Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Day 1276: Dead of Summer

I really love off-season TV shows. Honestly, it almost makes more sense to have a TV show in the off season. Why? Because everyone waiting for their favorite show to return in September or October is sitting bored on their couch, wishing that there was something, anything, on TV worth watching. Of course, the summer also usually means travel for some, and the possibility that viewers won't be at home after all, but it seems that's the risk Dead of Summer is willing to take.

I've never been one for the horror genre. As a kid I would hide behind my Dad's arm and close my eyes tightly even when we passed the Alien section on The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, and while my friends venture out to Haunted Houses for Halloween, I'm perfectly content staying at home and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. And yet, there's something about Dead of Summer that keeps a person hooked, whether they love the horror genre or not.

It should be noted that the show isn't your atypical horror anything though. It's more of a mythological thriller, really, and while it's already obviously slow at the start, I'm curious to see where the rest of the season takes these camp counselors. Reviews for the series so far give low ratings, although I personally believe it has more to do with the format than anything else. Created by the executive producers behind Once Upon a Time, Dead of Summer follows a similar format, exploring the individual stories of each character and then compiling those backgrounds into a current event, connecting the individuals together in one overarching theme. The first episode focuses on OUAT Veteran Elizabeth Lail's character, Amy, and introduces us to Camp Stillwater, a Midwestern Summer Camp with more than a few secrets.

The most interesting moment of the episode, however, came in the form of a big reveal from Zelda Williams' character, Drew. I won't give away the surprise, although if you're really interested and don't feel like watching the show, there are plenty of headline news articles today that can fill you in. All I will say is that while we hardly see Zelda in the episode, I'm already looking forward to Episode 4, when her character's backstory will be explored, and I'm sure that it will be revolutionary.

Dead of Summer airs Tuesday nights on Freeform.

If you watched the premiere episode of Dead of Summer, what did you think?

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Day 1275: Jack of All Trades

One of the most frustrating things about being a photographer is the fact that you can take pictures for other people, but taking pictures of yourself is near impossible. It's not, of course, because even I have worked with self-photography before, setting the camera on a tripod with a time or using a wireless remote, but you ultimately spend more time fussing with the camera in those instances than you do actually taking pictures. So in other words, it works some of the time, but not all the time.

Luckily, my roommate is pretty great at taking pictures after the settings are done and I've shown her a few examples, so for the first time in a while, I have some actual headshots!

Megan and I spent about an hour and a half across the river from our college, taking headshots for both of us, and while it's great to have some new headshots, it was even more fun to explore the area! I spend so much of my time at college in class, doing homework, or now, in the summer, blogging in my apartment, that I rarely get to explore what's actually in the area. Within walking distance we found some really beautiful old buildings, a water fountain that I had way too much fun with, and views of the Fox River that supplied a spectacular background. 

Photography, of course, has always been sort of a side project for my entire family. When my brother was born I got my first camera. I was four, and since then I've definitely worked with more than a few different cameras, both in film and digital. Now I usually borrow my Dad's DSLR to achieve the higher quality shots, whether those be of cats on our front porch or in the form of headshots for my friends. 

The truth is, I actually love photography, and I would love to spend an entire trip or more just walking around taking pictures of everything at Walt Disney World. The problem? I'm usually videoing, which, in the end, is ultimately more important than taking pictures to post on my Instagram. In the matter of one trip I can film anywhere from 2 to 10 videos if I spend my time correctly, and that's not even including the vlogs. 

So I'm left with a choice: to either photograph things or film them. I mean, I can't take pictures and film with only two hands. I'd need three for that, at least if I want to use the DSLR and not my phone. It's a decision that means carrying around two not so light cameras and may ultimately result in only a few pictures or not enough video. In the end I'll probably risk it and bring both though, because there's really no better time to experiment with photography than at Walt Disney World, right? 

Have a magical day!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Day 1274: Adulting

If you're a part of my generation right now, you've probably been struggling with adulting just like the rest of us. If you have no idea what adulting really is, just think of all the chores adults are responsible for that children may not be. I'm talking like making dinner, doing the dishes, watering the plants, getting all the work done, and so on and so forth. The little jobs we actually need to do to survive. 

My laptop, HAL9000, which you've all heard plenty about over the past couple of years, died last week, which led to me waiting for a new laptop, affectionately named Lafayette (yes after the historical figure now prominent in Hamilton). Having a laptop that actually works and stays on for more than 15 minutes at a time is a huge relief, mostly because it means I can finally get work done. HAL dying, however, has created an additional list of blog posts that should have been done a week ago, especially problematic since I'm struggling to catch things up as it is. Plus, I'm leaving on a week and a half long trip to Colorado in just 10 days, so I have to plan for that as well. Long story short, with everything piling up that I have to get done, the realization that adulting is hard is more prominent than ever. 

Luckily, on the other hand, I have Lafayette, and Frank got me that awesome new mug in the picture above to help keep me company while I spend constant days blogging. Even the addition of a new mug like that is enough to help keep me going with these blog posts and videos, especially since there's so many exciting things happening in July! 

I do think I could do without another set of dishes from dinner later tonight though...

Have a magical day! 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Day 1273: Meet Goose

I'm definitely a dog person. I always have been, ever since I was really little and carried stuffed dogs with me around Walt Disney World. And yet, somewhere along the line, I ended up with cats, and lots of them. Barn cats are sort of like rabbits...they just sort of keep increasing in number, and then after a while some of them die off and then it bounces back again and, well, you get the idea. Currently, we have more than we've had in years, although that may have something to do with the eight kittens that currently call our front porch home.

