21 July 2009

Two years: The magic of our world

Two years ago, I had finished the last book of the series that has changed my life more than I could ever imagine. I'd stayed up all night to read the book, and excitement and adrenaline kept me awake until 4 in the afternoon, when I collapsed out of exhaustion on my bed. I was still processing everything that had occurred, and itching to start reading the book again so I could go and reread storylines and find hints and see what little things I missed. I would still tear up when I remembered Fred dying. I DESPERATELY wanted to discuss the book with someone, but two people in my house had yet to finish the book, which made that little bit impossible.

Now, two years later, I've had more than enough opportunity to discuss Deathly Hallows in detail with almost EVERYONE. I've traveled far outside my home state, by myself, to enjoy life and talk and laugh and experience with people who welcome me. Oh, how far we've come.

July 21st, 1997, and no one had heard of you. Now one decade later there's queues at the door, people placing their orders and shouting for more. How far you have come. How far you have come. RiddleTM

12, 10, or 5 years ago, everyone reading this note discovered Harry Potter. Maybe it was introduced or recommended to us, or maybe we found it on our own. Some of you resisted at first. But somewhere, whether at the end of the 1st book, or a little farther along, we all fell in love with the story and the characters and the love and friendship inside the books. Somewhere along the way, every one of us was captured by the magic of these books.

I myself discovered the books in July 2000 at the age of 7. I never would have guessed back then when I was playing Harry Potter with my neighbors that I would still be discussing the books and dressing up as characters 9 long years later. But something, something about these books has caught me. Kept me wanting more, kept me wanting to spread the love and the power behind these books.

And we grow up with Harry the Boy Who Lived who has helped us through all the bad times. RiddleTM

I really do feel as though I grew up with Harry and his friends, making many of the same mistakes they did and learning about life and love and growing up and responsibility right along with them. As the tone of the books got darker, and Harry realized a little more about the cruelty and also beauty of life, I did this also. And, honestly, Harry has helped me through ALL the hard times. Whether I was sad, upset, confused, lonely, or lost, those books helped me. If not to cheer me up, certainly to let me get lost in a different world, focusing on the characters and their lives instead of mine.

I never would have dreamed even 5 years ago that there was a whole community of people full of love and light and laughter and acceptance, who all loved Harry Potter to pieces. I still can't believe it when I go to a fandom event and am suddenly surrounded by so much love and hugging and welcome.

For so many years, there was no place I felt like I truly fit in. I had a small group of friends, but I didn't feel like they really UNDERSTOOD me, as cliche as that sounds. I'm not saying I had an awful life, but I certainly never had what I have now. My friends in the fandom are like none of my other friends. They love me no matter what, they are there to support me, they don't judge me for any of my ideas or mistakes I make. They are ALWAYS happy to see me. And the hugs--that's one thing that is so different and that I miss whenever I'm not with the fandom.

I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today if I hadn't discovered the HP books and the loving community that surrounds them. I've traveled far outside my comfort zone and done so many things I never would have done otherwise. I've learned that you don't have to be famous to be friends or talk to a famous person. I've seen so much about life, and I've learned that ANYONE can make a difference in the world through any small gesture. More than anything, Harry Potter has taught me to love myself for who and what I am--and to not judge myself to harshly for what I'm not. It's taught me that most people don't care about the little things, as long as you are there for them. It's taught me the importance of friendship and trust and love and the willingness to fight. :D More than anything, it has shown me what a true friend is and how to be one.

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. Dumbledore, Goblet of Fire

This quote applies so much to our fandom. I'm friends with people of all ages, all different religions, backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas about the world. But our love and our hope that we can change the world transcends every other difference that might otherwise separate us. No matter who we are, we all believe that we need to fight evil in the real world. Judgment doesn't occur often in the fandom, because we are accepted for WHO WE ARE and no one else. For many of us, including me, the fandom was the first place we found real friends. And because of this, it's hard to not accept someone as a friend--because people here are kind and sweet and generous and caring and accepting. To turn down a friend like that doesn't make any sense when we have so few other friends.

"It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated..." Half Blood Prince

The Harry Potter Alliance is one of the most beautiful and giving charities I know of, all with a foundation around the love in the Harry Potter books. The weapon we have IS love, and we can use it to fight poverty and sickness and genocide and injustice all over the world. It may not always work, but all we can do is keep fighting if we hope to keep the world a better place for everyone.

It's an end of an era, and I'm seeing clearer that nothing will ever be the same Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

This line is true. Nothing was the same after Deathly Hallows came out. But, not in a bad way. For me, Deathly Hallows opened the path to journey into the part of the fandom that only occurs when a bunch of true fans gather in one place. It took me out of just participating online and threw me into meeting people and making lifelong friends. It showed me that I could be loved and accepted by other people. It thrust me out of my comfort zone, traveling to meet people and discuss books and present my own ideas about the connection inside the Harry Potter books. I can't believe how far I've come, how far we've all come, since that first day we journeyed with Harry on the Hogwarts Express and were opened to the world of magic and love.

Farewell, now, Jo, we wish you the best
As first generation readers, we are blessed
We will always love you and Harry
There will be nothing said to the contrary.
A line from my poem, The Final World

None of us got an acceptance letter to Hogwarts when we turned 11. I know I was disappointed by this. But, in a way, we did all receive an acceptance letter of a different kind: an acceptance letter into the fandom, to join in the fun and laughter and hugs and joy. We have created Hogwarts for ourselves, have created Harry's world ourselves. We don't need the spells and potions, because our love creates the magic for us in our world. Jo's creation has become something much larger I think than anyone could have imagined, for we have created it for her in the real world, with magic coming from our hearts rather than our wands.

It's beautiful, and I thank the universe every day that I am a part of it.

I love you. Every one of you. Thank you so much!

17 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince movie review

I realized as I was about to post this that this OBVIOUSLY contains spoilers. I'd think you would realize that since it's a REVIEW, but I don't want to make anyone mad. So:

*funny noise John makes on PotterCast*


*end funny noise*

So, I hoped to write this after I had first seen the movie at midnight Wednesday. Well, not RIGHT after, but after I'd gotten my 3 hours of sleep. However, since I saw it for a second time last night, I think a lot of my opinions will be better processed now, without the excitement of seeing it at a midnight premiere and only 3 hours of sleep. Wow. Okay, long introduction to why I have yet to write this...ON TO THE BLOG!!!!

Overall, I very much liked it for what it was: A Harry Potter movie. I think a lot of people judge them too harshly. THEY AREN'T THE BOOKS. And they'll never be the books--be as good or as thorough or anything as the books. I like both the books and the movies, but as ENTIRELY SEPARATE entities. I love the books more (obviously), but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the effort and the fact that they are very good movies as far as movies go.

I agree with people who say it's the best Potter yet. They included the most important IDEAS from the book. Not necessarily details or scenes, but they got across the ideas and themes of the book much better than they have for any other Potter movie. By this, I mean:
They got across the fact that Malfoy is not really a Death Eater. He hesitates, doesn't really want to, and really just wants to save his family. I LOVE TOM FELTON.
They got across the Harry/Dumbledore relationship very well. Congratulations, Michael Gambon. FOR ONCE, you didn't screw it up.
They included Hermione's jealousy.
They at least included how much Harry liked Ginny. I didn't like how they portrayed Harry/Ginny very much, but more on that later.
They got across the Half-Blood Prince thing. And left you wondering if Snape was good or evil.
Mmm...Horcruxes. Well, at least they talked about it. But...they also left a lot of loose ends that I have no clue how they're going to tie up in the next movie.

I mean, there are some things I'm confused about and that I didn't like. But I think I have to wait until the last movie--because they might tie up these loose ends and I just can't figure out how, but they have figured out how. My only REALLY big one is:

How the heck is Harry supposed to know what the Horcruxes are and where to look for them?!
Dumbledore quote from the movie: They could be anything. The most commonplace of objects.
NononononononononoNO. *shakes head vigorously* That is the exact opposite of what Dumbledore said in the book! The Horcruxes are very specific things, that Tom Riddle/Voldemort chose for a reason. And Harry's supposed to be looking for things from the founders--the cup and something unknown from Ravenclaw. I mean, I could care less whether they include the specific memory Harry saw to show him these things, but Dumbledore could at least MENTION "Oh, and I believe Voldemort chose things from the founders for his Horcruxes because he felt a special connection with Hogwarts." That took me 5 SECONDS TO SAY. It's not hard to include!

So, I don't know how Harry's going to know what to look for in the next movie. How does he know the snake's a Horcrux? How does he know about the founder thing? Jokingly, I said that Hermione will probably just figure it all out because that's what they do in the movies. And maybe they will do that. I just think that was a very big thing to leave out of the movie, and I'm really not sure how they're going to "fix it" in Deathly Hallows in a non-stupid way.

