Thursday, July 31, 2008

40 Secrets About Yourself

Lazy blogging once again...all the stuff you never knew about me...

One. Have you ever been asked out? Yes, unfortunately.

Two. Where was your default picture taken? Candler Swim Club

Three. What is your middle name? Claire

Four. Your current relationship status? In a mango with an awesome guy named Jesus, thank you very much

Five. Does your crush like you back? Oh, pshaw...I'm second-best, pretty sure...

Six. What is your current mood? Apathetic

Seven. What color pants are you wearing? Camo

Eight. What color shirt are you wearing? Off-white...canvasy-kinda-color

Nine. What is your favorite thing to do? Ooh, very hard. Hm...either swim, write, play piano, read, or do improv. Hard decision.

Ten. If you could go back in time and change something, would you? Plenty of things. My life would probably end up drastically different in the long run, though, and I'm not sure I really want that to happen.

Eleven. If you must be an animal for one day, what would you be? A seal.

Twelve. Ever had a near death experience? Yeah...that sort of stuff happens to people like me.

Thirteen. Something you do a lot? Sit down at the piano and bang around randomly.

Fourteen. What do you want to be when you get older? A writer, a mom, and something involving music

Fifteen. Who did you copy and paste this from? The Allison Archives

Sixteen. Name someone with the same birthday as you? Uhhhhh......the first woman born in the US, whatever her name was........

Seventeen. When was the last time you cried? Sunday afternoon........

Eighteen: What do you consider your theme song? Oh, I have no idea. How about..."Love Grows (Where my Rosemary Grows)"? I like it a lot, and it's true. I don't got no money, my clothes are kinda funny, my hair is wild and free...I talk kinda lazy, people say I'm crazy...but I'm not so sure if my life is really a mystery (it is to the people who don't know me)

Nineteen. If you could have one super power what would it be? Flying

Twenty. What's the first thing you notice about the opposite/same sex? Yeah...height, eyes, hair (preferably swishy), the way they move/walk

Twenty-one. What do you usually order from starbucks? Iced caramel latte

Twenty-two. What's your biggest secret? I have two big toes...

Twenty-three. Favorite color? Green, blue and black

Twenty-five. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows? Duh...I secretly like them, and have younger siblings

Twenty-six. What are you eating or drinking at the moment? Cantaloupe

What's your favorite smell? Books, gardenias

Twenty-nine. Describe your life in one word, what would it be? Cool.

What is your secret obsession: Giftwrap tape (the really shiny kind)

Thirty-one. Have you ever kissed in the rain? Alas, no, though it's on the top-ten things to do on my honeymoon.

Thirty-two. What are you thinking about right now? How interesting it is that Nickel Creek covered Britney Speares' "Toxic" on their tour...

Thirty-three. What should you be doing right now? Getting ready to go to the pool

Thirty-four. Who was the last person that made you upset/angry? Everybody!!!!!

Thirty-five. Why are you doing this? Because I am narcissistic and like wasting time while being so

Thirty-six. Do you like working in the yard? No, except gardening occasionally

Thirty-seven. If you could have any last name in the world, what would it be? Um...I'm not going to say. Because, though it is actually very innocent, some people might assume some things (and they would be right, too, though it's still innocent and has nothing to do with what they would assume)

Thirty-eight. Do you act differently around the person you like? No, everything is part of my personality and I just act

Thirty-nine. What is your natural hair color? Brunette

Forty. What did you think about this survey? Very time-consuming.


Monday, July 28, 2008

A Better Understanding of the Canine Population

First and foremost I wish to apologize for the very very very very very long post before this one. I sat down to do as instructed by said “Allison”-type-person, and what do I get? A call from that “Allison”-type-person Sunday evening begging her pardon, but she didn’t mean THAT much of a blog post! At least SHE read it all, unlike SOME people around here…

So, to appease all ye olde faithful come-to-see-the-headline-and-maybe-leave-a-comment-ers, here is a considerably shorter entry in my blog (to resurrect my reputation, as well, you see). EDIT: I would like to point out a little something here. Take a look at the comments from Finally! Maybe you should all remember what you said then (and at least Michelle still appreciates me) (and that's a good thing, because I might otherwise just keep her birthday present for myself).

Today’s subject: An examination of how my mind works. Or, rather, an assumption. Actually, never mind. That’s a silly subject. Nathan said it would be really scary to have my brain for a day, and when I told Allison he said that, she agreed. *sigh* Is the entire world against me or something?

