May 31, 2009

SAT-IIs


I'm taking the Math II next weekend. I just did a practice test today, and it took me an hour and a half. Definitely not a good sign. I'm going to blame my current state of illness and the fact that the practice tests are harder than the real ones. Hopefully that's it.

In other news, I got to honk the horn today. Well, actually, Mom leaned over and honked it when we were in a parking lot and some idiot decided that he could back up through our car. Fortunately, he didn't succeed.

I also decoupaged a binder for presenting our U.S. story. Beautiful, no? The newsprint is a bit more wrinkled than I would have liked, but I haven't done a collage in a while, and I'd say that it's still passable.

Also, my piano teacher has decided that I have a composer's ear and should learn to write songs. My response was, "Ummmm.....uhhhhhh....maybe?" He's also decided that I should write a musical, and my assignment for this week was to develop a plot. The best that I've got so far is a high school senior who fakes her own kidnapping because she doesn't want to go to college, gets a job doing- well, something. I haven't quite decided yet. She falls for a guy who is following the exact path her parents want for her, but refuses to admit it, instead staying with an idiot stoner type. Then- um, well, I haven't thought through the rest. I'm pretty much just bouncing ideas around at the moment, hoping to hit something inspirational.

At best, it beats the one I thought up some time in eighth grade, in which a young man finds out that he's going to die in six months, and pretty much sets out to get laid. He succeeds relatively quickly, but when the romantic entanglements start, he panics and leaves, not wanting to saddle a girl he actually likes with his death. He decides to try to save himself, and, if he succeeds, he'll go back to her. A creepy doctor has something that will prevent cell death, so he uses some, then takes a number of them home to his ex-girlfriend's house, intent on getting back together. She, who has turned to drugs in his absence, takes a needle and shoots up, but she immediately starts writhing on the floor. She stops breathing, and the man decides to commit suicide to be with her. However, due to the injections, both become zombies, and the show culminates with the smash hit song "Zombies in Love"

Pure genius, let me tell you.

I'm still waiting.

May 30, 2009

Sick

I am sick, just like Gretchen. Yay me.

In other news, I made all twelve of my possible schedule permutations. What I'd really like to do is figure out if there's some way to mathematically determine the number of possibilities. I'm sure that there is- I think. Maybe. I'm not sure, actually, but there should be.

I know that it isn't 8!, since every class isn't available every period. And it isn't 3*2*1*3*3*3*2*3*3, and that's the number I get if I multiply each option. And it isn't 3*2*2*2*4*2*4*1, the number of periods each class is available. Although it IS that divided by the total number of periods (8) squared. But if I try that for last years (4*3*3*2*1*5*1*3)=1080, and I had 30 combinations, so in that case, I'd have to divide by 36. But if that's the case, I should be dividing the other one by 49, which clearly isn't true. Unless you determine how many prime factors there are, then subtract one, square that number, and divide what you have on top by that. 

Hmmmm

May 29, 2009

Friday Night

well, Kathrya is over, and later, we're going bowling with Nyx, and, due to the fact that I have suddenly obtained a life, I'm not going to be making a long post today.
Vicky, you're going to have to get over it.

In other news, I saw Mario in the hallway again today, at least twice, and he didn't see me either time. The fact that I actually care is probably unhealthy.
Oh well.

-Later-
For some reason, this didn't post properly yesterday. It was, all in all, decidedly odd. I guess I hit the save button instead of the publish button.
Kathrya, Nyx and I didn't actually go bowling. Instead, we all sat around and talked all afternoon. My nails are now an extremely attractive shade of purple.

May 28, 2009

Hugs

First, a quote, courtesy of Otis in my English class.
"If nobody voted, there would be no votes."

Now, onto current events. According to this article, hugs are the latest social trends. Apparently, we teenagers hug everybody, all the time. Now, I may not be the coolest kid on campus, but I'm not blind, and I definitely do not see that much hugging. Yes, I do hug a few of my closest friends, but I'm hardly a hugging maniac, and I haven't really noticed other people hugging excessively.

Thoughts?

May 27, 2009

Science Symposium

Well, the science symposium left me feeling like a socially stunted retard. I blame the fact that many of the other sophomores are not true science geeks, so I find them somewhat unrelatable. Also, both Julie and Mario weren't in attendance, which was highly unfortunate.
At one point, I was standing awkwardly by myself, looking at someone's poster, when Kerry comes over and is like, "Tea, want to see a totally awesome poster?" and I'm like, "Well, it beats standing around by myself. Not that I have no friends, it's just that Julie isn't here, and Minnie has better people to talk to, I guess." Well, that doesn't sound remotely pathetic. "Great!" "Whose poster?" "Lysander's."
So, Kerry leads me over to Lysander's poster. He starts talking about his project, which is actually even more boring than standing by myself, and Kerry immediately runs away, probably bored out of his mind. Lysander's poster was something about how cellphones affect driving, and it was boring enough that I would have rather listened to Mario talk about economics and stocks. It was actually boring enough that I would have rather listened to someone else talk about Mario's project on economics and the stock market, which is saying something. So, Lysander is talking to me, and his eyes aren't leaving my face AT ALL while he was talking, and I keep wanting to look at the poster instead, but he keeps looking at me, and I try to look away, but then I feel weird, because he's still looking at me and talking, and then I basically start internally panicking, because I'm not really that good at reading people, and his eye contact cues aren't fitting in with any of my stored information on what various looks mean, so as soon as Dad wanders over (actually only a minute after Lysander started talking), I mumble something about wanting water and bolt. I meant to say something to Kerry today about feeling badly, but then I forgot
Oh well.

May 26, 2009

sneaking around in school

I’m writing from Science Research today, since I finished my poster and don’t really have anything to do. I’m going to share something I learned today.
Apparently, when playing football, the ball can only be thrown once. If someone throws it to you, you cannot throw it away from you. I did this twice today, and it annoyed my team members greatly. I, however, was immensely thankful that I hadn’t dropped it.
Also, rumor has it that Mario is taking the MRT class next year. He is clearly insane, since that means his Saturdays and Sundays will be consumed with science.
It almost makes me want to take the class over the summer just to keep up.
Love, Tea

May 25, 2009

Tawana Brawley

Well, I've finished the rough draft of my story, I think. Critiques, please?

Monday, December 14th, 1987

I took the turn from the empty section of Main Street onto Ramsey, where I live, far faster than I should have. I had left the high school, where I teach English, about a half an hour ago, and I’d spent the intermittent time at the grocery store, where I had bought a big bag of ice to fill up the drawer in the freezer. I didn’t want the ice to melt, so I was speeding, and when I took that turn a tad sharper than usual, I heard a few rolls, followed by a heavy crunch as a can hit the bottom of the car. I prayed that it wasn’t the tomato sauce. I needed it for dinner, and it would be virtually impossible to remove the stain.

About a minute later, I pulled much more cautiously into the driveway. After getting out of the car, I opened the hatch to check out the fallen can. Miraculously, it appeared intact, but as turned it over to check, the entire contents fell out onto the ground, slopping loudly into a sizable rounded puddle on top of my shoes. I swore before turning and hauling the grocery bags out of the car and into the kitchen.

“Darryl,” I called up the stairs to my husband. “I’m home.”

No response.

I stood still for a moment, listening. I could just hear the whirring of a saw in the back shed. Darryl’s trying to run a carpentry business, but since we moved here from Stony Brook two years ago, he’s mostly been doing odd jobs, although one contractor did have him do some cabinets a few months ago. I wasn’t that fond of sawdust, so I figured I’d make dinner before I went to get him.

For the next hour, I cooked, trying to send the tensions of my day into the vegetables I was chopping. I fried the ground meat I had been going to put in the tomato sauce, boiled the water, and poured in the pasta. When everything was done but the veggies, I turned off the stove and walked out back to the shed. It was still loud, but nothing near the insistent sawing that there was before.

I opened the door without knocking. Darryl was lying on the floor, covered in sawdust, sanding the bottom of a chair. He looked up as I entered.

