Monday, February 27, 2012

Angry Girl Music! (And the letter H)

Tonight's post is brought to you by the letter H. H begins all kinds of important words! Like
"Hayley!" And "horticulture!" And "
hemorrhage!" And "holy shit I need to take a break from working right now or I'm going to pass out with my face down on the keyboard and the landlord won't find my maggot-gnawed body until July." I'm chin-deep into the work that remains in this phase of production on the book, which means I'm forgetting meals, I'm making nasty crackling joint noises whenever I move my wrists, and I'm seeing black Times New Roman inside my eyelids when I try to sleep. But I'm not complaining! God, not in the slightest. This stress and frustration is exactly what I need in my life right now. I feel like I'm doing what I was meant to do. Harmony. Happiness. Other H-words. Hurrah!

I was really pleased by the response to my last post. It looks most of us are on the same page regarding my goal to find more balance in my everyday life-- a lot of you were already working towards that, and some of you renewed your vows, which rocks. In the immortal words of Troy Bolton and the East High Wildcats, we're all in this together. That's inspirational. It's high-fivable. It's choreographed-dance-able.

Speaking of dancing and dorkiness, I'm at that point in my college career where I've given up hope on ever looking like a normal human being, and I've embraced the power in my eccentricity and taken it one step further. My workout schedule was getting kind of stale since the weather's forcing me to kick it treadmill style, so I've created a playlist of ANGRY EMPOWERING BREAKUP SONGS that I unabashedly lipsync to while running and/or ponytail-bouncing. And who would I be to deny you the same fun? If you're a runner or a walker or a rower or a what-have-you, I highly recommend downloading these puppies and giving mental hell to whatever douchebag last did you wrong. 68% satisfaction guaranteed (that nearly doubles if sing along; screw the people next to you).

  1. "You Oughta Know" - Alanis Morissette
  2. "Survivor" - Destiny's Child
  3. "Fighter" - Christina Aguilera
  4. "Piece of My Heart" - Janis Joplin
  5. "So What" - Pink
  6. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
  7. "Stronger" - Britney Spears
  8. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
  9. "What Doesn't Kill You" - Kelly Clarkson
  10. "Walk Away" - Kelly Clarkson
  11. "Picture to Burn" - Taylor Swift
  12. "Before He Cheats" - Carrie Underwood
When combined with rage and determination, this collection of blonde lady pop songs (and a few angry brunettes) is part of a healthy weight loss plan!*

On that high-pitched note, I'm gonna go practice what I preach and get in a quick run before I have to dive back into accomplishing shit. I'm continuing to work on my goal of better balance, and I hope you guys all find yourselves healthy and happy enough to do the same. Have a lovely evening! <3

P.S. I have a cheesy-yet-sincere new video from Thursday, as well as today's new Answerly video featuring brief partial nudity. Enjoy!

*And it's not just for straight girls! Change the pronouns and/or add in some NSYNC and you're good to go, dudes and et cetera-s.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I'm very much supposed to be writing a paper right now about Ernest Hemingway and our culture's obsession with an imagined sexual orientation binary, but just typing this sentence is pretentious and exhausting enough for me to put the project off for another hour. Instead, I'm squeezing every last bit of value out of my time by lying here, open-mouthed, increasing the chances of my already likely carpal tunnel by scrolling endlessly through Tumblr. So speaking of extremely addictive/pointless activities and the way my posture is giving me several excess chins, today I want to talk about self-improvement.

My best friend gets mad at me when I pile pressure on her by describing her as purely good, but that doesn't change the fact that she is. Even from far away, she makes a point to spread little wisdoms to me over the phone, and I have to share one with you. Both of us have a certain propensity for depression and a much stronger and unnecessary sense of guilt for being sad, and to combat these, she's recently tried to show me the value of balance. The idea, basically, is that moderation is the cure for everything. You can't expect your body and mind and soul to all work properly if you're only feeding one of them. Everyone has certain unique needs, and denying yourself any of them can lead to feeling off-kilter. I know for a fact that, every day, I require:

  • at least twenty minutes of exercise
  • a good dose of sunshine and fresh air
  • to write something for myself
  • to write something for an audience
  • a solid conversation with someone I love
  • fresh vegetables
  • eight glasses of water
  • to make something with my hands
  • and to have some physical contact with another person.

Still, I'm constantly sacrificing one or several of these because it's convenient or because I'd rather sit around and feel bad for myself. Inevitably, that feeling-bad-for-myself will soon turn to feeling-bad-about-myself and then to being-a-drain-on-other-people, eventually resulting in all-around Shit. And the thing is... I really don't like Shit. Depression breeds on itself, and if your natural defense system against it is already weak or holed, you need to make conscious, everyday efforts if you're going to combat the bastard. So balance. I'm working on balance.

Here's something I made with my hands to illustrate my determination to follow through with this don't-give-into-stupid-instinct-when-you-could-be-kicking-ass plan:

And to help me keep up the positive attitude, I'm going to end all my posts for a while with a new personal goal. This week: Balance. Making time to treat myself the way I need to be treated. What's yours? <3

P.S. Since we last spoke, I've posted a new video on my main channel, a companion video on my second channel, and a new (totally eccentric) Answerly video!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Brain-Thudding Thoughtvomit

For the past few years, I've gotten these intense, disabling headaches at fairly random intervals, without notice or warning, that can last anywhere from forty minutes to nine hours. My very sweet and concerned mother insisted that I get a check-up (nothing) and then a visit to a migraine specialist (nope) and then an optometrist appointment (my flinchy phobia of all things ocular made that exciting, but still nothing) and then an MRI, all of which led to the diagnosis: Uh, hmm, well. Looks like you just get headaches. That sucks.

