January 29, 2010

Electrocution

is really, really fun. I know I've told all of you about it already, but, really, I want to record this for posterity, seeing as it was, you know, completely f**king awesome.

Yes, the two asterisks are necessary. Just as necessary as they were last week when somebody modified my science research paper to say some very rude things about my mother. Then again, they said f***e. I'm still not sure what the "e" is for.

So, today in physics, Mr. Mubble comes in with a giant metal ball on a big plexiglass stick ("Oh," said Kathrya, when I told her this. "Was it...big?"). "This," said Mubbs, "is a Van de Graaff generator."

Mr. Mubble poked at the generator and asked, "has anybody ever been electrocuted?"

"On a lamp," I said. "It hurt."

"Me too!" said Umber. "Well, it was basically a lamp, but it, like, wasn't making light, and I was going to change the bulb, so I put my thumb in the socket, but there wasn't a bulb."

"Did you get shocked?" probed Mubbs.

"Well it hurt a lot, so, like, yeah."

Nobody bothered to ask why she bothered to put her thumb in it anyways.

Then Dino went into his bit about sticking a paperclip into a socket in eighth grade (I always knew he was daft), but Caroline started telling me her electrocution story, about a live wire she had to plug into a high voltage lamp for Les Mis, at the same time.

Mr. Mubble wanted a demonstration of what happens when people get charged up. I was selected as the participant because my hair is relatively thin and of a good length. Sergio tried to get a chant going of "Tea, Tea, Tea," but he was, per usual, unsuccessful, and it didn't take much persuasion anyways.

Becca brought over a bunch of textbooks for me to stand on so that I couldn't discharge into the ground. Apparently, that's really uncomfortable, although it seems doubtful that something could be more uncomfortable than getting charged up. I stood on the stack of books, making Mr. Mubbles, who is already shorter than me, look diminutive.

"Put your hands on it," he said.

I slowly extended my hands and touched my fingertips to the metal surface.

"It'll go faster if you add your palms."

I flattened my hands. I stood still for a few seconds, the entire class watching. "Oh my god, my arms are tingling," I said.

Mubbs laughed. "Do you want to stop?"

"No, I'm good, it's just kind of....weird."

Mr. Mubble said some stuff about the science behind it, with me interrupting every few seconds with relevant statements such as "I think my shirt is sticking to me."

"That's supposed to happen." He looked over the progress of the charge. "A few more seconds and your hair should start to stand up. I wonder if we'll get it all the way over your head."

"Wonderful," I responded with a grimace. Predictable, I could see my hair starting to curl up at the edge of my vision a few moments later.

The class started laughing. I stayed there for a while longer, my hair on end, until Mr. Mubble declared me fully charged.

"Anyone want to discharge her?"

Dino, who'd been inching further away from the generator with every minute, scooted backwards another half a foot.

"I'll do it," said Tybalt.

I reached towards him a bit, but I was afraid to touch anything, so he ended up standing and reaching out. I touched his knuckle with the tip of my pointer finger and yelped.

The class laughed.

"Ow!"

"Do it again," said Mr. Mubbles. "She might not be fully discharged."

It hurt more the second time. I squeaked and moved backwards, falling off the books. "That hurt!"

"You might want to touch something metal to get rid of the rest," said Mubbles.

I reached cautiously towards the board and squealed again when I heard the zapping noise and lost some more electrons. I still hurt. I was afraid to do it again, so I went back to my desk. When I sat down, I got shocked again, eliciting another yelp followed by another laugh.

January 26, 2010

No Matter Where You Go You Stay Where You Are

As some of my older readers know, when I am not in the mood to generate a current post, I reach into the past. For today, I'll go back to an old English mindbender, written on September 11th, 2008.

The Mindbender is: No matter how far you go, you stay where you are.

A Summary:

People are boring, and constant, and never ever change, and I think that whole concept is obnoxious. My introduction is only two sentences long because I am lazy. Also, I'm using the first person, because I'm cool like that.

The Palace Thief is a book. It involves a big Roman history competition and togas, but all anybody cares about is that Patrick Dempsey is in the movie. I suppose that I can let Cammie keep her weird George Clooney thing if I can have Dempsey. Anyways, the cheating boy in the competition grows up to be a cheating, good for nothing grown up. He stays where he is. Isn't that a great example?

I think the cheating boy is a dickwad. I'm going to try to pretend that he's an isolated dickwad.

Oh, darn, Sarah Bareilles says that people don't change either. Since it's set to music, she must be right. Wait- Sarah's actually talking about moving around in the literal sense. But it's a song, so we'll pretend that it's figurative.

People are always trying to change, so the mindbender is wrong. I know that it's actually right, but I am going to be an optimistic for as long as I possibly can.

The End

Interestingly, even though the mindbender was written on September 11th, I make no mention of September 11th, despite the fact that it is a somewhat important date. To see if I even thought about the historical significance (twin towers! ahhh!), I went through my old journals to find something. Below is my September 11th entry:

Still Crampy. Still bleeding profusely from my vagina. It is muy disgusto.

Mom's going to the hospital tomorrow to have her uterus scraped out. She has to be anesthesized and shit. It's kinda annoying, but standard procedure. Intellectually, I'm sure she'll be fine, but I can't shake this odd foreboding feeling.

Though that could be more related to my audition tomorrow. Turns out there'll probably be only one piano, so that guaranteed spot- basically unattainable. Not that I won't try, but I'm somewhat lacking, confidence wise.