One other thing I was confused about was how they're going to establish that Harry now owns Kreacher and Sirius' house...I mean, this one is easier to fix with some finding of Sirius' will or mentioning of, but...I'm just not sure.

Now, on to my comment about Harry/Ginny. One big criticism I have is that the movie was too Ron/Hermione oriented, and not enough on Harry/Ginny.It did a good job establishing how much HARRY liked Ginny, but they never really started their relationship, and they never ended their relationship...you know, since it never happened. And, I mean, I know the book talks about both relationships...but in the book really all that is shown is Hermione's jealousy and how much SHE likes Ron. Ron doesn't really come to realize how much he likes Hermione until he leaves during Deathly Hallows. I mean, really, Half-Blood Prince was very much a Harry/Ginny book (with Ron and Lavender's obnoxious relationship in there too) and Deathly Hallows was when Ron and Hermione's relationship REALLY finally was established as fact.

But, I suppose this isn't something that is a huge deal in the grand scheme of the movies and the next movie. It was just something that very much bothered me... :D And I think...unless I want to get super nitpicky, those were the things that really bothered me about the movie.

I thought Michael Gambon finally did a rather good job.* I'm not entirely sure if this is because Michael Gambon decided to act better, or because the screenwriter wrote Dumbledore better in the script so that Gambon would play him better, but it doesn't really matter either way. The ending of the movie was wonderful. He did an AMAZING job in the cave, drinking the potion, and later on top of the tower. The casual chatting with the Death Eaters was PERFECT. It really did seem just like someone who knew they had to die.

And Tom Felton was PHENOMENAL. He's such a lovely actor, and he did such a good job as Malfoy! The crying in the bathroom, the dueling scene with Harry, the scene on the train, and the scene on top of the tower were all perfect, and I am so thankful that he's the one who plays Malfoy, because he's wonderful. =)

In general, all the actors have grown so much both as people and as actors. The movies keep getting better, and I've heard wonderful things about Deathly Hallows, including that Bill and Fleur's weddding is there, Umbridge is there, and the Battle of Hogwarts is 30 minutes long. Certainly, I'm not going to make any harsh criticisms about the movie series until I've seen the last Deathly Hallows movie and see how they finish out the series. :)

And, yes, I've already seen it twice.** I'm seeing it at least twice more--once with my friend Colleen on the 27th, and then in IMAX for my friend's birthday. If you have yet to see it, and for whatever reason you read this entire blog post despite the spoiler warnings, GO SEE IT. NOW.

Finally...yeah. Sorry it's been so long. So much for BEDA teaching me to write more often. ;) I'll really try to write more blogs--I'm considering trying BEDAugust, but it depends how that goes once school starts up again halfway through the month. We'll see.

Cheers! DFTBA!

*I'm not saying he was amazing. But he didn't screw things up, and actually managed to seem like Dumbledore from the books.
**I needed to process everything without the excitement of a midnight premiere. Plus...I just wanted to see it again. =)

31 May 2009

This is Never Going to End: LeakyCon 2009

I’ve been back in the “real world” for about 7 days now. It’s surreal, really. The weekend went by so fast, full of wrock and dancing and screaming and little sleep and laughing and hugging and friends. My voice isn’t totally back to normal, it took a few days for my feet to stop hurting, and I was exhausted for days. But it was more than worth it.

For me, LeakyCon started on Friday. I arrived at Logan airport, very exhausted, and met Julia so we could go to the hotel. In the lobby, I met Susie, but got changed in my room before we got me registered. Near the information desk, I ran into Cody and Shoshana. We stood around talking for a while, then I headed off to the vendor room with Susie and Cody, where I asked Frak to draw me and Neville =D Then, Cody and I went to the Darfur and Human Rights HPA simulation, which was incredibly interesting…and I got to meet Andrew Slack, which was great! I also got to talk to Karen, who helped me with some ideas on how to start an HPA chapter at my school. Lunch was provided by Au Bon Pain (woooo…) and eaten in the park with Cody since it was quite nice in the shade.

After lunch, I got my sticker for the Nerdfighter Nosh and then we went to it. There, we met Ellie, who is awesome. Hank and John were hilarious, telling jokes and teasing one another. John ate some toilet paper and Hank sang songs. I got both of them and Maureen (who I snuck up on. Muahahaha) to sign books/CDs for me. We also got to see the trailer for Finding Hogwarts, which looks absolutely phenomenal—Bre is awesome. Once we had our things signed, Cody and I headed over to the Wizard Rock Panel—they announced the winners for the Wizrocklopedia. Congrats to everyone, but especially RiddleTM for getting so many awards and Ariel for being Best New Artist. We then went to listen to Melissa talk about her book. And, that night was Rock Night in the Castle—I was in the 2nd row. All of the sets were absolutely amazing—Gred and Forge was awesome, getting all of the bands on stage! I had a lot of fin dancing and jumping with Dinah and Cody and Shoshana and people. The Harry and the Potters set was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! When we all got in that big circle, and then all went to the middle, jumping and screaming…I just felt so connected to everyone in the room, even the ones I didn’t know. We were together, we were happy, and we were loving being alive. It reminded me so much of why I love the fandom. On our way back to the hotel, we ran into Scott and Kirsten of The Blibbering Humdingers and Ashley and Emma of Bella and LeStrangers, who decided to go into the glass lobby (with no air) and play for us. It started out very mall, but grew to quite the amount of people. They took turns playing until about 3:15, and we went to bed around 4:00

Saturday morning began obnoxiously and loudly with an intercom telling us to “evacuate the building. This is not a test.” We sleepily put on shoes and headed downstairs, where we discovered it was a false alarm, and to go back upstairs. It was annoying, not the best way to start the morning, but hilarious to look back on now. Anyway, after a quick breakfast and shower, I went to Lena’s “Fountain of Fair Fortune” opera, which was…well, it made me quite emotional, and it was interesting to actually see it performed. Then, of course, there was PotterCast, which was mostly John and Sue arguing a lot about house elves (some things never change) and the Ministry of Magic playing—they’re always awesome. Lunch was provided by Shoshana and eaten in the vendor room while we watched a show by The Blibbering Humdingers and Bell and LeStrangers (yes, again). Then, we headed over to the Imperial Ballroom around 1:00 to get in line for the Wrock Afternoon show. It turned out they moved it to the Plaza at 3:00, but we weren’t about to give up our spots in the front of the line, so we waited for over 2 hours. We sang songs, mostly Accio Deathly Hallows, until a hotel employee told us we couldn’t sing in the hallways! =O Towards the end of our waiting time, Hank came up to us and said, “So, I hear you’ve been waiting here a really long time…” Then we started talking to him about random things (cell phones, horses, his song, handcuffing his fingers) for quite a while, and somehow we all managed to not freak out!! It was very exciting, and a lot of fun.

Anyway, it was definitely worth waiting in line for those 2 hours. =) The concert was absolutely amazing. It's kind of hard to put into words...but....it was AWESOME. I'd never seen RiddleTM live, and I love their music. It's beautiful. =) They are incredibly talented, and I was so happy to actually see them play. The Mudbloods were great, as always--I thought it was particularly funny that Adam wasn't wearing shoes, but only green socks. The Moaning Myrtles are awesome. That's all. And, the Remus Lupins!!! Okay, so I'm not quite as obsessed with them as some wrock fans are. Yes, Alex is hot. Yes, their music is awesome. But I'm not obsessed with them. However, ALEX LIT HIS GUITAR ON FIRE AND THEN SMASHED IT ONSTAGE!!!! I'm sure you've seen youtube videos of this, but if not...go look them up! It's fantastic. I also bought a shirt and two Cds. Since the show didn't start until after 3:00, it wasn't over until after 7:00...So I ordered a cheese pizza which Cody, Shoshana, and I ate only 4 slices of while we were getting ready for the ball in Shoshana & Madeleine's room. And we didn't end up getting to the ball until about 8:30, which was actually earlier than a lot of other people. We left the rest of the pizza on a table in the castle...I'm assuming it was eaten by some hungry people happy for free food. =D

The ball was amazing. =) I danced with Olivia, the other Olivia, Cole, Katherine, Anna, and Cody. We taught Melissa our quidditch dances, which she thought were great. I also danced with both Maureen and Hank, which was awesome! Though, we also scared Maureen....Olivia V grabbed her arm to come dance with us and she screamed. But, she still came and danced with us later. Mostly, it was a lot of fun, even though my feet were in pain I danced the whole time....And, it ended once again with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (epically danced to by Melissa and Alex), an a-capella of "The Weapon" and then "The Leaky Song" We didn't hang around long once it ended at midnight--we ran (okay, not literally) back to our room to change for the 1558 show.

