McDreamy is Dead

My apologies for the spoilers, but if you don’t know that Derek Shepherd died on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, then you obviously haven’t been on the internet recently.

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I went into last week’s Grey’s Anatomy episode 11×21 “How to Save a Life” expecting McDreamy to die. Shonda Rhimes really couldn’t have made it more obvious with foreshadowing moments in the last few episodes like Amelia Shepherd angrily telling Meredith she couldn’t “judge her until she had lost the love of her life.” Dun dun DUUUUUUUNNNN. And then there was all the “Where’s Derek?” and “The episode America will never forget” promotion which I thought was a bit overkill.

McDreamy is Dead 2Because honestly, the episode I’ll never forget was the plane crash where Lexie (my favorite TV character of all time) died within the first 20 minutes and Cristina, in a very meta-moment, called their hospital “Mercy Death” because what are the odds that all the horrible things that have happened to them would happen? Cristina, if Shonda Rhimes is producing your show, then the odds are really high.

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McDreamy is Dead 4And I keep watching Grey’s Anatomy (even though I thought season 9 was going to be their last, but they tricked us all and announced a season 10 at the last minute), I feel kind of done with it. Like I literally watch for the medical stories and how they emotionally and psychologically affect the characters. I can take or leave the sex and the soap opera style character drama. Half the time, I’m not really sure why I keep watching. I have a hard time abandoning stories though. Just like I won’t stop reading a novel no matter how bad it is, I don’t like quitting a TV show before I’ve found some kind of catharsis in the storyline.

And how can there be catharsis now? Derek is dead. You’ve got half-orphaned children everywhere on this show. You’ve got a completely distorted and mangled view of love. You’ve got a mess that doesn’t seem to want to end!

Plus Derek was a jerk for 95% of this season. First, he was a whiny, conceited sourpuss who blamed Meredith for his unhappiness and couldn’t stand for his sister to be his boss. Then he disappeared for nearly half the season and was made to look like he cheated. For a measly two episodes near the end he looks like the perfect husband—the McDreamy we all know and love. And finally, in one heart wrenching episode he’s a hero and then an idiot who stops in the middle of the road to look at his phone. So now he’s dead. It was sudden and unexpected but also completely set up in the most obnoxious way because really how else were we going to torture Meredith if we didn’t kill off her husband?

McDreamy is Dead 5So does this mean I’m done with Grey’s Anatomy? Probably not. I’d like to see how they finish out the season and what’s suggested for next season. I really would like to stop watching but not because they killed Derek. If I were going to stop watching for killing off a character it would have been Lexie. Also I’m not so petty as to DEMAND from showrunners to appease my wishes for the series or threaten them with quitting their show. Oooooooooh! I’m sure they’re so scared.

I will say that I thought “How to Save a Life” was one of their better episode recently. It kept me on my toes and in tears for the majority of the episode. I especially liked hearing Derek’s thoughts (or narration) as he was admitted to the rural medical center, misdiagnosed, and slowly died on the operating table. That’s such a real fear for people—having untrained doctors who miss something. A critical something that leads to death or permanent damage.

At Grey-Sloane Memorial Hospital there’s always a saving grace. Enough time to realize the mistake. A doctor with a forceful enough voice to have her opinion heard. But that all looks like fantasy in comparison to what happened to Derek. What happened to Derek (besides the semi-truck ramming him side-on from a straight stretch of road) feels more real. THAT might actually happen to you.

And that’s what makes this episode powerful. So McDreamy dies and it’s a tragedy. A well-foreshadowed tragedy. What makes the episode so “unforgettable” as all those promotions touted is how close to home the dying because of a doctor’s mistake hits.


Give a Girl a Telescope…

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A few weeks ago I was tasked with cleaning out my parents’ attic because it mostly contained my childhood paraphernalia (although my ability to determine it’s worth or throw-away-ability wasn’t that much better than my mom’s so I still wonder what the point of the whole ordeal was other than a strange form of torture.) I uncovered a lot of items I hadn’t seen in years and hold a special place in my heart. A few items I wish I had thrown away when I’d had the chance (i.e. Furbies *shiver*). Some things I didn’t even know existed until I went digging. The problem that I was fighting and have always run up against when trying to avoid attic cleaning is WHAT DO YOU DO WITH ALL THIS STUFF?

