Monday, May 31, 2010

We are not the World


I had this really long, deep blog planned, and I've written at least half of it, but it's 11:16 pm and I need to figure out how to finish my math homework so I'll save it for Friday. (Don't be too disappointed.)

In the meantime, I shall inform you of my day:

1) After three long years of a flip phone that was probably outdated when I bought it, I got a new phone today. It's more or less an early birthday present, and as far as presents go, I'm happy with it. (Although it must be said that I enjoy all the presents I receive. Really, the joy isn't in the present itself but rather in opening it.) It has a touch screen (ooh posh) and a keyboard (ooh fancy) so that is quite a PARTY. (Also, I feel obligated to say that I really quite liked my old phone. So perhaps it was a little on the old side, but we had adventures together, most of which involved my accidentally throwing it on the ground. Yet it never broke, which is more than I can say for many of my friends' more expensive brand-name phones. So. Suck it.)

2) I forced my sister and mother to watch two of Hank Green's "fifty jokes in four minutes" videos. My sister was duly impressed, my mother commented on how "fluently" (i.e. quickly) Hank speaks (and asserted that she likes his brother's books), while I was nearly dying of laughter. Uh, yeah. Apparently I'm the nerdfighter of the family.

3) It was hot. Burning, sticky, I-can-feel-the-sky-melting hot. The kind of hot that makes me fear the summer weather. Shit, global warming, why are you so abrasive?

4) It's Memorial Day. While I do not exactly support the idea of war in general, I'd like to take this time to say: Thanks, soldiers, sailors, the air force, and the military in general. I'm truly sorry you never made it home.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tripping on the road

I'm in Portland. I seem to remember seeing a friend's bumper sticker that read "Keep Portland Weird". I was intrigued. Anything that people want to keep weird sparks my interest. And now I'm here. And it doesn't seem all that weird. And, yes, I've started the last three sentences with the word 'and'. What are you going to do about it, punk?

Road trips are amazing. I'm feeling very lucky and privileged at the moment for a couple reasons:
  1. Ever since I was little, my parents have been taking me on road trips. I've driven to Disneyworld, over twenty of the United States and seen more US State capitol buildings than many, many Americans (in theory, that is. I haven't actually seen any statistics but I've been to quite a few. Today, I went to Washington's capitol in Olympia.).
  2. I've never been truly hungry.
  3. I've always had a safe, warm place to sleep.
Homelessness sucks.

On another note, I was driven across an entire state today. A big one, not one of those tiny ones you have on the East Coast.*

I'm going to go because it is late and I am tired but I will hopefully write again soon. Thursday might not work out because I think we'll be in the Olympic Peninsula then (hooray for lavender farms and vampires) which means we'll be camping which means no internet but I'll do what I can. If not, you can most likely count on my next post having some road trip pictures.

Q for comments: Have you ever been on a road trip? (my definition of road trip being a trip that you take, preferably with your family, by car usually to more than one destination with the purpose of going on a slightly planned, slightly spontaneous adventure.)

*Did I ever tell you guys about my idea to get the US to go from 50 states into, like, 25, simply by merging the little ones and the ones with practically the same names? I know it sounds impractical and would probably be a useless waste of money and energy, but do you really need a North AND South Dakota. And Rhode Island? Really? That's like saying Manhattan should be its own state. Manhattan has approximately .5 million more people than Rhode Island. Think about it. Where's the sense? And could you just amalgamate New England? Let's end the confusion and suffering. Or not. This has gone on long enough (this tangent, I mean, not confusingness of 50 states)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Anthropomorphication and Accents

Standard Point 1: It's hot.

Standard Point 2: I really have no predetermined blog topic today so we'll just see where this goes. I'm not purposefully multitasking but at the same time I am, as I kind of have been all day just because absolutely nothing can hold my attention. I am being rendered incapable of deep thought.

People have a tendency to anthropomorphize things, (my various technological items have names, and personalities. It makes it easier to yell at them when they don't function. This is quite possibly schizophrenia in my case, but it may be universal. Humans like to blame things.) but I've never thought of planets that way. It makes sense. Pluto IS still a planet*, that cold and distant object of our Earthly lust. Everyone loves Pluto for some reason.** It's impossible not to root for the underdog. It's relatable.

I've heard of Clive Owen before but I can't really picture him... *Googling in process, please stand by*... Hm. His eyebrows are thick-ish. But I agree that being British makes up for age a bit. Or it should, because even if realistically it doesn't matter, it's still awkward to find someone the same age as your dad (or older...) attractive. It's the accent. Anything sounds sophisticated and/or sexy in a British accent. This is a proven fact.***


That wasn't even a coherent ending to this blog, but there you go. Footnotes!

*No matter what the scientists say. What do they know?
**Again, except scientists.
***A generalized opinion of Americans, I mean. This is why it's kind of amusing to listen to British people swear, it sounds all posh but it's not...
****What was I going to put here? No idea, use your own imagination to finish the sentence, lalala.

Friday, May 28, 2010

An Open Letter to Mars, The Third Best Planet of them All (After Earth & Pluto)

Dear Mars,

Mars, you tease.

You lure us in with your luscious auburn hue and your marble exterior. You even streaked your hair with dark green, Mars, just to drive Earth crazy. You tempt us with your promise of water, yet you remain just out of reach. That color! That shape! Cannot resist! Must go to Mars!

For your sake, Mars, I hope you continue to play hard-to-get. You don't want to tie yourself to Earth. Earth can't handle you.

Look at it this way: Earth is that handsome boy from high school who, by the age of thirty (million) has really let himself go. He's got the potential but he's run-down, he's sort of dirty, and just being in the same orbit as him makes you feel a little bit sleazy. Sure, he's nice enough, but give him a couple (thousand) more years, Mars. Make him clean up and get a job and maybe lose a little weight.

Mars, you are one classy gal. Like I said, you have a lot going for you - you're gorgeous, you're clean, you're pretty darn self-sufficient. Okay, maybe your life can get a little dull (no one really comes to visit you, after all), but the point is, you are in a great position. You have the universe at your, er, fingertips. You can do whatever you want. Don't let Earth come and get you all dirtied up.

