Monday, December 27, 2010
I waddle through the mall, balancing the Christmas presents I need to exchange, arms laced with the straps of shopping bags. I see it in the distance, glowing pink. On either side of its entrance, posters fill the space from ceiling to floor with images of open-mouthed women and their extraordinarily long torsos. A scent, vaguely vanilla, seems to traipse into my nostrils. I strain to avert my eyes. Silently remind myself, It's a trap. They know what appeals to your young female brain. If you go in there, you'll spend money you don't have on items you don't need and then you'll be hooked and never, ever escape. But it is too late. I am lured into this wonderland of lace, glitter, cotton strewn about messily on purpose. I give myself over to the poppy music, inadvertently changing my footsteps to match the beat, until my zombie stride is identical to those of the other shopping prisoners. My smart-person brain is taken hostage. All my thoughts become one repeating mantra: This is sexy. You need sexy. Must be sexy. Buy the sexy.
I find myself twiddling through delicate fabrics, turning over pretty items in my hands. Suddenly, $70 sounds like a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a nightgown. People who wear these sweatshirts have qualities that I need. My lumpy skin looks nothing like this mannequin, but maybe that's because I don't own this sparkly thing.
I need more money. I need to lose my belly fat. I need to brighten my skin. I need to slather on these creams, pat my face with this powder pompom, wear high heels, inexplicably, to bed. I need to pout my lips like her, I need to pose myself like her, I need to buy everything in this room so I can be exactly what their labels promise: a bombshell, a centerfold, a vixen, a tease.
And then I'm in line, palming an overpriced tube of lotion whose smell would not have enticed me half as much at Macy's. I fiddle about with miniature last-minute products strategically placed near the register. Perhaps I should be wearing lipgloss. Men must like oily, slippery magenta lipgloss, or else it wouldn't be called Beauty Rush, or else it wouldn't be here. Maybe I should get some and watch the woman behind the counter wrap it in hot pink tissue paper and then I can be desirable glamorous wanted worthy. But it's my turn to check out now, and the reality of making a monetary transaction zaps enough sense to my brain that I drop the lipgloss back in its container. I sign my unnecessarily pink receipt and I finally emerge from the store with only one bag. With each step toward the pretzel kiosk, I feel Victoria's grip on me loosen. I am no longer sultry. I am no longer a slave.
Why does that place have so much control over me? I got decent standardized test scores! I've bookmarked CNN.com! In the real world, I am confident, comfortable, and proud of my body and the person inside it. I wear mismatching socks and I only own three pairs of jeans. I should be above these too-obvious marketing schemes, but I'm not. Not quite.
So I wonder, how do you deal with this kind of temptation to spend heaps of money on qualities that can't be bought? How do you convince yourself that sexiness has nothing to do with labels, and that being a good person has little to do with sexiness? Is it always negative? As often as it makes me feel inadequate, its products also make me feel sort of empowered and feminine. Where is the line?
I can't be the only smart girl who still gets sucked in by marketing once in a while. I'm interested in hearing your opinions on the subject. Until then, I hope you're all having a great week. I'm looking forward to reading your responses!
Chipotle burritos this year: 31
Nail color: "Devilish," Revlon
Miles run today: 0, but I ate cheesecake, which is practically the same thing.
P.S. It is not sexiness that I have an issue with. Sexiness is awesome and ABSOLUTELY a trait that smart women can possess. My issue is with DESIGNER sexiness. My issue is with paying twice as much for something because it comes on a pink hanger. You know?
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Three years ago, I used to talk with Charlie on a regular basis. We'd joke around on Skype about youtube and life (he was ahead of me on the subscriber charts, but there was no dramatic difference in our ranks within the youtube community at the time), and one day he sent me a silly faux-love song he'd whipped together in my honor, full of inside jokes and his usual quirkiness. It cracked me up. I played it for my mom and my best friend, but when it never made it into a charlieissocoollike video, I promptly forgot the song had ever existed.
Charlie and I fell out of touch quickly after he sent me the song-- I grew bitter toward him when "fiveawesomeguys" (his spin-off of fiveawesomegirls, which had just begun and was just gaining popularity) phased away from its original role as a companion and tribute to 5AGirls, and soon eclipsed the viewership of our project, despite the fact that it was significantly less organized, less original, and at many times a blatant ripoff.* The fiveawesomeguys soon ceased to credit us for the idea of their channel, and to this day, many youtubers believe 5AGirls-- a project to which I have devoted three years of my time and creativity-- to be an homage to fiveawesomeguys. This assumption is incorrect.
All that being said, however, I eventually got over my animosity. In his defense, Charlie had both mentioned me and posted a video response to my channel in the past, generously giving me a boost in traffic, and had never said a harsh thing about me. I will not act like my bitterness about fiveawesomeguys was unjustified, but it's not something that still bothers me today. I find Charlie's videos to be very entertaining and worth watching. I have had friendly relationships with other members of their channel, and I respect all of them as very talented and fascinating people.
So fast-forward to this December. I heard through the grapevine that Charlie McDonnell was releasing an album through DFTBA Records, and was startled to see my name on the track list. I had given him permission years ago to do with the song as he pleased, and it is funny and cute, so it shouldn't have been a major shock... but I was still bemused. I literally have not spoken a single word to Charlie since the short-lived success of his collab channel. He has not contacted me throughout any part of the process of this album's creation or promotion, and if it weren't for its success, I probably would never have heard that the song was being used at all. I'm not embarrassed about it, and I'm frankly very pleased to have gained new readers and viewers because of the song**, but I can't pretend I saw this coming.
Oh, and now to the fun part. One charming result of my unexpected love song comes in the form of the newly popularized google search "Hayley G Hoover political views." Charlie mentions in the song that, despite his phony affection for me, he and I "don't share the same political views." This is based solely on a few irresponsible things I happened to say around the time of the 2008 election (when I was, mind you, a high school senior, and therefore very naive and prone to iffy logic), about the fact that I tend to lean on the conservative end of the American political spectrum. I've since learned that it's useless to utter a single word about politics on the internet, because even the most flawlessly delivered arguments are still heard as "ME LIKE ABORTION" or "CAVEMAN HATE GAY MARRIAGE." But, to diffuse some of the rumors, I am neither a radical Democrat nor Republican. I am consistently much more liberal on social matters, but consider myself a fiscal conservative. And even still, I am only twenty years old, I'm financially dependent on my parents, and I understand that my opinions could change drastically in just the next five years. All I ask is that you not hear Charlie's song and decide from it that "since Charlie supported Obama, Hayley must be a Nazi," OR deduce that "since Hayley publicly supports gay rights, Charlie must be a homophobe." Both are shallow, neither is true.
In conclusion***, I respect and like Charlie McDonnell, find his song about me to be flattering and fun, and do not harbor negative feelings toward him. While I deeply hope the song will not forever be the number one result for my name in search engines, I am not embarrassed that it exists. I am also not a far-right fundamentalist extremest Karl Rove fan, nor am I Charlie's girlfriend of past, present, or future. Glad we've cleared that up.
Chipotle burritos this year: 31
Nail color: "Devilish," Revlon
Miles run today: 3
*I considered wording that in a more polite fashion, but there really isn't any polite way to tell the story truthfully. On several occasions, the fiveawesomeguys announced weekly themes that were identical to the ones we'd created the week before. Charlie adopted a pet cactus plant, without so much as a nod in my direction, when I had been doing the same on our channel for a month. It's difficult to call that coincidence.
**Well, I'm not exactly pleased about being bombarded with comments along the lines of "wut did charlie see in dis fat bitch she iz so uggo he shud luv me insTeaD." But to those of you who have nice things to say-- or who just don't have cruel things to say-- hello!
*** "In conclusion." Lol. I feel like I'm writing an essay for high school English.
P.S. All I ate today was cinnamon rolls (3), a bagel sandwich (1), and chocolate chip cookies (endless, approximately 13). Livin' the dream.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I was hesitant to even attempt National Novel Writing Month this year, as it fell right in the middle of my chaotic final exam schedule (from hell!), but sometimes I simply cannot be stopped. I went at it hard and fast for something like five days, and I finally resigned in a puddle of homework and misery just after breaching 15,000 words. So it goes.
