A Letter from Past Me to Future Me

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Yesterday I received an email from FutureMe.org, and I had completely forgotten that I signed up for this website, let alone write myself my very own digital message in a bottle. The following is that email, albeit some sections I cut out in order to keep my personal life personal and to not thrown anybody I knew under the bus:

"The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 11 months and 30 days ago, on November 29, 2010. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org"


Dear Future Me,
Right now it is 3:52 pm, I'm sitting in 20th century literature and I have 20 minutes until the end of class.....Does Scott Pilgrim still mean the world to you. Today Irvin Kershner died. Do you have a tattoo yet? I hope you do =)....I wonder who you've met, I wonder who you've kissed since today, who you've fallen in love with, who kept you up at night. God, so much can happen in a year. In the past year I've become a whole new person, I wonder if the you NOW will be a lot different than the me here.....

Right now I'm stressed about money, the way I look and if I'm going to pass these classes or not. I wonder if (x) think I'm stupid. I wonder how Jear's wedding will go on Sunday. I wonder if i'll meet the man I'm going to marry in the next year.

What monstrous fights will I get into with my parents? How will I fuck up? Will I make a name for myself?

I just hope you're happy, that you're doing everything that scares you and that you've finally gotten laid! 
-Zoë"


How interesting that reading this made me feel like I haven't changed a single bit in the past year. I have changed tremendously, and so many life changing events have taken place, but I am still the same person, which I hope is a good thing. 

I find I am basically in the same situation: in some ridiculous Literary class (except right now I'm in Romantic Politics). Yes I still love Scott Pilgrim (I hope that never changes) I, and the rest of the Star Wars community, was heartbroken last year when Kershner died.I wanted my Star Wars tattoo even more, but alas I haven't gotten one yet. My parents would murder me in my sleep if I got a tattoo before I graduated college.

Even more striking is that I still am stressing about money,the way I look, if I'm going to pass these classes or not, and if people find me unintelligent. Instead of Jear's wedding this weekend, I have Cassie's Engagement party, who was a maid of honor ( I was a bridesmaid) in Jear's wedding! How funny things turn out.

I think I pretty much managed to not get into a huge fight with my parents this year. (Thank GOD.) I have fucked up, but also think I've started to make a pretty good name for myself. I am happy and I am in fact doing PLENTY of things that scare me.

Overall, I think I have had quite a splendid year and that my Past Me would be damn proud of Future Me. In regards to the "getting laid" factor, well, mind your own business. ;)

When I was younger, I used to write letters to myself after Christmas. I would then hide my letter in my stocking to find the following year when I was able to pull out all the Christmas decorations from the attic again. I always liked finding out what I worried about a year ago, who was important to me, and who was my "big crush". This is a digital version of that, and I think its a fantastic idea. I think I'm going to start writing these letters every year on New Year's Eve. I can write about my accomplishments, my fears and my love life. For some reason its just so appealing receiving a letter from yourself.


God, I hope this isn't as bad as sending yourself flowers at work.

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The Daily Blam!'s Holiday Gift Guide 2011

, by Zoë Gulliksen

For the past month we at The Daily Blam! have worked hard scourging the internet for the new tech savy but still useful and affordable gift to buy the people who have everything already. We dug through the internet and emailed lots of people and wrote up SO many reviews just for you!

This weekend was the final crunch and now we give you the finished the product. Click the image below to see all the hard work we did putting together the perfect Holiday Gift Guide on what to buy your friends, families, & random acquaintances you hardly know!



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On Talking to Jay Baruchel, Sabatoging Weddings, & What True Friendship Is

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Twitter is forever granting the dreams of a simple girl from Jersey. I mean, every single incredible and unbelievable opportunity I've had in the past year & a half is because of 140 characters. Last night was one such example.

One of the aspects I'm most known for is my ultimate crush on actor Jay Baruchel. He starred in Fanboys, Tropic Thunder, Sorcerer's Apprentice, How to Train Your Dragon, and many others. He's nerdy and endearing and I just have always had a weakness for that voice. I am often found fangirling over him on Twitter & Tumblr. 