Seriously, you don't want Earth visiting you right now. He's already sent you robots and crap, and just left them on you. Imagine if he himself went over there! He'd literally pollute you. And then you'd find yourself in an intergalactic raging drug war just to get more money to strike up a friendship with a third planet so you can dump some of your excess crap on them. It'll catch up to you eventually, Mars.

After Earth has gotten himself back in shape - after he's learned how to recycle and stop releasing all that gas - maybe you can let him visit you. But until then, you need to remain your cool and aloof self. Don't let Earth screw you over, Mars.

A Concerned Earth Resident

P.S. Regarding the title: Mars, I hope you still accept Pluto as a planet. As Dr Seuss once said, "A person's a person no matter how small." Don't discriminate, Mars.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Updated (look down)

I'm currently watching Children of Men and, my goodness, this is an odd movie. This happens to be the second time I've watched this movie and I still don't know what to think of it. And I read this article the other day about multi-tasking and how it's bad for your brain and makes you stupid so I suppose I should be writing this while I watch but touch typing is a skill of mine and why not, really, because I've seen this movie before and you know what happens when I multi-task and blog? Run-on sentences. Sorry about that. I'll come back to this later.

***these stars symbolize that time has passed***

I'm too sleepy...


I have a crush on Clive Own. How old is Clive Owen? *looks it up* *elevator music plays* So he's 46. Not *that* old. True, he could be my father, but you definitely couldn't tell from looking at him. That man is sexy. Yes, he was in The Pink Panther (not his greatest moment) and, yes, he was in Closer (which I'm told was sort of shitty) but he's so darn handsome. Plus, he's British.
Clive so should have been cast as Robin Hood instead of Russell Crowe. Russell Crowe is too old. How old is Russell Crowe? *looks it up* *more elevator music plays* Holy crap. I cannot believe this, but Russell and Clive are the same age. I just... cannot form words.

I guess being British takes a few years off you. That is all. Sorry for lack of blog on Sunday and crap post yesterday and today. I'll have to make it up to you sometime. Like after I go on a road trip this Sunday.

I haven't mentioned the road trip? Whoops. My family (the portion that is not my dad and not in England) is going on a road trip to the Oregon coast. Plus Forks and and Seattle. But I've been to Seattle more than three times already so that's not as exciting. I will try to figure out how to blog but don't be surprised if you don't hear from me. Or do be surprised. Do as you please. Bye!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Morbid Musings

Hello all. Thank you for your pleasant wishes regarding my age. I have quite enjoyed the previous day, as well as today, the first of my sixteenth year of physical existence.

LOLZ, I just wanted to fake some maturity for a sentence and a half. Maturity has nothing to with age. I'm going to see the fourth Shrek and then eat chocolate fondue Saturday, which I'm quite looking forward to. (Neither activity is particularly dainty, either. I will probably snicker at the hidden innuendo and wind up with a sugar buzz...)

I don't understand what "Happy Birthday" is supposed to insinuate, though. Like a short and decent way of saying, "Wow, I'm really happy you're still alive. Not that I didn't *expect* you to live another year or anything, but it's still worthy of note. You + life = Yay, let's eat cake. You + no life = sadness. And little chance for cake. Because that would just be disrespectful, wouldn't it? Would you personally mind if we had cake at your funeral? Not that I'd actually ask you that question, but if you can read this much into two words, would you mind that answering now?"

Maybe I'm a weirdo and "Happy Birthday" should be left alone. Wait, that's two ideas. The former is TRUE, but has nothing to do with the latter.

Other than that self-indulgent tangent, I have nothing interesting to tell you. It is ungodly hot here and I have 3 days of school left. It's this time of year I take back all my whining about starting school in mid-August. Anyway, happy Geek Pride day. That's all I have to say. That just rhymed. But it's not like I timed (it). Yes, that was bad. (And it threw off the syllable count!)

Because I'm thinking about it, (though selfishly about the weather) what's bothering you? Through this blog lately you've granted me that unspoken yet deeply craved License To Whine About Shit, so here you go.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I wish I was born July 31

Firstly: Happy Birthday, Rena!! I hope you managed to make your day fun and exciting despite your exams and such.* Also, congratulations on almost being a sophomore!

Secondly: I have nothing else to say today. Nothing interesting happened, I don't have anything deep and meaningful to talk about... therefore I will talk briefly about Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows:

1) Do you know if they're renaming the movies? Is it going to be "HP & the Deathly Hallows Part 1" and "... Part 2" or are they going to get crazy and creative? I'd prefer it if they kept the same name, but perhaps that's not a good marketing strategy. Either way, I'm not too bothered as long as the movie itself is good.

2) Have you guys seen the new pictures of them filming the epilogue? They're not official so they're not amazingly good; I think they only managed to get Ginny/Bonnie and Harry/Daniel's pictures (and that looks like it was from a zoomed-in distance), and a few of the kids. (The kids look awesome! If you can tell from just a few pictures. Maybe I'm judging too soon; still, I'm excited.) However, if that was indeed Daniel/Harry, then I must say that he looks quite a bit older than he normally does, so the makeup must be working.

3) Does the knowledge that they're filming the epilogue make you a little bit sad, too? It's super exciting and I can't wait for the movies... but I don't want them to end! Aklfsaljkssj, the perils of being a Harry Potter fan.

*(Fun fact: I also have exams on my birthday this year! whoot whoot!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I love the word oops. You really don't hear it enough these days. Though, I suppose it is a word you don't really want to hear unless you enjoy minor catastrophes.

In other news, I just said on Twitter that I'm going to the movies with a stranger, which is quite true. I will let you use your imagination on that one.

And now, another list!
Things I Plan To Do/Accomplish This Year That I Will Not Call Goals
(Excepts Perhaps In My Head)
  • Learn to drive and get a real license.*
  • Go on an adventure.
  • Get a job.
  • Work. Accumulate money. Contribute to society.
  • Learn to cook more food.
  • Be an expert gardener.
  • Go to Europe.**
  • Read 8 classics.
  • Blog.
  • Be fluent in Spanish and conversational in French***.
  • Learn stuff.
  • Finish editing my novel and get a literary agent.
  • Write another novel, NaNoWriMo style.
  • Follow my bliss.
  • Make new friends.
  • Be awesome.
I hope that you guys are enjoying the world this week and my apologies for not blogging on Sunday. Long story short (I love saying that), I went to this big colosseum place to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Guides and it was horrible. It is best summed up in this instant message conversation I had with a friend: Ignore that if you already read it from my Twitter.

