28 February 2011

mes pensées du mois

I will apologize in advance for my lame bloggage. You see, I went to a swim team banquet tonight which really was a waste of time since I keep getting screwed over when it comes to these things. I also have to cram for an anatomy test and a math test, and I'm pretty sure failing grades will soon result. In addition I have a history project and a modern poetry test on Wednesday.
So I will go quickly through my monthly purging of the valuable, the trivial, and the mediocre in my vault of blog. So here goes:

enjoy the ride, 3 February
Sometimes you just have to sit back and relax. Of course, not all the time, like in this semi-psychotic mode I am in now. But other times, when you are frazzled, calm yourself and settle.

the anonymous mail carrier of happiness, 9 February
I'm a sucker for really cute and sweet things like these anonymous notes all over our school. It really takes a nice person to do that, and whether it was to fill a service hour requirement or just to make someone smile, it really hit home. I encourage you to do something like it.

mission: bring home the bots, 16 February
I mean, what an inspirational ending to the day. The bots were lost, but with teamwork and hope, we brought them back. And my mom went to Target and bought another bot folder. The bots have backup.

the psychology of happy, 17 February
It's interesting to see what other people think is happy. Some people might think a mansion and money is happiness. And some think family and food is. But it's great to see that we all think of the same simple word in a bunch of ways.

learn to love the life you live, 21 February
Really, this one explains itself. We often don't realize, me included, that the lives we lead are ridiculously amazing compared to others. And we don't know because we have never seen, or had to see, any of the horrors of the world. We have access to them through the news, Twitter, Facebook, and the works, but we can turn our heads and avoid them. We have a privilege that many don't in this way.

the [sitting] ovation, 22 February
A little narcissistic, but I really got a kick out of this. I mean, who doesn't want to be praised for their good deeds? I a little recognition goes a very long way, especially for us workers in the dust.

a little love to go around, 25 February
Amidst conflict, I'm glad that at least I can find happiness and love and compassion in my community. This goes along with the learn to live the life you lead post, because a lot of people would not be able to find people like these where they live.

In an effort to reduce my sleep deprivation, the list has gotten shorter. And my bloggage quality has decreased. Perhaps I'm getting more boring. But I thank you for your loyalty.
And in going through these old posts and thinking about them, tomorrow doesn't seem so dismal.

27 February 2011

remembering the forgotten

Happy Sunday my blog readers! Actually, it's Monday now, and you will probably be reading this slumped over the computer waiting for coffee to be ready with your eyes half open. I don't drink coffee though.
I come to you so very late because I was watching the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, perhaps since it's a lot easier to say that than Academy Awards. Quite a show, I must say. Usually I never see all of it and I miss the good ones, but this year I got all my homework done early and I saw all of it. I was really pleased in fact. Sometimes you don't get your favorites to win, but the winners really deserved theirs tonight.
We all knew Natalie Portman and Colin Firth would take the Best Actress and Actor, respectively, and that is often why people watch these awards shows. But a lot of people don't realize the work that goes into them. And I early never thought much of it until tonight. Sound, lighting, and music are only the basics needed for a mediocre film. It takes real geniuses to manipulate their environment and make something really new and amazing for our eyes and ears. Imagine if you had to write an original score for a movie that would perfectly capture the mood and tone of each scene. I couldn't do it. And imagine creating costumes for a half-animated, half-real movie. Talk about blowing one's mind. And then there are those who create the most elaborate moving objects to make the most incredible and unbelievable scenes that are so surreal they make you say, "how did they do that?"
I'm glad that not only the big names were recognized, but those who are the engine behind the sports car. Those who make the big clock move. The colors that make the picture beautiful. Sometimes I feel like those forgotten people, especially when I will do a lot of work on a big group project but the teacher doesn't know I did all of it.
I can relate to those creative geniuses. And I commend you. Congratulations to all Oscars winners. Each of yo worked through your own battles to make your movies, whether it had to do with special effects, getting your movie produced, or training for a year to be fit enough for your part.
Keep up the good work, Hollywood. Next time we slump down in our chairs to watch your next movie, we'll remember each cog behind the machine.

26 February 2011


Today was a great day, but nothing really monumental happened. Actually, one great thing did happen: my sister got a Gordy Howe hat trick in her hockey game this morning. If you don't know hockey, a hat trick is typically when a player gets 3 goals in one game. But a Gordy Howe hat trick, named after the player, is when you get an assist (you passed the puck to someone who got the goal), a goal, and a fight (but a penalty counts too). So my sister got all three and this was also her first goal ever! She usually plays defense, but she banged that puck into the net. I wished I had seen it. And to celebrate, she was going to get a character cookie (a calorie-loaded cookie sandwich with frosting on top and in the middle), but they were out. Now we have a giant chocolate cake instead.
So after that, I really didn't do anything today. I read a little anatomy, learned about blood which I should have read a long time ago, went outside, got a few new apps and sent some virtual flower bouquets, and watched the Incredibles, which is a really incredible movie. Pixar can never go wrong. Sometimes I feel like I will go to school and do something like biology but then go a completely different direction and work for Pixar. When I'm not traveling abroad taking pictures as a National Geographic photographer.
Our society could not be more focused on getting things done. Kids of this age cannot even go down the street in the car without bringing some sort of electronic product that starts with i and ends with pad, pod, touch, or phone. But it's important that we take a break and do nothing. I mean, even though I did do homework, it wasn't a lot. And there was no real focus to the day. It was a day to regain the energy that will hopeful get me through next week in one piece.
We need breather days so we can catch our breaths and get ready for the next race. So don't beat yourself up for that nap, that TV episode, or that walk outside. In fact, cherish it.
Experiment with the art of nothing. Indulge yourself a little - in nothing.

25 February 2011

a little love to go around

It's hard to think on the bright side of things when a lot of the time there are bad things going on. The first 10 stories on my CNN app are about Libya and the government. The next few are about court cases in the country and about the strikes in Wisconsin. Today in history we spent the class talking about the horrors of the meat packing industry of the early 1900s.
It seems sometimes that we have taken the human out of humanity. There is so much that goes wrong that there is barely anything that goes right.
But I was proven wrong today. There is plenty of humanity where it is needed most - in our society's young people, the people of the next generation.
Last night I was up late studying for anatomy because I not only had a quiz to study for but a practical, and I had to know 30 arteries, veins, or other parts of the heart. There was no way I could study for all of it.
So that day, when my teacher had taken one person out in the hall at a time to do the practical with the heart model, my friend in the class went through the list of things and helped me learn all of them. Even thought he had already done it yesterday and he could have been studying for the quiz, he helped me so I could get a good grade on the practical - and I did (I got a 100! I was a little shocked, actually).
And later today, when I was in French, we were getting ready to watch a movie. So my teacher was setting p the audio and she played a clip, unbeknownst to all of us, of a kid asking this girl in our class to prom. And then he walked in with a big thing of flowers - roses, nonetheless, and gave her this giant hug. And everyone in the hallway was clapping. Of course, it wasn't me. But later my French teacher explained that he had stayed later after school working with my teacher to get the audio recording right and practice what he was going to do. And it was the most wonderfully thoughtful thing ever. He didn't have to do that, he could have just said, "hey, let's go to the prom together".
And finally, after French, me and my friend were walking outside to our last class and this girl who looked like she was a freshman accidentally dropped her folder and the wind took about 50 papers flying through the air all around the whole practice field. And it seemed like none of them would be retrieved. But me and my friend started getting some of them, and then about 30 other people joined in. Everyone was getting down to pick up her papers and run to catch them in the wind. And one kid even said to her, "I'm so sorry this happened!" And he really meant it. The kid that falls asleep everyday in one of my classes turned out to be a really nice person.
My school gives me hope for our future. I know that in the hands of these people, we will really have a wonderful and happy society. This sounds a little naive and ridiculous. But don't lose hope that people can be caring and thoughtful. Because it's easy to find them all over if you look.

