30 September 2011

plaster flying to and fro

You know when there's a really nice day, and you're stuck in school and you can't go outside and enjoy it? Today was one of those days. It was so nice outside, no clouds at all, and it was 75 degrees and perfect.
So after school I decided to go outside and sand my plaster sculpture. First of all, little particles of plaster flying around the room would not be fun, and second of all, it was a nice day. And plaster flying around outside is so much more fun than having it fly around inside.
So I sat outside for hours, sanding away until my fingers hurt, enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. The wind would blow just perfectly, and sometimes a little too much and it would blow plaster everywhere, but that's OK. It was so serene and perfect. Sitting outside on a wonderful day, doing something I love to do. That's the life.

29 September 2011

settle, settle

This title of this post comes from the wise words of my AP lang teacher from last year. His signature phrase was used at least a dozen times during one class period, making it almost synonymous with his name.
So to make a long and dramatic story short, one of my club meetings today had gone awry when the president - of whom I'm not too fond - went berserk because of something silly and ridiculous that drove most of the people from the meeting out of the room because they felt so unwelcome.
But anyways, when me and some other officers were talking, we were saying that she really didn't have to make such a big deal about it and that it never turned out to be a problem; but ironically, the lack of problem and the big fuss about nothing created an even larger problem. Yay conflict!

So when you have a big issue, a small issue, or something that might be an issue, Don't turn it into a drama production. That's what soap operas and dramas are for.
And hopefully, this soap opera can have its season finale next week.

28 September 2011

frugal time spending

Whenever I go to bed, I always think "I remember doing this last night like it was an hour ago". That's how fast days can go by. And sometimes when the day's over, we think , "Oh, I didn't get to do this, awe shucks".
But swim practice seems like hours, even though it's only an hour and a half. It's because in swimming, your time is completely maximized. If you swim really fast, you can do 100m in about a minute. And a 500 (about 20 laps) in 5 or 6 minutes. Think of the things we normally do in 6 minutes - walk to class, wait for the computer to turn on, walk down the stairs and wait for the toast to pop up from the toaster.
We don't fit a lot into our minutes. We can fit in marginal tasks, but it's almost like saying "how much can you buy for a dollar?" Not much. How much can you get out of a minute? A lot, if you use your minutes wisely.
There will be days for doing nothing, sitting in a room taking a test or riding in a train across the country for a while or what not, and you can't use your time so well. But trying to fill it with valuable things is the best way to spend it.
I think a lot of people are more cognizant of the fact that money is finite and that you sort of have to save it. But people can't save time in their wallets because time is always going on. What you can do is put your time into things you like.
There's my short guide on being a frugal time spender. Obviously I don't spend my time that will all the time, so I want to try to fix that so that I can get the most out of my day. Perhaps a 2012 New Year's resolution?

27 September 2011

gettin' by with a little help from my friends

So apparently this is the new Bloger "interface", so it's all new and trippy. I'm not sure if I like it, I might just switch back to the old one I just had.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, it just won't work. So today I felt like a big loser because I kept on taking math SAT practice tests with my tutor and I kept on getting so many wrong. I was trying to hard, which is the worst part because then I felt even more dumb.
So I was rather sad and I posted something sad on Facebook because I like to vent to the nothingness that is Facebook as if it was a diary. And all night I have been getting positive comments from my friends. Just some optimistic, happy reassure-ments.
While I'm still pretty mad at myself, I can't help but feel better because of what they said. Sometimes it just takes some nice comments from some great people to make your day turn around.

26 September 2011

fortune cookies

The title of this post is not a creative metaphor for anything. We really did have fortune cookies. Today my parents went to get Chinese take out and so me and my sister opened the fortune cookies.
Mine said something like "a pleasant surprise is coming your way". What could this possibly mean? Well, it could mean nothing. But that's not as fun. It could mean that I really will get a pleasant surprise some day. Perhaps it could be an increase in SAT scores. Or it could be an A on a hard test. Or a better swimming time.
But sometimes when we want something, it might come to us, but in a different way. Like in The Monkey's Paw, a creepy story that should just be named "The idiot family who needed to learn the lesson 'be careful what you wish for'". So the family wishes for a bunch of things, one of which being 200 pounds (as in money) and they find out that their son was killed in a factory accident but that the factory owner wants to pay them 200 pounds. Yeah. I told you it was creepy.
So sometimes, if you wish for something, it might turn out differently than how you planned it. But that doesn't mean you won't get what you wished for; it also doesn't mean you'll get something dreadful. Just be open to the possibilities.

