Mundane Monday: Some (belated) New Year’s Resolutions

Whoa. Hey. Can you believe that we’re already through with the first month of 2016? I sure as hell can’t. Time is… well, it’s weird. Am I right?

So I’ve been spending a lot of time these first weeks of 2016 contemplating not only what all I accomplished in the last year, but what I’d like to accomplish in the dawn of yet another new year as well. I wanted to get this blog entry up sooner, but mulling things over took longer than anticipated… plus I’ve been kind of awful at motivating myself to write recently. More on that in a bit.

Before I delve into what I want this new year to look like, I thought I’d reflect on 2015. I planned on listing off which of last year’s New Year’s Resolutions I succeeded and failed at, but instead of focusing on (the numerous) goals I didn’t quite reach in the past year, I figured I’d just make a list of all the awesome things I did accomplish in 2015.

All the Ass I Kicked in 2015

  • I finally started teaching myself Italian. After all these years of saying it’s the language I want to learn, I finally motivated myself to begin. Thanks to the ever handy Duolingo, I’m now able to read basic to moderate Italian pretty well, and I can speak it… thedgehog2hough very slowly… very slowly…
  • I own a hedgehog now! His name is Gobo and he likes to sleep, eat, poop, and grump. He’s the best!
  • I had the pleasure of working on The Misselthwaite Archives, an online web series based off of The Secret Garden. I wrote a handful of episodes, helped edit and transition many scripts, oversaw the multimedia and created some of my own, and worked on set as a PA. I learned a great deal about creating a series for the public eye and had a lot of fun along the way, and I’ll be much more prepared for the next series that comes along (which is not too far off in the future…!!).
  • I had the great privilege of going to both the Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS) and the National Poetry Slam (NPS). I was solely an audience member, but it gave me a chance to watch amazing poets perform live and consider my own path as a poet (not to mention it was inspiring as all get out).
  • I celebrated my one year anniversary with Stephen in September. I could not ask for a more supportive, funny, generous, loving partner. Dude’s pretty awesome.10881648_10155138025720252_3537388377048416731_n
  • In July, I officially moved out of my dad’s house and into Pointy House with Stephen and a bunch of awesome, lovely folks.
  • In 2015, I traveled to Olympia, Spokane, Boise, Seattle, Newport, Coeur d’Alene, Oakland, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Disneyland, Ashland, Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, and San Diego. Not bad for one year!
  • After managing to crash my car in November 2014 – literally one month after obtaining my driver’s license – I got through all of 2015 without being in a single car accident! Success! (Although, I did get my first speeding ticket. From a friggen robot. Not as great.)
  • I worked full time all year long and was able to finally start paying off credit cards / putting some away in my savings, like a true (groan) adult.
  • I began running and working out on a weekly basis again. Even the small triumphs count, right?
  • I read over 55 books – not counting comics and graphic novels.
  • Star Wars is back. This has very little to do with my actual personal life, but it’s such a momentous occasion I’m throwing it on here anyway cause STAR WARS GUYS OH MY GOODNESS IT’S GREAT.
  • Another year of co-producing the Muppet podcast Frog Kissin’ with my good pal Lara!IMG_6317
  • I wrote a couple pieces for ToughPigs and many reviews for the Portland Book Review.
  • My poetry was featured twice on Voicemail Poems (here and here), I had two pieces appear on Freezeray Poetry, I recorded this poem with Aileen, I read poetry on the radio show Talking Earth, and my friend, Martin, shared one of my poems on his site Front Row Central. I was also a featured poet at Boise’s Grand Slam and Seattle’s Rain City Slam.
  • Stephen and I saved up a lot of money in our “Disneyland 2016” fund jar and paid off our ticket / hotel bill in full for our upcoming Disney trip this February.
  • I made loads of friends and strengthened plenty of preexisting friendships.
  • I put together three chapbooks of my own poetry and have sold many of them.
  • I participated in my second 48 Hour Film Fest submission as a writer and actor. (Unfortunately, our finished product is not up online as of yet.)

As you can see, 2015 treated me pretty darn well.