Have an awesome weekend. Do you two have a long weekend for Victoria Day? Probably not, what with your country separating from the British and all. Your loss, I hear Queen Victoria was pretty kick ass and statutory holidays win. I'll try to figure out how to blog on Sunday even though I will technically be in the wilderness where there will be jell-o wrestling and disgusting eating contests. Oh, Skeeter, you frighten me.

*A real license, in case you're curious, is one that does not entail any ageist restrictions and allows me to transport myself alone. Also, fun fact: I can actually get this real license while I am still 16 because, although it says you must have your learners permit for a year, you can actually take the road test two weeks less than a year after you pass the knowledge test. So let's all reward the eager beavers of the world.
**My sister and I are planning a whirlwind trip to Europe next spring and, yes, my life is this amazing.
***Did I ever mention that I'm learning French? (Souhaitez-vous aller à la chambre des secrets avec moi?) p.s. feel free to correct my grammar on that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If I Were To Express My Current Opinion On Anything

. . . 'Twould be wise to expect expletives. So I'm not going to torture you with that. Instead, Google! As an extra twist, I will answer the next 5 prompts in 5 words! Challenges!

"Could you live without that one special person in your life?"
A: And who is that, exactly?

"What foods do you keep out of sight?"
A: None. Visible food is good.

"Can you accept yourself as you are?"
A: Question begets question: can I?

"Why should I forgive?"
A: Because. Jesus wants you to.

"There was a time when you almost threw in the towel. Write about that experience."
A: Ongoing crap. "Almost" is uncertain.

And there you have it. Challenge was devised to be concise and lazy in thoughts. Further challenges/themes/questions welcome.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In Which the Vampires Depart from my Mind

Sup guys.

I just went on Stephenie Meyer's website for the first time in what must be around a year.

Don't judge me, please. I swear I was only looking for her opinion on Arizona's new immigration law, since that is the kind and tolerant* state that she resides in.

Although I unfortunately did not find any editorial on that subject, I DID discover something far far better: there is a Twilight Graphic Novel! OMGZ!! I wonder if they added glitter to Edward's sparkling visage!!

For the past several months, I've refrained from mocking Twilight. In fact, I've hardly mentioned - or even thought about - it at all. Is this a sign that the series is slowly dying in popularity? Is it becoming less interesting only to those who attend my school in Maryland? These are questions that I fear will remain elusive for quite some time; after all, the Eclipse movie hasn't been released yet.

w00t. I hope y'alls are exxxxxxxxxxcited.

Moreover, I like to think that this represents a character development on my part. It is after all somewhat pointless to spend a great portion of your time slamming a book that you could quite easily ignore - perhaps not its existence itself, but certainly all of the hype around it. Unless you live in Forks, Washington, the best advice I have for Twilight haters is to simply Get Over It.

Seriously. Who gives a fuck. It's a poorly written book that contains irritating characters. It's popular. It doesn't concern you. If you claim that your life has been ruined by Twilight, I probably won't believe you, you sympathy-seeking attention whore.

Ahh, it feels nice to say that. It's a very satisfying feeling to realize that you (by which I mean I) have grown enough to be able to acknowledge crappy insignificant things and take them in stride. Henceforth, I daresay I will find the hardcore Twilight bashers just as aggravating as the series' most dedicated devotees.

* JK. Until it becomes a tad less racist, I hereby declare Arizona to be a jerkface.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Only Innocent People are the Ones who Don't Think

Purity rings are pretty high up there on the List O' Things that piss me off.

If you don't know, "purity rings" are pieces of jewelry that are meant to remind the wearer not to have sex before marriage. As far as I know, they originated in the Christian community and are primarily worn by Christians; I believe that they are technically non-secular, but they're definitely predominantly worn by Christian girls. *

God, even the name disgusts me. The product descriptions from them are so pretentious and holier-than-thou; one reads, "A beautiful reminder of a heart made pure by God."

Two issues with this: firstly, the implication that the only "pure" heart is a virginal one and that a heart remains "pure" unless it is scarred by the sin of pre-marital sex. Does that mean that if I kill somebody but remain a virgin, my purity will remain intact? Good to know. Secondly, the implication that sex is some vile and dirty act, when it is in fact nothing more than a way to procreate. I mean, I'm sorry, I know that it means a lot to people and I don't think you should screw everybody you meet, but that's the biological purpose of it. If "God" wants to carry on his oh-so-pure human race, s/he/it best not condemn people for making babies.

Anyhoo, I should refrain from discussing religion at the present time, so I'll move on to the more disturbing social aspects of the Almighty Purity Ring.

Right off the bat, there's a question of the practicality of them. I understand that some people (Christian or not) strongly believe in waiting until marriage. I'm not judging them for that; it's their decision and I'm in no position to say if it's a good or bad choice. However, if you have such a strongly held belief, you shouldn't need a ring to remind you of that. If the only thing that's stopping you from screwing somebody is a little piece of metal on your finger, there is something seriously wrong with your willpower.
Also, according to Google (Google is always right), most people who wear purity rings end up having premarital sex anyway. Again: practical? Apparently not.

Secondly, there's the ever present myth that marriage solves everything. Once you become legally (or religiously) bound to another person, that suddenly makes sex "clean," it means that all your problems are going to go away? Somehow, that doesn't seem too compatible with the fact that there is divorce rate over 50% in the US.
And what if you never get married? In some roundabout way, purity rings seem to be pressuring people into getting married. If you don't get married, are you supposed to feel guilty? If you're fifty and not married, are you still supposed to wear a purity ring? That seems like somewhat of a cruel expectation.

