31 December 2010

Adieu, 2010!

It is with satisfaction that I shake the dust of 2010 off my feet to tread on the clean calendar squares of a fresh year. These past 12 months have contained some of the worst and best moments of my life, which included a lot of wasted time, and I am glad to see them end. Though 2010 will not be a year I forget, it is a year I do not want to repeat.

So, with production in mind, I list these goals for the last months of winter and first months of 2011:

I want to...
- look more like a girl
- purchase leather shoes
- read over 3 books a month
- practice driving through snow
- pierce [and stretch] my ears
- complete the Lifeguard Training course
- take over stage right props at Love According to John, again
- take a Latin course
- add Math 10 and Biology 20 to my Alberta Diploma
- read the Bible
- watch less than 3 films a week
- start working on my abs
- research the JFK assassination
- swim more often
- write out a resume
- be around people more --perhaps even make friends?
- discover new music
- attend to myself with more diligence
- take up my long-abandoned journal writing
- get up to 30 push-ups, again

29 December 2010

since the haircut...

... I have been considered a boy a total of 5 times. This post is a tribute.

1. at the bank. A mousy male teller addressed me as "dude" three times as I rifled through my purse. This was only the beginning.

2. at the pool. A young boy asked me -with no little scorn- why I was wearing a girl's swimsuit. My answer? Because I'm a girl, snot [unfortunately, the insult was muttered after I promptly ducked my head underwater].

3. at the bakery. A middle-aged, bearded man accused me of being a guy dressed as a girl by looking me up and down, clapping, cough-laughing, and saying, "You're crazy, man, I'm tellin' you!" Why is it that people are so much braver in the face of androgyny?

4. at Servus Place. A girl -poor, clueless thing!- smiled and waved flirtatiously at me as I sat, feet up, reading Ayn Rand in the chair-strewn foyer. I gave her my best "cute boy" smile.

5. in the locker-room. A very elderly lady wearing an oxygen machine stared at me as I tousled my hair in front of a mirror. When I finally looked over at her, she pointed at my head and said, "Justin Beiber. A Justin Beiber haircut." Not only should this woman have no idea who he is, but she should have realized that a young girl with short hair would appreciate celebrity references in regards to her hair that didn't involve an overrated pubescent boy. Though the old bird was aware of my femininity, I reference it here because being a girl with hair like Justin is much worse than actually looking like a boy. Much worse.

24 December 2010

Happy Christmas























" Fall on your knees!
O hear the angel voices:
'O Night divine!
O Night when Christ was born!' "

-Adolphe Adam
1847

21 December 2010

fortune cookie

Tonight, in the take-out Chinese food my father brought home, I opened one of those sweet cracker-like cookies so famous for the astrological fortunes typed on the bits of paper baked inside.
If I were irrational or superstitious in any way, reading this message folded in the particular cookie I chose would have really freaked me out:

"You should enhance your feminine side at this time."

Apparently, the stars are aligning for me. They're sending me personal messages with my Chop Suey.
Love came down at Christmas
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign.

-Christina Rossetti

18 December 2010

13 December 2010

for what remains of december...



















I will finish:

- algebra textbook
- physics & environmental science textbooks
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- being stressed

I will start:

- writing out Christmas cards
- ab-circuiting daily
- making a dress
- saving for Europe
- It by Stephen King
- taking longer walks

10 December 2010

appreciation

" [Senor Rodrigo Gonzales] had a fat, blank face and the eyes of a killer. Watching him at tonight's reception, [James] Taggart had concluded that the man was impervious to any sort of feeling, he looked as though a knife could slash, unnoticed, through his pendulous layers of flesh- except that there was a lewd, almost sexual relish in the way he rubbed his feet against the rich pile of his Persian rugs, or patted the polish arm of his chair, or folded his lips about a cigar. " - Chapter IV, Atlas Shrugged

If I could accomplish just one thing as a writer, it would be to describe faces, feelings, personalities and dispositions with as much eloquence, exactness, and perfect charm as Ayn Rand.

