Nothing is simple anymore. Nothing at all. Nada.
It’s true, though. I get home from wherever at 9:00, and I make myself some frozen macaroni and cheese, and it turns into this whole ordeal about who has already eaten and who hasn’t and why they want to eat my dinner and why they should dirty another dish rather than eat out of the container, especially when I’m the one who’s going to be doing the dishes anyway.
And, somehow, whenever we’re assigned a group project at school, something goes drastically wrong within my group. It’s all of this stupid technology nowadays, I swear. Last time, my camera died and we had to completely change our plans. This time, the camera looked like USB, but when I got it home, I found out that it was not; rather, it was Firewire—some new hookup that’s apparently better than USB. As far as I’m concerned, it’s stupid, because just when everything is USB, they come out with something new. I am beginning to loathe technology.
And then there are boys. Who just make me want to…I don’t even know. I’m over him, completely and entirely (for those of you who don’t know), but it doesn’t make me notice him less. Or be annoyed by him any less. Or want to please him any less. I feel very relieved to be from the bondage of crushing for the time being (note: I find crushing totally obnoxious and a waste of time, however, inevitable), yet things would be so much easier if I could simply be relieved of him. Sadly, things don’t work that way. They’re determined to be confusing.
I just miss the days of simplicity. The days when I could sit outside in the front year and read for an hour; the days when friendships consisted of “coming over” and playing American Girl dolls and Barbies; the days when dinner meant sitting down with the family and talking about our days, and not talking about current politics; the days when to live meant to breathe, to breathe meant to laugh, and to laugh meant to love.
I’ve been exhausted lately. Have stayed up past 12 (sometimes until 2:30) every night since Friday. Someone please tell me how I am still functioning?
Christmas Extravaganza tomorrow, at 7. I’m excited about performing. :)
My favorite part is the first two lines of the second stanza; it seems a very fascinating way to think of God and death. You can decide for yourself, however. Here is "Last Words" by Victoria Windsor.
I do not want an expensive casket. I want a simple box
Painted by children who do not have parents
Who love them. Let the children choose
Colors that suit their mood and may or may not
Resemble my life at all.
Let it be about them
And the way they do not fear death.
For one day their grandchildrens'
Grandchildren will go digging
Around playgrounds or graveyards,
Around the rugged earth in the middle
Of a forest near their home, and
They will find me, dirt-dusted masterpiece
Of their mothers' or fathers' heritage.
They will not have to wonder if I was loved.
Soon it will be too late to call
My daughter. I will be sleeping
Soundly, quietly, waiting for the children.
I believe in a God who would never
Make us live life twice. He is too compassionate
For that, and smarter.
One day I won't come back. People aren't like that.
They go, their hearts distressed
Like drifting sailors or old furniture.
They are lost or used, but mostly forgotten.
When the last thread of my hair is pulled from your jacket,
The only things you will remember
Are the colors of my coffin. Blues and reds
And browns stirred on the wood
In childish script, pictures of things
no on but children will understand.
They will cover me in autumn leaves, they will want
to jump about me and have me move with them, like them.
Their parents will not allow this and I will burn
With the leaves, my smoke and scent and laughter
Filling the evening sky.
And it’s so true.
However, it is in the moments of death and despair when we wonder if we would rather be feeling nothing than a terrible loss and pain for our loved ones.
Death—something I refer to as a disgusting inevitability—plagues our lives, ironically, almost constantly. The closest encounters I’ve had with death (not in terms of my self, but in close friends or family members) have been fairly recent, beginning about 5 years ago when my great-grandfather died. I loved him, but he was very old and in poor health by the time I was old enough to appreciate him that I never really had the chance to grow close to him. His death was a great loss in our family, being my father’s grandfather and his father’s father, and a wonderful man to all he meet, however, it didn’t change the course of the rest of my life.
About a year later, my great-uncle Richard died, my grandmother’s brother. Being extremely close to my grandmother, losing Richard was emotional at best, though not life changing for me. He was an incredible person to be around, and it is certainly sad to think I will not be seeing him at any recent family gatherings; however, on that note, I rarely saw him very often to begin with. The times that we did spend together were precious and memorable, but his death was not a painful blow—simply due course.
In both of these situations, I consider myself blessed to have spent the time with these men that I did—just enough to enjoy them but not enough to be drastically affected by their deaths; rather, I’ve been affected by their lives.
However, this distance cannot possibly be maintained from all individuals; for, it is only part of the relationship tendencies of a human to desire closeness and intimacy. Certainly, there are a handful of people who have been so hurt by love, loss, life and death that they reject intimate relationships. However, I feel fairly certain that most of us, in general, have not been affected in this way and even if we have, still ultimately desire intimacy and connection.
That being said, when the life of a dear friend or close family member is put in jeopardy, or brought to an end, the results are much more tumultuous than that of what I described earlier. For, if someone has been a part of your daily life time after time after time—or frankly, even one time—it is only natural that you would be massively affected by their eternal absence.
Melanie’s friend is dying, which is what compelled me to write down my thoughts on the matter. I cannot pretend to even understand what this must feel like, however, I can only think of how my emotions would derail knowing that my friend—be it my very best friend or my high school acquaintance—might be ending his journey (essentially, that is. There is a positive side to all of this, knowing that an even bigger journey lies ahead…an endless journey with pure bliss and perfection) on this earth.
