Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Seahawks Camping Adventure Part 3 (final installment)

Ideally, what I should be writing is, "Sunday morning my eyelids fluttered opened as I was roused by the ambrosial scents of summer mornings, and at once I had a impulsive urge to grab my notebook, dash down to the water’s edge and write about everything as I soaked all the glory of daybreak in. So, I did just that. The air outside the tent was cool, but not crisp, which was a sure sign of the weather officially having made the transition over to summer from spring. My heart was filled with virtually overwhelming bouts of joy and delight as I scampered down the trail and laid eyes on the softly shimmering waters before me. I simply had to record the feeling at that very moment…”

Unfortunately for all parties involved (or maybe just me, I wouldn’t know…), my morning went quite differently. It was 8:30 when I was finally jerked awake by SOMEBODY loudly asking, “Did you boys sleep well last night?” Yeah…sleeping…right…so much for that.

As Lizzie illustrates in her own blog, everyone else had already begun stuff for breakfast-ing, so all we girls had to do once we got out was collect the Starbuck’s bottles, separate the three into four cups evenly, and then drink said Starbuck’s. Easy, right? For me, everything is easy in theory. In the execution everything is quite different. Even walking over to the other side of the room. But I suppose that when I theorize about walking across rooms I typically forget to take into account all of those nice little obstacles no one decided to clean up which are lying directly in my path. So I guess that figures into everything I theorize about…it becomes idealizing. Humph. I knew I wasn’t good for much in that respect.

The premise: Three Starbuck’s bottles, four of us. Us means Lizzie, Sarah, Nathan, and Jessica. Four cups, one very meticulous and precise Jessica to measure out said three Starbuck’s bottles into said four cups. One of said four people per one of four said cups, each of said four people drinks their portion, wakes up, is happy, everyone is glad because of this and the day goes on as it is supposed to.

However, some younger members of the party insisted that it was their right as much as anyone to have a share of the Starbuck’s. Another great debate about this determined that said four members of the 15-18 age group HAD to share with younger children the prize coffee. Mr. J appeased our broken spirits with some Maxwell House he magically brewed up. Still, the pride and dignity among the 15-18’s was unreasonably humbled.

The day went on a little less eventfully. Lizzie and I were going to play in the water some more, but we were so tired (again and as usual), and the little sitting rafts looked very attractive. I got the blue one and she got the silver one, and we began to float. At first we were afraid of everyone trying to tip us over and so were on our guard a lot, but after everyone actually got the message and went with it (a rarity among siblings, boys, and fellow swim team members in that order) (so it is especially rare if you, like Lizzie, have boy siblings who are on swim team with you), Lizzie and I were able to comfortably, peacefully float out to sea. At first we were going to try to paddle south towards some foreign shore where we hoped the natives would greet us and ask us to stay for dinner (lunch, rather, but perhaps they were a little uncultured and hadn’t gotten the memo that it’s typically called lunch now and not dinner as it was in the olden days), but after a while we realized that the wind and water really wanted to drift us in the other direction, so again we gave up the quest for the South shore and instead freed ourselves to be at the mercy of the light breeze. We closed our eyes for a while, probably close to ten minutes. After that while I thought for sure we had gone around the bend and were to end up in Whoknowswhere Land. Then I was suddenly jerked to full attention when I felt something under me. Had Alec and Chandler followed us all the way out here and were now about to tip us over into the dark depths of the foreboding Jordan Lake? Had we run upon a sandbar and made a very important discovery which could prevent the injury of thousands of boaters and water skiers? I shrieked in surprise anyhow, and Lizzie asked what it was. I said, “I felt something under me!” Finally I had the nerve to stick my hand under the raft. Sand, or some other sand-like squishy substance. I looked around…

Land ho!

We had washed up on shore. I felt like a dying whale. Not on the outside, but I suppose physically…? Maybe it was rather silly of me to feel like a dying whale. As a matter of fact, it was. I should have never let myself feel that way, because I might have better spent my time feeling like Robinson Crusoe or the Swiss Family Robinson people or like Wolf Larson…well, I didn’t. I felt like a dying whale, but THAT IS VERY BESIDE THE POINT. Lizzie and I laughed at ourselves and so paddled out to the middle of the lake so we could begin drifting again. We had made a lot of headway for doing absolutely nothing and wasting all that time running up on shore. We were quite nearly around the bend.

I don’t really remember much after that. I believe we had woken up enough after beaching ourselves, and decided to have a paddling race back to our own little area of the water, where we concluded it was definitely time to go eat something. Again with the potato salad and hotdogs, but I really don’t care. The difference between American and Southern Style is that Southern Style is made “more right” than the American style. And Mrs. H, I am up for hotdogs anytime. I think God gave me a lovely gift of the tolerance for eating large amounts of hotdogs over however long I must endure. If I had to survive off of them, I would do it without complaint, and I don’t know why.