“These for us?” I asked.

“No, it’s a new job.”

“For who?”

“Steven Pagones, Assistant District Attorney. He works nearby, and we’ve met up for lunch a couple of times, so I told him I’d make him some chairs at a discount.”

“A discount? Do you even have a going rate?”

“No, but he doesn’t have to know that.” Darryl grinned, and I laughed. “I did give him a pretty low rate, though. He’s a nice guy.” He slid out from under the chair and stood. “Dinner?”

I nodded, and we walked back to the house. I took the vegetables out of the oven, and Darryl started putting the pasta into bowls. “Where’s the sauce?” he asked.

“It broke in the car.”

“So we just have meat, without the sauce? We have cheese, you know. You could have made sauce.”

“Darryl, I’ve told you before-”

“I know, I know, it was the last meal your mom cooked before she left, but honestly, it’s been years, and it beats meat not-sauce”

“Sorry, I’m cooking, so you’re going to have to deal.”

He sighed exaggeratedly, so that I could tell that at this point, he was only faking his annoyance. He started clearing the table and picked up the newspaper. “Where do you want me to put this?”

“The counter’s fine.” The newspaper reminded me of something, so I reached for it and started flipping through the pages. “Poor Tawana got a write up in the Times today. Look, ‘Bias Case Fuel Anger of Blacks … Tawana Brawley, a popular 15-year-old high school student-‘ that’s the school I teach at ‘-was found Nov. 28 curled in a fetal position inside a plastic bag behind an apartment house in Wappingers Falls.’ Isn’t that just awful?”

Darryl shook his head. “Steven thinks it’s bull.” He took the paper and flipped to the second half of the article. “See, ‘local law-enforcement officials have questioned the truthfulness of the girl's statements.’”

“There’s no way she’s lying. She’s a good kid, from a broken home.”

“Just like you.”

“And I turned out just fine.”

“Aside from the excessive fear of macaroni and cheese.”

“It brings back bad memories, which I’m sure Tawana has plenty of.”

“If she’s telling the truth.”

“She is.”

Darryl only shrugged.

Three months later

I stumbled down the stairs, feeling, as I always did, utterly lost. I was anything but a morning person. Why on earth had I decided to teach high school and wake up every day- although it was dark enough to be night- at this ungodly hour? I’d been up late, grading papers for the end of third quarter, and it felt like I had only been in bed for five minutes.

As I started the coffee, the front door opened and I heard cheerful whistling. As far as I was concerned, Darryl was completely insane. How someone can be cheerful when it’s still dark out is entirely beyond me. His steps clunked along slowly, and every so often they would slow still further as he flipped through the paper. Suddenly, he swore loudly and came rushing into the kitchen, his heavy steps echoing around my tired head.

“I knew it, I knew it! Look at this!”

“Whaahhh?”

He took in my tired face and slow movements for a moment before turning and pouring my coffee. “Drink.”

I swallowed a bit and pushed my eyes open. “What?”

“That Tawana girl, you know how I said she was lying?”

“She’s not. I told you already, she’s a good kid. Nice girl. She’s telling the truth.”

“Hell no! Look at this. Look!” He waved the paper in my face.

“I can’t read that.”

“She says that Steven raped her.”

“Who?”

“Steven? My friend I’m building furniture for? Yeah, him. She says he’s a rapist. Steven! It’s insane!”

“Jeez, Darryl, what makes you so sure that he didn’t.”

“She’s lying. I know Steven wouldn’t do that.” Darryl was getting angry.

“And I know Tawana wouldn’t lie.”

“She’s a lying black bitch.”

I gasped, shocked.

“She’s accusing my friend of being a rapist. Do you seriously expect me to say nice things?”

‘Black bitch, Darryl? I had no idea you were racist.”

“I’m not. I get on fine with your stepmom, don’t I?”

“Liking one black person doesn’t make you not a racist. Why didn’t I see this before? This has nothing to do with Steven. You think she’s lying because she’s black!”

“What? No, it has nothing to do with that.”

“It clearly does. After all, she’s black, why wouldn’t she be lying.”

“Stop it, I’m not racist, I’m trying to stand up for my friend.”

“Don’t lie to me!” I caught sight of the clock and swore. “I have to go to work. We’ll finish this later.”

After that, I spent most of the day seething in anger at my husband and everyone else who didn’t agree with Tawana. Honestly, she was a 15-year-old girl, a good kid. There was no way she was lying. People who didn’t believe her were clearly letting their misguided impressions of black youth influence their opinions. I thought that was horrible, of course, but what was eating at me the most was that my husband was among them. Darryl, my Darryl, my wonderful, lovable husband, held racist opinions

By the time I had gotten home, I was slightly calmer. Yes, Darryl was being a racist bastard, but I was so obviously right about Tawana, that surely if I pointed it out calmly, he would listen. I cooked dinner, just as I always did. About two minutes before I was going to go get him, I looked up. Darryl was standing right inside the door.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hello.”

“So.” He paused a moment, uncertain as to whether to broach our earlier argument.

I saved him the trouble of deciding. “We need to talk about this morning.”

“Yeah,” he sighed, resignedly.

“I’m sure that you don’t mean to be racist, and I know you don’t think you are, and I’m sure that if we just worked on that a bit, you’d see that Tawana is telling the truth.”

He looked at me incredulously. “I’m not racist.”

“You don’t believe Tawana because she’s black. That’s racism.”

“It’s not racism. It’s an independent case, one girl, and I know the guy she’s accusing, he’s not a rapist, he’s said that evidence has been showing up against her, so I know that she’s wrong. I don’t think all black girls are liars.”

“Darryl, not believing her is racist. You’re jumping to conclusions because you think black girls are liars.”

“I’m not. I told you, I know why I feel the way I do, and that is completely not true!”

“It is!”

“No, it’s-” He shook his head. “I’m not hungry. I’m going to bed.”

“You’re not listening to me!”

“I am listening. You’re the one who isn’t listening to me. At least I have a reason for believing Steven. I actually know him. You only believe Tawana because you think that believing a black girl will prove to your stepmom and everyone else that you aren’t racist. It’s reverse racism.”

“Are you insane?”

“Of course I’m not! Listen to yourself, Chelle. We’ve been married for two years, you should know me better than this.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “If you don’t trust me enough to know that I have my head on straight, we have bigger problems.”

“What?”

“I don’t know that I can live with someone who thinks so little of me.” I gaped at him. “Just, think about it, alright? Like I said, I’m going to bed now.” He stood and walked out of the room.

I sat for a few minutes in shock, replaying the conversation in my head. Were my accusations of racism too strong? I knew that I felt like it was, but I’d never seen any symptoms of it in Darryl before. Maybe Tawana was actually lying? I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea. She was a student, just like most of my own, and she looked nice, and her family was as torn apart as my own, and I knew that girls got raped, so it seemed utterly logical and natural to believe her. But, regardless of whether she was lying, did it really need to be all about race? Could Darryl really just care about what Steven was saying?

My appetite was gone, and I didn’t have the energy to repackage the food, so I put the entire meal, plates and all, in the fridge. Thoughts still swirling, I walked up the stairs. Darryl was in the shower, and I debated just climbing into bed and pretending that nothing was wrong, but I had a feeling he was angry enough to sleep on the couch, and since I was the one accusing him of being racist, I didn’t feel like I should take the bed. I grabbed some sweats to sleep in and a blanket from the closet before going back downstairs and curling up on the couch.

Only a couple of hours later, I woke up. I shook my head awake, the remnants of a dream in which my stepmother and a rather blurry actual mother yelled at me to go easy on Darryl. Funny how my subconscious connected my mother, who never had a stable marriage with saving my own. My stepmother I could understand, however. Her skin was only a few shades darker than my own, but she identified as black, and dad had shocked the entire family by marrying her. She had swept in and fixed up our crumbling lives, pulling Dad out of his tears about Mom and giving us parents again. I could almost hear her in my head now, telling me to get over what I thought Darryl was thinking and actually listen to him. After all, my believing Tawana wouldn’t forever prove to her that I wasn’t racist, and at this point, she was basically my mother. I shouldn’t have needed to prove anything to her.