But it's alright. Worst case, I'll apologize to the set painters for my illness and join up. I'll go once or twice a week and paint out my sorrows, then try not to cry when everyone walks out and they're having fun and Ryan is being sexy and wahhhh!!!!

Well, that did not help.

I need to go to sleep I'll try to dream of D (I think?) from music theory, and hope that Mario turns out to be wonderful (and takes the train).

See, better already.

As I'm sure you noticed, this, too, contains no mention of terrorists. My aversion to discussion of world disasters seems to have been present for at least a year.

Interestingly, the mindbender is saved as 5.doc, but is titled mindbender 4.

How very peculiar.

January 25, 2010

Found Objects

in my A.P. English pocket divider that literally exploded last week:
  • R-rated movie permission slip for Spanish class
  • A New York Times Op-Ed article we analyzed about 4 months ago
  • 1 sheet unreinforced blank notepaper
  • 3 sheets reinforced blank notepaper
  • 8 pages of museum synthesis prompt
  • registration details for a science fair I'm not participating in
  • 2 scoring commentaries written in incomprehensible handwriting (even worse than Peter's)
  • Leo Africanus's description of Africans from Shakespearian times
  • 4 pages of synthesis essay prompts
  • The first page of Umber's research paper from last year about plastic bags
  • an exemplar photocopy of my essay about pennies
  • my actual essay about pennies
  • the first chapter of Sarah Palin's book
  • an 8 page packet on invasive species
  • 2 more sheets of unreinforced notepaper
  • a full transcript of Obama's speech on race
  • 6 page packet on space exploration
  • Othello 4.2.52-80
  • the actual penny essay exemplar
  • 10 page packet on pennies
  • my entire A.P. English midterm

January 24, 2010

Dream Unweaverers Goes Live

Well, Nyx and I have gone and started a second blog. Now, I'm not going to start neglecting this one- I am a semioverachiever at heart, and that is not going to change any time in the foreseeable future. However, I appear to have suffered from a latent desire to interpret dreams. So, Nyx and I created Dream Unweaver, where we will, as you may have guessed, unweave your dreams.

Our first post went up today, and it's an interpretation of a dream of "Artemesia" that my loyal readers may have seen before. Never fret, however- more original material is forthcoming, and, if any of you have some dreams to share, give us a holler at dreamunweavers@gmail.com.


January 23, 2010

Standardized Acute Torture

Or something to that effect.

I'm done. Well, for now, at least, I'm done. It's rather difficult to believe. It feels as if I've passed some great milestone, as if I've crossed the line from being a girl to being a woman.

Wait, no- that was when I was twelve. Menstruation and examination are such similar words, it's difficult to keep track sometimes.

Even so, it does seem like I've gone somewhere. I've taken a meaningful step in the college process. Well, visiting Dartmouth was meaningful, all three times. And visiting Harvard was fun, even if it's downright impossible to get into. But this test, it's here to validate my ability to get into those schools. It's a rather scary thought. I mean, if I bomb this, could it make that difference? I'm not sure that it could- my GPA and everything else is high enough as it is- but you never know.

But I didn't bomb it. I can't have. I mean, I can't even remember the last test I truly bombed. We're talking about a girl who was disappointed to get a 93 on her physics midterm, for chrissake. I can do it. I probably did it. It might not be a 2400, but I'm sure it's amply sufficient.

Any more would be a superfluity.

January 21, 2010

Beware of Bad Drivers

Today, I went for a walk. I went down along the beach, squinting and looking at the ground directly in front of my feet the entire time.

I made it all the way around, smiling awkwardly at the exercise walkers and other passer-byes, and headed down the home stretch away from the statue towards my street. I was getting a bit tired, so I stopped, switched my ipod to something marginally peppier, and continued walking, since I lack to coordination to choose a song and walk at the same time.

I looked up into the oncoming traffic and saw a car swerving sideways, straight towards me. "Wow, that's odd," I thought to myself, having no apparent regard for my own life and limb. The car pulled to a stop right next to me and rolled down a window.

"Tea!" called an interior voice.

I bent down and peered through the car window. "Kathrya!"

"Do you need a ride? What are you doing walking?"

"I went for a walk. I'm not going anywhere."

"Oh, well, that does make sense."

"Were you at Nyx's house?" I asked, since she had come from that direction.

"No, I was dropping of Nia after going to the mall," Kathrya said. She kept talking, and I recollected some vague memory of Nia's gift cards for some store she wanted to go to, so I nodded along. "I should probably go," she finished.

"Well, if the offer of a ride still stands, I'm kind of tired, and I'd like to go home."

"Get in." She unlocked the door and I sat down. I suppose she must have done a u-turn, but I wasn't really paying attention. "You look exhausted. I saw you standing there, and my first thought was 'is that Tea?' followed immediately by 'is she going to pass out?'"

"I didn't realize I looked that tired," I said.

She made a half-hearted effort to stop at the stop sign, then decided not to and sped up.

"That was a horrible stop," I said, ever the annoying backseat driver.

"There wasn't anybody there. There really is no point in stopping if there aren't any other cars."

I shrugged. "I suppose."

We chattered about the niceness of her car and the glories of an automatic temperature control system until we reached my house. She let me out behind a clump of bushes so that my parents wouldn't know that I bummed a ride, then drove around the culdesac and away.

There was no real point to that story.

I guess I should tell it again.