After eating food, we headed back down to the water for another Sunfish ride. Mr. H had something surprising in mind—let Lizzie sail the Sunfish! He gave her a quick lesson and let me listen in so I could take over if Lizzie messed up terribly or something. As Lizzie said, Nathan and I were the brave passengers who agreed to go along on such an adventure. After we almost crashed, we got underway and did quite nicely, which is a comfort to me, because Nathan said that if we got stranded, they would eat me first. Nathan wasn’t wearing his trunks but was just in his normal attire and so jet skiis occasionally went by and we would then over the wake, causing him to complain about getting more wet each time. After a while we finally got used to it, we declared it was definitely the life. This provoked Nathan to pronounce himself captain, since he had the good paddle. I quickly took first mate, since I had to be more important than Lizzie (and I had the little broken paddle). After all, she got the fun job of steering the boat. So Lizzie got second mate. Somehow we got to talking about how Allison should have come, and if she did, then she should be both cook and cabin boy.

Our seafaring expedition couldn’t last forever, though. Eventually we could see in the distance that the parents were beckoning us to come back in. With a sorrowful unisonous sigh of colossal proportions we set sail towards land, leaving the waters behind evermore-or at least until the next camping trip.

It was time to pack up. I can tell you from experience from the whole home school conference vendor life: packing up is the worst ever. When you’re packing to go somewhere, you have motivation. You’re all excited, everything is in a bustle, and you have to fold your shirts just right so they don’t wrinkle. When you get to that somewhere, setting up may be exhausting, but at least you have motivation. It’s exciting. You have a few days of a new experience to look forward to.

Breaking down and packing up is terrible, though. All you have to look forward to is going back to the mediocre life back at home. Sure, home isn’t bad, but compared to wherever you’ve been before, it will take a long time before the thought of home really becomes exciting. Packing up is the worst. It’s strenuous, laborious work that you just don’t feel like doing because you’re too tired from all the stuff you’ve been doing the past couple of days. Not to mention, everything you’re trying to pack up seems to know this, and tries its best to agitate you more by NOT FITTING. No matter how hard you try, it takes forever to get stuff into their designated bags. I am quite thankful it was just Marck and me in the van. If we needed to we could just kind of fold up stuff, throw it somewhere in the van and deal with it later. We did that with a lot of things. Fortunately I had packed my suitcase light (not much is really needed for camping), but the tent was the hard part. I have determined I will make millions of dollars by selling a tent with just one slight alteration—a bigger bag. Nothing too big. After all, the smaller bag is for the convenience of packing and all. But it is a pain in the everywhere-you-can-think-of to put that BIG TENT in the little-bitty bag it came in.

I mean, those tent manufacturers just don’t understand that, while the tent is folded by machines the first time and so OF COURSE it fits into the bag, humans aren’t that…efficient. Not naturally, anyways. So why not provide them with something just a tiny bit bigger than the bare minimum? You know, so five people don’t have to push and pull in every direction just to squish it in long enough to get the zipper over that one portion. And what if you forget to put something into that large bundle? The bag on the Jessica brand of tents will open easily. None of the contents will unceremoniously pop out of the bag like an obnoxious Jack-in-the-Box with pomp and blare…

Well, you get the point.

After wrestling with the tent bag, Marck and I joined the others to help haul the Sunfish back up. That was a job, and I hated it so much I don’t even feel like reliving it long enough to relate it to you all, even for drama’s sake. I know, I guess I’m being wimpy…

After helping with that, Marck and I had to take off. Marck had a bad sunburn from the day before and mom and dad had said come home.

Marck didn’t like camping as much as I did, I believe. I say, “this is the life for me,” and he says something like a grunt to that. But I don’t care. I believe I shall be doing this till the day I die, especially if we all follow through with that colony idea…


Friday, June 27, 2008

The Seahawks Camping Adventure Part 2


That's like, the start of some book or something, isn't it? It's the start of some story some girl wrote in this writer's group I used to be in before EVERYTHING decided to take place on Wednesday nights. Sorry I took that. I mean, it WAS dawn. I guess. I wouldn't know, because it was a might bit cloudy. Nonetheless I forced myself out of my sleeping bag eventually. I didn't want to get up at first because I didn't want to wake anyone else up by exiting the tent, but once I got out that didn't seem a problem, because no one else showed their face till twenty minutes later. I had taken my journal out with me with the full intentions to write down by the shore of the lake. But once I set foot outside the tent, I regretted getting out of my warm sleeping bag. It was freezing outside. At least, to a little, very cold-natured person like me, it seemed like it. I thought I would just sit in one of the chairs around the fire pit for a moment and then go down, but it seemed after a while I was rather stuck to the chair. "Well," I thought, "I'll make it down there tomorrow, perhaps."

I believe what was supposed to be a journal entry about the beautiful environment turned into something more of a reflection about something I cannot remember, and then I began to write about the sounds around me...the crows, the ducks, the bird's songs, the hum of RVs. It seemed as if the Seahawks and all associated beings (namely Marck and Mr. M) were practically the only rustic people around, or at least on that particular campsite. It makes me wonder...what's the point of camping if you're in a house on wheels? And can you really call it camping? I think camping is radical (as Mr. F/Coach [same person, fyi] was saying what it meant last Wednesday), and RV camping is NOT radical. It is probably fun, but not as much fun as REAL camping.