Last night, Fanboys was on Comedy Central and I tweeted to him and Dan Fogler (whom I've met twice this year). And sure enough Baruchel tweeted me back, TWICE! Evidence here:


I then posted this same image on my facebook, in which the following occurred:
   


Angela is my best friend (we're dating on facebook, which caused such a chaos because for a while all my Filipino relatives thought I was a lesbian. Many fun family dinners followed.) Even though Angela and I are complete opposites, she's majoring in Neuro Science & Biology for crying out loud, there are a few main reasons why we are friends. This is a perfect example of such.
The brownie incident mentioned above is referring to the night I found Jay Baruchel was engaged to Alison Pill. I was not a fan of her to begin with, so my reactive was not pleasant. Okay, I stomped around the house yelling in anger causing my family to threaten to throw me out if I didn't shut up. Angela however understood my pain. The conversation went as followed:
Angela: "Hey guys! How-"
Zoë: "OH MY GOD MY LIFE IS OVER."
Angela: "What happened now?"
Zoë: "JAY BARUCHEL GOT ENGAGED!"
Angela: "What the fuck? To who? Is that what happened here?"
(Angela points to table, which is covered in broken up pieces of a brownie tray that was both under and over cooked. It was a fucking mess.)
Zoë: "He's engaged to fugly girl from Scott Pilgrim."
Angela: "Which one?"
Zoë: "Kim Pine. The drummer girl with the big ass forehead that was also in Dan In Real Life."
Angela: "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"

We then proceeded to Google the hell out of both of them. She was very sympathetic because if Joseph Gordon Levitt was engaged to someone "fugly" it would be a cause for mourning. Because this is what true friendship is about: plotting to sabotage the wedding of a celebrity you probably wouldn't actually like in real life. But willing to commit illegal actions is the definition of a best friend.

(These events are not to be mixed up with the time that we actually did sabotage a wedding. That is a story for a different time.)





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A Weekend of Meeting Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Chloe Moretz, Emily Mortimer and More!

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I had a very interesting and rather surreal weekend the past few days. Let's see if I can remember it all! Now, I work for The Daily Blam! as their Media Relations Coordinator which just means I write reviews for books, comics, movies, products and I do a lot of PR stuff, organizing events and managing different things. Basically I have a hand in everything, whatever needs to get done for that particular day (or most likely hour). Its a lot of work sometimes but very rewarding, such as a weekend as this proves!

Friday
  At 2pm at the Disney Screening room on Park Ave I went to go see the new spy thrilled Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy starring Gary Goldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch and more. The theatre was very small with the largest most comfortable seats I've ever sat in! Now I consider myself to be a very intelligent person, especially when it comes to movies and novels. That being said, I did not understand what the hell happened in this movie. I honestly felt that nothing was explained, I had no idea who these characters were, why they were doing the things they were doing and if I should care about any of it at all.It was infuriating. For such a beautifully well shot and star studded cast, I expected much more from this film. Other journalists who have seen the film agreed, it was just too much story to have in a 2hour film.

 Later that night, I saw the broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark. We (Pietro, my coworker and owner of The Daily Blam!) were graciously given the best seats in the house by their PR people. I liked the show but I had quite a few problems with it. You can read my full review here! Basically, it was weird and felt like a production solely based off of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films instead of the comics.


Saturday
  The next day at 11 am at the infamous Waldorf Astoria hotel Pietro and I attended the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Press Junket. Paramont Picture rented out the entire 26th floor of the hotel and gave us a luxurious buffet breakfast before our round table interveiws with talent participating. I was decently nervous because I had never been to one of these before. And especially since I would be sitting across from Colin Firth and Gary Oldman! It was a lot of waiting around, first for the director and screenwriter. The director was Tomas Alfredson, the Sweed who also directed Let The Right One In (2008). Those two were very nice and discussed the methods behind making the film.
   After about another 45 minutes Gary Oldman came in and we got to chat with him about this movie. He was very tiny in real life but extremely commanding in presence. We had, for a good minute, which one can unabashedly only call "eye sex". I won't exaggerate, but leave it as that. =)

 Then after another hour Colin Firth joined us, and he is just as charming in real life as he is on the big screen. Very dashing, albiet exhausted and surprisingly thin. You could tell he was very tired from talking to so many people and flying around the world to promote the film. Colin slouched in his chair, not giving a single fuck, joking about doing a Mama Mia 2. Afte he left, I will admit to snagging the glass he drank his diet coke out of. No lie. Hahahah very unprofessional, but when am I ever going to be able to grab his glass again? Never I tell you, never.