24 February 2011

excuses, excuses

One thing I find interesting about us is that we never want to accept failure. We actually never really want to accept anything detrimental to ourselves. So we will make excuses for our failures or our mistakes.
Maybe we didn't make a mistake; perhaps we just didn't do as well as we wanted to. So we find an excuse. It's a way of clearing yourself of blame; justifying your action.
I'm not going to say I have never done this because I would be lying. I often try to excuse myself from doing something like not reading a chapter in a book or not finishing homework.
My favorite excuse from people is "I don't have time". It's my favorite. I only use that when I really don't have time to do something, but some people use it as much as they actually do work. I was working on an immigrant letter for history and I made it really nice - I painted it brown so it looked old, I tore the sides and painted them black to make it look burnt, and I did the same ot the envelope. It looked really legit. And this girl who bothers me in school was telling me how good it was, which was nice. But she said she didn't have time to do anything like that so that's why her letter wasn't as fancy as mine. But I had to not study for a quiz to finish that letter, and I stayed up past midnight to finish it. So really, I didn't have time to do it either. I made time to do it. And that's the difference. You have to create time to do things you want or need to do. You can't just passively wait for some random time to come when you have nothing else going on. That's how life wastes away.
Or people will say, "I didn't have time to read the chapters, so I couldn't do it." But you know, you have to do what you have to do. You might have other things to do, but you have to plan your time so you can make it work.
And I must say I have said this a number of times, and I regret it. Becauses babies make excuses. Real people realize that they did something deliberately and nothing else forced them to not take action.
I'm going to try not to make excuses for things when they go wrong. I know it's hard not to because it makes life easier. Try to do so as well. Because when you make excuses, you are only degrading yourself, and you are losing respect for yourself. You won't even like yourself if you are not honest with yourself.
It's almost like reconciling with yourself if you tell the truth. We are all human, so we all make mistakes. Humans were not meant to be perfect because if we were we would not even recognize the world we live in as anything like what we would live in.
It's OK to admit your humanity. Just go for it.
As Jason Mraz's album is called, We sing. We dance. We steal things.

23 February 2011

veni, vidi, vici

I'm running out of brain cells because I'm really beyond tired, but I'll share with you a triumph from today.
Yesterday, before my sitting ovation, I had a French problème, which you can obviously tell is French for problem. Go French!
So anyways, it was a giant misunderstanding about a due date and everyone in our class had the same problem. This is just a really confusing story, so bottom line, my teacher didn't make it clear when this was due, and so she gave us grades based on whatever we had done. Which for me, was 40%. Big problem.

When problems like this happen, it is time to put on your big girl shoes and take charge. So I did. I sent a pretty good email (all decked out with a "dear __," a "sincerely," and I even spell-checked it - twice) to my teacher explaining our predicament and then strengthening my point with a little bit of rhetoric.
Then you know what happened? She thought it over and she's letting us finish what we didn't finish and then we can erase the horrible grades from our lives forever.
So you see, when someone does something you don't like (and it is within reason to negotiate), you don't just have to take it. In fact, take charge. Because I feel like no one else would have if I hadn't, and also because if you really care about something, don't let anything ruin it.
I named this post after my favorite perfect tricolon. It's not my favorite perfect tricolon because there are not many perfect tricolons, but because Shakespeare wrote my favorite play about the man that said it, and because it is so simple, yet effective. I came, I saw, I conquered. In this case, I saw my disgusting grade and freaked out, I saw the possibility of change, and - well, I conquered.
Find things that you can conquer in your life. Be the Caesar of your own Rome.

22 February 2011

the [sitting] ovation

Sometimes we are really hard to please. Sometimes we are really easy to please. And times when we are easy to please remind me that there are lots of great things in life to savor.
Mondays are always angsty. Even though today is Tuesday, it was a Monday in that it felt like a Monday. And I found out that I'm failing French, but really everyone in my class is, because my teacher is being slightly [completely] ridiculous and disorganized. Hoping to get that changed. But either way the eyesore will be on my progress report: A, B, A, A, and, what's this? Yes. It will be complete torture. But as part of my civil duties, I must try to eradicate the problem. Follow-up to come, perhaps.
So after that mayhem, I forgot we had a test in French, and I was really just not in the mood. But after that I go to got to APUSH (in case you aren't au courant, that's AP U.S. History. Just to let you know.), which is becoming increasingly more enjoyable.
So anyways, we had to analyze some political cartoons, but we did them as a class, and he would call on people to ask them what their opinions were. So one of them was a pro-expansion/anti-expansion cartoon (we're talking the 1890s and around 1900). Everyone said it was pro. I was the only one in the whole class, except for one kid, who said anti. So I decided to tell my teacher what I thought about the cartoon, and he almost fell on the floor with joy. He said that in 14 years of doing this exercise he has never had anyone say anything like that before. He said that I opened his eyes and that he would never think of the cartoon the same. Then he told everyone to give me a round of applause. A real live standing ovation! Except we were sitting. And the rest of the class period, he kept saying "great work!" Was what I said really that great? No one knows, but apparently he thought so. And he's an ex-Marine colonel, so clearly he means what he says.
But the point is, he turned my day around because he said something so nice that my French problems didn't seem so bad. And I was happy the rest of the day.
Be the light in someone's day. If someone does something great, tell them how great they made you feel. Or just complement someone - just to do it.
Maybe you can even give them a sitting ovation.

21 February 2011

learn to love the life you live

Excluding this post, I now exceed the number of posts of my other blog by 20. Now it's 21. Hooray for progress!
Something sad happened today. Even though I don't know who this person is, but my cousins' friend died. I think she was around my age. She had acute lymphocytic leukemia, which is a worse form of leukemia because it directly attacks the lymphocytes, which help in fighting disease.

It's hard to think about young people like me dying because, well, we are still pretty young. In the mid-morning of our lives. We are supposed to live a long time, right? It made me sad. That could have been me. It could have been my brother or sister.
But it wasn't.
It's almost rare to find with a chronic illness like that, at least where I am, which is pretty amazing since we often hear of children who are confined to hospitals for their lives. They are born there, they live there, they die there. It's so tragically sad.
The more I read my anatomy book, the more I read about thousands of different problems that can go wrong in your body. And they only highlight about 4 per body system. But there are probably at least 50 per system, and even more miscellaneous ones. There are so many things that can go wrong. Probably more things can go wrong than can go right.
Yet often we don't experience these problems, or any. I am a prime example. I don't have a birth defect or a learning disability, I am not chronically ill, or ever ill, I do not take any medication and I am generally healthy and happy with my physical self. I have it a lot easier than other people, and I'm really lucky. In fact, I am at the peak of my physical fitness.
Yet I often complain more than children in hospitals, or children in wheelchairs, or even people who have a hard time doing something that I find easy.