But it wasn’t without its struggles. 2015 was one of my worst years dealing with mental health – the severe anxiety I suffered during my final year of college came back in full (less panic attacks though, thankfully) and my depression upped the ante by being a regular party guest in my head. I dealt with a lot of stress (related to finances, work, creativity, and just life in general) and ended up carrying a lot of tension in my body on a somewhat regular basis. Although I spent the last year surrounded by wonderful people and doing the things I loved most, my brain was… well, my brain was kind of a dick. An entry for another day, perhaps.

I think, in this past year, I came far in both establishing myself as a writer and (groan) an adult, but I still have a lot of learning, growing, and discovering of myself to do. (How’s that for a dramatic statement, Chris Sackett?)


The best picture taken of me in all of 2015.


I feel one of my main problems with previous New Years’ Resolutions (and even summer / winter bucket lists I’ve written) is that I get too technical – too specific – while also taking on too many inane goals. I pile up a lot of easy to achieve tasks, along with harder goals that need more focus and drive, and, in the end, only achieve what’s easy. It’s a bad habit that I’d really like to nip in the butt.

Which is not to say setting specific goals aren’t always good. On the contrary, I work well with deadlines and specifics. The problem remains that I heap way too much onto myself, try to tackle everything at once, flounder, and feel like a failure. In coming up with these New Year’s Resolutions, I tried to have a bit of both. Some things I’m trying to tackle in a more broad sense, while others I’m still using specifics and deadlines. We’ll see how it goes.

So what do I want next year to look like?

Self Improvement.

    1. Read 40 books this year. I’ve already read si1933725_10156413172475252_7522528937890299981_nx in January… so yeah, I don’t think that’ll be much of a problem. If I continue to make good headway, I’d like to slow myself down a bit and read some longer books I’ve been putting off for a while (Lord of the Rings, The Stand, The Luminaries, etc.). My main goal is to focus on 1) the books I own that I’ve never read, and 2) books written by women and people of color.
    2. Start taking photography again. I’ve already dicked around enough in January to know I’m not going to be doing a 365 Challenge this year, but I would like to pick up my camera and start photographing things again.
    3. Continue learning Italian. I should have the Duolingo app wrapped in a couple months. While I intend to keep quizzing myself daily with it once I’m through, I’m hoping to pick up a textbook or two to start working with. Then, depending on what the latter half of 2016 looks like, maybe I’ll even start taking classes to improve my conversational Italian? We’ll see!
    4. Good feelings jar. Basically writing notes about good things that happen throughout 2016, putting them all in a jar, and then reading them at the end of the year to remember all the good times. Pretty straight forward.
    5. Pick. Up. That. Guitar. This. Is. Your. YEAR.

Self Crush.

Much like the vast majority of women in America, I have a very difficult relationship with my body. I’m constantly struggling to love it within a society telling me that I either “don’t care enough about my looks” or that I’m “way too vain for thinking about my looks so often.”

I must admit, in the past I’ve been guilty of setting those stupid body resolutions. “I’m gonna lose ten pounds!” “I’m gonna diet!” “I’m gonna eat barely anything!” “I’m gonna work out every single day!” “I’m gonna do all this and finally be happy with my body!”

But, truth is, I’m tired of that.

This year, I’m going to honestly try loving my body. Which is much harder than it sounds. My self loathing can be particularly strong, but it’s been 10+ years of loathing and I’m just through, y’know?

I want to make my body the home I love to live in. I want to start running regularly (once the weather turns nice again), because I like feeling my body know strength. I don’t want to restrict myself from eating – but I also want to be careful about not over/under eating when my depression kicks in (I’m guilty of both, depending on the day). I want to cut off all my hair again – cause why the hell not? I want more tattoos. I want to try out new makeup and buy new clothes. I want to not wear makeup and still feel beautiful. I want to love my body. I want to and I’m ready.

I think I’m already off to a pretty great 2016 start.


Self Expression.

So, as already stated, I meant to write this entry weeks ago. I kept putting it off, telling myself I was waiting to hear back if I made the WOWPS performance list or not. That was partially true, but here’s the other sad truth of it:


The set of the web series I wrote for.

Recently I’ve been putting off writing.

This isn’t just blog entries – which, hah, I’ve barely written any on here in a while. I haven’t touched my novel and screenplay ideas all of last year, and short stories are a thing I seem to have forgotten how to write. More disheartening, I’ve had awful writer’s block for poetry throughout all of January, which is such a drag. This has obviously been a major bummer, as writing has always been my go to form of self expression. I’m hoping the writer’s block lifts sometime soon, and I can kick this year into gear.

