I’m moving

So, it’s actually official this time.

I’m moving to a self-hosted WordPress blog at myelevels.com. I have a lot to work out and fix and set-up but I’m getting there. I will be taking all of my followers over there but I have to figure out how to do it – again. I’m hoping to have a theme picked, start posting again and have every last detail in place by early July (hopefully before the Panic! at the Disco concert).

This will be my last post on Rose Petal Rebel and on this editor system. It seems so weird that I actually created this blog 5 years ago, knowing nothing, and now I’m finally in a place where I feel like I can really do something with this. I could take this somewhere. I can properly utilize this tool.

This isn’t goodbye.
This is a fresh beginning.

Until next time.
Ally (aka The Fashion Outcast, Rose Petal Rebel or #Average)

Advertisements

It’s all coming together

I started this blog when I was 13 in 2011. Since then, I’ve struggled to keep up with this and school and finding my path. I’ve changed names twice and contemplated how I could easily transfer to a self-hosted site.

And now, I’m 18, in my first year of college and I’m in an entirely new place. I mostly know what I want to do with this blog, I know the name I want to be under and my Dad was able to help me find a virtual server so I’ll have no space problems.

What I’m ultimately saying is – I’m going to be moving sites soon. And I will be taking subscribers with me. I’m not entirely sure how everything will work yet, but I’m working out the bugs, starting a new chapter of my life and plan to blog regularly. I’ve been trying to work this out since November of last year but I think it’s finally time.

The reason I’m going through with this is the fact that I miss blogging on here, I want to have somewhere to keep an online portfolio that’s connected to all of my work and, as I said, I miss blogging. So much has changed since I started college and I feel myself changing as time goes on. I also have new things I want to bring in and do but those are all to be determined and ironed out.

This is all going to be a process. I want to be able to keep this with everything I’m doing. I’ve decided on a major in Art with a 2D concentration, for printmaking mainly, a minor in Journalism and an Eastern Asian Studies certificate. I want something to follow my life again and dedicate more time to this again.

10 Things To Do While You’re Sick

Fun fact: I originally planned to write this article exactly 1 year and one month ago during/after getting my first cold of the season and now I’m actually writing it after getting my first bad sickness of the season (and this time I’m in college taking care of myself).

So with that said – I think I’m in the right place to write this article now.

Not that sickness is that much different in college than high school (except it’s a little harder to get better when walking in the elements or dealing with dorm room temperatures), I just have more freedom and I have to keep myself busy.

  1. Get your work done: You know that long list of tasks you need to complete for work or classes? Or that long list of things you’ve wanted to do for your blog or some show you wanted to watch? Do. It. When you’re sick, you very literally have all the time in the world so make use of that time and get something done. In my sick time, I started a few more Fivver gigs, started looking for work on freelancer.com, played around with Illustrator and scoured through multiple posts about ways to make money.
  2. Have some soup on-hand: Warm food in cold weather when you’re under the weather is a great idea and one that all should try to follow because believe me, you won’t regret it.
  3. Treat yourself to some hot tea: Java City, Starbuck’s and all of your local coffee shops (my personal favorite being The Dreamer in Mount Pleasant) serve varied teas so if you don’t have any of your own, have some made for you. I recommend doing this over coffee because coffee can have after effects such as headaches and potential insomnia which won’t be pleasant when trying to fight off a cold.
  4. Play catch-up: I mentioned it really quickly in #1, but take this time to catch up on your shows. Maybe you’re a couple of weeks behind on “The Flash” and “iZombie” (aka me) or you have a new series you wanted to start or you need to catch of all the new animes this season – either way, you can do it all and then some during this time.
  5. Enjoy the alone time: Let’s be frank when you’re sick you won’t go out partying with your crew so enjoy your nights in. I know  after an eventful Halloween weekend, I enjoyed the calmness and the quiet.
  6. Do your laundry: If you have enough strength to lug it all down to the basement, get the clothes down. The whole process is long and boring so do it when there’s nothing better.  Besides, as a college student, I try to put off doing it for as long as I can but if you use this as an excuse to get it done, you have to use 4 washers every time you go to get it done.
  7. Drown in spices: There is no better time to eat large amounts of spicy food than when you’re sick. The heat itself will help clear your sinuses and it tastes so good.
  8. Create: Pick up a pen and doodle, write a short story, cut up old newspapers and make a collage – keep your mind healthy and feeling good to help ease the toll sickness takes on the body.
  9. Find an animal and make a friend: If you do happen to go out and about, make a new pet friend because 1) they’re super great to have and 2) they’re even better when you’re sick. There are pets used for therapy now and I can say personally from experience, having a pet nearby is very comforting when dealing with your body hating you.
  10. Sleep-in for as long as you can: Milk your sickness for all it’s worth and catch some extra z’s because you deserve it. Also, rest will help you on the road to recovery. Never feel bad about hitting the hay before midnight or hitting snooze for the fourth time after one (make sure you have enough time allotted to get to class or work, though.