I really have it great. And I forget that a lot. Sometimes we can all forget it. Sometimes we are caught up in little things like losing a few pounds, trying to fit in a few more activities in the day, or hoping for a little more money in the paycheck.
But I think maybe I - we - should step back, and put our lives in line with others. Not with other people who have it just as good as you, but with the rest of the world - think macro. If you want, look up some figures on health and income around the world. You'll be unpleasantly surprised.
If we remove ourselves from ourselves, we can see the world from an almost omniscient view. And we will see ourselves as rich compared to others.

20 February 2011

secrets unveiled

Sunday has a symbolic meaning for many people. For many it is the day of rest, of worship, and of family. One of the things it often reminds me of, especially in the morning, is Parade - you know, the thing that comes in the newspaper.
I started reading Parade a while ago during breakfast, and sometimes they have really good stuff in there. Sometimes they don't today they had some great stuff. the feature article was all about how to live a long life. The listed some of the biggest myths about the secrets to sticking around a long time, and they actually surprised me.
Yesterday I was talking about Type A and Type B personality. Type As, as you often hear, are the ultra competitive, organized, control freak leaders of everything. They are the ones who get things done, who are always ready to beat someone in a game, and they are also the most stressed and worrisome. Type B people are the more laid back, go with the flow, let it go, easy, carefree, people. They normally have less health problems. Type As are often said to be a lot more likely to die of heart disease than others.
Which is why this myth surprised me: worrying yourself to death. It's not true. It is true that people who worry so much can cause themselves to have a heart attack (myocardial infarction), but the key to living "forever" is not to let things go and have a chill, "whatever" and lax attitude about everything. In fact, according to the article, those who are organized, care about what they are doing, and are even a little obsessive, will live longer.
This also ties into another myth: taking it easy will help you out. It actually won't. Those who retire early on and who relax too much will not necessarily live longer. Stick to your job for as long as you can to keep your mind sharp.
And marriage plays a bigger role than you think. It had people fooled into thinking that you ca live longer if you are married. it's not true. But what is true is that married men will live longer than single men. As for women, you can be single, married, or divorced and it wouldn't make a difference. Interesting..
Another: All the schooling in the world will not help you live forever. I don't see the correlation. But the point is, you could have dropped out of high school or been an Oxford graduate with a Ph.D (or D.Phil, as they day in Ox) in metaphysics and these facts would not have determined your final age. However, well-educated people tend to live longer than those who are not, perhaps because they know of better ways to take care of themselves.
We all know exercise is important, but when your young it doesn't matter as much, regarding longevity. As long as you are active in your adulthood and late adulthood, you will be healthy.
And here is another odd one: there may be hope for shy people. Some thought that only outgoing people would live a long time, but they say that the less social, who tend to have more stable relationships, jobs, and thus, lives, lived a long time.
And for the optimists, I wouldn't be so optimistic on this one: these hopeful folk don't win the race in longevity. They might be so optimistic that they ignore their problems. In fact, the happy people also do not live as long. Ironic, because happiness is also linked to good health. I don't agree on this one.
But either way, I thought it was cool to see what science has told us about long lives and happiness.
But it shouldn't matter how long we are here. I mean, it does. But we should make the most of what we have, right?

19 February 2011

mailbox painting

I call this post what I call it because it is a very random thought, and this post is all about random thoughts. Just to let you know.

I love wonderful weather. I makes everything so much better.
So before I start on that, this morning, even though I normally don't go to swimming on Saturdays, I went. It's sort of early in the morning - 9am - and I usually just go during the week. But this morning I went, and it always makes me feel great. And then I came home and it was only 11am. Oh, the things one can accomplish!
When you actually do things, instead of wasting time, you time is used completely. You know how we only use 10% of our lungs? What is we used all of it? Imagine the breathing we could do. If we tried, we could go longer without breathing. In this case, if we try, we can use every second and make it count towards something really worthwhile. Like swimming. When you swim, every single second and fraction of a second counts as something really important. But when you are waiting for a bus to come or for a Internet to load, you are wasting those seconds. You don't have to fill every second, but when you feel like you are wasting time or your life, think of something really good to do. Here is how you can tell: if you think back on your week and cannot remember an event, a concrete event with some vivid detail, you either have bad short term memory or you were not doing anything of true importance to warrant any memories.
Now I'll start on something else.
I want to learn how to speak a couple more languages before college. You know, for the college application. The fine folks at the admissions offices likes when students teach themselves languages. it's a sign of motivation and Type A personality. I'm working on Italian. So here are some Italian words I found in my dictionary:
il bagnoschiuma - a bubble bath (wish I had one right now)
il frutteto - an orchard (like with fruits and stuff)
il latte scremato - skim milk (... no need to explain)
Try making a sentence will all of those words! I not only enrich your life with optimistic insight, but I supply you with a daily mental puzzle.
So the reason that I called this blog post "mailbox painting" was not just for the random factor. It was because I actually painted a mailbox today. It turned out really nice. All shiny and new; it was great. I also did a lamppost. If you know someone who needs their outdoor items painted, you know where to hire!
My final comment: I heard something interesting from my AP lang teacher. He is always full of insight. So anyways, we were reading The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. And we got talking about being depressed. And my teacher said that often, people who know too much about the world (people who are too worldly and thus intelligent) are more often disappointed and depressed than the ignorant. So sometimes, enjoy a little ignorance. Sometimes I guess it's better not to know certain things, because it might go in your favor.
I hope this post was not too difficult to follow.
Now I am sufficiently fired. Have a nice 25 minutes left of your Saturday!

18 February 2011

what life is

Sometimes it takes big things to make us look at the small things in a new way.
I read this really inspirational story on CNN, and even though it's a little awkward when you read it, it's a really touching story.
It was about a CNN reporter who took on a rather daunting task when he least expected it. So this CNN reporter had a wife, and she was pregnant. And basically, for some reason, she started delivering her baby immediately, with no warning signs at all. So pretty much, he had to help deliver his son by himself. Well, he did have his half-conscious wife and a 911 operator to give him directions. But by this point, if I hadn't already passed out, I would have been screaming and freaking out. But this guy didn't do that. Instead he followed all the orders of the 911 operator, and he delivered his son. but there were some complications in addition to having to do this at his house one random day. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his son's neck about 5 times. And when the baby came out, he wasn't breathing. His eyes were closed, and the reporter was sure he was not even alive.
But then - the eyes opened. He opened his mouth and he started to breathe. The baby was alive. his father rescued him, and his wife, and he did it alone.
The paramedics came to make sure the situation was under control, but by then the chaos was over. The baby boy was safe and healthy.
When we think of parenting, a lot of times we think of the mother. It has traditionally - since the beginning of time - been the mother's job to care for children. After all she is the one who plays the biggest role in children, and men often fall behind in this duty. But this man stepped up and did something he probably never thought he would have to do. And now he has a very unusual and special connection to his son.
I know that way back when in the times of the Byzantines and the Egyptians and such, there were no hospitals or even 911 operators, so helping deliver a baby was seen as such a crazy thing only meant for certain chosen individuals. But in our society, we have our places. I go to school. Adults go to work. Certain people do certain jobs. And that is it. But this reporter, who is in charge of getting news, made news himself when he took on a completely different version of himself.
He said that the experience made him feel like he was a more active member in his son's life. It made him appreciate life more. It made him appreciate the whole idea of a child being born. It made life seem much more delicate and beautiful.
We don't have to aid someone in this process, but learning to appreciate life as something not to be lived but something to live for is the real message.
Every breath, every second, every beat of the heart counts. Make your worthwhile.

