Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fly! All Is Discovered!

I read that there's a famous quote that says (yes, this is such accurate first-hand reporting) nine people out of ten will leave their houses without packing or stopping to wonder what's discovered and who you think you are. This says either a lot about human nature or the unknown speaker's opinion of human nature. I'm inclined to the latter.

As it is, I'm not flying and I am packing and you won't hear from me again until Saturday at the earliest. I venture forth tomorrow into a place with no Internet. And no ipods. Or gameboys. In theory, anyway, but my experience of enforcement in these things is varied. I'm not bringing my gameboy because I expect to have better things to do and I don't have an ipod.

In other words: Especially For Youth! I'm set for a week of crazy scheduling, sleep deprivation, unhealthy (they SAY it's healthy but how can something that tastes like processed plastic and wet cardboard be good for you? I've grown up on REAL homemade food, and have no respect for cafeteria food. At all.) food, people I probably won't know even by the end of the week (I'm sorry, I don't make high velocity friendships; I need more than one insanely busy week to awaken any desire to stay in touch with you, whats-your-name), and really, really, really intense spiritual experiences. And pizza.

In other news- recap time- yesterday I went to Corpus Christi with the Principal and the best birthday present ever. (Well, maybe it ties for first with the watch I got last year. I really love my watch. But only maybe.) He gave me a hundred dollars in one dollar bills. The strings: he had to be present when it was spent. So we went to the beach and watched clams bury themselves, and threw bread at seagulls, and went to HEB and spent way too much getting a picnic lunch, and went to the bookstore, and went to the aquarium, and went to CiCi's Pizza (root beer! Greasy goodness! Really unhealthy desert! More root beer!), and went to the bookstore again. It was awesome.

Oh, and I love capitalism. I'm doing a miniature NaNoWriMo this summer (like NaNoWriMo in November, but compressed into one week, the idea being it's easier to clear one week completely than it is to fend off house guests in November, for crying out loud; I think the NaNoWriMo founders were either bachelors or in disgrace with their in-laws or happily too far away to be visited; I am none of those things, except maybe the bachelor and I'm fairly sure I have to be older to be that), and I wanted a reference book to help me come up with code names for large portions of my characters. I wanted, basically, an index of Catholic saints complete with a little paragraph about their origins and what they're saint of or against. (Really disappointing: there are saints of thieves and against gallstones, but nothing for insomnia. I see a hole in the market.) I went to the religion section, wandered around, and found exactly what I wanted with minimum effort and no research. Which brings me back to loving capitalism. Supply and demand: I demanded (sort of) a saint index, and an enterprising soul supplied it. I love America. You can get anything here. (Not, admittedly, always a good thing, but I'm being positive.)

PS- does the splitting up paragraphs make a difference in readability? Yes? No? Maybe?
See you in the far distant future.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Things I Will Never Say, Part One