06 December 2010

delicious books

Over the past week, I've sorted through all the books I should be reading, want to be reading and have to read; only to discover that altogether the amount I gathered reached 213. This number scares me; mostly because I know that by the time I've read even a small fraction of them, I will have already added the equivalent of new titles to the list. There are too many I haven't discovered yet.

In fact, there are too many books to discover in the whole earth. Even if I read a book a day for the rest of my life, I will not have read them all. Irritatingly, my single lifetime will never be sufficient -there is too much to read and learn and feel and understand.

Far too much.

29 November 2010

the motor of the world




















The idea that human beings could exist harmoniously, but at the same time in competition of each other's abilities, is not only wondrously desirable for the intellectual achievements it would reap [due to the constant striving of people to better themselves], but also because it is the way humanity should be. Competition and appreciation of ability separate us from each other, but at the same time keep us together in all the ways we are meant to. They keep humanity moving forward as a nation, with each separate human contributing to the whole the way he is best at or likes, and receiving according to what he has earned, not because of need or necessity.

I feel Ayn Rand slowly convincing me.

19 November 2010

good morning

- shower
- cereal
- apples
- sweaters
- Ayn Rand
- coffee
- thesis
- essay
- The Shins
- snow

09 November 2010

hello time bomb

Last week:

- Biology [mostly in relation to plant-cell functions]
- Atlas Shrugged
- A long essay on the meaning of adulthood
- Nirvana, The Doors, Sonic Youth, Brand New
- Two 3km runs with Emily
- Silence of the Lambs, Gladiator, The Omen, Spiderman
- Lana's baptism
- A new -painful- retainer
- A day with Tara

I'm trying to be more productive each day than the day before. It's working moderately well. Like I managed to turn in my science module in on time, and read a lot.

03 November 2010

in edmonton

























I spent most of my day in the city. It was grand among the high-rises; chatting to mother about God and coffee and music and recent episodes of Dexter.

I love that homeschooling allows for such days. I bought a v-neck camel sweater at a mall. We stopped for lunch at a Vietnamese joint.

I also went running this morning with Emily. It was a great start to the day.

I plan to spend the rest of my evening reading Atlas Shrugged; or maybe finish watching Solyaris.

02 November 2010

Nov 2

This morning, when I came upstairs for pancakes, my ears discovered the haunting melody of a Cat Power song riding the air from my mother's kitchen. A sound so unlike the usual WOW worship 2001 album that I would not have been surprised to find that my mother had evolved into a scarf-and-TOMS-wearing bohemian. First the Stripes, and now this? Mother, I think you're heading in the right direction.

27 October 2010

Physics

Why did I leave so much until today? I'm an awful person, that's why. 80 pages of intense physics homework is not the way I wanted to spend my Wednesday. Blast and damn procrastination.

21 October 2010

Tonight:

I'm teaching a sewing lesson!

Eeeeeeeeee!






[There will even be money as a result. I'm very happy.]

17 October 2010

here i dreamt i was an architect

School has been booming, and after long hours of physics homework behind tired eyes, I decided that I will never become a physicist. Not because I don't think I could be one, but because I'm sure that the job would cause me to hate my life. Despite being interesting and useful, physics is definitely not my favorite science.

In fact, this week I arranged my relationship to school subjects like this: chemistry beats physics, biology beats chemistry, math beats science and English beats all. I really like school.

This weekend has been full to the brim! The shape of my John Lennon calendar squares are hidden beneath a crows-nest of pen ink. There was a quiz meet, a birthday bonfire, my fourth Lifesaving Instructor class and another bonfire. I'm absolutely dead tired.

























Also, I saw Taxi Driver. What a fantastic movie! My mind is still blown. Watch it.

11 October 2010

My newest "questionable film" experience:




















[Yes, I saw it with my mother.]

It would seem as though that very woman has given up her sheltering techniques on me. Of late, she has revealed a more laid-back parent; the kind that allows every "questionable" film in my collection to be pulled from the shelves for sudden watching. So far, we've seen everything from Monty Python's religion-parody Life of Brian, to the terrifying Jack-The-Ripper film From Hell, to the controversial "American love-story" Brokeback Mountain. What was it this week? 8 Mile.

