Sunday, February 28, 2010

This is what reading does to me

The Olympics are over. Yay! Now everyone can go home. I was going to write about hockey but I think I said it all already. There was a lot of talk on Twitter about the USA vs. Canada game which I thought was weird. Why are people so into hockey. Having said that, I did watch it and it was enjoyable. A very intense game during which I wanted to hit Roberto when he let in the last goal in the last 30 seconds. Seriously man, get it together.

I keep saying Withering Heights instead of Wuthering Heights. Why is that?

I'll try to keep this short for a couple reasons. Ooh a list, preeeetty.
  1. I can barely read words right now let alone construct whole sentences.
  2. I want to watch Gilmore Girls. This one is kind of selfish.
  3. I'm sleepy.
  4. It's dark outside. I have no idea why this leads to shortness but, according to my brain, it does.
  5. I distinctly remember having a number five but it won't come now. I'm now going to move on with my life.
I'm trying to think of some reason to like Wuthering Heights. It's a puzzler for the ages. I figure it has to have something good in there because it has stuck around for this long to be known as a 'classic'. I'm still having a hard time. People like this book, right? Where are they? What's up with them? In short: HOW COULD ANY SANE, "NORMAL" PERSON LIKE THIS BOOK??? You have to have a pretty dim outlook on life to see anything redeemable in it. I guess there's a happy ending. That is, if your definition of happy is "okay, well, most of the people were unhappy most of the time and died but there are a couple of cousins left who are going to get married and live happily ever after with their mutant eleven toed children." Sounds great, doesn't it?

I will write more about this on the morrow.

I really like hot chocolate. And cupcakes. Mmmmmm. I was going to try and finish the 1st and a half draft of my novel by the end of February. That didn't work out. At least I finished Edward and Bella's favourite book. Huzzah.

Okay, that's it. I'm out.

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Mostly) Untitled

This blog comes to you in three parts, as John Green would say (albeit in slightly vlogy-er terms).

1) AOL will not let me log in on either of my accounts.
This is very, very frustrating for me. Although it's only one day out of the three hundred twenty days that I need to log in,* I'm supposed to be sending an email to the MYP coordinator at my school. Technically I was supposed to send this three days ago, but I have a tendancy to avoid all MYP related activities and unfortunately this email falls under that category. Luckily it will only take about two minutes to write, but the fact remains that I NEED MY EMAIL TO WORK.

I feel like this is similar to that whole "my printer breaks at two a.m. the day my no-you-cannot-turn-it-in-late essay is due" phenomenon that plagues so many lucky fellows. I am forced to conclude that technology mocks us out of spite/boredom.

2) My father is convinced that using a computer will rot my brains.

He says this frequently. I attempt to point out to him that, unlike a television, many things on the computer require some degree of brain power and thus the likelyhood that I will actually harm my intellectual abilities by using one is quite slim. I understand that there is more to life than computer use, but really now.
Also I've had a long day (somewhat strangely, since I had a half schoolday aujourd'hui) and I don't feel like doing anything challenging ANYWAY so back off please. MERCI BEAUCOUP.

3) Today, I received a letter from Kenyon College.** I haven't opened it yet, but there is a picture of an owl wearing a baseball cap on the front of the envelope. He is asking, "Still waiting for your owl?"

YES, KENYON COLLEGE, YES I AM. My eleventh birthday was a sad one indeed.***

* I DO know my days of the year; I just don't check my e-mail EVERY day
** Not an official "we like you, please come to our college" letter but rather a "you did well on the PSAT and so we are going to send you lots of information about us" letter. It still makes me happy inside though, hahaha.
*** Not sure if this is an intentional reference to Harry Potter or not, but either way, I like Kenyon College.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is it too pink?

I feel like I need to tell a story. I definitely need to write something and I'm relatively certain that no one wants to hear me complain about how hard it is for me to learn HTML, CSS and photo editing. The fact that my socials and science courses are available and look scary and extensive is probably equally dull. My weird interest in Olympic curling is, as I said, weird and hard to explain to other people. Actually, my attachment to the Olympics altogether is perplexing, even to myself. I watched hockey tonight. What does that even say about me as a person? Have I conformed to Canada's strange obsessions?

About the hockey game which I did watch in the background while reading my book* and it was anticlimactic. I will say that whenever Canada wins something I feel bad for feeling good because a) the other athletes deserve it all just as much, usually, and b) I really can't take any ownership of any athlete just because they happened to be born in the same country as me. So I do sympathize with the losing US hockey team but not too much. I mean, hockey is Canada's thing. That's all the people here have (well, some of the people. *I* have other things). Some things should not be taken away. Plus the women's hockey team kicks ass.

About the blog layout, what do you think? I'm trying to hone my skills at website building but what I'm actually doing is being lost in how confusing it all is. I've read some tutorials and that helped but I've no clue about the whole image thing so the best I can do right now is a header image on a plain coloured background. Are either of you more advanced at this? I love this blog layout: (the blog itself isn't bad either).

Anyway, I'm about to watch Twilight. There is nothing like a good trash talk viewing of Twilight to end a low key Thursday. Every time I watch this I feel like I should record out commentary and sell it for awesome.

Rachel's contribution: "I find it ridiculous that Kristen Stewart thinks that when she's looking all "dazzled" by Edward it's sexy when really she just looks like someone in a vegetative coma state.

I think the pink is a bit much.

*not Wuthering Heights but a charmingly easy to read YA fiction about a male protagonist called Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Toast and Learning

Alex's concept of "unschooling" is interesting. It seems like there's some distinction between, "school that takes place at your house and other assorted locations" and "not-schooling that is somehow schooling".

To me*, "unschooling" makes me think of "learning things the hard way". DO NOT WANT. Hard way that requires personal experience that usually involves sucking, do not want.** But we've mostly been learning this way since we were little kids. Before the advent and application of the dreaded school system. As a personal example, something I learned the hard way that has provided an effective lesson:


Maybe this stems from my love of toast in my younger years, (food and I go waaay back) but one day I decided all my questions of the day*** were to be about toasters. "Why is it orange on the inside?" "How does it know when to pop up?" "How does it turn bread into toast?" "Can I turn a tomato into toast?"**** "How hot does it get inside?"

Ahhh, small Rena. This is not the question with a number for an answer, no, you must learn. Steps of learning:

1. Acquire small stool. (under circumstances of no parental supervision.)
2. Wave hand over toaster.
3. Enjoy warmth. 'Tis rather like having a tiny fireplace. Enjoy smell. 'Tis toastish.
4. Figure it's okay if you just touch it a tiny bit.
5. Experience PAIN. Use reflexes. Insert finger into mouth.
6. Have successfully learned how hot toasters get.