I say part one not because I'm planning a part two, but because I'm sure I'll think of more later on.
"Oh, I just loved being a (kid, teenager, young adult, senior citizen); those were the best years of my life!" Well, that's nice. And how was the food over there on Mars? Just because they were your best years- and I think you're making that up- doesn't make them mine. And face it, no matter how old you are, something will be going wrong in your life. If everything is perfect, that means you're dead. I consider the 'best years of my life' statement a slap in the face. It carries the connotation that if you're NOT happy being five, fifteen, fifty-five, whatever, it must be because you're a horrible person.
"Of course I think you're a good artist! You're my grandchild!"
This is completley, totally, entirely hypothetical; do not believe that someone was actually tactless enough to say this to me when I wanted an honest opinion. Really. The connotation here is that you're not allowed to be bad because the grandparent's golden presence (or just existence) casts a haze over everything you do. In other words: you stink. If you want to tell someone they're good at something, and be believed, leave relationship references out of it.
"Aren't you glad you're an only child?"
In the first place, I'm not: my sister died. In the second place, no, I'm not glad. I would kill for a younger sister. For a brother I'd consider extreme mauling. In the third place, this is one of those thoughtlessly tactless (the more I learn the more I think tactless and thoughtless are synonyms) things people say without knowing any of the background.
"So when will you have another one?" If someone ever asks me this when I'm in a bad mood, I suspect my answer will be along the lines of "Excuse me, my sexual practices are none of your business." I consider "So when will you give me some grandchildren" and "When are you going to get married" (unless, of course, you happen to know that I'm already engaged) to be in the same category. This is so not people's business. Back off.
"Well, I always just think that when a baby dies before it's born, it's like it never existed."
And yes, someone said this to the Teacher once. When my sister died. This isn't just tactless, it's hurtful. And clueless. And buys you a family spot of immortal fame, even if we don't remember your name.
"EEEwww! I've never touched raw meat before!"
Another hall-of-famer. It's not so much that I won't say this as that I can't. Especially not with a straight fame. When this actually happened (at a 'learning to be self sufficient' girls' camp cook-off), I kind of choked and then managed to keep a straight face long enough to point out that the fire would kill all the germs. As the Teacher said, she might not have touched raw meat but I'll BET she's not vegetarian.
"What about socialization?"
Well, what about socialization? I'm against it, myself. This is the stupidest question I'm ever asked as a homeschooler.
"When are you due?"
Why do you care, are you planning to be there, I guess I could use an extra labor coach or two-ooo-ooo! And yes, we have weird taste in Christmas music. We never listen to jingle bells either, unless under extreme duress or a supermarket loudspeaker. Anyway, this is one of the questions where unless you really do want to be a labor coach, or are part of the family, or are a close friend and want to finish something or other in time for the new arrival- why do you care? And why do you keep bugging me about it when you can't be bothered to remember for more than a few minutes at a time?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Did I Ever Tell You I Actually Hate Summer?

My neighbor has been out of town. She needs me to water the parts of her garden she's still trying to keep alive. (She's back now, but has guests, so she still wants me to water.) But she's on a well. And we're in a drought. Which means that I can get maybe twenty-five minutes of water out of her hose at a time. (There's this nifty thing people do here called 'the tank'. As in, 'just wait for the tank to fill up'. It's a big (or small, depends on what you can afford) tank next to the strange device called a 'pump house', which houses not the pump but all the mysterious things that control the flow of water from the pump. The pump itself is at the bottom of the well. 'The tank', as it is called, works as a resevoir. Instead of directing water directly from the well to the house, water goes from the well to the tank to the house. So when we run out of water, the well itself is not dry, the tank is. This is still not good, but much less disastrous than running your well dry and burning out the pump. Burning out the pump, in technical terms, is called 'a very bad thing'. I said the pump is at the bottom of the well, right? Well, just think about what replacing a useless pump entails, with no water in the house while the men stand around staring at a small hole in the ground and grumble blue things under their breath. The tank is basically a buffer system, meant to stem the flow of blue things in the air. It's also a good indicator of when you should start kicking the family of ten out of your house.)
So anyway, we're in a drought and I can't water everything at once. So I'm going over there more than once a day. Three and four times a day, actually. Which means that I am in a permanent state of sticky hotness, all day long. It's a big garden.
The only bright side to all this is that I'm getting paid to be hot and sticky.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


(Random but slightly related birthday thought: when I turned eleven, I kept checking the mail just in case someone from a magical school was going to send me a letter and take me away to learn how to turn all- okay, most- of my daydreams into reality. Be glad it never worked out. Although you could say that part of my scorn for the Harry Potter series today- besides the fact that as the series went on none of the characters grew or developed and her writing certainly didn't- began with eleven-year-old disappointment.)
Today I am Seventeen. (Note the capital letter. Just because.) For my birthday I have received birthday greetings from my Young Women leaders, two happy birthday songs, one teal (so comfortable I feel like I need to keep checking to make sure I'm not naked) church dress, one RED (for Red Writer) wallet, and (YES!) a dvd copy of The Dark Knight. (I don't care for Harry Potter, but I love Batman. Go figure.) Later there will be brownies and chocolate ice cream.
Life is good. And I actually feel as if I ought to be the age I am; no inner screaming that No, I'm not done being sixteen.
So today I'm going to water my neighbor's garden (or try to; her hose keeps running out of water, so I'll have to go over more than once), and exercise, and then I'm going to watch movies (The Dark Knight!) and eat popcorn and play video games and sit on the living room floor for fun and do absolutely nothing worthwhile.
And I'm going to enjoy it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I am smart. I am clever. I am sneaky. I can:
Go to Sam's with my parents and take the keys and the purse and detach myself from my parents and sneak to the watermelon bin and choose a watermelon (not as easy as you would think: every time I chose one, I thought, but what if it's not good? what if that one's better?) and buy the watermelon and trot out to the car (this is where the keys come in) and hide the secret watermelon under some blankets and bags of stuff and trot back into the store and wind around some aisles to throw any watchers off the track and find my parents and pretend to have been in the store the whole time, completely lost.
Today is Father's Day. There is a watermelon, under ice, knife included, in the cooler in the back of the truck. We will eat it after church. And the Principal doesn't know about it.
I am a spy, super secret me!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thoughts of Revolution