As I said before, 20 minutes later I was joined by some members from my tent, Lizzie and Sarah. We wondered why Rachel hadn't gotten up yet, but then figured it probably took her a while to go to sleep. So we sat there talking in hushed voices and being cold, before we all concluded we were starving and needed to get inside the suburban to get to all the food. Lizzie (yes, that's a link back there...on "Lizzie", to be exact) went into detail about that, so basically once we got in, we stuck our store bought Starbucks frappeccinos (sp?) in the cooler, ate some yogurt, and as other people got up, we began a game of Apples to Apples. By the time all the adults got up, practically everyone was playing. I mean, all the kids. I believe by the time we were done, we had exhausted all our red cards, or nearly so, and I think that's why we stopped. Then Nathan, Rachel, Lizzie and I resumed our game of hearts over some coffee. There was a bit of a dispute over whether the younger members of the camping party (anybody 13 and under, or anybody "not a 15-18 swimmer") should get to have coffee, especially special coffee. They had no need to wake up in the morning, they just wanted it because it tasted very sugary. Anyhoo, then there was a dispute about people being left out of hearts, so everyone got coffee and no one played hearts. Instead, I went to go wash up, and when I came back, everyone was eating pancakes!

I don't know how that all happened, because I don't recall being gone for that long, but it seemed like everyone was already in the possession of a pancake, wolfing it down, and going for seconds. Mrs. M was slaving away at the camp stove (can't be so rustic as to cook pancakes in a cast iron skillet over an open fire, I guess...). I went up with a plate and got some bacon Sarah had cooked, and a little pancake. I buttered it, and tried to pour the syrup over it (I say "sehr-up", not "seeur-ip"), but only a few drops came out. I suppose I should declare the news: Seahawks swimmers are now officially notorious syrup hogs. Sorry to say it, but it's quite true.
I at that pancake and went back to get one more small pancake. They were delicious, for the record. If you're going camping with someone who makes pancakes, go with Mrs. M. They are simply succulent and delightful. Bring extra syrup, though.

Nathan and Rachel's mom, dad, and sister, Hannah arrived after a while, and it was then decided that we should all put on swim suits and head down to the water. Marck and I had brought our little $10 Target volley ball especially for a big, unstructured game of water polo. The Seahawks are very big on water polo, by the way. So it became keep-away water polo with no goals, which was fun for a while, till we all got tired and got on floaties. Nathan and I got these two special floaties and named ourselves king and queen over the waters, and the ball was our royal ball of power. Joel was our faithful knight on his noble steed (a light green floaty), who was temporarily banished from the kingdom for accidentally handing over the ball to the enemy. He came back thought, and Nathan and I tried to arrange a game of Floaty Polo, but that fell through, really. The moms seemed to take to the idea for a while, though. I believe Mrs. H would start a Floaty Polo league if given the chance.

After about an hour and 45 minutes of swimming, Lizzie, Marck, Nathan, Joel and I decided we were hungry again. So we went back up to the campsite to eat some leftover hotdogs, potato salad, slaw, and macaroni salad. I was a bit disappointed that everyone seemed to take to the "Southern Style" potato salad more than the "American" potato salad the night before. Yes, my first thought was...isn't the South part of America? Even when we were the Confederate states, we were still in America. So really it should have been called "Yankee Style" potato salad. I didn't even know potato salad existed outside of the South anyway, like iced tea or barbecue. Okay, well, a little discovery has been made by yours truly. They DO, in fact, make potato salad, iced tea and barbecue outside of states considered "Southern." BUT...there's a catch. They don't do it right. They can't. It doesn't taste, look, or feel like it should. It is wrong.

So what was left of the "Southern Style" potato salad (which was yellow...thank goodness) was piled on top of the nearly full tub of the "American" potato salad, and I managed to scrape the last few bits off the top, while only getting a little of the American style. By the way, I might as well go and mention that store bought "Southern Style" potato salad STILL doesn't taste exactly right, because it's really made by those Americans over there, with their wrong potato salad and wrong iced tea and wrong barbecue. Gosh darn it, they can't do anything right!!!

Well, enough about potato salad. I believe I've had my say in THAT matter...anyway, Nathan and I got dressed because we figured we wouldn't want to go swimming again till four or five. Plus, I reasoned, if Matt, Kara, Sean, Rachel, Trissa, Torin, Coach, and Mrs. F did actually end up coming at some point of the day, I didn't want to be all swam out, because surely they would want to get in the water for a while. So we played Skip-Bo (or whatever that game is called), and I believe somehow that was when I first met Bubba the Italian Mob Trucker. You see, Joel is a Todd in the making (yes, that's a compliment...). I mean that by how he does voices and makes up characters with names to go with them. He has Lenny...and now Bubba. Lizzie explains a bit about that on her blog as well, considering she is a very proud big sister of this improv comedian in the making. :P

After lounging around a bit and playing a lot of Taboo (my kind of game!!), we went down to the water and sat on the edge. Lizzie and I talked about how it was late, and the F's probably weren't going to come. We sighed and frowned for a while, before Lizzie had the sudden inspiration to go ask at the Marina if they rented jet skis. She and I walked back up to gather passengers. Nathan and I almost convinced his parents to let me drive his dad's BMW, but alas, no. So we had to settle for my minivan. Nathan, Lizzie, Sarah and Joel came. We parked in 5 minute parking and went inside to the little store, where somehow a Snickers bar came into my line of sight and I simply HAD to buy it. I told Lizzie she'd better ask quickly, but she wasn't feeling like being outgoing or something (...homeschooler...), so I asked the lady at the front counter when I purchased my irresistible treat. She said they didn't even have jet skis there, much less for rental. That was rather disheartening. Anyway, after that we rode up to the gas station and looked for Aloe for our poor sunburns. No such luck, but Joel tried on all the sunglasses, Nathan discovered he wears aviators very well, and I suggested we should buy more marshmallows in case we ran out before the night was through. Everyone thought that was a very unrealistic fear, so we went back without the marshmallows. When we arrived back at the was time for dinner!