As I woke up a bit more, I noticed noises coming from the kitchen. I sat up, rubbing my eyes, and stood, trying to stretch the stiffness left by sleeping on the couch out of my neck. Darryl was sitting at the kitchen table, and I could see a dark silhouette of the back of his head. I walked into the kitchen and sat across from him.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi,” he responded.

We sat for a moment in silence before he spoke. “I couldn’t sleep. The bed felt empty.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You were angry that I insulted you, and you didn’t want to deal with me, I get it. There’s no need to apologize for that.”

“No, I’m sorry I called you racist.”

“Because you don’t want me angry, or because you’ve changed your mind?”

“Both. You’re right, my stepmother loves me, she doesn’t need proof, and I shouldn’t need it for myself.”

“So you believe me.”

“No, I still think Tawana’s telling the truth. Even if I do partially believe her to prove something, even ignoring that, I still think she’s a good person. I just think that you aren’t racist for believing your friend.”

“Okay.” He paused. “Well, I suppose you aren’t a reverse racist then.” He smiled.

“So we’re good.”

“Yeah. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

The egg timer went off behind him. When I stood to see what it was, he winced. I looked at him, confused. “What?”

“It’s just, um, look I wasn’t going to leave you or anything, I swear. I was just hungry, and we had cheese and leftover pasta, and…” he trailed off as I peered into the pot on the stove.

“You made macaroni.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think you were going to talk to me anyways.”

“No, it’s fine.”

“Seriously?”

I thought about it for a second. “Seriously.” I wasn’t upset. I’d been afraid for years, but right then, talking to Darryl, who I loved and once again trusted, I wasn’t. “Like I said. We’re good.”

May 24, 2009

Napoleon

All I did today (and all I plan on doing) was sing with choir at church, so I'm going to treat you to a marvelous essay (with commentary, of course) about the French Revolution.
The French Revolution was a revolution of principals (Like the four useless administrators at our school). Its slogan was “Liberty, Fraternity, Equality” (this slogan was developed by a 15 person comité de développement de slogan. Other proposals were "La Guillotene: faster and easier than impalement" and "KILL THEM ALL!!!"). The people of the revolution fought to provide France with the general freedoms in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, equality for all, and a government of the people. Napoleon’s warping of the public opinion through propaganda and arrest of dissenters, misogynistic policies, and position as unchecked ruler of France denied the principles of the Revolution by ignoring freedom, equality, and the voice of the people (although, seriously, those revolutionaries botched up the freedom thing just fine on their own. Napoleon was merely the extremely short cherry on top that happened to possess a Napoleon Complex).

Napoleon's domestic policies denied the liberty of the French people. He censored the press and largely removed freedoms of speech. Napoleon is described as shaping public opinion through “crude forms of propaganda, but more importantly by the use of secret agents, arbitrary arrests, and executions.” (Lecture 15) (I feel that this should say secret sleuths, arbitrary arrests, and egomaniacal executions, for alliterative aims). Propaganda goes against the values of the revolution. The people supported him, but this was in part because they knew of no opposing views. “Printers and booksellers swore oaths of allegiance and all newspapers fell under state control.” (Lecture 15) People were controlled by what they knew. Like a horse with blinders on, they only went straight (My use of imagery is truly exceptional, non?). When they were allowed to make a decision, they would decide based on what they knew, which was very little. People’s liberties and powers of decision-making were removed by Napoleon’s dissent squashing policies (squoosh, squash, squishyyy, squelch). By preventing opposition, he prevented opinions, even though dissenting opinions started the revolution that brought him to power. According to the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “no one should be disturbed on account of his opinions”, and Napoleon’s destruction of dissenters obviously (like, duh!) ignored this. In addition, the declaration said, “The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man,” which clearly conflicts with Napoleons policy of propaganda. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was written to show what the revolters believed in. By ignoring the declaration, Napoleon effectively ignored the opinion of the revolution.

On second thought, this thing is unnecessarily long, so I'll just summarize the rest. Basically, Napoleon was also a total douche about women, and said (and I quote) “the husband must possess the absolute power and right to say to his wife: Madame, you shall not go out, you shall not visit such and such a person: for the children you bear, they shall be mine”. If some short little bastard said that to me, I would slap him. Also, empires aren't really freedom oriented, so being declared emperor screwed up that whole thing. My last paragraph is a mere three sentences long and makes no attempt at a big picture. Opmin would be displeased.

----------

Tea


May 23, 2009

Casual Fridays

Or, in my case, shoeless Fridays.

I just don't like wearing, shoes, okay? It isn't as if most people even notice, and when they do, they laugh, and think that I'm slightly insane, but whatever.

I did, however, wear shoes to the gala (which I went to with Nyx) last night. We had to conversations with other people while we were there. In the first, we ran into Kerry and Lysander.

Nyx and I walked up to them, Nyx started talking a bit, and I stood there kind of awkwardly, because the conversation wasn't really related to me at all. After a minute, give or take 45 seconds, she decided to introduce me.

"Oh, guys, this is Tea. Tea, this is Lysander."
"Hi, it's nice to meet you," I said.
"You too," he responded.
We both stood awkwardly for a moment while I tried to determine whether I should attempt a handshake, since his hands were full, but it felt rude to just stand there, so the silence dragged on for a bit, until Nyx opened her mouth to talk and Kerry and I interrupted simultaneously, him with "I know Tea already" and me with "I already know Kerry."
I checked out of the conversation at that point.

As we went up the stairs, we passed Ryan, Ida, and Cammie. I said, "Hi, hi, hi," my voice growing progressively higher pitched with each, and Ida, who was third, laughed.
"Hi, Tea."
"Hello," I replied, greeting her again, as Nyx and I continued up the stairs.
"Oh," Ida called, "are you wearing shoes?"
"Of course!"
"I don't believe it," said Cammie.
"Let me see," Ida ordered.
I swung my leg over the banister, flip-flop and all. "See? Shoe!"
"Good job."
Unfortunately, I think I managed to lose Nyx's socks at some point during this conversation, which I really do feel quite badly about.

---------

I leave you with my final essay using my midterm planning from Western Humanities, this essay about Historical Values.

During the Renaissance, they like Renaissance Men. This is because this era was horribly repressive towards women, so they didn't want to be Renaissance Women. Also, Renaissance Men knew a whole lot of stuff, like Da Vinci, who was awesome. As far as art goes, there was Michelangelo, who spent years of his life on his back (painting a ceiling, of course). They were also really religious, so Michelangelo painted a lot of overly muscled angels. The government was decentralized, which is a big word, so should be used frequently in essays, so the church took up the decentralized slack with the powerful, decentralized pope, who did many powerful decentralized things, because decentralization is decentralizingly important.

In Rome, they were big on Pietas, which, unfortunately, has nothing to do with Tas flavored pie. They did their duty and had a big army, and the had Gravitas, which we still have too, since I have yet to float away. Gravitas is also exemplified in the Star Wars Storm Troopers, but I have no idea how, since I can't remember what Gravitas is, but it probably has something to do with their sick awesome artificial gravity. Dignitas is like dignity, but spelled wrong, according to my spell checker, and it caused fighting and class separation. This is why my eschewing of dignity and not wearing shoes is good and will end all fighting and class separation.

The End.

May 22, 2009

Ethnic Slurs

When discussing racial epithets with a black boy during U.S. history, you should
a-take a very serious tone and avoid saying any of said inappropriate terms.
b-insult him using said ethnic slurs
c-have an insightful discussion about the use of ethnic slurs by people past and present
d-google ethnic slurs and try to find the most ridiculous ones out there

Tea's answer is d, as demonstrated by her behavior today during U.S. history.