17 February 2011

the psychology of happy

First, I would like to say that this is my 50th post so far! 50 days of happiness down, and a lot more to go.
A while back, I did a blog about different views of happiness. I talked about Bhutan and the Scandinavian countries, and our own country. But today I'll talk about science's view of happiness.
One of my friends in my AP lang class is taking AP Psychology. She said that today, in addition to learning about ways to spot people who are lying (she thinks her teacher gave it to her so they could become better at lying), they learned general characteristics of happy people. I was really interested because happiness is not something you can measure in an objective way, like, "let me analyze your blood, and we'll find out if you're happy". There were a few main ideas. The sheet said that happy people usually: (1) have good self esteem and/or have confidence in themselves, (2) have a strong religious faith, (3) have hobbies and/or engage in activities that exercise their skills, (4) have a satisfying marriage and/or good relationships with friends and family, and (5) get regular sleep and regular exercise.
According to these criteria, I should be the happiest person alive! I'm confident in my abilities, I swim everyday, I have lots of friends and get along with my family, I have hobbies and activities I love, I sleep well (most of the time), and even through we don't go to church often, I feel that I am a pretty spiritual person at heart.
I was curious, so I looked up "the psychology of happiness" on Google. I started reading an article that divided how certain things influence our happiness. Apparently, 10% of our happiness is due to our finances, ethnicity, age, gender, etc. 40% is due to the activities in everyday life that we do. You know, everything we do everyday that can make us happy or sad, like getting back a test grade of a 100. That renders one happy. The other half, of which I am skeptical, is due to genetics. Supposedly certain people are just more apt to be happy than others. I can somewhat agree. Some people will always be chipper and joyful all the time, and some people will be critical, cynical, and pessimistic.
If only 50% is gene-based, and 10% is money, than why do many people say that having a million dollars would make the world go round? Psychologists actually say that money does not bring happiness, in spite of what we think. The article suggests that the reason wealthy people might not be happy is because they may be too foucsed on work. But that does not include the retired wealthy. What does this then bring us to?
In trying to fix a leak I have created a flood. We will always know less than we thought we knew before we talk deeply about something. Because after you think you've placed all your rocks in the sand, an earthquale comes and shakes them up. Then nothing is certain.
I like to get into philosophical debates like this, because it's fun to see how far you can go and in what directions it goes.
Before I started blogging, I thought I knew what happiness was. But now I have no idea. Actually, I have too many ideas of what it could be. But I'm fine not being able to explain happiness. Because happiness is a feeling. And feelings are human. And human can never be explained.

16 February 2011

mission: bring home the bots

I have a really great story to tell you all today. I actually was pretty upset about it, and I thought about how nothing happy happened today, but happy endings prevailed and I got a miracle.
Let's skip math, because it wasn't all that pleasing today, and move to AP Lang. The doctor is out, he has bronchitis. Poor chap. So we accomplished nothing then, and the same happened in anatomy. In yearbook, I googled carpel tunnel syndrome, because I'm pretty sure I have it (noticed the blogs getting shorter? It hurts to type, that's why. I'll make an ergonomic keyboard that you can move around to fit your needs. That's how I'll get out of having a real job.) French was, you know, nothing, as usual. We are starting to call it free period, because of the copious amounts of things we do.
Here is when disaster struck - it was the end of French and I was pulling out a sheet of paper so I could take notes in history. Mostly it was for my friend who has a sinus infection. Normally I take my notes on the packets he gives us, but only I can follow my notes. I wanted to take neat ones. So I got out my robot folder - or at least I tried, but it was not there. I didn't freak out at once. I might not have brought it to school. But then I had a flashback of this morning, when I shoved my bad math quiz into my folder. In AP lang. I had brought it to school, but it wasn't there.
You might not understand how important this folder is. It has every important school paper in it and every trivial school paper in it, as well as the Doodle 4 Google picture I had been working on for months. Well, more like 1 month. But I could never duplicate that. I almost cried. It was gone.
I raced back to his room, but the sub was there. She said a girl recognized the drawing and took it for me so it wouldn't get lost. I felt a little better because I know this girl would have done that for me.
The rest of the day I sat there is a half-lucid state, wondering where my folder was. I was trying to get a hold of my friend, who had this girl's number, but she couldn't text in the class she was in. I was a wreck. A train wreck. I called her 8 times after school got out, and I was freaking out. No folder.
I finally called the girl who took it, and she said she didn't have it. My heart almost dropped out of its casing in between my lungs, and fell out into my stomach. I cried a little. It was gone. My beautiful masterpiece, gone. My folder, gone.
I sent out a mass text to everyone telling them of the tragedy. I got tons of replies, and my friends walked all the way out to the portable classes to check. I was so lucky that I have people that would do that.
When we got home, I asked my mom to take me back to school. One of the police officers at school took us on a bumpy hold-on-for-your-life ride in his golf cart-ish vehicle, down to the portables. Luckily it was open, but he had the key. My folder was there.
A wave of relief knocked me down. I fond the folder! The robots were back! Everything was in there. Safe and sound.
But the great thing was that everyone helped me out, and that made me really happy. My friends gave me other people's numbers to find the person who had supposedly taken it, my mom drove me back, the officer drove us down, and even the attendance office lady suggested ways to find it. All so I could find those robots.
It's so nice to know that amidst the horrors in the world, there are wonderful people who will do anything for you - even for the robots.

15 February 2011

a happy duck

Happy post-Valentine's [or singles awareness] day! Today was just one of those days when everything went as it should and all was well. For the most part.
Other than probably failing my math quiz, we had no teacher second period, a sub for fourth, and a really great sub for sixth. But most importantly, today was the day when we got a Valentine's day gift.
My mom always buys us a special present on Valentine's day, but we opened them today. I had no idea what mine would be, but it was in a pretty big box. I really did not know what it was. A shirt? A jacket? Only time would tell.