Yesterday evening, when Allison called to say that it took her two days to read my blog, Marck and I were in Petsmart buying stuff for Mitch. I was getting a little down because I really wanted to adopt the ball python and the bearded dragons, when suddenly my phone rang. It was Allison, who brightened up my day for a second, till she started complaining. HOWEVER, I was not to be stumped for long…no sir! Somehow I had wandered over to the squeak toys. It’s hard to describe what happened next, but let’s just say I found my calling in life. I especially liked the big orange-yellow rubber fish with the big eyes. Allison liked him too, but didn’t really understand that it was 200 times better if you were THERE, feeling the rubber between your fingers and seeing the cute little toy as it made an absolutely amazing squeak. Squeak doesn’t even describe it. It was the absolute ultra sensory experience. I was enthralled.

Gosh, do you know how long it is to write a short entry?

You: “This is short?”

Me: “Shut up. This is MY blog.”

I promise not to intimidate you, dear readers, so I will just say one more thing, sign off, and go make myself useful.

What if a demonic spirit was released over a small town…stealing the souls of innocent people and attempting to destroy the idea of God and Christianity? What if it were so powerful that it caused the church bell tower to suddenly collapse? What if almost falls on the two main characters and their siblings who are trying to solve the incident at hand? What if there was really cool, epic, “end of the world” music played during the collapse of the bell tower, signifying just how terrible everything is? What if I was going to write that music myself, but then it turned out someone else wrote it instead, but now I can’t use it because it’s part of the “Requiem for Evita” song from “Evita”? What if I was severely disappointed? What if I was then so blinded by that bit being perfect for the collapse that I couldn’t bring myself to write something else, because nothing can ever measure up to what it should be? What if I just forgot about writing music for it and just wrote the book like originally planned? It’s got more to it, really. Came from a dream I had in December, but the thing is that it’s quite the opposite of most stories I write. I have the middle and the end figured out, but can’t figure out quite how to start it.

Anyways, it’s nice to know that I am capable of writing epic blog posts. It’s nice to know that I don’t always do that. It’s nice to know this post is almost over, so the words won’t start coming at you with illegal weapons and banned fireworks. I’m serious…my words know better than that. They’ll stay where they’re put…right…?

So long and thanks for all the fish,

Friday, July 25, 2008

One of "Those" Entries...

I have just been informed by a certain “Allison”-type-person that I need to update my blog. Thus, this entry...

Many of you are probably wondering how my life has been since my last entry. Well…it’s been just fine, thanks for allowing me to ask for you. The family reunion was kind of a bummer in the area of my own generation, but the two above mine were fine people, resulting in many fine relationships with older people. This generation is just not RIGHT sometimes, you know? However, we homeschoolers and ex-homeschoolers are just fine, am I right, or am I right? Ha ha…sorry for the generalization about non-homeschoolers. Y’all are pretty much okay, I guess…especially since my parents are included in that category.

Anyways, I had an itchy spot and I scratched it and I believe I feel slightly sun burnt. Allow me a moment to check. Okay…only on that small line right before my tan line, where I seemed to have missed putting sunscreen. It’s on both sides. Fancy that. At least I am consistent and symmetrical in my inconsistent unsymmetrical ways.

So the Totally Amazingly B’gorious Seahawks stole another win, leaving us completely UNDEFEATED!!! It is very amazing, considering that at the beginning of last season we were at the bottom of the last division. That’s a bit of a comeback, I’d say. So I believe we get a trophy, and get to move up at least one division, which will make me happy. The thing is that I won’t be able to swim in the fall because of time, won’t be able to compete in the fall because of graduating, and will only have one summer left (next summer…) before having to completely move on forever. However, I am making plans to continue to play water polo (I almost typed “water polka”, which is something a little similar to “water disco” which Matt and I are currently working on perfecting) on the day that Coach has that, which I hope is Wednesday (or Monday)…although I just realized that with the school schedule I have now (not much) I would be able to make it on Tuesday or Thursday. Anyhooness, I really like water polo. Have I ever said that? And I scored a goal on Matt yesterday. Yes, that’s an accomplishment. I think…better go check before bragging more…

Today was nice. I had planned to wake up at six, work out some, take a shower, get ready and go with Elizabeth B. to Wake Tech to clear up some advising stuff. Well, I don’t remember staying up too late last night, though I don’t remember what time I went to sleep, either. And what was I doing…? I seem to recall some faint vision of playing the guitar or something, but then I think that was the night before…well, I don’t know what I was up to. It’s not really important anyway. The point is that I woke up at ten after seven and Elizabeth was supposed to pick me up at eight. I looked in the mirror and…my hair was even on both sides, even though I slept in it! I was amazed. I had to straighten out my bangs a bit, wash my face, put on a little makeup and drink some coffee, and I was ready to go.