LASTLY, there is such a ridiculously large double standard around purity rings. True, they're available for men and women: but apart from the Jonas Brothers, do you know any males who wear a purity ring? I definitely don't. I don't have statistics on this (I doubt there are any statistics to share anyway), but let's take a realistic look at who wears purity rings:
- Preteen/teenage/young adult girls.
Pretty much. What does that say? "Hey, girls, if you have sex before marriage, you are a SLUT."
Okay? It is SO WRONG and SO UNFAIR to expect girls to have this high moral standard and then not hold boys to the same standard. It is SO patronizing to brainwash a young Christian girl into thinking, "hey, the only thing that is making me PURE is my VIRGINITY."
I won't get into double standards in everyday life (opinion in brief: they're there, but maybe not as much as you would think). It's just this specific thing that really pisses me off - why is there so much focus on this?

Alright, you don't want your fourteen year old daughter to get pregnant, I understand that. I'm not advocating for more teenagers to have sex. I just think that rather than trying to guilt somebody into believing that a) they are "pure" in the first place (what the hell does that even mean?) and b) that having sex is going to take away that "purity" is VERY VERY WRONG, not to mention ultimately counterproductive. If you want them to abstain, given them FACTUAL REASONS for doing so, not some bullshit excuse about fluffy white Gods who will Hate You Forever if You Do Something Wrong.

* Disclaimer for this whole paragraph: I understand that not all Christians wear these rings; in fact, I'd wager that the vast majority don't. I also understand that they're not endorsed by, say, the Catholic Pope. Nevertheless, they are a predominantly Christian idea.

PS, listen to this!
It's lovely and relaxing. As an added bonus, it's from the only Shakespeare play I've genuinely enjoyed thus far (Much Ado About Nothing)! (Do you guys prefer his comedies to his tragedies? I certainly do; I am not a fan of Romeo & Juliet AT ALL. I give Shakespeare tons of credit for inventing half our vocabulary, for writing so goddamn many plays and other pieces of work, for writing well on that sentence-by-sentence level, and for still being relevant five hundred years after the fact. That does not mean, however, that I automatically enjoy all his plays, especially when the characters are less than lovable; the only Rom&Jul death I mourned was Mercutio's. And he wasn't even the main character.)
Actually, most of the songs from the films of Shakespeare's plays are so pretty. I wish people still serenaded each other like that.
In general, I think Shakespeare's plays are much better when they're brought to life, whether it be on stage or in a movie. I understand why we have to analyze the text in English and everything, but in terms of pure enjoyability, it's best to go to the medium they were intended to be presented in.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In which I speak my mind

I had something else in mind to write about today (which I can't remember anyway, so I suppose this works out) but then I had an epiphany. Before 11 o'clock in the morning. I couldn't believe that so much could change before noon. Then it did. As for a disclaimer, this is going to get pretty crazy and I'll try not to drag on for too long but no promises.

People (i.e. my sisters, my friends) used to say I was mean. It was part joke, part true. By mean, I'm pretty sure they meant frank, honest and opinionated with a streak of deprecating humour. Sometimes I say mean things as a joke and I've realized now that it isn't always perceived asfunny. So I'm working on changing and thinking about the affect of my words people. But that's not the point.

The point is that I realized that the reason I can say whatever I want is that I'm comfortable. I'm comfortable with myself and who I am and also with the people around me who I say these things, too. Somehow I can trust them not to run away from me because of something I say. And that's good right? Kind of.

The thing is, I think people are afraid of that part of me. We, as a culture, have built up this world where honesty isn't valued, it's ugly. You have to hide how you feel in case it hurts someone and you can't be who you are if that means stepping on other people's toes. We all care way too much about how we're perceived and so instead of speaking our minds, we hide from each other and never really express ourselves.

But that's the end for me. I've decided I'm going embrace this new idea and really be whoever I am*. I know there's a fine line between being mean and being unafraid to say what you want, what you think and how you feel, but I'm going to walk it. And I'm not even scared that people won't like this shift in my personality because I completely respect and stand by my own decision. I wish more people could feel the way I do about myself right now. It's so freaking exciting.

Because even when people told me I was mean and I sort of agreed with them, it was okay with me. My supposed 'mean-ness' was just another part of me that I understood and even though everyone else didn't say it in a positive fashion**, I eventually stopping taking it as an insult***, just as a fact. I'd rather be seen as a mean person who stands up for herself than an agreeable person who never really says what she believes. All I want is to try to align myself with my values and this, I think, is how.

So wish me luck.

*who the fuck that is, I have no idea.
**and, who knows, maybe everyone's dislike of this quality in me really stemmed from the fact that they wished they felt as comfortable speaking their opinions.
***I did, at first, try to be *less mean* even though I didn't really think I was being mean in the first place.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Figure out where idealism stops and Shakespeare kicks in

Is it better to live life with low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised when something goes right, or to expect the best of people and the universe and everything and then be crushingly depressed when those expectations are proved wrong? This is the fundamental difference between optimists and pessimists. Or maybe cynics. Are all pessimists cynics? How is it possible to believe that all humans are selfish bastards and STILL have hope? Just have hope about the things which aren't controlled by other people? What are those things exactly? Hope for good weather but not about love? What sense would that make? Wouldn't that be too depressing to bare? Is it possible to be wholly optimistic? If so, can it be ensured that that attitude doesn't alienate those who don't share the same opinion? How can associations with pessimists occur and this elusive perennial optimism remain? Does happiness mean being oblivious to other people's attempts at happiness which have ultimately been proved wrong? Isn't at least trying to be happy something we all should try, if not have the opportunity to fail at?

In essence, in living, all is but a series of repeated, hopefully prolonged attempts at true happiness. What is found once the effort to remain happy stops is individual. Possibly peace, not having to work at mortal contentedness in whatever afterlife is imagined for oneself. Imagination is powerful. ("Imagining the future is a type of nostalgia"-- quoth the Young, Alaska. A diversion from this labyrinth of suffering.) A powerful defense against reality--however big or small the details-- and also a powerful method of accomplishing things, or starting to accomplish things. Yet, in stopping one's own happiness the soul essentially dies. What good are we shells of people without souls, minds, hearts? A symbolic suicide.

And also yet, this is something we ourselves needn't worry about. We are invincible in spirit--in parts and as whole. Let us live to enjoy this living.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Real is Happiness, Anyway?

All this talk of of schooling vs un-schooling has led me to ponder a more general topic; that is, the idea of idealism. (Funny.)

Alex, you were talking about that book - I think it's called College Without High School? - and how life ought to be controlled by action and a motivation to accomplish. Tolerating boredom leads to more boredom which leads to the creation of a boring person.