Though, in case you haven't heard (which you haven't, because I've been neglecting this blog to the point that I BARELY EVEN RECOGNIZE YOU PEOPLE! *sob*), I'm currently home on Winter Break until the beginning of January, and have nothing but free time in which to make waffles and force the imaginary friends inside my head to interact with each other on paper. After extensive editing, my NaNoWriMo novel now stands at a solid forty pages, and continues to blossom and shape itself every day. Like a Chia Pet you have to think really hard about. I'm growing to simultaneously love and abhor my main character, who has a habit of fearlessly using words that embarrass me to even type, but who also has a very justified adoration for nacho cheese. It is deeply, humongously, extremely likely that this story will never leave my Microsoft Word document and that you will never read a single one of its sentences, but I'm still a superstitious person when it comes to writing, so I don't want to drone on about it too much. However, just know that I really like this idea. I think it could amount to something someday, and I don't say that very often about my creative projects.
But all optimism aside, can we talk for a second about how freaking difficult it is to funnel thoughts into story form? Writing is so much more than "this happened, then this happened, metaphor, simile, ending." You have to plan events ahead of time so that details can weave themselves throughout the plot, but be careful not to plan too much, or else you'll lose all the excitement that comes with the actual writing. You have to find non-irritating ways to introduce the physical characteristics of people and settings, while still including enough dialogue to keep the reader's attention. Different characters need different voices, even though they're all coming from the same author's brain. Who knew art could have so much logic to it?
Still, I'm very excited about the work I've been churning out lately. This book is happening. My new blog project, Presence, is in full swing, and already has a self-sufficient community surrounding it, which blows my mind and warms my heart about sixty times a day. On top of that, I'm about to take on another writing job that will provide me with some real, tangible, spendable money, which will allow me to, like, drive a car and eat food, and will also allow me to say with more confidence, "I am a freelance writer." No more of this "I want to write" nonsense. No more "I'm going to be a writer when I grow up." I'm finally doing it, bitches. Watch me go.
On that note, I'm gonna crawl back into my fictional world until I finish a chapter. I hope you're all having a great week, that you're eating well, and that you don't hate me too much for the video I posted yesterday. As a reward for sitting through it, you may watch my dogs play in the snow. I'll see you guys soon!
Chipotle burritos this year: 31
Comments from new subscribers who only watch me because Charlie told them to: Priceless.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I'm lying on his couch, covered in a blanket, and he's crooked at the opposite end, asleep with his face against the seat back. My feet are pressed between his hands, keeping them warm. I never understood why people romanticize the act of watching someone sleep until right now. I like the way his shoulders sway up and down when he breathes. I like being able to study the contours of his face at rest. I like just being here with his body in close proximity to mine. It's surreal to think I've only known this person for a year, because nothing feels more like home than this.
Aaand I'm starting to sound like an obsessive basement serial killer or something. Which is exactly why I normally keep these thoughts to myself.
Chipotle burritos this year: 31
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
--I've now seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 two times, and have plans to see it again with my entire family tomorrow. It is BY FAR my favorite of the movies, and I have very few complaints. However, my complaints are valid, and they are as follows: 1) Why would Regulus have his full name on his bedroom door? 2) Why would Hermione pack more than one coat? 3) Since when are elevator doors impermeable to Dementors? 4) Why is Movie!Voldemort always so... green? 5) It's unfair to Harry to make him say idiotic things like "What's the trace?" just to reiterate plot points. 6) How did Ron not get hypothermia after he crawled out of ice water, fully clothed, and then hung out for fifteen minutes?
--My final exam in French didn't go spectacularly. There was a full page devoted to grammatical rules I'd barely ever heard of before, because most people in the class were either better prepared in high school, or have already taken a full year of French at the university level. I studied like it was my job, and I tried hard, so... we'll see. Je suis très, très stupide.
--Until this week, my mother has always operated under the assumption that the flu is a myth, and that to succumb to minor sickness is a sign of weakness. But, thanks to karma, my poor mom was just attacked by her first flu in twenty-five years. She's infected my dad, and is now inevitably infecting me. As of this moment, I feel fine, other than a few nerve-wracking body aches... but I am coming to terms with the fact that I'll probably be spending my Thanksgiving holiday... losing food.
--My new writing venture, Presence, is getting off to a crazy start. I already have more blog-related email than I can respond to, which is both daunting and amazing. I'm still finding my footing and trying to figure out exactly what the site is going to be, but its readers are already blowing me away with their insight and humor and kindness toward each other and geez!
--Nanowrimo is quite the challenge this year, but I'm still going. I had to take a full week off to focus on finishing my academic quarter, but I've spent a large part of today trying to get back on track. I've accepted that I might not finish the race to 50,000, but I'm not going to let myself quit. Who's with me!?
--I just posted a new video on hayleyghoover, and I think it's pretty good. I bitch and satirize and sit on the floor of my dorm room in front of a blanket I taped to my dresser. A must-see!
And that's pretty much it, as far as I can remember. What have you guys been up to? What were your feelings on Deathly Hallows? Any tips on how I can fight this flu before it happens? What's your blood type? Really, anything you have to contribute that will give me a break from writing would be greatly appreciated. I seriously might die in front of my computer, fingers outstretched, gasping for breath. Or maybe I'm a drama queen.
Either way, I hope you're all having a lovely day, and I can't wait to catch up with you again soon!
Chipotle burritos this year: 30
*That sounds exactly like the beginning of a second grade essay. "My name is Hayley Hoover, and I am going to tell you about my favorite things. This is a list of my favorite things."
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Ah yes, so the doughnut's finally out of the bag*. This project was originally slated for takeoff on September 1st, but my classes ended up being much more challenging than I'd anticipated, and I had to push it back until I got things under control. A few of my stealthier blog readers started to catch on months ago (looking at you, Whimsy, Alison, fantasyvfacts, Emily, and Lauren), and it's pained me to ignore their inquiries until I was ready for a big reveal... but today is finally the day. You, blog readers, are the very first ones to hear about my new online-magazine-of-sorts-slash-advice-column, Presence.
I decided to start this little sideline writing project after the overwhelming response to my posts on here regarding gay rights, weight loss and body image. I've received an astounding number of messages asking for blogs about certain topics universal to the teenage experience, for more "issue posts," and for other sorts of big-sisterly advice. A few people even suggested that I write a weekly advice column on this blog, and loads of others have asked for recommendations of books, youtube channels, movies, etc. This all really intrigued me, but I couldn't help but wonder... what qualifies me to be anyone's big sister figure? Most of the Hayleylujah Chorus readers are here because of my youtube videos, or fiveawesomegirls, or some connection to me in real life. This blog and its surrounding community is so much fun, and I absolutely never intend to let it go, but maybe it's time for me to also have a satellite project that's more about the readers and less about me.
So, to answer the inevitable questions, the Hayleylujah Chorus is not changing at all. I'm going to keep coming here and being equally obnoxious on my regular sporadic, unpredictable schedule, talking about the same range of things. I'm just branching out into another area, too, with a little less first person and a little more reader interaction. If you're interested in following my new project (although you are under absolutely no obligation and I'll try not to talk about it too much over here, so as not to alienate those who aren't part of it), you can click here to learn more about it. I hope to see some of you other there, maybe, and if not, I'll see you guys around these parts soon!
Chipotle burritos this year: 30
Subscribers: 37,959 (Thanks, Charlie.)
*"Cat" has never made sense to me.
Monday, November 8, 2010
This quarter, I've stupidly found myself enrolled in a class whose entire grade, unbeknownst to me, consists of five ten-page papers, to be completed with the "help" of several other group members. I volunteered to compile and edit four of the five projects, less out of the kindness of my heart than out of my need to be in control of my own grade, and have therefore spent at least two weeks out of every month this quarter stressing myself to the point of near combustion over a class I don't even care about.
I like all the people I'm assigned to work with, but only two of them have consistently put in their share of time and effort, leaving me and one other girl (Brittany; she's adorable) to write several supplementary pages at the last minute, every time. As a group, we've scheduled a few meeting times every week, and me, Brittany, and one other guy have spent the majority of these meetings shaking our heads and laughing about the fact that we are always the only ones to even show up. On top of that, out of the people who have sent me their work on time each week, the vast majority of emails I receive are written on about a third grade level. At the beginning, I chalked this up to the fact that I'm too harsh a critic, and I devoted a few hours to correcting their mistakes without mentioning it. But it came to the point in my editing process this weekend that I actually called my parents to read them excerpts from the drafts I had to work with. My dad couldn't speak through his laughter. My point is, if these guys were just horrible writers, that would be one thing. But they must be taking advantage of the extra editing time I put in, because if they turned in papers like that to teachers, they would be failing out of school. Either that, or I'm setting the standards for myself way too high and should stop working so hard for my grades, since writing like that can pass a class.