We stopped by MacDonald’s for breakfast, and don’t you all just go assuming I didn’t drink more coffee there or anything…that would be ridiculous. We when to Tech, got our advising, I bought my books, and then we went up to Target and Best Buy to look for birthday presents for Michelle. I was about to say what I got for Michelle, but then I remembered she reads my blog sometimes. Um…I also got a new purse finally, because one of the straps on my beloved light brown leather back pack broke, and for some reason the amount of things I keep in my purse has grown since last time I used either of my other purses, so I needed a new one. Thus, a very nice dark brown “leather” purse from Target. I was about to go into a purse crisis, you see. Too small, too big, too shiny and sparkly, too beach bag-ish. But this one is perfect. You know, I should start naming my purses. Hmmm…

I went to the Bradburn’s for lunch where Michelle had prepared some very yummy chicken-thing, with a side of some squash-thing (sorry to totally butcher the names of the dishes, but I can’t remember them…it was great anyways). While she was cooking that, Elizabeth and I looked at some clips on YouTube from “Across the Universe” which is a new movie using Beatles songs for the musical numbers.

I think it would be neat to take the work of some singer or band and make that into a musical. Like they did with Abba in “Mamma Mia.” So today I started thinking about, if I did that, how I would do it, and who I would use. But the thing is that a moment later I realized that I would want to use my own music to go with whatever story I needed the music for. Still, I guess it’s a cool kind of challenge to write a story around existing music, at least for me, anyways. And…that got me thinking that what if I took my own songs and wrote something around them? So I am opening my little binder where I keep most of my finished songs, and the first song, “Understand” is…too wordy and complicated. I don’t know what you think, but songs for musicals shouldn’t be that way. They should be concise and straightforward. Or maybe that’s redundant, but you know what I mean. Second song, “Here” (Rachel J.’s favorite song), is…reflective…you know? I change tenses in this song. No I don’t. There’s just a flashback-thingy. Never mind. Third song, “Residing”, is…longish, but that’s not bad. Actually might work. And actually-actually…it might work better for this thingy I was writing and thinking about turning into a musical that I started writing lyrics for…I don’t know. I like this song though. Fourth song… “Elijah”. Ah, yes…straightforward and concise, no doubt about that. Though not very musical-ish. The fifth song, “Away”, has too much imagery to be in a musical. “Hating One, Loving One, Expecting One”, the sixth song, might work. A monologue kind of thing…yeah. So that’s two so far. The seventh…it really, really, really depends on the context…and that’s a bit more of a personal song anyway. And there’s the part where she’s explaining and the part where she’s talking to the one she’s explaining about. That could be broken up into two songs…oh! To expand “Rockwell”…that would be really cool! I could devise the whole plot around “Rockwell”! Now I’m getting excited. It’s nice to have this blog-thing to brainstorm on. Okay. Three down…or three and a half. “The Freedom In-Between” seems like it could be a good musical song, and it may fit well. Very straightforward. “Time” is even more so…and would work well as well. Five and a half already! Well…now I was just thinking “Sounds of the Morning” and “Questions” were very imagery-laden and wordy songs, but looking at them…they’d make good heartfelt solos. They are kind of alike. Though I guess the only reason I think so is because I wrote them at about the same time. “A Confession” isn’t finished, but it would do for something. This is fun, but now we’re getting into my older depressing stuff. “Forever Winter”…hm…aside from being perfect for a Narnia musical (though no Miss Denmans requested to use it [gee, I wonder why…marketing usually helps]). “Your Own” may be of some good use after all…and “December”. Wow, that’s an interesting song. Not so sure about that. “Leave it at That” is a good musical-type song…if it can be incorporated. I hate “You and Me.” I know it’s Joanna’s favorite song I’ve ever written, but it’s just a musical cliché and I really hate those. But if musical clichés sell, then…whatever. I’ll have to deny myself the pride of writing something ingenious and go for the cash, I guess. So that’s all in that folder. There are a few others I’m working on which may work…well, whatever. Just some stuff to put in my thinker.

After lunch, Elizabeth dropped me off at the pool, where I finally got to spend some time with Elayna. Then…surprise! One of my friends and her mom came to the pool! Marck was a little disappointed because the two brothers in that family couldn’t come. They had come straight from shopping or something, so my friend had to swim in some clothes which dragged a whole lot, but it was all okay. We went diving down to the bottom of the diving pool, and I helped her on her dive and her butterfly. She says my butterfly is as pretty as ballet, and I’m like a graceful serpent moving through the water…*sniffle* *sniffle* *tear*…how…nice…*sniff*. She actually said “snake”, but “serpent” sounds much more romantic, don’t you think?