I remember in third grade (maybe 2nd, maybe 4th) my friend’s mother died of cancer. She had been in remission after a battle with breast cancer, and then it came back not long after in her brain and lungs. She didn’t live long. The day I found out she died, I cried for hours. The idea that this girl, my friend, was going to grow up without a mother at her side, that this mother would never see any of her 3 children graduate, marry, have children of their own…that she was gone…forever…was devastating!
In seventh grade, a sixth grader in my church youth group died of leukemia. One day she was getting remarkably better, and three days later she was gone. While I wasn’t very close with her, I distinctly remembered her smile and constant laughter. She was a light, a beautiful presence, always kind and gentle spirited, despite her immense trials. I think about her a lot, knowing that she didn’t get to live life past twelve years. That she never went on to high school, college, marriage, motherhood…but the life she lived, she lived well and happily.
And it seems to me that these people who have the chance to know they are dying understand something you and I will never understand until we’re in the situation ourselves. They recognize the value and importance of life as we know it, but also the life they are going on to live—and those we are going on to live. I envy them, in an ironic sort of way, and their opportunity to live with such genuine happiness and vitality that nothing can stop them—not even death.
While death is that disgusting inevitability that none of us want to accept or face, it can be a beautiful reminder of our precious, short time on this earth, and how important every single smile is.
So smile and attempt, in some sort of passionate way, to live like you were dying.
I’m not sure what it is yet, but I know I learned something.
I also finished Son of a Witch this morning, which…I’m slightly disappointed with. The ending was very abrupt and, I felt, not fully explained. And, perhaps it was even expected? I would love for fellow Wicked/Maguire fans to let me know their thoughts on the matter, and maybe explain to me their take on the final chapters.
I went to Peter Pan last night, which was cute. And at first it was emotional, not being in it, but then I sort of let myself get over it with Tiffany’s help. She said a few…encouraging words. After the show, I went back and saw Jess, who was beautiful as always! And she asked me how I was doing, how life was going, how my feet were (since every time she’s seen me I’ve been in a cast or whatnot). So, that was fun. I completely forgot to go and talk to Stephen and Jonathan, although they were adorable and awesome as well! All the Village Dance peeps did wonderfully, too, and I enjoyed watching (for once in my life!). Besides, I’m not sure I entirely regret not having to draw a beard on myself. ;)
I still need to put up some homecoming pictures, even though homecoming was in September. In fact, I’ll probably just post a bunch of school pictures at some point. Have lots and lots of them.
Mrs. Starkweather had her baby: Stephen Jonas.
Kit Rossi had her baby: Kathryn (Ryn).
I think other people have had babies recently too, but I can’t think of them. Mrs. Peck is pregnant, and I’m fairly certain that Miss Susan (Mrs. Susan, really…from my dance studio) is pregnant as well. Yay for babies. :)
In Son of a Witch, candle has an apparently still-born baby, but sweet Liir nurses her back to health. How precious.
Mash emailed me the other day! We hadn’t spoken to her in almost a year. It was so good to hear from her.
I went to the Providence Fall Festival today to help out and get much-needed community service hours. It was fun; Skip, Hayden, Christina and I manned the hay ride, being sure people didn’t jump and/or fall out on the couple of dips on the trail. We had one rowdy bunch of 5th graders who decided it was funny to fall out…more than once. Then Skip and I got angry. It was kind of fun. :-p
The weekend is here and I have much to do. I’ve been so busy lately, kids. Not that that’s surprising. Nothing has changed in the past few months except I have decided conclusively that I truly, loathe someone. Any of you who were at school on Friday know who. :dies:
What is this feeling, so sudden and new/Felt the moment I laid eyes on you/My pulse is rushing, my head is reeling, my face is flushing/What is this feeling?/Fervid as a flame/Does it have a name? Yes/LOATHING. Unadulterated loathing/For your face, your voice, your clothing/Let’s just say, I loathe it all./Every little trait however small/Makes my very flesh begin to crawl/With simple utter loathing/There’s a strange exhilaration/In such total detestation/It’s so pure so STRONG/Though I do admit it came on fast/Still I do believe that it can last/And I will be loathing, loathing you/My whole life long!
I still don't believe it. Maybe that has to do with the fact that it's still in Texas waiting for me. But, no matter. My dad and I are flying to Houston tomorrow and driving it back home. Hopefully we'll get the few random things fixed that need to be dealt with (rubber on windshield wipers needs to be replaced, stereo needs to be repaired--which, yes, means we have to drive the whole way back from Houston without music. I think we're going to utilize that laptop in that regard.) as soon as possible so it will be all ready to call itself mine. :-p
Anyway, I'm sure you all aren't nearly as surprised about the car as I am, so I will reluctantly move on. Haha.
Last night, I went to Murray Hill to see little Lauren play and sing in the cafe (and to avoid, at all costs, swing dancing, though I was unsuccessful). She did SO wonderfully, and I told her she must go and record a CD at Doug's so I can hear her anytime I want. :)
She's playing again at the next swing night, October 21st, and probably November 4th as well. Also, she'll be at the Starbucks on Beach Blvd (I think?) on November 11 and December 1 (?). Go and see her. She's amazing.
Hope everyone is doing well. I've been stressed, as you all know...but God is revealing His goodness to me everyday and I am so thankful for Him. I cannot imagine how hard life would be if God was not Lord over it.