This series of films have made me realize that "perverse", "edgy" or "questionable" movies can have a smaller effect on me than I might have thought at first [remember the days of pining after "grown-up films" with all the swearing that you were never allowed to watch?] I mean, Monty Python's jabs at Islam and Christianity are boldface and mocking, but as long as you don't base your beliefs on the opinions of a troupe of comedians [no matter how funny they are] you'll come out alright.

In fact, I discovered Brokeback Mountain to be a super-excellent film that I really like. I never heard from anyone that it was anything more than vicious anal-shagging done for no reason and in poor taste. [Watching it made me realize how small-minded some critics are, and what a great cinematographer Ang Lee is.]

As for 8 Mile, there's nothing really to be said. Lots of swearing and suggestive language, some violence, some stiff acting from rapper-turned actor Eminem [including a very awkward and unappealing sex-scene between him and that blonde girl from Clueless.] The only part I didn't find utterly lame was the set of rap-battles at the end. Those ripped it up, yo.

But still! I saw it! It did nothing for me, but I saw it with my mum!!

Next up:

Taxi Driver



















Layer Cake

















Fight Club

08 October 2010

05 October 2010

there are power-lines in our blood-lines

I will never be a blue collar/pariah/prole. I will be paid doing something interesting, something meaningful and something I love [I don't love cashiering, answering phones or mopping floors, if you were wondering.]

So far in my career-planning endeavors, these things look marvelous:

CPR/lifesaving instructing, psychiatry, genetic engineering, free-lance journalism, biochemistry, arbitration, biology, pharmacology, oceanography, physics engineering, theology, optometry, physiology, critiquing, real estate, bee keeping, cinematography, cardiology, biological science technology, film directing...

...I will never bag groceries for a living.

28 September 2010

Brokeback Mountain



















After all these years of humming and hawing, I finally just watched it.

A once hugely controversial film, Brokeback Mountain crossed a very touchy Hollywood barrier: can we allow blatant homosexuality on-screen? Screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana thought so after reading the short story by Annie Proulx. Though it took them a long time to find a director to actually shoot it, eventually director Ang Lee [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] picked it up -and 'needed to make it'.

After its successful release with Focus Features in 2005, the film not only managed to offend an entire population of stay-at-home moms [who only watched it for the attractive male leads] but it officially broke the ground for thousands of screenwriters to write more 'edgy' films. It was raved about by art and film communities, laughed at by teenagers and beer-drinking men and cried over by such single women as think such things are touching and romantic.

Personally, I thought it looked hilariously bad, and mocked it a lot.

However, against my better judgement, I finished my science homework early yesterday afternoon and plopped myself behind my television with a mug of tea, a critical eye and a vow to 'give this infamous movie a chance!' Surprisingly, as the film played out, my firm bias against it began to dissolve at a disturbing rate. Ang Lee's directing gave the story a realistic, raw feel that drew me into the characters and their problems; sweeping aside all the hype and 'lawl gay cowboys' that swam in my head. It became more than all that as the story unfolded.

To add to this strangely effective storytelling was a great cast, beautiful cinematography, interesting shots, subtle [but gripping] dialogue and acting which told more with silence than with words.

In conclusion, once the film was over [and I had put aside the graphic, hard-to-take sex scenes which found me squirming and giggling immaturely behind a pillow], I discovered the horrifying and humbling truth: I did not hate Brokeback Mountain!

With that shocker being said, I don't actually recommend that you watch it. In fact, I don't recommend that you do anything at all. The purpose of this post was to make something clear: sometimes films that you thought would be terrible can take you by surprise.

Even if the characters are gay cowboys.

Lawl.

26 September 2010

4 days

Friday - busing tables at The Yardbirds Suite jazz club

Saturday - Tara came over! We watched the eerie Peacock and zombie-filled 28 Days Later with tea and green salad

Saturday - 8 hours of Lifesaving Instructor Training

Tomorrow - A brand new essay, computing math, reading science, lane swimming and quizzing

22 September 2010

So wearing chunks of flayed cow is "in" now?































I grieve the day we became so desensitized that getting real attention from the public has less to do with real talent and more to do with real meat hanging off your body.