After Elayna left, my aunt stopped by the pool, and came over to our house afterwards. Haylea shared some brownies with me, and Charlie informed me that he was going to college in Tennessee. EVERYBODY IS GOING TO TENNESSEE. Jeffrey, Micah, and now Charlie. Wonderful. Well, it is nice there. I’d go live there, out in the country somewhere. And I remember there was this really cool science museum in Chattanooga. That’s such a weird name. Weirder than Kalamazoo. I think Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Durham, Knightdale, Zebulon, Wake Forest, and Chapel Hill are very elegant names.

The song in my head right now is “Annie Waits” by Ben Folds. I like that song, FYI.

So, it’s sad. The last thing for summer swim team is this Tuesday. Water polo playoffs, the fun meet, and the awards banquet. Then it’s done. Finished. I’m going to start crying (again)…I hope…oh, yeah. I already talked about this, didn’t I? Well, gee. Maybe I should stop thinking about the end of swim team so much. FOCUS, Jessica. There’s things to be done around here, like…like…AHHHHHHH!!! I am about to GO CRAZY!!! Do you understand what I mean? When you just get a sudden inspiration to get SOMETHING done RIGHT NOW…when you literally get all twitchy and feel like if you don’t do something, for heaven’s sake, you’ll just go absolutely insane and start running around the back yard in a panicked manner, pulling your hair out and stamping it into the ground? That last sentence was actually taken from a dialogue in a book I’m writing…but taken from real life experience originally, anyways. So there. Don’t you ever feel like that? I feel like that approximately every two weeks or so. It is kind of annoying, because it causes me to stay up late even when I need to wake up early the next morning.

I am wondering right now why I am not feeling a giant pang of jealousy, having been informed about a certain person doing something else with a certain other person which this certain person would have rather been doing with one of those said certain people but not the other certain person around. Whichever certain person is excluded except for this certain person, this certain person certainly doesn’t care and hopes those certain persons certainly don’t take this personally. Another certain person may know what this certain person is talking about…but should certainly keep his or her mouth shut, because this certain person should stop talking about this, even though she feels like keeping on. This certain person can sigh all she wants to, and wonder all she wants to, but it’s not going to solve anything, and this certain person says that perhaps the other two certain people simply were certainly not doing anything pertaining to anything which this certain person would rather…oh, never mind. UGH-ness-icity. This certain person is having an attitude and denying everything.

I am not!!!


So to end on a more flavorful note, I was thinking about something I cannot remember. Hey, you want another clip from my book? Let me go find something really quickly. Okay, here goes. Try to see if you can guess the inspiration for the following passage:

Jacob and I followed, stopping in the den. While the walls still had dark wood paneling, the shag carpet had obviously been pulled up and replaced with nice, fluffy cream colored carpet. I glanced around, feeling a bit out of place, especially when my eyes fell upon a person who could only have been who Mrs. Madison had indicated was talking to two girls—Jack Madison.

I was instantly enthralled. There was something about his face. It was so average, but stood out somehow. Maybe it was that it was so averaged, and therefore quite perfect. What made it even more perfect was the thick, smooth chin-length light brown hair which framed the perfectly average face. As he sat talking, he moved in a very animated sort of way, and as he did, his hair moved very animatedly with him. I could only seem to think in my head for that moment when
I first laid eyes on him, “Wow, look at his hair…it goes, swish-swish…”

A moment later he looked up, very intently with his animated, yet fixated and stern-like gray eyes, and as he greeted Jacob excitedly I began to feel very shallow for allowing such meaningless thoughts as ones about the movement of a guy’s hair. “Hey, Jake, what’s been happening?”

So, that’s it for now! Sorry to keep you all in suspense about what happens between…well, never mind. You all certainly will not ever know “what’s been happening” with Jacob, now, will you?


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Onward Ho to Maryland!

So, here I am. It's ten thirty-five. I am again at Comfort Suites in a room in my own bed, next to my Grandma, who is snoring (don't tell her I said that) while the TV is showing "48 Hour Mystery" or whatever that show is called. I don't care if she killed him. They're all dirty, rotten scoundrels anyways. So...deja vu...or however you spell that. In May for graduation/homeschool conference, it was the same ordeal, except we were in Winston-Salem and not somewhere in Maryland. The room is backwards, too. The lobby is nicer...I like it a lot, actually. The pool is indoor, and very small. I am dead serious when I say you can do a flip-turn at one end only to immediately do one at the other end.