I’m finding more and more time to stress and less and less time to bless
(i.e. spiritually, mentally, physically, friendly-ly etc)
My life is the definition of insanity right now. Since at least 8th grade, I have had people warn me about junior year. Actually, it was always “the odd years are the hardest”—which is, in one sense, quite true. Freshman year was harder than sophomore year in the terms that I was becoming acclimated and assimilated to the idea of school, first of all and high school, secondly. My class courses were fairly simple; however, mentally and emotionally I had to work hard (not to mention the fact that my mom had to encourage me to—literally—not work so hard, as I would spend way too much time on little nearly insignificant assignments…which, in the broad scheme of things, really hasn’t changed much). Tenth grade was the greatest year of high school, and possibly my life thus far. It wasn’t that it was easy; it wasn’t. There were times when I was stressed up to my eyeballs (figuratively speaking); but the good times greatly outweighed those previously mentioned, and the stress never left me to make seemingly life-altering decisions or to breakdown in the shower.
And then came junior year. And I cried. And I made the “I Miss Tenth Grade CD”. Because I did. Genuinely. I regretted ever complaining about any amount of work we had to do last year, because it cannot even compare to this year. I heard the sophomores complaining the other day about Mrs. Sylvia assigning them “50 pages of reading in one night” (I’m assuming this was a hyperbolic statement on their parts). And I could do was laugh (and scoff inside of myself). For, as AP Lang juniors, we are considered blessed if all we have to do is read 50 pages in one night. Generally the numbers are more like 60 or 70, and the reading is dense for the most part (Current Issues and Enduring Questions). For the past week or so, we have actually been relieved of this terrible pattern, but it has since been replaced with the constant lurk of this HUGE (I mean, massive, guys) research paper that’s due a week from this upcoming Monday. And I have yet to even realize exactly what must be done in order to complete it. All I know is that it deals with politics—“ISM”s, as Mrs. Tusek affectionately calls them—which I care almost nothing about. Sure, I love to write. I had an absolute blast writing my research paper on John Donne last year, and the source notebook, book collection and paper itself will contest to that. However, that was then. This is now.
And I’m still freaking out.
AP classes aside (which, I must say, cannot be labeled as being a mistake; I happen to greatly enjoy APUSH…much more so than AP Lang. And this idea—of liking history more than English—officially freaks me out and has me falling on my knees in submission and confusion), there is so much other stuff going on in my life I don’t even know where to begin the explanation. Lists are always handy.
- Dance: 3 days a week; 2-3 hours each day
- Anchor Club: President Elect; consists of spontaneous and random meetings; lots of responsibility falls on me since I’m the only officer (besides Nash) that’s actually in class with the official sponsor (i.e. “Leslie, will you deliver this to all the officers…Leslie, will you see what we can do about this?...Leslie, I don’t see any of the others, so will you *blank*?”); will pick up even more once clubs officially begin
- Chemistry: a non AP class that rips my heart out, confuses the life out of me, and greatly damages my previously 4.0 GPA (I still have yet to get above a C on a test)
- Algebra 2: so simple and easy for me, however, the teacher sucks and does stupid things and therefore, I cannot seem to get above a B on her tests because of her weird quirks, habits and inconsistent decisions (not to mention wording of questions)
- Youth Sunday Dance Leader: consists of choreographing, teaching, organizing, designing (etc) a dance for/to a group of girls who have never danced a day in their lives (save for 1 or 2 of them); collecting costumes for these girls from presently unknown sources; all in the space of…oh, 5 weeks? CRAP!
- Youth Sunday School Discussion Leader: forced to comply with this request when my youth leader called me and personally asked if I would take over the Sunday School discussions for the next 5 weeks; involves planning and preparing for the lesson each week, figuring out a way to get the discussion going, and trying to get my fellow youth (many who are older than me) to receive what I have to say and to also speak themselves (perhaps one of the most complicated, stressful, and frustrating experiences of my life).
- The Unofficial Editor of the Sophomores’ English Papers (among other things): of course, done of my own free will, though stressful all the same; something I highly enjoy doing (as it prepares me for my own future career…) and have a terribly hard time saying no to (especially if its someone I love dearly, i.e. Lauren and Kelly); results in me often neglecting to edit my own paper. Oops.
- Familial Responsibilities: Cleaning the rabbit cage (which sounds incredibly stupid, but it’s a responsibility that falls on me every weekend which no one else is willing to help out with, so it will not get cleaned until I have a spare moment to do so or until my mom yells at me and thus forces me into submission); babysitting for the little boys (well, it hasn’t been very bad this year, but it’s ridiculous that it’s an issue at all. I mean, seriously. They’re 9 almost 10 and 11 almost 12. Spencer and I have been staying at home by ourselves since we were 7 and 8 at least. The worse thing that would happen is they would play PS2 the whole time. But, they’ll get over that); setting the table/clearing the table/cleaning up the kitchen on heavy homework nights (Need I say more? Dad: “I cooked. You clean.” :snorts:)
- Providence Post Guest Columnist: Well, this hasn’t stressed me out yet, because they haven’t asked me to do anything. However, it is a commitment I made; and although it’s currently on the “DL,” I’m sure it will be peeping its head into my life sometime in the very near future.
