Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Awkward and the Blog

Hello my dearest blog readers! The last time I wrote a blog was... *checks* Oh. Hmm. It was 9 days ago. That is longer than I thought. Anyway, I've been thinking for the past few days about my next installation of Babysitter's Chronicles. I have another story that I am ready to write, but I want to spend more time on it.*

Instead, I will tell you a story about what happened at work today. As many of you know, I grade papers for my middle school math teacher (henceforth known as Fibonacci, since she loves that sequence). Additionally, there is a lot of snow on the ground still. These are related, I promise.

So today I walked into the school for work. As I trudged down the hallway, I heard Fibonacci loudly explaining the relationship between this theorem and that postulate. And I thought, "Oh shit. She has a student."

You see, dear readers, Fibonacci tutors students during after-school hours. There are a select few of her students that I like, but this one had to be new, since she usually didn't teach at this time.

As I am walking down the hallway pondering all of this, I realize that my wet boots are emitting the LOUDEST SQUEAKING NOISE I have ever heard boots make. Step, SQUELCH. Step, SQUELCH. No matter how I walked, it made the most god-awful racket.

As I walked funnily up to her door (trying to make as little noise as possible, and therefore making more than I had been before), I saw a classroom FULL of 8th grade students.

Can I just say that I hate 8th graders? Especially the boys. They are rude, crass, and downright disrespectful. And I just squelched into a room FULL of eighth grade boys.

I'm sure I looked like a deer in headlights. I waited, frozen, for Fibonacci to turn from the board and see me. When she finally did, she just said, "Could you wait a moment, please?" and then turned back to the board.

For a split second I didn't know what to do. The students were clearly more interested in me than they were in the insipid numbers on the board, and I didn't like some of the looks I was getting. So I quietly very loudly squelched out of sight of the door and stood awkwardly by some lockers.

Soon, Fibonacci brought out the papers I was supposed to grade, and I stork-walked to a table at the end of the hall, all but refraining from shushing my boots.**

After I sat down and breathed a sigh of relief, I noticed that Fibonacci had not given me the answer keys. For a moment I sat, wondering what the hell I was going to do. I didn't exactly want to squeak my way back down the hall and to her room. So I decided to go to the bathroom and try to wipe all the water from my shoes, so they wouldn't squeak.

Of course that didn't work, so I went back and sat down again. After a moment of deliberation, I decided to just take off my boots. In my socks I could quietly slip into the room, grab the answer keys from their shelf toward the back of the room, and sneak back out. Like a ninja!

But of COURSE I didn't see the folder with the answer keys. And of COURSE Fibonacci saw me and asked if I needed something. "Um, yeah. I need the answer keys..."

"Oh, of course! They're here on my desk." On her desk. At the front of the room. Dear lord.

All of those stupid, judgmental eighth grade eyes followed me as I scurried over to grab the folder. As I turned back, I noticed they were ALL focused on my feet. One girl looked at my bright red striped socks, then up to my face and gave me a look that said, "Did you honestly think you could trick us?" YES I THOUGHT I COULD.

I finally went to sit at my table and quietly got to work. AFTER I updated my Twitter followers, that is. "I have a knack of making uncomfortable situations all the more uncomfortable for myself. *facepalm*"

With more than my fair share of awkwardness,

Reader Palooza

For everyone (Rachel, Whimsy, Nick, and Hannah): Editing videos is fun, but stressful. It's one of THOSE things for me, that I both love and hate. Also, thanks for your well wishes, and thanks for watching, if you did. I'm honestly not heartbroken in the slightest that we didn't win. And I'm still glad to have made a video that I can be proud of.

And just for kicks, here are links for The Music Video and the Behind the Scenes (which I find hysterical, but I'm probably biased).

*The State of the Union is on in 45 minutes, and I want to shower before, so this is just a quick blog. Not that I love you any less because of it!

**Seriously, they were SO LOUD.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Working on a video

Hello my dearest blog readers! I've been meaning to blog to impart CRUCIAL INFORMATION, but I've been busy; since I fancy myself an up-and-coming YouTube star,* I of course had to enter Ministry of Magic's music video contest. We filmed on four separate days, in four separate locations.

On Friday, after a rather successful tea party (there was much drinking, eating, dancing, singing, and nerding), I hunkered down to begin editing. Many hours later, I turned in for the night.** The next morning I woke up and promptly resumed editing. I edited. And edited. And %$@!ing edited. All day. (With some breaks to eat.)

At 9:30, STILL NOT FINISHED, I gave up for the night, and spent the next five hours on YouTube, Twitter, in Liz's blogtv show, and chatting with DFTBAngela.