More hotdogs.

Well, the kids fixed themselves hotdogs, as I believe we should put it, and after that was all done, the adults came up (finally THEY were hungry...) and said, "Oh, yeah...we have hamburgers and salmon burgers, by the way." By that time, I was full of more hotdogs and more American potato salad, so Alec and I decided we would split one later.

After a while it started to rain, so we all sat under the canopy that was the J's but looked like the absent Y's canopy from the meets last year, and we played "Mafia." One of those Seahawks traditions...Mafia in the rain. After the rain died away, Lizzie and I were able to go down to the shore of the lake, sit on the fallen trees and watch the sunset. We talked about many things, and we definitely agreed that if both of us didn't marry, then we'd have to get a house on a lake together, with lots of boats and a couple jet skis, and then go out every morning on kayaks, go sailing in the afternoon and jet skiing in the evening, with lots of swimming in between (for we would have a 25 yard pool in the back yard, of course), and do yoga after breakfast and fun things like that. Money didn't really enter the conversation. I suppose we could babysit for all our siblings and friends who got married and had children, and get money that way...still, I would like to get married someday.

When we got back, after the last purple stroke on the canvas of the horizon faded away to black, we discovered, to our horror, my worst nightmare had come true. There were only two marshmallows left. Lizzie got one, I got one, and we each got one s'more. Lizzie, I hope, repented from her evil ways and now will go with my instinct when I say we should really trust it.
I managed to get very sticky AGAIN. We played Twenty-Plus Questions for a long while. I even guessed, and got Mr. J's when he was doing "Idea." I felt very proud of myself. I usually just sit and listen...not my kind of game, really. So I did "Music" and after a while Alec guessed it... :) Then we split our hamburger, and after a while we all got sleepy and we went to bed. Rachel was a bit upset that it was even earlier than the night before.......


Monday, June 23, 2008

The Seahawks Camping Adventure Part One

See, I didn't take your title, Lizzie...

So, I've never been camping before, you see. At least, not before this weekend, and not ever any place but in a tent in the back yard a couple years ago. But the concept doesn't frighten me, as it does my when Sarah, Lizzie and their family asked our family, Chandler and Alec's family, Coach and his family, Hannah and Noah's family, and Nathan and Rachel's family to all take a big camping adventure to Jordan Lake, I jumped at the opportunity! After all, what could be more fun than spending a weekend out of doors with some of my favorite members of my favorite swim team?

The thing is, I decided this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity...and liked the idea so much, I decided to skip the filming for the 48 Hour Film Project film this year (which was to take place on Saturday and which I had been looking forward to ever since the one we did last year). Yeah, so that's a big thing. And what if it turned out I hated camping? I'd be stuck there, I guess. But, I reasoned, how could I hate this? But I had to admit, I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into...

So, Friday it was just Marck and me heading up (down? across?) 64 on our way to Jordan Lake. Mom had not felt like coming, Robert had some homeschool newspaper kickoff party thing, and as I mentioned before, my dad rather dislikes camping. Marck almost didn't come because he didn't know how things would go without him there to care for Mitchie-Poo.

After much confusion about where we were actually supposed to be going (even a lot of communication sometimes renders itself almost useless), and driving around trying to get to wherever that happened to be at the time (and I, for a change, was usually right and Marck was usually wrong...), both the H's and us arrived at the same campsite at the same campground!

Immediately, there was the small trauma of one misplaced sandal on the part of David. Eventually, though, those of us who were not missing a sandal self-absorbedly (is that a word?) began to pitch tents. Or, okay, Lizzie and I pitched tents. Everyone else sat around OR unloaded the Suburban (they were not missing sandals). Well, Marck helped us pitch the girl's tent. And, when we drafted volunteers to assist in lifting the poles and hooking them into to the little hook-things, we received a little assistance. After the initial pitching of said girl's tent, Marck abandoned us to Whoknowswhere Land, and left Lizzie and me to pathetically attempt to put on the rainfly. After we finally found the loop-pocket thing which we were supposed to stick a little pole into, the rest went on pretty easily, and we stood back to admire our handiwork, for just a moment...and then went to go pitch the much larger boy's tent. Again, we only were helped when it came time to lift poles, and were then (AGAIN) left to do everything else ourselves. That is, until Joel and Marck came over and Joel started going through the accessories and explaining to Marck about the "cupholders that hang from the sky." That doesn't count. Finally, Nathan and Rachel got there, and immediately Nathan asked what he could do to help. We told him to hammer in the stakes. He did. We were happy.

Skipping by a bit, there was a bit of a debate as to whether the M's were coming or not. We already knew that Hannah, Noah and company weren't coming, and as for Coach and fam we wouldn't really know till they actually got there or didn't get there. Apparently Sean had two baseball games in Smithfield, one Friday night and one Saturday morning, so if they came, they would only be able to come for Saturday night. Eventually the M's did show up (thank goodness, otherwise we'd have to have hotdogs for breakfast), and soon after their arrival, Lizzie and I were so tired from tent pitching, we went to unroll our sleeping bags and take a nap. That was a little difficult because of the constant banter from outside, especially Alec's very loud and pronounced exclaimation, "Mr. H, you are SO unoriginal!"