Man the goodie bag they gave us when we left? EPIC! We each received a tshirt, a wooden engraved chess set box, a pen that is actually a voice recorder, post it notes, a copy of the novel AND a copy of the soundtrack. Plus the 20 bottles of Fiji water I smuggled.


That night Pietro and I then went to go see Hugo! I was extremely excited for this movie and I had hoped it would turn out well. And let me say, I was....speechless. I connected and resonated with this movie tremendously. It felt like I wrote this screenplay, I was compelled so much. Hahahaha, I'm a jumble of words right now, I'm so excited about this movie still! You can read my full review of the movie HERE, where I promise I am much more articulate. Hands down, its my favorite film of the year. More than Captain America =)

Sunday
 By Sunday morning my cold was full blown and I was feeling terrible. And yet I had to catch an 8:34am train to make it to the press conference at the Ritz-Carlton by 10am for Hugo. So I dressed my sick self back up in fancy clothes and headed back to Manhattan.This time I was in the company of Sir Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Moretz, Asa Butterfield and Emily Mortimer! Completely star struck. After the interviews I was able to talk to Chloe about her other work, such as Kick-Ass. Goodness this young lady is very professional and adorable in person.

But the high light of my day was being able to talk with Emily Mortimer! She did the voice of Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle, which is one of my ultimate favorite films. She is just so beautiful and charming and sweet in person. Two more of my favorite stars I was able to cross off my bucket list of meeting<3

Afterwards was the press conference for Young Adult, with director Jason Reitman, who also directed Juno, Thank You For Smoking and Up In the Air. He was hilarious! Somebody asked him, "Scorsese gave his actors a lot of french silent films to watch in order to prepare for their characters, what material did you give your actors to prepare for this film?" And Reitman answered, "Jesus I'm gonna sound like an ass, but the only thing I ever gave Charlize Theron was season One of The Hills and Laguna Beach." I laughed so hard, that was brilliant. He was truly a great director to be able to listen to.

And then more gourmet free lunch with a view overlooking Central Park. Not a bad gig huh? I am extremely honored to be able to work for such a great website and with such great people!

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A YOKO ONO ASSIGNMENT

, by Zoë Gulliksen

The Fluxus movement struck me a few weeks ago when we visited the Zimmerli museum exhibit. I was fascinated by the idea of interactive art and the way one could take something tangible and make it into art. The box full of a “divorce” was one of the most memorable pieces. The concept of taking real objects that represented a relationship and then destroying them made me very sad and yet extremely curious. Their wedding album itself was cut in half horizontally to signify the splitting on their union.
I was never one for art, it takes a lot for me to connect with a piece. But the Fluxus piece told a story and left me wanting more.
My favorite part of the exhibit however was the little instructional poems such as Alison Knowles “Make a Salad.” It was incredibly simply and yet left such an open interpretations. The person who decides to “make a salad” can make a salad in any single way they can imagine: alone, with hundreds of people, naked, under water, on top of a roof, singing or crying. I wanted to try one for my own.
Yoko Ono once was quoted that Fluxus was her inspiration. She had many pieces, such as the coloring stencil at the Zimmerli, but I found others online including a poem of hers:
SMOKE PAINTING
Light canvas or any finished painting with a cigarette at any time for any length of time.
See the smoke movement.
The painting ends when the whole canvas or painting is gone.
1961 summer

This one immediately struck me because a painting takes a tremendous amount of work and effort and here Ono was asking us to destroy it.  In order to do this poem, I had to make a slight change.I don’t smoke and nobody that I live with smokes so instead I just lit a painting with a match.Before that, however, I painted a painting myself.

I chose to paint a piece myself because Fluxus is about “all seek to break with ordinary or everydayexperience, and to create some kind of a space for surprise, spontaneity, and so on”. I am a creative writing major with no sense of artistic talent what so ever. My brother is attends MasonGross art school where he is constantly drawing, painting, sketching and taking a
ridiculous amount of photos. This was never me, I cannot paint or draw a house to save my life. I figured that there would be nothing more out of the ordinary than to take a few hours at night to paint. I asked my brother for some of his large sketching paper, and took my sister’s water color set from school.