This morning I woke up at 10:30, showered, breakfasted, and RESUMED EDITING. And here I am, at 7:00, still editing. Usually I only take three or four hours to edit, but there are several reasons it is taking longer with this project.
1. I am on my laptop, which has little memory. This  means that it takes video SO LONG to render onto Adobe Premiere. So I have to do a lot of waiting.
2. I kind of sort of maybe forgot to film one of the parts that I needed. Which means that I have to do a little more fudging, and fudging takes longer. Trust me on this.
3. I'm using way more effects than normal. Not CRAZY-COLORS-SPINNING-OMG-IN-UR-FACE effects. Just subtle effects that take TIME to RENDER.

So that is what I've been doing the past three days. But what I really wanted to blog about was this: in the upcoming week, I am leaving for a retreat with my school. There will be no computers, no internet, no cameras, no phones. I'm going to be completely isolated from EVERYTHING.

This possibly means that I won't hear when Luke announces the winners of the contest, although I don't expect much. Winning Strawburry17's contest was a pleasant surprise, and I'm proud of this new video so far. But there are well over 100 entries*** to this contest, and some of them are really, REALLY GOOD.

So yeah, I'm going to be away from the internet starting Tuesday, and going until Friday or Saturday. Just try not to have too much fun without me, okay?

With more editing to do,

*Only not.

**Or morning, as it technically was morning at the time.

***119 the last time I checked.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's a snow day...

... school is closed. Gonna go outside and build a TOTALLY EPIC FORT AND DESTROY ALL OF MY NEMESES!

We have a snow day today, and do you know what I am going to spend it doing? Dear blog readers, I am going to dedicate a whole blog post to YOU. Yes, you, because yesterday's post got the most comments I have ever received. This will be just one GIANT Reader Palooza.

1. Yayyyy, cult meeting! -tentative thumbs up- *beams*
2. YOU'RE FLYING A PLANE? Sorry. I couldn't help it. I, to use a beautiful phrase, loled. Good luck all the same. I've never flown in a plane without my fellow humans, either. I am a little scared, but apparently there are some other studious-types from around here who are also going to the camp, and I'll be flying with them. But they are basically strangers, so we will see how that goes.

3. Spring break isn't really in spring... is it? I find this odd. Ours is in March, too, but still... HMM. Right?! Why would they name it so strangely... I cannot fathom.
4. ME TOO ALKJfdlksjgl;jflgjf0AWEprIFDLKJDLS There are not words.
5. I don't *think* I'm going to Vidcon. I haven't really thought about it. It seems like it would be scary/moneyz consuming... but reallyreally awesome. -considers- If you go we should consider rooming together. Because that would cut costs, and it would throw us together so we could have epic shennanigan-making fun.

6. COLLEGE EDUCATION. Is good. Or something. I approve. 

7. >.> Scary. WE WILL BE AWESOME. BUT IT IS SCARY. How did you go about choosing? I'm still clueless. IS IT AWESOME? Surely it is. Because you are. #questionz #college This past summer I went to an engineering camp at ISU, and that's why I started looking at it. It's just an amazing school with a beautiful campus and a great engineering program and an Honors Program that is EVERYTHING THAT AN HONORS PROGRAM SHOULD BE. Sorry, I get excited about it. When I talked to them, they told me about a Harry Potter project they did last year. How could I NOT want to go? PLUS, the Ministry of Magic guys grew up there, and Luke, Jason, and Aaron all went there.


I am probably going to Chicago over spring break, too! CRAAAAZZZZY! Of course, my spring break is in late April because ours is always over Easter, and I'll be going to look at colleges with my family instead of with friends, but you know... You east-coasters and your silly schedules. We get a short Easter break, too, and it's possible I'll defer my trip to Chicago until then. IF that is the case... perhaps I will see you there. *raises eyebrows*
I wish I could go to VidCon, but it is very far and very expensive and during a summer program that I WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE. So maybe next year... Psh, you can always sneak out! Plus, as far as conventions go, it's fairly affordable. I mean, you'd still drop a couple hundred dollars... Ahem.
ALSO, I flew as an unaccompanied minor when I was eleven, but they do pretty much everything for you when you're eleven. I can't imagine having to be RESPONSIBLE and ON TIME and everything by myself. I know. I might be 18, but I can be pretty flighty (haha, flightly...), and I'm worried I'll get on the wrong plane. Once my friend accidentally boarded a plane to NYC when she was meant to go to Chicago. Luckily, she realised the mistake before the plane left, but nobody bothered to check her ticket closely enough to see the mistake!