In this class, I was trying to find a racially insulting term that was not as bad as "nigger" but was nonetheless derogatory or had connotations that yielded associations with racism. I asked my group members, Joanie, Charles, and Emma, if they had any ideas. Emma, per usual, ignored me, but Joanie and Charles took it upon themselves to find something.
Joanie burrowed into her computer, not talking (which is unusual for her) while she looked. Charles immediately went to wikipedia and located this page. I went there as well, and he started at the top and I at the bottom, trying to find something suitable.
'Alligator bait' and 'gable' were bad enough, but by the time he reached 'porch monkey,' Charles couldn't take it any more. He dissolved into laughter, exclaiming over how utterly ridiculous it was. "Porch monkey! What?"
Not to be one-upped, I kept looking. "How about 'moon cricket?'"
"Moon cricket? Seriously? Like, what?"
I began laughing as well. "Could you seriously call somebody that with a straight face? I mean honestly, 'you moon cricket, you!' just sounds ridiculous!'
We kept laughing, and Joanie finally noticed us and looked up. "What's so funny?" she asked.
Charles waved a dismissive hand.
"Well," said Joanie, "I found the jackpot."
The racial slurs database contains such gems as 'cricket' 'dorito' and 'ghetto hampster'. To me, this sort of thing seems more ridiculous than rude, but I suppose that if someone had the nerve to call me 'fish-belly' or 'ghoul,' I would be upset. Even if the slurs themselves are ridiculous, I think it's the way they're said that creates the offensiveness.

May 21, 2009

Spanish Homework

Here comes another interesting translation, courtesy of yours truly.

We had to write what our schedule would be if we went to Hogwarts, using real teachers from school.

In History and Rights of Magical Creatures Class (taught by Opmin, of course), we learn about the history of magical creatures like ghosts and houselves. We visit the kitchen and meet some houselves. We read books that were written by ghosts and centaurs.

In Divination (taught by Mrs. Leon, my English teacher), we learn about the future. We have to write long essays about the information that we find. We use tea and a crystal ball. We observe dreams and look for a good future.

Arithmancia (taught by my math teacher). The teacher loves aritmancy. In this class, we learn how to use the numbers of the letters in our names to learn important information. We have tests and use calculators to do the homework.

My Spanish teacher teaches ancient runes. In this class, we translate the runes to English and Latin in order to understand them. We study the grammar and spelling of the runes. Sometimes, we talk in the language of the runes to practice.

The Music of the Mages (taught by my Music Theory teacher). The ancient wizards had interesting music. In this class, we listen to music like gregorian chants. Also, we talk a lot about whatever the teacher wants, like her new granddaughter. Sometimes, we write songs and play them.

In Artistic Transfiguration (taught by everyone's favorite drawing teacher), we make works of art that use skills we learned in the Introduction to Transfiguration class last year. We recreate what we see to practice and at the end, we can use creativity.

In potions (taught by Dr. A.P. bio) we use the rules of chemistry to make important potions. This year, I have created a sleeping draught, a love potion, and a potent poison. We spend a lot of time in the potions lab and use magic equipment and machines.

-------------
To complete this post, I leave you with a brief essay on religion, crafted using my notes from last year's western midterm.

In the middle ages, religion was the only unifying force. This is because we don't have The Force, like in Star Wars, which would have been a much better unifying force, because, honestly, the church wasn't all that wonderful. It started with Charlemagne, who's name has a completely unnecessary silent G, because he was crowned by the pope. This basically consisted of Charlemagne dragging his butt down to the Vatican for a ridiculously long ceremony that culminated in the decidedly boring action of placing a crown on his head. The pope did stuff until the renaissance, but there were actually a lot of different popes, because, despite the divine power they supposedly have, they don't life forever.
The reformation was the reformation of religion, so, duh, religion changed. Big whoop.
In ancient greece, religion was used to explain life, because for all their super-intense pythagorean theorums, those greek peeps didn't know squat, and they used religion for values as well, and it provided entertainment, because they didn't have T.V. and needed religious ceremonies to fill their horribly empty days.
The End

May 19, 2009

Sweet Dreams

This one is a swashbuckling adventure starring Mario and Tea. It was, to say the least, extremely exciting.

So, my family and I were on vacation at this gorgeous hotel in northern New England. It was a standard Victorian style, fairly old, but in perfect repair. I was walking in the back with my Dad my dog, around a pond and some trees, when poor Rufus (I don't really think puppies need code names) was hit in the head with a football, producing a big purple bruise on his nose. Dad, overprotective parent that he is, started yelling at whomever had thrown it that Rufus had a tumor in his nose, and the football was going to cause serious problems, blah blah blah, which seemed utterly ridiculous to me, but nevertheless Dad picked up Rufus and took him inside.
Then, Mario came running over, apologizing profusely. I, suave woman that I am, took a step towards him and tripped, catching myself on his arm. Taking my clumsiness as distress over my horribly injured dog, he attempted to comfort me. I believe my thought process at the time was that I didn't need the comfort, but if I could cling to his arm for a while longer, I certainly wasn't going to complain.
So, Mario and I walked back into the house and headed towards my room. On the way, we passed my mother and aunt, who were feverishly discussing something in the kitchen. They told us that people had been stealing stuff, so to hide our valuables. I went up the stairs to my room, and Mario took off to some other floor, where his was presumably located. There, I stashed my money under my mattress and tried to think of somewhere to put my guitar. I took it out to the hallway, still searching, and saw Steven, Amelia's friend who had done Castles in the Sand with us on Saturday.
"Steven!" I said. "You need to hide my guitar!"
"Okay, whatever," he replied, his typical response.
Then, I went looking for Mario again, but couldn't find him until I heard some loud noises outside the window.
There was scaffolding running up the side of the house, and on it, Mario was fighting, swords and all, with Smee from Captain Hook.
Then my alarm went off and I woke up.
Interpretations, please?

May 18, 2009

The Continuing Adventures of Me and My Two Too Large Feet

Today, while getting off the bus, I tripped over the side of my seat, then, when going down the stairs, I nearly face-planted. Nicky, who was the only kid on the bus at the time, gave me an incredulous look. I don't care what she thinks- I truly am that clumsy.
In other news, this site is hilarious. I'm partial to "Today, I stumbled. I looked around but no one saw me. I was still embarrassed. MLIA."
That site is almost as good as this one.
Now, I'm going to go write a U.S. history reflection about how it feels to get a 2. I'm going to milk all of the pain, suffering and personal growth that I possibly can out of that low grade.

May 17, 2009

Castles in the Sand

This year, we made two frogs drinking coffee, and we were beaten by the girl in the picture. I, for one, was most annoyed, even if that sea serpent was rather cool. I think that for next year, we should do a frog that is in the process of being dissected.
Also, I just realized I totally botched up the names in my transcription of an English convo last week. Dino is related to Caroline, not Emily. Whoops.

May 15, 2009

Old People Doing Stuff

Grim Reaper Day was today, and I didn't feel that the assembly did particularly much. It felt impersonal and didn't really move me. I think part of the reason was that they never really said anything about the people who died aside from "it was my best friend," and the guy (who's probably only in it for the community service hours) was even worse. Listening to Opmin talk about what her brother was like during class had me staring at the desk thinking "don't cry" as I teared up, but the movie at the assembly just made me dizzy.

In English today, we discussed our weekends.