I had no idea what to paint or where to even begin. But I did know that I should focus entirely on this project and nothing else, because that was another thing I was unacustomed to. I’m used to doing multiple things at once, for instinace with this painting I would have put on a movie in the background while I painted. but I wanted to fully experience this exercise. Instead I put on the You’ve Got Mail original score soundtrack. The wordless music would provide a comforting ambience.

Then I began painting. My muse in writing has always been New York City, Manhattan specifically. I’m drawn to the people and the fact that at any given moment something extraordinary can happen. I tried to transfer that feeling of longing, comfort and magic I use in my writing to the paper without the use of words. 
For once I did not plan ahead what I was doing. Instead I began simply with grey strokes that turned into buildings in
Manhattan, such as The Empire State Building, the Cartier building (which came to mind because it is now wrapped in a red bow due to the holidays) and other offices. In the background I tried to capture the traveling subway to the other boroughs and on the streets all the little taxi cabs. I also knew a bit in that I did not want the city landscape to be everything, that there was more to this painting.
Thats why I added in the table, the mug of tea or coffee or hot chocolate, The New
Yorker magazine and scraps of paper scribbled on. It gave more depth to the person who owns these objects, and gives them a story. Finally at the end I signed my name along the handle of the mug, thus ending the art by making it official. It was not until this point that the Fluxus exercise actually began. I first tried to take my painting outside with a few matches but it was pouring and terribly windy. After ten minutes of trying to get the painting to catch fire, I finally gave up and headed back inside.
Then it was another ten minutes of trying to find more matches. I settled on burning the painting at my kitchen sink, which I attempted to capture on camera, which can be found at this link:  Painting Burning
The problem however was that the flames became too big for me to work my camera and handle the fire. I had to soon turn off the camera and watch my painting become consumed by the fire and the pieces fly all over my sink. The smoke started to rise to my ceiling and I became increasingly worried about the smell of the smoke and setting off the fire alarm, which would anger my parents.
Then, after all of that, my painting had fully dissipated, the last remains put out by water and drained down the sink. My Fluxus interactive art had ended. Now what did I gather from this experience? The point of this was to do something completely out of the ordinary and unusual. My brother was confused when I asked him for paper and even more so when I explained that I wanted to paint. My sister was in the same room with me reading when I burnt the painting. I was tweeting to my followers (over 2,900 of them) about how proud I was of painting and giving them updates along the way. Then when I mentioned that I had to burn it, many of them were extremely surprised!
Many of my followers expressed concern, they asked if my professor was dropping acid when assigning this project, they asked what Fluxus was, and wanted to see what my painting look like. I stirred up the norm online and around me, causing people to pause and ask what the point of my actions were. This was not normal behavior, as opposed to the “Make A Salad” poem, which could be considered ordinary.
This was not as interactive as most of the other Fluxus pieces, such as playing ping pong with decorated paddles or skiing with four pairs of shoes on the skis. I could have made it more interactive by burning the painting in public or even burning a painting I bought in the store. However, by documenting the activity online and giving my followers a play by play and having them still interact with my actions.

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Last Christmas Art

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I had quite an adventurous weekend, and I plan on giving you all a big recap tomorrow! before then however, I had to show you all an incredible piece of art a friend of mine did.


Javey Villones (http://j-garou.deviantart.com/) was inspired by a short piece I wrote titled "Last Christmas" and drew this moment from it. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

“You ought to pick your fights better,” Marion said, as she dragged the stranger into her worn, but cozy dressing room. “Thickler isn’t exactly the best choice to tussle with.”

“I didn’t start anything,” the man said, as she plopped him down in the little golden chair at her vanity. “I just couldn’t take him talking shit about….”

Marion sighed, getting a good look at him. He was younger but taller than she thought he was, with dark hair and a day’s worth of scruff. And covered in blood.

“God, take this,” she said, pulling off one of her long gloves and pushing it under his bleeding nose. “Hold that there.” 