25 September 2011

for love of mayhem

Right now, I have apporximately 34 mosquito bites all over my legs and arms from being outside. For 15 minutes.
I was at a friend's house working on a school project for AP lit. We were filming part of it outside, but I ended up having to go inside their sunroom / covered porch so I wouldn't get bitten to death. Bt overall, we had a fun time - as much fun as you can have with AP video projects - and it was a nice change of pace. But I wouldn't like to live like that because she is technically an only child. Her sister is in college and she is all alone with her parents every day. I think it would be cool to be alone with just them for a little nit, but not forever. As much as me and my siblings bother each other and get on each other's nerves, I oculdn't ever live without them. They make my life so much more interesting and fun, and I laugh so much more because of them. If I was an only child, I would just come home from school, plop myself down, and eat a snack. Then my mom would say "how was school?" and I'd reply with the monotonous "good" and then we would carry on with our boring drear until dinner, when we would talk about my life when my dad comes home, and we would continue talking about me and then them, and then me, and then them, and the whole boring cycle would continue to infinity and beyond. It would be ridiculously slow and tiresome. My siblings are not only people to talk to and confide in, but people to goof around with, make up songs with, dance around and flop on the couches with, and generally act like a clown with. And they won't judge you for being strange, because they're family.
Some people are born only children. They have their life all set without any brothers or sisters and they're fine. I was definitely a sibling kid. I need them in my life, and without them my life's a blank canvas. It might be pretty crazy most of the time, but that's what life's all about. Living to live, and loving it.

24 September 2011

wake-up call

I read something interesting a few minutes ago about the economy.
That sounds dreadfully boring, but in fact it's pretty interesting.
It was a woman who was particularly devastated by the recession and how she and her family learned to take things as they came, and not for granted, as they had before.
She was living a very good life with a great job and a great house when the recession happened and she saw people losing their jobs left and right.
Something else she realized was that houses were not permanent and they weren't a given; many of her neighbors lost their houses. This was when she realized that her house was a privilege, and that she too could lose her house. She then started to watch her personal spending and she started to work various odd jobs. Basically, anything it took to stay at that point or get better.
She learned not to frown upon the people who looked for food in trash cans, or for people who used a ridiculous amount of coupons. And everyday when we wake up in a bed in a house that's probably ours we don't think about what it would be like without these things.
Just something to think about (as our Canadian middle school principal would say), because I thought she was pretty inspiring, and a metaphor for the wake-up call most Americans got during the recession.

23 September 2011

confessions of a art geek

Since I don't have much of a social life, other than "hey did you finish reading Beowulf?" and "yeah, I stayed up until 2 reading that plasmolysis chapter too!", I usually watch some sort of show I've already seen dozens of times before I crash and get ready for swimming in the morning.
So tonight was a season of Project Runway from a few years ago that I hadn't seen before (this is actually quote a shock). When I saw it, there were only 4 people left, and the next elimination would determine who got to show their collection at New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park. It's pretty much the biggest thing in fashion, not that I would know because I'm rather unfashionable. While most people would think that their mother dressing them would be a disaster and a half, my mother picks out all my clothes, and those are the ones I get compliments on. I don't know what I'll do when I go shopping without her. Hooray for camera phones!
Anyway, so I was watching, and the more I watched the more it bore resemblance (a eerily large resemblance) to my art class; you get your assignment (a challenge on PR), you have critiques (meetings with Tim Gunn on PR) and you get to show your things that the art show at the end of the year (Fashion Week on PR). It's the micro-version of Project Runway. But it's more like Project Artsy-Fartsy. I can't come up with a decent name.
Even thought I'm not a fashion designer, I understand the work they have to put into stuff like that. And I don't think many people do. A lot of people don't understand how hard it is to make a dress, or paint a mural, or make a cut into paper that looks flawless. Literally no evidence of fingerprints, sweat beads, or even skin oils can be present, or else it belongs in the garbage.
A lot of people say oh, I'll take art. It's easy." Art's not easy. Any form of art requires complete devotion and undying passion. And artists have to not only be experimental, creative, innovative and resourceful, but they have to be not only meticulous; that sounds too sloppy. More pretty OCD and overachieving, and ridiculously perfectionistic (look who made up a new word!) and perceptive.Most people aren't like that, and most people can't understand why this new level of exactness is needed. When fundamentally, it's essential.
So next time you see someone who's an artist, singer, musician, architect, sculptor, designer, crafter, knitter, beader, writer, or even a construction worker, just realize how much work goes into something like that. How much heart went into it. Because you can't rush art, and it makes people understand why you were 15 minutes late to class because you were erasing and rewriting lines measured by 5 rulers to get it just right, or why you were up all night painting or sewing. Creative minds need to be more accepted and appreciated.