The day started off normal-ish. I don't ususally get up at 7:40 am on Saturdays, and we usually eat pancakes on Saturdays. SO maybe it wasn't so normal. I made myself some cereal, ate the cereal, took a shower, got ready, packed the rest of my stuff, put all my stuff in the van, sorted and folded laundry...and...the rest of everybody was still taking a long time getting ready. So, I sat down at the piano bench *squeak* *rock* *squeak* *threatens to collapse* and thought about looking at some sheet music I had gotten from the library Friday evening. You know what? Sheet music really complicates something that is so simple. It took me a whole minute to figure out one chord for "With a Little Help from My Friends". At this time, Marck applauded loudly at my success. After two measures, I got bored of doing such a tedious task. After all, the week before I was just playing around with the same song, rearranging it classically or something I cannot sounded fine. It was on key and everything.........anyhoo, I don't know. I DO know I need to learn to read music. But really.

Once I started grumbling and banging around, I was asked to find something useful to do. So I made sure that my chinchilla had enough water, food, dust, etc. After doing that about five times and saying goodbye to Nancy (we took Mitch to the Bradburn's last night), we finally all piled in the van and started down the road. We weren't on the highway for long before on to the entrance ramp. Yes, a house. It took up two and a half lanes. Some cars got around it, and others were trapped behind as the highway went down from three lanes to two. We were one of those cars, and we were stuck there behind the house for about five miles, going about 35 mph, till the house finally got off a little bit after Zebulon.

We stopped somewhere past Richmond for lunch. I ate a lot there. I should have just gotten a salad, but got a Swiss mushroom Burger instead. Do you know how hard it is to say that out loud? It's happened to me at Lonestar, too. "I'd like the Swish mussroom burger." It's very embarrassing. They are yummy, but I don't think I am going to get one again, unless I remember to practice saying it right before I order.

I texted Nathan a bit as we drove on, and then he had to go do something else, and I got tired. I listened to my iPod (Bob, as you may know from my profile) some more. The rest of my family really likes books on tape, you see. I can't stand them. The person reading the story hardly ever reads it right. Only ever so occasionally is a book on tape enjoyable for me. That's when I really appreciate my iPod on long trips. I run out the battery quickly and probably start going deaf, but I just like the turn up the volume really loud and concentrate on writing or thinking. I can't read with any music but instrumental, and I can't write anything but dialogue unless I have complete and utter silence. I like silence. Sometimes I wish my whole family would pick an hour or two every day and just leave the house for that length of time, and I could just stay home and write or work on music stuff. Unfortunately, when they DO leave, I am given a long list of things to do. I like to ignore that list. Okay, I ignore it accidentally. I'll start doing stuff on the piano and I'll just get lost.

ANYHOO, I then somehow took a nap, sleeping through what I thought would be the rest of this story about some boy who somehow acquires a duck who likes the quiet but can't stand commotion. I actually got into it when I woke up and discovered that I had NOT slept through it and instead had a back-and-neck cramp. We stopped at MacDonald's to use the facilities and get some milk. I was looking forward to some whole milk and what do they give me? 1%. I hate 1%. The only thing worse than 1% is skim, but really 2% all I can stand, though I prefer whole.

Somehow we ended up here in Maryland, at this hotel, checking in. There was a lot of traffic, but that's about all I can remember now. I made a startling discovery--this lotion I bought a while ago that doesn't smell the best when I put it on actually smells fine once it's dry.

Anyways, we went to Denny's for dinner (I had a party with myself about that. I love Denny's). We came back, I read a bit, everyone went to bed, and I decided to do blog stuff. Once I drank three cups of coffee at Denny's, my mom reminded me that even decaf coffee has a tiny bit of caffiene in it. Aw, shucks.

Plans for breakfast, swim in the little tiny pool, go to the family reunion, be friendly, eat food, come back here, sleep, get up, go home, beg to stop by Mount Vernon on the way back, be ignored, go home, collapse on familiar furniture, eat healthy food for the meet on Tuesday. Good plan, but now SNL is coming on, and I'm going to watch a bit to see if they happened to think up anything funny this time...


Monday, July 14, 2008

Defining Success

This is a paper I wrote for English 111 in the fall semester...yeah, I am being a lazy blogger and not posting anything I've written lately...not having written anything blog-able lately. I've been working on my books and songs and lovely things like that, but I believe it's time for some good old fashioned old stuff. My views on the subject haven't really changed, though ultimately my goals and stuff have altered (no more dog training stuff, really). However, I think it's kind of worth reading (not to toot my own horn or anything)...I got 110% on it, so i reckon either my teacher liked it a lot, liked me a lot, or it was a good paper. Here we go:

What is success? These days, many people will define it as studying hard to get good grades in school so to get into a good college, so that one may earn a “worthy” degree in order to get a high-paying job, in which one performs well, to get many promotions. Along side of that designation is usually something about meeting a special someone and possibly having kids. But must every person in America (or anywhere else) fit into that mold? I personally think not. Success cannot possibly be defined by the achievement of one common goal. Yet that is exactly what kids in school are taught every day. Parents and teachers are constantly forcing this “dream” upon grade-school children. But what about children who want to break the mold? What if they don’t know how? What if they feel as if they will disgrace their families?