One of my big goals of this year is to work towards writing daily – something I haven’t done in a long time. I want to get back into the grove of writing poetry again – and hopefully submit a lot more work this year to online journals (I’ve already been featured on Thirteen Myna Birds this year!). I’m also hoping to jump on some novel/screenplay ideas that I’ve been sitting on for far too long; it would be lovely to finish one for a change.

And, most exciting of all, Pencil Ink is going to be starting up a second web series this year. I’m going to be one of the Producers this time around, as well as a staff writer. I can’t wait for us to begin!

Self Work.

Remember last year when I said how I was looking forward to quitting my office job and figuring out what it is I want to do with the rest of my life?

Yeah, well, surprise, that didn’t happen.

I don’t want a repeat of last year, wherein I exclaim at the start “TOTALLY GONNA QUIT MY JOB THIS YEAR, GUYS, LOOK OUT WORLD LOLOLOL” and then fail miserably at doing so. I am, however… optimistic? Hopeful? Something along those lines. First, I want to create some financial stability in my life – something I could be a bit better about. Put money in savings, pay off credit cards in full, buy a new laptop, all that boring stuff.


Sugar, the dog I walk twice a week. <3

Then it’s just a matter of figuring out what I’d rather be doing with my time. I’ve been mulling over becoming a professional dog trainer…? It’s a possibility, right? A job where I’m outside, not working in an office, and working with dogs? Sounds pretty perfect. But it’s definitely something I’d need to research more, and then I’d have to ask myself if I really want to go back to school. (The answer is no, but short term school might be an exception.)

On the side, I’ve been doing paid dog walking/sitting and some minor freelance writing work. Once life gets a bit less hectic (ie. around mid-March) I’m hoping to find more of both of these things.

Self Exploration.

Travel is a thing that has always been very important to me, and despite not really having the financial means since returning from New Zealand, I think I did an all right job traveling around the NW last year.


My name on the WOWPS list.

This year has some bigger things in store. Besides traveling back to Spokane in January, Stephen and I are heading to California at the end of February for a full week at Disneyland. Then, in the beginning of March, I’m heading to New York to see Hamilton and compete in WOWPS – my first ever indie poetry event!

Those are the only big travel plans set in stone thus far, and it’s a bit of a bummer that they all take place in the first three months of this year. I’m sure, though, we’ll get to revisit some NW favorites, and maybe even get to visit some places around Oregon and Washington. Plus there might be a chance of heading to Arizona and/or Georgia later in the year. Fingers crossed!

Self Care.

I learned something in 2015: I am very good at keeping busy. Working out or going on runs. Speed reading books to write reviews. Coffee dates with friends. Deep cleaning the upstairs bathroom. Running errands. Reorganizing my dresser. Giving Gobo baths. Doing dishes. Cleaning my car. Dusting. Writing articles. Helping out on film sets. Yes, busy work is a thing I am amazing  yet.

What’s more, I kind of like busy work. Keeping busy, in my mind, means I’m leading an active life of deepening relationships, bettering myself, and becoming a full fledged (groan) adult.

However, there is a downside of keeping so busy. Two downsides, really.

The first, as already discussed, is that I rarely make time for my personal projects. I barely touched any of my own creative ideas – besides poetry and the web series – last year. A lot of things fell by the wayside when I really didn’t mean them to. Boo.


I’m pretty sure I never signed up for this depression / anxiety combo package. Can I get a refund?

Secondly, I sort of forgot how to relax…?

Busy work is fine, but my brain has started doing this thing where it gets anxious about everything. Literally everything – this is not an exaggeration. At the end of every work day my brain starts concocting lists of all the things I need to do (ERRANDS! READ ANOTHER TEN CHAPTERS OF YOUR BOOK! PLAY WITH GOBO! VACUUM YOUR ROOM! REORGANIZE YOUR BOOKSHELF! REORGANIZE IT AGAIN! WORK OUT! GAAAAH!!!) and I end up spending my free nights stressing over completing tasks that are… well, that aren’t really all that important in the long run.

