Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do you feel discouraged, like there's a lack of updates here?

Sorry, readers. I know it's been a whole 21 days since I last updated.
So what have I been up to?
Well, I'm back at my parent's house for winter break, which means that I have the Internet Of Legendary Slowness, so I haven't been internetting a whole lot. Instead, I've been doing a lot of other things.

I entered a costume at the SacCon costume contest, and won judge's choice, which was exciting.

Also, my computer is still running Linux, so I'm still at a bit of a loss, but I'm learning how to do important things like install things.

I don't know what I'm saying anymore.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some things that I do

It's 12:17, I'm half-asleep, and I really need to go to bed, but one does not simply LEAVE the INTERNET.

And I've been thinking about things.

First of all, I've been thinking about how great it is to have a group of friends who think that everything that you do is cool, and who get legitly excited for you when you do things.
And that got me thinking about shared culture.
Like how I've slowly been trying to watch Supernatural, despite the lack of female characters, because there are memes that my friends have that I don't understand, but once I watch this I WILL understand.

Or how I started reading Secret Fandom* because Monica was reading it, and now we've got inside jokes that don't make sense.

And that got me to thinking about acceptance, and where people will be accepted.

And this got me thinking about finals week and all of the fucks that I don't really give, and how stressful it is to be a theatre major here.

Seriously. At my school, you need a higher GPA to be a theatre major than a premed major.

Think about that for a while.

And to add to this lovely angstfest, my ankle's still mad at me for walking into a tree a few weeks ago, and I really need sleep.
I'm torn between really wanting to go home, sleep in my giant full-size bed with my dog and my cats and go to bed at a reasonable hour and see my friends and eat bagels, and wanting to stay here and wanting to stay here with my friends and my floormates and my professors and my comic book store** and eat cupcakes and buy clothes from CD or not CD and walk everywhere instead of driving my giant truck and be where I won't have to sit in the DMV for hours to get a new liscense because some frellnik stole my old one, and where I won't need to drive to Starbucks to get internet that works.

I'm already torn somewhere between regret and wishes.

Anyway, I'm too tired to be coherent, so I'm just going to go to bed now.
*I call it Secret Fandom here because I don't want the people on this floor to take it and start reading it and trying to talk to me about it. I like having exclusivity on things sometimes. Also, I'm one of those fans that I'm pretty sure everyone in the fandom hates, so I don't like people in the fandom knowing that that is what I'm a fan of. Also, because it's a fandom that those outside of the fandom who have heard of it will probably judge me for. If you really want to know, check out the recent blog posts from whitefluffyhat. She's in my blogroll.

**Ashland has possibly the best comic book store ever, when it gets the new issues in when it's supposed to.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo tips, day 9

Permission to suck.

Hello, WriMos! I’m writing this for you, but if you’re not a WriMo, you might enjoy this anyway, so feel free to read on because it’s going to be here and you’re probably putting off something that you don’t really want to do anyway.

It’s week 2. I know it, you know it, and it’s difficult. Week 2 is the hardest week of NaNoWriMo. You’re getting into the plot, you know the characters, you’re stressed out, and that pile of dirty clothes on the floor is probably approaching apocalyptic size. If you’re me, you’ve also reached the point where you’re writing on a borrowed computer because yours is broken, and trying to not worry about your wallet, which got stolen.

So trust me on this, however bad you think it’s getting this week, it could get worse.

Do you guys know anything about cartomancy? It’s like tarot, but with normal playing cards. I had to study it for NaNo ’09, in which it was also a method of time travel, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, in Cartomancy, the ten of spades is the worst card in the deck. You’ve hit rock bottom. Everything that could go wrong does. On the other hand, it’s a comfort. When you’ve hit the bottom, you have to go up. Things can’t get worse.

That’s this week. This week is the ten of spades. You’ve got this nice world, and you know the characters, and then you have to stab them with pitchforks and they have to loose their spleens and you have to mess up their lives. This is difficult. This is the part where you’re feeling connected to the characters, and you want to give them a good story, and you realize that the story you’re writing isn’t good enough for your characters.

And now you want to start over. There was that scene back there that you weren’t very happy with, and that scene that directly contradicts what you want to do now, and you don’t really like your main character but hot damn, your villain is awesome and you really want your antihero to be the star of the story. This is the part where things start to get tricky.

So what do you do when your writing feels terrible and you just want to kill all of your characters?

Well, there are a couple of things you can do. Number 1) you can kill all of your characters.

That’s right. I said that. If you really hate everyone, and you don’t know what to do, and you’ve totally written yourself into a corner, you can have your character’s house’s carbon monoxide detector fail and everyone dies. You can do this. This is a totally acceptable option. Where do you go from there? Well, just keep writing. Something will happen.

Option 2, you can do something else. You can kill your main character and make this story be about your antihero and your villain and how they end up almost destroying the world and then having to work together to save it. This is also a totally acceptable option. You can take what you have, and mix it up a little bit, and suddenly your subplot has become your main plot. This is also okay.

Option 3, you can just keep writing. That’s right. Just stick to your story, set a timer, and pound words out of your keyboard until you realize that you do kind of like your main character. You will, eventually, finish.

You cannot stop writing. That is not an option. What you need to do is to stop worrying about that massive pile of laundry, and stop worrying about doing justice to your characters and your world, and just keep writing. Your brain is a powerful thing. It will put the pieces of the story together, and you will have something awesome. Everything makes sense at the end.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Polly's NaNoWriMo Tips, November 6, 2011

As November approaches its 6th day, I feel like a few of you may be needing a pep talk or something. I know I do, and this is my 4th WriMo. So yeah, maybe I’m giving myself a pep talk. Shut up. I totally can do that. Sometimes you totally need that.

By day 6, you’re probably getting over the “This will be super fun!” stage of NaNo, and you’re getting into Week Two.

Week Two is a scary thing. During Week Two, you take the world that you set up, and you start breaking it. You know who your characters are, and you’re starting to know where your plot is going (or you think you do. You don’t. You never know where your plot is going. Because of that, you cannot loose your plot, it can just take a surprise twist that no one saw coming. And that’s okay).

And because you know what’s going on, you’re going to start having some trouble. I was writing with my MMC for a while (NaNoSpeak Translation: MMC: Main Male Character, though in my case it could also stand for Main Mail Carrier, but I digress) and I realized that he was a total Gary Stu with no character flaws and all in all he was a character that I just wanted to throw off a bus.

So I started giving him some character flaws and after a page I’d taken that too far and he’d crossed the moral event horizon and I felt like there was no saving him. So I mentioned to my friend, who is also a WriMo, and was in the room at the time, that I hated Steve.

And she asked me, why, and I told her.

And she looked at me and said, “Well, he was on drugs. Keep writing.”

That felt pathetic. It felt like a hand-wave of a scene that I really ought to rewrite because it was really bad, but you know what else it was? GLORIOUS. That, my friends, is the Spirit of NaNo right there.

Your plot feels predictable and suddenly you realized that you’re just telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in space? Go for it. Keep writing. You just noticed that you’ve copied every third line from Pirates of the Caribbean and your MFC (NaNoSpeak Tranalation: Main Female Character) is just female Jack Sparrow? Keep writing.

The thing that should really hit home this week is that your writing style may be bad, and your plot may be terrible, and you may hate the entire thing and want to start over or go back and fix a scene or realize that something didn’t work. The thing you are going to realize this week is that you cannot write a good novel in the first go.

And you know what? That’s okay.

This month, you are just going to write. You’re going to write a story that makes no sense in parts, where sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing, where you reread it during December and find yourself making notes like “Ebe needs a personality transfusion STAT!” and all of this is okay.

This is very important to understand. Even if you don’t know where your story is taking you, even if you don’t know who your characters are, even if you just realized that that scene you wrote three pages ago was long and boring and pointless, keep going with it.

Here’s another piece of advice: If you had an idea to change something in the past, write the scene you’re on like you’ve already changed it. If you want, take a little sticky note (or use the notes section in Scrivener. Seriously. Scrivener. Use it) and mark down what change you made on which page and stick it on your Wall of Plot and Notes and What Am I Doing. You don’t really need to, though. It’s easy enough to realize what you’re doing when you edit.

So yeah. Your challenge for the week: Just write. Week 2 is hard. Power through it. Most people give up in week 2, but you’re not going to be one of them. You’re going to realize that this takes a lot more time than you thought it would, you’re going to be stressed about a lot of things and forget to do a lot of things, and that’s going to be fine. Every time you have free time, put your fingers to the keys, put your pen to the paper, and just write. Turn off your brain, stop thinking about it, and let your characters take control of the story.

Because you want to know a secret? When you are done with NaNo, and you take that first draft that you just printed out on your work’s laser printer when no one was looking, and you read it, you will realize that it’s really bad. You will also realize that it’s really, REALLY good in ways that you never thought you could do. And you will like it and be proud. And that feeling is worth so much. Really, nothing short of seeing a plane that you designed flying can match that feeling. It is the feeling of creation. It is the feeling of being a novelist! And you can feel it.

Just write.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Polly's 21 tips to NaNoWriMo success

I promised I'd do it a couple of days ago, and with 3 days until the event begins, here's my almighty successful advice.