The most important thing to do when sick is getting better so for anyone out there dealing with the season’s start of blues (like half of our campus was recently), keep warm and hopefully you feel better soon.

Death Parade Season Review

Screenshot from 20153 212140

I like when I can watch something and it makes me think a bit more about something that I wouldn’t normally spend my time focusing on.

“Death Parade” is based around what happens to us after we die. Arbitrators exist solely to cast judgement on the souls that pass through their bars; they judge them by having them play various games and then send them either into the void or to reincarnate. At the start of the season, it made me ponder over where we went, if heaven and hell exist, etc, but by the end, my thoughts delved so much deeper.

This show made me think about what it means to be human.

Of course, I will probably never know the true meaning behind our existence, but this show continually attempted to define us, the human race and gave a glimpse of how we tick especially in the face of death. How people begin to grasp on to every last string of life that they have before their last breaths. It’s almost like when we have near death experiences and suddenly cherish our life more, but with higher stakes.

Each person comes in with no recollection of their deaths. In their minds, they’re still alive and this person making them play a game with their life on the line is relatively insane and devoid of emotion (but makes a mean cocktail). So as they fight “for their lives,” they catch glimpses of their lives up until the moment they died. And usually, this is the last moment of judgement. How will they act when they realize all they’re playing for is a spot in what they believe is heaven or hell? Will they continue to try to crush the other player or will they repent? Will they kill them again or will they help them in times of need?

And with all of these loose ends comes the last question – how will Decim judge them?

The intriguing part of this show was the partnership presented between Kurokami no Onna and Decim. Kurokami shows her emotions openly and assists Decim in his judgements, eventually making them more just and making them a lesson in human emotion.

I don’t want to spoil any part of the show, but I will say this: the way Kurokami and Decim’s dynamic unfolds is so beautiful and I’ll admit I cried episode 10. And again in episode 12. And my heart hurt during episode 11. I also cherished the top screenshot for a week.

All in all, I was a mess. But this show is definitely worth a watch. Still, 8 months after finishing, I still consider it one of the best animes I’ve seen.

Pre-Full Read: Twilight Reimagined

I’ll tell you straight up – when I was 11, I was a huge Twilight fan. I read the books in a matter of about 2 weeks (and it would have been shorter if I could have gotten the books quicker), I’ve watched every movie except Breaking Dawn: Part 2, I had my fair share of Team Edward versus Team Jacob arguments (Edward, duh) and I wanted to be a Cullen. Truthfully, I was over the craze when I read New Moon because the book was literally just Bella moping around and attempting to kill herself every couple of pages so she can see Edward in some form. Also by the time the Eclipse movie came out, I was just going along because I had been on the ride for so long.

However, when I was first read the series, I didn’t see any of the problems rooted within because I was still only a kid who knew nothing about feminism or misogyny and had no one guiding me (to this day, I’m basically still the one who’s guiding my parents along). And so, I blamed Bella for the problems in the story. Literally and not literally.

literally thought Bella was the problem character and was, very simply, pathetic. I should mention that at this time I was still in the phase where I sometimes struggled to disconnect fiction from reality so I saw Bella as a living, breathing human with nothing in her life besides a boy who’s like the embodiment of overcast days and dead flowers. And in the non-literal sense of blaming Bella, I blamed Kristen Stewart for her acting out of the role though I realize now it wasn’t her, but the role gave her nothing to work with.

Never once did I stop and think to blame Stephenie Meyer. I mean, that’s who I should have blamed for the character flaws, the lack of plot outside the love triangle and Edward’s brooding and the fact that I, as many of my friends did as well, blamed Bella for a ridiculous situation Ms. Meyer had placed her in.

Now that she’s trying to go back 10 years to cover up the fact that her book plot structure and characterization were messy, I think she looks incredibly ridiculous. It would have been easier for her to just admit that yes, she wrote a book where she puts a male in a position of power over a female and this female has to be saved constantly because she’s weaker and the only way the female can get out of this situation is by becoming a part of the same species as the boy (but the boy fights back against giving her this equal footing for THREE AND A HALF WHOLE BOOKS until he’s forced to when she’s near death). And then, even when she gives women power, everything is still male-oriented. Overall, the books rub me the wrong way now and now she wants to prove it wasn’t a female thing, but a human thing.

She’s literally trying to save her ass from ridicule ten years after production by doing something that will probably just get her more criticism.

In all honesty, I’m curious to see whether the new book is good and worth the read or if it’s still just following the formula of an already beaten-to-death plot.

 

UPDATE: The day after drafting this post, I actually picked up the novel and I shit you not – it’s literally the same book from 10 years that now just reads a little better. The worst part is, she changed how the fight scene was written to the point that the visual present in the first version had disappeared and I got a different vibe from it (meaning the female vampire tracker was clearly powerful but was not at the same level of sadism or force as James; but then again, it could have been the over editing she clearly did).