I want to teach myself how to relax again; how to not stress over the unimportant. I want to read books without feeling the need to complete them rapidly (here’s looking at you October 2015, when I read five Stephen King books). I want to not feel defeated when I don’t complete every task on my To Do List. I want to remember how to breath normally again. I’ve been carrying all this tension in my body for the last year, and I’m ready to let that go.

I haven’t been doing a great job on the relaxing-front this year thus far. All of January I’ve been plagued with sharp mood swings, long bouts of depression, and constant stress. It hasn’t been great. Far from great. Miles and miles away from great, actually.

But I’m trying. I’m honestly trying to remember self love and self care. It’ll be an uphill battle, I’m know, but I think I can do it.

Anyway, despite expressing all these goals and hopes, I have no idea what this year will have in store. It could be the most godawful year of my life, or it could be amazing and blissful and revolutionary. The future is more terrifying than the thought of being lost in space (just kidding, NOTHING IS MORE TERRIFYING THAN BEING LOST IN SPACE, UGH), but it’s something we all have to face. And anyway…

I’m eager to find out what the hell’s in store.


Time to be Astonishing :: 20 New Years Resolutions

Happy New Years everyone!

Insert paragraph here wherein I make rambling excuses for the lack of writing on this blog and blather on about all the post travel/seasonal depression I’ve been dealing with and blah blah blah okay bored now.

So. New Year. New changes. New resolutions. I figured this could be a good way to bring myself back to this blog: by forcing you guys to read all twenty of my resolutions for 2015.

I considered not overloading myself with resolutions for once, maybe keeping it to a three to five minimum, but in a recent chat with one of my boyfriend’s roommates I was told that it was a positive quality that I often bite off more than I can chew. I also figured, hey, I’m turning 25. This should be a big year so, what the hell, I’m gonna make a big list.

So. Here we go.


Prince Joffrey ain’t got nothing on me.

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Mundane Monday: Life Back in the States.

Hey there readers! What’s up? What’s happening? What’s cracking? Enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having?

So, I’ve officially been home in the States for a month and 3.5 weeks now. On the one hand, it feels like I never left the USA; on the other, when I close my eyes, I can still see New Zealand, so crisp and clearly in my mind. It feels like it’s been eons, but also like I’ve only just left. A contradiction, to be sure, but I’m sure you all understand that feeling I’m trying to describe.

It’s been… rough. Okay, rough may be a harsh word, but readjusting back to States life has certainly been difficult. There’s a lot you have to get used to when you’re no longer living out of a backpack and trekking to a new place every few days. As I’ve said, I’m happy to be home, but my wanderlust has not simmered. I’m aching to get back out into the world.

All right. Enough small talk. What have I been up to lately?

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Wednesday: I’m Going on an Adventure!

Hello, and welcome back to the second installment of my blog introduction (part two: THE RECKONING). We got all my personal intro stuff out of the way in my first entry, but this time I thought I’d focus more pointedly on this blog’s purpose and what you should expect from it. Of course, it’s subject to change once I get it off the ground running, but this is the direction I’m hoping to take this blog in.

I’m looking to write entries three times a week on here (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Basically, this blog will be used to talk about stuff, muse about stuff, and geek out about stuff. Pretty straight forward, right? However, there is one teeny tiny eensey weensey little thing I’m also planning on using this blog for. What thing is it, you ask? Well…

To document my travels in New Zealand.


I’ve known for the last three years that, upon graduating college, I’d like to travel somewhere outside of the United States – I just never knew where. I contemplated returning to Italy, or maybe even the UK, but something about backpacking through parts of Europe didn’t strike me as something I wanted to do on my own. It wasn’t until last December when the idea of traveling to New Zealand came to me. At first I thought I’d just go for a couple weeks and see one of the islands. Then a couple weeks turned into a month, which quickly turned into three months. Then, before I knew it, I was calling my dad at ten o’clock at night to ask if I was crazy in wanting to spend an entire year away in a country I’d never been to before. Lucky for me, I have a pretty stellar dad who encouraged me to pursue my wanderlust.

So here I am. Eleven days away from take off and prepping to leave. It’s a strange feeling, knowing I won’t be back in Portland for probably twelve months; a feeling I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot about once I’m over there. I’ve got my plane ticket, my brand new backpack, and my passport. All that’s really left is the packing part, then I’m all set.

