I’ve done four days straight of Vlogmas — I was enjoying myself and feeling like I’d started to be on a little bit of a roll. But now I’m going to miss tomorrow. 😩
😷 My cold has gotten a lot worse…planning to combine today & tomorrow’s vlogs so it’s not just a red-nosed me sniffling at the camera.
— Leigh-Anne Marie (@LeighAnneMarie_) December 6, 2016
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a cold this bad. Maybe back in Easter of this year? I remember having lost my voice a bit in my Easter vlog.
But now I’m having sneeze attacks, coughing fits, and a nose that’s running like a faucet. It’s gotten to the point where I felt it was necessary to stop at the pharmacy on the way home to pick up medicine, which I usually don’t do. I prefer to just let a cold run its course — not because I’m anti-medicine, just because I’m cheap.
I didn’t realize how much of a baby I am when I’m sick. I think I get it from my Dad (he’d probably agree). He and I, we just don’t take well to illness. I’m suddenly as dramatic as Emily Gilmore in Gilmore Girls when her eye surgery goes wrong:
Or Leslie Knope at this moment:
I’m going to knock myself out with Nyquil early tonight and hopefully I’ll be fresh and raring to go tomorrow morning!
Since Vlogmas today was about a Christmas movie night disappointment, I figured I’d take this opportunity to reflect on my favorite Christmas movies of all time (unfortunately none of which I saw last night…).
Ok, Number One. The Santa Clause: the most underrated Christmas movie! Everyone takes about A Christmas Story and Elf first, but Tim Allen is so funny in this and it really has you believing in the magic of Christmas.
Miracle on 34th St: the only film I can think of where Santa goes on trial. A little court room drama mixed with the magic of Santa Claus!
It’s A Wonderful Life: perfect for anyone who’s ever thought it would have been better if they’d never been born or just been in despair and unappreciative of their life.
Honorable mention goes to Love Actually, which has really grown on me over the years.
When I asked my Mom and sister if I should do Vlogmas, then explained to them what Vlogmas was, they both said no. Did I have time for that? Didn’t I struggle toward the end with Vlune? Would I really be able to create interesting content for 24 days straight?
Well, you know what I say: Haters gonna hate!
Oh wait, these are two of the people who love me most in the world….that might not apply here.
Despite their doubts and good points, I’ve decided to do it anyway.
I love having those Vlune memories recorded, even though they are an incomplete representation of my whole month. I want to do my first Vlogmas, even if I’m not in the perfect place or situation to do it superbly. What would waiting until next year accomplish? There’s no guarantee I’d have more time and energy then.
Better to try and fail.
And on that note, here’s Vlogmas Day 1:
On Tuesday, I went to what must have been the best event in town that night: a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along. You already know how excited I am for the live action re-telling in March 2017, so this was the perfect way to start preparing for that.
It was my first time at the Castro Theatre, which was built in 1922 and, by the way, is classy AF. You can see a glimpse of its ornateness below as they did the audience costume contest before the start of the film.
For their sing alongs, The Castro has on-screen lyrics so that everyone can sing along. On top of that, goody bags were handed out to everyone at the entrance. We all got poppers and neon glowsticks and golden paper crowns. We wore our crowns, set off our poppers at appropriately celebratory moments in the movie, and waved our glowsticks at the magical moments. On my way home, I really felt like recreating this song and had to remind myself that far from leading a provincial life, I actually live in one of the U.S.’s biggest cities. But I just felt like I got it when she was singing that song and feeling that ennui.
Speaking of songs, is there a more beautiful start to a Disney ballad than “Tale as old as time / True as it can be / Barely even friends / Then somebody bends / Unexpectedly”?!
What a lovely movie.
I came across these photos recently and realized that I never shared photos from my birthday dinner this summer. There’s no real point to sharing them now except that I treat this blog as my online memory scrapbook and I want to remember this year’s birthday because I actually enjoyed it! As someone who generally doesn’t enjoy birthdays, that’s a rarity and reason for celebration and remembrance in itself.
Shonda Rhimes writes her book, “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person,” the same way that she writes her TV scripts. It’s her first book, but she didn’t fall into the trap of trying to transform herself into a literary award-winning memoirist. She stuck with the simple, straightforward speech peppered with humor and wisdom that got her where she is today. Think Meredith’s monologues in Grey’s Anatomy rather than Isabel Allende’s flowing, complex, imaginative prose.
It took me a little while to fully warm to the book. “Just say yes” has been a mantra for many for quite awhile, so Shonda’s decision to turn her life around by saying yes to new opportunities didn’t ring that original to me. There are some true gems of wisdom in there, though, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite parts with you.
ON WEIGHT LOSS:
My body is just the container I carry my brain around in.
I said it while I ate cartons of ice cream.
I said it while I ate whole pizzas….
And maybe it is. Maybe it is just the container I carry my brain around in.