22 September 2011

your own journey

Well, I can't believe it but we are in the final stretch of blogville. It's the start of the end of my writings. Well at least for this blog.
So I'm usually the one reporting my fabulous escapades back here. But instead, I challenge you, my readers, to find your happiness. It could be in anything you can imagine. But I can only say so much. Ultimately, happiness is a personal thing, so when people ask me why I take such good notes that take me forever, I say that I like to. Because taking notes is one thing that makes me happy. Or making comics. I think it's fun, and while some people thinking they would rather die than do that, I really enjoy it. So being happy and doing things you enjoy is all about you. It's about what you think. Happiness is a personal journey.

21 September 2011

good-humored vandalism

Who knew bathrooms could be so inspirational and uplifting?
I found this out today when I went in school. Instead of explicatives etched into the wall, there was a large section of the wall take up by a Sharpie statement: " Smile because you are beautiful.
It was simple, a little corny, but really sweet. I can't say I support vandalism, but things like that are really nice and thoughtful. There are way too many people who don't think they are pretty or good enough for a standard that society makes up. Even people I know, who appear self-confident, are going to the bathroom constantly to reapply makeup and fix their clothes or brush their hair. "Does my hair look okay?" and "Does this shirt look dumb?" are common questions asked by many people around me in school. While some people won't believe the sign and realize that they are beautiful, I thought it was great.
I also wanted to write a small eulogy to my sister's hamster. She was pretty old for her breed, and she died tonight of natural causes in her cage. She will be greatly missed by her owner, me, the rest of our family, and our cat, who loved to sit on the counter and watch her run on her wheel. She was a sweet hamster than lived every day like it was her last, including her last day.
The only problem with getting attached to things is you can't let them go.

20 September 2011

for the sake of others

I only have 99 more posts, including this one, until my blog is competed. It seems like a sad thing to think about.
So I was reading Alice's blog again (the girl with terminal cancer and a bucket list) and she was talking about how she got an email from 2 people saying they already signed up to be bone marrow donors. She said she was so excited that they chose to do this, but not because it would save her own life. She knows that she cannot be saved, which is just so heartbreaking that I can't think about it. She's happy because other people will be helped and saved so that what happened to her doesn't have to happen to other people.
I can't even think of a person more selfless than her.
It's really inspiring to think that someone who is 15 years old can have this much wisdom about life. It's really amazing, and I commend her. She's inspired the world to make a difference, and maybe when I'm 18 I will join the registry for bone marrow donors.
The most amazing part is that she turned her suffering into an opportunity to raise awareness; she created an opportunity for life for so many other people.

