Hitting Hard

Not even two weeks in and this semester is hitting me hard. I knew it would. I knew weeks ago that it would, but I’m somehow still surprised. I am working all day and have somewhere to be almost every night this week. Every night in fact, if I’d like.

I’m excited for this semester, and for the opportunities it is bringing, but I can also see that I’m going to have to give myself a bit of a break. I’m going to need to be kind to myself when school and interning come before other things. Which I’m thinking will be often. Or at least… more often than I’d like.

Looking at my schedule and the responsibilities I have. The ones I’ve committed to for others, and the ones I’m committing to for myself. I’m deciding what takes precedence and what I’ll allow to fall away. It breaks my heart, but this blog is one of the ones that I’m going to have to allow to fall.

Lately I’ve been falling behind; scheduling posts to day they’re going live, skipping days, and half-assing my social media output. And I hate that I’m doing that. Even though I don’t think I’ve ever made any outright statements saying what my posting schedule is, I’ve been consistently posting four times a week for a year straight. Unfortunately, this space can no longer be my top priority. I enjoy blogging and I love the feedback I get (even though it’s small), but I have to allow myself to not worry about it anymore.

This doesn’t mean I won’t still be posting. It will just be more haphazard. I’m going to stop beating myself up over missed days. I’m going to work on balancing my school and intern schedule with other commitments I’ve made to friends and to my church community. Because, while I value my online connections, I value my in-person connections more.

If you’d like to stay connected, please feel free to reach out on Twitter or friend me on Facebook, I don’t think I know how to quit those. For now though, I’m relaxing my blog posting, and focusing on living.

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Right Now…

Santa Monica

Shifting my life around to fit better in LA. A little nudge in that direction, a little tug here, trying to find the best way that my life fits here.

Planning out my schedule. This fall will be at least one, possibly two internships and 9 credit hours of online course work.

Organizing my finances. Because apparently I’m almost an adult now. Whatever that means.

Trying to get back into the groove of blogging, but I keep running into chronic lateness.

Spending days at a time without leaving the apartment, writing, tooling around on social media, and watching Fringe. A few other summer shows, but mostly Fringe.

Hanging out with one of my best friends who is visiting on her way back to Seattle.  Which involves…

Swimming in the ocean.  Not something I would have done on my own, but a lot of fun all the same.

Printing pictures for the first time on the photo printer I’ve had for over a year. Including some underwater pictures we took at the beach.

Yearning to get back into yoga, and getting excited whenever I see a studio relatively near me.

Wearing shorts and tank tops around the apartment, because it’s too damn hot for anything else.

Hating the heat. My body does not respond well to heat (sunburn, heat rash). I know I chose this, and I’m dealing with it, but I was clearly made for temperate zones.

Eating simple foods to keep the burners and oven off.

Loving my new shorty haircut.  I cut it all off to donate to Children with Hair Loss, following along in the #hairfohazel and #itgrowsback campaign that is happening around the new The Fault in Our Stars movie.

Riding my scooter new around town when I leave the apartment.

Going to fancy LA premiere parties. Like you do.

Describing delicious food as a “good life decision”. In and Out. Watermelon.

Spending less by eating in as much as possible and going to free things. Like sitcom tapings and parties with friends.

4 “Pro” Tips on 2nd Screening

Twitter + Fringe

For a long time I’ve thought that I couldn’t get behind the second screen experience. I’m very invested in my TV shows, so the idea of looking away even for a minute to be distracted from what could potentially be critical information was horrifying to me. Lately though, I’m starting to come around.

Second screen has sort of become a verb, but can also be refered to as Social TV. What it means is that while you’re watching TV (preferably live), you as a viewer have a second device open – usually a tablet or smart phone, sometimes a laptop or desktop – through which you’re following along on social media.

For me, this means I’m tweeting my way through Fringe as I watch it on Netflix and letting my favorite MasterChef contestants know that I’m rooting for them, but the phrase refers to much more than that. Using Get Glue to check in to TV shows (live or rewatching), tweeting at people involved in the show or movie you’re watching, and checking out the other, live-feed cameras on the Oscar’s red carpet are all second screen experiences.

I’d hardly consider myself a professional, but I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks of second screening.

Use Hashtags! Some shows use episode specific hashtags for people watching live (watch along the bottom of the screen for #___), but if there’s not one then you can just hashtag the show. Fringe is #fringe or #fringeonFOX. Masterchef is #masterchef. It’s usually just the name of the show with a # sign in front of it. Sometimes there will be hashtags for things within the show, like rooting for a specific contestant or plotline, you’ll learn more about the show you’re watching by following the hashtags.  By including these tags in your tweets, other people can find your opinions and tweet back at you.

Respond to others. If you’re following the hashtags you’re using (search them in the search bar), then you’ll see other people also talking about what’s happening. This is usually the most prevalent when watching live. Interacting with other fans while watching the show is one of the most rewarding parts of the second screen experience.