This is how life kind of is before school implements all its useless lessons... Learning basic concepts in various ways, but never totally believing the authorities that provide the (usually correct) answer until it is experienced firsthand.

As for what I learned this week in particular: (or some minor affirmations of things already known...)

-- See points on children + cold + morning in previous post. "The hard way", fo shnizzle.
-- One should never use words ending in "-izzle" outside of Internet.
-- It's handy (and hilarious) to know that "to be stoned" refers to a method of execution, not just "under the influence of marijuana". The reaction of those only familiar with the latter causes teh lulz. (okay, so I learned this *in* school)
-- Real friends are ones that aren't afraid to catch a cold from you, and don't care when they do.
-- It's very easy to get kicked out of a Walgreen's.
-- Oreos are the best cookies in the world.

Footnotes! (why do I feel it necessary to mark this obvious section at the end of the blog?)
* The product of 11 or so years of public schooling
** "The hard way" plus "sucking" makes the mind leap to such sexual references, isn't that sad?
*** The average 4 year old asks 400 questions per day. Did not learn this the hard way (trivia book statistic), but have confirmed it non-mathematically. I have a new respect for the people that put up with my questions.
**** Yeeeaahhh. Toast is good, 'kays? I was around 4. I was a sneaky, curious little twerp, but I turned out just fiiiine. :D

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ramblings of a Sleep-Deprived Person

[I swear to God, every time it's my day to post a blog, I can't think of anything to write about until after I post some random crap, at which point I have the most brilliant ideas ever.* I really ought to invest in a pencil to write them down with.]

Supposedly, a part of "Stairway to Heaven" sounds like a hommage to Satan when played backwards. Supposedly, John Lennon laments Paul's "death" inbetween tracks on the White Album.

Personally, I think all of this is a wheelbarrow of bullshit.

Firstly, humans have the unique abilitiy of being able to convince themselves to believe almost anything. Someone wants a theory to be true and you can bet they'll find "evidence" supporting themselves. Trouble is, you can find "evidence" for virtually anything, so a lot of it gets disregarded in the larger picture.

Secondly, these "backwards" things are usually pretty difficult to understand. Perhaps it DOES sound like "I love you, Satan" or whatever, or maybe... if you listen to it with your other ear... it sounds like "Don't vote Ralph Nader." WHO KNOWS?

Thirdly, the song lyrics are not outrageously farfetched when read in context with the rest of the song; it doesn't seem like the artist went out of their way to find some random string of words that would have a mysterious message when played backwards.

Fourthly, who came up with these theories in the first place? Did some guy just sit at home, playing all of his records/CDs/whatevers backwards until he found something interesting?

That said - and maybe it's because it's 10:00 pm and I'm ridiculously tired (seriously, my eyes are watering right now) - but even as I was reading that, I found myself thinking, "What if Paul really IS dead?" What if there really WAS a replacement Paul jamming with The Beatles all those years? Creeeepy. Extremely unlikely, yes, but the mere thought that such a thing could be a tiny bit possible is vaguely unsettling.

This reminds me of a crazy mind-trip I had a few weeks ago while I was trying to fall asleep. I suppose extreme fatigue brings about a sort of delirium; I guess I was experiencing a milder version of that. (I was tired, but come on now. My life isn't THAT hard.) Basically, as I lay there, I started imagining that a shark was about to burst through my bedroom floor and/or wall and tear me to pieces.** You've seen Jaws? Neither have I, but you know that one scene where the shark drags the guy off the boat? It was like that, except less graphic and the shark was jumping and flipping and performing all sorts of tricks. As far as imaginary sharks go, it was quite talented. Brutal, yes, but talented.
I'm not particularly frightened of sharks (although I'm sure I wouldn't be all hugs and giggles if I were in the same general ocean space as one) but I actually started to get a little freaked out, in that "FUCK knows what I'm thinking right now" sort of way.*** Ah, sleep... you're such a tease, aren't you?

I have to go do French and sleep and God knows what else, so this is where I leave you, I suppose. "Best wishes," as John Green would say (hahahaha...).

* Relatively speaking.
** Mind you, I live in the non-coastal part of Maryland. Also, I'm on the second floor, i.e. not the ground floor, i.e. not sea level...?
*** I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that I am not, and never have been, under the influence of any hallucinogen type things.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This is unschooling

Things I have learned this weekend, most of which I already sort of knew:
  • The Olympics kind of wreak horrors on their host cities. Most of these horrors are rooted from debt. :(
  • Killing yourself shouldn't be a possibility in sports. At least, not a likely possibility.*
  • Push ups are no fun. Especially when broken up by running laps. (Wait, I knew that already)
  • Boys are weird.
  • Opening bands basically exist to suck, thus making the feature performance seem that much better as highlighted by The Ultimate Power Duo.**
  • Marianas Trench is amazing.
  • Throwing your bra onstage is not an acceptable thing to do.
  • It should be required to brush your teeth and apply deodorant before entering a tightly packed mass of teenagers.
  • Mosh pitts are uncomfortable but a somewhat necessary life experience.
  • That penguin thing with the huddling? Yeah, it works really well.
  • Concerts performed where the audience can see the stars are much more enjoyable than concerts inside of doors.
  • Cheesy popcorn is good. Or I should say, it can be good.
Something I'm kind of wrestling with this week is schools. I do not know why it's surfaced now when my mom has been saying something to this effect my entire life, but it has. So I will tell you: Schools teach you to think a certain way. They instill protocol and order. It's a mold. Standardized testing is one example. But true education teaches you to think for yourself. And the only way to learn to think for yourself is to practice. So I've been practicing.

Q: What did you learn this week?

*I'm not sure if you heard about this, seeing as how I'm still not sure how the Olympics are affecting people outside of this immediate area, but a luger from Georgia (the country, not the state) died during a training run the day before the Olympic opening. On the news, they're saying it was because of a mistake that HE made that resulted in his death (he flew off his sled and into a pole). At first that kind of makes sense, but when you think about it, isn't it weird that physicists and engineers OKed this track, knowing that one slight error could have athletes in mortal peril? And we're blaming it on that athlete? Yeah, fuck that.
**Who, by the way, have three people in it. What kind of duo has three people? That was not rhetorical. The answer is a bad duo whose idea of lyrics is one sentence repeated over and over to a guitar riff. Also, a song about Count Chocula has potential, but you guys squandered it. Thanks for that.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Over the Hills & Far Away...

(Or, Someone Please Remind Me Why I Signed Up for ChildLit) (Alternate Subtitle: Beware, For Complaining Abounds...)

