Monday, April 8, 2019

700!



This is just a quick post to say, I have hit the big 700! Is that a traditional milestone? I don't know. I forgot I was even counting these milestones, it's been so long since I've hit one. I don't post anywhere near as frequently as I used to back in the day, and I literally almost missed this one.

I had just finished putting up my internship post, and I was taking a walk back down memory lane, clicking on the different tags, such as "Life Update" "Iowa State University" etc. Just seeing what I'd written years ago. Which is the main reason I even keep this blog. It's basically the digital equivalent of a diary, except I let everyone read it. :p

I was reading my 666 Cake Tricks post, (Which I still think is hilarious BTW, click HERE if you want to read it yourself. :p) and I realized that I had tagged it, "Posting Milestone" because I had written it as my 666th post.

I thought to myself, "Oh yeah! I forgot I used to do that." So I clicked the tag, and saw that the last "Official" posting milestone post was for 600, back in January of 2017. I had done one for every hundred I'd hit till that point. I wondered where I was now, so I checked and saw that I had 698 published posts! I was so close to a milestone that I figured I'd better just keep up the tradition, so here I am!

That's really all this post is. I'm sure it doesn't mean much to any random readers, but like I said, the main reason this blog exists is for me, so I'm just writing this post for me. :)

Friday, April 5, 2019

#TrueFacts (April 2019)


Did you know that there is a species of porcupine that is more closely related to cows than to pigs? They’re called beefupines. #TrueFact

Did you know that in the 60's, the Mars candy company introduced tie dye colored m&m's? They were extremely popular within the hippie community until the 70's when they were banned by paranoid lawmakers at the start of the war on drugs. #TrueFact

Did you know that fish never pick their noses? Isn't that crazy? #TrueFact
Wait, what? They don't even have noses?!

Did you know that you can't iron out the wrinkles in an olderly person? Believe me, I've tried. Opal packs a wallop with that cane of hers! #TrueFact

Did you know that the ancient Chinese had a name for the orca that roughly translated to "Giant Panda Whale"? #TrueFact

Did you know that the invention of the TV was inspired by a toaster? Titus Vyleeman, the inventor of the TV, was making toast one morning when he caught a glimpse of his face, moving in the reflection on the shiny metal surface of the toaster. "By Jove!" He exclaimed to himself! "This should be a thing!" So he decided to invent the TV, just so he could watch his own face. Titus was rather vain. #TrueFact

Did you know that the Chalupacabra is by far the most delicious of all Cryptid-based Mexican dishes? The Tacolope is a close second. #TrueFact

Did you know that in some countries, children who cannot find their names on novelty gift store souvenirs and keychains, were at one time thought to be messengers from the gods? Some of these children were even revered and worshiped! #TrueFact

Did you know that 90's radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger once ran for president? Her campaign slogan was a promise to change America's diaper, but for some reason she didn't get very far in the polls. #TrueFact

Did you know that mayonnaise used to be used as a medicinal cure-all? Medicinal mayonnaise was so popular that some doctors used to use it exclusively, to the point that there was even a hospital named for the congealed condiment. Even though mayonnaise-based treatments have fallen out of favor in today's era of modern medicine, that hospital is still in operation, and to this day you can still travel to Minnesota to be cared for at the Mayo Clinic. #TrueFact

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I FINALLY Have an Internship!

So, kind of big news, okay, who am I kidding, HUGE news! I finally have an internship! After almost two years of applications going nowhere, and (almost) never hearing back from anyone, I finally have an internship!

And now for the twist. This will not be a traditional internship. In fact, I am basically making it up as I go! I had to get special permission to do my internship this way, but it will count as the final credit I need to officially graduate and get my degree!

I've mentioned my YouTube channel here before, I don't talk about it a lot here, but if you follow me on my public social media pages, then you'll know I almost always make at least one video a week. Some of those videos I do with other people, and one of those people is Rachel Wagner.