So that night we roasted hotdogs (after the boys took a while debating about how to make a fire, and trying to chop down the small pine trees in the little woods next to us), and after that, we made s'mores. Joel kept taking whole Hershey bars and putting them on his signature giant s'mores he was making. I had two s'mores with the normally accepted portion of chocolate on them. The majority of us managed to get quite sticky, and had to go wash up before Lizzie, Rachel, Nathan and I played some more of our Hearts game.

After I got stuck with the Queen of Spades three times in a row, we decided we'd continue the game the next day, and went to bed. Rachel (of course) didn't want to sleep, so I told her a couple bedtime stories. One was about a 13-year-old adventerous camper named Rachel who counted sheep and promptly fell asleep. The other one was the sequel, which was about ANOTHER 13-year-old adventerous camper named Rachel who heard the first story and was suddenly inspired to do the same thing as that girl in the story did. Then we all decided we would all pretend we were asleep, and see what happened........

And that was the most exciting and eventful part one! Stay tuned for more!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Night at the Improv...

So I am doing my first picture blog! First of all, I will experiment with this picture of me and my aunt right after my graduation ceremony...

Well, that worked splendidly! So I shall continue to upload the rest of my photos I took last Friday night before and after the Comedy Cafe show!

Our lovely costume/prop room back stage...

Kathy threatening Gabe in the prop room...

And this is what she did to him!

He looks very nice, doesn't he? He had a whole voice and walk to go along with it...

Here's the back "soundproof" room before the show...everyone looks real chipper, don't they? And Jordan messed up my flash *sniffle*

If you didn't know any better, you'd think we're a real exciting bunch, huh...? Yeah. Here's Todd, Robin and David doing show prep a bit later...

Here's Todd doing sound check up on stage, as well as marking the joke box at center stage:

And Chris in the sound booth:

Marck and Peggy, the hard workers, at the concession stand getting things ready:

Then SOME little girls decided to raid the prop room after the's what Cameron (left) and Kiera were inspired to put on:

Last but not least, I wanted to be in a picture (as proof I was there, after all...), but I didn't want to do it all alone, so Todd volunteered himself and Deb, and then Robin jumped in with her sunglasses, and Moriah offered to take the picture:

So, that was my night at the improv! I feel very weird, though, writing nothing but captions for this blog, so if someone could please go buy me the latest edition of Roget's Thesaurus, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, I believe I will feel a little better, if not almost all the way consoled.

Until my next entry, I bid thee adieu!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Oh, Marilla...!

What is on my mind...? It has to do with lonely and broken hearts and a deep feeling of dread which is even worse, and possibly the worse most sickening feeling on planet earth. So dread is more of the sort of thing where you're expecting something bad to happen. But it's all dread, really. That deep, sick, nauseous feeling churning about in your stomach when you discover, to your shock, that the person you had fallen for and gotten somewhat attached to and most likely had somehow been led to believe you seriously had a chance with was not just liking somebody else besides you (not as bad; that's not official), but actually going out with that person, in a serious relationship, and the person you fell for didn't even bother to tell you that small detail to prevent your fragile heart from shattering into a million pieces all over the street, some of it being ground into the pavement by cars zooming by, some falling down the drain into the rotten sewer, some of it kicked by pedestrians into the nearby grill where it is seared to perfection in the kitchen, and some of it just laying at your feet, unmoving, but hoping, praying you will pick up its remains and give it a reason to beat again. Sorry for that crazy analogy and very long sentence…heh heh.

I believe I have a very realistic fear of this happening again. It probably will. All I know is God WILL pick up all the remains of my heart, put them back together and give my heart a reason to beat again. But sometimes I have a very slow recovery rate. Maybe I'll just become immune to it. Like, I've been hit in the head with water polo balls, baseballs, basket balls, lamps, and canned food so many times, pain doesn't even pulsate through my brain anymore. So I will just have my heart broken so many times it won't hurt. I'll have a calloused heart.

But if I do, I don't believe I will be capable of loving either, and that would be very bad indeed.
I've underestimated…is that the right word?…underestimated guys before. I've thought surely they were not the "dating type", that maybe they did it the way our family does it. That in a year or two (but these things have happened a year or two ago), he would be then hanging out with me and my family a lot, and then would ask my dad if he could…you know, court me until marriage. He'd be like an older brother to me and my siblings, a friend to my dad and a chivalrous, sweet older son to my mom. In India both families are so involved in the relationship, in the wedding, everything. They even consider marriage a union of two families, not just a union of a man and a woman alone. Well, of course, they set it up. Marriages are arranged there, we all know that. But I think that's a wonderful notion, because from the very beginning, everyone is on the same exact page. I like that. Here in America, kids just want to do what they want to do, and there's conflict between the in-laws, and the kids move away and never see their parents…it's all about being independent here. But I love my family, I want to love my husband's family, and I want him to feel the same way. Now I sound all hippie-ish…"where's the love, man?" But seriously…

So I decided I am going to move to India with my family…okay, not really. Christians are kind of scarce there.