Meanwhile, everything I do in my French class comes out to a C, even when I trick myself into thinking I'm improving. My high school French teacher was this little quirky, lovable, crazy ball of hyperactivity, and while she had enough enthusiasm to be heard around the school building, I definitely did not learn enough to prepare myself for the level of course I'm taking now. The problem is, my college has three ten-week trimesters rather than two semesters, so by the time we stopped reviewing and launched into the new material, it was too late for me to drop the class and rework my whole schedule. And even if I could have switched to a lower level, I'd already spent over 200 freaking dollars on textbooks that were shrink-wrapped, so they can't be sold back to the bookstore once they've been opened. I had no other option but to stick with it, so I've been raking in the C's and crossing my fingers for my upcoming exams.
Tomorrow morning, I have to go into a room alone with my professor and hold a five-minute conversation with her, entirely in French, about a random question. She emailed us some examples, and these aren't questions like "Tell me about your family." A few of the options include "Do you believe celebrities deserve to be harassed by the paparazzi because they chose to be famous?" and "Do you believe in predestination?" These are things I'd have a hard time talking about in English for five minutes, and I still stumble when answering some yes-or-no questions in class. A few days ago, I wrote a paragraph in response to each of her examples, and I've spent the weekend going over them and practicing reading them aloud. I don't know how else to study, since I don't have any idea which vocabulary I'll need, and it's the grammar that confuses me. This exam accounts for 10% of my final grade, and I have one more written test next week worth 15%. It really stresses me out knowing that I'm currently resting at a C, and that a whole 25% of my grade is still up in the air. I don't know how I'm supposed to not freak out about this.
Meanwhile, it's November, and my cursed competitive nature would not allow me to make the mature decision to not sign up for this year's NaNoWriMo. It's an added stress to know that my novel's just a click away, itching to be written, but that I have to ignore it. It's more important to pass French than it is to maintain an impressive word count, and Nano will still be going on in two weeks when I'm home from school with nothing to do... but I still don't like this. I started off really strong this year, and I'm worried I'm wasting all my first-week energy by taking such an early break. Gaaah.
Also, to make matters more fun, the stress of school combined with Daylight Savings to throw me off my regular medication schedule, and I missed a headache pill today, which has resulted in one of the worst and longest I've ever had. It's 7:15 now, and I've had strong pain in my neck, face, and the right side of my brain since 3:30 this afternoon. I also had to turn down an offer from my friend Carina to go see Ben Folds tonight-- for free, since they had an extra ticket-- because of my need to study French and my unreliable group for that other class. It doesn't help that Ben Folds has been tweeting pictures all evening of a city right nearby, just to rub in my face that I can't be there. Lame.
Anyway, I appreciate you being here for me to complain to, guys. I needed this little break from squeezing my head between my hands and throwing my French book across the room. I can't predict when you'll be seeing me here again this month, because I don't know when everything's going to calm down, but I promise I haven't forgotten you. I hope you're all having an easier week than I am. :)
Chipotle burritos this year: 30
Nail color: I've been bare for a couple weeks, just for lack of time.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I'm crazy about rain. In the same way that it makes me want to hide inside a sweater with too long of sleeves, rain makes me want to hide inside my brain. I have so many story ideas swirling around in there right now that I can't even see straight. I'm drinking peach tea and typing so loudly and with so much conviction that I look like I belong in a movie montage-- I'm the erratic journalist, racing to the deadline, all while maintaining an atmosphere of chicness and sexitude*. I've also taken to listening to French pop music, breaking character to clap excitedly when I understand it, and nodding noncommittally (moodily!) when I don't. I'm really very artistic and indie, guys. You have no idea.
Okay, enough of that. I can only be a hipster for so long before I want to punch myself in the face. I will now try to counteract the damage: McDonald's! A genuine interest in the wellbeing of Lindsay Lohan! The unironic purchasing of t-shirts with "Hollister" written on them! There we go. Balanced and back to normal.
What's up, guys? Lately, I've been thinking about this internet culture that most of us are deeply invested in, and how it appears to people on the outside. As odd as it sounds, I spend most of my time around people with lifestyles so similar to my own, that I can go weeks without remembering that what I do is really, really strange. Last week, I mentioned twitter in a class, and some guy in the back of the room sighed loudly in response. "I hate twitter," he said, as if he couldn't have been more serious about anything, ever. "How self-involved are you?"
I can never predict ahead of time how I'll react to confrontation, because I either go completely silent, or retort as cockily as possible. It all depends on my mood, the setting, and the person provoking me. And apparently I was in Fight Mode on that particular morning, because I laughed, shook my head, and said, "7,000 followers' worth?" Which was, admittedly, both self-involved and a stupid thing to say in front of people whom I can now never mock online.
The guy then said, "See, I think that's disgusting. Why do that many people need to hear what you're doing today?"
I'd already started blushing, realizing that it was a pointless argument that would only end in me sounding like I was obsessed with myself, but I guess I had an adrenaline rush, because there was suddenly no turning back. I figured I'd better go big or go home. I shrugged and said, "Because I'm freaking hilarious!"
Guy: "Yeah, it's stuff like that. I hate twitter and blogs and all that. Anyone who wants can go online and write whatever they're thinking, and then other idiots read it and convince the writer that they're famous or something."
Me: "Well, mine's kind of different. I don't just write my opinions on Justin Bieber." As these words left my mouth, I became suddenly aware of the fact that I end each post with the nail polish brand I'm wearing, and that sometimes my tweets are somewhat obscure references to the personal lives of Disney Channel actresses... but he didn't need to know that part. What he did need to know was that, "I'm a professional writer," (I technically am!) and that "People read what I have to say because they want to."
I wish I had a better story for you, but our debate pretty much ended there. Class had ended and, as heated as the discussion had been, I was still more interested in the prospect of lunch than I was in defending my own dignity. He said something passively polite, like, "Well, I've never seen what you write, but maybe you're different," and then I ate a sandwich.
I wanted to recount this conversation to you guys, though. Partially to provide a less biased view of what an annoying person I am in the real world, so you don't get your hopes up too high, and partially because I know a lot of you can relate. Maybe our generation has become irrevocably shallow and selfish due to the large-scale outlets for adolescent vanity available through our computer screens, but I like to be a little more optimistic about it. Internet culture allows us to form heroes and quasi-celebrities around those who offer something we desire, instead of always limiting us to what major media corporations deem Fame-worthy. Sure, Kim Kardashian is still a household name in our society, but internet communities allow us to also follow people who make us laugh, or whose self-produced music makes us happy, or who make videos about things we care about. I may be bombarded with Kim Kardashian, but now I have the ability to idolize someone like Natalie Tran, too. Not because she had a nice butt (although she might; I haven't studied it extensively), but because she has creative things to say. Natalie probably wouldn't have peddled her talents through auditions for TV shows, or taken her clothes off in order to be noticed more**, but youtube is the perfect environment to bring people like her to the attention of people like me. Do you get what I mean? Do you agree?
Anyway, that's just what's running through my spastic mind tonight. I hope you're all having a good week, and that you're not letting the news about Hiccup Girl upset you too much. I'd apologize for the gap between posts, but you know how that goes. You've heard it all before. You guys stick by me even when I suck, and for that, I will leave you with this.
Chipotle burritos this year: 29
Nail color: Just clear Sally Hansen Hard As Nails.
*Don't say anything; let me have my dreams.
**Not that any of us would object! I mean. Not that... OTHER people... would... object.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I've been doing this for almost five years. By now, my skin is thick enough that rude, ignorant youtube comments pretty much explode on impact when they hit my rock-hard self-esteem of steel. It doesn't even begin to sting anymore when I read something like "ur fat," because I know for a fact that I am not. And even if I were, I've reached a level of confidence at this point in my life that I no longer feel the desire to match anyone else's standards. My clothes fit comfortably, I can hike up a hill without losing my breath, my skin sits taut and smooth over my muscles, and I feel good. Sure, there are days when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and cringe a little bit, but that's because I'm a girl and we have self-doubt wired into our brains at birth already, without any contributions from stupid boys who have probably never been within a foot of a boob. What I mean to say is, if you want to hurt my feelings, tell me I'm a bad writer, or an incurably mean person, or say something cruel to somebody I love. But if your goal is to bring me down, don't even bother with "Failed boob to body ratio." My body is hot, my brain is hotter, and my shape has zero effect on who I am as a person.
I had a friend in middle school who wore nothing but big sweatshirts every single day, because she was built like a Playboy bunny and had a movie star face, and boys would tease her by assuming she was promiscuous. She was beautiful, but if she wore anything remotely form-fitting, she was tortured as much as the girls with acne or extra pounds. If even the girls our society deems perfect can't escape ridicule from idiots, why should you allow rude remarks to get in your way?