I just lost my train of thought for a second; my eye got this weird itch in it and I had to attend to it. Now that that's over..where was I..
Oh yes, the gifts. So I started to open the box and I saw the word "waterproof". I almost had a heart attack. Well now, since we're studying the heart, I have to call it a myocardial infarction. Anyways, it was a pair of Sporto duck shoes (the half rain boots, half shoes) - in my absolute favorite color besides yellow: green. bright green half rain boots. I had wanted them for so long and I was so excited I couldn't even believe I was now in possession of them.
I almost cried. I teared a little. I tried them on immediately, and they fit with perfection. They were utterly perfect.
But, as they always say - and yes, I'm going to pull a cliché on you all - it's the thought that counts. I was just so happy that my mom remembered that I loved those shoes so much and she went to that big effort of finding them, even though they were almost sold out completely.
So next time you have to buy a present for someone, think of the actual thought behind the present. Like one time, my nana got me a small Smart Fortwo Coupe mini model (you know, Smart cars - the little cute ones that the Europeans drive?). Well I'm really obsessed with those cars, and it was one of the most thoughtful gifts. Even better than some of the most expensive things that I have received.
Tomorrow, if you are looking for me, check for my little green shoes. I love them so much I might even wear them to bed. I'm a happy duck!

14 February 2011

odd duck

I hope everyone had a happy and not-lonely Valentine's day! I actually had a pretty great day. I didn't fail the AP lang quizzes that everyone always fails, I got a perfect score on my AP lang essay, and I got a B on a quiz I didn't really study for. Life is pretty good.
Of course, as yo know, today is Valentine's day, and I go to a pretty normal high school. Let's just say you can sum up the day in three words: candy, roses, and prom. Yes, prom. I found out later than the average Joe that prom was in March (?) this year. And today is the day of all days to be asked to prom, which of course happened. Just not to me.
I felt pretty discouraged, not really because I wanted to go to the prom, but because 1, I found this really amazing dress while flipping through Seventeen, and 2, because my friends got asked and I didn't. It's the typical odd duck out story. Everyone gets asked to prom by someone who can cook (and happens to bake them some sort of food that says "Prom?" on it), and they share their treats with me. And I listen to the stories. The usual. No biggie.
Really, I never care about this foolishness. But it's hard not to when everything you hear revolves around prom.
I can envision the night now: reruns of shows from the early 2000s, perhaps an America's Next Top Model cycle will be on, I might play a game of Yahtzee with myself, and I might make myself a milkshake and eat some popcorn. That is the life.
But after I got over my slight jealousy and hopelessness, I walked outside to go to history. And the weather was so great I almost cried. Actually, I didn't. But anyways, it was so great that I realized nothing as small as being asked or not being asked to a prom should be the deciding factor in how good my day is. After all, the city we live in is not even on most state maps. And since our school does not occupy the entire town, it has to be smaller than the town, meaning that anything that goes on in the school is not very pertinent to the world at large. I would rather have accomplished something great than be asked to a prom. Both would be nice.
And another reason I still have hope is because there are so many other people who have much worse lives than mine and they are much more optimistic than me. Some people don't get to go to school. Some people don't even get 3 meals a day.
So really, whether I spend prom night at the prom or at my house, it will still be a great night. Remember that you don't need other people to tell you to have fun. Go make your own. You are the pilot of your life. You get to make it what you want to. Sha-pow.
G'night y'all.

13 February 2011

beware the greed fever

I once alluded to a Spongebob episode, as I often do, about getting back to the old grind. I think it might have been in my old blog, but maybe not. Anyways, today concludes our short but fun vacation. Yes, we left the luxury and came back home.
It was rather depressing.
This was not only the fanciest hotel in the world (well, that I've been to), but it was the most relaxing vacation ever too. Sometimes when you do a Disney thing for a week, and have a strict regiment of things to do, including restaurants, parades, which rides are open when, and pool time, you need a vacation after your vacation. Sometimes this is the case with beach vacations. We are hanging in the sun for so long and riding the waves that you actually get pretty tired.
But I didn't need a vacation after this one. Which made it pretty great.
No one enjoys leaving their vacations (unless they were really horrible, like you got caught in a hurricane and were stranded in your hotel for a week - remember, wifi connection is lost). A lot of people get depressed after coming home from their vacations - back to their drabness, less awesome, unappealing lifestyle. After all, my bathroom does not have a TV on the mirror, nor do we live on the 15th floor of a huge city building with a great view.
But we do get to come home to something great. When we pulled up, the weather was fabulous and we played outside on the trampoline for a while. And then we had a great dinner, watched Toy Story, and were reminded of how much homework we had to do. Other than the homework part, we had a lot to look forward to. And even though I'm not going to the Ritz tomorrow, I will be going to school, and I will be able to see all my friends and the weather will be 63°! On Valentine's Day! In the middle of winter! Pretty good deal, I must say.
Some people might go on a vacation and come back to a bad job, a life of no hope, and hard work. And while we do work hard, we have a lot of things most people don't have. A great home, great family, great friends and lots of fun things. And of course, we have a government that does not oppress us, we are free to think what we want to, and we do not live in a war-torn, poverty-stricken, or famished country. Many of these things people think of as human rights, but many people don't have them.
We should all realize what we have in relation to other people. And sometimes it's hard to do that because we can't fathom it. So I want to show you something.
I read a few years ago in National Geographic about a man who went around the world taking pictures of people with everything they owned in the picture. Most of these people can fit everything they own in the picture. A few furniture items, some food, some clothes, and themselves. Here is a link to NPR, which did a report on the photographer's pictures.
He led some others to do similar research. It's interesting to see how some of these people have so little and want nothing more and how some people have so much and want more.
So in conjunction with my last post, remember what you have, forget about what you don't have. Don't catch the greed fever, and live simply.

12 February 2011

reevaluating yourself

I hope everyone had a lovely day! I did.
Well since I'm really tired, I will try to make this short. Today we went to Davidson College for a tour and some information sessions because it was a whole day dedicated to juniors who were interested in applying there. It was actually a lot of fun!
We went on a tour and then we had lunch there and after we could go to a lecture/information session about an academic concentration we were interested in. I went to the science one, and I thought they would talk about sciences at Davidson and what types of classes you could take. But instead, one of the former heads of the biology department gave a presentation about the growing pandemic of AIDS in Africa, particularly a village in Zambia, where this professor takes 9 students each summer. These students try to educate the people there about AIDS, and they have them tested and analyze their test results. It's one way at Davidson where you can use biology to help people.
They go for a month, and they stay in a modest but nice house. She said many of the students had a difficult time living in their nice home and seeing what the people in the village live in. Because even though they are not staying at the Ritz-Carlton, they are living in something much nicer. And when the month is over, these students get to come home and back to their close to perfect lifestyle. The villagers do not. They often do not have a future that will take them beyond the village.
And even when I left that lecture hall, I came back to the pool on the 18th floor of this hotel. To a view that many are not privileged to see, and to a safe and happy environment. That's even better than most people who live in million dollar homes.
Yet this morning I was complaining about the breakfast in the hotel. Like that was a huge problem.
It's hard to realize the disparities in resources, quality of life, etc., until you really see it. I only saw some pictures. Imagine if I went there. What would I feel then? How could I accept my life after that?
It's not that you should feel bad for having the things you have. You do not need to give them away. But you should just be happy with your things and realize that you are just lucky. Even though everyone around us seems rich, we are just a lot of lucky people concentrated in one area.