January 20, 2010

Why My Problems Are Puny

Well, I haven't got very many of them, for one thing. Just the typical constantly careening self-esteem of a teenager, lack of any sort of romantic anything ever, a relatively minor health issue, on and off anxiety, fairly frequent social paranoia, clumsiness and a severe case of the geeks. Well, that last one isn't so much a problem as a solution. And, all in all, none of those are particularly bad.

A lot of teenagers have horrible self-images, so the fact that mine sometimes is good is definitely a good thing. Lack of romantic anything ever is hardly unusual for a sixteen year old nerd. Thyroid problems are easily medicated. The anxiety I deal with. The social paranoia is vastly improved upon by large numbers of awesome friends. The clumsiness is cute. I mean, I'm 5'9", so I could probably do some serious damage and I probably look ridiculous, but I'm saying it's cute because it makes me feel better.

And geek is fun. As is nerd. And I'm probably more nerd than geek, anyways.

There is also the oft-recommended there-are-children-starving-in-Africa method. This is basically reminding yourself that somebody else has it worse. Watching The Kiterunner, for example, will do that to a girl. Because, seriously, at least I wasn't hunted down and killed or raped. Visiting the hospital also helps. I went to see Avon today. I drove on the highway, by myself I might add, and then crawled from the exit to the parking garage, trying desperately not to get hopelessly lost (I know the hospital is very visible, but roads are confusing!).

I finally got there. The people in the hospital are so nice, Avon included, but the whole experience is still somewhat terrifying. I mean, hospitals don't bother me- I'm very comfortable with hanging bags of blood and IV lines and people in scrubs. It's just I hate the idea of being so sick that one has to go to the hospital. Illness is so utterly random. I know that it's not, really, that it's the product of genes and of environment, that there are any number of things I could be doing to keep myself healthy, but there are still the totally confusing syndromes like ITP. Idiomatic Thrombocytosis Purpleosis, as I told Avon I call it. It's scary, the way people can be here one day and gone the next. I don't like to think about it too often. It's the lack of control that bothers me. I'd like to be able to say, unequivocally, that I'm going to live for 78.6 years, have 2.5 kids and 1.3 husbands, but I can't, and, sometimes, that terrifying thought seems like more of a problem than the whole list of the ones above.

January 19, 2010

Countdowns

Number of...
...midterms left: 2
...English essays to write during the midterm: 2
...rice crispy treats eaten during midterms week: 2
...cookies: 3
...blueberries: 726
...pills taken: 23
...minutes remaining with Mrs. Hirten: 35
...free periods thus far: 0
...free period in the rest of the year: 7
...twins in that free period: 2
...other friends discovered in free period: 0
...pages of science research paper: 12
...pages of research paper left to rewrite: 10
...colleges visited: 3
...visited colleges in Forbe's top 15: 2
...top 127:3
...times I have looked up RSI on college confidential: 612
...times I have worked on my Rockefeller application: 0
...practice SAT tests taken: 2
...days until SAT: 4
...people I owe clothing to: 1
...friends in the hospital: 1
...minutes on phone with Avon: 102
...percentage of that time in which Avon talked: 11

January 18, 2010

Awkward Phone Conversation

"Tea," said Mom. "Could you call Libby for me? I need to tell her we're going to be there in an hour."

Libby is Mom's friend from college. She is also the mother of Donal, the boy who looked exactly like Nick Jonas until he shaved all his hair off. He did look better with a bit more hair, but it came off because he told a friend with one of those awful semi-pubescent kind-of-beards that if he shaved the beard, Donal would shave the skull, so I have to credit Donal with a certain amount of altruism, as one less badly bearded boy breeds a better world. Her daughter, Alba, is only eleven but already has bigger feet than me. Her husband is named Sherman. They live near Boston, so we were spending the night there.

"Yeah, sure."

"Great." Mom dialed and passed the phone to me.

"Hi," said a male voice.

"Oh, hello, it's Tea and [Tea's Mom]," I said to the voice. "It's Sherman," I told Mom.

"Oh, tell him we'll be there in an hour," said Mom, at the exact same time Sherman said, "No, it's Donal."

I started talking. "Oh, well, I heard I guy, so I assumed-"

"Yeah, I'm not my Da-"

"Sorry. I just got confused and thought that-"

"Tell him we'll be there are 4:40!" said Mom.

"It's not Sherman, it's Donal!"

"Tell him anyways!"

"Okay! Donal, our GPS is forecasting an estimated arrival time of 4:37."

"Alright."

"Yeah."

"Well, we're at home."

"That's good."

"Yeah."

"I kind of figured you were at home, since this is the home phone."

"Well, we'll still be here."

"Okay. Um. Bye."

"Bye."

We both hung up.

January 16, 2010

Too Many Questions You Probably Don't Want To Read

How did you meet Dino?

Freshman year, in Spanish class. He would wait outside the room doing his rubix cube before class.

What would you do if you had never met Genie?

Be sisterless and alone.

What would you do if Dora and Harry dated?

I would be very enthusiastic, but I would also try to get her to get him to keep up with his new haircut. I would feel guilty for coveting my friend's boyfriend.

If you could marry either Genie and Ginny who will it be?

Well, lesbianism is marginally more legal than incest, so Ginny it is. Can I wear the dress?

Did you ever like Tybalt?

I am of the opinion that you can't see him shirtless and not like him a little bit. I mean, for me personally, almost any geeky guy that isn't all skin and bones is enough (i.e. Bryant and his skinny elbows. I swear to god, they look like you could snap them with a toothpick. It's terrifying!)