- Colleges/SATs/etc/etc/etc: Yeah. All of that. You know what I mean. And I’m sure Seniors are thinking that I don’t even know…it only gets worse. Which, I’m not doubting. However, it is yet another added to my stress list, another thing that I have to worry about/stress over/think upon during late restless nights when I can do nothing but think about all I have to do the next day. I still have yet to actually register for the SATs, though I have been planning on doing so for quite some time now. PSATs are in October, I think, which will be good for me. The first year I will be taking it more than seriously, I should hope. I would like to take the real SATs in December, if I ever get around to registering. And there are so many schools I need to visit. Hopefully we will go up to NC/SC in November (we have the 10th and 11th off) so I can see Elon, Wake Forest, and others. Yeah. Stressful. Scary. Sigh.
- Group Projects: Always a problem. Granted, teachers should feel more free to assign them when we’re juniors and seniors, considering (nearly) everyone can drive. And it certainly isn’t their fault that I live 45 minutes away from the school and (nearly) everyone else that encompasses that category. But, it’s still something highly stressful for me, because either I have to drive over there at some point—therefore wrecking anyone else in my family’s schedules (because I don’t, yet, have a car)—or, we have to find some day after school during which we are all available for a significant amount of time, and even in this scenario, I have to coordinate drivers since, again, I do not, yet, have a car.
- Massively huge research papers that are simply insignificant to me and uninteresting: Enough said.
- Finding time to call/text/email/talk to in person friends, and by that I mean more than “what time is practice today?” I mean, really email. I’ve been trying to find time for a month now to really email my friend who lives Austria who is on vacation in America (lucky her), but it simply requires too much time that I simply do not have! And this is a terribly sad and depressing fact. Not having enough real time with friends makes me feel like crying. I never called my New Jersey friend Joan on her birthday, even though I’ve called her every year for the past 4 years that we’ve known each other on her birthday. Or at least within a day or two. And this year I didn’t even call her. At all. I thought about it…but there was never a free moment. My other New Jersey friend Elyssa called me the other night during Powder Puff practice, and because she too suffers from overscheduling, we still haven’t spoken. Though I called her, then she called me, and I have called her since then. Though we haven’t actually spoken to each other unless you count the answering machine. Except that hers only says her phone number. So, I get the crappy end of the deal.
- I think I’ve reached the end of my list (for now), but I feel compelled to say something further: I’m sure you are all wondering how the heck I have the time to sit down and write all of this down if I don’t have time to think about it in the first place. The answer, simply put, is that I don’t have time. I haven’t even really made time. By writing this blog entry, I am simultaneously putting off both the APUSH and the Chemistry homework that I should be doing. There are just times (that, as juniors, we should all relish in) when we must give ourselves freedom to soar, vent, speak and breathe. Though this wasn’t a very refreshing breath, as it seems to only be making me more stressed, it was a brief step away from reality. Just because that’s what writing is for me. What is writing but an escape from the world? Why do you people think I stop, randomly, in the middle of the day, and write? Alas, I need to breathe sometimes—even if breathing means realizing all the time I have to not breathe.
Thanks for reading. If you did, that is. Since I’m done now, you should all go listen to David Crowder. He’s the greatest example of “escapade writing”. Clearly. There’s no escape like my God.
Pictures will be around in later posts…after this week is over. I’ve been trying hard to take pictures of each day (Tacky, Pajama, Powder puff…) and I’m sure you will all appreciate the random shots I’ve gotten. I have some fabulous little candid(s). Oh goody.
I guess I’ll have to tell you myself.
A COLLISION is coming!
A Collision, that is, being David Crowder’s latest and greatest CD which contains—among millions of other stupendous works of art—Here is Our King: an unfathomably beautiful ode to my God that we sang multiple times at Fun in the Son with Mr. Goat himself and therefore is reserved among some of my fondest memories. This is, by far, and without contest, one of the greatest worship songs. Ever. If you visit his website there ought to be at least a sample of it running around somewhere. Perhaps you should have a fun time perusing through the site. It’s my newest addiction, since I’ve banned myself for the next two weeks from AIM. :)
So, be prepared for this hugely stunning catastrophe.
The goat is coming. And he’s even more insane than before.
Job 1:1 - 42:17
Do you ever have just one of those days? Or, are you that guy. You know who you are. The one whose mouth is frozen in a perpetual grin. The one that walks outside on a windy day and has paper currency gather at your feet for your discretionary use. The one that is always found by the silver lining that the rest of us have heard tale of and searched courageously and diligently for, only to find you wrapped lavishly in it due, of course, to no cleverness of your own. Well this is not written for you so you can go now....no really, bye....
So now, do you ever have just one of those days? Or, perhaps one of those years? Now I’m not here to vent about our everyday, shared experiences such as the mud puddle that is completely avoidable by the passing car whose timing just happens to be in perfect symmetry to our proximity leaving us with a cool coating of brown mixing vividly with the new white shirt chosen conveniently enough for surely such occasion as this. No I’ll not vent here. I mean what would be the point to even suggest that on other people brown is a neutral even natural tone blending well with their attire but on you and I brown is indeed vivid. That would be pointless and we are at this point comfortably numb to these moments. They are only troublesome in their cyclical repetitiveness, really no more than trivial annoyances at this point.
