLUS, all the other girls look skinnier than me because they wear size B bras and have sticks for limbs. And, of course, there’s always that thing called being a teenager.

Why this is relevant: Today, I was feeling very fat, to put it bluntly. Actually, all this week. It was gross. So I came home, threw my stuff down, and hid in my room with my computer. I started googling “how to dress my body shape,” since I have a Sweet 16 party to go to this weekend, and I’ve been in a panic about what the hell to wear since I feel like I’ve suddenly gained 10 pounds. However, when I got out the tape measure and took my measurements, I found that my waist is thinner than it was in 8th grade, despite me feeling like crap and sensing some upcoming period bloating. Great way to screw with me, brain.

So about those anorexic and bulimic girls: The truth is, if I felt like this every day of my life, I think I would stop eating, too. Our perception of ourselves tends to be very inaccurate, and it’s very hard to get you out of that pessimistic mind frame. Furthermore, it hurts more to be told you’re fat by other people. It’s expected of my little sister, since she’s not very creative with her insults, but when someone like your mom or your so-called friend or your biggest crush or that girl who’s the prettiest in the grade or in MY case, your DOCTOR treats you like you’re obese at (again) under 125 pounds, you feel like absolute crap. Just remember, sometimes people are wrong, and that includes you, too. You just have to learn to see yourself for what you are.

–Ellen

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Imaginary Interviews: Zooey Deschanel

ZooeyEditFor the past month and a half, I’ve been having dreams of myself sitting across different people who I admire for different reasons, and interviewing them. Among them are Zooey Deschanel, Kathy Reichs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tavi Gevinson, Joss Whedon, Martin Freeman, and many others. Now, the chances of that actually happening are very slim, but since I have no life, I decided I’d indulge in my fantasies, and come up with questions I’d ask any ways.

So here it goes! These are some of the things I’d ask actress, singer/song-writer and HelloGiggles co-founder, Zooey Deschanel:

1. You played Trillian Astra/Tricia McMillan in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the    Galaxy…

    • Had you previously read any of the books? or watched the TV series?
    • If so, who was your favorite character (other than Trillian)?
    • Did you ever find the story hard to follow?
    • How much fun was it to be held prisioner by the Vogons? particularly when they were holding you over the beast thing before Arthur and Ford came to your rescue? It looked like tons of fun from my living room…
    • How do you feel about Space/Time Travel?
    • When would you travel to?
    • Have you seen Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent) on Sherlock?

2. You’re in a band, She & Him, with Matt Ward…

    • What’s your favorite song that you’ve done with him? I love “Why do you let me Stay Here”, “Thieves”, “Gonna Get Along Without You Now”, and your cover of Holly Buddy’s  “Oh Boy” is great!
    • You’ve also provided vocals for Matt’s solo albums Hold Time in “Rave On” (another Buddy Holly cover!) and “Never Had Nobody Like You”, as well as in A Wasteland Companion in “Sweetheart”, which is wonderful. I forgot where I was going with this. You’re a great singer!
    • Which one out of She & Him’s four albums (I’m counting the Christmas album, because I ADORE IT) would you say is your favorite?

3. Before starring in New Girl, which is so much fun to watch, you starred in Syfy’s Tin Man, a miniseries where you played Dorothy’s grand-daughter and had to go save Oz from your older sister Azkadellia, who had been possessed by the Witch…

    • How awesome was it to play someone related to Dorothy, who was played by JUDY GARLAND? 
    • How awesome was Judy Garland? she was such a magical singer!
    • Which character, other than DG would you have liked to play? If the Tin Man, Raw, Glitch, etc. didn’t have to necessarily be played by a guy, that is. Although Alan Cumming was awesome as Glitch.

4. You started HelloGiggles.com with your friends Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer…

    • Originally, it was supposed to be kind of like a lady-friendly version of Funny or Die, but now it’s more of a blog/web-zine. How soon after the site launched did you realize it wasn’t going to be exactly what you guys envisioned it to be?
    • You’ve been very vocal about people hating on you for not being feminist enough for wearing peter pan collars, or wearing tiaras or whatever it is people seem to find wrong with you. You’ve said that the
    • What’s some of your favorite stuff  that you’ve seen on the site?

