Wednesday, March 28, 2012

your presence still lingers here, and it won't leave me alone

i read captain alatriste a while ago, and i really liked this quote:

"We have no choice but to fight. [...] Against stupidity, evil, superstition, envy, and ignorance. [...] Which is to say, against all Spain. Against everything." ~don Francisco Quevedo, Captain Alatriste, pg 59

i feel like it's still relevant, not about spain per se, but about everyone everywhere. i originally had thoughts - real thoughts - concerning it (which is why i typed it into a blogger draft), but at the moment i can't seem to find them. i have a ghost of a thought (or maybe it's a memory?) haunting my head at the moment, coming around to moan and groan at the most inopportune moments. i'll be working on my homework, finally getting it to work right, and then it'll pop up, rattle its chains, and suddenly my understanding is gone. or i'll start to think that i may have worked out the kinks in a story when it comes and blankets everything in my head, suffocating all my thoughts until i'm left with only it. floating there. refusing to go away.

it's turning me into quite the whiner. i just deleted like half a page of complaints and petty annoyances. you're welcome for that.

*My Immortal - Evanescence 

Monday, March 26, 2012

how did you get that way? i don't know

[day thirty: nature]

i'm going to step away from discussing nature in the sense of trees and flowers and birdsong, and instead talk about the nature vs nurture debate. how much of you is dependent on what you were born as and how much on your environment? i touched upon this in a previous post where i rambled about how much of my fear of failure was just me and how much of it became me from other people's expectations.

i think we can all agree that both nature and nurture play a large part in how a person grows up: what they act like, look like, speak like, think like. you can't just jump onto one ship and declare the other has nothing to do with anything.

in the 60s/70s there was a secret research project done to test the nature vs nurture debate. identical twins were separated at birth and their development was then followed. neither the children nor the adopting parents knew this, though they were told that the children were part of an on-going study. sounds a little messed up, right? well, enough people thought that that the person doing the study, realizing that the public backlash would be strong, decided not to publish the results. they are archived at yale and sealed until 2066. he was not apologetic about doing it at all, though. one set of twins from this experiment claim that, after meeting for the first time after 35 years of separation, they found that more than 50% of their personalities are similar, giving nature the lead in the debate.

though i agree that the study wasn't very ethical, i think that, since it was already done, you may as well just publish the results. not publishing them won't erase what happened, and since everyone knows about it anyway, what's the point? i would be interested to read them, at least.

just in case you were wondering, thirteen infants were used for the experiment. three sets of twins and one set of triplets have discovered each other, but, as of 2007, there are still four kids out there that have no idea that they have a twin that was separated from them in the name of science.

what do you think? what makes you who you are? nature or nurture?

and with that, i officially declare an end to my thirty day challenge.

*Million Dollar Man - Lana Del Ray

Sunday, March 25, 2012

nothing but emptiness in my refrigerator

yesterday i got up early to go watch the hunger games with my husband and sisters. after the movie we hung around talking for hours. shortly after i came home, my friend texted asking me to come over. by the time i came back home from that, it was late and blogging was no longer on my mind. so, though i started this post yesterday, i'm posting it today. and no, anonymous hippopotamus, i do not consider it a fail. there is nowhere that states it has to be thirty consecutive days. gosh. the only problem is that i could have finished today... and i didn't. sad.

[day twenty-nine: inside your fridge]

for the month of march, my husband and i decided to not eat out at all. no more stopping by chipotle for an easy lunch or ordering a pizza for an easy dinner. that means that we have slightly more food in our refrigerator than we would normally have, despite the fact that we're planning on grocery shopping today. (even after shopping, it still looks empty to me compared to my fridge at home. do you realize how hard it was for me to go from a household of seven plus to a household of two? things just don't finish as fast as they used to. there was a lot of thrown out food those first couple of months.) anyway, here's what's in my fridge (i think i had more things in my bag):

  • water, iced tea, orange juice, milk, pepsi
  • bread, tortillas, hot dog buns
  • eggs
  • fruit yogurt
  • sliced cheddar cheese, grated parmesan-romano cheese, cream cheese
  • leftover chicken
  • homemade garlic sauce
  • salad
  • ranch dressing
  • green olives
  • grape jelly and strawberry jam
  • mild and spicy peppadew pepper
  • sliced turkey
  • a toblerone bar (which is a bit of an inside joke between my mom and i) and some of the personalized m&ms that have our wedding date. 
  • lemon juice
  • butter
  • condiments
  • those cake decorating pens/markers
  • a jar of salsa
  • half a can of spaghetti sauce
 thrilling, right?