Be nice. It’s simply unnecessary to be rude to people on Social Media. Don’t say anything about the actors, plot lines, or contestants that you wouldn’t say to them in real life. Because fact is, nearly everyone and their mother is on twitter these days so you might be saying it to them indirectly.

Have fun! Social Media is used for lots of serious things like spreading news and starting revolutions. Which is all well and good, but it can also be a fun way to be more actively engaged in what you’re watching, and maybe even make a few friends along the way.

Do you second screen? What shows do you engage with?

Summer Break

summer break

No, not the traditional time off from school given to students in academia. I’m talking about the new web series that’s started up a few weeks ago. It follows 8 recent high school grads as they are spending their last summer together. Summer Break is a docu-reality done in real time with the “characters” tweeting, instagraming, and vineing, and the YouTube summaries popping up a day later.

I am fascinated by this show. The idea of “watching” (or I suppose more accurately following) things happening in real time is a true testament to how far technology has come. While with most social media integration the social media aspect comes after production, this show is doing the opposite. It’s allowing social media to determine what gets put in the final cut of the show.

Personally, I’m only a passive viewer. I subscribe to the YouTube channel, but only watch a few of the torrent of videos that are uploaded. It’s fascinating in it’s newness. Like a frog in a jar that I’ve put on my shelf and every once and a while I’ll pull it down and poke at it with a stick. I don’t think I’m quite the target market, but it’s wildly entertaining nonetheless.

The biggest question this raises for me is weather this form of story telling will catch on. Clearly it’s made for reality TV. But could it be adapted to scripted format? (Lizzie Bennett Diaries anyone?) Is it successful enough for advertisers to consider it marketable? How would advertisements work on a show like this?

So many questions and so few answers, but I suppose that only time will tell.

If you’re interested, you can check out their YouTube channel HERE, and their twitter account HERE.  I’m not linking to each individual’s Twitter/Insta/whatnot, it would be too much, but you can find them through these links.

This Will Be: May Edition

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So this month I find myself in a similar situation to the one I was in a couple of months ago before my program started.  I have a lot of time and no real direction of what to do with it.  I hope that I can make the most of it, hopefully this round I have a little bit of a better idea of what to do with myself.

For one thing, I want to actually go through with getting a motorcycle license this time.  I know I’ve probably said it every month this year, but now that I’ve actually made a start on it, hopefully I’ll be more able to go through with it.  I made and went to a DMV appointment with to get a permit, failed the test, and made another appointment.  Study time.

I also want to spend time working on a very specific project or two, the original specs that I thought of last semester.  I kind of like having two projects going because it means I can go back and forth between them when I’m stuck.  At the end of last month I started working on these in the mornings as a part of my morning routine and so far it’s going really well.

Another writing project is to put some extra work into this here blog, as well as some of my other social media haunts (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and YouTube).  I want to rethink how I approach social media and come up with some goals for each platform and across the board.  I’m even toying with the idea of vlogging.  We’ll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I wait for my academic petition to go through, and once it does I can start really, properly looking into housing in LA.  Since I did a lot of base work while I was there I can call up a few of the contacts I’ve made and hopefully housing wont be a huge to do.  In the meantime I want to be sure to keep in touch with my people in LA.  The friends I made in my classes and the ones I made through my church will continue to be a part of my life, I just have to figure out how to do that from here.

Bonus: I get to hang out with my mom on Mother’s Day, possibly go to visit a friend in Seattle, and see a bunch of friends who will be coming home this month.

This Has Been: January Edition

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January has been an odd month, like I knew it would be.  I spent most of it working on various things, and playing around with social media and watching YouTube videos, which I classified under “work” though maybe I shouldn’t.  While I’m happy with what I did get done, I’m disappointed in what I did not get done.

While I am an introvert (and these days thank goodness), I work better when I have someone to bounce ideas off of.  I can strengthen and clarify my ideas and then go into working on the with some degree of certainty that they will pan out.  I’m having trouble starting totally on my own.  A writers group would be fantastic for this purpose, but I don’t have one and can’t seem to find one.

If writing was a win-lose this month, blogging was simply a win.  I was able to keep up with posts with minimal slip ups, and I’ve got a bit of an editorial calendar ready for February.

And the other goals of the month?

  • Making dinner weekly.  Check.
  • Meeting new people.  Nope.  Though, I did sign up for a small group and will be going to a meeting tonight.
  • Workout twice a week. Mostly.  I’ve gone climbing or yogaing each once a week except for last week when I was sick.
  • Museums.  Yes and no.  I went to one, and it was outside the city, but I’ll call this one a fail.
  • Blog revamp.  Still no.

Also this month I got new glasses and some new clothes.  Mom and I are working on getting me something of a professional outfits to speak of.  I started searching for housing in LA, and watched a host of web series and an entire season of Leverage (I’m going to be watching their fan chat tomorrow!).