Sunday, April 17, 2016

Let's Forget Those Empty Promises (Goodbye)

I suppose I just disappeared for some of you. That internet friend who slowly peters out and you hope it's a full, busy life that pulls them away and not something... worse. 

I've had internet friends like that, you know. The one's that never logged back on, with no explanation of where they were going or when they'd be back. Others posted their last goodbye and sent their contact information to a precious few. Others mentioned that they may move on, but it took months before they finally made their departure.

I feel rather like that first one I mentioned. I left without a warning. Heck, I left with promises of new posts and cosplay instructions to come. Did I disappoint any of you? Maybe. Probably not tbh

I guess I got caught up in life. School, illness, traveling, school, conventions, traveling, SCHOOL. SO. MUCH. SCHOOL. so much. So, yes, I got caught up in living life opposed to writing about it. 

Unfortunately, I can say the main reason I disappeared was because I lost my joy in blogging. It was something I had so much fun with, but eventually it felt like a chore instead of a hobby. So I dropped it. 

Actually, looking back, it makes perfect sense that that would happen. After a couple of cases of bronchitis I made a vow to live life fully. For a while, blogging was a part of that. I guess, in a weird sense, I found a small sense of purpose in blogging, and I used it as an outlet to pour all of that excess "I'm living in the moment" feelings into. That wasn't bad- it's just not relevant to me anymore.

So this is my formal, explained goodbye to blogger. I honestly don't think that I'll be coming back onto this blog any time soon to post, but I won't be deleting it. No, there's too many memories on here for that. And I'll log in occasionally to check in on everyone. I loved that part of blogging- the community. 

I'm not done blogging for good. I'm starting on an art blog, actually. On worpress. Like a lot of my past blogger buddies, I'm switching platforms because it's a bit easier and has wayyyy more options.

If you want to keep in contact or anything just comment, but I think I'm friends with half of you on facebook already lol

Ok, byeeeee it's been nice being here, thanks for the awesome times!

Friday, May 22, 2015

we bought her a soda- diet pepsi to be exact

I want to quickly talk about what happened today. It was my last official day of junior year (finals next week, but still... ) and some friends and I had the most amazing experience. It gave me chills. 

We had finished school for the day, were saying goodbyes, and then Elizabeth, Ana and I decided to walk to Starbucks. We had some time to kill since I had an hour and a half until I needed to pick up my brother. It was a nice day, a nice walk- nothing spectacular. Elizabeth asked all about Jr. year and Ana contemplated if she would return next year (she's an exchange student from China). 

We rounded the corner, and were just across the street from Starbucks when we walked by a woman, sitting, holding a cardboard sign. About five feet later something in me screamed "GO BACK"- so I did. Elizabeth and Ana caught on to what I was doing and didn't miss a beat. 

Her Sign
Now, I'm very much of a people person. I have no issue starting conversations, but as we stood in front of this women I realized that I had no idea of what to say. I mumbled something about her sign and feeling like I needed to talk to her.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, has an unusual way with words and people. She walked right up to the woman and said "I feel like you need a hug". She was shocked, of course, but accepted the affection. 

The woman put down the sign and on the back was something so simple and heartbreaking: God please give me the strength and the trust that i need

We talked for a bit. She told us her story and how she has been running into trouble with her abusive ex-husband, and is going to court tomorrow. As the conversation progressed, it was clear that she's a Christian. She explained how Francis Chan (who's one of my favorite, as well) has been a light in her life, how his sermons gave her the strength to get out of the relationships.

The way she talked about God was so raw and open. She obviously isn't in the best part of her life, but she's managed to hold onto hope, even though she's felt bitter and angry. She knows that God's grace will cover her.

We offered to buy her lunch. She declined, but asked for a soda- diet pepsi to be exact. When we gave her the soda, she held up a pack of cigarettes. 

"I've got five left in here. It's the last five I'll ever smoke." Her voice was a voice of conviction and bravery and uncertainness and the brokenness. 

Before leaving, we prayed together. We went our separate ways, one to a support group and three to a cup of coffee. 

Sometimes it's important to talk to people. It's hard, I know, and sometimes it's just not the right time, but sometimes it is. Sometimes someone needs reassurance that there's a light at the end of the tunnel or something like that. 
Sometimes you just need a diet soda and a prayer. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Filming (Notes from “How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck”)

In history our third-quarter project gave us absolute freedom to do whatever we wanted. My friends and I (who have already made a movie together) decided to pull together and create a second masterpiece. In preparation, I skimmed the book  How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck and made notes for myself and our other camera lady. 

When the camera is placed in your hands, you are now the filmographer and the director. It is up to you to make sure that the scene you film is as good as it can possibly be. Here are some tips from my film book:

Think in shots
  • Is what you’re filming interesting? How can you make the scene more interesting?
  • What is the point of focus?
  • How can you convey the emotion/dynamic/action/plot of the shot better?

Avoid super long panoramic views
  • Mostly because we want to keep this video under 10 minutes (though it may have to be longer simply because we need to have 10 hours each, and since some of y’all aren’t writing/editing)
  • One or two might be nice to set a scene or whatever, and it wouldn’t kill us to film them, but a 10 second view of the landscape isn’t that interesting.

Keep shots under 10 seconds
  • unless it’s ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, do not shoot the same shot for more than 10/15 seconds.
  • It becomes boring and the action of the scene is broken. I know that for us most of our shots will probably be a little long (that’s ok) but we don’t want to slow it down.

Close ups & zooming
  • Don’t stand 5 feet away from the person and then zoom in with the screen.
    • it makes the footage more unstable
    • it makes the footage loose quality
    • neither of those will get us an A
  • If we are doing a close face shot, actually stand close enough to make the shot without zooming. It may be a little uncomfortable and awkward, but we don't want to zoom too much. If we really need to, I can zoom later in editing.

Keep the light behind you
  • Unless we have a reason to have the light behind the character, it’s usually best to keep everything in the shot well-lit

Turn off ALL digital effects
  • Unless it’s something we can only do on the phone, then please let Amanda deal with it after in the editing process. It makes life simpler.

Stand still while filming

Remember the intent of the scene
  • Is the character happy/sad/angry/at war/waiting for news of the war/listening to the radio... the actor needs to do their part to convey the scene, it’s the filmers part to make sure that nothings lost between face and film
  • Know the story and the scene, it will make this part much easier

Plan a shot list
  • We’ll plan a few specific shots in the writing meeting, but the rest of the shots will be decided on-site.
  • So basically make sure you know what you’re filming

Make the star look great
  • If they obviously have no clue what is going on, stop the video, stop them, and save us a the embarrassment of turning in a bad movie
  • Make sure they actually look good. Sometimes cameras picu up weird lighting or whatever,  so make sure they’re not too washed out/shadowed.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Update: I'm still alive

Man, life has been crazy!!

Last week was CVII, and this Saturday is prom... college visits and cosplay progress and very little anime. 

((QUESTION: are y'all interested in seeing me post more of my art? I haven't been drawing as much, but I do kick out one or two detailed pieces a month))


So hopefully within the next month you'll see these posts:

-CVII days 1&2
-CVII days 3&4
-Shaak Ti progress: sash
-Shaak Ti progress: headdress
-Shaak Ti progress: other
-MGNK Review
-Silver Spoon Review
-End of Jr Year post 

Wow, I can't believe how close I am to the end of the year O.o

Once summer starts, I'll be posting the scheduled prompt posts on Mondays and my 2014 book summaries on Wednesdays. That leaves Fridays open for anything else :)