*Refrigerator - Stroke 9

Friday, March 23, 2012

you're all kinds of beautiful as you end my day

[day twenty-eight: your sunset]

this post is really hard for me to write for some reason. i've been staring at the screen for close to an hour, and... nothing. maybe it's because it's been a while since i've actually noticed and paid attention to a sunset? or maybe it's just that sunsets used to appear so prominently in my writing that everything i write now seems trite and cliched? i don't know.

one of my favorite things to do in the summer is to sit on the rocks along the corniche and watch the sun set over the red sea. it's been far too long since i've been able to do it, though. it seems like these days no one wants to just go and sit and watch the waves roll in and out and feel the ocean spray. they'd rather go out to dinner or sit at home in the air conditioning and watch tv. or they're content to just drive by it in their cars and consider it seen (which is what happens when my sister and i practically beg our cousin to take us). it's sad.

sunsets also remind me of books. of gone with the wind, the outsiders (though i suppose sunrise would be better fitting for this one), and every story that has ever ended with the hero and heroine riding off into the sunset. because sunsets apparently hide happy endings in their midst.

*Sunsets and Car Crashes - The Spill Canvas

Thursday, March 22, 2012

it doesn't matter much to me if it doesn't matter much to you

[day twenty-seven: your lunch]

goodness gracious but this challenge likes meals. i'm not an organized eater. in the sense that i generally don't have three meals a day at designated times. a lot of the time i'll have one meal and a couple of snacks. some days i'll eat dinner at two in the afternoon and call it a day. other days i'll eat twelve and a half meals by four and then go searching for dinner. names for meals have no meaning for me. i eat. does what it's called really make a difference? for example, it's eleven in the morning and i just ate four pieces of candy corn and a chocolate chip cookie. it's the first thing i ate today so is it my breakfast? or because it's eleven should i call it brunch? lacking the nutritional basis of a real meal is it just a snack? if i don't eat anything else until dinner with my family at five, does that make their dinner my lunch? my breakfast? or does time have priority over order?who decides these things?

moving away from the challenge for a minute, the hunger games movie is coming out tomorrow. one of my first posts on here way back in march 2009, mentioned that lionsgate had just bought the movie rights. it feels a little surreal to me. on one hand, i feel like i just posted that yesterday. (although in that post i apparently loved jane eyre [the character]? i remember not liking her. i think it's time to reread the book.) on the other hand i feel like i've been waiting for this movie forever. i have a feeling that plans will fall through and i'll end up not seeing it for weeks. that's usually what happens with me.

*A Matter of Time - Foo Fighters

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

i collect sunsets in the palm of my hand

[day twenty-six: your favorite color]

i could sit here and wax poetic about the way the sky bruises at sunset, red and purple darkening to a blue-black that gradually fades into the yellow of sunrise the next morning. i could talk about the color of the light reflecting off the ocean's surface. i could write paragraphs of flowery language relating colors to people to fruit to elements to memories. i can tell you that if my professor were a color he would be red. you might be green or yellow or blue. i could tell you of the werewolf that lives in my imagination with purple eyes the color of mystery and royalty.

i could. and maybe at the end of the post you might know that black is one of my favorite colors. that blue is another one. you might.

but i have class today. i have homework to review and computers to prepare and all i want to do is get back into my book. maybe take a nap. i don't have the energy to write pretty words, to think pretty thoughts. so i'll just tell you that, if i had to choose one, i guess my favorite color of the moment would be grey and leave it at that.

*My Favorite Color - Backseat Goodbye

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

with my own two hands i'm going to make it a brighter place

[day twenty-five: something you made]

i like to make stuff. from pottery to hats and scarves to tshirts to scrapbooks to food and everything in between. i'm going to take the easy way out and just throw a bunch of pictures at all of you of things that i have made in the past few years that i happen to have pictures of.

a box i made in ceramics in high school. that's exactly my silhouette.
elephant teapot made in ceramics in high school

vase made in ceramics in high school

crockpot gift basket i made for a friend's bridal shower present. i also made a big silver ribbon bow thing to put on after it was wrapped.

the ringpop/candle favors i made for the bridal shower (they look better in real life)

hat and scarf i made for my husband

i already posted this on here, but the marauder's plaque i made in ceramics in high school

i was trying to find a picture of the sushi cupcakes i made for my sister's birthday a couple of years ago or any of my brothers' birthday cakes to show food, but looking through my pictures takes hours and i don't really have time for that today. so, these will have to do.