1558 was awesome =) Uh...I don't think I can list all the bands that played....Nope. We did see The Blibbering Humdingers and Bella and LeStrangers again (3 times in about 24 hours!) Umm..."For Jo" by RiddleTM almost made me start crying...because at that moment, in that room, I felt so connected to everyone. And, we were all leaving each other for the most part the next day. =( But with our silent cheers, waving bottles and wands in the air, and just the overall atmosphere, I really felt the love and connection of everyone in that room. By the time the last few bands were playing, I was sort of falling asleep on one of the beds with Madeleine and Kirsten (of the Blibbering Humdingers). It didn't end until about 3:30. On our way back to the room, we ran into Hank (I think he was on our floor. I'm not convinced, but we kept seeing him) and just started talking to him. I think it was something about how late it was that made us totally not fangirly and made us actually able to articulate something. =D

Uh....so I woke up around 7:30 I think on Sunday, but I didn't actually head down to the Departure Breakfast until about 9:00 because I....was too tired at 8:00 (I took a shower and sat around first). I ran into Shoshana first, and got some things to eat. Then we wandered around the ballroom talking to people...At one point I sat down with Olivia and people, and we decided to go thank Melissa/MJ after a while. =) Frak finally gave me my drawing of me and Neville, which is beautiful. Then it started to get to the point where everyone was leaving. =( I sat down with Susie and Michelle, then went to Au Bon Pain to get lunch (again). Basically the entire afternoon, I sat in the lobby talking to people, including Kristina and Alex Day because I couldn't get into Susie's room. I wanted to go to Hank's show, but I wasn't sure how to get there. So...I didn't go. Obviously, I couldn't go to the wrock show that night because you had to be over 21. I'm not really sure what I did that night...I think I sat around hoping someone would talk to me, then went up to the room when no one did and waited for people to come back. We didn't go to bed until about 3:00...

And, I didn't wake up on time on Monday. I woke up at 7:15, but somehow still made it out of the hotel at 7:30 (though I think I woke up Jules, and I'm sorry about that) The subway to the airport took forever to get there, and I thought I was going to be late, but somehow I was still about half an hour early (before the boarding). I fell asleep for about 30 minutes on the plane, but mostly just read and was sad that LeakyCon was over. =(

It's basically been a week now. And I really, really miss it. I miss the community, I miss the love, and I miss the connections. As Cody said, I keep expecting to walk down the hall and give people hugs. There's just so much acceptance and joy and love in the fandom, and I miss not having that around me constantly, especially since I'm so far away from everyone.* I love how sweet everyone is--always happy to meet you, and eager even if you're shy. Hank was pretty right when he said that even JK Rowling didn't deserve the HP fandom. Which is in no way a criticism of Jo. It's a compliment to us--and our awesomeness. I really hope to go to Wrockstock, and Infinitus, and LeakyCon 2011. I just wish there was more in between.

I love you!!!!!!!! I miss you!!!!!!! THIS IS NEVER GONNA END!

11 May 2009

Tonight...10 days before

Okay. I have had so many emotions tonight. And, like Cody said, the best place for me to get them out is by writing them down.

Tonight, Melissa had her ustream chat...usually it's her Book Club, but this week there was no book. Instead...it was....amazing. The best one I've been to yet. First, Melissa started by talking about LeakyCon. Which of course brings out so many strong emotions of me. Excitement, but also...I don't know. I'm very bad at putting how I feel into concrete words. But I always get so many strong emotions with Harry Potter conferences. Because it reminds me of the whole fandom, and the whole experience, and just how amazing our fandom is. I feel so welcome, so loved, so....wow. I always cry when I get together with people from the fandom, because it's just so amazing.

Then she started reading poetry...which doesn't really bring emotions about Potter, but brings up emotions in general. She read Frost and Millay...and all of it is so beautiful. I'm a huge poetry/literature nerd, so I loved that. And I always just start thinking way too much when I listen to or read poetry. Especially if it's Frost.

But what really brought out the strong emotions and the tears was when Melissa started reading from her book and her interview with Jo. She read a few portions that just made me laugh, and she also read the beautiful few paragraphs about the release in Israel. That part ALWAYS makes me smile and feel warm inside. THEN she read the final chapter, Deathly Hallows. Again, I'm awful at putting emotions into words. But it just brings out memories of that night and how I felt when I was reading it. I didn't think it was OVER, but I knew it would be...different. I wasn't sure if it would be bad different, or just...different. Whatever it would be, I didn't like to think about it. As Melissa said, "See you on the other side."

My life WAS different after Deathly Hallows came out. But I really think that's when everything started for me. Because that's when I really got to know people in the fandom, rather than just reading TLC. I got really into the reading groups on Leaky Lounge, and I started really talking to people and making good friendships and....I felt like everything was really still the same, except we knew everything. We were still the same fandom, and we were never going to let these books go. It's who I am, who we are, what we...need. It's beautiful, and it's amazing, and there's nothing else I know that's quite like it.

In just 10 days, I get to go to LeakyCon. I can see Melissa, and Sue, and John, and Frak. I can see wrock shows and dance the night away. I get to see Cody, and Shoshana, and Julia, and Susie, and everyone else from the fandom that I haven't seen since August. It's hard to think about, because it's just so...amazing. And I'll cry. I know I will.

I love our fandom. And I love Melissa even more now.

Thank you, everyone!
This is never gonna end!

10 May 2009

Like a moth to a light?

So, I haven't written a blog in over a week, and it feels really...weird. Honestly, it does. After a month of blogging every single day, it's strange to not blog for so long! I mean, it's really nice, as well, because I don't have the pressure to finish a blog at a certain time every single day. But I also really miss it. Like I said in my post on the 1st, it was nice to have that one thing I did EVERY SINGLE DAY. A bit of rhythm and regularity. But I also just miss reading other people's blogs and having them comment on mine and commenting on theirs. I mean, I don't blog for the sole reason of getting comments, but it's fun. Very fun. It was a nice community. And I still talk to them on Skype, although school's been getting crazy, so....I don't have as much time anymore. Anyway. I have a few things to share with anyone who might be reading this blog.

Part 1: Epic Moth Story
If you follow me on Twitter, then you heard me ranting about this on Thursday night. The background of this story is that I hate moths. Well, more specifically, I hate moths when they're around the area where I'm sleeping. At camp it's okay because they fly up to the cabin ceiling, which is far, far away from where I'm sleeping. Or, they also tend to just stay on the outside of the cabin walls. Nevertheless, if a moth gets too close to me in the cabins at camp, I get angry. And a little creeped out. One time, this moth the size of a hummingbird got in the cabin, and we were all freaking out. Tinkerbell (one of the counselors) was whacking it with our broom, but even she was freaking out when it flew towards her face. Mostly, though, I get angry and creeped out when they get in my house. Especially in my room or my bathroom. I mean, okay, moths are kind of pretty if you're looking at pictures of them or looking at them outside. But it's the same thing with butterflies. I'm completely certain that if a butterfly got into my room and was flying around my light when I wanted to sleep, I'd freak out then too. The main reason I hate moths is because they're so FUZZY. They more extremely creepily, and...well, it's intruding in my area, when I'm trying to sleep. Go away, little moth, GO AWAY!!!!!! And they are way too attracted to lights.

Anyway, it was about 9:50 Thursday night. I'd brushed my teeth, gotten in my pajamas, gotten everything ready for the next day, turned off my computer....I was standing at my bed about to take out my contacts, when my cat jumped on my bed, all excited and meowing. Literally one second later, in came the moth flying around my light. CRAP. I didn't scream, but I ran out and closed the door to my room, hoping it would fall and my cat would eat it. No such luck. This moth was indestructible and INCREDIBLY obsessed with the light on my ceiling. I tried turning off the light and leaving on the hallway light, but no luck. Instead, it disappeared behind my bed. At that point, I went and got our broom. I got it out from behind my bed, but then it just flew straight up to the light AGAIN. Ugh. I was thoroughly annoyed, and now it's like...10:15. So, I just keep smacking the light...it flies around for a while, then lands back on the light again. This goes on for a while....it lands on the light, I smack the light, it flies around the light, then it lands on the light again. And Repeat. And Repeat. Ugh. Around 10:35, I think I had finally wore it down. It was sitting on the side of the light that I could easily see, so I smacked the broom RIGHT ON IT* and it fell down onto the floor, mostly dead. Then my cat ate it. And there ended the epic moth story of May the 7th. *sigh* Stupid moths!!!! I wanted to sleep, and I'm pretty sure it knew that and was taunting me like, "hahaha, you think you're going to sleep! THINK AGAIN." It was also taunting my cat, because she couldn't get up to the ceiling to catch it. "hahaha, you can't catch me! I shall live!!!!!!!" That was one EVIL moth. I killed it, thankfully, but it was EVIL.