I recently thought I’d found a loophole in the whole thing. I’ve told every soul I know about it and so I share it with you now. You know how when you and I set our VCRs to record say the season finale of Friends (or Everyone Loves Raymond according, apparently, to our socio/economic status) only to return to the flashing 12:00 or some other unexplainable occurrence that has overridden our double and triple check of programming. Well…enter TIVO. Have you heard of this? It’s incredible! It is a digital recording device that will record up to 30 even 60 hours of television. Through a series of very simple steps, including on screen instructions with visually appealing graphics, you set TIVO to record an entire series of your favorite show. You just click on SEASON PASS and you’re done. Oh, and did I mention it’s hooked up to your phone line making a daily phone call to get any scheduling changes, automatically adjusting it’s recording times accordingly! I am of the strong belief that it is the best invention of this century. Sure the century is new with more to come undoubtedly and TIVO was probably invented in the previous century but I did not own TIVO until last year and my rules allow for this. If you have TIVO you know what I mean. We are family. You and I and TIVO. I mean I talk out loud to TIVO and thank TIVO for making our television watching so efficient and enjoyable. We have a TIVO sticker on our car. But…just recently I returned home with my wife Toni from a pleasant evening out. We sit down in our very large TIVO viewing chair for two, ready to watch a desperately necessary half hour of Friends/Raymond that our dependable never failing TIVO should have ready to go for us. We scroll down the menu and to our delight find the show and push play and “oh my”...“Babylon 5?” “What?” “NO!” “This is impossible!” “TIVO never fails!” “This cannot be!”*
I still have yet to find a loophole.
No, for you and I life is unavoidable. And not just the mud on a shirt or a missed television show. I mean the moments that life really presses in. The moment the weight becomes crushingly unbearable by certainly any other. When tragedy intrudes and we are robbed of any logical proofs that God is good. When the book of Job suddenly seems our unauthorized biography. I wrote the song “My Hope” out of the experience of life and the comfort I found in Job. This book is not concerned so much with the why of life’s eruptions but the faith of a man throughout them. A godly man in possession of a faith that all of his afflictions could not shake. To find a man and eavesdrop long enough to hear him in intimate honesty ask “though You slay me, yet will I trust You?” (13:15) and to see his story answer in a resounding “yes” that can still be clearly and effectually heard today. And to see God show up in all of His majestic glory that pen and paper can express. Chapter 38. Everything that we thought was troublesome or painful or disappointing or hard or wearisome or frustrating or maddening is swept away. We become aware of His constant presence, and full of awe we, along with our concerns, are resized. We are swept away in this wonderful, beautifully glorious storm of who He is. He speaks out of the silence and it’s so terrifyingly plain that we have been right all along. He is in control. Beyond even our wildest imaginings.
Here I am again
In this raging sea
On my knees again
Deep calls to deep
In the roar of Your waterfall
In the wonderful storm of You
May You find me holding on
May You find me true
I put my hope
I put my trust
I put myself in You, in You Lord
Here I am again
In need of You
Wash me clean
Set me free
Hold me close
And cover me
I put my hope
I put my trust
I put myself in You, in You Lord
Here I am
Job 1:1 - 42:17
David Crowder lives in waco tx where he and his wife Toni watch more than a little less tv than this writing seems to indicate.
*(for this story and more about TIVO you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org )
Apparently, Eric Schlosser found these questions important enough to be answered in a 270 page research paper (nice citations, buddy) turned documentary which consisted of redundancy, idiocy, and liberal advertisements. Certainly, this book was not written as a research paper, but it very well might have been. Who's to say a high school senior couldn't have written the same thing (in fewer words, no less) since it contained ill-researched material and a huge amount of "fluff"? In the "What's In the Meat" chapter, I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over...and yet it continued to go on! If Schlosser wanted to write a book about slaughterhouses and all of the problems with them, he should have said so. He certainly shouldn't have disguised it underneath a clever title about the large quantity of McDonald's that America (and the rest of the world, as he carefully points out) consumes every day. The beginning of the book did an excellent job describing (fascinatingly, perhaps) the history of fast food, how it came about, who initially began the industry, and why Americans were drawn to the instant gratification of fast food. There were a few negative remarks (which Schlosser stated as concrete fact without giving any other information) toward republicans that I was slightly offended by, but nothing I couldn't handle. By the "Meat" section, however, it seemed that every other sentence was discussing how the terrible slaughterhouse industry was being encouraged by the Republicans and the sweet, sympathetic little democrats were crying their eyes out and doing everything in their power to stop the awful industry. Sure, republicans make stupid decisions sometimes. But democrats certainly do as well! I just had a bit of a problem with this guy constantly blaming the state of things on republicans, while he simultaneously lifted up the Clinton Administration. Hello?? This guy's either blind or he's a flaming liberal idiot. Unfortunately, I think it's the latter.
The book in and of itself was fine. It was somewhat informative and, at times, quite fascinating. But the redundance killed me and made reading it miserable along with the frequent negative references to the republican administrations, be it Bush, Reagan or Roosevelt (whom he actually supported...but wasn't Teddy the one who was a lot more like a democratic republican?).
Enough said about that.
Orientation was today, and aaaah I loved seeing all my precious people again. I've missed everyone so much and they're the only reason I have to look forward to school. And, I think it is safe to say that Emily Clemons is officially the greatest hugger--ever. Also, some fabulous little things happened that those of you who spoke to me in person will know about. :D
Love to everyone, and I'll see my school posse tomorrow!