  1. Keep writing. If you had an off day, you don't know what you're doing, you hate all of your characters and you want to kill everything, you just don't feel like writing, do not, under any circumstances, stop writing. It will be difficult. You may not know where the story is. Don't stop writing.
  2. Go with it. If one of your characters keeps telling you repeatedly to burn down the house, but you know that you plot really needs the house, but your character is very insistent that the house needs to be burned down, BURN THE HOUSE DOWN. You have now murdered your entire plot. Go with it.
  3. Don't get too attached to your plot or your characters. Things will change. If you are too attached, you will get stuck, and not want to write. One of the best scenes from my last year's NaNo novel was a creepy torture scene that I ended up writing because I didn't want to pick up the main plot again.
  4. Speaking of which, double plots. They may happen. If you don't know what's going on with one character, switch to another character's point of view and tell the same story that just happened. It earns you words, and you can edit it out in December.
  5. Make a sticky note that says, "I can edit it out in December." Save it. Love it.
  6. Wrist braces: Get some. If you're typing all day, unless you have magical wrists or the best posture ever, you are probably at risk for Carpal Tunnel or RSI (I've given myself both. Carpal Tunnel is when your pinkies go numb. RSI is where it feels like someone stabbed you every time you try to type). Get some typing braces today. Start typing with them, so that you can get back up to your normal typing speed with them on.
  7. Do not delete anything. You had a new idea that requires revising a previous part? Go with it. Don't revise your previous part. Just pretend you already did that. You can fix continuity errors later.
  8. Have some really spectacular success days. Did you write 5000 words in a day? You can!
  9. Get ahead while you can. In the beginning, try to write at least 3K every day. Then you're ahead, and you won't die, and may earn some days off.
  10. Don't take a day off. If you're about to fall asleep at 2 AM, I don't care. Open up your computer, pull out your notebook, write a sentence, and log it. 0's are bigger motivation killers than 12's. Scientific fact.
  11. Don't think it will be easy. You will miss out on things you really wanted to do. You will feel incredibly stressed and hate all of your characters and want to burn down their building. You will probably cry and scream and tear out your hair and that is okay and that means you're doing things right.
  12. Write in the mornings. Pick a time (Last year, my time was 5:45 AM. This year, it's 8:00 AM), set your alarm for that, and when it goes off, open computer, type. You may not be awake enough to do this well. That is okay. Write words. You can edit it out in December.
  13. Shower. You stuck on your plot? don't know where this character is taking you? Take a shower. Things appear to magically work themselves out in your mind in the shower (it's something to do with the fact that you can't write them down and distinctly feel like it's not as good when you get it on paper. Don't worry about that. It's fine).
  14. Tangents. Go on them. Your character is walking through the park, and you realize that the homeless man she always walks past has a really interesting backstory. WRITE THAT. I don't care if it isn't relevant to the plot. DECEMBER IS FOR EDITING.
  15. Writing sprints. Do them. Go on the Twitter, the forum, Skype, anything, and find someone to word war with. It is helpful.
  16. Write in coffee shops. Let the people think you're crazy.
  17. At some point, you will realize that you cannot write a good novel in this amount of time. That is true. The goal is to write a bad novel, then make it good of a period of several months. Fun fact: Without writing a bad novel, you will never write a good novel.
  18. Challenges. Dares. Adopt-a-lines. Do them.
  19. Don't panic. If your novel halfway through wants to become a Glee fanfiction or your pilot turned into River from Firefly, go with it. You don't know where it's going to take you, but you'll be going somewhere.
  20. Write your whole story. If you hit 50K but haven't wrapped up the story, is it still a win?
  21. Just write. Seriously. Just keep writing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My tea is cold and there's a Beth on my floor

So yesterday, Beth drove down here from Salem to visit me. (I love Beth)
She's currently asleep on my floor, and my tea has gotten cold.

Anyway, let's talk about NaNoWriMo.

For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is the craziest thing ever created that I have personally participated in.
It's a bunch of nerds. On the internet. Writing novels. In a month.
Specifically, the month of November.


I've done it three times, won twice (you win by finishing your novel. Everyone who participates can win, but usually the win rate is at around 25%), and learned a lot of things in the process.

So here's POLLY'S GUIDE TO NOT FAIL AT NANOWRIMO. First of all, let's talk about the three methods of NaNoing that I've witnessed.
  1. When November comes, write. You realize that it's November, and you don't have any idea for a story, and you don't know where things are going, write. If you didn't do any planning, now is not the time. You need to just start writing. Don't worry if it's a good concept or a terrible concept or you don't know your character or what they're going to do...just put your fingers on the keys and write. Eventually, you will find yourself making turns and changes that you had never expected, and the novel will happen.
  2. Well, it's like this, but also like that... You have a vague idea for a plot. "It's about a guy who sends a journal back in time to stop a plague from killing his sister." You don't think it through much more than that. I have used this method for the past two years (my two winning years) and it's nice and easy. Since November has 4 weeks, here's my basic formula:
    Week 1: Establish this character's life as it normally is. Build the world, their job that they hate, their coworkers that like to steal things from them, the magical talking alpaca that lives in their basement, business as normal.

    Week 2: Mess up their life. Their alpaca sends them on a journey for a mystical crystal, their obnoxious coworker sleeps with your character's spouse, and to top it all off, the coffee pot breaks and your character has to go through the whole story WITH NO COFFEE.

    Week 3: The character tries to fix things, but just makes it all worse. They go to Starbucks for coffee and find that they interrupted a counseling session with their spouse, and to top it all off, they broke that mystical crystal and now the universe is going to explode. By the middle of week 3, everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong.

    Week 3.5/4: Fix it. You have written your character into a giant literary hole. Now make it better.
    Most of this you just make up as you go, but you know where the plot is hopefully going to lead you.
  3. The intense outline method. I'm attempting this one for the first time this year. Here's how it works: You download Scrivener (SERIOUSLY YOU CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT SCRIVENER, IT'S AMAZING) and you put every scene into a notecard, figure out how many words you need, and then you can write whatever scene strikes your fancy when it comes time to write. Having never done this before, that's all I can say.

Okay. This got long, so tomorrow will happen my 21 tips to make NaNoWriMo less miserable.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Some more Theatre-y things.

Disclaimer: There will be much theatre nerding, a little bit of angst, and probably a misuse of Theatre/Theater in this post.

I'm sitting on my bed right now, holding Thumper the Thunder Thumper, and really glad that my Den Mom appears to be psychic. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So two weeks ago, the Foundations students (that's me and all of the other pre-theatre majors) filled out their theatre practice assignment requests.
And we were told, "Hey, guys, don't panic, but you MAY not get an assignment. We don't have enough space. Sorry, guys." And then we got a little piece of paper and filled out our schedule and went home.
And then a couple days later they posted the assignments, and I checked the call board--
--I'm going to take a moment right there to be like GUYS I CHECKED THE CALL BOARD THAT'S SOMETHING THEATRE PEOPLE DO!!--
--and there was my name! Right there! on the costume crafts crew!
THE COSTUME CRAFTS CREW, GUYS! It's like the best job ever. It ALLITERATES!
So I signed off that I'd seen it and went on my merry way, and when I checked the call board on Friday, I saw when my first work call was.
And then I looked at the time, and my heart just kind of plummeted into my liver. "Tuesday-Thursday work call: 1:30-5:20." Which would have been fine, but I have a class Tuesday-Thursday, 1:30-3:30. And I couldn't do Monday, because I'd have class from 3:30-5:20.
So then there was a lot of panicking, and a lot of stress, and a lot of Polly OMG WHAT DO WHAT DO.
So then I sent an email to the lady in charge of scheduling for the costume department, and tried to have a good weekend.

On Monday, still hadn't heard back (but also hadn't yet checked my email. I was terrified of having a YOU FAIL AT THEATRE, PACK YOUR BAGS, YOU DO NOT PASS GO, YOU DO NOT COLLECT $200 kind of email sitting in my inbox). My Den Mom has this little Thumper plushie (from Bambi. You know, Thumper?) that she gives to someone in the den who she thinks will need it, and then they bring him back for the next class. She gave him to me, and I ended up really needing him because the people I live with are hypocritical dicks. And then I checked my email.

And everyone was super nice and helpful! I now have a job working in the stock room or on the Make-it-Better crew (we don't know which one yet, but they're basically one group), which is FANTASTIC. This means next term, when/if I'm working on one of the other crews, I will know where everything is, and where it belongs, and what we have.

Anyway, that's all I've got to talk about at this point.

The thing that I was really upset about yesterday was still really upsetting today, so I ended up skipping one of my classes and walking around town. I discovered that buying bubble tea and a crepe fixes many of the problems with the world, especially when it's enjoyed while watching Project Runway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So I'm like doing theatre-y things

Hey, quick question: What is the difference between "theatre" and "theater," assuming that I'm not in the UK? Because I'm confused, so I just take a guess and figure I have a 50% chance of being right.

But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about school things.

So the first thing that I've learned is that the Theater/re department here is not as frightening or as intense as I was led to believe. I mean, it's definitely an intense course (the kind of course where you work 12 hours a week to get 2 credits) but I don't think it's as scary as I was led to believe.