I mentioned her in my last post, you may have seen the pictures from January when I made a scarf and hat for her for a late Christmas gift. Rachel lives in Utah, and she and I met through the Rotoscopers. We both write for the site, and she's the main reason I finally bit the bullet and started my own YouTube channel.

We've become pretty good friends over the past few years, and for the past few months I have been occasionally doing some freelance editing for her. Rachel has two blogs, two channels, and two podcasts, (In addition to a full time job, completely unrelated to YouTube) and sometimes, on weeks where she has too much to do, she'll have me edit an episode or two of her podcasts for her.

In mid-January I started thinking, I have been getting some decent experience with this, I wonder if there is a way I could expand on it and make it count as an internship. I didn't say anything right away, like I said, I have been applying for internships ever since I graduated, and I had just applied for some at the beginning of the year, so I was waiting to see if anything came from them. Shocker, nothing ever did. Story of my life for the last 22 months.

Finally in February, I proposed an idea to Rachel, if I came on as an unpaid intern, would she have enough work for me to do on a consistent basis? It was an immediate yes. Like I said, she's very busy.

So, as for the unpaid part, I know I've said since I graduated that I was not going to do an unpaid internship, since it would almost certainly mean quitting my job while working on it, and I have bills to pay. I can't afford to be without income for 3 months, or however long a full-time internship would last. I had a plan for that, but since this internship is very unconventional, having it be unpaid would only work out if everything came together perfectly.

So, Rachel has actually been paying me since I started working for her, but knowing that she requests my services only when she's really needing some extra help, I figured it would be best to propose it be unpaid. That, and at this point I really just want to get this thing over with. I figured this way it'd be a win-win for both of us, as long as everything worked out the way I wanted it to.

Since January I've actually been working full time at the hotel. At first it was because someone went on vacation, but then there have been, (and are still continuing to be) a bunch of schedule disruptions. People quitting, getting promoted, moving to a different parts of the hotel; it seems like every week a new person leaves or is hired. At the beginning of February, one of the night auditors was moved to days temporarily, so I've been working five nights a week until things can go back to normal. Even if I wasn't working full time at the hotel, I am still employed at Hy-Vee, so I have full time work either way.

With that in mind, I am definitely not interested in quitting for an unpaid internship, no matter how much I need to get this thing done. So my idea in proposing the unpaid internship to Rachel was to keep working at the hotel, but work on the internship on the side. Normally internships are ten, 40 hour weeks. Basically it becomes your full time job for around three months. The way I was planning this, it would take much longer to reach the required 400 hours, but at least I could still have a steady income, and do the internship at the same time. Any other internship, unpaid or not, would not have this kind of flexibility.

So obviously I had Rachel on board, now I just had to convince my faculty adviser and the school's internship adviser. My adviser was pretty easy. Once I told him what I wanted to do, he thought it sounded like a great idea, and a great opportunity. I couldn't believe it! I thought I was going to have to work so much harder to convince him! Rachel even wrote up a huge long list of her qualifications, education, and achievements, and he hadn't even seen that when he said he liked the idea!

But then I had to make another appointment with the internship adviser, and I was sent a whole long list of guidelines, and forms to fill out before our meeting. And one of those guidelines was that the internship had to take place at a physical location, and I could NOT work from home. There were no exceptions listed anywhere in these rules, just that students MUST go to an actual workplace environment.

Well, I figured that was the end of that. I still decided to keep the meeting with her, I figured I'd at least TRY to explain everything on the very off chance that she could bend the rules for me, but I was no longer hopeful at all. I wondered if maybe my adviser didn't understand that I had planned to work from home before he given me the green light to move forward. At that point I had basically accepted that this was not going to work out. So the rest of that week I was not in the best mood.

When we finally had the meeting she seemed very hesitant about the idea, but when she heard that I had already been freelancing for Rachel, and that we always keep in close contact when I'm working on something for her, she seemed a lot more open to the idea. Apparently the biggest reason for the no working from home rule is that the students typically have a hard time keeping in touch with the person who is supposed to be their supervisor. The fact that I am always in touch with Rachel, made it pretty clear that that wouldn't be an issue.

