Friday, July 31, 2009

a brief sorting hat reprise

Do you like Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
I know that there is a lot of negative energy directed at Michael Gambon, but I actually like him. Is he Dumbledore to me? No, not really. But Richard Harris wasn't Dumbledore to me, either. Don't get me wrong, I loved Richard Harris, and I think he would have done a fine job in the movies, but he didn't strike me as - well - Dumbledore. I believe that the best way to get a good movie translation of Dumbledore would be to morph Gambon and Harris together. See, I always think of Dumbledore (the "real" book version) as a very kind, very intelligent old (but still functional) man with a wonderful subtle sense of humor - an optimist, really. But he's also very powerful and can be very strong when it's needed of him. Harris did a pretty good job of meeting the first list of requirements, but I have a difficult time imagining him as the bad-ass Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. Gambon is awesome as the second list (powerful and strong), and he's actually quite funny (in a similar way to Dumbledore, except a bit more sarcastic). However, his Dumbledore doesn't strike me as trusting and good-hearted as the 'real' Dumbledore (hello, crazed shaking of Harry during Goblet of Fire). Gambon is a good actor, but he's not quite Dumbledore (although he did a mad good job in HP6 during the cave and Tower scene). I truly believe that Dumbledore is one of the most difficult characters to play because he's so conflicted, so much more complicated than some people realize. He's a wonderful, kind, loving, powerful, brilliant person, but he's also made some pretty huge mistakes in his past that have quite literally haunted him for his entire life. Besides, he's pretty much my favorite character in the books (and that's saying something, trust me), so no one could ever really meet my expectations. :)

A few weeks ago, I blogged about taking an online Sorting Hat quiz, which sorted me into Hufflepuff (twice). However, the more I think about it, the more I think I belong in Ravenclaw. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a genius, but I feel that I'm reasonably intelligent. I do pretty well in school without tons of effort (except math, but that is a different story). More importantly, though, I really do have a fascination with knowing stuff. Not necessarily in the scientist sense, but - I guess you could call me highly curious, more in the philisophical sense. Besides, I think that being a Ravenclaw doesn't just mean that you do well in classes or think out of textbooks; Luna Lovegood is a true Ravenclaw, and she has a very unconventional way of thinking (I do think she's smart, though). I value friendship, family, fairness, and loyalty, but I'm not as much of a people person as Hufflepuffs seem to be; I like people, but I also like to be alone sometimes. I believe that each of the four Houses display most of the traits, but some are more dominant in one house over another - it's possible to be really close to your House without having friendship as your main "label." Also, the Ravenclaw Tower seems much more appealing than a partially underground Hufflepuff 'cave,' as far as I'm concerned. I don't know, I simply feel like I would be happier in Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff, so I'm officially (or as officially as you can do in the Muggle world) switching from Hufflepuff to Ravenclaw. I think that Ravenpuff would be a more accurate House for me, though. ;)

Question: If you could have one superpower and/or magical power, what would it be? You can draw from the Harry Potter series, or other fantasy series, if you want, but don't just say "magic..." it has to be more specific than that, sorry. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Speed (life, typing and physical)

Summer is speeding by me. Life is speeding by. Being a philosophical person, I often wonder about things like time and I'm always so confused. Why is it that sometimes, it feels like everything happens so fast and others it feels like the clock ticks painfully slow? Usually the clock is slower when you're at the dentist or in a waiting room of any kind.

Who ever said that time flies when you're having fun? Does that also work in reverse that when you're bored it goes slow? Or when you're bored, does the time go by at a regular speed of 60 seconds per minute.

I got back from vampire land with no visible changes in speed, strength or sparkling ability. *phew* Who wants to be a vampire, anyway? I ended up witnessing a dog giving birth, and though some may call it the Miracle of Life, I would more relate it to a dog pooping out rat-like puppies. I don't really appreciate life any more, and I haven't exhibited any signs of spiritual enlightenment, but I am a little wearier of giving birth myself. But let's not think about that now.

Q: Do you prefer typing or writing by hand in terms of a) speed, b) comfort and c) style?

A: a) I like the speed of typing. I can type nearly as fast as I can talk, so it's nice to be able to write at a fairly quick speed.
b) I'm not used to handwriting and printing for long amounts of time. Tests and essay questions are something I've never had to write by hand. I think this is one of the reasons that writing, even for short amounts of time, gives me hand cramps. Also I hold the pen too hard because I'm a recovering perfectionist and I like all my letters to look uniform and neat. Which leads to
c) prettiness. Depending on the document, I usually like a nice, hand-printed page. I think letters and notes and lists are a lot more personal and lovely when they are hand written. As I said, I am a perfectionist, and I like things to be neat and orderly. It can take me a long time to write a letter because I like it to look pretty. Typing is useful because no matter how quick or sloppy you do it, you can always go back and correct your errors. White-out can only do so much. For everything else, there's MS Word.

When I'm journalling I write extremely fast, because my brain works like that, and so my writing is more of a scrawl than anything. That's okay for my journal, because I'm the only one that sees it. For other things I'm more of a stickler.

I saw Harry Potter for the forth time last night *gasp*. Yeah, I'm that cool.

Q: What's your feeling on Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? (I, myself, am not a fan, but I think I'll do a Harry Potter blog on Sunday. Although now that I think of it, I may not have Internet access, because, believe it or not, I am going away AGAIN. I'll see what I can do.)

Happy long weekend to all!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Brain Malfunction

The reason for this is something actually entirely relevant to Alex's blog... but I can only focus on things for like 5 seconds at a time and there is MUCH HEAD PAIN. Cannot form logical sentences. Oh yay theres one.

I'm not dead.

But I F****** hate the orthodontist.

Monday, July 27, 2009

mind-reading, internet style


1) allows you to hum a verse from a song that's stuck in your head, but you can't quite remember the title, and then gives you a few possibilities for the song you're thinking of
- Must accommodate for tone-deafness

2) recognizes song lyrics and other quotes that are ever so slightly misquoted and are thus difficult to find in a Google search, leading to high levels of frustration upon learning that the searcher was just off by a word or two

3) gives you a synonym for a word that can be used in the same context as the original word, so as to avoid sounding like an thesaurus-guzzling idiot when, in writing, you replace the adjective "spooky" (as in, "the howling noises coming from the house were spooky") with "supernatural" (as in, "the howling noises coming from the house were supernatural").
- Would require the entire sentence/paragraph as well as the individual word

4) correctly translates sentences and paragraphs from one language to another; different from current online translators, which generally only translate words or simple phrases correctly (the grammar and sentence structure varying from language to language)
- May be opposed by foreign language teachers who are concerned about their students cheating

Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose? No, not that I can remember; at any rate, nothing that caused permanent harm. I used to chew on paper (construction, etc) when I was younger, though. Turned my tongue all sorts of funny colors.

Do you prefer typing or writing by hand, in terms of a) speed, b) comfort, and c) style [neatness, appearance, whatever]?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pens, pencils and other pointy objects

Rena's question--have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?--(the answer being no, bt-dubya) made me come to terms with the fact that I have a phobia of pain and medical procedures. I'm sure there's a word for that but I'm not up to putting it in the Google box. I'm fat and lazy. Actually just lazy.