See, the reason why Theatre/er really freaks me out is because I honestly don't know what I'm doing. My theaterre experience is close to nonexistent (acting in two shows, being a guerrilla hair assistant at one show, costuming one show,* and costume designing two shows), and most of my den brothers are in it for performance, meaning that I'm kind of the odd one out in the group.
I'm also the only girl in my den, but I don't have super rigidly-defined gender roles (Unlike one of the people in my den, henceforth referred to as Gender Roles Guy).

But, yeah, thus far I haven't majorly pissed off anyone.

Also, I've noticed something that I do with my clothes, and as, well, I AM a costume designer**, I started trying to figure out what I'm doing and why.

I don't dress femininely at all for foundations. I wear jeans, a unisex t-shirt, and tie my hair back in a braid or a ponytail or a bun or something. I don't do makeup. And then after 10:30, I go back to my dorm and change. I didn't think about why I do this, but I've finally figured it out. Part 1: Gender Roles Guy has really REALLY rigidly defined gender roles, bordering on misogyny. I'm not going to dress myself as a target, because being targeted would be a distraction. Part 2: I'm not there to impress anyone with my looks. I'm not there to impress anyone at all. I'm there to learn. If I happen to impress anyone with anything, it will be with my actions, with my skills, and not with my body. Part 3: This isn't about me, and as a costume designer***, I want to dress to reflect that. Being a costume designer is different from being a fashion designer. Fashion designers are what they sell. They need to look good all the time. Everything they wear reflects their unique sense of style, because they're clothing the masses. Being a costume designer means that sometimes you have to design really ugly wedding dresses or something. It's not about looking good. It's about reflecting what you are.

Not that I'm actually a costume designer, yet. Mostly, I'm just reusing a joke that started getting old at Comic-Con. though, when you look at the factorials, it's still really funny.

Anyway, I don't know what I'm saying anymore, so I guess I'll just leave. Give my love to Fay!
*NONE OF MY WRITING TEACHERS USE THE OXFORD COMMA. I LOVE THE OXFORD COMMA. They don't mark it as wrong, but they don't use it online or anything. #rant



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I should really go take a shower.

So yesterday was a weir day with my friends here.

I was walking back from my 11:30 class, which is basically a class in which I crash a virtual spaceship into various stars (DUDE GUYS I HAVE A CLASS WHERE I GET TO PRETEND TO FLY A FASTER-THAN-LIGHT SHIP!!). While I was walking, I saw my friend Monica, and I decided to be a total creeper and run to catch up with her. This turned out to be a good idea, as we then went up to her room and watched things like "Hey Ash Whatchya Playin'?" which is hilarious.
While I was there, I left my tea mug. Woops.

So when she got out of class at like 9:30, I went over to her place to pick it up.

And then I came back home with a stack of comic books that I must read.

Sometimes, I don't even know what's happening. Today is Wednesday, though. That's a good thing.

Today, I will work up the courage to go to the Mac Lab and edit things. Then I'll be able to do it tomorrow too! YAY!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm eating a banana.

Bananas are interesting fruits.

A little over a year ago, I met a girl at a convention. She gave me a banana and then we did a play.

Did you know that there is very little genetic diversity in bananas? An opportunistic bug or parasite or fungus could wipe out all of the bananas in the world. It's possible that future generations will never know what bananas are.

One day over the summer, my brother, some of his friends, and I were eating bananas, I peel my bananas from the bottom, and one of my brother's friends said that that was weird. This started a discussion of the proper way to open a banana. My brother looked at his friends (who are all a good 6" taller than him) and said, "None of you open bananas like real men. Here's how manly men open bananas."
He then grabbed the banana at the center and ripped it in half, and then walked off like that was totally normal.

(By the end of the summer, my brother and I had invented a game where I throw a banana towards him, and he slices it in half with a machete)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This string cheese is inadequate

And I'm not very good at spelling.

So I just had a moment of "I hate cleaning, I don't want to clean, do you know what I want to do? SEW A TUTU."

See, I do these things sometimes. I get frustrated with things and then I start sewing things...which is why there's a green and red "What would Jesus do?" tie-dyed corset currently sitting on my dress form.

Like I'll be angry with the universe for some silly reason, and I'll say, "Hell. I want a really complicated and time-consuming project." And then I look up complicated and time-consuming costumes and then I watch the shows and movies that they came from, and I obsess and design and think and mull it over in my brain and most of the time it stops there.

For the moment.

Sometimes, I will be sitting somewhere and I think, "Hell. I need to MAKE something."
And I will have all of the research done and all of the designing and thinking finished and I will just go for it.
And sometimes that doesn't end up well. And sometimes it does.

And sometimes I listen to Animal Collective and start crying and sometimes I start finding myself thinking, "I accidentally 5 classes what do?!" and sometimes I think about how I have to spend another week and a half here, alone, and I just want to scream.

And sometimes I post blog posts that show to people on some level that I'm nowhere near as sane as I like to pretend to be.

The plan for today: I will sew the frills, I will go to Starbucks with a knitting project and a sewing basket and a computer and a ukulele and a sketchbook. I will buy myself a venti iced white chocolate mocha and bring myself a mug for tea later. I will de-weaponify the frills and begin pleating and weaponifying the next layer of frills. When I have weaponized the frills, I will watch Farscape and I will knit until I run out of yarn, and then I will draw people.
I will have a day to myself, a day where I get out of this house where I spend so much of my time, a day where I am surrounded by people and I do not have to talk to any of them, I can just go and sit there and know that there are other people in this world and I have not lost my mind.
And if I need to spend all day there, I will spend all day there.

Also, I just gave the string cheese to my dog. It seemed like the most logical course of action.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why nothing rhymes with pyramid.

First of all, my last post was featured on the blog Adult Beginner, which is super exciting, so y'all should go over there and read her blog, because it's really clever and funny.

This is going to be a long, rambly, "I miss my friends" kind of blog post, because they've all gone back to college, and I'm still here, waiting for another month until I go back, because my school starts late.

So let's talk about why nothing rhymes with pyramid. This is a story that started roughly

So, in the middle of last summer, I got some pretty bad news. My school that I was attending me at the time informed me that "Due to the California Budget Crisis," they were not getting the funding they needed (Read: wasted all of their money on that stupid statue of a 40-foot piece of bacon) so my tuition had increased, and I hadn't paid the increase, and therefore they had dropped me from all of my classes. I got on my school email and asked them if they'd informed me by email of this, and they said, yes, they had, had I checked the new email? And I said, what is this new email of which you speak? Did you inform everyone of that? And the lady on the phone informed me that they sent an email to the new email informing everyone of the new email.
So, since I'd been dropped from all of my classes and they had filled up within seconds of my being dropped, I kept my very polite tone of voice and made some very impolite hand gestures at the phone, and thanked the woman for calling me.
And then I said, "Well, I'm not giving them any more money," and started the search for a new school.

Searching for a new school meant taking a term off from school. During that time, I got to do exciting things, like go to SacHorror and meet Jewel Staite and get her to sign my dress that I made for her to sign. Jewel Staite was in Firefly, and also played a character named Dr. Kellar on Stargate: Atlantis (which I hadn't seen at the time). I went with my friend Melody and Melody brought her ukulele. And while we were waiting for the Zombie Prom to start, the father of one of the girls in line told Melody to play "Tiny Bubbles."
We had never heard to Tiny Bubbles. After the con, we go back home, and Melody looks up Tiny Bubbles. And we see this. The moon. Is singing. To you.
So for a long time, Tiny Bubbles became this inside joke between me and Melody.

Also while I was taking that term off, I got a job as a dogsitter. Dogsitting is seriously one of the best jobs ever. For me, it was a lot of sitting in a very nice apartment on a very nice couch, watching TV on a very nice internet connection, and walking the dogs every few episodes. Unfortunately, I ran out of television to watch pretty fast. I thought back to SacHorror, and Jewel Staite who was in something called Stargate: Atlantis, and low and behold, it was on Netflix! So I watched it, and then got Melody and Beth to watch it. And Stargate: Atlantis led to Stargate: SG-1 (We watched them out of order).
And SG1 is 10 seasons long. We finished it at the beginning of this summer.

Now, during this time, Tiny Bubbles was still a brilliant inside joke, and we frequently rewrote the lyrics to be about whatever we were talking about. Frequently this began with "Daniel Jackson," as he's a character in SG-1 and Mel and Beff both think he's quite attractive, and his name has the same number of syllables as "Tiny Bubbles."

Melody's mom works in a thrift shop, and one day a copy of Stargate the movie was donated, and she got it for Melody. We then had movie night where we watched Stargate.

We ate a lot of sugar, got very little sleep, and made bad jokes that seemed really hilarious to us. So at one point, Daniel Jackson was in a pyramid, and we started singing Tiny Bubbles.
Daniel Jackson
In the pyramid
Daniel Jackson

...Nothing rhymes with 'pyramid'.
So, basically, the whole point of this post was to prove that getting screwed over by my school is the reason why nothing rhymes with pyramid.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Today, I became the internet.

So I wrote this big long comment on Melody's blog post about college and then Blogger deleted it, so here's my advice for making friends in college, in blog post form.

Having been a Freshman in college twice, at two different schools, I would like to think that I'm a bit more qualified than most people to talk about making friends in college*. So, here's my list of things that help you make friends in college.