The other reason they don't allow students to work from home is that the school wants students to get the experience of working in a professional environment. However, when she realized that I already work full time for the Gateway, that pretty much sealed the deal. I may not be getting the "Professional Environment" from the internship, but the fact that I've already had an office job for almost a year now, is great experience in and of itself. So the fact that I'm getting that experience somewhere, paired with the fact that I already have a great working relationship with with the person who would be my internship supervisor, she thought that this could be one of the VERY rare instances where they actually approve a work from home internship.

Of course this wasn't the end of it though, I still had to write up a formal proposal, the school had to get in contact with Rachel, and I had to go through all the official steps to actually register for the internship as a class. And then I had to wait more than two weeks for my registration date to open up, so I could actually submit the paperwork and actually get officially registered. Which finally happened today! Or, yesterday. It happened on the 26th. I work overnights, I can't keep days straight.

Right now it still hardly feels real. Over two years of applying for internships and I finally have one! Not to mention, I'm practically creating it as I go! I'm still full time at the hotel with a very unpredictable schedule, so I haven't fully gotten into everything, but my internship adviser told me, back when she officially gave her approval, that I could go ahead and start counting hours. So I have been working on a few projects here and there since then, but hopefully work will get back to normal soon, so I can get into the internship work on a regular schedule.

So anyway, that's my news for now! I probably won't do too many updates here along the way unless something really interesting or exciting happens, but I'll definitely follow up when I finish. Right now that's looking to be around September, but like I said, since I'm already working full time, I'm just counting hours as I go, so I can't predict an exact timeline. Either way, things are finally moving forward, and I'm just excited that this is actually happening! Before the end of the year, I should finally have my Bachelor's Degree!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Random Picture Update!

So, I haven't posted any pictures on this blog in awhile. Like, real photos from my real life. In fact, let me check and see just exactly how long it's been!

~

Well, I guess it was like 6 months ago if you're counting funeral posts, but it's been almost 2 years since I posted pictures from my graduation! And as far as non funeral/wedding/massive life event pictures, from what I can tell, I haven't posted any pictures since March of 2016! Three years ago! And those pictures were from the trip I took with Shaina and Sasha to visit Uncle Nathan and Aunt Ruth in Colorado, in 2014!

Edit: (A few days later) I found a few other more recent picture posts, but the most recent one still seems to be from mid-2017, and they were all catch-up posts containing several-months-old pictures as well. So either way, it's still been awhile, and either way, I'm still bad about posting pictures. I mean, I got right on the "Big Event" pictures, but I knew there were a lot of people waiting for them. To this day looking at my analytics, they are among the most viewed posts I've written.

So, for the past 5 years, I haven't done too much with pictures. At one point it was the main thing I posted. I even had, have, a photography blog, but I just checked there as well, and the last post was from the end of 2016. And that was also some pictures from the Colorado trip.

I took a LOT of pictures in 2017, but I still have yet to post them. The summer after I graduated I lived at home, worked part time at Hy-Vee (Like I have for 10 years now! Good grief I feel old...) and I spent my free time doing things with Sarah. That was the summer I started my YouTube channel, so we recorded a lot of videos, but every couple of weeks we would make it a point to go somewhere, and do something, (usually free) and I took a lot of pictures on those mini trips.

And then I never posted any of them. Not even our longest trip where we hit three states in one day on our way to watch the eclipse. YouTube just kind of became the main focus of all my free time. I mean, I edited and shared a vlog from the eclipse trip, but still not pictures. And then when I got the job at the hotel, between that and Hy-Vee, I barely had time for YouTube either. Someday, I swear, I will get those pictures up. But today is not that day.

Today I just wanted to share some random pictures I've taken recently. I don't take that many pictures these days, but if something interesting is happening, I have my phone, so I take some pictures.