Lady Gaga's newest dress is not only powerfully shocking, but is probably the only dress I've ever seen that can induce both projectile vomiting and E. Coli symptoms in the same instant.

I have to give it to her, though: she does know how to get people going. I mean, my eyes nearly hopped from my head towards the nearest ice pick when I saw it. Congratulations, Gaga. You've officially invented the grossest outfit ever.

[Of course, once she decides to gut her ex-boyfriend and arrange his entrails over her critical areas, this stunt will fade from 'horrifyingly disgusting' into the realm of 'mildly edgy': taking with it my last shred of faith in humanity. Now, please excuse me while my stomach commits suicide in protest and I die.]

16 September 2010

Under stress, I tend to clean things.

So naturally, since I've been feeling stressed lately, I completely scoured my room:

I tore the sheets off the bed, looked through my clothes, sorted my books, threw away old swimsuits and sports bras, vacuumed, took out the garbage, put things in and out of storage and rearranged my closet.

In my endeavors I added a quarter-sized spider to my collection. I feel a lot better now.

13 September 2010

Hurdles Even Here

So it started in your ovaries
A stone, a seedling
Our bones entwined
A warning from the orderlies
A bulge for bleeding
This will take it's time

So it all ran down the telephone
And saw me clearly
Only nine years old
Calmly cast in styrofoam
In my Tony Lamas
When the shock takes hold

Mom, there are hurdles here
That I cannot seem to clear
Dad, there are demons around
And though I said that I
Said I’d be all right, I lied
I lied
I lied
I lied

So fix your brood and belly now
Get your fingers wringing
Get your loins unstained
It’ll eat you from the inside out
Until it comes out screaming
Until it all falls away

Dad, there are hurdles here
That I cannot seem to clear
Mom, there are demons around
And though I said that I
Said I’d be all right, I lied
I lied
I lied
I lied

-Colin Meloy, The Decemberists

11 September 2010

They liked it!

In f*ckin' Bruges!






























I can't believe how much I like this movie. I'm about to see it again for easily the tenth time. It's Irish and R-rated; full of black humor, good actors and gorgeous cinematography. I've shown it to all my friends and this tenth time will be to my parents. I hope I don't get grounded again...

10 September 2010

I am writing essays

My mother has decided it will be good for me to write an essay every day: narrative essays, descriptive essays, persuasive essays, evaluation essays... name it. It's been challenging and even kind of fun.

08 September 2010

School Resolutions

I hate that last week I was so excited for school to start, only to find that when it finally did, I became listless and bemoaned over it. This kind of attitude is of a nature which I utterly detest in other people and therefore refuse to allow in myself. I want to get rid of it as completely and quickly as possible. I've allowed in myself for long enough! These are some of the things which I know are the cause:

> Lack of exercise [especially since swimming ended]
> Lack of sleep [late night writing/reading in my room]
> Not eating well [large portions of calorie-ridden food]
> Lack of motivation [I tell myself there'll be 'lots of time later']
> Distractions [other projects I want work on, films I want to see, social engagements, etc]
> Lack of focus

These are all awful, and typical, reasons for my lack of vigor for schoolwork. To break them, I went to bed at 10:30 instead of 12:00 last night, ate spinach and grapes for supper and ran in the field with my dogs. This morning I forced myself to write an essay [not great, but it's practice.] I feel a little better. I plan to carry this trend into the following weeks.

I really want to start acting like an adult; especially now that I've started doing adult things and have been put in adult situations. I've decided not to resist driving practice, to make myself write or compute equations or read science, to talk to people civilly and properly without as much childish stammering or blurting and to work first, play later. There are things to be done, and being a useless, unproductive blob is not an option.

I'm going to succeed! I just need a winning attitude. Wish me luck on my endeavors to gain one!

05 September 2010

Shopping List:

> Salon shampoo for curly hair [this hatred of my frustrating locks shall end!]
> Zippo lighter
> Laptop
> A proper jacket
> All Star Converses
> A proper stereo
> TOMS
> Big headphones

03 September 2010

Upon discovering the face of Cillian Murphy, I decided to finally update my blog.