"My mom is graduating this weekend," Caroline informed the class. "She's getting her masters in education."
"Oh, that's so nice! What's her degree for?" Mrs. Leon asked.
"Oh, um, I dunno...she teaches third graders?"
The class laughed at her confusion.
"So elementary education. That's wonderful," said the teacher.
"Oh!" responded Caroline, "I was going to say that, but I didn't want to sound stupid."
"That went well," someone mumbled sarcastically, and the class laughed again. I then raised my hand.
"Speaking of people getting degrees later in life, my great-grandmother went to college when she was about 60," I said.
"What did she major in?"
"I dunno. It was before I was born, my Mom was just randomly talking about it last weekend, and it seemed relevant."
Another chuckle.
Then, Emily raised her hand. "My nana used to work as a secretary for a company that sold things to the army, but she found out that the younger, hotter secretary was getting paid more than she was, so she confronted the boss, who refused to pay her more, so she quit, started a competing company, and drove her old boss out of business, and now she sells stuff to the army from her attic as the only employee of her business. Go granny!"
Then, Dino spoke. "So," he said, making his usual unsuccessful attempt at a dramatic pause. "Speaking of old people doing stuff-"
"Old people doing stuff! What?" Mrs. Leon squawked.
"Well, they're old people, and they're doing stuff, so" *undramatic dramatic pause* "old people doing stuff. Anyways-" he paused, again "-my great-aunt- she's Caroline's great aunt too-"
"Wait," interrupted Rachel. "You and Caroline are related?"
"Yes," he said, and proceeded to explain their relationship in intimate detail before actually telling his story, which was boring enough that I can't remember it. He finished with, "So, see, old people doing stuff. I think I should trademark that. Old People Doing Stuff."
"My grandpa ate breakfast this morning," muttered Peter.
Caroline and I turned to Gemma and simultaneously said "What did he say?"
Gemma shrugged, and we all turned to look expectantly at Peter.
"My Grandpa ate breakfast this morning."
So old people CAN do stuff other than go to college!

May 14, 2009

Fun Times

I've been trying to come up with something interesting to say, but, quite honestly, I currently can't- oh, wait, I've got a mini one.

In music theory today, I tripped over my own lunchbox. The guy at the piano next to me looked up incredulously. "Did you just trip over your backpack." "No, lunchbox, actually."

Then, I finally went back to choir, which I've been ditching for Driver's Ed. for well over a month. As I was walking up into my choral position, I caught my flip-flop on the side of a chair and tripped spectacularly towards the tenors (and basses, but tenors is more alliterative), who laughed. I still maintain that this was a totally accidental tripping and had nothing whatsoever to do with looking at far-too-good-looking-for-his-own-good Wes.

Just for good measure, here is a Dave Barry article.

May 13, 2009

Personality

I'm having a fun time with personality tests. Look at my badge!









May 12, 2009

The U.S. blog

is located here. And I am very confused as to who this Debrah person is, and why on earth she is reading our little corner of cyberspace, let alone commenting on it.

May 11, 2009

Dracula

is officially the most boring book ever.
Today, I had my A.P. music theory exam, which went better than I expected, but I suppose I'll have to wait and see. Afterwards, Avon, Nyx and I (I has good grammar, see!) went to the diner and got lunch. We stayed there for about an hour, bought next to nothing, and then spent ten minutes sitting at the table waiting for them to come take out money because we forgot that you're supposed to go up there to pay. It was rather comical, actually.
Then, I had about an hour at home before I had to go back to school for a gala rehearsal. However, it turned out that there weren't enough people, so the conductor canceled the entire number and I got to leave early. Unfortunately, there was still an hour and fifteen minutes to go before my parents could come to pick me up. So, I wandered the school for a while before settling down in the lobby of the auditorium, where it was nice and quiet. The only activity for about half an hour was Josh repeatedly walking out one door of the auditorium, past me without noticing I was there, then back into a different one.
After I had read about two chapters, activity increased. First, Ryan walked by, apparently giving a tour ("Are there separate wings for each grade?""Um, kind of. Well, no, actually."). Then, Adrian and Jun walked by, talking about some complicated math problem. I assumed engineering team had just gotten out, and thought nothing of it. Then, to my surprise, Mario, Irving, Theo, and a junior whose name I don't know came walking down the hall, discussing another, equally complicated sounding math problem.
I tried to read for a while more, but I could still hear them distantly talking, and really, eavesdropping is far more interesting than Dracula, and I still had 45 minutes to kill, so I picked up my book and strolled nonchalantly down the hallway. As I got closer, I could hear Theo talking to our science research teacher, Dr. Breese ("I have all sixes," he frequently reminds her). I talked to her for a minute before walking around Mario, Irving, and the unknown junior and settling down on a bench to listen in. Unfortunately, their conversation was entirely boring and related to replaying some problem from their A.P. test, and when Mario finally realized I was there and talked to me for about a minute and a half, that conversation was also boring. Really, the only entertaining thing was that after Mario left, an unknown freshman asked the unknown junior something about Mario, and they came to the conclusion that Mario is "like, a genius or something."
Beyond that, my day was uneventful.
I leave you with another essay.
One man can have a great effect on society. However, apparently one woman can't, seeing as I don't reference any females at all in this essay. As a form of protesting my own lack of gender neutral pronouns, I will not post this essay, and will instead leave you with this, a study that I really, really don't want to believe.

May 10, 2009

Creeper

Last night, after a month of electronic silence, Caleb and I instant messaged.
You may have heard of Caleb already. He is the Asian boy who, up until yesterday, I had never actually met. He accidentally friended me on facebook, and we proceeded to talk. A lot.
Here is a transcript of our first conversation:

Tea: Would it be awful for me to say that I don't know who you are?
Caleb (C): SHP. And I don't really know you either. But the impersonality of facebook will compensate.
T:hmmmm.....okay!
what class are you taking?
C:Organic chem
T:oooooh. I haven't got anywhere near the necessary patience/interest for that one.
C:.Aren't you in organic chem?
T:no, i'm in neurobiology. Is there someone named tea in organic chem?
C:Weren't you in the group "Organic Chem @ Columbia"?
T:no. I'm in the Columbia SHP group, but that's it
C:Okay...Maybe i am delusional.Which happens a lot. Alright, if i see you i'll say "hi" And you'll be like "Who the freak is that?"
T:Oh great- now whenever someone says hi to me on saturday, I'll have to say "who the freak is that." I'll offend anyone who isn't you. If you had some recognizable pictures online, at least I'd have a stab at facial recognition (or cognition, since I haven't seen you before)
C:I suppose u can analyze my fifth grade pic. Add glasses, longer hair, 2 feet, and 50 pounds.
T: so, someone with glasses and a very odd expression on their face. Got it. Although I can't get height from the pic. can I get at least an approximation?
C: 6'. But i won't be there is saturday.. PSATs I am so excited!!!!!!

And after not being there on saturday, we had a long chain of not being there at the same time, and we never ACTUALLY saw each other. We'd instant messaged a lot, then we had a month of silence, then, abruptly, last night, he said that he wanted to meet up. So, he said he'd text me tomorrow.
Lo an behold, the next day, he texted me while I was on the train with Mario. I told Mario the story about Caleb, and Mario's immediate response was to tell me not to meet him in private. I responded by telling him that I wasn't a complete imbecile, and Mario told that he should hide nearby and I should devise a codeword, and, in the event that he turned out to be a complete creep, I could say the code word, and Mario would come out, and we would beat Caleb up with a pipe. I have no idea where Mario got an imaginary pipe from, but we eventually decided that he would just stand nearby.
So, after going to Starbucks, Mario's second home, we stood by the visitors' center/library and waited for Caleb, who eventually showed up.

C: Hi.
T: Hi. This is Mario. I brought him along for safety purposes.
M: Hi.
C: Hi.
T: It's nice to know that you actually exist, but it's odd to see you as an actual person.
C: Yeah.
*silence* *Tea giggles into her coffee*
T: We should, um, probably go to class.
C: Yeah, okay. Bye.
T: Bye.
Tea and Mario watch Caleb walk away.
T: Well, that was awkward.
C: Yeah.
Tea and Caleb then parted ways, and Tea called Nyx on the phone and told her the story while laughing madly in the elevator by herself. Good times.

May 9, 2009

Jokes

Sometimes, Mario and I attempt to be funny, but we are often unsuccessful in our pursuit of jocular entertainment. For instance, today on the train, we were waiting for the conductor to come and punch our tickets, so I decided to try one of my New Math jokes out on him.