~

The biggest thing that's happened around here recently is the snow. At the moment it has almost melted, but at one point there was a LOT.

Before I get to the good pictures, I had to share this one that I took one morning after work, when I went shopping. I didn't know it at the time, but there was a huge snowstorm in the forecast. This is the bread isle at Aldi. I just started laughing. The stereotypes are true! Apparently people panicked, and wiped out the bread! Good thing I didn't need any! 😂


This was really one of the worst winters we've had in awhile. Grandma even got a snowblower for me to use, which was a lifesaver. Until it broke right before the winter just went completely downhill. Technically I've seen worse than this winter in the past, but this was the worst I've seen in Ames, and the worst I've seen during a time when snow removal was up to me. So for most of February, I only had the shovel to rely on.

At its worst, the depth of the snow reached well over a foot in some places, and probably close to two feet at the end of the driveway, after the snowplow had passed. I took some pictures on the day the snow was at its highest. This one is the end of the driveway, the morning after the biggest snow. I work overnights, so I came home to a mountain in the driveway. I could not pull in to the driveway. And this snow was dense. This mess held my weight, I didn't even sink in an inch, when I climbed over to walk up the driveway.


And when I say two feet, that's probably how deep it was in the shallowest part. We had gotten so much snow in the days before this that the "Mountains" on either side of the driveway were over three feet high, and I couldn't keep the snow I was scooping from flowing back down at least somewhat, and I could just barely keep them apart enough to pull one car through. I'd taken to parking in the street on days I knew grandma would need to get out. Working overnights I sleep during the day, so it was just easier to park in the street than have to wake up to move my car for her.

This is the driveway the morning after the foot of snow fell. You can see where the newspaper people had walked up before I got home. They couldn't pull in either.


And now that I think of it, I think the snow had been falling for two days. It was snowing when I got home the day before, so I waited to scoop when I got up, but by that point it had grown to near blizzard conditions and I decided to wait until I got off work instead. Either way, the amount that fell all at once, was huge, and by the time I came home from work the next morning, this was the result.

At this point I didn't want to even be bothered with the snow. I just wanted to go to bed. I figured I'd scoop when I got up, but I wasn't expecting to even get close to finishing. There was no snow in the forecast for a few days, so I figured I could take my time and not kill myself on the two feet of snow-cement at the end of the driveway.


That afternoon I got up, got all my snow gear on and went upstairs to get the shovel, and found this!


I had told grandma how solid the snow at the end of the driveway was, and as soon as I went to bed, she went to the phone book, and found someone who was apparently right up the road who had some kind of industrial snow-blower, he came over with his son, and apparently their machine chewed right through the ice in the driveway! She said they had it clear in less than a half hour! I couldn't believe it!

Thankfully that one awful storm was really the worst of it, and the few times it has snowed since hasn't amounted to much at all.

My other thing this winter has been getting back into knitting. Apparently it's been two years since I started learning according to Facebook's memories feature.



I seem to do a little knitting around Christmas every year, but not much past that. This year I've actually made quite a few projects past the official holiday season. One of those projects was a late Christmas gift for my friend Rachel in Utah. I actually brought it to work one night after we lost internet access. 😂


I had my coworker Dominic take a picture of me to share with the knitting/crochet group that my sister-in-law Alex made on Facebook, but I thought it would be good for my blog too. :) And then Rachel sent me an Instagram Story after she got the package, so I asked if I could share that here as well. :)



Speaking of work, here's a random picture. Apparently a Red Bull representative left a case at our hotel for the employees to drink. It was a long night, so I decided to try my very first real energy drink.


It wasn't that great. I mean, It wasn't as horrible as I'd been led to believe, but it definitely wasn't good enough that I'd ever actually purchase one.

Oh, and here's another random picture I took recently. Not sure how I managed this.


I didn't take many pictures this Christmas but I did take a few cute ones of Jackson and Kadin.


I have a LOT of old pictures of my nephews from random events all last year. I'll probably eventually do a catch up post for those.