Okay. *deep breath* Further story. So, every year, the Freshmen English classes at my school put on "Shakespeare Festival" in May in which freshmen choose a scene from a Shakespeare play to perform. Now, since it's freshmen, they usually suck. I fully admit it, even though I was a freshmen last year. We're not good actors. But, still. There's a difference between good acting and good preparation. I mean, my group last year did the second scene from As You Like It. None of us were particularly good actors, but we had our costumes and props and our timing and our lines memorized. So, while it wasn't good ACTING, it was a fairly good production. And people liked it, they thought it was funny, because Ian was in a fat suit for his role**

However, this year they've relaxed it so much...now it sucks even more. You no longer have to do a scene from a Shakespeare play. You have to do an adaption of a Shakespeare play. So people try to put on fashion shows or game shows or they try to sing. Or, there was a TEN MINUTE LONG PUPPET SHOW. I wanted to kill myself. We all did. Plus, no one has memorized their lines this year. And they have a month to do this...more than a month, actually. So people have lines written on their arms or are just holding their script on stage!!!!*** Sheesh. And I'm not mad because it's bad acting. Again, I'm mad because it's awful preparation. Extremely painful to watch...especially when they make a big deal and their eyes get all wide when they forget a line. That's like, the first rule of theatre: Don't acknowledge when you mess up. And I just feel bad for poor William! =(

Also, LeakyCon! 11 DAYS, 16 HOURS!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited to see everyone that I haven't seen since August. I'm officially going to Nosh with the Nerdfighters now, and...well, I'm just super excited. It's going to be amazingly awesome! And I seriously can't wait. *antsy*

Hopefully I'll get back to blogging at least every few days, rather than waiting 8 days. Sorry.

Also, look, FUB! It was my math notes...and my teacher didn't even know! Made of awesome!

Cheers! DFTBA!

*Win! I felt so powerful when I hit it and killed it! YES!!!!!!! (okay...sorry...I just really don't like when bugs are in my living space. I do respect them, though)
**He was one of the wrestlers, and he had to somersault in a fat suit. Oh my geez, those rehearsals were HILARIOUS.
***"Let me just discretely unfold my script here and read my line..." *shoots self in head* Really, freshmen? REALLY?!

01 May 2009

Different without BEDA

Okay, it just felt incredibly strange not to have to post a blog today.

I mean, okay. I know that I complained about not having any ideas for blogs and I rambled on a lot and I'm sure half of it wasn't even funny. But, nevertheless, I had an incredible amount of fun posting a blog every day. Sometimes it was good to think about what to blog about...instead of other things. Sometimes (some very rare times), I actually had a great blog idea and got really excited about writing it! And, mostly, it was really nice having one thing I did EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Some normality, some rhythm, something to go with all the hectic things in my life to keep me sane and calmed down.

I guess it was nice not to have the pressure or whatever to post a blog today. I mean, okay. There was never REAL pressure. Maureen wasn't standing there with a knife to my throat screaming, Write, damn it, write! You post this blog before midnight today, or you die! Come on!!!!! WRITE! That would be scary. Very scary. And I wouldn't necesarrily put it past Maureen either.

Anyway, it was completely my choice to do BEDA, and to push myself to think of something to blog about EVERY SINGLE DAY. Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that I enjoyed BEDA. It was a very nice part of my life, and it made the month of April a bit more manageable, especially this last week. I've met so many great people, who want to talk to me and think I'm funny* and...are amazing.

So, taking a leaf out of Lindsay's book....A toast!
Here's to:
Seeing if Joe can stay up all night (until 6:00 am BST)
The Count Censored
Dr. Who <3
Gay Joe/Lesbian Nena**

EPIC 8-hour Skype calls/chats
"Joe being weird"
Speaking in different accents
Randomly saying RAWR

Avoiding homework to talk to frieds
Typos. EPIC typos.

To Charlee, Nena, Abby, Anna, Dasha, Ellie, Trevor, Tobias, Arka, Reese, Chelsea, Madi, Joe, and Lindsay.

I will keep blogging, both here on the ning and on my blogspot. Now that I've gotten into the hang of it, I don't see how I could go back.

Oh, and watch this video of mine, maybe? *nods*

Cheers! DFTBA!
RAWR. =)

*Maybe something fell on their heads, because I'm definitely not funny....
**This argument went on forever on Twitter and Skype. EPIC. EPIC.

30 April 2009

The Attack of the Sheetle

So, it's the last day of BEDA. Today, I present you with a long and complicated story.

The Attack of Sheetle
On a lovely final day of April, a young girl was walking around her neighborhood, thinking about her homework she needed to finish and the epidemic of flu and balloons.* It was a beautiful day for once, which is an unusual happening in Colorado Springs in April. However, she had just taken a huge math test and was also freaking out about it and hoping her teacher accepted her homework a tad bit late.

So, this young girl was wandering around on a path, when she suddenly discovered a beetle and a sheep stumbling across her path.

Upon this, she remembered what everyone had been freaking out about at school and on the news and in the newspaper. In fact, her best friend seemed to know everything about it, and was panicking and spewing facts. What was the name though? ...............Oh, yes. Sheetle flu! More dangerous than the swine flu affecting Mexico, more dangerous than the avian flu, and immediately fatal. Well, not immediately, but in just a few short days, and she always liked to exaggerate. She quickly walked away from the beetle and sheep, trying to remember everything she could about sheetle flu.

It was a combination of sheep and beetles, obviously. The beetles gave it to the sheep, who could easily give it to humans just by passing very close to them. Quickly doing some math equations, involving vectors and matrices and derivatives, she determined that she had just barely missed the distance in which she could have caught sheetle flu from the sheep. She was safe for now, but just by a small margin.

She quickly walked on, trying to recall more about sheetle flu. What was it her friend had said in French class? Oh, yes! He had given her a paper clip stolen from the teacher, telling her that it would protect her from sheep infected with sheetle flu.** As I am sure you know, sheep were secretly trying to take over the world, and defeat their human oppressors.But, now the beetles have joined with the sheep, to cause a cruel and brutal end to the human race. Panicking, she pulled out her paper clip, hoping it would protect her even further if it was actually in contact with her skin.....

Then, as she was nearing her home, she passed a yard full of dandelions, and another flashback of knowledge came to her. DANDELIONS WERE A SIGN OF PLACES INFECTED WITH THE SHEETLE FLU. And this yard was full of them. She stared in horror at the lost house, and then quickly ran away towards home to find some help.

She ran through her door, and upstairs to her cell phone,where she dialed Hank Green. Even though Hank had no clue who she was, Hank could fix everything with his amazing powers of awesomeness and songwriting. Hank quickly agreed, and rushed over from Montana, to save the state of Colorado, all the way singing, "What Would Captain Picard Do?"*** It took Hank only a few hours to quarantine and heal the infected people by replacing them with awesome, and to remove all the infected sheep and beetles from the town.

The girl hugged him and thanked him for saving her beautiful town, and immediately invited him to dinner at her house. The whole town had a celebration in honor of Hank, and she went to bed thinking of the amazing awesome**** Hank. When she woke up, she saw Hank's plane flying back to Montana, and knew that everything was right in the world again.

Okay, two more quick parts.
One: Awful math test =( I only missed 8 points, which isn't bad especially for Mr. Perry's test, but...well, it was annoying. And confusing. *sigh*

*streamers* *crying* *balloons exploding* *sobbing* *handing out of BEDA cake* *sits in a corner, wondering what will happen now*

As you can tell from that, I don't really know how to feel about this. I mean, part of me is very happy, because I actually accomplished the task of blogging every day, and it was a lot of fun. I feel like we should have a huge BlogTV party or something, complete with dancing and cake and streamers and fireworks and the handing out of signed copies of Suite Scarlett.

On the other hand, I am quite sad. I had so much fun doing this! I mean, I'm going to keep blogging, especially now that I have gotten into the swing of things, and I think that my blogging has improved.***** And I've met so many awesome friends through this, from all over the world, and gained a bazillion inside jokes. Oh, and I gained a tiny little monkey. And I'm scared that everyone will go away after today, and not come back. Which would be incredibly sad, because I would miss my friends!

How does everyone else feel about the ending of BEDA? Happy? Sad? Confused? Indifferent? COMMENT!
However, I did wear my "party socks" in celebration of today.******

So, congratulations on surviving BEDA! We need to make shirts or something for everyone! Or, we could just all go buy ourselves a copy of Suite Scarlett in paperback!


*Why balloons? Who knows!!!!!!! Because she's random that way.
**Just as in real life, my life is worth more than my French teacher's. *wink*
***That's the song Hank was singing on BlogTV while I was writing that section of the story
****Because I have no other word choice, apparently
*****What do y'all think? Has my blogging improved? Am I at all funny? Or do you just read my blogs and lie about how much you like them. LEAVE THE TRUTH IN THE COMMENTS.
******Those aren't actually my party socks. Although, if y'all like them, they might become them. I think they are VERY festive.

29 April 2009

Swing hard!!!!!

I think I'm running out of blog ideas. And since it's 9:15 at night, and I have a huge stupid math test tomorrow....Uh....Don't expect this to be great.