11 February 2011

la vie en luxe

Testing, testing..All good! This will be my first out-of-state post, and honestly I was a little neurotic about it because I wasn't sure if I would have the WiFi to do it. But luckily I have it, so greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina!
I have to get used to this computer because it's my dad's and it's a little bit different from mine. You don't normally notice these nuances, but that's OK because I'm sitting in the swankiest hotel I have ever seen. Ever.
Here's how it works. We live 4 hours from here. We usually stay in the Marriott because my dad stays there so often he gets free nights. But the best part is that Marriott bought out the Ritz-Carlton and now we get to stay there! Eeep and a half!
It is literally amazing. You know it is when you walk into the lobby at the last hour of the day and live singers are in there. And there is a bar. A swanky one. And we are on the 15th floor. And when we walked into the room, we were greeted with homemade cookies, still water in glass containers, glass cups with ice, and a note. And the bathroom - oh, the bathroom. Words cannot describe it, but passionate violin music was running through my head. There was not only and over-sized tub, but an amazing shower, lined with flagstone, and wait for it - a TV on the mirror. Yes. On the mirror. You can't believe it? Me neither.

There is a sound machine by the beds. Everything is free. Well, sort of not really. This goes without saying, but there's a flat screen, a huge window overlooking the street life, and well, the beds.
Sometimes you just have to go away from everything and live in a fantasy land of wonders and luxuries. And it feels especially good after a long week of work. So go to your nearest swanky hotel, check in for a few days and just do whatever you want to do. Sleep whenever you want to, sing ridiculous songs, and eat fancy fruits.
La vie luxeuse..ah, c'est bonne.
Life is [really] good.

10 February 2011

hold your horses

This morning was exciting because we got to take the scenic route to school - snow covered the ground! But it melted after school was over anyways. But it was still nice to see this nice serene backdrop on the way to school.
After school I had a meeting for humane society at my school. I'm the secretary. And today we had a guest speaker. We normally do - someone from a dog rescue came one time and brought 2 dogs, a policeman came with his dog, and dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is going to come some time soon (from It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet!). It's a nice way for us to connect with other people instead of just talking amongst ourselves about nothing.
So today's speaker was a woman who ran a therapeutic horseback riding place. She was the mother of a ninth grader and she had been working in the business for years. She sees over twenty clients, and some of them come everyday. She has children as well as adults. Some of them have muscular deficiencies, others have autism and other mental disabilities. Some have even just had really horrible accidents and need some good physical therapy. She explained how good this is, and how in some cases it's even better than physical therapy. She said that it is mentally liberating for people confined to wheelchairs and that it is socially good for people who do not interact well with people. She said that, obviously, it is very good for your body, especially when some physically disabled people cannot work their back muscles and leg muscles.
She explained how the volunteers have to help support the person while they are on the horse and that it is a lot of work. But she said it is the most rewarding job ever. She gets to help other people every day and work with horses. Some of these people came in not knowing how to walk and come out being able to stand on their own.
She inspired me to do something like that. She said that she was short on volunteers, so I will definitely go and try it. Find something that inspires you to make a difference. And go out there and change the world!

Chaqu'un a une vie. Chaqu'un peut fair n'importe quoi avec sa vie. Tu serais la solution. Tu as la pouvoir de changer le monde.

09 February 2011

the anonymous mail carrier of happiness

Today when I went to school I was surprised when my friend asked me, "have you seen the post-it notes around school?" I had not seen these post-its. I was too busy sitting in a corner, studying, that I did not get up to see the notes.
I later learned that someone, anonymous, had placed different colored post-it notes all over lockers, walls, and in the bathroom on the mirrors saying things like "Smile!" and "You're Beautiful". I had heard that other schools had done that before, but these were only stories. I didn't think that people actually did that.
So I went into the bathroom and saw for myself. Other people took the notes and smiled, and carried them in their bags. But most people were skeptical, asking questions and saying things like "What club is this for?" and "I bet it was for a service project." Maybe that person was doing it for a reason, but maybe that reason was just to see other people happy.
Sometimes we are way too caught up in the angst-ness of our own lives. Sometimes we become estranged by school and alienated by our peers and society. but those sweet notes made me really happy. Someone was smart enough to step back and look at life from a big hill rather than through a microscope. Someone did something nice for a bunch of people he or she probably didn't even know.
I think that we are too focused in on ourselves, our lives, our friends, and the people and events that directly touch our lives. But whoever put out those sweet notes didn't put them out for just his or her friends, he/she put them out for the whole school.
Thank you, anonymous mail carrier of happiness. You give me hope for the future of the world.

08 February 2011

three small words

I got inspired today, after a pretty vapid and uninspiring day, by some stories I read from a link I got from Life is Good.
I love their clothes because they're really cute and comfortable, but they also inspire a lot of people and a lot of heartwarming stories. They are all inspiring in their own way, and here are some I found:
One of the stories they have posted on their website is about a girl who has a terminal illness that affects the mitochondria in her cells, making it difficult to even carry out every day activities. She is 16, like me. She lives a lot of her life in the hospital, with teams of doctors looking after her. But the doctors don't comment on how sad she is - they remark on how happy and positive she is. Probably more so than all of us. She wears all sorts of Life is Good shirts and has a LIG sticker on her laptop.
She will not live as long as many of us will. She won't get to have the opportunities we will have. And while many of us have more things than anyone needs, we worry and complain about small things. This girl doesn't even complain about big things.
Another story was about a woman who had lost her two brothers to very tragic incidents. She had two young children to raise. How was she going to carry on with her life when not one, but two of her brothers had died very horrible deaths?
It took a small gift from a friend - a Life is Good mug - to turn the situation around. She kept repeating the slogan in her mind, and it helped her to cope. She learned to stand up and not become defeated. Just by three small words.
These three small words have inspired thousands. Let them inspire you. Let their true meaning soak into your soul and feel what it really means. After all, life is good. You were born into a beautiful planet and given air, nourishment, warmth, and love. And while everything may not go as hoped or planned, life is still pretty darn good. There really isn't a lot of things we can say we don't have that we really need. Sure, we may all want some extra dough to fill out our wallets, but every day we wake up, we get to see our friends, we get to enjoy all the things the world has to offer. So instead of focusing on the wrong, let's find the right.
Life is good. It really is.