*With My Own Two Hands - Jack Johnson

Monday, March 19, 2012

if i should buy jellybeans, have to eat them all in just one sitting

[day twenty-four: your guilty pleasure]

i was halfway through a post on lifetime movies when i realized i've already said just about everything i have to say on that subject. so, i was forced to rack my brain for other guilty pleasures. (not that it was very hard. half of my favorite things should be qualified as guilty pleasures.) here's a list i came up with:
  • lifetime movie equivalents in books. namely, poorly written novels, young adult novels (not all qualify for this mind you), and trashy romance novels. i love them all. a very predictable story where the brooding loner angry passenger and the bubbly flight attendant fall in love over the course of a three hour plane ride and live happily ever after? yes please. i don't just read to look smart, and i can enjoy pretty much everything. 
  • nickelodeon shows. speaking of, i thought the big time rush movie of them in london was pretty good. anyone else watch it? 
  • eating an entire bag of jellybeans/candy corn/chocolates in one sitting. i have no self-control. and they are delicious. judge me all you want.
  • buying things i don't need on sale. you know that friends episode where phoebe buys tons of birdseed for a great price though she doesn't have a bird? yeah, that's me. there's something inherently pleasurable about getting something i don't need for a bargain. 
  • cyber-stalking. though this one may be a social norm now? maybe not cyber-stalking should be classified as a guilty pleasure. 
  • putting things in my amazon cart that i never buy. i have hundreds of things in my cart on amazon all "saved for later." strolling through the virtual aisles of amazon and just throwing everything that even slightly interests or intrigues me into my cart is something i do way too often.
  • eating frosting out of the jar/can/bottle? i forgot what you call a frosting container, but you know what i mean. i haven't done this in far too long, but it's one of life's greatest pleasures. trust me. oh, and i'm going to add eating cookie dough to this one so i don't sound like fatty with too many eating related guilty pleasure bullet points.
i could go on forever (seriously. as i typed those few words, two more popped into my head), but seven seems like a good number to stop at. what are some of your guilty pleasures?

*Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright

Sunday, March 18, 2012

i wish i was young

[day twenty-three: something old]

i realized the other day that i've always felt old. it's more common recently to hear me bemoaning my age, but i've always had those i'm-so-old feelings.

i remember in fourth grade we had a journal to record the books we read that year in class. i thought it was a cool idea and contemplated starting one for all the books i read. but then i thought, "i've already read so many books. i'm too old to start this now. i should have started it when i was younger." and so i didn't. when i was fifteen i really regretted that decision. i realized that nine years old is actually really young, and i should have started recording my books then. you would think that i would be smart enough to start after that realization, but no. i once again thought i was too old to start and it would be pointless. (though to be fair, at that point i was in a bit of a literary dry spell. i think i read like three or four [new] books that year. i thought that my reading was pretty much over.) now at twenty-three, i'm a big reader again but i still haven't started to record the books i read, and i doubt i ever will. my bookcase will have to be enough of a record. that and my memory i guess. (i have thought of creating a goodreads account, but i just never get around to it.)

though i still feel old, i also know that in a few years i'll look back and think about how young i was at this point of my life. i'll think of all the times i said i was old and laugh at my ignorance. knowing this doesn't change much.

*I Feel So - Boxcar Racer

Saturday, March 17, 2012

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

[day twenty-two: your jacket]

my jacket is one of those things of mine that a lot of people tell me i should upgrade, but that i love too much ever to replace. (i'm going to write this post about one specific jacket of mine, though i do have more than one.) plus it's still in perfect condition so i can't see why i should get rid of it. it's a long, puffy, black one that i got from esprit close to six years ago. it sits in the closet most of the year, but it's one of my favorite things about winter.

speaking of winter, i really wanted to have it this year. i really wanted cold days and snow. we had that one day of heavy snow back in... october, was it? something like that. anyway, after huge flakes falling all day, nothing stuck. then we had i think it was two other pathetic attempts at snow. there were a handful of cold days, but for the most part, winter was super mild. and now we completely skipped over spring and jumped right into eighty degree summer weather. i know tons of people who are happy about this, but i wanted winter. i want spring.

*Let It Snow - Jessica Simpson

Friday, March 16, 2012

the kids are doing fine

[day twenty-one: a reflection of something]

my mind is kind of everywhere right now, so i expect this post will be too. this morning, after waking up before the sun, i went to my old school for a "hollywood award assembly" for my brothers. and let me tell you, it was awesome. like really, totally, completely awesome. i have always been a fan of school assemblies because, even at their worst, there are kids lining up on stage to be made fun of which is great (and of course i like being there to support my brothers), but today was extra great. there was dancing and protests against homework and poetry and skits and giving out of awards and kids acting stupid or awkward on stage and then at the end they all stood there together and sang a michael jackson song (which is now stuck in my head, but so totally worth it). and then there was a "hollywood lunch" where my sister and i made friends with a group of fourth graders. i also saw my fifth grade friends which was fun.  it was just an overall fun morning which put me in a pretty great mood despite the gloomy weather and everyone else's bad moods around me. (i need to find new words for fun, awesome, and great.)

seeing the groups of friends made me realize what i missed out on during my elementary years being so shy. (i'm reflecting, see?) there were times when i seriously doubted my friends even knew what i sounded like. i would rarely do or take anything i wanted, even when offered or included, because i was so shy. (this is true on various levels depending on my age, the group of people around me, and the school i was in.) (and no, i'm not making friends with elementary students now to relive my childhood. i'm just sitting with my brothers' friends because their families didn't come.) and since i can honestly say that i had a pretty awesome childhood, it obviously hasn't scarred me or anything.