  1. The first week, unless you're naked or asleep, if you're in your dorm room, keep that door open. People will stop by to talk to you. You'll get to know people in your hall that way. Also, walk down the hall a couple of times and talk to people with their doors open. They're probably keeping their door open in the hopes that someone will come down the hall and talk to them.
  2. Your instinct is going to be to try and hide yourself and fit in. Don't do it. DON'T DO IT! Play your music without headphones. Wear your nerdy shirts. Make sci-fi references in everyday conversation. People can't be your friends unless they know what you like, so be a nerd about the things that you're a nerd about, and you'll find people who are nerds about the same thing. (If you're scared of doing that, go to the cafeteria, face a wall, open your laptop, and start watching Doctor Who without headphones. People will come up behind you and watch it. Talk to them. #Polly'sSecretMethod)
  3. If you get really lonely, go to either the Woman's Resource Center or the LGBT Resource Center and just be honest. Say that you just moved there, you're lonely, and you don't think you can stand another night sitting in your room watching TV shows on Netflix at a record speed.
  4. Sit outside where there are a medium number of people and teach yourself a song on the ukulele. Seriously. If people stop by, put down the ukulele and talk to them. They may not talk for too long, but that's another familiar face that you'll know when you're in the cafeteria.
  5. Remember people's faces. If you're in the cafeteria and you don't think you can stand another night of dinner alone by yourself, walk up to a group of people whose faces you recognize, and be honest. Say, "Hey, guys, is it all right if I sit with you guys so I don't look sad sitting at a table by myself?" Eat dinner with them, if you guys click and they're going to something after dinner, they may invite you along. If not, well, by now you should know a lot of people, like that girl over there who stopped by to talk to you while you were playing ukulele on the lawn that one time. Keep talking to people. Eventually, you'll find some friends.
  6. WHATEVER YOU DO, don't develop an addiction to sewing and start forgetting to eat and spend all day in your room with the door closed. Looks great on your portfolio. Makes you miserable. LEARN FROM MY FAILURE.
Well, I hope some of that made sense in a vague way.
Also, join a club. Seriously. Join a club. I never did, but do it.

* I'm not, though. Of the schools I've attended, I had friends at one of them.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to become rich doing costume design.

As we’re fast approaching a 1-year mark since I became head of costumes on Team Avatar: Adventures of the Appamobile, I felt like it was high time I shared with you my design process, because I’m TOTALLY AN EXPERT NOW AMIRITE GUYS?

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never taken a costume design class or any design class at all. I have no professional training and I’m not really writing this to explain to others how to design, but really as a personal blog so that a year from now I can look back on this and facepalm. Feel free to gain any insight you want from this, but it’s not the industry standard way to do things, and it’s probably not the best way either. It’s what I found out from being thrown in the deep end with a cannon tied to my ankles. It may be useful. It may not. Good luck.

So, for me, the design process has a lot of steps: scribbles, research, sketches, and technicals. Sometimes they happen in different order from what I say here. Research and Scribbles have to happen more or less at the same time.

So here we go

Step 1: Scribbles

So here’s the kind of thing that I do. They usually happen on lined paper in notebooks or on the back of receipts or in my moleskine (If you don’t have a Moleskine, get one. It makes you look like a deep misunderstood artist, which is what you are, right?). These are not the sort of thing that my director would EVER see, or she would fire me and then probably start panicking.

A lot of these scribbles are just free flowing ideas, sometimes something like noticing how a woman’s skirt in a coffee shop lays and then sketching that, and thinking “OOH WOULDN’T IT BE AWESOME IF THE LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD HAD A HAT?!” sort of thing. Your scribbles need no logic. They just happen. Trying to make them good or trying to make them have reason is wrong.

Sidebar: Hang out in coffee shops and shopping malls. Look at people and look at clothes. If you’re trapped in your studio/dorm room all day, you won’t get to see new things, and design is all about seeing new things.

Step 2: Research

So, you’ve got Team Avatar. Team Avatar is Avatar: The Last Airbender set in the modern age but not really but kind of but not really but sort of, and Team Avatar wears superhero costumes because Sokka is silly. So, of course, when you’re coming up with designs, you look up the source material and superheroes.

Sometimes, you end up with much more vague things. I have had a director tell me, “It’s like the 1990’s, if the 30’s was in the 50’s.” In that case, you look up all of the eras, save all of the pictures that inspire you in any way.

Now you need to branch out. You look at the technology of the era. What materials can you use (Aang is a vegetarian. He probably wouldn’t wear leather, maybe not silk)? What materials were available in the era? What materials capture the feel of the era?

Sometimes, I rely on Google image results to do some of the work for me. If I’m really stuck, I try to break the character down into a few keywords and then see if anything weird comes up (For Bumi, I searched for “Crazy modern king,” and got a picture of this guy in a storm trooper helmet with cases of beer stacked from floor to ceiling behind him).

Now, you’ve got a crapload of pictures. Time to take them in photoshop or print them out, cut them out, rearrange them, tape them on your wall, stare at them, get confused, go get coffee, scribble some more, come back home, get really confused, call your friend in New York and talk about how confused you are, feel like the world isn’t making sense, scribble some more, and go to sleep.

The next morning, you look at those scribbles you made, put them into your collage, and repeat the process.


Now you have like 400 little things that you’re thinking about that are floating around in your mind and slowly driving you insane, and you need to think about it. Costumes aren’t enough to just be logical. Everything tells the story. So you’re not creating a fancy costume. You’re just coming up with an everyday outfit for a main character. Costumes are part of the story. Who is this character? Did she pick the outfit? Did her big sister buy it for her? How does it show her personality? Even if someone else picked it out and dressed her, she will add her own personal touches. These are important. The costumes are an extension of the characters. You know you want the Lord of the Underworld in a hat. Why? Why is he in that hat?

Inherently, more scribbles will happen here, and you will probably start talking to yourself and your roommate will program the school’s therapist into her speed dial and wait for you to have your psychotic break.

Step 4: Finalize it

Now you know what you’re looking for. Draw it. I love watercolors for this because they’re vaguer than any other medium, and this sketch is about vagueness. You CANNOT attempt to nail down every detail on this. Details kill creativity. Don’t think about how you’re going to do it. Just get things on paper.

Draw your model. How does your model stand? She reflects the feel of the design. Don’t worry about keeping her neutral at this point.

**Key point!** You need to make at least 3 designs, 4 would be better, of each design you need. This way, when you show them to your director, they will pick their favorite. If you show them, it’s a matter of “I like it,” or “I don’t like it.” Four designs, one almost always gets chosen unless your director was thinking along totally different lines than you were.

in between step: MORE RESEARCH: You probably drew things without thinking about the fabric that you’d use and things like that. Time to look at fabrics and think about how you’ll do things. Nothing drawingwise is needed, just know how you’re going to do this.

Step 5: Technical Sketches

Now you break down every piece, every detail of the costume. What does the jacket look like on the back? Where are the pockets? How do I do that? (These are really only necessary if you’re giving the designs to a costumer or your costume designer demands them. If you’re also costuming the show, you can work off of your sketches usually.)
I like to do my technical sketches with just a pigment liner, very little variance of line weight. You know all of that emotion that you poured into your watercolor? Yeah. This is the opposite of that. Technical sketches are not emotional. They are the transition between the emotion that you put on the page and the emotion that the actor will put into the clothes. They must be emotionless and technically accurate.

Step 6: Make it.

Step 7: Put it on the actor.

Step 8: ?????

Step 9: Profit.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So what exactly is this YouTube thing?

hello and welcome to Polly's Updates about the vidcon, day 2.

apparently my shift key does not work as well as i would like it to.

i am blogging to you from my phone, live in my hotel room, waiting for melerdy to get out of the shower and for my muffin tops to thaw.

that is a sentence that makes less sense out of context. aparently there is this weird LA thing where you can buy the top half of a muffin.

so i did. i bought four. they are defrosting now and then, breakfast.

goodbye, bloggiepeople.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


So you remember how I was going to blog about comic-con and the preparations therein?

Yeah. Didn't happen.

At some point I'll stop and think about what exactly happened on each day, but for now I'm just kind of like, BRAIN I CAN'T DO!

Tomorrow I leave for VidCon. Yep.

I'm going to be SO burned out by the time that I finish this weekend.

But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about pie.

So near where I live, a lot of Himalayan Blackberries grow. This is, by all accounts, not a good thing as they're not native to this area and crowd out other plants and disrupt ecosystems but you know what they ARE good for?
Himalayan Blackberries are the big blackberries that have crazy intense thorns and hurt like a mothafucka when they stab you and they make AWESOME pie.
And cobbler.
And jelly.

However, there's something worth noting about piecrusts:
You need to keep the fat REALLY cold when you make them, or they don't flake and if they aren't flaky then what good are they? I mean, you intentionally make them with the perfect balance of flaky and tender and that's EXACTLY what pie is about, right? Right?
So this is tough when you don't air-condition your house and your kitchen is about 80 degrees F (that's 27 c for you non-USers) and you need to keep the butter REALLY cold.
This means many, many bowls of ice water that other bowls sit on top of.

Uh, yeah, that wasn't really relevant to anything else.
My brain is still all dead.