I've never liked doctors, especially dentists*, but I've never actually thought about it as much as I have recently. Everyone always seems enthralled by pain and injuries. We love shows like CSI, and we love sharing injury stories**.
I hate such things.

I don't like people recounting their various medical under goings and I once cried at the doctors before getting a needle. Of course, everyone has a fear of pain on some level, but I think I have a very low pain tolerance. I can't even stand the thought of it. Stitches really creep me out. I have to stop talking about injuries and such or I may break down.

Q: do you like back to school shopping?

A: YES! Technically, I don't go back to school, but I love shopping for school supplies. I've always thought this was something everyone loved, but maybe not. I just love heading into Staples and hunting through pencils and notebooks. I have an obsession with pens; I love them. I have lots, but I always tend to lose them faster than I use them. Hahahahaha.

I must leave you now, for I am a rebellious, yet somewhat misunderstood, youth and must go and wreak havoc on the ageist campground I am currently residing in. As of yet, no Cullens have been sighted, though I did visit the notorious Port Angeles today.

Phrase to adopt: "Call it chicken salad."

*I don't like that they poke around inside your mouth, which is a place that you yourself cannot see. It's creepy and uncomfortable. Especially when they try to make small talk. Helllloooo, you're digging around in my open wider than wide mouth, I CANNOT TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW.

**One time I was riding my bike with my sisters and they started to speed up. I, being the young impressionable child that I was, had to go as fast as them and when the began to race down a hill, things went wrong. I flew over my handlebars and scraped my upper lip on the ground. I looked horribly rugged and tough in my soccer photo. My helmet saved my pretty little head.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gather 'round, kiddies...

As I tell you all the story of the infamous Mrs. Jump! Let's start chronologically...

I had Mrs. Jump as a sub starting in 1st grade, my first "memory" involving her is that she was spelling words out loud to us. I got SO mad at her for pronouncing the letter "w" as "Dubya". (my dislike of this pronunciation and THE Dubya began early) But maybe this was just my intolerance for accents when I was younger. Need more proof she's nuts?

In 3rd grade, we were allowed to have healthy snacks in the morning. They HAD to be healthy, so it was fine. Usually it was like a piece of fruit or something. You get the point. Keep that in mind when I tell you this:

One kid goes up to Mrs. Jump and innocently asks if we could have our snacks.* She explodes** "Whaaaaat? This lesson plan says nothing about snacks! You shouldn't eat snacks! I've never eaten a snack in my life and I'm as thin as a pencil! You're all fat already! That's why!!! Snacks have made you all fat and lazy!"

(No, lady. You are old and chickenlike. Your neck flapples around when you shriek like that.)

She called us FAT and LAZY.*** I don't think insulting young children counts as "teaching".

This was only the most memorable of her outbursts. There were more similar rants on whatever we happened to be doing, even if was what we were SUPPOSED to be doing. Once I was finishing a coloring sheet**** and she snapped "No coloring! Pay attention!" (She failed to notice almost everyone was coloring.) She also tried to convert me to right-handedness. Apparently lefties are "improper". I know that she picked on everyone in that class in different ways, but I remember and am more offended by the things she did to me.


(but OMG OMG OMG yes yes yes yes yes I LUFFED it for the most part. As Vita said the end was a bit disappointing, but overall it inspires the use of CAPS TO THE MAX!)*****

Vita: Yes, it's kind of fun, but not in the middle of July when they have the back-to-school stuff next to the discounted 4th of July stuff and between the Christmas decorations and the Halloween stuff. It's crazy.

My question: 42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?


*I was in 3rd grade love with this kid. At the time I adored his courage.
**Change the voice in your head to that of an 80 year old Southern woman. It gets crazier.
*** Okay, a few kids were, but it's not nice to admit it! Adding to her list of insults: My friend in a different class told me she called them DEAF and lazy. (Well, it's nice to have a little variety...)
**** Anyone else do those grid direction sheets? ("Color square G4 green. Color square H4 blue... it would make a picture eventually.)
***** Oh yea, the rest of my summer is going well too, thanks for asking.

Friday, July 24, 2009

knowledge, religion, and nings

There is a section of my mind that is frequently used, perhaps more than any other part, whether that's good or bad (probably bad). I like to call this section "THINGS I DO NOT KNOW." Perhaps you have a similar section in your own head. Perhaps you are omniscient and have no use for such a thing.

Unfortunately, the "THINGS I KNOW" section of my head goes on frequent vacations at the most inconvenient times, such as when I am taking an exam, or participating in a game show (which I have never done and do not plan to do). Thus, I am far more familiar with the first section than the last.

But first on the "THINGS I DO NOT KNOW" list is WHY religion is still so potent in our world today. Not that religion is bad, but I don't really know why some religions get so powerful and others just get labeled as "cults" and fizzle out. Doesn't everything start off as a cult at first, though? I mean, it's not like Christianity just sprung out of the ground in 50 different countries two thousand years ago. And why is it that ancient prophets are lauded as brilliant today when modern-day prophets are called frauds? Since when has age made something more accurate? If anything, you'd think it would be LESS accurate, seeing as the prophecy was re-told thousands of times between then and now.

Anyways, I'm Agnostic. It seems like a little bit of a cop-out at times, to be honest, but I seriously doubt any living person is going to find out for sure if God is real or not before I die, and I'd rather not devote my life to something I don't particularly believe in. At the same time, I can't be sure God ISN'T real, so I wouldn't go so far as to call myself an Atheist - I just kind of believe in whatever seems right to me. But I can't follow any one religion because a) I generally don't believe in them, b) I can't stand all the arguing within every major religion, and c) I think that religion would limit me more than it would help me.

In other news, I just went on the MJ ning for the first time in forever (I feel like, between the three of us, venturing onto the Ning in non-April months is an extremely important point that should be documented). It seems suspiciously EMPTY and STUFFY (do not ask me how something can be empty and stuffy at the same time; it just is). It also seems a bit different: I can't fine the "Blog" link at the top of the page and MJ's little "introductory page" is ABSENT. I am wondering if Maureen gave up on the whole "convert Blogger into Ning" thing - maybe because of the limited space in the - thingy. Character count. Limited. Yes. That. Hopefully it will be resurrected next year in April. SPEAKING OF, are you guys planning on doing BEDA next year, assuming that it resurfaces (I think it should)?

Do you like tuna? I LURF tuna. It is so very tasty. It is especially delicious when mixed with mayonnaise and a bit of dill. (My fondness for such a concoction is odd, considering that I generally do not like fish or mayonnaise.)

Whazzup? Nothing as exciting as your Cullen-stalking excursions, Alex, but my summer is quite nice all the same, thanks for asking. In fact, I am going to my friends quince tomorrow (15th birthday party, generally Hispanic) which should be very exciting. :D
Yessir, I have seen HP6 and it is AWESOME. I was a tad bit disappointed at the very end, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it succeeded in making me SO EFFING PUMPED for HP7 & 8. Yesssss!

Monsieur Questiono: Do you like back-to-school shopping? BONUS QUESTION: do you get annoyed when the back-to-school marketing frenzy begins at the beginning of July?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hilarious Reality

I love coming home. It's much better than leaving, although I do enjoy travel immensely. There's something miraculous about driving back to your house after a couple weeks away and sleeping in your bed for the first night in ages.