I'm currently with my cousins Julie & Rena in British Columbia; watching a bunch of good movies I've seen before [such as Memento, Doctor Strangelove, Sunshine, Some Kind of Wonderful and The Breakfast Club] and a few awful films they've decided to show me [such as John Tucker Must Die, Encino Man and Family Guy episodes]; not to mention wandering the town of Abbotsford, annihilating huge-ass house spiders and catching crabs by the Pacific ocean. It's been exceedingly fun.

Apart from that, this summer has been uneventful save for some camping, Capital Ex, turning 17, some fun days-out with friends and Rock The River Tour [Flyleaf was amazing.] Oh, let's not forget Cillian Murphy. He's very fine. I recommend his films; which I started paying more attention to this summer.

Anyway, I'm going in for swimming instructor training on the 19th and really, really hope to get a job in that field later this year -or even early the next. It will be so great to have money! Also, my last year of school is starting next week and I'm very excited to get strated!

Life is so exciting. Mine has finally begun!

10 August 2010

Yesterday, I paid a little visit to my local library. I came out with 8 albums:

Social Distortion
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
Metric: Grow Up And Blow Away
No Doubt: Tragic Kingdom
Sinead O'Conner: I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Sonic Youth: Dirty
Mutemath: Armistice
Snow Patrol: Eyes Open

07 August 2010

from the gardens of Lake Louise
















































the long-awaited update

So I've been holidaying and sleeping for most part of several weeks, leaving my blog sorrily neglected. Now here I am updating it:

I've gained a little weight [still grieving], saw Lake Louise, Maligne Canyon, Mt. Edith Cavell [a glacier] and absolutely no wildlife, bought a real fossil [Trilobite], rode a gondola, sat in mineral-rich hot springs, camped [third time in my whole life], saw several gorgeous waterfalls [the names escape me], read The Catcher in the Rye [highly recommended], cruelly neglected Atlas Shrugged [starting to get much too pretentious], saw Black Hawk Down and Shutter Island and slept in a lot.

Of course, before all this I also went to a Metric concert with Lana, Lizzy & Tim [nightmarish, to say the least] and rode all the rides at Capital Ex [with the exception of the Ferris Wheel, which gave me a panic attack the last time.]

29 July 2010

music

Yesterday, while I made the bags, my ears received a confused massage with these albums:

The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Tegan and Sara - The Con
Copeland - Eat, Sleep, Repeat
The Killers - Hot Fuss
City And Colour - Bring Me Your Love
Matthew Good - Underdogs
Metric - Fantasies
The White Stripes - Elephant
Rise Against - The Sufferer and the Witness
Luciano Pavarotti - Greatest Hits
Anberlin - Cities
The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
AFI - Crash Love
The Decemberists - Castaways and Cutouts
Brand New - The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me

28 July 2010

I passed!

Bronze Medallion AND Bronze Cross have both been successfully completed by my massive, beautiful brain and speedy, hard-working body! I am SO HAPPY to have done both Bronzes at the same time; and to have these winning faculties!

Now that I've completed these levels, it means that I can take a swim instructor course, get hired, get paid $13 an hour [which is the minimum], eventually move up to lifeguard, get paid $17 an hour and then save, save, SAVE for university!

My goodness. I am SO EXCITED to be counted among the working community! It will be amazing to make money, learn things and meet people.

I hope to apply this September. Wish me luck!

25 July 2010

Yes, this film is just as bad as it looks.



























Unless you like watching a bunch of hyper-sexual post-graduates prance into each other's beds with the idiotic, aimless air of irresponsible, childish confusion, don't watch this film. The 'brat pack' face-planted with this one.

[Also, the tagline is wrong. These people only call each other 'friends' because it makes it easier for one to convince the other to sleep with them.]

24 July 2010

listless

Today, I am sickeningly unproductive. Despite my large stack of interesting books, my pile of un-stitched fabric, my very weedy garden and pantry-full of cookie ingredients, I don't feel like reading or sewing or baking or making money. I feel like sitting, watching films and eating. It's gross.

This is the worst feeling in the world.

