Adam the Alien

The random thoughts of Adam J. Manley, better known as Adam the Alien. This is a secondary blog for fleeting fancies. Be sure to check out the main website at

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A young vlogger (looks to be about my nephew’s age, maybe?) posted a reaction video in which she watches Fedoras Are Awesome. I think it’s the most hilarious thing made in response to that video yet. And I’ve seen some damn hilarious things, from remixes to showing up on a list of 2013’s most hated videos.

Just found a super old pair of glasses. They no longer fit quite right, they’re slightly crooked, and of course old…but they work. Should function as decent substitutes for the broken ones (though I’m still going to re-glue the broken ones, because they’re more comfortable). #glasses #selfie


Kitchen tip - always keep your ratio of Jenny Owen Youngs to @julianunesmusic at 2:1.

This photo, featuring musicians Jenny Owen Youngs and Julia Nunes, is such a head trip for me. I tend to, without always realizing it, compartmentalize different aspects of my life. And when crossover occurs, I find myself thinking, “This is totally normal and makes perfect sense but WOAH, WHAT THE CRAP IS GOING ON HERE? MY MIND IS EXPLODING AND IMPLODING AT THE SAME TIME!”

In this case, we have two musicians I compartmentalized into different circles in my brain. One is part of the YouTube/Vidcon/Nerdfighteria section of my life. The other is part of the general “live indie music that I discover in person at some venue” part of my life. And both have been in those separate circles for almost the same amount of time.

I first discovered, photographed, and briefly met, Jenny Owen Youngs when she opened for Vienna Teng (on her Green Caravan Tour, at the time) at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon way back in 2007. I was instantly hooked. I bought her album, and she doodled my hat on the CD cover. Not long after, I would later write a review for my college paper and go see her again at Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge. I’ve not been able to see her live since, but I’ve followed her music and continue to love it. I was relatively active on her old website forum until it died. That first album I got my hands on is still constantly played…to the point that I had to buy a digital copy some time later, because the CD got too scratched up and I neglected to rip a backup.

I can’t remember exactly when I discovered Julia Nunes, but I’m fairly certain it was later on in 2007…possibly 2008. It was mid-2007, after the JOY concerts, that I stopped dinking around with YouTube and really got invested in the community, thanks to the discovery of the Vlogbrothers. I subscribed to Julia both for her fantastic musical skill, her engaging personality, and the interesting things she did with video in those early, low-quality, 4:3 ratio days. I’ve seen her perform live a number of times; mostly at Vidcon, but I made sure to see her (with friends I’d made at YouTube gatherings) the first time she played in Seattle, at the Vera Project in Seattle’s City Center. Converse to my experience with JOY, I’ve met her a number of times (though I doubt she remembers), but I’ve only bought each of her albums once (I learned my lesson and backed the physical ones up, even before I finally stopped using my clunky, half-broken old portable CD player).

It makes perfect sense that two excellent musicians, both solo female singer-songwriter acts originating from the same general region, should meet and hang out. Their paths crossing is, really, kind of inevitable. But it still blows my mind, anyway, despite how much sense it makes. They’re from two different worlds, to me. Two different parts of my life, of my inner compartmentalization. One is from the world of live concerts, the world of Joan Baez, Dar Williams, Vienna Teng, Girlyman, Sarah Watkins, Libbie Schrader, and others I’ve discovered through that particular scene. The other comes from the world of, as Nicole Dieker of Hello, The Future puts it, “a tiny little window on a tiny little screen”; the world of the Vlogbrothers, Vidcon, vloggers, and YouTube musicians both big and small, from the niche and nerdy to the broad and bountiful.

As much as I seem to automatically separate sections of my life like this, though, I’m constantly reminded that reality isn’t like that. It really is a small world after all, and the amount of crazy connections we all have to each other is positively insane. I sometimes forget how easily I could connect myself to Kevin Bacon in six degrees or less. It’s nice, then, to get these little reminders that the world is incredibly interconnected, because it’s a reminder that every tiny little thing we do sends ripples out, into the world. We affect people we’ve never met, and we’ve met people we’ll never remember…though that meeting may have meant the world to them.

That’s why seeing a photo of Julia Nunes with Jenny Owen Youngs blows my mind: it reminds me of my own place in a crazily interconnected world. And that’s something amazing. That’s something both awe-inspiring and indescribably humbling. It’s something we all need, now and then.

So thanks, JOY and jaaaaaaa. Thank you for giving me that. On top of everything your music and your presence in the world has already given me (which is no small thing), thank you for reminding me what the world is really like.

One of the gifts my newly 14-year-old sister received was a piñata hand-painted to look like the moon from Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. It was made by our cousin, Laura, pictured here with said piñata. #family #birthdays #Canby #Oregon #Nintendo #pinata #piñata #LegendOfZelda #MajorasMask

My little sister in silhouette on the roof, doing a birthday champion pose. #family #birthdays #Canby #Oregon #CedarRockFarm

My little sister, Jewell, celebrating her 14th birthday by getting further up the walnut tree than she’s managed so far. We’ll get her to the top, yet (and over her fear of being high up in trees). #family #trees #Canby #Oregon #CedarRockFarm

Tree #selfie with my now-14-year-old little sister. Happy birthday, Jewell! #family #Canby #Oregon #birthdays #CedarRockFarm

Two bicyclists with their two dogs in the #Burgerville drive-thru. Until tonight, I had never seen such a sight. #Portland #Oregon #PDX #latergram

Went to Shaker & Vine tonight for the latest Women Songwriters in the Round, featuring Mel Kubik, Darka Dusty, and Stephanie Schneiderman. Mel was in top form, and I’d never heard Darka or Stephanie before, so it was a real treat. They were all incredible! #music #Portland #Oregon #PDX #latergram

This was the very first MST3K I ever watched. My sister had it on VHS when I visited her. I was instantly hooked. The word “Huzzah” still invokes images from this, and makes me giggle. I also giggle every time I look at Smucker’s jam.

This was the very first MST3K I ever watched. My sister had it on VHS when I visited her. I was instantly hooked. The word “Huzzah” still invokes images from this, and makes me giggle. I also giggle every time I look at Smucker’s jam.

(via fuckyeah1990s)