Unfortunately, or not so unfortunately if you look at it differently, my homecoming will be short-lived as I am set to leave today, in a few hours actually. I am headed to the States, or one in particular, to accompany a friend to a dog show thing. Anyhow, I'll be in Washington for the next five days so if I can't make it to a computer on Sunday to blog, forgive me. I am most likely still alive.

Staying with my aunt was an interesting experience. The reason I asked about the television shows is because when I'm there i'm exposed to a lot of shows that I wouldn't normally watch. For example, The Bachelorette. Under usual circumstances, I would think this show was an irritating, over dramatised, lame idea*. However, it was entertaining to watch once, and who doesn't love to sit down on the couch with a bunch of girls and watch girly shows?

I also ended up seeing a snippet of a show I'd heard much about but never seen, Hell's Kitchen. I'd seen the commercials where they show Gordon Ramsey screaming at people for being idiots and the special effects fire coming out of his ears, but never had the chance to see the guy in action, so it was with much anticipation that we flipped the channel and watched the show.

What a riot. Seriously, that guy is so awesome at insulting people. At times, yes, I feel bad for the people on the show, but when you think about it, they signed up for it. They want to be there. It's insane, but it's true.

Anyway, I might have to start watching just because I'm so intrigued as to what this guy will do next. You have to wonder how he got so far in his career with that temper. Imagine a dishwasher throwing down plates and yelling at someone for feeding raw fish to a pregnaunt women. How did he get promoted to having a show of his own?

Reality TV is fascinating, but I think if you watch too much you can get a little hopeless about the state of our world. It's best taken in small unconcentrated doses.

Q: Do you like tuna?

A: I, as a somehwat lax vegetarian, eat fish. Tillapia, trout, cod, tuna, etc. I don't eat tuna a lot--it's just not a regular meal component--but I do like it somewhat.

*who wants to date multiple guys at the same time in hopes of finding a husband. Also, what kind of guy is okay with you kissing and sometimes sleeping with other guys? Sick, desperate, perverts, that's who.**

**to add on to my footnote, I will say that I really like these footnotes. I like to use them when you're going to be telling a story, or going off topic, because it keeps the blog nice and focused, but you get to tell the story at the bottom. Anything too long for parenthesis? Put it at the bottom.

Q: What's the haps? (Are you having a satisfactory summer? Have you seen HP yet?)
Q: (for the comments, if you please) Have you read the Mortal Instruments? What about Gabrielle Zevin? I'm re-reading/reading all of these and I was wondering if you had, by chance, happened across them.


Phrases to adopt: "By the angel"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Retro Flashback Super Partay time!

I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, so I headed back to where all of this began: the Ning. Yes, the MJ Ning.

I re-read all of my blog posts, and I really hope that my blogging abilities have improved, but this also makes me want to revert to an old strategy.* HOLIDAYS! Yes, useless, weird holidays have become almost a nonexistent part of the balanced BLOG DIET** recently. So I must remedy this by telling you that today, July 21st, is***:


We all know what that means... EAT JUNK! Totally guiltless empty calorie consumption! Wheeeeeee! Celebrate before it turns into Rat-catchers Day! (were the rats lured by the junk food crumbs?)

Ponder that whilst I answer your questions!

I watch a fair amount of TV, not enough to say I'm addicted... but I just don't watch shows I dislike. I'm sure if I watched ALL of them, there would be more I don't like than ones I do. But from what I've seen, I REALLY don't like Suze Orman. If you don't know, Suze Orman (and her cleverly titled "Suze Orman Show") is a so-called "financial expert" and is therefore qualified to give "financial advice". A good idea, considering most people need some degree of this. But only around 5% of this show actually consists of advice. Mostly she talks to phone-in or video question people, almost certainly starting with "Hayyyy boyfrienddddd/girrrlfrienddd..."**** and then managing to get off topic in some way.

I really would not trust her with my money. I don't like her "tone" either. It's snarky... is this the right word? Maybe she has some kind of annoying speech impediment? Turn it on for 2 seconds and decide for yourselves.

My question: Do you like tuna? (Alex, do you eat tuna? I know there's divisions of vegetarians who decide what is "meat".)

*Meaning I have nothing to talk about and this was what I used to do when this happened. Also, I have reverted to using STARS again as footnotes. Another question: do you scroll down when you come to an *, so as to read the footnote within the proper placement in the blog, or do you read them all at once when you come to the end?

**Yes, you have a daily diet of blog. You didn't know this???

***drum roll please

**** Vita, I know you hate this, but she REALLY DOES TALK LIKE THISSSS? You see now the further annoyance?

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Talking Point

I don't understand all the extra letters.

"ohhh, my godd.! so likee i just saw theeeee most ahdorable thingg everr, -& noww it's likee, i can't evehn gettt it outttt of mah headddd.!(:"

If you're reaaaaally excited about something or if you want to stress a point a loooot, I find it acceptable. In casual online conversation, most people aren't checking for exact grammar and spelling. But I don't really see the benefits of adding a crapload of extra letters (not to mention peculiar punctuation) to every other word in a sentence. It doesn't look pretty... it just looks kind of stupid.

I guess if it's how you express yourself, go for it? Seriously though, it makes your sentence much harder to read (perhaps that is the point; it's like a secret code!). And it doesn't make you super-cool. On the contrary.

*desperate attempt to make blog longer* If you have nothing else to do, I highly suggest you go watch "A Very Potter Musical." (It's on Youtube.) Funniest. Thing. Ever. (Surprisingly good songs, too.)
I apologize for all the Potter talk; I'm sure I'll find something else to distract me for a while sooner or later. Right now, though... a Harry life is the only life. ;)

Least favorite TV show? I very rarely watch TV, actually. I'm sure you all have seen much worse TV shows than I have; I tend to forget them fairly quickly. But I'd have to say... the O'Reilly Factor on FOX. God, I hate him. It's not that his opinions are usually different than mine - for the most part, that's okay. It's just that he's so rude and ignorant and crude and generally stupid. ARGH.

[In case you couldn't tell, I am suffering from a severe case of Writer's/Blogger's Block at the moment. Hopefully I will have regained my "spark" by Friday.]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Late Again + a SHOUT out

I've never written a shout out before. Huh. Wow, I'm a really incredible writer. Huh. For some reason I'm oddly nervous about my shout out. It's not like I'm being paid for this. Wait, should I be getting paid for shout outs? No, I didn't think so.

Anyway thanks for taking us to see Harry Potter for the second time around. And thanks for not making us leave the theatre because of all the school girl giggling. It's chronic, and, like my snoring, I can't really control it.

Is this where I say your name? Damn, I forgot to ask if you wanted Jeff or Jeffrey. JMAN? Hmm, a conundrum.

(I'm sorry for the drawing. Art is subjective, and thus, at times it can be crude. Go with it.)

Shout out goes to Jeff/Jeffrey/JMAN MacDonald. Thanks for reading. Good luck with your blogging endeavour, JMAN's Junk. Also congratulations on getting some featured art in these trying times.

On another note, I have to acknoweldge what a terrible group blogger I've been as of late. I have an explanation, which is that I am on holiday of sorts and thus the days pass without much notice at present. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it was Sunday today and in a deeper reserve I knew that meant I should write a blog, but that part of my brain did not connect with the part that was scheduling time in my day to do such a thing. From about 9 o'clock this evening to about 8 minutes ago (12:09am), I've been playing Wii with my sister* (this is the time I should have spent blogging. oopsie daisy?).