"If people tried to trick me by swapping ticket stubs," I said, "I would definitely notice. Then again, I would never want to be a conductor."
"Yeah, all day, every day, back and forth and back and forth and back and forth..." He began trailing off.
"Oh! I definitely heard a joke about conductors recently. What was it?"
"Back and forth... Ha!" He starting rifling through his omnipresent notebook.
"Oooh! I got it!"
He stopped and looked up.
"Okay, so," I said. "If lightning hits the back of a train, how long before the guy driving it at the front dies, provided he's a good conductor?" I waited expectantly for a response.
Mario thought seriously for a moment. "I don't know."
"It's a pun. He has to be a good conductor to get electrocuted."
He looked confused. "But how long does it take?"
"A conductor of electricity? And a conductor on a train..."
He thought for a moment more before it dawned on him. "Oh. That makes sense."

We sat in silence for a brief moment.
"So what were you going to say?" I asked.
"Oh!" He pulled out his physics packet and began searching for it. "There's a word in here, for when the electricity goes to *(physics word)* and back to *(physics word)*, then the first one starts pulling it back, then the second one, and it goes back and forth and back and forth."
"Like alternating current?"
"I dunno. But look, I have a graph, see?"
I scooted closer and looked over his shoulder. "Um...no. I don't think I know enough physics."
"Yes you do. I just explained it. It goes back and forth and back and forth!"
"Why is that funny?"
"Oh. It's not really, I guess. It's just that it goes back and forth, just like the conductor."

May 8, 2009

Dialogo

A Literal Translation of my latest spanish dialogue:
Narrator (N): For many years, the Marquis had the wish to kill the servant who had torn the fan of his wife.
Marquis (M): Today, I am happy that I can finally complete my goal.
N: The servant didn't know that his life was soon going to end.
Servant (S): You're blocking where I need to walk in order to obtain my serving platter.
M: You tore the fan of my wife many years ago.
S: I only tripped. I don't thing that I have culpability.
N: Like a lightning-bolt, the Marquis took the serving platter and began to fight with the servant
*the boy playing the waiter grabbed the platter and began hitting the boy playing the waiter over the head with it. Needless to say, I, the narrator, was laughing*
S: I hope that I win this important fight and that you lose.
M: You are an arrogant man and I recommend that you surrender.
N: The fight continued for some minutes, but at the end, the Marquis didn't vacillate and killed the servant.
M: Finally, I am capable of avenging myself of the servant!
N: Then, the Marquis left from the scene of the murder and went to his house.

Condesita (C) *played by Avon*: Hello, my good looking spouse. How are you? My god! You have blood on your hands! You have tripped?
M: I spoke to a man that I abhor. Now, he is not in the life.
C: I hope that you did not kill a man when you were at the embassy today.
Son (S): Dad, you killed the servant? I have wishes to see the body!
C: I hope nobody finds the body of the dead.
N: All the people of the family had a lot of fear. The Marquis recommended that the family flee the country.
C: We should change our names and flee the country.
S: Let's form a group of the freestyle rap music!
C: What a good idea, son.
N: Then, the family moved to Detroit and participated in many rap competitions.

M: My family, we have won many competitions and tomorrow is the big championship. How would you like to celebrate?
S: I want to go to the zoo in order to see the elephants.
N: While they were at the zoo, an elephant ate the family *(at this point, I was laughing so hard I had to stop and attempt to gather myself before spitting out comió)

C: We are in the stomach of the elephant and the championship is tomorrow. What are we going to do?
N: The family hoped that they could go to the competition, but they didn't leave from the stomach for ten years, and finally, they went out.
M: How good that now we are not in the stomach of an elephant.
S: Yes, I have much hunger because I have not eaten for ten years. I want sweets.
C: Good, son. Let's go to the store in order to obtain sweets that you can eat.
S: The sweets are very pleasing to me and I abhor the elephants.
M: Yes, never are we going to go to the zoo another time.
C: It is evident that the rap doesn't function for our family. We need to form a team of badminton!

THE END

The other presentations included one in which the Condesita is sitting with her husband (the Marquis) and her daughter, when the man she is having an affair with appears (handily gripping a rose between his teeth to denote his status as a Don Juan). The Condesita decides she likes the other man better, so the Dad kills himself dramatically and the daughter cries unconvincingly.
In another, the narrator came armed with a guitar. Archie wore a blonde wig to play the Condesita, and he and his hubby started a basketball team with ten of their eleven children. the eleventh wants to be a singer, so delivers most of his lines in song while the narrator plays guitar (yo amoooo tiiii, etc.). Unable to cope with his athletic parents' disapproval, the boy steals their money and runs. His parents don't hesitate to buy firearms and follow him, and the boy booby traps the path behind him. His father falls in a booby trap and dies (dramatically, of course), so Archie takes it upon himself to shoot the son, who also dies (dramatically, of course).
In another, Dino (short for dinosaur) plays the Marquis and must choose between John (he has a female twin) and Sonny (also a guy). Sonny spends the entire time devising devious tricks to get Dino to leave John, but in the end, Dino announces that he really just loves John, and hugs him.
It was all very silly.

May 7, 2009

What is strange, uncomfortable, and really long?

This is another story courtesy of Nyx and Tamir, her lab partner.

Setting: Chem class. Both are seated at desks, with Tamir's legs reaching across to the horizontal supports of Nyx's.

Nyx, looking down: Jeez! Your feet a huge!
Tamir: That's not the only thing that's huge.
Nyx shoots him an incredulous look.
Tamir: 10 inches, baby!

When Nyx told me this at lunch, I laughed for a very long while. I also remarked on how ridiculous it is that her lab partner has freakishly huge feet (probably because he is tall enough to make me look like a dwarf) when my lab partner, who is at least 6', has feet that are smaller than mine. How can his feet be smaller than mine? How can he run multiple miles everyday and still stay upright rather than falling due to lack of support? It's entirely unfair. If my feet were even a half size smaller, it would be so much easier to find shoes!

I also realized that it is utterly absurd that my lab partner and I managed to have an entire conversation about shoe size without making any inappropriate jokes. I will attribute this to the fact that I don't generally make dirty jokes, and he probably wouldn't want to make any jokes about his being "small."

I also figured that Nyx would want to know that I now have a picture of Ryan (the cute cellist in pit, as opposed to the creepy cellist who wrote Tierra a symphony) on my phone, because Tawny took a picture of him using my cellphone and set it as my background (although I got her to change it back). He was making a very serious cello-playing face, which I thought was rather funny, but I only just now discovered that Tawny actually went back into my phone and deleted the picture, so, um, I lied. Sorry.

And the answer to the question in the title is a court case.
Description courtesy of Opmin.


May 6, 2009

Conversations

With Mario, of course (after all, who else would I be talking about)

As I emerged from the library this morning- not carrying my lunchbox, as I had left it sitting under the table, where I would have to retrieve it during lunch, after canvassing my morning classrooms in search of the elusive lunchbox, from beneath the bag of an entirely unaware freshman- I spotted Mario. He standing at the corner before the guidance department, (sorry for the tangency about the lunchbox, but we were reading those Bulwer-Lytton sentences during English today, and it's left me a wee bit loquacious), and talking to somebody (no, I can't remember who).

I looked at him, checking for the brief moment of eye contact that precludes a "Hi" or a wave (I'm always horrible embarrassed when other people don't notice me waving to them, so I do my best to notice others). I can't remember if he spotted me or not (what? it's been a long day! *it's been a long been a long been a long been a long daaaayyy*), but his conversation looked like it was ending, and he was angled in the direction I was going, so I slowed my walking (not that I was moving very fast in the first place, as Gretchen would surely tell you) on the off chance that he went the same way.

Just after I had *ahem* breezed by, he finished talking and started walking. I turned to wait for him and said, "Hi."

"Hi," he responded. "What's up."

"Math test. First period."

"Oh. Me too."

I looked at him, puzzled. "You definitely don't have math period eight. You used to, but now you don't. Right?"

"Oh. Um." He seemed a bit taken aback by my intimate knowledge of his schedule (I only know two or three classes. Honest!) "A.P. test. For calc. Probably hard, but um, fine, really."

"Oh. Well, good luck."

"Yeah, I should be fine. Not that hard really." He started to turn.

"Bye!"