19 September 2011

a random nondescript beat

You know that "If you had to be either blind or deaf, which would you pick?" question? Well I would completely say deaf, because I need my vision, my 20/220 vision (and getting worse!) because I love visual things. But the one thing that leaves this question still up in the air for me is music. Music is one of the best things ever, and if you're deaf, you obviously can't experience it. I mean, I guess you could play an instrument if you want, but the whole point is so you can hear it. It's like watching a movie without any sound or image. A tad bit on the pointless side.
I say this because I was listening to a happy song on the bus today, coming home from school, and it made me so overjoyed and beaming with happiness that I smiled the whole way home. I don't know if it was the music, the words, or the sunny weather, but something pertaining to the music made me really happy. In fact, any music you really like will always make you feel happy (or at least contented / satisfied); it doesn't have to be some sort of island ukulele happiness jam sesh. It could be metal or screamo (which I just learned of). Those wouldn't be my choices, but you know, to each her own. Or his.
I don't know what it is about music, but all I know is that like visual arts, we've been creating music since humanity started, and it's just been carrying through ever since. It's cool because it's language as well as art. And it makes me quite a happy camper.

18 September 2011

holistic thinking

Sometimes when you look at something close up, you can only see the small details, the tiny flaws, and most importantly, not the big picture.
Sure, details are important, but there are some things that are better when looked at when you step back a bit.
Like a giant chalk painting. The small parts are nice, but it's so much better when you step back and look at the whole thing. Or like the planet. Who doesn't like looking out the window at all of the little cars, green trees, and tiny ribbon-like highways from the crazy-high altitude?
But life is like that too. It's much better when you can take all of it for what it is, take in all the parts, mix them together, and get a great big beautiful picture. It;s like a small problem in life that seems really huge and glaring simply because it just happened and because we're probably looking at it like it's under a microscope, where everything is more amplified. But really, it's a small problem compared to larger problems, or to life in general.

So if you ever find yourself microscoping, just step back a few feet and enjoy the view.

17 September 2011


Sometimes nothing is the right thing to do.
Like today. I went outside because it was not 98 degrees for once, and I got out a blanket. Then I went on my back and watched the clouds go by. No phone, no iPad, no music, just me and the sky. I just sat, listening to the silence, watching white fog fold onto itself and drift away into the vastness of the sky.
I wasn't even deeply thinking about anything; I was just meditating on the grass, and it was so serene and beautiful, I just loved it.

And I guess I did need to calm down because my sister has a concussion from her hockey game. A kid on the other team thought it would be cool to give her a head injury because she's the only girl on the team. I really can't stand that. Just because she's a girl, and it's not "socially acceptable" for boys if girls play ice hockey, doesn't mean she can't play, and even better, than them. In fact, she's better than them because she has to deal with everything they dish out. Sexism is really ridiculous, and if you see anyone saying something sexist, or if you find yourself saying something sexist, stop. You don't know how badly it hurts. Same goes for stereotypes and judgments. I think we can all learn a lesson about judging people from this.

16 September 2011

memories and nostalgia

I should changed my name to Peter. As in Peter Pan. As in I'm moving to Neverland because I don't want to grow up.
I want to do adult like things on occasion, such as having intellectual discussions, reading about word etymologies, and talking about complex philosophical ideas, but sometimes I just like to sit and watch Spongebob Squarepants and eat dinosaur chicken nuggets. I don't eat dinosaur chicken nuggets anymore because I jut don't like them, but I think animal shaped foods are a good metaphor for childhood.
I want to go back in time and relive my childhood all over again, but this time trying to remember that everything is a once in a lifetime thing. But then again, what makes childhood so beautiful is not knowing those things and just enjoying everything. I wish I could have another chance to be a kid, because sometimes I wish that I could be a kid all over again. I remember complaining in third or fourth grade about how life was so hard, and my dad always said to enjoy being a kid because you're only a kid once. And now I know that life then was so easy compared to now or what's ahead. I didn't feel like I wasted my childhood, or that it was a bad one; I think I had a great childhood. But I can't help but think, where did all the time go?
I don't want to be a kid now and go back to where I was when I was a kid because everything is different now; I just wished I could go back to the memories that stand still in my mind.
But I can't.
It's ironic how when we're kids, all we want to do is grow up. And here we are now, wishing we could take that back.