My mother always tells me that some boy on the schoolbus once called her hairy, and somehow that one little comment stuck with her for years... so long that, in high school, when that same guy asked her out, she took heaps of pleasure in declining his offer. You don't know her, but my mom is smokin'. And part of what makes her so gorgeous is the fact that she understands how little it matters to be perfect-looking, and the fact that, while she's out being this stunning role-model, that kid from the schoolbus is probably raising more little jerk boys who will never be as awesome as she is.
Girls, I know you've heard it said before, but listen. I'm not a model. I'm not old and wise. I'm just a healthy, happy twenty-year-old girl who spends too much time on the internet, and I have no reason to lie to you. You kick ass. You're awesome. You don't have a perfect body, but thank God, because life sucks just as much for people who do. There are parts of you that are majorly pretty, and it's up to you to decide who deserves to comment on them. If someone makes you feel ugly, forget them. Criticism like "ugly" happens even to the people you think are beautiful, so it can't be all that valid. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, deal with it or ignore them. You are hot, but you are also a hell of a lot more than that.
I'm not writing this blog post just to brag about my level of comfort with my self-image, because I was thirteen once, and there are few things less inspiring than hearing how happy everyone else is when you despise the way you look. I also don't want to be Tyra Banks and scream and cry and preach all day, because it's not exactly reassuring to watch a millionaire model talk about how hard it is to be a size six. What I do hope I can accomplish, though, is to tell each and every girl out there who reads this that guys who make comments on your appearance are complete and utter morons. You are not worthless for having cellulite; the comments of those who mention it are what's worthless.
Chipotle burritos this year: 29
Nail color: Plain, for once. Riding this whole "I'm natural and beautiful" wave as long as possible. Also lazy.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'd never given much thought to how I would address my blog readers, had I taken an unannounced month-and-a-half hiatus and made many of them growl at me, but catching them off guard with an inane and irrelevant quote from Twilight seems like a good way to start.
What? I don't know. That made even less sense in print than it did in my head. I think what I'm trying to say is HELLO, GUYS. I AM SORRY. I AM VERY, VERY SORRY. School has been giving me a constant and painful noogie since the beginning of the quarter, and on most weekdays, I've found myself weighing the pros and cons of showering, breathing, sleeping and eating, because my massive stack of homework has allowed for me to choose only two of the above. Still, I feel guilty. I should have blogged smellily, breathlessly, on narcotics, and whilst wearing a feedbag*. I am a blogging failure, and I deserve whatever the modern middle-class American equivalent to being stoned in the streets.** But can we just put that all in the past for now? So much has happened since August and I sort of want to bounce up and down and tell you things without feeling like you're glaring at me. Okay? Okay.
Since August, I:
--Moved back into college, where I now live with one of my best friends, Heather, in a little white room with sloping ceilings and a colorful world map above my bed, so I can lean back and fantasize about moving to a magical land without homework.
--Skirted any existential crisis I'd anticipated would accompany my turning twenty. It turns out that twenty feels a lot like nineteen, except slamming doors becomes less acceptable and people expect you to phase out of wearing tight t-shirts with words written across the boobs. Luckily, these two particular traits of teenagedom were never my favorites to begin with, so I haven't missed them yet. What I will miss, though, is this. Entering a new decade of life means starring as Liesl von Trapp is but a distant dream.***
--Had a birthday party that ended in DESTRUCTION. We went to Chipotle, had a cake with contraband candles (they're not allowed in the dorms, because a tiny wax stick can wreak havoc on cinderblock and brick) and the whole shebang, before we were ordered to file into the first floor hallway because of a tornado warning. It was surprisingly fun, though. Just like John Green's character in Let It Snow, I've always loved the inconvenience of bad weather.
--Started taking some new classes that, for the most part, anger me SO MUCH THAT I'M SLIPPING INTO CAPS LOCK. I don't feel like getting into it tonight, since my hatred for my current course load makes my blood course loads of jagged spikes throughout my body and OH MY GOODNESS IT IS HORRIBLE. But that is a story for another day.
--Have picked up running even more seriously, and am now putting in about five miles a day. I like to think that stress is converting itself into energy and giving me superhuman strength.
--Got my first speeding ticket! I was on my way back to school tonight, not exhibiting any unusually erratic behind-the-wheel behavior as far as I know, but I was admittedly going faster than the speed limit. The whole event was pretty anticlimactic. The police officer was friendly to me, I didn't cry, I didn't slam into the highway shoulder rail when I got back on the road, and he didn't search the car or find any of the illegal drugs I didn't have. It still doesn't make for a very exciting story, but I did find out that every other member of my family has been pulled over in the exact same town. I've never really considered us to be a wild gang of daredevils, but hey, each day brings new discoveries.
--Have been to an eye doctor (they're fine), a dentist (them too), and a regular doctor (ten fingers, ten toes), all of whom ruled out several common causes for headaches, but could offer no explanation for the ones that have been attacking me daily. I went home this weekend to fill out a giant stack of paperwork, and have to drive back this coming Friday to see a migraine specialist. At this point, I'm pretty much used to walking around with what feels like a stack of bricks on my neck, but would really like to eliminate the charming side-effect that is my need for extra sleep. Because, as I previously mentioned, I don't have time for extra sleep, and I reckon it's probably dangerous to try eating at the same time.
--Made a particularly whiny list of white girl problems in my first post-hiatus blog entry. Sorry. WHY DO YOU GUYS LIKE ME?! Wait. Counterproductive. Double sorry.
And that's the basic outline, I think. If I happen to awaken suddenly, realizing that I forgot to tell you about something majorly fascinating and pertinent to your wellbeing as a person I probably have never met... I'll be sure to tell you in the next year or two, whenever I remember I have a blog. Haha. You guys are one amazingly loyal group of people, and I can't express how grateful I am that you continue to forgive me for getting too caught up in my own personal drama to, um, record my own personal drama for the internet. I hope you all have a lovely day, and remember how much I appreciate you, even when I blatantly ignore you for months at a time. :-p
Chipotle burritos this year: 28
Nail color: Finger Paints, "Art You Kidding Me?"
**Being denied access to cable television? Only being allowed to purchase tall Starbucks beverages? Having to wear previously-owned clothing?!
***That Rolf totally botched some of the lyrics. Put a hat on me and I'd out-prance him. Nazi. (Not the actor. I mean. Sorry, dude.)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I've been getting headaches all year, but they became spectacularly worse this week. I contemplated not posting anything tonight, because since about 8:30 (it's 11:30 now), I've felt like there's a tight, heavy band around my skull. I've had pills, two cups of caffeinated tea, and one hopeless little aroma therapy candle burning from my desk, just to ease my mother's conscience, since we have no idea how to make the aching stop. I still feel tired, despite the energy-boosting drugs and pint of liquid in my stomach, but every time I close my eyes, I just lose my ability to distract myself from the pain. It doesn't make any sense. I eat so well. I exercise a lot, but not to the point of exhaustion or anything. I drink more water than anyone I know, and I get eight hours of sleep every night, and the headaches occur whether or not I've looked at a computer all day. My experience at the eye doctor's, while slightly traumatic (I reluctantly allowed her to give me eye drops, which I'd never had before, but couldn't turn off my spastic flinching long enough for them to complete all the tests... they probably went back in their break room and told everybody they had a psychopath patient), was altogether pointless. As I suspected, my vision is darn near perfect. Too bad I'd rather wear a monocle than feel like my head is being perpetually squeezed between Hagrid's hands.
I'm going to the regular doctor on Thursday. I don't care if he prescribes for me to daily inject my own brain with nuclear waste-- that'd be a cake walk compared to enduring head pressure like this back at school, without even my mom's adorable-but-worthless "Autumn Wreath" candle to provide comic relief.
Sorry to be a Debby Downer. It's been a fun month, and the readers and commenters of this blog have been like a cheerful song-and-dance number at the end of a crappy TV show. Thanks for sticking with me, even when all I do is complain.
And on that note, I have to go place a pillow over my head and let out a string of excruciated whimpers until sunrise. See you soon. <3
Monday, August 30, 2010
I want to apologize in advance for what is sure to be a very mundane, uneventful post. Hayley has been writing circles around me since she was seven. In fact, Hayley began her writing career at age 4 when she was jealous because Jess could write the word “stop." She’s been at it ever since.
When she was five, after she had written every member of the family a book as a Christmas gift, she asked my mother “Grandma, how many books have YOU published?” I think we knew then that she was serious about this writing biz.