We are ninjas from the dead.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Times have changed and so have I

So this year I'm doing the 50 book challenge, in which you read 50 books in a year or roughly one book a week.
I have finished 14 books.
For those of you wondering, I am only 10 books behind.
But one of my rules is that they have to be books that I haven't read before. I make one exception to these rules.

You see, when I was little (Read: from the time I was born until my senior year of high school) my parents would read bedtime stories to me. When I was really little, they were picture books, and as I got older they progressed to chapter books. They'd alternate nights reading, and we'd usually have two books going on at once. When I was in third grade, my dad bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and that changed my life. We ended up reading the first three together until I decided that I wasn't happy with the one-chapter-every-other-night pace and I think I got through Goblet of Fire in a day and a half.
Back to bedtime stories.
So as my sister and I got older, the books that we'd choose of my parents would choose got more mature, and in some cases the books were a bit more mature than I was ready for (I think I was in 4th grade when we read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and after re-reading it I realize exactly how much I missed*).
So now, as an alleged adult, I'm rereading a lot of the books that we read together.

It's interesting to see how much more I'm getting out of these books that I heard so long ago.

I think I'm really lucky that my parents encouraged me to love reading so much. Until I was in 6th grade, we didn't have internet or video games in the house** and whenever I was bored or we had to wait somewhere we would always read books. My mom and I got through a lot of books when I was in 5th grade, because my sister's school started a half hour before mine did and the other kids in my class were kind of mean to me, so instead of playing on the playground before school we'd just sit in the car and read. Good for my reading skills. Not as good for my social skills.

*All of it. I missed all of it.
**We had computer games, though. I have memories of playing Zork and Doom and Quake with my father. Doom was "Big Bad Guy Game." I was pretty young back then, and the one thing I really remember is that I wouldn't watch him play unless he'd enabled Godmode, which I called "White Eyes" because the eyes of the sprite that represented the damage you'd taken glowed. By the time he'd gotten Quake, I was a bit older, and we used to always say, "The only good type of Skraag is a dead Skraag," because both of us hated those flying monsters.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I wish I understood

Here's just an angsty thing that I've been feeling.

I don't know what it is, but I feel like the angst is contagious.
Like we get stressed out and then we take it out on other people, who then get stressed out and the cycle repeats itself.

And you may think that you're breaking the cycle by not taking it out on someone else, but the stress has to go somewhere and if you aren't taking it out on someone else, you're taking it out on yourself.
And then that means that you're making others worry about you.
Which, trust me, they are.
And then they get stressed.

Anyway, that's all I have to say.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Today, is Thursday, right?

I have a really, REALLY good reason for why I didn't do a blog post last night.


I'm just not going to tell you what it was*.

But there ya go, that's my blog for yesterday.

And now it's July, meaning that it's time for the SDCC PREPARATION BLOG.

Yup. That it is.

But I'll do that later. Just saying. A little bit later.

*It may have been called "Farscape party with Beth"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weirest injury of the day.

So I have managed to injure myself twice today.

Once I was standing on my weak ankle* on one foot, and my balance went sideways and ankle was like BITCH NOT DOIN THAT and that isn't good.

Once I was driving home and I cut my toe open on my high beam switch**.

In other news, I have a smartphone now, so I'm able to get on the internet and do actual things on the internet, which is good.

Yeah. That's about it.

Good night, Bloggypeoples.

*I have a strong ankle and a weak ankle. The weak ankle is what happens when you sprain your ankle and then proceed to ignore the sprain for a month and dance on it for 12 hours a week.
**it's a floor-mounted switch, so it's not that weir, but it's still pretty weir.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A response to Amy's SDCC list

This is a response to the most recent post on Amy's blog, which is in my blogroll over there, so click that 'cause I'm too lazy to find the link.

So here goes:
I. Transportation:
---Why don't you guys trust Baby Beast? He's seriously offended by this.
---That said, I don't trust Baby Beast and I DRIVE him.
---I have nothing else to offer in terms of transportation, as IF we have RenneyRabbit up and running, none of you know how to drive manual transmission and she only seats two anyway.
---Now that I think about it, lies. Crystal knows how to drive manual transmission.
---Also, Melody and I may be wanting to keep a car in San Diego for the week between SDCC and VidCon

II. Lodging
  1. Location: I have obtained a back yard for us to sleep in. We will need to bring a tent.
  2. Power: Installing a power inverter into a car is a rather serious undertaking. However, I do not expect Cole would have a big problem with us running an extension cord into his backyard. Other charging can be done in pretty much any restaurant.
  3. Food: Crystal and I had a cooler last year and that worked pretty well. It was still cold by the third day, and we could buy ice to refresh it. My mom's awkward pyramid scheme that she works with involves selling fully cooked, non-refridgerated meals including a vegeterian lasagne that isn't bad. Melody, Odwalla smoothies stay pretty well at room temp as long as they aren't opened.
  4. Hygiene: Amy, Melody, and Beth are probably not prepared for the experience that is SDCC. For many hours every day that you are there, you are literally surrounded by people. At any given time in the event hall, 3+ people WILL BE TOUCHING YOU. Those of you who went to SacAnime with me probably witnessed Day Three Game Room NerdStank. Imagine that. Now imagine how that FEELS ON YOUR SKIN. It is tangible. We don't like it. We don't want to see it. It makes us uncomfortable. Bathing after Comic-Con is not an option. Even if we're spongebathing, it MUST. HAPPEN.
  5. Storage: Amy is making a Pack Plan. We are trusting her when it comes to storage. With that said, wigs that don't have large amounts of hairspray/foamcore can be stored by turning them inside out, braiding the hair, tucking that into the cap, and putting the wig in a plastic ziptop bag.
III. Convention Logistics
  1. Transport to/from con: Take the train. 'Nuff said.
  2. Volunteering: ????? I've never done it before.
  3. Storage @con: Everyone should bring a large backpack and be prepared to carry it all day.
  4. Food @ con: Everyone should have, in their backpack, either a jar of peanut butter or a loaf of bread. I think with two loaves of bread and two people having peanut butter/jelly/honey/peanut butter and jelly we can survive 4 days at con. WATER. Everyone must have, in their backpack, a refillable water bottle. CON DEHYDRATION IS NOT FUN. YOU PASS OUT AND THEN YOU MISS YOUR VOLUNTEER SHIFT AND THEN YOU ARE PERMABANNED FORM VOLUNTEERING. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN.
IV. Money (PS. Amy, your numbering on your list was kind of off. Just sayin')
---Geurilla Income will be tricksy. Comic-Con frowns upon people earning money at the con who did not pay for the privilege of doing so. DO NOT EXPECT TO EARN A LOT.

V. Packing List
  1. I may be able to convince my brother to swap with me and I get his droid for the weekend. If so, we have a portable wireless hub. If not, Cole will PROBABLY let us onto his Wifi
  2. The cosplay list: TIDE TO GO IS NOT AN OPTION. TIDE TO GO IS A NECESSITY. Also needed is Febreeze, needle and thread, duct tape, boob tape (also sold as pasty tape and fashion tape) to keep costume malfunctions from happening, a hot glue gun if possible (for emergency wig repairs), super glue, and Katie Bair's Miracle in a Bottle.
  3. Emergency kit should also contain ACE wrap in case of ankle/wrist/knee injuries, lidocaine patches, and a change of underwear for everyone (otherwise, when all of our stuff gets stolen and we're stuck at the con overnight, we'll have to keep wearing the same underwear and that just ain't pretty).
  • Each person MUST have a pair of cushioned insoles for any shoes that they have for cosplay. Your feet begin hurting to the point where they actually go numb, and then when you take your shoes off and regain feeling, it's kind of like OH FRELL ME AND FRELL THIS RUTTING CON. I don't think my feet stopped hurting for three days after the con last year, and I only did it one day.
  • Camera. You will need it. Everyone must have a camera.
  • For the con, you need a bag that will hold 1) a change of clothes, because you should have an option to change out of cosplay/something that isn't covered in blood after someone gets stabbed and you were an innocent bystander 2) room to fit your cosplay when you've taken the change of clothes out 3) BREAD or PEANUT BUTTER 4) Spare plastic knives/spoons. You don't want to have to carry around a peanut buttery spoon. 5) Your emergency repair supplies for the con. 6) a small towel, so that you are a hoopy frod who knows where her towel is
  • Amy is the best at planning. Sadly, the only con that Amy has ever been to was SacCon. I am the worst at planning. I have also been to SDCC once. #paradox
  • Before we leave, we are all going to have a conversation with my mom about car problems that we are likely to encounter and how to fix them. I believe my mom is the best choice for this because she 1) knows about cars 2) isn't really scary and 3) knows all of you. If not my mom, Crystal's dad would be a good option, as he fulfills requirements #1 and #2.
  • We should go to the dollar store and buy window paint. We should paint the car that is not staying the week in SoCal with Polly and Melody. We should not paint the car that is staying, as that would result in awkward complications for Polly and Melody and not being able to wash their car. We might get jumped at VidCon by Youtubers, and then you guys would find out because someone would post it online, and then you guys would feel really guilty.
Everyone who can afford it should bring the money to get next year's badge at this year's con. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL EVER GET INTO PREVIEW NIGHT EVER. JUST SAYING.