In theory, I agree with this. Your life should be dictated by 1) you and 2) any forces in the universe that thrust obstacles in your path, because there's nothing anyone can do about those and you have to be prepared for them (sometimes simply by admitting that you're never going to be prepared for everything). If you want to go live on a glacier and commune with the polar bears, go forth and commune.

In practice, I have more reservations.

Firstly, I think we can all agree that many, many people on this earth are in less than ideal living conditions. Whether they are the Hurricane Katrina survivors who still have crappy not-even-real houses or the thousands of people in Burma who are terrorized daily or the illegal immigrants who immigrate illegally because they truthfully have no other choice, life has a tendency to serve you a great big platter of Suck. And, while it is admirable and encouraged to be as optimistic as possible, I imagine that when your family just got raped and slaughtered, it's a little bit difficult to foresee a future at all, let alone a good one.

Granted, most people aren't in situations as dire as that. Maybe we're talking about a Mexican teenager who doesn't speak very much English and had to drop out of school to work full-time because if he didn't, he would literally starve to death. Maybe we're simply talking about your average suburban student who really wants to be a musician but is probably going to go to law school and make twenty times as much money but is always going to carry that little grain of resentment.

The point is, you don't get everything you want.

I know that sounds dreadfully pessimistic. Really, though, it's true. The "American dream?" The one that obligates parents to tell their little girls, "Susie, if you try very, very hard, you can be the first female president!" The one that lifted Oprah up from the depths of poverty to multi-billionaire-dom.

The one that caused so many nineteenth-century immigrants to spend their life's savings on a trip across the Atlantic, only to find themselves face-to-face with a "No Irish Need Apply" sign.

It's a white lie. Or perhaps it's more similar to a legal contract with the fine print that nobody reads -

*no refunds"

Yeah, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Sometimes you work so hard every day of your life and yet your Social Security check doesn't increase one cent.

True, there are people who, through a boatload of effort and at least a little luck, do realize their goals. I daresay there are many people right now who can honestly say that they're happy with their lives. Sure, taxes are a little high, and they hate going to the dentist, but they wake up in the morning smiling, thank you very much. And certainly, the risk of failure shouldn't stop anybody from trying. It could be on one of those stupid little motivational posters (in fact, it probably is), but it's true: "If you're too scared to try, you'll never get anything, wimp."

(Perhaps it's phrased a bit more eloquently than that. Still. You get the point.)

I guess what I mean to say is this: sometimes you have to tolerate boredom. Sometimes it's a necessity for living. Sometimes you have to have your dreams at the top of some metaphorical, moving, Hogwarts-esque staircase - everything you do should be a step to that one goal, but sometimes the stairs swing and you find yourself headed in a different direction. It's up to you go keep working towards that goal, but you have to acknowledge that it's going to be more difficult, and that sometimes you're going to have to get stuck in that annoying missing step for a while until something (whether it's another person, another opportunity, or you yourself) pulls you out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


A list* of what happened when I was** fifteen:
  1. I penned a 52,000 word novel***. Holy crap.
  2. I saw the sixth Harry Potter movie in theaters. Five times.
  3. I stalked Jensen Ackles on Granville Island.
  4. I stayed up all night in a hotel in Toronto writing a Girl Guide report and then went to the gym and ran on a treadmill at 6am.
  5. I wrote a feature length screenplay.
  6. I met Hank Green, irl.
  7. I learned to make bagels.
  8. I read a lot of books.
  9. I ate a lot of amazing food.
  10. I tried to imagine people complexly.
  11. I celebrated the one year anniversary of our collab blog, Raving Perusasions. That was on Wednesday, the 5th, fyi. I forgot to mention it on Thursday. Happy First Birthday, blog.
  12. Last book read while being 15: The Reckoning, by Kelly Armstrong
  13. Last movie watched while being 15: The Proposal
  14. Last meal eaten while being 15: pizza (vegetarian, no olives)
  15. Last music listened to while being 15: Hairspray soundtrack.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you will have a stupendous my birthday. I will write to you again on Thursday, after which time I will hopefully have passed my drivers knowledge test. And now this soon-to-be-sixteen-year-old is out.

*I figured I wrote a pretty expansive blog on Thursday so I can cop out with a short list today.
**I'm already speaking in past tense even though I'm technically still this age for the next hour and five minutes.
***Vita: Sorry for my pretentious use of this word. I'm working on the transition but 'book' seems really vague.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Subverted Sentences Shut Me Up

So. Flaws. I have plenty. For the sake of brevity, let's focus on the linguistic/communication ones.

Not that I'm particularly proud-to-the-point-of-sharing, just acknowledging. . . well, there's somewhere to start. I overuse the word "just". Just a little. In sentences like that. I suppose it's used to express the smallness/irrelevance of things. It's a fluff word, but compare: "'What did you do yesterday?' 'I murdered a guy.'" with: "'What did you do yesterday?' 'Y'know, I just murdered a guy. . .'" The latter seems like an insignificant point, the next question asked in that conversation could be "What do you want to have for lunch?", but I digress.

I also have a habit of trying to complete other people's sentences, as a sort of either a.) show of my *obvious* mind-reading abilities. b.) a mental power move, nonverbally communicating that the person who started the sentence has a predictable way of ending their sentences, and that thusly I am better than them. (Subconsciously. I'd never say that to anyone, I honestly have no idea why I do this, but pseudo-pyschoanalyzing my own behavior is one way to stop other people from doing it and finding something legitimately horrible and pyschoanalzable. I don't even know if I have such qualities, I guess this is sort of a subconscious precaution.) or c.), the option I'd like to choose: I'm just (there's that word again) overeager to express to the starter of the sentence that I understand what they're trying to say. I like having an understanding of people. Not that I want or expect people to be predictable, I just (damn.) like to be able to. . . understand. Explaining skills French The Llama.

That being explained as well as I can explain it, when someone DOESN'T complete their sentence in the way I answered it for them, it's embarrassing. This doesn't happen often, at least I think not. I only do this when the sentence has one logical/obvious ending. Erm, I hope. Example: (Fictional and over-exaggerated, I wasn't aware that this was annoying to people until my mother pointed it out. That was a while ago and I'm trying to stop this, really.)