Well, so tonight was our MYP Completion Ceremony. Ugh. So pointless. And I was not kidding when I said this morning that I didn't have the time for it. First, it was in the gym, with us sitting on the bleachers. So a lot of the numbers got sort of messed up, and we had to fix them when we were getting in line to receive our certificates. Also, IT WAS SO FREAKING UNCOMFORTABLE!!!!!!!!! Especially when I'm wearing a skirt and Mr. Thompson (the IB coordinator) is rambling on about baseball for half an hour. Which brings me to my second point:

What was up with that speech about Mickey Mantle, Mr. Thompson?! He asked one of my classmates who Mickey Mantle was, and all he knew was that he played baseball. (Though, that's more than I knew...I had no clue who he even was!) Seriously, none of us had any clue what he was talking about. Even the PRINCIPAL didn't know what Mr. Thompson was talking about. I don't think Mr. Thompson himself knew what he was talking about. He just kept rambling on and talking and talking. Quote: "Let me give you a brief history of his aunt now..." As we're all sitting there, talking, and conused, and bored, and reading texts over my friend's shoulder. Also, "So his dad started throwing all his clothes into the open suitase and...you know......*trails off*" Uh...okay. Then he went on talking about all the home runs Mantle made, and his farthest hit, and also all the times he struck out in his career. (We're fidgeting and getting uncomfortable and wanting to get out of that stupid gym over to the cookies and lemonade) In the end, he managed to tie it back into IB by saying something like, "You have to swing hard to hit a home run."

This was us during his talk:

The funniest part was when he finally released us. There was a stampede of kids running down bleachers trying to get out of that stupid gym. Basically, it was really boring. As I said, I've been in IB since 3rd grade, and our principal was talking on and on about the "IB character traits" such as "Thinker" and "Risk Taker" and "Well-Rounded." Me: God, it's like we're back at Academy International or something!* He also used the word "IB-ish." Which is a very "IB" word.** And, just as he does every single morning on the announcements, he ended with a quote.

Oh, and my friend Chris didn't get his certificate!!! They couldn't find it in the pile, along with one other. But the other girl got hers afterward, and Chris didn't! =( She was walking away and I was like, "Hey! Chris didn't get his either!" We were joking that our French teacher had something to do with it, because she despises him. Honestly, though, I don't know why we needed a whole boring, long ceremony, when they could have just mailed us our certificates. I did get some fun pictures, a video of Jon "being funny,"*** and some really fun inside jokes from now on about Mr. Thompson and Chris "not graduating" MYP. (for now)

I completed MYP! 8 YEARS OF IB DOWN, 2 MORE TO GO!!!!!!

Uh....I kind of feel like I should do something else in this blog, so I'm going to do some quick in your pants jokes:
The Magical World of Harry Potter....In Your Pants
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland....In Your Pants
The Great Gatsby.....In Your Pants
The Other Side of You....In Your Pants
The Secret Life of Bees....In Your Pants
The Odyssey....In Your Pants
Animal Farm.....In Your Pants
A Ring of Endless Light...In Your Pants
And my favorite by me:
Hope is not a Plan...In Your Pants

Okay, off to study a bit more for math (although, it's kind of pointless) and fill out a chart for history. Sorry I'm so boring this last week of BEDA! =( Hopefully tomorrow, OUR LAST DAY, I'll be more interesting.

Cheers! DFTBA!

*Academy International was my elementary school, where I did the PYP program for IB
**Not an IB word. Geez...
***I told him to be funny, and he obliged. =)

28 April 2009

Wizard Rock Awareness Day

It's Wizard Rock Awareness Day!!!!!!!!! In all honesty, I don't really know WHAT that's supposed to mean...I mean, I'm in the facebook group, I love Wrock, and....I'm trying to make the people of BEDA maybe more aware of the movement than they already are.* =]

Well, I still firmly stand that the Wizard Rock movement started with Harry and the Potters in 2002. I know technically the Switchblade Kittens released "Ode to Harry" before that, but I'm not really sure I consider them to be a wizard rock band...You can argue about it, but I'm sticking next to Paul and Joe!

Okay, once again I don't have an awful lot of time to write this blog, so I'm going to summarize several of my favorite Wrock Bands =]

The Moaning Myrtles
Lauren Fairweather and Nina Jankowicz from New Jersey. I think one of the reasons I love the Moaning Myrtles is because I relate to Lauren a lot, based on her fiveawesomegirls videos especially. How lonely she was, and how much Harry Potter has given to her! Plus, they're both just so funny and sweet....and I love that they chose to write about a ghost, Myrtle, who everyone likes to make fun of. And, they even took picture for their CD cover in a bathroom stall to accentuate the fact that they're representing a ghost who lives in a bathroom.

Their songs are so...varied, too. Some are just plain funny ("Emo Guy" "What About Myrtle"), and some are really sweet and true ("Transparent" "It's Too Late"). Both of them also do so-called "muggle music" on their own. Lauren's song "Nerdfighterlike" really touched me, and prompted me to actually get involved in the Nerdfighter movement instead of just watching videos on YouTube. And Nina's song, "Circus," about our government in the US, never fails to make me laugh.

They're both incredibly friendly, and sweet, and definitely real people. MYRTLE LIVES!!!!

The Parselmouths
Well, they really are like the West Coast counterparts of the Moaning Myrtles. I guess I like them for a few reasons....
1) Their songs are so great! Especially as they aged and matured, the music became amazing...really good to dance to. And just really great songs in general
2) I also really relate to Kristina, again through the fiveawesomegirls videos...but when I saw her at Terminus, I was too shy to actually say anything....
3) "This is Never Going to End" LOVE THAT SONG
4) Again, friendly and sweet and real and....yeah....

The Mudbloods
I only really just learned about this band through PotterCast this summer and then when I got to see them play at the live PotterCast at Terminus. I guess, when I heard them, they just sounded so DIFFERENT from all the previous wizard rock bands that I'd heard. It's just something about their music, and how Adam sings, and just how humble they are in general. =] Plus, gosh, their songs are so BEAUTIFUL. "A Pensieve Full of Unrequited Love"**

And, again, Adam has amazing "muggle music." His song "Books Say and I Say" is so great...I love especially, "And Shakespeare says/We've only got two options/Either everyone gets married/Or everybody dies."

I really like especially how humble the band is. =] And I thought it was funny that they named their band the Mudbloods, and then later realized that their name was kind of...you know...a racial slur. But, their music is so great, that it really doesn't matter.

The Ministry of Magic
Okay, I think this band had been around for a little while before I actually heard about it. It started in 2007, but I didn't even really know it existed until last summer because of Terminus and the fact that Kristina talked about them a lot. And, I'm ashamed to say that I only just bought their music this year. Though, that was mostly just because I have to wait until I have money on iTunes....Anyway, I am so glad now that I bought their music!!! I absolutely love, "The Bravest Man I Ever Knew." I played this song for my friend, and it was the first one she actually liked, because she said she liked the techno beat...and she's not into wizard rock (she thinks it's strange)

Definitely, their techno-ish beat is awesome. And, who wouldn't love a guy who dresses up as Voldemort to sing?

The Whomping Willows
Classic band, really, which started around the same time as Harry and the Potters. I love Matt because...well....uh...because I do? No, really, he's great. And his music varies a lot, too--he can be really angry, really funny, or really sweet. I mean, I guess he really is that classic Wrock music, though he's started to branch out more. And, who wouldn't love the guy who created the House of Awesome?!***

Potter Ink
Well...my friend Cody actually only just introduced me to this girl. But she's great. I don't really know how to describe her, so just....look her up on myspace. But her songs make me cry like no other, especially "Weaker Divided."

England! Beautiful voices! Also manage to make me cry an awful lot! ("For Jo" *cries*) Something is just special and amazing about their music and their voices and....yeah. Love them, too =)

Ugh. I know that was really boring and short and incoherent. But...sorry!!!!!!!
Better tomorrow, maybe?
Cheers! DFTBA!

*I know most people are acquainted with Wrock, but...I didn't know what else to write about. And it IS Wrock Awareness Day!
**Seriously, I am IN LOVE with this song. Adam....*swoons*
***Nerdfighters FTW!