What else can I tell you about Hayles? She has been a complete and utter joy from the moment she was born. Her nickname when she was little was “the angel child’ because she always had that little spark in her that filled the room with light. The hayleyghoover you see on youtube and vlogs and blogs is pretty much the real deal. She doesn’t hide much, she never pretends to be someone she’s not. She has always known exactly who she is and what she wants out of life.
Hayley makes her father and I proud all the time. We are her biggest fans and I’ve been accused on more than one occasion of “stalking” her on the Internet. The truth is I love watching whatever she comes up with. (But, I didn’t really like the ‘wine cone’ video.)
What makes us most proud is the heart she has developed for others, especially the girls she works with each year at Royal Family Kids’ Camp. This camp for children who have suffered from neglect and abuse, is an extremely rewarding experience for all those involved. It is also physically and emotionally exhausting. One of my greatest joys as a parent is watching Hayley (and my other children) pour themselves out for these sweet campers who have suffered in ways no one deserves.
If you were hoping I would tell you what the “g” stands for in hayleyghoover, sorry to disappoint. As Hayley has said many times before—it’s gansta!
Hayles will be back tomorrow night, I promise!
Today I saw: a sweet middle school boy sing an awesome “Amazing Grace” at church. The poise and maturity of this young man (not to mention his voice) gave me chills.
Heard: The raucous laughter and banter of my extended family around the dinner table.
Smelled: fresh basil from the herb garden. Is there anything better than fresh basil?
Tasted: An entire buffet of wonderful food prepared by my mom. I am so fortunate to still have my mom with me.
Touched: a soft, fuzzy peach picked off a tree in my yard.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
In other news, my headache persisted all night, and even after several Tylenol, I barely slept. I was exhausted this morning when I forced myself into the shower, and I skipped church to take a nap. I pretty much slept all day, and yet I still feel tired now. Maybe I'm getting sick? I don't know. That would be better than allowing these pains to continue, unexplained.
To lighten the mood a bit, I've decided to take an easy way out of tonight's blog and answer one of those ridiculous myspace surveys from my childhood-- seriously, this time. That's what people did in their xanga blogs, right? Hold on, I'll find one that looks particularly stupid. "75 Questions I Bet You've Never Been Asked Before." This sounds promising!
1. First thing you wash in the shower?: I shave my legs first.
2. What color is your favorite hoodie?: Gray.
3.Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?: MAYBE IF HE DIDN'T LIVE SO FRIGGIN FAR AWAY. Yes.
4. Do you plan outfits?: No.
5. How are you feeling right now?: Mentally tired, physically restless.
6. What's the closest thing to you that's red?: Assuming coral counts as red, practically everything in my room.
7. Do you say aim or A-I-M?: I say it's 2010.
8. Last dream you remember having?: My teeth falling out. I have that a lot.
9. Did you meet anybody new today?: No.
10. What are you craving right now?: Liposuction. I ate something like three cupcakes today.
11. Do you floss?: Not as often as I should. Maybe the guilt that stems from my lack of flossing routine is responsible for those dreams.
12. What comes to mind when I say "cabbage?": Hmm. "Why in the world am I filling out a myspace survey?"
13. When was the last time you talked on AIM?: Probably when I got my braces on and I really wanted Jon S. to hold my hand during couples' skate.
14. Are you emotional?: Well. Yes, I am, but I don't tend to express those emotions typically in my everyday life.
15. Would you dance to the taco song?: This was obviously not intended for people my age.
16. Have you ever counted to 1000?: No.
17. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?: Okay, no, I can't do this anymore.
Today, I saw: the inside of my head, as I slept.
Today, I heard: the voices in my head, as I slept.
Today, I smelled: the made-up aromas of my dreams, as I slept.
Today, I touched: my bed, as I slept.
Today, I tasted: a ton of food at my grandma's house. Some desires are stronger than headaches.
Chipotle burritos this year: 24
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl
Saturday, August 28, 2010
So yeah. Headache. Ow. I'll leave you with my daily senses, and I hope you all have lovely Sundays. I'll see you tomorrow night.
Today, I saw: this amazing blog. I just looked at nearly the entire thing.
Today, I touched: the perfect little black answer to my skirt prayers. I've been searching for one like that for years, and the dream became a reality today. It even has pockets.
Today, I smelled: brownies baking downstairs.
Today, I heard: my dad, who just screamed. I think he's watching a sporting event.
Today, I tasted: Chipotleeeeeeee.
Chipotle burritos this year: 24
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl
Friday, August 27, 2010
What am I doing here? Well, as you should certainly know by now Hayley Hoover is a procrastinator (aren’t we all?), so I should have foreseen the impending request to fill in for a night but this was not so- after enjoying my supper of hot and frozen pizzarolls, the skype ping woke me from my greasy cheese-filled stupor.
Hayley Hoover: wanna write my blog for me?
PJ Scott-Blankenship: ...who are you? Are you feeling well?
Hayley Hoover: shh
PJ Scott-Blankenship: OH I GET IT, it's still August…you're doing BEDA still
Hayley Hoover: yes.
Hayley Hoover: seriously, wanna write my blog for me?
PJ Scott-Blankenship: *sigh* fine
So here I am, feeling like a complete fool with no idea how to carry on a one-sided conversation with a thousand strangers. How are you? What is your favorite movie? Do you like Mario? All I can say is that I’m happy to be here, and even happier to have Hayley as a friend. Oh! There’s an idea, let’s get some insight into the enigma known as Hayley G. Hoover-please note: the enigma is probably laying stomach-down on her bed wondering if her own kitchen has pizzarolls.
All I can say is that above all else, Hayley makes very real and deep connections with the things she cares most about, and you know something? You all are on that list. Hayley is very aware of the community around her, and though modest about it takes an unimaginable amount of time reading every email, atreply, comment, and reply she gets. The prime example of this the tale of how I met Hayley Hoover.
Wanting to start a new life, I left my tiny town on the Scioto River and ran to Athens to attend Ohio University, hoping with every ounce of my being I could escape the legacy of the 25-student-class from which I graduated. On my own I rolled my pudgy self across the hills of OU, and after a long day, I sat at the dining hall with my mother-I looked up and rubbed my eyes thinking I saw something familiar but the image had since darted away like an antisocial fish in a crowded pond…full of frat..fish in a…school. Okay, I tried to make a fish and school and education joke there, WHATEVER.
Anyway, bright and early the next morning I completed orientation by being the first in my group to register for classes and thus was let go, with laptop on…lap, I sat near the escalators of the university center, and felt my eyes glance up for no reason whatsoever. I need to preface the following by saying, I am/was a proud member of the lonelygirl15 community, and on our community blogspot there was a featured story about a popular girl on youtube who happened to look like the character Sarah. Now, slowly descending before my very eyes like a squirrel-kissing angel I saw her, my mind compiled the facts to confirm what I saw:
Thinking it was a real kismet moment, I uploaded a video there on the spot, never actually thinking she’d watch it, let alone that we’d meet for real, and that we’d end up being incredibly close and sharing so much together.
When I came out of the closet Hayley was there; when I was left friendless and forgotten on Halloween Hayley was there, when I had a huge birthday party and invited all my friends Hayley baked the cake, when I was locked out of the school’s computer system and thought I had failed a midterm Hayley stuffed pizzarolls down my throat, and when Hayley and I made plans for the summer…Hayley forgot but her mom was there and then Hayley was there with a vengeance!
I think about how easily and strangely I came to know this girl, and I know that many of you would give so much to switch me places and are probably more deserving of it, and all I can say is that for the rest of my friendship with Hayley, I promise you that everything we do will be in your names, because if it wasn’t for great support like you Hayley wouldn’t do what she does and I’d never know her. I am eternally grateful for you guys, and will never be able to thank you enough.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
In typical end-of-the-summer fashion, I wasted away my evening by watching old favorite videos from 2006. It started with this one, which led to several viewings of this one, and a tweeting of this one, and this blog. What about you guys? Were you around for the tubular Golden Age? Do you miss it? Do I sound like one of those nasty middle-aged women in the movie theater snarling at giggling middle schoolers and muttering things like, "In my day, we showed respect!" or am I justified?
Today, I saw: sooo many old TheHill88 videos. Have another.
Today, I touched: some mildly ugly shoes that my grandma (sweetly!) bought for me.
Today, I smelled: awesome pizza. It smelled like grease and dehydration and happiness.
Today, I heard: the sound of my mouse as I clicked around youtube, looking for an answer as to what I heard today.
Today, I tasted: way too much chocolate, as per usual.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: "Parisian Plum," Cover Girl
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Far less important, but also emotionally distressing: today was Jess's farewell party. I self-medicated with an enormous episode of binge-eating, of unforgivable proportions. Mentally ill proportions. I cannot believe I ate that much today, truly. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, even, but it's hardly fair for me to share my weight loss success story without ever showing glimpses into the hard parts. Today was a sorrowful downward slide in the food department. I'll be making up for it for a week.