What I've done today:

-- Awoken from a headcoldy coma at 8 in the morning when I really would have preferred to sleep until 10ish, as is usual; but today ESPECIALLY because I have a cold and thusly, an excuse for doing so.

-- Got to the library at 10 to observe a story-hour for ChildLit.

-- Sat through and took useless notes on (I forgot the sheet of questions, so they were answers to the questions I THOUGHT were to be answered...) a duck-themed story hour.

-- Really started to wonder why I chose Children's Life/Literature as an elective*

-- Observed the very reasons I do not want to have children. They are not at all like puppies, but do enjoy jumping and screaming and what is generally summarized as creating a level of noise quite intolerable to an anti-morning-person-who-is-just-sick-enough-to-be-tired-and-even-more-intolerant-of-small-and-or-strange-children-jumping-and-or-screaming-and-or-randomly-interjecting "I HAVE AN OWL PUPPET!"**

Who can, in this case be described in a much shorter fashion as RENA.

Do not like. Various cousins I seldom see, fine. But to permanently be around them of my own free will, this is not going to happen. To choose to interact with them as my actual profession is even less likely. Which yet AGAIN begs the question, "Then why in the hell did you CHOOSE to take ChildLit, moron?!"

Answer: Having doubts about this to be honest, logical-yet-cynical-and-angry side of my brain. I've never really been interested in having kids, though. I'm not noticing this just because I was subjected to be around them in the morning whilst I was bear-out-of-hibernation-y. I've always kind of felt this way, if that makes me a heartless child-hating witch, then so it shall be. (Also, see string of necessary situations in previous post. Improbable, to say the least.)

Footnotiness! *If you've read this far, please form an orderly line to receive your cookie*
* My reasoning for this, approx. last summer when courses were selected: I don't want to take cooking or anything even remotely art-related or wood-tech for fear I will slice my thumbs off. Which sounds exaggeratory, but seriously I WOULD. I almost drove a drill into the leg of my pants during Industrial Tech last year. This is a different story.

** When typed, all childrens' dialogue will nearly ALWAYS in be CAPS. OWLLLL PUUUUUPPPET!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Je sais pas...

What I did this week:

1) Came back to school after 10 days off school because of the snow.

2) Obtained 3 jars of Nutella and have currently about 2.25 jars full left. VICTORY!

3) Went up in the Genie for the first time to tape and paint a section of a very tall set piece.

4) Went to bed at about 11:00 and fell asleep at about midnight every night.

5) Lamented the loss of the opportunity to take a semester of World Literature as an elective next year, but became more excited and nervous about doing IB next year.

6) Watched a video of Johnny Weir iceskating to Lady Gaga .

Iceskating (ice skating? ice-skating?) has always been one of my favorite sports to watch. It's like dance, but performed on little pieces of metal. Also, it's colder.

Perhaps it's not fair to compare dance and iceskating because although they share similar aspects, the whole - theory? technique? - behind them is pretty different. I guess I see iceskating as more of a sport and dance as more of a (physically demanding) art form. That's not to say the two are mutually exclusive. My sister has done ballet since she was three and it's definitely really tough; it's just that I can't, for the life of me, iceskate. True, I've only ever gone iceskating once, but I am a complete failure at rollerskating AND rollerblading so I doubt I'd be any good at iceskating. Of course, I can't dance for anything either, so who knows?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Troy is Epic

I'm finding it hard to be against the Olympics when it is because of them that a Canadian band that I really like are having two free concerts this week. But I am going to see a documentary tomorrow called Five Ring Circus that is supposedly going to enlighten me on the negative aspects of the XXI Winter Games. Can't wait.

Anyway, I will be seeing Marianas Trench on Saturday. Yay.

On another Olympic related note, I talked about Stefan Read in a blog yesterday and this relates to the issue of women's ski jumping. I don't know if you know this because it doesn't seem that widely publicized or discussed (blame the media) but I learned when I read a book about a girl who goes on a trip to Sweden that there is no women's event in the Olympics for ski jumping. Modern sexism for the lose!

I know there's all kinds of alleged reasons for this, one being that women's ski jumping isn't done widely enough but I think that's all stupid. Stop being bigots and give the women an event!

I fail to see how there can be such a thing as men's figure skating and no women's ski jumping. It just isn't fair. I'm not saying men shouldn't figure skate but could they not squeeze in an ski jumping event for the women, if only for appearances sake? And really, men's figure skating? Enough has been said.

...segue... funny word that.

I finished all my courses. Have I said this? Well, now it's officially official. Except for art. Darned watercolours. I must admit I'm not a very amazing painter. I've always thought abstract paintings were an excuse for untalented people. I suppose they're perfect for me. Aw well, back to the easel. Another weird word.

For lack of a better way of ending this eternal work in progress I will tell you that I've recently been obsessing with a song called When the Day Met the Night by Panic at the Disco. It's a good song. I was never a fan of Panic at the Disco but this album is kind of neat. It's so poetic. Like pretty poetry only with MUSIC. I like.

I also like this song. Simple and sweet. But that's off topic. As is the title of this. It's incredible how quickly my attention can be diverted. I'm going to go eat cheese.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


In honor of the recent Olympics, I present a quote from Avenue Q:

"Ain't it fun to watch figure skaters* falling on their asses?!"

Oh god, this makes me sound like such a horrible person, but YES, indeed it is. The fun of speculating how much the fall hurt, the commentary from the announcer people that they are now out of the competition, their dreams being smashed... MUAHAHA!

Nawwww, but srsly...

In order to justify this a little, the definition of "schadenfreude"-- Delight in the misfortunes of others. Terrible premise, but true if you think about it. WHY is it fun to watch people look like fools during the middle of a serious international athletic competition? I've come up with these reasons (slash, my excuses for doing this)

1. The nicer one-- It shows that they're real people, not some sort of superhuman machine*, with flaws that the average Olympic-viewer can relate to that make them feel better about their own abilities.

2. Probably closer to the truth-- All people, not matter how sophisticated they seem, have the primal sense of humor commonly exhibited in monkeys. Doing/seeing embarrassing or painful things done to others that aren't happening to us personally IS FUNNY. Pain = LULZ.

*Not always figure skaters, obviously. Some of the better ones I've seen have occurred during skiing.
**On the side of conspiracy, possibly random mistakes designed into the program of these Olympic robots specifically to REFUTE the idea that they ARE in fact said robots? Always one step ahead, those cyborgs... ;)
***Mmmm, that's all I've got to say, except that AQ is hilarious. Is it just me or do the Summer Olympics have a LOT more events? (or at least a larger variety?)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Doctor Who would be Ashamed

As I was perusing through my American history textbook (read: learning about the various wars, hypocracies, and infrequent successes of the American government; also, discovering that most American heros had a chief defect that makes them considerably less likeable), the thought popped into my head: "What is the worst thing that could happen to the world?"