*The Never-Ending Why - Placebo

Thursday, March 15, 2012

my head is filled with things to say

[day twenty: someone you like/love]

we're headed into the last ten days, people. i. am. excited. this challenge feels so much longer than i thought it would, but i refuse to not finish it. i really will try to not write posts that suck anymore, though. i realize that the last few have been slightly pathetic. (is it just me or are there way too many i's in those sentences?) it's interesting (well, to me at least) how often i would wish someone would just give me a topic to blog about, and now that i'm doing this, it feels so restraining. the little kid in me wants stamp her feet, cross her arms over her chest, shout, "you can't tell me what to write. you're not the boss of me!" and then possibly stick my tongue out for good measure.

i've actually thought a lot about who to write this post about. family member? friend? lifelong crush? (speaking of crushes, i've realized that i had a crush on just about everyone as i was growing up - fictional and real, animal and human. i'll be watching/reading/talking about something from my childhood and the first words out of my mouth are, "oh, i was so in love with him" or "i had such a big crush on him growing up." it's ridiculous really.) i even contemplated writing about myself for a minute, but decided against that. there is, surprisingly, a limit to my arrogant self-centeredness... sometimes.

anyway, i've been thinking a lot about my grandpa lately (my mom's dad). i have a million and seven good memories with/about him, but they're mostly kid memories (which makes sense since he died when i was eleven). i've been thinking of everything i would love to talk with him about that i never got a chance to because i was too young. just normal things like books, music, philosophy... things that, though i might have been interested in before, i would never have been able to have an intelligent conversation about. i think about that a lot. not just with my grandpa, but with everyone who is no longer in my life, not necessarily because they died. i had a few teachers who were excited about things that i just didn't care about at that stage in my life. and now that i do care about them, i'm no longer able to just go and have a conversation about them, because those teachers are not in my life anymore.

i'm not saying that i wished i appreciated these people more when i was younger, because i truly did appreciate them. i just wasn't able to relate to what they were really interested in at that point? or maybe i just wish that they had either come into my life at a later point or stayed in it longer so that i would appreciate them on a different level? does this make any sense? i feel like i'm killing it.

*I Want to Tell You - The Beatles

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

without the sour the sweet wouldn't taste

[day nineteen: something sweet]

the first thing that came into my head when i read this was a book i read in eighth grade that described an evil lady and her room as having the sickly sweet smell of rot. that description always stuck in my head. for some reason, though, i don't think rot is the kind of thing the challenge meant with this.

so, something else sweet. um... my tired brain is not in the best thinking mood. so i guess my nephew today asking for two crackers so he could share one with me? that's sweet. also, on our walk to take out the trash he blew a kiss to a bee and said bye to him. that's sweet too.

also, ice cream is sweet, and since we've apparently skipped right over winter and spring (sad) and into summer, you should go eat some.

*Sweet Tangerine - The Hush Sound

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

look what your money bought

[day eighteen: something you bought]

i get buyer's remorse over everything that is not food or books (and food is not always an exception). there is an eternity between the time i decide i want/need/should buy something to the point that i actually buy it. if i ever do. i seriously spent a week debating over an air freshener. a week! i'm pretty good at talking myself out of purchases and then spending my money on things i don't need or even particularly want instead.

but this post came at a good time, because i actually did just buy something (besides a few more books off of amazon). the other day i bought a new computer. since junior is a netbook and doesn't have enough memory, and joe is becoming a dinosaur, i really needed something that i could do my work on that would actually work. despite this, i still spent quite a while debating whether i really really needed it or not. the only thing that pushed me to get it was that i haven't been able to do any of the work for one of my classes, which i can get away with when it's classwork but not with my big project.

anyway, i went and bought the computer on friday. his name is james (after one of my favorite professors ever). i haven't used him much because it's spring break and i keep putting off all my work, but he's awesome.

*Look What Your Money Bought - Nickelback

Monday, March 12, 2012

drink the water, drink it down

[day seventeen: your water]

i'm weird with water drinking. for example, water is one of my top two drinks at restaurants. (logan's roadhouse has the best water ever. like ever, ever. i go there just for the water. chili's has one of the worst.) at home, though - at least in america - i don't do water alone. i drink crystal light (which is made with water) and then further dilute it with at least half a cup of water depending on the flavor. in the desert, i drink water alone all the time. i think it's the fact that the water there is cold while here it was always room temp. (my dad hates cold water.) the water in our apartment is in a brita filter thingie in the fridge, but i guess the no drinking water at home is a hard habit to break.

my brother's science fair project this year involved testing water. he was basically comparing tap, filtered, and bottled water. he found that not only is bottled water bad for the environment, it is also rarely any different than tap. plus, it doesn't follow the same regulations as tap water since it's technically a food item. he was just testing the ph levels, nitrate/nitrite levels, hardness, and alkalinity, but it was still interesting. evian water was the farthest from the recommended levels on everything. filtered water (brita) and dasani were pretty similar and probably the best.

on a different note, these downloadable dust jackets are my favorite thing today. they're a great way to tell people to leave you alone with your book without having to come out of your fictional world to tell them.