Monday, June 27, 2011

From chuch: Why people hate christians

Disclaimer: Part 1) As I am writing this, I am in a church. Part 2) I have been a christian all my life, and I do believe in God. 3) No. I don't capitalize 'christian.' I don't know why. Why are you looking for logic in Polly Rambles?

So I woke up this morning with a funny taste in my head, and spackled some butter over some whole-grain bread. Something tasted different. Maybe it was my tongue. Something tasted different and wait that's an Ingrid Michaelson song and not the point of this blog.

So I woke up this morning and thought about a lady who at one point went to our church and willingly protected her child-abuser husband and the rest of the church doesn't bring her up any more.
But she taught Sunday School here for many years, which I was forced by my parents to go to.
And I was thinking about some of the classes that she taught. One of her classes was about witchcraft and things that draw us away from God.
During this class, after she told us that everyone who didn't believe as she believed was going to hell,* we got on the topic of tarot cards and divination.
Now I happen to use cartomancy** a lot when I have stressful problems that I need to work out. I have a deck of cards that I use for nothing but cartomancy, and I frequently will pull them out and use them to help me think over my problems. I've done this for probably about 5 years now, which meant a good 3-something years at the time that this conversation took place.
One of the basic beliefs in all forms of divination is that there is a message and it is coming from another, external force. It's not JUST from you, it's not a fun parlor trick, there is a message and it is coming from something.
So this lady who we're going to call Z got all on EVERYONE WHO USES TAROT CARDS CALLS UPON THE DEVIL TO TELL THEM THE FUTURE! And I was kind of like "hahaha no."

But that's one of the reasons that people hate christians. We tend to make snap decisions based on little to no information, and then assume that we're better than other people. Which we aren't.

So here's where I talk about religion for a while.
I believe that you should use religion to define how you live as a person. Christianity preaches acceptance of everyone, and forgiveness of other's wrongs so that your wrongs may be forgiven. I believe that that is so much more important than the question of if there is an afterlife or not, and whether or not I will be among God's chosen when the rapture comes. I believe that, if there is an afterlife, living a life of acceptance and forgiveness will do more for me on my path to Heaven than I will by forcing all of my friends to go to church with me and preaching all the time about how I am a christian and the Bible says we should stone the homosexuals so yeah let's go do that.

As for the whole cartomancy is anti-christian, I don't see how assigning meanings to playing cards and using them to help you realize something about yourself and the situation and extrapolate from that to help determine the future is any different from opening up the Bible to a random passage and using that to give you enlightenment about yourself and your current situation. I believe that both of those signs can come from the same god.
Anyone who believes in an all-powerful god cannot say that said god cannot speak to them in a certain way. I believe that my God can do anything. If he wants to talk to me through Tarot cards, he fine well can. As long as it does not go against the two most basic beliefs of my religion, "Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself," then I think pretty much everything is a message from God. If it's not serving as a shining example, it's just as easy to serve as a terrible warning.

Okay, I'm not making sense anymore, just heard that I was sent the wrong mounts for my car AGAIN, and now I'm too angry to figure out what I was trying to say there, so I'm going to go write a pissy post on my car's blog, and then watch Farscape. #Mondays

*Not her exact words, but that was what she was saying. "The Bible says that the only way to heaven is to believe in Jesus, so everyone who is Jewish or Wiccan or Muslim is going to hell."
**To define terms here, when I use the term "cartomancy" I am speaking of basically tarot readings with regular playing cards and not actual tarot cards.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some things.

Yeah. Again, with "some" as the beginning of my title. I'm lame, I know.

So, here we go:
1) My brother just said, "Controlled crisper," because he was reading it off of the fridge drawer. I heard "control crystal" and got really excited.
2) I cannot find my phone. It is somewhere, but I do not remember where.
3) I promised myself that I would post a real blog with real substance in it. I am afraid that I won't be able to do that.

July of this year is just terrifying the everliving fug out of me right now. When I stop and think about it, I just panic.
So the first week of July is COSTUME STRESS WEEK.
Then there's show week.
The week after that is Comic-Con week.
The week after that is VidCon
The week after that is my grandma's birthday party, which involves going to San Diego.
Then July is over.

Guys, I don't even know what I'm doing anymore.

It's like I'm filling my life with things so that I can be stressed about things, and then when there's nothing I panic.

What am I doing?

Okay. Here's the plan. Blow off everything that I need to do, that I promised I would do.
Spend however much I need to on a new mount for my car.
Drive to Knoxville TN. Work on Team Avatar.
Continue driving to New York. Hang out with Amy and Rainy, at the same time. Sleep on Amy's floor. Continue driving. Drive across the atlantic ocean (PHYSICS WORKS LIKE THAT GUYS KAY?). Become costume designer for Doctor Who. Hijack the TARDIS.


I would do it. I would steal the TARDIS and fly through time and space, and I'd randomly show up at random places and then I'd kidnap David Hewlett and we'd fly through time and space SOMEONE MAKE THAT INTO A TV SHOW NOW PLZ KTHX?!

Anyway, I'll write a longer blogablog post tomorrow, when I feel saner.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stress Stress Stress.

Stress Stress Stress Stress Stress.

Okay, so you know that show that I'm costuming?

Tomorrow's pretty much our one and only work call.

Uh. Yeah.

So I'm going to make a list of things that need to get done, and then I'm going to pack up the Pink Tub of Death
And then I'm going to PANIC.



Friday, June 24, 2011


remember when I said back on the very first post that I would be editing/get close to finishing* my NaNoWriMo Novel so I could get my free proof copy?


Guess who forgot about that?


and guess who is now hurriedly trying to finish the rewrite in a week?


* Your novel is never finished. Never. It may be good enough that you're not hideously ashamed of it, but it's not done. It may be published, but it's not done.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some new work.

I work on a show called Team Avatar: The Legend of the Appamobile.

Occasionally, I get emails from Chelsea (the director/writer/THE ENTIRE SHOW FALLS APART WITHOUT HER) that ask me to do something for the show.
Usually, these have to do with costumes. "What kind of fabric would you use for the Kiyoshi Warriors?" "What do you think about these pants?"

Sometimes, they're kind of crazy.

And today, I was asked to do something. I can't tell you exactly what, but I can show you a picture:

In other news, my dress got retweeted today, which was exciting.
...that sentence makes almost no sense.

And in OTHER other news, apparently when I'm almost asleep, I say dumb things and then order Melody to not tweet them.

And that's about all I have to say today. I have to revise my NaNo for a couple of hours today, and then I'm going to bed.

ALSO I finished a dress yesterday. I am very much excited.


Okay, I think we all just got trolled.

"i think MacGonnagal was all like DUMBLEDORE AAAH I LOVE YOU and Dumbledore was like SORRY MINERVA I'M GAY."

Harry Harry Potter. I'm Harry Potter. Harry Harry Potter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I'm spending the night at Melody's house while we count down to Pottermore.

Now that there's such a huge hype, it's going to be a total letdown.
Just saying, that's how my life goes.

Anyway, Melody and I are eating ice cream and watching SG-1

Okay, so funny typo story: As I typed SG-1, I typo'd and typed Sg-22. And thus, an idea was born.

Anyway, I really don't feel like writing a long blog today. It's been a weir few days.

UH BUT BUT I finished one of my commissions today! Yay!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wrock, more coherent

Okay, so here's the story.

Mel and I get into the car at 1:45. We begin driving. We pass the Nut Tree.
Then we stop at the Nut Tree and go on the rocking horses and play chess (I won) and checkers (I lost).
And then it was back on the road.
Finally, we got to the Milpitas library, where it turned out we'd gotten the time wrong, and the show was at 6, not 5.
But there was a giant mob of nerdfighters there, so we played Close You Eyes and Draw Batman for a while and then played Duck Duck Goose.
Because nerds are awesome.

The show was awesome. There are 3 different wrockers that we saw, and each one has a distinct style.
When Lauren and Matt play together as Armoured Bearcub, they're adorable and in love and singing cute songs that have nice harmonies.
JFF's songs are simpler, but they're more focused on audience participation. I've never heard JFF's studio recordings of his songs*, but I don't think I'd like them as much (then again, I'm hoping to be surprised. It's more than likely that he plays the songs that require the most audience participation at shows, and he has a lot of other songs that won't feel in anyway lacking in a studio setting and GAH POLLY WHAT ARE YOU SAYING CONTINUE WITH TEH BLOG). There's an energy that the entire place gets when he's singing that I've never experienced any other time, when everyone in the building is hooting like owls or dancing the Hufflepizza or screaming "Oh we love you, Victor Krum!" in silly falsetto voices. In between the songs there's some adorable and intentionally awkward banter that just makes the whole experience so fantastic. If you ever get a chance to see JFF live, do it. Just, seriously, I can't recommend that enough.
Going from JFF's crazy set to Lauren's is kind of like holding a 9-volt battery to your tongue and then eating chocolate**. Her songs are a lot calmer and a little bit more restrained, and don't rely as much on audience participation. Lauren sang a lot of songs from The Prince's Tale, which was brilliant. These songs have a totally different feel from the rest of hers, and they feel almost more mature. I really liked them and I can't wait for my copy of the CD to arrive in the mail!
Matt's set was kind of like eating a chocolate covered 9 volt battery. It was much more of a party than Lauren's, but a lot more restrained in comparison to JFF's. There's a lot of audience participation (They don't have freedom, and they don't have eagles) but it happened more between the songs than as part of them, and there was a lot more awkward dancing than there is yelling at the top of your lungs.
I love all three of the styles. All of the artists work well together, and the three of them on tour just works so well together.