It's hard to be sixteen, American-Texan (I personally think that should count as an ethnic group all by itself, and while there's a whole state full of people who would agree, scholarship committee whatevers don't. Sigh.), 'officially' (when a homeschooler says 'officially', keep in mind that the officialdom in question was that one of the parents decided to say something loudly and possibly (but not necessarily) with a straight face. Tah-dah. It's as official as it ever gets around here) a senior, worrying about college and jobs and the approaching necessity of dates if I want to get married 'someday' (in, say, five or six years; forever away), and have a politically conscious mother who keeps bookmarking articles online for you to read.
In other words, I've been thinking about revolution. (Specifically the almost-revolution in Iran at the moment, but also just revolution in general.) I feel like I'm thinking thoughts too big for my head, and don't have words strong enough to hold them. It's at times like this that I'm reminded of the vast void of things I don't know that I don't know. I want to know, and I don't know where to start, and without the right words, I can't ask people to tell me because I have the sneaking suspicion that no one else really knows either. Or else they do and they're really good at hiding it.
Complete subject change: the Teacher and I are going through our bookshelves and putting together the ultimate (or is it penultimate?) list of things I need to do before I'm graduated. I expect my graduation to be as official as anything else around here, but it feels strange to know that there's only one year left. We're getting rid of a lot of stuff that the Teacher over-bought for younger grades. The problem with only children is that the learning curve doesn't have anyone to benefit.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Do you ever wish that the world came with a mute button?
And that tells you all you need to know about how I've felt the last week.
On the brighter side, they're leaving today.
On the dark, dark, DARK side, I have to give a talk on Sunday. And I haven't really begun to prepare yet. (Read: I've read the scripture but the screaming was too distracting for me to think about it much.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bwahahaha! I Have the Picture Power!!

Proof once and for all that the Teacher planted TOO MUCH EGGPLANT.
She also planted too many tomatoes, but she refuses to admit that. Yet.
In other, happier news: kitties! Macavity is on the left, Deuteronomy on the right.
Fear my picturing power.

Monday, June 15, 2009

(Higher) Education

I have taken the SAT. I have threatened the College Board into sending my scores to three colleges. (It would have been more but they refused to accept several colleges I wanted.) And I'm becoming increasingly convinced that I should follow in the steps of the founding fathers. There were many of them who got to third grade, and then just educated themselves after that. My problem is that I have no compelling reason to go to college. I have good reasons, yes, but not a single compelling one.
Everyone is so convinced that college is imperative that they don't stop to reason out or explain why. They haven't managed to convince me. At this rate I'm going to go to a community college, get a two year degree in history or something else not too boring, and move on in life.
(In other news, I am now mean cruel wicked step-cousin Peaches. One of the little kids was being a brat; I got fed up with everyone else's kow-towing to the whims of the three year old, and dressed her myself. You would have thought I was breaking out the thumbscrews and whips. This was about fifteen minutes ago; she started screaming and hasn't stopped yet. So now she's supposed to take a nap, and I get to sit in the same room with her and ignore her until she tries to make a break for it. Serves me right for inflicting overalls on her. Her life is so hard.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In Which I Am Doomed