So I assume that these "potential boyfriend/fiance/husband" guys who I meet are like that (what, because they are homeschooled and/or Christians?), and I envision these things happening, and get to know the guy and he's nice. But then I find out one of two things: Either--he's interested, but only in me. Wants to spend time with me…alone. Wants to avoid my family as much as possible. Backs out on going to the movies, just because my mom or brother wants to come along. Eventually gives up and moves on with life without telling me. That's one scenario. The other is that as our friendship grows, it all starts to seem real promising…until I find out I didn't know him at all, and get the word from somebody else that he has a girlfriend, has had a girlfriend for a month or so, and maybe even has had multiple steamy relationships with other girls in the past.

The worst of all, though, is when I was originally right about the guy. He was like me. He was going to be that kind of person who came over to my house for dinner, talked with my dad about real estate and sudoku, helped my mom and me clean up the kitchen afterwards, and played a board game with my brothers and me into the night till he really needed to be going home, and I would go over to his house (on a different night, of course) and do the same thing (except he and his sister would drive me home, and he would walk me up to my porch and squeeze my hand goodnight). But as our friendship grows, something about him changes, and it has nothing to do with me. Pretty soon I probably find out from his sister that he's, "worldly" kind of dating, some other girl. Some other girl who wasn't brought up with any relational foundations his family and my family focused on, and he's basically compromising all he's ever been brought up to do to be in this exciting relationship with this exciting girl. That's where the deep, sickening feeling of despair comes into play in it's meanest and most heart wrenching form. It's betrayal, really.

That sort of dating seems attractive to me, too, you know. But I know that if I dread seeing it happen to any brother-like guy I know and love like that, then I know that any of those brother-like guys would be filled with that same sense of despair if I suddenly turned from everything I had been brought up to do to go out with some "exciting" guy. That's why I have to remind myself from time to time not to fall under the spell of that game. It's just not the way I will ultimately want things to turn out. And by participating in something like that now, I am just getting further away from any guys who are really worth it.

Now I am just sitting here sadly reflecting.

Well, I should go eat breakfast or something.

Love, peace, and joy…

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shifty eyes...

Disclaimer: This is a free write. What is a free write? It's what people, well...writing people's what they do to brainstorm. One of the things, anyway. They pick a topic, or maybe they don't (depends on what's on their mind, I guess), and set a timer for sometime...I guess between 10 and 30 minutes, and write until the timer goes off. I do it a lot. Now, you may be saying at this moment, it seems like every blog entry is just at the spur of the moment, off the top of my head, without much organization or consistency or purpose...etc. Right. So that may be true for most things...really, I should read through my entries before posting them. Oh well. I do read them sometimes, I just don't like to, and I'm not sure why...

SOOOO...a free write. One moment while I go on a journey through the dark unknown of my bedroom to find my timer.

Okay. Since the disclaimer was already a little long and ramble-on-ish, I will set the timer for 20 minutes and write away! Oh, topic. Right. Hmm. There are a lot of interesting things I could write about. I'll go ask my brothers or something. Be right back again.

Robert says: "Indiana Jones!"
Jessica says: "Ugh...PLEASE!!! I'm asking Marck."
Marck says: "Recycling trucks."
Jessica says: "What? Why would I want to write about that??? I'm asking Mom."
Mom says: "You got to swim practice today...and look! I planted that shamrock you and Marck bought me!"
Jessica says: "This is just no help at all. And dad's too busy to ask."
Skyhopper the chinchilla says: "I want a yogurt treat."
Nancy the dog says: "Don't you get my lammie toy...grrr..."
Mitch the dog says: "Let me in! It's hot!"
Jessica says: "I should be a little more creative and stop saying 'so-and-so says.'"
Jessica ponders: "I guess I will have to make up a topic for myself, or else I shall write..."


Which I believe I would rather save for a different entry. Yes, along with the muffin story...
Okay, before I give up and make something up myself, I think I'll go look in this writing book over here. It seems to have lots of good suggestions.

Nope, never mind (it was-a the POPE!) (okay, enough quoting from Sweeny Todd now. Anyways, I have "Organ Fugue in G minor by Bach in my head at the moment. Great piece, highly reccomended by me. Listen to it with a really good subwoofer).

Now I don't feel like freewriting. I guess it's because my family is so uninspirational. *heaves a very large sigh as thoughts drift off towards images of the swishy hair guy for a moment* *looks at picture of swishy hair guy* *sighes happily again* *reminds self that she's never going to marry the swishy hair guy, so get over it and on to better things* *ignores self* *bangs on her head with an iron skillet to punish self for ignoring her* *she becomes unconscious* *feels guilty for abusing self anyway, somehow, in some dream she's having while unconscious* *the swishy hair guy shows up in the dream and tells her to get back to blogging* *wakes up, sees a mocking bird outside her window and becomes very distracted for a moment* *finally remembers what the swishy hair guy said in her dream* *stops describing actions between asterisks because there are better things to do around here*


Well, that's enough blogging for today. I will try to do a free write very soon. I am sorry to throw anyone's very high expectations against the wall. And if you feel, instead like your expectations were dashed on a cold concrete floor of someone's unfinished basement, then I'm sorry about that, too. And if you feel like it was the hot pavement outside, I'm also sorry. If you had no expectations, I am happy to say I am sure I fulfilled them to the utmost degree. And if you had very low expectations, I am sure I raised them up so they could stand on mountains. Now I will go pat myself on the back and eat something (because as it happens, I do like food).