To which I immediately answered myself, "The invention a time machine."

True, without time travel, Doctor Who would be worse than screwed over: he wouldn't even exist. Yes, I'm glad that Harry and Hermione saved the lives of Buckbeak and Sirius, if only for a short time, by using a Time Turner.

But come on, now. A real-life time machine in the hands of a real-life person? That would be the large-scale equivalent of giving James Blunt a recording label (someone fucked up on that one): complete and utter devestation. Massive suffering. No bloody idea what disaster would strike next.

When you have one disaster, it sucks, but at some point, it ends. It leaves behind scars, yes, but you at least you have something definite to deal with. If time travel was real, can you imagine how unsure the already unclear future would be? One minute, you'd be sitting at home; the next, you could be running out of your house screaming because of some war that started 5 years ago that you didn't know about until now because somebody just went back in time and pissed off a foreign country which then declared war on your country and now everything is absolute shit. It would be the scariest thing ever.

I don't know anything about physics or time or anything to know if time travel is even remotely possible. If I had to guess, I'd say it's not. I know, I know; nothing is impossible - really, though? I feel like time is so intangible, so unknown, that nobody would even know where to begin. And even if they had some vague starting point, how can you travel through time? It's not like aspiring to build a rocket that can reach a different galaxy; as difficult as that is, it can probably be done - it probably will be done at some point. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but assuming the human race doesn't completely kill each other off, probably someday.

And even if someone did travel through time, how would that logically work? If something in the past changes, then the present must change as well; but how? Would an alternate universe be created, in which a second version of our world reacts to the changed event while our own world continues on as normal? Would everyone suddenly find themselves in a different situation with no knowledge of how they got there? Would we cancel out the modern day and replay history in accordance to that event? Would we have our memories replaced with the new memories that had formed because of this change? Would some of us disappear, because we had never been born, because our parents had never met, because that changed event prevented them from doing so?

How shit would that be?

Even a rudimentary time machine that could only make a small animal go back a minute or an hour in time would be devestating. After all, virtually every invention has been modified, improved, changed, or more largely produced since it was first created. If we can travel back in time an hour, why not a day? A month? A year? If we can transport a mouse, why not a person? A group of people? An entire army?

Instead of fighting our battles in the present, why not the past? Why couldn't a modern country give Nazi Germany a hand and allow them to take over the world? Why couldn't they extend the Holocaust to the entire world, so that it affects every family?

Yeah. Time machine = cool in theory. Not so much in practice.

- A WARNING - I started this at 6 pm-ish and four hours later, I still hadn't finished it, haha. Sorry for the crap ending!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I wish I was at WrapZone

Happy Valentine's Day! That's all I shall say about the matter. Other than that I think we (being Rachel and me) should go to the WrapZone and leave a note for a certain (hot) employee (on Rachel's behalf, of course). Rachel is hesitant to go. :( No valentines, it is.

The Olympics!!! I don't know if either of you checked out the opening ceremonies on tv. I did not until I got home from seeing Valentine's Day (which was so-so) and saw that everyone (okay, not everyone) was tweeting about it. John Green said something about satanic flames and how Canada had looked at life from both sides now. I was intrigued. On went the television.

We watched a replay of it from about the middle to the end and were thoroughly entertained. The satanic flames were everything I expected. Amazing. And partially lame. I guess that's in the description. The cauldron malfunction was quite amusing.

Then I watched women's hockey yesterday and was quite embarrassed to see Canada kick Slovakia in the face. Not even in the butt, like a normal kicking. No, Canada had to pound the poor Slovakians* in the face, with a skate laden foot. I believe the final score was 18-0. It's just sad. I'm sorry, Slovakia, please don't quit hockey because of this.

***There was a large intermission between the writing of these two sections. Take note.***

Canada won a gold medal. I have seen the winning mogul run** about fifteen times. I think I know what I will be dreaming about tonight and I will reveal to you that it is Alexandre Bilodeau and his mad skiing skillz. In case you didn't know (I'm writing this with sarcasm in my inner voice because I have heard this fact so many times on the news), this is the first gold medal Canada has won on Canadian soil. No gold medals were won for Canada at either the Calgary or Montreal Olympics. History was made today.

I think this is kind of exciting. Seeing this guy awarded his bouquet*** was the second most amazing part (the most amazing part, of course, was seeing his body rotate three times in the air while flipping his feet over his head). Happiness practically radiated off him. The third most amazing part was when he had just finished the run, he fell after nearly crashing into a wall. The fourth most amazing part was seeing him stand on the podium for a photo op next to the Australian silver medal winner who's face said that all he wanted was to go to his hotel room and jump off the balcony. Or maybe just hit someone. He was not at all pleased with his result. Poor fellow. Maybe that wasn't amazing.

Then we watched pairs figure skating which was also awesome. I can't really explain the feeling you get from watching figure skating but I like it. Canada did not rank very high there but the medal event is happening tomorrow. One of the couples danced to that completely epic song from the Lord of the Rings 2 trailer. Epicness.

I'll stop rambling about the Olympics because it probably doesn't mean that much to anyone but me. Seriously though, I don't know if I'm only interested because it's happening here, but I feel very invested.

*Who, in case you're interested (yes, I know you're not, I'm telling you anyway) are at the Olympics for the first time. They have never before had their women's hockey team play an Olympic game and were rewarded with a Canadian face kicking. *facepalm*
**Hands up if you have never heard of moguls until very recently. *raises hand*
***He gets the actual medal tomorrow night, I believe.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Vita's post got me thinking about it, though I'm far, FARRRR, from a planner-ahead person... Parts:

1. On driving laws here, and my personal perceived driving skillz.
2. On colleges and moving.
3. On weddings. (and other things television makes look horrible.)

1. For me, Driver's Ed is a whole semester of NOT PE. W00T. (there's an option to take private lessons, but that means paying and taking 2 semesters of Soph PE. BOO.) By birthdate, I'm scheduled to take it second semester. This is fine by me, because I'm probably going to suck at driving. MOI, controlling a large moving object moving at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. Somedays I'm barely capable of walking on flat surfaces without tripping and looking like a fool. Honestly, I'm a bit scared. For myself and other pedestrians/drivers/innocent cute furry animals. It's a good skill to have, but if wherever I go there's good public transportation I'll stick to that. Plus it's good for the environment. Permit is obtained I think at the end of the course, then there's a course called "Behind the Wheel" for juniors which I think is the testing? There's 100 hours of driving (they make sure you go through WINTER, too. *shudder* I guess that's a good thing.) then most people end up with a license at 16.