Have you ever seen Kathrya cry?

No, I have not, but if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, I'm here.

Would Kathrya and Melissa make a good couple?

No. Unequivocally no. Kathrya, she is really mean to her friends behind their backs, and, also, she's shorter than you. I forbid it.

Would number Mario and Nyx make a good couple?

Hahahahhaa. Only Mario number one. Number four is way too annoying, and eight is mine.

Describe Shelby:

Average height, with more curves than any twelve-year-old should be allowed to have. She's obsessed with her appearance, but also with art. She's completely incapable of sitting still. She's at times hilarious, and, at others, difficult to relate to.

Do you like Bryant?

I don't really know him, but I certainly don't have anything against him.

Tell me something about Melissa:

She's quitting SHP. Which is sad, because now the only person I'll be able to talk to is Mario. And even that's iffy at best.

What’s Julie’s favorite color?

uhhhh.....red?

What would you do if Mario just confessed they liked you?

I wouldn't believe him. Then I would ask which Mario he was, and how Scarlett is doing. I would then go home and beat my head into a pillow at my stupidity at not seizing the situation regardless of his motivations.

When was the last time you talked to Harry?

Right after the last Guys and Dolls. The conversation is fully transcribed in an earlier post, but was sorely limited on his end.

How do you think Cammie feels about you?

I think she is my friend and feels that I am funny and nice and wonderful and awesome and other good things.

What language does Avon speak?

English, Spanish on occasion, and whatever language Lysander is capable of responding in.

Who is Nyx going out with?

Nyx is in love with a box of saltines.

What grade is Irving in?

12th. What kind of a boring question is this, anyways?

What is Vicky’s favorite music?

Who knows. And, to be honest, I don't really care. I feel like music is kind of a personal thing. I love the idea of silent raves, where everyone gets to choose their own soundtrack.

Would you ever date Avon?

She's lovely, but I don't think she'd go for it.

Is Lysander single?:

I don't know, Avon, is he? *bats eyelashes innocently*

What is Dino’s last name?

He's my name-cousin!

Where does Harry Potter live?

HOGWARTS!

What do you think about Dora?:

Dora is an absolute sweetheart and gives really good hugs, especially when one is grieving over a dead dog.

What is the best thing about Scarlett?

Well, Mario's rather fond of her, so she must have some redeeming quality. Avon informs me that she's very nice.

What would you like to tell Ginny right now?:

You are an awesome friend and I adore you.

How did you meet Tybalt?

Elementary school is a very long time ago.

What is the best and worst thing about Nyx?

She's a great friend, always willing to listen, but also capable of having fun. Her worst is that annoying propensity towards physical activity. No, Nyx, I do not want to hike the Appalachian Trail with you.

Are you going to know Gretchen forever?

I certainly hope so.

How long have you known Harry (the real one)?

Since sixth grade. He was in Workshop and my computer class. In Workshop I adored him-I don't remember what he said, but my ribs still ache when I think of how hard I laughed while playing monopoly. In computer I didn't like him because he swore a lot.

Who is Rube?

Rube is my lab partner from SHP last year. He is also my friend.

Are you or did you ever date Nyx?

No. If she rolled that way, she'd already be married to Tawny.

Do you have a crush on Richard?

Never have, probably never will. He just oozes some anti-crush hormone or something.

Would you kiss Caleb?

Considering I wouldn't even talk to him, definitely not.

Have you hugged/kissed Archie?

No. Although I might have hugged him in that dream in which we lived out a sick-nasty sci-fi novel.

Would you like to hug/kiss Ms. Seltzia?

I'd hug her, and I have before, but I always find hugging teachers to be awkward.

Is Rachel your gff?

Urban Dictionary has an inconclusive definition. I deny the existence of this term.

What do you hate about Benny?

That he strung along Nyx. That jerk.

What’s your relationship with Tierra?

I suppose she's a friend, but she's really more of a friend of friends. I wouldn't lean on her shoulder during times of need.

What’s the best memory you have of Dino?

His dedication to start being nicer. Oh, wait, he broke that resolution in under three hours. I suppose it'll have to be Javier, then.

When’s the next time you’re gonna see Ginny?

Tuesday, when we're back at school.

Is Dora pretty?

Gorgeous. When I first met her in sixth grade, I described her to my mother as "Dora, this really pretty Asian girl," and my mother said that she must be really pretty, cause I don't say stuff like that very often.

What was your first impression of Harry?

I thought he was really cute. Granted, I was eleven, but he was pretty dang adorable.

How did you meet Genie?

Well, when my parents brought her home from the hospital...

Is Ginny your best friend?

One of 'em.

Have you seen Tybalt in the last month?

Yes. In fact, I saw him yesterday. Shocking, isn't it?

Do you think Kathrya has a crush on you?

Most definitely. Marry me, darling. I'll give you my shirt!

When was the last time you saw Melissa?

Math team on Tuesday, when she told me she was quitting SHP. Farewell, unfine unfriend.

Have you ever been to Mario’s house?

No, but we drove him home once last year, so I know where it is. Well, I have a vague idea. It's hard to remember.

When’s the next time you’ll see Nyx?

Tuesday, in school. Fun, fun, fun.

Have you ever gotten in trouble with Shelby?

Please. I don't get in trouble. I'm perfect.

What do you and Bryant talk about the most?

Yeah, Bryant and I- we don't really talk.