15 September 2011

blueprints aren't forever

A lot of times we draw out a sketch for what we plan to make, but then the sculpture turns out much different from the actual plan. And sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's just different.
As the year starts to come to a close, I start to think of things that I have seen in these posts consistently. Sort of like a theme. And it's interesting the way that I assumed this would be a happiness diary, a place where I could write about all my wonderful happy adventures where nothing every goes wrong and I just look at "the greener side" of life.
But really it's a blog for all of the dreadful things in my life. Actually, it's a blog for everything; the great things, the good things, the downright awful things, the funny things, the sad things, the touching things, the pick-yourself-up-and-straighten-up-your-life things. Sometimes I have dozens of great things to say, and sometimes I just feel like venting. But life's all about the two; we can't be happy all the time. It's just not how anything works.
Life's like a building, and we create blueprints in our minds of what we want our buildings to look like. But sometimes things change our blueprints. They could be direct, like physical damage, or indirect, like a change of mind or a lack of resources. Whatever the reason, nothing we plan can ever turn out 100% like the blueprint. And this blog's an example. So is my paper sculpture for art, that is still in 2 pieces at the moment.
But even so, I still drew my blueprint. You just have to make peace with the thought that blueprints are not like hieroglyphics in stone; they can change, like our minds.

14 September 2011

the hodge podge

We're now at 260, with only 105 more posts left. At least I think that's how many are left.
I've been a busy bee working on my art sculpture, so I'm happy to say that it's almost halfway done. Hooray for progress! But it has been getting there, and other than some minor paper ripping issues, which have since been rectified, everything is fine. Sometimes I pretend I'm on an art form of Project Runway and we're all competing against each other. It's really fun. I pretend I have a show going on in my head and it's really like a reality show. Except no one wins anything and no one gets eliminated. Everyone's a winner!
So sometimes I feel like I'm really lame because I really don't have much of a life and then I come to this blog and I have nothing fabulously interesting to write about. It's just because my creative juices have been poured into my art project, and extrapolating things from the world to write about can sometimes be hard. So I again apologize for my lameness.
But I want to say something else; I am trying to plan an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet to raise awareness about hunger in my school, but before that I am reading about it first and some background information on hunger. Basically, the world is divided into 3 income levels: high, middle, and low. High represents 15% of the world, which consumes 85-90% of the food, middle is 35%, and low is 50% of the world, and the last 2 categories share 10-15% of the food. These aren't exaggerations. And based on the world's data, "high income" includes a per capita sum of at least $12,000 a year. That's the salary of an office assistant in a relatively low position. Yet this is "high income". The interesting thing is, when we did this simulation exercise in Costa Rica near the border of Nicaragua, we had to cross the line based on what we considered our economic class to be. And most people crossed for middle, some lower, and one or two for high class. When the funny thing is, we're all way above high class.

13 September 2011

a eulogy

Tuesdays. It's right after the deluge of work from Monday, and not quite to Wednesday. It's just that awkward, sort of in the middle day of the week.
Well, I thought I would start on a somber note because my beloved fish Rami has passed away today. He was one of those 16 cent fish. The ones from the giant tanks at Petco. I saw him floating in the tank today and it was rather a sad sight.
But Rami's death reminds me of the time we have too. Not to be morbid but we don't have an infinite amount of time to do anything. But Rami was a great fish who always ate those crude protein pellets and swam vigorously around the tank. He used every moment of his day to live the best life a fish can live. And he reminds me to do the same.

12 September 2011

monday miracles

You know those surprises that are just so wonderfully great that you can't even believe they are true? Well I got one of those today. I'm going to call it my M cubed, which is short for Monday math miracle. So here's the story.
I was sitting in my math class and my teacher started to pass out our test grades. Not the tests, just the grades, and I knew it would be a disaster since it usually is, and I was afraid of what to do. Should I look away and shove it in my backpack? Or should I just face the facts and look at the page?
I chose the latter, and I was very shocked at what I saw. 95%! An A+! By Jove! as some say, I think, but I don't know what it means. I looked at it a few times because I didn't think that it was real. 95? But yes. It was completely real, and I was completely excited! How utterly wonderful.
I was so excited that I sang happy songs in my head and pranced all the way to the bus.
All these times when I never understood math or I was confused by it paid off in this moment of elation. Understanding was all I wanted. And by the Divine will, I got it. And then some.