*Drink the Water - Jack Johnson

Sunday, March 11, 2012

and you're checking your phone

[day sixteen: something you see every morning]

well, we're officially past the halfway mark of this challenge. and yay. today is crazy busy being both my husband's birthday and my nephew's birthday party (his birthday was yesterday). march is a birthday filled month. but i won't get into that. back to the challenge topic.

i see a lot of things every morning. most of the same things that i see all day every day. the first thing i see every morning would probably be my cell phone, though. at least, that's the first thing i look at. i'm practically blind without my contacts or glasses so there's no way i could read the clock across the room. instead, i check the time on my phone. or i turn off the alarm on my phone. or i check who's texting/calling me on my phone. basically, i wake up to look at my phone for one reason or another. most days it's the most attention my phone gets.

*Changing - The Airborne Toxic Event

Saturday, March 10, 2012

things you should know

when i was eight i stole a bugs bunny pin. i stole a purple baseball cap. i stole a stuffed koala. i stole a diamond ring. i gave the diamond ring back.

i tried to be anorexic once. i thought it would be easier than being me or being happy or being normal, but i couldn't do that either. i have a collection of things i can't do.

(i'm not sorry about the stealing.)

the poet inside of me is a thirteen year old girl who wears her bangs long and locks herself in her room and plays angry rock music way too loud. she's not really a poet; she just thinks she is. i'm no different than her; i just think i am.

i don't love words, i love thoughts. and pieces of imagination that don't make a full picture. words are just the tools i was given to destroy everything i love. some people use fake laughs instead.

i once wanted to be a surgeon so i could slip poetry between people's ribs and behind their kidneys and under their livers before i closed them back up.

(you could destroy the world with fake laughter.)

i'm not a bad person; you just think i am. 

could you look me in the eye and tell me that you're happy now

[day fifteen: something that makes you happy]

i find this ironic. it's not really important why.


"when was the last time that you were happy? really, completely, incandescently happy?"

i think of everything that i find beautiful that i shouldn't: broken glass, bruises, and the sound of sobbing.

i think of my first birthday party and my second and my third, fourth, fifth, seventeenth. blow out the candles and make a wish. can you even remember what you wished for when you turned six? did it come true? does it matter? wishes tend to leave you emptier, poorer, and in the dark.

i think of a balloon i had once. a big, blue, shiny one. it was tied to my wrist, but i was nervously pulling at the ribbon, and it escaped. i would too if i were a balloon.

i think of my third grade class and i can't remember any of them. i think of the people i met yesterday. i can't remember them either.

i think of the ocean and how it makes me want to jump in and run away and fly and cry for weeks and weeks and weeks. how many painters waste their days by the ocean making recreations that no one will ever look at, no one will ever buy?

i think of dinner last night. i was so excited to eat that i burned my tongue. i couldn't taste anything properly after that. dishes are piling up in the sink. they can't taste the food properly, either.

i think. and i think. and i think. and i think that may be the problem.



i could have just said family. or chocolate. or a good book.

i should probably go back to bed.

*Are You Happy Now? - Michelle Branch

Friday, March 9, 2012

hell, if it's over, i had better end it quick or i could lose my nerve

the price of milk went up again, but i thought of all the breakfast cereal that was too dry to eat alone, of the orange powder that needed to turn into cheese sauce, of the chocolate colored bunny that wants me to stir up some fun, and i got a gallon. it sits in the back of the refrigerator waiting for the days that call for toast and soup and tea to finish. (they never do.)

you saw me crying on the playground over ants killed by a ten year old foot and the unfairness of life. you held my hand and stroked my hair, waiting for the days that are filled with tears over limp dogs and lost socks and lightening struck trees to finish. (they never do.)

i try to eat cereal but the bee looks at me wrong, and i put the box away. backwards. i try to smile and share (more than sadness) and fall head over heels, but i always watched where i was going too closely to stumble. (your arms don't look like they could catch me and my baggage anyway.)

you say things i wish you wouldn't and feel things you really shouldn't. you started to sing and stopped calling me on my lies. (you like to pretend they're truths.) you say that i have your heart, but i think you must be mistaken because i can still hear it banging on the bars of its cage in your chest. (it worries me how you lock up everything valuable to you.)

the milk is sour, but i can't throw it out because it's a reminder of the four dollars that i could have spent on something else, the children in africa, how i can't change for the better or do anything (or anyone) right, the fact that i never liked milk in the first place.

i never liked love either or compromise or trying to change. i have a gallon of milk i don't know what to do with... and i have you. 

i don't know what to do with you either. 