2. I WANT to get into a good college, but I don't really care if it's not an Ivy (like some people are already stressing about-- FRESHMEN, for crying out loud.) Maybe U of I or something close-ish. (as opposed to the college that's about 2 feet away from the library in my town, or COD. Too close.) Anywhere in New York would also be jokes. I've been to Iowa and it's pretty there. (hell yes, I'd pick a college based on prettiness of the town...) It depends.

3. My parents haven't expressed any concern about my wedding or lack thereof. I have a feeling they and the rest of my family would be supportive, if not pay for it. Having a wedding necessitates getting engaged, which necessitates having a for-serious boyfriend, which necessitates having a not-for-serious boyfriend, which necessitates going out and having a social life, which in itself would have everyone in a group happydance. I don't know when/whee I'm going to get married, but here are some thoughts:

--Definitely in spring. April maybe. I know that's a really common time to get married, but I DO NOT want snow. Rain, okay. I think that's kind of romantic.

-- Outdoors would be cool. Specifically, I remember this one park (that ironically is very close to a church, where all the random cousins I hardly know had their communions/graduation parties-- in the basement of said church, wherein kickass pizza was had. I want that pizza at my wedding.) with a statue of a guy (I should look up who that is) and tons of trees and a gazebo type thing in the distance (from where I was, which was usually outside of/in the lobby of the church, with what I always thought was a birdbath... now I'm pretty sure it's a baptism thingy?) I really wanted to go hang out in that gazebo instead of being where I was. If it's possible to get married in there, that's where I'm going.

-- The dress I could care less about, having watched a show on TLC about the purchasing of them. I think the store is in New York, so all of the customers are from New Jersey. The people never shut up and let the person buy what she wants, which most of the time look stupid.

Have to go abruptly. Will possibly end tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wedding Talk

For some reason, my father recently decided to "lay down the law" and tell me what I could expect to receive by the way of financial support for my as-of-yet nonexistent wedding. I was like, Dad, you realize that I am a) not engaged and b) fifteen**, right? Apparently this didn't mean anything to him, so I now have a nice set of guidelines.

Father: We [him and my mother] are offering you a nice wedding at Saint Paul's (the "family church").

Me: Dad, I'm not getting married.

Father: No, listen. It would be a nice service, a thousand-dollar organ, a reception hall upstairs...

Me: Dad, I'm really not getting married.

Father: Plus, it's nearby!

Me: Dad, by the time I would feasibly be getting married, I probably won't be living around here anymore anyway, so that wouldn't really be convenient for me...

Father: Well, that's what we're offering.

Me: What if I don't want to get married there?

Father: Okay, but it's a good starting point. We're willing to help you pay for that.

Me: ...And if I paid for my own wedding...

Father: It's difficult to keep costs down.

What the hell, father? I'M NOT GETTING MARRIED. Also, I'm definitely not getting married in Saint Paul's, partially because I plan to move to either Oregon, Washington, or New England and would rather not come all the way back down to DC just for a stupid wedding. DC is a depressing place to get married, what?

Actually, it got me thinking about where I WOULD get married. A church is traditional and everything, but I'm not Christian so that would be kind of awkward. The priest would be all "ohai, do u luv teh God?" and I'd be like "idk if iz real soooooo lolwut."

Whatevs. My dad's not controlling or anything; I'm pretty sure he was partially joking. On the other hand, he was definitely at least three-fifths serious. I was like, I will pay for your plane tickets, leave me alone, thank you.

PS, Valentine's Day = the worst time to get married, PLUS it's cruel to your single-and-depressed wedding guests. Especially if you get divorced; you would never be able to enjoy the cheap stuffed bears and crappy chocolate again! Noooooooooooo!

** and eight months, bitchezzzz. I COULD HYPOTHETICALLY GET MY DRIVING PERMIT NEXT MONTH (I should work on that, dayum. It snuck up on me). While we're on the subject, can I ask you guys what the driving laws are like in your area? Because over here we have to be 15 and 9 months to apply for a driving permit, then sixteen and 3 months to get your provisional license and seventeen and nine months (I think) to get your full license. You have to have 60 hours of driving practice and all sorts of fun stuff before you can get your provisional. I always thought this was standard for most of the states except for, like, Nebraska and crap (rural states whoooooooo) except apparently IT'S NOT.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Once more with feeling

I just wrote 'You know it's Tuesday when it's 8:30pm and I have a blog to write but absolutely nothing to write about.' But it's actually Thursday. Fail.

And now I will become the rambler, because I can't think of anything to rant about.

Valentine's Day on Sunday. Yay. I've always liked Valentine's Day. Valentine's equates to my mom buying me a box of chocolate and making pink heart shaped pancakes. What's wrong with that? Plus, this year the movie, Valentine's Day, is coming out which I'm kind of excited about. We're going to see it on Friday which hopefully won't be too busy. Although it is opening night.

Justin Bieber is really getting on my nerves. He's just so presumptuous.

For example, his song, One Less Lonely Girl, he's basically saying that this girl was completely unhappy until he came along to be with her. So he's going to make her life meaningful again simply by being himself. Obviously, she could not possibly been a happy person before he came along because she was SINGLE *GASP*. Imagine a fourteen year old not having a life companion. It's just such a ghastly thought.

This is all to say that Bieber and I are over. It used to be a cute little joke, but now I'm fed up with his semi sexist persona. And what's with that ridiculous pointing at the camera thing?

Why do I seem to write all my blogs while watching Vampire Diaries? I don't know if either of you watch it so you may not know what I am talking about for the next few sentences. I will explain. I feel so sorry for Damon. I mean, here he is living his antagonistic, tortured vampire life and the only reason he has to go forth is to find his vampire love, Katherine. Now, yes, neither Damon nor Katherine are the nicest of vampires. They are both sort of misguided and pathetic but they had each other. Until Katherine ditches Damon without telling him, leaving him to think she is locked in a tomb with dozens of other bloodthirsty vampires. All his vampire life he was only trying to free her and now he finds out that she was never in the tomb all along and all this time that he's been trying to get her back she's been gallivanting in Chicago. And there's Damon, the poor bastard, who was truly in love with Katherine even though she's a total bitch.
I don't know, maybe it's only because I find Damon completely endearing and adorable but I feel really bad for him. And then I find out no more Vampire Diaries until March 26th.