PERSON: "Sorry I didn't call you, but my dog--"
ME: "--chewed your phone and broke it. It's fine, I understand."
PERSON: "No, actually, Archibald was killed in a horrible car accident and I was at the cremation ceremony and had my phone off in mourning. Bitch."
ME: *awkward pause*

And, in regard to How Much I Share With People, I think I'm somewhere between you both. I quite enjoy telling people stories/imparting my general knowledge upon them, but eventually (sometimes soon after, depending on how insecure/insane I'm being that day) I start to think:

*side 1 of self* "God, I should stop."
*side 2 of self* "But no, I shouldn't, because there's more I have to say. Anyway, they're still listening, so it's fine. Right? Wait, Are they just appearing interested out of politeness? Who cares?"
*side 1 of self* "No, srsly, SHUT YOUR FACE ATTENTION WHORE!!1!!!!one"
*side 2 of self* "The other half of me is a troll? LULZ. Noooo, someone is paying attention to me and I LIKE it. Hence I *may* be said attention whore. I don't know. . . nor do I care. Except kind of. Except I shouldn't. Except I should, because being a self-professed attention whore is BAD and is a trait that must be CORRECTED, yes? No? *explodes*"

This inner dialogue can go on after the conversation has stopped, because that's just (grrr) the type of thing I worry about after the fact; whether I should have stopped approx. 2 sentences ago or whether I should have started at all.

And this is why I love the Internet, I can go on about whatever for as long as I feel necessary. Thank you, Internet, and thank you, people who read this. :D

Friday, May 7, 2010

Self-Deprecation? No. Reflection.

It's funny; my personality would appear to be almost the exact opposite of yours, Alex. I have this deep conviction that I should not share every single aspect of my life with people. This stems from two main reasons: paranoia and a lack of faith in the excitement of my life.

I'm perpetually paranoid that anytime I tell a story regarding a particular person, that person will be standing right behind me. It's not even that I'm making some disparaging remark; I just don't like people talking about me behind my back so I guess I don't feel comfortable doing the same to other people? I try not to gossip a lot, although I feel like I've been slipping into the habit more and more frequently as of late. Sometimes it's just so difficult. Plus, what else is there to talk about? Virtually every conversation is some form of gossip, even if it's not malicious.

Alternatively, sometimes I'm about to say something (or I'm halfway through a sentence) and then I think, "Eh, nobody really cares." It creates awkward silences sometimes, but what can you do? I am of great importance to myself. I am probably of less importance to other people. I feel the need to cap the flow of Endless Things that I Say.

Or there are times that I get so frustrated with people's conversations that I just have nothing to say. I get that not every one of your conversations has to be intelligent, but some things seem so insignificant. Don't get me wrong, I frequently discuss the most pointless and mundane things, but I don't see the point in talking about How Quickly He Replied to your Message on Facebook or If Her Use of a Smiley Face was Sincere or an Accident.

The OTHER other reason is that I don't like drama. (Although I do love Drama.) Ever since I was in elementary school, I've distanced myself from conflicts. I guess it's both a good and a bad trait (Good: not a bitch.* Bad: SO not assertive). I love teenagers, even when we're insufferable, and there are many positive sides of having a lively group of friends. HOWEVER, that should not translate into a need to make a huge deal out of every single thing on Earth. (Similarly, perhaps your life would be a good deal less dramatic if you could stop talking about people behind their backs! Honestly!) Again, perhaps it's just because I'm not assertive, but I am quite good at Chilling the Fuck Out when it comes to STUPID STUPID ARGUMENTS. (I'm not as good at it when it comes to happy excitement or things I really care about.)

Unfortunately, the first "ingrained" trait that pops into my head is my tendency to interrupt people. It's terrible; I hate when people interrupt me. I can't stop the words! They take over my life! ** Also, I feel like I talk about myself too much. I don't know other people view me - maybe it's just how human nature is - but it's like I have a story relating to myself for every occasion. I happen to believe that people are inherently narcissistic, though, so maybe I'm just a pessimist. ***

* Well, I suppose that's subjective...
** Additionally, I hate that moment when the other person pauses and you think they're done so you start talking and then you end up accidentally interrupting them.
*** This probably seems to conflict with the previous paragraphs, so: the stories I DO tell are usually either about people who don't the person I'm talking to, or are things that happened a long time ago and therefore do not have an impact on anyone's life. Or they're all about ME. (whoooooooo)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hi again.

I don't think I'll ever go to high school. That could be judgmental but I'm pretty sure it's not what I want to do with my time. I went to a high school rugby game this afternoon and was uncomfortable enough there. For some reason I just don't like being in the company of random teenaged strangers. That's possibly judgmental, too, but I just don't understand them and I don't feel like I fit in. At all.

But that's the life of a nerd, isn't it? I'm okay with it.


I've realized recently (yes, I realize that I say this a lot. I'm quite the realizer) that I'm a big sharer. This was partly due to my sister pointing out that one of our friends* is not a big sharer. She just doesn't like to tell people news I guess. University acceptances, new jobs, etc. I guess not everyone likes to talk as much as I do.

But that's the thing, I LOVE to share. Not like physically, "Here have a bite of my cake," but information on myself. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I love talking about myself; I love telling stores of things that have happened to me; I love sharing news; I also write blogs, and post Twitter updates solely because I like to share my opinions and thoughts.

Not everyone is like that apparently.

So I delved deeper, wondering why I have this constant need to be known. I even noticed that I love to share my writing. You know how some writers are private about their stuff (namely, my two older sisters)? I'm the opposite. I love reading what I've written out loud. Sometimes I'll write what I think is the most amazing thing in the world and if I don't tell it to the person who is physically nearest me... I don't know what would happen because I always just read it to them. Same with other people's stuff. I constantly irritate people when I'm reading a good book by reading the best parts to them and then being annoyed when they don't appreciate it as much as I think they should. Being around me while I read John Green or The Mortal Instruments is probably unbearable.

I tried to do an experiment yesterday, where I tried not to voluntarily share every thought that was on my mind and you know what my first thought was? I should tell someone about my experiment. It's so physically ingrained that it takes conscious effort not to. I cracked last night and read a newly written first two paragraphs of my book to my sister.