Okay, that's it. This is never it. There is forever more, always continuing, never ending. It is a cycle of the ages, going on and on and on and on and on... (The end).
I graduate in May too!! Except from college... which is SO terrifying... Real world, are you ready for me? I don't think you are... Eww, you're like old and stuff! (I jest, of course). Anyway, the world is lucky to finally have you out there. GO KICK SOME ASS AND CAUSE A SCENE!
Also, I live in Orlando, so if you come to see WWoHP we should organize a nerdfighter gathering... or something... Yuss. Yes. Affirmative. Definitely. Without a doubt. ABSOLUTELY.
Sounds like you have much awesomesauce!
"It'll be the first time that I fly a plane by myself, too."

Either it's too late and my brain shut down, or you actually FLY AIRPLANES. I just want to think that you fly planes. No, no, what I meant was that-- Um, I mean, YES. I am a professional pilot. I'm in quite high demand, actually. It's because I sing to the passengers over the intercom. And the benefits are great! Flight attendants (male ones, of course) bring me as many juice boxes as I want. But February will be the first time that I'm allowed to take out one of the private jets for my personal use. I'm pretty excited!
Engineering Camp:
Hey Maggie,
You sound really adventurous and fun loving person. Your plan is super fun and by reading your blog you have actually motivated me to do some of these stuff.... Thanks for sharing your ideas and have a great year ahead. I'm not sure who you are, or why you used the alias "Engineering Camp," (the name links to a website for science camps), but you seem nice! If you stumble upon my blog again, tell me who you are! I like people! And I don't bite! Not over the internet anyway. ;)
Great list for '11! Many trips! Also, High School ending week IS sad!
Here's to your great accomplishments! *raises root beer* I don't have much to add to this, but I always like your comments a lot. XD And I'll toast with root beer! *also raises root beer*

That is all my lovely blog readers! As always, I enjoy you, your individual blogs, your comments, and your faces.

With bloggitude,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hey Guys...

For whatever reason, I was done with my homework at about 4:30 this afternoon. I know, it's weird, isn't it? I'm such a procrastinator usually. But I decided to use this opportunity to blog. Because I can.*

I think I'll take this opportunity to go over everything that I am going to do in 2011.** I mean, this year is going to be big for me, and I need to wrap my head around it all. What better way to do that than bore YOU (my dear blog readers) with... stuff? Meh.

1. Later this month I'm going on Kairos. It's a religious retreat that everyone is very secretive about, and they use code phrases (like "fourth day..." or "forth day..." Something). When the students get back they are all very... hippyish? And they wear these necklaces that are like crosses. So it's like a cult meeting, basically. And I'm going. *smile*

2. In February I'm going to an engineering and leadership camp. It'll be the first time that I fly a plane by myself, too. I just hope I remember to NOT pack my firearms. That could cause a misunderstanding! *laughs gaily*

3. March contains spring break, of course. I might go to Chicago with a couple of my friends (I've never been), or I might go to the Harry Potter theme park, or I might film some videos. I honestly don't know yet. Perhaps I'll just end up sitting at home twiddling my thumbs. I certainly hope not, though.

4. In May I f***ing graduate! I mean, what the hell? My high school... I'm sure I've said it before, but I love it there. It has become like a second home to me. I've met the most amazing people, I've learned so much. And I'm going to cry so much the last week of school.***

5. I HOPE I will get to go to VidCon this summer. I've already calculated the cost and what needs to be done. My parents don't seem wholly opposed to the idea, which is good, but I need to figure out the details.

6. This summer I will have my freshmen orientation at Iowa State, which is WEIRD to think about. It'll basically be an introduction to my new home.

7. August... I start college...****

Before I move on to Reader Palooza,  I feel the need to tell you that I twitched a lot while writing this blog. That is all.

Reader Palooza!

Hannah: It has been waaaaay too long since there was a dance! Man, that was my THING during BEDA. I'm going to try to bring it back. *does the bringing back dance* BECAUSE THERE IS A DANCE FOR EVERYTHING. ;)

Nick: Your "really's" were very convincing. XD I had my friend read the story (she is brilliant and an excellent writer) and she informed me that I was not allowed to stop there. So... I dunno. Maybe there will be more later. Perhaps. *does the possibilities dance* Because there can be more than one dance in a blog.

With love,*****

*This song pops in my head EVERY SINGLE TIME I say that simple three word sentence. EVERY TIME.

**I promise the Babysitting blogs will start again. I haven't abandoned them.

***No, I'm not tearing up right now... *sniffle*


*****I don't think I've ever ended my blog that way, but I always consider it. Every single time I blog. <3

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unnatural Selection...

... this is another piece of "musical fiction," a type of story that is based off a song. I did one in September. This is based off of Muse's song.