But so is a car. And if the car is broken down and busted, my brain isn’t going anywhere. Same goes for my container.
The food created a nice topcoat. It helped to smooth down the ragged bits. Sealed off the parts of me that were broken. It filled in all the holes. Covered up the cracks. Yep, I just put some food on top of any and everything that bothered me….And presto! Underneath the food, everything inside me was smooth and cold and numb.
I was dead inside and that was good.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that food doesn’t work….Putting food on top of it works. If food did not work, if it didn’t work its slutty, gluttonous, more-is-more magic, everyone in America would be Angelina Jolie thin. No one would drive-thru….
Food does work. Food feels so good when you put it on top of all the stuff you don’t want to deal with or know how to deal with it. It even works on stuff you don’t even recognize as worthy of dealing with.
Food is magic. It makes you feel better. It numbs you. Beautiful magical food deadens your soul just enough so you can’t think too hard about anything other than cake or sleep. Putting food on top of it casts a spell to make the feelings go away. You don’t have to face yourself or think or be anything other than your brain — no body necessary.
I work hard — that’s now I succeed. That’s how ANYONE succeeds. So why in the world did I think weight loss would be any different?
Somehow, this idea is a lightbulb for me. The idea that this is not fun — this is badass warrior work. The idea that I am NEVER going to enjoy losing weight.
Are you ready? Here’s how you know if you are ready or not: Three years ago, if someone had said something to me like “Nothing works until you are really ready for it to work,” I would have force-fed them butter until they weighed one thousand pounds. Because that sounds like crap. Everything sounds like crap until you are in the right mind-set.
Writing is the hum. Writing is laying track. Writing is the high.
Now imagine that hum, that high, that track to be laid is behind a door. And that door is five miles away. Those five miles are just….writing crap and doodling and trying to have an idea and surfing the internet and hoping like hell not to get so distracted that you give up. Worse? Those five miles are lined with brownies and cupcakes and episodes of Game of Thrones and Idris Elba waiting to talk to only you and really good novels to read.
Every time I sit down to write, I have to mentally run those five miles past all of that to get to that door. It’s a long, hard five-mile run. Sometimes I am almost dead by the time I reach the door.
That’s why I have to keep doing it.
The more often I run the five miles, the fitter I become. And the fitter I become, the easier the run begins to feel and the less fresh and exciting all that stuff on the side of the road seems. I mean, how long has it been there? More important, as I get fitter, I can run faster. And the faster I can run, the faster I can get to that door.
The faster you can too, writers out there.
When you sit down to write every day, it becomes easier and easier to tap into that creative space inside your mind.
There is one rule.
The rule is: there are no rules.
Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.
THE POWER OF SAYING YES OVER TIME:
The Year of Yes, I realize, has become a snowball rolling down a hill. Each yes rolls into the next into the next and the snowball is growing and growing and growing. Every yes changes something in me. Every yes is a bit more transformative. Every yes sparks some new phase of evolution.
Joanne has brought me a newfound love for Lady Gaga.
I could listen to Million Reasons on repeat possibly forever. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I’d highly recommend watching her perform it on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden first.
(I just rewatched it again since I had to look it up to link it. YouTube keeps making it one of my suggested videos and I keep clicking on it and I really want them to show me new videos instead of ones I’ve already watched, but I’m consistently teaching them that they can get some easy ad money by sending that video my way, so they continue to do it. We’re in quite the repetitive cycle right now.)
Anyway, it’s really moving, so much so that even James, the comedian that he is, just takes a step back and appreciates her heartfelt rendition in silence.
When she belts out, “When I bow down to pray / Try to make the worst seem better / Lord, show me the way” it just gives me chills, along with so many other moments in the song.
Since I’ve fallen in love with a few songs from Joanne, I’ve also added in some vintage Gaga to my current playlist. Edge of Glory. Alejandro. Do What U Want. Born This Way. LoveGame.
Is there a more catchy opening out there than: “”Let’s have some fun / This beat is sick / I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”??
I didn’t put Just Dance on the playlist — that’s saved for nights out on the town. It always makes me flash back to clubbing in London while studying abroad in college. “What’s the name of this club? /I can’t remember but it’s alright, alright / Just dance.”
I should have put Stephanie Germanotta on my thankful list this year. It’s so inspiring to see an artist consistently reinvent and continue to challenge herself (whilst continuing to deliver us awesome music).
So this didn’t actually end up being 7 days of thankfulness because I’m blogging inconsistently at the moment, but I wanted to wrap it up as we start a new week and the focus switches from Thanksgiving to CHRISTMAS!
So here are 7 more things I’m giving thanks for this year (note: this is in no way an exhaustive list, just what’s coming to mind this Sunday night):
1. YouTube. I’ve also been inconsistent with YouTube. For the majority of the year, I’ve been in a good routine of uploading at least once weekly, but recently life (and a lack of inspiration and motivation) has been getting in the way. Despite that, I’ll still very, very, very glad that I started my channel back in January 2015.