A large part of this time was spent on a *insert negative adjective here* game known as Mario Party 8. This game was a complete waste of time, and after an incredible amount of effort and two stars, everything was ripped from me by the idiot Mario and a roll of the dice. I want my life back, Mario, give me a refund.

Blind or deaf:

Either would suck eggshells but I'd go with deaf because being without sight would be horrible. Imagine never seeing the last installment in the Harry Potter franchise or never seeing the sun set over the ocean again. *shudder*

Grandma or baby:

It's a toughie. Fo shizzle. This is hard. Either answer sounds horrible so I guess I would have to let my grandmother go. Yeah, that sounded as horrible as it sounded it my head.

New phrase I will try and adapt**: Cabbage patching (definition is some sort of dance maneveor) (curtosy of That's So Raven).

Question: What is your least favourite television show?

*Note to self: don't ever go head to head with Maddy in Wii tennis because she will turn on you and use whatever she can to her advantage. (ex. I was on the phone with my mother and she decided to time was right to serve the ball to me. Meanwhile I had a multitask and accidentally hung up on my mom after a wicked backhand volley)

**I think this will be a new addition to my blog because there are so many phrases I want to insert into my regular vocab.

GOD SPEED ;) Thanks for being you, Jeff. dftbA. (Oh, and get back to work.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Naming Filler.

I just realized the wording of that sounds like I am going TO name this filler. Alright. I hereby name this filler Oliver. Oliver the Filler blog post. That sounds quite nice. Ok, so this is just more filler. I thought it was mildly interesting, and nothing has happpened in my life worth noting. (I STILL have not seen HBP yet! RARRRRGGHHH! *iz jeluz* So --without spoilers-- answer in one word: WAS IT GOOD? (almost typed "Was it GOD?" Oh typos. Thou never ceases to amuse.)

But, a featured article on MSN today was "Most popular baby names by decade" showing, you guessed it, a website with the top 1000 baby names for every decade since 1879. There's an option to search by name, so I did. I'm pretty certain I have an "uncommon" name, so I was intrigued. "Renata" (my given name) only made the top 1000 4 times over 130 years. In 1964, then a nothing until 1979, and then 3 years straight until 1981. The highest it got was rank #336 in 1980. Yay weird name!

Even stranger, "Rena" (my partial name made up for supreme anangramming possibilities) has made the top 1000 EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. from 1880 to 1989. Wow. (Maybe people just like shorter names? Vita and Alex are only 2 syllables.) Peaking at rank #153 in 1885. I didn't realize my invented nickname was so old fashioned. Whatever. It's nice.
Oh, I did both of your names too. Didn't want to leave you out of all the fillery fun!

Alexandra: #945 in 1915, then N/A until 1938 (wonder what brought it back in "style"?) Highest in 1994 at #27. (I know these results are for America, but that's interesting to me because that's the year you were born, right?)

Vita: (more popular than you'd think, really.) Every year from 1912 until 1930, then a surprise appearance in 1932 and 1935. Highest in 1929 at #796.

Ok. End filler mode. Commence meaningful blog posts that inspire thought and many comments. (the record stands a 5 for a single blog. In case you really wanted to know. You probably didn't. But now you do anyway.)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fire Alarms

Wednesday night, a small group of friends and I ventured out of our homes to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We donned our hand-decorated Harry Potter shirts and bought snacks from CVS to smuggle into the theater (I don't know about you guys, but I find concession stand prices to be ridiculously high). We showed our tickets and settled down into our seats. We scoffed at the "O NOES TEH WURLD IZ ENDIG (UGGEN)" trailers, wondered when Sherlock Holmes became a half-naked action hero, and reached irrational levels of excitement over "Where the Wild Things Are." We took part in the theater-wide "shh"ing effort as the lights dimmed and squealed as the first twinklings of Hedwig's Theme escaped. We snickered at the "that's what she said" moments and wrinkled our noses at Ron+Lavender. We sat, transfixed, as Dumbledore drank the potion, and -
The fire alarm went off.

No, seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up (well, I probably could, but I'm not). The goddamned fire alarm went off twenty minutes before HP6 ended.

The theater we were in was massively huge (this was opening day, after all). When the alarm went off, the movie screen turned itself off, and at first you could tell that the entire audience was thinking "... is this part of the movie?" Eventually we realized that it actually was the fire alarm and we all kind of grumbled and shuffled to our feet, moseying down the steps and out the Emergency Exit door. This is the first time that the alarm's gone off in any movie theater that I've attended, and I always thought that, if the alarm were to go off, half the audience would start screaming and running, but not a single person that I could see looked even vaguely panicked. I didn't feel particularly worried myself; the only emotion I was feeling was pure annoyance. I mean, it's Harry effing Potter, and it was actually a good movie. Grr.

Turns out that there actually was a real fire elsewhere in the theater complex, although I don't think it was very big; apparently the firefighters were more worried about smoke damage. Thankfully, we kept our ticket stubs, so we'll be able to get into the movie free next time we go see it, which will be this coming Tuesday (obviously we're going to see it again; we can't just not see the ending).

So, yes, I went to see HP6 the day it came out, and no, I haven't seen the ending yet. I'm glad nobody was hurt in the fire, but still - RAGE.

Would you rather be blind or deaf? Deaf. I would absolutely hate to be either, of course, but I hate not being able to see (which is unfortunate, seeing as I have really bad vision and am virtually blind without my contacts). I hate not being able to hear, but I just feel like I'd be more dependent on other people if I couldn't see.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


(a note about the title): I actually watched Slumdog Millionaire today and it was really good. The movie is actually based on a book (why didn't I know this?) called Q&A. Awesome movie.

I saw Harry Potter. I really liked it. I'm not sure if it's my favourite, I haven't decided, but I'm seeing it again tonight (ahh, I have to leave any minute) so maybe I'll make up my mind. I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable. It was funny and well done and the biggest negative point I see is that they did a really crappy job of explaining horcuxes. I went with my aunt who hasn't read the book and she was more than a little confused (this may also have something to do with her being extremely tired, not being used to staying up until 3am). I LOVED Harry after he drank felix felices, he was amazing.

Slughorn: "Haaaarry."
Harry: "Siiiir."
Slughorn: "Don't think I can let you go wondering around the castle grounds alone at night."
Harry: "Well sir, by all means, come along!"

*chronic giggling*

I won't go on about the movie, maybe on Sunday, though. I will, however, answer questions. I know I've got a lot stored up so hopefully this won't get too long.

Last words:
Something cool... uh... OHO! "IT was because of all the dancing." Either that or "the red bird flies at night."

Best way to eavesdrop:
With extendable ears!! Harry Potter is practically a guide for ways to eavesdrop. How many times has Harry "hung back" in potions class, pretending to put away his things veeeeerrrry sloooooowly? How often does he lurk around in corridors under his invisibility cloak listening to everyone's conversations? From listening to secret Order meetings to overhearing Hagrid's personal conversations, Harry is always in on everyone's business. He is the master of lurkers. I think we can all learn a little something from him. I wish I had an invisibility cloak.

Huh, I thought there were a lot more than that. I guess not. If you can find any that I've yet to answer, please make me aware. I promise to do the house quiz on Sunday. Until then...