*Rest Stop - Matchbox 20

you're reading my books, dreams old men dream

[day fourteen: something you're reading]

the past couple of weeks have been busy. they've been filled with homework and tests and present buying and favor making and bridal showers and birthdays. when my life gets busy, i tend to reread. the great thing about rereading is that you get a good story without the pressure to find out what comes next, and you can read multiple books at once. i have been reading enchantment by orson scott card at home and the disreputable history of frankie landau-banks by e. lockhart when i leave the house. or, i was until i finished it.

enchantment was one of the first books i ever mentioned on this blog. i read it the summer before ninth grade and it's been one of my favorite books ever since. card is a fantastic writer and storyteller, which is sometimes hard to find. all of his books are worth a read, but enchantment is by far my favorite. it tells the story of an enchanted princess from the past who is awakened from a magical sleep by a man from our time. it has magic and witches and knights and princesses and love and adventure and heartache and time travel and it's great. you should definitely read it if you haven't already.

frankie landau-banks is a young adult novel about a girl at boarding school who is realizing the double standards of the patriarchal society we all live in, represented in the book by her school. not only is frankie a good "role model" main character (if you consider a feminist teenager who basically turns the school upside down a good role model), but she is also a word nerd which is awesome. it's a fast read with huge font, being a book for younger readers, but still enjoyable. if you don't like to read young adult novels yourself, i'd recommend getting it for any younger girl you know. it teaches a lesson without the lesson being the main point of the story, if that makes any sense.

the other day i also started reading rich boy by i forgot who. i got it for pennies when borders was going out of business as an impulse buy and just never got around to reading it. i'm only like twenty some pages in, but it seems good so far. at least, nothing about it has made me feel like i was forcing myself to read it to "get to the good part." you know those kind of books? where the beginning is torture to get through but you know it gets good somewhere and you just have to force yourself to get to that somewhere? yeah, it's not one of those.

*Dreams Old Men Dream - Cold War Kids

Thursday, March 8, 2012

she's got everything she needs

[day thirteen: inside your bag/backpack]

it would be so much easier to just take the "inside my bag" picture that was so popular a while ago, but i can't find my camera, and it's probably dead anyway. so i'll make do with lists. a lot of stuff just gets moved from one bag to another, so if i were to go into my purse today (since i had class last night) all i have is my kobo, a gum wrapper, a pen, a bill from my doctor, an ipod sock, a static electricity eliminator thing, and a picture of the geico gecko my brother gave me after my dad gave it to him.

my "backpack" on the other hand (which is more a shoulder bag than a backpack) is chock full of stuff i don't need. for example:
  • in the front right zip pocket i have nineteen pens, three permanent markers, a calligraphy pen, an eraser, and a mini stapler.
  • in the front left zip pocket, i have a pack of gum, two chapsticks, eye drops, a few gum wrappers, and hand lotion.
  • in the front pocket (this bag has lots of different pockets/compartments. i'm calling them all pockets) i have my keys and loose change.
  • in the main pocket i have my wallet, a notebook, a novel, a homework assignment, and some ticket stubs.
  • in the back pocket i have a pack of tissues, napkins, and one of those pocket prayer rugs.
  • in the left side pocket i have my ipod... and a meal bar?
  • in my right side pocket i have a dose of excedrin migraine, a dose of children's tylenol, and a to-go bottle of aleve. i have four packs of post-its (thin packs, though, that mason gave out on different occasions.) i have a small first-aid kit, a nail file, a pocket mirror, and a small container of play-doh with two molds.
and there you have it. i carry a bunch of crap to and from school everyday when all i really need is a notebook and pen. it accumulated over a few years, though, because i've been using this bag forever (much to the chagrin of my younger sister who believes every semester should come with its own bag).

*She Belongs to Me - Bob Dylan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

when we're walking to far for the price of our shoes

[day twelve: your favorite shoe]

i am not a shoe person. i'm really not. like a true book nerd, i prefer to spend my money on things to read than things to wear on my feet. my younger sister is probably the most shoe crazy of all of us, but both of my sisters have always been into shoes. i'm more of a buy flip flops in every color and call myself set kind of a person. so i'm not really sure if i have a favorite shoe. instead, here are some random thoughts/memories that i have about shoes:

the shoe has always been my first choice monopoly game piece to play with though. always.

in the school i went to for half of first grade through third grade, we had an annual walk-a-thon fundraiser thing. the class that walked the most laps in total got the honor of keeping the trophy with them for an entire year. the trophy was a golden shoe.