To read the whole piece, click HERE




He captured the characters beautifully and perfectly, the attire and the backdrop is exactly what I had in my mind. I cannot thank him enough. =)

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I Apparently Go To College To Play With Dirt

, by Zoë Gulliksen

For those of you that don't know, I'm a senior at Rutgers University (good luck trying to find me, the school is enormous) and I'm majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Organizational Leadership. Most of the time I ignore the people in my classes and do what I have to do to get the hell out of college. Usually I'm subjected to ridiculous human nature (as is typical in a college atmosphere) and this morning was no different.

I'm taking a Romantic Politics class, which is not romantic nor extremely political. We mostly sit around talking about Thoreau, society, current movements, and recently abstract art. In today's class we learned about interacting with art. To be in the moment to make art with ordinary things. To take a desk and make it unordinary by sitting in it, by coloring it, by covering it in mud. I can sign my name on this desk and make it extraordinary art just because I say so.

Alright, whatever.

In order to make us understand this concept, a woman was a guest speaker and had us do exercises. She actually made us get up out of our seats and interact with each other. (Goddamnit) This woman split us into two groups. One group was each handed a cup, with one cup filled to the brim of water. Then they were instructed to stand somewhere in the room. The person with the filled cup fo water had to go to another individual on the other side of the room and fill their cup with the water while announcing your name out loud. And continue indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the other group was given a bucket full of leaves, rocks, and garbage. We were told to make "art" with these random soggy dirty things. As each one of us took a leaf out of the bucket, we had to say "Begin. Then whenever we each decided, we could say "End" and others had to dismantle the "art" you just created.

Overall, it was ridiculous and seemingly pointless. I muttered under my breath "God I hope there isn't poison ivy in here." Of course that started a series of nervous laughter while the water cup people in the room rolled their eyes at this pointless exercise. This was art? This is what I was paying over $10,000 a year to do?

So what did I learn? I interacted with my classmates where as before we all just sort of ignored each other. We bonded over the annoyance of having to play with dirt and pass water around the room.

Fantastic. Can I have my degree now?

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On How I Found A Novel & Befriended The Author

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Two weeks ago I was in a book store in Manhattan called Book Off. (Its on 45th between 5th and 6th for the record, and run by the nicest asian people you will meet) I discovered and continue to gravitate to this store because they have an entire section of high quality books for only $1. Being a broke college student and an avid reader, it was a miraculous discovery to find books for such a low price! I've been buying around 4 books from there every weekend and have found some fantastic novels.


My favorite one as of yet is Anecdotal by J. Brooks Dann. You can find his blog here and buy the book here. I say this now because it was shown to me that the last time I tried to talk about him I spelled his name wrong, thus defeating all my purposes of promoting this fantastic novel. How do I know this? Well Dann told me himself.


After reading this novel, I reached out to Dann and contacted him at the email address on the last page of the book:


"J-

I just finished reading your novel. I found it in the $1 section of a used book store in Manhattan on 45th between 5th and 6th yesterday and I hadn't put I down until now.

I hope this email address is still active because I loved your novel. I love love love it, mostly because the characters  felt like real people. I'm not quite sure if they are in fact real and if everything in this book actually did happened. I hope it did because then maybe I can find out what happened to everybody next.

Thank you for writing book, and I hope everything is well. Including your knee.

-Zoë"


Then the next day I received this email:


"Zoe, you don't know what a highlight you proved to be for me today.  I'm happy to talk with you about the book if you want.

Here's something you inspired me to write this evening:



So here I was, writing to an author who then in turn wrote about his experience of me contacting him. In true social media form, I am now writing on my blog about my experiences talking with him. The experience has been extremely surreal for me. I began exchanging emails with Dann, who not only didn't mind talking about his writing but wanted to talk with me about it. On the phone. He said he wrote emails all day long, and that to pick a day and time and we can talk.

I found this terribly fascinating. I live in a world where I can by accident come across a book, have it mean something to me, I can contact the writer behind it, and then have him want to talk with me. About his writing. As though it were not a big deal at al.

And actually, it wasn't. Dann dropped me a line earlier this evening and we talked for well over an hour about everything. Those of you that know me know that I hate talking on the phone, especially meeting in person. I'm extremely anxious about communication that doesn't involve a computer screen. (Thank you social media generation!) However, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be about this phone call. I was much too excited to learn about the book I enjoyed so much.