A dark shadow of the future encroached on my evening last night. One of my cousins- one of the ones who can talk but doesn't want to, preferring to shriek instead- was getting out dominoes to play on the living room floor. She was informed that the living room floor had to be cleared off because the Teacher hadn't exercised yet. The dominoes were removed- kindly but firmly- and she decided that the best response to this situation was to press her face into the floor- but not so hard she couldn't be heard- and begin to scream.
Lest you think to praise me, let me say here that I was mostly, nay, entirely motivated by selfishness. She hadn't even begun to really get going yet, but I knew from sad experience just how much sound that her little lungs can produce. I leaped from my seat and picked her up. "This is not inside behavior," I said, making a beeline for the door, and raising my voice over the startled wails. I opened the door and deposited her on the porch. "You can come back inside when you're ready to be nice again." I shut the door in her face. We could still hear her screaming, but it was muffled by the door and tapered off sooner than it would have if she had been inside, because there was no one to admire her heroic vocal efforts. Plus we were watching a movie. She shut up and came inside. And no eardrums were sacrificed.
So yeah. I'm going to be a Mean Mom. There's no question. I'm just doomed.
But the kitties are cute. And now it looks like we get to keep both of them. They're named Macavity and Deuteronomy. If you wonder about those names, Google T.S. Eliot and look for Macavity: The Mystery Cat and Old Deuteronomy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back From Youth Conference

I survived with minimum muscle injury and sunburn and maximum expenditure of energy and enthusiasm. In other words: I'm wiped out.
But! While I was bored (the problem with homeschooled students is that if you don't provide entertainment they provide their own, and it can get weird; don't expect me to pay attention endlessly.) during some long worded explanation of something- I didn't listen, so I don't know what it was about- I started thinking about why I hate my birthday.
My train of thought went something like this:
I have had a mid-life crisis over my birthday every year since I turned thirteen. (The Teacher will claim that it started sooner than that. Don't care.) Mid-life crises are exhausting, so I look forward to turning twenty-one when I will be well and truly ancient and maybe finally realize that since I can't stop myself from getting older, I should just move on and let other people worry about it for me. (Whenever I start feeling old- I'm almost seventeen- I go find the Teacher and remind her that she has an almost-seventeen year old daughter; she says "Oh, shut up" and I go on my merry way, happy to be reminded that no matter how old I get she will always be older.) But really, what bothers me most about birthdays is something someone told me that made a big impact. Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional. I would really not like to be fifty-five with the social skills of a two year old someday. So every time I have a birthday, really I'm freaking out about what I've done in the last year. Did I grow up? Did I grow up as much as I should/could/would have thought? I don't know how much time I have. And being as good as or even better than other people isn't good enough. I want to be as good as I can be, and even better if possible. I don't want to stagnate. I want to move forward and grow up.
Aaaand I don't like getting older, either.
PS: the Horde is here. They brought two marmalade colored kittens. The Cuteness! It's too much! The short haired one is named Macavity. (Macavity was not there!) The long-haired one is probably going back home with the Horde. And the Teacher's chickens are here, Quetzlcoatl and Nameless1 and Nameless2.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shelf Life of Approval

I have an aunt, who's really like a sister to me. We take turns on who gets to be younger. Today it was sort of a tie.
I'm going up to visit her this summer. She suggested that I make meals to put in the freezer for the Teacher ahead of time (the Teacher has or has had just about every ailment known to mankind. Currently we're working around fibromyalgia, carpal (however that's supposed to be spelled) tunnel, acid reflex, and lots of food intolerances that no one's bothered to name. I will not tolerate voluntary pickiness in my home when I grow up. I'm using all my tolerance up on her, and she doesn't do it on purpose). I agreed that this was a good idea.
This is where it got silly. My aunt began to flutter (this all happened over the phone, with the Teacher doing the obligatory 'she said this' for each of us) in excitement. "Peaches thought I had a good idea! Oh wow! The honor! I would like to take a moment to thank my family" and so forth.
I laughed and said "Yeah, it's the Peaches Seal of Approval, a rare honor that's good for all of twenty-five seconds."
Her: "Aaaand it's gone."
This is what I meant about not being able to help being silly. It just sort of happens naturally. Like a disease. There is no cure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I know this is the second post today, but I just have to comment: I'm sixteen. In a week (or two, I'm not counting) I'll be seventeen. You would think that I would have experienced enough cognitive development by now to be able to be able prepare for a weekend trip without the list of things such as 'remember to tie your shoes' and 'don't run with scissors'.
Example: "J is a new driver. She's been driving for a while, so I'm sure you'll be fine (so why are you bringing it up?) but just remember what you already know (see last parenthesis), that statistically speaking teenage drivers get into a lot of car accidents because they get silly with their friends in the car. (Silence.) So don't get silly in the car, okay?"
Thoughts that run through my head:
I'm going to be learning to drive soon myself and expect that I'll remember J is a new driver just out of preemptive sympathetic fear.
And what makes you think I have control over being silly.
Me: "Okay." Meaning: I have heard what you have spoken and acknowledge it as probably sound advice but I'll admit it over my dead body.