07 February 2011

wallow in your success

There is only one thing that you can do when something amazing happens. Celebrate!!
I never normally type two exclamation marks, because it's a little tacky, but that random interjection most certainly warranted it.
On Friday, I think I said I took an anatomy test. It was about the endocrine system. By now you probably know where I'm taking this. Anyway, so in class we grade our tests ourselves as we go over them. And no matter how hard I study, I always get a B. A high B or a low B, it didn't matter. The average was around 85. Which is really annoying. Because I probably knew more than 85% of the information.
But when we graded the tests today, it was different. I only took off 7 whole points. On the whole test. I finally got an A on an anatomy test! That's almost as good as getting a Nobel Prize in physics!
Even though it wasn't a 100, which I had hoped for, because I was pretty sure I knew 99% of the endocrine system (I would rely on luck for the last point), I got a 93%. It wasn't perfect, but all that hard work paid off.
It's important that you celebrate these things because they are some of the most defining moments in your lives. This one girl in the yearbook said that her one defining moment (so far) is when she got a 100 on an AP Chemistry test.
These things may be little, but they are very important things. We can't let them go away and move on. Sometimes little things need a little attention. Maybe we should have less holiday parties and graduation parties, and start having parties for the small things. However that might be a little un-feasible to have a party every time something goes right.
Either way, be proud of your achievements. Doing well makes people feel good about themselves. You should celebrate your good doings and share with the world.
So go ahead and get wallowin'!

06 February 2011

if you don't vote, don't complain

Hope everyone had a great Super Bowl XLV Sunday! So glad the Packers won (31-25 in case you didn't catch the end). Not really a GB fan, but my uncle was an ex-Packer (tight end), so I root for them when Team Homeland doesn't play. Speaking of the best team ever formed, my birthday buddy Tom Brady was unanimously voted the MVP of the NFL. As expected. Tom Brady: practically perfect in every way.
Tonight we went to a Super Bowl party, which i really fun and loud. And they have a really nice pool table. We don't have a pool table, but I absolutely love playing, and I do whenever we go over someone's house and they have one. I don't really know the official rules, but I pick some up as I go along. It's fun and rather sophisticated.
After the game, and after I wrote a French essay about the problems of the world, I logged onto my computer to blog. And on the AT&T Yahoo homepage were articles about the game and its multiple "issues". Everything was a critique of not necessarily the game but the entertainment surrounding it. First there was the national anthem incident, which got many people (the whole country) inflamed. Articles were already written and published about the lines that were missed when it was sung.
Then there was the halftime show. I thought it was really cool. But maybe that's because I'm a teeny-boppin' hipster kid and some of these old timers were like "who are the Black Eyed Peas?" I thought it was very cool. But one critic says it was the worst show ever and that the effects were boring. It was, for the critic, a "been there, heard that" show. Thousands of comments followed, saying "I agree" and "worst show ever".
I didn't see any articles about how hard the performers must have worked to get that show to look the way it was. About the rehearsals, the costumes, the lights, and the crew members that had to move parts of the stage around during the performance. And how various people dropped out of the sky and sang with them.
You know, when all you do is critique things, you suck the fun out of them. When all we do is expect things that are outrageous, we will be disappointed. I'm not saying you should lower your expectations or not expect good things, but if you only think about the bad, you won't get anywhere. Sure, she messed up the words and left out the part about the ramparts. Don't you think she felt pretty bad? Or really embarrassed and nervous? How many of us would be willing to get up in front of a stadium of thousands of people, and national TV, and sing a song that is so near and dear to us? Some of us don't even sing in the shower. And none of us could do a halftime show. Singing, dancing, remembering choreography, all the dancers moving in complete unison, and the fantastic crew members. For a 15 minute show. That is dedication. Imagine if you worked really hard on something and someone wrote an article about how terrible it was. And then thousands of people disagreed. I'd feel terrible in either position - the critic or the performer.
I commend them on their performances. The halftime show was great and they worked really hard. And at least Christina didn't stop and run away after she messed up. She continued and confronted her mistake.
My aunt has a shirt that says "If you don't vote, don't complain". This is sort of true here too. If you didn't put in an effort to make something happen, don't complain about the result.
My French essay was about how the biggest world problem is ignorance and lack of tolerance. If we were more understanding, the world would be a better place.

05 February 2011

real news

We should really call "the news" - on TV, iPad, or the radio - "the blues"; everything that is wrong with the world.
Because that is all you hear about. I can't even listen to CNN on the radio. I only read the articles on CNN about health, sports, or celebrities (it all depends). I never watch the news on TV, and if I do I feel depressed about humanity after that.
The ice caps are going to melt. Terrorists are attacking the world. All of the animals are going extinct. Politics are becoming so corrupt that they are tearing nations apart. Earthquakes shatter our planet. More people than we can fathom go to sleep every night in fear, famine, danger, and without homes.
That's all we hear about. Is there any compassion and kindness left in this world? Or are we all just ravenously greedy animals that fight for what we want and stomp everyone into the ground for what we want?
I want to believe that we are still humans who care for each other - who give each other shoulders to cry on, who tell each other it will be OK, who let each other know that they are doing a great job. But the way the world is painted is in a dark way. With greys and blacks and browns.
Today I was reminded of the good in our world. Something that someone did changed my day, and I don't even know him.
I was reading CNN on my iPad. The headline is about the corruption in Egypt. The next article is about how the Internet influenced these revolts. Next to it is an article about protesters around the world. Then there's one about a gas pipeline lit on fire in Egypt. And a picture of an Associated Press reporter with blood dripping down his face in Egypt. And then we move down and see: deaths in Tunisia. Protests. Troubled celebrities. Kidnappings. Homicide.
I almost closed out of the app and deleted it. I don't need to read this. But then a picture caught my eye. It was a man in a yellow shirt, holding his arms up high, crossing finish line. He was smiling so big that his cheek dimples pushed his sunglasses even further up. I opened the article.
"Marathon runner completes 365th straight race". A man from Ghent, Belgium, 49 years old, finished his 365th straight race. Every day he ran a marathon, 26.2 miles.In addition to this, he is the only person to do 20 Iron Man triathlons (my uncle has done 7) in one year.
He just finished this infamous race in Barcelona today. Since he started this 365-marathon journey, he has run 9,569 miles. He was told as a boy that he would not be able to run, or really do any sports, because of his asthma.
Yet he ran an entire marathon everyday. For a whole year. And he is almost 50.
Some people run one marathon in their whole life and they spend months training. For this guy, marathons are nothing.
His perseverance made me realize that there is a lot of bad, but there is also a lot of good. You just have to look for it.
Who knows..maybe you will be the next motivational CNN story. Turn "the blues" into good news!

04 February 2011

yahtzee and dolls and trains - oh my!