So long!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I is sleepy...

Yes'm I is! I doesn't kuh-no why, ding dang it!!

Okay...whatever that's supposed to mean...

So this weekend was pretty interesting. First of all, Friday night we got a new puppy! Okay, well, Marck got a new puppy. He's been wanting one for a long time, you see, and well...we were looking on Craig's List...okay, Marck was looking on Craig's List, and there was this couple who was fostering a dog who had recently given birth to eight multi-fathered puppies, who also became foster dogs. We got one, his name is Mitch and he is very, very, very, very cute. There are pictures up on Marck's blog (again, "Marck's blog" is a link, you just can't tell) of Mitch being very, very, very, very cute.

Second of all, we (that is, the Unintentionals and I or me or whoever [just points to self since she's being so grammar-deficient]) did a fundraiser show for the CCI youth missions people. The best part was...the free food. I'm telling you, it's just awesome to work for free food. I'd do shows all day every day if it got me food. The worst part was...the audience. For the most part they were very boring and unreceptive. If you've ever been an audience, I'm sorry. If you were that audience, I'm even more sorry. For you and for me. You know, it's supposed to be funny. Laugh. The kids are laughing! Don't act like 9th graders who think it's too cool to do/like/be associated with such "dorky" things as improv comedy (or anything else, really...[again, sorry for the harsh generalization, all ye olde faithful good non-cool 9th graders out there...]). Okay, enough complaining about that.

After we cleaned up from the show, a few of us stopped by Kroger to get some snacks before we went to Robin's house. Earlier that day over some e-mails we had decided that we would retreat to Robin's for a pool party while doing notes. We got there at about ten o'clock, took a little tour of the downstairs, SOME of us got on swim suits, and then we all went outside for some notes and munchies. After notes, Todd, Chris, Mr. Thoman, Cameron, Austin and I all played some nice, very intense water basketball, which was fun, of course. Everyone else was too dignified to get into the pool...well, except Kathy. She got in for a few minutes, anyway. :) Then, little bit by little bit, everyone went inside to play Rock Star (or some video game that seemed like it had that title, but I can't remember) and Todd and I stayed out in the pool a little longer. We kept saying we would go in and play with everyone else, but then we'd get out, he'd take my shorts, throw them into the pool, and we'd go after them, he'd get them, I'd chase after him, he'd throw them to the other side of the pool, I'd try to go after them, and he'd grab my leg to keep me from going anywhere. You would think I'd learn a different strategy after the fifth or sixth time.

Finally, I took my shorts in hand and wouldn't let go (Don't worry, I still had my skirt I had worn all day and my jeans I wore in the show with me), so we officially dried off, went inside, got dressed, and went to go play Rock Star with the other dignified folks. It's like Guitar Hero, you see, but there are drums and vocals as well as guitar. I was too afraid to try the guitar and the drums, so I just sang some. I did a little "Juke Box Hero" (Dean and Todd failed on me with the drums and guitar so I never got my score), some "All the Small Things" (on which I scored a 99%!!) and "Dead or Alive" (a measly 97%...). Dean made me sing the rest of some Rolling Stones song he had started singing but didn't know, but I didn't know it either, and then we never finished it, so IDK about that. Anyway, we all decided that we will be doing the video game for our regular shows next week instead of improv. That will sure be fun!! Ha ha ha...

So I got home at about 1:30, which wouldn't have seemed so late, except that we had to get up later that morning and go to church. David, Luanna and Barb were tired from the night before, too. Poor us. Anyway, during the service, they called all the '08 graduates up on stage to acknowledge them. Since Covenant is kind of far away from my house, I haven't been participating in any youth group stuff there or anything. Improv is my "church involvement", if you will. So I felt a little...undeserving...being up there with the rest of the kids who actually do youth group stuff. What made it worse was that they gave out books, and I felt like I didn't deserve a book because...well, to the youth leader-people, I probably was just there for one time, taking advantage of their book purchases, up for some free stuff, you know? Okay, so I do improv with those improv people. I've shown up at church events. I'm THERE, you know? So maybe I deserve a book...? But I think the worst thing of all was that I know a few weeks ago in the bulletin I had seen the announcement about the '08 graduates..."send in a baby picture and a current school picture now for a slide show for the graduates on such and such date." When my mom and I read that, she had asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said "Nah," thinking along the same lines as my thoughts I was thinking up there about getting a free book out of the whole ordeal.

So I thought, "Well, maybe we might sit down back in our seats before the slide show starts." And...then...we...didn't. I was beginning to consider asking the guy handing out the books if I could be excused to my seat, but then I thought that was kind of ridiculous. So as the slide show started, I just pretended to be very deeply interested in my book so that I would shroud my face and no one would be able to see that I wasn't in it! I felt a little better when the guy next to me asked if I had a picture in the slide show. I said no, and asked if he did, and he said no. That made me feel comfortable enough to actually watch the slide show.

