Leaving on a Jetplane: Wishing New Zealand Farewell

It seems right to preface this entry, if anything to apologize for my, yet again, tardiness in updating.

I wrote this entry on the flight home from New Zealand. As of now, I’ve been home for a little over two weeks. For the most part, I’m fine. I’m happy to be home, amongst friends and family, and being back in Portland fills me with glee most days.

But there are days. The days I feared in the entry below. Where all I can feel is sadness and I can’t move from my couch. Days where I question what the hell I’m doing back in the States. Wondering why my feet are now stuck to the ground and unable to run.

Telling you all I’m going to take a break from my blog is laughable, really, cause the last half a year has been nothing but me taking breaks. But I’m hoping sometime in the next two weeks to get back on a schedule. I want to ponder the future of this blog – whether to keep using it as a diary of sorts, promote my writing on here, do fan girl entries, or, most likely, all of the above – and the schedule I’d like to stick to.

So expect more in the future.

But for now, here it is, at long last, my final New Zealand entry.


Right now I am sitting in seat 53A of an airplane, situated in a window seat and staring out at the beautiful blood orange sunset while listening to “Suddenly Seymour” for my seventh time in a row. I am ignoring the two giggly girls to my right and less successfully ignoring the popping in my ears from the altitude. I am wearing a tank top because whenever I put my jacket on it becomes 100 degrees to my skin. I am wondering why they have not brought us food yet, as I am starving. I am pondering what Rick Moranis is doing with his life. I am ten hours away from home.

This is it. The denial of my departure is dead and gone. I’m no longer in New Zealand. I’m not even in Australia. I’m flying over an ocean that’s black as the evening sky, resisting the urge to stand up in the airplane aisle and scream at all of the flight attendants: “I MADE A MISTAKE. I SHOULD NOT BE HERE. WE HAVE TO GO BACK.”


Continue reading

Fan Girl Friday: Weta Cave at Last.

It was only a matter of time before I had an entry on here (majorly) devoted to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Honestly, I’m surprised it hasn’t come sooner.

You want me to go on an adventure with you? Where do I sign??

Continue reading

Fan Girl Friday: Five Fictional Places I’d Never Want to Live.


Hello and welcome to my first Fan Girl Friday!

Basically the general gist of Fan Girl Fridays will be I’ll share a list of my favorite (or, in this week’s case, least favorite) geeky things, go on a rant about this or that, pontificate about television, maybe share some .gifs or awesome pictures, all that good stuff.

I wanted to spend this first Fan Girl Friday talking about my top ten obsessions of all time; however, I just got done with a long day of garage sale-ing over at my cousins house. Despite the fact that I spent the majority of the day sitting on my butt, rereading The Princess Bride. and eating all the food my cousin kept offering me, I’m exhausted. Probably has to do with haggling with strangers and interacting with my cousin’s five year old how-are-you-so-full-of-energy-at-this-time-in-the-morning daughter all day long.

Due to this, my first Fan Girl Friday is going to sort of be a cheat. I’m taking a list I posted over at my old blog a while back and just using it (with a tweak here and there). Hopefully I’ll be a little more motivated (and prepared) in the future.

Continue reading

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.