Do you even know Julie?

Quite well, thank you.

Would you give Cammie a hug?

But of course! And I do, quite often.

Are you in love with Avon?

Nope, sorry darling. You'll have to soldier on without my amor (look! I'm practicing Spanish!).

Do you know a secret about Irving?

Nope.

Describe the relationship between Vicky and Lysander.

Do they know each other?

What is the best thing about your friendship Harry Potter?

You have no idea how much I wish I were actually friends with him. Actually, not really. I'd rather be friends with Hermione. Now that is an awesome girl. I would call her my gff, but I still don't know what that means.

Have you ever danced with Scarlett?

See, I've never actually met Scarlett.

How long have you known Gretchen?

Since the sixth grade. We were in the same math class second semester.

Have you ever been in a fight with Rube?

No. No, I have not. I'm not really the fighting type.

Have you ever wanted to punch Richard in the face?

I'm going to be completely honest here and say that I've never felt the slightest inclination to do so.

Has Caleb ever met your mother?

No, and, with any luck, he never will.

How did you meet Archie?

He was in exactly half of my classes freshman year, so he was kind of hard to miss. I thought he looked like Julian.

Did you ever accidentally physically hurt Ms. Seltzia?

I don't think so?

What is the best memory you have with Rachel?

I'm thinking. Still thinking. Maybe when I cited her on my end of quarter rubric?

Do you live close to Benny?

This would be easier to answer if I knew where he lives.

Out of all 30, who do you think is the funniest?

Vicky, or Cammie, or Kathrya, or Genie, or.....I don't know, I have too many funny friends.

Who is the most flirtatious?

Benny. That was easy.

Say something nice about Tierra.

Something nice about Tierra.

Which one lives the farthest away?

Harry Potter lives in a fictitious universe, so I'm going with him. Or he lives in England, if we say he exists, which is also far. Among the rest, either Caleb or Rube.

Which one do you hang out with the most?

That doesn't live in my house? Nyx.

The quietest?

Reportedly Scarlett, but I don't know her so I can't really say. From my information, Harry. Goddamned boy doesn't believe in opening his mouth.

Have you traveled anywhere with Kathrya?

The diner. Does that count?

If you gave Dino $100 dollars tonight, what would they spend it on?

I have no clue, actually. He seems like the hoarding type to me, so maybe he just wouldn't spend it.

Have you ever kissed Tybalt?

No. No, I have not.

Are you really close to Dora?

If you view things on a micro scale, she's on the other side, but on a universal level, we are on the same planet.

Have you ever been to the movies with Harry?

Nope.

What would happen if you put Dino and Melissa in a room together?

They'd kill each other. I'm not kidding. There is a significant quantity of loathing present between those two.

If you could change one thing about Bryant what would it be?

I'd fatten him up a little and try to encourage social inclinations.

Are you older than Irving?

No, Irving has a year on me.

Have you gotten “sexual” with Vicky?

I'm lucky to even hug her, let alone "get sexual," at term which, by the way, sounds more than vaguely creepy.

If you were to go to a wedding would you take Avon?

Sure. Avon, you know anyone who's getting married?

If you were crying would Shelby cheer you up?

Most definitely.

If you found out that Mario and Cammie were going out, what would you do?

I would pester her with questions about Voldy, his bits, and his numerical identification tattoos.

Have you slept in any of their beds?

I don't think so.

Have any of them ever spent the night at your house?

A good chunk of them, yes.

Who did you go to the movies with last?

Genie and Shelby. AVATAR.

Who have you known the longest?

Genie.

Who will you always be friends with no matter what?

Genie, again.

Would you help Lysander out in a fight?

The idea of me being an asset in a fight is comical.

Is Gretchen single?

Without a doubt.

Would you donate an organ to save Genie’s life?

Without a second thought.

Does Bryant know a secret about you?

I don't think so. I hope not. I'm not really sure what secret he could have found out, or what secrets I even have that aren't already in the public sphere.

January 14, 2010

A Sign from Above

A sign posted on Oddly Specific reads:

Please do not annoy, torment, pester, plague, molest, worry, badger, harry, harass, heckle, persecute, irk, bullyrag, vex, disquiet, grate, beset, bother, tease, nettle, tantalize or ruffle the animals.

I think they've covered all the bases.

I'm still trying to figure out how they sorted them. It's clearly not in alphabetical order, and yet there are alliterative couplets. How decidedly odd.

What's also funny is how many of the first synonyms of the words show up. If you thesaurus it up, you get:

Kindly do not irritate, tease, badger, pester, harass, trouble, pester, harass, jeer, harass, irritate, (bullyrag is not a real word), annoy, perturb, irritate, plague, disturb, make fun of, irritate, tease or annoy the creatures.

Terms that appeared in the original are bolded.

I only wonder why they didn't have irritate on it the first time.

January 13, 2010

Signatures

There are many forms of signatures. There are signature traces of elements that could be used to identify the composition of distant planets. There are also signatures at the ends of emails. For instance, Gretchen always signs off with:
--
Gretchen
Even on one-line correspondences, Yuma is partial to:
Thanks,
Yuma
Ginny signs off with her phone number, cell phone number, and an alternate email followed by an admonition: "If you received this message for any reason and are not the intended recipient, please delete this message immediately. Thank you" and brainy quote of the day.

My personal preference is ~Gretchen, but that tends to confuse people who don't realize that I am using mathematical logic to state, in case they weren't aware, that I am not Gretchen.