I forgot how much fun yo-yos are. Whoever invented them surely was a genius.
I was reminded today about the simplicity of childhood. About how fun things can be even though they are simple.
My brother's school had this guy come and do this team-building slash personal growth assembly and it involved yo-yos. Ironically, the same guy came to my private Catholic school in Massachusetts 7 years ago. And I got a really cool yo-yo from him.
My brother got one too, but it's defective, so we're returning it for a new one. Anyways, he brought up this little bag of yo-yos we have in the basement and I found my tire-shaped yo-yo. And I put my finger through the hole in the string and started yo-ing. And I forgot how addicting it is to yo (I realized the last four words of that sentence were only 2 letters long)!
I then started yo-ing as I was reading new tweets and then our cat came up and started trying to get the yo-yo. I think he just wanted to the string. But he played with it for like 20 minutes while I yo-ed. If you ask me, I would get pretty frustrated if I was trying to get something that kept flashing in my face and then retracting into the air.
I realized that playing with that yo-yo gave me a childlike satisfaction I haven't had in a while. It made me reevaluate my life. Girls analyze things. It's what we do.
All I really do is go to school, use my iPad, the computer, my textbooks, watch TV, an go swimming. I don't really ever do anything that isn't electronic. But some of the best things are not electronic. Like yo-yos.
When all we do is check our emails, refresh Twitter, post new updates and check statuses on Facebook, look things up, and check our texts, we are just becoming obsessive and ridiculous. Kids these days don't pull out yo-yos on the school bus - they pull out their iPods. Kids are more apt to sit inside and watch TV than go outside and play or even sit inside and play a game - a non-electronic one.
While we may think of yo-yos as a thing of the past - ancient, prehistoric, medieval novelty items - it feels good to be a kid - not an alienated techno-gadget freak kid of the new age, but a kid. You know, one who plays with toys you don't have to plug into the wall or shove batteries into.
So find some of your old toys and games. Blow the dust off the top and they're good as new. Yahtzee, Pick-Up-Sticks, yo-yos, dollhouses, train sets. I doubt most kids play with or even own these things anymore.
Let's put down the iPhones, the Blackberrys, and yes, even our 7.000 GB iPads, and play with our old-fashioned toys.

03 February 2011

enjoy the ride

Thank you for the nice things many of you said to me to make me feel better. It's reassuring to have great friends and loving family members.
Today was a great day. Nothing can really describe it though, because nothing really important happened today. I guess nothing went wrong, so it was a pretty good day. Laughs with my friends, fun stuff in school (as fun as it gets), and overall a smooth-running day. Those are always nice.
But late;y, I have been feeling much like Huckleberry Finn: "All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was change, I warn't particular." I have been waiting for something to happen. For money to fall out of the sky. To go travel around the world. For something really extraordinary to happen.
What am I even talking about? Money is probably not going to tumble from the stratosphere into our little Miltonville. I am probably not going to wake up tomorrow morning, pack my bags, and go travel around the world. And something extraordinary is probably not going to happen right now.
And as all these days pass, all I am losing is time. I might be waiting for an adventure to come, but it isn't. I might be hoping for something to happen, a change of pace, but it isn't. So while I am waiting for the world to change, the grass to grow, and the sun to rise, I am wasting my time. And these are the days that build memories. Days in school with friends. Everyone studying for a test together. Laughing at stupid jokes that teachers tell. Watching Mary Poppins on an iPad in yearbook.
These are the things that make memories. And if I sit and ignore it all, waiting for my adventure, I will miss the most important part - the journey. When I think back, I will remember the fun times in school and school memories, not the times I was sitting around and waiting for a change of pace.
Don't let your boredom and humdrum-ness get you down. Enjoy the nuances in each day. Laugh at the simple things in your days. Unless of course you are walking down the street and a car splashes muddy water all over you after it rains. Then maybe you wouldn't laugh.
You might not be riding in a Prius or a Mercedes. Maybe you're driving a station-wagon from the '90s (or better yet the '80s). But enjoy the ride.

02 February 2011

hold onto tomorrow

Every quest has peaks and valleys. Even a quest for happiness.
Today is my dad's birthday, which is a very special day indeed. However it was not the most wonderful of days. If you're reading this Dad, I'm sorry this was a bad birthday.
I wish it had been a better day but it hadn't. It was an utterly upset, anguishing day. And to tell you the truth I had nothing really positive to write about. And I made a pact with myself not to pretend that I was feeling fabulous when I really wasn't.
Sometimes everything seems to run against you, nothing seems to go right, and the end of the universe seems near.
But it's not.
I remembered the words of the youngest trapped Chilean miner like a burning scar: "After the bad comes the good." And his bad was a lot worse than me. His bad could have taken his life any day.
But then good came to the rescue.
While it is great to feel happy, optimistic, and hopeful, sometimes we find it hard to do, and our souls are filled with sadness, contempt, angst, and hopelessness. And when we feel this way, we have to wit for it to pass, and hold onto tomorrow.
There is something about the idea of tomorrow that gives me a new hope. Perhaps it's because tomorrow is not today, and therefore the thoughts from the previous day can be finished and never thought of again. Maybe tomorrow is what we need, and will always need, to feel a sense of hope in really tough times.
Don't let yourself go when you are at a dead end and you feel lost. Just wait for the storm clouds to pass. Sunshine always follows a storm.
My history teacher said that most people live in the present and the immediate past. We are thinking of the things that are happening presently, which also includes the immediate future, which is difficult to tell apart from the present. And we also live in the past, reflecting on things that have happened throughout the day. But it is important, especially in times of despair, to look into the future and think that if bad is here, then good will come tomorrow.
Don't lose hope. Hold onto tomorrow.

01 February 2011

medical milestones

I hope the first day of February went well for all of my faithful followers! It went well for me as well. I just said 'well' twice in the same sentence. An intended diacope, sort of kind of.
Anyways, today was the day that I got my braces off - forever! I had already been through it, when I was 13, and it was a complete disaster.
I cried when I got them on the first time and off. The orthodontist even said that he thought I was the first patient they would lose. I am the ultimate queen of wimpness in anything that has to do with medical procedures. Shots? You better sedate me. Injuries? I complain and moan. Colds? It's a hot mess. Surgery? We've never crossed that bridge, and I'm hoping to keep it that way.
So you can say that I am not the one who would take medical care lightly. Which is good because I don't really need much more than the basics - doctor and dentist. So anyways, I was imagining that this time was going to be a repeat of last time. I kept on thinking that it would be the same, but on the other hand I was an orthodontic veteran, and I should have seen it coming.
And luckily I did. I didn't need any sedatives or novocaine and we didn't need to fetch my mom because I was too much of a wimp to get my braces off by myself. I actually remember the first time I was sitting next to this other kid who was getting her braces off and she wasn't crying. I was balling so hard I didn't know anyone was sitting next to me - my mom told me. She was around 8 years old.
Now that you know how wimpy I am, you can understand how traumatic this whole ordeal was. I went into the office and I was almost convulsing with fear. But the hygienist said there was nothing to be afraid of. Yeah right.
And so I kept on waiting for the pain, and it never came. I kept on saying, well that wasn't so bad, but the next thing will be awful. But the awful part never came. And I never cried. It was great - my mom didn't need to come back and it was just a better day. Now that I think of it, there was nothing painful about the whole experience. It wasn't so fun that I want to do it tomorrow, but it wasn't horrible.
I know I'm sort of pathetic in this sense, but I was happy that I didn't embarrass myself in there again. I bet the last time they were like Thank God that freak has her braces off! But this time they probably said Wow, what a kid. What a fabulous kid.
And the best part is I get to go back next week and get my yellow retainer! What's more fun than a yellow retainer?
Surmounting any wall in life, whether it's recovering from cancer or getting your braces off without crying hysterically and giving all the nurses headaches, or anything in between, you should be happy that you were able to overcome it. So now I can do things I couldn't do before. Like in 2 years when I'm 18 I can donate bone marrow (I'm already the perfect candidate) and help save someone's life. I bet they'll be happy I was brave enough to do that. All because of my braces. My grilles.