Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chronic Giggling

It started around around noon. I don't know what triggered it, but since then I can't stop laughing. It gets even worse when I TRY to STOP laughing, because then I'm able to restrain myself for a few minutes... but the laughter explodes and I start snicker/giggling/snorting at increasingly odd times. Over-laughing this much has made me realize: I HAVE A VERY WEIRD VARIETY OF LAUGHS.

1. Short laugh: Begins most laugh spasms. A normal, one-syllable laugh used to express mild amusement over something that is actually funny.

2. Snorting: I SNORT. I snort and I am PROUD of it. I snort at anything I find overly-rib-crackingly HI-LARIOUS. Not used often, but today is quite a different story...

3. Maniacal ROTFLMAO laughter: Unstoppable at this point. Must succumb to the BWAHAHAHA MWAHAHABWAHHA HAHAHAHA... (continue for 6 minutes, or until the oxygen runs out)

4. Giggling/"Concealed" laughter: Trying VERY, VERY hard to stop now. Begin odd cheerleader squealing. Close mouth. Stranger sounds.

Lather, rinse, repeat...

This has come to such a point that I am TRYING to conjure up the most depressing thoughts I can think of. Still more Evil-scientist-kitty-drunk-on-catnip laughing behavior. Finally, I THOUGHT I had come up with the single SADDEST thing on the planet: DEAD. BUNNIES.

Did you know there are about 2,090,000 Google Image results for "dead bunnies"? This alone made me laugh. Most of them are from "The Big Book of Bunny Suicides"

Yea. I said it. Example:

Wait, nothing showed up within the body of this blog. It SAID it worked! DUMBO BLOGGER! :P

Can you tell I'm acting more like a 3 year old than usual today?

heeheeheheheteheheteeheeeheeeheh... HAH! HAHAHAHAH! BWAHA BWAHAHAHAHAHA! HAH! HAH! HAH!

Please post depressing comment so I can FREAKING SNAP OUT OF IT!

Monday, June 29, 2009

a children's story

Today I thought that I would just relate to you all a little story I wrote when I was approximately three and a half and four years old. Technically, I didn't write it; I dictated it to my dad, who then typed it up on the computer. I'm on a mass room-cleaning expedition, and I rediscovered this while I was cleaning on my desk. I suppose it's a trilogy, because I only ever wrote/told three stories, but here they are in all their glory (I kept all punctuation and capitalization the same, too). Enjoy! ;)
(By the way, they don't make all that much sense, but I think that is part of their charm. Oh, and if you don't think they're funny, that's okay; I'm pretty biased on the adorable three-year-old front and thus am not overly objective. ;) )

Anna Goes to the Circus
February 14, 1998
One day Anna was going to the circus, and she was very excited. She asked her mom and dad, "Are there going to be any driving elephants in the circus?"
"Well," her Dad said.
Anna said, "What did you say dad?"
Her dad said, "There'll be elephants in the circus but no cars."
"Well", Anna said, "Oh, I thought there was going to be cars in the circus, but now it turns out they're all going to be imaginary."
"Well", her pet dog barked, "that's going to be a circus memory."
"Well", said her mom, "that means she likes the circus if she says that."
"Hmm", said Anna. After she said "Hmm", she told her mom that her cat likes circuses too, and she said, "But Mom, we can't go to the circus because the dog and cat will be barking and meowing too loudly."
"Well", said her mom and dad, "they are already getting pretty nice to each other."
"Oh", said Anna.
The End

Anna's New Pet
March 15, 1998
Anna was very excited and was going to the pet store. She loved going to the pet store. "Why was the day so exciting?", asked Anna. "Because", said her mom and dad, "We are going to buy you a new pet." "Oh my", said Anna, "I want a pet named Annabelle."
"Well", said Anna, "That's a very fuzzy pet you're going to buy for me." Anna said, "I want a pet and I want my pet to be a dog." "Well", said Anna, "That must be a very funny dog you buyed me."
"Well", said Anna's mom, "We did not buy you a pet. There is a toy pet for your birthday."
"Well", said Anna, "I figured out that my dog is a real dog for my birthday."
"Well", said her mom and dad, "That cannot be a real dog for your birthday, Anna."
But her mom and dad did not know that soon her guests were arriving.
Anna said, "Well mom, you can't know everything you know."
"Well", said Anna, "I can know everything."
"Well", said Anna, "This is a very unusual place you're going to take me."
Her mom and dad were very surprised.
"I told you the guests were arriving soon." said Anna.
"Well", said Anna, "there must be a different party every day of the week."
The end

Anna's Day at School
June 28, 1998
Once upon a time Anna and her parents went to visit Anna's school. Anna was very excited even though she was even three.
Finally they arrived at Anna's school. Anna was very happy.
"You should have seen it before.", laughed her parents.
"Of course I saw it, I saw children go in and out of it.", said Anna.
Anna and her parents went to meet the teacher. Anna was very excited.
"That's very nice.", said Anna's teacher.
"Of course it is.", said Anna.
Her parents laughed.
The End.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home-skooled Life: part 2

I just got the newest Microsoft Word (2007) and I'm absolutely fascinated. Have you guys ever used OneNote? It is completely awesome. There's all these different features on PowerPoint, which I also love. Awesome is all around

You Burning Questions ANSWERED!

How do you get your gym credit? And isn't Health class (or specific aspects of it) awkward?

I have to log all the physical activity and also write these horribly boring "PE essays", about leadership and participation and stuff. It's really lame.

I've never had a health class so it's not awkward. Everything I know about "Sex Ed", I've learned from books and movies.

How do you apply to college? Like, what about recommendation letters and things? Just the whole process.

I'm not too sure about the college scene, but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I do know someone who was home-schooled forever and is now at university, so perhaps I can ask her. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure how "normal" people apply to college. I know there's a letter and an application, but I don't see how my filling out of the application would be different. Maybe someone could explain the college process to me?

Do you think you have less friends because of it?

I probably do have less friends, but it doesn't bother me that much. I have a good circle of friends, and my sisters, and sometime I wish I knew a few more boys (meeting guys as a home-schooler is probably one of the biggest downsides. Most of the home-schooled boys I know are under the age of ten. The others are mostly, well, weird. I know, that's rich coming from me, but still, I have standards.)

Have you ever thought of going to a school instead?

I have thought of going to school. It kind of comes in different waves. Some years I'd want to go to "normal" school, and other years I don't. At the moment I'm happy homeschooling but I'm sure another yearning for "the building" will come eventually. I do think that I will go to high school for a year before I graduate (just not this year) so I can get that experience. I want to have a year book and prom and teachers I hate and teachers I love. But somehow, at the same time, it can wait. (Probably grade 11 or 12)

This probably sounds very stupid, but how do you graduate? I mean, obviously you DO graduate, but how does that work? Who/where do you get your diploma from?

For my credits, I have the same transcript thing as everyone. So I have to do a certain amount of courses (online or paper) and then i get credits for that. I think you have to have like 42 and then there's other stipulations like you have to do the core courses and you have to do PE until grade ten, and other stuff.

I think I'll get my diploma either from the school I finished at or right from the BC Ministry of Education. My two older sisters haven't graduated officially, so I don't really know the deal.

Do you like being homeschooled? Do you ever wish that you went to a public/private school, or are you happy as you are? Have you ever been enrolled in a public/private school?

I like the freedom and flexibility of being home-schooled. I like sleeping in and wearing my pajamas all day, and hanging out with my mom and sisters. I've done some extra work (in movies and TV and one commercial) which I probably wouldn't have been able to do if I'd been in school. I don't have homework bogging me down. My learning is more focused on fun than grades, which is great. But I would say that, yes, sometimes I want to go to school and have teachers and projects and school friends and everything else that comes with it. But I can't have both and at the moment I'm okay with what I've got.

Do your parents teach you, or do you have a tutor type person, or do you take those online school/classes at home?

For the past two years, I've been doing online courses which means that I sign up with a special school and I go in for an orientation and a "teacher" tells me about the course and then I leave with textbooks and passwords and do my work at home. Every course is different, but usually you do a module and then go in for an exam and there's about four modules and then a final exam. So I do all the work at home and email it or take a picture and then email it. Some minor tests and quizzes I do at home.

I can't remember my mom ever "teaching" me. She reads with me and help me on a project or assignment, but she doesn't ever lecture us on topics. That would be odd.