1. Though it was not a part of my "summer" schedule, Rachel and I had a joined birthday party which turned out to be a blast and a fun 16th birthday memory.
2. May 21st was the last day of school (for those of us who didn't come the following Monday), and as we only had to be there for an hour and a half and it was the exam day for 7th period, Dance Team A minus the seniors and Austin sat in Mrs. Rose's office and watched old recital videos and laughed endlessly. This is a picture we took randomly of Max, Katie, Mallary and me in her office before departing from Mallary for the last time. :tear:
3. I didn't get any pictures of all the graduation festivities which dissapoints me, so the next summer activity that I documented in pictures was my trip to New York. You've all heard about it if you read the entry, but I'm posting a picture of Joan and me because, ironically, that was the greatest part of the whole trip. Taking classes, seeing shows, simply being in New York City was all wonderful. But there was something magical and extremely special about seeing Joan again after so long. Hopefully it won't be another 4 years before we see each other again (And, yes, I'm really that short)!
4. On June 15, John Barnwell Pajcic was born. Unfortunately, all pictures that were taken of me and the baby that day are on Annie's camera, but I will request that she send some to me so that I might post them on here. He's a beautiful baby (6 weeks old yesterday!) with a full head of dark hair and piercing dark eyes. He's a got a wonderful personality and is a great sleeper--except when I need him to be asleep so that I can put the other children to bed. Hehe. It will be amazing to watch those children growing up. I love them so much and they mean the world to me. I was telling Annie the other day how funny it will be if in 10 years or so when Daley's about 16, I'll probably have a kid or 2, and she'll probably be babysitting them! How weird to think about?! Since I don't have any pictures of baby John, I'll post one I took the other day of Daley and Winnie the day after Daley split her head open and had it GLUED back together.
5. June 18, my cousin Ashley and her wonderful fiance Cliff were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Citadel in the Sumeral Chapel in Charleston, South Carolina. I was her maid-of-honor and it was such an awesome place to be. Standing to the side of Ashley as she took her vows was so special, as was handing her a hanky when she asked for it, and holding her 5 pound bouquet and constantly fixing her extravagant train. But more than that, being a part of it, being there for her, was the most meaningful thing. Mom told me I had to make a toast at the rehearsal dinner, since it was a tradition for the maid of honor to toast the bride and groom. I was very hesitant, but Mike and Uncle Bill were wonderful and helped me out a lot by introducting me and encouraging me. But, basically what I told Ashley publicly was that it meant so much to me to have the opportunity to be in her wedding since I didn't have any sisters to share that with. And, though we were never super close because of our 10 year age difference, I did feel an incredibly special bond with her that no sister could ever replace. Most of the pictures of us together are either with Carmen, the photographer, or with my Aunt and other people. So, I have a picture of my Dad and me dancing at the reception and a beautiful picture of Ashley and Cliff dancing as well.
6. Encore Nationals. Wow. 4 days with Competition Team...there's some excitement for you. I would have to say, though, that the greatest highlight of our trip (not the competition, but the trip itself) was the military car wash. I'm still laughing about it. Here's a tidbit of it that we attempted to capture for the world (minus the Providence faculty) to see.
7. On June 25, while I was in South Carolina, Spencer left for Harvard where he would be spending the next 8 weeks, and the first 2 weeks of his senior year of high school. Needless to say, I don't have any pictures of this, but I do have the picture my mom forced us to take to send to Spencer all wearing the Harvard t-shirts that she brought back for each of us (she flew up to Boston with Spencer). Please note that the dog and the rabbit are very much a part of this family photo.
8. Fun in the Son was absolutely the best time I've had all summer. Not the best because we practically lived on the beach, not the best because we had no obligations except to God, and not the best because we were with the people we love and care for the most besides our family...No, the best because we receive one-on-one time with our Father God every moment of every day and it is the most spiritually rejuvenating experience ever. It was my second time, and why I didn't experience the same things as last year, it was not a dissapointment. God constantly reminded me that He was in control of all things--specifically my life (or whether I'm going to be conssious or not)--and I really learned to let go of my desire to do everything my way. This group shot doesn't even attempt to capture the authenticity, spirituality, power and life changing aspect of FITS, but it does show both the sun and the Son reflecting on our brightly lit faces.
9. That about wraps it up for my summer photos, though I do have a little over a week left to capture some last minute memories. But, one last photo I must share is that of my best friend and me at her surprise birthday party which *applaud* was planned very well by her sister, parents and extended family. Unfortunately, I was at FITS so I could not help with the planning, but I was able to take part in it and it was very special to share such a memorable time with Katie. She also came home on her 16th birthday to find a red VW Beetle in her driveway with a huge red bow on it. She felt uncomfortable driving the stick, so she and her family are looking out for an automatic to come their way, but Katie does have a car coming soon and I'm so happy for her! Yipee! Oh, and, SHE PASSED HER DRIVER'S TEST TODAY! Congrats, love. :)
Thanks for listening and viewing the pictures. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do.
I'm getting my braces off tomorrow at 9 am and I'm taking my driver's test at 1:30 pm. Please pray for me; it's a huge day and I'm quite nervous about both of these events! Gracias, amigos y amigas!