These kids are too cute. The paparazzi is always following them around. :p


Last year my cousins lost almost all their pets within just a few months. I took a few pictures right after they started getting some new kittens. I could have sworn I got some of all three, but for now, here's Sarah with Tadashi.


Tadashi loves my sandals. Also you can tell how long ago I took these, because I wore my sandals that night...


Anyway, that's all for now. Like I said I have a LOT more pictures. I just need to find time to actually do something with them. I think my next photo post will probably be more catch-up on family pictures, the majority of which will likely be nephews, but I do have other stuff coming. I may even try to do a photo-blog post one of these days. We'll see. I make no concrete promises, aside from that it'll happen. Some day. 😂

Thursday, March 14, 2019

I Have a Podcast!


So, I have a podcast! The first episode went up on the first of February, but haven't told that many people in my real life, so I figured it was about time that I advertise it a little wider than to just my online friends.

This is something that's actually been a long time coming. I've been planning the show since last year, and editing episodes since January. With working two jobs since last April, I have had less and less time to edit videos to the level that I like, so I've been thinking about transitioning to (mostly) audio for a while.

If you've watched any of my videos on YouTube, then you'll probably be familiar with the format that I've settled on for my show. I decided to call it the I Heart Podcast, as it's a natural extension of my I Heart Animation series, but it really follows the same model that my Wonderland Wednesday series eventually developed into, with longer, more in-depth discussions.

The show is not just "I Heart Animation: The Podcast" though animation is a regular feature, I wanted the podcast to function similarly, but to be able to highlight really anything that I or my guests love. In each episode we pick a topic, usually a movie, but it really can be anything. If I had a guest who wanted to talk about Marmite or ceiling tiles, I'd be down for that if they thought we could get a decent episode out of it. The point is just a fun discussion with a friend.

At this point, the podcast has mainly focused on bringing shows from my YouTube channel into a new medium. A few episodes I have taken from my YouTube channel, and reedited them for the podcast. Back when we originally recorded them, most of the time we'd have rabbit trails, and the conversation would veer off and suddenly we'd be talking about something totally unrelated to the movie at hand. 

Those detours would be the first thing edited out of a YouTube video trying to stay under 10 minutes, focusing only on a movie review, but in a podcast, it's a lot more acceptable to have asides now and then. I actually enjoy some shows more when the hosts banter and get off topic. Keeping that in mind, I went back to the original files, and reedited a whole new, longer episode from each of them!

Now, I'm not doing this for every episode. The main reason I wanted to start the podcast out with some reedited episodes, was to give new listeners some context for what I've done before, as well as get them up to speed with one of my favorite series, that will now be a regular feature on the podcast.

Last year I started a show on my YouTube channel to review every Disney movie from the beginning. After only two episodes I realized that that was going to be a LOT more work than I had time for, (not to mention YouTube's broken copyright system throwing a wrench into the series) so I decided to pause the series and move it over to the podcast as soon as I launched it.

Of course I didn't want new listeners to miss out on the episodes I'd already done, so reediting seemed to be the best compromise between recycling an old episode, and making a brand new episode. And then I did the same thing with a couple episodes each of Wonderland Wednesday, and I Heart Animation.

And just reediting isn't all I've done to refresh these episodes, I've also brought guests back to do a Q&A session with them. So when I reedited a review I did with my friend Sol, I decided to bring her back, and just let the listeners get to know a bit more about her. I did the same thing with my friend Rachel, and I have another episode coming soon with my friend Mark. I haven't done one with my cousin Sarah yet, she's co-hosted a good chunk of my content, but we don't video chat like I do with my online friends, so once we have a chance to get together and record some episodes in person, we'll probably try to get one done.

So far the show has been a good mix of old and new, but once I put out our Pinocchio episode, there probably won't be that many more old episodes for awhile. I'll still do a reedit occasionally, but my goal is to eventually get to 100% brand new content.