Oooh, someone is beckoning with popcorn. See you cats on the flip flop tomorrow! (100pts if you got that reference)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SNOW-- Insanity Edition

Yes, a topic photographically covered by the wonderful Vita, but SNOW has struck here. Bleh. Lots of it. Fluffy white mounds made of cute albino rabbits OF DEATH.

So what? We get quite a bit of it here, no suprise, it's February for crissakes. But, this is snow with a TWIST: Being trapped in a house with 3 of your closest (yet with "closest" also comes adjectives like "most mentally unstable especially when gathered in small spaces"...) relatives. So there's that. Moderately stress-inducing story of the last hour:

My grandmother was over at my house, general chattering ensues, then, abruptly, "HOLY SHIT IT IS SNOWING HARD!" Which it was. So everyone piles in the car to drive her back to her house, (she doesn't drive, refusing to become "one of those geezers who can't even see over the goddamn steering wheel" she would've walked had it not been nearly blizzardy conditions...) and it's pointed out that one of the windshield wipers is kind of askew. Once the destination is reached, the attempt is made to pop the lower half of it into its normal path. Result: the entire thing cracks off. Spend an alternating 15 minutes in the car and outside looking for a tiny black screw. Give up eventually and crowd into small kitchen. Call relative with functioning car. Wait. Much, much too long of a wait. People start to get claustrophobic and/or just plain testy. Moan about the snow. Yell at the stupid snow to STOP. Wait more. Raaaahg, that got annoying. You know the feeling you get, even if you're somewhere familiar, that where you currently ARE is not particularly where you SHOULD be?

Whatever, I'm glad it's over. I REALLY hope there's no school tomorrow though. (because-- duh, I want to sleep in-- and because I need another day to finish the essay *um, or two, possibly... heh.* I have so predictably procrastinated upon.*

Monday, February 8, 2010

An Abundance of Stupidity

Every now and then I like to go to the FOX News and CNN websites to compare their news stories. It's quite amusing; the stark differences between their featured articles - and even moreso the titles and content of their articles - highlight the fact that virtually every news source is at least a little bit biased. FOX is, of course, more of a Republican-based organization, whereas CNN and MSNBC are more Democratic. I'm not a huge fan of any of them* but if I do feel the need to check one of them** I go to CNN more often than not, because hey, if I'm going to get the biased version of something, it may as well be the biased version that I'm more likely to agree with!

Anyhow, as I was persuing through the glorious bounty of FOXy news, I stumbled across this article. Sex and young children; what a wonderful opportunity for a story! No, really - put those two things together and you're bound to piss somebody off. Piss somebody off and they'll probably yell about it, which will cause more people to check out the story and thus visit your channel/website, which then generates more money for you! Who could pass it up?***

Look, there's even the bonus feature of the story involving Planned Parenthood and religion. Planned Parenthood is loathed/seen as the devil incarnate by a number of people, presumably because it promotes "safe sex," in part by making contraception available even to teenagers, and provides the opportunity for abortions. Could you get more controversial if you tried, FOX? (Okay, probably yes. But hush.) And then religion, well, I doubt I even need to explain why it's controversial. Like, if you don't know that religion is the subject of many a debate, then where the HELL have you been living? (Hahaha, Hell... get it? ...No? Okay.)

I suppose the topic of sex and sex-related things (body parts, babies, etc.) has always been, and will continue to be, controversial for a number of reasons. For chrissake, people can't even agree on when sex is "dirty"/"slutty"/"impure" and when it is "necessary"/"acceptable"/"a sign of love." Marriage? An ongoing relationship? Anytime it's between two adults? And what is it okay to teach in schools, and to which ages? Should high schoolers be taught how to use a condom? Should middle schoolers? Should kids in elementary school even know what sex is? Should young children be taught about child molesters so they speak up if something happens to them, or is that just polluting their minds?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions, and it's not the inherent annoyingness of FOX news or the stupid, pointless stories that are blown way out of proportion that made me frustrated enough to write this. It's the fact that the organization "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" was quoted, multiple times, in this article.

This may not strike a chord with anyone reading this. However, for a project for school, I stumbled across this very organization while I was researching.

They are the epitome of everything that is wrong in America's thinking. I mean, look at their website. Read what they say. It just makes me so legitimately angry. THESE are the people who are "poisoning" children's minds, not the schools. THESE are the people who create bigoted adults. It's not that the school system is always right - clearly they're not, or else public schools would be in better shape - but honestly, HOW do you expect school systems to improve if they're not allowed to test out new strategies (within reason)? How can schools improve if they have random "citizens" breathing down their necks and telling them that they're doing everything wrong?

For me, though, they're not just another fundamentalist grassroots group. "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" formed because of an argument that arose in MY county because of something that happened in MY school system.

Longish story short: a few years back (2006/2007ish), the Board of Education for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) decided, "ohai, maybe it would be a good idea to teach Health students about teh gays." Nothing offensive or racy, just a simple "hey, there are gay people in the world, they are very probably born that way, respect them, don't be a jerkface, thanks." I believe that actual lesson was something about respect and tolerance. I don't know how it is in other counties; in MCPS, you have to get a permission slip signed to be present for the "family life" unit of Health. No big deal; 99.9% of students' parents sign it and everybody's happy. To teach this lesson about gays, another permission slip would be sent home, and if you signed it, great; if not, that was fine too. I don't remember the exact number, but a clear majority (like 85% or higher) of parents were fine with the lesson. However, some of the more touchy parents (and a few non-parents, like what the fuck are you even doing it doesn't concern you) were all OOOOOOOH MY GOD YOU ARE INFECTING TEH KIDDEHZ MINDS YOU HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PEOPLE LET ME TAKE THIS TO THE SUPREME COURT OH WAIT THE SUPREME COURT DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT LET ME APPEAL THIS TO THE DISTRICT COURT OF MONTOMERY COUNTY (OR WHATEVER IT'S CALLED) INSTEAD!!!111~~!~! And thus the "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" was born. Meanwhile, the rest of Montgomery County was all lolwut. Predictably, the judge ruled in favor of MCPS and the lesson continued and is still being taught today. Contrary to popular belief, the children are not all dying from the impurity of it all.