On top of all that, my mom and one of my sisters left for a business trip while I was traveling around, and their flight home got canceled, so I haven't seen either of them in what feels like forever, and they were stuck in a nasty airport all day. The garage door is growling as I type this, though, which means they're now home. Sorry for not feeling up to the senses and typical blog counters again today; I'm gonna go collapse on my mommy.
Your comments yesterday were beautiful and very much appreciated. Thank you for everything. I hope you all have nice Thursdays, and I'll see you tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I haven't mentioned it yet because I like to convince myself that if I ignore something, it becomes untrue. Our relationship is all about dissecting feelings from a distant, mature angle, rather than getting overly caught up in emotions, so, until now, I've been a grown-up. I haven't walked around crying, and I haven't blogged about it, and I haven't even had a full conversation with her on the subject. I've behaved graciously all summer, but my heart is too heavy tonight for me to continue pretending. In three weeks, my very best friend is moving 2,474 miles away.
I hate being emo like this, but if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how insanely close I am with Jess. She's been my absolute soulmate since we were four years old. We've never had a fight. She's one of the few people in the world I could never get tired of, even after straight weeks of nonstop togetherness. We are intense. And she's moving to Oregon.
I really don't even know what to say about it. I am genuinely thrilled for her-- she bought a one-way ticket across the country with the intention of starting a new, exciting life all by herself. I'm too nervous and skeptical of a person to try something like that. It's so right that she's doing it. What's more, she's doing it right now. Not giving herself any opportunity to be one of those people who takes local job after local job and never ends up leaving our small midwestern city. That's awesome. I'm excited and happy and anxious and proud for her. But I'm still... I mean. I knew that someday we'd grow up and have to live separate lives, but I didn't prepare for it to be so soon. I don't want her to stay here; she's supposed to go. And I don't want to go with her, because it wouldn't be anywhere near the right thing for me. And I don't want to go back in time and I don't want time to stop. It's just something that's Real and Now and unchangeable and, despite the good circumstances, it's really, really painful.
It hurts to need something you don't want.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Vicky: How and why did you decide you wanted to be a professional writer?
Hayley: In first grade, we wrote (very) short stories, got to type them on fancy computers, and read them aloud to the class. Mine was killer, and the other kids really listened and said they liked it. It was an amazing feeling, and I've sort of been chasing it ever since.
Morgan: How hard has the long distance thing gotten, at its worst?
Hayley: Our relationship is strong enough that even the sad times are totally worthwhile. I've never thought for a second that being single would be easier than missing him. That being said, however, sometimes it's pretty depressing. The worst part is saying goodbye after having been together nonstop for a week.
Stefan: If you made videos full time, do you think you could live off it?
Hayley: No, I couldn't. If I were to make videos every day, and if they were to receive the same attention that my fortnightly videos do now, I could maybe scrape by. But that's not going to happen, and I don't really want it to.
Tom: How do you feel about Nerdfightersecrets?
Hayley: In its short existence, that blog has already caused me a lot of pain. There's so much heartbreak and sadness oozing out of it that it's exhausting to read. I was willing to support it nonetheless up until people started publishing cruel and uninformed jabs at my friends. John and Hank's goal as community leaders is to give people a sense of belonging despite their differences. Making unfounded mean comments about the people you perceive to be popular is exactly like high school, and exactly the sort of negativity I try to avoid in my life.
Hannah and Elisabeth: My current relationship is about to become long-distance for the first time. Advice on how to make it work?
Hayley: Make special dates on Skype to talk and "hang out" like you would in real life. When it works, turn on video chat while you both do other things, too. Sometimes The Situation and I will sit in silence while I do homework and he answers emails. It sounds silly, but it reminds you that your relationship is real and normal, instead of trying to squeeze as much together-time as you can into one IRL weekend.
Meg: Is your hair straight, curly, or in between?
Hayley: All of the above. Naturally, a few random pieces of my hair are perfect spirals, but most of it is rather straight with a few kinks and waves.
Kelly: Do you have any advice for new vloggers?
Hayley: Practice editing as much as possible, find other vloggers with similar interests and try to form friends and contacts. Take collab opportunities when they come to you, and don't try too hard. Don't try to become some successful celebrity. Do it because it's fun.
Kaylaann93: What kind of music do you listen to when you run?
Hayley: Anything upbeat and positive. Sometimes the music that annoys me most in the car can motivate me the best while working out. For example, I often run to the soundtrack from Legally Blonde: The Musical.
Gillian: What did you do with the Hannah Montana barbie doll and the Ninja Turtles bedspread?
Hayley: Hannah sits happily on my desk, and he brags to people about the bedspread aaaall the time.
Kate: NSYNC or Backstreet? Which Spice Girl are you?
Hayley: NSYNC. Ginger.
Hannah: What's your favorite video you've ever made?
Hayley: My two favorites are my Makeup Tutorial and Pizza Rolls.
Sarah: If you could switch lives with one youtuber for a day, who would it be?
Hayley: John Green, and I'd spend the whole day reading unpublished writing of "mine" and molesting myself.
Toastburntbread: How did The Situation and you come to be this lovely couple?
Hayley: It's not some miraculously theatrical tale, but we don't really tell people how we met, so it can be our own private story.
Julie: Would you ever make a video about being a vegetarian?
Hayley: Probably not. I'm a very passive vegetarian. I mean, I stopped eating meat when I was five years old, so it's not exactly a struggle. My lack of meat consumption hardly ever crosses my mind. It's just how I am.
Lauren: Have you read The Hunger Games? Favorite Potter book/film? Are you seeing Deathly Hallows at midnight?
Hayley: I haven't yet, but I plan to. Half-Blood Prince, for both. Yes.
Abby: Have you ever seen Wicked?
Hayley: I've seen it something like five times.
Today, I saw: some stupid western. My dad works so hard all day that, once in a while, he likes to turn them on in the evenings and stare at them for hours while he half-sleeps in front of the TV.
Today, I touched: my dog's leash. She's great.
Today, I smelled: very little, because my nose was too consumed in the fact that I kept bursting into tears, since The Situation left for home this morning.
Today, I heard: the beautiful Marion Cotillard sing in Nine, which I watched today for a second time in my sister's living room.
Today, I tasted: a McFlurry for the first time in many, many years. I bought it in an emotional stupor with the intention of eating my feelings.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: In the transition period.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Anna: "What are you looking forward to most about being a sophomore in college?"
Hayley: Living in close proximity to my school friends again.
Veronica: "Are you planning on doing Nanowrimo this year?"
Hayley: Of course! We'll see if I finish this time.
Nela: "What's your favorite piece of cutlery?"
Hayley: I'll go with spoons. You can scoop most forkable objects, but you can't fork liquid.
Kai: "How do you feel about being a 'Christian role model' at the camp you work at?"
Hayley: That's a really good question. My campers are eleven, so I don't condescend and try to act all perfect. I just try to be friendly and project happiness, even when I'm not feeling it.
Sammie: "What's your most played song on iTunes?"
Hayley: It's actually a three-second clip of The Situation saying, "We don't have any eggs!" because it makes me laugh. The top SONG, though, is "Even Though" by Darren Criss, from the MaMD soundtrack.
Kay: "Would you ever go sky diving? Do you drink the milk after you finish your cereal? Favorite fruit? Favorite chocolate bar?"
Hayley: I like to say that I would... but I'd probably chicken out. No, I don't. Strawberries... and kiwis... and peaches... and blackberries. Chocolove Strong Dark.
Tara: "Are you living on campus again this year?"
Caitlin: "Could you talk about your writing process?"
Hayley: Sure! I'll write a note to myself and talk about that sometime soon.
Christina: "Can you please recommend books to read? Something similar to Jessica Darling."
Hayley: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, Jake, Reinvented by Gordon Korman, The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson.
Ben: If you looked into the Mirror of Erised, what would you see?
Hayley: Food. Always.
Tessa: What is one day you'd like to go back and redo just because it was so fun?
Hayley: This weekend was fun enough for a replay.
Sarah: How does Date Night, in your mind, compare to Baby Mama and Mean Girls?
Hayley: They're all intended for different demographics, so they're obviously quite different. Obviously, Mean Girls is a total masterpiece-- I feel like I'm not even worthy to dissect it. Baby Mama didn't TOTALLY blow me away the first time I saw it, but it's now become one of my ultimate favorite movies over time. Date Night was really great, but not on a zomg-I-worship-it level.