There are two things in this world I think that I have always wanted to be, and those are a writer and a mother. Some other considered occupations have been: ballerina, dance teacher, Olympic gymnast, Olympic swimmer, comic strip creator, actor, director, producer, psychologist, dolphin trainer, puppy breeder, mailman, comedienne, pirate, rock star, model, “Ask Abby” columnist, backwoods expeditionist, sailor, and fitness trainer. The reader may be surprised, but many of the above mentioned jobs are new or recently revisited fancies of mine. My most current whim is dog training. The subject fascinates me so much right now, but it is sad to know, deep in my heart, that the desire to be a dog trainer may pass in time, as with everything else I have ever wanted to do. At the same time, I am attempting to discipline myself to stick to it, because it seems like now or never if I ever want to have an interesting and possibly easy way to make money.

Because I have been home schooled all of my life, the environment that I have grown up in has been different than the average student’s. But now that I am a senior in highschool, I have noticed that, ultimately, it all turns out the same. Most highschool seniors still do not really know what they want to do in life. In spite of everything they usually go ahead and jump right into college. They are unsure of where they are supposed to go in life, so college becomes another comfort zone, as grade school probably was. My mom said she jumped into college not knowing why or what she wanted to do afterwards. I have also noticed similar behavior in both my older friends who have already gone off to college, and same-age peers as they prepare to graduate with me.

The idea has been tempting to me, too. I’ve gone around in millions of circles in the past eight or nine months, pondering over what I truly would like to do for the rest of my life. Every time I settle on something I say to myself, “Okay, this is the one this time! This is my calling.” Of course, I usually change my belief about what my “calling” is every month, give or take a couple of weeks. Naturally, it would be nice for me to simply choose one thing to study for four years, and sit back and “relax” while I learn it all, feeling secure in the knowledge that, once I graduate, I will have a degree that will supposedly make me tons of money in the corporate world. But, by the time I graduate, will I even want to have a job even close to what I majored in? Knowing myself, probably not.

What bothers me even more when I talk to people—friends, extended family, random people on the street—is that they cannot seem to comprehend, visualize or in any other way understand the idea that I may not be going to college. I have several home schooled friends with whom I have discussed life after high school. I have mentioned my indecisiveness about college to a few, and I almost always get the same reaction: “Well, have you applied anywhere yet?” (“No.”) “Well, you’d better soon, because you’re a senior, right?” (“Yeah.”) “You have your SAT scores back by now, I guess?” (“I haven’t taken the SAT.”) “What? Well, you’d better take it soon!” (“I don’t want to.”) “But you have to take it in order to get into college.” (“No I don’t.”) “Uh, yeah you do!”

The truth is, I don’t want to go to college. Period. I have officially made my decision. I do not even know why, when people ask me what my post-high school plans are, I say things like, “Well, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go to college.” After all, by now I know for sure that I do not want to go to college. So what do I even bring the subject up for? I could skip all that useless conversation (mostly consisting of my mulling over miserably while the other person tries to convince me that college is the best and only way to be considered a successful home school high school graduate) and simply answer that person’s original question as assertively as possible: “I am planning on applying to work at a pet store once I turn eighteen, while interning or assisting at a dog training and rehab center for a year and a half, and then I plan to go up to Indiana for a year to intern at Wolf Park and study canine behavior, before coming back and becoming a full time dog trainer, either working for an established business, taking over one or starting my own.” That confident answer is something which should be entirely acceptable, yet somehow I guess I fear that if I mention this plan, the people I talk to will think it’s silly because it’s not their definition of success. I start believing that they might think that my plan is most definitely going to fail, and they might even have the nerve to tell me so and to deter my plans towards something they feel I should do.

Why should I care?

I am apparently too ashamed to voice my plan for my own success simply because others may balk and not take me seriously. On that note, am I secure enough in what I want to do not to crumble under the criticism. Well, where will they be in four years? They may be lost and confused, just as I am sure I would be after college. All that intense learning…and now what? For my life, for what I want to do, what good is college to me?

I am not completely opposed to college. For many careers, such as doctors, lawyers, and teachers, it is necessary. And, of course, here I am taking an English class and a Psychology class this semester. The truth is, I would like to continue taking college courses for my own educational benefit. There is nothing wrong with that, and if I really did change my mind and want to go to college, then the credits would transfer easily (and I may not have to take the SAT). I am also not saying that my friends are wrong in going to college not knowing what they want to do. I am just stating that that is not what I want to do personally, and I am stating that it is not the only way to succeed in life, as my friends and many other people suppose.