The Teacher is brainwashing me. She's been playing The Nonesuch on tape for the last eternity (three days or so). And while she likes to poke fun at me and turning my music up until I can hear it all through the house, she does the same thing with her stories so that if she happens to want something on the other side of the house, she won't have to do something so tedious as pausing the story. Since I've read The Nonesuch (by Georgette Heyer) many times, and am now having it pumped into my brain day and night (well, okay, only day), I'm in danger of having it permanently memorized. It's only a matter of time before I can no longer form a sentence without talking like a time traveler from Regency England. (The Principal says that there are more characters set in Regency England than there were actual people there at the time.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Mark Twain once said something along the lines of that if you eat a frog in the morning nothing worse will happen to you all day long.
He didn't say what to do if you and the Totalitarian Fundamentalist Dictator For Life (mom) can't agree on what the frog is. Or if she keeps conveniently forgetting that Mark Twain said 'frog' singular. Or even that you're supposed to decide what your own stinking frog is.
The Teacher believes two things about frogs. If one is good, five is better; and if she doesn't think your frog is froggy enough, she'll choose more for you. And when you don't want to do them- and you won't- then you're in TROUBLE. (We're not to capital letters yet, but at this rate, we will be.) And then when you snap and get in her face about how frogs are called frogs because they're something you don't want to do, and that changes from person to person, and how just because she doesn't mind doing something doesn't make it pleasant or easy for me- she gets this surprised, innocent, I'm-just-being-reasonable expression on her face. And then I get to feel guilty and second guess myself while I scrub toilets over whether or not I'm blowing this out of proportion and if I'm defaulting to touchy teenager mode again.
And meanwhile, the frog I don't want to eat stays uneaten and I keep putting it off because all these other frogs keep getting shoved down my throat. I wish I had siblings. Then there would be other people for her to boss around, and not just me.
(I'm not actually scrubbing toilets. That's the whole reason I wrote this post. I will be, probably, because the Totalitarian Fundamentalist Dictator For Life is better at nagging than I am at ignoring her. Plus, it would stink to be grounded during vacation. But I don't have to be happy about it. So there.)
Go eat a frog. It's like nicknames; if you let someone choose it for you, it'll never go away.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Little Birdies

I'm FREE! No studying! No schedule! No execution date looming on the horizon! I get to do whatever I want to! Including video games! Rereading good books! Eating bagels! Getting on the computer before my schoolwork is done, because Ha! I don't have any schoolwork to do!
Of course next week reality returns.
But in the meantime: rejoice! The new day is a great big fish!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ha! Take that!