On another note, I'm glad we all took the test. It was interesting. Did anyone else notice that all three of us are in the category of Idealist (FJ)? I'm not even surprised by that. Also I re-read my description and realized it's pretty bang on. I'm a natural leader, I'm good at expressing my feelings, I love to work with people. (I think I was in the Teacher subsection of Idealist.) So yeah, interesting...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In which I kind of fixate on death a little too much.

So. I blame my mom for what I'm going to blog about today. That just sounded really weird, but I explains:

My mother is only slightly younger than MJ. (was) (I found about about this on youtube and I was like "OMG no Maureen Johnson is dead! NO!" Then I was like "Oh, duh... nevermiiiinnnddd...") This freaked her out. Despite the fact that she is absolutely nothing like Michael Jackson. At all. Thankfully. And that the average lifespan for an American female is 79.1 years. (81.2 years for those in Canada, Alex. Lucky you. :) )

She has also made me watch the entirety of the Thriller video. 20 minutes, one freaked out Rena.

Only mildly, but that cemented my position on team Unicorn. Think about it. Which do you EXPECT to kill you: brain-munching zombies who hunger for human flesh, or adorable, shiny happy white unicorns? They're magical ponies! :D That's why I like them. They're sneaky. They could brutally murder you and you would think everything was peachy-keen until you lost concisousness. It's always the one you neeeevvver expect, isn't it?

This also brings up all those cliched questions surrounding death in general. Where do we go, exactly? What happens? Will we find happiness in death? Relief? Or will we wallow in guilt and misery, haunted by our past, no matter where we end up? Will we be granted the privelege to right our wrongs in some way, just to acheive peace in the afterlife? Did we ever really find the meaning of life? Is the meaning of life death itself? Am I being creepy now? Should I shut up?

Shutting up about that now...

I don't think my parents have ever thrown out a record in their lives, so boxes of them consume about 50% of the space in the closet under the stairs. Whenever a musician/person made a record either of my parents own dies, it is practically required I be present in the listening to said records as a type of tribute. Very good music, actually. Hopefully the fact that he used to be a terrific performer will precede, "Wow. Shame he turned out to be a creep, huh?"

Well, it's late now. I can't remember if there were questions to answer, but I'll just answer them Tuesday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mindless Personality Filler

Okay so ALEX wrote THIS:

Just thought I'd post something in case you wanted to come back to this and edit it and it would still say it was posted on Friday (I think that's how it works anyway).

...I did a personality test today and I discovered that apparently I am an intuitive leader who is very good at expressing feelings.

Personality tests confuse me, and I have to say I'm very inconsistant with my answers. For instance, I am a control freak for organizing. When I start organizing, whether it's the songs in my iTunes or the files in my mom's desk, I abolsutely love it. I love ordering things. One time I went to the library and re-order the paperback alphbetically by author and series and number. It was so much fun.
Then on the other hand, my room and also my desk are completely messy and cluttered. I've been sleeping on my couch for the past two nights because my bed is covered with my summer clothes that I'm doing inventory on and trying to assess what I need and what I need to give away.

And then there's all the social questions. Would you rather spend time by yourself or with a big group of people? Blah, blah, blah. I'm inconsistant about that, too, because as much as I love meeting new people and hanging out with my friends, sometimes I need to be alone at any cost. I think everyone is like that to a certain extent. But how do you answer the question?

So I think the test was pretty right about me. I can communicate well, and I respond to how I'm feeling. I'm also good at expressing how I feel. My personality type is like Oprah Winfrey and Margaret Mead apparently.

Here is the test, Vita, if you wanted to take it and share your results on this same post if you ever have a moment when you get back from being oriented to college life... http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

And RENA wrote THIS (I think):

EDIT: My type is ENFP, and I wasn't that consistent either. I checked yes to both, "You prefer to spend time alone" and, "You enjoy spending time with others, shopping, ect..." I think the test was as accurate as it could be based on the answers I gave it. I am a very feeling, sensitive perciving person. How I express my feelings and communicate with other people depends on what mood I'm in, really. Does this make any sense? Apparently I'm 1% extravert. I think it's a little more than that. Wouldn't that mean I'm 99% intraverted? I don't think I'm that shy... I believe there's such a thing as an ambivert, meaning I'm a mix of both. I have the same type as Oprah and Mark Twain. (woot! Jealous much? hehehe...)

And VITA wrote THIS:

Apparently, I am type "INFJ," which means that I am "33% Introverted, 38% Intuitive, 75% feeling, and 11% Judging." I am a "moderately expressed introvert, [have a] moderately expressed intuitive personality, [have a] distinctively expressed feeling personality, [and have a] slightly expressed judging personality." Famous people with my personality include John Bradshaw, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, John Calvin, and Nicole Kidman. I only know who three of them are, but I suppose it's cool to have a similar personality to Nelson Mandela, although I'm pretty sure I'm not like Mother Teresa AT ALL, especially as far as the religion thing goes. I would be a good social worker, educator, librarian, or lawyer, and some other medicine/sciency things, which is funny because I AM BAD AT SCIENCE and I am also not a fan of it. According to the Keirsey description, I am a "counselor."

I agree that personality tests are confusing and usually not 100% accurate, because people aren't consistent. You guys said that you had some conflicting answers; so did I. I think that I am a fairly "feeling" person, in that I tend to have strong emotions and they usually influence how I act or what I say. I don't think I'm too judging of people, although I guess I can be when somebody does something that directly conflicts with a really strong opinion of mine. All in all, I think the test is pretty close to my personality, but it's definitely not perfect. People are just too hard to pin down. :) Thanks for suggesting the test, Alex; I love taking those kinds of quizzes. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home-skooled Life: part 1

This is going to be a long blog, maybe even two parts, so I'll just skip my usual nonsense and cut to the chase. You'll notice that I use some "quotation marks" in this blog. Honestly, I'm just tired of the word normal, and I don't actually believe it's relevant to anything, hence the quotes.

There are various diverse ways of homeschooling. I will quickly try to explain the two main types.

School from home: This version is what most people think when they think of home-school. This means that a parent, or tutor, teaches a student, giving them assignments and tests and grades. Basically it is what kids do at school, only at home. School at home people work off a curriculum and cover all the things people do at "normal school".

Unschooling: This version is ever-changing and hard to nail down in a short paragraph. Typically, it means a family who learns through living, with no formal testing, assignments or lessons. Some see it as the most natural way to learn, others see it as child abuse. It is a bit controversial.

It's a varying scale with many subgroups. Mostly I've been somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.

The technical process is that you have two choices once you decide to home-school; you can register as a home-schooler with the Ministry of Education ("hey, my kids aren't going to school, hope that's cool with you guys") or you can enroll in a home-school "school". The benefits of the first is that there are no strings attached and you can basically do what you want. The benefits of the second is that they give you money for school supplies and other educational services (music lessons, gym passes, etc.).*

I've been home-schooled my whole life. I went to preschool and after that stayed home with my mom and three sisters.

Homeschooling is difficult to describe because there are so many methods. Even after ten years of it, I'm not an expert. People write books about this stuff--entire books! This is just one short, or long, blog, but I find a lot of people are interested in how it works, so I'm hoping to provide rel event information from my perspective.

The Early Years
When I was younger, I used to use workbooks (for math and English), and worksheets (for science and social studies). I never did book reports, or tests, I just read, learned and lived. It was pretty great.

At times I wished I went to school like a "normal" kid, but my friends wouldn't be able to play because they had homework (which I thought seemed lame), and I got to hang out with my mom and sisters all day, so I never really pushed the school option.

When we moved from Ontario to BC, things changed. There's different standards and regulations here, and soon enough we were signed up at a home-school "school". At said school we had to go in three times a year for "Collaborative Reports". The week before these meetings were some of the most stressful of my elementary school life. We had to run around and get together math worksheets and art, and I wrote my first book report, all so we could show some teacher who sat there and judged us and told us we weren't good enough and we should do more "schoolwork".
I was driven to tears at one of these Reports, but I repressed that memory and forgot all about it until my mom brought it up one time. Yeah, a woman made me cry. I was in grade five and deeply scarred. I've never really liked teachers. I find them controlling, bossy and patronizing, but that's just my limited experience. I'm sure there's great ones out there too, if anything I see on One Tree Hill is true.
The upside of the reports is they give you money to buy school supplies and books. The school also plans field trips and classes, so I learned to play the recorder and had gym class once a week and also did some French lessons which I was terrible at.

In high school things changes. If you "enroll" at a home-school school, you can choose from paper courses, which means you fill out modules and assignments and send them to have them marked (this is what my older sister had been doing lately) or you online courses where you get assignments online and email them back to your "teachers" who give you marks (this is what I've been doing for the past two years).