Oh and another note, sorry this is a day late... when I started writing I had very little time, (I went to see Harry Potter again! Hooray!) and then I left and got home late (it was a 10pm show and a very long movie.), so i didn't have time to finish. I'm alive!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ketchup and Mustard

In which I answer questions. And am in need of caffeine and spellcheck. Hooray.

Alex: What's your leadership style?

Definitely Visionary (mostly. Which I guess would not make that a definite answer...) I tend to start ideas and then don't really finish them because I think of something better or more important. But when I do get intensely involved in actually finishing something, I get more Scientist-y. (Which is almost the complete opposite of Visionary, so it makes no sense to have one style... but whatever.) Moreso if I'm not the person who came up with the big idea. Then I just focus on the smallest, most repetitive things and concentrate on perfection. These things are not necessarily related to the big goal, but I do tend to repeat things almost unconsciously while I'm doing other things. Multitasking is a good skill to have, but only if both tasks are productive.

Once there was some kind of PowerPoint presentation on cholesterol or something ("Family and Consumer Sciences" is deadly boring...) that I was really paying attention to, and without looking down in 42 minutes I had constructed this intricate-looking 3D circle filled with triangles. It was pretty cool looking, but I couldn't do it again if I tried. This is an example of the detailed-yet-unrelated little "tasks" I assign myself.

Vita's: If you were standing on the edge of a cliff, clinging onto a baby that you didn't know in one hand, and your elderly grandmother in the other, but you would had to let go of one to save the other's life, who would you save?

Conundrum makes brain eshplode. >:(

Call me a terrible person, but I would save my grandmother out of emotional attachment and obligation. After all that's happened in her life, she doesn't deserve to die falling off a cliff. (see your explanation on how you want to die.) But, neither does the baby, it has so much to live for... oh... YAAARRRRGH!


OK, here's my question: Would you rather be blind or deaf? (unoriginal, I know, but it's harder than it seems...)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Questions Make the World Go 'Round

I've been slacking off on the questions lately, so this, I think, will be my "catch-up blog," so to speak. I always feel a bit off whenever I'm not caught up on something, so this will hopefully create a nice clean slate for the future of this blog.

Not that I'm being over-dramatic or anything.

Do you like planes?
Truthfully, I'm not a huge fan. I ought to be used to them by now; I've been flying on them for extended periods of time since I was a baby. The whole airplane atmosphere just makes me slightly uncomfortable.
It's not that I'm scared of terrorism or of the plane falling; the first is certainly a real problem, but for the most part, security is so tight that it's very unlikely that another massive terrorist plane crash would occur. And planes fly all the time without falling, and so few plane crashes happen that it seems sort of pointless to waste time worrying about something you can't control. I think that's why some people get so freaked out about flying, by the way: statistically speaking, planes are so much safer than cars, but I think that most people feel safer in cars than airplanes. I think that the idea that there really isn't anything you can do about your life while you're flying - unless you're the pilot, you're putting your trust in a stranger's ability to control an object that doesn't seem to be being held up by anything tangible - scares some people. It's true that you can't control how other people act on the road when you're driving, but for the most part, you can control your actions and your reactions, which makes you feel like you have a much bigger chance of surviving.
Anyway, it's not my safety that I'm worried about on planes. I simply find the whole experience to be irritating and drawn-out. I would definitely prefer flying for 7 hours over, say, being on a ship for a month, and I accept that planes are more or less necessary. Still, the process of arriving at the airport 2 hours early, going through security, waiting for your flight, watching for those seemingly inevitable planes is tiring enough. And then you actually have to get on the plane, which is not a fun experience for me. I'm not so bothered by the lack of space (cars don't have that much room, either) as I'm bothered by the slightly nauseous feeling airplane food gives me. I don't get airsickness, except when the food is brought out. Off the plane, I'm sure it's fairly equal to your standard frozen dinners, but on the plane, the mere smell of it makes me feel sick. The decline and landing of an airplane is also somewhat annoying, because about half an hour before the plane lands (before it starts heading down for real, but when it's a step or two lower in its pre-landing position) I always get a really bad head and ear -ache. It must be the air pressure change or something, I'm not sure.
But, other than that, I don't really mind planes. They're better than the alternative.

What's your leadership style?

I'm definitely not an organized "Warrior" or a realistic "Scientist," I can tell you that. I think I would be a combination of a "Visionary" and a "Nurturer." Actually, I think that I would be a "Visionary" with very slight "Nurturer" tendencies, if that's allowed. I guess that I often get the ball rolling, so to speak, with a more general idea, but I often have trouble narrowing down that one idea to something more specific and attainable. I suppose that I always want to do everything, and that's usually just not an option. As for the "Nurturer" option, I do care about how other people are feeling, but I'm not really the one who tries to fix everybody's problems. Depending on the situation, I can be slightly hurt by negative criticism, but I'm definitely not caught up in it and I usually just push it to the side and keep going. You could say that I'm not overly sensitive, which seems to be a character trait of a "Nurturer" (that sounds more negative than I intended, sorry).

What do you want your last words to be?

Preferably, I will die at a reasonably old age at which I am reasonably well-known for doing something quite creative, innovative, and intelligent. And, should these requirements be met, I would like to say something really, really cryptic that may or may not have a deeper meaning and that causes everybody to go to great lengths to decipher my true meaning.
This is just a first draft of that quote, and I will (hopefully) have years and years to think of something good, so don't take this one too seriously:
"Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them."
Once I throw in a few more adjectives, decide what I want to talk about, obtain a nice big thesaurus, and perhaps attend a philosophy class or two, and stop quoting Albus Dumbledore, I think it will be rather lovely.


[I found this one on some random survey thingy:] If you were standing on the edge of a cliff, clinging onto a baby that you didn't know in one hand, and your elderly grandmother in the other, but you would had to let go of one to save the other's life, who would you save? (Note that sacrificing yourself to save them is not an option, although it would certainly be the noble thing to do.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leadership Styles and Lack of Sleep

It has been a loooooooong day for Alex. Or rather a long two days, because Alex hasn't had a big sleeping break between Saturday and Sunday. Sure, there we a few fifteen minute increments where I closed my eyes and rested for a little, but the circumstances kept jerking me back to conciousness and this pale immitation of sleep is more tortuous to leave than the actual staying awake itself.

For the past weekend, I've been at a leadership conference that I have been taking part in planning since February. We choose a theme, some goals, format, recreation, and what we wanted to teach the girls and it's been a long learning process for all of us. Finally on Wednesday, after countless emails, teleconferences and instant message meetings the five girls and three mentors met for the first time.

Anyway I'm not really going to talk about the event. The reason I didn't get around to sleeping last night was because we were busy writing a report about the event, so I'm all typed out on the subject.

For one session, we had the organization Me to We come in and facilitate activies based on leadership styles. First we did an ice breaking and then our facilitator outlined four leadership styles and we all had to think about what one we fit best in. Quick outline:

Nurturer: this person is the people person in your group. She likes to know how you're feeling and boost you up if you're feeling down. She works best when everyone in the group cooperates and the personal issues are solved. A negative side of this style is that the Nurturer can get wrapped up in negative comments. When given a criticism, this person would obsess about it and get very upset. Another negative side is that the Nurturer, who is always taking care of others, does not have enough time to take care of themselves, which can cause burn outs.

