Saturday, December 6, 2008

Switching Over

I'm going to stop updating this blog and switch over to my new one at It's going to be more focused on journalism and traveling and classes - limited personal stuff (not like I've done anything that personal for a long time). It's under construction now but it's going to be built up over the next few months as Aram and I design it and I start really adding posts in London and videos and photos and such.

Should be fun! : )

Have a good one!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • I have so much extra stuff from a Halloween makeup kit I bought that Aram and I only used the fake blood from (for our Sweeney Todd/Mrs. Lovett costumes). Let me know if you want anything of the following: fake blood (there's more of it), liquid latex, assorted sponges, a wheel of white, black, and green makeup, or fake blood capsules (to like put in your mouth and bite). Also have- most of a can of temporary pink hair dye and maybe half of a container of glow in the dark nail polish. On second thought, I'm keeping that last one. : )
  • Twitter is addicting.
  • I don't even know how I'm going to pack for living in London for four months. I'm trying to limit myself to two suitcases and my computer (it's getting shipped). I'll also probably have a backpack of carry on stuff. How am I going to bring clothes and shoes for January through May in that? I'm thinking- lots of layered basics and fun small accessories that make 'any outfit' new.
  • I bought a German book. I plan to start learning it now- there's a really awesome Fulbright scholarship for journalism students that sends them abroad to study and work for a newspaper for ten months in Germany. I would love to do that. One catch? Have to be fluent in German. Yup. Thus I'm trying to learn German.
  • I think once I launch (there's nothing there yet)- I'm going to try to translate/write one blog a day in German or Spanish. It would be really good for me to kick my ass into drive on this whole- getting more fluent in Spanish thing (I can actually read it pretty well, I just don't know enough words- I was flipping through Harry Potter y la camara de secretos today and doing okay.) Plus, well, for above reasons, I really want to learn German. Plus it would be fun and a good incentive to learn it all. It would go with the whole 'traveling is awesome' theme.
  • I'm tired- but I'm really bad at going to sleep at night because I get so distracted by everything. Like for example, right now I really want to go look up possible vests, scarfs, or suit jackets on etsy for me to wear in London, obsessively check The Guild website to see if episode 1 of season 2 is up yet, and check all my web comics. Instead, I think I'm going to very much try to go study my German book instead and learn the alphabet. Much more productive. Just after checking to see how high my story on today got on the view meter.

Nighty night-


Monday, November 17, 2008

Things that piss me off

I will try to make this a list of actually constructive observations rather than just a rant of things I'm mad about. Stay with me if my massive inner neuroses come out during this post.

1. I was looking forward to the end of the election, but oh man, now I am so bored. I feel like I have nothing to work on except homework. I am seriously such a workaholic that I need to work on something media-ish, productive, or social soon or I will go crazy.

So- does anyone want to do a fun documentary with me? Or give me ideas of things to blog about? I think I may start doing a series of small comedic shorts just to give me something to do.

(Okay so that wasn't actually something I was mad about- maybe I should change the title of this post to "things that drive rachael crazy")

2. Jean shopping at Target is hell. Let's put it this way- according to them, I wear a size 6 or 8 in women's, but a size 13 in juniors. WTH? Is the store TRYING to make teenagers anorexic? I know it's supposed to be a different sizing system but holy crap, it's not supposed to be THAT different.
And I'm not even going to get into to how annoying it is for a 5'2" woman, technically only 2 inches below the standard lady height, to have to constantly try on jeans that go a good four to five inches past your heels. I got two new pairs of jeans- time to go to the tailors (or wear boots this week, which isn't a good idea since I have a new ankle tattoo).

3. Time is passing too slow. I want to get to winter break and my 21st birthday and London already. I plan to start up soon (after I have a chance to design and set it up with Aram's help)- I can't wait. I seriously have all sorts of ideas for it- think lots of videos, witty observations, photos, and features throughout the day. It's going to be awesome.

4. I absolutely postively hate having to wait for job application responses. I got one from the Austin American-Statesman (no- we had 200 people apply for 4 positions and guess what! you weren't one of the 4), but I know I won't hear anything from Dallas Morning News for months and probably won't hear anything else from the other places I'm applying to for months. And that's just for summer internships. The impending London spring internship still hasn't been determined and it's driving me crazy not to be able to tell people where I'm going to work.
I'm totally scared that I'm going to end up at like, the hobo express or something, cranking out stories from behind a cardboard box in downtown London. It would make a great story, but a sucky semester.

5. Family drama sucks.

6. Harp drama sucks.

7. Homework sucks.

8. On the upside, I got some more ADD medicine. So I'm a bit steadier now- not thinking about depressing thoughts all day (despite appearances from this post).

9. And earrings from Etsy rock. I'm getting obsessed. I might've splurged a little (like less than $20 little) and bought some really cute earrings in the shape of devil rubber duckies, fireman's hats, and tomato soup cans! I'm going to look so very crazy and it's going to be excellent.

10. Someone told me I looked French when I was at a Sbarro's in New York with Aram. Actually it was more like, "Are you French?" I was flattered, but slightly confused (I don't speak a word of French except for like, bonjour). Natalia's theory? That I dress "artsy."
It occurred to me the other day when I was experimenting with a black vest and belt over various dresses that she might be right. Plus the earring crazy thing probably fits in with that too.
Oh whatever- at least I won't ever look boring. I would make an excellent celebrity.