This is me trying to be brief about homeschooling. I guess it's not easy to be brief about something that's a massive part of your life. Also it doesn't help that the topic is so complicated. I'll answer your all your questions on Sunday. :)

*this is strictly in BC. I'm not sure about other provinces and states, but it's probably about the same.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Non-Fail! (hopefully)

Must... type..incredidbly fast... before... computer... fails!!!

Ok, on to my real blog, which today will NOT be ravaged by the fail-goblins!

Well, part of what I was going to blog about Saturday was of course Fathers' Day and all of that, but I guess that's irrelevant now. So, instead of typing mini-blog length comments, I will respond to your blogs! (within my blog... and also blog about vlogs. Is this me taking the easy way out of thinking original topics for my blog? NO.)

My questions for Alex:
What are your/your parents reasons for wanting you to be homeschooled? Do you doubt the edumacational value of the public school system? NO! We iz smart 2! C? (or do you have a reason that actually makes sense?)

Is it weird to have to treat your parents (if they in fact teach you instead of some tutor person? I'm basing all my superior homeskoolin knowledge on that TV show about those people that have 18 kids. I suspect they homeschool because they insist on NO TECHNOLOGY and possibly NO CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. You of course, have both. :) ) like a teacher instead of your mom/dad?

Vita's blog about the train crash:
The first thing I thought when I heard about it was not "Gee, what if some politician person was on that train?" (because, y'know, all politicians live in DC. Yep, they probably sleep in the White House, under their desks there's a little air-matress.) No, my first thought was "They call it Metro in DC?" (It's METRA here. :P) and THEN, "OMG that's where Vita lives!"

And now for the rest of my blog:
A few days ago, I saw this comercial on TV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A19g7oX-G8U (go watch, please. Don't worry, it's only 15 seconds!)

And the first thing I thought was "Hmmmm, I'm a little peckish now actually. Think I'll go make a sandwich."

Am I a terrible person? No, I've convinced myself. The wording is just a little odd. Everyone in the world has HUNGER, the lucky ones just get to FIX it a lot sooner. On a recent-ish vlogbrothers video, Hank brings up the point that the world is indeed NOT fair, for millions of people. WE'RE the lucky ones. If the world was fair, we'd have eaten poop by now. THEY get the short end of the stick, and WE go around hardly ever thinking about it. We think the most petty, insignificant things are "not fair", i.e: BLOG FAIL. But, we actually have computers and food and medical care! So really, the next time we think "Life is SOOOOO unfair!" or "I'm STARVING!!" Are we really? Nope.

That sounds a bit preachy, but I'm yelling at socienty as a whole, sadly including myself sometimes.

Alex: Have you ever been stung by a bee? How do you feel about bees in general?

NOPE! No bees, hornets, wasps, or other painful, stingy, bitey things. And I hope I never will be. Really. One of my stupid neuroses is that I am CONVINCED I'm allergic to bees. I do not want to be stung by one to confirm this, I just somehow know that I AM. People say, "Well, if you don't have it in your family, then you're not." I am stubbon in my fears. I'm not proud to admit it, but I am.

My question: What's your favorite knock-knock joke?

(this should yeild some funny results... if anyone besides me remembers any.)

EDITS 2 and 3: (the first was to fix the youtube URL) I didn't spellcheck, I was too happy that Blogger was saving and wanted to post it ASAP! Please put up with the inevitable mistake or five. And ALSO! My original post about fathers' day and other stuff I took out to not make this blog way too long including the questions-- IS NOW SAVED! It's a "draft", though. I don't feel like posting, because by now it's kind of redundant, but if you so wish, you can go to the "Edit Posts" tab and it's there, entitled, "Is the world really unfair?". (creative, I know...) Think of it as a BONUS BLOG! Y'know, to make up for all my posts that begin with "NO!" or "ARRRGH!", the ones that should not be considered blogs.

EDIT 4: (is this some kind of record?) My draft bonus blog is only in edit form, so like it when it's being typed, and not in white text with the pretty blue background. But you can still read it...

EDIT 5: I promise, no more edits! :D

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trains and Things

I don't know if you guys heard about the DC Metro Crash (that's Washington, DC), but - my dad was riding the Red Line (the same line that the crash happened on) about the same time that the crash happened, but he wasn't on either train, so he's fine. I'M SO GLAD. The crazy thing about the crash is that it's apparently only the second major crash in the Metro's 33 year history, and the Metro is normally insanely awesome - there's very little crime; the trains themselves are abnormally clean (food isn't allowed for that reason); they are generally very safe. It's kind of scary to know that 6 people could die, and 70 others could be injured, on a regular, everyday subway train like these.

Well, now that I've covered that cheery topic!

I've spent most of today cleaning, cleaning, cleaning my room. I finished sorting out all my clothes, and I have a very big bagful to give away to Goodwill, so I'm feeling quite accomplished in that respect. I'm really not an organized person, and my room is very messy. It's not dirty, really, it's just cluttered. But the floor is mostly clear now, although I suspect that cleaning my room completely will prove to be a week-long job. OH! That reminds me, I'll be in Indiana from Thursday to Friday, so I probably won't be able to blog on Friday, unless my dad brings his laptop. I'm going to a parent/student college orientation for my sister, and apparently younger siblings count as parents. HOORAY!

Alex: Have you ever been stung by a bee? How do you feel about bees in general?
You know, I don't think I've ever been stung by a bee, either because I'm abnormally lucky bee-wise, or I just go out of my way to avoid being stung by bees (i.e., look where I'm stepping before I walk on the grass barefoot or with flipflops). I don't know how painful getting stung by a bee is, and I've been attacked by other bugs in the past, so it's possible I've been stung without realizing it, but I don't think so.
I think that honeybees are adorable! They're so happy, buzzing along their way, and they only sting you if you bother them. Of course, I still don't like it when they get too close to me, but I admire them from afar.
Wasps and hornets are a different story. I don't know if they're technically bees, but in any case they are the devil in small flying form. They attack you with no reason, and either one of them (possibly both) don't die after stinging you once; they just KEEP GOING. I hate them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sound effects sold separately

EDIT: Oh and happy Father's Day, everyone. Thanks Dad, for making those jokes. Even though they weren't funny, we still liked to humour you with a smile, because that's how you keep crazy people from killing you in your sleep. Nod and smile.

I'm getting really paranoid of this computer fail that seems to be happening to the blog lately. I don't want it to happen to me, but I also do not have a clue what preventative meassures I should take. So I have decided to be extra careful whenever me fingers are around the backspace or delete key.

QUESTION: Do you ever play video/computer games? If so, what's your favorite? If not, why not?

I don't have any video game system things. I never have. I think it is for this reason whenever I play at a friends I am so terrible. I am controller challenged. I can't play shooting games, I have never got the hang of a Wii remote and I was terrible at ATV: Cross Road Fury until I had practised a lot.

The worst part of being bad at video games, in my opinion, is when you play with younger kids and they beat you. Now, I think I've learned to accept defeat with some reserve of grace, but children can be so infuriating. In my experience, they always point out how bad you are, and the fact that they're winnning, which, of course, you already knew, because they've told you four times already.

I like the Wii. I like Wii fit, even though it makes me feel uncoordinated and unbalanced. I like WiiSports, even though it makes me feel (and look) incredibly stupid. I like Rock Band, even if I'm not the best fake muscian to rock a plastic guitar.

WARNING: I'm going to get a little pyschoanylist on myself here.
I think one of the reasons that I enjoy these games is that I've never had them at my house. It's a novelty, which means, even though I might suck, I still have so much fun. I just get little doses at a time, which means it never gets old, and I don't get bored of it.

I've had an idea, and I'm going to write down here for two reasons. One, so I am more likely to follow through with it, and two, so that I do not forget. In my blog on Thursday I am going to let you in on some homeschooling secrets and tell you how it works for me. So if you have any specific questions on what it's really like to be a homeschooler, ask them and I shall do my very best to answer.

My question for you:
Have you ever been stung by a bee? How do you feel about bees, in general?

Saturday, June 20, 2009



Ok, laying off the caps. Long story short, I just typed a super-long blog, but Blogger couldn't save it at all, and publishing failed. :( >:( boohooz. When I'm in a better mood and it's not late and stuff I'll re-type and re-post it.

Oh, sure. It saves stuff NOW! >:P

Friday, June 19, 2009

In Which I Ask, and Answer, Questions

OH MY GOD I definitely just typed out 85% of this post and then it accidentally DELETED itself, WHAT THE CRAP?