People collect a lot of things. Children especially seem to produce “junk” by merely existing. And then we get new things or children grow out of old things or we keep illegibly doodled shreds of paper because it’s sentimental which leaves us with an attic full of JUNK. But amid that junk I found a rather special item: a telescope.

So what do you do with an old, dusty, discarded telescope you’ve found in your attic?

Give it to a girl.

Well, first you check that it works and the missing screw in the tripod stand part doesn’t make it unusable. (It didn’t.) Then you find a little girl to give it to. My boyfriend did the finding and contacted the family of an adorable 1st grader Rachel who also has two younger siblings. She’s currently interested in science and what better to give her than a REAL TELESCOPE so she can look at the stars and moon and sky (or at least spy on her neighbors).

And she was fortunately quite excited. Here’s a thank-you card she made.

Front of Card:

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Back: (I’m not quite sure what’s going on here. Stars literally hanging from the sky maybe?)

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That excitement for exploring and understanding and questioning the universe in a child makes me giddy! I love seeing it! I love all those commercials (e.g. Microsoft) where little girls are interviewed about how they love science or math or are in the robotics club at school. I love seeing that passion!

I was like that. I had a little science journal where I did “experiments” and recorded all my findings. I loved math like nobody’s business. (When I took Latin in college I realized that I loved it for the same reason. I am the puzzle queen! It doesn’t matter if it’s word puzzles or numbers puzzles, they fascinate me.) I loved magic and fantasy, and to me, science was magic—its ability to explain the impossible or at least attempt to hypothesize about it.

And children deserve that “magic.” Girl or boy. They deserve to explore the wonders of the universe. And in all honesty, it is harder for girls to enjoy that privilege. I wish it wasn’t. I wish girls could be encouraged as much as boys when they say they want to be an astronaut or archeologist or chemist or engineer. I wish that people wouldn’t giggle dismissively when a girl says she wants to design roller coasters for Disney World (or worse, ask them if they wouldn’t rather be a princess?)   I also wish it weren’t so complicated—that saying people dismiss girl’s STEM dreams wasn’t too inflammatory of a statement.

I wish there was more that I could do than just give a girl a telescope. But until I figure out what else I can specifically contribute to the cause, I have to satisfy myself with the smile of a little girl with a new/old telescope.

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As a side note: What the heck is even happening here?  I googled searched “girl with telescope,” and I get Beyonce being all sexy on a table with a telescope that doesn’t even look like it works.  AND WE WONDER WHY NO ONE TAKES WOMEN SERIOUSLY IN STEM FIELDS.

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How I Imagined My Life at 25


Tomorrow I turn 25. A quarter of a century. Halfway to 30. My mid-twenties. And I’m not very excited about it.

It’s not that I think 25 is particularly old. I’ve still got five more years in my glorious twenties! (So there’s no need to worry, right?) But something still tugs at my subconscious, making me slightly less enthusiastic about this particular milestone than others. And I think it’s that I imagined my life would be much different at 25 than it is in reality.

When I was 13, I loved to doodle everywhere. I especially loved illustrating my little journal entries, which usually consisted of my wishes and dreams for the future. That means I drew a lot of pictures of “Future Kaitlyn” because I wasn’t very happy with “Present Kaitlyn.” I was shy and awkward and generally miserable for no real reason other than having low self-esteem so I imagined a Future Kaitlyn that was confident and free-spirited and independent.

I imagined myself with long flowing locks riding a moped around foreign cities. I imagined myself in a studio loft in an artsy city district directing my own movies. I imagined myself with a close group of girlfriends who I could stay up late giggling with over our ridiculous escapades in dating. I imagined myself engaged or possibly married to a swoon-worthy and intelligent guy who just “got me” and supported my desire for an active career.