So I guess this list turned into something positive? The wonders of blogging.

Here's what I plan to do this week to get me out of post-election-depression rut:

Write and film a comedic short
Film myself playing rock harp
Film pieces on campus life and put them up on c2m or youtube
Have an adventure!

Excellent. Go time.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I don't know if anyone's interested in this at all-

But here's a link to all the pictures I've taken while working for

Some of them are ones I'm really proud of (my photography skills have improved soo much!), but because I don't actually own the copyrights to the photos I take for them, I can't really post them here without a big legal headache (I work for them still so I'm trying to avoid that...).

There's a ton of them- I wrote most of the captions except for some of the really early ones. I'm very amused that my bosses used some of my more descriptive ones personifying scarecrows and such.

Some of my favorite pics-

  • I really love some of my recent "food porn" pics of apples and peppers and such. Those are great fun.
  • Love the pics from Barktoberfest- some of those dogs were just darling.
  • Although it was really stressful at the time taking pictures of minors and dealing with all the permission slips, I really am happy with how the photos I took at the free physicals for kids event came out. Kids are so expressive and some of them just came out beautifully.
  • The Loudoun County Fair was so much fun to cover- I have lots of pics of barnyard animals and the kiss a pig contest and stuff, but I think I like my photos from the pageant the best- the girls were so dressed up but so used to being on a farm that they were just laughing as they walked across like, wood chips in high heels.
  • I got a great shot of a bird for a story about the opening of a free flight aviary- It took like half an hour of constant snapping to get any decent photos of the blasted things but once I got it, it looked awesome- a total hero shot.
  • OMG The pictures I took of the skateboarder came out so well. Action photos what what?
  • I loved the photo gallery I did of a potter at his wheel- I thought I did a decent job of varying the picture angles so it didn't get too boring.
Oh hell, I just loved almost all the pictures I took this summer. I don't know how much that job did for my writing clips (I got some good ones, but mostly in entertainment stuff, not the news I love) but it did WONDERS for my photo portfolio. By the time I started really covering the election I was totally ready to go and take pics at all the events I went to. And some of those came out really amazing. I actually had a Japanese magazine "English Zone" use one of my photos in their publication.

Linkage if anyone's interested- they lead to fun slideshows on Photoshop Express.

The McCain/Palin Rally in Fairfax

The Obama/Biden Rally in Fredericksburg

Oh and pictures from my brother's wedding- woot.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mason uglified Gunston

What the flip? (edited for parental purposes)

Go to this story on and watch the video. Then come back here and you'll understand this.

Okay if they're GOING to make Gunston into a sideline character for children's parties and stuff- fine. But WHY change him? He was so cute and perfect and fun just the way he was!!!

Ugh. He's so ugly now. Lame.

I'm scared about what the new mascot's going to look like....


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Websites I love and read daily (or as often as they update)

Mostly web comics, but there are others.

Questionable Content- really really funny web comic by Jeph Jacques about a group of friends. Think Coffee Shop of Doom, various sexual antics, random indie music references, and little robots running around. Updates Monday-Friday.

xkcd- hilarious and thought-provoking web comic by Randall Munroe. Stick people spitting out thoughts on tech culture, mathematics, physics, romance, pop culture, politics, everything! Updates Monday/Wednesday/Friday

(I will say, I have a personalized xkcd comic on my wall and a signed QC sketch as well- Aram and I nerded out and went to a comic convention this summer.)

Least I Could Do- an often terribly inappropriate but always terribly funny web comic that's been going on for like a couple years now- looking back at some of the storylines from a couple years ago can be really interesting. Updates Monday-Saturday.

A Softer World- Awesome web comic that puts dialogue to really well done pictures. Thought-provoking hilarity often ensues. Past storylines have included a werewolf that writes love poetry, a woman that grew out of a seed planted in the ground, and an extended storyline about people raising their mother from their dead and the resulting craziness from having a zombie mother. Updates Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Pop Candy- Great USA Today blog site from Whitney Matheson- she updates a ridiculous amount during the day. Lots of fun pop culture related items. This totally keeps me going to some of my classes - I know I can read it in it. It's really awesome.

Cake Wrecks
- BEST BLOG EVER. Most addicting too. Beware: you will be laughing on the floor. Plus, if you start reading it- you'll probably find yourself going to the beginning and reading every entry ever.

And okay, I don't read this one every day because it hasn't been updated in forever- but Emo Animals is hilarrriousslyyy awesome. A friend of mine- Tierney- made it as a project for class. Check it out. Seriously.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Interesting Links/Stories of the Day

Some election related, some not.

BBC reports the reactions of leaders across the world to Obama's election. The reactions from Sudan and the Taleban (British spelling of Taliban?) are particularly interesting.

A north-east London borough banned smokers from foster-parenting- it'll take effect in January 2010.

California voted 52% to 48% to approve Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. This could have a large effect across the nation as more and more of these cases come forward. I fully expect the issue to go to the Supreme Court at some point.

Today's front pages from across the nation and around the world from Newseum.

In other news, I love my sister.