23 July 2010

the fifties contained the best films

























I finally saw Roman Holiday [Audrey Hepburn's first film] last night. In it, she plays a princess tired of being a princess and doing princess things. After escaping the clutches of her royal pages, she runs loose in the city of Rome; simply doing what she wants to do [like cutting her hair, eating gelato ice cream, dancing with men younger than 60 and smoking cigarettes.] Gregory Peck plays the -inevitable- man she runs into, and falls for.

I liked it. It was an adorable little movie starring an equally adorable little actress.

22 July 2010

July 30th will be a good day.

I can't wait to see them.

Today:

> Gained bronze shoulders at the Bronze swimming course

> Atlas Shrugged: Page 251, The Last of the Mohicans: Chapter 2, I Am A Strange Loop: "On Downward Causality"

> Saw Duplicity [hated it]

> Was shocked and horrified after running into this website; even considered erasing her Facebook account and then killing herself to avoid any association with the human race and it's popular internet trends [only click the link if you don't mind losing your faith in humanity completely]

> Admired her sun-kissed shoulders in the mirror for longer than modest girls would agree to

> Did math for the first time in too long [algebra is so wonderfully solvable, unlike life]

I plan to complete the day with another film [to make up for awful, awful Duplicity!] and study some infant CPR.

21 July 2010

Blah

Yesterday, I went to Lizzy's after a morning session of my week-long Bronze Medallion swimming course. We walked Whyte Ave, drank Dry soda at Transcend, made a stir fry, watched The Breakfast Club and I Capture The Castle and laughed. It was very fun.

In other news, I might have something very, very exciting to announce concerning that particular swimming course, but I will reserve any comments until I'm certain about it. Wish me luck?

17 July 2010

Sometimes, these words are all I have.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down; You are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue but behold, Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged my behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it!

Where can I go from Your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, or dwell in the uttermost of the sea, even there Your hand shall guide me and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," even the night is light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows altogether. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret; and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me; even when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts of me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.

-Psalm 139:1-18

Ford Mustang, baby.

I've been seeing these cars around more and more often of late. I can't get over how hot they are.

16 July 2010

Nostalgia

Today, after breakfast, I recalled that at one time I would have spent a day like today running around outside in bare feet, eating nothing but apples for lunch, spending the evening on books and drawings and would have had no email or Facebook to check. What happened?

14 July 2010

fabrics


































I have so many plans for these lovely fabrics! I'm thinking of a summer dress [I recently bought a pattern], a bag and perhaps a shirt?

11 July 2010

Accomplishments

> I finished Tara's bag today. The outside is a deep, slippery blue and the lining is grass green. I think she's going to die when she sees it. In fact, I wish I had made it for myself.

> I weeded the garden. Earned $30 and a sun-tan.

> I reached Chapter VII of Atlas Shrugged, "How Analogy Makes Meaning" in I Am A Strange Loop, Chapter 31 of Genesis, started Part I [The Knight's Tale] of The Canterbury Tales and finished Do Hard Things. Not bad.

> I added 5 new friends to Facebook.

> I started work on a short story.

09 July 2010

The return from camp, and a simply splendid shirt.


I bought it at Winners last week. I like it a lot.

I have just returned from several days at Camp Nakamun: the "Counselors in Training" camp. It was fun, if not a little grating. It consisted mostly of sitting through sessions on how to be a good leader, a good role model and how to deal with certain situations. It was informative and necessary for the work I will be doing later this summer. I now know what to expect, how to act and generally how the camp works.

But, apart from that [including all the praying aloud, 'small group' discussions, Biblical reflection and revisions of "Jesus loves you"], we had time for other fun camp activities; namely paint ball, the zip line, The Amazing Race, climbing the climbing wall, campfire, kitchen duty, etc. I also received a massive paint ball welt [truly a red badge of courage] and rode in my first kayak.

My fellow campers were also nice. That was more than I had hoped.

It was however, very lovely to get home, shower and eat a decent meal.

I'm excited for this week. Time for more reading, film watching, sewing and sun-tanning. I'm happy.

05 July 2010

home alone

Yogurt, spinach, cherries, milk, watermelon, tea, chips, cookies and The Fearless Vampire Killers.

I haven't been home alone and frivolous in a long time.

I feel twelve.