It would be asking for it if I said that I aced the SAT. Instead I'll say that I believe I did well, and leave it at that. (I totally stomped the essay, though.)
Life is good again. Plus, the Horde isn't coming today; they'll arrive on Tuesday. And I have next week off of school.
Getting into the testing center was interesting. My photo ID didn't come, so all I had was the piece of paper that said it was supposed to count. They could have easily thrown us out, and they did keep us waiting for about twenty minutes after we got to the front of the line for an administrator (nameless) to come break the rules. The impression I got from the desk lady was that she didn't want to be the one to break the rules, and the impression the administrator gave was that she didn't care. At that point though, all the real rooms were full up, so they shuffled the trouble makers (me and four others who were similarly unidentified; sorry, College Board) into a small room- entrance hall, really- with windows for walls. They couldn't have chosen a more distracting place. Every time someone walked by outside my head flicked up to see if it was a heavenly messenger come to liberate me from the most uncomfortable seat I've ever had to sit on for four and a half hours. It never was. And then, since it took us so long to get started, the other rooms got out before we did. They streamed out right past our room while we were still on the last section, and I got to watch them run out, rejoicing in freedom, while my back began to draft a declaration of war (I don't have a good back and benches turn good backs into grouchy backs anyway). In the end, the proctor looked around- she could hear the cries of rejoicing too- and asked everyone individually if they were done. They were. She declared the testing center closed and let us go a whole two minutes early.
Miracles that occurred on testing day: We found the place. Don't underestimate that. If you live in the country you're supposed to know where everything is, so nothing is labeled. It's like England in WWII. We got there in time. It's an hour drive, supposed to start at seven, and I got up at five thirty so I could eat. Food is good. They let me in. Enough said about that. I wasn't panicked or stressed- and considering how I usually feel when I'm in a strange place surrounded by strange people with no support team? Definite miracle. The Teacher was more stressed out than I was. And the questions were easier than the ones I was practicing for during the last three weeks.
So. I'm a Senior now. And I've taken the SAT. And I'm never ever going to take it again.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Squirrels in the home