Well…I have the long flowing locks…

Ha! I’m not quite sure where the moped idea came from, but I can vividly remember a little sketch of myself standing in a power pose beside a purple moped with teal flames painted on the side, my helmet casually stowed under my arm and a confident smirk on my face. That 25-year-old Future Kaitlyn was ready to take on the world! Unfortunately, I’m not really anything like the Future Kaitlyn I imagined when I was an unhappy 13 years young, and I can list for you those reasons all day long.

Things I Haven’t Accomplished By 25 That I Wanted When I Was 13

  1. International Travel
  2. Living on my own
  3. Published a YA fantasy novel
  4. Living in or near an artsy city culture
  5. Wrote my own feature length screenplay with plans to put it into production
  6. Public engagement and/or marriage
  7. Sex and the City or Friends-style local gal pals to decompress with after work over a glass of wine
  8. The ability to talk to anyone anywhere anytime without freaking out

But the reason I wanted those things is because I felt like they would make me feel better about myself. What all those “goals” I set for myself really meant was that I wanted to have stronger self-esteem by the time I turned 25 (although I couldn’t articulate all the nasty, dark feelings that way at the time). But if I really look hard at the life I HAVE accomplished, I see how I’ve accomplished the PURPOSE behind many of those imagined goals.

Things I Have Accomplished By 25

  1. Much higher self-confidence and self-esteem
  2. A college degree from an acclaimed institution (Tribe Pride!)
  3. A large body of work on my YouTube Channel with nearly 10,000 subscribers
  4. Overcoming my fear of being in front of the camera
  5. Understanding and respect for my introverted nature so that I don’t beat myself up so much for not wanting to be the star in every room or conversation
  6. Friends across the state, country, and globe that care about me and are interested in my well-being and accomplishments
  7. Love and compassion for humanity which gives me a selfless desire to help in some grand way and pushes me towards the future
  8. A love for who I am—my flaws and failures as well as my strengths—with the intention to never stop working to better myself and chasing my dreams

And truthfully, how likely is it that my predictions at 13 would actually make sense when I was 25? (Awkward crop tops that all my drawings were wearing I’m looking at you.) Can I really be disappointed in myself for not accomplishing all my 13-year-old dreams when there has been so much LIFE between now and then that changes circumstances and possibilities? There are many things that I wish I had done in the last 12 years since those initial imaginings. Like studying abroad or at least doing some kind of international traveling. Or living in my own apartment rather than in my parents house in the same bedroom I grew up in which has started to feel quite a bit cramped (not only physically but mentally because I’ve just grown into too much of an individual person to be contained to the 16 year old girl my parents would still like to view me as. But there are also so many things I’ve done over the years that I never could have fathomed. Like in 2003, YouTube didn’t even exist so how could I have predicted or imagined for myself a career in making Internet video? Or winning a national contest with them and being sent to an acclaimed film institution all the way out in California?

I think 13 year old me would be proud of what I’ve done so far and confident that I can keep on being awesome and exploring the possibilities of my life. That’s one thing Present Kaitlyn always had: faith that Future Kaitlyn would keep finding amazing things to do. Present Kaitlyn might be completely wrong in her predictions of what these things could be, but she never doubts the eventual outcome of a happier life.



How Can You Have the Vampire Diaries Without Elena Gilbert?


Nina Dobrev announced on Monday that her 6-year journey with The Vampire Diaries on The CW would be coming to an end at the close of the 6th season, and all the fangirls cried. What’s interesting to me is that they don’t intend to end the show all together, but rather have already been renewed for a 7th season. But how can you continue a show when a character that I would consider to be a main if not THE main character is leaving?