5. You contributed to a piece in Tavi Gevinson’s RookieMag.com, called “Higher Learning”, where you (and other really awesome people) talked about your high school experiences…

    • You described yourself as “the unicorniest” unicorn. Is that still true? If not, when do you thing you grew out of it? (I’m asking because I too, feel like a super-unicorn-y unicorn in a sea of unicorns most of the time…)
    • Do you still think a lot about eternity?
    • How do you feel about dudes with floppy hair?

6.  You usually have really great nail-art, and I understand the attraction behind it. I mean, tuxedo nails? Beatles nails? that’s genius!

    • How do you decide what to do on your nails? (it usually takes me ages to decide on stuff! one time it took me a half hour to decide to do the Starfleet Insignia. JUST THE INSIGNIA, nothing big!)

7. Have you watched Twin Peaks? if so…

    • Who was your favorite character?
    • Did you like it (I still haven’t finished… i’m still very early in the series!)?
    • Your mom was Donna Hayward’s mom!

8. How do you feel about baby animals?

9. Who’s your…

    • Favorite singer person?
    • Favorite fictional character?
    • Favorite author?

10. What would you say is your favorite…

    • color?
    • Movie?
    • TV Show?
    • Album?
    • song?
    • dessert?
    • food?
    • book?
    • invention/infomercial thing?
    • season?

11. Would you host SNL again?

    • Which of the sketches you did when you hosted (in 2012) was your favorite?
    • What’s your favorite sketch in the show?

12. How do you feel about Nick and Jess?

13. And Schmidt and Cece?

14. Your bangs have become something of a Thing, that’s automatically linked to you, kind of like Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary’s Eyebrows, I suppose…

    • How do you get them looking so brilliant? They’re always so perfect!

Keep posted for more Imaginary Interviews!!!♥

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On “The Perfect Family”

I recently watched the 2011 indie film The Perfect Family, about a devout Catholic woman (Kathleen Turner) who gets nominated for the Catholic Woman of the Year Award, and must set out to prove that she’s worthy of it to the priest and nuns of her congregation. The thing is that her family must provide recommendation letters of some sort. And the thing is that her family isn’t what she thinks the Church would approve of: (a possibly alcoholic) firefighter husband, a son who left his wife for another woman, and a lesbian daughter who marries her partner. Eileen, the woman, has to deal with the conflicts between her faith and her family, which are the cause for her crumbling marriage, and her crumbling relationships with both her children. She also has to put up with the holier-than-thou woman who is also nominated for the Award, as well as some horridly un-nun-ish nun. By that I mean totally judgmental and not what we are told Christians are supposed to be.

Normally I would find very little appeal in this type of movies, other than the Cast (Emily Deschanel is the afore-mentioned daughter, Shannon), because I tend to avoid church-themed movies. However, it was this or cheerleader movies, so this won out. I was surprised to find that I was oddly into this movie, because it got me thinking on how religion can’t be all there is to life, just like TV can’t be all there is, and work and school can’t be all that you care about, and they can’t dictate how you feel about stuff that they shouldn’t have a say in. To quote Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford: “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking”. If only Eileen had been able to keep an open mind, and formed her own opinions, perhaps then her husband wouldn’t have left her. Perhaps then Shannon wouldn’t have miscarried, because they wouldn’t have argued about the fact that she couldn’t accept her daughter’s “alternative lifestyle”. 

I was also surprised at how much I liked the way the Church was depicted, which sounds awful if you don’t understand that it was done in a way that isn’t trashing the church, but rather pointing out the flaws that come about when people let their every opinion on stuff within their own lives be dictated by an old man that lives in a Palace in Rome, and his interpretation of a compilation of books which date hundreds (if not thousands) of years in the past. 

The biggest thing I think anyone could take away from this film is that there really is no such thing as the perfect family… Shannon and her wife Angela, and any children they have, would be the perfect family, because they would love each other more than anything. And Eileen’s family was the Perfect Family, because they were human, and imperfect, and that made them inherently perfect. 

Also, if you want to cry to the sight of Emily Deschanel crying, you should probably watch it.  She is a really good crying-scene actress, because every time she cries, I cry too.

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Midterms are over… and so is the first semester!!!