As luck would have it, I won’t be traveling to New Zealand on my own. My good friend Kathleen (seen in the picture below) will be keeping me company. I asked her back in December if she wanted to come with me on my post-college travels, but she turned down my offer. She had just studied abroad in Australia and wasn’t sure she wanted to head back to that part of the world. Then, on January 4th, I got a message from her asking, “So are you still looking for a NZ travel buddy? Because I might know someone interested…” We’ve been geeking out about traveling together ever since. Kathleen’s only going to be with me for the first two months, so she’ll no doubt pop up many a time in my entries.

She’s also one of the few people I figure I can travel with and wont smother in their sleep. So. That’s a plus.


I have no idea why we were under this table.

So why did I choose New Zealand?

This is normally the portion of the conversation where people chime in with, “Oh. You’re going because of Lord of the Rings, right?” and give me that not-trying-to-judge-you-but-secretly-judging-you-anyway look.

Actually, no. I’m not going because of Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is a place I’ve wanted to travel to for over ten years now, but never really thought I’d have the chance to visit. It’s so far away and off in its own world almost. When I realized that New Zealand was a travel option, it all just clicked. I knew that was where I wanted to go.

For starters, have you ever seen a picture of New Zealand? It’s breathtaking. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s visited and/or lived in New Zealand has confirmed that it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Although we’re heading over in winter, I’m so looking forward to the summer spent there and plan on doing a lot of hiking and outdoorsy things (despite the fact I’m one of the least outdoorsy people imaginable).


I also can’t lie, the fact that English is the native tongue was kind of a huge factor. I tend to make an ass of myself when it comes to interacting with people who speak other languages. I once got separated from my family in Rome and had to take the metro by myself, and ended up crying in public because I couldn’t find anyone who spoke English to help me. I figure I’m going to be getting lost at least a couple times in New Zealand and do not care for a repeat of that incident.

Plus it’s been stated time and time and time and, yes, time again that New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world to travel, if not the safest place. Last year it was reported that crime in New Zealand was at an all time low for crying out loud. As someone who’s going to spend the majority of her time traveling by herself, I like those odds. Not to mention I’ve heard how all the Maoris and Kiwis there are extremely friendly to tourists.


Oops. Wrong Kiwi.

And, okay, fine, Peter Jackson’s film adaptions of Tolkien’s work did somewhat factor into my decision. I mean, I don’t think I would have known New Zealand existed when I was eleven if it weren’t for Fellowship of the Ring. Not to mention it was the release of the first Hobbit film in December that made me realize that New Zealand was a travel option, and a great one at that. So while the Rings and Hobbit films may not be the number one factor in my choice of travel, you can bet your ass I will be weeping in front of Bag End at some point in my journey.


I feel bad for everyone else who’ll be on this tour with me already.

The purpose of this blog seems pretty straight forward after listing all of that off. I’m hoping to record, not all, but most of my travels on this blog, in hopefully an entertaining manner. This blog started as an idea for keeping family and friends updated with what I was up to. Also, end game, I’m really hoping to write a book about my first year being graduated from college, focusing heavily on my New Zealand travels. Hopefully this blog will help me in doing so.


The ratio of sheep to people in NZ is 7 to 1. Guys, I am going to steal so many sheep.

But I am hoping this blog lasts me longer than New Zealand. I’d like it to be the blog I write on once I’m back in the States and start focusing on non-travel things. I’m sure there will even be days in New Zealand where I don’t focus much on travels and, instead, rant about this or that.

I’m also going to be doing a little thing called Fan Girl Fridays, where I’ll share lists of geeky things I love/hate and rant about television/movies/books and such. While focusing on my life post-college is grand, I do need a geek-outlet of sorts to ramble. (I may eventually begin to incorporate vlogs into my blogging somewhere down the line, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)


The Lizzie Bennet Diaries cast and myself make for some kick ass dinosaurs.