If I decide to go to college, I may indeed graduate with high grades and a good degree, get a good job and make lots of money thusly. That is all fine and dandy, except that it is not what I want to do. Me, I want to jump right into doing a job that I love, learning useful things I also enjoy (not things I am forced or obligated to learn) and taking pleasure in my life as soon as I can. I am not a classroom person, and that is either because I have been home schooled or in spite of being home schooled. Either way, I learn better by emersion in a hands-on environment. Then again, not all home schooled kids are like this. Some are educated in a format just like a class room, but at home (what’s the point?). My parents realized that they could not get away with doing that for me.

If I am successful in the way that the culture defines being successful, does that make me the ideal homeschool graduate? I guess so, because people who do just that are idolized by millions of home schooled kids and home schooling parents across the country, and frankly I think it’s annoying. I have two homes schooled friends who were going to be in their senior year along with me this year, but both agreed to let their parents hold them back a year so that they could get more high school credits and raise their GPAs, all for the sake of college and success. Are grades everything? Performance and physical results have got to count for something.
I guess the only way I am going to get the different definitions of success across to the misunderstanding people in my life is to go out and do it. Go and write my own true success story, showing the narrow minded people that it can be done. I can talk about how wonderful a dog trainer I am going to be without double-majoring in animal science and comparative psychology, but no one will see that there are other ways until those other ways are executed in the plain sight of my large group of doubters.

Once people see that today’s definition of success may not necessarily be the right one for everyone, maybe people will, if they feel like they should, begin to branch off and start being them selves, doing their own things, taking many different paths. It’s not all college and good jobs. Sometimes, success should be what a person loves and passionately wishes to do with his or her life. That is my ideal, and my definition of a successful person.

Success is what you make it.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


A dream is a shadow
Of various things
Of what is to come
Or what my heart wants

That dream of you
I told you of
Meant more than what
I said it did

It means come back
Or come at all
I want you here
Can’t witness your fall

I care too much
Too deeply, to strong
To leave you here
In all this wrong


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rambling and Carrying On

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please! Do you wake every morning in shame and despair to discover your pillow is covered with hair, what ought not to be there?

Okay *clears throat bashfully*, I know it's been a while (for me), but time sure does like getting scarce around here. I wrote this Thursday evening but have not posted it till now:

So I am here at the lake house again. It is still hot outside, but the heat will die down soon, and then it will be really nice out here. It's a wonderful place to be. I would love to live up here. It's as if I am getting a massage for my soul. It’s so soothing to be among such serenity. It’s peaceful and quiet, with just the birds and the cicadas to be heard. Well, now there’s a wasp in the screened-in porch. Great. That’s comforting. Now it’s gone and I don’t know where it is. Oh…there. Anyhooness…!!!

I think, if I could just do this every weekend, or maybe every other weekend, or maybe even just once a month, I would be so much better off. It’s like a cleansing from all the bothersome and stressful elements of life. Sure, those sorts of things have their time and place and I will reap benefits for persevering and things like that one of these days. But it’s so nice to get away from it all. I believe it’s much better than choosing some sort of drug to do that for you. This is real. Non-expensive. Lovely. I can enjoy God’s creation out here, and just breathe in, breathe out, and feel the emotions slowly slipping away till all I feel is the bliss of unawareness.

One thing I have to remind myself constantly to do is to be patient. I believe that’s ultimately my biggest flaw—impatience. Nothing comes fast enough or soon enough. I mean, I enjoy living in the moment. Life is good, I’m happy. But there are things I want...MANY things I want, and now is just not the time and place for those things. There may never be a time and place for that sort of thing. That makes me upset. I want to do everything within my power to make these things happen. Things happen on their own in their own time. I can’t bring anything about; I don’t know what’s gotten in my head. Probably by trying to take over I am lessening the possibility of anything like what I want ever actually happening. But it’s a hard habit to break.
Why are habits so easy to form but so hard to break? It became second nature to me within two weeks to do two spaces after a period when I’m typing. I cannot get out of the habit of trying to write my own love story. Perhaps if I viewed it as…I need to get in the habit of sitting back and letting life do what it intends to do and stop interfering. There…I said “stop.” There’s my problem. I should only focus on what I need to DO, not what I need to STOP. Because if I’m thinking about what I need to stop, I’m thinking about that thing, and not about what I could put in its place. If I am thinking of what I need to do, I can start doing that and it will just automatically replace what I need to stop but am not mentioning in the plan because of some psychological thing or another.