You get the point. I love to share information and writing. But why?

At first I thought it was some psychological need to validate myself. For example: a) I think this writing is the best thing I've ever written, let's see how Person A reacts. b) This is the funniest thing I've ever read, let's see if Person B agrees. c) MY BIRTHDAY IS NEXT WEEK!!! I NEED TO TELL SOMEONE. On and on. But the whole, "I need other people to validate how I feel," is a bit too sad and I'm not sure it's me. Maybe it was at one point but not anymore.

So I'm on to Option B, which is that I just like to share. I want people to know me and I hope they want me to know them. Because I like people and, supposedly, if you want to see a behavior, you should model it. So here I am. Sharing my life and thoughts with the internet.

Q: Do *you* have any deeply ingrained personality functions such as the one above? Please share it in your next blog or in the comments.

*On a scale of one to ten, how weird would you say it is to have the same group of friends as your sister?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reasons High School Does(n't) Necessarily Suck

Alex's vlog* made POINTS. Points I would like to now elaborate upon:

Tolerating boredom: I get bored/space/procrastinate sometimes, leading me to find creative ways to fix my boredom without it looking like I'm up to anything. Examples:

1. Counting the times my health teacher says "genitals" or "genitalia"**
2. Drafting blogs in my head. Such as this one.
3. Inner Monologue. I.e: "As I sat-- like countless other times-- in Algebra X doing nothing particularly interesting, I couldn't help but think that none of this would be beneficial in my future career as a/an _____, or in this subsequent memoir..."
4. Observing a random classmate, the less I know about them personally the more interesting it is. Stalking? Naw. I'm not infatuated with these people, from a distance everyone is mildly distracting. So it's more like characterization. Do they wear the same watch every day? Start every second sentence with "Um"? Possibly lead a secret life committing petty crimes? Yeah, that sort of thing... the more insane the more bored I am.

I like learning. I like knowing things. I like feeling like I could possibly be useful in practical situations without screaming like a girl at the sight of blood should it be involved. The last one is more a justification of why I do/should pay attention in Health; if someone suddenly suffers grievous bodily injuries where blood is involved and thus needs Proper Bandaging Techniques, I have the SKILL. w00t.

That being said, I could probably find my own ways to learn things in the Real World and such. This may not meet any kind of curriculum -- rather focusing on writing and taking field trips to Starbucks, (People-watching counts as an intensive study in sociology, of course. And the finer points of various iced coffee drinks...) and the occasional Renaissance Fair, rather lacking in math-related pursuits beyond basic computations that can be done mentally -- but I would certainly enjoy it.

That also being said, it's highly doubtful in this stage of my education that I'd just stop now.*** What's another 7 or so years? So, I'm glad that I'm in a school that offers courses that are somewhat interesting to me.**** Well, WILL offer courses that are interesting to me. Which is why I'm getting all the shitty requirements out of the way this year, (Intro to Business/Computer Concepts, "Practical Art": Child Life) so I can take Philosophy and Environmental Studies and Creative Writing/Intro to Theater senior year. (wherein the only requirements are PE *well crap* and English and a period for lunch.) I think I mentioned pretty much every other subject. And Spanish, because I really like Spanish. A blend of challenging, practical, interesting, and fun. I like words. Wait, my point in this is that as long as I *have* to be in school, I might as well be getting credit for things I enjoy.

As for the forced socialization thing, I've socialized more with people behind me in lines for the Harry Potter films. So, yes, it is. Forced, I mean. It's like nuclear fusion or something: stick enough people in a confined space doing the same thing for a few years and eventually some will stick together. Maybe they would have in the real world too. School was my only real prospective place for meeting people when I was younger, and did those people stick? Not particularly. I've met and had deeper friendships with people on the Internet and in the aforementioned line, because we share interests. Conversation about HP > Conversation about science homework.

*Which I have neglected a bit, only watching when you post links on Twitter because I'm lazy. *shame*

**And laughing a little in my head. I'm a child, I know. Today we were talking about burns to said area. Over and over and over and over... teheheh.

***Its kind of weird I'd never think of switching, yet Alex seems to be (???) considering it, for fun and/or experience in the last few years. Even unschoolers see "normal" high school as a rite of passage-type-thing or something that should at least be tried once, but established un-unschoolers don't seek much of an alternative at this point. I'd like to try unschooling just once to say I have.

****Math aside, of course. Math is always aside.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Childhood Trends I (Apparently) Missed Out On

- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: I am not joking with you when I say that I had never even heard of this show until this school year. It appears to be part of the "let's rediscover our childhood!" movement that is currently oh-so popular, so I have a question for you guys: has the show always been this popular and I just didn't know about it, or is it currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity?
(Related note: Why did nobody watch "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Only a handful of people I've asked even recognize the name. Perhaps they were too young to watch it at the time; however, they were also too young to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, yet they still know about THAT.)

- Pokémon: Of course I know what Pokémon is, but I was never a fan of it. I remember a lot of people had whole albums filled with Pokémon cards; I still don't know HOW you're supposed to play the game. Perhaps because I was never a huge fan of cartoon TV shows (save the odd ones like Scooby Doo and Dexter's Laboratory), I never watched an entire episode. I just remember thinking that the Pokémon were adorable and squishy and (somewhat literally) balls of joy and that I liked the Evil Team and their Pokémon because they were funny, and they flew away in a hot air balloon. Thus ends my connection to the whole shebang. (No, I don't know the theme song.)

- *NSYNC: This is less of a "I didn't know they existed" moment and more of a "I like Backstreet Boys SO MUCH MORE that I choose to ignore *NSYNC's existence" moment. Backstreet Boys had SYNCHRONIZED DANCING in a HAUNTED HOUSE. Does it get better than that? No, no it does not.)

Alex: Sorry for not telling you this earlier - I lurrrrrrve* your script! It's hard to know what the film would be like from such a little portion of the words of a page, but it seems to have the potential to be one of those adorable little witty movies, like Juno but without the pregnancy (but with the Canadian-ness!).