Traveling to New Zealand is, without a doubt, the biggest leap into the dark I’ve ever made. I’ve never done anything so bold. Truth be told, I’m not a brave person. I like my comfort; my sense of routine. As much as I tried to deny it when I was younger, I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m not spontaneous. In that right, I’m very much like a hobbit. I like my home life, my food, and my ale. I like kicking up my big feet and relaxing without a care in the world. The idea of getting up and running off somewhere new is just as much tempting as it is intimidating. It’s something I thought I’d only ever dream about, not pursue. As the days get closer to my flight, the more nervous I become. Change is, after all, a pretty scary thing. However, a while ago someone wrote something to me, and I’ve found myself going back to it time and time again in the last couple weeks:

“You beautiful, beautiful person. Change scares the best of us. I assure you it does. But when faced with the fear of change you must always ask yourself, “Am I going to control this fear, or is this fear going to control me?” Because either way, life will move forward, and change will happen. The only thing you have control over is how you react to it. You are strong. You are genuine. You are creative. And you, my dear, are capable of great things. Don’t let fear of change stop you from living.”

So I’m not going to let fear get the better of me. I’m seizing my atlas, swinging on my pack, and running head on into this adventure. I’m pulling a Bilbo Baggins. I’m doing what’s unexpected of me and taking that leap. I’m going to embrace the change. As Bilbo would say:

I’m going on a adventure.

JGask out.


Monday: A Formal Introduction.


H’oh boy.

The start of a new blog is always a bit intimidating, isn’t it?

Well, okay, that’s kind of a lie. None of my blogs up till now have had an intimidating start. Before this I really only had Livejournals and Tumblrs, and the ones I’ve had shouldn’t count as blogs. One was more of an online diary where I rambled about the most benign, boring bits of my day, while the other is an opportunity to spam people with pretty screenshots and way-too-many-friggen .gifs.

So this blog is a bit different. My big girl blog, as I’ve been calling it. One that’s got a direction; that has a purpose. The purpose of this blog, you ask? We’ll get to that later.

For the time being, I thought we’d start with a simple introduction. Don’t worry, it will be kept brief. I’ll try not to bog you down with too much tedious, uninteresting information about the life of yours truly.


The name’s Julia, and I hail from good ol’ Portland, Oregon (yes, the city that Portlandia is based on – and no, not everything I own is covered in birds). The last five years of my life have been spent down in Ashland; a quaint little town known for its theatre, white water rafting, and immense hippie population. I graduated twenty-three days ago from Southern Oregon University with a double major in Creative Writing and Theatre Arts, and a minor in Photography (when people ask me what I studied in school, I tell them I majored in being broke for the rest of my life). I’m currently living back at home with my father and twin brother, though luckily not for long.

I’m pretty much your average, run-of-the-mill, just-turned-twenty-three type of gal. I wear a lot of big earrings and big sunglasses, and can often be found pulling faces at no one in particular. I don’t necessarily stick out in a crowd, and that’s fine by me. I have, however, been told many a time that I have ginormous eyes. I’ll let you be the judge.


This is my face every time I hear, “Has anyone ever told you your eyes are huge?”

I’m a pretty straight forward person. Though I can be on the shy side, especially in public settings, it’s easy to get me to open up to others. I make it no secret that I live on Tumblr. I eat .gifs, breathe text memes, and dream in photosets. Tumblr is my crack. Essentially. I assure you though, I have some healthy (ish?) hobbies outside of Tumblr as well. I run multiple times a week, ride my bike around town, and love to swim. Also: Buster Bluth is my spirit animal.

I mostly read and write a lot (what a shocker). I’ll read just about any genre, besides horror, though I find I have an affinity for young adult fiction (Green, Rowling, and Zusak are to blame for that one). As for writing, I’ve kind of drabbled in everything (oh ho ho, I am not a funny person, I am so sorry). I write for the web-sites BuzzPatrol and ToughPigs on occasion – sort of whenever they need someone to fill in – and while I have well over a year’s worth of experience writing for web-sites, online features aren’t exactly the kind of writing I hope to do forever. I’ve got quite a few novels, screenplays, plays, and short stories tucked away, though most of them are unfinished. In an ideal world, I’d like to be a published writer several years down the line, but it’s a hard industry to break into. So. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m also big on poetry, specifically spoken word poetry that teeters on the geeky side of things.