It sucks that such an idiotic organization is from Montgomery County because it means that they are tangentially connected to me. Ew. I also feel a tiny bit guilty about their existence, like I should be responsible for containing them. It's one thing when you have the crazies running around one town, but once you hand them a megaphone, you've... well... you've screwed everyone over. (Thanks, FOX.) Actually, it's sort of funny/strange how these lovely people originated in MoCo**** because practically EVERYONE here is some version of a Democrat (because I don't know about you, but when I think of liberal, my mind jumps straight to Maryland...). Usually pretty moderate Democrats, yes, but the Republicans don't have any real political power. And yet thanks to these STUPID STUPID IDIOTS WHO GIVE CONSERVATISM A BAD NAME, the few people outside of Maryland who actually know of the "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculm" (I put their name in quotes because they are not ACTUALLY "for a responsible curriculum," as they claim) most likely think that MoCo is chillin' with the cows and possibly George W Bush. Which is true for part of the county. But not most.

God, I feel like this post seriously degraded in quality. Mais c'est la vie. RANTING IS FUN WHOOOO!

PS, I have been seriously jamming to DJ Earworm's United States of Pop 2009 (Blame it on the Pop) (fab title, yes?). I arrived at that party 2 months late (I'd heard about it before but was too lazy to actually look it up) and BOY AM I GLAD I ARRIVED AT ALL. So much better than most of those songs individually FO' SHIZ. (Some of them are catchy in that "you may look down on me for liking this but it is very very catchy indeed so shut up" way, but some are just WHY WAS THIS EVERY PRODUCED.)

* Because a) they are far too focused on "infotainment," as they say, i.e. spending a ridiculous amount of time talking about the deaths of celebrities as though wars and such are nonexistent and b) sources of news should be as unbiased as humanly possible; get a talkshow or something if you want to spout your political beliefs, but your news should be FAIR and BALANCED

** I usually check The Washington Post (either the physical newspaper or online) because I've grown up with it and developed a bit of an attachment and because I like to tell myself (possibly delusionally) that a newspaper is bound to have at least some integrity in it

*** Other than, you know, sane people

**** I really hate this abbreviation but I'm too lazy to keep writing out the full name


I was at my writing course last night and it was completely awesome. We talked about metaphors a lot and it gave me this odd urge to go home and write poetry. So I did.
But we also talking about bad metaphors. Cheesy ones that you find in Twilight that make you cringe. Or ones that are so ridiculous you laugh because otherwise you would cry.

And now I shall describe dear Clementine, from my most recent novel, using a host of metaphors and similes, good and bad ;)

Her hair reminded me of Harry Potter, it looked as if the wind had just been ruffling through it as she flew around the Quidditch pitch on a Firebolt. Unlike Harry Potter, her hair was probably like that from lack of confrontations with a comb.
Her personality was ground cinnamon, a surprisingly welcome addition to most dishes but a little unorthodox on it's own. She left you with a burning energy, like a spicy red unknown Jelly Belly.
Her eyes sparkled like one of Stephenie Meyer's vampires in the sunlight and you could hear the fake wind chime special effects when you stared into them for too long.
Her face was so mischievous, like and elf's, but beautiful at the same time, so much so that when you had her full attention you were blinded by it like a flashlight in the face.

Now I'm going to go back into my room and crank out those last school assignments. And only when I am done will you see me again. Or on Thursday. Whichever come first.

Oh and I'm sorry that I invaded your day, Vita. I didn't feel like posting yesterday and you did so it was kind of fortuitous in the end. Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow, what?

My neighbor's pine tree (looking very regal)

Me, attempting to walk in the snow (it's a bit deeper than it looks here - it came up past my knee, even when I wasn't touching the very bottom of it all)

Yesterday's sunset, which was a welcome sight after the hours of snowy grayness, and part of my snowed-in street

A large icicle that my mom broke off so it wouldn't impale anyone

Taken from indoors - my deck (note how much snow is on the table/chairs)

For the past two days, I have been living in a world of snow, snow, and more snow. If you have ever been present during a huge snowstorm, you have probably experienced the agony of having EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION somehow relate to a) how much snow is on the ground, b) how much snow WILL be on the ground, c) how many days school will be canceled, d) how much the person loves snow, or e) how much the person hates snow with every cell in their body.

Truthfully, these conversations don't bother ME too much, partially because I am all for hopping on the snow boat, as it were, and partially because it's usually not too difficult to get the person distracted which then leaves you with either a) a chance to escape or b) a more interesting conversation. However, it can't be denied that sometimes the amount of snow talk exceeds the amount of actual snow, so with that I will shut up and leave you with a few pictures from today and yesterday* (I feel like the depth of the snow isn't very accurately captured in these photos - it's well past two feet).
(I feel bad for not blogging on Friday, so I hope that Alex doesn't mind that I'm invading her day!)
*which are actually above the text because I don't know how to move pictures on Blogger

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Likely Topic

All of January, I was bracing myself for The Exams of Last Thursday. It was all a little bit anticlimactic, to be honest. The exams themselves were pretty low-key. All month I've been telling myself, 'it's okay, Alex. Just get through to exam and then all your courses will be finished (save for art... bluh) and then you can move on to the next courses (science, socials and possibly Creative Youth Entrepreneurship, which sounds fascinating. Oh and PE... ew.) and then it'll be summer and you'll be finished with grade ten. Woot.'

But no.

I've finished the exams but salvation has not reached me yet. I still have some more stuff to complete, including, but not limited to, my art projects (for both English and Math), my independent projects (an essay on racism for English --which I am writing about the cover of Liar, by Justine Larbalestier and will post here for feedback-- and a report on some mathmetician or other --Daniel Biss, anyone?-- for math), my course evaluations, where I talk about how I feel my efforts were in each course and how the course could be awesomer in general and then last of all the journal for English where I express my understanding for narrating something myself or some such curriculum nonsense --I don't see why I can't just direct Lisa to all the blogs I wrote where I whined about my English course... there's actually something to that. I shall scan the archive. Blogging for school credit for the win!

Naturally, with all this stuff due around next week, I have succumbed to procrastination. It's a different type of procrastination than normal. I'm not actually aware that I'm doing it. Usually, when I have something to do, I'll put it off, telling myself I have lots of time, I can do it later or something like that and then I do something else, be it YouTube, Twitter, blogging, etc.
This time, it's different. I will open up my computer with the strict goal of finding and researching a mathmetician and I will soon find myself writing a blog about cheese*. Some psychic THING has taken over my brain and I completely forget about Daniel Biss. I don't even feel guilty about it as I do it because I don't realize I'm doing anything wrong. It's really not helping.

Today, I turned the internet off and that worked. I officially love the little toggle on the side of my computer that turns my wireless detectors off because it is the only way I can get anything done without watching Hayley's Five Awesome Girls video.

I'm sorry if there were too many parenthesis in there for you to follow along with me. Just know that however confused you are feeling right now, that is exactly how I feel when I set out to write an essay outline and end up perusing the internet for books reviews.