There were pills for a while, but they were huge and chalky and they never seemed to do much anyway, so I eventually threw my hands in the air and resigned myself to an extremely easy and luxurious and blessed life with the occasional bout of cranial misery. I'm a healthy person, I'm a happy person, I'm a lucky person. But the pressure and pounding in my forehead is making me effing insane right now.

Maybe if I sift out some of my thoughts and dump them here, there will be more room in my brain? While I'm not sure if these pains are directly related to stress, having a lot to worry about definitely doesn't make them any more pleasant. What I'm basically getting at, Blog, is that you get to be my medicine tonight. Or, rather, you're my external hard drive. Below are some of the thoughts-- in no particular order-- that I don't currently have room for in the main cabin of my head.

--The harder I work on homework and various projects, the more disastrous my room becomes. My sheet is a crumpled ball at the end of my bed, there are two teal teacups positioned about, my floor is scattered with headphones and pieces of embroidery floss and a single dollar bill and those horrible cardstock inserts from magazines that always fall in the bathtub. Cleaning would be an easy solution to this-- and would probably calm me down-- but movement hurts so shut up.

--I don't think I've spoken to a human being all day. I answered two phone calls (both from family members and both shorter than five minutes) and have otherwise done a spectacular job of playing Hermit Recluse Apparition Hobo for the twelve hours I've been awake. That's... not healthy. I need to get out of Ohio.

--I have to get my car fixed and schedule classes for spring and write a paper for tomorrow and get through this editing stage before Thursday and also wash this mop that was once my hair before an army of flies surrounds me like the kid from Charlie Brown.

--Did I eat anything that grew out of the ground today? At all?

And on a final, less pessimistic note:

--I really feel like I've found my calling in life with this job-- editing/writing for the book, making videos, connecting with people online-- and I'm so, so grateful that I get the opportunity to create things that mean something (whatever that is) to people (however many). There isn't a "but" to this, either. I just had to say it one more time.

...I'm not gonna lie; that really did make me feel a little bit better. My headache is by no means cured, but it's devolved from Volcano of Eye-Squinting Pain all the way down to Irish-Dancer-Bouncing-on-My-Brain. I apologize for being a disjointed mess tonight, but as always, thank you so much for being here to catch my thoughtvomit. I don't know where I'd be without you. <3

P.S. New Answerly video today! I had computer trouble and had to edit the damn thing TWICE in the span of eight hours so, like, I hope you like it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Are you a murderer?!

It's New Video Thursday! At the risk of sounding like a douchebag, I'm particularly fond of this one-- mostly because the comments have already provided me with six or seven good LOLs. If you have any free time, I highly recommend taking a look at what people are coming up with. Comments best served with a wine glass full of ice water.

I hope you all have a lovely evening! <3

Monday, February 6, 2012


Wait. Before you read any further, open another tab and turn this on. It has a 96% chance of making you wag your head back and forth and/or wiggle your toes. Feel better now? You're welcome.

Hello! A minor technical difficulty is impeding my ability to read story submissions for the book this evening, and even though one of my eyelids has been subsequently twitching like a nervous rodent's tail, I'm trying to see the setback as a blessing. Maybe the universe caught on to the fact that I've been having stress dreams about paragraph breaks and it, like, decided I need a break. So I'm breaking! I'm eating dark chocolate-covered almonds, listening to that Julia Nunes song, and sorting through the hundreds of old video files cluttering my camera. One result of that last activity just made its way up on my youtube channel, so if you like hot guys and pretty mountains and the sight of me wearing the same cardigan for three weeks, you can check out this montage from the road trip I went on last summer. I'm trying to be more take-charge about making videos. In fact-- can you keep a secret? Seriously. This piece of information is a blog-readers-only exclusive, okay? I'm going to be posting a new video on my main channel every Thursday from now until... indefinitely. I don't want to make that promise to the Greater Internet because nothing dooms a plan more than talking about it, but I think this will be good for me. Keep an eye on your subscriptions box (or just keep reading this blog; it almost feels like the current YouTube layout is trying to make it hard to see new videos) and you're guaranteed to get slapped in the face with my voice on a fairly regular basis. Everyone wins! (Depending on how you define "winning.")

In other news... I guess I go to school or something? If it weren't for the fact that I host a weekly advice show about college living (new video today!), I'd probably forget that minor detail and just never leave my apartment. My latest motivation for attending class comes in the form of two cuter boys who sit behind me in one them. Our professor is this very knowledgeable and sweet but extremely dramatic little man who has a habit of STARTING EVERY SENTENCE IN A LOUD, BOOMING VOICE that tapers off and eventually concludes in a slow. exaggerated. whisper. It was charming the first hundred times-- I thought the guy was just super pumped about literature of the Enlightenment-- but it turns out he's terrifically, mightily, exponentially pumped about everything. Anyway, the two boys in the back row noticed my brass Gryffindor crest ring and realized that referencing Harry Potter makes me laugh, so they've taken to calling our class History of Magic. They also do just about everything within their power to mask the pain of class with hilarity. One of them leans over to my ear and narrates the lectures:

Guy behind me: "Exposition."
Guy behind me: "Rising action, rising action..."
Professor: "Because he wants. to. feel..."
Guy behind me: "Climax!"
Professor: "Alive."
Guy behind me: "And scene."

Yeah, so even though I'd rather be forced to watch a football game than feel the need to flirt outrageously with some dumb twenty-year-old guys, they're amusing enough to get me out of bed and into a little bit of mascara. Whatever works, I guess.

It's nine o'clock now and I still haven't worked out tonight, so I'm gonna go try to pound out three miles on a treadmill. It's always a pleasure to talk to you fine people! I hope you have a lovely night. <3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Eyebrows (New video!)

New video today! I'll just leave this here. I hope you all have a lovely evening. <3