So this year is going to be different. Every year is different, but this one is especially because I have discovered I have no more homeschooling left to do. Oh, pish, posh, and squash…I’m still me. It sounds like I’ve become transformed and I’m some collegiate, grown-up Jessica who is now going to be mature and boring and do mature and boring things, like wear dress suits (with the skirts), and carry a briefcase and go defend cases in that awesomely cool courthouse over there. It is pretty cool, but security always makes me nervous because I’m afraid that some button on my jeans is going to set off the beeping thing, and then they are going to suspect me of carrying knives, ninja stars, and prickly grass from the back yard (that stuff is lethal to your feet you know), and then they will have to frisk me, and they won’t be able to find what it is, and so they’ll assume I ingested my 3 weapons of choice, and so they will just confiscate me, throwing me in the back room with all the other armaments. Thus, I try to avoid the courthouse, even though it is very interesting there. I wish I could go explore and find some secret tunnels or something, maybe even solve a mystery going on there that all those law people didn’t even know about—people were trying to break in and take back their confiscated artillery!! Well, while they are doing that, they could probably take me back home, too. I’d get hungry, because you know that when security guards believe you ate a big bunch of weapons, they don’t think you will be hungry for anything else, and so they won’t feed you. Someday I will go and pole vault over the little security doorways and run on through and go listen to a case or something.
Well, the lake is completely still. I want an ice cream sandwich.

Yesterday I…well, wait. Wasn’t I saying something about this year being different? Yeah, yeah. How did that become…? Well, never mind. Anyhoo, I am going to take two Wake Tech classes, maybe three (I’ll see how the schedule is, but the third “maybe” one is on Tuesday evenings, and I really like water polo a whole lot, you see). Then, I believe, I will get a part-time job somewhere interesting, like at a pet store, a vet, or a book store. Another thing is that I am going to be working on a business-thingy. I think I’ll develop something fitness-ey, like a video set (DVD, I guess it’s called now), and maybe a nutrition booklet and/or a fitness log or something. Maybe I’ll just gather a big bunch of stuff together and sell it online. I’m not sure yet, but something along those lines. I could live off of ads, I don’t know. But something is going to happen there. I don’t want to depend on a job forever. I just need that for immediate cash for gas and classes and things. Speaking of classes, that’s the other thing. I may take that musical theatre class Lizzie, Sarah, Rachel and Kara took last year. Their production of “Annie” was exceptional, and I think it would be a very good thing to get involved with that group. And it’s so much fun…oh, how I miss doing plays and musicals!! Kara also said that the director/teacher guy is probably going to require all the musical theatre students to take a dance class. I thought about ballet for a while, but then Kara said he may teach a Broadway dancing class. I’ve always wanted to learn that Broadway-ish style, so I think that would be fun. I will be swimming, still, though I am not sure whether I will do stuff with the Seahawks somehow or another, or if I will join the Masters that swim in the mornings at TAC. But I will be swimming, I assure you. The last thing is piano lessons. I have a piano, and I can play it. Sort of. I like to think I can do a little more than bang randomly on it, even though that is what I really like to do best. Over the past year I have become rather attached to pianos. If I go somewhere where there is no piano, I feel a little empty inside. Like right now. I just wish my laptop could magically turn into a piano, and then back again. Well, the extent of my piano knowledge barely begins to reach that of a typical almost-eighteen-pianist, but I suppose since I’ve never had lessons, I have a big disadvantage. I always chose dance over piano lessons, and even though I enjoyed myself, I rather regret it. I want to learn it all!!! How am I supposed to play *insert awesome but complicated song here* if I don’t know how to play that style, or even now to coordinate myself so that I can do it all together at the normal pace? I have the slowest fingers in the world, except on the first part of Bach’s minuet in G, which doesn’t count because it’s not even meant to be played that fast. And I’m absolutely sick of it…OOOOH!!! That would make a good “On Crack” song…yeah. That sounds bad, but it’s really not. You just take a boring song, and then make it more exciting. Add some FLARE to it, for goodness sake. Ode to Joy, I hate to say, is boring. So I started doing SOMETHING to it this morning before swim practice. Work in progress. My fingers were kind of sloppy and all over the place, but I didn’t care because I was mad because I couldn’t remember what Lizzie said was the “something something key for finding the Jazz mode of something something a whole step something something like the eight key octave thing for normal things but then something something move that down here and something something something, oh, let’s go see how the nacho dip is doing.”

Blast it, stupid memory. I AM getting old.

Alrighty, time for me and my ice cream sandwich to have some quality alone-time. Over and out!


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