I took my last midterm exam yesterday. It was the History Exam that I was very concerned about (as was maybe half the class), but thankfully she’ll put us out of our miseries tomorrow when she hands back our results. YAY! Overall, I think I did pretty well: I got a 93% in Chem, an 80-something% in Math, a 95% in Finance, and a 97% in English.

Since the first semester is practically over, we’ve been going over our course choices for next year. Considering I won’t be going to this school next year, I’m somewhat concerned about what my course load will look like next year… will I have to take the lower-level Physics and Algebra II classes? Or will I be able to take regular Physics and Algebra II? Would I be able to take the ANTHROPOLOGY course that has got me incredibly excited???  

To Allie:

Please email your postal address with Nata, Seally, and myself (and Laura) because we love you and miss you and would likr to send you letters.

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So this is the new year…

I feel really bad, seeing as I haven’t updated this blog in ages. Maybe a month. Maybe more. I’m not quite sure, and I really don’t want to know, because then that would be sad. So much (not really?) has happened in the last two months, and it’s been quite stressful. Dealing with my twenty-something cousin who came from Florida in September  and all the drama that ensued, and then my uncle’s snoring from my living room, and leading the school’s African American & Latino Fest, and the Holidays, and buying a house, and helping remodel said house, and school. I’ve been so busy trying to not let stuff that doesn’t matter take over my life (hello, obsessions!), and trying to keep everything in perspective that I really haven’t had any mental energy to write (or publish) anything. (I haven’t written any fan-fiction in over a year, due to lack of inspiration. and laziness).

We officially bought a house two days after Christmas. We will move there in late February. I’ve been having conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, I don’t want to leave Maddy (meow!), and (strangely enough) Fest. On the other hand, I really am sort-of excited about the prospect of having a fresh start.

New Year’s was interesting. I went to a party, at a friend’s house. It was in the basement, and three other girls (one of whom is in Fest, the other two are freshmen in college, and were also Fest-members last year..) showed up. I’ve never shared more than a ‘Hi!’ with any of them, so that right there was pretty awkward. Then the catching up started… and of course I didn’t really have anything to contribute to that particular conversation. Then came the dancing part of the evening*. It was all hip-hop-style music, and dancing that you would expect to see at a nightclub. I feel it is necessary for me to point out, that I don’t–under any circumstances–listen to that kind of music of my own free volition. I listen to Ben Gibbard/Death Cab/The Smiths/She & Him/Buddy Holly/Lumineers/Spice Girls/Joni Mitchell/Buddy Holly-type stuff. I will occasionally listen to David Bowie or Pink Floyd or the Beatles or Juanes. But all of that is a complete 180 music-wise. Also, I don’t dance. (If you watch the Mindy Project, just picture Mindy in that Zumba class. In a basement. You get the idea). I spent the rest of the night at my aunt’s house watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin’s New Years Thing. I will say this now: ANDERSON COOPER IS ADORABLE.

We went back to school two days later and things were pretty much back to normal. I devoted an entire day to writing a History Outline on the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798, which for those of you who have no clue as to what those are, are a dreadfully dull subject.

I daresay, the most exciting thing to happen this year was my falling with the loosened stairs, and knocking the entire thing down. The saddest thing was not qualifying for the DECA State Competitions.

Right now, I have Mid Term Exams to look forward to next Thursday, Friday and the following Monday and Tuesday. yay!!! Oddly enough, though, I’m not really worried about my exams, other than the French and History ones… English, Chemistry, Geometry and Finance are not overly concerning.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track with my writing this year…

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER, MY FRIENDS!

 

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Ah, forgot to say Happy New Year!

Indeed, 5 days late (and my second post since the new year), but… better late than never? haha :) 2013!

So. This is…. what, five hours after my last post? ._.;; But I realized I didn’t say Happy New Year, and the previous post was kinda too long and whiny to just add onto it . And really, most of all, that I realized I could share some pictures from my trip to Japan here (ELLEN I’M CALLING YOU. i have more, of course. :D):

YUM YUM

fresh crabs at seafood market

brrrr, cold though D:

random mountainside somewhere in Sapporo. :)

point being I WAS IN JAPAN ermagerd

temple in Asakusa

it has the absolute cutest mascot ever. <3 LOOK IT UPPP

famous (i think) castle in kyoto

basically, Japan was TONS of fun. :)

-ALEX

College? WHASSAT?