30 June 2010

Rain

The after-rain wet yields the prettiest of pictures and the pleasantest of moods. Yesterday's evening was so, so gorgeous.

28 June 2010

June 28

My time, since last September, has been divided by school, swimming, socializing and unexpected trips to the library or Superstore or the St Albert walking trails. I haven't had time to read what I want or watch the movies I want for what seems to have been a long time. But now, seeing as swimming and the bigger part of my school is finished, I will finally have time to read my books and watch these films:

Traffic
Easy Rider
Frost/Nixon
Inglorious Basterds
West Side Story
Patton
The French Connection

25 June 2010

Tonight, is the last night.

I will miss the push to paddle my feet faster. I will miss the loud commands to swim long sets. I will miss the other swimmers I always tried my hardest to beat. I will miss pushing to the limits to shave seconds from my best time. I will miss the serotonin. I will miss my coach.

Tonight, is the last night. The last practice. The last time I will put on a swim cap and goggles willingly; the last time I will sit in the whirlpool after the set to hear schoolgirl gossip and the latest on the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be the end of something I've grown to love and look forward to; but at the same time it will be the beginning of free evenings and real summer.

But I will miss it a lot.

22 June 2010

walking


When school becomes overwhelming, there's nothing more refreshing than leaving my house and walking down the gravel road towards the highway; just thinking about the things I've read and the things I have planned for the summer. Everything is so simple when there's just the wind, my mind and open-toed sandals.

21 June 2010

Goodbye, swim club!

Swimming is almost over. I don't know what I'll do without it.

I've been in a swim club since the beginning of September, last year. The club expects its swimmers to show up at various pools 6 days a week, for 2 - 2 1/2 hours at a time. The group I was shoved in is called "Youth Development"; the group you're thrust into if you're 13 or older but aren't fast enough for the "Performance" group.

When I first joined, I felt inadequate and terrified. There were several kids in my lane, all faster than me and experienced with things like 'pace times' and 'sets'. Thankfully, my coach was patient with me and explained what it all meant -sort of. She didn't seem expect much of me, at least at first, but eventually discovered how much I wanted to make it, so she began pushing me hard enough that I began beating the other swimmers. It was all so new for me, but as I grew stronger and faster it became less scary and more exciting.

Now, it's June. There are only 5 practices left [including the one this evening], with a meet on Saturday. That day will mark the last time I ever don a swim cap in the name of Olympian Swim Club. I've been grieving the loss for a week or so now.

I will miss it all terribly. I'm finally at the top of my game, and it's all over. I wouldn't mind going back next year, but it's expensive and time-consuming. All I can say is I'm glad I accepted the challenge when my mother dared me to join last summer. It hasn't been for nothing.

What I enjoyed most about the whole affair was the push-to-the-limits mindset it gave me, the sarotonin increase which rescued me from many depressed evenings, the push-yourself attitude that arose in me, the weight I lost and the self-satisfaction.

19 June 2010

June 19

This week, I have so very much to do. In fact, this entire summer is going to be so busy that I might as well write off any time for myself as 'not gonna happen'. This is depressing.

However, stresses aside, today I hung out with friends. We went to the Farmer's Market, explored an abandoned parkade full of funny graffiti, climbed trees, drank huge lime slushies, received several sun burns and saw Toy Story 3 at a dollar theater. It was all very fun and the film was brilliant.

I wish I wasn't behind. I could handle a whole summer-full of days like today.

15 June 2010

Driving.

I drove around in my mother's car yesterday, with the owner in the passenger seat and the Class 7 license in my pocket. After a panic attack, several stalls and a near-miss, the stick-shift & I fell out of favor with each other. We still aren't talking.

14 June 2010

"Real School" ...and summer

A few days ago, my mother declared that my continuous procrastination must end. I gave her a blank look over the rim of my science textbook, then slowly nodded in agreement. After sliding the book from my hands, sitting across from me and earnestly looking me in the face, she told me that she was thinking of signing me up for 'correspondence' in September; to give me some 'structure'. What did she mean? Real school. I was surprised.