27 April 2009

The Horrors of IB

STRESS!!!!!!!!!!! *twitches* *twitches* *bangs head on desk* *bites fingernails* *looks around randomly, gets distracted by something shiny* *hit head on desk again because she NEEDS TO FINISH THESE THINGS*

Okay, so the title of this blog is actually a bit of an exaggeration. IB isn't that bad. It's fun, it's somewhat challenging,* you get to geek out with all the fellow IBers....But, towards the end of semesters/year, it gets hectic. And evil. IB lurks around your corner, waiting until you fall asleep at your computer so it can hit your head with a rock and you wake up with a MASSIVE headache. Especially since this is the end of MYP for us...teachers HAVE TO FINISH THIS. Believe me, they're freaking out just as much as we are about all the stuff they have to grade and the things they haven't taught or done with us yet. We're all in this together!**

So, I've been doing IB since 3rd grade. So, I've been dealing with it for 7 years. And I plan to go on to the DYP programme for my final two years of high school--DYP is the one that seriously turns the smartest kids into a pile of tears and sweat and flashcards and post-its, and they just blubber on. In elementary school, it wasn't that bad, as I'm sure you can imagine. The only truly IB thing we did was an "Exhibition" project in 5th grade to prove that we had actually learned something through PYP.*** In middle school, it got tougher, especially as we started heading towards 8th grade and the teachers were "preparing us for high school." Tests, projects, labs, essays, reports GALORE! And in 9th grade they're all preparing us for 10th grade and trying to undo some of the damage that our middle school teachers did....and teach us things we apparently already should have known....but we never get taught. High schools and middle schools need to communicate the whole MYP programme and curriculum....But, ironically, IB people are VERY disorganized and often have no clue themselves what is going on.

Anyway, this week......*runs away in terror* I just did my Personal Project at about 7:00....It actually felt like kind of a waste of my time, because when I finished presenting, everyone was looking at me like, "Huh? Why'd you do THAT?" (I did a study of politics and the types of Republicans that live in El Paso County, CO. I'd explain, but I am very tired-don't know how I'm managing to write this-and just presented it for a bunch of people, so I DO NOT want to do it again) But, like the amazing IB students we are, all of us sophomores were on Facebook yesterday complaining and panicking and congratulating someone who finished. We're all stressed out, but we're not actually WORKING on it. Classic!

Also, if you follow me on twitter, you know that I was supposed to do an English speech today. And we were all very upset with our teacher, because he gave us zero guidelines and such. But, I still worked on it like the diligent little student I am. AND HE WASN'T HERE TODAY!!!!!!**** How dare he?! What else this week? Well....

Two math tests: One tomorrow (right after personal project night) and one Thursday (right after MYP completion ceremony) Our math teacher hates us. *sigh* But, we hate him back, so it's okay!
US History project: Shouldn't honestly be too hard, but....still....why this week?!
Physics lab/lab report: Also, quite easy. But, just one more thing.....
English project: And, I hate my group. =[ Stuck with them! HELP!!!!!!
Random French crap that won't be for a grade, but I'll probably end up doing anyway....

Er...I think that's all I have to say. I need to get some sleep, so I don't get even more incoherent than I am now.***** At least Personal Project is done, and in 2 days we'll be done with MYP! WE WILL BEAT IB....IT WON'T BEAT US!!!******

I'm too tired to actually explain the IB programme, so her'es a website and some basic terms:
International Baccalaureate
PYP: Primary Years Programme K-5
MYP: Middle Years Programme 6-10
DYP: Diploma Years Programme 11 & 12

Cheers! DFTBA!! (Don't Forget To BS Assignments)

*Sort of. Not really all that challenging, though they say it is!
**Oh no. HSM reference *groans*
***I still don't know how they actually evaluated our Exhibition. I think we just did SOMETHING, and they let us "graduate"
****I think he wanted to stay away from sophomores who would attack him with questions....
*****Yeah, sorry about that. Hopefully this wasn't too painful to read
******Well, we can always hope.....

26 April 2009

Why you should go camping!

Okay, I know some people seriously hate camping and can't stand the idea of being out in nature, cooking over a fire/camp stove, with no electricity or shower or internet.* And, while I myself do love camping, I understand that. So I'm not saying that everyone needs to go camping all the time. I just think you should let yourself experience it once in your life, at least, before you decide you hate it. Even then, try it with some friends and see if it's different =]

Hem, Hem:**
Kat's Top 10 Reasons to go Camping at least once in your life.
1. You get some amazing pictures and memories.
Same as traveling, really. Except your pictures of nature are almost guaranteed to be beautiful and breathtaking and amazing. Breathtaking pictures of mountains, lakes, streams, rock formations, WILDLIFE. Seriously...I take so many pictures when I'm out camping. Also, camping tends to bring about even more hilarious memories and times you had with your family/friends/whoever you were camping with. Because if you are truly camping, the memories and pictures come along with it! =] Bears, bad cooking experiences, rain, rolling out of the tent while sleeping, etc, etc....

2. It's actually quite easy
Some people tend to think that camping is hard. But it's really not. You should have some basic cooking skills at home before you try cooking on a camp fire. You should have a tent, sleeping bag, flashlights, food, water, maybe a camp stove. A game or books so you don't get bored. Some cooking utensils.....As long as you don't choose anything too complicated or high-tech, camping will be a breeze because so much stuff is out there so that you don't have to work hard while camping, but can just relax.

3. It's relatively cheap!
Again, as long as you don't go buy all the high-tech, confusing stuff, and you don't try to rent an RV or something, camping is cheap! Many places a free to camp, or very very cheap if they aren't completely free. Much better than having to rent a cabin for who knows how much for a few days. And much better than a hotel room!

4. Food tastes better when you cook it while camping...
Usually. I mean, at home you'd never eat a "foil dinner" of rice and corn and potatoes, but when you're camping it seems like heaven =) Granted, if you have no cooking skills, it still won't taste great. But, also, if you've been hiking a lot,*** then pretty much any food tastes like heaven, no matter how badly it was cooked. Plus, there's that feeling of accomplishment that you actually cooked something on a camp stove/fire. Breakfast burritos! =]

5. You have some really fun times with your friends.
Obviously, this one goes along with the first one about the memories. But, this one is specifically for if you go camping with friends, not family. Whenever we go on our overnight at GS camp, we come back with the best of stories. Like how we accidentally pitched our tent on a hill, so in the morning I ended up at the bottom of the tent, near everyone's stuff, especially the riding boots. Uncomfortable! Or how it was raining, so the counselor was shoveling extra pudding into our bowls. Or how, on our "challenge" overnight as CIT/WITs, they didn't leave us the food so we couldn't prepare the cooking until the food was delivered. Not having a can opener, so banging the can of fruit open with a mallet used for setting up tents. See what I mean? FUN TIMES FTW!!!!

6. You can see the stars =]
Since most of us live in or near very big cities, we have never actually seen the stars. I remember when we went camping at the Monument Valley Navajo tribal park...I'd never REALLY seen the stars before, because even at GS camp some of the buildings have electricity, and it's not that far from Woodland Park. But the Navajo tribal park had no cities nearby, and no buildings with electricity. So we could see every star coming out, one by one. It was one of the most beautiful, wonderful experiences of my life. And I want more of those! Unfortunately, not many camping areas are even that secluded anymore. But, you can still see more stars out camping than you'd ever see at home in the city!

7. You get to visit some beautiful places
Seriously. So many places are beautiful, but they are secluded. So the only way you can truly see them is to go camping, since there's no other way to get there. And just being out in nature, being a part of nature, being at the mercy of nature, makes it beautiful. LIFE is beautiful when you're camping. Plus, by camping in these places, you help to ensure their beauty, their peace, and...just the places in general. Camping benefits the environment, as long as you do it the old-fashioned way with tents and "leave no trace." Camping is one of the most natural things you can do, as long as you do it properly. So get camping!!!

8. You have great story material.
Yes, THIS one again. But it's true! I don't feel like repeating everything I just said about memories and fun times. Anyway, you can share camping stories at that same party, if none of the other stories go over well! You're almost bound to get people laughing, choking on their drinks, etc. And you're bound to get some of the people asking you tips on camping, or reliving any funny camping stories they had when they were kids! I constantly repeat camp stories with my camp friends, and it NEVER gets old! These things don't fade away! They're always funny!

9. Seclusion! Relaxation! Time to think!
Especially if you choose to go camping by yourself. The wilderness is the perfect place to go to try to get someplace to relax and think about things and all that great stuff. The nature and the wilderness does some amazing stuff to your brain and your ability to make sense of things. So get out into that nature and spend some time in it!

10. You have something to blog about!
Always ends here. Because you can blog about just about any experience, and people will read it. I myself took advantage of blogging about camping earlier this month. Shameless self-promotion of earlier blog.... So, if nothing else can get you out camping, wait until you are out of anything to write on your blog, and then go camping so you have something to write about. WIN!!!!

Ugh. Stress. Personal Project, 2 math tests, English speech, US History Project, MYP Completion ceremony. Crazy, crazy last week of BEDA. My blogs will likely get progressively more incoherent and such. Especially tomorrow. Deal.****

But I love my frieds!!!!!!*****
Cheers! DFTBA!

*No internet. Yes. I've done it for 4 weeks. You can do it for a few days.
**A thousand useless points if you got that HP reference!
***Hiking often goes hand-in-hand with camping, though you are not required to hike if that makes you shy away...
****Really, I am sorry. But there's nothing I can do about it.
*****Thank you for giving me some things to laugh about. =D

25 April 2009

Confessions of a Nerd Girl Part IV

Yay! Last one...in April, at least. If y'all really enjoy these, then let me know and I'll continue them the next Saturday I blog =] Although, I'm having a tough time coming up with more confessions to tell y'all....so, it might have to wait just long enough for me to come up with more confessions.