Did I hate it? I don’t know. Do I think it was a good idea or portrayed well? Frankly, no. I think she would have been better off to shelf this idea and release whatever series she’s been promising for 5+ years. You know, prioritizing.

Live Albums: the Endangered Species

More than anything within the music realm, I love live music and beyond that I love good live music. To feed this love, I usually turn to live albums because they’re much cheaper than buying concert tickets all the time and way easier to listen to than your average concert video (you know, with all the screaming fans and crowd singers belting in the background?).

The incredibly unfortunate thing is, barely anyone produces live albums anymore.

Around the time that I first considered this blog post someone I was a fan of put out a live album. Unfortunately in the time that it has taken me to write this post, I have forgotten who it was. However, while browsing through Spotify, I noticed that the only live albums that are ever put out anymore are from Spotify Sessions which is no where near satisfactory.

Live versions of songs are so sick. Like when you can’t manage to go to your favorite band’s tour, being able to experience it through your headphones isn’t the same, but it’s still about 68% as cool as actually being there. One of my most listened to albums is Panic! at the Disco’s Live in Chicago. It was released in 2008, before the first split, and I’m truly so thankful for it’s existence. In 2008, I never would have been able to step foot in one of their concerts because 1) I was 11 and could only go to concerts with an adult, and 2) I was a year away from actually becoming a fan.  The way they edited the album, with the stage commentaries included, makes the album for me. Also Panic! has always been phenomenal live so having this is little encasement of that in high quality is so nice.

Every one else go home: Amandla Stenberg and Jaden Smith are killing it at Prom

CGO-uzoUkAAEPH3

As the prom season comes to a close with all schools out for the summer, I wanted to take a minute to comment on my favorite moments. Out of all the prom pictures to come out of this 2015 season, Amandla Stenberg and Jaden Smith’s easily beats out the rest.

Despite Jaden Smith having already attended another prom last week dressed as Batman (which was sick), this week’s outfit was a step above with his black suit paired with contrasting white gloves and white skirt and brought back together with black and white Nikes. And beyond having a very solid color pallete, Smith breaks gender CGO-uzCUYAAj19wnorms once again and looks damn good while doing it.

Beside Jaden, Amandla looks stunning in a floor-length golden halter dress with a sheer calf to floor. Her gray/white/black braids look amazing and compliment the colors of Smith’s ensemble. Also her septum piercing and cranberry lipstick/eye shadow duo finish off this amazing look.

Overall, our young, black youth stay winning.

Ho99o9

On April 7, the Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Party streamed from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Initially the set list brought upon nothing more than confused looks, yawns and deep sighs. Going in there were 5 acts I had never even heard of out of the 8 and my expectations were pretty low.

But everything changed when this sick band opened the show. They call themselves Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror) and they were this crazy, messy rap infused with punk duo dressed in wedding dresses, masks, body paint and combat boots. It was odd at first, seeing a group that I didn’t think would impress me all that much by the looks of their starting get-up, but ended up being one the stars of the night. They kept the audience on their toes by getting in their faces and passing the barricade to join the mosh pit with the audience.

They fused their punk-rap sound by their use of soundboards and they’re good ol’ au naturel vocal chords.

Also seeing two black guys take on the Warped scene? It’s fucking sick, I tell you. It’s a rarity to see People of Color taking on the average genres of music for Warped, but when I see a group or an individual, I don’t pass them up. Especially not this band,

This band managed to scare half the audience shitless, create electronic beats I had never heard and ultimately, present something that’s only at its start. I mean, how often is that you see a punk rap group?

Stop waiting for inspiration

Hi, remember me?

So it’s been a month since I posted last and in that month I’ve had lots of inspiration and ideas for posts. I even had motivation (which was shocking). But senior year has swamped me and all of that inspiration went away with the wind.

Yesterday I was walking through the hall on my way to the library to work for the seventh day in a row (AP World History is killer) and I was thinking about this blog, where I wanted it to go, what I was going to do, etc.

I know what I want to do with this blog. I even know a new name now. The only problem is I wait for when inspiration hits and still, after three and a half years, I don’t have a proper schedule for when I write either. I need to find my inspiration for myself or I’ll never be successful anywhere.

Basically what I’ve learned from all of this is:

1. Find your perfect time to write and do it. Just do it. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself later.
2. Find sites that inspire you. Whether it is other blogs, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Weheartit or even Facebook, find that thing and visit it often. It especially helps when you’re in a rut.
3. Write for you. Not for your readers, not for your friends, not even for your parents. Of course, keep readers in mind because you don’t want to alienate them, but at the end of the day, you need to find happiness with the product that you’re putting out. If you’re not happy, then why do it?

Even though I rarely keep my New Years Resolutions, this is my new, long-term resolution to hopefully get me through my current blogging endeavors.