As I was watching, one baby picture came up that looked oddly familiar to me. Well, the little girl did. So I thought that maybe it was some girl I grew up with when we went to Covenant when I was little and didn't really remember. Then I thought, you know what? That girl sure looks a whole lot like me...! And then the next picture, the current school picture was...MY GRADUATION PICTURE!!! I believe my eyes popped out on little slinkies and my bottom jaw became disconnected from the top and fell crashing to the floor. After putting my face back, I watched the rest of the slide show with a new found confidence, thinking to myself, oh, THAT is what my family was doing that night on the family computer that I wasn't allowed to participate in!!

Well, anyway, that was my interesting weekend. I can't write anymore, because I need to go do dishes...hurrah...


Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Vulnerable Heart

One moment please. Before I get into what I did yesterday, I should tell you what I did the night before (not watching Sweeny Todd, Nathan...), which was talk to Allison till 2:30 in the morning. One of the conversations we somehow got into was about guys and their unwillingness to be the initiators. As you all may know, this makes me mad. She has a link on her blog (that's a link back there, BTW) to an article that just says everything I've been pathetically trying to say on that matter. Anyway, on to other things...

Yesterday morning, thought I didn't feel like doing anything, I figured I should do something, and I really felt like getting out there in my grandma's neighborhood again, listening to "Love Grows (Where my Rosemary Goes)" and breathing in the fresh morning air as the sun comes up on the horizon and the air gathers humidity. It's all so beautiful. Yesterday the first song on my iPod was "100 Years" by Five for Fighting. It was just really invigorating to run to that song. It's a song about life, about living in the moment, about striving to go on. I know I sound really sentimental, but it is really a great running song.

After my run yesterday I took a shower and ate breakfast. Wow, I know, really eventful morning there, eh? Yeah. After that, I typed a couple songs in my computer (I wrote a new one called Elijah, but I can't remember if I told you that or not). Elijah will one day hopefully not just be a beautiful song, but a message for guys and gals of all ages. See, it's about what goes through a woman's mind after a painful breakup. All breakups are painful, but this one is more like…you know, the guy has broken up with her and/or moved on to someone else. A woman's heart is so vulnerable at that time, and usually for a long time afterwards. Men don't realize, I don't think. I mean, guys get sensitive about that, too. But maybe it's just that their heart are not vulnerable or confused or anything. They probably don't automatically cling to the first girl to declare love for him after the breakup. In "Elijah", the girl is very hurt. She sees how he acts with his new girlfriend, and knows what happens even when she's not looking, because of what she and Elijah used to do together. In the chorus she says she'll always love him, now and when he comes back to her (which he won't, of course), and tells him how much she feels she needs him, and asks when he will realize that. In the bridge she finally questions her rationality in the area of the whole breakup ordeal. She seems to come to a realization--he's just a "player", moving from girl to girl to girl. The second part of the bridge, she then questions what she did wrong, and why he couldn't have just stayed with her. I was just going to leave it at the bridge, and not repeat the chorus, but I changed my mind, because it really ties the emotional-roller-coaster-spinning-around-in-circles thing that goes on inside a girl's head, and leaving her very confused. Because even though she realizes he seems to have played her, and then you know in the second part where she starts questioning her own "love worthiness", it ties it all together in a confused way--she still loves him, and would still have him if he ever came back for her.

It's sad, really. But the thing is that when I see this sort of thing happening over and over again within other girls, I start getting haughty and holier-than-thou and I believe I'm better than them. I would never let my emotions run away so much like that. I would never keep falling for such a terrible guy. I would never be so throw-myself-at-him kind of attached like that. And yet I know I just seem programmed to do that sort of thing. Girls are really sensitive, I guess. Girls long for closeness, for protection, for that special man to hold them when they are sad and afraid. Well, after breakups, girls are even more sad and afraid than normal (ha...I guess), and now they have no one to comfort them with kind words spoken in a soft, deep voice, and no big, warm arms to wrap around them and pull them in close. No long, coarse finger to reach up and dry tears, no one to sit, listen and nod affirmatively when they want to spill the whole terrible story. In essence, she is sad, and now he's not even there. And she wants him there, and she will do anything to get him back so she can feel close to him again. But he doesn't want her back, and she's just making it worse on any friendship they may have by being this way. Her heart becomes even more vulnerable, and soon it will simply throw itself at any guy; she'll wear her heart on her sleeve and search for someone, ANYONE, to get close to, and if she finds someone, it will move too fast. She will move it along too fast. Then that guy's gone, and soon the girl doesn't know who she is anymore. I am not talking from direct experience, but observation over my short seventeen and three quarter years.

So I feel this way, there's no denying. I don't right now, but I have to a degree, and I know as a woman I am perfectly capable of it. It's a very dangerous thing to feel. If a relationship is going to end, best to end it on very good and non-heartbreaking terms. However, if the guy's a jerk and that's impossible, I think every female needs to understand what worse things could happen if they don't keep a reign on their emotions. I don't want any sort of breakup to happen to me, but I need to learn now that if it does, I need to be aware of what I will inevitably be going through...

A song from a vulnerable heart
By Jessica Claire Barker

I saw the way you
Danced with her
On that moonless night

I saw the way you
Held her hand
And told her it’s alright

Elijah, I love you
Always, till you come back
Elijah, I need you
When will you realize that?

I know the way you
Kiss her lips
Like you once kissed me

I know the way you
Sing to her
As you once sang to me

Is it all the same to you?
You live each of your romances through
Again and again
Or was I just not good enough?
Not worthy of all that love
You had to give…


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