i wore saddle shoes to school for both second (possibly third?) grade and fifth grade.

i remember a couple years back when i couldn't go three minutes without hearing that shoes clip being quoted by tv, radio, friends, family, and random strangers.

i never understood people who would wear shoes they could barely walk in to field trips or around campus. just the other day there was a girl wearing six inch leopard heels and complaining about how her feet hurt and she had to walk across campus to get to class. i was always a comfort first kind of girl.

a couple of years ago my sister and i were going to a wedding my cousin didn't want to go to. she was trying to get us to skip it, and when we didn't everything that could get wrong went wrong. my sister ruined her dress, my hair turned into a wild tangle out of nowhere, and my shoes literally broke in half to name a few things that happened. the heel didn't just break off, the entire shoe broke. i don't even know how it happened.

*Absolutely (Story of a Girl) - Nine Days

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

if i could relive those days, i know the one thing that would never change

[day eleven: your favorite school binder]

okay, so this one seems like it was put in the list just for me. senior year of high school, i was sitting in ap calc when a friend told me to start a story. being a loser, i couldn't, so she started one and i added to it. i'm not sure what we were expecting to come from it that first day, but the writing of the story spanned months. it was six hundred hand written pages (not counting the pages we rewrote/edited/scrapped). i spent the last month or so of school and most of the summer typing it up.

anyway, when it became clear to us that carrying around loose-leaf papers was not the smartest idea, i used a red binder (i wanna say it was for physics, but i really have no idea. i know it wasn't my english, arabic, or math binder, as if this makes a difference) to hold it in. when the red binder was getting too full to close and the rings were starting to deform, i emptied my purple english binder for the rest of the story. at the end of the year, i took the purple binder (the second half) and my friend took the red. but those two binders were by far my favorite schools binders ever. the purple one still sits next to my bookshelf with the rest of my books.

and i promise that that will be the last time i talk about the story here. at least for a while.

before those, however, i had this lavender floppy binder that i loved. i used it for eighth and tenth grade. during tenth grade, our english teacher would sometimes do a binder check to make sure we all had them with us. one girl from the other english class didn't, so she ended up stealing mine from my locker. when i confronted her, she said it was hers, though it was a pretty unique color and had my doodles on it. anyway, on the last day of school it was put back in my locker, so i guess there was no harm done? i dunno... i was still pretty annoyed with her.

*Photograph - Nickelback

Monday, March 5, 2012

we'll leave behind a life and time we'll never know again

[day ten: something from your childhood]

well isn't this just the perfect topic for my nostalgia-addicted self. when i was little i was a big stuffed-animal person (i still think they're pretty awesome), but i think one of my favorite stuffed animals by far was this stuffed cat i named pierre. depending on which generation you're from, you may remember these. they were little stuffed cats with a ball or rattle or something in their head so they purred when you pet them and they had this balloon thing in their stomachs to make them feel real (as opposed to stuffing).

thanks to google, i have found that they were called kitty kitty kittens plush cat purrs (is that a mouthful of a name or what?), and here's what they looked like:

they're a little sad looking now, i think. pierre was that black and white one in the bottom left corner (apparently named midnight). my older sister had "patches," and my younger one had "tiki (possibly "smokey?"). (names are in quotes because that is not what we called them.)

anyway, i thought pierre was magic. not only did i carry him around everywhere i could, get super upset when someone squeezed him too hard (i was afraid of his bubble popping), and never let anyone play with him but me, but i also knit him a scarf, wove him a blanket, and whenever someone got sick i would let them borrow him to feel better. i seriously thought the world of that cat.

i haven't really thought about pierre for years (though he's still up in my parents' attic), but the minute i read the topic for today, he came into my head like he had never really left.

*Please Remember - Leann Rimes

Sunday, March 4, 2012

sarcastic, i said

[day nine: something you use daily]

i am a sarcastic person. but don't you just hear everyone and their mothers claiming that today? i remember a few semesters ago while we were doing that beginning-of-the-semester-introduction-with-one-interesting-fact-no-one-remembers-about-you thing, one kid's interesting fact was that he was sarcastic. he said it like he was announcing that he was the first man to walk on the moon. the professor's reply: if that's the most interesting thing about you, you must be the most boring person alive. everyone in this room could probably say that they're sarcastic. his new fact was that he played on the school's baseball team.

i've known a couple of people that "just don't do sarcasm." they don't use it or understand it. a potential friendship with one such girl who was probably a really nice person was ruined because of that. i can admit that i probably use sarcasm way too much, and with her not understanding half of what i was really meaning, every conversation was just confusion and frustration. i've also known a few people who claim to be sarcastic that should really have sarcasm explained to them.

apparently, this is pretty common. according to this study on sarcasm,  twenty-five percent of people don't use sarcasm, or at least they claim not to. fifty-five percent of the people who claimed to be sarcastic were not. they were just being mean and calling it sarcasm. that means that only around thirty-three percent of the people were actually sarcastic, though seventy-five percent thought they were. i find it sad that such a high percentage of people either can't recognize or don't use sarcasm.

as for me, i use it every day.