If she goes through with it, it will mean that for the first time ever, I will have an actual 'teacher', I will be forced to write 'tests', I will have assignments. There will also be deadlines. Truthfully, it's all terribly daunting for someone who's only known traditional homeschooling all her life! However, it will be nice because it's all through my computer -no prissy cliques or long bus rides! I will also receive a high school diploma at the end of it.

Originally, mother & I had been planning upgrading courses at either Grant MacEwan or NAIT university. This seemed alright at first, but we soon decided that we would be 'upgrading' on things I didn't know yet. I'm rather behind, you see. But if I go through correspondence, there will be no need for me to 'cram in' my 30 courses. I will actually finish school on time so I will make it into university on time. The diploma will be so, so helpful and I will have a real handle on what I'm doing.

Now, it's a pity that merely July and August mark the months of real 'freedom' from academics. It's also a pity that my 2 months of alleged freedom shan't be completely free. However, they will be productive and used well. Since I am behind, I can't afford to leave a slothful space of 2 empty months before being thrust into real school in September. I also have a future resume to think of, so volunteering and lifeguarding courses are also necessary.

Things to do this summer:

Books
-Physical Science [422 pages]
-Algebra 1 [120 chapters]
-Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand [1206 pages]
-I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstaedter [24 chapters - 10 left]
-The gospel of John [memorizing chapters 1-5]

Activities
-Counselling at Camp Nakamun [one week]
-Bronze Star swimming course
-A trip to Jasper [one week]
-A trip to Vancouver [4 days]
-Shakespeare in the Park
-Fort Edmonton
-Capital Ex

Projects
-Make a summer dress
-Make a new bag
-Finish ink portrait of Beethoven
-Pierce my ears
-Write a short story

12 June 2010

Today, I say

Today I will see a friend of mine named Samantha. We have plans to hold a movie marathon in her tiny basement, equipped with a huge TV and crunchy food. She will be making me watch The Proposal and The Hangover, while I in turn make her endure Pride & Prejudice. I'm sure I will laugh and remark on the looks of Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds in her movies, while she will cry and praise the cinematography and acting in mine.

I love making people watch excellent films. Especially when I've been made to see terrible ones. The pity is it will be 17 degrees outside while we grow pale and fat in the basement. We should be like normal children and go to the park. Oh well.

10 June 2010

June 10

This morning I walked my dogs to a forest near my house. It was early and the air was fragrant with rain and wet earth and pine needles. My boots were soon covered in mud and I got dew all over my olive capri pants. I even sang a little.

I love post-rain excursions.

09 June 2010

Do Hard Things

For the past few years, I've been discovering that the most difficult, hard or trying things are almost always the most satisfying, pleasant and even healthy things for us. The things which take persistence, motivation, effort and sometimes courage.

In fact, I'm not the only one to think this. I recently went to a conference featuring a set of twins by the names of Alex & Brett Harris, preaching about the dumbing-down of our generation [Y; anyone roughly 25 and younger] with lies like 'that's too hard', 'I'm too young', or any other lame excuse to stay lazy, dumb and 'bored'. They declared the best way to fix this is to 'Do Hard Things':

1. Things above what's expected or required
2. Things which challenge the cultural norm
3. Things outside your comfort zone
4. Things too big to accomplish alone
5. Things which don't earn an immediate payoff

I agree 100%. In fact, they put into more eloquent words something I had been feeling and complaining about to my mother [and friends] for a huge portion of my existence. I've always felt belittled by any adult because no one expects anything from us, lazy young people. Go to any department or grocery store, ask an employee where to find/do something and you will discover the members of our generation who are pushing this point.

Obviously, I can't exclude myself completely from those who are stuck in this idling culture, since I've shirked my share of chores and done less than what was required of me enough times to prove that I have not escaped. However, I've always prided myself in putting 110% effort into any project, feat or job, simply because I thought it was more impressive, and that I would receive either more pay, more praise or become known for it.

But now that I see just how much the rest of my generation suffers with hard things, I plan to work even harder myself. I want to prove that 'adulthood' doesn't just start at 18 or 21. Adulthood [or, more specifically, being a responsible, independent, working member of society] can start anytime.

Why not now?

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” -Martin Luther King Jr.


Do hard things, people. They pay off.

08 June 2010

some fine beasts





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