Oh, and I hesitate to mention this, but I've kind of started a collab YouTube channel with my friends and I posted a video on Tuesday (which is my day) which is bad but could be worse. So if you wanted to, like, watch it... you can do that. Just don't expect too much. *hesitantly posts link*

*There's no actually blog about cheese, that was made up. Don't get excited. It could happen in the future.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Only 7%... are this awesome

According to the Internet, I'm in a lot of minorities. Specifically, SEVEN PERCENT minorities. Examples: (comprised of two lists)

List 1-- Things I knew before today

1. Only 7% of people in the world are left-handed. (and, of the 7%, there are twice as many males as females. AND, that Gerald Ford wrote left-handed while seated but right-handed while standing.)

List 2-- Things the Internet has taught me

1. 7% of people under 25 blog
2. 7% of people under 15 reported having the "three life experiences key to their futures"-- which totally sounds like something SCHOOL would have us look up and analyze, but really is just the result of (a.) Googling things in quotes and (b.) being genuinely interested, and looking for more 7's and (c.) wanting to post a thought-provokingish blog. (d.) I always feel like lettered lists should at least go up to d.*

Okay, so these are the 3 experience things, see for yourselves:

Spark-- An individual talent, passion or gift.**
Teen Voice Index-- How well the voices of teens can be heard on issues that matter to them.***
Relationship and Opportunities Index-- Access to "high quality resources and relationships that allow teens to nurture their strengths"****

Footnotes *placed awkwardly in the middle of the blog!*

* Yes, Rena, as in OCD. Will you get on with it? Will you stop pseudo-talk/typing to yourself??
No. No, in fact, I'll keep this up to further aggravate you/me. SO THERE.

** For my example, I'll choose writing. The ghost of NaNo past has returned to eat my sanity. But in such a way that I allow it to eat the functioning parts of my brain, even offer them. This is probably the crazies talking and I'm nowhere near finished... in the meantime I'm going to work on my fort-building skills.

*** Does Twitter count? Yes, I think Twitter counts... it should. Even for just the occasional "*headdesk* *headdesk* *die* #nanowrimo" tweets, in addition to important little 140 character bursts that let us express our opinion on ANYTHING. Nutella. Books. Tim Curry. Homework. Stuff people *probably* don't care too much about, but that's not the point. It's more that we CAN and... stuff. Right?

**** Like the NaNo forums. Nevermind the fact that I personally alternated between the "How hard do you need your ass kicked to be PRODUCTIVE?! *roar*" thread and the "Come here and commiserate with people in the same situation as you, so that you will be offered encouragement and cupcakes." one. People need both of these in life sometimes... some more the former. *guiltily raises hand* but I LIKE the cupcakes! :P

Non-Footnote part (placed as normal at the end of the blog, and containing questions that sound like I'm talking to myself but may be answered as normal questions after I close this stupid parentheses and get on with what I was going to say... this, class, is a classic example of RAMBLING. Used commonly to increase Nanowrimo word count, even long after such processes are necessary.)

-- Am I the only one who hates that PUFF OF AIR machine in my eye? What do those things even test?
-- Is green squash always zucchini, or can it also be under-ripe regular squash?
-- Did that last question make any sense whatsoever?
-- Why is there a car alarm going off outside?
-- Isn't it a shame that whenever anyone hears a car alarm the just assume, "Oh, some idiot set it off themselves." instead of, "Oh, nooez! A car is being stolen! I should alert the police!"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Troll in the Dungeon! Thought You Ought to Know...

The Five Films that I Really, Truly Love
(not necessarily based on the critical acclaim of the movie)

Clue (1985) is funniest thing OF MY LIFE; I've seen "Clue" over five times since July or something and it makes me die laughing EVERY TIME. It's not even that the writing is the most brilliant thing on Earth (although it is pretty clever); it's the performances by the actors that make it a wonderful movie. "Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrun down the hall" is probably one of my favorite deliveries of any line from any movie EVER.

Phoebe in Wonderland (2008) contains some of the best child acting I've ever seen. Granted, I don't see a crapload of movies, but I think Elle Fanning (sister of good ol' Dakota) is a better actress at whatever age she was - eight or something - than a lot of adult actors I've seen. Parts of it were somewhat emotionally devestating (okay, or not, but they made me tear up) which really ought to be a sign that they're doing something right. Alice in Wonderland + Elle Fanning + generally good movie = love.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is everything that Rena says it was and more. Gregory Peck is one of the finest looking older gentlemen I've ever laid eyes on. I didn't even mind that the movie focused on the Atticus plot as opposed to the Scout + Jem plot (the book, as you no doubt know, is told from Scout's perspective and therefore has many subplots pertaining to the various adventures of her childhood in addition to the infamous trial) because hey, it's a movie, and they can't put everything in there. They took the other plots out tastefully, though, and it didn't feel like it had a lot of holes (which often happens when books are adapted into films). I don't feel like any film could ever live up to the book, but it's a pretty damn good attempt. Also, as previously stated, Gregory Peck. (Fun fact: you know the scene in which Jem is mad at Scout and pushes her and the tire harder than he should have and she rolls into the Radleys' garden? The actor who played Jem actually WAS mad at the actress who played Scout at the time the scene was shot and pretty much wanted to kill her [not actually KILL, but you know how youngsters are... ;) ])

The Lion King (1994) is not only one of my favorite Disney films, it is also one of my favorite films of all time. "The Lion King"" is every non-perverted emotion that one could possibly feel packed into 89 minutes of cartoony FABULOSITY. 1) The soundtrack is both beautiful and catchy; 2) Mufasa's death makes me cry every time; 3) Scar's voice is wonderful; 4) there is a fairly solid plot. At least, it's solid enough to get me invested in what happens to the characters, which is really all you need (sort of ); 5) Simba is so cute, lawdie.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) is the best representation of the wonders of a) Harry Potter, b) childhood, c) friendship, and d) early 21st century trolls in movies today, as far as I'm concerned. To all of those lovely people who think that the first movie is stupid or cheesy or whatever: SHUT UP, please. Of course it's cheesy; that's part of its charm. How can you not smile during the last scene (in which Harry + Co. WIN THE HOUSE CUP!)? Have you not got any emotion at all? Are you Voldemort? I bet you even Voldemort smiled (maliciously, with revenge in his heart, but smiled nonetheless) during that scene. I BET YOU HE DID.

There are others, of course, and don't even get me STARTED on the ones from my younger days (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, anyone?) but those are five of the ones that I have a weird attachment to. Maybe I'm not so cultured on the inside, but on the other hand, who gives a crap?