11 September 2011

remembered, part 3

3906 days is a long amount of time. It's the number of days that have passed since September 11, 2001. Looking down at the bottom right corner of my computer screen, it says "9:13 PM, 9/11/11". Only a P and a 1 would have to change for this to be the time in which our country was completely and entirely devestated, outside in the city and in our hearts.
There's nothing I can say about the events of 9/11 that have not already been said or that will have any more of an impact than the images in our minds. But pictures can say a lot more about what happened than words, so here are some from TIME magazine. They will really bring out a new side of it that most people can't remember.

10 September 2011

remembered, part 2

Today I went to school even though it's Saturday. And for once I didn't have eight thousand things to carry inside.
A family from our school has been setting up about 3000 flags for 9/11 for a few years. And usually this falls on a school day, so the flags are there for school. But tomorrow, a Sunday, is the day, so we set them up today. A bunch of different people came to help out. Since this family is Mormon, a bunch of elders and sisters that they know come and drill holes in the ground to put the flags in. Kids from school come too, and other people from town came out to help too. It was a really nice day too, perfect for putting flags into the ground.
I have been doing this for four years, and this is the first year that they decided to put names on esch of the flags for the victims. I worked on putting rubber bands on all of the name tags with other people, who attached them to the flags and delivered them to people to put in the ground. I made an effort to read as many names as I could; not because I would remember all of them, but because hearing how many people died is really horrible, but actually seeing the names makes it seem more real. This actually happened. And since I was so young I don't remember exactly what I knew about what was going on (I was 7). But seeing the names, names like "Linda" and "Cheryl", "Mohammed" and "Derrick" made it seem a lot more real. These were neighbors, moms, dads, businesspeople, and Americans who all died. And other than memories from loved ones, all we have is their name. We know they were lost, and we just have their name. Before, we used to just put in the flags; one for each victim. But now each victim's name is on their own flag. A mom and her son were there attaching tags to bands and they had just moved from New York two months ago. The mom knew 5 firefighters who risked their lives that day and didn't come out alive, and she found their names in the pile of names. She started to cry.
These were people that we all knew, and they deserved to live a lot longer than they did. But all I can say is that I am proud of our school and our community for coming together and putting these flags out to remember and come together for the country. We might be a little tiny town in Georgia, far from New York and the center of the damage of 9/11, but our little town still remembers.
Sometimes when something horrible shatters our world, it's hard to see anything but a bleak and desolate future. But in the midst of all of the terror after the fact, people came together to help each other more than before, and we are a stronger people because of it. That's why people at all ends of the country remember this day, including our school and our town.

09 September 2011


Today I was sent to the principal's office because I am a delinquent.
Now that I've captured your attention, I actually went there because I'm in AP art, and we just got a new piece of art at school and the principal wanted all AP art kids to be there. I got a complimentary clicky pen.
It was the nurse's husband who took the photo that was blown up and framed and it's about 4 feet tall. It's a picture of our school with the flags for 9/11 out on the front lawn.
Every year, one of the families at school helps set up flags on the lawn - one for each life lost in 9/11 - and different clubs help do it; I have helped since freshman year, and it's a really great thing to do because it's giving back to not only my school, but the country.
And the picture was really nice too; it was an interesting angle, but it also had a great message. It showed that we as a country are resilient; we were hurt and damaged 10 years ago when we were attacked in New York, but today we remember what happened and who died but also who helped save lives and who lost family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. We put up the flags as a school to remember who left the earth before they should have on September 11.
I think that out of all the art in the school, this will be one of the most important. Because we helped to put those flags in the ground (I actually did help with them), and we are helping to rebuild the fabric of America and put back the pieces of a broken hearted country. And that's what makes the flags special.