QUESTION: If you could solve one major (but specific) issue today, what would it be? That could include stopping the genocide in Darfur, providing literally global health care, getting rid of your country's debt, etc.
Obviously there are many US issues that need to be resolved, such as possibly saving money once in a while, as opposed to, you know, going trillions of dollars into debt (but it's not just Obama's fault, folks, maybe you shouldn't have elected Bush 8 flipping years in a row). However, in a effort to be more GLOBAL, I will address OTHER issues in OTHER places.
The first thing I'd have to resolve would be the Palestine/Israel conflict, mainly because it is SO STUPID. Umm, annoying terrorists in Palestine, maybe you shouldn't threaten to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth," or something along those lines. And maybe you shouldn't try to BOMB them every other second. Umm, Israel, maybe you shouldn't KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE. I know the US is supposed to be an Israeli ally, and I'm not saying Israel is bad, and obviously they've had their share of casualties, but SO MANY MORE innocent people are getting killed in Palestine. People who didn't DO anything, not terrorists, but regular citizens.
To both of the countries, HEY, MAYBE YOUR PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO GET KILLED. Do they ever think of that? Most people just want to live in peace, not have to worry about getting bombed every day?
Basically, the whole war is so fricking idiotic; there is literally NO FOUNDATION for all of the STUPID PREJUDICE against each other. I don't care what your ancestors did to each other 2,000 years ago, stop killing each other.

Question: What do you think of parents coming up with "creative spelling" for names (i.e., "Aleeysha" as opposed to "Alicia," etc)? What about parents inventing their own names (i.e., blending "Ryan" and "Lynn" to create "Rylinn")? Do you find it to be cool, unique, obnoxious, etc., or are you indifferent?
I actually do know someone called "Rylinn," and I actually like that name! I think it's pretty. But, generally, I am not a fan of made-up names, because people don't seem to know how to do it tastefully. I love unique names, but that does not call for "Kuhryztenn" instead of "Kristen."

Question: What is your favorite song? Least favorite song? Strangest song you know? Also, do you like Imogen Heap? What about Weird Al?
I am IN LOVE with Imogen Heap. I LOVE her songs, as weird as they may be. Ditto for Weird Al (although he freaks me out sometimes).
My least favorite songs is a) something by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus; b) something by 3OH!3; or c) opera/country music.
My current favorites songs would include: "Ruby" by Kaiser Chiefs; "In The Morning" by Razorlights; "You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie" by The Submarines; "Happy Ending" by MIKA; "Boston" by Augustana; "Scarlet" by Brooke Fraser; pretty much the entire "So Jokes" album; and many, many more.

Alex's Question: What is something you do that you think no one else does? If anything. If nothing, what is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
I don't know if anyone else does this, but: not only do I talk to myself, I INTERVIEW myself, usually in the mirror. About everything. My life, future books I will write, my opinion on every political issue I know, etc. I have no idea why. It entertains me.
As for the weirdest thing I've ever eaten, I dunno. I'd have to think about that.

QUESTION: Do you ever play video/computer games? If so, what's your favorite? If not, why not?

PS, Alex, I am SUCH A FAN of photographic blogs (although I love the written ones too, of course) and I think I will attempt to incorporate pictures into some of my future blogs; I am by no means a photographer, but do I let that stop me? NO! I will PERSEVERE, as I should. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

8 Ways to Conquer Boredom

I usually try to blog a little earlier than 9:22pm (that's when I'm starting) seeing as you both live in earlier time zones and I want to make sure you have the chance to read my Thursday blog on Thursday, should you so desire. But today I procrastinated, not because I am bored of blogging and find it a procrastinatably worthy activity, but because *drumroll* I am getting a new computer! I was supposed to get it today and I was hoping to blog with it, but alas.
I bought it yesterday, but it was the demo at the store and so they have to unlock it and wipe it blank and everything and I was supposed to be able to pick it up today but you know what they say about the best layed plans...

Anyway, I do not have it, but I will be picking it up tomorrow morning so when I comment on your blog, Vita, I will be indeed using an unfamiliar keyboard. I need to think of a name. Ideas? (background: it's silver with a very clickable mouse and a nice keyboard. Did I mention it's a laptop?)

As you know, it is officially summer on Sunday, which is the Solstice and also the day where we honour our lovely fathers with ties and golf equipment.* With summer comes adventure, ice cream, swimming, sun burns and free time. Boredom is a common side-effect of summer and I am going to tell you a few ways I am trying to combat this overwhelming sensation. I am also open to your personal strategies. Without further ado, I attempt to further my blogging experience with a pictury blog:

1. Photograph your backyard. One fence-side weed can turn into a lovely desktop background.

2. Bake a cake. Heart shaped cakes are quite delicious. Eat your heart out and all that jazz.

3. Garden. No explanation needed.

4. Reorganize the magnets on your fridge.

5. Play with magnetic poetry.

6. Sign up for your library's summer reading club.

7. Decorate a hula hoop with electrical tape.

8. And then, of course, hula to your heart's content.

9. If all else fails, colour!

*Yes, it bothers me that Mothers get oven mits, candles and bath products and Father's get tools, ties, and sport equipment. There's enough sexism in the world without us encouraging it, folks; get your Daddy a Ken doll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I be a pirate!

No, that was the sound of piratey frustration caused by:

2. A sad lack of time machine
3. The inability of Blogger to post in the past (unlike the lovely NING. I coulld just cross-post there, I suppose... NAW. I'm lazy today. Shame on me.)

As you have noted by now, I did NOT post Tuesday, but instead I am posting Wednesday, the day of UN-BLOGGING. I don't know if I should be doing this, as I remember this was a source of confusion for Alex and me, waaaaayyy back when were planning this on the Ning. That was OVER A MONTH AGO. *gasp* Yes, that was such a long time ago that I have conviently forgotten what we agreed to do in this situation.

So, instead of blogging like a normal person and pretending like I simply did not NOT blog, this being what I WOULD HAVE posted yesterday, I'm going to blog about how I did NOT blog yesterday. I figure this is a sort of compromise. Yes, I am blogging on a Wednesday, because I missed a day; BUT this is not actually a good blog, wherein I talk about things that may be interesting to the outside world. So, that being said, I will continue to blabber about how and why I didn't blog on Tuesday6, yesterday, the day I was suposed to...

Back to List Item Number 1:

It is practically monsoon season here. It has rained almost every day in June. (This is pretty uncommon for the region I live in, and it hasn't rained in Seattle for 27 days or something...) Yesterday was especially bad. Well, maybe not BAD, in the sense that usually entails flooding and major panic, but bad enough to screw up our internet server. Yes, my friends, it was one of those rare occurances where nature and technology join forces to produce EPIC FAIL!!!

Wait, how many questions do I even have to answer? So confoozed... I figure it out Saturday... I is lazy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Book Thief (read it read it)

I normally don't like to review books, because I am more than slightly obsessive when it comes to literature and I tend to convince myself that virtually every book I read is THE BEST EVER. When you call every book you read "my favorite," it tends to lose credibility over time. I try to abstain. The key word is "try."

I started reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak five or so days ago. I'd heard that it was good, and I liked what I'd read of it, but to be honest, I was kind of trying to avoid finishing it because I had a pretty good idea of how it would end, and as far as I was concerned, I did not like that ending. Actually, it took me about that long (five days) to read half the book. There are some books where I sit down and read it all the way through, or if it's longer, I finish it in two or three days; I didn't read very much each day. Yesterday, though, I told myself that I was going to finish it, and I did - at 1:30 am this morning. I got to a certain point in the book where I literally could not stop reading. (I know people tend to say that a lot, but it's true: there was more than one occasion in which I was honestly reading through my tears.)

Of course The Book Thief is sad. (It takes place in Nazi Germany during World War II, so I don't know what else you could expect from it.) Historical fiction tends to turn some people off, so let me just say that I really am not a big history fan. I am very interested in current events, but history bores me to death. I know it's important, but for the most part, I just cannot stand learning about it. WWII is one of the only major events that I think is interesting, in a morbid but strangely transfixing way, but I still don't like sitting down and reading a textbook report on the war. Personally, I can stand historical fiction in certain contexts - for instance, To Kill a Mockingbird describes a very specific time period, and I truly believe that it's one of the most influential and beautiful books ever written - but I hate reading about wars. I can't stand it. They all tend to be either a) piles of facts with a few fictional people thrown in or b) preachy. I rarely find them to be truly sad, because it's just person after person who dies, and as awful as that is, it loses impact as the bodies pile up. However, The Book Thief manages to avoid both. It doesn't turn people into statistics, it doesn't throw facts at you. I think that coming into the book, you don't need to be a WWII history buff (I'm not). As long as you have the basic information about WWII - when it happened, who was killed, who Hitler was - you should be able to follow along.