So after the show, we hung around the merch table for a bit, I got videos of the artists with Dalek Hubert (a dalek I knitted. Long story) saying hi to Beth who is at music camp, I fangirled Lauren a little bit too much (I'm not that creepy IRL, I promise!)

Then we drove home.
I swear, when Melody and I are in a car together, weir stuff happens.
And that's all I'm going to say about that. Check out our tweets from last night if you want to know exactly what we were thinking.

And the I got home and passed out.

Today was a good day too, but not as good as yesterday. Yesterday was awesome.

*I'm lucky in that I've definitely seen more live wrock than I have listened to albums. The first time that I went to a Wrock concert was pretty much Amy showing up and saying, "Polly. Free concert. Get in the van." And I said, "Let me get my cape!" And then we drove, and I asked, "So what kind of show is this," and Amy said, "Wizard rock!" And I just said, " the cape was a good call." Okay. That's not exactly how it happened, but it's a much better story than what actually happened, which was her calling me on the phone a couple of days beforehand. The point of this footnote, though, is that I went to my first Wrock concert before I knew who any of the artists were or what their Youtube channels were.
**I am afraid that this is a simile that only makes sense to Polly.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wizard Rock!

I`m posting this from my phone while I`m in the car on the way home from Milpitas, where I was at a Wizard Rock concert.

Because I`m that kind of legit.

There are more things about this that I`m like to say but as I am typing with my thumbs at the moment you`ll have to wait till tomorrow.

Peace in the galaxy, foos.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am not impressed

So I got on the topic of the Doctor Who Midseason finale.

And I said that I wasn't impressed.

And immediately my sobriety was questioned.

So am I just not allowed to not like a direction that Smoffat went without being shitfaced? Uh, is that how it works?

Speaking of which, I do love the term "shitfaced." It's such a great term.

And that's about it for today.
Buy stuff from me.

Oh, also, I got my job back at the church. So if you're in the area, come visit and watch stargate with me.

Not that that's what I do at work #blatantlies

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today is Saturday.

Woke up.


Made an awkward tie.

Hung out with fa friend from high school.

Went to the fabric store.

Texted some people.

Bought gas, ate donuts.
All in all, a good day.

Nothing really exciting.

Oh, my brother went to Kintoki-Con today. I didn't go.

PS. If I were to open an Etsy shop, what should I call it? I am at a loss.

Friday, June 17, 2011

And then we danced.


So tonight was a fun day. I went to the orthodontist and got OFFICIALLY DISCHARGED.

For a point of reference, I got my braces on for the first time in third grade.
And while I was there, I'd taken my ukulele in to the office with me, because sitting in a hot car makes it go out of tune really fast. And they asked me to play it.
So I did.
And while I was playing, like everyone stopped what they were doing and watched.
And when I finished, they applauded.
Which was weir. But whatever, because it was also awesome.

And then I went to Eurydice rehearsal, where I was late.
After that, Melody, Baff, and I went to Party in the Park, where I juggled shakey eggs and we danced dramatically and we were almost decapitated by a flying disc.
Then we got bored of Party in the Park and drove over to town square and played music.
There were adorable kids who loved to watch us, and after they left there were a lot of people who wanted to talk to us and who applauded us at one point after we finished Poker Face.
Which was awesome.
But it was weir, because while a lot fewer people were ignoring us, and a lot of people were talking to us and listening to us, we made less money tonight.
I don't know how this works and I don't pretend to.
I'm not in it for the money.
I'm in it because I think it's really awesome to play music while more competent people play music so that random strangers think that I'm GOOD.

Also, we named our sort of group today. We named it Anderson Guiles.
Because Beth said it and I latched onto it.

Anyway, this is a weir post, I'm in a weir mood, and I totally want sushi.

Goodnight, my friends. I see you over there, kicking in the front seat. And goodnight, my friends sitting in the back seat. And my friends, by my right.
But not my friends by my left. You aren't really my friends. I actually hate you, and therefore you cannot sleep.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I steal pets from the popular people

...and then I dress the pets up like the popular people.

Conversation of the day:
Me: Mom. Joan Jett. Thunder Valley Casino. $19. Not going is a sin.
Mom: You like Joan Jett? I didn't know that.
Me: She's Joan Jett.
Dad: Who's Joan Jett?
Me: Joan Jett is.
Dad: Why are we talking about her?

Other than that, didn't do a whole lot today. Spent the entire day in Auburn. Breakfast, Costuming the show, Rehearsal, Stargate, Music in Town Square, Home, Blog, Random CapitalizAtion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


So today, Manda came over and we recorded a song. Because we can do that. I played guitar, ukulele, bass, drum (read: pounding on a box), and shakey egg, and she sang.
It was fun. I can't post it because it's her song, but when she posts it to tumblr I'll share.

Then about ten minutes ago, Nikki texted me with, "Dear Polly, can you act?"
To which I said 'yes' rather enthusiastically and then began panicking.

I have two commissions to finish.
And two shows to costume.
And now lines to learn for a show that opens in 4 weeks.


No time for longer blog post. Lines to learn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm like...professional and stuff... (ALSO DALEKS)

So today I did costume sketches for The Breakfast Theater Club Does Eurydice.

Let me take a moment to talk about the Breakfast Theater Club and why I'm so lucky to be part of it.
The Breakfast Theater Club is a youth theater group. And by that, I don't mean that we do shows for kids, or that we're kids being directed by adults. Our oldest member is turning 20 this year. (Because of this, we have some problems. The Quote of the Day today came from Nikki, our director: "I can't just cash a $500 check. They won't let me do that. I'm 16.") And to add to that, we're really pretty damn good.


....Hai. My name is Polly. My Internet broke in the middle of this blog post and those two paragraphs were all that got saved, so I asked Melody to edit and post this blog. But Melody has nothing to say.

Oh, I know. This evening, following Daleks on Twitter caused Melody a lot of hilarity, and she was inspired and texted all of the Doctor Who fans in her phone book, "Imagine Alan Rickman voicing a Dalek." I, being Polly, received that text message, and responded in the following beautiful manner:

"YOU have MISbeHAVED, mr DOCTOR! TEN points from GALLIFREY"
"you have been CAUGHT wandering through TIME and SPACE after HOURS. DeTENtion"
"You have BREACHED the TIME LOCK in the LIBRARY! I will see TO IT that you are EX-PELL-MIN-A-T-E-ED."

I am now imagining Dalek Snape gliding around Hogwarts chanting, "EXPELLMINATE! EXPELLMINATE!"

Melody is glad she is friends with me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm not going to say ever...

...but today was definitely the best day of my summer so far.

So I woke up this morning angry about things after
having a dream about conversations in Wraith, and the improbability of every planet having a different written language that READS exactly like English (I'm looking at you, Stargate. Also, you have sound in space, Stargate. I'm onto you), and then I decided to go to Auburn.

I justified this by saying that if I was working my old job (which I haven't asked if I can take back yet...) I would have had to drive there anyway.
So then I went to Melody's house and we ate pancakes and watched William Wegman's Weimerieners. Then we called Amy and talked incoherently about ducks, and then we watched Stargate and played "Make This Face." "Make this Face" is a game where you pause the episode of Stargate and try to make the face of the person on the screen, and/or try to find the most awkward screenshot to send to your friends and challenge them to make that face. I happen to be the all time winner with the screenshot that started this game:

And then we went to the park, where we met up with Baff and Ally. We stayed at the park for about 4 hours and had a picnic. Also, Baff made me the BEST. THING. EVER.
She crocheted me.
A stargate.


I then went to Baff's house, and we painted a box and then we met up with Melody and Connor and went into the town square and played ukulele.

And we made $20. The best part was when we started playing Poker Face, and everyone who was listening started laughing. The cutest part was two little kids who wanted to give up money but kept chickening out at the last minute. I don't remember if they ever gave us the money, but they were adorable.

Then we made Connor walk home, and drove back to Beth's house, where all our cars were parked. We got halfway to Beth's house when Connor called and said, "Beth. My car's at your house," and we had to turn around and pick him up ^^;!

Anyway, that's all for tonight. I'm going to bed, then waking up tomorrow and getting ready for Double Punch Tuesdays. There will be more people, so we're definitely playing music again.

The interesting thing (Okay...guess I'm not going to bed quite yet...) is that I don't think it's about the money for any of us. It's about the enjoyment of playing music, and we accept money because people like to be able to show us that they appreciate us and don't find us annoying. Also, we do LIKE money. The money is definitely a benefit.

All right, bedtime now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I don't think you know what you think you know, baby.

But baby, don't you think that I know what I know, maybe? Baby, I know what you think that I don't know. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know."

So I just found this comment on youtube.
"people who are bored easily are typically boring."
I could not agree with it more.

I have been sewing. That's right. I have 90% of my stuff in boxes still, and I've been sewing. I want to finish my commissions before the middle of this month. Because, um, I want to.

Anyway, listening to Two a lot again. I don't know why, I just have.

Played Portal 2 for the first time today. I'm about halfway through chapter 3, I think.