My least favorite signature is "Sent from my iphone," because it's a really annoying product placement.

There is also the matter of real signatures, those lovely, loopy things used to sign important legal documents, such as driver's licenses. On my license, I ran out of space, so it only has the first two letters of my last name. Apparently, that doesn't at all render the signature invalid.

During physics on Monday, Gage was trying to create a fancy signature for himself. The desks were all messed up, so I was next to him and Tybalt was in front of us, and he asked us which signatures we liked best (he'd covered an entire page with possibles). He was trying to decide between two, but both of them had these funny little hearts on the end that came from however he made the last letter of his last name, and once I pointed them out, he decided not to use those. Hearts are, after all, very girly, especially for a guy who walks as if his arms are too big for his hands to reach his thighs. All the Gs in the beginning looked funny, so I suggested that he just leave off the first name all together, since Gs are extremely difficult to draw nicely in script. Ls are, after all, much prettier in cursive.

I'm not sure what he ended up choosing, but I'm sure it looked nicer than my signature does. Why did I have to have first letters that look so downright awful?

On a totally unrelated note, I saw that Rube had sent me a facebook chat I hadn't seen. It was completely simple, just "Hey, Tea, have you seen Avatar?" and yet, after I read it, I found myself leaning towards the computer and grinning stupidly.

I keep logging back on to facebook to see if he's come online so I can respond.

I'm beginning to think that Julie can't have him.

January 12, 2010

What to say?

I am extremely dead. Very dead. So dead that I may soon keel over sideways and have maggots crawl out of my ears. Ew, maggots. Oh, shit, I'm triggering an episode. I can feel them crawling, up and down my spine, wriggling about my wrists, working their way up over my ankle and across the inside of my knee and when I turn around I know they're going to be filling my room in a giant mass of-

Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.

Whenever I begin to think that I'm emotionally stable, something like this happens, and I'm forced to reevaluate.

I blame the stress.

January 11, 2010

Mushroom World

Gchat during science research, corrected with nice grammar and punctuation so it looks pretty.

Tea: Julie is offline. What is her problem? omgeedeeeez.

Julie: Jeez, I'm online.

Tea: Howdy.

Julie: We're sitting right next to one another.

Tea: yayyyyyyyyyyyyy

Julie: maybe we can talk.

Tea: haha. oh.

Julie: WHOAAAA.

Tea: Kathrya and I were making fun of Mario during gym today. Cause he was doing random high kicks. He did, like, two and-

At this point, Julie snorted, and I started giggling, and we both dissolved into hysterical laughter loud enough that the entire class turned to look at us. Angela then started chatting me as well.

Angela: WHAT HAPPENED

Tea: Nothing happened.

Angela: tell me NOW.

Tea: I TOLD YOU.

Angela: TELL ME

Tea: okay, fine, well, in gym today, my friend Kathrya and I were making fun of Mario because he did random high kicks.

Angela: mario...?

Tea: over there. behind you. by the computer in the front. next to the sub.

Angela: oh. HAHA SP FUNNY. So* SO**

Tea: yup.

Both conversations then devolved into massive numbers of copied and pasted crab emoticons.

About a half an hour later, I remembered that I could go and get my research paper back, so I snuck out of class and retrieved it from Mrs. Seltzia's room. On page five of the paper, I had written "Mario, who is quoted above, asked to be introduced in this paper as 'Paperclip's resident genius' (Mario). Although he wasn't entirely serious, these types of attitudes are not uncommon."

Seltzia's comment on the bottom: for this reason, I do- as much as I love Mario- question some of what he earlier said- though the reasons for his dissatisfaction I think may connect with what you also have already written about.

I immediately understood that she was implying that Mario's arrogance meant that his expressions of boredom probably flow more from a braggart's nature than an actual capacity beyond the schoolwork. I showed the comment to Mario, and he got stuck on the bit near the quote where she wrote "excellent." I attempted to explain the arrogance bit, but he just looked confused.

In order to further my own understanding, I endeavored, in a truly Mario-like fashion, to read some fun advice by people who talk about sex a lot. My horoscope here advises: That hottie you're so enamored with? Turns out they don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, if you know what we're saying. And we always mean what we say." Mario may not be that much of a hottie, and I'm not exactly enamored with him at this point, but he certainly does say conflicting things about his own intellectual abilities and whatnot. This horoscope is clearly presaging the comments on my paper.


Also, apparently Cosmo gives awful sex tips, so he's pretty much screwed.

Poor kid.

January 10, 2010

Writing Away

What on earth inspired me to apply to RSI? It's not as if I'll get in- after all, it's RSI, nobody gets in. Sure, I'm special on occasion, but I haven't competed in six hundred zillion math olympiads or won a six-foot diameter science medal to use as a headboard. I'm good, but I doubt that I'm really top-fifty-in-the-country material.

And yet....if I got in, it would be so. freaking. cool. I mean, all summer, for science, and research, and hanging out with other people as obsessed as I am (not that I don't do that already), and getting out of the house for once (if I have to listen to one more phrase about folding laundry or syrup allocation, I swear to god, I will scream), and.....if only "how much you want it" were a section on the application. I guess "why I want to go here" is supposed to be subtext.

Either that, or the great omniscient "they" assumes that everyone wants to go there because it's MIT, and anyone who doesn't want to go to MIT clearly isn't worthy anyways.