We went to see Up today (as part of the not-thinking-about-the-SAT exercise; it worked- right up until we walked out of the theater). It was extremely well made, on more than one level. They knew the power of a picture (it's worth a thousand words, after all), and they used it. The animation (art, in my opinion, but some may disagree and it is a democracy) was excellent. They did a good job of making it seem real and beautiful at the same time. They managed to give it a BELIEVABLE happy ending. The characters were real: the kid talked like a kid, the old man talked like an old man (the Teacher's favorite quote: "It's not my concern!"), and the dog talked like a dog (my favorite quote: "Be my prisoner! Oh, please, oh please be my prisoner!" and also "Squirrel!")
Which brings me to my topic. Distraction is an art. With some people, it's a more subtle art. I have an aunt who is not a subtle person and if you want to tell her something, you have to say it in literally so many words. Not always a good thing. But for other people, distraction consists of more than pointing in the opposite direction and shouting "Squirrel!" Although I don't know, it might work with an unprepared audience and the right tone of voice.
I wouldn't be talking about this at all, except that the Teacher informed me that she is already on to me, and is well aware of what I do and why I do it. In fact, she's the one who suggested this post. Since she's already aware of what I do, I might as well give some pointers for the rest of you out there.
Take notes. You can only distract people from one thing at a time. You can TRY to distract them from more than one thing, but that isn't usually sustainable for very long. And then you're in trouble. So decide on your priority- would you rather clean the bathroom or spend six hours watching a drooling baby who will scream at you for not being Mama? Decide, and act accordingly.
Observe the enemy. You think I'm joking, but think about it. How often do they say "Speaking of which" or "That reminds me of"? Pay attention. Learn what reminds them of what. Avoid those subjects when engaged in active distraction.
Be prepared for casualties. You thought I was joking about the choice between the baby and the bathroom? I wasn't. Be prepared to sacrifice for your goal.
Wait for it. I mean it. Do not take a hundred and eighty degree turn in a conversation about babysitting. (Gee, can you tell that I maybe don't like babysitting?) It is not distracting. It doesn't just tip your hand, it throws away the cards. You're in for it now.
Be casual. Hyperventilating is a dead giveaway. Really.
Choose an attractive bait. There has to be some hobby horse they're on. Find out what it is. Let it out of the corral. If they're a wine snob and you really don't want to talk about, say, etiquette, then say that you're having a small dinner for your in-laws (establish mutual sympathy here by implication if not outright statement; you're allowed to love your in-laws; most people don't) and would like some advice for choosing a wine. Describe the menu in detail, and then ask encouraging questions until you have to break it off (regretfully, of course) because you're late for something. Because wine and etiquette are at least cousins, it won't seem like an abrupt change of course, and if it's engrossing enough to them they probably won't realize that they're talking about the wrong subject. This example won't work for you if you're Mormon or otherwise abstaining from alcohol, but the strategy always does.
Figure it out. What, you expect me to give away all my secrets? You might live in a democracy, but I don't. I have to get my way by subterfuge and soft speaking. And the Teacher reads this blog. You're smart. Figure it out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today- in case you're like me and never look at the calendar- is Thursday. The last day of studying before the SAT. Tomorrow is Friday, when I am supposed to do anything but think about the test. Considering how much the house has been neglected the last few months (what do you mean, it's only been three weeks?), I suspect cleaning will be involved. And then there's Saturday- a day of rejoicing for most- when I will march forth to die honorably like a true samurai. (You may find more than one or two Japanese culture references here. We watch a lot of Japanese anime. In Japanese, to the point that we notice when the translator messed up with the subtitles.)
I tell you this because everyone seems to wonder what it's like to have x amount of time left to live. It's like taking a test that you have obsessed over, thought of, dreamed about, wondered about, spun daydreams around, turned into your entire life. And realizing that when you've taken the test, you'll leave that life behind. And you're not sure that there's going to be much left over.
Oh well. I'm sure the kitty will help with rehabilitation.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I hate summer.
Now that I've gotten your attention, let me give you some quick and dirty background information.
1- I'm home schooled. Don't get me wrong, this is an incredible blessing in my life, but it also means that summer vacation, in the sense everyone knows, does not exist for me. I get a four-day school week instead of a five-day one.
2-I live in Texas. If you live or have lived in Texas, that tells you everything you need to know. If you don't and haven't, it's not something that can be explained.
So the two main reasons that make most people go "Ah! Summer!" with a big smile on their face just don't apply to me. And here are the reasons that I actively dislike summer:
1- People expect me to like summer. I hate buying into a group philosophy without a good reason. So far, no one has been able to supply a good reason. See the first two bullet points.
2-I don't like swimming. I can, I will if I have to- but I don't like it. I have enough bad experiences with them that swimming pools are pretty much ruined for me. And as for rivers, creeks, ponds- have you heard of water snakes? Leeches? Seaweed monsters that swallow you whole and digest you in a stomach bag full of greenish-blue acid and then spit out your teeth, nails, and tonsils for your parents to remember you by? Me neither, but I'm not taking a risk on something I can't see through. It's like being afraid of the dark, except that it's with water and I don't remember ever being afraid of the actual dark dark.
3-It's hot.
4-There are bugs, among them something called the chigger, scientific term chiggeritis obnoxicus, fire ants (go back to what I said about Texas) and scorpions.
5-Everyone schedules everything for the summer time. I'm an introvert. I don't like parties or large groups of people. I'm expected to go. My mom makes sure I go. I live for the day when I can say 'No, I'm not going' without having to produce a lack of ride or other compelling reason besides the most compelling one of not wanting to.
6-My birthday is in the summer. I hate (okay, okay, strongly dislike) my birthday. It reminds me that my life is a fuse, steadily burning away. And that I'm growing up. Someday I'll write a post about that. Anyway, I hate how everyone feels a compulsion to say Happy Birthday! like it's something to be proud of that I've survived my parents so long (actually, considering some of the things I've done, that is something to be proud of- but more pride of their self-restraint than my survival skills). They just can't resist reminding me that it's a bad day today.
7-Did I mention it's hot? It's humid, too.
Summer has only two things going for it. One is a lack of seminary. The other is EFY. (Don't ask me what the letters stand for; it's a church sponsored camp- if you call college dorms camping- and it's awesome.)

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yesterday a friend came over. While she was here we made pancakes and read poetry. (Depending on which cat arrives on Friday, we have two names picked out. You'll have to wait and see.) The pancakes were good, if a little over the top. White chocolate chips, coconut flakes, chopped pecans, blackberry jam, red plum jam, and (I kid you not) one salami, cheddar and pickle pancake. I'm told it was good. I don't believe it.
Anyway, there's a big pancake mess in the kitchen. Dishes, flour explosion, gummed up spatula (do you know what lumps of jam do to the non-stickness of your griddle?) exceedingly gummed up griddle...
Oh look! I need to study now.