Dann is a fantastic conversationalist. He was at ease, answering as best he could to every single question I asked over and over. I wanted to know how much of the book was based off of real life. At what moment did this story pop into his head and the idea to write this novel came about? I wanted to know where these people were that he based the characters off of. 

I wanted to know what happened next in this fictionalized world. And he was able to tell me every single thing I wanted to know. Most authors wouldn't do this. They would rather leave the readers guessing, and to use our imaginations to ponder the plausible outcomes. A few times he actually asked me what I thought happened and then went on to compare my thoughts to his. 

The conversation moved on to other things such as what my life was like (odd), what kinds of things did I write (angsty 1940s or modern day human interactions that take place in New York) and of course, Comic Con experiences. He also called me out on spelling his name wrong on Twitter, which is why none of my friends bought the book (like they said they would) because I spelled Dann's name wrong.

Here is where I tell you to buy the book. Because its good. I can't even go on to tell you what its like because I'm much too biased and excited about it. Read the synopsis on amazon. Then go buy it HERE. I want people to buy this book not just because its good, but so that you too can be part of this completely random and surreal situation. I found a book, contacted the author. Now you, random reader, are reading this blog and terribly curious about this book I keep ranting about. I hope you will go on to buy this book, experience it, and go on to tell Dann what you thought of it yourself.  Please also tell me too, I'd very much appreciate it.

Unless you think it sucks, in which I'd appreciate it if you kept your mouth shut. ;)

That's all for tonight. Seriously guys, if you by chance are in need of a book to read and chose to read this one, let me know. And thank you Dann for this new found friendship. As already warned, I wil most likely bug you often about writing advice and for other random things.

Tootles!

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How Lord of the Rings Saved My Life

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I posted this original blog on my tumblr site on June 15, 2011 after seeing the Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Special Edition in theaters for the ten year anniversary. I'm posting it here again, because of the enormous amount of support it received!
"Now I know that I’ve said books and movies saved my life growing up. I don’t think I can fully express how little I was exaggerating. I grew up in a very small snobbish private catholic school. The same 20 kids in my grade from kindergarden til 5th grade. I then moved to a different equally small but even snobbier private school from 6th grade to 8th grade. I didn’t know any of these kids who had grown up together. I was made fun of a lot behind my back without even knowing it most of the time. 
When I say I was THE only weird girl in the class, I mean it. Nobody else read manga or Harry Potter or loved the Star Wars, let alone even knew what Lord of the Rings was. 
Fellowship of the Ring came out in December of 2001 and was released on dvd August 6th, 2002. That weekend in August I was at my aunt and uncle’s house in Delaware for a family reunion. In their huge home theater system, as a 12 year old I first saw Fellowship and it changed my life. I was OBSESSED. I made my parents buy me the dvd and they didn’t understand. They thought it was too scary for me, all the “freaky looking people” and just, they didn’t like it. But too bad for them it became my whole life.
I bought every single edition of the books I could find. I bought the action figures and the posters and every single magazine I could find. My room became a shrine, I have pictures of it somewhere from back them. Entire walls and shelves and desks filled with every single thing Lord of the Rings imaginable. I guess as a parent I could see how it would freak them out. 
In school it was worse. I did The Two Towers for a book report one time and gave a presentation on it. My teacher openly said afterwards that she didn’t understand a word I was saying and went on to make fun of this ridiculous book and hoped that the rest of the class did something normal. 
It was during this time that I started my series of depression episodes. I tried, as a twelve year old, to explain to my parents how much I hated my life because it seemed useless. Compared to movies and books, life was boring and pointless. I sat at my kitchen table crying with my mom  for hours that day because she had no idea what to do with me. She had no idea how to help me and instead just fed my addiction to these books and movies even more.
I was so naive though, I didn’t realize how much the other kids were talking shit about me behind my back. On March 25th I made LOTR themed cupcakes and brought them to school for a self declared “LOTR Day” because it was the day that Frodo destroyed the ring. I don’t even know how I had the guts to hand those decorated cupcakes out to kids and a teacher who openly made fun of me. 
Everything changed when I got to high school. I finally got out of private school and went to a public school with a LOT more kids. I finally found other kids who not only KNEW what Star Wars and LOTR was, but LOVED them too!. My first period class I bonded with michelle, @Ohyoda on twitter and just blew my mind. Here was a girl too who loved this stuff just as much as I did!!
It was during that first month of my freshman year in high school that I started my high school’s Lord of the Rings Club. I kid you not. Social suicide. 
My drama teacher LOVED the movies as much as I did and when I approached her about starting a club, she immediately jumped on board. The next day I put up posters everywhere and sure enough, people came. A theater full of nerds and geeks who just talked for hours and hours and hours about how these books and movies changed our lives. We compared stories of trying to throw daggers at each other to recreate the scene of Aragorn and the leader of the Uruk Hai at the end of Fellowship. Of just every single little piece of that world we tried so desperately to cling to.
There was announcements every Tuesday over the speakers, “Come visit the Shire in room 211 at 2:30pm for the Lord of the Rings Club meeting.” People always made fun of the kids in that club and I didn’t care. Finally I had people who understood what I was talking about. For four years I was founder and president of this awesome club. It did so well that I also started a Star Wars club. That wasn’t as productive, mostly we hung around beating the shit out of each other with lightsabers. 
As a young teenager I spent hours and countless notebooks writing LOTR and Star wars fan fiction. It was then that I realized that I needed to spend the rest of my life giving that same escapism that writers gave me, to other people in the world. If I could make people forget their problems for only 30 minutes a day, that would be enough for me.
I was a chubby girl with no friends who was constantly angry at the world for being so mediocre. This is why I hid away in my room and didn’t make real friends. I had people in my club and in theater club, but I never brought them home. I never let people come over and I kept them at school strictly.
Because somehow people always ended up being no good. High school is all about talking shit about people behind their backs, making fun of each other and just down right cruel. I had fun, but I never trusted anyone. I always resorted to books, because no matter what, books couldn’t hurt you the way people could.
Even now, I find myself growing angry and restless and just so goddamn frustrated. I was MEANT to go on a quest like Frodo and Sam. I would give anything to risk my life to fight evil and sword fight orcs and travel to depths of the Mines of Moria and to travel by fight over endless miles to save halflings or to destroy the ring.
I was raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but Lord of the Rings saved my adolescent life.
Life seems so pointless and boring compared to books and movies. But I’m a lot better at dealing with this than I was ten years ago. I realized that I can’t just give up on life because its not as good; I have to somehow make it as good. 
I just, how can life compare to pure imagination.?