1. I'm really, honestly, SUPER clumsy.
Yeah, basically. I run into things a lot, fall down stairs, fall up stairs, trip over practically nothing, knock over trash cans, get a lot of bruises and cuts and...yeah. Here's a short list of some rather amusing clumsy things I have done:
~Once, I ran into my locker door. I'm not kidding. I was getting my books out of it in seventh grade, and I turned around to close the door and talk to my friend at the same time. Aaaaaaand...I ran into my open locker door! It hurt, and it was also quite, quite, VERY embarrassing.
~I was walking down our wooden stairs once in my socks, and I slipped. I grabbed the railing, out of instinct not to...you know...DIE. Unfortunately, this caused me to hurt myself even more. I still feel, HARD, right on my butt, and I also got a massive cut on my arm from the stair railing. So, my attempt to "save" myself actually, in fact, made me hurt myself even more.
~Ugh, so I kind of already told y'all this one. But, as I'm sure you can imagine, I get hurt a lot at camp. When we were playing Capture the Flag one day, I was basically one of the targets because I'm a relatively fast runner. You'd be right to assume that I got hurt. But, I didn't even get hurt when I was sprinting. I was running, but not even that fast, when I completely biffed it. I fell, and I cut my arm, shoulder, knee, and also bruised my knee quite bad.
~I constantly run into desks at school, so much so that my friends hardly notice when I say, 'OW!!!" anymore...because it only means that I ran into a desk or hit my knee on the bottom or dropped something on myself or poked myself with my pencil.
~Oh, and on Thursday I SOMEHOW bruised my elbow. I don't even know how, but I got home and put my elbow on my desk, and it hurt. It still hurts. But I have no freaking idea how I hurt it. *sigh* I get bruises a lot, and I don't even know how half of them come about.

This picture describes my clumsiness pretty dang well:

2. I DESPISE driving.
I'm not even kidding when I say this. I did driver's ed last April/May. And the last day I drove was May 12, 2008. I haven't driven in about a year. Why? Because I hate it! It's so stressful!!!!!! And I don't really see how it's worth it, when I can walk or ride public transportation or the such. I mean, it's not like I could afford a car even if I wanted to be able to drive around this summer. Okay, I actually do have a good reason for not liking driving, I think. My stupid driver's ed teacher.

I took driver's ed at the Air Force Academy, and I swear the teacher there has been teaching the class since the Academy opened in 1954. He's incredibly old, and he has something weird going on with his teeth on one side of his mouth. I'll admit that I did learn a lot from the actual class, and he certainly made sure we were getting the information we needed to get to pass the permit test and the test at the end of the class (to benefit insurance). He was annoying in how he interrupted our conversations when we had a break and were trying to talk. But, honestly, he wasn't that bad in the classroom. It was 3 1/2 hours Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday for 3 weeks (4:30-8), and it was time-absorbing, but I survived. My opinions on him COMPLETELY changed when we got on the road.

I was okay when we were just going on his usual course around the Academy. But, THEN, he took me on the highway MY FIRST DAY!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I was completely panicked.* I know, I know, highway driving is some of the safest driving. But, going 70 miles per hour when you've only driven for an hour before that at about 30 miles per hour on an air force base.......AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!! =[ Plus, if I drifted over just a little bit, he'd freak out and grab the wheel. Or, if I didn't press the brake right exactly when he wanted me to, he'd press down on the brake on his side of the car. I did discover that I was quite good at parallel parking, amazingly. And by the last hour of my instructor driving (we have to do 8 here in Colorado), I was a little more confident. However, that changed greatly once my parents asked me if I wanted to drive. I'd start thinking about everything I had to pay attention to, and how paranoid he'd been, and how stressed I was...And I'd always answer no. Still, to this day, I always answer no if they ask me if I want to go practice driving.

I suppose I should probably figure out how to at least not hate driving anymore, if I'm going to live...pretty much anywehre other than New York City. Or Europe.** I could live in a big city in Europe and ride trains everywhere. Yeah, anyway...I'm definitely not a fan of driving. Yes, I do have a permit, but I only have 8 out of the 60 hours I need to get a license. And I'm not even sure I remember how to drive anymore. So, yeah, NOT getting my license anytime soon.

Describes my driving instructor and me VERY well.

3. I love horseback riding =]
Well, you've probably gotten this from the fact that I go to horse camp each year. I've been riding horses since I was about 6 years old, though I've never been able to afford lessons so I could show or compete or anything. And, OBVIOUSLY, I could never afford a horse or a place to board a horse or land to keep a horse on or...yeah.

But they're so gorgeous. =] I've never seen more graceful creatures on land...Dolphins probably top them, but they'd just flop around on land.*** I really seem to communicate well with them, too. I love cantering/loping around on the back of a horse. I love feeding them, and I love grooming them. I actually even don't mind mucking out their stalls. They can be a pain when you go to catch them and tack them up, but humans would be the same way. And, really, it's just a sign of their intelligence that they know they're about to be ridden around by a probably very inexperienced young girl who pulls too hard on the reins and kicks them too hard to get them going.****

But, if you treat them well, and like equal creatures, then they're an absolute treasure. And SO therapeutic to talk to, because they really seem to listen. And you really get to develop good relationships with them, so that they know what you want.


Anyway, until tomorrow, frieds! Cheers! DFTBA!

*And, also, I thought he was an absolute insane old man who didn't know what he was doing....Yeah......
***Well, they couldn't actually live on land, but you know what I mean
****I feel so bad for the horses at camp, because a lot of the girls love horses, but have no idea how to really deal with them or how to properly treat them. Sometimes I really want to yell at them, but most of the time the girl doesn't know any better. But the poor horses!!!!! =(

24 April 2009

A bit of fun history

Once again, I wasn't sure what to blog about. So I went back into my mind and went over some of my nerdy passions/OBSESSIONS. As you can imagine, I have a lot of them!

Anyway, back in 6th grade (2004-05), my sister and I stumbled upon the Disney movie "Newsies." I shared it with my best friend at the time, and we naturally got completely obsessed with it.* We argued constantly about whether Race Higgins or Spot Conlon was "hotter." We got the soundtrack, copied it, wore suspenders and newsboy hats, made our own newspaper cover about the movie, printed out bazillions of pictures. And, I, for my part, started a grossly awful fanfiction about Newsies.** (Click here to read, if you dare)

Well, okay, let my defend myself a little bit here. It is an AMAZING movie. I think it's Disney's best movie...or at least, DEFINITELY their best live-action/non-animated movie. Made in 1992, Kenny Ortega choreographed, starring Christian Bale when he was only 17 years old. And it's actually quite historically accurate. Which begins the wonderful nerdiness that went along with my obsession....I went online and looked up a bunch of stuff about the REAL newsies strike of 1899.

So, prepare youself for a bit of a fun history lesson here. Basically, the newspapers in New York raised the price of their papers during the Spanish-American War (both the cost for the newsies and the cost for citizens to buy from newsies), which was perfectly acceptable since the sales made up for it. Once sales went down, most newspapers reduced the prices again...except the New York World and the New York Morning Journal. So, the newsboys (most of them) decided to go on strike and refuse to keep selling the "papes." And, amazingly, the newsboys of 1899 actually DID sing in the streets to get attention, just like in the movie/musical!*** =] In 1899, newsies were gathered at Irving Hall from all over. 5,000 newsboys attended, and several gave speeches about the strike and what they should do....several leaders became appointed throughout the strike. In the real story, the newsies strike stopped after 2 weeks, when the publishers of the World and Journal agreed to refund unsold papers, though they did not lower the price from 60 cents for 100 papers.

Of course, there are many differences in the movie. In the movie, it appears that Pulitzer and Hearst made the price raise overnight, not because of The Spanish-American War. Obviously, they sing songs and dance. And they have a gathering at Irving Hall in the movie, though it happens rather differently...not with a diverse amount of people getting up to speak. And, in the movie, the newsies win the strike when Pulitzer and Hearst agree to lower the price of their paper for the newsies from 60 cents to 50 cents. Which, of course, is not how history played out.

Real quote from the Newboys Strike of 1899: "Ain't that ten cents worth as much to us as it is to Hearst and Pulitzer who are millionaires? Well, I guess it is. If they can't spare it, how can we?... I'm trying to figure out how ten cents on a hundred papers can mean more to a millionaire than it does to newsboys, an' I can't see it." ~ Kid Blink

Anyway, I think the movie is beautifully done, both historically and just as a movie. It's very...I don't know....heartfelt, true, lovely, etc. Of course, since it's Disney, they have to work in a girl who likes Jack Kelley and they kiss at the end...the first time, she is rather annoying, but then you get over it. Plus, the music is AWESOME =D



Christian Bale as Jack Kelley:

NEWSIES!!! Carryin' da Banner! =]

Uh...yeah. So, today one of my classmates fell asleep in precalc/SL IB Mathematics I and started snoring. Twas hilarious! =D Well, now I've got to work on an English speech, my Personal Project, math homework, and a US History project. *sigh*

Until tomorrow! Cheers! DFTBA! *I get obsessed with things very easily. ESPECIALLY when I was in middle school. Yeah....
**I'm still embarassed about that one *blushes*
***Man, I would love to travel back in time and see that!