NO. NO. NOOOOOOO. Whyyyyyyyyyyyy???????

AHHHH BLUHBLUHBLUHFS :DULFHOY(@*QY%(P$*HUSJKDGQ@

…I could probably finish this post right here. but. but. BUT. Because I am a selfless person who is willing to bring herself to whine to you people who obviously have nothing better to do, HERE Y’ALL GO:

I mean, this is hardly a new issue of teenagers. Lack of identity, direction, time to find more GIFs, et cetera, all important things… how can I just pick a college? D: I’m in my sophomore year of a private school in China, and our winter break is just coming to a close. and yesterday, my parents just decided that I should spend today deciding what colleges I wanted to possibly apply to so that we could plan our college tour, presumably occurring next summer.

And… I don’t even. whatttt? DX Where do I even start? I’ve used those “college match-up” services before and I WHAT HUH SO LOST. Location? I dunno probably East or West Coast but I mean really important to me or anything and my major? o_O something science-y maybe but oh god what if I don’t actually want or maybe I won’t be good at I mean I heard you don’t have to even pick a major yet until sophomore year of college? and. didn’t take the SATs yet. so. uh. okay, skipping that…

…tuition fees, ethnicity (WHAT IF THERE AREN’T ANY ASIANS AT THAT SCHOOL ERMAGERD NO WAY WHO WILL I FOB WITH), school type, school size, campus setting, public or private, historically black, so on and so forth. You get the point. By the end, the form has a few vague answers, all marked “Kinda” in “How important is this to you?” and a couple of thousand results.

I do have a dream school. I guess. o_O MIT. BUT HEY HEY HEYYYYYY before you all go judging me or whatever– I don’t even know if I really want to go there. To be honest, I got the idea that I wanted to go to MIT in kindergarten… when my school was having one of those winter boutique thingys where kids buy a bunch of crappy yet expensive gifts for family members… basically, when I was going through checkout I did mental math to get the total cost, so the mothers running the cash register, being the kind and encouraging community members that they were, advised me to go to MIT when I grew up.

so the moral of that story would be watch what you say to kids. :P Haha, mostly kidding though. It was a cool dream, I suppose, but now, I don’t know if I want to commit to that. Unfortunately, I always answered MIT the countless times to my parents asked me where I wanted to go for college while I was growing up. sooooooooo yeah :I
WOW this is already pretty long. uhm. I’ll probably cut this off here. but in any case, I guess I just wanted to close this by adding that… besides me just blubbering… any advice? I guess? >_<;;

TIME TO STOP PROCRASTINATING and piece together something for my mom~!

-ALEX

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Book Insecurities

Okay, I have a confession to make. There are some books that I’m kind of scared to read- not because they don’t look amazing, but because I’m so afraid that I won’t like them. That they’ll disappoint me, that they won’t live up to my expectations. Or that I’ll disappoint them. Books like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Inheritance and The Monstrumologist. Books like The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Salmon of Doubt and Ender’s Game. Books that my library has, but I pretend that I’ll never be able to get my hands on. And I know what you’ll say- you’ll say, “Ellen, what are you talking about? Number 1, I know that you have good taste in books, and number 2, books don’t have feelings, anyways.” But they do have feelings. Because the people and things inside of them are real in their own way. And it’s happened before: with If I Stay, with Divergent, with Before I Fall. After I finish a book like that, a book for which I had such high hopes for that turned out just boring, a book that all my friends and teachers and everybody loved but I couldn’t seem to get into, I feel terrible. I honestly felt like those books were just staring at me with their bland pages, saying, “I can’t believe you, Ellen. I thought you were smarter than this. I thought you could recognize a good book when you saw one.” I want to like books like that, and why shouldn’t I? If so many other people loved it, then why did it just whoosh right over my head? Did I completely miss something important that would actually make me care at least a bit about the characters and plot? Did I just sleep through all of the action? And so I end up putting a lot of books off for quite some time because of this. Like, I’m a quarter of the way through with The Casual Vacancy, and it is beautiful, but a few weeks ago, I just put it down because of some really rude comments I’ve heard. And since then, I’ve been too afraid to continue to read it, because what if those awful obnoxious people said. Which isn’t a good reason at all… But it happened. :( 

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