There are also the friends who I've known for a large majority of my life. My two best friends: Katie, who I've known since I was a year old and met at the neighborhood pool where I still spend time and recently had my 16th birthday party; and Lindsay, who I met over 8 years ago when she came to our new home from her house across the street to greet her new neighbors: "Hi, I'm Lindsay. Welcome to the neighborhood!" she announced, at her tender age of 9. We became friends quickly, even though she had a hard time remembering if my name was Lucy, Lisa or Leslie. She moved after living across the street from me for 6 1/2 or so years. Her house only 10 minutes away seemed like 10 hours compared to a 30 second walk. But, alas, drivers' licenses and cars came along and life resumed to almost normalcy again and, as far as I'm concerned, she'll always be my across-the-street-neighbor and my best friend number 2. I remember my 8th grade year--the year I was cut off from all social encounters except for the high schoolers at Village Dance and the 'dangerous' world of internet paedoephiles (I'm only kidding. They were harmless girls who were inspired and obsessed with Nicole Kidman)--realizing that the only two people I ever considered 'hanging out with' were Katie and/or Lindsay. Katie attending Episcopal, Lindsay attending La Villa and me attending...homeschool...made for some interesting times. But, they were my best friends when I didn't even have other friends, much less best ones. And, thus they will forever stay my best friends. I would venture a guess that they will be in my wedding, and I in theirs. Unless Katie picks out some horridly ugly bridesmaids' dresses. :p
And then there are the friends who I've known for less time, but have gotten astoundingly close to in that smaller time pocket. And it seems, often, that those you grow extremely close to are the ones who you cannot reconnect with after so much time. It's as if there is so much time lost and so many memories forsaken that it would take too long to put the puzzle back together.
So, these whimsical friendships, though they seem to be fleeting, are actually a huge part of my life, and very special. They're not just high school aquaintances that I see in the hallway and wave for good measure, and they're not the ones that I've spent hours pouring my heart out to and sharing my gravest secrets with only to be forgotten and betrayed. No, they're the ones who were there in the beginning, are here in the middle, and will be there in the end. The seasonal friends. My seasonal friends. I love you all. Thanks for always being there.
After taking in the devastating news of London, I started out of my first run of...well, ever. Having noticed a pattern (that being that 9 out of 10 regular runners I've met are in fabulous shape), I decided I would attempt to make it a morning routine, at least until dance starts back up again. I would love to have a way to keep up with exercise on the off seasons of dance, and running seems like such an exhilarating and rewarding way to not only exercise, but stay in shape. It was very tolling on my body, as I ran 1/4 of a mile and have scarcely ran a total of 1 mile throughout the entire course of my life. Despite the extreme physical exhaustion I felt when I finally arrived home, it felt good and rejuvenating in a way that I had never quite experienced. Almost like a fabulous dance class...but different in a sense that it wasn't dance at all. This is perhaps the only form of exercise I've ever attempted that wasn't associated with dance. It was a thrilling experience, and one I hope to get used to and more acquainted with as the summer comes to a fast close (unfortunately).
Later on in the day, I spent four lovely hours babysitting for my favorite children. Curry, Winnie, and baby John, as Daley was with her mom going to her dentist appointment and running errands. Curry and I played an aggressive and suspensful game of sword fighting in which Curry was invincible from dying, but Leslie could die when he pressed the sound and light button on his sword. "You're dead, you're dead!" he would cry, as I attempted to make myself look...dead. Then he settled down on the couch for a little bit while Winnie and I convened outside at the swings. We sang a little bit, swang a little bit, rode those electric toys in the grass for a little bit, swang some more, then went inside for Scamper the Penguin (one of my favorite movies growing up which I have now passed on to my favorite children) and lunch. Winnie, after eating, fell asleep on the couch next to Curry, so I carried her to her bed for her nap time that I had frankly forgotten about. So, thank heavens she reminded me (inadvertently, of course). John was still asleep, so it was just Curry and me until the end of Scamper, at which time I went and checked on Baby (of 3 weeks, by the way), only to see him lying contently in his crib with his eyes open and his mouth making little gurgling noises. I couldn't resist picking him up, so I did so, changed his diaper, then took him downstairs and gave him his bottle of breast milk, which he decided he didn't like as much when it was coming from a plastic nipple. :shrug:
Now, it's sleep time. I will sleep restlessly tonight thinking of what is occuring in London and, as result, all around the world. We must be in constant prayer for not only our nation, but our internations and allies. May God be gracious to you during this difficult time.
And every day
and make them
and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk
and swing from her branches
and eat apples.
he was tired,
he would sleep
in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree . . .
very much. And the tree was happy.
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, "Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy."
"I am too big to climb and play," said the boy.
"I want to buy things and have fun.
I want some money.
Can you give me some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money.
I have only leaves and apples.
Take my apples, Boy, and sell them
in the city. Then you will have money
and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the
tree and gathered
and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away
for a long time...
and the tree was sad.
And then one day
the boy came back
and the tree shook with joy
and she said, "Come, Boy,
climb up my trunk
and swing from my branches
and be happy."
"I am too busy to climb trees,"
said the boy.
"I want a house to keep me warm,"
"I want a wife and I want children,
and so I need a house.
Can you give me a house?"
"I have no house," said the tree.
"The forest is my house,
but you may cut off my branches
and build a house.
Then you will be happy."
And so the boy cut off
and carried them away
to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away
for a long time.
And when he came back,
the tree was so happy
she could hardly speak.