23 April 2009

Shakespeare's Birthday & Rambling

There was a sign on my library door today that said, "Happy Birthday Bill" with a picture of Shakespeare and the date April 23. I had not seen it until today, so they are a bit late on warning us....I mean, if I hadn't had study hall today, then I'd have no idea at all. But, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM.* I actually love Shakespeare's plays, although definitely much more when I see them performed than when I have to read them....after all, that's what they were meant for. He never wanted students to sit in desks, reading and analyzing his plays to death. =]

This is going to be an incredibly random blog post, because I am not really in the mood for blogging, and I also don't know what to blog about. In fact, for part of it, I am turning to Maureen's blog suggestions! How would your life be different without the Internet? Again, this is not going to be an incredibly detailed answer. But, obviously, I wouldn't have a bunch of the friends I have now. No Skype frieds, no England/Lithuanian/Dutch/New Zealander frieds...Basically, I think I'd be incredibly lonely. How would I have discussed and speculated Harry Potter theories? How would I have attended HP conferences?** How would I know about nerdfighters and the fact that we are AWESOME, not lame? How would I know that there are people who actually long to spend time with me and laugh with me and actually enjoy talking to me. I mean, it's not like the internet is my only form of communication. In fact, I absolutely adore writing and receiving "snail-mail" letters. There's just something so personal about them, and they're a lot of fun to write, really. I mean, you have to put time into it, depending on how long it takes you to handwrite something. Plus, who doesn't love receiving mail? And, I mean, I have several other forms of entertainment, as well. I adore reading, and I can read for days and days, provided I have enough books to read.*** I love drawing and painting, as well. And hiking/running/swimming =] I just think I'd be a lot more lonely in general without the internet, because it really does connect me to a world of people and friends and fun and information and entertainment and love and happiness.**** =] Oh, and while I do have other forms of entertainment, I do picture myself getting a tad bit bored without the internet. Not terribly, but...I mean, with no one to talk to, doing everything on my own would get pretty boring.

This video only vaguely relates to the question, but I love it! Also, completely unrelated, but I found when I picked up Pride & Prejudice again (I need to finish it, but I keep getting sidetracked) Last year, I made a list of "Baby Names"***** involoving Literary Characters....It was a thread on the Leaky Lounge, and I had a lot of fun with it.
Jack Algernon (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Earnest James (The Importance of Being Earnest & Harry Potter)
Fred Bastian (Harry Potter & The Neverending Story)
Wesley John (The Princess Bride & The Importance of Being Earnest)
Adam Colin (A Ring of Endless Light & Harry Potter)
Lily Nymphadora (Secret Life of Bees & Harry Potter)
Anne Christine (Persuasion & Phantom of the Opera)
Meggie Ginevra (Inkworld & Harry Potter)
Wendy Luna (Peter Pan & Harry Potter)

Ugh. The thing literary/HP nerdfighters do in their spare time. (If you could not already tell, I ADORE The Importance of Being Earnest. Lovely book/play)

What else? Uh....day of all classes definitely sucked, if you were wondering. Also, I've had Mamma Mia by Abba stuck in my head for days now, and I just want to share the torture with y'all.

Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much Ive missed you

I was considerably cheered up by Hank's DFTBA rap video, though. I love Hank. I love John. I love Maureen. I love the Nerdfighters. And I RAWR YOU!****** =D =D

Until tomorrow....*sigh* Cheers! DFTBA! (Dead Frogs Teach Bored Anatomists)

*I think calling Shakespeare "Bill" is disrespectful. But, I'm also a Literature Nerd.
**Probably through mailings *gasp* Like in the OLD days!
***Always an issue. How do I get all the books I want to read? HELP! =[
****"I wish you peace and love and happiness...." ~Mudbloods By love, I mean people caring =D
*****These will not actually evolve into Baby Names. It was just the best title I could come up with. Though, by all means, if you are about to have a baby and can't decide on a name, use one of these! =]
******Hopefully that wasn't too creepy....Been feeling very sentimental and....touchy-feely.

22 April 2009

Day of Pointlessness and Randomness

I usually do not like to blog about my day. But, today was rather pointless and interesting and random. So, there you go!

Well, firstly, HAPPY EARTH DAY. Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays, although it's also a holiday that I have some strong opinions about. I mean, I love that we have designated a day to celebrate the Earth and figure out ways to protect her and all that amazing stuff. But, also, I don't think it's right that people think that April 22nd is the only day of the year that they are obligated to care about and for their earth. I mean, if we don't want to destroy our planet, then we should care EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY!!!!!!!! So, yeah.

How can you protect your earth every day of the year? Well, buying fuel-efficient cars certainly helps. Or just walking/biking/carpooling/riding public transportation. Those options are better. Also, please turn off your lights...do you REALLY need them? REALLY?! And, turn off your computer...I mean, okay, if you're leaving for half an hour, I can understand, but anything longer than that....Also, remember to unplug your computer. Because even if it isn't on, it's still using electricity if it's plugged in.* Recycle--it's not THAT hard. Go vegetarian at least one day a week...I'm full vegetarian, and it's amazing the beneficial impact being vegetarian has on our planet. Compost. Plant your own vegetables. Insulate your house. Reuse things when you cannot recycle them. Look into how you can safely recycle your old technology. Basically, try to reduce your carbon footprint, my friend. Etc, Etc, Etc.

I don't want to get into a debate on global warming and whether we cause it. Because, frankly, whether we are or aren't, it doesn't hurt anyone to release less carbon dioxide and greenhouse gasses and become less dependent on fossil fuels and use less energy in general. So, just do the above steps, anyway, whether you believe in global warming or not. Just take care of our earth, okay? Why? Because I LIVE HERE. *wink* And SO DO YOU.

Oh, and also, I really want a SmartCar. Not only are they adorable and tiny, they are the most fuel efficient cars other than hybrids. WIN! Unfortunately, they are crazy expensive in the US. Not win. =[ Why must the US be so against helping our environment and making it affordable? Sad day!

On to my random pointless day. So, the juniors took the ACT today, which meant we only went to school for about 2 hours. Started at 11:52 and ended at 2:12. SO FREAKING POINTLESS!!! I didn't do ANYTHING in either class....Well, we never do anything in French. I turned in my project in Physics, and we sort of attempted to plan our lab, and then we watched Mythbusters. WIN! If you follow me on Twitter, you already saw this, but whatever. Our "Vite Fait" at the beginning of French class was to describe our weekend in 5 sentences using at least 7 different verbs. Mine were all really...not connected, but my last one was the most random: "Ce weekend, je regardais Dr. Who. J'aime Dr. Who!" Teehee.

Anyway, two other random and slightly creepy things happened to me today:
1) While I was walking to school, I was walking behind this homeless guy wearing a bazillion layers and carrying a burlap sack full of who knows what. He looked back at me, and I just kept on walking VERY quickly on past him. CREEPAH!
2) While I was walking home, this middle schooler told me I was hot. Uh.......Conversation:
Middle school boy: Hey, are you a teacher or a student?**
Me: *attempts to ignore then realizes iPod is not in, so I don't have an excuse* I'm a student
Middle school boy: Do you go to Mountain Ridge?***
Me: *shakes head*
Middle school boy: Rampart?****
Me: *nods*
Middle school boy: Oh. Just wondering. Cause You're hot.................. *keeps talking but I do not hear what he says because I choose to keep walking*

I did not know what to make of this. =/ Weird. VERY weird.

Ugh. So I have all my classes tomorrow, since we had a snow day on Friday. =[ I hate having all my classes. Stupid 45 minute classes. Art, Pre-Calculus (AKA IB SL Mathematics 1), English, Physics, French, Study Hall, US History. Grrrr....TOO MUCH STUFF IN ONE DAY!

Er...so I should probably do some homework and spend just a little less time on the internet. And actually get some sleep tonight. Also, snow days screw everything up. Because I now have no idea whatsoever when my English speech is due. *sigh* Alas....EARWAX!

Until tomorrow! (8 more days of BEDA) Cheers! DFTBA!

*This of course goes for anything else plugged in. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE THAT HAIR STRAIGHTENER PLUGGED IN ALL DAY.
**Why in the world does he think I'm a teacher?! I know I look older than 16 often times, but...really?! For one thing, why would a teacher be carrying a Harry Potter backpack?! Sheesh...
***Our neighborhood middle school.
****The stupid, crappy high school I attend. Woopee.