It’s still unclear as to how she’ll be leaving the show. We’ll just have to watch the rest of this season to find out, but I hope it’s something spectacular and cry-worthy. The most common way for a character to leave TVD is to die, and since the Other Side is no longer in existence when you die now, YOU DIE. No miraculous two-season-later resurrections like Alaric Saltzman. (But no really, Julie Plec, thank you for bringing him back!) However it seems rather anti-climatic for Elena Gilbert to end her TVD run by dying since we’ve spent the majority of the last 6 seasons watching the characters do everything in their power to make sure that she DOESN’T die—or at least survive after death in some capacity. It would be like what was the point of all the blood the Salvatore brothers spilled? And Bonnie dying several times? And Jeremy dying and being resurrected more than anyone ever should be? And Matty Blue Eyes being oblivious to everything and ALMOST dying several times a season. And how can you have Elena exit the show (by dying or otherwise) and not have Damon go on a bloodthirsty rampage across the South? Haven’t we seen him do that enough? I really don’t want to go back to that humanity-switch-off place anymore. It’s not very becoming on you, Mr. Salvatore.


Since Bonnie brought back the Cure from 1994, I do see an opportunity to turn Elena back into a human and maybe erase her memories and send her off in the sunset to have a happy life. It would kind of destroy the personal independence thing she’s built while being a vampire that I would find disappointing because I have this dream that a girl can get involved with vampires and NOT have to be a mindless waif being pushed around to everyone’s agenda but her own (*cough* Twilight *cough*). But in the case of Elena, she falls into that stereotype quite easily most of the time.

Okay, but if Elena is going to leave in some capacity and TVD is still going to continue, where could Julie Plec take us? Like a dedicated TVD fangirl, I have some theories (aka ridiculous fanfiction ideas).

  1. Sarah Salvatore – Besides Elena Gilbert, the Salvatore brothers hold the greatest weight storyline-wise and with Julie Plec’s official announcement it seems we’ll still be seeing a fair bit of Salvatore bromance in the coming season. So why not add another girl to the mix? Sarah Salvatore’s story (which has been minimal at best in the second half of season 6) intrigues me. She’s the only human Salvatore left and humanity-less Damon is responsible for the death of her mother and essential orphan-hood at birth (since her father was compelled to forget she even exists. That was a jerk move, Stefan.) Eventually her existence is going to have to come out to Damon and perhaps that revelation will become a new obsession for him.
  2. Mama Salvatore – I can actually see TVD taking this route. We have such little information about MaMa Salvatore that I can’t even really speculate where this storyline might go, but if TVD is still going to center around the Salvatore brothers, what better direction to take than backwards to explore more of their past?
  3. Matt the Haphazard Vampire Hunter – Okay, this isn’t a real theory, but you never know. He’s gotten a little crazy with the anti-vampire attitude lately despite the fact that all of his friends are vampires. Maybe he’s been wearing that supernatural-death-repellant ring too long and will decide to start a vampire Armageddon himself. (Although it’s obvious from previous attempts, he won’t get very far).
  4. Jolaric Baby – Perhaps we’ll do a time-jump 16 years when Jo and Alaric’s baby is turning 16 and the Salvatore brothers return to Mystic Falls once again. I imagine some weird incestual-feeling relationship between Stefan and Jolaric (Grown-Up) Baby. Like Jacob imprinting on Bella and Edward’s child. It would be creepy and weird and totally shake everything up.
  5. Witchy Prison World – Perhaps because of all the trouble the Mystic Falls vampire crew has caused they’ll be imprisoned in a prison world. And it will be survival of the fittest with the pressure of rationing bloodbags.
  6. Kai and Bonnie – While it seems insane to me that Bonnie could ever fall for the guy who TORTURED her, there is a weird sexual tension going on between them that I’m interested in seeing carried through which means Kai needs to get out of MaMa Salvatore’s prison world.
  7. Caroline the Ripper – I assume Caroline’s humanity-switch problem will be resolved through the rest of season’s 6’s episodes, but you never know, Caroline could become the new big villain! It could happen! I don’t want it to happen because she’s my favorite character, but it could still happen!
  8. The Gilberts – With both Elena and Jeremy leaving this season, I’m sad that nothing was really explored with their parents. It always felt like there was a sinister storyline waiting to be discovered. Sheriff Forbes and Damon even tried to uncover what really happened to the Gilberts that fateful night Elena almost died, but it anticlimactically turned out to be nothing more than an accident. Can TVD still follow a Gilbert storyline without having any living Gilberts around? Maybe Elena and Jeremy have an unknown cousin that will show up and take over the mystery?