The New York Times called The Book Thief "the kind of book that can be life changing." When I first read that, I scoffed at it. How can one book about WWII change my life, seriously? This may sound cheesey, but after reading it, I feel like it kind of has changed my view on WWII. Not in a "well, at first I didn't think the Holocaust was that bad, but now I do" kind of way - obviously I was well aware that the Holocaust was unspeakably terrible. But it's hard to process that information. I'm sure most of us know that over 6 million people - mostly Jews - were slaughtered. 6 million people is horrible, but it's also incredibly hard to wrap my head around. How can I truly comprehend how big 6 million is? Sure, I know it's big, but in the end, it's just a number. The Book Thief made me wrap my head around that number. I promise you, I have a completely new level of respect for the non-Nazified Germans. Here, in 2009, we can easily criticize the WWII-era Germans who didn't stand up to Hitler, but I'm beginning to understand how much of a sacrifice it could be to simply join the Nazi Party just to protect your family. It's amazing how many reluctant Nazis there were, the people who had always doubted Hitler and the people who found their own ways to defy him, whether it was as simple as clapping dutifully and nothing more at a Hitler Youth parade or as profound as hiding a Jew in their own basement.

Basically, The Book Thief follows a young German girl called Liesel from the beginning to end of the second World War. (She's about 9 at the beginning of the novel and is 14ish at the end.) The book is narrated by Death, and although you'd think that that would either be a) cheesey or b) unneccessarily depressing, it's neither. We quickly learn how Death is almost humanlike, a reluctant workaholic, a sympathetic if stressed-out laborer. He questions his job as much as any of us would. You can look up the summary of the book on Google or Amazon if you want; I'm infamously horrible at summarizing (I either give too much away, don't give enough away, or go off on tangents that never cease to confuse people, so unless I'm forced to, I generally don't bother).

You should know that I am neither iron-hearted nor completely sappy. I often get a bit teary during sad novels or sad movies but I very rarely cry, even when people die. However, I cried so much while reading The Book Thief. The last time I've actually full-out bawled during a book/movie/whatever was while reading the end of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in which Certain Things happen to Certain People who happen to be some of my Favorite Characters (yes, I was more sad when That Thing happened than pretty much all of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And I was pretty freaking depressed all the way through HP7, so that should tell you something). I was really not expecting to be so entirely moved by the last quarter of The Book Thief, but it was just some of the most touching, gorgeous, perfect, tragic bit of writing/storytelling ever. I will tell you right now that there are deaths in the novel - again, it's WWII, it'd be weirder if there weren't deaths - but the part that got me the most involved no deaths at all. I think that for me, at least, crying is a bit of a chain reaction; once I start it's easy to keep me going. But, again, it's not easy to make me start crying in the first place. I read the sad parts late at night/early in the morning while I was wearing my glasses (I wear contacts, but I don't wear them while I'm sleeping, so I had to wear my glasses in order to see anything on the page) and I literally had to wipe off my glasses two or three times because my tears had made the lenses all wet and blurry and impossible to see through.

I realize that the whole DEATH! SADNESS! MISERY! thing may not be a strong selling point, but this is one of the few books that I feel completely confident in telling you that you must read it. I can almost guarantee that it will alter your perspective on WWII, but even more than that, it will alter you perspective on people. It is just such a freaking good book, it should be required reading for everybody, everywhere.

Again, this has already been obnoxiously long, so I'll answer the questions on Friday (I promise I'll do it this time)!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

(mostly) Shameless Quoting

Alas, it is Sunday, my day to write again. And yet, what to say? There seem to be no questions to answer, and no topic springs to mind immediately, so here I sit.

I'm going to do a bit of chattering.

I want to go on a roadtrip. Not a planned destination one like my family went on last summer, but a 'pack-your-bags-and-head-for-the-car-and-don't-bring-a-map-because-maps-are-for-the-weak' road trip. I want to grab some money--from where I do not know--and pull out of the driveway and get on the highway and drip, stopping to see random roadside attractions and for bathroom breaks, of course. I guess I'll have to learn how to drive first, and for that to happen I'll need to be the legal driving age. So I guess it'll have to wait a few years...

I just finished re-reading An Abundance of Katherines, which is probably what gave me the brilliant idea I just told you about. I love this book. The first time I read it I laughed as many times. There was some huge fits of laughter, some smaller chuckles and many snorts of amusment. It's one of my favourite books. I don't know whether the two of you have read it, but if not I suggest you do that with haste. I even bought a copy; it was on sale and I couldn't resist.

Whenever I read a particularly hilarious line I also wanted to share it with someone; my mom, my sisters, whoever was in the room at the time. I did this often, and I think everyone probably got a little tired of hearing me say, "Listen, I want to read you something." But here you are, a somewhat willing audience, and though it's not the same to type quotes into a blog and have you read them, because I don't get to enjoy you laughter, I'm still going to share some of my favourite parts of the book. This time reading it, I had some Post-Its on hand so I don't even have to riffle through the pages to find the quotes. They're all right there...

" 'Well, while you were in the bathroom, I sat down at this picnic tables here in Bumblefug, Kentucky, and noticed that someone had carved that GOD HATES FAG, which, aside from being a grammatical nightmare, is absolutely ridiculous. So I'm changing it to 'God Hates Baguettes'. It's tough to disagree with that. Everybody hates baguettes.' "
-Hassan, An Abundance of Katherines (John Green), page 22

(Colin is about to call ex-girlfriend, Katherine)
" 'Right, but you're a Dumpee. Dumpees don't call. You know that, kafir. Dumpees must never, never call. There's no exception to that rule. None. Never call. Never. You can't call. Don't do it dude. You're pulling the pin on a grenade. You're covered in gasoline and the phone is a lit match.' "
-Hassan, An Abundance of Katherines (John Green), page 87

"He wasn't really going on a hunt anyway. He was going for a stroll through the woods. With a gun."
-Colin, An Abundance of Katherines (John Green), page 156

" 'We went to all these lame-o homeschooling events together. Like, bring your homeschooled kid to the park so she learns how to be less nerdy. And, take your homeschooled kid for a homeschool picnic to the Muslim kid can get his ass kicked by all the evangelical Christians.' "
-Hassan, An Abundance of Katherines (John Green), page 163

I'm not going to ask a question because you both have enough of those to be getting on with. I feel like a bit of a cheater for filling my blog with quotes, but at least they're good quotes. That's a comfort.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

School, Haircuts, Book Covers, oh my!

I'm not going to beat around the bush, people. (that's a weird expression, I am nowhere near a bush and have nothing to beat it with... oh, I'm doing it, arent I?)

I am dead tired.

Which is sad, considering it's only 7:40 in the evening.

I have good reasons. Several, actually:

Graduation was yesterday,(more on that and other stuff later) which meant hours of monotonous "practice" (doing things over and over being told we are doing it wrong whilst listening to Pomp and Circumstance 6,000 times), picture taking, (always personal hell for me. I posess the complete inability to look normal in pictures. It didn't help that by that point I looked like I wanted to MURDER everyone, or, if I was smiling, I was smiling a kind of insane smile, one that precedes total hysteria and manical laughter.), standing for about an hour straight, and the only fun part, goofy picture taking and comsumption of CAKE! (which hath contributed to massive sugar coma... zzzZZZZzzz...)

And still, after all of that, I got up at 9 in the morning today. (which SEEMS late, but for me, on a Saturday, after last night, did not help me come out of my sugar coma.) AND, today was the day of the prescheduled trip to Kiddieland (my parents' idea. It's this old little kids' amusement park from when they were kids, which is closing after this summer. My brother and I are a little over the target age group for this, but my parents couldn't bare the idea that we would grow up never seeing this place. Cute, actually. Fun. Had it been any other day but today, I would have enjoyed it a lot more.) I am more sunburned and zombiefyed than I would like to admit.

But on some more positive notes:

I finally got my haircut! I ALMOST considered bringing in the hardcover of Suite Scarlett and simply telling them "Make me look like this, only brunette." which could have been done, our hair types are similar. But instead I got it bobbed. (no layers, because I had been told if I wanted layers, it would require about 50,000 of them, and haircuts every 2 months or something. Too much work.)