I think I've spent more time reviewing these essays than I spent revising my research paper. Which I get back tomorrow. My lord that art in heaven, if thou doth let my paper not sucketh, I wilt be most happyeth.

By my lord, I mean Shakespeare, and I think he only understands fake olde english, so this prayer ought to get through just fine.

January 8, 2010

Yes Man

I got home from school today utterly exhausted. There should not have been school today. I don't care how goddamned not-icy the roads were, the online snow day calculator gave me a 99% chance of snow day. I think the problem is the administration. Harsh doesn't begin to cover it. Our frog of a superintendent would simply prefer to pretend that snow doesn't exist. I think Becky's plan is the best- get into a car crash, and put your blood on his hands. Now, I probably will not actually do this, and likely neither will she, but I have a feeling that nothing short of a catastrophe could change the administrative opinion in question.

I just watched Yes Man, which basically consisted of a rubber-faced, not particularly attractive protagonist who never does anything because he's so insecure he thinks that as soon as people truly know him they'll just start hating. Then, he goes through some mystical self-help transformation and says yes to everything and finds his own manic pixie dream girl. The basic idea behind the Yes Man premise is that we shouldn't be letting opportunities pass us by, and if we'd just embrace it, our lives would be fuller and better and a whole host of other positive adjectives.

I can understand that, to a certain extent. I do think that one needs to be careful- there are people who say yes too often, who don't get their own homework done because they're too busy helping everyone else in the entire class, who give so much that they don't have anything left to hold as they fall asleep at night. I'm not sure I really have either of those problems. I mean, I do do some things. There are times when I say no, I'm too busy, no, I don't want to, no, I have a...thing, but most of the time, I do try to be somewhat open. After all, I know how depressing it is to not do anything.

When I was younger, I used to always have absolutely nothing planned for the first week of summer. I would veg, completely and totally, for that time period. Then, the year after fifth grade, all of my friends (granted, I only had three friends at the time, but this is beside the point) went to camp, and I was left alone. I did nothing for a week, and my clearest memory is of lying sprawled across the couch in the kitchen, moaning to my mother, "I'm soooo bored."

So, moral of the story, do stuff, because boredom is boring. On that note, I'm going to find something to do.

January 7, 2010

Doodles

A few weeks ago, at SHP, I was doodling on my course calender, my typical swirly swirls of awesomeness. Then I realized that I'd accidentally drawn a penis. Then I spent at least ten minutes drawing other swirls and polka dots in a way that masked said penis without actually making it look like I was engaged in a massive cover-up job. It was pretty fantastic.

Dino refuses to believe that I actually doodled the spirals on the back of my assignment planner, for instance. Whenever anybody says "cool planner," he says, "she didn't draw that." Because he's a liar. And the derivative of acceleration.

Julie says that she thinks she missed out on the doodling thing. I think it's a life skill, acquired slowly over years and years of practice. Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours, and all that schtick.

January 6, 2010

Math Geeks and Prom

Because, of course, we need to be thinking about prom dates already. Although I was having perfectly reasonable conversation with Ginny, Tybalt, and Gretchen, the group in the back had other ideas. Owen couldn't figure out who to ask to senior prom, so Mario suggested that he ask a junior or sophomore- if you ask down, the girl is so excited to even be going that she'll enjoy it more. Because that worked so well for Mario, who barely talked to his senior prom date (he is, by the way, actually going to Counties with Rachel. This still pisses me off. A lot. I wish I could tag along a cackle gleefully over their awkwardness, because, as it is, I'll just be stuck trying to sleep and being accosted by horrible images of what they could be getting up to. HCl, HCl, HCl). They consensus was that Irving put out an advertisement on the morning show and request applications, two recommendations needed. This started because of some brief mention that Dino was in need of a fembot, as Irving and Owen had only just noticed that Dino talks like a robot, and they seem to find this the funniest thing in the whole world.

They were laughing as much as Kathrya did this morning when she said I wanted to see Mario without any pants on and I started throwing shirts at her, and she decided that meant I was proposing marriage and crumpled to the floor, dissolved into hysterics.

I told this to Gretchen, and her response was to look at me, confused. "You want to see him without PANTS on?!" "That's not the point," I responded.

Anyways, after the math meet, I was walking towards my truck with Melissa, Tybalt and Bryant.

"So, Tea," Melissa said. "If, hypothetically, Dino asked you to prom..."

"Hmm?"

"If, hypothetically, and I'm not saying he will, it's just that I'm supposed to find him a date and I think I need to start asking early, Dino asked you to prom, would you say yes?"

"Well....." I trailed off.

Tybalt and Bryant laughed.

"I mean, I don't have any big vendetta against him or anything, and I can't see any reason to turn him down, so I'd probably end up saying yes, but...don't make me your first choice, okay?"

"Sure. It's just, you're nice, so I thought you'd say yes."

"I need to get meaner."

"It's alright, I'll start looking for sophomores. I figure if I find someone now, I can introduce them and give them time to get to know each other before hand."

"I don't want to be mean to him, it's just that, well, if we went together, we'd just end up insulting each other the whole time."

"Awwww. It'd be like a love-hate relationship!"

I snorted incredulously. "Bye!" I called and then split off to go to my truck.

I think Tybalt or Bryant said "bye" back. Melissa definitely didn't.

January 4, 2010

Hairy Harry Haircut

I entered the cafeteria this morning entirely unsuspecting of the great change that had occurred. Cammie called me over to a well-populated table.

"Ohmigod, ohmigod, Teaaaaaaaa."