Scientist: This person is into details and problem solving. The Scientist will take a big idea and narrow it down to something more realistic, making it attainable. This person has a talent for picking out possible issues in a plan and creating a counter action to keep things running smoothly. A negative side would be that because the Scientist works a lot around problems and details, they can become pessimistic and start to only notice negative parts of ideas.

Warrier: the Warrier is a common idea people think of when you say leadership. This person likes to be organized with lists, charts and plans, and wants to focus on completing a task as soon as possible. The Warrier likes to make sure everything runs according to their plan and oversee all of their delegations. A negative aspect can be that a Warrier can sometimes take too much responsibility on themselves which can lead to break downs. The Warrier can tend to be abrupt and more to the point that other styles. They like to get things done promptly and efficiently, which can stress some people. Warriers usually have a certain idea in mind for everything and can get frusterated with unenthusiastic team members and slackers.

Visionary: This type is your big picture person. This person can brainstorm huge ideas and can look at every aspect of your project. They have lots of creativity and are great at bringing out that talent in others too. They like to motivate and are very good at inspiring a group to work together and be successful. A negative side would be that these people tend to get distracted a little easily. With all the ideas they have, it can be hard for them to follow through with one thought before a bigger, better one comes around.

So at first I was thinking I'm kind of a Visionary and a Warrier, because I like to stay organized and focused, but I also like to inspire and look at the big picture. The main thing they were stressing is that just because you're one type, doesn't mean you don't have other types, and can't improve in other areas. I may be a hardcore Scientist, but that doesn't mean I don't like to make sure everyone in my group is happy and working together well.

Anyway with each experience you can gain new skills in different aspects. It's important to see what your biggest strength is, but it can also be helpful to see your problem area, and then focus on what you need to do there.

That's all for today. I know there are questions I need to answer but I'm really tired (what with the whole no sleep last night and no crashing in the morning like you can at regular sleepovers) and I haven't actually read your blogs since Thursday so I don't know what I need to deal with.

I'm wondering if you guys would kind of decide what area you would put yourself in (as opposed to a test that will give you answers) and explain that a little. I guess that's like my question: what's your leadership style?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A look into the minds of fellow Googlers via autocomplete

After my disgustingly long, rambling comments on both of your blogs, responding to those blogs within my blog would be redundant and also more annoyingly ramble-y. Before I start to ramble about rambling, (the more I type the word "ramble", the weirder it looks...) my completely original idea today was to expose the "most popular" searches on Google. (I actually re-watched a vlogbrothers video wherein John told us that the most popular ending to the question "Is Edward Cullen...?" is, "Is Edward Cullen real?" (to which the answer is NO. Sorry, fangirls.)

Without further ado, I will now begin common questions, and provide the first thing Google THINKS I'm searching for.

What-- is twitter?
Where--'s my refund?
When-- is easter 2009?
Why-- is the sky blue?
How-- to tie a tie?
Is-- bronchitis contagious?

Most of these seem to have easy answers, but apparently thousands of inquiring Googler minds want to know.

I have answered Vita's question already in aforementioned grossly long comment(s), so I will skip to Alex's!

I suppose planes are an important means of transportation, but the OTHER PEOPLE on planes, I don't like. Most of them (sorry if I'm stereotyping, there has got to be SOME "normal" people on planes...) are rude, loud, annoying, or gross. But this is what ipods are for. I don't care what it does to my eardrums, noise blocking is more important.

Meh... brain no think of question. Pick one of mine you haven't answered. There's a few. (Or answer one you've already answered with a different answer. I'm not trying to guilt you, I'm just being lazy.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sorting Hat(s)

This will be short, as I am supposed to be packing for the beach right now. That shouldn't take too long though, seeing as I'll only be gone for 2 days. So anyhoo...

I suppose this whole "Harry Potter" mania is to be expected every time a new book or movie comes out! Of course, I'm not above it all. I just got tickets to see the film on July 15, eek! I'm so excited. :)

But then I realized that, for all my obsession with the series, I never found out which house I would belong to! I tried to think it through on my own, but I think that I have qualities - whether that's good or bad - in all four houses. I guess most people do, though; it's just that some qualities are more dominant in certain people. Anyway, more importantly, the main two houses in "Harry Potter" are Gryffindor and Slytherin. There are obviously characters in other houses, but most of the important people are in either of those two houses. We get a little glance of the other two houses, but they're usually not quite important enough to the story for Harry to dwell on them too long. So I think it's understandable that we'd find it a bit difficult to sort ourselves, seeing as our favorite character has a decent chance of landing in either Gryffindor or Slytherin... (excluding Luna Lovegood, who I think that everyone can agree is made of Awesome, whether she's your favorite or not).

Anyways, I took two different tests, and they both gave me the same result: apparently, I would/should be in Hufflepuff!

I've just realized that the name reminds me of that little creature from Pokemon (the one that shoots water or something...). Oh dear. :P Haha, well, anyways. I guess that Hufflepuff makes sense for me... I like to think that I'm fairly intelligent, but I guess that I tend to let other things influence my judgement as well.

Judging by the series, my favorite two houses are - not surprisingly - Gryffindor and Slytherin. I love more or less at the Gryffindorians (or whatever they're called) but I doubt I would actually get sorted into Gryffindor. It's not that I don't value bravery and friendship - I do - but I guess I'm not quite as rash as they'd be? Maybe rash isn't the right word; Hermione tends to think things through, but do you know what I mean, that general sense of just acting (and often succeeding) in the moment rather than planning everything out beforehand.

And I'm a huge Snape fan, and I find that most real-life Slytherins are highly entertaining, but I don't think I'm quite cunning enough. I'm not one who would feel comfortable saving myself in place of everyone else. Not that they'd all do that, but... eh. It's hard to explain. Too psychological, I suppose.

So, yeah. I like to think of Hufflepuff as a nice solid mix of the other three houses, hehe. And a good number of them did stay behind to fight at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... ;)

I think I'm spending far too much time on this, oops. :O Feel free to take the test(s) and report back if you like...


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Airplane diaries

Anyway I wrote this yesterday and now I'm in downtown Toronto sitting in the lobby of a very posh hotel. This conference stuff is so awesome but I don't have a lot of time, which is why I wrote this yesterday.

I am on an airplane. Yay. I've always wanted to be one of those cool and somewhat important looking people who bring their laptops with them on the plane and do "official business". Now I am cool like that.

The only thing about things you've always wanted to do because they look so awesome is that when you actually do it, you feel like a poseur. Also I feel like someone is looking over my shoulder and reading this.

It's not like I don't want people to read the blog, it's just that when you're writing it's very subjective and at this moment in time I don't know that what I'm actually writing is actually going to be in my real blog post. I could delete this entire paragraph. I probably won't, but regardless.

I don't even think I can mention what I am half watching at the moment. To say it out loud, or write it down would be to make it final and true. We were watching I Love You, Man, but that movie is incredibly vulgar . I'm not sure what I'm watching now is better, but it's an experience.

Harry Potter comes out in one week. It has got me thinking about looking forward to things and having expectations. The main thing: is it better to look forward to things and then possibly be disappointed or be sceptical about everything and possibly be pleased with the outcome?