Which leads us into the main facet of my personality: geekdom. I have been classifying myself as a geek since I was ten years old when I wrote my first piece of fan fiction (Star Wars) inside of a blue spiral notebook. The premise revolved around a young female farmhand on Tatooine who tended cybercows and wanted to travel the galaxy, but didn’t have enough cyberbucks to do so. Until one day a ship carrying Obi-Won, Qui-Gon, a somehow already grown up Anikan Skywalker, and a gaggle of girls (whom coincidentally happened to resemble my core group of friends) showed up and whisked her away on adventures, and then she went and fell in love with a jedi named Parker.


Working hard to bring home those cyberbucks.

Despite the fact that the story was a blatant allegory for the fact my friends and I all wished we were jedis with jedi boyfriends and I really liked my brother’s best friend Parker – all the while obviously ripping off key plot points of Luke’s journey in A New Hope – and that I couldn’t even take the time to look up any of the forty-five types of currency found in Star Wars and just made up the word “cyberbucks”, this was still an important moment in my life. It was the moment I realized how awesome being a geek was. Oh there had been signs growing up, no doubt about that. Opting to go read in the library during recess. Rocking out to Les Miserables while my friends were infatuated with ‘N Sync. Creating a comic book about humanoid dogs with superpowers with an arch nemesis who was a giant parrot that kicked lightening. Hell, I can even remember my dad showing my brother and me Star Wars for the very first time. Oh yes, the signs were always there as a kid, but throughout elementary school I was surrounded by girl friends who insisted on hosting tea parties and playing house. (Not that there was anything wrong with that. Tea parties were awesome as a kid. Usually hot chocolate was our tea substitute, and we got all the cookies we wanted. You can’t beat that.)

But as I aged, I found I was growing more and more interested in things my friends weren’t. Luckily, around the fourth grade, I formed a new group of friends with similar interests. We wrote fan fiction together, did fan dubs of our favorite films, learned pieces of the Newsies choreography, and even attempted to make our own Lord of the Rings movie (we got to the part in the prologue where the elves receive their rings, ie. only five fracking sentences into the script). Even though my middle school gang fell apart as we aged, I still take comfort in knowing that they gave me a gift: pride in who I am. They embraced the strange, sugar-guzzling, wildly nerdy pre-teen that I was, and because of them I learned to embrace myself. They’re the reason I had the confidence to go to school dressed as a Blues Brother for three whole months in high school. The reason I write slam poetry about LOST and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The reason I have a Muppet tattoo on my back. The reason I attended LeakyCon last week. The reason I’m me.

To quote one of my favorite movies of all time (and, oddly enough, a movie my middle school group loved to watch back in the day): “I never had any friends later like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”


Why yes, we are wearing “Newsies Freak” shirts. You wish you were this cool.

So yes. Nowadays, I’m a geek and proud. Being a geek, to me, means that I’m a passionate person and I get to be vocal about the things that I love. Whether it’s through drunk rants to friends about why the finale of LOST is underrated or running multiple fandom Tumblrs, it’s just something that’s a part of my day-to-day life. I classify myself as a fandom geek, for the most part. I can appreciate a good cosplay but don’t really partake in it, I’m not into tabletop games, I love – but am awful at – video games, and I haven’t read comic books since I was in high school. My geeky side tends to show most when I get the chance to talk or, better yet, write about the movies, TV, books, and plays that I love.

I’m a part of, or at least familiar with, many a fandom. The list is a long one, though at this current juncture my heart belongs to Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones, Suburgatory, The Office, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, The Princess Bride (the book), 1776, and the Muppets.

Especially the Muppets.

Oh man, guys, I love Muppets.


Do not even get me started on my affinity for these six fellas.

Annnnd… yeah, okay, I feel at this point that’s the essentials about me. Of course there are many more levels to me as a human being. Things that make me happy. Things that make me tick. My favorite places. My favorite music. My love of hamburgers. All that good stuff. But we’ve got time for all of that. We’ve got days. Weeks. Months. Years, if I’m lucky. So that’s it for now. Round of applause if you actually made it through this entire entry. Seriously. Kudos, man.

As for this blog’s purpose, I will get to that in my second entry (though, if you have glanced at my Facebook page in the last six months, chances are you already know what this is all about).

I’m not quite sure where this blog’s going to take me, but I’m glad I have you along for the ride. We’re both going to be figuring this thing out together from now on. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite the adventure.

JGask out.