Today, I saw: The Princess Bride for-- believe it or not-- the first time.
Today, I heard: "He Loves U Not" by Dream, in an attempt to relive my childhood.
Today, I smelled: groooooss KFC at a rest stop in Pennsylvania.
Today, I touched: a sleeping bag that I had scrunched into the passenger seat of my boyfriend's van. It was quite the feat. Quite the comfy one.
Today, I tasted: half a Hungry Howie's pizza. The Situation bought us one, and I had it half-balanced on my lap because it was so hot, as we drove down the highway at night, shoveling it into our faces. It was remarkably romantic.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: Really needs to be changed.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Oh. He forgives me. Now I'm at the kitchen counter and he's making me blueberry pancakes. I must be pretty charming.
Anyway, yesterday was nice. I read a lot, bonded with my boyfriend's friends, and played the role of Awkward Uninvited Party Guest Who's Eating All the Food. At first I was hesitant to make strangers uncomfortable, but then my hunger became stronger than my will to succumb to social norms. I stood right in the middle of some group's conversation, silently, and ate pizza. I can't really convey to you how funny it was. Like Flight of the Conchords funny.
I feel kind of bad for having nothing to say and little time to say it in. I'll try to make the last leg of BEDA more kickass than the first. Hey, do you guys have any questions for me? Not, like, "wuts ur fave color?!" but anything you'd legitimately like to know? Leave comments, if you'd like. Other than that, uh, have a good Saturday! I'll see you all tomorrow.
Yesterday, I saw: lots of people I don't know.
Right now, I smell: a fresh blueberry pancake.
Yesterday, I touched: my feet. They were freezing. New York does this crazy thing where it gets cold at night.
Yesterday, I heard: my boyfriend being a musical prodigy, as per usual.
Yesterday, I tasted: homemade salsa that seemed to have some kind of fruit in it. Maybe mango? It was delicious.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Subscribers: The internet's really slow right now, so I have no idea.
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild
Friday, August 20, 2010
The party is supposed to last until the part of tonight that is actually tomorrow morning, and as I am generally incoherent past one o'clock, I have to post this now. So, um. What's up? I went mini-golfing yesterday and (surprise!) learned that I'm a terrible mini-golfer. I also went on a cute little romantic dinner date, where I ate a bowl of pasta bigger than my head in a less-than-cute-little-romantic fashion, and fell asleep with my mouth wide open and my face flat against the couch while the "Fresh Water" episode of Planet Earth played. It was another wild and crazy day in the life of Hayley Hoover; it's times like this that I truly understand why it is people follow me on the internet.
Oh, and since I didn't really get into it yesterday, I want to thank each and every one of you who left comments on my short stories. Posting something like that is always a little awkward... I almost feel like that uncle who insists on singing "The Wind Beneath My Wings" at the wedding reception, even though he's only an average singer, and everyone has to stand around with champagne glasses, noncommittally half-smiling. I appreciate those of you who said you enjoyed reading them, and those of you who left constructive criticism, and those of you who read them but didn't comment, and those of you who didn't read them but still chose to stick around. You're all too awesome for words... so I must express my gratitude through song. DID YOU EVER KNOOOW THAT YOU'RE MY HEEEROOOOOO?
I think I'll leave you on that note. I hope you all have a lovely Friday, and I'll see you sometime tomorrow.
Yesterday, I saw: the gorgeous lake where this party is going to be taking place. I thought to myself, "I could stand here and look at this all day!" and then realized, like, "Well, that's good. Because tomorrow, I have to."
Yesterday, I smelled: I don't remember, but here's something funny. The other day, at the youtube gathering, The Situation started one of his songs and my friend Caitlin screamed with delight. "You like this song?" I asked. She replied, "Yes, and I smelled garlic bread right when it started, and my love for garlic bread combined with the music and it was beautiful."
Yesterday, I touched: a golf... putter? Is that what it's called? And I apparently touched it WRONG, because my boyfriend kept trying to show me the proper technique or whatever, and I kept trying to convey to him that I really couldn't have cared less. No offense to those who like mini-golf.
Yesterday, I heard: church bells. They're a constant presence around here.
Yesterday, I tasted: awesome apple pie that The Situation's mom made. He warmed it up and gave me a piece for breakfast. That's love.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Just kidding, guys; I didn't forget to post yesterday. At 12:23 PM, while we were on our way to see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with friends from the 818 youtube gathering, I interrupted conversation in The Situation's car to jab my finger at the digital clock and proclaim, "I have failed! I did not blog every day in August!" Unfortunately, though, we were about two hours away from my computer, and surrounded by hilarious and fun people, and about to watch Michael Cera be awkwardly sexy. So I accept any insults you'd like to throw at me, because I admit to having failed. But I have fun things to tell you!
I drove all through the night on Tuesday with Andy, The Situation's drummer, on our way to Chez Situation. He has a crazy nice hybrid car with a button instead of a key, and driving it sort of feels like ice skating on a freshly unsealed jar of peanut butter without any cuts on its surface. Perhaps I'm romanticizing this smoothness a little bit, since I was tired at the time and my old pickup truck is often reminiscent of riding a wild bull, but let me tell you-- those things are freakin' luxurious.
Vastly more interesting than Andy's car, though, was our six-hour conversation. You'd think it would be uncomfortable, being stuck in a small, enclosed space with someone you know rather casually, and I anticipated enough awkward silences that I brought a book with me, but it wasn't remotely weird. We literally didn't stop talking the entire ride. The Situation texted me several times to ask how we were doing and what was going on, and according to my text message history, Andy and I told our life stories at 10:30, talked about philosophy at 11:45, discussed the "oppressive patriarchal society to which we are slaves" at 12:30, got into religion sometime around one, and ended the journey in a slap-happy stupor-- involving jokes to which "penis" was the punchline-- at 5AM.
I crashed when we got into The Situation's house. It always puts me in that library-esque state of comfort. I only slept about four hours, though. When you wake up from a dream about hanging out with your awesome boyfriend and then realize he's in the next room, it's hard to choose lying still with your eyes closed over the option of poking him repeatedly until he'll get up and play with you.
So yeah. The Albany, New York youtube gathering! I genuinely had a lot of fun. We went to a burrito place for lunch (a good start), hung out in a park, and then went over to some little bar, where we stood in awe and amazement and wonder as members of our gang took turns performing absolutely beautiful poetry and beautiful songs. Caitlin Hill also performed "beautiful" dances to accompany Mike and Andy's set, causing me to lose my breath from laughing. After 2/3* of the Mike Lombardo Trio played (*fans face with hand*), I was introduced to the GORGEOUS music of Benjamin Jameson Morey. I'd never heard of him before, but he won me over instantly. Such clever and pretty and poignant lyrics, combined with a really endearing personality and altogether attractive presentation. You need to look him up. That's an order.
Then we went to the movie, which was... entertaining, and something I'm glad I saw, but not exactly my cup of tea, and then we all had an orgy**, and then I considered blogging, and then I fell instantly asleep on The Situation's couch. Now I'm eating scrambled eggs.
I'm seriously sorry if anyone was disappointed by a lack of post yesterday-- it broke my heart this morning to see that @kinseyheartsyou from twitter was waiting up for it. It means so much to me that you guys care so deeply about what I have to say. You're amazing. Honestly.
Yesterday, I saw: Albany, New York for the first time.
Yesterday, I heard: LizzieRadio perform live (her youtube channel is linked above). She was really good and so sweet.
Yesterday, I smelled: dead skunk on the highway.
Yesterday, I touched: my usually-not-IRL friend, Erica. A lot.
Yesterday, I tasted: a super gooey and delicious cheesecake brownie, made by my awesome new youtube friend Emily's mom.
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild
*I offered to sing the bass guitar parts, but they declined my offer. I have no idea why.
**No, we did not. I apologize-- I'm not even sure why I just found that funny.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
" Of all the aphorisms used to show some kind of passive condolence to the victim of a brutal breakup, there is no expression more nauseating than “I know how you feel.” Pardon me, but until you’ve watched your girlfriend of almost a year engage in six extra-relational hookups—two white guys, one black guy, one lesbian, one straight girl, and one drag queen—all on a cable television reality show… until then, you do not know how I feel.
Like all my most pathetic stories, it began in Brett MacDougall’s basement. In high school, we used to go down there after practice to drink warm beer, recreationally beat each other up, and eat bright orange potato by-products that probably would have killed us if we hadn’t been athletes. We were sort of the Popular Crowd, but you wouldn’t have known that if you’d seen us. Twenty people, one couch, Brett MacDougall’s basement. Every single day. My friends were really into being popular, but I never paid a lot of attention. At graduation, when everyone else was bawling and clutching each other, I was ecstatic, knowing that anywhere I went next would have to be more exciting than the place I’d just left.