For instance before the Twilight movie I was a complete Rob fan. I was so positive that he would be great, and when I saw him it was terrible. But would it have been less terrible to have thought he'd suck and turn out right?

I'm really excited about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I've seen every trailer and clip and I think it's going to be the best one yet. It looks funny and the actors are getting better and I'm really looking forward to it. But what if it doesn't live up? Is it best to go into the theatre with no expectations?

Even if it were best, I don't think I could do it. Not being excited for things would take all the excitement out of life. Who wants that?

Anyway I guess if it's bad (which I really don't think it's going to be, although I've been wrong--see above) I'll just have to get over it and hope they do better on the next one. What do you think?

Question: do you like planes? Explain answer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


As Vita pointed out, news coverage has been less than positive for a while, especially for Sarah Palin.

BUT, at least that's REAL NEWS.

For more than a week, all CNN and pretty much every single other TV station usually devoted to showing "news" has been covering is the death of Michael Jackson. It's come to today, simulcasting his memorial for hours on almost every channel all over the world. It was predicted days before the actual broadcast that over a BILLION people would watch it.

Well, I watched a little of it, out of boredom and partially curiosity. It was hyped as being SPECTACULAR, tons of famous people in attendance. Yea, there was that...

but WHAT? What else? Was the world going to implode? What made it so abso-freaking-lutely splendiforously SPECTACULAR? Besides multiple performances from the above mentioned famous people, it was what is to be expected at a funeral. People cried. People talked and remembered what this person's life WAS. Simple.

It was nice. It was tasteful. It wasn't some kind of cheesy tribute concert.

But, really, everything up until that point was really too much. He is DEAD. Let him rest in peace. Just shut up now.

On a lighter note, I now try to embed a video into this blog, with almost certainly disatrous results... ok, so it's not going to be directly within this blog, click the link please: (It's not a link dangit! Oh well, let's be primitive and copy & paste the URL...)

Alrighty, hope that works. It's true. It's sad that real news is being pushed aside for the sake of ratings. Does real news not interest people anymore? Maybe that's the problem. No one is taking an interest in what's going on in the world, because it isn't impacting them. And when it DOES, they'll freak out. Even though it's been going on for months or years or centuries or whatever.

Hmmmm... no questions. Why do I feel I should say something more?

At the very end of the memorial, the saddest part was hearing his daughter talk about him. He was her FATHER, not some mythical superstar. It was sad and bittersweet, but that's the way he should be remembered.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's been a bad few weeks for politics.


Ooh, I feel slightly guilty knocking your story off of the top of the blog, Alex, but I have a duty to my people and sometimes internet violence is necessary.

That's life. Deal with it. Move on.

Speaking of violence, why don't we talk about train wrecks? They're bad. Speaking of bad things, why don't we talk about politicians? They're skeezy. Speaking of skeezy, why don't we talk about Sarah Palin? Okay, we will!

I would refrain from commenting on Alaska's favorite governor, but as I said on Facebook, you know it's bad when Sarah Palin's official, "serious" Twitter is more amusing than the parodies. (Consequentially, you know times are hard when you're reduced to quoting your own Facebook status.) Oh, I'm sorry, do you not know what I'm talking about? Why don't you click yourself right on over to this website:

Oh, lawd.

What hast thou done, Sarah? Why hast thou hurteth thyself? Why doth thou sound as bad when thou talketh normally as when I tryeth to talketh Shakespearian?

Really, I think this nearly speaks for herself. Of course I'm curious to know why she's decided to decry politicians and reporters to all of humanity (wow, nobody's done that before), what with her "this is a bloodsport, bitch, I'm OUT." A word of advice: if you want to be popular among Americans, don't insult half of America.

And I may be cruel for wishing this, but - I hope that she runs for Prez in 2012. If she wins, that's a different story, and I will officially announce my lack of faith in America and leave the country accordingly; but maybe if she continues her self-righteous tirade all the way to the primaries, the tiny part of America that still has faith in her will realize - or, even better, she will realize - that attempting to disguise her utterly disgusting rudeness, contempt, spite, and jealously as "ground-breaking politics" is by no means something we should wish for.

The fact that I disagree with her opinion on most issues aside, this is not a woman I would want to see in charge of anything other than, say, a hockey team. Believe me, I am eagerly awaiting the day that America sees a woman president, but to quote Amy Poehler as Hilary Clinton on SNL: "I didn't want a woman to be president, I wanted to be president, and I just so happen to be a women."

Yeah, Sarah. What about that?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I didn't actually expect to go swimming...

Here I was, stumbling around the long forgotten MJ ning (does anyone else wish April was a year round thing?) when I saw a blog post which lead me to a blog post which has prompted me to write a story today. The deadline is Monday, so if you two have time and want to participate, you can do that. My story:

I didn't actually expect to go swimming, which is why my swimsuit is in my underwear drawer 3359 kilometres away, and I am standing here, naked. Fortunately, I am the type of person who doesn't let a distant bathing suit keep her from living her life. No, I'm the type of person to make lemonade out of her lemons, or in this case, go naked.

Skinny dipping has always seemed like one of those priceless life experiences that everyone must submit to once. In my imagination, it seemed so freeing and incredible, but in reality it's freezing and incredibly awkward.

Here I am, standing at the side of this monstrous body of water, with my body screaming at me not to jump, and my cousin, Kaitlin, screaming at me to stop being such a wimp. I try to avoid being a wimp, if possible, and so I jumped.

The water is every bit as cold as I'd thought, and possibly colder. I was already in and there was no point ruining my life experience just because of a little jaw chattering. I swam.

There something magical about swimming in a lake at twilight, especially if you don't have clothes on. I really recommend it. After a while I stopped feeling the cold, and I know that's usually a sign to get out of the water before you unknowingly die of hypothermia, but I kept swimming.

I saw an otter floating along a little way away from me and at that moment I felt just as I'd imagined: free and part of the water. Sure, that otter could probably swim faster than me, but I was here, in the half light, in my most natural of all states, floating along with the current of the water and everything else that called this lake home. I'm not thinking about yesterday, or even tomorrow. I am alive in the present. This is life.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

That was weird...

That statement applies to many things, actually. First, that Blogger apparently thinks that hitting "enter" at the beginning of a post means to POST absolutely nothing. So disregard that little thing. Second weird thing: Off! bug spray does not work AT ALL. (selectively. It may not, and it may not. This was a "may not" time.) It is cold and unnecessarily sticky. Also, there's some kind of difference between "unscented" and "fragrance-free" Would someone like to explain this?

Thanks to the so called "insect repellent" (when I am annoyed with things I overuse "finger quotes" to imply things are not what they say they are.) I currently have 8 mosquito bites. Acquired after being outside for approximately 20 minutes outside. (and liberally applying repellent, as directed.) These 20 minutes were spent WAITING for the fireworks to begin. (my house is nicely very close to a golf course, which is good for the viewing of fireworks.) 2 minutes after coming inside after concluding that the fireworks were canceled due to clouds and earlier crappy weather (Notice how it ALWAYS rains on days when clear skies are a must? This July has been freakishly cold and rainy. I guess that's better than record breaking HEAT. Reverse global warming FTW! What was I talking about before?)do the fireworks start. The "real" ones. The big ones, not the test ones or whatever.
So, at this point, everyone does NOT want to be further eaten to death by mosquitoes.