My most recent episode was a new one with Rachel, and we talked about our top 10 movie releases of the past year. A few episodes before that, my friend Sol and I ranked all the animated releases of 2018. These are quite different than things I've previously done for my YouTube channel, but those discussions were a lot of fun, and I think they made for a great podcast.

If you think this sounds interesting, and you'd like to listen, my show is now available for download on just about every major podcast platform, I publish through Anchor, but you can find it on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more! I'll link you to my homepage on Anchor, and you can get the whole list of platforms there.

https://anchor.fm/iheartpodcast

So that's my big news for now, I actually have a couple more posts planned for this month, which, if you've seen my blog recently, is kind of a big deal for me! I've actually been working full time at the hotel since January, so I haven't had much extra time, and the blog has kind of fallen by the wayside. I have a few pictures to share, which I haven't done in ages, so check back in a few days for those! I'll see you soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Out of Context! (February 2019)


Obligatory disclaimer, none of this is supposed to make sense. These are all real quotes, from conversations, or overheard in public, that just struck me as funny. They all made sense within the context of the conversation, but I thought they were funnier without.


“I always loved the accordion as a pygmy. And then I would blow bubbles in my milk and be chastised.” 
“The house is haunted! By small British people in tiny sweaters!” 
“They’re at Thanksgiving, the lightsabers are out, and giblets are flying..." 
“Puddle is my favorite flavor.” 
“Who else is going to belch while adjusting my gallbladder?” 
“I do love you, I just hate the way you smell.” 
“Did you check to see how squishy the chicken is?” 
“It’s lodged within the folds of the butter.” 
“This is like Moo-Lava.” 
“I love that we’re overanalyzing the availability of cream of tartar.” 
“They used to be on the endangered list, and now they’re endangering me!” 
“I love the crazed look in your eye as you talk about vintage Parisian tapes.” 
“I wouldn’t mind a hairy Scandinavian.” 
“She took a box of sandwich meat and decided it would make a lovely floral notebook.” 
“Watch out for the lasers from his pocket!” 
“He was chasing me around with more purple things!” 
“I was just laughing at the pickles.” 
Chipmunks will destroy the house, not impoverished children.” 
“I didn’t want you to moisten your elbow.” 
“Anyway, back to cheese.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

#TrueFacts (January 2019)


Did you know that the massive, majestic toad whale could leap almost a mile in one jump before it went extinct? The toad whale ate eagles, ostriches, and other large birds, which it caught with it's long, sticky tongue. #TrueFact

Did you know that the bagpipes were invented as a form of psychological weaponry during the Great Haggis War? #TrueFact

Did you know that clouds happen when the birds are smoking? Someone should give them some anti-tobacco pamphlets. #TrueFact

Did you know that the iconic 1980's children's toys, the Troll Dolls, were based on real life creatures? Neon Apes are a subspecies of chimpanzee that are almost entirely hairless, except for a brilliant shock of neon hair on the top of their heads. #TrueFact

Did you know that white bread is a kind of sea sponge? Some members of the family Loavensponge, the scientific name for the species, can soak up 37 times their own weight in water. Somewhat unsettlingly, these creatures, as brainless as they are, are still alive until the moment they are eaten, and if left alone for extended periods of time, they will crawl away. #TrueFact

Did you know that McDonald’s restaurants in the Himalayas serves yak burgers with carbonated yak milk? #TrueFact
Why did I write this?

Did you know that helicopters can be flown upside down to cut down trees? This is why they are called "Choppers." #TrueFact

Did you know that King Henry the 7th only ate lettuce biscuits? No one knows why. #TrueFact

Did you know that the "Birdie" in badminton used to be a real bird? PETA shut that nonsense down real quick. #TrueFact

Did you know that in the olden days, tooth fairies used to take money and leave teeth? Eventually people got sick of this disturbing behavior, and local governments began issuing fairy bounties until the Grand High Council of the Fae decreed that their order of operations be completely reversed, hoping that the monetary incentive would appease humanity. It worked. #TrueFact