I got presents for graduation! Presents are nice, but for this particular present giving occasion, I recieved (well, am going to recieve) a MAC. YUS. This is more a necesitity, as the ONE computer in my house is to be shared amonst everyone in the house, and is about 5 years old. Breaks frequently. Is pretty much generally a piece of crap.
I also got PILLOWS. This seems really insignificant, compared to the last one, but I LIKEY THE PILLOWS! Niiiiiceeee, soft, fluffy pillows... like, hotel-quality, roll-your-eyes-back-in-your-head soft. I'm going to try them out as soon as I finish this.

I also got assorted cards,(some filled with money, that I will most likely spend on books) from relatives I barely know who sent one out of courtesy, which is nice enough, but a little impersonal. I'm the type of person who prefers handmade cards, or at least a blank one with a handwritten note inside. Oh, and balloons! Yays.

On to the explanation!

As you have noticed, I've mentioned graduation. By this I mean graduation from 8th grade. Yes, I'm only in 8th grade. (well, not any more, I suppose...) Did I fool anyone? Not that I wanted to fool you, but really, I don't expect you to treat me like I'm suddenly an idiot. Does it make that much of a difference that I'm a year younger?

Okay, now I am really, really dead tired. Questions on Tuesday, I won't be able to answer them in a non-blabbering, understandable way.

Friday, June 12, 2009

SAVING THE EARTH (or at least seeing it)

You know what really annoys me? Having to do things that I really don't want to do.

I know that sounds shallow and superficial and selfish, and maybe it is. But, then again, what is the point?

I get that there has to be some kind of system that limits people from, say, going around shooting each other. I do think that governments are important, because honestly, 99% of countries without governments are a mess. I don't know why - maybe because the lack of organized programs drives people to desperation? Maybe because people are inherently aggressive and, left to their own devices, would rather take the easy way out and steal or use violence rather than work out a long-term plan? Maybe because there are a few people who are just sort of insane and their ideas start to influence everybody else, too? It could be something completely different. But, regardless, anarchy is normally not a good thing, even though it often seems like it could be.

And I understand why people have to work. That's how we live. That's how we survive. It's virtually impossible for one person to provide themselves with every service they need, at least if you want to continue with, you know, electricity and stuff. Also, I'm not a huge "do this because it builds character" type person, but I do think that working helps to occupy people and basically make them appreciate life more. Everybody says it, but if you get everything in life handed to you, do you really appreciate anything? I mean, coming from a middle-class suburban family, I have a pretty good life as compared to half the world. I'm sure that many people from "developing countries," as is the PC term these days, would consider me (most of us, really) to be extremely spoiled. And they would have a point. From my perspective, my life isn't exactly easy. We don't have maids coming in and cleaning for us; my sister and I won't be getting cars as presents. We can't afford everything that we want - but we can afford enough. More than we need, really; how many clothes do I have that I hardly ever wear, while people in the city right over from mine are literally starving in the streets? I don't think that we should have to give up everything in order to help other people - after all, starving myself won't exactly reduce world hunger - but when you just think about it, most of us are so, so lucky.

I guess my problem isn't really having to do unpleasant things. Those are necessary sometimes. I think my issue is the fact that we always have to conform, conform, conform. Follow the rules, even when they don't make sense. Go to college, work in an office, or you're not worthy of our time. Hey, I have no flipping idea what the meaning of life is, but I'd like to think that us humans, with all our "superior knowledge" and "mad skillz" should be able to choose our own opportunites. I think that school is important, but do you realize how much time we spend there? How much time we spend working, working, working? Why do we feel like we have to lead the same repetitive, dull, insanity-inducing lifestyle? Why are we so afraid to do something different? Hell, you can't travel anywhere without getting detained half the time. What the crap? We're supposed to be saving the Earth. We'd better go see some of it.

Argh. I love people, but we are probably the most annoying, obnoxious, stupid species on the planet. *

Questions answered on Monday; I think this is getting a bit long.

On a final note, I just had my last exam today and I am now DONE with school until late August, so I will have lots more time to comment on teh blogz lolz. (But for reals, sorry about the neglect that I have been bestowing upon yous' blogs lately. *shame*)

* Except for, say, mosquitoes. Or infectious diseases. And similar organisms.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caspian, Queen of Narnia

My sisters and I were watching Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia, the other day. Let me preface (btw, do you say pre-face or pref-ace? ongoing battle between my mother and I) this by saying that I like the movie. It's enjoyable, the characters are good-looking, the writing is good, the special effects are special, the story is good (props to C.S. Lewis), and the best part it's just corny enough to be able to mock but not so much that it's unbearable to watch. It's a great movie. My sister, Rachel, absolutely loves it. She watches it once or twice a month, which may not seems like much compared to her watching it every day for the first week of getting it, but I've seen the movie a fair few times.

Every time we watch it, it inevitabley turns into a discussion about who is hotter: Caspian or Peter. I've recently thrown Edmund into the mix, because I decided that he is adorably scrummy and he gets all the good lines. He's also less angsty that Peter, and less perfect than Caspian (fyi: perfect is NOT hot. flaws are natural. natural is hot).

Anyway, watching movies with my sisters is a blast. We love movies. Even more than movies, we love commentating movies. I could write this stuff down and sell it. But that would take the fun out of it, so I don't. But I wanted to share one of my own observations, even though it's a little mean to Caspian, who is quite good-looking, and accented, which is also a plus.

There's a part in the end after Aslan comes back when Peter and crew are bowing or kneeling or whatever and Aslan says "Rise Kings and Queens of Narnia" and Caspian doens't get up. Then Aslan's like "All of you". So he looks up and says he doesn't think he's ready and Aslan says yeah yeah whatever, you so are, get up now. Then Caspian gets up, smiles and looks around like "Hey guys, I'm the newest Queen of Narnia. YES!"

It's possible the Queen of Narnia thing is only funny to us, but that's okay. In my heart he will forever be Prince Caspian, Queen of Narnia.

Vita: If you could solve one major (but specific) issue today, what would it be? That could include stopping the genocide in Darfur, providing literally global health care, getting rid of your country's debt, etc.

Your question confused me a bit. You said specific (such as stopping genocide in Darfur) but your other example was kind of larger scale vague (providing global healthcare). So I have two answers.
We have lots of issues on this planet.

For a somewhat specific answer: I would like to take all of the landmines and cluster munitions out of the ground. I don't know what you guys know about explosive remnants of war, but didn't know anything about them until I went to a two day global issues event so here's a brief outline:

Landmines and cluster bombs are remnants of a war that continue to find victims after the war has ended. They are dropped in the ground, very inexpensively, and can explode at the slightest touch. They can't distinguish between the footsteps of a child and those of a soldier and their purpose is to maim, not to kill. It takes anywhere from $3-$25 to place a explosive $2000-$5000 to remove one. Residents of places known to have explosive remnants can't farm their land or walk to school or for water, without fear of stepping on a landmine and losing a limb, or their life, which ruins their lives. Forever

So although this is a huge task, it's kind of specific. Landmines and cluster bombs. Poof! Gone.

If I'm being a bit more vague I would want to break the circle of poverty by ending diseases that could be prevented and cured.

Malaria is a very common, curable disease, that can take a family from somewhat poverty to extreme poverty. The money they use for medicine can mean less food, which increases liklihood to get sick, which means more medicine, and the circle continues. Malaria is preventable with a $7 mosquito net, and yet so many people continue to contract this disease.

AIDS awareness is another to-do. If we can just manage to take one thing out of the never ending poverty circle, then things can get so much better, that much easier.

So yeah, I'd end preventable and curable diseases.

What is something you do that you think no one else does? If anything. If nothing, what is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten? Horray for backup questions.

On another note we've had our blog for about a month! Yay! How do you all think it is going so far?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

pooh! prefix textualism smudgedly

Thanks, random phrase generator!

Even if you grammatically make no sense. K THNX BAI!

On to the questions! (both bound to be lengthy answers, so let's not waste time!)

Alex: Do you have any fond childhood memories to share? Favourite birthday/Christmas gift (wait, do you guys celebrate Christmas? Am I being close-minded?)? Injuries worth note? Do tell.

Let's put it this way; if I were to document all of these memories (EXCLUDING the "normal" ones) I would end up with about 8 typed pages. And to answer your question-within-a-question, "technically" I celebrate Christmas. In the way that I like old Christmas tv specials and getting STUFF and 2 weeks off school. Not really in a religious sense.