Since one of my goals this summer was to do more photography, which I haven't really done a lot of in the past few years, these kittens were the perfect opportunity to work on some of the new techniques I'm trying. The only problem is they're pretty fast moving, so catching them for a clear shot isn't always the easiest thing to do. Still, I got a couple of good pictures, and while we wait for the youngest kittens to get old enough for decent pictures, meet Goose!

Goose may not be the most conventional name, but I've come up with a lot of cat names over the years, and because she's the only girl in a litter of three, and because her two brothers are both orange and look fairly identical, she got her name from our nickname for the three: Duck, Duck, Goose. Honestly though, she's pretty lucky. Of the cats we have right now, seven of them don't have names. Now, five of them are rather small yet, so names won't be given until we can actually tell them apart, but there's a couple of older ones that have been around for quite some time now. Like this one: 

Where his siblings Kylo Ren and Lassie got names somewhere along the line, he didn't, and honestly I just can't come up with a name. You can only name cats after Disney characters for so long before you run out of names, so instead of trying to come up with something myself I figured I'd see if anyone on the internet has an idea! 

So let me know your ideas for a name for him in the comments below! 

Have a magical day! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Day 1272: It Works!

If you think my career in film started a couple of years ago when I made my first real Disney vlog, you'd be wrong.

I honestly don't remember when the first time I picked up a video camera was, but I certainly wasn't very old, and I remember the experience itself pretty well. In fact, my family constantly makes fun of me for the first video I took, since it's mostly just me whipping the camera around our room at Old Key West so quickly that it makes pretty much everyone who watches it sick unless you look away regularly. From there, I obviously gained a steadier hand and some vision as to what makes for a good video. 

That first camera I used, however, is almost as old as I am, and in fact, it's not even the camera in the above picture. It's an old Sony, just like the other video cameras we've gotten over the years (a number that's just rising to four...mostly because we all want to use the camera so much we can't share anymore), but it's also almost as old as I am...20 years old. My parents got it not long before my first trip to Walt Disney World in October of 1996 and it continued to record most of our trips until 2011 when we went to Disneyland, soon after which we decided it was time to upgrade to a new camera. 

We made the decision to upgrade largely because we believed the old video camera had finally died, and so it sat on a shelf in our kitchen, of all places, for the last four and a half years. Until the other night when I explained an idea for an upcoming video to my dad, which would require old footage that we literally haven't looked at in years. So, on a whim, we tried to use the playback on the old camera, and amazingly enough, it worked. 

After watching one of the tapes from my very first trip to Walt Disney World, we decided that maybe it would be best if we updated all this footage, which is actually decent high quality, to digital before the camera decides to die for good. There will definitely be updates and posts focused on memories I find as time goes on, since I'll be starting the transfer of the footage as soon as I get a disc drive to install programming on my computer (something I neglected to look at when I bought a new laptop) and have a system made for transferring old tapes to digital. 

All in all, I couldn't be happier that the camera does indeed work, because really, I was a sassy and adorable child, and who wouldn't want to see that? 

Have a magical day! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 1269: Macaroons

Since I'm lucky enough to not have an extra summer job this summer aside from working on Everyday Disney and making YouTube videos, I've definitely paid attention to the odd collection of goals I'd like to accomplish. I made what I call a "Very Doable Bucket List," which is going pretty well, but aside from that, there's a few projects that have gained my attention.

One of those projects was the crazy idea I had not long ago that I'd like to learn how to make macaroons. Up until this past January, I don't think I'd ever had a macaroon before, and then, of course, I ended up trying one at Epcot and my whole life seemed to change. Suddenly cupcakes seemed much easier than normal, and I felt like I wanted a new challenge. I wanted to learn how to make macaroons.

Honestly, these little cookies seem like they'd be a lot harder to make than they actually are. Over the past couple of weeks I gathered recipes on Pinterest, learning about the two ways to make Macaroons - French and Italian - and contemplated what kind I'd like to make. Of course, because I was inspired by Disney to make these in the first place, it only seemed fair that I took that inspiration one step further.

What you have here is are Strawberries and Cream Macaroons, as is inspired by the Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream Macaroon Sandwich from the France Pavilion. They're much smaller than the ones filled with Ice Cream, but they're definitely delicious and honestly remind me a lot of the ones they serve there. These actually came out pretty perfect for a first try, and I was really keeping my expectations low just in case they burned or completely fell apart or something. Obviously, they didn't, and even my fresh strawberry jam and vanilla bean buttercream came together quickly and easily.

I'd share my recipe, but really I'm not entirely sure I'd be able to figure out exactly what all went into it because I mixed a bunch of recipes and then also changed things to make it my own, meaning that I don't remember precisely what I did. I'm positive this isn't the last time I'll be making macaroons though, so I'll try to include a recipe next time! Now it's off to work on the next project, which I'm sure will appear on the blog soon!

Have a magical day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day 1268: A Box of Crayons

While trying frantically to come up with a blog post for today, the thought of my go-to post came up once again: color palettes. I started these back in 2014 after being inspired by paper or something like that, and then decided to continue the series last year when pictures showed up in my TimeHop. Since my laptop completely crashed last year, leaving me without any of the files from the first two and a half years of Everyday Disney, including the color palettes, I thought it might be time to bring the idea back out with some newer pictures!

I've had a lot of Magic Kingdom and Epcot in the past, so this time I tried to do more of Hollywood Studios, with a couple of notable additions from a Disney Resort and Disneyland!

To check out where this rather simple bit of Disney started, read the original post HERE, and then read the follow up HERE! Both feature several very colorful pictures from Walt Disney World, and now that there's three posts like this, I'm certain that they'll continue. Maybe it'll be a yearly thing from now on? I mean, after all, the Disney Parks certainly seem to feature more colors than the world's largest box of crayons! 

Have a magical day!