"Bye." He kept walking for a step or two before turning. "Thanks." I think he said for the good luck after that, or something, but the problem with stories that take place before 7:30 a.m. is that I really have trouble remembering the dialogue. Unlike my discussion with Rube, which I transcribed almost word-for-word two days later, these early morning things are far more difficult to keep track of. It's a pity, really.

Education

My beloved readers: I am currently very tired, so I will leave you with some things from my school life. I was going to give you my Power of One essay from last year, about the supreme awesomeness of Gutenberg (printing presses ftw), but it's a rather well-written paper, and is, thus, both impossible to make fun of and decidedly boring. I did, however, find my planning for my midterm essay on Art Throughout the Ages, so I figured I'd give my year-later summary of that.
From the renaissance, we have the Last Supper, a painting of Jesus and some other guys who look like Jesus, and they are eating supper. It was Jesus's last supper, but everyone else was probably going to eat again tomorrow. Unless they were attending the execution, in which case they probably decided to fast. The Renaissance government was really decentralized, mostly because everyone was so busy trying to be Renaissance Men that they didn't have time to specialize in government and, you know, govern, and whatnot. They mostly went to church instead, cause they were all Catholic. So, the art was Catholic, with lots of Saints and other dead people who were also Catholic. Catholicism was kind of a big deal back then.
During the Reformation, things were reformed. Martin Luther, who is like Martin Luther King only white, redid the whole religious thing and created protestantism. This would establish him as the original goth teenager, as he struggle to be nonconformist and not be Catholic inspired him to go hang out in a different place where everyone was the same, just a different the same.
In Ancient Greece, there were a lot of naked people. We know this because there are lots of pictures of naked greek people. The fancy explanation for this is that they appreciated the human form. The real explanation is that Greece is near the equator and, thus, is really fucking hot. If it was a zillion degrees out and you had no air conditioner, I think that you, too, would rather run around naked.
So, Art reflects culture. Catholic art is Catholic, Reformative art is not Catholic, but it's all protestant, which is kind of the same thing. Greek art is pretty much all naked.

The End

Also, I'm going to leave you with a quote. You're welcome to guess where it's from, although I doubt you will.

"I think that I love society as much as most, and am ready enough to fasten myself like a bloodsucker for the time to any full-blooded man that comes my way."

May 5, 2009

Lab Partner

This takes place last weekend, after class ended. Siya, the teacher, dismissed everyone, and the other eleven kids raced towards the door. I, per usual, had to pack up my bag. Rube, my lab partner, had already slung his backpack over his shoulder and started out.
"Ahh! Rube, wait for me," I called.
"Okay, okay."
I resumed packing my bag before glancing over my shoulder at him. His head was all of a foot behind me, and I, expecting him further back, promptly panicked. "Eeep! too close."
He moved over to my other side, granting me a few more inches of space. "Better?"
"Much." We walked out the door and down the hall to the elevator, following another sophomore whom I've never actually heard talk. Right when the doors started to close, we heard running footsteps and a yelled, "wait!"
Quiet boy reached for the *door open* button, but not fast enough. The door closed, and he said "Damnit," but entirely without passion, and resumed staring silently at the door. I found the entire situation hysterical and began giggling madly, falling back against the wall of the elevator.
We reached the bottom, got out, and kept talking. Rube made some relation of the situation to someone named Optimus Prime.
"Who's that? Did he invent prime numbers or something?" I asked.
"No," Rube said, looking at me concernedly.
"So he's a Roman emperor then?"
"No..."
I frowned. "I give up."
"It's a Transformer!"
"A what?"
"A robot in disguise. How do you not know the names of the transformers?"
"I didn't watch transformers. I watched Totally Spies."
"Totally Spies? How is that a show?"
"It's a bunch of girls who do spy stuff and go shopping."
"Well, that makes sense," Rube said sarcastically.
"It's not as if they make any more sense than transforming robots."
At this point, the guy who had missed the elevator caught up. He glared at us. "Douchebags."
"Um, sorry?" Before we could finish filling him in on the conversation, he broke off in another direction and my cell rang, playing Mozart. I answered it, unsurprised that Sean was on the other end.
Rube ignored the interruption. "Is that seriously your ringtone? Hah!"
"Shut up! No, Sean, not you! I can't hear you anyways. What?" I asked. Rube pulled a weird face. "Stop it! No, Sean, not you. We're by this big flag on a stick. It's like, really tall."
"Flaaaahhhg-pole" Rube said, exaggeratedly.
I rolled my eyes at him. "Yes, whatever, it's a flagpole. And there's, like this building."
"Liii-braar-yyy," Rube helpfully supplied.
"The library. No, not the actual library, the one that says it is but isn't."
"Viiiiisiiiiitooor's center"
"It's definitely not a visitors center! Wait, no, Sean, not you, I can't really hear right now-" Rube was laughing "-but I'll meet you at the fountains, okay? Okay, okay, bye."
Rube was in hysterics. "You didn't even let him respond. You're just like, 'Okay, okay, bye!'"
I shrugged. "He'll find me. Then I'll be stuck on a train with him for an hour." I gave my monologue about how annoyingly awkward the train rides always are, and by that point, we had walked past the fountain, over to one entrance, turned around and gone to the other entrance, when I said I really should go to the fountain, so Rube said "okay," and we both turned around and walked back towards it.
His response to my future awkwardness was to quote a Simpsons episode in which the family is seated with someone they don't particularly want to talk to. A basic transcript below:
*silence*
-I wonder what speed the fan is set at-
-wanna guess?-
-no-
*silence*
someone looks at the switch and says -it's on medium-
*silence*
-I would have guessed low-
-Well, you would have guessed wrong-
-oh-
*silence*

Then Sean showed up, Rube left, and we all lived happily ever after.

May 4, 2009

Anecdotally

Anecdote 1:

On the cab ride home, Sean, Mario, and I were seated in the cab, in that order, with Mario stuck in the middle. Sean was in complete awe of the taxi T.V. (oooh! comercials! on the back of the seat!). He was laughing hysterically at the commercials, I was giggling a bit at how overly entertained he was, and Mario wasn't even breaking a smile.
An ad for Wolverine came on, and the announcer went "He returned to a safer job as a lumberjack," or something to that effect, and Sean, right on cue, started singing the lumberjack song. Mario, being Mario, glanced at him, then resumed his general relaxed expression of staring unemotionally into the distance.
Sean looked at Mario. "Have you never heard that song before?" Mario gave a slight shake of the head. He leaned over Mario and looked at me. "Have you heard that song before?"
"I've heard some of my friends sing it."
He resumed his interrogation of Mario. "You've seriously never heard that before? I cannot believe that you have never heard the Lumberjack Song!"
"No," said Mario.
"Well," said Sean, gearing up for a monologue. "It's this lumberjack singing a song-"
No shit, I thought to myself.
"-and then he starts going on about hanging out in bars and wearing women's clothing and being a transvestite. It's REALLY funny!"
"Oh." Mario had a decidedly nervous expression on his face. Sean started singing again, and Mario just sat there, looking grumpy.

I have no idea what his problem was, and after we got on the train and walked down from the rear car all the way to the front looking for seats, he was in a much better mood. He actually smiled at me after helping with one of the doors (I was confused as to why he smiled, but, eventually, I realized that I had started grinning at how ridiculous it was that we were walking down the entire flipping train). We eventually found seats, with Mario and I on one side and Sean on the other side and a bit to the back. Sean promptly took out his phone and spent the entire ride on it, while Mario and I had our little double seat, which didn't even have a window (most bizarre) to ourselves. Mario seemed quite happy, and remarked, "I knew it would all work out."
I chuckled a bit. "Okay," I said, a bit incredulous.
"It's because I had you guys with me. Good luck charms, and all that."
I looked at him as if he was insane because, clearly, he was. "Whatever you say, Mario."

After we had been seated for a while, we had the following conversation related to U.S., which I think Vicky will appreciate.