"Come, Boy," she whispered,
"come and play."
"I am too old and sad to play,"
said the boy.
"I want a boat that will take me far away from here.
Can you give me a boat."
"Cut down my trunk
and make a boat,"
said the tree.
"Then you can sail away . . .
and be happy."
And so the boy cut down her trunk
and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy . . .
but not really.
And after a long time
the boy came back again.
"I am sorry, Boy,"
said the tree, "but I have nothing
left to give you---
My apples are gone."
"My teeth are too weak
for apples," said the boy.
"My branches are gone,"
said the tree. "You
cannot swing on them---"
"I am too old to swing
on branches," said the boy.
"My trunk is gone," said the tree.
"You cannot climb---"
"I am too tired to climb," said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree.
"I wish that could
give you something...
but I have nothing left. I am just
an old stump. I am sorry . . . ."
"I don't need very much now,"
said the boy,
"just a quiet place to sit and rest.
I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree,
straightening herself up
as much as she could,
"well, an old stump is good
for sitting and resting.
Come, Boy, sit down.
Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.
I've been home since Sunday afternoon, and I'm leaving today for Charleston, South Carolina. Ashley's getting married on Saturday! Wow. Scary to think that will be me before long. The wedding's going to be a blast though; I'm really looking forward to it. Bridal luncheon on Friday morning, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner Friday evening, girl stuff saturday morning, wedding saturday afternoon, reception following, family brunch sunday morning...I'm going to be exhausted! I love being so busy though, as long as it doesn't have to do with school. :)
I have New York pictures that you can see here. I'm not going to take the time to post them all, because I had a lot of trauma with them already. Don't want to go through that again. Just look, and enjoy. I'll be making a video slideshow before long--for those of you who know me well. ;)
I'll be back from South Carolina Sunday evening. Until then, don't have too much fun without me! And, if you're a member of St. Johns youth, be sure to check out the DV8 blog, adminstrated by Megan and me.
Oh, the results of the SAT quiz will be up soon (i.e. as soon as I find the Reader's Digest that it was in!). Which I'm almost tempted not to do, since only 2 of you actually did it, and then you went and checked your own answers. Poo.
Love you all, and hope you're having summers full of blessings and grace!
"With the SAT just revised to add more reading and writing, those taking the college entrance exam have many new study aids to pick from. We like The Intuitive Learning Co.'s vocabularly shower curtain (tilcoweb.com), the basis for our quiz. So lather up..."
1. enhance (v.) A: to weaken. B: improve. C: undergo, as in hardship. D: sign up for.
2. antagonist (n.) A: murder victim. B: ancestor. C: scientist. D: opponent.
3. diligent (adj.) A: very careful. B: excessively late. C: harmful. D: unprepared.
4. scrutinize (v.) A: to examine closely. B: ignore completely. C: consider skeptically. D: view casually.
5. procrastinate (v.) A: to produce offspring. B: show interest in. C: delay. D: dissappear.
6. disdain (v.) A: to throw away. B: to regard with scorn. C: humiliate. D: disappoint.
7. spurious (adj.) A: authentic. B: reluctant. C: false. D: casting blame on others.
8. empathy (n.) A: pity. B: identification with others' feelings. C: strength. D: mixture.
9. venerable (adj.) A: green. B: stripped bare. C: corrupt. D: resepected because of age.
10. querulous (adj.) A: constantly complaining. B: curious. C: cooperative. D: compact.
11. florid (adj.) A: smelling of flowers. B: bright, as a light. C: ruddy. D: cheap.
12. impute (v.) A: to calculate. B: to pierce with a sharp object. C: attack as false. D: attribute to.
13. evanescent (adj.) A: mild, as with weather. B: brightly lit. C: religious in nature. D: short-lived.
14. superfluous (adj.) A: extra. B: overly proud. C: heavely. D: believing in the supernatural.
15. sagacity (n.) A: history of a city. B: courage. C: wisdom. D: ignorance.
16. perfidious (adj.) A: marked by foul odor. B: treacherous. C: wandering. D: routine, mechanical.
I enjoyed this little sidetrack. I'm sure y'all will think I'm a nerd. :p
Graduation is this afternoon, at 3. I'll be sure to not wear mascara! :tear: Jenna's very nervous about making her speech, and thus I am nervous for her. But, she's good at things like that (it's too bad she can't sing it...). AH, I'm going to miss her a lot. And Heather. And Jessica. And Jacob. And Michael (sorry, I wish I had time to make you more cookies!). I can't believe they're all leaving!! And next year it will be my brother, Jeri, Austin--everyone!! How disheartening.
Aren't you guys impressed with my terribly frequent updates? I just have so much to say. ^_^
I do have to say, though, where the asterik is placed (*), I needed to correct a grammatical error that deeply saddens me. I've been in English class with these boys as Mrs. Sylvia drills these grammar concepts into their pea-sized brains (did I say that outloud?), and they still continue to say "you and me". No. No. NO! "Me go together" makes not a lick of sense. "I go together" sounds soooo much nicer. :D Thanks for the poem, though, guys. It was priceless, and will be going in a frame before long. And thanks to Katie T for helping them out with the idea. ;)
And thanks to all of my fabulous friends for making my sweet sixteen the sweetest it could ever be! You guy are awesome, and I am blessed to have you all in my life.