*Wake Up Call - Relient K

Saturday, March 3, 2012

and in one little moment it all implodes

[day eight: your sky]

i'm not sure how it happened, or when exactly, but sometime between the time that i closed my eyes to sleep and opened them hours later, the world was turned upside down. i looked up and saw the ground. i didn't bother looking down... i didn't think i could handle the vertigo that soon after waking up. my head was throbbing as it was. the rain must have turned to snow during the night, because the expanse of white went on forever. there were darker patches, patches that looked raised from the rest. those must be the people who had held on during the switch, covered in snow, probably frozen to death by now. right at the edge, where ground and sky still held each other in their eternal loving embrace, the sun was bathing the white in a soft gold, making it glow. it was beautiful.

on another note, this is a cool cover:

*This Isn't Everything You Are - Snow Patrol

Friday, March 2, 2012

i've never had the words to say, but i can quote them all

[day seven: your favorite quote]

favorite quote? as in, i have to pick one quote among the three thousand seven hundred and fifty one quotes i've collected that i like more than any other? yeah right. instead, here is a random selection of quotes that i like, in no particular order.

And perhaps you have thought that because I use simple words, I am an idiot savant who does not understand bigger ones, but I've experienced such limerance from a simple dulcet daliance with complexity that I've come to believe that such things almost always destroys a decent dénouement, which as I previously stated, is what I'm here for.
~ i wrote this for you

God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
~ Sylvia Plath

I was told that whistling wasn't ladylike, but I knew even then that women were simply not supposed to be that happy.
~Anonymous, quoted in Kindling the Spirit by Lois P. Frankel

In Madeleine's face was a stupidity Mitchell had never seen before. It was the stupidity of all normal people. It was the stupidity of the fortunate and beautiful, of everybody who got what they wanted in life and so remained unremarkable.
~ The Marriage Plot

Frankie Landau-Banks is an off-roader. She might, in fact, go crazy, as has happened to a lot of people who break rules. Not the people who play at rebellion but really only solidify their already dominant positions in society - as did Matthew and most of the other Bassets - but those who take some larger action that disrupts the social order. Who try to push through the doors that are usually closed to them. They do sometimes go crazy, these people, because the world is telling them not to want the things they want. It can seem saner to give up - but then one goes insane from giving up.
~  The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person - without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.
~ Osho

All of us failed to match our dream of perfection.  So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.  In my opinion, if I could write all of my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist.  That’s why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off.  Of course he won’t, which is why this condition is healthy.  Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, and jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide.
~ William Faulkner

I feel that I have important things to do, and important things to say, and I want to share them with all Creation, I just don't know what they are exactly. But I can feel something. My true calling is buried deep inside me, I know it is! I just don't know how to get at it. Can you tell me? Can you help me understand my true role in existence? Can you tell me what I'm doing here?
~ Death: A Life

I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.
~ J.D. Salinger

It’s true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do? I don’t mean the world ending with respect to me, but every set of eyes closing with mine.
~ Everything is Illuminated

Because being quiet can sometimes
Be more powerful than being right.
You could try it.
We can argue all that you like,
We can argue until we fight,
But the loser may have been right.
~ Julian Casablancas

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want- oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! It seems to you that mainly what you want is to get away; get away from the same old tedious things you're so used to seeing and so tired of.
~ Huck Finn in Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
~ Stephen King

*Puppets - Motionless in White (i don't like this song, but i felt this lyric was perfect.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

you make me smile

[day six: something that makes you smile]

comments. i love getting comments on my blog posts. i always say that i write for myself, but knowing that people read this stuff is awesome. i love when people say that one of my posts made them think. i love when they give feedback on my writing. i love when they share stories and personal thoughts and ideas. i love getting comments from random people and people who rarely comment. i love getting comments from my regular commenters. comments make me happy... if you hadn't picked up on that yet.

i've always loved comments. there was nothing i hated more in school than writing a paper and getting it back with no comments on it. my favorite teachers were the ones that actually read all the papers and made thoughtful comments about them. i'm not talking about pointing out sentence fragments or a wrongly used words, i mean comments about the actual content. it could be as simple as an "interesting point!" next to a point that i was secretly really proud of to a paragraph written at the end discussing the things i brought up.

you would think that being so in love with comments would have me putting myself out there to get comments, but when have i ever done anything that made sense? instead, i spent most of my life refusing to let anyone read anything of mine or giving anyone the chance to comment on anything.

random fact: i think this is one of the laziest title picking days i've ever had.

*You Always Make Me Smile - Kyle Andrews