08 September 2011

our daily bread

A lot of us will never know the meaning of a meal.
We get them everyday. We usually get 3. And a lot of times we get snacks and desserts too. By any standard, this is high living.
But I don't really realize this too often, and I bet a lot of people don't; I mean, you can't blame us because a lot of times it's really hard to see how things would be unless you could physically become part of that situation.
But in the newspaper today, my mom showed me an article about a woman whose husband lost his job and now they are struggling to pay for food and they are waiting for donations. Last night she had to feed her kids tuna and ketchup for dinner because all that they have left are some cans of tuna and some condiments. They eat lunch and breakfast at school because it's free for them.
And this is in America. In fact, it's in the area around where I live.
And if America is struggling, what's the rest of the world like?
A lot worse that tuna and ketchup.
Try no food at all. A lot of people go to sleep with pains from an empty, void, stomach and hoping that tomorrow will be better.
But tonight, I went out to dinner with my brother, sister, and mom and we had soups and bread; simple, but it was really, really good and it was food. A meal that we all liked and that left us feeling full (in a good way).
Ever had that really awful feeling when your stomach hurts because you haven't had something to eat in several hours? What if those hours were days? That's why I'm just really thankful for meals. For not having to worry if there is enough or not, or having to travel far to find food.
We always see pictures of people from Africa who are starving. And we are all glad they are not us. But really, they didn't choose to be there. And we didn't choose to be here. And whose to say that couldn't have been us?

07 September 2011


I read a tweet today that talked about happiness. The tweet said that happiness is not in your head, but in your heart. It's something you can feel be experiencing it, and that it isn't something from the outside world.
I'm not sure if it's true or not. I'm pretty sure part of it is true; I think happiness is a feeling and not in your head. Because if you go around sorting things out, like emotions, in your head, you will just get confused because emotions are tricky.
And I guess that's what I tried to do when I started these shenanigans; I tried to find out what happiness was. And just like in Oxford when you study something a lot, you know less about the subject after than you did before you studied it. This may seem paradoxical, but it's very true; your fixed ideas on things change as new ones are added, so when you think about what the main idea of something is, you have so many ideas that you can't think of just one.
Which is sort of cool, because then you have so many ideas that whatever you thought before has become a much bigger and more open thought.
So I ask myself the question, what is happiness? and it's really too hard to define. According to the dictionary, it's "a state of being content and joyful." This is like the definition you would give to an alien is they asked what we were feeling. Happiness is so much more than that. And sometimes it's indescribable. Sometimes happiness is just "that feeling inside".

06 September 2011

the chemist

Sometimes all it takes is a little sodium hydroxide and agar cubes to make someone happy.
We were doing a lab in AP bio today about cell surface area (it was a mini lab) and we had to place cubes made of agar into 200mL of sodium hydroxide. And then the agar cubes turn into a bright, lava lamp pink color, and it was magical. Being the only person at my lab group who had never been in chemistry, I was not aware of these magical properties and I was completely amazed. And afterwards, to measure the amount of the cube that was difused with the base, we had to cut the cube. And that was even better. It's like cutting a little jell-o piece. And it's addicting-ly fun. I don't know why cutting a chemical-drenched cube of agar with a plastic knife is so much fun, but it is.
Ad the funny thing is, I don't even know anything about chemistry at all.
I didn't have to know anything about it enjoy it. And it was so simple, yet it was so much fun. And by the end of it, our whole lab table was laughing and having a ton of fun. It's not really about what you're doing, it's about giving new things a try and enjoying a learning experience.
Who knew chemistry could be so fun?

05 September 2011

the sound of sunshine

It's hard to believe that yesterday was my 250th post. Time really does just slip away.
So our vacation came to a close, but we still have memories from the vacation, like the jellyfish sting scars on my legs..actully, I didn't get stng today because the waves were too rough for the spineless creatures. They really are spineless.
So today I was listening to some music in the car when we were coming home, and I think it had a great message. In fact, the song was running through my head all weekend, especially when we were swimming in the ocean. I found some of the lyrics since I can't remember all of them off the top of my head. Here's a little piece:

I wake up in the mornin' at 6 'o clock
They say there may be rain but the sun is hot
I wish I had some time just to kill today
And I wish I had a dime for every bill I got to pay

Some days you lose, you win,
and the water's as high as the times you're in
So I jump back in where I learned to swim
Try to keep my head above it the best I can
That's why

Here I am
Just waitin' for this storm to pass me by
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down
And that's the sound of sunshine
Comin' down

("The Sound of Sunshine", Michael Franti & Spearhead)

The rest of the song is really good too, these are just the lines I like the best. And plus, it has a beachy, ocean theme to it.