I dumped my stuff and joined her jumping. "Ohmigod, whattt?"

"Harry cut his hair and-"

I squealed, cutting her off. "WHAT?!?"

"Harry cut his hair and I-"

"Oh my goddd!" I bounced more.

"I know! I saw him during gym, and I was like, woah. Woah. Woah. I totally understand what you were talking about!"

"I know!"

"I mean, he looks hot!"

"I know!"

"I told you so!" added Ali.

"We are so smart," I said, and high-fived her.

"I called in in seventh grade, baby."

"Sixth!" I was triumphant.

"I didn't know him in sixth grade!"

"Your loss."

"Hmph," said Ali. "Well, I think he has this lunch."

Cammie craned her neck to see over Ali. "He does. I see him. Look!"

"I'm not going to look," I said. "It's weird."

"I'm looking," said Ali. "Damn."

"I know!" said Cammie.

Feeling left out, I turned to look as well. "I can't see anything. I don't have my glasses on."

"Well, put them on," advised Cammie.

"Okay, that is just too creepy," I said, and sat down. Further Harry observations will have to wait until tomorrow.

January 3, 2010

The Pain of Grammatical Errors

How does anyone expect to be taken seriously in life if they can't even bother to properly punctuate an important class assignment? I attend one of the best high schools in the country, but these kids seem to be barely literate. I'm reading briefs for cases, and I have to stop myself from cringing.

Examples are below, my comments in italics:

  • Is The Washington State mitigating factors law a violation of the Eight Amendment's Ban on "Cruel and Unusual Punishment"?
Because Everything must Sometimes be Capitalized, and punctuation goes Outside the Parentheses.
  • He went into the School Library and opened fire on the students, causing 4 students to dies and 5 to be brutally injured.
Spell out integers under ten. Since when is a school library a proper noun? Has your English teacher taught you nothing?
  • The Court found that he had bipolar disease but was sentenced to death due to the brutality of the crime under Washington State Law.
Murder is only brutal under Washington State Law- it is soft and fluffy in North Dakota. Bipolar disorder is no longer a disorder; it is now a disease. Don't get to close- you might catch it!
  • The ruling of the Washington State Supreme Court was incorrect because the
Yes, let's all not finish our own damn thesis statements, what a phenomenal idea!
  • In Ten similar Case of Eddings vs. Oklahoma, Eddings was convicted of murder, he was then interviewed by a team of psychiatrists and was proven to have an unstable behavior, he was exempt from the Death penalty due to prior cases like Lockett v. Ohio through individualized consideration of mitigating factors required by the Constitution.
This is a boy who will not pass is SATs, he will never write a word after high school, his college professors will bang their heads against their desks due to the absurd grammar of his general writings.
  • Although People who are 18 years old aren't considered to be a minor, this could've also been a factor within this case because the Teen's mind hasn't fully developed.
I want to stop skewering Stanley here, but it just keeps getting worse and worse. In fact, I'm just not going to read the rest. Moving along...
  • No 09-_______
Is it really that difficult to fill out the form?
  • Is the Washington State mitigating factors law a violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment."
Weirdly, Word auto-corrects this to a question mark outside of the parentheses. Has my grammatical education steered me down the wrong path?

January 2, 2010

Chuckles of Doom

As of yesterday, I had 269 posts. This made me chuckle. I can't remember what Tybalt's sequence of them was (he told Kathrya, who told me a while ago). I think we determined that 691:$ is two people sixty-nineing on a bed with wheels that somebody left money under.

I'm making completely crappy progress on the applications front. I write a little. I read a lot. I write a little more. I eat a lot. I stare at the page and revise a sentence. I go and see Avatar. I come home. I go on College Confidential and read other applicants stats. I get gloomy. I stop writing. I wring my hands over the futility of it all. I blog.

As you've no doubt noticed, I'm very productive.

To do tomorrow:
-write entire methods section of ASR paper
-finish printing those stupid briefs for gov.
-finish application, photocopy test scores, panic about typos
-pack up binders that have been scattered across the four corners of the house

I think I can handle is. Maybe. Kind of. Probably not, but I suppose I'll manage.

I'm actually looking forward to being back, if you can believe it. I love being here, and doing nothing, but learning is kind of fun (although I have been learning perl, I'm struggling with the newest chapter. Who knew that subroutines could be so complicated?)

January 1, 2010

Welcome to Twenty-Ten

I rang in the new year with a glorious melon drop last night. Good throw, Lysander.

The snow war was extremely fun, and I, for once in my life, was not completely cold. A bit chilly, yes, but not that awful shivering "I'll never be warm again" freezing I usually am. Cammie and Cormac spent nearly the entire time engaged in an epic snowball fight. The rest of us were merely auxiliary assistance. I was thrilled that the weather turned out so perfectly. Despite the forecast of rain at seven, it was just cold enough that snow kept falling.

Such perfection. There is nothing better than ringing in the new year with just the right weather and people you love (cause I love all of my friends. mwah!)

Tonight, I watched old home videos with my family. I seem to have spent most of my early years smiling absurdly whenever my parents played with me, which was frequently. I now understand why my mother needed a nanny when all three of us were under five and we were living in a mansion. "Daddy, do it again! Do it again!" can lead to very tired parental units.

My balance and grace doesn't seem to have improved much in the intervening years. I seemed incapable of getting through an entire filmed scene without falling on my bottom. Oh, the woes of the young and clumsy.