But we will still have to LISTEN to them until 2:00 am

August 6th.

Alex, are fireworks shot off for Canada Day? If not, consider yourself lucky. Because all the geniuses here buy enough fireworks for 3 years while they are on sale. Possibly more even AFTER the 4th. So they continue to shoot them off at odd hours of the night months after the real holiday. But enough about that. On to the questions!

Alex: I've only had about 4 occasions to go to a Starbucks. (mostly just dragged there with friends who are coffee addicts.) My first time there, there was this bit of conversation:

Me: "Soooo... ummm... I want a small iced coffee thing. With, ummm, chocolate. And whipped cream."

Barista (that's what they call them, right?): *Pause* *look that says, "stupid n00b. Quit wasting my time."* You mean TALL???

(how the heck did TALL come to mean SMALL??? Explain please.)

Me: Yeah, whatever that is. *to my friend* Please just order for me. PLEASE. Me no speaky the Starbucks lingo.

I haven't gone back there on my own since. That is not to say I don't like a good iced coffee. Whatever flavorings it contains. Carmel, mocha, vanilla, whatever. There's a little coffee kiosk-thing INSIDE my library. Books and coffee. And cookies. It's awesome. It's called St. Rogers' Pastisserie or something French. And it's run by nuns. Real nuns. In full nun garb. (There's a name for their black head coverings and such. I'm not religious enough to know that.)

Vita: What counts as an "unconventional" way? I'm assuming the "conventional" way is to press your ear against a wall and have fun decifiering the words. Should I ever need to eavesdrop... (which, ahem, I have NEVER, ever done) I pretend to sleep. I'm good at pretend-sleeping, though sometimes it seems very suspicious to be sleeping in the middle of the day. On the ground. Then it just looks like you're passed out. Which is bad.

My question: Ummmmm... what do you want your last words to be? (ugh, more about death, but seriously, unless you die a mime, you'll have to die. Before you die, you'll have said SOMETHING. Doesn't matter how long the period of time is between words said and death. Just as long as they're the ABSOLUTE LAST words you ever say.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

no, i'm not on drugs (really)

Occasionally I have these weird, brief moments where I suddenly feel as though I'm in a dream. It's a bit like the sensation you get when you stand up too fast and all the blood rushes to your head, except I don't feel faint, I just feel slightly misplaced. Everybody's conversations are slightly echoey, but I can still understand them; I feel a bit unsteady, but I can still walk; and I momentarily can't quite grasp the concept of reality.
Apparently my best friend experiences these too, and I'm wondering if you guys know what I'm talking about? It's weird.

Naturally, this leads me to wonder how I would know if I was living in a dream. Everything certainly seems real, and I don't think my imagination is expansive enough to think of, well, everything all on its own, but how do I know that I'm not really locked up in a padded room right now, muttering to myself? If we were living in the Matrix, how would we know? Seriously.

Now, on to Starbucks...
Yes! I do go there fairly regularly. I know, I know, there's all this business about supporting local coffee shops and such, but it really does taste good. However, I love Caribou Coffee more (I don't know if you guys have heard of it; I'm not sure how big the chain is... I think it's pretty big, though). It tastes even better than Starbucks. Still, the closest CC to me is a stand in a mall, and I don't really feel like going to the mall just to drink coffee, so... I go to Starbucks. :)
My favorite (hot) drink is definitely a (tall) café mocha. Yum. My favorite cold drink is probably an... iced café mocha! Because I'm so daring and spontaneous! But I am also a fan of frappachinos; I also love vanilla bean, and I love strawberries and cream for the first half of it (and then I start to get sick of it). I am working on expanding my Starbucks horizons, though, so I'm planning on ordering something new the next time I go there.
Wow, that was an unnecessarily long response. Also, I'm pretty sure I misspelled "unnecessarily," but I don't feel like checking that. Oh well.

I was going to ask you the generic question of what you're doing for July 4th, but then I realized that you, Alex, most likely do not celebrate it! :D So instead, I ask: What is the best unconventional way to eavesdrop on a conversation?

(I'm not using your answers for my own use, by the way... I'm just curious. No, really.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

abstinence (from meat)

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but here I will again, I'm a vegetarian. Partially. I'm a pretty bad one, and that used to bother me, but I'm okay with it now. Basically I just don't eat red meat. I eat turkey on special occasions and chicken every so often (I love Chinese and Japanese chicken), so I guess I'm in the middle of vegetarian to meat eater scale. Don't even talk to me about veganism. Depriving yourself of cheese, milk, butter and all else that makes life worth living? INSANITY!

I'm a vegetarian for a few reasons and the list changes when I get new reasons (such as when I watched Hank of the vlogbrothers talk about how meat isn't very environmentally friendly):

1. At first I just wanted to try it out, see if I could survive without hamburgers. But after a while you adjust to it and you can't imagine eating meat again. It's been about three years on and off (more on than off).
2. I don't really like meat that much, I mean I like it, but I don't LOVE it. Not as much as I love cheese. Even so, it's hard to give up meat. When I started, I'll see my family eating bacon and burgers and I'd wonder why I wasn't eating it too. Then I'd feel guilty for sneaking a piece of bacon onto my plate and eating it. It felt like cheating. But I don't feel guilty anymore. It's a choice that I make, and if I want to make exceptions, I'm allowed to do that. Now when I eat meat it's not as delicious as I remember. For instance, a few months ago I had a hot dog to commemorate my great Aunt Jenny (it was her favourite food) and I decided that I was okay living without hot dogs.
3. Being a vegetarian is more healthy.
4. It's more environmentally friendly.
5. Animal rights. I'm not saying it's evil to eat a cow's butt and I don't look down on people who do (eat cow butt, I mean)--people have been eating animals for a really long time--I'm saying that I disagree with injecting baby pigs with hormones so that they mature faster, while living in disgusting, extremely cramped stalls, before being slaughtered. I disagree with feeding a cow hormones so that it produces more milk and then exploiting that. I understand that people have to eat, but I don't think we have to be so greedy and horrible about it. What's wrong with letting a cow outside before you eat it?

Being a part-vegetarian can be frustrating. It's really annoying when say, you're a volunteer at an event for Canada Day and afterwards when you head to the hospitality tent to get your complimentary meal there are no vegetarian options. So I got to eat a bun. That was my dinner, a plain hamburger bun.

I'm pleased to say that more fast food establishments are starting to serve veggie burgers. The only option you have at McDonald's is a chicken casaer salad with no chicken, but there are places such as Triple-O and Fatburger that are open minded enough to think of vegetarians.

My mother has an aversion to Fatburger. I can say that I've never actually been there, but I do know they have a veggie burger on their menu, so I respect them. She says that she won't eat at any place that has the word 'fat' in the name. My response to this is that at least Fatburger is open enough to admit that there is fat in their food as opposed to masquerading as a happy little farm, where you can get 'service with a smile'.

I have a good question this time. Are you a customer of Starbucks? If so, what is your favourite summer drink? Or winter drink? What do you drink...?

I will answer this one because I'm just that thoughtful. If I want something hot, I get a London Fog, which is an Earl Grey tea latte thing. London Fog is so delicious. Cold drink-wise I go with ice coffee. And if I want a Frappechino I'll either get a Chai Creme or a Vanilla Bean. Yum.