Me: there's actually a corner in Harlem where Malcolm X boulevard meets Martin Luther King boulevard.
Mario: No, there isn't.
Me: Yes there is. I saw it when I was sitting in the cab by myself last week with nothing better to do than watch street signs.
Mario: That's ironic.
Me: I'm not sure if ironic is quite the right term, but it's certainly something. I can't really think of anything to call it better than ironic, though.
Mario: Yeah.
Me: It sounds like something we'd talk about in US.
Mario, quickly: I call it.
Me: No way! I thought of it first!
Mario: But I said it was ironic, and I thought we should bring it up in class.
Me: But if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't have anything.
Mario, frowning: When do you have social studies?
Me: Period 1. I win.
Mario: Fine, but you have to mention me. Like, say 'Mario and I just happened to be talking about this' or something.
Me: Sure. But, well, I've mentioned it in my quarter group before, so Opmin didn't hear, but it might be weird to bring it up again, and I might forget anyways, so you bring it up too, and mention my name.
Mario: okay.

When I brought it up in class, Opmin said that it definitely wasn't ironic, and proceeded to inform us that she hated the Alanis Morisette song "Ironic" with a fiery passion, and that every street named MLK was incredibly seedy and dangerous. Whatever you say, Mrs. Opmin. When I mentioned it at lunch, Julie's ears opened right up, and while she briefly referred to Mario as Voldy, I don't think she noticed that I noticed, so it's all good. I think.

May 3, 2009

Familial Insanity

Last night, I attended my second cousin's bat mitzvah. It was within two blocks of where I had had science class in the morning, which was more than a bit annoying (four hours of transportation makes every day a little bit brighter).

I had elected not to join the twelve year olds in the party room, and, instead, I was seated at a table with two of the numerous households that I am distantly related to. I had a lesbian couple on one side and their two adopted children on the other, and they spent a good amount of time talking over me at each other. However, aside from this, they were all wonderfully nice, and had the same relation to the bat mitzvah-ee as I did, so my cousin's partner, who I was next to, and I spent a good amount of time asking each other who the various people that greeted us were.

One of these encounters was with some distant relation who was drunk off his ass, and it went as follows:

Drunken Dad: you kids have one of those myspaces? a myspace? you have one?
Me: no
the 16-year-old black guy I'm distantly related to: if any male over forty asks if you have a myspace, say no.
DD: oh. *he pauses, thinking hard* whaddabout, what about, facebook. facebook! you got a facebook?
Me, guy, and his college-aged also adopted sister: yes
DD: I'm gonna get me one of those facebooks, and I'm going to make you friends, and we can talk on monday. Be ready, okay.
Me: there is no way he's going to even remember who I am.
guy: He's hammered. Do you think he'll make it back to his table without falling over?
me: who was that anyways?
guy: the bat mitzvah girl's dad.
me: oh.

If that was bad, the family on the other side of the table was worse. Yes, they were heteronormative and had the standard older-son and younger-daughter family, but their lives were clearly not harmonious. The daughter complained about some time the mother had apparently hit her. The son complained about a time he was in physical therapy because his leg was broken, got out late, and his mother was so pissed off that she made him walk home. This same son was later sent to military school. The parents said it was good for him and he eventually appreciated it, but the son showed none of that appreciation. They said that he was just such an underachiever as a youth that he really needed some shaping up. The son looked hurt that his mother would call him an underachiever. The daughter said that the day her brother got into military school and left the house was the happiest day of her life. The son seems well adjusted and now has a job writing product reviews for a computer magazine, miraculously, but he and his sister had none of the familial camaraderie that the two adopted teens, who had only even been siblings for three or four years, had.

It was rather sad.

May 2, 2009

Science Day!

Another Saturday, another morning devoted to the Columbia Science Honors Program. On this particular morning, I rode the train in with Mario, Sean, and Grandma Rose. It actually ended up being hardly awkward at all, since my wonderful Grandmother seems to have no problem talking to people. One interesting thing I discovered is that there is this program at MIT the weekend before Thanksgiving, where you basically get to take fun, but totally random classes, and I totally think that we should all sign up for it next year.

When we got on the train to go home, there were no three empty seats together, so, after canvassing the entire train, Mario and I sat together, and Sean sat nearby. Sean spent literally the entire ride on the phone with his friend, and it sounded like he was explaining the entire curriculum of calculus, or something, but regardless, he talked the entire time, and Mario and I settled down and listened to our ipods. I had rather a bit of difficulty getting comfortable because for the first time, I got stuck in the seat with the low back, and whenever I tipped my head back to far, I slammed into a useless metal bar.

There was an adorable small child seated in the row in front of us, and he spent a lot of the ride sending his beanie-baby giraffe on reconnaissance missions over the back of his seat before peering slowly up over it, grinning maniacally at me, and ducking back down. I smiled every time.

There were quite a few interesting conversations, so I'll share one a day for a few days. It'll give me something to write about, at least.

I was sitting quite contently in my seat, listening to some random spanish song I had gotten for free on itunes. I was slouched down so my head was leaning against the back of the seat below the weird metal bar, so the top of my head was about level with Mario's shoulders, when Mario started cracking his knuckles. I went, "Ughh!" and made a face before shivering.
He looked down at me, confused. "What?"
"That knuckle thing! It's just, like-" I shuddered.
"What, this?" He cracked his other hand.
"Ew, don't! My hands don't do that, it's so weird," I said.
"Seriously? You can't crack your knuckles? It's Co2 build up, or something, right? I don't see why that wouldn't happen to your hands."
I tried to crack them again, before giving up. "How do you?" I asked.
"you just, like-" He hooked the lowest segment of a finger on his left hand between the pointer and thumb of his right. "Pull in, then out."
I attempted it again, but still could not succeed. "Maybe it's cause my hands are stretchy."
"How?"
"Like, I can touch my thumbs to my wrists," I said, demonstrating.
"Hmm" He took his right hand and bent it forward, tugging the thumb towards the wrist. It stopped about a half and inch away. He frowned at it for a moment before hooking it between the pointer and thumb of his left hand and tugging, producing a series of loud cracks.
"ahh, god, that's so... ick!"
He grinned, producing the second true smile that I'd seen out of him today, and did the same to the other hand.
"Mario!"
"What?" he said, feigning innocence.
I gave a mocking glare, and we both returned to our ipods. During the next few minutes, he yawned repeatedly, rubbing his face.
"Are you alright?" I asked.
"I'm fine. I think the coffee's wearing off." (he had gotten a massive ice latte thing before class)
"Are you really that addicted to caffeine?"
"No, it's just, like, the crash afterwards. And the train, and everything. It's just, ach" He tilted his head left, like I do when I crack mine, and made an "ach" noise.
I didn't see what that had to do with the conversation. "Is that a tired noise, or a neck cracking noise?
"Tired, but-" he grinned, and tipped his head sideways, trying to gross me out again, but couldn't get his neck to crack.
"Oh, here," I said, and cracked my own.

May 1, 2009

Happy May

The rest of the dream makes even less sense than the first half, so I think I won't bother with it. Instead, I will treat you to the transcripts of the texted conversations. This one was carried out with Bette, my friend from camp, whilst I was on the train with Mario.

Me: yo

Bette (within ten seconds of my texting her): HII how's life what's up how are you?? ^_^

Me: Betteyyyyyyy! hi! im on a train to nyc with an awkward kid frm school for the science thingy and he is READING THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and its scary! how did you type that fast?

Bette: awww that sucks! ask him a question. like ask him what he though of it. something related to what you guys have done lately, so it doesn't seem totally random, but make it something you wont feel awkwaard talking about or you think he's interested in. i type fast cuz i have an enV2 and it has a QWERTY keyboard ^_^

Me: Well, i told him you type really fast and he was like woah, but im kinda giving up on us ever carrying out conversation and watsupwityu?

Bette: lol nothing much.. internetting and i may go to a friend's house later... but that's about it... sigh* itred! and lol so ask him a question, not a statement, silly! lol

Now, here is a conversation with Mario, via text messages.

Me: Im going 2 take the train, but be forwarned: my gramma is riding in with us

Mario: Haha. thats fine

The End.