For a TVD fangirl, now is the time for mourning. I’ll miss Nina and her million characters on the show, but I am surprisingly excited about how losing a main character could affect the show for the better. TVD has felt a little stale since the Original vampire storyline without a villain that held serious weight and could terrorize for as long as Klaus did. A new cast of characters might shake things up enough to make TVD insatiable again.

So what do you think? What’s your TVD theory for how the story might progress with Elena/Nina’s exit?



Quality Versus Quantity: Novel Writing Month 15, Chapter 15 (Yeah, Right…)

Quality Quantity

I wish I could say that my not working on my novel writing in March at all was a glorified April Fools Joke, but this unfortunate (not) happening is very much real. And in all honesty, I’ve just been too busy. But I’ve used that excuse too many times at this point. It’s a true statement, but it also doesn’t fully encompass my frustration. You see it’s not just the lack of novel writing that’s bothering me. It’s actually my writing in general.

In January of 2014, I decided to start a blog and write a chapter in my novel every month because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough writing. My brain felt like it was melting under the monotonous trudge of the nine-to-five career life. It was my first year not being anywhere near academia, and the idea of losing my intelligent “edge” terrified me. So I decided to try to fix that the best way I knew how: writing. I set out goals for myself (i.e. one blog a week and one chapter a month), and I stuck to it even when “real life” was hammering down on me. Over a year later, I’m still trying to follow that formula, but life is battering on me even harder. And I’ve had to make tough decisions between career-betterment and completing my writing goals.

I haven’t written in my novel for a while because I feel like my quality was suffering. I was churning out chapters and words and basic plot premises, but it was lacking the joy and originality that made it inspiring and kept me addicted to writing. I have the same feeling about my blog right now too. I’ve continued writing on it, but I don’t feel the ideas come as freely as before. Usually what happens is that I have an inspired idea, but I realize that I don’t have time to write it for the next blog so I decide to churn out something “simple” which basically turns into a page of meaningless words. I tend to start with a good premise but run out of steam or time halfway through, and it falls flat. I’ve even had people comment to tell me that. It hurts to see strangers so easily picking apart my flaws, but I know it’s true. I don’t have the brain energy or mental space to really make as much quality content as I am producing. Some of it just becomes “content” that I’m doing for the sake of doing with an occasional burst of inspiration.

My YouTube channel is my baby. It’s my passion. I’ve been working on it for nearly four years now so I put almost all my creative energies into it. Then I have my job and my boyfriend and my family and my church and my volunteer positions and my blog and my personal website and my job searching and my novel writing and my health and my own personal enjoyment in life which is pretty minimal sometimes. And how am I supposed to do all of those things WELL?

I can’t, I suppose. Which is why you’re getting quantity here and not always quality. It’s not because I don’t enjoy writing these blogs. I really do. Writing and blogging is an art form that allows me to express certain ideas and thoughts I have in a different way than on YouTube. I feel like I can be a little more honest here (i.e. I don’t have to always put on a brave face when talking about difficult subjects). And I feel like I can talk more freely about “adult topics” (whereas I tailor my YouTube channel to 13 year-old girls looking for advice and/or a role model).

I’m not saying that I’m going to stop blogging. I’m not even saying that I’m giving up on my novel writing goal. Instead, I’m recognizing my faults: I’m producing a lot of quantity and not quality. But I want to be producing more quality while still keeping my quantity of work. How do I do that? I’m not quite sure. But I think it starts with being more mindful of my work. And that’s what I’m going to do. I doubt it will be an immediate change, but it’s got to be worth something to recognize my problem and start brainstorming ways to work through it. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

Haha! Happy April! And here’s to a new month with better intentions!