In your actual question, I don't really remember any gifts worth memory-making. I was not one of those long lists to Santa kids. In fact, (adding to my childhood oddities) When I was about 5 I stopped asking Santa for exact things and just asked for COLD HARD CASH. (this made my dad nearly cry laughing, almost blowing Santa's cover...) I don't have any "conventional" birthday stories such as, "When I was 6 I desperately wanted a puppy and *POOF*, that year I got one and named her Sparkle Princess."
And, strangely, as klutzy as I am, I seem to kind of bounce back when I fall, trip, wobble, ect... which I do plenty of. I have never really broken a bone. Lucky me. Although they do seem to create some interesting stories. I have nearly hundreds of other similarly odd tales from my childhood, so I'm going to describe two (breaking the question rule, I know... wait, are there rules???) my earliest memory and one I remember for no particular reason.

Earliest: Halloween when I was around two and a half. I was a ballerina, and after posing in many "ballerina-y" poses, I thought I could prove I was a SINGING ballerina. So, my parents, in an attempt to humor me, (and in retrospect, to save the tape for posterity...) brought out a tape recorder (ahh, 90s technology. How I miss thee.) and told me to sing. The first thing on this tape is me yelling over my dad's voice, "I DON'T WANNA SING ANY MORE!!! TURN IT OFF!" This goes on for about four more minutes, my dad coaxing me to at least sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or something (so their efforts to jump-start my singing career would not totally be in vain) I finally get fed up and run around screaming LA LA LALA LA and popping balloons. End tape.
Weird: In kindergarten, at the beginning of the year, we had a "kindergarten circus", which was us performing little mini circus acts. I WANTED to be a clown, but alphabetical order screwed that one. My second choice was snake charmer (because I thought it would involve REAL snakes. Further weirdness.) so that's what I got, and it was the first act. I stood in line "backstage" behind the "ringmaster", one of my soon-to-be best friends. (It's a miracle we got past this) I had a bit of a problem understanding the concept of "personal space" back then. So I was about this close to her, and for some reason I sniffed her hair. I still remember it smelled like vanilla and coconut. So I complimented her hair scent about 2 seconds after she went on "stage". She didn't hear me, so OF COURSE I had to yell "I LOVE HOW YOUR HAIR SMELLS!" Now she heard me. So did all of the "audience". (our parents)

Vita: If you could solve one major (but specific) issue today, what would it be? That could include stopping the genocide in Darfur, providing literally global health care, getting rid of your country's debt, etc.

I would have to choose between global healthcare and ending global warming. They both help the entire globe and everyone on it. But, I can* think up a completely unreasonable way to connect them, to PROVE I could kill two birds with one stone with this wish:

If global warming ended, then the amount of people dying from heat stroke and/or skin cancer would go down. Things would grow more easily in places affected by global warming (that are now not), providing more healthy, affordable food. Scientists would stop devoting their time to the study of global warming, and more time developing cures for diseaes. All of this, in theory, would eliminate most diseases and hopefully make health insurance more afforadable as well.

* Not that any of this would probably happen, but I'm just trying to justify my point that these two wishes are interconnected, and thus, could be solved in one wish.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Joy to the World, Summer Hath Cometh

What is your MOST favorite part of summer?

Being able to do whatever I want (to a certain extent)! There's very limited schoolwork that has to be done, and summer is generally an excellent way to catch up on everything you said you were going to do last September but, strangely enough, never actually did.
I am also a fan of the ice cream. I eat ice cream pretty much year-round (cuz I'm so healthy, y'all), but summer gives you a LEGITIMATE EXCUSE to do so.

Winter Conversation:
"Oh, hey, it's cold."
"No." (*but is secretly thinking YES*)

Summer Conversation:
"Oh, hey, it's hot."
"Yes." (*is actually thinking HELLS YES*)

Do you have any fond childhood memories to share? Favourite birthday/Christmas gift (wait, do you guys celebrate Christmas? Am I being close-minded?)? Injuries worth note? Do tell.

I do celebrate Christmas, but more in the commercial sense than in the religious sense. That's probably not the way it was intended to be celebrated, but this is America . . . we like our toys.

I remember this one Christmas when I was about four. My Dad got me a Fisher Price flashlight (it was actually kind of awesome; it changed color and EVERYTHING, like a disco light for pre-schoolers). But, being four, I didn't quite understand the point of a flashlight, and I was all "WHOA what is this, gimme a good present ya hear?" except I was four, so it was more "So where's my Barbie?" (Turns out, I actually did get a Barbie princess, too - and you can say what you want about Barbie destroying children's self-images, but crikey they are freaking entertaining.) Anyways, I seriously doubt my Dad's feelings were hurt, and I did end up saying "thank you," but I still feel kind of bad about it. A weird little child was I.

QUESTION: If you could solve one major (but specific) issue today, what would it be? That could include stopping the genocide in Darfur, providing literally global health care, getting rid of your country's debt, etc.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pandora didn't think outside the box*

I've taken up gardening. I'm not the best gardener to ever wield a fork-thing, but I make an effort. And yes, my vegetables will probably provide about two meals, but they are going to be some delicious meals, I will tell you that.

The thing about gardening is that it takes a while for something to grow. You can't just throw it in the ground one day and expect it to pop up the next. It's a work in progress, and very slow moving. You have to have patience. I just started. We'll see how it goes.

Vita: Speaking of school, do you take/speak a foreign language?

I have dabbled in this and that. I took some French lessons when I was in grade 4, but I wasn't very good at French. I tried to learn some Spanish when I went to Mexico at age 13, but I forgot a lot of it. I know a bit of German from my sister, but German was never really that memorable to me (I only remember Eif Fresceenzie duotch--and that's not even how you spell it). I learned a little American Sign Language with my other sister.

I have issues with new languages. I would REALLY like to be fluent in a second one, but I don't actually have the persistence to apply myself to that. I CAN be diligent and persistent, but I guess new languages don't excite me enough to put in the effort. Which brings about the question: what does excite me enough to put in the effort? I guess that would be gardening, for now.

Rena: What is your MOST favorite part of summer?

When I was younger I used to love the summer because, being homeschooled, every other day of the year I'd have to wait until 3:15pm for the bus to get in and bring my friends home from school. So I waited for summertime when all my friends would be at home all day and I could call them and go play with them all the time, whenever I wanted. It was great.

Now I think I'd say new chances. Summer can feel so different from real life. You can travel, and lounge by the pool and have so much fun. Freedom. Cliche for a reason.

Do you have any fond childhood memories to share? Favourite birthday/Christmas gift (wait, do you guys celebrate Christmas? Am I being close-minded?)? Injuries worth note? Do tell.

*By the way the title has nothing to do with anything. There's this feature on Yahoo! Mail where you click the subject box and it'll give you a random phrase or sentence as the subject for your email and seeing as how I couldn't think of a fitting title for this blog I turned to the machine.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Si, j'eakspay foreign!

In an attempt to actually blog about something instead of just answering questions, I went to Google to google random topics. On the Google homepage today was a series of Tetris blocks made to look like the Google logo. (Oh Google, so clever with your changing homepage logo.) I thought to myself, "What would make the Google homepage look like that?" The changing of the Google homepage usually signifies some kind of holiday or something. And the last time I checked, Tetris has absolutely nothing to do with D-Day.

Then I looked down.

Under the logo, Google had so helpfully provided the explanation that today was the 25th anniversary of Tetris!

Tetris is pretty darn awesome. To celebrate, I hope my embedding skizzles work today:

hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. On to the questions!

Alex: What is your LEAST favorite part of summer?
Humidity, definitely! I refer you back to my post in April showing pictures that resemble my crazy humidified hair. I rest my case.

Vita: Speaking of school (or the lack thereof), do you take/speak a foreign language?

Si. Ja. Oui. Da. Esyay.

For school purposes, I TAKE Spanish. But I can say a few phrases in multiple languages. Mostly insults. I've made it my own personal project to learn to say, "Where's the bathroom?", "Please take me to someone who speaks English.", and, "Stay away from me!!!" in as many languages as possible.

My question:

What is your MOST favorite part of summer? (so creative, I know.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Humid Aspirations

Rena: What did you want to be when you grew up, and how has it changed since then? (if at all, but if not, then you're REALLY lucky.)