Every morning I walk the dusty path to the city gates. Every morning I see the same guards wearing the same uniforms, clutching the same weapons, sporting the same scowls. The looks of disgust deepen on their brows as I draw nearer. My face remains a blank slate, but inside I writhe with anger at their prejudice toward me.

Here’s the problem with our society— there is a barrier separating my people from the “Luckies.” I don’t just mean education barriers, or economic barriers, or even sanitary barriers, although those are very much present, too. What I mean is the physical separation between the Luckies and the Unluckies. We, the Unluckies, have to go through so many obstacles and trials before we can even get a permit to step foot within the gates that keep us from their golden city. I know this because I had to get a permit so that I could work there.

The jobs in our pathetic shantytown aren’t much of an opportunity, but sometimes I wonder if it is even worth the better pay to go inside; every day I step through those gates and the guards treat me as if I am some miscreant dog who they’ve never seen before. The same goes for those citizens who have the horrible misfortune to look upon me— I stand out because of the crimson uniform we are required by law to wear.

My mom told me that a long time ago the Unluckies were removed from the city by an unnatural selection, one that was likely based on economic standing, or perhaps a feud. I’ve even heard rumors about a drug trade. Since that time, though, the Unluckies have lived in our shantytown a bit removed from the city walls. We have our own small businesses and schools, but everything is highly regulated by the Council.

I’ve never seen this council before; when I was smaller, my brother tried to tell me that it was made up, and that the Luckies secretly governed themselves. But I believe they are real.

Their job is officially to maintain the city; specifically it is to keep us out. But they have another unspoken purpose—they are supposed to justify to us the repression of the Unluckies; to make us believe that they are special, and that we are just trash.

Today it is easier to bear the glances of hatred I receive as I walk through the city. Recently, I discovered a hidden talent; who would have thought that I—an insignificant Unlucky—would have the talent for insurrection?

But as surprising as it may be, I have turned out to be a very effective revolutionary leader. The Unluckies are no longer content to be looked down upon by the Luckies as we struggle to survive. For generations, we had been treated as subpar citizens, no subpar humans, who didn’t have the same rights as the Luckies.

Going into the cramped and dingy edifice where I do menial tasks every day for small pay, I had to hold in my smirk. This morning I will servilely aide the Luckies. But last night was the beginning of the end of it all…

“For so long, injustice has been the norm in our foul, corrupt society, but no more! I am hungry for some unrest, and I imagine you are as well. We will push this insurrection beyond a peaceful protest, because we want them to understand us. They will begin to speak our language. Because as I know, and as you know, we are not mere droplets in an ocean. We are the ocean.”

Tonight, we will start a revolution.

With insurrectional tendencies,

PS. This is just the first draft. Hopefully it will increase in epicosity.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jumping on the BOW '11 Bandwagon

... which means that this will probably not be a continuation of my Babysitter's Chronicles. I'll write another one soon, though, fear not!

This shall just be a short updatey-type blog, since I have school tomorrow and such. I think I'll make it a list. How long has it been since I've done a list? Lists are so nice. They have distinct breaks, and there don't have to be transitions. But here I am, going on about nothing while I should be listing.

1. I just made a video about the gingerbread village that my sisters and Anna and I made. It was based off of John and Hank's Thoughts From Places vlogs, so I included them in the tweet about it (and maybe also asked them to watch it...) Anyway, they were not only kind enough to watch it, but BOTH of them tweeted about it! Which made me deliriously happy.

2. In other video-related news, my friends and I have started working on a music video for Ministry of Magic's contest. We are using the song The Curse (which I haven't seen a video for yet, surprisingly). The video is going to be SO EPIC. And we are doing a behind the scenes, which is nice, because sometimes I'm afraid that my subscribers don't know what my face looks like.

3. News that is pretty much exciting only for me is that I pulled the trigger and picked a college. Next fall you can find me at Iowa State University, studying engineering and other stuff (hopefully).

4. If you are new to my blog for some reason (perhaps because of BOW'11), I am currently doing a series called Babysitter's Chronicles, where I relate the mishaps that I had as a young babysitter. Apparently people like them, which surprised me, since I almost nixed the idea entirely. "Maggie, nobody wants to hear about the stupid things you did when you were 12." WELL APPARENTLY THEY DO, SUBCONSCIENCE!

5. I like odd numbers. *shrug*

With videoliness,

Reader Palooza:

Hannah- I enjoy every single one of your comments. Seriously. And I am of course flattered that I rank among your favorite internet things. I cannot dare to hope that I am above kittens and babies, though. *wink* *ding*

Deanna- Medieval... sims... *gapes* *collapses*

Katherine- I wouldn't put these stories on the internet unless I hoped to give SOMEONE enjoyment. So don't feel too bad about it. =)