Also went to church today (as I do most Sundays when I'm home). Mom and Dad don't understand why I don't find a church in Ashland. The fact of the matter is, I don't go to church. I go to St. Luke's. I have a crush on the building. It doesn't matter who is there. I just like being in the building itself. It's sad. Sad is happy for deep people.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go sew those sleeves.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

And everything will change.

BEDJ number 11. First of all, my mom's computer has a shift key that sometimes doesn't work. Yup...

I've made it 11 days without missing a blog, though I really can't think of something to write about right now.

I don't's just been a day. I watched Stargate, lay in the sun with my dog, took a walk and thought about things and got a splinter in my foot, and then I went into town and hung out with Arielle.
It was interesting. We went to Target and I talked too much about my life and didn't listen enough about her life and was all in all a terrible friend. And then we went back and I left before her boyfriend got off work so I didn't get to meet him.

And then I came home.

Things Polly did not do today:
Clean the CrapPile

Things Polly did get done today:
Two Eurydice costume sketches. Because I am legit or something.

That last yawn just made a popping noise that healthy jaws don't make, so I'm going to brush my teeth and go to bed. Sleep well, dearest I-don't-have-a-name-for-my-readers-because-that-is-dumb!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's fried egg, fried egg...

I had a day today.

So when we were moving out, while my mom was breaking the Madrone elevator (twice), we managed to spill roughly two liters of water on my laptop.

Yeah. Not one of the better things to happen while I was there. #seriouspollynod

So I immediately took the battery out and now I'm just waiting a couple of days to let it dry.

Anyway, homonyms.

So today, I woke up, 7 AM, in the morning. I had to be fresh, but did not have to go downstairs as my room is on the ground floor. I had to have string cheese, which I did not eat out of a bowl, and then time went by very slowly. I cleaned my room.
Pickin' up the garbage, cleanin' off my bed.
Had to make my mind up, which clothes do I keep?

Okay, done with that. Anyway, while I was gone, anything that my mom thought was mine she just threw on my bed, so I got home yesterday and the bed was buried, so I slept on the pull-out couch with my dog, and then today began the immense task of cleaning my room.

The fabric scraps, guys.
The pile is taller than me.
Once I get my sewing machine unpacked and catch up on the MASSIVE number of commissions that I have (read: 2), I will make some skirts with my random fabric and trim so that my sewing studio (read: corner of my room) doesn't explode.

Anyway, then Melody and Baff came over, and then we went to Twin Dragon and I ate sesame chicken, which I have been looking forward to all term and did not regret.
Then we went to Barnes and Noble, and I found my favorite book ever*: Figure Drawing for Fashion Design.
Anyone want to send me a check for $30 to buy that book?

And then we went back home and they watched while I cleaned, and then we painted a door. And then we ate dinner.

And then we went to Melody's house and watched Stargate and played Make This Face.
Make This Face is a game where you pause the screen and say "Make this face!" and then you make the face.

And then I drove home on the Epic CA-193, which is scary, and sideswiped a plant with Baby Beast** and then finally got home and wrote this blog post from my brother's computer.

Good night, my almighty readers. May you have magical dreams about Daniel Jackson, Yoda, and the ocean.

Beth's probably going to kill me for writing that...
*Okay, lies. Harry Potter holds the title of my Favorite Book Ever.
**Baby Beast is my truck. His full name is Baby Beast: Fuck the Environment: At Least He's Green. I have another car too, but as it is not currently running, can't exactly drive it places. We have Baby Beast so that we can pull the horse trailer and haul a ton of hay at a time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbye, Madrone 306c

I'm moving out today. I thought I should say goodbye to my current location.

Goodbye, Madrone 306c. Goodbye, living right next to one of my best friends. Goodbye, having to actually go outside to reach the cafeteria. Goodbye, being right next to the dumpsters. Goodbye, my own bathroom, and goodbye having a heater that actually works.

Goodbye, passive-aggressive roommate wars. Goodbye, arguing about wether or not it is my responsibility to buy toilet paper the day before I move out so that Jessica* will have something to wipe her precious ass with. Goodbye, having to buy soap half the time even though Jessica's freeloading sex buddy uses the soap and never buys any. Goodbye, other roommates that I barely talk to.

Goodbye, Jessica, who thinks that she's God's gift to the earth. Goodbye, stove and elevator and common room. Goodbye, loud proclamations of, "I just bought paper products TELL ME I'M SPECIAL!"

Goodbye, Madrone 306c. So long and thanks for all the fish.

*I think you've figured out by now, not her real name

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Something I just realized.

When I return to SOU this fall, it will be the first time that I get to experience going back to college, instead of going to a new school where no one knows me and I get chronically lost.

Also, it'll be my first time going back to college as a sophomore.

I've finished (not finished well, but finished) my final portfolio. I have one final to do tomorrow, and then I need to pack all of my stuff up before my mom gets here at noonish.

Going home. Tomorrow, when I wake up, I get to take the last tab off of my "Days till return to Hogwarts" poster.

Going home.

Working. For the church. While your life falls apart.

11:00 AM: Onto the third page now. Have reached the point of "What have you learned" which means that I need to actually read the articles in question.
-60 lines
-5 paragraphs
-3 pages (but that just means onto the third page)
Anyway, at 11:30 I will go to the cafeteria, get lunch, print what I have, and attack it with the Purple pen of Death.

10:AM: This essay must cover 6 points and be 3 pages long. I am on point #4 and about one page long.
- 31 lines
- 4 paragraphs
- 1 page. Almost.

9:AM: Woke up at 8 AM, started working.
-Lines written: 8
-paragraphs written: 1/2
-Pages written: NOT. EVEN. 1/2.

Updates will happen every hour, slightly after the hour.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Filling out the form.

Working on my USEM portfolio. For those of you who don't know what this consists of, here's a quick rundown of what I need to do:

1) Make title page and table of contents
2) Reflection essay
3) iSearch essay. Yeah. I haven't even STARTED this, and it's 20% of the portfolio grade
4) Revise two short essays. We've done 3 short essays this term and I have not been fond of any of them.
5) Find where the hell my reading notes are. I think I have two pages...for three books. Uhm. Yeah.

In other news, I figured that since I totally fucked up my History final, that I will still pass that class with a C.

That's right. I have the reassurance that even if I got 3% right on my final, I would pass the class.


TL;DR Two big essays.

I'm also going to play ukulele for a friend. Because, um, I can. Lol. Math.

That's about it. It's finals week and I don't want to work on finals, I just want to be done and go home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The only thing anyone would say is, "Where did we go wrong?" is my current song.

Tomorrow, I have 2 finals, and then another one on Thursday.

I don't have a lot to say. I think that maybe going home this weekend was a bad idea, because now I don't want to work. I don't care, at this point, if I sleep through my finals and fail all of my classes. I just want to go home and be with my friends and be done with this stuff.

4 more days.

Anyway, we had our last Scion game of the school year tonight.
It did not go well.

I need sleep and I don't know what to say.

I'm feeling like I'm not good enough and I'm going to fail all of my finals and bad things are going to happen and I won't be able to find the room. EdPsych150 7:30 AM EDPSYCH1507:30AM! and then I'll miss the final and everything will go wrong.

Also, I have yet to do my USEM portfolio, but I'll do that on Wednesday and then I'll watch Stargate.

Uh yeah. That's all I've got to say.

Also, Rahne and I were as a joke (like an "I dare you to") make out with each other to see if the universe imploded, and then we realized that our current audience would not appreciate it as much as some others, so I said, "To be continued?" and now I'm pretty sure I'm going to die.

But if that happens, well, Melody and Amy and Beth know what to do. Thank goodness Amy knows the intro to Lucky Star.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

My name is Polly. I like Stargate.

My name is Polly.

Today I hung out in Barnes and Noble with my friends. The Starbucks people wrote "Holly" on my cup, but my name is Polly. I think that's the second time that's happened to me this week.

I also closed my eyes and drew Batman.

I also bought two new Molskines. They are blue.

I also got really irritated with Melody when she decided to recite the William Wegman film Fay's 12 Days of Christmas. IN. ITS. ENTIRETY. *headdesk*

Today, Melody also got irritated with Beth and me because we like talking about parts of SG-1 that Melody hasn't gotten to yet, and Melody doesn't like spoilers, so sometimes we spoil things for her to annoy her, and sometimes we just make shit up to screw with her.

Then Beth and I made the Discworld.

I don't remember what else we did. We probably talked a lot about Danieal'c and Easter bunnies and some guy called Pete.

Then I ate soup in a restaurant with Amy and Beth and Melody and myself. Then I ate frozen yogurt in a frozen yogurt place with Amy and Beth and Melody and myself, and we talked about Daleks very loudly outside.

We also celebrated our friendaversary by discussing how much has changed in this past year, and tweeting about how much we love each other. Because we love each other tons and I am going to miss them tons until we see each other again. They are also going to miss me. Especially Melody. #seriouspollynod


My parents are currently driving me to the train station so I can take the midnight train going anywhere. Which I literally am doing. My train departs at midnight. I'm going back up to school to take finals, and then coming home again.

You may wonder: If I am currently being driven to the train station, how am I writing and posting this blog?

The answer is very simple: I'm not. Melody is.


My name is Polly.