The above pictures are from my yearbook of the infamous club my sophomore year of high school. If you cannot see, I’m the one standing dead center.
How much did Yearbook club suck? They misspelled “Tolkien”.
Welp, I was a social outcast as always. It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year that I lost 35 pounds that I became at least a little attractive. But I grew up being picked on for being weird/nerdy/ugly so whenever anybody tells me now that I’m attractive a part of me never believes them.
Whenever I try to do something out of the ordinary, a part of me is still standing in front of that classroom giving a presentation explaining Gollum/Smeagol and being picked on, and I have to stand up for myself all over again."

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On Being a Cartoon

, by Zoë Gulliksen

I have always wanted to be a cartoon character. An action figure. A Sailor Scout. One of the Barney kids who just sang all day and went to school where a big purple blog taught you things like how to fly on magic carpets.  Thankfully not all your dreams as a little kid comes true, but some do! Such as my amazing header for this blog, done by the ever talented Javey Villones! You can find his deviantart page here!

Just check out this amazing Ramona he did!

Javey  took all my favorite things (being lazy in bed, reading, chilling with a tauntaun named Waffles) and turned me into a stunning digital form that definitely has a better rack than I do. But she also has on my signature green chucks, which is pretty amazing. If you look, you can also see more of my most adored possessions such as my Ramona bag, my favorite comics (points to those who can point them out!) and I'm reading my most favorite book of all time: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.




Javey also did this fantastic portrait of me a couple of months back. I wish my hair looked this cool in real life. Thats basically the allure of being a cartoon, right? Having wicked hair (Seriously, that age old complaint that Disney Princesses gave all of us poor expectations when it comes to the volume one's hair can reach. Meg, nobody's hair looks like that, especially not with that waist!) Being in the digital world is a lot more appealing. Just ask the digidestineds!


So thanks Javey for granting me one of my better childhood wishes!

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