04 September 2011

more evil cnidarians and more fancy food

Some people get sunburned really bad. Some people get rashes. Some get colds and the flu. I get jellyfish stings.
Today I was trying to forget about what happened yesterday with the jellyfish and enjoy the waves today, but for some reason the jellyfish had other plans. My knee and my foot were already stung, so why not attack my stomach and my arm?
We might as well make our own vinegar spray.
But after that, and some more minor stings, we came back to the room and went out to one of my favorite places on the island. It's an Italian restaurant in the middle of a sketchy shopping center. It's one of those "diamonds in the ruff ", and the only way we found out about it is because we were just driving by a few years ago and we thought we would stop in. And we didn't think anything of it until we tasted the fabulous food.
And we got to go to the Salty Dog shirt store and walk around the pier and ocean which was a treat. It's really fun down there, and I'm glad we got to go. We actually saw a guy who dropped his keys into the water, and a few other people were helping him find them. It made me happy, but I wish we could have helped too.
I don't really know why I keep getting stung by jellyfish, but it's like a trade off; I still have a great day, even though I get stung. I just pray that they take a day off tomorrow. Or I'll add a part three to the evil cnidarians posts: I wonder which body part they will go for next..

03 September 2011

evil cnidarians and fancy food

While frolicking in the ocean, a swarm of jellyfish that I didn't really see chafed against my leg and my foot and stung my knee and foot. I've been stung probably 15 times before, but this one hurt a lot more. It covered all of my knee, a few inches above, a few inches below, and behind. In fact, I cried like a little infant as the lifeguard sprayed the vinegar solution on it from a leaky spray bottle. There were a whole bunch of bumps and white lumps and all sorts of other things that jellyfish do when they unleash their wrath. So now my foot hurts and so does my knee and the back of my knee. Stupid cnidarians.
But we did get to go to one of the most fabulous places ever for dinner. It's the hotel's restaurant, and my absolute favorite thing to get is the Tuscan Chicken Milanese with mashed potatoes that taste like clouds (though I've never tasted a cloud) and vegetables cut into long strings. It's rather fancy, and it's my favorite way to eat vegetables. And it comes with a lemon butter sauce, tiny little tomato diced pieces, and peas that tasted good. Except they weren't peas, they were capers. You can tell I'm a culinary connoisseur.
It's like a beautiful symphony of tastes in your mouth when you eat it. And we got to finish it off with none other than a molten chocolate lava cake. One for my sister, and one for the rest of the family. We like to be equal, of course.
But right before dinner, after we moved into our fancy fancy new room, I sat on the porch and played my ukulele as the ocean breeze came up to our balcony. It was completely perfect.
So sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. But that's what life's all about.

02 September 2011

making lemonade

Hello from Hilton Head! One of my favorite beach vacation spots!
Unfortunately, given our bad luck with everything, the presidential suite we reserved was given away to some other folks who are now giddy and joyful in their happy little room. So after walking for an hour to different sub par rooms around the hotel, we finally got 2 rooms and they are going to try to get us the presidential suite.
SO after checking in at 10:30, we got to our room at midnight. So hopefully things will work out better.
Now is one of those times for a little cliche: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Turn something sour into something sweet. Even though this is completely absurd, we can turn it into something great. We still have a great ocean view, and the beach is waiting for us tomorrow. So instead of dwelling on what's going wrong, try to focus on the great things instead.
The glass is half full!

01 September 2011

without words

The title of this post is also the title I gave to my essay, the one that I chopped in half, or probably more, for AP lit. Without words.
You can't write a blog without words, for one thing. But life can go on without words. It can be lived through actions, movements, gestures, colors, song, and all sorts of other things.
Who says that life can even be described with words?
Sometimes I have a great day, and I can't really even describe what I liked about it, but I know that I went to bed feeling happy and satisfied. Can words really show how we feel? Because emotions, while we have words that match up to them, are not tangible like words. And life is all about emotions and reactions. Intangible experiences and things that can only be felt, not described.
So sometimes a lack of words is OK. It just means you're experiencing life. Speechlessness is a sign of life's immeasurable boundaries.