I don't remember what I wanted to be when I went through that "I'm a princess! No, now I'm a mermaid! No, but I'm actually a puppy who is kind of like Cruella DeVille [or however you spell her name] except I don't abuse myself!" phase.
But I wanted to be a math teacher in 2nd grade.
... Obviously I was a messed-up child. A MATH teacher? Really? C'mon, I could have wished for anything better than MATH.
Then, in 4th grade, I wanted to the President of the United States for a while. That's changed, mostly because I believe I would be a Very Bad president, given the fact that I have no idea whatsoever on how to achieve world peace, fix long-term problems (rather than focusing on NOW-NOW-NOW), et cetera. Also, WAY too much pressure. Also, WAY too many obnoxiously annoying/stupid people/jerks who think they can do your job better than you (for the record, 99% of them can't).
It switched being a writer/author around 4th or 5th grade, I think.
Now I'm wavering between teaching something in public schools, writing for a newspaper (or whatever will be the newspaper equivilant in 10 years), writing YA novels, being a lawyer (probably the ones employed by the government for people who can't afford their own lawyer, like Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird! Yay!) or some other job option that I don't know about yet. Thing is, I really have no idea what I want to be - realistically, a newspaper job probably wouldn't pay enough on its own; authors generally don't start making enough money to write for a living until at least a few years in, if ever; I don't know if I'd be any good at teaching, and I definitely wouldn't want to become a teacher if I'd be bad at it (I've had bad teachers, and they suck. So much); and being a lawyer would be so much freaking work, and more to the point, I'm not sure I'd be able to defend/prosecute anyone well enough (there are so many rules lawyers have to follow, it's insane). I kind of feel like I should be aiming for a more "high-powered" job, such as being a doctor or mathemetician, but honestly? I hate math. I couldn't deal with such a math and science -oriented job. I know that women are often underrepresented in these fields, but I just don't want to have a job that has that much ... math/science in it. Besides, I think that virtually every job is important, even - or especially - the ones that people don't think twice about.

Alex: What is your LEAST favorite part of summer?

Definitely the bugs and intensely humid days. Urck.
I think I'd also have to say the fact that it can get really boring sometimes? I love summer vacation, but there are days when I'm like ... agh. Can I go back to school now?
I mean, I don't love school, but at least you get to see people every day.

Question: Speaking of school (or the lack thereof), do you take/speak a foreign language?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mighty "Fine" Tans

I'm sitting here listening to the Wizard rock I just bought with the remainder of my birthday iTunes card and it's gorgeous outside (if you like the sun, that is) and I'm content. It's a nice feeling. I had Japanese for lunch. That was tasty.

Something in a recent blog made my want to write about tanning. The only way I can tan is to burn first. I don't like to burn. Last summer I went to Prince Edward Island and bicycled. And bicycled. Just so you know, if anyone ever tells you a place is flat, DO NOT ever BELIEVE THEM. They are most likely lying.

Anyway I went to PEI and I bicycled. You've probably never thought about this, but when sitting on a bike the areas most commonly found in the sun are the back of your hands, the front half of the top half of your leg, and the back of your neck. I was very meticulous about the back of my neck and didn't burn there, but the same cannot be said for my legs and my hands.

While I was on my bike trip, I wore those dorky-looking bike shorts that are usually associated with hardcore cyclists. My shorts were black spandex and were from a bike trip from BC to California called Tour de Kids. I did not participate in this event, but I have connections and the shorts came to me. I think I would've died on the way to California, but I still have the shorts.

Wearing these shorts with the padding in the butt made it remarkably bearable to sit on a bike seat for 3-6 hours a day. They also make it remarkably inevitable to get a lovely sunburn on the upper portion of your remarkably exposed legs. This red ouchy burn eventually turned into a remarkably awkward tan. This tan makes Alex in a bathing suit look remarkably funny. With her pasty upper upper leg and her darkly tanned lower leg.

The tan is still there. Almost a year later, in some light, you can still see that faint line where the bike shorts sat all those weeks in PEI. It makes me almost want to get a fake spray tan. Almost.

On another note I realized that responding to "how are you", with the bland "fine" is actually a negative response. My logic: when you fail to return a book to the library because you're lazy or you can't find it you get a fine! These fines slowly build until they reach $35 and the library hates you. You stop going to the library. You mooch off your sister and borrow her card. She starts to hate you. You give up on reading, altogether. You are clearly not fine. I rest my case.

What did you want to be when you grew up and how has it changed since then?

When I was younger I wanted to be an actress. I don't really want to do that anymore. Too much pressure and spotlight. Haha, I almost just typing "I want to have a normal life", I am such a laugh sometimes. I don't want to be normal, I just want to be happy. Honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to make money, or how I want to spend my days, but I do know that I want to follow my bliss and find happiness and help other people do the same. I don't want to think about anything else right now. I'm only fifteen! 

Is anyone REALLY EXCITED about UP, the new Pixar movie?

I wouldn't say REALLY EXCITED, no. I probably won't end up seeing it in the theatres at all. I LOVED Wall-e and Finding Nemo, and even Bolt, despite the talking dog and Miley Cyrus's voice (I'm probably being mean but it REALLY irritates me), so I'll probably like it, but not enough to pay $5.25 when I don't know for sure it's good. You enjoy yourself, though. :)

What is your LEAST favourite part of summer?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blabbering endlessly...

Meh, I forgot what relatively interesting thing I was going to attempt to blog about today. So I have taken a cue from my blogging chums and have decided to blog about:


This empty space takes up space nicely, making it look like this blog is long and readable, instead of kind of long and suckish.

And now, I lament and rant and ramble about my own personal load of crap. *Skip if you wish to maintain the illusion that I am an interesting person that does not blog about her own personal load of crap*

Snow days are deceptive and evil, like in the way I imagine a mousetrap. It rewards the lovely mice with cheese, and most smart mice take the bait without getting killed, possibly multiple times, but one too many times and *mousetrap sound* dead micey.

This year, we had FOUR snow days. I repeat, FOUR. In the dead cold blahness that is February in Chicago, this is our cheese. Our reward nugget for putting up with about 10 other days we THOUGHT should have been snow days, but on which we had to show up anyway. We enjoyed these days, foolishly not thinking of the days we would have to make up in JUNE. Which is now. We are mice, slowly withering away, suffering, cursing the snow and freezing weather, and wishing we were dead mice, because then at least we could be outside, in the sun, underground, but still...

Without these days, we WOULD have been getting out of this trap on June 11. Which is still arguably MID-June, but is more reasonable than June 17!!!!

Oh, I still have to answer questions, don't I?

Alex: What are you looking forward to most right now? (and don't be all vague and say summer or something like that. I want specific event or happening)

I am getting my hair cut soon. I'm mildly excited about this, because I haven't really gotten my hair cut for almost 2 years. I get trims occasionally to slightly kill the beast that lives on my head, but this is the type of haircut seen on the fa-bulous makeover show What Not to Wear. (which I watch mostly for the haircuts. Yay for Nick.)The kind that gives style to the people who are sadly lacking. I'm getting layers, and also contemplating the length I should get it cut to. It's about to the middle of my back currently. Feel free to share your opinions on this. But really, if you are bored, I don't blame you.

Vita: Is anyone else REALLY EXCITED about UP, the new Pixar movie? Oh god, I cannot waaait to see it MWAHAHA.

Yes, in fact I am AS REALLY EXCITED as you!!!! I have been in love with Pixar since I was 4, when I saw the still-completely-awesome movie A Bug's Life. If you have not seen this movie, GO DO IT NOW. (how many times in the entirety of my blogging career have I ordered you all to GO DO IT NOW? Go count. GO DO IT NOW.) I don't care how old you are, you will fall in love with this movie. Unless you have no soul to speak of. After this epic win of a movie, Pixar has continually made me fall in love with their movies. Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. have become close seconds in my top 10 list of Pixar awesome. Up is supposed to be as awesome as Pixar's previous movies, if not made more awesome because it is in 3-D! But, as I have recently discovered, the reviews are not always right. Night at the Museum 2 was surprisingly OK. The critics' mostly criticized the acting, but what do kids care about acting? It was pretty funny and seemed to keep them entertained. Personally, this movie was slightly wrecked for me because I spent half of the time waging a silent war against the SEAT-KICKER. We have all undergone these battles. Aforementioned seat-kicker is around seven years old, and also almost always simultaneously a talker. At first, subtlety and maturity is used, little shushing and the occasional elbow to the seat (why do I do this? Does anyone else? Is the seat supposed to shake in a perturbed way, conveying the feelings of the seat-kickee?) are the methods implied to stop this brat. Eventually, one regresses to the age of the kicker. This does not help anything, and at this point the persons you are watching the movie with either "help" annoy the kicker more (if they are the presumed age or younger of said kicker) or tell you to maturely "ignore them". Yes, this is the "adult" thing to do, but does it really ever work???

My question:

What did you want to be when you grew up, and how has it changed since then? (if at all, but if not, then you're REALLY lucky.)