Rena: (Do you always get put last? I'm sorry. I alphabetize subconciously. [I understand your pain; in elementary school, I ALWAYS got the last cubby on the very bottom of the stack, unless there was a Zack in my class.]) I clicked on that link... and... IKEA has a dark past? What? But Sweden is so chill and lovely! Why would anyone there ever like the Nazis? (Or anyone anywhere, really.) Also, Pringles are cakes? MMMM, they're the best kind!

*misspelled + extra letters for EXTRA LOVE!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Inappropriate things I heard at book club (this title is misleading)

Rena: You're right, admiring Bob the Builder's hair isn't really feasible. It sounded funny at the time.

Vita: I've actually just read this book called College Without High School that basically describes and addresses the issues with high school and why teenagers should quit going and spend more time on adventures while still being able to show colleges they're prepared and worthy students. Obviously, I'm past the quitting stage but I found it really interesting because I have this issue with not wanting to do formal coursework so I can officially graduate and at the same time not wanting to have the university/college door slam shut because of that.

It was also great to read because it outlined a few of my educational philosophies such as that learning should be driven my curiosity and an eagerness to learn rather than a curriculum and teachers constantly on your back with homework assignments and test dates. Another one is that friendship and "socialization" thrives under shared interest and activity, not shared captivity. Now I have something intelligent to say when someone asks me if I have problems making friends. Yay.

Having said that, I don't know if I'll ever be able to function "normally" in regular societal conversations. Or at least what I've been experiencing lately. The only thing strangers seem to want to talk about is school, graduation, hockey and school. Basically, I'm destined to stand at the food table at all events in my future but somehow I'm okay with that. I like food.

On a slightly unrelated note, I went to a book club last week at the library where they were discussing An Abundance of Katherines. I was kind of excited when I found out, so I went with my younger sister and we were the youngest people in the room by about 40 years. The librarians hosting the book club picked the book off the list because they thought it was about Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. I thought that was incredibly funny. What a surprise to have opened the book and read the first sentence thinking it would be about an English queen. I think the first sentence is something like, "On the day I graduated, I took a bath." Something about a bath anyway. Talk about shock.

We were there for about an hour and a half and probably talked directly about the book for twenty minutes. The rest of the time was spent on indirectly related topics such as students taking time off school before college, the likelihood of a seventeen-year-old having had nineteen girlfriends all named Katherine, the likelihood of knowing eighteen girls named Katherine, where the current generation of teenagers learn about sex, whether sexually active teenagers use condoms or not and then there was the part where they directly interrogated my sister and I. It was all in a very nice, curious way but kind of awkward none-the-less. Also, I don't think I'm your average portrayal of a teenager but that's just my opinion.

Maddy and I both agreed it was actually a really enjoyable experience and we will both be going back next month. I think it was worth it all simply to hear a sixty year old woman say blow job. I am not even kidding. I kind of wish I were.

Speaking of book clubs, what happened to our version? I think I'm going to re-read The Book Thief because I watched a YouTube review and it made me realize how much I loved that book. Read anything interesting lately? I have not, sadly, but I'm hoping May will hold many exciting books for me. And I'm going to stop myself from doing too much re-reading.

I must stop writing now and sleep.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pringles Investigation

I like Pringles. Crunchy, potato-y saddle-shaped thingies. Which are technically called "crisps" even though they are marketed in the US. Why? To distinguish them from the other, inferior potato snacks? In my ever-continuing search for interesting blog topics, I decided to research this.*

And thus I stumbled upon a SERIOUS LEGAL BATTLE.

Pringles are only made of 42 percent potato ingredients, (Which begs the question of what else is in them, i.e unhealthy crap. . . but ignorance is bliss-- the question should not be begged and I'm sorry for bringing this up. I wouldn't care if they were made out of ground dead puppies and unicorn blood, they are delicious.) and are pressed out of dough, making them uniform and able to be shaped unusually. So technically a Pringle is a cake. Delicious, salty cake. This is apparently a big deal in the UK because there is a huge tax on potato products but not on cake. Strange. Also, a tomato is only a tomato if it is free from foreign smells. You're welcome.

I agree with Vita, high school in general is a medium on the scale of LifeSuck**. It's just fine for the most part, with regards to both social and actually intellectual pursuits. Shit happens, some better than others. It may be seen this way in a kind of retrospect because it's a period of time between being a little kid (widely seen as awesome. In general. Kind of. Like, unless you got raped as a kid... this doesn't prove my point so I'm ignoring it. Childhood seems to have a higher concentration of FTW moments.) and going to college and other things we imagine to be awesome, because The Future must automatically be more awesome than The Present. Wouldn't be unbearably depressing to assume that your life would not ever be any better than it is NOW? Time might end up proving that wrong, but yaaaaaayyyy optimism!

Other news: Screnzy is over and I'm a happy failure. Alex won (w00t), I started on something I plan to finish, just not in the time frame of a month. I like where the plot is going even though I don't have a definite ending per se... it could be turned into a teleplay. If only for the purpose of being shorter and able to end on a cliffhanger. I don't know if television scripts are formatted any differently, though. Alex, did you just write 100 pages, or actually reach a conclusion? Do you plan on continuing/revising? I like Reuben. Always trust a guy with knowledge of Sweden (IKEA's catalogue is better than the Bible, btw. IMPORTANT EDIT: I typed "better"-- which is subjective-- instead of "bigger"-- which is fact. Apologies to Swedes, Catholics, and proofreaders everywhere.) and fortune teller making skills, eh?*** Bob the Builder was cool. Although if memory serves he always wore a helmet (safety, kids!), leaving his claymationed locks invisible. Yes, even in the most famous of the Italian Renaissance hair-centric paintings, Bob's hair cannot be seen:

Have I creeped you out today? My work here is done.

*Seriously wasn't expecting anything interesting enough for a blog, but there you go. I aim to be trivially informative.

**Like WorldSuck but for your individual life as opposed to the world.

***Yeah I just said eh. I'm not Canadian, you don't have a copyright on it. :P Did I even use that correctly? Most dialects have some kind of question-tag-at-ends-of-sentences thing, like a verbal tic. Here it's mostly, "y'know?" Even when the preceding sentence isn't a question, y'know? Also implies that the person listening does not know/is of questionable knowledge, y'know? Ahhhh, I've done it. Multiple times, y'know? Now I'm just over-proving my own point. I'll stop.