The thing is, when you go off to college an hour away, you hope your life will sort of, I don’t know, refresh itself, and that when you come home for a weekend, you’ll have a million hilarious stories and seventy new best friends, and you won’t feel so empty as you stare at a screen in hopes of seeing your girlfriend, who you have barely heard from since she got a real life, while you sit in Brett MacDougall’s basement.
But as soon as the clock hit 7:59 on that one fateful night in November, all my anxious feelings started melting away. I sat on the 1970s-style corduroy upholstery, surrounded by most of my old cross-country team, and some of the dance squad girls I’d graduated with. I checked the clock on my phone. Go time.
“YO; SHUT UP!” I yelled. I had the remote control in my palm, kicking up the volume on Brett MacDougall’s shitty TV, until the theme music drowned out everyone’s excited chatter.
“Seven aspiring actors,” announced a female voice over edgy instrumental music. “One house, one summer, and one goal: Who will be America’s next soap opera star?”
The music continued, and a handful of hot teens and twenty-somethings struck poses, announcing their names. I could feel excited tension bubbling all around me, when the camera finally landed on her. She looked like herself, mostly, but somehow… faker. Still, I beamed at the TV like a moron. “I’m Lindsey!” she shouted, spinning, her hair whipping around, as her named popped up below her. She blew a kiss at the camera, and I seriously think I shivered in response.
For the first fifteen minutes of the show, I was living large. Every time Lindsey came on screen, her friends would holler things like, “Get it, girl!” and at one point, someone punched me in the shoulder, saying, “Damn, Cole. Your girlfriend’s not just small-town-hot anymore. She’s reality-TV-hot.”
And then… and then it went downhill.
I’m not sure I can pinpoint the worst part of watching your girlfriend dry-hump strangers on national television, but I can compile a list of the top six: 1) Finding out that the girl who wouldn’t sleep with you because of her “morals” is a nymphomaniac who, apparently, only had morals against you, 2) Seeing the earrings you made her in Metalshop dangling from the very earlobe some stranger is licking, 3) Not being totally sure whether one of her partners is a natural man or woman, 4) Realizing your mother is at home, watching it, and 5) Being in Brett MacDougall’s basement while it happens to you, open-mouthed like the biggest moron on the face of the planet, feeling like there’s a dead pregnant squirrel lodged and rotting in your throat.
And, of course, the worst of all these. The moment when one of Lindsey’s friends looks you in the eye, holds a hand to her chest, and proclaims, 6) “Oh my God, Cole. I know how you feel.”
“Hey! Faggot!” she said, this time with more force and less politeness. Also, she was a baritone.
It turns out that the voice was not coming from my computer after all. It was my roommate, Anthony, at the door of our shared dorm room, in another attempt to nag me back to life. “Dude, unlock the freaking door. You’ve been in there for like twelve hours.”
Had it only been that long? When you’ve fallen beyond rock bottom and into the deepest, darkest pits of despair, concepts like time and hygiene and not-scratching-your-own-ass-all-day just seem so trivial and energy-consuming. Instead, I’d chosen to spend my time listening to the same few bars of video game music repeating from my computer screen, while wearing nothing but a pair of plaid boxers, white soccer socks, a grease-stained t-shirt, and one of those winter hats with furry ear flaps.
“Use your key,” I yelled back, noticing by its hoarseness that my voice was just as reluctant to speak as I was to live. The video game music was then interrupted by the jingling sound of Anthony opening our door. Without entering, he popped his head into the room.
“It smells like alien piss in here,” he said, scrunching his nose. “What the hell have you been doing all day? Puking on yourself?”
I pulled my hat down over my eyes. “Sorry, man. I should be more courteous to you. I forgot that your girlfriend also banged a she-male on TV and that your life is also over.”
Anthony said, “Yeah, well, you look like Sasquatch and sound like a pansy.” He lowered his voice and added, “I have a girl with me, dude. What am I supposed to do about that?”
If I’d had more energy, I would have made a joke like, “Search ‘sexual intercourse’ on Wikipedia and start from there.” But I did not have more energy. Instead, I sighed. “Tell her your roommate is catatonic. Go to her room or something.” However, before I even finished mumbling the words, Anthony was kicking his way through my piles of trash, opening a garbage bag, and filling it with clothes and food alike.
“Hey!” I tried to exclaim, but it came out sounding feeble and apathetic. So I just went with it. “Okay, whatever. But don’t, like, throw away my iPod or some--”
“Hi,” said a girl, cutting me off. She’d entered the room in the middle of my sentence.
“Uh, hi,” I replied, finally feeling a little bit embarrassed about my appearance. I glanced at Anthony, who was cringing and scowling, then back to the girl. She was shorter, curvier, heavier-but-not-fat. She had dark pretty hair, and a necklace draped over her protruding collarbone. She didn’t look anything at all like blonde Lindsey with her supermodel dimensions and permanent pout. This girl looked friendly, and normal, and quite frankly too attractive to be with my roommate, who somewhat resembled a pitbull. Not that it was my place to notice such a thing, because I was in the Depression stage of grief. And because I looked like I’d been run over by a cement truck.
“I’m Cole,” I said. I considered outstretching my hand, but decided it would be beneficial to the girl’s health if we skipped the handshake.
“Cole Richmond. I know,” she said, looking down and smiling all cute-like. “Do you… have any idea who I am?”
Um, I thought. I turned my eyes to Anthony, who just looked exasperated, and looked back to the girl. “Um,” I said.
“It’s okay,” she admitted, but I could tell she was embarrassed. “I didn’t really expect you to know. I’m Alicia MacDougall. I was a year above you in high school? You, uh, used to hang out with my brother, I think.”
“Oh yeah!” I said. I very, very vaguely recalled Brett MacDougall having a sister living at his house my junior year. But we stayed downstairs, and she was some kind of theater geek, or an artist or something. Not really my crowd, so I never paid close attention. “How are you doing?”
Alicia MacDougall brightened. “I’m. Well. I’m doing better than I imagine you are, huh?” I glanced at the grease stain on my shirt, and at my lack of pants. “Everyone’s talking about what happened with your girlfriend and that drag queen.”
What do you say to that? Since I said nothing, Alicia sort of tilted her head in concern and continued. “I’m going to totally humiliate myself by saying this, but I’m a tiny bit drunk, so I’ll got for it.” She giggled. “I always thought you were so cool. Just, like, really together. So judging by… this… you must be feeling pretty low. After the whole Reality TV Incident and stuff.”
I shrugged and said, “Low? Nah. What makes you say that? Is it the Pringles cans or the pit stains?”
Alicia giggled again, cutely, and she looked me up and down with an almost maternal expression of pity. “No, you just always seemed so interesting and, like, exciting. I’m not trying to rub it in or anything.”
“Thanks,” I said, trying to sound as genuine as I felt. “That means a lot.”
Alicia MacDougall shrugged. “No problem,” she said. “So…I only ask because I’m legitimately curious. Are you okay? I have no idea how you must feel.” "
So... yep. Again, not the greatest or most coherent thing to ever come out of my brain, but I don't think it's bad. The main character, Cole, is actually from a partially-finished novel I have lying around somewhere, and I liked him enough that I wanted him to get a little bit of attention, as it's very likely that his whole story will never be told. I'm open to suggestions if you'd like to leave a comment. If you don't have anything to say, but still read it, thank you! And if you didn't read it, that's still cool, too. You all deserve virtual hugs just for keeping up with the blog of a stranger. :)
Today, I saw: tons of awesome video comments. Love you guys!
Today, I heard: from my good friend, PJ, who I'll be seeing lots of once I move back to school.
Today, I touched: my suitcase zipper, getting ready to head off to Chez Situation.
Today, I smelled: an emery board. I filed my nails down shorter, so as not to accidentally spike my boyfriend in the jugular.
Today, I tasted: chocolate from Germany, thanks to an awesome girl named Amina who follows me on twitter!
Chipotle burritos this year: 23
Nail color: "Through the Grapevine," Wet 'n' Wild
P.S. I'm going to the YouTube gathering in Albany, New York tomorrow. Let me know in the comments if I'll be seeing you there. I hope we'll get to exchange real hugs. And have dance parties. Mid-Embrace Dance Party Gift Exchange: it's happening.
P.P.S. As I have stated before, I am extremely LGBT-friendly. My characters' opinions or word-choices do not always reflect my own. I do not condone the use of several slang terms in this story; it is fictional.