I’m so thankful for all the memories I have captured there. Plus there’s an added bonus: When I was younger, I was always the family videographer and some family members would consistently have an attitude with me for constantly shoving a camera in their faces. Now that the videos are shared publicly, it’s amazing how much less irritable people are haha!
2. Our family pets. This should be a whole separate post. Coming back to San Francisco tonight after five days of cuddling with our cats and playing with our dogs, I’m having serious withdrawals.
3. Old friends and new.
4. Easy access to favorite foods. I had so much Taco Bell and so many chocolate chip pancakes over Thanksgiving break.
5. New Television. I love TV and Thanksgiving break had some awesome television in it for me. The revival of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (which I loved) and watching the first season of the BBC’s The Missing and the first two episodes of This Is Us. I feel like I’ve been in a good TV drought and I’ve finally gotten some fresh water.
6. Speaking of fresh water… I am really thankful that I have unlimited access to clean water. It’s beyond disgraceful that the Sioux nation is being treated the way they are in Standing Rock as they try to protect their main source of water. Please read up on how to support the Dakota Access Pipeline protests that are happening in North Dakota.
7. San Francisco. “It is a good thing the early settlers landed on the east coast… if they’d landed in San Francisco, the rest of the country would still be uninhabited.” – Herbert Mye
Thankful for so much but this is def in the top 10 this year. Dreams do come true!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving! https://t.co/9atzrnUcMk
— Leigh-Anne Marie (@LeighAnneMarie_) November 25, 2016
Dear @GilmoreGirls fans,
We're back tomorrow because of you, and I couldn't be more thankful. Hope you enjoy.
— Lauren Graham (@thelaurengraham) November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I’m about to go to sleep and when I wake up tomorrow, there will be new episodes of Gilmore Girls for me to watch!!! I never could have dreamed this day would come back in 2007 when I was in high school and the show ended. First, The Veronica Mars Movie and now this.
It might seem like a silly thing to call out on its own in a ‘week of thankfulness’ blog post, but Rory and Lorelai and the gang were such important characters in my life and now I get to meet up with them again in present day….Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Thankful for evening jogs with my Mom (a new runner, having just picked it up this year!) in the crisp autumn air, a lovely 58 degrees here in Sacramento. Thankful for being healthy enough to be able to jog and to have grown up in a neighborhood where it’s always been safe for me to go running alone.
I had knee surgery in college and in those months of being injured and then in rehab, unable to walk without crutches for part of it and then unable to run at all for a few months after that, I had the thought that once I was healthy again, I’d be so happy to have my healthy body back that I’d never let another day pass without going for a run.
That, of course, wasn’t the case. It’s amazing how quickly you can come to take your health for granted until another health issue eventually comes up that makes you realize just how good you had it.
What reminded me of just how fortunate I am currently is that now my Dad’s knee is the one that’s hurting and regularly in pain. His is caused by arthritis, which won’t go away. It’s crazy because it seems like just a year or two ago that we were doing a mile or two almost every morning in our backyard to help me train for soccer, but I guess that it was actually around a decade and a half ago.
Time goes fast and being in your top health may be shorter than we think, so I’m especially grateful for my well-working body this year.
I was talking with a friend of a friend tonight and her work with traumatized children came up. Since we’re in similar social circles, I made assumptions about her background that turned out to be untrue. I acknowledged how unfair and heartbreaking it is that some children have to go through things like that while others, like me (and I almost said “like us”), experienced this idealized version of childhood.
There was a nod and a long pause. “I used to be so jealous of kids like you,” she said eventually. Because she didn’t grow up with that ideal childhood after all, which is what motivates her to do the work that she does.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I’ll be spending it, like most years, with my family in Sacramento. There may be moments of annoyance with each other, but the rest of it will be (knock on wood) predictably wonderful: an abundance of food, football on the television and just hanging out with one another as we digest, perhaps taking the dogs for a walk, and then a movie in the evening.
I’m so fortunate to have the family that I have and conversations like the one I had tonight just drive that home further. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but we always love and have each other’s backs regardless.
Since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I’ve decided to do a week of thankfulness here on the blog, doing more intentional reflection every night on what I’m most grateful for. And first and foremost always is going to be my family.
My friend hosted Sunday brunch at her place in the Berkeley Hills today and it was the absolute perfect day for it. It’s so nice to be in a cozy house with big windows when it’s pouring so that you can hear it and watch it but not get soaked (and it doesn’t hurt that they have a fabulous view of the East Bay and San Francisco from afar).
I did learn today that crossword puzzles are something that must be learned, they’re not something that you can just suddenly pick up, try really hard, and do well. After we finished eating, printouts of the New York Times Sunday crossword were passed around for fun and wow, I did not get most of those clues.